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Abby Orbeta Dec 2014
Let's raise our drink for a toast. Cheers!

This is for all the smiles we exchanged, whether they had meaning or not, your teeth are so nice and white you could be a toothpaste model

Here is for all the times when your hand grazed mine as we reached for the coffee cups in the break room at the same time. That sent shivers down my spine, but then again I was under the aircon and I loved wearing backless dresses

This is for those times when I catch you staring at me from across the floor, your eyes piercing through my cube as if asking me to stare back, when I do I realize you were just staring at the window behind me

Here is for those times you asked me out to dinner and I thought that maybe after the 4th time meant something, then I realized we were always the only 2 people left on the floor and  that would be the polite thing to do.

Cheers!* It did mean something. I was over the moon when you told me you wanted me. I wanted you so badly.
I don’t need salt and lemon anymore my taste buds are numb. Why in the world am I still using shot glasses?

This is for all the rough boys who do not seem to understand the definition of no.

This is for all those nights I scrub your taste out of my mouth even if it’s been a while since I’ve tasted you.

This is for all the polite ones who were waaaaay to polite when I needed you to be rough.

Halfway through the bottle, I still remember the feel of your fingers on my skin as you trace my body. I still remember the pressure of your palms on my face and my body as you hit me. With each ‘no’ and ‘stop’ motivating you to hit harder

I drink to forget, but I still remember so I drink some more.

Cheers!

*******. I do not have a drinking problem. I have a forgetting problem.
Abby Orbeta Dec 2014
First, let me begin by assuring you that the feelings indeed are mutual.
I just can’t be with you.
Here are the reasons why.

1. Your hands feel like they were molded perfectly for me. Our bodies fit so well together. Your lips taste like honey. Your skin reminds me of the scent of the sea. Your eyes, they hypnotize. When I am with you, I lose myself. I can’t have that again. I just got myself back.

2. I can listen to you speak for hours on end. Your voice, smooth like silk. You could read the dictionary for me and I’d be turned on. That scares me. I may forget the sound of my own voice and only hear yours.

3. You’re well read. You can quote Derrida at a drop of a hat. You read Foucault for fun. Yet it is the classics that make your heartbeat. I feel stupid around you for not being as smart. You never used that against me.

4. You laugh at my jokes. You’re even cornier than I am. That is never a good sign.

5. You are idealistic. You want the family with big house that smells like chocolate chip cookies as soon as you open the door, filled with noisy kids, surrounded by a white picket fence. You want the carpool to soccer practice and the after school arts and crafts and the weekend piano and cello lessons. I want it too. I just can’t. I have a tendency to run away from it.

6. You understand my tendency to run away. You love me still even if. Love is such a broad term. Love scares me. I. Love. You. Love. We. Love.

7. You remind me so much of him. The one that I lost. The one I got cold feet with. The one I regret not taking the leap for. I don’t want to regret you.

8. I am broken. I carry so much baggage with me. It doesn’t help that doctors agree that I am crazy. I need to fix myself first. I don’t want to give you less than what you deserve.

9. You are way too good for me. Your heart is so generous and loving. I can’t match that. It’s unfair for you. You already know I’m not good for you. I am dangerous for your soul.

10. I don’t want to be just another warm body in your bed for those nights when you are cold and lonely. I don’t want to be just another experience for you. A way to fill your time. I knew from the moment that you held me close that I wanted us to be permanent. I want us to work.

There’s no need for us to hurry, lover. Hold me close and let the cadence of our hearts beat as one.

Actually… please. don’t. I need room to grow. I need space to breathe. I know I contradict myself all the time and you are so patient with me but… no.
Abby Orbeta Dec 2014
Being raised in a hetero-normative environment, everything was divided into binary. There was no middle ground. Right and Wrong. Black and White. Male and Female. Gay and Lesbian.

One, Two, Three, Four, Five. You were five years old when you first learned the difference between boys and girls. You felt that everything would be so much better if you were a boy. You’d be allowed to run and play and bike as much as you can. You didn’t have to wear itchy dresses or keep your hair braided in place or your face and clothes clean and dirt-free at all times. You refused to wear all the girly dresses and you asked your mom if you could cut your hair short. When she didn’t allow you, you took matters into your own hands and cut your well-constructed plait using craft scissors. They were all horrified, but couldn’t do anything. You suffered 20 belt lashes for your tiny act of rebellion but it was so worth it.

Six, Seven, Eight. You were eight when you began to blossom. Your ******* started growing and your curves begin to form, so you hid them like a shameful secret you wanted to erase. You kept your hair short, your demeanor brash and your clothes baggy. People started calling you “tomboy”. The label didn’t sting. It gave you a sense of pride, it afforded you the acceptance you’ve always wanted.

Nine. You were nine when you first felt attracted to a boy. He was your best friend’s older brother. He was dreamy. He looked like the boys you thought were attractive in Ang TV. But he never noticed you. He only notices the girly girls. You were a girl. Not girly, but still a girl. A different kind of girl. You see nothing wrong with being the way that you are, but you begin to wonder, “is there?”

Ten.  You’re still known as the “tomboy”. It still doesn’t bother you. You go on with your life. Now, you play for your grade’s co-ed soccer team. There is one boy in your class that you’ve been eyeing since September. He was a god. He sported blonde hair that looked like Devon Sawa’s, emerald green eyes that pierce through your soul, he was the smartest kid in class, and you play soccer together. One afternoon, you score the goal that wins the game. The boy with blonde hair and green eyes you’ve been eyeing since September, tackles you to the ground in much delight. He kisses you on the lips for the first time, you were stunned at the gesture. You liked it. Very much. A week later, he begins to call you his girlfriend, but his friends bullied him and called him a ****** for liking someone like you. As the kisses and hugs became more frequent, so did the bullying. Not long after, you broke up.

Ten point five. She enters your life at ten and a half. She had long dark hair and icy grey eyes framed by long thick lashes. Her smile lights up the room and she makes you laugh really hard. She was the first girl you ever held hands with. Her hands were warm and comforting. Her hands entwined with yours made you all tingly inside. You held hands in the library while reading Tiger Beat. You held hands behind the swing during recess. You held hands while walking home to your apartment complex. One afternoon she kisses you on the lips when you get to the door of your apartment building. You run up to your room in silence and lock yourself in for the entire night, confused. You started comparing. Why did her kiss feel better than his?

Almost eleven. You were almost eleven when your best friend’s older brother finally notices you. He notices how smooth your skin is when he grazes against it. How red your lips get when you lick them. He sneaks a peek when you’re changing in your best friend’s bedroom after soccer practice. He examines every curve of your body from your cinched waist that emphasizes your supple ******* to your shapely hips that remind him of hills that have been put on their sides. He examines and memorizes every detail of your body in secret.

Eleven. Your best friend’s older brother catches you and your best friend holding hands and kissing while playing video games. He doesn’t say anything. He did not breathe a word of this to anyone. Not even a soul.

Eleven. He corners you one summer afternoon while you’re waiting for your best friend to come home. He places his hand over your mouth and whispers for you to keep quiet. He uses his strength to pin you down, you fight and fight. You try to scream. No one can hear you. No one is home. He tells you that this is for your own good. This is what is right. He shatters you. He broke you in. He did not stop until you were tamed.

Eleven and a half. You stopped going to your best friend’s house. Your future became bleak.

Twelve, Fourteen, Sixteen. Twelve. Fourteen. Sixteen. Twelve. Fourteen. Sixteen. History repeats itself. The actors are just different. Still, no one can hear your stifled screams. You feel your soul dying. Every. Single. Time.

Sixteen, Seventeen. You decide that you just don’t care anymore. Nothing matters. You don’t matter. You try to end it all. Then she comes along to rescue you. She loves you for who you are and who you want to be. You begin to pick up the pieces. You fall in love with her. Everything is still kept in secret.

Eighteen. Your worldview has changed significantly. You’re now wiser and braver. You walk hand in hand with her in public and you even allow a bit of PDA. You don’t care about the ***** looks you get from everyone else. You slowly begin to feel accepted, yet you are still somewhat hidden.

Nineteen, Twenty, Twenty – one. You fall in love with a man, a woman, a gay man, an extremely straight woman, another man, and the list goes on and on. The whole world admonishes you and tells you to “PICK A SIDE”. Just pick one.  You can’t love both men and women. People start calling you names. Puta. Haliparot. ****. *****. ***** seems to be the crowd favorite.

Twenty – three. Names hurt. Names stick. Labels bother you. Not because you’re not proud for being who you are, but because nothing fits. Nothing feels right. You feel like you’re five again with your well - constructed plait and your craft scissors. You take matters into your own hands. You begin to take charge of your life.

Twenty – five. You’ve finally realized that gender does not matter to you when it comes to love. Love is love. You just have so much of it to give. You find peace even when people don’t understand.

Twenty – seven.  Being raised in a hetero-normative environment, everything was divided into binary. There was no middle ground. Right and Wrong. Black and White. Male and Female. Gay and Lesbian.  You still don’t adhere to any labels. You’re proud that you fall between the cracks. You see, the color - spectrum is wide and bright, but you, you’re just proud to be grey.
Abby Orbeta Dec 2014
I knew that being with you
Would be like running through a rainstorm
Without clothes on.
None of that mattered
Because we were running through it together
Hand in hand
As cheesy as it sounds.

The news of your death came at me
Like a storm surge I wasn’t prepared for.
All of my emotions and questions
Came rushing like three storey waves
And I was alone with some rope
Anchored to nothing.
I was drowning in all of my what ifs,
Could haves, and should have beens.

Everything was taken away from me
In the blink of an eye.
And all I have left is a recording of you
Reading the storybook
“Guess How Much I Love You”

What if I hadn’t gotten cold feet?
What if I was with you that night,
Would you have gotten irresponsibly drunk?
Would you have driven drunk?
I should have been beside you when they brought you in.
I could have held your hand
I would have been able to say goodbye.
I didn’t even get to tell you how much I love you.

I listen to your recording on nights I couldn’t fall asleep.
I keep repeating it and repeating it
Just so I could hear you say:
“I love you, right up to the moon – and back.”
It just doesn’t seem fair.

If I could have just one more chance.
Just one more moment.
I’d give anything.
I’d tell you,
“I love you, right up to the moon – and back.”
Abby Orbeta Dec 2014
Hi! I love you. Yes. You. I know that this might be too bold a declaration considering we barely know each other and we’ve only recently become Facebook friends. It hasn’t even been 48 hours since we first met, but I’ll say it again with much passion in my heart. I LOVE YOU. If you ask any of my friends if I’m serious about this, they’ll tell you that indeed I am. Like a ******* heart attack. Possibly to scare you to see if you’ll run away or to warn you that I do fall hard in love way too quickly with anything and everything or to see if you’ll respond positively so that maybe we can live happily ever after. I am serious though. I love you.

I love you because of the way you made eye contact with me when I entered the room and didn’t break it until after I mindlessly followed your invitation to sit beside you by the window sill and introduced yourself and asked for my name. I love you for the way you repeated my name three times after learning it as if to imprint it in your mind that I am called as such. My name as ordinary as it sounds, felt extraordinary with your voice. Love is in the way that we discussed how dangerous it is for small boats to try and traverse large oceans but it is possible. Dangerous, but possible. Just like you and me. I feel like my heart wants to spontaneously combust at the mention of car engines. I am not someone who is well versed into how a car works but oh dear Lord I came out of that conversation an expert. Expert in God knows what, I’m not entirely sure. But you know what I am sure of? You. You are the stuff of lovey dovey poetry. You are my “person next door”, my “white picket fence”, my “ice cold beers on a warm Sunday afternoon”, my “screaming at youths from our rocking chairs on the porch”. I have already pictured our forever from our short time together.

You might be wondering why I am telling you all this now, it’s because in a few moments I will forget. In a few moments, I will probably meet someone new and this cycle will repeat all over again. Just like with names, I am bad, no, horrible with butterfly romances. I’m sorry, but my heart has ADHD. We had great fun. Maybe writing this down will make the moment last longer, you know? So before I go, remember these three things: I love you. I love you. I love you. I hope never to forget this moment, but that’s wishful thinking. Oh hey, hi! Wait, what was your name again?
Abby Orbeta Dec 2014
We met in the strangest of circumstances,
A night of chance meetings and missed embraces.
I was set in turning my life around,
Focusing on myself for once.

See, I am not used to consistency
I thrive in adversity
Used to being the girl for now,
The girl for when you’re bored, feel sad and need love.
I’ll be there waiting with my heart
Wrapped in shiny paper tied with a bow.
Ready for the taking.


Just please, give it back to me when you’re done.
I don’t care if it’s in pieces.
As long as you give it back.

I promised myself I was done with this.
That I will focus on me this time.

So imagine my surprise
When you came in guns ablazing
Spewing promises like Moses
Leading Israelites to the promised land.

You urged me to take your hand,
Like a deer in headlights you caught me
Staring at you from across the room
Mouth agape
Already drowning in the fantasy of you and me.
Stupid me.
I still jumped off the cliff with you
Knowing that it’ll hurt like hell on impact.

I promised myself,
“this time, I’ll dress for the crash.”
But I didn’t.
We didn’t.

It’s been years since we crashed.

And still, we’re picking up the pieces.
Abby Orbeta Dec 2014
Your life came in a kit:
Wrapped in shiny paper, tied with big red bow.
Inside was an instruction manual,
Containing everything you could ever need.
Easier. It was life made easier.
You find it ill-fitting. Restrictive.
Like a straitjacket masquerading as a ball gown.


You live in a world where the Word was the law
and the law was the Word.
A world of pointing fingers and pointed words
like shotgun blasts (Boom. Boom. Boom.)
that leave you hollow.


You feel flawed.
Trapped.
Alone.
No room for discussions.
Future already set.
Suffocated.


You knew you were different.
The kit was not who you were.
Yet you pinched and pulled.
Cut and cut deeper.
Put yourself in restraints and kept all emotions in check.
You hid who you were.
You wanted so badly to fit in.


You hated yourself;
For not fitting in,
For being who you are,
For thinking the way that you do,
For being attracted to people you weren’t supposed to.
You hated others for the same reasons.


You don’t have to feel this way.
It’s going to be okay.
You are not alone in this.
You are loved.
You are made perfect in the way that you are:
“flaws” and all.

— The End —