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Last Calls and Convenience Stores
Co-Writer seiko_usui*
  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • R: Restricted
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Last Calls and Convenience Stores
Now Playing: Nostalgia
May 17, 2018
13 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!LUzJKGvmNJ35FZv1eQBMposted on PENANA

It was an odd time, that I am certain. Strangely enough, we had a rather darker interpretation of our youth. Darker shades of clothing, we had no accessible cameras to document our daily lives and we all harbor straight faces, thinking it was ridiculous to smile. I don't think we really didn't have much use for the cameras anyway because we are all busy being miserable. And even if we do, we always have just that one side of our faces being taken in a blurred shot.copyright protection16PENANAlH99uQXOf0

Misery, I tell you, is a strange thing. You embrace it because there is some sense of identity that comes along with it. People know you when you are miserable. On another note, misery from afar is like a cry of help that no one will even dare raise or even notice.copyright protection16PENANAh1VQLFxg2k

And for one thing, misery is a form of guilty pleasure. We were the kids who used to feast on our fears, insecurities and antagonistic views of life. We wish for everything we can't have, we hate the people who have it all while we hate ourselves a bit more.copyright protection16PENANAZ5qF5VGjLi

We were the kids clad in black; music was our religion and our souls were restless from wanting. Those lyrics were our daily prayer; love was our downfall while death was our fantasy.copyright protection16PENANA56Zfgu5djl

I was one of those kids. Sinister, always a little too different and out of context and has a world of her own.copyright protection16PENANAeAm9r8PYoR

I was contented in that small world that I have made for myself. In that small world, I hang out with rock stars, get validated, respected and admired. The characters in my mind love me enough and I was able to get by. In the confines of my fragile mind, I was allowed to be anything I want.copyright protection16PENANAioXI32DJmp

Even until now, I still have a profound hate of the world and of the people who are in it. I used to hate myself more than these things; but when music is your religion and you have seen more of the world somehow, you tend to want to love yourself and forgive the world for all the things it has done to you. After all, the world never knew. And in that spirit of naivety, the world will keep on doing the same to anyone who will find themselves waking up with that burden to live and get by with the things they didn't even sign up for.copyright protection16PENANA2rw2HMwN0P

If you happen to wake up today with a burden to live, give the world a chance. Like you, he's a kid not aware of what he is doing. Take it from me, he is the bully of the playground, he just wants to make it hard for everyone. I don't even know why, but that's the thing with kids; they do things without reason, without question.copyright protection16PENANA8fqvoRDeQ2

Years had passed and on one random occasion, my youth paid me a visit. She asked me how I was doing. I told her I was doing fine. Apart from the faint smell of cigarettes and coffee and the occasional stench of alcohol, I told her I'm okay. I'm getting by. Still not famous or anything, just a bit fatter and older surrounded by papers, case digests, and leather bound textbooks thicker than the Bible.copyright protection16PENANA58q3Ru5ves

She was disappointed. She told me she had never expected this from me.copyright protection16PENANAUgUqiBdPoe

"You're supposed to make things better for us!" she cried. "What happened?!"copyright protection16PENANAFxt52RXG6N

I shrugged and lit a cigarette. "Life happened. Get on with it."copyright protection16PENANAIbW9eNDkjS

She looked at me with tears in her eyes. She was disappointed. She was overwhelmed with emotion as her tears dissolved her eyeliner and turned it into a massive smudge on the corners of her eyes.copyright protection16PENANAMd9GEriShG

"Why are you here anyway?" I asked. "You're the one who didn't want to get this far."copyright protection16PENANA6WeA2hs0Xy

She bit her lip as she sat beside me and leaned on my shoulder. "Hey, how's he doing?"copyright protection16PENANANFJJPYxsjQ

I looked at her and took a drag. "Who?"copyright protection16PENANAl64uMIW5Bd

"Him. The guy I loved. The only one person who took time to notice me and accepted me and in exchange, I gave him love; love that no one else can give him."copyright protection16PENANAMIa0idhKde

I took a deep breath and placed my arm around her. I took another drag from my cigarette as it was about to run out.copyright protection16PENANAi1U2KJ1ick

"He never took it. I'm so sorry."copyright protection16PENANA8yrc2dVZjx

She looked at me and sobbed, "There was nothing you can even do?"copyright protection16PENANAd5fn5yBniO

I shook my head. "Fuck knows we both tried. And I'm not patient like you. I couldn't wait anymore. I know you wouldn't like it, but if I can kill him I would've. We both don't like admitting mistakes, but he is our worst mistake so far."copyright protection16PENANABBPwDAgFSs

"We're always wrong, aren't we?"copyright protection16PENANAZ11re3Ea2Y

I lit another cigarette. "No. Just with this one. You have to give yourself more credit. You've been a good kid. That may be is an unpopular opinion, but hey, what do you need a general consensus for?"copyright protection16PENANAHf3XD8vevN

Silence came in for a while. All I can feel is her nervous beating heart. Perhaps she still wants to know more about him and probably that's the only reason why she paid me a visit. I can hear the sound of the pouring rain from afar. I should be back to my books at this time of the day as life for me technically begins on the afternoon but I guess this unlikely reunion calls for some sort of celebration.copyright protection16PENANA37oTE2tUHm

"What's so special about this person anyway?" I asked. "I couldn't recall anything."copyright protection16PENANAnHno8BsNLv

She moved her head and looked at me. "You really don't know?"copyright protection16PENANALtLOqoXVDt

"No. I don't see the point of wanting to remember something that bad. Remember when you waited for him twice and he never showed up?"copyright protection16PENANAJHA8Aea39S

"He missed the notice! He never knew about the invite!" she defended.copyright protection16PENANApwAMVJonxa

"Horseshit."copyright protection16PENANASiDD7425ZG

And if all memories are like tracks that a DJ plays in a booth, the current and fresh ones remain battling it out on the top 40 list while the old ones come on after hours as fillers to the dead silence of the night or as a soundtrack to an unresponsive audience and bothered souls at those times.copyright protection16PENANAyJn9RXo21x

I can't recall how long it has been. Probably five years since. This form of myself hasn't been born yet. Five years ago, it was still my youth who was calling the shots.copyright protection16PENANAVq4vdZeCmM

Whatever what was left for my current self to carry on from my youth was rather minimal. And even she is surprised that even the memories of the guy she probably loved more than anyone was eventually abandoned by this older version of herself.copyright protection16PENANAMf4qScuUiu

"You know how he is," she began, "Tall, thin and a bit scrawny. I saw him sitting on the corner close to the door. Strangely enough, the sun was shining brightly and there he was, being embraced by the light. He was staring at the space before him, not aware of what was happening around him. The roaring laughter and conversations of last summer and overpaid vacations didn't bother him at all. And there I was, just doing the same. Only then, I am aware of his existence as he stays there, afloat in his own world. It looked like as if I have been floating about at sea after a shipwreck and I have been there for days. And just as I contemplate on my predicament, a piece of driftwood came by, pushed by the waves towards my direction and there he was, floating to the unknown like I have been for days."copyright protection16PENANAAQdYZ5Vo7X

"I felt a certain sense of belonging. And I haven't felt that ever in my life. Have you ever belonged to something or to someone now?"copyright protection16PENANAV2nZyBZNdl

I looked at the ceiling then at the window, "Nope. And if ever I did, I can't recall exactly when."copyright protection16PENANAz0AEqtRVo9

"It sure is sad to not belong, huh? It's so lonely. I hate it that I can't belong to anything. It's just so lonely."copyright protection16PENANApZZDXZITnP

I counted the last remaining cigarettes in my packet and lit another one. "We're freaks. We will never belong to anyone. That's just part of the bargain."copyright protection16PENANAQjSejqPid3

"Why did we even wanted to be freaks? Why can't we just be normal? Or average like everyone else?! Life could've been easier if we were normal and not complex. Our lives are a dead end cause. We will never get what we want and we'll die miserable and no one would ever give a shit."copyright protection16PENANAEN4ervIiq6

She may be right. And after all, my youth and I share this same trait: we both don't like losing in an argument.copyright protection16PENANArQ5rt3rbWO

Damaged as we both are, I am quite convinced that I'm much better than her. In the end, she no longer holds any influence to this state of being that I am right now. I am currently in charge until someone takes over once I die a destructive death. The same cycle ensues until this physical body will cease to exist.copyright protection16PENANA1M8T1rkQKy

Eventually, we would all be gathered in this hollow part of the body, form a convention and arrive at a consensus about what we have become as a fully-formed human being. For now, it's just the two of us and for obvious reasons, we will never get along.copyright protection16PENANAUolZDMul4V

"You may hate this. But I take pride in being a freak. That's why I haven't disposed of it. And I know a small part of you wouldn't want it any other way."copyright protection16PENANArwLxXfAorx

"You are right."copyright protection16PENANAdtjmnlNHbx

"Why did you pay me a visit anyway?"copyright protection16PENANAf6VB5znAUs

She moved her head, following the direction of the cigarette smoke. "It's that time of the year again. I really want to say hi and ask how's he doing."copyright protection16PENANAvmZhTWxulY

I rolled my eyes. "I have much bigger problems to think of rather than wonder about a bastard who never gave a shit about you and how is he doing right now. It's over. There's nothing you can do."copyright protection16PENANA1zslVPGJwS

"But-"copyright protection16PENANAhMYdn4MLFG

"You've tried hard enough. And you don't deserve that. He is not the one. If he made you feel better about things then that part is already over. Here I am taking it from the part where you left off and we're fine. Still miserable with a bit of body weight to swing but we're going to get by. You have to trust me."copyright protection16PENANAeb2dsWa0qw

Another round of silence took over. This time, the rain had stopped and golden light from the setting sun came and wrapped the room giving us some sort of warmth.copyright protection16PENANAZr5rM1gsKN

"I just thought things were that magical, so simple." she sighed.copyright protection16PENANAl1AjeYo1K3

"They are. Not just with the things that you can't you have. And we'll never have him."copyright protection16PENANAHYeKcHGmH6

She stretched her hands and yawned. Strangely enough, I can't think of a way to make this younger version of myself feel better about things.copyright protection16PENANASHxY8kZpNK

I can still feel that she is hurting, even up until this time. And I would be lying if I did say that I have completely obliterated such memories that she still holds dear.copyright protection16PENANAd8LNs0LQ1v

This boy was a wonder to her. She is probably in that place nine years ago.copyright protection16PENANAUJu9tGQ93y

The warmth of the setting sun before them, they sat together side by side as they watched the sky as if it was some sort of performance. Everyone was looking at them.copyright protection16PENANAfWgNUo8UOV

"What a couple of freaks." they must've been saying. And she was aware of this. She was so conscious as to how they used to look like from afar.copyright protection16PENANAE14qPwqBns

They talked about random things like living and dying.copyright protection16PENANA7hbBrEihNl

Then they will make fun of each other.copyright protection16PENANAQ3i6RdvZ7j

I can't recall for how long, but that was the only time in my life when my heart, being carried by my youth actually melted. I was unable to say anything, and there I was, younger and frozen in my own place.copyright protection16PENANAVMl0cawDLU

We never got to hold each other's hand and yet have seen each other's soul through our eyes. We wondered if that time was meant for us; if our eyes had seen something that we would actually want to say to each other but we can't because we only happen to be stubborn kids at that time. We were the strangest kids living on that side of the world, naive and irresponsible, all we ever talked about was how life has been hard without even going through it.copyright protection16PENANA5TcguDVNUI

And now here I am, with my youth who is eager to know more about this bastard who is now closer to fiction than reality. I now wonder what would it be like to talk about life now that we have been through it.copyright protection16PENANA9LMrSEEnDM

I guess that's not bound to happen anymore.copyright protection16PENANAHzy3zLd6oZ

"It has been nine years, isn't it?" she asked. "Have you ever met someone else or rather someone strange like him?"copyright protection16PENANA0tTcJnPFbK

It was my turn to sigh. "No. I guess I will never get to know how it used to feel. I got to give it you, you were genuine. That just doesn't work in the real world if you want to survive."copyright protection16PENANAokwaMoOrMs

"It sure does feel like yesterday that he was the only thing that ever mattered in life- in my life."copyright protection16PENANAdt2MwCxKIV

"I know. It'll be better I promise."copyright protection16PENANAKJoDV81LOc

And all of a sudden, she stood up and offered me her hand with a smile on her face. "Promise me one thing though."copyright protection16PENANAwcx2mjrbKd

I coughed and took a drag of my cigarette. "What?"copyright protection16PENANAEYHGKeiiY1

"That you'll find someone better than him. That we will love because we deserve to."copyright protection16PENANAdJKCmGLosz

I chuckled. "He was nothing. He never did anything for you."copyright protection16PENANABYL818stkd

"Perhaps so. But promise me though that one day, we will be loved; like how I loved him."copyright protection16PENANAGYbnEWBXeA

I grabbed her hand and she pulled me up to my feet. "I'll try."copyright protection16PENANAZsjK5GqQ4T

And just like that, she disappeared. I am once again alone in this empty room. For a while, I have been taken back to these small fragments of memories from the past, like how songs can take someone to a certain era, perhaps.copyright protection16PENANAqFScOTkgmE

Strangely enough, nostalgia and misery when combined is humor. I don't know how. One day I used to be a kid who only played with eyeliner, my imaginations, and my very own feelings. I fed myself with anything that can be destructive, and yet here I am laughing at myself after everything has been said and done.copyright protection16PENANAt3DFriB3fQ

Nostalgia and misery will be a part of me from that point when I sat with him to watch that golden setting sun until I probably cease to exist; until I am no more.copyright protection16PENANAEfiXZoEqeJ

I lit my last cigarette and walked towards the window.copyright protection16PENANAjFpbRd5cus

I smiled at the unknown and laughed at that bastard whom I waited for three hours until I cried.copyright protection16PENANARYwuDXMf02

That bastard whom I cut myself open for just to present my soul to him as some sort of sacrifice, some sort of present that he never took. He never even thanked me for the effort.copyright protection16PENANA6EhpCgNhH2

That bastard who listened to my favorite bands with terrible handwriting.copyright protection16PENANA10HqczEhM9

That bastard who has an infectious laugh that he can light up a room with a joke.copyright protection16PENANAKD7g8LdV1e

That bastard who was so beautiful, I bled and cried.copyright protection16PENANAX7TfwwwkNd

That bastard who never did anything for me but had always told me that I'm the only one who can fix myself.copyright protection16PENANAmOe4fqDTHq

Well, I guess I have to give him credit for that.copyright protection16PENANA2r4aIcVV8X

He will cease to exist, and I will continue not to care. Unless my youth comes and bothers me again like an 80s one-hit wonder- addictive, corny and amusing.copyright protection16PENANAa643lBzSVm

The DJ's seems to be up to something tonight.copyright protection16PENANA5hbjlqKZjr

And yet I don't want to change the station.copyright protection16PENANAqmTuwBHsxP

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