They keep telling me that I’m the type who could unintentionally make any guy fall in love by simply smiling , may it be real or fake, which I guess explains why lots of boys have been falling head over heels for me since grade school days. But the thing is, I had been too busy with much important matters to think about getting in a romantic relationship with anyone.
Until the stupid first love spell was casted upon me.
The girl who didn’t like dramas learned to believe in fairytales. Like I was some sort of a princess and he was some hell of a prince. We would talk about the future.. our future together, to be specific. He would make his own cheesy lines and throw them all to me with enough confidence. I would pretend to be disgusted but would secretly smile when no one could see. We managed to stay up late at night over the phone like our voices had more caffeine than coffee. But then, trials started rushing to us and fidelity had been put to test over and over again. He would cheat, I would cry. He would apologize, I would forgive. Things had been a cycle until the last time he did it once more. That was when I began holding back and evaluating our relationship. That moment, I finally realized we had already lost grip and I was too in love to notice.
I would get devastated each time our shattered dreams would abruptly trespass into my mind as if a knife stabbing me vigorously. Being an achiever, I hate being dominated by the feeling of defeat. I had failed. We had failed. Our relationship was a failure. As much as I wanted to make him come back, I wanted to save myself from too much misery which came as a package deal with loving him. So, yes. I was drowning in melancholy when you showed up like a knight who was tasked to save the princess.
You said ‘hi’. I smiled back. It might not be real but I tried to plaster a convincing curve on my face. We already knew each other by name before that incident but that was the first time our chitchat had gone long. Months had passed, we had kept our communication. Your greetings started shifting from “Hi” to “Good morning, beautiful” to “Good night, mahal ko”.. until you saw yourself falling for me and myself finally recovering.
You would pinch my cheeks and make fun of how ‘cute’ they were. I would get back at you by pinching yours and make fun of your other physical features as well. I would punch you softly and you would tickle me in return. I would act childishly and you would hold my hand tight telling me you would never let go. I would demand like what we had was defined. You would say ‘yes’ whenever I started doing puppy eyes. You would protect me, reprimand me, comfort me, save me. You had done things which I had waited ‘him’ to do before.
I knew a certain part inside me was already being revived.. like a candle being lit by a gentle flame. I was ready to give ‘us’ a chance then, but fate seemed to had played tricks with us.
He came back.
Asking for forgiveness.
Asking for another chance.
He wanted me back.
I never thought love could be that head-breaking. I never thought love could hurt that bad. I knew I couldn’t keep you both and that I had to choose one and let the other one go. I thought everything up for nights and realized that a part of me still wanted him back.. my prince.. my first love.. and so I told you, “Yes. A part of me still wants him back…”
“..but the greater part wants you to stay.”
And with that, I finally knew it was you all along.
The barrier which hindered us was then gone. I was set free. We were happy. We were supposed to be. We continued being together though we didn’t know what to call our ‘relationship’. All we knew was despite being technically single, our hearts were both taken. We continued to laugh, to care, to love.. until the moment I felt how you laughed less, cared less, loved less.
I sought for a reason as if searching for a needle in a stack of hay. Knowing there were no other ways to find the answer, I prepared myself to get hurt before asking you, “Bakit?”. I tried to hold back the tears as I stared into your hurtful eyes. “Priorities”, you said. “Hindi ko pa pala kayang isabay. Kailangan ko munang matupad yung goals ko.”
I felt the urge to look up the moment I felt that the crystal clear water’s about to hit the grassy field we were in. If only I remembered what a simple smile could do, may it be real or fake, then I shouldn’t have smiled at you that day.
I wish taking you out of my heart won’t be this hard.
Once upon a time, during cold breezy nights, my memory recalls how she would sit on the pavements and stare blankly at the stars above. Her gaze would shift from star to star until she reached the count of 100. The skies were intensely black but she loved every fragment of the vast universe above her. Under the moon which she had always thought to follow her wherever she went, her dreams were born into existence. Life was so simple back then.. as simple as the starlight she had always embraced.
Years went by and the skies were still the same. She had always been the same. Looking up, she would play with her imagination as her glance fell from star to star, thinking how far they were from one another, distinguishing the babies from the grown-up ones. From constellations, to planets, to meteors or falling stars, she would wonder how those things were put to their rightful places. But at the end of every night, she would just let herself drown in awe about how mysterious this life could ever be.
Until more and more precious seconds had been added to her story, the skies remained as it were. But staring at the universe above, she never noticed how things had changed for her. She seemed to had been keenly observing, but her thoughts were trailing somewhere else. The heavenly bodies she had always loved might not have changed, but the questions she would think of did. In the vastness she was looking at, she seemed to be reminded of how she was just a mere dot in this world. But no matter how lonesome the idea could be, there would always be those stars she had always been fond of, showing her how their light could reach her despite being billions of light years away.
But one fateful night, as she was being embraced by the coldness of the wind in the grassy field she was in, something seemed odd to her. Something had changed. Recognizing each twinkling star like old friends she had known for so long, it finally clicked. Letting it dazzle her hypnotically, there came the newest star which she welcomed right away, glowing the brightest among the dots of light in her universe. Later that night, she found herself exploring the darkness with much braveness for she knew she had in her hand a candle burning to eternity. Everything she saw, everything she felt, every single obstacle she passed through brought nothing but genuine delight. For a moment in her life, the places she used to wander in her mind, stood before her very eyes. She carved words of promises on huge rocks, picked up pieces of stones for every newly-formed dream she made on her way. But as her happiness was just getting to its peek, clouds began to form thick piles like walls trying to block her way. And within a hush of the cold breeze, her light was totally gone.. like a sudden burned out candle.
After the short encounter, the skies seemed to be back to its usual self again. She tried to scan the vastness in search of the oddness she perceived a while ago, but ended up with nothing. Sure it was, everything was back. Everything had been restored.. except for the spot where her brightest star appeared. It was then empty. Her heart was then empty. For some time, she stopped staring up the heavens to somehow ease her longing. Her universe expanded more and more until she couldn’t count the distance between them anymore. Good thing, her universe loved her as much, it still embraced her as much as she would embrace it. Well, that must really be a part of her adventure, which meant her adventure wasn’t over yet. Even the seemingly endless universe and everything it covers has an end. Even us,each one of us has to end. But as long as you keep holding on to all the positive things that remain, you might just find your self flabbergasted by how far your amazingly crazy journey could go.
But one thing’s for sure by now… staring at the dark skies, with that empty spot, it will never be the same experience anymore.
Some say it’s eternal. Some say it fades with time. Some believe it’s non-existent. With all these definitions and descriptions people try to associate with it, I find it hard to do the same. But if there’s a word I would put right next to it, it would be “non-ephemeral”.
It is the same thing as when you hug your favorite teddy bear to sleep when you were young. How you rush towards the television when that tv show starts to air. How you put the radio’s volume to maximum whenever that song is being played. The way you give your best like you’re at an NBA finals just to win that stuffed animal she likes. See? It exists. From the simplest of the simple to the grandest of anniversary celebrations, it exists.
But the trickiest thing about it is it tends to hide. Like a child who seeks a good place where he cannot be found, it hides. It has this capability of making you feel that everything’s normal, like nothing has been changing. Happiness gently creeps into you but, that’s it. You get no time to evaluate things because you’ve been drowning in the feeling it gives you. And when you do, you turn your head and look back at each day that has passed. Then it hits you. Yes, you have changed. You have diverted from your usual daily routines. You have long refrained from sleeping early because you’ve been busy with your phone. You’ve been checking on your FB messages in the hope of receiving a reply from that one person. You’ve been motivated to get up for school because you know that an inspiration awaits you. You are not that kind of person before, are you? Why? What happened? Like a child who got caught by his playmate, it appears right there in front of you. You figure it out. You realize how the answer is way simpler than ABC. Yes, you have fallen for it.
And when it turns out well, you drown even deeper into the heaven you are in. Your usual thoughts about video games diminish. She always finds a way into your mind. Your attendance record in girls’ night outs starts having holes in between. He always invites you over dinner. You begin to bring your phone with you wherever corner of earth you go – even to the bathroom while taking a bath – because 5 minutes of waiting for your text already makes her upset. You feel deserving to hold a record in Guinness as the worst-dressed in the world because he always meddles in your everyday get-up. You have to finish some business but she’s curling up in pain due to her monthly period and you cannot leave her side. You have an exam tomorrow but you find yourself sitting at the nearest bleacher cheering for him in his game.
Changes don’t only occur in your present, but also extends to your future. You rebuild your plans and make a large room for that person. Under the power of your promises sealed by your entwining pinkies, you construct your dreams together without the fear of falling debris. In instances of crossroads, you always choose the same path together until it becomes an instinct. Why? Because of this invisible force that binds two people together that Newton didn’t even bother to study.
But somehow, I realize, Newton may have unconsciously talked about it when he discovered gravity. Because just like the latter, when it loses control, you tend to float and float in mid-air. This world cannot get hold of you as much as you cannot get hold of yourself. You lose your sense of direction like this whole life is a non-ending crossroad. You are shattered. The good feelings, your dreams, your life, your heart are shattered. You begin to hate that song, that dress, that perfume, that letter, those flowers, that park, that class, that calendar date. You begin to hate everything around because they seem to flash to your face memories that you can only look back at. And that’s the hardest part of it all. They are right there, flashing one by one in every place you glance at, and you strongly want to come back, but all you can do is stare.
And with all these things, you experience how chaotic it is. Once you fall for it, it inevitably takes you to a roller coaster ride without considering whether you have fear of heights. Moments may come that you want to go down or jump instead, yet it won’t approve. Because like what I’ve said, it is non-ephemeral. It doesn’t end as easily as it starts. It lasts longer than one could think of, even for a lifetime. But why do people still take the risk? For the companionship? For the movie-like scenes? For the weird nicknames you find sweet? The farthest corner of my mind tells me otherwise.
No, it is not the companionship that you enjoy, but the feeling that lingers when you’re with that person. It’s not the movie-like scenes either, but the simple walk-and-talk on the way home which surprisingly brings overwhelming delight. Lastly, not the nicknames you give each other, but the security those pet names guarantee you that he’s yours and yours alone. But that’s how it works. It comes in package deal. You cannot go through all these wonders without being cracked. But you still take the risk because you know, right down there, that the pain is and will always be worth it. And I congratulate you for being brave enough. Because love is non-ephemeral. It tends to be kept forever the same way as it tends to be set free when it demands to be. It is never meant for the weak, love is for the brave.
Hi there pretty girl! Feeling lonely again? Naaa. Now, get off your bed and fix your hair into an elegant bun. Face the mirror and look at how less beautiful you’ve been as you let your self drown in loneliness and pity. Have you forgotten what your father told you when you were young? You’re a princess, darling. He never failed in showing you how you should be treated, did he? You’re way too awesome to wake up in misery each lonesome day. Come on. It’s time to fix your castle, sweetie. The entire kingdom already misses that cheerful lady who could light up anyone’s day just by smiling. The cut might be deep until now, but always remember that you’re worth all the love medication this world has to offer. Now, go. Wear that tiara and show everyone how stronger you are becoming each day. <3
(photo not mine)
“ God will wreck your plans when He sees that your plans are about to wreck you. ”