when the sky became the memory of my death.

by Neil Angelo Aala
by Neil Angelo Aala

I crashed the black and white photographs in this makeshift home—it was our smiles of wandering as we traveled around the countries we dreamed to be in. Every time I caught the gleam of your eyes in those photographs, my lungs constricted—as if seeing you leave could not suffice my thousand deaths.

I took my acoustic guitar—your last birthday gift to me. I headed to the grasses of the back lawn. The tickling sensation could not brush away the heavy heart I carried. I stroke the taut strings; they sang my solemn rites before my red eyes and narrow ears. I began to play your favorite song jus to reconnect with your spirit—at least, in music, I could speak to you in silence.

Your brother still lived even after I became his prisoner. He took away your gift, but you would not believe me. I could still feel his body on me—his grip marked my innocent skin. I thought of you as he pushed himself inside me with his malicious force; your image was my only salvation in my darkness. Your brother tainted my virgin lips with his cigarette-flavored tongue. If only you could hear my trembling cries.

You found out about my infidelity with you. You turned your back at my broken soul and embraced your brother. I fought for my stolen truth, but you had already made your ears deaf. After three years of waiting, we ended up falling into a void.

My tears danced around my face as I strummed the guitar and hummed your song. I thought you were the words I meant to live, but you cut the scenes I made for you. Our unpublished story had turned into a collection of experiences without justice. What had we done to ourselves?

I opened my eyes. The sky painted the shades of our existence—the meet of the lilac and dark tangerine. I fold for the glowing dusk between my breaths and my mind. I had become the master of my tragedy. Perhaps, we never had a sunset filled with contentment.

My eyelids shut itself down as my hands craved for the tunes of the guitar. Each passing afternoon, I would stay in this routine. Nothing felt brand new, but it was the only way I could remember you; it was my only time I could feel you. I hoped you were doing fine.

A growling engine neared. I had a visitor.

Someone slammed shut a car’s door. The leaves made a crackling sound as they die from the steps. I kept my humming and strumming—my eyes drenched within my fantasy.

The visitor called my name. I stopped breathing. The voice stayed the same—a burned honey around a baritone. My chin trembled as I loosened my tensed self.

Once again, you found me.


When Marithe Francois Tabo told me that my friend, Neil Angelo Aala, has an amazing sunset photo, I checked it. It was beautiful. Marithe spoke about the idea I already had in my head: I wanted to write a story about/using the photo. My gratitude goes to Neil for trusting me enough to use this photo for a story and Marithe for all her rising words. All my best love.

Check out their pages:
Marithe Francois Tabo
Neil Angelo Aala


WORD COUNT: 474

Thank you for reading this story. If you want to talk about random things with me, do not hesitate to reach me through my “Contact” page. All the best love, my dear.

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