letter 14: butterflies

Miguel,

I found out our weakness and I am not happy about it. You see, if I have not learned about it, I would not have used it against us and everything would have not lift up a notch.

We so love our conversations, don’t we? It does not matter if I am beginning to sound dumber and dumber and you are starting to sound cockier and cockier. We love our conversations that it does not matter if the food was awful or the rest of the company is intolerable. It does not even matter if it was early in the morning or during the highest position of the sun, or rainy days.

Us together, talking, Miguel, is our weakness. Everything that we had is sensual more than carnal. We love the comfort in our voices as we listen to each other; the security we felt that the other listens as we speak. When we talk, time becomes infinity.

I know you know what I meant. You have been there with me, and though, I have serious doubts on your ability to generate short term memories, I know this is one event you would remember.

I was stuck at the office on a Friday night, for some valid reason, the bus I am supposed to be in left without me. You saw me there sitting on the parking lot kicking the dust I cannot see and ignoring the half-finished soda. Sometimes, I fancy that God willed bad events like this so we can communicate some more. And I am not complaining, Miguel, I love Him for that. If this was the only way I can get quality time with you then let the buses leave me everyday.

“Ahhhh, starless night.” You commented, looking up on the sky. “And as glum as your face.”

“You would be if you were in my place.”

You rumpled my hair, a gesture that has becoming a habit for you. “But I am not, am I? So let us make fun of your situation and have some laughs.”

“Asshole.”

“Motherfucker.”

“I cannot be. The last time I checked, my preference is males.” I retorted and punched you playfully. “So, shall we go along with our lists?”

“Yes, so spill your dirty little secrets with me, come on.”

I opened the half filled soda and asked you, “So, what are you, Miguel? You are no doubt a very adorable guy. And then as I get to know you better, you became an amazing guy. And then a really amazing guy—“

Of which you cut me, “Shut the fuck up. I am not!”

“Let me finish, mister. And then you became so amazing you are surreal already. And then you start behaving like an asshole.”

“Fuck you…” You have become my audio resource for profanity, and though my parents would have not approved of it, they have become music to my ears, Miguel.

“Seriously,” I turned to look at you, “that is how I see you and please do not contradict how I see you because that is just pointless. You could explain yourself however.”

And explained you did, Miguel. You told me all about them; and how you had always keep your emotional distance whenever you are in a relationship. It is not even about having a traumatic past, you said. You are just not ready to open up to them, and that you are not comfortable doing so. You have always been private.

I look at you and wonder if the reason you are telling me all these things and making me feel all these things is because you feel safe with me. And if indeed you are, is that sense of security triggered by the fact that this is a platonic relationship for you? I do not know that night, Miguel, and I do not want to ask. It has been always easy with the rest of them; they look at me and I know the whole story already. And as I search for that same element on your face, a different truth is flashing before my eyes. I fancy that this is not platonic for you, and that is the truth I saw. Yet, I am not really sure if it is the truth; the battle within me is blinding me from seeing rightly, and I do not want to misread you. No, not anymore.

“I always believe,” you spoke up the words so clearly. “That you have to have these butterflies in the stomach, you know. I find it necessary. “

“Oh my God, you are one fucked up romantic.” I groaned.

“I am shocked that you do not believe it is a necessity.”

“The butterflies in the stomach? You mean, the imaginary butterflies fluttering inside my stomach?” I kidded you, pretending that I do not know what you meant. But I do know, Miguel, for I was having it that particular moment. “Well, honestly? I find it very cute. It is a very romantic thing to have butterflies there, but it is temporary, you know. I will have them and sooner or later they will disappear. If it is necessary, then you wouldn’t really get far.”

You shook your head and I ached because I am seeing and feeling butterflies, Miguel, but I cannot let you know. Because I am scared. “For me, it is important. I cannot get into a relationship with a girl without it. I mean, it would be unfair to her.” You paused as if remembering something. “I used to date a girl. I like her a lot but you know how it is, you can like a girl very much but can not love her as much. And I was giving us a chance, but after three weeks we just separated. I just have to be honest with her. I was not in love. I would just be fooling both of us if I pretended I was because I like her a lot.”

“After three weeks?” I repeated, asking you. I almost forgot we grew up in a culture so different from each other that sometimes, it still caught me off guard.

I watched you nodded, Miguel. “Yes, three weeks. If it does not happen in three weeks, it is never gonna happen at all.”

And as we were sitting there, waiting for the next bus to arrive so I can go home, I thought about what you said. Butterflies in the stomach. I have them for you, Miguel. They have been fluttering inside for eternity. In fact, they must have probably died a number of times and resurrected themselves and starts fluttering again.

You do not love me. It didn’t happen the first time we laid our eyes on each other. It didn’t happen the first time we talk. It didn’t happen in the number of times that followed it. The three weeks is over, Miguel. Where the hell are we going?

Why the hell are we still both here?

author’s note: It was a painful realization for her, and although she has been used to horrible realizations, nobody prepared her for that. It is one thing that the object of one’s affection cannot understand the lover’s position. It is another thing that the former thinks a lot like the latter, but does not feel the same and thus cannot reciprocate. She expected something like this, but it was an entirely different scenario when things started realizing. I looked at Miguel and wondered about the same thoughts she was thinking. I have been observing them long before this whole madness started, and this is the first time I wasn’t sure if I understood what I am seeing. Something was not making sense. And as I shifted my gaze on her, I began to pity her. She is not seeing it. If there was someone who will ruin her, it will not be Miguel. It will be how she sees him, what she thinks of him; and at that given point, there is a good probability, she was misreading him.

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