Summer Haze: VI

It took me three months to get back to my feet. I mourned for you, I mourned for us more than I had mourned for the death of my parents or anyone else I have lost. You were the heartbreak that kept breaking my heart.

Alicia helped me move out from my place and into a new one in Makati. I lasted three months in my old job before I moved in to a new one with regular working hours. The night shift was lonely already and it became emptier without you. I drank because it gave me comfort. I went back to Bed one weekend, hoping to find you there nursing your beer alone, but I knew how much of a folly that was. I dated for awhile, but nothing prospered because I kept looking for you in them. No matter how they tried, they could never be you. I was the ball that kept rebounding and in the process I broke a few hearts, too.

After all the changes I had forced on myself, it was only then that I thought myself to be better. The months passed and, like a recovering paraplegic, I learned how to wobble before I learned how to walk again.

It was the first of May and I thought how we would have been four years already. Time flies yet it seemed only yesterday was the time of our lives. I had lunch at the restaurant I took you the first night I said I love you. It wasn't as crowded that time of the day and the empty tables reminded me of how alone I was. I stopped at the coffee shop for an after lunch coffee and I saw a cousin from my father's side. We exchanged a few pleasantries and I thought we would both be on our separate ways.

"Are you going to your sister's wedding next week?" He asked me.

The information surprised me, although I shouldn't, because I haven't seen or talked to my sister since our mother died.

"No, I couldn't leave work," I said as a way of lying. "It's going to be next Friday, right?"

"Wait, I have the invitation with me." My cousin took it from his laptop bag and handed it to me.

I was shaken when I saw your name on it, that you were to be married to my sister. Of. All. People. I found myself dizzy and out of breath. I was quivering as I handed the invitation back to my cousin, committing to memory the church and the reception venues. I tried to smile, but I couldn't. It was like somebody punched me in the stomach and kneed my balls.

I called Alicia and we had an early evening drink in a bar. We argued whether I should go or not, whether I should make a grand appearance at the church to stop the wedding. We laughed at the thought of it, me with a shotgun and a fake baby bump, but it didn't stop my heart from breaking all over again.

She drove me back home telling me that I should let it go. In my drunken stupor, it felt like an easy thing to do, but the days and nights that followed found me reeling and rolling at the thought of you, at the thought of you settling down, not with me, but with my sister. I guess she gave you things I couldn't give to you.

I drove to Tagaytay on the day of the wedding. I skipped the church, but waited at the reception venue. It was still empty, except for the wedding planners and caterers busy with the setup. I walked outside the hotel where I could see the Taal volcano and pretended I was a hotel guest and not part of the wedding. I still have time to leave, to change my mind, disappear as if I've never been there. I didn't want to turn up out of the blue, uninvited, but I couldn't stay away. I couldn't fight it. I hoped you'd see my face and that you'd be reminded that for me, it wasn't over.

The guests started to arrive and I saw you with her and you were oddly happy and so was my sister. My hands were cold and trembling and I didn't know how it would turn out, but I started walking in your direction, where you and my sister were seated being greeted by well-wishers and wedding guests. 

I lined up behind a tall, old man with salt-and-pepper hair. I didn't want you or my sister to see me until I was in front of you. I didn't know what I wanted to say or do; I had nothing prepared and I didn't know how you would react. I didn't bring any gifts with me. You were, unknowingly, the greatest gift I gave to her. You saw me first and I saw you and my sister looked at each other before you turned your gaze back on me.

I approached the two of you and said, "I wish nothing but the best for you two."

Both of you smiled and I followed the old man to where he was going, although I was headed for the exit and not to one of the tables.

"Hey," I heard your voice, unmistakable after all these years and I found it hard to turn around because I felt like crying.

I swallowed my tears and faced you. I controlled myself, keeping my emotions at bay while I waited for you to say something, to explain how it all happened perhaps or something, anything that could cut through the silence.

I broke the ice and said, "Old friend, why are you so shy? It's not like you to hold back or hide from the light."

It made you laugh, catching the irony and sarcasm of it. And you told me that you wanted to invite me, but my sister insisted that it would be better if they didn't.

"I understand," I said. And we became silent again.

There were so many things I wanted to ask, so many things I wanted to tell you, but my emotions overwhelmed me. I felt if I started saying something, my voice would break and I would start crying. I hated the way I cried for you and the way you could still make me cry. 

"Well, I have to get back now. I have a wedding to celebrate," you said.

I saw you turn your back on me and I felt the anguish in my heart calling for your name. "Hey," I said. You heard me despite the distance between us and you turned around.

"What?" You said, your expression pained and tormented like you wanted to be saved.

It was all that I needed to see to make me feel better. "Never mind," I said. 

You turned your back and continued walking. "I'll find someone like you."

But you were too far to hear me.

---------The End---------

Disclaimer: This is entirely a work of fiction, inspired by the song "Someone Like You" (Adele, 21). Any similarities to people, dead or alive, and to actual events are unintentional and purely coincidental.

Comments

  1. Ah. Finally. I've been wanting to find out what's your writing like when you are being ermmm... more creative. Hehe. Medyo nakakapanibago...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nakakapanibago? Masyado bang mahaba? Haha. Ilang beses kang nakatulog before mo natapos? Haha.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hindi ko alam kung masyado bang mahaba, pero hindi ako nakatulog before ko natapos. Not with your devices. Raped by a thousand Amazons... Haha.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This one almost broke my heart until I got to the disclaimer. Nice movie material.

    ReplyDelete

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