“She had not changed much–a little less slender, not so eagerly alive, yet something had gone. He missed it, sitting opposite her, looking thoughtfully into her fine dark eyes. She asked him about the home town, about this and that, in a sober, somewhat meditative tone. He conversed with increasing ease, though with a growing wonder that he should be there at all. He could not take his eyes from her face. What had she lost? Or was the loss his? He felt an impersonal curiosity creeping into his gaze. The girl must have noticed, for her cheek darkened in a blush.
Gently–was it experimentally?–he pressed her hand at parting; but his own felt undisturbed and emotionless. Did she still care? The answer to the question hardly interested him.
The young moon had set, and from the uninviting cot he could see one half of a star-studded sky.
So that was all over.
Why had he obstinately clung to that dream?
So all these years–since when?–he had been seeing the light of dead stars, long extinguished, yet seemingly still in their appointed places in the heavens.
An immense sadness as of loss invaded his spirit, a vast homesickness for some immutable refuge of the heart far away where faded gardens bloom again, and where live on in unchanging freshness, the dear, dead loves of vanished youth.”
—-from the first Filipino short story in English, “Dead Stars” by Paz Marquez Benitez
One day, I’ll again wake up knowing and understanding that I spent futile countless hours, dreamed hopeless dreams and thought of you excessively for nothing. I know this story. I am kind of used to it. This is the leitmotif of my life. But even if I am used to it, I am not happy about it. The pain still subsists. I want to see you quietly as I am absent, a distant shadow unnoticed. Though the ending shall unsurprisingly be unhappy, still I want an ending right now.
If my life could easily be edited now, give me pieces of papers and I’ll spend the whole morning writing it. I am not without regrets. I believe that for someone to proudly say that he is without regrets is a fool. I regret not telling you how I feel. How ludicrously I see the brevity of the moments that I have spent with you yet I cling to them so tightly like pure white beach sand. But more grains of sand slipped between my fingers the more I cling unto it. The last remaining memories in my grasp, I let go. The wind whirl them to the hungry sea as the sea waves wash away even my foot prints on its shore.
Let my feeling for you now die in silence yet burst across the universe whose fragments may be lost forever but shall not have been forgotten.