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Notion Press Singapore Short Story Contest 2017

Puppy Love?

By Joie Yin in Romance

It is funny to think of how people would define the word 'love' in their own ways. Some said 'love is blind', some defined it as an affection towards something or someone, yada yada. For me, I can say that I cannot define love with words. It takes time to know what love is exactly. Once it hurts, it will also take time to heal.

It reminds me of this experience I have had.

I knew this friend of mine since we were both very, very young. We share the same age, hence making us the best partner in almost everything we did. We shared same interests; went everywhere together - fishing, cycling or even just taking a walk. Just the two of us, in our very own sweet world.

Then we started to grow older. Back then we met each other twice a year, during Chinese New Year and the end year school holidays. He stayed in my hometown. I still remember every time when we asked permission to go somewhere else together, my aunt would tease us, saying that we were a couple. One could not be complete without another; anywhere or everywhere we went. At first it was just a laughing matter, but later it changed. I could have seen it coming, and I could have just stopped it from getting further. But I did not.

As we both grew older, we spent more time together. During the school holiday that year, I realized I began to have this strange feeling towards him; and it grew stronger every time I see him or talk to him. I kept thinking of it each night before I went to bed, and came out with a conclusion - damn it. This could not be. Was I really... in love?

I knew that the feeling was not right, yet I could not help it when I saw him. When he laughed. Oh my, it was his killer laugh. The little moments we shared melted my heart slowly, and the feeling grew stronger day by day. One of the nights, I was thinking. I did not have much time left until I had to leave to go home again. I asked myself; "What should I do? Should I confess my feelings? Will he accept me? Is this right?".

There were couple of days left for me to return home to start schooling again. We played together for a while that day, then he joined his elder brother along with his friends; he had started to widen his friendship circle it seemed. That year he went out with them quite frequent. I had no idea what they did, or brought him into. I did not care much; I walked in a circle thinking of how to confront him and to tell him how I felt about us, at the same time thinking I should not go for it. Fine - I had my decision made. I would have a letter written to confess my feelings and had his sister pass it to him. Then I would get an answer; whether it was going to be a positive or negative.

Finally it was time to leave. My parents and siblings were waiting in the car, bags all packed. "Where did he go?", I wondered. He would have usually showed up before we leave to bid us farewell. That year was different. I felt as if I was missing something as we left. On the journey back, I thought to myself; "Has he read the letter yet? What would his answer be?".

It had been weeks after I started going to shcool again, yet I did not get my answer I had been anticipating for. I started questioning myself. Did he really receive the letter, or his sister did not pass it to him? My mind was puzzled with thousand and one questions. One particular night, my sister and I were waiting to witness a comet passing by the starry skies, If we were lucky enough, they would be comets. While waiting, we had a chat. I asked if she thought that I would be able to have a future with him. She told me it depends on fate and destiny. I thought if I saw a comet, I would make a prayer for us. Indeed, we were lucky to witness two comets that night, and so I had my wish made upon them.

One day, his elder sister called. She explained to me in a very nice way, to let him go. I knew it was the answer, but I asked her what had happened. According to her, she gave the letter to him long ago. He took it, but when she told him my heartfelt, he refused to believe. He could have been able to guess what was in the letter, so he discarded it without reading a word. The moment I heard he threw it away, my heart stopped pounding for a second. I started to cry, thinking how sad it was to be rejected by someone so close. Someone who used to care so much for me. But I guess he did the right thing. People used to say close friends does not guarantee a good lover. The two are a complete different issue.

A year later, I heard of him having a girlfriend. I felt truly happy and lucky that this happened. The experience taught me to be stronger and to think maturely. Since the incident happened, we had not spoken to each other again. Every year he would avoid seeing me and rather spent his time with his bunch of new friends. I could see that he is enjoying his life, so I should enjoy mine too.

I would not consider this as the definition of love, as what I have mentioned. But if it went a little further, it might have been one. It was a story on a piece of paper that was torn by itself. Because it should not have happened in the first place and fate decided so too.

I think there is a reason for every single thing that has happened to me in my life. The same goes to why am I being sent to this world. Maybe God wants me to do something for myself in this lifetime. Maybe I should enjoy life by giving more to the community. Go somewhere new, and along the way finding my true self and contentment. Happiness is when we learn to embrace imperfect life in its own beauty.

Copyright Joie Yin
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