At Kalayaan

Just when I thought I didn’t need closure, I found it in a place aptly named after freedom.

August Rush (movie) touched me deeply. I dedicated my thesis to A to the tune of August Rush. “If they don’t find us, then we should just go and find them.”

One text. I was on my way home then, but I took a drastic U-turn because of one text. All I had were the clothes I had on. Are you free tonight?

There were very few details for me to remember: a traveler’s hostel, a huge room filled with wooden furnishings, those large empty shelves that were pretty sad to look at (as if they belonged to an emptied home), a tiny balcony, midnight Jollibee delivery, shared gravy.

When I got there, we hugged. But it was a pitiful hug. It was a stolen hug, one we probably knew then, didn’t belong to us. We went to the top floor, got two beers each, then to her room. It was like a calculated scene. I was a dog following my master.

She said I could borrow her shirt, borrow her shirt I did. I couldn’t afford to stink up my dress. A girl needs every help to make the morning after the least shameful, right?
I counted the streetlights flickering in the horizon. She was there for a 4AM football game, and I was essentially the company in between. I said yes because she said we’d talk. We always talked the talk. We used to have this endless charade for a relationship but that night, I wanted answers. I needed answers.

However, we just ended up having sex. I blame the shirt. And history. I blame our history too.

Taylor Swift played in the background, because I hated when she put HAIM on. I remember when Taylor Swift dropped her album, she said she waited for it and sent me the songs she liked, so I’d have the album in a way (it would take forever for it to be available in the Philippines). That was a very girlfriend thing to do, I thought.

Someone else also managed to get me the album. But since someone got it to me first, I had to pretend I haven’t heard Tay’s new songs yet. That was the double-life I lived. I was guilty. I felt it. But I was also in a trance. Was there hope for my past again?

I sure was dangling on a string. Is there shame in that?

After our toss and turn, we cuddled. Tay was still playing. I was just there, reduced to the wife (or mistress) that I have become. She started talking to friends on her phone. I patiently waited for my turn. However, with nothing on me, stripped of my clothes, watch, and my phone too, I had no sense of time. Maybe it wasn’t that long of a wait, but it dragged on. I stood up, wore her shirt again, and searched for my underwear. Naturally I couldn’t find it. Whatever, I thought. I went out for a drag.

Maybe it was because it took her forever to follow me outside. Maybe it was because I definitely didn’t think things through, again. I went back inside and said I’m going home.

You could stay.
I just have a game I would go to, and I’ll be back after. You could sleep in.
You don’t have to go.
Are you sure? You could stay.
Okay, I’ll walk you out.

Maybe it was because she didn’t even walk me to my car. Maybe it was her face as the elevator door closed. But in that moment, I saw us end, once again, for the last time.

You said we would talk.

Song for this feeling: Last Kiss by Taylor Swift

Always, K


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