It rained today, the sort that reminds me of you - soft as feathers, cool as the mountain streams, and quiet as the night: the fall of the raindrops, the embrace of the air, and the rhythm of the rain. Sitting in the campus cafe, sipping my morning dose of caffeine, I kept waiting for a girl to emerge from the morning crowd of young adults walking to their classes.
Yes, I went back to the university today, had a walk around the campus and took a stroll down memory lanes. So much has changed.
When the rain started, I took shelter at the cafe - the cafe where I first saw you, and had my breath taken away in the drizzling rain. There I was, having my morning coffee before class. Just as I raised my eyes to check my watch, a girl dressed in white shirt and blue jean appeared amongst the umbrella-wielding crowds. What captivated me was not only your angelic face and the innocent smile it was wearing, but your drenched hair, your bare feet, and your joyous steps in the rain - such energy, such innocence, such carefree spirit! Such lunatic!! That's what I thought about you then.
I also thought that love had never come to me so fast. Not before. Not since. Perhaps it was the heavy cloud of solitude that accompanied me at that time - a lonely soul in a foreign environment stepping into a new life - there's no wall of resistance strong enough to defend against the attraction exuded by your free spirit. That's probably the heaviest and fastest crush I had.
Because of you, or the desire to see you again, I got to know the owner and the waiters of that cafe. I still frown upon the stinginess of the owner for not giving me discounts for my coffee, after the many cups I bought to wait for your appearances for many weeks after that. After so many years, the owner of the cafe has changed, perhaps many times over, so has the price of a cup of coffee. But I was still listening to "our song" on my iPod.
... there must be an angel playing with my heart ...
I'm quite sure that's your favourite. In one of the happiest day of my university life, this song was softly streaming out from the earbuds of your Walkman into my tender heart. The luckiest guy in the world - was my only thought that day, when you walked towards the back of the bus and picked the vacant seat beside me. As you took your seat, you smiled at me. Yes, you smiled. I'm very sure you did. Because my heartbeats picked up speed like a paratrooper who had jumped off a plane without a parachute. And the vigour of it! I thought the whole bus could hear my heartbeat.
As you tapped your finger lightly on your bag to the song, I was trembling slightly like a foolish teenage boy. I so wanted to talk to you then. But I couldn't bring myself to interrupt your song. To my delight then, we alighted at the same stop near the campus. I'm not sure you noticed, but I followed you all the way to your class that day, waiting for a chance and enough courage gleaned to tap your shoulder and say Hi! As you know, that never did materialise. The happiest day of my university life was to be followed by the saddest.
Like a puff of smoke, you disappeared into thin air after that day. I have never seen you since.
The agony of missed chances tortured me for a good few months after that. Concocted with the crashes of the diminishing hopes of you somehow reappearing in front of me was the worst feeling - sleepless nights, tasteless food, futile searches, disappointment after disappointment, and, in the end, giving up. Ahh ... the emotional youth and its inexplicable idiocies. Coming out of it, I made a promise to myself.
A promise I keep until today - to never be fearful of taking the first step towards what I want.
These fearless first steps have since led me to my first job, my first sales - now I own a medium size company, my first girlfriend, and subsequently my wife of twenty odd years - she was my fifth girlfriend (yes, the fearless first steps work for breaking up too) - and my three boys - the eldest graduated from our university today - that's what brought me back to the campus, and that's when I thought about you again.
In a way, everything I own today started with those fearless first steps which came into forces because of you. And thus, I owe what I own today to you. You made me who I am today.
I call you Jane, but I'm never sure whether it's actually Jenn or Jean. I overheard someone calling you "Jane" before you entered your class the last day I saw you, and I saw the initial "J" on your bag on the bus that day. Truthfully, I don't remember your face ... So ...
So, thank you, Jane.
Now, if you receive this e-mail today, please do not worry. I'm not a stalker. You have received this e-mail today because your info stated your attendance to the University of St James around the years of 1985 - according to Facebook, and your name is Jane.
I don't expect any reply to this mail. I don't need any reply to this mail. Please don't reply to this mail. I just want to somehow express my gratitude to you - Jane.
Whoever you are, here's wishing you a good life and happiness.