emilio i hope you still want to talk to me after this

Arrow 5x17 - “Kapiushon” What we know What we hope

What we know

Extended promo

Synopsis

THE BREAKING POINT — Prometheus (Josh Segarra) goes to great lengths to break Oliver (Stephen Amell). Meanwhile, in the flashbacks, Anatoly (guest star David Nykl) becomes worried about Oliver’s increasingly violent tendencies, which come to a head in a brutal confrontation.

Promo stills

Cast from IMDB

But there an added tidbit on the Stunts list Note: it could be some mistake

So Ms Madison McLaughlin aka Evelyn aka Artemis is going to appear too. Even if she’s not listed on the cast. The fact is confirmed by Marc Guggenheim himself on his Twitter answering a fan who asks when Evelyn will be back he answers “Next week”, adding to that Madison was spotted in Vancouver around the time they were filming either 5x17 or 5x18, so it all fits.

Writers

Brian Ford Sullivan & Emilio Ortega Aldrich

They did the Teleplay for 3x21 “Al Sah-him” 

Originally posted by bridget-malfoy-stilinski-hale

They wrote 4x11 “A.W.O.L.” 

Originally posted by ekbfield

I think I see a pattern here, they do dark, both Dark Oliver and Dark Felicity. They also seem to be the ones loving to torture both Oliver and Felicity (I am considering that Felicity was torturing herself in 4x11).

What we expect

After 5x16 promo that focused on things that turned out to be mostly irrelevant to the episode I’m a bit weary as to what is shown in the promo but I will take it at face value with a grain of salt.

There appears to be a clear divide between the stills and the promo. The stills are all from Flashbacks. It’s exciting to see Kovar back (should I say Dolph Lundgren back), the woman may be Taiana’s mother. She’s not listed on IMBD Cast so she could be someone else, but Taiana’s mother makes sense as Oliver is supposed to have come to Russia because of a promise he made to her (Did you forget? Don’t worry I almost did too).

Originally posted by yourreactiongifs

Apart from this, it looks like Oliver in Flashbacks really is committing himself almost exclusively to The Hood (Kapiushon) and his violent ways, enough to worry Anatoly. And that should be alarming in itself as Anatoly is a violent man himself, he is a Bratva Captain after all.

I do not know if this is the episode where Oliver kills Kovar but from the Synopsis and the stills there’s going to be a serious fight between Oliver and Kovar/Kovar’s team. I’m hoping for epic. I’m hoping for an Anatoly surprised and worried about his friend tackling such a powerful foe.

Originally posted by olivergifs

Meanwhile the Promo is almost all about current time. Oliver is chained, being tortured by Prometheus. He still doesn’t know what Prometheus wants from him… or maybe he does and doesn’t believe it. Prometheus just wants Oliver to suffer it seems, but his game is not really about physical pain but rather psychological. Keeping Oliver in the dark, away from the world, with a mind weakened by torture, probably lack of sleep and you can create a all World of pain inside anyone’s brain. Maybe he really just wants Oliver be a Monster, just like Adrian himself? Maybe that’s it?

Originally posted by gameraboy

We know how CW and Arrow PR work, the episodes are more about what they don’t show on promos and stills than what they show. Let’s see a couple of things they don’t show in the promos and stills for 5x17:

- Team Arrow

Originally posted by 1-crazy-dreamer

- Felicity Smoak

Originally posted by dailyflarrowgifs

- Artemis

Originally posted by dailydcgifs

- Talia

Originally posted by arrowsource

Based on what I can foresee / venture a guess happening on this episode from all of the above I’m expecting:

- Team Arrow to be trying to find Oliver. Adrian is with Oliver dressed as DA which probably means he’s still doing his day job, giving the team some hope of being able to at least track him, while they wait on Felicity’s info. Sure Adrian will be expecting that to happen, he may even be using it to taunt Oliver; it will be fun to watch;

Originally posted by agaliope

- Felicity Smoak doing a really bad, illegal, immoral, criminal thing for Helix to get information on Oliver. Information I’m guessing is at least known by Adrian that is going to be expecting the Team. The writers did Dark Felicity, I’m excited to know that they are the ones writing the Felicity drop into Darkness too, still…

Originally posted by sassy-beluga

- Artemis. There are two ways this could go, one good for Oliver the other bad. Being that Madison needs a stunt double I’m almost certain she will be fighting, either fighting the Team or fighting Prometheus. I’m hoping she’s somewhere where she watched the news and found out Prometheus is worse that The Hood, and comes to redeem herself by helping the Team. But that’s me going along with hope on something that could easily be the other way around, as far as we know she can even be Talia new student.

Originally posted by solarmechanic

-Talia. Lexa is listed and she only gets listed when she does appear on the episode, so she will be there, question is when. She could appear on flashbacks or on present time. I’m thinking present time because she hasn’t show in Flashbacks for at least 2 episodes now but she could. In current time I know what I would like, I would like to see her walk into Helix. Felicity never met her, so if no one says her name Felicity won’t have a clue as to who she is and she could be there to watch Felicity take the last step into darkness, like Adrian is making Oliver return into his own darkness.

Originally posted by stupidteletubbie

Random thoughts

I’m hoping for a very interesting episode not only because of… well… you know… reasons.

Originally posted by whoeveryoulovethemost

   but for the psychological warfare between Adrian and Oliver. 

Originally posted by queensarrow

I know the torture is going to be bad, Oliver found his evil twin of sorts, but the acting is going to be epic.

Felicity is going to give the Team enough for them to save Oliver. Oh how I wish to see them hug when they finally get together again

Originally posted by olicitytroop

but maybe we will get Oliver in the Hospital with EWR by his side, she’s still his girlfriend after all (humm… not vomiting as much as I was before, it’s probably the expectation of the door kicking EWR butt on her way out).

Originally posted by penultimxte

Felicity will know she’s in deep trouble. I wish she would talk to Oliver about it but I’m guessing she’s not. First and foremost she will care about the fact Oliver is alright, or at least, out of Prometheus clutches and torture; second she knows it will hurt him, she knows he will blame himself when it was her choice, she’s a grown woman (like she told Curtis) and she made a choice. 

I’ll just be here…

Originally posted by gurl

Even if I do enjoy the view I don’t think I am ready for watching Oliver being tortured nor Felicity sacrificing herself. Plotwise it’s interesting, as an Arrow fan this is great, but my heart… oh my heart…

Originally posted by lalaaesthetic

I know they will be okay but I’m guessing I was wrong for all this time, they pushed up the time scale, this episode seems to have all the makings of 3x21 (even the writers/teleplay writers), just like 5x16 ended up shadowing 3x20, with a great (even if muted) Olicity scene and Oliver being taken away from everyone leaving Felicity willing to risk everything to get him back.

If my reasoning is correct that may mean we will have a 3x23 earlier than 5x23 and that gives me hope

Originally posted by lyricalarrow

Note: I got a request to post this earlier this time. For the ones use to get it on Monday I will repost then.

@vaelisamaza | @hope-for-olicity | @tdgal1 | @bindy417 | @supersillyanddorky06 | @emmaamelia95 | @coal000 | @miriam1779 |@felicityollies | @eilowyn1 | @taurusclh | @jules85 | @scu11y22 | @quant-um-fizzx | @memcjo | @dmichellewrites | @bringbackianto |@mogirl97 | @laurabelle2930 | @oli-feli | @oliverfel4 | @mel-loves-all | @spaztronautwriter | @cruzrogue | @bekaoperetta | @cndyprfumegirl | @somewhatinvisible | @charlinert |  @almondblossomme | @oliverdant | @callistawolf | @jbuffyangel | @felicitys | @fadinglands | @nalla-madness |   @onceuponarrow |  @leonie1988 |​ @stygian-omada-fan | @smkkbert

People describe their experiences with school shootings on r/AskRedditt!

Part 1 of the passages I found most interesting.

User walinpch: “I was a Sophmore at Northern Illinois University when Cole Hall was shot up. At the time I was in my dorm getting finishing my school work before my girlfriend came out for Valentines Day. My roommate was just about to leave for class, which would have been in Cole Hall, when my RA came into our room and calmly told us there had been reports of a shooting and to not leave the dorm. At first it hadn’t really sunk in what was actually going on but then we went to the window and could see about 3 or 4 helicopters circling the campus. Then we turned on the news and realized how serious the situation was. During the first hour or 2 I remember getting calls from everyone I new seeing if I was ok and myself texting as many of my friends as I could to make sure they were all ok. Cell service was really bad due to the amount of people getting calls and texts. My roommate and my best friend both had the next class in the auditorium that was shot up. Another one of my friends was in building next to Cole Hall when it happened and had a bunch of injured people running for safety into her building. I think it was like a week before spring break so the school cancelled that week and when we came back to school Cole Hall was completely closed off. I remember the first few days back teachers weren’t really pushing students to complete assignments and more of them were interested in talking about what happened. They brought in extra sercurity to walk the halls which was a little distracting but they also brought in snacks and a lot of therapy dogs for at least the first weeks to help students feel more at ease. I also remember there was a lot of controversy about people treating the shooter as some sort of victim and people burning a cross or something like that, that was put out because he was someone who was ‘lost’ before the shooting. I’m not sure why that stuck with me. I remember the memorial going up right by Cole Hall but I still don’t know if Cole Hall is there anymore. I moved to AZ right after college and when I go home now to visit family I never have a car to take and visit. I still want to go someday just to walk around.”

User garglius: “Finally something I can answer to on reddit and its something as dark as this.

I was at Dawson College in Montreal when on September 13th 2006, Kimveer Gill shot up the school wounding 19 people and killing one girl.

I was on the 6th floor in a chemistry lab as it happened. My phone rang and I excused myself to answer it since its rare that it rings (I usually text). It was my mom asking if I was okay because there seemed to be a shooter in the school. I told her I was fine, and that it was probably just a fluke, since the week earlier we had been evacuated for a gas leak.

When I got back to class EVERYONE was on their phone or trying to look out the windows. Our teacher told us that we wouldn’t be allowed to leave class until further notice and that a suspected shooter was in the school. We could see swarms of cops surrounding the school and sirens were blaring everywhere.

A good while later, a police officer came to the door of our class to tell us that we had to stay there until the entire school had been searched (they did not know how many shooters there was at the time and were making sure everyone was safe). Once that happened and a cop came to escort us out, we essentially went through the school as if it was a maze (instead of taking the stairs down to the closest exit, they made us go down 1 or 2 flights, walk down halls, down different stairs, etc.) We did this until we got to the atrium, which was the room where the main shooting had happened.

In the atrium it looked like a battlefield. Broken glass, blood, abandoned bags and belongings everywhere. We got rushed out past what I imagine was Gill’s body bag into a flurry of reporters wanting to know how it was on the inside. I answered a few questions for one and then tried to meet up with some friends (which was hard, since cellphone lines were always full). Finally found them, and one of my friends dad drove us home after we stopped for some food.

Now to answer your question. After returning (which was 2 weeks after if I recall) all the classes were considered 'optional’ for a good amount of time. Classtime was spent talking about the events that unfolded and people were encouraged to share whatever they wanted to help them get through the tragedy. Class curriculums were reworked in order to accomodate a shorter semester. Exams were delayed or cancelled. My canoe camping trip was pushed from mid september to mid october (big difference temperature wisr in Canada). People were allowed to drop out from the semester without penalty. It took a good month for things to pick back up to normal pace and by the winter semester, you wouldn’t of been able to tell from the attitude of the students that something horrible had happened a few months prior. They did install a huge amount of extra surveillance inside the school though as they were fixing the damages caused.

So that’s pretty much it. I’d be happy to answer questions if anything is unclear or if it seems I left anything out.”

User Dudemancool3: “Well. Let’s just start with a basic summary. Low security at the gym section of Reynolds High School in Troutdale, OR. I was a freshman. The shooter was as well. It was the first day of finals, probably 6-14 minutes before class started and we began. Shooter was in locker room with “guitar case” and geared up when the lone victim Emilio Hoffman walked in. Shooter grabbed a gun and shot him once. Killing him on spot. Two teachers run over, shooter fires, grazes a teacher who runs out to office to put school in lockdown. Responders come and trap shooter. After that nothing exciting happens. I was sitting in the corner of my language arts class. In the dark. Listening to a police scanner. Eventually police escort us out with hands up and we get searched. The rat of the day and months following are a blur. Coming back was bad. They remodeled the gym so it looked different. I still walk in the locker room and bathroom and think “people died here”. I don’t feel safe in school and never will. I’m consistently on edge when in the main building. It’s worse in the gym. No one has felt safe. Every June 10th is worse. Some of us handle it better. Some of us don’t. The school won’t ever be the same. Ever. They can clean up blood and bullet holes but they can’t erase memories.”

User csp256: “One of the professors at my university (Amy Bishop) shot six other professors (who I didn’t know) in the face during a meeting before her gun jammed. Three of them died.

We all knew she was crazy and we all expected something like this to happen. She even made jokes about it the year before.

She came and talked to a “careers in science” style Freshman class, and during the Q&A she derailed the conversation to how tenure works and how cut throat it is to get, and another student asked what would happen if she was denied tenure. Her response, the one sided smile on her face, the way she said “well…” and laughed in the way that people do not laugh - every single alarm bell in my head went off. I knew she was planning on killing someone. I had the misfortune of growing up in a way where I learned at a young age to tell the difference between someone who was really fucked in the head and someone who just had a couple of problems, and I was 100% certain Amy Bishop was a killer. But, fuck, what was I supposed to have done?

Turns out, she had already murdered her brother, sent pipe bombs to people who stood in her way, wrote “fiction” books about someone who murdered their brother & kills people after being denied tenure, and had a history of physical violence with random strangers too. The university never did a background check. There was at least one other professor openly campaigning to have her fired because she was, uh, obviously a dangerously crazy person.

The day of, I told a friend of mine that there had been a shooting at our school. His first reaction was “Dr Bishop?”

I was off campus for the actual shooting, working across the street. Our workplace didn’t go into lockdown; we worked with kids. It was just a couple minutes after I first checked the news that she had been apprehended. 

They evacuated a building on campus while I was in it a couple weeks later because there was fears she had placed a Herpes virus-based weapon (she had done work on the Herpes virus). Turns out she was just talking shit - but it was what had happened in her book about herself.

I’ve never been in the room where the shooting happened. They retroactively took her name off of EVERY document it was on. Legal or not, all of her research got her name scrubbed off of it. We got a new slogan for our school out of it (“Charge On”), and we had therapy dogs come to every class for a week or two later. It never really effected me. I felt like I had been primed for it in some way.

Two weeks prior to this, my former elementary school had a fatal shooting. An abused boy was told by his addict mother that he had to earn for his family, and another student owed him money and wouldn’t give it back, so he shot him in the head. I don’t usually have a lot of sympathy for murderers, but I hope that kid gets the help he needs and manages to live his life. As I’ve been led to understood, he was pushed into it by his shit stain of a mother. Amy Bishop can burn, though.

It is a funny thing: In that “careers in science” class Amy Bishop talked to us about her research, where momentarily stopping and restarting a persons heart ~2 hours before heart surgery significantly decreased the damage caused by the much more invasive heart surgery. There is a symmetry between that, and the shooting in my home town.

PS: Never mind how her husband mighhhht have been complicit. He was seen giving her the bag with ammo et al the day of the shooting, and knew about most or all of her history… including her fan fiction of herself.”

User DunblaneUser: “Hope I’m not too late.

1996, when I was 7, a man came into our school and killed 16 children and their teacher. I remember that we were in the classroom down the hall to the hall where assemblies and PE used to happen.

Our Teacher was handing out our books when we heard the first round of guns shots. I remember not actually knowing what was going on but our teacher told us to get to the back of the classroom and stay quiet. She moved the tables infront of the door and started barricading them.

I remember the guns shots we’re in succession. Groups of two. I remember it took so long for the shots to stop, and I was just frozen. I was aware something was happening, but was mostly scared of how panicked and scared our teacher was. The look of fear on her face still haunts me. We waited maybe 3-5 minutes and then shots came in through the door. I remember there was no screaming but just curled up children on the floor. Our teacher stayed on the door whilst the gunshots came through. They hit chairs and the library near us. It went quiet then I just remember a single shot. We waited 10 minutes before my teacher went out. She told us to stay on the floor and hide till she came back.

The police came and we taken out of the classroom through the windows. We couldn’t go through the hallway because of the bodies in the gym. I just remember my mother running up to me in panic and hugging me.

We had a lot of time off, and we all went to the funeral. My mother took me out of that school and after I had to talk to psychologists, because my mother thought it was the best thing to do.

I’m now 27 and I’m still haunted by what happened that day. As I grow much older I feel much more responsible for what happened. Whilst children were getting shot, I was in a room hiding. I sometimes think of how those children would have grown up.“

User Denso95: “German school shooting, about 16 people were killed there in 2009.

I never came back to this school. I was in 7th or 8th grade, I don’t know. We had to stay in containers for like 3 years, then the school would be okay to go in again with many new things and security doors all over the place. I didn’t get to see that because I left school just before everyone else went in.

As long as the containers were built we had to stay in another school for a few weeks. They organized special rooms for us. Our school was a “Realschule” (Like Middle school), the other one was a “Hauptschule” (Lower Education School). So those uneducated “Hauptschüler” were laughing at us for what happened. People died, but hey… not a big deal - in their opinion. They were joking about doing something similar and simulated gun sounds. Like wtf?

So at some point in a lesson we heard noises very similar to gun sounds. That close after the main event some girls freaked the fuck out of there, screaming. The teacher and boys followed, other classes joined and it was a mass panic. I remember how I went into a guy from the other school, he was laughing and was amused by all the people running into him.

So, police arrived and we all were in their gym waiting for the officer to clear things out, people were crying and panic was still there. The reason for the noise was a construction worker and his hammer working on something. False alarm. School was off for that day.

From that day on our class got very quiet and concentrated when someone knocked on the door. The shooting was pretty brutal and he also shot through doors, if you’re interested in details, look it up: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winnenden_school_shooting

The next room he would enter would be ours. Thank god someone called the cops that early - otherwise I’m not sure if I would be still alive.“

User AirHokie: “I stayed for the week of cancelled classes after the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech. Lost a couple friends and an instructor that had become a good mentor and the only reason I was safer than they were was because I’d already stopped going to class. The place was a ghost town, minus the news reporters that acted like vultures every time I walked outside wearing anything maroon or orange.

I ended up tossing every piece of Hokie gear I had in a dumpster and hopping on a plane to Ireland, using the money I’d saved for school to instead travel for 3 years. I told no one except my brother.

At first it was rough - lots of drinking (before the shootings too). And every time I made the mistake of telling someone I was from Virginia, or even a former student at an American university, it was all they wanted to talk about. But once I (and my new friends) got out of Europe and the news cycle rolled on, this became less of an issue.

I returned to Virginia Tech in 2010 with a new set of problems, but one thing I remembered was how the time felt like a giant reset button. Everyone I knew that was there during the shootings was gone and the campus had very few reminders aside from the designated memorial.

Even today, with my regular involvement with Blacksburg and Virginia Tech, most either don’t know what really happened or don’t believe I was there. The only time shit gets weird is when there’s a security warning on campus (like the emails that got blasted to a bunch of schools last month).”

User GetTheHelOut: “I know I’m late to the party but fuck it I made an account just for this so here goes:

I was a freshman during the UCSB/Isla Vista shooting. It happened on a friday evening, so most of my floormates were out in the floor lounge watching TV. I was on my way down to a brother’s pre-graduation party when I ran into a friend who said shots had been heard and the building was on lockdown. Overall not many people knew it was very serious at the time, we had gotten plenty of alerts like this from campus security before because plenty of sketchy stuff goes down in IV. Once the lockdown happened we knew it was the real deal.

I didn’t know the names of the dead until the next day. The school held a candlight vigil where thousands and thousands of people participated – it was honestly the most beautiful and heartbreaking experience I’ve ever participated in. We walked from Storke Plaza on campus to a park in Isla Vista, where friends and family members had an opportunity to speak about their memories of our fallen students. I assumed that nobody I knew would be among the dead but I was wrong.

Two of my friends, Veronika and Katie, had been walking to get coffee and food, when they were gunned down. I know the place where they died. I walk or skate by it every day on my way to campus.

The experience changed me. I dropped out of school for almost two years and am just now coming back. I no longer have the same naivete about mortality or life that I once did.

But that’s not the worst part for me. The terrible part about a school shooting is that they are forgotten so quickly. I’m supposed to be a senior now; the only people who were in Isla Vista for the massacre are my class. A full 75%+ of students weren’t there for it, and the names and faces of my friends who died, as well as the four other victims, are almost erased.

I’m sorry for getting so emotional and for the terrible formatting (posting from mobile), but I needed to get all that off of my chest. Thank you for letting me do so.”

User BrokefaceHD: “Thurston High School shooting in 1998. I was a freshman and went to Springfield High School, Faith Kinkel was my teacher at the time. This was the “big shooting” that happened before Columbine. Kip Kinkel shot and killed his parents and then drove their van to Thurston High and opened fire in the cafeteria the next day.

The news spread fast across town to our school that morning, but it took awhile for all of the details to start coming in. Kids started being pulled from class as parents were hearing the news. There was an announcement around the second or third class of the day that there had been a tragedy at Thurston High and if we needed to leave that we please checkout through the office. Then it came, fourth period, the principal announced that Bill and Faith Kinkel had been found murdered in their home. Complete breakdown. Teachers stopped teaching, most were in the hallways holding each other and crying. Students just kind of left or wandered the school or went to common areas to find out what others knew.

My friend and I were in a computer typing class together that period, but we were also in Faith Kinkel’s Spanish class at the end of the day as well. There was no way we were going to wait around or step foot in that classroom. We grabbed our bags and checked out. We walked home together, mostly in silence, we both carried disc-men at the time and both tuned out the world. My parents waited for us, I had called from the office to let them know to expect us. My dad bought us pizza and we played video games, but anytime I started to feel a little better or momentarily forget the day, I would feel absolute guilt and sadness.

The whole thing was surreal. Luckily it was a three day weekend and I had plans to visit a friend in Bend (about 3 hours away). It was all over the news, but the distance of the weekend helped to escape it a bit. Returning to Springfield was emotional. I had my mom drive us by Thurston High, I wanted to see the memorial wall, it was heartbreaking, news vans still lingered.

When it came time to go back to school we were told we had access to counseling and of course anyone that was a student of Faith’s was not required to go to class. I went though, they had counsellors and we all sat and talked about her class and her. A lot of tears, lots of memories, we also had a handful of laughs remembering her. Faith Kinkel taught Spanish at Springfield High, and she was a great teacher (and I’m not just saying that because of what happened, I have had plenty of terrible teachers, she wasn’t one of them). She actually talked about Kip a lot in her class and would tell stories about their family vacation. She would share family pictures and show us different things they had purchased in Mexico. The school year luckily ended a few weeks later.

When the UCC shooting happened last year I was still living an hour from Roseburg in Eugene. It broke me for about a week, everything I had felt 17 years ago came right back. It’s always tragic and a bit terrifying when you hear about shootings and the like, but when it’s right in your backyard or it directly affects your life it’s hard to cope.“

User EricCornwell: “I was 12 at Westside Middle School in 1998. The direct changes to the school were that they closed off the areas where the shooting happened for a while, until they replaced the sidewalks and patched up the damage. Due to the media coverage, we all knew what the scene looked like. Many people handled the situation in very different ways. The majority carried on as usual, but with a twist. I don’t have citations to back it up, but our graduating class had more pregnancies and drug addictions among the actual graduates than any class before or after (we were handled pretty carefully in retrospect). Personally, I went weird and would alternate between “goth” kid and tie-dye, which got me a disturbing amount of negative attention, being in the semi-deep-South.”

User knightfall: “I went to Columbine and was a sophomore during the shooting.  We went to our rival school (Chatfield) to finish the year. We had classes, but a lot of them didn’t really do anything. Math was the only class that really tried to get back to normal. We also had tons of assemblies when random celebrities would show up.

The following year we returned to Columbine, I remember a lot of parents built a human wall around the school to keep reporters out. Things returned to normal fairly quickly the next year. It was always weird with the school being remodeled though. Area where library used to be was gone.

Getting your stuff back was a huge problem though. They kept our cars and other belongings for several months. This created a lot of issues as most high school students don’t have multiple cars to get to school. Also, a lot of us left our backpacks when we finally got out of the school. I always had my wallet in there, so I didn’t have any credit cards, ids, etc. Also, the sprinklers came on after so when I did finally get my stuff back is was moldy and mostly ruined. I don’t mean for this to sound whiny that I lost some belongings while others were paralyzed or even dead. Just something I never would have thought about had it not happened.

Edit: I seem to be getting a lot of the same questions so I’ll do my best to address them here.

Credit Card:. Debit card or ATM card would probably have been a better term for most.  I did have a credit card from my parents as they were teaching me credit.  I paid the balance not them.  I was in my twenties before I realized how credit card companies made money.  I was taught to pay the balance off every month to avoid interest and I assumed everyone did that.

Did I know the shooters: I was not friends with either of them.  I knew Dylan a little bit growing up, but did not really talk to him in high school.  If I remember correctly, Eric worked at a pizza place (Blackjack?) near the school.  They were both older than me and hung out with a different crowd than I did.“

If The Odds Allow

Author’s Note: Requiring readers to listen to this https://soundcloud.com/somedaydream/somedaydream-against-all-odds while you read this au ok? To unleash those angsty feels hehehe. And this is a really long au btw.


 There were so many moments Mabini contracted terrible fevers, he’s seen him shiver, cough his lungs out and at one point, he even coughed and vomited blood. 


 There were nights when Aguinaldo would climb into Mabini’s bed much to Mabini’s protest and everytime he’d witness Mabini’s poor condition, he would shut his eyes and pray in desperation while holding Mabini tenderly. 


 “Wag niyo muna siyang kunin sa akin. Parang awa niyo na, Panginoon. Kahit kaunti pang panahon..“ 


Aguinaldo would repeat over and over again.


… 


 But now.. Mabini’s the one voluntarily detaching himself from him. 


 And he knows he has to let him.


 “Although I acknowledge that you have reasons to get tired of me because I only tell you things that may cause you trouble, I hope you will have the patience to read through what I am going to tell you, as I promise never to trouble you again…” he read Mabini’s resignation letter again. Although he doesn’t have to. 


 He’s read this letter so many times it’s inevitable for him not to remember it word by word. 


 He can’t read it without tearing up a little bit. Oh, if only Mabini saw him now.


 “Inasmuch as you now count with many helpers, please allow me to resign. When you had no one, I worked by your side despite my ailment; now that you do not need me anymore,” 


 He wanted to argue that he will never stop needing him. But he didn’t, he let the moment pass and now he regrets all the words he left unsaid. Words that had the potential to turn Mabini’s decision around. 

 God knows how many times he cursed at himself for not convincing him to stay harder. 


 “it is but fair that I should think of my health… That is why I said at the beginning that this will be the last time I shall trouble you… May God enlighten you, inasmuch as in your hands lies the welfare or the misfortune of the Philippines.” 


 He arrives with a decision, he knows that Mabini’s health is deteriorating no matter how well he hides it. It would be too unfair, too selfish and cruel of him if he doesn’t comply. 


 Aguinaldo grants Mabini’s request and only asks not to be disturbed on the day his beloved leaves. 

 But his body— or should I say, heart, betrayed him. He knows it’s gonna hurt (like fucking hell and it did) but he can’t stand the thought of not even saying goodbye. 


 He finally went out of his office right on time after debating whether he should or shouldn’t, only to find Mabini waiting outside his door. 


 They haven’t seen each other since he gave his resignation letter, Aguinaldo was surprised to see that Mabini still looked like Mabini. 


 Except for the dark circles around his swollen bloodshot eyes. 


 He could feel his heart slowly breaking. 


 Little did he know, so was Mabini’s. 


 Words weren’t necessary, the way they looked at each other said everything.


The heartbreak, the gratitude, the joy, patawad, salamat, mahal na mahal kita pero— 


 Aguinaldo was the first one who broke eye contact, it was too painful to look at someone who would soon turn into a memory.

 Aguinaldo turned his back on Mabini and tightly grasped on the wooden door.


 “Señor Pre—" 


 "Pole." 


 "Miong." 


 That crushed him, that was the cue for a teardrop to fall. 


 Before Mabini could move away, he gently grabbed his arm. 


 He knew it was gonna be difficult, that’s why he didn’t wanna watch him walk out of his life. His initial plan was to stay in his office, uninterrupted. Leaving him alone with his agony. To be angry, to wallow, to grieve.. but he asked for this, didn’t he? 


“Stay… please.” he almost begs. 


 Pole just smiles at him because the two of them know that his decision will remain the same.

 He let’s him go and watch the only person who really knew him leave. 


 This is his curse. 


  And it never stopped hurting. 


 Because you don’t just stop loving someone just because they’re gone, don’t you? 


… 


 Aguinaldo is alone, wandering in his office.. stroking the chair where his Prime Minister always sat. It was dear to him just like Mabini.. And he had no logical explanation to provide whenever Paterno would question why he still had it. He would always answer mananatili lang yan na nandiyan. And whenever someone attempted to sit at the same place, he’d ask them to sit somewhere else and he knew damn well his cabinet, Paterno, Buencamino and the others found it odd but whatever. No one dared to question the Señor Presidente anyway. 

 The simple action reduced the chair’s sentimental value and having someone else sit didn’t quite feel right, it was almost against his principles. To him, it was an act of betrayal but was he humoring himself?


 Betray who? Who was Mabini to him? 


 He shakes his head to clear his thoughts. 

 Mabini who was simple, Mabini who was benevolent. 

 He was innocent but was no coward. 

 Highly intelligent but never boastful.


  And more importantly, he was the kindest and purest being his rotten soul has ever had the pleasure of meeting. 


  He saw beyond him. To Mabini, Aguinaldo wasn’t just Señor Presidente.. Sometimes, Emilio was just Emilio and that was that. 


  A lovely and tragically beautiful flawed human being just like the rest who shouldn’t be deprived of love. 


 Who is he to Mabini? 


 They were grown men, they never understood the value of titles. Does the absence of a label made their relationship less significant? Theirs was just as passionate as the nights Luna shared with Isabel. 



 Well, they had their own definition of intimacy. How they held each other tenderly on shared nights, eating together- be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner, stolen kisses and stolen glances, exchange of looks filled with compassion, how they said each others’ name like it was the most beautiful word created by God, they talked about fears, politics and anything under the sun.. they shared the laughter, the joy and the pain. They shared everything. Wasn’t that just as intimate? 


 … 


 It felt as if he was letting others take Mabini’s place and it felt wrong.. So wrong. 


 Because he knew no one could ever top or occupy that empty space ever again. 


 He’s gone and he’ll never be the same again. 


 … 


 He endures the pain for days.. Which turned to weeks, then months and eventually, years. 


 He waits for the moment to arrive. 


 Whenever someone knocks on his office, he’d be expectant to be greeted by a familiar face only to be disappointed every time the door opens. 


 Until he grew weary of waiting. 


 he contradicts himself, 

 How long are you going to keep lying to yourself? You even hired men to keep an eye on Mabini when he was exiled in Guam! And don’t you dare pretend that you don’t know he returned 2 weeks ago. 


 This is your chance. 


 Just let yourself go.. Let it happen


 he hesitates, 

Nonsense. This is mad, this is impulsive— I simply must not. 


 “You’ve become such a fool, Miong. You’re on the verge of believing your own lies.” 


 He hears his voice out of the blue. He’s aware that this might be a hallucination but he doesn’t care. 

 After all, he’s been confused and lonely for the longest time. But now he feels closer to him than ever. 


 Four long years.


 At least I get to hear his voice. 


 He lets himself go mad for the night and arrives with a decision he cancels his plans for the next three days and comes to Manila the following morning. 


 … 


 He’s nervous and excited, his toes are curled and his palms are sweaty. 


 He arrived in Manila early in the morning and is greeted by the cold summer breeze when he steps out of the kalesa. It was somehow chilly and this reminded him of mornings when the American’s would announce a ceasefire and he’d have barako and pandesal with Mabini. Simple things they entitled their little tradition. 


 He knocks three times and the caretaker recognizes him immediately. He asks her to keep her voice low for he doesn’t want to startle Mabini and the caretaker directs him to the veranda.. 


 Where he can see his beloved’s perfect silhouette.


 And he can’t explain how happy his heart is.


 He stops holding back, diminishing every doubt he had left that clouded his judgement. He runs to Mabini and this shocks the other man but he manages. 


He can’t explain how happy his heart is either.


 Aguinaldo falls down on his knees as Mabini holds both sides of his face endearingly, he studied Aguinaldo’s face carefully and sees how much he aged. 


 “Nawala lang ako, pinabayaan mo na ang sarili mo.. Bakit ngayon ka lang? Akala ko hindi ka na dadating.” Pole said with tears rolling down those glorious cheekbones Aguinaldo loved so much. 


 Pole still looked the same. He had a pinkish white glow, his eyes were warm, his soft hair was slightly ruffled, his cheeks were flushed, he wore a boyish grin and Aguinaldo was glad and relieved, at least Pole managed to take care of himself. Clearly, stepping out of the stressful government environment and politics benefit him.


 After all these years, his precious Pole remained to look lovely. 


 “Pole, sana mapatawad mo ako kung nag dalawang isip ako. Patawad kung ngayon lang ako duma—" 


 “Shhh, tama na. Nandito ka na, yun naman ang mahalaga di’ ba? Wag ka na umiyak, tahan na.” 


 He takes Mabini’s hand.. It was cold, but not because he was sick. He’s feeling nervous and happy, and all the best things combined. Aguinaldo found comfort in Mabini’s eyes and whenever he touched him, even in the simplest manner of holding his hand, he found home. 


 Who was he kidding? Mabini is his home. 


 All Mabini could think of is that he’s here, he’s here for me. And suddenly, the world makes sense again. Words are not enough to explain how much he adores this man kneeling before him. 


 “Ilang taon akong nagdusa, hindi ko alam kung paano ako kikilos o mabubuhay nang wala ka sa tabi ko. Paano ba yun? Apat na taon na ang lumipas subalit hindi ko parin natatagpuan ang kasagutan kaya napagtanto ko na walang sagot. Dahil hindi ko kaya. Ni'hindi ko magawang patawarin ang sarili ko dahil ko man lang sinubukan na pigilan kang umalis. Kaya pumunta ako dito upang..”


 “Upang?”


 “Upang tanungin kung pwede mo na bang tapusin ang aking pagdudusa.”


 “Miong.. Ang ibig mong sabihin—” 


 “Pole, mahal mo pa rin ba ako?” 


 The man in question fell silent, looked away.. trying to think. 


 “Kailanman.. Hindi ako tumigil.” he answers. 


 ”Mahal na mahal ki—” 


 Mabini leans in and pulls Aguinaldo’s face closer, you talk too much he thought. But he loved it. Oh, he loved everything about him and soon enough, Mabini’s soft lips landed on Aguinaldo’s and they seal the deal with a reasonably long kiss. 


 “Alam ko. Mahal na mahal din kita.” Pole says, wearing that smile only exclusive to Miong.. He is almost out of breath with his forehead resting on Aguinaldo’s. 


 Together they watched the sky change colors from purple to a beautiful sky blue and they watched the sun bid his goodbyes and the moon saying her hellos.


 They did the same for the rest of their days and lived.. 


 They lived in their own ever after.