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Mathew feels troubled today. It’s not because of the mock final exam that has just passed. Although indeed he didn’t do well, it doesn’t bother him too much. He believes that studying is easy, relatively speaking. All he have got to do is to read those textbooks, remember these bullet points, do things that have all been successfully done by billions of people. Even he has trouble understanding, he has literally all the resources to help him. As long as he studies seriously, his grades are bound to rise to a respectable level. That’s what he believes, at least.
What troubles him, is the tiny screen glowing in his hand. On the top of the screen is the logo of a popular social media. On a more prominent part of the screen is a name that can drive Mathew’s heart up and down in milliseconds, Remi. The post on screen is not sent by Remi however, it’s another person that occupies a large part of Mathew’s mind, Karter. The post reads: I just witnessed something incredible of Remi.
Someone asks “What’s incredible?” and judging from the response Karter has given, it’s apparently very secretive.
“It’s always been like that.” Mathew mumbles. “Saying some prompt as if wanting to tell us more of a story, but just as the prompt provoked others’ curiosity, they tell us no more.”
Well, that’s what couples do, isn’t that right? They share things on social media not for others to see, but for themselves to have the pleasure of showing off and being showed off. Mathew doesn’t think it’s a badly selfish thing. In fact, he likes it when people announce their love, and enjoys reading romantic stories, both real and fictional. In fact, he craves for it. It doesn’t only make him happy for those in love, but also gives him a space for illusions as if he is part of it. This is usually the case with people that Mathew is unfamiliar with, and especially the case when the couple in question includes the one he admires.
Indeed, “admires” is the most Mathew dares to say about his feeling towards Remi.
Mathew met Remi when he was a first-year high school student. Remi was in the second year. In a school-organised activity, where 3-5 students from both first-year and second-year collaborated to complete a collage on a topic freely chosen. The groups were randomly arranged, although students had a chance to rearrange if they were unhappy about their groups. Mathew, a couple of unimportant people, and Remi were in the same group, they were quite happy about the arrangement, so it stuck. Mathew quickly took a liking on Remi. Remi is interesting, artistic, caring, and knows quite a lot. Remi didn’t seem to think Mathew as a nuisance either, so they exchanged contacts and chatted regularly. The collage didn’t end up being a hit, but it was good enough that both their parents praised them for it.
Later on, Matthew loved hanging out with a bunch of second-year students after each class, including Remi. The first-years and second-years were in the same building, so it wasn’t a rare sight in this high school. To others, they just looked every other students hanging out together, but to Mathew, the times they spend together were incredible. The more Mathew knew about Remi, the greater he thinks about Remi. And Mathew thought, this was going to last forever.
But obviously it couldn’t. A year passed by, Remi had gone up to the third year. The third-years were in a different building, “In order to better assist their studies.” The time Remi could spend with Mathew had drastically decreased, their interaction was then mostly restricted to social media and weekends. It was also around the start of the academic year that Karter started to appear in Remi’s social media posts.
Mathew didn’t care that he didn’t know Karter personally. “It’s just someone Remi thinks is cool.” Mathew thought. He knew, by reputation, that Karter was a prominent member in the school soccer team, but then resigned for some reason. “Whatever, it doesn’t bother me at all.” Mathew told himself.
But then Karter was mentioned more and more by Remi. They posted more and more photos of them together. They also put each other’s username in their social media profile. “Wow, they must be really good friends.” Mathew thought, “Karter must be a genuinely interesting person. I kinda want to know more about.” Mathew wasn’t jealous or anything, at least he knew he shouldn’t be.
One day, Mathew got a 2-ticket bundle at a local movie theatre, it could only be used when 2 people went at the same time. So Mathew invited Remi.
“Is it just us two?”
“Yes, it’s a 2-ticket bundle.”
“I guess… but Karter probably wouldn’t be happy about it.”
The rest of the conversation didn’t matter. The last sentence Remi said stuck in Mathew’s head. “Why would Karter be unhappy about Remi and I going to a movie?” Mathew pondered, “What kind of people would be unhappy? Is it… what I imagined it is?”
There wasn’t a sure answer, but later observations only confirmed Mathew’s guess. Remi and Karter, are in a relationship. They didn’t announce it when it started, but they are, now.
It is when Mathew made this guess that he also realized how jealous he was over having someone that holds an exclusive lock on Remi. There are now things that Remi must keep Mathew away from. There are now things that Remi cannot do for Mathew.
It was time that Mathew needs to accept the new reality, one that has Remi occupied by someone Mathew wasn’t close with.
This reality has been largely accepted by Mathew today. He knows he can only watch Remi and Karter from a friendly distance. He has also attempted to get close with Karter, but they don’t much in common. Mathew knows that there will always be a large part of Remi he can’t acquire forcibly, so the best course of action, is instead watch for things that Karter and Remi shared about their life publicly, consuming that, relieves his insatiable hunger for more Remi.
But Mathew also knows that he can’t do this forever. In matter of months, Remi and Karter, both as third-years, are graduating. Whether they’re going to the same college is unkown to Mathew. Obviously he could just ask Remi. But he is too scared to ask, as he is with many more questions to Remi. The same goes for many things Mathew wants to say to Karter and Remi, but he will never say them, as they are, at most, irrespective and irresponsible. Mathew thinks it’s best for him to befriend Karter, and be friends with both Remi and Karter for as long as they can keep in contact.
Yet, Mathew is feeling troubled by something incredible between them that he can’t know about. 🐁
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