Friday, February 13, 2015

Natsukashii On Valentine's Eve

I.  Dear, 2002

The campaign season for the Arts and Letters Student Council was about to end. Election was merely a day away and everyone was busy introducing the candidates to the Artlets. I was the Secretary General of the dominant party, while she was aligned with the rival - the result of a tampuhan way before we became a couple. The misunderstanding convinced her to sign up with our challenger just to get back and spit right on my face. It didn't matter. Never did I bring politics in our relationship, and on that day, given the hectic schedule, I asked her if we could have some private time at a nearby Crepe Shop to celebrate the occasion. 

She was expecting flowers. 

I remember not buying any.

II. Labs, 2003

Madly in love, I was with my first boyfriend. On that day, I left an hour earlier before my shift ends. It has been established at the beginning of our relationship that I pick him up in Makati from my workplace in Tayuman. I didn't mind the long commute, for it afforded me some time with him as we used to have dinners at a karinderia not far from his boarding house in Espana. 

The relationship was already waning weeks before the occasion. I already slept with another guy after a nasty fight left me looking for consolation in Malate one night. We no longer send SMS like we used to every day. I have already resigned to our growing distance.

Yet on that day, I had a present. A Regine Velasquez CD I brought from Music One the day before. It was a surprise, meant to reignite the dying romance. I was hoping it would change the tide of the relationship. He was perky than usual when I arrived at the clinic. Said, some admirer gave him a stalk of Rose. To this day I still remember his exact words:

"Mabuti pa yung iba, may Rose para sa akin." I was incensed.

We broke up shortly after I dropped him off at his place. He received the CD, the first original item I acquired, only after I asked a common friend to deliver my parting letter.

III. Pangga, 2004

We were at the Baywalk to witness the first Lovapalooza. Unilever Philippines and its partners had staged a mass kissing event to break the record held by Chile a year before. My boyfriend and I never planned of joining. The idea of gay lovers showing public display of affection remains an elusive dream we all yearned. The whole Plaza Raja Sulayman and the adjacent streets were overflowing with couples. As the countdown begins, the partner and I held our breath. I was tempted to kiss him but I was afraid how he would react. 

"5..." I looked at him in the eye, believing we would go on forever.

"4..." We would face life's challenges head on, no matter the personal costs.

"3..." The relationship will allow us to grow as individuals. In the end, we would look back at how far we've come and smile at our accomplishments.

"2..." One day, gay couples like us will never feel ashamed kissing alongside straight people.

"1..." We would remain faithful to each other.

It was a half-a-decade relationship that had to end after love could no longer save our bond. Sadly, the Valentine's stories after the Lovapalooza are no longer consequential.

IV. BaaBaa, 2011  

For the first time, I will let the other tell the story:

For better or for worse; for the bittersweet lingering memories needed to be unearthed just to pen this blog entry, there is comfort knowing I had pasts to tell. The fifth may not have endured the relationship long enough to see the day, and it is something I'm learning to let go.

All I know is that I loved in my own ways, and still remember.

Natsukashii. adj. of some small thing that brings you suddenly, joyously back to fond memories, not with a wistful longing for what's past, but with an appreciation for the good (and bad) times.

Written for the Round Table Challenge


Simon said...

Makes me feel all fuzzy inside :) You've been through much.

D said...

This is a relief. Thank you.