at 23 ..

While I was approaching my 20th year of existence, I committed myself to  someone whom I didn’t expect at all. Later, this someone has become so dear and has inspired me in many many ways he’s not even aware of up to this time. I saw his determination and discipline in his pursuit to achieve his dreams. Behind him is his family whom he loved more than anything in this world. He’s the type of person who would do anything, whenever, wherever, for them. Selfless, I would say. You might tell me, who would not do the same for their loved ones? There are indeed a lot of people out there who would do the same as him. But there are many others who just don’t care too. I’m just pointing out some of the traits I admired about him. A family oriented person, someone who has a sense of responsibility, someone who knows his priorities in life, someone with a goal, someone who has a sense of commitment, someone who knows what he’s doing, someone who knows where he’s going. Someone who believes in Him. Someone who changed my perspectives, someone who helped me realize my dreams, someone who made me see the people who mattered in my life, someone who encouraged me to strive harder, someone who gave me hope that not all men are the same. Someone I’ve been praying and preying for. Someone I would never want to let go.

He became my best friend. He was my confidant. He is my first thought upon waking up and the last thought before losing my consciousness at night. His simple gestures and acts of caring paints a smile on my face and plants happiness in my heart. He lifts my spirit up whenever I’m feeling down.

It wasn’t hard to fall in love with this man.Nor was it hard to stay in love with him.

As we approached our second anniversary, my heart broke into pieces when he said he doesn’t love me anymore. There were no signs it was coming to an end. I asked but was never contented of the answers I got from reading between the lines. I could never understand how one moment, he was saying he loved me and then one second after, he would say he doesn’t anymore. From what I know about him, he’s not the kind of person who would just leave you hanging on the edge of a cliff. No. That’s not him. I was deeply pained. I’ve been trying to go back and see where I went wrong or what might have caused whatever happened between us, but to no avail. For the first time, I told him so many hurtful words and threw all my hatreds to him. I’ve cried myself to sleep. I was in a really bad shape during those times. But I was blessed with people who won’t let me down. I have had so many friends who tried to cheer me up. I saw how much they love me and how they wanted me to be happy again. Over an alcohol during a series of consecutive drinking spree, a friend told me how pathetic I’ve become, how different I’ve become from before. That hit me. I gathered my strength and stood up from where that someone left me. I was still in pain but I needed to be happy for those who care.

From a series of drinking spree, I chose to be busy. I went back to my books. I found solace in nature. Days passed by and slowly, I was regaining myself. Indeed, nature has its own way of healing a broken heart.

Months passed by and I could say I was starting to be fine. While everyone in the city was busy with the biggest holiday season of the year, I and another friend chose to be in the rural to be one with nature. We went to a place where nobody else knows us. A place very far from the noise of the city.A place where we felt freedom. A place where there is only night time and day time. A blissful place that somehow healed a part of the wound I was feeling.

After two consecutive travel adventures to help keep my sanity, I thought I was ready to tell myself it’s over. Sometimes I’d like to think that fate’s playing with me. After three months, I found him saying sorry for everything. Though there were so many questions left unanswered on my part, I chose not to be skeptic of what his intentions were. When he asked for a second chance, I welcomed him back with open arms and cast my doubts without a second thought. I was 22 at that time and I knew I love him and I just can’t do anything about it.

Everything went back to normal. To the way it used to be. Like nothing went wrong. We chose to forgive and forget and chose to live in the present and for the future without letting the past get into our way.

This place witnessed how happy we were.  Kiltepan, Sagada.
We once shared our happiness as we watched the sun rise at that time.
Kiltepan, Sagada.

That’s how we were even after I left the country to pursue my teaching career. What happened five months after I left was truly unexpected.

As I was approaching my 23rd year, our reconciliation ended after almost exactly a year from the time he came back. Whatever the pain I felt from my first broken heart, it was nothing compared to the pain I felt for the second time. Everything came back from the first heartbreak. The questions, the pain, the never-ending question of ‘why’ but this time, the question is, ‘why, again?’. It was even harder because I had no chance of confronting him personally. Being away is already hard, much more when the heart is in trouble. Indeed it was. But the hardest of all is not knowing the reason why. Just like the first time, I don’t know why or what went wrong.

A month after the break-up, I celebrated my birthday trying to get him off my mind. For three years, three consecutive years, I shared my happiness with him as I celebrated my special day. For three years, I have been praying for us and have always been grateful for having him to share every ounce of happiness in me. For three years, he made me feel he would always be there to celebrate whatever milestone I would reach and whatever milestone he would reach. For three years, every day, I would pray and thank Him for letting me experience what it’s like to love and to be loved.

At 23, everything is totally different from the last three years. Nevertheless, I still pray and thank Him for the strength and will he’s giving me to get through all of these and ask for wisdom to comprehend why all of these are happening.

The sunrise after this sunset was the start of the totally different days after three years.
The sunrise after this sunset was the start of the totally different days after three years.

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