the ‘ghosts’ of the past

A friend asked me to create a blog. And forced nagged told me to make an article on why I did, without mentioning her as the “real, actual enforcer.” Below is exactly why (well, except the now known fact of HER influence). She’s in another ‘blogosphere’ and I especially made an account in that particular blog site just for her. Yeah. That’s how special she IS. Unfortunately, she deleted her account ’cause she made that BIG decision to participate more in real life. I didn’t buy it. I had suspicions her husband made her do it. Oh well, what do I know? I haven’t been in touch with her for like…ETERNITY! Surprisingly, I saw her today…with her baby. I hugged her and we had some fits of giggles while we talked about our ‘good ole days’. Well, we’re not actually old, we’re a year or two past two decades, but I like the sound of ‘good ole days’ ;) And all because of that, I remembered my forgotten account.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

This day is a Sunday. I’m writing this to remember how it’s been in case the future me wonders about it. I learned a lot from church today. I attended mass with my parents and my brother. I think the priest is newly assigned to the parish since it’s the first time I saw him or, maybe not. Anyway, the gospel is about a blind man of great faith whom Jesus healed, so the priest’s homily is mostly about being blind either physically or spiritually. These are his key points: (1) Some of us are spiritually blind. We see but we refuse to see; (2) We watch evil in front of us as if it’s a movie. We see injustice. It bothers us, yet we do nothing; (3) We do evil things (ex: lying) naturally like putting on our slippers as we leave home; (4) Sometimes we fail to discern what’s good and what’s evil; and lastly, my favorite (5) Sleeping is an anticipation to death.

You might be wondering how the last one ended up with the others. It seems out of place, right? Apparently, it is. Actually, it was the first thing the priest imparted. I just wrote it last since it’s my favorite (save the best for last ;) ) He greeted us after he read the gospel but only a few replied, not to mention without enthusiasm. Plus he could see the others dozing off. And so he dropped that bomb thought and we all laughed (well maybe not ALL of us, just most. Some giggled, some just smiled, and some remained apathetic -_-). Me, I just wondered and smiled to myself. I was thinking, oh hell, I sleep a lot lately >.<.

This post is not entirely about the mass so let’s move on. I decided to clean my bedroom. I don’t know what is it about cleaning that makes me end up reading about everything I am about to throw or keep (and it happens every time!), so I spent half of the morn and the entire afternoon locked up in my bedroom cleaning (and inhaling dust, pft). I came across my high school books and other stuffs. And yes, I remembered those carefree days. To me, reminiscing is always a part of of cleaning. I brood over my classmates and how much I miss them. It has been five years since we graduated and pursued different courses in college yet it feels like yesterday. I wonder where they are now and if we’ll ALL be together in a room (or any particular place) again. And then I remembered my friends in college too (they’re another story, I miss them more).

Before tears fall, I think I should end this. Oh but before that, I’ll write the reason I created a blog in the first place. It’s mostly for escaping boredom. Writing, aside from reading, is my favorite pastime. It serves as a diversion, sometimes, from crying when I don’t really feel good about things. It helps me get a hold of my thoughts (just some of them ’cause a lot of them escapes me out of thin air) sometimes when my mind races. It’s somewhat a way of recording what happens when and where with who. And of course as some things to read in the future in case I decide to look back. Therefore, it’s for the future me.  Hmmm.. just for something to haunt me ;)

Worlds Apart

“At times, just at ‘rare’ times, I’d think it could’ve been better for me not to have known you but, right then, I’d stop thinking. Such thought horrifies me.. ’cause I know, deep down, my life would never be the same without you being a part of it. It’d be a lot LESS wonderful. Yes, you were just a chapter in my ‘book of life’ (if something like that exists), but YOU are my favorite. To be honest, still… most loved.

This is a letter to that someone I loved love the most. If you don’t wanna read something “mushy gushy”, I strongly suggest you stop reading after the period.

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Since you’re still reading this, I could say you dig the “mushy gushy” stuffs.

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Either THAT, or you just don’t have anything better to do.

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……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

Oh! You even managed to cross that dotted line! Now I think you’re curious.

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Curiouser..

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AND you finally crossed the line.

 

Well, here it is. I wrote this letter for more than a year ago. Read it if you must.

 

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09.13.11

Dearest D.,

It’s weird…you know the end of something great is coming, but you wanna hold on, just for one more second…just so it can hurt a little more. ~ Tonya Timmons
Hell yeah!
By being of the same train of thought, I guess I’m somewhat a glutton for punishment, ya think so? I know this isn’t the right time to have such thoughts, really. But I think it’s the only way to keep my sanity right now. Thinking of you hurts no less than trying to forget you. You’re long gone. Still, I wanted to see you. If only I could get a glimpse of your smile again.. even for a millisecond.. to have a sight of such sweet smile.. would be achingly priceless.

It’s 11:27pm I was rolling in bed for quite sometime trying to get myself to sleep when I received a call from your cousin, telling me you’re no longer of this world. I couldn’t believe it at first. I even laughed and told him “you’re kidding, right?” But when he just fell silent, and stayed silent for quite a while, the imminent truth dawned on me. We were both silent for a moment there and I felt a sting in my throat. Then he said, in a voice that kills me, “I wish I was. I swear I really do. God.”

“Came in close, I heard a voice
Standing stretching every nerve
I had to listen had no choice

I did not believe the information
Just had to trust imagination
My heart going boom boom, boom”
—Peter Gabriel, Solsbury Hill.

I could hardly breathe. I gasped, managed a sob. I gripped the phone tightly and I wailed in agony. I couldn’t stop the tears from streaming down my face. I cried my heart out until there were no tears left, until thoughts evade me. It’s midnight and I’m a huge mess. “I will remember you, will you remember me? Don’t let your life pass you by, weep not for the memories.” I was startled to hear a voice singing that song from the other end of the phone.

I didn’t realize till then that your cousin’s still at the other end of the line. He just sang that verse of the song and said, “You still there? I uh sang that song as requested by you know who. I think you know of it. He told me to remind you of something through this song when he’s gone.” I told him, “Yeah, I’m still here, somehow, barely. I remember. Thank you. Can you sing it again.. the entire song this time, please?” Good thing he abided.

Weep not for the memories.. I clearly remember your voice singing this line of the song. Up till now I still don’t know the title of the song, or whoever sang it. AND I haven’t heard the original version yet. I first heard your version, then your cousin’s. I ought to hear the original, right? I really must. Your cousin sang the song better than you did. No offense, but I think you’re aware he’s a better singer than you are. Oh but I love your voice more. In contrast to how shamelessly hard I cried when you first sang this song for me way back when the vast fields were the greenest, all throughout I was smiling while listening to him singing the song. Oh look at what I wrote. I was SMILING. Really? Who am I fooling. I was trying so hard to hold back my tears and so I forced a smile. HA! And did I just hear myself laugh? Hey, I think I’m losing it. If reality means accepting the inevitable fact that I’ll no longer see you again, then I could care less losing it.

SILENCE.. [the song ended, i barely noticed]

(this is our conversation after he sang the song)

Your cousin A: Shall I sing it again?
Me: No don’t. I feel better now, I guess. Thank you.
A: So, what are you doin’ right now.
Me: I’m writing. Uhm well, more like just scribbling, haha.
A: About what?
Me: him.. the time, the song, our conversation.. and how I feel this very moment.
A: How do you feel?
Me: Shattered.. but thankful.
A: thankful.
Me: thank YOU.. and thank God, for you, for him, for us and the borrowed time. I think my sanity’s slowly drifting away.
A: You sound perfectly sane to me.
Me: Really?
A: really.
Me: yeah right. Hey, how about you. How are you taking this?
A: ahh, no way better than you are.
Me: what time is it there?
A: 13:49. there?
Me: Almost 1 in the morning. I couldn’t read it quite clearly.
A: almost 1 and you’re still crying. Not to mention, still awake.
Me: C’mon, do you really expect me to be fast asleep right now, in the state I’m in? I don’t think so.
A: You got me there. Well, shall I put you to sleep, let’s say.. a lullaby.. wanna hear some?
Me: I guess.
A: [humming rock a bye baby]
Me: hey, I know you can do better than that.
A: [sings somewhere over the rainbow]
Me: ah.. better.
[and so on and on we sang together till it ended]
Me: it’s been so long.. that was fun. and was that a ukulele? I didn’t know you play the ukulele.
A: Yeah it’s been quite sometime since the last time we sang together. About the ukulele, I’m learning.
Me: well you sure are a fast learner.
A: I’ll take that as a compliment, thank you. So.. sleepy yet?
Me: I think I am. I mean, no. I’m not sleepy yet but I better go to sleep, right?
A: yeah.. uhm, how about you put your phone on a loud speaker mode and I’ll sing till you’re fast asleep.
Me: hmmm. the best suggestion I’ve ever heard of.
A: Ok, I’ll try to talk to you in between, or maybe after a few songs, if you won’t answer, that means you’re sleeping, deal?
Me: I have so much to gain and nothing to lose. Deal.

He sang vertical horizon’s “Best I Ever Had”, Jim Croce’s “Time in a Bottle”, and Collin Raye’s “Love me”. He called my name twice. I didn’t answer. For some reason, I wanted to make him think that I’m sleeping. I don’t wanna be another cross for him to bear anymore. He had plenty on his shoulders already. And so I laid there, with puffy  and misty eyes, listening to him gently calling out my name. I dare not make a sound till he stopped calling my name. Then he said, “I guess you’re asleep or just faking it. I have a feeling it’s the latter (well i suddenly had a feeling he’s a natural-born psychic and he’s reading my thoughts!!!). You know I know you. Anyway, listen carefully. You know what you mean to me, so don’t ever think you’re a burden(BINGO!). You’re not and you’ll never be. So cry if you must, I’m here.” He sang Hunter Hayes’ “Cry with You”, said “sweet dreams” and ended the call. And I just stayed still. For hours I laid wide awake. Thinking things. Thinking of you. I’ll never get to see you again. It hurts, a lot. I didn’t notice the time. I don’t know if I slept or not. I was oblivious to my surroundings. “The time is five o’clock”, the alarm said. I didn’t care. After all, you’re gone.

Weep not for the memories, you said. Maybe someday, just.. not this time. No, not yet.

“I’ll be over you someday,
but not yet.”
—Demi Lovato, Not Yet.

Love,
me

PS
I swear I really intended that to be just a letter, not the NOVEL it has turned out to be. I still have a lot of things to tell you. No, I’m not gonna write any of it. I’ll say them out loud, so listen. But I must warn you, this’ll be the last time I’ll say these words to you ’cause I gotta give my heart a break :] so here it goes, for the last time, Diddi, I LOVE YOU.

And I hope these words reach you even if we’re worlds apart.
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Oh, you’re still here!?! I can’t believe it.
This madness has to end, right? ;)
Have a good day!

Avalanche

02.04.13 18:01

“Well, I’ve been afraid of changing ’cause I built my life around you, but time makes you bolder. Children get older. I’m getting older too.”

–Fleetwood Mac, Landslide

I’ve been walking around for more than an hour now. I couldn’t quite figure where exactly do I wanna go. I’ve spent a few minutes in a bookstore, and a lot of time  window shopping. Yes, I’m in a mall right now and I craved for a quiet corner. A place where I can sit comfortably, gather my thoughts and write them down.  Apparently, the mall doesn’t have that ‘quiet corner’ I craved for, so I settled for just the place where I can sit comfortably ;) This post is confusing, free your mind and it’ll dawn on you.

As I stared in the open, I noticed a toddler who appears lost. She keeps on looking around as if searching for a familiar face, but she seems to find none. I saw panic in her face. I took a step towards her but someone already got to her before I could continue my stride. Fortunately, she recognizes the man. I smiled when I saw pure happiness all over her face when the man lifted her, threw her up in the air and kissed her forehead.

I thought about what just happened and I realized, I was once that little girl. Lost in a crowd and feeling so small among giants. And I thought everything could tumble down on me. Being surrounded with people thrice or four times your size, you’d be thinking ‘stampede’. I guess, in life, there comes a point where we will feel exactly how that little girl felt. Not in the same circumstance but, maybe,  just the same amount of fear– as if being in an avalanche thinking the mountains could just come down on you without a way out. And if you’re lucky enough to get out of it for some reason, that ‘happening’ would still haunt you. And the choice is all yours, whether you’ll continue living in that nightmare or wake up from it. And it’s confusing, really, ’cause when you’re in panic, you couldn’t think straight, to the point that you won’t be able to recognize that man even if he’s calling you. Therefore, look…

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close enough and, listen. :)

“Why’s” On a Rainy Day

“Hate the sin, not the sinner.”

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hmmm., i’m pretty sure i heard (or maybe read) this somewhere. It makes sense. Yes. It does. But, if you were at the receiving point of that ‘sin’, will you be able to NOT hate the sinner?

Sometimes, it’s just more difficult to do good deeds than evil ones.

#disturbingthoughtsonarainyday

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I’ve been carrying such thoughts with me for some days now, since I heard a lot of depressing news on tv. Such news aren’t new to me but, it sure got through me this time. Might be because of the weather.

I sent that message above to my friends the day before yesterday. I had a lot of replies out of it. Someone asked me ‘what’s wrong?’ another one teased ‘are you in the middle of a conspiracy, can I join?’ and a confused one said ‘ooh, i know what you did, way to go’ and I was like “WHAT!?” A lot of others agreed with me. One agreed to disagree and I had a late night debate with him about it. A few replied ‘what’s up?’ or ‘how’s life?’.  Above them all, only one reply intrigued me so much that it made me call her. The message?

“Why do we hurt the ones we love, and sometimes, feel good about it… ;(“

I asked what’s wrong and she told me everything. Let’s call her Anna. She said her favorite grandmother’s gravely ill, bedridden and IS dying. She’s the one taking care of her. She had to quit her job ’cause her parents are always busy with their business and their close relatives are busy with their lives. They just visit from time to time. Some are out of the country and compromises by providing the financial support. The scenario was fine at first though she had to spend her days at the hospital taking care of her grandma. And spend sometime locked in the comfort room quietly crying (she doesn’t want her grandma to hear her so she covers her face with a pillow when she cries). When her grandma decided to sign a HAMA (home against medical advice), arguing that she wishes to be at home when she passes away, Anna’s world fell apart. At home, she says she enjoys talking back and scolding her grandma. She loves blaming her relatives and making them feel so bad about themselves because they’re not always there for her grandma. Though she’s hurting inside when she does these things, she says it’s her only source of happiness nowadays. Because if she won’t do it, if she won’t act tough, she’d break down into pieces. She just don’t want her grandma to die. And she don’t want to be the only one around when she passes away.

And so we had a long talk. Actually, she did most of the talking and I did most of the listening. It’s what I always do during such situations (well, if not most of it ;) ). I talked from time to time though. And I had to tell her some important things on death and dying.

After our long conversation, I thought, really, why do we choose to hurt the ones we claim to love? Up to this day, the answer still beats me. I guess, there are some why’s that we choose NOT to answer. Because the answer makes us look within ourselves. And sometimes… we don’t like what we see.

Now, let me know your thoughts on this question. YES, I’m asking you “why do we hurt the ones we love”.

Oh! Before I forget, this might be too late but, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I tried to make a post about the new year, but I just can’t. I have a lot of thoughts racing in my head but when I think of writing them, they escape me. I just can’t organize them! Some other time, perhaps ;) Still, this is my first post for 2013 so I feel the need for the greeting. So, again,

HAPPY NEW YEAR :D

On Questions and… Answers?

Ask and you shall know the answer. Yes, that’s the typical thing in asking a question. You get your answer. It has been that way. It IS still that way but, not always. Plus, nowadays, it has become barely typical.

A friend once asked me “Is it me being a pig or is it just something in the weather that makes me feel sleepy all the time?”

“It’s you being a pig.” I answered nonchalantly.

“But it doesn’t just happen after meals. I feel sleepy since this morning.” She argued.

“It’s you being a pig.” I said firmly.

“Come on, can’t you answer me nicely? You know, you don’t have to be so honest all the time.”

“I AM your friend. I don’t answer nicely. You asked. I simply answered. I love you. I really do. That’s why I bothered answering.”

When I saw her check her figure in the mirror, I thought maybe I’m just being hard on her. I didn’t really mean she’s a pig. Well, not her figure. She is paper thin. I was just implying she’s becoming a sloth. But if I tell her that, she won’t take it in a good way. Trust me. I know her. Maybe ‘waaay’ too much. So…

“Hmmm.. Know what? Maybe it’s just the weather. Yeah, definitely the weather. I, too, feel sleepy.. uh, in a strange way.” I said.

How was that for a lie? Pretty bad, eh?

When one asks a question, one better be prepared to hear the answer. I mean, seriously, the truth hurts but I’d rather be hurt hearing the truth than feel comforted with lies.

“Honesty is such a lonely word.

Everyone is so untrue.”

—Honesty, Billy Joel

Think about honesty and how come it’s so rare in this era. Yes. Think about it. Think about your past few days and mentally count how many times you lied. You’ll be surprised (or not) to know that you lied at least once a day. Everybody lies. Perhaps for their own reasons or for no particular reason at all or for FUN, maybe. I’m sure you have your own thoughts on honesty so I don’t have to cite more examples, do I? Actually, this post isn’t entirely about honesty. Come to think of it, this isn’t about honesty at all. Anyhow, let’s move on.

When one asks a question, one doesn’t always get the answer. Sometimes, one gets a joke or… he HIMSELF becomes the joke.

Teacher: Class, get a one fourth sheet of paper.

Student: One fourth, ma’am?

The entire class roars with laughter. The teacher’s totally pissed off or stunned. AND the student gets what he didn’t ask for. Does he get what he did ask for? Sadly, NO.

Laughing at somebody’s expense is FUN. Yes, for a few minutes it is. But after those fits of giggles, there usually comes this very familiar awkward silence. The hilarity abruptly vanishes. Someone would then say ‘milabay ang anghel’ (an angel passed by). Maybe, an angel actually passed by or it’s just the little voice inside us finally speaking. Yes, conscience— it might be the angel in us. It rarely speaks, but when it does, it leaves us thinking… and rethinking. :)

Moving on, what’s even worse than ‘being a joke’ is receiving a mockery instead of a simple yes or no.

“Shall I hang this (wall clock) on the wall?”

“No, no, put it in your closet where nobody can see it.”

Common sense? We’re all equipped with it, I guess. It’s just that sometimes ( if not oftentimes ;) ) some of us leave it somewhere else. Anyone can be stupid sometimes. I think we all have that privilege. As long as we don’t abuse it, we are entitled with respect. Now, where did that come from? First, honesty and now RESPECT? Contrary to where this post is leading (or shall I say misleading) us, this isn’t a lecture on values. Having said that, let’s not dwell on this subject any longer.

I’m sure you have your own issues on questions and answers. When one asks a question, one doesn’t always get an answer. Sometimes, by some twist of luck, one is answered with a question.  Sometimes we get an answer, but not instantly. Let’s say, an hour later. Sometimes we receive no answer at all. We’ll feel like we’re talking to a wall. Well, whatever the circumstance we’re in, remember: YOU were the one ASKING. At the end of the day, you can’t really blame others for their rudeness. You can’t do anything to change that. What you can do is… always bring lots and lots of patience when you go ask around. Oh, patience. Darn, not again. *sigh*

I really don’t want this to be an ‘endlessly boring’ lecture on values, so… ciao ;)

This One’s for You

They say that where a wind blew once, a different wind will blow at that same place again.

Where a tree stood once, I’m certain another tree would fill its spot.

Still..

I’d chase that first wind to the ends of the earth and hold on to that first tree forever…

never letting go.

“But you went away
How dare you?
I miss you
They say I’ll be ok
But I’m not going to ever get over you..”

Over You, Miranda Lambert

Everyday I am always filled with the longing,

to see you, feel you, and touch you once more.

This foolish heart is still yearning

for something that doesn’t exist anymore—

something it so lovingly had before.

We used to laugh our hearts out.

We had the world at our feet.

We were so happy all throughout.

We’ll listen to each others’ heart beat,

oblivious of the tragedy set to befall.

We were young, after all.

I close my eyes and I feel you.

I try to reach out but I can’t touch you.

My mind is filled with thoughts of you.

Why do I have to lose a love so true?

Yesterday, tomorrow, today, someday…

Why do I still expect to have a glimpse of you?

I miss you each day,

and no, I can’t stop loving you so.

It hurts to know that I won’t see you again, ever

but, I’m glad that I have forever to keep the memory of you.

Promise, I will always hold them dear.

21:16, 10.15.12

The Second and Last — Sometime in July 2012: The “not so” Brilliant Plan

One night in August 2012

“Z, you didn’t tell me we ( I mean me and Liz) have the same size. Look, it fits!”

“I didn’t know too. Lemme see. It suits you. It’s a perfect fit.”

“I know, right.”

“Do you wanna have it?”

“No.”

“So you don’t want it. Get rid of it.”

“Can I pawn it?” I teased.

“Do what you want. Suit yourself.”

“Know what, I think it should go to its rightful owner.”

If you’re wondering, we’re talking about the engagement ring :)

the plan:

1. Arrange a time alone with Liz* (Z’s ex).

2. Find out what really happened. Use force if you must. Reminder : This part of the plan requires tons of patience. Can I punch her again? NO. Slap her? Forget it.

3. Tell the ‘gossip’ to Z and let him decide what happens next.

Here’s what happened after that conversation:

*No real names.

I sat across Z at our friend Alex’s birthday party. I didn’t plan to be here. Yesterday, I got a call from Alex* inviting me to his party. I was still thinking about it when I received his message this morning “stating” he’s expecting to see me there.

Me: Don’t expect much. I’m still thinking about it.

A: Why? It’s gonna be fun. It’s MY birthday, please.

Me: hmmm.. who’s coming?

A: Mostly my friends in college. Relatives, family.

Me: Good. I’d feel out of place.

A: You’ll be fine. There’s someone I want you to meet. He’ll keep you company.

Me: Good Lord, a HE? You’re not match making, or shall I say TRAFFICKING, are you?

A: Haha, very funny Shing. You don’t really have to be with him the entire party. Just meet him, ok?

Me: What’s this all about?

A: I promised him.

Me: You promised him. Great! I’m bound by “somebody else’s” promise.

A: So, are we cool?

Me: No we’re not. Ah, don’t you know Liz?

A: Yeah. She’ll be there too. What about her?

Me: Nothing. Ok, we’re cool.

VERY ;)

Uh-oh, I have a major problem. Am I allowed to bring someone along with me? Well, Z and Alex are good friends but, he didn’t mention Z, did he? Hmmm. I don’t have a plan B. Truth is, I don’t have any other plan at all! This is ‘the chance of a lifetime’ to execute my ONLY plan. I’ll be going home to our province (Leyte) next week, Z will be trav’ling back to Manila in 3 days, and Liz, the star of the “current affairs”, will FINALLY grace us with her presence. I’ve been trying to track her down for several days now and I’m not gonna let this rare opportunity leave my door just because I’m too shy to ask Alex a very essential favor.

I was trying so hard to construct a text message, asking a favor when I received this:

A: Lastly, Shing, are you still in touch with Z? He’s elusive nowadays. I haven’t heard from him for ages. Pull him out of his base, will you? I’ll understand if you won’t bother with a present as long as you bring him. Is it ok?

Me: Lex, you’re a star! Ikaw na! (You already?) Btw, it’s cocktail, right?

A: Yeah, party starts at 2pm and ends when it ends. Come anytime.

Me: Ok, see ya! Happy birthday Lex :))

That was quite a history! It’s exactly how my mind wanders , so bear with me ;) Back at present, it’s 3:32pm. Still at the table, I’m getting rid (i mean putting aside by using a fork) of the vegetables in my club sandwich. And still sitting across me is Z, laughing and making fun of me while eating the unwanted vegetables (sagbot). He loves veggies. I don’t. Looking at him, merrily laughing like that, I couldn’t help but notice how he looks so HIM ( his usual vain self) again. He looks so handsome that some of the ladies in the room keep stealing glances at him. Or is it because he’s laughing out loud? No, I think not. He IS quite a sight. Alex came to our table with a gorgeous guy, who he introduced as John*. He then stole ( more like DRAGGED) Z away from the table, leaving me with John. oh GREAT, the promise. I totally forgot about it.

“Hi. Sheila, right?”

“Hello.. John, right?”

“Hahaha, I love you! No, that didn’t sound right. I mean I love your sense of humor. But that doesn’t mean I don’t love you. Not again. Can I go back and start over?”

Well, that was odd. I mean, really, what’s so funny? I just copied your tone, duh. I didn’t expect something like that.  “Alright but, take a seat first. My neck’s starting to kill me. I might develop a stiff neck, you know.”

And then again, he laughed. This time, LOUDER. I thought he’s charming ( pero nakahuna-huna pud ko, na’man siguro ni dyes sa ilok tawhana..lol)

We shook hands then started to get to know each other. We talked for quite sometime. It was awkward for me at first but he managed to make me feel comfortable. His laughter was contagious. He has this wonderful deep, baritone voice which seems like music to my ears. Yep, totally ‘eargasmic’. The kind I could just listen to all day and ask for nothing more. I couldn’t recall our conversation in full details since I was too busy listening to his voice that I didn’t pay much attention to what he was actually saying. I’ve gone mad. I know. Hmmm. Enough about him, let’s talk about my real purpose for being here.

I was distracted for an hour, I guess. Time flew so fast. It’s ten past five. John excused himself from the table to play with his band. He’s the lead guitar and the vocals ( which isn’t really a surprise). I searched the room with my eyes for Z. He’s still with Alex. Then I saw Liz, bless her, mentally throwing daggers at Z. Oops, she hates him. Something’s not right. To be honest, NOTHING’s right. There has been no progress on my ‘brilliant plan’ yet.

Ok, here we go. It’s now or never. As I walked towards her, I realized I am shaking. No, I ain’t turning cold feet. I was so angry I feel like I’m gonna explode.  I don’t know what is with that woman that just makes my blood boil..grrr. I think I’ve never really moved on from that SLAP. pft. I need a detour to contain my anger first. I was on my way to the restroom when I heard my name being called up on stage. Oh for the love of God, John, what are you doing!? Dear God, I asked for a detour, not a U-turn.  I wildly shook my head NO, mentally begging him to let me get off the hook but, he’s persistent as hell. Damn him. Everyone at the party “chanted” my name, urging me to go sing with John, the mean devil’s advocate X(. That walk towards the stage was nerve-racking. My knees were trembling. I had to stop to prevent myself from falling ( that would be too embarrassing eh?..epic). All eyes were on me. God, I need a hand, please. John took a step towards me and Z (thank God) appeared on my side out of nowhere. I downed the drink he had with him. White wine? I’d kill for a glass of water ‘ora mismo’!

“Hey love, you’re better than this, just so you know,” Z told me.

“No, I don’t think so,” I retorted.

“C’mon, think of D, maybe, while singing with John. They sound the same, right?”

“A little, yeah but, he’s not D (my deceased first love).”

“We both know that, as well as the fact that we’re on the spotlight right now and we only have two choices. Either you go sing with John or we’ll run out of this party, never looking back.”

“Thank you for pointing that out. That’s so clever. I feel REALLY BETTER now. All thanks to you, HA!

“Shei, Just one song, please?” John said.

“I don’t sing, John.” And I hate you.

“Lying is a sin, love. Take his hand and go sing with him. You both have my blessing,” Z said, winking at me while putting my hand in John’s.

Oh Z, I am so ending our friendship. Brilliant plan be damned.

As me and John walked ‘hand in hand’ towards his band, I thought of why I’m here — doing these things when I could be home and happily watch a movie with my 3 siblings. I shouldn’t have come. Really? What about the plan? What about Z? Stop bitching about it! A song won’t hurt. My inner self scolded me.

“You’re trembling, are you ok?” John asked.

Halerr, I am obviously far from ok! “I’m err.. actually nervous, you should’ve warned me earlier about this.” So that I can plan my exit ;)

“I’m sorry. It’s just that I wanna sing with you.”

Well, I don’t. “Uhm..why?”

“You probably know I like you. A lot. Singing a song with someone I like so much, that would mean the world. I got a feeling we’re meant to be. I’m sorry for putting you through this but, please?”

Ok, that was some revelation. I’m totally freaking out right now. What did he just say? We just met! This is the second time of the same day that this guy took me by surprise, made my insides stir, and rendered me speechless. I have to stay away from this guy. Hmmm.. I don’t really have to meet him after this party, do I? “Uhm.. You’re fogiven. Ok, let’s get it over with.”

And so we sang “High” by Lighthouse Family and Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me”. Yeah, the ‘just one song, please’ became ‘one more, please.’ Plus the two I sang as requested by the birthday celebrant with Z playing the guitar ( my idea, HAHA). Z is a ‘marvel’ with the guitar. I wanna show Liz what she’s missing ;) In turn, I gave him the liberty to choose the songs. He picked “Cryin’” by Aerosmith and “Smooth” by Matchbox 20 ft. Santana for the encore.

FINALLY, I got what I really came here for — a time alone with Liz. She is stunning and charming, if only she’d stop stabbing Z with her eyes. I shouldn’t blame her. I don’t know her side of the story yet. That’s what I’ve been dying to find out.

“Hey Liz.”

“Hello.”

“I wanna talk to you about something, if it’s ok.”

“About Z, right?”

“Yeah.”

“Look, if you’re trying to patch things up between us, stop. I don’t want him back. We’re over. I was blinded. I see things clearly now.”

What? Patch things up? Where did that come from? This ‘girl’ is deluded. “Huh, what do you mean?”

“Oh don’t play me, I’m aware he was two timing me with my “slutty”(pardon me for the term, she really said this) cousin. You knew about that, don’t you?”

“He was what? Hell no. Who told you that? I don’t think that’s plausible.”

“Hannah* (her cousin) herself.”

“Oh Hannah. Is she the one who hates you?” I’m starting to LIKE this cousin..grrr.

“Yeah. The very one who keeps fabricating stories about ‘everything’?”

“And you believed her this time?”

“There’s no smoke without fire.”

“Your cousin is fire, herself. She can create any smoke she wants. What she can’t control is how people react to ‘her’ smoke.”

“I’m with you on that but, Z failed to mention the truth about why he missed our 15th monthsary. I know it’s seven months ago and I’m supposed to let go of it. I forgave him for it but, my cousin’s seven months pregnant. I had a row with Hannah a few weeks ago and so she told me about the week she spent with Z in Bohol. She enjoyed telling me what they were doing while I was all dressed up for the night, eagerly waiting for Z to appear at my doorstep. Only to receive a single text message from him saying he’s sorry, something came up, he’ll make it up to me some other day.”

NO..no, no, no. God, no.

September 2011: What Really Happened

I woke up with a headache. It was almost eleven in the morning. I didn’t plan to wake up ’til the next day. Yeah, I planned to sleep through that day — the day the love of my life left me for good. A notorious disease claimed his life so his death wasn’t really a shock to me. Still, knowing it beforehand hurts no less. “Nothing can prepare us for the death of a loved one and the pain it comes with as a keepsake.”( I think I read it somewhere or maybe someone told me. I’m not certain.) His cousin told me the bad news the night before (I should say midnight, really) and I couldn’t sleep ’til six that morning. I was so busy crying, weeping, wailing. I was so thirsty when I woke up. I felt like a withered crop. I’m a total mess. I listlessly dragged myself downstairs for a glass of water. I then checked my phone. I got 11 missed calls and 3 long messages from Z. He called again asking me to come spend the day with him. I was not really in the mood to go out but, he kept harassing me.

“Hey love, you’re not the only person grieving over his death, you know. For the record, he’s the only guy who made me shed my precious tears. We should use each other’s company. As the saying goes, misery loves company. So go pick yourself up and let’s go cry a river of tears somewhere.”

He finally talked some sense to me so we spent the day reminiscing our moments with D. That was a very long day. We laughed. We wept. We grieved.. together.

I was teary-eyed when I told Liz about that day and the next few days we spent together after that.

“I can see you came prepared. I gotta give you credit for that marvelous drama. Z already told me about it. It was a good story though. You’re quite convincing, even more than Z. I almost believed you if I didn’t know my cousin’s pregnant with a baby boy and Z is the father,” Liz, the cold b**** said.

I froze in fury. I clenched my fists so hard. I need to keep my calm. Gosh, this witch is so unnerving I wanna tear her down. Think straight. You’re at a party with no less than a hundred peoples around. Now, you don’t really wanna make a scene, do you? Believe me, she’s not worth it.

“Am I interrupting something?” John reluctantly said.

Perfect timing, John. I leaned closer to Liz and said “Keep thinking that. After all, it’s your loss, not mine.” I handed her the ring and said, “Keep it as a token. Oh and when your nephew comes out and you finally realize he’s not Z’s, remember me saying this, I told you so.”

I hurried to where John stood waiting and left her speechless.

“You were too serious back there, what were you talking about?” John asked.

“Nothing really. Just girl stuffs. Have you seen Z?”

“Yeah. He’s at our table, waiting. Dinner’s served.”

“Oh dinner.” I don’t really have the appetite for food. I wanna go home. “It’s about time. I’m starving.”

Late after dinner, I told Z about my conversation with Liz.

“Who, Hannah? I’ve never even been to Bohol, let alone spend the week there with her. I barely know her.”

“I know. I told her about what happened and she didn’t believe me. I’m so sorry Z. Go talk to Liz. I think she’ll believe you.”

“No, let her be. I’ve had enough of it. She doesn’t trust me. With my past reputation, I need someone who believes I can change. Someone who will never doubt me. Two years. I’ve been loyal. Know what, I was wrong. She’s not really the one for me.”

“Are you sure about that? She’s still in love with you. I see that in her.”

“I’ve been thinking about it for weeks. I loved her but something’s missing. Something like the connection I have with you.”

“Well Z, one can’t have it all. Nobody’s perfect. There is always a “but” in anybody. That’s part of being human. I think what you had with her is worth another try.”

“Wanna know what I think? What I have with you is worth everything.”

“Whatever you say, Z.”

“I think maybe we’re destined. We just don’t know it yet. No, you just can’t accept the probability yet.”

“Shut up Z. Btw, are you interested in listening to our actual conversation (I meant me and Liz’s)?”

“You didn’t…”

“As a matter of fact, I did.” I pulled out my phone from my purse and gave it to him.

“It’s recording even as we speak? HA. We’ll listen to it on our way home. I’m interested in your conversation with John. You were an item. It seemed like you two had your own world. Is it possible for you to love someone again?”

“Hmmm. I don’t know. Not this time. Err.. I’m not sure I recorded that. I pretended to check my phone when Alex dragged you away and I never got the chance to record our conversation.”

“Much to my dismay. I think you intended not to.”

“Moving on, I gave Liz the ring.”

“You gave her what!?”

“You heard me.”

“Why’d you do that?”

“You told me to do whatever I want with it. I just gave it to whom it really belongs.”

“It’s not really hers.”

“What!?”

“No. I was wrong. It’s not hers.”

“How do you know she doesn’t want it?”

“I don’t think I really wanted her to have it. The one I actually wanted to have it doesn’t want it.”

“You’re not making sense. Z, Earth speaking please.”

“Did you really give it to her?”

“Yeah.. duh.”

“Well, good riddance,” he muttered.

“HA. It’s ok to cry you know. You don’t have to act tough in front of me, specially when you’re falling apart.”

He suddenly hugged me. I don’t know if he cried. If he did, he was so discreet about it. So I gave him a few pats.

“Hey you, come over and let me embrace you.

I know that I’m causing you pain too

But, remember if you need to cry…

I’m here to wipe your eyes.”

—Wipe Your Eyes, Maroon 5

After a long moment, he finally released me and said,

“Shall we head back to the party?”

“No, I think we should hit the road, considering the state you’re in.”

“What about Alex?”

“I’ll go tell him, wait here.”

“Wait, what will you tell him?’

“Everything. Joke. He knows I don’t usually stay ’til the wee hours. Apparently, you’re my ride home so you’re gonna have to leave with me.”

“Perfect excuse. Are you still recording this?”

“Yup.” ;)

“And John?”

“John. What about him?”

“He won’t let you go, not yet.”

“I don’t really have to tell him, do I?”

“Let him know anyway. Ok?”

“Of course, I will. Silly.”

I never fully understood why he made that decision. After everything, he just let go like that — without a fight. I couldn’t quite fathom how Z thinks sometimes. I don’t trust some of his decisions but, I trust him. I can only hope he won’t regret it someday. Knowing him, there’s a good chance he won’t. Either way, I’m here for the long run. I ain’t going anywhere just like what he did for me. I owe him. BIG TIME.

I went to tell Alex. It was easy. John, on the other hand, made things difficult.

“I wanna see you home. I’ll go with you.” John argued.

“No, you don’t have to. I’m going with Z. Besides, are you gonna leave your band?”

“I insist. I’ll just come back here after I make sure you’re home.”

“Let’s go find out if Z won’t mind.”

As we walked together to where Z is, I saw Liz talking to Z at the hallway.

“Why are we hiding?” John asked.

“Shhhh..”

“Sorry Z. I don’t know what to believe anymore but, I wanna believe you. Sheila, she’s in deep pain when she talked about D. I think the two of you are telling the truth. Can I have you back?” We heard Liz say.

Z, say YES! Why aren’t you saying anything? Say yes!

“I’m sorry too, Liz.”

“So, are we “us” again? This ring, what’s this for? It doesn’t fit any of my fingers. It’s a bit tight.”

“No. We can never be together again. That engagement ring is supposedly yours. I thought. It turns out it’s not.”

“What? Z don’t do this.”

“I’m sorry. I was wrong. So wrong. All this time, it was not really you I intended to marry. Listen Liz, you deserve better.”

“I love you Z.”

“Don’t.”

Z turned away to leave her there.

“Then at least tell me who’s this for,” I heard Liz say.

“It doesn’t matter. She doesn’t want that either.”

“Then, have me. Love me back.”

“I can’t. It’s not that simple. I fell HARD.”

“Does she know?”

“She doesn’t. I’m not sure she wanted to. She has someone else. Someone who’s no longer of this world. Someone I am no match with.”

“Who is she?”

“The same one who gave that to you,” Z said and walked away, leaving Liz dumbstruck.

I was dumbfounded too. What just happened?

“What now? Do you have any idea who they’re talking about?,” John said.

“I don’t know John. We better get out of here. Z needs some privacy. Some time to think.” Actually, I was the one who so needed to gather my thoughts. Now you finally have it. NEVER eavesdrop on others again.

After thirty minutes of fresh air with John. I heard myself say,

“John, I don’t think Z will mind if you ride with us.”

YES. I chose the coward’s way out. It’s the only way I can assure my friendship with Z will stay AS IS.