I felt a cold slime lightly touched my big toe. I looked down and saw two silver gray fishes with black stripes playing with each other. One is tailing behind as if chasing the one ahead. Swimming and swimming in circles until the one behind hits the other's tail, then both will turn around and the reverse happens. Rock fishes. They play as if they are the only ones who exist in this vast river. They shun their world and savor every drop of delight, the kind that is overflowing and emerges as a ripple on the surface of the water. I smiled and let out a sigh.

Just like us when we both wanted to be in our own world: we come to this river and play with the water. Run, stamp, splash, throw rocks on the water surface...

I couldn’t get him off my head. I came to a wrong place, I guess. I shouldn’t have come here in the first place. Or maybe I was pulled to be here, to ponder on several issues in a place filled with his memories.

The hurt I felt when we argue... are those the pain caused by his words? Caused by him? Or situations and circumstances that I associated with someone who hurt me in the past?

Gradually, I realized that I tucked him under the shadow of my past. As the clouds in my mind are being blown away, my feelings emerged... and slowly, the mirror of my heart revealed his face.

I was about to stand up, run back and open that door when I heard familiar footsteps coming closer. That is how he wades his feet. That is his pacing. I was tempted to glance back, but I controlled myself – too scared to know the expression that I will see. Too scared to know the truth.

Inside Joko Jun

Joko Jun features Filipinos from around the world... musicians, writers, photographers, and other creative people.