Political Science class again. I was really depressed. The new ballpen wasn't much help. Why did I throw away the Pilot? I was stuck with the stupid Panda pen that skips after writing three letters in succession. This was hell. Miss Marcela went on talking about how the justice system in the Philippines was a corrupt system and that it was up to the younger generation to change this. What did I care? The world didn't have meaning anymore. I looked at the empty chair beside me and wondered if I can still find Wanda again. No, not after Tom. He would beat the living daylights out of me if I came near her.
NO! I had to have my Cross back. I can still find her. I know she's with the Psychology department. I could pitch my tent just outside the department and wait. She'll show up there eventually. God, how long will this class take? I looked at my watch. Just a couple of minutes, more or less half an hour. Maybe I could follow up the secretary's suggestion of rounding up a few psychics.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw movement in the corridor. I heard female voices. One voice sounded very familiar.
"Could you guys wait for me? I have to give this pen to someone in this class," the familiar voice said.
I looked out the corridor. It was Wanda! I stood up and started to head for the door.
"Where are you going, young man?" asked Miss Marcela, a hint of anger in her voice.
"Bathroom?" I said.
"Sit down. I told you people you may not go out during my class. If you have to go, you have to do it before or after my class, not during. Is that clear? See me after class, young man."
I went back to my seat. "Students nowadays, no respect," muttered Miss Marcela. She went on to relate how it was during their time, where students had to earn their teacher's respect and went on to criticize the present generation about their lack of manners and breeding. I should have felt embarrassed, as everybody was looking at me, or even angry at Miss Marcela for embarrassing me in front of the whole class, but I just felt anxious and uncomfortable. I just wanted to get out of the class as soon as possible so I could get my pen back. I had this sinking feeling that I might not see her again.
The bell rang. I packed my things and went up to the teacher. I was able to endure her tongue-lashing because my attention was elsewhere.
"...are we clear on this?"
"Okay, you can go now."
I quickly rushed out the door, only to find the corridor empty. The next class had begun and Wanda was nowhere in sight. I went down the stairs in a rush. As I reached the bottom and turned the corner, a hand clasped my shoulder. A feeling of Deja vu started to creep into my mind. I slowly turned around, expecting to see Tom, the big glob of muscle.
"Hi!" It was Wanda.
"Uh, hi!" A smile crossed my face as relief rushed through me.
"Where are you going in such a hurry? I hope you're not meeting someone special," she said and smiled. It was one of the prettiest smiles I ever saw in my life. My worries melted away.
"It's you..." was all I could say; I was at a loss for words.
"Yes, it's me."
She looked down at the ground and said, "I hope so because if not, I don't know where I am." She reached into her Benetton bag and took out my Cross pen. She handed it over to me with a sort of reverence. I rolled the pen between my fingertips to reacquaint myself with it before shoving it in my pocket. I looked at Wanda and saw her face become a frown, her eyes looking behind me. I turned around and there stood Tom.
"Uh, hi!" I said.
Tom stood there, glaring, his six-foot plus frame casting a shadow over me.
"Who do you think you are, Tom?" I heard Wanda say.
"Is this guy badgering you or what?" Tom asked.
"No, he is not badgering me, you are!"
"Don't 'But, Wanda' me, Tom! You were too engrossed in our relationship that you failed to see that the other person was hurting already."
I backed away to let the couple talk it out. I took out my Panda pen and rolled it between my fingertips.
"I did everything for you, Wanda..."
"Yeah, right! You did everything for yourself!"
"Please, Wanda, give me another chance. I'll change!"
"Sorry, Tom. You had your chance and you blew it!"
I weighed the Panda ballpen in my palm. I saw the 'Plastic Only' trash can on my left and I dropped the pen in with the rest of the junk. I looked back at Tom and Wanda. Tom had tears streaming down his face.
"You have to get over it, Tom," said Wanda. "But hey, we're still friends, right?"
"I already have lots of friends..." Tom muttered.
"Yeah, I guess you're right."
"Now, apologize to my friend here," Wanda said as she wrapped her arm around mine, surprising me.
"Hey, sorry man," said Tom. "My emotions just got the better of me."
"Fine, the worst is over anyway," I said.
I watched Tom turn and walk dejectedly away to his car. He boarded his red Toyota Corolla Gli Limited Edition. Wanda and I didn't speak until Tom's car pulled away. Her arm was still entwined with mine.
A white Series III Nissan Sentra pulled up in the driveway and the window of the passenger seat opened. A girl with long curly hair poked her head out. "Wanda! We're leaving. Are you coming?"
Wanda immediately took her arm from mine and said, "I'll be right there."
She looked at me, her eyes filled with tears. "My carpool's here. Thanks. Thanks for being here, thanks for the pen."
She slung her Benetton bag over her shoulder. I took out my handkerchief and handed it to her. She accepted it and wiped away her tears.
"You know," she said, "you're really nice."
"Maybe we could go out sometime."
"Maybe. Call me." She turned and headed for the car.
"Wanda, I don't know your telephone number."
She turned and flashed me her smile. My heart melted. She opened the back seat door and got in. The Sentra went into gear and drove off. I stood there, pondering how in the world how to call her when I didn't know her number.
Wait a minute.
She didn't return my hanky! I started to go after them but realized that they were already too far away. I took out my Cross pen and admired it. I placed it back in my pocket and walked to the cafeteria. I was getting hungry.
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