The Love Story
This is what happened to me since September 2008...
I'm writing this as it happens. This hub may seem like an ordinary blog or online diary for me, but i feel that my story is worth sharing and hopefully, I could find answers from this wonderful online community...
I know I'm not alone.
~ 0 0 0 ~
I don't know how it all started...
I'm almost always online. The only time that I'm not is when I'm in bed, sleeping. One day, someone popped up on my screen requesting me to "add" him as a "friend" on Yahoo Messenger. Since I've always had a bunch of nobodies on my friends list, I figured adding another one won't hurt. He told me he found my YM ID on another forum site a lot like this one.
At first, it was his name that intrigued me. I had a classmate once who had a similar name--or so I think. Much to my surprise, neither is he the same person, nor do we have common friends. This is something a bit strange. We both grew up in Cebu and it's quite odd for anyone not to have a single common friend or acquaintance.
I was still dating my exboyfriend then. We were in this crazy on again, off again relationship that was nearing its end. I was completely devastated. Not because I wanted him back but because being alone just felt miserable when I found out he was already dating someone else.
Just about the same time, Bob (as I chose to give him that name) and I started getting close. I worked in a call center and usually get home around 9:00 AM, just about the same time that Bob arrives at his office in Makati. We'd talk endlessly until I started getting sleepy.
It was all just innocent chatting. Neither of us expected anything out of that strange friendship we found online. He openly admitted that he already has a girlfriend and he was aware of my problematic relationship. And that was just it. But I had to admit; he was the only person I chatted with regularly. Coz for everyone else, I was always invisible.
I only realized that I actually had feelings for him after this vague incident. It was the start of the week and I was looking forward to telling him about how my weekend went and I was curious about his weekend as well. But he wasn't online. The next day, I checked, and he still hasn't left a single message offline. Til that time, we haven't exchanged numbers yet so I had no idea what was going on.
I started thinking that maybe, he met an accident or something. I got worried. but then what are the odds of such things happening to people you care about? So I started entertaining other thoughts... like He must've felt guilty about chatting with me regularly, knowing his girlfriend might not be too happy if she finds out. So I figured that maybe that's how he dealt with it: with silence. But then knowing the guy for several months already, I knew he wasn't that type to leave a person hanging. I thought he was the type who would tell me to the face what was really going on. So I was completely bewildered. But, what bothered me most, was how I felt.
Why was I so worried? Why am I even worried when this stranger shouldn't mean anything to me... or does he?
A week passed and still no word from him. I was just about to give up the following Monday when an offline message popped up on my screen. It was him. He explained how he got so sick and wasn't able to work. Same reason why he wasn't able to reply to my messages.
I couldn't understand how I feel or what to feel. I guess I should just be thankful to know he's still alive!
A few more days passed and I realized that I wasn't just being friendly with this guy... I was falling for him... falling when I shouldn't, falling when I mustn't...
No longer able to keep my feelings inside, I confessed to how I felt with him. And to my surprise, he admitted to feeling something too...
We continued to chat, pretending nothing was going on. How can I feel this way for someone I have never ever met my entire life? No common friend to tell me what he's like? No idea what he looks like, other than the vague pictures he sent me... How do I even know if this person was real? Or if he was just playing me? For a week or so, I tried to convince myself of things that I just couldn't push my heart to feel. I was helpless. I was in love.
The next day, I booked a flight to Manila and decided to finally meet him.
~ 0 0 0 ~
I'm fond of traveling and I always know what to do to kill time. But, at the airport, while waiting for the airline crew to announce boarding, I could feel my hands tremble. I don't know what kept me shivering. Was it the a/c or was it just my heart pumping wildly in my chest?
My god, I'm finally meeting him... I had all these thoughts racing through my head...But instead of feeling all nervous and anxious, I felt stupid and guilty. What am I doing? I'm the girl, why am I the one flying to Manila and not him flying to Cebu? And to top it all, he's taken. He should be off limits. Why am I even risking my neck for this guy? But despite all those questions running through my mind, I knew what had to be done.
It was now or never. I just don't want to dwell in what ifs and the shoulda woulda couldas of life.
It was the first time I've ever done something so random and so crazy in my life. It was as if I'm this whole new person, so daring and so unlike my old self. It's an uneasy idea of knowing it was all wrong but my feelings just got the best of me. I could tell... that I'm only going to hurt myself.
But pain was not what I felt when I first laid my eyes on him. The beautiful Terminal 3 of NAIA just stood still. The crowds waiting for the other passengers just seemed like a haze between me and this guy I named Bob. He was taller than I thought. He looked a lot different from the pictures. He was just gwapo all over.
I was overwhelmed and speechless. I conditioned my mind not to expect anything with how he looked and all, because on the pix he sent me, it was unclear. And all of a sudden, I realized that I didn't even bother to inspect how I looked like that night.
We took a cab and went to the inn where I would be staying for the weekend.
We spent several nights just talking and spending time with each other. It felt magical. And I was reminded of what made me like him in the first place. It was not his looks, of course, for we were only chatmates. And no, it wasn't because he's rich and accomplished, although, he's not doing bad at all. Working for a respectable IT firm in Makati, he's making more than enough for himself and his occasional indulgences.
He's always been warm, sweet, but not too much. Just the right amount, to be that right kind of guy with whom you can share your secrets and fears with... your goals and what you want in life... He's this simple guy on the outside but you know that deep within, there's so much more. He could watch basketball all day but you know that during dinner, he'd be telling you about his childhood and how he viewed life.
The night before I had to leave and go back to Cebu, I allowed my emotions to flurry inside. What now? Is this the end? Or has it just begun?
~ 0 0 0 ~
Several months have passed and I would go to Manila thinking it would be the last and that seeing him in person was the best way to conclude our should-have-been short-lived affair. I would be all smiles when I see him, I would be so happy to have been there but we always ended up asking ourselves the same question over and over again. When is this going to end?
I'm not exactly sure of his reasons for loving me. I could be sweet and get a tad too mushy sometimes but I'm never really good with romanticism. Melodramatic moments enthrall me but I was never good at that. I screw up every once in a while, make a fool out of myself, but I've made my family proud too (on certain rare occasions). I'm also not ugly--at least I don't think so. I was blessed with genes that gave me my height and my frame. Sure I could make heads turn every once in a while, but I am just an unbelievably ordinary girl.
But despite my lame existence, he constantly says that he does love me and I can feel it too. He would text me every hour of each waking day, making sure I was okay. For a guy in his situation, it feels as if I am the only one. The only one. He would frequently show hints of sarcasm whenever he feels I'm neglecting him. He easily gets jealous when he finds out that someone is flirting with me... He's even suspicious when I'm with my guy bestfriend. That, and so much more, can make me feel that he's sincere...
But why is he still with her?
They were childhood sweethearts, I guess. I don't really like digging up the details. Knowledge is power and power not handled by a sane mind is dangerous. I'm worried I'd get too curious and ask too many questions. Get hurt, do stupid things and regret them later on. I made sure that I stuck to the essentials. He isn't eager on telling me things like that anyway. So I guess we silently agreed on that part. But it was nevertheless clear... that he loves her too. How much? I don't know. I don't think I'd like the answer either.
He came home to Cebu last December to spend the holidays. He actually lives in the far end of the province--the girl too--therefore making the impossibility of him and I meeting before he goes back to Manila, a possibility. Taking the initiative a modern mean time girl ought to have, I prepared myself for the painful eventualities. Imaginations constantly screwed with my head, with the thoughts of him and his girlfriend. I on the other hand, will have chosen to busy myself with work and friends. I had my own worries too, and it was just great timing that I could get myself occupied.
Then that day arrived. It was a late night flight. I was surprised to get a message from him asking me to meet him that night. That same night he arrived. It simply meant that I was the one he chose to see first instead of her... Or, could I have been a much more convenient substitute? But then he told me he wanted to see me first... and not anyone else. What happened that night confirmed that... But then again, that didn't matter... I yearned for every moment around him...
And for the rest of his stay, he made me feel the same exact emotion of utter happiness with a teeny weeny drop of guilt. He stayed in the city, where I lived, and would only go home to their town to spend the actual holidays. I wasn't always sure if the girl was there, or if she was also in the city since she works here but, I couldn't deny that he was spending as much time with me as possible.
January 12, 2009-- he went back to Manila.
Just like the first night, he chose to spend that last night with me. We had a few drinks just to loosen up and talked about what we are and what our plans were. We've already had this conversation before, about me moving to Manila and working there. At first, I couldn't wait to do it, and book the first flight out but I knew I had so much to worry about in Cebu. First, there was my family. It would break my heart to leave my Miggy. Second, I was helping my dad out and his business partners and superiors with a big real estate project. Third, and the most important, is my health.
I was going through a lot. I don't wanna divulge the details here in fear of pity and mercy and all that mushy stuff fit for movies. My world is real and I need real emotions to surround me. Not fabricated and construed ideas of how one should react..
Going through a series of treatments for over 5 months, my body has become weak. The thought of going to Manila and spend time with him was what fueled my optimism in the midst of my personal darkness. But I knew, and my body knew, that being in Manila would be physically stressful for me. With the medication, I would vomit and get nauseous almost everyday. I didn't want that to happen. Not when he's there. I couldn't stand being a burden and I sure don't wanna ruin what wonderful memory I have with him.
Bob understood. I had to stay in Cebu to wrap things up and wait for my body to adjust to my less drugged state. But the distance and the time we didn't see each other, was a toil we barely endured. Three months felt like three long arduous years to me. We constantly fought without a battle of painful words. Trying to calculate and balance the words we used against each other. Our relationships is already bad as it is. We didn't want to end up hating each other. But with each fight, with each forsaken time we spent not saying anything to each other, I was pushed to the brink of giving up and letting go, only to realize that my other hand was still holding on.
And finally, I tested negative. I'm presumably healthy again.
The moment I found out, I called up the airline and booked a flight, just giving myself enough time to prepare. Thus the trip I made last weekend.