Sitting with myself, a glass of coke on the balcony ledge, a cigarette in one hand, sprays of rainwater with the occasional gust of wind on my face, I look at the gray pouring sky and think, this feels familiar.
Four years ago, there was also this. Days of this in fact. Sitting with myself, a glass of coke sitting next to me, a cigarette in one hand, sprays of rainwater with the occasional gust of wind on my arms and legs as the roof of the small unused little hut standing in front of the house that was my home for the past three months was not enough shelter for the little me that found myself in a little town, deemed somewhat inaccessible, right by the beach with the looming Cadlao island right in front of it.
Four years ago, I was not married. I did not have a baby. There was just me. Venturing out into the unknown world of other people and other places. Places that my feet have trodden on for the first time. People whose faces I was just getting to know and getting used to. It was a big world and I made it little. Little enough so I could find myself. And I did.
Four years ago, I lived in a small house with four other people. I had a wonderful roommate who was vivacious in so many ways. When we were down, when we were lonely, she would cry out at the top of her voice, “Endorphins! Endorphins! Let’s make some endorphins!” and we’d dance on our living floor that five days a week was the classroom for the little boys and girls that we called pre-school. We’d get our badminton rackets and play right outside our house, in the middle of the street. We’d run to the beach, tie our shirts on the outriggers of docked boats and swim. We’d walk briskly to the Art Cafe and borrow mountain bikes.
On rainy days like this, we’d make hot cocoa drinks, sit around on our little dining table and talk about our past lives and the wonderful kids that made us laugh, that put meaning into our otherwise dreary, boring lives.
I miss those days.
It’s been four years. Two of us have gotten married. Someone is in Slovenia. Someone is in Singapore. No one is still in El Nido, that place that have adopted us and in so many ways, have made us into who we are now. I still live with three other people: my husband, the baby and the maid. I still have a dog, though now it’s smaller and officially mine. Not anymore the neighbor’s dog that I made into my own.
I wish I could cry out at the top of my lungs, “Endorphins! Endorphins!” right now but I can’t. I wish I could make hot cocoa drinks and laugh about the kids. There is no cocoa drink to make. There are no kids to laugh about. And most importantly, there is no one to laugh with.
Tomorrow morning, I know it’s going to rain. I will get drenched. My cheeks, my face, my shirt will all get drenched. Just as it did on my twenty-seventh birthday.
I always leave when Ryan leaves. Just because I cannot stay home by myself. The house just feels empty with just me in it.
Now I can’t leave. Because my plane to El Nido does not take babies. Because my parents can’t meet me in Catanduanes. Because I can’t drive me and the baby by myself to La Union. Because the weather is bad.
I know a week does not seem too long, but for me it does. It is. A week is a long time to be talking to no one but myself. A week is too long to be taking care of the baby on my own. A week is just simply too long.
I miss those days from four years ago. When you’d crawl under the covers and read a good book for an hour or two for your quiet time, knowing that when you need someone to talk to, someone to laugh with, there is someone in the bedroom next door, doing just what you are doing, feeling just the way you do.