Prose and poetry,  Relationships

Somewhere in Manila, we fell in love.

1:24 on a Thursday afternoon. With your hand in mine, determinedly walking ’round in circles, we found ourselves lost somewhere between Taft and Quiapo. The sun scorched us from overhead, and I could practically smell my hair burning. Crowds of unfriendly people jostled us back and forth. The scent of ihaw-ihaw wafted to our nostrils from the small stall we passed just a second ago.
“Where are we going?” you asked, fed up.

I shrug. “Dunno. I just wanna go somewhere new, somewhere beautiful.”
“Somewhere new and beautiful here in Vito Cruz? Are you kidding me?” Exasperation marred your tone.
“No,” I insisted, pulling away from your grip, “there must be some smidgen of beauty left in this city. I need some inspiration. Don’t you feel like that from time to time?”
“A smidgen of… Fuck that shit.” You folded your arms in that way I knew preceded a sermon, and I braced myself for the upcoming verbal assault on what you would call my folly.
“Every day with you, I learn something new, and it’s never too trivial for me. Never boring. It’s all new, and exciting, and refreshing.
And have you ever really looked in a mirror? You say you want to see something beautiful, but you don’t even try to see it in yourself.
I don’t need to go places to get inspired. I’m with you all the time, aren’t I?
You know what? Screw this shit. Let’s go home.”
Stunned into silence, I let you take my hand into yours. Suddenly, the sun seemed a little less hot, the people a little less unfriendly, and the smell of ihaw-ihaw the most delicious aroma I have ever inhaled.

Ela is a twentysomething who is constantly getting stuck in self-destructive behavior and bouts of low self-esteem. She struggles with depression and writes to relieve herself of her feelings. Sometimes she even blogs about other things like makeup and positivity. One of her pieces was published in the Inquirer Young Blood in October 2017. She likes cats, dogs, and sometimes even people.

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