“Gitara tayo?!”, he whispered behind me.
I turned to look at him as he winked. I fought off a laugh.
“Tara!”, I said as I reached for my notebook where I kept records of chords and lyrics. I then followed him with his guitar through the door.
Our high school days are ordinary and follow a routine. I go to school at around 7 a.m., studying my notes as I walk through the pathway, and savour the few hours that I am alone. Then lunch. After an hour or so, he will arrive and oftentimes I imagined him looking for me. It’s always like that and fifteen minutes before our afternoon class, we leave the room to put something in our heads in the form of a lesson and at the same time clear our minds from too much thinking. Then class again. Then in the afternoon, we have 2 options: 1. to go home or 2. to stay a little bit and talk about nonsense stuffs. Generally, that’s how our days go. It’s boring if you look at it from the outside. And sometimes, I get bored too, but there are certain times of the day that I look forward to.
I can’t imagine that we’ve been here together for almost 3 years now, it just so long and yet too short. He transferred here when we were in 2nd year, and I never knew him, though some of my classmates did, what with his good looks and mysterious aura. I remember one thing of him though at that time, it was when he courted one of my friends, she would have said yes, if he hadn’t stopped when were in 3rd year. I don’t know too if I would ever be thankful of knowing him closer that what I should have.
I can even remember the first time we talked. It was one of those unusual days, that when one guy caught my attention. He’s singing and playing his guitar all alone, like a crazy folk anyone could guess, and to make matters interesting, he sits in one of our trash cans just outside our classroom. A very offensive act when just that morning our teacher warned us that any violator would be severely punished.
To break the silence, I come up to him and said, “Marunong ka pa lang mag-gitara?, how nice”.
He looked up at me. “Hindi masyado, nagpapaturo pa nga ako eh”, he admitted with a smile.
Then I smiled. He’s kind of cute, though I’ve never noticed him in my 2nd year before. He never says a word and yet he’s so full of music. He’s uncomfortable with us so I thought I should be making friends with him. I think he’s cool.
See, our everyday is highlighted with guitar breaks. It may be as short as 15 minutes or as long as there is time. These spontaneous breaks are what I look forward to the most. It is during these breaks that I can see him for what he really is and know what is all behind those jokes and witty remarks. It is during these that I got to know him, that I got to connect with him. And this is because of this, that I got to fall for him.
I guess, he thinks of me as somehow weird. Because whatever he asks, even out of nothing, I always tried to answer it. I may look funny in his eyes, but if it’s me that made me laugh even in that single moment, I’d gladly do it again and again.
Besides, he never asks of things more than friends should talk. Even at times, when I know he wants to say something but can’t. He just opens his mouth and closed it again. I’m often left wondering what is it. He made me a mind-reader. He’s torpe.
We settled on the trash cans. It’s almost the end of the school term, so there are a lot of students roaming around but no one dared to go beside our classroom. It’s our meeting place, a secluded paradise that my classmates seemed to understand.
I sneaked a glance at him as he strum the guitar with his favourite song, “thunder”. His face was crunched up and he was suddenly looking serious. He looks like that everytime he’s thinking about something or concentrating on getting something done. I spoke first.
“Are you watching Naruto? It’s a bit fun and the season’s ending must have been much unexpected”, I said testing the waters.
“Yep. I’m an avid fan of it. I actually bought a DVD just to watch it in advance”. He told me so nonchalantly as if, what I asked added to his bored state.
He glanced at a girl who was passing by, wearing almost nothing. His eyes sparkle in amusement, as if he found something good to think of. He turned to me, and off course, I got rid of the expression in my face, there’s no way I’m gonna tell him I’m jealous. So, as if nothing happened, I glanced at the girl, looked at him straight in the eyes and give a nervous laugh. “ Hmmm….really? So what are you up to later?”
He hesitated a little too long and I wonder if he knows what’s behind my façade, that what I really meant to ask is if he ever thought of making me his girlfriend. “I’m not sure, I think I just wanted to watch each episode, then whatever goes”, he smiled, and then seeing the look on my face launched into a story about one of the many escapades he had with his grade school buddies.
I laughed. A million thoughts were running through my mind, although I didn’t want to think. I just want to savour every minute of this time with him, knowing that this wouldn’t last forever. I just wanted to be with him and talk with him about everything and nothing. But all I had was 15 minutes.
And I should know better than to ruin it with a stupid question.
Tomorrow then, if it will still come, I’ll tell him.
“Gitara tayo?!”, I asked from behind her.
She turned to look at me and I couldn’t help but winked. She fought off a laugh.
“Tara!”, she said reaching for her notebook where she kept records of chords and lyrics. I stood up and went to the door, carrying the guitar.
In all the sameness of our everyday in school, waking up at around 7 a.m., listening to my headphone as I walk through the pathway, and savour the few hours that I am alone. Then lunch. After an hour or so, I’ll go to our room to find her. I always do that and fifteen minutes before our afternoon class, we leave so that I could teach her in the form of a lesson and at the same time clear our minds from too much boredom. Back to class. And in the afternoon, we have 2 options: 1. to go home or 2. to stay a little while and talk about new online games. Generally, that’s how my days go. It’s boring, anywhere you look at it. And most of the times, I thought about quitting, but I really look forward to the short breaks I have with her.
We’ve been in the same school for 3 years now. I was a transferee here in my 2nd year, but I never really knew her though she was quite popular, not just because of her looks but because of her brain too. As fate would have it, I had courted one of her friends back then, but thanks God I stopped before something could happen. I didn’t know it at that time, but looking back, I will be forever thankful for the day she decided to talk to me.
It’s kind of a blessing that she plays guitar ( not all girls play guitar), because if not I would never have gotten to know her. I clearly remember the day we first talked. It was one of my usual days. I was sitting outside on one of our trash cans, playing the guitar alone, of course this is my first time to be in this section. I still feel like I don’t belong, but she suddenly showed up out of nowhere.
“Marunong ka pa lang mag-gitara?, how nice”, her voice sounded like melody to my ears.
I looked up at her. “Hindi masyado, nagpapaturo pa nga ako eh”, I responded to her timidly.
Then she smiled. She’s not just pretty but underneath her is a nice soul too. I always noticed her even when we were in 2nd year before. She seemed okay enough in class so I thought I should try making friends with her. She looked cool enough.
After that, we were almost together. But I only got to know her during our short guitar breaks. Whenever we were with other people, we don’t talk about personal stuffs. I always crack jokes, or tease her or our other friends. But it is during these times that I can really get to know her. And it is because of this, that I got to fall for her.
She’s not hard to get to know actually. Ask her a question, even out of the blue, and she’ll answer it, based on the fact that she’s a natural born philosopher. Not a single second did she look funny in my eyes, I may have to laugh in front of her just to make sure she’s happy and I’d do it again and again for her.
I’m also not the type to ask things offhand, so it was never easy for me. Even at times, when I thought I was gonna tell her at last, fear would consume me. I just wish she could read my mind but since not I wait for these breaks to do so. She’s too manhid.
I took in our surroundings as we were settling in the trash cans, few weeks from now it will be our graduation day, I sometimes wonder if I would ever have the chance to tell her what I fell other than this moment. This is our meeting place, our special paradise that seemed to be meant for us only.
I strummed the guitar with my favourite song, “thunder”. I wanted to make this moment last, but no brilliant idea hit my mind. I couldn’t even think of one thing to say that would make her see me the way I wanted her to. As always she spoke first.
“Are you watching Naruto? It’s a bit fun and the season’s ending must have been much unexpected”, she said tensing.
“Yep. I’m an avid fan of it. I actually bought a DVD just to watch it in advance”. I told her nonchalantly, afraid of what had caused this sudden tension between us.
From the corner of my eye, I saw a girl walking by, dressed as minimally as possible. Only one thing crossed my mind: I’m glad she’s not like that. I turned to look at her, and she noticed me glancing at that girl. I hope to see the spark of jealousy in her eyes, something that would tell me she wants me too, but I haven’t seen anything. Instead, as if nothing unusual happened, she glanced at the girl, looked at me with her eyes and laughed. “ Hmmm….really? So what are you up to later?”
I got a little bit confused. Should I tell her I want to be his boyfriend and I’ll do everything to win her?..but I played along. “I’m not sure, I think I just wanted to watch each episode, then whatever goes”, I smiled, but when I look into her face, I had the sudden urge to make her laugh. I love hearing it. It’s contagious. So I told her about the silliest things I did in grade school with my buddies.
Of course she laughed. Though she seemed to think of things so deeply. I wanted to revel every moment of this time with her, fully aware that this wouldn’t go on forever. I just wanted to be with her and talk with her about everything and nothing. But all I had was 15 minutes.
And I should know better than to ruin it with a stupid answer.
Tomorrow then, if I still have the chance, I’ll ask her.