Throwback

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I was cleaning up my inbox when i saw this. I wrote this six years ago.

My apartment smells like stale smoke from week-old cigarettes. The summer heat is slowly melting the rank sweat that clung to the walls. The bed is untidy and pillows are all over the place. Cigarette packs serve as conversation pieces.

I stare at my mobile, waiting for a message that I knew would not come while my cigarette slowly burns.

I just woke up from a disturbed sleep. That’s the kind of sleep I’ve been having these past few days. As I sit there, half asleep, my mind still brushing away the cobwebs of dreams, I pondered on the things that have happened. Some existential bullshit I’ve been forcing myself lately.

The air is sticky with humid much like in a rubber suit. I take a drag, the nicotine invade my lungs once more. I reach out for a glass of water just to wash the bitter taste away. My room mate hasn’t come home yet, so I am left alone to my own devices, trying to pass the time as I gather my thoughts.

I’ll be turning 25 this year. A quarter of a century. Old by most standards. I’m one in a generation experiencing the ‘quarter-life crisis.’ A new term coined for us folks who grew up right smack in the break-neck speed of technological evolution. A world where lines are blurred between the virtual and the real one.

My throat aches from the invasion of the poison I force into my body everyday. My mobile rings, jolting me out of my thoughts.

One of my clients needs a report.

There you go. I have no personal life anymore. People bug me even if i’m out of the office. I don’t reply. It’s my day off, give me a break.

I drag myself off the bed, flick the cancer stick away and try to fix myself a decent meal. I have an erratic meal schedule.

As erratic as my own personal life.

I can still feel my parent’s disappointment everytime they see me. I can hear the words they never utter but have been playing in their heads: you wasted your life, dirtbag.

That ruined my appetite. I was preparing myself for a long and lazy day, but my mind had plans of its own. I will not be at peace today. Crap.

I mentally ticked off all the things that I need to do for the day and like the procrastinator that I am, decided to do away with them altogether. It’s my off for chrissakes, I want the day to pass by without me doing any productive work.

Or maybe I could just clean the apartment. Maybe not. There’s too much clutter, I don’t know where to start. I don’t want to complicate my life by prioritizing which areas to clean first. besides, I’m not getting sick yet of the chaos, it’s all good.

Where to?

It’s still all up in the air but my mind is set. I may not feel the pain of being uprooted yet but I feel hopeful. More than two decades of living here has made me who I am today. Yet the thought of leaving all of these scares me. I know I am making the right choice; but that doesn’t change the fact that this is going to be my biggest leap of faith.
So here’s to being a grownup and making all those grownup decisions.
Wish me luck.

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if i had three wishes, you would be all three

I have been into a lot of relationships- romantic relationships that is. Some of them were really serious and some were, let me just say, got me through my ‘dry’ days.

I was generally happy in all of these relationships and most of them ended in a ‘good’ way. Meaning we ended up as friends, and we still keep in touch. All breakups are ugly in some way but I have managed to end mine where there was little pain involved to both parties.

In all these relationships, although none of them were the same, I somehow see a formula of how it goes: you meet, fall in love, then commit, something goes wrong, and you break up, get hurt and move on. I am not trying to make it sound simple. But think of it as a high overview of the mechanics of relationships.

But I get stumped when it comes to the ‘relationship radicals.’ The ‘what-ifs,’ the ‘grey areas,’ ‘the ones who got away’ and, the sum of all these: ‘the question marks.’

Love, as many have so succinctly put it, is complicated stuff. And I got the front row, both an active participant and a captive audience.

So let’s do away with my ‘normal’ relationships and talk about the three great question marks of my life.

Front and center, from stage right, is question mark number one. Let’s call him Cain.

Cain was love, er, infatuation at first sight. He reminded me so much of my ex that it came to a point that I thought he WAS my ex who possessed Cain and came back to make the wrong things right. Cue romantic movie theme.

I was hooked. Infatuation turned into love, love into lust and eventually heartbreak and all of these happened without him knowing. It was all me. All he knew was that we were really close friends and at that time, I never had the balls to tell him that I actually see him more than a friend and I wanted us to be something more.

So this is where you see my greatest flaw: I am, deep inside, chicken shit. When it comes to the vague guys that I am into, I couldn’t muster the courage to tell them that I like them. I just play these fantasies in my head and inevitably, since there is really no concrete romantic relationship, I end up heartbroken, without him knowing. Sad, I know. But I’m a masochist, I like pain. And I like getting hurt. Again, one of my character flaws.

So it went on like that for a couple of months, I was young then and the prospect of being rejected wasn’t all that appealing. So I just admired him from a distance.

Let me tell you something about Cain, he’s really charming and when you’re alone with him, it’s like it’s just you and him, and everything else fades in the background. And I’m not exaggerating, when he talks to you, his whole attention is on you. That’s one of the reasons why I fell for him. Out of all the questions marks I’ve had, Cain was, and still is, the most special.

Then life got in the way, we lost touch and I have moved on, and I thought that it was just that, a crush.

But life has a funny way of complicating things.

Three years and a handful of boyfriends later, Cain came back into my life. He made his presence felt and feelings came rushing back. I went down the rabbit hole again.

Funny thing is, it was like the years never happened and we were never really were apart. We picked up where we left off. And since I was single, I was assuming that he would be the next one.

But if that were true, I wouldn’t be writing this, would I?

This time, I made sure that he knew how I felt about him. I was older and braver, and I have faced rejection before, so it wouldn’t be a big deal if he doesn’t feel the same way. But deep inside I was seriously hoping that what we have can be taken to another level.

Unfortunately, he said that I was just like a brother to him. That broke my heart, but at least he knew that I was in love with him. And you know what? After he broke my heart, we became closer. It was like being in a relationship without the label and the sex.

So we had this ‘something’ and at time, I was contented with that. That was all he could offer me and that was enough.

It went on for a couple of months, we had ‘non-dates’, we were semi-exclusive but we were never in a relationship. There was a kiss of course, but I blame the alcohol for that. And like any other question mark, we didn’t talk about it. It would be awkward, but it left me more puzzled about what we really had.

Eventually, he had to go out of the country, we lost touch, and looking back, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

He’s one of the greatest ‘what-ifs’ of my life and for now, I think I’m okay with that.