Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Appointment

Rain Princess 2 by Leonid Afremov

“Wait for about three seconds after I press the record button, then state your name, age, occupation. We’ll begin from there.”

“OK, Doc,” I said.

He pressed the button. One two three

“Eight years?”

“Eight years.”

This is how we started.

At seven in the morning, I got up from bed and did what I always do on weekdays: brushed my teeth, took a bath, changed clothes, fixed myself a cup of black coffee, slung my backpack, and walked out of the room. Quite perfunctory for a third year college student on a Monday.

Except that it wasn’t.

You see, I have the habit of taking the ceramic cup with me to my morning class, although by the time I’ve reached the classroom I’ve already downed the coffee. Picture me inside the passenger jeep en route to my class sipping from the cup aaahh goddamn shit tastes so good and then of course I have to pay my fare with my left hand bayad po isang estudyante and reach for the other passengers’ fare once in a while because it’s rude not to even if the whole world can perfectly see you’re busy enjoying that steaming liquid black as everyone’s pupils but they don’t mind no sir they don’t because they say it’s common courtesy and probably because yeah fuck sensibility.

One kilometer in fifteen minutes. You’d be surprised that, in a place tucked at the foot of a mountain, we also boast of having to suffer heavy traffic first thing in the morning. We’re not living in a city, though I suppose the difference is the same.

Aaahh goddamn shit tastes so good.

And then the jeepney stopped. Someone got in. I wouldn’t have bothered chuckling, feeling giddy. I wouldn’t have restrained myself from looking less morose than I usually do, because I’ve long convinced myself that life is trivial, and that death is a travesty of it. I wouldn’t have told myself well fuckit I’m going to where she’s going screw my first class because today just for once the universe has given me a sign I should not ignore.

Because the girl who just got in, for the love of god, was also holding a ceramic cup of black coffee.

Unbelievable, I know, because I cannot imagine the odds of two people sharing the same ride sitting face-to-face and having similar ceramic cups of black coffee on their hands on the same hour of the same day.

Later on, she said she had it all planned, she having frequently seen me and my cup for the previous weeks except that I didn’t notice, her presence most of all. But I don't buy her confession, even if she said “Aaahh goddamn shit tastes so good” and I cannot help but smile and gently hold her chin and plant a kiss on her cheek and she must’ve felt happy the way she embraced me. Good days. Better days.

And this is how we ended.

The typhoon thrashed the city on the first Sunday of the rest of my life. By the time the roads were flooded and the bus stop was marooned, we went our separate ways: I north, she south, or wherever it was that she intended to go, perhaps dry land where she can take shelter from the storm. It was no use looking back. The heavy rain swallowed what little was left of her silhouette in the growing darkness. I did not cry. Tears are never for the broken. The sky had to do what my eyes cannot, because long ago on happier days I have already emptied myself of sorrow so that, at least for once, I can be as bad as a cliché forever stuck on a page. For the first time, I went home with two ceramic cups in my backpack, or at least what was left of them. I counted. Thirty-two fragments.

“And where’s the rest of it?”

“What do you mean, Doc?”

“The rest of the story. The eight years. What happened between the start and the end?”

“That’s strange, Doc. I’ve been asking myself the same question.”

“Damnit. What’s the use of being a doctor in purgatory when the guardians purge the memories out of all the souls in here? Jeeesus Christ.”

“Can I remove the noose from my neck now, Doc?”

“Suit yourself.”



She entered the room.


Overthinker Palaboy said...

Ang ganda T.T

♔ıǝɹɯɐı♔ said...

Oh wow. I like the freshness of this post. The style is superb. Like like C:

citybuoy said...

Ang roller coaster lang nito. You took my to happy then sad, then happy tapos sad ulit. Hanggang sa in the end, parang halo na. This isn't like your other stuff but like Rei said, it is superb. Bagong influence? :)

SPLICE said...

@Overthinker Palaboy

Thanks! Now that you've mentioned something about the style, I'm reminded myself of Frank McCourt. It wasn't my intention, but my apologies to Mr. McCourt for dragging his style into this bit. :)

Old influence, I think. Frank McCourt. Salamat Nyl! :)

♔ıǝɹɯɐı♔ said...

So I feel a bit like an ignoramus for not knowing who Frank McCourt is. Will google XD

k said...

No sir they don't. Goddam shit. Yeah. So Frank McCourt.:)

I hate black coffee. Ang pait lang. Hihi.

SPLICE said...

Black coffee I like. You've probably heard what some people usually say. Once you go black...

Except that, in my case, it's only coffee. And I sure damn would want to keep it that way, like an impregnable limit. :D

kae said...

Once you go black, you never go back? Lol. Right. In my case, I won't ever go black, I mean coffee.^_^