The Night I Met You

30/11/2013 § 2 Comments

CHAPTER TEN

28th October XXXX

Two-eighteen.

My watch states the time as such. Meaning it has been two hours since Kyle came to wake me up. And it was already two hours since she started talking. Or rather, since she started scolding me. Believe me; I don’t hate her but sometimes she just gets too worried sick and strict. Like a mom.

Kyle was a good friend of mine, whom I met through my cousin. She always hangs out at our place although she lives quite a distance away. Even if that was the case, she couldn’t drive. I heard that she got a friend to always do the driving for her. Much like what I do with my cousin. And because of that we actually got along well.

She said that she planned to come later than she did, but her driver had prior engagements so she had to compromise. Whoever her driver was, he could have just sent her after his appointment. I could have slept longer if not because of him or her.

“Are you listening to me?” I heard Kyle asked. I only nodded as I took a sip of my juice. The only good thing about her coming early was that she brought me food just right on time for lunch.

“So how did you lose your phone?” She pushed her long hair back and leaned on the table.

“I already told you. I was out with my friend yesterday, and I dropped it while we were walking back to the car.” I explained briefly. I didn’t lie but I masked the truth about it.

I am not sure if it would be safe to tell her about my wild escapades yesterday. She will definitely tell my cousin, and my dad will definitely hear of it, which I don’t really fancy happening. I couldn’t even imagine the consequences of it.

“And where?” She asked again, batting her long lashes at me. Her light brown eyes, with a slight hue of hazel, were piercing through me like she already knew the truth but wanted to hear the words from my lips.

“Like I said for the thousandth time…I don’t know. It was my first time coming to the area and you know how bad I am at directions.” I explained again. It wasn’t a lie either. I am pretty much directionally challenged and I really don’t know the place. “But if I saw the place again, I will definitely recognize it.”

I feel guilty not telling the Kyle the truth of what happened. But there shouldn’t be any problem about her not knowing it either. So half lying should be fine. At least, at the moment.

“Fine!” She responded simply. “But have you informed your dear cousin?” She inquired after a while of silence.

“I made sure to do so. I called my dad too so both of them were aware.” I answered obediently, not wanting to risk being questioned even further.

“Okay. So, hurry up. Let’s go shopping.” She flashed me a familiar jet black card and waved it in front of my face. AMEX. We both grinned at each other. I immediately jumped off the seat and headed for my room to fix myself.

I’m not exactly fond of shopping, but doing it with Kyle was a different story. She will always tell me directly which clothes suit me, and which don’t. She saves me a lot of time and thinking whenever I go shopping with her. And to be honest, she changed most of my wardrobe ever since I met her. I wouldn’t complain about it thought since I liked what became of it.

“We’ll have a girl bonding time.” She remarked behind me in almost a whisper. I looked over my shoulder and saw a smirk on her face. I felt uneasy almost immediately. That smirk couldn’t mean anything good.

After walking around the mall, entering and leaving boutiques, and being forced to change into a dress for what felt like eternity, we finally settled down. The next thing I knew, however, I was sitting in a bar stool surrounded by people drinking alcohol and dancing. I was in a bar. Kyle dragged me into a bar when I’m under-aged. How she managed to get through, I had no idea. I think she knew the owner of the place or something. Because when she came, she did not even present any form of identification whatsoever. The staff at the entrance just let us through.

I leaned in closer to Kyle who was comfortably sitting in the stool next to mine, watching the band that was performing. “Why did you bring me here?” I whispered.

“Chill, Dana. You’re not the only one who’s actually under-aged here.” She flashed me her evil smirk.

OMG! What have I gotten myself into again?

I knew that Kyle was the same age as me, and I was actually a few months older too. So it was not possible that she would be legal by now. “Kyle!” I almost shrieked in a whisper.

“You’re such a kill joy, Dana.” She remarked in a flat tone. She pulled out a card from her purse and handed it to me. I took it since she was handing it to me. What I received, however, was another thing I couldn’t believe.

“Where did you get this?” I questioned, showing her the card with my picture and personal details on it. It was a driver’s license and I believe that it was a fake one. I couldn’t drive for heaven’s sake!

“Let’s say I got it through my network.” She stated simply. I couldn’t help but think how shady this ‘network’ of hers was. And I really can’t believe that I have a friend who has a shady network!

“Dana, I gave it to you so you would shut up. So just please accept it quietly, okay?” She added giving me the look telling me to shut up. I did as I was told and kept the card in my own purse. Kyle was on the list of people that I wouldn’t want to cross. And this so-called network of hers just made it justifiable.

Kyle left me to meet with her friend who owns the place. She insisted on me coming but I stood firm on staying in the bar counter. I had a mocktail that Kyle ordered for me since I knew nothing about this stuff. I made sure that she got me something with no alcohol in it. Being in a bar when I’m not of legal age is already a crime, and being found drinking alcohol when I’m not legally allowed would just make it worse.

To get my mind of the illegality of the things, I focused my attention to the band that was playing even though I had my back on them. They had played mostly covers of popular local and foreign songs. I was not a musician and I couldn’t play any kind of instrument. But I think that they were pretty good. I actually liked the music that they were producing and their choice of songs.

“For our last song…” I heard the vocalist said after singing the last part of Come To My Window. “We decided to play an original.” He continued. There was a slight murmur that hung in the air after the vocalist made the announcement.

“An original, eh? Well, that’s new.” The bartender near me remarked. It was my first time coming to this bar, and to a bar for that matter. But the bartender’s remarked would make the band appear to be a regular.

“Excuse me.” I called out to the bartender.

“Yes, ma’am?” He immediately responded. “Would you like another glass of your drink?”

“Uhm, no, I’m good. Just wanna ask if this band is always here?”

“Oh, them. In a sense yeah. But they’re not always performing. They were pretty much well liked here though.” He answered.

“Is that so…” I answered quite awkwardly since I didn’t know what to say next.

“It’s my first time seeing you here…” He said and he seemed to study my appearance. “And you look young too.” He continued. His words pretty much made my heart palpitate.

I know I looked younger than my age. But Kyle had me dressed up pretty nicely and she also did my make up, so I thought I looked a little bit matured. But are those just my assumptions?

“Uhm…yeah. I often get that remark.” I replied, trying to hide my nervousness. He couldn’t have thought that I was actually under-aged right? Where was Kyle when I needed her?

Lucky for me, another customer got his attention hence leaving me again to myself. I tried to look away from the bartender, afraid that I will be found out.

“It’s a short song but we hope you like it.” I heard the vocalist said. I missed out on the rest of his monologue during my short exchange with the bartender. When I listened intently to his voice, it sounded familiar to me.

The crowd went quiet and the sound of the guitar filled the bar. It has a soft and mellow touch in the notes, like it was meant to be a lonely but hopeful song. It was followed by the drums in the same gentle and slow manner. Then the vocalist started singing the lyrics.

She’s sitting in the dark, crying for her heart

I found her in the park, all broken apart

She said…she lost her dreams, along with her peers

Even if she screams, she couldn’t stop the tears

On a moonlit night with starry skies

She shines so bright even while she cries

And I said…just cry all she wants I’ll catch every drop

Her wishes I will grant if it can make the tears stop

Another set of instrumental came after the vocalist said the last words. I listened to the strums of the guitar strings with the occasional soft drum beats. The music itself was kind of comforting like it tells you that everything would just be fine. I stared in my glass of a green colored mocktail as I waited for the vocalist to continue with the song.

Her tears were beautiful, they’re precious like gems

But seeing them is painful ’cause she’s crying for them

And I said…she’s too broken and she can’t fly

That she fell from heaven, she’s an angel is my lie

And she said…she lost her dreams, along with her peers

Even if she screams, she couldn’t stop the tears

So I said…just cry all she wants I’ll catch every drop

Her wishes I will grant if it can make the tears stop

Another set of the same soft and gentle instrumental followed. The strums on the guitar strings and the soft beats of the drum became slower by the second. I kept on listening to the music as the words of the song sunk in slowly. It was an original composition by an unknown band but, somehow, I felt like I can relate to the story of the song.

It’s on a moonlit night when I found her heart

She’s quite a sight ’cause she was broken apart

It’s on a starry night when she has fallen

She was like a light; she’s an angel from heaven

I said she’s an angel but she won’t believe

She could be my angel only if she agreed.

I couldn’t help but smile on the last stanza of the song. It reminded me so much of Jacob and how he calls me Angel. Images of him looking at me secretly flashed in my mind. He was always looking at me with that caring expression on his face.

I felt a tap on my shoulder and I turned to see Kyle grinning widely at me. Even that grin of hers couldn’t mean anything good as well. Why does it feel as though everything she did today will put me in a bad situation?

I waited for her to speak up first, not wanting to prolong the suspense of her grin. “Your cousin dear will be coming here.” She informed me.

I panicked. I held my purse tightly and stood up intending to walk out of the place as quickly as possible. Before I could do so, she grabbed my arm and made me sit again in the bar stool. I stared at her in disbelief. “Tell me you’re not serious.” I demanded.

“I am though?”

“Do you want me dead?” I insisted.

“No worries. No worries. I got it covered.” She answered me in a too carefree manner that I really couldn’t believe it.

“Kyle! Seriously?!” I almost screamed in frustration. I stood up from the stool and walked away.

“Where are you going?” She questioned.

“Restroom.” I responded simply. I wanted to calm myself down instead of getting my anger out on her.

The last thing I’d want for now was for my cousin to find out where I was. But it already happened so I can just wish that my dad wouldn’t find out about this little night out. It was Kyle’s fault I was here anyway.

I stumbled on my feet as I walked towards the restroom, preoccupied with what I will say to my dear cousin. Someone bumped into me making me lose my balance. Fortunately, I was caught by the waist before I fell on the ground. That would have been completely embarrassing.

“Sorry.” I mumbled looking at my pair of black platform heels.

“No, I should be sorry instead. I was the one who bumped into you.” The suave masculine voice answered. Caught by the charm in his voice, I looked up and was surprised to see a familiar face.

“Nate?” I asked, quite unsure. His brows furrowed as he looked at me. Then a smirk appeared on his face.

“Sorry, babe. You got the wrong person.” He took a step back away from me. Keeping a good distance between us.

“Oh, sorry.” I mumbled again and tried to proceed to the restroom. I was sure that he looked like Nate but maybe I really got the wrong person. That’s weird though.

“So you knew Nate, eh?” He asked, trailing a little behind me. “How come I didn’t know you then?”

I turned on my heel to face him. I made a quick study of his face and I was certain that he looked like Nate, except his hair was a little longer than the previous night. He also has a different air about him.

“I only met him recently so that’s probably why.”

“Recently huh? That’s odd. We’re almost always together.” That was only last night though, I thought.

I felt a tap on my shoulder again and found Kyle behind me. “Dana I thought you’re going there?” She hooked her thumb towards the restroom.

“Yeah.” I responded simply, feeling quite awkward that she’s actually also informing the person in front of me of where I’m heading to.

“Oh, Christian.” I heard her say; looking at the guy I was engaged in a conversation with seconds ago.

“Kyle? You’re here?” The guy she called Christian answered, sounding a little shocked to find my friend in the bar. I would also react that way if I knew that she’s under-aged. That aside, it also pretty surprised me that they knew each other.

“Obviously.” Kyle answered, sounding a little bit annoyed.

“You knew each other?” I asked to lighten the increasing tension.

“Something like that.” Kyle answered at the same time Christian said, “Pretty much.”

I couldn’t help but get the feeling that they we’re actually not in good terms. “So, you knew each other.” I stated.

“So you brought your friend here Kyle?” He asked my friend. “And you actually had a friend.”

“And you’re as annoying as ever.” She responded.

“Mind introducing your beautiful friend?” He asked.

“I don’t think so.” She answered. Kyle was pretty snobbish but it’s usually under control. Right then though, she’s just letting herself loose her cool.

“Well, then. I’m Christian, as you have heard.” He held out his hand for me, giving me that handsome smile of his. “And you would be?”

Do I give my name to another stranger? And in a bar no less. Thinking under pressure, just great. But Kyle knew him so he’s not exactly a stranger. I don’t think my dear friend would help me though. She’s already annoyed just from seeing the guy. I took his hand and shook it for a little formality.

“I’m Dana.”

<< Chapter Nine

Chapter Eleven >>


I’m getting there.

And if you’re actually reading my blog, the lyrics I put in the story was actually from the poem I made for this chapter specifically. It was entitled Angel. How I made a poem out of the story I created actually puzzled me. Next chapter’s ready by the way. It’s just up for some editing.

To my beloved sister

28/11/2013 § Leave a comment

 “The world isn’t a mosaic of coincidences. It’s all interconnected.”

(Jostein Gaarder, The Castle in the Pyrenees)


Hey there sister dear!

Well, this is supposed to be a retreat letter of some sort but with all honesty, do you really think I’d go with the conventional? I was asked by the parents to do this so I was just complying with the orders. And there you have it. It’s not like there was really something I’d want to say.

Let’s end the crap here. Just go and enjoy the retreat. Or watch people cry while they read their letters. Or maybe you could just read other people’s letters? Yeah, something along those lines. See you March? Take care.

Regards (with all sarcasm),

Lisa 😉


P.S.

And in case the retreat organizing committee or something of your college returned my email asking me for something more sensible, here goes…

(The aforementioned was really part of this like a prologue or something.)

So you were in a retreat but there wasn’t really anything I could say that would be religious since I was not one myself. If you want something of the sort I’d recommend you read The Castle in the Pyrenees or Maya. Both stories were quite mind-boggling and partly touching the topic of religion. Just a bit. I have a copy of both sent back to Cavite, just look for it.

You are ABOUT to finish schooling in a few months’ time (keyword: about, but Congratulations! in advance). Most people would call it ending a phase of your life. But aren’t you just technically moving out of that phase so you could continue on with what you have started to pursue as your career? Or maybe not. But c’mon. You took something as marketing or finance or accounting for your program and it’s not like you’d become a painter after you graduate right? And suck it, you don’t have all those creative juices running in your blood. That aside, the moment you have decided to continue on with the program that you have chosen was the start of your career.

The moving on phase was something inevitable that you will eventually have to undergo in order for you to start another chapter of your story. And starting anew equals to changes. What will be awaiting you after you received that diploma and stepped down that stage? Definitely, it will not be the same old quarters and same old life that you have been used to living for four years. There won’t be a need for you to drag yourself to go to your classroom and listen to your professors talk the entire daytime. Or watch your classmates go wild when the prof. was absent. No more late nights study sessions for quizzes much more difficult than your prelims. No need to prepare for home-works or group activities. No need to worry about getting called for recitations because you did not read a chapter of your book. And no need to worry about singing or dancing because you were late for your class. And most of all, there won’t be any grades to worry about.

There wouldn’t be anything of those after your summa cum laude finished reading his or her speech, thanking the entire world of things none of you guys actually cared about. What awaits you is a life of plain, old reality – a world not entirely different, but different nonetheless, from what you have known up until now. And after you exit that building where you had your graduation-slash-commencement exercise, everything will just be different and you wouldn’t even realize it.

Where will that piece of paper that you worked so hard for four years actually bring you? Saying that it would grant you easy access to success, given that you actually came from one of the prestigious universities in the country, is old news. Personally, I think that educational background doesn’t help you much in real life. Sure you came from a good school and were given basic knowledge of what you chose for your career. That doesn’t mean though that all the companies will be going after you to give you employment. It will still be about how you build your name in your chosen field.

In the new phase that you are about take in a few months’ time, there will be no fairy-tale like fantasies whatsoever. If you think that a student’s life was purely torture, this is your chance to think about it again. Actually, you can enjoy every second of it starting now because in the near future you will definitely long for that. This wasn’t meant to scare you or anything. Maybe some stuff during college was just meant to torture you and prepare you for the real world. The thing is, life wants to screw with you. Always. There will be times when you get what you didn’t expect. Exciting, eh?

I know this sounds like a lecture and all but heck, I don’t even know what I’m supposed to write for a retreat letter. At least there was something right? Oh, and since I’m already at this point why not finish it until the end eh?

So yeah, whatever you choose to do after you graduate – whether you asked for a graduation gift (and you won’t get anything from me just to let you know) and have a tour somewhere, or be a bum for a while or enter the work force as soon as possible – it’s all up to you. You’re free to do whatever you want and you deserve a break anyway. I know how school can be such a hell of a place too. And I also know the feeling of getting released from all the stress you had been put through for four years.

So little sister, just enjoy the remaining months that you have left carrying that student title – unless you actually planned to further your studies and enroll for a graduate school for some master’s degree. All those fun times you have as a student won’t last for long. Soon you will have to face the reality of living, of being part of the community as a responsible citizen.

After you start that new phase of your life, even if you try to go back to the old times, it just won’t feel the same. So maybe, you can start to cherish what you have now – your time as it is. After all, nothing lasts forever and change is inevitable.

I know I’m not making any sense at all and I’m mostly talking crap. I actually have nothing to say but I’m forcing the words out of me so bear with it.

And lastly, I know I can be too annoying at times…most of the times actually. But hey, it was my job to do that since only I can be your biological older sister. All you have to do is be annoyed and bear with me, that’s actually your job as the younger sister. (insert evil laugh here) I didn’t get Mama and Papa’s message but I can just make a wild guess. Boink’s as well.

We love you (probably) even if you are one crazy daughter-slash-sister all the time…

who couldn’t wait until the following day to go to the salon to have her fringe cut, hence spending a few weeks looking like an idiot who had trouble with the fan;

who couldn’t peel an Indian mango for dear life (at least I hope you know how to do it now?);

who loves to eat like a freaking hippo every hour;

who likes to rummage through my closet for a top;

who sings like a broken stereo;

who have an addiction for Korean artists;

who spends money with no care in the world;

who felt like and acted like she’s an idol every single second;

who used to be mistaken as my twin sister (like seriously?);

who would always keep her closet far from being neat and tidy;

who would always act like she was a sanity-deprived person;

and many more other stuff.

So some things said above could be for exaggeration, but some were true. I think most of it was true to be honest. I really do. And since this was a letter and all, I could just tell you all the other stuff that you didn’t know about, since I won’t be hearing from your for a while. Or you could try calling me? +65 8124 2979 😉

And I’m really running out of things to say now. But hey, I’ll just be here and you could ask me anything while I’m still breathing. Surely, I’ll give you all the nonsense you wanted. 🙂

Just remember, we love you no matter what kind of person you are. Even if you become someone the entire world will hate. We’ll be there for you. Always.

All good things must come to an end and so is this crap. So just enjoy every moment of your life. Cheers to your batch! 😉

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