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BENEDICTA Q. RUIZ

SONGSOPTOK THE WRITERS BLOG | 9/15/2016 |


OUR DANCE


          Even as we wish to re-write the story of our lives, we cannot. Our Source had already written the script and whether it is our wish to deviate from it such as follows an unknown pathway, we will always go back to where we started.
          Our Source... the connection is unfailing. We move on this earth in a well choreographed dance. Every beat of the music synchronizes with our breaths, our hearts respond to the rhythm of our daily lives and our thoughts sway with the moods of the seasons. 
          Traveling on our journeys, we each took our forks of the road. It was not easy. You, trekking the mountains to your reality, still aiming for the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Me, flowing with the water on my river to reach a serene cove, my sanctuary. We deal with the obstacles along the way.
          We have danced to the tune of our physical world and here we found bliss, momentarily. Sensing it was no longer our own music, we halted the steps, to follow our own drumbeats.
          My eyes were focused at the gate watching people coming through.  I was worried that you may not have been on that flight. I stood there hopefully waiting. I did not see you come out after the airline crew had disembarked. 
          “Where are you?” My mind started to wonder.
          “Lady, who are you waiting for?” You whispered as you tapped my shoulder.
          “Huh!”  I responded in disbelief, “How did you get past me, I waited here by the gate?”
          You did not answer as you took me in your arms, hugged me so tight like we never hugged before. That was true. We never did hug before. I pulled away to look at your face.
          “You did not see me come out? Perhaps you did not recognize me”.
          My words were muffled by your kiss. The very first kiss as well. We joked before that if we get that chance to “kiss” it will come with accrued interests.
          We were very young and shy. Our worlds were torn apart by our dreams and ambitions.  Who would expect that after decades of not seeing each other, or failing to get in touch we would end up standing face to face, me with graying hair, and yours, sort of falling out. Could it have been divine intervention, since the dance we started never came to its final step?
          We found an empty bench at the airport arrival area and sat for a while. I felt the trembling of your hands as you held mine, ever so tightly. There was silence as we gazed into each others eyes.  
          We were so young indeed, and very much under the watchful eyes of our parents. Our future careers took precedence, and what we had felt in our hearts during those days, had to take the back burners in order to reach our goals.
          We had known each other since childhood; batch mates in elementary through high school. We were partners in a Junior and Senior Prom. I was wearing a pink gown and you wore a Barong Tagalog.  We both represented our Junior class, to receive the flowers and torch being passed by the Senior's class. A traditional event in our high school. 
          After the grand march, we waltzed to the music of an orchestra. Our very first dance together, so brief, as my father who was a teacher of our school cut in.
          It was towards the end of our senior year when those stolen glances occurred. I was finding notes inserted in my books from a “secret” admirer.  We parted to attend the colleges of our choice.
          Later in college, you admitted you were the person using “Bobby” as pseudo name.  Soon we were exchanging notes.
          Love blossomed. You visited me at my dormitory as you continued to woo me with your letters of love. I was the homecoming queen during my college foundation day and although I had a military escort for the coronation rites, you were my personal escort to the venue.
          We danced the night away to romantic music. It was like the world was in agreement with us to be together.
          Things turned differently soon after. You realized that there was a gap in our lives that I belonged to a different social class. I never had thought of our lives that way. Then you indicated that you had to get taller and taller to reach me, on my pedestal.
          My explanations that it was not the case landed on your deaf ears. Perhaps we needed to grow more maturely and independently. We opted to be just friends. You graduated in college and worked in the business field, in another city.  You would write to come and visit me.  You missed because you were busy. The last of our communications was my card of thanks for the special telegram
you sent congratulating me on my graduation day.
          We drifted farther and farther apart and before we knew it, we had gone into different pathways. We found our own places overseas got married to others and had our children. We danced to the rhythm of our daily lives. Somehow along the way, we may have chosen to forget.
          If not for a school reunion of our elementary class in our hometown, silence could have remained forever. Unable to attend the reunion, I left a message with my phone number to a classmate who relayed the message to you, being the organizer.  For some unexplained reasons I had a feeling that you would get hold of my number and call.
          Early morning at four, in the North American time zone, the phone rang. I knew it was you, calling from Asia.
          “I miss you!”  The first line you uttered after hello.
          Your voice was trembling.
          I could not say much except to keep on repeating, “How are you?”
          My voice too was barely audible, how long has it been, since we last spoke to each other. Some five decades ago? It was a pleasant surprise to reach for each other and to know how things had transpired with our lives. Most specially, that both our marriages did not bode well.
          This was followed by more phone calls and text messages. We arranged to see each other,  as soon as you returned to America.
          There was not a moment that we stayed away from each other upon your arrival to my city. On the street, we walked in the rain, visited parks, coffee shops and restaurants, visited a museum and watched the movie “Gatsby”. We stayed late to catch up with “what was happening in our lives”. 
          You serenaded me with love songs that I have not heard for years. To our delights, we danced to a new tune, the music of love as we agreed to the consummation of what we started years ago.
          With promises to keep in touch as we had to return to our private worlds, miles apart. Unexpected storms hit our new frontiers. Our own idiosyncrasies started to reveal our true nature. Instead of  smooth sailings in one ship, we had chosen again to steer two boats in our own charts.
          On my journey, after long hours of earning a living and raising my children, I so desired to live a life of serenity and indulged in my passion, that is to write. Yours was to keep on working hard, build businesses and clamoring to be with the political and elite groups of society.
          I could not blame you. I remembered what you once said, “to get taller and taller, to reach me on my pedestal” although I never belonged to any of such groups, but it was your dream.
        In your quest for perfection there were disagreements resulting to moments of silence and distance. Finally we simply agreed to remain as friends, exchanging communications as the need arises.
          It has not been that long since we last saw each other. We both participated in the recent homecoming of members of our community who have migrated aboard. We were part of the Diaspora from all over the world and although we attended the activities of the five-day centennial events, we did not have much to say to each other. You were constantly in the company of a common lady friend
so I kept my distance. We both attended the final gala affair.
          “May I have this dance?” 
          From where I sat, I heard a voice from behind me as you extended your right hand.
          I placed my hand on yours and in silence we walked to the dance floor.
           You had a moment away from your lady partner who was already on the dance floor with someone else. It was hard to hear your voice with the loud music but you said you had longed to dance with me during previous affairs like this in our town, but then you could not find me. This time, you made it happen.
          As we swayed away to the orchestra's music, appropriately titled “The Last Dance”. The memory of young lovers, separated by time and distance for years, reunited and  drifted apart once, twice... came rushing back. 
          “I will always cherish those moments of togetherness”. You have said time and again.
          Life goes on as scripted, and the story of our dances will be treasured in remembrance.
          We dance to the choreography of our lives, a step at a time. Often we falter so we pause to regain our composure and then continue on until the music stops with our breaths.
          Should there be another dance it would be in another dimension, in another dance floor for in due time we will return to where we both started, our Source.

BENEDICTA Q. RUIZ

Copyright: September 6, 2016

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