It was a Wednesday night, exactly two days before the last, big final exam. The entire class was burned out, both from the two preceding final exams and the fact that the professor in the subject was a lawyer who, in easy words, was and remains to be a psycho genius.
Earlier that day, I was in the library, just as I had been for the previous ten days, studying intensely for the final exams. In my mind, I could think of no other topics than the Constitution, the local government, the powers of the Senate and the President, and so on.
At that point, I knew I wanted to be a lawyer, and I was willing to work my way through it. So I studied like I never did…until a text message came. You asked me what I had already studied and if I was with any of our blockmates. I told you I was studying alone, and you knew it was probably the best thing for me to do. The idea of studying alone—or being entirely alone, for that matter—was not a foreign concept at all. The blockmate who would study alone, who would not budge when asked about his love life, who was easily one of the class nerds and who probably didn’t know the concept of fun…that was what you thought of me, wasn’t it?
Still you came, with the full knowledge that I was alone and it would probably be awkward to hang out with me. Once there, you teased me about my obsession about grades, and we ate inside the library. For that moment, and all the other succeeding moments I was with you for the short span of time, I felt like a dirty rebel. A delicious feeling.
I decided to end my short-lived euphoria and told you I was going to study at home. I wasn’t. I was going to some coffee shop, where I can study away from you—you, a misplaced distraction that should not have been there in the first place. It was raining hard, I didn’t have an umbrella, but I was prepared to take the jeepney ride home anyway. In my mind, the rain was a much more welcome obstruction than the idea of being in your dangerous company, where we ate in the library at the risk of being banned in my little paradise, the library. But you were ahead of this little game I created in my head. You asked me to get in the car, headed for a fast food chain quite near to my place. You made a subtle invitation of me studying with you, but when we got there, I told you I needed to get home. You casually told me that I should’ve said so and that you could’ve driven me home instead.
I did go home. But I decided to go back, not because I was starting to get addicted to your company but because I needed to feed myself.
And there in the fast food chain, without your consent, I started to fabricate our story. In fairness to me, we did talk. You opened up about how law school insulted your intellect and how you used to get by in college without studying at all—it’s a personal story we all share, but hearing it from you was a refreshing welcome. I was, of course, being biased. You talked about how indecent proposals were made to you by old men. Your family, who all graduated from the same institution and who were making names for themselves. Yourself, your inspiring and your ironically courageous dream of starting a farm and growing all sorts of, uhm, farm animals.
We laughed and made fun of our block mates. We talked about the future. On a Wednesday night. Two days before a crucial final exam. Just the two of us. We were rebelling against the single yardstick by which we are measured in law school: exams.
When it was time to go home and I was about to take my ride home, you asked me why I let won't you drive me home. It was a weirder invitation in the already weird wheel of events, but it was the perfect way to end what I imagined as a date between two law students. Two law students, who planned to study vigorously but ended up falling for each other.
And this is where that word comes in. Love.
You will never get to read this, for the simple reason that I can't ever let you. I have conveniently ruled out the remote possibility of having you, as a possession and a person I can call mine, in my life. It's a frustration I must live with, along with the frustration of not graduating with the highest honors or not making my parents proud back in my elementary graduation. That's how far I'll let you go--a frustration I can't just do all over again, alongside academic frustrations that I have shelved at the back of my mind.
I guess you are the first casualty of what I now consider to be a myth that is love. And me? I am the person who possibly, imaginatively loved you one night, two days before that last big final exam we'll all look back to in the future, once we are all lawyers.