Not knowing who the sender was, I deleted the message right away and placed the phone on my bedside table. I tried to go back to sleep. I had just closed my eyes when I heard the message tone again.
“Hi there, again! Care 2 b my txtmate?” again, the message said.
“Who the hell could this be asking for a text mate at the wee hours of the night?” I asked myself.
Again, I deleted the message without bothering to reply.
I was never a ‘textmaniac’ – someone who enjoys texting anyone and everyone even in the wee hours of the night, not to mention during the day. My parents who were always abroad, forced me to own a cellphone. They told me that having one was more convenient – they could monitor me even if they’re miles away.
I wanted to turn the cellphone off. However, since my mother was fond of calling me at night just to check if I am safe at home, I decided not to.
Just as I was about to close my eyes and return to my dreamless sleep, the phone beeped again. It was from the same number! Such determination!
“Ply reply 2 dis msg & b an angel & save me frm dis abyss of emptiness!”
I never knew why but the message struck me. I got up and pressed the keys. I realized I was replying to the message.
“Im not an angel, n if u want som1 2 save u, I’m not superman. Im just a simple person whom u woke up in d mid of d nite! Nway, do I know u?” I typed.
Seconds later came the reply.
“Nope. U don’t know dis lonely soul. Nor does she know u. But I want 2 b ur frnd. I’m Mikaella Cervantes. U?”
“Just call me lamide. How did u get my no.?” I sent back.
“Hi lamide, nice 2 meet u. Just shuffled the last two digits of mine” she replied.
That was the first and maybe the last time I met someone over the cellphone.
We exchanged messages and learned so much about each other that night. We only said goodbye when my alarm clock rang at 5 a.m.! I had to prepare for school!
And that was also how it all started. There wouldn’t be a day without a loving and thoughtful message from her. It was only then I learned to appreciate text messages and become eager and excited every time my phone beeped, hoping it would be her.
I never knew why, but her response would send shivers down my spine.
“Value d people hu hav touched ur life bcoz ull never know just wen will dey walk out of ur lyf & nvr come back again.”
I couldn’t understand what I felt at that moment, but I was sure of one thing. I could not go a day without a single word from her. Even though we haven’t met personally, I became used to having her in my life. In fact by then, she already occupies a large space in my life.
I texted her back. “Dont come close if Ull jst pass by; don’t touch me if ull jst let me cry; dont luv me if ull jst leave me and won’t stay…”
I didn’t know why I sent her that message, but somehow I felt every word came from my heart. In the short span of time that we exchanged messages with each other, I knew I have reserved a place for her in my heart.
I called her once. The voice on the other end was like an angel’s. It was soft, kind and full of love. Yet, there was something in it I couldn’t define. We only talked for a few minutes. Before she hung up, she told me not to call again. According to her, it would be better if we would just text each other.
But her voice kept ringing not only in my head, but in my heart. I longed to hear it once more. I tried to call her again but she did not answer the phone. She just kept on sending messages and quotations, which I copied in a little notebook. Am I a hopeless romantic? I don’t know. All I could say was all the messages she sent me were wonderful. They came from her heart and cut through my heart.
“Though we r miles apart, u r always in my heart. I close my eyes & der u r. Even if I’ll nvr c u, I’ll always b arnd 2 care 4 u, far longer den 4ever…”
She sent this message to me on one December night. By that time, we had been exchanging messages for more than a month. God knew how happy I was. She was right. Although we had not seen each other, what we felt was enough to make us both realize what was keeping us together.
I sent her another message, “Loving u secretly is a hard thing 4 me 2 do, hoping, wondering that u will feel d same way 2, but I can’t read ur mind to know if u luv me 2. But whatever it is, I’ll still be loving u.”
“How I wish I cud really tell u how much u mean 2 me, but Im afraid 2 love, scared 2 get hurt. I hope dat u will wait 4 me & pray dat u will not get tired of loving me. =)” was her reply.
And I replied again. “The reason y I met u is bcoz of destiny but if destiny will suggest dat I’ll live w/o u, den, I’ll not follow my destiny but my free will.”
Whenever I asked her when can we meet personally, she would always reply, “Soon… soon, love… soon.”
Not seeing each other did not lessen our love even by a bit. What I felt for her grew deeper and stronger each day. And I was sure she felt the same way too. Love messages continued to flow through our lines between our hearts, which made us think that we would see each other, face to face, heart to heart someday.
Just a few days before Christmas, she stopped sending me messages. At first I just thought she had run out of credit on her prepaid card.
However, there was something that kept bothering me. I couldn’t understand what was it, but it made me felt nervous. I tried to call her but she wouldn’t answer. Nevertheless, I continued sending her messages.
One night, just three days before our Lord’s birthday, I suddenly heard my phone’s message tone again. At last! It was from her!
“Often in tym, we say gudbye 2 d 1 we luv w/o wanting 2. Though dat doesn’t mean dat we stopped loving dem or we stopped 2 care. Sometyms, Goodbye is a painful way 2 say I Love You.”
I was dumfounded. I didn’t know what to think of it. What did she mean? I texted her back searching for answers. However, I found nothing. I called her but she would not answer as usual.
For the first time in my life, I felt so miserable, desperate and empty. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to lose her. I had learned to love her and I wanted to be with her forever.
The following days, I felt nothing but emptiness. It seemed that Mikaella took the life out of me. I missed her so much. I missed her messages. I missed hearing my message tone that would indicate that she had sent another loving message. Nobody around me could feel the emptiness I felt.
Tut… Tut… Tut… Tut… Tut…
A day before Christmas, my cellphone beeped again. It was her!
“Meet me at d cafe, 10 am 2day”
I read it aloud, making sure the message was true. I jumped with joy upon hearing from her again. I got myself ready in a hurry and went to the mall. I knew it was still early, but I wanted to be there before she arrived.
I arrived at the meeting place ten minutes earlier. I was surprised to see her already there, smiling at me. She was very beautiful. She had black, deep-set eyes that spoke a thousand words; small, kissable lips; a perfectly chiselled nose and long black hair. Her eyes radiated kindness and love but there was a flicker of something in them. I thought I could detect a flicker of sadness.