Can You Please Smile For Me?
*Sorry for the wrong Grammar.I'm not from an English country you know =)
I was standing beside a tree overlooking at someone whom I’ve committed a mistake a few years ago. A grave mistake that is. Still I could not help myself but to see her again. I wanted to ask sorry, I always wanted to ask sorry, but I could not. I guess after all this years, all that changed in me is my outer appearance not who I really am, that is because even until now I am still weak. Now, all that I can do is to look at her from a distance and remember those times we were together.
I was alone in a bench near our school’s outdoor basket ball court which became the favorite place of my best friend. It was a calm afternoon that day and since the court is near the open soccer field the view enhanced the weather. I took out the pocket book I was reading since this morning, a late 1980’s sci-fi novel, when a girl with a long black hair suddenly fell in front of me. She looked up with those watery eyes which are about to cry and soon after I saw her face, I did feel a “different” feeling I never felt before. I did not know what to do. I was never been into this kind of situation, should I tell her not to cry or tell her that it’s ok? Well I did none of those. I was so speechless that moment that as if some sort of a cupid’s arrow struck me right at the bottom of my heart. All that I did was to hand her my handkerchief and stare at her. Suddenly she smiled at me and ran off without saying anything at all carrying my handkerchief with her. I remained still in the place where I am thinking if I could ever see her again not knowing that my childhood best friend James was standing right in front of me.
He lowered his body and his face covered the whole scenery that my eyes can see. “Afternoon dreaming or Love dreaming?” he said in a silly way he always do to prank me. I just replied with a simple grin and returned the pocket book I was reading in my bag. “I guess it’s getting late. I should go home right now” I told him. “Are you sure that you will go home already? It’s still early. Well then ok I get it red face; I’ll just see yah tomorrow”, he said. I was been so embarrassed with his statement that I shouted “ No I’m not!”, but he was already too far to hear it and he turn his back again to give me another silly grin.
At home I tried to sleep earlier than usual because I am so motivated to go back to school early to check if she is around. I can see her again calling me with that smile when somebody shouted.” Richard! I’ve been up to this whole thing of waking you up since you didn’t even bother to hear your alarm clock.” I opened my eyes and saw my mom‘s serious stare, allowing my self to regain my senses again.
In school, I was in our biology class when our teacher introduced to us our new classmate, who will be a replacement to my seatmate Veronica, because she -recently moved with her family in Alaska, to permanently live there. The one thing I was thinking the whole evening was unexpectedly the same girl in front of our class, and here I am again, playing with my thoughts. Her seat assignment was of course beside me, and when my teacher asked me if it is ok for her to be my seatmate, I only managed to nod.
“Ah…Ms. Alice right? Nice to meet you, I’m Richard – Richard Edwards.” Yeah, that was supposedly what my mind is telling me to say but since I was nervous all that came out was a simple “hi”. She just stared at me and smiled. We look at each other the whole class. I could feel my sweat rolling from my forehead as my body became numb and my heart continuously beat fast. “Am I in love?” I asked my self while we were staring at each other “No I’m not’” I answered.
When the bell rang for recess, I was on the corridor pretending to read the same novel from yesterday, just to freshen up my mind. I know I could never fool myself but still I insisted to do so. It was time for my history class; I mean advance history class since this was the only subject I failed to attend last semester. I walked towards our history room when the book I was carrying slipped off and fell into a crowd of students who are also going to their respective classes. I look for the book but thought it would be hopeless, not until this Alice girl whom I told my self I only “admire” handed the book I was looking for with that contagious smile of her. The moment I saw that smile again it’s as if all froze up, that only she and me was there, suspending time for both of us. She broadens her smile and abruptly ran out of my sight. I tried to stop her but I was too late already.
I was in a different world away from where I should be in our class and this made James who is a year ahead of me – I mean far away from me noticed my out of mind state. He slapped me surprisingly in my left cheek. “Richard Edwards, mentally absent!” he said and then burst into laughter. I only turned back but said nothing to him. He told me that he was worried since yesterday because I was acting weird and asked me if there is something that bothers me. I told wrong and him there was nothing he told me to tell him if ever I do have a problem because he is always ready to listen. At that time I have a feeling that I could not help my self but to tell James about this girl but I did not have enough courage to do so even though I am sure that he will listen to me.
For a couple of months what we did was to stare at each other every time we are on our biology class. She is always smiling at me at when she is listening to our teacher’s discussion I could not resist but to look at her and if she noticed it, I will just bow down my head. Every recess I am always at the farthest table in the canteen pretending to read or do something but the truth of it is that I was only there because I am waiting for her have her snacks. She is always alone eating; I just don’t have the courage to do so.
I thought this will be our scenario for the rest of the semester, I, always staring at her and her smiling at me. However, one day I thought of something which can draw me closer to her. I intentionally left my notes at the top of our desk in biology this morning and pretended to look for it the following day. Just as I thought, she went near to me and told me “I think you forgot this, Philip”. Those were the fist words I’ve heard from her, and now it was not only her smile that attracts me but her voice as well. It was so angelic. “But wait a second,” I told myself “How did she know my second name? No one at school, even James called me that.” I wanted to ask her that time but I just tend to forget about it. I was shy but glad at the same time. “How could I repay your kindness, Alice?” I asked her for the fist time even if my voice was very low. “No need to, but if you really wanted you can treat me for snacks. That is if it would be ok for you,” she replied
I was been so happy that day, when we first became seatmates aside from our biology class. The dream of mine to be close with her was fulfilled and I can say that I am really “in love” now….oh sorry what I mean to say is that I am “inspired” now. From that time on we became close to each other. We study our lessons together. Laugh together and talk things together. One time she asked me if what the meaning of love for me is. “You” I answered. She looked at me confused.” You first” I said. “She just smiled and said “Love gave me a gift, a very special one.”” What gift?” I asked. “You” she replied. Now I got that weird feeling again. Am I dreaming? Of course, I’m not and that is for sure. “Your turn.” she added. “Well forget about it.” I told myself. I am just playing with my mind so much thinking about what she just said. I told her that love is something I could not answer and even if I know she was not contented with what I answered her she just smiled.
With the time we’ve spend together, I came to know her better and she came to be my friend. I tried to set aside my feelings for her and treated her as my new best friend, of course, aside from James, who until now does not know her. Sometimes when I am at home we are calling each other for our assignments and chat about our personal lives. She even introduced me to her mom one Saturday afternoon when we met to discuss about our problems.
Alice was an exchange student from New York, but they migrated to Washington after her mother was assigned here. She did not came to know her father and every time she asked her mom about her dad she told me that her mom could not just answer anything at all. There were times that she was sad because of it and I always try to comfort her until I can. We even swore that we will never leave each other. Even in my wildest dream I never expected to be as close as this with her.
You might be asking why James did not yet learn anything about Alice. Well, it is because when we entered high school he was enrolled a year ahead of me due to some sort of an acceleration thing from the previous school we attend to and since this year 4th year high school students were having their class in a separate building quite far from us he does not always have the chance to go to our building. With the class where we are classmates, it just so happen that I missed 1 subject last semester and that was history. Unfortunately, the subject was only available every 1st semester and after arrangements, the school administration decided to let me attend advance history class which was only given to 4th year students as a replacement to the subject I missed just to complete my units for this year.
I tried to keep Alice to James thinking that he might just tease me for this and it might just cause a feud between me and Alice but it did not took long and he learned about her. Alice and I will be going to the cafeteria to have our snacks together which became our habit for a couple of weeks already when James suddenly tapped me on my back and said that he was just here to return the pencil he borrowed from me yesterday. Upon knowing that he noticed Alice to be my companion, I introduced him to her and unlike what I thought, he did only tap me again and bid goodbye to us.
After class dismissal I was surprised to see him beside me. “Hey you have your practice didn’t you? Why are you here?” I asked him. “Yeah, we do but I don’t feel like practicing now. By the way, Edward can you tell me more about this Alice girl?” he replied. That really did make a mark for my thought. He asked me several more questions which I thought would be the wildest questions he would ever ask about Alice. I know James a lot and I was sure at that time that he took a liking on Alice, however I forbid myself to think that way and only put in my mind that he might just asked those questions because he just want to know if whom I am with aside from him. That thought of mine regarding his questions last for a few days when I came to notice that unlike the previous moths he did not have that habit of going to our building every break time. Now I was not just with Alice but with James as well. There were times that my mind is telling me that James might like Alice for the reason that I could feel he is trying to get close with her but on the other side I did not want to think about it, I do not know what would happen to us if he do really like her.
One time, when we were at the cafeteria taking lunch, I was in an uneasy feeling seeing both of them teasing each other, giggling, and laughing. At that point I was so sure that he has a feeling for Alice.” If he really does, it doesn’t matter al all. I do not love her. I only admire her; James will be more suitable for her. Who am I to feel guilty? I am Just Richard Edwards, normal and nothing special. ” I made myself think that way. Maybe, that was just another thing that I did to fool my self that all is ok even if it is not.
When James formally told me his real feelings for Alice I tried to be as calm as possible and accepted the fact that he was really in love with her. I did even tried to made them more closer and even pursue him to her to show him that I was ok though he knew I was not doing it for real. Alice was always quiet when we talk about James every time we were alone and in the long run I will just drop the topic and talk about other things.
It was February that year and the annual junior – senior prom was 2 weeks ahead of us. All of my classmates were already busy searching for their partners but I was again away from what they are doing. I have someone in mid but I could no ask her because I know some other guy whom I care wanted to have her as his date. I did not want it, I am jealous at him. Jealous over something I deny. Jealous because I could not be as open as he is and I even want to switch positions with him, maybe I were him I could have had her as my girlfriend right now. Luckily Alice did not answer to any of James’ calling for her. James did not yet ask her for prom but I know he will. I asked Alice one time if why she has not accepted any man who asked her for prom and she only told me that “I’m waiting for someone”. I know it was James for sure.
On the day of our prom, the whole place was filled with glittering lights and couples dancing in the tune of a romantic music while I was all alone in the side sitting looking at her who was also alone. James did not ask her or she did not answer him. It could be that the “somebody” she was referring to was not James – it could me….me. That heighten up my spirit and I gained that courage for the first time to confess my true feelings for her. I followed her as she went out of the ball room. In the garden, all that courage in me turned to pain. Just as I was about to tell her everything I saw her with James hugging each other. The roses I have with me and the note of my love for her fell from my hands as I ran away with tears in my eyes. I felt I was a fool. Now all that I can do is to leave – to forget.
I boarded the last flight for London that night and I was crying at the plane. I could not get hold of myself. Several messages were received by my phone addressed from James but because I felt so sad and at the same time angry to him and to myself I turned off my phone.
In London, I did all I can to forget her by dedicating all my time in my studies. I came to be with a lot of people and became more open to my feelings. I was been able to freely express what I want through my paintings.
Five years passed swiftly in the pages of the calendar and I graduated in an institution of fine arts in London. I thought I was ok and have moved over already. I was wrong. Before our graduation I have to pass our last literary output but came back at my apartment drunk after a night out with my friends. At that time when I remembered about our output I tried to do it and gave it to my friend after I called him. I told him I might be late tomorrow because I am not feeling well and he told me that he will take care of what I requested him to do. I came to our gallery quarter passed one in the afternoon and I was shocked when I saw the portrait I’ve painted. It was Alice and below it was the caption “Love’s not a fool.” I went back to my apartment crying and when someone knocked I opened the door as I wipe my tears off my eyes. It was a mailman and he gave me a letter that was addressed to me dated five years ago. I opened it and it says…..
I am sorry. Sorry for everything I caused. I know you love her but I was a fool not to mind it at first. I always wanted to be like you. I envied you so much. All the qualities I want me to have is what you posses but I know I must not. I tried to text you but I have a feeling you did not read it so I tried to send this letter.
Upon reading this I am now on my way to Canada, and I will follow the advice of Alice. I fight for my love as well. I have a liking on Alice it is true, but I know that she does not have that feeling to me. I like her but not the same as what I felt for Veronica. The truth was that I was just seeking for somebody who can help me forget. I realized what I have done to you and I that is why I’m asking forgiveness.
That night when you saw both of us, she was just giving me a goodbye hug after we talked. I told her everything and she told me that she loved you. You are the greatest gift she have ever received and will do anything for you. Go back and be with her.
Tears poured heavily after I read James’ message. I did something grave because I left someone who loved me. I am a fool and for years I caused her pain. I want to go back to face everything, so I boarded a plane that day to go back to the place where I left my heart.
I looked for Alice and learned that their residence did not change. I went at their house and when I saw her, I could not go near her anymore. I stayed beside a tree looking at her.
The rained poured and the sun was covered with dark clouds. Refreshing those days was hard for me. My tears rolled off my cheeks mixing with the rain when a woman went near me and asked “Richard?”
When I look back it was Alice’s mom. I want to deny to her that I am Richard. I want to leave Alice and her newly found life without me but my desire to see her was more intense than what my brain is telling me to do. Alas, I came with Alice’s mom although at first I hesitated to go near her. She told me something that even added to the pain I felt. She told me that the night when I left for London, Alice drove their car without permission and tried to catch up with me, however, she encountered a car accident and was hospitalized for days. When she woke up her memory was erased. Everything, including me. Since that day she was always alone, and sad and her smile was never seen again
I am a complete stranger for her now but when her mom introduced me to her and told her I was her friend she surprisingly smiled again.
I talked to her that day and nothing changed with the way she was at all. She was asking me about who she is and who I am for her. I do not know what to answer and creating stories was the best solution I found. I tried to tell her everything deleting all the parts I thought would make her sad and without noticing it, she had fallen asleep lying on my shoulders.
I returned the next day and when she saw me again she rushed to come near me but stumbled on something and when she was about to fall I ran as fast as I can catch her with my arms. I embraced her and she told me she remembered something. I was nervous then, in my mind I am thinking if she did really remember something then it would not take too long before she will recover her memory. I am afraid that if she does the friendship I am trying to rebuild will be lost in an instant. The smile in her lips will become tears in her eyes.
We continued to see each other and everyday I went to them to “cheer her up” and to satisfy my self. I guess I can’t help it but to see her. I could not live a day without seeing her. Strange thoughts entered my mind sometimes such as what if I never leave her. I should not have to pass in this situation I am facing right now. I could have not lied to her and could not have suffered for years longing to see someone whom I thought I could never be mine.
Alice was happy but I am more than just glad to be with her. Being with the person you love is best thing one can ever experience although in my case I know that being with her right now is not for real. Someday I might just enter their home again and she might not want to see me anymore. The possibility of regaining her memory is the reason why I am scared. I always look at her and she was so innocent like before but in her eyes I can see that something deep is within her. There is something in her I could not explain.
On her birthday, I went to their house and asked her mom’s permission if she could go with me to have a date…..i mean a day in the amusement park in the town. Her mom allowed me and we left after taking our breakfast in their house. She told me she it was her first time to go out with someone else except her mom I asked her if she’s afraid to be with me. And she answered “no not, at all Philip.” I stiffen the moment I heard her calling me by that name. The thing I was afraid is slowly getting real. I looked at her and she just smiled. When I asked her if why she called me that name she said she was more comfortable of calling me Philip than Richard since she saw in the attaché case I was having with me one time when I went to their house my full name. I was relieved with her answer and tend to forget about that “name thing”. She was again sleeping and I do not know why I put her head on my shoulders again.
At the amusement park, she was delighted by the sights she saw and hugged me saying “I want to feel like this forever. I was sad the whole time and I do not want to feel that again. I am tired of crying over the memory I lost. I only ask for one thing and that is to have something that I can be happy with – someone who can make me feel that feeling and when you came I do not know why but I smiled. Now, even if my mind will not regain the memories I lost I am satisfied. You created a memory for me which I am sure I can never forget.” I was surprised to hear those words comeing out of her mouth. “I made her smile again but it not right. Something is wrong. I want to hear her say those words but not in this situation that we have. I am lying just to let her smile. I am lying and it is all wrong.”
That day I did all I can to make her happy. I told myself that the next day I will tell her the truth. The answer to the question why I left her and the reason why she lost her memory. I will carry all the guilt she will put on me because I deserve it. I will do it to put things in order and stop pretending things which I know are wrong.
It was already late when we left the place and I can see that she was very happy. She leans to me again and slept. We were driving towards her home but on the middle of our way the electric supply shut down. I stopped driving and suddenly a taxi was approaching us. I tried to move out pf the way but the road was too narrow. I embraced Alice and the accident took place.
I woke up knowing that I was on the hospital bed and the nurse informed me that I was been their lying unconscious for three days after the car I and Alice drove was bumped by a taxi. I can see her sleeping in a couch near me and the nurse told me that she was been there the whole time taking care of me. I cried that moment. I know I might not stay for long but I do not want want to leave her because I love her and that is the reality. I will not deny anything now.
She woke up very moment I called her name and I was surprise to know that she regained her memory. She told me that she love me too but could not tell me then since she was in doubt if I have the same feeling towards her and when she knew I have, she did not hesitate to fight for it. “ When I found love, I must not let go.” She said.
She handed me again the handkerchief I gave her back then when I cried upon hearing what she said to me. I opened it and saw the embroidered name ‘Philip” and that was how she told me that’s how she knew my second name. Beside it was another name and it was hers. “I put my name on it on our prom. When I was waiting for you to ask me to be your date. Every day I embroidered a letter but alas after six days of waiting you did not ask for Me.” she said. I told her that I am sorry because I was a fool.
“I made you loose your smile.” I said
“The best gift I ever had in my life was when you came. You are the reason of this smile.” She replied.
“You are the reason why I still breathe because you are my heart.” I told her
“This could be the end now, for the last time can you please……smile for me?” I uttered.
She smiled as tears fall on our cheeks and dropped on the handkerchief I was holding at the same time. I am now satisfied with my life and with that I closed my eyes.
When I opened my eyes again, I was with Alice, exchanging vows with the girl I loved.