A/N: Yes, it's a true story. It could have a giant sequel with lots of petty details, especially considering the fact that a gigantic development has come to pass lately, but perhaps that's a story to share later.
All the "pictured" events took place last year.
Warning: Contains loads of cheesy musings and corny wishes knitted together.
Have fun reading.
~ The Revelation ~
"If you press me to say why I loved him, I can say no more than it was because he was he and I was I."
~~ Michel de Montaigne
The endeavour: proving that the taste of love can only be bittersweet.
So let us try to make this description simple, since this story has the sole purpose to clarify the entire matter. This notation filled with exuberance, namely, is no more than a small part of a never-ending life story that can never interest anyone. To completely clarify everything, we'll have to start at the very origin: September 1st.
I heard of a new teacher that day, though it was a day filled with new, unknown faces. This particular teacher would be teaching History and Aesthetics. Not that this makes him any more special from a regular teacher, but it only gave a hint of what he should have been like, according to my experiences with previous History teachers.
So when I first saw him, I was surprised to notice he had a seemingly striking resemblance to my teacher of last year. I judged too soon, based on this observation: I assumed he was as insane as all the other History teachers are, or are supposed to be in my little imaginary world at least.
I never expected him to be teaching my class eventually, but all of a sudden, that moment happened.
It was November 17th; a day now forever etched into my memory. My expectations of him were high, which wasn't fair towards him, I realise, but I couldn't help it. It was as if he had something; I had no clue what it possibly could be, but he had me fascinated and very curious about how he'd be.
I couldn't have been more disappointed. He was not insane and outrageous, like I had hoped; no, he was the complete opposite: he was calm and self-controlled, not the tiniest glimpse of humour in any sentence of his and not a trace of interest in what he was telling us. A more boring teacher could not exist, I thought then. At least he looked cute. And he had a nice, warm voice. A tad hoarse. Just how I like it.
The only weird thing was that I had this itching feeling of reminiscence, this feeling of déjà vu. As if I had known him once, but the memories were hidden for me by some kind of ethereal wall. It caused utter frustration, this stinging feeling. I decided to observe him more closely during classes, to see if anything seemed familiar about him.
Thus commenced the development of my fascination.
I always try to stay unnoticed in large groups, which succeeded perfectly in this big class of 33 students.
By the end of the course, the class had started to turn against him. They started talking chaotically and throwing things to each other. They provoked him and tested his patience. I couldn't help but feel terribly sorry for him. He seemed so young, about 24, I guessed and he was probably teaching in a school for his first year.
He had no control over the class and I felt deeply sorry for him. I have that often: pity for the teachers who lack authority. They always try so desperately to establish their authority, but it always fails. This guy even had the saddest, most melancholic look in his eyes.
When the bell rang and announced the end of the lesson, I helped my fellow classmates clean up the class room and left afterwards, carrying so much guilt inside me, even though I didn't do anything wrong. I must've been the only one who didn't get involved in the chaos.
Should I have wondered then already, why I felt such a heavy guilt without being guilty of anything?
His next lesson was with only half the class, which meant a bigger chance for me to be noticed, since I happen to be the only one who completely understands and knows how to pronounce English in this class. It seems sometimes like the others come from a different planet, with their complete lack of basic knowledge of such a commonly spoken language. Mean, but true.
As expected, I had to read a part of the text we were reading out loud. For some reason, he called me Vincent, which rewarded him at first with a cynical raise of my eyebrows, much to his amusement. I told him my real name and kept observing him closely, intrigued as I was by being called this name for no apparent reason. Maybe I look like a Vincent; I have no idea.
After this, it all started to get slowly out of hand actually. Fascinated as I am with my belief in past lives, I came up with the theory that he and I must've known each other from a past life, hence the feeling of familiarity.
Small details about him started to attract my undivided attention: the naughty twinkle in his intricate brown eyes that was always accompanied by a swift smirk, giving his joy an appearance of sarcasm; how he had this funny accent, hinting at his region; how he always wore dark colours, but bright colours underneath, for instance a black shirt with a bright yellow shirt underneath.
I realised I was developing this strong fascination for him, nothing wrong with that, I thought. That's when I started losing sleep even more than ever.
It's always been hard for me to fall asleep within three hours after going to bed, but at least I fell asleep after keeping my eyes closed for a while. I didn't manage to have this much luck now.
I unconsciously started to picture that mischievous smirk of his, the way he tinkered with his pen when he was bored and the class was struggling on easy exercises. I pictured how he walked with this hidden dignity in his steps, how he (deliberately?) created this aura of mystery around him.
Realisation came that my "healthy" interest had gotten out of hand. The truth crossed my mind, but I was deeply stuck in denial. Of course it made sense that I barely ate the last few days; that is completely normal to happen randomly, right? I continued fantasising about the cherishment that was his voice, with his typical funny accent that made me want to give him a hug.
I got frustrated, my brain started philosophising about the meaning of life and other pointless things to be pondering over at 3 AM and I sighed for what must have been hundreds of times. Eventually, when I was too tired to keep my brain active, I fell asleep.
Especially at school, I kept up the façade of "I don't care". I had to keep denying to myself most of all that I wasn't that pathetic to actually fall for… So I endlessly told myself this obsession was nothing and tried not to hyperventilate when he walked close by me or spoke to me directly.
Never have I absorbed a teacher's every words this intensely. I started to transition into my worst nightmare: the cheesy hopeless romantic. When I look back to it, I put on quite the show, and convinced everyone I was still the same. I had underestimated my subtlety, although every time I could say his name, my heart lived up and swelled with exuberance; nature seemed so much prettier and everything turned into a haze.
Eventually, I couldn't continue denying it anymore; I had to face the truth. So I did, although I only realised the severity of this on December 6th, during the oral exam, where I'd have the task to share my opinions on the concept of love and my interpretation and review of Wuthering Heights.
The moment I entered the class room, I realised that whatever would be said here, I'd be lost anyway. I forced myself to walk calmly to my chair opposed to his.
I could have died of bliss the moment he looked me in the eyes, the moment, during which he finally –though professionally- gave me his undivided attention. I should have been more nervous than ever, but surprisingly, I was more at ease than ever in his presence. The only thing missing to complete the comfy tea party was tea.
He gave me nothing but praise for my written analysis, which made me feel like I was glowing with pride, for I had just received recognition from the most intriguing, unfathomable person I had ever met. After he had completely comforted me with his constant praise, the time had come to ask me some questions.
He asked me a question I had seen coming the minute I read that part of the book: "If all else perished and he remained, I would still continue to be, but if all else remained, and he were annihilated… Why would you choose this excerpt as the most meaningful one of the book?"
I told him that it was here that the truth finally was told by Catherine. She finally admitted her undying love for Heathcliff, showing she wasn't selfish, but more of a reckless, passionate lover. I told him that it struck me how enchanted she was by him, how he could define her very world. He, Heathcliff, one of the most despised and mocked individuals.
"Is it not beautiful?" I wondered out loud. A little sparkle in his eyes and a swift smirk said enough: he agreed with me.
I established a pretty good impression with my answers to his other questions. That was, until he asked me about Edgar Linton though. He asked me to tell him more about this Linton.
"Who is he? Is he "the one" for Catherine? Why would she choose him?"
I formed an answer pretty quickly and, to score more marks on self-consciousness, I decided to look him in the eyes as he had tried a couple of times before.
Sweet Jesus. It was as if I were reborn. He completely swept me off my feet with his gaze.
Beautiful, never previously beheld purity, innocence and tenderness lay in those brown sources of endless delight. All I could think then was: I want him; I want to know him, have him, mean something to him. I want to be his shoulder to cry on, his support, his sun, his lover. He could have asked me anything then, I would've done it for him, whatever the cost. Anything to hold that tender gaze.
I tried to say my thoughts on Linton, but words escaped me and I muttered irrelevant things with barely any use as an answer.
He quickly started to write down numbers on the evaluation form, next to the questions he already asked. Meanwhile, I didn't know whether to be fearful or hopeful, so instead I just focused my gaze on his slightly tanned arms, who did all but ruin the image of my perfect god. Oh, I was a lost cause, am a lost cause.
That much is for sure.
"One final question," he spoke with his eloquent English accent, "If you would have to convince me to read this book, what arguments would you give then?"
As good as I could, I tried to give him every reason I could possibly imagine, especially emphasising the realistic experience of love in the book and its historiographical background. I emphasised the latter even more by teasingly saying "People who like History must really love it!".
As I had hoped, it elicited his bittersweet melancholic smile, including that naughty sparkle in his eyes. If at that very moment the earth would have perished because of a torch reaction of the sun, I wouldn't have sobbed or anything. I would've died a happy man, knowing I had been able to make him smile.
Moving him became my newest life purpose that very instant. I knew I was deriving too much from his behaviour, but I refused to deny myself the bittersweet joy of this illusion. Reality would soon enough, so allow me to dream just a little longer.
He wrote down a final number and directed his gaze towards me again, and I was a caged bird again, too much ensnared by his intricate depths I could never resist.
He summarised the oral exam, how I did and again, all I got was praise. His only remark was that I seemed too shy still.
Hey, if he knew the turmoil he caused in me, he would've admired my extreme calmness! Shy, my bottom! I made a little pun considering his studies; that should at least count as a slight manner of extroversion!
Thanks to this little observation of his, I scored 26.5 out of 30 marks instead of the 28 he wanted to give me at first. It's not like I cared that much; his praise was worth more to me than 1000 marks for everything.
He said I had lived up to his expectation of me, because he said my essay on Wuthering Heights was the best of the entire class. He said he likes people who aren't afraid to take a challenge and according to him, a classic like Wuthering Heights was. I didn't consider it that much of a challenge; more of diversion actually, but hey, he was saying he liked me! I didn't need anything else anymore.
It was over. The oral exam was finished. I handed him my portfolio and hoped he would correct it, for I had deliberately spent a lot of time perfecting it to the smallest details.
I left the class room, only looking back just once to him, to see those eyes only once more and closed the door behind me.
I tried to ease the nerves of one of my classmates, without saying what a heavenly moment it was, while a different classmate was having her exam. When she came out, it was time for us both to leave and catch our bus in time, but it seemed like she was also pleased with how it went. I tried to talk about it, about how generous he had been with giving marks and how good he had succeeded at comforting my stress, but I had to watch my words. No one was allowed to know.
Once on the bus, on our way home, my best friend and I talked about our day. I told her how happy I was with how everything went, but again, I had to pretend I didn't care about him that much. I was so scared I betrayed my real thoughts of him when I said I loved his eye colour, but instead of asking for an explanation, all she said was: "Yeah, brown eyes are so pretty."
I knew that things wouldn't get any easier from now on. Passing through my exams without losing focus, without spilling my guts.
I had less sleep than ever. A wise person once said: "Love is… being unable to sleep, because the reality trumps the dream." This was true to some extent, though I desired my dreams to trump the reality, for my reality only made me feel as if I was stuck in a rollercoaster.
In the evenings, I could always count on the hilarious conversations with C., a fellow adorer of the same person, though of a more fickle basis.
I still doubt from time to time about how serious she was in everything she said about him. Did she love him, as fiercely, recklessly, passionately as me? Did she long to caress him like a precious gift? Or did she merely enjoy the sight of him?
Not that it mattered. I had to get rid of the vexing thoughts I had of him, and who better share it with than someone with the same view? I felt guilty that she knew more than my best friend, who was freaking out that I refused to tell her his name, or any hint at all, but I couldn't bring myself to confess it. It would be a revelation with consequences too big to continue the old road. I forced myself to silence to stop myself from taking the risk.
A short time before the exams were over, I found myself wanting to see him again. Not just from a distance, like I had while I was filling in my exams, but closely. From a perspective where I could look him deep into the eyes and, enchanted, hope he loved blue eyes. A point of view from where I could admire his gracious facial features, his bittersweet smirk, and most important of all: his compelling dark brown eyes.
I came up with the lamest excuse: I wanted to edit something about my portfolio that I had handed in. I gathered up courage and was just about to enter the teacher's office when the door swung open and, by some remarkable coincidence, he stepped outside. Dumbfounded almost by this unexpected surprise, it took me a few seconds to realise he was about just as surprised as I was for some reason.
Before he could walk away, I blurted out "You were exactly the one I was looking for!", causing another surprised expression on his face. His pupils widened, as if he was completely swept off his feet. Diabolical pride anchored inside of me.
Meanwhile, I was trying not to be distracted by the fact that he forgot his jacket inside, meaning he was wearing no more than a tight shirt, exposing his muscular arms and torso.
He asked me what he could do for me and I told him, while trying not to mumble or stutter too much, that I wanted my portfolio back. He ran inside again and fetched it for me. I asked him whether he would be correcting it and if he would still be teaching us after the Christmas holidays. He seemed a tad puzzled, and I felt irritated that a week before the holidays they still hadn't told him whether he could stay longer or not.
He said he didn't know for sure. He handed me my portfolio and we both went separate ways.
The exams went by, blown by as if by a hurricane, fading into a blur of no-him-ness. The next Monday wasn't that interesting, as it contained a serious lack of him. The whole fifth year went to see a film, "The Reader", some romantic drama set after the Second World War.
I tried to focus, but the fact that he was seated the row in front of me was rather distracting. If I swapped places with my friend two places to the right, I'd be right behind him. Too bad we already had taken place, so no teacher would allow us to change places.
Would it make any difference sitting closer to him? No, of course not! This thought frustrated me such that I couldn't help myself and started talking to the other friend right next to me. A glance from him in my direction ensued, because yes, someone started talking during the incredibly interesting film.
Still I got no reprimand, which was even worse for some reason. I don't even know why. The psychiatrist I really need to visit by now would probably know why. Not that I need another voice telling me to give up on a foolish, hopeless dream. I know that I should, though, but I can't and even if I could, I wouldn't. Never.
I happen to kind of like this endless rollercoaster.
The next day was only remarkable in that sense, namely that one of my friends said something this alarming I feared she was unto me. "Who would ever fall for a teacher? You'd have to be real stupid for that. He's not even that special."
Desperately trying to avoid having a mental breakdown, I played my best act of stoic, pretending to agree that the mere idea of loving a teacher like this was utterly ridiculous and that he was the most average person the world had ever known.
Somehow, I still managed to whisper "When it's real, you can't walk away" to a different friend. Then I shut my mouth, too afraid that I had spilled my guts.
Before my year returned to our school in Belgium (since we were in Aachen, Germany at that moment) I spotted him amongst other teachers and my heart bled seeing him look so lonely, so shut out by them. I could've pulled out all my hairs in frustration for seeing people ignore him. My teachers were so nice usually. So was he. Why couldn't they just be friends with each other?!
That evening, when we got back home, C. had a gift for me: during the bus ride, he had fallen asleep and they (some students) managed to make a picture of it. I've stored it safely on my iPod, so it's always close. Every night before I go to bed, I look at it for a few minutes, to keep the look of him as a vivid memory; to not forget. I whisper to him that I won't give up on him. That I'll wait. Forever if needs to be, because I believe that one way or another, we will be together one day.
The next few days were incredibly uninteresting as I had no school temporarily and I couldn't talk to anyone about my feelings and how they were eating me away.
I started posting in the forums of The Vampire Diaries. A distraction I could use to divert myself a bit.
Practically devoured by all the teen drama, I managed to make it to Thursday evening, the last Thursday, before Friday, before the holidays.
It was the evening of grand revelation. C. told me namely, that she found out he has a girlfriend.
Even though I wasn't that surprised, getting the actual confirmation was devastating.
To distract myself, I started reading "The Sufferance of Young Werther", a novel written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. I had to agree with him when I read the part where he wrote "We see others happy because of a source not related to us and it haunts us. We can't bear it." Still I'm going to try to, just because it seems the most noble and selfless thing I can do.
As usual, Friday follows Thursday and this Friday was everything Thursday wasn't. Where Thursday was hell, Friday was the blissful afterlife of heaven.
Roped in by one of my teachers, I had to help warming up some soup in the teacher's office that would later that day be sold to pupils because of some special action.
The atmosphere in there was so comfy and nice; I decided that after I get a master in psychology, I want to be a teacher at this school.
On my way to one of the giant bowls of soup, I almost bumped into him. I looked up quickly, and, completely mesmerised by the sight of a different him, I almost forgot the soup was boiling. Typical for me to be –after blind- outright clumsy.
I muttered a quick "Sorry!" and walked on.
He had gotten himself a haircut. As if he wasn't cute enough already. He had actually managed to look even more dashing. The day I had decided I had given up and would let him go, he looked more divine than ever. It wasn't fair. Maybe it was a sign? It had to be.
I was confronted with him the whole day; só much more than usual that it really seemed to be a tad tóó coincidental. Someone once told me there's no such thing as coincidence. I'd like things to be that way. It would mean that our meeting wasn't entirely coincidental; that it was some higher occurrence.
Hope grew wings and carried me higher than the stars.
She was still there somewhere, his girl, but as long as I didn't have to see her, I could continue telling myself it would never work between them, that he would realise she wasn't the one. I needed to believe that; it was my condition of existence.
I saw him smile his bittersweet smirky smile so much that day. It was glorifying.
His smile reminded me of Jon Snow from A Game Of Thrones for some reason, I don't know why.
Either way, it was a great day of seeing him for the last time, since I suspected he probably wouldn't be back after the holiday. I memorised his every smile, his every blink and tried to keep them close. If I'd never see him again, I needed something to keep me going without him.
That evening, my best friend was freaking out because I still hadn't told her, but somehow I gave her so much hints that she eventually managed to guess. Her reaction was completely surprising to me: she thought it was cute actually. What in hell?! Well, as long as she approved…
She became my main support, telling me that maybe not all was lost; maybe he and I would be reunited because of some higher fortune. I told myself that she was right. If I would see him again, that would be a sign, because what are the odds?
I told more people during the holiday, and got very close with someone of the forums. Even though my feelings would get a little down at times, I still managed to keep the hope burning.
One could understand my surprise when I saw him the Monday after the holidays! I was overjoyed and felt like my heart would pound right out of my chest. My blood was rushing, the air seemed to burn, although it was a cold winter day, and I felt like I would faint.
I was angry at myself for not being able to come up with an excuse to talk to him and thus, had no chance of speaking with him.
I didn't see him that much anymore afterwards. A couple of glimpses of him, sometimes I even thought it were mere hallucinations.
Then all of a sudden, it seemed as if he was gone. No one had seen him for two weeks, so it got pretty obvious he left. I got ill. So ill I had to stay at home.
Feverish and completely down, I begged fate to change things, to bring him back. With every non-feverish thought I had at rare occasions, I summoned him, begged him to return.
Eventually, I got better, healed.
Another week of holiday came some time later and again the Monday afterwards I received word that he was back. I started spamming everyone I knew their mailboxes, because I didn't know how else to express my happiness.
Every break at school, I would look around intensely, trying to catch the smallest glimpse of him, but to my disappointment, I never saw him.
2 weeks have passed since. He must've left again, I assume. Cruel fate.
I'll manage though. I always have, always will. That's my thing: always looking on the bright side. The only problem is they turned off the lights at the bright side.
I'm convinced I'll see him again, maybe at strange places, or strange times, but I'm certain I will nevertheless.
I'll wait for him. I'll carry my hope for this one dream of him and me, as I carry my love.
Always and forever.
A/N:Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please do review, or PM, if you think that's more appropriate. Feel free to mail me any question that pops up.