The sun was shining back then. We were sitting together on a bench and talking about how summer was so easy to waste and how the days were so quick at running away from us. The shade of the tree hid our shadows from the world, but it did not hide us from the wrath of the sun. Beads of sweat were on your temples, and you kept on raising your hand to wipe them away. I started searching my pockets for a handkerchief to lend to you. When I found one, I caught you staring at me.
“You cut your hair. Did someone break your heart?”
“No. I just felt like cutting it, that’s all.”
The moon was nowhere to be found that night when we were on the rooftop. We were both disappointed because we had been excited to see the stars bow down to the beauty of the insecure moon who only knew how to make a name for herself using the sun’s guidance. You asked if we could stay a little longer despite the absence we were confronted with. So there we were, lying on the rooftop under the night sky.
“You cut your hair. Did–”
“No. I cut my hair because I just wanted to. It’s not about a guy.”
You were staring at me. When a cheeky grin showed up on your face, I found myself asking you what you were happy about. You looked away, but that proud grin was still present. You held my hand back then, and I watched you breathe while my heart was pounding, deafening me with its own beats.
It was my birthday and we were together in my room. We were sitting on my bed while we were eating slices of the cake my mom bought for me. You were kidding about how I was starting to get old, so I joked about how you were starting to be a jerk. When you were finally finished with your share, you watched me eat. A smile never left your face. When I saw you like that, butterflies fluttered around inside my stomach.
“Your hair got shorter.”
“Yeah, it did.”
You got off of my bed and when I asked you where you’re going, you said that you’re just gonna ask for another slice of the cake. Before you went, you touched my face, whispered “I like you,” and kissed my cheek. I froze and it took me minutes to let what happened sink in. I waited for you to come back. When I got impatient, I went to the kitchen. Mom said that you had gone home already. She also told me that I had icing on my right cheek. That was where you touched me–where my cheek felt your thumb gently press itself against my skin. That night, you were all I could think about.
On our first date, you kissed me by our doorstep when it was time for us to separate. We were both trying to silence ourselves from the happiness that wanted to escape our lips. I was past my curfew, and I joked about blaming you for it. You said that it was also my fault, and that I had no right to complain since I was the one who told you that it was okay. You ruffled my hair, and I playfully slapped your hand.
“Not gonna cut it?”
“I don’t want to.”
I woke up beside you while you were brushing my hair using your fingertips. The light peeking from outside made you look gorgeous. The sudden contrast in colors made you look too good to be true.
“Your hair has gotten longer.”
“It’s been a while since I last had it cut.”
You smiled at me. I asked you if you had been up for a long time. You said that an hour or so had passed and you just watched me as I was sleeping. You pulled me closer to you, and I felt your bare skin meet mine.
It is winter. The two of us are talking on the phone. You are telling me about a girl you couldn’t leave alone. You say that she makes your day, and that she makes you feel things even without doing anything at all. I play around with my hair as I wait for you to stop talking about her. It has been months since we broke up. It has been months since you’ve moved on. Even so, here I am, still bearing feelings for you that I can no longer mention since you sound so happy about someone else. I twirl my hair around my finger as I stare at somewhere far away. Then, suddenly, you ask me about how I have been. I pause for a moment. My mind races with ideas giving fuel to my beating heart. But even so, none of them can really be said. When I realize that I have stopped playing with my hair, I remember the times you asked me about it.
“I cut my hair.”
“Because you felt like it?”
“No. This time, it’s because of a guy.”