A BROKEN PROMISE
Why is this mathematics exercise tougher than usual? It is taking me forever to finish it even though I started at eight o’clock. Now it is already 10 o’clock and I am not even halfway through. I kept glancing at my computer at the corner of my room. It looked so inviting, making me unsure whether to continue my homework or to just stop and go online. It look me exactly two seconds to make up my mind. I am going online!
Obviously from my decision, you know that I am an internet freak. I am willing to do anything (including procrastinating my mathematics homework, even though I know very well my teacher is Mr. Fitzgerald, or more popularly known as Mr. Fitz the Bald. May God help those who dare to mess up with him!). O.K., so I am a self-confessed internet addict but at least I am computer literate! I absolutely adore computers but my greatest love has got to be the Internet Relay Chat (IRC). This is because it gave me a sense of freedom and exhilaration, unlike anything I have experienced before. You can be a supermodel, an astronaut or the local zoo keeper and no one would even know the difference.
When I sat in front of the monitor and clicked on the IRC programme, a short but unique name caught my eye. ‘Neo’. I said ‘hi’ and introduced myself. I was ecstatic when Neo answered and turned out to be a great conversationalist and we hit it off immediately. We chatted about everything and I felt as though I had known him since the dawn of time. It never occurred to me to get back to my homework and by the time I did, it was already too late. Realizing this, I dreaded the next day because that was when I had to brace myself for the impact of Mr. Fitz the Bald’s blashing. I could picture him now, nostrils flared, sweat trickling down his forehead, the gestures of his hand animating his words, eyes that shine with a wild black fire and a head shinier than usual (sometimes you can even see his veins becoming visible and that makes his complexion become a weird shade of red). God, please help me!
The next day was a living hell. Everybody was mad at me and I was mad at myself. I just wanted to shout it out to the world, “ I am a victim of modern civilization!”. Then, to relieve my stress, I went out online and Neo was there. He asked me about my day and I told him how I overslept and missed the bus to school, how Mr. Fitz the Bald punished me in front of the whole class and how the class shunned and threw a cold glaring look at me because they had to complete ten exercises which were due the following day just because I failed to complete my work. He just listened to me and was very understanding and supportive. He even sent me a bouquet of virtual flowers to cheer me up and I was touched. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
We continued to be friend for a whole month without even knowing how the other looked like but this teeny-weeny fact did not bother me at all. But then, one day Neo told me he would really like to meet me because he felt as if were friends faceless voices. I tried every trick in the book but I could not dodge his request. He noticed my effort and he demanded why I was acting that way. I could not explain why and so I finally gave in. our meeting was set, he was supposed to wear a navy blue shirt, khakis and brown leather shoes. When he described what he was going to wear, I ealized that he must be quite rich to dress so elegantly. As for me, I was just going to settle on a red blouse and my faded blue jeans. We agreed to meet in front of Starbuck’s coffee house at two o’clock, two days from now.
Surely you must be wondering why did I not want to meet him. I was afraid that if he knew how I looked like, he would not have interest in being my friend anymore because I was not like other normal teenagers, so vibrant and full of life. When others ran, I lagged behind because my artificial leg could not stand much pressure. The truth is, I was not born handicapped but lost my leg on a mountain expedition last year. I was helping my friend up the ravine but I slipped and fell. I was alive but my right leg was severely injured and had to be amputated. That is why I now have a prosthetic leg. I have felt wonderful it was to be normal and it makes the pain much harder to bear. My old life which full of physical activities, seemed like a passing wind, never to come again. I was not fit anymore to join my friends and that threw my confidence out of the window. I was afraid Neo would not accept me.
The next day, my mind was occupied with thoughts of him and his reaction. So, to ease my mind, I made him promise not to judge me by my appearance but by my inside me. I did not tell him the truth because I wanted to know if he was sincere in his friendship.
When the moment finally came, I was ready for anything. When I arrived, I noticed a fine looking young man that fits Neo’s description. When I said ‘fine looking’, I was not kidding. He came with his friend, so before I approached him, I studied him first. He was athletically built and tall with mocha coloured skin. His hair was neat and it looked as though it was woven from the hues of midnight sky. His eyes, brown and alert but with certain mysterious glint. It made him looked arrogant and egoistical. I could see that he was so anxious and restless that even his friend’s comforting words could not help to soothe him.
Slowly, I walked up to him and introduced myself. I smiled at him but I could see that he was shocked to see my condition and he failed to hide it. He babbled something indecipherable. He asked how I was and we chatted a little but he seemed restless, I looked at him knowingly and then he glanced at his wristwatch. He excused himself and said that he had to go. Neo’s friend looked at him in disbelief but Neo ignored his glance. Neo promised to call me later then he hurriedly left. It happened so fast and before I realized it, he was gone.
Neo had failed the test. He could not handle the truth, so it was better to let him go. There was no sense in postponing the inevitable. I knew he would never call me again. I knew that our first meeting was also our last. There would be no next time. He had broken his promise and maybe it was true that broken promise lead to broken hearts. Even though I have been through similar situations before, it still hurts. But I will still keep trying because I believe that even when the darkest moments dawns, it comes with the promise of a new day. I just have to move and live with the fact that sometimes, people are not what they seem to be. Thanks to Neo, I know it now.
So, as I sat at the corner of the table at Starbuck’s, looking out the window, I saw a group of teenage girls giggling as if laughing at a secret joke. How I envy them! I looked at them as they passed by and then I reflected on what had happened. I looked down at my coffee and saw my reflection. Then suddenly a tear trickled down my cheek and fell into the coffee, obscuring my reflection.