BreatheSongs Pre: Winrina Collection
[ my heart is buried in venice – ricky montgomery ]
“Are you tired, mahal?”
One question that rattled her straight to her core, but she chose the answer of silence, staring at the sand that coated the tips of her toes, to the waters drifting towards the shore, and for once I feel my tears subside, like I chose the right option. Like I chose the right answer to tell her.
Because I’m unsure.
Because I don’t know what to do if I hurt her like this.
“Mahal…” she says, sitting next to me in the blanket that I had laid out, and she leans in towards me, and for once I’m afraid out of my wits to tell the truth.
Honesty is the best policy, my mother taught me.
But how can I be honest when you’re going to hurt because of my truth?
No. This would subside.
Pagod lang naman ‘to.
Pwede naman akong magpahinga.
But I can’t leave you, Karina.
Why would I leave you, when I love you so much?
“No,” I utter, a smile upon my lips, hoping that she would not notice the hint of fakeness upon the smile that I had mastered to do so in front of everyone.
“I’ll never get tired of us, mahal.”
I can feel her stares upon me as I sit in front of her, a face that I haven’t seen in such a long time, pero parang hindi ka naman nag-iba. You’re still the same Karina that I know, the same one I’ve seen in my dreams and in my reality for seven years, the one I left unwarned some four years ago.
You’re still here.
And yet I’ve grown incredibly far away.
“Winter,” she voices out.
There’s no pain in those eyes of yours.
Emotionless eyes stare back at me, that even if she never changed her appearance that is one thing that she could not will to never change, one thing that told of her true feelings, one thing that told me that she’s hurt.
That I’ve hurt her.
More than I imagine.
“Winter, you’re back.” She says, grasping at facts in front of her, and I put out a smile, but it does not quite reach my eyes, and yet she smiles back.
But the emotionless eyes are still there.
Watching my every move.
“Karina, I –“
“Ang sabi mo, you weren’t tired.”
She stands up, moves towards me across this little room that I’ve rented in the restaurant for both of us, for there’s a lot to unpack in the four years that I had been gone, and four years that she might have waited.
Or did not even wait at all.
She kneels down in front of me, in front of my legs, and I look away as her eyes stare at mine, at my very soul, but her hand moves to pull my chin into place, for her to look at me eye to eye, na parang sinusuri niya ang kaibuturan ng kaluluwa ko, searching for answers she knows I would not willingly give.
“You left me, here. Without any words. Without even a goodbye.” She says, like she’s pouring every unsaid feelings of four years in every word she’s uttering in front of me right now, and I can’t help but to stare at those eyes that pierced me with her unspeakable pain and coldness, and I know I’ve changed her.
“And yet I’ve waited. For a day that might not even come. For you to come back, even if I was losing hope.” She says, and the emotionless eyes disappear immediately.
Like a wave, everything hits me at once, in all directions.
A tight hug.
A rushed kiss,
Then a slap afterwards, one that I willingly take.
Then a hug again, and her weight fully presses upon me, her method of hugs bringing back memories of me and her, memories that I had left with the pain that I had bore myself.
Soul searching? No.
I was busy finding reasons why I should never be with her.
Why I should stay away, why I should never let my selfishness take over even as I’m crumbling apart, even as I’m feeling tired of everything else, why I should not let her be a part of my life that’s already falling apart, a life that I could never put back once it breaks with the smallest cracks.
And yet I never found one.
Never found even a single reason, in those four years that I had been away.
“Ikaw pa rin eh.” I utter, as I feel my shoulder getting damp from the tears she’s all letting out while still hugging me tight, and she nods silently, that even if I know I’m stabbing her with all my thorns, I can’t help but be selfish with her.
“Please… akin ka pa rin ba, Karina?” I ask, and like what I did four years ago, she only answers in silence.
“Ako pa rin ba?”
“Ikaw lang naman eh.”
She hugs me tight, like I never left, and once again, I feel afraid of the things that may come.
Pero for now… wala muna akong pake.
If you leave… it’s alright. I deserve it.
If you stay… then I’ll be happy.
As long as you’re here.
Please let me stay in the moment, Karina.
Just a little longer.
Don’t leave me to breathe
Don’t leave me to bleed
For someone who chose to leave me be
[a/n: red flag winter]