Let's call the boy "Adam*."
If Adam hadn't started saying "Hi," I wouldn't have noticed him. In fact, he had said "Hi" to me countless times already before I realized that he was actually a lab classmate of mine who'd been sitting a few tables away from me all semester. Yes, Adam was really nothing special-completely forgettable.
Except he asked for my number. Before school closed for the Christmas break, he asked and said he wanted to greet me on Christmas Eve. I made excuses, but he persisted. I gave in. He called. Often. We became friends.
For the sake of this rather unique friendship, I ignored the hushed rumors-and the chocolates on Valentine's Day. It was harder to ignore the little notes he left on my car: "Didn't see you today. Went home na. Talk to you tonight." It was even harder to ignore the giddy feeling that sparked in me when I read them.
But I couldn't turn a blind eye to the roses-dozens of them-all around my car one day. Friendship just wasn't the word for it anymore, and I knew it. I opened my eyes to the scary fact that he was treating me like a girl-not a guy friend. But why would he do that? I wasn't gay. Was I? The boundaries of our relationship were blurred; it was only a matter of time before one of us crossed the line.
It was raining the day I told him. I was at school, at a phone booth, and nervous as hell. The day could not end without me knowing what we were-friends or... at the time I couldn't even bring myself to consider the alternative. But I knew there were feelings between us that I didn't understand and that I wanted to explore because it could be the best thing that ever happened to me. You always see the bright side when you're in love.
He picked up the phone.
"Adam, I have to tell you something. Promise to just listen because I'm only going to say this once, and if you don't hear it, bahala ka, basta I said it na."
And I said it: "I'm in love with you."
We were supposed to live happily ever after-I loved him, and we were best friends. These stories always end happily. But instead, there was silence.
Later on, he told me he wasn't gay. The roses, the phone calls, the songs he played for me on the phone-these were things guys did for the ones they loved. So how could he not be in love with me? It was an identity crisis and a love crisis all at once. He made me question who and what I was and changed the way I saw myself and those around me.
Whatever it was, it ended that day. And though our ending was forever after, it wasn't happy.
But it was also a beginning.