I received a text from my mother.
Rica, we need money
The words I read silently rings all over my mind; again and again. It created a small chaos inside and I could hear the familiar tone of the austere voice of my mother. It made me feel cold and empty—lost and unhappy.
I mentally took note of what I’d do later after work as I moved my fingers to tap a reply. I wouldn’t want to make my mother wait for a response.
Yes, Mom. I’ll send money after work. How are you?
And I received no response after that.
The familiar words that my mother would say recurred on my mind for several moments as I calmed myself down. It was taunting—but at the same time, I feel just fine—normally fine; it reminded my soul that it’s the usual—that I felt this ache over and over again. Reacting otherwise would only worsen the pain. I got used to it, to everything.
As I drank water from my tumbler, I stretched my arms and took my wallet inside my bag… and I was yet again, reminded by the heavy sensation that I used to feel since then. I mentally counted the bills inside, and it was so hard for me to cope with the hefty burden clinging on my chest.
But even though I exerted much effort to lessen the weight of the emotions—I still couldn’t. I will always go back to where the feelings came from. I’d always come back to where I belong; in a lost faraway place, surrounded nothing but pain and darkness.
Yet still…I battled, I continued to fight back the drowning emotions. I fought and fought, until I felt fine. But then, as I clashed with the pain, I stumbled. I tripped and it ripped me apart. And there, I realized; I cannot battle all the wars. That sometimes, it’s better to run away.
I realized that in life. It’s okay to run away—to escape—to ignore. Fighting and resisting aren’t always the solution to overcome challenges. Because even if people will call me a coward, I’d still run—I’d run faraway just for my peace.
And the right moment will come. The time where you feel ready to face them, to battle them, will come. And you wouldn’t feel any pain and burden from fighting—because from the moment when you ran; you were also healing. And I learned that that’s the most important thing in life—to heal from the pain—to finally feel fine.
Some people wouldn’t understand. But there’s more to life than proving yourself on them.
It was late for me to realize that one of my colleagues noticed my weariness. Cynthia, from my right side, peek a look from me through the barriers of our cubicle working space. I equaled her curious gaze with a smile.
“Are you okay, Rica?” She asked, shifted her folded arms above the barrier. Cynthia pouted to point out the bills on my hand. “What’s up? Are you out of money?”
I shook my head as response. “No…no, it’s not that.” I mumbled.
“Ah…” Cynthia nodded. “Planning for marriage?”
Those words stopped me from my tracks. It created chaos on my system and I could feel something burning inside me. It was scary—but not the bad kind of scary—instead, it feels okay.
The thought of marrying him clouded my thoughts. Before, it was one of my dreams. It remained as an innocent dream when I was a child. But now, the fact that it might come true haunted me. And I’d love to be haunted with that dream over and over again.
Ah… the things he can do on me. Moments ago, I was anxious. But I’m now surrounded with fantasy. Is this considered a miracle?
“No…not yet.” I answered shyly. “I’ll send money to my parents …” I added.
Cynthia hummed a response. “Oh? Well, I guess it’s really hard to be an obedient daughter.”
What were the moments in my life that I was considered as the good child? Or the promising daughter? Because as far I know, I was neither. But instead of pushing the idea that’s flowing inside my mind, I stopped. Because I knew it’ll be over for me once it poured.
The cold nights of California continues as days passed by. It distracted me from my loads of work, constant thoughts of life, anxieties and such. But it was normal, everything seems normal that I couldn’t help but to overthink again on what’ll happen after here.
I entered the small apartment in the city that I rented with Vincent. It was small but endearing, just perfect for the both of us. It’s surrounded with beige walls and earth colored interiors. A small sala set welcomes you then followed by a curved passageway to the kitchen and dining. Well you can say that…we’ve been planning for the…future.
Four figures were stated on our digital clock that was hanged on the wall, it was 08:14 in the evening. I just got home and should plan for our dinner. Immediately, I changed into a more comfortable clothes then prepared food.
Looking back, I didn’t expect that my life will be like this. Simple but contented.
As a child, I grew up in a harsh environment and with the coldest way possible. I wasn’t surrounded with lovely things and gestures or such. My childhood years weren’t filled with love, my teenage dreams came crumbling, and I was so ready to face life full of miseries and hatred.
But that one magical moment where God gave me shot in life changed everything—
A familiar pair of strong arms enveloped my small waist as I was busy chopping vegetables in the counter. Then, his calloused fingers traced its way to mine, definitely stopping me from what I was doing. This made me let out a soft chuckle and faced him.
—then I met him.
In a windy day where leaves were falling from its branches, I saw him in the middle of the bare and naked aisle of trees. He was glowing as he wore his cheery smile; he played with the brittle fallen leaves from the ground and it made annoying crunched echoes. But I stayed sitting on the meadow, eyes stuck on him instead on my favorite Paul Coelho book. And I found it weird of him, weird of this particular moment, where I find him radiant in the middle of lifeless surroundings—for he was shining amidst the insensible brokenness of everything.
Maybe, or definitely—this moment were like what stated in those usual romantic books—the moment where everything seems surreal and you feel floated with dreams and ifs. And never did I ever regret that I hoped for this moment to be true, to be that moment.
And I found myself hoping for him. I hoped and hoped for I yearned for a beaming love. I found myself wishing for another moment, where I’d catch myself with him, feeling a burning passion. I continued to hope and wish for I endlessly craved something worthwhile.
He was Vincent, and no words could ever express how grateful I am to have him in me.
“How was work?” I asked and he hums. “Fairly good, I mean, everything’s normal.”
And again, I found myself praying for this moment to last. Is it too much of me to pray that every moment of us will last? Was I too much already? Am I abusive of the higher being’s blessings for me? What have I ever done in my life to receive such grace?
Life is not perfect, they say. But I caught myself laughing on that note. Because for once, I realized—life is only not perfect when you expect and desire something out of hand. When you prioritize your ideals then you’d find yourself craving for it more and more. But when it isn’t given to you—there, the hopes that you yearned for crumbles and you seem that everything is indeed, not perfect.
This is more than that. Life is more than chasing your ideals.
I believed that.
Because in that particular windy day where my life felt stormy; the blusters decided to glide me into him. I drifted together with the cold puff of air but moments later, as I faced him; all I felt was nothing but warmth. Blown by the wind, I hesitated, but the strong breeze of wind shifted my life miraculously. It was supposed to be cold—the wind should’ve been shivery, but it was not.
Meeting him was decided by fate, and unending this love is ours to decide. But while I believe in fate and destiny—I also believe in human choice. We are all driven by choices and that every little decision that we choose; our lives depends on it—
“I really, really want to get married with you soon…” I whispered on his ears.
Vincent’s heavy sigh made me nervous. He withdraws his arms on my waists and placed it on both sides of the counter, perfectly locking me. I caught his weary gaze; my heart fumbled more.
A long stretch of silence continues, and then I found myself closing my eyes, preparing for the worst to come. But when no words from him came out; I opened my eyes and saw him holding a ring.
And my heart believed for more.
The ring holds a strong and heavy meaning of love. It values the sense of acceptance of everything. It serves as the key to endlessness. And for me to witness one, to experience one, I would never trade this moment for the world.
“I want that to. Let’s get married soon…” Vincent answered.
There, I realized; we clearly differ from experiences in terms of the most memorable moment. And for me, I spent it with just the both of us. Some would consider the most memorable one with their special people, friends and family—but for me, I chose this serene heartwarming moment of us—because he is both my friend and family.
Just him with the ring.
I nodded, and then I nodded again and again. Hoping the exaggerated nods of mine will ease the wrench in my heart. It was painful, I could feel my heart heavy but I am happy—so happy. Was this real? Having your heart breaking due to happiness was not a myth?
“I’d spent the rest of my life with you, Vince…” I answered and I felt the cold material, slid its way on one of my fingers.
—and my choice is this.
I turned around and shifted my position as I handed the money I’d transfer to my mother in a popular Filipino remittance pawnshop in downtown area of California. I sighed heavily as she received it. Moments later, I was done with my task and immediately left.
My mother loved me, I believed—or I thought she did. She wasn’t the affectionate kind of a mother. She wasn’t even devoted on being a Mother to me. But still, I’m grateful for her—for the little things she did for me—it was more than enough. Having a shelter to sleep on, food to eat, clothes to wear—everything of it made me who I am today.
Even the scars that I got from the battle, I’m grateful for it.
Although never in my wildest dreams that my mother would apologize—I still forgive her. I forgive her from all the pain that she caused me, the marks that she inflicted on my skin, the ache that remained in my heart, and my calm broken soul.
In life, if you pursue your ideals—you’ll never get them. I realized that when I was constantly wishing for the pain to subside, for my life to change—but still it didn’t. I vividly remember her words and how it affected my being and her abuse of power that relentlessly reminded me of my worth—everything of it taunted me, up until this very day. So I’d always hope, for a good life with a loving mother.
How I persistently wished of my ideal life to achieve…but didn’t.
But as I grow older, I also realized that it doesn’t matter. Because years of chasing my private dreams, my everyday wishful thinking, and getting my heart broken all over again with reality—it doesn’t really matter. Above all, what really matters is who I am right now; how I got through everything and how I healed from the all of it.
My private dreams, my wishes, my dreams—my constant imaginations of what a perfect life is—all of it never really mattered right now. Because I am now healed, I am more than fine with the life I have.
You will never achieve all of your hopes in life. Because maybe, they aren’t for you—or maybe, you deserve more than what you hoped for. Maybe, it’s for the reason that you’ll need that experience to learn from it; a lesson in life.
And I learned, much more than anyone could think of.
So I hope to the person who’s reading this—that you’ll never take your life for granted wishing and hoping for your ideals to come true. Instead, be grateful of what you have. Because all of us isn’t sure of what future awaits for us.
But, it isn’t something to take against for. Continue to dream, continue to live, but also continue to find your peace.
The familiar tone of my phone whenever there’s a message was heard. I immediately took my gadget from my bag and saw a text from Vince. Reading it, I couldn’t help but smile as I felt the light and warm feeling.
I’m almost done with work. Where are you? Are you home na or still at downtown?
Life isn’t fair to everyone. But if we look on the brighter side—maybe, every one of us will stay positive within the looming unfortunate events that’ll happen, or that we’re experiencing. Because one day, we can finally say it to ourselves, we’d finally realize why all of it happened. And in that day, we’ll know and accept and learn. We wouldn’t be angry or sad; we’d be happy and grateful as we mutter “kaya pala…”
I moved my fingers to tap a reply to Vince.
I’m still here at downtown, I’ll be waiting. I wanna go home with you.
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