Our First Encounter
“James Arellano na first year? Dalawa pala yung James na freshie?”
I don’t remember clearly the date, but I remember that you were wearing a green shirt that day. It was the day where classes in the afternoon was suspended due to ACLE, and ours was a film showing of Swing Vote. I asked Dice (or I think it was Mary Anne) that question, and she replied that yep, they had two James in the batch.
Our Second Encounter
You were my classmate in EdTech 101. The only moment I remember with you was you laughed when Des and I were reporting. You were wearing brown that time. Maybe, just maybe, you were laughing how I was not able to translate everything in English. Do you remember that?
Our Third Encounter
It was the first day in Educ 190, and our class was still somewhere else because Educ was under renovation. I sat beside you as you sleep. I remember having a hard time opening the computer.
“Paano buksan to?” were my first three words to you, as far as I can remember. Without talking, you showed me how to open the Mac computer; or at least you helped me figure out how to open it.
The Reason Why I Wanted to Know You
“I-link natin si Katrina sa kanya!” I told Dice that. Yep, everything began because we wanted Katrina to be linked to you. Both of you were single that time, and it was a perfect combination for us since both of you were science majors.
When did we start to talk?
I was late, and the only seat on where I could walk without the shame of entering late was the seat beside you. That day, I sat beside you.
“Find a partner. Using open office, make a presentation.”
All of my friends already held hands, so I was left with no choice but the one beside me, which was you.
“Tayo na lang.” I said with a smile, but you replied with a nod.
I remember that the first partner activity we did together was the MyMathVentures report. I laughed at you as I chose the pink background, and you did not have any choice but to follow me.
After that, we became partners for three consecutive activities.
Do you remember Betty Burara?
We agreed that I would be the one making the graphics, and you would be the one making the story. Our presentation, was I think, the best among the groups. I could clearly remember when I sent messages using my mother’s sun sim card, and you were replying using your globe sim.
The hell, you even called me Ma’am Ate for goodness sake.
I don’t have the link for the WordPress account that we made, but it was my first fun conversation with you. I remember pushing you as I told how happy I was because of my current crush, Juju. You almost fell from your seat, didn’t you?
I even showed you our picture (Juju and I) one time when Lingkod Eduk was campaigning.
“Ang gwapo niya no?”
But you just smiled as if you were disagreeing, but you had no choice but to nod. We laughed, and talked. It was the first time you told me one of your thoughts: you hate politics–a reason why you were afraid to join an organization.
As we were separating ways, I knew I liked you. I liked you because you were quiet, and I was then finding someone who would actually listen and not give any comments about what I would like to tell. I like you because I like quiet people. I like you because you look mysterious. For that, I wanted to know you more.
I liked you, but I denied it since I was stuck with the one-sided love I could not let go that time.
I guess, time was short.
The Start of Friendship
When I entered my last year in college, I told myself this: “Hindi na ako maghahanap. Tanggap ko na na magiging matandang dalaga na ako.”
When I heard that you accepted Dice’s offer to apply in our organization, I was happy that I could have that chance to get to know you again. But I thought, with my busy schedule, I think I could not do that.
As CEO, I made sure that I would get to know the applicants too. When I heard that you and your buddy Danna had a hard time bonding because of your schedules, I took a step to give you trivia and information about each member. I was careful not to get too close to you because I was afraid that what I experienced on Rich would happen again.
Then one day, just one day, I told you my past, and cried as we exchange messages in our YM’s.
You told me I didn’t deserve it. You told me I deserved someone better. You reminded me how strong I was.
And with that, I found a best friend.
After several days, I knew I found a best friend in you. It was a rainy day, and I remember how it felt sad not seeing you. I remember the feeling when Dice said, “May crush siya. Yung best friend niya noon.” I felt jealous and curious at the same time so I asked you who that ‘best friend’ was.
And you told me.
But while you were telling me those things, I was in a denial that I was in pain. Pain that I felt jealous with the girl whom you first liked, and anger on what she did to you.
I kept on denying that I liked you, because I thought the feeling was fast and I did not want to lose our friendship.
I remember writing a note in Multiply, “Sana ay hindi na lang pinilit pa wala ring patutunguhan kahit sabihin ko pang mahal kita.” I knew you still liked her, and I knew I had no place in your heart.
Same thing as I tried pushing you away for a place in my heart.
But August 27 changed everything.
Remember how we talked and laughed?
Remember how you teased me I was old and I was pissed by it?
Remember how you whispered ‘sorry’ to my ear?
It was my first time that a guy actually whispered an apology to me.
At that moment, I knew you were successful entering my heart.
The 29th of August
It was already the morning of the 29th of August, and you kept asking me the name of the guy I mentioned during the forum. The truth is, I actually lied to everybody and said I didn’t like you.
Because I didn’t want you to hear the news, and change the way you look at me.
“Hindi ko sasabihin.”
“Ako din naman may crush eh.”
My eyes sparkled.
“Sasabihin ko pag sinabi mo yung iyo.”
“Eh di wag na lang. Itago mo na lang yan sa sarili mo. Haha.”
“Hindi niya alam na maganda siya.”
I kept smiling as I read your text messages, but I slap myself every time I do. I didn’t want end up assuming that you liked me. I wrote many names, but you said they weren’t.
“Her eyes, her eyes make the stars look like they’re not shining.”
It is me, isn’t it?
“Her hair, her hair falls perfectly without her trying. She’s so beautiful, and I’ll tell her every day.”
It was me.
“When I see your face, there’s not a thing that I won’t change.”
“Because you’re amazing, just the way you are.”
Dugdug. Dugdug. My heart beats like drums. I could not even describe the feeling. I was more than happy.
“Siguro naman pwede ka ng matulog pag sinabi ko na yung susunod.”
Your reaction was priceless.
We dated under the rain.
We dated under the sun.
We ate at different kinds of places.
We went to different places.
We watched movies together.
I met your friends.
You met mine.
I met your family.
You met mine.
We did our best for our relationship to be legal.
We loved each other.
I could not even put into one blog all that happened to us.
I could not even put into words how much I love you.
I swear, I tried writing our story. But I guess, I do not want to continue that anymore. I don’t want our story to end with a page. I want our story to end with another book that ends with another book until the last book ends at how we embrace each other as we sleep eternally.
I love you.
Happy second anniversary.