Thursday, July 22, 2004


I sat on this bench, easily ambushed by memories. The smell of grass will always be forever trapped on the fringes my nostrils. The scent of the moist earth after a downpour is like you, gone after a few seconds but the scent will linger, getting stronger every time, short-circuiting my senses.

This is where I first met you. I was garbed in blue and white, and yours were purple and black. How we clashed, even then, I just didn't realize it. Back then, three years ago, the bench that I'm sitting on was just a bare wooden plank, battered as my heart during the tome and I sat on it as long as I could, as long as it can held me.

First game trepidations sank through my dry throat down to my gut where it settled in my already butterfly-filled stomach.

Then the shrill sound of the referee's whistle sliced through the tense atmosphere. I clenched my fist, and coiled my stomach, this is it. My first game, and I was ready. Or so I thought. You were running towards me, dribbling the black and white ball on your feet. I got my first look at you.

Scoring an easy goal against me, I knew right then, I would never win against you, that much I'd admit. You were always too fast, always one step ahead of me like Atalanta and her suitors, outrunning them but not out-cunning them. But there was no golden apple for me to throw for you. I was just as swept away like countless of star-crossed lovers that were talked about in books and songs and paintings.

I remember waiting for you in this same bench, watching you as you train. Admiring how agile you are on the field, how fast you are until you are nothing but a blur and I couldn't see you anymore. I remember how the ball would make an arc over the field as your spikes connect with it with a thud, like the same sound my silly heart always makes whenever you're around.

I remember how your cheeks would get pink from the exertion and how I would hand you a towel and bottled water, which you would drink from as if you'll never drink again. I wished then that you were drinking from me, or me, for that matter, that way our souls would commune for a brief hour before you sweat and all liquid would dispel itself from your pores. Sometimes I close my eyes to savor your scent (your shampoo or cologne, I never could tell) as it wafted from you and I was certain that that must've been forever I smelled.

We used to eat in the carenderia that I don't eat in anymore. I used to walk with you on the dark streets of Gelinos, stopping at the door of your dorm, where our awkward goodbyes and indefinite shrugs were drowned by the singing drunks from the pub nearby and the students milling out of the campus, talking about the day's test.

No, I do not pass there anymore. I go by a different route now. I rarely see you and by now, you must've broken already countless hearts, took someone's breath away without intending to. You could do that to me, you know. You used to have such power over me. But I had to keep my spikes on the shoe rack and hang my blue and white uniform on the closet someday, and that's just what I did.

No comments: