Reaching Far and Backwards

In my English play writing class, our first assignment for the semester was to write about any person in our life that has, at some point, caused us to feel great hatred or love due to something he or she had done to us. At the time, I had nobody in mind because it had been so long since I felt greatly wronged by anybody else. It took me a long time to write this despite it being just a one-page paper because of how difficult it had been for me to reminisce and place myself back in the mindset of when I was still in high school where I still felt that feeling, at least enough to write about it.

Having said that, I no longer feel anything towards the person I chose to write about and anybody else mentioned in this entry so I hope nobody tries to make a big deal out of it. The purpose of this assignment, as was later revealed to us, was for us to figure out if we were capable of empathizing with the person we wrote about. As a playwright, being able to empathize with people, even the ones we greatly hate, is a skill one has to master in order to be able to come up with a good and realistic play.

Within one page, one must be able to introduce who the person is, what they did, and why you think they did it. I suppose I’ll just leave it to you to decide whether or not I did treat her with empathy, and whether or not I actually got the assignment right. Although I think it’s far reach.

To put in the kindest way, she was unbelievably boring. There was nothing special about her that made her stand out from the crowd for me. She was of average height with unsightly curly hair and a dark complexion. We had never been given the opportunity to be classmates, and I knew her simply because she would occasionally be a part of the top ten awardees of our year level but that hardly made her interesting in the least to me. In fact, even though we went to the same high school for four years, she had never interested me in such a way that would compel me to strike up a conversation with her. I would have probably gone through the rest of my high school days without having even paid her the slightest attention if she hadn’t taken an interest and continuously flirted with my ex-girlfriend in our junior year, shamelessly doing such bold things that made me feel disrespected, infuriated, and unsure of myself.

There were a lot of moments that made me feel so horrible that she and my ex-girlfriend were responsible for. They both liked sports, had the same kind of music taste, and clearly enjoyed each other’s company so much so that they bestowed each other with chocolates as gifts and kisses on the cheek as gratitude. I trudged through the remaining days of my high school experience, still clinging onto a relationship that was doomed from the beginning and even more so when she came into the picture. Even just seeing her pass by the hallways triggered me into a fit. Her very existence irked me and every time I saw her I wished the ground would swallow her up and that she’d stay there because I found even just her breathing offensive. But even so, at the time, I couldn’t blame her or call her out. How could I when she simply saw what I would see in that person? We were somewhere along the ripe age of fifteen or sixteen, young and naive and careless of our actions and thought nothing of how it would affect other people. She was the same as I, hanging onto the empty words of another person that kept you hoping for something because neither of us had ever been told to stay away or to give up on our childish feelings. I understood her, wanting things whether it be selfish or forbidden, and I no longer fault her for that anymore, but still I wish that the universe would keep her away for her peace of mind and mine as well.