"I have one question," he started.
I closed my eyes and gave out a huge sigh. He knew I was not to be disturbed once I got to the middle part of a novel, yet there are times in which he'd just never stop bothering until he got what he wanted.
I closed the book and placed it on the table with a thump. "What?"
He took his earphones off and placed them next to my book with his phone. "Here goes. When you listen to a love song, who's the first person that comes to your mind?"
His question took me by surprise. Whenever he said he wanted to ask something, he usually did it when I was busy so as just to annoy me.
This time, he was looking at me intently, and I knew then that he was serious.
"Oh." I wasn't sure yet how to respond. One person did come to mind, but I wasn't just going to give it up that easily. "Well, what song are you talking about?"
"You know, like Ed Sheeran's 'Perfect'. Or..." he trailed off, and he grabbed his phone. After a series of taps, he offered me his earphones. "Here, listen to this. I think you're familiar with this song."
I was reluctant to take his earphones as there might actually be a hidden prank to his actions.
Still, I couldn't help but be curious as to which song he picked, for we both love listening to music and we get each other's taste.
Once I wore them, he told me to close my eyes and just take in the lyrics. I glared at him, still being suspicious since asking me to close my eyes usually meant he was up to no good.
"Let me know in the end whom you think of." He pressed play on his phone, and I instantly recognized the intro to a John Legend song I just knew of a couple of weeks back.
I held my breath, as this was a song that I loved. As I listened, I felt like I was in a tiny bubble floating away in my own world.
I knew all the words to the song, and I sang along in my head while reminiscing moments with this person I adore.
The world would be asleep, and she and I would still be awake sitting next to each other until past 3AM.
We'd be rewatching old Disney movies and comment on how these classics are still much better than the new ones.
I'd watch her laugh or cry or be surprised, and it's fascinating how she could show these emotions that seem so genuine as if she were watching these movies for the first time.
We'd be having conversations about work and how life is during this pandemic. She'd often talk about careers she would pursue if given the chance, or the confidence, to do so.
She'd often mention how low her self-esteem is, but in fact, she is amazing. She's got quite the moves for someone who's gained some weight through the years.
She's experienced organizing events from university-wide ones to debuts. But, the most amazing thing about her is her kind heart.
She's most beautiful when she talks about things she's passionate about, such as wanting to adopt kids in the future and show some love just as her mother has done to her.
The strong emotions you hear in her voice and see in her eyes make you more curious about the things she want to pursue, and it pulls you to be passionate in those things, as well.
The more time I spend with her, the more I just want to be with her.
Once the song ended, I opened my eyes and met his intent gaze.
"So, who'd you think about?"
I took the earphones off and handed them back to him, still not knowing how to respond.
With those expectant eyes staring at me waiting for an answer I believed he wanted to hear, I mumbled, "You know who."
He stared at me for a moment, and he dropped his gaze to the floor. I knew then that he recognized the hint of halfheartedness in my response.
"I wish I knew who it was," he said with a small smile without looking at me, "then I'd be happy for him."
We remained seated next to each other, quietly carrying on with our earlier individual tasks while trying not to make things feel awkward.
We have been friends for about a year now, but this is the first time he has attempted (and somehow failed) to talk about his feelings.
He wore his earphones and got back to his mobile game, and I opened my book back to the middle where I last ended.
The words on the book just seemed to float in my mind since I couldn't help but still think about those thoughts I had while listening to the song, and this person that I thought of.
Once just a colleague that turned to an acquaintance, and now a close friend.
One I wish I could lay with at the rooftop and watch the stars, or travel with in the future to see the northern lights she's always talked about.
One I wish I could spend a lifetime with, yet one who can never know about these feelings.
No one else knows about all these, and I intend to keep it that way.