One great love
C is my one great love. We met in a chatroom more than a decade ago, in December of 2002. I was then a college sophomore experimenting on my sexuality and he was a high school teenager about to graduate from an all-boys’ school.
Our conversation started like any other chatroom hookup would. But what was supposed to be just sex turned into hours of conversation on the phone. I was on my second year in UP and he was awaiting the results of the UP College Admission Test. I was ecstatic when my first Young Blood article came out—a rite of passage for aspiring writers of my generation—and he was fascinated and seemed more than happy to listen when he found out I wanted to write for a living.
A few months later, he graduated from high school and ended up at that Catholic school along España. We decided to finally meet up but didn’t do the thing that was the reason we met at that chatroom to begin with.
We became really good friends. We would see movies, have lunch or dinner, and even watch UAAP games together. I would pick him up at school and he would sit in some of my classes in Diliman.
We both eventually became busy with school, and later he found himself a boyfriend while I was smitten with a girl classmate. I graduated from college and he eventually broke up with his lover.
He passed the nursing boards and found a job. In one of our conversations, he told me I was the reason he and his boyfriend broke up. We came to the realization that we had feelings for each other even before but were afraid to tell each other. During this time he had a boyfriend and said there was no way he was breaking up with him. I was mad at him for telling me these things but not having the balls to be with me.
More years passed and on my 25th birthday, I got some bad news: I might have cancer. I thought of all the things I regretted and there were only three things—not telling C that I loved him was one of them. And so I told him. I wrote him a long letter and asked him to let me know if he felt the same way and wanted us to start over again. He responded and said we should start going out again.
It turned out it wasn’t cancer. I eventually got well and he was there during the months of treatment. Being a nurse, he’d give useful advice whenever I’d undergo a procedure.
But the bliss didn’t last. I eventually grew tired of not being his priority, of always having to come in second to whatever it was that needed his attention first—his job, his family, his post-graduate studies. I grew tired of always having to be the one to adjust or give in.
This would always be the case. I’d always get mad at him. We’d lose contact for a while and then see each other again.
I would go out with other men, some of them almost becoming my lover, until I realized I still wanted to be with him. A year ago, I entered into a relationship which ended quickly and I ended up going back to him yet again.
During those years, I always found myself getting angry at him for not choosing to be with me. I never understood why he would tell me he loved me but could not be my boyfriend.
We saw each other again middle of last year. Just like in the past, we kissed before he got off my car.
After that was that long period again. I then made the decision to consciously move away. One day he called and seemed surprised I did not know who the person on the other end of the line was. He found out I had erased his number.
I told him I had to do it for myself. But unlike in the past when I would stop talking to him, this was different. I didn’t feel anger toward him because of the realization that no one was at fault for what happened to us. I could not blame him if he could not be with me for whatever reason he had. He said he understood.
One of my favorite movies is about a couple who met during martial law, when both of them were young men, but never had a chance to be officially together because of the circumstances of their lives. They got their happy ending at the turn of the century, in their twilight years. Another is about a British woman who left her Italian lover only to be reunited and married to the same man—the love of her life—50 years later.
Both of these used to give me hope that maybe—just maybe—C and I would end up together. Maybe after all the things we’ve been through, he’s still the one for me. Maybe we will eventually get our happy ending.
A friend once asked me if there was one person among those I got involved with whom I saw myself getting old with. It took me a while to answer but it was C that came to my mind.
But maybe our love is never enough. Maybe it will never be enough. Maybe I’m at that point where I’ve given up on him. Not that I’ve given up loving him but I guess I’ve given up doing anything for us to be together. I’m thankful we’ve been given more than enough chances to try it. It was not the ending that I had hoped for but it was far better than not having any closure.
Yes, C remains my great love. I would like to believe he loved me too. Whether or not our love was or will ever be enough, only time will tell. Or maybe—just maybe—I would find another great love: A love that will be greater than what I have for C.
“Hogwarts” is a writer for a group of companies.
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