I liked him because of the way he smiled.
He smiled until his eyes looks like two hyphens. His lips revealed the braces that has been attached to his teeth for quite too long, molding the crooked ones to form a straight horizontal line. The braces are blue today, my favorite. The kind of blue that forms when the sun reflects against a tinted window as it shines onto the pavement. Whiskers show on his otherwise marshmallow cheeks, and I fawn over the adorable way his hand would automatically cover it to avoid the forthcoming teasing. The way he always smiled makes me wish those affections were for me.
But it never was.
I liked his laugh.
It was never the kind of laugh that left you wondering whether he really found the joke funny or if it was merely a show. The kind of laugh that made you join in, until you slowly realize that you weren’t only focusing on the joke, and as quick as a snap may occur, you start laughing at him because of the tears in his eyes and how he clutched his stomach in pain because it was too funny. How his shoulders shook, how his hands would awkwardly cover his mouth, and how his eyes became smaller, made you wish that you could always see him as he is at that exact moment, that everything would slow down until it all of it freezes. And every sound was like a musical note that hit the right parts.
I liked him because of the way he viewed the world.
He talked about the endless issues of the society, of how he despised the lack of action made by the government. He voiced out his opinions with fiery passion and would laugh it all off to reduce the tension in the air as the debate burrowed further into the deepest recesses of each topic. The way he spoke reached out to me as well, with points that would strike you once and send you into thinking about realizations that begin to dawn with the feeling of discovering something that has long been in front of you, but were too blind to see. Convinced as he may be with his beliefs and uptight as he may seem about what he thinks is the right choice, he listens to the others’ voices, gathering all of them into one big bubble that slowly becomes bigger, filled with thoughts that vary in categories and importance.
He was funny yet reserved. He didn’t talk to the others that much, excluding his circle of friends who became my telltale signs that he was probably following behind them. And there he would be, appearing out of nowhere. I merely watched him from afar, co-existed with him in the building as I tried to catch up with his classes that coincided with mine. Freezing whenever he was nearby, the made-up conversations dissolving in my head, a battle with myself on whether I should say hi or should I not. Being too much of a coward to open my mouth, being too conscious to walk by casually that I end up looking like a penguin lost in a tropical country, having my self-esteem drop dangerously low because I believe that I’m not enough for anyone, let alone him, continue to frustrate me with every waking hour and every ticking of the second as the day reaches its end.
I grew up playing with words. Stringing them into sentences that are metaphorically dramatic, reaching deep within my thoughts and feeling every emotions that I could draw some inspiration from, and yet there are times wherein I would come up empty-handed, that I would result to flitting from memory to memory for experiences worth writing about.
And I thought of him.
Almost everything about him.
And now, I write about him in ways only I know of because I know I can never say it aloud. That I would cower in his presence, that speech would be unavailable and it would be as if I had no tongue. For now, I write about you in here, where my heart recognizes every detail about you yet there are some that I cannot simply put into words.
I wish you would look at me.
Even for once.