8.2 seconds

by Bsouliad
We started out as strangers who chased each other because I took something pink and has a wide grin that looks like a rat from her. Needless to say, it made the owner cry when her short, little legs weren’t enough to catch me. Of course, I gave it back to her seeing how her rounded earth-colored eyes were flooded with tears; though it was more of something similar to mud with me being a child of course.


I apologized like how a kid apologizes: “This rat looks weird! Here, you can have it back!” Yup, I did apologized back then. She huffed and her nose flared looking like the kettle that screams that my mother used to boil tea with then she spoke with a weird way of speaking that I found myself laughing.

“Toro is not a rat! He’s a raccoon!”

I didn’t know what a raccoon was back then. To me, since it has whiskers and a tail, it was a rat. But then again, I didn’t know a lot of things back then.

“That’s a he? I thought you pink kids like teddy bears and dollies!”

“Hey! Do not call me a pink kid! I have a name you know! And no, not everyone is the same just like what my mommy taught me so that means I don’t like teddy bears and dollies.”

Yes, her mommy.

“So why do you hate teddy bears and dollies?”

“Hate and not like are two different terms! Hate means-“

“Aish! Just answer my question! You know too many things!”

Back then, that’s how I viewed her. She was someone who was similar to a book that carries all of the answer to my questions. Guess I was just as naïve back then.

“Meanie! Any who, I don’t ‘like’ teddy bears because I’m allergic to those brown things they’re covered with and dollies are scary.”

“You mean the fur?”

“I guess.”

Then we started running around after that like I wasn’t the little kid who took her raccoon and called her ‘pink kid’.


I was eleven and so was she but I was older than her about five months or so. They weren’t carrying her usual child-like glint like how they used to, her eyes. They were glassy with tears, dazed, and no sign of life was there. I didn’t took her raccoon this time, in fact I was insisting for her to hold it and she did but to only one hand or paw so I held the other.


Toro has that usual ear-to-ear smile of his and she has no idea how much I want to transfer that smile to her just so she could go back to life once again. I learned from my mother that just because a heart is beating doesn’t mean the person is alive.


The rain was pouring heavily down on us, well actually on everything. I don’t have an umbrella and nor does she and Toro was too small to give us enough shelter but we stood under it and remained stubborn in front of the arched –shape cement with words that should never have been imprinted in front of the eyes of someone who is in the tender age of eleven.

It was really gloomy but then again this is the cemetery. It was supposed to be gloomy in the first place. I have no idea how long we have been standing but I guess it had been a few hours judging from the coldness that seeped to my bone. It felt weird and stupid to remain standing here when there’s a lot of shelter around us but I knew it would feel weirder if I did take some shelter.

I did after all promise to her mom that I would stay by her side no matter what happens and I want to fulfill that wish because it took her final breath away along with some whispers of love. I thought it was unfair, she spoke to me while she only whispered to her but I guess that’s what made me so determined to keep on standing by her side.

“It’s ironic don’t you think.”

Her voice had surprised me at that time because I didn’t expect her to talk. I thought she would cry but she didn’t. Not a single tear or anything. She simply stared and stared…and stared.

“What do you mean?”

“It seems ironic that all of the names of the people here are written in a stone or cement that was shaped just like a rainbow and mommy used to tell me that rainbows gives people happiness just like what God had promised.”

I never did believe in God nor did I have any religion. She knew that and we respected each other’s belief.

“If that’s true…then how come I don’t feel anything at all?”

I have an answer to her question, I had one but then I saw her eyes already having an answer that was close yet far at the same time to my own. Still, I hugged her close to me and whispered the answer her eyes had carried through this cold, harsh day.

“It’s because you’re merely a child of eleven who has to cry her heart out. Now.”

And she did. I could still recall the loud wails and violent sobs that occupied her while I just stood there hugging her to keep her in place because I promised her mother that I will never ever let her fall.


A few months had passed since then and a lot of things changed between us. It wasn’t the bad type of change, I actually liked it. Since that day, I did my best to make her smile once again. At first I failed and would always end up hugging her to sleep as she cried until her breathing finally became stable.

But I guess she had the same goal as me: to make her smile. She did her best, really she did and I was there for her to encourage her. She slowly reverted back to her old self again but one day shattered all of that. Silly her, that was the day she learned to tell me everything.


“I’m sorry.”

“Huh? For what? You didn’t eat my gummy worms again did you?” She laughed that musical laugh of hers but she knew that I caught on one small change. It was hollow, forced and there was no sign of joy either.

Back then, I wondered how come I was the only one who was able to see that unlike her friends who all thought she was finally okay. It was so easily noticeable, laid in plain sight. Then again, if they did notice that then I guess I wouldn’t be her best friend.

“Stupid dork, reading me so openly.”

I liked that really.

“I’m really sorry for throwing your effort to waste but I can’t go back to normal. I just can’t.” Silly her.

That’s what I also said to her.

“Oh you. The reason why I’m doing this is to make you smile and happy again but I never said that you’re also supposed to go back to normal. You don’t have to, you know. You can be the way you are now but more smileys!”

Then she cried again on that night but the reason of her tears were different this time. She wasn’t sad, she was happy.


After that, we found ourselves surrounded by graduating students who would be in college the next year. We were nervous but giddy at the same time. She definitely changed since that night and I liked it.

We were classmates due to some unknown force of nature that took the form of her almighty father. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that unknown but it was a secret that she accidentally told me. Wait, I guess that makes it not so much of a secret anymore. Oh well. She was silly and clumsy like that.


It was weird, really it was. At the beginning of the year, she had pretty much charmed everyone with two eyes and an organ hanging between their legs and some other females but the papers that made her locker pop definitely did not came from females. That would be my locker though not many by the way which was weird.

We found good use of the letters. It was useful for roasting marshmallows under the starry night.

Still it was weird. The fact that she burns the letters after reading them and meeting up with them or did whatever the letter contains except for saying yes adds to that. It was like she wasn’t interested which was weird because she was a ‘pink lady’ now.

There were a lot of good looking and gentlemen-like guys who wanted to court her or at least even have the chance to hold her hand or pat her head like what I have the privilege to do. But she refused and sticks by with me.

I swear I could still feel the way their eyes glared to me until now and that was years back then! I even thought that they cursed me since my height never did grow further.

What felt weirder was that some students started something like a group that has something to do with us, or as she told me. I think the name rhymes with tea. Wait, I think the ‘e’ and ‘a’ are switched.

That was how our last year in high school went.


Time ticked past and now we’re both twenty-one. That brings us to the present. Graduation was near, specifically the day after tomorrow but instead of spending time with our families or friends or anything that has connection with our graduation, we were here sitting under the night sky, roasting marshmallows but this time the fire wasn’t made from love letters but from another printed copy of our thesis combined. Of course the original one was already passed and approved of, which is why we’re included in the ones that will graduate.

What could I say? It felt good.


The reason we’re still able to spend time together was not caused by some unknown force of nature but more of about our courses. I took Engineering while she took Accountancy. We both have the same building in every classes! I swear we were the only ones that understood each other especially when exams came. We threw mathematical equations to each other and our shield was our scientific calculators.


She grew even more beautiful through those tiring years. Her earth-colored eyes were darker now and a lot more alluring with a mixture of innocence. Her hair was blazing red that it contrasted with her eyes. Her voice became deep and huskier too. Her skin was smooth and a little tanned on the right places caused by the sun which was rare. She was a little bit taller than me too.

All in all, she catches attention even when she just blinks her eyes. However everyone swoons once she started smiling. I think some country have a term for it where one’s eyes turns to this arched rainbow shape whenever they smile making their eyes have the appearance that it was smiling as well called eyesmile.

Yeah, everyone.


The wind blew and her hair flew along with it. I caught a scent. Strawberries; it was another favorite pink of hers. She momentarily stopped chewing her 10th marshmallow to tuck her hair to her ears and away from her sugar-coated lips.


“Oh! A kitty!”

I can’t help but chuckle at her antics. She was fond of cats, either stray or not. She didn’t hesitate petting the fur ball that snuggled, purred and rubbed even more to her soft, warm hand. Even animals love her though she was allergic to them. She didn’t care though and I know she won’t listen even if I did told her for the nth time that she can’t have a cat nor touch one. Besides, I don’t think I’ll be able to do that after seeing her happily playing with the cat.


“Look! Look! Isn’t she cute?”

Yet she wasn’t looking at me when she said that. She set the cat down since it seems like it was time for her to go to bed, according to her, but I didn’t point out that they’re nocturnal animals, well their ancestors actually, seeing how joyful she looked.

She scratched her nose then started sneezing until her eyes went red and teary while her nose became stuffy. I already have her medicine along with her bottle
of water and some tissues even before she had set the cat down.

“Wait! Before you scold me, I would just like to say one more thing!” She really knows me too well.

“And what would that be, hm?”

“I regret nothing at all!” Well there goes the lecture I prepared.


I could hear her sniffling, even after taking her medicine, still under the effects of her allergy but we both knew it was going away. She has no idea how scared I was back then when I thought that her simple runny nose wasn’t that simple at all when she started complaining that she couldn’t breathe anymore.

She was back into eating her marshmallow with a piece of tissue in her right hand. She was nibbling on it, to savor it I guess since I did give her the last one. I could actually imagine her having a pair of cat ears and a tail right now that would quiver and sway since she got what she wanted.

I guess I stared at her with such intensity that it finally became palpable to her. She looked up at me followed by a tilt of her head before flashing her megawatt smile right at me and to me only. The moon was no match and I think I’ve just gone blind.


Then she started giggling that giggle of hers. It sounded like a child’s.

“What?” I then felt her fingers grasp my chin lightly before slowly lifting it up.

“Your mouth was open and since we’re outside, a fly might come in.” She started giggling again while I laugh with her. Once that was gone and we were back to normal, I found myself staring directly at her eyes and she did the same.

Her marshmallow was gone and the fire kept us warm. We didn’t say anything nor did something. We just stared and stared…and stared. Until that is, I saw something in her eyes that made my heart swell with an unknown overpowering emotion.


Tick! Tick! Tick!

The stare we shared was broken when my watch started flashing its lights and setting the tiny noises for alarm. I then saw the reason on the surface.

“Yah, how come every time I’m with you, your watch does that?” She scooted close to me and took my left wrist where the watch was latched on and looked at it.

“8.2 seconds.” My smile couldn’t even grow larger than that. She looked up at me with confusion that made me chuckle and gave her, that only I had the privilege to give, a pat on her head.

“Did you know? A man falls in love after 8.2 seconds.” Then the confusion was gone in the next instant as it was replaced with the same emotion that filled my heart. She flashed me that smile of hers once again.

“But there’s one problem.” She’s smart, I knew she would caught on that.

“Yeah, yeah I know but hey! I’m more fitted to this role that you, you pink monster!” Let’s just say after that we rolled on the grass and did and spoke things that only the both of us has the privilege to do and hear.

Yeah, there’s one problem to that ‘fact’.

I’m not a man.
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Manahill Naik

Manahill Naik

August 4, 2015 - 12:54 AWED JUST SIMPLY AWED. how could u instill no i mean really how couldya insert so much like so muchhhhhhh emotion in this one simple story? gahhh i love it to the moon and back.. the bestest that ever got up on typotic.. u need a thousand pats to make u realise what a masterpiece u have written =D wonderful superb excellent and all those stuff are really not enuf but i hope adding it to my faves says some part of it.. God u got me hooked :)


August 4, 2015 - 18:58 I think its one if greatest poetry i have ever read... it emotional... touchy... sensitive and above all close to my heart. I was simply wowed.. ..


November 16, 2017 - 17:33 Thank you for such unusual content. Now I would like to know more for my blog https://sites.google.com/view/easyessays/ I like to share interesting information with my audience.

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