poem: Her

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By Kellen Budilay:

A soft smile graces her lips as she comments on something he can’t quite remember. Truth be told, he hadn’t been attentive to a word she said all day. Instead, his eyes analyse her lips, a rosy crimson that was replicated on her cheeks as the sound of her honeyed giggles reverberated through his ears. It was a sound he could memorise, just like each curve on her body. Her presence was undeniable, the kind that was possessed by a ruthless dictator, demanding for his attention. He had been her first kiss, over a childish dare which only caused her to cry at the age of seven. At the age of twelve, she found the courage to confess and yet again, he left her with tears across her cheeks. He apologised that day and she said it wasn’t an issue, but the pain in her eyes was undeniable. It was almost as if she cared more of his feelings than of her own, and he was too scared to ask her why she looked so hurt. He regrets not asking her now. And now, there he was, sitting across the room, unable to speak to a girl who had a smile that oozed of light in the darkness. She tells him that there’s something she needs to tell him, and finally he focuses on her, waiting for her to continue.

Little did he know that she was about to throw fire into hidden embers in his heart.

“I have a boyfriend,” she notifies him, four words that cause an unrelenting pain in his stomach, “… I have to introduce him, you guys would probably get along.”

He realised why she looked so vibrant.

And it finally hit him; he loved her.

He loved her too late because while she once smiled artificially for him, her newfound love gave her a smile that was as primal and organic as the sun.

January Embers I

IMAGE: Jo Christian Oterhals

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