Tink

It is said that us fairies are so small in size that we can only feel one emotion at a time. And ever since I met Peter, all I felt was admiration.

I had been in love with Peter since I can remember. You could call me a fool. Fairies were supposed to just stay with their families. Humans posed as grave threats for us fairies. But when I saw Peter stalking in the woods with his band of lost boys, I couldn’t help but to be amazed. He was a very rugged boy, older than all the lost boys. His stance and movement summoned the boys to follow him and his orders. His expertise in sword fight made him notorious especially for pirates. His charm and good looks had always captivated the mermaids, and without blinking – they would kill for him. He was like an urban legend for the rest of Neverland, because nobody believed anyone could be as good as he was said to be. Tiger Lily knew better though. She and Peter had been close even before I had met the pack. Truth be told, I had never been fond of her. All I could feel for her was jealousy. But little did I know jealousy, until Peter met Wendy.

Wendy was really… Normal. Until the end, I didn’t understand what Peter, or any of the boys, saw in her that made her special enough to go home to Neverland with us. Why did Peter ask her to be the mother of the boys? Why did Peter reveal the beautiful secrets of Neverland to a foreign girl? She was nobody until Peter gave her notice. She was just someone who knew how to sew.

I wondered, if I weren’t so tiny, would Peter have noticed me? Would he have finally loved me? Could I have made Peter as happy as how Wendy had? But though he could never see me as how he saw Wendy, I loved him still. I loved him constantly.

Wendy chose to grow up. Before Peter and I left, Wendy asked, “You won’t forget me, will you?” “Never,” Peter replied. But I knew it was a lie.

As she returned to her family, Peter looked at me and whispered, “Let’s go home, Tink.” That was one of the rare moments he looked me in the eye. I finally had Peter all to myself. There was not even one lost boy for Peter to take care of. Not even Hook to keep him distracted. No boys. No Wendy. There was nobody else but me. As I flew with him side by side, I looked at his eyes and I recognized sadness. In return, I felt sad too.

When there was no more Wendy or the lost boys, Peter changed. When we came home to Neverland, he didn’t leave his bed for days. Days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months. Peter was so absent, that winter fell to Neverland. Winter came as cold as he was. This season wasn’t good for Neverland, even for us fairies. We didn’t have enough warmth in our bodies to stay alive in this deep of winter.

One by one, fairies fell like kids stopped believing we existed. New fairies didn’t last long, either. If winter didn’t end soon, fairies would be extinct. I tried to care for him, but he shooed me away. He didn’t want to see me. That didn’t stop me though. I still watched him even when he slept. I flew close to him and saw his loneliness despite being asleep. I fixed his hair from his eyes and stared at the boy who Wendy needed to take care of. I whispered in my teeny tiny voice and asked, “You won’t forget me, will you?”

I walked away as a tear fell from my eye. In my heart, I knew the answer.

I traveled to London and I found the familiar window. I knew they would’ve left the window open for Peter, just in case. To my surprise – it wasn’t. I had to sneak in through the hinges to make it inside their nursery. I saw Michael, John and the lost boys all together sitting in one big table as they did their own things. I had never seen the boys so well-behaved and neat. They didn’t notice me enter the room and exit to the halls.

I flew around the house and looked for Wendy. And when I examined her, she changed. Her change was not similar to Peter. She wasn’t sulking in her bed; She was humming. Wendy waltzed around the room as she combed her hair incessantly. She seemed to grow a day quicker than other girls.

Wendy noticed me, and was terribly shocked and terrified. She was struck dumb. She gawked at me curiously, not knowing how to react – And that was when I knew. I knew she had no memory anymore. She grew up.

How could she do this to Peter? How could she grow up? Peter would be back for her for spring-cleaning, only to find out the Wendy he came for wasn’t here anymore. Peter would be miserable.

I couldn’t let that happen.

With all the pixie dust I had, I showered myself upon Wendy. Dust by dust, I sprinkled every bit of memory I had with Peter. I closed my eyes tight, hoped and wished that every piece of me would be poured over to her. I remembered all the emotions I had felt – the amazement when I first saw Peter, the excitement from all the adventures together, the fear when he fought against Hook, the jealousy for Wendy, the hatred I hid, and the love I felt. As Wendy started to feel all the memories rushing in her, I start to not feel anything at all. I lied myself down on her side table and watched my wings fade its light.

I smiled as I saw Wendy smile. It was the same look I had when I thought of Peter. Wendy now had all my happy thoughts. At least, somehow, somebody would tell the story about the boy who wouldn’t grow up, and a fairy who loved him.

Michael believed longer than the other boys, though they jeered at him; so he was with Wendy when Peter came for her at the end of the first year. She flew away with Peter in the frock she had woven from leaves and berries in the Neverland, and her one fear was that he might notice how short it had become; but he never noticed, he had so much to say about himself.

She had looked forward to thrilling talks with him about old times, but new adventures had crowded the old ones from his mind.

“Who is Captain Hook?” he asked with interest when she spoke of the arch enemy.

“Don’t you remember,” she asked, amazed, “how you killed him and saved all our lives?”

“I forget them after I kill them,” he replied carelessly.

When she expressed a doubtful hope that Tinker Bell would be glad to see her he said, “Who is Tinker Bell?”

“O Peter,” she said, shocked; but even when she explained he could not remember.

“There are such a lot of them,” he said. “I expect she is no more.”

I expect he was right, for fairies don’t live long, but they are so little that a short time seems a good while to them.

Wendy was pained too to find that the past year was but as yesterday to Peter; it had seemed such a long year of waiting to her. But he was exactly as fascinating as ever, and they had a lovely spring cleaning in the little house on the tree tops.

Tink

Ingat

Sabi nila, kaya tayo sinasabihan ng “Ingat” ay dahil hindi na nila tayo kayang alagaan. Kaya kinakailangan alagaan ang sarili kasi wala nang ibang mag-aalaga sa atin.

Kaya eto. Eto na. Eto na ang paraan ko.

Mag-ingat ka sa mga ipis. Alam kong hindi laging may nag-aabot ng Baygon at hindi ka laging makakalaban mas lalo na kapag lumilipad sila. Wag na wag kang sisigaw kasi mas lalapit sila kapag maingay ka. Kapag mas marami sila sayo – may Baygon man o wala – sinasabi ko sayo tumakbo ka nalang.

Mag-ingat ka sa mga holdaper, mas lalo na kapag may klase ka pa hanggang gabi at malayo pa ang iyong lalakarin para lang makauwi. Kahit magmukha kang ewan, ilagay mo ang bag mo sa harapan mo. Ilabas mo ang pepper spray na binigay ng tatay mo sayo noong nakilala niya ako.

Mag-ingat ka kapag umuulan. Alam kong ayaw mong nagdadala ng payong, pero kailangan. Gamitin mo ang naiwan kong kulay asul na payong sa bahay niyo, paborito mo rin naman iyon. Hindi lang iyan panakot sa aso; Ginagamit din iyan tuwing umuulan.

Mag-ingat ka sa lamok. Lapitin ka pa naman ng mga iyan. Maari bang magsuot ka ng mahaba-habang bestida o kaya’y mga mahabang medyas para hindi ka kayang kagatin ng mga lamok? Hindi sapat ang pagpahid ng lotion.

Mag-ingat ka sa mga umaaligid na lalaki. Hindi lahat ng lalaki ay gusto ka lang maging kaibigan. Hindi lahat ng lalaki ay gusto ka lang ihatid pauwi para ligtas ka. Hindi lahat ng lalaki ay mababait. Hindi lahat ng lalaki ay gusto lang pumatay ng ipis para sayo. Minsan may mga manloloko, at mang-uuto. Minsan ay nababagot lang sila at naghahanap ng karamay.

Mag-ingat ka sa manyak mong professor. Sabihin mo alam ko kung saan siya nakatira.

Mag-ingat ka kay Janice. Hindi ko alam kung bakit, pero pakiramdam ko hindi siya mabuting kaibigan sayo. Alam kong matalik kayong magkaibigan sa tagal ng panahon, ngunit hindi siya nagsasabi ng buong katotohonan. Sana dito ay mali ako at tama ka.

Mag-ingat ka sa mga alaalang hindi kagandahan. May mga panahong maaalala mong masaya ang nakalipas, at mararamdaman mong mas gugustuhin mong bumalik sa nakaraan – Huwag. Alalahanin mong medyo masakit rin ang nakaraan at madami ka nang pinagdaanan. Ikaw ay malakas at matapang, kaya mo nalapagsan ang noon. At mas kakayanin mong harapin ang kasalukuyan.

Mag-ingat ka sa mga sinungaling. Alam kong mahirap malaman kung sino nga ba ang nagsasabi ng totoo at sino ang andyan para lang lokohin ka. Alam ko minsan, ang tao mismo hindi na alam kung katotohonan pa ang pinapangako sayo. Minsan sasabihin niyang mahal ka niya, pero hindi naman niya maipakita. Minsan pinangako niyang hindi ka niya iiwang mag-isa, ngunit darating ang araw na kinakailangan kang iwan. Minsan sasabihing poprotektahan ka, ngunit siya rin ay hindi niya maprotektahan ang sarili niya sa sakit nang mawala ka. Minsan sasabihin niyang aalagaan ka niya, pero hindi naman pala niya kaya.

Kaya eto. Eto na. Mag-ingat ka, ha?

Ingat

The Fair

He found his love at the fair.

Pass the Ferris wheel he was supposed to ride, he saw her at the middle of the fair commotion. Everyone was just passing by her beauty, while he marveled at her mere presence. He stared at her brown curly hair, her pretty purple dress and of course, her pink curved lips that showed her big but soft smile. He then, in return, smiled back. Even though the little boy gave her a long stare, she did not mind the obvious admiration.

He remembered how everyone had told him that people would not meet the one they would want to spend their lives with at such a young age. But at the age of 6, he knew she was the girl for him. He pictured himself at the fair beside the young lady and it didn’t bother him at all. But of course he did not know about the girl. He could only wish she felt the same.

Unfortunately, he awoke from his fantasies when he heard his mom calling out for him to go home with her. He didn’t want to leave, but then he needed to. Nevertheless before he left, he promised that he would come back soon. And he made her promise that she would be there.

The time he was free from school the next day, he went straight to the fair. He knew that if the girl weren’t there, it meant that she did not feel the same for him. But as he approached the place where he first saw her, he suddenly stopped from walking. He was struck by her beauty all over again. She was once more, sitting there where she was before, with her ever perfect smile. He then ran to her and gave her his big wide smile.

 

Every Friday after class, he would go to the fair and spend time with the young girl. She would always be still, not minding how long he would simply gaze upon her loveliness. They would not do anything there. They would only smile at each other the whole time, sitting perfectly still.

 

But after a while, the visits that he gave often became rare. News of accidents had been spread about the fair and the mom forbade the young boy to go there. As much as he wanted to see her again, he had no choice but to follow the orders.

 

He still fantasized about the young lady whom he recognized as the girl he wanted to grow old with.

He thought that the girl was probably mad at him for his absence after promising he would visit every time. He wondered if he missed her as well.

 

But a long while had passed, and it was inevitable to grow old of such dreams. He then accepted that his magical world of finding his true love at the fair, was in fact, just a mere fantasy of a young boy about true love.

 

 

_____________________________________

 

The fair from my childhood was very old now. It didn’t look as inviting as it was ten years ago. As how I saw it, it now looks like a deserted playground.

 

But my little boy wanted to know where my favorite place on Earth was, so I brought him here. Who knows? Maybe he might find something good in this dumpsite of my memories.

 

We circled along the place where I usually spent my childhood. Then I let him walk around himself. I knew he wanted to do so since he wanted to be treated like a big man, as how he had put it to his mom and me. But I told him not to ride anything, because the fair was known to be dangerous. I then had a flashback of how my mom had emphasized to me as a little kid never to return here.

 

He said yes, and then ran away from me getting all excited of the ancient rides that made me happy so long ago.

 

I remembered the reason why I enjoyed the fair so much. It was because of this statue of a young lady. I could not remember what she looked like, but all I remember was she was beautiful.

 

As I was about to approach the vintage Ferris wheel, I sighed and smiled at the same time.

 

My memory was proven right – she was beautiful, even up to the present. ‘After so long, you are still here’, I thought to myself. I was glad she kept her side of the promise even through the time that had long passed; she was still here.

 

Staring up at the statue of the little girl, I saw my son with the same smile I had twenty years ago.

 

The Fair

Alex

Alex is the girl you’re probably gonna look at the first time she passes by. You notice her in a room, but you won’t give a second look. She’s pretty, but not gorgeous. Her hair is a bit messed up. She’s smaller than average. Some people might consider her brash at first glance, but when she smiles at you – that impression will melt with your heart.

You go to the same school, in the same year and maybe even have one or two classes together. There’s a big fat chance you’re in the same party and you’re introduced to one another – probably by a friend of a friend.  You both realize you have more friends in common. You share a lot of laughs, maybe a drink or two. It gets a little too late in the night, and being the gentleman you are, you offer her a ride home. She politely declines and says she can hitch with a friend of hers. Don’t worry – she says yes the next time you ask.

When you see her around campus, she hands you a flyer and invites you to join her school club. You now often see each other on school days, and go to the same parties on weekends. When you’re not hanging out, she sends you video links of cute puppies swimming in the bath tub. She makes you listen to her favorite indie band. You sometimes invite her to come hang with your friends and she seems to fit right in. You imitate movie characters only you two seem to recognize and your friends seem to be quite happy with that. She gets more comfortable as you spend more time together. There comes a point when she asks if you can do an emergency grocery with her and you feel like she just asked you out on a date. And one night when you’re on the phone with her, she casually invites you to have lunch with her family. You try your best to casually say yes – But of course you panic. It is a big deal.

You come to a moment when you two are alone, and you look at her with awe while she shares her expansive dreams to you. You realize her childhood shaped who she is now and who she wants to be. How she was never allowed to have a dog so she collected stuffed toys instead. How her mom always told her she needed to comb more, and so she keeps a comb in her bag but never uses it anyway. How she dreams to make toys for a living because she never had anyone to play with as a kid. She offers her smiles and dreams so generously that it just makes you tilt your head and wonder why God seemed unfair to all the other girls – because she was more captivating than anyone else. You fix her hair away from her face so you can look deep into her eyes. And when she does look at you, you see the magic inside of her nobody else will find. In that special moment only you will ever know, you realize she’s even better than the girl from your favorite book. She isn’t a leading lady, no. She isn’t superficial, but she’s real. In a story that’s full of myths and whimsical twists, she seems to make sense in the world.

But after some time, you’re gonna forget that moment. After some time, you get into fights and senseless arguments you don’t even remember its starting point. After some time, you’re gonna think that she’s another problem to fix in your life. After some time, you start walking out from your bedroom and avoiding her in the morning. After some time, you’re not gonna see the magic in her eyes anymore. Because your vision gets clouded by some temporary anger and hate.

You won’t make her feel the luckiest girl alive, but you leave her with a feeling she is never enough. After some time, she asks herself where it went wrong and sadly, she starts blaming herself. After some time, she even forgets her own worth. After some time, you’re not gonna see the magic in her eyes anymore. Because her vision gets clouded with loneliness.

When you suddenly get tired in the middle of an argument, I hope you stop. I hope you stop and remember the night that sparked it all. The night she shared you her dreams and you wanted to make them all come true for her. Remember her laughs that she doesn’t seem to laugh anymore, the smiles she used to give so very often and not as much today, the magic that seemed to spark yours too. You have to remember that it’s not just your world anymore but hers as well. And when you listen to me and you do stop, make sure you fix her hair away from her eyes, and find that magic inside of her, once again.

Alex

In Between

In this world, people strongly believe that not getting everything you want is a good thing, and this includes the people you meet. Everyone respects and follows these little light bulbs on everyone’s heads because you’re not supposed to meddle with fate, and there are signs that lead you to “destiny”. The little light bulbs all generate varying colors that are supposed to make it easier for you and me to identify people’s roles in our everyday lives, and who’s there just to make it worse.  A person lights differently for each and every person. When people follow these signs, the world becomes a less complicated place.

There are people who bring good in your life, the ones who have the green light and say go. These are the people who can teach you, make you become the person you’re meant to be, or basically just great friends you can hang with. To put it simply – Imagine getting a match at Tinder. There are also those who you are supposed to meet, but not right now. These are the ones who glow yellow. Think a potential boyfriend but currently in a relationship so you have to wait a bit more to avoid complications. And of course, the people who you’re just not meant to meet at all – the ones who have the red light. People with the red light could be generally bad for the public, or just bad for you.

If you’re not familiar with this world, you would probably find the light bulbs very distracting. Walking in the busy streets, each person walking alongside, there are differently lit bulbs on top of each of their heads. But after a while you just get used to it. Whenever I see the green lights, I assume I already know the person I pass. Being 25, I’ve more or less already met most of the people who glow green for me – the guy who helped me with my Calculus assignment, the HR who passed me to the final job interview, the lady who helped me cross the street when I broke my leg. Whenever I see people with the red light, I just avoid them at all costs. Aside from a being a fate-believer, I guess you can call me a scaredy cat as well. I try to avoid possible serial killers whenever I can. The ones who glow yellow for me on the other hand, is quite rare. And that was why I noticed him instantly.

I remember the first time I laid eyes on him it felt like magnets. Atoms inside my body were just drawn to him like it has found the object to orbit around to. I didn’t even notice I was already following him. As my body felt like it knew where to go, my mind wondered who this man is and who he will become for me. How would I even meet him? Suddenly, I came to an abrupt halt and realized I shouldn’t have been doing it. I shouldn’t be doing something in the present to unfold what is not to happen yet. I had to stop it and remind myself today is not the day. With a hopeful smile I whisper, “Not today, not yet.”

There are times that I would see a yellow light, and without a doubt I know it’s him. But I can only admire him from afar, knowing that what I long for is something I can have indefinitely. Everything that reminds me that it will be worth the wait, is just making me more ill at ease. I always have to make him pass me by, as I try to steal a little glance of him to keep for my dreams.

In a sea of stops and go’s, I don’t understand why we need to stand in between. I want to know him. I want us to talk. I want to know why we shouldn’t know each other yet. Why not now? Why not just never? Are the signs supposed to keep us safe, or keep me waiting for nothing?

But one day, it’s different. I felt different. Once more, I see a yellow light. And I can see the yellow light is coming nearer. With a rush of emotions and with no sense of thinking, I run towards it. I run towards him. Screw the signs. F*ck destiny.

As I run nearer to him, I catch him by surprise. He was startled. I try to catch my breath and my thoughts as I realized I didn’t plan this out. Slowly, I walk towards him. Slowly, he walks towards me. Slowly, we look at each other. Slowly, I feel nervous, and enraptured, then struck dumb, jittery – And then all at the same time. Slowly, very slowly, we look above our heads.

We don’t talk. We just look at each other’s eyes and I know. I know.

My eyes say, “Won’t you stay?”

But his eyes say he’s sorry.

And as I watch him walk away, slowly – very slowly – the little light bulb turns red.

 

In Between

Ten to Eleven

I woke up with tears on my eyes, and a question on my mind – Why? I reached for my phone to see the time – 3:00 AM. I didn’t want to move at all, not until I find out what I was dreaming about.

I can barely recall what happened in my dreams. All I remember was that it was sad; Sad enough to wake me up with tears. I think I remember seeing someone. Was it a stranger? I close my eyes trying to remember vague snapshots from what I saw. No, I think I’m supposed to know that person. The figure seems familiar. I can only get a shadowy character wearing a big red jacket framing the small figure wearing it. The figure gets smaller and smaller as if he was moving away. Wait, was this a girl?

It’s 4:18 AM and not remembering is killing me. I shut my eyes trying to put myself back to sleep just so maybe, I could unmask the shadow haunting me in my dreams and reality.

Where was she going? Why is she leaving? … Or was it me leaving her?

I twist to my side, and I see my wall clock telling me it’s almost five in the morning. I only have a few more minutes before I need to get up for work.

My phone lit up as it signalled I received a message. I wanted to focus more on my dream but it beeped again. I reached for my phone and checked the two texts from the same number. Who could this be ruining my day? It’s Sophia.

Message1:      Hey, about last night. Can we just forget about it and start over? I really want things to work out between us.

Message2:      I really wanna talk to you. Can we meet tonight?

I threw my phone back to the bed, rubbed my eyes and forced my body to detach itself from the comforts of my bed. “It’s another day”, I sighed to myself. I got up the bed and headed to the showers. Irritatingly, I dragged myself back to my bed and searched for my phone.

I replied, “Okay.”

All the way to work I was still thinking about the dream I had last night. Why is it bothering me so much? Do I know the girl? Have I met her before? Why did I feel a sense of familiarity? Like a feeling of comfort and peace. How could it be such an amazing dream that left me to keep wondering awake? How can it be amazing and sad at the same time? All day long, I just wanted to go back and maybe know her identity. It is so frustrating to not know.

The clock hits 5:00 and I get excited to go home. I quickly packed my things and prepared to leave the office when my phone beeped. “6pm. Our usual spot,” Sophia reminded.

Crap, I totally forgot.

She immediately stood when I arrived. She hugged me tight, and I hugged her back. She gave the most amazing smile that made me fall in love with her. What happened to us?

“Oh before I forget,” she took out her bag and handed me a red jacket. “Thanks for letting me wear it last night.”

Ten to Eleven