Breaking 9 - Ailene's Journal
Though we were together on our way to the bar, I had to wait a few more minutes in the car before following Mago inside. We agreed to keep our situation a secret and this is our way of concealing the fact that we live in the same roof.
“Hi,” I greeted Dessa who was cleaning the shot glasses.
“Seems like your getting it on,” she said.
“What do you mean?” I pretended not to understand.
“Cut the crap, Arlene,” she uttered, “I know Mago too much that your tactic of entering the bar a few minutes after he entered won’t fool me.”
I didn’t answer and lowered my look so she continued, “I like you.”
That made me look at her and I was relieved when she continued, “I like you as my flairing partner. You’re the only one who can juggle along with me.”
We were surrounded with silence before she spoke again, “tell me, are you comfortable with me?”
I shook my head as an answer so she spoke again, “let me guess. Did they tell you I am a tomboy?”
She laughed and then asked, “is that what Mago told you?”
“Actually,” I stop to check the surroundings before saying, “it’s Quinn.”
“First,” she crossed her arms, “I am not a tomboy. I just act like this because I grew up with boys. My mother died when I was born. My dad raised me until his untimely death. Since then, my elder brothers took care of me.”
“Second,”she continued, “I intended for them to think that I am a tomboy. It is my way of shrugging off Mago’s advances.”
“How could you resist Mago?” I unintentionally asked.
“I just used my head,” she pointed to her head, “and I have a secret that always reminded me to keep away from him.”
“Don’t ask,” she said but I forced her.
“Okay,” she sighed, “let’s talk inside.”
I followed her to the worder’s locker room where she took something from her locker.
“The truth, I really planned to become a worker here,” she explained, “because I want to be able to get near Mago so I can give this to him.”
“Then why is it still here with you?” I asked.
“Because I don’t think he’ll value this more than I valued it,” she sighed, “he does not need to know anything about Ailene.”
“Ailene?” my heart skipped a beat when I heard the name. I did not expect her to know Ailene.
“Remember that I told you I have elder brothers? One of them is a policeman. One day, he brought Ailene to our place. He said Ailene runaway from her parents because they are trying to make her abort her baby. Because of that, my brother decided to take care of her while she is on her way. We became close and eventually, she began a romantic relationship with my brother. It was too late when we learned the real reason of her parents. They were just actually trying to stop her pregnancy so she can continue with ther radiation therapy. She runaway to save the baby but in return, it jeopardized her health. Before her death, she made me promise that I will give this journal to Mago,” she explained.
The journal triggered my curiosity.
“Would you like me to give the journal to him?” I offered.
“Well,” Dessa sighed, “I guess I have no right to decide for this journal. Maybe now is the best time for it to be given to Mago.”
She handed me the journal and then said, “just a piece of advice, Arlene, don’t expect that Mago will become a better person after reading this journal.”
“Don’t worry,” I smiled at her, “but I wondered why she chose to give this journal to Mago.”
“Because the father of her child is Mago,” she replied.
I froze when I heard her, “s-so, where’s the kid?”
“The baby died with her,” Dessa sadly answered.
I couldn’t find the words to say but Dessa held my hand and said, “if Mago hurts you, let me know. I can lend you a shoulder to cry on.”
“Thanks,” I smiled at her.
Everyone got busy at the bar but my mind lingered on the journal that was inside my locker. I could not fought the urge not to open it; until my will to know their past overpowered me. I decided to open the journal when I got my break.
Pictures of their candid shots were pasted on the first page but a quote in Ailene’s journal cought my attention, ′I wish you allowed me to love you if not for the rest of your life but at least for the rest of mine.
I silently read Ailene’s journal. It was sad that she suffered from sickness but it still does not change the fact that she played on my feelings for her. Her journal proved that she only used me to fulfill her own bucket list.
Journal Entry 1
I received the most dreadful news a seventeen year-old could have. The doctor told me that I only have few years to live due to my head tumor. I wanted to ask God why does it have to be me. Of the many people in the world, and there are even some who committed suicide, why does he chose me to have this kind of ailment?
It was like a death sentence. Just a thought of it makes me wanna curse God. I still want to do many things. There are many things I wish to experience. While young people at my age worry about what dress to wear, whom to fall in-love to or how to complete school requirements, I am here planning for the remaining days of my life.
I am only seventeen, and for seventeen years, I have been a good daughter. For seventeen years, I tried not to disobey my parents. Why didn’t God give this disease to those who disrespected their parents? I have longed to experience how it is to love and be loved, but because I had an agreement with my parents that I can only get into relationship once I am done with my education, I shun all thoughts related to it.
For seventeen years, I have beed a good student. I have never cut classes, never violated any school policy, and I have never joined any school organization because my parents asked me to focus on my studies.
I just realized that I have not lived my life like a normal teenager. I have valued other people more than I valued myself. Now I wondered what I want to do? Should I let myself rot without trying exciting things, or should I stay reserved and pretend that I am not dying?
With these thoughts, I decided to make a bucket list of things I wish to die before I succumb to death.
My Bucket list:
I must have a boyfriend. I also want to do all the crazy stuffs that a teen couple at my age does.
Have sex. There is no point reserving myself for marriage.
Join the cheering squad
Be free and have fun – drink beer, try smoke, cut classes and enter wild bars. I have no plan on destroying my life, I just want to experience things.
Have a kid. So that my parents will not be so lonely when I die.
“Mago,” Arlene called me.
With disgust, I closed the journal and attempted to throw it; but Arlense stopped me.
“No,”she said, “please read everything first before you throw it.”
“This journal is nonsense! It only proved that love does not exist,” I angrily uttered.
“Please finish reading everything,” she pleaded, “there are many things you need to know about Ailene.”
“What do you really want to happen? Ailene and I are long over,” I raised my voice, “I don’t care about her anymore, neither do I want to be part of her life.”
“Even if you said that, I know what happened to you and Ailene caused you so much,” she almost cried, “I don’t know Ailene but I after reading her journal, I felt the pain that she went through. Give her a chance. Let that journal help you see what really happened.”
“There is no point,” I insisted, “the damage has already been done. She could not longer bring back time, and if she is really sorry, tell her to say it on my face.”
“How can the dead explain herself?” she blurted, “Ailene already died, Mago, and your name was the last she uttered before dying.”
“How did you know?” I asked.
“Read the journal and when you’re done, I’ll take you to the person who was with her on her deathbed.”
“I can’t read everything,” I whispered, “I do not know how to react.”
“I will be with you,” she held my hand, “I will be here whenever you need me.”
I did not answer her. Part of me wanted to find closure in this journal, but part of me is afraid to feel the pain again. In the end, I decided to finish reading the journal. I guess it is now time for me to free myself from the anger that I kept since the time she broke my heart. This probably is the best way for me to do so I can start learning to love again.