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White flowers

Gee Cruz writes about the first person she openly admitted she was attracted with, her history teacher. She gave her white roses in front of the whole class, and “it was the most embarrassing event throughout my high school life.” And now, years later, she wonders what ever happened to this woman she liked?

I know I am supposed to write my overdue thesis draft, but I could not start even a single line. On my way home I suddenly remembered someone from more than 10 years ago.

The first time she entered the classroom she was wearing the peach uniform. I have always seen her around the campus, but never knew her name until she introduced herself that day. That year, she was the most beautiful woman in the campus. She walked with grace. Her hair was shoulder length and untied. After classes, I watched her walk around to see how the wind blew her hair. In fact, I would stay behind just to see her in the history remedial class. She would sit there for hours seemingly enjoying what she was doing.

One time she did not go to class. I waited for her the following day, but she headed to the next room upstairs. Day after day I watched her pass by the classroom she would normally enter. She may have been upgraded.

I ached so much. I longed for her presence. I wrote her a letter. After a day a red paper was handed to me. It was her reply. I sent her my thick slumbook for her to sign.

Then came January 1999. I ran to her and gave her a dozen white roses in front of the whole class. It was the most embarrassing event throughout my high school life. She accepted the flowers, but I knew I will be forever marked as the person who gave someone a bouquet of flowers. I spent high school hoping people would just forget.

Years passed and I still find myself thinking about her – how she is now, what she may be doing, where she is living, et cetera. I tried to look for her, but I can not find her using her maiden name. Still, during reunions or those irregular school visits people would still remind me about her. “Do you have news about her?” and “What was that really when we were in high school?” were the usual questions they would ask.

She was the first person I openly admitted I am attracted with. I was 12, she was 30. She was my history teacher. I will never forget the first time I saw her. She was walking outside the classroom and her face was somewhat covered by the glass panels of the room’s windows. I was at the 4th row. It was the first time I appreciated the wonderful Asian history, which I brought with me to the university.

Few years ago, I opened an old carton box. I saw the letter she wrote me and even the slumbook. The ink quality of the pen she used was made known by the stains it left on the paper. It does not really matter now. I’m 28. She should be 46 years old now. I wonder how time changed her. I wonder if she would remember me. I wonder if I will see Ms. Martillana again.

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