My cellphone’s beeping sound woke me up one night. Used to receiving important messages only, I grabbed my cell and sleepily pushed the keys and read the message. “Hi there! Care 2 b my txtmate?” Not knowing who the sender was, I deleted the message right away and placed the phone on my bedside table, I tried to go back to sleep. I had just closed my eyes when I heard the message tone again. “Hi there, again! Care 2 b my txtmate?” again, the message said. “Who the hell could this be asking for txtmate at the wee hours of the night?” I asked myself. Again, without bothering to reply I deleted the message. I was never a ‘textmaniac’ – someone who enjoys texting anyone and everyone even at the wee hours of night, not to mention during the day. My parents, who were always out of the country forced me to own a cellphone. They told me that having one was more convenient – they could monitor me even if they’re miles away. I wanted to turn the unit off, but since my mother was fond of calling me at night, just to check if I was safe at home, I decided not to. Just as I was to close my eyes and return to my dreamless sleep, the phone beeped again. Same number…Such determination! “Ply reply 2 dis msg & b an angel & save me frm dis abyss of emptiness!!!” I never knew why, but the message struck me. I got up and pushed the keys… I just realized I was replying to the message. “Im not an angel, n f u want som1 2 save u, m not superman… I’m just a simple prson who u wake up at dis r of my nyt!!! Nway, do I know u?” I typed. Seconds later came the reply. “Nope. U don’t know dis lonely soul. Nor does she know u. But I want 2 b ur frnd. I’m Mikaella Cervantes. U?” “Just call me Julius. How’d u get my no.?” I sent back. “Hi Julius, nice 2 meet u. Just shuffled the last two digits of mine,” she replied. That was the first and maybe the last time I met someone over the cellphone. We exchanged messages and learned so much about each other that night. We only said goodbye when my alarm clock rang at 5:00 AM! I had to prepare for school! And that was also how it all started. A day would not pass without it loving and thoughtful messages from her. It was only then I had learned to appreciate text messages and become eager and excited everytime my phone beeped, hoping it would be her. Mikaella brought out something about me that I never knew I had; I realized I could also be a romantic person… even if it’s just through text messaging. “Keep me as a frnd & I will keep u in my heart. Lock it up & throw away d key so dat no1 can evr tke u away from me…”One day, she sent this message to me. I replied: ‘In life, we seldom find a true prson & f u evr find 1, hold on & nvr let go… value dat prson coz it’s lyf’s gift worth keeping & holdin on…” I never knew why, but her response sent shivers to my spine, ” Value d people hu hav touched ur life bcoz u will never know just wen dey will walk out of ur lyf & nvr come back again.” I couldn’t understand what I felt that moment, but one thing I was sure though… I could not go on a day without a single word from her. I’d become used to having her, eventhough we had not met personally. But truly, she already occupied a space, a large one, in fact in my life. I texted her back. “Dont come close f l8r ull jst pass by; don’t touch me f l8r ull jst let me cry; dont luv me f l8r ull jst leave me and won’t stay…” I didn’t know why I sent her that message, but somehow I felt, every word came from my heart. In the short span of time we were sending messages to each other, I knew, I was starting to keep her in my heart. I called her once. The voice on the other end was like an angel’s. Soft, kind, full of love. Yet, there was something in it I couldn’t define. We only talked for a few minutes. Before she hung up, she told me not to call again. According to her, it would be better if we would just text each other. But the voice kept ringing, not only in my head, but in my heart, I’d long to hear it once more. I tried to call her again, but she never answered the phone. She just kept on sending messages and quotations, which I copied in a little notebook. Hopeless romantic? I didn’t know. All I could say was that all the messages she sent me were wonderful, they came from the heart and cut through the heart.
Though we r miles apart, u r always n my heart. I close my eyes & der u r. Even f I’ll see u never, I’ll always b hir 2 care 4 u, far longer dan 4ever…” One December night, she sent me this message. By that time we had been exchanging messages for more than a month. God knew how happy I was. She was right. Although we had not seen each other, what we felt was enough to make us both realize what was keeping us together. I sent her another message, “Loving u secretly is a hard thing 4 me 2 do,hoping, wondring that u will feel d same way 2, but I can’t read r mind f u luv me 2. But whatever it is, I’ll still be loving u.” “How I wish I cud really tell u how much u mean 2 me, but m afraid 2 love, scared 2 get hurt… I hope dat u will wait 4 me & pray dat u will not get tired of loving me…=)” was her reply. And then I replied again. ” The reason y I met u is bcoz of destiny but f destiny will suggest dat I’ll live w/o u, den, I’ll lie not by destiny but of free will.” Whenever I asked her when we would meet personally, she always answered, “Soon…soon, love…soon.” Not seeing each other did not lessen, even a bit, what I felt for her…rather, it even grew deeper and stronger each day. And I was sure, she felt the same way, too. Love messages continued to flow through our lines, between our hearts, which made us go on each day with the thought that sooner, we would see each other, face to face, heart to heart. Just a few days before Christmas. She stopped sending messages. At first I just though she had ran out of prepaid. But there was something that kept bothering me… I couldn’t understand what was it, but it made me fell nervous. I tried to call her but she wouldn’t answer. Nevertheless, I continued sending messages. Suddenly one night, just three days before our Lord’s birthday. I heard my phone’s message tone again… at last!It was from her! “Oftentyms we say gudbye 2 d 1 we luv w/o wanting 2. Though dat doesn’t mean dat we stopped loving dem or we stopped 2 care. Sometyms, GOODBYE is a painful way 2 say I LOVE YOU.” I was dumfounded. I didn’t know what to think of. What did she mean? I texted her back, searching for answers, but found nothing. I called her but she would not answer. For the first time in my life, I felt so miserable…desperate… empty. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to lose her. I had learned to love her. And I wanted to be with her forever. The following days I felt nothing but emptiness. It seemed that Mikaella took the life out of me. I missed her so much…her messages…The tones that would tell me she’d sent another loving message. Nothing around me could feel the emptiness I felt. Tut…tut…tut…tut…tut…just a day before Christmas, my cell beeped again. It was her! “Meet me at d caf?, 10 AM 2day,” I read aloud, making sure the message was true, then I jumped with joy upon hearing from her again. Hurriedly, I got myself ready and I went to the mall. I knew it was still early, but I wanted to be there before she arrived. I arrived at the meeting place ten minutes earlier. I was surprised to see her already there, smiling at me. She was very beautiful, Black, deep-set eyes that spoke a thousand words; small, kissable lips; a nose perfectly chiseled and long black hair – everything in her was beautiful. And yes, her eyes radiated kindness and love…but there was a flicker of something in them…sadness? “Hi, Julius,” said the angelic voice I had been dreaming of each night. The voice that I had waited to hear for so long. “Please sit down.” “I am very pleased to meet you, Mikaella,” I said, as I took my seat and gave the roses I brought for her. “Thanks, Julius,” she smiled, obviously pleased with the roses. I knew she loved pink roses. “You are always welcome, Love” “Julius, I can’t stay,” she said, sadness in her voice, or was it tears? “I really must go.” “But we just met, Mikaella. Can’t we talk a little longer?” I asked, pleadingly. “I can’t really. I just came here to see you and thank you for the time you shared with me. Thank you for everything, Julius. I will never forget you…you will always be here in my heart.” She was looking at me straight into the eyes, and I could really feel the sadness in her voice and I swear, there was something in her voice and I swear, there was something in those lovely yet lonely eyes… She got up and smiled at me, lovingly. “Tomorrow morning, please come and visit me,” he said and gave me a piece of white linen paper. *************************************************************************
I read what was written and when I looked up, she was gone. The following day, Christmas, I woke up early and excitedly readied myself,thinking of her. I hurriedly went to flower shop and bought a dozen pink roses – for Mikaella. They lived in an exclusive subdivision. Upon reaching their house, I told the guard who I was and that I was looking for Mikaella. The guard stared at me, sadness and amazement in his eyes and told me to wait as he called the owner of the house. As I looked at him while he was going inside the house, only then I noticed that the house was brightly lit. A woman went out and walked towards me, smiling sadly. “Hi, I’m Maria, Mikaella’s mother. Please come inside, Julius.” While we were walking towards the mansion, she explained to me why she knew me very well – Mikaella had always been talking about her friend, Julius. I hardly understood what she was saying. I was busy thinking why Mikaella’s mother was crying while talking to me. As we came near the great hall of the house, it dawned on me that there was a wake inside, Maybe, a relative passed away, I thought. But deep in my heart, I was trembling and afraid. As we entered the hall where so many people were silently mourning while others were praying, shaking, I asked her mother. “Where is Mikaella?” She held my hand and silently, led me to the coffin which was surrounded by flowers – pink roses, nothing but pinkroses. No words could explain how I felt when I gazed at the coffin and saw who was lying there. The same beautiful girl I met… A man came beside me, I knew he was Mika’s father. “We are so glad you came, Julius. Mika talked of you all the time. She even asked that her phone be buried with her. She said that in that way, you could still send her messages and you would always be with her.” I couldn’t believe everything… My mind was in limbo. “But how can this be? We just saw each other yesterday.” “That can’t possibly be. She passed away three days ago. She had been suffering from a heart disease since she was a child,” said her father. “But…” I couldn’t find the words to say. “She told us not to bother reaching you, “her mother said, still in tears,” she said you will come, and here you are. Pain and bitterness overwhelmed me. I cried silently beside her, staring at her lovely face, memorizing every line of my friend’s face, a face I knew I would never forget while I was still alive. After the internment that afternoon, I went to the chapel she hadtold me she went everyday. Sitting there praying and crying to God, I held my phone and typed: “U taught me how 2 care; u taught me how 2 b kind; u shwd me how 2 lyk som; u shwd me how 2 luv; but ders 1 thing didnt teach me & it hurts mor – u didnt teach me how 2 let go. I LOVE YOU” I sent the message, and though I knew she wouldn’t be able to hold her CP again, I knew in my heart she would get my message. I never expected a reply, yet as my phone beeped again,felt a shiver down my spine. The sender’s number did not appear on the screen, and tears rolled down my cheeks as I read the message. “Let go of d hand of d person u love, but dont let go of God’s hand. 4 if u hold 2 his hand. He may b holding d person u love n d ader hand 2 let u hold each other again.” “I will never forget you, Mikaella and will never let go…” I vowed to her and to myself as I left the church.