I don’t want you to change. I know you’re screwed up. I know you’re always gonna be screwed up. But you’re the most incredible man I’ve ever known. You are always gonna be the most incredible man I’ve ever known. ~Dr. Lisa Cuddy, Now What HouseMD Season 7
In the cold autumn breeze, he pulls his coat together. The cloth barely covers him from the external chill and deep inside the ice spreads. That day was the exact opposite of the present. He continues his walk against the cobblestone path, not thinking of anything in particular. The blank thoughts weren’t signs of uneventful strides but clear effort to block out the happenings of that day. Blank. Blank. Blank. Summer. Sea. Sunshine.
It was one of the most beautiful days. One of those rare occasions when the sun shines through the sullen, little town of theirs. They took the chance to make the most of their weekend. She made some easy sandwiches, packed several other snacks and a jug of cold lemonade, even if the day wasn’t that hot. It was just for the sake of the pseudo-summer they have that day. He took the keys to their trusty truck and made that twenty-minute ride to the coasts.
Thankfully, they were the only ones who have thought of going to the sea. Thinking back, it should have been a tell-tale sign. They took the emptiness of the beach as an invitation to have their sudden escape in an imagined private resort. She changed into her bright pink bikini, with a thin shawl over. She was happily running along the sand, playing catch with the waves. He was sitting down the blanket, smiling contently over the picture perfect scene playing along. She invited him to come over and teased him when he turned her down. In the end, both of them were running along in circles and in a bubble of their own glee.
It was her idea that they take photo on that cliff nearby. To commemorate this wonderful day of momentary sunshine. He got the camera and tripod from the truck and off they go, up, up the rocks. They posed like all the typical couple do, arms around each other smiling at the camera, against the bright lights of glittering sea. And just as the camera flashed, she kissed him on the cheeks. He was taken by surprise, but was very glad, anyways. She laughed at her sudden boldness and he kissed her, this time on the lips. When they broke apart, smiling at each other, a breeze blew and took with it her shawl. He bravely ran after the thin cloth, narrowly missing it thrice before finally catching it quite a good distance away from her. When he turned back, smiling again, she was gone. His fingers relieved it grasp around the techni-colored linen and off it went, up, up the sky.
He finally reached the old block of marble, dusted with loose grains of earth and some sand. He took off this black, overused hat. The cold breeze blew on his gray hairs. He brought with him lavender wreaths, the one she particularly likes. He sat down on blanket he brought with him and smiled sadly at the picture perfect scene he is in. He was talked about nothing in particular, just mentioning a few happenings recently. He also took with him a book he read aloud sometimes. Without notice, a strong, warmer wind arrived, making him close his eyes. When he open them, a tattered but still recognizable techni-colored shawl was casually draped on the tombstone. Tears rolled down his aged face, while he said, “Always.”
Riding that 45-minute flight back to Davao was one of the longest wait in my life. I sat restless and jittery, wanting to make time pass faster, to make the plane reach our destination. When I finally went out of the airport’s local arrival gates, I almost broke into a run to my father’s embrace. I was finally home.
It was summer before my junior year in high school. I was going to this summer camp in Tarlac for almost two weeks. I was burst of energy, when I knew I would be one of the participants. I listed the things I would bring, harassed my parents into accompanying me to the mall and imagined all the new things I would be experience. I counted off days to the D-day of my sixteen year old self.
With all the happiness going on, life just wants to get even. One early morning, I woke up to the voice of my ate calling all of us to my brother’s room. He wasn’t waking up. My kuya lies on his bed, looking bluish. He was so still, I couldn’t even notice him breathing. They rushed him to the hospital while I sat alone at home. The phone rang and my father asked for my aunt living next door. When my aunt picked up the phone, she burst into tears.
My parents still asked me to go to my summer camp, telling me my brother would have wanted that and constantly reminding me to be careful out there. They told me this while sitting in front of my kuya’s casket with tears in their eyes. At camp, I was an awkward person. It wasn’t as marvelous as I thought it would be. I didn’t even make friends, just mere acquaintances. I slept alone in my tent and crossed off the hours until my flight back to Davao. When my family called me, I wanted to transform into waves that can travel across the wireless connection between us. I have missed them this much.
As I sat down in our car, going through the familiar route to our house, I was nostalgic. I shared stories that sounded better that they really were. I smiled more in that car ride compared to the past weeks. It was one of the best summer experiences. Sitting in the back passenger seat covered in synthetic leather, surrounded by my parents and sisters, I felt I was finally home
i watch the dark skies
one great story lies
beneath tree so tall
see shooting stars fall
losing its bright glow
like one poor, old soul
he committed sin
loving one unseen
death came passing by
gone his life and lie
through time he waited
for love unfated
but tonight i see
one love meant to be
beneath tree so tall
two, true, pure hearts fall