Candy Feels

From Our Readers: This Is How Hard It Is to Reach You

You are a mystery.
PHOTO Warner Bros. ART Clare Magno

In this land full of uniqueness, I am digging deeper to search for the similarity we might have. I am trying to look for something we have in common that will make me say we're really meant to be. We're really made for each other.

No matter what happens and how slim my chances are, I am still hopeful that there's a particular thing that will connect our lost souls and hearts that have been searching far too long for the right one.

There's something in your eyes that I find very engaging; they're like riddles and they make me want to solve whatever's hidden behind that gaze. I am looking for answers everywhere because you're the only person I can't read in one glance—a talent I've had, my friends say. You're like a book with infinite pages that will take eternity to finish. But still, I want to enter your world and look for the esoteric feelings. I can't even understand why I have this kind of connection to you. It's just that every time I look at you, I see myself in a dark cabin looking for the lost puzzle piece that will complete and reveal who you really are.

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You're a talking book, a walking dictionary. You're the human version of unlimited words. You're a library and I want to read all the books. Your sophistication in almost everything reminds me of the Roman God, Thoth. You can survive every field you'll be put into because you knowledge and wisdom in you that I can only ask for. You can sing and your voice is music to my ears. You're gifted with various talents that really suit you. Many praise you but you remain humble. That never fails to amaze me.

Your face is a living image of Eros. Its fierceness challenges me to give it a smile because every time you smile, the world brightens just a little. You also have a good sense of fashion because every time you pass by, heads turn toward your direction.

You're a grand prize that everyone's willing to compete just to win you. And I am one of the participants in this game called Trying to Reach You. Many doves want to be with you, and here I am, an ugly duckling who can't pass your standards. I'm pretty sure you're not going for a girl like me. You'll always go for someone who's the same as you.

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How can I get even a small chance of winning your heart, winning you? 

I dig too much to find our similarities but you're really beyond the limit. We are opposites and antonyms that can never, ever fit together. I don't believe that opposites attract because we could've happened if that were true. 

I am on Earth and you are beyond the sky—together with the other stars I can't reach. I'm the fisherman and you are the fish. In this wide ocean, I can't catch you. You're on the other side of the locked door I can't open.

I guess, I am really trying to reach someone unreachable. Someone I don't have a chance with. There's no way I can win this game. But if I can't be your lover, I hope we can be friends.

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Today, I am sharing my mother's story. I wish my mother was a constant in my life, like an angel who guards you to sleep and comes right there when you called. But angels come back home too, in heaven where they always belonged, and my mother went back a little early. My mother died when I was 13 years old. My last memory of my mother: Letting go when you are not yet ready is a very cruel thing that one has to ever experience. It is a sudden wave of total sadness and desperation crashing into your very core.

On the 28th of July 2013, we went to a resort in Bataan for the employees’ getaway. My parents own a 7-11 franchise, and it had always been a tradition to give their store clerks a get-together every year. I remember very well the last breakfast I had with my mother. The Sunday morning sky was clear and sunny, and the sea was calm and tranquil as we ate our breakfast on a cottage under the tall palm trees. She shared with us a strange dream she had the other night. She dreamt about an unknown woman holding an ice pick chasing her down on a dimly lit street, then she woke up just before the woman could grab her arm. We never knew what that dream exactly meant and now, I wished I never knew its meaning. After breakfast, my family and our employees decided to take a swim at the beach. The day was nice. The morning air may be chilly but the sun’s kiss on our skins gave us warmth. It was perfect. Everything is fine and the tides are low which made it very enjoyable to swim. We swam a little farther from the shore and we stopped to the point where the water reached our shoulders. We were talking about the good things in life and reminiscing the good old days. Those are the things that I’ve always loved about my family because I never had a meaningless conversation with them.

A few moments later, we heard a panicking call for help from one of our store clerks. It was Rachel. She was struggling to keep her head above water. She was already drowning but the odd thing was, she was only a few feet away from us. At first, we thought she was just playing around until we felt the sand in our toes dissolving like powder. It felt like as if the seafloor submerged deeper. I remembered sighting the shore and it seemed so close yet very far away. We were all panicking at that time. No one knew how to swim except my mother so without having second thoughts she swam towards Rachel and called out to my father, “Yung mga anak mo! Dalhin mo sa pampang yung mga anak mo!” and I never thought I already heard my mother’s last words to my father. I was paddling like a dog, gasping for air, as I say a little prayer to God to take us all back to safety. I felt my father grabbing our swimsuits, trying to lift our bodies so we can breathe even though he was also struggling to keep himself alive. Once I felt my toes touch the ground, there came a veil of relief that covered my whole body. As soon as my father and my sister made it to the shore we started calling out for help. There were no lifeguards on duty at that time, no personnel, nor guards. I saw my mother already floating in her stomach. We sighted a boat sailing nearby, we waved our hands and called for their attention. They almost ignored us because they cannot comprehend what we were trying to relay but the good thing was a passenger in the boat noticed my mother and Rachel in the water.

My mother’s body was laid on the shore. She was unconscious and her whole body was pale as white. My father performed CPR but my mother couldn’t get the water come out of her mouth because the food she ate earlier got stuck in her throat and blocked the passage. A concerned tourist offered his car to deliver my mom in a nearby health center or a clinic of some sort since the hospital was miles away from the beach and she needs immediate care. My father told us to stay in the hotel room and prepare mom’s belongings so that if she wakes up she has fresh clothes to change into. My sister and I finished packing our things and waited for our father to pick us up from the hotel. I was crying and I couldn’t stop myself because I was afraid to lose my mother. I couldn’t imagine what my life would be if I lose her that day. Moments lasted until we heard a knock on the door and it was my father, crying, and apologizing to us. He hugged me and my sister tightly and saying, “Sorry, anak, sorry hindi na uuwi si mommy, sorry hindi ko nasagip si mommy”. And that was the moment I felt sinking into the ground. I never knew what to feel at first. I was numb because my worries were now actually a reality that I have to live in. I was at shock because I am now one of the kids in those cliche teleseryes who lost a mother at an early age. We went to the health center to settle everything. The clinic was very small and it sure did lack equipment. He told us to stay in the car. I wanted to see my mom, but I know he never wanted us to see her like that. I didn’t know what to feel. I was having high anxiety levels that my stomach is churning and I wanted to vomit. I got off the car and entered the health center to find the restroom. When I was finding my way around, I passed by the emergency room. I saw my mother lying in a foldable bed, lifeless, her hands dangling from the side of the bed, she has violet bruises on her skin, and her body was partially covered with a white towel.

That is when it sunk into me that she’s dead and never coming back. My father asked the others to just commute back to Manila because what we need right now is comfort from our family. The drive back home was one of the most painful memory I had as a kid. My father was in the steering wheel crying his eyes out. We drove from Bataan to Pampanga. We went home to my grandmother’s house, the nearest house that we can call “home” because how are we still going to be “home” without her?

Once we reached Pampanga, we stopped over to the gas station and my father made some calls to our loved ones to tell them that my mother passed away. He then called my aunt to help him arrange for the funeral. We got home and my grandmother hugged us and told us to get some rest. Already tired of crying, I went to sleep for a while. I woke up and for a second, I thought everything that happened the other day was all just a dream. That she was there in Manila, sitting on the couch reading some furniture magazine, waiting for us to go home. But that’s how cruel life is, right? I got up and weirdly, I felt sands in the bed. It was gray, just like the ones on the beach. I thought maybe it was just dirt but it was a fair amount to believe that maybe she visited us before she left. - ?

- The part of how I conquered the grief of her passing is shared in my personal blog. I felt the need to share my story with everyone since she's the woman I look up to. Feel free to visit my personal blog too when you have the time. I love writing my stories. Thank You! link: http://qkathreece.wixsite.com/kathreecequizon/post/breaking-waves

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