Monday, January 2, 2012

A Greeting for Goodbye

Happy New Year! My family never failed to fuss about the celebration of the año nuevo. It has been always more grandiose than Christmas. The extended family welcomed 2012 with us which, they say, is a starter for a tighter family ties. Well, I couldn’t agree more.
The firecrackers were banging loudly in my ears. At the same time, people inside the house jeered as they fondly greeted each other and started talking about personal resolutions. My mom walked us all to the dining area for the media noche. In no time, the whole family was complete and ready for the feast. My dad led the prayer as we all bowed our heads down and closed our eyes. Amidst the loud noises outside, I clearly heard my father’s words of graces.
“... may all our worries, heartaches and bad memories be gone together with the year that just past. We ask You to bless, not only our food for this celebration, but also us, Your sons and daughters, as we enter the new year with a stronger faith, firmer hope and happier dispositions. We ask this through Christ, our Lord...”
I opened my eyes mid-prayer as my father’s words struck me to the core. I almost jolted when everyone said “Amen” in chorus. My cousin, sitting across the table, noticed the teary eyes. It was just the gunpowder smoke, my alibi. Then, I smiled and started stuffing my plate.
Dinner went on like a blast. My younger cousins started running to the garden to start lighting up firecrackers as soon as they ate up everything in their plates. Just when I was about to finish dessert, I felt my phone quiver in my denim pocket. An unregistered number was calling me.
“Hello?”, I answered after I sprinted to my room.
“Happy New Year, Jeyp!!!”, the familiar voice uttered at the other end of the line.
“Thanks. Happy New Year, too. May I know who’s calling?”, I politely replied.
Of course, I have a hunch of who I was talking to. I was just reassuring. I felt my heart beating violently, almost like wanting to be ripped out from my body, as a loud sigh was expressed by my caller.
“It’s me, Gelo.” A sudden shift in his voice became apparent. I caught myself gasping as tears started filling up my eyes. I heard him speak again but my own words betrayed me. I could not say anything. The river started flowing so violently my whole body weakened.
“Hello?”, he repeatedly asked.
I struggled as my tears create their own tracks in my cheeks.
“It’s been a while.”
“I miss you.”
I hung up the phone. I was surprised I did. I relieved myself with a big sigh and went out to my veranda. Just in time, the night sparkled. I looked up in the sky as the fireworks glittered up the dark abyss. I almost forgot that the new year has just entered which symbolizes a new beginning, a new hope. My tears stopped bawling out from my eyes and I beamed a shy smile to myself.
“Everything okay, JP?” I almost jumped when my dad spoke beside me. I looked at him for a second and saw that he was already captured by the different colour shooting up and bursting like candies in the night sky. We were never close until I came out to him. It was not an easy phase for the both of us but we both came around.
“I hung up on him, Dad.”
“You did?”
“I hung up on him!!!” I chuckled. Dad laughed with me. We were not saying anything for a couple of minutes until both of us got tired. Then, the mood went back to serious.
“Thanks, Dad. For the new year blessing a while ago at dinner. It meant a lot.”
“Don’t mention it, kid. You’re matured enough to enjoy your own life the way you want it to be. I just want you to be happy.”
“Happy New Year, Dad.”

I love Gelo more than anything else. We were together for almost a year. My whole life shattered when he left me. In my twenty-five years of existence, I have not given anyone the kind of love I gave to him. I was so broken I almost lost my job. I felt worthless as his voice never ceases to loop in my mind...
“I’m very sorry, Jeyp. I tried but I never get there.”
My friends once said that, though I have the strongest personality, I bagged the most immature heart. I did not beg to differ. It was true. I have been a sucker for Gelo’s attention ever since. I did everything I could for him to notice me. I believed all his words. I embraced all his flaws.
But, I guess everything was long overdue. I have already reached my limit before I even thought of it, before I even accept it. Hearing his voice again seemed like a wake-up call.

The following Monday, I went back to work. Everything seemed normal aside from the unusual level of positivity in everyone’s system. Probably, they still got hang over from the holidays. I cannot help but notice the sudden lightness I felt all throughout the day. I smiled easily. I managed to loosen up a bit. I even cracked up a joke which, luckily, made my colleagues laugh. It’s all gonna be fine. I can almost feel the wheel turning.
“Jeyp! JP!!!” I heard him call while I was walking in a park just situated beside the building where I work at. I just got off from work and I felt like walking along the alley to feel the cool urban breeze.
“You look...dashing!” I saw the surprise look in his face. I remembered the last time we actually saw each other. It was August 2011 and I looked awful back then. I seldom shaved. My eye bags were the size of half of my cheeks. Also, I was thinner. It was mid-October 2011 when I started taking care of myself again. I indulged to my own needs and wants. I pampered myself. I went out to casual dates and all.
“Did you expect me to look worse than the last time?”, sarcastically I asked.
No, of course not.”
He was looking exquisitely better, too, with his neat hair and sleek corporate attire. I can smell his manly fragrance as he walked closer to me.
‘You hung up on me.”
“Poor signal, sorry.”
“C’mon, Jeyp! Let’s talk this through. I want you back.”, he stated straightforwardly.
“No.”, my quick firm answer.
“Why not?”
“I’m done with you, Gelo. I am done hurting. I can’t imagine myself going through what I went through because of you.”
“I don’t believe you. You can never be happy without me. You said that, remember?” I laughed a little by that memoir. Of course, I said it. I was all about him before. I gave him my purest, more sincere love. And he just tossed it aside.
“Tell you what, Gelo. It’s not all about you anymore. I can be happy without you. Watch me.” I turned my back on him and walked away. I heard him call out my name but I did not bother looking back. I’m walking away for my own sake. I’m walking away for my own happiness.
“Tell me you don’t love me anymore, I’ll get out of your hair immediately!!!”, the cliché he yelled. Some people heard what he just said and stared at us. But he did not care. I turned around and walked back to him.
“I won’t lie to you. Yes, I still love you. I don’t know when this will stop. But, this ain’t enough. I have experienced my lowest lows because of you. I looked like worse than a moron because of what you did to me. I ran after you. But you did not care. I love you, I still do. But it doesn’t matter anymore.”
“Let me make this right this time. Please. You’re not like this before.”
“Of course, I’m not. You were the one who made me who I am today.”
I turned my back on him for the second time around. This time, I meant it until a thought popped into my head.
I saw him standing still and looking down. He immediately raised his head and met my eyes with a hopeful look. I smiled at him, really smiled at him. His face lightened up even more. He ran towards me until we were so close to each other I can already smell his breath. He held my face with his both hands.
“I knew...”
I put my index finger in his soft lips. He shut his mouth and listened to what I was about to say. I drew his face in my mind before I spoke. Again, I smiled at him. I gently remove his hands from my face and held it tightly down.
“Happy New Year, Gelo. Goodbye.”
Then, I finally let go.


  1. To love somebody doesn't equate that you have to "abandon" your own existence. Unrequited emotion will eventually creates a monster in you-in looks and in attitude. As the song goes "Too Much Love Can Kill You". Yes, too much love can kill your very own contention, it crushes your competitory character as it can discombobulate your lucidity. If not remediated early, it can make one schizoid and suicidal.
    Thanks a lot for posting this short but compelling and thought-provoking story. God bless!

  2. It's time to move forward!

    Happy New Year Everyone! : )))


  3. I cant help but agree and echo on te comment of jun cuajo. This is an eye opener. :))

  4. Thanks for the comments, guys! Really appreciated it.

    All for the best!:)



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