The tightwad inside

[Drafted post] [The names are changed]

I checked my email today before I sleep, and found two forwarded emails from Cecil and Carla. The other one’s from Anne. Found the ‘weloveufaye’ address on both the former, and it all makes sense now. I found the same address in the email Sir Espanto sent me. And I already have a good idea who did all of that.

Anne. Of course it’s Anne.

I haven’t posted about it, but Sir Espanto sent me an email last Monday. It contained the following message:

Congratulations, Ms. Fajardo:

I hope you didn’t mind me walking you to stage last Friday. Teachers, you know, are parents to their students too – in the exercise of vicarial responsibility. But I am sure your parents and siblings would have been proud if they were there. For that alone, it was truly a privilege on my part.
I should have sent this message earlier, in time for Sunday’s university graduation. The delay was deliberate as I wanted to make it solemn and sincere.

I think I understand now why you contemplated on cutting short your stay in UP. Believe me, I know how it feels to be alone. It seems staying and finishing the degree was a good choice after all. It was really brave of you. Any parent to a child like you would be truly proud.

I think you know your strengths so I am not going to list it down here. I do want to tell you though that you have more promise than you actually know. You have more potential than you would like to believe.

Most graduates in our discipline would opt to go, you know where, afterwards. That is the usual path for typical graduates of our field. You are not that type, of course, for you are more. I cannot force you to love my science but I think you will also do great with it. Then again, you can also choose to be typical. But where is the fun in that, right?

Whatever, whichever course you chart henceforth, I hope it leads you to the stars.
Congratulations,

[Manuel Espanto]

***

I was wondering why I didn’t bother post about that when I remembered that I don’t–––if not never–––write about happy things. Anyway, so that happened. I was really delighted by it. I know I don’t sound like it because I lack the appropriate punctuations but the happiness already passed and all I’m feeling right now is a sad kind of happiness.

Like the kind I didn’t deserve

Or the kind withheld from me for a long time and was given a chance to touch tonight.

I read all the emails and I’m crying. But mostly due to Anne’s email.

I’m crying because I don’t know what to say. I don’t know the right words to say. And I loathe myself because I can’t appreciate her enough.

I don’t know. I don’t understand what genuinely selfless people like her sees in genuinely rotten people like me

It’s mind-boggling. It’s leaving me at awe

It leaves me at awe that I was actually capable of being loved, of having someone look up to me with constant admiration and amazement in her words

I least deserved to be loved like that

I least deserved to be loved by people like her

It rains every night but tonight was a downpour
I’m sobbing and my chest is burning

I didn’t think I really have friends at all
I didn’t think it really mattered
I didn’t think I could impact a life
I didn’t think there is that much value in every thing I say

It’s funny how people unrelated to you can appreciate you better than your family. Haha, funny world

But thank you, God

Thank you

The fault in (my) words

My life lately basically moved in between sleeping, eating, reading, and watching animes. Not that I have a problem with it, but it sure does require some getting re-used to. My senior life in college was practically the opposite of that—I couldn’t stay put in a room, a quiet one at that, and I constantly seek to hang out with my friends and orgmates, or with anyone for that matter.

I’ve become dependent on the company of people, haven’t I?

Well, it seemed like it. Funnily enough, no one believes me anymore whenever I claim to be introverted. Almost everyone thought otherwise. Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe that’s a bad thing. Maybe both. Why am I confining the thing in the first place?

But for a moment, I wondered if it was actually the case now. I began hanging out with people I barely knew. I began craving new faces, new voices, new people in my life. The small circle I used to bind myself in began expanding—but, it was a change I’ve acknowledged and realized a long time ago. For some reason the fact overwhelms me again. A matter of restrospection, could it be? It’s only from a restrospective view of things do we realize the full weight of the changes that occurred in and to us, and in everything and everyone around us, after all.

But, I couldn’t distinguish the me now from who I’ve always thought I was. Is this the person I have always been? Or the person I always wanted to be and have finally become?

Did I lose myself, or simply found it?

And yet I wonder if the answer to those even mattered.

I wonder if this thought engagement should be taken as a positive thing, because I only write when I’m lonely. I never learned how to write about happy things, because majority of the words in my vocabulary are associated either with sadness or hatred.

Initially, I wanted to write about Sarah.
I wanted to write about how she doesn’t understand how important she’s become to me, and I will never mean to hurt her.

But I was never good at appreciating people and things.
Or at least, I was never good at expressing appreciation.

I don’t know the right way to keep people, the right way to keep friends, the right way to keep people I hold dear.

Because I always end up destroying everything I love.

You’ve grown on me. I’ve become severely attached to you. You’ve become too important. I was convinced I wasn’t born like everyone who were born in pairs, who needed to find the other pair to be complete, but you came. You came and I thought maybe I needed something, something like ‘the other half’. But these are things I don’t casually tell people, not because I didn’t want to, but because I didn’t know how. I was straightforward, but I’m not good with words; I had a knack for confrontations and debates, but I don’t know how to communicate appreciation and gratefulness. I can only communicate sadness.

I don’t know how to properly patch things up without making it worse, without saying things that will only fuel the fire.

How do you make someone understand something you don’t understand yourself?

How do you evade the fallacy and ridicule that comes along with justifying a supposedly wrongdoing?

Is there a better way to put it? A better way to make it understandable and comprehensible?

That the people we loved the most are the ones we were most cruel to?
It doesn’t need logic, does it?

I’m sad.
I’m lost.

I’ve been self-destructing and self-loathing since that day and I’m beginning to lose my mind. I began hating social media. I immersed myself into other things, anime mostly, to steer my thoughts away.

And little by little, I’m beginning to seal the void I thought you were made to fill in.

Little by little, I’m starting to get re-used to this.

Feeling like this.

Feeling nothing.

What a day (Part 2)

So technically I did not sleep. It was pointless. I got up and made myself coffee. I washed my face, brushed my teeth, checked my stuff, and changed clothes right away, I already took a bath last night anyway. All prepared, I left.

I walked my way to the shed. No jeepneys were passing by. I crossed the street and headed to the toll gate. I asked the guard if there were Ikot jeepneys passing by. He said very few go on trips during Sundays. I thanked him and decided to walk. It was early anyway, and the sun’s heat wasn’t much of a bother. My long-sleeved top was, though. While walking, an Ikot jeepney was coming my way. I thought about riding, but then I’ve already started walking so I might as well just go on. I continued to walk, and it was getting hotter. Few minutes later, I’m dripping in sweat. I’m already feeling sticky and irritated. I regretted walking. I continued though because I don’t have a choice. I admired the beauty of my university as I strolled my way to the third shed. I took back what I said, and told myself walking was worth it. I wanted to take photos, but my iTouch was almost dead. When I arrived at my destination, I found out they closed the road. Oh gods. I feel like punching myself. It was another long walk to Palma Hall. A lot of people were jogging and biking, so somehow I enjoyed walking. I was two meters away from the intersection when a Katipunan jeepney passed by. It was half empty. I hurried and waved, but it did not stop. I thought it’d stop by Vinzons hall, so I ran to the next shed. However as I ran, it drove straight ahead.

I waited at Vinzons. I was already exhausted. My armpits are sweaty. I felt sticky all over. Mosquitoes are pestering my legs, and I’m starting to get really annoyed. I stood there for about fifteen minutes, going back and forth anticipating jeepneys. Jeepneys passed, but none of them were headed to Katipunan. I decided to walk further ahead, out of the campus. But I changed my mind when my legs started hurting. That time I completely regretted not riding the Ikot jeepney that passed by earlier. I would have had arrived home earlier as I have planned, and I wouldn’t have to go through all these. But as I looked at the Acad Oval, I realized what I witnessed while walking was a lot different. The university was way, way beautiful than the sight of the oval.

I gave up and went further ahead. I headed out of the campus. God, I have been walking for almost an hour already. I think that was a total of two kilometers. Sounds exaggerated? Well UP’s pretty big. Okay, maybe one and a half. Imagine walking from Krus na Ligas to Vinzons Hall, and heck, to Tandang Sora with a heavy baggage. I waited at the right side of the road when I realized the girl beside me in the shed earlier had also decided to go out of the campus. I saw her behind me, and she crossed the road. I was wondering where she’s going, and I saw her heading for a Katipunan jeepney. Oh my god, what the hell am I doing at this side. I followed her but the jeepney was full then. I waited for another one.

Fast forward. God, I’m finally at the terminal.

As soon as I got down, I was filled with awe. The terminal looked so clear and clean and peaceful. I think the walls were newly painted. I smiled at the sight and went for the footbridge. As I walked, I saw the old blind beggar I’ve been seeing since Day 1 in UP. I felt sad. He was still there, begging on his knees. I remembered my promise to myself in sophomore year, second semester. I promised to do better in my studies, so someday when I grow up, I’d change things, and there won’t be people like him in this unfair, justice-less country. Yeah, what an ambitious dream. I reached for my purse and dropped two five peso coins. It has been long since I last gave him coins. I guess I deluded myself I’d do better for him so I won’t feel guilty passing by him in the morning. Well, I didn’t see him anymore when I moved back to a dorm.

Sadly, I failed him. Or I’m going to fail him. I don’t even like my major now. And I’m so eager to move out of this fucked up country. Ten pesos was not enough to compensate for that failure.

Sigh, I should have gave him a hundred peso bill.

Riding an Antipolo jeepney was surprisingly easy, probably because it was early. It was already around 7:30 I think. Thankfully, the trip was peaceful.

I walked my way home and I felt glad, knowing I get to see our dogs again. I sorted my stuff out and played with our dogs before taking a bath. Everyone was asleep except for my elder sister, who was playing Clash of Clans. Lol. I wrote the first part of this story before sleeping. After shutting down my laptop, I went out to get Sparkly and I let him stay on my bed. He was so hyper I didn’t get a proper sleep.

I don’t exactly know why I was excited to blog about this. Perhaps because it’s one of those days in UP, where I get upset over everything. The difference about now, I guess, was that I looked into it in a more optimistic way, and thus somehow enjoyed it. Enjoyed it not in a sense that I had fun, but in that it made me feel alive.

Yeah. It rendered me alive.

 

What a day (Part 1)

My day started at 5:10am. I haven’t slept. I couldn’t sleep. I was in my dorm then. I only had my iPod with me and unfortunately, I did not bring my cable with me and it couldn’t survive any longer.

Flashback.

I woke up in a Saturday afternoon, my eyes bloodshot. I haven’t had breakfast, and there’s nothing prepared on the table. Well, it was the usual routine. Everyone home slept at about six or seven in the morning. We always wake up in the afternoon feeling wasted. What’s worse, the first thing we all face are our own gadgets. They’re so immersed in playing Clash of Clans, while I’m preoccupied with my daily dose of tumblr and senseless tweeting.

It was about 4pm when I decided to go to my dorm. I have been delaying it for more than two weeks already. I felt the need to get the plan over with because 1) I gotta pay the reservation rent; 2) I’m getting some stuff; 3) I intend to clean up; 4) I had to list down the necessities before I actually move back; and 5) I’m dropping by the mall to buy a hard drive. Besides I’ve been staying in front of my laptop for the past two and a half months, I barely went out and thought I need to move my ass. And for god’s sake I might need to get some sunlight.

I was already prepared to leave at about 5pm when my eldest sister arrived. She asked where I was headed, offering me a ride because we’re going the same route anyways. She asked me to wait a few minutes. I okayed. Then a little while after, my youngest sister arrived. Long story but to make it short, she wants to be dropped off the sports center for a date. My sister couldn’t accompany her since we’re leaving early, but for some reason my eldest sister started stalling and I ended up waiting for an hour and a half. I was getting impatient and was all ready to get out and commute, but she pleaded to wait a few more minutes. I was already upset. When we’re about to leave, she suddenly went down to call my youngest sister. She said she’d give her a ride (along with her friends). I closed my eyes out of frustration. You’ve been delaying me for more than an hour already. I get that you want to accompany Mich too but you offered me the ride first. You should have prioritized me, you know?

I was quiet the whole ride from Sumulong to Marcos Highway, with noise merely coming from my younger sister’s crappy music, and her friends giggling. We stopped over the gas station. The eldest asked the guy to fill in the tank slowly. Mich asked why, and she explained saying so it wouldn’t be all air or something. Whatever. After a while she asked Mich for some coins. Well Mich sort of ignored her so she ended up asking me instead. Well, do I have a choice?

Goddammit. So I actually ended up spending a dime even after getting offered a ride. And what more, I’ve been delayed for almost two hours already. It was already fucking 6:30. I should have just commuted holy shit. You just had me wasted a whole lot of time. I should have just left when you were stalling back home. God, you’re horrible. You just ruined my day.

I was getting sick with impatience when suddenly, she did a right turn. OH MY GOD. So she’s planning to drop them off to Marikina prior to me. OH MY GOD HOLY FUCK YOU’RE FUCKING DELAYING ME AGAIN. I closed my eyes and gasped out my frustration. And then she went “You can just go down and ride somewhere near the terminal. I’ll drop you off. Don’t give me that shit.” “If I only knew you were going to take this long I should have just left earlier and commuted!” I countered. I didn’t shout because there were my sister’s friends. She stopped and I hurriedly opened the door and slammed it. I stormed my way ahead without looking back.

Wow lucky me, I’m spending twice the amount I would’ve if I just commuted earlier. And what more, it’s fucking late. How the fuck am I going to finish everything in two hours. What the fuck. What the fuck.

I arrived at my dorm at 7:30. I was exhausted. And take note, I haven’t eaten anything yet. I am fucking starving. My throat felt dry. And I was dripping in sweat.

The landlady did not recognize me right away because of my hair. I paid the rent right after and asked if she’s already cooked something. She said there’s sinigang. Holy shit my favorite. I ate like a mad man as soon as she gave me my plate. After eating, I cleaned my room. Swept the floor, blew off the dust, mopped the floor, and swept it again. I was tired. I went out to buy food and it was raining. I got back with my legs dirtied. Sheesh. I ate my burger as I scroll down tumblr and tweeted nonsense. Life felt different without my laptop. But I was thankful, at least I get to spend a day without exhausting my baby. Lol. I felt sleepy at 10pm, it was unusual. I lay down and scrolled tumblr for the last time. I closed my eyes. My soul was awake so it was useless. My mind doesn’t stop thinking. I kept rolling and changing positions but I can’t sleep. I felt tired. I got up twice to pee. I kept drinking water. I put on my earphones to listen to my FT Island playlist, and for some reason, I started crying. I wrote on tumblr about it. I cried a little more and closed my eyes. I began planning what I wanted to do about my life. I want to be stronger. I want to do things for myself. I want to stop seeking approval from others. I want to live my life as best as I could. I want to stop feeling the need of acceptance.

I just have to be me, I thought. I’m awesome anyway. There’s nothing wrong about being awesome. 

Yes, way to boost my confidence. It’s my only way—the only effective way for a Leo with a tight grip on her pride.

A few minutes later, I forfeited. I switched the lights on and organized the drawers. It was quarter to 3. As soon as I finished, I ate the last two pieces of the bread I bought awhile back. I lay on my bed with my eyes closed. Somehow the lights made me sleepy. I put my earphones back and listened to the same playlist. I checked twitter and tumblr every now and then, and I was glad seeing the gif spam I did on fyeahftisland were actually getting notes. It wasn’t long when I realized it’s already 5. I closed my eyes and waited for my alarm to ring. It was set at 5:10. I got up as soon as it rang.

Part Two later.
(I have just arrived home and I’m really sleepy now)

We can just go back, can’t we?

Somehow I thought it was over, somehow finally over because I already know where this leads. And it’s because I have to force tears out to cry. And I won’t cry. I won’t cry.

As I lay on my bed, I felt empty. I don’t even think what I needed was to be happy. I just stared blindly at the darkness, wishing to feel something. Like pain. I forced myself to cry but I won’t. I won’t. Why? I felt dry. It felt like I ran out of liquid. Inside. Tears. Like I no longer have any of that when they were all I’m left with in the past days. And I didn’t like that—feeling like a bag of emptiness. I wanted to feel something. I wanted to feel alive. So I went down the memory lane.

I remembered him. How I met him. How he told me his first impression of me. How I started noticing the childish features of his face. How he was the only person I opened up to about my frustrations during those days. How I first texted him. How I stopped adding an honorific to his name. How he teases me about my first date. How he calls me that stupid name. How he hesitatingly opened up about his past. How he remarked about my appearance when I came to school without taking a bath. How he pesters my shoes when we were in the ruins. How he chased after me when I snatched him his phone. How we first rode the jeepney together. How I accidentally punched him and he keeps reminding me about that. How he always insults me whenever we cross each other’s paths. How–How—

(silly memories)

How everything changed. How my feelings ruined everything. And I lost it. We lost what used to be there. Friendship? Might be. Because sometimes and now I feel like a stranger to him. And I know it’s my fault. Because feelings. I developed feelings. I had feelings. I became attached. And I started seeing him more than what I should have.

The bad things always happen when people get too close to me. 

And I wish I could go back. And I wish we could just be like that again. And I wish we could be friends again. And I wish I could tell him my frustrations. Again. Again.

And I wish, I wish, I wish.

But that won’t happen.
I lost him the same way I lost her.

I could only hurt. And cry.

——

I finally cried.

And somehow this feels better than feeling nothing at all.