Eponine was belting out On My Own and Alice felt like weeping; this is what the cliché on unrequited love is all about — it is wanting to jump and drown yourself into the river Seine.
In her case, the Pasig river would suffice, with all its muck and centuries-worth of neglect and degradation.
Alice, stop it. You chose this, live with it. Don’t be such a goddarned ninny.
In any case, if she did cry right now, Kim would think that it’s a natural reaction to watching such a tear-jerker Broadway extravaganza as Les Miserables.
A few years ago, back in Manila, she watched a play called “Walang Sugat” with him whose-name-she-won’t-even-think-lest-she-become-depressed.
“Walang Sugat” was a Tagalog zarzuela by Severino Reyes, a love story about a soldier who went to battle and the girl he left behind. The play was of the ”happy-ever-after” category.
Alice would usually classify plays, novels or stories into 3 categories: 1. the “happy-ever-after” 2. the “and-they-all-suffer/die-or-spend-the-rest-of-their-lifetime-on-Prozac” variety or, 3. the “uncategorized” category.
She was now wondering: if her and Jonas’s story made it to Broadway (or to Hollywood … ha ha!), what type of script or screenplay would it have?
Kim had a ready answer, “Nicole Kidman! What about you?”
“I have no idea. I like Lindsay Lohan.”
“They would have to lobotomise her first before she can play you,” Kim laughed, obviously enjoying the discussion. “Or maybe you should be played by a not so well-known actress. Like that girl they want to be Anastasia Steele in 50 Shades of Grey the movie? What’s her name, Dakota something?”
“Melanie Griffith’s daughter.”
They passed by a homeless person and Alice thought, so this is not so different a world from the one I left, after all.
“The big difference about New York and Manila,” she said, “is that everything here is … big. You don’t know if you want to swallow it before it can swallow you.”
Out of the blue, Kim remarked, “You miss him – Jonas.” There was no question mark after that statement.
Alice said, “Yeah, well … long distance relationships don’t work, quote unquote.”
“But it doesn’t have to be that way anymore! You can Skype or email or do Facebook or Twitter or blog or … you know, maybe even snail mail. I have an aunt who did that with her husband, a marine engineer who would be gone 10 months a year. They did snail mail for 18 years!”
“Then what happened?”
“He retired from the ship with a hefty bonus and retirement pay. And then he and my aunt went on a cruise, just the two of them. But he had a heart attack during that trip so he’s now dead.”
“Are you trying to make me feel better or worse?”
“I am just saying that for two people in love, time or distance shouldn’t matter.”
“Kim, my friend, the operative word there is ‘should’ – something completely different from ‘would’.”
“I think the two of you would end up together, no matter what,” Kim announced with conviction.
“What makes you so confident?”
“I set the two of you up. I wrote your story. I’ll be damned if it will end up to be anything less than a happy ending.”
In her heart, Alice was thinking: it could be Uncategorized.