"There's no you except in my dreams."
Secret Bitch 😎😈
16 JUN 2018 AT 8:23 AM
Mariiiiii! Happy graduation daaaaaaaaaaay!
I’m so sorry I couldn’t visiiiiit
Here I am cramming hahahaha today’s my last day of hell week huhu
Please have fun for me? hehe
I’m so happy for you! I promise I will call you later 💖
Good morning biiiiiish, thank youuuuuu!!!!!! 😘😘😘😘😘😘
I will def call you, just text me when you’re free 🤗
Don’t burn yourself out, kkkk?? Good luuuuuuuck!
Rest for a while, ttyl biiiiiiish 😁😁😁😁
Secret Bitch 😎😈
ART MAHOES 🎨
16 JUN 8:27 AM
U guys! I’m heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere at the parking looot behind the museuuuum
Wjere r u ?
Me too. I’m actually giving my family a tour of the museum. 🙂How about you Lea? Raine?
I’m close ☺️ we’re about to enter the campus.
I’m so excited you guys! 😆😆😆😆
I think all of us are 🙂
Of course, our resident latecomer is late hahaha
Duh, of course, I must look good for the photos 😘
You know New York City traffic 🙄🤮
I’ll be there in a jiffy.
Yeah right 🤥🤥🤥
I’ll see you guys in the chapel, don’t wait up for me in the museum then 🥱🥱
I’m with Lea now, we’re just gonna wait for Beth
See you there Raiiine 😘😘😘
Months later, after her separation from Jace, Mariana stared at nothing as her college schoolmates gathered inside the chapel for the mass before graduation. Though Ros Rodriguez, her other best friend aside April, was sitting next to her, and on the other was Chandler Hayes, their friend from high school, she was feeling disoriented despite having eight hours of sleep and perfect make-up on her face. She put the façade on like any ordinary day.
Her mind had been replaying her moments with her ex-boyfriend, Jace. She took a deep breath as she adjusted her glasses from sliding off her nose. She tried to rack her brain on why Jace was haunting her dreams. As she submerged into her mind, she noticed something new in her memory that wasn’t in the previous ones and would never be possible. Her eyebrows creased, and her mouth agape in confusion when she saw Nate Turner, her high school crush, somewhere in the crowd.
“Why would he show up in my dream with Jace in it?” She wondered as her heartbeat quickened. “It’s impossible because he’s….,” she shook her head and carefully wiped the unwanted tears in her eyes. She closed her eyes as she argued with herself. “Why did I break up with Jace? Is it because I am such a coward to fall in too deep? Like what happened before I met him?”
Ever since the incident happened in 2013, she kept to herself and not entirely allowed anyone to enter her life romantically, except for Jace, for he crawled his way into her life. “And then I broke up with him.” She wanted to punch herself. “Why am I so stupid? My professor was right. How did I even get this far?”
Her unwanted tears returned as the buried memory resurfaces. She could feel her heart aching inside her chest, and it frustrated her. She removed her glasses and used her handkerchief so it could absorb her tears.
“Are you okay, Mari?” asked Ros.
She lifted her eyes and saw Ros and Chandler were leaning in to see her face. “Yes, just getting emotional.”
Chandler smiled, “Aw, the ice queen is tearing up!”
Mariana lightly shoved Chandler. “Shut up, Chan!”
Ros draped her arm around her. “It’ll be fine,” she smiled. “Why don’t we take a selfie and send it to April?”
She sniffed and nodded, “oh yeah, okay!”
Chandler snapped the photo of them, and she sent the picture to April.
“Ugh, what the hell?” Ros huffed because April had just seen it, no comments or even a reaction to the photo.
Ros rolled her eyes. “Ugh, let’s just ignore her.”
But Mariana explained to her that April was cramming for her test. Ros still rolled her eyes, so Mariana shrugged and looked at Chandler, who did the same.
As the mass went on, her mind wandered about what happened the morning before they left her flat. Though her mother has always been clingy and tries hard to be sweet, Mrs Greene’s passive-aggressiveness is why Mariana doesn’t like her interactions with her mother. All Mrs Greene sees in her daughter are her flaws and lost potential. Her mother pointed out the dark shadows underneath her eyes and the pimple marks showing on her cheeks right after waking her up without knocking on her door.
The icy demeanour washed her warmth every time her doubts surfaced onto her mind. Mariana had been trying to be good, unlike her younger years, but it was hard for her when the one who should be lifting her spirits was always the person pushing her down, obliviously.
She tried to remember that today would be excellent for her and everyone in the chapel since this would be the last time they’d have before entering the “real” world. She smiled through the pain that overwhelmed her heart. Pressing her hands on her jaws, she felt conflicted and guilty for embarking on a new journey.
“I’m truly graduating today.” her inner voice spoke, remembering someone would never be able to.
She cleared her throat and disregarded her resurfacing sorrow. She redirected her mind by focusing on her siblings fighting on their way here earlier instead of listening to the ongoing mass because she would fall asleep.
Mariana’s siblings were arguing because they both wanted to play their preferred music on the radio. “Give it back!” Diondré roared, wrestling his twin to take his mobile back. “Célina! I swear to God if you don’t give it —!”
“You’ll what?” Célina challenged as she changed the music from rock to electronica. “Yes, little brother? What are you going to do?”
“Mum~!” Dion asked their mother for help, who was busy using her BlackBerry for work.
“Stop acting like children,” snapped Mrs Greene, trying to diffuse the situation and focus on her client. “You two are adults, not teens anymore.”
“Dad~!” Dion shifted to their father, eyes pleading.
Mr Greene laughed at his children’s bickering. “Listen to your mother.” But the two still went at it when Célina egged on Dion.
Their father shook his head and grinned, feeling glad that he was back home from London to celebrate his first-born daughter’s milestone. He kissed his wife’s cheek. “Felt like I never left,” beamed Mr Greene and hugged his fighting children. Mariana avoided her father’s embrace, and he recovered by cracking a joke, “Mari, I took a bath, I don’t smell!”
A playful smile painted across Mariana’s face as she rolled her eyes at her loving parent. Remembering how her father had been going through a tough predicament for losing the only living parent he had, with her Nana Charlie passing away a few months ago, she let him embrace her this time.
“I love you, my princess,” he murmured and patted the top of her head.
Mariana smoothened out her shoulder-length, iron-straightened hair as she nodded and lightly shoved him away, and her father sat back comfortably next to his wife.
Mrs Greene’s patience wore thin as the fighting escalated. She took the phone from Célina, and before giving it back to Dion, she switched off the Bluetooth, and the electronica song stopped. “There. Viktor, please put Céline Dion’s CD.” She instructed their chauffeur.
Dion groaned audibly, expressing how sick he was for listening to his “namesake” singer as the violin surrounded their hearing. He pulled out his earphones from his pocket and put them on. He pressed the volume on high, and the rock music bleeds from his earbuds. Célina did the same; electronica bleeding out.
Mariana glanced at her younger siblings and shook her head with a tiny smirk. She noticed her siblings giving each other side-eyes. She knew they wanted to hug each other and cried but hid it because the Greenes are prideful.
For an hour, Mariana stayed awake by reminiscing about her college experiences. When she felt her mobile vibrating in her Alexander McQueen black-studded clutch, she checked what the notification was; half-hoping Jace would congratulate her for graduating. They might have broken up, but Mariana had never seen any sign of him dating or being in a relationship with anyone at all. She would know; he was not hard to miss.
And indeed, it was from Jace. He sent a quirky picture of him wearing his “graduation gown.”
Hey, my dearest dear! 🥰
Congratulations and welcome to the REAL world! 🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳
It sucks, you’re gonna love it! 😂
Quoting F.R.I.E.N.D.S., huh? 😏
Thank you, Jace. 😊
I’m still at the mass though, so technically, I’m not a graduate yet. 😆😆😆
I thought you might like it! 😘
I’ll let you get back to it, then.
Thanks again, weirdo Jace. 🥰
You’re welcome, dear! 🤗
“I miss you.” The message they wanted to say but never send.
After the graduation and final goodbyes, hugs and photographs, Mariana, Beth, D, and Lea embraced one another before leaving to celebrate with their families. Chandler and Mariana took a selfie, and he told her about his job offer in China. She was excited for her friend to land a job that early. With one last good hug, they said goodbye to each other.
Ros had her arm around Mariana as their families dined together in a family restaurant with Mariana’s cousins. She watched everyone have a meal, laughed and talked loudly at each other, putting a smile on her face. Mariana had so much fun, and when they got home, her weariness was trying to succumb to her body.