unfinished fictions # 1
*open for comments and criticisms; currently a part of a whole and entirely unfinished
The two of us ran along the crowded sidewalk of Manila Bay, hastily avoiding and dodging each standing silhouette with ease. The sun had started to set, and we were on our way toward the dock reaching out to sea. We saw nobody else. All were insignificant shadows inhabiting the space we call our own.
The bay was abandoned. No boats docked at any near pole; no sign of life from the calm water under wooden floorboards. In contrast to the sidewalk it branched off from, life was absent from the sight of water straight to the setting sun. The sensation left us feeling completely alone, and looking beyond the vanishing horizon, we cannot help but remember the place of our promise and the importance it held within our fifteen year old hearts.
“Clara, look,” Francis said, the ends of his smile reaching high on his cheeks. Clara jeered forward and eyed on the view, smiling faintly.
The light shade of orange parted with the sky, and soon enough, darkness followed and embraced what receded with the afternoon sunshine. “I wonder when we’ll ever see a star,” Clara said.
And I remained silent, coming up with no proper reply. I didn’t know what to say, what to do, or in that moment, what to have done. We measured the seconds spent, reliving a tiny memory in silence. The sea wasn’t visible anymore nor was the coastline, but each crash of the waves splashed colours onto the bleak darkness that hovered and surrounded us.
We returned to the sidewalks an hour later, the pavements looking more and more familiar with each step. There were less people and noise; along it, the space grew vast as if we could freely move in circles within it, and far enough, we journeyed through the cemented seaside bay of this city with only streetlights to guide us. Flickering on and off, they reminded us of how this city remained unchanged. Never staying still, the lights flickered on and on long before we even stepped here, long before we’ve met, and long enough to be remembered that these orange flashes of light weren’t the only ones lighting up the streets. Back then, there were stars.
“Don’t you wonder?” she asked, stopping to turn back toward me. “They don’t bother me as much. Were they even a big loss?” I replied. “Maybe not but they mattered to a lot of people in the past,” she said as she compulsively combed her long black hair with her fingers.
“And I heard you can wish upon them,” she added. “You can wish right now without them. It was just a symbol back then, an expression maybe,” I replied. “People don’t only wish because they want it to happen. A lot of people wish because they know it won’t happen,” she said. “Then why wish?” I said.
“To blame someone,” she replied. “People aren’t that cynical,” I said right back, but as early as my voice reached her ears, her reply reached me faster as if she knew what I said, “But we’re fragile and that’s enough reason to put an entire mess onto someone else’s shoulders.”
And I couldn’t agree more. Humans are entirely fragile, and I grew up realising that humans weren’t the only ones frail but everything else that comes in connection with our existence.