(17 June 2010, Cebu)
I still have your letters. Although it stabs my heart to see them, I find it uneasy to let them go. I haven’t read them for a long while. I know they contain our once shared dreams now toppled by time and fate.
I have always looked forward to those exchanges. I felt so alive with the thrill that a letter would be waiting for me. And I always wondered what color and design the stationeries would have.
Ah, my stationeries. Many times I intended not to match its colors with the envelopes. Looking for new stationeries once every two weeks had brought me to stores in arcane crannies I never thought existed.
I always took painstaking care in writing your name. One time, I rekindled my love for the flare of calligraphy just to lay down your name in the Old English text. That letter perhaps was my most elaborate.
I also have your small notes, for those days when you were too busy with your many responsibilities that you barely had time to sit down and write, for those nights when you were too sleepy even if your oil is enough to keep your lamp burning till dawn. In some of them, your handwriting was barely legible. Now I realized that even then, time told of tell-tale signs of what would become of us.
I always had your letters with me wherever I settled. They meant hope, the illusory hope that we would be together. But just like your barely legible handwriting rendered too fast, you just could not wait for the dust to settle, out of racing towards our priorities. They did not include us, being us, to be us. Even up to now, I am still wondering why you rushed.
You rushed the first time you left me. And when you were free again, I thought time and fate were beginning to be kind to me. But then, you rushed for the second time… I never had any time to stop you.
I do not know how long I’ll keep your letters. Time has not been kinder, even in healing. I guess they’ll stay as long as my heart remains stubborn in not letting you go. And when that day comes for this old heart to open to new possibilities, I’ll read your letters one last time.
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