[[ ROMEO ]]

(Inspired by a conversation with a good friend, the new RN, Marlette Raisa Ele, over pasta and coffee while the rain tried to drown out our voices.)

          Romeo. As an awkward teen, you to me are the upperclassman whose smile creates a wave of giggles accross the hallway, a few burning cheeks shyly hidden away under their hankies, and pairs of eyes that can zoom in and out and intensely focus that can put a DSLR into shame. As a blossoming woman, anticipation intensified when I saw you in different faces--a fat guy dressed up in baseball jersey and a bling hanging in your neck, a guitarist or maybe a drummer who made the girls scream in their gigs, a fellow geek who reads Sheldon and Calculus at the same time, a pretty boy who manages to make everyone look lame whenever he is around, a divorced man whose so broken that women would kill to unbreak his heart, a college professor whose wit and intellect made every female student in his class be in her best whenever she is in his class, and a random guy who walked past me and succeeded in making me look a little longer and in faking an accidental meeting of our eyes.

          Romeo. My inexperience equipped me with nothing when I entered the game with you. They said I'll win if you put down your defenses first. They said I should lead you on into believing that winning lies under the cloak of sweet surrender. But I was so gullible then, and even now, I trust too easily, that I opened my chest willingly and then and there I will grab my heart out and place it in front of you waving a white flag, wearing a smile that cries out for an answer that is far from the jaw-breaking blow of a no. Then and there, I realized that I blew it up when you left and all that remained was the memory of your face that has a semblance to a jigsaw puzzle. Little did I know that putting the pieces back into place was futile when a lot of the pieces were missing. I could only guess what those pieces look like but the guessing game led me deeper into a pit where a question gives birth to another and a hypothetical answer won't do for there are a lot of possible answers and the odds of getting a bull's eye is as overwhelming as the number of people crossing that famous intersection in Shibuya.

          Romeo. I did not learn to be cautious. I fed my hunger with space and gravity. The only signal I understood was the green one on the traffic light. I practiced my poker face and went  to Vegas. Perhaps this time, luck would escort me to the casinos. The Russian Roulette bored me so I hopped to the Poker table. There. You were in your ravenous sleek suit, cool as ice, your presence froze my toes, and cracked my poker face. I was dressed to mimic Irene Adler of Sherlock Holmes, every womanly weapon of entrapment was visible under the flimsy fabric. The heat seemed to thaw you when you showed signs that the icicles were slowly melting away. Alas! I gained a big stack of chips. And then you wagered all in, the foolish me followed suit only to find out the cards I had on my hand were no match to your royal flush. Few draws later, I lost everything to you. A little slip in judgement can turn tables in a minute. The temptress was tempted, the seducer was seduced. But the lover was not loved back. And the jigsaw puzzles piled up.

          Romeo, I am broke and disillusioned already but I have a few coins to spare in the slot machine. Will I gamble again? I think I will. You may find me foolish and my wisdom as shallow as the chick flicks and romantic comedies I watch on random nights, but to be cynical like you is the last thing I want to be. What do I need from you anyway? Some say that to be happy, you just have to love you. I do love me. I do think that I am fabulous and all. I can take care of myself single-handedly. But do you know why I admit this insane need of you? Because I need you to reaffirm what I have always forced myself to believe, that I am the most beautiful girl in the world, that even if I sit next to Ms. Jolie, your eyes will remain locked with mine and not wander on her lips and bountiful bossom. I need to lean on you when the goddess in my demigod being fails to fight away the human needs and wants, these desires that are too difficult to leash like hyenas starved for three months of drought. I need to share with you precious minutes under the blanket of stormy skies, when being imprisoned in your arms, I find freedom, for every string that the world has on me burns under the warmth of your breath and nothing will ever matter and if it comes down to having to forget all that I have, I will gladly take the potion. I need you to admit that you are as messed up and as needy as me, while you guide my finger tips, making them caress your tender bruises and scars beneath your seemingly perfect skin of marble.

          Romeo, my last four tries on the slot machine gave me nothing more than the sound of a thud. From a distance, I heard a a similar sound that put a punctuation of finality on the jury's verdict on a criminal case. The machine was mocking me, laughing at my odd expression slowly surfacing under a shell of composure that grew brittle and cracking with desperation! Finally, three identical pictures of your face on the wheels of the slot machine aligned perfectly. There you were, perfectly imperfect as I imagined and had all the attributes on my list. A poet on a motorbike, Mick Jagger meets Mark Zuckerberg, a faithful Casanova, a gentle gladiator, a Grimaldi in cowboy boots.

          Before I could even light the candles on our dining table that I filled with everything festive for the consummation of my victory, you said something that I did not hear clearly or denied to comprehend subconsciously. I asked what it was but you wouldn't say a thing and you wouldn't meet my eyes. An arrow of blame was drawn out of my quiver and begged to be shot at anything. Terror tore the voice from my throat when the arrow bent and pointed in between my eyes. I looked at myself and saw someone whose glow comes from the glittery makeup painted on her face, who is so exhausted from all the games that not even her fake lashes can create an illusion of charm. Immense self-doubt spitting insults toppled the fragile self-esteem that I have slowly and laboriously built from little accomplishments. I grabbed your hand weakly, and coerced you to say anything. Anything but "I maybe am Romeo but I am certain that you are not Juliet."


  1. love you girl! just a thought okay? let's put a twist to your story...
    How about this time, it'll be you he's begging to say anything but "I maybe am Juliet, but I am certain that you are not Romeo. And I guess you never will be..."

  2. i love you sis for this post. :D galing galing. a big round of applause to you. :) there was never a boring spot in this post.

  3. really cool blog

  4. Wow. What can I say. Goodness. You NEVER NEVER fail to amuse me. This is quite a read. So high end. Prolific.

    I am so proud. Very proud that I am one of your best friends. Haha. I mean c'mon. My best friend write THIS...ingeniously (is there even a word?).

    I am your No. 1 fan, and I always will.


  5. @lette... that is sweet revenge

    @kai... words bled from my heart kc. T.T

    @Sy... thank u

    @swynderella... love u too. hehe.

    @rush... the feeling is mutual. i am your number one fan too. and the movie u made is just byond.

  6. galeng nemen!


Post a Comment