1997. The summer heat is once more felt. Leaving on a tropical island, it is but just expected that the temperature would really rise. I just arrived in my hometown which is a two-hour drive from the city where we are already based. I feel so excited about seeing the familiar houses, the familiar streets, the familiar faces. I wasn’t able to go back here for four long years. My parents sent me to the city so that I could go to some prestigious school and to have what they call “quality education”. Back then, I didn’t know that life is much more complicated in the metro. Life is much faster and I learned that every second lost costs a lot.
I asked my granny to allow me to go out of the big house so that I could play with some of my childhood friends. Still, in my shorts and snickers, I went out to go to my friend’s house. There, we played like there’s no tomorrow. Panting and sweating all over, we decided to rest for a while.
On a distance, I saw some group of guys coming and I am very sure that one of them is my brother. I know him more than anyone else in this world and I know his type of friends. He’s not a saint and I know he wouldn’t want a saint for a friend. I turned my back when I saw them coming. Not that I don’t want to see my brother, it’s just that I would like to have some moments of silence which, for sure I will never have with them around.
I was about to enter my friend’s house when my cousin, who’s part of my brothers pack called me and told me to meet their friends. What can I do? Even if all I really wanted to do is get away from that place, I can’t turn down such a small favor for my cousin. Slowly, I turned and was just about to give their friends a nod when I saw the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen. I read on the crazy books that I have that every time the girl sees the guy she loves, the world stops and the beat of her heart raises like that of hundred galloping horses at the same time. I never believed it not until that day. I really did feel the world stop and my heart beat raised as well.
Even if I was stupefied for the first time, I was able to remember his name, Avery Blake. I didn’t know if it was love but every time I see him, I can hear birds singing the song of love, the wind whispering about love that will forever stay. We never really had long talks, we just say hi’s and hellos. I was very disappointed because he, the only person whom I would like to talk for eternity never bothered to engage even in short conversations with me.
Years past and I’ve known that he had been into a lot of relationships. He never bothered to love only one girl. Yes, my Adonis had been a real playboy and it hurts me. How could he lay his eyes on many girls and not even notice me? Every time I think of this, my eyes always fill with a stream of tears. I am deeply hurt by the thought that the one I love never bothered to lay his eyes on me, not even for a second.
Eight years after my last vacation in my hometown, I decided to come back. I realized that it’s time for me to face him and that fact that he will never like me and friendship is all that he could offer. I went there to stay for a week and go back to the city immediately to continue my summer lessons. Days passed without the sight of him. I really wanted to see him and ask how he is feeling, if he is alright and what’s new with him… I just wanted to know everything about him. I patiently waited for him, but just like before, my efforts were wasted. The day before I intend to leave, still in my pajamas, I went downstairs to have my breakfast and sleep again. Yup, I have a weird routine. When I was in the bottom of the stairs, I realized that my uncle was talking to someone outside so I fixed my hair and tried to look a little more decent before the guest sees me. I wore my big morning smile and went towards my uncles’ direction to greet him and his visitor a good morning. Walking towards my uncle’s direction, I saw him flash a teasing smile on me and I was really puzzled by his reaction. I smiled at him first and turned to smile at the visitor and that’s when I realize why my uncle gave me that smile. His visitor is no other than my ultimate crush, Avery Blake. For some reason, my uncle immediately went inside so that Avery and I are left all by ourselves.
I was really starting to feel so awkward. He was staring at me like it’s the first time he saw me.
“Avery!” I said. “Why are you staring at me? Don’t you know it’s rude to stare?”
He didn’t answer back immediately, so I thought my statement would just fall on deaf ears. “You changed…” He said after some time. “You are no longer the sweet and simple girl I used to know. You used to be sweet and so humble. So pure and so true.”
I don’t know if it was an insult or what but I felt like boiling water was just poured on me. “So what? Who cares if I changed? I mean, don’t I have the freedom to grow up and be the girl I want to be? ” Sobbing, I added. “ I may have changed… but it’s all because of you. I did everything just so you would notice me. But you didn’t even bother to lay your eyes on me.”
He stared at me and that stare sent shivers on my spine. It’s like he wanted to say something but he’s holding back. It was too late for me to realize that tears are already falling from my eyes. How could he say that to me? After everything that I did just so he would notice me… Hurt with what he said, I decided to go upstairs and pack my bags. I will leave on that very day and go back to the city. Never again will I go back to that place and never again will I say his name.
After that talk we had, he did everything to reach me. He called, texted, e- mailed and even went to the city just to see me. But I don’t want to see him. The pain still lingers. I can still hear the words he said and remember how those words broke my heart.
Three years past and it’s again another summer. I just graduated from college and will be celebrating my birthday in few days time. My friends and I planned to go to Boracay to celebrate my birthday and graduation. On the 16th of April, the day of our flight to Bora, mom called and told me that I have to go back to our hometown. It’s still 6 o’ clock in the morning. What would I do there? She just added that they are already there waiting for me. I was wondering why they went there. They told me yesterday that they’ll go to Bukidnon to check out some business matters so it made no sense that they are in our hometown. I tried to negotiate with my mom and ask her if I could just go there on the 21st, the very day of my arrival from Bora.
“Do what I ask you to do if you don’t want to regret for the rest of your life. This is for you to realize that love is not always about saying I love you, it’s sometimes about saying goodbye to the one you love just so she would feel lesser pain the moment you say your final goodbye.” Mom said.
I feel like I have an idea of what she is saying, and I am honestly not ready for it. So I said in a very arrogant manner that everything can wait. “Let that matter wait for me until I’m back from Bora.”
10 o’clock in the morning. The very moment our flight was called, I heard my phone ring. No number was displayed on the screen. Thinking that it’s another emergency, I answered the phone and said hello.
“You have always been the angel in my dreams. The girl I forever long to be with, the melody I wanted to hear for a lifetime. It is just sad to know that I don’t have a lifetime. I have only now. Don’t look back. Face your future with much strength for I will forever be with you.”
The line went dead immediately. I didn’t know who the caller was, I don’t know anything about him but tears fell from my eyes. Sadness burned me like those from the fires of hell. My friends asked me what’s wrong… I said I just feel sad. And they all laughed. The Drama Queen is with them!
Before I board the plane, the flight attendant gave me a small blue box. “What’s this? Who asked you to give this to me?” I asked.
“An hour before your flight, a guy in white asked me to give this to you. He said that I would be able to recognize you through the H initialed necklace you are wearing.” Said the attendant.
H initialed necklace… the necklace I found in the pouch of my bag…I asked my friends who owns it but they wouldn’t say, so I kept it. I said thank you to the attendant and made my way to my seat. The attendants instructed us that we must turn off our phones. I saw that I have 15 unread messages but I didn’t bother to open it. I put the blue box in my bag and head on to Boracay.
When I arrived in Bora, I opened my phone and called my mom. “Don’t bother to reach me, mom. I’ll turn off my phone so that I could fully enjoy the place. The thing that you were saying, let it wait. I have forever to deal with it.” I hurriedly turned off my phone. I was not ready to hear whatever my mom has to say.
After 5 days of partying and sunbathing in Bora, it’s time for me to come home. Yes, I enjoyed my stay on the beautiful paradise but, I feel like I’m losing something. Like there is a void in my heart but I don’t know why… When I arrived in GenSan, my mom called me and asked me if I could now go to my hometown. For five days, that was the only time I opened my phone so messages flooded. Most of it were just quotations so I marked them all to be deleted. I caught a glimpse of some of the messages which say about goodbyes, life, sorry, lost and more. Just when I deleted the messages, my phone got busted.
Remembering what I told mom about going home, I got into the garage to get my car and started driving towards my hometown. I arrived there around 5:30 in the afternoon . When people saw my car coming, I didn’t know if it was just me but I could really feel like they are all staring at me.
When I arrived at the big house, I saw some of my friends and the mom of Avery. Obviously, she just recovered from long hours of crying. I can feel like something is wrong. I felt just like the way I did the time I received the unknown call and when the blue box was given to me. Blue Box! I forgot about the blue box. Before I say hi to them, I went back to my car to get the blue box. I said hi to all of them and they just stared at me. But the reaction of Avery’s mother was different. It’s more of like shock and amazement.
“Where did you get that blue box?” she asked. I told her about how the attendant handed me the box and to whom it came from according to her. I even added about the call and the H initialed necklace.
After hearing my story, she sobbed and was trying to hold back her tears. “What’s wrong?” I asked impatiently. Instead of answering my question, she just handed me a thick blue paper. I opened it and read what was inside.
I know I hurt you when I said you changed and how I love the old you. I know you would run away and wouldn’t bother to face me. I was hurting you. I asked myself a lot of times, how could I hurt someone like you? How could I hurt a girl so pure and true? How could I hurt the girl whom my heart shouts for?
You may be wondering why until now, nobody would claim that “H” necklace. It was not by accident that you found it in your bag. I placed it there just so you would remember that every time you wear that necklace, you have my heart with you. I loved you even before I learned my alphabet. I feel like there is no beginning and end when I am with you, only eternity.
Your happiness is the most important thing for me. Even if it hurts, even if I wanted to say “I love you”, I said “goodbye”. No, I didn’t give up. I just know that you will be much more hurt if you hear me say my final goodbye.
Yes, I am saying goodbye. I prayed and asked God to give me more time. Just enough time for me to say and show how much I love you and how much I am willing to give up everything for you. But He wouldn’t give me that time. Maybe, He has His reasons. Whatever it may be, I just hope that you’ll be OK and that He will give you someone who will love you much more than I loved you.
Don’t blame yourself for the things you didn’t do and wasn’t able to do. It’s not you, its fate who decided that our story will end long before it ever started. I tried to love some other girls but I can’t. It’s you whom my heart shouts for. It’s your name whom I shouted for at the sunset of my life.
You have always been the angel in my dreams. The girl I forever long to be with, the melody I wanted to hear for a lifetime. It is just sad to know that I don’t have a lifetime. I have only now. Don’t look back. Face your future with much strength for I will forever be with you.
Open the blue box and there you will find my treasures, the things that I cherished most in my existence.
Forever and Always,
After reading the letter, I opened the box and surprisingly saw pictures of me. I saw the poems I wrote for him which I threw away and the handkerchief he gave me to wipe my sweat the very first day I met him.
Then, his mom spoke, “He has a serious heart problem. He was diagnosed summer of 2008”.
I looked up into the sky and saw how my fiery summer turned into cold winter. How could a hot season be so cold that I am so frozen and couldn’t even move an inch of my muscle? Regrets? I don’t have any… I know, even if our story ended so soon, it will forever stay just like those that are written in the channels of history. Just how ironic is this. I lost him on the very day I met him.