This is the story about the one that got away.
The year was 1994. I saw a boy in a distance, you know, the kind that always attracted my attention. Longish hair, boyish looks, always alone, always standing a little apart from the crowd. Give him a guitar and he could be Kurt Cobain.
I asked the girl beside me, do you know him?
I do, she said, surprised at my question.
His name is Maya.
I sent Maya a note everyday for a week through this girl. The notes merely said Hi or Hello or How are you?. They were never signed. For all intents and purposes, it could have been sent by a ghost.
What are you doing, my friend asked me one day as I was popping by her room to pass her another note for Maya.
Do you want me to introduce you to him?
No, I told her. I just want you to deliver my notes.
She was puzzled but complied. I have such nice, non-judgmental friends.
In the second week my notes got longer.
I like your hair.
I saw you having coffee alone at the cafe in Perdana Siswa.
It rained yesterday. How was your day?
He wants to know you, my friend told me the next time I gave her a note.
He asks me all these questions, she said. And I don’t know how to answer them. I don’t know if you want me to answer them. So I told him I can’t tell him anything.
I just smiled.
The next day she came back with a note from him.
I’ll wait for you, it said, 4pm tomorrow at that cafe in Perdana Siswa. Just come. I’ll wait by the glass window that never opens. Maya.
I didn’t turn up. I am not that kind of girl. And this is not that kind of story.
I stopped sending him my notes after that.
My friend, she never asked me why, she just accepted it, like it was as natural as breathing.
I wonder if he wonders about those notes?
Like when it rains, or when he has coffee alone by a glass window that never opens somewhere in a city where no one knows his name.
I hope some day this will be a story he will tell his grandchildren. You know, about the one that got away.
(This too is a true story.)