A feeling long forgotten, trapped in a memory

Note: The names are changed. (Still undone)

Last night, when Sarah and I were reflecting about our lives, a realization hit me.

It was 2am. We were talking about a lot of things. We were pondering on every stupid thing we did and were about to do, when we started discussing the consequences of confessions.

Yep, confessions.

She had planned to confess to Peter the following week. Her feelings have become toxic to her. She overthinks and overanalyzes everything nonstop, and it’s becoming destructive. She never tires of creating conclusions based on far-fetched assumptions and incomplete information, despite realizing it’s to her own detriment. She needed answers. And she bothers Beth and I a lot. Way, way, lot.

But the thing is, what we have were merely conjectures like her own. We don’t know Peter the way she does. And Peter alone has the answers she’s looking for. Does he feel the same? He probably has a clue, right? Why is he awkward? Why did he ignore me that day? He thinks I’m being stupid, right? Maybe he doesn’t even care? But why won’t he talk to me? God, you go add to the sequence. It’s the same stupid questions you’ve probably thought of or came across yourself. I’m guessing it’s driving her insane because her feelings felt too foreign, and it’s overwhelming her.

Beth and I advised her to confess already because that’s the only step she has to move forward. Her world has stopped. She couldn’t study, she couldn’t do anything because he fills up her mind. (Oh, how familiar. Overly at that) She would argue that it’s too early, that she’s not even sure about how she feels yet, and Peter might think she’s ridiculous. Trust me. There’s no talking her out of this. It’s gotten exhausting, actually. Calming and consoling her can get pretty tiring. We always had to rationalize things for her, as if everything always has to make sense. Every tiny detail about that night when she developed feelings for him, I got completely covered. We’ve basically dissected every word uttered and every movement made then. I can seriously write a novel about that one night, basically a shit ton of overanalysis of gestures and semantics, and details distorted due to heavy overthinking. I don’t even know why I carry this burden. Humans call this friendship.

Anyway, while on our beds, we were contemplating about the implications of whatever response he’d give her. The other day, she told me that Peter might accept her feelings thinking that she’d be a “waste”. She’s got a point—of course, under the assumption that Peter never got a confession before. After a couple more exchanges, I concluded that whether he returns her feelings or not, she’s damned either way. She’s still going to dissect whichever response he gives her. Although she could be right about the ‘waste’ part.

Because it’s how it is for most people, right?

When you find out someone out there sees you the same way you see someone you like, it makes us happy. It is elating and fulfilling. You’d think you were doing something right. You were doing something beautiful. It makes us even more happy when that person gathers up the courage to confess, because not everyone has the guts to do that.

But sometimes, how we respond to those feelings can render us selfish. We liked it. We liked the thought of someone being invested in us. We liked the thought of being important, of being the center of someone’s universe. Some of them even put us on a pedestal. And sometimes, though indirectly, or unintentionally, we end up giving them false hopes. We make them wait. We take advantage of their vulnerability.

They are left hanging, suspended on the unknown—just so we don’t lose them. We knew it was selfish. We knew. But we don’t want to lose them.

Or more accurately, we don’t want to lose the beauty, the importance, or the wonderful things they attribute to us. We don’t want to lose that feeling of being special. It’s understandable.

We circled around that topic when my confession to George crossed my mind. To be honest, I have moved on and forward — suffice it to say that since that day, I have become better. But I’m not happy for him. In fact, sometimes I want him to regret not choosing me. All that for my ego, though. It’s not because I still have emotional investments.

And then I realized that whenever I think of him, or talk about him, all I remember was everything he was after the bad things occurred. That night, it dawned me that after the confession, I barely remembered the reasons why I liked him. I barely remembered the good things about him, or the memorable things he did and we did together.

Like how, randomly, he would text me just to tell me that the moon that night is stunningly beautiful. He knew how much I loved the moon. He knew how much invested I was in the stars.

Or when he was dismissed in class and instead of going straight to the tambayan, he would sit with me on the bridge strangely carrying a washtub. He would pester me, and I’d be just happy talking to him.

Or when he’d withdraw and ask me to tag along, and then we’ll walk around the oval debating on the philosophy of confessing. Little things. We talked about life a lot. We talked about a lot of things. We talked about everything, and it felt like a lifetime would not be enough to talk about the things we could. You do not meet a lot of people who you could naturally and intellectually share your sentiments about the world with. Just like what Celine said in Before Sunset, when we’re young we think we’d connect with many people—later in life we’d realize it only happens a few times.

And we could ruin it, you know. Misconnect. 

I guess he was someone I really connected with. And misconnected.

 

I forgot.

I forgot how and what I actually felt for him after the confession.

Now, my feelings are raining on me.

Now, it dawned on me that I actually, immensely, profoundly, really liked him. For everything he was. For everything he had been.

But everything he did and everything he was after the confession blindsided me into thinking that he was simply a puzzle I preoccupied myself with because I was bored. That I did not like him—I was bored, I was just bored. And that I mistakenly—or subconsciously—chose to de-bore myself with a mere douche, a conceited jerk who’s completely naive of his own egotism and narcissism.

He was a douche.
But he was a douche along other things.

He was the person I liked, the person I admired, the person who made me happy. He was the person who once made every waking moment meaningful.

And the same was with everyone I decided to remove in my life. They were toxic along other things.

That night, I slept with tears wetting my pillow.
I slept wondering what it is that I have forgotten, what it is that memory has resurrected.

It was a feeling long forgotten, trapped in a memory buried deep in my insides, imprisoned, meant to be locked up for goodness knows how long.

Whatever it is, however, the fact remains that George is just a memory now, a small memory now relegated to the past. And it shall stay there.

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From the inside looking out

Right now, I’m writing amid the mountain load of deadlines I have to meet this week. I’m writing despite the fact that I have a lot of paperworks to do. I’m writing even though I have a presentation later.

I’m writing because I’m sad.

I’m writing as I struggled to mobilize the scattered thoughts in my head—and I don’t even know what to write. I don’t know how to put the thoughts down into words. They were in constant disarray, and I can’t make them out of my head.

I’m sad. I’m just—sad. And words aren’t enough. They weren’t ever enough. There weren’t ever enough.

And I don’t know. Unusual has become a time when I stop and realize how much people misunderstand me. It was rare now, especially when I decided to expand my horizons. In the past, it was a regular thing. But times of mishaps remind me that I’m still beyond a lot of people’s comprehension. The way I view things has always been on the far side of people’s capacity for understanding. I don’t get it but I do. I understand it but I can’t. It’s strange. It’s strange because maybe, I was too different. It is supposed to be both a good and a bad thing—I know. But it’s a fact I’m still hesitant to accept.

The saddest thing here is that not even my family understands. But the consolation is in their attempt to, right? After all, I can’t expect people to get it when I’m adamant about opening up.

Opening up, huh?

But I’m loud and open. I’m straight up direct about what I think about things, events, and people. I have always been honest and transparent, blunt and tactless even, yet I’m still… in the dark. In the dark in their eyes. I don’t know what kind of opening up I have to do to get people to comprehend my brain. It’s never enough, is it? It’s a perpetual battle. And I guess the battle is to accept that not everyone will understand. That’s just how it is.

But why do I feel like I’m alone in this battle. I’m alone in this vast darkness and the familiarity convinced me to stay, because here shall be safe. Here is where I belong.

Funny, no one seemed to realize that the darkness had me completely enveloped. Funny, because this sadness is only understandable in front of my laptop.

Funny, because I don’t even know why it’s funny.

Like air

I lost something.
A very important part of me.
The worst part is that I probably never had it.

He came into my life a cool breeze
Everyone knows that you can’t catch air
— but I’m a fool and I tried.
And just when I thought I had him,
he slipped right through my fingers — just like air.

When I close my eyes
I can feel his arms wrapped around me,
grabbing my hand and pointing at Orion.
I can feel his breath on my neck,
his body stilling my cold shivers.

I replay that moment every time I blink.

I heard him whisper to open my heart;
I felt him open his.
And for the first time in a long time,
I felt safe.

Every fear that I had,
Every insecurity vanished
when he told me he loved me.

So soft. So low. So gentle. So real.

The moment magnified
I could hear the fish swim in the river below
I could see the fragment of glass on the moon
And everything went silent.

So quiet that you could hear my breathless response.

I wanted to cry
I wanted to scream at the moon and blame God for all these.
But then like air – it disappeared.

His breathing got heavy
I saw flickers in his eyes
And within a matter of seconds,
My world came crashing down.

His confessions cut me like shrapnel.
And even though his thoughts hadn’t become actions
I couldn’t help but feel like I had lost him.

It hurt so bad. So bad.
He turned the tables on me with his delicate slyness;
made me feel as though I had committed the ultimate crime.
And what did I do? I let him.

He made my eyes melt,
my ears bleed,
my heart ache.
And just like a cool sudden breeze — he was gone.

He removed a pebble from my foundation
Collapsed the greatest pyramid in Egypt
And after the dust cleared,
and the air had returned to it’s resting stage
I was left alone in ruins.

Like air

I was gone

Expanding horizons

A lot of things have changed since the moment I found my resolve.

I’m pretty much contented this way. This is relatively more fulfilling than anything I’ve had before. I reluctantly stepped out of my comfort zone and learned—just as it was for everyone—that the real fun was here.

It took me a while to adapt to this kind of setup, where I keep a pleasant face, an enthusiastic vibe, and a friendly disposition. It was a whole lot difficult in the beginning but it paid off. It cost a 180 degree change though—I had to change my thoughts and views about many things. Yet I acknowledge that indeed, everything begins in the mind.

Gradually, I progressed. I began to cope up with a new everyday, with the new me, and with a new set of friends and acquaintances. It didn’t take long before I realize I was driving a new course.

All of these things hardly crossed my mind. I never thought I—the me right now—could happen. I never thought that great things actually existed outside my zone. In retrospect, I remember myself completely convinced that venturing out was pointless. Because whenever I do, all I see and hear is bullshit in various forms—at least the worse form of crap I’ve been dealing with in my own tiny world. I was forced to endure all types of judgmental crap from different people. But then I reached a dead end. I was forced to go back and take a leap of faith.

And here I am. I’m not saying that  I have gone far, but I could tell that I am relatively farther than where I used to be. I never knew I could do it. I never knew I could do these things. I never knew I could be someone else besides the pessimistic, coward, selfish me.

And somehow that makes me happy.

‘Happy’ to a certain degree is too simple of an adjective to use, but it’s pretty much how it feels. It’s an umbrella term for the many things I feel. Right, it makes me happy—but a hint of sadness remains. I am technically nineteen, although practically still eighteen, and it felt like life only actually started for me at this age. I feel like I totally missed out on a lot of things and opportunities because I trapped myself inside my walls. I’ve lost countless chances.

And I don’t want to miss any of them anymore.

I wanted to tell him these things, these thoughts, and these realizations. I want him to know what I figured out. I want him to be there with me, watching as I fulfill the change I never thought I’d be. I want him to be proud of me. I want him to smile and laugh at me while yelling “I knew you could do it!”. I want him to see how happy I am about these changes.

I want to tell him everything.

I was determined to step up and get rid of anything that would hinder me from advancing forward. I promised myself I wouldn’t shy away anymore, that I wouldn’t hold back, and that whatever life has in store for me, I’d be strong enough to take it on.

I would be strong enough to—

Bam.

He was taken.

Bam. 

It was a small concussion. I was okay. It was okay. Okay.

Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay.

I was seriously fine. I was indifferent about it. I could freely talk about it with other people without flinching or feeling any sort of sting.

And then I thought, maybe I’ve finally moved on.

That day, without giving it much thought, I went home in high spirits.

It was always fun to hang around with close friends before going home. It was always fun.

Fun. Fun. Fun. Fun.

Until I had some time alone.

I didn’t want to be alone. I don’t want to be alone. I was spared with a lot of time to think and I regretted going home early. But then I had things to do.

But I can’t do it. I won’t do it. 

I didn’t have the strength to do anyth—

I got up and decided to work. On anything. Pubmats, probsets, readings, papers, whatever. I had to do something. I don’t want to think, I don’t want to mull over anything because if I did, I’m going to have to recollect what I just found out.

He was taken.

It resonated and echoed endlessly in my entirety.

I was seeing faces. I was hearing voices.
Memories in time-lapse played in my head.

And before I realized it, tears began streaming down my face.

I didn’t need words. I didn’t need explanations. I didn’t need to think about it.

All I knew is that it hurt.

History has finally repeated itself.

That night I just cried. My mind crumbling, my consciousness collapsing. My insides felt like being literally shattered into tiny fragments. Curled up at the corner of my bed, I sobbed until it felt alright to stop. I sobbed to forget. I sobbed to ease my burning chest. I sobbed til I was okay. Til I’m ready to work again. Til I’m ready to face the world again with head held high.

Til I’m prepared to let go, once and for all.

That was the last. That would be the last time I’d shed tears for him. We are friends again and that’s more than enough for me to continue changing.

Even though it all mattered on my side alone, I would cherish everything we had. Or more accurately, everything I had with him. I was happy I met him. I was happy I liked him. I was happy I loved him.

And I’m going to be okay now. I’m going to be alright being how we used to be.

you.

not wanting me.

was

the beginning of me

wanting myself.

thank you.

Things and people change, but time won’t stop for anyone. As we wallow in misery, or as we strive to proceed forward, it continues along, moving through the gaps between our fingers.

I won’t waste my time dwelling on wishful thinkings. I’ll get up because it’s the only choice I have. I’m venturing out in the open and I’m breaking free from the chains of fate.

I’m going to be the change that I wanted.

Because I am stronger. I am better.

On my own

I can’t help but feel useless.
Everyday I get up. Everyday I get out of my bed, only to further realize my augmenting insignificance. None of it made sense. None of these is making sense. I continue to wake up feeling more lonely each day. I wasn’t happy with myself. Neither when I was with other people. I’m not happy when I’m home. And only yesterday when I realized that I wasn’t happy with my best pals either. Although I laughed and joked around with them. Although I provided the comical vibe. I don’t even talk to Mom anymore. She wasn’t trying either. But that’s okay. Who am I to complain, I wasn’t doing anything that great for the person who gave me everything I needed and didn’t. All I did was pursue an honor that was meaningless in the long run. I poured my life to learning and education. I gambled my happiness for something I thought was eternal tranquility. I was blind. And now I don’t even have many friends. My siblings said I didn’t have friends because I am exactly like this. And heartbreaking enough, my mom says that a lot too. Haha, like you understand. I thought you were the only one who understood me. Turned out not even you.

This feels a whole lot like living to die. The thought neither pains me nor comforts me. Why do I feel like I ran away from happiness despite presumably thinking that it was right within reach? Maybe I should have just lived for the moment. What of the future, I’m not even sure if I could live up to it. Maybe I should just do what I want. What of the honor and praise, that doesn’t, after all, make me any more deserving of Mom’s love. UP blinded me. I gave the community more attention than myself. Why do I carry the burden of assuring that the unprivileged have it or will have it together soon, or someday? Why do I have to care about their well-being? Why do I have to put other people’s happiness before me? Why wasn’t I happy even after everything I did for this stupid world? Even after venturing on a significant existence? Why does it feel like none of my hardwork paid off? Why do I feel like all of my hardships were useless? Why? Why, God?

Why am I unhappy when I did everything right? Am I not entitled to become happy?

Why don’t you just let me die?

Right. Why won’t I just die.
Trying was proved senseless.
This is not living.
This is just not being dead. Physically.

Price

After a long time, I finally had some time to get back to my old self. I feel like a child again. It’s pretty sad that this happy feeling doesn’t last, and I’m usually stuck at that point in my life where I’m simply just motivated to do a lot of things, and I don’t make a lot of effort to inch forward.

Phew. I don’t know. Movies, a little practice on photoshop, checking out animes, playing with our dogs, learning new songs with my guitar, nonstop attempt on singing and shit. That’s all I do. And none of these things were in my initial to-do-list this vacation. I wanted to be productive. I wanted to hone my graphic making skills. I wanted to learn a lil bit of videography. I wanted so much of the things that would pamper my ego, and that would at least make me feel less inferior to him. Because I’m feeling so small, so small now… Like I was a-good-for-nothing idiot. I thought I’ve made it in here because I was doing just great in life. I studied in the highest university. I worked hard. I didn’t have vices. I put off things that would hinder me from being successful. I wrote off my own dreams to concentrate on my course. I didn’t go to a lot of parties. I shut out a lot of people. I did almost anything to uplift the image and honor I’ve established ever since I was a kid. The kind of honor my sisters couldn’t give Mom, because I thought they were useless and worthless.

And now I’m beginning to think I chose the wrong path. I’m the lone person here that isn’t happy. Honor and excellence. I thought I was doing everything right. I wanted it more than anyone. And yet I’m here. Drowning. Suffocated by own decision of isolation. I was there already—I felt the advantage of being different. Or more accurately, in my perspective back then, being distinct.

I guess that was my reward for being alone. Or putting it another way, I guess being alone was the price.

And I’m not happy. I’m no longer happy.

Yet I feel like no one can hurt me anymore. Because I have nobody. I don’t have anyone I love left.

Homeless

I thought this vacation would do me great because I could finally freshen up and rest. Especially after last semester.

But nothing went right the past few days. The past weeks. And I’m beginning to think I’m better off away from home. I realized that seeing my siblings once in a while is a whole lot better than living with them. My life is in constant chaos. I’m emotionally fucking up, and I’m getting really, really, bad. Again. So I resort to writing. At least this calms me down a bit. Although I’m not really sure about what I’m writing.

Last night I exploded.

I cleaned the fridge before preparing my own dinner because I didn’t like what’s prepared. I was talking to mom on Skype, while reading a book, when my eldest sister stormed the room and began asking me about her retainers. And then she mentioned about the fridge and shit and hastily blamed me for her lost retainers. And began cursing at me. What the fucking hell even. I told her I checked the goddamn bags before throwing them away, because I took note of her retainers. She muttered something before slamming the door close. I can still hear her grumbling then. Mom did not hear anything. She left to get something, leaving her earphones plugged. I sent her a message and told her what happened. My eldest sister went inside the room. Fast forward. I began shouting. Uncontrollably. I lost my temper. She kept calling me derogatory terms, and I continuously shot back by repeatedly calling her a bastard. I was exploding. Literally. And that was the first time in a long time. I did not cry though. But my voice was shaking. I was shouting at her wide eyed. My two sisters interfered and they ended up fighting as well. Mom couldn’t get in between us. My sister said she wanted to beat me up. Then she started crying. I went too far. I said something considered taboo among us siblings. But I lost it. I wanted to hurt her as much as she hurt me. I put on my earphones because I didn’t want to listen to her and her stupid drama—I didn’t want to listen to that conversation with Mom. Of course she’d justify herself. Of course this is going to be one-sided, because I rarely talk about my side. I know I’d come out at fault here anyway because I made her cry, and I crossed the line. Mom knows I say the most hurtful things. I didn’t want—or need—to explain. Who’d listen? Who’d believe me? Besides I’ve basically established an image in the family—at least to Mom’s eyes—the one with an antagonistic disposition. I was too different. And it wasn’t in a good sense. At least to me. It was 5am. Mom baded goodbye, my sister shut down the laptop. I was on my bed with my book and laptop, loud music blasting my ears. I was still staring at the page where I stopped, reading the same lines over and over. I couldn’t understand anything. My two other sisters were already asleep. The eldest was headed to bed. I continued reading. I didn’t want to think of anything. I finished the book at around 7am. I switched my laptop off, which was on for no reason. I removed my earphones. I stared into the darkness. Fuck it. Everything my eldest sister said flashed back in. And it dawned on me. They didn’t like me here. In fact, they prefer me being away. It makes sense. Whenever I come back, I only have Baro to welcome me. I thought I was beginning to be less bad, beginning to like my siblings. I was happy with my family. All content and grateful.  I thought they started liking me too. And then this happened. In an instant, I went back to square one. I guess everything I believed in were merely in my head. My hatred towards them resurfaced. Lies. Everything Mom relayed to me about them began shaping into lies. I cried. Only for a while. I stayed on my bed the next morning. They were helping my cousin repaint our walls in the living room. I went out and chitchatted with my two other sisters. The eldest was out to buy paint. I went back to the room. Checked my phone, found three messages from Mom. Reprimanding me. Told me to apologize. Obviously I didn’t, and I had no plans to. Hours later, all of them were painting. I was still in the room. I went out, and turned out I was only a nuisance. I couldn’t help them, I have other plans. I needed to take a bath, but my younger sister was painting the door in the bathroom. She started acting annoyed when I asked her to step aside. My other sister too, because plainly I was being a bother, and I wasn’t even helping. I took a bath anyway. Went back to the room. I didn’t want to be here anymore. I packed my stuff, all set to head to my boarding house to stay there. Tears dripped down my cheeks. I worked my way out anyway. I didn’t say bye to anyone. When I was already headed for the gate, the second to the eldest called me and asked where I’m headed. I muttered ‘basta’ and hurried away. I went back home anyway. Fast forward. I’m on my bed, typing this in the dark, they were all in the living room. Talking to Mom. Happy.

No place like home? Yeah right.

I guess I don’t have one.