It was on a Monday. I was on my way to the city—not to work but to take the bus to the North.

Pampanga is one of those places I can call home. It was my first time going there on weekdays. It has always been a quick visit on weekends, a day or two. Now that Junice and I got ourselves another soul that as passionate but just as sad as ours, two days became three. Two people became three.

When Junice and I quit our jobs (due to our own personal reasons and shits) last January, we decided to have a breather. This time, I was actually glad that I wasn’t taking the bus alone. Melanie was there with me.

I’ve known Mel through Twitter. Just like how I got to know Ju five years ago. It was one of those moments where I was theorizing about Bangtan’s concept and that woman ruined my thread. You should not do that on Twitter. I wouldn’t have it any other way, though.

Since then, I’ve found myself sending her DMs of my crazy thoughts and she has always been so tolerant and taking whatever I said into consideration. We exchanged ideas here and there. I would send her a message around 3am and I’d still be there when she messaged around 5 or 6. It was a lovely relationship. 😆 I didn’t even get her name until after a week or so of talking to her. I was like “HI! *sends theory* I’M SORRY I STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT TO CALL YOU!”

We really talked about nothing else but the theories. Then one day, she just asked how I’m feeling when she saw my post about how lola and a friend of mine died. She even apologized that our convo was getting too serious! Err, we were too awkward! Of course, I checked her blog, too. I thought to myself “this is why we theorize. So we can not think of things that actually matter; of things that actually hurt.”

A little after a month or so, Junice joined us in our theories. So, I made a group chat on Twitter for convenience. Little did I know, we’d create something more. Little did I know, we’ll get hope. Little did I know, we’ll get another sister. Little did I know, we’can get better.

Things just flowed the way it was supposed to, I guess. I don’t think I ever asked them if they are comfortable enough with each other, though. Whatever. They are stuck with me. 😂

December came, With Hope Project was formed. It was so bad I had to cling onto them for support. We had to stay with each other (even that’s just on phone) to get through it. Mel was like “Tonight we grieve, tomorrow we hope.” That’s how With Hope came to life. Our little Amor Fati group blossomed into something more beautiful.

Mel is the fresh eye that Junice and I need. For the past five years, it has always been Ju and I. We basically know what one thinks about this and that. Sure, it is nice to have someone to know you that well. Sometimes, we don’t need words anymore. I think I thought wrong. We will always need words every so often. We can’t really guess what is on each other’s mind all the time. It is cliché but the only constant thing is change. As we grow, we change. With Mel, we get another new perspective. Together, we have wider horizon.

Then, it just happened. Mel got dragged to Pampanga with me. Someone finally beat my always late ass. I am never really on time and turned out she isn’t as well. How fitting. HAHAHAHA!

Also, she really did shout “J-HOPE!!!!” in the bus terminal like what she said she would when we meet. No shame. Why am I even friends with her? 🤨

The travel time felt short with her there. We talked about lots of things that time passed by quickly. We even saw the word “HOPE” on the road that I would not probably see if I was alone. I was probably lost in thoughts, then. But that day, I was there. I had the presence of mind. Sometimes, we really need someone by our side.

Here came Pampanga. We waited for Junice to fetch us. I personally know how to commute to her house but with my huge backpack, I’d rather have her drive us there. LOL And of course, when she arrived to pick up our lazy asses, we shouted “J-Hope!!!!!” when she got out of the car because why not?

I am not sure now how our plans went. We just really wanted to be together. 2017 was a tough one and we didn’t started 2018 any better. So again, we needed each other. We can’t save anyone but we can help someone save himself. I think that’s what we’re doing.

The three days stay was filled with driving around and eating. Junice loves to drive so I don’t think she minds that her eonnie’s can’t. 😆 We were just mostly on the road.

The first day, we tried to find the balloons for Jjong but we failed. We tried to chase the sunset in San Luis and we failed as well. HAHAHAHA That was too much for misadventure. Though, we had dinner out at Mr. Kimchi. It was Mel’s first time to have Samgyeopsal. It was so good. We were supposed to share the bill but the brat in the name of Junice paid for it all. EXCUSE ME, KID? I RAISED YOU WELL, DIDN’T I? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Mel and I conspired to not let her spend again on us. I mean, we were born first????

We were supposed to call it a night after dropping by in Kor Stocks, which unfortunately, was already closed when we got there. Again, misadventures. But hey, we were driving around with the windows down while playing Bangtan. I don’t think there’s anything better than that.

When we arrived in Junice’s place, we decided to grab coffee from McDonald’s. McDo should really sponsor us by now. 🙈 We watched 5 Centimeters Per Second and live action of Your Lie in April. Both I’ve seen already but I still enjoyed it. We slept around 3am and was up by 5.

I’ve always loved early mornings and to spend it with other two souls I trust the most felt more exuberant. We woke up early to watch the sunrise. To be that high up in the stadium while looking at the sky, watching the sun gives life and warmth—to anyone and anything who needs it. I don’t think I really love the sun as much as I love the moon. I find comfort in darkness and in coldness more. Mel told me I’m scared of the sun because I’m scared to hope. I told her that like Slytherins, hope is cunning. Therefore, yes, I hate my own. She told me to toughen up because Slytherins are made up of powerful wizards. But, power doesn’t always mean bravery and courage. “Power is there for you to use. Bravery is how you use that power.” Maybe this is why I’m not in Gryffindor. Maybe this is why I’m stuck with two Hufflepuffs. Their hearts and kindness keep the fire in me burning. They have always been so patient of my impatience. They are my favorite sunflowers. 🌻🌻

The feeling felt more surreal that everyone was busy around us, given that most are going to school and work. It felt nice that we were just there, taking our time. It’s nice to stop and look around once in a while; to enjoy the company that gives you peace.

That night, we went to Korea Town and found a very good looking Korean. HAHAHAHA! Korea Town is more beautiful at night than daytime. The lights are on and most Koreans are out to have their dinner. It was lively. We drove to Clark after. We passed by the field where we watched the Hot Air Balloon last year. It was also the night when we flew balloons for Jjong. I think it was the time where we were on our most strong and vulnerable state. Paradoxical as it may sound, I know these two get me.

I don’t know why I’m writing this now. It has been almost two months. Maybe because I miss them or maybe because I want to write something happy in here. (Opposite of what I wrote yesterday) I want to keep them here. I want to keep them in my words. I want to immortalized our friendship through words just as much as how we immortalized our sufferings.

Maybe I’m writing this to let you (reading this) know that there is no perfect relationship. Despite the happy times, we also have our fair share or heartaches. It was painful to deal with Junice the past few weeks. I felt like she was slipping away and I couldn’t do anything about it. I asked Mel for help because surprise, they are more alike. Ju and I may be both INFP but she and Mel are both A. I am T. They are both sorted in Hufflepuff. I am sorted in Slytherin. Maybe the only common thing I have with Mel is that we are both Gemini, which doesn’t say much because our birth days have also to do with equinoxes (Ju told me last night lol)

Junice doesn’t know this yet but I told Mel, “She clearly doesn’t need us now”. I said it because Ju tends to bottle it all in. She likes to hurt on her own. She told me “I just have nothing to talk about”. We weren’t that type, we talk about anything so I just kind of “maybe she really just needs space”. But that frustrates me because that’s why we are here, that is what we are here for. (another) but, as much as we feel other people’s sadness, it isn’t ours. We can’t really share or divide it. What we can only do is be there. Junice taught me to trust her enough when she say she’s okay. I’m just really over protective and melodramatic sometimes because she’s always hard on herself. Also, it was like a wake up call from Mel: “It’s not like she doesn’t need us. She just needs herself more at this point.” Imagine what would I have become without them? I got a better understanding of things. They are constantly helping me grow. How lovely it is to have someone who knows when you need your space and someone who knows when you just want to be chased? I am so lucky to have them.

Though, I have to admit that it frustrates me how these two are so kind and selfless. I hate it that they avoid confrontation. I want them to stand up for themselves. I want them to choose themselves. But these things are also what I admire about them the most. They have the courage to burn themselves up just so they can light others.

At times when they are not courageous enough to choose themselves, I will be here, always choosing them. At times when they are not confident enough to love themselves, I will always be here loving them. At times when they feel weak, I will be strong for them. I will be strong for us. I know they’d do the same. They are doing the same.

But most importantly, at times where I don’t have the strength to keep going, I will think of them and hope that our spring will come. As long as we don’t lose hope. As long as we’re together. I know it will come.

Maybe this is how I’ll find my way home to the stars—with them. I don’t mind burning at all—for them.

together we hope 1

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