Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Decade After (II)


There are moments that mark us forever, and I knew this was one of them. Change was coming. I knew that I will return from that island a different man. After tomorrow, whatever happens, things will never be the same again, that I understood.

"And when is this historic flight, Amelia?" Rudeboy asked me.

"Tomorrow, at dawn," I replied. "Wish me luck?"

"The same to you
But I can't regret what I did for love
what I did for love."

"Ahhhh Rudeboy... What we did for love, indeed," I said. "Somehow, I think I know how you feel right now. Like you're watching something you've seen before."

"Au contraire mon ami. I'm actually uncharacteristically rooting for romance this time," he said wistfully.

"Ahhh… love will be the death of us, Rudie," I said, shaking my head.

"Fly with my fondest hopes Kane," he said.

That night, I hardly slept a wink. My mind was filled with troubled thoughts and strange emotions. The ghosts in my head were teasing me, taunting me.

"What will you tell him?"
"How will you tell him?"
"What if he says no?"

What I was planning to do was dangerous. I knew neither of us was really ready; that the timing wasn't perfect. Neil was still hurting from his divorce, I knew that. Sometimes when I look at him I ask myself: where is it, that thing inside of you, cutting you, where is it?

"How did you do it?" he asked me once.
"Do what?"

"Forgive Manuel."

I thought carefully what to say.

"Well, I did it because ayokong malugi (I didn't want to be on the losing end). Sometimes, we think that by holding on to the anger and the pain, we are hurting the other person," I answered slowly. "But in truth, we are only hurting ourselves."

"Manuel could be perfectly happy and here I am, still an angry and bitter man. I didn't want to be that kind of person," I continued. "So I let go. And the irony is, it is when we let go that we truly become free."

"Mabuti ka pa. (You are fortunate). I'm not yet okay Kane," he quietly said, looking at me.

"It's okay Neil," I said. "It's okay. You'll get there."

The flight was delayed so I arrived at the island almost noon. There I was, my backpack in one hand, my heart in another. This is it, I told myself.
I texted Neil, but he didn't respond. Ahhh, he could be swimming and left his phone in his room, I said to myself. I walked around to get some food. I tried calling him again after an hour, but there was still no response. I was getting worried.

Where is he? Why is he ignoring me? He knew I was coming to see him.

Finally, someone did pick up. Neil had left his phone in his house before going to the airport, the woman said. Was there any way I could contact him? I asked. No, there isn't, she said.

I suddenly realized the gargantuan almost impossible nature of the task facing me. I had to find Neil by literally walking all over the island in the hopes that I would bump into him. There was no other choice.

So I walked. And walked. And walked. I walked for hours, I walked nonstop. My feet were tired, my body sore, but I forged on.

And then dusk came. It was heartbreaking. I was exhausted, worried, and I still haven't seen him. Where is he? The sun begun its slow descent into the night sky; and as the heavens turned purple and orange, I felt it was as if the sunset was stealing the very last rays of my hope.

The island was plunged into darkness and I could no longer see afar. My chances of finding him became slimmer and slimmer. Where is Fate when you needed her?

I decided to rest for awhile before looking for him again that night. It was the only remaining chance I have of seeing him and talking to him. He was leaving tomorrow.

It was past midnight when I walked out to check the local clubs and bars. And then I saw him. My heart jumped.

I approached him but there was something wrong. And then I saw that Neil was completely wasted, drunk. He was incoherent. I wasn't even sure he recognized me. I begun to panic.

Fate can't be this cruel; to bring us so close together only to tear us apart. No, Neil cannot be drunk. I needed to tell him something, didn't I? I tried to revive him.

"Neil… are you okay? Huy," I pleaded.

He stared back at me with his glassy eyes, squinting once in a while. But he wouldn't respond. He was dead to my cries. After a while, his friends carried him off to bed.

I never saw him again.

There comes a time when warriors lose a battle. Defeat comes to us at some point in our lives. More and more, I have come to regard it as an old enemy, always there to snatch my happiness away.

Some might say what I did was foolish. Perhaps. Some will say maybe it wasn't the right time. Perhaps. Some will say it may never have been meant to be. Perhaps.

I stood at the shore as the island slowly came to life. Early birds were rushing to swim at the sea, hungry lovers walking the shore in search of a delicious breakfast. The sun had risen, a new day has begun. But inside, I felt like something died. Hope withers... again.

And then Fran texted.

"Hun, while this didn't turn out to be the pleasant surprise we hoped it would be, it still is a surprise... At how much you can feel for a boy after all these years, at how much courage you have walking the shores of Boracay in search of a hint of a promise, and how much strength you have to rise above the circumstance.

You might not have gotten your fairy tale ending. But honey, you are the fairy tale. Because it is not how the story ends that makes the tale. It is how it goes on and on and on...."

I broke down.

"Oh Fran, when did you get so wise?" I told her while sobbing.

"Hush hun. Sige lang. Just let it out. There will be another time," she said, comforting me.

The weight of my loss came crashing down on me. I cried for all the dreams that may never be. For all the times I fought for love and lost. Lagi na lang bang ganito? (Is it always this way?)

I was spent. Neil was gone, leaving me behind with all this love for him inside of me and no one to give it to. I don't know when I will see him again. Five years? Three years?

Crushed and defeated, there was only one thing left to do.

"It's time to go home, old timer," I said to myself. "Time to go home."


Désolé Boy said...

Oh Kane. If only I knew then. If only I've seen it in your eyes, I would've hugged you tight the last time we talked. Pasensya, ang kulit ko pa yata nung tinanong kita about it.
But your friend Fran is right Kane. You are the "fairy-tale" because you are the "happily-ever-after."
I have this new found respect for you. I wish you well Kane. We all know you'll do great. Guess what, you already did! ;D

P said...

Kane... Sweet K...

Of glittering hopes that love remains, the crisp madness of solitude.

sweet kane, oh candy cane.

your life is colorful. brush the pain away.

one day you will see, bid farewell to heartaches at sea...

i feel for you. for a love gone by.

but who knows? maybe in the next lifetime its meant to be.

god gives to those who pray.

maybe not now, but one time soon...

*hugs... very tight hugs*


citybuoy said...

you're one of the bravest people I know, Kane. and I guess we should never regret the things we do for love. i commend you for your strength. *virtual hugs*

btw, that song is love. it should have it's own statue dammit.

joelmcvie said...

Honey, you are the fairy tale. But honey, please do know that the following I say to you is with much love.

It is in this phrase, "all this love for him inside of me and no one to give it to," that lies your tragedy.

Old timer? No, my dear. You have yet to grow up, much less grow old. (And not growing up has, in its own way, its own joys and pains.) =)

Jj Rodriguez said...

your luck will come. i have tried so many times. cried a river not only once.

and i made it on the other side of the globe, half of my life. i found him, but i know along the way there will still be battles to fight.


Spiral Prince said...

Kane, I just realized how off my email was. I do apologize for asking something that sensitive...


ced said...

honestly, i was teary eyed while reading this. forgiveness, letting go and moving forward. you don't know how much i can relate.

i salute your valiance. and staying in love for all those years means a lot. here's a hug kane.

Nate said...

"So I let go. And the irony is, it is when we let go that we truly become free." --- a poignant story.. oh, dear Kane, it saddened my heart to have read such an unfortunate event.. but i know you came out stronger after this one.. having a heart of lion(ess) will see you through.. i guess i'd have to give you virtual hugs too, like most of your followers.. here goes.. *virtual hugs*

Yehosue said...

Indeed..love conquers all..And this serves as your armor in this fight..

I think you are great warrior of love..you might loose someone but you gain more strength..

*virtual hugs*

^travis said...

thank you for this very inspiring post. it is my belief that people who try and fight but lose in the end are never defeated. they always emerge stronger and wiser - the better person.

Anonymous said...

This is one of the nicest short stories written, and it would be best for you to leave it as it is - nothing more than a fictional fairy tale ever told.

Fate did you a big favor, Kane. So enough of the sobbing and just be thankful. And return the favor, keep on writing. :)

MANDAYA MOORE: Ang bayot sa bukid said...

at ininterview mo pa ako nyan ha.

i should have asked a different question

engel said...

you're always the one who gives me advise.

i have no words.

tight hugs.

Learning Lito said...

I am sorry to hear that. Maybe, just maybe, there is a silver lining that shall reveal itself in time. :)

Mugen said...

I read your entry twice but still, I can't figure my emotions. Is it because I can't relate, or is it because I have already given up a long time ago the thought that the greatest loves of our lives will never be ours?

My dear Kane, no matter my views are, my heart is with you. Your pain will ease soon. In time, it will...

Anonymous said...

if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.

Alter said...

you see me, i see you.

i don't have the very same kind words you've handed me in the past anymore but allow me to return you instead;

for the nth time, my admiration for the wonderful person you are.

if only you could see the person we see in you whenever we take a glance. just beautiful.

be well. :)

orally said...

NOOOOOOO! oh well, life goes on.

sandy said...

sweet k, you KNOW you'll hate me for this, but i had to hand it over to you:

one time a stranger handed me a key and said "this will open the door to all your hopes and dreams". of course, what made me frustrated was the finding of the door.

so all my life i searched and searched, and each door that refused to open led me to depression, and anger, and i became quite the bitch, i tell ya.

then i saw it, a small door, whose keyhole was skritched and scratched up, and my heart leapt because my gut talked to me for the first time saying "this.is.it."

so in the key went, and i turned it-

and it did not open.

so did i scream and wail and so harshly too that my throat was sore and bloody for days after.

i went my way, cursing that stranger and his descendants of seven times seven generations after.

so it came to pass that in one of my dark days the same stranger came upon me, and my eyes burned at the sight of him. he was surprised at my dreary appearance, and said "i always wondered what became of you! why did you choose to throw the key away, for someone else to find and open the door of dreams of?"

aghast at his audacity, my voice broke as I bit back my answer:”what mean you?! For decades I walked the ends of the earth to find this door, and the travails I went through would be enough to deaden the heart of any man! And when I finally found it, and slipped in the key, and turned it- IT DID NOT OPEN!” The last was screamed out at him, my face inches from his.

He did not flinch, this stranger. He nodded once, then retreated a little. Then, in a voice so low I had to move closer, hating myself for it, he said “I should have given you the manual. You had to turn the key TWICE.”

Sean said...

hugs, kane.

kaloy said...

an author said once that we are hurt not because we give love but that because we don't receive it in return... so let us just love - no conditions, no expectations. you are lucky you CAN love...

cjgruet said...

Oh, Karl! My heart bleeds for you.

There are no endings. No beginnings. Only an eternity. And eternity can only be the here and now. THIS is eternity. What is gone and what we think will come are like water between our fingers. Only the moment we have is forever...

V1nC3 said...

Oohh this made me sad.. I admire your courage though! Things will be better soon. Smile and Chin up lang. =)

Momel said...

Oh Kane, allow me to say this, and I say this with the sincerity of a friend, and on a spiritual note, too:

What they said.

Cheers you. Muahness from Pasig Cirehh!

Momel said...

Funny how I can feel the drama in those preceding comments. Your friends here have this monopoly on elongated interjections. And those dot-dot-dots, too. They can teach proper usage, and maybe make a living from the tuition alone!

Ahaha, I'm a jerk.

rudeboy said...


Oh, oh, oh.

Looks like we're going to have to have dinner and drinks real soon, after all.

WV: facker

Anonymous said...

Oftentimes I wonder if there will be someone in this lifetime that I will meet whose story of love is so passionate that even time cannot hold. Nor varying fairytale endings. From the moment I started to read your blog, I knew I am meeting that person.

Kane, you have been very brave. In fact, the bravest person I know after Mama. And your brave stories, though they do not necessarily admit triumph, give inspiration to people you never imagined would be reading you. You may feel old but honey, seasons never conclude - they just tell us of more beginnings.

From taxi rides to occasional exchange of text messages, I thank you. Your story and your uncalled for philosophies made me a different me. I changed for the better, thank you.

I remember World Without End of Ken Follett. I remember your gift of memory and writing. There will be season three to come. I won't mind if you begin with the words about the first snow melting.

Remember how you describe it-



Anonymous said...

During our greatest loss we gain the most.

- L

Peter said...

This is just a passing scene Kane. Turn the corner and a new dawn beckons.