Have you ever woken up in the morning contemplating your choices? Like having a flashback from when the world hasn't stripped you off your innocence and happiness?
The event from last Friday left me exhausted to the point where I refused to get up of my bed the whole weekend. The only time I stood up was when Luci have to eat. I didn't bother cooking food for myself. I'm not feeling hungry and it has been like that for the past two days.
I was thinking that if only I was not a fool before, then maybe I could turn things around. The way I wanted it to. But no. I watched my life cascade from being the happiest man alive to the most miserable version of me. I was a decision away from a different outcome. From a different path. Different road. However, I was blinded. Blinded by the idea of love and relationships being the best feeling in the world.
But the harsh truth of reality stepped in. Epiphany comes in and strike me down with multiple lightnings with no chance of me recovering from the assault. Bullets of painful nights rained from different directions when I recalled every fights. Words sharped as knives thrown at me. By my love, my family, my friends, the whole world.
The clock alarmed for the nth time I lost count. I got no choice but to stand up and do my routines and went to work. Today, I decided to file a leave. I needed it. A break from everything. A breath of fresh air. Some time to at least recollect myself. Because, I got to be honest, any minute longer with this suffocating situation and I would have gone mad.
It was a decision I was going to make for myself and not for others. With that said, I went up straight to my station to write the letter for my vacation leave.
"What's that Ken? You're going out on a trip?" Ashton being the nosy kid in the area suddenly appeared beside me and read my letter aloud. I guessed I got my team's attention as they hurriedly went to my table with questioning looks.
"I uhm..." I don't know what to say. What if they would laugh at my shallow reasons? So, I kept my mouth shut instead and tried to finished the letter.
"Back to your work team!" Luckily, Sir Alvarado intervened. But I can still feel their gazes behind my back after they scamper away from me.
After typing the last word, I had it printed and signed at the bottom of the paper. I'm planning on submitting it at the HR before lunch. I did all the important works and emailed what has to be emailed. I also did some advance drafts of proposal. A very raw idea for our next project so that I can still leave them my contribution to the team.
"Can I have a word with you Ken first before you submit that to the HR?" Sir Alvarado called me. We went to a secluded room far from the working area where we can have a private talk.
"Sir." I greeted him as I sat down on the chair. I'm a little bit nervous. I can tell it with my hands shaking a little.
"May I know as to why you're filing for a leave?" He calmly asked me as he played with the pen in his hand, twirling it.
"I'm sorry to say this Sir, but for the past few weeks, I've been not on my best self. And I'm afraid that it has affected my performance. I was thinking of recollecting myself."
He didn't say that much but ushered me instead towards the HR office.
I was waiting for my name to be called when I Sir Alvarado called me again. "So, I went to talk to the HR. Here's your papers. You'll have two weeks. That's the maximum they can give you. I hope you come back renewed because I'm going to need that brain of yours soon."
It was one of those rare times that I actually want to hug this man in front of me.
"Yeah, I forgot to tell you. You can have a half day today. You're allowed to go home if you want. Just make sure you're already done and finished all my tasks for you."
"Thank you so much, Sir!" I said my gratitude before I hurriedly return back to my stations to collect my things. I shut down my computer and went straight home.
Luci greeted me the moment I opened the door. I haven't eaten my lunch and maybe Luci kind of anticipated it as I noticed that his food for lunch hasn't touched yet. So I cooked the easiest food I found from the refrigerator and join Luci in eating.
I had no actual plan of what I would do on my two weeks off other than lay around and have an emotional and mental breakdown every now and then. I had already sent money to my parents last week hoping it would satisfy their luxuries. I don't actually mind providing for them because it's my responsibility as the eldest but sometimes I felt like I needed a little appreciation. To keep me going. To keep me moving.
I had nothing to do for the rest of the day. My big boy was already asleep at the corner near the terrace. It has become his favorite part of the house. This is where Cass used to play my guitar for him. And I bet that's what they do all day last week. He became so fond of Cass that sometimes I would catch him staring at the sill as if she was there.
I dragged my bean bag near him and reached out for my guitar to play a song.
I thought I was protecting you
From everything that I go through
But I know that we got lost along the way
Luci's ears perked up as soon as he heard the first strum of my guitar and as fast as he opened his eyes, he closed it again after realization hit him that it was just me. Is this really my dog? Or was it Cass' now? I wonder about that.
"WHAT'S UP MADLANG PEOPLE?!" The door suddenly burst open revealing Cass with both her arms up in the air.
And when I thought that I would have a boring day, my best friend came at the right moment. Luci run towards her excitedly as he heard her voice. His tails waging as he jumped on Cass little body. He could easily tower over her.
"You crazy woman, what are you doing here again?" I asked her as I watched her hopped onto my bed and rolled over so that my blanket was entangled on her body before falling down on the floor. I can't help but shook my head at her naughtiness.
"Fuck, that hurts." She said frowning as she stroked her back waist. I stood up and held out my hand and put it under her armpit and picked her up like a toddler. She kicked my blanket away and settled on the bean bag where I sat earlier. She was wearing another white lacy dress. It's knee-length and it would just flow freely to wherever she moves. The same familiar bracelet again and a long strap white sandals as her footwear. The strap goes up until the mid of her legs in a crisscross knot.
"Meow." Azrael the cat run to her side and purred while brushing his head to her leg. After that he went to play with Luci around the room.
"What are you doing here, Cass?" I asked her again.
"I had a good hunch that you would be here at this time. And I'm obviously right seeing you're here in front of me now."
"Your instinct isn't one to mess with. Do you know that?" I said raising my brow. How the hell did she guessed that I took a half day today? Unless she has the ability of clairvoyance. I mean, this is so rare to happen and her timing is really not just accidental. Or somehow, she was magically being invisible and has been there all along. Maybe I'm over thinking things again it's making me insane.
"So, what are you up to? I'm guessing you took a leave?" She said while reaching out for my guitar. Is it normal that I'm really getting excited every time she sings or just play an instrument? It's childish, I know.
"You're actually right again. I filed a vacation leave and the HR gave me two weeks." I explained.
"Two weeks? Wow. They're being generous to you." I was actually wondering about that too or more exactly on what did Sir Alvarado told them to let me have two weeks off. But whatever it is, I'm thankful.
"Yeah. It's a pretty long vacation and I don't even have a single plan on what I would do during that time." I truthfully admitted.
As I said, I never thought of anything since I'm not sure if they approve my leave. We're on a hectic schedule and time sensitive project and it surprised me that they let me go off that easy.
"Wait, you mean to tell me that you have a long break and you don't know what to do with it?" She asked me again not believing me.
"Like what I told you already. I would probably just lay around here." Her head snapped to my direction before she grinned and squealed loudly.
She grabbed my shoulders and shook me harshly. Her face looked like she was already dreaming and was thinking of obnoxious plans.
"I have an idea!". She exclaimed before she searched for my laptop and input my password. Damn, she knew even that? What the hell? I can't possibly keep any secrets from her!
I headed to the kitchen to find some chips to eat and some drinks.
"What are you thinking, woman?" I eyed her suspiciously.
"Let's go on a trip!"
Well a trip isn't all that bad. For some reason, I felt like looking forward to it. There's a knowing feeling within me that sparks the moment I realized it was just the two of us. Of course, I want to take this opportunity to make it up to her.
I tossed her the bag of chips and picked up the blanket before throwing it at her back since she's laying on all fours. She didn't mind the blanket and just continued on typing whatever it is.
"What are you searching anyway?" I laid beside her with her back as my pillow and the half part of my body were dangling from the side bed. I opened the chips and eat it. I fed her from time to time.
"Places where to go. You up for a round trip?"
Wait, round trip? Not bad.
"And how do you plan to do that? With what, Cass?" I questioned her.
"We're going to ride your transformer friend downstairs!" She squealed again, her feet kicking in the air.
"What about Luci and Azi? Who's going to look out for them?" I inquired.
"Oh, your Landlady actually told me she's going to come home tonight. We can leave the two with her. I do hoped she don't mind." she shrugged. Looked like she already planned the whole thing out by herself in just a little time.
"Alright, since you're so into this, what's your plan with the roundtrip?"
"Here's what I got from the suggestions; we can go to the most northern part we could travel. Like Sagada or Baguio. Then from there, we can just take a reroute to different provinces like Pangasinan, La Union to central Luzon. Probably Zambales, Nueva Ecija. Then go South to region IV-A. Then go back here. What do you think?"
That sounds like a concrete plan. "That's pretty well thought out. Your best friend approves it. When are we leaving?" I told her.
"Tomorrow of course! We can't waste this precious time!" That's right. I can't waste this chance. She wrote notes of our possible itinerary since it was a DIY.
She stood up and got a blank bond paper and pencils from my desk and began sketching and scribbling on it. If we're leaving tomorrow, then I should pack my things now. So I did. I left her doing her things and started putting my clothes in the bag. Once she's done with her art, she taped it on the wall in front of my table.
It was a drawing of a what seem a man with big angel wings. He was looking out from his veranda, eyes on the city on the horizon and the moon towering the landscape. It actually looked like a scene from my room. She drew the same setting and the stuffs were all detailed. A complete copy of my terrace based on the perspective from my table. It was all black and white but with the tip of the man's wings and the moon being colored with red. Like it was dipped in blood. This isn't just art. It was a masterpiece.
I walked towards to see it closely since I can see some writings below it. It looked like a poem.
Glimmering eyes as hit with rays
At night, hear him as he prays
Pure soul, be enlightened
His fire be once again ignited
Don't let his life be a waste
Stand up and make haste
I'll hold you 'til eternity
Make you feel serenity
Let the waves wash away
Keep his worries at bay
Lift the sadness from his heart
For I'll always care even we're apart
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