My Ever Dearest Student,
I don’t want to play favorites but since you are the youngest, allow me tell you that at 19, your age, is when I wish the world, at least mine, has stopped revolving. That time, I didn’t mind crawling on my way back home, sleeping in my neighbor’s lawn nor partying again the following day and just let hangover be cured by another drinking session. I wish I see things like how I see them now then maybe I am not having panic attacks every five minutes. I was one of those kids who was always in gasoline stations, drinking and skipping classes.
Let me tell you that there are so many cooler things to be done aside from that. Being ignorant isn’t cool. I wish I chose to learn more so I don’t feel insufficient most of the time. How can I wonder where time went when I relentlessly killed it wishing I was older and now that I am older, I want to punch fairy godmother in the throat for refusing to undo that silly wish.
You were just my classmate then. You were the kid with few words. The only one who refuses to laugh at our German teacher’s wickedly dark dry jokes. You were the fastest to learn the awful German language but still chose to remain lull about it. You always sit across me and I didn’t know that you’re the group’s baby who required more attention, affection and guidance. One day you got tired of scowling and smiled at me. I smiled back and that same afternoon, we all went to eat ice cream. It was hard to explain that I can only have one scoop because my metabolism isn’t as fast as it used to be and I am sure that it will just sit proudly on my hips and thighs.
Please know that I feel flattered when you and our other classmates constantly bug me to hang out to check the nightlife out. It was hard to say that I can’t stand loud music anymore and i don’t want you and the others dragging me out of the pub after one drink. I will never forget how your mouth dropped when I showed you my passport to reveal my real age because you won’t believe when I tell you that I am not a teenager anymore and that I will be your teacher soon. Asians don’t age so fast and this is one of the things I am thankful for.
With your limited English and my limited German, I can’t make you see the entire picture. I am avoiding hanging out with you because I want to maintain a professional distance and not because I am scared of you being a Muslim and whatever hideous things society attached to it. I am avoiding hanging out with all of you because I can’t promise that I will be able to control my sobs when I hear all of your heart-wrenching stories. I am not that brave. My heart isn’t as cold as I am projecting it to be. I am “avoiding” hanging out with all of you because my bills won’t fend for themselves. Studying and working at the same time is a bitch. My parents have a point when they didn’t allow me to do both of them earlier.
These days, even shaping my brows needs to be in my appointment list.
One day my wish of you finding a girl came true and I can’t describe the happiness I am seeing from you. I wish you knew how genuinely happy I am for you. You literally seemed floating after the class just to be with this young lady and can’t stop talking about her and how you both loved football. Oh. Puppy love! Days passed and your glow was just making the entire room bright and I was silently hoping to feel what you’re feeling too but I have things to do and can’t decide if I want a prince charming or pursue my dreams. I sucked at juggling and my love life isn’t something to be proud of. Nevertheless, I still wished for your happiness to continue, for your love to flourish and for you to be a man I somehow hoped you to be. I prayed the lord to continue to inspire you to be motivated. You might not know this but I feel like you’re the son I still don’t have.
But I will never forget that one sunny afternoon after our class. I just wasn’t able to ask why you looked so different during the class. Won’t smile. Won’t look at me and won’t reply to my Whats-app messages. We used to exchange messages even during the class. I called to cancel my babysitting that afternoon to invite you for ice cream. You said yes but I waited for us to be seated in the nearby park to ask you what’s wrong. You looked away and said “She is gone.” I understood what you meant but I pressed for details.
As your mother, I want to know not because I am nosy but because I want you to tell me how you feel about it. I want you to feel better. “Her dad saw us playing football in the park and approached us. He asked his daughter how he knew me and his daughter said I am a Refugee. The father looked at me and asked if I speak German. He told me that he doesn’t want me having anything to do with his daughter and to break contact immediately.” You said with a voice so controlled so tears won’t fall. I didn’t know what to say. I can’t pretend to be cool because nothing is to be cool about it. I was so mad. My heart was crashed into thousand tiny pieces. I want to be mad at the world for being this harsh to you. I wanted to take away the pain that you feel. I wish I can change the world for people like you. Your innocence doesn’t deserve this. I wish I didn’t ask for details. I wish I just pretended not to care and maybe that way I wouldn’t know how crap this world can be. “It’s okay. You’re young and you’ll find another girl.” It was the most nonsense reply I could give you but what can I say to make you feel better? Nothing. It is the way it is. There is nothing at that moment that can make it better.
“Focus your attention in learning and do all the sports you want. It’s not easy I know but it will just pass.” I even told you. I just hope that my hugs made you feel that I will always be here for you no matter where I will be. One day though, I know I will be able to tell you that I became a better person just by eating ice cream with you.