In celebration of the birthday of my king, my queen, my inspiration, Kim Taeyeon, I decided to pick five of her songs and make a story out of it: The Reading Playlist. Consisting of five installments that will be published every Friday of March (and one in March 9), The Reading Playlist is a story of the first love and the first heartbreak of our youth.
I let the time pass by. I let the time heal me.
I let the time help me stitch up this broken girl.
I let myself rest.
I let myself hold time to pull me up and stand again.
I let the night comfort me, and the days to push me, even if I fell again and I scraped my knee and bled.
I tried and tried to gain what I had before. I consumed all my time in getting what I had back then that I didn’t realize you had given me more. Your presence in my life has changed me. I was too focused on seeing what we had lost that I didn’t see what I gained.
You were not a mistake. We were not a mistake.
I was not a mistake.
You gave me wings and prepared me for take off. You helped me polish my goggles so that I can see better against the dirt and grime.
You pushed me, and may have hurt me in the process, scraped me and made me bleed, but you gave me the ability to heal myself. You helped me step into the wild, you helped me face my fears, and you helped me survive.
I no longer think you abandoned me, you merely pushed me into the world. You had seen I had become ready and it was time to say goodbye.
Sometimes people come into our lives to mold us better, to make us see what ourselves can see. Maybe you were the one sent to me to make me see myself more clearly. To make me see the things I couldn’t see in myself.
And, you did. And more.
You made me see that I could be loved. That I could love. That I could be alone and I could not be alone.
You made me see that I could be happy with someone else and with myself too.
You made me see that I was stronger than I thought I was. You made me see that I was more beautiful than I thought I was.
You made me see life was more beautiful than it was.
You were indeed my world. I never lost you. I was still in your world, you were still my world, I just gained the ability to fly and I did, while you were left on land. A faint promise of seeing each other, someday.
Years have passed by. I have seen so many things as I flew higher and higher, as I reached for the clouds, for the moon, for the sun, for the galaxy, for the universe. I have become better, all thanks to the stepping stone you set for me.
A jingle rang across the cafe as I pushed open the door. I stood behind the counter, greeted by a smile by the owner, “The usual?”nI nodded.
“You seem to glow brighter and brighter every day,” the owner commented as she slid a tray in front of me.
My smile widened, “Ah, we must keep up. It keeps shining every day, after all.”
“Not until the sun does it work to obliterate human kind.”
“Oh, it could never! As long as you continue to brew your iced coffees, it would be impossible!” I chuckled as I paid my order and picked up my drink.
It was the drink you used to love, that I had learned to love, and had become my favorite. Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring, I slurped the beige drink and let it crunch my face from the brain freeze it gave. But I drank more of the drink when it was summer.
And, I have become fond of the summer. During summer I spend my time in the cafe we always visited, doing everything and anything.
And today was no exception.
Except that it was, when I saw you sitting in our usual table. But it was no longer me sitting across you but a child, a little girl, in a baby’s seat.
I walked towards you.
“Tristan! Long time no see!”
You squinted at me, unsure, and then recognition spread in your face. “Oh my god, it’s you! It’s been so long!”
I chuckled, “Yes, it has been.” I turned to your companion, “And who’s this little girl?”
“I’m Ellie.” The girl replied. She was well-behaved, looking around her, at me, with curiosity.
“Come, sit with us.” Tristan had pulled a chair from the other table and I couldn’t quite decline. I murmured my thanks and sat in the middle of the table.
“How do you know my daddy?” The little girl asked.
“We were friends back then.” I smiled at her.
“Yes, darling, this is my friend. We were very close.”
Ellie blinked and frowned, “it’s my first time seeing you.”
I chuckled, “You might as well be an investigator, huh?”
“She went away for so long, sweetheart.”
I nodded. I had transferred schools a year after we broke up. We had drawn a line and never reached out until we lost contact.
I looked at you. You had grown so well. You had grown into a man. Into a father. I had always thought, more of an afterthought really, that you would become a good father.
As I took in the whole situation in front of me, a passerby might have thought we were a small family. This thought, I realized, didn’t bring any violent reactions from within, only a small fondness of what could have been but then, we were children. We were still learning of the world around us. We were too young to be serious.
“I didn’t know you were still living around here.”
“Ah no, I only visit during the summer.” I turned to Ellie, “And where is your mom?”
“She’s working, we’re waiting for her.”
“She’s going to be out of her shift soon,” you explained, “She works near here”
“Ah, that’s great.” I smiled. And it really was great. My heart brimmed with happiness for you, who had found a love, who had found a young family to love and cherish and nurture. “It really was nice to see you, Tristan, and you too, Ellie.” It was all you deserve.
“Yes, I didn’t mean to stay that long. Just had to order this.” I raised my drink.
A familiar lopsided smile appeared in your face, “You finally liked it.”
“I have always liked it. It’s my favorite.”
I can see a glint of mischief in your eyes, “You used to hate it before.”
“I did not. And even then, times change.”
“Indeed,” your smile softened, and I noticed a few wrinkles in your eyes, “It was also very nice to see you.”
I stood up. “Thank you for your time.”
Thank you, I let my gaze pause, for a moment, on you before I waved goodbye and turned away.
You gave me two gifts when you walked away from me.
You pushed me into the light, far from the darkness and shadows that had always encased me. You made sure I wouldn’t be pulled back in.
And I didn’t.
The other gift you gave me, I think, was the greatest gift you could have given to me.
As a budding writer, leaving a feedback or any constructive criticism would tremendously help me improve my writing. Thank you so much!