Guys

To the Guy I Secretly Loved All Throughout High School

Sometimes silences and loving from afar are enough.
PHOTO Patrick Martires, MODEL Elena Ortega

I looked at you for the last time as you grinned and laughed in the middle of everybody. You looked up and looked at the falling confetti, a sign that the celebration has ended and that all of us can live in the moment now. You start to make your way out of the crowd. I didn't know if I should run to you and talk to you for the last time, congratulate you for earning those medals, and ask you about your plans in college, or just let you have that moment. Four years later, you and the thought of you still make me gasp for air and make my hands cold and sweaty out of nervousness. Four years later, the sight of you is still one of my favorites and I guess, it will always be.

Just four years ago, I saw you wearing that frightened look on your face when we were first called for attendance in class. You were as confused as I were. You, too, didn't know what was going to happen in the next four years of our lives in this new place, with a whole bunch of new people. But I knew when I first saw you that you were going to make your home in a huge portion of my heart.

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The first time we talked, one of the very few moments we did, I was speechless. And even though it didn't look like I had a great time even if you just asked me what our homework for Science was, I did have a great time. That moment is carefully wrapped in fancy paper and tucked in a corner of my journal. It was one of those moments I just don't want to lose. We were always passing by each other inside the classroom or along the hallways. You'd sometimes catch me staring at you, but of course I made sure I looked away quickly just so it won't be awkward for the two of us.

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When my best friend told me that you had a girlfriend on our sophomore year, I was devastated. I almost cried when she told me the news, but I stopped myself. Why am I even so invested in someone I haven't really talked to? I saw you the next few days walking around school, eating lunch and recess, and even answering homeworks together. It was a painful sight, especially because I had to see it every day. But that doesn't mean that I was glad when you broke up the following year. Rumors said she was cheating on you and I felt a little mad at her. How could she just throw away and brush aside someone some people (like me) have always wanted. You wore a pained and lost expression on your face the next few weeks and months. According to my friends, you never really got over your ex. The incident gave you trust and relationship issues and I can't really blame you for that.

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On our senior year, you still weren't "linked" to anybody. I just noticed how busy you were at school. It's either your head was buried in a book or in notebooks or you're practicing for football team. You distanced yourself from anybody and it pains me a little knowing that my chances of talking to you were getting thinner and thinner.

Grad ball night came and everyone was in a joyful spirit, except you. You were nowhere to be found. You skipped the whole thing for reasons I guess I won't ever know. Maybe you didn't want to see your ex all glammed up? But it was sad because I would've gathered enough courage and asked you to dance that night.

So as I watch you make your way out of the busy crowd today, thanking people who stopped to congratulate you for a job well done, I let you live in the moment. I know it's a moment I won't want to ruin because it's the first time in a long time that I'm seeing that smile again. Finally. I now know you're happy and I know you'll be alright. I, instead, whisper prayers to the cold, night air for you and everything your heart beats for.

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I wish you laughters that take your breath away and smiles that echo to eternity. I wish you courage and a strong spirit for dreaming and making them happen. But most of all, I wish you love. The love you've always wanted and the love you deserve. The one love that'll make you forget about the tears and the hurts that you've been through in the past few years.

Maybe this isn't the time we're supposed to talk or maybe our moments just don't deserve words and its beauty lies in the silences and the sidelines. Maybe one day we'd get to see each other somewhere, familiarity drawing us in. Maybe one day we'd even happen, but for now this is enough. We're both happy. You're happy and that's enough.

Got stories to share? Tell us in the comments or send them over at candymagazine@gmail.com and you just might see them published here. :)

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About the author
Ayessa De La Peña
Candymag.com Assistant Section Editor
I am Candymag.com's resident fangirl and ~*feelings*~ girl. When I'm not busy researching about what to write next on the website, I sleep, read books, and re-watch episodes of Friends.
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Today, I am sharing my mother's story. I wish my mother was a constant in my life, like an angel who guards you to sleep and comes right there when you called. But angels come back home too, in heaven where they always belonged, and my mother went back a little early. My mother died when I was 13 years old. My last memory of my mother: Letting go when you are not yet ready is a very cruel thing that one has to ever experience. It is a sudden wave of total sadness and desperation crashing into your very core.

On the 28th of July 2013, we went to a resort in Bataan for the employees’ getaway. My parents own a 7-11 franchise, and it had always been a tradition to give their store clerks a get-together every year. I remember very well the last breakfast I had with my mother. The Sunday morning sky was clear and sunny, and the sea was calm and tranquil as we ate our breakfast on a cottage under the tall palm trees. She shared with us a strange dream she had the other night. She dreamt about an unknown woman holding an ice pick chasing her down on a dimly lit street, then she woke up just before the woman could grab her arm. We never knew what that dream exactly meant and now, I wished I never knew its meaning. After breakfast, my family and our employees decided to take a swim at the beach. The day was nice. The morning air may be chilly but the sun’s kiss on our skins gave us warmth. It was perfect. Everything is fine and the tides are low which made it very enjoyable to swim. We swam a little farther from the shore and we stopped to the point where the water reached our shoulders. We were talking about the good things in life and reminiscing the good old days. Those are the things that I’ve always loved about my family because I never had a meaningless conversation with them.

A few moments later, we heard a panicking call for help from one of our store clerks. It was Rachel. She was struggling to keep her head above water. She was already drowning but the odd thing was, she was only a few feet away from us. At first, we thought she was just playing around until we felt the sand in our toes dissolving like powder. It felt like as if the seafloor submerged deeper. I remembered sighting the shore and it seemed so close yet very far away. We were all panicking at that time. No one knew how to swim except my mother so without having second thoughts she swam towards Rachel and called out to my father, “Yung mga anak mo! Dalhin mo sa pampang yung mga anak mo!” and I never thought I already heard my mother’s last words to my father. I was paddling like a dog, gasping for air, as I say a little prayer to God to take us all back to safety. I felt my father grabbing our swimsuits, trying to lift our bodies so we can breathe even though he was also struggling to keep himself alive. Once I felt my toes touch the ground, there came a veil of relief that covered my whole body. As soon as my father and my sister made it to the shore we started calling out for help. There were no lifeguards on duty at that time, no personnel, nor guards. I saw my mother already floating in her stomach. We sighted a boat sailing nearby, we waved our hands and called for their attention. They almost ignored us because they cannot comprehend what we were trying to relay but the good thing was a passenger in the boat noticed my mother and Rachel in the water.

My mother’s body was laid on the shore. She was unconscious and her whole body was pale as white. My father performed CPR but my mother couldn’t get the water come out of her mouth because the food she ate earlier got stuck in her throat and blocked the passage. A concerned tourist offered his car to deliver my mom in a nearby health center or a clinic of some sort since the hospital was miles away from the beach and she needs immediate care. My father told us to stay in the hotel room and prepare mom’s belongings so that if she wakes up she has fresh clothes to change into. My sister and I finished packing our things and waited for our father to pick us up from the hotel. I was crying and I couldn’t stop myself because I was afraid to lose my mother. I couldn’t imagine what my life would be if I lose her that day. Moments lasted until we heard a knock on the door and it was my father, crying, and apologizing to us. He hugged me and my sister tightly and saying, “Sorry, anak, sorry hindi na uuwi si mommy, sorry hindi ko nasagip si mommy”. And that was the moment I felt sinking into the ground. I never knew what to feel at first. I was numb because my worries were now actually a reality that I have to live in. I was at shock because I am now one of the kids in those cliche teleseryes who lost a mother at an early age. We went to the health center to settle everything. The clinic was very small and it sure did lack equipment. He told us to stay in the car. I wanted to see my mom, but I know he never wanted us to see her like that. I didn’t know what to feel. I was having high anxiety levels that my stomach is churning and I wanted to vomit. I got off the car and entered the health center to find the restroom. When I was finding my way around, I passed by the emergency room. I saw my mother lying in a foldable bed, lifeless, her hands dangling from the side of the bed, she has violet bruises on her skin, and her body was partially covered with a white towel.

That is when it sunk into me that she’s dead and never coming back. My father asked the others to just commute back to Manila because what we need right now is comfort from our family. The drive back home was one of the most painful memory I had as a kid. My father was in the steering wheel crying his eyes out. We drove from Bataan to Pampanga. We went home to my grandmother’s house, the nearest house that we can call “home” because how are we still going to be “home” without her?

Once we reached Pampanga, we stopped over to the gas station and my father made some calls to our loved ones to tell them that my mother passed away. He then called my aunt to help him arrange for the funeral. We got home and my grandmother hugged us and told us to get some rest. Already tired of crying, I went to sleep for a while. I woke up and for a second, I thought everything that happened the other day was all just a dream. That she was there in Manila, sitting on the couch reading some furniture magazine, waiting for us to go home. But that’s how cruel life is, right? I got up and weirdly, I felt sands in the bed. It was gray, just like the ones on the beach. I thought maybe it was just dirt but it was a fair amount to believe that maybe she visited us before she left. - ?

- The part of how I conquered the grief of her passing is shared in my personal blog. I felt the need to share my story with everyone since she's the woman I look up to. Feel free to visit my personal blog too when you have the time. I love writing my stories. Thank You! link: http://qkathreece.wixsite.com/kathreecequizon/post/breaking-waves

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