By the time you read this, you’re gonna be wondering why I wrote this today, August 5th an hour and a half past noon in Manila; quarter after one, New York time.
It’s going to cross your mind when you’re alone, thinking about how your life had been for the past few years or so. You’ll remember me, I assume, because you always told me you’ll never forget me. So, automatically, when you feel pain in my memories, you’ll think of this letter I wrote in broad daylight–at a time when I really should be doing something else. You’ll also probably remember this when you’re at your favorite cafe because I will always assume that coffee will remind you of me. Or maybe at a bookstore, when you’re browsing through classics because I know you find it amusing for someone as cheery as me would love tragedies.
I bet you’ll remember this when you see vinyl records. Or rock music in general. You’ll probably recall this when American Idol airs or when you watch reruns. And I’m pretty sure you’ll remember this at the mention of Superman because you once told me I’ll always be your Lois Lane.
Except perhaps I never was.
And probably never will be.
Truth is, the words on this piece have long been written, memorized wholeheartedly. The words in this supposed-tale are words that my fingers have long itched to pen, something I have long kept unsung.
I was never the brave one, not the slightest brave that you always were. Although I have acted well on it, kept appearances. Covered a bruised heart with kind-hearted smiles. I was always the puzzle that needed to be figured out. That one puzzle you thought you’d solved but a closer look reveals a missing piece.
Yet, despite it all, you didn’t stop searching for that one piece that would finally complete me. You tried being that piece unknowingly, the piece simply doesn’t exist. Only one thing completes me and that’s a place somewhere 8, 000 miles away. There’s a huge chance that as you remember this, I might have found my way there, miles away. And I have found my puzzle piece on my own.
So, I write this today to say something I never had the courage to tell you; something I rarely say–something I try hard not to say. I don’t believe in saying this but with you, I feel like I need to.
For a lot of things, actually.
Things you don’t need to know about; things you know. I’m sorry for the things you lost; for the ones you gained but didn’t want. I’m sorry for the things you felt when you were with me–and best of all, I’m sorry for the things you didn’t.
I just want you to know and I hope you never forget, that just like you, I have reasons–not excuses–for the things I did and for the things I didn’t; for the things I can do and the things I can’t. For the things I gave and the things I didn’t.
Yet, I’m telling you, I was at my bravest in loving and leaving you.
You were wrong about me.
I’m not the one.
I never was.
Excerpt, A Letter From Manila
By Me For You
Written on broad daylight because sunlight scares tears, during that period of time before it all went down