It has always been like that. In the movies: girls breaking up with boys, blurting out those cliché lines “We are not meant for each other,” “I need space.” But these are all crap. Movies treat guys like douchebags, trash worthy of a bin. And so Elan thought.
In between nibbles of Burger McDo and sips of Coca-cola in the cafeteria one drizzly morning, Elan and Meg hurled out tiff as the latter, with her eyes glinting with ardor, couched her dismay over her bestfriend who was jilted by a guy the moment she fell in love with him. Elan idly reclined his back on the plastic chair, stirring the straw on a half-empty cup, while his eyes nailed on Meg’s face as if on a trance. Why, her eyelashes sway like a peacock’s tail; her eyes, enraged like that of a sorceress, can lure a thousand warriors inside her lair. And as words escape from her lips, Elan surmised, linnet birds start to tweet.
Suddenly, a heavy tap on Elan’s shoulder ended the trance. Elan caught Meg, still with ardor-filled eyes, staring straight at him. “So gay, right?” Meg asked.
Elan straightened his back and cleared his throat. “Who’s gay?” He asked and turned his eyes around. The cafeteria was already filled with students dodging against one another in a rush to take their snacks, or even lunch. Eleven o’clock struck. And as Elan noticed, he and Meg were the only faculty members amid the crowd of students.
“The guy who left my friend,” Meg answered. “I mean, that jerk who said that only destiny can decide whether they are really meant for each other. What man, in his very straight and sane mind can utter that?”
“What’s the big deal with that?”
Meg’s back drooped. Her eyes rolled. “Duh. It’s a big deal for us girl. Guys who have that kind of disposition don’t have the balls to face reality. Love should not be dependent on fate. Aren’t you listening to my story, sir?”
“Well, I do, Meg. In fact, I strongly oppose that believing in destiny is gay. I think that the guy who jilted your bestfriend, as you said, just made the right decision,” answered Elan while glancing at the sweet couple munching strawberry-filled waffle on the table next to them. The girl, noticing his teacher with somebody beside him, teasingly smiled and waved at Elan. Elan winked back.
“What?” Meg uttered, as the air blew her empty cup, and it fell on the floor. “But she loved him. You know, sir, she even risked everything.”
“But did she risk enough? It seemed to me, according to your story, Ma’am, that the guy is just an alternative. Your bestfriend has not settled the issue with her ex yet and she is afraid of her parents not accepting the guy. She even refused to go out with him for fear that other people might see them both, while no closure has happened yet between her and the ex.”
Meg pouted her lips and nodded her head. For a minute, silence reigned between the two while the drizzle continued to pour above the roof, around the verdant lawn outside the cafeteria. “I guess, you’re right, sir. My bestfriend told me some instances that the guy proved how gentleman he was. And he even promised that they will continue to be friends.”
Elan shrugged his shoulder. I wish you and your boyfriend break up, he said to himself. And he made a quick sign of the cross, trying to erase that fiendish fancy from his mind. Silence shrouded the two teachers again. Then, Meg looked at his watch. “Oh gosh, it’s already twelve.”
“Time flies so fast, right?” Elan said. “But you know, you’re right. Love is indeed a risk. And putting myself on the guy’s shoes, I would do the same. Not keeping in touch with the girl for some time, giving her space is still the right thing to do. And if the girl is now ready, that’s the only time…”
Meg smiled. She stood. Elan followed. The students still crowded the cafeteria. The two teachers dodged against them. Drizzle turned into heavy rain. Upon reaching the door, Elan stopped while trying to take out something from his bag. “Oh, shit. I forgot my umbrella.”
Meg sweetly laughed as she opened her red umbrella. “You always forget to bring your umbrella whenever it rains. And when it’s not raining, you bring your umbrella. What’s up with that, sir?” They both laughed.
Elan and Meg treaded back Rada Hall and braved the heavy rain. Elan held the handle while Meg hugged her Chanel bag. Both their bodies almost tightly squeezed to each other. Amid the heavy rain, Elan could smell the floral perfume from Meg’s neck and hair. He wished Rada Hall were miles away from the cafeteria. But unfortunately, it was just twenty steps away and the moment with Meg under one umbrella was considered a work of fate. Elan himself believed in Fate, or Destiny as others would call it. And there’s nothing wrong with believing in it. For him, it’s always worth a try.
As the two reached Rada Hall, Meg whispered to Elan before entering the Faculty Room.
“I am single.”