Her First Mirror:
Taking my Japanese text out of the bag, I flipped through the pages. I was not really reading but trying to escape from the glance—an odd glance coming from the guard to a stranger like me. It was my first time at this place, the PC building. I kept flipping through the pages, waiting for him to come out. Checking the time from the clock above the guard’s head, it was already fifteen past eleven. Some girls walked out, group after group. They were all in the white polo t-shirt with the Pre-College logo. High heels, dyed stylish hair, short skirts, make-up on, brand-name handbags, I felt completely awkward sitting in front with long pleated skirt, white shirt tucked in under a brown belt, a small round brooch with the symbol of Mahidol pinned on my right chest. I kept checking the time on my cell phone, no more looking up at the clock. Some more groups walking out, buzzing, laughing, phones ringing, I looked for him. People kept walking out of the building, gathering and talking at the entrance, where I was sitting; some even looked at me. I called him again; then the number on the screen started running.
“H-hello, Bay, where are you?”
“Sorry I’m still at the building. Where shall we…”
Just at that moment, among the group of students, I sighted a young man who was also looking back to my direction.
I grinned at him. As I hurried packing my things up, I was then patted softly on my head. It was him standing in front of me. “How long have you been waiting?” he pouted and then turned back to say bye to his friends; several byes replying back all at the same time with odd glances at me. Except for one glance—a glance from a boy in glasses standing among the groups. It looked still but felt somewhat tender.
“Shall we go now?” puckered his thick brows. I nodded, beaming.
His First Mirror:
My stomach was still rumbling; hoped that the girl next row could not here it. After all, the long boring class had ended. So what should I take now? Maybe I’d better get to Kuaytiew Mae first of all. Looking around, the corridor was thronged with students—boys and girls from different places and with different backgrounds. But I felt that I was even more different. The way they spoke to each other, the lifestyles they lived, the stuff they had were totally different from me. I had not been abroad or used to spend my money on a good restaurant every lunch or had the brand new Sony phone. I was just a boy from the countryside; a boy from a public high school; a boy whose mom worked as a teacher at a small school. Even though they were mostly nice and friendly, I could not feel the sincere friendship at all. Oh Please! People were gathering at the front gate--I had waited for so long for the class to finish; now would be another wait. But just like others, I also had a chat with my friends. They called me ‘Master Piece’.
For a glimpse through the crowd, I saw a girl, striking. I walked a bit to the front after my friends; now I could see her more clearly. She was not a PC student; her small white hand was holding a thick book; her face was hidden under her dark hair. She was fully attired in a long skirt, reading.
“Pete, I gotta go now,” Bay turned to me, startled me a bit; his hand was grabbing his Nokia phone.
“Yeah, man. See you.” I said, smiling, seeing him saying bye to others around.
“Look at Bay’s girlfriend!” exclaimed one of my classmate.
The girl had already stood up, smiling gently at Bay. She was Bay’s girl. All at once, I did not dare look at her anymore, but I still peeked; I stole a look at her small fair face, her rosy cheeks, her big round eyes, then her radiant skin, her long swaying hair, and her small figure. She was pretty—a pretty girl standing by his side. They were matched, a perfect couple. They were walking away together. Someone said that she was a college student; I sighed—no more turning to her.
Her Second Mirror:
A year had passed since I had a word from him, my only best friend. I raised my face slightly up from my dish, looking at a young man scooping a spoonful of fried rice into his pinkish mouth—I should not be thinking of him.
“Wha’s wrong? Does it taste bad?” he jabbered, munching.
Quite surprised at his gluttonous eating style, I did not realize that I was staring at him, “Ye?” I gawked. Slowly absorbing what I had just heard, I shook my head, smirking. It was my first time eating at this newly-opened restaurant with him—my boyfriend.
I was quite unsure of why I came to be sitting right here—right opposite him; or in other words, how I became his girlfriend. I knew that it was because of the welcoming camp that made me and Phi-Ned, a member of my Phi-Group, know each other. He took that advantage to get closer to me. I still remembered the day I suddenly asked him, ‘you like me, don’t you?’ Certainly, I shocked him, and he warily admitted it. It took around three months for him to have the courage to ask me to be his girl—and I said yes.
Still, that did not seem to answer my doubt; why did I say yes to the guy whom my best friend hated so much? Not long ago, I found out that he was the one that broke Bay’s sister’s heart. So why?
“Oh! Pete, Wassup?!” Phi-Ned’s shout woke me up. Why did he have to shout in such a small place? I did not turn back but realized that someone he knew had entered. That someone walked past us to the table behind, but not at the same row. The guy Phi-Ned called as Pete did not come alone; there was another boy with him. Pete was trendily good-looking; his calm face was hidden under glasses. Phi-Ned said that Pete, his younger friend from high school, was a very quiet boy but also very popular among girls. The other boy was sitting with his back to us. I could smell some aroma from this guy when he walked past us. It took my breath away. From his back, I was so certain that he seemed to be a lot like him.
“Let’s have dinner at the corner tomorrow, okay?” Phi-Ned requested.
The corner was not a restaurant or a café but an open area for several food stalls at the intersection opposite the university. As usual, the corner today was packed with students, but Phi-Ned and I were lucky enough to get seated.
“Please stop taking my photos. I’m too shy to eat now,” Phi-Ned grinned.
“Are you sure? Why are you still eating then?” I chuckled, clicking for his photos. Phi-Ned was a very cute narrow-eyed boy. His radiant face looked even fairer than mine. He was two years older in age—I liked boys older than me. This time I did not order anything; I had gained weight these several months. Smiling at the photos shown on the screen, I realized that the same boy from Phi-Ned’s school came for his dinner at the corner as well. I glanced at Pete; he was seated at the next table just opposite of me, but again he was accompanied by another boy. I did not look up.
His Second Mirror:
“Woahhhh!!~ Let’s try da new restaurant!!” beamed Bay, my annoying roommate. I slowed down my pace, looking up at the banner ‘The cheapest ever!’, then I looked inside; the restaurant was decorated simply with a few white tables alongside the light blue walls. There were only two people sitting inside on the left row—a couple seemingly. As Bay pushed the door open, now I could have a clearer glance; a girl with long hair was sitting with her back to us, and opposite her was a guy—very white and Chinese good looks. All of a sudden Bay stood stunned. I tapped his shoulder and saw someone I knew. “Oh! Pete, Wassup?!” Now I remembered who he was—my senior high school friend who had already become an IC student. I bowed a bit to him and slowly paced past them to the table. For a brief second, I could sneak a look at the girl opposite Phi-Ned. She was pretty cute. I felt that she was familiar, but could not recall who she was. They were eating in silence—strange silence. Were they angry at each other? But something was even weirder: Bay in all of a sudden just turned silent. What is wrong with everyone?! I sighed.
The corner was as crowded as always. But we always found a place as well. Grinned. Ah! That’s Phi-Ned again. I greeted him. Bay walked to the opposite side; he sat down quietly. From where I was seated, I saw a girl; she was busy playing with her cell phone next to Phi-Ned—she did not even look up. I raised my hand to a waiter.
Her Third Mirror:
Phi-Ned’s face was no longer at my Top Friends box; the background was also not our pictures anymore. I should not have said yes. I should not have been his girl. The days were awful after we said goodbye. I kept surfing Hi5 as it kept popping up new pages, inviting me to visit others’ profiles.
Then I stopped at a page—it belonged to a guy. The name he used on the profile page was Pete and the link address was ‘Pete-akido’. I did not know why I felt attracted to this name; even more, I wondered where I had met him before. Another question was when did I add him as a friend?! Not to wait, I rolled down the profile. Despite his common trendy Korean good look, this guy was quite interesting; not smoking, not drinking, and even favoring books on philosophy!—he was just different. On his Top Friends box were several pictures of his friends, of course—but one of them looked familiar to me. I took a closer look and, for several minutes, sat stunned as I figured out that it was Bay. He was Bay’s friend.
I closed down the page—too tired to do anything more—shut down the computer, and went to bed. How long had we not been talking to each other? Whispered in my mind, tears ran down as I closed my two eyes.
His Third Mirror:
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It had been such a long time since I had posted this topic—at last somebody replied! It was a woman—a very pretty woman. She looked quite older than me. Maybe she was already working.
‘I think staying on your own sometimes makes you learn more about yourself because normally no one can really understand themselves. And I agree that happiness can be found from it as I have found it. It opens up your mind even wider, allowing you to see and feel things around you differently in a sense of recovering brightness from darkness, just like the dawn.’
Bowled over, I kept staring and repeating this reply for a few times. Who is she? Why did she seem so concerned about this? I immediately clicked at her tiny photo near her comment. As the page turned to hers, I could now view her larger photo—very pretty indeed. Her name was Grace. She was not a working woman but actually an International College student—an IC student who was a year younger than me! She must be pretty good. The number of visitors to her page had run to a thousand. Why would such a perfect girl mind my stupid scrap post? Somehow, I did not dare post her a comment. I did not know what to say.
Her Fourth Mirror:
Stepping up the stairs, I tried to make it as quiet as possible. At the final flight I looked up; my eyes were fixed to the other two eyes behind glasses. It felt like two or three seconds—I did not know. I swiftly turned to the right and looked outside the window. Continuing up the steps, those two eyes belonged to a guy I had not seen in this college. He was writing something. I tried not to look at him and hurried off to the library. I felt like I had seen him before—somewhere.
Later on that day, I did not know why his page was the first page I opened after I switched on my computer. This time I clicked at his Photos and viewed each of them one-by-one. I was taken aback as I saw one of the photos—he was wearing glasses. Now I realized who the person I saw at the library was. He was Pete. I kept staring at the same photo; I stared and was melted by the glare from the guy on my monitor—Gosh, I just hate the guys in glasses.
Everyday at the college I started seeing him more and more often. I knew when I should be at the library or at the canteen. I saved one of his photos in my phone and showed it to my close friend at the canteen one day. Suddenly he arrived. I fell off the chair. My face became hot and I did not dare turn to others. Then my friend laughed at me. As I glared at her, she said, giggling, “You like him, ye?”
My heart said that I fell for him, but my mind said that I must hold back. How could I get to know him without letting him realize my feelings? This was the first time I had ever felt attracted to someone. There must be some way.
His Fourth Mirror:
The welcoming day was approaching, and I was dancing with funny girly movements created by my Phi-Group. All of a sudden, a girl I did not know stepped inside the room. She seemed to be another Year 2 student by the way she talked to other Phi-Groups of mine. I felt awkward dancing in front of the girls I did not know. But I must do this as the appreciation to myself that I could finally become another college student of this high-prestige university. I had made it.
It was time for the break and it was almost 6PM—Phi-Groups were going to give us dinner now. Yes! I took a box of spaghetti and seated myself alone at the corner.
“Excuse me,” a soft voice startled me. “Are you Pete?”
I nodded, dumbfounded. “Y-yes?” I bowed slightly to her, the new girl who had just came into the room half an hour ago. “Y--”
“Why didn’t you accept the MSN request?!” she started, “I’ve waited for so long!” she frowned at me.
“Well, I—I haven’t used it for some time,” I mumbled. “Is there anything I can do?” I asked, offering her a seat. She looked familiar.
“Your Hi5 is ‘Pete-akido’, right?” she sat down instantly.
“Yes,” raised my eyebrows, “Oh! You’re the one from Hi5!” I exclaimed.
“I suppose,” she sighed and started telling me that she needed someone to interview for her English presentation, and it was about Aikido. I apologized to her that I could not help her much on the topic. Shockingly, she offered me a hand for my English essay. She said it was like help from an upperclassman to an underclassman. I was impressed by her serious help on my work—impressed by her appearance. She introduced herself to me as Grace. I did not touch my spaghetti at all that hour. I wanted to talk to her more.
Everyday after that, she came to help me finish up my essay. Every time she stepped into the room just to give me my edited work, she simply walked off and hurried downstairs. I followed her. I wanted to call her but I did not. She always seemed too busy to interrupt.
Later on I found out that she had to walk alone to the bus station after 6PM which was already dark. She was the only one I found in this college who dressed herself very properly in a long skirt and who did not live her life extravagantly. Despite her younger age, she was so mature that she was always the one who gave advices on things—on college life; on real life. I did not know why I started calling her on the phone and one day I started walking her to the bus stop.
It was another day that I could walk her to the bus stop. We kept talking about what we could fix in the essay. I did not really listen to what she said—I just could not stop looking at her dazzling eyes. She was the closest and best friend I felt happy to be with. I felt guilty every time she touched me, but I did not want her to let go. I did not know when it started but I always became moody when she talked about other guys. I felt sad when she felt sad. I wanted to protect her. And it was another happy moment which I wanted it to last forever—the journey to the bus stop. My angel—where did you come from? I wanted you to stay with me here evermore.
They walked away together, giggling and smiling to each other like there were only two of them on this earth. A young man standing still far behind both of them fixed his two eyes on their backs. He was standing alone in a cold wind behind their mirrors, watching his best friends walking away.