All romantic relationships are bound to hit nasty ground in the end — those that were mine, at least. I console myself with the idea that it’s how you loved in the moment that matters. Knowing that you have given yourself wholeheartedly and had possibly been made into a better person is reason to move forward. I tell myself that although I have lost, I have tried hard. At least I discovered who I am and what I am capable of doing. This I learned through someone who, at one point, I thought defined my being.
“You should meet my cousin.”
Toward the last months of my final college semester, a friend thought of pairing me with Brian. I had just emerged from a peaceful but painful breakup and was really not ready for another shot at a lovelife. Well.
“Is he cute? The thought makes me nervous.”
“He’s really sweet.”
I was flattered. Why not? Suddenly, I forgot about having ever been hurt by anybody. All I could think about was how Brian’s future involvement in my life would turn out.
We exchanged messages for about two weeks and finally decided to meet up. He wasn’t drop-dead gorgeous but he satisfied “chubby, chinito, and fair-skinned.” He wore a happy smile on his face.
I secretly envied him; I was the type who you’d think would eat people for breakfast. Brian seemed so happy and content with his life. I wanted to rub some of his happiness on me so much I couldn’t stop thinking about him. Perhaps, then, I wanted to be him.
More dates passed, and I got used to texting him the entire day, every single day. He called me “sweetie,” sending me swirling in clouds of ecstasy each time. He liked me. He probably even loved me. It was a big “maybe” that I turned into some form of reality. Two months after, my continuing belief that he shared the same feelings developed into a maniacal need for stability.
“Nililigawan mo ba ako?”
That actually shocked me more than it shocked him. The nerve of me to say that to a guy I hardly even knew! But the deed was done. I had no choice but to reap the consequence of waiting in close suffocation for about 2 minutes until he sent his reply.
“Hindi pa kita nililigawan. I wanna take this nice and slow.”
I tried to keep a straight face. At least I knew where I stood — and I stood nowhere near him. Armed with sickening persistence, I still flirted with him the next weeks hoping that, somehow, I’d make him finally say he’s courting me. Or, better, that he was madly in love with me.
I was caught in my own whirlwind romance — one where my partner was somebody who actually existed but all other events crafted. I was desperate for recognition. I was sure that I badly needed attention, especially from a guy who, for me, was cute enough that I was willing to lose myself all over again.
Two months passed and our so-called friendship was blossoming into something I never thought would happen. He told me so himself.
“Will you be mine? Whatever may come, will you hold my heart close to yours?”
My heart screamed YES. But my mind said NO, not yet, it’s not time.
“Ask me again the next time we see each other.”
He didn’t. I had psyched myself to say YES and the magic moment never happened. I went home with a thousand more questions in my head; and for the first time since my last breakup, terribly hurt. Did he think I was easy?
“You’re a coward.” I told him a few minutes after he dropped me off. “You start something and you don’t finish it.”
“I’m sorry. It’s just that I’m really scared of committing myself to anyone. I really like you, though. I’m falling for you. I made a shot, but I couldn’t follow through.”
“You missed it the first time.”
“Please don’t lose faith. Please stay. I need time to pray; just time to pray.”
Did I believe it? “Maybe God can help us both.”
“Thank you for understanding. It will be all right, I promise.”
I shed a tear every time a promise is made. One cannot promise to love another before he decides to actually love that person. It simply is not possible. I’ve been in seven relationships. I didn’t want to be hurled into the pit again. It was to be another one of those that would stab me right through the heart. But, now knowing, I couldn’t allow it to end leaving me eating his dust. Not again, never.
It’s Friday. Tomorrow we talk. And I would tell him it’s not going to work out. I have been waiting and aching enough. I would walk off without a tear on my cheek and nary a trace of grief. I would even smile and say “good luck and stay happy.”
I am to mourn my heart’s demise. I should wear black.