Sunday, November 20, 2011

A New Start

This is a song I wrote about 2 or 3 years ago.
It was inspired by a talk about Psalm 3 by one of my close friends which really touched me deeply.
It's about being saved by God's love, and being safe and secure because of this infinite love He has. :)

A New Start

You are the love, my God who cherishes my life
You were the reason I survived
I was drawn beneath the edge, thrown across the line
But still You found a way to draw me back into Your arms

And You're the one who would lift me up and set me high above all else
You've carved up my name in the palm of Your hands
And so I shall never fear though enemies are near
'Cause I know that You are here with me, beside me through this fight

So I lean my head on You and rest, depend on You alone, Oh Lord
The power of Your Mighty Hand will deliver me from this world
And so I lay me down with You my King
Without the fear of anything
Then I'll wake up and just start anew
A journey of a better life with You :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

And There I Was Part 5

And now, the last 2 chapters of this very short (ehem) short story of mine :P

Chapter Eight

But at this day, there is no Julia watching my performances like she used to every time. All those memories have been far buried in the back of my mind for quite a very long time. For eleven years I haven’t seen her, not even her shadow. The thing that I thought would last forever and a day, just like the fantasy it was, is dead and gone today.

All these nostalgia going on inside my mind somehow got me out of my concentration; I almost totally forgot I was conducting an orchestra right at that very moment. I forced myself to snap back to my senses before something bad ultimately happens. I don’t want to let my friend, or even this group down. I tried to focus until every last note was perfectly struck.

We had a decent performance, the group and I. We were hugely appreciated by the crowd, and most of all, we had fun doing what we love. I congratulated them for a job well done, and they gathered around me and gave me a big hug. I thought of my late mentor that moment. Now I know how proud he felt for us back in our days. Someone from the staff came to me after the commotion.

“Sir, pinabibigay po sa inyo. Letter of recommendation daw po for a music school.”

There I was, standing, holding the letter by my left hand. I was nervous as I examine the light blue envelop. It was the exact same type of envelope containing the last letter I read many years ago.

My relationship with Julia had been ongoing for about a year when we were called for an encore performance at a local ball sponsored by the city government. It meant distance for us, for I had to focus practicing with my group for some time. We both agreed to see each other even just for the weekends when we have no practices, so we could spend some ample amount of time together, just the two of us.

About two weeks in the practice sessions, I notice some changes about the way she was acting, like there was something she was anxious about. I tried to ask her but she kept on refusing to tell me about it. I just let it pass and tried to cover it with sweet moments together, hoping it would lessen her worries.

One weekend, we were supposed to meet at the white rock when I saw her cousin, Rina approaching me. When she got up the rock, she handed me something then left right away. It was a blue envelop, with my name written on it. I opened it right then for I thought Julia planned something and it was part of the surprise. It was a surprise alright, but not the one I was hoping for. It was the last thing on my mind at that time; it really caught me off-guard.

Dear Mikko,

SORRY! Hindi ko ito ginusto. Biglaan talaga ang lahat. My dad got an offer, may nag-open na slot sa isang ospital sa Canada. Matagal na niyang hinihintay ‘yon, matagal na yung nakaplano. Napagdesisyonan na ng mga magulang ko na magmigrate kami kasama ni papa. I don’t want to go, ngayon pa na nakilala na kita. But I can’t stay either. I really have no choice. Sana maintindihan mo ako. Mahal kita, more than you can ever think of. I promise, I’ll come back for you. I promise.

It didn’t take long before the letter became wet, teardrops started to fall down the silky stationery. Some words were washed out, erased by the bitterness of the tears that ran down the glossy paper. I felt like my heart was chopped into a million pieces. I can hardly breathe, like I’m getting choked down to death. I can feel every inch of pain every tick of the clock.

It took me days, even weeks perhaps before I was able to function normally again. But the pain still remained, it always will no matter how hard I try. It will always be an unsullied wound, fresh as when it was just opened.

I tried dedicating my life to music, to get my mind off that incident for good. I spent strenuous hours practicing, and when alone, I resorted to writing hideous songs of rage and violence. Even my relationship with my family, my group, and even to God was gravely affected. I wasn’t myself anymore; I came to not knowing who I really am, all because of trying too hard, forcing myself to bury every single memory we had deep into the dreaded past.

Chapter Nine

I unintentionally dropped the letter when Rico came over and pulled my right hand sleeve. I hurriedly picked it up and noticed that the little boy was crying when I finally took a glance at him.
“O, anung nangyari Rico? Bakit ka umiiyak?”

“Si ate po kasi,” he cried.

His older sister had a vehicular accident while on her way to our performance. A truck driver lost control of his vehicle, and bumped to the car in which his sister was in. his aunt was trying to contact her a while ago, but because cell phones were prohibited, Rico did not notice it until the end of the show. He received a text message saying her sister is not in a good condition and he needs to go to the hospital right away.

“Sige iho, I’ll come with you. Pumunta ka na sa may parking, hihiramin ko lang yung kotse ni Mr. Quizon.”

We were in the car on the way to the hospital when I noticed his ID: Enrico Lozano. I had an eerie feeling in me, so I started asking him a few questions. But I didn’t have the guts to ask him directly if by any chance he’s related to Julia, a cousin or a close relative perhaps.

We arrived at the hospital, and Rico hurriedly ran towards the nurse’s station to check where his sister’s room is. I stopped by the waiting room to check the Nightly News on RPN Channel 9.

“Earlier this afternoon, an Isuzu container van crashed into a Honda City and both vehicles turned turtle along Singson corner dela Rosa streets near Sucat. Tony Alejo, the driver of the said truck explained to police investigators that a rag fell out of nowhere right in front of his windshield as he was cruising along dela Rosa Street. He finally lost control of the vehicle and continued swerving lanes until finally hitting the green Honda City car driven by a lady identified as Julia Lozano. She was…”

I did not wait for the whole news to wrap itself up. I turned towards the direction where Rico ran, but everything felt in slow motion. It was very hard to move, like I got bowling balls inside my shoes. Every step seemed to take forever. When I finally got to the room, Rico was crying beside his aunt by the door.

There I was, inside Julia’s room, with tears continuously rolling down my face. I stood as she turned her head and stared at me, looking at me as if I was invisible, like she can see through me, digging right to the very core of my soul.

“I told you I’ll come back for you.”

She had kept her promise, after all those years that I tried everything to forget her. I wept beside her bed, holding her hand, thinking of all the guilt and shame I have for myself, and for regret of the times we could have spent together.

The next thing I heard was a beep from a monitor at the upper right side of her bead. As I looked up, all I see is a straight green line shown by the small screen. People in white started to run towards the bed, pushing me out of the way. I could not hear anything, everything seemed bizarre. Then everything rapidly started occurring backwards, faster and faster, happening right before my very eyes. It was all happening so swiftly, until a flash of blinding light struck my eyes. Everything turned dark, my eyes were finally closed.

I tried to open my eyes.

And there I was, my body almost bathing with perspiration, looking at a big, 20th century mansion covered with moss of I-don’t-know kind. My heart seems to be slowing down as I stare longer. A drop of tear rolled down my face.

I really hope you enjoyed the story though it was really long. Sometimes I really think about the things I would do if I have control over time. I know I have done a lot of things in the past that I couldn't change, but what's important is what you decide to do in the future. What would you do if this happens to you? Would you let it all go as it should? Or should you go and do what your heart tells you to do?

And There I Was Part 4

Chapter Six

After all the commotion onstage, everybody went to the victory party sponsored by the school faculty.

“Sige, una na kayo guys. Punta lang ako sa washroom.”

But really, I just wanted to be left behind for some time. After everybody has left, I went backstage right away to check if the girl is still there. It was still dark back there. I looked to the corner where I saw her but she wasn’t there. I looked around the unlit room, calling her to come out but there was no answer. She was not there. I felt really disappointed. All the gladness I felt after the performance all suddenly dissipated.

There I was, standing in the middle of the stage, with my head looking down the floor in disbelief. My heart was really troubled. I finally saw her once again, but now I couldn’t find her. There are many questions bugging my mind at that very moment. Is she real? Who is she? Why does she suddenly appear and then vanish all the time?

I heard footsteps coming down the center isle of the auditorium, and the image was clapping as it walks towards me. I felt light as I saw her beautiful face smiling at me, with her red lips shining as light from above strikes them. She was wearing pink satin dress, with a white lace tied around her long, black hair smooth as silk. I jumped off the stage and started walking towards her.
“Akala mo umalis na ako ano?” she chuckled.

“Oo nga eh. Nagdadrama na nga ako dun oh.” I said in a shy way, pointing at the stage behind me. I couldn’t tell what my heart wants to feel at that time, if it wanted to get irritated because of her tricking me, or be as light as a feather in the presence of the girl I was longing to see and meet for quite a long time.

She laughed at what I said, and still I was a bit shy. There was a moment of silence, I was just standing there, staring at her.

“Oh, natulala ka na. Kilala na kita, hindi mo pa ako kilala.”

I nodded swiftly in agreement. I asked her name and if she was real, which was a very stupid thing to ask.  And I proved myself right.

“Sira ka ata eh. Siyempre totoo naman ako ano! I’m Julia Lozano. It’s nice to finally meet you.”

We shook hands and she explained to me she was Mr. Rey Lozano, our school nurse’s daughter. She is not a student in our school, but she always go to campus to go home together with her father.

“Eh anung ginagawa mo dun sa room nang una tayong magkita nung umuulan?”

She looked up and thought about what I asked. She remembered that she was walking around the school that afternoon before the rain began to fall. She forgot to bring her umbrella so she sought for a place to shed for a while.

“Takot kasi ako sa kidlat kaya hindi ako agad nakalabas noon.”

I laughed hard at what she says, though I know it’s really normal for girls to be scared of stuff. I looked at her, her right eyebrow was rising up, and so I stopped laughing. We looked at each other, and we both burst into laughter. At that moment, I felt that it was the start of something I was seeking for, something that I have been praying for, something that was meant by destiny to happen.

Just a day after the performance, I sent her a text message to check up on how she’s doing.

“Kmusta?? Yun lang sasabihin mo nagtext ka pa?..haha”

I wanted to get angry, but I really could not get mad at her though how much I tried to. It was as if she can do whatever she wants to me and still I’ll still be at her feet. It felt like an addiction, an obsession perhaps.

We sent text messages to each other the whole day. It was a Saturday and I really had nothing to do. I keep on asking her if I was disturbing her, but she always insisted that it was alright and that she was not busy. We kept on texting as if we can never run out of things to talk about. I almost forgot to eat my meals because I was anxious for every reply she sends me. I wait like a pregnant pig walking round and round in anxiousness.

We got to know each other through text before we finally got the nerve to ask her for a “get to know each other personally” time. I thought about what to say for almost six hours, wasting too much paper and ink before I finally figured out what to say exactly. All my skill in writing songs in a flash was no use in this situation.

The date went well; we really had a great time. We had fun strolling around a nearby park, and then went out to eat lunch at Jolibee. We both ate our favorite spaghetti, which is one of many things we had in common. I was really thinking that she was meant for me, we had so much chemistry together, like we knew each other even before we had even met. We spent the afternoon together at a spot beside a white rock by the sea shore. She told me she usually stays there to watch the sun set right before they have dinner.

“Salamat sa paghatid. Sa uulitin ha.” Then she winked at me.

I knew right away what she meant by that gesture. We were still together but my mind was looking forward to the next time we would be together, thinking of other sweet things and meaningful ways to spend our time. I had a huge smile at my face the whole time I was heading back home. I can hardly sleep that night, and I was thinking about taking it to a whole new level.

Chapter Seven

There I was, sitting beside Julia, eating “chicharon” together with the girl I wanted to spend that exact moment with. We were about to finish our second pack, and I was excited of what was going to happen next. I talked to the vendor earlier and asked him to put something inside one pack of the “chicharon” he was selling. When he saw me and Julia together, he approached us and sold us the packed where my surprise was, just as I have planned.

“Yuck! Bakit may bakal dito?”

She picked up the metal thing inside the almost empty pack. She stared at it for a while, and I was smiling as I looked at her reaction. It was a silver ring with 3 small sapphire ornaments.

“Matagal ko nang gustong gawin ito, pero ngayon lang kasi ulit tayo pumunta dito. Julia, will you be my girl?”

It was a tense moment for the both of us. She looks at me, looks at the ring, looks at me one more time, and then she ran away. I was stunned by what had just occurred. Why? Is there something she did not like with the ring? But why would she bring it with her when she left? Is this not the right time for me to ask her that question?

I found her standing under the coconut tree where I curved out our names inside a heart oddly shaped, she was waiting for me. She had tears in her eyes but she was smiling as I come near her.

“Bakit ka tumakbo? Ayaw mo ba? Okay lang naman eh, kaya ko pa naman maghintay.”

She looked down, shook her head, then she looked back at me. She told me she was just too nervous she did not know what to say or do, so she ran away to think things through.

“So, anu sagot mo?”


My heart wanted to jump so high it could reach the sky. So far, it was the happiest thing that has happened in my life. I was filled with love, it was so intense. We looked at each other, and it really felt magical. It was like finding the perfect lyrics to a scintillating, blissful melody.

We went back to the beach and stayed there for hours, but it felt like forever for the both of us. Our lips smiled the whole time, like it can never be taken away from them. Time flew by that we didn’t realize it was almost 8 o’ clock. We quickly went to her house and bid each other goodbye for a couple of minutes, not really wanting to leave each other’s presence. I even called her right away when I got home. We talked and talked on the phone until our ears hurt and the phone was hot enough to cook eggs.

Our happiness seemed endless for the next few months. We never argued, we never had any disagreements. It was a perfect relationship, I thought. I can never ask for more than this. I almost disregarded everything else, music, academics, even myself for a fact. All I thought of was us. It was everything to me, she was everything to me. And I felt like it’s going to stay this way for a very, very long time.

And somehow I was right. Our loved grew and grew, like a well nourished plant. It bore so many fruits, we both excelled in other things. The intensity we had carried out to other aspects of our life. The things I once disregarded were now blooming along our relationship. Even our faith grew, often thanking the One who gave us the opportunity of our lives.

There I was, just in awe of what was happening around me. My life had a brand new meaning. Like a new song in spring, it brought life back to my soul once cold and alone. It felt like the start of forever, like this feeling won’t die even until forever and a day.

And There I Was Part 3

Chapters 4 & 5

Chapter Four


It’s already 5:30 PM. I have to get ready for the recital. I have to practice the kids for the first and last time before they hit the stage later that night. So I took a quick shower and got ready for leaving. I brushed my teeth a couple of times to get the smell of the nasty rum off. It took me about half an hour prepping myself before I finally left my new house.

There I was, in front of the gates of my apartment. I looked to the right and saw people gathering around a few blocks from my house. I wanted to check what the commotion was all about, but I don’t have enough time for I might get late for practice. So I tried to catch a ride as quickly as possible. I finally got a taxi after fifteen minutes.

I sat comfortably at the backseat of the car. The air conditioning was just right for relaxation.

“CCP tayo, manong.”
The driver nodded as I lay my back down the cushion. I looked out the window, trying to see anything interesting. But the memories started to go around in the back of my mind, taking over me once more. There I was, looking outside the taxi window, looking at nothing, and my mind was flying back to the past once again.

I never saw the girl again after that incident. But I could not forget how I felt that day. It’s a feeling I’ve never felt before. I really don’t believe in love at first sight, but it seems it got the better of me. If she really was a ghost, I don’t care. All I know is, there’s something about her that I know can fill something that I am longing for.

I tried to concentrate on my music and studies, but her face just keeps bugging my system. Every time I try to write or play a song, it just reminds me of her. And the feeling grows deeper and deeper as days pass. I have to see her again, I really have to. Even if this means I have to miss practices and lessons.

One day, I decided I went back to the room where I first saw her, trying to see if she’s there. Classes are ongoing so I sneaked near the rear window just to have a peek inside the room. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see her there. I waited for the class to finish, about half an hour. I was close to snapping out due to extreme boredom when the teacher finally went out. I tried to look inside again, but still I couldn’t see her. I went inside to see more closely and thoroughly.

There I was, beside the classroom door, looking around a few more times. But there was no sign of her. I then realized that the whole class was looking at me. The class president kindly asked me what I was doing inside their room. I was totally embarrassed.

“Ahmm… sorry, mali ata yung room na napuntahan ko. Akala ko room ‘to ng pinsan ko eh. Sige, salamat.”

I politely excused myself to everyone, and ran out right away. Even if I can’t see it, I can feel that I am as red as a ripe tomato. Since then, I never went to find the girl again. But the memories of that rainy afternoon still linger deep inside my mind, and I know it’ll be there until I can get the answers to my questions.

Recitals week came for our orchestra group. The practice schedules were horrendous. It was so hectic that we don’t attend class anymore just to perfect our pieces. We even spent almost a week over a single piece, going over and over until every note we hit is perfect.

“Everything in music has to be perfect! Or else it won’t be called music!”

That’s what our music professor always tells us. But for me, music isn’t just being perfect. It has to have heart and passion for it to grow. And I can see that our group is not in the mood to put those elements into action.

“Let’s just call it a day guys. Mukhang ‘di natin kakayanin ‘to hangga’t hindi tayo babalik sa mood natin.”

As the leader of the group, I had the authority to say those words. Our mentor just shook his head and went straight to his office. I convinced my group to concentrate for the next practices so we can perform at full shape for the recitals, which is just four days ahead. We still have a lot to practice, and we all need rest. I talked to our professor, and he apologized to me for being too harsh on us. He just wants the best for us, and we understand that. I told him to get some rest, too, and we went home together. We smiled as we think about giving the best performance of our lives at out recital which is four days away.

Chapter Five

But my recital, with my new current group, with my friend Albert’s students, is just an hour and a half away. I went back to my senses and tried to see where I really was. There is moderate traffic ahead, about a few meters long. I was almost there; I can already see the CCP building.

“Dito na po ako Manong. Pakitabi na lang”

I gave him my fare and ran towards the venue. The kids were already in the practice area when I got there. I caught some of my students using their cellphones, which my friend Albert strictly prohibits when they have practices going on.

“Kids, hindi ba pinagbawal ni Sir Albert yang cellphone? Hindi dahil may sakit siya ngayon at ako ang magko-conduct sa inyo eh aalisin din natin yung mga rules nya.”
I said those words with a smile so the kids won’t get scared or something. I don’t want to add to the nervousness they’re feeling right now. Rico, the group’s bass player, came to me and smiled.

“Akala ko hindi na kayo darating sir.”        

I smiled at him and we went out to the stage together. It was time for our performance. As I stepped up the pad in the middle of the stage, I remembered the words Rico said. Those were the exact same words I myself once said to my professor moments before our group’s first performance.

After years of hard work and exhausting practices, it all comes down to this one very special night. It was the first performance for our orchestra group. We prayed hand in hand before our performance, hoping neither one of us will get nervous and hit a wrong note, because if that happens, it will spread like a virus, infecting each and every one of us.
 We played four pieces of symphonies and two contemporary pieces consecutively. Our prayers were heard and answered by God. The performance was fabulous. It was the most fantastic performance we have ever had. I even saw our mentor shed some tears at the backstage. We really felt proud of ourselves, but most of all our professor who helped us overcome all these things.

“Salamat sir.” He was still crying when I approached him.

“Hindi, salamat sa sipag at pagtitiyaga ninyo. At lalo ka na. sige na, lumakad ka na. It’s time for your solo.” He smiled and watched me as I walked back towards the stage.

I prepared myself for my solo performance. I checked my violin for tuning, and I made sure everything is up and working on the sound department. I wiped off some tears and finally went back to center stage. This is it. My own moment. All of my hard work and dedication to music will be put to a test.

I pulled the first of my two pieces with ease. It wasn’t that hard anyway, just an original piece I made in G minor. I took a short break before I perform my second piece, just to catch up some deep breaths and get the tension out of my system. I may have practiced meticulously and for a very long time, but still I admit I’m a bit nervous.

The group had already left so the backstage was dark. They probably had gone to the dressing room to change their clothes. I thought I was all alone in there, so I tried to scream a little and paced back and forth to relieve some stress.


I was dazed when I heard that sound. I went towards where the sound came from. I couldn’t see well without that much light, so I went closer and closer to a dark image near the corner. I extended my arm and reached towards the apparition, and felt a soft muscle where my hand landed.


I was stunned when she suddenly slapped my face, but I don’t blame her. I accidently touched her breasts, but I explained that I can’t see well especially without any lights. She laughed and said it was alright. She was the one who surprised me anyway. I took a sigh of relief.
She went into the light. It was her, the girl from the dark room. I was stunned, but in a good way. The best way, in fact. All the tension and nervousness I felt just popped up like a bubble. I felt so alive, like I want to jump around the backstage, full of energy, and love.

“Mikko, ready na? You’re on in 30 seconds.” It’s time for my second piece. But honestly, I really did not want to leave the room that time.

“Sige, kita na lang tayo after ng performance mo. Good luck!”

Her smile was so pure, and her face is so angelic that night. I was so inspired that I pulled the best performance of my life just like opening a candy bar. The crowd stood up as I play the last few notes of Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major. I made a huge bow in the middle of the stage, everyone still standing and giving their applause to me. My group, together with my mentor ran up to the stage and hugged me, congratulating me for a great performance.

And There I Was Part 2

Here's the continuation of And There I Was :) Chapters 2 and 3

Chapter Two

I decided to finish cleaning up to get some thoughts out of my system, starting with the mess I created in the kitchen, up to the very inch of the C.R. As I was cleaning, I’m still thinking about how lucky I am to get this very nice place, and to think that a got it just for a very reasonable amount. Though I’m only renting it, I still have full privileges in the house, so I can do whatever I want.

There I was, bathing in my own sweat once more—for a whole different reason, nonetheless—and  just about to finish cleaning the whole place up. I must have gotten overwhelmed with what I was doing I didn’t realize that I am weary and needing some rest. Now I really wish Jake was here. It really is very tiring to clean this whole house all by myself. But I’m almost done, so I might as well get on with it.

My room was the last place to get fixed up. I laid down the bed once more for a few moments before I continue finishing things up. But before I knew it, and though not part of the plan, I was fast asleep.

“What the?!”

The clock reads 5 o’clock. I jumped right out of bed and down the stairs to get the stuff left down there. I still haven’t finished fixing everything up and I only have three hours before the recital. I was in a real pandemonium.

I picked up the last box containing some of my old belongings and carried it up to my room. I was in the rush of things that I did not notice the slippery floor mat at the doorstep of my room. I stumbled as I stepped on the mat and fell butt first down the floor. I watched as the box went way up in the air, and then slammed down the floor as well. Its contents scattered all over the room. I got really furious; I was red hot mad. Who would put a slippery rag at my doorstep? But who could I blame other than myself? It was my fault in the first place anyway. If I had not fallen asleep, I won’t be doing things in a hurry. Darn. I couldn’t find any other way to release my anger, so I punched the wall a few times until my fist hurts, and then began to pick up the mess I created.

There I was, looking around my room, checking if I might leave out anything from the scattered contents of that stupid box. I was still a bit angry, but not enough to start punching things again. I picked up the rag and just stared at it for a few seconds. I was thinking of throwing the stupid thing out of the window. And so I did. I watched as the wind blows the rag away towards the east. The wind was so strong that it blew the rag a couple of blocks away.

As I was throwing the rag out the window, something fell from under the rag. It was something from the box and might got stuck beneath the mat after it flew off. I picked it up to put it among the others. I glanced at it. It was my high school graduation picture.

There I was, looking intently at my high school picture. I didn’t know what got into me, but it feels very strange. Suddenly, moments of my life started to flash right in front of my very eyes. All of a sudden, I was reliving past moments, getting blown by my memoirs back to those days.


Chapter Three

It was raining heavily, and I forgot to bring my umbrella. Some of my classmates had already left for home, and some were still inside our classroom. Some were talking, cleaning, playing games, all waiting for the rain to come to a halt.

There I was, outside the classroom, looking up at the dark, gloomy sky. I have to do something. Impatient as I am, I couldn’t wait any longer. I decided to run towards the long path, under the pouring rain. I don’t mind if I get wet, I’m going home anyway. I could change clothes immediately when I’m home. I just hope I won’t get sick.

I was nearly at the end of the long, wet trail when the rain started to pour heavier. Lightning started to flash. Thunder rumbled loudly, like a lion giving out a huge roar. I got scared, not because I’m afraid of thunder or lightning. After the path was an open field about 50 meters long and 30 meters wide. I was worried. What if I get hit by lightning if I continue to run across the field? I’ m too young to die, too valuable to die.

I changed my mind and took shelter under the last classroom at the end of the path. I stood by the door, trying to wipe out the rain from my hair. I’m as wet as a French poodle soaked in a bath tub. I started to feel a little cold, and it emerges as the wind blows by. So I went inside the shady room. I took my shirt off and hung it beside the window. It’s a bit warm inside the room, so it’s alright even if I don’t have my clothes on.

There I was, inside the dark room, and it’s starting to get a little scary. So I looked for the light switch. I bumped my way across the room, and everything I hit drops down the floor. I felt like The Incredible Hulk, bringing to destruction everything that comes in his way. I was laughing to myself, and it took the tension out of my mind for quite some time. I finally got to the light switch and then abruptly turned it on.

A blinding flash lights the area. I couldn’t see for a few seconds, so I rubbed my eyes a few times, and opened them up to look around the room. I looked to the corner, and saw a silhouette of a girl, and when I looked closely, it was a girl. There she was, just staring at me, looking at me as if I was invisible, like she can see through me. She wasn’t even blinking at all. But I was just there. I remembered I have no shirt on.

She stood up. I stumbled to get my shirt, but she got there first before I could. She handed it to me, but still I can feel her stare digging deep in me, penetrating to my soul. I put my shirt on quickly, and then left her there. The rain got lighter, so I decided to run once more. But when I looked back, I saw her beside the door. I stopped, in the middle of the rain. I looked back once more, she wasn’t there anymore. I ran towards the room and went in. She wasn’t there either.

“What the?! Where is she?”

Was I just hallucinating? Or is she really there? I put my hand above my forehead and my neck to check if I was hot or something. But I’m not sick, well hopefully not yet. Now I’m really scared. What if she was one of those white ladies some kids in school talked about? But she really felt real, I can really feel her as she was looking at me. Still puzzled, I decided to go home. The rain finally stopped.

And There I Was Part 1

This is a short story (not really that short though) I made as my final paper requirement for my creative writing class back in my first year in college. I plan to post it in chapters because of it's length and wordiness. It's about love, passion, patience, commitment, and a very unusual way of putting these virtues to the test....all at the same time. Enjoy :)

And There I Was

Chapter One

“85 Dela Rosa St. Sucat, Paranaque. Well, I guess this is the right place.”

Lifting my two, 50 pound luggage I head towards the other side of the road where I see where I’m about to spend my next few years, or few days at least. Just like playing patintero when I was a child, I try to get to the other side without getting tagged by cars and jeepneys as my playmates, but this time, I can only get tagged once. I see some things here in the Philippines never change.

I stop to wipe the sweat off my face for a while, dripping like a waterfall down my forehead to my eyes. It was 1:45 in the afternoon, and the sun is just a little off the zenith. After wiping off those salty liquids, I looked up and saw what’s ahead of me.

There I was, my body almost bathing with perspiration, looking at a big, 20th century mansion covered with moss of I-don’t-know kind. My heart seems to be slowing down as I stare longer. Again, sweat started to run down my face.

I picked up my bags yet again and began heading towards the door. My heart is still pounding as if something’s not right. Like there’s something happening but I can’t tell what the heck it is. All I can say is that I don’t like the feeling of it. My sweat started to become cold, my hair rising to the tips of my whole body. It was almost 2 in the afternoon, but I feel as if I’m all alone in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night.

I snapped back to my senses and saw myself standing right in front of the big, wooden door, probably Narra or Mahogany. I rang the doorbell more than a few times before someone finally answered.

“Sandali po!”

The huge door opened and a young lad, maybe in his late teenage years came up to me with a smile. He took my luggage and helped me into the house.

“Sorry po Mr. Medrano, andun po ako sa may kusina eh. May pinahanda po kasi si Mrs. Montes na turbong manok para sa inyo.”, said the sweet, young kid.

“Ah, thanks. Ano nga pala name mo, iho?”, I said softly as I look around the big, old house.

“Jake po sir. Katiwala po ako nitong bahay, dito po ako natutulog para magbantay.”

“Well, ‘di mo na kailangan pang magbantay. Dito na ako matutulog starting tonight eh.”

The boy looked glad with what I said.

I stopped to look around the interior of the worn out mansion. I stared closely to every angle of the apartment’s insides. I guess I was wrong. The place doesn’t look as bad as it seems outside. It has a decent interior designing, and I was amazed by its pure simplicity. “I think I’m going to enjoy my stay here.” I thought to myself as I walked myself upstairs to my room.

Jake had just finished fixing up my stuff when I entered the room. I excused myself in and asked him if he could kindly prepare the food so we can both eat lunch. After he had left, I put down my shoulder bag on the floor, and immediately laid myself down the big, white mattress. For the first time in about a day and a half of travel, I felt so relieved. My numb shoulders can relax now. I really felt home, though it’s my first time here in this house.  I immediately changed my clothes and went down to check on Jake.

“Oh, heto na po sir. Sorry hindi po ako makakasalo sa inyo, may sakit po kasi si Inay. Bibili pa po ako ng gamut.”

“Ay, ganun ba? Okay, here’s some money, and take a big piece of the chicken you cooked. Di ko din mauubos yan eh.”

He gladly accepted my gifts of appreciation, and I can see his eyes all teary. I really felt sorry for him so I told him I can handle the chores and let him go home right away to take care of his sick mom. I also gave him extra money for his mom’s medicine.

“Salamat po talaga sa inyo sir,” said the young lad as he ran home with a great smile in his face.

I went back into the house and started to fix things up. I stared at the house once more, and I was still amazed of its sheer beauty. It has two bedrooms, very neat comfort rooms, fully furnished dining and living rooms, and a kitchen like those in television cooking shows. What more can a bachelor like me ask for?

I went straight to the kitchen to grab myself a bite. After finishing my meal, I looked for something to drink from the cupboard. Luckily there were some Black Label and Carlo Rossi bottles up there. I used all of my strength left from a long travel to reach the high cupboard, just to see the bottles empty. Darn. I am used to having something to soothe my throat after I finish eating. So I went outside to the nearest store to buy me anything I can drink, even just that plain old Tanduay that I used to drink back then.

As I closed the door after coming back from the store, the echoes of the crashing door squandered all around the house. It was so quiet that you can even hear a pin drop in there. There I was, standing all alone in the middle of the big living room. It’s starting to scare me to my bones again. I wish I had someone with me in here, maybe even Jake. But what the heck! I better get used to being alone in here.