1 :: From First To Last
I honestly don’t know how to start. But here I am. Here I am. Sitting at the top of a rusty old electric transmission line tower. My feelings now are beyond words. It’s beyond happiness. The warm breeze. The birds dancing along the supple air. I just feel so alive. But although my fingers continue to move with a certain pattern, my head is invaded with a pinch of a sudden question. Am I here?
Sometimes, I think too much. Too much to the point that I even think of what can possibly happen if the world just ends. God, what was I thinking?
I stopped stroking for a bit and raised my head.
“You planning to wake up or not?”
I closed the notebook and brushed the warm blanket covering my whole body like a lifeless cadaver.
“I woke up earlier,”
She shrugged her shoulders.
* * * * *
Every time I look at the mirror, I can’t really tell. Just why I plan to look at myself for too long. But nothing’s in my mind. It’s just, I want to have a talk. A talk with myself. Although I won’t talk. Anyways. Someday. I want to talk with myself. I thought I need this. An eye to eye with myself.
It’s cold outside. Inside too. But I always turn the knob of the shower counterclockwise. I love the cold. It wakes me up. It keeps me intact. I'm not sure if you know what I mean. Though I want you to know. Maybe you already knew it compared to me. I smiled. What the fuck am I saying? It’s such an amazing view while the water keeps on rushing and sprinkling above my head. While it rushes down my silky hair. While every drop accumulates at the tips of my lashes. While I keep my eyes open and slowly look at the top view of every drop.
Have you seen the top of a raindrop? It’s magical.
But I’m not into magic.
“Magic… Don’t kill the magic… Magic… Don’t kill the magic…”
It bothers me hearing repetitive song lyrics. Except for the outro of Killswitch Engage's My Curse. I turned the radio off and braced myself. Inhale…
“THERE IS LOOOOVE!” I sang and smiled.
“Hey!” Mom shouted from downstairs.
“I’m just singin’, Mom! Just singin’!”
“Thought you’re already breaking down there!”
Well that was an honest premise.
Right. I will never.
“You’re late today, son. What’s your day?”
“Our all-time favorite, Dad.” I greeted him with a hug.
“Well, go to bed!”
Heh, I cackled. “’F’course! Why would I attend?”
Sometimes, we don’t want some of life’s classes. But during those times too, we can’t help but attend to them.
“How many times do I need to remind you that our son here doesn’t need any of your silly opinions?”
“Dear, our son’s a grown man now, he knows what he ought to do.”
They’re just like that.
“Right, Mom. Let’s just eat.”
* * * * *
“So, how’s your buddy transpo?” Dad caught me securing the bearings and trucks.
“Still as badass as when you rode it, Dad.”
“Good.” He leaned at the wall.
“I’ll message you.” It’s just a normal routine to message him wherever I am. At every moment.
I stood up and wore my cardigan and my maple satchel. But before I forget,
“Hey Dad,” I turned.
“I was just wondering,” I can’t help but ask, “is this really a freedom of mine?”
At first, his face was nearly a ‘what the fuck’ look but then he chuckled and said, “Jee, I wasn’t prepared for that sudden – out of no-where question.”
I turned my eyes away though I’m smiling.
“Right.” I looked at him. “Ugh, sorry, Dad. I’m just out of no-where just this moment.”
“Uh-huh…” he tries understanding though.
“Just forget it. I mean, I’m just happy doing these, y’know, this life.” I said.
“Right.” He nodded, “Right.”
I smiled and when I turned towards the main door, “Hey, Belly.”
I turned back.
A couple of seconds passed and I was waiting.
“Nah, just…” he brushed his head, “Just do your thing. But don’t let matters consume you. Too much.” He smiled.
I know the words aren’t perfectly constructed but I felt his point. Right. Too much.
* * * * *
It’s 8:34 in the morning and the autumn breeze is quite warmer compared to yesterday. I passed by the park towards the mainstreet to see what I need to see.
“Fuck,” while skating, I cursed and I hated it. I just forgot my notebook.
So, I suddenly – but voluntarily, paused.
“Of all things…” I said. Though it’s 8:50, my Microbiology prof enters the room at exactly nine.
Questions surge in my mind. Should I go back? Or not? Or yes? Or not? Or ma–
“Uh, excuse me, sir?”
I was in the middle of a bricked road when I heard the voice of Emma Watson behind me.
I turned on my back as I accidentally released my skateboard from my foot.
“Emma?” I saw her.
“Uh… I…” she curled her fingers as something in me pinched the nerves of my consciousness.
“Oh!” I realized it’s not Emma Watson. “Shit!” and why would Emma Watson be here?
“Oh! No! I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to say ‘that’ word, in – in front of you... Whoever you are.” I chuckled. Fuck, what just happened?
“Oh, it’s… just fine!” she said. For a moment, I just stared at this unfamiliar face. This unfamiliar body. This unfamiliar height, hair, clothe, eyes, smile. The movement of her lips while she’s talking.
“So,” she nods, “Uh… do you know the way?”
“Huh…?” a moment of silence until, “OH! God, miss, I am so sorry!” just what the fuck is happening to me?
“Please, give me another chance to hear your query!” I conducted my hands and it had me look like an insane mad man in front of her.
“Oh… right.” Her accent isn’t from here though. It’s English.
“I was asking if you, perhaps, know the wa–”
“Dammit, Belly, Mrs. Crocker’s already inside!” a running man passed us and I realized that it’s Reily from our Microbio class.
“What time is it?” I asked, specifically, her.
“Oh, it’s 9:12.”
“Holy– ok listen, I don’t know what you don’t know but I hope you’ll know it soon.” I said, took my skateboard and rushed inside the building.
I’m sorry, mademoiselle but I need to cut that heavenly conversation.
I need to pass life’s grave challenges here on Earth for now.
* * * * *
I quickly knocked and entered the class.
“Good morning, Mrs. Crocker.”
“Right, Mr. Crimsons. You don’t have to say sorry to me. You know whom you need to tell that.”
“Right…” I said and proceeded towards my seat.
* * * * *
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is so green. Is it green-minded too? Does it listen to Green Day songs? Adore the Green Hornet? Drinks green tea? Love Earth?
I turned towards my left.
“Would you like to be a part of our study group?” it’s Timothy.
“We lack a completing member. Maybe, you’re free.”
“Do you know my real name?” I asked and he gave me the same face that Dad did. The what-the-fuck look.
“Of course! Why?”
“Nah, I’m just kidding.” I said as I stood up and dumped my notepad in my bag. I brushed away.
“Hey!” he called.
“Ah, right. You’re saying. I’ll see. Thanks for the offer. Highly appreciated it, dude.” I said.
“Yeah…” he nodded and I went out of the room.
Sorry, but I think alone.
I went straight at the library and strode towards my favorite spot near the wall. Before I forget. I need to sketch her.
I sat and placed my skateboard beside the foot of the table. I took my notepad out and clicked my pen.
Her face is heart-shaped. Her eyes are slightly round but forms an outlined curve as she smiles. Her eyes reflecting the color of an autumn afternoon. Her nose having some shade of Romanism. Her pallid but bright skin. Her small lips that outline a set of organized teeth. Her hair with fringes that outline her brows and lashes. Her ebony wavy hair tied above her shoulders. Her simple but classy clothes, making me feel the autumn so close to me. Her thin piano-like fingers without any painted nails. I just found her. But I never knew she could find someone like me.
Her voice. Her dreamy voice. Those phrases just invade me from time to time. It’s as if she said it to me again.
“Uh.” I turned my head up and saw her.
“Hey.” She said. And she’s really her.
“Ah!” I start exclaiming.
“Shh!” she placed her index finger near her lips as I realize that we’re inside the library.
So, I just closed my mouth and watch her slowly sit beside me. As my hand involuntarily closes the notepad I was holding.
“I’m sorry, a while ago.” I said.
“Oh, it’s nothing. I’m sorry too. I didn’t know you had a class to attend. Silly me.” She smiled and I’m starting to record every frame of her clip. Of our clip.
“By the way, I’m a transferee here. Maybe you’re an old student.” She premised.
“Yeah.” I said.
“So, you’re studying med?”
She must’ve seen my Microbio book and the bacterial sketches.
“Right. I… do.”
“You?” I asked.
“Yeah, just having my freshman year in med school. Quite exciting and frustrating too.” she chuckled a bit. I just loved her honesty in considering ‘frustrating’ as a perfect word to say.
“By the way I’m–”
“Belly?” she said.
“Oh,” I turned my eyes down and said, “That’s just what some people, y’know, known people, call me.” I clarified. “It’s not my real name.”
“Of course, I’m sorry, I just heard it a while ago. Who would name their baby as Belly?” she chuckled again as I answered her,
“We could name our baby as Belly. We could make him tonight too.” although I kept my mouth close.
“Right.” I said.
A couple of seconds hindered us to talk when I unconsciously asked, “Why did you approached me a while ago?”
“Oh…” I observed she loves that expression. Or maybe unconsciously just came to utter it. “I was about to ask where the Admissions Office is. I’m just new here and it’s bloody confusing at first day.”
So, she’s really British, huh? Bloody British.
“No.” I said and this time, I’m conscious.
“No, what I mean is, why me? Why did you approached me?”
“Oh…” for the sixth time. “I just felt something in you that you can help me.”
So, she relies on her guts. Okay.
“Well, it seems I disappointed you.” I smiled.
“No, it’s – it’s alright! I understand the situation and fortunately, I managed to go there on my own and it ended fine.”
“Do you believe in luck?” then again, she also made the WTF face. But instead of a confused and forced answer, she curled her fist and leaned her head on it saying, “You’re one wise observant.” She smiled and she stared straight at my eyes as if she’s reading my mind and I got no other thing to do but to let it consume me.
Another set of moments passed and I decided to turn my eyes away.
“I don’t.” she said and closed her eyes. For a while I saw how she looks while sleeping with her eyes close. It looks brightly alive, still.
“I don’t believe in luck. Life isn’t just chances. Oftentimes, you have to fuck your bloody mind and choose what’s better.”
Okay. That was just a ten-second rational declaration.
“Right, I’m glad. Neither do I.”