#FromTheAhrt is a column that is written completely by you, the RATED AHRT community.

Here, you can submit your stories as responses to a prompt or a question that we provide, or simply a one-off piece of writing that you want to see published. There is no word limit, no rules on what you can and cannot talk about, and whether or not you provide you choose to reveal your identity is completely up to you.

We all have one, or maybe even a couple. My guess is it’s only human nature. In the same way we can remember things based on visual cues or even taste, we can do the same with sounds. And what more if those sounds aren’t just sounds, but a mix of distinct melodies and the right words?

Last week, we asked our readers to share what that song is for them, and to tell us what (or who) in particular these songs bring them back to. The responses we got were a mix of stories of love in all forms, of heartbreak, of joy, and testaments to just what role music can play in the lives of who welcome it.

The prompt: What is a song that will always remind you of a specific moment, feeling, or person? 

After our Christmas party, someone gave me a Pride flag. My heart was soaked in tears. So much so that I almost forgot that I wasn’t out to my family that day. Also, on that day I went screaming at the top of my lungs around the fourth floor, sashaying unapologetically around my friends (mostly because I was flexing the Pride flag). For all of us there, the moment did not just pass. Beyond it, we celebrated every one of us — our very own little Pride march. As Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘Real Love’ played in my earphones, we went down from the fourth floor to the facade of our school, to the jeepney, and then to the mall. We laughed and made every step of our feet a safe place for us to be the most colorful creatures we could be.

On that day the gift was not only the gift of Pride, but alongside it, I have met vibrant and powerful creatures. Their stories are real and their cuts deeply carved into their soul. And with outstretched open arms, they accepted every color of my being that I could expose who I am them. more than just the celebration of our Christmas was also the celebration of Pride.

Anonymous

You’ by Basil Valdez. This wasn’t actually our theme song, but rather my ex’s Mom’s song for her TOTGA (the one that got away). She would always tell me about how her Mom loved that man, but didn’t end up with him. I didn’t appreciate it that much during those times. I couldn’t relate much to the song and its meaning — mostly because I was so sure we would end up together forever. Now, every time I’d hear it play on the radio, I can’t help but let a tear slip down my eye, because after all this time, “It’s your smile, you face, your lips that I miss / Those sweet little eyes that stare at me and make me say / ‘I’m with you through all the way.’

Anonymous

‘Araw-Araw’ by Ben & Ben. When I first heard that song, I wanted to share it with the guy I liked. To my surprise, he sent it to me first, and then asked if he could call. We talked over the phone about the girl he was in love with. I almost told him that I loved him that night, but I didn’t. I wanted to, but I was too scared. I never told him, and I don’t think I’ll ever get to.

Anonymous

‘Maybe’ by Jensen Gomez and Reese Lansangan. It was the year when I almost died. Meeting him was surreal. He accepted me — both the pros and cons of dating me — despite me being terminally ill. We both have this love for indie bands and movies, which is why we clicked. I knew that he was struggling to be independent since he’s a son of a known general. So I waited. We kept everything slow. From being pure strangers to acquaintances, to friends, to movie buddies, to weekend dates, and to after-work companion. But things got shaky when his old flame came back and stirred his emotions. So I asked him, “What are the odds of us being together?”

It was pure silence. I smiled, trying not to cry, and then walked away. That is when I learned that it’s still not over between them. My feelings will never be reciprocated. Two years after, we bumped into each other — him about to go to work while I was on my way home. We just stood there. Staring at each other for about a minute. And the day I asked him about our relationship replayed in my mind. I guess he remembered it, too. We both smiled. The kind of sad filled with regrets. Maybe if I hadn’t asked him that day and waited for him instead, we’d be together. Maybe if he just answered me it would be different now. We still see each other at common places, but we never get to have a conversation. I guess our pains have separated us.

Tin

This is still an open prompt, and we’ll keep sharing continuations of this series as we continue to have un-shared entries. If you have a story you want to share about a song that will always have a special meaning for you, feel free to send them in!

Fill out our active prompt through this form, or send any stories you want to share over to hello@ratedahrt.com.