The One That Got Away : Notes for Maya

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.)


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