I could not stop thinking about him.
He consumed my thoughts. Every morning during Chemistry, I stared at the back of his sleek, combed brown hair and watched his habitual pen tapping while he paid attention to the teacher’s lecture. Every band session I listened to the rhythm of the music enforced by his drum set, the thump-thump-thump of the drumsticks coinciding with the pounding in my heart. During lunch, his spirited laughter could always be heard from my table several rows down. At night, he invited himself into my dreams, always present with a smile.
But these dreams were more like nightmares…
I hated him. Absolutely detested him.
My friends always joked about my obsession over him. “Just admit that you’re in love with him,” they would say as they winked at each other and giggled. “Your eyes follow him like hungry puppy eyes lusting for a delicious dinner.” But they were wrong. All of them. Yes, I did lust after him; I lusted for his demise.
Yes, I did appear to love him if judged by my outward actions. I always smiled in his presence and spoke to him as I would with any other guy friend. But inside, I seethed. I had reigned in this school before his arrival; fellow classmates had always approached me for homework help, and I had starred in every musical performance since entering into the school. All this stardom belonged only to me – until he appeared two months ago; he with the fancy car and “charming” smile and “incomparable” brain.
There is a thin line between love and hate. Everything in this world has two sides, one to balance out the other. The yin and the yang, as you might refer to it. There exists a delicate balance between the positive love and the negative hate, an almost indistinguishable line that separates the two emotions. It was this thin line that my friends failed to notice during their analysis. The similarities between the two emotions overshadowed the differences.
When you love somebody dearly, the image of that person constantly lingers in your mind. When you hate somebody bitterly, the image of that person also haunts your thoughts. His presence never fully departs from your side. When you see somebody strangely muttering to himself or constantly flipping her hair back, you recall the similar idiosyncrasies of the one you love or hate. The habit may seem cute or detestable depending on your feelings toward that person. For me, I felt severe aggravation as every morning the pen went ta-ta-ta on the wooden desk. Every. Single. Morning.
The feelings of hate and love consume the entire mind and body. Your body reacts whenever you see that person; whether you’re writhing in the hot fires of deep loathing or aching with the loving desire to embrace the person tightly. These passions drive people to the ultimate lengths to accomplish the ultimate deed. Rape, murder – they can all be accomplished in the name of love and hate. Consumed by these emotions, all rationality seems to be of utter unimportance.
However, I controlled myself though. In hate and love, one must learn to suppress her emotions until the appropriate occasion. Possessing such a strong emotion makes one especially vulnerable to losing self-composure. Even though I felt that sending a punch to his nose would have been an efficient way to release some of my dislike, I suppressed those desires and smiled at him instead. Having desires is also a part of love – desire for union with the beloved’s heart and body. But those desires must also be suppressed until a more appropriate occasion as to preserve the respectable reputation of both parties.
Yes, I scorned the inability of my friends to understand what seemed so clear to me. How could they confuse the negativity of my hatred with the positive feeling of love? Yes, the characteristics of the two are similar, but different facial expressions and tone of voice accompany the two different emotions. I had learned how to lift up my eyes to create the perfect fake smile and transformed my wavering, bitter tone of voice to a more pleasant sound.