Ugly Ducklings part 1

It’s a nice day today. It’s  one of those days that would make you think that South Florida purposely put it’s best foot forward for you. The sky was blue, the sun was bright, but not too hot. The breeze brought  so much comfort, you’d think your body was melting into Egyptian cotton. The grass couldn’t be any greener than the other side. Everything around me exuded the aura of happiness. Behind me, a few feet away, the duck pond twinkled little rays of sun light as if they were shining diamonds. There were also ducks twaddling around the pond hoping that a human sitting at the wooden picnic tables would feed them. I hope that they don’t come near me.

You see, I love this park.

I love this park with the pond.

This same park with the sun, the grass, the breeze, and the peaceful atmosphere.

But what about those damn ducks?

People seem to think that they are nonthreating and docile. To some, their appearance is quite appealing; with their plain white feathers and garish yellow beaks.

Only if those people knew the misfortunes that they could bring. Would their opinions change after hearing my story of how the ducks ruined my personal life?

What I feel about the ducks is the same way I feel about regret. It shouldn’t exist. My father would tell, or rather quote Quevedo,  and say, “He who spends time regretting the past loses the present and risks the future”. These are the words I have adopted as a way to live life. Lately I find, however, those words are falling on deaf ears.

On clear days like these, I’m prone to ask myself, “Why do I move without direction? Why is my life filled with uneasiness and anxiety? why do I feel so sad and lonely? Why do I regret? and Why do you have to be gloomy on a day like this?” Well, the answer is easy: It’s because of  a dude that I use to call my friend. A person whom I loved more than a friend and, at the end, went into the arms of another woman. Before he could know a thing about how I felt, he was  gone.

It was a day much like today when he left almost a year ago. Who knows what today would have been like if I had conveyed my feelings to him that day?

Would I have been his girlfriend waiting at this park to celebrate our one year anniversary rather than mourning the loss of my best friend on this beautiful day?

God would know, right?

That doesn’t change the fact that I’m still in love with him today, does it?

I have been thinking about him ever since he left. It was on that day in August we were suppose to meet at this park. He wanted to tell me something in person. I remember that traffic was unusually horrible and I was terribly late. Despite our best efforts, we missed each other. I found myself standing there, in that beautiful park, on that perfect day, alone…with those damn ducks.

He left that very evening without saying another word to me. I planned to bare my soul out to him that evening. His sudden disappearance put me at a loss of words.

I didn’t know where he was going or who he was with or why he didn’t tell me he was leaving. When I reached to his apartment later that day, the landlord (who’s like a third uncle to me)  advised that i not waste my time.  He explained that ‘the dude was long gone. He took that crazy model chick with him too!’. Third Uncle calls it as he sees it and refuses to cradle the hard truth.

When the landlord told me this, all I could mutter was ‘huh? Where did he go? Where were they going? Did that spiteful woman finally get to him and convince him to leave me in the dust?’ Huh?’ You see, my confusion stems from the fact that me and dude have been super close since middle school. We would burn through our cell phone minutes, talking to each other like nobody’s business but Sprint’s (you know before sprint had that mobile-to-mobile package) . We were so tight that people thought were a couple.

When one of us had a ‘significant other’, it was common place for people to assume that we were stepping out on the other. Many of these individuals would take it upon themselves to snitch on the perceived transgressions they’d witnessed.  This fact always seemed to bring a smile to our faces.  It got to the point that we rarely corrected the informant, siting it would be far easier to play along and feign shock and hurt than to again explain our unique relationship.

By the end of my sophomore year in college, it wasn’t so funny anymore. One day I found myself really wanting to be his girlfriend.

The first regret: I didn’t tell him my junior year.

During our junior year, he was still single, still  cute, still funny, still gentle, still annoying, still ambitious and still had an infinite amount of time for me. And I…I was being the normal me, acting as though nothing had changed. I’d teased him about not having a girl. I’d force myself to go on dates.  We’d hang, talk, and play as usual when I should have clearly expressed  my feelings to him . But I was scared that  I couldn’t take my love back, should he decide to reject me. But at the end I shouldn’t have worried about losing him because I should have known that my best friend  wouldn’t hate me; even if he didn’t feel the same way as I did; even if it was me who was changing the relationship; and even if it was me who ended our friendship because I couldn’t be the person I was. I wish I had known that earlier.

What I do know now is that if I had confessed to him my junior year, when it was me and him, I wouldn’t have to come to this park just to feel close to him. I wouldn’t have to hear, my senior year, that my best friend is in love with a self-centered, Nicki Minaj-wanna-be. I wouldn’t have to sit at the picnic table by myself, looking those ugly ducklings while trying to eat my ready made tuna fish sandwich on my lunch break. *sigh* I feel sick. ;(

Click to go to part 2


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