The Light

July 3, 2013

I stood still, my hand set firmly on the knob, half ready to turn it, half ready to turn back. As I contemplated, beeps echoed like sound effects in a movie, indicating life, though slowly ebbing. I can hear clearly, too, the sound of her shallow breathing. I turned to look at her. Her head rested on one side of the bed, her right hand, on its rightful place. She was asleep yet her face was far from an image of rest and calm. The dark circles under her eyes were beginning to look more noticeable now, so too, are the gauntness of her cheeks.

Her image, as it tore my heart, pulled the last string of my self control. I used all the energy I can muster to turn the knob. If there was a time to leave, a time to surrender, this would be it–at a time she’s unaware, at a time I couldn’t see the pain in her eyes.

As the door behind me closed, an unfamiliar feeling of lightness engulfed my body. It was as if I had no weight, no burden. I was sure I’ve felt this lightness before, only it was too far in the past that it now felt foreign. I shook my arms, moved my legs, savoring this liberty from pain, from worries. It lessened the guilt, convincing me that I’ve made the right decision.

Despite the darkness, I felt safe. But as I began to walk, I heard the sounds. Faint at first, but gradually building up. It was as if speakers were etched on either side of this narrow hallway. The sounds were defeaning to me. They were alarming everyone of what little sliver was left. But that was the least of my concerns. It was her I was worried about. Worried that she’d opened her eyes and found me no more.

I fought the urge to look back. Doing so would only bring more pain–to me, to her. It had to end now. I took one step, my eyes wandering for something I know I desperately need–the end, the passage, the light.

I heard a scream–a female voice. It was her. I heard her gasping for air, from panic. I heard insistent footsteps, hers, walking to and fro seemingly debating if this was really happening or if this was just one of the nightmares she’d been having lately. Not long after, I heard the door slam shut, the sound of her hurried footsteps faded out.

I realized I was momentarily frozen, intently listening to the echoes.

I heard the door open once more and the sound of more footsteps ensued. Four sets calm, one distraught. One calm footstep stopped halfway by the door. “We’ll take it from here.” The distraught footstep hesitated, pushing her way in. But realizing what needed to be done, stepped out of the way and resumed her restless walking outside.

There were barking orders, words I could not understand, but none of those are worthy of my attention. I was waiting, listening to her. She stopped walking now. All I can hear is her labored breathing. I know she’s by the door, a hand over pursed lips, looking through the square glass. Then, she started sobbing.

I knew this moment would come. I knew I’d have to go sometime. I have long prepared for that when I was told the news. But nothing would’ve prepared me for what it would do to her. How broken she’d become. I dragged my feet along, body intact but spirit crushed.

“Why?” It was a whisper yet the sound was so clear I could’ve sworn she was right beside me.

“A billion people and it had to be you!”

I was running now. I ran faster believing the sounds would fade with distance.

A heartbeat faltered. Then another. It seemed like an eternity.

“Please don’t…” She pleaded. Her voice hoarse, drained of all energy.

Then there it was, almost blinding my eyes–the light. I didn’t realize I have gone this far.

“Daniel,” she whispered. “We made a promise…” Her voice trailed.

My eyes automatically flew to my hand. A golden band glinted as the light touched it–the symbol of our promise.

“I love you…” It was not uttered. It was something I felt her heart screamed. And yet those words reverberated through my entire being.

One more step and I will reach the light. I paused, my feet seemingly glued to the floor.

“I love you,” rang in my ears.

Then and there I wondered why a single step forward seemed to be so much harder than a thousand steps back.

My heart screamed back a response. It echoed hers.

I turned around and sprinted back. As I reached the door, I did not hesitate to turn the knob. Suddenly, I couldn’t move. The sheets were cold against my back. A familiar heaviness hung on my body.

“He’s back.” A man’s authoritative voice announced.

I heard murmurs of relief from other people in the room. The respirator beeped as it did before, indicating life. Pins, needles, everything with pointed edges seemed to penetrate my body. A few parts numb, some parts in excruciating pain, most parts worse than any. I did not dare to move. I knew it would hurt. Everything hurt. Even breathing did.

The door burst open and urgent footsteps came after. She ran to my bed and put her hand where it belonged–over mine.

“You came back!” She cried. I couldn’t open my eyes but I can feel her happiness.

I gathered my strenth to tighten my grip on her hand. It felt like gripping an electrified rod but at the same time, her hands felt home. I know I couldn’t hold on forever but as long as I could, I would. I realized now that the light I was looking for was never the one at the end of the tunnel. It had always been here, at the end of my hand.

Sal’s Fate

June 10, 2011

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From the edge of the cliff where I stood, everything seemed to freeze. I felt as if I was the only one here, as if I was the only living creature who existed. The wind that used to play with my hair, I couldn’t feel. The trees whose branches and leaves used to dance in the breeze, I couldn’t see. Even the crickets that used to sing me a tune, I couldn’t hear. It was as if, they can feel the heaviness inside me and paid their respects. Only the solid ground, which I’m stepping on, made me remember I was alive even with a bleeding heart.

I stood still, feeling the moonlight shower upon me, causing the tiny piece of metal tightly clenched by my hand to glint. I looked below, to the pitch black, the seemingly endless abyss. Seeing the darkness sent shivers down my spine. It mirrored my thoughts. It mirrored what I felt.

“Give me that razor.” I heard a man speak from behind me. His voice was warning. I didn’t have to look behind to know who it was. It was him- the love of my life. I turned to look at him anyway, just so I could see the face that made me fall, and the man who made me bleed.

One last look.

“Give me that razor.” He repeated, referring to the tiny piece of metal in my hand. I laughed a bitter laugh. I offered him my love. I am willing to give him anything, everything. And yet it was this tiny piece of metal he would prefer to have.

I have loved him since we were in high school. Even then, we’ve been the best of friends. We always did everything together. Always. I remember him comforting me when I felt low, holding my hand when I was afraid, and defending me when my detractors come. He saves me everyday. It was through his thoughtfulness that he had cut me open and made me vulnerable to the world.

Being close to him made me long for something I thought I could have. He made me feel special, important. He made me feel something I thought would blossom into something more intimate.

But he drifted away from me. I got tired making up excuses for him. I knew he wasn’t busy, I knew he wasn’t sick; and I recognize that familiar sparkle in his eyes, so familiar it could have been my own, only it was not for me.

“Sal,” he called my name this time, as if waking me from a trance. “The razor,” he reminded, extending his arm to get the metal

I moved my arm holding the metal towards his, blood oozed from a shallow cut in my wrist. His eyes widened in shock at the sight and snatched the metal quickly away from my hand. I laughed another bitter laugh.

When he came into my life, all my doubts of being unloved disappeared. Somehow, I felt important. I felt alive. Only now did I realize that I was wrong. I wasn’t loved at all- not by anyone, especially not by him. But why did it have to be him? Why did he have to be the one to prove to me that I was wrong? My world had revolved around him but now, the world that I had built collapsed and turned to muck. I had no world. And now more than ever, I felt empty.

“Tell me something.” I said, closing my eyes. I didn’t want to see that sparkle in his eyes. “You love her, don’t you?”

I heard him let out a heavy sigh. “Let’s head back. You need to rest, clear your head off.”

“I’m not good enough for you, am I?”

“Sal, stop it.”

“Just say it.” I demanded, almost knowing what his answer would be.

“Yes. I love her.” His words were knives that stabbed me straight to the heart.

“I know.” I said, looking down.

“I’m sorry.” His voice was softer now, almost a whisper.

“It’s not your fault. It’s my fault that I’m not good enough.”

“It’s not like that. We’re best friends and I can’t see you any other way. And whatever happens, life goes on.”

“At least for you.”

He stared at the blood oozing from my cut. I tried to hide the pain but the tears fell, anyway. He looked into my eyes with pity and I felt pathetic all the more.

“Stop hurting yourself!” He screamed as he threw the tiny metal down the cliff.

I fell silent. His request was an absolute impossibility.

He sure had saved me from a lot of things- humiliation, physical pain, fear. But there’s one thing he couldn’t save me from. He couldn’t save me from myself.

“Promise me one thing.” He said, his voice softer now. “Don’t ever hurt yourself again.” It sounded more like a plea.

But living without him means living a life of pain. “I promise.” I whispered, unsure if he could hear. It was a promise I made for myself. If living without him means living a life of pain,  I simply choose not to.  “I promise not to hurt myself again.” I whispered while closing my eyes and taking a single step back knowing there will be no solid ground to catch my feet.

Note: Life is good. Be optimistic, be happy! :)

Date on archive: March 1, 2010

The Pinnacle

June 7, 2011

I clutched my stomach tighter; almost sure I can catch the butterflies fluttering inside. For the nth time since this morning, I took a deep breath thinking they’ll be gone. And for the nth time since this morning, they only fluttered more restlessly. I am walking faster now, paving this long, narrow hallway with quick, long strides. I can feel my heart almost falling out of its cage. My heartbeat and my footsteps, a deafening fusion. I shook my head filled with anticipation. “At last, at last.” I whispered.

After what seemed an eternity, I was finally here. Here in front of the room I thought I would only have in my dreams. As I moved closer, I realized that it hardly had any noticeable difference from the room I always see in my dreams. Only this time, it’s for real.  I touched the sign nailed on the door, carefully reading the inscription. Dr. Ramon Reyes, cardiologist, it said. A smile emanated from my lips. This is enough proof- proof of the right decision I have made in the past. I searched my heart for the feeling of satisfaction, of contentment, of success, of happiness; but beside this overwhelming anticipation embracing me right now, there was nothing else. I fished inside the pocket of my white lab coat for the keys- my keys. I turned the knob, its coolness almost similar to my hands’. I peeked inside the room and remembered the reason I came here early today. A glance at my wristwatch confirmed that it was ten o’clock on the dot. Just as agreed, my first patient was here. That’s right, the very first.

The old woman sat on a corner, seemingly engrossed with the newspaper she was reading. I slowly walked towards her but she doesn’t seem to notice. Her head was still bowed, focused on the newspaper resting on her lap. I was two steps away from her when finally, she lifted her head, her eyes going straight to mine. I froze for a moment, resisting the urge to touch my chest where my heart was violently beating. I had to remind myself of my duties as a doctor, as a professional as well. I suppressed my emotions with a blank face and carefully examined my patient’s looks.

My eyes feasted on what tiny details I can absorb from my patient’s tiny physique. I saw her gray, thinning hair, her wrinkled, sagging skin, and her thin, feeble hands. But when I met her deep, brown eyes, I felt something familiar. So familiar that it brought memories with it. Memories I have tried so hard to avoid. I shivered as my memories slowly crept inside my being.

“No.” My tone was calm but full of conviction. In front of me, they both stood, hard as stone. Their faces were filled with disbelief. I ignored the warmth flowing from my eyes. Was it so hard to understand? I tried to shake the tears away but it was no use.

“Monching,” I heard my father’s stern voice. I’ve always obeyed my father, my mother as well. But this time it’s different. This time I know I am right.

“Monching,” this time it was my mother’s voice that I heard. Her tone was harsh, as if warning me not to push my luck with my father. I only shook my head.

“Is that how you think of me? It’s my future we are talking about. Don’t I have a right to decide for myself?” I said. My tone was hurt. This is unbelievable. I thought I had been very promising- A poor man’s son graduating from high school as a valedictorian. I thought all my sacrifices had been enough but I was wrong. I hadn’t convinced them one bit. My mother’s lips parted as if to speak but I continued. “This poverty has been enslaving us for the longest time. It has confined you both from growth. Do you want me to have the same fate?”

 From my parents’ words, I was starting to comprehend. They don’t trust me enough to let me go. They don’t think that I can do what I think I can. “I can work right now. That’s all you wanted me to do, right? But what will that make me? Will that make me successful in anything? Will that entitle me to a chance at a better life? Will that give us an opportunity to prosper? Can’t a poor man be a doctor?” I fought my tears so I could speak more clearly. I glanced at my father’s side and saw that beneath his disapproving stare, there was an understanding he was trying so hard to suppress. “I can do it. Please trust me on this.” I took the bag I have packed a while ago in one swift motion. My mother and father both looked at me, their expression was hard to read. I stood in the doorway, waiting for them to speak.

I don’t want to leave like this. I listened intently but all I heard was the deafening silence. I glanced at my father and saw his hands clenched into fists. My mother was sobbing. “This is for the best, I promise.” I said, finally realizing they had no plans of speaking. I left without looking back. I was broken. I didn’t want to leave like this but I was left with no choice. “This is for the best.” I whispered to myself, attempting to lessen the guilt.

I moved to the city and polished my plans for college. I worked for a few years to save money to fund my schooling and as soon as I have saved enough, I plunged into college. I studied hard and studied well. Before I knew it, I was a year away from graduation. I tried to get in touch with my family by calling but a soon as I hear the first ring on the phone, my pride gets the better of me. What if they still can’t forgive me? I tried to put my memories of them aside so that I could concentrate on my studies. After a few more years, I graduated with flying colors. I passed the board exam, and am now ready to practice. I look at myself in the mirror and see an achiever- a very lonely one.

A sound interrupted my reverie and brought me back to reality. It was the old woman’s newspaper falling to the floor as she stood. I looked at her once more. This time, I saw past her grey, thinning hair, past her wrinkled, sagging skin, and past her thin, feeble hands. Instead, I looked straight into her eyes. She looked at me just the same. I took my stethoscope at my first attempt to shake the frenzy of my emotions. I held the end of it with my trembling hands and pressed it against her heart. I heard her heart beat. It was beating as fast as mine.

“Doctor,” she started to speak. Her tone was low, almost a whisper. There was a deafening silence as I waited for her to continue. “My heart is hurting.” I tried to speak but my throat was dry. There was so much to say yet no words could suffice. “Monching.” She said this time. Her voice was just as sweet, just as warm as it has always been. It was just as comforting as I could remember. My heart melted at the sound. The pressure that thickened the air moments ago seemed to slowly vanish as she spoke again. “Monching,” her voice was a melody to my ears. I stared blankly on the floor as I waited for her to continue but she stayed silent. I fought the lump in my throat and the fear in my heart.

“Mother,” I said, finally gathering enough courage. “Please forgive me.” I continued. I wiped my eyes to remove whatever it is that has been clouding my vision. Only then did I realize that I was already crying. I lifted my head to look at her. Tears welled her eyes. Her shoulders were shaking as she sobbed. She parted her lips at another attempt to speak but there was no sound. She couldn’t seem to find her words. Instead, she threw her arms around me and gave me the tightest embrace she has given me yet. Suddenly, I was a child again, so safe in her arms. I felt the warmth I have always longed for, the love I have always longed for, and most of all I felt the forgiveness I have always longed for.

We shared the moment in silence. I don’t seem to want to escape from her tight embrace. I felt the overwhelming anticipation in my chest and was surprised that beside it, there were more: satisfaction, contentment, success, and most of all, happiness. I flashed a triumphant smile as the lonely achiever finally left.

Fairytale

June 4, 2011

I stared straight at Miguel’s unmoving reflection in the mirror. A while ago, when the fortune-teller handed me the tiny piece of paper where a spell was written, I was sure it would never work. But when I began chanting the words written in a scribbled, hardly legible fashion, and Miguel’s reflection appeared in a cloud of smoke right before my very eyes, I was dumbfounded. Could it be? Could he be the man I would end up with?

I looked at the man in the mirror and can no longer hide a smile. I silently wished for his smile and was shocked when he looked my way.

“Miguel, can you see me?” I asked, praying he could.

He nodded cheerfully.

The days before, I felt as if I had a thousand things to tell him. But now, my mind was just blank. What shall I tell him? Shall I confide that I chanted a spell to conjure the man I was to marry and was surprised that it was his face I saw? Shall I tell him how happy that made me?

He flashed me a smile that made me forget the way he looked the last time I saw him. The big wound on his forehead was gone, so were the cuts all over his face, and most of all, his eyes were open and shining with life. I tried to sweep the memory of that tragic day aside because I wish for the headaches to go away.

He opened his mouth to speak but no sound came out.

“What is it, Miguel?” I asked seeing the disappointment in his face.

He tried to speak again but there was only silence.

“Try again!” I shouted in desperation. Only now did I realize how I longed to hear his voice. “Try again!” I screamed but was only met by his sorrowful stare. I felt that pounding in my head again as I remembered the last time I saw the same expression on his face. We were in a heated argument and he flashed me that sorrowful stare before speeding off in his motorcycle.

His expression did not change and I was about to yell at him to try one last time but I stopped myself. Perhaps I should learn my lesson to stop making him do things against his will. Maybe it is time to realize that there is no point in changing him. For he, alone, is enough. My guilt now joined the headache and tore me inside.

“I’m sorry.” I whispered as tears ran down my cheeks.

He just stood with that sorrowful stare that broke my heart.

The pounding on my head was harder this time as the air seemed to thicken with my every breath. “I’m sorry, Miguel! I never intended for that to happen!” I shouted to him at the top of my lungs.

He didn’t wince.

My headache was unbearable now and I started to tug at my hair to relieve the pain. I heard the door behind me open but did not bother to find out who came in. Miguel’s forgiveness was all I wanted. Miguel’s forgiveness, whose absence was the very cause of my torment, was all I needed.

“Are the headaches back?” I heard a woman’s voice.

“I’m sorry!” I shouted over and over to him in a hoarse voice.

Still, that sorrowful stare.

“Sarah,” I felt someone tap my shoulder.

I turned and saw the fortune-teller. She was wearing a white dress and her hair was pulled up and tied in a bun. She also had this little white cap near the back of her head. She was holding a shining tray with different cups of potions.

My eyes lit up at the tiny shred of hope.

“Do something.” I pleaded to her but all I can see was the confusion on her face.

I pointed out to the mirror but realized that it was no longer there. Only the empty, white walls were to be seen.

I screamed and started to pull at my hair violently.

“Bring him back!” I angrily ordered her.

“Sarah, what are you talking about?” She asked, full of concern.

“Miguel! Bring Miguel back!” Strands of hair were ripped from its roots.

“Shhh…” Was all the fortune-teller said as she held me on her arms.

“Bring him back!” I cried, ignoring the syringe in her hand.

I felt a sting on my arm and it wasn’t long before my eyelids grew heavy.

“Please bring Miguel back to me.” I murmured.

“Sarah, I cannot bring the dead back to life.” She softly replied.

“Liar!” I tried to scream but had no strength.

Just then, I felt as if something or someone was pulling me towards a gentle current. Deeper and deeper I went into the endless spiral that lured me away from the headaches.

“Miguel.” I calmed, sensing his presence. I smiled as I let him take me away.

Date on archive: March 12, 2010

Lady Under The Umbrella

May 29, 2011

In this fast-paced world we live in, we meet different people from different walks of life. They are colleagues, neighbors, and total strangers we pass by on the street.

Disappointingly, we do not build friendships with all the people we encounter due to clashing personalities and conflicting points of view. Moreover, as much as we do not want to admit, we have developed cynical judgments probably due to the paranoia toward the imminent hostilities in our society.

Being cynical may be the major reason that we shun possible friends. In an attempt to stay out of harm’s way and being hurt, we refrain from making contact with strangers. This means ignoring them at best we could. Such actions leave us the impression that the goodness of our society is slowly diminishing. But just when we thought everyone around us, including ourself, is evil, someone comes along to show us just how wrong we are.

It was Monday. I was waiting for a jeepney to ride home when it started drizzling. I grunted in frustration as I thought of my umbrella sitting snugly in one of my shelves at home. Who would’ve thought it would rain on a peaceful February afternoon? I watched, amused, as all the other people around fished out their umbrellas from their bags. Apparently, everyone saw this coming but me. I found myself running for cover under the shade of the footbridge as the drizzle turned to rain.

One lady, about my age, and who, judging from her uniform, obviously came from the same university as I did, approached and startled me with a question I least expected. “Ate, wala po kayong payong?

I was taken aback. Sure it was a very simple question but it puzzled me that someone, especially a stranger, would even care to ask. I answered sheepishly. “Wala eh.” She gave me a warm smile and shared me her umbrella. I didn’t know of anything better but to say “thank you.” How come, in a world so cruel, a person kind enough to share her umbrella with a total stranger exists? Would you even expect the person beside you to show any concern if you catch pneumonia from being drenched in the heavy rain? We all know the answer.

I couldn’t pass this opportunity to be acquainted with my hero of the day. She said that her name is love and that she is a Psychology student. I introduced myself and thanked her for the nth time.

Whenever I meet people whose goodness radiates from the little things they do, I repay them with the gratitude and respect that they deserve. I might not know her and her whereabouts but that girl named Love earned my respect that day.

From afar, I saw the jeepney which bore the sign of my destination. I thanked her again and bade goodbye. I even heard her say, “sige po, ingat.”

Ingat din,” was my cheerful response. Could that day be any more stupendous? I felt like I’ve just been touched by an angel.

I thought about it all the way home. I thought the world was cruel. I thought strangers were of two kinds: either people who would ignore you, or people who would have evil intentions. Muggers, pickpockets, rapists, killers, weirdos, and psychos- these are the strangers I expect to be all around me.

My opinions were overshadowed by my own cynicism. I didn’t realize that though the evil exists, the goodness thrives among us just the same.

Average Hero

May 29, 2011

Ask anyone about the present state of our society and he’ll come up with a lot of interesting things that you, yourself already know about. It would not be much of a surprise if he could not come up with anything positive to say. Hearing the negative things, however, is not something out of the ordinary. For as disturbing as it is, violence, crime, injustice, corruption, and many more make up the headlines of our daily news.

When was the last time you picked up the newspaper or the last time you watched the news and not get disappointed? Isn’t it saddening that the conspicuousness of the negative things happening around us tend to overshadow the positive ones? And isn’t it frustrating that as much as we want to say that these things are not true, we just can’t, because we cannot deny the truth to ourselves.

Has it ever occurred to you that there is more to life than this? There is much more to life than seeing famished street children resorting to drastic measures like stealing just to sate their hunger. There is much more to life than hearing a grieving mother who has lost her child in a violent occurrence that would not have happened if the other person has counted ’til ten. There is much more to life than walking home late at night, forcing our feet to move faster as we walk along dark alleys fearing for our safety. There is no need for further expounding. We all know that we deserve better than what is being offered to us by our society.

Can anything get any worse that it could not be altered? Is a mistake ever too complicated to not be resolved? On that note, is peace ever that impossible to not be attained? And the more important question, is peace ever that impossible to not be attained by an average human being?

We could wait for the leaders of our country to use all their power and influence to promote peace. We could also wait for someone who would be willing to come out into the open and bring peace to each of us. Or we can go on living the way we have always lived. Maybe with a sudden stroke of chance or fate, the world would change by itself. Those mentioned above are exactly the same things we’ve been doing all our lives- waiting for someone to do the work for us. Now look where it got us.

Let us not think that we can exclude ourselves from doing our part and expect that tomorrow, we will wake up in a better society. As the old saying goes, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” Are we still waiting for a hero who will facilitate the change for us? When will we realize that the hero we are expecting- the one who has the power and influence is not going to come? When will we realize that the person courageous enough to take the dare for change doesn’t need to be a highly powerful and influential person? And when will we realize that it only takes a glance in the mirror to find out who that average hero is? Yes we are just average individuals, and yes we lead simple lives; but we can be heroes if we believe so.

Let us prove not to anyone but to ourselves that our national hero was not mistaken when he said that “the youth is the hope of our nation.” We can make a difference in our own little ways. We just have to remember that we cannot lead anything to its betterment without subjecting ourselves to our own betterment. We should start the change within ourselves. Let us turn from our selfish ways and consider the importance of others. If we avoid cynicism and start seeing other people as allies instead of rivals, then we could all work together towards one goal. Lend a helping hand. What good would too many resources be without charity? Let us be good examples. Let us set the norm for helping each other. Most importantly, let us not trade humanity for progress because we can live with both.

Attaining peace may not be easy but it is definitely not impossible. It’s no easy task but our joint efforts will gradually lead us there. Consider a whisper, a very soft sound. It may be nothing but a soft breeze tickling your cheek, but a million whispers done simultaneously can be a deafening noise. Just imagine what it would be like if all of us would be willing to cooperate and do our part. We may not eliminate the forces of evil completely but we can outnumber them. Let us be the average heroes that we are, as Gandhi had so wittily said: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Indifference

May 29, 2011

“Two more.” The fx barker announced, motioning to us.

I automatically looked at Mark and gave him a sweet smile. “Our turn.” I said. He didn’t say anything but he smiled back. “So much for striking a conversation.” I thought as we rode the vehicle.

The silence in the vehicle somehow calmed me. It relaxed my fidgeting nerves. I looked around and noticed the other passengers slowly dozing off as they shifted themselves into more comfortable sitting positions. They must be very tired of the day’s work.

Outside the window, I saw the usual 7 o’clock scene- the busy streets, the crowded sidewalks, the thick lines of passengers eagerly waiting to get a ride home- the usual rush hour. Everything around me was so common, except that I am in this dark, quiet vehicle with Mark’s shoulder bumping into mine.

Mark. I sighed. Why would he be this aloof? It had been two years after all, two long bitter years- at least for me. I realized how bad an idea it was to be thinking of our past relationship especially with Mark’s face only a few inches away from mine, but the memories flooded my mind like an itch I couldn’t ignore. I remembered our compromises, his broken promises, and my futile wait for reconciliation. It might have been years ago but the pain felt as if everything had only happened yesterday.

If I am still hurting, does that mean I still love him? In my head, that might be a question but in my heart, that was already a statement.

The vehicle sped. Each hump is sending his shoulders bumping into mine. I miss the old times, when everything was just fine, when we are not two separate entities like we are now. I miss our talks. I miss our dates. I miss our nonsense. I just miss him.

The silence calming me a while ago has started to be a vacuum suffocating me. I felt a very strong yearning to talk to him. I have to talk to him. There are a lot of things that I wanted to ask him and tell him. I wanted to tell him I am still here, still his.

I glanced at him this time but just like everyone else, he was asleep. Suddenly, my eyes remembered what it has used to do for months after our break up. I cried. I missed him so much it’s killing me.

And then, slowly, carefully, I lowered my head to his shoulder, just like the old times. I rested my head on his shoulder pretending to sleep. The feeling of familiarity rushed to me and slowly tore me apart. He felt like home. I know doing this is foolish but I didn’t care. I savored it. If our love was gone then surely not our friendship. Well, one can always hope.

His shoulders were steady, unmoving. It almost felt as if he was pillowing my head with utmost care. He didn’t pull away and it made me smile. There might be a chance after all. In my head were thoughts of a conversation to be made, what to say and what to do. Should I say ‘I want you back.’ or ‘Don’t you want me back?’ or ‘I can change.’ It doesn’t matter what I say. All I know is that I want to win him back.

Just then, he stirred. He lifted his head and peeked outside the window. His shoulders moved, making me feel unwelcome. Embarrassed, I lifted my head up.

“I’m sorry.” I said with a sheepish smile.

“That’s alright. I shouldn’t have wakened you but I really have to go.” His smile was as sheepish as my own but his eyes lacked the sparkle that mine had.

“Here? But your house is not until the next intersection.” I said, surprised.

“Yes but Janine is waiting for me here.”

“Janine.” I almost whispered. I felt numb as my hopes crashed to the dirt.

“Yes.” He replied with indifference. “My girlfriend.”

Note: An old post published last December 25, 2008.

http://angelkgp-reika09.blog.friendster.com/

A Beat of My Own

May 29, 2011

I have never met anyone who views dancing with a little bit more opposition than I do. Perhaps I never will. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against dancing. Dancing per se, that is. Me, dancing, is another thing- that would be the problem. Let’s just say that I have a beat of my own. One that could not converge to the beat of a dance.

I remember being asked a hypothetical question. It went like this, ‘If you could duplicate a talent from a known personality , what would it be?’ That one was easy. I didn’t break out a sweat. I answered, ‘Maja Salvador’s dancing prowess.’ **grin**

Not being able to dance has never been a hindrance for me. Once a year field demos from elementary to high school proved to be an annoyance more than an obstacle. Stepping into college, however, is a totally different thing. Taking up Mass Communication, well.. I guess somehow, dancing came as a requirement, a package at the very least. We are taught about the different medias, wherein the theater is one, which meant dancing, dancing and **swallow** more dancing…

Not being able to dance suddenly became an insecurity. I have never thought of it more negatively. In a world where almost everyone, and I mean ‘everyone’ can dance, I’m at odds. If only dancing was like ‘cooking’ that if you don’t know how, you can always practice and there’s a very good chance that you will learn. Dancing is not like that. Let’s be real. If you’re not gifted with that talent, you will never learn. **sigh**

I will never step on stage if only to dance. There are a lot more ways to humiliate myself besides that. I’d rather get hit by a bicycle and die on the spot. What could be more humiliating than that? Academically wise, I’d rather fail than dance. I can take a 5.0. **hyperventilate** …well… I guess I could.

Note: This is an old post from my blog at blogger. It was dated October 5, 2008.

Bitter Winner

May 29, 2011

“Assumptions only set you up for disappointments.”

I couldn’t agree more. I learned it the hard way, though. I can still taste it. The taste almost parallel to chewed paracetamol, slicing through my taste buds. Bitter. But it’s worse. It crawls down to the confines of my severed heart. Severed. I guess that’s the right word. How many times have I hurt this way? Four? Five? Maybe six, I’m not sure. Each time the hurt grows stronger than the last. If only my heart knew better. How many pains can my heart endure before it learns? That last statement got me into thinking. I have hurt enough. Enough for me to learn, but still, I ended up hurting like this. My ‘stupid’ heart. No matter how much I bluff, no matter how much I lie to myself, my heart still decides for itself. It feels what it feels. No amount of rationality can stop it. The heart has again revealed one of its many mysteries. More than an organ, it is something magical, something that exceeds reality. Sometimes I think it’s a totally different entity with a mind of its own. It amazes me how the heart can break and shatter into a million tiny pieces, hurting as it does. But when totally healed and mended can still be brave enough to love again. Or break again. It’s not stupid after all, just stubborn.

Assumptions. For the hundredth time I wished I was one with trust issues. Why has it been so easy for me to trust people? Men in particular. It’s plain, bold, idiocy. I know men. Men are like MnM’s, they all come in different colors but deep down inside, they’re one and the same. I know. I don’t like stereotyping either. Generalizing is unfair. I know that. But every time I set men apart, they just prove to me that they’re no different. Maybe that description is only appropriate to the ‘men that I knew.’ Maybe that description ends with them. Maybe.

Bitter. Songs, movies, couples. They’re everywhere. So much so it annoys me. I am in pain. Not because I lost someone or did not have someone. I am in pain because I did it again. I let myself down. I assumed and then I let myself fall. It burns. The feeling sucks. I am ashamed of myself. I should have known better, a little too well. But the worst part is that, I could not promise myself to know better next time. I could not promise myself to not do things the way I did things now. I could not promise myself that I wouldn’t get hurt again tomorrow. I just can’t.

I know the feeling simply isn’t gratifying.
One thing’s for sure, I did not deserve any of these. **modesty aside**
And yet, I should be utterly thankful. Why? Let’s just put it this way: What would I be like if I ended up with one of those heartless, soulless players? **no offense meant** I bet it’s not good. It wouldn’t be gratifying either. “Love hurts when God knows we deserve someone better.” Now that’s a quote worth sharing. I guess, somehow, I am a winner because I didn’t end up miserable with a player. It is the payer who is miserable not ending up with me. ;p

Note: This is an old post from my blog at blogger. It was dated October 5, 2008.

See the original post here:

http://myveryownoasis.blogspot.com/2008/10/bitter-winner.html

Dear John: My Take on the Book

February 8, 2010

WARNING: This post contains spoilers.

DISCLAIMER: This is not a book review.

The minute I put the book down, I felt the urgency to write about it. So here it goes.

After my best friend told me to read this book, which by the way, she always does after reading a good book. I felt with Dear John, she was a little more zealous. She said it would make me cry. And so, as curious as I ever could be, I grabbed a copy and plunged into reading.

The book was the first I would read of Nicholas Sparks’ and I must admit my expectations were high as I’ve seen Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember and The Notebook on the big screen. I loved them all especially the simple yet touching story of the notebook, which is my favorite by the way, but that would be in a different post.

Dear John, like my friend had said, made me cry. But not in the way I thought it would. The bits of John and his father were very mundane yet it evokes warmth that touches the heart, especially during the time that he came to understand his father and realized how much he was loved by him. When his father was bound by sickness, he stood by him and felt that in a simple way, they shared a bond that would make the estrangement they shared in the past irrelevant. Those bits, especially the scenes when they were together before his father was sent to a care facility made me cry. Sob, even. I felt sad as I read those parts. It was the good kind of sad, you know. The feeling that you’re sad because his father passed on but you know that there was no other way to it and that there was closure. And fulfillment too.

But the part between John and Savannah, I was a little unsure. Sure they loved each other and what they had was magical but as do most long distance relationships, they were forced to adjust to lives away from each other, gradually drifting apart in the process.

She wrote her every time but after a while, her letters slow. Soon, she wrote him one last letter and confessed that although she did not mean to, she fell in love with another man. Not long after, John found out she got married when he visited her after his dad’s funeral.

In the end, they did not end up together. And all there was were three empty hearts: Savannah’s, who still loves John; Her husband’s, who knows that although Savannah sincerely loves him, she could not love him as much as she loved John; and John’s because he made a sacrifice that would mean that he has to be contented in watching the girl he loved from the shadows knowing that she loves him still.

I cried and was sad. It was the bad kind of sad. Because I knew that there could be another way around it and that there was nothing fulfilling or rewarding about the situation at all. No one wins and they all lose. I found the book downright depressing.

Personally, I think unconditional love is more for mothers or for fathers and not for lovers. Even if it is, I don’t see unconditional love as giving up the love of your life for somebody else. It could be giving up your loved one for something that would make her happy or safe. And I swear in the book’s case, she wouldn’t have preferred that.

Or maybe I’m not really talking about unconditional love or defining it. Because frankly, the definition I just gave was a shallow interpretation of it. Maybe all I was trying to say was that they make things so darn complicated when all that counts was that they loved each other. When they do, nothing else really matters, right? Even if other things do matter, which do most of the time, hand in hand, they can get through it. Instead, they chose the other path, probably the more convenient path, thus making the story a tragedy.

This is the kind of tragedy that would leave you pulling your hair more than wiping your eyes. And if people ask for a sequel, you know their spirits were not sated.

But then again, it’s just my opinion.


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