Monday, December 20, 2010

Act 11: Friendship

I was sitting in one of the desks in the college library when I saw Danny coming. As usual, she was wearing her emo ensemble with her huge body bag that sort of became her signature outfit. She was carrying this thick book which I believe was our reference for our upcoming midterm exam.

She waved her hand as she approached me and I smiled and waved back. She lightly slammed the big book on the table as she sat on the chair opposite mine.

She just finished the only subject that we are not classmates in. She was telling me about this girl whom she met in that class and how they clicked.

Well, yeah, Danny is also a bisexual. She told me about it maybe about a week after we met. That was the time when we started opening up with each other.

I don't actually have any qualms about other people's sexual preferences for I know I'm different too. Although I must admit that I tried to hide my own sexual orientation to everyone, even Danny. If there was a deep dark secret that I've hidden from her, it would most likely be my sexuality.

Danny apparently also came from a broken family, which probably explained why we can relate with each other. Aside from these similarities, we also share a lot of things in common such as our love for reading and our passion for writing.

Ever since I was born, I never really had a best friend. Well, actually I had one. His name was Gerome.

When I was young, maybe around 11 or 12 years old, I was thought to actually be an autistic.  I would often talk to myself alone and there are times that I just stared at a distance without talking.

I remember before that during PE class, I am the only person who didn’t enjoy the thought of going out and sweating under the heat of the sun.

Once we were outside, I would just head directly to one of the benches as I watch my classmates play. I was so antisocial back then.

Then one time, while I was sitting alone under the shade of a tree, I didn’t notice Gerome coming. He sat beside me and smiled as he gazed at the playground where my classmates were playing. I didn’t bother to look at him nor smile back. I just continued staring at the playground.

“Why are you alone here? Don’t you want to play with us?” He said as he smiled at me before gazing back to the playground.

“I just don’t like to.” I said sounding impassively. I was actually planning not to talk to him, but there was something in his voice which made me reply.

“Okay, then I’ll just stay here with you.” He said sounding as interested as possible even if I felt that he was taken aback by my blank reaction.

“You don’t need to. Go ahead and play with them.” I tried to hide the emotion of being surprised by what he just said. It’s very highly unlikely that someone from my class would want to stop playing just to bore himself with me.

“Well, I’m tired of playing anyway, and I’d rather stay here and accompany you. I hate it when someone is alone.” We both fell silent as we watched our classmates ran in all directions. We didn’t talk but we knew at the moment that there’s a connection between us. I don’t know if he did feel it, but I did.

I never thought that from that very short conversation will spur a budding friendship. Well, Gerome and I started doing a lot of things in school together such as eating during recess, doing assignments, etc. We became the best buds during the last few months of our elementary life.

After befriending Gerome, I noticed how my personality changed. I'm no longer the loner boy whom I used to be. I started talking with our classmates and I became a little more cheery.

During that time, I never really am sure yet of my sexuality. I still lean more towards being heterosexual  though, because it was during the summer break before I started high school when I had my first ever girlfriend, but that was a different story.

Gerome was really such a great guy with a cute smile to boot. He has these cute dimples on both his cheeks which always show up whenever he smiles. And since we were entering puberty, his body started to develop and become leaner. Of course I wasn’t that focus on it back then but if only I’ve been totally sure about my sexual preference, I would’ve savored the times when we used to shower together.

Anyway, we promised to become best friends before we graduated from elementary.  But something came up during our graduation.

Gerome told me that his parents wanted them (him and his sister) to continue their studies in the States. Of course, even if Gerome didn’t want to since he’ll be leaving me and all of our classmates behind, he can’t say no.

I wanted to protest that time. I wanted him to tell me that he was just kidding and that we will still be together when we enter high school. But his serious expression didn't change and the joke didn't come. He was just looking at me as his eyes start to water.

I didn't know how to react. I felt numb again. It was like everything I've been feeling before he came into my life started to come in. I felt alone, sad and depressed. All I did back then was to hug him tight as tears started to roll down my cheeks.

I felt hot, piercing droplets of liquid wet my white toga as Gerome hugged me tightly. We were not saying anything to each other and we just stood there not minding the others. We just wanted to feel each other's presence for it might be the last time we can do it.

That was, I guess the first heart ache I’ve felt that time, being left behind by my one and only best friend.

Gerome left the country without me knowing his real feelings for me. I know I felt something for him which I can't explain and that time, I knew it was more than just friendship. My heart would always beat faster whenever we see each other after a long time and I would often be speechless at times when he directly stares at me while we talk. I tried hiding those feelings from him for I don't want to entertain the idea of me being gay. I'm the only son of my parents and I was afraid of what might happen if I am really gay. No matter how I tried to deny the feeling, I know deep inside that I felt good whenever me and Gerome were together. I'm not sure if he felt the same for me but all I know is that even if what I'm feeling for him is wrong, for me, it still felt right.


Danny and I were walking side by side as we went to our next class, which was my most dreaded subject: Math. It has always been my Waterloo ever since elementary and I never actually liked it. That’s another one of our similarities, Danny and me. We are both not good in Math.

If I were to gauge the level of closeness between me and Danny, I would say it’s close to being best friends. Well, unlike me and Gerome, Danny and I never actually labeled ourselves as such, but we both know that we share a special friendship which is more than just being coursemates or acquaintance.

As time goes by, we both learn a lot from each other and even if I’m still trying hard to communicate with her in English, I felt that I became more confident in speaking the language since I get to practise it with her.

Unlike my situation with my parents during that time, her parents’ marriage was under the process of annulment. They were actually already divorced that time but since divorce is not yet legal in the country, they still need to undergo annulment since they were married here.

Her mother is already living in with a foreigner that time and he has a half-sister already. I can say that Danny is your typical by-product of a broken family, but unlike others who rebel outwardly, she has her own ways of showing how pissed and devastated she was with her parents.

She never did dislike the fact that her parents got separated but it surely made her apathetic towards them. She never really gave a damn about her.

I usually tease her if she ever still says I love you to them, well, to her mother at the least, but she just rolled her eyes and acted as if she didn’t hear me.

It’s not that she wanted to stir away from discussions about her parents, it’s just that she doesn’t want us talking about her being all mushy with them.

The only person she said she cared about is her younger sister. She’s the only person in this world she considered family. But she did give a sign that she also cares for me and treats me as family after smiling sheepishly.

Danny and I, as weird as it may sound, have always been experiencing the same things, and even weirder is the fact that it almost always happen at the same time. One of the proof of this is failing our departmental exams in Math.

We were both so devastated and depressed that time, but her feelings towards the exam was nothing compared to the level of my misery.

Yes, I’ve been so depressed that time since I’ve never usually experience the feeling of failure. It’s not that I never failed in an exam before but that time was different for it could make or break the next four years of my college life. Apparently, by failing those two consecutive exams, I just disappointed not only my parents but also myself.

I was crying all the time and to be honest, I’ve been crying anywhere whenever I get the chance. I would often wander the halls of different colleges while trying to hide the tears which I can’t stop from falling.

During all those times, it was Danny who had been there for me. And I’m actually quite glad about it. It’s not that I’m totally happy to know that she didn’t also pass but secretly, I am for she might’ve not understood me if she did pass.

I remember that time that whenever we felt bad, we would just do a food trip inside the campus and everything will be alright, but at the end of the day, everything will just sink in and that something bad did really happen no matter how hard we try to deny it.

But I was really relieved that Danny was with me all along. She never left me through the ups and downs of college life, and for that I’m grateful.

College life for the both of us had always been bizarre. Aside from the same things happening to us at the same time, it seems like fate doesn’t want us to part ways.

After the second semester of our freshmen year, I decided to just drop my course and shift to another which I think would best fit me. It was actually my original chosen course but it was in another university.

I tried to apply for it but since I don’t have enough units, I still need to wait for another year since I can’t shift in the middle of the term. Even if it would entail that I will not graduate on time, I still took the risk. All I wanted that time was to just get away from my current course and find peace for the next three or so years in the university.

Apparently, Danny was also on the verge of shifting although she still stayed in the same course for another semester before she finally decided to just shift. She was hoping that she could recover from the low grades she got but unfortunately, she wasn’t able to.

Fearing that we both won’t graduate for good, we finally looked for the courses that we liked and which we have a high probability of being accepted into. And for lack of a good course to take, Danny also tried applying for the same course that I’m eyeing. It was really the least course she would want to get into but she still applied for it, just in case she failed the other options.

Then, results started pouring in by the end of the semester. Fortunately, I was able to pass the application and so thus Danny. She was half-halfheartedly happy about her passing the course but she really was sincerely happy for me.

I know she still secretly wished to pass Psychology  which she wanted ever since but she only had a few days before the deadline of submission of requirements for the course that we both passed.

After days of contemplating, she just decided to submit the requirements with me and due to the mysterious twist of fate, she was quite happy because she didn’t pass Psychology.

We were both sharing college experiences that time until something I didn’t expect happened. Something that I didn’t foresee coming, but at the back of my mind feared it might happen.

My fears manifested in a letter which Danny gave me one time. As I look at the letter after we parted ways that time, I only sense a foreboding. Something stops me from reading it but my mind kept on urging me to do so. Apparently, I read the letter and there I found myself staring at it as I rode the bus back home.