(Youngblood , Philippine Daily Inquirer) TODAY, I will attend an execution: my own. I will watch it with both eyes open and I will not cry. I will not break down just because the man I have loved since forever will marry someone else. I will watch him promise himself to a woman who will never love him like I have. I will watch them bind themselves to a vow I should have taken.
I have loved Oliver almost all my life. I have known him since I saved his six-year-old hide from a bully named Ricardo who wanted to rid him of his two yellowed front teeth. I was five at the time, but having grown with five older brothers and a hellion of a sister, ''Totoy Cardo'' was a piece of cake.
Oliver was so overcome with embarrassment at having a girl to protect his scrawny neck that from that time on he made it a point to be the rescuer, not the rescued. As time passed, muscles filled out this lanky frame and those two front teeth began to sparkle. He combs his hair, and he takes a bath daily now. In short, he has become a fine specimen of manhood.
The best part is, he lived up to his promise: he became my self-appointed guardian (well, I don't know if that's the best or the worst part). He was just always there, sticking to me like glue. It used to drive me nuts that he never let me out of his sight.
When I was 12, I ran from the infirmary on my way home. I had found out in the most humiliating way that I had become a woman: there was a big red stain on the back portion of my skirt. The jeers and the taunts followed me through the school corridors. Oliver dashed after me and offered to accompany me home. I declined, of course. He seemed to understand my discomfiture and promised to drop later with the things left in school. When I reached home I was told that I needed to jump three times on the stairs (which I did) and to wash my face with my blood (which I didn't do). Oliver dropped by in the afternoon, sporting a black eye and a bruise on his arm. When I asked him what happened, he said he had walked into a closed door. I believed him. But a few days later, minus the dysmennorhea, I found out that Oliver got into fisticuffs because some guy made a disgusting remark about me.
Nobody had ever fought for me before that. And when you're 12 and discussing in class how King Arthur and fairest of them all, Lancelot, fought for Guinevere's love, you tend to get ideas. I loved Oliver then. When we were in high school and I found out that the school's heartthrob and one of my most ardent suitors, Richard, was involved with a bustier girl, it was to Oliver that I ran. When I didn't graduate as valedictorian and I got so drunk, it was Oliver who took me home. He didn't even mind that I barfed all over his dad's car (which he borrowed without permission).
When I decided to go to UP and he went to Ateneo, we celebrated by partying. When I lost my mom in a car accident, he took care of everything.
When my dad followed my mom less than a year later after a heart attack, he was there again. By this time he was an appendage of my life. He used to check out the guys I came to know. Nobody dared to get serious with me--not when Oliver had a black belt.I didn't know how to define our relationship. I didn't know what we were. We definitely were more than friends, better even than best friends. It was like we were a couple, but formally not one.
We did all the things that couple did like hang out and neck but always stopped when things got too hot. Since we never defined what we meant to each other we never said ''I love you'' or whatever serious couple told each other.
As a result, I remained a chaste princess while my prince caroused and sowed wild oats, but still had the energy to monitor my movements. I didn't mind.
After all, I was so sure we'd end up together. I always thought that in the end, it would be us. I loved him. I managed to convince myself that he loved me (what else could it be?). Little did I know that love doesn't conquer all, it only conquers the weak.
I didn't think he'd be so stupid as to get a girl pregnant on the same night they met at a party. I didn't think he'd be so stupid as to forget to use some form of contraception. After all, he had given me a lecture on safe sex. And I didn't think he'd be so stupid as to marry the girl. But maybe I forgot that after all he was a man, and men have been known to be stupid about these things. Their brain is located in a region other than between the ears.
What could I do? Kicking him in the groin and punching him in the eye seemed like a good idea then. Don't blame me; he was the one who enrolled me in a self-defense course. But I did not feel better. Seeing him bent over in pain only made me angrier. I wasted my life for this lousy excuse of a man? I could not believe it! I wanted nothing more than to run to him and beg him to wake me up from the stupid dream. I wanted him to take me some place where we didn't know anybody.
No pain, no memory, no humiliation. I wanted to just forget it ever happened but since I flunked in the School for Martyrs, I couldn't, for the life of me pretend, it didn't happen. I couldn't pretend he didn't hurt me. I couldn't pretend everything was fine and dandy and exactly the way it was before. We didn't talk for a month. For both of us who were practically inseparable, that was like an eternity. I ducked into corners whenever I would see him. I wouldn't take his calls. I wouldn't see him. And for some time hate was my reason for getting up in the morning, for breathing, for living.
Hate and I became good friends.
"God brings men into deep waters, not to drown them but to cleanse them," somebody once wrote. I didn't want to be cleansed. I just wanted to drown in pain and misery and utter desolation. I wanted to wallow in the dark and deep pit of despair. I know a thousand and one cliches that say this can be a blessing and that I should be thankful. But thankful is the last thing I'm feeling right now. I've always thought that there are three kinds of women: those who break, those who mend and those who are broken themselves.
Before this hit me, I assumed that I belonged to the first or second category. Now I know I'm in the third--so hurt and broken up inside. My grandmother used to say that there is nothing you can do about pain when it gives you a silly grin except grin right back. All I could manage was a wry smile, a killer headache and the worst hangover the day before his wedding.
Evidence of that is the disgusting sight of mashed potatoes and barbecue, thrown up not three meters away from where I was lying prostrate on the floor and the awful stench of cigarette on my hair. Frankly I don't want to go. I want to wallow in misery in my messy room, crying, retching and stinking, surrounded with Michael Learns to Rock (whose songs are dedicated to the broken-hearted) CDs. But I have to go and attend the wedding. I have to bathe and prepare and put on that atrocious peach (it's not even my color!) gown.
I'm not doing it for the groom, my one true friend and love, Oliver. Neither am I doing it for the bride, my younger sister, Sandra who needs me. I'm doing it for my unborn niece who has the great fortune of having me as her aunt. Call me stupid, but I've always known my place. If it isn't beside the man I was destined to marry, if it isn't behind my sister, who will take his name, wear his ring and bear him a child, then it must be with my niece, cradled close to my heart so that she will know both of our love.
If you, like me, received this story right down below an UTTERLY looong thread of tos and froms with personal reactions of sad, sniffs, =,( and something like those in between (not to mention the signatures of the sources of each mail), then most likely you are bound to feel the same thing. After reaching the end I was like “Ouch”. Losing a guy to another girl is one thing but giving him up to your sister no less is another. But when I was back to talking about the post to my friend, I was firm with my sentiments. She maybe hurt but still, ang tanga nya noh? (She’s a stupid right?) I always believed in fighting for the person you love - a cause that didn’t deter me from doing even if my first and only attempt before was unsuccessful. Anyways, this is not about me. And also, I was wrong with the way I looked at things.
So since it was an interesting – enticing even - story, I decided to forward it to my friends. Good thing that somebody shed to me some light on this situation. It was none other than my dear friend Tytana. Her reaction the whole time was like, “Duh??” She presented me with 2 plausible ideas: (1) The guy wouldn’t marry the girl if he isn’t in love with her and (2) It’s impossible for the guy not to know the sister of her childhood best friend.
I reread the whole thing and I was like, “Yeah you’re right! Why haven’t I thought of that?” I don’t know for others but even if my best friend is not a guy, I know her WHOLE clan enough and this saying from the fact that we’ve just known each other for only a sum of 3 years now. I mean, what more if you’re friends since 5??? Goodness!!
I’m trying to be open-minded on this story. Probably not knowing the sister can be a possible thing (God knows how) but there’s really something offensive in here. Whether it was already a secret affair going on even before (as what we suspect) or that she’s just really a poor victim of the whole thing, I can only feel hatred for how she delivered her piece. Gosh, we don’t even know if this is a true-to-life experience (according to the source it was published on the Daily Inquirer). But really, what does she expect us to do?? Be proud of her just because she’s doing it for the sake of her NIECE?? Give her a round of applause for being brave in attending the wedding?? It’s STUPIDITY - Boba, Tonta, Moron, Stoo-fid, Imbecile, Shunga-Shunga in many forms). I’m sorry; she just wouldn’t get any of that from me. Haha!! Tyts and I were even making fun of it:
kc: NAINIS tuloy ako sa kasal
tytana: para daw sa pamangkin!!
kc: so feeling nya she's doing it for a honorable cause
kc: EH BOBA CYA!!
tytana: feeling heroic sya!!!!!!!!!!
kc: GUSTO NYA ILAGAY KO CYA SA LIMANGDAANG PISO DAHIL SA GINAWA NYA
kc: MUKHA NYA!!!
kc: BKA GUSTO NYA ILIBING KO CYA NG BUHAY SA LIBINGAN NG MGA BAYANI
Some words were violent but it was just meant to have fun alright?? And more convo:
tytana: maganda ang pagkakasulat i must say
kc: onga eh..now i know..
kc: ANG MGA KATULAD NYA, HINDI KINAKAAWAAN
kc: yes prang linya lng ng movie
tytana: pasulat sulat pa sya ano
tytana: hindi na lang sya magisip muna
tytana: pagisipan nya ang nangyari
kc: eh gusto nya BAYANI cya eh..
tytana: dapat nga syang malagay sa 25 cent coin
kc: un na ba ung pinakamaliit??
kc: ung ano naman ung my butas sa gitna
kc: mas bagay cya dun
tytana: 5 cents ata
Hay, ang sakit sa bangs!! Wahaha. I don’t know for some of you but for me and Tyts, it seems that many have been misled by this story. It's not a sad love story, it's a repulsive one. If she really wants to do it for her niece, she didn't have to be a masochist and show up in the wedding day itself specially that there has been no indication of peace between her and the couple. Time heals all wounds and if it's for the niece per se then she could wait for the right time. Aargh, I'm getting tired of this. It's sickening. :P