Mirage? (A story)

2:30 PM

I sat at the bus stop, on a hot summer day. The type where you can fry an egg on the sidewalk because of the heat. I know, great right? I stared at an ice cream vendor right across the street, deciding on whether I should buy one or not. I found myself blaming the bus for not coming already, I am trying to lose weight and an ice cream wont do me good, it’s been 15 minutes already.

“I’m not even supposed to be out today”, I thought. I’ve been cooped up in my room since Monday, and I have been craving for coffee and some kind of pastry since yesterday. So a little later after lunch today, I gave in – took a shower, put on a bit of powder and tint on my lips…you know to look presentable, and wore my Iron Man gray shirt and then leggings. Also, I didnt want to be alone in my room today because I just finished reading a very upsetting book…..I just had to go out.

Now, I am sweating like a pig and am already feeling grubby. The goddamn bus finally arrived and I stood up immediately to get in, I smiled at the driver as I walk to the second row, I sat on the aisle seat because some old man is already at the window. I didnt mind it really because, it will be easier for me to get off and also I will be able to avoid being trapped in a crowd later when we get to our stop. After months of repressing it, I allowed myself to peak into that part of my memory to recall the name of the meal you asked for in the coffee shop we both liked.

“Why didnt you leave some for me?”

“I didnt know it was this good! is it green tea flavored?”

“I think the correct term is Matcha, babe” you smiled and wiped some cream off my chin.

that stroll down memory lane didnt hurt, it seems like thinking about you is harmless now. And then the old man started to stand up, I didnt notice that we’re already there I guess I was that deep in my thoughts. I got off the bus and to the coffee shop, I was still sweating profusely from walking, I sat on a table outside and the waiter gave me a basket of bread, I smiled at him and he asked me about my meal in a cheerful manner I gave it to him and as I see him disappear into the kitchen, I thought to myself okay, the waiting game starts. I came equipped though, I brought a book with me but I couldnt focus because I keep being distracted by the people passing by, some were talking loudly on their phone, some children were crying, some were playing tag chasing each other, some parents are scolding them, and some teenage couples are displaying their affection for each other. In my peripheral vision, I can see a tall man, with a pair of neon orange trainers and gray hat, all too similar to yours

dont be foolish” I scold myself.

The figure started to get closer and I felt a familiar nervousness I thought I’d never feel again, well not for a long time at least. I tried my best to keep a straight face, to keep my composure, but I could feel my facial muscles betraying me. And the figure is only a foot or two away, I frantically reached for my phone and pretended to type a message. He passed by me and I swear he slowed down, I wasnt sure if he was looking at me though. I let myself into a final glance, but you were already gone in the sea of people. I found myself asking: was he with someone? what does he look like now? does he still wear that stupid boring watch? 

was it even him? 

8:38 PM 

I was laying in bed with my journal on my side, fidgeting with my pen because I couldnt bring myself to write anything for the reason of not being able to peel my eyes off my phone. My brain is telling me that you have no reason to call me, but I still stared at the pitch black screen and waited.

I am drowning in a sea of flashbacks from what was, and it feels like I am in a dream. I was beside you at your house, we were sitting in the sofa, holding your hand, while watching an overrated 90’s comedy flick starring Adam Sandler, my lips was feeling tender from the kiss you gave me a minute ago, and now my head is resting on your shoulder and you were speaking to me with your velvety voice, I swear I’ve never heard anything so beautiful. The reality of you seems to have come out of a good romance movie – charming, warm, soft, and staying only for as long as the film roll would allow. That moment was such a beautiful scene, in every sense of the word. It left me longing for that warmth and familiarity once again, I want to go home again, but I know you’ll never let me in anymore.

The phone rang.

Who are you kidding?

Ilang buwan na ang lumipas,

ngunit nangungulila ka parin sa kanya,

Ilang gabi na ang dumaan,

ngunit boses parin nya ang iyong hinahanap-hanap,

Ilang araw pa ba bago mo makamtan ang kasiyahan?

Hindi ka ba naaawa sa sarili mo?

Ang sabi mo saakin naka move on ka na sa kanya,

kaibigan nakikita ko sa iyong mga mata,

sigaw parin nila ang presensya nya,

ilan na ba silang dumaan sayo

para lang makalimutan mo sya ng sandali?

masaya ka bang nakakasakit ka?

sabi mo saki’y hindi mo sinasadya,

bakit ba kasi pinapatulan mo sila kahit alam mong

hindi mo naman talaga kaya pa?

sa kakahanap mo nawawala ka na,

idadaan nanaman ba natin sa alak?

kailangan mo nang tanggapin na ang balikan kay

hindi na nya balak,

tama na,

wag mo nang lokohin sarili mo,

kalimutan syay hindi mo parin magawa,

hindi mo naman kasi sinusubukan.

Hiding my heart

I am the child of a man who wasnt a good husband but a great father. But whatever he did to my mother left me traumatized, and led me to create high walls around me. Because I dont want to end up crying my eyes out at 2 am, shaking  and surrounded by a thousand used tissue paper. I dont want to spend everyday waiting for a man who will never turn up, I dont want to cook for someone and have it sat there for an hour looking sad and cold, no I dont want to marry someone who doesnt know my worth.

I told myself I’ll never give my all to a man, I will never love him the way my mother loved my father, she surrendered everything, she adapted a blind eye…..I watched how she became oblivious to the lipstick stains on his collar, she ignored the scent of cheap perfume on my Father that I can smell a foot away, she watered down her intelligence with the hope of winning him despite the obvious that he’s completely given up on her. She dumb-ed herself……like a condiment watered down, to save her marriage to her man, who was her world.

And then the day came, my father told her he’s leaving her. That night I saw how my mother’s world crumble apart, I saw how love destroyed her, I saw the devastating effect. It seemed like she was hit by a storm, struck by lightning and ran over by a truck at the same time. I made myself promise to never be like her, to never get too attached to a person, because nothing is built to last. People change, affections wither like a flower you picked from grandmother’s garden, once so beautiful and fresh.

On all the relationships I had, none lasted. And most of it was because of how I treated them, I didnt cheat or things like that (I am not like my father), I was just distant and cold…..let’s just say I stood firmly on my promises to myself. It did me good though because I never got too hurt after, it just left me lonely and blaming myself for being hard to love and understood. But I keep forgetting that it was I who brought it to myself, I wasnt hard to understand because I knew exactly why I am like this. I never tried to change despite all of the times you told me to, I never did whatever you asked because I dont want you to think that you can boss me around. I didnt want you to see how much affection I had for you because I didnt want you to use it against me.

I never rebelled against my parents for what happened to them, it affected how I see love though. I became traumatized on its power, how it influences all aspects of a persons life. And because of that, I built these walls against me. It kept me from being head over heels inlove with someone because I am afraid of falling apart. I was never afraid of losing someone because I knew I can handle it, I conditioned myself that way.

You scratched the surface of my well built walls though, on our 2nd break up I was the one who asked you to be mine again. But that was it, I’ll admit it was also because of guilt and I wanted peace of mind but I still asked you to come back. And you made me say stupid, cheesy things like “You will always be my favorite pain” and “I love you, Good night”. But that was it, I realized that I am better off without you and you too, we brought out the beast in each other anyway.

I am alright now, enjoying the fact that I am single. Am no longer afraid of being alone and is no longer in need of someone to validate my happiness. I create my own happiness and am responsible for it.

My perception of love may change, I might treat someone my world but one thing is for sure, I will never make my parents mistake.

50 Questions

Note: This was taken from Tumblr, because I was bored and I saw this on my dashboard. It’s supposed to be a “Tag” but I decided to do it anyway even if no one tagged me because it looked fun to answer. 

1. What are your nicknames? What do you prefer to be called?

My childhood nicknames were Fi, Jopet and Jops. 

2. What books on your shelf are begging to be read?

I bought Chuck Palahniuk’s “Damned” but I cant find the time to read it because I am finishing all my requirements for graduation. 

3. How often do you doodle? What do your doodles look like?

I dont do it as much as I did before. It’s just a bunch of ugly half assed calligraphy and stick figures.

4. What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep? Toss and Turn? Try to get up and do something productive?

I read. Or just stare at the ceiling

5. How many days could you last in solitary confinement? How would you do it?

– Being alone doesnt bother me that much, I mostly prefer my own company. I’m introverted so I think I’ll last very long. 

6. Do you save old greeting cards and letters? Throw them away?

Yes I do keep them. I’m a very sentimental person even if I dont seem like one. 

7. Who is the biggest pack rat you know?

My grandmother.

8. When making an entrance in to a party, do you make your presence known? Do you slip in and look for someone you know? Do sneak in quietly and find a safe spot to roost?

– Like I said I am introverted, so I usually look for someone I know. I dont like being the center of attention.

9. What is your strongest sense? If you had to give one up, which would it be?

– Sense of hearing, because I’m very good at listening (and eavesdropping haha) it might be because I dont talk too much. If I had to lose one, maybe my sense of smell so that I dont have to get migraines everytime someone smokes a cig in front/near me and so that I dont have to pretend like I dont smell something foul whenever I sit by someone who has b.o on the bus. 

10. How many times a day do you look at yourself in the mirror?

– maybe thrice? I’m not sure. I said thrice because I look at my face when I get up in the morning, after brushing my teeth at noon and before I sleep.

11. What is the strangest thing you believed as a child?

I believed that one day Peter Pan will come to my room if I tell my brother stories about him, just like what Wendy Darling did. Little did I know that he’s a spirit who comes for the souls of dead children, (thus: No one grows old in NEVERLAND).

12. What is one guilty pleasure you enjoy too much to give up?

I have an unhealthy obsession with Kdramas starring Lee Min Ho. I dont care even if it comes off as cheesy, he’s just so pretty damn it!

13. Who performs the most random acts of kindness out of everyone you know?

– my bestfriend Mich. She can sometimes be a bitch but she can never say no to old beggars and small children.

14. How often do you read the newspaper? Which paper? Which sections?

– I dont actually. I read the news online.

15. Which animals scare you most? Why?

Birds. I was chased by a Turkey when I was little.

16. Are you more likely to avoid conflict or engage it head-on?

Avoid. Dont get me wrong, I like the type of confrontation where I can spit out knowledge at my opponent and make her feel like she’s the dumbest person on Earth. But if it’s just about shallow things, then I’ll pass. Drama is never a good thing.

17. What was the most recent compliment you’ve received and savoured?

– Someone told me that I am well spoken and witty. For an introvert that means a lot.

18. What is something about yourself that you hope will change, but probably never will?

– My habit of procrastinating. 

19. Are you a creature of habit? Explain.

Yes. Because there’s comfort in it you know? being able to know what to do next and what will be the result of it. Changes terrify me.

20. Are you high maintenance? Explain

– Not really. Mostly because I dont really care about most things, like the way I look, what brand of clothes I’m wearing, or what people think about me. I go with the flow.

21. When was the last time you really pushed yourself to your physical limits?

– First week of my ojt at NAIA T3, most passengers were rude and stubborn and I stuttered and had multiple panic attack scares. But I still had to go on with it because I was assigned at the counter.

22. Do you have a whole lot of acquaintances or just a few very close friends? Why?

– Both. Even if I am introverted, I do get along with most people but I only have 3 very close friends who I am comfortable enough to tell my secrets and problems to. I dont trust people easily you know.

23. Are you more inclined to “build your own empire” or unleash the potential of others?

– The latter.

24. What’s a strange occurrence you’ve experienced but have never (or rarely) shared with anyone?

– I had a stalker once when I was in Freshman year college, every Saturday after our NSTP class I can feel him following me and I even saw his phone once when we were riding the jeep, I was his wallpaper. It was actually just the back of my head but I know it was me because of the bag pack that had Buttercup from the Powerpuff Girls keychain. 

25. What do you think about more than anything else?

– What will happen to me after I graduate. What job will I have, if I will ever achieve my goals, what my purpose in life is and why is there something instead of nothing? 

26. What’s something that amazes you?

– the power of the internet.

27. Do you prefer that people shoot straight with you or temper their words? Why?

I like honest people. Because two faced people are the worst, the way they present themselves to you is different from how they perceive you as a person.

28.  Where’s your favorite place to take an out-of-town guest?

The beach. I like sunsets, everyone does. And the feeling of warm sand between my toes is nice.

29. What’s one thing you’d rather pay someone to do than do yourself? Why?

Clean my room. Because I dont see the point in making my bed, Im gonna sleep on it again, and the point of making everything spic and span NO ONE IS GOING TO SEE IT ANYWAY.

30. Do you have a catchphrase?

“Do it now, cry about it later” and “Dont Cry, Craft” (I am Phan thrash numero uno)

31. What’s your reaction towards people who are outspoken about their beliefs? What conditions cause you to dislike or, conversely, enjoy talking about them?

I dont mind it really because everyone is free to believe whatever they want. I just hate it when people force it on me though, or goes to the extreme and shames me into joining/agreeing to whatever they are saying. When they dont get easily offended, because it allows me to ask edgy questions without being told that I will be burned in hell forever.

32. How and where do you prefer to study?

– In my room with my noise cancelling headphones on, while playing gentle rain on a loop (helps me concentrate).

33. What position do you sleep in?

On my side hugging a pillow.

34. What’s your all-time favorite town or city? Why?

– Tayabas City. Because I spent most of my childhood there, I feel more at ease.

35. What are the top three qualities that draw you to someone new?

– sense of humor, open mindedness and wit.

36. How has your birth order/ characteristics of siblings affected?

– I am the eldest of three. My brothers are terrified of me, I am their boss.

37. If you could eliminate one weakness or limitation in your life, what would it be?

Skepticism.

38. If you could restore one broken relationship, which would it be?

My relationship with my highschool bestfriend, we drifted apart when we got to College.

39. If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?

– Arabella, so that I’ll feel special whenever I hear it play on the radio/tv.

40. Do you believe ignorance is bliss? Why or why not?

Not really. I like to be aware of whatever people are talking about and I like learning, I like to be well-informed so that I dont get left behind during intelligent conversations.

41. What do you consider unforgivable?

Cheating on someone you love, racism, hating someone for their sexual orientation and the list goes on.

42. Have you forgiven yourself for past personal failures? Why or why not?

Not entirely. I still cringe at lots of things and I still replay those moments over and over in my head just to find ways on how I couldve done it better.

43. How difficult is it for you to forgive someone who refuses to apologize?

on a scale of 1-10? i’d say 9. I have a massive ego mate.

44. Do you hold any convictions that you would be willing to die for?

who doesnt? I am a pretty loyal person. I’d be willing to die for the people I love. 

45. To what extent do you trust people? Explain.

I have trust issues. Probably because I trusted the wrong people in the past and they betrayed me, I was young and naive then. But now, it will take me over a year to fully trust someone and that has been good so far.

46. In what area of your life are you immature?

On the people I love. Especially on my lover, I am possessive and I get jealous quite easily. 

47. What was the best news you ever received?

Probably that time when our thesis got approved and had the note “For printing/hard bound” by our professor. 

48. How difficult is it for you to be honest, even when your words may be hurtful or unpopular?

I dont really find it hard because I know that it might hurt the person, but I also know that telling them the truth is better than telling them something that will just fuck them up in the long run.

49. When did you immediately click with someone you just met? Why? What was the long term result? Conversely, are you close with anyone now that you really disliked at first?

– I always get along with people. Because I am very good at reading them and I am confident to say that I am humorous enough to get people to like me. Yes, I did some quick judgement before I even had a conversation with the person and when I did I felt so bad for hating them for no apparent reason before.

50. When do you find yourself singing?

– in the shower, in my room, whenever I am by myself.

I am in a slump

I havent written any poems for 2 months now, I havent made any good songs yet. What the fuck is happening to me? I also cant think of anything to write about right now, this is just mindless rambling. I am not depressed, not even in the slightest but I do find myself irritated a lot these days. I also find everything triggering, I dont know why I am like this. I keep over analyzing stuff and I end up complaining about them.

I even contemplated on what my purpose in this world is, to be honest I get lost in my thoughts that I even asked myself “Why is there something instead of nothing?”, I am driving myself insane. I became so cynical about everything that I no longer am scared of the possibility of dying at any moment. How did I become this way?

I started listening to sad songs again. Maybe that’s why, I’m not sad nor broken hearted I just feel like doing so. I keep on listening to The Cure and The Script, no wonder I feel like an empty human vessel. I cant finish a movie, because I get bored half way and all I wanna do is complain about stuff because I dont know what I am feeling, or doing but I just know that I am not doing it right.

Should I allow myself to carry on this way? maybe so. I didnt let myself grieve for losing you, maybe this is my body’s way of saying that it’s long overdue (being sad). I havent cried though, I just feel tired. Like I said it’s not because I am broken hearted, it’s just because I didnt allow myself to let go properly, and now I am. I guess this is normal, I should shake this mood any day now.

That’s all for now, oh and our Grad ball is on this coming 22nd I am not excited. I have to wear a dress, and I feel so awkward whenever I do it’s annoying, there’s too much breeze on my legs and thighs, I have to wear a shit ton of make up and to dance. Oh Lord, I look forward to the after party though. I’ll tell you all about it.

Truth be told

First of all I am SORRY. It’s all on me and not you, I am sorry I had to put you to the “friend zone” but I have no other choice. Did I use you for a momentary relief for loneliness? You might think so, but I didnt. I might come off as a bad person, but I did this because I cant take it anymore. It wouldnt be fair to me nor you, because if I still lead you to believe that I have feelings for you too (when all I feel for you is platonic love) then it would be evil. Like I said, not fair for US. I tried liking you that way, because I knew that you fancied me for years now. The only problem with you was that you never courted me, we’ve known each other for almost 3 years now man. You’d let your shyness and insecurity get the best of you, and for three years we have become friends. BEST FRIENDS, You became my band mate. You come by our house almost 3 times a week, we watched countless gore movies and I even told you so much about why my ex boyfriend is the worst. You even accompanied me when I got a haircut because he didnt want to come with me.

I love you, but not in that way. Not in a romantic, sexual, passionate way, the love I feel for you is the kind of love I feel for my brothers. I see you as nothing more as one of them, I dont see you as a boyfriend or potential husband. Was I wrong for letting you court me? maybe. But I thought it will change you know? I  thought everything will go the other way, I shouldnt have taken the risk. Because now, I think I lost my bestfriend. I took a leap, and I was so fucking wrong and I feel so bad because of it.

Will you forgive me? I dont think you ever will. I thought I was ready to entertain a suitor, I thought I am ready to write a new chapter in my book. But I guess I was wrong, I dont think I am yet and the bad part was that I kinda used you to fool/distract myself, you cant cheat your way in this one. I didnt use you as a “rebound” though because I didnt agree to become your girlfriend, I thought you will be the silver lining. I guess no one can be that, because there’s no fast way of moving on (there’s always the option of becoming a girl who sleep around with others to forget but I dont think I’m that kind of person, I dont judge those who do though, you do you), I am the only one who can cure myself of this. I guess I just have to let it sink in for a while, I guess I just have to be more patient, I just have to learn to love myself more, keep myself busy, need to work on my attitude problem, and to learn how to genuinely love someone.

I guess I have to stay single for as long as I have to and not force myself into a relationship I am not ready for. And the other thing was that, everything with you became so fast, one minute we’re just happily hanging out eating disgustingly flavored jelly beans and the next minute you’re asking me to meet your entire family! wtf dude. I wasnt looking for anything serious, well I wasnt sure what I was looking for exactly. All I knew then was I missed having someone to chat with, to accompany me to places, to ask how Im doing and having arguments with. I think I was just missing the feeling of being in a relationship.

I am sorry, what I did was wrong. But I ended it with the best intention, I’d put a stop to it before you got too invested in me. I ended it before it got much worst. I will understand if you dont want to be my bestfriend anymore, I deserved that. I’m sorry for everything.