Monday, August 23, 2010


We were in high school, a private all boys' school, and my friend Francis had a boyfriend named Jon. It was a weird set-up; a secret relationship, which everyone knew about. Perhaps it would be better to say that it wasn't a secret relationship; more an affair which they denied but everyone knew just the same. Like a showbiz affair, except the people weren't as famous.

I was sitting in a stone park bench one lazy afternoon when I saw Francis. He was flustered, and his movements were slightly manic. I didn't want to impose on his panic, or be part of it honestly, but he walked up to me and started to talk.

"I can't believe this is happening," he said, eyes slightly in tears.

"What?" I asked.

"Jon wouldn't talk to me anymore. I don't know what to do."

Now, being 15, and closeted, I really didn't know what to say. Also, the relationship he was referring to was supposed to be a non-existent one so I didn't know if I should admit I know or not.

"Uhm, are you ok?" I said instead.

"No!" The vehemence was surprising. " He wouldn't even talk to me." There were tears now. "If I knew he would break up with me, I would have hooked up with Jeff instead."

Francis had a lot of secret admirers. Which everyone knew about. The dynamics of high school gay relationships escape me, not being a part of it myself.

I knew I was going to regret saying this, but said it anyway. "What do you want me to do?" My head was really shouting "Damnit, damnit, damnit. You're such a doormat."

Francis, still in tears, told me, "Maybe you can talk to Jon for me."

Ok, so I have problems with talking with people, especially Jon in particular. First, I'm terribly, awfully socially awkward, which was at its peak in high school. Second, I didn't know Jon. I don't even take the time to say hi to him. Third, I've worked so hard to cultivate the image of a snob (in order to hide the feelings of a loser) to throw it away on something as silly as this. But no, instead I said something like this, "Ok."

Good lord. I was such a pushover.

So there I was, in the basketball court. There was a game ongoing. I saw Jon, who, incidentally, was with my classmate Percy. "This is going to be bad," I thought. Not only did I not know Jon, which would make the conversation awkward and embarrassing, I actually knew Percy, so there would be a witness to my embarrassment who can tell other people what happened. I looked behind me and saw Francis a few feet away, eyes expectant. I swallowed my pride and walked to Jon.

"Uhm, hi Jon. Hi Percy."

They looked at me in a weird way, as if I just decided to spit on them. But then Percy smiled and said hi. Jon followed a beat after.

I didn't know how to start so I said this, "Uhm, yea, Francis sent me to talk to you." Percy started whispering in Jon's ear. I had no idea what he was saying.

"Ah right," he replied.

"So, uhm, yea."


"Uhm, uhm, so, I guess you haven't been talking to him?" I didn't mean for that to be a question, but it became one.

"No, I'm just really busy these days."

"Ah, that's fair." And probably not true. No one's busy in high school. Everyone skipped homework except for the few smart ones everyone copied from. "So, you're not avoiding Francis?"

More whispering.

"No, no, why would I?" He smiled. A half-hearted one.

I didn't know what to say. It was too awkward, but I didn't know him enough to see if he was lying.

"Ok great, I guess I'll tell that to Francis then."

"You do that," Jon said. Then he and Percy went back to watching the varsity players play their practice game.

That was it I guess. No more to be said. I was just happy it was over.

I walked back to Francis. I saw him, still slightly manic, eyes expectant and glistening. I didn't want to be the one to break his heart so instead I said, "It's ok. He's just busy. He'll talk to you soon."

Photo taken here.


  1. now am asking why my parents didn't send me to an all boys high school...

    kidding..hehe..schools like that are expensive and we obviously can't afford them.

    anyway, before i totally digress [hehe] ...

    that was terribly awkward. and tell Percey he's sooo annoying [same in Harry Potter..hihi]

  2. this one's really funny. :))

    being a mediator especially in situations like this is not just nerve-racking but irritating as well. haha!

  3. What was wrong with tht Percy dude?! The way he kept whispering as if Jon didn't have a mind of his own!

  4. Wow, you are a very good, detailed writer. You should write a book!

  5. it's so weird. i went to an all boys school and i knew people were hooking up too, it's just i never saw anyone fight naman. but i get it, i get the secrecy and the awkwardness. i wasn't very sociable in high school either. :)

  6. from on, i shall call you the mediatrix.


  7. Hay.

    I feel for Francis. Sigh. The things we do.


  8. out of topic. :)

    just want to say thanks for dropping by my blog. :)

    anyway, cute story. 'twas really so high school. :)

  9. That's one classic Filipino trait - conflict resolution through mediation. Kaya nga patok sa 'tin si Mama Mary kasi she supposedly mediates between us and God. Ganon din mga santo.

    So... banal ka pala.

    (You know in India, cows are sacred. I just don't about the fickle ones.)

  10. i remember having this weird relationship with a straight guy back in high school. we'd write each other letters, talk on the phone till midnight--stuff that boyfriends and girlfriends do.

    suffice to say it ended badly. I became too attached to the point of forbidding him to date the girl he liked (sue me, I had great manipulation tactics). His last letter to me read: "All I wanted was a simple friendship."

    That broke my heart.

  11. Wow. The gay guy plays basketball?. I didnt exist in highschool and I have no idea that two gays could actually be in a relationship. Thats what way back then. Nice post : )

  12. this has gay high school Purloined Letter written all over it. i don't feel for Francis. i feel for you.

  13. @desole: hahaha. it can be interesting, yes.

    @novie: thanks!

    @phunk: who knows? I don't. :-)

    @molly: thank you!

    @citybuoy: glad to meet a kindred spirit.

    @eternal: I don't mind. sounds kinky.

    @kane: true, the things we do.

    @pamela: thanks.

    @ian: they eat them?

    @narnian: that always happens. that's why it's never a good idea to fall in love with a straight boy. I think.

    @daniel: I don't think he was gay. I think he was just going through a phase.

    @enil: hahaha. I can't believe you managed to connect "The Purloined Letter" here. I sort of get it, but not totally. :-)

  14. i always enjoy your stories.. :)

  15. Maybe Jon and Percy has a secret relationship too :-)

  16. there appears to be a repetition in the (mis)uses of hiding things out in the open. the difference between TPL and here is that Dupin does not return the letter to the Queen unnoticed. jon uses it to victimize francis. francis uses it to victimize you. however, percy's appearance forecloses the possibility of you repeating this series on jon. percy's presence foreclosed the misuse of information/trust/risk by you and in fact, redirects the series back on francis' victimization of you. all done in the open yet in the blind. (for everything about collective consciousness that must be moderated, this is one of the worst effects of the collective injunction of hiding adolescent gay relationships, it does not allow for collective interventions in precisely something that should be about love and leaves only the sex and power-struggles.)

  17. Wow, thanks for commenting cause I found your blog through that! your about me is awesome. It reminds me of me :)
    So you're my new favorite blogger! :D

  18. great story, i love the randomness of it:)
    thanks for checking out my blog too

  19. wow dude...
    You write nice stuff....I guess i'll be following you..:)

  20. @gessyl: thank you.

    @midnight driver and ian: maybe.

    @enil: wow, my head is spinning. i think i need to read the purloined letter again. thanks for the insight. :-)

    @koo: thank you. :-)

    @miss: no prob. and thanks!

    @se2: that's great! thanks!

  21. thanks for visiting my random world! and thanks for your opinion as well. :) i tend to be able to make great decisions for other people, but find it much more difficult to design spaces for myself! lol :P

    great writing btw! blessings, -Tracie

  22. @tale: no prob. and thank you. :-)

  23. Aww this is sad!!!!!! :(


  24. Hey sir, do you believe of it being as "just a phase" per your comment earlier. My ex told me i wa just a phase to him. Now, he has gotten himself a vajayjay. God!
    - deadma walking

  25. @ bonsaist: thanks!

    @ anonymous: hey! don't call me sir, it's weird. :-) also, I don't know if it's just a phase, I'm just making conclusions on the very limited information I know. Your guess is as good as mine.

  26. That's one brave act man! \m/ So what happened next?

    Btw, thanks for droppin' by at my blog! ^^,


    Cebu Rhythms

  27. Wonderful essays here, Fickle! I'm so glad that you commented on my blog, so I could find yours! Wonderful to share yourself and find community. That's what it's all about, baby!

  28. @jorich: thanks! :-)

    @lena: Thank you. I appreciate the sentiment. :-)



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