While retracing my steps to the house, my heart can’t forget this loneliness. Why am I being like this? I’m unsure of what I’m feeling. Is it possible that I fell in love with someone that I only knew for a day? But why? I already have someone I love.
The man I just knew for only a day is here now, walking side by side with me. Laughing together with me. Just being here together with me.
I look over my left shoulder and saw another man who seems like he’s getting closer to me. I don’t know who he is, light is brightly shining on his face so I can’t make out who he is.
As the man came closer to us, I began to recognize the face I’ve known for so long, it’s Nick, my boyfriend. I am uncertain of what I’m feeling. The beating of my heart racing faster with every moment. I can’t discern what this feeling is.
Once more, I look back to my right. He’s gone. The person who was with me is gone. He’s not beside me anymore. I can’t hear his laugh. There’s no one else with me now but the man who made my heart beat for him then. I can’t even distinguish if I still love him until now.
“Hey! Get up! We’re here!”
I couldn’t explain this voice I was hearing. Where is it coming from? Mike! Is that you?
“Hey woman! Wake up!”
A moment later, I slowly began to see a light shining brightly. I felt the rays of sunshine hitting my eyes. At the same time seeing the appearance of a man whom I thought had left me behind. Whom I thought was not with me anymore.
I continued to try and make sense of what was happening. I opened my eyes and realized that my head is resting on Mike’s shoulder. We’re on a tricycle(1) that’s parked in front of a bus station.
“Hey! Are you okay?” Mike asked me.
“Ah! Sorry! I didn’t realize I fell asleep. What happened?”
“It’s simple! You wrinkled my clothes!” He said.
“Sorry!” We then got off the tricycle(1).
“Kuya(12) how much is it?” Mike asked the tricycle(1) driver.
Mike then looked at me. With a look that I didn’t understand. What’s his problem? Wait! Maybe I drooled while I was asleep. I tried to look natural as I wiped the edge of my mouth so that he wouldn’t notice. But wait, I didn’t really drool.
“He just said it’s twenty! Pay him!” Mike told me.
Huh? What does he mean? Then I found out what he was going for with that look he gave me.
“Wow! Am I really the one who has to pay?” I asked him.
“What’s the matter? I’m the one who paid for the things you wanted at the grocery store ah?” He retorts. Wow. He’s so stingy. Very thorough in the way he dresses himself yet he has no manners.
“Wow ha? Didn’t you eat the food I bought?” I rebutted, letting him remember what he ate at the beach earlier.
“Why? Didn’t you ride here?” He told me.
“Fine! Fine!” The driver cuts in on the conversation.
“Why kuya(12)? Is it free now?” I said. It seemed like that’s what he wanted to convey.
“Aba(13)! Are you feeling lucky? Fight about that later and pay me first. You two are being disturbing.” Said the driver.
I thought it really was for free. People giving false hope. They’re multiplying!
“Here it is, kuya(12).” Mike gave him twenty pesos.
“Finally! These millennials fighting a lot. You two must be in MU(14).” The driver says before he left.
“Fighting a lot? That’s called LQ(15) not MU(14).” I yelled at the driver before he got further away. “Fine, I’ll get in.” I told Mike in an angry tone as a result of yelling at the driver just a moment ago.
“Okay! Okay! Take it easy! This is Mike, remember?” He raised both his hands.
I climbed aboard the bus. I chose to sit on the farther end of the bus so I could relax since there’s not much passengers yet. I can rest here.
In the midst of resting, I suddenly felt sad. But why? I surely don’t miss him and am especially sure I won’t miss him. But what is this I’m feeling? Do you know that feeling, as if you just ended your friendship with someone close to you? That feeling of loneliness because of the lingering memories you had with that person.
I turned my phone on and saw the wallpaper of me and my boyfriend. I felt an indifference in my chest. The feeling that I don’t want to go back home. I just want to be with this man now. I want to know more about him. I want to be his friend.
As the woman I’m with got on the bus, I continued to stay away. I averted my attention to the path I’m planning on taking. There’s no certainty on where I’m going to go. I just know that I want to be alone.
But why am I feeling like this? It’s like she left a tingling pain in me. It’s like she pricked something on the bottom of my heart resulting in the hasty beating of it. What am I remembering? How she left or the memories that will shortly be deemed meaningless in one day of knowing each other?
I want to be with her more. I want to know her better. But this may be fate. There’s no bridge that will connect to the heart of someone who oftentimes loved and met someone in a complicated situation.
As I was walking, I coincidentally saw my ex walking on the other side of the road. At this point, I don’t feel anything for her anymore. I’m not feeling anything whenever I’d see her.
“Who are you looking at?” I got surprised as someone spoke to me from behind. The voice of a very familiar woman. So I turned around to see who it was. This um…? This woman I was with.
“Nothing!” I said before continuing to walk.
“Ah! Was it your ex?” What she said made me halt my steps.
“Why are you following me anyway?” I said.
“No reason! Is it wrong?” She said.
“Yes! You were about to leave right?” I said this even though I thought in my mind, ‘It’s okay. Don’t leave yet.’
She showed me her phone wallpaper, an image of her and her boyfriend.
“I just want to relax. To forget for at least a moment. To enjoy life first. It’s been so long since I’ve experienced that. Starting from when me and my boyfriend finally became together.” She said, making me wonder.
“Why? Aren’t you happy with your boyfriend?” I said.
“At first I was happy. But now it’s as if it’s all gone. Like it all changed. Anyway! There are things that you won’t really understand. That’s how it is right? You all don’t understand us. It’s always like that.” She then started to act all dramatic.
I proceeded to walk while she stayed still from where she’s standing.
“Do you want to come?” She asked.
I paused from what she said. What is this woman saying? I suddenly remember the time we first met.
It’s been a while since I’ve been here in the park. Around 4:30 am when I first arrived. I’ve been pacing everywhere. I might’ve walked around the whole park by now. I noticed the sun rising in the east. If I could, it would be better for me if I just went home.
While I was finding my way back home, I saw a woman sitting on a long bench here in the park. I find it that she’s sad and wants to be alone. But rather than giving her time to be alone, I thought of distracting her from what she’s doing.
I sat on a nearby bench. I kept making glances at her so that she’d notice me. I was trying to find a way to get her to notice me. I don’t even know what I’m doing around this time because I wasn’t really this kind of person. What I do know is that someone needs me as much as I need someone too.
I repeatedly glance at her until she couldn’t focus on what she was doing. She finally stood up and went closer to me.
“Excuse me! Why are you looking at me?” She said.
I look to my left and right, pretending that I’m confused.
“Are you asking me?” I asked.
“Who else is here?” She then asked me.
“Miss, are you blind?” I asked again.
“Are you crazy?” She said as if she’s getting irritated.
“You’re the one asking me that question when you can clearly see that there are others here.” I said.
“What I mean is, there’s only the two of us here. Who else would I ask? You know-it-all!” She said. I then pretended to look to my sides again. I look like an idiot here.
“So what?” I shortly answered.
“Huh!” She said as she raised the edge of her lips, making a face before going back to where she sat.
She hadn’t sat properly yet, but I continued to ask her questions while staring at the sea. So that it’s not too obvious.
“By the way, what’s your name again?” I’m feeling close with this line here.
“Are we close?” She answered.
“You’re so assuming. Are you the one I’m talking to? This is actually the one I’m talking to.” I then raised my hand and talked to it like a puppet. “What’s your name? How long have you been there? Why are you here? Why aren’t you…”
“You’re crazy!” She said then stood up and left. I think she got in a bad mood.
“Wait miss! Where are you going?” I sought after her.
“Just amazing! Who are you anyway?!” She answered.
“Ahmm… It’s Mike!” I offer my hand.
She makes a face of disapproval, “Huh! Did I ask for your name?” She just stares at my hand.
I felt embarrassed there! “Yes, you asked, ‘Who are you?’ I just answered you.” I answered.
“Hehe. Says who?” She then continues to walk away while I stood here from where she was.
What should I do to get this woman’s attention? Tssk. I suddenly thought of a bright idea. Erm, not bright, just an idea.
She got a bit farther, but I yelled at her,
“Do you want to come?”
She looked over her shoulder, “Where?”
So that she gets more irritated, I walked straight past her and didn’t take notice of her as if I don’t know her. I suddenly felt something hit my head hard.
Huuuu… That hurts.
–End of Flashback–
“Where then?” I asked her.
She then just kept walking straight and passes me. Really straightforward. Not minding her surroundings. Trying to copy my style. I notice that she was about to cross the road and there was a car coming her way so I pulled her from behind.
“Ouch!” Our faces were accidentally close to each other. At this point, I felt like for a short moment, the world paused. I felt a rigid shake in my chest as if my heart’s wishing that this moment would last forever.
“What the hell?” She asked angrily.
I pointed at the reason why I pulled her. “Look at that. That’s a road. A lot of cars pass by there. You might get in an accident.” I might be held responsible for her hospital bills!
She saw countless cars passing by the road. When there were no more cars passing, I walked past her.
“You’re just going to copy someone else’s style, yet it’s a failure.” I made sure she hears me as I shook my head.
I’ve walked quite far, but I don’t feel like she’s following me so I looked over my shoulder to find out. And there she was, dumbfounded. Stuck from where she’s standing until she noticed that I’m further away.
“Hey! Wait! Just wait for me.”
(1) Tricycle – A motorized tricycle, kind of like a rickshaw. A common means of public and private transportation in the Philippines.
An image of a tricycle in the Philippines
[image credits: ffemagazine.com]
(12) Kuya – This literally means “brother”. In the Philippines, besides calling one’s brother “kuya”, it’s also used to call out to male strangers in a casual, friendly way.
(13) Aba! – An expression showing displeasure or annoyance.
(14) MU – It means Mutual Understanding. Stating when two people like each other, but are not official yet.
(15) LQ – It means Lover’s Quarrel.