I Wish You Would Let Me Tell Your Story

I wish you would let me tell your story.

I knew what happened that day at the Christian Life Education Centre. You and a couple of other students who exhibited unmasculine mannerisms and qualities were singled out and asked to come before the vice rector of the school and the centre's coordinator. The vice rector proceeded to tell you "it is a sin to have mannerisms or act in ways that do not align with the nature of the sex you were born with."

Short of saying, you are boys. Do not act like girls.

I saw you and the others return to the classroom, your eyes red and wet. I wanted to ask you what had happened. I wanted to comfort you, and stand with you in solidarity. But you kept quiet. You did not want to talk about it.

I saw how this burden of sin had effectively silenced you. And in your silence, I could hear the wail of your pain -- loud and clear. I wished I was there with you to respond to the sanctimonious vice rector, but we all had this fear of them reporting us to our parents, or worse, potentially get expelled.

I found out all the details from another classmate, who was far more fearless. He described to me the judgmental finger-wagging of a church leader and an educator who were supposed to inspire compassion and kindness.

I know that this was so long ago, and you may have already buried this incident in the dusty far corners of your mind, never to be revisited. But I wish you'd let me tell your story.

I wanted you to know, your pain is also my pain.

Why Do I Write

Why do I write?

When I was about 8 or 9, I was a voracious reader. I ploughed through an entire Nancy Drew series, marvelling at the adventures of a plucky titian-haired heroine. I quickly got bored with that and started reading the classics. The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The Pearl. Heidi. The Cask of Amontillado. The Hound of Baskersville. And anything Nathaniel Hawthorne.

And then I discovered Stephen King. The very vivid way of how he wrote sparked an interest of potentially writing my own stories.

But it was a little difficult for me, growing up with two languages. I didn't quite know if I should write in Tagalog or in English. I suppose I could do both, but my geeky side wanted to work on English grammar and syntax. I already have the vocabulary.

But learning the rules of writing in English wasn't enough to motivate me to actually write something.

I knew I could use words to persuade people, make them feel something. I wanted to tell stories, but I also knew if I'm going to write, I needed to be vulnerable. And I had to be okay with that.

Otherwise, there is no point.

Mannequins

When I was little, I was both fascinated and scared of mannequins.

There was a small department store in the city that was like a magical place to me. At the entrance was an array of colourful wind-up toys in various animal forms behind pristine glass cases. My parents would get very annoyed when we try to pass by the toy display. My brother and I would wail and point to the wind-up toys, and our mother would frown and shush us impatiently before finally relenting. Our father would come over, ask us which ones we like, and purchase them. Now, thoroughly distracted (and extremely compliant) with our new toys, we would proceed to the upper levels of the store to check out clothing.

This was where the magic gave way to something more sinister. The mannequins in the clothing section were a source of trepidation for me: they were adult versions of dolls that closed their eyes when you lay them down. They were sleek, white, and slim; their hair whipped and coiffed in the style of the day; their eyes were like translucent marbles of blue, brown and gray staring nonchalantly into space. They looked otherworldly to me--beautiful and scary at the same time.

Those mannequins haunted my dreams -- I had nightmares of their lifeless eyes boring deep into my soul with inexplicable malevolence.

One Christmas, my father took us to see the Holiday on Ice show at the coliseum. I didn't know how he managed it, but we got ringside seats. He had me sit on his lap as he pointed to the lights and the skating figures. My eyes grew wide when the ice skaters came out in their full dazzling and feathery glory doing pirouettes, leaps, and jumps, effortlessly sliding across the ice in figure eights. The majesty of the show unfolding in front of me was too much for me to process. At curtain call, the performers approached the audience in the ringside to shake hands.

A lady in a towering feathered headdress and sparkling jeweled bodice approached my family and stuck out her hand. I stared at her: her skin was as white and smooth as the department store mannequins, and her eyes were like blue marbles ñ- wide and translucent. She was moving her arms, and she was speaking to us. How was that possible? She was a mannequin ñ how was she moving?

Her satin-gloved hand clutched mine, her grip hard and strong. She grinned at me, but her eyes terrified me. I pulled my hand from her unearthly grasp. I turned and buried my face on my father's shoulder.

Years later, it dawned on me that it was my first encounter with a Caucasian person.

50 Shades of Whatever

Perfume

Your scent assailed my nose unexpectedly, swift yet cordial. I could feel my body respond to you -- and you're not even doing anything. You were just standing there, your hands in your pocket, looking at me with a mild curiousity. But your intoxicating scent beckoned to me like a siren call; it made me want to kneel before you and worship you. I had lost control of my body. I found myself approaching you, my senses drinking up your tantalising musk.


Ring

You gave me a sly smile as you watched me approach you like a panther to its prey. You drew a red velvet box from your jacket pocket and presented it to me.

"For you," you said, your voice a purr of unbridled desire.

"What is it?" I asked, taking the box from you.

"Why don't you open it?" you responded.

I flip open the box, and on a creamy cushion of silk lay a thick solid ring of titanium, about 3 inches in diameter.

I bit my lip, my loins were on fire. "Would you like me to wear it?"

"Perhaps," you said ambigously.


Kissing

You leaned closer to me, your breath moistening my quivering lips. I waited for you to touch your lips to mine, but you hovered just inches from my mouth.

"Kiss me," I implored you, feeling an insistent heat climbing through my body.

"Not yet," you murmured, touching my wet lower lip with your thumb.

I closed my lips over your thumb and gently suckled on it. I lock my gaze on you.

You stared back with your steel blue eyes, watching me gently suckle your thumb.


Hot Soup

"I'm getting hungry," I said, giving your thumb one last slurp as you withdrew.

"I have minestrone heating up in a pot," you said, never taking your eyes off me. "Would you like some?"

I nooded, still biting my lip.

You went to the stove and ladled me a cup of the steaming broth. I took the cup from you and noisily drank the soup, my eyes still locked on you.

"This is delicious," I said.

"My mother's recipe," you said, shrugging. "Would you like some more?"

"Please," I said. You ladled some more soup into the cup and handed it to me. I drank it all down, slurping and gulping deliberately. I licked my lips at you as I set the empty cup on the table.


Cat purring

"Come with me," you said, taking my hand and leading me into the bedroom.

Your black cat Lestat was sleeping on your bed. You chuckled softly as you scooped him up.

"What a beautiful cat!" I said.

"A rare Persian," you said, your hand sensously stroking his luxuriant fur. "Would you like to touch him?"

"If the cat doesn't mind," I said.

You gently handed me the purring feline. Lestat curled up in my arms as I cradled him. I could feel his body vibrating loudly, his purr loud and content.


A Storm

I gently laid Lestat down on the floor and joined you on bed. Outside your window, I can hear the thunder crashing and the wind lashing the rain against the glass.

"It will be a long night," you murmured, pulling me close to you.

"I hope so," I smiled, undoing the buttons of your light blue shirt. Your musky scent rose from the warmth of your wondrous fuzzy chest. I bit my lip as my hand entered the fold of your shirt.

I heard your low growl. "Come here!" you commanded.

You brought your lips against mine as lightning flashed brilliantly outside, followed by a deafening rumble of thunder.

The Inner Critic

What the fuck are you doing here?

I'm supposed to talk to you, have a conversation with you.

And who the fuck is dumb enough to ask you to do that?

It's a writing exercise. Frankly, I'm afraid to talk to you, but here we are.

So what the fuck do you want?

You've lived inside my head for so many years. Don't you get tired of putting me down, nagging me and telling me I'm not good enough?

No.

Care to elaborate?

There is nothing much to say. You're my bitch.

I see. Aren't you concerned how I would feel? My mental state? You caused me so much anxiety and pain!

Oh boo hoo, now you're gonna cry and be overdramatic and post your pitiful angsts on Facebook like you always do? You're pathetic.

I'm not! Stop saying that?

Why? Because deep down, you know it's true?

It's not! You're just being mean and really negative.

I don't think you're smart enough to figure out you need me.

And why would I need you?

Bitch, without me, you wouldn't have gotten this far in life without second-guessing your shit.

That's not true. I've survived in spite of you!

I don't care what you believe! You're never going to get rid of me no matter how many dumb shrinks you see to silence me. Hell, I'm the one telling you that you're wasting your money on utterly useless therapy when all you needed was listen to me.

Well, you're not exactly the wise guru that I would hope.

No one gives a shit on what you hope. Now fuck off and leave me alone!