~3 October 2000~
Mr Roso, our physical sciences teacher, just went out of the class.
Sitting at the back right corner of the classroom, I was biting the pencil while watching some of the class's noisiest soccer players throwing paper balls at each others. Some of the girls are busy gossiping and others were drawing.
I was really bored, and so was she.
Out of the blue, I called her name softly.
"What?" she replied with an even softer murmur.
"You know what...there is someone in this class whom I like"
Her face suddenly brightened up. Ah, how lovely.
"What! Whoisit whoisit? Tell me tell me!" she exclaimed.
"Okay T... Sorry... So..who is it? Who's that girl?"
Why on earth did I have to start this conversation in the first place. My heart was throbbing loudly, I hoped she couldn't hear it.
I tried to look for an excuse to end the conversation.
"Ermm... But I don't want her to know..." I said nervously, biting my lips.
"Ah don't worry... I can keep a secret, you can trust me Toshi!" she smiled.
That smile again.
I glanced away from her. By now my whole body must have had reddened from the blush on my face streaming down from the veins on my cheeks to my limbs and entire torso. I just hoped she didn't notice it.
"Hmm? You don't trust me?"
"No, it's not that I don't trust you, it's just that...erm.."
"So tell me then" she showed a pout. She seemed to be getting a bit upset.
The entire class was getting louder and rowdier as the clock ticked on. Seemed that it was only me and her who was having this small, quiet conversation in the back.
"Please, not now?" I asked her in earnest.
"When? Tell me now, otherwise I won't talk to you anymore today"
Then the classroom door opened. Mr Phillip, the Indonesian language teacher entered the classroom, bringing a sudden quiet to the whole class.
The class stood up, dictating the obligatory "Selamat siang Pak Guru".
After we sat, she said crossly, "Okay, fine. You know the consequences"
"Hmm okay I tell you.."
I tried to look at her in the face, but I couldn't.
"The p-personn is you," I half-stammered.
Whether she was in awe or in shock, I couldn't tell. I couldn't even look her in the eye. All I could stare was her red skirt.
And it only made me feel much more embarrassed.
While Mr Phillip was making notes at the whiteboard, both of us fell silent. And we didn't talk for the next three minutes.
"So?" I asked.
My heart wasn't throbbing as loudly anymore, but I was anxious. Now that all is said out loud, I had to get the answer.
"Mmmm", she only mumbled.
"So..what's your answer?"
"Ah cmon Toshi, I'm paying attention to the lesson now. Can't we discuss this later?"
She was never a big fan of Indonesian language, hence I knew that she was lying. After a couple of minutes of scribbling the notes, I could finally gain the courage to steal a glance at her and see that she was deep in thought.
We didn't talk at all during the rest of the lesson. Even when recess time came, she simply left her seat quickly without saying a word.
When the day finally ended, I asked her, "Have you finally gotten the answer yet?"
"I'll think about it" was all she could say.
During the ride back home, I was preparing myself for two possible answers: Whether I'm gonna get a rejection.... or whether I'm gonna get a new girlfriend!
I was smiling and laughing by myself (thinking of the optimistic answer) the entire day that my schoolbuddies gave me strange glances, "What's wrong with you, Toshi?"
At around 15.00, my phone rang.
My housemaid picked it up.
"Toshi, it's Linda!" she exclaimed while knocking my bedroom door.
My entire house (including my Mom and my sis Melody) had already known it all along about my new crush, hence my maid's enthusiasm.
I gave her a murderous 'shut-up-and-don't-say-anything' look before I took the phone from her.
"T.." I heard her soothing voice from the other line.
I could vaguely hear her mom shouting out to her, "LINDAA!! Why are you on the phone? Have you cleaned up your room yet?"
"You have an answer yet?"
"What?" I gaped in disbelief.
"Yes, I accept", she said quickly, "Now if you excuse me now, my mom just called me"
Then she hung up before I could say another word.
I was still in a state of surprise when I walked back to my room. I couldn't believe it, I finally got myself a girlfriend!
But what about my pals at school? What if they talk about us? Ohmygod Ohmygod getting a girlfriend is such a shameful thing!!
She and I were only at the 6th grade that time, hence my deep embarrassment.
But finally, I've confessed and she accepted!
Smiling proudly to myself, I went to sleep well that night.
~4 October 2000~
The next morning, I woke up feeling kinda embarrassed. And my heart was beating loudly because I was about to meet her again.
But the truth finally dawned upon me.
Eliane, one of her closest confidantes, was the first classmate who told me, "You confessed to Linda? Ah too bad she rejected you...I feel sorry for you!"
"What do you mean?"
She must have been joking.
"She refused you, don't you know?"
"But...but..." I was in an utter state of confusion.
"Oh well..that means she hasn't told you yet, hmm?"
When I finally met Linda again, I asked her what did Eliane meant.
"Sorry T.. My mom was rushing me to hang up phone last afternoon... But I'm sorry, I didn't mean to give you the wrong impression though", she sighed, feeling sorry for me, "But I don't take it"
"What do you mean by 'not taking it'?"
"I don't accept you"
Then the world fell silent. It seemed as if there was nothing mattered anymore.
Now I only needed to know the reason.
"Because I don't want to", she finally told me later on during the day.
"Why? Why not?"
"Because I have a reason", she said sternly.
"Nope. Maybe next time"
I had no courage even to say that "was I too ugly for you?"
However, I seemed to know what the reason was. It was too obvious, right in front of my own eyes... I could see it.
~One day in year 2008~
We were having some snacks in a cafe while waiting for the movie in Bintaro Plaza cinema.
This was the first time I ever met her after seven years of not meeting each other.
There were a lot for us to catch up on, and we were gossiping about some of our former classmates who had become a movie star, or those who had moved to other countries, or which ones had had sex with whom.
In between, she was having her second cigarette while I was toying with her cellphone.
"T", she said, "Remember 6th grade?"
"There was this boy who liked mee...." she grinned.
"Hahaha dammit. You still remember, hmm?"
"Hehe yep. Well sorry about that time, because you were too quiet of a boy! If only you could talk a lot more!"
"Like Richard," I stated, "Richard was the boy you liked that time, right?"
"Hey how on earth do you know?" she seemed confused.
"Well", I shrugged, "I simply knew"
"Good instincts", I laughed, while taking a sip at her glass of lemon tea.
~3 October 2000~