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[30 Jan 14 at 11:29 pm, and I still don’t know what to say — for this one, and for that speech.]

I remember promising each other that we’d have two anniversaries each year — one on your birthday, and one on mine.  So we’d be forced to meet up, one way or another.  Or maybe I just dreamt this up, but no matter.  I’m seeing you in a few hours anyway.

[Insert flashback over here.]

I didn’t take much photos [during graduation], but I still had one with you.  Probably because I knew the two of us weren’t really saying goodbye.  The rest, I could let go without a picture to hold on to.

With the people that we meet, we always try to look for constants — it’s not a collect-and-choose thing, because you can’t really keep anyone.  All you can do is look, and wait for those people who want, and choose, to stay.

They’re not even always the people you choose to let in — eventually, even most of those people leave.

They’re the ones who stick with you, even if you don’t open up.  Even when they don’t understand you.  Even if you don’t listen.  Even when you push them to their limits, or push them away to the point of no return — they’ll always find a way back.

My dear, you are a constant.  The distance between our universities though has, actually, successfully made us closer — but that doesn’t mean that I don’t miss you, which I do.  A lot.

And, my goodness — we are both old, but you are definitely still older than me… by a few months.  But since you are officially legal now, and it’s because it’s Chinese New Year, I wish you a wonderful kick-ass start into a responsible adulthood, without sacrificing your wonderful spite and mirth, and a clear mind, set on what you’re passionate about.

Follow your dreams, my dear.  Fulfill them because where you want to be is where you’re meant to be, sooner or later.  Pray to Him.  Listen to your parents.  Find more constants, and find more people who are worth being constant for, because God knows how lucky I am that you chose to stay with me.

I love you, Nelissa Chua.  To the moon and back. To infinity and beyond.  To Taft from Diliman.

Happy 18th, and Happy Chinese New Year.

i can’t seem to forget your scent;
i’m not talking about your little experiment with that tiny bottle of bliss.
or maybe it’s how your clothes smell.  or maybe just their warmth.
or your warmth.
it makes me laugh to think that i fell
once for the scent of vanilla and the ruby pullbacks of a lion’s mane,
twice for the mobile arm draped half-hug that happened once
or maybe thrice;
that i ran back to those vanilla beans,
now a bit too sweet for my liking, a lion and a snake in one big pullover.
and how your silhouette stayed in front of that mane and i could still feel
your full embrace,
the unkempt strands on your head
between my fingers, half asleep between empty pillow talks and empty
houses and unsent messages with restless nights that got me to search
for your face
in dreamless stupor, only to
wake a bit too early before getting a chance to feel, hear, or know anything.
both in each other’s reach and rarely greeting the Enter key until one day,
time ran out,
and it crept behind my cheeks with
readied bloodstains; it crept behind our fingers and they pressed down
more than once. i was reminded of your antics and the overused commas
that i missed.
and i remind myself to just stay put.
because it still creeps on and all that i can really do for now is try to find
something else that smells like your clothes and try to wait for something
just as warm.

and nothing else will.