Wouldn’t It Be Nice?

It was out of curiosity. A fine day it was, I remember. I was looking upon your serene face, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen you so calm. The world has gotten into us and we just had to escape. And we did. With one click, we were out of the city, away from the noise and the angry strangers that we had to deal with every single damn day.

We wanted to escape and it was so out of character for us to just pack our bags and leave the next day.

“Wouldn’t it be nice—” I uttered, “to simply fall in love?”

I didn’t know what I was getting at. Maybe it was the beauty of the fields of flowers, or the serenity of your face, or the gentle breeze that’s touching our skins—It was pure and real. It seemed like a scene out of the books of our childhood. I did not know, what caused me to dream and just to try if this dream can be our reality.

I wanted to see what would happen. What kind of face you would make? What poetry will come out of your lips?

“Yeah,” you whispered, soft enough to keep it from the world, but loud enough for me to hear.

I smiled. It was futile, I thought. It had to end, soon. Maybe not tomorrow, but eventually it will. All things do, after all. That’s something we both learned.

This is only a dream, a short one at that. I had to remind myself. How I wish this was my reality, to wake up to this much green, to this much earth with sun shining upon me, where everything is beautiful because we are happy. Everything is bright and everything is alive because we are. Where everything is simple and love is not complicated.

But I saw the pain in your eyes and the sadness in your smile.

“Wouldn’t it be nice if it was just us?” I whispered, soft enough to keep it from the world, but loud enough for you to hear.

And you held my hand, a simple gesture but it meant the world to me.

This would have been the part where you tell me you love me and I, you. But it was best not to say things that had to be silenced as soon as we look back. It was best not to utter beautiful words that will cause us to cry.

The moment is pure and innocent and it was enough to make me smile for a lifetime. Even though the time will pass, this moment, right now, what we have, no one can take it away. It will always be with me.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have to part?

I could not say the words out loud.

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Six Years of Bottled Emotions

I learned the day that I was hurt, the day that I cried myself to sleep and woke up crying that emotions is like an internal black hole sucking the life out of me.

It wasn’t fun! I was on my senior year of college and focus is an absolute must. Instead I find myself crying over a giant loss on my final and biggest competition as a collegiate athlete and a broken heart. Yes that’s how I ended my college life. I wished it was easy for me to simply shrug everything off.

No I was not like that. I was the type of person who embraces her emotions. I acknowledged the joy, the pain, the love, the anger and the grief that I feel. I cry if I must and I laugh when I should—and whenever I feel, I write, I draw, I express myself through art.

That day I woke up crying and unable to get out of bed to face the beautiful morning which felt like the post-apocalyptic era where everything is dead and all hope is gone, I wondered, if I had been the type of person who just ignores, who just hides her feelings, who just dismisses her emotions to avoid having my feeling etched deeper into my heart, my soul and my mind, could it have been easier?

Was it supposed to be easy, had I not felt the way I did? If I didn’t feel the need to be friends with the people around me, to impress the people I admired, to fall in love with a man who clearly did not feel the same way about me twice, could it have been easy?

I was, or at least I’d like to believe that I still am, a passionate person. My emotions drive me to do my best, to give it all. Whenever I step on the mats a crazy scenario enters my mind. That person in front of me is the enemy. If I don’t defeat her, the evil empire will take over the world. I am the heroin in the story. Of course that scenario will fade as soon as the match is over. But that’s how I worked. That’s how I studied, that’s how I came up with stories and how I express myself through art.

But one day, when everything is too much, when I had no idea what to do with all the pain and grief, I just decided to turn everything off, keep my guards up and hide behind the Wall of Castle Black. Keep the Others away, and swear that I am the Night’s Watch and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife… wait.

Okay we’re getting off topic.

Basically I just turned off the feelings and when I start to feel which is sometimes I could not help, I convince myself not to get attached, don’t trust them, don’t tell them anything about yourself.

It’s been pretty lonely. For six years, yes I haven’t had any strong emotion for any one. It didn’t hurt but I didn’t feel anything either.

And then the writing stopped, and so did judo and art.

Sometimes I try to write but midway I stop. I just couldn’t. I didn’t know what to do next.

Recently, when I was clearing my room, I dug up my old stuff from high school and college. It was a habit, to carry a small notebook where I can write and sketch whenever I feel like it. I also found my old essays from creative writing classes. My professor told me I had a distinct voice in writing and that my short stories were beautiful. My art professor told me that he can tell in my art if I was inspired or not. All of these good pieces were inspired by a very emotional event or a person who caused me to feel raw, jumbled, confusing emotions and the only way for me to express them is through art.

I wanted to write again. I wanted to paint again. I wanted to freely express myself again.

And so I did it. I finally faced the dark shadow behind me and lit a bright light. No more hiding. I let myself feel and admit that I was happy, I was hurt, I still cared and I still loved.

And I cried, and I wrote and I laughed, and I painted. I found my voice again. And I felt light, as I carried a much lighter past.

And I am much older now, much wiser, but my heart and my mind will be forever young.

Art is an expression. Neil Gaiman said “make good art”. When you stumble or when you fall, make good art.

So that’s what I will do. I will feel and I will make good art with it.

Home

For most people, when the clock strikes 6, it means freedom. That’s not the case for Adam. Adam dreads the end of the day—when the sun goes down and work day is done. He has to go home. He has to go home to her.

He sighed as he admitted defeat. This is a low season for the company. Work is light and people should be happy. Adam would give anything to bury himself in piles of work.

Slowly, he made his way home, trying to find an excuse to go elsewhere. He looked at the supermarket and decided to shop for unnecessary goods. As he passed by the international food section, he remembered that she love eating Korean food. He hated it because he never got used to the taste, but he endured all that when they were dating. He thought maybe, just for old time’s sake, he’ll cook her some kimchi fried rice.

She was in the same spot as always when he gets home; sitting at the left side of a two-seater sofa staring at her reflection on the television. She greeted her with a small smile. He shook his head and made his way to the kitchen.

“Did you have a great time at work, dear?” She loves using that word when she teases him. He thought that maybe, if he ignored her, she will stop and just disappear.

Adam knows that it reached pass delusion to hold on to something that’s already gone. Maybe this would help. Maybe if he decides to stay out late or to finally move out, then he can finally start anew.

“You hate Korean food, why would you buy some?” she asked. He looked at her but didn’t answer. She was still smiling, like nothing happened. He cursed and threw the bag of grocery in the trash can.

He took the seat beside her. He was careful not to make any contact. He massaged his temple, trying to find reason.

“What are you still doing here?” he asked eyes closed as he massages his temple. “You’re not supposed to be here.”

“What do you mean?” the pain was clear in her voice. “I thought you want me here. You said it yourself before. You didn’t want me to go.”

He rested his elbows on his knees and looked at her.

“So, I’m here.” She said happily again.

“You were not happy like this before. I just didn’t see it.”

“You keep blaming yourself for what happened. It was my decision.” The way she said it struck him deep and hard. It was as if it was the simple and obvious answer.

“This doesn’t really answer any of my questions,” he said. His eyes still locked on her.

“No, not really. Sorry.”

He remembers her apologizing a lot, even for the littlest things, and things she shouldn’t apologize for. Yet she smiled, she laughed and she loved. And she was loved. It just wasn’t clear for him, for anyone—and he blamed himself for that. He laid beside her every night, ate meals together and talked at the end of the day. He didn’t see it. How could he? She was always smiling.

“I’m at peace,” she said, or at least what he thought could be the simplest way to accept it.

It was a comforting yet haunting thing, he thought. For now, maybe this will do.

He stared at the golden band on the table that has been cold for three months. Though the room is dark and empty, she’ll certainly be back again tomorrow.

 

Three

I touch the ground and hold on to three things

I count three steps back and breathe in

Waking up is getting hard, but I’ll be fine

By and by, I’ll learn to smile

 

I hold three things so dear to me

Hoping they won’t go or give up on me

I count three things, so near to reach

And somehow I feel a little happy

 

I count the days I have survived

That I wake up and find three things I like

Three months has passed—things are getting fine

By and by, days will be bright.

 

I hold three things from the past

Deep in me, I cannot cast

It may stay with me until the last

In this heart made of glass

 

Bittersweet Dreams

I have to convince myself over and over again.

“He is not mine. He never was.”

It was like a prayer to me, a constant reminder not to get caught in a dream, in an illusion created out of desire and unrequited emotions.

But dreams can get out of hand, it can reveal your heart’s deepest wish.

“He is not mine. He never was,” were the first words out of my mouth when reality pulled me back. Before my vision gets clouded, before I delusion myself from the thin possibility, before I begin to ignore the fact that you are with someone else, I must utter the words again.

I thought keeping my distance would do the trick. Sometimes I hate how I can remember everything so vividly.

“He is not mine. He never was,” I said again as I recall my days with you.

I must, once again, hold on to the ground, to what is now, to the bittersweet reality that I am no longer part of your life.

I Don’t Regret Loving You

Now that I’ve thought about it, now that my anger has passed, and now that I have accepted that we are done, I realized that I don’t regret loving you.

I don’t regret meeting you at what I would call Universe’s master plan for us. True, we ended up parting ways but I am glad that for a time, I was yours and I was able to call you mine. I am glad that you are my first love and that you tried to love me back.  I am thankful for that.

Yes, it was a difficult ride, most of the time. But we also had great time together. When I was with you I discovered a lot of things about myself. You made me feel loved and accepted and you showed me how strong I can be. You always believed in me, even when I doubted myself. You were always pushing me to go forward. And now onwards I go without you, my dear.

I also discovered a lot of things about you. Yes, you were very difficult to love. A lot of times I thought of ending things with you but somehow you convinced me to stay. You are very strong, very deep, and very mysterious. You can be goofy at times but when things get serious, you always know what the right things to say—you always know what to do.

But you were not sure of our love. I get it.  Some woman hurt you years ago and broke you into million pieces and you were never able to put yourself back together completely.

Yes I get it. How stupid of me to think that I hold the glue and the missing pieces in your life.

No. I was not enough, was i? I always thought I was. But that’s okay. At least we tried. At least for a moment, you thought maybe I was “it”. You did, right? I never really got to ask, but I do hope that at least at some point in our time together, you saw me as someone truly special.

I always thought I can see right through you, but I guess I never saw it clearly. You are still in pain yet you were so brave to try again. But you can’t fully commit because years ago, you realized you gave your heart to another person, and you never really got it back whole. You never really understood why. All that you know is that you are afraid that someone will steal it away again and break it into tinier pieces.

You thought it was me.

I was never going to hurt you. No. I never had that intention, but I still hurt you in some ways I didn’t mean to. But I still loved you and I’ll never regret loving you. After all, you taught me how to love and that I can love with all my heart. You taught me the pain and joy, the bliss and the sorrow of it all. By the end, it was mostly tears yet, with all my heart I can say,

I never truly regretted loving you.