It was one of those days. She was sitting on the bed, leaning against the wall, just breathing in and out, her hair in a loose bun, her eyes and her mind closed off to the world around her. He was out in the living room, doing god-knows-what.
She breathes in. God, was it a hot one. She could feel the fabric of her shirt sticking to her shoulders and the small of her back. She uncrosses her legs, splayed out in front of her on the bed. After a few minutes, she crosses them again.
What time was it, 2pm? 3?
He paces into the room and clears his throat. When her eyes remain closed, he clears his throat again, shifting his weight onto one leg.
She opens her eyes and looks up at him – it’s so hot, what could he possibly want?
“Well?” He asks expectantly, raising his eyebrows in a question.
“…What… what are you wearing?” She asks, finally shifting from her reclined position on the bed, straightening up to get a better look. “They said it was black-tie, but what the hell are you wearing that for?”
“I got this for cheaps at that stall that sells everything for 20 bucks.” He explains, tapping the offending item on his neck. “They didn’t have a black one but I think it’s okay.”
“It’s purple. Leopard-print.” She says.
“It’s not even a tie.”
“It’s a bow tie.”
“IT’S A BOW TIE.” She repeats. “A bow tie.” She deliberately slows down, letting the words sink , allowing him to feel their weight. “Nobody wears those anymore.”
“Exactly. I’ll be the only one wearing a bow tie at that dinner.”
She furrows her brow and purses her lips. “A purple bow tie. You’re really going to wear that to your grandparents’ wedding anniversary? A purple leopard-print bow tie?” She asks, incredulous.
“Sure. It goes with your purple dress and that leopard-print bag you bought but never got to use.” He says matter-of-factly, fumbling with the bow tie and trying to align it.
There’s a moment of silence, and then she gets off the bed and strides toward him. “At least put it on right, then.” She says. As she reaches for the tie, he pulls it off with an audible pop! She’s stunned, surprised by the sudden movement and the thought that he had ripped his bow tie apart.
“It’s a clip-on.” He says, shrugging.
She lets out a groan, and walks back to the bed, falling onto it on her belly. “At least it’s not Velcro.” She concedes.
“That reminds me. I got you a Velcro bra.”
He starts walking back out to the living room, and she turns her head to watch him walk away. The heat is unbearable, and she closes her eyes and starts breathing deeply again.
A year and a week later and we’ve already been through so much together. How many nights have we spent just sitting under the same roof? How many cab rides and jeep rides and bus rides have we shared? How many fevers and food comas have we survived? How many disasters and storms and bomb threats have we witnessed?
But then I always find myself looking forward to the littlest things – like sharing dinner with you, or coming home to find you sitting in your usual spot, drowning yourself in video games and that strange mix of rock-and-roll, alternative and whatever-the-fuck-that-was that you always listen to. You get off the bed and I tighten my hold on your hand and ask you where you’re going, even though we both know you’re just stepping out to make coffee, or use the toilet. It’s insane and immature and unnecessary, but then, I can always count on you to do the same.
Sometimes we fight and tear at each other with words lovers should never share, and even though neither of us has the guts to say it out loud, there are nights when we figure that it might be better if we just went our separate ways and just looked back at this as the right thing at the wrong time.
But then after the smoke clears and the dust settles and we look into each other’s dirty faces and at the bags under our eyes and the stains on our cheeks, the only thing left to do is shower together to get rid of the disgusting feeling of almost having given up on the most important thing we can think of.
There’s an email from you, a text message from me, a call from a work phone that shouldn’t even have been made.
There’s a watercolor painting, a stolen Waiting Number, a lizard skeleton and a mass of hairs we never bothered to clean up.
There’s take-out and bills and grocery bags and dust collecting dust and clothes we never did find the need to segregate.
There’s breakfasts and dinners, trips out of town and nights we’d spent falling asleep and waking up late for work.
There’s me holding your hand, and you wrapping your arm around me and telling me that it’s me and it always will be.
There’s all the fights and the crying, and the jokes-nobody-else-should-ever-hear-you-making and the laughter and the history, the plans and the what-will-be’s and where-we’ll-be’s and who-we’ll-be’s.
You don’t believe in gods but I’m sure you’d agree that we’re blessed, to have these and so much more to share. To anchor ourselves in the intangibles and still be able to think that, at the end of the day, there’s really nothing that could tear us apart.
We’re never apart for long, and even when we are, it shouldn’t really even matter. All I ever really do is count the minutes until you return. It’s insane and immature and unnecessary, but then, I can always count on you to do the same.
So you shouldn’t really be worried. The minute you step out that door, I’m just sitting by my phone or watching my email, waiting for anything from you. No matter how many mountains you climb in a storm (you idiot) or how many times you need to fly out for work (those idiots), I will always, always be waiting for you to come home.
- Dave: how did you learn English so well?
- Ana: Disney movies
- Ana: Ha haha hahaha
- Dave: I detected a little hint of Ariel in your voice
- Ana: I'm more of a Belle, really...
- Dave: well better that than the Teapot or Sebastian
- Ana: Or the Beast.......
- Dave: good point
How can we mean so little to the people who mean the world to us?
Isn’t that even just a little bit unfair?
But then again, it’s the price we pay, we who continue to love in silence, even after the world has torn our hearts apart.
The love that lasts the longest is that which is unrequited¸ they said.
But what about the love that you had, and lost?
What about that one beacon of hope you’d managed to find in an ocean of loneliness, that diamond in the rough, that one single thing that made you feel so alive, your eyes lit up just from thinking about it?
What about remembering, every single day, what it was like, and knowing that you’ll never have it again? That nothing will ever compare?
Isn’t that love stronger than the rest? That love that persists even as the other has walked away? The love that you embrace, even though you know that living with it will just drown you in your own misery and despair and desperation? Isn’t that the love that transcends everything else?
When you have nothing but memories to fuel you and every day is spent remembering and missing and hoping and crawling and praying, there’s nothing but faith that keeps you alive. Nothing but faith.
You’ve resigned yourself to the idea of them having complete and total control over you, and that the pain you feel from remembering them is worth it, because nothing in the world would ever make you want to forget.
Don’t leave me feeling like this. It’s all I beg of you. Don’t leave me feeling empty and hollow. I can’t go back to those days. I’ll go crazy. I’d rather die. Kill me. Don’t leave.
I can’t take it. You shouldn’t be here to see this.
“I know you know a lot of words and you like flinging them around and flaunting them but I’d shut my trap if I were you before I ended up saying something I could never take back.”
There was a violence in her he’d never seen, one that she’d exhibited only in instances of pure necessity in the fight for self-preservation, and an indifference in him that she’d never thought could exist, one that he’d practiced years to master. She finally grew stiff, and the night fell into a silence so engulfing that it suffocated them.
She didn’t trust him, and he couldn’t be content with her.
“Are you done?” He asked.
“Yes, I’m done.” She replied.
“Come back to bed.”
“I’m done. I’m through. I can’t do this anymore.”
The air around them grew thick with tension, and he watched her silently as she got dressed, put whatever possessions of hers she could fit in her bag, and left, remarking that she’d be back for the rest of her things in the morning.
There was so much suffocating tension that her tiny frame shook from the mere pressure of air escaping her lungs.
It was bad, to say the least, to catch him saying those things to those people, almost as bad, in fact, as catching him in bed with another woman.
Yet she was so afraid of the inevitable, impending demise of the relationship they shared. So completely and utterly terrified that the thoughts had found a way to sneak into the most sacred places of dreams and hopes. She’d sit for hours and try to fight through the fear that crushed her but nothing he could say could chase her tears away. “You should’ve known,” She thought, blaming him but not entirely. “Of how what you were doing would ruin and destroy me. You should’ve thought of that before you fooled around behind my back.”
Of course, there was nothing either of them could do, and she swallowed with bitter regret all the things he’d told her, and resigned herself to her loneliness, deciding once and for all that this was what she’d been made for: Solitude.
The promises he’d made, she decided, were ones of false hopes. They were lies, nothing more, nothing less, and she’d fallen for them, hook, line and sinker.
It was knowing that she’d shared him, his intricate knowledge of everything about her, his eloquence, his deepset eyes and that mole on his cheek. It was knowing that she’d become just another face in the crowd to him, just another woman to bed.
She found herself utterly amazed when she realized that sometimes, she’d be thinking of things with no relation to him—that it was possible for her to exist even for just several moments, without the thought of him lingering over her.
She took that route every day, until she was amazed to realize that she’d started recognizing everything: the cracks on the concrete of the street, the jeeps that passed her by and the people riding them. She recognized everything, and so well too.
She fell back into that niche she’d carved for herself in the months before they’d met, a niche of self-destruction and self-loathing. She’d destroy herself from the inside, corrupting her already-weak body because of her even-weaker spirit. She’d claw and bite at herself like a wild animal in the throes of a maddening disease, wasting away slowly but inevitably.
She found him indifferent to the sight of her, as though the sight of her tears and the sound of her sobs breaking into the night meant nothing. Just as well, she decided. This way, he could do nothing to stop her.
He found her beautiful in her suffering—so much more beautiful than she’d ever been when she was happy. He watched the circles under her eyes darken from losing sleep and crying and the curve of her cheeks deflate, her shoulders no longer stood holding her small frame, and the arms that held him seemed to shiver, almost nothing but bone left under the skin.
Written in separate memos on September 27th, 2012.
- Mami: "Y u spending the wikend there?"
- Z: "Y u text like that? R u Chuchay? Or jejelord?"
- Mami: "It's me, the original."
- Z: "The buko pie?"
- Mami: "Yes, Colette's. Macolette!"
- Z: :|