Love Notes with 'Ex' and 'O's

gasper crasto, gaspersworld, goa stories

A humor story by Gasper Crasto...26.10.2018

It was moons ago that I was introduced to a sweet young lady at church.

She smiled at me and I smiled back. Being a courteous young man that I was, I did not know that smiling back had a different meaning. That sweet innocence, oh how I miss it.

After that first meet, we saw each other often -- at church -- for prayer service or mass - atleast twice a week and eventually became very close friends.

Looking back on the whole affair, I recall our relationship changed one day when she slipped me a note as we passed each other. It was a little yellow post-it sticker label that you find in offices.

She smiled as she handed it to me and vanished with her parents giving me a fulminating look. Inside me, I was more frightened than I had ever been in my entire life.

“A note, what in the world did it mean? What did I do wrong that she has to communicate in such a covert manner?”

My fears were reassured when I opened the note and discovered it was a little ‘love note’.

For anybody who has received such communication in the past -- maybe during school or college, you will understand quite gladly that this completely changed our relationship.

This was just before the advent of WhatsApp and Facebook. Back in those days, we did communicate on emails but it was much later after our friendship blossomed.

Getting my first ‘love note’ was rather enlightening. However, the note just said that she ‘missed me’.

I turned the note upside-down to see if there was any explanation on the back, but it was blank. I was a little concerned about her when underneath her name she put a series of X's and O's.

For me, it was Chinese Arithmetic - complicated.

Whether this was some secret code I was supposed to know about or whether she had just run out of words, was beyond my experience at that time.

As I thought about that note, I wondered, when in the world did she ‘miss’ me? What was it she missed? It was certainly not my charm because I had not developed that attribute until recently.

I was in a fix. What do I do?

Do I go up to her after mass and apologize for being missed? What do I do with the little info? I thought the best part of my ‘education and heroism’ was to pretend I knew what she was talking about.

I was restless all through till I reached home. I ‘googled’ the net to look for X.O.X.O.

Perhaps most of you have seen the initials used countless times to represent ‘hugs and kisses’, or more literally, ‘hug, kiss, hug, kiss’.

But why do Xs and Os translate to gestures of love and affection? And, if you are considering asking me, don’t. I have no idea.

It was not long before I realized that she was probably expecting me to reciprocate and write her a ‘love note’ too. But I really did not know what to write.

If I wrote a similar note and said, ‘I miss you too,’ I would only be ‘debasing’ myself by copying her. That was definitely not something out-of-the-box.

It took me a while to realize that the purpose of love notes had nothing to do with exchanging information. In fact, no love note carries with it any sensitive information at all.

To this day, I am still not sure what a love note really is. But I remember some counselor at a prayer retreat telling me that ‘missing someone’ was the heart’s way of reminding us that we love them.

Bearing that in mind, I messaged her countless times before and after marriage saying, ‘I miss you,’ even though it looked a little silly. But my messages had no real effect on her nor did they have the same substance as her little note – which had a spell cast upon me.

“Oh, how I long to get another note from her..,” this was my thought ever so often and I'd even shared it with her a few times.

Just as the thought recurred the other day, I received her WhatsApp while at work which made me think that my prayers were ultimately answered.

“Check the pocket of your laptop bag, I’ve put a ‘note’ there,” said her message.

“What in the world was that?” I wondered, “history about to repeat itself? Love Note...??? Finally..!.. It must be something very romantic.”

I grabbed the bag instantly with crushing delight – excited as ever.

I found an A4 size paper in the side pocket - neatly scribbled. To my utmost agony, it was a kilometer-long list of grocery items.

At the bottom of it, written in caps was her ‘footnote’ that further extinguished my excitement, “MAKE SURE YOU DON’T ‘MISS’ A THING FROM THE LIST...”

Weird though it was, she had signed off with X's and O's complimented with a winky smiley😜.

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