..whatever..

---Literature and Artworks by Amaranth Levana---
*All images/artworks/literature/blurbs in this blog are all by me (and the three voices in my head), unless stated otherwise. For special permissions please contact YuAmaLev via email amaranth.levana21@gmail.com*

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Silent Love Confessions 4: Ally


“I love you, Ally…”


Looking at him lying on his deathbed, catching his breath with every word, I feel my heart break into tiny little pieces. Knowing that it would not be long before he returns into the arms of his savior with nothing left to do but wait, I can’t help but wish that there was something that I could do for him.


“I love you too, daddy…”


He smiled at me gently and slowly closed his eyes for his afternoon nap without letting go of the hand which I had placed on his for him to hold. It hurts seeing him with that gentle smile because that gentle smile was not really meant for me… and those words he exerts so much of his remaining energy to say “I love you, Ally…” are words that are not directed towards me… not really…


My name is Allyson, Ally for short but I am not his Ally. I was named after my mother Alyssa. My mother who left us… his wife who abandoned him during the years when he needed her most… the woman who took away his heart and his life the moment she decided to give up… Ally, who was supposed to be with him for better and for worse until death parts them, left him broken… but still… she continues to be his great love.  


They say that in one’s life, no matter how many people they meet, there would always be that someone, that special someone who will capture one’s heart and will remain a huge part no matter what happens. Great Love, they say, only happens once… and in my dad’s life… that was mom.


I was very young when Ally left us, but old enough to remember the pain of betrayal and the anger I felt. Dad at that time was diagnosed with an awful disease. He had to stop working, he got very sick that all he could do all day was lay on his bed, and when he needed to eat, he had to be fed. I was very young then, but my young eyes could already understand the suffering everyone in our family had to go through. He needed a nurse around him because there came a point when he couldn’t even move on his own, but that nice nurse only stayed with us for a few days because we reached the point when we can no longer afford to have anyone else inside the house. My older brother started working part-time so we can have food on our table, I was still so young then that all I was allowed to do was be good at school, play outside and make sure not to disturb daddy’s rest.


Mommy was always sad… always tired… she was always crying... She no longer had time to play with me or the patience to help me do my homework. I understood her because it must have been tiring to have to carry daddy whenever he wanted to move near the window for some fresh air, to have to give daddy baths, to have to clean daddy whenever he had to go, to have to sanitize daddy’s bed sores, to have had to be daddy’s personal nurse. It must have been really tough for her because she always cried hard once daddy had fallen asleep.


There came a time when my brother’s earnings were no longer enough. Mommy said I had to stop going to school. That was fun for me because I no longer had to do homework and I could stay in the house and play all day, but then I realized that staying in the house really was no fun at all. Mommy would always be angry with me, she yells, she cries, she spanks me hard because she said she was tired. Although the beatings from the wooden broom hurt, I couldn’t be angry with mommy… for as long as she loved us… as long as she loved daddy and continued to care for him until everything was well again... I could never be angry with her. If hitting me was a way for her to cope with the stress, it was better to accept that sole responsibility given to me for being that young to do anything else for the family.


Days… weeks… months… my birthday… daddy’s birthday… and big brother’s birthday passed… but daddy was not getting any better…


It was Christmas Day when daddy was rushed to the hospital. Mommy didn’t cry while talking to the doctor, but she cried really hard when she held daddy’s hand as he lay unconscious on the hospital bed. She cried for hours… non-stop… she cried until she was out of breath… she cried until there were no more tears left.


After what seemed like forever when she finally stopped crying, she gave daddy’s hand a kiss and though daddy was unconscious, in my eyes it was like his face showed a gentle smile.


Mommy gave me and my brother a tight hug before walking out of the hospital room and walking out of our lives completely. We never saw her again after that. Some relatives said that she got tired and left us. They said that since she was still lovely that she probably left with some other guy. Of course I never believed them.

My brother and I continued to take her place being daddy’s personal nurses. He was unconscious for a few days and when he regained consciousness, he did nothing but ask about mommy. We always told him to get well and when he does, mommy will come back.


He would just smile that gentle smile.


In my heart I believed mommy would return although my brother believed what our relatives have said. He said he understood why mommy would have done it, but the only thing I understood then was love. Mommy loved daddy… mommy loved us… mommy will come back… and I held on to that belief for as long as I could.

But days… weeks… months… years passed. Daddy was well and working again… My brother and I were back in school… until today that we both have families of our own… mommy had not returned…


I didn’t even realize when it was exactly that my belief for love turned into doubt.


Today, at exactly fifteen years since that Christmas day that mommy left us, daddy closed his eyes, with a gentle smile on his face, my hand on his, after saying his last words: “I love you, Ally” drifted off to an everlasting slumber.


He left peacefully… he left quietly… he left expectedly… but it was still too painful…


What hurt most wasn’t the part that he was gone… it was that he passed on with an idiotic hope in his heart that his great love would still come back to him.


***


A few days after my dad’s burial, my brother and I began cleaning up daddy’s things. His room didn’t have that heavy feeling, the one you’d expect from the place where a deceased loved one had spent most of his remaining days… in fact, there was some sort of light vibe emitting from it.


“Ally, look at this.”


I walked over to the bed where my brother was tidying up and was shocked to see so many letters stuck beneath the mattresses. We investigated and saw that they were letters to dad from mom all from the years when my brother and I still haven’t existed. We read them all discovering little by little how great a love story they had. With mom’s words in those letters, it was easy to understand why dad had kept her in his broken-heart for the rest of his life.


I felt guilt… I felt grief… I felt resentment… all emotions mixed in my chest while my mind screamed “Lies! Lies! Lies!”, as tears flowed from my eyes.


Inside dad’s pillow we found another letter, one that was dated fifteen years ago.


“I’m sorry, darling but I’m really tired. I tried to hold on but I just can’t. Whenever I carry you to the window, the breeze carries my soul away little by little... Whenever I clean the scabs off your back, I feel my rationality being brushed away... Whenever I clean your soils away, I smell the stench of my decaying spirit which had died the moment I learned I will soon live without you... Between the two of us… you are stronger… with this final love letter I give you my heart. Take care of it and our beloved children. We will meet again when all is well.”


A small trip to the hospital and a lot of persuasion was all it took to confirm… my dad’s donor fifteen years ago was Ally… His great love who lived in his heart until his very last breath…



Thursday, September 16, 2010

Silent Love Confessions 3: The Lily Guy





Every day, whenever I walk out of the door of my apartment, I see him sitting on the bench right across the street, holding a bundle of pink lilies. It had been about a month ago since I first saw him there. I call him “The Lily Guy”, because I know absolutely nothing about him, except that he always sits on that exact same spot with those lilies in his hand.


When I first saw him there, I immediately noticed how handsome he was, but of course, I’m always in a hurry that I don’t have the time to look at him any longer than five seconds. But five seconds is enough, because without fail, he would always look my way, and smile. I’ll see him there in the morning before I go to work and by the time I get back in the afternoon, he’d be gone. I know I can’t expect him to stay there the whole day, but something in me feels lonely whenever I see that bench empty. And as days passed, I found the loneliness weighing heavier, like a bag of stones hanging around my neck which I carry with me until the next morning when I see his sweet smile again.


For so many years, I had never felt this kind of loneliness. I’m not sure I even know the meaning of that word, because I had always been fine being all by myself. I never understood why my parents cried so much when I decided to leave our province to work here in the big city. They always call and say they miss me, asking me to come home, but all I could think about is how much more of a better life I could provide them by staying here. Among my friends, I’m the only one who hasn’t experienced crying because some guy left me, perhaps I’ve never really met someone I’d actually feel lost without. I’m not sure if there’s something wrong with me being like this, but all I know is that I’m happy with how I am. I’m someone who always just looks ahead and it had done me well all these years…


So how come I feel this way now? Why do I feel this sort of void from within my heart just because of someone I don’t even know? I’m sure The Lily Guy doesn’t even feel the same thing as I do. For him, I’m probably just someone he happens to greet every morning while he waits for his special someone. Yes, I’ve thought about it before… who else could he be waiting to meet early in the morning with a bunch of pretty flowers in his hand? I can’t expect to mean anything to him and he should be the same way with me, but I can’t stop myself from feeling sad whenever I find that bench empty… with thoughts running through my head like what he could be doing out on a date with his girlfriend or how his girlfriend reacts whenever he shows up with those pretty pink lilies… I couldn’t help it…


I feel…


I---


I like lilies…


But it shouldn’t matter because they’re not for me…


So is that lily guy…


Not for me…


I don’t even know his name…


I shouldn’t be bothered…


I shouldn’t care…


I should just get over this feeling…


I know that I’m not supposed to let myself be pulled closer…


I know I should just get back to my usual self…


Maybe if I stop looking at his direction every morning I’ll stop thinking about him…


And that’s what’s supposed to happen…


I should forget him. I know---


So how is it possible that I’m here standing in front of him when I should be rushing off to work like usual?


“Good morning.”


Wow, his voice is as gentle as his face. No, wait! I shouldn’t even be speaking with him. This isn’t part of the plan.


“Hi. I always see you sitting here holding those flowers, so I got curious…”


Yeah. Curious…


I was only curious…


“Are you waiting for someone?”


“Yes.”


“I see. I shouldn’t be bothering you then… Bye.”


“Wait. Would you like one?” the lily guy took a stem out of the bundle and presented it with that charming sweet smile on his face.


“Isn’t that supposed to be for someone?”


“It is. But it’s fine. Take it.”


“Thank you.”


I like lilies…


And he gave me one which looked so pretty I just couldn’t resist…


Since that day, I always found a pink lily on my doorstep and whenever I looked at the guy sitting on the bench across the street, he would smile sweetly. The lily guy, I still don’t know his name, just added extra weight on my bag of stones. Maybe he isn’t even aware of what he was doing, but he’d just burrowed a deeper hole in my chest.


Every day, without fail, he would place a lily on my doorstep… A pretty pink lily to match up with his pretty smile…


It went on for a week before I realized that, as my collection of lilies increased, his bundle became thinner and thinner, until after a few more days, there was not a lily on my doorstep and he was holding just a single stem in his hand. I know it was more than just curiosity that led me to cross the street and walk over to him. In my heart I was hoping for something… a deeper meaning for his gestures…


“Who are you waiting for?”


My heart beat like crazy, and waiting for his response seemed like an eternity. I don’t know why I’m so nervous… but it’s probably because I’m hoping to hear something from him which I’ve secretly fantasized about ever since that day he first smiled at me.


I want to hear him say that he was waiting for me… that the lilies were for me… although it made no sense in the beginning; it definitely should make sense now, right? What else is there to think? There must be a reason for this single lily that he has in his hand right now…


“Do you believe that somewhere in this world, there is someone whose soul has been tied with yours? That no matter what happens, the two of you are meant to meet and be together?”


I don’t understand at all… Is he talking about soul mates... that kind of belief, which people nowadays, merely joke about? Of course I don’t believe in that. But what should I tell him? If I told him that I find it ridiculous, would he hate me? I don’t know what to do… What should I say?...


“I was waiting for you…”


Hearing those words, I felt the heavy weight on my chest vanish in an instant.


“Do you believe me?...”


He handed me the last lily and just as I held it in my hand, I heard a woman scream which made me turn my head. Sprawled on the street, I saw myself bathing in my own blood stuck beneath the wheels of a huge bus. I felt his hand on my shoulder as I stared in shock at my own lifeless body.


“We’re finally together…”



© AmaranthLevana 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Silent Love Confessions 2: Francis



We’ve all heard about love stories that began with fateful meetings, continued on to blissful incidences and ended with happily ever after. But there are also tragic stories of those whose love has ended before it even began. I have a story of my own… one that is slightly different than those ever heard of.



My name is Julie and this is how my love story began with The End.


My mornings always start with a good morning greeting from Francis. With a soft whisper in my ear, feeling the warmth of his breath against my skin, hearing his cool voice, and smelling the scent of roses carefully arranged in a vase on top of the table beside my bed, my morning always is sure to be a good one.


Handsome, sweet, caring and thoughtful… what else could a girl wish for?


Here’s one: I wish he was my boyfriend.


For two years, I’ve been living with Francis, inside this little apartment… four walls locking us in together… just the two of us…


But he’s not my lover…


He can never be…


As a matter of fact he has another girl he’s in love with and they have the most perfect love story…


So what does that make me?


Probably just no one on a third person’s perspective… but for them…


I’m the foundation of their relationship.


I made that perfect love story possible…


You can call me “the bridge”, I’d prefer that.


…And for Francis…


I’m his shield, his weapon, his hero…


I’m his super dependable and severely indispensable best friend.


He’d literally, NOT survive without me.


I, being the brain and the brawn of this household and him being the heart… made this little apartment we call home the happiest place I’ve ever been in my entire life. The two of us make such great partners, if only we could stay together forever like this…


But we all know FOREVER doesn’t really exist. Forever is just an idea… an idea that, like all the other of its kind, could easily pop like a bubble the very moment reality kicks in.


Pretty soon, I’ll have to face MY REALITY. A reality without Francis… A reality where this little apartment would consist of only me and my lot of inanimate possessions… A reality which would take away the heart of this home…


When that time comes, I know I wouldn’t have a single clue of what to do next and how to go on with my life but I’ve long accepted the inevitable. I know what’s coming… I know it will be soon… I know I have to let go… I know, but what will I do then? Maybe I’d get a cat… or not; I value my comfy couch.


But knowing doesn’t really make you prepared. Knowing just makes you aware… aware of the enormous pain that would shortly strike you… I’m sure Francis knows what I’m feeling… He always knows… The very same way I always know what he’s thinking… I know what he’s about to say… I know what he’s about to do… I know his thoughts… I know his heart… He’s a huge part of me as I am to him…


You see, we’re connected in a very special way…


But it will never be enough…


Such connection has always been meant to end. Again, I know that, but it doesn’t make things easier… it just makes me become aware of my own attachment… and as I linger on that knowledge longer… the pain just keeps burrowing deeper into my chest…


As I sat alone in my room staring at the vase filled with lovely roses, I’ve been contemplating on how to go about it…


You know…


Letting go…


Moving on…


It’s tough…


***


“We’re getting married.”


Francis looks so happy. Just looking at his eyes, you’ll see that it is something that he’s always wanted… dreamy-eyed like a child who’s excited for his first trip to Disney Land.


If he only knew what was running through my mind… If he could only see the selfish wish that I have in my heart… Would he still see me as his hero? I, the one who at the very last moment had the urge to crush his dream just so he could stay with me perhaps just a little longer?...


I felt a tear run down my cheek as I realized that the dreadful part really had come… I’m letting him go…


I have to…


“Goodbye, Julie. Thank you.”


His voice, soft, cool, soothing… flew with the wind as I wrote my final wishes for him and his beloved with a trembling hand… Below the photo of their happy faces I wrote the words which for them signified their love’s triumph, but for me the beginning of another period of loneliness… the words which marked the conclusion to our two years of journey through life together…


The words that contain both feelings of joy and sadness…


Yes, it is: THE END.


***


As I thought, it’s pretty difficult to start anew after spending those two years with him. This is the first day I spend in reality after two years of locking myself up in my own little world. No more drafts to create, no more designs to make, no more scenes to write and no more panels to draw… No more Francis…


Handsome, sweet, caring and thoughtful Francis…


I wished then that I was his girlfriend, but I forgot the most important thing…


I should’ve wished he was real…


…Because in this reality… he doesn’t exist…


I should be fine… I just have to create someone else and move on…


“Excuse me, miss. Aren’t you Julie Bradford?”


“Yes?”


“I have your book. I was wondering if you could sign it for me.”


“Sure. I’d be happy to. What’s your name?”


“Francis.”


The Beginning…



© AmaranthLevana

Friday, September 3, 2010

Are You EMO?

EMO, from the word itself "Emotional", or as we say in Filipino "Emotero" or "Emotera"... "mga taong mahilig mag-emote." Before it became a subculture following the shadows of goths, Emo's have long populated this earth. Before it became a trend, being "emo" (emotional) was a normal everyday occurrence to most of us. Deny all you want, but I'm sure there was a time in your life (even a single time) when you have embraced your sorrows, sat in silence while you watched the darkness around you, listened to sad love songs or sometimes rage music, hated yourself and hated the world... there was a point in your life when you existed in your own bubble protecting yourself from everything else outside that might hurt you... there was a time in your life when you felt a terrible heartbreak and thought that you'd never be able to feel whole again... that time, you were EMO.

Being EMO is more than just a trend... it is more than just fashion... it is facing the reality that you are human enough to feel negative emotions every once in a while. Don't get me wrong, I totally detest those who become so EMO that they start to hurt themselves or other people... I see no point in wounding yourself (slitting your wrists and posting gross pictures on FB or Friendster or wherever), getting drunk and jumping into senseless fights or hi-jacking a bus full of tourists and taking everyone hostage (I don't mean anything by this, it's just an example, it could be a plane or a jeepney and it may or may not include tourists), these kinds of gimmicks are things that would lead nowhere but embarrassment and endless negative reactions. Being EMO gives you the right to feel... to be human... Being EMO does not require you to pierce every part of your body, wear dark clothes or disturbing make-up and cut your hair so that you have sided bangs covering half your face. Embracing your emotions is simple and it does not have to lead to utter insanity.

My spiritual daddy once sang to me (or I think he did because he wrote song lyrics as his comment on one of my-I'm-so-depressed-blogposts way back in '04) "The Sounds of Silence", you know, the one that goes "Hello, darkness my old friend... I've come to talk with you again..." somehow, it makes sense how a disturbing scene could turn into such a famous song with haunting yet sweet melody. I don't know the rest of the lyrics to this song, but my point is, emotions are there for a reason just like everything else... and just like everything else, your own choices would determine a positive or negative effect.

In my case, whenever I feel "EMO" I take that as a chance to create. I'm not saying that I'm so great, but I could claim that I could look back at the times when I felt EMO and not see myself on the verge of suicide or parricide. So, just a friendly advice, the next time you feel depressed, grab a pen and paper; draw, doodle, write a poem, write a novel or write a journal. Who knows what kind of masterpiece that heavy emotion could pull out of you, right? Make use of that sadness, write a sad song... make use of that heartbreak, create a captivating picture... make use of that pain... share it in a way that you'd be able to touch the hearts of people without making a complete fool out of yourself.


Here are some VERY-EMO examples of journal entries (for the broken-hearted mainly) and some tips:

1. Find inspiration in a sad song or an old theme-song (rage music works too)

"Memories... as always flood my mind every time I hear this familiar song. Mixed emotions battle their way through my tangled and complicatedly-structured veins and into my fist-sized cardiac muscle (This is perfect if you want to sound all RN-like, lol). Emotions of sadness, joy, fear, loneliness, self-pity, anger and a lot more undefinable sensations within (A lot more, think of all the adjectives, come on!). Yes, indeed I can tell... I am still in deep pain. But why? Why can't I still resist the invasion of this invisible phenomenon constantly recurring every time this stupid song is played? (Grab your dictionary and use the most uncommon word that you can find, it doesn't have to make sense, it's your journal anyway.)
Why until now? (Fillers. Very important.)
It has been quite sometime anyway...
Why am I still trapped in this pool of memories?
Sweet...
Agonizing...
Idiotically-made
Memories..." (Staccato always makes a good impression. Makes a journal entry seem like an article.)


2. Engage in Soliloquy. If you have an old photo or if you simply just can't get that person's face out of your mind, take that as a chance to say the things you want to say or in this example's case, ask questions. Remember to be poetic, it makes whining sound classy. ^_^

Why did you walk into my life,
Only to ruin my faith,
break my heart,
and hurt my pride?
Why did you make me smile once,
Only to make me cry a thousand times,
Make a river flow out of my tears,
And leave me suffering alone? (What the heck? No rhyme?)
Why did you let me love you,
only to satisfy your ego, (That rhymes "-ish". lol.)
Make me beg for your love,
and fool me unknowingly? (I have a feeling nothing else will rhyme after this...)
Why did you let me fight a battle,
an endless battle for your love,
your love that you know yourself,
I can never have. (Yes, I thought so. Well, at least the paragraph is arranged to seem like a poem.)

3. Last but not least, look back on the times that you were happy and then amidst all the confusion of joy and sadness, right before you snap, grab a pen and write a poem. *_*

(Happy part first)
I was so down when you came,
My life was filled with sorrow and pain,
You wiped them away in such a sweet way,
Now, I will never forget the hero I found in you.
(I just want to point out the advantage of this paragraph: It's recyclable! tee-hee)
Whenever I'm deep succumbing trouble,
You will appear from nowhere to make me smile,
You will stay with me all the while,
That makes me thankful for the friend I found in you.
(Now, let's get a little more cheesy by ripping off songs and fairy tales. o_o)
You are my sinner, my saint,
My foe, my best friend,
You're my beast, you're my prince,
I found in you my everything.

For the times I wanted to cry a river, (Justin Timberlake, I choose you!)
You came to be my crying shoulder, (And Edwin Mccain?)
Put up funny faces to make me laugh,
Alas, A brother I found in you. (If you're into incest and stuff...)
(And for the mushiness overkill!)
You are my January to December,
My autumn, spring, summer and winter,
You're forever, you're eternity,
I found in you my destiny.
(Back to reality... everything has to be in past tense)
You were my strength, my weakness,
My fulfillment, my emptiness,
You were my sorrow, you were my joy,
My love, my heartbreak.

You were my all, you were my only,
My 1-2-3, my ABC,
The smile on my lips, the tears in my eyes,
My hellos and my goodbyes.
(Ok, I'm running out of extremes and opposites...)

You were my courage, my fears,
My days, months and years,
You quenched my hunger and thirst,
You were my last yet my first.
(Rhyming is TOUGH!)

You shared with me time and gave me space,
You filled my embrace,
I will never forget your gentle face,
S.O.B., you left without a trace.
(Or any other curse word that you find appropriate.)
So, that's all folks! What a long entry... Thanks for reading! ^_^

"Writing does not cause misery, it is born of misery." - Stephen King (Misery)

© AmaranthLevana 2010 


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