“You’re barking up the wrong tree.”
When Richard entered any scene, he dominated the picture. He looked like a bully, sounded as one but act like as a gentle buffalo. In almost all departments, he was considered the first. In love, pitifully, he stood last.
The comment he just heard came from one of his allies; he had no friends really. Most of the students feared him for no reason at all. His bulky build illustrated power, his demeanor tried to diminish such superiority.
“I have not started yet. Why discourage me?” He frowned, his brows met, creating a long arched row of untrimmed hair.
“You want my advice. That’s it!” Peter had no intention of misleading him.
“You should have said, go for it.”
Peter produced a nervous laugh, a cross between a cough and a grin. “She is in love with somebody.”
“I don’t see any bee flying around the flower.”
Peter hated it when a big guy like Richard talked like a poet. He hated poetry ever since he flunked it the year before.
“The flower does not want other bees to fly around it,” he said, using the same sentence negatively.
“Are you related to her?” Richard eyed him. “Why are you so sure of that?”
“Come on! Don’t tell me you haven’t heard her story. Girls swoon whenever they hear about her lost love. It was so romantic like Romeo and Juliet.”
Richard was unimpressed. “That’s the problem with you people. You are in school to learn and not talk about silly things.”
“What are you talking about? You lost me there.”
“Lost means the past. Finished. Kaput. Over. That means she is free.”
Peter clapped his hands, not to congratulate Richard for his grammatical prowess. It was a sign that he knew something Richard did not.
“Go for it, then,” he said. “Don’t tell me I did not warn you.”
“There she is now!” Richard was suddenly excited. “Scram!”
Peter ran away like a stray, shooed to vanish somewhere far.
Left by his lonesome, he practiced his prepared dialogue, a tad different from his usual lines when courting someone. He was optimistic that for the first time he would snag a girl to call his own.
“It’s a wonderful day, isn’t it?” he greeted when she walked past him.
Rowena looked up the sky and shook her head. “It’s a bit cloudy.”
“I mean it’s wonderful to see you. Can I walk with you?”
“If you must,” she continued her pace.
“Rowena, I’ve waited a long time to tell you that I like you a lot.”
She heard him but her mind was not listening to any messages of affection from anyone but Michael’s. Boys knew of it though she was a bit surprised that Richard still tried to woo her.
“I am going back home,” she intimated. “I am here to get my grades and the paperwork for my transfer.”
“Are you saying all of these just to turn me down?”
“No,” she replied, keeping him cool. “I should have done this a long time ago but my mother was not ready. She should be by now.”
“What about me?” Richard looked like he was slapped. “I like you to be my girl.”
“There are other girls in class. I heard Claire was only waiting for you to do your move.”
“Is that true?” he was amazed by the information. “I thought she was being friendly. Her older brother scared me a while back.”
“Fight for your love!” she urged him. “That will make your bond stronger.”
“I guess I did not bark up the wrong tree. I am glad that I barked.”
“Sorry?” Rowena could not comprehend what the remark was about.
“Oh, it’s just a silly advice by someone who knew nothing about girls.”
“You and Claire will be a perfect match. She could kick you if you look at other girls.”
They both laughed, Richard’s louder because he learned that Rowena possessed a sense of humor.
“Michael is so lucky to have you.”
(to be continued)