In a bustling city of concrete and glass, we converged as strangers. Different people, different stories.
One thing united us, as we eventually discovered: we were all broken in some way. Our past relationships with friends, family, and romantic partners haunted us. Those ghosts followed us all the way to Ayala Avenue, where an office building stood dark and formidable.
Within those four walls, I experienced a gamut of emotions. Joy. Stress. Motivation. Pride. Anger. Sadness. You saw it all, from me helplessly weeping on the sidewalk to me practically yelling in the streets in a fit of rage.
For every day that you and I meet, I hold on to the bus tickets.
At the end of the night, I pull the ticket out from my wallet and unfold it, smoothing the tattered corners, laying it flat before carefully placing it in the corner of my bookshelf, on top of a pile of other tickets. This has become a ritual of remembering: scattered in my closet like confetti, lining the bottom of an empty shoebox, slipped between the pages of a favorite book.
I have kept every scrap of cheap newsprint that chronicles our journey from the beginning, from our first bus ride.
But time makes you bolder, even children get older. And I’m getting older, too.
Landslide, Fleetwood Mac
“I’m happy we’re doing this,” you said. “We haven’t really talked like this in a while, and I’ve been wanting to speak with you.” I perked up a little, trying to blink the drowsiness from my heavy eyes. I wanted to listen, to truly hear what you had to say. Then again, you never did have much trouble catching my attention.
I dodge cars and trucks speeding by carelessly. I reach the other side of the road. Crossing the street without you holding my hand feels like tempting Death.
Standing on this street corner, I think of you. (I always think of you, of course, but tonight particularly.) I’m waiting for a bus to take me away from here and I suddenly remember how much I miss going home with you. …