Parents. They're supposed to love you unconditionally. They’re supposed to keep the monsters out. They’re supposed to be the saviors. They’re never supposed to be the villains. They’re never supposed to be the monsters that starred in your nightmare.
“What the hell were you thinking running away like that?” Kim asks angrily, his knuckles turn white as he closes his fists so tight fighting the anger off.
“I wasn’t thinking! I just wanted to run away from life!” I tell him, it’s the truth, the moment I learned about my mother’s lies, I wasn’t thinking of anything, except that I needed to go. And that was what I did.
“WELL YOU CAN’T!” he bellows.
“I know that!” I yell back, “Do you think I don’t know that? That’s why I’m so tired, Kim. Every time I try to run, life catches back with me. I know that. And for the last time Kim, I want to be happy before it catches me.”
Kim comes closer to me, “Let’s come back to Frankfurt. You need the transplant.” He pleads with me.
“I… I can’t Kim.” I tell him, “I’m tired of it all. I just want to…”
“Don’t you dare say it.” He warns, his eyes full of anger again.
“Die.” I finish off.
He steps back and then slams his fist to the table. I flinch. I stare at him as he tries to calm himself down. Then once he’s done, he looks back at me with sudden determination, “No. We will leave as soon as the jet refuels.”
“Ian, I said no.”
“NO!” he shouts, “I won’t let you die. I love you and I won’t watch you die. I just can’t.”
So I do what I always do when we hit a dead end. “Then leave.” I watch as his body stills but I continue, “I’m not asking you to stay. I don’t even want you to stay. You invaded my time with my friends so now leave.”
I shake my head and turn away from him, I don’t want to look at him anymore. The more I look at him, the more I see the pain I’ve caused him. And right now, he even looks like hell.
“Ian, please just leave.”
“I can’t. Please Mary, let’s go back.”
“I don’t want to Kim. Don’t make me go back there.” I tell him, I’m sure he heard the tremor in my voice and right now, I don’t care anymore. “Germany is full of lies. I can’t stand it. I can’t pretend that everything is okay when it’s not. I can’t look at my own mother past all the lies she told. Because Ian, I don’t want to hate them. I don’t want to die with me hating them. So don’t ask me to go back in Germany because I can’t.”
This is the first time that I didn’t lie to him. All I said is the truth. I don’t want to go back there because if I do, I’m sure I’d hate them again and I’m past hating them. I’m better than that now. Or at least, I like to think that I am.
Kim shakes his head in confusion, “Mary, I don’t understand.”
Of course, he doesn’t. He doesn't know about what I learned in Germany, damn it, he doesn’t even know my whole childhood life. I think it’s time to tell him part of it though. Even when I dread that he might leave when he finds out.
Well, it’s not like I’m going to tell him the whole of it. I’d be crazy if I tell him that.
“Do you want to know the truth about my parents?” I ask him even when I know the answer.
So I motion him to sit at the sofa, when he does, I walk towards him and sit beside him. I exhale and start my tale, “Dad cheated on my stepmother. My father is an unfaithful bastard, my mother is a selfish-heartless bitch and my stepmother is a cold unforgiving martyr.” I look at him and I see the denial but I nod my head as to tell him it’s the truth. “Dad was never going to leave mama even when Kuya was born. Yung sinasabi ko na hiwalay na si dad kay mama nung pinanganak si Kuya? Kasinungalingan yun. Sila pa ni mama nun. Walang plano si dad na i-annul yung kasal niya kay mama para pakasalan si mom.” I continue, “You see, my dad wanted the best of both worlds. Why choose one when he can have the two?” I say with bitterness, “But mom? Well, she wasn’t going to accept that. She didn’t want the world to know that Kuya is a bastard. So she seduced him again and again. Then I came along.” I start playing with my fingers just so I can concentrate on telling him this ugly truth, “Mom was already taking something then, she didn’t want to be pregnant again. But when she realized that she was pregnant, she stopped. She thought of a solution. She used me as an ultimatum. Tinakot niya si dad na pag hindi nito hiniwalayan si mama, ipapalaglag niya ako. Ininom pa nga niya sa harap ni dad yung pampalaglag na binili niya si Quiapo. And dad finally caved in.” I tighten my fists, telling everything I heard before is harder than I thought it would be. Telling him comes with the pain and right now I’m in so much pain. Just remembering it. But I continue because I need to, “You see, I was the means to an end. Mama hated mom and me so much because we took dad away from her. She could accept Kuya but never me because she would always see me as the reason why dad left her. She’s an unforgiving wretch. Do you know how many times I have to endure whatever hurtful things she said in my way? Do you know how much it hurts being hated by everyone in your family just because you ruined everything? I never did anything wrong except being born into this world and yet, they hated me so much.”
“That’s not true, you know that right? They adore you.” Kim says, he turns my face to him and brushes the tears. “They love you.”
I shake my head, “Stop looking at the world through rose-colored glasses. They hate me.” I say. “If you just look close enough, you’d see through all their acts. Everything is not true Ian. It’s all a lie.”
“How can that be Mary? It’s just not possible.” He shakes his head in disbelief.
“You weren’t there. You never grew up with them. Hindi mo naranasan yung mga naranasan ko nung bata palang ako. Hindi mo narinig yung mga narinig ko, yung mga bagay na hindi ko naman dapat marinig, narinig ko lahat yun. Mom tries to hide the fact that she doesn’t love me and sometimes, I applaud her for her great act. Ang galing kasi niyang umarte na minsan na kakalimutan ko na rin. God, I even bought her lies and thought she truly cared about me. But look what I found out. It was all a lie.” I close my eyes, shielding him with the pain in my eyes. “Dad hated me too because I took away his choice. But he had a choice. He could have let mom kill me and everything would be fine. At hindi ko mararanasan lahat ng sakit na dinulot nila sa akin. Si mama? She hated me so much and she never tried to hide it. Okay, she did but only when there’s an audience. Pero kahit anong pilit niyang tago pag may ibang tao, lumalabas at lumalabas parin yung galit niya sa akin. Kasi alam mo, kahit anong gawin ko, kahit anong mangyari hindi niya ako mapapatawad sa isang bagay na wala naman akong kontrol. Kasi kung kontrolado ko lang naman yung mga bagay, edi pinilit ko nalang mamatay sa loob ni mom. Kung alam ko lang na sobra sobrang sakit ang mararamdaman ko, dapat pinatay ko nalang yung sarili ko nung nasa loob palang ako ni mom. Kasi sobrang hirap at sakit Kim, wala naman akong ginawang mali pero nagbabayad parin ako sa isang bagay na wala akong kontrol. Kahit kailan hindi nila ako mapapatawad at magagawang mahalin. I will never be good enough for them to love me. I’m unlovable.” I give him a strained smile. “They don’t need me, they only need me to be alive because again I’m the means to their end. They need the fortune my grandmother left me and to gain that, they need me alive. And this time, Kim, I have control over things.”
He suddenly pulls me to his arms, he embraces me tightly and I let him because when he holds me like this, I feel I am not alone. Just for a second I feel I’m going to be okay. “Don’t do it Mary.” He says, he really knows me well that he knows what I’m going to do. “You don’t need to die to make a point.”
I pull away and cup his face, “I’m not just doing this because of that Kim. I’m doing this because right there on the other side is Louie. The only person who loved me and showed me that life isn’t that gray.”
“I’m here.” He chokes, “I love you.”
“And I wish that could be enough Ian. But it isn’t. Louie. He was the only one who tried to save me.”
“Then let me save you! I can do that! He’s not just the only one who can. If you let me, I will protect you.”
I smile at him, I trace his face with my fingers, “You’ve always protected me Kim. It’s just not enough to save me. You can’t save me, it’s a lost cause.” I tell him because it’s true. It is a lost cause. How can one fix an utterly broken and damaged girl? Answer is, he can’t.
He gazes in to my eyes, he’s searching for something, I try to look away for fear he might see something but he turns my head to face him again. He stills for a moment, I guess he found out what he was searching for, I just don’t know what he found. I fear though, it might be horrifying. “What did they do to you?” he whispers.
Ah… that question. There’s a million answers to his question. But I guess, when you sum it all up, it leads back to the thing that caused me to be this. A broken damaged girl.
“They put me on a psychiatric facility.”