The band started playing this song, and though we were were not exactly talking before its first note, that’s when we fell silent.
We were not speaking, but she was eyeing the waitress for a cigarette and I was squinting at the drunk East Asians. We were glancing at each other every now and then. A random smirk and an occasional squeezing of our held hands were not far-fetched.
We were together.
Then the first strum. Then the first scratch of the singer’s throat.
Then we were not.
I thought about you. Let’s not get into details on what about you exactly, though when it comes to you, the devil is never in the details. He is larger than life, always that dark silhouette that hounds from the corner of any room, that somber ink spread by the palm of a troubled child across the big picture.
So I ripped my gaze away from the makeshift stage and took a sip of my pretty drink. I asked her, who was still transfixed by the old song, what she was thinking. She said she wasn’t thinking of anything, as usual. I took another sip and I knew, as I relished the salt on the rim, that this was one of those nights I wouldn’t let go.
“Hindi ako naniniwala. Wala kang naaalala?”
I scoffed. I asked who, emphasizing that of course it was a who.
She forced her name out while laughing nervously. I rolled my eyes. She drank from her bottle. I asked her if she wasn’t going to ask me the same thing. She said no and pinned her eyes back on the oblivious band. And that was that.
I continued listening to the even if even if‘s and somewhere in the next song, she probably squeezed my hand.
Sometimes I wonder what this is.
I’m learning to live without you now
But I miss you sometimes
The more I know, the less I understand
All the things I thought I knew, I’m learning again
I’ve been tryin’ to get down to the Heart of the Matter
But my will gets weak
And my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it’s about forgiveness
Even if, even if you don’t love me anymore