Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Sky Fell on All Our Heads

One night, Ailis showed up at my place, as usual.

I took it for granted that we were continuing our relationship, certain things being glaringly obvious (we liked each other a lot and had missed each other tons during the one day absence and I have the texts to prove it!). So I played the host and offered her supper as a lead up to another expected big talk.

But she declined supper in a dismissive monosyllabic curt fashion. Thus did I cop my first feel of cognitive dissonance for a while.

Ailis said she simply wanted to talk and go. I encouraged her. The speech that followed was a lot to take in.

First, she said she knew what I had done at that party, and she wasn't asking for an explanation, she just knew, and I wasn't supposed to ask how she knew. For a while we were stuck at this stage as I tried to discover what she thought she knew, and meanwhile, she insisted I knew she knew what she meant me to know she knew and I was only pretending to know nothing just for the sake of argument.

We agreed to suspend that particular line of discussion.

Then she said that QezH had been cheating on Angela with no other than Angela's BFF GalPal. I had known this for a while, and I was wondering why this had anything to do with us, unless we had already returned to normal gossip routines. Angela's boyfriend was also Angela's BFF's lover, and I felt guilty that I knew this and Angela didn't, but I didn't know where Ailis was going with this.

She came to the point. “I warned you about GalPal, and then you go and make out with her at that party, kwanza tena on a couch – don't lie, everyone saw you!”

I was asleep, I claimed, honestly and vehemently. The accusations came to me as a shock.

Ailis didn't want to hear any of it. “GalPal behaves like that all the time. She's...  Kwani you think you're the first one she's played around with? Ha!” She was pouring scorn, either at me or at GalPal, or at both of us, I wasn't sure.

I told her there was nothing there, and that her information was incorrect. At the party, GalPal and I had simply fallen asleep on the same couch. I had already learnt at gut level that GalPal’s intentions were, um, sorta shady. And I preferred Ailis any time, I told Ailis.

Earlier, I'd thought that by reading GalPal's attractive face, I could read her heart. In the animal kingdom, certain deep-water fish, for their next meal, depend on their prey being thus deluded. They light their bodies up in arrays of bright colors and just suspend themselves quietly in midwater, shining in the dark, their rows and rows of jagged teeth obscured in darkness, eager mouths hanging open, whole bodies poised to lash forth and summarily swallow the foolish fish that thinks neon lights have come to the ocean floor at last and a big launch was at hand, so come one come all. I wasn't one of those foolish fish. 

So I said, “Trust me.” Which is the one thing people who tend to be trusted never say.

Ailis became stern, nay, fierce. “I won't have it! I warned you! I won't stick around and agree to become your Plan B, you hear? How dare you make me compete with GalPal, of all people! What do you take me for!?”

And she walked away with no ear for my protestations.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Adjust, Retry, Fail!

It happens to everyone: the instant you enter a relationship, you discover that fantasy and reality are made from two different fabrics. That is not a complaint. It just gets real. As in, she could be a poster girl, a magazine centerfold, a goddamned angel, but the guy with inside information (mornings) always knows better... Conversely, she gets to that point where she sees through all your b*llsh*t and manly posing. Still, you somehow like each other even more when all the artificial stuff falls away even despite the total annihilation of assumed givens by real hard facts.

Another point of departure:  you are two different beings and will inevitably tend to clash irreparably on some points of departure, including organized religion or lack thereof.

In those days I was a doctrinaire Atheist. I had already labeled Ailis a Pagan without really asking her, but as it turned out, she was only being a poet earlier on at the moment I formed those assumptions.

Now let it never be said that I lack the foresight and good sense to avoid religious arguments, but the topic came up somehow. I had just finished rationalizing away the technical aspects of Darwin's "man is a really old worm" theory. Ailis replied, "By so saying, you are insulting yourself." I had no effective counterclaim.

The discussion came to a consideration of the significance of good and evil, right and wrong. What is morality? This, surprisingly, was not in the middle of a Philosophy class. I talked and talked at length about the origin of cities, ordered society and the need for peace and harmony hence laws hence morality. Ailis blinked at me and called me "half a nerd, very unsexy."

Then she said, "God gave you the same brain which you are misusing to deny His existence. That is Evil, you bad, bad man."

I quaked in my pyjamas as it became increasingly clear that my factual arguments were going nowhere fast. I needed to sink to her level.

"What's your deal with the moon?" I asked, finding a soft spot to send low blows at, "Lunatic literally means 'Moon Person.' Guys have gone mad looking at the moon. Just saying."


Thursday, March 24, 2011


I met Ailis at long last.

She showed up one night at my typically disorganized room. In her simple understated fashion, she reported to have missed me but had taken the time off to think.

(I hadn't even asked why she vanished like that (but I was going to) before she supplied a reason.)

Time to think? I wondered aloud. What did she need time to think for? I thought as long as she wasn't trying to cook we were alright, and that was the end of my thinking.

It must have surprised her that the issues were so obvious in my head. She remained still, saying nothing, until I told her to share what she had been thinking about.

She summarized thus: “Something is functionless in this relationship!”

It sounded wrong. We laughed about it until we were breathless. But she was right. A lot was undefined in that relationship, and yes, we needed to give function to functionless things. We got to it immediately.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Morning After

The morning after a raging house party tends to be anticlimax, especially if you wake up at the crime-scene.

Breakfast was the big item on the agenda. I woke up to the smell of it, on a couch in front of the TV. GalPal was resting her head on my lap – still fast asleep. So I faced the Herculean task of sneaking out from under her without waking her up. I touched her head to lift it, but this had the effect of stirring her in her sleep. She turned unconsciously and faced the ceiling, which gave me a full HD close-up of her morning face.

Not bad, Mr. Feelings. Technically, you slept with her! Smile wickedly at the thought, will you?

I contemplated the puzzle of how she ended up with me on the couch. We certainly hadn't gotten very far with talking companionably, which was the last thing I remembered, before a 3D dream complete with special effects intervened rudely, interrupting very real progress I had been making towards subtly advertizing my many good qualities. Chocolate cookies of a suspect recipe must be blamed for my inability to keep my eyes open long enough to see the conversation through. Here I was, waking up.

A nearby plate contained a single half-bitten chocolate cookie. Someone had had the good sense not to finish it. I laughed at the thought, and GalPal's eyes popped open. She peered suspiciously at me towering above and looking down at her, sat up like a triggered trap and took her time locating her shoes on the floor, avoiding my eyes all the while.

“Good morning,” I offered, cheerily.

“Hmph!” she huffed and walked towards the kitchen. I followed her with my gaze, wondering if her reaction pointed to events of the night. Had I had my way with her indecently? Had I, perhaps, how do they say, conquered and ravished her passionately in the heat of consuming lust? But if it had been that awesome, wouldn't she have reacted more amenably to a sunrise greeting?

Mr. Feelings, don't excite yourself! With a dry spell like yours you would remember a peck on your cheek no matter what psychotropic substance you roasted your brain with.

That settled that; nothing had happened. Alter Ego never lies. Sometimes I wish it would. So I watched GalPal storming away in a huff. At the kitchen door, she wheeled, a sharp about turn, came back to where I sat with my gaze lost in epiphany, and...

GalPal slapped me - hotly. I mean SLAP! It caught me square in the cheek.

Then she went to the kitchen, muttering angry things under her breath.

I could have used an explanation, but before I could demand one, those who had heard the slap came to investigate what was up. It turned out there were many swarms of ladies in the kitchen making and having breakfast. They flocked curiously into the living room, where I sat upright with a facial perplexity that told them nothing they wanted to know. They trooped back into the kitchen, chasing GalPal to hear her side of the story. One of the stragglers at the back of this feminine pack remained behind long enough to drive home a few sentiments she felt were suitable to the occasion: “Serves you right!” Her mocking thumbs-up gave the sentiment a certain seal of quality.

Apparently, something had happened the previous night that I was unaware of. It looked like I had done this something that I didn't know. A buzz of laughter coming from the kitchen made my ears very hot. The team of ladies therein continued to converse in hushed tones, and the voices emanating from the kitchen sounded endlessly, like a swarm of bees, and I feared they ALL were discussing me.

Of course, Mr. Feelings, you're the hot topic right now. This is what Fame feels like. Get used to it.

Gradually, I got used to the hot itchy after-slap sensation on the left side of my face, and finally came round to wondering “Where are all the guys?” Shortly, I found them all outside, amidst their (fathers') cars. They were draining off the last of their alcohol out of long, long bottles, and slurring drunkenly about their various happy conquests from the previous night. I didn't fit in there, because the topic stubbornly stuck in episodes from an orgy I had deemed unfit to grace with my presence. My experience was limited to ground floor video games and dancing – I didn't want to sound like a child by comparison. The Boys exchanged jokes, congratulations and exaggerated reminisces of their partners and stunts and positions in a dimly lit room upstairs. Still, despite their big talk, there was a depressing tinge of ill-masked desperation under the surface – something approaching shame. They needed very badly to tell themselves again and again that their exploits were EPIC. Between brags they emptied bottled hostile spirits into their bellies. They say the best way to avoid a hangover is to stay drunk, and it was working so well that not only did they avoid a hangover, they even avoided thinking too hard.

I found space to wonder what I had done with myself and GalPal, so that I was quietly and blankly staring into space – literally, the overhead blue sky. It shocked me when the guys' conversation turned towards me. The long and short of it was that sitting with GalPal on the couch the whole night had boosted my street cred. You see, GalPal is both beautiful AND sexy. Many of the boys admitted that they had been targeting the stunning young lady for the pleasurable delights upstairs, but she wouldn't leave my side – she preferred to converse with me. I couldn't remember any of this, but it made me smile, that they had this very wrong idea of me as a man of words, and they respected me for it. I wasn't about to correct this impression.

It occurred to me therefore that GalPal had used me as a convenient scapegoat all night and slapped me in the morning. Thus enlightened, I bowed in an acknowledgment of the audience's ovation, and left for home.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Babylon and Babel Join Forces!

I was playing Xbox games at a party with the inside knowledge that there was an orgy upstairs – I had peeped into a room and seen it firsthand. I was also eating tasty cookies I had reason to suspect were laced with SOMETHING. I should have stopped eating the chocolate delights, but the way it worked, the more of them I ate, the hungrier I got, so the more of the tasty things I ate! Sure, I sat there and laughed at everything and played soccer using my thumbs, but I hardly moved otherwise. A vigorous moral battle proceeded in my head all the while. It didn't help that I kept overhearing that certain persons had been upstairs for many subsequent times after their first.

Neither was my higher state of consciousness necessarily a good thing: I seemed to see straight into people's minds and hearts, to read their thoughts and intentions, to decode the various inflections of their words and laughs, which in itself should be a superpower to cherish, except that the particular emotions I noticed were icky. They involved visceral animal lust for easy anonymous no-strings-attached random group sex. (Icky only when you observe it in others, but not in yourself. Like a belch.) So I fixed my eyes on the screen to avoid reading people's souls.


The hostess came to talk to me. I knew straight away that she had come to appraise the impact of her chocolate cookies on my behavior. I humored her, by parroting all her drunken questions in a higher falsetto. When she was firmly convinced that my brain had evaporated, she laughed convulsively and disappeared into the kitchen, feeling good about herself. “Who's fooling who?” I wondered, and laughed out loud when no actual conclusive answer came to me after some hard thinking.

The music kept me jumping in my seat, and feisty dancers a few feet away occasionally derailed my Premier League campaigns with suggestive distracting seductive gyrations.

Shortly, two familiar latecomers joined the party - enter GalPal and Angela, dressed sensationally, with make-up and everything. They didn't hide their surprise at seeing me there, and neither did I pretend to be surprised to see them there. As we greeted each other, GalPal told me to warn her BFF Angela not to give in to Lucas' pleas for a second chance. “Better to stay single,” I told Angela obediently, “For example, me here.” She shrugged and pouted and I saw that her black eye was taking rather long to heal. “He'll just hit you some more,” I warned, thoughtlessly. And Angela immediately pretended to look for the hostess, leaving GalPal to rebuke me with, “Well put, wiseguy!”

Sarcasm. I laughed, and immediately, I began searching GalPal. She sat next to me, oblivious that I was on a higher consciousness, and she spoke unwarily of mundane things.  Meanwhile I was in the zone of her personal space where her sweet perfume was clouding my supreme thinking, while her little black dress exposed smooth, even expanses of skin and cleavage. Her mellow voice wafted into my consciousness, dreamlike, issuing from tasty-looking full lips, little meaningless tinkling words to one who enjoyed the seductive sound that delivered them at expense of their meaning. Her long, delicate neck was  the embodiment of youth. How her earrings swayed. How her waist narrowed. How her legs extended to infinity. Shortly, in such an environment, my supreme thinking became adulterated with iniquitous thoughts, and all thinking nearly ceased altogether. I soon realized however, by actually paying attention to the actual conversation, that GalPal was still sore at me for pushing her away last we'd talked.

We would have proceeded to an argument about whether-and-if-so-why I like pushing people away, in which I was determined to come out blameless. But Angela emerged from the kitchen, party hostess in tow, and claimed her BFF, so that the trio of them went to a couch of their own to gossip. I was left to regain my bearings. It happenned only very slowly.

The next few hours were a blur as I ratcheted up the number of games I played and the number of sudden guffaws that escaped me spontaneously. Ordinary things were relegated into the mental background, such that, as my eyes were fixed on TV, I was automatically multitasking chocolate cookies, soft drinks, laughing, overhearing a trio of girls gossiping about what-the-heck that alcohol advised them to discuss (upto and including Men), and listening and headbanging to music. When I did eventually look up, the scene wasn't much different, except for a guy who  confidently settled himself next to Angela on the couch. He had giant guts, intruding upon a girl-gang like that; his steady gaze was fixed firmly upon Angela all the while, and he was smiling broadly, like a game-show host. He immediately began to charm Angela, now employing words.

“I'm QezH,” he said, "You're Too Darn Hot."

It must have been the way he did it. Watching Angela's overwhelmed smile, and the associated envious smiles of her two friends, I heard my alter-ego stirring from sleep. It wasn't slow to give a speech.

Now there's a guy who likes what he sees and knows that he wants it so he goes for it, Mr. Feelings! Here's a plan: GalPal.

My higher consciousness had no counter-comment, especially as I surveyed said GalPal in the light of recent developments. Golly, she too was looking my way, pretty eyes and all.

I awoke, hours later, seated upright in the couch in front of the TV, with
1.) no recollection of when I fell asleep, surprised in fact that I was waking up in the first place ;
2.) a gamepad on my lap, and
3.) a sleeping GalPal's head resting on the other lap, using it like a pillow or something.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


The problem at the Biblical Babel, a massive engineering project, was that at some point the workers on-site just forgot the operational lingua franca. Each miscommunicated in his or her own version of unintelligible gibberish. They all simultaneously annoyed and were annoyed by their long-time colleagues and only for just talking. (It must have only got worse when they all somehow thought that talking slower would help others understand. (Foreigners!)) Consequently the project fell through. God has since claimed responsibility for this attack.

History repeats itself more than we like to think.

I met GalPal one random day. More accurately, she cornered me when I wasn’t walking around alone with my gaze fixed permanently in the middle distance. Apparently I’d been acting cold towards her – her words, not mine – and she’d just had it. What was wrong with me? Was I alright?

The thing about discussing what-ifs is that the issues at hand tend to slide into greater obscurity as differing perspectives emerge from participants as they express their varying conceptualizations of What Could Have Been. In English: As GalPal and I talked about whether-and-if-so-why I wasn't “keen on asking her out”, presumptions emerged on both ends. The entire venture collapsed at the point at which we were offended by each others' presumptions. Then the priority for both of us became: to find out where the hell the other party obtained enough balls to assume those things about us.

In short, communication broke down.

She was incensed to discover that I considered her a mindless minion in eternal bondage of servitude and allegiance to Angela, her so-called BFF (who had banned us from relating in any way, shape or form, on pain of injury). It made me supremely angry to find out that GalPal thought me dull and unadventurous for not taking that near-suicidal risk with her. GalPal disliked the unsightly notion in my head that I considered her an unsustainable and downright dangerous intrusion into my controlled, predictable and routine life. I particularly hated her perception of me as lacking in initiative and stubbornly defiant against all the neon signs and green lights she had been giving “since we first met!” She wanted to stab me fatally after I implied tactlessly that she was moving too fast. I felt like harming her when she responded by pointing out that we had kissed a few times already and hung out and had fun variously together so obviously (in her brain) there was a connection which I was obdurately refusing to exhume my head out of the sand to acknowledge. “Or do you now have any other clever objections remaining?”

We glared at each other in silence as I forced myself to calm down, simultaneously using the Minute of Quiet Time to dodge the bullet/question. I couldn't calm down, unsurprisingly, for hot temper coursed through my veins and made my ears very hot. So, while stiffly relaxing my physical stance, I synthesized an artificial outward tranquil by frustrating my face muscles with a hard-wrought smile.

“Look,” I said, cordially, even as my blood boiled, “We can't argue about things that haven't happened.”

I expended a few more words on explaining the folly of such a precarious undertaking. Were such behavior to be allowed, everybody would always be arguing with everybody else every day for all varieties of conceivable omissions everywhere. Of course, on the face of it, my argument was factually logical, but intellectually, it was logically invalid. Both GalPal and I knew this, but I was banking on the off-chance that GalPal had no way of articulating this particular glaring loophole. (She however managed to score a hit when she said the problem with me is that I think too much; that I harrass obvious things to death with too much thinking.) On this technicality I won the argument thinly and we parted ways unhappily.

In hindsight, I should have simply told GalPal that events had overtaken “us” and that I was almost nearly at the point of asking Ailis out.

Monday, March 7, 2011


In those days I was discovering my neighbors. Gradually, I began to learn their names. You see, being a quiet guy does not accelerate social networking. Add a raging addiction to computer games, and the overall prognosis wasn't heartening. Still, I made an effort to know people during loading screens when I had to dash to the shop.

So there I was one late night, killing hordes of programmed electronic criminals on my computer in my dark room. Outside, it was Thursday, but since I had rejected alcohol, I couldn't partake of the customary festivities so treasured of schoolmates. If you ask me, I socialized pretty well with the computer characters I wasn't killing.

My fun was interrupted when my phone rang. “Delilah”, alleged the caller ID. It was GalPal. Calling on Thursday night? Hmmm.

“Come to Angela's room right now!” she ordered, prior to salutations, and then she ended the call as abruptly. I shrugged and pulled on flip-flops. Angela's room was a floor above mine and the stairs offered a great impediment to progress (admittedly I wasn't too enthusiastic), and I was stepping to tunes with the tempo of Here Comes The Bride. Soon enough, coming into view of Angela's door, I beheld a strange sight.

Lucas was leaning against the door, and banging on it. The last I'd seen of Lucas, he was being dumped by Angela. Indeed that had been less than eight hours past. Now he was drunk and demanding to be let in. It seemed the door was locked. I approached carefully, with “Hi Lucas.”

Seeing me, Lucas backed away from the door. “I just wanna talk to her!” His eyes were red, sad, desperate.

I got angry, but not at him. Replacing him, I leaned at Angela's window, peeped in and saw Angela and GalPal seated comfortably on a comfortable couch of woven reeds, munching on assorted snacks arrayed before them and watching Family Guy, ostensibly with great amusement. “What did you call me here for?” I shouted, to defeat the combined din of the TV, their laughter, crisps crackling between their teeth and blood rushing with great pressure in my head.

“Oh thank goodness you're here. Get rid of him,” said GalPal, with an exasperated fling of the wrist.

“I'm not a hired gun!” Part of my anger was derived from the fact that I had to spell it out, and partly from what speaking through the window does to your ego. “And he just wants to talk, I think he deserves at least that.” As soon as I said this, Lucas sidled against me at the window and peered in. The smell of spirits in his breath was overwhelming. Yet he had visibly relaxed in my presence, probably assuming me to be on his side.

“He's drunk!” exclaimed Angela dismissively in her comfortable seat, “He just wants to fight.” She turned her gaze back to the TV. “Come on, help us out here.” The two girls returned to laughing at cartoons. Clearly, no one was going to open any doors for anyone to talk about anything.

I told Lucas that perhaps there would maybe be a better chance if he returned while sober. He nodded at me with a red gaze. “Tell me, man,” he slurred, “I hope you're not the clown dat Angie's goin' with now - that jus' suck, you know? Jus' some damn bullshit! I'm jus' sayin' man, you know? Right?”

I reassured Lucas, right there at the window, that Angela wasn't my type.

“I heard that!” exclaimed Angela harshly. GalPal laughed hard, but no one could tell if Family Guy was the reason.

Lucas shouted back. “I'll treat you right, baby-girl! I'm sorry! I love you baby!”

GalPal managed to laugh out instructions to me to remove Lucas from the premises “so people could sleep” - he was “disturbing visitors,” an apparent llusion to herself. Clearly, she'd missed the part where I said I wasn't hired muscle. I got angry, but not at Lucas, whom I told, quietly, that he was embarrassing himself.

This seemed to stun him. After a momentary pause for hard thought, he correspondingly changed tactics and lent vent to true visceral emotions: “Bitch! You can't acha me!” He declared all his birth names. “You's a ho'! Don't be kujaing ati me I take you back!” Etc, including slang too rough-edged for this blog. For jarring emphasis, he occasionally drove his fist at the metal door amidst his drunken angry pronunciations.

Later, in the silence during which he rubbed his fist, I interjected, firmly telling him to leave. For a while we exchanged harsh eye-contact, a silent dare, until it seemed we both had revolvers in our cowboy holsters. But when I rolled up my fist suggestively, he attained perspective and staggered away towards the stairs, murmuring things about goin' to get his crew. At this, I sighed with relief because I had recently become a pacifist and so couldn't have backed up my threat if it had come to that.

He got in his pimped out black car and started it. I watched him reverse, in frequent drunken halts, and by the time he was facing the gate, Angela and GalPal had abandoned their pretense at watching TV. They came out to watch beside me as Lucas drove away very slowly. The three of us leaned on the railing, looking down from a first floor corridor.

“That was, um, interesting,” said GalPal brightly, still slightly amused.

“I have to leave now,” said Angela darkly, “That one, he'll just come back.”

In my flying rage at both of them, I walked away without a word. There was a lot of socialization waiting for me in my room and I'd already wasted much time in the real world fighting the battles of others.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


In Angela's head, her break-up with Lucas was never meant to be a private disagreeable closed-door Do-Not-Disturb procedure. She required a diplomatic aide (her buddy GalPal) and a peacekeeper with a proven past record (yours truly) on the flanks for any eventuality. This had the side-effect of bringing me close to GalPal after a long time. I wasn't as excited to see her as I was eager to see Ailis again.

The rendezvous was at the cafeteria. We arrived late. Lucas was there already, amidst a crowd of his buddies, including Mohawk. It somehow fell to me to call him away from the pack. (The correct person for this was Angela. Lucas was especially unhappy to see my face disrupting his council of influence to call him aside to see his girlfriend, who happened to be lurking within sight in the near background.)

The soon-to-be-ex-couple began a dialogue, which abruptly became a monologue the instant Lucas caught the gist of the matter. Angela rambled on, using an earnest expression and deadbeat cliches (“It's not you, it's me!”) It was obvious from the stunned looks on Lucas' face that the young man had been wrongfooted somewhat by the turn of events and was in no violent spirits. GalPal and I were thus rendered redundant. We signaled each other and excused them, for they needed privacy more than ever.

GalPal and I settled a respectful distance away and waited for the tearful parting of ways. I would have happily and unobstrusively kept quiet and evaporated away at the end of it all, but GalPal wanted to begin a conversation, which I wasn't keen on. I had long-ago forgotten to spend all my waking hours thinking about her. Ailis was the new resident in my brain. I would just play it cool with GalPal, I thought.

She made it hard.

“Word is, you're housekept!” mocked GalPal. And this was only the preamble. “What's her name?”

I asked who gave her the information.

She giggled, as her palm went under her cheek. “So you don't deny it? Should I be worried?”

I remembered she was into Journalism.

“Your source misled you,” I said, emphasis on the full stop.

She smiled one of her pixie smiles which maximized her dimple but didn't reach the eyes. And then I saw and remembered that her eyes were (are) beautiful indeed. She is generally visually appealing to behold. (That is rather an understatement for someone who's got a delicately slender classic hourglass shape and hypnotizing eyes on a stunning face.)

But she was emitting the wrong vibe. GalPal always flirts: a shaded look, a pose, a word, a delicately toned giggle – to avoid mention of her recently evolved modes of (un)dress. Ailis, on the other hand, communicates, in such a way that it feels straightforward. I really wanted to see Ailis and I could have done without intervening confusion before I met her again - if ever.

So I fled, excusing myself on the false pretext of an appointment.

I swear I heard GalPal murmur “Coward!” behind me.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Mysteriously, Ailis went missing for a very long time. She didn't come visiting, I didn't have her contacts and I didn't meet her randomly. Of course, this had everything to do with that awkward moment when we defied the laws of personal space, discovering mutual attraction (so I hope) which neither of us knew what to with (not always obvious).

Life continued. My wounds healed. My ankle pretended to heal and managed to fool me.

One day I met Angela randomly, during time I had set aside to sit in the shade of trees. She was surprisingly friendly towards me, for someone whose boyfriend I had chased into dark oblivion. I was understandably reluctant to believe that relations were back to business-as-usual. But she confided immediately after greetings that she had decided to leave Lucas.

Understanding washed over me in waves. In the throes of a break-up, frenemies like myself could provide a crutch for the emotional battles ahead. That break up had been long in coming, for a variety of reasons. Her comely looks hadn't fared too well from physical battles with Lucas. And she had entered an eye-shadow phase which was obviously a smokescreen for black eyes. Most imporantly, she seemed to live under permanent black clouds of depression vibes, which only became darker in her transparent attempts to smile with everyone and hide her troubles. (The eyes tell all.) Now all that was at an end. I was happy for her, and I told her so.

“Really?” she beamed. “Only you and BFF support my decision. My other girls think I'm mad for even thinking about it.”

A whiff of scepticism inhibited my joyous spirit from bursting forth in jubilation. I knew Angela's scrap-heap of previous partners correlated consistently on one counter: they were all moneyed and flashy. Lucas was (is) a fashion-nerd and a big-spender, his rides the envy of many of my contemporaries, his popularity among the ladies extends even to many he doesn't know exist, and his worldly reputation pursues his popularity hotly. He wields influence in a pack of similar young men and their hangers-on. The fact that Angela was sacrificing all that high living for some hypothetical ideals earned my respect.

I voiced my backing for and solidarity with her decision.

“Good!” she said, talking fast. “I'm going to tell him at lunch time; you'll be my attorney. Watch out - he reacts badly.”

Feeling ambushed, I flatly refused. The whole thing looked like a fishy proposal. But she wasn't exactly ASKING.

“I see. You've forgotten that I was your attorney when our wife was bringing beefs,” she pouted. “Now you get to return the favor.”

I accepted, even though it shocked me that she still referred to The Ex as Our Wife.