I've been in loved before. Or I thought I was.
Then there came this Boy. He was... not perfect. Ang hirap niyang intindihin. Ang hirap niyang pakisamahan. Madalas napapahiya ako kasi hindi niya ako pinapansin. I was trying to be a friend to him. In our group of friends, he seemed so distant. I wanted to reach out to him; to tell him he wasn't alone anymore. It wasn't easy especially when the wall he built around himself was made of steel.
But slowly, he gave me pieces of himself. The steel-wall wasn't crumbling or breaking. No, he was making a hole in it and letting me see a part of him. We became friends. Not really close but we're okay. He was too stiff for me. Too cold. Too serious. And too mature. We're almost the same age but I felt like a little girl standing next to him, talking to him. Hindi siya ngumingiti. Madalas hindi nagsasalita. He was just right there. His blue eyes were like a gem: cold, blank, and empty. Tuwing nagkakatinginan kami, gusto kong maiyak. It was like looking at a statue. Wala siyang emosyon. May ganoon pa lang tao talaga.
Then something happened. I lost someone dear to me. I was a wreck. I could not feel anything. I was slowly dying inside. Sa harapan ng mga kakilala ko, pinapakita kong ayos lang ako. Pero sa loob-loob ko, hindi ko na kaya. It was hard pretending but I could not let them see I am this close to losing myself. The depression I was feeling was overwhelming. I could not see pass through the pain I was feeling. The smiling and always okay girl was not herself anymore. Gabi-gabi umiiyak lang ako ng tahimik. I needed to be strong.
He was my wake up call.
"Acting like everything is okay won't make you hurt less. Putting a bandage to your wound won't let it go away. You are just trying to hide it. Is crying a sign of weakness? My mother cries a lot but she's strong. I think, weakness is when you let those suffocating feelings consume you. Weakness is when you let your depression eats you. Weakness is when you run away from your problem instead of facing it. So what if you cry? So what if it hurts? Running away and turning away from it won't make you strong."
That was the first time he talked to me. Iyon na siguro ang pinakamahabang nasabi niya sa `kin n'ong time na `yon. Nagalit ako sa kanya. Ano'ng alam niya sa pinagdaraanan ko? He doesn't know the pain I was feeling. He doesn't have the right to accuse me of running away.
But I realized he was right. I was running away.
Hindi ko na kilala ang sarili ko. Hindi ko alam kung ano'ng nangyari sa `kin. I let those demons consume me. Hindi na ako `to, eh.
Slowly, I started to get back on my feet. Hindi niya ako tinulungan. Hard? No. He told me I must do it on my own. He told me to face my battle alone. But he never did left me alone. At the sidelines, he was there; watching if I would stumble. There were times I almost did not make it but he was suddenly there, holding my hand and giving me the push I needed to continue.
I made it.
I was me again. Nakakangiti ng totoo. Nasasaktan pa rin pero nakakaya.
Maybe it was the start of our deep friendship. He was my so-called "older brother." Hingahan ko ng sama ng loob. Lalapitan ko kapag kailangan ko ng kausap. O basta gusto ko lang, nandyan siya. Every time I was feeling down, or upset, or even useless, he was there to lift up my spirits. Hindi niya ako hinuhusgahan. Pinakikinggan niya ako saka ako kukutusan kapag maling-mali ako. Tinatama niya ang mga mali ko. Hindi niya ako kinukunsinti. But when I needed it the most, he would offer me his wisdom. When I needed someone, he would always be there. Always.
Slowly, I could see the changes in him. Nag-o-open up na siya sa `kin, sa `ming magbabarkada. Nakakausap na namin siya ng matino. I almost cried when I saw the side of his lips twitched. His almost-smile made me cry buckets of tears. The dullness in his eyes were slowly disappearing. Seeing the light in his blue eyes made my heart ache. His (not-so-empty) blue eyes were probably the prettiest eyes I had ever seen. Seeing him coming out of his shell was making me happy, too. Gusto ko siyang makitang masaya. Gusto ko siyang mapasaya kagaya kung papaano niya akong napasaya.
I didn't know when everything changed.
I fell. Funny, I know. My friends were expecting this, they said. Nahahalata raw nila. I kept on denying it, saying he was just a brother figure to me. But I could not deny the different feelings happening inside me. I tried to hide whatever feelings I have for him. Hindi puwede, eh. We're friends. Hindi ko dapat hayaang masira ang pagkakaibigan namin dahil sa nararamdaman ko para sa kanya. Pero ang hirap pala. Ang hirap itago nang damdamin mo lalo na kung gusto nitong kumawala. Pero mas importante ang pagkakaibigan namin kesa sa nararamdaman ko. `Yong kahit kaibigan lang, masaya na ako, basta may lugar pa rin ako sa buhay niya. Ayokong mawala kahit man lamang ang puwang na iyon.
Fast forward. The feelings I have for him grew stronger.
I love him.
You know what's funnier? He told me he love me. I was happy. Iyon na siguro ang pinakamasayang parte ng buhay ko; `yong malamang mahal din ako ng lalaking mahal ko. Pero hindi puwede, eh. Hindi pa ako puwede. Hindi ko kayang sirain `yong trust na binigay sa `kin ng parents ko. So even if I wanted, I told him no. Gustong-gusto ko pero importante sa `kin ang pangako ko sa mga magulang ko. Gusto ko siyang piliin pero my family comes first. You know what he said? He told me he understands. He told me he would wait for me until the time is right. Handa raw siyang maghintay hanggang sa puwede na ang lahat. Akala ko hindi ko na siya kaya pang mahalin ng higit sa nararamdaman ko noon. Pero nang marinig ko `yon, mas lalo ko siyang minahal.
Alam ko hindi ako deserving pero selfish ako. I held into that promise. I held his hand and with him, we waited for the right time.
It didn't came.
He got this opportunity to learn more. Ayaw niya. Hindi niya raw ako kayang iwan. Pinilit ko siya. Itinulak. Binitawan. Para sa kanya `yon, eh. Before I came into his life, he already have that dream. Now, he has a chance to reach that dream. Sino ako para humadlang doon? Even if my whole system was against it, I let him go. Mahirap. Mahirap bumitaw lalo na't ayaw mo naman talaga. But for his sake, I did it. Nag-away kami. Nagtalo. But I remained firm with my decision. It broke my heart seeing him so cold again but it was for him. Iyon ang paulit-ulit kong sinasabi sa sarili ko: Para sa kanya `to.
So many things had happened after that. Hanggang sa hindi na dumating `yong right time para mahalin namin ang isa't isa. Masakit. Tangina. Sobrang sakit. Bakit humantong sa ganito? HOW? What happened? WHAT. THE. FUCK. HAPPENED?
Someone told me that right love at the wrong time is not the right love. Siguro nga. Bakit ba ganoon? Noong nandyan, hindi naman puwede. Ngayon puwede na, wala na. Gusto kong magsisi kasi pinakawalan ko siya. Gusto kong murahin ang sarili ko kasi ako `yong bumitaw sa kanya. Tangina, kasalanan ko, eh. But seeing him reaching his dreams? Seeing him being okay there? God. The pain was worth it. Hindi ko magawang magsisi ng tuluyan kasi naging masaya siya sa desisyon ko. Kasi, nang dahil sa pagbitaw ko, malapit na niyang maabot ang pangarap niya.
Selfless? Nah. Nagmamahal lang. Tanga? Yes. But I'm proud of it. Kasi, kahit tanga ako, may napasaya akong isang tao. Siya.
Aaminin ko, hanggang ngayon ay naghihintay pa rin ako na dumating `yong right time para sa pagmamahalan namin. Malabo na ang daan para doon pero hindi ko mapigilang hindi umasa na darating din `yon. I believed in the love we had before all this happened. Naniniwala ako na hindi man ngayon, siguro, sa tamang panahon magiging malinaw din ang daan.
It gets tiring but I know, this waiting will be worth it.