the story that broke my walls of defence
Eric fought to hold back the angry tears, glistening in his bloodshot eyes. He lifted his head and glazed at the stars twinkling upon the midnight sky. The world seemed so peaceful tonight. Everything looked fine.Faint sounds of crickets in the overgrown grass, the occasional roar of car speeding by... Everything looked fine but to Eric, it wasn't. His lips quivered and his hands shook with emotion. Without meaning to, Eric started bawling. What had he done? He thought about the times he had with Regine. Times that he never treasured.
Eric and Regine had known each other since forever. They were in the same school for 7 years and they had even been in the same class for a couple of years. Regine had been a really great friend. Although not exactly drop dead gorgeous, Regine was beautiful in her own way. She had a certain style, which you cannot describe. Maybe it was the way she carried herself or the sensitivity reflected in her almond-shaped eyes... There was definitely a certain grace about her. Eric knew that he could always count on Regine.
She was always there for him, helping him all that she could. She was a really great friend, always so giving and thoughtful. At that time, Eric was in love with Angel, the most beautiful girl in the class. Angel was absolutely gorgeous, with her striking, trim figure, long silky hair and flawless complexion. Eric wasn't the only one who was totally crazy about her. He confided this to no one but Regine. Regine didn't like Angel. She thought Angel was somehow proteins but being the good friend she always was, Regine gave Eric her full support and even devoted her to endless hours on the phone, listening to Eric mooning over his dream girl. Eric remembered the day Regine went with him to the florist to pick out some flowers for Angel. It was supposed to be a St. Valentine's Day bouquet and he had wanted it to be a special one. Regine had put together a beautiful bouquet of roses, complete with baby's breath.
Eric took the magnificent bunch to school the next day and waited by the gate for Angel to come. He was nervous and his knees had turned to jelly. What if Angel doesn't like it? Just then, Regine came by. She nodded to him and gave him an encouraging smile. His confidence immediately went up several notches. Eric glanced down at the bouquet and discovered that on the tip of the petal of one rose was turning slightly brown. He frowned. Though it was hardly noticeable, he took it out of the bouquet. He could not give that to Angel. Angel deserved the best. Eric caught up with Regine and gave her the brown-tipped rose. He meant to ask her to throw it away before Angel could see it. Regine's eyes widen, as she took the rose. "Is that for me? Thanks, Eric." Her eyes shone with happiness as she gave him a wide smile. "Oh erm...yeah." Eric didn't know what to say. Regine gave him a slight push. "Go and wait for Angel now. She would be here any minute." Eric ran off thankfully, a little ashamed of himself. But his guilt vanished as soon as he saw Angel coming into the school gate. He pushed the flowers eagerly into Angel's hands and glazed at her like a hopeful little dog. Angel took the flowers and gave him a hundred-megawatt smile. Eric was over the moon.
The next few weeks were followed by long phone calls, moonlight walks and lovely dove words. Eric felt like he was the happiest guy on earth. He began to see less and less of Regine and felt a little guilty about that. But he always brushed it off by thinking that Regine would understand that he had got to care for his girlfriend now. As days passed, Angel started giving him the cold shoulder. Finally one day, Angel told Eric that she did not want to see him anymore. "The thrill is gone." She said in a cold sort of voice. Seconds later, she sped away with some guy on a Harley Davidson, leaving Eric in the dust. His world came crushing down on him. Within an hour, everyone learnt about it and they were snickering and making some "toad thinks he could have swan meat" remarks. Eric felt that his world was bleak. He felt trapped, as though he was in a long, endless tunnel in total darkness.
That was when a warm glow of light appeared at the other end of the tunnel... Regine. She had picked up all the broken pieces and tried to fix it all back in one piece. She was a real friend. One night, Eric and Regine were sitting in the cafe for their usual coffee. Eric began telling Regine all about the scenario with Angel and how he still loved her. He did not notice that Regine was strangely quiet until she suddenly spoke. "Eric, there's something I want to say." Eric looked at her solemn, sad face in alarm. "What is it, Regine?" She gripped her hands tightly until her knuckles turned white. "Eric... I like you." she whispered. "Regine, I like you too. In fact, I think of you as my very best friend." "No, Eric, you don't understand. I like you. I mean...really like you." Eric gasped in disbelief. He looked as though he had been slapped across the face. "Regine, you don't mean that!" he protested. Regine nodded miserably, a tear trickling down the side of her face. "But you can't, Regine. I like Angel." Eric continued weakly. "I know, Eric. I'm not asking anything. I just want you to know because...because...I can't bear to help you with Angel anymore. I cannot lie to myself any longer. I'll go mad, I really will, Eric." Regine broke down sobbing.
The night ended in a very awkward way. Neither of them spoke to each other. They had said a hurried goodbye and went their own separate ways. They never spoke to each other again. Eric slumped himself on the ground; his chest heaving and his breath quicken with every sob. He had been so blind! He had finally realized what a fool he had been. How could he NOT notice the false, insincere smile of Angel's? The sacarstism in her sickly sweet voice and her laughter which sounded like fingernails on a chalkboard... How could he have ever thought she was beautiful? And how could she ever compared with Regine...Regine, who was so touched by an imperfect rose with a brown tip...who was so giving, so appreciative... who was always there to pick him up after his falls... And he had never even given her a decent rose... Why did he only realize it now??? WHY???
Well, what he could do now was to go and find Regine and patch things up with her. Then, they will live happily after, right? Wrong.
Because Regine is dead. She had been sitting in her balcony, looking at the rose that Eric had given her, only that it was all brown and crumpled now. Nevertheless, she still kept it and looked at it all the time. The wind had swept the flower out of her hand and in her haste to retrieve it; Regine had fallen off the balcony. Eric never had the chance to tell her anything and he never will again. He had shut his heart to Regine after what happened with Angel. He had not evened really liked Angel but he THOUGHT he had. It was too late to realize that now. Dawn broke, sending streaks of sunlight over the morning sky. Eric recalled what Regine had said to him once before. "Let the break of dawn mark a new beginning. Leave all your troubles behind." He would do just that. He had depended too much on Regine to pick up all his broken pieces. He had to do that himself now. He owed Regine that much. Eric took a last glance at Regine's freshly dug grave, whirled round and walked off slowly, leaving the shadows of the past behind him...-----*-----since the day you walked away and left me behind, my heart has never healed. my charade is up for the world to see yet my heart tears as i walk the streets of singapore. i just wish to join you soon. i feel so empty without you. i miss you so much.-----*-----
in 2 days' time, it's gonna be 7 months since you left me behind in this cold cold world. i read a story written in keeptouch. i remembered our dilemma in whether we should pursue a relationship between us. i remembered our agreement. 24 years old, that's the age you set for us to get together if we are still single but now, i've to face that age alone... all alone.
i keep asking myself if i hung onto you and kept you by my side, calling you my love with all the honesty in my heart, would you have still been alive? peeps keep trying to tell me that it won't have mattered but i think it would have. i let you down so many times in life and you never looked away. you kept encouraging me, kept supporting me.
i'm crying once more cos really, the pain never left. i hate myself so much for not doing anything that could have saved you. i hate myself. i dreamt of you asking me to let go but how can i let go? the one and only time i let you go, i let you fall into the vicious trap of love and now, you're no longer around.
you always said you'll love me no matter what. did you remember that when you took your last breath? did you? i love you, bud. and now i'm crying once more cos i really don't know what to do. you were the first man i ever loved in my lifetime. you were the first man i ever loved so dearly that i didn't dare risk anything for fear of losing you forever.
now i realised that by not taking that one risk, i truly have lost you. i truly did...
please say you'll wait for me in heaven. please say you still love me despite the despondent state that i'm in. please say them all and hug me when you see me. i miss you so much.
how could you just leave me behind...