The Laughter Last Summer

by Christie Lai Chungz Chie

He never was the interrogative type. He doesn’t bother asking anyone about anything except maybe if he has absolutely nothing else to say. He’d just walk pass you and make you wonder with that sense of gloom about how he’s so good at not being noticeably charming but sustains being fairly attractive. His long dark hair would hang just above his shoulder that slouches almost all the time and that earring would just glitter like sand on the shore just before it gets swept away by the summer tide. He’d scratch his cheek, back down to his nape and on top of his head as he remembers he hasn’t taken a bath for days. We’d just laugh hysterically about it. I used to look at his eyes like a happy mother would look at her son getting married to the girl of his dreams.

I would cry if I could freeze the moment. I remember how it used to make me feel so thankful just by looking at his clumsy composure. I’d squint my eyes to try and look closer to the windows of his very soul and look away and pretend I was about to say something when he starts noticing the deafening silence I was creating embarrassingly.

We’d spend a whole afternoon just sitting in front of his dusty electric fan and strum his old guitar. Sometimes, I would grab it in the middle of his dramatic lead solos from one of our favorite songs and I’d clumsily strum my own rhythm. Being such an egotistic guitarist himself, he would doubt the accuracy of my chords naturally. He’d shake his head and grabs back the guitar and demonstrates how he thinks it should be played. We then, both end up arguing about the right string to be plucked. I usually do that just to piss him off and then kick his knees. Nevertheless, the electric fan that hasn’t been cleaned since his college days in the early 2000 goes on turning and giving off hot, dusty air just as the songs keep coming. I’d mumble a few lines, close my eyes, and lift my head up in the air to savor the sacredness of merely listening to the music we both adore.

His silent laughter always echoes in my mind. There’s not a day that goes by that doesn’t make me long to touch his face again and brush his hair back when it gets in his eyes. I vividly remember how he wouldn’t mind me tying my tiny, blue hair clip to his hair and make it look prettier on his head than on mine.

I guess I’ll always miss him this way. I think there’s no way he’s getting out of my thoughts. He could be with all the girls he wants to be with right now, having all the temporary and artificial fun he knows won’t last while I stay in my little world teaching myself to appreciate seeing other people and pretend it’s either for the greater good or the lesser evil.

The only two things I highly regret not doing when he was around me are: 1) Not holding his hand when I had to and 2) Not kissing him when I seriously wanted to.

Sometimes, I just can’t avoid being the undisputed “queen of all insecurities”. It was either I was too shy to let him know how deeply I felt or I just wanted to wait on him to think of that brilliant idea and make the first move. Everything always seemed mixed up in my head every time I was near him like I’m afraid he might think I’m excessively daring and that I’m totally so into him or something. I was afraid he might think he’s my world and all which he most certainly is. I was too damn insecure to show him I’m head over feet!

I don’t know. I don’t know how it all ran on my brain! From worrying I’m being overly romantic to forgetting how to become a simply nice and naive girlfriend, I was caught between paying attention to the situation right in front of me and losing my breath. No doubt, losing my breath could’ve been easier, quicker and less violent but for some odd reason, I chose not to. Instead, I paid him my unromantic and undivided attention, watched and helplessly listened to him play “If”.

I used to just stare at him when all I really wanted to do was lock my arms around his shoulders and smell his hair and tell him it smells like yesterday because I know it would make him smile.
I used to just look at him biting his lip, playing video games with all his heart when all I really wanted to do was hold his hand and tell him his tattoo lacks something.

I held back almost everything I wanted to do and say because I thought it could buy us some time to know each other better when the perfect time comes…but it never did. That time never came. I didn’t even tell him about the song I wrote when we first met and how creepy it sounds. I didn’t even tell him I can never love anybody else which makes me feel absolutely pathetic.
Instead, I let him slip away like the breeze on the hills where we used to watch the sea and sky meet at the horizon. I think to myself that if only he could see how hard I tried to keep us together against all our imperfections and beyond my most ridiculous, self-invented war inside my head that seemed relentlessly disturbing, I wouldn’t be here right now. I wouldn’t be too busy licking my wounds, patching these holes and making up for whatever I missed in life. I could probably be out there doing things differently, unimaginably. I can’t tell what or where I’d be if we kept the fight on, if I didn’t let us go.

It was the summer of my life, unquestionably. Like all seasons and like everyone says, they eventually come and go. But why do I get the feeling this one is staying? Why am I getting the same electric feeling up in my spine every time I think of last year? Maybe because he’s the only person who made me feel I did something good for myself without being told to.

Another summer has come and the same sound of his laughter still lingers. Mindless of the raincloud I was warned about, I still miss him like he’s still mine.

3 comments

  1. Charlie · · Reply

    Grabe.. Ate chingkay. Nosebleed ko. hehe

  2. Nosebleed jud!!! Ahaha!

  3. Relationships do not last because physical attraction cannot be a part of a long lasting relationship. And of course physical attraction is one of the primary catalysts for the standard romantic…

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