Original stuff that usually comes to me in the shower or the toilet.
So this is my main blog.
The young man inhaled deeply from his cigarette, held in the delectable poison and exhaled the gray cloud from his lungs.
To most he had looks of a young man with a blindingly bright future ahead of him, but no, that was just the suit and the Starbucks in his hand. To those that mattered, he as a child that could barely lift a spoon. Instead, he lifted a cigarette and never let go; a martini glass and switched it for full bottle; and occasionally would lift a plastic bag of green stuff and take some, little by little.
But did those people really matter? The thoughts on his current situation, a cigarette in hand while standing near the edge of his father’s corporate building, was more than déjà vu but a habit. Six and a half times a week or so he would ascend to the rooftop from his “internship” for a break. A break from reality. But really just for a smoke.
On the rooftop it was peace and quiet. The traffic from the highway wasn’t loud like it was in the big cities, but just slow. The bells from the docks on his right rang through the whole place, accompanied by the squawks of the gulls, which were strangely comforting. The smell of fish, gasoline and beer wafted from the docks. The sky was a dull gray, that met halfway with the murky brown of the pollution that hung low.
There was no father to disappoint nor girlfriend to act around. My God, he thought, he deserved an award for acting like a faithful, caring and understanding boyfriend she always wanted. She did bundles for him to reach his current situation, and look how that was turning out for him. She brought him back on his feet from his adolescent depression which was the equivalent of the Dark Ages. She brought him outside, to parties he never liked and the internship, after he dropped out of the idea of going to college. Though, everyday was more of a bring your kid to work day. She expected something in return for her wondrous deeds. The revival from his depression was one thing to be grateful for, but controlling the rest of his life was just plain rude. What did he care about her cousin’s baby shower? She looked like a horse and he was pretty sure that thing in her womb was going to be a centaur. Did he have any say in joining the “familial” community of R.G. Trading? He wanted to be a chef for Jesus’ sandal’s sake.
And she slept with another man; add that to the list of rude things.
Why didn’t he break up with the wretch? Dear ol’ Dad adored her for “saving” him. Although, it was more of saving himself from the humiliation for having a dead beat son. One wrong move with her and Dad would oust him from everything.
He sighed with the cigarette in his mouth. Melancholy wasn’t the right word for the dark hand that squeezed his heart. Neither was depression, he was long done with that lot.
He wondered what would happen if he wondered what would happen if he made the opposite of his decisions from his past? What would happen if he protested to his father about the internship and went to a cooking school? What would change if he never smoke or drank too much to pass out in the middle of a gritty sidewalk? Confronted his girlfriend about her cheating? Never went into this downhill relationship with her in the first place and went after the other one? What if he actually stood for himself?
Self-pity was the name of the dark hand.
He was such a coward, a spineless blob of passiveness. Crustaceans had more backbone than him. If only he used the word “No” or “Fuck off, I’m my own man” more often. If only he actually lived his life rather than letting other people do it for him. If only he pursued her.
He shook his head. He should have cared more about himself.
Yet, this realization, was all too late. All those if’s and wonder’s were a waste of brain cells because all they will ever be are if’s and wonder’s. It was too late for shall’s and will’s.
It was like a construction. He waited too long to say that there should be minor changes in the blueprints and left it be till it was too late for the building was nearly finished.
He inhaled once more, let it circulate up to his brain, then exhale. He watched the gray cloud release from his lips into the air, dissolving in the process. He followed it till it was almost no more.
The hand squeezed harder as he watched the cloud. It moved in the direction of the soft breeze. It wasn’t free to move anywhere as long as something stronger pushed it. As it followed the wind’s direction, it slowly was losing itself.
Damn, he could be the next Poe or Hemingway or some other depressed successful author. Strange enough, those authors died by suicide. Except Poe, no one really knew.
His next step hit the open air. He caught himself almost walking off the rooftop. He took a step back, but not startled at all, more of intrigued.
Died by suicide.
Killing himself was always an option. A cease to the if’s and the wonder’s that roamed through his mind. His girlfriend could now stop cheating because it wouldn’t be cheating if she didn’t have a boyfriend. His father wouldn’t have to be disappointed of his son if he didn’t have one anymore.
Yet, it wasn’t about them. It was about him; him taking control of his useless life. What is life if you can’t ever live it yourself?
He put his foot over the edge of the building; letting it dangle over the edge. Fifty feet below him were cars parked and the trees that lined the cars. A small patch of green grass was directly below him. It would be nice to break him spine on soft grass in the middle of a concrete jungle. He placed the cigarette in his mouth. One last puff would be nice too.
Cheers, to the desolate life of W-
“I swear, if you take another step I will personally throw your corpse into a meat grinder and you will never have a proper burial.”
He turned to the direction of the voice. The sight was so impossible, he gasped-
-with the cigarette on his lips. His throat sizzled with the sudden intake of smoke and no sooner he was coughing in fits.
The young woman, the same young woman from years ago, rushed to his aid. He automatically side-stepped. Thank God, too. He didn’t want to die without comprehending what was happening.
After he recovered, he got a good look at her, Her hair was cropped near her head, unlike before where she wore it in an assortment of animal tails. Ponies, pigs, even fishes. She was taller; she reached his nose. He remembered the first time he kissed her, he had to bend to reach her lips. Then he noticed her heels. That explained it. The past her would never have dawned those death traps.
Nevertheless, of the obvious sign that he didn’t need help, she walked closer to him. She had her hands on her hips, preparing for full nag-mode, just like before.
“Seriously, jumping off a building? I can see the headlines now, ‘Boy makes failed attempt of the Leap of Faith from Assassin Video Game’. But jokes aside, it’s too traumatic during the fall. Knowing you, you want something quick and less melodramatic.”
Millions of questions flooded his mind, yet none of them came to him as natural as, “Jokes aside. The intern in pathology isn’t here to give me a lecture on the best way to die because she knows all about the feeling right before death.”
Unlike him, she succeeded in life. Graduated with honors from high school; accepted in all the colleges she applied to, and now was interning at some high-tech medical school. Which brought up the question in his thoughts, ‘Why on earth would she be here instead of examining dead bodies to find the cure for cancer?’
She sighed, “What happened?” Then she said his name.
How come if one hears one’s name from the lips of a past lover, one melts like butter over freshly popped popcorn?
He felt his heart being squeezed again but by something not entirely different.
“What do you care?” he spat. “You made it clear a long time ago on how much you cared, yet here you are.”
Regret. That’s what it was.
He regretted not going after her; letting her slip like maple syrup through his hands. Maple syrup because she left sweet traces on his fingers for him to remember her. He regretted letting his girlfriend capture him when he knew he still had a chance with her. He wanted to fight for her when she returned to her boyfriend. He could have pushed anyone who came in between her and himself, He wanted to hold her longer, like the treasure the lasted for five months that he never deserved. He wanted to let her know that she was magnificent beyond comprehension; the person he needed to survive this world.
He loved her, but not enough to keep her.
“What are you doing here again?”
She was skilled at the art of the poker face. She grabbed his arm, threw him so he was away from the edge and tackled him. All air, slightly gray, escaped his lungs with her hug. He dropped his cigarette.
‘This couldn’t be happening’ he thought. The girl of his farthest imagination was here, tightly hugging him like there was no tomorrow, and there might not be because he couldn’t breathe, right when he was about to end his life. He pushed aside the bubbling questions and focused on her and him, because at that moment, on the rooftop, they were together.
He felt something wet and warm on his shoulder, where her head lay. He put his arms around her and stroked her back.
“Don’t you dare do it,” she croaked. He put his lips on her head.
“You have no idea what has been going through my life.”
She hit his chest with her fist and took a step back, glaring at him. “You think killing yourself is taking control of your life? Do you think anything good would come out of this?”
His mouth stood ajar. How did she know this?”
“Listen to me-” she said his name once more, “- this is not control.”
“But what do you care?!” he screamed. “You moved out of my life years ago then you suddenly pop back up, telling me what to do? Don’t you know that’s what I’ve been hearing for most of my life? Orders and how stupid my decisions are?” Words, scolding hot words, just keep spilling out of him mouth. “This is where I get to do something I actually decided for myself.” He glared at her, “If you’re here because you feel guilty about before, let me relive you of it.”
Never mind the fact that she appeared at that very waited. She was just like everyone else. He wanted to end all things now. He was about to push her away but his hand was caught in mid-air by her hand. He stared at her. She stared back. They were like predators, awaiting who would make the second move.
The staring contest ended after ten seconds. She pulled him into a kiss.
His whole body tensed up when her lips landed on his. His breathing stopped for a second and his heart forgot that one beat.
Strangely, it didn’t feel like anything. There was no spark, no fireworks, no palpitating heats after the impact, nothing. His hand crept to the back of her head and kissed her back, hipping he could feel something.
She pulled away with a blank face. “Don’t jump. You will make everyone around you feel guilty for a very long time. Your father will feel like he failed you. This isn’t taking control of your life because you-” she poked him at his chest, “-are letting them do this to you. Show some backbone. If you want control, wake up.”
He was still dazed from the kiss that what she said was muffled, as if she was talking behind glass. Yet her last two words echoed in his head.
“Son of a- DUDE WAKE THE HECK UP!”
His head jerked up from his desk. Something was sticky on his chin, arm and forehead. He gagged.
“You my friend, are the King of Drool,” his cubicle mate commented. “I was afraid that you’d short circuit you’re keyboard with the flood coming.”
He got a tissue and starting wiping his everything.
“You talk in your dream, y’know?”
He sighed. That made sense, no way would she go all the way here. No way would she go all the way back for him. It was all only a dream. A horrible yet sweet dream.
Random drabble I wrote and decided to post now.
Both detectives watched the suspect from behind the mirror. The suspect sat on the metal chair, yet treated it as if it was made out of spikes. Her hands and face were pale and sweaty. A tight feeling swelled in her chest and her eyes were red from her crying earlier. Bartolome crossed his arms on his chest.
“You really trust this Chris kid? For all we know he could be the killer.”
“Not likely,” Rodriguez affirmed. “His alibi checks out.” Plus, he thought, I’ve seen people like him; I’ve been him. He wasn’t lying.
Bartolome shrugged, “I’ll go talk to his family then. You go get her.”
Rodriguez’s ears perked up. He grabbed Mateo’s arm before he went out through the door. “You sure about that?”
Bartolome’s shoulders sagged. He was disappointed with his partner; with everyone else too, actually. First, they didn’t let him talk to the kid earlier, now this? He has learned from h is past mistake, but how could he show that he did if no one would let him? Especially Rodriguez. He had been through worse shit, yet people here treat him like Bathala. Mateo was more of a dwende to them.
“I’m a detective, Jaime. Last time I heard, talking to people was part of the job.” He yanked his arm away from Rodriguez’s grasp and marched out towards the room where the grieving souls sat.
Jaime sighed. He regretted asking Bartolome that the instant it left his mouth. Damn it, he hates drama.
She swore that if another mosquito bites her, she was going to storm out of this godforsaken police station.
Cassandra A. Lopez, student body president, stared at her watch and waited as the seconds, minutes, passed by. This was driving her mad. As she sat on the chair all she thought about was John. No memory went unread in the past twenty minutes. She remembered every encounter she had in the hallways with him; his speeches of endearment for the theater troupe before curtain call; and those other tender moments she had with him. That made her smile despite her current position.
But damn it, what was taking them so long? Did they want her to soak up in her own guilt first before they accuse her?
She had watched enough CSI to know what this room was for, whom this chair was for, what that window actually was, and who watched her every move. Well, she was not so sure if anyone was here at all!
They suspected her for killing John and she needed to steer them far away from that idea. Though, it would be nice to steer them away in an air conditioned room!
Her current situation reminded her of the incident when she reigned as student body treasurer. A whopping 10K was stolen from the student funds, and who was to blame? Of course, they instantly directed their fingers at her but she showed them. She presented her innocence in such a way no one ever would dare think of her as the thief. A few of Bambi eyes, sobs, and the truth with a thin coating of sugar led them to cuff the drunk of a student body president. In fact, she participated actively in the investigation, which boosted her rep.
The acting stuck to her, though. Two things always blend like blood and water in the Philippines: politics and stardom. She had the skills and she had the position, so why not start her future here at high school?
“Miss Lopez? I’m Detective Rodriguez.”
She was so lost in nostalgia that she didn’t notice the door open, and Cassandra Lopez almost dropped her innocent act right there. She found difficulty from keeping her jaw from hanging.
She knew that someone was just murdered and she was a prime suspect but couldn’t she just stop and forget about that for a minute and focus that Detective Rodriguez was a 12 on the scale of 1 to 10 on good looks.
Taller than an average Filipino, but not as dark as one, though. His eyes were practically black and had a certain allure to them. His looks were on the level of Ding-Dong Dantes or Ryan Reynolds. They make you drool but you would never-
Ah, right, back to the murder.
“Sorry,” her tone was soft and tainted with melancholy. “I was just thinking about John. I can’t believe this is happening. I knew John and he was such a kind person. Everyone loved him, did you know that?” She lifted her eyes to him, “Detective, I think you have the wrong person.” However, the bastard wasn’t even looking at her! His eyes were pinned on the folder in his large hands. Were those her records? Well, she had nothing to worry about there. Her record was cleaner than t-shirts in a Zonrox commercial, and she intended to keep it that way.
“Is that so?” he inquired.
“Yes. I have an alibi,” she said eagerly. “I was at the back of the stage, waiting for my next scene. Ask anybody, they’ll vouch for me.” And they will, she confidently knew that. Most of the troupe looked up to her as if she was their Jesus Christ Superstar. After all, she did save them from getting cut back and increased their funds.
“Uh-huh,” was all he said.
He was still reading those damned papers. Didn’t he think that was, oh, a bit rude? Dragging a mourner all the way down to this crummy precinct to wait for 20 whole minutes, only to be questioned by a half-brained hottie?
“Sir,” she pleaded, “I don’t see why I should be here.”
“I do,” he challenged but did not continue, and continued leafing through the papers.
She snapped. She rarely snapped but this was an epitome of rudeness, “Then what?!” If he wasn’t going to be the one to ask the questions, she will. “What’s your reason? Why the hell am I here, huh?”
“We found your finger prints all over his body.”
She could tell he knew. This time his eyes weren’t on the papers but her. Sadly, she wasn’t enjoying the attention.
“Miss Lopez, nothing will come out of this interrogation room, except if used for the investigation. I promise you that.”
Both sides of the scale were equally risky to her. If she shuts up and admits nothing, the more they will suspect. If she tells him the truth, there was a high possibility that word would slip out. She would know, and if she knew…
Then again, all she would be admitting was that she did that. She wouldn’t be pointing any fingers. She uncannily trusted the stranger, and it wasn’t his looks but the sincerity of his tone.
“I slept with him,” she muttered.
“I. SLEPT. WITH. HIM. THERE, ARE YOU HAPPY? I SLEPT WITH HIM RIGHT BEFORE THE CURTAINS WENT UP. LIKE WE ALWAYS DO. DID.” Her breathing was ragged that time. In all honesty, she wanted to get that damn affair off her chest a long time ago. The plan was to leave with him soon, a week or when she finally gathered the guts to do so and then have guilt free sex! Heck, even more than sex like actual dates with the boy. She didn’t regret having her last hurrah with him, just minutes before his death. What she did regret was not actually pursuing him. She regretted not having a real relationship he deserved. Tears started to roll down her cheeks, leaving sticky trails of salt water.
Rodriguez’s face was slightly fazed. His eyebrows were up and his mouth was tightly pressed. Was that surprise on his face?
He cleared his throat, “Uh, you are the student body president, right?”
“Correct,” she croaked.
“But you’re not single. You’re with a… Kit Sanchez?”
Kit was her greatest sin. He was everything a girl would want in a man: polite, sweet, adorable looks, varsity captain of the basketball team and faithful for three years. It was just an added bonus that he boosted her reputation amongst her fellow students. Yet, he was cautious, expected, boring even! The dates would be a cycle of food, movie, make-out, then go back home. A girl would die for spontaneity after three dates in a row in the same restaurant.
She met John as a friend. One late night, he approached her as she went over the budget of the club, which she handled with utmost care and precision. One thing lead to another, eventually coming up with a secret affair.
She should have left Kit earlier, but her long-built image would crack. Questions will be raised, rumors will be spread and that crack will just keep widening and widening.
“If this information was to be revealed to the public, then it would ruin you.”
He said it so blatantly, as if he stated the sky was blue or the Jollibee chicken barbeque was the worst chicken barbeque in Manila. To her, it was taking a six-inch dagger to the heart… and deserving it.
She took a deep breath, and with her shaky voice she said, “That wasn’t likely. John-” it was still painful to say his name, “he would never say it to anyone. He promised.”
She lowered her voice, “He loved me.”
“But he didn’t,” Rodriguez stabbed at her again. “He knew you would vote for him in the role of Captain Salvador because you obviously loved him back. People look up to you, the one who saved the troupe and is still keeping it at bay. You own their loyalty. Who you vote would affect their decisions. He didn’t love you, he used you.”
“No,” she protested. She couldn’t bear to hear this… this bullshit.
But Rodriguez was on a roll, “You found out and decided to take revenge on him for playing with your feelings.”
“No,” she said a little louder.
“When you killed him, you also eliminated the only person who knew about your secret. Heck, you killed the secret itself.” With every word, he emphasized their impact on her more and more.
“NO!” she yelled at the top of her lungs yet again. She shot up from her seat and slammed her hands on the metal table, ignoring the searing pain of the impact. “You! You don’t understand, not at all!” She stuck a finger at her chest, “I loved him. I loved him till this very day. I have never heard such crap till this moment. And how would you know anything about this? The murder happened several hours ago, how much information could you gather about John in that time span? What, he kept a diary about every single feeling he had ever felt?” She laughed mockingly, “What can you say for John Crisostomo? What makes you think that you got him all figured out?”
“I don’t. But I know someone who does.”
Her eyes widened. If someone was able to tell this lie, that person knew about them. Jesus fu-
“Did I mention we found traces Dotoxin in your bag?”
That statement sent alarms go off throughout her brain. She was on “You-Are-So-Fucked-Do-Something” alert. She didn’t dare look up to his eyes.
“In fact, those were the only traces of Dotoxin in the entire theater.”
Think of something, Cassandra! Think!
“Dotoxin is lethal if injected in large doses. Did you know that John was killed with Dotoxin?”
“I can’t say who,” she whispered.
She raised her eyes to him, pleading and terrified. “She’ll ruin me.”
“Miss Lopez, like I said nothing will-“
“This is the only thing I’m saying.” That shut up Rodriguez. “I didn’t buy the drug, but I carried it to the theater. There’s only one person who would sell that kind of drug in school.”
“Tell me, Cassandra,” he demanded.
She took a heavy sigh. She had an inkling that no path she will chose will lead to a happy ending for her. “Please, promise me you’ll find her.”
“So the kid is an actual reliable source,” Bartolome said in wonder.
“He was still wrong though. Cassandra didn’t know about John’s intentions. Yet, he’s onto something,” Rodriguez replied, with his brows furrowed as he stared onto his papers.
Bartolome pressed his mouth into a straight line, “You know, I got a not-so-crazy thought.”
“Shoot.” Rodriguez looked up from his papers.
“What is Chris was the killer?”
Rodriguez opened his mouth but Mateo cut him off. “I mean think about it. He gives us useful information, but he knows the whole story and he’s not telling us all of it to not raise any suspicions. He acts like he was hurt the most to make himself look like the least likely. He knew what could have killed John and he’s just letting us chose which one’s more presentable to court.”
Bartolome noticed that Rodriguez’s eyebrows were once scrunched up again. He shrugged, “It seems possible.”
“I… I guess it could be.”
He sighed. Rodriguez was bipolar with his assumptions. One minute he was all, “You might be a genius,” on the cause of death, then the next he was all, “You high bro?” Come on, the possibility of that Chris kid being the killer was more possible than people thinking Rodriguez was gay (which happens quite a lot).
“How did the family go?”
Better than you think, he thought bitterly. More or less, it was that damned last case that made Jaime treat him more like a sidekick than a partner; like he was some child. And so what if he really was younger than him? Five years didn’t-shouldn’t-mean anything.
“Uh, it went fine,” he lied.
It went horribly. The mother was in hysterics, cursing at every name associated with her late son. “Si ganito kasi!” and “Dapat never sinama niya yung walang hiyang ano na yan. Yan tuloy!” And sob, sob, sob. The father mourned silently compared to his wife. Though, Bartolome would ask a question and the silent dad would morph into a crying mess. None of the siblings came because they were all abroad, working; John was the youngest. It took Mateo 20 minutes to get to business, and he only salvaged so much.
“They said was your average perfect son, came home right from school, mostly left the house for rehearsals, always texted where he was and blah blah. He rarely came home late, and they said he tried not to. Nothing strange was going with him, well none that they know of. No change in attitude, nothing. Though, they did mention a girl and shockingly it isn’t miss student body president over there.”
“Huh,” Rodriguez wondered aloud, “If I were to guess right I’d say-“
“That John Crisotomo is a chic-boy?”
But they were interrupted by the slam of the phone in the Commander’s office. The pot-bellied man had his hands planted on his desk and his head hung low, letting the few strands of hair on his balding head loom over his eyes. A familiar chill crept up to both of their spines. Barolome instantly stiffened. We are so-
“Fuck,” Rodriguez cursed under his breath.
The entire theater was transformed into a market place. Men and women in blue lapped up every piece of information they could get from the audience to the theater members. Flashes of light came from the photographers who covered the five feet radius from the body of John Crisostomo. People in scrubs were placing a time of death and a cause. A short young man who wasn’t wearing a blue scrubs suit hovered over the body as well.
The body was propped up on a chair and leaned on the corner. The limbs lay limp, sprawled in odd angles. The eyes were lifeless, yet they showed his shock of that he was about to be murdered. The mouth was open, as if he was about to scream. The evident wound on his body was his right leg. It was fractured. Broken in half, so bald that the cracked tibia jutted out of it.
A man, quite tall for a pure blood Filipino, strolled into the crime scene as if it was some afternoon picnic in the park. It might as well be one for him. Homicide detective Jaime Rodriguez was massaging his gloved hands, ready to get to work.
The young man of 30 attracted the attention of most of the people in the room. He was used to the attention everywhere. At social events his chiseled face, short cropped hair and eyes as sharp as knives would make women, and some men, disregard their high hopes for a foreigner. Yet, the attention given to him in that room was out of respect, though he wasn’t sure for some policewomen. His standing, especially at his age, made people stutter in front of him. As for him, attention made him stand straighter.
A balding heavy-set officer walked straight up to Rodriguez. His lips were pressed to a straight line and shook his head impatiently.
“What took you so long?”
The only ones who didn’t flinch nor falter with their words around Rodrigez were veterans and his partner, Bartolome. Rodriquez guessed Officer de Hesus has been in the force since electricity was discovered. He never gave up his age. With every ask about it, he would huff, “Wait a little longer so you can read it off my gravestone.”
Rodriguez smiled and rubbed his neck, “Sorry, officer. Traffic.”
De Hesus huffed. It was true thought. The school was as island in a sea of cars at that hour. “Well, while you were gone, we’ve been having a problem.”
“There’s been a murder of a high school student. Of course there’s a problem.”
De Hesus sighed and pinched his forehead. “Dios mio, that’s not the problem! I mean-basta.” He hitched his thumb at the boy who was sitting on a kahon at the corner where the band played. “He’s an eye witness and he won’t talk.”
“Ah,” Rodriguez said, quite embarrassed. He didn’t get embarrassed a lot, except when it was with Officer de Hesus. He could always find a way to put a dunce cap on Rodriguez. “So, you want me to do it? Couldn’t some of your guys-“
“He wants a detective. So I gave him one. A proper one.” The last remark about his partner stung Rodriguez.
Rodriguez nodded, “Okay, then. Um, de Hesus? One last favor.” De Hesus stared like an impatient bulldog. “Could you brief me on the murder? The precinct didn’t really- “
De Hesus’ face contorted into absolute disgust. “Ano ba naman yan! Pupunta ka dito na di mo pa- Fine. Fine, fine.” He took out his notebook and went through his notes. “Victim is John Crisostomo. Seventeen. He’s a student here and an actor. Killed during the play. CoD unknown-“
Rodriguez held up his hand before he could continue. He was smiling now, trying to contain his laughter. “CoD? Did you just say CoD?”
“Bakit?” de Hesus asked sternly. “CoD. Cause of death.”
Rodriguez shook his head, “Doesn’t fit you, officer.”
“Pfffft! You think you can be the only one who can be cool here.” He went back to his notes, “He had both of his legs broken in half. Forensics are still working on him.” He closed his notes and put a hand on Rodriguez’ shoulder, “Now that kid is Chris Madrigal. First guy to find the body.” Another officer from outside opened the door called him. He put a hand on Rodriguez’ shoulder and said, “Luck, Jaime,” and walked out.
The boy bounced his leg vigorously. His hands were shaking as well, making his cup of coffee look like its experiencing an earthquake. Death left its mark on him. His eyes were hollow, unlike the jolly Captain Yuchengco he portrayed up on stage. His lips were missing patches of skin because he bit them off.
Yet, when Detective Rodriguez approached him, his entire mood shifted. It was as if turning on a dead light bulb.
“Hello, Chris,” Rodriguez greeted with a small smile. The trick with interviewing witnesses is to be friendly, but not fake. Though, that trick doesn’t limit to interviewing only. “You asked for a detective. I’m Detective Rodriguez. Why did you ask for one, exactly?”
From a near soulless meat sack, Chris became his usual self. His eyes had a certain glint in it, smile had warmth, and he stopped shaking. He wanted to look strong. He wanted to look strong for John. “The police would probably think I’m crazy for what I’m about to say to you. They wouldn’t listen. I’m hoping you will.”
Rodriguez was taken off-guard. He thought he just wanted to make him swear on his life that he would find whoever did this, which made Chris Madrigal a close person to John. That was what he expected from a case including teenagers. He hated cases of sorts. The hormones, unstable parents who want justice and vengeance, shallow motives and long-time grudges, et cetera. He remembered that case where the boy was murdered because of he climbed up to editor, had the girl, and was free to backslash at anyone he desired. Those cases that were a full-blown teleserye.
“Uh, go ahead. I promise, I won’t call you crazy.”
Chris pressed his bitten lips together, “Have you ever seen a best friend, family member, or lover on the top of the world, only to be pulled down for the first five minutes?”
Rodriguez could not express how much that line belonged into Walang Hanggan. Yet, inside he answered yes. Yes, he did but he wasn’t going to share that story. He was here for Chris’ story, not his.
“Which was John? Best friend? Family? Lover?”
Chris nearly choked. He was smiling and shaking his head, “Best friend.”
“I see,” Rodriguez said unfazed.
“Listen,” Chris said as he pushed aside the drama, thankfully. “I want to be on the case.”
It was Rodriguez’ turn to nearly choke. What on earth was this kid on? Why would he- how could he-
Then he remembered his incident. How he acted when the police broke the news to him. How much passion he had to do something. How much he acted like Chris at that moment.
“I’m sorry, but that would go against procedures,” he said coolly. “I’ll tell you what, Chris,” he was using the same tone that police used on him years ago, “you tell me everything you know about John Crisostomo’s murder and you’ve cooperated enough.”
It was as if he just turned the once lit light bulb off. Chris’ shoulders slumped, as his expression. “Oh. Sorry I brought it up.” He sounded like a defeated toddler.
Rodriguez gave him an assuring smile. “We’ll find him, Chris. That’s our job.”
“Or her,” Chris muttered.
Rodriguez raised his eyebrows, “Oh?”
Rodriguez strolled to the body of John Crisostomo with absolute satisfaction. The kid was able to give him a truck load of information about their victim. The amount of it, he hoped, might be able to solve the case. Yet, he had his doubts. He always had his doubts about everything. He doubted that the burger he ate at the fast food joint was real meat. He doubted that the toothpaste did all those things as said on its commercial. But like all doubts, he left it alone till something big actually happened.
Then he heard his partner yelling. He sighed. Not again.
Bartolome was gesticulating wildly at the poor man in the scrubs suit. The man kept a neutral face on, like dealing with know-at-all policemen was part of his job. When Rodriguez stepped into the scene, Bartolome’s eyes instantly landed on him, and his grin grew. The man in the scrubs let out a grateful sigh and reverted to his work.
He jumped right at the rare opportunity to scold him. “And where have you been?”
“God, it’s like you people never heard of traffic,” Rodriguez argued.
“Well, you wouldn’t if you didn’t wake up earlier.”
“You sound just like de Hesus.”
“Is that a good thing or a bad thing?”
These squabbles with Bartolome were unavoidable during work. Actually, squabbles were unvavoidable with Bartolome. Arguing with him was like arguing with a magic 8 ball. The young hotheaded detective would never fail to be annoying; never fail to question everything. The rare qualities that he possessed and what other detectives lacked sent him straight to the force. Rodriguez decided to change the topic.
“Why were you yelling?”
Bartolome’s expression hardened. If he wasn’t out irritating the public, he was taking his job seriously. “Forensics say the victim died of blood loss from his broken legs, which doesn’t make sense.” He moved to John’s face and uncovered the cloth. “His face is in pure shock, not in pain. From what the police told me, the audience didn’t even notice him being murdered. Which means, he didn’t have time to call out for help as he slowly bled to death. Now does that make sense?”
“You should have taken medical school instead of criminology if you think you’re so good at this,” grumbled the man in the scrubs.
“That’s because I was never good in those tests or experiments, like the ones you’re going to be doing to prove my theory right,” Bartolome declared smugly. He patted the man in the scrubs as if to say, You tried. The man looked as if he was touched by death himself.
“And what exactly is this theory that you have not mentioned?” Rodriguez challenged.
Mateo Bartolome looked at his partner with a glint in his eyes. Rodriguez has been on enough cases with him to know what this glint meant. It was either an incredibly ludicrous guess-
He then told Rodriguez his theory.
-or an extremely logical one.
Act I: John Crisostomo
The drummers started to beat their drums at a very slow pace at first, then gradually the beat became faster. Faster and faster it went and then the last beat was hit so hard, it created the impression of thunder, along with the cymbals to finish. One spotlight shone on the figure in the center of the room. It was dressed in a black cloak with a white emotionless mask covering its face.
“Welcome, welcome, one and all to the Faces Theater,” the figure announced in a whispery voice, so soft the gender of the figure was indistinguishable.
The Faces Theater is the theater troupe at some renowned private school at the capital. They have won several awards for the plays their heavily talented members have created, as well as the hearts of the students, explaining why their tickets are highly sought after. A slot in the troupe was too.
It was one of those days wherein it was a full house at the theater. Yet, the theater wasn’t much of a theater. Its size is considered a storage room in other theaters. They had a good set of lights that hung above, a stage big enough for one cartwheel, black curtains as thin as paper, and ceiling fans that are surprisingly as effective as air condition, if the place isn’t too crowded. At the back is the band, the lights control room and the dressing rooms. The private school couldn’t expand it because one, there isn’t a suitable area on campus for one and two, they’re too cheap to construct one. Majority of the funds of the school didn’t go to the theater club but to the hotel rooms of the varsity teams whenever they go on international games.
Nevertheless, people filled the room and was sorted into 10 rows that were separated into two sides, where an aisle ran through for the actors to move freely and interact with the audience. People had to sit on the floor to fit all of the crowd. Murmurs gradually swarmed the room as the people filed in. They were excited to see their classmates on stage as a completely different person or wanted to see if they would mess up or not. Some outsiders sat in the back to watch the talked about theater troupe. Teachers sat at the far end to watch over the students to make sure no one decided to have an extreme PDA session when the lights go down.
Then the lights were killed. Shushes swept the noise away. The drummers started to beat their drums at a very slow pace at first, then gradually the beat became faster.
Their opening season act was set during the times of Simoun and Ibarra. It was about a young man, soon to be captain of a town, but wished to set out and do good in the world. Yet, his unfulfilled responsibilities held him back. As he delayed his departure, he had forgotten his ambition and evolved into those he hated at the beginning.
None of the audience made any comments on the amateur props and costumes. Most costumes were borrowed from family or a friend. That didn’t matter because the acting and talent of the troupe belittled it. They easily made the atmosphere travel back a century with a simple tune of the acoustic guitar and the actors themselves. They showed off the aura of the 19th century by having the certain posture and facial gesture no one could find in the 21st century. The women fanned themselves slowly and the men held themselves up with such bravado of a peninsulares.
The play started off with Angelo Santurino’s view on society, indirectly pointing fingers at the audience. The moment he would lay eyes on you, you would count your sins and wish to apologize for every one. This was followed by the introduction of Captain Salvador, a wealthy young man who just came back from Europe, and Captain Yuchengco, a successful businessman. They both boast like fat peacocks about the upcoming soiree at Dona Annuncacion’s casa. They whispered about the lovely Marian Cristina making an appearance and blessing them with her beauty. On cue, the white spotlight shone on the figure standing in the aisle, giving the effect of her heavenliness. The crowed whooped to see their beloved student body president garbed in pina fivers of different colors, portraying the belle of the play. A few boys whistled and few girls cheered her name, as the teachers looked down on them with disappointment.
The play then proceeded. Marian Cristina was professing her love to Angelo, but he refuses, for it added a great difficulty to leave his home for his mission. Upon hearing Marian Cristina throw herself upon Angelo, Captain Salvador sulked to the back of the room as he proclaimed his agony for he loves Marian Cristina. He has lost her to the spoiled brat of the town. A violin started to play a melodramatic and appropriate tune. He saw no point in pursuing her nor less pursuing life. The violin’s sound grew into sharp screeching, leaving a paranoid effect. He disappeared into the back of the room, into a dressing room . The violin then played one last long screeching note. Simultaneously, Captain Salvador made his last gage of life and the white spotlights flashed for a second. The crowd gasped and some slow ones tapped their companion’s shoulders to ask what just happened. The Captain, however, was in the dressing room preparing to haunt Angelo Santurino in tatters and gauntly make-up.
With the suicide of Captain Salvador, Angelo Santurino couldn’t shake a guilty feeling off of him and helped conduct an investigation, delaying his departure. The first night of this investigation, he went to sleep with Captain Salvador ready to pounce. A green spotlight shone on what supposedly was Captain Salvador back from the dead, but instead shone on empty space. The members of the troupe shot confused looks at one each other. The lovely Marian Cristina’s face was painted with distress. A young man holding the bass was smiling smugly. The director of the troupe pressed her lips into a straight line. The audience waited in suspense. Those who stayed in the back of the room checked the dressing rooms.
“Psst, John!” Captain Yuchengco called out as quietly as he could. “What are you doing in there?”
No reply. The frustrated Captain Yuchengco marched into the dressing rooms, ready to drag Captain Salvador out and push him back into the mortal world. He drew the curtain of the third dressing room.
He was about to lose his lunch. He rushed out, clutching his stomach, to tell the members on what he saw. They caught him in their arms. His eyes were red and wet with tears.
“Chris, Chris,” they coaxed him, “What’s going on?”
The audience turned their attention to the back. The other members wondered what made Captain Yuchengco weep. His cries echoed through the room.
“Chris, talk, now,” their moderator demanded.
With a shallow breath, he said, “J-John’s dead.”
The members looked at Captain Yuchengco, as if he grew another head. The audience near him started to mumble frantically. Two people checked the dressing room where Captain Salvador was. One of them screamed.
John Crisostomo was murdered.
So I’ve been keeping all these stuff I’ve been writing on my laptop but never publishing them so here they are. I’ve got a couple more to post, bu they’re not done yet.
The three of us are anticipating for the reward we rightfully deserve. The wait is knawing us as the fourth tries to open the bag of chips that our teacher gave us for cleaning the mess caused by our club mates during dismissal. Some of us stayed later than we were supposed to and some decided to put off their homework for later.
“God, just give it to me!” I say when my club mate sighs at her unsuccessful attempt. I bite on the plastic on the side and tear it open for us to eat. It is club time once again and our teacher has allowed us to eat after a hell of a long day. We rightfully deserve this alright.
Honestly, I’m not a big fan of potato chips but that doesn’t matter at the moment. My tongue isn’t picky at free food.
Our hands plunge down the bag, reaching for handfuls of crisp and salty potato chips. The rest of the club glares with envy and confusion. They are wondering why are the girls over there huddled in the corner? Why are they eating? Will they give me some?
Of course, one brave, or do I say stupid, soul decides to ask this out loud. Right in our faces.
On normal circumstances, I would have gave some. Like enough to fill the gaps of your your forefinger and thumb nearly pressed together. But this person does not fit normal circumstances. Oh, I know her face and she knows mine very well. The instant she stepped in the club I wanted to stand up and scream my objections. Yet, I didn’t. Possibly not to give a bad impression; possibly because I felt merciful.
She flaunts right to us and asks, “Can I have?”
We stop eating. We look at each other and point fingers on who Should they decide. They nominate me. Oh all the people, me! It feels as if the Good Lord is testing me right now.
“But, this food is for the ones for those who cleaned last time.”
She’s determined to get food. Either she doesn’t care for my reasons or her small brain can’t tell no from yes. There’s not much difference there. I tell her to ask our teacher if she could get. I bet Miss will back us up. She know how this bitch is.
No such luck. After a few seconds of pestering, our teacher gives us back the hot potato. Again, she presses on.
“Please -” But this time she says my name. Oh, wow. Now it’s personal.
I square my shoulders and glare at her straight in the eye. She’s really ignorant, isn’t she? Why would I ask her to go to my teacher and ask if I didn’t want to give her our food; our reward? “Do you want to know why I don’t want to give you?” I obviously don’t wait for an answer.
“See, you don’t work at all. You plop your ass on a chair the instant you get here and do nothing. Then when the bell rings, you run out the room straight to who cares wherever you go! You don’t work. You don’t do shit here. Last time I heard, this was ———- club. Not be a lazy-ass bitch and let others do your dirty work. But you can get.”
She’s silent. The three of us are silent while I’m fuming. I am fed up with her ever since day one. “You can get, alright. But once you drop a chip in that big mouth of yours, that’s going to show what kind of person you are. It shows you have no conscience. It shows… you truly are lazy. So go on get.” I squint my eyes and drop as much emphasis on my last words. “Go on. I dare you.”
She’s still silent. She never striked me as the fighting type. She looks smaller on this side. I feel taller on this side. She doesn’t look like she’s about to cry. She’s just silent. Probably waiting me to end my goddamned rant. What I don’t notice is the fact that the whole club is silent. They’re all staring at me like a beast that has unleashed her fury on one little girl. Like I just rose from hell and out to get their souls in bag and send it back to Satan.
“Oh, so I’m the bad guy now?” I say. And I do unleash my fury. I tell them of our failed friendship, her ability to be manipulative, her shallowness, her immorality, everything I hate about her. This time, she looks tiny. Red all over. I’ve done it this time.
But the club isn’t glaring at me, but at her. Their eyes have been reopened. They look through a different perspective; my perspective; the truth. I can see the distrust and the shame in their eyes. I wonder if this time, after always agreeing with the bitch, conforming with her, and accepting all her actions, this is the time that she loses. And I win.
Of course, none of this happens.
No, I never had the gut to such thing. I tell her to get a little and she shrieks in glee. She grabs a handful, back to her chair and plops her butt down. I sigh. If only that could happen. If only there could be justice in this hellhole called school.
drabble. Just mad and all. And if they do find this, they must get the message.
P.s. Sorry for grammatical errors. Wrote this on the iPad.
My condition or state of mind wasn’t something that was to be explained but something to be observed.
So said my professional quack.
The adults aren’t straight with my anymore. They treat me like a lab monkey who’s trying to learn the rules of space for its flight out to Mars. I always ask Dad that me missing school was okay with him. All he says is, “It’s what the doctor ordered,” then shrugged. It’s infumiating to hear that because he didn’t answer my question. It sounded like, “Even if I wasn’t okay with it, there isn’t much I can do about it.” But was he okay with it?
Then there’s my shrink, Dr. Cruz. He doesn’t like the terms, “shrink” or “ quack” or “witch doctor” but I call him that anyway just to piss him off. I mean, he annoys me that give me the right to annoy him. Right? Right. The thing is he asks the most improbable questions.
“What’s your main concern, Will?”
“How do you think your actions affect others?” (see paragraph 2)
“Do you plan on going back to school?”
“What’s up, Will?”
I’d just sigh and shrug. And if I was in a good mood, I’d sigh and say, “I don’t know.” Because I really don’t. I’m not acting that I don’t care about therapy or have no hope in saving myself just for attention or anything like that but I really just don’t know what to say. Therapy sessions are like when your earphones go one-on-one in your pocket right after shoving them in there. It’s going to take a hell of a time just to untangle these knots.
And about school…
I can go to school, really, I can. It’s just that I’m not going to do well in it. Everything is temporary at school. I’ll be temporarily happy as I make jokes around my friends. I’ll be temporarily disappointed that I failed my test on the Persian War. Notes on all those postulates are temporarily stuck to my brain like badly glued Post-Its.
My head is a toiled. Once school finishes taking a dump in it, there goes the automatic flush. Woosh.A nice clean and empty bowl. Well that was several weeks ago. Who knows how I’ll act in school now?
Now all I do is within these walls that is my apt. Wake up. Stare at ceiling. Cook. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. Sometimes, I squeeze in a little X-Box if I feel like it.
The thing about me waking up is that I just wake up first. I don’t whine because I need to go to school cause I don’t go to school. I don’t instantly get out of bed and open the curtains and start singing with the birds on what a wonderful morning it is. Heck, I don’t even know what time it is. I’m just there. Then all the contemporary thoughts come in.
What the hell is this thing? Do I even consider this depression? Gah, I hate that word. It’s so over-used… so cliché. I can’t call it decline or fall because I’m not heading downhill, really. I’m just a clueless straight line. Limbo! That could be it. I don’t know how my limbo works but I know it’s a time stopper. In afrospect, I have no fucking clue what to do now. The huge question in my mind is, “What now?” I stopped going to school because I am neither happy nor contented nor am I learning. What now? I stopped talking to my friends because I’ll end up shutting up and start listening to them rant about the latest episode of Glee. What now? Dad thinks I’m messed up inside but there isn’t much to mess up. What now? What’s next, William Green?
Now someone tell me why I couldn’t have said this to Molly.
Oh, that’s right. I had to follower her plan. I kissed my best friend and scared the living shits out of her.
Ugh, I feel stupid. Hello, Will? You are stupid. You kept distracting her with the cake, the music, the AH.
I kick my couch. My toes crumple inside my shoe but the anger just overrides the pain. My breathing goes deeper. My hands form into fists. My jaw clenches. I could hit anyone right now. I wish I could kick myself. My eyes dart to the kitchen. No. Self-inflicted pain goes nowhere. I learned that a long time ago.
Dad was wrong. The punching bag would have come in handy. Dammit! I can punch Obama in the face and don’t care. Anyone!
Then I hear NPH saying, “Bro, pick up your phone,” from a distance. If it’s her, man, she has it coming.
I practically stomp my way to my room. I see the name of the caller.
“What now?” I snap.
“By the sound of your voice and the looks of Molly’s texts, it didn’t go according to plan?” Her tone is light. Cheerful and insulting. But that’s typical Leah.
“What do you think?” I say behind gritted teeth.
“Woah, Will-“she says taken aback from my harshness,”-No need to get huffy.”
“Bullshit,” I sneer. “This, THIS, was all your idea! Now Molly and I, me and Molly, are confused as fuck! She could hate me right now! She could never talk to me again! I, and you too, destroyed our friendship.”
She sighs. Not a sorry sigh. An exhausterated sigh. “It was just a suggestion.”
I bite my lip. Okay that was true. But, “Why didn’t you stop me then?”
“And you would have actually listened?” she snaps.
Okay fine. Leah – 2. Will – 0.
“See,” she says. I can practically imagine her arms folded over her chest with a smug smile of victory. I still find that attractive even after we argue.
ANYWAYS. I steer us back to the point of this all. “Why did you call?”
“I have an idea,” she says a little eagerly.
“Does it involve proposing to Molly?” I joke, even laugh a bit.
Leah sighs. “Will, I know she wasn’t easy on you. But you have to understand she’s just-shocked. That’s all. She’ll come around eventually and if she doesn’t, she’s missing out.”
I roll my eyes, but chuckle, “Sure.”
“So… to take your mind off of thing, I was thinking of the Ice Cream Fountain.”
I exaggerate a gasp, “You mean-go out?”
“C’mon, Will! You need the fresh Manhattan air. And I’m buying.”
Free ice cream. As much as possible free-from-depression-day. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t want to take my keys and leave faster than Speedy Gonzalez. Also, human contact. Sure, Molly’s visit didn’t turn out so well but as it was happening it felt great to finally talk to a real person after three weeks with Cleverbot and your father for company.
But something is weird, off, not right, about this. I couldn’t put my foot on it, but it just was.
“Earth to Will?”
I zone back to reality. To hell with butt’s. “Yeah, meet you there.”
“No kidding,” she says in disbelief.
“No kidding,” I repeat.
I could practically see her grinning from her voice, “See you in ten.”
I slip away the phone from my ear but she says, “Hey, Will?”
“Glad to have you back.
I say nothing for a while. What is there to say? “Uh yeah. See you soon,” I say quickly and hang up.
Glad to have me back? Am I really back? And what exactly does that mean?
Oh shut it, Will. Just go get some ice cream.
Now I know what you’re thinking. Leah, you bitch! You planned this whole thing so you can make sure Molly won’t ever talk to Will again so you can keep him to yourself and yada-yada-yada blah blah.
First of all, I did him a favor. Both of them. If you hung out with them for three years you’d pick things up. Like Molly pushes away every male in a twenty meter radius, discretely. No dates, no touching, no flirting. What I figured she’s afraid of commitment.
Will on the other hand is the exception. They’ve been together since they were fetuses. So… there is touching (NOT THAT TYPE) and tons of flirting. But it’s occasional and poor Molly couldn’t sense it. Must be the siblingly love that blinded her.
So what was the favor? I saved him from a life-time of hurt, trying to pursue a girl who won’t love him back. As for Molly, I saver her from a life-time of awkwardness.
And… I like Will, okay? There isn’t much not to like about him and it’s a waste that Molly can’t see those likables.
there isn’t much to explain really
just happened and did this a long time ago, just decided to put this up now
I dropped my fork with a satisfying clang.I had to say, that was the best cake I had in a while. The ratio of cake and icing was spot on, as well as the toppings and flavor is practically oozing out of it. So I did tell him. He broke into a toothy grin. However there was something in between those pearly whites. I rolled my eyes at him. It was one of his well bragged about talents: cherry stem tying.
“You never get tired of that do you?” I shoved him playfully.
The cherry stem instantly disappeared to where I thought was his throat. He started gagging and coughing like he was about to die there and there.
“Oh, shit! Dude! I-uh… uh-” and I went behind him and held him. I placed my two fists that were fused together below his heart, ready to the the Heimlich maneuver then…
“WOAH WOAH WOAH, NO, NO, NO. I’M OKAY! REALLY! SEE BREATHING! INHALE, EXHALE!”
He peeled my hands off his abdomen and faced me. “It was a joke! You need to take things less seriously.”
Now there were times when William would grin that it was contagious for innocent (or not so innocent) reasons. But there were times, like now where you just want to punch out his teeth and wipe that grin across the floor.
“That was so not funny,” I said through clench teeth.
He still was smiling, “Yeah, yeah. I’m sorry.”
“Are you?” The tone wasn’t playful anymore. It was more of mocking him on how low his jokes and his conscience can be.
“Amelia Beckett, I am heartily sorry for having offended you.”
I was still glaring at him. “Whatever.” I shoved my hands deep in my pockets to encounter one again the crinkle of the envelope. I sighed. I had half a mind to show the CD and half to wait for the right time. The problem was, when the hell was the right time? Why couldn’t it be now? The awkwardness at the beginning faded, mostly, and I wanted to get over with this as fast as I could. What’s the worst that could happen? Could he kick me out of his apartment? Could he kick me out of his life?
No, he wouldn’t. He wouldn’t be that harsh just over a song.
“Will…” I started. I tried to hide the fear in my voice. What if he would hate me? Would he hate me for trying to help him?
“Yeah?” he replied. He was busy washing the dishes now. He didn’t look up.
I inched my way to the CD player in the living room. It felt as if the carpeted floors extended a meter every time I took another step.
The CD was already inside by the time he looked up.
“What are you doing?”
I took in a deep breath, “Remember when I said that I was here… on behalf of the others?”
He nodded warily.
“Well, just listen to this,” I said. I grabbed the correct remote out of the assorted ones that all bundled in one basket. William set the faucet on low so the flush of the water wouldn’t disrupt the song. I pressed play and sat on my hands as quickly as I can on the sofa. They were shaking uncontrollably. This was unnatural of me. I should have been picking the dirt out of my nails, waiting for his reaction not picking which is the most likely reaction of his among the ones I conjured up in my head. I should have been biting another piece of cake without a care in the world instead of biting my lip which was about to bleed if I bit any harder. However, I did care. I cared so much for my friend.
I was panicking inside too much that I didn’t realize that the acoustic guitar and the tenor coming out of the speakers wasn’t Therapy by All Time Low.
“I feel like a boat without a sailor. I go where the wind blows…”
WHAT THE HELL. I started to panic even more. My breathing and heart beat got faster as the questions kept piling up in my head. How the heck did this end up in the CD? Did she even check the CD? Why didn’t I check? Was this a prank of hers? HOW COULD SHE PRANK AT A TIME LIKE THIS? OUR FRIEND’S EMOTIONAL PSYCHE IS AT STAKE AND SHE ACCIDENTALLY BURNED THE WRONG SONG! Again, my panicking got the best of me. I didn’t even notice what the song was about till William stopped washing his hands. He wiped them on his already soaked jeans.
“There’s a missing beat inside of me. The rhythm of my heart hits unevenly, there’s a missing piece…”
IT WAS A JESUS FREAKING CHRIST BALLAD.
I stopped the button before I would hear what else this hopeless romantic had to say about his heart problems.
“Why’d you stop it?” he asked.
“Because it’s not the right-“ I coughed realizing I sounded like a cassette tape being fast forwarded.
He laughed a bit. Of course he would laugh. “What?”
I cleared the panic from my throat, “Leah burned the wrong song. I have no idea what this song is and who sang it.”
Then I noticed he looked confused as I am. “She did?” It didn’t sound like confusion but more of doubt. And I wanted to know why he was doubting me.
I nodded, “Yeah. Why so skeptic?”
He shook his head, “Nothing,” he muttered, which was obviously not nothing. “Although, even if it isn’t the real song, let’s still play it. I like it, don’t you?”
I guessed so. It wasn’t my style, however I would understand for him. He’s into acoustic guitars, ukuleles and ballads. The plan could still pull through though. I would just have a straight forward talk, which would make things even more awkward now.
He sat next to me and pressed play. It started off where we left it.
“Trying to figure it out, but it amounts to nothing. I want to realize. But nothing I find feels like the real thing, can you empathize?”
Scratch that. There is no way things could be any more awkward between us. This beats the time where I had my menarche while he slept over at my house. This beats the time where I forgot to pack bras for a camping trip and he came with me to the department store in town. Maybe this beats all my awkward moments with him because this time it was about love, the uncharted waters that I have no intention of exploring.
I decided to break the silence. “Hey dude-” and there started my habit of “dude”. I use it to destroy formality and awkwardness. “-can we talk? Like really really talk?”
He shrugged, “Then talk.”
“I-We were wondering why did you go off just like that? Just disappear like what happens to cakes when they’re around me?” He was about to open his mouth but I interrupted him. I finally popped the question I’ve been dying to ask him and there is no way he is stopping me from giving a piece of my mind. I finally broke the dam and all the words are flooding out of my mouth.
“I mean we’re your friends. Your best friends. We are those people who will always be there for you. We are those people who will be there to listen to you. To comfort you. To be happy with you. To be sad with you. How do you think we felt when you just stopped going to school?”
“How do you think we felt when your dad walked into school and inadvertently told us to back off? We felt horrible! I had no clue you were depressed to the point where you cut off all communication from me and you lock yourself in your apartment! I only found out through your father. WILLIAM, YOUR FATHER!”
“I just can’t believe-“
In less than a millisecond his lips were on mine.
My brain had no time to register what was happening. My senses and body took over. His lips were soft like marshmallows but tasted like cherries and something I couldn’t quite put my finger on.
He pulled away, but again in less than a nanosecond he kissed me again. Again! Only this time it was different from the first. The first was quick and shocking like getting a handshake with Electro. This one was more of me wanting to just melt on top of him.
I kissed him back. And back. And back.
It was as if we knew what we were thinking, that of course if I was actually thinking. We were in sync, in rhythm. He knew when to stop kissing me so I can kiss him back. I knew when to stop kissing him so he can kiss back. There was warmth everywhere. It wasn’t the warmth that made you sweat or made you pull the front of your shirt and fan yourself. It was bliss. Pure utter bliss.
That is until he slipped his hand under my shirt, touching my bare side. That snapped me back to my senses. My thinking senses, I meant.
“Arrogant boy, loves himself but no one has to. They’re better off without you.”
I pushed him hard. Hard enough that he almost broke his back against the arm of the couch. “Ow!” he yelped.
I couldn’t think. I couldn’t speak. I didn’t know what to say. All my brain could think of was
William Green kissed you. You kissed William Green.
I stared at him, waiting.
He sat upright, “Okay, I know. We were suppose to talk about feelings and my depression.”
Hell yeah we were suppose to talk! I wanted to say but nothing came out.
“But we did talk. Sort of.”
I glared at him. Why was he acting so normal? Then I started to notice how red his face was. How his hands were shaking a bit.
“Okay! Look, I just thought it was the right time you knew.” And thus began the speech of William Green. The speech that I will never forget, unless I get Alzheimer’s or any of those diseases.
“I couldn’t say it. It wouldn’t come out no matter how hard I tried. So I showed you. Me, you know, you in secret was only part of this whole shitbang.”
It’s shebang, idiot.
“I needed to get it off of my chest, I guess. You coming here, alone, offering your help was a sign that you needed to know now. The reason why I’m only opening up now is because… you. You’re the reason. I don’t need Leah, Marty and the rest of them. I don’t care about them compared to how much I care about you, Molly. I’ve known you the longest next to your parents. Vice versa. I never kept any secret from you until now because you are part of that secret. And I couldn’t take it any longer. But now I’ve cleared up some part of the problem.”
You’re wrong. You made it worse.
He sighed. He was practically whispering to me, “Eight years. Eight years I’ve been wanting to do that.”
I couldn’t believe this was happening. I didn’t want to. I was biting my lower lip so hard blood was trickling around the marks I left. I wanted to cry. I wanted to get away from all of this. This was not happening, oh God, this was not happening.
“I love you Amelia Beckett.”
And that was it. I gathered up my things and left before he could utter another word.
The thing was, I didn’t love you William Green.
Mission failed, Molly.
I shouldn’t have posted this now but I just wanted to get this over with. It’s done, for now. I’m apologize for the typos, if you spot any. And thank you for reading the Fix William Green Protocol. I actually have no idea what to say right now, now that it’s done. Here have a cookie -imaginary cookies for everyone-