The annual graduation ceremony came and everyone was excited. I wasn't totally thrilled with the idea that Jason would no longer be in school with me. What if he got a good job that took him out of New York, out of the United States, out of my life?
A long distance relationship was something I had never tried before but believe I might never succeed in, if I tried. The thought of not being around the one you love made me uncomfortable.
Did I just say love?
Whoops! Where did it come from?
You love him, shut up and accept it. My subconscious screamed.
Love is a profound and caring affection towards someone. A feeling of intense attraction, trust, care, security towards a person.
When one finds love, one finds peace, joy and a promise of fulfilment. Love brings selflessness.
Love is someone who's shoulder is always available for you to cry on. Who's arms are always there to hold, comfort and keep you warm.
Love is patient, love seeks your happiness at all times.
All these words were spoken by my high school teacher during literature. Our main literary piece back then was William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
When she explained, all of us laughed because we didn't understand what she meant.
But she ended her teaching that day by saying "Falling in love is the best feeling ever and I hope you all experience it someday."
Well, I guess what she hoped for came true for me. I knew I was in love with Jason and I knew he loved me too but until he was willing to confess his feelings to me, I would continue to keep it within.
The girls and I slept over at Valerie's house on the eve of the ceremony. Ana said it was a neat duplex owned by Valerie's parents which they were able to build a few years after their immigration. Valerie and Samantha were graduating along with Jason, George and Charles.
I still kept the proposal a secret so that it wouldn't slip from either Ana or Tess. It was supposed to be a grand surprise.
We got up quite early in the morning to dress properly for the day. Our dresses were bought from one of the extravagant boutiques we found in the mall three days ago. Mine was a tight dress that stopped before my knees. It was a V-neck gown and Ana placed a tiny necklace on my neck to complement it. Tess helped me straighten my hair—not without complaining about my hair being too full and curly—and it turned out sleek and glossy. Then she completed the look by tucking it behind my ears.
I know I couldn't see myself but with the level of compliments the girls gave me, I felt beautiful and appreciated. When she was done with hers, Samantha did my makeup while the rest sorted out themselves and then I brought out my shoe box from the little overnight duffel bag I brought with me. My shoes were a not so high fancy sandals which I bought in the same boutique with my dress. Ana made a comment of how my red lipstick brought out the colour of my red gown and sandals. Well, now I got to know the colour of what I wore.
We took some videos and pictures of which the girls said they were gonna post on Instagram. I wasn't on any social media so I wasn't bothered. I just smiled whenever they wanted me to and readily took the pictures so I could show mum and dad.
Valerie's dad chaperoned us and no one argued because it was a lost battle if we did. On the ride to school, her dad kept describing his own valedictory service and how his father chaperoned his sister on hers. He mentioned it was a tradition now.
Bored of his story, I remembered I was with my headphones and iPod and quickly searched for both gadgets in my bag. Soon his voice was drowned in the blaring sound of Rihanna and Mikky Ekko's ‘Stay’. Mikky's sonorous voice consumed my mind and made me enjoy the song more. It almost lulled me to sleep when suddenly one of the girls tapped me.
"How can you sleep when I'm graduating, weirdo?" It was Samantha. She was always goofy. She talked too much but was very friendly. Tess mentioned once that Samantha's parents were deceased and she lived with one of her relatives.
I just smiled and decided to change the song instead. I ran my hands up the headphone to search for the next button and when I did, I was suddenly hypnotized by Baby Ariel's ‘Aww’ and didn't know when I began to groove to the music. Reducing the volume a bit as a result of the noise in the background, I realized the girls were all making fun of my dance moves. I shrugged and placed it on the highest volume, with my dance moves still in check.
Some time later, I was tapped on my shoulder and turned off the music, then I was notified that we had arrived. I placed my gadgets back into my bag and pulled my cane out with me as I got out. Immediately, I was embraced by the cool late morning air. The girls still chattered and I joined them. Valerie held my arm as we went and remarked that she was nervous. That had me wondering if she knew George was going to propose to her today. Nah, I don't think she knew because if she did, she wouldn't be uneasy.
I had to hold my tongue from telling her everything but I knew George was counting on me to keep the secret until the end of today.
But the knowledge of it was exhilarating and it made me wonder how mine would be.
Who would I marry and how will the proposal be like?
But that was something to think about later. As for now, my total concern was to enjoy today and be happy for my friends who were graduating and soon to be married.
Well, that was if Valerie's agreed.