Silence wraps the four white walls of the room. It was almost midnight and the whole dorm was categorically dead, yet my room remains vivid. In the light of the fluorescent bulb. I just can’t sleep while I’m holding a piece of memorabilia; a past that I can never forget.
Her name is Jasmine, and I mooned my way through the schooldays on the campus, struck, dupe in the mere sight of her. It was funny though in watching her from afar while standing for hours motionless on the 3rd floor of the College building as if I am blended in the wind unseen. It’s amazing how I was ever enchanted by her and how did she steal my attention, whenever she passes by. Seems like her shadows lingers every time the moribund sun dies, and deliriously I am stunned by the tickles of her face in my imagination; afflicted with so much obsession that made me awkward, and my voice cracks.
I am in my sophomore college and made my way through many acquaintances, most of whom girls and which are kinda-like-cute, yet never thrills me. It was a hot day in July after our class when my gang went to the canteen to spend the rest of our vacant period. Later, we went to the adjacent gym to play basketball. After throwing a shot, the ball went to the bench, where two girls were watching us play.
There, a pair of wondrously fine arched brows, the cute fine curve of a Turkish-like nose, line glided down her red heart lips and the two magnificent dimples. I mistook her for a lady saint I found in the Cathedral, which now I seldom enter. But there she is, in form; a mystical, soul-stirring angel.
At home, I’d strenuously relieve each encounter writing out the elusiveness of my inadequacies. I’ve tried to put into words the very verses of emotions aroused by the number of nights and yes, even days of dreaming that encounter, which until now is still fresh in my mind.
I don’t know what to do, and how to release this bottle-up longing of getting to know her. I don’t have any idea to start the move yet, because of the torment that is now torturing me, I needed to resort to having that so old-fashioned way of getting to know the girl — a love letter.
I strenuously tried to subscribe to each thought and emotion stored in my heart and put it all in a piece of stationery. To make it more artistic and romantic, which I have so little of understanding what romance really is — I am again in my former hobby of writing poems, this time dedicated to this strange yet beautiful girl.
There it goes, the daily tryst with myself in the lobby trying to catch sight from her, walking down the paved road to or from school and I become stupefied. She always seems so poised, self-possessed.
I’ve set her up, using Jenny may pal, and I’ve approached her at the gate and ask her name. She hesitantly and a bit shy responded, “Jasmine”. I am James; I replied and gently hoisted her ice-soaked hands.
It was Friday, the start of my happy calendar. As we become good companions, going home together and oftentimes having weekend escapades in some “nowhere” place with her friends, and the day seems so infinite.
At the start, I sensed her affectionate tolerance for me, I give her poems and she gives me some weird gifts I cannot explain what are those for. We were on the beach then when she gets something from her bag and handed it to me. I was amused; it was a caricature of me drawn on a tiny paper board.
I was so desperate, every time I’m with her I have to suppress the long bursting feeling of something I want to say, but when she grins and gave me her comical look, I was left dumb. I was her “Kuya” then. Every trouble, I am the first to be looked upon and I can’t count the moment on how many times she wet my shoulders with her tears and hankies she never returned.
When I left home for a vacation, we wrote and call, and her letters and rings were the highlights of those remarkable seemingly endless moments. I never get the chance to tell her what I really am for her. It was then two years when finished my course and she went on to college. I’ve stayed for years in Manila while she decided to take her course in Iloilo. We rarely see each other, but I tried my best to have contact with her, and occasionally we exchange letters and sometimes through text. She sends me a snapshot of herself in a bikini which drove me to the wildest of fantasies.
Years passed, I went home for a vacation back to my place. Once, I decided to drive shopping when we bumped with each other in the mall. I was overjoyed in seeing her, not noticing that she has a companion. She is still the same, the most beautiful angel I have ever seen. My loss in thought was broken when she spoke, “James, I want you to meet Rick. He is my boyfriend, and we’re engaged. How are you?”
I was shocked. Time stopped and all the voices fade. I was struck with an almost unbearable feeling, pain holding my breath and I hardly replied to her smile with great vivacity. I just nod, and said “Congratulations!” I never noticed how long it was when the gloomy clouds covered my skies. All I know it was the time when I want to end my miserable life. My mind and heart wrested against each other, emotions dominate my days and my head emptied.
She called me once, and we’ve agreed to meet. I was not supposed to see her anymore, yet she insisted. I told her everything from the last details of my elations. She cried; tears roll down her beautiful cheeks that I have been longing to caress. I was so depressed at that time, but her looks tamed me. We’ve talked a lot about our missing days and finally, for a long time I laughed. Yet, I know I have to bear the pang of pain that is still fresh in me. I’ve found myself kissing her cheeks and the pang of pain stabs my heart, my propositions, my dream. It was the kiss of projected goodbye.
I’ve not lost my love for her, for she’s the reason why I enjoyed looking upon the golden streaks of the sun illumining the whole land. It’s been years since I’ve seen her, and now I’m in love once again. I am leisurely sitting while watching the sunset in the nearby cafeteria. I can still remember clearly what had happened years past. However, no longer pain dominates my heart but a smile of new life. No love is lost for me, for I have found a new inspiration inside the seminary. The lush and verdant meadows paint her still picture in my hindsight while I smile at the small paper board of my former love.