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Monday, June 17, 2024

The Roses of Last Spring Part 2(Angeline’s response)

rosesaTranslated by Ardain Isma

CSMS Magazine Staff Writer

I can’t understand why you waited for a lifetime to unveil such an unequivocal love that you claim to have nourished since the day you’ve known me, which means the moment I learned to play hide-and-seek in my grandmother’s humongous courtyard. I was only 6. And You? Probably 7. Back then, I only saw you as the lone boy who could shake the deepest fibers of my soul. I shrugged off this feeling every time it came to hunt me. The truth was that I had always wanted to be with you, loving you with an unimaginable thirst for affection that even my old grandma could have found it impossible to comprehend.

Remember the little excuses to get to the river source so we could be alone—away from the rest of the crowd? Remember our frantic walks down the sandy riverbed in search for fresh water fish that we would later grill in my grandma’s old Chinese pot?

Remember our dramatic races through the mango groves in high noon in a daring attempt to meet the Simbie, the goddess of the forest? Remember the sweet star and custard apples, the tangerines, and the avocadoes that we would race to pick off the ground at sunrise before the morning dew caved in to the rising sun?

Frankly, your poem, although burst into my life unexpectedly, has shaken and awaken some things that I thought, after so many years, would never have come back to strike this cord that ran so deep in my heart. Forgotten memories are never truly forgotten. They simply lie dormant until they are forced to come back with a vengeance. How can I forget the sweet perfume basil, the soft fragrant scent of the eglantine and the wild citronella that you used to bring me every Friday night, starry tropical night?

Fifteen years have long gone, but your poem last night made me feel as if these unforgettable childhood moments happened yesterday. At 21, I’m a grown woman, now. But your words, which can easily be interpreted as a déclaration d’ amour, has thrown me into a profound confusion. I have to admit. Why now, not fifteen years earlier?            Is it because of my revealing buttocks and my glittering teeth that are now proven to be wonderfully too appealing, as lots of my peers at school love to say?  Is it really true love that you are offering or just a shrewd way to sneak into my life, stealing my mind, body and soul in your personal quest to reach paradise?

Unfortunately, I can’t be your stepping stones or the last bridge on your final journey from purgatory to heaven. Don’t get me wrong. The feelings are mutual, but I find it hard to trust yours. To me, you’re just like the rest of the young men of this town: sneaky and brutal when it comes to dealing with women.

Prove me that I’m wrong, and I will be yours forever. Show me that you’re different, and I’m ready to go on that pilgrimage with you. Love hurts, when you least expect it. It was that bittersweet feeling that kept me well awake until wee hours in the morning last night. I truly want to be with you, but I can’t—at least not yet.

Bye, Angeline,

March 15, 1980

Also see The Roses of Last Spring

Note: This is part 2 of the Roses of Last Spring series mentioned two weeks ago.

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