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Friday, August 5, 2011

A Detour to One Memory Lane

I was going to write part 3 of my "Most Likely to... " posts when suddenly my mind took a detour and wanted me to write about this instead.  In many ways, it is relevant to my life story and how I end up where I am today.  Perhaps that was why my mind decided it's time to take a little trip down this memory lane...

One summer I started hanging out a lot with my friend Leigh, who was six years older than me.

Leigh was like a big sister I never had.  Our mothers knew each other, and from the moment we met, Leigh immediately took me under her wings.  She was wise beyond her years; many of her advice I still remembered today.  Coming from a wealthy family, Leigh always reminded me, "money makes the world go round."  It might sound terribly materialistic, but I knew Leigh meant well.  She knew about my father being a gambler, and how my mother and I had suffered because of it.  She told me, "a woman as beautiful as your mother* shouldn't have such a hard life.  Don't repeat her mistakes." (*please read "I, the Ugly Duckling")

Leigh also knew how to party and had fun; I had my first [under-aged] trip to the clubs and [illegal] drink with Leigh and her friends.  What's amazing about her though, was that I never once saw Leigh drunk or behaved unlady-like during all those times we partied together.   

One morning Leigh called me.  A guy she had recently met invited her to hang out with him and his friends that weekend.  Leigh had a crush on him, but she didn't want to go alone, so she asked me to come along.  We were to meet up that Friday at some bar to watch a local band performed. 

They were already there by the time Leigh and I arrived.  After a brief introduction to one another, Leigh and I joined the group--4 guys and 3 girls whose names I didn't quite catch.  I couldn't help feeling a little out of place, most of them looked like they were Leigh's age.  When you're fifteen, anybody above 18 years old were considered "way too old."  These guys were at least 21. Definitely out of my league!  So I turned my attention to the band that's playing on the stage.

I was slowly swaying to the music, quietly minding my own business, when I felt a soft tap on my back.  I quickly turned around, ready to deliver a mean punch with my right fist should it turned out to be some perv out to get young innocent girls, when I realized that it was one of the boys I was introduced to earlier.  I didn't remember his name though; I was too nervous, being introduced to new faces all at once, to pay any attention.  On a closer look, he appeared younger than the rest, more my age actually.  Being socially inept, I must've stood there with my "What-do-you-want?" face (previously intended for lurking pervs) for at least five seconds before switching to a "please-say-something-because-I-really-can't-think-of-anything-to-say" face.

If he thought I was an idiot, he didn't show it.  He just smiled and said, "Would you like to dance?"  And I could've sworn I felt electric currents making my heart pitter-pattered because just like that, I fell madly in love with this boy--a boy whose name I didn't remember at first.  It was like I was bewitched.  Still speechless, I could only nod.  He held out his hand for me to hold, and together we slowly made our way to the dance floor.  I couldn't recall how long we were dancing, or if I did any dancing at all.  All I remembered was this boy, dancing in front of me, and everything else faded into the background. 

By the time he took me back to where Leigh was sitting, it was like I was a different person.  My thoughts, my feelings, my happiness, my sadness, my plans, and my existence, suddenly revolved around this boy.  He said, "Thank you for the dance" and went to join his friends.  

We didn't talk again for the rest of the night, but this time I was painfully aware of his presence: how he lowered his head as he listened to one of his friends, how he held a glass in his hands, how he moved across the room, the sound of his laughter as he joked around with his friends.
I waited until Leigh and I were in the car, on the way home, before I asked her--in a nonchalant voice--about who the boy was.  Leigh told me he was her crush's younger brother, who was around the same age as me.  "Oh, I see," was my response.  

That night was how I met Ash.  For the next seven years of my life, I was in love with him.   

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