Vince Imbat

A Cloudless March Sky

May 23, 2023

I thought everything I was feeling was just the effect of the break up. Nothing more.

When I told papa that I have broken up with her, as he advised, but that I was feeling very low and tired and anxious, he just said, “Ontan ya talaga so nagagawa’d sararatan” (That’s really what happens with those things).

I took what he said as a fact. I’ve never broken up with someone before. I was 19 years old. I have never been in a serious relationship. So, when we ended three months of secret phone calls every evening, I didn’t know what to expect. Since I didn’t have any experience, I believed my father.

These weird things I have been experiencing for almost three weeks already were what happens when we fall in love and abruptly end it—sleeping only two hours every night, waking frequently in the middle of the night, feeling tired the entire day, most probably because of the lack of sleep, a very low mood, as if a large gray cloud looms above my head wherever I go, circling thoughts, and this sudden desire to confess my sins, this overwhelming guilt.

I am walking today to Kuya Keith’s house to confess for the very first time.

Sins that I’ve been hiding from the elders in the congregation for years were suddenly shouting inside my head, wanting to come out. Sins considered minor but still worthy of confession, according to religious rules, are now giving me a hard time.

I called Kuya Keith, and told him I wanted to talk about something that was bothering me. He said his door is open anytime.

It was 4:00 in the afternoon, the sun still up in a cloudless March sky. The air was chilly.

I was about to knock at Kuya Keith’s door when I realized…

it was slightly open.