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Kelly Bitangcol May 2016
I remember you telling me before that you saw yourself as a jigsaw puzzle.* I never understood you then because why would you compare yourself with a thing that requires pieces. You explained that you have 6 pieces in you, pieces that made you, created you. Pieces that were the reason for the person you are today, pieces that helped you function, in other words, pieces that made you whole. That was why you called yourself as a 6 piece jigsaw puzzle. But then one day, you told me all of those pieces were missing. You said someone or something took it away from you and you have no idea how to get them back. You explained to me thoroughly how they were removed from you. The first piece was removed when you were in your room one night, hearing your parents fight, yelling and arguing, telling hurtful things to each other. So you decided to put some headphones on and played some music so you wouldn’t hear their shouts but then they barged into your room saying one of them is leaving and you have to decide which one of them you are coming with, you pretended to not hear them but deep inside of you, even though how loud the volume was, it suddenly stopped without you muting it, because all you could hear was their love for each other slowly fading away. The second piece was removed when one day some unwanted visitors came into your house and they told you they call themselves as demons and that they brought you things that you cannot possibly return; you opened the boxes and see that those things were called depression and anxiety. The third piece was removed when your so called best friends told you they were always there for you but when you were sitting on a bathroom floor filled with blood and hopelessness nobody came to pick you up.  The fourth piece was removed when you someone told you they will help you find those lost pieces but one day she was just not there, and instead of finding the missing ones, one of the remaining was lost again. The fifth piece was removed when you saw him, the love of your life, loving another being that wasn’t you and when you asked why he told you he just couldn’t deal with someone who was like a puzzle that wasn’t solved, you were about to tell him you were once the one he was looking for but then he told you, oh scratch it, a puzzle that could never be solved. And the last and final piece was removed, because life took it away from you. And then suddenly all of those pieces were lost.

I want to help you, i want to do everything just to find those pieces. But you’ve got to help yourself also. You are the biggest help you need, and maybe, just maybe, those pieces can be found in the most unexpected places. Perhaps the first piece can be found when you’re listening to your favourite song and the lyrics felt like blankets that comfort you when it’s cold and suddenly it felt like home. First piece found. Perhaps it’s the feeling of waking up at 5:30 in the morning, feeling ******, and when you went outside, you saw the sunrise, and realised that somehow you can rise again like that. Second piece found. Maybe it was sitting in a cafe, sipping unnecessary caffeine, looking at the people who were passing in front of you, thinking of how much they’ve been through, and still surviving like you, and somehow that made you feel better, that’s why your face formed an unnecessary smile. Third piece found. Maybe it was when it rained so hard, but it doesn’t compare to your tears, you cried and cried, as the rain poured and poured, then the rain suddenly stopped and the sky formed a rainbow, you looked at it and think that maybe your tears can form colours too. Fourth piece found. Perhaps it’s when you can’t sleep at night, so you just look at your scars, before you thought they were ugly and disgusting, they did nothing to you but made you remember how much of a mess you are, but now you look at them in a different way, they weren’t battle scars, because battle was an understatement on how difficult the things they had overcome. And now you see them as a reminder of how much of a soldier you are. Fifth piece found. And maybe, it was when you decided to go to an art museum, you were fascinated by the wonderful paintings, then you thought, you used to be like those works of art; beautiful and important. But then you suddenly heard one painting, whispering you something, it said, a masterpiece is still a masterpiece no matter how broken it is. Sixth piece, and final piece, found.

So, darling, If by means life took those away from you, you should do everything to get those back. And yes, you will tell me, nothing can bring back those pieces anymore, but you can be a puzzle piece that is solved without the pieces you had before, you can find those pieces without asking for help, you can find those on your own, you can make pieces all by yourself. It doesn’t matter how fast you puzzled it out, the only thing that matters is that you solved it. *You solved the jigsaw puzzle. You solved you.
  **And guess what? You will be whole again. You will realise you always was, and that is the reason you will not let anyone or anything, change that again.
Kelly Bitangcol May 2016
I have always been known as the person who remembers everything.* Not just big and major things, even the small ones. Every time my family and I are going on adventures I am the one who remembers the place and the travel route. When we went out of town one time I can still remember when we asked a man in the streets for directions and it turned out he told us the wrong way, and me, being the scared little child, I was asking for my mom to just drive back and go home. Fortunately, we arrived to our destination and I remember that it was 12 am when we got there and I was too tired to function. I still remember the name of the resort we stayed in, I remember the design of the swimsuit I was wearing, it has the number 21 in it, and I remember posing for a photo where I was wearing goggles and I made it my profile picture on Facebook. I remember the name of one hotel in that town was similar to my ex crush’s last name that’s why my sisters were teasing me about it.

That one time we joined a halloween costume contest and my costume was a cheerleader (cheerleader in Glee, specifically speaking) and my sister went as a ballerina but we all know that wasn’t a costume because she is also a ballerina in real life. I knew she never wanted to go with me, but as usual, i needed someone to be with. I remember the costumes that the people were wearing, that the white lady was the one who won the best in costume. I remember how sweet the halloween candies were. I remember that a stranger took a picture of us, and me, being the usual one who overthinks, got scared and asked my sister if we could leave already.

I remember going to the mall with my sister before and I accidentally stepped on a lady’s foot and she got so angry with me and I became frightened. I remember ordering a green mango shake and didn’t finish it because it was too sour, and then my mother scolded me and until now she’s still bringing that up whenever I try to order a shake. I remember watching A Series Of Unfortunate Events one Christmas and after that I became obsessed with it and it was the only thing I’ve watched for weeks. I remember the girl I met in a cafe, she was wearing a yellow dress and **** I remember her smile was brighter than the sun. I remember all the things that happened the night I lost my concert virginity, it happened January 24, 2015 and when they played my favourite songs it felt like home. I remember the perfume I was wearing when I had a date with one guy so whenever I smell it I will always remember his eyes.

I can still remember the song that was playing the night when we were dancing, the night where it started it all, and baby, I remember how you took my hand and suddenly I felt electricity in my body. I remember being at a friend’s house after that night and when she tried to show me photos of us I couldn’t look at them without smiling and thinking of the feeling you gave me. I remember spending a lot of nights thinking of you and promising myself I wouldn’t fall and that was when I knew everything was going to be a mess. I remember the night when there was a storm and you texted me and asked how was I doing, and then the following days consisted of us texting each other. I remember one afternoon when you asked me if I could be yours and you could be mine, I remember the nervousness in your voice and the way you were scared for the answer I was about to say, and I also remember the happiness in your face when I answered your question. I remember feeling contented with everything when our fingers intertwined and I remember feeling safeness when your arms were wrapped around my body. If I would tell all the things I remember then this poem wouldn’t be finished and will be proclaimed as the longest poem that was ever written. But one thing is for sure, I remember it, all.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t remember the pain. I remember how it hurt the first time you lied to me and how your apology suddenly removed all the pain away. I remember how I asked you if you’re giving up on me already and you just told me you didn’t know. I remember the days we didn’t talk to each other and I spent my nights crying myself to sleep and when we finally talked, it didn’t feel the same. I remember you getting too tired to fix my broken pieces because you have been wounded by them so bad so you just walked away and left them even more broken than before. I remember your hands that were too strong before, too strong to hold me, I remember how I made them weak that’s why you can’t hold on to mine anymore and had to let go of your tight grip. I remember you replacing the word ‘promise' with ‘sorry’, ‘I am always here’ with ‘I wish I was there for you’, ‘I would never leave you’ with ‘I guess this is goodbye.’ I remember you leaving, like everybody else does. I vividly remember it.

But what bugs me the most is that I couldn’t remember some things, I was known as the person who remembers everything but then there came things that I couldn’t recall, even some moments of them. I couldn’t remember the sincerity in your eyes when you told me I was beautiful, I couldn’t remember you being there for me when I needed a shoulder to cry on, I couldn’t remember how you would do everything just to ease the pain, I remember you telling me you love me but I couldn’t remember you meaning it. It bothers me how I remember the smallest details in everything, how I could remember the colour of my first iPhone case, the meal I ate when I was 7 years old and watching my favourite cartoons, the t-shirt I wore on a birthday party before. But I couldn’t remember the things that were worth remembering.

And then it hit me, epiphany hit me.  **I only remember the things that really happened. I only remember the things that were real. I only remember the things that were true.
Kelly Bitangcol May 2016
It all happened the night I sat on an empty seat on the train. My body was tired, I feel like my eyes would shut down in any minute, I couldn't even say something because my mouth was probably exhausted too (of speaking too much, probably), but one thing is for sure, my mind will never be worn out. My mind will never stop. Funny, I thought, when you are happy and contented about everything in your life, or when your whole self is already numb and can't feel anything whilst without any caution your mind will explode with thoughts and ideas that could either save or destroy you. But my mind isn't exploding at the moment, my mind isn't experiencing any chaos and war inside of it, there was only one thing my mind was telling me, that I just want to be left alone tonight. Maybe that's why I sat on an empty seat on the train.

I wasn't left alone the moment an old woman sat beside me. I was ******, beyond ******, I'm having one of the worst days in my life and all I want right now is to be alone in this world and then one person would sit beside me.

“Tough day, huh?” She asked me. I just smiled and nodded at her, I was too tired to say something, but I wasn't tired to realize how bad I acted. I started feeling guilty of the things rattling around my head.

“It's just a bad day, sweetheart. Not a bad life.” This woman is obviously trying to start a conversation, I hesitated to talk to her at first, but then maybe my mouth would be less tired when I decide to speak again.

“I'm sorry, I'm just, tired.. Tired of everything, I guess.”

“I understand, sweetie. Wait, I know, why don't we just play a game? 20 questions?” Wow, 7 minutes ago I was just asking to be all by myself and now I'm about to play a game with a stranger. Even worse, she will know 20 facts about me.

“Uhm, okay, I guess.”

“Okay, me first. The most cliché question of them all, what's your favourite color?”


“Ahh, let's proceed to the next one.” And the next ones became even more predictable. Favourite movie, book, food. I felt irritated but at the same time, relieved. She wouldn't know 20 facts about me, I could always lie. However, epiphany hit me when I forgot she has only been asking 19 questions, then the last question erased all my relief.

“And the last question I have before I leave, who is your favourite almost?

“What? I don't understand.”

“Is it the boy you kissed one sunday night but after that he told you goodbye, and you didn't know he meant it, that's why you started wondering where's the good in that word? Or is it the boy who told you he loved you every single day and suddenly one day he decided not to talk to you ever again like those days never happened? Is it the boy who was the reason you lied when I asked you what was your favourite colour, it wasn't blue, wasn't it? It was the colour of his eyes. Or maybe, it's that someone who looked at you like you were the entire universe but the world decided that being inlove with a universe is a dangerous thing to do, that's why they did everything to part the ways of you two. Now tell me, dear, who is your favourite almost?”

And then suddenly I was awaken. I no longer felt tired, like my body can move again right now. And that my mind is exploding again, I even think it will burst. “I... I don't.. know.”

But who is it, really? It was hard deciding when somebody's lips were the reason why I felt alive sometime in the past, when the words of that somebody were at the same time my disease and my cure, my hurricane and my sunshine, my poison and my antidote. When somebody's eyes became my favourite colour of all time that's why whenever I see things that are green I feel like I'm still at home, and when somebody had the power to make me the universe when I'm just a human being, clearly a dangerous thing, but I would gladly experience the danger to be with that someone again.  

I was about to say something when the doors of the train opened and the woman suddenly stood up, she was about to leave, I guess. She smiled at me and walked away. But one last time, she turned around said these words to me:

“You almost knew, didn't you?”

And just like that, I was left alone on the empty seat on the train.
Kelly Bitangcol May 2016
“Will the damage be worth it?”* A question that I am afraid to ask, for I am terrified for the answer.

The beautiful catastrophe began one night when you took my hand and asked for a dance, I never thought it would meant something to me but I didn't expect to see the entire galaxy in your eyes that time and how your smile sent shivers to my spine.
After that I spent the next following days telling myself that everything that happened was nothing and should be forgotten. Stop it, I said to myself, you will only ruin everything.
Do you really want to let your guard down, do you really want to crush the walls you've built for a long time just because of one boy?
He's just a boy, I said to myself. Keep in your mind, he is just a boy.
But you aren't just a ******* boy.
You are fire, the fire that melted my ice cold heart.
We were both scared that time, scared of the outcome of the things we are about to do, scared of the things that are bound to happen, scared of destroying everything.
But instead, we took the risk, the two of us.
We overcame our fear of heights by falling together and when I asked you what if we die you told me it was worth it.
That was the moment I knew that home wasn't a place, but home was the feeling you gave me when our fingers intertwined. Home was the happiness I felt when you held me in your arms, home was the satisfaction you gave me every time you uttered the words “I love you,” to my ears. Do you remember the days you gave me roses and told me I was as beautiful as them, I was delighted with the thought that you compared me to one of the prettiest flowers in the world.
And do you remember what you told me, that our love was like the sun and the moon, for they are there for each other when everything is bright and shining, and when everything is surrounded with darkness.
But our love, was something else. Something else that even the skies couldn’t tell how powerful it is, that even the ocean wouldn’t know how deep it is. “We loved with a love that was more than love.” Is this the time that I will finally know the meaning behind Edgar Allan Poe’s line?

However, the moment we've been hoping to never happen, happened.
Here comes the downfall.

The downfall that was the cause of the pain that we couldn't describe, the downfall that made us forget the happiest days of our lives and made us remember the worst, the downfall that led us to realization.
The realization that maybe we are really the sun and the moon, and no, not because of the reason you gave. But because of no matter how deep our love for each other is and how many sacrifices we did, we will never be together.
You told me I was as beautiful as the roses you gave me, but did it ever cross your mind that i have parts of me that could sting you, parts of me that could cut you and break you to pieces and the only mark that will serve as my memory is the redness of your own blood like the petals of the roses, my love, didn't you know that roses have thorns?
And I never told you, that I screamed the words “I love you” too loud for you to know, but I whispered the words “and it's killing me” too soft for you to never discover.
If I considered your hands to be the bed of the room that relaxes me, your arms to be the roof of the house that protects it from destruction, if I considered you to be my home, does that mean right now I am homeless?
Maybe we shouldn’t have overcame it, maybe we should’ve let our fears just be fears.
And perhaps dying wasn't really worth it when you murdered me with the act of walking away and you didn't even bother to look at the crime scene you've made. How funny of me, to think you are more than just a boy, when in fact, you are just another boy who let my guard down, destroyed my walls, and the reason why I would build them once again.
It's true that I saw galaxies in your eyes and your smile sent shivers to my spine but how come I didn't know that those galaxies and shivers would only just ruin everything? Why was I finding my other half when I am already a whole? Why did I let you in when you did nothing but destroy me?
I started to think and told myself that I would do everything just to go back to that night and what I will do is I wouldn't take your hand and agree to that dance.

“The damage was never worth it.” And in the end, I was the one who answered my own question.
Kelly Bitangcol May 2016
When I was younger I bit my tongue so hard that all you can see in my mouth is blood and the colour red. They thought it wasn’t severe and just a normal bite but they didn’t know that bite would change my life. My mother brought me to a doctor who she called “stupid”. The doctor told me that in order to stop the bleeding, he will need a thread and a needle, to do the job of putting stitches to my tongue. My mother thought, “Is this doctor crazy? Sewing my daughter’s tongue? Is he serious?”, my mother was worried about the things that are bound to happen to my tongue, that it will connect to my speaking, that I will have a speech deficiency, but that time all I worried about was the pain. Of course, I was young, and kids were afraid of pain. Kids were afraid of bruises, wounds, blood. But they were never afraid of the world, instead, they loved it. But now, I think I see it in a different way. Thinking of all the things that are happening to my life I think the doctor is sending me a different message. A needle, a thread, putting stitches to my tongue, I think this doctor is telling me to shut up. At such a young age, he was warning a little girl who didn’t even know reality yet to keep her mouth shut, does he know that these things would happen when I grow up? That the moment my eyes will be open by reality my entire perspective will change? That I won’t let my voice not to be heard? That my tongue will serve as my gun and my words will be the bullets that can ****? I wondered if he knew, but I also wonder how is he now, where is he. Because I would want to say some words that I didn’t get to say before when I was just a small child who had her tongue held back to prevent her for the words she was about to say.

I would want him to know that I will not keep my mouth shut.

I will not keep my mouth shut because we tell young girls how they should act, what they should wear. Don’t go to the streets in the middle of the night, don’t wear that, that’s too short. Because ever since we were young we already needed validation from everyone.
I will not keep my mouth shut because we teach girls how to prevent being harassed instead of teaching people to stop harassing girls. Because the questions you will get after that are “What were you wearing?”, “Were you drunk that time?”, and that oh so famous line “Maybe you were asking for it.” Did you think I dressed up that night and got drunk because I was waiting for someone to ruin my life?
I will not keep my mouth shut because we still make jokes about ****, we still think it’s funny, we think something that could destroy someone else’s life is hilarious. And you tell us, “Lighten up, couldn’t you take a joke?”.
I will not keep my mouth shut because my clothes determine my consent, the shortness of my skirt will tell you that I want your hands to touch my thighs, my sleeveless top will send you a confirmation that I want your skin to touch the different parts of my body. That I don’t have my own name because you are throwing different ones to me, I never knew my name on my birth certificate was “hot thing.” But then you did it again while I was wearing long sleeves and jeans, what’s your excuse now?
I will not keep my mouth shut because you think that being a woman is an insult, you will shout phrases like “You’re such a girl.”, “You fight like a girl.”, because we are seen as damsels in distress that are always in need to be saved, because we are the weaker ***, right? But why, that when the moment we already fight and be the heroes of our own that makes us less of a woman and more of a man.
I will not keep my mouth shut because when a boy gets harassed you will tell him to “man up, dude.”, because boys are meant to be strong and women are meant to be pretty, because boys should avoid being sensitive and girls should not be powerful, because blue is for boys and pink is for girls, but didn’t it ever crossed your mind that maybe colours and descriptions could be for both?
I will not keep my mouth shut because we always need to be modest, hush, act like a lady, the way of your sitting is not very ladylike, your clothes are not really for girls, your taste in music isn’t fit for a lady like you. Because you see us a delicate flower that you can pick and own all the time. But let me tell you this, we aren’t just flowers, we are fire. And when you play with us,  prepare to be burnt.
I will not keep my mouth shut because all my life that’s what you’ve been telling me, and after that say sorry. Say sorry for fighting for your rights, say sorry for speaking up, say sorry for not being silent. And tell me, does my voice terrify you? I hope it does.
I will not keep my mouth shut and I am not sorry about it,
I will not keep my mouth shut because I can not,
I will not keep my mouth shut and I never ever will.

After our encounter with the crazy doctor, we found another one, the second doctor, and he said, there’s no need for sewing, you will only need to put some ice to stop the bleeding. I think he even gave me a frozen delight. I didn’t get to thank him before and now I want to see him and see what he’s doing. I think he forgot to give me a message before, a message that he was dying to tell but couldn’t because I was only a child, but now I think I know it. I think I heard him say these words to me in my dream last night:

**“Not because you bit your tongue, that doesn’t stop you from speaking. Don’t be silent, speak up.”
Kelly Bitangcol May 2016
you were the little rain,
and i was the hurricane,
everybody knew you were meant to fix something,
and i was meant to destroy everything.
you are the definition of lightness,
while i was the meaning of darkness.
your body is the realm of all the lost things that are found,
while mine was the other way around.
to sum things up,
we were the polar opposites.
the east and the west,
the tame and the wild,
the day and the night.
when i was young,
people would say that someday,
someone will knock on your door and when you take a look at it,
you will not recognize who the person is,
your mind will be blasting with the questions,
"who are you?", "what are you doing here?"
and maybe you would even tell the person to get out.
but the person will leave something in front of your door,
a thing that you perhaps wanted or despised,
a thing that even the closest people in your life can give,
but instead, this time,
a stranger will.
it's called the unexpected.
you came knocking on my door one day,
thinking you can settle things with the hurricane,
at first i just laughed and said,
"nobody can handle the hurricane."
however after that i never thought a little rain
would have so much effect on me.
that was when i realised you are also the thing
that you left in front of my door.
you are the unexpected.
and by means of unexpected,
you never did anything i expected you to do.
you didn't give me mix tapes of the songs that remind you of me
but my favourite songs are nothing compared to your voice,
one simple "hello" of you will make me stop listening to my playlist.
you didn't take me to art museums
and admire the wonderful paintings with my presence
but you made me feel like a living masterpiece every single day.
when i told you i love art,
you asked why don't i love myself.
you do not connect me to a rose,
or to a smoke,
you do not make metaphors for me
and you do not love poems as much as i do
but your words have the power to hit me more than any other poets could
and i am just a coward to not admit it.
you didn't call me at 11 pm to ask
if i wanted to go see the stars,
like i've always dreamed of.
but just by staring at you,
i can see the stars, the milky way, even the whole universe,
and i knew that moment
that there is no need for stargazing in the middle of the night
when i can look at you all the time.
you didn't enjoy my favourite shows,
you couldn't take it because of how much blood was shown in it,
you hated blood,
and i saw beauty in it.
you didn't think raisins taste good
when in fact they were my favourite food
(actually, you even told me they taste bad.)
and you didn't think that the wolf and the moon were in love,
when that was my favourite love story of all time.
this is probably a poem about
our disparity,
our contrast,
and our dissimilarities.
but you did something that i never expected you to do,
you did the unexpected.
you found the light in me
no matter how dark it might be.
my body was no longer the realm of lost things,
because you've done everything to find them.
and i was no longer the hurricane who is known
to destroy everything,
because for some reasons i couldn't destroy you,
you were the exception.
despite of all the things i wanted you to do that you never did,
the mix tapes,
the museum dates,
the appreciation of poetry,
the stargazing.
you did something that took my breath away,
something that i couldn't ask for more,
something that was unexpected.
you loved me,
and that was enough,
**that was more than enough.

— The End —