"You just miss her badly, I guess"

"Nah, Niko, it can't be love," Caresse told me last night. "You're infatuated."

I remember my junior high school year, when in Home Economics class (weirdly) we were trying to distinguish between love and infatuation. Our guidance counselor, Sir John, even dismissed the whole thing as being entirely passé; he said textbooks cannot teach people these kind of things effectively.

No wonder, for a person who's relied too much on references, I find myself confused and clueless.

During the Christmas break, me and Clarence talked about this thing. It was a few text messages, yes, but we ended up provoking each other's thoughts, as usual. She wouldn't believe me when I thought I was in love. Even I wouldn't - of course, I don't want to.

So why, is it because I think I'm getting hurt? That occasional thoughts of her lead me to, well, nowhere? Before the term ended, I was finding myself staring at space and doing nothing about it. Or maybe I wanted to prevent that mood swing that always lurked at the back. But Clarence was quick to tell me, it isn't your fault if it did happen.

So I was okay, initially. But welcome the new term.

Me and Clarence never talked about it for a pretty long time, until last Saturday, when I found her online somewhere. And then I asked her why she wouldn't believe me. She thought it was happening too fast.

Why too fast? I asked. If it was there for six months, then...

She was shocked.

But, not exactly - but who couldn't help it? But I still didn't know if I was indeed feeling that way. Well, I still tried to say it wasn't. But at least I (somehow) convinced her about it. Probably I was feeling guilty all along, the fact that after all that's said and done, I repay in this way. Or maybe because I saw things in an abnormal way. I was silently freaking out (still) when I realized she knew, along with the fact that it's been discussed all along.

So, actions speak louder than words. Or maybe not.

Last night, I decided to deviate a bit and talk to Caresse about the entire thing. I was wondering why everything, somehow, always led to her. And then I dropped the question.

Who can define love, anyway?

And then came one long explanation, one that was so long I didn't get to remember it. I was thinking I was (weirdly) expecting something. Then she refutes the whole thing. I answer, she refutes. I answer, she refutes. It was that way.

"You'll be there for her without expecting anything in return," she said. Then, probably, it isn't that way.

So it must be the distance.

The distance, right.

If that's the point, then I feel so selfish about it. Think about it - a few changes, then I find myself weirdly looking forward to something I know wouldn't come by anyway. I've been swinging in between moods during the last year's last two months, and I've succesfully kept in out of sight. Well, maybe not all of them, but still, I did. Somehow I did. It's even come to the point that I get jealous of some people. It's affecting things a lot.

And it isn't going to work, either.

"You just miss her, since she's her," she said.

"I just miss her," I answered. "Maybe I just do."

Among everybody else, I do.

I don't really want to look like a desparate romantic and all that, but I guess I understand everything now. It was something different, not like the past few years, and it was so new I got confused as to what it really is. Not to mention the mere fact that I'm now scared of love (or infatuation, for that matter). I'm so pathetic on this one.

"You miss her more," Caresse said, "since you guys don't get to see each other, and before you were used to see her everyday."

Distance does bring separation. Alam mo yun, yung pakiramdan na ayaw ka niyang kausapin? I've almost called a million fallout sequences. I pop in, she pops out. Then when it does stay that way, it seems like nothing at all.

Selfish me doesn't want to be insignificant in any way.

Or maybe I'm just paranoid, as Caresse said that night.

This afternoon, in between Biology and Filipino 1 class, I saw Ariane and almost decided to wave at whoever's inside her Psychology class. As she went it, she somehow gave me a little warning. I didn't end up peeking. I just left. (She also knows about it, anyway.)

It's a bit better to miss you than to see you, I guess. But, simply said, minus the mushiness. I do miss you.

Clarence, Caresse, Ariane... I've found true friends in the past weeks.

And your responses...

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