I was five when I first realized that things aren’t permanent. I watched my first love in his neat peach Polo shirt lie in his little brown coffin, a look of peace and innocence in his face and I wondered who else would play with me this time. Our little bicycle with its rainbow wheels was eventually tucked away, among layers of memories in that dingy storage room and I never saw it again. That was my first heartbreak. And everything that came after was just a series of discovering more heartbreaks – in his story, in her story, in what is to become my story.
All these are hard for me to tell. I grew up as a voyeur of tragedies – of things that I wish I could change but could never do, despite latter respite and palliative fixes. I can’t tell you everything. But this is among the answers.
Her father left. She was in love with him but he walked out of the door when she was 13. I do not know – and cannot tell – when she began hating him or if she ever did. When she tells me about him, an imagined character who’s always going to be a vague shadow in my missing story, all I hear are tales of praise and love and events that came short of covering up for the painful truth that she refuses to tell.
Her mother did not take things gently. She was a quiet woman who I only knew for a brief memory. She died of loneliness.
And she became a woman who lived in compromise, did things with her hands and lived for the joy of other people. She moved about as if staying would mean sinking and so she kept moving until she thought that love found her. She likes kids too much and the fridge always had room for candies. She likes pink, lacy curtains and soap operas make her cry. She is often content with temporary and she’s always nice. I hate that. Though I’ve always thought her as the kindest person I know.
But I grew up as a voyeur of tragedies and the ugly truth eventually came and I hated what I see. Her niceties are vulnerable; her compassion necessary. Because after all, she wanted affirmation. She wanted to keep; she wanted to justify to herself that she is useful and so why did he leave?
And I kept wondering if she ever did hate him in the first place.
To Joval and Mitch, I am very sorry for my very late posts. Here is the last one.
Mitch, you are very articulate and coherent with your thoughts; I always enjoy your stories and your writing. I wish I could write like that. Joval, them pictures and very detailed posts I like very much. It was nice writing with you two. I’m still gonna stalk you.