The High Priestess
To the Girl Who First Broke My Heart
I offered you a soda when I was in third grade. (You were in fourth, what a cougar. ) I giggled when you gave me your picture – I placed it inside the flap inside my bag. Every time bell rang for recess, I’d rush out to the court and stare at your picture in my hand.
Barely five minutes would pass (I’d be munching on Fita and sipping some coke) and I’d feel a tap at my back. I don’t have to turn around. You’d slide up beside me and the picture fades away. I want to take a hundred more shots of you now, perhaps because I have a digital camera. I’d easily transfer your face to my computer and you’d smile for me everyday. Back then, of course, I’d use film. I’m sure I didn’t care – I could have spent all thirty-six shots on you. I’d scan every single one of them (each time costing me twenty pesos) and save them all in a number of little diskettes. Maybe even make a collage if that’d do.
You wanted me to sing for you. Honest, I’d get up on that stage and do anything. I’d let my cousin play guitar as I sing to you your favorite love song. You would, of course, not care. Or actually pretend not to. (We both know the truth.) You’d stand there with your two best friends (one of whom has braces; the other I couldn’t remember now), all giggly and bubbly. You’d whisper among yourselves as I make a fool of myself. Voluntarily.
You always had a certain spring when you walked. Through elementary school we’d bound, you telling me what it feels to be the youngest of three sisters, me the latest pranks I’ve been to or how many times I set foot in the prefect’s office or how silly our friends are. Oh my, I remember we had a dance! Street festival! You were the queen and I was the – no, no – I was a subject. Part of my routine was to circle you, beating on coconut husks. It was our secret thing, as I’d face you, you’d smile to me and we knew.
To the girl who first broke my heart, I understand why it had to end. All childhood romances do – did we drift apart, argue a lot, misspell my name? My last image of you was walking away from me. It was bubbly at first but after a few steps, the jumping stopped. It was my first time to see you walk straight, your green headband (with bubbles on them) waving goodbye to me.
To the girl who first broke my heart – I am gay now but not because of you. I’ve had sex with men, lots and lots of men. I’ve kissed so many random strangers, both men and women, and the innocent walks we had has become a dream I sometimes wonder existed or relegated to a figment of marijuana-induced hallucination.
To the girl who first broke my heart – I don’t know if you’re happy now. I don’t know if you’re married, if you’re faithful, if you’re sleeping around. I don’t know if you shiver when you OD, if you’ve gambled away your life savings or if you have a child your parents have adopted as theirs. Maybe you’re rich, maybe you’re famous, you’re still beautiful or maybe your charm has passed.
To the girl who first broke my heart – if I meet you down the street tonight, would you recognize me? Would you close your eyes as you feel a small cat meow-ing inside you? Would we pause (rain would be falling, of course) and turn our heads to face each other? Would a tear run down your face as you’d choke a hello. (I don’t think I could talk. I’d smile like a stupid fool, my umbrella falling to my side.) Would you laugh, hopefully not at me, but at the painful ironies (arguably cliches, but who cares)? Would you like what you see? Would you give me the kiss we never had?
To the girl who first broke my heart – remember, I was also the first who broke yours.
THIS IS THE TAROT CHALLENGE, a 78-day writing challenge where everyday I pick out a random card from my tarot deck and write something about, against, inspired by, based on the card by the day’s end. The works can range from poetry to fiction to drama. When the card is from the major arcana, the title of the work should be the card name. When the card is from the minor arcana, the title can be different but the card drawn should be revealed at the end.