My love stories are weird. I mean, now that I think about them, I sometimes cringe at the embarrassing moments and just wish to disappear right here and now or wish that it is just me who remembers awkward stuff and all, but of course, there were also fun times to be thankful about.
When I was in high school, I fell in love with a brown, good-looking boy who was taller than me, who was excellent in Algebra and was a national volleyball player. He was my first love and it was unexpected because among the boys in my class, I hated him the most. Everything that I was good at he was always better at them. He was one of my greatest competitors since he was also good in class, in sports, in dancing, in playing the guitar…even in playing chess. Aside from that, he was my biggest bully in school. Never did a day pass that he won’t throw a mean comment at me or piss me off with his a tease.
But one day, I was surprised to see him following me while I was halfway to our home. He confessed his feelings for me, said he wanted me to be his girlfriend. At first, it was funny and awkward because we were standing in front of a gasoline station and “Gugmang Giatay” was playing in the background. I don’t know what went up to me, maybe he primed me for a long time and I agreed, in one condition: No One Has To Know. But the affair lasted for only less than 24 hours because the following morning, I noticed that my aunt, who was one of our teachers also discerned that we were leaving imaginary hearts all over the place and sending them to each other and that we were so inseparable. So I went up to him and broke up with him. At first, it was hard. I liked him but I couldn’t afford to let people know because my parents were strict and I saw how my older sister got punished for having a boyfriend when she was still in high school. You know the feeling of loneliness when you can’t see him anywhere in school, and how his smell made your heart flutter and you did your hair to make him notice you? You know, the typical high school love stories/drama.
After a year, he dated one of my best friends. That was fine because I already moved on from him. I was happy for them. He became one of my closest friends until college happened, he didn’t take the UPCAT which I believed he would have passed with flying colors. That really sucked. Now he has a girlfriend who asked him to unfriend us all in Facebook and well, we rarely talk or see each other. But good thing, he found his wavy career today. He’s a proud and hardworking marine man.
Then in college, I met this beautiful young lady with whom I also fell in love with but she was obviously out of my league. She was a rich kid, extremely free-spirited and lovable. I knew that when we started dating, she was still in the process of fixing her broken heart from a man she… well I really don’t know the story, I’m just telling this out from my past observations.
We were from the same activists’ organization in UP and it all started with a tease then followed by a day when we agreed to be each other’s girlfriends. We lasted for nine months but she had to join a fraternity and we drifted apart because we had little time for each other. Many people especially those who knew us were surprised that we dated each other because we were pretty girls, you know and they didn’t expect us to be bisexuals and sometimes there were people who asked us who was the “boy” between us and I couldn’t understand it because there was ultimately no boy between us. We dated because we liked each other, just as simple as that.
I remember when she broke up with me, I had to run to a comfort room and cried the entire afternoon there. She said I was a good friend and she didn’t want to lose me but I ended up vomiting every piece of my pride so I ignored her in school until the day I was able to move on. My friends thought I was overreacting, but damn did it hurt. So apparently, we really drifted apart. I lost her not just as a romantic partner but also as a good friend. I should be excused, I was immature back then. I don’t know, but now that I think about it, it’s true that it is one heck of an awkward situation and a huge embarrassment to send drunken texts and dramatic love shiz to an ex especially if you broke up like 3-5 months ago. I think I have sent her a million drunken texts after we have broken up. So ew of me. The typical awkward/embarrassing college love affair.
Currently, I am dating this lovely man I met in college. We were best friends (well not until when were in 2nd year) and he had a difficult past relationship that made him cry rivers in my shoulders for a gazillion times. After several struggles, dramatic on and off, ugly beginnings and bitter moments, as of now we’re together for almost 5 years and one of the most memorable thing (yet) that happened to us was the day we met after typhoon Haiyan destructed and killed thousands in our home town.
So the story goes like this with the setting: 2 days after Typhoon Haiyan. Of course, people were walking past me and I could hear them saying that Marasbaras (the place where he lives) was also submerged in seawater and there were a lot of dead people in Dolina (their subdivision). I was already praying to God to keep his soul because I knew, and I experienced Haiyan’s wrath and I lost people I loved, people I was fond of and it was possible that he too was already gone.
So for 2 days, I cried and prayed. I kept on sitting outside the house of my father’s friend who took us after Haiyan robbed our home, and I looked into every passersby’s face, hoping that one of them could be his’. Then on the 3rd day, my father decided that we will walk to our municipal town which was an hour away from the city through a vehicle and maybe a half to one day if taken by foot. We had no other option, we will starve in Tacloban. So we started walking – past the rubbles, the dead bodies in the street, the zombie-like people who have also nowhere to go, the crying women- under the rain and the sun with nothing but our clothes which we have worn since day 1. we kept on going and dragged our injured bodies home.
Then while we were still on our way, as we were passing by Robinsons’ (the town’s biggest mall) with the roads crowded with looters of all ages and types, my older sister abruptly said she saw him. She said and I quote “Adto man hi JG.” She said this so casually that it appeared to me that maybe she didn’t notice me crying my eyes out for the past 48 hours that we have been together for thinking that maybe I have lost this boy, too.
So, then after she said that, my eyes automatically scanned for him in the crowd and there he was, walking like a ghost with his black boots and his shorts folded up to his knees and his eyes were distant and his hairy face darker than usual…and suddenly he looked my way. I have never believed in love at first sight but during that time it was like we were in the movies! Everything was in slow-motion as he started his way to me, he couldn’t believe his eyes (wow, I’m such a creative writer!) then he hugged me. I hugged him back while sheepishly smiling and thanking God he was alive. Apparently, he also thought that all of us were dead because just right after the typhoon or maybe a day after, he walked from his place to check on us and all he saw what’s left to survive was our toilet bowl which sat on the septic tank, ostensibly enduring the waves.
Then minutes after our dramatic scene, my father interrupted and said (and I quote) “Uyab mo?” and I saw in his face something which was…uhm you know, fathers-know-best-face. That was waaaaay too awkward for me to be describing here. But I didn’t really care even if I felt like melting because, hey my lover’s back from the dead! Then this “boyfriend of mine” walked with us until we reached Dolina and I told him to go back to his mom because apparently he was walking with us maybe until we reached our destination. So, again we parted ways.
That moment is still obviously one of the best moments of my life despite everything that has happened to us during that difficult and trying times. I am actually thinking of sending this to Ate Charo, and the title would be “Boots”.
It’ true that love has its ways. We might fall for the right or wrong person but it is out of our choices that make them the right one or not. I may be inexperienced when it comes to variety of ex-lovers because basically I’m not the type who goes out for flings but my experiences with these people who came and have gone are already extraordinary and I cherish and learn from them. The sweet little memories are still sweet despite some bitter endings and the present is a gift that needs to be appreciated. Here’s an unsolicited advice for all of you who are into asking partners where you want to eat every now and then: choices need to be made mutually in order to make what’s at hand last, or not.