It isn’t like I could take back what I did. There’s no going back and righting the wrongs. There’s only looking at the present and blaming myself each waking moment for having been unfair.
No matter what happens, I love you. I always will.
I never thought of you to be kinder. Usually, you’re the type of guy who wreaks havoc in the lives of innocent girls and leaves them picking up the pieces of their heart. So I tried hard to stay away from you. I nearly did. But you were easy to get along with, and we walk the same way home. I figured it wasn’t wrong to be friends. That’s right. I saw you just as a friend back then. But then, circumstances happened. Fights occurred. And to my surprise we ended up fixing things by just talking. I thought it was really different. And really sweet. That’s when I started to hang out with you. Buying and eating lunch together. Go to places together. Send messages. Ask favors. Wait for the other in going home. We did everything together. And I started to guard my heart. But I wasn’t a good cop. Without me knowing, you stole my heart and kept it with you. It was like a conspiracy that I’m a part of. I knew you had it, but I never tried to take it back. I allowed myself to be captured by you. Then a lot of things happened that brought us closer to each other. But the closer we get, the more mysterious you became. But I never asked. I never complained. Because for me, you are perfectly what you are. And the more perfect I see you as, the deeper I fell for you. And I couldn’t do anything about it. I knew I didn’t have the chance. I had thoughts to assume, but I pulled back. Because I knew that the moment I start with the assumptions, there’s no way back to sanity. Along with the feelings, there came fights and reconciliations, and memories to last a lifetime. During that time I was already aware that it would be hard for me to go when the time comes so I kept tabs on the things we did together for me to remember. While I was at that, I realized that I shouldn’t be listing down anymore, because surely I wouldn’t forget. How could I if I did everything with you already. That realization hit me. And it was so damn painful ‘cause I was aware that it would be my ticket to sadness. That year was not long. One day I woke up, and realized that I only had a few days before we say goodbye. I was being emotional and had a lot of thoughts. Of sad thoughts. But I smiled through the pain anyway. Yet you told me that I was too transparent and that you know how I felt that time. That I wasn’t really happy. That I wasn’t really prepared to go. There are a lot of things that you know about me, things that you knew because you’re a good observer. But still, there are things you don’t know. Things I didn’t tell you because I didn’t have the heart to. The truth is, I was afraid. I was afraid of leaving. When you talked me into staying, you had no idea that I had that letter of intent readied all along. But then I thought that if leaving is painful and scary, then it’s much scarier and more painful to stay. I knew that the moment I stay, it was like I was swearing that I’m ready with whatever that will happen this coming year. But reality is, I’m not. I may not know what will come but if there’s one thing I’m sure of, there won’t always be sunshines. We may change along the way. We may get tired of each other and look for another companion. We may fall in love, but not with each other. That will definitely hurt. And since I’m transparent and you’re the one who could always see that, then I couldn’t hide that it’s painful. And since I’m frank about things, I may say out loud that I actually regret staying. I don’t want those things to happen. So before they may occur, I already prevented them to. I’m not actually happy with the decision I made. But I guess it’s for the better of the both of us.
I just finished watching Flipped. You know that story with a boy (Bryce Loski) who was always annoyed by the girl who’s clearly madly in love with him and had been stalking him since second grade, he tried everything to avoid her and then when he already did and she didn’t like him anymore, he eventually came to realize that he really likes her.
I like the film. Not just because the boy who played Bryce Loski is way too cute, (which I’ve been ranting about with my cousin) but because I like the idea of it. Of having the courage to show someone how you really feel. Of not getting tired of loving someone even when you’re not getting something in return. Of having your own spot (like on top of a tree) wherein you always find peace. Of knowing the best way to say you’re sorry. Of knowing when to keep your distance. Of knowing when to stop even when it’s too painful. Of having something to believe in. Of accepting things as they are.
I began to wonder, perhaps I could be Juli, and you could be Bryce. I’m not into sycamore trees or anything but I knew that when I met you, I already flipped. Boy I did try to fight the feeling, but see I kept coming back to you. So I guess maybe someday you’ll flip too?
Sometimes, there are a lot of things that will come our way before we learn. We may or may not be a part of those occurrences. We may be in the light or in the dark. But what’s sure is that at the end of those circumstances, we get to realize a lot of things vital to the shaping of who we are as a person.
I’d always thought I’m the good girl. The one who could understand everyone who needs understanding. The one who doesn’t care about taking sides. The one who’s always just and fair. But I’d never thought I’m no good. I’m just like the others. When I get mad, I curse, I bitch around, I hold grudges – and those, I realized, are what I’m good at. If I got mad, I mean really mad, at someone, I don’t talk with them, I don’t even look at them, I get by the whole day erasing them and their existence in my world.
Looking at the big picture now, it dawned on me that I should never meddle with somebody’s problems. Better yet, not get mad at who they’re mad at. But then, if you’re my friend, then I’ll stand up for you. And that means I, will of course, take your side. Like always. In anything. But then, am I not taking your side because I hear a lot of stories from you that would make worst of the image of the one you’re mad at, then I figured that I’m turning against that person too even when s/he didn’t do anything bad to me. To fix my image, I could say that perhaps there are one or three mistakes that my friend’s foe did towards me, but is it reasonable for me to act like a bitch towards that person? Who, I may add, is technically my friend too. If I’m going to ask this myself then, I’d say yes, without second thoughts. But I’m asking myself this now, and I’d have to say no. Admittedly, I was a bitch.
It was really sad that I get to realize these things just now. When it’s too late to fix things because they’re so damn broken. When that friend once was no longer a friend. I don’t know if it’s divine intervention, but one moment, I just found myself looking back to all the memories, and I realized how dumb I was to easily ruin the friendship I had because of such circumstances.
I thought hard, and I guess God really helps us find a way to somehow retie some knots that were once broken if we really want to. And for a moment in my life, I said sorry. I wasn’t expecting for more. But I really didn’t think that these are people that despite so much pain they went through, they still know how to forgive and still want you back in their lives. These are people whom I’ve hurt a lot of times, and yet, still give me, sincerely, their love and forgiveness.
Things and people happen due to reasons that we may never understand. But what’s sure is that we’ll never be forever blind. The right moment comes in which we get to realize that they have become instruments to make us better than who we were.
Quentin Jacobsen was the last person I trusted my life with. I had always believed in him starting the day I climbed down his bedroom window when we were ten. I’d always believed he understood. But then, like everybody did, he failed me. Instead of saving me from me, he went away. He went back to Orlando. It wasn’t as if I was expecting him to come to New York with me, that would’ve been unfair. Or drag me all the way back to Orlando, that would’ve been much unfair. All I was expecting was for him to fight for what he feels for me. And we could have gone on our own perpetual journey.
Clearly, Q was brave for a moment. He followed all my clues, patiently solving the mystery of my disappearance, and eventually he found me. Then he went back to the typical Q I’ve known for so long. Q is scared as shit to live the life of the unknown. For all I know, he already had his future nicely planned out. Graduate from college, get a nice paying job, marry a quiet reserved perfect almost like him girl, have cutesy carbon copies babies, etc. For a moment, I could laugh at myself for having even thought that Q would choose me. Bravo Q. You didn’t choose the paper girl. Your paper girl who lie all the fucking time because she’s too scared at the first sight of something permanent.
I’m sorry Q. But I lied to you. I lied when I said I didn’t want to be found. I wanted to! Fuck it Q! I wanted to be found by you! That’s why I left all those clues. Because I knew that you’re way too smart and way too in love with me to not figure out. But I didn’t know that you’re stupid enough to think that I really wanted this. I never wanted to leave Q. But you didn’t even ask. You just kissed me. And to tell you, a kiss is always not enough Q.
When I held his hand, I didn’t want to let go. But I had to. I didn’t want Q to see me cry. At least spare him the drama so he wouldn’t blame himself for my actions. I know Q, he could do a lot of worrying.
Looking back, I now understand why I stopped hanging out with Q. I know that it wasn’t just because of the status quo at school. It was more than that. I wanted a future in which I go different places, doing different things that would matter, making people think that Margot Roth Spiegelman is more than who she was – that she only lived in the paper towns but she wasn’t really a part of it. She wasn’t a paper girl. And if I stayed with Q. I couldn’t have done all of it. I would’ve probably be Q’s girlfriend, obeying whatever he wanted, and he wants to stay there. I cannot ever stay at Orlando. I have to find myself somewhere out there, and when I do, I have to find where I truly belong.
Before we part, I promised Q that I would buy a cellphone when I arrived at New York, so I’d be able to call him. Also, I promised that I’d email him. But sometimes, we only say these kind of stuff when we say goodbye, but we don’t really do them. We just make promises just because.
I won’t call Q. I won’t email you. Because I won’t go back. And if I don’t go back, everything will be fine. You see Q. Lace or Becca or Jase, they weren’t really my last string. My last string was you. I tried to believe that it wouldn’t break because I had faith in you. I held onto that. But it’s too late now. My last string broke. I just hope now that the wind would whisper to you to tell you what I told you the night we parted before I left for good.
I. will. miss. hanging. out. with. you.
I. Love. You.
I make others really happy. I should know. They always tell me. Sometimes, I think that I only exist because I’m obliged to make things happen for other people so that they would smile and feel the best feeling they could ever feel. Well of course not in forever, but even for just a particular moment in their lives. I once read that people would forget what you told them or gave them but they won’t forget how you made them feel. This is where I come in, always.
I’ve been a cheerful giver. Not in the sense that I lure people by giving them material things. It’s just that I love giving others what they want. They need not ask me. I give wholeheartedly. And I do not ever ask for anything in return. I don’t understand but I gain my own sense of happiness when I see that others become happy because of me.
But until when would I do this? Until when would I act as if I’m everybody’s Genie? Until when would I dream for someone to make me happy, really happy, in return?
I knocked thrice like I always do whenever I come. You opened the door for me like you always do whenever you hear my arrival. There’s something in the way you let me in the room. I always notice that. You opening the door for me gives me a certain kind of happiness which I can’t quite understand. It’s like it makes me feel a tingling sensation more than my actual stay. But today was somehow different. Well like always, I looked forward to seeing you. I immediately fixed myself when you sent me that message telling me to come over. But unlike the tingling giddiness I used to feel, I had mixed emotions instead when you opened the door. Instead of seeing your smiling welcoming handsome face, I saw complete darkness, and for quite a while I just stood there paralyzed thinking if I should enter. I adjusted my eyeglasses to see clearly who was there, then I heard your voice telling me to come in. Even with a doubt, I stepped in the room. Although I haven’t stepped farther because I couldn’t see in the dark and I might trip over your dog or something, so I just stood there. I heard you closed the door. Then I felt you standing behind me. I didn’t know how close you were but I felt your breath on my neck. My heart was pounding and different thoughts were having a swimming tournament in my head. One that stood out was telling me that I was not ready for what was coming.
I felt the heat that was consuming the small distance between us. I dropped my bag on the floor and faced you. We were relying on just air and sound. I felt my head in a rush and as if someone yelled “action!” you removed my eyeglasses and suddenly pulled me towards you, your left arm on my back and your right hand at the back of my neck, your lips kissing me with passion and intensity, while I held onto your shoulders for support. Suddenly, the thoughts left, leaving me with only confusion and excitement. You pinned me to what felt like the door, carefully unbuttoned my shirt and started kissing my throat down to the small dip at the base of my neck. I pulled off your shirt and felt your muscles tensed with my touch. Next thing I knew you were kissing my shoulders and I couldn’t think of anything but your face and your scent and the way you sing. I didn’t know how it happened so fast but we were suddenly on the couch, you sitting and me sitting on top of you, while we kissed and felt each other. Then we switched, you laid me and positioned yourself on top of me. My heart was pounding so fast it might’ve jumped out of my chest if it could’ve because I knew what was coming next. Then I suddenly felt so cold and so hot at the same time, I couldn’t think straight anymore. I felt you struggling between my legs, trying so hard to let yourself in my wholeness. I gasped for air. It felt sore and painful and sweet all at once. Then I felt your lips enveloping mine again. I held onto your left shoulder and had your hair tangled in my right hand. I kissed you back gently while we straddled and made sweet noises. We didn’t stop until I felt hot sticky liquid unsure it that was yours or mine. You pulled out and collapsed that I felt your full weight on top of me. I held you in my arms, not wanting that moment to end.
The swimming tournament of thoughts in my head resumed. I was no longer clean I thought. I gripped the strap of my bag tighter and cursed in my head. Then the lights went on making it clear for me to see that you were still in your clothes and I was still there in the spot where I chose to stand just a few seconds ago. Then you gave me printed materials and instructed me on what to do with them. I thanked you, chat and complained a little bit about my boss and the lousy work days I was having at the moment, thanked you again, and said my good bye. When I was out the door, I clapped my forehead in disappointment that I didn’t get even just the kiss.
I remember the first time I stepped into that small office. You sat there in front of your computer in silence too busy editing stuff and I didn’t care because I was too worried about my newspaper which, of course, was a task that wasn’t yours to manage. Days later, when I returned, you opened the door for me and right then and there I realized how handsome and manly you are. I didn’t entertain the thought though. But after days of coming to and fro, I think that there are some things I want to tell you which are:
1. You’re really handsome and fit;
2. You have such an amazing lovely voice (which I already told you except the lovely part);
3. I want to get to know you more;
4. Please sing for me;
5. I want to spend some time with you;
6. I wish that you’ll be the one to edit for me forever;
7. I’m being a hypocrite if I don’t admit that being your girlfriend crossed my mind;
8. How do you see me as a person?;
9. I’m thinking of making a cover for you; and
10. You really make me happy whenever I see you.
I’ve been trying so hard to be the daughter my parents want. I’ve given up half of my life just to be that girl. But I cannot go on any longer. I think it’s time for me to do the things I want and decide for myself.
I don’t want to go abroad. It’s a very promising future for me, but If that path means leaving behind the people I love, then I won’t go. It’s much better for me to stay here in my country and live within my means than go and earn lots in another country alone.
Okay, it’s not only just because of the “people” I love but the one person I love in particular. I cannot go knowing there’s nobody to take care of him and remember to celebrate special occasions with him. I cannot go and accept the fact that I won’t be able to spend time or see him for years, or maybe not ever again. I cannot go and say good bye and try to spend the last days with him faking happiness and promising things that I can’t and won’t be able to do anymore. I cannot go and have everything because everything will mean nothing without him.
If I leave, then it will be like ripping my heart out of my chest to bleed and hurt everyday feeling empty and wishing for completeness. It’s the worst thing ever.
No. I won’t leave. That’s my final decision.