Thursday, October 18, 2007

Flash Fiction: Keeping vigil


I’ve talked to her constantly all this time, and she does not answer. It’s been what, three, four, five days already? I’ve lost track of time, sitting here beside her. I don’t know the last time I ate something. I think I’ve even forgotten how it feels to be hungry.

The sadness, the tragedy of it all hangs over me like a death sentence—like being on the platform, hands behind my back, kneeling and waiting for the guillotine to fall. The void inside me knaws at itself, swallowing up everything around it, little by little.

I watch her as she sleeps, delicate and beautiful, calm. The three inch cut on her head and the corresponding stitches are decidedly out of place—jagged and crude things in a field of smooth, brown skin.

I’ve talked to her all this time, and she does not answer. Can she hear me? Does she know I’m here?

I remember all our fights. Every single one. The one where I forgot our anniversary; the one where I got home drunk from an after office party and forgot to tell her; the one where she backed the car into the garage because she was looking for her house keys at the same time—arguments and words exchanged, facial expressions and angry gestures, doors slammed and tears shed all come flooding into my head.

I’m crying now, asking her to forgive me if she can hear me. It’s good that it’s 2am, and nobody else is here.

I wish I had loved her better.

Only now do I realize how much more I could have loved her and taken care of her, how much more I could have been patient and understanding. It’s sad that it always takes some sort of misfortune to make us realize what we have and what we’ve lost; how we readily lose ourselves in the things we thought were more important—practicality and reason above all--and we recognize the fact that we’ve misplaced our priorities only when it’s too late.

I continue to talk to her, with a prayer at the back of my head to whomever can listen, and hope that she will answer back someday.

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Coincidentally, the video I posted on my Multiply (yes, I've jumped on the bandwagon and have one just like everyone else) compliments this post very nicely.

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