Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Act 12: Letters

Her letter was so unexpected, and really overwhelming to say the least. I never actually thought that she will confess her real feelings to me.

One time while we were doing an assignment for one of our subjects on the second floor of the library, I heard Danny’s friends teasing her about this guy whom they nicknamed as the “not so obvious guy”. Well, Danny never denied that she had a crush on Jonathan (one of our batchmates) when I asked her, although her friends still coined him not so obvious for the guy has totally no idea that she had a crush on him.

I just smiled when the girls continued to use the term while I’m around for they didn’t know that I already found out who the guy was. Danny was very vocal about it when we talked about him. Although it seemed that it was just like any other petty crushes that teenagers normally have. Nothing special as what she says.

I just continued making our assignment when I heard a new code from Jen (another one of Danny’s friends).

“How about “obvious guy"? Have you told him already that you like him?”

That statement caught my attention which made me stop doing what I was doing.

Who was this “obvious guy” they were talking about? Why didn’t Danny told me about this other guy? And why is he being called as the obvious guy? I haven’t actually seen Danny with any other guy lately so how can he be the obvious one?

Getting more curious, I discreetly eavesdropped on their conversation.

“Hey, could you please mellow it down? Your voice is so loud, for God’s sake.” said Danny trying to hush Jen from shouting to the world about this mysterious guy.

“C’mon Danny, spit it out! Have you told him already?” All her friends were looking at her eager to hear her response.

“Fine, no. I haven’t told him yet, happy?” Danny said while rolling her eyes as she continued writing her assignment.

“That’s a bummer! You are such a kill joy Danny!” Jen said as they all showed an expression of disappointment. I'm not sure if I'm just imagining things but I saw Jen look my way.

Well, since Danny spent most of her life in Switzerland, she was more liberated in terms of showing affection to other people. She doesn’t really mind being the one to confess to the person she likes.

Unfortunately, the topic already changed and I wasn’t able to find out who the guy was. Although I was really eager to know who this guy was, I totally forgot about it when we left the library.

Then one day, while me and Danny were walking along the hallway after our first class, I suddenly remembered about obvious guy and I tried asking her about him.

Danny just looked at me and bowed down as we walk. I thought she doesn’t like to talk about it so I decided to just drop the question, but Danny started talking.

“Well, Mark, have you ever felt something for a person whom you consider a friend? Something special that you can almost equate it to love?" Danny asked me all of a sudden.

“Uhm, to be honest, yes, I did. But it was way way back in elementary.” I answered  a little hesitantly as I remembered Gerome and wondered how he is doing in the States. Well, ever since he left, our communication started to dwindle with each passing day.

“I see. I also did.  But as of the moment, I don’t know if he can reciprocate that feeling. I don’t even know whether he felt something for me.” Danny said in an almost inaudible voice.

“Oh.” Was the only response I was able to give her. I didn’t know what to say that time. Usually, I felt like I’m a shrink whenever we talk about these things, having all the explanations I can give. But this time around, I was just plain speechless. Maybe because I know Danny's feeling right now. Like her, I never knew whether Gerome felt something for me -- whether he can reciprocate the same feeling I have for him.

After that statement, we just walked silently towards our next class. No one bothered to talk nor start a conversation. That was that. Again, I wasn’t able to learn who the guy was.

Not until now. As I sat in the back of the bus which would take me home, I just stared at the piece of paper in my hands. I don’t know what to feel after finding out that I was actually the obvious guy.

I know Danny and I have been through a lot and I’ve shared more experiences with her than any other person or friend which came into my life. But for me, that was it. I only see Danny as a friend, and nothing more. I guess the closest I can get to treating her is as a sister, and I felt guilty for it.

I stared at the window trying to look back at the times we’ve shared, from the moment we met at the college lobby until the moment she gave me this letter.

I can’t help but smile as I remembered those good old times. But I can’t hide the fact that the person whom I used to share things with is in love with me. I know it would change a lot of things between us now that it’s out, but I really wished it won’t.

As I arrived home, I entered my room and sat at the edge of my bed and looked at my study table.

As I stared at it, something caught my eye. I saw a nicely folded stationery which I remembered I received a few weeks ago. It was from Danny. Then, as if being driven by an unseen force, I took it and I began reading.

3:43 am

Mein Schatz,

You know what, it’s funny how my mind usually wanders off from what I’m supposed to be doing… Right now, I’m trying to make sense of the Labor Code – at least that’s what I was supposed to do. But somehow, somewhere between the pages of the Xerox copies I was coloring with my markers, I got lost in thought. My mind started asking me questions like “Why the heck are you reading this?”… And I told myself: “Well, it’s because I’m a student and it’s my responsibility to study.”… But I knew that wasn’t all there was to it… Others study for a better future (like you)… Or they may be studying for their parents’ sake (like you)… Or maybe they just wanna become rich (like you, yet again)…

I suddenly smiled as she pointed out in her letter the main reasons why I shifted and why I am studying hard in the university.

I remembered back then that I kid her to thinking that I just have a simple dream which entailed me owning 2 airports, 3 helipads, 20 airplanes, 10 jumbo jets, 10 helicopters, 5 mansions strategically located in 5 different continents, 10 booming businesses, etc. I couldn’t even remember the others. She would just laugh with me as she sarcastically made a statement saying how simple my simple dream was. Those were the times when we will just burst into laughter after trying to do our oh-so-difficult assignments in Accounting. This was our private joke that helped us motivate ourselves into killing more and more brain cells so that we could pass a decent assignment to our professors.

Maybe it’s partly true that I have the same reasons for studying as most others do… But I realized that I’m not really looking forward towards my future in the way that I should… As of now, my real reason for studying is not a good job, or lots of cash, or anything like that… I realized that I don’t care much for those things in the long run… It’s true that those are my main concerns in the short run… But they’re second only to my main concerns in the long run… Because I’ve always known that I’ve never really cared much about myself as others perceive… (As you know, my mother even finds me to be the most selfish person on earth, yet I beg to disagree…)

That was usually our topic back then, her mom and her ideal perception of a perfect daughter which Danny can never be. Danny, no matter how imperfect she was in her mother’s eyes, was still so perfect for me. I don’t know why I see her in a different light, but whenever she describes herself in the eyes of her mom, I just can’t help but clench my fist and get angry. Yes, Danny has her own flaws but those flaws made me like her more. That probably is another reason why I even became closer to Danny, the fact that we both were made to feel ungrateful for our parents’ hard work and sacrifices; me with my dad, and she with her mom.

And even if my egotistical nature should entail that I’d be the center of my “long run” concerns, that’s just not the case … Because the focus of my real concerns revolves around three people besides myself… Actually, it focuses around my family – Millie, Naz,… and you. I don’t consider anyone else as family besides the three of you… It’s not anymore my main goal to get thru life and not kill myself before my rightful time to die… Now it’s to get through life because of the assurance that I’ll be with you three… After all, I’m a sappy person who’s dependent on the people she loves – even if I love the three of you in different ways… (Although this doesn’t mean that I can assure anybody that I no longer think of suicide, at least it’s enough to make sure that my suicidal attempts are lessened extremely.)…

Tears start to form as I read the line where she considered me as family. To be honest, ever since my parents separated, I never actually had someone whom I can call family. Well, my parents were still there for me but you’ll feel that we’re far from being one. My dad almost left us, while my mom struggled with her depression on her own. I felt so alone that time, with no one to share my pain with. And another known similarity between us is the fact that we have had our own share of suicidal attempts in the past. Well, they were just attempts but we’re so close to meeting our end during those times of uncertainty and unimaginable misery.

 So it’s not really about my mom’s house anymore (the one I promised to build her)… I guess that the real reason I study right now is that I don’t know any other way of being with all three of you other than studying… Somehow, that’s the only way I can keep convincing my mom to send me to school so I won’t lose contact with you… Life is short, so I wish t spend it with those dear to me… And life’s totally useless without you guys… Good grades, a good job in the future, or much much cash that would come from the said job – all those are just things that would further ensure my being with you… I know I could die anytime – whether it be by my hands or not – and I just wanted to be happy while alive… And I figured that I’m most happy when I’m with the three of you…

Tears are now falling unstoppably and it drenched the letter I was holding. Why am I so oblivious? The inevitable is already staring at me right in front of my face.

As I continued reading Danny's letter, I can’t help but think as to why I never saw this one coming. Was it the fact that I really am so insensitive to the feelings that Danny had been showing me all this time, or was it because I’m afraid of the the truth that Danny really is in love with me and I am just denying it all along so as to pretend that I didn’t notice?

With this question in mind, I remember the complication brought about by my sexual preference. I haven’t told Danny yet about my sexuality even though she asked me a thousand times before. She continued to believe that I’m as straight as a stick and that she continually fell for that disguise which I built around me to protect myself from the prying eyes of society.

As thousands of thoughts and memories bombard me all at once, I closed my eyes as I lean on the bed post while holding the letter drenched in tears. I’m too tired of all this drama in my life. I wanted to have at least a little time for myself. I wanted to think things through. I’m afraid I might regret whatever decision I’ll be having in the near future, but I know I gotta act soon or it will be too late.

Yet again, another tiring day had passed and it’s probably one of those nights where I’ll be sleeping with my pillow soaking wet.