Chapter One

Published on February 12, 2010

Before we became like this, we went through a long and painful process...


Disclaimer: Contents may be too cheesy for some hearts to handle. You have been warned!

It’s not a typical love story. It’s definitely not a boy-meets-girl, boy-courts-girl and they-lived-happily-ever-after type of story. This is real and it is not a fairy tale...

The story started ten years ago and this is the only time that I had the courage to share it to other people because there were a lot of complications that hindered me from doing so. But now that everybody seemed to have moved on, it’s time for me to reveal how it all began.


I honestly don’t remember the first time I met him. I am not sure if there was any formal introduction. We were classmates and were a few seats apart on classes that require students to be seated alphabetically. There was no spark or magic. I didn’t have that blazing feeling when he would ask for a yellow pad from me. There was no electricity when he would ask if he could copy my Math assignments. I wasn’t thrilled when he talked. There was nothing. I would laugh at his jokes but I am not forced to do it if it they sound corny. I know that he feels the same way too though he confessed lately that the first time he saw was as if he saw me walking in slow motion with the wind blowing through my hair. Of course I don’t believe him!

We were friends for a long time. Both of us were involved with other people. There were times when I would confide to him about some guy stuff. I was surprised that the funny side of him is just a mask of someone with a deeper sense of life and love. I remember him teaching me a thing or two. And I remember him saying that he already found the girl he’d like to spend the rest of his life with. And oh, it wasn’t me.


Years passed. Four years later, I got involved with someone. My friends thought that it was doomed from the beginning. But I kept on denying it to myself thinking that it was something worth the shot. I have nothing against him because he was also my friend. He was also his friend. But days started to become gloomy because it’s really hard to be in a relationship with no future. I was denied of a lot of things including having a second family. It was painful but I had to accept the fact that it was never going to work.

My friends, especially Aubrey and Erlie were there for me. I didn’t tell them my plan right away. But there were numerous conversations where I would just talk and they would listen as I pour my heart out. That’s how we are. We don’t give advices unless sought for. But Erlie said something that made me wake up. She said that the more time I spend waiting for the wrong person to be right for me means less time for me to be with the right one. I might be too busy making things work without me knowing that the right person has already passed by. But at that moment, I wasn’t looking for the right one. I just wanted to finish something and move on and it didn’t matter if I was alone.

I finally had the courage to end it. It wasn’t the easiest thing to do. It was so hard to let go of something that I’ve been fighting for. That relationship drained the whole of me. I know he was hurt but somebody had to make the decision. People said that I was the bad one. But in all honesty, I was just the brave one to do it.

It was hard because we see each other almost every day. It was as if we were never going to pass the awkward phase. But I knew deep in my heart that it was so over. There was nothing. I had nothing more to give. My friends were so surprised that I didn’t even shed a single tear.

I started reinventing myself. For me, that moment meant I get to spend more time with myself and with my friends. I needed to regain the confidence that was long lost. I told myself that I would need to love myself first before I can give out love to somebody else. It’s a cliché but it’s true.

But as the song goes, love really moves in mysterious ways. It will strike whether you’re ready or not for it. Mine ended abruptly but he had to get out of a four-year relationship. I knew it was wrong and I had no plans of breaking the rules.

It was his birthday. I sent him an SMS greeting. (While writing this, I came to realize that I made the first move! OMG, I'm going to pay for this!) I teased him that my birthday wish for him is to find a new love that would make him happy again. He replied by saying that he already found THE ONE but he is not risking losing a friend in the process. Tell me that I’m dumb but I didn’t get it. It was after that one phone call days after had I only realized that he was talking about me. He said that he was feeling something “weird” but he chose to shrug it off. So I asked why me. My heart was shattered; I was a damaged good. Why on Earth would someone “love” me?


I didn’t want to entertain it. My heart would crumble each time my cell phone lights up. I refused to look into his eyes for fear that something I couldn’t handle might happen. That was not I asked for. After one failed relationship, all I asked from God was to give me a source of strength to get me through each day. I wanted some time to think about what I really wanted in my life. And being involved with somebody else was the least of my concerns.

But he was persistent. So one night, he asked if we could talk. The walls of Intramuros became the witness of how he said things that would later on change both our lives. We were seated on a bench with an artist in front of us singing while playing an acoustic guitar. It was an odd feeling. I used to be comfortable with him. We’ve been friends for five years and I wondered why I suddenly became giddy with him around. He then took my hand and whispered that he loves me. I said, “Of course I love you too. We’ve been friends for five years and I am so grateful that you have always been around to help me out especially when me and you-know-who were struggling.” His face fell down on the floor as he told me that he has loved me more than a friend. I laughed! He said he was serious. I laughed again! I told him he was so funny. And with his reaction, I knew that he was really serious. My heart said he was but my mind said something else. So I started asking questions. How did it happen? Why me? He said that he chose to stick to a commitment because it was the right thing to do. And there are silent rules in friendship that he chose to obey. He said that he was breaking all the rules that night because he has waited long enough. I went home with a heavy heart.

Things became more awkward. I started hearing a lot of bad things. People started to look at us differently. Like in a movie, I instantly became the antagonist. But he made sure that I don’t blame myself for anything. He said that it’s not my fault that he chose to love me. We began to go out secretly. But I still could not reciprocate his feelings because I was so afraid.

Then one night, he brought me to Baywalk. (Here come the cheesy parts!) We got lost on our way. We traveled for almost two hours so he was worried that I was starting get really pissed off. But I wasn’t. I haven’t felt so protected and so at ease. It was like being lost with him was no big deal because what really mattered was I was with him. When we reached our destination, he told me that all he needed to hear was that I don’t love him. And he’d disappear. I was about to say that I don’t love him and my that heart is too broken to feel anything. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t say that I don’t love him. I didn’t know why. I begged him not to put me on the spot and asked him to take things slowly.

Everything was a blur. I remember giving Aubrey a call telling her what happened and her reaction was “You and him? How? When? Why? Really? Are you sure?” She was as surprised as I was. It was hard for me to make other people understand our situation because I myself could not do it.

I weighed the pros and the cons. During the short time that we were secretly going out, I realized that he wasn’t the friend I used to know. He had a lot of secrets. Some of which were too grave for my heart to handle. He wasn’t the perfect prince for me. But I wasn’t perfect either.


Two days before Valentine’s Day of 2005 while Aubrey, Erlie and I were in Bulacan doing our thesis, he arrived straight from Cavite to see me. And with only the moon and the stars to light us, he asked me to be his girlfriend. All my doubts suddenly disappeared and I said yes. Everybody thought, including us, that it was just a simple rebound relationship. But it turned out to be a love story oddly written by God's hands. It was built on a strong foundation of friendship and made stronger by adversities.


I thought I already had the happy ending. But fairy tales forgot to mention that maybe Prince Charming was turned off when he woke up Sleeping Beauty when he realized that she has bad breath as a result from sleeping for too long. Or that Cinderella might turn out to be a nagging wife. Or that somebody else turns out to be fairer than Snow White. My point is, this is not a fairy tale. We are both flawed. So this story is not yet finished. All I know is that I can be totally myself when I'm with him. It doesn't matter whether we burp or fart in front of each other. Our flaws do not make our love any less. He made me laugh the hardest and cry the loudest.


I love him. He loves me. And I know that I made the right decision five years ago. So when I asked God to give me strength when I needed it the most, I realized that He gave it to me wrapped in the most unexpected package.


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7 comments

  1. Hi Je,

    You might have known by now that I'm a fan of your blog...sorta!

    I have heard the three sides of your love story - 2 boys' sides and the other girl's side; and from you, just now. To be honest - I have judged you unfairly, 5 years ago. The other 3 are all my friends, and at that time, immaturely - I saw that you have ruined a great friendship and had brought too many tears to these guys that it made me hate you somewhat. But then, I realized that I only knew you from the tales these guys are saying, so I changed my mind.

    I just wanted to tell you that even though we do not personally know each other, I am happy to see that you and my friend had gone thru the worst and the best a relationship can give. And I am happy to see that both of you love each other and are happy with each other.

    Makiki-Happy Anniv to both of you… hehehehe.. regards to Yet.


    Jane

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  2. Jane, I know how people felt about our relationship. But believe me that I made sure that everything has been ended before we started a new one. I believe in the golden rule and it’s not my type to get in the middle of an ongoing relationship. The judging glances and scrutiny are just a few of what I had to bear for five long years just to be with him. Like what I said, it was a long and painful process. Now, I just feel good that my side has been aired at last.

    Thanks for always dropping by! :-)

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  3. grabe, tama ang warning, cheesy nga. happy anniversary to you and your partner, more to come!

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  4. i'm happy for both of you. more "keso" years to come... hehehehe... :p

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  5. oh my God! sorry, this is kinda "late" but i just happend to read it just now.
    i remember my mom always telling me how "tiyaga" your bf is everytime she sees you guys going together for work and coming home together as well. i guess my mom would also like to tell you that she is very happy for you hence, the smile on her face when you pass by.
    i am so happy for you "neighbor"! i wish you guys all the best in life..=)

    -louisa

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  6. huhu, that made me miss your mom even more. thanks! :(

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