The one with the mask

Otherwise? Si we said this week is for those love stories? Me I think I’ll come back next week.

But next on stage is a girl who prefers anonymity. And who am I to deny her the mask? She tells a story of what could have been should have been and paces it and gives it a nice beat.

Somehow, when a girl talks about love, you can always know it’s a girl. They throw in sentences like ‘I was pleased’.

They think and say things, these girls. And they read us like books. The tragedy, of course, is that, as men, we may never get the chance to do the same. We’re clueless and impatient and we don’t listen. But the one with the mask is here to walk us through some of the complexities of the female mind with her story. She wants to open for us a small window to shed in some light.    

[Enter a masked girl]     

I met him early this year. He was seated in the school cafeteria drinking tea or something. I don’t quite remember. I hadn’t seen his face in months so I went over and said Hi, and asked if he was waiting for someone. He replied in the negative. So I sat down with my hot coffee and a croissant.

That was the beginning.

Let’s go back a little bit. To the first time I met him.

Last year, I would occasionally see his brown face around in school. I remember our first ever conversation. It was about anime, and it was in a computer lab. Since he was familiar looking I started talking. He told me how he spent his days with video games and anime. I told him how I was getting into the habit of reading books. He didn’t like the sound of that. Not of books, but reading. Too tedious, he said.

The distinct difference between these two meetings was that I was in a relationship during the first. I was introduced to him by my then boyfriend. They were classmates once, so I never got a chance to really know him then.

This time around I got to explore the human being behind the classmate. Just a few months after I was newly single, we were hanging out regularly in school. I often wondered what my ex thought when he saw us walking side by side.

Why am I telling you about this guy? And him specifically? Maybe it’s to do with how fast we got acquainted, how fast we clicked. Even though we didn’t know much about each other, there was always something to say. He made me laugh out loud with his silly jokes. Our hugs were usually long and tight, and I wondered if it meant something.

He was younger than me. Still is.

For some strange reason, I always wanted to see him. He was like personal entertainment, reminding me how to laugh and take life easy.

We were simply friends.

I didn’t see it coming.

Wanting turned into desire. Feelings emerged. Thoughts of tasting his lips came uninvited. They popped up in my mind every time we were alone.

He reminded me of my ex. Still does.

Maybe that is one of the reasons I was attracted to him from the beginning. The only problem was he wasn’t my ex. And he didn’t state the obvious, that he liked me. All he did was smile and walk beside me and join me for coffee whenever he could. And at the end he would hug me tightly before saying goodnight.

One night I couldn’t take it any longer.

Except for the two lights at the estate gate, and the vehicles moving in the far distance, everywhere else was dark.

We were in the dark.

He was chattering about a story he had spontaneously made up, like we usually did. Only this time I couldn’t hear what he was saying. My desire burned brilliantly, and my mind was lost in a haze. After contemplating about it for a minute, I said fuck it.

I grabbed his face and put my lips on his. It was a soft kiss, slow and romantic, like two seasoned lovers. He put his hands on my waist. I was pleased. That half minute felt more or less like a second. I didn’t want to make it too long. I pulled away, whispered goodnight, and walked away.

That was our first kiss.

Now where did this end up, you ask. I’m not sure. We had awkward weeks after that, we didn’t talk about it. He was shy, I guess. I was too afraid to find out the truth, being that he didn’t see me that way, even though the chemistry between us was palpable. It could be introduced into a school curriculum and emerge the best subject of the year.

Crushes are usually like that, uncertain. They may feel one way, but their mind tries to convince them otherwise. That it’s not right. That it isn’t the right time.

I can’t figure out why I was so drawn to him. Sometimes you don’t need a lot of reasons to like someone. You just do. It’s almost like you’ve met before in a previous life.

I wish love was a smooth ride. Boy meets girl. Boy likes girl. Boy tells girl. Boy and girl date. They fall in love. Just like in the fairytales.

But life doesn’t work that way. It doesn’t give you what you want immediately. You have to labor through the rejection and uncertainty, wonder if it’s worth it, and wonder if your dream is feasible.

I still see him. He is kind and gentle, kinda like my ex. He still smiles at me, and makes me wonder if he likes me. I try not to take the brief hand holding whenever we say goodbye seriously, or when he tries to keep me out of danger by tagging on my waist.

We are close friends. And we have longest and funniest phone conversations ever. But we lie to ourselves the soft kisses are simply out of, to satisfy desire. That lust cannot really turn into love. If there was more, it would be said.

But my hopeless romantic heart still harbors a glimmer of hope. It may not be today, or next week. But he will be mine, someday.




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