Time Check

 

8AM. I woke up feeling unusual. For the past years, mornings were different.
From my window, the rays of sunlight peeked, as if a voyeur, who wants to eavesdrop into my room. I pulled the curtains to the side and unhinged the locks to open the windows. I slowly pushed the panels out and opened the windows fully.
Now the room was filled with light and warmth from the sun. Particles of dust float in the atmosphere. I slowly folded my sheets and placed them on the piles of used clothes inside the laundry basket. Then I put on new sheets to the mattress where we used to lay, where we used to snuggle the whole afternoon, where you rest your head on my arm while you tell me stories which now I don’t know which ones are true and which ones are not. It was unusual. The scent of the fabric doesn’t blend with the scent of your perfume anymore. Not anymore.
For the past 1095 plus days, mornings were… different from this one…
10AM. I pulled out the drawers. There were bottles of wine, empty bottles of rum, half-full bottles of gin. I took them out, stared at each bottle, one by one like they were vials containing some sort of memory. There was one full bottle, the one I intended to open the day you pass the boards. Obviously, we – or I never had the chance to open it. Then there were empty bottles, I don’t know exactly how many there are. Maybe, they are as many as the times when I felt empty since the day you said you’ve had enough. I placed them in a paper bag which I would take out to throw into the trash. All of them, along with your letters containing paragraphs of lies you scribbled so nicely.
11 AM — We used to have breakfast this time. We used to sit opposite to each other while we talk about our plans. But now, I’m only having coffee which I should’ve had a long time ago to wake up from all the illusions I have always chosen to believe in.
Finally, I can get out of the house feeling every part of my body is normal. I can feel my arms without imagining that you’re holding it. I can feel my hands without feeling that yours are intertwined with them. I can feel like a normal person which for so long I have never been. I can feel that I am enough and I have had enough.

Time has healed every crack, every fissure, and every wound you have left. So it is time, to write this last letter to you.

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Scars

We lay on our backs, without the things that cover the mountains and the crevices, our faults and our soul’s openings. We stretch against the cotton sheets that felt too cold, and sometimes that felt too odd, because, the only things that are warm and familiar are the tendons and the ligaments of each other’s arms.  We collapse and we both share the thin air that was made for us both. And our palms glide in each other’s skin like we were born with the same complexity and fairness.

But we are both scarred.

You have childhood scars as I have my own. There was one, you said was caused by being burnt by a motor’s muffler. Another from tripping off a stone that had your knees several cuts.

But there are many more scars we do not even remember having. And there are more scars that aren’t seen, could not be touched, only felt. They are the faults we cannot see. Cracks that are hidden. Fissures that just lay there unnoticed.

There are scars that make you dislike the rain. The last time he kissed you was on a rainy night in June. He promised, that no matter how strong the storm could get, he will always be there to tuck you in his arms, to stay with you as the thunder claps its loudest. But then, he fell in love with someone else who loved to dance in the rain. And you were left on your own, outside, in the middle of the storm that there’s no stopping.

You iron your clothes carefully, without a single crease. How you fix your hair every minute. How you look at the mirror for an hour or two to make sure you look good before going out. And all because, you thought he left you because someone else was way good looking than you.

How you never sit next to the window on the bus, you never look at the mini-stop at the corner, and you never want to sleep with huge pillows, all because, you are scared of seeing him. You are scared of seeing memories of you and him together. Best to avoid the things that remind you of who you were around him.

There are scars that make you cringe every single time you hear his favorite song. Or how you wish you were deaf when someone mentions his name.

And there are deeper scars that make you who you are and have become unnoticeably a natural part of you. They are ones that warn you to stay still even when your heart is racing. The ones that hold you back. The ones that make you refuse to love and take it, each time it is given.

But now, we lay uncovered. With all our flaws exposed. Your own set of legs and thighs intertwined with mine. We share the same air and for once, our hearts beat in the same rhythm.

Darling, I tell you, you are scarred and all of us are. Memories may linger in every inch of you but we are all scarred and scars are only reminders of the past. They may or may not disappear, but I promise you, they all heal.

Don’t be afraid. You are scarred, but you are beautiful.

 

 

Tyre

We stare at the wreckage the storm has brought. We stare at the pieces of wood, the pieces of garments, the pieces of the sail, and the pieces of us. We too have become remnants of the storm.

We are navigators.

We are in our ships away from the harbor, journeying the seamless ocean. There are nights when we see the stars. We spend hours admiring how marvelous these bodies of heaven look in the open sky. We hold bottles of rum and sing the sailors’ anthem. We all turn into bards and tell the tales of our adventures.  There are mornings when the scent of the sea wakes us and the breeze, so perfect that we’d just like to lie in our sheets. Sometimes, the pitter -patter of the rain against the water would silence us and peacefully, we just stare at the droplets as they fall. We are the helmsman of our wheel. We decide on every turn and route we take. We see how the sky kisses the sea. We see how the sun gently folds its rays against the horizon. And again, we shall be gently put to sleep by the waves that rock our boats like little cribs. Maybe tomorrow when we wake, we could discover an island that hides treasures.

Sometimes life is just perfect.

Then suddenly strong winds hit us.

It starts like a soft whistle. Like a short interruption in our sleep. It is a warning coming from somewhere. And it grows and howls in the middle of the night.

The gentle waves have become rough. The winds are stronger and our sails shake and tear apart. We struggle to keep our boats in balance. Our ropes are shorter than we think. We lose our patience and we tug so hard that they break. The winds blow harder and the rain has soaked our carriages. The water starts to seep in like death slowly crawling on our feet. We are sucked into a whirlpool where there is no escape. The ocean, we thought was gentle became a monster that will devour every life in us. We hold on to the edge, we kneel side by side. We pray for deliverance.

The winds slowly calmed. And the night has become peaceful again, so peaceful that the silence has been deafening.

We have lived and survived… but we are lost.

The turbulent waves have sent us somewhere we haven’t sailed yet, somewhere unfamiliar.

Our boats are damaged, just strong enough to keep us afloat. We sail in the endless ocean thinking, when shall we reach land? We have lost the helm and we just have to go where the waves take us. There are nights when we think about just diving into the water and disappear among the bubbles that we left behind. We stare at the wreckage the storm has brought. We stare at the pieces of wood, the pieces of garments, the pieces of the sail, and the pieces of us. We too have become remnants of the storm.

As we continue to float, we long for the harbor. In the middle of chaos, and even in the middle of emptiness, we long for the harbor. In a place where we will be welcomed; where our tired bodies shall meet with soft sheets and warm embraces. Where wounds shall be treated until they all heal. Where loneliness shall be replaced with companions wishing to hear the tales of the adventure. Where we are again in control of the turns and the routes we take. Where the wreckage shall just be a distant dream and we could start rebuilding dreams again.

When we reach the harbor, we will not be called lost souls anymore…

but we shall be called navigators again.

 

On a cup of vanilla chamomile

My eyes were closed with every sip from the steaming cup. I was thinking how a cup of hot water with light flavoring could soothe the troubles inside my head. I was wondering how a little green teabag could make the warm water taste so different.

I sipped some more.

The steam already fogged my eyeglasses. It seemed like the world just revolved between me and my cup of chamomile. Like how life revolved around you.

I took another sip.

The tea felt so warm in my mouth and the cup in my palms. It felt like the first time my hand held yours. The first time we snuggled down my couch one rainy afternoon. It felt like the first time. Yes, the very first  time.

I just held the cup close to my face.

The scent of vanilla was very comforting. It felt so smooth. ‘Twas a little whiff of heaven.  I remembered, I used to sniff your hair to guess what brand of shampoo you were using. And it always ended that I’d get the wrong answer because you changed your shampoo too often, like how your feelings change. But even so, your scent was very familiar like the hint of vanilla on my cup of tea.

I poured some more water on the teabag resting on the cup. It was the same teabag. It was the same tea cup. The same water I used. But it tasted different. The color was pale and unpleasing. It was not even steaming anymore. The flavor was lighter, actually, bland and almost uninteresting. So I threw the teabag and replaced it with a new one.

Maybe that was how I was to you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To A Friend

You may be lost right now. You may be sitting on the side of the road thinking about how life has changed you and how much you want everything to end. Or you may be awake at 2am wondering how someone could love you so deep and in just a fearful  moment fall for someone else. Or you may be intoxicated with the feelings of anger and loneliness than the alcohol volume you have taken. You feel like your arms are not yours anymore because they used to be the comforts he comes home to after a tiring day. Now, they are just mere flesh and bones you fail to recognize. You are stuck in one corner just watching everything pass by. And there are too many questions in your head right now and they seem to be unanswerable. These questions… they haunt you. They are like vines with thorns that wrap your heart.

My friend, the world is a tough place to live in. Like the Big Bang Theory, there are explosions that can happen inside of us. There could be an Ice Age era inside our hearts. And like the universe there are things that we will never fully know. There are things that we will really never know. And even if we know every reason behind every heartache, it would not ease the pain.

But my friend, remember, the world still revolves and rotates. We may not know it and we may not feel it but for sure we are moving. Moving on may not be so easy as what they make it look like in movies. There might be no chances, neither a one more nor  a second. There might not be an answer for all your questions right now or in the coming days. But stay strong. After all of this, believe that slowly you will recognize your arms again without his skin against them. Believe that there will be one day when you won’t even have to intoxicate yourself to fall asleep without thinking of all your memories together. Believe that one day… you won’t even dream and look forward to being with him again. Believe that you will be okay. No matter how long it will take, believe.

 

At the Terminal

 

Dear You-who-have-left,

 

I hope you are doing fine.

I hope the sun’s warmth wakes you in the morning and the cold breeze tickle your toes. As the rooster crows and the smell of your brewed coffee combines with the scent of freshly washed linens, I hope you long for home.  I hope you have seen the waves that chased after each other as they crash altogether on the arms of the shore. I pray that you have watched the stars as they not only form constellations but reminders of the promises you made. And as you sleep, I wish you dream of the love you have left, and that your heart may always remember.

 

I have felt how her shoulders heaved on your last embrace. How she forced her knees to unshaken. How she forced her lips to curve, to make you see she is fine. How every drop of tear was stopped on the brink and how, she bit her tongue to not let the words “don’t go” spill-out. I have watched, as you slowly stepped on the train’s platform and the heaviness of her shoulders have let her arms just hang low and her heart, sank in an ice cold ocean. I have watched, as every tear came rushing as you waved your hat and bade her goodbye. I have seen, as she ran to catch a last glimpse of you and how her frail voice cracked the words “I love you.”But you could hear no more. The train’s whistle and your dreams have drowned her little heart’s voice in tears.

 

And sometimes, you know, I wish I was you.

I hope there was someone who, would shed tears as I ride the train too. Someone who would keep a photograph of me on a wallet, on a purse or underneath the pillow. Someone who would softly touch her lips on my forehead and say “take care.” Someone who would give me a long embrace as the conductor calls for the last passengers. Someone who would hold my hand firmly and look into my eyes and say, “Dear, I will be waiting.”

I hope there was someone, hoping each night to be with me and would be waiting for my return patiently. And when I finally come home, someone I could wrap my arms with and I could say “we belong with each other. I wouldn’t leave again and I am here to stay.”

 

But sometimes, I also wish, I was that someone you left.

Someone, who awaits your crashing into my arms, like the shore patiently waits for the waves. Someone, no matter how long it takes, will wait… and hold on to every promise we made. If there was no more you who would come back, will feel every piercing pain in the chest. It would take years to heal, but at least, at least I have felt.

And if one night, you appear on my front door, you will grab me by the hand and we’d kiss and we’d hug and you would swing me and we’d dance under the moonlight. We’d sit under the stars and you’d tell me of how you have reached your dreams; of how you have discovered that you can be an author, an astrologer and that you can be anything you want to be.

You’d tell me of how your soul has been searched, and yet your heart yearns for me. I would rest my head on your shoulders and nuzzle into your hair and I would tuck you into my arms and never let go of you again. Never.

I wish I was either.

But I am just here.

Meant to watch every departure and meant to see every arrival. I was just… meant to see, meant to watch and not to feel. Meant not to belong to anyone, meant to love no one…

Love,

Bench