The love that didn’t get spoken in time, the love that passed on, with the death of that someone you liked in your, schooling years, and what his death had, taught you, translated…
One Day, I’d, Opened up My Closet, and No Matter How Hard I’d, Looked, I Just, Couldn’t, Find Those, Two Shirts, and because They’re of My Personal Collections, I’d, Not Dared Made it Open, Nor Asked Anyone, I can Only, Pull Out All the Clothes, and Prodded with My Hands, Inside that, Emptied, Drawer………………
I Just Want to Grab onto Something, a Strand of What was Left Was, Fine
My first love came to a halt, in an accident, that boy I liked in my second year of middle school, before we had the chance to exchange a single word with one another, vanished, without, a single, trace.
I was only fourteen, had absolutely NO clue of how the universe worked, I looked all around me, and saw, nothing, but the fogs, and so, I’d felt, that strong sense of helplessness, over this world which I’d originally, had a firm grasp over, I’d, wanted to, extend my hand outward, and fish around, for something, anything!
I was, close to the boy’s younger sister, she’d, worked her best, to sort through everything that her older brother had, left behind, in the countryside of Kaohsiung, everybody was living in poverty stricken means, they seem to be worse off than we were, and, what she could give me were, a couple of blurry photographs, two of her older brother’s shirts, and, the textbook that seemed to have never been, flipped through by him.
I’d carried these things as if they were, something, precious, with tentativeness and care, I’d, stashed the photo inside my diary, and, folded his clothes up to tiny, placed them to the depth of my own closet, and, I’d, read through all the pages of his textbooks thoroughly. Back then, I’d already, read a ton of, novels, and among these, were the romances, and I’d, stubbornly held on to the beliefs of: he liked me, although just like me, he’d, never said aloud, btu he must’ve, stashed that feeling inside his heart, and, written some lines about it.
I can’t know his heart anymore, but, who knows, if he’d, only, written something inside the texts, as he’d drifted into space in class?
The summers in Kaohsiung, those, never ending, summer days, came together in a bundle, in front of the window, in the sunlight, I’d, flipped through the volumes page by page, Chinese, history, math, geography……………the class of loose students, there was only the difference of the colors of the pages being pure white, and yellow. The schemata which were, activated in my mind, and for every horizontal stroke of pen, I’d, immediately believed that it was the first stroke of my own last name; and yet, the young boy didn’t even leave a dot of his ballpoint pen.
And so, I can only, return all his textbooks, to the past.
And so, what remained, of my first love, were the two shirts, three photos, a newspaper clipping of how two middle school boys drowned by the oceans, along with that locked diary, crawling with my handwriting ink.
No Blackhole, Nor Boy in Hiding
One day, I’d opened up my closet, and can’t find those two shirts no matter how hard I’d tried, and because they’re, my private stash, I’d not dared, asked anybody, and can only, pull all the clothes out, and, prodded into the drawers now emptied, with my own hands, that maybe, there was, a blackhole inside, that swallowed everything that didn’t belong; or maybe, there’s, that secret tunnel in the back of my wardrobe, that the boy didn’t die, he’s, just, hiding, and, came in the middle of the nights, to pull his own shirt away, wanting to tell the girl: hey, I’m still here, in some corner of this world.
Then, the diary I’d kept at the bottom of my desk drawer, seemed to have moved around, I’d taken it out to look, the locks were cut off, and the photo, the newspaper clippings, all gone, and the smeared pages I’d written down as I cried, were all, torn off, perfectly.
Okay, okay, there was, NO blackhole, no mystery, no boy hidden, the one who’d, wiped it all away was, my mother.
My homeroom instructor must’ve called my parents about this, and in the heat of anger, my mother swept up my room, got rid of everything that she deemed as obstacles in my life, everything I’d, hold too dearly to my mind.
illustration from UDN.com
For the first few years, the boy was buried in that tiny cemetery in the bamboo forest, in the middle of the fields, then after the bones were collected, the headstone removed, then, the fields, the bamboo forest got turned into a huge, construction site, then, the concrete jungle came atop, there’s no place for me, to remember him then.
Then, what I wrote, it will do, right. I’d written everything into a novel on BBS, and everybody liked it, it’d reminded the readers of everything in their own, younger, years, I’d even, published it, sold many copies too, but a few years, the book became, out-of-print, and, forgotten, by the, world then.
So, everything with a set form, disappear eventually, no matter how hard you’d tried to hold on, that handful of sand still, slips out. I’d prodded these past two years, even the parents of the boy had both, passed on, and, those who’d remembered the guy’s smile, got reduced by two more people, will we all, not leave, anything behind, one day, just spreading out palms out?
No, maybe, there’s, something that’s, evolved, and now, I’d not rummaged through my daughter’s closets, drawers, or read her diaries anymore, to not throw away anything she’d, stashed away in secret.
To protect someone’s complete forms of her/his youth, that was, what that boy who’d died too young had, given to me, a life-long, gift.
And so, this lesson from this boy you liked who’d died, taught you a lesson with his death, that love is precious, that you must, take a hold of the love you want to hold onto in the now, otherwise, it will, slip away too quickly, and, you’d also, learned to, NOT read your own teenage daughter’s diary, to let her have her private things, that only she is aware of, because your mother didn’t respect your things!