Two years ago, I wouldn't have imagined myself being like this. It was definitely 'out-of-character', as my brother calls it, to be acting this way. At least, not until I realized how I truly felt for the girl I always hated.
I have always believe that women are strange creatures that are beyond my comprehension. They're very nature is impossible to understand unless they've undergone different experiments and tests. I reckon even after that, they remain a mystery.
How could they eat cakes and chocolates and a whole lot more of sweet stuff when their body is so slim. Well quantity aside, I already feel disgusted and sick by the taste of those. Their moods are also erratic, one moment they are laughing, on another they are crying. Can't they stick to one emotion a day? I don't really get it.
But well, people really do change, drastically even. All those thoughts of women being impossible to understand and strange creatures all changed one day. I want to think it was for a good cause.
Back then, I wouldn't find myself anxiously and excitedly waiting for a single girl. Arriving early and waiting for several minutes as I fill myself with anticipations and expectations, grinning to myself like an idiot, as the time I see her before me drew closer by the tic of the seconds. I know I was acting like a girl, going all romantic and sappy. But hey, I'd even carry thousands of roses in a busy street, as I received the prying eyes of strangers looking at me suspiciously, and even teasingly for that matter, just to see a smile break from her face.
God, I didn't know that falling in love could turn me into a stupid romantic. Could I help it when I realized that I want her to always be by my side, to see her smile just for me, while holding her in my arms, wishing to freeze time as it is? I don't think any guy could blame me for going nuts over a girl. No one would. At least not the guys who have a woman to cherish. I'd definitely go crazy if I don't have her in my life.
I used to curse the day I met her - that was two years and a week from now. Being in the same class as her when she transferred in the 6th grade, she stood out like a sore thumb with her height being shorter than an average girl. But with her small stature comes her huge personality that I would always wonder how could such a little girl handle it. It's just day one but I already hated everything about her; her guts, her smart ass remarks, her weirdness, and how she always win over me whenever I was confident of it. I was plague with defeats as soon as she entered my life. She was the very proof that girls are little strange creatures that are impossible to understand. When I had come into conclusion about their nature, she always proved me wrong. We've had silly and nonsense arguments, so countless that even the stars couldn't match in number, and I was defeated in every single one. Maybe that was a little exaggeration bursting my own ego, but I rarely win over her.
It became my goal to win every challenge I had with her, and I always give it my best shot as if my life depended on it. She already crushed my ego when she took my top spot in both academics and athletics and other things in a swift motion. My friends actually made fun of me whenever I seriously take whatever challenge I could place against her. But even if I did everything with great effort and confidence, I always lose to her in almost every single one and I felt like she trampled over my pride and she's doing it unconsciously. She makes me angry for no particular reason, that even the sight of her sets my annoyance meter to burst to maximum.
I hated her, more and more with each passing day.
I've always watched her like my exclusive test subject, trying to find her weakness no matter how lame it maybe. Before I knew it, my eyes kept following her, and if she's not in my line of sight, I would search for her around my surroundings. I even came to the point of going around the school only to find her and set my eyes on her. Not only does she make me angry, she also drives me crazy.
My brother had teased me about liking her. It made me so angry that I can't even put it into words. Me? Like her? Her out of all the fucking girls? What the hell?! She's like my archenemy! How the fuck could I like her? Rather, what is there to like about that cocky girl? Absolutely nothing. The very idea borders on being hilarious. And even that could be an understatement.
I might have been watching her for a year that I have come to know even the ups and downs in her moods, and every single habit she has. It's not stalking. It's called spying.
She had always been the kind of girl that is tough and strong and full of determination. She is hard working and hates to ask others for help, carrying all the burden by herself. I feel annoyed watching her suffer from her selfish, scratch that, she call it 'selfless' decisions and behavior. I got so much annoyed that I can't endure to see her like that. I would help her placing it as a challenge whatsoever and her idiotic smile would break in her face. She's not hateful. Everyone around her actually loves her. Maybe not everyone if I count myself in. She just makes me annoyed and irritated.
But one day, when I returned to school late in the afternoon to collect the notes I left, I saw her alone in the classroom. There was no one else in the school besides her and me. She couldn't have been be waiting for someone that late, because for all I know, there were no club activities or training that day. It surprised me to see her in her seat, her head against the desk like she was sleeping. Is she that stupid that she slept until this late? I formed the thought in my mind, aggravating my own irritation.
I don't really want to deal with her at that moment, so I decided to finish my business there, which is just grabbing my notes. When I tried to enter the room, I heard faint sobs coming from her direction. If I was surprised to see her there, it shocked me, with great panic, the moment she raised her head with tears flowing down her cheeks.
I have never seen a girl cry, not even my mom. Besides, it was her, the cocky tough and determined girl I know. But the girl I used to challenge was nowhere near the girl before me. I realized then that even huge and thick boulders could shatter to pieces. And this girl before me is the same. She looks so small and fragile and delicate that even a soft sound could break her small figure. Somewhere in my heart, I wanted to hold her and make her tears stop from flowing.
That moment, I knew and proved that women are really beyond comprehension. I thought I knew every nick of her character, then she proved me wrong, even slapping it to my face. I don't know what happened to my irritation towards her but the sight of her small crying stature couldn't keep me from wanting to have her in my embrace.
Without thinking, or even time for hesitation, I move and made my way towards her, my movements so swift as if the distance between us never actually existed. I immediately wrapped my arms around her, holding her in my embrace tightly, not wanting to let go, not wanting to let anyone see her tears. There is a strong desire to keep her away from what made her tears fall, from anyone, from everything willing to harm her, and keep her within my grasps, under my protection.
I probably grabbed her too suddenly that I felt her sobs receded for a while due to shock, before hearing another continuous sobbing break out from her as she clutched my shirt and lean her face against my chest. Deep in my mind, I unconsciously gave up. I knew I could never win against her. Maybe my brother was right. I like this small girl I was holding in my arms and maybe since long ago, only not admitting it to myself. Yeah, I definitely lost myself to her long ago, but who cares? I'll trade even pride for this girl.
I kept playing the memory in my head countless times, like a broken record repeating it self over and over again. Remembering it always ruined the cool image I uphold, breaking into smiles and giggles like a girl, as I cherish the moment I fell prey to love's sweet claws. I don't care what others call me - dork, hopeless romantic, loser or whatnot - I had the girl I always wanted. They can keep on being jealous for the rest of their lives and I wouldn't give a damn care about any of that.
The afternoon that I realized that I liked her, was the moment she let her guard down. Maybe it was the only thing I am waiting for to admit my real feelings towards her. As a guy, I just couldn't come in terms with myself as to why I should fall for a girl who's like the embodiment of an impregnable wall, almost perfect in everything she does and doesn't have much flaws in herself. But that afternoon, she just let me hold her, feeling each other's warmth, as she let all her tears wash her pains away.
After she had calm down, I demanded to have a reason, and she told me the story behind her tears. She told me roughly what her life consisted of and it was mostly sad ones. Even at that moment, she never failed to surprise me. I learned that she was actually an orphan, living with her aunt and uncle, that we knew as her parents. Her family of three was involved in a traffic accident when she was a child. Her parents died in that accident protecting her, on the same day six years ago. From then on she had been living with her aunt and uncle, treating her as their own child.
I didn't know how to comfort her, and I couldn't find the right words to encourage her. Fuck. It was at times like this I regretted not sharing my twin brother's compassion and knowledge of literary pieces. Being myself, I tried to calm her down, when I saw tears started to fill her eyes once again. It breaks my heart to see them, like they were precious little pearls being consumed to nothing. I gently held her in my arms feeling the soft touch of her skin against mine, brushing her hair that reached to her shoulders and whispering to her ears words I didn't even know where I got. Even after two years, I can clearly remember the words I said at that time, as if I just said it yesterday.
"You know, they say that everything happens for a reason. Your parents, real parents, died because they wanted to keep you alive no matter what happens to them. Then you were taken in by your aunt and uncle and treated and loved you like their own child. They did and gave everything for you like your real parents would. You are who you are now because of your real parents and aunt and uncle. Some people share a bond stronger than a family's even without blood relations. I'm sure they never thought of you as a bother and are very happy to have you in their life. I'm sure that your real parents are watching over you, and are happy to know that you were being loved by people they knew and trusted. They are happy to see you grew up to be someone you are right now, someone beyond their wishes, someone' I paused in hesitation trying to figure out the right word. "...beautiful. I know I don't have basis for what I'm saying but, I don't know, I just know that is how they felt."
I spoke as soft and gentle as I could, placing the words together and wishing there is some sense in what I am saying. I did't think she even heard me, but my voice still echoed through the silent room. I have always thought that the silence in an empty school is eerie. But somehow, I liked how the silence surrounded us like a barrier separating us from the real world, from the things that pains her. That embarrassing speech I've spoken, I knew I couldn't live it down so I'm thankful that it's only me and her in our little world.
I actually thought of asking her whether she got her cockiness from her real parents or adoptive ones. I forgot all about it when I looked down at her and met her gaze. She was looking up at me, for God knows how long, as if she didn't know who I was the entire time. I was completely lost in my thoughts as I catch the words floating in my mind, feeling her warmth against mine. Her dark brown eyes, rimmed with tears, were red from crying too much, her lashes were wet giving a gloss to them, and her cheeks have traces of the tears she shed. Was she always that cute? I felt my heart beat even faster, and I knew that she could hear it having her head in my chest, but I didn't care at that moment. I didn't want to let her go. I bet that she would spat silly things about how lame what I said was or that I must be possessed by some spirit of a Romanticist. I just knew that she would definitely say something of the sort. It's her after all.
"What?" I asked, trying to break the nervousness cracking up on me. She just shook her head, and I saw a small smile carved on her face before she leaned her face on my chest to hide it. I felt her hands clutched my shirt tighter and a smile breaking bigger in her face. See, even a girl's erratic moods are beyond my understanding. One moment she was crying her heart out, and shortly after, she was smiling like a very happy girl.
"Thank you." I heard her soft voice muffled through my shirt. I bit my lower lip before a smile could break from it. I used to watch cartoons as a child, and figuratively, a cupid just stroke my heart with his love arrow. Inside my head, I am shouting for my heart to stop from beating crazily against my chest, like racing in a track against an unknown opponent, going faster and faster every second. Unfortunately, at that moment, my heart doesn't want to listen to me like it was on a separate world. And my mind was close to not functioning at all. You know the image of the angels singing songs and blowing trumpets in the heavens? I could hear that somewhere in my head. Now, I really didn't care how lame I must have sounded with my simple piece of a speech. It freaking made her smile and even thanked me. I felt triumph overcoming my senses, keeping her within my embrace, wanting her warmth more than anything.
We stayed in silence after that, neither of us speaking a word. We just felt the serenity that quietness and stillness provided us, as our warmth comforted both of us. I noticed that the skies turned from orange and pink to blue and purple, until indigo completely covered the entirety of it. It became so late and neither of us had noticed.
I decided to bring her home, as dusk is coming to an end and evening is starting to take over. I tried to release her from my embrace only to find that she had fallen asleep, tired from crying. Without the traces of tears from her face, the peaceful image of hers wouldn't suggest her pains. Seeing as I couldn't do anything and I wouldn't want to wake her up, I sent my brother a message asking him to bring a car to school and drive me somewhere.
I didn't let her go until I had placed her down in her own bed, afraid that that would be the last time I could feel her warmth against me. I could still see her at school, but to feel her that close to me, there would probably be no other chances. After what had happened that afternoon, I didn't how I am to interact with her the following day or on the days to follow.
When we reached her house, we were welcomed by a pair of parents extremely worried about their daughter. And when they see me carry her in my arms, it became a mix of relief, worry and suspicion. And that wasn't exactly a good impression I made, because later on her dad just became too wary of me than necessary. I had explained briefly to her parents a little of what she had told me, telling them that they should probably talk with her afterwards. The ride home was actually lonely, if only my twin brother stopped from bugging and teasing me.
All the events that afternoon happened a long time ago but remained fresh in my mind. Every time that particular memory drift into my mind, I can't believe how everything went by so fast in that short moment that felt like eternity. It was a short memory filled with realizations, that up to this day I still value.
Sometimes I would wonder about the what ifs of that time. Would I still be with her this day if I didn't left my notes in class and found her crying? What would have happened if I decided to not go back to school? Or if she decided not to stay there until that late? What would her reaction be if I had kept silent instead of giving some lame speech? What would become of us if I decide not to have her in my embrace that afternoon and waited for her outside the classroom instead? Thinking about all the what ifs of that time is like putting puzzle pieces that would never fit.
Maybe, everything really has a reason. I left my notes in class to find her there and be her comfort while I realize what she truly means to me. I've always never understood girls so that I would find her in the right time and she will let me understand her and her alone. And just like that, the puzzle pieces fell into their rightful places, fitting perfectly and bringing the whole picture together.
I glanced at my watch to see that it was already six minutes past eleven. Girls likes to be late don't they? I look ahead trying to search whether she had arrived and is looking for me. And from afar, I saw her small figure walking towards me carrying her smile that I so love. Calling out her name still makes butterflies in my stomach dance.
Note: The story and character are all fictional and not based from real events.
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