Johanna

When he told you he loved you, you stopped.
Your heart, when it should have been beating for joy, took a momentary pause.
Your breath, when it should have been rapid, stayed in your chest for a moment.
Your brain, when it should have been a 24/7 functioning organ, ceased all its operations.
All for those three monosyllabic words: “I love you.”

It shouldn’t been like this,
Your response shouldn’t have been this much
But for someone who has spent her life picking up
The shards of broken glass she once called her soul
And using it to build a wall of protection
Against all the emotions that ripped through her life
All those years ago,
Those three little words are the beginning of the crack
In the protective barrier sheltering you.

As he whispered sweet nothings in your ear
Each word rolling off his tongue smoothly
You have to pull away and remind yourself
Of all the sleepless nights you spent
Crying on your bed
Trying to drown your cries
On your pillows as your body wracked with each sob you heave
Remind yourself of the times
You stood in the rain
Wishing each drop to cleanse away the pain
Praying for the sky to open up a little more
Just a little more
As though you wanted to have someone to feel
Just how miserable you are
Remind yourself of all the times
You stayed under water for a little too long
Hoping the waters will fill your lungs
Begging for anything, anything to fill up the empty spaces inside you.

You have been a hollow shell for so long and
It just feels so good to be able to feel again
It has been so long since someone noticed
The curve of your smile as you read something in the book you’re holding
Too long since someone sat by you as you hid in your favourite corner
Too long since someone cared enough to switch on the lights
In the otherwise candle-lit room that is your life.

So you hold on to him
Let him inside your life
Let him shake and break the foundations of the wall you built
Let him pick up the broken pieces of your soul
Let the emotions flow back again
Let him fill all the empty spaces inside of you
You believed in his love
Revelled in the attention in his gaze
Let his lips kiss away the poison in your mouth.

You drowned in the ocean of his promises
Made him your safety net
You didn’t even notice the knife
He had pulled out, trying to cut the rope
That binds him to you
Didn’t even notice that when he turned on the lights
He stepped on your candle and stamped its flames out
Didn’t even notice that when he picked up your broken pieces
He didn’t put it back together – he simply laid it all on your feet
Didn’t even notice that his entrance in your life
Meant the exit of everything else you have known
The exit of every warning
The exit of every logical, rational thought
The exit of every memory of how you
Used to beg for them to stay
The exit of every “Don’t go” “Don’t leave” “I’m scared” you have learned to hold back and swallow
All that was left was him and you
And how when he kissed away the poison in your mouth
You had your eyes closed tight
You didn’t even notice when he spat it back in.

And now all that is left of him
Is an empty monosyllabic word: SEEN
In the chatbox where it all started
And now the only evidences left that there was him and you
Are the fresh wounds your nails
Had dug deep into your skin as you tried to rip every
Piece that reminded you of him
Too bad – every part of your body screams his name.

He’s nowhere to be found
The saviour you thought he was is gone
All that is left is you and you
As you picked up the broken pieces again – at least he has the grace to pile it in one place
And you start rebuilding again
This time, not a wall outside
But a temple inside of you
You no longer will drown
Because you will learn to ride the waves
And float on the tides
You no longer will long for his lips to take the poison away
Because that poison is you
A part of your being, and you will use it as your weapon
You no longer will need to have someone
To fill your empty spaces; you will do it yourself
And you no longer will want to have someone
Switch on the lights
You will blow out the candle yourself
Because you, you have the vastness of the galaxies and stars
Not in the sky
But in your eyes.

Once Wendy

you will dream of him, more often

than you try to think of him

in your waking hours

you have never really looked at

his eyes, but in your dreams

they will stare at you and

see your soul

“i want to make you happy”

like a song that plays

over and over again

this broken record you will always

hear “i want to make you happy”

you dont know which is more haunting – 

his laughter or the shadow of his promises

or the fact that he’s now ignoring you

you laugh at yourself and you try to think:

stupid, you’re just one of his girls

you were just… someone

some hours you will find yourself

thinking of him and getting mad

at yourself – of course  

he shouldn’t be blamed

he told you right?

“dont expect”

it was all but a harmless hot day

fling, nothing more but probably less

what you and him were all but nothing 

that existed through the phone —

at least it was fun while it lasted.

you will not tell anyone but

you recorded your phone calls

just a little reminder that for a series

of 12-minute calls, he was real

he was real.

you like him -gods, you do

but not because of what he is

and what his name means

you like him because of his

voice, which you always tease him about

you like him because of his 

reactions, those little “i hate you”s

he’d say with an imagined pout

you like him because he makes

you happy without even trying hard

you like him because of the way he’d

reassure you, “i’ll catch you when you fall”

dammit, you fell — and no one was there.

but no, no you are not blaming him

he is peter, and you were once his chosen wendy

he will always be up there flying,

while you are here, in the real world

silencing sadness with the knowledge that 

for a while, he flew you high

he is peter, and he will only fly

higher and higher, with someone who can be

more than the wendy you were

he is peter, and he brought you

to neverland, with promises of something

more than you have ever experienced

he is peter, and you always knew he 

was too good to be true

he is peter, and you, never having experienced being wendy

let yourself believe 

he is peter, and your time as wendy is up

you have to go back down

you wish he let go gently though.

he is peter, and you will always

just be the once chosen wendy

at least for a while, you were wendy

he is peter, and he will never fly you again.

She Thought

 

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who thought that the world is a beautiful place.

 

She thought that it was made up of pretty, little things. Wherever she’d look, she’d see pretty flowers, smell the red and pink roses, and feel the cold breeze caressing her face. She’d hear the humming of the birds and close her eyes and revel in their sweet, sweet symphony.

 

She’d walked barefooted upon the soft grass, her pristine white dress billowing about as the wind gently blew. Her golden hair tangled upon itself, and she has to sweep it away from her face with a tinkling laugh. She’s happy, she’s comfortable, and the world is a beautiful place.

 

She lived in her own bubble of comfort, enjoying her pretty life. Her eyes are closed, smiling sweetly, arms wrapped around her feathery pillow, sighing contentedly.

 

The world is a beautiful place.

 

Or so she thought.

 

When the girl awoke, her dress was white no more. It was stained with mud and blood. The crown of roses she’d set upon her head has become thorns, cutting her, piercing her pretty skin. She can no longer hear the symphony of the singing birds for the air is filled with the wails of the damned.

 

She hugged herself as she tried to fight the angry lashes of the winds. The grass, before so soft, are now sharp under her feet, and the girl who once thought that the world is a beautiful place, sank down on her knees, tears streaming in her face.

 

She thought wrong.

A Letter to the Boy Who Never Wanted to Fall in Love with Me

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I am not the girl you expected to fall in love with.

I am not the girl your friends would want you to hang out with, not the girl you’d proudly show off to them.

No, I am not the girl you want.

I don’t have that perfect body you used to fantasize about. I don’t have the perfect hair you dreamed of running your fingers through. I don’t wear the clothes that you used to see as you glanced on those fashion magazines.

I cannot go along with the things you love. I can’t play sports with you. I don’t play those video games you love. I don’t listen to the songs that you like. I don’t go out to party. I barely get out of the house.

I am everything you hate.

I am clumsy and look unkempt most of time – I barely remember to comb my hair, makeup is a chore. I’d always rather choose to stay at home than party. My idea of having fun is reading books and staying in.

I am everything you do not want.

I am not the girl your mother used to warn you about, warned you to stay away from.

I am the girl your father told you about – the girl he let go, the one your mother never knew about. I am the girl, he said, that would change your life – for the better, for the worse.

And yet you fell for me, and for that I apologize.

I, too, do not understand.

I never wanted to make you miserable because you can’t change me into the girl you’ve always dreamed about.

Was it the conversations, the way I made you realize that you’re not shallow at all?

Was it the way I made you laugh?

Was it the way I made you feel that you’re more than what you think you are?

Whatever the reason is, I’m sorry. I’m sorry you fell in love with me and I’m sorry I’m not the woman you dreamed I would be.

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that you’d never pick me up for a party; instead, you’d be struggling to pick me up after each wave of my depression hit.

I’m sorry that you’d never taste beer from my lips; instead, you’d taste my tears.

I’m sorry that you’d never see me in fishnets and lingerie; instead, you’d get to see the scars and bruises of my body.

I’m sorry for putting you through things you shouldn’t even be dealing with.

But let me make up for it.

Let me be the girl who’d support you all through out.

Let me be the girl who’d memorize every curve and plane of your face, of your body.

Let me be the girl who’d hold you as you chased the terrors of your nightmares away at night.

Let me be the girl who’d remember by heart your little quirks and habits.

Let me be the girl who won’t change you, but instead be there for you, be with you, as you discover who you are.

Let me be the girl who’d immortalize you through her poetry. Let me write stories about you.

Let me be the girl who’d fight for you, no matter what happens.

Let me be the girl who’d choose you over and over again.

Let me be the girl who’d stay with you through your ups and downs.

Let me be the girl who’d never walk away.

Let me be the girl who’d love you completely.

Let me be the girl you’d never regret unexpectedly falling in love with.

Sa Mata ng Kontrabida

Hindi ko sinasadya
Di ko sinasadyang mahulog sayo
Di ko sinasadyang hanap-hanapin ka ng puso ko
Di ko sinasadyang mahulog sa lalaking may ibang laman ang puso.

Lagi akong nakakarinig ng mga kwento ng pagkasawi sa pag-ibig
At ang laging dahilan ng kanilang sakit
Ay yung ipagpapalit sila sa iba
Puro galit at pait ang nararamdaman ng taong naiwan
Puro kagaguhan naman daw ang alam ng taong nang-iwan
Pero ni minsan wala akong narinig na simpatya para sa kontrabida

Ang akala kasi ng lahat
Kapag ikaw ang bago, pakiramdam mo ikaw na ang panalo
Totoo, pakiramdam mo ikaw ang pinakamagandang babae sa buong mundo
Ikaw ang pinili eh
Pero madaling mawala ang ilusyon

Masakit maramdaman na lagi kang pangalawa
Na lagi kang huli
Na sa bawat masasayang minuto na kasama mo sya
Maiisip mo, “Ginawa rin kaya to nila?”
Na sa mga sandaling kayakap mo sya
Gusto mong magtanong kung ganun din ba sya kahigpit yakapin noon
O baka higit pa?
Na sa bawat dampi ng labi mo sa labi nya
Tatanungin mo ang sarili mo, “Kasintamis ba ng halik ko ang sa kanya?”
Na sa bawat gabing katabi mo syang mahimbing na natutulog, wala kang ibang maisip kundi “Ako kaya ang napapanaginipan nya, o sya?”
Na sa bawat pag gising mas nya, tinatakot ka ng posibilidad na nagsisisi na sya na ikaw ang pinili nya.

Kahit kailan di ka mapapanatag dahil alam mong
Tulad ng nakaraang relasyon nya
Wala kayong kasiguraduhan
Lagi kang magagambala ng takot
Na baka sa pag gising mo’y wala na sya
Tulad ng pagkawala nya sa nakalipas nya

Napakahirap magmahal pero mas
Mahirap magmahal kapag alam mong may kakumpetensya ka
Mahirap magmahal kapag alam mong may nasaktan ka
Mahirap magmahal kapag alam mong ang puso’t isip nya ay punong-puno ng bakas ng taong pinalitan mo
Mahirap magmahal kapag alam mong sa mata ng lahat
Ikaw ang kontrabida

Ten

One

If my tear-stained sheets and mascara-smeared pillows could talk

They would speak of my desperation and death each day

Two

I’ve always loved the night

For I find comfort in the dark

But how can I embrace the shadows

If every time I close my eyes I see you?

Three

You are the best thing that ever happened to me

Four

You are the worst thing that ever happened to me because

Five

I love you

I love you like it’s the only thing I can do best

I love you like you’re the air I’m struggling to breathe

I love you like you’re the blood running in my veins but

Six

I was just the bandage to your wounds

When she slashed your heart and left you bleeding

Having eaten nothing but her old messages

Seven

I was there for you

I gave my everything to you

I even let you use my own flesh and blood to reconstruct your broken heart but

Eight

Eight

When the wounds healed, the scars spelled out her name

But you know what hurts the most? It’s when

Nine

You let her open your wounds again

And you come running back to me, begging for another reconstructive surgery

Not realizing that because I gave you my heart to use

It was my heart she killed when you let her run you over again

Ten

I am broken

I am dead

I have nothing more to give

Because nothing to me has been left

And I,

I will be forever marred

By the scars that will always, always

Spell out your name.

Assumptions

When I was little, I thought love was magical, eternal.  I thought wrong.

Growing up in a house torn by flames of ice and screams of silence, I thought love was impossible. I thought wrong.

The first boy who made me smile despite my fears, I thought he was love. I thought wrong.

The first man who made me follow my heart, I thought he was love. I thought wrong.

The first man who made me fight, I thought he was love. I thought wrong.

I’ve collected a notebook full of all my assumptions

I’ve stored a memory full of my thoughts

I’ve kept a heart full of tears and pain, sealed it with an ice chain, and threw the key into my river of wrath.

I am alone.

I am happy.

I am strong.

I thought wrong.

The first man who listened to what I have to say, I thought he was love.

The first man who made me feel like I belong, I thought he was love.

The first man who faced my fears with me, I thought he was love.

The first man who gave warmth to my cold heart, I thought he was love.

The first man who brought light to my dark soul, I thought he was love.

I thought right.

But he has stolen my heart and ran away with it

And now all I have left is a gaping hole in my chest,

Which only his name could fill.

I thought love could kill.

I thought right – it always will.

Nostalgia

I miss you
Like a grass plucked from the field
Like a shell washed from the shore
I miss you
Like a bottle thrown out to the sea
Like a tree uprooted from its home
I miss you
Like the love always needed
Like the comfort always wanted
I miss you
Like an angel thrown out of heaven
Like the devil taken from hell
I miss you
Like how I miss my home
Like how my heart aches for yours
I miss you

Happiness

February 1, 2015.
I wonder if you still remember that day. I do. It was the day you asked me that question: “How would you define happiness?”
It started everything.
My answer varied from time to time.
After months of being in love with you, here’s my answer:
Happiness is seeing your messages on my phone.
Happiness is going through our conversations.
Happiness is waiting for your free time.
Happiness is the moment your name appears whenever you call.
Happiness is hearing you sing for me.
Happiness is making up after days of fighting.
Happiness is asking for forgiveness every time I push you away.
Happiness… is not always there but..
Happiness is knowing you want someone else but still stayed with me.
Happiness is picking myself back up again after you broke me.
Happiness is when you chased me again when I gave up on you.
Happiness is you putting me back together after I inadvertently broke myself again.
Happiness is seeing you change.
Happiness is feeling that finally.. this love isn’t unrequited anymore.
Happiness is loving you unconditionally.
Happiness is holding your hand.
Happiness is looking at your eyes.
Happiness is being with you.
Happiness is knowing that I can  love more than I thought I can.
Happiness is being loved by you.
Happiness is loving you.
You’re my definition of happiness.

Beyond the Glory

“Hey, congratulations!”

“Whoa! You’re so amazing!”

“I want to be just like you…”
I’ve been hearing this all day long. Wherever I go, people would stop to shake my hand or clap my back. And all day long, I have been smiling and thanking them. Putting on my biggest smile, booming out my loudest laugh. Pretending that I’m okay.
I want to be happy. I’m supposed to be happy. But why can’t I feel the joy of success? I have met the people’s expectations. I have made them proud. So why am I unhappy? Why can’t I be happy for myself?
Is it because, in the first place, I did not choose the path I am now traveling on? Maybe that’s the reason. Because I have been so caught up in obeying and yielding to other people’s demands and expectations, I have set aside what I had really wanted. In order to make them “proud”, I threw my dream away…
How can people just let go of the future they are hoping to have? How can you just let something like your dreams slip out of your hold? How can humans just give up what they’ve worked on so hard, for the sake of other people’s opinion? How can we just chase other people’s dreams, while our own gets left behind in a wispy strand of memory, trailing in our wake, taunting, haunting?
No one expects to hear this kind of stuff. Well… the people you least expect to be unsatisfied, more often than not, turns out to be the people with the biggest regrets. You might think we’re happy because of everything that we have achieved. You might think that we’re satisfied, that we have nothing more to ask for. You’re wrong.
I wish I could go back in time and did all that I should’ve done. I wish I made my own decision. I wish I was stronger. I wish I had a louder voice. To speak out. To be heard. I wish I had the courage.

 

For now, all I can do is go on this path. I know I am not alone. There are a lot of people out there, feeling the way I am feeling, suffering the same way that I am. I hope no one gets lost the way we did. And as I continue my journey in this travel-worn path, I am hoping and praying that someday, I’ll find the courage and the strength to seize freedom, spread my wings and chase my dreams.