“Tagaytay? Are you sure?”
It was spontaneous. It was crazy (and conveniently cliffy). We didn’t care. It made us happy and it seemed (to the four of us, at least) that happiness was in short supply these past few months.
Deep into the night, we traded stories. One by one, we cursed the cities that bore us- the cities that cradled our heartaches, our disappointments, our defeats. Off we went, 160 kilometers an hour on a half-tank of gas. We didn’t know where we were going exactly. All we knew was we had to flee.
“Just for tonight, let’s be happy!” I said as I popped my head out of the car. I let the cool breeze brush my face. I needed this, I thought to myself. It’s been so long since I last felt this… alive.
“Bakit pa eh pag-uwi naman natin, ganun din ‘yun. ‘Pag patay na lahat ng ilaw at wala ka nang ibang kaharap kundi sarili mo, ganun din ‘yun!” We laughed. Cynicism had become the fifth person in the car.
I fell asleep in the car for a little bit and when I woke up, we were already there. It was hard to see though as a thick fog had settled into the deepest corners of the night.
“Kahit saan!” We all agreed. A few minutes later, we were in a little restaurant that boasted of a fantastic view. We couldn't really appreciate it though because the whole place was so damn foggy. We could hardly see the menu.
“Ayan na yung overlooking niyo. Overlooking sa fog!”
We ate. We laughed. We danced. We took tons of pictures. We caught up. And when all was said and done, we also shed a couple of tears. Deep into the night, the conversation hit a serious note.
“What’s funny is despite everything, I could never bring myself to regret everything that happened.”
“Why should you? It made you happy. Be grateful for the rain. Just don’t be sad when the drought settles in.”
“It’s funny because people keep telling me that I’m better off. If I’m the winner in this game, then how come he moved on first? I’m still stuck here, hoping for some semblance of closure or something.”
“We make our own closures. Life has to go on. I remember when my heart broke. I was hurt. I cried. The next day, I cried again. The day after that, I cried a little more. But each day that passed, I shed less and less tears until one day I realized I had no tears left for him. That’s just how it is. Fix yourself first. Love yourself first before you love anyone else.”
“That’s the thing. People always say that you can’t love someone when you’re broken. I wasn’t broken when I met him. I was 100% solid before everything. But now, I’m completely shattered. I wasn’t broken when I met him. I guess I was just hollow.”
Four friends, two newly single, stared blankly into the night. There was no need for words to be said. Just the fact that we were there for each other at this point in time made all the difference in the world.
“Look. The fog’s starting to clear.”
I stood up and walked towards the balcony. Slowly, a plethora of lights and different sights came into view. I inhaled deeply, let the cool wind fill my lungs. If you wait long enough, everything becomes clear.
We shed our skins in the mountains and made our way back to our lives- back to deadlines and lesson plans and poker faces. As the car maneuvered through the mountain’s steep curves, we howled like wolves and screamed like crazy. It was spontaneous. It was crazy. If I closed my eyes, it felt just like old times.
“So this is how it feels.”
“How what feels?”
I smiled as I popped my hand out of the car, reaching for nothing in particular. I played with the wind, felt the tiny hairs at the back of my hand move with it. Something tells me happiness is just around the corner. Something tells me things will work out just fine.
Just Like You