[it’s where you could find me when you couldn’t find me anywhere else]

Growing Up

Growing Up (3)

Growing Up (1)

Growing Up (2)

after i read your letter, i felt broken again. i realized that i almost lost you right after i lost my boyfriend. i felt more stupid than ever. i wanted to say sorry. i wanted to say that i understand. i wanted to run to your house and just hug you. hug you like nothing else mattered, like i could hug you forever, like all our pains would melt away through that hug.

but i didn’t. because you were already away when you sent that letter. i spent the vacation not talking to you. you tried calling me many times, but i didn’t answer. all your attempts to talk to me were a failure. i didn’t notice that vacation’s almost over because i was busy ignoring you and trying to make myself happy without you. you went to college a week after the vacation. that was a different city, a different world. i was left to deal with the same problems before you left. on my own. well, maybe i had my girl friends to whine to, but with you it’s different. without you, i felt empty. i couldn’t laugh.

i went to a state university. i couldn’t remember half of what i did there. it seemed that every day was the same as the day before. every day is dragging. i had nothing to look forward to. i was overthinking my problems. i didn’t have you beside me. the only change that happened? it was already you who were causing my tears to fall. i was crying because of you. because i missed you, for god’s sake!

anyway, semester break came. i heard you were back in the neighborhood. i got excited. i was gonna see you, finally! we met at a friend’s birthday party. i was drunk that time, whining about stuff i couldn’t remember now. maybe i got dumped again. oh well. you showed up in front of me, all smiles. i returned your smile with a sniff. and i just broke down. you hugged me.

hugged me like nothing else mattered, like you could hug me forever, like all our pains would melt away through that hug.

“what’s the matter?” you said.

i was dumbstruck. i didn’t know what to say because you never asked that question before. you never asked what’s wrong. i thought you never cared.

“am i allowed to tell the details now?” i clumsily said.

“of course. i’ve changed.” you answered.

“not a lot, i hope.”

“nope, not a lot. just the ones you wanted me to change.” and you tickled me until i gasped for air. and i vomited after that, because of too much beer. but i felt lighter. everything’s almost back to normal. you were there, laughing. i was there, crying. perfect.

“so, which one do you wanna see. the knight or the joker?” you teased.

i poured everything to you. you were there beside me, silently listening to my every complaint. i felt giddy of emotions, really. but you made it easier for me to arrange my thoughts and feelings. and there i was, confused as always, the crybaby, the girl who felt like her burdens were heavier than others’. and yeah, i remembered we spent the night playing scrabble and drinking coffee at our house. and it was the nostalgia that made me cry that time, not the problems i was complaining about. it was the memory of you and me and us. i missed Timezone, and Enchanted Kingdom, and ice cream, and playing basketball. somehow, those are the things that made me forget, even for a while. and at that moment, those are the things that made me remember.

and as i was looking at you, i realized that you already grew up. and i didn’t.

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Growing Up (2)

Growing Up (1)

Anna,

sometimes i just wanted to tell you everything. i wanted to comfort you, to take away all your burdens. but something’s always pulling me back. i don’t want us to be that close. i don’t want you to be dependent on me. i don’t want this friendship to get to the next level, whatever that is. i’m afraid of what’s next. honestly, every time i see you cry, it breaks my heart. but i couldn’t do anything about it. i’m not good at giving advices, or opinions, or backing you up. all i could do is cheer you up and make you smile. i might just mess things up if i meddle on your problems. i’m afraid no one would take me seriously, even you.

i know i couldn’t be like this forever. i know you need me, because you’re always a crybaby and i can’t bear to see you cry. i know i should grow up. i couldn’t take life as a joke forever. and i couldn’t stand knowing that you’re hurting inside and all i could do is give you your favorite ice cream. i should do better than that, right?

sorry, i’m just afraid. i’m afraid that if i take things seriously, i might feel something that i’m not supposed to feel. love, for instance. i’m afraid of commitments, of promises, of breaking up, of slowly moving on. i don’t want to feel those feelings that make you cry. but it’s not possible. no matter how hard i try to mask myself, to shield myself from involvement, or relationships, or heartaches, they would come.

sorry, i’m not good at showing emotions. but believe me, i could feel every ounce of what you feel. and so i wanted to change. i wanted to be the first one to help you out on everything. sometimes, laughter is not the best medicine. i would be of no good if i stay this way. i want to protect you. i want to be the knight, not just the joker. i want you to give me a second chance and be my friend again.

Austin


Growing Up (1)

i knew you as a childish, playful, and shallow person. you used to tickle me to death when we were seatmates. you used to tease me with my other seatmate, because we were always exchanging sweet glances. and whenever you saw one of those looks, you would nudge me and say, “uuuuuuy!” i would blush. you knew he was my crush. and we both knew that he was an untouchable, because his girlfriend was the all-time campus trophy girl. and i was only one of those wallflowers, never noticed, always trampled on. i know he’s not gonna take me seriously. so i just contented myself with flirting with him and batting my eyelashes from time to time. most of the times, i felt alone, mainly because of zero lovelife. yet, i was happy with your company – you being the joker of the class and the most humorous person i have ever met. you even made me think that love was a big fat joke.

before, when i had problems, you would take me to Timezone and we would waste our time and money there until the mall closed. twice, you took me to Enchanted Kingdom to ease my pain away. i was contented with that. i never shared my problems with you. i didn’t tell you anything. you would let me cry on your shoulder, but you didn’t ask about specifics, so i didn’t dwell on details. whenever i tried to tell you issues, you would just say, “You have your girl friends for that.” and i would just shut up.

on the other hand, i never saw you cry. you were always smiling, always laughing your ass off, always playing pranks on our schoolmates. i envied you because you never had problems. and i used to tell you that perhaps the problems that were supposed to be yours all poured out on me. you would just hug me, that rib-cracking hug, and say “Gee, thanks for taking my supposed-to-be problems for me.”

it was graduation day and we were all crying. you were the only one who’s whooping and saying, “Oh my Gawd! i can’t believe i survived this school!” that night, you took me to a videoke bar and we strained our voice boxes out until dawn. the next day, my boyfriend broke up with me. and i cried again.

you did what you were always doing – buy me an ice cream. i didn’t stop from crying. that time, i was thinking that breaking up was the hardest part of living. i felt so devastated and sad and angry and mad. i felt like i wouldn’t be able to stand another day. i got mad at you too, for not doing anything to console me aside from buying me an ice cream. “i am not a child,” i said. “i’m not like you.”

you didn’t get mad at me for saying that. instead, you just hugged me and that made me madder than ever. “don’t you ever get mad? don’t you ever cry? don’t you ever feel sadness and loneliness and desolation?” i shouted. i felt weak and stupid and whatever. you were there beside me, not knowing my problem, not caring that you don’t know. you didn’t even ask me. you didn’t want me to share my problems with you. and i felt so frustrated.

“i think it’s better if i just go to my other friends. they could relate to me better than your retarded mind,” i said to you. and i just walked away.