And now, it’s time for a short story. For those of you new to my blog (because this blog is kind of new as well), I guess this is as good a time as any to tell you that there will be some literary pieces like these from time to time.
I’m posting this para kunwari productive ako sa mga araw na’tong hindi talaga ako productive dahil kulang ako sa tulog. Sa totoo lang, ‘wag na ‘wag n’yong hahayaan ang sarili ninyong kulangin ng tulog. Masisira ang buhay n’yo. I’m not kidding.
The other reason I’m posting this is because I really haven’t written any stories in a while, and this being my latest attempt, I guess I’d like to know what people think so maybe I’ll have an idea of what people like to read, and I’ll be able to write more.
This is actually a bit experimental. I haven’t written many stories involving somewhat supernatural elements, so I’m not sure if I’m good at it. I hope you like it anyway.
In desperation, Grace got her cellphone from her desk and typed a message:
You said you’d never leave me. You said it many times.
How am I supposed to go on without you?
Tears welled in her eyes as she sat on her bed, and pressed “Send”. She watched until the screen said “Message Sent”, and then unceremoniously dropped her cellphone beside her. She cried, not knowing what to do, or expect. But knowing that no one could help her, not right then, she just kept crying.
She jumped, startled. And her tears momentarily paused. It was certainly a coincidence if one of her friends sent her a text message, exactly at that moment. She got her cellphone and pressed the button to read it. When she saw the name of the message sender in her Inbox, she dropped the phone. Had she read it right? Did he actually reply to her message?
Her fingers shaking, she reached again for her cellphone, and opened the message. It must be one of Michael’s sisters telling her that he wasn’t using that phone anymore, she figured. But she was wrong.
It said. At first, she didn’t know what to do. She wasn’t even sure if she was going to believe it, but when she thought about how it could be true, she started crying again. And then she replied:
What am I going to do now?
This time, she held on to her phone, looking at the screen closely.
The message alert appeared after a few minutes. She opened the message, and read:
You’ll think of something. You’re one of the bravest people I know. You can get through this.
Grace furrowed her eyebrows. With less fear, and more anger, she replied:
If this is your idea of a joke, it’s not funny at all, she sent the message, and waited…
If it will take a joke to cheer you up, I’d gladly tell you one, Your Grace. was the response.
She was startled. Your Grace, she read again. Nobody else called her that except Michael. And nobody but the two of them knew about it. It couldn’t have been a joke. It was definitely Michael on the other end. But… how? she wondered. And then asked; How are you doing this?
The response came quickly: You wanted to talk to me, and so I replied. That’s all that matters.
Will you always be here, then? she wanted to know.
So… this is the last time?
Grace blinked, several times. She had a hard time reading now, her vision getting more blurred as she read more words. She read the three-letter word again and again. She didn’t want to accept it. It took her a long time to compose another message, she was feeling weaker by the second. But she forced herself to finish and send:
Why did you leave me?
She was heaving as she waited for her phone to beep. It was taking longer than the messages before. She panicked. What if the last one was really the last? Would he really leave her without saying goodbye?
The message alert tone finally played. When she saw his name in her Inbox, she couldn’t believe it. He still replied. And his taking a long time to do so made her think that he probably really thought about it before he sent it. It made her think for a moment, that maybe he could still do that.
I didn’t leave. I’ll always be with you. I will never love anyone else. I am forever yours.
She shook head as she finished reading it, still unable to stop the tears in her eyes. “It’s useless, you idiot,” she said as she stared at his name indicated below the message. She read it over and over, so many times that she had no longer noticed when she’d let go of her cellphone, and fell asleep.
Grace woke up. And immediately remembered that she’d fallen asleep with her cellphone beside her. There was a new message in her phone’s Inbox.
She opened it. It was from one of Michael’s sisters, Anna:
Grace, the memorial service starts in an hour. We know it’s hard, but we really hope you can say a few words to everyone. You, after all, knew him best.
She strained her eyes and read the message again. Right. Michael’s memorial service was today. When she left the hospital the night before, she’d cried until she got home. She only vaguely remembered his sister telling her that she had to give a eulogy in the memorial service today. She also vaguely remembered a strange dream.
She pressed the “Reply” button and told Anna that she would be at the chapel in half an hour. After sending the message, an alert saying her Phone Mailboxes were full appeared on the screen. She opened the Phone Outbox to delete her Sent Messages. When it had finished loading, she gasped. There were several messages in it, most of which were sent to Michael. She opened her Phone Inbox, and sure enough, the messages from him last night were all in there as well.
“It wasn’t a dream…” she whispered to herself.
“Michael’s phone?” Anna repeated, when Grace had asked her if they’d sold it or given it to anyone else.
“Yes,” she said. “Do you remember who bought it? Or is it with any of your relatives?”
Anna shook her head. “It came back in pieces. It was ruined in the accident. We… didn’t think of getting it fixed or anything because it was too damaged. We threw it away,” she said. “Did you… want to keep it?”
Grace shook her head. “No, it’s just that, I received this message from his number last night,” she said, and showed her cellphone to her.
“What? Where?” Anna asked, looking at the screen of Grace’s phone.
Grace looked at it. The messages were gone. “Wait,” she said. “They were right here,” she said, and then checked the Sent Messages to see if the messages she’d sent were still there, too. But they were gone as well. “But they were here!” she said, again on the verge of tears.
“Listen,” Anna told her, as she put her hand on her shoulder. “You’re tired, and you’re sad. Maybe you should get some rest. You don’t need to do the eulogy if you don’t want to.”
She shook her head. “No, no. I want to do it,” she said. “I just…” her voice trailed off and she put her cellphone back in her pocket.
“I’ll see you later, then,” Anna said to her as she walked back to greet more guests that have arrived.
Grace jumped. She took her phone out, and opened the new text message that had just come. It was from one of her friends, giving her condolences. “I guess it must’ve been a dream after all,” she said softly, although she knew in her heart, that it really wasn’t.