What if I keep it as a secret? Can we still be friends?
I was walking along the corridor of our school when I noticed the decorations hanging up on the ceiling, those heart-shaped streamers for the forthcoming Valentines Day. I was so busy gazing and reading the quotes written on it that I failed to notice a lad heading hastily in my direction. He too failed to notice me. We accidentally knocked each other.
“Lester!” I exclaimed.
He grinned at me, but on my amazement, he did not say anything. It was weird because we always find time to chat every time we see each other.
Lester Justin Santos has been my best pal ever since elementary. Despite the fact that we took different courses in College, we still managed to see each other.
I knew something was wrong with him. I by chance spotted a piece of parchment on his hand in which he was trying to hide from me.
“What’s with that paper in your hand?” I asked him, as his face turned pale.
He didn’t say anything but instead shook his head. I felt a sudden inquisitiveness.
“Let me see.” I said and before he could say no, I had already snatched the parchment from his grip as fast as a bandit would. I unfolded the parchment without asking for his consent. Then, my brows rose, when I saw his name with the crowned Campus Queen’s name on it.
“What is this for?” He did not answer; instead, he snatched it back.
I just stared at him as I anticipated for his answer. However, he kept his silence. I looked around, perhaps looking for an answer for my inquisition. Subsequently, I spotted the Valentines Date Drop box. I could not believe what my mind was suggesting, and then I switched my glance back to Lester.
“Don’t tell me you’re going to….” I needed not to finish what I was about to say for I knew he had already comprehended what I meant.
“Yes.” At last he had spoken.
My eyes widened in skepticism. I essentially could not believe what I just heard from him. All these years of hanging around with him, Lester had always been the nerdy chap I have known since we were kids. Yes, he was much smarter than a fifth grader, but what he gained for having a fully functional brain, he lacks in charm not to mention style. He wears eyeglasses and had the same hairstyle of Jose Rizal’s. Now...now…he is…in LOVE? All I can do was to shake my head as the thought manifested inside my mind. It was a crazy thought.
“You like her?” I asked. On my great relief, he shook his head.
Then he replied.
“But I am afraid; I am madly in love with her.” My jaw dropped.
“What?” I exclaimed. I was shocked with what I' heard. It was so disturbing that I never realized that my hand landed on his cheeks with lightning speed.
“Hey! What’s the matter? That hurts!” He yelled
“Get real Lester, stop dreaming!”I demanded.
“I know.” He answered.
“Shannel Reyes is way out of your league! You should know it by now.” I did not know what the exact words to say. I told him that he and Shannel will never work out and everybody will indisputably laugh at him. Nevertheless, regardless of my elucidations to stop him, he did not listen.
I didn’t know what to do, whether to laugh at his idiocy for indubitably Lei would turn him down or to get mad at him for he was smart and yet, he lose his head with the most popular girl in school.
“You’re mad.” I whispered seriously.
One week before the awaited Valentines Day, Lester and I were eyeing the most famed campus figures. Shannel, an HRS apprentice who was also my comrade and Vince Adrian Villanueva.
“See them? Mind you, they never leave each other’s side, as if they were glued together.” I told my best friend.
Lester took his eyes from them and suddenly changed the subject. “Are you going to attend the party?”
I shook my head.
“Why not?” as he raised his brows.
“No way! You couldn’t.” he demanded.
I smiled. “I could and I would.”
He asked me why I would not go.
“For God’s sake, Lester! I hate gowns!” I exclaimed.
He stared at me for a split second and then burst into laughter, which caught the attention of some students around us.
I raised my brows, arms folded.
He stopped and whispered, “I’m sorry.”
Few days had passed and Lester had forced me to make a promise. And that promise was to attend the party. He lent me his sister’s gown and gave me no chance to refuse. I had also promised to help him to court Shannel, even though I noticed that Sannel and Vince were getting closer and closer everyday. Vince was always her favorite subject. Moreover, I had also discovered Shannel’s feelings toward him. She told me what the score were. Once again, my brows lifted. “LOVE again?” I thought.
I hate gowns! And this is the first time that I wore one. If it were not because of Lester, I would not be here.
It was the night of the gathering. Loads of students and teachers wearing their best gowns kept on coming. I looked around, scanning for a familiar face among the crowd. I had not seen Lester. “Where is he?” I thought. It was already 11 o’clock in the evening and I still had not spotted him. Insanity mounted on my chest.
“If I don’t see you in this party, don’t you ever try to talk to me again!” I thought angrily. The dance floor was already full of couples dancing sweetly while I was being a wallflower! It was past midnight and I started to become furious. Furious as I never had been before. Obviously, he didn’t show up.
I marched en route for the exit. I swear, I am going to hate my best friend! How could he have done this to me? Tears were threatening to fall from my eyes. I was not quite near the gate when someone got hold of my arm.
“Where are you going?” Why are you crying?” he asked in affection.
I wiped my tears away and gazed at him. His voice was familiar, but his features were not.I could see something in his eyes. Was it fondness? I don’t know…his eyes were flickering and I could see my own reflection within it.
However, I myself could not believe it!
On the spur of the moment, I felt my heart beat so fast and went wild as it never did before.
He lifted his free hand and wiped my tears away.“Who did this to you?”
“You.I thought you wouldn’t come.”I replied.
I just gave him a slight nod.A sweet melody was then being played.
“May I have this dance with you?”He asked in which I agreed.He then held my hands gently.“Your hands are cold.”He stated and clasped my hands firmly as if to provide warm for it.“I’m your first dance, I suppose?”He whispered as he took me to the dance floor.My hands were trembling and I didn’t know what to do or how to react.The feeling was like an alien to me.That was the first weird feeling I ever felt it in my entire life.I was like a fool!I cannot speak and I didn’t know why!Oh, God!I hate this feeling!
The next morning, Shannel told me what had happened to her the night before.On my surprise, she didn’t say anything about Vince.Instead, she was telling me something about the mysterious handsome lad who won as her blind date for the night and got her second dance next to Vince.I had the idea who it was.The lad she was pertaining to was the handsomest lad I had met in my entire life!
I didn’t dare to answer her question and neither to stay with her longer.I stood and left her without saying anything.I felt a pang of jealousy.Why her?Why not me?I had never expected that this would ever happen to me.I bit my lower lip.
“Jean…” Someone was standing behind me.
I turned around.I was so dumb!I didn’t recognize his voice at once.It was Lester.He was smiling but when he saw my face that I was about to cry, the smile suddenly vanished.“What’s wrong?”
Then, I cried…
He was bewildered.“Will you please tell me what happened to you?”
“Shannel said he likes you!”I said.“Though it’s good news for you, do I have to feel happy about it?!”
“Jean...”He pushed me away gently so he could stare at my teary eyes.“You don’t mean…?”
“Damn it, Lester!I’ m afraid I’m starting to like you more than just a friend! That’s it!”I burst and then walked away.I left him. He looked troubled.I didn’t want to hear what he was going to say.I’m afraid, that’s the reason.Well, I guess it was the end of our friendship.I shouldn’t have been honest to him.But I couldn’t bear hanging around with him knowing the fact that he’s in love with anybody else.
That’s it, Jean… Your heart had died the firs time it decided to fall in love to a wrong person…Condolence!