1. Stop thinking negative thoughts. Stop it.
  2. Wonder how you could love people as well as hate them at precisely the same time. You’d thought that happened only in badly-written rom-coms, and certainly not stable friendships.
  3. Call your sister. Feel your gut twist when she doesn’t pick up.
  4. You are desperate. Call one of your best friends right while you’re in the middle of Katipunan.
  5. Choke on your words and change your mind mid-way. “It’s nothing,” you say, and feel searing hot tears when she asks, “Are you sure?”
  6. “Yes.” End call.
  7. Panic. Text her: “Sorry Clone! It was nothing. I forgot my keys and then I realized they were in my apartment.”
  8. All this is true, though not actually interrelated. It’s not your fault if she makes a connection between the juxtaposed sentences. It’s not lying.
  9. It’s not lying.
  10. Who are you kidding? It absolutely is lying.
  11. PANIC. Send her a text taking the lie back and admitting it.
  12. Reach the cafe. Smile long enough to get to the most secluded corner and hyper-ventilate.
  13. Deep breaths. Deep breaths.
  14. Your friend whom you have lied to has still not replied. Well done, Clary.
  15. Think about how much faith you hadn’t meant to instill in him, this person who you didn’t know you so respected until now. Of all people.
  16. Think about how your friend said he was greedy with his time except for the people that he loves. You wonder what this means about you.
  17. Think about how you called and texted them both and so believed that they wouldn’t hurt you without good reason that you actually thought that something bad had happened.
  18. This is so stupid. They don’t owe you anything.
  19. You have to love them as they are, not how they treat you. But it hurts.
  20. You call your youngest sister. She is asleep.
  21. You call your grandmother just to hear someone say I love you. You can barely keep your voice steady.
  22. Ding! It’s your friend who you lied to. (Who you lied to, Clary.)
  23. She doesn’t sound angry. She wants to talk but doesn’t have load. She has borrowed her brother’s phone. Call her?
  24. You practice saying a word out loud. The sound that make you make isn’t a croak, but it’s little better, and you are fighting back the tears again.
  25. I really can’t speak, Clone, my voice keeps cracking every time I try.
  26. She said she will go to Facebook. Okay.
  27. It takes her a while. She had been upset about her history test earlier. Why didn’t you follow up, Clary? Why did you lie?
  28. She’s online. What’s up?
  29. You are so very tired.
  30. When it comes down to it, perhaps it’s just you actually believed the days of people standing you up were over, that you had found people who loved you enough, whom you mattered to enough, that they never would. Who are you kidding? This has all happened before.
  31. Except you didn’t have her before, this brilliant friend who listens to your problems and offers to mediate. You accept.
  32. You apologize.
  33. Talk.
  34. Apologize.
  35. You really don’t have to do things alone. It’s a nice feeling.
  36. You follow up on her history exam.
  37. You arrange to have lunch tomorrow. Add in hesitantly that you’d rather not talk to the two boys this weekend. Alright! See you Clone!
  38. You still love them. You cannot not love them, you know they never intended to hurt you and that they can’t know how deep the cut was.
  39. Nevertheless, it still hurts. You need space.
  40. Write.

 

***

So it seems that I was meant to have an emotional roller-coaster of a week, regardless of whether or not I cared for Valentine’s Day. Ah, well. Other kinds of essays coming soon. Any comments?

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