Several weeks after the fair the boy received a very strange call. Now he wasn't used to receiving personal calls at all, most of the time he'd just be answering the phone and handing it off to his dashing brothers since they were always the center of attention in whatever coed (or non-coed for that matter) school they went to. This time around it was a different story, this call was actually for him. It was a call from Kate. He was obviously shocked as to how she got his number and the bigger shock came after, why would she call? They talked and talked and it turned into a daily, or should we say nightly habit. He enjoyed it, every minute of it. For once he had felt special, for once he had felt liked, for once he had felt needed and most importantly, for once he had felt wanted. He had been sleep deprived for several weeks since these conversations would happen at night until the break of dawn discretely hiding under a blanket so whenever his parents would check up on him in his room it'd seem like he was just asleep. They hadn't even seen each other since the fair, and he missed Kate so he summed up the courage to ask her out to a birthday party. Kate unfortunately wasn't able to go, but he still had fun with the copious amounts of alcohol in the party, though he still felt like something was missing. See the thing with him is that he could never really enjoy parties or being outside when his mind was hovering on someone. He would always want to be with that person, so whilst enjoying the alcohol in the party he'd be on the phone with her. Concern was exchanged throughout this conversation, mostly coming from Kate, things like "don't drink too much, I worry about you" or "maybe you should go home already, I wouldn't want you getting drunk" now most members of the male species would find this irritating, they'd find it controlling, constricting even. He on the other hand loved this, he loved being protected, he loved knowing that someone was out there watching out for him, he loved knowing that at the end of it all someone cared enough for him, and so he paid attention. He went home only to talk to her some more.
Now throughout this entire conversation he noticed that Kate was using a certain term a lot almost to the point of just inserting it into any conversation that they'd have. So he eventually asked her why this was so, and for the first time this is when it hit him. This is when his world was rocked upside down, this is when he realized what he was missing out on, this is when he literally felt butterflies in his stomach, he felt his heart pounding and he felt it deep in his chest. Kate uttered 3 simple words in a gentle whisper-like manner.. "I love you". Naturally he said it back and he felt right. He felt that all the years of childhood oppression that he had received from the school bullies had been nullified by these words. He felt wanted, he felt in place, he felt needed, he felt amazing, he felt love. For a while this feeling lingered on and everything was right in the world.
He absolutely loved being in love, it was a terrific feeling. Now in a span of a month and half they had only seen each other twice. They talked regularly but he wasn't really allowed to go out much. The first time they had met when they were officially together he had to wait for Kate for 2 hours only to spend 15 minutes with her. But he was alright with this, he had deemed that she was worth the wait. No kisses were exchanged, no holding of hands, no hugs even for he really didn't know how to go about initiating these kinds of things and neither did she. But this was more than enough, it was a big step considering that their entire relationship was solely based on telephone conversations.
The 2nd meeting was another monumental step in his life. It was the first time he ever got to hold a girl's hand. It was the kind of holding hands experience where he wouldn't even want to move because he was so afraid of letting her go and disappointing her, holding hands so fiercely that your palms would eventually get sweaty. It felt like the world had given him a pat on the back for doing so, and to make things even better right before they parted ways, he got his first hug. Now it wasn't the best of hugs because in his panic he had accidentally put his hand on her butt which was something Kate didn't notice but for him it was an error of terrible magnitude. He felt like he had grown up that day. That he stepped into the world of becoming a man. And the reigning thought on his head was that he was still loved. He still felt it. He treasured it.
A week passed by after the 2nd meeting and he was preparing himself for a pitfall of sorts because he had just found out that Kate was apparently going to Baguio for an entire week since this happened during summer vacation. An entire week without talking to Kate for hours on a telephone seemed like a daunting task. It seemed like it'd take all of his strength to not miss her and to not spiral into sadness. But they made do with what little time they had talking on a cellphone for about 5 minutes a day, sending the occasional text message and calling each other for seconds every now and then just to remind each other that they loved one another. A few more days and he'd get through this.
The day that she had returned from her summer vacation felt like Christmas for him. He had been waiting by the phone the entire night knowing that she would call any minute, eagerly anticipating the ringing of the phone. The phone rings and he picks it up. They start conversing about what she had done in Baguio and what she had gotten him. Kate had a bracelet with his name on it obviously intended as a gift and they enjoyed the conversation they had about what she experienced in Baguio and he enjoyed it mostly because she was back in his life. Later on that night he started realizing that something was different, that something was missing, that something was off. He had a feeling of what it was but he refused to see it, eventually he then asked her if there was something wrong and she replied with silence. He knew there was something wrong, she then opened up and with 5 words she let him feel the single most grueling feeling he had felt in the 16 years that he had lived on this earth "can we be friends instead?"
He had never gone through this before, he didn't know that it'd be this painful, he didn't know that this was possible. He never saw this coming. And worst of all he didn't know that he could do something about it, so ignorantly he answered back "if that's what you want, then okay". They then found it hard to tak about anything after that mind-blowing line and they both said their goodnights and said goodbye. He'd been devastated, in a span of a month and a half he had gone through a 180 degree spin. From feeling on top of the world, to being on the bottom of the barrel. He was crushed, he lay down on the couch and he turned on the radio. Turning on the radio wasn't exactly the best idea because the minute he turned it on South Border's hauntingly melancholic hit at that time "Kahit Kailan" was playing.. and then he wept.
Several days of trying to get in touch with Kate didn't turn out so well either, he had gotten no replies from her. A week after she had changed her number without even letting him know. He started to doubt if that really happened to him, and he started to wonder what he did wrong. He just didn't know what to think anymore and he had felt forgotten, neglected and unwanted. He just wanted to get over it, but this wasn't as simple as it sounds. Nothing ever really is.
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