Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Fading of Bright Stars

After Nicky Garnace

In the years we shared work spaces, seldom did our hours crossed. She worked night shifts, while I move across different time zones to meet the demands of my profession. She was a luminary; a survivor of countless excisions when the demands of work is lesser than what is required of human resources.  And if not for the months-long infirmity last year, she would have endured the most recent culling. She became part of the statistics, only to return when a colleague flew abroad to get married and live with her fiancé.

A fine lady in her early 30's, one would easily mistake her for an East Asian. Her eyes disappear when she smiles, and her porcelain skin is the envy of many. Her gauntly frame, albeit a cause of concern, hardly bothers any. Colleagues would tell she eats nothing but Chippy and Coke. But who are we to forbid her of such pleasures? She delivers, and for all we care, satisfied are we of her job performance.

Talk is an avocation the two of us hardly engage. Reason lies in office hierarchy, but more so, because we respect each other's solitary leanings. But this doesn't mean ambivalence, or hidden disdain. Words may have never articulated what my thoughts were, but I've always regarded her in high esteem.  

Gnaix as she is known by her pen name is a profound writer. I have gleaned some of her works, beautiful and elegant pieces of Fan Fiction. While her subject dwells with K-Pop and scenes from that part of the world, I would never deny her gift for weaving stories. They are written with so much passion. Dream-like. As if the author is yearning to become one of her beloved heroines. No wonder, when one tries to ask where she draws inspiration, a journey to her soul leads to answers.

Her talent for crafting narratives made me pay close attention to her after-work occupations. For one, she is a compassionate angel who never left her mother's side. I was told both of them go to events, when Korean celebrities make time to meet and greet their fans. I also know she's a voracious reader of Rom-Con and Young Adult genres. I could just imagine her laid splayed in bed, reading novels that gave her idea to create her own. Finally, for all the impressions that she appears distant and reclusive, whispers tell of her attempts to connect. People in the office, the same workmates I find joy watching from a distance tell anecdotes of their conversations: Lively, life-like, and replete with aspirations and struggles. Same with friends, who now pour loving words they might have never said when Gnaix is a polished gem who used to shine among us.

"Don't worry, yeobo. I will be back in no time." Leeteuk said and gave Sora a sweet kiss on her lips. 
"Just look at the sky and think of me every time."
- Signs of I Love You, Asian Fan Fic website

Gnaix was taken away from this earth, much like a ripening fruit snaps from a healthy tree. It was swift and unexpected: Devastating for those who believed she had already overcame the life-threatening affliction. She had many plans in store, like learning how to drive and cross-stitch, and meeting new friends now that she has regained her weight. I recall her mother at the wake, calmly saying how she had devoted her life to looking after her. "Ang unfair naman," she said, as daughters are supposed to send their elders to the grave and not the opposite. Looking at her lifeless body inside the coffin, her face tells of no regrets. Perhaps, she knew all along that her time is limited. That all she needs to show is she can do things - like earning to pay the bills, like finding ways to immortalize her memory through writing, and like aspiring big things, despite her near brushes with death. And much as it hurts knowing she no longer breathes the same air that fills our lungs, it is with deep honor coming across such an amazing woman, whose online fiction stories end with a promised love the author never waited to come.

1 comment:

Oliver Salangad said...

just plain heartbreak.