He was my high school boyfriend.
Okay. I decided to make this as direct as possible.
You were my high school boyfriend. Not the first I had, and also not the last or only.
That was four years ago. And we were both at the peak of our pubertal awakening.
All the time we were apart, I thought of you. You were in my heart. My love never changed. I still feel the same. (1)
Do I still feel the same after four years? I won’t deny that you never left my mind. After all, one is bound to remember about experiences that are life-changing. But can it be possible that even until now, what I felt back then hasn’t changed?
There’s a lot of feelings that remain since you’ve been gone. I guess you thought that I wanna put it all behind me. But it seems there’s always something right there to remind me. (2)
A lot of feelings. You always called it misery and you said that I became miserable since you left. Loneliness. Emptiness. Confusion. Anger. Self-pity. And many others that I may have forgotten along the way. Forgotten… Yet a simple joke, a song, a TV show or what-have-you can be like a huge force that destroys a dam that keeps the flood of memories from freely flowing.
Did he have to change his mind, why’d he break my heart? What will my friends say, why do I love him anyway? Didn’t I give him everything? Where did I go wrong? (3)
My friends were fed up with you. Halos masuka na nga sila sa pagsasawa sayo at sa mga kwento ko tungkol sayo. Pero ako hindi nagsawa. Tinatanong nila ko dati, bakit ikaw? Though I didn’t have an answer, it didn’t matter. Everyone thought we were forever. And everyone was wrong. Apat na taon na ang nakakaraan, pero minsan tinatanong ko pa rin kung san ako nagkamali, nagkulang. Hindi pa rin siguro sapat ang dalawang taon para mapalitan ko siya sa puso mo.
I don’t wanna see your face. I don’t wanna hear your voice. Don’t wanna let you into this heart of mine, baby. You just gotta let me be. You gotta keep away from me. (4)
It took me a long time to get you out of my system. I don’t even know how long as I was too busy looking for things that will make me too busy to look at your Friendster profile, reading your blog, or texting you. I had to remove you from my friends’ list. I had to change my number and tried to change my PIN. All so that I may do away from the temptation of being in touch with you.
I tried to reach for you. I can almost feel you. You’re nearly here and then, you disappear. (5)
Four damn years. Then we were talking again. Well your girlfriend made us talk again. It was an awkward situation. An ex being asked by the girlfriend about the past. It was an awkward situation as I imagined it when she said she wanted to see me. I told you, right? And you said you don’t feel at ease about your ex befriending your girlfriend. Maybe I shouldn’t be. That’s why I told you to patch things up between you two so your ex won’t have to be in the picture. Then you both began ranting to me about the faults and flaws in your relationship. But why me? Of all people, why me? After four years of non-communication, why me? I thought at first that the reason is because I was the one who knew you best. I was. And then things got overboard. Or must I say over me. You said you’re not sure if she wants to save your relationship or revive ours. She said there was no way you could make things better. I said you’re both responsible for and in the relationship you have.
Friday night, my phone rang. I don’t even know why I actually bought a Sun SIM just because she asked me. Well I didn’t have a hard time being a friend to her. Being a friend to you is the problem. So I answered, thinking it’s her. By the way, Malou, sorry if I have to tell this. It’s not to start another argument between you two but to throw my unnecessary baggage that I was supposed to have done before 2009 ended. But anyway, this will not affect you or what you have.
“Hello?” “Hello.” An unfamiliar voice came from the other end.
“Hello…?” “Hello?” I was still trying to decipher if I was hearing a voice different from her or maybe I was just imagining things.
“…Hello?” “Hello.” I looked at the number on my screen. Then, for a second, my world literally stopped.
“Ay o! Ikaw pala, akala ko si Malou. O bakit?”
“Wala naman. Musta?”
etc. etc. etc.
I knew right away that you were calling to find a sort of release. I knew right away that you were calling to talk to me about things that have nothing to do with me. So I went on with it, in spite hearing my heart thump, feeling a rush of blood rising to my head, sweating out in anxiety and feeling my hands shake when it finally sank in that after four years, I heard your voice again for the first time. That same night she was out of reach. And you asked if I could not tell her that we talked. I’m sorry that for the first time, I am breaking a promise. Not because I want to cause a feud again like last year but because I want to be free. I hope you both understand what this is like for me and I can only promise that hereafter nothing follows so please just bear with me.
Saturday morning, she was still out of reach. And in the afternoon you went incomprehensible. You asked if I had a boyfriend and if you could apply for the position. I laughed it off and we were talking about it like it was a corporate joke. I said, “Sumbong kita kay Malou e.” Then you replied, “Sumbong mo. She doesn’t care.”
What the hell was that? Maybe I missed the part when you said, “Sorry. Nakainom lang.” I can only guess. But what the hell was that? An attempt to flip me over? I didn’t want to take it seriously because I’m afraid I might believe it and give in to what was stagnated for four years. But damn was I so bad that I kept my hopes up – until the next morning.
You called. I thought I heard her voice. Wait a minute, it IS her voice – on your phone? But why? Why are you together? I thought… So I fell for it. That joke. You had me going. Can I be more stupid? Hah! You were both talking to me. I wasn’t paying attention anymore. I felt betrayed, toyed with. I lost it.
“Car? Bakit wala kang imik? Galit ka ba?”
“Hindi ako galit. WALA LANG AKONG MAINTINDIHAN.”
It’s true. I couldn’t understand anything. Choppy lines, soft voices, clutters in my head. What the hell is this about? Asking me assuming questions and trying to meet and then not telling me you had already reconciled? I’m in no position to get mad at any of you because I have no position at all in the first place. But do you have any respect for me and what I feel? Why does she have to ask “Naiinggit ka?” Was I jealous? No! I was confused. I don’t even want to think that I’m mad. But what the hell? WHAT THE HELL.
Next day, I said I have to switch SIM for a day. Maybe I have to switch off my head. Still the clutter remains in me.
So the one day is done. And I have to be in touch with her again. But for what reason? What else do we have to talk about? You? I was even hesitant to switch back because I thought I should leave you guys alone. My friends tell me that even with the right intentions, things can turn out wrong. If I don’t answer her because I don’t want to be a cause for any misunderstanding, people may think that I’m a snob, or bitter for that matter. If I answer her because I want to be a friend, people may think that I’m trying to fit in or maybe trying to ruin your relationship. It’s hard to be an ex placed between your past and his present when there is no place for an ex in the first place.
So God help me. I have to be firm in this decision. I’m keeping my lines open for the next three days. Maybe that duration is enough to give you both the chance to clear your individual issues with me and finally give me back my freedom of writing.
And after this, I suggest neither of you go back here to read my posts. The thought of you and what you’ll feel upon reading this only hinders me from unrestrictedly expressing myself. Sabi mo nga, wala naman akong ginawa kundi magsulat ng magsulat. So let me be.
Just in case three days have passed and nothing happened, I might as well just say this.
Lulu, I actually like you even though I thought I wouldn’t. You’re a nice person to talk with and I wanted to be your friend. But you don’t need me as a friend. So thank you for being nice.
James, you take care of yourself as much as you want others to care for you. And listen as much as you speak. And be happy.
If all else fails, then I will have to step away by myself.
(1) Especially For You – MYMP
(2) P.S. I’m Still Not Over You – Rihanna
(3) Don’t Give A Damn About You – Rihanna
(4) I Don’t Wanna Be Your Friend – Nina
(5) Disappear – Beyonce