Catherine

The drizzle was becoming rain, and the wind was getting stronger. Cool air blew all over the green gardens of an old house and rushed into the window of the house’s library. Coldness enveloped the room where a girl was reading silently, preoccupied by the story. What book was she reading, you wonder. It was her favorite: Alice in Wonderland. 

She was sitting comfortably on a dilapidated couch, a mug of milk resting on a stack of hard-bound books piled on the floor beside her. Creating scenarios from the story in her head, she was caught up in her own wonderland and oblivious to the time passing by. She had been reading for hours now. And even though the grandfather clock chimed at every hour she had spent reading in the library, it still startled her. Time stood still while she was reading. The clock reminded her that she still had a normal life, a boring life, a life without any adventure, a real life. She stood up and finished her milk in one gulp.

Take me away to where you are.

It was almost night time in the city. The lights were already on after hours of rest, ready to brighten up the streets for the rest of the night. The neon signs were rapidly blinking, luring people into their abode for a couple of drinks and maybe even some light chat.

In one of the buildings, there was a girl sleeping. Soundly, as we call it. Her phone rang, jolting her from her slumber. Crap, she thought, I hope this is important. She got off her bed and walked to light switch. The room was dark, and the only light that dimly illuminated the place was from her phone hanging on a hook near her dresser. The phone rang again.

The girl flicked the switch and hurriedly picked up the phone. She answered it with a normal “hello?” The voice spoke after a couple of seconds, unsure of what to say, “um, Katie?” The girl felt her heart beat faster and faster every passing second. Am I dreaming?, she thought. She choked back the tears. “Katie? Love, are you still there?” the voice worriedly asked her. Katie wiped the tears from her face with her cardigan and looked at the mirror. Ugh, I’m pathetic. Her hair was a tangled mess, and her eyeliner was smudged.

She cleared her throat, “um, yeah. Hi… Justin.” Justin. His name was like a rose, beautiful, but it hurt so bad. Memories drifted back. Justin awkwardly said, “I miss you, Katie. I can’t get back yet, but I will. Soon. I still got plenty of things to do, so I’ll see you maybe in a year or so. Are you still okay there? Really, I have got to check with you three times a day… ” His voice drifted in her head. A year! That long? Okay, think positive. 365 days more, and it will be worth it.

"A year? Okay, I guess. I miss you, you know that. Don’t flirt with other girls there, alright?" she laughed quietly, an obviously desperate attempt to lighten the mood. He chuckled, "of course Katie. I love you. Maybe it doesn’t really show, but yeah, I do. So much… So don’t ever doubt that." It got serious again. "Okay, Justin. I love you, too." Katie smiled, despite herself. She looked down at her dresser. There were a few coins, keys, a half-empty tube of lip balm, and their picture. She took the picture and held it close to her heart.

They talked for a little bit more, then Justin said he has to go. Katie hung up and let her tears flow freely. She walked slowly to her bed, clutching the picture. Her vision blurred that she didn’t see a pair of sneakers strewn carelessly on the carpeted floor. She let herself trip and fall. She wiped her tears and stared at the sneakers. There were words written in Sharpies on the white fabric. Justin loves Katie. Forever. Wild Hearts. The writings made her even cry harder. A voice screamed in her head. Justin! I love you. I miss you. Take me with you. I don’t want to stay here without you. She held the picture tighter. Even if she wanted to go with him, it would never work out. He was a thousand miles away. Far away. And the saddest part was she had never felt so alone in her entire life.

All she wants. (May pinanghuhugutan.)

She’s staring out her window, wishing someone would come up her door. But at the back of her mind, she knows it will never happen. She missed him. She missed talking to him, his laugh, and his smile— his smile! She will almost, but would never, forget it. She closes her eyes and remembers. His teeth that glistened when a ray of sun shone on his lovely face, his perfectly shaped lips that curled up into a perfectly shaped smile. It was a smile that could make you laugh, cry, and hurt all at the same time. It was contagious.

His laugh was… There’s just something about it that she couldn’t put her finger upon. The words were hanging at the tip of her tongue, mocking her. She thought. Hard. It was like sunshine on a rainy day, or… or snow! Yes, that’s it. The first snowfall after a year of waiting. She couldn’t really explain it, but it was heavenly. Like the sound of angels… Of course it was just a comparison, for his voice was a lot more deeper and richer. It had a calming effect on her, even when she was very giddy and excited.

And his eyes! How could she forget? His thick eyelashes and his deep-set, chocolate eyes. When he looked at her, she felt like she would melt any second. His gaze could see her deepest and darkest secrets. His stare seeped through her soul.

Every night, she cries herself to sleep. She doesn’t know why but she knew he was the only thing on her mind at those moments. She wanted him so badly. Deep in thought, she startled herself by laughing at her own expense. There was a voice inside her head, silly girl! Stop being ridiculous. You’ll never have him, no matter how hard you try. Never. I will find a way. Now, stop acting stupid. Everyone acts stupid sometimes. Why can’t I? Because it would be wrong asking for so much! 

She sighed and got down from the chair. She knew the voice was right. But she never stopped praying. And hoping. And wishing.