Saturday, May 5, 2012

Jay


We have not seen each other for years. As he walked into the mall where I was waiting, I saw a completely different person but still recognized a shadow of the young man that was once a part of my life.

Gone were the ill-fitting tees, oversized jeans and that hip hop swagger. He was wearing a flattering shirt and a pair of denims that complemented his newly toned physique. We both smiled and shook hands.

Jay worked these odd jobs when we met and became friends. He had big small dreams then. Big in the sense that he longed to open his own business, had no capital, and thought it was a pipe dream. Small, in my (perhaps arrogant) view of its simple business model and startup costs.

I put up the meager capital and taught him how to use the computer for his small business. With my help, he worked hard and was able to quickly multiply his earnings. He tried to immediately return the funds, but I told him to use the money to expand his baby.

Then I learned I was accepted for a job overseas. He was devastated. He said that he didn't know how he'd get by without me. I comforted him and said that he and his business were already doing well. He slept over that night and our emotions got the better of us.

We kissed. Tentatively. Then passionately. We stripped each other of both our clothes and our friendship and crossed a line. It was hard for him. I knew he was in pain, but he went along with it anyway.

All I felt was the gratitude and his desperate attempt to hold on to our friendship, which I chose to ignore until I was finished. I lit a cigarette, looked at the oversized tee and pair of jeans on the floor and immediately hated myself. He still held my hand, refusing to let go.

But I did. I never told him my address and number in China. And I didn't try to connect with him again after I left. Not until now.

He pulled me into one of the popular restaurants in the mall, and we caught up on each other's lives. He now exuded confidence. I learned that he also pursued his other dreams, including acting, and was even doing bit parts in TV in his free time.

The night wound down, and we didn't speak of what happened that night. The bill came, I instinctively reached for it, but he quickly snatched it away. Then just before we left, a more serious look came over his face.

He told me he has never forgotten what I have done for him. That he tried to find me all these years, and never stopped sending letters to my old flat. And that he was glad he decided to keep his mobile number in the vain hope that I would someday reach out to him.

All I could say was sorry. His smile failed to overshadow the pained look in his eyes.

I looked at Jay and again noted how much he has changed. Gone were the ill-fitting tees, the oversized jeans and that hip hop swagger. But he is still that man who was once, and now will always be, a part of my life.

photo from tumblr.com

5 comments:

Mr. Chan said...

well, that's all we can say after all. "was part of my life." :D

Guyrony said...

What a wonderful post.

Coming into someone's life, like that of a blessing.

Crossing paths sometimes can get complicated...

But we have to, or we may not make it to our destination.

dabo said...

Wow.. A very special post sean..

COLORBLIND said...

naka-relate ako sa kwento...bigla naman akong napa-isip.

Sean said...

@mr. chan: yeah, was and now again...

@guyrony: thanks guyrony. what a nice way of putting it. :)

@dabo: thanks dabo.

@colorblind: as jay or as sean? :)

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