Written April 2003

I dropped my weapons in resignation. “Yes, I do need that.”

I sat on the big rock, prepared for the stares that would surely greet me when I looked up at all of them. And surely enough, they were all dumbfounded. The moment was frozen in time, and I would remember it forever. I had said I was going to live through this, but I realized I was just living with it.

Someone came up to me with handcuffs. “I have to do this,” he said.

“I know,” I replied. I raised my wrists to him, but he wasn’t moving. The wind blew hard but nobody moved, not even to shield their eyes from the billions of specks of dust that were dancing in the air, mocking. We all knew not to pay attention to mockery.

All stood still. I was pretty sure that even time stopped. Sitting down with my wrists held up, I cried. I was crying to that one person who was torn between taking a step towards me and looking away.

“I never said I loved you.”

And that was it. He left. I wasn’t sure if he was wiping his tears as he walked away. Maybe the sand just got to his eyes. I was helpless, but I had nothing more to hide. Seeing around me all the people I ever knew, I just couldn’t care less. It didn’t matter now what I would do next. All that would matter would be what anyone would do to me.

A bunch of people gathered together and talked discreetly. I watched and remembered how I used to be part of that group. They walked towards where I was. One of them held my hands in the air and put them down to my sides. Then she hugged me. “Everything we ever said to you was true.”

I nodded. I wanted to hug all of them but they had these estranged looks in their eyes.

Then the wind stopped blowing. All became very still. Then it rained. Paper money. Everything was forgotten. All of them started jumping and grabbing whatever their hands could reach. They bumped into each other as they fought for the prized yet superabundant bills. I sighed. Don’t they realize they’ll never run out of it now? It’s not the time to save. They should have done that eons ago.

I stood up unnoticed and walked until I was far from the bulk of people. Then I ran. And I ran. And I ran. I was expecting cramps and heavy perspiration, but neither came. I ran farther. I ran along a straight line. But after some time, I was back where I started. In fact, I seemed to be back when I started—beside that big rock where I sat, or would sit. I could bet my life that the handcuffs would happen next, followed by everything else until the rain. Could it be that I ran all the way around the world? But time seemed to disagree with this theory. I stopped thinking, then ran again, scared as hell.

Then I felt someone breathing down my neck.

“Stop,” the voice pleaded.

I did. I turned. It was at this moment that I felt fatigue from all the running. I let myself fall to the ground. He sat beside me and brushed my hair out of my face with his fingers. I cried once more.

“Ssshh,” he said.

I obeyed, wanting to hug him, sure that he’d hug me back. But when I started to smile, he stood up and defied gravity. It seemed he was being pulled straight up. I followed him with my gaze until the sunlight hurt my eyes.

Before I could mope, I heard my favorite song being played. I looked around to know where it was coming from, but it seemed to come from everywhere. Because I saw nothing but a vast expanse of sand, I closed my eyes and lay down flat.

There, in the middle of the desert, I waited for my death. It took seven years before a star fell on me. Then I was one with the universe.

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