The Final Level part 3

Chapter three, we’ve finally made it, the final level inching closer towards completion,

Barely holding onto that proverbial rope, it’s cracked and fraying while palms are bleeding,

Prepping for that final boss, taking care of its minions first,

Trials, assessments and exams galore, a carefree life exists no more,

Outside those gates, learning the inner workings behind the driver’s seat,

Been at it for one year already, locked on towards those red Ps,

Life at home base remains stable, though chipping on the surface,

Unsure if it’s wear and tear or a slow-paced crumbling,

Tensions mounting, taking a wee bit longer to resolve, at times those glory years feel like mere hallucinations, might as well had never happened at all,

Can’t forget that day, another explosive row between them three, retreated to the sanctuary, teens shed tears only under the veil of privacy,

Feeling the heat from some of the relos, nothing like pressure to create diamonds,

It also busts pipes, bet they didn’t know it, that’s how your guy here be feeling it,

There’s also the retreat, lasted two days and one night in an idyllic setting to ‘find ourselves’, that’s the bullshit they’re preaching,

Didn’t quite go as planned, yours truly got a revelation instead, any semblance of acceptance pretty much gone and fucking dead,

Couldn’t even shower in peace, the trolls were frothing and let loose,

No deadly kinky prison shit in here, but literal mudslinging was put to malicious use,

Way to convince a guy that he’s alone, fuck it, so be it,

Won’t rattle y’alls cages anymore, I’ll gladly go off on my lonesome,

Can’t lie, some friendly folks remained, well-meaning and approachable, unlike the snakes that went right for the jugular,

Treated them in kind but stopped short of letting them in, never know if wolves are lurking within, gotta be wary of whom I be trustin’,

Don’t bother asking ‘bout girls, dating or anything of the sort, no time for any of that, not while tests, gen pop and expectations are on riding my back,

Not that they’re checking for your boy and the feeling was mutual, at this rate will probably fly the skies without a co-pilot, off to the great unknown alone,

Every waking moment between classes spent in the library, a refuge from the bullies and the politics,

Finding a safe haven between shelves, can’t remember the categories but one of them was music,

Flicking through pages until the chiming of the bell, before another onslaught of assessments and unwanted interactions, life on campus a special kind of hell,

Speaking of, they say there’s a place reserved for those that take matters into their own hands,

Never did plan on turning towards a permanent solution, but to say I ain’t ever thought about it would be lyin’ about it.


Took a trip down memory lane one day, flicking through that photo album,

So many fond memories, some of ‘em forgotten,

Stumbled upon one from kindergarten years, featured two cute little kids,

One of ‘em yours truly, you being the other, ain’t seen you in years and years,

How we came to share a snap, kind of a funny story, that,

Never were buddies, nor did we interact, boys and girls tend to stick to their own, just a matter of fact,

Parents’ Day was the catalyst, school putting together a celebration, kiddies dancing with one another, that’s how we wound up partners,

Recollections of that day hazy, been more than thirty, feels like a lifetime,

So many highs and lows since, it lies buried deep beneath layers of grime,

This artefact remains the only proof of its occurrence and also our shared existence,

Which, by that time, had become numbered, year’s end brought with it drastic changes,

Both of us destined to leave The Islands, this boy and his fam first cab off the ranks,

Bound for the Land Down Under, a better life lay ahead, so promised the parents,

Heard from the grapevine that you and your folks were bound for the Land Of Opportunity, traveling to opposite sides of the globe,

Never crossed paths again, our time in one anothers’ stories ended,

Can’t lie, looking at this picture kinda makes me wonder where you’re at,

If you yourself possess a keepsake, also how life had turned out for you,

Are you still up there in the States? Maybe moved overseas? Maybe returned to the Philippines?

Married and had you a bunch of kids? Flying solo like many today are wont to do? Wherever you are, hope it all worked out well for you,

Maybe we’d crossed paths by accident over the years, this kid grew up to be quite a traveller, maybe you’d taken a similar path, it’s just one of many possibilities,

But at the end of the day it’s all speculation, don’t get me wrong, I ain’t simping or wishing and hoping,

We were six at the time, too early to be thinking about romance, barely even got to talking, though the classmates did their share of trolling,

About how we’d grow old together, apparently dance partners make good life partners,

Despite the lack of an emotional connection or signs of affection holding hands is enough for a happily ever after,

I wonder if you remember that or even noticed, kinda amusing now just thinking about it,

Kids say the darndest things, always jumping straight to conclusions,

Just to let you know, I’m doing alright, got up to this point mostly intact, been some challenges along the way but everyone goes through that,

Taking it all one step at a time, it’s really the best that we can do, take your time, pay others no mind, it’s your own path, how it goes only you determine that,

Anyway, just the musings of a man taking a trip back in time, come to think of it, what do you suppose our fellow peers are up to?

Just something to reflect over during whatever downtime we can spare, which, in adulthood, is just so damn rare.