Sunday, June 21, 2015

Waiting Shed

I bumped into some of my old written stuffs while cleaning up my laptop. I wrote this piece of a short prose when I was running 20 (April of 2002) in between doing an Interior Design plate one cold evening. Yes, I still can remember that kind of night.  I was still pretty young at love and the hopeless romanticism in me was all over the place. Pardon the melodrama and the errs.

 Waiting Shed
by: Ella Marie

Sem-break at last! It was fun surveying the expectant faces of my classmates who randomly checked the clock ‘til it rang. At the struck of 5, all hell just broke loose. Matt and the gang went up to me at the locker area, did our high-fives, pat-on-the-backs and all those cheesy handshakes from God knows where.

“Dude, don’t miss the fun tonight, okay?” Matt wheedled as he drank his last can of light Malt, knowing that the already suspecting guard was nearby. “…you don’t wanna miss Chloe and Jenna do their thing man….” the guys just couldn’t get enough of those girls.

“oh yeah…and the free booze, man”, yeah…free booze…haven’t I had so much to want more?

“No thanks guys,” I said as I closed my locker.

Their jaws dropped to the century-old university stucco floors. Mike Garcia, the perfect pin-up model for a beer-drinking, pot-smoking, girlfriend-snatching animal from up there would rather go home, sleep the whole break away and just miss all the pleasure a guy of his kind would normally have in just a blink of an eye. But this was a different day…and I’m just a different man now…or shall I say…I’m just tired and dying to get back to my old bed.  I patted my friends' backs, sent my good lucks away and as if in autopilot, my feet just knew where I needed to go. Home.

It was raining outside and the raindrops and dews on my skin gave me gave me chills. Glad I took my jacket with me. People my age have gone to their paradises and here I am, going somewhere else. I ran across the street to take shelter at the waiting shed. I brushed my hair with my hands and took my jacket off. I saw a cab coming and almost hailed it when I realized I wasn’t alone in the shed after all. I slowly turned to my right and there she was, slightly leaning on a post with her back at me. I could tell she was a little wet from the rain and shivered from the cold. I slowly walked to her, not making any sound, and saw the blue ribbon tying her ponytail. From there, I knew it was her.

Maybe, she heard me coming coz she turned to me. She seemed so little and fragile yet so beautiful in every Shakespearean adjective I couldn’t say. I must have shocked her and forgot to wipe off a tear from her cheek that I almost wanted to reach for it and wipe it off when she bowed down and let out a tiny smile. She still remembered me. Why wouldn’t she. It was I who brought the letter to her….supposedly, from a friend, 4 years ago. But why the tear?

We were just standing still…and an icy breeze woke us up. I hurriedly put my jacket on her. It should keep her warm. She wasn’t able to refuse and again she let out another smile and that was enough to warm me up.

“Th…thank you, M…Mike….so kind of you”, her, speaking to me seemed surreal.
“Yeah….it’s so un-like Mike, huh”, was all I could say.
“Why? Do you think you could fool me by playing the bad guy around campus? We both know that’s not you”, she just stared at me and I couldn’t take it so I bowed down. I still don’t understand why she was crying; still I couldn’t even start asking her why.

I looked at the street in front of us. It was nearly empty. Neither cabs nor any cars are in sight. And she, why is she in this shed after all? This is going to be a long day. I found a bench at the back of the shed. I motioned to offer a seat and she sat down. Again, we fell silent. All we could hear were the raindrops on the roof.

“Where is he?” finally, I found the words. “He should be taking you home this hour…”
She didn’t say a word but only stared long. Stared at something in front of her. I wish she would look my way and finally see me. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have asked things….”

“We fought…again,” she said those words and still stared blankly at nowhere. “…And this time I think it’s my fault”, I couldn’t grasp the depth that she’s in. How could someone hurt a girl like Ava, or from what she said, where can she go wrong?

“Uh…whatever hitches you have right now, it’ll pass. Four years together…I think you’re the only couple out here to stay that long!” trying to console her and make her smile. Stillness…and then she looked at me.

“Why did you stop talking to me four years ago?” I was taken aback by the question, yet I just managed to smile, trying to recall the minutest detail of that day when I handed her that letter. “I really thought we could become good friends but you’ve never looked at me as we pass each other by ever since….”

Until now I never ceased to regret the day I didn’t fight for her. From the first day I saw her at school years ago, never again did she leave my mind. And when it struck me that she’s the one I’ll spend the rest of my years with, Dennis came into the picture.

“You were so fond of Dennis, ‘til now, he can’t help owing it to you how we became a couple. Why did you do that…? I mean, you guys weren’t that close but you did things for him to get to know me…and those letters. I just fell in love with the letters. I wish I could actually feel those words he said in those letters. Maybe, that’s the main reason why I took him in,”

I wrote those letters, Ava. I wrote them all for you. Writing those letters is the only way to let my feelings out, even if it meant you falling for someone else. But when it happened, I couldn’t face it. How could someone take you away from me when I’m the one who loves you most? Four years of agony….of wanting to move on…of wanting to forget…of becoming someone else…and here you are, just inches away from me, asking me why I won’t talk to you for the longest time.

“I don’t know…things just changed in an instant. But I never hated you, okay. Never…,” she seemed to be waiting for some more answers. But no, not today, not in years, not….ever. You are happy now, and you know it. Let me have this agony all to me.

“Ava, have you ever felt what its like to wait for something? Something, you know you can never have. You want it so badly yet you only have yourself to hurt. You want too badly but you never had the courage to do something about it. Maybe, you did but…but when you do, it’s just too late,” I could almost hear myself breathe out my despair. I feel so warm beside her. I want to give all the warmth that’s left of me to her.

“Dennis asked me if I love him…and I said yes. I couldn’t find reasons why not. He wouldn’t believe me. I don’t know exactly what kind of love he meant when he asked me that. But surely, I have loved him. But there are things which are best left unanswered. We fought over it. He’s gone tired of pretending to feel how I feel. I wish I know better, better to keep me from hurting the people who love me just because of…something else,” He looked at me and there goes the tears again. The nearness of her drowned me. I reached out, took her head and gently placed it on my shoulder, wanting to take everything all in…her miseries, her pain.

It’s just me and the girl I loved. Never in my rarest dream was I able to have her this close. I could almost hear her heartbeat, which beats for someone else. But I own this moment, no one can take this away from me. She could be gone a little later and I may never see her this way again for another lifetime, but right now, she’s my girl. For minutes, against the coldness of where we lay, we were alone. I took my cell phone out from my pocket and silently did what I had to do. I have to give her back now.

An hour has passed and there was not a single move from us. Her cell phone rang and it was Dennis. She stood up and talked to him. I feel better now. She should go to where she deserves to be. She glanced down at me and smiled. We didn’t say a word. Again, she stared long at the street. For the first time in my life, I felt absolute…and that is enough for me. A familiar-looking car suddenly halted in front of the shed and there came out Dennis. He took an umbrella with him and ran to his ladylove. He hugged her as she stood still…and slowly hugged him back. Dennis looked at me. “Thank you…,” he whispered. I just nodded and smiled at them. He opened up his umbrella and brought Ava to the car, but she didn’t make a move. She whispered something to Dennis and he obliged. “Make it quick…you need to warm up. I’ll be waiting…,” and so Dennis went inside the car and there she was, still not facing me.

“Ava…? Aren’t you going home? You might get sick---”
“---you asked me a while ago what it was like to wait….for something I can never have. It’s hell, Mike. Every single day, hour, minute---second, I waited. Waited for four years. I’ve never got tired of waiting…praying that one day, I’ll have this moment…alone with him and prayed that he’ll tell me exactly the words from that letter…,” her eyes glistened with the tears she has been shedding. I couldn’t quite well get what she meant, but I knew she was in pain. Waited…? For whom?

“I’m afraid my long wait is over now. Goodbye, Mike. Th…thank you,” she came closer that I could almost breathe her as she gave me back my jacket. Her eyes pierced through me. Do something….I told myself…only to see her slowly disappearing from my sight. She walked to the car and went inside. Will I ever see her again? I dropped myself to the bench and saw a tiny notebook beside me. I opened it and knew it was Ava’s. It was dated July 2002….

His name is Mike. I know it sounds too good to be true but I know what I feel. It’s in the way he does things for me and the way he looks at me. I just hope he feels the same way. If there’s one man I would hope to live my life with one day, it’ll be him…only with him. But actions can be deceiving. I need words to bear them out. If I have to wait for him…I will. Even if it takes a lifetime.

What have I done? Now that the road is clear, I don’t know where to run. For four years I’ve wasted my time asking why and waiting for answers when I have every reason for me to fight for her. I found myself under the rain…I have been unconsciously walking thinking about the nearness of Ava awhile ago. Now it’s too late. She has gone tired of waiting….but I haven’t.

I ran….ran as fast as I could. The rain, heavy as my heart, blinded me from the road. I have to do this now. I love her and I can never forgive myself if I lose her again. The car was nowhere in sight but I just ran. The road was empty. I guess it’s over for me. I found myself walking to the shed again…to seek shelter. From afar, I saw an image of a girl and knew it was her. My heart leaped at the sight and ran to where she stood. She came back for her notebook, I could tell, but Dennis was nowhere in sight.

“Ava…?” I startled her.
“I left my----,” never giving her a chance to say something, I grabbed her and brought her to me. I wrapped her around me, so strongly I don’t want to miss a heartbeat from her. I felt her arms slowly reaching for my back. I want to have her like this. So close. “I’ll never let go of you again,” I whispered to her. “I’m sorry to have kept you waiting. I didn’t know how to…”

I looked down at her and saw her burying her face into my chest as she sobbed. I reached for her chin and slowly turned her face to see me. “I love you, Ava. From the start, I asked for no one but you. Stay with me please…,” I felt a tear fall down my cheek. I know I wanted her so much and it would kill me if she won’t, but I have to free her if it’s what she’ll ask.

“Just hold me…hold me still…don’t let me go…” she pled and so I did. I just held her still and felt everything about her. We left the shed, which brought us together and enjoyed the rain. No fierce cold could match the warmth of the two people in love.

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