DARK gray clouds covered the sky as I was passing along the sidewalk of a high-walled subdivision where huge, sturdy and elegant houses are built. The cold breeze of the wind touched my skin and blew my long curly brown hair back. Silence was ruling all over the corners of the street. No busy cars, no pedestrians, no people walking around. The whole surrounding was totally empty and everything was strange. The place was too solemn as it had brought me to deaf. As I continued walking, I saw a guy sitting on a bench across the street from a distance. We are, I guess, of the same age. Well, I’m not really certain about that thing. I paused for a while and tried to recognize him but his face was unclearly seen by me. Unsatisfied of the blurred image, I crossed the street to approach him. No second thoughts, my feet drew me closer to him. But the moment I have reached the bench where he sat, He just vanished in the twinkling of an eye. I have searched every angle but no mark nor were footsteps of him left. Dizziness attacked me so I decided to take a sit on the bench. When I looked down I found a white rose and pick it up. There’s a note written in it saying “To my only love”. These white rose is maybe of the young guy. The next thing I heard was a voice screaming out my name.
“DENISE!!!!” A loud familiar voice brought me back to reality.
WAKE UP! IT’S THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL AND YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO BE LATE”.
I knew that it was Mom yelling from outside. She might be preparing for breakfast.
Upon opening my eyes the next thing I saw was the ceiling.
“A DREAM? I thought it was real.”Talking to myself while rubbing my eyes.
T’was unusual, but I didn’t bother a lot about that thing. After having a delightful breakfast which was cooked by mom, I groomed myself while waiting for my school bus.
“Oh. The bus is already here. Bye mom! Wish me luck on my first day!”I bid her goodbye.
“Good luck sweetie .Make the most out of it. Enjoy your first day!”
Those were last words she said since I boarded the bus. Upon entering the bus, I saw familiar faces smiling and some even waving at me with sweet smiles in their faces. It was a heartwarming welcome for me.
“Good morning Denise!!Are you fine there?” Manong Adolfo, our school driver, asked me.”Since your companion had left?”He added.
“Good morning too! Yes, I am Nong. ”I cheerfully answered him. Quite sad that she had left and transferred to another school, but it’s surely fine with me. Thanks anyway.”
I was referring to Kristen. She is one of my best buds. I don’t really know where she may be now. We usually share stuffs while the bus is on board. And now that she’s gone, the seat right next to me is empty. Honestly I’m not used to being alone. No one to talk to, no one to be with, and these things bring me to anxiety.
“Don’t you worry, someone today will be there to accompany you. I hope you will be good friends too in the near future.”Manong Adolfo smilingly said. He then started the engine and held the steering wheel.
I used to seat by the window behind the driver’s seat. Traveling towards school really excites me. The great architectures I see each time we pass to different houses fascinates me a lot. How I dreamt to have one soon.Then suddenly the bus stopped in a subdivision blocks away from ours. A woman in her mid 40’s approached Manong Adolfo and told him something. But actually, I was not minding them at all, instead continued dreaming on my fantasized world.I was really unaware of the time that I didn’t even notice that we’ve reached the school. Not until I found out that I was left alone. I hastily rushed down the bus. I felt the whoosh of the wind in my ears as I run in the middle of the soccer field instead of passing through the hallway. And as I gazed up I have witnessed the beauty of the vast blue sky as if it was greeting me. Just a perfect weather to start the day. At exactly 7:28 I have reached our building. Excitement filled my heart. As I went up the stairs, making my way to the 2nd floor, I met my schoolmates and professors and greeted them as well. While I was walking along the corridor I saw a familiar-looking yet strange guy. He was standing outside the 3A-RM, which happened to be my room, leaning on the parapet with his hands crossed and headphones on. He had black hair that is caressed by a wind that seemed to swirl around with the grace of butterflies. He had almond-shaped deep-set dark brown eyes that try to imply something and his high-bridged nose perfectly proportioned. His lips are thin. He stands tall with slim but very manly features. His lightly tanned complexion even made him more attractive. He looks almost perfect, only his eyes were so morose and were intently fixed on mine. His gaze shivered me as if he was trying to penetrate the fog of my mind. He’s staring straight at me, not moving at all. I can feel the vaingloriousness in his look which made me hate him instantly. I withdraw my compliment. Then the bell rang. I abruptly removed my eyes on him, pretended to look at my watch and walked through the door immediately.
Minutes later. Our adviser had arrived. “Good Morning 3A juniors!! How are you all doing guys?” Our very lively adviser, Miss Valle shouted with joy. The four corners of the room was filled with laughter and glee. Everyone yelled with her.
Excluding me. Well, actually I’m not being antisocial; it’s just that I was puzzled by the scenario which took place minutes ago; leaving me absent mindedly looking to nowhere. He’s really a major irritant right now. To my surprise, Miss Valle even approached him and ordered him to get in.“Mr. Alcantara please get in.”He then take off his headphones from his ears, placed it in his neck, and politely obeyed her.
“Don’t tell me-
“I would like to introduce to you class this guy right next to me, Mr. Vince Alcantara. From now on, he will be part of our class. Hope you will have great time together.”
Then screeches ruled over. I raised my right eyebrow.
“What are the screeches all about huh?” Whispering to myself.
Then a voice answered me.
“Gosh girl! I never saw such cutie like him before. I just died”. My best friend Chloe, who’s sitting right next on my left side, exaggeratedly telling me while shuddering in delight.
Break time. I and my best friends Chloe and Yelena went to the cafeteria to have our snacks. Wherever I go now his name never failed to ring my ear. May it be in the corridor, library or hallway. Vince! Vince! Vince! All about Vince! Why is everyone so crazy about that guy? Even in rest rooms, I can still hear his name. He’s like a plague that hit the entire town, where I am the only survivor.
“You know what Denise, you’re just jealous coz you’re no longer the talk of the town.”Yelena teasingly said.“ Who wouldn’t be tickled pink upon laying eyes on him? The way he looks really is heart-melting; therefore he is now considered as the official heartthrob of St. Gabriel the Archangel Academy”.
“You’re right Yelena. He is truly an Angel!”Chloe agreed to what Yelena had just said.
“An angel, you mean a monster?? Yes, he may be handsome but he’s nothing but an arrogant and annoying brat!” I strongly pursued my thought contradicting to theirs.
“There you go again!”Both of them giggled while dipping the nachos into the hot chili sauce.
“By the way, I’ve heard that he is a transferee from Adamsville School of Elite; he must be very wealthy then.”Yelena added.
“But why did he transfer to our school?”I asked with curiosity knowing that he came from one of the most elite schools in our country.
“Actually, I don’t really have any idea too.”
“Let’s not talk about him anymore. I want to ask something.”
“What is it then?”They both answered in chorus.
“What does it mean if you dreamt of a guy, I mean a guy which you’ve never seen before?”
“Hmmm. What is he then in your dream? How was it? Did he chase after you, or hit you a soccer ball on face-
“Or kiss you?”Chloe continued.
“Kiss? No, he did not. At first, I was in a strange place full of beautifully structured houses; the place was too quiet and the next thing I saw was a young guy sitting on a bench. I can’t recognize his face anymore. And the last thing I remember was a white rose and a note.”
“What does the note says?”Yelena paying much attention to what I was saying.
“To my only love-
“Really? Don’t you think he is your soul mate? My grandma once told me that if you dreamt of someone who is unusual to you, he or she will soon come into your life.”Chloe stated her opinion.
Well, I never really believed on what Chloe said. I don’t believe in soul mates, destiny, nor romantic love as well. Because I believe that if there were such things, then why did dad has to leave mom. Why did he left us? These thoughts still troubles me. But there is something more, haunting in my mind, neither dad nor the mysterious guy in my dream.
It was a good Thursday morning but thoughts of him kept running through my mind. I can’t help but wish that he won’t be able to catch the bus, because the mere presence of him makes my blood boil. Well, you can’t blame me for it, it has only been two weeks but the constant troubles he’s been giving me are way too infuriating. Like that day when he bumped into me in the cafeteria spilling over the hot chocolate drink on my uniform and didn’t even bother to apologize, that day when he closed the door knowing that my hands are full of loads, and lastly when he refused to be my partner in a subject. I tried to lengthen my patience on him but he always gives me reasons to make me hate him more. As I wished, he wasn’t able to catch the bus. His desk was unoccupied. Everything was fine and plain that day without his presence. But I felt emptiness in my heart, not because I worry about him, maybe it’s because I got used to his annoyance. Days passed. And he is getting into my nerves even more. He always brings me misfortune.
For an ordinary high school student, maybe one part of the school year that you hate the most is the week after the midterms because of the heartbreaking results, but as for me, this is my favorite, modesty aside, I usually top our exams.
Finally, the results are in. Our professor in Physics called us one by one to get our papers.
“Abad... Aizon... Alcantara...Alonzo...Aragon...”
After getting our papers, we were immediately dismissed. Upon seeing my paper my heart sinked, I crumpled and tore it into pieces. I couldn’t just believe myself of what I saw. I can’t afford to lose my scholarship grant just because of having a grade of 87%. I studied hard, and even buried my head on books at the library every afternoon, but never did I expect to get such low grade.Everyone had their break except me. I cried on my desk with my head on its edge. “Denise Alonzo? nice job!” It was Vince handing me a test paper. I wiped my tears and puzzlingly looked at the test paper; saw my name on it with a grade of 97%. Hurriedly, I tried to put the test paper on my hand back to its original form, and to my disbelief it wasn’t mine, what’s worse, it’s his. I looked at him and froze with embarrassment. He broke the long awkward silence.“It’s okay, just don’t tear everyone’s test paper.” He said mockingly and gave me his usual arrogant smile.
The ride from our house to Vince’s house is usually a five minute ride,but today seems to be the longest five minutes of my life. I can’t stay still on my seat. I don’t know how to face him because of what happened yesterday. I decided to apologize for my impulsiveness no matter how irritated I am to him. Finally our bus reached their house, the woman in mid 40’s who I believed is his mom, called out his name while tending her orchids. Instead of hurrying it seems like his taking his time, used his headphones on, and didn’t mind the woman at all.
“What a jerk.” I thought to myself.
To my surprise he sat beside me. I felt more uneasy because it was the first time, not to mention his constant avoidance of seating next to me, trying hard to join in the already loaded seats at the back. I felt my stomach tighten. I tried to gather my courage and inner strength to apologize, but before I knew it, like my mouth had a life of its own.
“I-I-I’m sorry for yesterday! I was impulsive and didn’t notice that it was not mine. I’m really sorry.” I stammered. I looked at him and laughed so hard, he wasn’t listening at all. He had all his attention on the music he was listening, tapping his hands like a drummer and gives a little head bang. I laughed even harder. It was the first time I’ve seen him like this and I felt absurd of my behavior minutes ago. He noticed me laughing. He removed his headphones and with a mystified expression.“Uhh.. any problem?”.Normally, I would be annoyed with the way he talks but this time was different. “No..no..nothing. It’s just that-.Then he looked even more confused. The bus has arrived the school and he hurriedly took off. I chased after him.
”Vince! Hey! Wait up!”But he wasn’t slowing down. So I ran after him and blocked his way. I was panting and chasing my breath.”Listen, Vince. I’m sorry back there, I just wanted to apologize about yesterday, I’m sorry, really.” I said pleadingly. “No big deal.” He said in a rather soft tone. It was unusual of him.
It has been one month and I have been working hard on this science project, rather, we, Vince and I had been working so hard on these. We have to come up with an invention for our science festival. Vince has been my partner since our teacher paired us because his grades are getting lower and lower and she thinks that to be my partner is the only way to pull his grades up. So every dismissal, we are diligently experimenting and studying various things to get it right. He isn’t bad at all. And I find it also amusing that he wasn’t the guy I thought he was. He’s kind-hearted and smart, maybe he is just lazy to study, but he isn’t that friendly. Over a month, I got to know him better. Vince had been used to being alone because of his sad childhood, his engineer parents got divorced when he was five. He grew up with his aunt and his parents started a new family of their own. I somehow feel for him because I see myself on his situation, but the only difference is that he seems to be okay with it. He already accepted it and has a positive outlook in life. I really admire him, he’s like a bamboo, no matter how hard the winds blow, it only bends but does not break. Just like Vince, a very resilient person.
Over time, I got used to his annoyance and presence. I was even amazed on how things have changed between us. From an annoying arrogant stranger, he is now like my guy best friend. We would even spend weekends together, be it for a school activity or just hanging around. We were comfortable with each other. We would talk about our lives and on some random silly things, and laugh like idiots. It seems like we have mutual understanding or something. I knew that in those moments, I already fell in love with him. But I was scared to admit it because I’m afraid that he might leave me too. Just like what dad did to mom , and I don’t want that to happen to us. There was even a time when he wasn’t able to come to school for one day and I felt so lonely. It was like a big part of the puzzle was missing.
Finally, the big day has come and we had an expo. Everything went well that day and it was time to announce the winners. I was nervous but Vince’s warm hands held mine. It helped me calm down. I was very excited for the first place, but then I was shocked when the announcer did not called out our name. I was speechless. I haven’t moved in my place. I was expecting to win because our experiment was good, not only good but great.
“It’s alright Denise, at least we made our best. Don’t you worry, we can always try next time.” He said those comforting words to me. Putting his arms around me.
Tears now are streaming down my eyes and ran away from the noisy crowd. He tried to ran after me but he got lost in the crowd.
I went to the girls comfort room and cried my heart out. My phone rang for times, I knew it was him calling, but I refused to answer him and turned it off instead. After minutes of crying and over thinking I decided to went out and face him. As I open the door, I saw him outside as if he was there waiting for me.
“You feel better now?” with a concerned look in his face.
“How’d you know I was here?”
“I don’t know, maybe I heard you crying?”Then he wiped my years.
Without words he pulled me closer to him and locked me around his arms. I felt his warmth and enjoyed the silent moment together.
He brought me to an ice cream parlor and treat me like a 4 year old child.
“Maybe an ice cream would help you get over it.”
But he knew I was okay just by his presence. We were laughing like children over an ice cream when suddenly his expression became serious.
“Denise. Thank you for everything. For being a confidante and my friend.”
I saw the sincerity and sadness in his eyes. I fed him spoonful of chocolate ice cream and laughed just to dismiss the serious atmosphere.
Five months has passed and we were more attached to each other. I mean more than friends. He even spent Christmas and New Year with us.
When suddenly on the 20th of March 2008, 6:00 pm, our last day of school as juniors, Mom was rushed to the hospital because of heart attack. Our relatives came to visit her. Chloe and Yelena came too. But before leaving they left something.
“I saw this on your desk, it has your name on it. So, we brought it here.”Chloe said.I was about to read the letter when suddenly the monitor went unstable so I placed it on the side table and hurriedly called the nurses. Minutes later, the doctor told us that she must be on close watch so I stayed awake the whole night to watch her condition. I wonder where Vince is, I haven’t seen him the entire day. Morning came and I was still at the hospital. I remembered the letter Chloe gave me that I failed to read last night. I looked for it on the side table and saw the weak white rose attached to it. It was familiar. My name was written on the letter and at the back it says “To my only love” with a familiar handwriting. This is what it says:
6:00 pm at the park. I never told you that you have captured my heart from the moment I saw you walking at the corridor. You gave meaning to my once boring and dull life. I can’t afford to lose you coz’ you are my life now. If you’ll come, I’ll take it as an acceptance to my love. If you don’t, then I will never bother you again. Hoping to see you later.
With much love,
Before the letter sinked in, I immediately took a ride to Vince house. In my haste I rang the bell almost ten times, when her aunt opened the door. “Where’s vince? I need to talk to him.” I said , forgetting my manners.
“Didn’t he tell you?”
“A-a-about what?” I felt a strange feeling in my heart.
“He left this morning to Canada to live with his mom.”My knees weakened on what his aunt said. Tears now rolled down on my cheeks. I
“But-but that’s impossible!”
“His mother has been trying to convince him since the second semester, but it seems that something’s letting him stay.”I was left hanging with what I’ve heard. My heart totally crushed.
One year had passed and I’m already graduating. Today was the very same day Vince left me. It’s been a year but the feeling is still fresh. But now I’ve realized that people come and go in our lives. Some would come to end our sadness, only to start a new one. And some would come into our lives to teach us valuable lessons. That is to love and learn to accept and let go. He will always be a part of me no matter where I go. Vince came into my life just like a dream. I never planned for it, but it just happened. If I just knew that he’s just a dream, I wished that I rather be asleep forever. He’s my sweetest dream. And forever will be.