Anti Romantic Tale Pt. 4
It’s been almost ten years since I saw him, and there he was at the corner of the bar, putting me at a standstill. His permanent stern and indifferent face was still there, with glimpses of that memorable smile when he struck a conversation with the boy next to him. Honestly, he still looked the same as when we were both 17, though his rugged features are more prominent than before. I avoided any eye contact with him and continued with my conversations with my friends, in the back of my mind thinking about if I should say hello. I turned once again to see him leaning against the wall by himself. “It’s a perfect chance to talk to him,” I thought in my head. But friends all of a sudden started pouring in and then in an instant he was lost in the crowd.
He lived in West Covina back then with his parents and often he would drive 45 minutes just to grab popcorn chicken together at the only boba place in my area. I remembered our aimless chats on the phone and on Asian Avenue, like when he told me how he wanted to be a nurse like his mother, or how much he wanted to supe up his red Acura Integra. I remembered that time when his parents were gone for a day, and all we did was watch the first two Lord of the Rings movies nonstop and I ended up passing out in his arms in the middle of the Two Towers. With our post high school lives in front of us, we drifted away from each other day by day. Hours of telephone conversations ended up being short five minute cliff notes of how our day went. Promised visits only ended up with excuses of his car being in the shop, or that he was on academic probation and had to study. Then came that fateful call to his house where his mom told me that he went to the movies with a boy named Kai. “You fucking told me you were studying today!” I angrily yelled to his voicemail.
I never answered any of his calls after that and blocked him from my AIM list. In retrospect, it was such a cliche moment in teen relationships. Boy meets boy. Boy does other boy wrong. Then comes that huge “FUCK YOU I’m gonna be bad all by my self” moment of self-actualization. He wasn’t my first love, but he was the first one that showed me the possibility that two men could ever possibly fall in love, and he paved the way to my eventual coming out for the first time to my friends. I guess I never got to thank him for that.
I saw him again that same evening in the midst of the dance floor and I had yet another window of opportunity. But really, what was the point? Were we magically going to be friends again and reminisce on the six months that we were together nine years ago? And would I want to know all of those unanswered questions that we left behind? There was no point. You can’t saw sawdust.
Sometimes closure is by not knowing and some people are just meant to be merely a footprint in your life.