My friend’s temperamental cell phone woke both of us the next morning. It rang the alarm at exactly 8:30. Why do I have to be up so early? I remembered that we have a group meeting scheduled at 10:00 in the college. I lied down again and hugged the pillow next to me, trying to steal a few more minutes of sleep. But that was as far as I got. I couldn’t sleep anymore. My mind is bombarded with millions of stimulus trying to get my attention all at once. Am I going to die?
Slowly, I became aware of my heavy eyelids and stingy eyes. Did a cockroach bite my eyes again? Cockroaches do that, you know. They get back at you for trying to execute them using Baygon. They hate that. Using Baygon makes them feel like some hardcore criminal meeting their doom inside a gas chamber. Cockroaches don’t like that. They like the come-and-get-me-you-dumb-humans chase that children usually do using their slippers or rolled newspaper. It’s more exciting, more exhilarating to be chased by an enormous piece of flesh eager to make a kill than die while inhaling the lifeless air. Death by chase brings honor; by Baygon, shame.
Events of the past night came to me like syrup oozing its way out of a medicine dropper. I remember talking to my friend about him before finally deciding to busy myself with reading Reader’s Digest. I remember laughing with the anecdotes I’ve read. I remember the pain… the praying…and the crying. I remember the sobs, the runny nose and the empty smiles. I remember crying myself to sleep… That’s the reason why my eyes hurt! Everything was clear now. I had another one of those No-More-Alvin depressions. The ex-boyfriend strikes again! Arrghh… That makes three strikes, three consecutive nights. Am I out of the game?
One of the few basic rules that I’ve learned in my softball class was after three strikes, the batter is out. I always wondered why it has to be three and not two or four or five? In basketball you’re only allowed two free-throws. There’s no such thing as a third chance in life, you only get a second chance and if you blow it, ha! You’re dead! There are four corners in a diamond and five players per team in a basketball court. Why three? I have nothing against the number three, mind you. Three’s a good number. There are No-More-Alvin depression attacked me for three consecutive nights. And like an unfocused batter, I wasn’t able to hit the ball head-on. In my entire softball career (which didn’t last long) it was only once that I was striked out of the game. Am I striking out on this one too? Am I out of the game? Yes and No. Yes, I striked out three times but this isn’t softball. This is the game of life. NO, I’m not out of the game. You don’t get out of the pain-cum-depression game. You play until you border insanity and hope that the angel of death will end your suffering. You play until your heart hurts no more and stops sending hurt signals to your brain. You play until you forgive and forget. You play until you win. You play until you start living again.
Sadly, playing the game endures indefinitely. Unless you want to live the rest of your life waiting, you need to do something. Though time heals all wounds, it is not the same as winning your life back. Waiting to heal is death in slow motion. I have to win my life back… But how? How does one forget? How does one battle with pain? How does one stop loving? All answers evade me… all but one. I have to confront the source of my pain, the ex-boyfriend – ALVIN.