Friday, October 01, 2010

At the Same Place by Webbielady

"Where are you going to have lunch?"
"The same place."
That's noontime.

"Where are you going to have dinner?"
"The same place."
That's evening.

It is more than three years already that I blurt the same answer out every time someone asks me about my eating place. It is always at "the same place".

I am Antonio and I am in my late thirties. I am a municipal employee in my home town. I live a regular life but there is always a strong taste of bitterness in it. That is why I always, and yes, literally "always", eat at the same place to at least remember that once, life had something sweet in it too.

I have very vivid and sweet memories at this place I refer to as "the same place". It is a restaurant where I always go to eat and I always want to remember those good old memories and keep them alive inside of me. These memories are what make me keep going in my day-to-day sorrowful existence.

In the past years my lovely wife, Heda, would always ask me if we could meet at lunchtime at this restaurant. During Saturdays, we also made it a point to have a delicious dinner at this place as we look at the reddish-orange setting sun across the horizon and hear the hit of the waves against a big rock along the sea's shoreline just a few meters away from where we were seated. This local and old bamboo-made, palm-roofed restaurant can only cater a maximum of 40 diners in their 10 regular-sized four-seater tables. Its local ambiance and local taste really suited our preferences and it made us feel at peace and with nature and it seemed that it helped us get more and more deeply inlove with each other..

During the last months of my wife's life, we were struggling to stay happy. The fact that her days were counted due to her having a brain tumor did not stop us from enjoying life. It was sad everytime we realize that soon I would be left out alone in this world but that was the best we could do: be together and be happy together while we still could. In fact, she made me promise her that I would continue to enjoy life after she's gone and even repeated a thousand times that I should look for someone to replace her place as my love as soon as I could so that I would not feel so much pain of losing her.

At this restaurant, during the few days of her life, we spent many moments reminiscing the good old days. We talked and talked about the beautiful past, how we met at this place, how we dined here for so many times, how we shared our dreams while we were still dating and how we continued and have our love survive until the end. It could be badly sad at times but it is a public place with lovely surroundings that the deep sadness that always brush my heart can be controlled easily. I know for sure this would not be the case if we were inside our home and alone. This place has witnessed my happy days, how I discovered my love and nurtured it. It also a witness to my sorrowful days, how I hold on to happiness despite it slipping uncontrollably our of my grip... it is a witness to my lost love... my lost life. It is a witness to my struggling survival and my longing for my lost beloved Heda.

Now, my wife has passed away and it's more than three years already and yet, I am still stuck to this place. Who can blame me? I remember, when people asked me where I would have my lunch, I would reply with a happy voice and wide smile: "At the restaurant, with my Love." That reply was valid at least four years ago.