I can’t remember how we first met. Although I’m pretty sure it was the age of ponytails, dirty uniforms and congested, runny noses.
You were a funny, little boy.
I was feisty and hot tempered.
You always got into my nerves! However, I never knew you would become a very special person in my life.
Soon enough, we started talking in the phone up until 3am and we even got our parent’s permission for it. Learning to count in our dialect was my favorite talk over the phone. Did I ever thank you for being there when my grandfather died? If I hadn’t, I wanna thank you now. You don’t know how much it helped me.
I never considered anyone to be my friend but with you, it was different.
I started to look at you as my best friend, my confidant but I guess you didn’t see me the same way. I never understood who I was in your life until you pulled my skinny arms so hard away from that guy I used to like.
“I love you.” you shyly said underneath the teacher’s table, amidst the dark, unlit room.
“I love you.” you repeated after receiving no response from me. How can I? What was I to say? I was too mesmerized by your brown eyes, they showed too much honesty that it scared me. I knew those eyes full well, they were my best friend’s, they were yours but that moment, those very eyes flooded my mind with so much confusion. My heart was beating so fast, it felt like it could pop out of my chest at any moment then.
So I laughed.
I laughed it off.
And I’m sorry.
I’m sorry because I didn’t value how you felt.
I’m sorry because I pushed you away.
We were young and I was very scared of love.
I always thought love was full of drama, heaps of tears and big boulders of problems. Back then, the very mention of the word “LOVE” makes me hear my parent’s rants and scoldings. It makes me see accusing fingers pointing at me and judging eyes piercing through me.
I was selfish. Thinking only about my self dignity but love scared me and back then, that was the only thing I was sure of.
Well, not until our friendship ended.
We were always sitting next to each other with only the classroom’s aisle between us yet not even a single word was being said.
The loud and boisterous silence shouts into my ears and it made me sad.
You never knew how much I cried because I missed you.
I wanted to tell you.
But how can I? When the only person I can run to was the very person I ran away from.
The distance between our hearts and the absence of “YOU” in my life revealed one thing and one thing only.
“I love you too.” I said confidently because I knew you wouldn’t hear.
Too late. You were already with someone new.
And then another one,
and another one,
and another one.
Girls after girls in just one year.
One thing they had in common, they all came apologizing to me. They were sorry that they were with you and I was not.
I felt insulted.
Then one day, as we were the only ones left in school, you sat on the chair 30 inches away from mine.
I don’t know about you but the atmosphere that day was plain awkward.
Even my sweat rolled down my back for escape.
“Who’s your first love?” after one school year, we finally talked again and that was the first thing you said to me.
“Who’s your first love?!” You asked again, more aggressively the second time around.
I was astounded by your question because I knew my answer. You.
I remained silent and scared. Scared because I knew that whatever would come out my mouth will determine whether we could be the best of friends again or remain distant forever.
“YOU.” with just a three-letter word, you broke the silence.
“You are my first love.” you blurted with your eyes looking up like a grown up man trying to keep his tears from falling.
It’s weird. My heart stopped beating fast. Even the wind stopped blowing.
It was just you and me.
“You’re my first love too.” I confessed with tears rolling down my eyes.
It felt like we were back to ponytails and runny noses.
However, I knew our love story ends there.
It hurt because I was so sure of it.
Being your first love will never mean I will be your last.
What hurt me more was the fact that we could never bring back the friendship I have missed so dearly.
Even our friendship had its own “The End”.
You are now with someone else.
I’m happy to see that she has become both your best friend and a lover.
I’m writing this to you to thank you.
You taught me to value how one feels.
You’re the reason why I want to fall in love and be loved.
You taught me how to love.
Thank you for being a story in a chapter of my life. Thank you for making a number of pages colorful and for even painting some of it black.
God has placed you in my life for a purpose and He took you out of it for a greater reason I cannot fathom. For whatever it is, I am grateful.
To my first love, it was nice meeting you.