“Jaime, I appreciate everything you’ve done for me. Thank you for taking care and loving me despite my stubbornness. My mind always dwindles away to far regions, constantly forgetting that we are here to live in the present. You are the only person who can make me smile when all along, I thought I already unlearned it.

"I love you, Jaime, but I know that I could have loved you more. This is very unfair for your part to love me so selflessly while I am here, loving you too but only with leftover emotions. There is a thing that stops me from diving deeper into you. I became a shell of what have been truly me before. But I love you enough that I must take this step to stop you from holding on to me. I can never be the man you see in me. The essence of my life is already spent before and what you see now is only its embers. And these embers are almost ash.

“I never showed you the void inside me because it will only suck you too, and we would be swirling in the chaos. This pain is something I must contain to myself. The other sheet of paper will tell you everything. It will explain why in all these long months together, I never let us make love even once. This pains you so much and yet you still go on loving me. Even if you say it doesn’t matter, I know it’s difficult for you. You have so much love you want to give me and yet I am not a suitable receptacle for all of it. You will understand everything. I am only doing this to save you.

"All I ask of you is don’t be afraid to love again. Never close your heart and let the healing start. You will find someone who could love you the same way as you have loved me. You’re a very good person and I wished I have met you before I became shattered.

“Maybe then, we could have been truly happy.”


He finished rereading the letter and then he wrote Jaime’s full name, address and contact numbers outside an envelope. He looked at the other sheet of paper for the last time before he put it inside too. It was the laboratory result of his blood test, already crumpled and dilapidated and was dated more than a year ago, a time before he met Jaime. So many complicated medical terms but only ‘HIV-positive’ was enough to tell the summary of his fate. In a flash, he remembered how happy he and Jaime had been that he almost forgot that he could never be truly happy again. Everything in his life now was nothing but stolen moments, lived for the faintest glimmer of hope they could give.

He stood up and looked ahead from the rooftop. The sky was already turning into multiple shades of purple. Jaime would already be at home from work by now and would have already discovered his absence. He climbed on top of the cement barrier without difficulty. The strong breeze greeted his face and body with the evening cold, as if nudging him to get back down. He just spread his arms wider and felt refreshed. A shadow of a smile flickered on his lips but his eyes could not give a clearer hint if it was a face of happiness or final desperation.

He put the envelope inside the pocket of his shirt. Closing his eyes, he hummed the love song that he and Jaime were always so fond of dancing together to. With little steps, he lost his balance and fell down. He was still humming the melody until he met the pavement thirty-seven floors below in a sickening crunch of the skull.

The wind just blew on and on, mixed with the sound of people shouting below. The wind is an inanimate object, and if it had been only wiser, it would know how precious the load it snatched away from the young man’s pocket as gravity pulled him. The envelope made circles in the air like a lonely feather, blown far away from its true destination, now devoid of purpose. It soared high but somewhere, sometime it will get lost and be wasted, like the short sad life of Leo Honorio, and of Jaime Ariston too the very next day.