The Visitor

The Earth existed for millions of years just as it is. Then the meteor came and was never the same after.

They say, home is where the heart is. And home is more than just a place, but a feeling. A feeling of being loved – a sense of belongingness. And this is where I really belong: in the library.

My family never really felt home, for me. My father was a drunken man, night and day, while my mother was a gambler, night and day. I? I was their wall. I was a sponge always there to absorb all kinds of dirt, the water squeezes me into. I was their twelve o’clock noon, an alarm telling them they’ve had enough for the day. I was their twelve midnight, asking them to finally retreat all arguments. They never loved. I was never belonged.

So I found company in books.

The first book I had was when I was in high school, my classmate lent me this book that I never returned. It’s about a little prince who had a nice chat with a fox, regarding a little secret, which turned out to be a big secret. But it didn’t matter. I have always kept it a secret.

Since then, I had nurtured this fondness for books; its smell rejuvenating my bones; its sight encouraging my body to live each day, knowing that there will always be a home, and it will always be a feeling.

My first visit in the public library has been very overwhelming. I literally did not know where to start. There were more than ten rows of bookshelves, each telling me this was my home. That this place is where I really belong – all I’ve got to do is pick one and read.

It was the farthest bookshelf I found engrossed in. I picked up the book, The Kite Runner. Then I sat also in one of the farthest corners in the room.

There I found another boy quietly reading a book. He seemed lost, or maybe the story was too heavy for him he didn’t notice me sitting in front of him. His face was slightly angered, he’s biting his lips and his eyes twitching.

I let out a short sniff.

Then he looked up at me with those fiery eyes, yet I sensed the longing in there. His angry-ish face welcomed me, his cheeks told me it was a nice welcome anyway. He spelled a quick grin at me.

I smiled back.

From time to time I would glance at him – his focused aura threatening me, like the way my father scorned at me, when I walked up in the kitchen. His lips twitching every now and then, like the way my mother would try to protect me but she just couldn’t.

Hours passed by and it’s still a silence of reading. I have been feeling hard this time because I was in that part of the book where the little boy did not do anything to save his best friend from those other boys who molested his best friend. And I thought of my parents: Will they ever stand up for me?

I looked at the boy in front of me. He stopped reading, the book already lying flat on its cover, and he was staring at the window. He was looking far away, I’m sure, like he was searching for something. I still feel that longing. I don’t know. I just knew he was longing for something. Maybe, for someone?

I closed my book. And heaved a sigh. I was nervous, gasping for air, for what I was about to do.

I gently put my one hand above his.

He was electrified. But he didn’t let go.

We exchanged smiles.

The back of his hand felt warm, like it has never been held for a long time. I searched the spaces of his fingers and slide mine into his.

I knew it wasn’t so right to hold hands with a stranger, in a public library, in the farthest corner of the room, but I didn’t care.

Because this was the feeling.

It felt like home.

We spent the whole day, staring at the window, our hands cupping each other, while the words never got us home.

********************************

The next day I went to the library was also the day my parents had a huge fight. No, each day was always a huge fight, so huge that all I could do was walk away.

Right there in the last bookshelf, I chose The Fault in Our Stars. Two people were sick yet their sickness made them fall madly in love with each other. I found him again in the same corner, and sat in front of him.

He was reading The Kite Runner. The one I had before. His eyes were glowing and his lips energetically reading the words in silence. Maybe he was in that part where the kite runner always had the gut where the kite would fall, even when his best friend did not believe in him. That was an amazing part, for me.

Then he looked up at me and gave me a smile. This time, it was a little wider than the first time he smiled at me. I felt relieved.

We spent hours reading our books. Then I sensed he was breathing.

“What do you think about kites?” he asked.

I felt my eyes lit up. “Ahm, great? I’ve always wanted to fly, too.”

He laughed, but not too loud. “Yeah… I dreamt of it, too.”

“But when your kite loses its strength and fall, would you run after it?”

He just stared back at me.

Our eyes locked. They were like eclipses finally merging after a thousand years. One shading the other, the other trying to shed light.

We understood.

We understood what it’s like to have our kite falling, and never running after it.

***************** ************************ * *******************

The third time I went was a rainy Saturday afternoon. Soaking in rainwater, I still got inside, squeezed my shirt a little and gave my hair a brush. I wasn’t that wet, thanks to my raincoat.

I walked straight up the last bookshelf and tried picking another book. It took me a while to choose. Suddenly, I’d wanted to grab all of them, but I knew there wasn’t so much time. I ran my fingers through the shelf and found one, by David Nichols, One Day. Two people meeting every 15th of July each year, to live life, love life and then… lose life.

There I found him, again, sitting in our favorite corner. This time, I sat beside him.

He turned towards me and smiled. Wait? Was that gloom I saw in his eyes?

“Tell me about it.” Staring at the book he’s reading.

“The Great Gatsby… when you chase your dreams, but you never actually get it,” he said.

“Ooohhhhhhh….” That was long, I thought.

He looked at me, “Like when your dream is almost at your grasp, but you never get to really hold it?”

He was waiting for me to respond.

I hugged him. His body not reacting to it… until I felt his hands onto my back.

I leaned more to hug him tighter. He then laid his head beside my neck. I could feel his breath, fast and flopping.

It was more than a hug, but an embrace.

More than comfort, an assurance.

More than belonging, a completeness.

More than just safe, it’s home.

*************** ********************************** ******************

It was a particularly bright Sunday when I visited my “home” to see my little “secret” once again.

I was humming as I walked towards that bookshelf that witnessed all my wishful thinkings and wistful choices.

My fingers ran through it and decided to pick Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. It talked about a dystopian future. I knew how this book ended, but I chose it anyway, and headed towards that familiar corner I have grown to love.

And then, there was nothing.

It was an empty seat. He wasn’t there.

Still, I sat. I could still see his angry face the first time I met him. I could still feel the warmth of his hands the first time I held him.

I could still feel the hug we shared and the way our eyes met. It’s like I have always been his and he has always been mine. We were a home to each other.

I flipped one page in the book, and tried to search him, hoping I’d find him, and never let him go. I did find him. I read the line, in my mind, hoping he’d hear it too:

“Memories, even your most precious ones, fade surprisingly quickly.
But I don’t go along with that. The memories I value most, 
I don’t ever see them fading…”
And then I closed the book and held it in my arms.

************** **************************************** ***************

I’d gone home with a heavy heart. It’s sad to believe I had just shared moments with him for a short span of time, and yet, I have grown fond of him. Like he was the only cheerful thing that ever occurred to me.

I never got his name. Where he lives. What he does, besides reading,,,

Yet, I felt I knew him.

Like we have already nurtured this connection.

Now, I’m facing what I need to face – my parents arguing, day and night while I remain quiet, day and night.

As I walked through the door I noticed a piece of paper just at the doorstep. It’s more than a paper but a piece of a book cover, torn. I could see a little boy, as if he was standing on a planet. My heart skipped a beat: I knew that book. At the back of it I read a note:

“To you… for always making it worth the visit.”

I smiled. It was a hopeful one.

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A Lithany of Love

In times you’re tired and don’t want to talk,
          let me give you a cupcake and kiss you
          in your nose;
In times you had a bad day, let me
          hug you tight and tell you a
          corny joke;
In times you’re angry at something, let
          me hold your hand and kiss them.
In times you’re sad, let me embrace you
           in soul and silence.
I LOVE YOU—
           In every sing you hear.
           In every poem you read.
           In every show you watch.
           In every food you eat.
           In every car you drive.
           In every medicine you take.
           In every flower you smell.
           In every air you breathe.
           In every rain you feel.
           In every sky you fly.
           In every word I say.
           In every thing I do.
           In every touch I make.
           In every clothe I wear.
           In every book I keep.
           In every sunrise I see.
           In every joy I witness.
           In every hurt I endure.
           In every success I achieve.
           In every failure I learn from.
           In every mistake we make.
           In every dance we play.
           In every moment we share.
           In every sorrow we persist.
           In every trial we surpass.
           In every dream we build.
           In every bed we sleep.
           In every road we travel.
           In every story we write.
           Everything about us.
I LOVE YOU—
          Always have. Always will.
          Always trust. Never fear.
          Always fix. Never tear.
          Always laugh. Never grin.
          Always learn. Never fail.
          Always true. Never lies.
          Always new. Never old.
          Always real. Never fantasy.
          Always sincere. Never fake.
          Always strong. Never weak.
          Always have. Always will.
STILL, I WILL LOVE YOU—
         When sun starts raining;
         When clouds start fading;
         When birds stop chirping;
         When flowers stop blooming;
         When water runs dry;
         When the moon bids goodbye;
         When stars fall down;
         When mountains crumble;
         When bamboos stumble;
         When bells stop ringing;
         When I, stop living.
You’re my light in my soul—
         Without you, I’m never whole.
         My Polaris in the sky.
         My good in goodbye.
         My lines in my song.
         My rhymes in my poem.
         My chapters in my book.
         My shelves in my nook.
         My clock on my wall.
         My rise and my downfall.
         My sand in the sea.
         My always cup of tea.
         My helium in all balloons.
         My flower in all festoons.
         My colors of the rainbow.
         My bow in my arrow.
         My heaven and earth.
         My death and my rebirth.
         My joy and my loneliness.
         My worst and my best.
 
I VOW TO LOVE YOU—
         To have and to hold.
         To bear and not scold.
         To forgive and forget.
         To encourage, not fret.
         To fail and to succeed.
         To care in every need.
         To tell, and show.
         To touch and not let go.
         To sing in the sun.
         To dance in the rain.
         To play with fire.
         To conquer in ice.
         To hope, not fear.
         To clear, not smear.
         To grow in love.
         To endure in patience.
         To talk in kindness.
         To do in sincerity.
         To move forward in faith.
         To perform in honesty.
         To love, eternally.
That by this love, I shall rise and fall.
And by this love, I shall find my home.
That by this love, you are everything this world can’t be.
That by this love you shall be my were, my are, and my will be.

“, But You.”

When stars keep shining amidst stormy night;

When all thats left is darkness of life;

In a blink of an eye, a light shines through

No one has ever opened; no one but you.

 

You carve my heart in a very special way

A mountain of snow in a hot summers day

All the hardest things I ever do,

That was inspired by no one but you.

 

When all thats left is nothing but courage

You name it my treasure, while I own it as garbage

When days grow bigger as my dreams come true

No one has ever let me fly higher than this, but you.

 

To lift me up when I stumble down

To keep me humble when I stand over the ground

To remind myself of joy when everythings blue

To no one I owe it No, not one, but to you.

 

When times get rough, and I become a tyrant

With fire in my eyes, so I rant

Thats when forgiveness shot me right through

No one has ever caused me; no one but you.

 

To care for more when the journey becomes steeper

To trust for more when the road gets darker

I LOVE YOU, and this is all I ever knew

No one has ever made me feel this way

but you.

Happy 7th. 🙂

“Through Him, With Him and In Him.”

         There I was, staring at the altar while the priest was saying: “through Him, with Him and in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, Almighty Father, forever and ever..” I opened my mouth, as if to utter a response, but wait.. did I just hear it right?          

Through Him. With Him. In Him.

Those were the words that clearly swept me off my feet – not because I am a weird English teacher who dissected the words of the priest while exploring prepositions, but instead, a lonely soul who digested those words with misery and uncertainty. How could I have forgotten that God is just right there?

         “Through Him all things are possible.” How many sleepless nights do we have to go through to realize that God wants us to cherish the moment of sleeping instead of worrying for the future? How many disappointments do we have to experience to realize that God’s plans are way better than ours? Will it take millions of miracles to prove that God is always with us? I beg to disagree. Sometimes we wonder how we keep up amidst life’s plethora of moments – good, bad, successful, failing, heartbreaking, among others that life has to offer. Sometimes we realize we are so strong enough to support ourselves yet what we didn’t understand is the ultimate presence of our loving Father who has been there for all of us: through thick and thin, through thunderstorms and rainbow It is through Him that we are strengthened (Philippians 4:13). It is through Him that we gather ourselves back up in order to move forward. It is through Him that we wake up the next morning realizing that life has been just so good. It is through Him that we fail, to appreciate our weaknesses; we succeed, to celebrate our own uniqueness; we grow, to live out the purpose He has planted in our hearts; we live, to realize He has paid our sins simply because He loves us, unconditionally.

         “With Him, there’s joy and peace.”  I admit, losing both my mother and father has made me feel so bad about life. So bad that at times, I questioned God, and blamed Him for taking them away from me. So bad, that I lost my faith to move on. So bad, that I almost gave up living. But you know what’s surprising? It is also that event that made me realize that He was right there: waiting for His plans to take place simply because He loves me and my family. Simple as that may be, I realized that: in sadness, there is still joy and peace, as long as you are with God. It is with God that we experience sorrow, only to find out we are bound to feel happiness and peace again. It is with Him that we fear to move forward, only to discover how brave we become to face life again. It is with Him that we feel inferior within ourselves only to uncover our goodness and radiate love to others once again. It is with Him that we find joy and peace, whether it’s a rainy or a sunny day.

          “In Him, I always believe, hope and love.” Now, I must admit, I still forget that God is there, smiling at me while I pity myself getting disappointed because my plans didn’t work. I still forget that I have a father and mother, up there, watching over me simply because He still wants me to live my life, according to His grace and glory.

He is the reason that even when I cry, I still smile.

that when I stumble, I stand up again.

that when I feel alone, I embrace myself tighter.

that when I feel like giving up, I hope more.

that when everything goes wrong, I believe more.

that when everyone seems cold, I love more.

That in Him, life is beautiful in all different perspectives – whether you’re rich, or poor; young or old; black or white; if you live your life THROUGH, WITH and IN God, life will always be beautiful. And yes, God is reading this article, with you, right now. You might want to share your thoughts with Him? Go on, He will listen.

“Some first things are worth remembering.”

“COLLECT MOMENTS… not things.”

I have just realized what it truly meant the last night I spent my time with these two people very close to my heart. We had dinner in Kanto Breakfast then went to Cha-Dao tea place and strolled along Capitol Commons.

It was worth a night for me because this was the first time I have had a great time with Cj and Zeph – they were my “anaks” and I must admit I really felt so glad to be with them during that night.

I am sure this that that will not be the first and last. I am looking forward for more meaningful and loving moments with you guys. Take care always! I LOVE YOU!!! :))

“It Never Ends.”

We were hanging out in the city park – eating popcorns and sodas amidst that sunny Sunday afternoon. We were laughing on each other’s jokes like there was no tomorrow to worry about… but deep inside my heart I knew this moment was temporary. Just a borrowed time. This, had to end.

Having Daniel Howards by my side was one of the biggest dreams that ever came true. I prayed for him. Every night before I closed my eyes and every morning I wake up. He was just an ordinary man in school. Yet, he happened to capture every single woman’s hearts… including mine. One time we were in an event by the English Club, we had the chance to share anything we loved to share – like our families, our hobbies, our favorite this-and-that. That time I wished he felt the same way for me. That moment I hoped that time would freeze so that we never had to part ways. True enough, after that event we became “sweet companions” with each other.

After class we sneaked out of the school campus and had our daily dose of funny and… well, romantic stuff:

One day he took me to an Italian restaurant. He knew it was my favorite.

“So, getting tired of Italians?” he was smiling.

“Ahahah! Of course not. I mean, each time you take me here feels so different.” I shrugged.

“Yeah? I hope I’m doing well..”

“Yes, you do! Never fail to make me smile.”

Then he kissed me in the cheeks.

I was never comfortable doing that in public. I’m a private person. Then again, I had to deal with the situation. This, was my choice. Whatever happened, I knew Dan was going to be there with me.

It’s like a drug… that became our habit. One thing we were so addicted to. But at the same time, it was kind of hard for me, I thought. Why does the world have to be so unfair to us?

In school, we were always smiling at each other – in the library, in the classrooms, and even in the hallways. And after school hours we had to take different stairways, crossed different streets and found our way back into the same path we chose to take. A kind of path, people do not know so much of. It wasn’t a bright path… or a dark one, either.  We knew this path was destined for us. That’s worth all the fears I kept inside. I’m with Dan, and that’s what mattered most.

Holding each other’s hands while walking, we strolled our way to the city park we used to go out to. The night was windy; the sky was sparkling with stars and every person we passed by were keeping their eyes on us like we were miserable lepers.  We didn’t care. We, against the world? I smiled bitterly. I knew Dan was happy with it. Or, am I just fulfilling my own thoughts? No, I believed we were happy.

While sitting on the bench, and enjoying the starry night, I looked at him in his eyes.

“Are you happy, Dan?” I asked.

He looked away. Then he stared at me with his smoky eyes. “I’ve never been happier in my life like this.”

My heart dropped. It was an indescribable joy for me to hear those words. The moment was just so glorious. I, looking at the sky, counting the stars, and beside me was the man, I truly love.

“No matter what happens, will you be there for me?”  I asked… with a little fear I my eyes, and so much hope in my heart.

He held my hands so tightly. “You’re afraid, aren’t you?” he sighed. “You don’t have to, alright? As long as we have each other, everything is gonna be okay.” He pulled me and engulfed me in his arms. All the doubts and fears I had were just slowly fading away. How I loved this man and how I wanted to share the rest of my life with him. No matter what people would say or do.

We shared the night in a world where every rhythm, every step, every passion, conspired. We danced forever. One beat. One fire. One love.

*************

                My mornings had always begun with a bittersweet smile in my face. Every day was something to look forward to, with Dan by my side. Being with him was the greatest dream I could ever had… yet the biggest mistake I chose to live in. I got up with a heavy heart. I knew all of this from the start. I just hoped it was going to last a lifetime.

2:00 in the afternoon. One last subject and I would be with him again. Having discussion in class, I reluctantly stared outside the window. There I saw the familiar face, paving his way outside the room just opposite ours. He waved at me, revealing his complete set of pearly, white teeth. Oh, I won’t ever forget that face. I smiled back.

*************

                One Sunday noon, I decided to meet him in his place. As I was making my way, I met a happy family in the park. I knew the mother. She was a highschool friend. I approached them.

“Hi Tiffany! How are you?” she was very close to me back then so I’m very much pleased to her again – happy and contented.

“Oh, hello! I’m doing great, sis! I miss you so much!” She replied. We used to call each other ‘sis’, because we really treated each other as sisters – she really did accept me for who I am. Up until now, the only difference is that she already had her own family. She turned and introduced her better half and their lovely children. “By the way, this is Marcus, my husband, and our kids, Kasey and Chace.”

I greeted them with a big smile. “I’m happy for you, sis.”

She hugged me. “I always know that, Erick. You’ve always been a good friend and a sister to me, then until now. I also wish you happiness. Ok? I know being different-“she looked at me straight in the eye. I knew what she will talk about next. She heaved a sigh. “Yeah. I wish you all the happiness in the world sis. Go out and get that man!” She let out a very loud cheer. Strange, but I just knew she tried.

I suddenly became uneasy. “A-ah, ye-e-e-a-h-h. thanks, sis. Uhm, I have to go.” I walked away and bid them goodbye.

I’m very much happy, Tiffany. I headed my way back to Dan’s place. But it was not the kind of happiness I longed to feel forever. I’m so selfish. I didn’t care how Dan really felt inside. I knew he wasn’t so happy.

So now I stood before that two-storey house, ornamented with a garden that welcomed me with gloom. I hesitated to get in. I just stood there, reminiscing all the moments Dan and I shared together. He never knew how blessed I was and has been, having him as the most cherished part of myself.

But I had to make a choice.

I had to choose between what’s right for him, and what’s best for me.

What makes him happy… and what would be right for me.

I love you, Dan. Always have. Always will…

Tears fell down my cheeks.

I didn’t get in… and never will.

*************

                Two semesters passed by and now I’m marching up the stage. Yes, graduation day was the most memorable day of my life… but also the most painful one. I chose a life without Dan… and yes, I made it these last two semesters. I can still get through with it for the next years to come.

Delivering my speech today was a whole lot terrifying. I had my speech right there, but my heart was shouting for a heartbreak speech. I stood before my professors, my fellow graduates, and, just four rows away from the stage, I stood before the man who inspired me to become who I am right now. The man whom I always give my heart to.

“This day is definitely a dream come true for all of us…” I started my speech, my heart was longing to tell the world. “And as for me? I am and will be eternally grateful for those people who have been there for me until the end of my journey. People who supported me, people who hurt me, people I stepped on, and people I loved. Today, I offer this speech to that one man who taught me..” I paused, the audience are as if contained in one big pair of eyes that stare blankly at me. I cleared my throat, and continued. “…who taught me the magic of love.” There I said it. This was the moment. “The man who made me realize that life is all about courage – to be who I am, to be free to do what I love, and no matter how hard the world may seem, I can still go on with a courageous heart.” I looked at Dan. Sir Daniel Howards. He happened to look at me back – full of love, full of happiness. Beside him were his wife and his children. My heart was pounding so much. I knew I did the right thing.

“This man brought so much sunshine in my darkest moments of my life. This man taught me how to weigh things I like and those things I love… that liking and loving differs in the level of intensity with what you’re feeling towards something or someone.” I breathed. “One may like eating candies… but one may love sharing it. He made me realize that the truest of love is the most selfless of all.” I smiled while holding back the tears.

“I love you so much… that all I want is to see you happy, even if it’s not with me.” This time, tears begun to fall down my dreary eyes. “I love you like it’s always been right for me to let you go… and even when we’re living separate lives from now on, I will always look back and smile that for once in my life, someone made me feel that kind of love I’ve always wanted. I will always treasure those memories I had with you, forever.”

The audience stood up and all I heard was the loud applause.

Let’s Talk About TRANSLATION

This previous semester we had our major subject by the descriptive title, “Translation and Editing Text”. Obviously, we’re gonna translate Filipino texts into English and vice versa (and it presupposes that you’re gonna edit your work that’s why there’s “EDITING Text” part in the subject title. hehehe) and Of course our final output is to have a portfolio of translations of different literary forms – from poetry to prose to TV scripts and all that. One short story I find very interesting is the work of my classmate, Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway, when she translated it into BUNDOK NA TULAD NG PUTING ELEPANTE.  I liked it so much because she was able to maintain both the figurative meaning of the whole story without explicitly telling it – while possessing the style of the translator herself. For the rest of it, you just read on her full translation. Thanks Chame! Mwuaaah!

BUNDOK NA TULAD NG PUTING ELEPANTE

Halos puti ang nababanaag sa kahabaan ng mga bulubunduking nakalatag sa Ebro. Samantalang sa kabilang dako nito ay walang lilim na mga puno habang ang istasyon ng tren ay nakatayo sa pagitan ng dalawang riles sa ilalim na nagmumula sa isang gusali na may kurtinang gawa sa tali na may maliliit na piraso ng kawayan na siyang nakabitin sa bukas na pinto ng barikan. Ang dayuhan at ang babaeng kasama niya ay umupo sa mesa na nalilimliman sa labas ng gusali. Sadyang napaka-init at ang tren na magmumula sa Barcelona ay darating sa loob ng apat na pung minuto. Titigil ito sa istasyon nang may dalawang minuto at pagkatapos ay magtutungo na sa Madrid.

“Anong iinumin natin?” tanong ng babae sabay alis ng kanyang sombrero at ipinatong sa mesa.

“Masyadong mainit”, wika ng lalaki

“Uminom tayo ng alak”.

“Dalawang serbesa”, sabi ng lalaki na nakatuon sa may kurtina.

“Malaki?” tanong ng matabang babae sa mula sa pintuang daan ng gusali.

`           “Oo. Dalawang malaki”

Naglabas ang babae ng dalawang baso ng alak at patungan. Inilapag niya sa mesa ang patungan at ang alak at tiningnan ang lalaki at ang babaeng kasama nito na nakatingin sa mga bundok. Ang mga ito’y kulay puti sa ilalim ng init ng araw na napaliligiran ng tila tuyong tsokolate.

“Mukha silang mga putting elepante”, sabi niya.

“Hindi pa ako nakakakita ng ganun”, sabi ng lalaki habang umiinom ng serbesa.

“Hindi ka makakakita nun”

“Maari akong makakita”, wika ng lalaki. “ang pagsasabi mo na hindi ako makakakita nito ay hindi nagpapatunay ng kahit na ano”.

Tumingin ang babae sa kurtina. “may nakasulat doon”, sabi niya “ano ang sinasabi?”

“Anis del toro. Isa itong inumin”

“Maari ba nating subukan?”

Tumawag ang lalaki sa may kurtina. Lumabas ang babae mula sa barikan.

“Apat na riyales”

“Gusto naming ng dalawang anis del toro”

“May tubig?”

“Gusto mo bang may tubig?”

“Hindi ko alam,” sabi ng babae. “mas masarap kaya pag may tubig?”

“hmmm, ayos lang”

“Ito’y lasang licorice”, sabi ng babae sabay lapag ng kanyang baso.

“Parang nasa akin ang lahat”.

“Oo… lahat ay lasang licorice”, sambit pa ng babae. “Lalo na ang mga bagay na matagal mo ng hinihintay, tulad ng absinthe”.

“O, putulin na natin ang usapang ito”.

“Natuwa ako’t nagkaroon ako ng ganitong oras”.

“Mabuti naman, subukan nating maging Masaya ang mga sandaling ito”.

“Tama! Subukan natin. Gaya nitong mga bagay na nakikita ko ay walang kulay. Hindi bay un kakaiba?”

“Kakaiba?”

“Walang kulay”

“Ang alin?”

“Gusto kong tikman ang mga bagong inumin. Yan naman ang ggwin natin, ‘d ba — sulyapan mo ulit ang mga bagay sa paligid natin at tikman ang bagong inumin”.

“Parang gusto ko”.

Muli, tinanaw ng babae ang kabundukan.

“Napaka-ganda nila”, sabi niya. “Sa tingin ko, makukulay sila”.

“Gusto mo pa bang uminom?”

“Tama na”

May umihip na malamig na hangin sa kurtina malapit sa mesa

“Sarap mag-beer” sabi ng lalaki

“Napakasarap”, sabi ng babae

“Ito’y napaka-simpleng operasyon lang, Jig”, sabi ng lalaki. “hindi naman talaga operasyon na matatawag”

Tiningnan ng babae ang mga paa ng mesa

“Alam ko balewala sa iyo ang mga iyon, Jig. Parang hangin lang ang pumasok sa iyo”.

“Anong gagawin natin pagkatapos?”

“Iyan lamang ang bagay na nagpapahirap sa atin. ‘yan din ang dahilan kuung bakit hindi tayo nagiging masaya”.

Tiningnan ng babae ang mga kurtina at humawak sa mga tali na nakakabit dito

“At sa tingin mo maagiging madali lang ang lahat at magiging masaya tayo?”

“Alam kong magiging masaya tayo at wala kang dapat ikatakot. Marami akong kakilala na dumaan sa ganun”

“Dapat ko rin bang pagdaanan yun? At pagkatapos naging masaya ba sila?”

“Oo”, sabi ng lalaki. “Ayaw kitang pilitin sa isang bagay na ayaw mong gawin, pero alam kong ito’y napaka-dali lang”

“ikaw, Gusto mo ba?”

“Siguro ito na yata ang mabuting paraan. Pero ayokong pilitin ka kung hindi mo gusto ito”

“At pag ginawa ko iyon magiging masaya ka’t mamahalin mo ako?”

“Mahal kita, alam mong mahal kita”.

“Alam ko. Pag ginawa ko iyon magiging maayos ang lahat”.

“Pag sinabi kong wala ng halaga ito, matutuwa ka?”

“Gusto ko iyon, gusto ko iyon ngayon”.

“Hindi na ako mag-aalala tungkol dun’ dahil alam kong magiging madali ang lahat”

“Gagawin ko iyon dahil wala na akong pakialam sa sarili ko”

“Anong ibig mong sabihin?”

“Wala na akong pakialam sa sarili ko”

“Nag-aalala ako sa sa’yo”

“O tama. Wala akong pakialam sa sarili ko. Gagawin ko iyon para maging maayos ang lahat”.

“Ayokong gawin mo ang isang bagay na di mo gusto”

Tumayo ang babae at lumakad hanggang sa dulo ng istasyon natanaw niya sa kabilang dako ang mga palay at punong-kahoy, sa may ilog ng Ebro. Sa kalawakan ng ilog naron ang mga bundok. Ang anino ng mga ulap ay gumagalaw pabalang sa gitna ng palayan at nakita niyang muli ang ilog kalapit ng mga puno.

“At magiging atin ang lahat”, sabi ng babae. “Magiging atin ang lahat at marami tayong magagawang bagay na imposible sa bawat araw”

“Anong sinabi mo?”

“Sabi ko, magiging atin ang lahat”

“Oo, magiging atin ang lahat”

“Hindi”

“Magiging atin ang buong mundo”

“Hindi”

“Makararating tayo kahit saan”.

“Hindi! Hindi magiging atin kailanman”

“Atin ang lahat”

“Pag nawala ‘to hindi mo na maibabalik pa”

“Pero hindi pa ito nawala”

“Tingnan natin”

“Halika na, sabi niya. “Hindi ka dapat mag-isip ng ganun”

“Hindi ako natatakot kailanman”, sani ng babae. “Gusto ko lang maunawaan ang mga bagay-bagay”

“Ayaw kong pilitin ka sa mga bagay na di mo gusto”.

“Napag-isip-isip ko”, sabi ng babae “pwede bang tigilan na natin ito?”

Umupo sila pareho at tuminging muli ng babae sa pagitan ng mga bundok at tumingin ang lalaki sa kanya.

“Dapat mong maunawaan”, sambit ng lalaki, “na ayokong gawin mo iyon kung hindi mo gusto”

“Wala bang ibig sabihin sa iyo iyon?”

“Ikaw lang ang gusto ko, wala ng iba pa. at alam kong ito’y napaka-daling gawin”.

“Oo, alam mong madali lang ito”.

“Okay lang na sabihin mo ‘yan, alam ko ‘yon”

“Meron ka pa bang gusting gawin para sa akin ngayon?”

“Gagawin ko ang lahat para sa iyo”

“Pwede bang tumigil ka? Tumigil, tumigil, tumigil, tumigil, tumigil ka na!”

Walang nasambit ang lalaki. Tiningnan na lamang nya ang bag na naroon sa istasyon.

“Ayoko nang gawin mo”, saad niya “Ayoko nang isipin ang mga bagay na ‘yan”

`           “Sisigaw ako” sabi ng babae

Lumabas ang matabang babae galling sa kurtina na may dalang dalawang basong beer. Inilapag “Dadaan na ang tren mga limang minuto” saad ng serbidora

“Ano ang sinabi niya?” tanong ng babae

“Ang tren ay darating na”

Ngumiti siya sa serbidora upang magpasalamat sa kanya

“Mas maigi pang bitbitin ko na ang mga bagahe natin,” sabi ng lalaki

“Bumalik ka rito. Tapusin na natin itong beer natin”.

Kinuha ng lalaki ang dalawang mabibigat na bagahe at dinala sa kabilang istasyon. Tumingala siya pero di nya maulinigan ang tren. Lumakad siya pabalik tungo sa barikan. Lahat ng taong naghihintay ay umiinom. Lahat sila’y talagang naghihintay ng tren. Lumabas sila mula sa kurtina. Nakita niya ang babae nakaupo at nakangiti sa kanya.

“Magaan na ba ang pakiramdam mo?” tanong ng lalaki

“Magaan na ang pakiramdam ko” tugon ng babae. “Wala namang problema sa akin.”