Excerpt from When The Smoke Clears

By Jacquie Bamba Zamora


Boring. Meh. The sparks flew out of the window! Dull. If that’s how you describe your current relationship, well my dear, these warnings could bring you to a fork road that could either lead you to liberty or a major heartbreak. And liberty can be a good thing.

You wonder why, all of a sudden, your relationship has gone too far from the romantic bliss and settled for total monotony. You begin to feel that you want another taste of excitement, passion, fire. And the result? Double-edged confusion.

Two things begin to confuse you: your decision to be with him or your loyalty to the relationship and to the person. And this is when it gets irritating, when you start to question yourself with this: is it really about him or just you being selfish?

Then things get even messier.

You begin to evaluate your other options. To be more specific, you begin to evaluate or re-evaluate the other men who you think might be the better (or more perfect) fit for you. You start to consider that ex-boyfriend, the one who dumped you because he thinks your attitude sucks. You begin to address the “what ifs?” What if you changed? What if you were more patient? What if he was less of an asshole?

And then your mind goes into overdrive and drives you nuts. In some of your fantasy scenarios, you imagine your ex-suitor, the one who used to shower you with sagutin-mo-na-ako gifts. Then you dump the fantasy like a hot rock because you remember that his subject-verb agreements disagree a lot, in both SMS and handwritten love letters. But you also feel a strange tinge of regret. Maybe you should have given him another chance. Maybe he’s good in math or physics or, at least, in sports.

But wait, there’s more. You also begin to notice your colleague’s painful attempts at flirting, starting with superfluous compliments that are too papansin and pa-cute for you.

Photo by Jacquie Bamba Zamora


Loved the excerpt?

 About Jacquie


Jacquie Bamba Zamora is an English teacher, a copy editor and a daydreamer based in Okayama, Japan.

A goal-getter, she planned to work as a preschool teacher and eventually as a college instructor. She also dreamed of earning a Master’s Degree and building a teaching career abroad and she was able to unlock all these achievements before she reaches the big 3-0.

She loves learning new things but still appreciates the beauty of the old and the classics. Cheesecake, shopping, movies, traveling and love letters make her happy and turn her into mush.

Photos by Jacquie Bamba Zamora






Thank you for supporting this book! Share it online and include #BeforeIDoAnthology! This 2-in-1 book was self-published in Manila, Philippines in December 2016. Before I Do Anthology will soon be available at National Bookstore and Fully Booked branches in the Philippines.

Edits: Jacquie Bamba S. Zamora

Before I Do Anthology

Philippine Copyright © 2016 by Katherine C. Eustaquio-Derla

Kath C. Eustaquio-Derla is a journalism graduate from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines. She wrote Bedroom Blog by Veronica, a relationship blog for Cosmopolitan Philippines from 2009 to 2011, which covers most of her single dating life. In 2015, she published her first book Before I Do. She’s passionate about coffee, red wine, books and Mad Men. She stopped collecting hearts when she got married in 2013 and went back to collecting Archie Comics ever since. Send the author a tweet @kceustaquio.

Disclaimer: This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination and are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, places or persons, living or dead is entirely coincidental. Image from Pexels.com.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any written, electronic, recording, or photocopying without written permission of the publisher or author. The exception would be in the case of brief quotations embodied in articles or reviews and pages where permission is specifically granted by the publisher or author.

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