Wednesday, May 30, 2012


As what seems to be the norm these days, I arrived home very late. I apologized to my husband, knowing that he has been waiting hours for us to have dinner together. I slumped into a chair as he re-heated our meal.

I was dead tired. Hubby tried to cheer me up and talked animatedly about his day. I didn't have much of an appetite and ate sparingly. It was warm, and I stripped off my shirt, now several sizes too large for my shrinking frame.

My partner teased me for the noticeable sagging but was taken aback by the bruises on my skin. I went to the mirror and looked at myself. Black and blue in certain places, I looked deathly sick.

Hubby asked me what was wrong, and I told him I had no clue. But deep inside we both knew that life was taking its toll on me. He started to tear up and hugged me.

"Don't you dare leave me," he whispered.

I clung tightly to the only lifeline that I had in this world and thought to myself,

How could I?

photo from

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Left Behind

I stared at the tiny screen in front of me. The woman seated beside me was eager to close both time and distance to our common destination and watched the numbers closely as they tumbled.

From time to time, she would look out the window and murmur expressions of awe in Chinese under her breath. My eyes remained fixed on the screen, as I wondered how hubby was doing back home.

There was turbulence and the numbers started to plummet. Altitude. Ground speed. Time to landing.

I continued to stare at the map on the screen. A small plane hovered over its destination, but a thick red line kept it tethered to what seemingly had been left behind.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


I love my job. That's what I say to myself everyday. Repeating the mantra over and over again. Hoping that it will help add spring into my step, as I drag myself to work each morning.

I love my new shoes. Double monk straps. Paid with last month's salary, that's what I tell myself this morning. Wishing that it will keep me from turning around and running back home.

As I swipe my pass before the door, I place a hand on my forehead and fake a cough. But it's too late to call in sick. And of what, the clinic won't write medical certificates for.

I settle myself behind a mound of paperwork. The phone rings non-stop. And there is a sea of unread messages in my computer, fed by a stream of new ones.

I fish my necktie out of my bag and deftly loop a Windsor. I place the noose around my neck and hang myself.

photo from

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Modern Family

On lazy days like today, hubby sleeps in longer than usual. Bathed, dressed and ready to go, I'd go back to bed with my iPad and watch a TV show or two while waiting for my partner to wake up.

I usually get bored with TV shows and lose interest as they drag on. I only recently heard of Modern Family here in China and was hooked with its short yet amusing episodes. Maybe it was because I could relate to each of the characters.

I lay on my side, propped the gadget against the wall, and watched the lives of Jay and Gloria, Claire and Phil, and of course Cam and Mitchell play out. On certain scenes, my eyes would shift slightly and I'd see my face and my sleeping husband's profile reflected on the glass screen.

Hubby woke up midway through the second episode, and I shut off the screen to attend to him. As we engaged in our usual morning banter, I could almost hear a curious sound. An unmistakable whirring as the camera pans out.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Ninety Nine

Ninety nine reasons to be thankful for. These, I can easily think of. A loving partner. Friends and family. Or even a simple clear and sunny day.

The list goes on, which should be enough for one to feel lucky. Happy. But somehow, I am stuck in this place that I don't really know how to describe.

All I know is that this is not where I want to be.

Ninety nine reasons. An almost perfect life. Yet all it takes is but one thing. Before everything around you starts crumbling.

photo from

Saturday, May 5, 2012


We have not seen each other for years. As he walked into the mall where I was waiting, I saw a completely different person but still recognized a shadow of the young man that was once a part of my life.

Gone were the ill-fitting tees, oversized jeans and that hip hop swagger. He was wearing a flattering shirt and a pair of denims that complemented his newly toned physique. We both smiled and shook hands.

Jay worked these odd jobs when we met and became friends. He had big small dreams then. Big in the sense that he longed to open his own business, had no capital, and thought it was a pipe dream. Small, in my (perhaps arrogant) view of its simple business model and startup costs.

I put up the meager capital and taught him how to use the computer for his small business. With my help, he worked hard and was able to quickly multiply his earnings. He tried to immediately return the funds, but I told him to use the money to expand his baby.

Then I learned I was accepted for a job overseas. He was devastated. He said that he didn't know how he'd get by without me. I comforted him and said that he and his business were already doing well. He slept over that night and our emotions got the better of us.

We kissed. Tentatively. Then passionately. We stripped each other of both our clothes and our friendship and crossed a line. It was hard for him. I knew he was in pain, but he went along with it anyway.

All I felt was the gratitude and his desperate attempt to hold on to our friendship, which I chose to ignore until I was finished. I lit a cigarette, looked at the oversized tee and pair of jeans on the floor and immediately hated myself. He still held my hand, refusing to let go.

But I did. I never told him my address and number in China. And I didn't try to connect with him again after I left. Not until now.

He pulled me into one of the popular restaurants in the mall, and we caught up on each other's lives. He now exuded confidence. I learned that he also pursued his other dreams, including acting, and was even doing bit parts in TV in his free time.

The night wound down, and we didn't speak of what happened that night. The bill came, I instinctively reached for it, but he quickly snatched it away. Then just before we left, a more serious look came over his face.

He told me he has never forgotten what I have done for him. That he tried to find me all these years, and never stopped sending letters to my old flat. And that he was glad he decided to keep his mobile number in the vain hope that I would someday reach out to him.

All I could say was sorry. His smile failed to overshadow the pained look in his eyes.

I looked at Jay and again noted how much he has changed. Gone were the ill-fitting tees, the oversized jeans and that hip hop swagger. But he is still that man who was once, and now will always be, a part of my life.

photo from

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Strung Out

I've been so strung out at work these past weeks. And by the time I got home late at night, I was too exhausted to talk, more often than not irritable, and at times unknowingly took my frustrations out on my partner.

I hated what I was turning into and wanted to quit. It hasn't been a year since my last sabbatical, and I didn't know how to explain the situation to my husband. The added stress of potentially disappointing him caused me to spiral down further.

Hubby knew I was depressed and decided to take me shopping. But not even the new off-white suede loafers that I bought for the summer could lift my mood. He also brought me to our favorite restaurant, but I just picked on my food.

I followed him, too quietly, as we wandered around the places I usually enjoy. Tired of walking, we went into a neighborhood massage shop. We plonked down in our seats, as hubby ordered beer and boys. They didn't have the latter.

The ice cold Tsing Tao was refreshing, and hubby kept on topping my glass up. The alcohol loosened me up, and I started to talk. As the masseuse worked on the knots in my body, my partner helped me unravel those in my life.

photo from
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...