Eto nanaman ako. Unang nahuhulog, unang nalalaglag. Kelan ka ba kasi matututo, Roselle?
Before, I usually wait for that moment, that one beautiful, exhilarating moment when you would profess your undying love for me after all those late night talks and childhood memories and words that make my heart bigger and fuller than I could possibly imagine…
But now, I’m waiting for that moment, that tragic, desperate moment when you would just stop talking to me, not uttering a goodbye, and just disappearing into thin air, leaving me wondering if everything was just a dream I wished upon myself..
I have stopped hoping for a happy ending. I have started accepting that heartbreak is as inevitable as falling in love, and I am already preparing myself for my demise.
You step out of the shower and gingerly walk back to your room. You stare at your closet, sliding hangers back and forth until you take out that pair of jeans and that cable knit sweater. The temperature has gone down a degree again today so you dress nice and warm. You dry your unruly hair and try to tame it down with a brush. You pick your favorite striped socks, the ones you got for Christmas, and you put them on, then slip into those worn-out sneakers. You walk out of the room. You decide to have coffee so you head into the kitchen, but you caught a glimpse of yourself in the mirror. You walk back and stare at yourself.
You look okay for today. Not a head turner, but still. You tilt your head to the side as you took in your appearance. Here is someone you would take seriously, you tell yourself. Respectable looking. Knows how to combine colors. Hair’s not bad either, although it can be improved. You try on a smile. Looking okay, your mind encourages. You stare at your own eyes, those dark orbs that harbor layers upon layers of secrets. Your smile falters and fades completely.
Anxiety sinks in faster than you can say ‘perfect’. You see every imperfection etched upon the face that stares back at you. You see every failure, every mistake, and every bit of ‘not good enough’ as clearly as the rays of sun coming in from the window. So you go back to your room and start over again. A cardigan over a floral blouse looks better for today. You take off your socks and sneakers and swap them for teal flats, courtesy of a designer friend. You tie up your hair and put on the earrings you got for your birthday. A swipe of a blush and lip gloss tops your look. You go back to the mirror.
You smile and do a little turn. You tuck in a stray bit of hair and check your face for unwanted spots. You nod. Better. You skip coffee and just drink water instead. As you pass by the mirror on your way out, a stranger winks back at you and you wonder until when will she stick around.