I was asked to write something for an online magazine regarding any "Aftermath" story in my life. The premise was to start with the aftermath, then proceed to explain what actually happened. Here's what I came up with. 100% truefax.
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14 years old and at the brink of being truly validated as an adolescent, I was kneeling in front of my wooden trunk with a heavily stapled envelope in hand. Inside it was a print out of a Yahoo Messenger chat log. Between myself and my then high school crush.
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My whole life, I grew up in an exclusive Catholic school for girls. Yup - uniforms, sock length rules, lesbian phases, and all that jazz. After the rush of getting our period, the "class interaction" was one other much-awaited milestone in our secondary education.
The "interaction" was a tension-filled whole day affair that involved mingling with a class of boys from another exclusive school. Having been surrounded by girls our whole lives (outside of the occasional manong guards and school aides), the prospect of the opposite sex sent us all in a delirious frenzy.
The fated day finally came, and a crowd in the common bathroom was a telltale sign that we wanted to look our best. As the boys walked into our auditorium one by one, we girls slowly judged each individual based on physical attractiveness.
We were all partnered up by class numbers, and things unfolded as scheduled. We mingled, ate baked macaroni from a styrofoam box, exchanged our class tokens, and we all walked away, both boy and girl with a prized piece of paper at hand. Class directories. The holy grail of cellphone numbers and YM addresses.
A month after interaction, our class still cannot stop talking about boys. A classmate has even carved a cellphone shaped niche out of our mythology book, just so she could text her crush during class hours. Things got friendly over Yahoo Messenger, as the boys initiated nightly group chats with us girls who were mostly game to participate. Suddenly, we were rushing home from school to get to our computers. All of us watching with hawk-eye precision for the moment when our individual objects of affection would go online.
I developed a notable friendship with this one boy from that class whom I never noticed before. He wasn't particularly good-looking, but our witty online banter could rival anyone else's. Late night chats and a barrage of text messages led to subtle hinting on our childish, mutual interest for each other.
One night, we were having a hilarious exchange over something I now forget. I said something he found “real charming”, which resulted to him flooding our chat box with the words "CUTE" in all caps, sent 46 times to get the point across.
Having ZERO experience with a boy returning even the vaguest hint of interest, I was ELATED. Reading those words over and over made my head spin & all the blood rush to my cheeks. "CUTE" never sounded so happy, right, and wonderful. I immediately ran to the couch, buried my face in the pillows, and kicked the air like I was having convulsions.
I printed out the conversation to immortalize the unexplainable feeling of kilig that came over me at fourteen. But in paranoia and fear of being discovered, I heavily stapled it inside an envelope & shoved it in my secret trunk - defeating the purpose.
L O L.