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Love. Life.

A new year love letter

/ 10:18 PM January 10, 2020
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I used to stare at the ceiling of my college apartment at night, tracing the delicate dots of the glow-in-the-dark stars I stuck up there, just as I attempted to find patterns in my life’s own cosmos.

Now, I trace the crease of your lips when you smile, and behold the light in your eyes, when you look at me.

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I used to be in fear of staying in one place, shifting from one train ride to another, in hopes that the next trip will finally land me in a secure destination.

Now, every trip and every tollway leads back home to you.

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We state our love not in the usual declarations: I feel your love in the way your free hand laces with mine while we drive on the freeway. I feel your love when you consistently still try to make me laugh despite me calling your jokes corny. I feel your love in after-laughter silences, right before a kiss. I feel your love in random reminders. All the good mornings, every good night, the awkward lunches, the fun dinners, the oldies love songs, the newer ones, and the long conversations on the phone. Even your sweaty palms or your moled lower lip — I want these all.

I love you is what I’m trying to say when I try to mess with your waxed hair despite your protests. I love you is what I’m trying to write when words overwhelm me, when reminded of you. It is what I’m trying to say when I pull you for another kiss goodbye. I love you — this is what I want to shout before you drive back home.

The space I inhabit used to feel as if it is constantly shifting, like erratic tectonic plates. I’ve always been afraid of things not staying as they are, but now I’ve found solid ground. Some also say that the brightest stars fizzle out early. The truth is we only see dead stars, and the days are not about counting stars but about basking in the warmth of an ancient glow that made its way to us. And when I’m in doubt, you extinguish the creeping thoughts by giving me some of your time, every single time.

I promise I will give you the same confidence you have for me. I promise to always drink my prescriptions and stay healthy and strong, for myself, as much as for us. And I also promise to try to not keep score too much of your puns, on our “corny jokes scoresheet.”

I’ll gladly welcome more new years and maybe even new decades with you. I can imagine myself spending more years counting minutes ’til twelve o’clock on Christmas Eve with you. With you I’ll watch more fireworks light up the sky and marvel at the hazy early mornings after the revelries, the world’s and ours. And I’ll always hope for your safe travels and swift returns. I’ll count more hours, mark more dates, until you can finally take me by the hand and take me home.

K., I used to only trace the dots of glow-in-the-dark stars. Now, I marvel at the vast constellations in the cloudless sky we share. There is only stretch after stretch of the unknown, right in front of us, with nothing but small brilliant dots to indicate what comes next, or hinting at paths we can follow. With you, I gladly swim into that starry unknown.

Babe, I wish you a happy new year, a happy new decade, your heart’s fondest birthday wishes to be granted, and love throughout your life.

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Cha Lino is a writer, book hoarder and a tea enthusiast who loves running and owns way too many denim jackets and high-waisted pants. She adds, “I’m also with a boy who can’t write and hates reading my scary articles, but adores me like no one else.”

What is love for you? Send us your essays and get featured on INQUIRER.net!

There's no better time of year to send us your love stories! #LoveLife Transform those letters unsent into an essay of 800 to 2000 words (English or Tagalog), fill up our online form here: http://inq.news/love-life-form

Posted by INQUIRER.net on Wednesday, February 13, 2019

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TAGS: creative nonfiction, essays, love letters, New Year, Romance
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