Barter System: The Make-Believes of Social Media

It is none of my business, however when you post a thing or two on the web, you are feeding my mind, our minds.

At times I find it disturbing how social networking sites have become a shit absorber. There are flooding posts on a bad day as if it really was that worse when they just waited longer in the line than they usually do or when it has always been the case all their life and they just happen to have 24h unlimited access to the web. There is an outpour of people insinuating love, false love, fear, sadness, happiness, boredom, anger etc. Then feel bad on people talking about them.

There is freedom of expression, I could not argue with that. But we could not just get naked on the street because we wanted to be as honest in expressing ourselves right? Or slap a customer for being such a biatch? Yes sweet little nothings and mysterious shout outs could be fun but I really hope you could post something with substance too.

Life is a barter system. When you give out peace you might just be handed with appreciation. When you give out crap, people will give you a ribbing.


The Book I’d Write: Last Straw

BLURB: “Even in silence I chose to love him still, for loving seems enough. That loving me in return did not matter anymore”

Chapter 4: Plead for Love
by Johanna Almendras
July 31, 2008

He visited because he wants to know if I’m still mad at him. I told him the truth, that there were days that I wake up cursing him and there were days that I wish him well and days that I just honestly don’t think about him at all.

“Do I still own my spot?” Must be the mushy-iest question he asked.

“If you could have asked me the same question 2 years ago then my answer would be yes”,I responded.

You must think that it was the weirdest and the most indirect way of answering the question. But I couldn’t think of any better way of holding back what I really feel without totally lying.

Why did he want to know? He probably thinks that the very reason why I still hate him is because I still have feelings for him, that after 4 years I’m still mad, I’m still in pain.

Confronted by the question, I felt intense sadness. I cried. Crying is not new to me at all only this time the reason behind the teardrop is. This time I’m no longer crying because I’m in pain, I’m crying because I’m in love…still madly in love.

I’ve spent four years of my life without him. I suffered, struggled and was wounded but I made it through. With my family and friends I was healed. What’s a fresh cut going to do me now? Nothing would be as painful as his betrayal. So why would I bother myself with one question?

But like any other benign tumor, it spreads. From a spark, it’s turned into a gigantic ball of fire. I hope and hope and now I’m starting to pray that he still loves me. I pray that nothing has changed. That he is still the same person I knew and I’m still the same person he was crazy for. That someday I’d hear him say that he wants me back. That all these time he thinks about me. That we was wrong about leaving me. Because me? In each day I stumble, each day I smile, each triumph, each decision…it has always been him, it has always been just him.

“He must not know”, I tell myself.

I can’t tell him. It’s very inappropriate. He is in a 4-year relationship , in a happy and seems to be a strong one.

“Let me ask you a hypothetical question then. What if I’d break up with her? Will everything be okay with us?”

Just like that, the tumor was miraculously eradicated. I’ve been waiting to hear it. I’ve imagine it so many times that I knew exactly what to do next. I’d hug him tight and feel him and every bit of him. But I did not do so. Theory after all is not always equivalent to practice. I suddenly realized that it was not the ultimate cure, that the tumor could still return. It was not the food that would satisfy my hungry soul. I needed to know and hear something else.

Sobbing, I stood up and said “I don’t want you to break up with her because of me. I want you to break up with her because you don’t love her”

I paused for 2 seconds and proceed, “because you love me”

That was it! It was the root of my pain. I envy her and his love for her. I’m hurt not only because he does not love me but because he loves her. It’s two different things. I love him and he loves her, that’s absurd.

While he is loving her, I am loosing him. What a painful idea this is. I probably love the guy too bad that I could only wish him happiness still. I once encountered a sad quote that says “slowly I’m losing you, still I manage to smile cause I know life is not about who you lose but it’s what you find. I found you, now you found her, it’s your turn to be happy… I had mine”.

Yes indeed I HAD mine. Loving him is the happiest moment of my life. I consider it as the essence of my existence but I know I have to let him go.

“Kristel, you are wonderful and extra special the way you are. I love you in a different way that I love her”, he explained.

“Which love is better?”, I asked.

He did not answer. He looked pained.

“Then why the hell go all the way here and ask me stupid leading questions?”

“I don’t want you to be mad at me. I don’t want you to suffer, to feel pain”

I stared at him with uncertainty.

He continued, “If only I could heal you, save you from your suffering, then I would. It’s hard to go on each day knowing that I caused someone pain. If I could only command your heart to stop beating for me… but I know I just can’t. How you still feel this way after all that happened? It’s amazing. It’s overwhelming and crazy too. And no one can question your love. It is unconditional, something that I don’t deserve and cannot repay”

I am crying once again, or was I the whole time?

“So this is how I will always be? Your special someone? Is there no credit for my unconditional love that you say?”

“I can’t tell you want you want to hear. The truth may hurt by lies will hurt you even more”


Slash and Burn: My Unfinished Story

Chapter 3: Bleeding Love
by Johanna Almendras
July 31, 2008


I have to be honest to myself, after the break up I had a hard time. In fact it must have been the most difficult phase of my life. After school I go home to a place of no assurance. I find myself worrying for I have nothing to do. I had no one to inform that I arrive home safely. I had no one to wake up in the morning or follow up academic home works at night. It seems that a big chunk of my time, effort, concentration, emotion, finances, and memory was now empty, spacious and unused.

At 9 in the evening I prayed but was surprised that intentions came out from me with so much effort. What once was a smooth sailing, free flowing conversation turned into a scripted one. it was precisely because I was resisting my own thoughts and feelings. I was so used to praying for him, his family, his studies, his health, his friends, his service,etc. but we are no longer to together and this “obligation” is no longer necessary. But is it really like that? Should one stop praying for a person because that person is technically  no longer his concern? Yet as much as I want to still pray for him what shall my prayer sound like? Of course I can’t be praying that his new relationship be well. So I’m only left confused, reminded and saddened of how my prayer was like so I have chosen not to pray instead.

The sun continued to shine, the workers go on with their daily routine, my sisters go to work and so I’d do my thing too. I’d take a jeepney, cry in there when I’m once again haunted with my loneliness and wait until the 45-minute ride ends, enter the room and while waiting for the professor, do chit chats with my blockmates.

“How are you now?”, asks Indie a blockmate who herself has not been into a real relationship but lives in Dumaguete, a place which I imagined to be perfectly romantic for lovers and a haven for barkadas.

“Still not okay. It’s very hard. I still cry myself to sleep and wake up crying still.”

As expected from any broken hearted person, I started telling my story.

“He was really a good boyfriend and if there was anything wrong with the relationship it was only on the latter part where the relationship was on the rocks.”

I mentioned a couple of incidents to convince them how perfect it used to be even if I feel that they don’t want to know and even if they do, will still feel indifferent to what I feel. They  may feel sympathy but after that they’re okay. There is nothing they can do and they exactly knew that but still continued to console me. Human nature has always been this way. When someone suffers all we can do is ask, make them share their thoughts and how they feel of the situation, give advise when ask for one but we will still remain indifferent. We cannot equally feel their pain for one’s suffering is always different from the other no matter how similar the situation may be. But nevertheless I went on conversing with them.

“He must have fallen out of love”, comments Angel, a tall pretty morena but an NBSB blockmate. Noticing that I remained silent and a bit confuse of the idea she further explained.

“You know, one day he woke up and realize that he does not love you anymore. A lot of people say it happens.” then the door opened and our professor stepped in.

After class I went straight home because heavy tears are about to pour. Even before I can undress, raindrops started to fall. Could it be heaven’s way of accompanying me in this miserable lonely night? Well it really doesn’t have to, even the rain is indifferent to my suffering. Indeed things changed, even how I see the rain changed. I used to see it as a blessing, a shower of fireworks from heaven. On the night we became a couple it was raining hard and I took that as heaven’s approval and confirmation of what just happened. In our 2-year relationship, it has always rained every 9th of the month at least in places where we were at. It was pleasing to hear raindrops embracing the earth but now, there is so much bitterness in hearing it clash the rooftop.

Fall out of love? that’s weird. I never knew that falling in love was reversible but if it is then it means that falling out of love is favored when falling in love is saturated, in that way the direction shifts to falling out of love. That’s how chemistry describes it through Le Chatelier’s principle.

no love <—-> love

But wether this is the case or not, being the partner of the person who fell out of love is as painful as the idea sounds.

The rain continued and I finished preparing supper. My siblings arrive and we ate together like we usually do only this time I need not worry if Lino has eaten too.

Breaking up with me was painful enough to hate him but hate isn’t the absence of love. I may have hatred in my heart but I have love too, I feel them both.

If by any moment now I die, it has got to be due to internal bleeding.