Jill Valentine: Reminiscing an old (ex-)friend~

Jill Valentine“Admittedly, I’ve never played the game, but I’m impressed that not
even raining decapitated heads faze her. She seems stronger and
more useful than some male protagonists – like Link, who screams
way too much and could never seem to make it without the help of
Zelda, the eponymous ‘heroine’ in distress.”

-My Description in the Festival Program (2013)

It is almost our department’s annual student festival again. I went through our old programs and saw my old profile. The theme that year was favorite video-game characters. As someone who hardly played games, I relied on faint memories of retro game trailers and decided upon the valiant Jill Valentine.

An artist friend, Dino Pai (http://dino-pai.squarespace.com/) drew this for me to be used as my avatar. I loved it upon first sight. He was a kind and sweet soul, and I enjoyed spending time with him. I wish I could say that we are still friends, but I have lost touch with him after “the talk”.

In the few short months that we have known each other, we would exchange daily emails/texts and update each other on our latest events. He would send me drawings, cartoons, songs and anything artistic that he created – all of which I adored. Our friendship was blossoming, and I was very happy to have finally found a guy outside the department with whom I can be friends as I just moved (back) to the city and wanted to broaden my social circle, but it all ended when the very next day after a delightful dinner and a quiet late-night walk in the park he told me that he was not ready for a (romantic) relationship as he was still too hurt from his last relationship and had wanted just to be friends. I was already in a romantic – albeit secret – relationship back then, so his words came as a complete surprise and was a great source of confusion. Here I was thinking that I was spending quality time with my new-found friend while this gentle artist thought we were “dating” the entire time! Why, just the day before I was complaining to him about another guy who advanced inappropriately on me and who thought that I was interested in him when I have not done anything to suggest I was so inclined (not only because I already had someone, but also because I was genuinely interested in his friendship only). Regrettably, I did not handle this very well and replied in a light-hearted email for us to have a phone conversation, during which I confessed my romantic status – no, it never occurred to me that I had to tell guys that I was in a relationship because we were just friends and we/I never did anything that stepped outside the bounds of a platonic friendship. On the phone he sounded pleasant and I remember how amused we both were at the turn of events. I found it funny how he was worried that he was leading a good girl on when I have always thought of him as a friend (and, actually, more of an older-brother figure when I sought his comfort after repeatedly having men approaching me under the guise of friendship), and was glad he laughed, too, which I took as mutual bemusement. I was happy when we reached a mutual agreement to remain friends; however, the next day when I emailed him about a local art event, he never replied thereafter and we lost touch.

Needless to say, I was quite saddened and puzzled by this sudden change of behaviour and attitude. It was only after my friends (both guys and girls) clarified the situation for me that I understood his reasoning for ceasing contact with me. I realized then that I have inadvertently hurt this good artist, despite his claim that he had wanted to be “friends” as well.

I hope that one day I could become friends again with this artist 🙂 Perhaps our paths will cross again soon~.^

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