[feelings flowing some four hours ago, uploaded just now...]
I am here, right now, at this huge mall at the end of Manila, as it seems. So far away from my comfort zone yet I venture here for a higher purpose, always. Like I did before. Ages ago. It seemed like another lifetime, that time. Another time. Another life.
Yes, sadly, I still remember that life. As I stepped on the pavement searching for somewhere to extinguish my hunger, I remembered another kind of famished trance I was trying to pacify during that time. An occasional hunger that manifests itself at times, a hunger which I do not necessarily feed. It nourishes me, yes, from time to time, yet I have always been careful to partake when a feast unfolds in front of me.
But you laid out that feast for me, starting here. There. That bookstore. That drugstore. That coffeeshop. The rush of reds, the sterility of greens, the sanity of whites, all enclosed in glass, cement and metal. Structures, here. That spot. I remembered: this was when I first met you, in person, here. Hesitating at first to see if you're a real entity, of flesh and blood I would eventually call mine, enveloped with both beauty and sorrow that intrigued me at first, and repulsed me in the end. Purity, and then tainted. Innocence, and then scheming. Happiness, and then loathesome. You were both that, my love, always both. Always.
Two sides. If you had that, I had that, too. One told me to trust this exquisite creature in front of me, that one wearing this red blouse to be easily spotted in the crowd of mall-goers, helping my nearsighted deficiency. Yet the other told me to be careful this time, given that I carry this series of experiences my soul wears as if they are garlands of grief, each stringed décor carrying individual memories of hurt, of pain, of sadness, as if each locked in a vial of their own which initially tasted like sweet wine that eventually turned sour, after two years. We never knew love could transform like that, my love. No. But it did. And yes, I no longer love you, love. No longer. Garlands. That was all of what was left. All.
I never returned to this place, when you left. No. Why should I? But last year, I met someone who accidentally snagged the garlands off me, love. Off me. At least some. Gradual at first, unintentional. But she managed to unstring them, those vials. At least most of what was left. See, I have been doing a great job of turning water into wine, somewhat. Transitions. That sour water, those that never evaporated, as yet. Some vials are empty of pain now, thanks to new memories that dislodged the bitterness. Accidentally, by this girl who read me like a book, and gave me something I thought I have lost -- hope. Specifically, hope for love. We went here, that girl, once, by accident, and briefly, for part of our interaction was snubbing structures like these. And yes, I remember her too, now, now that I recall that moment we had here, however fleeting and shallow it was. No longer yours, this memory of this place. No, not exclusively. It's also about her now, the one who read me. Well, for a while, perhaps, it was. Until we closed our chapter. That chapter.
But no, that's not the whole truth now. Thing is, I am here now because of another, someone like you who professed her devotion to me a while back. And it scares me, as it does her. If I say I miss her, she says she misses me more. If I say I love her, she says she loves me more. It's always more, with this girl. More than saying it, I also feel it more. Because more than merely profess like you did, she sings her heart out to me, a reason why perhaps she is more intense in feeling the same feelings we have for each other. Each pitch intensifies, each rhythm elevates, each harmony progresses. That is her to me now -- a deeper version of you, a wiser version of you, and yes, sad to say, a better version of you. No, I'm sorry. She is not like you, and you are not like her. You are two different entities but somehow there's this striking resemblance in some behavior, that's all. I sincerely apologize for comparing. But, as you know, my soul can't help it, because it's afraid. Deathly afraid. And you know how fear clutches onto the familiar and tries to search for safeness in times of distress -- or even of calmness.
Still, the heart beats, regardless of what the soul fears. So now, I am here because I am doing something for myself, and something for her, and something for the both of us. You could say I am shopping for our immediate futures, something temporary but nonetheless meaningful. How I've missed feeling these things, let me tell you. And goodness knows how I've missed letting someone feel these things as well, I confess. You know me. "Taureans function better when in love," my star sign described. And that, we know, is true. So true.
Life is short. We take chances. We gamble with feelings. We plunge with trust, harnessed by hope, calculated with excitement. We try, we work on it, we make it work. We did that, too, all that, love. Remember? But as that song said, here's where the story ends. Our story -- yours, and mine.
And here is where our story starts. Mine, and hers.