By: CHEWBACCA BOSS
Eight years ago, I met a young man who changed my life. He opened my eyes to a part of the world- a part of life- that I didn’t know existed.
This was the first time that I ever fell in love, and it was then, by far, the deepest. The frequency and intensity with which I felt, anything, was something I didn’t believe possible. I honestly didn’t know that a person could feel so incredibly happy and miserable at the same time.
Bungal would always sit in the same corner of Dok Adi’s house and he’d order his everlasting favorites – footlong, pancit canton and RC cola. What started on as a shameless bet (20 pesos) apropos his right age has led us both to journeying the briefest, yet happiest fate that the good Lord has ever given.
Bungal was not my ideal man nor was I his dream girl. But destiny, as always, has its own diversion of playing games.
Our paths crossed during the most unannouced meetings. We knew each other because we had common friends, but we never were, and that we didn’t talk to each other either. We only get to see each other’s eyes while passing the school corridors and nothing more.
It was about lunch time back in February 2011 and I decided to go to Dok Adi (a small canteen near our campus that catered cheap meals for students) and grab some lunch. There I saw Bungal seated somewhere near the table I was in. He was about to leave and someone from the ladies in the kitchen crew shouted, “Aba Bungal! Akalain mo nga naman at sa wakas ay ga graduate kana! Buti naman. Tumatanda kana eh!”
And my gullible self boldly and randomnly asked to reconfirm the latter to him if that was true because he looked younger.
He went near me and asked if I could bet 20 pesos to pay for his rc cola if it’s true. I called “game!” with confidence even when I only had eight (8) pesos in my pocket because I was certain I’m gonna win. He showed me his ID only to find out that he was 10 years older than me. I froze and remembered why curiosity killed the cat. He zoomed out laughing.
PS. I was able to pay the rc cola because I borrowed 20 from my best friend.
Few hours after that awkward encounter was the annoying sparks and signs. The beaming halo above his head and the raining petals and stars that flowed gradually everywhere… I have never really wished for any of those to happen, not for him (most particularly) but the heaven’s gate transpired for an unknown purpose we couldn’t understand then.
Bungal was carrying a bouquet of blue roses in his left arm and all the letters I saw near the school gate were dancing to no tune. Everything began to move in a picturesque slow-motion.
I looked around once more and the latter had turned black and white, and then they stopped moving at all. The only colored subject I could see was Bungal grinning ear to ear and walking gently toward me as if to pop my bubbles any moment and say something bad. “Oh. Ikaw nanaman?” Almost in chorus, we both said it to each other. I simply held my heart because it’s racing supersonic suddenly. It couldn’t be. With that bully? Hell Nooooo!!
“Whahahaha happy Valentines emo girl!” And everything resumed apace to normal. I shook my head and looked straight to him, rolled my eyes as much as doable and ran swiftly toward the school’s gate.
P.S. the bouquet of blue roses was not for me. He was to give it to a beautiful lady (who happened to be one of my closest friends) he’s been pursuing over the past years.
•••Few days before graduation•••
I didn’t know where the time went but it all happened too soon. We were on our last days in school before graduation when Bungal approached me from nowhere. Our exchanged life stories began when I asked him to buy me a customized plastic ring just like his’ ( but with my ex’s name on it). Crazy. However, he ended up buying one for me instead.
“Ligawan kaya kita. Payag kaba?” He said. I looked at him and laughed hard. Somehow I felt he’s offended because he sounded serious. I didn’t know how to respond so i raised my brow. “When do you plan to start? Tomorrow? Sige. Go ahead. Make sure to wear a formal attire and submit to me your resume before you ask me again that question aaaaaand let’s see if you’ll pass my qualifications or not. Bale bukas interview mo na. Kaya mo bang gawin?” I asked. He didn’t answer so I smirked and walked away.
The following day, there’s this only guy in semi-formal attire who walked in front of me and handed over his CV but didn’t say anything. I nearly had a heart attack. I couldn’t look at him straight because I didn’t know he’d take it seriously. Those few who saw us began to chat so I hid in one of the vacant classrooms to read the contents of what he gave me. Him, standing in the study mall and waiting patiently accross the room I went to; glancing from a distance. I waved so he’d follow. He was now seated in front of me as if we were really conducting a typical interview session. His CV read as follows:
Side note: I could not recall the right words pero prang ganyan yung thought
Purpose: To win the heart of a lovely girl I wish to pursue and be the reason for her smiles.
Skills: I can promise to love and protect you until forever’s gone
Status: Single and waiting for your answer
My heart and mind were on a battle but I chose to follow the former. My reasons were unclear but my heart was certain. My feet had forced me to get out of the room and search for the nearest convenience store. I realized that I’ve been hungry. Not for food though.
He was still following me. How and when did it all start? Thought I was gonna die right at that time. I asked myself and it took me forever to answer my own questions. I could be right. And i could be wrong. I didn’t find the right answers so I ended up buying fita crackers, tore it’s pack and gave him two pieces of biscuits as my answer. We both laughed and became the happiest people on earth since then.
Finding the right person, a person you want to spend your life with, is the greatest accomplishment one can achieve. Yet, the unfortunate truth is that the right person doesn’t always come at the right time. And that makes all the difference.
You’re not guaranteed to find the right person at the wrong time, but it can happen. You see, I am the living proof. I understand you may be thinking that if you met the right person, the person you loved with all your heart and soul, things would just work out the way you imagined them to be. Because we see it in all the movies. When boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love. And then they live happily ever after, -background music- roll credits.
How wonderful it would be if the world was only that simple.
In reality, human beings are emotionally complicated and because that’s a given case, we manage to make situations even more complicated. Let’s say you found the right person already, but you aren’t yet the right person you yourself need to be, then expect the worst case scenarios. Because your relationship will surely fail. This goes for the person you love as well.
Bungal and I only had a 23-day relationship. It was probably the shortest, but it’s indeed the happiest and the purest I had then.
I could be right and I could be wrong.
I broke up with Bungal on our 23rd day because I realized that I was not yet ready. I loved him without doubt, but I got scared of my own insecurity. I was afraid that soon he’d leave me too because he admitted that he’s still in love with the “the blue roses” girl. I could not afford to get hurt anymore because I’ve been to a bad relationship before. And though he was sincere enough to have wanted to give our relationship a try, I cut him off already because I was afraid… I was afraid of all the possibilities that he might leave me soon too. I felt sad and guilty with my decision considering that he did nothing but to just make me feel happy… I saw how sad his eyes were the night we parted ways even when he was trying to show me that he’s just fine and that he’ll always be the man with a million watts of smile.
“Kapag nalulungkot ka tingin kalang sa langit. Just look at the second star next to the right and straight on til’ morning.” – he said and grinned like nothing happened. I nodded.
I went home, my world was spinning so i dived in my bed and burried my face on my pillow.
I haven’t heard anything from Bungal since then.
●●●(Never Knew I Needed by Ne-Yo- was playing as I type and search for the lines you’ll be reading next).●●●
There were many days then, when I wished I could turn back time.. I badly wanted to win him back.
A year has passed and I was still wondering how he had been, how everything had changed since then… Last I heard from a friend is that he’s working in a government office in Makati.
I, on the other hand was a regular employee and was working fine and dandy in prestigious car company in BGC when I received a call from a very good friend. He said that they need contractuals for the new department they’re opening for this particular government office in Makati…My chinky eyes grew wide in excitement (like a child eating candy with a surprise center) and I immediately said yes without thinking. To cut it short, I gave up my regular position for a contract project because i knew it’s gonna be a great opportunity that I’d finally be seeing Bungal again soon.
I swore to myself that this time, I’d be brave enough to take the risks just to win him back.
♧ELEVATOR CARS, OFFICE ENTRANCE, HALLWAYS and McDonald’s ♧
My heart skipped a bit the first time I saw Bungal again. He was standing in the elevator lane right next to me. It felt so surreal yet awkward.
“Hi.” He said. I felt coy to start a convo so I just smiled. We went to different floors.
“Hello jalibi. Ang kapal ng lipstik mo knina. Whahaha” -this message I read from my facebook’s inbox was way too far from what I was romanticizing to receive from him during our first encounter after a year passed. Though, funny enough to know that he missed me too.
PPS. I don’t wear lipsticks. Fun fact is that my lips look red in the morning because I always bite them.
Can you guess how happy I was with our blossoming friendship this time? We dated and tried to work out what we’ve started before. That was what I thought at least. For the second time around, I felt the happiest girl on earth. I was getting used to seeing him everyday at work and going out on a date when we have chances. The risk was worth it. One touch was enough to bring back the stars in our hearts alive
Bungal and I were supposed to dine somewhere after shift. I wore my best dress that day and brushed my hair like 10 thousand times already. For some inexplicable reasons, he was silent and I felt bothered.
We were standing in the office entrance because it started to rain. I was searching for my umbrella when he spoke as if he’s almost whispering: “Faith. Tama na siguro to. Tigil na lang siguro natin to.” It didn’t register to me at first as if nsa talyer yung pick up ko…. “Bakit? Panong tigil? Anung.. meaning nun?” I asked him because he looked more anxious than I was. I felt he’s really sorry for me. For why, I didn’t know.
“May girlfriend na kasi ako. Sinagot nako ni Banana.” Sabi nya.
I chuckled. “Was that a joke?” I asked. Trying to fight back the tears that was betraying to fall anytime. He wobbled his head. And before he could utter another word, I stepped back. I looked at him for one last time and walked walked away. I suddenly found myself lost in the sea of people rushing to go home.
I honestly could not tell you what was heavier that night. My soaking wet dress, my unlimited tears or my broken heart. It could be all of the given… I didn’t care if people were staring at me because I got no umbrella or that because I was crying harder than the rain (as if I was gang raped by UFOs).
I won’t lie because it hurts more than anything and it has begun to ache in all parts of me. I knew he was really sorry because he isn’t the type of person who’d do something stupid just because he feels like doing so. Bungal is one of the few truest and kindest people i know. I knew he had his own reasons why he could not tell me. Maybe he was just confused. Maybe he was just torn. Maybe. Just maybe…
I grew tired of working. My contract was ending near.. I assumed perhaps, it happened for the best.
☆☆SIX YEARS LATER☆☆
It seemed like nothing much has changed. Except for the fact that Bungal and I, somehow have gained weight. I was so excited to hear what he was up to and how he has been over the past six years.
There’s so much stories to share and tell.
He was enjoying his mucho pint beer while I was watching my frozen lychee margarita defrosts.
I smiled because this is how we wanted us to be.
He has began to share his back stories.
We talked about many things such as work, business, travels and his new love life. He said he’s ready to settle down anytime soon. And I’m really glad to see that he’s grinning again after ages. So I shared a piece of my life to him too, being married for two wonderful years already.
Bungal and I have lived different lives now. We told each other openly about how things went beautifully yet separately.
If I am to pick only one good memory out of the many things I won’t ever forget apropos what we’ve talked about that night, it would be the answer to my long lost questions. His confession.
Letting a person you love go is perhaps the most difficult decision you can ever make in life. The worst part is that, the longer you are apart, the more you come to realize how much you actually love that person.
It has dawned on me that we were digging up once more our old wounds. The wounds we had thought were already healed over time. But they were not actually, until that night. It was scruciatingly beautiful in a way that the word “regret” in reality, is just a bitter-sweet life lesson.
He said he’s happy seeing me happy and I to him, likewise. I wanted to cry but I tried to resist. :’) I could no longer hug him unlike the sweet bygones. So we just laughed it all away.
We gave each other peace by freeing ourselves from what used to hurt us and made us feel somewhat, resentful.
Now, I can finally put to close our last page
And though we are now journeying through different chapters of our lives apart, Bungal will always be my favorite book; my accidental happily ever after. ♡☆
~For the way you changed my plans,
For being the perfect distraction~
For the way you took the idea that I have,
Of everything that I wanted to have,
And made me see there was something missing…. You’re the best thing I never knew I needed.. so when you were here, I had no idea~ You’re the best thing I never knew I needed, So now it’s so clear, I need you here always~🎵🎵
▪▪▪SA NAKATADHANA NA SA KASALUKUYAN AT SA TADHANANG DARATING PALANG▪▪▪
I hope and pray you’ll have enough strength to keep going. Don’t give up just yet because you haven’t tried so far. Think about it. We may never know.
I believe we are all capable of handling rejections. But there is nothing, nothing more painful than to live life with what ifs. Don’t give up your love just yet. For love is the only purpose worth living for.
▪AT SA TADHANANG NAKALIPAS▪
Sabi nga nila, “Don,t cry because it’s sad but smile because it happened.” :’)
Always believe in big love because you’ve had it. :’)
Sometimes, the biggest and most loving move you can possibly make is to let each other go. Maybe we just ought to be grateful that we got to meet these people at all. That we got to love them. That we got to learn from them. That we got to have our lives expand and flourish as a result of having known them.
Meeting and letting go of the love of your life doesn’t have to be your life’s single greatest tragedy.
If you let it, it can be your greatest blessing.
After all, some people never get to meet them at all. ❣