What I want in life is pretty much like everyone else’s. I want to experience it in all its naked glory—travelling to exotic places, getting caught up in rambunctious festivals, partying until three in the morning, standing atop the highest cliffs overlooking vast fields of utter beauty, jumping from the tallest waterfalls and riding the fastest vehicles in the world—like I had a hundred lives and infinite time to spare.
But what I am is pretty much like everyone else’s. I am locked up for years in an educational institution, sitting in white washed classrooms with vandalized chairs and tables; I am stuck inside a bookstore reading what I could only dream of doing; I am content with stories of other people who were more fortunate—who were destined for the life I wanted.
Then I looked at myself in the mirror, at the Post-Its on the corkboard, at the scattered clothings on my bed, at the bags full of biscuits and chocolates, at the Polaroids lining my wall and at the worn-out shoes under my bed.
I suddenly realized I didn’t need to go to all those places and do all those things to experience life in its naked glory. Life is an adventure, wherever you are. Whoever you are. Whoever you’re with. Whatever you’re doing.
I’m starting to love the thing I’m doing for some weird unknown unexplained reason and nothing can compare to the feeling of having a job you’re meant for.
She was 19, beautiful, talented and outspoken. You can make a hundred judgments just by looking at her lifestyle, at the people surrounding her, at the activities that make up her day and at the way she dresses and speaks. But none of those judgments will be close to the truth—that behind the smile she carries everyday, even when no one is looking, even when no one is smiling back is the face of a girl who has been hurt, disappointed and left alone so many times. She never had a boyfriend.
She once lived in a house full of them—from her dancing group and she was surrounded by infinitely attractive men who were open to her, close to her and fell in love with her. But sometimes it’s not about how we look or who we are—sometimes it’s the timing. Timing is everything.
She never had a boyfriend but she loved someone who tagged her along, took her firsts, and walked away with no sideway glance.
She never had a boyfriend but she fell head over heels in love with a man who had a different preference—while the man who saw her for who she is watched in the shadows. And when she finally saw him, when the light finally shed in his direction, he has long moved on. Frustration ebbed in the distance—questions are thrown in the darkness. There are no answers, no leads and no relief in sight.
She never had a boyfriend. But she’s starting to fall for a boy who loves another girl.
The same story. A different plot. A different boy. The same girl.
She’s 19, beautiful, talented and outspoken. But love is not something that comes with a resume. It is not something brought about by circumstance. It isn’t really a choice. It’s a burning building. An unheard song. An unfamiliar name. An unsolved crime. A word with no real verdict. But everyone claims to know something about it.
Some time ago, my best friend and I were sitting on our favorite bench in the children’s playground in our subdivision when he posed a question I couldn’t quite forget. We were counting the people wearing red coats and I was down to zero because he kept saying there’s a difference with red and orange or some other weird shit we always conjure whenever we’re together, when out of the blue he went all, “Lea, what do you think happens to the great stories that are never told? You know, the kind that only the people involved knows about. That vital element in inside jokes and closet skeletons. That missing link detectives can’t figure out in a murder case. What happens? Do they disappear forever or does it, by some crazy catastrophic habit of the universe, happen again to other people and these new set of faces take the initiative to preserve that amazing story?”
He looked at me then and I could hear the words he didn’t say but his eyes clearly conveyed. A woman wearing a red coat passed by and even though his eyes never left mind he stated clearly and unwavering, ”That, sweetheart, is red.”
I smiled. Big, uncaring and goofy. We were on the same page, reading the same sentence and seeing the same word.
”Well, then, brace yourself. I shall write the greatest story the universe will never erase.”
He raised an eyebrow at that and gave me a knowing smirk.
I continued, “So that if it happens to another set of people, we’ll always know that we’re the first.”