He touched the back of my hand lightly as I sit next to him. I didn’t know and still don’t know what the gesture was for. All I could recall was the panic I felt when I felt his hand, the pumping of blood through my veins, the thumping beat of my heart and perhaps, the changing of color on my face.
He smiled as he puts his hand on his lap then started talking. Trying to master the language I’ve learned since childhood. I’ve never seen him so comfortable in talking to me. I’ve seen a never before seen sparkle in his eyes despite of the sadness in his voice as he speak about our soon to be separation.
Friendship was all it is. At least, that’s what we’ve agreed on. I couldn’t muster any courage to tell him the truth about how I feel. Of my worries that he might soon forget about me. Of my sadness to be apart from him.
His courage. My cowardice.
I’ve told myself that never will I let my heart speak again despite of what it feels and that was exactly the whole point of my silence. I’ve nod in both agreement and disagreement to the things he’d say. I throw away questions but never answered directly to his. “Are you going to miss me?” He asked curiously. “Are you?” I fired back.
The whole time we sat there, sipping coffee, trying on small talks, failing on serious topics. And finally, he decided that we walk around the mall and I felt relief.
We walked side by side, laughing at some jokes he’d probably practiced for days. Talking about the best souvenirs he should get for his family and the girlfriend whom he rarely mentions. His hand brushing mine. I, ignoring it. Holding my heart really tight just so the juices won’t spill out. Taking escalators made it all worse. Putting his hands on my back to guide me as I climbed the moving staircase had weakened my knees. Glad, I didn’t lose my balance. I kept the conversation going despite of the awkward feeling.
We said our goodbye’s; me without blinking and him looking on the ground. No handshake. No hug. Nothing. “Goodbye” and that was it. I stood there with a heavy heart as his cab drive away. Thinking about it now, I wonder what if I’ve told him I’m going to miss him every day? What if I held his hand the third time it brushed mine? What if I’ve hugged him and said “see you again” instead of goodbye? Will it make any difference? Will there be any silly conversations online now?
Sometimes I wish I could have done something more than just giving him a scarf to make him feel special. I wish I could have let my heart took over my head. I wish my regrets now are not like this. I could probably be more at peace if I have told him I was falling for him. But it’s too late now for regrets. Friends. That’s what we are now. Aren’t we?