Friday, January 29, 2010

Anata wa Hitori Ja Nai

She skipped class again. Stupid Japanese phrase book.

"She's really into those things, weird huh?"

"Yeah, really weird, and good riddance."

You can't really blame the girls from our class. I would go as far as saying "I thought so too." if it weren't so painful.

Staring at her empty seat felt like an accusation. How could I have known? Nobody would have predicted this would happen. Who knows what's cooking in that crazy brain of hers. For all I know, she's reading her mangas or watching her animes at home or something, completely absorbed at a new series to even remember attending classes. I mean, this wasn't really the first time this has happened!

I remember during our freshmen year in High School, she allegedly skipped exams just to watch the premiere of the new B-rate anime movie. Luckily she got a make-up exam from the Subject Coordinator, feigning sickness as an excuse, or so the rumors say. Incidentally, I was sick the day of the exams too so I had to also obtain a make-up exam, but not without a lot of tribulations and pain. She however, seemed to have obtained hers quite easily. They said she seduced the Subject Coordinator, with stories ranging from innocent flirtations to outright vulgarity. Doesn't help that the following year, the Coordinator got fired from cases of perversion.

After the exam, she approached me (which freaked me out, honestly) and began to introduce herself. I couldn't really remember what she told me, other than the introduction sounding like an odd cross between a formal presidential speech and random otaku ramblings. Quite bizarre if you ask me.

Call me crazy though, but the awkward conversation that followed sparked something inside me. It wasn't like a huge wildfire that consumed me in passion, love and lust or anything of that sort (I didn't want to get kicked out of school for cases of perversion); but the desire to make the spark brighter was there. Part of me though, sought to extinguish the spark; didn't want to have anything to do with her sort. I thought maybe befriending her was the right way to go; perhaps friendship will douse this weird spark of whatever.

Strangely enough, she never talked to me ever again. After that shy, awkward and odd introduction, the only time I ever heard from her was when she raised her hand to recite in class. I never happened to be in the same group as her in group activities, partly due to the fact that she always ends up sitting beside me in class (thus screwing the chances that we end up in the same group via a count-off), so I didn't get to hear from her in those activities either. And did I say I always end up sitting beside her for some reason? Might as well sit beside the wall; they offer the same amount of interaction and the same amount of noise.

So the spark really never got doused. In fact, it continued to glow, like a cigarette butt at the point of being extinguished, but extinguish it never did. I could say that the next months that followed were filled with anxiety, or perhaps just misplaced curiosity. She was quite pretty after all, and by Second Year, I heard rumors that she's been going out. Unfortunately, the stories weren't as much about her as being about the poor sap who ended getting barraged by anime, manga and anything Japanese. If she could go out with Japanese culture itself, she would; so the rumors told.

Every three months, the teacher would ask us to rearrange our seating positions, and by the middle of Second Year, the time of reckoning had come once again. Who will I be seating beside with this time? While hoping to be seated at least one seat apart from any one of my friends (didn't have very many, I say around three, five maximum), part of me was already expecting to be seated beside her again. This is not to say I like seating beside her. Who likes sitting beside a wall of otakuness anyway? Not me.

Or so I thought. They say, be careful what you wish for or something along that vein. Well, I did get what I wished for, and ended up sitting not beside my three-maximum-of-five friends, no! I just happened to be placed in the seat beside the cutest girl in class. A stereotype exists for these kinds of ladies, but I suppose stereotypes are okay if they come with a cute face and a demure personality.

Alas, no more than a week after, I already miss Miss Brick Wall. I think I now know what soldiers in the battlefield must have felt. Miss Cute and Demure turned out to be, you guessed it, Miss Bitchy Noisypants. As if the use of stereotypes wasn't enough! Never had I gotten the chance to talk to her, but unlike Miss Japan, never did she stop talking. She just kept chatting and chatting with her other girl friends, and it would go on and on. You'd think at one point they'd snap their vocal cords and go mute, but that never happened. Must be made of steel or something.

Plus, it felt like something was missing. Something I've grown accustomed to, and dare I say, comfortable with. While nary a word was spoken, I strangely longed for her presence. She wasn't so very far from where I seated, but it felt like she was miles away. Call me a crazy, but I think you already called me that.

It was February of next year that I finally came to. For months I've been debating with myself, holding open forums with me, me and me as my audience and panel. You'd think after that long a time, and another seating arrangement change, I'd forget about her. I suppose the spark was just being too insistent. I just might as well give it a shot, I thought.

While I still couldn't decide how I truly felt, I thought maybe something that tickled her fancy would get her talking. Maybe a bear plushie with a flower and a note, or maybe just the flower and a note, or skip all the romantic mushy stuff altogether and just give her a note. Besides, at least if I had mistaken about all this, she wouldn't hate me right? I mean, it will just be a note!

I did a quick phrase book search of the Japanese translations of some common words and expressions. Aishiteru, daisuke des... What? No! Not that! Something a little more ambiguous, something that would be least likely to be misinterpreted.

Hitori. Alone

Ja nai. Negation. Not.

Anata. You.

Anata wa hitori ja nai. You are not alone.

Perfect. It's too ambiguous to mean anything else, just like how I feel about her.

The next part is getting the note to her. That's when I realized just how flawed my plan was. A note? Perfect! An ambiguous Japanese phrase? Twenty over twenty! Giving the note to her? Uh... If I give it to her personally, the world could explode right there and then (at least it will that way). If I just leave it on her desk, people might see; and you know what they say about rumors. Maybe I'd do it after class? While it's a risky proposition, as janitors might throw it away, it's the least dangerous of my options, and besides, that must mean it wasn't meant to be or something like that in the first place.

The following day, I got so sick in the stomach, I didn't bother going to school. Psychological? Who knows really. The following day, she didn't come to class. Not the following day either. In fact, a week had passed and she hadn't come to class at all. Which brings us to today, and my incredibly lengthy lamentation.

The ring of the school bell filled the halls as the last period teacher dismissed the class. After saying the dismissal prayers, I headed immediately out the classroom door. While the thought of her still bothered me a little, the volume of the day's homework was surprisingly off the chart, and so I almost forgot about her for a moment.

Apparently not enough to make me completely forget.

As I made my way out the school and through the streets that led to my little house, something made me remember. Something warm and wrapped tightly around me.

I stood still, completely taken off guard.

Completely taken.

I never really got to finish my homework that night. After all, we had almost two years of catching up to do.



love you

dearest I love you


And till I can my frail heart will

always be for you