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.