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From Creative Corner: One Hundred
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SHORT STORY Owen Lopez, PHOTO The CW

Every day, it was the same. She would wake up at  dawn to get ready for school. Eat her breakfast, take a trip to the shower, fix her hair, and put on a smile to hide the pain.

The alarm clock on her bedside table read a quarter before seven—just enough minutes left to get her to school. Reaching for the door, the calendar hanging on the adjacent wall caught her attention. It was the usual calendar with dates printed in black and red on a white background, but what's unusual about it were the big X marks she put on the dates that went by. Red ink circled the number 10, which happened to be the date today. She stared at it, and it stared back. She then swallowed the lump in her throat to fight back a sob.

Stepping outside, the sun greeted her with its early warmth and radiance. She walked the familiar grounds of the university, keeping her head down to avoid unnecessary conversations. Clutching her bag slumped on her back, her eyes aimlessly followed the steps she was taking—and bumped into someone. She started to say sorry, but stopped shortly after realizing who he was.

He should be the one who's sorry, she thought to herself. For a moment there, they just looked at each other with undisclosed issues and unmistakable regrets and unspoken apologies.

"I'm sorry." His words rang through her ears, and her mind suggested that his apology was meant for something else that he did.

Looking at his eyes, the memories of the recent past flashed to her like a movie being played backward, then normal again.

She remembered how it felt so good just to talk to him, and how the mention of her name from his lips sent butterflies in her stomach. She remembered how his hands perfectly fit hers, the unexplainable warmth of his body next to hers. She remembered how he turned the worst days to great ones, the boring to exciting, and the awkward to comfortable and safe. She remembered how he told her that he loves her, and that he'll never leave her side. She remembered the day he kissed her, without hesitation nor nervousness. She remembered how he kissed her lightly at first—her lips trembled a little when his soft lips met hers—then became much more than what she expected. His hand cupped her face as the other found a way to the small of her back, drawing her closer to him. She breathed in his scent as he tasted the glory of her lips. She remembered how they both ended up gasping for air, smiling like they'd just won the world. She remembered how one week after, he broke up with her and told her he didn't feel the same way anymore. She remembered how she cried almost every night, suddenly waking up from a sleep she's often deprived of only to find herself crying again.

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And now that he's in front of her again, she felt the wound reopened, fresh as new like it hadn't healed, not even a bit. She didn't beg him to stay, because she didn't want to look pathetic, even if that's how she really felt. She was pathetic, and she still is. She wanted to tell him not to leave her because she wouldn't be able to live with that thought, but she didn't. Her pride ate her alive—and still was. But she knows that begging wouldn't do anything to change his mind about her, about them. He wouldn't take her back and start anew. Because, even how many times he had denied and continued to deny it, somebody else was there all along.

"Babe!" A new round of pain heated her heart as another voice broke in. Giving him a peck on the cheek, the other girl linked her arm with his as if he belonged to her—and only to her.

The sight of them created another wound in her heart as she felt the tears well up in her eyes. She drew in a sharp breath and mustered the courage to smile, the smile she'd been putting on for the last one hundred days. She managed a little nod before walking away; the tears she was holding back now flowed freely down her cheeks.

Every day, it was the same.

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