Familiar

Familiar. He looks utterly familiar. 

I said to myself when i saw his face for the first time. I just could not pin point who he looked like or if i had even seen him somewhere before.  All i knew was that i “know” his face.

“He” here is a foreign student of mine – a 14 year old kid who is obsessed with designing cars and owning a Lamborghini.   I handled him a few times in a group class but weeks after, that class was replaced with a one-on-one tutorial.  Everytime I saw him, my little secretaries inside my head automatically search my memory files for any sort of evidence or at the very least, a hint; but every search was unfruitful.

Time had passed but i still could not shrug off that nagging thought that i knew this kid… From somewhere or sometime.  Then one day, it hit me like a lightning bolt on a cloudless sky.  I figured it out!  He looked really familiar because he looked like a crush i had in high school!!  When I realized that, I suddenly tumbled into this wormhole and found myself transported back to my junior-senior years.

This crush of mine was a CAT-I (Citizen’s Army Training) officer and totally defied my usual taste.  I actually asked myself many times before what attracted me to him.   He was not the most talented student around neither was he academically strong.  He had a pleasant face but he was never one of the campus’ “crush ng bayan hall of fame awardees.”  He was actually somewhat below average (at least by my standards).  The only outstanding thing about him was the fact that he was a COCC (Cadet Officers Candidate Course) trainee in 3rd year turned CAT officer, the year after.  Hmm… Maybe it was the uniform.  Kidding.

I had neither seen him nor had I heard any news about him in a decade.  The last time I saw him was during our graduation.  I had already forgotten about him until my recent encounter with my student.  I must admit, seeing this boy made me curious about the whereabouts of my former object of infatuation.  “Where could he be now?”  “What’s his job?” “Did he finish college?” “Is he even still alive??”

My questions were all later on answered, thanks to the wonderful world of social networking sites!  (ahh.. The power to track down someone is just a click away.  How convenient!)  After only a few minutes, I found his page.  Thankfully, it was open to public prying.  There he was – captured motionless in some webpage together with his wife and baby.

It was weird seeing him again after ten years.  Has it been that long already?  Wasn’t it just yesterday when he was still learning the chords of Green Day’s ‘Hitchin’ A Ride’?  Wasn’t it just yesterday that our literature teacher yelled at him for misbehaving in class?  Wasn’t it just yesterday when I just used to give him a snappy salute or a firm “Sir-permission-to-speak-sir-statement” during training days?  And now, he’s got this bright career, lovely wife, and a cute baby!  It felt surreal.  But the weirdness didn’t end there.  After getting a good look on some of his photos, I realised that he now strongly resembled another familiar face.  I know time changes the way people look, but the way his face changed was a little bit freaky.  Thankfully, he still had two eyes and no limbs growing out of his head, and his ears and other features were still in their proper places, but he now looked like a classmate of mine way back in college.  And oh, i forgot to mention, that college friend of mine is a girl.  They now almost looked like twins! Freaky, I say!  Where did his ‘real’ face go??  I then exited his page and vowed never to visit it again.

I was supposed to continue my trip to the past (and present) by looking for the other crushes I had had before, but I thought I should just stop there.  I needed to set aside other potentially freakish surprises for another day.

 

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Note:   This is an entry from my former blog.  I’ve decided to post it here because the same student I was talking about in the said entry is my student again this time around.  The last time I saw him was about 2 years ago.   He was just this short, scrawny, geeky looking kid back then.  And now, well, he’s still scrawny and geeky looking, but he’s taller than I am and his voice has definitely become deeper.   Sometimes I feel old whenever I see students who were just kids not so long ago, now on their way to adulthood.   

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