“We’ve only lost a little, tiny bit… yet it has become the end for you and me…” ~From the Taiwanese song “Just Lose It (Hurts So Much)/We’ve Only Lost A Little” by Pets Tseng
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It was the spring of her 21st year of living. But that year really hits her hard. Or should she say, really hits her quite hard. That beautiful spring season that’s suppose to start the year right becomes a reminder of the dreadful days she have to face without him.
Despite the worry starting to clam up to her, Hammie can only glance at her watch as she waits. There’s nothing she can do but to wait for him. If she leaves the place without even seeing him, it will be like breaking a promise she made.
But she has reasons to worry, after all. She can’t help it. Her boyfriend Stinger is acting weird since last night. He was still the warm person she always know but a part of his actions tells her that something is wrong. Only he chose not to tell her for some reason.
And that’s what frustrates Hammie until that day. She heaves a heavy sigh, hoping that it will be enough (or at least helpful) in calming her down. Yesterday, Stinger told her that he’ll be meeting her at the place where he confessed his feelings for her. Now that she thinks about it, it’s not even their monthsary or their anniversary yet. So it’s a question as to why he wants to meet her there.
It’s a good thing there’s a bench right beside the big tree where they will suppose to meet. At least, it won’t be tiring for her to wait while standing. She’s not exactly fond of waiting while standing. Though she’s wearing sneakers at the time, it’s still not a good day for her to stand and wait. Not now that she’s really starting to get clammy for waiting even more.
Hammie can’t believe it. 15 minutes have passed and no sign of Stinger anywhere. She tries touching the ground and even the tree inconspicuously despite the lack of possible witness around the area of her doing so in order for her to detect if Stinger is near. But it’s no good. She glances at her watch once more.
Great! Now 25 minutes have already passed. It’s not suppose to be like this but there’s definitely something wrong. Not even a call or a text message from Stinger about the reason why he’s late. This has never happened before. He’s the most punctual person she ever met in her life.
Once more, Hammie touches the ground. It’s her unique ability—to use the earth as the extension of her senses. But the limit she can sense is 1 kilometer in radius from where she’s currently at. And within that 1 kilometer radius, there’s no sign of Stinger.
Something is definitely wrong. She can’t deny that now. No questions asked, she has to go to Stinger’s house and know what exactly is going on. That guy doesn’t go out often, that’s why she’s quite confident that he’s still at home.
She’s about to stand up from where she’s sitting and leave the place in a hurry. But Hammie abruptly stops to her tracks as soon as she notices something flying above her.
They’re planes. Paper planes. But why will these paper planes exist here? She looks around. There’s no sign of anyone playing or even making these paper planes. Now that’s weird. Until one thought strikes her.
Could this be… from Stinger? Now that she’s looking at these paper planes just above her more clearly, it will make sense if it does belong to Stinger. His ability has something to do with manipulating papers. Maybe it’s lame to some, but she’d seen first hand just how destructive those papers can be when used as a weapon-literally and figuratively.
Looking at the sky once more disrupts Hammie’s flow of thoughts. Especially when she sees those paper planes smoothly landing on the bench she’s sitting a while back. For some reason, staring at those piled-up paper planes makes her nervous. But what does that mean? What can those paper planes possibly hold?
Moments later, she approaches the bench and picks one of the paper planes despite her nervousness. Her heart is beating so fast that it hurts. But she has to fight it if she wants to know what lies in each of those paper planes. She unfolds the paper plan she takes from the top of the piled-up paper planes.
There’s a short message in Stinger’s handwriting. There’s no mistake about it. And now her hands can’t stop quivering as she reads the message.
If you’re reading this, Hammie, that means you’re there. Thank you… for doing this for me. And I’m sorry.
Sorry? For what?
Hammie picks up another paper plane and reads the message written on it.
I didn’t mean to. I’m sorry. But I can’t do anything about this anymore.
This is getting confusing for her. Seriously, what’s going on? What are these paper planes for? Why are there so many of them? Does each has messages in them?
One by one, Hammie read each of the messages on those paper planes. Some of them talks about their journeys together even before they became the couple that they are now. Stinger seems to be reminiscing as he wrote down those messages. But there’s one thing that she notices in each of the messages she read.
It’s the words I’m sorry.
What are those words for? Why is he apologizing? Hammie doesn’t understand that part at all. When she looks down, she sees that there’s only three paper planes left to read. With a sigh, she picks another one up and unfolds it. This time, the message is a bit longer than the others.
I’m not meant to live longer anymore. I can’t believe it. I hate it! My fate isn’t suppose to be like this. I still want to spend more time with you. I want to talk to you more. I want to prove to you even more how much I love you. But this body of mind can’t hold it any longer. I’m sorry if I have to leave you like this. I can’t do anything to fight this at all.
Her eyes widen at those sentences. What does Stinger mean by all this? Have to leave her like this? This can’t be! She takes the second to the last paper plane and read the message on it. She can’t help crying as she feels her heart clenching as if a rough hand grabs it and squeezes it tight.
I’m really sorry, Hammie. I should’ve told you the truth earlier. But I’m definitely a selfish man, right? I want you all to myself and I don’t want you to stay away from me. That’s why I hid it. I kept the truth from you that I’m dying. I’m not going to last long. I didn’t write this letter by hand anymore. I’m already too weak to do that. I let my mind do all this, convey my last thought for you here. Forgive me for lying. But I’ll never say sorry that I met you and have loved you along the way.
It ends there. But the shock it gives to Hammie is something she doesn’t expect at all. Her tears fall before she can even stop it. She doesn’t even have the strength to do it. She just let them fall even more. But it’s not enough to let her breathe properly. Her heart feels like clenching from too much emotions she can’t even grasp.
Why does this have to happen? It is all true? This has to be a joke, right? This can’t be real. Please, don’t let it all be too real…
But the paper plane—the last one—sitting beside her is enough as a proof. A wake up call. A harsh slap to her face.
Gathering up what is left of her energy, Hammie picks up the lone paper plane on the bench. She shuts her eyes tight as she does her best to stop her hands holding the paper plane from quivering even more. This is the last paper plane, the last message. She shouldn’t stop now. Stinger needs her to understand all this.
At least, she has to try understanding no matter how hard it will obviously be. This is for Stinger, for the man she’ll ever love in her life. For the man who will be leaving her anytime soon with totally crushed heart.
With no haste, she unfolds the paper plane and reads the final message.
Hammie, you did it! You reach the last message. You were surprised to read all of that, right? Even still, thank you so much for everything. I know I’ll definitely leave you so broken. But don’t stay like that for too long, okay? You know I don’t like seeing you so sad. I could really beat myself for becoming the reason for you to be sad now. But everyone knows I tried really hard to fight this. They knew I did all that fighting for you. So I could live for you. So I could stay with you. Fate wouldn’t let me, though. Despite all that, I want you to remember how much I love you, Hammie. I don’t want to erase every memories we made from your mind. I don’t even have that kind of ability. Even though I’m sure I’ll leave you in pain and sorrow for keeping the truth from you, please try to live happily. At least, do it for me. This will be my final request to you.
Up there, this is—I think—the only prayer I made that got lost and left unanswered. I hate it. But you know what? I think that, even though my greatest prayer got lost, my heart finally found a place it would call home. I might not be there beside you in the next coming days and years. But I want you to remember that I’ll watch over you for always.
To my beloved Hammie, to my heart’s home, I’ll always love you. Remember that, okay?
Hammie can only let out a strangled wail as she grasps the paper, without any care if she’ll crumple it tight or not. She does it as she places that paper near her heart. As it happens, the messages that she finishes reading begins to disappear one by one. Even the one she’s holding starts to slowly disappear. She can only cry harder as it happens.
It takes a few more minutes before she can compose herself even for just a little. She can’t stay there. She has to see Stinger. She can’t let it end like this. But once again, something stops her to her tracks.
Once again, her tears fall harder than before.
“Stinger…” is the only words she can utter at the moment, her voice full of pain. She shakes her head, thinking that this is all a dream.
But even when the cold wind blows, the vision of Stinger remains floating just a few steps in front of her.
“Please… don’t do this. Don’t leave me like this…” Hammie pleads in tears.
Stinger looks at his lover intently, his eyes incredibly sad. All his life, he longed to find the woman who would make him do everything to fight and live. When he found Hammie, when he began to love her and cherish her more than his life, that has become the ultimate catalyst for him to fight with all he’s got.
Yet in the end, his body failed him. And now, he’s bound to become a failure to Hammie’s only plea.
Those are the words that continue to echo in the air even as Stinger slowly disappears and Hammie’s pained cries resonate. She slowly loses the strength to remain standing. So now, she can only express her sorrow and disbelief as she collapses to her knees and wallow in endless tears.