It was first day of the mid-year exams and therefore I finished school a little earlier. I called him,
“Hey, I finished school earlier today, would you come by and pick me up?”
“Alright, give me five minutes.”
“Five minutes? But my school is just beside your house.”
“I need to get ready.”
“Alright, make it fast then.”
It was 2 p.m. in the afternoon and the sun was extremely hot. I stood under a shaded tree and fanned myself. Although it doesn't make much of a difference, I felt better with something to do while I wait.
After five minutes, he still hadn’t shown up. I felt a little unhappy as I looked at my watch.
Soon, five minutes turned to ten minutes and he's still not here. Did he meet with an accident on his way here? I started to become worried.
It was fifteen minutes later when he finally showed up.
“Why are you so late?”
He wasn't even a little bothered.
“I was watching T.V.”
“What?! T.V.?! Why don't you sleep, bathe and eat before you get me then?”
I was extremely angry and kept quiet as I didn't take the helmet he handed me. I stood there and stared at him.
This was the first time he said sorry to me. He is an egoistical person and had never apologised to a girl before. I looked at him and felt my heart softened. I decided it is alright since he apologised. I took the helmet and let him sent me home.
It was typical of him to avoid explanations, friction and quarrels between us. Since then, the only thing he ever does is to apologise when something is wrong. However in my opinion, some things can't be settled with an apology.
Despite that, I would never pursue a matter once he apologises. He told me that was the first time he said sorry to a girl and while I felt that it takes courage to admit mistakes, he never once corrects his mistakes. Instead, I get the impression that sorry became a word to shut me up.
Tears flowed down my cheeks when he apologised to me again on the 59th time. I dropped my head and told him,
“Please don't bother to say sorry to me again. If you can never change your bad habits, don't let me keep giving you chances again and again, hoping and believing that you would change each time.”
He held me lightly and said the 60th sorry. Even with my outburst and his latest apology, he did not change for the better and there still wasn’t any explanation on his mistakes whatsoever.
I started to worry about the possibility that he was keeping something from me.
“What's wrong with you these few days?”
“Then why are you acting so strange?”
“I am not.”
“What can you say other than giving this reply?”
“Do you know I'm very worried and very insecure?”
“Do you treat me as your girlfriend?”
“I don't want to hear you say sorry again.”
I clamed the phone down and he did not call me back. At that point of time, I felt that he didn't even care about me. Maybe we should just break up.
That was the 99th time he said sorry to me.
From that day onwards, I stopped calling and looking for him.
Sometimes, I would get an anonymous phone call. However every time I said hello, the phone will be cut off. I think he made those calls but I wondered why he didn’t speak up.
After a month, I couldn't contain the feelings I still have for him anymore and went to his school to look for him. I went to his classroom and looked around, but there was no sign of him.
“Excuse me, is XOXO here today?”
“I'm afraid he stopped schooling.”
“Huh? Why? When was that?”
“He hasn't been in school for a month already.”
“Oh erm... Thanks.”
One month? He hasn’t been in school for one month. Why is that so? I stumbled home in confusion.
As soon as I got home I tried to contact him via his cell phone but all I got was, “Sorry the caller is currently unavailable, please leave your message after the tone. Beep.”
I tried calling his house instead but there was no answer. How can it be? Did his whole family migrate? It seemed as if he has disappeared off the face of the earth without leaving a single trace.
I couldn't find him and just as I was feeling distraught, my friend rang me up. He was one of his brothers and also my good friend.
“Hey, what have you been doing? XOXO is in hospital.”
“Really? What Happened?”
“Oh he is in ZZ hospital, the one you stayed in previously.”
“I'll be right there.”
I rushed off and when I reached the hospital, I saw that his parents were already there. I asked them for his room number and flew across the hall. He was lying on a bed looking at me. He didn’t speak a word nor moved a muscle.
“Hey, what happened to you? Why didn't you contact me?”
He did not answer but stared emotionlessly at me.
“Come on answer me. Why don't you speak?”
A tear flowed down the side of his eye, and it looked as though he was summoning all his energy to mumble these words...
He shut his eyes after that.
“Hey, don't fool around alright. Why say sorry to me?”
“Don't say sorry to me. Please wake up. Please answer me…”
I fell down on the side of his bed and wept miserably. I pulled his shirt as I cried out...
“Why do you have to apologise? Why don't you give me an explanation instead?”
“I won't forgive you. Wake up! It is no use saying sorry...”
“I'll never ever forgive you in this lifetime if you don’t wake up. Please, I beg you to open your eyes.....”
That was the 100th sorry. A group of medical staff, doctors and nurses pulled me away and tried to revive him. I didn’t even have the strength to stand up. My mind was a blank.... My eyes could only see a sea of darkness...
He did not leave this world. I merely lost the chance to touch him. Sometimes, he will appear in my dreams and tell me how he is doing. He is still alive and accompanies me in my heart. He will still laugh at my silliness and call me his darling. It’s just that he will never apologise to me anymore.
After a month, his mom came to look for me and gave me a box. There were a hundred photographs inside. Everyone had a story behind them. It was the reason why he made me angry.
My dear, the first time I said sorry I did not purposely arrive late to pick you up. I know this excuse is really lame but I didn't have the heart to tell you the truth then. Before I stepped out of the house, I felt a pain in my chest but I still made it a point to meet you. Can you please forgive me?
My dear, the second time I said sorry I...
My dear, the third time I said sorry I...
My dear, the hundredth time I said sorry I didn't mean to leave you alone in this world. It had to be so because God did not give me the chance to say I Love You for this lifetime of mine and to put a ring on your finger...
You are the first girl I apologised to and also the first girl I want to be with for the rest of my life. Forgive me for not being able to bring you happiness but I will become your angel and always look out for you. I will look at you while you find your happiness. Please promise me not to shed a tear. I don't want to see you weep for me.
I Love You
How can I not cry? What you wanted was just impossible.
The last photograph showed him in the hospital. Although he was skinny, the smile on his face was as bright as ever. His face was pale and yet he tried his best to give his last smile on the last photo, the photo for the 100th apology.
At the time when he needed me the most, I wasn't with him. I'm sorry. I held the photo tightly and cried for us.
So to all guys out there, Always explain to your girlfriend…
And to the girls, Always be understanding towards your boyfriend...