The First

There was once a boy who wrote poems for me but it wasn’t enough at that age that love was pure and true. I often talk about him in my poems and short stories because he is one of those persons who inspired me to write and be free to write what I feel and what I want to say. I created a writing for all of those I loved in the past. It was a crazy idea to write about them. I called it a tribute for making me feel that ecstasy but took it away after quite some time. I don’t want to remember who cheated on me, doesn’t have time for me, parents don’t approve of me, or I might have just gotten tired of the relationship. It’s such a shame because I feel like I had to jump from one relationship to another for me to be able to write almost perfect poems and short stories. So I guess, this one’s for him.

1st_vector_by_paulgeloI was twelve when I first met him, June 2003. A friend in my class introduced him to me. He said that he wanted to be friends with me. My 12 year old mind couldn’t imagine why a boy from the same year but from another section would like to be my friend.At first, I didn’t like the idea. But eventually because of his ways in irritating people, I couldn’t get him off.We became friends and he started to tell me about this girl that he’s courting. This girl’s got good reputation. Good face, good grades, and good attitude. Although he’s not the only guy at school who’s courting this girl, the girl seems to might have liked him back. They spend most of the time together and I’m this friend he talks to about her after they meet. I listen to his stories and what fascinates me is the way that he talks about her. He makes it sound like she’s the perfect girl for him. But of course, I don’t believe in perfection. I know that there will always be bad in everybody.

Everything was going out fine. I think they’ve been dating for 2 months until one day in the first week of August 2003, something happened. He happened to bother me so early in the school library which he doesn’t usually do. He usually disrupts me from studying around 6 pm and he came 4 in the afternoon wearing sunglasses. He dropped his bag on the table and I looked up at him. He didn’t remove his glasses and sat at the chair on the opposite side of the table where I’m sitting. “Well, she dumped me.”  I wasn’t shocked. I mean a pretty girl like that could play around but I’m not assuming that she is playing around. But she could get any boy she wants.I looked back at my book and said while turning the pages, “I’m not surprised Lance. You’re too irritating.” He removed his glasses and he looks angry just sitting there staring at me without words. I said smirking, “Well? What do you want? I’m just saying the truth. You know I always say the truth. I’m a straightforward person and I don’t like lies. I cannot lie to anybody. What more to you, a friend.” He shakes his head and said, “There is something wrong. She was acting weird since the sectional Science Quiz. Am I ugly?” Then it hit me just like that. I realized, he just asked me a question that he shouldn’t ask me. I don’t know what came up to me but I mean, ugly? No. He’s gorgeous. I closed my book and put all my pencils and notebook to my bag and grabbed his hand. “Come on let’s go. I’ll show you something.” He grabbed his bag and glasses and as we walked down the stairs, he keeps on asking, “Well you still haven’t answered my question if I’m ugly or not. Hey, where are we going?” “Just follow me.” I answered.

We arrived at the school playground and saw the girl he’d been dating for two months kissing another boy in school behind the building. He was about to go and might even punch the boy but I hugged him. I hugged him with closed eyes. I don’t know why I did that. He stopped, frozen, and in shock. I can feel it in his body. When I felt that his body calmed down, I opened my eyes and looked at him, “Violence will never solve anything Lance. You have to control your temper or you’ll lose what you already have. I’m sorry I had to do that. I don’t know what to do. Didn’t expect for you to stay calm when I hugged you. Well, let’s go home.”  I walked pass him and I heard him run after me. He grabbed my hand and said, “I never felt this before.” “What is.. you’ve never felt before?” He was directly looking into my eyes and I looked away. I don’t know what has gotten into me to do that. I just had to. I couldn’t imagine how I was able to hold his body like that. He’s taller than me. “Tranquility and comfort.” I took back my hand and said, “Ahuh.. I don’t get you. I’m going home now and let’s forget this never happened. I’ll see you tomorrow. Don’t even think about going back there or else you’ll get suspended. Nobody’s going to stop you punching that kid.” I walked away from him and as I approach the waiting shed for me to wait for the jeepney, the moment I hugged him still keeps on playing in my head. Why did I do that?

The following weeks had even become more weird. He stopped talking and stalking the girl he dated and he spends more time with me in the library for two hours. Usually we talk about that girl. But now, all we do is write poems and discuss his drawings. I knew Lance more. Everyday, he started to open up about how his parents wanted him to take up Nursing but he wanted to take Fine Arts in college. I don’t know if this will help me understand more what I feel towards him. Is it still friendship? Or have I crossed that border? It’s only been two weeks but it feels like I’ve known him for a lifetime. He started to write poems in my notebook about an unspoken bond between us. I still don’t understand but I know that whatever is happening should be stopped. I shouldn’t be a rebound. But a week later when I joined the Buwan ng Wika..

Read here: https://missraiza.wordpress.com/2015/05/16/a-blurry-memory-unforgotten/

I never went to the library to study for a month. After my classes, I always go home straight. Until one day, the person who introduced him to me approached me in class and gave a paper. She winked at me and whispered, “Just read it.” I opened the paper and it said, “I missed you. I miss everything about you. Can we talk after class please?” 

I talked to him after class and it’s as if nothing happened. He still repeatedly said the same words and as naive as I was, I surrendered myself in feeling the same way. A time came when his parents and the school intervened. They were blaming me for his failing grades and getting kicked out of the Top Ten in the whole year. They wanted me suspended but we destroyed all proof that we are meeting each other everyday. It became harder to even talk to each other when some of our classmates sided with the school. We started to send each other emails. But we didn’t have any internet at home so we stopped talking a month before class is over.

The Poetess (27)

Although it hurt, I had to go on. My birthday passed with only a birthday email from him. After the final exam ended and I finally got all my signature for my clearance, I remember opening my email and his latest email was from the morning before the final exams started.

Subject: I’m Sorry

Message:

I’m leaving. I will still see you around but not that much.  Always remember that I love you and don’t let anybody bully you at school. I will miss you. 

Love, Lance

It sounded too dramatic but it was happening and I couldn’t think of anything. I questioned why. But the answer that I see is it’s because of me. I walked out of the library and went to their classroom but only to see Nathan (my present significant other). Nathan looked at me and said, “What are you doing here? He’s not here.” “But you’re always playing video games after exams.” He scratched his head and said, “Look, I don’t know how to explain this and we’re not always playing video games! You’re assuming. Umm.. He kind of told me that he has other things to do.” I became nervous on what Nathan said about the other things that he has to do. I asked him, “What other things?” He took his bag and we walked out of the room, “He’s transferring dude.” I felt like the world is ending and this is my 13 year old mind exaggerating. But yes, I felt that way. He meant the world to me and he is my first love. Tears started to fall from my eyes. I tried to hide it from Nathan but I couldn’t. I covered my eyes with my hands and he reached out his hand to my shoulder, “Hey, I’m sorry. I have to go. See you next school year. Take care.” I nodded my head and he walked on. I walked back to the library and wrote him an email.

All summer, he was the only reason I’m going back and forth to the internet shop. I kept on waiting for his email but he never replied back. I don’t know if he reads my emails and decided not to reply or he stopped opening his email. I waited.. but he never replied. I wrote a lot of poems because of what happened. I couldn’t even remember if we were officially together. There was no such thing. I was just happy spending time with him and it really felt like all the bad things can suck up to themselves and I won’t care as long as he’s beside me. But he’s not here now. And I don’t know if he’ll ever be here. At the end of May, my mother had been getting me ready for buying school supplies and I have decided to stop waiting and just look forward to another school year. Who knows? Someone might just show up from heaven who will treat me the same but with no strict parents please.

Sincerely, Iya

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