While we were at it, I threw in all sorts of questions on how it was like to be up there. He gave a picturesque narrative of the life in the camp during the summer with those kids from the private schools and how exciting the first year was. My brother tried very hard to be as detailed and brief as he could possibly be on the phone, but there wasn’t enough time so we bade goodbye and agreed to keep in touch before the new school year started. I was pressing the receiver hard on my ear, it left a slight redness afterwards.
As natural things could get, we weren’t able to contact each other over a good period of time when we were supposed to. He was living in the city while I remained recluse back home. I wasn’t able to keep track and assumed he was preoccupied himself that it didn’t feel it mattered then.
And as the gap widened while the silence grew, it haunted me all the more. Every time I was finished with the day’s chores, I would always try to imagine how it was to be up there with him. I would begin waking up in his room, in the all-boys dormitory making the bed before heading out, always making sure I was on time for each class. I thought about the faces of his classmates and the professors, what sort of people were there in the university, even the pretty girls he would have chosen to pursue.
The more I delved about leaving, the more it felt real to me. The more that I did it, the more it felt that I needed to move away from this zany town of ours.
There was no way around it I concluded. It felt exclusive, more than the sensation I felt the first time I tasted caviar.
She insisted to take me all the way as far as she could make it. And as all things must end, the day was also coming to a close. She rested her head on my arm while we stood on a crowded bus on the way to the terminal. I looked at her, and she did the same to me — she had her hair just above her eyes and she was simply wonderful.
But I couldn’t help feeling that even after all that magic — enough to favor prejudice — still, it arrived quite dry on the surface.
I always faulted myself for that.
Up in the clouds, it made me forget all there is about on earth and it allowed me to bask in the soak of twilight. The sky was overcast but the runway was filled with outlining lights when the plane was about to land. It resembled a mid-summer night sky in a tropical coast island somewhere far away. I was drawn to it like a moth to a fire.
It felt like it was calling me, I wanted to hold it in my hands so bad I wanted nothing more.
I guess you’ll never know how disdainful the fire is until it burned you.
This could happen to you too, I told myself.
I waited for the green leaves to turn.
I hope I could help it. But she didn’t want to bring it up.
I was sorry for the weight, I told her on the phone.
“I was staying in the Honeymoon lodge this past few nights.” She retorted.
I was pressing the receiver hard on my ear, it left a slight redness afterwards.