Friday, December 16, 2016

To a classmate

Five years ago. I wonder if you remember me?

I stepped inside the school, thinking that this would be a new start. I left a painful past behind, and you're the first person I see as I was taking the exam results. Then for some reason, we kept passing by each other. I saw you eating lunch. Then I passed by you, sitting under a tree, waiting for your next class. I smiled at you, thinking that you wouldn't be my classmate anyway. Then you were. You smiled back at me, and I thought the coincidence was weird. Then, just as I was riding on a jeepney back to home, I see you there again, standing. The jeep passed by and we looked at each other again.

I wondered about that a lot. What is the statistical probability that we keep on crossing paths? I never talked to you, but I wondered about you. Standing there waiting while the jeep I rode in passed. I wonder, were you waiting for a car to fetch you? Were you texting your driver? Or were you waiting for a taxi, since only Jaro CPU jeepneys pass by here?

Months pass. The jeepney keeps passing by, and I notice you glancing at me, or was that only my imagination? Classes end. Well I guess that's how it goes. Then there was the Finals Exam. I was bored out of my mind after an exam, and I got out first. Then while I was scanning a bulletin board, I hear someone whistling. It was you.

What the hell, I thought. I tried calling your attention, asked if you still had a test, because my curiosity got the better of me. I really just wanted to ask, if you were indeed waiting for a car. You ignored me. Well, I let it go. I dislike bothering people who want to be left alone, anyway. I found it embarrassing, but I just walked away. Too bad the jeepney was stalling and it passed by the usual spot where you were waiting. I was in the front seat and the driver chose to linger near your corner, but the car eventually left.

The next day was the exam for the subject where we were classmates. I exempted the Finals. I was so surprised when the teacher told me, but I was glad. I felt happy about not having to take it. I walked out, but to my surprise, you were late and were just about to go in the room. This will be awkward as hell, but I have no choice but to go out. I looked down when I saw you, because this, would really be a bad situation.

But a flood of emotions took over me. I remembered everything I went through before this... moments of torture and despair in my last university, a string of events where I almost died... but I'm still alive. I felt euphoric, but at the same time sad. Like a war was over. Like there will still be wars and suffering in this world, but this personal war and private suffering has come to an end. I will never fail a subject again, and you will never be my classmate again. That's what I felt, but how can I communicate those years of pain?

I just smiled a smiled I never smiled before. I never realized smiling can hurt, but at that moment it did. It probably hurt because it's like I've forgotten how to really smile after a long time. I expected you to just go on walking, but when I looked up you stopped. Just near the stairs. Just to smile back at me. I was so surprised that I just grinned. Can you understand me? This has never happened before. Are you crying? I'm sorry. Please don't cry. Did I see that clearly? I never said a thing. Sometimes there are moments where words will just ruin the moment.

And at that moment, was fate playing a joke? Because it looked like I was walking towards you, and the point where we were so near each other, is when I will walk away and down the stairs. Its like we just met, and I'm already leaving. Goodbye.

And that was supposed to end there.

(But if you're out there, reading this, you know that you did something bad. I don't know, but maybe you saw it the last time I glared at you, trying to tell you that I don't want to have anything to do with you after suspicious, borderline-abusive behavior that I found scary. I forgive you. I just remember you, and that weird moment. And I only realized later that you only spoke English. Which is funny when I'm not the native speaker... yet I'm the one whose exempted from the exam?? Hey, does that mean I'm a... genius??)

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