To you, W,
It's been a roller coaster of emotions for you this past year. I have always wondered if you can handle those unfamiliar emotions all at once but I'm glad you did.
You fell in love.
You got hurt.
You questioned yourself and your worth.
You struggled to accept the truth.
You tried to move on.
You got scared of falling again.
You built higher walls.
And finally, you moved forward.
I know it was hard. It was painful. It was a long and arduous process. But at the end of the day, everything was worth it. Because you did it for yourself. For your peace.
And now, look at you. You can finally smile because you're happy, not because you have to.
Falling in love and getting hurt in the process was not your fault. It was not something you asked for. It just happened. But accepting that you got hurt yet not letting the pain define you was the right thing to do.
But you became too conscious and scared of feeling those emotions again. You were always on guard from people who could break the walls you surrounded yourself with.
But I also think that's alright. It's okay to be cautious to prevent getting hurt again. It's okay to protect yourself, as long as you don't completely close off your heart.
I know, he reminds you of the love you've lost before. He also knows what you went through. He knows how hard it is to move on. He knows what he feels for you. But maybe, being each other's company and support is enough for now.
You're still healing.
You're still learning to love yourself a little more.
Maybe you just need to enjoy what you have this moment and where you are right now. After all, you look happy and contented with the way things are this time.
You should not worry about the past anymore and get anxious about the future. You just have to enjoy the present. You just have to live in the moment. After all, this is where you should be. Right here. Not in the memories and pain of the past, nor in the uncertainties of the future.
And maybe, at the right time, when you're both ready to face each other's feelings, you can love with all your heart again and receive the love you deserve.
And when that time comes, I hope you read this journal again and look back on the times that brought you there. To remind you of what you went through and how it all started. To remind you that it's alright to get hurt and grieve for a while, as long as you don't stay in that state. That it's okay to feel and fall again.
Lastly, I wish you nothing but happiness. The kind that warms your heart and brings you peace of mind. The kind that makes you contented with everything you have.
Because at the end of the day, that kind of happiness is all that matters.
Finally closing this journal,
Hi, Coffee Guy,
You're finally here.
"Wina!" you called while raising your hand.
It's kind of strange. My friends and colleagues call me Mina, but you're the only one who calls me that. I don't even remember when we started calling each other by our names.
We also didn't get each other's number. Maybe it's just me, but that made our meetings more precious and memorable.
"Oh," sabay turo ko sa ticket na nasa table. "Nakakuha ka?"
"Yup!" you beamed.
Napangiti naman ako. "Congrats."
These past few months, we've been slowly learning about each other. Nalaman ko na fan ka ng All Time Low at pinapakinggan mo sa akin ang albums nila. What I love about them were the lyrics of their songs.
"Ah. I bought another one just in case," sabay pakita mo sa isa pa. "Do you want to come with me?"
Nagulat naman ako sa nakita ko. "OMG, dalawa ang binili mo?"
"Yeah," you grinned. "Naisip kasi kita. Baka gusto mo ring pumunta."
"Hala sige, babayaran na lang kita."
After that ay umilaw ang disc sa table natin at agad ka namang tumayo para kunin ang order. Ah. You've already ordered for me, too.
"How's your reports?" tanong mo nang makabalik ka sa table natin.
"I'm done," sagot ko naman. Ilang araw rin akong hindi nakadaan dito dahil tinapos ko ang reports na kailangan naming ipasa bukas.
"Oh. Here's your reward," sabay lapag mo ng slice ng chocolate cheesecake sa harapan ko habang nakangiti kaya napangiti rin ako.
"Thank you." Napahinto naman ako sa pagsubo at napatingin sa labas. "Ah. It's raining."
I looked at you and you sighed while smiling, as if you knew I'd tease you.
"C'mon, I'm not affected by that anymore."
"Ah, really? Good for you, then," saka ako uminom ng kape.
"You know, you've been getting confident in teasing me these past few weeks," sabay iling mo.
I suppressed a smile. "I'm not."
"Ah. Isn't that your almost guy?" you said while pointing behind me.
"Ha. Ha. Not buying it," I mocked, though I was tempted to turn around.
I don't know when we got this close but I really like how we became each other's safe place. I can tell you things that I won't even think of telling to my closest friends. In a world where people wear masks everyday to conceal their emotions, weaknesses and vulnerability, I found a place where I can take it off comfortably and be myself. It's when I'm with you.
I am suddenly reminded of the time when I was scared of getting close to you. Pakiramdam ko kasi, mangyayari na naman ang naranasan ko noon. Getting attached to someone and losing them afterwards became traumatic to me. I don't want to feel that kind of pain again.
I was always cautious when it comes to feelings. I would always wonder if we feel the same way toward each other. What if I like him more than he likes me? What if he stopped liking me? What if his feelings change? I would always think that I'd get hurt in the end so I often step back and prevent myself from feeling anything for a person to save my heart from pain.
But you are different. Instead of feeling that heart-racing tension I felt for him before and always questioning my worth, I feel comfortable. We know each other's intentions but we're also contented with where we are right now as friends and I think that's what matters the most. This time, I don't want to be cautious and calculating. This time, I want to enjoy every moment and protect my happiness.
"Excited na ako," I muttered while looking at the ticket you gave me.
I glanced at you and you gave me a genuine and gentle smile. "Me, too."
And maybe, when we're both ready to face our intentions, we can finally cross the line we've been protecting for so long and look forward to our new beginnings.
Hi, Coffee Guy,
It's been a week since we last met each other. Nakakatuwa lang dahil nakita kita ngayon dito sa coffee shop at agad ka namang kumaway.
"Order ka na rin," sabi mo at tumango naman ako.
It was a spontaneous meeting but I felt comfortable. We really became close even though we just knew each other shortly.
Pagbalik ko ay nasa table na ang coffee at waffles na order mo. May mga papel din sa tabi mo at mukhang busy ka sa work kaya tahimik lang akong nakatingin sa'yo.
"Kumusta?" tanong mo.
Ngumiti naman ako. "Okay naman. You?"
"Good," you replied. "Medyo busy nga lang dahil may deadlines."
"I can see that," sabay tingin ko sa mga papel sa table. "Sige, baka nakaka-istorbo na ako—"
"Uy, hindi," sabi mo kaya natigilan ako.
"I actually prefer if you'd stay. I mean, kung okay lang sa'yo."
Noong una ay medyo naguluhan pa ako pero nang i-explain mo ay napangiti na lang ako. You said it would feel less chaotic if someone talks to you from time to time while doing paperworks. Dahil wala naman akong gagawin sa office for an hour ay pumayag ako.
This is actually surprising. I can only count the people I am comfortable with even when we are not speaking. The silence between us wasn't awkward at all and that made me feel at ease.
Napatingin naman ako sa labas dahil biglang kumulog at naalala ko ang sinabi mo noong nakaraan. You weren't fond of rainy days because they remind you of painful memories.
I glanced at your direction and our gaze met each other.
You smiled. "Worried?"
How did you know? You really are perceptive. No wonder you immediately noticed my pain during that time.
"Don't worry, I'm okay now," sabi mo sa akin.
"I see. That's good."
"Napaisip din kasi ako sa sinabi mo dati."
"Hmm? Alin do'n?"
"That coffee tastes better when it's raining. I guess I just needed to change my perspective and look at the positive sides rather than the negative."
Pagkatapos mong sabihin 'yon ay bumalik ka sa pagta-type at nanatili naman akong nakatingin sa'yo. I wanted to say the same thing. You, too, helped me change my perspective in life and emotions.
Dahil mukhang busy ka na ay balak ko nang magpaalam para makapag-focus ka. I saw your cup of coffee and thought of something.
"Una na pala ako," sabi ko sa'yo kaya bigla kang napatingin sa akin. "May kailangan pa akong gawin, eh."
"Oh. Okay. See you when I see you," you said while grinning.
"Yeah. See you." Tumayo ako pero huminto rin nang ilang hakbang na ang layo ko sa'yo. "Oh, your coffee's getting cold. You should drink it."
Kinuha mo ang cup mo pero agad na akong tumalikod at naglakad paalis ng cafe bago ko pa makita ang reaksyon mo.
I hope this coffee washes away your sad memories and gives you the warmth you needed since it's raining outside. Good luck!
And to more coffee talks with you :)
Let us be each other's support for a long time.
Hi, Coffee guy,
I never thought I would talk to someone about what I went through. I'm used to keeping all my secrets and problems to myself because I do not want to burden someone with them and I do not want them to see me in such vulnerable state.
Pero heto ako ngayon, nagkukwento sa'yo.
I think it's easier to share this kind of story to someone outside my circle. Maybe because there are no connections between you and the people involved, and hence, no complications. And maybe because I can hear some opinions from an outside perspective.
"You saw them a while ago?" pag-ulit mo sa sinabi ko at medyo napangiti ako dahil parang hindi ka makapaniwala.
"Yup. And I didn't feel sad or jealous. It's just . . . I don't know . . . I'm just glad that they are still together."
Nawala ang gulat sa mukha mo at napalitan iyon ng maamong ngiti.
"I see. I don't know why but I feel so proud of you," sabi mo kaya ako natigilan ako.
I slightly chuckled. "Maybe because you saw me at my lowest. And now, I'm trying my best to climb further and not fall in that kind of chasm again."
"Yeah. Maybe that's why."
Ininom mo ulit ang kape mo habang napatingin ako sa labas. It was still raining hard outside and somehow, it made me feel at ease.
"I think it won't stop for a while," mahina mong sabi habang nakatingin din sa labas.
"Yeah. But on the bright side, coffee tastes better when it's raining."
"Better, huh?" you muttered.
I glanced at you and saw a melancholic smile. You must have had an unhappy memory about rain.
"Okay ka lang?" mahina kong tanong.
"Mm. I just remembered someone."
You chuckled heartily. "Yeah. We broke up on a rainy day like this. Gloomy na nga ang panahon, sinaktan pa nang gano'n."
"But you're okay now, right?"
"Better," you said. "It took me a while to be where I am right now but I'm glad I carried on. It's worth it."
We continued talking about our past experiences and I never thought it would be this freeing. Pakiramdam ko, lahat ng kinimkim kong emosyon ay unti-unti kong nailalabas sa pamamagitan ng pagkukwento.
Medyo humina na rin ang ulan at may gagawin ka pa kaya nagsimula na rin tayong magpaalam sa isa't isa.
"We're friends now, right?" tanong mo bago ka pa makatayo.
I smiled. "Yeah. We are."
You grinned after hearing my response and extended your arm.
"Thank you for today, Wilhelmina."
"Thank you, too, Aloysius."
That moment, we became friends. And I hope it would last for a long time.
Hi, Coffee guy,
I'm too awkward right now. I know, something's wrong with me.
"Thank you sa coffee," bati mo pagbalik ko galing sa counter, dala ang order ko.
I breathed deeply and willed myself to calm down. It's alright. I'm alright.
"Thank you rin sa pagtulong sa akin," I softly said while meeting your gaze but I immediately averted it because I can't stare at people's eyes for too long.
You looked at the note attached to your mug and flashed a grin. I kept my head low and my fingers around the mug handle as I gathered my courage to say it to you.
"Without your little push, I'd still be drowning in my own misery. So, I sincerely want to thank you."
"No need to thank me," bigla mong sabi kaya napatingin ulit ako sa'yo. "You should be thanking yourself for moving forward. And I'm glad that you're okay now."
Natahimik ako nang ilang segundo sa sinabi mo pero nang ma-realize ko ang gusto mong iparating ay napangiti na lang ako.
"Yeah. I thought it would take me a long time."
Ewan ko ba pero sa'yo ko lang na-o-open ang topic na 'to. Maybe because you were there when it happened. Or maybe because you're still a stranger to me so it's easier and less embarrassing than telling it to my friends.
"Depende naman din talaga 'yon sa tao," you added while taking a sip of coffee. "It took me two years to get over someone."
Nagulat naman ako nang marinig ko 'yon sa'yo.
You smiled. "Yeah. Two years. That's why I think you're cool."
You said the same thing before. You said I was cool.
Falling out of love and naturally drifting away from each other is the most painful thing that could happen in a relationship.
I could still remember the words you said and that hit me hard that time.
"You said you were pathetic before but I think you're cool, too," sagot ko pero agad din akong nahiya nang sabihin ko 'yon.
You must've been devastated. You must've searched for the reason why it didn't work out, only to be answered with the fact that the person you love don't feel the same way anymore.
And being able to accept that is far from being pathetic.
"Cool, huh?" you chuckled. "I never thought someone would use that word to describe me."
"You are," ulit ko. "I think people who keep on moving forward despite the rough roads and painful journeys they've been are strong. And that kind of strength is cool."
After saying that line, you stared at me for a few seconds and I had to shift my gaze to avoid yours. When I glanced back, you were already smiling.
"I see. Thank you for saying that."
I smiled back and we both drank our coffees, enjoying the brief silence between us. It's been a while since I felt this kind of comfort with someone. We can talk about life and love in a conceptual level without getting too personal.
Ironically, I felt it with a stranger. With you.
And maybe, it's exactly because of that.
Slowly getting comfortable,