Friday, June 02, 2006

If Tomorrow is a Promise

This was my first attempt to write a short story. I had this made when I was still a managing editor of our Univeristy Paper. Hope you will like it.

*********************

I

It was the clearest sky on a mid-September dusk and the violet haze spreading like a water color seemed like a curtain that caresses a wishful dream. A hundred feet up was a plane flying across the crimson sun, taking away dreams, hopes, fears, and longings. On the airport below amidst the deafening sound of wind turbines, of planes coming in and out, and of busy crewman attending the frenzy, there stands Jerry, looking far beyond the clouds, searching the sky and wondering. There was stillness in his heart and an assurance of a beckoning hope…that someday, she will find her way back to him.

II

Jerry is a typical guy working on a prestigious advertising firm. His good looks and impeccable charisma are his tools for sweeping women around. A real head turner on a one to ten basis but an undergrad for commitment and relationship. He likes his job a lot and basically worked his way up trough the corporate ladder. Heck! What he likes best about it are the women, who with a flick of his finger practically throw themselves to him. Everyday at dawn before going to his work, he spends a quiet time strolling around the city park, usually with a cup of coffee on his right hand, a bagel on the other and a walkman clutched to his sweat pants to complete his get up. He never had the slightest clue that this day, his heart will have its first beat.

III

He found a wooden bench facing a miniature pond and the reflection of the exploding morning nailed the contrasting color of trees. His cell went wild. “Yeah!” he said, expecting the morning call from Martha, his secretary.

“Good morning Sir, the account on Mc. Gillis was just cancelled and there will be a meeting at ten .Mr. Brody left a note yesterday telling you…no commanding you to stop by his office this afternoon.” She momentarily paused, as if trying to decipher if Jerry was still there. Martha is a straight forward forty something spinster with a personality of a controlled freak nanny, and that’s what Jerry really liked about her, an assistant with a mind of its own.

“The account on…” she continued and Jerry was busy digesting the information she just brought. He shifted his position to his right to avoid the blinding rays of the sun but then she saw two figures walking hand in hand. The silhouette effect immediately turned into concrete images and now he can clearly see the persons walking pass trough him. The man is slightly taller than the woman, well built and with a striking aura of superiority. Jerry could hear giggles and mild laughter and he concluded that they are having a great time. The woman was still looking onto the face of the man then being aware of the presence of another person gently shifted his attention to where Jerry is situated. Concealed by her platinum hair, she gently whips it through her fingers to peep the person sitting alone just parallel to her. The soft light from her back seemed like a halo of mystifying beauty. She looks like a doe emerging from a dense forest. Jerry still couldn’t see her face clearly but her image is nonetheless immaculate. He noticed a sincere smile twitched on the woman’s lips. His heart skips a beat.

“Sir! Are you still with me? … Sir?” His confused secretary said.

“…Yeah” He uttered, trying to regain his composure and his breath.

“...umm, Martha just call me later OK”. For a moment Martha seemed a voice from a distant past and the world he knew never existed at all. He was definitely awestruck by the vision he just saw. And now the vision is fading like a dream. He followed his gaze until she gently disappeared with her companion on a near bent. But Jerry swear he saw the woman turned her head for a last look. Then she was gone.

IV

The meeting was nearly finished but Jerry found himself drifting away back into that early morning, recalling and cherishing the swift encounter to what he only understands as a vision. He never felt anything like this before—a feeling of satisfaction and dissatisfaction all rolled into a swirl of consciousness. It’s like waking up from a thousand years of slumber—disoriented and loss.

“Mr. Garcia…what’s your comment about the last report filed yesterday?” “Ummm…PRESENT!” he said hastily. Just realizing what he just said, a faint blush of red etched his well carved face. His fellow advertisers can’t help themselves and the conference room exploded with their thundering laughs.

V

The meeting was an hour passed and yet his humiliation still doesn’t sink in. He confessed what was bothering him to his best bud Cris.

“I never imagined myself being vulnerable like this” He put his arm around his waist and his sullen eyes showed confusion. “You know what? I just want to get over with this stupidity. Jeez! chicks always come and go but never had a single idea this woman has and got me hooked on…and not to mention, I never knew her at all!” He knew he was babbling but there was a surged of freedom he felt, letting his emotion avalanched and melts right into his tongue.

“See, I’ve warned you before Jerry, don’t take women for granted as if they were just a piece of coin from your pocket, easy to snatched and as easy to flip. Maybe, you’ve just found your Karma”

“For cryin’ out loud!” Jerry interrupted. “She has a boyfriend or a husband and I’m not that type to be attracted to a complete stranger and…” his voice cracked into a deep sigh. “Now, I’m really clueless…and her face keeps haunting me all this time” “For consolation, maybe you will never see her again” Cris said with compassion. Jerry moved a little bit closer to the window and gaze beyond the horizon drawn by towering skyscrapers. He momentarily closed his eyes with an ache inside his chest. “I hope so!”

VI

The following morning he went directly to the park hoping that he could see her again but he was disappointed. Jerry pondered that maybe, the woman was just a vision after all.

VII

Two weeks had passed and Jerry somehow managed to erase her memory from his thoughts. He had a dinner meeting with a prospect client on one of the most prominent Hotel in the City. He was presenting his ideas with confident fluidity that the client seemed very interested and enthusiastic about his advertising creativity. As he was talking, his gaze caught something that freeze his eyes and slowed his breathing. He was still talking but not quite sure he knew what he’s talking about. His eyes were completely glued to the person sitting a few meters away from him. It was the woman—the vision.

As if she sensed that she was being watched, the woman gently lifts her head and met Jerry’s gaze. Time stopped, and a faint current passed between them.

“Mr. Garcia…you kinda lost me for a while?” the client asked

“Huh...I’m sorry, Mr. Brody” Jerry shifted his attention back to his client. Dammit! When I’m almost over with her, she breezes in like a stalker and stabbed me directly to my heart…it’s unfair…so unfair, he thought.

The meeting with the client was over and Jerry then scanned the people around him but he couldn’t find her. Not again, he thought. Just when he was preparing to leave, the usher handed him a folded napkin. “Given by a beautiful lady Sir.” Jerry gently opened it and could hardly catch his breath. It was her.

Let’s talk tomorrow at 6 am.

Follow your heart…there you’ll find me.

Samantha

But where, he pondered. He closed his eyes and uttered in a soft confident voice, “the bench in the park”. Jerry couldn’t contain his emotion, he felt elated and relieved, finally, right tracks are keeping up with him. “Samantha” he said over and over. “What a beautiful name!”

VIII

Jerry didn’t sleep at all. He was afraid and nervous. What will he say? What if she’ll find him boring or a big time jerk? What if she will not come at all? What if...

The clock went wild; it’s five in the morning. An hour from now, I will meet her…I will no longer be an observer, a mere spectator but a listener…I will be close to her, too close that I could feel her breath…smell her fragrance, and if I’m lucky I could even hold her hand or even kiss her…But wait, what about her boyfriend or was it her husband? There was a blend of emotion scaling him up to satisfaction and swerving him down to depression as he pondered quietly in front of the mirror.

Then he breezed his way trough the door and went.

IX

The sun gently peeped toward the peach colored horizon and the dews that once looked like a tear drop crystal during the night are now forming little ripples on the surface of the man made pond. Three minutes before six, Jerry was standing beside the wooden bench from which he first saw Samantha almost two weeks ago. He held his breath as he reminisced the unusual turn of events that made him wonder the true meaning of fate. Two weeks ago, he was basically a carefree man with no excess baggage to carry or leave behind, but when he met Samantha, his future seemed blurry and undecided. He felt as though they were being caught up with the tangled web of uncertainty. He longed for Samantha—and he wants to spend each waking morning with her by his side and just taste the simple pleasures of life.

As the fog settled in, a clear image soon appeared. He saw Samantha standing a couple of meters away from him with her hair let loose down her shoulder. A soft breeze mildly stroked her silvery hair covering a part of her face. She gently managed it by tucking a bundle behind her right ear. No smile was etched on her lips but her deep blue eyes showed all the answers he needed. She went an inch nearer to him.

“You’re just in time” Jerry said, still pretending to looked calm.

“…By the way I’m Je…” He was interrupted by a gentle finger lightly pressing his lips as if halting him to utter. Time stood still as their eyes met and held. Jerry wished it could last forever but then she broke the spell.

“I want to remember you as you are…not by your name.”

He felt a great lump stuck on his throat and he tried hard to swallow it, “Why?” It sounded more like a whisper.

“Remember the first time we saw each other” How could he not, that vision still quenched his parched soul.

“I thought my life was going right on its track, I have a great job, a successful career …and I have Ric—my fiancé”. Jerry held his breath and his heart went numb. What a blow! “But when I saw you” she added “It seemed that the world I knew was just a concept. You became my reality” Jerry was stunned, he now understands that what he was going through all this time—going half crazy was no mere coincidence after all. “I needed to see you now to say…goodbye” A single tear rolled down her left cheek. Jerry could not believe it, a second ago she’s so close he could easily reach her out but now he felt an epic distance separating her from him. “I’m going to Paris…to be Ric’s wife, were getting married tomorrow.” Time crashed and he could feel his heart slowed momentarily. He managed a weak smile, “I wish I’ve known you years before…It’s a little bit unfair that fate tricked us—letting us see for a while what life might be if it was you after all.” Samantha could not contain herself anymore and abruptly threw her arms around his broad shoulders and cried. “Maybe…all we have is this; a mere illusion; a stolen moment from the tapestry of time and space.” She paused, holding his hard jawed face and looking deeply beyond his pleading eyes. “But I’m still grateful…I might have spend my lifetime without knowing…you.” Tears then flow from Jerry. “Maybe, far beyond from now, not bounded by time and distance, we’ll meet again and find our way back…I love you Samantha.” He held her so tightly, cherishing their last moment and wishing that this will never end. Samantha lifted her face and gently kissed him.

“Whoever you are…I love you!” She walked away from him and then with a last gaze she vanished into the blanket of fog. Only then that Jerry realized that she was gone…forever.

X

The plane couldn’t be seen anymore across the vast purple sky. What a great time with you Samantha, so little…but its enough to last me for a lifetime, he thought. A chilling breeze then swept him as he walk away. With a last look at the night sky he uttered in a soft voice, “Will I ever see you again?” Somehow he heard Samantha reply deep inside him, “Yes... I promise!”



1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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8:17 PM  

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