Friday, April 01, 2005


Sunset in wintertime, the same sun setting but so very different from the other sunset in other parts of the world. Dressed warmly to combat the cold weather, Gracie felt the chill from within. She thinks of the tree, of the couples lined at the sides while cars and jeepneys passed by, of children playing, soccer games, the balut vendor... wondering if he still watches the sun set at their favorite spot under the coconut tree.

It feels like a lifetime ago, but it's only the third year that she's been coming to this place. She found it by accident. It was one of those days that she needed to get away, to re-focus on what she has to do, to convince herself that everything will turn out okay. It was late afternoon, and the sun was about to set, she saw it from the corner of her eyes, something that reminded her of something from somewhere, not so long ago...

She parked the car and walked towards the tree, the only one on this side of the park. The sun and the sky was beginning their everyday dance, setting the stage for yet another breathtaking display. She sat down mesmerized. It was like being brought back in time, to a place that holds so many memories.

We were just walking around, trying to let off some steam after a heated argument over something very trivial, so trivial that we can hardly remember what it was about minutes later. The sun was about to set, Gracie saw the tree and suggested that they sit down as she was getting tired. They sat down quietly with their own thoughts occupying them as they gaze at the sunset.

"I just love the sunset." Gracie said after some time.

"I know, isn't it beautiful? He said.
He turned to her quietly and said, "I know you said we should just be friends, but I don't think it's going to work out that way. I love you Gracie, but I think you already knew that." He gave a nervous laugh. "I mean, it must show every time I'm with you. Everybody says I look like a lost soul when you're not around and that I'm the happiest person when you are. It's all true, Gracie. I am lost without you. I hope I have shown you enough how much I care about you. I know you care about me too, but do you care enough to walk the path with me?"

She sat silent, letting the words linger long after it was said, thinking if she dared take him up on his offer, wondering what life would be like with him, without him. She had grown accustomed to him being around all the time, turning to him every time she needed someone. She turned to look into his eyes, searching deep, and finally finding the answer. Yes, this is where I'm supposed to be, beside this man, watching sunsets with him... Finally, Gracie smiled shyly, and said "yes."

That was start of a lifetime together, until that fateful day when she had to say goodbye. Nothing much was said. Just the simplest of goodbyes though the emotions that came with it are far from that.

Gracie hugged herself tighter, the winter chill is seeping through her layers of clothes. She absently wiped the tears that flowed freely as she relived the happy times they had together, and the darker times that seemed to have lingered far longer after she said goodbye. The sun has finally set. Only traces of light showed on the horizon. It is time to go. Goodbye again, I will be back next year. Gracie walks back to her car, head bowed down. She looks back one more time wondering... and smiled, maybe somewhere...

- from Gracie's point of view.