High school relationships were one of the best high school experiences. Some of us can feel proud of having gotten the privilege of experiencing this deep-felt affection that is if at all high-school love does exist. If it does not, which rather has some aspect of truth, then it also is a privilege to have you and your G.f console yourselves, or rather, lie to yourselves that your passing fantasy is real. Obviously, much has been frequented about high school relationships; stories like it wastes your time, it kills part of you that should have been invested in your better half to make your marriage more worthwhile et cetera. The fact remains that the affair is somewhat personal and the weird mechanisms you two invent now and then to keep your fantasy intact are all up to you; the ‘couple’.
Chad Kultgen in The Lie says that there is nothing like love in this world. It’s just a lie where each gender is using the other for selfish reasons of achieving the aim to sate their carnal desires. I remember this girl I met some few months back. Her name was Stella or Sandy, I can’t really remember but it had an ‘S’ somewhere. We courted each other for a while, nay, she thought we were. How times have changed, I now eagerly wait for a female figure, any female figure, to pop up in my conversations and not want me to help her with my reports to copy. Anyway enough of that.
I had just arrived from school from a very brief mid-term break. I remember before we broke for half-term, on the dismissal parade, the Deputy Principal Academics having said something like “you are only shifting your workshop”, he always does, I mean, that’s pretty obvious but I came to realise that this phrase addresses very few Busherians(if at all any). Reason? (1) We are extremely ignorant and our ignorance is beyond repair or (2) we have no workshop. Wait. How can you even shift a workshop which you don’t have in the first place? Some of us also prefer to have their work done permanently in one place, you might shift and forget some of your tools.
Back to my arrival. When I set foot in school, I realised that I had forgotten to bring with me the school address of some St. Gee girl I had met online and managed to woo her within my intended line of fantasy within the 2 days. (Also, I had considered the bragging rights having a St Gee chick would earn me among my peers and the offer was too lucrative. I took it!) This I did with much ease. Like, this even wasn’t the first time. I had no doubt the school directory would be of no use .Then, nature extended its hand of pity towards me the following day. This was because the administration was kind enough to send those of us with fee balances back home. With glee therefore, proceeded back home specifically to get that address.
It so happened that Stella’s (okay, let me just use the name Stella. I kind’ a like it) administration had also been kind enough to refer them to their guardians for the same reason as I. That’s the untenable situation on which we met. There is nothing I’m trying to overate about that first meeting but I pretty much did not expect to hold on to her as much as I did. I remember the way the sunrays fell on her radiant face and she looked so glamorous and full of charm. Her smile was really fascinating and at some moment as I looked intently at her as she smiled at me and I couldn’t help admitting to myself how gorgeous she looked. I found it very difficult to keep my very-true opinions to myself since I’m not that watertight when it comes to secreting feelings so I expressed myself to her. You should have seen the look on her face when I complimented her. Really? Stop flattering me. Are you serious? I remembered some statement I had once read that implied that striking conversations are only maintained by beautiful minds; I was impressed. I liked that conversation with her. I know she liked it too.
I took the step of writing to her first. I like kind of feel weird and a bit nerdy when a girl writes to me first. I don’t know why but the whole thing is really strange. My words were unpretentious and simple. I tried not to lay off any unnecessary emotion on that letter. It was the first mail, you understand, and I did not want to look desperate. It’s surprising how we gentlemen invent new mechanisms to instigate our lows of self-respect by proving to these lassies just how desperate we are. I was not ready to drop my self-regard on anyone.
“I don’t know how to stop getting overly excited whenever I think of you; how to stop this yawning emotional kick. I know you knew I liked you from the first moment our eyes met, that’s why you smiled. Some things just… some things just make sense, and one of those is you and I” I penned off.
Her mail was in my hands two weeks after, with an Edwardian script ITC Calligraphy; my favourite romance type-face. I loved it. I had almost forgotten about her then, I mean, I had written like four mails the same week that hers arrived and received almost double the same week, Stella’s included. What can I say, business was good! I don’t know why I saw this but her letters were poles apart from the rest. I was enamoured to her use of words. She let our conversations flow smoothly. I did not at any one time receive hypocritical and exaggerated trash like you are all I need, I’m the luckiest girl in St Gee, you are my every thought et cetera. Her words were nice. Not passionate, not gross or anything but just really nice. May be this is the reason I replied to every one of her talks.
By the time the term was drawing to a close, we had exchanged a couple of I miss yous, I’m thinking of yous et cetera. All those pleasantries, you know. Not like I was enamoured with her or anything; I didn’t follow up on such trash as love in high school. I was kind of playing along the fantasy, the high school fantasy, though I almost felt at one time that Stella did sound earnest. But then again there was no way I could have changed my strategies. I say ‘strategies’ because I was not playing any game back then; I was the game.
I reminisce when I met her the following holiday. She looked really adorable and everything but thank goodness I did not realise this. Sometimes I get this image of hers stuck at the back of my mind, how she looked at our last meet, and I can’t help admitting how dumb I was then. I don’t know why but at one moment, I remembered my childhood crush. Her name was Erin. She was just as sweet as the name. There is no way I can erase her memory. I used to be so into her. When I first told her I liked her,
She was like, “I like you but only as a friend.”
I was like,” Ok.” Whatever I have got friends, skank! I wanted to add but I rethought my thought. She wasn’t worth it anyway. Lol. Side note though, Erin was probably one of the founding figures of the dreaded friend zone we know of today.
I was pretty much sure I would come to end my fantasy with Stella, sooner than later, but this turnout was actually more exothermic than I imagined. She drew close to me and after a hug, she looked deep into my eyes. She embraced me tighter than usual. For a moment, I thought I knew what she was driving at. This one time I hoped I was really mistaken but then there was no denying it.
She enfolded my palm. Tightly. This arose within me some weird sensation I still find difficult to describe.
“I love you,” she cooed.
I was like, “Cool.”
Honestly, I know you are like, ‘what the!? What’s wrong with this guy?’ I can’t explain it. I might have been the dumbest person on earth. Stella took it so hard on herself. I knew her emotions were shattered. She did not even cry or anything. I’m sure she expected like, I would embrace her, tell her ‘I love you too’, take her to the top of the world, sing to her some John Mayeret cetera. But I wasn’t such a haphazard sort of person; I watched her walk away, dejected. I did not feel anything whatsoever.
I’m coming to the end of this and I am holding on at some point, lifting my fingers off the keyboard. I try to conjure some feeling of emotion after evoking Stella’s memories but surprisingly, none has come.
© THE BRAHMA BU-LEE