Friday, August 18, 2017

Whenever, Wherever, Whatever (Part 3) FINALE

Whenever, Wherever, Whatever (Part 3) FINALE
By: Anonymous

As of now I couldn’t help but remember the possibilities, the questions running on my mind that were never answered. The longings of my heart were never fulfilled. My current boyfriend, whom I have been together for almost 4 and half years knows na kahit kailan, 2 tao lang ang hindi ko makakalimutan sa buhay ko. Toffee, my first love and Peter, my greatest mistake. Sabi nga sakin ni Basti, mas gugustuhin daw niyang maging in the middle lang daw siya sa buhay ko kesa masama sa taong hindi ko kailanman malilimutan. Kase kung magbreak man kami, atleast hindi ako mahihirapang magmove-on. Pero pag sinasabi niya un, binabatukan ko na lang siya.

I met Basti when I was stranded sa isang coffee shop dahil sa ulan. I browsed the net na lang and did some research stuff for my work. When this guy in a raincoat jacket enters the coffee shop and orders a cappuccino. Sabi ba naman,

“Miss. Isang kape nga, kapeccino ba un. Yung medium size ninyo.”

Hindi ko mapigilang tumawa sa sobrang jologs ng pronunciation niya at talaga saksakan ng tanga lang siya. Kaya tuloy dun siya sa tabi ko umupo, sabi niya,

“Sorry kung mali ang pronunciation ko ng kape, and mali yung spelling mo ng word na yan.”

And he pointed at my laptop’s screen. Nagalit ako syempre, sabi ko,

“Ano bang problema mo? Masama bang tumawa?”

“Oo, masamang tumawa sa taong ignorante sa isang bagay na wala naman siyang alam.”

“You’re overreacting.”

Nag-walkout siya ng coffee shop. Nabadtrip.

After a few days, he sent me a grande size cappuccino at my desk saying in a small letter

“I hope my pronunciation is right when I ordered this piece of shit.”

Nakalagay yung name na Basti sa Starbucks cup. Included in the letter was his phone number so I called immediately, maya-maya iniistalk na pala ako ng tao. He told me that he saw the letterhead of the company I was working and he saw my name on the laptop bag. He had connections daw within the company so he traced me down through them. It was the first time for me that someone bluntly tells me na gusto niya ako for no reasons. So ayun, we dated after that. It took us almost a year bago naging kami. For me, sabi ko gusto ko walang commitment pero siya gusto niya exclusive na kami na in the long run of our 8 month dating and semi-relationship as I could call it. We almost broke up bago pa maging kami because of his incessant reasoning na bakit daw ayokong magcommit sa kanya. Takot ba daw ako sa commitment or hindi ko lang daw siya mahal. When I realized that he was really serious about us and pati naman ako pero I felt I needed to do something that was stopping me. I asked him to give me a week before I give a final decision. Basti understood me with my condition, so it took me less than a week before I gave my answer.

Pumunta ako sa puntod ni Peter bago ko sinagot si Basti. I asked permission from him if whether it was all right if I could have another man besides him in my life. I’m not psychotic to be speaking to the dead. But it’s just a thing of mine to speak to him because I know and I feel that he is there, with me. I told Basti in the beginning when we were dating that I have a boyfriend. Nung mga first few months na kasama ko siya, he always kept asking about that boyfriend of mine. Nung mga more than half a year na kami, binibiro niya ako na baka multo daw boyfriend ko. He then found it interesting na multo nga. Nagulat siya kase sa sementeryo kami nagpunta dun sa linggong binigyan niya ako ng ultimatum to make a decision.

“Basti, meet Peter, my Ex. Peter, meet Basti, my boy friend.”

Akala ko magfreakout siya sa ginawa ko pero, he looked straight into my eyes which gave me shivers down to my spine.

“Peter, okay lang ba na maging boyfriend niya ako? Wag mo sana akong multuhin ah, baka kase magselos ka. Wag kang mag-alala, hindi ko lolokohin ‘tong mahal mo. Alam kong hindi ko kayang pantayan ang pagmamahal mo sa kanya, pero I’ll try my best pare. I’ll do my best.”

I could never compare the love that I have for Toffee, Peter and Basti. Three separate guys who are so different, each with a certain period of my life. Each playing significant roles in my life, making me complete. They are the parts of the puzzle that make me whole. Toffee’s decision changed me, my decision for Peter tore me apart and Basti, he made me a better me. In this lifetime, we do not have the luxury to be given second chances nor to be fond of the past, or be spiteful of it. The only thing we can do is make everything better, try our best to spend every day as if it’s our last. Peter was my greatest downfall; he made me become a liar. I lied to myself, I lied to him and I lied to Maja pertaining with my love to Peter. I could have fought back my love for him; I could have been with him. We could have been happy. If only I had the courage, if only I had the strength to fight for something worth winning. But those questions can never be answered by me; these questions drift in the midst of time.

If only I could turn back time, I just wish that things did not turn that way with Peter’s death; Peter loving me all along and all the time, and me escaping him. Sometimes I thought about the fact that I think he loved mo more that I love him, or that my love was not enough to prove that what he felt transcends emotions. Sometimes I can’t help but blame myself of his death, and then I realized the best memories we have shared together.

Right now, masaya ako sa buhay ko. It’s not all barrels of laughter and joy, pero I sometimes wish that time gave me another set of Peter and Toffee. When Basti and I decided to move in together, he asked me a serious question if I was ready to move on or still in the process of moving on. I told him, I’d rather choose to move on rather than moving on. To move on has the element of the past turning into ‘moved on’ while moving on; it’s a cycle that can never be finised now or in the future. He never made me forget about Peter. We visited his gravesite every now and then together. The lesser I got the chance to talk to Peter, the more I realize that I have moved on.

Whenever Basti and I would argue about something, he would just puff a cigarette sa terrace if ever our argument became heavy. And when he cries outside while puffing his cigarette, I slip outside and give him a warm big hug from behind and apologize.

Later on, I got a call from someone. A person very special, someone so dear. It was Toffee. I was so shocked that he got my number, and I was extremely surprised to know that he got it from Basti. Toffee was visiting the country for a business deal he was to close. He wanted to meet me badly after all these years. So we met at a certain place. I asked permission to Basti.

“Pumunta ka, I know you want to. Even though I myself don’t want you to go. I can’t stop you from something you have been dying to do all these years.”

It was late afternoon around 4:00pm when he sneaked up behind me sa isang store sa mall. I was just looking for some things, when Toffee said,

“You look great! Ganyan ka ba pag in love?”

After that, we had dinner. I can see that the Toffee I know really changed a lot. He was sporting a formal look that I never did see him wearing as such. As I’ve remembered, he abhorred wearing a coat and tie but when I saw him after 9 years para bang his clothes were tailored fit to suit him. Nawala na rin ung piercings at goatee niya. He looked older with him wearing glasses and some fine lines showing.

He told me about his family, his 3 kids, 2 boys 7 years old and 5 years old, and a girl at the age of 3 being the youngest. He told me the history of how he met his wife. And what a revelation it was to me. High school sweetheart pala niya ung girl and his family arranged their wedding. Dahil mahal na mahal nung girl si Toffee, nung nalaman niya na mag-aaral siya sa abroad, their families arranged together that he studies in the same school she was in. He sent me letters every month but it got mailed back to him, wrong address daw. I had a great feeling that it as my mom’s fault why the letters never got to me.

“Bakit hindi ka man lang tumawag?”

“I got scared. Someone told me that you already have a girlfriend there.”

“The only thing that she became my girlfriend was nung nalaman kong nabuntis ko siya. She got me drunk, the next day I saw myself naked at her place. She informed my parents that something happened between the both of us. And they were extremely happy about it. They did not even ask me if I wanted to get married to her or not. They made the decision, not me.”

“It’s a good decision, at least you took your responsibility with the girl. What’s her name pala?”

“Gabe. And your current boyfriend is Basti.”

“Yup. Basti, my Basti.”

“So I guess you’re happy with him.”

“Yes. And you are happy with your life?”

“I’m happy with my 3 kids. Gabe and I divorced. But we stay in our old houses sa Worcester every weekends. If we have the time at least to spend with the kids. But my kids are staying with my parents. I travel overseas coz of my job.”

“Anong nangyari sa Toffee na napaka-adventure seeking type of guy.”

“People change. Things change. Para ngang ikaw lang hindi nagbago sating dalawa. So what happened to Peter?”

“How did you know about him?”

“I have my sources.”

“He’s in a much safer place now.”

“Oh. I’m sorry. Basti never told me that.”

“Teka, pano mo pala nakuha number ni Basti? It’s really bogging me!”

“Did I mention he and I are close friends? You never told him about me either. So now we’re even. Basti and I are very close friends way back in college. Yan kainuman ko parate, lalo na pag may problema sa atin. So you two are happy now?”

“Kanina mo pa tinatanong yan a, feeling ko, oo. He makes me laugh. Even though I find him annoying, and irritating. But the more I realize that I hate him, the more I realize that I love him. There’s your answer.”

“Nasaktan naman ako dun. You should have broken it to gentler words. But I understand. Napatawad mo na ba ako? I’m sorry for everything.”

“People change Toffee. Matagal na kitang napatawad. The moment I got the news about you getting married and having kids - that was the time I knew I had to move on. Para na rin sa sarili ko. I can’t live in the past. As Regine’s song goes You’ve made me stronger by breaking my heart. And I did get stronger. Thank you.”

3 months ago, I was diagnosed with cancer. Even before Basti pushed me to finally have a check-up. I was already spewing blood. Magaling lang talaga ako magtago until nahuli niya ako minsan sa sala while watching television. He saw my shirt with the stains of blood while I was coughing and stupid me didn’t notice na may dugo na pala bunganga ko. We had the biggest fight that night. Alam ko na kasing na malapit na ako kunin ni Lord sa totoo lang. I have the innate feeling. Kaya bakit pa ako magpapakahirap sa chemotherapy. Gastos lang. Pero sabi nga nila, habang may buhay, may pag-asa.

Hindi siya sa kwarto natulog nung gabing yun. Dun siya sa sala. Pasaway daw ako, di ko man lang daw iniisip ung nararamdaman niya. Napaka-insensitive ko daw. At ang nakakatawa pa, dun siya sa Mom ko natulog. Magsumbong daw ba. The next morning, ayun. Pinagtulungan ako nina Basti, Mom and my Tita pushing me and convincing me na magpadoctor na daw ako. Wag daw matigas ang ulo.

I went on with my life for a week as if nothing happened. Di pa rin ako kinakausap ni Basti by that time. Alam ko galit na galit siya sakin. I only realized how much pain he was in when I saw im in our room staring at our photo while crying in silence. Maingay kase umiyak yan si Basti, and alam kong gusto niya itago mga luha sakin. The next day, I immediately had a check-up. Nasa stage 3 na daw ako sabi ni Doc. I still have 72% chance of surviving if I undergo treatment and chemotherapy. If di daw ako makuha ng gamot after 8 moths, baka sa States na daw ako magpapagamot.

In a few months, I don’t know if I could survive this ordeal in my life. Minsan, Basti cries for no reason and pag tinanong ko kung bakit. Sinasabi lang niya,

“You’re my only love, do you know that?”

Syempre, binabatukan ko siya kase napakadrama niya. Pero I can’t help but feel so lonely that everyday is so hard for him. Di niya alam baka bukas di na ako magising. Sabi ko rin sakanya pag nakaupo kami sa terrace,

“Hoy Basti, ayusin mo buhay mo ah, pag wala na ako. Mamaya mag-inarte ka diyan. Ayoko nakikita kang walang love life. Okay?! Mumultuhin talaga kita.”

Its so painful for me to leave him behind pero if that’s God’s plan then I can’t do anything about it diba. I just have to make my remaining months with him the best time of our lives.

WHENEVER I remember Toffee, it reminds me of love lost.

WHEREVER Peter is, I know he is with me.

And WHATEVER happens to me, Basti will always be the one who completed me.

I almost forgot, all the while I never mentioned my name. Let me introduce myself as I have introduced myself to Peter years ago.

“Wait, I think I’ve met you somewhere. I just couldn’t remember it. Ah sabi ko na nga ba, classmate kita sa nun sa 2nd Term ng 3rd year sa Philippine Literature class, right? You’re the one who admittedly said you were gay? Is that true by the way?”

“I don’t know if I’m gay. I still haven’t met that guy whom I am to fall in love right. So technically, that makes me ‘not-so-gay’. I’m Jerry by the way, and you are?

“I’m Peter."


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