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Module 3: Closed Traversing

Module 3: Closed Traversing

A Chapter by Oran


            It was the night after another dreadful day at Far Eastern University. I couldn’t do my board work for Integral Calculus correctly and got a negative point in my recitation, and up until now I haven’t met my English instructor!


            Not only does it deny us of the time we paid for in our tuition fee, but the female English instructors in this university are supposed to be in their early-twenties! They wear glasses, skirts, and blouses! It’s like everything I’ve ever dreamed of in a lifetime of trouble! And now they’re having trouble assigning the instructors to our section! How dare they do this to me!


            I walk under the shroud of darkness while thinking. My bag feels heavy and my shoulders were about to give in. I find the lack of cute English teachers reacting to my grammar questions quite bothersome. At least I still had the strength in me to open the rusty gate of my house before it slammed shut behind me.


            I go into my familiar surroundings and then heave my bag, strip, and make my way upstairs to my room to get a change of clothes after greeting my folks with the traditional Filipino way of saying “I’m home”: “Mano po”.


            It was dark and a little cold because my brothers always turn on the A.C. before I get home. The two of them are probably busy doing their homework in the other room. It’s the perfect time to read new doujins... I mean, that girl’s manuscript.


            I sit on the bed and take off my shirt and stare at the mirror right in front of me. Eyes are dead; hair every bit as long and messy as it used to be; and finally, the built of a short, half-blood Spanish-Filipino adolescent. Just as gross as I left it yesterday.


            I lay my bag down the foot of the bed and unzip it to grab the manuscript. The folder that covered the stack of papers was pretty worn out...


            Isn’t this my folder?


            I think I remember holding onto it during my freshman year but... I don’t remember why. How’d she get her hands on this?


            Oh, well... It’s probably just the same design with the exact same scribbles that I wrote on my assignment in Chemistry-


            This was my f*cking folder during my first semester! Why the hell does she have this?


            As wierded out as I am, I take a peek inside and see the cover page:


            Dama de Noche


            It was written in Engineering Lettering. I guess it was a frustrated murder of dreams after all.


            Turning the page, I am overcome with a deadly dose of nostalgia flowing through my every vein as I read every word. I guess she rewrote my old manuscript before I had the chance to drown it.


            Dama de Noche was a story based on Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, except the female lead was the one with personal issues instead of the male lead.


            The girl, Harana Trinidades, was supposed to be alienated from her highs school because she had some sort of skin disease that makes dark spots appear on the epidermis layer. It’s a non-contagious disease but there have been many rumors about her family having accursed blood so she didn’t have any friends.


            The new friends she made with during her first year drifted away from her due to this rumor, except one. That one person, Janus Sandoval, is supposedly going to turn the wheel for the romance in the story. I forgot about how I was going to make it revolve but I do remember adding some supernatural stuff to the story.


            As I skim through the first four pages, I started getting bored. It was cute to remember my old stuff at first, but the story itself was bland and unexciting from the beginning. If she wants my word about her manuscript, I’d sue her for plagiarism because the only difference I saw between what I wrote before and what’s in the manuscript is a couple of wrongly added statements about the character’s personality and some more dialogue if I remember correctly.


            I can’t believe she went through all that just to get me to read. I really do feel sorry for her naivety for having a dream that’s not going to come true.


            They don’t teach you this in high school, but when you go to college you automatically turn into the University’s dog. They even give you a leash and a dog tag that says that you’re their property.


            Why else do you think they’d have us wear lanyards and I.D.’s?


            I’d better crush this girl’s dream before it gets too painful. She said she even switched programs just to have time for it but it’s not too late to save her.


            I’ll have to convince her that following your dreams is wrong.


            I’m about a year younger than most second years, but I’m old enough to understand that this world is hopeless.


            It’s not an expression of negativity. It’s the truth.


            It’s the only truth, in fact, because nothing is genuine anymore.


            I actually thought I’d be moved when I saw her manuscript, but in reality, I’m still dead inside.


            I don’t want to be happy just for the sake of being happy; I don’t want to write just for the sake of writing something.


            Because if I do, it will all be... empty.




            Far Eastern University Manila has eight school buildings, one of which is situated at the other side of the street. The main campus contains the seven buildings that enclose the so called Freedom Park of the university. Meanwhile the Technology Building points northwest and lines up with the Chapel and the Arts Building. Facing them are the Science Building and Law Building which keeps the Nursing Building at further entry. The main gate is found in the Administration Building in front of the Freedom Park between the Technology Building and the Law Building.


            I’m starting to think my Higher Surveying instructor is going to give a quiz about the school’s campus layout one of these days and that’s why I’m here on a bench under a tree in the Freedom Park aside from waiting to give Miss Valentino a reply. I should be feeling pleasant because of the atmosphere, but the truth is I’m sweating my balls off right now.


            Right in front of me is a scenery of more than eighty students enjoying the time they have in this university. A diverse array of talents and traits exist in each and every one of them as they cheerfully go about with their own businesses. These fine young individuals are the proud women and men of the country’s future, a future that they will shape with their own hands. Striving hard for the benefit of the Philippines, they pursue their goals in the name of fortitude, excellence, and uprightness, all of which to recreate and reproduce the peaceful world they were born into. Their success is what the Filipino people shall use as the foundation for the next generation.




            I see nothing but crows wearing school uniforms... but there’s something else out there...


            Staring into the distance while the sun shines bright, I started feeling something oddly familiar. There’s a strange pleasantness overcoming me. For a while I’ve been in discomfort, but now, something warm is wrapping around what’s left of my heart.


            My eyes felt at ease as I stared through the Freedom Park. I’ve seen this before. I’ve felt this before. That’s why I know I’ve forgotten something very important.


            The sunlight was glowing brilliantly, but not enough to stop me from looking.


            She was there.


            She was walking toward me with a smile on her face.


            I could see her happiness and anticipation overflowing from here.


            For a second there, I thought her dark hair was shining as gold as the morning sun.


            I don’t know if it struck a nerve in me, but I’m suddenly compelled... to hug her tightly.


            I felt the urge to go there and hold her like her very existence gave meaning to my life.


            I don’t remember her wearing skirt, but her every stride stills the air around me.


            It’s like everything around me didn’t matter anymore.


            I admit that I truly am stupid, but I’ve never felt this insane kind of joy for as long as I recall.


            Through application of derivatives I had to compute the perfect angle of sighting, but this time there was no need.


            That sight... I could stand up right now and reach for her.


            I could abandon this horrid belief in which I call reality and go back to being a writer.


            All I have to do is to accept her proposal.


            All I have to say is yes.


            It’s so easy and yet so...




            “Ilyas, have you read my manuscript-“


            What I did before she could complete her sentence surprised her.


            In a crappy romance novel that involves amnesia, this is the part where the guy remembers everything and hugs the girl and they live happily ever after. He begins to recall everything they’ve done together and how it made him fall in love with her. And to end the story he gives her the sweetest kiss he could ever muster just to show how sorry he was when he forgot about her.


            But reality isn’t a crappy romance novel.


            Reality is everything. Everything is living. And the living survives... by killing itself.


            I took out the manuscript from the folder and tore it apart. Every sentence and every paragraph was ripped into shreds as my expressionless face stares back at her.


            The way her mood changed from joy to sadness could kill a man. The look on her face as I let the fragments fall to the ground or get carried away by the wind jabbed a knife in my heart. She tried to pick up the pieces but the wind was too fast for her to catch them all. She had her hands clenched to her chest trying to calm herself down, but the unbearable pain she felt reflected against me and my merciless ego.


            Falling to her knees with her palms on the ground, she screamed in despair.


            “What you did was an act of plagiarism.”


            “How... How could you?”


            “I killed your dream before it had the chance to die horribly.”


            “That’s not what I wanted!” She shouted while facing the ground.


            “The story in that manuscript was mine to begin with. You have no right to reproduce it like that.”


            “Do you have any idea how hard it was to write that?”


            “Of course I do. I’m the one who wrote it first.”


            She did her best to stand up but her knees were trembling. She was able to get on her feet, but she fell once again before she could say something.


            “I... I guess I’ll just have to write it down again.”




            My head tilted to her remark.




            “What? I have a soft copy, remember?”


            Damn, I forgot about that.


            “Um... Well, you’ll have to delete that too!”


            I returned to my earlier gloomy expression but failed horribly.


            “What? Why?”


            “Like I said, it’s plagiarism!”


            “Oh, it’s not plagiarism. We had a partnership back then and you gave me rights to do with it whatever I want.”


            “I never gave you rights to change my story!”


            She takes a sheet of paper from her bag and hands it to me.


            “What’s this?”


            “A contract.”


            I read the terms that were written in the fine print that states our rights on Dama de Noche. Holy crap! When the hell was this made!


            “I never agreed to this!”


            “But isn’t this your signature?”


            She points out the lower left part and I see both of our signatures agreeing to the conditions.


            “I don’t even remember signing this!”


            “That’s your fault”, she spites me.


            “This is... This is ridiculous!”


            I ran out of things to say...


            “That’s what you think, but since you’re not writing anymore, that means I’m the only one left to finish the story.”


            “But the scenarios and descriptions you put were all out of place. The corny tsukommi’s you put up were ruining the details!”


            “I... What am I supposed to do about it? I’m not that good at writing, okay?”


            “That’s exactly my point so would you please stop it already?”


            “No way! This is something we did together in the past so if you’re not willing to help me, I’ll do it myself.”


            “But what about the story? There’s no way this would pass up as a Light Novel.”


            “If you care so much about it then why’d you stop writing?”






            “Actually... Do whatever the hell you want with it. I don’t care anymore. If we meant anything to each other back then, that’s probably the reason why I’m trying to save you.”


            Turning around and picking up my bag, I started to walk away.


            “Wait... What are you trying to save me from?”


            “Reality”, I answer nonchalantly.


            “That’s what I’m trying to do for you!”


            She exclaimed from behind me. I paused when she said those words and faced her again.


            “What do you mean by that?”


            “I... I don’t know... but I... I just can’t bear to see you like this... I’m trying to... help you...”


            That’s not something I hear very often, but it’s everything I ever wanted to hear. Nobody ever gave a damn about the things I love. My family, the fake friends I have here, even my friends from high school, none of them knew about this. They never understood.


            After losing hope, I resorted to doujins and f*cked myself up with pornography. I’ve lost my will to live; I’ve lead myself astray towards an aimless, meaningless life.


            For her to tell me that she wants to save me is probably the only weakness of this mentally deranged, disavowed, 2nd Year Civil Engineering student.


            I don’t know what the f*ck came over me, but my legs suddenly gave out. I fell face first but I was still on my feet when it happened.


            There’s something warm on my chest. She was about three inches shorter than me, but I could feel her wrapped around my arms. We were under the shadow of a cloud at that time so I couldn’t see clearly but I felt her hands clenched behind my back as I held her somewhat tightly.


            I don’t know why I’m doing this.


            I’ll be damned if this girl were a succubus in disguise trying to drag me to hell. Or maybe some goddamn alien trying to get me to form a pact through body contact.


            It’s a good thing Anime doesn’t reflect in my life, but this moment is too perfect.


            I refuse to make her sacrifice herself for me any further.


            “Thank you... but I... don’t deserve this kind of happiness for so long.”


            As I embarrassingly held her for more than what I thought was a lifetime of peace, I slowly pulled away and saw her blushing face when the cloud hovered through.


            I paced away from the Freedom Park and left her there without another word.




            I was about to make it home the same day, and unfortunately the vehicle I boarded took the longer alternate route through S.B. road instead of going through Quirino Highway so I had my a*s on a seat for more than two hours before it finally got to merge back to Quirino Highway when it took a U-turn.


            I was at the backseat, and since there were a lot of people earlier who hadn’t gone down to the supermarket stop, I never noticed the girl in the middle seat of the car. As soon as they exited the vehicle, I finally realized that this girl was my old time high school classmate.


            I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw her. I thought I might have a chance to stumble upon her because the university she enrolled in is just a street away from mine.


            Now, what are the odds that she’s still the same girl that saved my soul back then...


            During my high school years, I used to write poetry all the time. Really cheesy and passionate poems that make me puke when I remember them. The class knew me as a poem-writing closet pervert whose only interest is seeing what’s under a girl’s skirt, but she never saw me like that. She always treated everyone with the respect they deserve.


            In the middle of the fourth and last year of my high school, it was decided that I’d be the script writer of the play since I’m literally the only in class who writes by his own volition. Everyone worked hard for it as much as I did, giving our class a round of applause from the audience after the show.


            I guess I was genuinely happy at that time, but it wasn’t until after the performance that my classmates started flaming me.


            I heard how the direction of the play sucked not just from them, but from the lower years as well. They said it was born from the mind of an “immature, lecherous prick” and it was a pain-in-the-a*s to be the ones enacting such a sh*tty script. They even went as far as to say that the audience only clapped out of pity. I kept hearing the words “Couldn’t he have written it better?” or “Why did he have to write it like that?”  It made me sick to my stomach, and the worst part about it is that it’s true.


            Ten times, twenty times over, I kept replaying the recording and no matter what angle I looked, the play was truly made of bullsh*t, and I’m supposed to take credit from it?


            The old me never actually experienced sadness very much unlike now where I experience it in every waking moment of my life. He had friends he thought he could depend on back then. He never noticed he was being stabbed in the back, and therefore never even noticed the hatred for him. He was proud and boastful; careless of what comes next after getting a perfect score from a trigonometry quiz. Ilyas Ibarra was so stupid, innocent, and fragile a long time ago, and that’s probably why he attempted to commit suicide when he realized he wasn’t as smart as he thought.


            I remember my vision blurring one day when I had enough of hearing it. I was on class duty so they let me hold the key to my fourth floor classroom. Somehow I ended up with my feet on the window sill and my legs ready to spring off to hell to end all the chances of getting depressed, like it wouldn’t make a difference at all.


            Ilyas Ibarra was so ready to feel his brains splattered against the pavement. Ilyas Ibarra was so ready breathe his last breath and pulsate his last heartbeat.


            It wasn’t until I let go of the window when I felt her grab my hand before I could go.


            My life would have ended if she hadn’t pulled me off the gap on the window and calmly told me exactly what I wanted to hear:


            “It hurts, doesn’t it? So why do you have to hurt yourself too?”


            That’s the reason I’m still trying to stay alive, and the reason why I might have fallen for her instead of falling to the ground. Of course there came a time when I confessed to her, and she obviously rejected me, otherwise I wouldn’t be sitting here and hesitating on talking to her.


            Sounds like some sh*tty unrequited love situation to me, the current Ilyas Ibarra. The old Ilyas Ibarra used to think it was poetic, but now the motivation I get from her is slowly fading away. Maybe if I just confess to her one more time, it might give me something to write.


            So I approached the middle seat and tapped her on the shoulder.


            What comes next, definitely gives me something to write.




            It’s 6:39 PM, and the rain is coming down hard right now. I just got off the U.V. and crossed the street I was dropped off to so I could make my way home. Deciding not to take a tricycle that makes passes on our subdivision, I walk the road going down as the rain drops tap incessantly on my rusted umbrella.


            The skies are darker than usual for some reason, but I could’ve sworn a minute ago there wasn’t a single cloud that didn’t reflect the sun’s rays while I was on Quirino Highway. It’s times like these that make me realize that a person’s judgement is clouded when they’re depressed, although I wouldn’t call my current state depressed.


            Furiously, the wind slaps me in the face with the droplets of rain it’s carrying. I know I should have taken the tricycle, but I’m pretty damn sure I want to stay like this. I want to stay in this nightmare until I get used to it. I never want to feel safe again, because I know it’s not true. Being drenched in the rain is the best feeling I have right now. My shoes are wet and my bag is soaked so the Elevation Plan I had printed earlier has probably faded by now. It’s not like I can do anything about it either way. If I took the tricycle, I’d still have a ways to go from the drop-off point, so I’m screwed regardless.


            Ilyas Ibarra, what the f*ck are you doing?


            I’m not sure. I think I confessed to the girl I fell in love with and felt sorry for myself when I got rejected the second time? No... That’s not it. I think it’s because she laughed at my statement like it was nothing?


            Yeah, that’s right!


            That’s the right f*cking answer to why I feel like sh*t!


            Damn! That’s so much simpler than having to use Integration by Parts on a rational trigonometric function!


            Holy crap! This is just like what happened to Mitsuo in Golden Time!


            Maybe she loves me but can’t take my confession like Chinami!


            That’s right!


            I should just believe in the bullsh*t I watch because it feels a lot better than reality, doesn’t it!


            Nobody seems to understand that the concept of our reality is slowly getting worse!


            F*ck you, Philippines!


            F*ck you, reality!


            I hate all of you!


            I refuse to accept this but I’d rather kill myself than scream my thoughts to the world!


            Maybe I’ll get lucky and contract a dangerous disease from the rain that will finally f*cking kill me!


            Even better, maybe I’ll get ran over by a vehicle taking a shortcut through our street!


            I hope someone puts an end to my life and gets taken to court to take responsibility for the death of my family’s first born son! Maybe my family can take advantage of my death! They could make a lot of money if I die when the dumbass who accidentally killed me has to pay up! Maybe then I’ll fulfil the dream I have of being able to feed my family!


            God, if you’re going to strike me down right now, promise my family a better future!


            I don’t want to live in this world, but my brothers need someone to feed them, so please give them a life that will exceed the life that I’m working hard for!


            Well? What’s wrong? I’m ready!


            I’m in the middle of the road so please send a truck that doesn’t have breaks to accidentally run me over!


            Come on! No one’s going to miss me!


            No one can save me, so why bother letting me live?


            My life is so f*cked up! I wasted my life in f*cking around with a program that I don’t even like!


            It never occurred to me, but I hate tabulating the upper and lower reading I sight on a rod with a theodolite! I hate making floor plans using AutoCad and walking half a mile just to get to the printing station! I hate converting a Pythagorean identity under a radical binomial into trigonometric equivalents!


            I bet my future in a program that brutally tears off those who don’t make it!


            I guess my pride is still stuck to my balls like when I wrote the script to the play!


            Who the f*ck am I supposed to blame now!




            Why’d You bring me home safely when I kept using your name in vain?


            Now mom’s gonna rant at me for coming home soaked in the rain again.


            You should just kill me before I kill myself.


© 2015 Oran

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You used 11 of the F word in this chapter. Nothings wrong with it, I just wanted to count it.
Pretty sad chapter

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Added on December 21, 2015
Last Updated on December 21, 2015



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