Tuesday, 10 December 2013


The days we stayed up until 2AM in my car, listening to Kings of Leon. Your eyes closed, fists clenched, chest rising and falling with every twist in Caleb's voice. I want that. I want to watch you sing Pyro at the top of your lungs again. Your forehead wrinkling as your eyes squeeze shut and your eyebrows rising with that pain in your voice. That pain must come from a place that only a broken heart and a broken home could ever know.
I want to hold your hand tell you it'll be okay, give into reckless abandon and stupid feelings and say I'm going to be here forever, no matter what our odds are. I want to kiss you in the dim blue light of the radio and lose my fingers in your hair, kiss you until I'm out of breath and out of my mind.

That smell of your perfume, that burn of my stubble against your skin. I want to get as close as possible, bone to bone, breath to breath, and feel the soft moan of your strength caving in. I want that sad background music and our eyes recognizing each other's pain, that silent understanding we'll always have, and that comfort knowing that I have your lost soul to accompany my own.

I want that undeniable heat building between us until you pull me out of the car and into the elevator, down the hall and into your bed. I want to dance clumsily around our bodies, feel the indents of your waist fill the corners of my arms, watch your clothes fall to the floor and your eyes glimmer in the dark.

I want to believe that we belong together, give into love and not think about the future, or the past, or anything except you and me in this crazy world and how we fit together like two pieces of a puzzle we'll never understand. I don't want to question time and place anymore. None of that. I just want to feel alive with you, talk about dreams, sing sad songs, and hug you until your bones tremble in my grasp.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Travel Diary: Mt. Pulag

We left Manila near the dead of night, sitting on hard plastic chairs in a grey bus station, waiting for the next bus to take us to the mountains. I held his hand and rested my head on his shoulder, the only comfort I could find among the sullen faces of people yearning to go home. We wondered if every person with a tent strapped to his back was going where we were going, if we would meet them along the way and share a quiet connection that yearners often do.

6 hours later, there were still busses and waiting, but this time in a different place, 6 hours closer to our destination. The novelty of smoke escaping my lips with every cold, spoken word was enough to distract me from the few hours of sleep I had. We sat on wooden benches and listened to the pigs scream as they were slaughtered, and the buses roar into life as they carried the people miles away. Zach fell asleep, head rolled back against the boarded up shops, and I paced around the parking lot, searching for our bus. I ran to Zach when it finally arrived, and shook him with Glee, "It's here! It's here!" I squealed, ready to kickstart the adventure.

It was a flurry of people and dialects, unfamiliar towns and breath-taking mountain views, we raced past valleys and evergreen forests and white-wash rivers, and all Zach could say was "one wrong turn, and we fall to our deaths." I thought about this the whole ride through, and figured that there could be worse ways to go than into the bowels of nature. 

13 hours had passed since we left our homes, but there we were, still in transit. The view was even more spectacular as we raced up the mountain - emerald trees and a radiant sun glowing over an entire valley. There are few things more breathtaking than the fading view of a sunlit mountain from the back of a motorbike. We went higher and higher until we were speeding through the clouds and the sun was nowhere to be found. I shivered in the rain and breathed in the fresh pine. As I clung to a stranger for dear life on the back of his motorbike, I felt strangely calm.

Far beyond that beautiful view was a small wooden house known as "the ranger station." It was there we met our guide and started our three hour trek through the forest. It was like a scene from a horror film, but set in daylight- the dark pine trees surrounded in fog, the cold, crisp air that so quickly filled your lungs. The forest floor was scattered with acorns, foot-long worms, abandoned cabbages, and a muddy trail that led directly to another forest- a vibrant green one home to miracle berries and humidity. I walked and walked and walked, short of breath, bright behind the eyes. I felt exhausted and dizzy, but I knew there was no turning back. I was saved by spring water, straight from the mountain and into our mouths, the freshest water I had ever tasted awakened me from my slurry fatigue.

Arriving at our campsite was the sweetest victory I had ever known. That cold, hard, ground was the only bed I ever truly earned in my life and I embraced it. The air was painfully cold by the time we reached the site, and four layers of clothes were not enough to protect me from the winds bite. My feet were wet and stinging, my fingers threatened to fall off, but the view of clouds rolling over the mountains below me was a reminder of how far I had come, and no pain could ever match the desire I had to go even further.

It was a sleepless, starless night. Tossing and turning, shivering, and desperate for any form of comfort. The wilderness holds no promises for anyone, nothing but the pitch black night and a song of crickets. I counted down, 12 hours until the sunrise, and then 10, 8, 5, until finally, I fell into an undisturbed sleep, balled up and clutching my feet to save them from freezing.

4AM and it was now a race against the sun. Barely eating anything, we set out for the last leg of our trek- to the summit. It was a narrow path in dead of the night, surrounded by grassland and looming hills. Weak from fatigue and hunger, I felt my body falling in on itself, and cried to my companions that I couldn't do it. They sat beside me and urged me on, poured ice cold water into my lips and stroked my hair. "You can do it, you've come this far," Zach whispered, crouched beside my aching legs. Chest stretched and lungs dry, I stood up and powered through. He was right, I had come this far and it wasn't for nothing.

5AM and there we were: 29 hours, 335 kilometres away from home, and 3 thousand metres into the sky. The only two people on the highest point of Luzon, at the crossroads of four provinces. I sat, embraced in Zach's arms, exhausted from our journey. I held onto him, burying my hands in the warmth of his corners, saving them from the cold. Before us, there were only clouds, and behind us, there was only grass. We couldn't believe we had walked the entire journey, it felt like we were in a whole new world, one of the Philippines' best kept gems.

Watching the sun wake through a flurry of clouds, silenced by its morning elegance, I kissed Zach's lips, happy to be holding his hand and watching the day break from the best seats in the world. I thought that being on the highest tip of luzon would make me feel miniscule and insignificant, but it did exactly the opposite.  The whole world was under us, around us, above us, the Earth was turning and the stars were disappearing and the sun was rising and we were breathing, and thinking, and loving. I felt like the most royal of Queens, laid out on grass carpets under the pale blue sky with my curly-haired King. We were giants among men, in our castle in the clouds.

Monday, 9 September 2013

It's the life I always dreamed of living

I've always found myself yearning to be an explorer, but never had the funds, time or company to venture off into the wild. I used to quench this thirst for adventure through my writing- I'd find words to weave my dreams into, and maybe feel a little bit happier at the end of it all. But a few months ago I met someone who taught me that life is full of possibilities, and I haven't been the same since. 

With good fortune, we travelled to the country's final frontier- an island glowing green and blue, guarded by limestone cliffs and the friendliest locals. Days were fun, yet admittedly as ordinary as trips tend to be, until a storm decided to grace us with it's presence and leave us stranded in paradise. It was perhaps both the worst and best part of the trip. Nobody wants cloudy skies and rain while they're surrounded by glittering sand, or cancelled flights that threaten their exams, but it forced us to get out of our comfort zones and left us with the most adventurous days of our lives.

We knew we couldn't last a few more days in paradise drunk on the sun and running out of islands, so we searched for new adventures in the form of boats breaking down in the middle of the ocean, calling for help from fishermen who knew the seas like the pathway home, and sailing for ten hours into the dark, searching for any sign of land to ease our troubled minds. Hostels filled with mice and walking through the city in the middle of the night, looking for a bed that was willing to house us. Scuba dives into ship wrecks, beside cave walls, on lakebeds made of ash and into communities of catfish and shrimp. The vast blue ocean and all it's mystery will always be one of my favourite things on Earth. Motorbike rides through the pouring rain, soaked to the skin like teabags, clinging onto each other for warmth and dear life. Horseback riding through sixteen hectares of hills and catching the last rays of sunlight radiating off our beaming faces. Going home under a cloudy sky that couldn't have been darker than it was then, starless and lonely, looming over the mountain. Pressed against your back, arms around your body, shivering in the freezing wind as we rode back home. I was full to the brim with love and gratitude, whispering to the universe, "thank you for giving me the best person I have ever met."

I couldn't say goodbye to the place on earth that made me so happy. Blood pumping, lungs breathing, brain pulsating and spirit singing with a swollen heart and arms open wide, I was finally Alive.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Sometimes silence guides our minds

We used to sit on the edge of the bridge, legs dangling over the muddy water, holding one umbrella each. Rain soaked and pruned our feet into white chunks of slippery skin. We always let them shrivel up because that meant we got to go home, soak our feet in warm water and feel all the heat creep back into our bones. That slow, inching feeling of blood running back through our veins, we lived for that.

We spent most rainy days there. On that bridge, where the trees were extra green, and the air extra cold. It was simple things like throwing rocks into the river, finding reasons to wear our favourite jackets, and talking where no one else could hear that made us happiest.

We were complete opposites. Her in white frilly socks and pink umbrella, and me not wearing any socks at all under my tattered brown shoes. We were so different, but we knew each other better than anyone else. We held hands when we walked home, we called the other in the middle of the night if one of us couldn't get to sleep, and we weren't afraid to get mad if the other was being stupid.

I was so foolish to think that life would give someone to me so generously. And even more foolish to believe that it would last.

I sit alone on the bridge, legs dangling over the muddy water, holding one umbrella. I let my feet shrivel up and feel the chill seep into my bones. That slow, inching feeling of blood disappearing from my veins, I wanted it to take over and spread throughout my body, and never feel warmth again.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Desire eats you up and leaves you starving.

They stumbled into her bed after a night out. Shoes kicked off, clothes tossed across the floor. He was so drunk she had to carry him into her bed and pull the sheets over him as she drank her cautionary four cups of water and two tablets of aspirin. They reeked of smoke and alcohol and the sweat of a hundred people raving to flashing lights and sounds. Her heart was still pounding and her ears were still ringing, and she had a smile plastered on her face because she could have sworn she had never felt so alive.

He lay half-naked between her sheets, breaking out into a vicious sweat as they waited for a midnight breeze to chill the room. She felt so sorry for him, obviously one drink too far gone, unable to keep his mouth closed or his head up. It was cute in a helpless puppy kind of way. He mumbled sweet nothings about loving her and wanting her to use his last name, but she laughed and dismissed them as drunken rambles. They say that a drunk mind speaks a sober heart, but sometimes a drunk mind can also be painfully obnoxious and daring, and terribly regretful in the morning.

She shushed him with a finger over his lips and stroked his hair until he kept quiet. She knew that he wasn't planning on staying here much longer- it was just a few weeks ago when he mentioned that there were bigger things out there, and his time in this city was ticking away at an uncertain speed. She was so sure that he was going to leave some day- leave his job, leave his friends, leave her. Yet he didn't seem to hold back with his heart at all. He loved as if they'd be together forever.

She looked at him, half-asleep, but still stuttering sweet nothings under his breath. She loved him so much it made her sad. How could life be so unfair? Delivering you the best person you've ever met, then slowly poisoning your brain with the idea of him leaving.

"If you know that you're going to end up leaving, why are you letting yourself fall in love?" she asked, an almost-inaudible whisper between tears she didn't mean to cry.
Her question was like a slap of cold water on his drunken face. He sat up, eyes clear. He reached for her hand and squeezed it just a little bit too hard. Obviously still a bit drunk.
"Why are you thinking about this?"
"Because you're going to leave eventually, and I'm going to stay here, and my hearts going to break but you'll be off enjoying the world and it won't be fair," she cried, knowing how selfish she sounded.
He pulled her closer into the nook of his body, and held her as she weeped, praying that it was simply the alcohol making her emotional.
"Why should I hold back on a love so great for something that might not even happen?" he asked her, kissing the bare skin of her nape and the goosebumps along her shoulder.
"You're always going to be a factor," he whispered.
"I don't want to be a factor. I just want to be selfish and keep you here with me."
She held back on telling him how terribly she wanted to go with him, wherever he went.

She knew that's how their story would end- he would leave to explore the world, and she would be left behind. They'd probably try to keep something going over emails and Skype but eventually they'd both grow weary- he'll tire of the responsibility and she'll tire of waiting. She wasn't ready to have her heart broken, but it was just so easy to love him. No matter how badly she wanted to protect herself, she wanted to love him more.

She swallowed her tears and wrapped herself in his arms, nodding in silent agreement with all his assuring words, falling back into the comfort of his kiss. She hated herself for loving so carelessly, but she could never put up her guard, and decided it was time to embrace the crazy love they had for one another without worry. At least at the end of it all, the broken heart will be worth it.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Headlights pointed at the dawn

You wake up to an intolerable summer heat, a thin layer of sweat filming your skin like dried up glue. A dusty ceiling fan lazily spins overhead, threatening to break down any second now. You don’t know what day it is, but you know it’s July. It’s the pinnacle of summer and you’ve spent the last three weeks driving cross-country in your car with the beautiful girl sleeping beside you.

It’s been a blur of old towns, cheap motels, bland dinners and cold beers, but it’s the most fun you’ve had in possibly your whole life. How did it start again? You drove to the end of your city, and decided that you were bored and didn’t want to turn back yet. And now you’re here, one hundred miles away, sweating and dizzy from the heat, but unbelievably happy.

Today will be the same as every other day, but completely different in itself. You will lay in bed until she decides she’s slept enough- sometimes you wake up to her all dressed up, itching to get out of the motel and go on adventures. On other days, she lies in bed until 4PM and needs to be dragged out from under the sheets. Once you’re in the car, you drive north until you reach another town, a new one. And you look around to see if you like it, and if you do, you stay there. If you don’t, you keep on driving. 

You’ve been to too many sleepy towns through dusty roads. You want beaches and she wants forests, but you never seem to reach them no matter how far you drive. That’s how it’s been for the past 3 weeks, and that’s how it’ll be for the rest of the journey. But what does it matter? You don't need salt air or warm winds to prove that you're having the time of your life when you have a girl who's willing to run away with you to explore the country. There are no conversations quite like those in a car, there's no sex quite like that in a motel, and there's no love quite like one in the summer. And this is it, definitely, this is happiness, and you will feel it even until you reach the end of the country and have no choice but to turn around and go back home.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

You live by the train station.

You live by the train station, you told me in idle passing one gloomy afternoon. It was all I could think about as we sat on your bed, looking through photos of your childhood. The rumble of the mechanical snake that runs through the city shook your walls with each flip of the page, and obnoxiously bellowed out its arrival- disrupting your sad, reminiscent smile that asked for it all back.

I looked up in fear, half expecting aliens or bombs or rabid animals let loose throughout your house, but you must’ve grown so used to it, you didn’t even notice your bedroom trembling. As the glass bottles of sand rattled away among your travel collections of little volcanic elephants, you kept naming out each face in the old photographs, introducing me to people from your past, injecting short stories in between the pages. You were the eye of the storm- perfectly centered and oblivious to the chaos around you.

You’re all I can think of now, whenever I wait patiently in line for the train. I wonder if at that moment you are happily absorbed in your photographs of yesteryear, sprawled out on your bed, smiling sadly at all the faces that are no longer here. I wonder how I can time my departures, so you feel that it’s me bellowing past, making your walls shake, making your bedroom tremble. Do you think if you try hard enough, you could recognize me in the chaos?

Thursday, 11 April 2013

3 Years

Three years have come and gone and I still don't really know how to feel. I think about your face and thank the gods that I still remember it. The pulsing, zigzagged vein on your left forehead, how you joked you were Harry Potter. The shaggy white hairs of your eyebrows and how they made you look like you were constantly in deep thought. The slightly purplish lips that were so thin, the simple shadow of your salt-coloured beard would conceal them. Every crease along your forehead, cheeks, and neck. And most of all, your eyes. Those piercing blue eyes I always wish you gave me. Sheltered behind the shine of your glasses, they were pools of the most tropical water. Gemstones found in the depths of African mines. The kind of sky you only find in the countryside.

It has been three years but I still choose to remember. Not you in your glory days- I keep few memories of those suits and office chairs. I choose to remember your simpler times. Your jerseys and jeans. Your never-ending urge to fiddle. Your habit of taking things apart just to put them back again. Your silhouette in the living room whilst you watched football in the dark. It was hard to wake up in the mornings, thinking that you'd be downstairs to greet me as I fetched a midnight snack. It was like being hit by a bus, or being awakened by a violent shake. I still see the chair at the head of the dining table, empty, with no placemat or arrangement of cutlery before it. Now, the table is set for two, and lonelier than ever.

I didn't always choose to remember. At first, I was forced. I would lock your face in a box, and pray to god that nobody would ask me about you, but it was inevitable to see you everywhere. I saw you in every white man. Every golf store. Every telescope. Every football match. Every red polo with a white and blue collar. Every glass of beer. Every Chili's restaurant. Every news network. And every single object of the night sky- the planets, the moon, and most especially, the stars. How could I ever run away?

It's been three years and the biggest thing I've learned about grief is that it is not a slow-healing wound. It is a permanent one that comes and goes as it pleases. Some days, you don't cross my mind. And others, it feels just like day one, and I forget that you are even gone.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

As old as your omens

The sweet smell of coconut tanning oil and sight of brown legs sprawled sticky over the white sheets made them relish the mountainpeak of summer. The girls lay in a lazy heap, snoring softly, curtained by the white nets that hugged the windows and warded off the bees. Sunlight cut into the room like a zigzag bringing good news of the great outdoors- slivers of velvet palm trees peeked through the cracks and basked in the tropical sun. 

It was an Indian summer like no other, with days spent crashing into turquoise and emerald waves, sweat fogging up the bare skin of their backs, and striped bikinis blurring in the motion of their cartwheels on the beach. 

They spent their nights locked up in their bedroom, three bronze girls crowding into one bed, holding hands beneath the blankets, telling stories in the dark. Their freckles mapped islands scattered across the pacific ocean and their hair hung loosely, smelling of seafoam and salt. They were full of life, dancing to their father's records in the living room, and singing at the top of their lungs. They howled into the night to create a symphony of distraught dogs, breaking the peaceful reign of crickets and distant waves. 

They had their singing, they had their howls, but it was their laughter that filled every crevice in the room and shook the souls of lonely men.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

And who can say what we are?

There are so many things I want to tell you right now over text to make you realize why I want to move on now, but it just doesn’t feel right to commit them to a digital screen. You wouldn’t understand, and the words deserve much more. If I had the strength to say them in person, I would recite them like a well-versed poem, and have you tear at the end because of its sheer honesty and raw beauty. But my memory is terrible, and I panic quite easily. So I’ve found a way right through the middle, to do what I think I do best: write it down, right now, as my emotions are strongest.

I shudder at the thought of you sharing our story to strangers and making me out to be the villain. You probably tell them how I ripped your heart out and stomped all over it by dating someone else a month after our breakup. But they don’t know. You don’t even know.

I never told you this; I never got to tell you much, given the abrupt circumstances of our breakup. But I was dissatisfied weeks before we ended. When I try and recall all the reasons why we broke up, it branches far deeper than the other girls you’d constantly check out. We had so many issues, both individually and collectively. Trust, playing a big role. I never trusted you fully after all the shit you put me through. Which is why, I realized, the reason for my constant paranoia. Is it any way to live, keeping the person you “love” on a leash? No, of course not. You deserve to be happy and have fun, which is why I’m glad you’re enjoying your time with friends now. You deserve to enjoy your youth. Three years with me, you never danced. Four weeks without me and you’re fist-pumping at clubs. It’s bittersweet, but I’m happy you’ve finally found it in yourself to let loose. It makes me realize how stupid I made you feel. How I’d belittle you and pull a face at the little things you found cool- like your new haircuts, and even your attempt to dress in a more fashionable manner. I guess I wanted to keep you beneath me, the same way you tried to keep me beneath you by feeding all of my insecurities. I’m sure you never intended for it to be that way, but it started from the very beginning of our relationship. You made me feel like I was never enough. What did those girls have that I didn’t? Was I not your type? Was I not pretty enough? Not hot enough? I didn’t like the right things? A million questions of insecurity racing through my head.

I was always so lonely. Being lonely and insecure is never a good combination. It made me live in fear. Fear that I would never find anyone better than you, and fear that I would never be happy alone. I clung to you in fear. I spent every day with you because I was afraid of being alone. My issues about having no family and no friends, you were all I had. And so I made sure you filled up every crevice of every day so I would never have to be alone. It wasn’t fair to you- for me to cling to you, to make myself such a big part of your life, and then suddenly leave.

As time went by, I realized how much I was growing up. Slowly, my self-esteem was rebuilding itself because I was finally proud of myself- I was doing more than most people my age, and I was making some great friends in the process. Unfortunately for you, it made me realize my worth. It made me realize that the conversations I was having with these people were so much deeper than the ones I was having with you. I loved spending time with you- it was silly, it was fun, but it was so childish. I look back now and realize that I can’t remember a single conversation that really struck me deep. Whenever I’d have problems, you’d tell me how you were there for me, but you never really told me anything that stimulated my mind and made me think. Our happiness was shallow, and I just stopped being satisfied.

Don’t you remember? I’d be silent in the car and tell you how you were starting to sound a bit dense, and you’d blame it on the people you hang out with since their humor was dense, too. You didn’t realize how important it was to me that we had good conversation. You didn’t realize how much I need someone intelligent enough to argue with me about things like religion, humanity, and other abstract ideas. I would always notice how much you cared about what other people thought of you, and it bothered me so much. I could never understand why your eyes were always searching for people you might know, why you were just so goddamn concerned. I loved the you who had holey boxers and bad morning hair, who would make churros with me in his kitchen and carry his dogs on his shoulders. That was my favorite version of you, skipping plans so we could cuddle under the blanket and watch Ryan Gosling movies. But that version of you wasn’t enough for me. You can’t play forever. You need to grow up sometime and prove that the past years are actually going somewhere.

I guess that’s another problem. We were together for three years by the time we were nineteen. We were insecure, lonely, and lacking trust. I honestly think we were doomed. The more I think of a way to put it, the more my mind goes back to the phrase “our relationship had run its course”. It was just time for us to go our separate ways.

And now, I hear stories about you going out every weekend, getting really drunk, meeting loads of new people, and it honestly makes me a bittersweet shade of happy. I’m happy you’re finally cutting loose and enjoying your youth. You deserve to stop being so straight edge and actually have fun with your friends. They say that this is the most they’ve ever liked you. It hurts a bit, to know that there are so many girls around you now, that you're deteriorating your health, but you deserve to be young.

That night I talked to you; I realized the depth of my loneliness. It’s the product of being so far away from family, and the reason behind my suffocating grip, my aloofness, and my suicidal thoughts. I realized how important it is that I fix it before it ruins me and turns me into the type of girl that falls for any guy who spares her a compliment- before I get into another relationship and ruin some poor boy’s life by forcing him to dedicate his days to me.

We’ve both grown so much, and we’re such different people from who we were when we met. I can’t say thank you enough, for absolutely everything you’ve ever done for me. I hope this answers some of your questions and makes you realize all the problems we had, and I hope it makes you realize that we’re both better off apart.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Home is wherever I'm with you

"She got sunset on her breath now, I inhaled just a little bit. I got no fear of death now"

Candy red nails, chipped around the edges just how she likes it. She bites onto her thumb, showing just a little bit of teeth unwrapped by her lips. Thin and pink, they stretch out into a smile as her brown eyes catch me catching my breath. She bats her spider-leg lashes and winks with one quick almond crease. I grab her hand and kiss it flat on the back, mapping out her veins and cartilage under my lips. She pulls free and rolls down the window, a tangerine light blinds me momentarily, and then all that's left are her denim shorts and red sneakers, the rest is outside the window, reaching for the bloodred sky.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

The Letter I Owe You.

She remembered the first time they fought. Not even a year together, but she fought like a rabid animal who was struggling to survive. Blinded by hot tears, indecipherable curses chattering teeth, choking down air in between screams. Her fists attacked him with such strength that he had to grip onto her wrists and shout at her to stop in between his own ashamed sobs. He knew he was wrong, but he was a bad person then, and chose to lie to cover up what he had done wrong.

She remembered the days that came after The First Fight. Daily lilies, milkshakes, turkey sandwiches, some of her favourite things. Her materialism and young heart betrayed her and led her straight back into his arms. She wished she could have warned herself of what was waiting for her in 4 months time and the year of fighting that would follow after.

Exactly 2 years and 3 months later, she realizes that she hasn't spoken to him in eleven days, a new record. It was clear to her that he had given up, too. Maybe it was because he was sorry, and knew that she deserved better. Or maybe he realized how serious she was when she said she was done. She liked to think that it was because of her ... but he probably just grew tired himself, and didn't want to drag it on. She wondered if he was happier now, with the freedom to do what he likes and not hurt anyone.

She refused to reminisce more about the pain and thought of all the reasons how she knew she had done the right thing by saying goodbye, finally. There were no flowers outside her door this time, no more flood of apologetic messages and phone calls, or little gifts as there had so abundantly been in the past. Not even an attempt to say sorry. Just silence. And although she wanted to see him fight for it, she also liked how easy he was making it for her to realize she had made the right decision.

Yes, she missed him. But all good things come to and end, especially when they're corrupted by mishandled trust. She didn't want to be mad at him even though he hurt her terribly countless times, but she thought of all the things she still had yet to say to him. L'esprit de l'escalier, the French called it. How she would tell him how stupid she felt for letting him treat her like that so many times. How disappointed she was that he promised to change but still did the things he used to. How scared she was that she wouldn't be able to get over him and move on. How angry she was at him for making her feel like she was never enough. And how much she still loved him. How they had 1130 days together. How the past 365 were the best days of her life.

It wasn't all because of him, she admitted to herself. She caught herself looking outside the car window more times than actually talking to him as they drove through the city. She caught herself asking him for more and more favours, until she just expected him to be there for her, waiting for orders. She caught herself thinking "is there even a future here?" while he spoke he to her. And worst of all, she felt so many urges to ask "What are you doing with your life?"

She thought about writing everything down in a message to send him. Make him realize what he's done, make him feel the gravity of his actions, but the words just wouldn't make sense on that little digital screen. She must have composed at least 30 different messages to write him, but none of them made sense. None of them held even a fraction of the feeling she was trying to convey. So instead of sending him that long message where she would declare all her feelings, she composed a much simpler one, instead.

"How are you?"

After all, they hadn't talked for eleven days.