This is how you lose her.
You lose her when you forget to remember the little things that mean the world to her: the sincerity in a stranger’s voice during a trip to the grocery, the delight of finding something lost or forgotten like a sticker from when she was five, the selflessness of a child giving a part of his meal to another, the scent of new books in the store, the surprise short but honest notes she tucks in her journal and others you could only see if you look closely.
You must remember when she forgets.
You lose her when you don’t notice that she notices everything about you: your use of the proper punctuation that tells her continuation rather than finality, your silence when you’re about to ask a question but you think anything you’re about to say to her would be silly, your mindless humming when it is too quiet, your handwriting when you sign your name in blank sheets of paper, your muted laughter when you are trying to be polite, and more and more of what you are, which you don’t even know about yourself, because she pays attention.
She remembers when you forget.
You lose her for every second you make her feel less and less of the beauty that she is. When you make her feel that she is replaceable. She wants to feel cherished. When you make her feel that you are fleeting. She wants you to stay. When you make her feel inadequate. She wants to know that she is enough and she does not need to change for you, nor for anyone else because she is she and she is beautiful, kind and good.
You must learn her.
You must know the reason why she is silent. You must trace her weakest spots. You must write to her. You must remind her that you are there. You must know how long it takes for her to give up. You must be there to hold her when she is about to.
You must love her because many have tried and failed. And she wants to know that she is worthy to be loved, that she is worthy to be kept.
And, this is how you keep her."
Here’s a sum of all the photos we sent each other via WeChat. Wow, we’ve been exchanging vanity and insanity for 8 months.
Part V (because I have so much love for these kids).
As a usual habit of mine, I once again inserted sweets on my friends’ bags just to make sure that they smiled before taking the stressful examinations. And it’s really nice to know that some of them have kept all the notes that I have given for the past years.
ii. What do you do when you get rejected by your dream school? And what do you do when you get accepted but your parents won’t allow you? I need to know.
iii. First quarter exams are in two days. I have already scanned through my notes but I couldn’t focus. I want to pass Math. I want to ace English and Physics. I am so ashamed of myself because I want to get good grades and I know I’m better than this but I have no idea how to get there.
iv. Fine Arts, AB Literature, or Creative Writing? Which is which? I need help.
v. This week has just proven me that I am never and will never be good enough.
vi. I am never good at speaking. I always embarrass myself by not talking whenever I am asked to speak in front. I always stutter and I never know what to say around people. I refuse to open my mouth around those who don’t know me so well because I’m afraid of the outcome. I hate expressing through my voice. I am no good in verbal expressions and I don’t know why. It’s irritating. It’s awkward. People call it ”Alexithymia”, but I don’t know.
vii. I miss the smell of the church and the sound of the bells. I miss hearing gospel songs and being able to receive holy communion with my family. For years and years that have passed, I haven’t been into the same church with the five of us and that’s really a burden to me.
viii. This is beyond random but wow, I miss getting replies and notes (from Sir Stiff) on my literary pieces.
ix. Books are the best stress relievers. I need so much books right now.
x. No, you. You are the best stress reliever. I need you so much every now and then.
i. to the best chicken in the universe. hi, andrea wong. this one’s for you.
Chalk dusts are soaring on the void space around us as we are scribbling ridiculous names and phrases on the blackboard. We laugh intensely while we bang each other’s waists. Our peers have been smiling while they are watching us frolic. Our hands and our uniforms are covered with vibrant colors because of the chalks we threw at each other. I sneeze for a couple of times because of the tiny particles of dust. We guffaw, still. And I can feel the gasping of my breath from too much laughter as I smile. We are finally getting tired of what we are doing so we decide to rush out of the classroom’s door and head to where the faucet is so we could wash our hands. A good 30-minute laugh with you made me remember all of the roads we walked together.
I bumped into you, a delightful soul, during sophomore year and you became very close to me. I remember when you had a crush on a senior guy and I had one, too. During free periods, we would barge out of our classroom to stroll around the campus and try to look for them, without letting them notice, of course (lol Melanthe). We stepped up and down on the ramps, and on the corridors. We stayed in the canteen, in the lobby, we stayed everywhere excluding our classroom. To say the least, those were one of the greatest times I had with you since we treated each other like sisters. Sophomore year was also the year when we both experienced heartbreak. I couldn’t thank you enough for staying beside me at those fleeting times and I sincerely apologize if I wasn’t there at your side (I was in favor of Jay’s side) when you were encountering some difficulties with that senior guy. But please do know that I have never loved you less. I love you guys equally and that’s one thing for sure.
In junior year, a close friend of mine transferred to another school and half of my friends stopped talking to me. Those days gave me real pain and distress because I had no one. I made friends with the outcasts because they were far more interesting than the fake ones. And I soon learned that the only difference between being in and being out is just how far you have to fall and at those years, with razor blade fragments buried in my wrists, I figured I didn’t have long ways to go. I was fifteen and I have forgotten how to eat. But you were there, and you were one of those people who guided me and helped me go through my struggles. I swear I wouldn’t forget those days when you were there to accompany me. You were one of the few people who grabbed my hand when I was dropped on the ground. For the three years that you’ve become my friend, I have divulged that you are indeed one of the greatest gifts I have ever received and so I thank you for everything; for understanding, for staying, and for teaching me Math when I don’t understand anything (haha). You were my classmate when we were first graders and damn, I feel bad that I wasn’t able to know you well that time. We could have been the best of friends. You’re the closest friend I have right now and I’m not going to assume that you consider me as one but I hope you appreciate everything that I do for you. Never let anyone change you, all right? You’ve been going through rough trails lately but I hope everything turns out fine. And just so you know, I’m very proud of the sense of responsibility that you have.
Today is August 8
, the supposedly first anniversary of you and your ex. I only wish that someday, in the right time, you find your prince charming and that you find bliss in this world full of hatred.
I am Math. I am defined by those tangent lines taken from the arc of my spine because the domain of my being is infinite. I don’t fully understand myself, I am misunderstood by many, and I am easily given up by the majority, because the matrix of my mind is the inverse of my identity. I am half the girl I once was, but almost twice as strong as metal. I was never very good at solving problems, but I think that makes me a quarter of the way there.
8:40 AM, August 4, I cannot focus on this test paper I am staring at. Discombobulated numbers haze my mind and I cannot comprehend the equations that are set before me. My mind refuses to sit still. I am struggling to keep myself calm. I am trying so hard to stop myself from uttering the word “stupid”. “Ugh, I wish life was a calculation where I could add myself to happiness and subtract the negative.” Instead of drawing and writing, I dash down numbers and letters stretching down neatly through the paper. And somewhere along the way, I rush to complete it, not bothering to check because in the end, the thoughts in my head are more important. Why would I bother solving these equations and expressions when they don’t make sense at all? I feel so hollow, like there’s nothing left of me but tired and empty. I hate Math. I hate myself.