Sunday, December 6, 2015

About Us

11:07 PM

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Finding a reason to forget isn't easy. Anne does it by sifting through memories. 

You used to write poems about the girls you liked in order to get over them. This whole thing, I guess, works the same way.

Consider this a goodbye note, although I doubt I’ll get over you that soon.

I was waiting for the drill to end when you backed into me unexpectedly. I assumed you didn’t notice the shadow of a girl tired from the first round while you finished your second. 

You were in your last year of high school—and I knew that, because you’d change into your uniform before disappearing from sight—and I somewhat disliked you, because you had the air of those boys from exclusive schools who acted like entitled bastards.

“Sorry,” you said, and I muttered an “It’s alright,” dumbstruck that you actually knew how to apologize. 

And in that moment, I saw the beginning of the end.

I did officiating duties because of my injury, and it was that time when we had practice sparring matches.

I was scoring points when I saw you come through the gates of the court. I remembered you as the cocky high-schooler who trained with us that one time, and wondered what the hell you were doing here. As luck would have it, you were tasked to score with me, and we were forced to sit next to each other.

I don’t know how it happened, but we started talking—perhaps after a weird, offhand comment either you or I made, followed by some sort of affirmation. We began laughing, distracted from scoring, and although the memory’s fuzzy now, I am certain this was where we became friends. 

You only trained twice that year. And it broke my heart, because you were the only thing I looked forward to.

I was surprised to see you, back through those metal gates like some memento of the past.
“Hey,” I said, incredulous. “I haven’t seen you in forever!”
But it wasn’t the “you” that I’d known the year before. No, there was something in your aura.
“I had a bad year,” you said, and the subtle, injured way you said it hit me like a pistol.
I wanted to hug you, if only to crush the pieces of your heart together.

You stayed for dinner nowadays. In the past you would just leave, so the fact you began staying was refreshing. I think it started the day I offered to pay for your drink, but since then, dinners after training became the highlight of my day.

You were making fun of me as I walked in an intoxicated haze. “You drank more than me,” I remarked. You smirked.

“But look who’s acting like it.”

I slapped you, and we laughed: me, trying to make sure I didn’t slip down the stairs—you, relishing in your amusement. We were almost near the taxi stop when I decided to do something stupid.

“Hey, can I get something off my chest?” I said. You agreed curtly.
“Think of it as an ego-booster, but,” I said, sure that I’d regret this in the morning. “I like you.”

You stayed silent for a while. “Well, I’ll give myself more of an ego-booster… I kinda saw it coming.”

“Well, you know, could I at least kiss you on the cheek or something?” I asked, which was probably not one of my shining moments. But you agreed anyway, so I did, and before long you disappeared into the backseat of a taxi and rode away.

I couldn’t believe how stupid I was.

Because you had to say it. Right there, in front of everyone.

It was a game of chance, and you lost, so you had to answer a question. “If you were about to die, what would your last words be to everyone at the table?”

I should’ve seen it coming. You probably kept me last for a reason.

“To Anne… I’d like to say…” Excruciating suspense. “That I was lying. I said I probably was going to forget what you said that night, but I remember, and I just wanted to thank you, because it lifted my self-esteem.”

It didn’t matter if a majority of the people at the table knew about the awkward confession, but the fact that you had the gall to mention it made my jaw drop.

As we left, I approached you, because you brought it up, dammit, and now we had to talk about it.

“It’s okay,” I said, a little wistful. “I know you don’t like me the same way.”

At least you were nice. “It takes a while for me to get to that level of liking.”

And so we spent the rest of that night talking about pain and lost loves and found that we had a formidable abyss that stood between the both of us. I told you about the guys who broke my heart and expressed how I didn’t want the same thing to happen to us. You told me about a girl, the reason you only trained twice that year, and how you have yet to move on.

That night, I was a little lost, perhaps from staring at the abyss for too long.

She was someone who nearly got to that level of liking, so I found it suspicious when you guys were chummy on the way home. It was a repeat of past heartbreaks.

Then you had to mention the name of someone you shouldn’t have mentioned, because the situation and the memory associated with that person just stung me so badly that I was lost in a pained daze.

“I don’t… get it…” I said, and you gave up, submitting to my wishes. 

As we walked to her dorm, the both of you noticed my silence. “I’m a little concerned, because I think I’m involved in this somehow,” you said, and damn right you were. 

“I think we have to talk,” I said, and you agreed.

“You had to mention him.”

The look on your face—sudden realization, reproach—was something I could not forget. “Oh, my God, I am so sorry.”

Emotion, I guess, pushed me to escalate the conversation. “You knew that I liked you!”

“I thought you said that because you were drunk.”

“I liked you for two years!”

And then, silence. I wanted to bawl that very minute. And damn you, because I had to face the fact that I liked you once again.

You were at a loss for words, because nobody had ever said those words to you before. By the time we were done, I still felt glum, and you gestured for a hug. I did, and being the moment-ruiner I was, remarked about your height. You just smiled.

“At least I know where I stand.”

The joke was so bad that I decided to let go. But then you walked a few paces before turning around, pointing to my heart. It didn’t take more than a second for the whole thing to click.

So damn you again, because you made me smile.

I sighed when I received news that you forgot to bring your wooden dagger. I was at the campus gates, and with that text I felt the exhaustion from the whole commute crash down on me. But then again, the dagger wasn’t the only reason why I wanted to see you that day.

I called you, where we tried to remedy the situation, then asked if we could meet that moment. Matter of the fact was, I just wanted to talk to someone. It was a bad day, I felt lost, and I needed someone to help me arrange the pieces of a puzzle I couldn’t comprehend. 

But talking to you reminded me of the abyss that separated us. The sun was setting that day, so in order to illustrate my point, I used it as a metaphor.

“It’s like this,” I said. “It’s like the sun is setting within me, lower and lower, until there’s nothing left. Until it’s all silent.”

In response, you said:
“Well, if the sun sets, it has to rise somewhere, right? If it’s setting here, at another part of the world, it’s rising. So all you have to do is turn the world around to get it to rise again.”

You didn’t get it, but I just wanted to talk to someone. So we were at it for two hours or so—you said it could’ve ended in twenty five minutes—until you had to leave for home.

As a parting word, I leaned on the waiting shed and looked at you.

“You know, every time I think about how much I like you, it’s like there are walls within my chest closing in,” I said. Perhaps this was the only time I could get to say these words to you, so be it. “The only time I forget how much I like you is when I’m with you, ironically.”

Once again, I had surprised you. “Don’t let your happiness be dependent on another person,” you replied. “Especially not someone like me. You’re going to have to live without me.”
If you only knew how much weight those last words were. You’re going to have to live without me.

You’re going to have to live without me. 
You’re going to have to live without me.

So until then, I’ll sift through these memories until I find a reason to forget you.

Article by Anne
Art by Marty
Anne Abeli draws most of her work from experience. She enjoys watching her surroundings and likes to immerse herself in wonder, gently listening to the epiphanies life has to offer her.

Marty is a peculiar 14-year old who illustrates cartoons and seems to fail at keeping herself sane. Her interests range from dark and eccentric art styles to fluffy and pastel colored animals and objects. Besides the fact she's emotionally unstable, she satisfies herself by reading classics and post-modern books, eating excessive amounts of salty foods, and listens to EDM and indie songs to pass the time.


  1. Forgetting would be the best way to remember, remembering would be the best way to forget. Sometimes, we just keep re- thinking of the bad memories, until we get the hang of it. it's tiring, but it's worth it.