standing up for myself
Since I was a kid, I have always been a passive kind of person. I was never one of those athletic students nor one of the 'big' guys. Thus, there had been a couple of times that I have been bullied in school or even in my own neighborhood.
This somehow gave me the potential to be a victim of different kinds of abuses in this very nasty world. I have gone through a lot of these. I have been abused emotionally, mentally and yes, sexually- but that is not yet what I'm going to talk about now.
It has always been hard for me to say 'no' to anyone. Though I know something wrong 's going on, I always find myself being manipulated by other people (even by strangers) to do something I know I shouldn't. I almost always never have been able to stand up for myself. Say for instance, the jeepney driver has given me my change less than I should rightfully have, I tend to just let it pass or say, when I am in a group work and someone else gets recognized through my work, I also just let it go. I only get the chance to stand up when I see other people, especially those who are close to me, failing to get recognized for their work or getting 5 peso change when they had to get 10, or simply being unable to stand up for themselves. That's when I get the courage to do it, for them. It somehow makes me feel that I have also stood up for myself for all those times that I should have.
But something must be different about this afternoon.
A few minutes after Darelle dropped me off in front of Pier One in Buendia (I took a hitch), I hailed a bus that would take me to the RCBC. When I boarded the bus, at least three men stood up who seemed to be going down. I tried to squeeze myself to the right as I passed through to also let them pass but the first guy was blocking my way. I thought he was just waiting the bus to stop completely, but my instinct (as always) told me something was wrong. For a split second I turned and saw him passing something to the guy behind him and as though insinctively, I pulled the second guy by the shirt and caught a glimpse of my very own celphone before I shouted, somehow passively: "Manong, celphone ko po 'yan."
Funny that I even remembered to respect him for his age with my 'po'
After he gave me back my phone and after the three of them sprinted to go down, I became an instant celebrity inside the bus (hiding my knees which were shaking raucously) before I reached RCBC. The experience somehow gave me pride and such a great but unfamiliar good feeling of standing up for myself.
Almost lost you, buddy.
I woke up this morning as my father announced he was watching one of my favorite movies: Million Dollar Baby
(maybe to lure me to get out of bed early).
There I found him in the living room, with the TV on, Hilary Swank in action while he's reading his newspaper. Great.
My sister's been too emotional these past few days. She'd cry everytime she receives a text message from our sister, Arlene in Dubai. She was sending her updates about her flight to Dubai which had been moved from the first week of November to October 29. She's scared that it might be moved sooner again the next time Ate Arlene texts her. She asked me if I would also cry when we send her off, I said "Let's see."
I went to see Mama in the hospital today, the first time she reported for work after her Bakasyon Grande
in Bicol and after Aunt Nancy and Uncle Jose went back to Wisconsin last Saturday. She was sniffing when I arrived and asked me loudly for the nth time: "Naninigarilyo ka ba?"
I wonder what could've have happened if I said yes.
Coming home from work, I noticed a black thing under Hansel, my cousin's left foot as he was sleeping in his folding bed last night. I tried to get a closer look, thinking it was a roach. I've realized it was a black star he had apparently drawn while he was manning the store that afternoon. It must have been so boring. I know.
the new me
After the tragedy strucked once more, I came to think about myself and the things that repeatedly happened to me. I tried to look back at the things I've done wrong and the mistakes I stubbornly always get fond of doing. Now I came to a hard but long overdue decision: I'm going to leave everything behind and try to start anew just as this new school term has begun (yes, Im still in school after another appeal). I've finally decided to let go of the things in my past that kept me miserable for the past three years and which also kept me from moving on. This time, it's gonna be the new me.
I came to a point where I finally got fed up of failure being a commonplace in my life. I figured I never got used to it and it seems that it's never going to get tired of me too so I better face it with a brave face than just wait for it to strike me right in the face once again. This time, I'll try to make myself a better person and I knew I had to start it with painful but rightful decisions.
And the hardest of that is finally letting go of Shiela. I always say that I needed closure between her and me, but I only say that because I know she won't do it and that I don't want her to. It was like she's keeping me as an investment that if I get to succeed later in life, she will pop out from out of nowhere and it would be easy for her to say that she has loved me all these times and pretend that she'd never really closed that chapter in her life. I'm not really sure about her tactics, but it is how it seems. Japan has made a different person out of her that practicality and no longer emotions dictate her actions and unfortunately, she had made an obsessed masochist out of me but this time I am freeing myself from being her slave. I have already hurt too many people in order for me to conceal what's really going on and it just got to stop. The Shiela that used to love me has died, a fact that I keep telling myself for the past three years but only got to realize it now. I also realized that the fiasco in Batangas where she cried after seeing me and Mench together was not caused by the mere fact that I seemed to have really moved on. It was because it had hit her ego to see me moving on.
The last time I went to her house with Jules and Muriel about last week, I waited for a sign which never came. I waited to see if there's still a spark of connection between her and me, but in vain. After two days of thinking, I've decided to do the closure myself. I sent her an eight-part text message and told her that I am finally moving on. I received no reply I never expected.
The next day, I had my head shaved. It was something I used to do every time I end a relationship when I was younger. It was only with her that I had to do it twice. Now, armed with nothing but just myself, I will
My school has given me another chance to finish Mechanical Engineering. It was the first time for me to enter the Dean's office (along with the others who also received KO status) and promised myself that it would be the last. With only 7 units on top of me (I was a late enrolee so there weren't too many sections open and I was refused to waive the other subjects) for this term, this is going to be an easy start.
Now, all I need right now is the support from anyone who might still believe in me because this is going to be the new me, trying to mend the scars of my wrecked soul.
figment of my imagination
I have seen no sign of life from Menchie since she broke up with me. I also never had the nerve to call her again or even try to explain why the hell Shiela's picture is posted on my Friendster account. It must have hurt her so much that I didn't do anything to win her back but it was because I knew she would try to hear out my lies and understand me again. I've treated her so badly I think I can never make her really happy. Out of those lies, one thing remains to be true and that one thing is the only thing I said she believed to be a lie. It is that I also loved her and I cared for her. She expressed her fury in the last line of the last message I got from her. She said she wished she had never known me.
I can't help hating myself for treating her that way. She gives love no one can ever match, and I know I would hate myself more if I stayed with her without any assurance that she is the only one for me. I have been brutally unfair for the past three years of that on and off relationship and I think it is with goodbye that I have been really fair with her. She needs someone who can promise her a love that's true and can be seen.
In the series of events, where Shiela, once again got involved with this whole thing, I can imagine myself holding on to Menchie on the edge of a cliff, half of her body's floating in midair. Then all of a sudden, Shiela materialized beside her, holding on to a rock, apparently as helpless as Mench. Now I have the power to choose who to save and who to let go. It was a very hard and painful decision and though Mench said she would understand, she was cursing when I finally let go of her hand.
As I watched her body disappear in the dark of the night, I began reaching for Shiela's hand but all I felt was the coldness of the hard rock she was holding on. It was then that I realized that it wasn't Shiela after all but a figment of my imagination. It wasn't Shiela that came back but the fantasy of being with her again.
Alone again on top of that cliff, I can't help feeling sorry for myself. As the gentle breeze of the midnight air chills my bone, it felt like that the loneliness hovering on top of me have finally found its way to enter my body again. Now there's no turning back, this is where fate have taken me and all I can do is face it with my false bravery and try to explore the horizon that lies below in the darkness of the night, alone as I wait for the rising of the new sun.
Last time I saw her was the first time you saw her here.