Yesterday’s events culminated again into me walking alone in a dark and lonely pathway, after expecting too much and being disappointed in the end. Silence dominated the pathway, drowning all the noise. I breathed the air. Then, clarity settled into my line of thoughts. I inhaled deeply, although it is a struggle for my right lung. I look around to see the falling leaves, the flying cottons, and the lonely light. They looked so new and sharp. Even though darkness dominated the scenery, it was still becoming more vivid. I exhaled with much difficulty, so arduously that it has become a long and gloomy sigh, with the realization of how lonely I am right now.
That gave me time to think. One step. Two steps. I lost count on how many steps that I did. I lost track of the time. I was kept pulled back by the past, while I was pushed by the future, to the point that I became lost in the present. There were moments that I wished time would expand indefinitely, for I want to cling to them as much as I could. Those were the only moments that I really felt alive. But like everything, like the life in my eyes, they fade. I maybe deserved this misery. It is the price that I paid on taking such an arduous path in life. Maybe that is the way that it was meant to be.
In this kind of lonely walks and strolls that I remove my cloak to show my prosaic nature, where I betrayed myself who has been confusing others with my mixed signals. But nobody was beside me during those times. That moments became episodes of self-pity instead. I exited UP Campus via the Ylanan Gate and climbed the Central Ave. pedestrian overpass. I then looked over Commonwealth Avenue to the direction of Tandang Sora, and realized that at one period of my life, there was one girl who joined me on those walks.
I met her in our World Literature class. She often talks as if there was a gum in her mouth (I adopted that way of speaking when I comically try the conyo language) as she flails her arms. We became group-mates on one reporting, and that is how connection between us was established. That class was in the UP College of Arts and Letters building, the building in UP which I hated the most, because it kept reminding me on how I lost that love that was meant forever.
My mood was in the slump by the end of the semester. I was broken-hearted again that time. That girl reached out for me, lightening up my mood with her eccentric antics. I usually walk alone to contemplate. Days have passed and she began to join me on my walks. She always initiates a conversation on which I was kept entertained. Smiles began to return. The cotton trees were blooming once more as a newly found affection bloomed inside of me. I was in love again.
She was beginning to replace all the bad memories that I had with places that I have been with the girl from 6 years ago. She usually bugged me when I was in the CAL Building. We shared our laughs and thoughts. The walk on the freshie walk was not so lonely and disappointing anymore, because we frequented there, walking, enjoying, laughing, and making most of our moments there.
I began to talk about that girl from 6 years ago. She listened dutifully. She gave words of advice. She comforted me when the stories were becoming too sad to narrate. She tried to snap me out of it, from the love that was not there, the memories, and the lack of farewell. She helped me forget that past. All of the memories from six years ago, she began to replace them with hers. She even initiated an alternate meal-treating sessions on the restaurants that I frequented with the girl from 6 years ago. She pays for the meal of both of us on one day. I will be the one paying for the meal on the next day.
It started with Rodics, the famous eatery in UP Diliman. She treated me first. We walked our way back to her dorm, the Sampaguita Residence Hall, the oldest women’s dormitory in the University. She gave anecdotes and stories about her roommates. She expressed her disgust in some, especially to her dormmate who was a prominent member of the University Student Council in the past, whom she regarded as an underwear thief.
On one of our walks, my coursemates and friends saw us. They shouted banters to us. I ran to them to ask them to stop their teasing. They said that that girl was a new one (That is why I was always mistaken as a womanizer). Oh, right. I forgot to tell them that I broke up with Choco already, because of my mere jealously towards her gay friend. I told them that the girl treated me in Rodics, much to their envy (because the meals are costly in Rodics). They then code-named her as Rodics, which is awkward, because it also sounded like Raw Dicks. I then told them her name to stop giving that codename. I told them she was now a 5th year BS Chemical Engineering student in UP Diliman.
They told me that I was lucky, referring to her body figure. Although she looked like a probinsyana (even though she spent most of her time in Quezon City as a Philippine Science High School Student), she has good figures, especially that D-size cup breasts, which she had a hard time confiding to me as troublesome, because it attracted awkward attention(both boys and girls). Honestly, I used to look at them too in the past, to keep me awake in our World Literature Class. But now, with all the respect on her, I was getting used into not looking at them. I was able to eradicate all of my ill-thoughts on her.
We looked into our childhood pictures. I was amazed to see that nothing has changed in her for the last 6 years. Her pretty and child-like face was still the same. She looked like she has not aged, even though she was a year older than me. We texted endlessly. We called each other to no end. At that time, I was dearly holding on to her. I took all the time in the world. Weeks and months have passed, I never made a move, for I feared it would spoil everything, like every initiatives that I’ve made with the other girls in the past.
Then, a bomb was dropped on me. She revealed to me that she has a boyfriend all along, for three years already. She told me not to fall for her, but I already did. My arm was already deep in the tiger’s gut, and I was told to pull it out from there. It was no use. If I pull out, the tiger would be still biting my arm off. I then decided to wait and let the situation last for long, hoping that I’ll get a chance to rip that tiger’s insides to emerge victorious in the situation. I denied that I was falling for her. I was quick to share stories on the other girls to remove any signs of suspicion. I just hoped that friendship would last to the point that a chance for it to evolve into a much intimate type of relationship.
We further lengthened our walks. We now frequented on the fast-food restaurants in Tandang Sora, then Area 2, and then Dagohoy. She was still willing to join me for the long walks. Our walks were getting late as her confessions became deeper.
She confessed to me that in the past, she was torn between her ex-boyfriend and her current boyfriend. Her ex-boyfriend, who happened to be her boyfriend’s former best friend, tried desperately to win her back. She was always tempted and sometimes gave in to her ex’s requests. The worst of it was her giving to her ex’s request to kiss her while he fondled her breasts (her one and only time that that happened). I wanted her to get rid of those memories in order to stay loyal to her boyfriend. I was in the abangers mode. I would just wait for her boyfriend to mess up in order for me to sweep in the situation to take her away, although I never tried anything to spoil their relationship.
To have her forget those sour memories, which happened in the cinema theaters of SM Manila, I invited her for a movie in the same theaters. Coincidentally, I had memories too with the girl from 6 years ago which I wanted to forget. It would be my treat, and that was the costliest date that I’ve ever done to anybody. I intended for us to watch Rurouni Kenshin : Kyoto Inferno. Instead, she convinced me to watch the movie Giver, which was the movie adaptation of her favorite book with the same name. I was disappointed to much in the movie, and so was she, because the movie deviated so much from the book.
We ate at Chowking. It was my treat again. But she was growing nervous by every second. I asked her why. She said that her boyfriend is a medical student in UP Manila, which was just a kilometer away. She didn’t want to be spotted by her boyfriend’s friends here. So, for the nth time, I cut my date itineraries short again. On our way back to UP Diliman in a UV Express van, to prevent her from knowing that I already fell for her for a long time again, I let her listen to the break up conversation that I had with Choco months ago, which I coincidentally recorded on my phone. After she listened to the recording, I told her that I was such a jerk, and nobody would like me that way. People were kept being deceived by my shining exterior and my cold distance to others.
We arrived at UP. We went for a walk around the Acad oval again. It was 10 pm already, and I was asking her to return to her dorm immediately for her to not violate the dorm’s curfew. She pleaded me to stay longer. We sat at the bench by the Sunken Garden, overlooking the Malcolm Hall. She then confessed again that she was felt suffocated by her over-clingy boyfriend. He kept suspecting her to the point that her happiness was compromised.
She said that she was comfortable with me all those times. She then gave me the controls to her decision-making. She let me decide whether she should break up with her boyfriend now. It was a clear and obvious sign which failed to gain the notice of the oblivious me. And as a noble idiot as I am, I told her not to and still keep faith on her boyfriend.
Things quickly turned to the worse. Her boyfriend found out about us. The next day, She pleaded me not to check my Facebook account. She was reeking of self-disappointment that day. I checked my account to find out that her boyfriend used her Facebook account to warn me to stay away from her. I tried to employ some comic relief from it, to get rid of my disappointment, by posting a screenshot of it on my wall. I forgot to put censors, and people found out that it was her.
On that fateful day of September, she told me to never see each other again, to treat each other as strangers from now on. Torrential rains began to pour on Manila as a typhoon made approach. Classes were suspended. I found myself walking again in the empty campus, now alone again. The rains poured hard as if the heavens were in grief because of my miseries, sobbing as if they were telling me that it was alright to cry. It was such an unfair relationship fall-out. I tried to win our friendship back. But it was no use. I settled in for a long sleep, since the following two school days were suspended as well. I hoped that I would wake up When September ends.
I kept my word in our agreement. We still treat each other as strangers. Our faces never flinched every time that we happened to cross paths. We never panicked into letting hell loose even though sometimes we found out that we were sitting next to each other in the library. The fall-out was clean one after all. The cleaner the cut, the faster it heals. Those memories were became distant memories of the past from time immemorial.
Now, I was walking all alone again. I was never the same anymore. I was able to suppress almost all emotions, not until the girl with purple-rimmed glasses came to my life and took my heart by storm. I publicly confessed to her again last Monday. She treated it like nothing happened. She invited me into watching an entry for the UP Cineastes Film Festival, Ang Tulay ng San Sebastian. She went to my tambayan by the parking lot of UP Faculty Center to give me the ticket.
I was playing chess at that time. Somebody called me by my side. I thought it was somebody else. What has happened to me? I didn’t recognize the woman I am in love to. Maybe, I missed her too much to the point that I became too tired of time. Maybe I was used to her never seeing me and never knowing that I longed to hold her close and to live at last by her side? Maybe I accepted that she was just taking me for granted? I asked myself, Is this the girl who made me give up pursuing my CE crush? I hoped that my deal with my CE crush was still on: on taking her to a date if ever I would ace my incoming CE board exams. The girl with purple-rimmed glasses said that she couldn’t join me watching in the UP Film Institute because she had other events to attend to. But she was there that night. I told her that I could become a friend, an older brother, or a lover, only if she told me which one I should be. Finally, she called me a friend… only a friend. That ended my dilly-dallying. I walked out of the theater after the movie, disappointed.
What was I thinking during that night’s walk? I was hoping that somebody joined me on that walk that night, to remind me that what I’ve been planning to do in the following days and years would be too foolish. The sadness was becoming too much to bear, and I was bottling it up all these years. Misery was the curse of immortality or the pursuit of it. I just wanted to end it. What is immortality to me? It is about being remembered for the years to come. I would. Things would be hard and painful for me. I’ll always lose the ones that I love. It would be much lonelier than it was on my lonely walks. Maybe those walks will no longer by on the greenest of meadows but on the bleakest of deserts. It would seem that I will have everything, but in the end, I will realize that I have gained nothing at all.
Maybe during that time in the past, I would have asked her to run away with me. We should have run away together, instead of just walking. I don’t have all the time in the world. Shall we run away now? Maybe the next time that I would be having company on my walks is when I would be walking towards my execution grounds.
The next one who would be joining me on those lonely walks may have my heart in assurance.