The Buried Past As I Work. (A Short Fiction Story)

Like the way renowned pianists are accustomed with the parts of the piano, I am here tracing the shape and physique of your body. Every measure has to be accurate–no more, no less–for the outcome to be perfect. I carefully and earnestly study your shoulders, your boobs, your hips, your belly. There’s no denying it: this is what I love.

Onto the next phase, where everything should follow your design. Your desires. Will this truly satisfy you? Do you want to feel reborn? Do you want to be significant enough? Will I be able to signify your part successfully? In this case, we have to work together to both meet our ends, our pleasures.

We make small talk here and there to make up for the uneasy silence that embraces us around this room. “Is it too tight?” I ask you politely when you suddenly look like you’re out of breath. The top half of your boobs and cleavage are showing and have droplets of sweat on them due to the summer heat, but I don’t mind that. You smile timidly and tell me, “I’m alright.” It doesn’t reassure me quite enough, so I adjust just in case you feel a little out of place.

“There’s no reason to be anxious,” I advise to you lightly after you share with me your thoughts: how ecstatic you are that it happened, how scared and nervous you are of what will happen next, how you want to have kids after. “Really?” you retort and then hold my hand gracefully, an expression of your gratitude of my being there. I mean, of course? How can I not be?

We are done for the day and we both start packing up and fixing our respective paraphernalia. I felt a wave of accomplishment because I see the way your eyes shimmer like the lights of this space we are in together, the ease that appears in your face, portraying exactly this: you are truly, madly happy. 

“We’ll see each other again, right?” she cheekily says and leaves.

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

As I hear the various narratives and stories of the contented, happy couples–or in the sense of business–the happy customers, I am always left with two things: one’s a strange, electric pang that goes through my heart and chest, and the other a tremendous sense of fulfillment. Sometimes, those two duel on which should I feel more; the feeling of emptiness or of satisfaction. When my brain chooses the former, I remember my ex-husband and the lingering sensation of him abusing me while were still married. That sensation haunts me from time to time. In retrospect, I expected too much about having the flawless, ones-you-see-on-TV marriage.

Nowadays, the latter feeling overwhelms me. And when it does, I cling onto it like it’s my remaining lifeline. Remember when I said that there’s no denying that I love this? Indeed. I love my job as a modiste. Years after I abandoned the married life due to his abusive behaviors, I took this life that I currently have now.

I am the modiste that soon-to-be husband and wife run off to for their wedding needs. Getting them as customers still makes me giddy, but nonetheless I’m grateful to hear their exciting individual stories about their engagements. I never tell my customers anything about life outside my profession and I tend to keep it that way. No negativity shall reign on them after getting their hearts’ delight. Whether their marriages will end in chaos just like mine did or be their source of bliss, contentment, and feeling of home, is matter-of-factly, out of my control.

As I leave for one of my customers’ wedding–yes, we will see each other again–I ponder if some people think I’m secretly envious of them auspiciously finding loving husbands because I failed to do so in the past; but no. It is what it is. I am going to remind myself every now and then that I was a reason, a bridge, a path that made their wedding elegant and beautiful; to their eyes or to the eyes of the ones they both love.

“The Buried Past As I Work”

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Birthdays and my unsolicited perception of it.

My viewpoint regarding the celebration that you’re getting a year older hasn’t always been like this. For the most part of my childhood years, birthdays are considered a momentous occasion for me. Your family excitedly plans where your venue is, how it will be designed, who are the invited guests, what gifts should they get you, and many more. As time went on, and due to a series of unfortunate events, parties are disregarded and set aside; or even worse, they won’t acknowledge it’s your birthday at all.

 

It’s not that I’m experiencing the latter part of my statement. I still do get greetings from those people close enough to my social space. And I’m grateful enough that I still receive gifts and paraphernalia. So, what do I see during my birthday? It’s the feeling of being lonely even after all the blowing of candles, the greetings, the hugs and kisses, the gifts. Rather than rejoicing and gaining the feeling of significance and joy, a shallow emptiness you can’t accurately describe embraces you. And this bothers you, as if there’s an itch you couldn’t scratch. And you start to contemplate whether you just feel too entitled or maybe, honestly, people whom you love and consider your friends don’t actually care enough for you. Not just friends, but even your own family.

 

You doubt your own worth on your very own birthday. On the day where you should be looking forward to getting older, but instead, this might be the reason you will end getting older. Perhaps, maybe I make birthdays too much of importance? That birthdays are just like any other day, except, it’s just the day you were born? Having a brain with conflicting ideas is hard enough alone. It’s quite a paradox–I think that birthdays are a milestone. But on the other hand, I also think it’s just an ordinary day that comes with a reminder.

 

So I promised myself that I won’t make such a fuss over a celebration such as my birthday. There’s no reason to overthink such event. That it shouldn’t serve as basis for my worth, importance, and happiness. Life in itself is a precious gift. I don’t hold what people choose to say or do on my special day; it’s their business, not mine. As long as I hold myself together, along with the right company and comrades, my birthday will remain a day with a reminder.

 

 

Cope.

If you’re a writer: “Write when your heart aches.”

If you’re an artist: “Create if you’re bothered.”

If you’re a singer: “Sing a sad song if you wish.” 

If you’re a dancer: “Let what you feel be what you do with the beat.”

 

I am not an artist, a singer, a dancer; I am only a writer. And this is me, writing while my heart aches out of disappointment.

 

It isn’t surprising that my heart has once again been shattered by the same boy. The VERY same boy. Still, why am I disappointed, if it’s the selfsame boy? Because, if that was the case, I shouldn’t be shocked, right? For a span of few months, he made me live in this world where we were together. A world I would gladly choose back then without skipping a beat. A world where I thought this time, this could be it. He is my future.

 

But the record scratches and the frames fall and shatter, and that future was again taken away from me. You, yes you, the very same boy I fall for every goddamn time, had let words slip out of your mouth and meaning not a single word. I know you’ve said that I’ve always doubted you, and that it’s mostly my fault why we fell apart now, but, can you blame me? I won’t put out my reasoning.

 

So tell me, why is it that I always fall for you? Why do you keep coming back and I keep letting you in? Is this a curse? A spell? No, it’s goddamn reality, and that’s sad.

There is no plot twist.

This year has been a crazy, wild ride. I was gifted with family, friends, and that special someone who makes my heart happier than it was before.

I’ve been blessed with the people who surround my personal space, with the talents God has given me, and for the adventures and lessons that this year has brought me. But, as much as I would want to give light to the positive things that I’ve encountered this year, I have been weighed more with each awaking moment in which I wished I was dead instead.

“Oh, but why? You’ve got everything! You ungrateful bastard!” You would say. Well, no. Even with the amount of joy that may have been granted upon me, the catch is that I will ALWAYS face its downside; that is, being lonely than I already am. You have all these people around you, people who support and yearn for your success, and yet, you feel so alone when the clock hits 3 AM. There’s no one you can count on, no one to lean on, no one you can call to talk about your demons with.

Not even the person you’re in love with. Sometimes, it’s that very person that triggers all of your emotions at once. And sometimes, you screw things up because these demons play tricks to the one you love. They’ll break your relationship, make you realize you’re actually better off on your own. The fact that you should be fighting off your own demons than to drag someone with you is already disappointing you. What a dependent, shitty person I am. Do I even deserve this person in front of my cellphone screen? Do I deserve his reply, even when he has none?

There is no plot twist. God knows I’ve been hysterically asking Him to make my 2017 a year I won’t forget. There is no plot twist. There is no plot twist. There is no plot twist. There is no plot twist. There is no plot twist. There is no plot twist.

Still, you try to subside all these thoughts and feelings away, for the sake of the ones you love and care most about. Who cares, right? Put a mask. Suppress everything. It’s what I do best anyway. There’s more to my story, but it’s a surface I can’t break. It’s too deep that even I can’t fathom what lies underneath. What stories are yet to be told. No one’s willing to listen. So, I’ll keep them to myself until I die.

 

I wish I was dead. Or maybe I’ve always been dead with every passing minute. Or you know, maybe I’m dead now, after you’ve read this.

 

There is still no plot twist.

Damned.

She is as soft

as a cotton feather.

And as sensitive

as a baby’s skin.

 

But deep down,

Lies a monstrous soul.

Suppressing everything,

It grew to be mean.

 

The mask she wears
For other people’s pleasure

Hides the darkest corners

Of her mind.

 

At the crack of dawn,

The cover cracks like glass.

And starts to unleash,

The demon behind.

 

Now awake,

A little groggy.

It’s as if the monster

Had left her being.

 

But no one knows,

It’s always there.

Evermore, underneath,

Slowly breathing.

 

Battling the demon

Has always been tough.

They think she’s okay,

Assuming as always.

 

They’re not cognizant

Of what she actually deals with

A constant battle

That’s been going on for days.

 

Or weeks.

Or years.