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The Standing Ovation

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Gabriel and Adora
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Ten eyes are prodding through me, wondering what magical astounding words I'm about to utter out of my breath on the stage. The stage, which is more likely just an elevated platform only inches from the floor; seems like a rickety bridge that will come down crumbling the moments I put my first steps on it.

I still have the same fear whenever I need to do public speaking, even though people around me considers that I am such a veteran to deliver speeches; given the weapon of my own choice for selecting the topics this time.

Only God knows why the butterfly always failed to cease the knot in my stomach.

My mind tries to replay all the researches and rehearsals that I've done over the weeks. The high-pitched voice of Charice, the Filipino girl who sang at Oprah; the tears that flow like a river whenever she hit the notes in the chorus; the calmness of the lyrics that can soothe anybody's empty soul. I failed miserably. The adrenaline has worked its curse; it blocks out the memories that I longed to hang to.

I stepped up the stage, and began fiddling with a laptop that sits on the podium. Having set all things up the night before, I started to face my most ferocious phobia that has kept haunting me for weeks.

Damn, I'm glossophobic.


Ladies and gentlemen, my respected members of the floor”.

I take a short breath, holding it in my chest while swiping my eyes over all sharp, expectant irises. Two Indian men, one muscular Caucasian, two feminine Malays, and one Chinese midget. I hate the way that midget looks at me, so I ran my eyes to the back of the room.

I stand humbly in front of you this evening, in order to fight my believe in this one mantra – love is not about wealth and material possession.” My forefinger standing, symbolizing the one topic I represented.

While I can't deny the fact that nowadays, without money, we'll be living in poverty and miserably inept in providing the love we needed, I need you to remember these two interesting facts; one – you can't buy love with money, and two – money provide bitterness, while love provide tenderness.”

Do you want me to prove it to you?”

Some heads nodded slowly while others seems to be smirking and making cynical facial expression. I clicked the button on the electronic pointer that I've held from the start on my left hands, and two pictures – combined into one shown on the projector. A pie chart with some numerical percentage on the left, and an American soldier putting a foot at a bearded Arabs on the right.

Let's see what we got here. United States of America is one of the giant in the world economy with most impressive GDP. Yet, why does the country still instill war, human racism, religious discrimination, and a climbing crime as well as divorce rate over the year? Have they lost all their love?”

I'm not going into details for its political correctness or religious misconduct. What I'm showing here is a correlation; not a coincidence, that with a higher percentage of economics power, their love is slowly diminishing. So, can you buy love with money?”

I can see some smiles protruded from the face of my audience.

This also points me to my second fact. United States have money, but most of the people seems to be in some kind of bitterness. Let's try to take an example closer to us. How many of you are actually single and not yet married?”

Some hands raised in the air. Almost three quarter of the audience.

I bet you guys have money from your salary, right? Then tell me, how do you feel at night, when you're alone, lying on your bed without anyone besides, apart from your earthly possession?”

Why, I can pay someone to be on my bed then..” replied the Caucasian. All the people laughed at that joke. I just smile at that remarks.

True, you can do that, but does it provide the tenderness of love, or just the tenderness of flesh? Didn't you feel the sensation of loneliness and the pang of solitary?” I replied.

As long as it is tender, I am okay with it..”

Is that a denial of someone who doesn't have love, or is it only some bitter remark, sir?”

The room filled with laughter. The Caucasian blushed. I take the chances to restore my standing gesture to move into my closing speech.


You see, it is in our heart that we need to ask and find love. We must not restrain ourselves from contemplating the love that exists naturally in our inner soul. We must not tie our definition of love in the soul with the properties that we have in this realm of chaos. Don't let our different features, different colours, different physical matters.”

We need more than air, water, and food to live. After all, we're human. We have our own feelings, we want to love and be loved. Why do we deny it?”

You know, if I had a chance to write a note to the God, the only thing that I'd ask is all the hate in the world to be vanished. I'd ask for all the hate to be swept away. I'd ask only for love and peace to mend this world.”

And nothing can explain it better than this song.” I clicked the same button twice, turned my body to face the projector, and a video of Charice who sing “Note to God” started playing.

If I wrote a note to God

I would speak whats in my soul

I’d ask for all the hate to be swept away

For love.. to overflow

If I wrote a note to God

I’d pour my heart out on each page

I’d ask for war to end

And for peace to mend this world

If I wrote a note to God

I’d say.. please help us find our way

End all the bitterness

Put some tenderness in our hearts

I’d say, I’d say, I’d say

Give us the strength to make it through

Help us find love cause love is over due

And it looks like we haven’t got a clue

Need some help.. from you

Grant us the faith to carry on

Give us hope when it seems all hope is gone

Cause it seems like so much is going wrong

On this road.. we’re on

When I turned my back to face the audience again, I can see some of the tears flowing from the Indians and Malays. The Chinese midget tries very hard to hold her tears; the tears accumulating in the eyelid giving a glass-looked irises.

This, is what I called love. Love, that moves people. Love, that inspire your motivation. Love, that turns off our dam and make us cry watching it.” I wipe my eyes with my sleeves while chuckling a laughter with the audiences.

Love, without a wealth defining it. Thank you for your time.”

I bow my head, tilting my upper parts a bit, while I heard the clasps that goes on and on for what I feel, forever. The knots have ceased. The smiles of satisfaction carved on my face.

I've got the standing ovation..


Author's note: The italic sentences are lyrics of Charice - Note to God. See the video of her performing in Oprah here: link

Previous short story:
Gabriel and Adora
Next short story:
Stories of the past

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about the writer


Easily triggered, hot - headed, stands by what I believe is right and logic man with a pride and ego. Have stands and my own principles. Logic before emotion. Emotionally cold and ignorant.Can be romantic at times (to the one whos dear for him), love to try everything new. Love to think, and take challenges as much fun. Ironic things cracks a laugh in me. Thoughtful is my forte. Follow my Twitter at @rearrange.
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