Saturday, March 27, 2010

Palms and Pockets Chapter 25: Palms and Pockets

Palms and Pockets

by Paul Diaz

Chapter 25: Palms and Pockets

It was the last day of examinations, Anne and John were discussing their answers as they were walking around campus. “The last problem at first look seemed difficult but it actually wasn’t” Anne said and the young man pouted and scratched his head. “Don’t tell me you didn’t get it. You got the answer right?” she asked. John sighed and put on a lonely face and the young woman patted his back. “That’s okay I am sure you got the others correctly” she said and the young man grinned.

“You got it?” she asked and John laughed. “Of course I got it. How can I not get it when that was the same topic you taught me before. Its similar to the practice problem you let me solve and I tried it again last night” he told her and the two were so happy. They passed by the post board and John saw his poem still there. “Wow they laminated it” he uttered but the young woman pretended not to look.

The two were heading towards the parking area when Eric and Sue approached them. “Hey Anne” the young man said. “Wanna come with? We are having a party at Eric’s house. His parents are out of town” Sue asked. John nodded his head and walked away and Anne was left with her friends. “No thanks, we have plans” she said.

“Oh come on Anne, I want you there” Eric said. “You can bring John too if you want” Sue insisted. “Sorry, we really have plans. Maybe next time” Anne told them as she ran after her best friend.

John was about to get in his car when Anne caught up to him. “You walked out on me again” she said. “Well I thought you were going with them” he told her. “I am sure you heard what I said to them” Anne teased and the young man smiled. “We have plans?” he asked and the young woman laughed. “Not yet but we are going to make plans, right?” she replied and John took a deep breath and got inside his car.

Once they arrived at John’s home Anne wanted to talk with him some more but the young man just nodded at her and entered their home. The young woman was left outside was lonely for he was still treating her coldly. She still had not responded to his question but she was determined to shatter the wall that was now standing in between them.

The next day Anne went to John’s house early in the morning. Bob and Linda were having breakfast and they asked her to join them. “I really need to talk to John” she said. “Oh sure, maybe you would like to bring him breakfast?” Linda asked and the young woman nodded.

Ten minutes later Anne entered John’s room and saw the young man still under his blanket. She set the tray down on the study desk and sat down on the bed and caressed her bestfriend’s face. John slowly opened his eyes and saw the young woman smiling at him. “What are you doing here so early?” he asked.

“I came to bring you breakfast” she whispered. “Let me sleep some more Anne” he uttered. “Move over then so I can sleep beside you” she said as she held on to the blanket. “No! I am naked” John said. Anne paused as they looked at each other, she let go of the blanket for a second but held on to it tighter. The young woman grinned and John started to laugh. “Really?” she teased. “Yeah because it was warm last night” he told her.

Anne pulled the blanket away and the young man laughed as she saw him wearing shorts. “Liar!” she yelled. “You are starting to get really naughty Anne” John said and the young woman grinned. “Hey John what would you want to do this summer?” she asked and the young man sighed and shook his head. “Nothing” he uttered.

“You have no plans whatsoever?” she asked. “No plans at all” he replied. “Good, then come with me for I have something to show you” Anne said and she held his hand and pulled him. “Anne! I am half naked!” he yelled but the young woman was persistent.

They ran down the stairs and John’s parents were surprised. “John! Wear some clothes!” Linda yelled. “Oh don’t worry I will bring him back at once” Anne said as the two went out of the house. “Anne! Let me go! Where are we going?” John asked. “In my room” she answered. “What are we going to do there? Look the neighbors are looking” he told her. Anne looked at John, “Something we should have done a long time ago. I am sure you will really like it” she teased.

They reached the doorstep of Anne’s home and John could not stop himself from laughing. “Wait, what are you talking about?” he asked. The young woman looked at him seriously and placed her hand on his chest. “Its about time and I want to do it with you” she softly said and the young man’s eyes grew bigger.

Anne entered the house and John followed her like a zombie. Before entering her room, the young woman smiled and slowly opened the door. Anne quickly sat on the bed and looked at him, his heart was beating so fast and he was too scared to enter the room. “Come inside John” Anne teased and the young man slowly walked towards the wall.

“Come closer, I want to show you something” she said and John did as instructed. He was shaking and the young woman was chuckling. He stood in front of her and Anne pointed towards her desk. John quickly turned around and was surprised to see hiking equipment.

“Could you check if I missed to buy something” she told him and the young man happily checked out her hiking boots. “Wow! These are the new ones and you even have a nice backpack” he told her. Anne stood beside him and she saw that he was very elated. “I want to go hiking with you John. A promise that I made a long time ago and I am sorry if we never got to go. Can we go this time?” she told him.

John bowed his head and looked at the shoes once again, “Well I have to check on the guys if they want to” he said. “No John, its just you and me” Anne said as she caressed his hand. “One condition” he said and the young man looked at her. “What is it?” she asked and Anne was starting to get nervous for what he was about to say.

“You have to let me wear clothes because I cant go hiking like this” he said. The young woman pouted and looked at him, a few seconds later she could not hold it in any longer so she burst in laughter. Anne pinched him and they both shared a laugh. A few seconds later there was silence and the two were smiling at each other. “Its been a long time since we both laughed like that” Anne said.

“Yeah, well when do you want to go hiking?” he asked. “Tomorrow? I heard that there is a family campsite nearby. You can park your car then hike the trail towards the campsite. I was thinking since its my first time maybe that would do for our first hike?” she told him.

“Yeah I heard of that, sure we could do that. Are you sure you want to go camping? Its not easy you know. You are saying goodbye to the things you are used to for a few days” John said. “I can manage, I have been experiencing that for a few months now” Anne replied and she looked at him. John looked away and pretended that he didn’t hear what she said but deep inside he was feeling the same.

The following morning John was all set, he went to Anne’s home to check on her. The young woman was busy stuffing things inside her bag when he arrived. John immediately laughed and the young woman scratched her head. “You are supposed to pack light” he said.

“That’s what I have been trying to tell her” Colleen commented as Anne pouted and sat on the couch. John knelt down on the floor and unpacked her bag. “You should not be bringing too much food” he said. “What if you get hungry? You always get hungry” she replied and the young man smiled.

“I know but this is different. We are going on a hike and camp to enjoy nature. Its not about the food. Consider at survival training of sorts or something like that. A little energy bars will do if ever we get hungry along the hike. When we are at the camp site then I already have food packs good for the two us. You don’t have to worry about anything, it’s a family camp site so its safe” John said. “And because I am with you?” she asked and the young man looked at her and smiled.

“And before I forget” John said and he started to untie her shoe lace. “What are you doing?” she asked. The young man removed her left shoe and took out something from his pocket. “This is a knee support. You know the ones worn by basketball player and other athletes. I know you leg is fine but just to make sure” he said. John placed the knee support on knee, he placed back her shoe and tied her shoelace.

Anne stood up and tried to walk around, “Its kinda tight and it feels like my knee has springs” she said. “Well that’s how its supposed to work. Are you ready to go?” he told her and she smiled. “John you take good care of her now” Colleen said. “Mom! You don’t have to say that. He always does take good care of me” Anne replied and the young man just smiled.

An hour later the two arrived at the site. There were only a few cars at the parking area so John was happy. “Are you ready to leave civilization behind for three days?” he asked and Anne nodded. The two got out of the car, they got their bags and headed to the trail entrance. “Finally, our first hike together” John uttered as he looked up at the bright blue sky.

Anne looked at him and she saw that there was a big smile on his face. She then looked at his hand, she missed holding it but she was too ashamed to do so. But she already decided to face her fears so she slowly moved her hand closer to his hand and they momentarily touched. John looked at her and she started to tremble but after taking a deep breath she held his hand. “Lets go?” she asked and he gripped her hand tighter and nodded.

The trail was very simple for there was a path to guide them. There were little climbs and a bit challenging downhill treks but the two managed them all. After three hours the two were huffing and puffing as they reached the camp site area. Their hands were red since they never let go of each other from the moment they started.

John set up the tent as Anne rested and watched him. “You picked a very nice spot” she said as she looked at the horizon. “The sun will set there later on” she added. “Don’t worry after I set up the tent we go look for wood then we might just be back in time to watch it” John told her.

Once the tent was up, they placed their bags inside and went for a walk to look for fire wood. John and Anne had fun as they were lost in the forest. Even if they had walked in circles they were not worried. When they saw that the sun was about to set that was the time John started shouting for help.

Anne could not help it but fall on the ground and laugh as her best friend acted hysterical. His calls for help were all an act just to make her laugh but the two got the shock of their lives when the forest guards arrived. “We heard you and we came as fast as we could. Are you two alright?” the tall man asked.

John was speechless but Anne could not stop laughing. “Follow us” the other guard said and the two got the wood they collected and followed the two men. The thirty minute walk was silent but Anne covered her mouth and chuckled as John imitated how the guards walked.

Once they reached their tent the young man was very thankful and they were in time to watch the sun set. “John! Come quick!” Anne yelled as she was seated on the ground looking at the sun. the young man sat down beside and Anne quickly held his hand.

The sun’s brightness was fading giving an orange color to the horizon. “Palms and Pockets” Anne uttered and John momentarily looked at her. “So you read it” he said. “Yes. It was beautiful John. You left a question at the end and I want to answer it” she told him.

“You already told me the answer before” John said. “And I was wrong. So I want to answer your question but before I do, I want to explain my previous answer” she said. “Okay I am listening” John said.

Anne took a deep breath and looked at him. “When I came to this city I was too scared of many things. You know I had a scar on my face and my leg, I was too scared to be with people. Then I met you, someone really different and I asked myself if this was all true. Was I dreaming? Does someone like you really exist? I am sorry but someone like you only existed in my dreams so that day you came to me and wanted to be my friend I secretly pinched myself”

“I felt the pain and saw that you were real. For the first few days I thought that you were just like the guys I watch on television, I didn’t socialize so that was my only way to see the real world even if it was only reel. The ones who take what they want and then leave. You were really different, and with you I felt so many feelings deep inside me that I could have felt if I were not a freak. The feelings that made me envious whenever I do watch television dramas or movies. It was all happening to me and I was very happy”

“I am sorry John but I still doubted you even if you made me feel so happy and accepted. I waited each day for the moment that you would take advantage of me but you never did but as each day passed you just kept making me happy to the point that my heart felt like bursting”

“When I watched dramas I would dream that I was the lead character. Sometimes I didn’t understand what they were showing, I didn’t know what they were really feeling. They keep saying that they are in love but how can I comprehend or understand it when I have not felt it. You made me feel them John. My heart beating fast, my cheeks burning up, my body automatically moving by itself wanting to rub against you. I was happy John, I was in love for the first time in my life…with you”

“After the operation to my face I could not take it anymore. I felt something different inside me wanting you badly. Every morning I wake up all I think is you and even before I sleep I still do. This feeling…John I was madly in love with you already and I became so scared”

“So scared that I might lose you one day and I would not know how to pick up myself. I tried to hold back my feelings for you because I didn’t want to fall in love with you more. I am sorry. I met Charles, to be honest I didn’t fall in love him. I don’t know why but I was searching, I had many questions about you. I was trying to get rid of these strong feelings I have for you. I was looking for someone like you so that just in case if I cannot control my feelings and do fall for you and get hurt in the end…I would be assured that there was still someone out there like you”

“But no John, I just hurt myself. I was trying to look for you in him and I really hurt us both. I am really sorry John. The talent show made me fall deeper, the lyrics you sang hit me hard. The prom made me so jealous and want you more. That day…you said you loved me…remember that day? You wanted to be my boyfriend and I really wanted that too but I was too scared John. Too scared of losing you one day. I could not imagine my life without you when that happens that is why I was too damn scared to say yes” Anne revealed as tears flowed down her cheeks.

“John I am still that girl you met two years ago. I am still that girl with the scar on the face and whose left leg is crooked. My appearance may have changed but I am still that same girl who is very much afraid…but not about the things like before…I am afraid of losing you. That is why even if I wanted you to be more than my friend I was so scared of losing you one day. So if you remain as my friend I knew I would not lose you but I was wrong. You were slowly slipping away, I knew I was breaking your heart but the truth is my heart too was shattering” she added.

“To be honest I didn’t need the operations. My leg wasn’t crooked anymore when I met you. Others may see me walking funny but whenever I am with you I was walking straight. You were my other leg John. When I got it fixed I still felt it was crooked whenever you were not around. I needed you beside me to make me walk straight. Without you I am scared that I might fall but with you I feel so free”

“Eversince I was a child I knew how big my scar was. I know where it was located, I could feel it. You changed all of that the moment you touched my face. Ever since that day I don’t feel the scar anymore, I feel your hand brushing against my cheek. Even when I got the operation, my scar was not there but still I could feel your hand”

“Without you its just the scar that I feel. I know its not there anymore but if you are not with me it is. I am deeply and madly in love with you John, I need you in my life and I am so sorry for causing you so much pain. I want you to be my left leg forever and I want to keep on feeling your hand on my cheek for the rest of my life”

“There were so many chances when I could have given up on you. Sarah was giving me an option and she was pretty convincing but I still chose to stick it out and wait for you. Do you think I would even want to hurt you Anne? I never will. Look at me, I am still here Anne. I have accepted my role as a friend but I am still here, hoping, wishing and dreaming. If you just give me a chance so I can prove it to you. I made you a promise, that I will be always there whenever you fall but if I am with you…you never will” John uttered.

Anne stood up and looked at John. The young man got up and faced her. “Palms or pockets?” he asked as he wiped her tears. Anne took a deep breath and got hold of his two hands. She placed his hands inside the two back pockets of her shorts and then looked at him. She caressed his face and noticed a frown starting to form

“Palms” she whispered and embraced him with all her might. John exhaled hearing her answer, he leaned his forehead against hers and they both stared into each others eyes. “I love you John” she whispered. “I love you Anne, I will never leave you” he told her. Once again their lips found each other; the sun was about to hide but it was able to shine its rays on the start of their new bond.

Forever in each other’s palms like the dream of many but only a few could achieve.

The heart may be easily fooled. Listen to it. Wait if you have to wait. Sacrifice if you have to. Don’t settle for second best.
If you want to achieve happiness you just have to listen to your heart.



Paul Diaz