All of my life
Where have you been?
I wonder if I will ever see you again.
-- Lenny Kravitz
MANILA, Philippines -- This is a story that begins with an ending. If love means two people getting together, then this is love that never was and never will be. A false start can never ever lead to a fairy tale ending. Tears, pain, hurt -- that's all you get, plus a hard kick in the end.
Aril was almost my first everything. Almost, because admittedly he was not my first love and first hurt. That distinction belongs to my best friend's boyfriend (but that's another story altogether).
They say that you will have one greatest love in your lifetime. If that's true, it would probably be Aril for me.
Why? Well, what else would you call accepting a guy as your boyfriend although he has two kids with a woman he does not consider his girlfriend, and then breaking up with him, only to go back to him after he gets married to another woman? To some that may look like sheer stupidity, but I'm a reborn positivist and I consider it an act of bravery.
Martyrdom and masochism make up a fatal combination, and I have both tendencies. When heaven was pouring such attributes, I must have been suffering a big hangover and I just accepted them without thinking and understanding what they entailed. When I chose sainthood, alcohol probably drowned my senses and so my halo dropped down to my waist. But it did not drop far enough to serve as a chastity belt.
As a result, I stayed in a relationship (oh yes, I treated it as one even if my partner never did) for more than three years -- three years and four months, to be exact.
However, like a mechanical toy when wound too tight, a relationship breaks. You can try to put it together and you can even fix it, but it is no longer quite the same anymore. It is broken, even though the cracks may not show.
Too much is always not too good. When abuse creeps in, even if it is just verbal and not physical, the relationship is shattered. And its effects endure longer, sometimes forever.
Are you willing to face a firing squad? Then be ready to hear the words, "I'm sorry, I cannot offer you anything. I have a kid. I have a wife!" (You should then ask if he didn't know that before he ruined my once peaceful life.)
But then again, I'm an optimist remember? So I set him free, of course without him knowing it. I just took off, leaving no explanations whatsoever. I changed my number and went to another place.
It's been nine months since then, but the feelings have never diminished, not one tiny bit. But the change of environment has allowed me to look at the affair with greater clarity. There are still a lot of questions left unanswered, but this time I know I have to do the searching alone. It is my own self that I need to find.
I'm still a martyr. I have learned the meaning of sacrifice. As R.P. Evans once put it, "Loving something is not desiring it, but desiring the happiness of the thing you love." In plain language, just let go.
Though I am still struggling, I believe this is the right thing to do. Despite all the mistakes and the wrong decisions I've made, one thing is certain: I will overcome. So what if my heart has been broken? So what if I have to keep all these things to myself because not one soul knows about my illicit affair with Aril (well, a few friends have an idea of what's going on but they don't know him)? So what if I cry every night and I have to tell anyone who notes my eye bags that I have overslept? So what if I feel insecure at times? I know and I am sure that I will survive!
If circumstances dictate that our paths should cross again, I wish that Aril will meet the real me and then he can do nothing but look and regret everything that happened in the past.
All of my life, I have been looking for the real me. Now when I look at the mirror, I think I have found her: one tough gal, wearing a big grin and winking, with her halo back in its proper place.
Bromhexine, 27, has finished two college courses but is still looking for her first job.
Copyright 2007 Inquirer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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