Platonic relationship. Do you think it exists in this peculiar universe? Well, I don’t think so. I personally don’t think two creatures, female and male, naturally befriend each other, super close but never (even at a glance in their heads) consider to try becoming an item. At least 2% of their friendship involves feeling of belonging. My knowledge of this perception once occured when I met Je, a colleague when I still was a part-time English teacher back in college days. I thought me and him could prove how a platonic relationship could work but it did not. We could not avoid the romantic gestures and eventually broke our friendship to be a couple. But later, we knew deep down we were not meant to be in a relationship and gratefully recollect our friendship until now.
Okay, so what I want to tell you is not about how we start and finish the ship but one sweet thing he has ever done to me. He wrote about his feeling for his assignment and wrapped out to me as my birthday gift. Here is his confessional essay:
Sweetest Thing I Have Never Had
I opened my diary and started writing.
December 28th 2012. Why did I have to meet you? If I didn’t meet you, I would never dream of you a hundred of times and feel so happy about it. Although after waking up, I knew it was only a dream after all. Why did I have to meet you? If I didn’t meet you, I would never miss you in everyday of my life. Although I knew you didn’t miss me. Why did I have to meet you? If I didn’t meet you, I would never feel so stupid to try having you as mine. Although I knew that you already belonged to somebody else. Why did I have to meet you? If I didn’t meet you, I would never feel this sad, because my heart was torn into pieces. I stopped for a moment. All the things, thoughts and memories about her filled my mind. I still remember her beautiful slanted eyes which always looked at me meaningfully. I still remember her wavy long black hair which I mostly liked about her. I still remember her laughter when I told her my corny jokes. I still remember her favorite food, her hobby, her house, her goals.. I still remember her.. Did she still remember me too?
I continued writing in my diary.
Why do I have to meet you? But if I didn’t meet you, I would never know how it feels
like spending my time with you. Chatting and laughing together. If I didn’t meet you, I would never know how it feels like to get close to you. Working with you and driving you back to your house in the cold night. If I didn’t meet you, I would never know how it feels like to be crazy about you. I would never know what love is.
I closed my diary. I was in my bedroom. I laid my head upon my pillow and closed my eyes. I still remember the first time we met. It was just an ordinary afternoon. I was teaching in an English course as usual when the door of my class was knocked by someone. I thought it would be Ms. Rona, the administrator, wanted to give some information or something else to the teacher. I opened the door and I was wrong. In front of me was a girl – I know she’s a Chinese by just seeing at her look – wearing a glasses and looking quite attractive for me. I stared at her and she stared back. She didn’t say anything and neither did I. But finally, she said something.
“I’m sorry, my name is Alya. I’m going to be a teacher here and I was asked to observe your class,” told her.
“Ohh.. Umm…Okay, please come in and have a sit, Ms..? I’m sorry, what is your name again?”
“It’s Alya,” answered her.
“Ohh yes, sorry. My name is Gerry, you can call me Mr. Gerry or just Gerry,” I said.
“Okay, just Gerry,” she smiled.
That was the most gorgeous smile that I’ve ever seen in my life. “I mean you can call me Gerry if you like.”
“Haha.. I know it, sir. Can I come in?”
“Ohh.. Sure, please.”
I didn’t know what was the reason of Ms. Dinda, the principal, asked her to observe
my class. I was actually still green. I just taught for a couple of months and didn’t have many classes. There were still other more experienced teachers could be observed. Frankly, I really couldn’t concentrate at the rest of the class with her eyes staring at me. Sweat was flowing all over my body. I was trying to be calm, but I couldn’t. When the class was finally over, I felt relieve.
“Thank you, sir. But I have to go now,” said her.
“Okay, Ms. Alya. I hope we can work together as teacher here.” We shook hands.
I know she was thinking about me, her eyes said it. But I didn’t know what she was thinking about me actually. I just hope it was not bad at all. After that, she left the class. I didn’t know why, but I wanted to know more about her. I wanted to get closer. Well, I think I liked her.
Alya turned out to be a pleasing girl. She often brought a positive aura wherever she was. She was also very interesting and unique. A combination of boyish and girly, in both looks and acts. Sometimes she wore long pants, laughed loudly and acted like a tomboy. Another time she wore skirt, didn’t talk too much and acted like a princess. She told me she liked to play basketball, but she also showed a great skill in cooking. At that time, our relationship was just a colleague, not even a friend. The first time I became closer to Alya was when Ms. Dinda, again, asked us to be the Person in Charge of an event in our English course. Our first task was to make a set of questions related to the event. The questions then would be given to the students to be answered. We did all the discussions in a small room in our course, just the two of us. That was the first time I had a quality time with her alone. At first, our discussion was only about the task. When it was almost finished, the topic was changed.
“Hey, Ger. Do you know what comes in my mind at the first time I saw you?” she
smiled at me.
“Well, I don’t know. What was it?” I asked curiously. Finally I would know what was
in her mind at our first time meeting.
“You really look like my ex-boyfriend!” said her, “Your face, your hair, even your
teeth. Hahaha…,” she laughed.
I had no idea what was her point. She laughed. Was she mocking at me? Well, I had
to admit that my set of teeth was not so good at all. In fact, I have one tooth that pointed out differently than others. And I looked alike her ex. So what? Once again, I had no idea.
“Haha.. Is that so?” I could only say this to her.
“Mmmm.. Yes..,” she replied.
And that was all. There were a couple minutes of silence before the topic then back to the task again. When it was finished, I offered to drive her home. The answer didn’t surprise Me. “Thanks for the offer, but my boyfriend is going to pick me up. Maybe next time, Ger,” said her. She already had a boyfriend. Of course, it was not surprising at all. A girl like her most probably already had a boyfriend. I felt a little disappointed, but at least I knew what to do next. Waiting. Waiting for the uncertainty.
After the event, we became much closer. We often chatted and laughed in the course, sometimes sent text messages to each other and finally knew where her house was, I drove her home couple of times. I felt really comfortable when I near her. Eventually, we became friends. There was a joke that I read from the internet about friendship between boy and girl. So there were a boy and a girl. The girl asked the boy,”Hey, Derp. Do you believe in a boy and a girl can be just friends?” And the boy answered, “Only if the girl is ugly.” The girl was surprised to hear the boy’s answer. She said,” Oh my God, Derp. And I thought we were friends!” The boy smiled meaningfully and said, “Yes, we are.” And then the girl became really mad to the boy. I guessed the joke was true. I could not fool my feeling. I could say Alya and I were friends. But deep in my heart, I wanted more than that. But the joke had effect on me too. If Alya could say and feel that I was only a friend for her, then it means that I’m ugly. At least for her.
One day, I had a Blackberry turning my old cell phone. Most of my friends already used Blackberry, including Alya. It made me easier to contact my friends, and of course, to contact her also. Since then, we often chatted in Blackberry Messenger. We talked a lot. From the silly thing – most of the time – to the serious one. From the chat, I knew how her life in the past was like. She really had a hard time in the past. She came from a broken home family. I told her if God let it happen, then He must have a beautiful plan for her. Just believed in Him. What I could see from her was she became strong, tough and mature because of it. We also shared our favorite songs. We had a secret joke that only both of us knew. My feeling for her was getting stronger and stronger everyday. I thought I fell in love with her already. But what could I do? Again, only waiting.
“Heyy.. New gossip! You know what? Ms. Alya just broke up with her boyfriend. She
told me two days ago,” said Ms. Rona to the teachers. “She was really sad. She said that her boyfriend was cheating on her.” I was so surprised to hear that. My long time waiting finally ended. I felt not only so happy, but also sad, angry, and confused. The other teachers started to talk about her. I left the room. I had to ask her whether it was true or not. At night, I sent a message to her via Blackberry Messenger.
“Hi, Ya. I want to ask you something. Maybe this is not the right time. Please don’t be
“Hmmm.. I guess this is serious, isn’t it? What is it, Ger?”
“Well, I just want to know whether you still have a boyfriend or not.”
“Why you ask about that?”
“Like I said, I just want to know. Just answer it, will ya?”
“Is it so important for you to know that?”
“Well, yes actually.”
“Can you just please answer that da** question first?”
“Can you just please answer that da** question first?”
“Okay, I give up. It’s because I love you. Satisfied?”
“Are you serious, Ger? Don’t play with me, Ger.”
“I’m serious, Ya. So, how about my question?”
“Well, actually I have someone beside me. We have a misunderstanding but now we
already back again. But Ger, even if I don’t have a boyfriend, I don’t think we can be in relationship.”
“Okayy… I get it. But we are still friends, right?”
“Yesss.. I’m sorry, Ger.”
“It’s okay. I’m going to be okay. Please be happy, will ya?”
“Thanks, Ger. You really are a good friend.”
I opened my laptop and started working on it. When I said to Alya I wanted to give her something for her birthday, I actually still didn’t know what to give. But now I knew. I was going to give her a story about us. I typed the title ‘Sweetest Thing I Never Had”. I guessed the saying about ‘love doesn’t always mean to have’ was right.
Illustration by @signumnobilis