Bob 2 - the quasi boyfriend
My last trip to Manila started with a delayed flight, an odd encounter with an Italian DOM, and arriving in NAIA two hours late.
I hate having to walk on the tarmac. I’ve watched that episode on Mythbusters where they tested the power of Boeing planes. Although the ones we normally have here are Airbuses, I can’t help imagining getting sucked in by the engines of these unsuspecting technological marvels as I walked toward the terminal. It’s a good thing though. Coz I want my mind to stay preoccupied. I'd rather imagine getting minced by these machines than deal with sweaty hands and weak knees... and perhaps having flushed cheeks and have him think that I dabbed on a little too much of cheek blush. I was excitedly nervous--I always was.
After about three months, I’m finally here. I fumbled for my phone so I could tell him where I was standing so we could both leave the airport. When he was just about five meters away from me, the seconds lasted a little longer than it should. It all came rushing back in. How good he always looked in my eyes, how his smile seemed to envelope the whole place... I wish I never left.
We hurried to get on the yellow taxi, the ones any self respecting traveler should take at NAIA, and went to my favorite inn.
We almost lost our way when the cabdriver received confusing instructions from me and from Bob. I'm glad he didn't go berserk and kick us out of the vehicle coz honestly, I would've understood if he did. I guess we were still trying to adjust to sensations caused when his hand held mine. After all, that was the only difference. We could talk about anything til the wee hours of the morning on the phone, reveal each others' deepest secrets, and say intimately sweet words into the receiver but we were only limited to what we heard and spoke. The uncontrollable angst and agony of the distance was at times too hard to bear. And for the first time in months, we felt each other. It was like a comic relief on an intensely passionate film about crime and love intertwined... Bob gave the driver directions, while I tried to give him supposedly helpful landmarks. Amazingly, the driver figured out where we wanted to go. He was able to find our way and allowed us to arrive in one piece.
This inn is a small place, built in the middle of a residential area, in the outskirts of Makati, complete with all the amenities I felt necessary. Aside from being inexpensive, it's simple, decent enough, and they've got a staff that's neither too friendly nor too unresponsive. Everything seemed strictly professional when it came to dealing with the guests and tourists. I've always liked that in hotels. No awkward small talk about what Cebu is like, why I'm in Manila and who I'm with--or why I'm with him. Because whenever someone asks me that question, I end up feeling weird in saying he's my boyfriend coz I know he's not, and feel just as strange when I say that he's just a friend. I don't know about other people, but I'm a bit particular with words, especially when describing relationships... Should we act as if we were normal couples? Or should I tell people the truth that he's my quasi boyfriend?
It was almost 1am when we got there. Everything was silent and the only other sound aside from our breathing was the gentle hum of the a/c. I leaned against the dresser as he sat by the bed. There was a few seconds of comforting silence, as we adjusted our ears to that sweet tranquil sound of being alone. Nothing much was said that night. We just slowly found our way into each other's side, just locked in an embrace til morning. Sleep isn’t one of my favorite things and I was glad that I didn’t dose off. With my ears against his chest, I wanted to freeze everything... The time, the sun rising across the Makati skyline, uninvite the thoughts and worries I've grown accustomed to since I fell this madly in love... So much could've been said about how we felt when in reality, we were just there, chained inside that room...
Five nights and four days. It felt like mere hours. It seemed as though time moved too fast… like it was escaping my grip no matter how tight I tried to squeeze my fingers close. It didn’t matter where we were, what we were doing, just as long as we maintained a two meter radius, we knew that there was no place better.
Something that I truly missed was his way of looking at me. It makes me feel completely naked. He would look into the blackness in my eyes and it's as though he has known me for years. His stare would feel like he’s seized my entire being. It’s a joy to feel so loved by this person...
But whenever I feel this intense, the tormenting reminder of what we actually are just creeps in. It’s like being in cloud nine and be tortured at the same time. I can't help worrying and knowing... It won’t last. I know it won’t.
Do I have the right to be this happy? At this very moment? Or should I have waited for the right time, for him and I to have a chance at love? Or do I have to wait for another lifetime to do that? How much time did I have left for this privilege...
It was two nights before my flight back to Cebu. He asked me about my plans of working in Manila... For the past few months, I had real reasons for not moving. But at the same time, doubt, self pity and logic slowly took over. I was no longer sure if it was worth it... If he was worth it... How could I give up my life in Cebu when he can't even give himself to me?
But that was no question to ask...
He had always been annoyingly clear and honest. He wanted me to stay. He wanted me to be his girl for as long as we could... He loved me and he knew he was being selfish... But Bob couldn't help it... I've tried over and over again, trying to convince him that it was time to end this. And each time, it was him who tried to turn things around, convince me he's not letting go, no matter what I say... The girl in me says I want him to leave her. It's everything or nothing. But the woman I've become knows that she's the one for him... With words, with its beauty and hideous form, I tell him No. They belong together. She's good for him.
What I think doesn't matter.
The conversation about me moving to Manila didn't quite end the right way. I WANTED TO END IT. The anger that lurked behind my feigned strength just longed to break free. So I told him that that was the last time. The last time he'd ever see me. I even asked him for us to stop talking to each other...
Surprisingly, he just said Okay. He just sat there, with his back on the headboard. Looking at the barren wall, he swallowed the immensity of my decision. Then he moved closer to me on the side of the bed, slipped his hand around my shoulder and pulled me close...
That was all he had to do to change my mind. I didn't have the power to resist him. I should've tried to let go when I was still able to. But it's too late now. I couldn’t help it anymore. I need to be with him—no matter what.
I flew back home with a new sense of determination.
Just this week, I passed my resignation letter. I chose to set aside whatever doubt, worry, fear and guilt that could cloud my decision. I’m moving to Manila and there’s no turning back.
I really don’t care about what I’d be doing there. I could always find a job as a call center agent as I have done so in the past. I just couldn’t stand hurting myself by being far. If everything turns out well, then I’ve made the right choice. If things go wrong, then maybe it’s all I’ve needed and wanted. Something to shake me off of this fantasy that I’ve involuntarily surrendered myself to.
I’m wrong in every angle. And it’s true; I’m acting like I’ve never been in love before. Like I’ve never dated any other guy before… Like i'm naive to the point of stupidity. But love, before, was never like this. Never the same way his touch causes me to weep, never the same way his words made me question my beliefs and my fictitious idealism. And never, never been the same way his presence altered everything else into a trivial haze.
So tonight I dropped by HP to vent. Hopefully I’ve created the right concoction to say what I really feel right now. I really just want to look at this hub one day, when I’m wrinkled and grey, and say that I was indeed human.