(September 16, 2017)
(Disclaimer: Some of the scenarios are just fractions of my memory. So bare with me when there are lapses in the timeline.)
I don’t know if I can call him the one that got away. It was a whirlwind relationship. But if there is one thing that I treasure about him are his gestures. This year marks the decade after my break up with him. As much as I want to keep his name confidential, I want to give a tribute to my heart who bravely tries to love someone romantically.
Let’s name him G. We were very different back in the day. And most of our schoolmates would not believe that we were once in a relationship. We were in our senior year in high school. He was in almost the last section of our batch. I was in the first section. He is a Muslim and I am a Christian. It is not an issue in our relationship. He was a boy who has many friends. I only had two best friends. He was a free-spirited person. I was the one who always thinks of the outcome of my actions.
I already heard of his name when we were sophomores. He was always called at the principal office for some trouble he made. But I never met him. Never had a connection before. Fast forward. So here comes the senior year. I let my classmate used my cell phone to text him about something. Or is it the other way around? I don’t really remember. But we got in touch. Things happened fast. From a “Who You?” or in an SMS term “Hu U?” to late night SMS exchange. And sometimes it lasts until dawn. Then we met at the school. And it was mutual. But not yet an official relationship.
On Sundays, he would fetch me at the church with his friend. In that short period of time, we have our short conversations. Our own little time to laugh with each other. And he’ll drop me at the street outside our home. Sometimes, my parents would ask me if who he is. And my always respond is “He is my friend”.
One day, we exchange phones. His phone was an almost smartphone, mine was 3315, so you get the picture of our social status. As soon as he comes to our school, he is late by the way. Lol. We exchanged phones in my classroom and he left. Then most of my classmates saw it. And asked me about the “WHY?”. I responded with a smile and did not disclose anything. I scanned his phone. More like background check through his phone. I looked at his gallery to check his photos saved. No one other than his family appeared. And his willingness to let me hold his phone show sincerity of his intention. Silly, right? But it felt good. The late night conversation continues.
I remembered when he went to Cebu to visit his siblings. He brought me a Snickers and chocolates. That he delivered at our house. My heart flutters. So today, every time I see snickers I always remember G.
Our classroom is near our school gate. Because the first section of every year was in a separate building from the second to last sections. They were in the main building. And we are in a new building. Every time they passed our building he would text me to say his outside. And I’ll just look at him. It went in months.
One day, I was preparing for a school event, I was on the student council. Responsible for the school event. I was afternoon, everyone was busy. When I was on my way to our SSG office (School student government Office) to report to our SSG adviser he walked with me all of the sudden. We have our little chat. Then our SSG adviser noticed it. As soon as we reached the office we parted ways. Then our SSG adviser told me “Be careful with that man”. I know she meant good. Since he has a bad school record. I just responded with a smile.
Then on Thursday night, he asked me if I can be his girlfriend. We were high school back then. I did not respond.
Friday: The next day comes. I told him to meet me after class. He used to “tambay” in a store outside our school campus, so we met there. He was with his friends, and he asked them to go outside first so that we can have a privacy. Then after minutes, we were official. It was nerve-wracking trust me. And fluttering at the same.
Saturday: We had our first date with my tita who is a year older than me. My parents did not know about it. We told my parents that we have some errands to do in Ipil. But it was really a date. So, my tita is the third wheel. We eat. We chat. Then we went home. On our way home, we rode an easyride (smaller than a jeep). Me and my tita are well-seated inside and he is outside clinging to the edge. And I felt weird atmosphere inside the easy ride.
Sunday: My tita told me that week before we became official her classmate claims to be her classmate and saw them alone. But of course, I did not witness that since our building is far from theirs. I did not confront him about that because I was afraid it might be true.
Monday: I heard a lot of things from people. Saying that he’s in a relationship already. Classmates of the girl from other section were checking me out. But then again, it didn’t really matter. Because for me the confirmation should be from him. As far as I know him. He was man enough to admit it to me without me asking him. Or maybe I was just afraid of his answer.
Tuesday: Afternoon, after class. He went to my classroom to fetch me. Then we went to his “tambayan” for minutes. We just stood outside. And I already saw the girl and her friends looking at us. But I have no idea what is happening. I was naïve. And the atmosphere is not familiar with me. My weekly routine is just home, school, the church that’s all. SO being in that situation, I felt helpless. I have no one to defend me but him. His friends already have awkward smiles. He just told me to ignore it and everything is “Okay”. He told me that he’ll “accompany me to lessen the atmosphere. We take the different route from what I am used to. We walked. But on our way, it was an awkward silence. Then he first asked me “ are you okay?” I just replied with a smile. The situation was still sinking in. Then we have our normal conversation. The awkward situation was not mentioned. Sadly, it was just a short walk. He is not allowed in our home. (Strict parents.) So our moment ended a block away from our home. Then he told me to text him, I did. Then he went back to the school where I am sure the girl and her friends are there.
Wednesday: It was a holiday, so I just stayed at home. But the exchanged of SMS still continues. Then the topic about the other girl pops in. The long SMS exchanges. Confrontation. Then, he admitted. The admits that the girl is also his GIRLFRIEND. So there it is. It was a love triangle.
“You know I don’t want to be in a situation like this. I can’t handle this kind of relationship. If you really want me. Finish all the troubles you have. Then return to me if you ready. If you’ll return there is still us if you don’t I know I wasn’t the one you choose”.
He agreed. And no SMS after that. So I already concluded the relationship already ended. No formal closure, but I know deep inside that it ended.