Two days before I left Manila, my “romantic fever” broke. Yes, yes, my dam of tears punched a hole in itself and let loose the flood, washing all over my pillows and bed sheets and clean clothes. I don’t remember the exact thought that triggered the im/explosion, but I remember it already having started as a steady trickle a few days before. When I began howling, I didn’t stop for probably half an hour. It streamed, oh boy, it did.
My parents actually heard me, apparently, and when I went out to the bathroom, they called me downstairs and asked me what was wrong, in their best imitation of concerned parents: which is to say, while talking among themselves about something they saw on TV last night, and while making fun of the sobbing noises they heard from my room. They really were trying, though; they were just awkward with that kind of thing. I felt the same way, anyway, so I laughed along, picked some food from the table casually, and told them I wasn’t crying, even as my eyes swelled like a rotten tomato. They only pressed a little more, and when they gave up I retreated to my room and began crying again, to get rid of as much of it as I could in one go. Afterwards, I felt better, though only in a drained-and-dead kind of way.
And that day, I decided to stop my chase. She’s being busy, I gather, so I really don’t think there’s any room in her life for the bother I’m causing her. I don’t exactly know what it is that I want from her that wouldn’t be too much: she lives in another region, for god’s sake. What sort of a relationship would that be, if she wasn’t that into it from the start anyway? So I realized how pointless it is, and since then I’ve been force-feeding myself thoughts of how stupid everything I did was.
I’m making another mixtape for her, a complete overhaul of the last one I tried to make; this one is an apology, and a goodbye. It still sends a pang of sadness echoing in my gut, but nowadays I don’t really feel the pang itself, just the echoes. It’s a good sign, I take it. I guess this is okay, you know. It doesn’t matter that I feel like a dying cat stuck under a car with no one around to give it much thought; it doesn’t matter that I look up at the sky and I want to burst out crying but I don’t want to remember why; it doesn’t matter that life has lost all its colour and that I don’t have anything to look forward to in the day. All that matters is that, after this deluge, I’ll be over her, and it won’t hurt anymore.