By: Daniel Otero
I met her almost three years ago, and to my favour the encounter was magical. I knew when I walked into the classroom my life would change forever after meeting this gorgeous-Asian flower. She smiled tenderly and I knew, wow, this would be an awesome experience. Smart and bright, she again drew her ‘pearly whites’ and I instantly grew fonder and fonder as time passed.
And yes, some parents and teachers will say, “Oh no, we don’t have favourite children or students!”
And I have to honestly answer, “Liars…”
She became one of my favourite students, as I honed her potential to become great. She always made me proud during our tutorials, working hard and doing her best. As time passed and even the days she was absent, I would miss her terribly! During our time together in the classroom, I taught her how to save a life, practice her reading, write and even dance. Ah, she was magical, as she moved beautifully in my arms while dancing and I knew, “God, this one I hope is destined for greatness!”
Yes, I am her old teacher and so what! Selfish men like me get to pick and choose their fancy and I chose her.
We talked about our individual frustrations and I thought, geez, I wish I was young again (because she made me feel that way) and eventually I had to accept… This would be like a ‘father/daughter’ relationship and she would come to me with her troubles and I would always gladly listen. When she was around, this meant the world to me!
I saw her mature and blossom from a girl into a beautiful-young woman. And I know for a fact that in China, a female is considered a woman after she marries. However, in my Western notion, a girl becomes a woman after she is 18 years of age.
Then, I knew she would eventually have to leave. This beauty of Nanjing had to eventually go to Oceania and study with the Aussies. And as time came closer to her departure, she made me prouder and prouder. Happiness isn’t enough of a word to express what I felt! She had been accepted to study in the University back in Melbourne and soon, her departure would be definitive.
When time drew closer, I tried to ‘brush it off’ by simply keeping myself busy and did you know that we macho men try to hide our feelings. But as I grown older, emotions just purely run amuck! And when our final encounter came, inside I was destroyed and I knew just like in the military I had to put a happy face for my girl! Oh my god, talk about “Tears of a clown, when there’s no one around…” as Smokey Robinson would say.
Today this clever girl, sorry this young woman (I know she’ll love this) has made her parents and I proud of her achievements. Yes, something has come at a cost (like, long-distance, break-ups, etc.) and I do believe she’ll be alright! This young-lady has made a mark in my life and I hope that many years from now and into the future we can always be not only friends, but best friends. And my dream for her is that she can become a great-career woman and hopefully see her in the future married to a good man and it would be my pleasure to also see her have children. For her there are no limits and as I said before, I am selfish and want her to achieve and have it all!
For now, I’ll await back here in Nanjing for her holidays to come from University and again to dream [and I know she’ll love reading these words] on contemplating her sweet smile.
Till then, dear girl, I shall dream the dream!
This is dedicated to Olivia.