Somebody I Used To Know

Realistically, there are things you can never truly forget.  Even if you constantly force yourself to erase certain memories or convince yourself of such, those recollections will still remain in perpetuity somewhere at the back of your mind.

There’s no excuse, much like there’s no good enough explanation for this topic.  The only fact of the matter is that I saw Jim again.

I’ve been trying to forget Jim (we’ll just call him that for now) since…a few months ago.  It honestly doesn’t feel like a long time but realistically, the “shortness” of that time frame was a combination of the intensive workload I had back then, such as exams and whatnot.  It was difficult to force myself to forget somebody; it was especially difficult for Jim’s case because we used to be friends.

We used to be friends.  The friendship lasted a few months – shorter than the amount of time we stopped.  We didn’t exactly drift apart, because everything came to an abrupt end.  It was an end that subsequently led to silence and much awkwardness.  It’s something that hit me hard back then…a little too hard.  But what am I to complain about, if I can blame nobody other than myself.

Jim and I met at a dance class and we became fast friends.  In retrospect, I really wonder why we clicked so quickly.  Among the myriad reasons, I really narrowed them down to two: back then, we both went for classes on the same two days every week, and we were both fluent English speakers in a Cantonese-speaking environment (technically, Cantonese is Jim’s native language).

Our friendship grew really quickly.  He found me on Facebook and soon after, we started talking to each other virtually every day.  Even though we only saw each other two days a week, we were close to best friends: we had inside jokes, we knew each other’s tastes, and we had nicknames for each other.  Needless to say, even the fact that our ages were two years apart did not bother us (not that it would have bothered anybody; that being said, he is pretty tall that I often forgot that he is younger than me).

Yet, truth be told, I never really knew how Jim felt about me.  I know it’s technically not supposed to be my business or anything, but admit it: sometimes you can’t help but wonder what the other person thinks about you.  Of course, even if he did like me or not (as in, whether he had a crush on me or if he secretly hated me), it wouldn’t have really mattered to me.  Nonetheless, I would have wondered why.  I also never knew if he cared about how I felt him too, because sometimes I really wonder if that’s how – or when – things precipitated downhill.

Truth is, whether or not he liked me, I knew that I started having some feelings for him.  I didn’t want to admit it even to myself for other reasons that I shall not divulge, but it did bother me for a while.  I forced myself to keep my distance from him so the feelings would go away, but it didn’t.  I stopped going for the classes when I knew he’d be there (just to clarify, the classes worked at a walk-in basis), and just stopped talking to him for a couple of weeks.  I alienated myself from Jim so much that things started getting awkward.  Due to the silence that already pervaded our world, I wanted to break it, but using my immature logic and impulses I chose the worst way possible.

In retrospect, I should’ve just kept it in because it wasn’t what he wanted to know, even when he said he cared.

I guess I can’t really blame him because I was the one who chose to tell him.  I was the one who chose to believe him when he told me he cared.  Up to this point, I brought it all up to myself.  So that was just it.  I did see him a couple of times afterwards because by that time, I did go back for the classes again. Thus, I would inevitably have to see him.  All the friendly conversations were immediately transformed into hostile silence.  All we could do was pass cold glances at each other, or just nod at one another as an odd greeting.  The outmost bitterness pervaded the ambience, and those around us felt it too.  Under these circumstances, the only “real” conversation we had was after the class one day, when he and I were both alone.  It wasn’t the same, and while we both knew it, there was nothing we could do.

That was the last time I saw Jim in person.

I’m starting to think that there was nothing Jim wanted to do about it.  Slowly, I felt the same way because our friendship had come to an end by the end of the month.  He deleted me on Facebook, and I consequently started to forget, only to be plagued by the painful memory that even though I made that decision to tell him the truth, he was the one who threw me away.  It was just that.

I never saw him again, or at least not in person.  Truth be told, I did forget Jim for a while.  I didn’t really think about him, even though I was in touch with some of his new friends who I managed to befriend due to mutual interests.  Whether or not they know about our backstory, it really didn’t matter because their knowledge of that silly backstory doesn’t affect my friendship with them, much like how it wouldn’t affect their friendship with Jim.  Yet, when I saw Jim again, everything flooded back.

I saw him in my dream.  We were back in class again, but it was only the two of us, much like the last time I saw him.  It was the same awkwardness: we weren’t talking, and we didn’t even bother looking at each other.  It were as if the other side were nonexistent, like it was the actor’s fourth wall.  Only at one point, I broke it, like how I broke the silence those months ago.  “What happened that made you hate me so much?”  Other than the fact that I told him my secret, the truth, I honestly never figured that one question out.  Apparently, the dream ended there.  Shortest but longest dream ever.

Sometimes, I really want to be able to talk to him again.  Maybe he doesn’t want to, but that doesn’t really matter.  I’m taking this pretty well now: the entire situation between Jim and I hit me really hard before, but I guess it’s no pain, no gain.  While I do think that I may have been a little clingy on him after everything that had happened, I guess if it weren’t for that incident, I wouldn’t have grown up again.  As I look back, I was pretty stupid — we do stupid things.  It’s not necessarily something to cry over about anymore, but it is worth just reminiscing about it, and then having a good laugh about my past stupidity.

Jim, if you’re reading this…I hope you’ll eventually feel this way too.

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4 thoughts on “Somebody I Used To Know

  1. This resonates a lot with one of my experiences
    Let’s call her R

    I met her in one of those joint school activities. It was my first time a and to myself and my friend’s bewilderment, I was not timid. Not at all.

    It was a Halloween themed night and a lot activities were aimed to get guys and girls ‘to know each other’. I was paired, by absolute random chance with her. She looked ordinary. She doesn’t emit that stereotypical fairy-esque goddess vibe. Anyways we were blindfolded and was sent into a classroom decorated into a mini obstacle course, Halloween themed.

    At first I, still blindfolded, tried to inject some sort of dialogue into this seemingly weird setting.

    “Umm… Hey I’m “Kierkegaard”
    “Hi!” She replied with enthusiasm, “I’m R”

    A male voice ushered us into the course and immediately she held my hand. She was scared of the dark. The naive me instantly thought ‘why on earth are you here then?’ I covered my sarcastic mind with a coy gesture.

    ‘It’s cool, you can hold on to me”

    After this weird activity her soft fingers were released from mine and she ran to her friend.

    ‘That was fun wasn’t it?’ She exclaimed.

    This was the first time someone alien to my social circles touched me. Physically. I have never had this feeling before. This was weird. But the inner me grew a sense of liking towards her.

    After a couple more activities we, our group, we’re sat in a room. Another paired activity ensued. A guy, which is one of the hosts of the whole thing picks on R and asked the rest of the group who’s going with her.

    There was a three-second pause.
    I couldn’t help it.
    I had to.

    “Why not? I’ll go.” I murmured as another stood up with me

    Immediately the other guy urged me to go
    “It’s fine it’s fine…. Go ahead”

    I, out of embarrassment returned the favour. This hurdling went on for another socially infinite five seconds until I said ‘fine.’

    I was exhilarated.

    I got her phone number after that and quite quickly I began the usual stalking of Facebook and Instagram.

    She was popular.
    She is talented.
    ‘She ticks my boxes’ that was my rationale.

    We started texting and sending voice messages through Whatsapp.

    I would listen to her recordings every night. Relishing the rhythms of her laughs. Savouring the cadences of her shy errs.

    I wanted her.

    It was the 24th of October 2013 that night. And i would never forget.
    The night her hand touched mine, the night I heard her laugh the first time. The night that I had someone completely out of the loop visit my reality.

    After a week I had to go back to England. (Yes, slightly, I am from Hong Kong as well.)

    She started to not respond to my texts.
    I felt our seemingly patonic bond fade.

    It wasn’t until the week before I return to HK in Christmas did I act up the courage to chat her up again.

    Fast forward two weeks.

    My first meeting with her.

    She looked different, only slightly, her acne emerged from the myriad filters of Instagram, her slightly squared jaw revealed by her schoolday hair. She was in her uniform.

    We had a brief Vietnamese lunch which I quite gladly paid for and departed on opposite directions on the same road.

    There was a bit of drama there but that’s a story for another time.

    We started chatting again, this time round she sounded much more active.

    She invited me to a ball that her society hosts.

    She was given the task of rallying people to go but she hasn’t quite got enough.

    Maybe that’s why she’s so active with me. She chats with me just to fill her quotas. I had this realisation but I didn’t care, I wanted to talk to her, I wanted to peruse her.

    At the night of the ball she welcomed me rather warmly and the dialogue between us was nothing more than an ostentatious greet.

    Easter comes round quickly.

    /gosh I’ve typed quite a bit, I guess i have found refuge on the internet here/


    1. Hey! Well, it’s great that you have talked to each other again, though by the looks of it it may be quite as awkward as my situation with Jim. Even though people tell me that I should “let go” of certain things (and that was not a Frozen reference), I still feel like the urge to pursue or just to talk to somebody can be justified even if there’s this obvious notion that it won’t “work out.” As for Jim and I, there’s still nothing. I’m used to this silence, and it’s now more comforting than a year ago. But I haven’t completely let go of the hope that one day, we might talk again. Who knows.

      And sure, take refuge here anytime haha. Also, I haven’t been very active on this blog because I’ve been starting up a new one for my college experiences (will be revealed sooner or later…when I figure out the direction because of my unhealthy dose of Writer’s block). But don’t worry, I haven’t quit on life. Just needed a break and also need a new start.

      (Oh, you’re from Hong Kong too? Makes me more curious now…)

    2. Update on the new blog thing I was talking about, it’s actually kinda active but I just don’t update frequently (I only have two posts at the moment) so if you want to check that out (I will be updating that one now) see the tab “Eighteen” in the menu above :) Yup, casual advertising

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