Love is in the details

It hurt. This impulse that I had to memorize every little detail I could about you in that stolen hour. Because you made it clear the moment I sat down–you didn’t want a repeat.

I felt your eyes on me buoyed by the silence, taking me all in–memorizing every inch of skin, the gossamer chain resting on my neck, the navy pinstripes of my dress, and when I finally felt safe to look, your wave ebbed and it was my turn to flow all over you. I remember the color you wore–something I never would’ve thought you’d choose. But then I was relying on what I knew of you before. It didn’t matter–that day you were a stranger, yet so dear to me at the same time. I wanted hours to know you all over again and more.

~

I’ve never been more conscious of eating and using cutlery before–never counted every bite and chew, or contemplated swallowing. Every second was precious, and yet, wasted.

~

I found my footing at the details that never changed–the way your lips would curl when you’re trying to keep laughter from coming out, but it still spills, anyway. And the way you’d turn your head when you couldn’t look at me anymore–I could feel your blush, and I’ve always found that so cute and endearing. It’s so you.

There are just some things you can’t keep hidden no matter how hard you try. Even the ones you’ve buried for over a decade. Secrets you hold sacred and close to your heart. Parts of you that nobody else knows. Not because they would expose the real you, but because their light blinds you and you’re scared of what could happen when they’re all out in the open.

~

I keep thinking of your hands–slim fingers connecting to slim wrists and how they would feel interlaced with mine. I remember the warmth, the certainty, as they rested on my back in that unexpected but welcome embrace. It felt like home.

~

I was holding out for something–a parting touch, an embrace. I was yearning for it, was sure enough to expect it. But you already turned away from me, and as I waited for my ride home, I couldn’t keep the tears anymore and I couldn’t even tell anyone why. I’ve just been witness to my first real heartbreak.

~

I learned to let go because denial does not define you and how I feel for you. It’s not the last thing I want to remember you by. It’s not something I regret. Because I discovered that love is not all about the other person, not about getting what you want the way you want it and when you want it. That’s ego steering the wheel. Love is being and accepting. It’s accepting who you are at the moment, who the other is at that moment, living in your authenticity and expressing your love however you can.

And I did just that. I drank from the cup until only the dregs were left and I let it refine me–into someone with an inner strength and light I never thought was in me all along.

~

I still think of you and I still feel our love. It’s a part of me already–one of the best bits.

Epic

I am proud of who you are and what you have achieved–long years of hard work and dedication.
But most of all, I am proud of your true heart.
For the rare glimpses of it I have been blessed to see and know and feel.
Those moments you didn’t doubt, and went to meet me halfway.
For braving what you did for a chance to see me
On a night my heart was heavy with grief and couldn’t take anything else–
You were there and I saw you.
You were radiant, and you took the words right out of me.
I never expected that but it woke something in me, something long-buried but had always been there.
Something I hid, that scared me more than anything.
Something not a soul knew until I accepted it.
This love–that fills my cup to the brim and more
Transcending separation and silence–
Your love lights up my soul, and I hope my love lights up yours.

Brave Heart

In all my 34 years of living, I have done a few brave things. My friend would argue and tell me that I’ve done a lot of reckless things in my youth, which is different from being brave. Or she would tell me, “Mas matapang ka naman talaga eh.” Or this, my favorite comment at the moment: “Hindi ka naman talaga ‘docile’ eh”. I just laugh at them all because they’re true.

But the bravest thing I have done so far is finally being honest with myself–realizing, accepting, and admitting to myself even though I don’t fully understand all of it and despite being afraid of it sometimes–this pulsating truth that I love you. That I looked for you once, years before, among unfamiliar faces, that those few chance encounters I tried to chalk up to just random and meaningless when I really wanted the opposite, that time stopped for me when I finally saw you again, that I had to will my rabbit’s heart to calm down and just go for it–talk to you and give you that letter. It was many moons ago, but my heart flutters anew at the memory. And probably to top it all of, the bravest thing of all is this–letting you know through what I do best–writing down the whispers of my soul, that I love you, still. ♥

Six of Cups

I’ve often wondered about you during those lost years. I remember writing you a letter 10 years ago, thinking I would like to give it to you someday if fate decided to let us meet again. In the letter, I wrote my favorite memories of you. How we got into trouble one time, and how I taught you a sneaky thing or two. Nobody would dare suspect me of mischief back then, but the best ones know I’m a perplexing mix of naughty and nice. The heart of the letter was that I wanted you to know how happy and special you made me feel. And that I would always look back on those rare precious moments with you with a smile, accompanied by this imprinted fluttering in my heart. But also with this ache that tells me if only I knew better.

I now believe my soul knew back then who you are to me. I hope you’ll believe you are worth waiting for, no matter the challenge, no matter the cost.

Quarantine Day 5

I dreamt of rain last night. Relentless rain that hit the ground like bullets on pavement. Cleansing rain that washed the virus away. And when it finally stopped and the skies were clear again, everyone was free. No more sickness, death, and fear–just the promise of newness–a road of salvation and second chances that stretched for miles beyond what the eyes can see. Everyone clamoring to get onto the road, eager to shed old skin, for a chance to bask in the light of a world renewed.

– March 19, Quarantine Day 5