In vain, I texted. Futilely, I wished. To no avail, I waited.
My thoughts fly apart as I try to continue my writings that has been long pending. My mind flies away at the time I need it the most. Missing somebody is like being on solitary confinement with the torture of loneliness driving me insane while my friends laugh at it encouraging me to do the same. I confessed about my frustrations on the girl that kept me inspired to continue on being an achiever.
“Do you know how it feels to be running low on battery and it is only through seeing her will charge the battery?” I said, pointing my finger gun to my temple hoping my projections on her will burst into a hologram.
“Grabe ka Bayaw!” my best friend just can’t believe how lovesick I was.
“Like I told you, being a renaissance man was a hard deal already: in billiards, my local followers were looking all over the place to fetch me into playing money games in billiards with a hell of a disadvantage; in chess, our local chess club is summoning me to train the younglings; in duckpin bowling, when the Alumni Center was still there, I would be summoned to train applicants and have me participate in bowling tournaments far from home; in my writing career, a lot of people was anticipating already my essays entitled “Indolence of the Filipinos in the 21st Century” and “Brief Narration of Philippine History”, as well as my biography on Pedro Paterno, “Pedro Paterno, A Filipino”, my Filipino interpretation of Antonio Luna’s Impresiones, my collage/portfolio of the tales of the dead on “Cuentos de la Muerte” and finally my novel that I have been writing for three years already, “Eminencio Magnifico”; and the academic community has been putting a lot of pressure on my theses and researches. And that doesn’t include romance on which I suck at.”
He is perplexed that I seem like impossible. For someone to be like that is almost like a sin. Jose Rizal, despite having lots of beautiful women charmed, still held dearly his love towards Leonor Rivera. I’ve had thirteen girlfriends at the same time in my 2nd year in my high school days. But like Rizal, our affection was fixated to the person we never had. I don’t know how to act romantic anymore or simply I do not want to remember. It is as if I have casted a shield against charms of others. I do not know what to do with this invigorated heart of mine. There can be reason why that girl is not communicating with me: (1) Maybe she was now busy with her academics which is riddled with papers. (2) Maybe she was preoccupied to the school organization she was applying at. (3) Maybe she had lots of family matters to attend to. (4) But I can’t now stand on the idea that I only occupy a dot on the diagram of her thoughts!
Dogs were regarded as “man’s bestfriend”. They were obedient, energetic and loyal to their masters and owners. You may be going out for a while, but for your dog, the separation felt forever, yet your dog beams with excitement when he saw you return as if you’ve not sinned against him on giving the terrible missing feeling. Back in my town in Dasmariñas, my godfather’s dog treats me as his true master despite the fact that I am not his owner. Everytime I go to their house, the dog displays a burst of energy which people only see when I was around. For three weeks, I was not able to go home. And when I returned, the dog, named TJ, was already weak. Despite being weak, he tried all his best to greet me with his normal greeting on me. Out of pity, I proceeded into carrying the dog while patting him on his head despite the fact that the dog was already poorly hygeniated.
Now, I do not wonder how that dog deteriorated physically when not seeing someone. I sympathize. Will I share the same fate as this dog?
I tried to find reasons to gather inspiration to fuel my urge to write. If I try hard enough, I know I might be inspired. She is not just good looking, she is beautiful! She really looks like someone who had tons of followers, unlike me who looks dull and boring. She has short hair and I also know how tall she was, her eyes just level with my shoulders, maybe around 5’2”. She said she would not grow taller anymore. It is very difficult to steal glances on her, to look upon her eyes that are under purple-rimmed glasses. I remember those black eyes, that speak of a mysterious happiness, which can melt stuff when they are focused on it. I tried their power, but the happiness was too much for me to handle, here the happiness is still lingering in me. She is pretty low on self-esteem and confidence. She said she was just mediocre on the things she is pursuing. She said she was just a normal person. I don’t think so, she’s not normal, she’s perfect. I remember how she bites her lips as she smiles and my heart flutters. I remember the magic of the moment when we met for the first time.
And there is where my mind emits steam signifying that my brain activity nears its limit and I will only now feel how it is on cloud nine. There, there, I can’t think of something to write again.
Even since I told my bestfriend about our meeting in the ACLE class, he has been itching to see my facial expression when I get to see her now. He coaxes me into going where she is usually around. He said that it is for me, so that I will get closer to her. Tss, if I know better, he only wants to ward away my thoughts on accommodating the others who were knocking at the door of my heart. When I happen to see someone with similar features: short-golden-red-haired girl with purple-rimmed glasses, he laughs at the sight of me having a mini-heart attack as a sign of an impending burst of happy feelings.
I am growing lonelier and gloomier day after day, with my love batteries running low, knowing that it won’t be too long to confirm whether she is indeed real, even though I met her already, or if I just conjured her out of the fragments of my playful imagination. Sometimes, when I go out for a walk at night when I am having a hard time thinking on something to write, I imagine her right beside me with her steps in sync as mine. She has been asking me on what was going in my mind. I reply that I am thinking of her. I must crazy because now I am talking to a hallucination. I must be really lonely. I kept pushing the topic of the conversation to her but she kept on encouraging me to do what she admired: working for the betterment of the Filipinos and being true to the zeal of nationalism. I am already losing hope because if she get to be famous too, she’ll disappear, just like the people who get too beautiful. I am afraid that even these memories with her I treasured would turn out to be lies. If that’s the case, let me stay on my hallucinations. I am more at ease with her around, real or unreal. Will she be the Leonor Rivera to me, propelling me to this long lonely road to martyrdom?
Round and round I went. Soul-searching? Nope, I found my soul already. It is my soulmate who I am now looking for.
Some people say that when you have found your lifetime partner, it will feel like having the world at your feet. Will it be the same the other way around: if I would have the world at my feet, so that I can have her? I was already in content of being disappointed of the loneliness of the path I was taking: for I must disassociate myself with everybody. My family already felt betrayed when I confided to them the path I was taking. They would rely now on the 2nd eldest. I honestly felt gracious that she disturbed me from my slumber. Will I still be okay if this turn out for worse or if I get involved more or this finally ends? Will I return to my sheets and dream about the nightmares of my impending fate, after starting to feel again?
It has been a week since we’ve first met. The clouds greeted me by blocking the sun so that I can proceed with my PE – 2 Swimming class without being irritated by the scorching heat. It was a Thursday afternoon. I wore my hiking wear. The previous night, I proceeded to ask her online, inviting her to a field trip in the National Museum. For me, it was my invitation for a date. Even though she agreed, I felt things would turn to the worse: another instant replay of the “Nuestro Salir” moment five years ago. That day, I was blank. I don’t want to wait any longer. I treated the event I was anticipating never to happen. But I wish time would run a little slower just this once, for I know that my fairy tale has to end, and it has to end now.
I went to see Professor Florentino Iniego to consult about the new chapter of Antonio Luna’s Impresiones that I just translated. I was accompanied by my bestfriend who happened to be his student in his PI 100 class. I was busy talking, or ranting about the difficulty of translating Luna’s work which is full of sentences without predicates. He probably wasn’t interested about my ranting and he changed the topic into asking:
“Ano na ang lagay kay Telle-chan? [How things are going on between Telle-chan?]”
That did it, I snapped. I uttered monotonous lame words but all they spell is the death of the autumn, the last struggle of a life inside me: farewell.
“Wala na! Wala nang pag-asa. Talagang hanggang mag-isa na lang talaga ako sa buhay! Pagbibigyan ko na lang si…”
Something rang in my ear. A familiar voice. I turned around, a full three hundred sixty degree out of shock, snapping out of my turmoil. My heart was at its maximum rate of pumping blood, delivering vigorous blood with adrenaline into my veins.
“Tuloy po ba tayo bukas?” she said. She was just wearing her ordinary houseware for she was just there in UP to attend one of the workshops of the org she was applying to. It doesn’t matter. She was indeed standing in front of me. No longer a speck of my hallucination. To hide my stuttering(which happens when I’m in love), I just noded.
The sun shone again. My hibernation was cancelled, totally!
I punched the air in jubilation after that fateful meeting!
The afternoon seemed to brighten up at such shocking intensity that it made me want to cry. The birds are singing in the trees, the cotton trees seem to pollinate again, joggers in the acad oval are singing: “Hallelujah! Hallelujah!”, and even though I saw the everybody’s friend from UP-ICE on the way, I was not wavered on my resolution to pursue that girl, for me, even the walk to LRT-Katipunan station seem like a piece of cake for me.
She’s real! She’s real!
My picture of her in my mind became vivid again. It is the same as when we first met. I was in high spirits when I was making my walk towards LRT-Katipunan Station. My bestfriend cannot help to notice the brightest smile emanating from me. I was to the point that I was about to make the concert on the traffic build-up in Katipunan Avenue. I was shouting to the whole world at the top of my lungs that I loved her. I never felt so alive.
Tomorrow came. I can’t concentrate all night long the previous night because my mind was full of thoughts of her. Has she evolving into a Josephine Bracken in my life, a ‘panggulo’? I moderated what I was feeling at the moment for that fear might come true. I was already at LRT-Recto station minutes before our agreed-upon time of meeting. I was already tired and feeling sleepy because despite my mind becoming full of her, I forced myself into continuing to write for I thought that I must make her proud.
Before I knew it, the moment of glory was over, 30 minutes past the agreed-upon time, still, there was no reply from her. Come to think of it, how can someone put on her priorities, a non-descript someone. I might have deceived myself in my delusions and that should be expected but why does it still hurt?
And then, she texted me. She just informed me that she was already on her way. Thank goodness! She kept on apologizing. I lied that I wasn’t even there yet. I texted her to send me a text message when she was at LRT-Santolan station already. I settled for a nap, sitting on the floor, of a train station, where lots of people were to see a pitiful tired figure like a museum exhibit, for free!
In vain, I waited. Futilely, I hoped. To no avail, I anticipated. I woke up an hour later, 9:40 am, only to find out that she had texted me already that she was already on LRT-Santolan station 20 minutes ago. She was about to arrive at any moment. I went to the comfort room to re-groom myself, prepare for the things I will say by the afternoon, rehearse on how I will be going to give my sketch of her picture to her and also prepare for the white lie that I did not wait for too long.
The train arrived and I tried to look around for the signs of her. The flux of the people exiting the gates started to decrease with still no sign of her. My hope was about to die when…
That familiar voice turned my attention to a girl wearing a PE Uniform. My heart knew. A smile etched in my face, I faced her and there she was, truly beside me.