Happy Birthday. Spending more years with you and celebrating special occasions like these now hold more meaning than ever. You are a beautiful gift to the people around you especially to me. Let's spend the whole day together!
I rarely celebrate birthdays. I find it tedious and I don't want to have a bad memory about my birthday. But, life will always find a way to make sure every one us will have one.
A couple of years ago after I left my first job, I decided to start freelancing and work from home. The first year of that venture was brutal, as I did not have a clue of of what working from home would entail. I got rejection after rejection. To soothe my crushed ego, I went into chat rooms. A week before my birthday I met a guy, who had a very sardonic wit and according was always horny. That day, we decided to meet in person. I went over to his place and we talked about books and movies and tv shows. With all these topics being thrown around we still managed to hook. The sex was adequate and I went home the following the day. We continued to text that day when he dropped a bomb on me. He said we shouldn't be seeing each other anymore. Thinking that it was another rejection, I quickly accepted it and said goodbye to him.
On the day of my birthday, he sent me a text message greeting me on my special day. He asked if we could meet and I said yes. Suffice to say we ended up in bed again, but this time we got to talk a bit more about our status. He said that he was about to leave the country and does not know what will happen to us. I told him that whatever happen will happen and all the other things people in rom-coms would say to each other.
Several weeks had passed and I went into the chat rooms again. Lo and behold, there he was. I confronted him about the whole thing and he told me what I presumed at that time to be the truth. He wasn't leaving the country. The reason why he couldn't see me anymore was that he had a boyfriend. They've hit a rough patch and decided to work things out separately when I entered the picture. During my birthday week they've managed to patch things up and become a couple once again. He told me to not hope that he will be mine.
I was devastated. But not for the reasons he told me. I could have spent my birthday with my family, or even by myself, but I chose to celebrate it with him. That was a big kick in my face.
To this day, I never knew what happened to him. Might as well.
Our neighbor is an elderly couple with four children. In almost fifteen years that I've lived beside them, I have seen their children finish school, move out of their house and build their own families. The husband is a college professor in a nearby university while his wife is stays at home. My family was always cordial with them. They would always give us something whenever they would return from their province. The male parental unit has even fixed their some of the appliances when it broke down.
Recently, they got tangled in a row with another neighbor. It came as a shock to us how undignified and low they treated the neighbor. Sure, the other neighbor does not have a diploma and is known in our area as someone who would always find themselves in a argument but I don't think that verbally degrading the other neighbor and devaluing their existence is the way to go.
When their youngest child returned to live with them along with her husband and son, it gave me a glimpse to what goes on inside that house. They would always argue. Even shout at each other. It even came to the point where the elderly man would threaten to kick the daughter and her family out of the house.
It seems that their facade as an ideal family is starting to break down.
This is what I would tell myself when I used to make out with different guys. There were times where I could feel what they were feeling at that moment aside from being horny. Other times, I would be clueless as to what they want while kissing.
There is something about kissing that sends me into different emotions. When I was still single, I would spent a lot of time kissing a guy compared to doing the deed. To me, it felt more intimate, personal. That doesn't work when you're on a one night stand.
One time I kissed a girl. Not because I wanted to see if I was straight or not, but rather see if there was a difference. There wasn't any difference, but at the same time I didn't feel anything. I wasn't revolted at the what I did. It was more like I know for a fact that I'll never ever get the same satisfaction in kissing girls.
I'm not fond of receiving gifts. Especially from boyfriends.
But when Allan gave me a watch, it made me appreciate even more.
In his defense, he also bought one for himself.
The watch was one of the first things that meant something to me. It showed that Allan values our time together and he was thinking of me all the time. This may sound like something from a romcom film but this watch was one the reasons why I love him, aside from his other lovely qualities.
Whenever we would go out, we ask each other if we're going to wear our couple's watch. We hate couple shirts but love the idea of having something that signifies your being a couple. And this was the best idea.
Allan and I are not in the habit of calling each other.
We also are not in the habit of sending text messages to each other asking where the other one is. It was enough for us that we get customary text message informing the person where he is.
So it's always a strange thing whenever he calls.
You see, he only calls when there's an emergency or if there's something going on at work. On that particular day, both things were happening. He had some emergency at work right at the same time that their I.T. department decided to use his login as a testing point for migration. Without prior notice. He was obviously upset about the whole situation, and kept myself from interrupting him and let him have the moment to vent out. We ended our phone call as if nothing happened.
Instead of writing about one of the parental units, I decided to write about both of them.
Female parental unit came from a well-off and mildly influential family. Her earliest memories were of the break down of the her parents' marriage. She and her sister were shipped off to my grandfather's side to live a comfortable life. Unfortunately, it was anything but. Sure, they were well-fed and they had clothes on their back but neither of them felt what it's like to have parental affection. Luckily, their grandparents adored them. Especially female parental unit.
She was the good girl out of the grand children. The one who would always do the right thing, not for brownie points but because of conviction. She inherited her grandfather's diplomacy and fairness. Sometimes too much of it. Growing up, she didn't know what she wanted in life. She seemed to be contented with what everyone expected her to do. After getting her diploma she stared working and decided to have children. Minus the husband.
Along came male parental unit.
He was the second of nine children. He came from a poor family. He was never the favorite, but he never resented this. He took on the bulk of the work on the rice field because the eldest brother was sickly. He was used to not getting things he wanted, but that didn't stop him for trying. He was always on the side of good and up till now he'll be the first one to walk away from a fight even if he can break the guy's neck in three places.
One would think that this pairing will not last. With female parental unit's spoiled little rich girl behavior and her penchant to just go along with what life gives her. And then we have male parental unit, with his simple outlook and good boy persona, it sure was a break up waiting to happen.
And yet here they are. Still standing. Both have evolved. Both have become better versions of themselves. They have been through so much hardships, it sometimes baffles me that they still chose to stick it out.
I've only had a couple of boyfriends but it's a bit funny now to look back that I got my first heartbreak from a guy who is not my boyfriend.
Several years ago, there's this gay forum site where I log in. There are different sections for health, pop culture, literature, etc. I mostly went to the trivia and word game sites to just play and not really hook up. There was this one guy who I constantly played with on one of the word games. Things escalated and he asked me to meet him. We met around my area and walked around and just basically talked. Before leaving he kissed me and asked if we could see each other again
We met each other again. We ate and decided to go his place. Over the course of several months he showed me what an adult relationship is. The catch was, we were never an item. He told me that he slept with a couple of guys while dating and told me that he'll try to be exclusive with me. But that was quickly forgotten.
During my time with the guy, I got to go to different places, meet different people, read different books. Everything was perfect except for our status.
On the day that we 'broke up' I cried all the way from Makati to Manila. I was so shattered that I couldn't see myself as person. My whole existence was wiped out.
I resented the whole thing but at the same time I patterned my next relationships with I had with the guy. I became matured and treated all my past boyfriends as partners. Equals.
As much as it pains me to recount the whole thing, if it weren't for the guy, I don't think I'd be a better partner for my boyfriend.
Plus we're friends. That's one less person on my kill list. Kidding of course.
This photo was taken when Allan and went to Viking's to celebrate my birthday. I'm not a fan of celebrating my birthday. I felt out of place in the mini-parties that female parental unit organized for me back in grade school.
Allan decided not to surprise me because
He knew my aversion to celebrating my birthday.
I found out about his little plan and spoiled it.
He knew he could get to go with telling me in advance
Food. Food. Food.
A day before our Viking's adventure, I came down with a flu. Upon arriving at our place, I decided to take a cold shower since my fever was running high. Both of us were determined to have our fill even if I was not 100% energy wise.
When we got there the first thing that we did was to pile food on our plates. It was after sitting down and talking about something that Allan remembered to take my birthday picture.
I found this challenge from a friend and since I have not been regularly posting like I intended, I might as well challenge myself. I have to admit that for someone who also writes for a living, I sure suck at maintaining my own avenue for creative outlet. I could make a list of why I can't post regularly but that's just putting the spotlight on my issue.
photo courtesy of www.interpersonal-compatibility.blogspot.com
Lately, there have been a lot of posts about people liking certain things that are a hit right now. Some writes how it makes them feel good, while some even managed to wrap it around the current socio-political time that the country is entering. People have started arguing passionately about the things they like and has even managed to latch onto whatever faint scent of dissent that they smell on people.
Liking things, tv shows, movies, books is part of of how we forge relationships with other people. Similar interests binds us and allows us to relish in the feeling of liking and making us feel that we're not alone in this. On the other hand those that have a different interest than ours provides a chance to discuss this and see why we like what we like.
Sad thing is, there are those who need to intellectualize whatever it is that they like not because to explain the rationale of their emotion but rather avoid being called a fan. At the end of the day, what we have to remember is that we follow what we love and share it others and if they like it too then good for you and if they don't then we should respect their choices. Dismissing each other to validate your own liking does not make your own argument sound smarter. You'll just sound like an ass.
Working as a freelancer has its ups and downs. Being with the family, not stressing over the worsening traffic situation in the metro and owning your own hours are some of the best perks of being a freelancer and working from home. On the other hand, payment issues, connectivity concerns and not getting the job are some of the things that freelancers face every single day. This the reality of the freelancing industry and it is probably not for everyone. But for those that have been doing, it's the freedom to pursue their passion and being with their families is what keeps them going.
In my experience, I've had my fair share of job rejections. It was either I lacked the necessary skill, or someone was more qualified than I am. When I was starting it out, this used to affect me. I would be depressed for a couple of days and there would be times where I would question why I was still doing this. But over time, I have learned to steel myself for the rejection and try to do something about the things that I may lack to better present myself for my next project application. Sure, it still stings a little but looking at the positive side of the situation and the encouragement of the people around has helped deal with it better.
Resurrecting this blog (yet again) is not without small kinks. I'm having my laptop fixed and is currently using Allan's laptop. Event though we are using the same laptop, it still feels different. It's like being with doing the same thing, but now having someone along for the ride. Plus, all of my files are inside the external hard drive and the hassle of hooking it up to look for photos whenever I blog is such a hassle.
But it should be fixed by this weekend and I should be one with the interwebs again!
I pride myself in my planning skills. When it comes to work, I know how to line up my tasks that I would be able to finish one after the other. I also include instances where I might need to multi-task or change the priorities of the tasks depending on the any changes my contractor wants. What gets me peeved though is when there are changes and I was not consulted. Sure, it was me and only who put in the effort to line up tasks and created a mental schedule on how the work week should look like, but it stings a lot when you're asked to ditch everything .
So Allan's nephews spent the day here in Pasig, and boy those two sure knows how to wear down an adult. Namely me.
I know I've said in the past about my dislike for kids, Allan's nephews are enjoyable albeit tiring to look after. The eldest PJ, is three and is known for having mood swings and fears. He's afraid of being carried to high and doesn't like being placed on top of anyone's shoulders unlike other kids his age. He also likes to watch the animated movie Cars and hides behind you when the scene in the highway starts to appear. He's a picky eater but will let you hug him while eating when feels like it.
PJ's younger brother EJ is different from him. EJ is more aggressive and will not stop crying until he gets what he wants. He likes "flying" and laughs and when he's left to explore his surroundings. He also likes figuring out problems just like when he would the mono bloc chairs in a way where he's be able to climb up without the chair tipping over. He also likes to eat anything as evidenced by his chubbiness.
A day maybe not enough to bond with them but it more than enough tire me out. But man it sure is fun looking after them.
So today is my birthday. I don't expect the day to be any different or special. But I am thankful that I am here and spending this day with the people that matter to me. That in itself is good gift that keeps on giving everyday. Allan bought me ensaymada with a lots of icing and caramel sauce on top. It actually looks like a cake. And it's delicious too. His sister and her kids also dropped by to spend a couple of days with us. It's going to be a lot of fun looking after Allan's nephews as those two are not one to lose their energy. Oh kids.
The U.S. Supreme Court has decided that same-sex marriage is legal in 50 states. This is a great news for the advancement of the LGBT rights and finally same-sex couples will have the same benefits as that of married straight couples. It was never about religion. It has always been the upholding of the basic human right be married and have the right of any heteresexual married couple around the world.
The trip from Pasig to Malcanang was horrendous today. I left at around 2 PM with the anticipation that there would be heavy traffic in some areas. I didn't realize that a school would cause it. The bus that I ride passes by La Salle Greenhills and even before we got the there, the traffic was so heavy that it took us an hour to move from Robinson Galleria to the POEA. It took another quarter of an hour for us to get out of the that bottleneck area. Apparently parents where picking up their children and they were taking up 3 lanes of the road. Even if there was a billboard where La Salle apologizes for the inconvenience and promises to find a solution for this, I feel like it's not really the problem of the commuters as a whole. The road in which the cars of the parents are parked is a public road. It shouldn't just be allocated for them. That is clearly a preferential treatment by city of Mandaluyong.
I had planned to go back to Malacanang today. The plan was to leave at 4 AM. I went to bed around 7 PM after Allan left for work. I know for a fact that I did not take a nap that afternoon nor had I consumed soda. I even overworked myself a bit to be sure that I'll be tired. To my surprise I was wide awake. From 7 PM to 4 AM. I debated on whether to still leave for Malacanang but I was too sleepy by that time to make the trip and I was afraid that I won't be very alert. So I finally slept around 5 AM after making sure that Allan has something to eat when he gets home at 6 AM.
Male parental unit and I will always have that who's-better-in-everything-we-do type of relationship. And what's weird is that both of us does not have any competitive nature. He's pretty laid back and doesn't like to be the center of anything and would rather be in the background. I'm basically like him, only it's more of laziness than having a cool personality.
My relationship with my male parental unit has evolved over the years. Back when I was younger, I looked up to him and tried to emulate his values. Over time, as I begin to form my own beliefs and values, I noticed that they were not that different from his even though I tried to have a more modern view and approach to things. Whenever we discuss these values, I couldn't help but feel that somewhere in my dad's hard exterior he's proud of what I've become.
But I'm more proud because I was raised by a man like him
My birthday is a week from now and I still don't feel excited about celebrating it. The parental units are still baffled by my lukewarm reception to any idea of a celebration. To be honest, when I was growing up, I didn't really get why there was a need to celebrate my birthday and do it at my school. I mean I had classmates who I didn't like at that time and I certainly did not want them eating my birthday cake. I get the reason why people celebrate their birthdays and I am very thankful that I am still here and I am with the people I love but I feel like celebrating it is an obligation which kind of makes it feel an unnatural thing to do. To add to that I feel like I'm being an inconvenience to others since their spending time on me on my special day instead of doing whatever it is that needs their attention. All of these is just too much of a hassle really.
But it is nice to feel special on that day, and a cake doesn't really hurt right?
I'm going ahead and declare that the rainy season is finally here. Summer was brutal and it was anything but something put a smile in your face. There is something about the rain that always gives a warm feeling inside. Like everything is alright. Of course the torrential rains that have been happening all over the world is an exception. Contrary to what a lot of people feel during the rainy season, I feel more productive and more driven to go out of the house. Summer for me feels like hibernation while the rainy season has always been about being active.
With the the start of the rainy season, I hope that we all start preparing for its ill effects while enjoying the feeling of what it brings us.
A lot of people went wild and vented their frustration in social media about being spoiled by the season five finale of Game of Thrones. Coincidentally they were spoiled by going to social media. So there.
I was never the one to get spoiled anyone who posts spoiler scenes in television shows or movies. I get more anxious to watch the show even more when I learn of certain memorable scenes. But a lot of people aren't like me and I can't blame them. For them, they want to experience the scene without any preconceived notion and being spoiled not only destroys that feeling but also makes their watching less enjoyable.
People who tweet or post spoiler scenes is not entirely to blame either. It is still their right to post what they think is something worth sharing. It's also not their fault that they managed to watch the movie or television show before anyone else did. The most that could probably asked from them but not really expect is to exercise restraint in sharing so that they don't spoil it for the rest.
Spoiling is two way crash site. For those sharing even a hint of what's about happen, they run the risk of spoiling for everyone and if they are going to get a lot of flak for it, then so be it. For those that does not want to spoiled, the best way is to just avoid any avenues where they run being spoiled.
As for me I still would watch every show and movie with an anticipation no one can spoil.
photo courtesy of aunicornwithcancer.wordpress.com
Deciding on joining something is not my cup of tea. I was never a joiner. One because I'm not fond of being a network of things or people and second it takes a lot of effort for a person to join. But I've decided to try it out and test my mettle so to speak. Even though I am expecting that I'll do good, I know for a fact that there are others in the field who are not only better than me but also have benn doing this far longer.
I was planning on doing something. I figured that I have enough time, so I pushed it back a couple of days. Still not wanting to let it go, I decided to do some other things instead of working on it. When the deadline came, I was so late that I couldn't even make a half-assed version. Being able to finish on time is something I should be really working on. I know for a fact that I can take on a lot of workload but the stumbling block is when I pause for a while, it tends to get longer than that.
Lesson learned. I shouldn't be angry with anyone else but me.
Normally, when the work ends for Allan he tries to stay up later than usual to catch up with me, or play some computer games or even watch a television show. But today, he was totally wiped out that even though I got home at 4 PM he was cooking something while playing StarCraft but I could see he was drained. He missed out on some of the mission objectives on StarCraft and while we were watching Fairy Tail, he was spacing out.
So now he's asleep. And we'll try not to disturb him and let him rest.
Today, we celebrate the Philippines' Independence Day. We've been enjoying this freedom we have and surely have manifested it a lot of ways. From owning properties, to airing our opinions in social media, freedom is truly alive in this country. But aside from these things that we are free to do, we, myself included may have forgotten that there are still things that we are not free from. For starters, we are still not free from the bigotry and hate that several minority groups are still experiencing. From the LGBT to the indigenous people, oppression and suppression of the rights are still prevalent. Moreover, it seems that we are still enslaved by the backward thinking when it comes to politics and social issues. These things are so common that sometimes I have to admit that I'm also guilty of them. In order to be free from the shackles that prevent us from being a decent country where one could live, I guess that we have to start with ourselves and how we open our minds to not just what's happening inside of our backyards but also on a global scale as well.
Today called for some celebration. I managed to not take a nap this morning and continued working all throughout the entire day. I even managed to accompany female parental unit to go to church at noon and come back after a couple of hours. I think what allowed me to power through the morning and keep my eyes open was the fact that I went to bed early and gave myself a couple of minutes more of sleep before waking up. I did not experience getting drowsy while working and even managed to watch a couple of television shows without dozing off. Yey for me.
I guess the downside is, if ever there is one is that I took a 10 minute nap this afternoon. I'm still waiting for the effects. Haha.
So I've managed to wake up early for work. And it's been consistent. What I didn't notice early on is that I tend to sleep in the middle of the day. Not the nap kind of sleep. What I would do is after waking up at around 5 am and work until around 7 or 8 am, I would go to sleep and wake up an hour later. After waking up, I continue where I left off and work for about 20 to 30 minutes. After that I would go to sleep again for an hour. This process repeats around three to four times and it's not fun.
I don't feel energized or refreshed. To add to that, I tend to be more lethargic and lazy. The plan is to nip this unproductive sleep and try my best to keep myself awake the entire morning. Good luck to me then.
Whenever my birthday draws near, I notice that my skin starts to peel/shed whatever. I remember the first time it happened to me I was turning seven. I told my mom about it and The Simpsons was on. She just told me that its a normal thing. But when my mother's birthday came, her skin did not peel. I stopped thinking about it, but recently, I've come to look at this current phase of my skin as a sort of renewal. I'm given a new skin to enjoy and the feeling of being touched, not just by the hands of the people that love, but also with their feelings. This also serves as new day for me to continue and fight on. And so fight I shall.
Yesterday and majority of today felt like a complete blur. I didn't realize that I did scheduled a post for yesterday and I nearly missed out on posting today. It seems like the only thing I can remember is sleeping. A lot. I must be the tired from all the work I did the previous week.
So I'm going to keep this one short. Enjoy the remaining moments of this weekend folks. I'm off to bed.
Yesterday's approach to work had encountered some kinks. Hopefully I will be able to work through it in the coming days. I suspect it's the severe heat and humidity that is make more unproductive. I'll just have to soldier on.
I received some good news today. Hopefully, the positive turn on things will continue. All I have to do is keep the momentum and look at things on the bright side.
So now I've decided to try something else. Working non-stop early in the morning until before noon should help me keep my focus and not exert too much energy just to cope with the energy-sapping heat. To make up for the downtime during lunch, the plan is to work a couple of hours at night once the temperature becomes more bearable.
I'm crossing my fingers that I would be able to make it work tomorrow.
Summer is about to end and yet its energy-draining effect is still full on. Today I traveled from Pasig to Manila. I left Pasig around 5 AM and I was already expecting that traffic will be horrible since it's the first week of classes. The trip took less than an hour. There was no traffic build up because the private schools that bus passes along haven't started their classes yet.
I was just starting with my work when I felt that the heat was beginning to bother me. At around 2 PM, female parental unit and I decided to go out and sit by the front of the house and do some people watching. We were surprised that not only was it not as hot as the inside of our house but there was a cool breeze blowing every five minutes. We sat for about an hour and gossiped about our neighbors.
I decided to go to church after that and while I was walking, I could not help but get weaker because of the heat. When I got to the church I was so zapped out that I dozed off for a bit during the priest's homily. I was so naive to think that my walk back to the house would less hot. It was still sizzling outside.
Overall I still feel that I managed to be productive despite the heat.
There is something amusing about Allan whenever he gets sick. He has this weird thing of being so easy to read and being a lot more irritable than normal. When he's OK, it's rare that someone will be able to read what he's thinking by looking at his face. Just like today, he came back from the office after learning that he did not have a shift that day. I woke up to find that he was a bit warm and he was mildly irritable. That means he's sick. I asked him what he wanted to eat and he said that he wanted rice porridge.
Since the place that sells rice porridge doesn't open 'till late afternoon, I told Allan about it and he irritably replied (of course) that I should cook it instead. Ever since we've had the chance to take care of each other while the other one is sick, we have stuck on to our philosophies while being sick. Whenever I get down with something, I tend to be more agreeable and tolerant of almost anything. I have this thing where I don't want to be a burden and would insist on still moving around. On the other hand, Allan becomes more irritable, he rarely responds to questions and becomes easier to piss off.
In the beginning, I would always get angry and collide with him head on. Yes, even if he's sick. I've had a couple of experiences where I took care of someone who was sick. All of them were very nice and did not made me feel like I'm being sold of to a new master. But over time, I have learned to just roll with it and now I couldn't help but just smile whenever he's in this state.
For someone like Allan who is fiercely independent, being taken care of by somebody is something important to them. And what better way to show this than by annoying them even more. Kidding. He's feeling better now after resting and is ready to go to work in a bit.
Let's get this month right by posting something. Anything. Getting all this gunk out of my system. I have to admit, I've neglected this blog and the other one because I'm a lazy bastard. Also, because I find nothing substantial to post. I could post and rant how this country is falling apart by the day, but then again so is the rest of people in social media. I could try and post fiction. I already live a life of make believe and plot twist so no. It hits home. Hard. I could try and be inspirational. That's if someone actually reads the drivel posted here and gets inspired. I couldn't even inspire myself to get inspired. So what's left? Why just post whatever comes to mind, no matter how ugly and shallow and nonsensical it is. In short, all of the things mentioned above.
No promises to post every day and witty. Just daily posting. It kinda sounds the same no?
I told myself that this year, I'll try to be more active and would at least try working out. I have never been a fan of fitness or exercising. Back in the day, when I wanted to lose weight, I would just curb my food intake and shorten my sleep. But this time around, I'm going to try and do it the right way. I have been following a couple of workouts from different websites and I seem to be getting the hang of it. Yesterday however, I woke up with a heavy feeling coupled with a runny nose. I took some medicine and decided to skip working out. On my way home, I realized that even though I might not be able to work out, I could still get my sweat running and it might actually alleviate my somewhat heavy feeling. So from the train station, I walked briskly until I got home. That made me sweat and it did help me. I still have fever today but since I'm better I decided to do some yoga stretches after working.
I didn't know working out can be this addicting. Crap.
Ever since I was young, I've always believed that Susan Calo-Medina was my mother. Watching her in her show "Travel Time" always felt like seeing how my mom worked. As a person who is never really fond of traveling mainly because of my motion sickness, Susan through her show brought me along to the different places she went to. Not only did she highlight the beauty of the Philippines but also allowed all of us to experience the journey with her.
Now that she's gone to another journey, it's up to us that she left behind, to keep her spirit alive by
discovering the beauty of our country and show it to everyone in the world. Because it will always start with us.
And just like she said, "Huwag maging dayugan sa sariling bayan."
We will miss you, Susan, and thank you for showing what a beautiful country this is.
The attack on satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo yesterday which killed 12 people including its Editor-in-Chief is a clear attack on freedom of speech and expression and essentially human rights. Given the satirical magazine's content and stories that they publish, this does not give anyone to massacre all those people.
To everyone who believes in freedom of expression, let's all raise our virtual pens and not let this scare us.
“Don’t scare me. Please put the gun down. Let’s talk about it.” Gela pleaded. At the back of her mind, she started to think the different scenarios as to how she could snatch the gun away from Mika who was still smiling at her.
“I’m not trying to scare you. OK, let’s talk.” Mika told Gela. She was enjoying what she was seeing. Gela was pale, her fists were clenched, but she also knew at the same time that Gela was thinking of a million things to diffuse the situation. “Gela dear, you know how my mind works. We may look completely different but when it comes to how to think, we’re like two peas in a pod.” she thought amusingly.
“All I can think of is ‘why?’” Gela told Mika.
“Didn’t I tell you earlier that there could be no reason for one to kill him or herself?” Mika replied, still calm.
“Are you trying to prove your point?” Gela’s voice rose. Panic started to sink in her system. She knew she was paralyzed by fear, but for some reason, her mind was crystal clear. A part of her doesn't want to back down at her argument with Mika.
“Well what do you think?” Mika mockingly told Gela. “Read what's on the monitor.” she ordered Gela.
Gela’s legs seem to have formed a mind of its own. She started to walk to the computer. She sat down and read what’s in the monitor.
“’ The meaning of life is a concept that provides an answer to the philosophical question concerning the purpose and significance of life or existence in general. It can be expressed through answering a variety of related questions, such as "Why are we here?", "What is life all about?", and "What is the meaning of it all?". It has been the subject of much philosophical, scientific, and theological speculation throughout history. There have been a large number of theories to these questions from many different cultural and ideological backgrounds. But the meaning of life could be that exact question itself "what is the meaning of life" or life trying to find it's meaning.”’
“I’m sorry if I fail to see the point at what you're showing me.” she managed to crack at Mika.
Mika seem to get it and just laughed. “Well you see, my dear, underneath that goth-ish ‘I’m all about death’ aura, you’re a person who tries to find the meaning of life.” she told Gela. “I may be wrong at this, but I believe that you are scared to take your own life that you need to constantly tell yourself that you want to kill ‘you’ just to remind yourself how much you cling to life.” explained Mika.
Gela opened her mouth to answer but Mika cut her off. “You ask, what things you cling to?” she asked the still open mouthed Gela.
The girl just nodded her head.
“For one, your family. You mentioned before that even though your family is dysfunctional as a poorly written sitcom, you’ll never trade them for anyone else’s. You’re desperate like your mother and non-committal to everything else like your father. Second, this paper. Remember when we both got in? You always seem to beat the deadline regardless of the assignments and quizzes piled on top of you. Not to mention that you could go for days without sleep just so you could finish your article.” Mika explained. She continued “Yes I’ve seen how your face changes whenever we’re here and we’re discussing the contents of the next issue or even if we’re just discussing things like books. You seem to be at home here.”
“And what about you? Don’t you feel the same?” Gela asked Mika. She realized that the gun is real. And that Mika was serious about pulling the trigger. She frantically thought of things to say or do to change the mind of the person in front of her.
“I like to write but it’s not my reason to live.” Mika told Gela coldly.
Gela stood up without warning and this surprised Mika. Everything happened in slow motion. Gela, realizing what she had done looked horrified at the scene playing out in front of her. She saw Mika pull the trigger, Gela saw the flash from the nuzzle come out. She then saw the other side of Mika’s head explode. Blood mixed with Mika’s brain flew out of her head. Gela managed to look at Mika’s face while this was all going on. She saw Mika’s smile slowly evaporating as it was replaced with insurmountable pain. From smile to grimace. From blissfully happy to hellishly freaky. This was going through Gela’s head as she saw Mika slowly fall to the floor.
The soft thud snapped her back to reality and she quickly ran to Mika’s side who has shaking as if being attacked by an epileptic shock.
“Mikaaa! Wake up! I’m going to call for help!” Gela shouted at Mika while lightly tapping her face.
Mika’s only response was blood gurgling out from her mouth. Knowing that her life will end shortly she slowly lifted her hand and opened it revealing a paper. Gela took it still reeling from the shock of what just happened and watched as Mika took her last breath.
A couple of seconds passed which seemed to be hours for Gela. She opened the crumpled paper and started to read.
“’My life has no meaning. I’m not struggling. I want to struggle. I don’t want things to be handed down to me. I don’t appreciate perfection. Chaos is what I live for. I guess I wasn't born to live long enough to find it. So instead I choose Death. I choose it not as last ditch effort, but as an answer to my quest for disorder, for turmoil.”
Gela, after finishing reading the letter, stood up called for help. While waiting for the help to arrive, she sat and finished her pending article.
“Crap, it’s Monday again.” These are the first words that came out of Gela’s lips as she stood up from her bed. She did not even bother to comb her hair which red streaks in it.
“Breakfast time! Don’t stay up late and have wake you up! Get up!” Gela’s mother shouted in succession.
“Alright, I’ll be downstairs!” she yelled back. “Where’s my diary?” she thought to herself as she rummaged through her stuff. Upon finding it, she immediately wrote a new entry.
“March 15. Today, I was hoping not to wake up. To die in my sleep. Trying to live a normal life is extremely difficult especially when the world you live starts to spin out of control”.
“I’ve been tasked to follow-up on all the back logged tasks for the school paper. There are times when I question myself for joining the school publication. But every time I ask myself that, I get this feeling of accomplishment. A reward for doing what I love.”
“Do I really need to go up there and drag your butt down here?” Gela’s mother bawled. “Your breakfast is getting cold”, she said afterwards.
“Jeez, alright” she uttered. “And we’re back to planet Earth” she thought mournfully. While she was climbing down the stairs, she was greeted by the voice of mom saying, “Your dad won’t be able to drive you to school. He came in pretty late last night.”, she finished irritatingly, as if a playmate had stolen her candy.
“And you’re still not used to it?” she answered nonchalantly. “Reality check mother dear, he will never change and I have no idea why you put up with him. We colud always leave him you know.” , she said with some degree of anger in her voice.
“Don’t worry about it, we’ll find the right time to do it.” , her mother’s voice trailed off and started to look as if the right time is slowly being a far fetched dream.
“Let’s just eat, ok?” Gela said to her mom to bring her back to the reality of eating breakfast. “Another reason why I want to die. A pseudo-absentee father and a mother yearning from freedom from a life of quiet desperation”.
She ate finished her breakfast hurriedly, took a bath and literally ran out of the house to go to school.
5: 00 AM
“Rise and shine princess!” were the first words of her mother that infiltrated Mika’s ears as she woke up. She opened her eyes and slowly sat up on her bed. She kissed her mom on the cheeks as she greeted her “Good morning”.
“Breakfast’s ready, I’ll take care of this.”, her mother said, referring to her unmade bed.
“OK”, answered Mika. But before going down, she secretly took her diary and hurriedly went down the stairs and went straight to the chicken. She immediately started writing an entry after making herself comfortable on the dining table.
“March 15: What a beautiful day. Another day, another chance, a new hope for all. Everything is going great for now. I’m going to pass my article today at the office. I’m tired of it all…”.
“You haven’t touched your breakfast. Don’t you like what’s on the table?” her mother perkily inquired.
“I was just doodling something.” she replied.
“I had such a lovely time last night at the concert that your Dad and I went to.” her mother cheerily informed.
“Really? Bummer that I wasn’t able to tag along” Mika said.
“Until now, I couldn’t stop myself from singing whenever I remember how much fun I had.” Mika’s mother went on while as if still reeling from enjoying last night by dancing. Mika answered with a smile.
“If I stay here any longer, I’m going to be really late.” Mika said to her mother who was sort of snapped out of her daydream.
“OK darling, go ahead and take a bath and I’ll take care of this.” said her mother. Mika stood up from the dining table and went to take a shower. After she was done dressing up she said went back to her mom.
“I’m going now” she said.
“OK. Take care. The driver’s waiting for you” Mika’s mother uttered.
“Alright class, since we finished the course outline a little early this semester, I will ask someone from this class to choose any topic which he or she thinks needs to be talked about more…” said Mika and Gela’s professor in Psychology.
The class fell silent. Some displayed annoyance at the thought of having a something new to talk about, while the others clearly showed that they did not care at all. Mika slowly raised her hand as a thought started to form in her head.
“Yes Mika?” acknowledged her professor.
“I was actually wondering about the dynamics of suicide. Why people do it, the mental state leading up to the act itself. The works.” answered Mika.
“Well in some cases, people take their lives because of pride. Like the ancient Japanese samurais. Rather than accepting a humiliating defeat, they welcome the thought of dying at their own hands. Others do it because of the overwhelming feeling of not being able to handle the problems that came their way so they resort to this act. While some thinks that by committing suicide, they would be able to escape the ‘mad reality’ as they say” he explained.
“So is it ok to say that if you’re afflicted with the deadly sin of pride, then there’s the possibility of actually taking your own life because you can’t let go of your arrogance?” Mika inquired.
“Well if you look at it that way, you could say that” their teacher said.
“But what if someone wants to kill his or herself for no apparent reason?” Mika asked again.
“Remember that in life, everything we do has a reason no matter how mundane or random it is. It is a bit illogical if you’re going to do it on a whim.” interjected Gela.
“Fine. But what if the actual purpose is to try and experience the feeling of committing suicide.” countered Mika.
“There would still be a reason as to why the person would still want to try the feeling of taking your own life.” Gela asked Mika.
“That’s it. He or she just wanted to try it.” answered Mika smilingly.
The bell rang, signaling the end of the class.
“OK everyone, you know what that means. Mika, you made the class lively today, good job. And Gela, I was actually expecting a little more from you today.” their teacher said to the two. Mika just smiled as if some dark cloud was forming in her head. Gela on the other hand was just staring and smiling disdainfully at her teacher while she walked out of the room. Gela went and sat beside Mika and asked her, “Why the sudden in interest in suicide?”
“Nothing. I see nothing wrong with it. Do you remember when we took that psychological test for fun? You had the highest suicidal tendencies.” Mika answered while writing ‘Making love with death, seducing it, outsmarting it, experiencing what lies beyond death,’
“And so? Gela said exasperatingly. “On something not related to wrist-slitting, we were partnered to do a feature article for the next issue. Any topics you have in mind?”
“Way ahead of you. Since we just discussed suicide, why don’t we write about the people who actually tried killing themselves but then chose to live instead.” she said matter-of-factly.
A smile formed in Gela’s face at what her “partner” had said. “That sounds interesting.” she said. She looked at her watch and grabbed her stuff and stood up, and said, “I gotta get to my next class. Let’s just meet at the office and discuss your idea there later.” and then ran out of the room. Mika was left there still writing on her notebook. After a couple of minutes she checked the time, calmly stood and walked out of the room to get to her next class. She didn't notice that a piece of paper that from the notebook that she was writing on fell off with the phrase written ‘Me and Death are one’.
Gela looked annoyed. The class was given another paperwork, the third for the day, and the will be submitted the day after the next.
“There’s a conspiracy going here. And it involves torturing students mentally,
until they break. I am not surprised that some had already killed themselves because of academic pressures. Times like these makes me want to join the suicide bandwagon.” she muttered while writing down the instructions for the research that she’ll be doing. “They’ll not read this thoroughly anyway.” she followed on grumbling.
“Good work Mika on your research. I have a feeling you’ll get a high grade on your report.” said Mika’s teacher. She just smiled and said “Actually, I’m still not done and I was going to ask your advice since I’m thinking of adding other factors like causality. I’m worried that it might get off topic if I introduce it, but I found some interesting researches done my scientists on this so I want to at least talk about just as an introduction. “
“Very well. Anyways, I’ll read it before you present it in class.” her teacher answered.
After the class was dismissed, Mika went to the office and sent a text message to Gela to meet her there once her class ended. Upon arriving at the office, she noticed that no one was there, so she decided to start on their article. While typing, an evil smile formed on her face as if something bad was about to happen.
Gela received Mika’s text message and as soon as her class finished she immediately went to the office. She got there and found Mika on the computer typing.
“OK, I’m here, let’s start.” she said.
“Yeah, let me just finish this.” Mika answered. After she was done typing she stood up and took something out of her bag.
Gela upon seeing the object stared at Mika in bewilderment.
“Please tell me that, that gun is fake.” she said carefully as Mika pointed the gun at her temple.
“I don’t think that’s what you’re supposed to say to a person who’s holding a gun to her head.” she said coldly.