Emails from a girl in the past

There are a lot of things that are impossible to bring back.


I was searching for an article I wrote three years ago in my email attachments when I inadvertently opened some emails containing previous correspondence with a friend in college. Before, I used to save all my files in my email because I easily lost (up until now) small objects that of course included several memory disks, and since I didn’t have a personal computer then, my email is the most convenient and safest place to save those files. The correspondence I had with that girl spanned for three years. I recall that we started exchanging messages using Friendster.

We are of the same age. She was studying in a private Catholic school along Katipunan Road; I was a student from a state university in the province. We met in Singapore when we were 19. At first I didn’t like her probably because of my prejudice against students from Ateneo, but she proved me wrong. She’s intelligent but never arrogant. She is as driven as I am in reaching for her goals, more ambitious, maybe, however this did not keep us from becoming friends. I never thought we would be good friends.

I was waiting for the van that would pick us up in Changi airport when it so happened that we caught each other looking at each other’s eyes. She gave me a smile first, which I expected because she is living in the metropolis and I was a shy boy from the province. She then invited me to have a walk. From then a friendship blossomed.


She’s different from all other women I knew because she has this certain way of getting what she wants in a very subtle way. After three days, all my defenses slackened until I let go of whatever distance I had from her. I was elated when she asked me to go around Little India  with her, only the two of us. We took the MRT and I made sure we didn’t get lost. She made me feel like a man. During our final day, we agreed to meet in Lucky Plaza along Orchard Road bringing with us all our luggage. Yes, we met there on time, but I decided before that to leave my luggage in my foster family’s house so she had to go with me back to Bishan District to get my things. She only responded with a smile after we alighted from the MRT and I carried her bag like a porter before taking a bus going to the house. “Sabi nang dalhin na lahat eh. ‘Yan tuloy.” Which I only replied “Nakalimutan ko eh, di bali, hindi naman mabigat eh.”

When we reached the airport and boarded the plane, she was supposed to be seated three rows in front of me but asked if she could sit beside me. Who am I to refuse her? While we were on the three hour ride, she was reading her book, when I noticed that she was starting to sleep and lay her head on my shoulder. It felt so light. I knew I fell in love with her that time when I saw her face illuminated by the overhead reading light.

It was raining when we reached Clark airbase; we then took a chartered bus going to EDSA and separated ways in Megamall. “Email me, okay?” She said.

“Of course I will. Thanks for everything.”

From then on, we constantly emailed each other and talked about our struggles in the university, plans for the future, our dreams. We knew we loved each other, but none of us had the courage to say “I love you.” Whenever I visited Manila, I saw to it that I meet her, even for two hours. She told me things that she would otherwise not tell other people because she has to be strong or to appear strong.

She is.

But whenever I met her I was confronted with two different women. One whose letters are an expression of a void inside, sadness, weariness that crushed my heart and a completely different woman seated in front of me sipping a Starbuck’s espresso while smoking her Marlboro Lights talking to me about her victories as if she’s holding the world in her palm.

It confused me.

My John,
here it goes again… the entire message
disappears. what the hell… :p
so sweet to know that you try to check your mail
to see if i have emailed you. as much as i am busy
as you are with demanding school load, i will
always, to the extent of the powers that heaven
and hell had bestowed upon me, keep in touch
with my John.
My John… nag-claim daw ng ownership?!?!?! kapal
talaga ng mukha ano? but i find it wonderful to say
(i mean, type and send). puts a smile on my
face. 🙂
if and when the opportunity comes for you to go
here in manila, let me know ok? i want to be with
you again.
even i am becoming busier and busier here. the
end of the semester is fast approaching, and some
damn teachers pour out all their requirements. as if
we didnt have five freaking months for them to
assign the papers and projects right away. and it’s
against the magna carta for students of ateneo.
gusto kong isampal sa kanila yung kopya ko ng
magna carta… hahahaha kaya lang, if i do so, i
should be expecting an F, if not an expulsion from
my dear ateneo. haha
this morning, i saw a girl in ateneo not wearing a
bra. hahaha i thought, if you were with me, may
bago na naman tayong pagtatawanan.
hahaha i caught the colds here.
it’s always raining and my frail, sexy, hot body
(hahaha) just wasnt able to bear the shift in
weather conditions. init-lamig kasi. so you better
not get sick there ok?
really lang ha? you find the 96-year old _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
hot? hahahaha ikaw talaga… :p i cant even
imagine myself that way. but if your imagination
makes you fly, and if the thought of a sexy old
woman can make you hot, GO. hahahaha :p
kagatin kita jan eh. alam mo naman.. i become a
vampire. :p
the hottest vampire in all underworld. (pakapalan
na ito ng mukha hihihi)
miss you a lot.

Your _ _ _ _ _ _ _

We stopped communicating after I finished college. She found a man who loves her more than I probably could. Crying, I said good bye to her. I knew that from that day on I will never be anymore as close to her as it was before. We met before I left for Vietnam. She retold our story that day in Singapore to her younger brother who was with us. I noticed she mistook some parts, and forgotten some details. I already have become a man in her past.

I know she’s happy now. She has her own life, her own plans, her own dreams. I won’t say “had I been braver…” for sometimes there are really good things in life that we simply cannot have because they’re just to good to be had.

I found the file that I was looking for. I was about to delete all her messages when I realized that she is a beautiful part of my memory, and I chose to let her stay.


9 thoughts on “Emails from a girl in the past”

  1. John, I know how that feels. Having a painful, yet beautiful part of you lingerin somewhere on your computer or your inbox and worst of all deep inside of you..

    I also know how it hurts when someone forgets the tiny details that you know by heart, it’s in our nature though, removing some of our memories to create new ones 🙂

    1. thanks eve. although they don’t anymore hurt us as much as they had before before, still they open small wounds and expose the fact that we have not been completely healed. but maybe soon.

  2. in life, we keep, we hoard, we save a lot of things. but we also throw, we give away, we delete so many a thing… yet, with memories— we keep, we hoard, we save them but never can we delete them. for they will haunt us, delight us and even inspire us in the years to come ….

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