I don’t remember the first time I saw him, but it doesn’t really matter because all the memories I have of him seem to blend together into one, forming a self-inflicted exaggeration of who Fidel Castro was. And by Fidel Castro I am not referring to the former president of Cuba, but rather a high school boy with a killer smile and spiky black hair. He was popular, cute and became notoriously known for wearing Nirvana shirts to school on a daily basis.
I am not quite sure what triggered my outlandish and irrational fervor for the poor boy. Maybe it was a mixture of hormones and an undying need to feel wanted and loved by someone other than my parents. But whatever it was, it grew to nothing more than just that; an obsession. Because he was neither interested nor particularly fond of me. I was weird, shy and spent countless hours in the classroom staring at the back of his round head, hoping he would turn around and wink in my direction. My notebooks left mindful evidence of his existence in my heart and mind as well, with scribbles of his name and imaginative stories of our time spent together, or lack there of.
My best friend Lesly became my soul confident. I talked her ear off about him. Lunch hours, free periods and notes passed during class were spent in wishful contemplation of my ardent need for him. I would hope upon hope that he would pass me a love note, spilling his feeling for me, or that he would hold my hand and walk me to class, or most of all, that he would spend lunch time with me and kiss me under the willow trees.
But none of this happened of course. After tenth grade he took of and was never heard from again. Well, at least not by me. But still, my emotions for him ran high well after he was gone. I dreamed of him and daydreamed of him. And sometimes i swore I smelled his scent in the bus and looked around in hysteria, hoping to catch a glimpse of his lovely smile.
And now, seven years later, Lesly confesses it all one drunken night. She tells me she too was under Fidel’s spell. She too wanted to be with him, but after finding out that my feelings went beyond anything rational, she backed down both in the name of loyalty and friendship. She backed down even after he pulled her aside and told her how he loved her so. How he wanted to be the one to pass her love notes, to hold her hand in the hallway to class and to kiss her under the willow trees.