“How are they? They seem happy.”

“They are.” I said. Hearing both their laughter, it was easy to know who you were talking about without even looking. You don’t even have to look. You can hear it in the sound of their voices, something I’m trying so hard not to notice.

“Good job. At least they seem to be getting there.”

I gave a hallow laugh without taking my eyes off the sketch I was making. The park was rowdy as usual, Sunday always is, anyway. The kids always made a ruckus and the teenagers giggling around the corner doesn’t help the noise pollution much. Then there’s the laughter of the couples, caught up in their own world, once in a while; theirs to be exact.

“So where does that leave you?”

I stopped sketching and looked at you, daring you to ask the question one more time. You just held your hands high in surrender. I rolled my eyes and went back to sketching.

When all of it started, that was the one question I didn’t even dare think about. I can’t be that selfish, thinking of what would happen to me if what is happening now happens. I was, after all, doing it for someone else and not for myself.

“Do you think they would last?”

I let my hands draw the lines on the pad while pondering on the question. A part of me wants them to last, to finally realize that the happiness they have been looking for is with each other. But somewhere deep inside me, there is also a part that silently hopes that they wouldn’t, even if it means that all the things I have done to help them be together would just be wasted. That, at the very least, I can honestly admit to myself.

“Wasn’t it a little too fast? They barely know each other.”

“They will get there.” I answered without looking up. No matter how painful those words were, I actually believe that they just might make it through.

“And you?”

“I’ll get there too.” I said, forcing a laugh that made them look our way. Question marks where on their faces as I rolled my eyes one more time, trying to say that whatever it was we were talking about wasn’t important. It didn’t take them too long to go back to how they were, almost cuddling, whispering on each other’s ears, and laughing.

“Is it really possible?”

It took me a little more time to process your question. My mind and my heart was busy unseeing what was right in front of me; unseeing, unknowing, unlearning, and maybe, just maybe, unloving.

“Possible to what?” I asked, trying to catch my breath.

“To love someone without asking for anything in return.”

“Maybe. There is a big difference between asking and hoping, so I guess it’s possible.” I said, trying to go back to what I was doing.
The sketch is almost finished but I can’t seem to force my fingers to continue. You were watching and noticed. It was a sketch of them as they are now, happy, laughing, alive, and very much in love, under a tree. I guess whoever would look at the picture and notice that single leaf that seems to be flying away from them wouldn’t even realize its significance. That is me.

“Your subtle bitterness never seizes to amaze me.” You said with a chuckle. I was about to ask what you mean when you started tracing the leaf on the pad.

“You noticed.”

“We’ve been friends for the longest time, maybe not as long as you have been in love but long enough.”

“I didn’t think anybody knew.” I said, closing the pad. It wasn’t finish as per aesthetics but I was done with it. Like what I have always done when I am through with a sketch, I broke the pencil and threw it as far as I can.

“Silence isn’t always a sanctuary you know. Sometimes, it shows more than what we are willing to reveal.” Again, all I can give as an answer was a hallow laugh.

“So where does this put you?” You asked when I didn’t say anything.

“I’ll be beside you, our other friends and everyone that matters, waiting to be told that everything is going to be alright.” I said.
“Will you believe it?”

“Believe what?”

“Will you believe it if we tell you that everything will be alright?”

“I hope so because if I can’t even believe that, then I’m screwed.” I answered with a sigh.

As if on cue, they finally ended whatever it was that they were doing and asked us if we wanted to go home. You said yes and it didn’t take long before we were out of the park and were walking home. I was the first one to reach my own apartment.

On my way to the door, you grabbed my hand and placed something on it before dragging them both away.

“You have to make yourself believe it first.” You shouted before disappearing on the next curve.

Instead of going in, I sat on the swing by the porch. I didn’t have to look to know that it was an eraser that you have given me. For almost an hour, I just sat there, trying to understand what you wanted me to do.

I opened the pad and stared at the sketch that I did of them. There was no way that you wanted me to erase it all. And then I saw the leaf and as if it has a mind of its own, my hand started removing every single trace of it.

Yes, I would have to make myself believe it first.


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