When I heard about the gossip about my classmates dating, or at least a love affair, I thought about how I wasted those hours.
Summer isn't as hot as I thought it would be. Last year, I remember summer being as hot as it could be. The TV would blare about how the temperatures across the country are record-breaking. Higher than ever recorded before, I should be more worried about that - global warming, climate change, death. But all I could think about was how hot it was. Even inside the house where there are electric fans and shade, the walls seem like radiating heat themselves. If it is this hot, I thought, there should be at least a breeze, but the trees were frozen on summer days.
Rain would sometimes come but they never lasted longer than an hour. Clouds would come and my eyes would follow them as they cast shadows. When a big cloud would cover the sun, I would sometimes count how long before it breaks apart and let the sky in again or how long before it passes through. It was still a week of summer break, I don't think the weather would stay all summer long.
Danielle’s eyes grew big as she shared the gossip, but she spoke in an almost whisper.
“Is this during the Christmas Party?” I leaned in too as they all seemed to.
“Yes. Right, you weren't there Gab.”
“So what was the gift?” I asked.
“It was a whole pack of calligraphy pens, and a pair of pants.”
“Yeah, Von promised Key a pair of pants in seventh grade.”
She just shrugged.
“It’s here,” Cassey said, and we cleared the table of snake-and-ladders from the cafe.
The juice was as grainy as it always was. Powdered juice packets have that taste of dryness somehow, but the juice in this cafe always had an amped-up version of that. Food wasn’t the best, but it had an aircon and I could buy something with at least a hundred. Cassey sat across from me, and Danielle was between us. I had a burger in my hand, Danielle had a tuna sandwich, and Cassey sipped on her milkshake.
In between eating, we would lay out gossip that we know, mostly about love affairs in our school. I was surprised by how many had mutual crushes or had been rumored to be dating. It made sense of how they acted before, there was always a time when they would be oddly close, gossip really does connect dots.
I have random flashes of memories that come to my mind. Now that is even more frequent, now that I look back at those voluntarily. People were always shipped, teased into a pair, I wasn’t spared from that. I never really minded those shrieks and teasing, especially since it was always with Cassey. We were always close, especially since we made up, but a romantic spark is non-existent. People always assume romantic relationships between the opposite sex.
A real crush was alien. Like a real real crush. I’ve had moments of attraction but that would last a day, a week at most. Maybe I was too buried in school, or it was just not time. If those times were wasted, I have plenty of time now.