I can only take so much before I break—like a string forced taut from both ends by heavy weights until it snaps in half. I am breakable, I am vulnerable, I get hurt; I am human.
I am awake when everyone else sleeps. I am a floating soul in the corridors at night. It is my voice that echoes off the walls when your eyes close. My footsteps are in tune to the thump-thump-thump of your heartbeat. I am the ghost that bangs against the dome of your head as you sleep. My strong arms hold you, tenderly, sweetly; you are captive to my presence.
I am the silence. I am the dark. I am fear.
So this is sadness, to exist and to not feel alive; to be there and yet be somewhere else altogether.
Remember when I called you to say goodbye and you were on a bus to Rizal and couldn’t talk much? Remember how we cried on the phone?
It was funny because I thought you were at your apartment. The landlady even let me in because she still thought I was your sister.
You were supposed to help me with my computer. You thought I called to ask you about it. Then came my goodbye, then your silence.
I remember the promises. The “Promise to come back.” was the only one I couldn’t say yes to.
I told you I’d miss you and how ‘ew’ I felt about feelings. You said you’d miss that about me, you said you’d miss me. Then I cried.
I remember walking down the Acad Oval, thinking how much I’d miss the place. I realized then, I’d miss the people I left more.
I said distance was going to be the death of our friendship.
I can still feel the sensation of your skin next to mine. I remember wanting to fall in love but knowing I would never be what you wanted.
So I loved you like a sister. I slept in your room, you patted my hair, we would spend hours on end doing nothing together.
How your fingers would trace the side of my cheek to brush my hair back; I forget nothing. Those were my thoughts after I put the phone down.
I still miss you.
Let’s not celebrate Valentine’s Day. There are three hundred and sixty five days in a year. I would love you on every single one of those days. Why celebrate the ordinary? We celebrate something rare or special, but loving you is anything but rare.
I would rather celebrate you, because whatever it is I’ve found in you, that’s rare. So no more roses, no more chocolates, no more teddy bears. Let’s celebrate each other everyday.
Note: This is poetic me. I’m not really in a relationship. ;)
Back when I was in Diliman after Haiyan, I wrote a story anonymously for a student confession page on Facebook. It was a particularly sad point in my life and telling other people through the internet never hurt anyone. When I started writing, everything I wrote was mostly true. I started to realize some people who knew me would know I wrote the post. I wasn’t brave enough to expose myself, not even a bit, not to these people.
It was mainly about how I didn’t have a job anymore and I was running out of options regarding cash. Because of my pride, my parents were the last option. I asked and my mother told me she didn’t have the cash—meanwhile our neighbors back home would tell me about all the new things she was buying for the house. I told her if she wanted me to stay in Diliman, I’d need six thousand a month—because that was the amount my professor said the most underprivileged students got by on. She said she’d send me half, and I could ask my brothers for the rest or work if I wanted to. I wanted to cry then, I didn’t because there were just too many looking. I couldn’t believe what she said.
But my mother really did ask me if three thousand a month was enough. And that was after she asked if one thousand five hundred was okay. She wanted me to stay in Diliman because she didn’t have to pay for my tuition, my projects, my meals. On the phone she said, “Don’t come home anymore. It would be a lot cheaper if you stayed there instead.” I don’t know. It felt like I was being cast aside, a no-longer-interesting financial venture.
I want so much to tell about this story, to claim it as mine and not something I removed from myself to escape pity. But that’s just it, I want to escape the pity. I don’t want people who thought I was a fun, happy person who helped others realize I was the one needing help.
And it all cycles back over and over in my head, this story, the decisions I made. It makes me feel like everything I did in Diliman was a mistake. Everyone I ever touched would have been better off without ever knowing me. Everyone I ever knew would have lived better lives never having let me in to their lives.
Why did I never ask for money? Why was I so stuck-up? I don’t know.
I’m sharing because it’s late and I don’t know how else to vent.
I shouldn’t be kept up at night because my thoughts tug at the corners of my consciousness right before I fall into my melatonin-induced coma. I think this is my weakness. If other people are scared of objects or people, I am afraid of my thoughts. Everything I do is reanalyzed every night. My mistakes, my strong points. I deplore myself most times. And I don’t feel insecure. It’s not that. It’s more like I feel inadequate. Not being enough and being incomplete are two different things. I guess this is why I overplay myself to others so much—because I want to feel more complete, more whole than I really am.
I just came back from a little holiday get-together with some relatives. I felt the sudden need to come home and write.
We ate and talked over the dinner table, the little children played games while the adults drank to each other—it was a wonderful time. Then it was time to open the gifts we’d given each other. Someone got a bathing suit to celebrate getting their shape back, another got a new phone, someone else received a beautiful dress—everyone got some little special trifle. The children, who opened their gifts first, played with the newly-opened toys on the floor, next to the Christmas tree.
My two-year-old niece, Inna, opened a pink cooking play set, complete with pieces of miniature plastic food. My three-year-old nephew, who’d probably never seen a cooking play set, was amazed by his cousin’s new toy. He always loved watching his mother at the stove when she cooked and he even thought he wanted to become a chef someday. But when he picked up a little plastic frying pan, the first rebuff came from the two-year-old Inna when she said, “You’re a boy. Boys can’t play with pink stuff.”
When the grown-ups heard this it was chaos. Aunts and uncles were telling the little boy to stay away from girl toys, that if he kept at it soon enough he’d be dressing up in skirts and pigtails. All he could say was that he just wanted to play pretend cooking, to him it didn’t seem to matter that the cooking set was pink—it was just a cooking set.
I, being the teenager that I am, couldn’t put a word in. I realize we’re still not out of forcing gender roles down children’s throats. Pink is for girls, blue is for boys, blah blah blah. Although, I may not be able to make much of a difference now, I’m vowing never to place my children, when I have them, under the oppression of gender roles.
That ends my rant/story-telling bit. Happy Holidays!
So, I told my Facebook friends I would give them a real TBH post if admitted on Facebook that they were dorks. So, since I put too much effort in spreading the truth, I’m putting them on WordPress.
Vea. I fell in love with you (in-a-friend-kind-of-way-because-I-dont-roll-like-that) when I heard your voice that time you auditioned for chorale. And like, oh my GAWD, you are so nice! I guess you already know how pretty I think you are, I must have gushed about that before I graduated (I won’t go further because you hear that shit a lot, it’ll be the same story anyway (I swore but yeah like wuut)). When I think of you, I see an incredible young woman with the potential for whatever the fuck it is you wanna be. This must sound like some weird inspirational message we get from our teachers, but yeah, I’m cool like that.
P.S. I saw that first comment but no hate mail because it wasn’t on long enough for other people to see.
Love always, the AWESOMEST ALUMNI EVER (maybe not, but you get the point)
In all honesty, I was scared of you that first time you were introduced to me as one of the cadet officers. We went through some things together, that may have not been too personal but I still feel like I betrayed you too many times that I’m reminded of every time I see you in the hall. I may smile and laugh and make it seem like it was nothing, but I feel like a disappointment to you. Although, I regret nothing, I can’t help but feel a little sadness about this every now and then.
Okay, no more feels. UHM, I like it when you smile because I feel like, even for a second, you’ve put enough trust in me to let me see the side of you I am rarely ever obliged to. I also admire you for choosing the path you’ve chosen and telling me a little piece of that story. That’s basically all I can think of and P.S. I do not like your shorts EVER. I also want to see you in a dress, this is a TBH anyway.
I don’t remember how it is we became friends in the first place, I only remember how we bonded over singing sessions in the bathroom. I always saw when the boys were bullying you (they were bullying me too but fuck it) and I never really could do anything about it. We were forever classmates but I wasn’t too much of a good friend.
I like your hair, the way it falls down your shoulders so effortlessly. I like it when you talk about your family because it’s always so interesting to hear you go on about your sisters and about how they got this or they got that. I don’t like it when you spend too much time not studying. I don’t like it when you don’t come with on trips or hangouts because I never want to leave you out.
In all honesty, I miss you. I miss how we were.
In high school, my friends were your friends and I was kinda pulled in one day when they were asking you for libre and it was so awkward for me when sinama mo rin ako sa libre. Ahaha, thanks though because I’m no ingrate.
Hmmm, I love your smile and the personality that goes with it. You have such an easy smile and an open personality. I haven’t gotten to know you too well, I do know however that you like books and I feel an instant connection has been made simply because of that fact. I would have loved to become better friends with you but I guess I’m too far gone to still get the chance. I guess lower class high school peeps will always have a place in my heart, with no matter of the situation.
In high school, I saw you and I thought, “Pffft, feeler na naman ‘to.” And to tell you the truth, too many of us thought that about too many of your classmates. But we got over that soon enough as we got to know you guys better. I think puberty did you good, because apparently a lot of people are whispering about how good looking you are now. I’m sorry, but I can’t see you in that light because I feel like it’s incest LOL.
Also, I know I’m FC pero I guess I brought you into becoming FC with me too. So since it’s mutual, we probably are close na. OMG, do I even make sense?
Hmmm, what else? I always thought you were <i>silahis</i> (yes, italicized), and I’m still not entirely sure if you are one or not.
P.S. I refuse to PM this to you. The internet is forced to read my opinions bc we are a democracy! LOL
I hated you in elementary. I basically hated all your friends in elementary. And yes, I know it was mostly my fault and, no, I haven’t forgotten what a shit person I was back then. But this is my truth for you.
High school came and I still hated you and your friends because I was still a social pariah. With my personal growth, I learned not to hate as much people. I think you and I only really became friends in senior year, when all of us were starting to become clingy. I don’t even remember how it is we became friends, but we became friends nonetheless.
What I did remember instead, was how funny you were, how easy you were to hang out with and how good a friend you are period.
OK, so fast forward to college. I cross-registered in Diliman and well, I’m still illegal but you know what I mean. Ever since then, you have become especially suffocating, which I am very opposed to as a free soul. Don’t ask me how, ask yourself how. I know you feel obligated to do what you do, but please loosen up a bit.
P.S. I don’t think we’ve had a heart to heart convo.
P.P.S. Cheater! But I’m giving you a TBH anyway bc I love you bae. EW.
P.P.P.S. OMG JannMarc please don’t judge me, I used bae, I am so sorry.
Erik! I didn’t know you back in high school because our paths never crossed because you graduated the year I went in (tama ba?). And basically the first time I met you was just before enrollment week of this year when we crossed each other in the hallway in front of the College Secretary’s Office. The very first thing I saw about you was how much of a KPop fan you are and how it wasn’t just a superficial fandom because you were actually helping out at a Korean base in the area. You’re funny but you’re kinda awkward. I don’t know why, I just think so. I love that I got the opportunity to know you because I’ve found a valuable brother in you.
P.S. I LIKE YOUR HAIR BETTER NOW.
We met serendipitously, when you and I applied for COQC training, which we both gave up on. We haven’t seen each other much since then but I can’t help but notice how much you’ve grown. I used to think you were the type of person who couldn’t hold out in too many things but I’ve since changed my opinion about you. I can’t say far too much because we haven’t gotten the chance to bond over so long.
P.S. I like your geniality.
Garcia! Dork ka man!
Ikaw man ngani ghap di napapost ha timeline, yak, masubad. LOLJK.
Hi! Yes, I remember that day in R213 of Yakal Residence Hall’s Girls’ Wing. But that is not the day you and I became friends. You and I became friends a few days after when you found yourself in my room because you were sad about a certain someone and I found myself treating you to a McChicken Sandwich Meal™. Then I don’t know, we just bonded over the randomest things, boob moments, Math moments, McDonald’s moments, and GAWD, a lot of other shit.
I think it’s safe to say, I love you, but EW. Ahahaha.
You first came into my noticeable world when I found you and your friends singing on Star Maker! (I guess) in Vinzon’s and I swooped in and sang an song with you. I couldn’t help but notice that you sang well. But you went out of my mind as easily as you went in.
I fell in love with you that day we walked together down Roxas Ave, flanking PHAN as we went along our way to Vinzon’s. I love hearing the way you put words together in a sentence because every word moves into the next so seamlessly, with you, it’s a conversation, and never a discussion. I feel like talking to you isn’t an effort and I haven’t found that too often outside the confines of my high school friends because I don’t feel judged for my words with you. I’ll treasure the privilege of calling you a friend and I only wish we could have had more conversations, and I wish more that we could have late night talks about love and life and lust because I think you’ll vibe with my personality.
P.S. Your smile is an inviting one and I don’t wonder why so many would love to get lost in it.
So the first time we met was when I handed you a piece of paper while we were standing outside NIGS in the 9AM sun. The first things I noticed about you were your eyes, then your eyebrows, then your smile. I thought you seemed to be high-maintenance but I got to know you better and I saw how sweet you were and how you loved(with a passion) all the cute things in the world. I love that I’ve gotten the chance to know you because I couldn’t see living life in Diliman without you there every now and then. And GAWD do I remember the Christmas Party of ’13.
We’ll get more time to get closer and I await each of those moments eagerly.
JOSH, HI BITCH
Ok, so the truth you probably don’t want to hear anymore: It was the first day of freshman year and we were all sitting in our chairs waiting for our adviser to arrive. You were probably like a few chairs away from me and I was taken aback by how gorgeous you were (and still are). I realize now that I don’t want to call you handsome anymore, I guess the perfect word for you would be FABULOUS.
I love how we’re friends, especially when we’re being crazy like themotherfuckers we are and I miss the days when we would just lie around doing nothing, all of us, just in your house doing what lazy people do.
I know sometimes you don’t feel too appreciated by too many people but I want to tell you that I admire you for so much that you are and that you can do. Being friends with you taught me so much about being able to be there for someone when they needed someone to talk to.
Truth is, Joshie, I <3 you down to the core of my central nervous system and I’m too far gone to put you out of any picture I envision my life with friends would be.
We met when we were both still in grade school, at a review center for PSHS. You were the only other girl in the room with curly hair and I instantly fell in love with you for that mere fact.
You have a spunky personality and an outrageously gorgeous (may I say daring) fashion sense. You talk a lot and are great with strangers and your smile is a little too enveloping. Too long, I always thought of you as ‘Danica, that other curlyhead chick.’ but I’ve come to understand the deeper meaning to the personality that you are. I know that you genuinely care about me and I’m sorry that I’m basically a haphazard social experiment about to explode but thank you for trying to put me in check every math class (ahahaha).
I first met you in Robinsons, that day you asked me to do something for you (I don’t remember what though). First thing I thought was, “Wow, isn’t she gorgeous!” #nolie
I like the way your cheeks come up to your eyes when you smile and the way your lashes just graze the top of your cheek when you laugh. It’s funny to watch become jumpy about something because you always grab hold of other peoples’ arms and squeeze hard.
I guess I’ll say I’m up for getting to know you more, especially the deep, dark, juicy secrets (because these are always the yummiest). We have, what, like another few years of college for that. And, yes, I am guilty of a few things for which I say sorry for a thousand times over.
We have so much to say to each other, so much time to spend together, and I want them to happen soon enough.
Love always, Fatima Grace, the best ever
In all truth, I never remembered you back in grade school nor did I remember you all too well in high school. I guess you were the popular-with-your-friends kind of guy but you weren’t an out-there dude, you feel? Yeah, I don’t really think I make sense either.
But well, you asked for a TBH and my TBHs always come with a smack to the gut.
So when you came into my viewable world, it was weird that I didn’t know you better. I realize you may not be as open as I am about feels, that you always have a sharp comeback to any quip and that the smirk on your face is one I want to slap off but it was a pleasant shock to come to know that you were a sweet, good friend (#ew), and kinda clingy, under all the teenage boy you are. So I haven’t known you well for too long but I know you because we vibe with each other (most of the time and #EW again). I don’t want to go further kasi I’ll sound too #ewww so how about I just end this with a :*
Hey nerd/dork (you still are one even if you didn’t comment it)!
First day, freshman year. You were the shy girl with glasses—I thought you were at least. If I remember it right, you were one of the girls who never EVER put their hair down. What we shared in high school were, chocolates, braids, stories, secrets, corpses, you know the basic stuff. AND UGH, the long, long drives from and back VSU—and that one where we almost died in. LOL.
Hmmm, you were the craziest personality I didn’t expect, you with you’re random uncontrollable bursts of anger and gigil moments.
Now for the hard truth. I miss you.
I miss how we were and it feels like I want to keep putting you in the picture but we’ve grown too far apart to need each other’s company every day. I’ve seen you grow up and most of our friends still want to live in our immaturity.
I can’t remember how long it’s been since we actually hung out but I’m sure it’s been a while. Looking forward to reliving long ago with you. Love always,Fatima Grace.
JILL. MAH. BITCH.
In all truth, you are one cray cray person. What I miss the most about you is your loud, loud, laughter and the way your entire person just laughs with you, and basically how you make everyone else laugh. I love the personality that you are and how it envelopes everyone into loving you because you have so much love to give. I remember when you cried that time we had spent some nights at the Perez mansion LOL, when you cried because our friends brought out a birthday cake for you. I love to witness how touched you are by the smallest yet sweetest of things. So many people care for you and it’s just all a ball of love and GAWD so much laughter.
You’re an easy person to talk to because I never feel like you’re secretly judging me in your head. You were among the first people that brought me out of my hate and into the friendship that I’ve fostered with so many of Class 2013.
You taught me to be a better friend, and you taught what acceptable humor was. Years will pass from today, but I want you to know that I you mega-level, bitch. It’s like I can’t even.
Love always, Fatima Grace, the cat
High school. We became friends over I don’t even remember anymore. It’s just that we did. And you started coming over for dinner and sleepovers and we were, like “Hey, let’s be like total friends!” And UGH, they say it’s easier to write something for someone you’re closer to, and yeah it was like that for most of the TBHs but you are a different story.
I want you to know that you are the very first person that brought me out into the social sphere. Yeah, I was crazy enough earlier, but you were the friend that taught me I needed real friends to live an actual life. And I thank you so much for that, because without you I wouldn’t have had the same level of connection with a lot of the friendships I treasure today. We joke about how I won’t go to something if you didn’t go, but that is one truth that will remain one for the next several years.
And about us being so far away, every day, is a growth I need to get through. You taught me about trust and reliance, and I love that you’ve given me yours. Sometimes though, I feel like I don’t deserve it.
I want to keep putting you back in the picture but we’re growing too far apart, too soon, for me to be able to keep that happening.