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Hey, sungit! Or how to tell a guy you like him after 16 years

/ 07:50 AM July 05, 2019
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“Pwedeng kiligin, pero bawal umasa.”

Those are five words a good friend of mine says to me whenever I talk to her about my enthralling encounters with guys I like. It eventually became my mantra when it comes to my love fantasies. That saying, also, has probably been a subtle reminder for me not to rush into uncertainty, so I won’t feel bad should things not turn out well.

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“I like you.”

Those are the three words I was never able to utter; three words that always make me nervous whenever I think of saying them; three words I should have told you sooner, but I just could not.

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This time, I would like to grab the chance and tell you everything you need to know, before it’s too late. Though I’m not even sure if you’ll come across this. I do not really have the courage to speak to you personally, but I’ll go on ahead with this anyway.

We were both young when we first met several years ago, because our moms were good friends since elementary. Your mom used to invite us to your house back then to catch up. I actually can’t remember all the things we used to do before, as kids, but I do remember how my dad would tease me whenever we came home from your house. Kinda funny, though. But yes, it was my dad who somehow led me to the idea of having a crush on someone, the idea of young love, a childhood crush.

Before, you seemed like the type of person who is so quiet, who has his own world, who enjoys his time alone, and looks suplado. You were usually grumpy whenever we arrived at your house. We used to play games with my elder brother and our friend Sid. There was a time when your mom cooked french fries for us, and when you noticed that the other boys ate too fast, you grabbed the plate of fries and hid it behind the chair. You told me, “’Wag kang maingay, kunwari ubos na.” Then secretly, you gave me some. It’s funny how I can distinctly remember those times, though I’m not sure if you still remember that.

Then, we did not see much of each other as we grew up. One day, I just heard from my mom that you had migrated to the States with your mom. Then I thought that maybe you had forgotten all about me. Actually, I even tried to look up our old conversations in Messenger – with your old account, I think. There, I found that there was a time when I sent you a random message, just to ask if you still remember me, and you said you do. We had a short “kamustahan” at that time. But that was it, there was nothing more, nothing special.

In 2014, you came back from the States and we met again when we visited your house. We were already both grown-ups; by that time, we were in college. We briefly talked about what’s up in our lives. To be honest, I felt a bit awkward seeing you again. You may have not noticed it. When you went back to the States, we never talked again. At times, I would see some of your life updates on Facebook. I was aware of those times when you had a girlfriend. But I never stalked you, ha, don’t judge me. I just saw these on my feed. Besides, I was in a long-term relationship, too, at that time. There was also a time when your mom told my mom that I should try reaching out to you from time to time. Let me tell you the reason why, once you are done reading this.

Everything went along normally, as life would have it. I finished college in 2017 and I’m currently working. You graduated from the United States Marine Corps military police school this year. We have both taken good paths in our chosen careers. And of course, I’m proud of who and what you have become.

Until one day, last April, my mom told me that you will be coming back here to the Philippines with your mom, because your grandfather passed away. Remember when I asked you if you were in Biñan through Facebook? I already knew then that you’re back even before I asked you. I just tried to see if I’d get a reply from you, sorry, haha. We got to talk quite long about how we’ve been doing. When you asked if I and mom will get to visit you, I replied as if I were unsure, but the truth was, I was really excited to see you.

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Then came the day when we finally met again. When I saw you again after a long time, damn! You’re way taller now than you were when we were still kids, when I was actually taller than you. But you still look the same. You still have those eyes that seemed tired and gloomy, and seemed to be saying a lot but would rather stay silent. I liked them anyway. I feel how strong your personality is beneath that veneer. You are free-spirited.

I know I have felt these things before for you, but I was still too young to understand. I wonder if other people also see you the same way that I do. So, yes, you can say I think about you more often now, after our paths crossed again, and I don’t even know why all these had to happen now.

Your silence, as much as it amazes me, also makes me hesitate. Though you may appear to have a wall around you, I want to believe that it’s a wall that can be broken down. That is, if you would allow me to.

You stayed here only for two weeks. And you know what, I really wanted to ask you out when you were here, but I didn’t know how since I work on weekdays. On the few occasions that I was able to see you, I wondered if I should approach you or if I could drop a few questions, to talk a bit more. I ended up just asking your mom if we can all go out together, as a group, before you leave again. And when your mom told you to get my number, I really felt glad that somehow, we’ll have a chance to talk again – and we did.

We were supposed to go out one time, but for some reason, we didn’t make it. Sayang. Then you said you’ll make it up to me before you go back to the States. Of course I understand. I wanted you to enjoy your stay here and make the most of it kasi minsan ka lang nandito. That’s why before you left, I really hoped that I’d still get to see you, even for a short while. Then I thought of something that I could give you and your mom before you left, so I made some graham balls and I got you a polo shirt, which I don’t even know if it fits you. I hope it does.

Our online conversations get better day by day. We talk about our likes and dislikes, our families and friends, our past relationships, what annoys and bothers us, what we love doing, and even what and where we want to be in the future. Every time we talk, I’m always worried about what would happen if I run out of things to say. What if our conversations get boring? Or do you even get bored whenever you talk to me? That’s why I always think of sensible topics which we can discuss, and avoid asking tricky questions. Good thing you sometimes ask questions as well. We also crack jokes, poke fun at each other. Sometimes we disagree on certain issues, but manage to end up respectful of each one’s viewpoint. I was able to know you more, little by little.

Given your “wall” and private nature, and since I was hesitant to make any move, I was quite content already with how things were, well, sort of, until you started asking me about my crush, after you missed a hilarious Facebook post I made about it. You asked me who he is. You asked me why I would not let you know his identity. You asked if it would hurt me to speak about him. And I said, “He might feel awkward if he knew it.” Then you told me, “Yeah, he will if he’s dumb.” Now I want to know: are you dumb?

You keep on reminding me about professing my feelings, as soon as possible, before it’s too late. And every time you do, I do not know what to feel. I just always make excuses and segue to another topic. At one point, you even gave me advice, and encouraged me to try taking a risk so I won’t lose the chance. You even told me that I’m already starting to get on your nerves, because I’m afraid of the negative outcome that may happen once I profess my feelings. And so on and so forth.

I’m sorry, I hid it from you for a long time. I’m sorry I didn’t have the courage to tell you sooner. I’m sorry I can’t be like other girls you may find more attractive, nor can be like other girls who are skilled in flirtatious ways that guys go crazy about. I’m sorry for taking your advice about speaking up. I’m sorry for saying sorry, though I know you’ll just tell me I don’t have to be sorry.

Truth be told, yes, you have always been my childhood crush. Yes, I pray for your well-being all the time. Yes, we’re different, in a lot of ways, but I like that. Yes, I don’t think I have a chance on you. Yes, I don’t think you like me the way I like you, and I don’t think you ever will. Yes, I am a bit afraid right now of the consequences of this. But yes, I like you still.

Did you even have any idea? Didn’t you even see it coming? Where have you been looking?

Yes, Bryan David, the guy I refused to name, it is you. Yes, I like you.

But more importantly, I like that I have done this. Now you, my friend, already had your questions answered. And I’m already free.

_

Vesah Lanee R. Garcia graduated from La Consolacion College – Biñan, works as an online community engagement specialist, and occasionally writes news and features. She lives by the motto “memento vivere,” loves to travel and read, and likes to keep it real.

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INQUIRER.net 发布于 2019年2月13日周三

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