Uncategorized

10 Signs na Hindi ka na Halaman

10 Signs na Hindi Ka na Halaman

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Paano mo ba malalaman na hindi ka na halaman? Na after x years na never kang nagka-crush or nagka-interes magka-love life eh bigla mo na lang marerealize na, “Shet gurl! Bat wala na yung mga ugat ko sa lupa? Bat nasa puso niya na?”

Kaya naman para sa mga confused kung sila ba ay halaman pa at sa mga nagpipilit sa pagiging in denial, heto ang sampung signs na magpapatunay na hindi ka na halaman. At dahil malaki ang posibilidad na tanungin niyo ako kung gaano ka legit ang listahan na ito, sasabihin ko sa inyong ang lahat ng nasasaad dito ay 100% na hango sa totoong buhay. Kaya naman hindi lang jackpot ang inabot ko sa listahan na to, naka bingo! rin ako.

Syempre, ang pinaka-unang senyales na hindi ka na halaman ay kung hanggang ngayon, naaalala mo pa rin kung paano mo siya unang nakita. Naaalala mo kung paano ka natulala at na-star struck sa kanya, kung paanong nag slow motion hanggang tumigil yung mundo mo dahil sa ngiti niya. Tulalang tulala ka sa kanya to the point na halos tumulo na yung laway mo dahil laglag na laglag yung panga mo sa kanya. At alam mo rin kung ilang beses mong tinanong yung katabi mo ng, “Sino siya? Sino siya?”

Apat na beses. Apat na beses mong tinanong yung katabi mo. Syempre, habang tinatanong mo yan, pa ninja moves kang sumusulyap sa kanya. Aba! Ayaw mo naman agad na mahalata ng lahat na naga-gwapuhan ka sa kanya, na ng mga oras na yun wala kang ibang maisip kundi, “Shet! Crush ko siya!”. Mahirap na, baka dumami ang kaagaw mo sa kanya. Mapurnada pa ang first chance mo sa love life.

Tapos, sa pangalawang pagkakataon mo siyang nakita, ikaw naman tong feeling best actress, kunwari di mo naaalala pangalan niya, na di mo siya kilala. Lahat ng yan ginawa mo para lang ipakilala ka officially sa kanya. Para kahit officially speaking eh wala namang kayo, at least pag nagkwento ka sa friends mo may mala walang hanggan moment kang maikukwento kung paano kayo nagkakilala. Kahit yung totoo naman eh tumayo lang naman kayo sa may ilalim ng poste at nag kwentuhan ng ilang minuto.

Ang pangalawang sign na tumigil na sa pag photosynthesis yang puso mo ay kung di ka mapakali sa tuwing alam mong may 99.9% chance na magkikita kayo. Kesyo makakasalubong mo lang siya sa daan o makakatabi sa pag upo sa steps ng isang building sa campus. Memoryado mo kung anong oras at saan mag tatagpo ang landas niyo. Kaya naman kahit dalawa lang naman ang pasok mo sa araw na yun, kulang na lang eh mag long gown ka at mag-paayos sa salon kasi nga magkikita kayo. Kulang na lang ipaligo mo yung pabango mo kahit ilang segundo lang naman kayong magkakalapit. At sasabihin ko sayo, di niya naman maaamoy yang pabango mo, di niya rin mapapansin kung anong kulay ng eye shadow mo o kung anong itsura ng eye liner mo.

Syempre, anino niya pa lang kilala mo na. Kaya pag nakita mong palapit na siya, titingin ka muna sa kaliwa, sa kanan, sa cellphone mo o kaya sa lupa para siya yung unang papansin sa yo. Gusto mo kasing i-test kung mapapansin ka ba niya, kung belong ka ba sa mundo niya. Syempre, gusto mo rin kasing marining kung paano niya bigkasin yung pangalan mo. Mag so-sorry kang di mo agad siya nakita o napansin kasi malalim yung iniisip mo. Well, malalim naman talaga. Malalim kaka-isip sa kanya.

Tapos, pag accidentally kayong nagkakasalubong mga ilang beses munang maglo-loading yung utak mo. Kaya pag tinanong ka niya kung saan ka pupunta o kung saan ka galing, di ka agad makasagot. Natutulala ka muna, kasi yang utak mo walang ibang maisip kundi ang kumanta ng “Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” kasi nga nakita mo siya. Pag nakaalis na siya, kulang na lang sumigaw ka sa kilig o gumulong sa kalsada. Pero bigla kang matitigilan kasi mapapaisip ka, “Shet! Anong itsura ko? Baka mukha akong multo! Huhuhu!”

Ang pangatlong sign na bunot na bunot na nga talaga yang mga ugat mo ay kung ginawa mong wallpaper at screen saver ng phone at laptop mo yung picture niyong dalawa. Hindi dahil sa maganda ka sa picture na yun kundi dahil kasama mo siya. Tapos, pinapaniwala mo yung sarili mo na kaya kumukutikutitap yung ngiti niya dun sa picture ay dahil ikaw yung kasama niya. Malay mo, magaling lang talaga magtoothbrush si kuya o kaya madalas gumamit ng Close Up kaya makislap yung ngiti niya.

Of course, pinost mo rin yun sa facebook mo. Sabi mo walang malisya, tutal alam naman ng lahat na halaman ka kaya pag nagpost ka ng picture na may kasamang lalaki, no big deal na yun sa kanila. Pero, sa tuwing may magla-like o comment sa picture niyo, tuwang tuwa ka. Yung kilig mo kaya nang pailawin buong Maynila sa tuwing may mag tatanong sa iyo, “Siya ba? Kayo ba? May something ba kayo?” Kasi sabi mo, ibig sabihin may something nga. May napansin sila. Kaya ayan, naging assuming ka na rin. Assuming ka na yung feelings mo para sa kanya, ganoon din yung feelings niya sayo.

Ang pang-apat na sign na putol na yung mga tangkay mo ay kung tandang-tanda mo pa lahat ng mga pagkakataong magkasama kayo. Yung time na sabay kayong nag dinner sa Cells at siya nagbayad ng dinner mo. Naaalala mo pa nga na bumili siya ng brownies sa Michas eh. Naaalala mo rin yung times na nagkatabi kayo sa upuan. Yung times na nagkadikit ng ilang segundo yung braso o kamay niyo. Yan palang kinikilig ka na. Kaya naman nung unang beses ka niyang yakapin, di ka lang nabigla dahil sa ginawa niya. Nabigla ka rin kasi yan yung time na di na crush yung feelings mo para sa kanya. Noon mo naamin sa sarili mo na gusto mo siya.

Tapos sa tuwing magkabilang panig kayo sa isang room, yung direksyon ng tingin mo laging nasa kanya. Pag nagkataong napapalingon siya sayo, titingin ka kunyari sa iba. Pakipot effect lang. Sabi mo kasi, di ka pa handa. Di ka pa handa sa kung ano man ang pwedeng mangyari sa inyong dalawa. O diba, assuming kang may chance na maging kayo dahil lang sa napapalingon siya sayo.

Ang pang-limang sign na nawawala na yung mga dahon mo ay kung kinikilig ka sa tuwing sinasabi ng isa sa mga friends mo nakakaalam ng feelings mo sa kanya na iba siya pag nandiyan ka. Kinikilig ka pag kinukwento ni friend sayo na iba raw ang ngiti nitong si kuya pag ikaw yung nakikita. Kinilig ka nung sinabi ni friend sayo na nahuli niya si kuyang nakatingin sayo nung isang beses na nakatulog ka sa upuan. Di mo agad naisip na baka naman siya napatingin sayo ng ganoon kasi nakakatawa pala yung itsura mo nung pilit mong pinagkakasya yung 5’6 mong katawan sa tatlong monoblock.

Kinikilig ka sa tuwing ini-encourage ka ng friends mo na i-push mo pa yan kasi may chance nga kayo. Di mo agad naisip na baka sinasabi lang nila yun kasi friend ka nila. Gusto lang nilang makita kang masaya kasi sila nag a-assume rin na baka nga may gusto rin si kuya sa iyo, na baka may chance na magkagusto siya sayo. After all, maganda ka naman, mabait, maalaga, malambing.

Ang pang anim na sign na fall out na fall out ka sa kanya ay kung text niya pa lang, hihimatayin ka na sa kilig. Akala mo naman kung ano na yung text niya sa yo eh ang sabi niya lang naman, “Hi! Kumusta ka na? Hahaha.” Feeling mo yung Kumusta ka na, I love you na.

Tapos, ilang beses mong babasahin yun at bago ka magrereply, ite-text mo muna si friend ng, “Shet gurl! Tinext niya ako! Afgdbadnakjndja!” Capslock din minsan para intense. Yung reply mo rin ilang beses mo munang ita-type at ide-delete. Sa huli, ang sasabihin mo lang naman, “Ok lang ako 🙂 Ikaw? Hahaha.”

Tapos, after 2 or 3 texts, di na siya magrereply sayo. Ikaw naman, hintay ng hintay. Nakatulog ka na’t lahat, pero pag gising mo cellphone agad yung hinahanap mo kasi baka nagtext siya nung tulog ka. Pero sasabihin ko sayo, wala na siyang text ng time na yun. Ikaw naman tong si gaga, disappointed masyado. At pag naaalala mong makakasalubong mo siya mamaya sa Freedom Park tsaka ka lang mabubuhayan ulit at magpaplano kung anong isusuot mo.

Ang pang-pitong katunayang hindi na manhid yang puso mo ay kung iniyakan mo siya. Iniyakan mo siya dahil sa loob ng isang linggong lagi naman kayong nagkikita at nagkakasama sa isang lugar, di ka niya pinapansin, di ka niya kinakausap. Stressed kasi siya, busy din. Wala siyang time para sa yo. After all, sino ka ba naman? Pero yan yung dahilan kung bat ka umiiyak. Kasi nga di ka ganoon ka importante sa kanya. Na yung iba kinakausap niya pero ikaw, echapwera lang sa buhay niya.

Ramdam na ramdam mo yung pagkabasag ng puso mo nung tinalikuran ka niya para kausapin yung kasama mo at di ka niya ulit pinansin. Na gabi gabi kang umiiyak habang kumakain kasi alam mo na sa mga oras na yun, nagdi-dinner din siya at hindi ikaw yung kasama niya. Na bago ka matulog umiiyak ka pa rin, kasi alam mo na hindi ikaw yung huli niyang nakasama ng gabing yun, at hindi rin ikaw yung iniisip niya ng mga sandaling yun.

Umiiyak ka sa tuwing kinukwento mo yan sa mga kaibigan mo. Nasasaktan ka sa tuwing naririnig mo na sayang kayo. Nadudurog yung puso mo sa tuwing sinasabi ng kaibigan mo na, “Ano ba yan. Ang daming nagkakagusto at nanglalandi sayo, sana naman yung gusto mo, magka gusto na rin sayo.”

Pero syempre, ang mas masakit diyan kasi di mo na siya gusto. Mahal mo na siya.

Ang pang-walong sign na tao ka na nga talaga ay kung sinabi mo na ayaw mo na. Na pagod ka na. Pero sa oras na kinausap ka niya ulit, na pinapansin ka na niya ulit ang sabi mo, “Winasak niya yung puso mo, pero siya rin yung nag ayos nun.” Nag sisimula ka nang magpakatanga. Doon mo rin na-realize lahat ng pagkakamali mo sa tuwing jina-judge mo yung mga friends mo nung sila yung nasa posisyon mo. Kaya nga dumating ka rin sa point na sinabi mo sa kaibigan mo na, “Sorry. Ngayon naiintindihan na kita. Ang sakit pala. Ang sakit pala talaga.”

Ang pang-siyam na sign na di ka na halaman ay kung nagsulat ka ng tula para sa kanya, nag assign ka ng isang theme song para sa kanya. Na puro ka feels at hugot dahil sa kanya. Na kahit pati yung kurso mo, nagagawan mo na rin ng hugot. Kaya naman yung mga kaibigan mo, feeling nila na subject sila sa expectancy violations theory kasi nga nag feels ka, kasi nga umiyak ka dahil sa kanya.

Ang huling sign na nawala ka sa kinatataniman mo ay kung dumating ka sa point na sinabi mong, “Gusto ko siyang makalimutan. Gusto kong ibalik yung oras at baguhin ang lahat para hindi ko siya makilala. Para hindi na ako nasaktan.” Sinabi mo rin na gusto mong dukutin yung puso mo at itapon para di mo maramdaman yung sakit. Para di mo na siya gustuhin. Para di mo na siya mahalin.

Tanggap mo naman na hindi magiging kayo, pero umaasa ka pa rin sa salitang ‘Paano’. Paano kung may feelings pala siya sayo? Paano kung dumating yung panahon na mamahalin ka rin niya? Paano kung dumating yung pagkakataon na maging kayo? Sabi nga sa song ni Ariana Grande, “If I could have known that you wanted me, the way I wanted you, then maybe we won’t be two worlds apart but right here in each others arm.”

Pero dahil nga Almost Is Never Enough, at sa kabila ng mga paano na yan, alam mo na hindi magiging kayo. Kaya hanggang ngayon, sa tuwing iniiyakan mo siya, umaasa ka na sa bawat patak ng iyong mga luha, muling madidiligan ang iyong mga ugat, na muli kang tutubo. Na muli kang magiging halaman para di ka na masaktan. Na darating ang panahon na sa pagsibol ng iyong mga dahon at pagsulpot ng mga bulaklak, darating yung taong hindi ka bubunutin kundi aalagan.

At tsaka mo lang maaalala, yung minsang sinabi ng kaibigan mo na yang love life na yan, darating din yan sa buhay mo. Dumating nga, nakalampas lang.

English, Poetry

Scratch Paper Too

Sometimes, I look back and try to find when it was that I stopped being your muse. Was it during the times we fought because you wanted us to be perfect like the stories you wrote when all I wanted was for us to be real?

When did I lose my color? When did I lose my beauty? The elegance that captivated your heart and made it mine? I often asked myself these questions as I sat on a corner of your desk, running my fingers on the lines of memories you wrote on my skin. I try to read the printed paragraphs that slowly turned to broken lines and missing words because you no longer looked at me.

I remind you too much of mistake and errors you could never correct. I am filled with erasures and inscriptions of your scrawny penmanship that I often could not understand.

I quietly slip between the pages of an old book, waiting patiently for someone better to come along who will correct your mistakes, rewrite my stories and make new but better memories.

girl waiting photo

Thoughts

Disconnected

It’s been a while.

But no, it’s been a year since I last wrote to you. I don’t even know why I stopped or why I bothered to write all these letters when I know you would never read it. Maybe, I wanted to fool myself into pretending that you were beside me instead, listening to me talk, instead of reading what I wrote. Maybe, I wanted to believe that in an alternate universe, in another lifetime, I’m sitting beside you, my head on your shoulder and I could feel your faint heartbeat.

All these pretenses kept me going. It gave me something to hold on to, something to believe in. But I knew deep in my heart, it was just pretend. It would never happen.

But still, here I am, writing this letter at 11:09 in the evening. I should be sleeping but I find myself thinking about you, about us. Wondering what happened, what I did wrong that you turned away from me.

Do you know how hard it was? How you broke my heart? One moment, we were sitting close to each other, whispering stories and laughing. But the next, you wouldn’t even look at me, you wouldn’t even listen.

The moment you left me hanging was the day I knew I had fallen in love. What is it with me and guys like you? Did you know that I would find myself falling in love with you once you were gone? Did you know that would happen, that I would have to live a life always wondering, “What if?

You couldn’t have known. You wouldn’t have done that on purpose right? You wouldn’t hurt me like that.

I wanted so much to forget you, but I couldn’t. I see you everywhere. From the books I read to the poems I write. I see you on the park, walking slowly, listening to your IPod, and a crease on your forehead. I see you on the benches, writing poems in your head. I see you leaning on the bookshelves, browsing through the pages of a novel that caught your eye. You were an illusion, a memory I tried to preserve.

But that’s all you could ever be, a memory that I wanted to last. As the days went by, I realized it wasn’t really you I was longing for; it was the feeling of being in love with someone that I wanted to last. It was the memory of having someone that I missed. I got so used to moving on that I forgot that my heart was already mended. It took me too long to realize that I already had the closure I needed.

My heart already said goodbye, but my mind didn’t listen. It still thinks I’m lost in love, drowning in tears. I’m not.

 

Uncategorized

Ten Candles

When I was ten years old, there was nothing I wanted more than a birthday cake. I would draw on a piece of paper the same birthday cake I envisioned over and over again. The cake was always drawn in an uneven circle, with chocolate flavors and blue frosting. Sugar flowers decorated the sides and a “Happy Birthday Jade” was delicately written with yellow syrup. Ten white candles were stuck at the center and a stick figure of me with my family always appeared in the background. All year round it was all I could think. It was everything I dreamt of.

A brief story why I wanted a birthday cake, it was because I never had one but my younger siblings always had a cake for their birthdays. When I was five, my sister Micah celebrated her first birthday, her cake was yellow with cherries and vanilla flavoring. When I was seven, my brother Joshua had a blue cake with little toy figurines, chocolate coins and marshmallows. Each year, my father would come home with a box of cake for their birthdays. With a graceful hand, my mother would take the cake out of the box, place it on the table and light the candles. Each year, for my birthday, I was lucky if I got scrambled eggs and a glass of chocolate.

At first, none of these bothered me. For all I knew, birthday cakes were privileges given only to the younger ones. But when I was invited to my cousin’s birthday party, I was surprised. No, not surprised, rather I was shocked and devastated. At the table, a cake stood in all its glory. I never felt so confused before. With furrowed brows and a scowl I asked my cousin why she had a birthday cake.

She laughed, “Why can’t I?”

“But you’re the oldest! You aren’t supposed to have a birthday cake.” I protested with childish persistence.

She pinched my cheeks and laughed at my silliness. “Where in the world did you get that? Anyone can have a birthday cake, whether you’re the eldest or not.”

That night when I came home, my mother asked, “How was the party?”

I answered, “It was the worst.”

I slumped into my bed, pondering my cousin’s answer. It was then that I first pulled a pencil and paper from the table and drew the cake I always wanted for my birthday. That night, it planted a seed of foolish hope, jealousy and sadness that would tear me apart from my family, eight years later.

That year, when December 8th rolled in, I sat in front of my table and counted the number of cakes I’d drawn and pasted on the wall. 50 pictures in all, one for each day since I started drawing one. That night, I drew the 51st cake and laughed at the silliness of it when I realized that all 51 cakes looked the same.

December 9. I woke up and stared at the ceiling. I didn’t want to get up. I was excited and afraid. Surely, my parents would have noticed by now the growing number of cakes I have on the wall. I closed my eyes and tried to listen to the hushed clattering of plates in the dining room, imagining the cake that would surprise me. Five minutes later, my mother bellowed for me to get up. There was no cake, not even a piece of egg or a glass of chocolate.

When I got home, I stood in front of our house. Crossing my fingers, I hoped that a surprise birthday party would be waiting for me. But the moment I opened the door, a rush of disappointment met me. There was no cake, no surprise party. My father wasn’t even home for dinner. Mother said he was working late.

When I laid in bed that night, tears coursed down my cheeks, leaving stain on my soft pillow. I realized that no one even greeted me, not even my mom. Nobody remembered my birthday. I slept with a heavy heart.

The next day, I woke up with the realization that something inside me had changed. I touched my chest and felt that my beating heart was broken. Years later, as I recounted the story to my friends in college, they laughed and taunted me. Teasing that surely, a birthday cake couldn’t possibly break my heart. They said I was ridiculous, I said they were fools. Boyfriends and bad dates weren’t the only ones who could break your heart. Your parents can, your family can a cake can. Trust me, I know. Each year, all three broke me heart.

With a heavy heart, I took down all the 51 drawings and kept it in an unwanted shoebox and kicked it under the bed. When my mother came in to clean the room that night, she glanced at the wall and asked, “What did you do with drawings?”

I stared at my notebook, pretending to work on my homework. “I threw them.”

She placed a hand on my shoulder, peering at my notebook. “Why?”

“They were ugly drawings.” I shut the notebook and said, “It’s late, I’m going to sleep.”

She nodded and watched me tuck myself in bed. She switched off the lights and for a moment stood by the door. I wasn’t sure if I heard say “Belated happy birthday,” I pulled the covers over my head, convincing myself it was all a dream.

I stopped drawing cakes that year. It wasn’t until I was twelve years old that I started drawing again.  My mother had this idea that I should start a journal, writing down my thoughts and all. She said that it would help me cope through adolescence.

But I didn’t write my feelings on the journal. All I did was fill the pages with cakes every night. And each year, as I started another journal, I would open the notebook to the first page and write a wish list. I always wrote same thing at number one.

  1. A birthday cake
  2. Linda Sue Park’s book
  3. Tulips
  4. A yellow dress
  5. Dancing shoes

Every night, for 6 years instead or writing about crushes and girlish ranting, I drew cakes. 365 cakes, sometimes it was 366. At the end of the year, I would silently look at the last page, tracing the drawing and promising myself that I would never draw again. But the next day, I would start again.

I carried this foolish tradition with me through highschool and college. With a broken heart and wavering hope, I would silently plead and pray that fairies of eve God would grant my wishes. Each year, I would be disappointed.

It wasn’t until my eighteenth birthday that I got my first cake. It didn’t look like any of my dreams. It was small, no bigger than a cupcake with white frosting and single candle stuck at the center. But my bestfriend Gale looks so happy when she gave it to me at dinner and even sung the birthday song. When I blew the candle, she snapped a photo and winked as she asked me if I wished for a boyfriend.

In my room, I placed the cake on the table and stared at it for hours. When midnight passed, I took a fork and ate the cake, tears spilling from my eyes. Instead of happiness at receiving my first cake, I felt grief. Something inside me died. That something was hope. As I ate the cake, I came to the realization that my parents would never give me one.

That day, I stopped drawing cakes on my journal. I took out the shoebox and kept it along with the other journals. I closed the box and taped the lid shut. I pushed it at the back of my closet. I promised that I would never draw a cake  again. This time, I kept that promise. That same year, I walked away from my family, always keeping my distance, avoiding my siblings’ birthdays and lived alone.

After I graduated from college, I decided to leave the country and went to Europe. There, I fulfilled my dreams of becoming a designer and an artist. Two years later, I moved to Korea. That was when I opened the shoebox and looked at the drawings.

I stared with sad amazement at the drawings, my fingers tracing each cake, softly flipping the pages of each notebook. For a while, I sat motionless until I decided it was time to say goodbye to the drawings. I wasn’t going to burn them, nor throw them away. The drawings were the shattered pieces of my heart, shards of broken dreams that walked with me everyday. I couldn’t throw them away, but I decided it was time to move on. I would say goodbye in the best way that I can.

I ripped each drawing from the notebooks and laid it on the floor. For months, I carefully cut and pasted the drawings together, gradually forming a collaged photo of myself when I was ten years old. On my 24th birthday, I unveiled the photo at my exhibit. It was the centerpiece of my series.

As I was sticking a red ribbon on the artworks that I had sold, a man walked up to me and smiled, “How much would you sell that one for?”

I looked at the portrait he was pointing at and said, “That’s not for sale.”

Raising an eyebrow, he crossed his arms and said, “I’ll pay any amount.”

“Sorry but I can’t sell it. You can choose another one.”

“Everything’s sold except for that one.”

“I’ll make something else.”

He dropped his hands to his side, staring at me for a minute or two. He put his hands on his pockets, “Why won’t you sell it?”

I smiled, “Because it’s the story of my life.”

That night, the collaged portrait was the only thing I didn’t sell. Instead, I wrapped it up and sent it to my parents who were now living in Canada. I told them the exhibit was a success. They sent me a gift. It was necklace, I never wore it.

When I said goodbye to those drawings, I opened another door in my life. I may not have sold the portrait to that man, but I did tell him my story. Hours later, before I went home, he offered his hand, “You can call me Lay,” and waved goodbye. A week later, I saw him again and we ended up dating.

For my 25th birthday, Lay surprised me with a bouquet of tulips. I smiled and kissed him under the stars. Leaning on his shoulders, I watched his hands play the guitar and listened to him sing. I said to myself, “This is the best birthday I’ve ever had.”

For the first time I was right.

When Lay drove me home, he smiled and said, “I still have one birthday surprise for you.”

I laughed and asked, “Is it a ring?”

He reached for my hand, “No. But do you want one?”

I giggled and felt my cheeks blush, “Yeah, but not today. Maybe next year.”

When I opened the door to my house, Lay covered my eyes with his hands. Between protests and laughter, he led me inside the house.

Removing his hands from my eyes, I looked inside the dark room. That was when I saw it.

A candle softly illuminated light in the dark room. I could hear soft voices singing, I could see shadows forming. I closed my eyes for a second, wondering if this was all a dream. When I opened them, I saw my parents holding a cake. It looked like the one I had always drawn.

I stared at my parents, the tears spilling from my eyes. A wave of happiness rushed over me, filling every space of my soul. Their smiles seemed to pick the broken pieces of my heart and put it together. I looked at the cake and counted the candles, there were ten.

Diary

The Tree, The Leaf, The Wind

I had always been fascinated by the tree standing in our backyard. For years I had watched its lifelong dance—the springing forth of its new leaves & its farewell to its once lush green elegance that the wind had stripped off of it. Once, while I was standing before it, gazing at its magnificence, a gust of wind blew and a leaf—young, green, beautiful, and elegant, twirled with the breeze, spun itself & detached from the tree and fell. I caught it in my hand and it alighted softly in my open palm.

My fingers traced it daintily, tracing its veins. There was something mesmerizing about it. Again, I looked up at the tree, from where the leaf once was. It was like a story for centuries been repeated, been foretold. But what the story was, I do not know.

A new school year began, & I had forgotten all about the leaf & the tree. I was caught in the middle of high school’s busy affair. As I was entangled between its web, I stumbled upon someone so precious. And the moment I saw him, I thought that destiny itself had arranged the two of us to meet.

He was wonderful—no, he was simply the best. I had never met anyone like him. We became friends, grew close to each together & enjoyed one’s company. He was my friend, my brother, my shoulder to lean on. I do not know how many times he painted smiles or how many tears he wiped from my eyes. I grew fond of him & loved him. Being with him was like a fairytale in the real world.

But as all fairy tales end in the real world, mine did too. Time had not permitted us to be together. He had a path ahead of him, a better place that I know I must not follow. I had my own path and his path was not mine to take. We went on our own ways. He left, but no, I made him to.

I had lost count of how many times I cried remembering that day. I felt so foolish for having done such a mistake. And as I was staring out my open window, a leaf from the tree alighted on my window and I remembered.

Deep in my heart I understood. Once in a while, an elegant leaf would spring into your life. But as time is sometimes cruel, the wind blows it away. But who is to blame? Sometimes, that one precious leaf gets blown away, maybe because the wind blew it away, or the leaf decided to detach itself or because the tree did not ask the leaf to stay and allowed the wind to blow it away.