Virgilio F. De leon Jr.
She was gone and as Ollie looked at the passing freshmen he remembered how she looked like. The so called prettiest of this batch came a mile short by Ollie’s standards. Too white, too brown , too dark , too slim , too fat. The list went on in his head as he surveyed the parking lot. What a big disappointment. And here he was hoping to find a great catch to bring home.
His friend Arnold who was helping in his endeavors suddenly sighed. Prompting Ollie to look at him. Arnold who was a bit overweight to be your typical playboy looked really lonely all of a sudden.
“Whats up with you?” Ollie said patting his friend on his meaty shoulders. “You’re not hungry again are you?”
Arnold smiled briefly but returned to his sad face. He pointed to the oncoming batch of freshmen for Ollie to look at.
“Just look at them.” Arnold said a bit forlornly. “But you are never gonna find someone like that again”
“You mean Katrina right? Come on man. Its time to move on to other prospects. She’s in London now.” Ollie smiled at one of the girls who smiled right back at him. “Isnt she a little to young to be here?”
Arnold seemed distracted. “Tell you what Ollie. Do you know why Katrina suddenly had the urge to go to London in the middle of a semester?” Arnold said still pretending to look at the passing girls.
“Well, she told me that she was going to study there and that her papers were approved at that unfortunate time.” Ollie waved at a girl he remembered from one of the soirees he attended. Only he didn’t know which one. He was probably too drunk.
“That’s what she told everyone man. But no one really knew the truth.” The fat Arnold said. His massive shoulders seemed to sag a little bit more as he said this. He seemed to be interested at the ant passing by his shoes.
Ollie stopped flirting for awhile and remembered how tired and desperate Katrina looked those last moments that she was with him. That look in her eyes , as if calling out for help , as if calling for his help.
“So tell me…what is the truth.” Ollie said. There was a pause as if the air was being sucked out of reality. And it came out of Arnolds lips.
“There was a letter to the deans office. It said things about Katrina….very bad things. It said that she was exchanging sexual favors for exam leakages and attached to it were her psychiatric file. She was a nymphomaniac. And the letter said that she was putting her affliction to good use.”
Time stopped for Ollie. Up until that time he didn’t know he cared for Katrina that much. He thought he was just sad to see a pretty girl leave campus but….this thing inside of him. These thoughts , these feelings that were telling him to look for her. To somehow comfort her though a lot of time had already passed.
“This cant be true, man. I mean think about it…Katrina’s family is rich. I mean , they are so freaking rich she can bribe anyone into giving her stupid leakage paper if she really wanted to.” Ollie flared. “Besides , we all know that many people are jealous of her. So we know any number of them could have sent that to damage her.”
“Actually…” Arnold started but hesitated. Then continued as if making a decision not to stay silent a bit longer. “do you know that it came from our section?”
“No. but then again the rumors about her all come from our block. I mean some of our classmates say she had an abortion , that she lived in with a man , that she does her boyfriend in the parking lot , that she is somehow incestuously in love with her brother. I mean , haven’t they done enough? I mean what did that woman do to deserve such nasty rumors?”
“I think you know the answer man.” Arnold said as he stood up and walked toward his car 4 spaces away from where they were sitting.
Then it dawned on Ollie. “Because she is a phoenix and all who are not blinded by her light want to snuff it. Because people hate happy endings.”
“Exactly.” Arnold said as he stepped back and pulled his friend up. “To tell you the truth it feels good to let that out.”
“Well, can I ask you something?”
“Do you think I care about her?”
“No, life is too short to hang on to one girl” Arnold replied. Ollie looked at him and they broke out laughing. They gave each other a pat on the back and said goodbye.
Ollie waited for Arnold to be out of earshot and sighed. He felt angry all of sudden. A fury swelled inside him that beckoned to come out. And he saw a wayward stone that volunteered for the job. He imagined the face of the one who sent that letter and swung his leg , sending the rock to hit the tall hedges that lined the parking lot. He opened the door of his car. He sat in there still thinking of what Arnold said. He was oddly curious about it. He felt a bit weird about it. Caring for someone who was no longer there. Another girl passed by and she waved at him. He waved her to ride with him. The girl complied , gave him a suggestive kiss at the back of his ear and made him forget all about Katrina….
Arnold sped away in his car feeling happy that he had released that burden he kept for a year now. He sped toward the oncoming traffic. He too forgot about Katrina….
Writers Note: “Katrina” is a real person. She stepped on too many toes by being prettier and smarter , in short she stepped on a lot of peoples egos by being who she is. She transferred to another Medical school and is now a full-pledged Doctor.