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.

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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.

Ocean

​The moonlit tides

Rushing to the shore

The sea breeze

Calming the weary..

Isn’t it odd

For something so tumultuous 

To be an escape from reality? 

For something dangerous 

To be so calming..

The sea, the ocean,

The sky above the open waters,

The rough waves,

The strange depths..

No one knows and understands,

But everyone dares and dares and dares. 

Love is the ocean

We all dare to swim in. 

It doesn’t matter if we know how to or not –

The chance of tasting the unknown

Is worth the water in our lungs.

We rise above the tides

And fall beneath the waves.

Draw in air

Breathe, breathe

Get hooked on his oxygen.

Exhale

Breathe, breathe

Drown in the pain.

Close your eyes and jump headfirst 

Float amidst the debris of bones

Cut yourself on shattered hearts

Trail the blood mixed with salt.

The ocean – deadly, breathtaking, like

Love – worth dying. 

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

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.

Rue

What would your life be today if you only did what you didn’t?
Has it ever crossed your mind that you could be happier than you already are?
If you only…
Took that single step?
Looked back before running away?
Given than chance?
What if that single choice could take away all that pain and regret?
If ever you’re given the chance to go back in time to change the past, will you take it?
Will you exchange your experiences and lessons learned for that single thing every soul, including yours, is searching for – happiness?
But what if your happiness would mean someone else’s sorrow?
Will you be truly happy then, knowing that while you smile, someone will cry?
You are aware that for every action you make, every step you take, will affect the lives of all the people around you, right?
Knowing so then, will you still change the course of your life for your fulfillment, at the expense of the happiness of everyone else around you?
Will you be selfless, giving way for their sake, sacrificing your personal contentment, letting go of the promise of hope?
Or will you be selfish, putting them aside, fulfilling your heart’s desire, grasping what you regretfully let go of a long time ago?
What if everything hung at the blink of an eye, in that split second you’re given to decide?
What would your choice be?

Jump!

“Maybe tonight you’re scared of falling, and maybe there’s somebody here or somewhere else you’re thinking about, worrying over, fretting over, trying to figure out if you want to fall, or how and when you’re gonna land, and I gotta tell you friends that to stop thinking about the landing, because it’s all about falling.” 

                      —   Tiny Cooper
Have you ever wondered why we live our life the way we do? Why do we do the things we do? Has it ever crossed your mind to ask, “Why am I living like this?”? Do we live the way we do because we have no other choice but to do it? Do we live it like this to seek greater glory? Or maybe to fulfill the “mission” supposedly given to us? Or do we live our life the way we do because we are afraid to take that leap over the edge?
Tiny Cooper’s quote of brilliance hits dead-on the dilemma of living our life. Almost all of us stay within the circle of safety, braving life with hesitancy and doubts, all because we are afraid to get hurt. Because we are afraid to be called failures. Because we are too afraid to be laughed at.
This just proves that we humans are too stubborn to learn what life keeps on telling us: at some point or another, we are bound to fail, but it should never be an excuse to stop. Because, at some point or another, we are also bound to succeed. Life is a balance – successes and failures, happy and sad, black and white, yin and yang. But between the two extremes lies the medium that leads us the way: the journey.
As the famous cliché goes, “It’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey”, the journey – the “falling” of Tiny’s quote – is what life is ultimately about. It is not really the glory of success or the pain of failure that consumes us – it is the journey we have taken on the way to the extreme. Life, as tragic as it may seem, is almost always a series of constant failure. It is as if it is programmed to give us humans failures upon failures upon failures, giving success a “one shot only opportunity” quality. This is where “falling” comes in. We fall and fall and fall to land painfully on hard ground, just so that we can jump and then fall all over again.
It’s a cycle really. You jump, you fall, you land, you stand back up and then jump again, repeating the whole process, until finally, you seize that one-shot-only success. Until you’ve done the whole harsh thing, you could not say that you’ve lived life to the fullest. Living life to the fullest means jumping, falling, just to land to jump all over again. It’s about taking risks and facing challenges head on. It’s about facing your fears, braving life with a certainty that you will eventually achieve what you are trying to achieve.

 

So live your life – jump over the edge of fear, land, and then jump again. Because that is life: landing from a bad fall only to jump and fall again. It’s picking the pieces of your broken self and starting all over again. It is about never stopping and making excuses. Because as you fall, as you live, you realize: life isn’t just actually about falling; it’s about embracing it, so that it becomes about the floating.