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My Top 3 Sex Related Problems As A Woman

Let me start this out by making a couple wild generalizations about sex.

First, we’re all having it.

Of course, that’s not actually true; some of us haven’t had it yet, others are going through a drought and some choose not to have it at all. But in general, it’s a widespread phenomenon. Which is good, since it’s what leads to the propagation of the species.

Second, while it’s an extremely common experience, we don’t really talk about it.

We don’t talk about it with each other (as in, the actual people we’re having sex with), and we don’t talk about it with others, even those we’re close to. Again, yes, there are exceptions to this, but generally, not so much.

I humbly submit that this is a major issue. Because it’s easy for things that are kept hidden or secret (whether accidentally or on purpose) to lead to feelings of shame, confusion, and hopelessness. Plus, what we don’t talk about, we can’t get support with. And we need support in this area; sex and sexuality are fundamental to who we are as human beings.

So in the spirit of more openness, I present my top three sex problems, as a heterosexual woman:

1) Men being too rough with their hands.

I’m a pretty experienced sex-er. I’ve had a lot of it, with a wide variety of men. But I can count with just a few fingers the number of men who were good with theirs.

That’s right, I’m talking about fingering.

Even the word sounds kind of… violent. It presupposes that the “goal” or “point” of the activity is penetrative—for you to jam your finger up my hoo-ha, often in a simulated version of intercourse.

Okay! Just a few problems with this. First, most of the time when I play with myself, I don’t get all up in the inside. I don’t use a dildo, I use a baby bullet, which is just a very small vibrator that actually never goes inside me.

I stick with stimulating the clit, which is way above the vulva (the opening of the vagina).

Second, even if a man does get that The Clit Is It, he often applies so much direct pressure to it that it hurts. I feel bruised and notice that my clitoris gets numb; it loses sensitivity because it’s been so overstimulated. Again, when I play with myself, I do so gently, especially at first. The clitoris has 8,000 nerve endings; no wonder it’s so sensitive!

Before I get admonished for not speaking up about the issue at the moment, I want to say that I do say something a lot of the time. If he starts out so rough that it hurts, I often say, “Gentle gentle gentle!” Or even as it’s starting (before the pain), “Listen just so you know, the lighter the touch, the more I feel.” But I find that a lot of the time this only works for a few minutes, and then it’s back to the jabbing.

Part of the reason this is such a problem for me is that I find myself distracted. I’m trying to protect my body while also accommodating the person I’m with (not shaming him about what’s not working). So not only am I not turned on, I’m actually anxious. I feel my stomach twist into knots when a man starts putting his hands down there because my body is so trained to expect pain.

As I write that, I sense just how sad it is. I also find myself curious as to whether other women have a similar experience.

2) Initiating.

Honestly, I prefer for a man to initiate sex with me. And I don’t think that’s necessarily a problem. We all have preferences, and that’s mine.

But I feel like I’m not good at initiating… ever. And that feels like a problem.

What holds me back? In a word, fear.

Fear I’ll be seen as wanting too much.

Fear I’ll be seen as slutty.

Fear of rejection.

And one more that’s a little harder to describe, but perhaps the most true: fear of “making him” feel obligated.

I intellectually grasp that any man I’m with would probably love for me to initiate. But when it comes to actually doing it, I hesitate. I don’t want me initiating to have him feel like he has to have sex with me. I want him to be inspired to do the dirty with me, not do it because he should.

Realistically, this says far more about me than about men. It says that my psyche often interprets someone asking something of me as not requesting, but demanding. So I think my own request for sex will be interpreted as a demand—and I don’t want that. Since I don’t trust that my partner will “be able” to give me an honest no, it feels safer to just wait for him to ask me.

Do I feel obligated when it comes to a man initiating with me? If I’m very, very honest, yeah, I kind of do. I don’t always allow that feeling of obligation to “win”; if I really don’t want to have sex at the moment, I speak up. But most of the time, if my partner wants sex, I’m probably going to say yes, and not always because I’m totally in the mood and really want it.

Again, I’m curious as to whether other women have a similar experience.

3) Finding men who are both cocky and heart-y.

I don’t mean cocky as in arrogant. I mean literally cock-y: men who have a strong relationship with their cock (their sexuality). These are men I feel would be able to truly take me. They’d push me up against a wall and mean it. They’d pull my hair without asking for permission. They’re comfortable with what I call “fuck energy”—the desire to just fuck someone.

Listen, I’m a strong woman. I can get shit done. But while I have a lot of masculine energy (I can do, create, make things happen), when it comes to sex, I want to be in my feminine. For me, that requires a man who can be dominant in the bedroom. I’m not into hardcore BDSM, but I do want to feel like I’m not in charge; instead of having to lead, I get to be ravished.

At the same time, I want to be able to feel a man’s heart and know that he can feel mine. I’m not talking about needing him to be a therapist or something; I just mean feeling connected on both a sexual and emotional level (even if it’s just for one night).

In other words, I don’t want an insensitive bro who’s solely fucking me so he can check another Tinder swipe off his list, and I equally don’t want a sensitive new age guy who can talk about feelings but has disowned his “fuck energy.”

I find I end up attracting either one or the other, and that’s a problem.

The fact is, most of us learn about sex in bits and pieces as we grow up, either in hushed conversations with siblings or friends or from pornography. It’s not the easiest thing to communicate about, so it’s easy to just not. But that’s a disservice to both ourselves and others.

I think having the sex we really want (in or out of committed relationships) starts with getting real about what doesn’t work for us—what we struggle with.

So I’m curious:

What are the top 3 problems you have when it comes to sex? What blocks you from pleasure, keeps you from enjoying your body and/or the body of your partner?

I wonder if more of us share the same problems than we think. I wonder whether men and women share the same problems.

And how much better would the world be if, on a regular basis, we all got to have stimulating, sensual, spirited, soulful, scintillating, satisfying sex?

Author: Melanie Curtin

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Enamored

… with the works of H. P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, and Stephen King. I can sympathize with and relate to them personally. I might not write in the same genre but in the dark corridors of my head dwell the same horrors, the same twisted thoughts that are more real than reality itself. I adore this trio. I love how their minds work. They are the pyramid of my belief in written words, in the power of writing, in the beauty of story telling. They are the corner stones of my passion for creating tales, my source of inspiration. I will be forever in awe of their talents.

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Roots

“A tree without roots is just a piece of wood.”

I was watching a pre-recorded version of Masterchef Australia early this morning (around 2:00 o’clock insomniac that I am) when suddenly talking to the contestants, encouraging them to  go back to their childhood and use their earliest memories as inspirations for that day challenge Marco Pierre White said: “A tree without roots is just a piece of wood.” Immediately it conjures up in my mind an image of a driftwood on the beach, no anchor to hold it down and the waves carry and toss it around. It goes from place to place from shore to shore completely in the mercy of the ever changing whim of nature and it hurts, it really hits me to the core. Being brought up isolated by tyrannical parents and being part of a dysfunctional family of nomad gypsies who moved a lot, I never find where I belong. My roots had been pulled out before they can even have a chance to settle and get hold. Me and my siblings, we never had a contingency to grow and flourish in a familiar soil. I’ve said these already before, If I could reach for something brilliant that would be the home which been denied to me and the presence of the peace I’ve never known…

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Pieces

We moved to a much smaller house in the suburb two years ago after selling our six bedroom Edwardian property in the country. The place was too big for just the two of us. It was a hell to clean and even more difficult to heat up properly. Period houses are money pits that demand bottomless pockets and tireless enthusiasm from the owners. We found out we lack the dedication and the courage to keep up.

Moving the contents of a bigger space to a smaller one proved to be impossible. We get rid of all the furniture and sold most of the trimmings. The ones that nobody wanted to buy, we donated to charity, but still our new garage is full to the brim it is an ordeal to navigate in there. Day by day we try to sort things out, keep what we need and get rid of the rest. I found out that those that carry emotional values are the ones that hard to say goodbye to, I still have bunch of silk flowers and plants lined up on a top of a big picnic table together with vases, candles and candle holders, figurines, books, albums, videos and cds. Throwing them away is like throwing all your experiences, deleting your past life, erasing your memories. As if you trying to start fresh as someone else.

The other day I opened one of the boxes to sort out and I found this small yellow stone on top of a pile of ledgers from previous courses. It has very fine yellow crystals, probably quartz. They shimmer under a light or in the sun. The stone is beautifully nondescript and unusually singular. I never seen another stone like it.  But what makes it more special is the story behind it and the person who gave it to me.

Arjay was just a boy from the neighborhood. One of those children who accompany me wherever I go whether I like it or not. He was the first to jump in a tricycle if I was about to go somewhere, most of the times without permission from his parents. Only now I did realize the seriousness of the situation. I was the only adult among them. I was solely responsible for their safety and well beings. Those minors who hiked, swim, climbed waterfalls and rooftops, spent overnight in the mountains with me were vulnerable. Anything could happen and what then? But that time, those thoughts were the last things in my mind. To me, I was in vacation, my time was limited, every second counts. I have to make the most of it and I savor every moment without thinking of the consequences and there were few. Nothing serious. More damaging to my reputation than anything else. I gladly took those too. Who cares about what other people think when I know the truth.

Among those youngsters who followed me around was Arjay, a cute enthusiastic kid who was small for his age. I thought he was ten- twelve years old, I was surprised to find out later on that he was two years older than I originally assumed, he was fourteen. One time we were sleeping in the house of one of my Godmother’s boarders in the mountains when in the middle of the night I found Arjay staring at me, his face inches away from mine. His presence was not the reason why I suddenly woke up, it was the noises that the other boarders were making that aroused me from my slumber; they said Arjay was trying to kiss me. I thought it was a joke (what else it could be?) and shrugged it off but when it happened again and again I asked his mother what was the matter with Arjay, she said he had nightmares sometimes. I was so relief to finally get some explanation of what was happening with him. The kid had nightmares. No wonder he was acting strange.

He continued to to be part of my vacation each year since then. If we were at some party and I got tired and wanted to lie down, he will suddenly got a headache and insisted on being in the same room or bed with me. Luckily there was another kid who kept an eye on Arjay (or me) and every time he saw that Arjay was acting strange again he will see to it that he was in the same room with us. If I leave he goes with me, if Arjay goes, he stays. Kids.

I didn’t know the whole story and I didn’t ask for the reason why one day the kid asked Arjay to settle their differences by fighting it out. According to him Arjay was unrespectful and what he was doing was wrong. I don’t understand but I find that it’s not my place to ask and leave it at that. As far as I know, Arjay didn’t accept the challenge which was a relief because they were both good kids. I would hate to be in the middle of adolescents conflict and the last thing I would want to do is to choose sides. Their mothers are both my Godmothers. They were like brothers to me. 

My mother died and I stop going home. I have no reason anymore to comeback so I lost sight of the bunch. I saw their profiles on Facebook, they are grown ups now and some of them are married and have family of their own. Arjay got married just last month. He has become a good looking young man like I thought he is going to be. Still small but presentable. I made a mistake of connecting with them a year ago and regretted in an instance my decision when I was bombarded with personal messages and telephone numbers. I quickly turned off my profile and never returned the messages. Personal contact isn’t my cup of tea and rekindling past relationships doesn’t set good with me. I rather leave the past in the past so it stays that way and I am able to visit whatever it is in my memory whenever I feel the need to do so. I find that tampering with what has been taint the memories somehow, ruining the good part and altering if not erasing the original stories. I rather remember them how they were and keep what we had the way it was than risk changing the impression they left in my recollection of the good old days when all of us were still innocent and young…

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Dear Pretty Young Woman Flirting With My Husband

Thank you.

My husband is hot. It’s one of the many reasons why I married him. I know you think he’s hot too, and I’m cool with that.

He likes the attention. In the store. At the restaurant. You make him feel visible. You make him feel like “he’s still got it,” and that’s a good thing.

And I’m not mad or jealous.

Maybe I envy your gorgeous hair, your lovely, smooth body, and your wrinkle-free eyes, but I’m actually glad I’m not where you are in life right now. You’re still trying to figure things out. You’re looking for something that feels real to you, and fulfilling, and substantial.

You want meaningful.

You’re out there in the world trying to conjure your future, following everything and anything that will manifest your dreams. It’s a bitter-sweet place to be, but time is on your side. I remember it well.

I love that my husband feels good about himself. When you pay attention to him, he feels happy and confident. And, let me tell you, him feeling happy and confident works in my favor.

You see him in his khaki pants, and his sexy buffalo-plaid flannel shirt. You eye his awesome dad bod and his expensive boots, and you just can’t resist. He’s adorable in all the right ways. I get it.

I know he kind of looks like George Clooney. I know he’s aging ridiculously well, like a soap star. His salt and pepper hair, boyish face, and kind brown eyes are a beautiful combination. I know how it feels when he smiles at you and treats you with respect because I feel the same way. That’s who he is. He’s a pretty great guy. He looks at you directly, and he listens. He laughs at your jokes and he’s polite. He’s a fixer. He helped you call your dog back in the park that time, and you almost lost your head for a minute.

I totally get it. He’s the coolest.

But here’s what you don’t see. Sometimes he is just like everyone else.

Sometimes he’s not that nice. Sometimes he hogs the covers and sometimes “forgets” to call me when we need to talk about something important. Sometimes he’s selfish and judgmental. Sometimes he’s moody.

Sometimes he doesn’t clean up after himself. And he can be infuriating when he’s being stubborn.

When he gets sick he lays on the couch and acts like he’s dying.

What you don’t see is how worried he was when we were both much younger and newly married with a tiny baby and we were trying to make all sorts of ends meet.

You don’t see his insecurities. Like, when he lost his job and we had bills to pay and our kids were only four and six.

You don’t see all the times he took odd little jobs to make extra money so that our family would feel loved and cared for.

When you see him in the grocery store, or at the bank, or in the bar, you don’t see the other stuff. The parts that make him stable and honest. And weathered.

 All that stuff was earned.

You don’t see what made him the man he is today, which, if I may say so, is a direct result of building his life with me, his wife.

What you don’t see is our history.

You don’t see how our disagreements and our hardships lead to changes in both of us that created deeper love.

You don’t see how much we went through to become best friends. And it took a long time to become best friends, believe it or not. It was work.

You look at him, and you like what you see, but you don’t see him the way I do.

When I look at him, all I can see is us. Us for miles.

But, I want to thank you. Sincerely.

Your attention makes him feel the way he felt long ago when he was out there in the world without cares or big responsibilities—without a family—an unattached guy still drinking from a keg in someone’s backyard with his whole life ahead of him.

When you throw your head back and show him your neck, you make him feel alive and virile and assured and young.

I can’t make him feel like that, because I know him.

So, again thank you.

Now kindly run along, dear.

~Relephant: Via Kimberly Valzania

Unfaithful Husband

Daily Prompt 

For The Free Spirited Females

This is for the gentle goddesses with watery, empathic hearts, who ooze with oodles of compassion, eager to soothe another’s suffering.

This is for the luscious ladies with restless spirits who can’t stay in one place for long, because our souls are winged, always longing for adventure.

 Yes, this is just for us:

The free-spirited females with fiercely sensitive hearts.

We are a balmy breeze, casually caressing arms lovingly, suddenly here, suddenly there, then suddenly gone.

We are a thousand grains of precious pink sand, slowly slipping through soft fingertips, one by one.

We can never be contained because we aren’t meant to be.

We are born to ride the wild winds of passion, surf the turbulent oceans of despair, and relentlessly explore the great vastness of this crazy world—until our bodies collapse in ecstatic exhaustion.

We understand deeply that life is a heartbreakingly beautiful series of goodbyes, hellos, triumphs and disappointments and we feel most alive in the midst of transformation, courageously shedding our old skin to be birthed again, raw and new.

We are are well-versed in letting go, able to boldly exhale and swiftly set fire to the past, painstakingly gathering the ashen wisdom to build a more abundant future.

We are phoenixes, falcons, eagles and butterflies.

We are light and airy, yet never lacking depth.

We are carefree and sparkly, but our effervescence actually emanates from caring so deeply, from feeling the world’s pain, happiness, love, sadness and struggle wildly pulsate within our chests, day in and day out.

We are spongy emotional barometers, picking up on another’s mood immediately, sensing anxiety, anger, grief, frustration and jealousy. Feeling it so damn intensely that we sometimes suffocate.

We crave alone time, solo adventures, secret places and quiet spaces because the world can seem so scary and overwhelming that we wonder if it could, in fact, swallow us entirely in one single gulp.

We love wholly, compassionately and completely—but never possessively.

We have to fly away sometimes, darting out in the velvety black of night because we know that by setting ourselves free, we can set others free too.

We deeply respect our femininity, listening closely to the whispering wisdom of our intuition, the mystical murmurs of our ancestors and the primal pulse of nature.

We feel most alive outside, wings fully spanned, feeling the firm ground beneath our feet, welcoming the fiercest winds to whirl through our wispy hair.

We are fierce warriors, forces to be reckoned with—precisely because we are so sensitive.

My gentle and free-spirited sisters, I hear your feathery roar.

Let us spread our wings and soar.

Let us fly long and fast and hard.

Let us fly unapologetically.

Into the incredible lives we are meant to live.

Let us vow now.

To never turn our backs on the wise contents.

Of our fabulously free-spirited.

And fantastically sensitive souls.

– Author: Sarah Harvey

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I Did It!

After years of deliberation, self-doubt; hesitation and being a coward; I finally did it. I published my first E-book! No more hiding, no more excuses. It is out there now. There is nothing I can do about it. I would appreciate so much if you check it out and maybe purchase it? Thank you in advance.

Here is the link: The House Across The Street 

There is also an image widget on the top right hand side of my blog page. You can simply click it and it will take you there.

Synopsis:

What if everything you believe in turns out to be nothing but lies? What if everything you hold dear is nothing but a figment of your own imagination? What if the love that you thought was for keeps doesn’t exist at all? What if you don’t know anymore who you can trust including your own self? What if you begin doubting everyone, everything, even your own sanity? What if your almost perfect world suddenly crumbles around you and there is no one you can turn to?

When R.M. came home one day from school and found out that the house across the street wasn’t anymore for sale he thought: Finally, a new neighbor. He never suspected that the seemingly simple and ordinary occurrence would start a series of events that will change the core of his existence and will have a great impact on his future. For R. M. life was about to change that day and not for the better…

See you there!

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Merry Christmas

When I was young, despite of circumstances, I always find Christmas the most exciting time of the year; better than New Year which is always dominated with extreme noises and possible fire works casualties. I remember going from houses to houses all over town wishing the occupants merry Christmas and in return you will get small change or sometimes a meal. A privilege reserved only for children. As an adult, it is seen as morally wrong doing the same thing.

I had a small pink plastic piggy bank for my holiday coins. All the cents I gathered on my tour, I put in there. It helped for the rest of the year when I needed money for school projects or to buy snacks during recess so, I will not feel left out and different from other kids. When my coins were finished, I put white wild flowers in the slot of my piggy bank; it looked good in my play house, just like a flower vase.

But the Christmas I will never forget was when I was a freshman. After 11 years of managing the fishpond, my father found himself in dispute with the owner. Proud as my father was, he rather dragged us down the drain than give into something which was against his principles; we found ourselves homeless overnight.

Out of desperation, lacked of other immediate resources and nowhere else to go, my father built a one room shack just outside the perimeter of the fishpond (how stupid and embarrassing that was, but I believe if he didn’t  think about us, I have a very strong notion that he rather pack his bags and move to another town very far away from our then current location – he done this before – and never come back. But as it were, he swallowed his high pride and settled us in temporarily) you can read the rest of the story in details here.

That particular Christmas eve we locked our door early and tried not to hear the merriment outside, pretending we were asleep; in the dark I can hear my stomach growling, we didn’t eat supper that night but no one complained. We all suffered in silence.

Out of a sudden I heard someone calling my name outside, my father put his finger on his lips and gestured for me not to open the door; I went back to my place.

But the person outside the door kept knocking and calling wishing us the usual holiday greeting and begging me to please open the door.

After a while my father gave in and allowed me to see our visitor.

When I opened the door, I was surprise to see Macedonio; he was one of the seven brothers who just moved to our village couple of years ago.

I remember when we were still living in the fish pond; he initiated an introduction between his brothers, me and my siblings by purposely landing a big kite in the middle of our place, which was separated from the rest of the neighbourhood by an electric fence. He managed to convinced my father to let them in to retrieve their kite, the rest is history.

Macedonio courted me briefly till my father (as always) pointed him to the fact that I was still underage and will not be available for such things until I’m 100 years old or so. He remained a trusted friend of the family as well as his other brothers who for some reasons don’t look like each other. Not a single resemblance. As if they are handpicked from different places and by some chance ended up together as one family. I have never seen more good looking young boys in my time than Macedonio and his siblings.

Where was I? ah, yes opening the door finding him standing there smiling at me. His usual off hand smile that if I was more experienced that time, I will recognize it as designed to melt every girl’s heart.  But I wasn’t. What caught my attention was the enormous plate he was holding full of Christmas delights. There was mountain of pancit, a loaf of bread, suman, kalamay, sinukmani, half of a fried chicken and rice cakes! I looked at him full of disbelief! He smiled,  eyes  twinkling, poked his head inside and when he saw that my father wasn’t looking; he gave me a peck on the cheek and say: “Merry Christmas you gorgeous.” And he disappeared into the night.

He must have been aware of our situation (not much one can hide in small village like ours) and how kindhearted of him to think about us in that time of the year and provide us a holiday meal without hurting the sensitive pride of my father. Bless the people like him. Not only for making our Christmas unforgettable, but restoring my fate in humanity…

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My Brother Tom

I have chosen the image above because it reminds of a rare, hard to find and Out Of Print on VHS not available on commercial dvd 1986 Australian mini series about sectarianism in a small country town.  

It is about a blossoming love affair between the lovely Peggy MacGibbon and the energetic Tom Quayle. Their forbidden relationship becomes the focal point for a powerful conflict between two religions.
The laughter, joy and passion of teenage love, set in the colourful life of a country town, brings together a mini-series of rare quality.

I am not into anything romantic, I don’t do reviews and this is not my usual  manner of blogging as you probably know by now, but I saw this series the first year I came to Europe. I was so young then and didn’t absorb the real meaning of the story. In fact, I don’t remember anything about it except the scene where Tom and his friends are swimming in the lake one summer, diving from a wooden swim platform. Not unlike the image above. 

I am still searching for it but to no avail. It is not available anywhere. Pity because I would love to see it again. There is something special about it. It is more than a story of some small town divided by much bigger conflict than the river that runs through it…

It is not just a love story. It’s a tragedy that downplays the effect of war on the towns doorstep. A tragedy that shatters every man, woman and child who lives there… 

For those who are curious what is sectarianism. Here is the explanation: Sectarianism is a form of bigotry, discrimination, or hatred arising from attaching importance to perceived differences between subdivisions within a group, such as between different denominations of a religion, nationalism, class, regional or factions of a political movement.

The rest you can read here if you’re curious.

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Rain

When it rains it gives me the feeling of wanting to climb up the roof and make love on the corrugated roof plates. 

Seriously, I adore rain; and tend to take long walk when it’s pouring cats and dogs. I love the feeling of water caressing my face. (They say that it is also a natural moisturizer) and the way the drops look on the foliage is simply amazing! There is some magical something about it. Did you ever notice how the plants look like just after the rain? They seem happy and vibrant and refreshed. Much like us I guess after we took a shower, or a bath, or a swim. Or something else… I call it being watered. 

The colours are more vivid too! As if everything comes suddenly alive! One can almost hear them singing! And the smell! I’m dying to find a perfume that can come close to that intoxicating fragrance of positive energy, hope and happiness! I am still searching…

Aside from rain, I adore stormy weather. Now… that is totally different thing.

Stormy weather is pure excitement! The air is laden, breathing…. Pregnant with anticipation and electrical currents! Charged with heavy, strong emotion that has to come out! You feel that there is something extra-ordinary coming! I compare it with that crucial, special yet selfish moment before orgasm… you have to chase the feeling, capture it, isolate and…Release!

That moment is yours and yours alone! For that split second, you’re oblivious of your surroundings; you don’t care about anyone or anything. That is your moment; and you got to have it no matter what.

That is the same with rain and stormy weather. (Forces of nature in general) One can hope and pray, but they will have their say. When their moments arrive, they will seize it no matter what. And that is what I call freedom.

Walking in the rain and chasing stormy weather is being part of that feeling of abandonment. It may not be totally mine, but to share their eternal glory is for me good enough… 

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Daily Prompt:  Singin’ in the Rain

Paper Town

“The past beats inside me like a second heart.”
― John Banville 

If someone would ask me who my first love was, I will say it’s Rolando (out of no one better to consider) though I’m not really sure if I ever been in-love. (My mother said I’m not capable of)

I met him one afternoon I was waiting for my (rebel) elder sister to finish their class officers meeting (though I doubt if there really was a meeting. With her, nobody knows) which was held (suspiciously) at one of her classmate’s house. It was beginning to get dark so I decided to come in and sit in the kitchen, and there he was; looking tall and immovable like a __ statue (a fitting nickname his peers used to tease him with) he looked at me intently (a habit he had towards anything or anyone) I ignored him. He was grown up (in my eyes) already and I was just in the 5th grade. He was in the same class with my sister. Besides, I find him creepy.

I was surprised to get a letter from him the next day. His sister (who was in the same grade as me but lower section) Joy delivered it while I was waiting in line for the flag ceremony. I put the paper inside my pocket and forgot about it. Till my mother washed my uniform, found the damn thing and gave it to my father.

“You don’t believe what’s in here, do you?” He asked me. I shook my head thinking: I don’t even know what’s in there.

He shoved the letter back to me and commanded me to get rid of it. I scrolled over the words before I used it to light the fire to cook rice. It read: white even teeth… nice legs… cute smiles…and kissable lips. Everything was written in English. I wonder who really wrote the letter. I find it too sophisticated for a freshman sitting in lower section of a barrio public high school. No chance.

I got letters from him almost every day for two years. Most of the time, I put them somewhere and forget all about it, or tore them up without reading the contents. One time, I even tore one  of his letters in front of everyone  while he watched. If look could kill…

But I did have lunch in their house. Joy asked me once to eat with them, her parents wanted to see me. I wonder why? I went with her for several reasons: one because I eat lunch in school anyway and mostly alone since my sister was always nowhere to be found. Two because their place was way over the big railroad bridge and I always wanted to go there but not alone, and last because of curiosity. I secretly wondered about this not bad looking, quiet, moody teen who chose to go after me instead of the more popular choices around.

Their house was dark and tall and the kitchen was upstairs. They used cutlery instead of eating with their hands and looked at me quite scandalized when I did so. I didn’t eat much because I lived in a fishpond and used to eat lots of seafood plus meat all in one meal instead of just rice, vegetables and noodles floating in tons of water.

All and all, I think I didn’t give much of a positive impression. So what? I ate my lunch on my way back sitting under some bamboo trees. Joy was patiently waiting few feet away looking even more scandalized than her family. The only positive outcome of the whole meeting was: at least I have met the real authors of I love you, honestly love you letters: his two sisters who were in college. (Damn! I hate to be right)

If his parents didn’t like me, I didn’t notice it with his attitude. He hanged around our building more than ever and everyone knew about us already. It was embarrassing. He even snatched my self-made (fashioned from cigarettes carton) baseball cap (he let one of his mates snatched it right off my head. I tried to run after him but he jumped into the muddy rice fields and I was wearing complete uniforms. My mother would kill me if…)

And return it the next day full of graffiti.  The nerve!

Emmanuel came into my life at the same time, and what a way to do it. He had beaten up one of my classmates (Gabriel) to a pulp. I found him sitting next to home economics building bleeding. The side of his nose was torn and so were his lips. When I asked our school secretary who did it she told me it was her uncle, Emmanuel.

I found the uncle sitting just outside school’s gate on a railroad wearing a red bandana. He was a complete stranger to me. Nevertheless, I marched up to him and laid my case. (Before coming out to confront the guy, I already heard the reason why he punched Gabriel. It was because he told this outsider not to destroy school’s properties; in this case, plants.)

All the time I yada-yada-ya to him, he just looked at me amusedly eyeing me up and down as if I had no single clothes on. I felt so humiliated.

The next time I saw him was in our house. Surprise, surprise, he was the leader of the gang my sister was a member of, and it properly named KATUGA (kain-tulog-gala – meaning: eat, sleep and roam around) I disliked him even more. His brother Arthur always called me Gladys Knight. I wonder why?

Emmanuel reminded me of Robin Padilla (or the other way around) he was sort of maginoong – bastos (gentlemanly vulgar) and he set his eyes on pestering me. One time, he locked me between his legs to braid my hair! And he was constantly making side remarks. I wanted him to disappear.

Rolando on the other hand was getting bolder. He started to demands things from me. When I asked him for a reason, he showed me a letter (which clearly written by my sister) that I am agreeing to have a relationship with him. I was shocked and decided to avoid him. What followed was a cat and mouse chase. The once quiet and love struck teen turned into a bonafide psycho.

I remember one time I was looking for my sister and found her in the middle of a gang war at the big railroad bridge. Students everywhere! On top of the bridge, in the water, everywhere! Everyone was fighting! I was so busy looking at the spectacle I didn’t notice the train was coming. Rolando as if by magic appeared from nowhere and pulled me to him on the side of the bridge. The footholds were merely 2by2 and hanging in the air. I had to cling to him. He tried to kiss me and when I told him I would jump he said: “Then jump.” And I did. When I came out of the water, he was there waiting for me. He successfully fended off a slap from me and held my wrist tightly.

Couple of co- gang members of my sister came to the rescue. Rolando retreated simply because they were outnumbered. I didn’t know that he belonged to my sister’s rival gang, Indian Hiders (what a name!)

That was not the end of my episode with Rolando. He began harassing me in public. The worst thing he did was ripping my uniform open just outside the school’s gate on the front of all our fellow students. I was standing there half naked in front of everybody. Very traumatic.

He only earned two weeks suspension for it after we ended up battling our case in faculty office, where he branded me a tease and I accused him of being a psycho. It didn’t stop him though. He kicked my umbrella off my hand and broke it to pieces, and stole my school bag as well. He followed me everywhere and I was really beginning to get paranoid. I started seeing him everywhere (even when I transferred to another school in town)

To top the situation with Rolando, Emmanuel decided to abduct me. He did it while I was walking on the railroad carrying our final exam papers. They grabbed me and put me on this thing that can ride on rails; the thing has a fitting name__ skates. Not surprisingly, my sister was with them.

They put me in some barn, a kind of storage for giants’ native fans which were normally for export. He was sitting on top of the unmade palm leaves waiting for me. My sister said. “He will not harm you. He promised me.” Duh???

But he really didn’t. He just talked to me about things I didn’t understand then while kneeling in front of me and holding my hands. I must have annoyed him somehow for he dragged me afterwards to the bridge (again) together with his members (including my sister) when we reached the place, there were other people on the other side of it (The suspended structure connects two big adjoining barangays, which respectively the residence(s) of both psychos) I recognized Rolando, standing at the far end of the bridge.

Emman put me in the middle of it and pushed me gently saying:” Move! Go to him.” When I refused to walk, he told me: “Move Cherrilyn, trust me.” So I did.

Behind me I heard him shouting: “You want her. Get her. If you can, she’s yours.” I thought what am I? Someone’s property?  But I kept walking. Trust him he said.

I saw the face of Rolando getting nearer and nearer. He was looking intently at me without blinking, eyebrows knotted together, am I scared?

Before I reached him I heard movements behind me. I looked behind and saw Emmanuel without glasses for the first time. He put me behind him and what happened next was a blur. I remember punches being thrown, bloody face of Rolando, him falling off the bridge, Emman catching an arrow on his leg, my sister exercising karate on her Indian Hiders boyfriend, I don’t even remember how we get home. I kept hearing the voice of my sister telling me not to tell things to my father. I didn’t.

All and all, things turned out alright. I lost a trustworthy medal for losing one exam paper which coincidentally belonged to my academic rival Alma. Everybody believes I did it on purpose. Lucky her, she graduated top one.

When I moved to another school in town proper, I found out that Emmanuel was attending the same establishment, he was a senior-lower section, and I was a freshman – pilot class. He acted as if he didn’t know me. I did the same. What happened between us was million years away.

The last time I saw him was in a café. I was already married to my ex. I went to the toilet and saw him standing there next to a jukebox. He had a few and started to talk to me. I tried to ignore him but he followed me to our table. I introduced him to my ex and he instantly sobered up.

I saw Rolando once much earlier. It was fiesta and I was watching an old fashioned barrio dance and he was there. He followed me all the way home. Me and my youngest sister managed to elude him and locked the door. He knocked for quite sometimes before finally giving up. I never see him again.

Then, my eldest sister came to get me to live with her. I set foot in Manila for the first time. Not exactly in the capital, somewhere nearby.

A beginning of a new episode, a different life…

Coincidence

I was walking in town when I saw this card among so many in display inside a revolving rack that was standing at the front door of a gift shop. I was immediately drawn to it because it reminds me of Hemingway’s six word story:

“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

Sometimes life is full of luck, like getting dealt a good hand, or simply by being in the right place at the right time…

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