Sunday, 1 July 2018

Eulalia

By Jesus C. Deytiquez

Wintermelon milktea

“I saw thee ne’er before; I see thee never more; but love, and help, and pain, beautiful one, have made thee mine, till all my years are done.”
—George MacDonald, Phantastes

It was a cold and rainy morning. You were waiting for the next train to get to your university for the 9:00 a.m. class. The broken and shattered raindrops were in the air and were spraying to your face. You realized how intense the rain was. Because of the darkness and gloominess of the whole sky and your surroundings, it seemed to be too early in the morning or too late in the afternoon. Music was pouring from your earphones. Because of the cold and the rain you remembered her. You two met on a cold and rainy mountain city years and years ago. You brought your smartphone out of your pocket. You shielded it from the spray. Thank God that you were wearing your jacket so the outpouring of the cold and the rain cannot bring that much harm. You turned the mobile data on. The song of Owl City told you to be brave. You opened the private messaging application. You waited for it to connect. You scrolled down to see her name, that name that you always prayed for so many times.

“Did she read it? Did she reply?” you thought back then.

You saw that she didn’t. If she did, she should be the first one on the list. And that’s why you scrolled down in the first place: to find her name that was buried by the messages of other people you value and love in different ways and to check if she read it at least.

She didn’t. The private messaging app. told you that she saw that she has an unread message from you yet she chose not to read it. You tried to remember how long did you sent that message and how long did she ignored it? About a week or two? Oh, and yes you also sent her another short message days ago—so short that it allows her to read it even if she did not open that message. And that message was, “Please read :) ^”

The train arrived. You hurried inside it along with a bunch of people also seeking refuge from the rain and a way to get to their destination hastily. You managed to get a seat. The aircon of the train intensified the coldness that you were feeling during that time. Or was it really the aircon?

“What went wrong?” you thought.

She read and replied to your message prior to the aforementioned messages. What message? The one by which you told her that you will be visiting her country later this year, that you would like to see her once again after so many years. You really like to see her and her eyes as starry as the night sky, the face as white as alabaster, the lips as red as a delicate mountain rose in the freshness of morning, and her hair as black and tender as the night sky, once again. You like to meet again that cheerful, smart, and easy-to-please-though-easy-to-provoke-also personality of hers. But of course, you did not include such reasons. She did not know that you love her. You tried to make it sound like a message written by an old and long-lost acquaintance who wanted to see her again.
What was her reply?

“I’m sorry but I cannot remember you at all. Have we met before? Please give me a clue. XD”
You laughed and died inside when you read that. Here you are doing all that you can to meet her  again months before you sent that message to her. Here you are with your nostalgic memories with
her—those times you two talked to each other, those times you walked together under the rainy night sky and along the lamp-lit and uneven streets of that cold mountain city, and that time you sang together in front of the class. Here you are daydreaming of meeting her again, of courting her, of being her boyfriend, of being her husband, of starting a happy family with her, of making her happy and sharing such happiness with her. But you realized, when you read that message, that she no longer remembers you, that you are a nobody for her. You could have given up and considered yourself offended, but love made you forget yourself, love can endure the pain, love can rejoice even in the bitterest truth, love loves on. 

You replied that you were classmates in a night class in that university of that mountain city about four years ago. She read that reply of yours but never replied after that. Raindrops crashed on the glass windows of the train as if they were trying to reach something but was hindered. As they fall, dejected, they left streaks of water resembling the tears that emerged from a broken heart.

“Is it because she cannot remember me or is it because she remembered me and also the things that I done wrong during those times we were together?”

Everything was silent but the sound of the rain and the train cruising along the tracks.

“I’ve changed. I strived to be a better man and still striving.”

“Or maybe she thinks that you turned into her creepy stalker?” mocked that disgusting voice
inside your head.

You made a mistake. You replied to such voice.

“But I’m not. I know what they think to be a creepy stalker. I’m not like that. All I want is to see her again and wish to make her happy—after all, to love is to will the good of the beloved—but if she does not want to, I will not force her.”

And because of that, the voice only returned and returned with a vengeance after that,  haunting you until you are very weary and sad. But you know that you persisted. A week after replying to her message, you sent her another message.

“Hi! Can you remember now? I just sent you a message to ask you again if you would like to meet me when I am already in your country. I’m going there to apply for a scholarship in universities there, to enjoy the sceneries, to gather things that I can use for my research and book, and to experience winter for the first time—I want to see snow! It’s no shame to say no, I can understand. But please do say yes if you want us to meet again. I’m looking forward to your reply. :)”

She never read this message and the last short one. But you know that she know that you sent a message to her. Ignored. Was this the third time? Oh, no, you cannot count it already. You wondered how people can easily forget. You wondered how people can easily ignore someone. But you remembered that you are no better. You also did such things to several people before. You then saw a pool of water that the dejected raindrops formed. It reflected you vividly and also the white sky. You moved, in order to get yourself out of the way and saw more of the white sky. You smiled.

“Yeah…” you whispered.

You remembered the happiness, goodness, and beauty that the longing and dreaming for her brought to you. The dreamy and lofty whiteness of the sky made you remember her beautiful face that you want to kiss, and the snow that you dreamed of to be the one that would cover the landscape of the place where you would meet. You indeed strived to be a better man. You wrote beautiful stories because of her. Even if that dream now seems to be decided not to be a reality anymore, it brought you more beauty, goodness, and happiness than you can ever imagine. Nay, what is reality but the one with beauty, goodness, and happiness in it?

“Why should I stop loving her?” you thought. “It is not by being loved back that I can continue to love her. It is not only by being with her that I can make her happy. I can love her still even from a distance, even if she does not know it. I can pray for her good. And by this love, though still trying to be untainted by selfishness as possible, I can be closer to her. And by praying for her good, I know, somehow, I can make her happy.”

After a long while, the train finally stopped at the station just beside your university. While you were walking, you noticed a flower possessing a color that resembles the blue sky and a white butterfly was perched on it. Such scene was very vivid like everything after the rain, after the tears, and its vividness affected you.

“What if our meeting shall bring to her harm? Like how a selfish boy picked a flower in order to enjoy it, not thinking about the fact that it will die later on because of that? I think, I now know what George MacDonald meant when he said, that the road to contentment lies not in despising what we have not got, that let us acknowledge all good, all delight that the world holds, and be content without it. Let the coldness, the rain, the whiteness of the sky, the absent snow, and the memory of her countenance, try to drown me, I love her all the same.”

You then whispered in the air, the words from that book, the lines that you know so well: “But she could not make me sad. I knew now, that it is by loving, and not by being loved, that one can come nearest the soul of another; yea, that, where two love, it is the loving of each other, and not the being loved by each other, that originates and perfects and assures their blessedness. I knew that love gives to him that loveth, power over any soul beloved, even if that soul know him not, bringing him inwardly close to that spirit; a power that cannot be but for good; for in proportion as selfishness intrudes, the love ceases, and the power which springs therefrom dies. Yet all love will, one day, meet with its return. All true love will, one day, behold its own image in the eyes of the beloved, and be humbly glad.”

About the author

thesparrowsnestweb.wordpress.com
A man seeking his beloved.

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