Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Boiling Waters PH.
It was my second year in university when I first noticed you in the big Physics 170 class. You still wore metal frames. You sat at the back because you were always late. I remember switching seats so I could sit behind you one day, hoping you’d notice me when I’d pass my finished quiz over to the front. You didn’t, of course. I shook it off and moved back to my usual seat. Figured you were an upperclassman and I’d likely never see you again anyway.
But then I did. It was in 173 the next semester where we were lucky to get the professor that seemed to give away A’s like Santa did gifts on Christmas Eve. Turns, out we were batchmates and had more classes together. It took a while before I even realized you were the cute guy from 170. I guess I’m just lucky, we ended up being groupmates for the big project.
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I don’t remember when it finally hit me that you were The Cutie. I just know, one day, I came to school in my cutest pants and shiniest top. Then I found out you had a girlfriend. Once again, I gave up all attempts to get your attention. But I didn’t stop trying to get you to laugh as we worked on our paper.
We met again just before the next semester began. It was at some talk we were all required to attend. I tried to avoid you because I am sane and have a sense of self-preservation. You catch up, though, as I rush out of the room. We have small talk. I found out you broke up with your girlfriend in the same sentence you told me you were seeing someone new. I swear I could hear the Universe laughing at me. Mocking me. This had to be some cruel joke. We have the first of our many, many long talks. It was great. I made you laugh again. We parted ways and I was hopeless still.
Then it’s 186 and we’re seatmates. This was when you called me by the wrong name. Twice. I would have cried if I was a few points short of EQ. It’s funny, we were never actually properly introduced, I realize now. I learned your name by asking around.
This was the class we spoke just a little more. This was the class Hailey thought something was up. Hell, I thought something was up. Oh well.
The dreaded Math 160 class came next and it was both a dream and a nightmare. We actually became friends here. I made sure of that. But you were a willing victim all the same. You always sat next to me at the library before class, pushed aside the my bag sitting on my left. You didn’t know, but it was killing me. It killed me every time we talked about your new girlfriend. It killed me when you wore that cute hat of yours. It killed me when we discovered we both liked comics. We both liked the same films. We had so much in common. We never ran out of things to talk about and you enjoyed teasing me endlessly about my taste in music. It killed me knowing it would never mean a thing to you.
I dealt with that nearly every day for about half a year because we were also classmates in 188. To this day, I don’t know where I found the strength to face you each time and not melt into a puddle of goo in the process.
Soon, it’s our last semester in college. Fate had made it so that we’d be classmates one last time. I feel like our whole friendship’s foundation was built on fate. Who would have thought that the boy I was crushing on in second year would become one of my closest college friends in the end? Who would have thought we’d be having all those short car rides together? That I’d be the one you called when tragedy struck and you needed help? How did we get there? Fate, I could only assume.
But fate likes to play games. The world falls into quarantine. We talk less and for a while, I forget about you. Then you break up with your nutty girlfriend. Once again, I am there for your breakup. I am admittedly happy about this. Ecstatic. This is what I’d been waiting for this whole time, after all. So I waste no time to offer a listening ear, you take it, and we talk into the night. It’s fun and I’m giddy. I’m thrown back to the days in the library except this time, I feel no pain. I smile my widest as you play my favorite John Legend song on your guitar and I sing along, severely out of tune. I open up to you. You open up to me. I feel like I’m given a glimpse of what could be. It’s 2 AM and you’ve got your laptop resting on your chest as you lean back on your bed with your arms behind your head. I drink in the moment. The innocent schoolgirl crush has led me here. It’s fate, isn’t it?
Then two days later, I get my senior project back. I get an A. I’ve finished my very last school requirement. I’m free. I closed my eyes that night and dreamt up scenarios of my future. I had so many plans. But there was one important thing I realized. There was no room for you.
You were undoubtedly a huge part of my college life. You had me feeling butterflies for the first time. You had me singing love songs that I never even knew. I think maybe I did fall in love with you or however far you could feel for someone that never saw you the same way. My brother says you made me human. For that, perhaps I should thank you. Thanks for coming into my life and sticking around to make me feel. Just feel.
But college is over now. I know what I want for my future but I don’t see you in it. So maybe, that’s it. Maybe, this is my fate. I’m moving on. I’m not looking back. You can follow along, but I’m not waiting anymore.