A voice told you last night that if you feel like you aren’t ready to re-tell some parts of your memory here, you don’t have to pressure yourself. It’s fine, you can skip it. But right now, as you are typing this, you know it’s for the best. So here is another note for you to remember one day in the future. I hope that when you read this soon all the scars have finally and totally mended.
PART I. (Graduation Day)
Last Day. It’s better to start from the earliest part you want to begin with. It was supposed to be the best day of your life but for some reason it seemed like it was an okay day for you. Not as grand as the universe expected. You were happy though and sometimes you think happiness is enough. You were kind of nervous going to the graduation ceremony. Perhaps because of caffeine consumption? You couldn’t help but to think that it was probably the last day you’d ever see those people. An hour before the official graduation march, you felt like a fish lost in a vast ocean. It was a fact that you had no real friends at that point but you were assured by the presence of your family and a one true friend you could rely on among the crowd. You were sitting there for hours just waiting for your turn to climb the stage for only a minute and countdown seconds again until the ceremony was done. You were kind of bored to death, trying to conceal the gesture that you were rolling your eyes at some moments. Surviving through speeches and speeches until this very last words of statement from your freshman year block mate. You made up your mind to listen to him because somehow you guys went way back. There’s a part of his speech that said something like, “You could achieve anything in your life but if you never tried to make friends, you’ve already lost a big portion of your life.” It hit rock bottom. It felt like you took a step back and assessed if that part of the speech was for you. It stung you to say the least but after a few moment you realized that, “Yeah sure, he’s right. I have almost no friend in this room, but I have friends who love me outside this graduation crowd so I can’t let him define me for what he’s only seeing at the moment. This goes to show that I never failed at a big portion in my life.” Overall his speech was amazing and you personally shook his hand after all of you threw your caps in the air. You wonder: “Why is it the only time I’m acknowledging how awesome he is when it’s already too late? Why have I purposely didn’t try to get to know him for five years we’ve been in the same school?” You wonder and wonder. Because you knew deep down that you have that kind of attitude in which you only appreciate people when they are almost gone, when you wouldn’t see them again. You always regret for not giving yourself a chance to know them.
PART II. (Coron Tales)
Insecurities. Your friend Em Relin and you are going to high-five each other regarding this kind of topic. You discovered the word insecurity when you were 15. That’s the time before you entered college. But only recently when you knew the difference between insecurity and jealousy. However that day 1 of the tour, you kind of confused yourself that the two might actually just be the same. (This part is still so hard for you to write but just remember it’s for the best) There were three groups in the boat: You and your parents, one interracial couple (Turkish and Filipina), one perfect couple (Both Filipino). Generally both couples were perfect because well you liked non-asians so anyone in a relationship with a white dude was perfect. The story was that you got fucking insecure. Let’s not try to find some lame excuses and discuss why you acted strange because bottom line was you felt weirdly sad by just having them around. Technically if you would look around you, you were the only one who was not in a relationship, or yeah never been in a relationship, at the moment. So it was terribly difficult for you to endure. Your mom predicted you liked both the guys. You weren’t able to pick that up in your subconscious mind yet but yeah you think she got it right. It was arguably true that amazement and genuine happiness would take over by just staring at the breath-taking view of the places you’ve been but it gets lonely a lot, especially when there’s a great view and you had no one special to share it with. (Bam! You finally explained it right!) Your group was planning to be together with the two couples for another day but in the end you convinced your mom not to join day tour plans with them anymore and your sister hated you for that. But you won, nevertheless. You felt like there’s not much to remember because it shouldn’t appear like it made a huge impact in your life. It was just simply all about insecurities and blaming anything or anyone for not being in a relationship and how it sucks.
Not romance. This is the most dangerous thing for you to write and even in this point you’re kind of having a doubt trying to remember and going through the one of the most painful and tragic experiences of your life. But then again, it’s for the best. Promise you will not cry. But you guess some promises are made to be broken.
There were sixteen people in the boat. There were seven of you locals and the rest were foreigners. You noticed him not having any traveling companion. But you were too careful not to care. So you minded your own business and made casual friends with some people in the boat. It wasn’t until the lunch time. The scene went like this:
You were all waiting for the others to arrive at the lunch table and you were too hungry to laid eyes on anyone but the foods in the table.
He sat in almost in front of you, and then asked, “Are you guys from here?”
You didn’t know why you volunteered to own the question, but you answered anyway. “Yeah I was from here.”
“So what do you do?” He asked.
“I just graduated from College actually. You?” I counter asked.
“I’m a cartoonist. I worked for an organization that supports artists like me.”
“So you draw?” It was a stupid question but I asked anyway.
“Yeah. So you live in Manila?”
“Yeah I live there for school but originally I’m from the country side.”
“Tarlac.” I knew he wouldn’t understand where was it but I told him out of politeness. “Is it your first time in the Philippines?”
Summary was you had a very good conversation at that time. But, you were well trained not to fall for his kind. You moved on too quickly and there was no emotional involvement whatsoever. You guys visited the second island and al though you felt strangely jealous by him talking to other girls, you easily shrugged the uneasiness away. Little did you know it was the early symptoms of something, something really bad. You were on the way to the third island and he was attempting to put the bag on the place you were sitting. Now this was the part of the situation to blame because if you didn’t help him, it would be the end of the story. There would be nothing like this anymore. But something sparked inside of you and now you’re here telling the story.
He sat beside you. Weakness got the best of you so you fell right off the bat. You strike a conversation with him again and a part of you warned you it would turn out to be bad. But you went on anyway. You didn’t want to make some efforts to extract the exact lines of conversation anymore because then it would terribly bring back the pain. The talk was mostly about getting to know each other. Just easy breezy topics to talk about at the present. He seemed interested and friendly so you mistaken it for a wrong interest. As soon as you landed your feet on that last island, you knew something changed. Looking back, you were positive it was all the exhaustion, lack of decent sleep, and daily caffeine consumption that took out all your self-control. You fell in love to him in that instant. It was a weird pronouncement to declare but that’s just how you were. You easily get attracted, but hard to detach. You sounded like a tourist guide when you talk to him inside the island — telling him facts he didn’t know about the surroundings and the expensive hotel in front of you.
Before you guys left, you changed for a good outfit, sprayed perfume more than ten times (this is no exaggeration), fixed your hair, basically presented your self in a good way. The boat sailed away towards the town. You knew that the only reason why he (I’m sorry I’m getting so emotionally fucked up at this part, and it’s 12:26 am right now) left the sitting space beside you was because you were talking to somebody else on purpose. You kind of regret that and so you were alarmed because in less than an hour you would separate ways with him, without further knowing him. You transferred to the front part of the boat, sitting there while staring at him behind your sunglasses. Thank God there were high waves so you both had some excuse to transfer to the same spot you both have been a while ago. You guys had conversation again. You were the first one who started. You realized he wouldn’t talk unless you start a conversation. So it was a nice get to know each other thing again. You knew more facts about him. He knew more things about you. Things like your dreams and goals in life that you never even tell your family or closest friends. You realized you were only like this when you are attracted to a person. You can open up anything about yourself to him even the most ridiculous thing (“I don’t like my name. if I could change it, I’d change it”.) You can talk to him with all the composure that you have even if you’re too exhausted. Bottom-line is, you can be your best self in front of him simply because you like him.
You have memorized the way he speaks, the sound of his laughter, his facial expressions, and his beard. In less than an hour it seemed like you knew him all your life and that’s why it took you almost a week to get over him.
The weird side of you kicked in when you learned he has a girlfriend. The regret and blame game immediately rushed in and so that made you shut down and stopped talking to him entirely. It was a sad and dramatic experience for you to have because all your life it felt like you were repeating the same mistake over and over again. The after effect was also the same, you wanting to go back and change the way things had turn out. You left his side and went over at the back part of the boat for an implicit excuse that you wanted to witness the sunset. Fast forward to the ending, you just shook his hands and said, “Nice to meet you Philippe.” His last words to you were, “Good luck with your goals in life.”
And then you went home with a broken heart.
The last time you saw him was on your way to your dinner with your parents. You didn’t realize you weren’t able to eat your dinner because you avoided to talk to him when you had a chance for a final disclosure.
You went back to the hotel crying your heart out. Your friend Em Relin gave you really good advices, but you know how sometimes they wouldn’t work at first because you were too stuck up to your dark holes. So you cried and forced yourself to believe that it wasn’t entirely about him but more likely with the implication of the situation in your life. You couldn’t help but ask why God or the universe is not giving you someone you like.You’re almost 21 already and you think it’s unfair.
You believe that by the way of writing these memories down will hopefully help you move on. Because you’re young and there’s a great road ahead for you to take. Who knows what the future holds for you dear. Those experiences are just the tip of the iceberg. You will sleep tonight and there’s a bright day waiting for you to look forward. Chase your dreams and create a life that will leave a mark here on earth. You know your goals and happiness. Just concentrate on making them happen. I love you and be strong.