Chapter 9: Just Me
January passed by so quickly and the two were inseparable since New Year’s Eve. Even though they were together and already so close Jonathan was wondering if they were already a couple. He was too shy to ask her so he just enjoyed their current relationship.
One day after classes the two were going out of the campus when suddenly someone shouted Kathleen’s name. They both turned around and Jonathan instantly recognized Tom and Kathleen suddenly ran towards him. “Tom! Long time no see! How are you?” she said. “Doing well, oh is he your boyfriend?” he asked and looked at Jonathan. Kathleen shook her head and said “Silly! Don’t you recognize him, its Jonathan Parker” and Tom looked closer. “Jonathan Parker? Hey Fat boy! Where’s all your extra luggage? Did you leave it somewhere?” he suddenly said. Jonathan was used to those insults so it didn’t bother him. “Hey Tom, you look the same” Jonathan replied.
“So what brings you here?” Kathleen asked. “Well I heard that you were still around here so I came to see you. Do you want to take a bite with me, I’m starving. Jonathan you can come too so we can recover all those fat you lost, my treat!” he boasted. Kathleen laughed and Jonathan was irked. “No, its okay, I have things to do. Both of you enjoy” Jonathan said and he turned around and left.
Tom became a common face every day as he was always present to pick up Kathleen after classes. Jonathan became jealous but he could not do anything about it since he does not know exactly what their relationship was. Valentine’s Day was fast approaching and he needed to make a move already since it seemed that Kathleen was slipping away from him.
The day before Valentine’s Day and Jonathan had everything planned. After classes he approached Kathleen who was busy copying notes. “Excuse me Kathleen would you like to watch the concert tomorrow with me?” he asked her. Kathleen stopped writing and looked at him, “I’m sorry but I promised Tom I would go with him, you can tag along if you want” she said. “Oh no it’s fine, I don’t have tickets anyway I heard they were sold out. So you two enjoy then. I have to go I have to meet with the dean” he said and he rushed out. Kathleen was too busy writing and she didn’t notice Jonathan leave.
Anne entered the classroom and approached Kathleen. “Hey Kath, do you want to go with me to watch the concert?” Kathleen laughed and said “You know what you are the third person to ask me that, I already agreed with Tom but I don’t know if he has tickets yet, Jonathan said they were sold out and he could not even get them.” Anne was surprised and said “That’s funny because Jonathan handed me this tickets just now.” Kathleen paused and looked at Anne, “He gave you those tickets? He told me he didn’t have tickets” she revealed. “Yeah so what do you call these? I told you he gave it to me just a while ago” Anne insisted.
“He lied to me then” Kathleen said. “You are stupid! Let me guess he asked you to go with him to the concert but you told him you were going with Tom right?” Anne asked. Kathleen nodded and Anne slammed her fist on the table. “You are really amazing! Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, isn’t it obvious Jonathan wants to be with you! What’s the big deal with Tom anyway? Reviving the old love, so you can simply dump Jonathan on the sidelines just like that? I thought you liked him?! If you were going to treat him that way then you should have let me pursue him instead!! You are so selfish!!!” Anne shouted at Kathleen and handed her the two tickets. “Here you and Tom enjoy your date!!!” Anne added and she left.
“Wait! I was too busy with so many things I forgot it was already Valentine’s day tomorrow!” Kathleen shouted. Anne turned back and said “Yeah busy with Tom!” and Kathleen stood up. “I have not seen Tom for a long time so I am just keeping him company, he is on a vacation here for a month” Kathleen snapped back. “Stupid! Think about what you are saying! Jonathan likes you so much and I don’t know if you are just playing with him or what. Tom comes back and you simply leave him behind just like that? So when Tom leaves do you think Jonathan will still be there? Think about it, put yourself in his shoes and see how you would feel!!” then Anne slammed the door as she leaves the room. Kathleen froze for a moment and sat down. She grabbed her things and went straight home.
As soon as she got home she sent several text messages to Jonathan but he did not reply. She tried calling him on his mobile phone but all she heard was the voice of the operator saying Jonathan’s phone was out of coverage area. She called Jonathan’s landline but nobody was answering. She gave up and decided to talk to him first thing in the morning.
Kathleen rushed to the classroom early and waited for Jonathan to arrive. The bell has already sounded but he was not still there. The professor came in still Jonathan was missing. Kathleen looked around the room to check if he was there but she only saw Anne staring at her. Kathleen felt guilty and just stared at Jonathan’s empty seat.
She waited the whole day but Jonathan never went to class. She left the classroom hurriedly and went straight to Jonathan’s home. She knocked at the door for a long time but no one was answering. She decided to wait for someone to arrive so she sat by the door. An hour passed and Charlie was walking home so she rushed towards him. “Hi, do you know where Jonathan is?” she asked. Charlie was surprised to see Kathleen and he replied “Looking for Jonathan? Today is Valentine’s day you should be with him”. “I have not seen him the whole day, I checked in the stream and falls but he is not there too. No one is at their home right now” she said. “His parents went for a vacation, didn’t he tell you that?” Charlie told her. “Since when?” she asked. “Since the first of February, he didn’t tell you that? He has been living along for two weeks now, his parents will be back on March” Charlie revealed.
Kathleen felt really terrible; she has not been talking to Jonathan lately since she was busy with Tom. She didn’t know what was happening to Jonathan, now she does not know where he is. Kathleen told Charlie the whole story and he was mad at her. “All I can say is good luck, if Jonathan does not want to be found then no one can find him. He is that way; he thinks ahead and covers all holes. Did you ever see him angry?” Charlie asked. Kathleen tried to recall but she has never seen Jonathan mad or angry. “No I have not” she answered. “You see whenever Jonathan is mad or angry he does not show it, you will never know what he is thinking. He just goes away, I think you have seen him mad already, I’m sure of it” Charlie revealed and again Kathleen remembered the situation at the graduation ball.
“Just enjoy yourself with Tom, don’t worry about Jonathan, he is used to that kind of pain. Recently I saw him happy; never did I see him that happy when we were growing up, so I thought you really were a blessing. Hey don’t worry he is intelligent, he would understand why you chose Tom, he is used to those things you know” Charlie lectured on. Kathleen began crying and walked away.
A week has passed and Jonathan was nowhere to be found. Kathleen stopped seeing Tom and Anne never spoke to her since. She went to school feeling lifeless, first class of the day she just stared at Jonathan’s empty seat. The professor already entered but still she just kept staring at the seat.
“Listen, I would like to announce that our school won the Math Olympiad recently. Your classmate Jonathan won gold in the individual competition and he anchored the team to another gold in the team competition.”
She clearly heard what the professor said so she stood up at once and asked. “Sir, where is Jonathan now?” The professor looked at her and said “They just arrived and they are at the dean’s office. They shall present their medals to the University president later so you won’t expect him to be back today in class.”
Kathleen sat down and she could not wait to see him. Her excitement made her mind wander far away that she lost track of time. She waited and waited but Jonathan never attended their classes the whole day. She went home after their last class and could not wait for tomorrow.
The next day as she entered the classroom Jonathan was already there, she rushed to her seat and greeted him. “Hi!” she said. Jonathan looked at her and smiled then said “Hi”. Kathleen saw him smile so she thought everything was fine between them. “Congratulations, you never told me you were going to a competition” she said. “I wanted to tell you but you were too busy” he replied. Kathleen felt a stab in her heart but continued on. “I’ve been trying to reach you in your phone but you never answer” she said. “Oh I lost my phone a long time ago, I was supposed to tell you that too but again you were busy” he revealed.
Kathleen felt so guilty already but she still tried to make a conversation with him. “Do you want to copy my notes, you have been gone for a long time you know” she offered. “No thanks, I already asked Anne for her notes. Sorry I thought you were busy so I didn’t bother asking you” he answered and smiled. Kathleen was beginning to hate herself, even though he was smiling he seemed so distant from her already.
They walked together after their last class and headed towards the main gate. “Hey Kathleen Tom is over there, so I guess I will see you tomorrow” he said and quickly crossed the street. Kathleen was caught off guard and Tom was already beside her. She shouted Jonathan’s name but he never turned to look at her, he just raised his hand and waived.
Kathleen went straight home and locked herself in her room. She saw the letters Jonathan wrote her and she read them all again. She just noticed something, written in all the letters she read, Jonathan never wrote his name at the bottom, all that was written was “JUST ME”. She started to cry and saw the last letter that she never opened. She held the letter and opened it and started to read it.
I knew from the start I stood no chance
To ask you for a single dance
Still I tried with all my might
To dance with you in this grand night
Seeing the shock in your face made me realize
That the likes of me would never suffice
A single smile I asked before I did depart
To somewhat ease my already broken heart
So much pain I felt, so much despair
But in my heart you’re still there
I know a fact that we could never be
For the simple reason….its JUST ME.
Kathleen sobbed profusely and she hard a hard time breathing. She now understands that Jonathan loves her so much and she is guilty for what she has done.