Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Wazzup Pilipinas Original Short Stories Series: Closure

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Does a kiss always mean something?

Yes, definitely a kiss always means something, but then again, it depends. It can be categorized in different situations, a kiss for love, a kiss for luck, a kiss for respect, a kiss for admiration, a friendly kiss, a welcome kiss, a kiss for lust, a Judas kiss, even a kiss of death! Even the spots of where a person kisses differs in meaning. So I guess the question could be a globalized one too. We can localize it so we can specifically say if that kiss was something or nothing really! So, we ourselves can discern which kiss really gives a true specific meaning.

Sometimes it hurts to presume too much. A kiss does not always mean love. It is not wise to be judgmental.

The protagonist in the story below showed strong sense of emotions and feelings towards someone just because of one single kiss. Unfortunately, it was entirely different with the other person who treated that as ordinary and nothing special.

We all dream of a relationship with a special someone but we can't really have everything as expected or planned.

Read on below our short story for the day.

Five months and three days after we broke up, I thought I saw you coming out of a store, one hand full of your shopping bags, the other on your brand-new boyfriend’s arm. He looked vaguely familiar, like I knew him from somewhere, but it was you I couldn’t tear my eyes from. You looked more beautiful and I couldn’t decide whether or not I liked it. You looked more like you cared. Your laugh had also changed: you close your eyes and tilted your head back. I knew it made you look happier. I went to my friend, Celine’s house and told her, “I saw my ex with her new boyfriend.” “She’s not your ex, Aaron,” she reminds me. And she’s right, you’re not my ex. I met you in a party, although I had always known who you were because everyone just knows who you are. You asked me if I wanted a drink, and I said sure, and you shoved your bottle into my hands. I had to gulp the whole thing down before I could say, “I’m Aaron.” You smiled and said, “Nice to meet you, I’m Mariel,” and I almost replied, “I know.” I ended up getting you a drink, and we ended up talking until your friend dragged you out the door. That night, and for so many nights afterwards, I was pretty much convinced we were meant to be together.

“And I bet the new boyfriend looks exactly like all the other boyfriends.” said Celine. Again, she’s right. The night I met you, you had just broken up with a popular guy; the following week you were dating your athletic friend. I watched you flit from one jock to the next, but nothing ever lasted long. I never said anything about it, I didn’t even know if you’d listen to me. I was just some guy you met in a party, some guy you can call at two AM when you’re tipsy and miserable, who will pick you up when it’s raining and you need a ride home, some guy you can fall asleep next to on the couch and wake up the next day without any malice whatsoever.

Celine asked, “Does this girl have any idea how much you like her?” Liked, I correct her. I emphasize the D because I’m trying so hard to categorize you as part of my past. I don’t want your face in my head every time I attempt to move on. I don’t want to hope and mope and whine and pine. I can deal with you being the one that got away.

Celine asks if I’m over you, and I say, “It was a long time ago.” You dated around while I remain a constant, loyal presence. But you didn’t snap out of it. You didn’t realize we belonged together. You didn’t feel the same way.

The night we met, you told me about breaking up with that popular guy because he cheated on you. You ignored his calls and texts until he finally gave up on you and flew off to Paris. You were hurt. The reason why you shared this maybe you found me charming and interesting, but as your friend dragged you out the door, you asked for my phone, input your number, and said, “Call me okay.” It sounds like a command.

The next day I went jogging. I didn’t want to call so early and wake you; I didn’t want to seem too eager. As I run around, I’m trying to come up with a good opening line. Hey, Mariel was too common, Good morning was too formal. I was prepared for you to say Aaron who? I was also prepared for you to call me a stalker and regret giving me your number. What I wasn’t prepared for was you answering the phone, “So are we having lunch or not?” I stammered, “Uh, hi Mariel, I’m uh, Aaron from last night?”

“I know,” you replied.

“How did you know it was me?”

“Who else would it be?”

I didn’t have an answer for that. So I said, “Yes, we’re having lunch.” “Okay,” you reply. “Pick me up in fifteen minutes.” You told me your address but of course I knew where you lived. So we had lunch, and saw a movie. The ride home seemed to take forever. I had run out of things to say. When we stopped in front of your house, you looked at me like you were expecting something. So I leaned over and did what I figured you wanted me to do, and then, as you were kissing me back, hoping it was enough to make you stay longer. For three months, I guess we had a platonic relationship. We had late-night movie marathons and road trips to Bonifacio Global City, just the two of us. Every time we walked back to my car after dinner or a movie, you liked linking your arm through mine, and would look up to me and say, “Are you sure you’re not falling in love with me, Aaron? Tell me the truth.”

And I would always reply, “Are you sure you want the truth?” You would fall silent and never gave me an answer.

But one night, you asked me to tell you the truth, and I did. The truth was this: I couldn’t stop thinking about you and that kiss we shared once and never spoke of again. Every thought of you brought back every moment I looked at you. I couldn’t understand why it meant so much to me while it meant nothing to you at all.

You fell silent for a while until you finally said, “Sorry for asking. I just wanted to make sure you were okay with this.”

“With what?”

“I don’t know. This.”

You untangled your arm from mine and told me, “I’m sorry it meant something to you.” I said, “I’m sorry for being honest.” That was the last time we saw each other.

Right after I say, “It was a long time ago,” my phone starts ringing. I deleted your name from my phone book, but I had your number memorized. Celine told me to answer it so I did, “Hi, Aaron. It’s Mariel.” I said, “I know,” but maybe I don’t really care.

“How did you know it was me?”

“Who should it be?”

“We’re having lunch,” you tell me. “Can you meet me now?”

“I just had lunch,” I say.

“Coffee my treat, meet me at BGC.”

Wait. Am I really doing this? “Okay.” I say. “I’ll see you in twenty.” I hang up and thank Celine for the snack. She nods. “Good luck.”

You were waiting for me by the door, a huge smile on your face. You throw your arms around me. You are really good at getting my hopes up. I say, “It’s been a while.” “I’ve been busy,” you explain as if you have the control over the situation not even considering that maybe I’ve been busy too. “How are you?” The way you ask seems like you’re happy, satisfied and excited about something, and I wanted to express, how I am despite your absence is not entirely miserable. But I don’t want you to think that I just want to prove a point, so I reply, “I’m good, thanks.” “How are you?”

You say, “I’m great except for one thing which I decided to tell you.”

“What’s that?” I ask.

You take a deep breath and say, “I made a mistake with an ex. I took him for granted and let something very special go. I want him back. I need him.”

Your eyes are sad and your voice sounds like regret.

I can’t believe what I’m hearing. I waited for you for months, and now you are here pouring your heart out to me. I don’t know what to say. Much damage could have been done and it could be too late. I was there for you every single moment but we ended when you told me “I’m sorry it meant something to you.”

I say, “So this ex-boyfriend of yours, how does he feel about you?”

“I think he cares for me.”

“And how do you feel about him?”

You pause a little, “I’m still in love with him.”

“Then why did you leave in the first place?”

“I wasn’t ready then but he hated me for it.”

I said, “Had you told him that he could have understood.”

“I was scared.” You say, “Everyone gets scared but not everyone leaves.” You looked like you wanted to cry, I felt guilty so I mutter, “Sorry.”

“Anyway I talked to Peter last night. He is visiting for his sister’s birthday. I think he can forgive me if I explain to him.”

“Who’s Peter?”

“He’s my ex-boyfriend.”


“I thought we were talking about us and that we were using the third person.”

“Aaron, come on. I wasn’t leading you on. I said I made a mistake with my ex. You and I, we were never…. We were always just friends.”

“I’m following him to Paris. I’ll try to work things out with him. Thank you for being here and goodbye.”

I am left with two empty cups, an empty chair. Silence.

Contributed by Ruth Cabacungan

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  1. I knew it! Mariel wasn’t talking about her past with Aaron. I hate her character! Why would she ask for advice from someone that she hurt before? Although I hate Mariel’s character, the story is still nice. :)

  2. I cannot judge Aaron for assuming that he and Mariel were meant to be together 'cause she always get his hopes up. She knew how he felt for her but she didn't stay away and caused more damage to him. Mariel is absolutely evil! But your story is great. I like the plot twist and the choice of words.


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