I remember books. Not the ones you were partial of, but you read them anyway. I told you it looked confusing after skimming it for a minute, and you wanted to borrow it while I finish this homo-cross-dressing-stripper-angel thingy that I was already engrossed in. I remember the way you read it— eyes focused, nose scrunched up, hair curling at your ears and your mouth twitching, brows furrowed in confusion. You said it made no sense, and asked me to retell the story sans all the illegible poetry and deadpan excuse of lack of structure.
Your attention was daunting. Never got used to it (probably never will). But I can’t shake off the moment that you were looking at me, actually listening to the words overflowing from my mouth. Every syllable followed by a small nod, and you smiled at the confusion. Exasperated, frustrated, but not fueled by anger.
You flipped to the last page and cursed under your breathe, warning me of a potential mindfuck ending. It was amusing.
I remember plot twist. I wasn’t there when you read it, but I could imagine the look on your face when it did. I remember the way you tried to reenact that surprise— tried to look disturbed but something rang artificial when you did it. I tried fishing out some honesty and it was subtle but you said it and i was glad. We didn’t agree on the same counterpart for the protagonist, but we did agree to disagree on the current one. That was enough for me.
I remember 10 minutes before your class and I was sipping off ice-blended latte, talking about a secret that was unfit of the situation but I told you anyway. I remember you being terrified of an upcoming presentation and I told you to look at people’s hair rather than their eyes. People at the front will think you’re looking at the back, people at the back will think you’re looking at the front, and the lecturer will think you succeeded in communicating with the audience. You laughed back then, a hint of relief in the shallow chuckle, and the long breathe you drew in showed that you were less nervous than when you answered the door.
There was a sting of caffeine on my tongue, melded with the taste of victory.
I faintly remember a laugh, and how I wanted it to never end. I almost wished I could loop it and listen with such clarity how this moment happened before. A moment where you sort of in a very subtle manner showed your appreciation towards my presence, that you albeit briefly kind of actually liked me being there.
But all of a sudden your eyes changed. They weren’t crescent of joy like before, they were more slanted, more broken, sad in a sense, but what stood out was that it was a bit too…jilted.
I don’t remember what went wrong. But I’m horrendously devastated that it did.