I truly believe that in every girl’s life, there is that one golden summer where boys are finally looking back at you and you’re looking back. That moment in time when everything is right on the verge of happening; midnight talks and first love and longing, and the heartbreak that inevitably follows. This summer, I somehow have a strong belief that things are about to change between me and him. I don’t know how. I just know that this summer will be different.
“Do you want to continue?”
I turn my head around to face him. He looks a little bit tired. There’s a black circle under his eyes, and it’s enough for me to know that he hasn’t been sleeping well lately. I am pretty sure that the reason why he hasn’t been sleeping well is not because of the job he starts taking at the beginning of the summer in Le Noir, the only cinema in Fukuoka that still runs celluloid, black and white movies. Trust me, I am no supernatural. But I know that I cannot be wrong. Not when it comes to Kaio Tetsuya.
I always have a thing for old, black and white movies. I love all the old black-and-white noir thrillers with their damsels in distress and their low camera angles. But more than that, I love coming to Le Noir because it is the place where I connected with Tetsu for the first time five years ago. I still remember that day like it was yesterday. How he impressed me with the way he connected two completely unrelated things that I can never make much sense out of. I like the way he sees life. I like the way he laughes when I throw the wrong punch-line. I like the way he tears off the straw wrapper for my drink. I like every single thing about him.
“Ni nyu pengyou ma?” I ask about how his girlfriend is in fluent Mandarin. I am not big in mastering other languages, but I am big in admiring Tetsu-chan. Always have, always will. So, when he suddenly decided to learn Mandarin to impress Angela Chew — the girl who transferred to my school from Beijing last autumn — I caught the fever too. It took two years for me before we got into first name basis. It only took one glance for Angela to steal Tetsu’s heart.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate Angela. She’s a really nice girl, and honestly they are totally, utterly perfect together. But I still don’t understand why, and how she did that. I have been pining after Tetsu forever, yet he barely recognizes me. So, when Angela announced that she would be spending her summer holiday in Shanghai, I couldn’t help but wish that somehow Tetsu would finally see right through me. Me, the girl who loves him with all my heart. Me, the girl whose fifteen year old heart screams why every night before I drift off to sleep. Why can’t you see me, Tetsu? What does she have that I don’t?
“No way,” he whines. “Why does your Mandarin sound much better than mine? It’s not fair! You should teach me.”
I laugh. “Sure, if only you could drag your lazy bum from the couch.”
“You know,” Tetsu says as he casually leans his head on my shoulder. “I’m glad you’re around this summer.”
Aren’t I, always? But I decide not to point that fact out loud. I don’t see the reason why I have to force him to realize that I’m always here. It’s just plainly embarassing, especially since he is still tied up to Angela.
Suddenly, Tetsu looks me in the eye. This is the first time he makes a long amount of eye contact with me, allowing me to see his light brown orbs clearly for the first time. Then he smiles, nods his head, goes up to my ear, and whispers.
I’m sorry, Tears
I can’t let you roam around freely