He was my classmate in Calculus. He wasn’t the type that I would instantly notice if he only didn’t offend the professor by correcting him five times in a row in front of everybody. He grabbed the whiteboard marker from Mr. Santiago’s hand, shaking with too much agitation and started writing numbers and formulas like a free verse poetry. His conclusion was in fact correct and way too easy to understand to the point that I actually thought he invented Math himself. He mastered it the way he calls me by my full name during the first day of our Calculus class.
Before our finals, I approached him to ask for a little help and he started the lecture with the history of Calculus, who invented what, and so on, until I had to run for air because listening feels like a heavy, black hole suffocating me. When I got back, he was still lecturing to nobody but an armchair so I tapped his back and said thank you. He offered dinner in his place and said, “It’s my way of saying ‘You’re welcome’.”
That’s how it all started. One supper led to endless nights of “tutorial” and the last time I checked, he already had my heart. The best thing about him was he always asks me about what I’m feeling because he can’t tell by the way I look that I had a bad hair day or the beef steak we’re eating just sucked. He doesn’t find his own jokes funny. In bed he would whisper, just kick my leg if you feel like fucking. I’m a very unstable sleeper. I move as if there’s an earthquake so each time I accidentally touch his leg, he would misinterpret it as a go signal for making love. I had to think of silly excuses while he’s busy taking his clothes off with his eyes half-open because he’s the type who doesn’t say NO.
In the morning, instead of newspapers or magazine he would read the Differentials and Integral Calculus, Calculus with Analytical Geometry, Calculus Multivariable; devouring every formula and theories like pancakes and bacon. He vandalized our dining walls with formulas and counted the days we’ve been together since the day I said, “Okay, I think we’re in love.”
Sometimes I begin to doubt my love for him. I know I love him but I’m sick of counting. I’m sick of hearing nonstop lectures about math when I’m sleeping, or eating or taking shit. I don’t even remember our monthsary or its significance because I’m tired of receiving new edition Math textbooks as a gift. I don’t find it romantic or helpful anymore. So I confronted him and he said okay, I’ll buy you a different kind of textbook. I didn’t go home that night. I stayed in my old apartment wanting to explode into Xs and Ys and linear equations and thought it wasn’t Calculus but Algebra. Numbers are my number one phobia. He’d say, losing you is mine.
Whenever I cry, I remember him giving me an umbrella instead of a napkin or handkerchief to dry my tears on. “Don’t forget to bring this tomorrow,” he’d say. He always thought I got wet in the rain so I feel sick and wet and he would have never guessed I’ve been crying about him. Before I would leave the house for class or work, he would hug me tight and say, “Return to me.” He never says “Come back.” He has his way of describing and telling things.
I’ve left him so many times but I always find myself in our doorstep, ready to open the door and be at home in his arms again. It’s true he is different, but I’ve learned to love our differences and kiss his weirdness with mouthful of acceptance. Every time I kiss him goodbye, he’d say, “Return to me.” So I kiss him some more and say, I always will.