So I've found out that my new roommate is my crush. I should be ecstatic, if not only for something that went on between us in the past
“So I guess we’re roommates then…”
A clear, masculine voice echoed throughout the small room I was supposed to share with a schoolmate for a week.
“Yeah, I guess so…”
A handsome, young man stepped out from the shadows of the hallway; his distinctive European features contrasting with my Asian ones. His deep, brown eyes were looking in my direction and it gave me chills.
“Hm. That’s interesting.”
“I didn’t have anything to do with the rooming assignments, if that’s what you’re thinking.”
Silently, he placed his bags at the foot of the bed and disappeared into the bathroom. I sighed as his well-built figure dropped out of sight. What were the odds that I just happened to be paired up with the hottest guy in school in a room with a bed no larger than my own single bed at home?
Let’s wind back to the beginning. I was a closeted college freshman and the thought of my gender being known to anybody was a fear I could barely live with. I shuffled in and out of classes quietly and quickly, hoping to not notice a guy I might fall for. For weeks, I lived the life of a timid crab, but out of nowhere, he came and I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with emotion.
Michael Angelo. That was his name. The moment I saw him, I felt different than I did when other handsome men caught my attention. I wanted to be close to him, be his friend, and, if fate allowed, be his. Here I was, caught off guard, pouring my heart out even before I even spoke a single word to him. Finally, I caught myself and choked those raging feelings, telling myself that he wouldn’t even notice me anyway and that he was most likely straight. But little did I know that what I felt was almost impossible to extinguish.
Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months. Mico (as his friends called him), kept popping up everywhere - at the corner of the hall, by the street waiting for a cab, and even worse, in the same classroom as me. I tried my best to ignore him, but it was useless. I was steadily falling for him. One day, I finally got the courage up to approach him.
“I…um…I was just wondering. Do you…do you want to…”
“Want to what?”
He chuckled as a smile grew across his face.
“…be…um….group mates for the class activity?”
“Sure, thanks a lot.”
“You’re one of the smartest guys in this class. I was kinda hoping to ask to join your group, but I wouldn’t dare talk to a Dean’s Lister.”
“I don’t bite, you know.”
I managed a nervous smile as he laughed.
“Glad to know that. I’m Michael, but call me Mico”
“I’m Sam. Um…I’ll talk to you later…I got to go.”
“Alright. See ya.”
I exited that classroom as quickly as I could without looking too awkward and headed straight for the bathroom. I splashed water on my face, which was red. That was the most heart-racing thing I have ever done – and it felt really great. I returned to the classroom and took a seat. Moments later, I found Mico taking the seat beside me.
“You ok? You seemed a little edgy when you were talking to me.”
“Oh…uh…well…to be honest…I was a bit nervous.”
“Nervous? I don’t bite either.”
My face went red again, and I turned away from him. He raised an eyebrow and sighed.
“Are you intimidated by me? In fact, I should be the one intimidated by you.”
I kept silent as I fought hard not to look at him.
“Look, I could really use some help here. My grades are dipping and when you came to me, I was really grateful.”
“But…you’re doing fine.”
“Correction. I was doing fine. I was doing alright until that confusing lesson threw me off. You get it perfectly while everyone else is scratching their head.”
I looked at him, and he had this really attractive, pleading look on his face. Being the hopeless romantic I was, I gave in.
“Please help me, Sam. I can’t fail this class. You’re the only guy I can ask.”
“Well, alright. I did come to you first.”
“Thanks, man. I can’t thank you enough.”
Since then, Mico and I have been seeing each other to discuss lessons. His grades recovered and I felt really happy I could help him. Another semester passed, when I suddenly suggested something I would come to regret.
“Hey, Mico. Lots of work today?”
“Hell, yeah. Tons.”
“You know, I have nothing much to do. Maybe I can do some of it for you?”
“Nah, but thanks anyway. I owe you so much already.”
“You don’t owe me anything. That’s what’s friends are for.”
Mico hesitated a bit, and it took a lot of goading before I was able to get him to give me some of his work.
“Er. you don’t have to do this, Sam. I don’t want to make it difficult for you.”
I chuckle. “I think you’re forgetting who I am, Mico.”
“Oh fine. Thanks so much.”
I kept asking to do his work for him, not realizing it was encouraging a feeling of expectation. I told myself that if I kept this up, I might just be able to woo and win him. After two full semesters of this “charity” work, my tongue finally slipped.
“Hey, Mico. Here’s that report on Costa Rica you needed.”
“Thanks a lot, Sam. I really appreciate it.”
“No problem. Hey, can I see you after class today?”
“Yeah, sure. See you later.”
Four hours later, I met Mico and we went to a rather secluded area of the campus. We were sitting at a table under the sweet-scented pines, sharing laughs as we drank coffee.
“Haha. Exactly! And that’s why I’ve been single for awhile.”
“I can’t believe a guy like you would be single. I mean, you’re like a model.”
“I get that a lot. Haha. And shouldn’t be girls be all over you, Mr. Know-It-All?”
“I prefer my work over them. Haha.”
“Married to the academe. How typical of you,” he joked
“Well, not really. There is this one person I think I’ve fallen for.”
“Oh really? Lucky girl!”
“You can keep a secret, right?”
“Is it what I think it is?”
An awkward silence followed. The cool breeze did nothing to help calm down my nerves and Mico’s piercing stare was adding to my increasing heart rate.
“So…are you telling me…you’re…gay?”
“Well…wow…I wasn’t expecting that. I just want you to know, I have nothing against gays, alright? It’s cool.”
“Thanks…I was bracing myself just in case you were gonna punch me or something.”
“And why would I do that?”
“Because…because the guy…”
“The guy, what?”
“The guy I’ve fallen for is you, Mico…”
Mico’s expression suddenly changed to confusion and, if I read his face correctly, disgust.
“…Look, Sam. I’m not like you, alright?”
“I know…which makes it so difficult.”
“You actually thought you can turn me?”
“No! Don’t take it the wrong way, Mico.”
“No offense, but I know your kind. Your nice, doing all these little things for a guy hoping to get him for yourself. Is that why you’ve been pushing me to give you my work? I can handle myself.”
“No, Mico. Please don’t say that. I just…”
“Just what?! So you can get into my pants thinking that all you’ve done is the way in?!
“Mico, stop! Let me talk, please!”
“I’ve had way too many experiences with guys like you. I thought you were a real friend, but you’re just like the rest. Nice knowing you, Sam.”
His words felt like knives going through my heart. I didn’t know he’d react so violently. I tried to call him back as he left, but my voice had disappeared. A few seconds later, he was gone and I was left there, speechless, shocked, and traumatized.