“pupunta ako ron at makikiupo. yun naman ang ginagawa ng mga tao kapag may trahedya di ba? pumupunta at nakikiupo.”
I had a dream about you just now. You were back from the south and we met at a Jollibee in Cubao but not Cubao. It was typically dark and dingy, where sticky floors would love to be found. It was weird how eager I was to see you. But I had an uneasy smile plastered on my face. I wanted to touch you but I didn’t. Especially when you said you wanted a table outside.
At the table in the middle of the busy lives of the lumpen, always threatening to steal our belongings, I asked how you were. You ran one hand through your hair, like always, and said something that I forget now that I am awake. There is this vague memory of your face that I still cannot describe though. Was it sadness? Was it annoyance? Both? In my dream, I did not know why I needed to be with you. I did not know why I was asking questions. And I did not know why you asked me if we could just go home.
I just knew that it hurt and I needed to hold your hand because something would go wrong inside a would-be jeepney ride. This time, they would not steal just our belongings. We needed to stay near Jollibee and besides, I was not ready to leave you.
Not since that time you turned your head to look at me, sighed, squeezed my knee, and with gritted teeth, which I think you initially aimed to be a sorry smile, turned your head back to continue telling your story to people who would never, in a million years, feel what you are feeling inside those shoes.
I didn’t say this at the chapel, because it wouldn’t remove those shoes, but I am angry too. I am very, deeply, uncontrollably, nightmare-inducing, angry too.
“But I don’t understand! I don’t understand how this all happens. How we go through this. I mean, I knew her, and then she’s, there’s just a body, and I don’t understand why she just can’t get back in it and not be dead anymore! It’s stupid! It’s mortal and stupid! And, and Xander’s crying and not talking, and, and I was having fruit punch, and I thought, well Joyce will never have any more fruit punch, ever, and she’ll never have eggs, or yawn or brush her hair, not ever, and no one will explain to me why.”