i know most of you have read this years ago...
SEND MY LOVE TO HEAVEN
What could I say about a girl I loved since I was ten... that I loved the way she laughed; the way she fussed over silly things, and even the way she cried over some sad silly late night shows. Somehow, I've wished I could have told her that I loved her but there was no hope in doing so. It was too late... too late a love like an unfilled curtain.
She was my best friend and I have known her ever since my childhood began. She knew all my secrets; but if she dug it well, a riddle would have revealed my feeling on her; that I loved her more than I loved myself. Not just because she was pretty and smart, but also the way she put her life in a house-filled bottle.
I could still remember the first time we had met; I was five years old then. It was another windy afternoon having no one to play with. When I climbed up in my tree house, I saw a moving truck coming down the street. I watched it approaching and noticed a family station wagon following it. It had stopped right in front of my tree house and out came a family. I was about to glance away when I saw this loveliest girl coming out from the said wagon. She was four years old at that time; but even at an early age, she definitely had a beauty. She had a long silky hair reaching below her waist. Having a fair complexion and wonderful eyes could make one tongue-tied into such. I continued watching her. Suddenly, she looked up and saw me watching over them from my tree house's window. I was about to go down when she grinned and waived her hand in the distance. I waived back and then stared in amazement as I recognized her running towards my tree house.
I went at the edge of the ladder and asked her, "Would you like to come up?" She answered, "Are you allowing me?" I helped her climbed up. When she felt safe at the top, she turned to me and said, "By the way, my name is Sam, what is yours?" "Christopher! But you can call me Chris", as I replied. She smiled. "Well I like your name, and besides, this tree house is cozy". Then I stammered, cursing my ineptitude. "Thanks! My friend and I made this. This is our hide out. We used to goof around, play ball, and go bumping together. He was my best friend and I'm kind of missing him. His family has just moved out two weeks ago..." She tapped my shoulder and said, "I'm here now, we could do things you do with your friend and I could be your best friend too. I never had a boy for a friend before, so it could be exciting to have one. I could learn how to play ball and I have my bicycle so we could go biking together. Now, tell me, how does that sound to you?" My lips tingled on my reply as if everything becomes interesting. "Well that sounds good!" As she felt the cold air sheltering inside, she embraced herself and instantly imparted her last words. "It's a deal then!"
Suddenly, we became best friends and it was a kind of strange at first. She was a girl and there were things I hesitantly indulge with her like catching frogs in the pond, swimming in the beach, and climbing trees. However, she tried and did everything to please me. There was a time when she fell off the bike trying to catch up with me in a race. I healed her scraped knee by having it tied with my handkerchief. I could still remember the time when she hit the window of our neighbor while we were playing baseball. I talked to Mr. Chambers and promised to pay for the damaged part, which meant having to loose a week's allowance.
I also recall the time I fell off the tree when I tried to rescue a little kitten for Sam, who was near to tears when she saw it helplessly trapped in a branch. I get even fought with the tough guys when they teased Sam. I ended up having a black eye and a bruised cheek. Sam was crying as she placed an ice bag over my injured eye and later gave it a get-well kiss. I did everything to please her and gave everything to her little heart's desire.
The beach was our favorite hang out. We had our Saturday swimming routine. We packed up food and later eat them under the big oak tree. There was a special branch in which the two of us could sit under and melancholy foretells each other's dreams. She dreamed of being a Ballerina and she knew my dream of becoming an Accountant someday. She never criticized my pursuits as if they were quite impossible on my part. It made me like her even better when she laid her back against mine. That water with ebbing effects; those leaves that fall behind us; and those wind blows that make us closer to each other. They were all representing how the nature agrees on our circumstances.
As years went by, I noticed that my feelings towards her were simultaneously getting different. Somehow, I thought it was just a simple crush case. But when I started thinking about her at night; dreaming of her in the middle of a sleep, and having a feeling of wanting to be with her all the time, I thought it was something strange, but then it was exhilarating feeling. It even made me feel so alive. Every time we touched each other's hands, I could feel the tingling sensation in my spine. Once, we were at the beach having our Saturday swimming routine. I carried her towards the shore and had a feeling like I didn't want to let go. I've just wished that moment would never come to an end. Since then, I realized that I was sincerely falling in love with my best friend.
Many times, I tried to deny my feelings on her. I was scared to imagine what would happened if I'd try to tell her what I surely feel for her. I was scared because she might think that I was selfishly taking advantage of our friendship. I was afraid she might lose me someday.
At the age of 15, I noticed that Sam grows lovelier each day. How my heart ached whenever I see boys glanced her way. I wanted to punch them as I realized them talking to her; giving compliments, flowers, chocolates and whatever. There were times when I used to watch her yonder; with a mix of anger and frustration on my point of view, I learned how to hate myself for I couldn't even introduce to her my love. I couldn't even find a word to say that I'm dying for her and that I couldn't live without her.
One day, I just heard from a friend that she already had a boyfriend. At first, I tried to convince myself that it was just a rumor. Her boyfriend was Mark, a popular senior, who was the heartthrob of the campus. She, being the cheerleader was close to the basketball team where Mark played as the captain. When I saw them walking together at the parking lot late afternoon, I peered her with my heart slowly breaking into pieces. She noticed me but I pretend I couldn't see her. I was afraid that she might traced in my eyes the pain I was hiding while she's with the guy.
Those days that followed where the saddest days of my life. How my heart squealed when I see her walking by me with Mark at her side. Every time we meet in hallways with Mark around her, there's always an urge to grab her away from him. How it hurt to see the loveliest girl I've known was then owned by somebody else. A special smile that was for me was then casted to the other guy. If she could only notice my stolen words, "Oh God, how I love that girl…"
Then one faithful day, they broke up. She came too me at evening and laid her head on my shoulder. She had a big conflict with her boyfriend and it ended up to a break up. A lot of things I felt inside. Another thing I knew was that, she was free and maybe I would have the second chance of telling her what I really felt for her. It's too bad that she was being obsessed with the guy. At that time, I certainly get confused where all those things must have been started.
We found ourselves doing what we did during old days with our Saturday swimming habit and spending time hanging out with our tree house. We enjoyed doing childish pranks because we both still young at heart.
Chances were everywhere to hit the point of turning back. She made me lived again after my darkest days. That was it... with a girl who came back in my arms; I imagined sometimes the secret that had been unleashed. I imagined she's aware of my infatuation. But losing her exaggerated my brain because of the truth she never knew. All I did was as usual as it was. Things must have been kept even if it's busting inside my heart.
It was a week before our JS Prom; we sat under the oak tree drying ourselves right after our afternoon swimming episode. She asked me a favor, "I was wondering Chris if you would like to be my partner?" It just got out of my wits for it was like a dream I never thought would happened. It took me awhile to react, "I thought there are boys out there dying to become your partner?" I doubted if it was a good answer, as if showing her that it was out of my concern. But if she could only knew how the stars collide in my own constellation. If she could only knew how I loved to hear it over and over until her words ran out of rhyme. She turned away and murmured, "Well, I just thought I'd like to spend that night with my best friend." Then she pursued whispering as I could barely hear her voice, "Don't you want to be my Prince, Chris?" I stunned to speak because it had come close to blurt all what I felt for her. We remained silent for awhile until I finally imparted my conclusion, "I would be happy to be your partner, Sam!" She smiled and suddenly kissed my cheek. I could hardly felt the bliss she gave to me. I recognized her face turning into a pinkish blush, as if she never knew what have she done. She stood up and ran towards the shore leaving her words, "Last one to reach the shore would treat into a Sundae Fudge!" I slowly ran before her so that I would lose her dare, which meant having her with me for another three hours and more.
Our Prom night came. I bought a new tuxedo and poured it a perfume. I went to fetch Sam. Her Mom approached me as I went to sit in the couch waiting for Sam to come down. I was talking to her Dad when I heard a rush stating, "How do I look?" I looked up and saw her walking down the stair; getting lovelier than ever in a strapless white noble dress with her hair flowing around her face. I stood up and get stucked, as if I couldn't find my voice to shout to her my affection on her beauty. I got her hand and shakily fastened the corsage around her wrist.
"To the loveliest girl in the whole world..." She asked, "Is that true?" I nodded and she smiled the moment I opened the door for her.
When we arrived at the gymnasium, we could hardly recognize our classmates. Gone were the jeans and t-shirts. They wore tuxedos and gowns but Sam's gown has the power to be respected by such. I held out her hand, bowed and said," You look magnificent tonight, would you give me the honor of your first dance?" She laughed and curtseyed. Then I led her to the dance floor as the music changed into its greatest harmony.
It was like a dream come true; a moment of enchantment. I was there dancing with the only girl I've ever loved. She was smiling up to me, as we were harmoniously getting into a smooth gliding motion. I found myself lost as I stared down to her sparkling eyes. The curls of her long hair were like waves enhancing her beautiful face. Until my heart wanted to speak. I wanted to tell her that I loved her so much. I drew up all my courage to whisper it in her ear but suddenly, the music had stopped and the magic was gone. I came close to telling her, but still have not done it yet.
We walked towards the table and found ourselves surrounded by friends. I asked her if she wants a drink, she nodded and so I went to get one. It took me a long time to get a drink. When I returned to the table, she was gone. I asked her friend, Katie, where she was but she told me that she didn't notice her. So I went forward and searched for my girl.
In the garden, I saw two silhouette figures outlined by the moon's silvery light. They were so closed to each other. I couldn't describe the feeling then I recognized the white noble dress Sam was wearing. I get inside and left the Prom. Since that night, I avoided her. Many times, she tried talking to me but I never gave her the chance to do so. I was afraid to hear from her mouth that she loved Mark instead of me. Id rather had left in ignorance than knowing from those dreaded words, the truth she really felt for the guy. Those months were tormenting but still I kept my pride. I knew all those things were killing me, but it was the best way to forget her and to get away from my bad emotions.
During my Graduation Day; I was planning to take up Accountancy far away from my village. At the end of the program, she approached me and handed me a rose. When she stared at me, there was something in her eyes that I couldn't define. There was sadness on her that it wasn't the same smile I've seen before. I wanted to hug her so that she would know for the last time, all my passions on her. But she's gone and walked away, just like a newly freed butterfly.
I moved out the next day as I planned. Luckily, I was accepted at the university. I was down with my studies but still I think of her every night. I was always wondering if she thinks of me too. I tried not to think of her but still I couldn't stop myself from loving her. Every achievements in my life were definitely inspired by the loveliest girl I've ever known, and that was Sam.
"One day, I will be successful. I would tell her the truth from my heart, and by that time, I'm worthy of having her forever..."
Four years after, I decided to come back home. I was excited not just because I was all grown up and I have learned how life should be; but also, I have gained a lot of courage during the past four years. As I got off the plane, I immediately went home. Along with the bus, I imagined her embraces when she would knew the reason I came back. I imagined how we celebrate our old time swimming routine just like what we had at young age. I imagined how the weather cheers with our happiness to be with each other again. I was desperate to see her and tell her that I miss her so much, and that I have loved her since then.
At their house, I saw her older sister Jenny and then I approached her. I've given my homecoming smile but I noticed she didn't smile back. I was confused for she used to be as cheerful as Sam. "I guess you are surprised of my homecoming. I just want to visit you and I am also hoping to see Sam. By the way, have you seen her?"
I have no premonition of everything because my excitement didn't want to rest. Until I heard Jen...
"Come follow me!" breathlessly spoken.
So I followed her with a little confusion in my head. I tried to change the phase of her day and indulged in a wild conversation. I realized that she couldn't afford of a very enthusiastic mood. I carefully noticed that she was leading me to the direction of the beach. In the distance, I saw the old oak tree that Sam and I used to climb up. It was already a decayed tree with empty leaves on its twigs. I thought of it as a symbol of my eternal love for her. But then, it seemed like a legend of a mysterious history, delineating the effect of a drought intrusion. In the middle of the journey, I smiled upon remembering the kiss Sam had given me when I agreed to be her partner. Though the place was starting to fade, I could still adhere to the callings of my memories with her. When we get closed to the tree, Jen had pointed...
"There is Sam!"
I looked at where she was pointing and saw a newly dug tomb with the name of the girl I've ever loved. I couldn't believe at what I saw and desperately tried convincing myself that was all just a nightmare and I would soon wake up.
I stared at Jenny in disbelief with her eyes searching for explanations and slowly started saying," It has been a week since she died. She died of Leukemia, but even though she was sick, she never stopped thinking about you. It was even your name she uttered before she died. She asked us to bury her here for she always regards this place as a place of LOVE. She said that this is where she had spent her happiest days and that was when she was with you. By the way, she also asked me to give you this."
She handed me a parcel and with that she left. I slowly opened the parcel and saw that it had with it a dried orchid from the corsage I gave her from our Prom. Then at the bottom, I saw a letter. It was dated last month. I opened it with shaking hands and started reading...
I know by this time you read this letter I'm gone. I just want to tell you that I feel very lucky and thankful to God that I had a friend like you. I would also like you to know that I had left something inside, something I kept from you all these years. I love you Chris, not in a friendly way but as one who would feel like spending the rest of my life with. I have always loved you even from the start. I guess it's getting fonder each day that's why the happiest day of my life was when you were at my side. You just don't know how I dreamed of you at night and wake up in the morning with the thoughts of you in my head. When you're away from me, I can't stop crying because I'm afraid you are with another girl. I just can't bear to see you with another girl. I just want you all for myself. I may sound selfish but that's how I feel. Each time you held me close to you was just like a dream come true. So many things I did so that you will learn to love me but I never saw a hint. I did everything to please you because I love you so much. I even tried to fool myself that you're in love with me. So many nights I've cried when I think of myself unloved by you. And my heart speaks the truth for I cannot bear telling a lie to the one I love.
I know you might be thinking of Mark but I just did that to make you jealous, to make you see me as a young woman, capable of loving and not as the little girl you used to play with. Sometimes I imagined that you were jealous and fooled myself that it was a sign that you feel something for me too. When Mark and I broke up and I came crying, I just did that to know how you would react and so that I would know if you feel the same way too. But I failed because you didn't give me any clue.
When our Prom night came, you just don't know how happy I was when you handed me the corsage and said that I was the loveliest girl in the whole world. While we were dancing, I wanted so desperately to hear you say that you loved me but still you never did. When Mark came and pleaded me to give him a second chance, I was scared that you might see us talking. I didn't want you to get the wrong impression so I told him we would talk in the garden. There I explained to him that it's you whom I really loved the most. What happened next was that you're gone and later learned that you were searching for me. I came to my conclusion that you saw us together.
The next day, I tried to explain but then you never gave me a chance. You continuously avoided me and yet, you never knew how much pain I've suffered. I felt the world crushing on me.
On our Graduation day, I wanted to tell you how much I loved you but I just couldn't do it. I couldn't bear to hear that all you feel for me was just a brotherly hand of love. I just want you to love me as a woman and not as your playmate. So I just turned away and left.
Now that saying I LOVE YOU might be too late. I want you to know that I will always love you and my heart has always been and will be yours alone.
P.S. Think of me sometimes... and always remember that, loving you was the best thing that ever happened in my entire life.
I felt my tears falling as I folded the letter. I wanted to shout out to let her know that I loved her, if not as much, but more than she did for me. I love her more than anything in this world. Just like the old tree, Sam was gone. Gone away with the wind and within her was the love I failed to know. I knelt touching the soil of her grave as the rain started to fall. I cried with my painful tears and softly whispered... "Oh God, send my love to heaven."
Razul Tahil Sandayan