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What is love?
This is it, my first day back to school after one and a half year. I feel excited and nervous at the same time. Here I am standing in front of the school doors in the section C of the building and I canít move my arms to open the door nor my feet to move me forward. I just stood there, while minutes passed by, looking at the building where Iíll spend a whole year entering and leaving.
It feels new and yet it brings back memories from last year when I was standing in front of another school building. I remember walking down the stairs hand in hand with my boyfriend and my friends following right behind us. That was during our first year when we just started hanging out together. We were always laughing during dismissal time, those were the happy days. I canít remember what we found so funny then. All I can remember is the feeling of happiness, like we donít have a care in the world. Itís like an extended schedule of ours hanging out at the park in front of our building after class or going to McDonaldís and eating cheese burgers, fries and float.
There were also times when my boyfriend and I were alone together, just us, talking about unimportant things that makes us laugh or problems we encounter for the week, those things that young people think is important. Sometimes we just sit quiet, not doing anything, not saying anything. Sometimes we ask each other questions to feed our emotional needs.
ďDo you love me?Ē He asked while staring directly at me.
I sit there thinking. Do you really have to ask me that question? Donít you feel secure with what we have that you need a verbal agreement? I really donít want to answer. But to me it feels like heís asking me a different thing. I felt like heís asking me to feed his need for emotional assurance. So I said ďyes.Ē
Truth be told. I donít know. I donít know what love really is. I feel a certain care for him that I donít feel for anyone. But is that love? Being a huge fan of romance novels, I canít accept that this thing Iím feeling is the love that every female heroine in the stories has. So, I donít know. One thing Iím sure is Iím happy when Iím spending my time with him. But happiness doesnít equate with love. Iím still left with the answer I donít know.
You always tell me ďI love you.Ē
I donít take it as such. I think what you want to tell me is Iím happy when Iím with you and I care for you. But those things donít mean love, at least not to me at that moment. I care for you so I smile and think how lucky we are that we are happy in each otherís company.
We were a typical couple, laughing with each other, pouring our problems to each other, fighting with each other and making up. It seems too good to be true. But they say nothing lasts forever. And so it stopped.
One day I told you that my family is leaving the country. We talked and made plans with each other plans about waiting and coming back. Itís a few more months before we leave. And as the date comes closer we became more desperate we seek other people to helps us carry the burden that will descend upon us once we separate.
What happened was inevitable. You found another. I buried myself with work. Itís my last day, tomorrow weíre leaving and we decided to spend time with each other. You finally told me about her. Itís hard hearing that you have someone else that means something to you. Itís hard knowing that what was mine before is now slowly being stolen by someone else. And everything came back to me. All the ďI love youĒ, ďI miss youĒ, ďIíll wait for youĒ, ďYouíre the only one.Ē And tears started to fall.
Is this love then? If itís not then why does it hurt? Why do I cry? I still donít know during that time. And even though I really didnít take it as such I wanted to throw back your words of love and fidelity. I wanted to say What about youíre promise that youíll wait for me? What about your confessions of love? I did ask those.
And you answered ďIf weíre meant to be. Then weíll be together again.Ē
It was then that I realized that I was right all along. It was not love. It was more a deep friendship than anything else. It hurts because itís like you thought something was yours when in truth it was just on loan. The only thing to do was to let go. But itís easier said than done. Itís even harder to do when we left. Thereís no friend to comfort me and listen to me curse you. I was all alone in a foreign country where I have to go out at 4am in the morning to suffer my loneliness and bitterness alone, so as not to bother my family. I resented you. Why did you have to do that at the time? Couldnít you have chosen a better timing?
It took me a better part of 4 months to get over you. But I did. And surprisingly, I donít harbor any negative feelings toward you anymore. Itís like a brand new start. We even got to chat one day and I felt fine. No more negative feelings for you. Itís like nothing happened at all, except that deep inside me something small changed, thereís a certain wariness in guys that I didnít have before.
Six months passed and I barely had any contact with anyone form my home country. I was trying to get in as much hours of work that I can before school starts so that I have something saved for emergencies and special occasions.
Around August we started doing school stuff, paying tuition, registering for class and such. Itís been almost a year now and Iím single and happy. Wow! I forgot how being single can be exhilarating in its self. I go through the days without a care. Free of the burdens involved when youíre in a relationship. Without knowing it, September finally arrived and soon enough school started.
This brings me here now standing in front of the school building thinking about nothing in particular. Suddenly someone bumped me from behind and I lost the trance. I looked to the right annoyed that the person didnít even bother to say sorry. That was when I saw you in your red shirt, white cap and a black backpack slung in one shoulder. You looked back and smiled at me then went in and up the stairs. That was it. Just a smile, no ďhiĒ or ďsorryĒ, no anything, just a simple smile that showed those wonderful dimples of yours. I was entranced. I said I didnít believe in love at first sight. I still donít but if there is such a thing, then what Iím feeling is really close to it.
I shook my head and looked at my watch. Oh no! Iím going to be late for my first class. I moved and entered the door which surprisingly doesnít feel anything special, considering the fact that I stood in front of it for about a quarter of an hour.