Axel is getting married! He called me just last week to tell me. I was away in Europe before that and so he waited until I returned to tell me.
I was thrilled. Axel was finally taking this brave step into the unknown (at least unknown to him). I was strangely happy. Here is one person whom I had become firm friends with when we were still in our school uniforms. He was worshipping my best friend then (Willow really was a gorgeous girl with unbelievably straight, flowy hair, porcelain complexion with sexy moles that accentuate her beauty and endless legs). And while he was admiring her.... and confiding in me ..I was doing what girls my age (even now they do) do when a guy spends a lot of time with them even though they were talking about someone else.... I fell for him!
He was the cutest thing then. Tall and gangly... uncertain about himself and what it all means - hormones raging and people hating. He used to proudly proclaimed that he 'killed' a cat by drowning it. I was very upset with him and refused to talk to him for days. But he would not give up yakking to me. I guess he found a safe friend whom he could confide in about stuff.... his love for heavy metal music, his scary parents, his too handsome younger brother that the girls his peer admire instead of him, his decision to study in another country... all this without the fear of me falling in love with him.
I was a thin, colourless looking kid then. Not to mention that I had a huge blob of greeny blue birthmark on the left of my face that span from the tip of my eye (at the bottom) to the apple of my cheeks and finally ending on the side of the forehead near the slit of my cat like eye. In the words of one of my friends over last weekend "Who would want her?". I guess when you talk to a person like that you would think that she does not have feelings or rather you conveniently forget that she does have those sort of feelings.
Axel left at 16 to continue his high school at another country. We still corresponded but since he did not really enjoy writing, the letters dwindled to nil and we lost track of each other. Sometimes he would call when he came home to visit his family but the fast friendship was lost. He furthered his studies to yet another country. And in the midst of that, he managed to snare the affection of Willow.. I had no idea how he managed to do that but Willow confided that he really was so sweet that she just relented.. ah! Sweet love.
Axel finally returned home to work and one Chinese New Year, we bumped into each other at a mutual friend's place. We just hit it off again like old times. We talked about the gaps in between then and now and laughed about how he went away across the globe and yet ended here picking up where we left off.
We both sat next to each other at Willow's wedding. She did not end up marrying him! He said that it was a great loss but the relationship was not meant to be. And so the friendship went thru his hook up and break up with his girlfriend, my break up with my previous boyfriend and the hook up of Novio. When Novio proposed, I was thrilled to inform Axel.
Axel then ruminated about US. I guess when the friendship is so good.. we think about "could it be more?" He thought about that and told me in an email confessing how he fell for me all those years when we were walking back from the crocodile farm, walking back from tuition classes, when we were quarrelling about his 'diseased mind', his silly obsession with the dark side..... He said that the time was never right to tell me. AND I never showed any inclination to have him as more than a friend, never closer than a brother.
I wondered why he told me... I think that again, he was hiding in the safety of my impending marriage. Here is a man who did not want to risk it. Or maybe he just wanted me to know... to make me feel good?? But I did feel good. I felt glad that the friendship has grown beyond a certain level. And yet I know that in that day, it died a little death. We would never speak of this matter again. Never to bring up the past or the young/childish unrequited love.
I was the only one that he invited amongst the people of our hometown. And I think that he added another girlfriend to accompany me..so that I would not be lonesome. As a joke.. I threatened to bring Willow... he was so horrified!!
And so.. Axel.. is finally becoming a man.