After The War

FEU Advocate
July 20, 2022 08:33

by Beatrice Diane D. Bartolome

My fingers are already accustomed to the numbing sensation of pressing on guitar strings, but my chest, however, is unfamiliar with the numbing sensation of grief. The silence between is strange—maybe it’s because what’s sitting across from me is a slab of stone with your name and our shared birthday etched on it.

It’s always been us, hasn’t it? Framed two halves of a split soul and called brothers.

I try to sing, as rough and strained as my voice is, I try to sing to you like I always do. I could practically hear your deep chuckle and the teasing words you’d throw my way, but you’d secretly like the imperfectness of it all, you always did. We’ve always been an inherently flawed, messy but sincere bunch.

Falling silent, I close my eyes to listen closer to nature—to the birds chirping and the whistling winds. There’s a part of me that resents it, that resents the fact that the world is still turning and existing without you. There’s a part of me that needs the world to stop and mourn for you, but you would hate that. Just like how you hated being treated like the whistling winds would snap your ivories.

You always hated how no one did something, so even when you were practically pushing through the pain, you stood up and did everything. You always hated doing nothing.

Even when your golden crown no longer had hair to cling onto, you proudly stood chin up. Even when your bones started working against you, other people were still on your mind.

Sometimes I hate how selfless you are—were, sorry.

With a heavy sword in one hand and a foolish grin on your face, you walked out that door to fight other people’s battles. 

Sometimes I wish you had focused on your own battle first.

But what can I do when you’ve always been inclined to be the knight in shining armor? What can I do when you love to lead wars?

“If I had another hundred lives, I would choose to be your twin every single time,” you told me once.

I couldn’t help but finally let myself laugh at the epitaph on your headstone, something you wrote yourself.

“I've abolished all governments of men, I have ascended to heaven to take on the Kingdom of God.”

(Illustration by Jazmine Merry Veluya/FEU Advocate)