A Scarlet Letter From Pablo’s Notebook

by Juseph Elas

In March 09, 1994, a historian visiting one of the country’s famous landmarks, a century old fortress that was once used as a military base during the Spanish occupation, found a roll of manuscripts in a cylinder cemented on the walls. It was curious that none had ever seen that cylinder there for so many years until that day.

The manuscript contained long hand-written notes from a man named Pablo who started writing letters for a woman he never named. He described the woman as someone who possessed such beauty one would kill to have. A fool’s gold. Historians spend a huge amount of time looking for any Pablo in the country’s history books, checked and double checked all historical records of the cities well celebrated for their involvement in fighting the Spanish occupation but they never found any name that would shed light as to who Pablo is.

While the quest to uncover the identity of Pablo went on, a quest to unlock his secrets in the many letters he wrote commenced. His letters possessed not only his confessions of love for this mystery woman, it also shows a different 90 degrees angle of the country’s history; those that were never told by our parents and written on our history books.

However, ultimately, Pablo’s IMG_20141214_101450letters were filled about his infatuation for this mystery woman whose eyes were deep, with rosy cheeks, pronounced cheek bones and skin that made the sun dance and bounce off of her. He described the woman as someone whose features were incomparable, “as if God made you with zero percent error.” he wrote.

But among the many letters that Pablo wrote, only four pages were made available for public consumption and it does not highlight Pablo’s importance in the country’s history. These parts of the entire manuscript gained Pablo the reputation common among teenagers nowadays. Some concluded that Pablo was the first hopeless romantic to have ever walked the sun-kissed soil of the country. And these letters are now featured in an exhibit at the country’s largest museum. I was able to grab copies of those letters and I transcribed it here:

13th of December, 1945

I woke up today needing, not wanting, to write about the story we shared; the story we made, to understand the nuances that drove us apart. Because my mind refuses to process why in the middle of this magical and thrilling and exciting thing, you decided to tore it all up. Perhaps it was because of something I’ve done or something I’ve said. Honestly, I have no concrete clue. And I wish I have. All I know is that I love you and you loved me, too. Writing that in past tense made makes the wound bleed again.

I know you know how much I like to write. Remember how it saved us numerous fights? You liked that, you liked how much self-control I have. I remember you saying it was cute and childlike. And then I remember how you would get back to me through letters, too. How you poured your heart out with every crooked lines of your penmanship.

I kept every letter. 

I still read them whenever the paralyzing horror of me missing you would crept up my little piece of reality. Now that you’re gone, my writing is all I have to get me by. Perhaps this whole thing is more for me than it is for you.

Since that day in the rain, I felt like nothing was making sense anymore. When you left, you took every color, every meaning, every happy feeling with you. Sometimes, I would find myself doing things I rarely do. Since that day, my lungs started to refuse oxygen, my stomach won’t accept anything and my mind became a movie house, replaying everything we’ve had like mixed-tape.

I am such a mess.

I know you’re probably never going to read this but I have to try. I don’t know what to do anymore. My hands are trembling as I try to suppress my emotions. I don’t want to cry – although that, too, kept me sane since  . . . since you left. The pain was and is the only reminder that what we’ve had was real. And sometimes I wonder how you think about this whole situation now.

Was your decision to leave me absolute and irrevocable? Are you this decided that killing every connection possible between us must be ensured? Thinking about these is making me crazy. I know I promised not to cry anymore and no matter how hard I try to keep my mind off of you, I know my string of thoughts would always drift back to you.

How I wish I could stop writing all these in past tense. How I wish the curves of my penmanship mirrors all the happy days and not the melancholic upsurge of my emotions. How I wish I was writing you long hand-written love notes and not a eulogy for the love we once shared and have.



Author’s Note:

This is a work of fiction born out of the figment of my imagination. Any names, locations, and information written in this material is purely fiction.


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