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Touching Lines

photo by MARIANNE LORRAINE M. SAMILING

I REACHED for your cheek, but the tips of my fingers hit the hard cold surface of my laptop’s screen instead. Do you find it ironic as well that we were separated by the very glass that connected us? You were here, but not quite here, and my hands longed for the slopes of your face.

The sides of my lips were tugged upward by the wild gestures you made with your entire body as you endlessly yapped on and on about how bland your lunch tasted. Your animated voice, changing intonation every so often, and dramatic pauses tickled my ears. The way you strung words never failed to stitch up the cuts inflicted by exhaustion on my spirits. As usual, you succeeded to squeeze out a laughter from me.

Suddenly, however, your tone changed. Your movements become more quiet, almost fragile. Turning away, you smiled softly. Your blinking had become slow and shaky; my chest tightens, the fist-sized red drum inside my chest plays a deep lingering beat. My own eyelids trembled at the prickling I felt in my eyes.

“Hey, I’ll be watching over you from where I’ll be going. Be good. Take care, okay?”

My hand slid from the screen to the keyboard. Lightly, I tapped on the spacebar. The video freezes and I buried my face in the crook between the laptop’s screen and its keyboard, embracing your image.

How many times have I watched this? How can an entire year feel like just a day? MARIA ANTOINETTE A. MALICSE

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