My high school friends and I celebrated my birthday last night (we were all so busy we had to do it 19 days after my actual birthday) and we were talking about instances wherein we became stupid for love. I was sitting there, hoping that they won’t remember what I did, but I guess that was asking for too much. They all knew the story so well, I just had to sit back there and smile at the memories they were recounting.
Only my high school friends know about this, but I guess it’s time that I talk about it again. It’s the only love story that I’ve ever been a part of (or the only one I acknowledge). I’m not proud of the things I did, but it made me smarter (such a cliche, I know!) when it comes to dealing with relationships.
I was about 13, and my best friend Sean invited me to watch his team’s basketball game against another all boys school. Sean was from Don Bosco Mandaluyong, and that was where the game was held. Around that time, I was dating Allen, a football player from Bosco as well. I went to Bosco a little earlier than the scheduled time of the game because Sean needed my help with his English homework. He then introduced me to everyone in his team, and all of them were very nice. I remember being introduced to the captain, Justine Marcelo, and him shaking my hand a little longer.
When the game started, I was very much a screaming fan girl. The boys on the other team were bigger than them, and they used that to get their way. Justine was very skinny, and the guy he was guarding was three times bigger than him. The guy bumped him, and he fell easily. I felt so bad, so I screamed “COME ON MARCELO!! PUNCH HIM!”. He looked at me and just smiled, and I smiled back. My heart did a little weird somersault that I have never felt before.
After the game, we had lunch at Mcdo, and I went straight home. Around dinner time, someone was texting me but I didn’t know who. Then Justine said he was sorry for not saying who he was in the beginning, because he was afraid that I wouldn’t reply. He even apologized for not getting my number from me, because he was so shy.
We texted and talked the whole week. I completely forgot about Allen, and when it was time to watch a game of his, I went there to tell him that we shouldn’t see each other anymore. It wasn’t working out at all. He and Justine were polar opposites, and I guess the only reason I went out with him is because I play football too.
After that, Justine courted me in an old fashion way. He just made my heart melt every time. He was the cheesiest guy in the world, and I loved him. I loved him to the extent that I forgot myself. I forgot that I was this stone cold bitch that couldn’t care less. We became official on October 2, 2004. Best day of my life, really. Every morning, I would wake up with a text from him saying “Good morning, I love you!” and when I would check my phone after school, it was full of messages about his day. I would then text him that I was home, and he would reply “Good, you’re safe. Let’s talk when you’re not tired. I love you.” This was an everyday routine, and I never got tired of it. I was so in love. It wasn’t fake, unlike the guys before. My heart felt like it would burst every time I would hear his voice, smell his scent, or whatever it is that he does. He just makes me so happy, and all he had to do was smile at me.
We would see each other on the weekends, and he would tell me that seeing me was the best part of his week. Not even winning the championship compares to it. I would always blush when he says that, and he would always kiss my cheeks to make me blush even harder. I was whipped.
One night, he called me, crying. He said his mom doesn’t want him to be with me anymore because she wants him to focus on his studies and his basketball. He begged for my forgiveness, but what was there to forgive? Here was a guy, who loved me more than I loved him, but he couldn’t say no to his mom. He couldn’t fight because there shouldn’t be any fight. I would never win, running up against his mom. It was clear what we had to do.
That night, I cried. I cried like it was the only thing my body was capable of. I don’t know what time I fell asleep, but when I woke up, I continued crying. It was as if I was crying while asleep. My eyes looked like the lids would never separate. I cried in the shower, I cried on the way to school. I cried the whole god damn day, and it still wasn’t enough.
My heart was shredded into fine powder. I left it there, waiting for something that will never fix it. Even though I was going mad, I did not dare beg him to come back. I respected his decision, even though I had my brother hide my phone from me so I wouldn’t text him.
For a year, I was in a stupor. Then Jet came along, and I thought I was going to be okay. I was partly happy, but then he happened again. I was on my way home from Don Bosco when this guy entered the jeep. I couldn’t believe it. I asked my friend Jonna to look at his nameplate, to see if it said “J.J.R. Marcelo”. She looked at it, then at me. In that instant, I realized I was still not over him, and I told myself I would never be over him. We were together in that jeep for 15 minutes, and throughout that time I felt like screaming at him, telling him to take me back, that Jethro could never replace him, that no one could ever replace him. But I kept it all to myself, because he seemed so happy. Before I got off the jeep, he grabbed my hand and said “Hey, take care going home, okay? It was nice seeing you”.
I lost it. The moment I got in the jeep heading to Cubao, I cried. I cried in public, and I couldn’t care less. I was sobbing so hard, the people in the jeep gave me their tissue and told me it would be okay, even though they didn’t know what was going on. When I got home, I cried myself to sleep. I didn’t talk to anyone at all, and the next day I dragged myself to school and pretended everything was okay. I went on with my relationship, but I became distant. We broke up, but I didn’t cry. I never cried for any guy ever since.
I don’t think I would ever love anyone like that, and I’m okay with it. I gave all of my heart to him, and when he gave it back, I locked it up without knowing. I went back to being the stone cold bitch everyone knew. I became the biggest romantic without realizing it.
I still love him, yes. He will always be that guy that all the others would have to live up to. I feel bad for the others, really. But what can I do? He has that hold on me that I can never shake off. I don’t think I want to shake it off.
He lives in California now, very far from me. We still talk, and he’s still such a great guy. I have come to realize that we will never get back together, and I accept it. I don’t think I can go back to being that girl he fell in love with anyway, because I murdered her and buried her in a trench outside Tagaytay.
Now, I don’t believe in stupid love crap but I do believe in the one that got away. I have always wanted to believe that the one that got away just got lost, and that no matter how long it takes, they will find their way back. But I guess that’s wishful thinking, so I just had to accept that he’s too lost to find his way back to me.
Jesus Christ, I need to stop drinking 2 days in a row.