I want to come home to you.
I knew it when I went to your apartment. You were sleepy but you let me in because I had P.E. and I needed a place with a heater to shower.
You drifted back to your bed and back to sleep while I was inside your bathroom. After I went out, you turned your back to me so that I could dress up without feeling embarrassed. I hummed a song for a while, probably the one by The Lumineers, trying to distract myself from the awkwardness of putting on my underwear technically in front of a guy - something I have never done before. I poked fun at you by whisper-conversations, calling your name incessantly to ask if you were really asleep. You didn’t say anything, but I saw your lips turn up into a small smile.
When I was dressed, I looked at you and let go of thinking too much. I slid beside you and just lay there on my side, looking at your broad back, the dip in the middle, the line of your spine. I didn’t know if I should reach out to touch you, but I wanted to.
You rolled over and reached your arm to pull me close. You just hugged me in your sleep and you didn’t say anything. That was the first time my breath caught like it did. I didn’t want to take up the oxygen.
I looked at your closed lids, your relaxed jaw. You were completely comfortable to have me in your arms and that washed over me. I forgot for a while that all I’ve ever known is anxiety and second-guessing.
I pulled up my arm to fold it above your head and I ran my fingers through your hair. I began breathing again, letting the air fill my lungs that felt starved. I didn’t notice how long I held my breath. It reminded me of staying underwater in our pool. I would count the tiles on the pool’s floor, willing myself not to need air a little bit more every time and whenever I would resurface, I gulped so much air in, loving breathing even more.
I let you hold me for a long while. I looked up at the ceiling and thought that I could be content like this. I could go on forever lying there and not go to class. I didn’t imagine the future or taking up your last name. But I pictured you holding my hand. I pictured watching your face be transformed by a smile and a sparkle in your eyes, over and over again. I wanted that.
by Guia Galvez
I am so good at screwing things up.
I told him that once, during a late night on the first of the year. I should have expounded but I’m not used to staying up awake past eleven. And the fact that I was holding onto that tall table, trying to stay seated on my little stool, ignoring my sleepiness, was enough testament that I wanted to be there.
“I’m so good at screwing,” I shake my head, bobbing my glass of vodka sprite up and down, daring it until it splashes. When what I said clicked in, I looked up, eyes wide and saw the mischievous glint in his eyes.
He smirked. Two months of doing this and he was still new to me. I inspected him with care and watched him to see how his face changes in different places.
He looked good in the interchanging color of lights, the pulsing beat and background of blackness. He was just the type that could make these elements work without trying. I was the polar opposite of making it work. With a face covered with makeup, hoping the heat won’t melt through it into splotches of flesh-colored dirt, I tried to keep it together.
“That’s why I like you so much, baby girl,” he says playfully, his deep voice only loud enough to be understood through the house music.
I was swaying in my seat, suddenly feeling emotional and wistful. I had thought of speaking up, to ask if he had the same reservations I did when we were in bed. That I still felt that hesitation, because I didn’t know where we stood.
He didn’t read through me but I think he saw through my struggle to keep seated. He stood away from his stool and walked the small distance to hold me by my elbows. He helped me down the tall stool and muttered something sweet, endearing, like “my little sweetheart” but I couldn’t tell for sure because the alcohol was coursing through and numbing my everything.
I don’t know how I managed it, but we had walked to the exit, got his car from the valet. When I had more grip on my sensations, I felt his arm brush my chest briefly, reaching for my seat belt. He tugged and clicked it into place for my safety. He drove while I hazily looked at the passing scenery of cars, lamp lights and blinking buildings of green and red.
The car park was a lot near his condo. His condo was the only tall building on a suburb that was on the verge of change. He was probably half-carrying me at this point and I was echoing his words by stringing it into song. He finally stopped trying to talk to me at one point.
We were walking on an empty street with the clear view of the sky, tall buildings far away were hidden just enough by two-floor homes. He paused and so did I because his arm hugged at my ribs, keeping me upright. He was looking for something, squinting as he searched.
We heard the distinct sound of a firework shooting up. Sure enough, in the darkness of the sky, a flicker of green light exploded into tiers of sparks. We paused, awed. More flickers jumped, bouncing to the sky and exploding into beautiful designs. I knew then that I would never get sick of it, fireworks. No matter how many New Years I go through, there would always be something special with sparks in the skies. No matter how many times I fall through, I would always be searching for that spark. Or I had hoped I would.
That moment, lone in the street, he and I were privy to what felt like a private show, just for us. I knew it was meant for us, because a moment too soon or a moment too late, we wouldn’t have been able to see it.
I suddenly had full control of my sensations, and though my body felt like it was swimming in alcohol, I had lucid thoughts. I wished, on the night of January the first, that like those fireworks meant for us, we were meant to be.
And just as I had wished it, I turned to him and he was already looking at me. I have never felt more beautiful and more wanted.
“And I saw sparks,” I sang briefly. Then, most soberly, “Happy new year,” I felt compelled to say. He didn’t speak. He was too busy looking at me.
My eyes were already half-lidded when he dipped his head and kissed me. I shifted my body to press myself completely onto him, holding him, willing to snuff every little bubble of air that kept us from fully connecting.
I could stay like this, I told myself, the hope rising in my chest. I could stay like this for as much as you would let me. And I did something I have not dared to do in a very long time.
I thought of a future with a man and admitted that this time, I could fall in love. I could love him.
He was a good kisser and he held me so tenderly, that I didn’t see it coming. He pulled away from my lips to smile, breathless. “Let’s go so you can show me just how good you are at screwing.”
As quickly as he had inspired warm sentiments, he had dashed it away with his want. He was no longer looking me in the eyes. His gaze was focused on my chest and he pulled me closer to see my breasts heave higher, looking fuller pressed on his chest.
With a long swallow, he reached a finger to trace my cleavage and pulled his hand away as if burned. With mouth closed, he uttered a mixture of a grumble and a groan. His lips were pursed. His eyes were unfocused now while mine were focused on him.
“Let’s go inside,” he said, trying to sound calm.
I nodded my head, forcing myself to shove down my disappointment. I let him guide me, trying not to think of when I had let things change. Just a moment ago, I had felt the spark and now I was confused how he couldn’t have felt the same.
Had I waited too long? Was I too guarded and never let him in? Was this my fault? Was this a long time coming that has crept on me? Should I truly decide to settle for a little warmth without the whole experience of love?
He led me with his arm around my back, and I clung to him, my body still heavy from drinking.
We were on bed when I tuned back in again. He was naked and we were ready, under the covers. I looked up at him, willing for the moments a while ago to be a mistake, to see care and tenderness where it truly wasn’t.
He was kissing me so intimately so I closed my eyes, letting him take me. I was inside my head.
I resolved, this time not to weave fantasies of what this is. Not to entertain hope lest it be dashed too late. To suppress visualizing the future with a man who does not have the potential to love me.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, breaking through my train of thought. I opened my eyes and tears escaped and slid down my cheeks. Worriedly, he brushed it away, but stayed inside of me.
I shook my head and pulled him for a kiss.
I will kiss you, yes, I thought. I will kiss you over and over without expecting this will be forever.
I opened my eyes again and wanting more than a kiss, his jaw clenched as he got ready to move again. His forearms braced on each side of me, he reached for a lock of my hair that brushed the back of his hand.
“Let me see you,” he murmured, rising to let me shift up and to slide his hand to mine. He wanted to hold hands but I didn’t let him. I braced myself up by holding onto his broad shoulders. He let his hand drop down to hold me by my waist. I tilted my face up to his and, almost primly, pressed my closed lips to his. Hungrily, he reached out to kiss me more.
There were no promises in our kisses. For once, I felt it purely and let myself sink into what for once, I understood completely. I knew where we stood.
For once, I truly enjoyed it.
by Guia Galvez
“Just you wait,” I told him one time we were on a curb. Three weeks into the relationship and we were on a trip. I remember not being drunk with alcohol, but with the fresh air only a province can still provide. My chest expanded as the cold breeze entered into my lungs and…
Ouch, Guia Galvez. Ouch.
Your worst fears and true feels are the best source for short fiction. Now let’s collab and make a Gia at TIT and GTH romance.
“Just you wait,” I told him one time we were on a curb. Three weeks into the relationship and we were on a trip. I remember not being drunk with alcohol, but with the fresh air only a province can still provide. My chest expanded as the cold breeze entered into my lungs and all of the sudden, I was light-headed and honest. I smiled at him knowingly, only for a second. Just you wait, I thought, and out loud, “I’ll say something horribly wrong, then you’ll leave me.”
Beside me, he breathed in as well and looked at the tops of trees that led into the woods. The trees aren’t random potted plants on a sidewalk; they own this place and the paved streets are unwelcome additions. “I don’t think so.”
“I will. Just you wait,” I tell him again.
Weeks turned into more weeks and by now we’ve celebrated a couple monthsaries. On one, he was feeling very generous and sweet. He took me to a fine dining restaurant and had me wearing heels and a dress. He looked at me and I learned it was truly possible for someone to knock the air right out of you with a gaze. He told me I looked beautiful and he told me I was perfect.
I shook my head. “Just you wait. One day you’ll wake up too early and see my bare face and you’ll be embarrassed how wrong you were. Then I’d do something disgusting, maybe fart if you pinch my butt and then I’ll never see you again.” I nodded my head, completely believing my words. He playfully threw his table napkin at my face.
A year into this relationship and just as I knew I was happy, he surprised me with a quick trip, an island getaway. “It will be just us two,” he whispered intimately in my ear, holding me close and the heat of his body pressed on my back warmed my heart.
As he was kissing the shell of my ear, I murmured that he should just wait. Those moments alone with me will drive him crazy and he’ll rethink all of the times he brought up a future together. He put his hand over my lips and turned me towards him. He kissed me and didn’t say anything.
Eighteen months of this love and I was feeling anxious. I had panic attacks often. I’d wake up, too late or too early, and the blackness would blanket us both. I’d search for his hand, and touch his face. Groggily, he’d mutter, perhaps knowing in his sleep, “I’m here, I’m here”.
I’d settle down, calm myself and inch closer to his body. I’d kiss his forehead and with my eyes closed, wonder aloud, “But when will you leave me?”
Five years and a wedding, a child coming soon, I sit on his favourite recliner (“You make it sound old,” he’d whine). He’d be grumbling about having to sit on the couch, but would settle down. He’d become engrossed, watching a sport with the seriousness of an athlete playing in the actual game.
It’s been sixty months and I’m still scared he’ll leave me. I know it’s not him and it’s me. That constant, niggling fear that I am not enough and that everyone I end up loving ends up hating me just as I’m about to truly give my all. So I watch him silently, hoping I’m wrong this time. And that this time, I don’t have to wait for what I’ve always known was inevitable.
Sixty-nine months later, we have a child. I’m lying on a hospital bed, tired but so, so, content. He is beside me, cradling our child and he whispers to it, “I’m going to love you more than anyone,” then, looking up at me, “I’m going to love you so much you’ll never have to be scared that you’re going to be alone. Just you wait.”
by Guia Galvez
It was a present day Disney retelling that was filled with eaten words and the right wrong timing.
It ruined promises to the self, about quitting bad habits and falling for the wrong people. But the forces were too strong and how can one person evade destiny anyway?
Jas was tired. She was tired of the same corridors and the same halls with far too many new faces and far too less familiar ones. Her last year was like her first all over again, with loneliness stronger felt and cradled.
When he entered the lift and stayed by the door, right into the little space she had, holding the door open for people going in and out, Jas liked how steady he seemed against the waves of people leaving and entering. She wanted that. A person who stayed beside her.
He looked her way and their eyes met. A dimple deepened on his cheek. Before Jas knew it, her heart had leaped, and the recognition of what would follow was so instant, she had nervous pangs. She prayed that the seventeen more floors of rising would finish in haste and this can all be forgotten.
It wasn’t. Because she thought he was just holding the door out for her on her floor. But he went out right after her and remained a long shadow just behind her, then opening the classroom door.
That was it. When he wrote down his name right after Jas, and sat beside her, he introduced himself. Nathan. She had whispered the name over and over again, watching her favourite series, in it her favourite character, hoping to have her own. Here he was.
Jas knew this was trouble brewing. But oh, how trouble was packaged. In a wonderful encasing of flesh and bone, he wasn’t hard to look at and all the gazes they shared made it harder to bear.
Conversation came easily. What they had was a math subject and their professor put so much effort in keeping the vein on her temple from throbbing, every time students asked for a repetition. Jas and Nathan quickly bonded through work done and not done together. Pretty soon no lunch passed them by apart. Nathan would eat a lot. He would grin sheepishly and offer up reasons about being an athlete as his eyes dart through the choices, picking up so much that he had to ask Jas to hold some for him. He charmed the lunch ladies with polite talk and small banter. Jas would watch him from the sidelines, trying to mull over why it was so important to him to make small talk with them. Then she realized, with rising panic, that he was truly a good guy.
After the small talk, he’d turn to her, his long lashes framing beautiful eyes, easing onto the small favours given and bestowed. Hold this, hold that, let me carry your bag, let me see that. They developed a co-dependency that just strengthened their bond. Nathan was meeting her at the train station and walking her to class.
It seemed so easy. He made everything easy and he always had a smirk. His dimples would push into his cheeks before his lips would curve and Jas was lost in conversations she would be part of in a haze, recounting every detail only after it happened.
“I wanted to tell you something last night,” that was his opening line, holding onto his phone. “But I realized I didn’t have your number, so can I have it?” Jas blinked because she couldn’t believe it had taken him so long. His lips were pursed now and he was looking down, bouncing slightly on the balls of his feet.
“Uh, sure,” and with that, she tried to swallow all the awkwardness in the air with one intake of breath, and exhale out numbers, breathy from being held onto for too long.
The smile played on his lips and he walked her to class.
That weekend, a few text messages into this friendship, feeling more brazen after a few sips of intoxication, she called him.
“Come here,” she told him, out of her normal self and into her innermost feelings. “Come meet me,” she said, swallowing when she realized what she had just said, waiting for the rejection and the pang of pain before it had even come.
“Okay,” was his steady reply. There was no doubt, no hesitation and that settled Jas’ fears more than alcohol ever could.
He was there a few moments after, smiling at her, then buying her a drink, steadying her when she slightly swayed, a true lightweight on all vices. He didn’t seem to mind.
Nathan leaned in, and pressed his large hands on the sides of her face, a frown furrowing his brows, smoothed by a smile. “Your face is red. Are you alright?” concerned marked his tone.
“Why are you always smiling?” was her slow motion response. In her blurry sight, she saw his lips tug up again.
“I don’t know what to tell you,” he answered lightly, handing her some water which she obediently sips.
Night drew on. He asked how she was going home and she was sure she mumbled “Parents” because she was conscious when he helped her towards the car bay. He sat her on the bench, gentle, warm hands wrapping onto her skin, spreading the heat. Jas knew without having to look that she was getting redder.
He sat beside her, watching out for her. Jas felt safe, safe enough to stare at him and really see him. The lights were blinking from store signs and lamp lights, cars passing by brightened the darkness. She saw his face through passing gleams, illuminated and then shadowed again. And though Jas knew the light was playing with her vision, there was an inexplicable sadness in his stance, a certain grief in his eyes that couldn’t be hidden at the cover of drink and night.
That was when Jas wished for Nathan. She wished for Nathan, who she knew deep down, was trying so hard to live life despite its recurring messes but that was alright. Because so was she.
She was told that magic doesn’t happen if one doesn’t believe and she so wanted magic that she dared to believe.
But after she wished, a large vehicle’s lights blinded her and she was plagued by memories. Of past love, of lies and hurt and she wanted to crumple and cry. She wanted to say out loud the fact that it hurt, but she didn’t want it to, anymore. And there was just a point that positivity can’t reach and was taking time to heal.
“Let’s do this again,” he suddenly chirped up. He chuckled at a memory and one look at her scowl just made him chuckle more. “Don’t worry, I promise to take care of you.”
She wanted to shake her head. So instead she turned away because her eyes were moist and she was cursing herself for being susceptible to bouts of sobbing when she drank.
She wanted to believe him. Those were words she had waited for in another time, but she had never gotten but sorely needed. Now she just couldn’t believe them at once.
I can’t, because yours is the steady road to oblivion and already, I’m feeling myself walking blindly towards the consuming path.
Her car arrived and she got in. He helped her to her seat and closed the door after. She watched him wait for the car to drive away, and her eyes closed of their own accord, imprinting the memory for longer days.
Monday came and Nathan expected a stronger bond, an intimacy that was formed through plea and favour. It had not. Jas was all smiles, but her guard was up. For a week, Nathan tried to no avail to make her open up.
At the end of the week, he braved to ask, “Is this something we need to talk about?”
He wanted a chance and she could give it, but not today.
“Maybe,” she half-admitted, wanting to meet his eyes but the distance was too long and it was easier to bow her head. “I’m not yet ready.”
“Okay,” was his grim reply, and oh, how it ached for the same word to express feelings so differently.
It was another week before Jas could talk. Nathan hadn’t bothered to show up in class, and she remembered the first day and the feeling of isolation. If Nathan had wanted Jas to realize how much he had filled her life, he was doing a great job.
Jas found him on the court. He was concentrating on a hoop of netting. She could see the beads of sweat on his forehead and temples, could see the glisten of perspiration on his form. She watched him. Nathan’s concentration was full on and he poised to shoot the ball.
It didn’t shoot into the ring. It bumped onto the side and flew right over Jas’ head. Nathan’s eyes followed the ball and landed on her.
He was about to walk right past her, but she reached for his wrist and he stayed put, surprised by the contact.
“I’m ready to talk,” she finally voiced out. She wanted to explain, to tell him it wasn’t his fault. She was hurt badly before and she was afraid to go through it again. For a while. But not anymore.
All he said was, “Jas, I like you. It’s that simple.” He turned towards her and his eyes were soft and he wasn’t smiling.
She could only nod her head. A part of her wanted to say it wasn’t. It was complicated and like is the first step to love and the labyrinth doesn’t have a viable exit where no one can leave unscathed. She knew he was right though. It was. It began as simple as that.
So this is what it felt, she now recognized it for how it was, how it felt to want someone and to be wanted back. If they said this was at the end, no matter how unsure it would be, she would have taken it again.
“It should be that simple, and I promise,” and now she met his gaze and didn’t shy away. “I’ll stay.”
By Guia Galvez
For Iris, who knows the secret to making magic.
And I hoped that it would begin with those car rides.
“Hey,” he would say, passing me as I walked by. His car window would slide down fully. He would lean to reach for his car door and open it for me.
I would smile, tell him lightly that he doesn’t have to do this, but mean none of my words.
And I had hoped that it would begin with those car rides.
“Hey,” he would say, passing me as I walked by. His car window would slide down fully. He would lean to reach for his car door and open it for me.
I would smile, tell him lightly that he doesn’t have to do this, but mean none of my words.
From my writing blog.
I pause after a while and look at the sky. There were no stars. The moon was hiding behind a tall house as if all the heavenly bodies were turning away from this scene in disapproval.
Read the rest here.
Original Post Date: July 20, 2008
“Write about me,” he tells her with a wink, straddling the chair and resting his hands on the back because he can’t possibly be bothered to ever sit properly.
She raises an eyebrow, tilting her chin up to look down at him. Secretly, she’s amused and his wink sends her heart pounding. But she tugs down her lips into a severe straight line. “Why will I waste paper and ink on such a boring topic?”
He shrugs with a half-smile, knowing full well she was just kidding in that mean way of hers. She doesn’t have enough confidence to show her stories to other people yet. So he’s her only avid fan. “I thought I’d give persuading you a try.”
After a year she tells him she’s off to study abroad. She sits at the edge of the table, dangling legs swaying to a sad tempo deep inside her. She can’t possibly be bothered to ever sit on a chair. So he takes a chair and swivels it around, straddling it without breaking eye contact with her.
“Stay with me,” he tells her in a faint nonchalant tone. He tries to smile but his mouth couldn’t seem to twitch upwards the way he wanted it to.
She shakes her head and sighs raggedly. “How can you ask me to choose you rather than my family?”
He shrugs. “Because I know you won’t but I thought I’d give it a try.”
The day before she leaves, she spends it with him. They go to the arcade and play all the shooting games. He wins every single time because he can’t possibly be bothered to go easy on her just because she’s leaving. After all, she couldn’t be bothered not to leave him.
The day flitters into night and they walk on cobble-stoned ground in front of her favorite restaurant. He blew all his money on her today because she couldn’t possibly be bothered to think about spending anymore Peso and instead converted all her money to Dollar.
She smiles that secret smile of hers reserved only for him, mischievous and adoring at painfully the same time. She salutes and opens her mouth to say goodbye but only a sob comes out. She slaps her hand over her mouth in horror but he pulls it away and laces it with his. He tugs her closer and envelopes her in a hug. She’s sobbing onto his chest and he has to lower his head to its maximum because she’s too short and he wants to brush his lips on her smooth hair for the last time. He doesn’t have a handkerchief to give her because he couldn’t possibly be bothered to carry one with his person and she always brought an extra one for him anyway. A stray thought of stocking up on those silly little pieces of cloth is brushed away quickly like a persistently falling lock of hair.
“Think about me all the time. It doesn’t matter if you fall in love with someone else. Just don’t forget about me, alright?” he whispers it so softly it breaks her heart into a million pieces. All the shards are labeled with his name and she was crying too hard to speak.
After a while she catches her breath and she looks in his eyes one last time, memorizing how beautiful they are framed with those damnably long eyelashes she has always envied. She reaches her hand to stroke his cheek one last time with the stray thought that she’ll miss peppering it with kisses when he’s being annoyingly endearing.
“How can you be so selfish to want me to cry all the time? Don’t you know thinking about you is enough to deplete all the water inside me?” she asks him. It’s not the most romantic thing to say, but she means it and that’s what counts.
He shrugs and looks away, because he couldn’t possibly not cry if he doesn’t. “Maybe someday it won’t be so painful. I won’t be able to help thinking about you. So I thought I’d make you try as well.”
So she leaves. She doesn’t sleep that night because every hour the phone rings and it’s him on the other end of the line. She can never ignore his phone calls and he couldn’t quite say goodbye.
“I don’t think I said the right parting words,” there’s amusement in his voice, tinted with that inevitable grief. “So I have to keep calling you until I get it right.”
“You’re depriving me of sleep,” she points out, not at all irritated. Her chest itches with longing and she scratches it, hoping the phantom itch would stop, stop bothering her.
“So what? You’ll have all your life to sleep without me pestering you,” he’s relentless, un-sympathizing. He had spent two years of his life making sure she sleeps in time because he knows she finds it hard to sleep. And he couldn’t give her sleeping pills, because she gets nightmares. He’s afraid one day he can’t stop the monsters from coming after her. He’s afraid one day she won’t wake up.
“Don’t say that. I don’t want to think that one day, I won’t ever be sick with longing for home - to see you. It’s just impossible, you know?” she’s been crying all week and her lips are dry from dehydration. But she cries all the same.
“But you will, so don’t worry about it, pretty girl, and get your sleep.” His voice is caressing but it seems cold because he abruptly hangs up and he doesn’t call again. He never calls again. He finally said what he thought were the right parting words. He couldn’t possibly be bothered to say goodbye.
When she reaches that country, she sees her father again after six long months. She hugs him so tight and cries inside. There are no more tears – even that’s deprived of her.
Her father gives her a new number and she tries to call him several times. Every single time, he doesn’t answer. She tries to message him online. Every single time, he doesn’t answer.
“Don’t you understand?” her best friend demands in the calmest voice she can muster. It’s in the wee hours of the night, and they’re in a long-distance phone call. “He loves you so much he doesn’t want to talk to you. He can’t. He changed schools after you left. No one knows where he is.”
She trembles and she can’t sleep at night. He isn’t there anymore to call and talk to when she’s plagued with nightmares. He doesn’t lull her to sleep with sweet nothings.
When she starts school, she’s shaking. She breathes in and tries - tries so hard to be normal. She tries so hard to fit in. She carries her heavy bag to school everyday. She can carry it on her own now. She has to. There’s no one to wait for her outside the school gates and carry it for her anymore. And she couldn’t possibly be bothered to put everything away in a locker.
She joined school activities. She gained new friends and she loves them. She even starts to like someone new. But it’s hard for her. It’s hard not to expect things from someone even though you know he has no inkling of what you need. But she tries to move on. Because it’s just too difficult to think of him all the time and be angry that no one else is like him. Because he can’t possibly be bothered to be like anyone else.
During her English exams, the directions tell her to describe a person she knows very well. And she couldn’t help it. She writes about him. She writes about his eyes, his smiles, his hands. She writes about him so conscientiously that she forgets about everything else but how he looks like. She ignores the tears that pour down her cheeks and the labored breathing she experiences.
She writes about him because he told her to. She stays with him in her heart because that’s the only place she could. She thinks about him all the time. And it doesn’t matter that she’s falling in love with someone else– they have to understand, it can’t possibly be love that she feels for him. It has to be something deeper that can’t be erased.
She gets very good grades for her test. She’s instantly endeared to her teacher. Her teacher asks her if the boy is real and she couldn’t possibly be bothered to lie so she nods. Her teacher smiles in that way that doesn’t quite sympathize, because her teacher seems to know she doesn’t need it. It’s that kind of smile that understands.
Well good for her. Because she doesn’t understand. It’s so unfair to love someone so much when you’re fourteen and continue to love him forever. It’s such a long time to still be hung up on a person but she knows she’s capable of loving someone else purely and entirely – even if he retains a place in her heart.
After all, it’s only fair for him.
She comes back on vacation to her country. She visits her old school and her friends attempt to suffocate her lovingly with hugs and kisses. She laughs. It’s good to be home. They all love her like she’s never been away and talk to her in the very same way.
She doesn’t ask about him. She can’t help but feel bitter that he’s never once tried to contact her. She’s angry at herself for being so afraid he wouldn’t care she’s in town so she doesn’t try to tell him she is.
But she meets him anyway.
Well, from a distance she does. He’s sitting with a girl who could have been pretty if her face wasn’t scrunched up in disdain. They’re in her favorite restaurant and there’s a swell of indignant disbelief that he let another girl infiltrate their secret place. It is washed away as quickly as it had surfaced. He seems to be genuinely fond of the girl and his hands lead the spoon to the girl’s mouth.
His eyes are on the spoon, he’s focused on not letting it spill. The girl’s eyes, in turn, are on him - eager and loving. His spoon-feeding makes the girl blush. The girl quickly spits the food on a wad of tissue and glares at him. The girl’s expression are quick to soften when he shrugs.
“I like it a lot and you might like it too so I thought you should try.” He kisses the girl’s forehead and he keeps his lips pressed there for what seems like a long while. A doleful expression marks his face and she instantly knows he doesn’t want the girl to see. His eyes are looking far away outside the cobble-stoned street, as if reliving an event in their depths. The girl’s head raises. The girl seems to know, and knowingly smiles at him, reaching for his hand.
He’s lying of course. She knows it. He dislikes that food as much as the girl he was with does. But she loves it. And so he tries to love it as well. They both love everything and everyone the other loves because it’s the only tangible way they can still love each other. It’s not so satisfying but even even now at sixteen, they already knew love isn’t all about satisfaction.
He asks for the bill and quickly pays. He stands up and stuffs his hands inside his pockets and walks off as if he knew only too well that the girl will follow without prompting. And the girl does. The girl grabs his arm and holds it tight. The girl believes that if she doesn’t hold onto him tight, he won’t return the moment she lets go.
They seem to be in love and so she loves the girl as well. How can she not love something or someone that he does? She knows that she’s also capable of loving purely and completely someone else. It’s just that right now, she is still his. When the time comes though, she’ll still keep him in her heart because it was just fair.
He deserves to be there forever. But that doesn’t mean she’ll love him more than who she’ll be with.
So she smiles. That’s that only thing she can do. She hopes she’s happy. In fact, she prays for his happiness every night before she goes to sleep. Her prayers for him are her lullabies from him. Usually it works, but sometimes… it doesn’t.
Her lips tremble like a water dam and when she couldn’t hold it in anymore she cries and cries. She cries because she hasn’t in a long while and it’s good to let it all out sometimes. She cries because she feels so helpless. She can’t even keep thoughts of him at bay. She cries because he was wrong and she was right – she can’t sleep anymore now that he’s not with her. So she shrugs.
She just thought she’d try.
Original Post Date: January 26, 2009
moving - everything is moving. dashing away. running. your hand through your hair. combing out frustration. none too gently. everything is rushed.
dog-eared. marked by impatience. inspiration is adrenaline flowing. floating. streaming through blood in veins. writing. Scribbling. no typing. no noisy clicking. but not silent. no. swishing. the swift gliding of smooth pencil lead in the pink canvas of paper. pink. cheeks after a long drinking session. No. not unpleasant. pink and pleasant.
carnations on a sunday mass. bougainvilleas outside the gate. gardens with small boxes of pink bougainvillea flowers dotted yellow with their filaments. sweet. no, not sweet. heady, drunken but not dizzy. crazy but not disorganized. not exactly insane.
fish. the fish on shores bite at your knees for bread. fish deep in the sea have more sense. lovely not so. no point to love right now.
why not? life is about love.
life is the stem. the flower is love. a seed for a soul. a life for a stem. no point without flowers. so flowers are love. life leads to flowers and stems lead to love.
swish. swish. flip. change sides. nothing blank. blank. totally empty. my mind has no concrete idea. but it is not vacant. in it swim concepts for ideas. but not ideas themselves, no. no. just swimming designs.
dots of hot wax on oslo paper. twirl the crayon with its melted top. can never get the proper shape. can never make a face. faces are ideas. splashes of dots are the concepts that never fully materialize into ideas. they become splats on oslo paper. filling the textured void of white.
the colors are vivid and the shapes of splats are all of small suns.
they’re not quite light bulbs, no. not ideas. but they’re closer to love than those faces. sun. sun is needed by plants. so warmth. heat. nourishes the plant. so stems lengthen and grow flowers. so life harvests love.
Original Post Date: March 25, 2009
“You want me? Then say it,” she demanded. She sat on the edge of her seat, holding onto the ends of the table. Her eyes, clear and brilliant, focused upon him.
He clenched his teeth and kicked at the table’s metal leg. “What for?” he said as a hard whisper. He propped his left arm on the back of his chair and his right elbow on its arm in false flippancy. “You’re leaving anyway.”
For a moment, she looked down. Her jaw was clenched and he looked at her neck as she swallowed. He watched her pursed heart-shaped lips smooth into full suppleness. She looked up at him, all roughness – all stony fight in her replaced by tenderness. “If you tell me, then I’ll come back.”
Like many instances that happen when you’re in college, it began in a friend’s house. A small conversation happens in all groups. Tables have to be shared and a stranger is always seated beside you.
I’m talking to my friend and it takes me time to realize someone is beside me. Our eyes meet briefly and I look away, feeling unsettled. It’s not difficult to meet someone’s gaze in a room full of people. I hear him drum his fingers on the fries-greased table. He takes out a cigarette and lightly taps it on the surface. I try not to look. Inside my head, “Cigarette Smoking is Dangerous to Your Health” plays in a man’s somber voice.
He lets out a sigh of boredom. His friends are engaged in a heated discussion of dares and bets (“So you’re betting I can’t touch her tits? F you man” - sadly a true story) that he does not partake in.
It’s easy to listen to the conversations of your friends but let your mind float away. It’s almost more difficult to pull yourself back. I subconsciously look at his tapered fingers that curve piano chords. Here is another stranger, lost in his own thoughts, impatient for everything to end, yet too polite to get up and just leave.
Imagine Benedict Cumberbatch pushing you roughly against a wall but then kissing you as gently as he can.
dean gets hungry → sam walks into a diner → sam gets kidnapped by demons → sam gets stabbed → dean sells his soul → dean goes...
if jesus died for our sins that means we get to sin more right