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not good friends, not good enemies

Dear you,

I don’t think I need to say your name. You know it’s you.

You know it’s always been you.

I’ve fallen for you again, isn’t it terrible?

I remember the ‘us’ from last year, and I remember knowing, when I looked at you, that we’d end up like this. Do you remember? It was March, and you told me about your friend; the one who confessed to you. You loved her, not in the way lovers do, and I learned that day that there’s more to love than what I had figured out. You said, why does everyone have to tell me their feelings when they’re no longer there, and I promised that we wouldn’t end up that way. I’d be better than her.

Am I? Look at us now.

I’ve spent so long thinking about what to say to you that I never thought about what those words would be. There’s so much to say, don’t you think? I don’t remember how many days it’s been, how long I’ve spent waiting; how many times I’ve promised myself that it wouldn’t happen again; how many letters I’ve written and tucked away; and how many dates I’ve circled on my calendar and promised myself a confession. There is no such thing as missed chances between us, but I keep myself on edge, because what about—

The portrait of me you drew on my Physics worksheet? The times you settled beside me when you found me on the ground so that we could be alone together? And the times we touched hands? The one time we hung out after school and I caught you watching me instead of the sunset? Did it mean anything to you?

I still have your drawings on my worksheets. It’s been sixteen months.

When I talked about you with a friend for the first time, she asked me, is it difficult? I looked up at her, and the look in her eyes was uncanny to pity. It was at that moment that I felt my heart sink in my chest, and I knew that I was only standing at the beginning of something destined to end. Are you okay? She rubbed my shoulder in a feeble attempt to comfort me over what seemed like nothing back then, and I remember not being able to muster an answer because the hundred things I wanted to say stuck to the walls of my throat.

It’s been exactly two years since we’ve met, and I remember the first time I fell for you.

I was studying somewhere you wouldn’t find me, a place sufficiently out of your eyes’ reach. I was aware of how close I’d come to teetering into a boundary I shouldn’t be crossing, and I desperately wanted me to stop. The earphones wedged in my ears didn’t make the heat any more bearable, but I stayed because I managed to evade you for an hour and I was certain wherever this was would be the only place far away enough from you.

I learned that that wasn’t the case.

I looked away for a moment, and a beat later, you started walking out of class, then along the staircase on the level above me. Your friends were there. They waved at you, gesturing you over. You didn’t move from the edge of the staircase. You were asking for someone.

You asked for me.

When we locked eyes from across our separate levels, the rush my heart felt became a permanent feeling.

I saw you in my dream.

I woke up, and every fibre of my being believed that suffering a nightmare would’ve taught me that loving you would bring no good out of it. But that’s the problem, isn’t it? I’m always counting on a reason to hate you, but we know I never will. Every unreplied text, every conversation cut short, every time you passed me in the corridors and didn’t wave back, every time I looked at you and you didn’t look back—they should’ve meant something. I wished that they did.

Being there a second time made me think it would happen a third time and then again, and it would never stop.

I hoped it would someday.

I’m sorry I couldn’t say this earlier.

Then, I think about the way we wouldn’t be friends if I did, and I don’t feel sorry anymore.

I wish you hated me instead.

Good morning, I wish you never greeted me, in your voice riddled with fatigue, while I settled into my desk next to yours. You came, I wish you never said every time I showed up to class, because you were the only one who cared if I did. Do you want to spend your time with me? I wish you never asked. Would these wishes have changed things, or would I have found another foolish way to love you?

It’s the end of it all. The end of ‘us’.

We’re past this now—our history of two years.

I should be happy, because I’m given the space I need to recover from ‘us’. Your class is located at a corner of the campus that you’ll be out of sight, and hopefully, out of mind. As it stands, there’s not a corner of this world that’s far enough to make me forget about you.

I miss the intimacy that’s existing in a space with you. I know it’ll only bring me pain, and it’ll hurt much less if I can force my mind off you. But what will I do, then, when someone doodles on my worksheets and I think about you? What will I do when I look at another pair of eyes and think they’ll never gleam like yours do? What will I do when another hand holds mine and I hope with all my heart that they would be you?

I can’t let you go.

You’re still my everyday. My every moment.

Please keep in contact with me. Text me back, maybe?

Editors: Amber T. & Amshu V.

Image source: S. Ruvalcaba, Unsplash


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