Category Archives: Shorter Stories
It’s been a really long while since I wrote short and even shorter stories. Yesterday, I began writing again. I tried hammering out the plot for the third part of Daniel’s Sling. A friend of mine suggested to have it published as an ebook. He said, I have already completed one, and as if jokingly, reminded me of that one completed novel which I lost another long long time ago because of a computer virus and the other novel which got rejected because it was “too good” to become a romance pocketbook. And so, I thrive on being a ghost of a writer.
Yet, somehow, for the longest time, I felt that those two attempts to get my own name on a book cover were signs that I am on a senseless pursuit. I admit. I don’t do well on rejections. It’s not that I can’t get over. It’s just that I have a difficult time getting past them without getting scarred. It’s like recovering from a teenage-ish broken heart.
However, I should know well enough that there is no point to not try harder. If before, I see them as reasons and signs to stop, I guess it’s time to leave no stones unturned. Rekindling the passion that has made me so exuberant and alive before should be on top of my 2014 must-do list.
Which reminds me, I have to sign up for the 19kms extreme white water rafting. I so miss the bounty and beauty of nature.
If there’s anyone who doesn’t believe in second chances, it is my friend Madelyn. And if there’s anyone who has given up in making her see that it’s worth a try, it’s me.
I call her Mad, especially when she’s gregariously hyper which is most of the time. The name stuck.
We were the best of friends. The start of the school year, when Madelyn transferred at St. Clements in 5th Grade, our teacher, Ms. Gozon, seated her next to me. I instantly envied her pink Barbie-fad school bag which my parents said was too fancy for me and too expensive for them. Being her seatmate was not my only duty. Ms. Gozon appointed me to show Madelyn around, as well as make everybody her friend. I was the top student and my teachers had all the confidence on me.
Madelyn was so timid shy which my classmates took as being snobbish. And so I was stuck to be her only friend for the first few months. Months became years. From high school to college. We were inseparable.
I still can’t figure out how two totally different individuals who came from two extreme ends of society can remain friends for so long.
Madelyn’s family was devastatingly rich. And yes, you figure it out, we were poor. My parents lived and scraped for my allowance, and that of my two siblings. Good thing, I had Madelyn then who share her meals, and I, who share her my dreams.
College even strengthened our friendship. Somehow, I infected Madelyn with my study habits telling her that I may not have her luxury but I am bound to experience them soon after I graduate. She wagered and said, the first thing she’ll do when she does was learn to be independent. To live on her own. And so we burned night oils, and celebrated galore after every exam all expenses paid by Madelyn’s enormous credit limit. What would rich parents give their child who do well in school, anyway?
We were taking the same course, Clothing Technology. I chose it because my Mom is a seamstress so I feel that it’ll be a breeze to sew fashion. As for Madelyn, fashion was her style. No sweat for her.
But on the drawing table, I was better. Imagination, Madelyn was tops. Texture was my forte. Complementing it was hers. Making it work was mine. Making it saleable, hers.
Madelyn and I were not the best in class. But we were challengers. Two heads is better than one, they say. For us, it was verily true. We were happy just for knowing that in whatever we do, we can make it work because we did it together.
Until we landed on our dream job.
But Madelyn’s Dad wanted her to be part of their family enterprise; they own all kinds of things that float on water — ships, cruises, boats. All things sailing. She turned it down and went jobseeking with me.
We were hired by an international brand of jeans. Madelyn and I were separated by feasibilities, immersions and roadshows. One time, when we were both working at the office, celebrating our 1st year of regularization, Madelyn came to me and said, “Pam, why don’t we put up a boutique, you and I.”
I told her, it’s not yet time. We still have lots to learn.
But Madelyn wanted to be all independence. And so she resigned from work and put up her boutique. Her efforts, her funds, her imagination and selling ability went to “Lines”, a high-fashion minimalist trend of clothing sold exclusively in the most exclusive Class-A-catering malls and getting publicity dressing up news anchors and top actors.
She didn’t foresee competitors though. Foreign and new local brands all too willing to get the media endorsement. And her style was getting obsolete every minute.
I was in Hong Kong when I got her phone call.
“Pam, I’m closing the boutique,” she said with a sob. “I’m drained and I’m all spent out. Energy, effort and enthusiasm. And I’m not happy anymore.”
“But you know business, the first few years is the toughest. Ask your Dad!”
“That’s what I did. He said it’s time for me to join him. Manage the company. I already said yes.”
“A-are you sure? Let’s do it together, this time. Revive Lines!”
“I don’t know Pam… You weren’t there when I started. You don’t even know how hard it was for me to do it all alone. I’m sorry but somehow, I feel that your helping hand is a bit too late. I have lots of last last year’s inventory still waiting to be sold. It’s too late.”
“Madelyn… there’s still time. Fashion is a mindset and you know it. Lines has been a word of mouth and your giving up now?”
“Lines is not making sales anymore, Pam. I don’t even know where to get the money to pay my employees! It’s over for me now, Pam. But thanks. You know how I want you to know that I tried.”
“I’m sorry, Madelyn, if I wasn’t there when you started Lines but I’m for you now.”
“It’s too late Pam, too late. I’m closing shop.”
The last time I heard from Madelyn, she said there’s a corner in two of their luxury ships that still sell Lines. Those last pieces that were unsold.
As for me, I have become my own designer setting up a small made-to-order gowns and dresses shoppe.
And patiently in wait for Madelyn to finally make what we have dreamed of a reality, for her to call me and say “Let’s pursue our dream! Dress the world in style and be happy!”
Or maybe, she already did, without me. Too scared that I’ll fail her, again.
To my three avid (or should I say demanding?) readers (names withheld upon request, hehe… di ba Gugs, Mel and Doc?) who had been squeezing me for a conclusion of David’s Sling. The truth is, the story has yet to be concluded. In fact, the draft had been in my gedit since the Philippine premiere of Dark Knight… and I am still in the dark as to how to end it.
Anyway, I am posting the still-to-be-completed story and marked it as the 2nd Part (mala-trilogy ito!) so I could again let you hammer me for a conclusion. But hey, I also am wondering what happened to them… really. Should you have dany suggestions, twists or turns, they are much drastically welcome — you know, like how an Open Story goes… (Yey, good excuse right?)
Editors are appreciated too!
The sky was sprinkled with thousands of stars, all colors and brightness off them, the night I learned I was already dead. Before knowing I was really dead, I was having the most carefree and magnificent night of my life. I felt free for the very first time. Free because I have no idea of who, what and where I am. You see, I never even thought about who, what and where I am.
That night, I was all alone and I was so happy. But I also thought that I am the same as the stars because I can hear them laughing and giggling as I leaped from one star to another, my steps so agile and exact, and with every leap, I bounced with a hundred different colors as if am prism. I can also taste the colors. All of them different yet delicious.
At one point, I miscalculated a step and bounced on the while fluffiness of a cloud. It felt almost magical that when I asked the cloud to fly me to the nearest star. And I thought I was a cloud too!
For how long I was enjoying the night with the stars and the clouds, I will never know because I never had an idea of time, or of space, for that matter.
Yes, I had no idea that I was happily alone and full of glee, until I saw him. In his eyes, I saw my reflection, bathed in stardust of every color imaginable.
When I saw him, it was only then that I began to ask who, what and where I was. His answer was cold, short and abrupt. “You’re dead,” he said. And then he was gone; I was gone too.
And the stars were nowhere. The clouds however became mist, only to disappear the very minute that every single living memory that I had flowed back and filled me. I was alive only in as far as the thoughts that I have were alive in me.
Every time I remember a happy memory, I dwell in it for as long as I can, but I can’t make it last longer than I want. I want to cling on that happy memory to feel warm and alive. It took me awhile to realize that the more I think of those days when I was alive, the more I was feeling every inch dead.
So I let go.
And I saw him again.
He asked, “Are you dead?”
I answered, “Yes, I think so.”
“You think so? But what do you feel?”
“I don’t feel anything. I am not happy but I am not sad either. I feel nothing. That’s why I think I am dead because the only thought I have is to feel alive, but I am not alive. I can only think that I am alive and that’s how far I get into being alive. So I am dead.”
“Yes, you are dead,” he said and disappeared, and in his disappearance, the clouds and the stars reappeared. This time, they were all waving in joy to see me again.
In an unfathomable surge of wisdom, I accepted that I was dead, and let go of everything. The day I accepted myself as dead, I started to live again.
There! My title is supposed to be a psych kick for me. It’s not true of course. I’m in no denial here. And I don’t intend to start the week with a lie. The truth is, my head’s a-buzz with “Friday, I’m in Love”, an LFS from the taxi ride I took from Caloocan to Kapitolyo.
No, I didn’t lost my way to work. I took the long cut because I have to make a cut trip since there seem to be no Cubao buses at the terminal, only Divisoria buses. So I boarded on one of the Divisoria buses, boarded off at Caloocan, and from there tried waiting for south bound buses. I don’t know what it is about my lovely morning but again, curses of all curse, there seems to be no space left for my teeny weeny self between all those bodies squeezed inside those south bound buses.
So I took a cab. Even when a centavo for me nowadays is tied like life and death to my coin purse. I can almost hear myself whimper when I let go of my P200 to pay manong cab driver.
And when finally I arrived at the office, I thought I came on a weekend or a holiday. Why? I’m not used to be the first one in the office, that’s why! Haha!
Anyway, the reason I left Bulacan early is because I thought that we shall have the weekly meeting today at 9am. But I assume, since no one is here, except Jas of course, that our meeting is NOT at this time. So irresponsible of me.
At least, I know now how it feels to be early in the office.
C’mon, I didn’t take breakfast!