That was until I hit puberty. It was at the dawn of my pubescent years that I noticed that things were becoming different. I know that he also noticed it, just that he would not remember precisely the time. Everything just changed from there onwards. I began being a bit more conscious of how I looked around him, meaning I could no longer sprint to him the minute he called out my name. I hung around him much less and he slowly stop coming by our gate. One day, I saw him pass by my place, shrug and pass with his head down. By the time junior high came, we were almost complete strangers.

It was finally in junior high that I decided to not bother you no more because you were reaching your adolescent phase, growing taller and much cooler and any hope I had of being friends with you were eradicated by my love for reading novels by the bench in front of the laboratories as I was automatically put into the ‘nerd’ section of the students. His popularity grew the taller he grew and that was not helped at him being the school’s basketball star, meaning that at each girl I had to watch every girl literally drool over his attention. It was not even jealousy, it was just a mere observation. He was the prettiest boy in school, according to the girls I hung out with. His long hair, which seemed to be in a different style each day, the pretty brown eyes which lit up his face and his Colgate smile which looked like a thousand light bulbs, if light bulbs had a pretty face on them and were called Jack.

The girls I hung out with never even knew that we had a past, as I had never thought of mentioning it, even the time you greeted me specifically when I was with them. They always thought it was just because we lived in the same street. It’s not like I did not tell them out of being embarrassed of you, but more of a disappointment in myself for messing such a good friendship up.

– – –

“Well Jack, what tells you I have ghosted you or whatever you call it,” I said to him trying to deny anything he was about to say. I had been in so many awkward situations that I was good at being tactful with dealing and avoiding situations where I did not want to answer. I watched him as he took a sip of his drink while he maintained his eye contact with me. ‘Damn! They were right.’ I thought to myself. All the novels I had previously read talked about the power of a guy looking into your eyes, how much it could bring even the strongest to their knees and I now saw what they meant. I took a piece of my hair and tucked it behind my ear, blushed a bit and took a sip of my drink in order to drown the moment we were having.

Just as he raised his face to speak to me, his basketball team member walked in, disturbing the only moment of peace we had had together in the last few years. Just as I thought the moment was forever gone, he said, “Can’t you see that I am busy here? Don’t you have any respectful for this beautiful girl I am talking to?” My whole body froze. ‘Was he talking about me?’ Before I could compose myself, the shot went off from nowhere. I looked at him…

[To be continued]

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