Monday, August 23, 2004

sulat: samuel's loss

Samuel had only a second to appreciate the breath-taking view of the sea that his glass-walled room offered when he woke up to the midday sun in his work clothes. He reeked of smoke, sex and spirits but he was not aware of that. In fact even with the phone ringing, his pet ferret named Quirky making quite a ruckus, his two heads throbbing from last night's encounter with a sex deity, and the sea threatening to topple down the cliff where his house stood, Samuel seemed so unattached with the world that if it wasn't for the fact that he kept his feet from going through the missing floorboards he forgot to replace, you would think he was one of those mindless zombies that recently wreaked havoc at the city of Desire.

Well, he was sort of like a mindless zombie except that at that day, he had a mind filled with only a single thought: that he lost something very precious and he can't seem to remember what it was.

Out of frustration, Samuel headed out to the back of his cottage to take in the sea breeze that beckoned him. He walked slowly towards the edge of the cliff while trying to piece the broken memories he had of the last twenty-four hours. By the time he sat down on the edge of the cliff and looked at the jagged rocks jutting from the sea below, Samuel still could not picture the events that transpired before. He gave out a long sigh and as if mesmerized by the beauty of the sea, he fell into something like a trance; a state where he was almost asleep that he started "dreaming" about the things that happened in his life and at the same time, kept himself balanced enough to not topple over to his doom.

The surrounding sea faded into a blur and Samuel was twenty one again. He was already a brilliant engineer by then, but after three years working for the government, he wanted something more than a high-paying job so he thought of pursuing his childhood dream. He always wanted to be an archaeologist and join the futile hunt for the lost city of Dreams but midway through the three year apprenticeship, he got bored of sifting through rocks and dirt that he felt it was time to pursue yet another career.

Samuel then followed the footsteps of his late father who was the doctor of the mayor of some desirable city. This time around he was able to finish through three years of medicine school but after a year and a half or so of working, he felt he was giving too much and getting too little that he wanted to live life and enjoy it while he still can.

And so he lived and loved living. For the next six years, Samuel went around the world to fulfill his heart's desire, to try out everything he never tried before, and to look for that one place that felt just right. And it was on this cliff at the edge of Desire that he found the place where he will eventually settle down and have peace.

Despite finding the place where he always wanted to be and experiencing everything that the world and life had to offer, Samuel still felt like there was something missing in his life. Then on one fateful night, while hanging around the pub some two miles from his house, he found himself listening to the story of a girl who so wanted to find the most wonderful thing her insatiable heart ever desired. Her name was Sarah, and Samuel kept the drinks flowing as she retold how she searched even the uncharted lands and seas that until then still remain uncharted and yet she never did find her heart's desire. Disappointed, she wandered around until she found herself in Desire and telling her strange story in a strange pub to a total stranger. Feeling quite sorry for her, Samuel told her that maybe it was there that she will find what she wanted. So he offered her a room over at his house and there at the house on the cliff with the glass-wall facing the sea, Sarah spent the next five years living happily with the man of her dreams.

Samuel fell out of his trance when a seagull landed by his side as if wanting to watch the horizon with him. The picture of utter joy in Sarah's face on the day he gave her Quirky was still on his mind when he finally realized what the thing he lost was. It took him three years to realize it; three whole years and all those years, he was also wasting away everything: his money, his health, and his life.

For it was three years since he last saw Sarah on her deathbed, fighting off a rare disease she picked up from some uncharted soil, and even in her last moments, she was smiling. Her last wish was for Samuel to take care of Quirky in her absence and took care of Quirky he did; but other than the loyal ferret, Samuel took care of nothing else.

With wide and teary eyes, Samuel told the seagull by his side what he lost and what he wanted to do and the seagull nodded as if it understood. The seagull spread his wings as Samuel stretched out his arms; it was as if both of them were reaching for both sides of the world. Together, Samuel and the seagull took to the skies towards the horizon and neither Samuel nor the seagull was ever seen again.

i had the idea for this story one day when hanging out at my parent's clinic in the province. i was thinking about my options after taking the board exams; it's because right now, i really don't know if i still want to pursue being a chemical engineer. i asked my dad about taking medicine after the board exams and he had no objections... kung saan ako masaya. then there's the option of migrating to the US. hay... so many things to think about.

hey, i'd appreciate the comments... click on Growl, it's on the second line after this. thanks in advance!

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