I cried. I cried an awful lot.
I stopped as I heard the door slam, which was a sign it was forcefully opened.
“Stop crying. Papanget ka niyan. De joke kahit di ka umiiyak pangit ka padin. Hahahaha” he said as he continued to laugh at me while I was bawling my eyes out.
It’s his funeral. I can’t afford to be like this.
I blinked—then he was gone.
I knew I would imagine him once. And I knew I would imagine him at his funeral.
His whole family is here. His sisters, whose only cries were heard because his mother was just standing there, observing. Sometimes his mother would comfort his sisters, but often times she just stands there. Hopelessly staring. Hopelessly hoping for him to come back.
I do the same thing as well.
Sometimes I cry, sometimes I just..sometimes I just stare at him.
Everything I felt with him was real—authentic, even. We were both 15, and we were both too young. I was too young to feel happy, but I also think I’m too old to feel sad. I wanted to feel nothing, but sadly, I still feel his love.
Everything with him would feel the same way you felt when watching a really good movie, and halfway through watching it, you knew it would be your favorite.
Halfway through knowing him, I knew he was going to be my favorite person.
And it breaks my heart to know I would never know him as a whole.
It felt like I was only able to know half of him.
It felt like I was only able to watch half of the movie.
I felt my eyes welling up. Thankfully his mother made me snap back into the harsh, cold reality.
He was gone.
“Dear, why don’t you rest?” his mother asked as I tried to stand and gather my things to leave.
“Ah, tita. I will. I will. You should rest too, tita. You look exhausted na po,” I convinced her as she looked far too tired to stand. I took a chair and helped her as she sat on it. “Do you want something to eat, tita?” I asked her while I put my bag down. I guess I shouldn’t leave without taking care of his mother.
One more hour here wouldn’t hurt, right?
“Yes, hija. Can you make me some coffee?” his mother asked, and I was happy to oblige.
Serving his mother meant serving him. He always told me his mom deserved every little thing in the world.
“Hija, do you love my son?” his mother asked as I handed her the coffee. It was creamy and sweet, just how he told me his mother liked it. She smiled as she took a sip.
“Opo tita. Bakit po?” I unintentionally gazed at him, in his coffin, remembering how it was like to feel him gaze back at me.
Di ko na ata mararamdaman iyon.
“Nothing, hija. Sige, I’ll check up on the girls.” she smiled at me. It felt like an obligation to return the smile, but I knew I couldn’t. She left as I returned my gaze back at his coffin.
“Smile ka na! Hahahahaha panget mo kadiri.” I heard a too familiar husky voice once again.
It made me smile. He always told me I was ugly, or masyadong chubby, or maliit. But I knew he found me beautiful. He looked at me like I was his phone or something. I was special, I knew.
“Paano ako ngingiti eh iniwan mo ako?”
He knelt in front of me. He even managed to lower his head to level it with mine.
Indeed, I was too small for him.
“Di kita iniwan. Hihintayin kita.” he said as he cupped my cheeks. For the first time, I felt myself longing. I wanted him to be back.
I didn't want to blink.
A tear fell from my eye. He wouldn’t wait for me. I knew it.
I tried to stare at him, as I always do, and memorize every little detail of his face.
His dimples, his mole, his hooded eyelid, his eyebrows..
I knew it had to be done.
I knew I had to let him go.
So I blinked.
Then he was gone.