We were hanging out in the city park – eating popcorns and sodas amidst that sunny Sunday afternoon. We were laughing on each other’s jokes like there was no tomorrow to worry about… but deep inside my heart I knew this moment was temporary. Just a borrowed time. This, had to end.
Having Daniel Howards by my side was one of the biggest dreams that ever came true. I prayed for him. Every night before I closed my eyes and every morning I wake up. He was just an ordinary man in school. Yet, he happened to capture every single woman’s hearts… including mine. One time we were in an event by the English Club, we had the chance to share anything we loved to share – like our families, our hobbies, our favorite this-and-that. That time I wished he felt the same way for me. That moment I hoped that time would freeze so that we never had to part ways. True enough, after that event we became “sweet companions” with each other.
After class we sneaked out of the school campus and had our daily dose of funny and… well, romantic stuff:
One day he took me to an Italian restaurant. He knew it was my favorite.
“So, getting tired of Italians?” he was smiling.
“Ahahah! Of course not. I mean, each time you take me here feels so different.” I shrugged.
“Yeah? I hope I’m doing well..”
“Yes, you do! Never fail to make me smile.”
Then he kissed me in the cheeks.
I was never comfortable doing that in public. I’m a private person. Then again, I had to deal with the situation. This, was my choice. Whatever happened, I knew Dan was going to be there with me.
It’s like a drug… that became our habit. One thing we were so addicted to. But at the same time, it was kind of hard for me, I thought. Why does the world have to be so unfair to us?
In school, we were always smiling at each other – in the library, in the classrooms, and even in the hallways. And after school hours we had to take different stairways, crossed different streets and found our way back into the same path we chose to take. A kind of path, people do not know so much of. It wasn’t a bright path… or a dark one, either. We knew this path was destined for us. That’s worth all the fears I kept inside. I’m with Dan, and that’s what mattered most.
Holding each other’s hands while walking, we strolled our way to the city park we used to go out to. The night was windy; the sky was sparkling with stars and every person we passed by were keeping their eyes on us like we were miserable lepers. We didn’t care. We, against the world? I smiled bitterly. I knew Dan was happy with it. Or, am I just fulfilling my own thoughts? No, I believed we were happy.
While sitting on the bench, and enjoying the starry night, I looked at him in his eyes.
“Are you happy, Dan?” I asked.
He looked away. Then he stared at me with his smoky eyes. “I’ve never been happier in my life like this.”
My heart dropped. It was an indescribable joy for me to hear those words. The moment was just so glorious. I, looking at the sky, counting the stars, and beside me was the man, I truly love.
“No matter what happens, will you be there for me?” I asked… with a little fear I my eyes, and so much hope in my heart.
He held my hands so tightly. “You’re afraid, aren’t you?” he sighed. “You don’t have to, alright? As long as we have each other, everything is gonna be okay.” He pulled me and engulfed me in his arms. All the doubts and fears I had were just slowly fading away. How I loved this man and how I wanted to share the rest of my life with him. No matter what people would say or do.
We shared the night in a world where every rhythm, every step, every passion, conspired. We danced forever. One beat. One fire. One love.
My mornings had always begun with a bittersweet smile in my face. Every day was something to look forward to, with Dan by my side. Being with him was the greatest dream I could ever had… yet the biggest mistake I chose to live in. I got up with a heavy heart. I knew all of this from the start. I just hoped it was going to last a lifetime.
2:00 in the afternoon. One last subject and I would be with him again. Having discussion in class, I reluctantly stared outside the window. There I saw the familiar face, paving his way outside the room just opposite ours. He waved at me, revealing his complete set of pearly, white teeth. Oh, I won’t ever forget that face. I smiled back.
One Sunday noon, I decided to meet him in his place. As I was making my way, I met a happy family in the park. I knew the mother. She was a highschool friend. I approached them.
“Hi Tiffany! How are you?” she was very close to me back then so I’m very much pleased to her again – happy and contented.
“Oh, hello! I’m doing great, sis! I miss you so much!” She replied. We used to call each other ‘sis’, because we really treated each other as sisters – she really did accept me for who I am. Up until now, the only difference is that she already had her own family. She turned and introduced her better half and their lovely children. “By the way, this is Marcus, my husband, and our kids, Kasey and Chace.”
I greeted them with a big smile. “I’m happy for you, sis.”
She hugged me. “I always know that, Erick. You’ve always been a good friend and a sister to me, then until now. I also wish you happiness. Ok? I know being different-“she looked at me straight in the eye. I knew what she will talk about next. She heaved a sigh. “Yeah. I wish you all the happiness in the world sis. Go out and get that man!” She let out a very loud cheer. Strange, but I just knew she tried.
I suddenly became uneasy. “A-ah, ye-e-e-a-h-h. thanks, sis. Uhm, I have to go.” I walked away and bid them goodbye.
I’m very much happy, Tiffany. I headed my way back to Dan’s place. But it was not the kind of happiness I longed to feel forever. I’m so selfish. I didn’t care how Dan really felt inside. I knew he wasn’t so happy.
So now I stood before that two-storey house, ornamented with a garden that welcomed me with gloom. I hesitated to get in. I just stood there, reminiscing all the moments Dan and I shared together. He never knew how blessed I was and has been, having him as the most cherished part of myself.
But I had to make a choice.
I had to choose between what’s right for him, and what’s best for me.
What makes him happy… and what would be right for me.
I love you, Dan. Always have. Always will…
Tears fell down my cheeks.
I didn’t get in… and never will.
Two semesters passed by and now I’m marching up the stage. Yes, graduation day was the most memorable day of my life… but also the most painful one. I chose a life without Dan… and yes, I made it these last two semesters. I can still get through with it for the next years to come.
Delivering my speech today was a whole lot terrifying. I had my speech right there, but my heart was shouting for a heartbreak speech. I stood before my professors, my fellow graduates, and, just four rows away from the stage, I stood before the man who inspired me to become who I am right now. The man whom I always give my heart to.
“This day is definitely a dream come true for all of us…” I started my speech, my heart was longing to tell the world. “And as for me? I am and will be eternally grateful for those people who have been there for me until the end of my journey. People who supported me, people who hurt me, people I stepped on, and people I loved. Today, I offer this speech to that one man who taught me..” I paused, the audience are as if contained in one big pair of eyes that stare blankly at me. I cleared my throat, and continued. “…who taught me the magic of love.” There I said it. This was the moment. “The man who made me realize that life is all about courage – to be who I am, to be free to do what I love, and no matter how hard the world may seem, I can still go on with a courageous heart.” I looked at Dan. Sir Daniel Howards. He happened to look at me back – full of love, full of happiness. Beside him were his wife and his children. My heart was pounding so much. I knew I did the right thing.
“This man brought so much sunshine in my darkest moments of my life. This man taught me how to weigh things I like and those things I love… that liking and loving differs in the level of intensity with what you’re feeling towards something or someone.” I breathed. “One may like eating candies… but one may love sharing it. He made me realize that the truest of love is the most selfless of all.” I smiled while holding back the tears.
“I love you so much… that all I want is to see you happy, even if it’s not with me.” This time, tears begun to fall down my dreary eyes. “I love you like it’s always been right for me to let you go… and even when we’re living separate lives from now on, I will always look back and smile that for once in my life, someone made me feel that kind of love I’ve always wanted. I will always treasure those memories I had with you, forever.”
The audience stood up and all I heard was the loud applause.