Wednesday, January 5, 2011
I was so excited to be with you again. We’re just together a few days ago but it seemed like it was already a long time. I still remember the vivid images of our first meeting.
You were just silently standing there, looking at the paintings on the wall. It was rather odd for me to meet you in an art museum but you insisted so I gave in. You had it your way. I saw you immediately amongst the crowd but I did not approach you just yet. I just stared at you from a distance as you stood there.
You were wearing a long-sleeved shirt and a pair of jeans. With slightly disheveled hair, I saw how you looked so amazed by just looking at the different combination of color putting life to those once empty canvasses. You looked at those works of art like a little boy who just saw a pile of gifts waiting to be unwrapped. I smiled as I stared at you from afar. You were so cute, with those deep dimples that showed on both cheeks whenever you smile.
I looked at my watch and I smiled. It's time. I got closer to where you were standing and I put my right hand gently on your shoulder. I feel you jerked a little, surprised at the hand that touched your shoulder. You turned around and saw me smiling at you. You knew immediately who the person standing right next to you was, and you flashed the sweetest smile I've ever seen in my life.
You were still the same. You were still the same person I've been playing with since we were little kids. Only now, you're taller than me and so much leaner. And you were wearing those black glasses that complemented the shape of your face and your chinky eyes.
I stretched my right arm as I offer my hand for a shake, but you ignored my hand and you just hugged me then and there. My face turned a little red but you kept on hugging me tightly as if there's no tomorrow. Secretly, a smile just crept into my face as I felt your heart beat against mine. We were both very nervous for it's going to be the first time we'll be meeting again after all those years of separation. I never saw you again ever since you and your family migrated to Canada. But right at that very moment, I felt more comfortable to be beside you. I felt like we were never apart. Your presence was so enthralling that it felt like I don’t anymore want that moment to end. Again, I just let you do what you did. I liked it even if you had it your way.
You broke free from the embrace but you placed your right arm over my shoulder as we roamed around the museum for a bit. We had a lot of things to talk about, and yes, we were able to have a good start.
You told me what you did the moment you set foot in Canada. I was just listening to you the whole time, not wanting to bother you for a moment. I don’t want to stop hearing the voice which I missed all those years. Then, you took out two albums full of photos. You handed it to me and I held them gently as if they were treasures that I need to take care of. You told me to open them and there I saw pictures of you… In different places, in different times, with different expressions, with different people. I continued to scan the pictures as you looked at me intently. When I was halfway through the album, you started talking.
“I’ve been taking pictures ever since I had been in Canada. Ever since I’ve been away from you. I took them knowing that someday, we’ll be able to see each other again. Remember, when we were still young, we promised each other that we will travel the world together and we will see the different sights and sounds that every country has to offer? Well, I was able to travel, but with that, I left you here alone… So what I did was to take pictures of all the places I’ve been through, made a documentary of all the experiences I’ve had hoping that someday, I’ll be able to show them to you. I wanted you to see what I’ve seen, to feel what I’ve felt and to experienced what I’ve been through all those years that I’m not with you. I want you to think that I’ve never left you behind and with these albums, I kept all my memories which I wanted to share with you. I want to make up for the lost time. I wanted to fulfill our promise. I wanted us to travel the world… together.”
I just continued looking at the pictures trying to avoid your gaze. But all your words struck my heart like a lightning bolt. I felt my chest getting heavy, and tears started to fall directly on the pictures. I tried to suppress what I’m feeling but the tears just gave me away. I can’t control it. The surge of emotions just kept on flowing, and as I continue to flip through the pages of the album, I never really thought about the pictures or whether I’m still seeing them clearly. All I can think about was the things that you just told me.
You cupped your hand under my chin as you let me face you. Your gaze directly focused on me and I saw tears forming on your chinky eyes. You held my cheeks with both your soft hands as you tried to wipe away the tears from my eyes using your thumb. I held on to the album as we both looked at each other. Our faces, as if they have a mind of their own got closer and closer until your lips touched mine. We kissed. We were just there standing, not minding whether people were staring at us. It was just the two of us and no one else. The time just stopped as if we were the ones controlling it. It was that perfect moment which will never be forgotten no matter how many years may pass.
Those were the times when you had it your way and I didn’t object. I just gave in. I don’t want to fight it even if I could have resisted.
And now, as I felt the same excitement of finally seeing you again, I felt a shiver down my spine. As I stood there near a post, I saw people coming in and out of this small room where I suddenly found myself in. Some were familiar faces, but there were some I didn’t really know. “Where could you be?” I thought to myself as I patiently waited for you to arrive.
I waited, and waited, until I saw someone very familiar arrived at the entrance. There were some people blocking the newcomer but as I try to find a clearer view, I saw you. You were the one I’ve been waiting for. My dear Angelo. You finally arrived. But why were you wearing black? Didn’t I tell you to wear something colorful? I even joked that you should wear something neon. But why were you wearing black, of all the colors? And why do you have this basket of flowers in your hands? Well, a bouquet of flowers would’ve been better, sweeter, but why would you place those lovely flowers in a basket?
As you walked towards me, my mother stood up from where she was sitting and she hugged you tightly. You hugged her back as you suddenly broke down and cry. “Why were you crying?” A lot of questions started to pop out of my head and I began to wonder what’s happening.
Then, I saw this box beside me. I didn’t know where it came from or how it got there but I suddenly just noticed it. Then all of a sudden, memories started to pour in.
I was about to meet you for our first ever date as a couple. You will be coming from your house in Rizal so I decided to just meet you halfway so that you won’t anymore have to travel far. But you called me and you insisted that we just meet in a place nearer to my place. You told me that you wanted to make it easier for me, and since you wanted to make up for all those times that you weren’t there for me, you just let me go to this restaurant which is about half an hour away from our place. I obliged. I know you wanted it that way.
Everything was ready. I wore my nicest long-sleeved polo, black pants and a pair of shoes which my mom just polished for me. I left our house and mom wished me luck for my first date with you. She had always been there for me ever since you left, and she remained to be as supportive as ever.
Everything was happening the way it should be until the unexpected happened. A bus suddenly appeared in the driveway and it was speeding directly towards the vehicle I was riding. It was too late for our driver to change lanes. There was the blinding light, the loud screams and everything just went black.
Now as I stared at the insides of the box, tears started to fall from my eyes. Then I heard you scream my name as you unintentionally dragged my mom towards the same box where my body was lying. Motionless. Lifeless.
“Mark… Mark! MARK!!!” You kept on calling my name. I tried to respond to but I can’t. I screamed back but no one heard me. “ANGELO! ANGELO! I’M HERE! I’m just… here…” My voice was engulfed by the cries and sobs of people whom, in a way or two, had been part of my life.
Now, as I stare at you, you were not anymore the same guy I saw a few days ago, smiling and being like a kid. You were already the man I’ve been waiting for all these times. The man who always had his way which I never tried to contradict, for I liked the way he liked it. You left me once but you returned for you knows you will still have it you way. But for now, I’ll have it my way, even if it’s the most painful thing to do. I must leave you. I have to have it my way sometimes.
“Angelo, I’ll be leaving for now… but don’t ever think I’ve left you because you’ve left me once. I’m doing this for I want you to be happy. To find your own happiness with someone who can do better than me. But if the right time comes that we’ll again someday be reunited, I’ll be waiting. Take care for now. It’s my turn to travel. But like what we promised, we’ll be travelling together, for you’ll always be here in my heart… no matter what happens. But for now… All I can say is… I love you… Good bye…”
~ fin ~