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Until Next Time (3/3)
------There was this boy I knew in middle school.his name was Joel. He was weird. Hes Dominican, about the same height, glasses and freckles. He looked like that typical nerd kid you see in television. He also had a crush on me, but I think I kinda shot him down back then. We were kids, I didn't know how to interact with boys then because of puberty and s**t and hormones running around the body, and the painful cramps that came with it. I guess I was the weird one too. I hated middle school, did so much stupid s**t.

------But back then I was that quiet weird girl, who sat alone in the lunch room because the other girls would tease me and say hurtful things about how different I was, maybe because of my ethnicity, or maybe it was that emo-phase. I don't really remember nor care to. I was caught up in my own fantasy, in the note books that I drew on, created my own characters and worlds. I showed people my drawings so that they'd stop bullying me and maybe get friends and stuff. I say the art I drew was pretty much s**t compared to the ones I make now. But that's how I met him.

------He drew a lot too, we started drawing pictures together, I knew I was better and there grew this rivalry and friendship. I say he was the only one who reached out to me, when I was alone. He started sitting with me in my table corner, and we'd just sit there without saying a word to each other. As our communication was sketched through the paper and graphite that we both danced with.

------Of course he then showed me to his friends, who were like me, a bunch of outcasts. And from there, I discovered my abilities to sing and a passion though guitar, because of their encouragement. They gave me confidence, to break out of that emo-phase, and they gave me that friendship I desired. Of course because of this, I stopped sitting in that corner, stopped drawing too. I sat with my friends, playing songs for them singing and playing Taylor Swift, before she abandoned the guitar and started singing pop. This of course, bought the attention of other people. I was known as Guitar Girl or GG, for short. I felt as if all the bullies faded away with the past, and everyone became my friends. Of course as I was enveloped into the crowd, I couldn't help it but to look back. Looking at Joel, alone in the corner of the table, drawing. I wanted to go back, but I was too distracted. I couldn't distinguish the difference of a fan to a friend, tragically cliche s**t.

------I'm not going to lie though, I didn't think I had feelings for him back then. My eyes was looking at this other boy, Luciano he was Dominican too, maybe subconsciously I have a thing for Dominican men, because Edgenis is Dominican as well. He was that skater boy, and he was a main influence on why I started listening to rock and punk back then. He is also one of Joel's closest friend. I don't think he ever liked me in return, but maybe because he knew that Joel liked me. Near the end though, he got himself a girlfriend which shot down all my hopes, but maybe it's karma. Her name was Alecia, and I wanted to be her so badly at the time, not because she was with my crush, but because she was beautiful, she was confident, and she was caring. I envied those things about her, and I couldn't be mad at her because she was just a nice person in general. She was one of the few that encouraged me to sing and whatnot.

------Of course this s**t is ancient history, I haven't seen those guys in 5 or 7 years. Except Joel, I seen him around after middle school. Our high schools were right across the street to each other. Except he went to a specialized one, which specialized Art. I just went to the regular one. I wanted to go with him, but my time focusing on the guitar, made my drawings rusty. In the end, he got better than me by ten-folds. I guess he won that rivalry. But I seen him around, we'd get off different times however, but on rare occasions I see him and we'd go home together.

------I'd had just gotten off the two train, it was winter so it was cold, but not snowing yet. I forgot my gloves that day, and my hands did not fit in the skinny jeans I wore. I also wore a blazer, so no pockets sadly. I waited there at the bus stop.

------"Hey GG, is that you?" I stood there, waiting. I saw this tall man, brown leather bomber jacket and dark jeans, and glasses. He had a nice smile. Its been forever since I saw him, so I stare at his face trying to remember why it looked so familiar. "GG?"

------I squint my eyes. "Joel, is that you?"

------"Yep!" He smiled, it was cute. He has definitely changed.

------"I almost didn't recognize you, but your glasses gave it away, you've changed, gotten taller too." I was looking up to him, my face was to his shoulders now. "Besides, I haven't heard that name in forever."

------"Yeah its been a while" He opened up his backpack to grab something. "So how have you been?"

------"I'm alright I guess, had a band, but nothing ever lasts you know?" I sigh, "But not like it matters that's in the past, what about you?"

------"I've been eeh, lots of stress at home and s**t, grades and stuff." He pulls out his sketch book, and flips some pages. "Aha!, here it is, look." he pulls out an old drawing that we have collaborated together, way back when. You can tell by the pencil smudges and the wrinkles on the paper, dated November 8, 2007, by Ani and Joel.

------"Wow, you still have this? Its been a while since I drew, but I've gotten better!" I look at the artwork, I feel on its lines gently, despite the fact that it's old and already smudging, so that it wouldn't be damaged further.

------"So have I, look," he flips his book, he showed me the same image that we drew back then, but this time he did it himself. He has even colored it and shaded it with mastery. "I redid it, I didn't know what colors you were thinking of when you were drawing so, I had to think a bit." He is smiling in a way that you can tell that he's boasting off his skills, but after all I was in his shoes, way back when.

------"Wow, you've gotten way better since the last time." I laugh a little. "I admit I'm kinda jealous."

------"To be honest, I've kept it because you inspired me to change as well." He looks into my eyes, I feel intimidated yet attracted. its a weird sensation. Then he looks away, it is as if I was in a trance, just staring into his beautiful eyes. Somehow I can sense that he's hurt, or longing for something, and somehow I felt as if he knew that I was somehow staring straight into his being. "Uhh... we should walk, so we get time to catch up with each other, I'll drop you off because I live farther."

------"I'd like that..." I smiled at him. "Though its kinda cold, I forgot to bring my jacket and gloves like an idiot, hehe..."

------"Here have mine then," offering his jacket.

------"Oh my god, please no." I giggle, "That's so cliche, and I wouldn't want you to be cold either."

------"Well fine then," He take off his jacket, "Lets just endure the cold together." I face-palmed, and started shaking my head, but then he wraps his jacket around my shoulders anyway. "Let's go GG."

------"You can call me Ani..." I slightly blushed, and looked away. We started walking and talking about various things such as art and my band, and other stuff that happened since the last time we saw each other. He held my hand, and I placed our linked hands into the pocket of his jacket to keep his hands warm. "Lets walk slower, since we're almost there."

------"Alright..." When we got there, he dropped me off in front of my doorstep and gave me a hug, "This is the part where I ask for you number, or contact, but I don't do social media."

------"And I don't have a phone yet," I giggled.

------"Well I guess I'll just let bet on fate, to see each other again then."

------"Heh, alright I hope to see you soon again though."

------"Me too Ani," He sighed, "Me too."

------I saw him for three more times in long intervals of times, such as months or even years and we'd do the same routine of holding hands, catching up with each other, walking slower when we're almost near my place. And each time I see him, I yearn and pray that I see him again. I found myself taking the two train everyday, to go home and hoping I would see him again on the bus stop. I found myself disappointed when I don't, cursing fate wishing to see him more.

------I saw him once again, same scenario, I'm at the bus stop waiting, and he arrives, we walk home, holding hands. But something was different then. It was in October, near Halloween, I forgot what date even though I shouldn't have. It was dark that night because of the day light savings, even though it was just 6 pm, and I came home from an exhausting day at school.

------"I don't wanna home yet." He said sadly, "There's chaos in my place, you know how parents are."

------"I know how you feel," I held his hand tighter.

------"Lets go sit down on that bench there in the park."

------"Okay," we walked towards the bench, and sat down, watched the cars pass by across the busy street. we watched people come and go, though it was dark, and they were probably going home. we sat there in silence. just holding hands, under the moonlight and streetlights that shined and glowed dim above us. I was breathing slowly, but my heart raced with excitement. I looked at him, and he looked at me back. For the first time, I felt something I haven't felt before, as if there was a magnet between us pulling us closer to each other. For a moment I stopped breathing, and I just looked into his eyes, seeing how handsome his face is, I wanted to touch his face. But I was scared, I never felt anything like this, so I got up.

------"Where you going?" he asked, but his voice sounded as if he was pleading me not to go anywhere, that he needed me right now.

------"Did you feel that?" I said breathing exhilaratingly, my eyes wide open. "It is as if there was a force upon us, attracting us."

------"Like we were going to kiss?..." That's when I noticed that he was short on breath, like he was holding it in too. I nodded in silence, and he giggled.

------"Kiss me then..." I thought in my head, but the words slipped out of my tongue. He got up and held me. As I looked up towards him, he answered back, and stole the words off my mouth, and I held his face as our hearts and lips danced into the rhythm of the night. That was the last time I saw him, and that was when he stole my first kiss.

------The reason why I'm probably writing about this is because, I had a dream about him as of late. Somehow the old crew back in middle school somehow managed to have a reunion, I saw Luciano, and Alecia, and everyone else whom I befriended. I looked for him but he wasn't there, maybe its my subconscious protecting from heartbreak.

------"Have you guys seen Joel?" I asked Luciano and Alecia.

------Luciano looked at me strangely, as if there was something in my eyes, maybe tears, I don't know. "He died, how could you have forget?" he says, worryingly.

------I looked at him with a face of disbelief, "He died?" I looked at Alecia's face, and everyone else's face which were staring at me strange. Suddenly a thought appeared in my head. "Oh right he died.... how could have forgotten."

------I placed my hands over my face, wanting to cry but no tears came out, because I already have cried for him. The thought was that I remembered that he did die, and I was there at his funeral with eyes like waterfalls. I remember he killed himself, committed suicide.

------"Yeah GG, he died we were there at his funeral." Alecia said. "He died because of that shooting in his school, he's a hero."

------That's when it hit me, the uncertainty that is, and I realized that I was dreaming, that there's no way he's dead. I woke up from that dream, and thought about him for the rest of the day, till now as I type this. I wonder how he is... and somehow I wish I haven't dream't that. That I want to keep his memory in the darkest place of my mind for breaking my heart. Maybe the dream symbolizes that his death, is me forgetting him. I hope he's still alive, I hope...

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