A short story by Jo Hanna Faminiano
“I tell you, your boyfriend is a cheater. See how he reacted when you asked him how he’s doing? He can’t even tell you where he is. It’s almost a week since he’s not communicating. Oh c’mon!? Boys just disappear when they had a new found lover.”
Ionna curled her lips as she saw her best friend Georgina is still staring blankly on her iPhone hoping that she could get a message from her boyfriend.
“If I were you, I’d end this relationship soon and move on. I am telling you this because I am your friend, and I don’t like to see you like this.” She clutched to her to hold back her tears as she saw the sadness in her friend’s eyes.
Georgina took a deep breath, picked her phone up, got her simcard and broke it…
“Mmmm… Maybe what I need now is to unwind. Everything reminds me of him. I need time to think, Ionna,” Georgina said as she shook her head.
Ionna couldn’t contain a smile as she watched Georgina walk away, a scowl on her face. Georgi was a good friend to her, and all she wanted for her was the best, safely protected.
Sitting at the bench alone while looking at the light blue sky, Ionna was having a hard time weighing things on how she could help her best friend to divert her attention to something else or perhaps someone else.
“I heard that smiling makes people look younger and healthy. Such a lovely face… Smile gal so you won’t grow old so fast.”
Ionna was surprised to find— a guy sitting beside her.
“Excuse me Mister? Are you saying that I look old? How dare you speak so.”
“You can call me Fin instead of Mister, miss beautiful” he winked.
“Also, I have a name to call, I’m Ionna as you already know, so don’t make use of such sugarcoated names on me, Fin. And besides, why are you here? You always pop out from nowhere. And please don’t sit here beside me whenever I’m alone. People might think we have a relationship” scowled Ionna.
“Why? Can’t we?” Fin asked
“Can’t we what?” Ionna replied as if she didn’t know what Fin meant.
“Can’t we have a relationship? You know that I really like you. I’ve always been telling you that. Can’t we just try?” His arm went around her shoulders, bending to look into her eyes.
Finally Ionna decided to confront Fin, her all-time admirer, to have a serious talk. She started it with a sigh—
“Why do you like me Fin?” She crossed her arms in front of her.
“Because you make me happy. Fin tried to smile.
“How? Of what means? I’m not a clown, Fin” Ionna sarcastically replied.
“You’re so compassionate and kind to your friends.” Fin added.
“And evil to my enemies.” Ionna said almost too quickly.
“…and you’re pretty too,” he defended.
“…and what if I’m not? You won’t like me then. And what if you’d find prettier girls than me? Also I am not sexy like others, also I look like a mess… I’m not neat in fixing myself ‘cause I’m too lazy to do so. And please know that I don’t make myself pretty to please anyone nor to please you.”
Silence struck for the moment.
“Can I ask you too?” he said on a low voice
“Hmmm…” she made a gesture suggesting to go on.
Fin hesitated, trying to find the right words, but then he asked, “Do you hate boys?”
“No, it’s just that I haven’t found a boy that could really love me. A lot of boys now… only like girls for sex, and when they have what they want… They’ll hang you up and leave you after. That’s why I’m just being extra careful.” Ionna answered proudly.
“Do you hate me?” his voice still low.
“No, I don’t hate you Fin. It’s just that maybe you don’t understand how is it to love. You know, loving is not about physical attraction only. Also, you don’t love someone because of how she behaves. What if she’ll change? Can you still accept her? What if she’s no longer the same? What if she’s no longer sweet, kind and jolly? Can you understand her? What if she makes you cry? Can you still smile? What if she can’t love you back? What if she couldn’t give you all her attention and time? Can you manage to be patient and wait for her? ” Ionna explained.
Fin just nodded.
“Anything else?” Ionna asked confidently
Fin looked at Ionna in the eyes which made her quite uneasy.
“Do you hate yourself?”
That, Ionna didn’t expect. The question kept repeating in her mind, “Do I hate myself?” She couldn’t utter a word up until she could only hear the sounds of his steps fading.
“Maybe.” she whispered.
And there, she was alone again at the bench.
About the Author
Johanna is a graduate of Bachelor of Arts in English at West Visayas State University.
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