High School Experimentation on L – O – V – E


They say high school is the best year of a person’s academic life. I know what you’re thinking, so don’t even think of throwing rotten tomatoes at me. For some high school is the best year. Cheerleader. Basketball captain. Quarterback. Prom King and Queen. BFF. And the list could go on. But for some, high school may be the worst chapter in their story of life. Bullies. Bullies. And bullies. The list could go on. But whether you belong in the best year or the worst year, we all experience something in common during high school – LOVE. And for me my experience of it was a mixture of everything: fun, romance, drama, discoveries – lots of them – but in the end me and the Prom King were just an experimentation. That’s what I thought.

Normal day at a friend’s house, the meeting place of the group, a group formed by our English teacher and not by our choice because if it were the Prom King wouldn’t be in the same group as me, the least fashionable girl in my High School who knew only one accessory and that was her humongous glasses. The project was to create our own version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and then present it in class. It was the group’s third meeting already and we were on the scriptwriting stage. Everyone had their paper and pen except for June who had pencil because, according to her, the sound of the pencil against the paper made her feel an intelligent student. We all sat in our own corner where we felt comfortable and peaceful, and now and then we read out loud what we had written to keep everyone aligned with the flow of the story. I was working on the part where Romeo first laid eyes on Juliet when I heard someone said, ‘Love at first sight? Shakespeare must be high when he wrote that part.’ I turned around and found Prom King sitting behind me doodling on his paper. I looked at the others but all heads were bowed down and all hands were working they didn’t seem to hear what Prom King said, or maybe they did but they chose to ignore him. I couldn’t. ‘First of all, I don’t think Shakespeare was high when he wrote his book. And second, I don’t care if you don’t believe in “love at first sight” but that doesn’t give you the right to judge a writer, especially not Will.’

‘Will? Are you two that close?’

‘Whatever. It’s useless talking to a guy like you. You’re just a living body with a plastic crown on top of his head. You don’t know anything about love, and if you do your knowledge of it is nothing compared to Shakespeare’s. Though, you’re very knowledgeable about hurting women.’

‘Hurting women? Look who’s judging now.’ I ignored him this time and went back to my writing. I’m not really a member of the Shakespeare Book Club but I respected the man and I thought he’s a great writer. ‘You believe in L.A.F.S, huh?’ he commenced again.

‘I do.’

‘But you’re not so sure of it?’ The previous conversation was the longest I’ve had with this guy I didn’t think he’d be so interested talking to me that he would speak again.  Maybe he was just so bored with the writing process. ‘What do you mean?’ I asked.

‘You’re wearing those huge glasses,’ he said pointing his pen to my specs. ‘I think it’s to make sure that the guy you choose to fall in love with at first sight would be a good-looking guy, or at least someone who’s presentable.’ If he wasn’t talking to me he could’ve gotten a slap in the face but since it’s me, very patient, he got a smile instead. And I thought that was a good sense of humor, or maybe not, but the way he smiled while saying it made his words sound like a good joke.

‘I don’t base love on good looks because if I do then I would be one of your stalkers.’

‘You think I’m good-looking?’

‘To be honest, I do. Only you’re shallow.’

‘Why? Because I don’t believe in love at first sight?’ I shrugged because I didn’t know what to answer. ‘So, if I believe in love at first sight then I won’t be shallow anymore?’ I shrugged again I really didn’t know what to answer it’s like the answer was in between yes and no. ‘If you can prove me that love at first sight really happens then I’ll take what you think of me – shallow. But if you can’t then you’re shallow.’

‘I don’t need to prove you anything. I told you I don’t’ care what your beliefs are.’

‘Let’s pretend that you and I are a couple,’ he said lowering his voice.  The others were still very busy writing. I realized how important for him to prove that he’s not shallow and there’s more to him than being “just the guy with a good face.” He’s willing to ruin his reputation – because he would once he’s seen with me – only for me to take back what I said. I felt guilty for regarding him in such way. ‘Everyone would freak out they’d think we’re playing games and that’s when we tell them it was love at first sight.’ He paused and shook his head, ‘No. I don’t think they’d buy it. I’ve seen you more than once and I never felt a thing for you. Sorry.’

‘Why are you apologizing? I’ve seen you a thousand times and I never felt a tiny bit of a thing.’

‘We’re even then. How can we make them believe?’

‘We’ll tell them that it was the first time we noticed each other and once we have, BOOM! We fell in love.’ I couldn’t believe I worked with him on this.

‘Then we’ll make a survey. If the number of votes who bought it was really love at first sight is higher, you win. But if the number of votes who didn’t believe it was love at first sight, that we’re just fooling around is higher, I win.’

‘All this to prove you’re not shallow?’

‘All this to prove I’m not just a living body with a plastic crown on top of his head.’

‘I can take it back right now you don’t have to risk your reputation.’

‘Being the Prom King is not a reputation.’

‘What is reputation to you?’ A pen flew in the air hitting the tip of my glasses. ‘You two are not taking this seriously this is due in two weeks,’ one of the members said. Prom King picked the pen and threw it back to the owner like a football. It hit his face marking it with black ink. ‘You hit my girl again and I’ll hit your face with my fist,’ he said. Everyone was stunned they all wanted to speak but they didn’t know what to say. I, too, was shocked. The experiment had begun.

The next school day WE were together. We sat next to each other on the school bus; he never took the bus because he had his own car but on that day and forth he rode it with me and sat beside me. I felt all eyes on me – OK, not on me but on him. He was on his feet before we reached the bus stop I thought maybe he couldn’t stand having all these passengers witness that he’s sitting with someone like me. I thought right when he got out without waiting for me. But I was wrong because he did wait for me; he was standing by the bus door and surprisingly spread his hand before me like Prince Charmings do in fairytales. I took his hand and together we walked to our first class and deep into our experimentation. People started talking about us. Rumors, doubts, envy spread all over the campus. Everywhere I go MY Prom King was there. Yes, he was now MINE. I was invincible with him beside me. Nothing changed in my superficial look but a lot changed in the way people saw me, in the way I saw myself. I wasn’t ugly to be fair to myself. I had blonde hair and tender-looking eyes only no one seemed to notice them with my glasses on. Beside Prom King I felt more beautiful. I felt desirable. And I felt tall. With all these new feelings I wondered how he felt with me by his side. Maybe he felt less beautiful. Less desirable. And a lot shorter. ‘This feels good, with you by my side,’ he said during lunch at the canteen. ‘I feel…I feel.’

‘You feel what?’

‘Good. Really good. Like a real person.’ I was wrong again. I never understood what he meant because I’ve never been popular in my entire life. But whatever he meant I was happy that even though this was only an experiment I was able to make this beautiful boy sitting right next to me feel good. Really good. Like a real person.

Luckily for me he didn’t have a girlfriend at the time we were doing this experiment because if he had I would’ve been in BIG trouble. But why did I feel so relaxed, secured? In my little private room, I wondered staring at my low ceiling how far this guy would go doing this experimentation with me. Will he ask me to…? I punched myself in the head and quickly I fell asleep.

I woke up in the inviting aroma of omelet. It’s Sunday and my mum cooked omelet on Sundays only. I didn’t know why because I never asked. Maybe it’s to remind me that it’s Sunday and it meant Family Day and not Friends’ Day. ‘Good morning, Sunshine! Or should I say, Omelet. You’re mum told me it’s your favorite,’ the Prom King said.

‘Yeah, it is. My mom’s omelet.’

‘Honey, you didn’t tell us you have a boyfriend.’ Excuse my mother it’s her first time to receive a guest without wearing eyeglasses.

‘He’s not my boyfriend.’ I stood in the stairs watching him prepare breakfast with my mum. My dad and my brother were there too, and every five seconds dad gave him a tap on the back while my brother gave him high fives. He seemed to handle my weird family really well which wasn’t good because this was ONLY an experimentation and I didn’t want my family involved in it. I looked at him then to the corner then back at him. He got my sign and we talked in the corner.

‘What are you doing?’

‘Cooking,’ he said comfortably.

‘Why are you here in my house? It’s Sunday you should be with your family. You’re not supposed to be in here.’

‘Baby, have you forgotten? I’m your boyfriend your family is my family.’

‘Experimentation, that’s all we are. And I told you not to call me by that name I’m not your baby.’

‘We have to play it well if we want a good product, don’t you think?’

‘I’m with you in everything just don’t involve my family. Tell them we’re not together and leave.’

He told my parents we’re not together but he didn’t leave after that. Mum asked him to join us for breakfast. After breakfast he still didn’t leave, dad asked him to check out his car and see what he – my “boyfriend” – thought about it. He later played basketball with my little brother. He only left after dinner. The whole day I watched how he played with my family. My parents didn’t believe we’re not together even after he had told them the whole thing was just part of our school project; they liked him and they enjoyed his company.

I skipped school for two days and stayed in my room for two days. He came to my house the first day but I didn’t speak to him, mum told him I wasn’t feeling well. The next day he came again we talked this time. I told him the experimentation was over.

‘But we’ve been together for barely three weeks no one would believe our relationship was for real,’ he sounded really concerned, not with my health but with the possible failure of the experimentation.

‘Believe me some would.’

‘Why? Did I do something wrong?’

‘I told you not to involve my family. I asked you one thing and that one thing you failed to do.’

‘But I did what you told me I told your parents we’re not really together. I stayed because I was just being polite.’

‘It’s over. Tomorrow we go to school separately if your friends ask you what happened tell them you didn’t know what you were thinking. Or tell them it was just a bet thing that’s what happens in movies.’

‘It’s not over. We’re not over until I say we’re over.’ He left very angry. I didn’t know why at first, but when I went to bed that night I realized that this guy was the Prom King and he’s not used to being dumped even in experimental relationships. Me dumping him was a disgrace, a slap to his reputation. So I talked to him the next day and agreed to be dumped by him instead. What kind of a girl would agree to such arrangement? The kind of girl who was beginning to fall for a guy she knew she could never have. I was confident I wouldn’t fall for the Prom King that’s why I agreed to do the experimentation with him. Everything was just plainly for fun. I was curious and wanted to know how the girls felt dating the most famous guy in school. But that’s until I saw him with my family and the day he started calling me baby. Who wouldn’t fall for that? Who wouldn’t feel nervous standing next to a very good looking guy? Who wouldn’t hide a smile while he carried you in his arms because you hurt your ankle in PE?

He looked serious when I talked to him. He told me to meet him at the field during his football practice. There he would dump me in front of his friends and their girlfriends plus those who would be watching the practice. I felt numb walking in the field with all the people staring at me. He stood in the center waiting patiently. He took off his headgear and threw it to the ground. We stood face-to-face. Silent. Everyone looked at us I looked at them too, then I noticed their heads moved upward something in the sky caught their attention. They all looked to the sky some pointing to a particular direction I followed that direction and saw a huge piece of cloth hanging in the air with necessary bundles of balloons to lift it up tied on each end. Written on it were the words I LOVE YOU. ‘You once asked me what reputation to me is.  Having the heart to tell the girl what I really feel about her despite what others will think of me, that’s reputation.’

I found out that the Prom King had been in love with me for so long and he had been wanting to tell me  how he truly felt only he didn’t know how until he came up with the whole experimentation scheme. He planned to skip the class on the day our teacher grouped us so that he could choose the group he would like to be in and he chose the group I was in. The experimentation turned out to be a success though not in the way we had agreed. We did the survey after his romantic act at the field just to find out what the whole campus thought of it. I proved to him and everyone love at first sight was real. Later, he told me he did believe in L.A.F.S. because he felt love the first day he saw me; pretending not to believe in it was just part of his plan. Whether who’s shallow and who’s not didn’t matter because the Prom King was officially mine.


jhiant at: October 10, 2012 at 7:37 PM said...

eeeeh kakilig naman hahahaha

is it not from experience? huh? ^^

Elizabeth Muse at: October 16, 2012 at 6:21 AM said...

haha..cute mo jhian:)
yup! the experiment thing is based on HS experience..how'd you know?

jhiant at: October 21, 2012 at 7:53 AM said...

feeling ko lang naman :)

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