Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Day in the Life

Three Red Umbrellas by Leonid Afremov

That night, we were twenty. She said that wherever we go we will always be under the same stars. All failed relationships, she insisted, are astral affairs, a billion stories projecting themselves toward the sky in their bid to find their rightful place among the constellations. But the stars are gone, I replied. The sparkles of light that we witness beyond sunset are the last of what they are and what they will never be again. These bright rays cast astray into the universe reach us a thousand light years too late. We can see them, I said, because they are gone.

She bowed and shook hear head. Before she left, she held my hand. She said my name, and then a pause. That was how it ended — with a pause. Since then, I managed to survive on my own. Or I tried. Some days were sunny. Some other days were not. Underneath the little pockets of the southern sky on moonless evenings, I bask in silence, waiting for that pause to end so that I can start again. Yet for years I was as solitary as the sun, a star casting light for no one, not a soul in the world. I can only hear my voice speaking to myself in behalf of myself. And then one day, seven years after, life happened.

She married the man I never was.

Now as I look at her, I find it difficult to place her face in my memory. Gone are the smoky eyes, in their place that misty pair of hazel brown pupils glowing with the kind of gaiety I have not seen in years. The ebony hair has given way to a shade of brown glistening under the artificial fluorescence inside the airport lobby. Her lips are daubed rouge, no longer the pale flesh I used to kiss. Looking at her, I somehow began to understand that the weight of seven years is thirty pounds lost, which is perhaps the heaviness of the heart she was nursing back then. Maybe hers is the anorexia of a love lost but found elsewhere, which is, of all places, in the heart of another man, someone who does not speak the language of poetry, someone who can never understand these things with his heart of stone.

This is not a homecoming, I thought. There is no home — but how beautiful she has become!

“Alas, you are the first flower to bloom in spring time,” I said. I approached her with caution in my heart and slight trembling in my knees. And then the embrace, the only warmth in the world I will ever need to get by. She looked at me and smiled.

“I missed you,” she whispered. Her voice felt like the soothing caress of gentle hands I can almost feel her wrap herself around my skin.

Those three words ended the longest pause in my life. But that is all there will ever be to it. I know I can never start again. Today I can see her, clear as water, because she is finally gone in my life the way starlight flashes by unnoticed. I lost her seven years ago, never to have her again, if at all I had her once upon a time.

It should be cold inside, but on this Wednesday afternoon the heat from outside seemed to spill into the lobby. This must be how it feels to live without the sun. I looked ahead and there they were: the two children she and I will never have, and her husband, the man I could have been but never was.


citybuoy said...

oh my fucking gawd. this post hurt. like furreal.

♔ıǝɹɯɐı♔ said...

OMG. Goosebumps universe.

citybuoy said...

I effing love this post. BInalikan ko nanan. BTW, i shared this on a couple of social networking sites. I hope you don't mind. To be fair, you're getting a lot of love from that side of the interwebs!

mots said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mots said...

ang galing galing galing galing galing galing galing mo! halimaw ka.

ang sakit. shit

Herbs D. said...

You can always get her back by seducing her back into your caress, besides, most marriages end up nowadays. You'll be fine.

Like they said, "if it's not okay, it's not the end."

SPLICE said...

Maraming salamat citybuoy, ♔ıǝɹɯɐı♔, mots, at Herbs D. :)

kae said...

what mightve been, couldve been.. time. what we would give to go back to, alter, relive what had been.

ang lupit mo magmahal. is that good, or bad?
hindi q kaya yan. or i should say, hindi ko gustong gawin. good? or bad?
like i always remind myself, choose happiness pa din. yung totoong happiness? no trace of remorse or sadness. parang imposible nga lang. happiness coexists with the other.

"in so many millenia, humans never figured love out."
-the host, by stephenie meyer

SPLICE said...


I think it's a bad thing, though at times it can be a good thing. It destroys people.

citybuoy said...

Coming back to an old favorite. Hope all is well!