Literary: Handkerchief

4/28/2018 09:27:00 PM Media Center 0 Comments

It was always the same color. The same size. And the same pattern.

You were just one of my classmates.

But I did know you well from observation. You were friendly but reserved. Unbelievably smart but rarely took notes. Has a fear of authority but stubborn. And you always had a bandanna with you and I associated you with it. You never failed to bring one as far as I could remember.

But aside from that, we weren’t close. I could probably count in one hand the times we interacted or even said a word to each other.

And to be honest, I never took a second look at you, or even thought of doing so.

It was still the same color. And still of the same pattern. But it was larger than before.

You dropped it one day and coincidentally, I was the one in front of you when you did so.

Cliché it may seem but when we both reached for it at the same time, our hands created sparks no fire ever could.

We looked at each other and instead of slow, romantic music accompanying the moment; your laughter filled that almost-empty hallway. Fate had its way and that small piece of cloth brought us together.

Soon, philosophy readings and trigonometry problems became our pastime. When we both couldn’t comprehend a single thing, we would give up together. But in those rare moments when we could understand, even just one lesson, we would rejoice. We would give each other high-fives, jump around a little and at times, I even allow myself a giggle or two because of your crazy antics.

Sometimes, I even create puns for us to be able to remember the lectures better. I would laugh before I could even deliver the punchline and you would too but you never let me see your face when you do. Hiding behind it, you would choose to further suppress your sniggers and I would be left utterly mystified as to why you do that.

It was now embroidered. A little larger. But still of the same color.

Readings became ice cream cones and equations became shared earphones.

We never did have the same taste in music but when it comes to The Beatles we would instantly agree. Lazy afternoons turned into mini concerts of imaginary drums and air guitars. The quality of our vocals wouldn’t matter for we were both off-key, and that made it okay.

When it became too warm, we would buy ice cream.

Not those fancy, in-a-cup ones that cost more than half of my weekly allowance but the ones that come in cones, bought in side streets and can surely help us beat the heat.

The only problem is, I was clumsy. I would always end up dripping some on the ground even before it actually melts, or if I’m lucky, it would just mess my face up.

You would hand me that piece of cloth without a word and I would shamefully take it. I would silently apologize for my childishness but I would secretly smile into it while wiping my face clean.

And during those times, I was glad you were there.

It was embroidered, large and now, of different colors.

Without noticing it, time flew by and I felt different.

Every time you would approach me, time would freeze, in a way no sci-fi movie or any law of physics could ever explain.

Every time you would look at me, I couldn’t bring myself to look back, for your eyes, I realized, held more stars than the galaxy ever could.

Every time you would laugh, I couldn’t help but to laugh along for even the greatest composer in the world couldn’t create an arrangement that could compete with your sounds of amusement.

And every time you would smile, no alarm, no coffee and no loud shrieks could ever give me as much energy in the morning as much as that does.

It was still embroidered, large but now, just really, really blue.

After a long time, I couldn’t quite hold it in anymore.

I had to get my feelings out somehow, and I planned to do it in the most subtle way possible, by simply asking you what I was to you.

I didn’t want to hope but I did. I didn’t want to expect anything, but I did.

I didn’t want to be disappointed, but I was.

Shouldn’t I be happy? Or at least contented? That you consider me your friend?

I should be, but without knowing it, tears flowed and I couldn’t stop. You panicked; it was evident in the way your lips tightened so you quickly grabbed the fabric from your pocket and helped me dry my tears.

I put too much meaning in the times we spent together, I put too much feelings into something uncertain and I risked too big of a part of my heart.

You left, after I decided to swallow the remaining sobs I had. I probably drove you away due to expectations and illusions only I knew of.

But, with that piece of cloth now in my hands, crumpled and wet, I decided to stop whatever we were. And I guess, you also chose to do the same.

What once looked brand new,
Was now soiled, torn and wrinkled

I should be throwing it away, or at least giving it back to you. But I couldn’t bring myself to.

Yes it did contain my tears, your mixed signals and the pretense I allowed myself to believe in.

But it also holds our muffled laughter, our hidden smiles, our ice cream stains, our jokes, our requirement-filled afternoons and our fictitious band sessions.

And it’s proof that you were once here, with me.

So I couldn’t just throw or give it away,

For it contains too much of the things I thought were ours.

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