Today I saw Jacques, I think. And wasn’t in person, it was through a cold medium…Seems he’s in a band right now, hip hop of course! I’m happy he finally fulfilled this dream of his. He was already writing songs in high-school and, well, he was what you could call an artist. He studied at the Art High-school, in the Sculpture class, and he then continued studying Architecture. He always liked drawing, painting, sculpting, singing and dancing and, oh, yeah, basketball!!!
I remember the first time I saw him, in the secondary school. His mother was Romanian and his father was from Congo (country that was still called Zaire at the time). He had studied there since second grade I think, but his father thought the Romanian system would offer him a better education. So here he was, in the intensive-French class. I remember us, the stubborn intensive-English students, always calling him Jack during his first year there! We so hated French and always pronounced the words with a kind of English accent, not because we couldn’t do otherwise, but because we were so proud of our English knowledge! We were just some stupid kids that didn’t really know how good knowing another foreign language actually was.
We were never very close before high-school, but in the second year, when we already studied in different high-schools, we became very good friends. We played basketball together ( I was very funny doing that because I’m only 1,58 meters tall, that making me practically the shortest kid on the field - yeah, I stopped growing back in high-school), we jogged together and I started reading books on Hinduism and Buddhism after certain talks with him. I also started going to a Sanskrit course held every Saturday in my school, but that didn’t last very long – too little interest shown by students!
It was quite entertaining to hang out with him. We used to take this extremely long walks together and sometimes Mihaela would come along. I was very annoyed by people’s reactions to him because he was black. But Romanians are not really racist when in comes to black people – if you are wondering why I don’t use something resembling to African American, it’s just because there is no such thing as African Romanian. They are just always kinda stunned, as if they were standing in front of something very exotic because, at least in Ploiesti and most parts of the country – except Bucharest of course – there really aren’t many black people. We save all our racism for gypsies!
Later, during my third year of high-school, I developed this crush on him. He always looked great, he was smart and funny, so it wasn’t hard to have a thing for him. I guess the right time for us was my 18th birthday party – a huge one, as it’s accustomed to have one when you become legally “of age” – but I don’t know why, I let the moment pass. We never had the chance again and he was right to tell me I did not love him one night when I had this huge teenager breakdown because he didn’t want me. I remember asking him what would he have said if I had behaved different soon after that party. He said that probably something would have happened.
It’s true, I did not love him at the time, although I said it so easily, but I could have gotten to love him…I wonder how my life would have turned with a big Jacques love and not with a big Razvan love…Who knows, who cares, too late for regrets anyway!
I still have a bunch of great memories with him, including a nice night on the seaside, in a disco, where my friend and I accidentally met his group of friends. I’m sorry if I offend anyone, but this African blood going through their veins makes them feel the rhythm so much better that the half-stiff ordinary Romanian young boys! So I had a great time dancing with them…
The only thing I regret about my relationship with Jacques is that we aren’t friends anymore! Maybe we both should have tried harder, I don’t know, but a certain point he was the closest person to my soul and I feel I was the same for him. Bonds like that should never be broken!