It's All About Wednesday

❝ It all started and ended with Wednesday. ❞

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6. Beautiful Pain

I have four days left of Wednesday. “How will you know if you've fallen in love with someone?” I asked Papou that night when Wednesday kissed me. “It’s when your heart starts to flatter in a strange way and your body acts as if it’s being possessed by your own feelings. It only happens when you’re with someone you truly adore.” He answers. “It’s one feeling you can’t control because when you’re with her, you start to weaken your will and you start to have a different perception in life and the world just stops and stares.” I fall into my bed and I look up the ceiling. “I’m in love with Wednesday.” “Then you should tell her.” he says. “She might not take it well.” I tell him as anxiety washed over me like a pail of cold water. “Xavier, son, fear is irrational but love is rational. You can only have one true love in your life and if you let it go, you would regret it for the rest of your life.” he says. “If you keep on hiding behind that mask of fear in yours, it will trigger into something that will keep you away from everything that you want.” Sometimes the sound of words as they are said are different from what they are heard. It’s because sometimes, the speaker hears what’s inside the listener that he does not speak. There are a lot of things that I’ve learned from my grandfather and right now I’d like to choose courage over fear. Courage to say what must be said and courage to do what must be done. The next day, I went to our spot a little bit earlier. I took a trip to the lake and just like Wednesday, I made a paper boat—I sealed it with my wish and I let it sail to the lake. The answer came through the ripples in the water. “So you finally decided to try?” I turn to see her standing behind me. “You think the lake reads our letters?” “Why do you think the water ripples?” I smiled at her. “So are we going to answer each question with another question?” She giggles as she settles down beside me. She dips her hand down in the lake, sending my paper boat forward and far away. I saw the remaining days we have on her wrist. “I don’t want this to end.” I start to say. “You can always make another paper boat.” She says. “No, I meant… I don’t want our days to end.” She smiles. “I hate the way you say days and end.” Her hand stops the waves and the ripples disappeared. “I don’t want us to end.” “Time can only answer that.” She answers but she doesn’t turn to me. “Time. I’d like to make a bargain with it and turn a single day with you forever.” She smiles but this time it doesn’t reach her eyes. “Forever is such a sweet word, especially when it came from you. But forever is such a long, long time and time has a way of changing things.” “But I love you.” I finally said. “I know it is sudden, childish even, but I know what I feel for you isn’t gonna change in time.” She said nothing and I felt the heaviness of the rejection coming in the air. “Don’t you love me?” “It’s not that I don’t love you, Xavier.” She finally says, still, she refuses to look at me. She looks down at her hand, bathing in the lake. “In fact, you are very easy to love and I do feel the same way.” “But…? There’s a but right?” She sighs. “You cannot love me.” I felt the air set off to sail with the paper boats in the lake and I was left with my heart to support me. And now, the volition of it between being able to beat is not up to me. “Why not? We both feel the same way. Don’t you want to be with me?” She takes her hand out of the lake as she turns to me. “Do you remember when I said I was a volunteer at the hospital?” I nodded. “I’m not a volunteer.” She bites her lips. “Actually, I’m a patient at the hospital.” I don’t know if her confession would make me want to go mad or cry. I look up in search of Papou but I couldn’t find him anywhere. “Maybe the doctors just had it wrong. Maybe it’s just flu—” “It’s called leukemia. I’ve been diagnosed with it four years ago.” She says and I can see that she’s been holding back her tears to be brave. “And last month, the doctor informed me that I had a month to live. He advised me to do the things I’m supposed to do. I tried to live as much as I could but I was only given a little amount of time.” “Have you tried going to treatments?” I asked. “I have stopped going to treatments. They might have kept me longer but it made me feel dead inside. I figured that if I’m going to die anyway, I should use my time wisely. And that is when I met you.” her voice cracked at the last word. I looked at her and she started crying. “All this time you’re sick and you didn’t tell me? Of all people why didn’t you tell me?” I demanded as tears forced their way down my eyes. They felt like acid to my eyes. “What are you playing at?” “I didn’t mean for this to happen! I didn’t mean to love you. I didn’t mean to hurt you.” she cried. “Xavier, I tried not to love you. I was ready to die. But then you came along and I wanted to live but I can’t—” “You’re a drifter.” The words rushed out of my mouth without me hearing them. As I look at her now, I realized that sensation Papou was telling me about seeing drifters and how to determine them from the living. I felt it now and as she stood in front of me looking as normal as she was, my heart started to contrast. No longer blocking that hurt building inside of me, I let go and I let the tears take over. She’s a drifter. That is what my mind tells me but my heart doesn’t want to believe it. “If you’re dead, why can I touch you?” “I’m not dead yet. My body’s unconscious that is why I can drift away. At my third week at the hospital, my body finally gave in and it had slept for most of the time now.” she says as she tries to make me understand. “That was when I met Papou.” “You’re the one who sends him flowers.” I finally solved the missing puzzle and I felt cheated to the bones. I laughed at the stupid joke on me. “And so you used me so that you could be happy in your miserable days?” She shook her head as tears continued to fall. “If there is a part in my life that I’ve been truly happy, that would be you.” she leans in to me and she plants a kiss on my lips. “I am so sorry, Xavier.” And then she disappeared. I was left alone watching our tree that is almost showered with gold. *** Wednesday was a drifter. Wednesday was a drifter and Papou didn’t tell me. Papou has tried to console me that day but I ignored him just like I ignore drifters along the streets. I found myself moving in the crowd like I’m lost to the world. I felt like a drifter myself, I drift away like anything else carried by the wind and I no longer care where it would take me. It is only then when I stopped drifting with my thoughts that I realized my feet had brought me to the hospital. First, I went to Papou’s old room which was now occupied by a sick young girl. I feel sorry for her. Cancer has destroyed her life in such a young age and she only saw the world in such a short time. She is too young to die and she’s too young to suffer too much. My eyes went for the next room and from there, my heart stopped. I stood by her door and I see Wednesday lying on the hospital bed, sleeping serenely. There was no sign of a carefree Wednesday that I have met a few days ago. This was a sick Wednesday. Her cheeks were pale and thin. A transparent mask was attached on each side of her ear and her eyes bear the signs of tiredness. Her plush white skin was even paler and her platinum blonde hair was tucked under her white bonnet. My heart ached at the sight of her in that bed knowing that I couldn’t do anything to uplift her from her state. I touched her hand the way she touched mine on our tree. It felt the same. It wasn’t warm or cold—but the undying connection remained. With that touch, her pair of blue eyes opened and they studied me. I know that there’s no recognition in them because the body wouldn’t be able to know what the soul did when it was drifting away. But she gives me her warmest of smiles. “Hi,” I start to say. “I know you don’t recognize me. But we’ve met before. I’m Xavier Cross.” She smiles even further as she takes off her mask to speak. “I’m Wednesday.” She inhales from her mask before taking it off of her again. “I kind of think I know you.” I smiled back because it seems to be the only thing that I could do for her. I don’t want her to talk. That would take her too much effort and I would tire her. “I just came here to see you.” “Thank you.” she whispers. “I don’t get many visitors around here.” “You’re welcome.” I didn’t stay for much long because I couldn’t bear to see Wednesday in that state. Whenever I look at her in that bed, I remember her carefree smile at our tree. The way her cheeks flush in the sun when she smiles and the way the blue of her eyes makes me think of the ocean. I have three more days left with Wednesday, but I don’t think I’d ever get to see her again. I didn’t want to go home and cry. Instead, I went to our spot where I stood under our tree. I start to think of life being so unfair with me. I just had the most wonderful thing in my life but then in one tick of the clock, she’ll be gone to the world forever. “Wednesday’s a drifter.” I tell Papou when I felt him drift behind me. We both remained aloof towards each other. My explanation was that I was giving him the space to explain to me. And yet he remained silent as I come in battle with myself and my feelings. “Why didn’t you tell me?” I say without turning around to face him. “You know what she is but you didn’t tell me.” Silence stood between us like a wall and he didn’t dare to climb it or break it. He remained in his own hollowed place. “Why did you let me love her when you know she’s never going to be mine?” I felt Papou’s hand on my shoulder. It was cold, not like Wednesday’s touch. Startled by this, I moved away from him. “There were a lot of things I didn’t understand too, son.” Papou says. “We all seek for answers and sometimes when they come it would be too late.” “I just wanted to be happy and alive. Why is it too much to ask for two words to be given to you?” I finally turn to him and he gives me a resigned face. “Wednesday was given a little amount of time in this world. Most of her life when she should have been bonding with her peers she spent her days in the hospital.” He says. “When I met Wednesday, I was left alone in the hospital and she went in carrying those fresh flowers. She always had that smile on her, that certain radiance and freshness such as the flowers she gives me every day. I know you’ve seen it too. You’ve felt it that is why it wasn’t so hard to love her.” “I need more time with her. I want to be with her but all I’m left is a short period of time.” Papou just stood there and he stared at me saying nothing. Everything that I want seems to be too hard to achieve these days and everything I had seems to be taken away from me in a brief time. Everything inside of me screams. If I’d be given a chance to make a deal with God… “She wanted to make use of her remaining time and you gave her that.” Papou finally said. “She doesn’t need time, she needs a miracle!” I retorted. “And she has. She found you.” I turned away from Papou as the bitterness in me vanished and tears started to pour like heavy rain on my face. I let myself feel the wound just as Wednesday had said: feel the wound ‘til the pain remains no more. But the scar was there. “She found me and yet I cannot help her. There must be a way, Papou. There must be a way to save her. We don’t have much time, but I know you can help her. You can save her!” “But you cannot cheat death, my boy.” he chastised and I felt dejected. “You just don’t want to help me. You don’t understand me—” “I understand what you feel, Xavier.” “No, you don’t. You’re a drifter yourself! You’re dead! How would you know what I feel? You don’t even know how it feels like to be empty and to be left alone! If I lose her now, I will lose everything! I will have nothing!” “Nothing?” Papou yelled at me. “What are you talking about, Xavier? You have everything! You have a body, you have a life, and you have a family that loves you! You are not drifting away like me looking at the people you want to talk to, the people you want to hug but you can’t and the people you want to meet but they don’t know how to see you. You’re just too scared to look. You’re even blinder than a blind man.” I sank to ground as helpless as I’ve ever been and I cried. “Xavier, if there is one thing that time had thought us in this world that is to live, because only then we’ll realize the value of time.” Papou knelt beside me. “You may have been given a short period of time with her, but all that is left doesn’t mean it’s the end. It means you still have time to treasure it.”
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