The New M.E. Generation











The next memories of my childhood are when I began school. My parents started coaching me early for the transition. I was fascinated by this new chapter, but my brother wasn’t that thrilled about school per se.

The most difficult part for me was actually waking up. I always wanted ‘5 more minutes’ of sleep, which I still long for in the present, even as my alarm clock is ringing. I admit it, being a morning person has never been my forte.

My mom used to walk my brother and I in the earlier years. But, surprisingly, around the third grade on, we walked to and from school with other kids from the neighborhood by ourselves.

Those were fun moments away from my parents. One time we were chatting so much, we lost track of time. Someone said, “what time is it?”. “It’s 8am”, another replied. “We have to hurry”, another said. “What for? We’re already late”, said another. We all looked at each other not knowing what to do, and then kept walking. (If my memory serves me well, I think we made it to school at a descent time.)

Getting to do my homework was a bigger challenge. My brother would get to it right away after lunch, and without needing help. He was the one who got straight A’s and excused from all final exams. He also had an artistic side which he expressed through cartoons and humor. He was a natural at all these.

Me, I just wanted to play a little before studying. You see, having discipline is a skill that needs to be developed. It wasn’t that I had a learning disability or anything; I was one that needed more time and patience, as well as organizing the assignments and else.

This didn’t go well with my mom. She having to sit and do homework with me took away time from her to do other things. And that bothered her, a lot. How much? Enough for her not to treat me well.

Seeing her anger and frustration towards me affected my self-esteem extremely (I had none) and created a self-fulfilling prophecy; the more I tried to be what she wanted me to be, the more I failed. So why try?

Instead of looking for a way that worked for me, or treated in a favorable way, I concentrated on avoiding mistakes or anything that would turn my mom against me.

Yep, my brother was her favorite and all I could was watch from the sidelines. I couldn’t understand why a guy was smarter than a girl. Without knowing it then, this was the beginning of my love-hate relationships with men.

With him I was hoping that some of his intelligence would miraculously come to me like osmosis and make me be like him. That way, all my problems will be solved.

It would take years later for me to understand my mom. For starters, she had a difficult relationship with her own mother, then add to the mix that her marriage was falling apart. Even more, she admitted to me when I reached adulthood that motherhood wasn’t something she enjoyed. Overall she wasn’t happy, and if I saw it, everyone else did.

As for my dad, he was more patient with my studies, but still wasn’t that happy when my grades were average. I don’t know if he understood my situation or thought I wasn’t giving it my all.

Whatever it was, homework became something I did because I had to, that’s it, much like making your bed or picking your toys. You didn’t thought about it, you just did it.

Although life at home was an unhappy one, my dad found relief in hunting and fishing since an early age. Incredibly, I found interest in doing the second (considering both are things guys do), and accompanied him in many trips around the island.

More than liking it, it gave me the chance to be away from it all and be myself for a few days. It also allowed me to see my dad in a much better light. We had in common enjoying being disconnected from the demands of our lives, which helped us bond greatly.

I also saw the beauty of nature through his eyes, and how planning ‘an expedition’ (as he used to call it) would teach me skills that always come in handy.

I didn’t know what my mission in life was back then, but if doing what guys do is the way to survive, then that’s the way to go.

But, wait, I’m a girl. How am I going to be ‘one of the guys’?

 

 

 

 



I don’t know how long I stayed sitting in the stairs staring down at him. At times my mind wandered away like I have so many times, thinking and overanalyzing everything in my life, without coming to conclusions to any of my concerns.

The stairs were a sort of shelter of my then emotions. It was as if I had intentionally sat in the middle in order to push myself to make a decision about my future.

You either go backwards, or up, and rethink your tactics of what to do, or ignore your issues all together and do nothing.

Or, just go down, or for it, with or without a plan.

But staying in the middle, or limbo, is the worst place to be, because you’re there in a sort of ‘comfort zone’ that doesn’t allow you to ‘move’ into anything.

And as I was into myself, my friend suddenly woke up with an abrupt ‘hey’ like when you had some sort of bad dream.

He looked at me a little confused. “How long have you been sitting there?” asked he.

“A while, I think,” said I. Surprisingly I was calm.

“I was so asleep, but something shook me.” Maybe it was my presence that did it.

I have a vague memory of how things transcended next, but I did walk down the stairs to where he was.

I believe I sat in the sofa to talk to him. But my next memory is that he took me in his arms and kissed me. I can’t recall what lead to this.

This was the first time it happened and it was totally unexpected, and one that I wasn’t at all hoping for during this trip or any time later, period.

It wasn’t bad, but knowing he had feelings for me, I guess it needed to happen, first, to get it over with, and second, finally experience his affection in a more personal way.

What transcended after is more vague. I believe we did go out that night and something happened during the outing that made me decide on allowing him to share the bed with him, as in resting only (for real!).

Perhaps the sofa became too uncomfortable. Or maybe it had to do with his roommate’s activities that were so ‘noisy’ that made more sense for him being in his own room to avoid any contact.

Now thinking back on this, it was weird. If he had feelings for me, considered me pretty, and you’re finally taking a step forward with the kiss, why not follow to the next level?

Reality was he probably applied the advice he gave to my ex-boyfriend that he would lose me if pressured me into something I wouldn’t want to do.

My friend probably realized, like me sitting in the stairs, that he had 2 choices: leave things as they were and keep the friendship. Or, take a step downward that would make me walk out the door to never return, ending our friendship for good.

“I’m not letting a friendship of so many years get affected by anything,” was something he would express to me many times throughout the years. And I believed him because he practiced what he preached.

Me, I did had a choice regarding the outcome after the kiss, to which I decided not to pursue. Besides not having the same love feelings for him that he had for me, there was something holding me back from this ‘good to be true’ scenario.

What was that made me stay in the middle of the stairs? What was that feeling of going back up and away from that guy down there that was telling me, ‘don’t do it’?

Don’t know, but I’ll try getting an answer after I sleep on it.



During the drive back to his apartment there was no mention of the incidents that had unfolded earlier.

I do remember that he requested that if I went to the beach and back to the apartment with his car, to please hose down the undercarriage around the tires so the sand wouldn’t build up and affect the transmission. He showed me how to do it before entering the apartment.

I don’t remember well the sequence of events from that moment forward, but I did go back to the beach on my own another day, went back to the apartment, then picked him up at school.

Upon returning home, he knew I didn’t do the what he told me to just by looking at the car. “You didn’t wash it, right?” said he with a face off ‘I can tell.’

“Yes, I did”, said I with a tone that wasn’t even convincing to myself.

He rolled his eyes and shook his head as you do when you know your child is not telling the truth. So he grabbed the hose and took care of it.

I was so embarrassed and ashamed of myself. All that he has asked of me was to do this simple task considering the hospitality he had extended to me.

I had a mild rebellious side of not doing what others told me, but I knew better than that. Besides, neither of us was raised that way. We were taught to respect and take care of other people’s things, especially when they were borrowed.

My friend’s reaction was not knew to me, because at times my behavior was what he referred to as ‘a little cold’. This meant I would stay stuck on you like one that refused to end. I wasn’t behaving bad, but at times dealing with me was like that.

I was someone that regardless you loved me or not, I would always leave some residue on people that would make them remember me.

The next event I recall was that both were taking naps, as we were to go out that evening. I was in his bed and he downstairs in the sofa. I don’t know how long I rested for, but when I woke up the home was very quiet.

I then walked to the staircase and sat mid-way to look at him while he joyfully slept. I didn’t want to wake him up, so I just sat there, looking.

I don’t know what made me do this, but it was as if something told me to. It was a weird moment as if life was asking me to define what was I to do with him.

But because of my insecurities of the time, I instead thought about how great his life looked in comparison to mine: he had overcome the past and knew exactly how to take hold of the future. He was living the way I wished I could do, but didn’t know how to get there.

I was so into thinking about myself that I didn’t consider if he could become part of that change or my life as a whole as he had been for so long.

It was one of those moments that you’re ‘looking down’ at things and you’re just sitting there wondering what to do next.

In other words, there’s this opportunity a few steps away that could alter your existence all together and you’re not reacting to it? Am I stepping forward or backwards?

The answer coming up next…



I somehow managed to finally fall asleep. The weather was cooler than normal, so it was nice to be in bed resting.

I didn’t immediately get out of bed upon waking up. I knew well what had evolved the previous night: he wanted to drive all the way over here and show up (not exactly unannounced); better yet, surprise me on Valentine’s weekend.

You’re probably thinking why I didn’t go for it when I keep saying that I should get exposed to these type of situations.

As stupid as it may seem, I wasn’t up for it last night. Blame it on my comfy bed, me being tired, or perhaps that I had washed my hair and didn’t want to get it messed up.

It just gets to the point that if you know nothing else will evolve here, why put your time and emotions into it?

I know I could just do it for the fun of it and later remember the incident as one that made this particular weekend unique.

But as weird as this may sound, perhaps the real reason is that I unconsciously felt this would be a grown-up version of what happened during high school.

The memories are limited, but between what I’ve learned from his stories and the little I remember, the scenario is just the same: he’s into me, but not enough or interested to taking it further.

That I could have had a jolly, good time (and maybe more) is true. But at this point in my life, I’ve learned to do that with my girlfriends, but most importantly, on my own, without the need of having a guy next to me.

And then, at exactly 10:10am, the beach guy resurfaced.

‘Good morning. You know I would have driven there for the day,’ text he.

‘But you’re with your daughter.’

‘She’s 17 and her 18-year-old brother is here. They will be fine overnight or for the day. I could have even left late last night, but you were so stubborn about your address. I guess you didn’t get the hint.’

‘I fell asleep. And thought you couldn’t leave your kids home alone.’

‘The little one is out of state and the two I have with me are old enough to be alone.

‘You can still come here. I have off tomorrow.’

‘I have to work tomorrow and I’m not driving there just to be with you for a couple of hours.’

See what I mean? It felt just like the good old days. He would spend a few hours with me at the beach and off he went. The day would have evolved the same, minus the location.

I was sort of still questioning myself about my indifference, but not any more. You realize what I did? I rejected him!!

Wow! And maybe for the first time, the sand blew up to him and hit him hard on the face. Nice!

This is definitely one memory I’m surely not forgetting.



‘Hey, doing anything for Valentine’s since you’re so good at all you do? texted I to the beach guy.

‘Nothing romantic,’ answered he. ‘Have my kids that weekend. You?’

‘No plans; no one to spend it with. At least I have Monday off.’

‘That’s good; I have to work.’

‘You should do something special for your mom and daughters. After all, they’re the real women in you life.’

‘True, but I show my love for them all the time.’

‘I know you do. Guess I was curious to see what you would do. On another note, expect to hear weird medical stories with the 50 thing going on.’

‘Like STD’s?’

‘More like people attempting kinky things and getting hurt. The news were reporting that hardware stores are expecting unusual sales on tape, chains, rope, etc.’

‘Ha! I avoid the news; they’re depressing.’

‘I don’t like reading them either, but this story made me laugh. Why should some people attempt weird things you’ve never done before?’

‘What? You’ve never done anything really outside the box?’

‘Hmm, I guess, yes, but I think I don’t think I need to go too far to feel something I’ve never felt before.’

‘Not interested in hearing some of my experiences?’

‘Nooo! I’m sure they’re plenty and amusing. Maybe you can share another time on the phone or if we see each other again. Now I have to get back to work.’

That conversation happened on a Friday. The next morning, very early, like at almost 3 a.m., I was awakened when my phone vibrated after receiving a text message.

In my half awake, half asleep mode, I thought to myself that either something bad happened or this guy had really taken it seriously about sharing his ‘close encounters of another kind’.

‘So, it’s late. I’ve been thinking about you,’ read the text.

I felt delighted by his comment, but then got nervous. What if he was to unearth a story that had to do with something I didn’t remember? Since it was so early for me (dude, don’t you sleep? Guess not.), I knew it was best to wait until waking up and reply with a clear head. So I did.

‘What about?’ asked I.

‘Just about how nice you are.’

Well, that was nice from him, again. And what a relief that it had to do with me, but in a good way. He didn’t write anything else, so I left it as was.

Throughout the day I kept wondering what if he had mentioned a story related to us that showcased a different shade of me? Would have I liked to hear it? After all, part of my process of getting back to the ‘now’ was putting the pieces together from the ‘then’. Why am I so worried about it? Besides, it’s in the past.

Maybe because all I needed to hear, or perhaps wanted to hear, from him has already been said. Maybe there’s a story about me that’s still bouncing around the outer limits of my mind, waiting to manifest itself again.

Now what, another dream?



“Why are we having this conversation again?” asked I. “Why is this such a concern to you?” I gave this guy a very serious look. He gave me a blank stare back and didn’t respond immediately to my inquiry.

It was somewhat upsetting that he was sort of ‘laying the law’ when first, he barely knew me and, second, was trying to convince me that he was really knowledgeable about the topic.

And, besides, if there’s nothing to happen here, why the concern, or is it that? What is it that he’s really trying to tell me? Perhaps warn me?

Is it that maybe he doesn’t want me to have a distraction away from him or it has to do with my age, as in, ‘don’t put your time on something when you don’t have that’, meaning you’re not getting any younger?

“Just saying,” said he. “Don’t you think it would be much easier to find someone locally?”

“Like I told you before, I’ve tried that already and it hasn’t worked out the way I hoped for. I’m not going to stop trying and if going outside the box is a possibility, I will try that too.”

I don’t recall what else went down in the conversation. After dinner he helped me clean up and even sat down to watch TV in my living room in spite of previous his criticism regarding its size.

It wasn’t that late when he told me he had to go, as he had lots of homework for the next day. This sounded like the Cinderella story; what would he turn to when the clock strikes midnight? I wouldn’t be surprised he has other plans, like meeting up with another woman, but I was glad he was gone. The night has evolved as far as it should.

I finished the clean up and went to bed not really reviewing the night. But when I woke up, I felt a huge sense of emptiness and sadness.

I stayed in my bed, laying back, staring at the ceiling, considering the nature of my emotions. I was fine last night and now this.

I know nothing will happen here with this guy, that I need to experience life more, so why these emotions?

Simple, at the end of the day, I’m back where I started with this guy thing, without one.

I guess I already know what will happen next: we might see each other one last time, maybe text or talk a few more until all vanishes into oblivion by itself. I will stop communicating and so will he, and that will be it.

Been there, done that. What am I doing about it? Nothing. Next…!



This guy disappeared off the radar, but not for very long.

That’s how he behaved, so when I started getting texts very late in the evening or really early morning, I wasn’t surprised at all. He would either send multiple messages or a very brief one. I would or would not respond to them depending on the day and time they were received.

Those late in the evening on a work week were usually those of ‘how are you?’ If I hadn’t gone to sleep yet, I would respond with a quick answer like ‘I’m fine, txs’.

If received during my sleep, I would not answer at all, not even the next day.

If anything happened during the weekend, he would text late Friday or Saturday evening with the ‘hey, what are you doing tonight?’ line. Even if I was ‘home alone’ with no plans, I would wait a while and then answer, ‘sorry out on a date’.

Now, those received early morning continued to be weird like, ‘listening to music here’, ‘have your apartment all set up?’ or ‘want to see you again’.

Those I would not read until I woke up. Seeing his name on my mobile was an eyesore. I would basically not answer.

It was sort of strange though that he wouldn’t continue his texts even after I responded to them. It’s like one minute you’re interested in me and then you’re not.

At moments I would laugh and others felt sorry for him because I think that after the wedding incident he hasn’t been able to score with any women and he’s probably wondering what the hell is going on with that.

It seems to me that he’s trying to have me as his next ‘trophy woman’ and finally break the streak.

Hmm, interesting. I never thought about that. But yet, who cares? It’s still not happening (as is him and me).



I couldn’t get to sleep that night. All that had to do with he and I kept going around my mind over and over with no resolution.

When I finally fell asleep, I had a dream. In it, he and I were standing face to face. I looked at him straight to his eyes and repeatedly asked him, ‘Why did you leave me? Why?’ while trying to push him away.

He didn’t answer me. He held my hands and I lowered my head with tears coming out of my eyes. He then hugged me and I placed my head on his shoulder and closed my eyes. I felt an immense sense of peace.

I then woke up and stared at the ceiling in the dark, and it all came back to me. We never concluded what we had the last time we saw each other. We simply turned around and walked away from each other and our feelings. We let go of everything that joined us, but not of what we felt towards each other.

So what happens next? Nothing. What we shared belongs to that time and there’s nothing else for me to do other than learn from it and finally close that chapter of my life.

Maybe we needed to part ways and find each other again so we could get it right the second time around. And I think we finally did that, even in the distance. It is now up to us to decide if the connection remains or we part ways again.

Whatever the outcome, he will always remain in my thoughts and can only wish the best for him.

So I guess it will be good-bye, for now.



I didn’t touch the subject any more during the night. Sometime late in the evening I woke up and it was dark. At first I was disoriented as to where I was until I saw Alex next to me.

He was sound asleep and looked so peaceful (thank goodness he wasn’t snoring!). I stayed in my position looking at him.

I don’t remember the last time I had shared a bed with a guy. And at that rate that this one is going, I’m not sure if it will happen again any time soon. Could I get used to it again? I guess…

My mind was thinking so many things I lost my sleep. I kept looking at Alex and felt like a jerk. He has been such a great guy with me. He has everything I’ve been looking for in a person, but my feelings are not the same as his.

I was still wired when, without thinking about it, I moved and placed myself very close to him. He didn’t wake up and I kept looking at him, until I started feeling sleepy again.

I don’t know why I did it. I’m emotionally tired of thinking things over too much. Maybe I just need to start improvising or follow my gut feelings.

Hey, perhaps I’ve found the way to attack my situation.



et cetera