3 more for romance
I have always been a romantic.
Since childhood, I have ensured fidelity to my crush, and I was very picky. When my first crush in kindergarten, whom I liked because she danced well to “Pearly Shells” in Hawaiian costume, broke my heart after two years by stealing the yellow push-point pencil my mother had given me, I recovered only a year later. That was when I laid eyes on another classmate who, though cute, got me mesmerized by her ingenuity: She bought stuff from the school canteen with deposits from soft drink bottles that she found while sweeping the classroom. We did not go together. I followed her with all the might and mushiness of a stalking kid.
Other crushes and love interests followed thereafter, me ending up with none because I was picky.
I finally met my one and only through—for lack of a better term—an eyeball. So much for my being picky. She was in a courier service center waiting for me while in a queue to send packages. I was late, with a heavy backpack in tow, carrying years of journals to show her. The meeting place was supposedly somewhere else, but, being the late person that I was, it had to be just outside that courier service shop she was in. She saw me first. Then, kissing cheeks and exchanging niceties, we found ourselves accommodating each other, and more importantly, connecting. There was just so much to connect with effortlessly.
That first meeting, she looked lovely in a blue sports dress. She always does look gorgeous. She is plain beautiful. Without makeup, she is a crowd standout. While somewhere I wrote that “a prince charming, handsome in his own ways, will come to marvel at such distinct beauty, ever wanting to make it his for the rest of his life because that beauty completes him,” the beauty implied therein is an understatement for her. And an overstatement for me? The point is that I do not fall for the superfluous type, but for the simple. I fall for witty, bubbly and funny women, who seem to not have a care in the world for the interjections hurled by life. To her, life is all sweetness and light. To her, life is happiness rolled in a piece of turon, shelled in a balut, and skewered in sticks of isaw.
Our courtship started earlier. We defined courtship in the same way. Me going to their home and doing household chores that her doting parents commanded? No, that was not it. We chatted online because we were miles away, or, as her piano-rendered Richard Marx song, “Right Here Waiting,” says, oceans apart. I told her I wanted to marry her, although that was much later. But seeing her as wife material, I really did want to marry her just after weeks of e-mail exchanges, social media messages and threads, VoIP messages, and Internet audio and video calls. I did like every bit of her that she showed me online. The physical was so much of a bonus.
I have referred to many sources—living and nonliving—on how to discern the one. Those novellas were not excused from years of note-taking and inspiration. Then my father said of my mother that he just felt it when their time came. One thing I found magical in finding that better half is that she falls right in front of you, and that in a blink of an eye or a turn of the head, she can pass right under your nose.
Had I not messaged her over social media one fateful evening, she might not have been that free and entertaining in sharing her thoughts about life and everything else under the sun. Had I not been going through a heartache, we may not have had a common romance story to leaf through; we would not have shared idiosyncrasies and musings on love. Had she not been online in that second to catch my attention while I was whiling away time over the Internet, I may not have rekindled my old infatuation with her—my fondness spanning four years until I gave up—setting aflame emotions deep-seated in my heart.
Yes, I first beheld her beauty 16 years ago in a school play we were both in; that makes us at least 20 years old as of this writing. I was not the first to take notice. There were countless boys in our generation who sought her attention, leaving me sidelined. I was the academic always waiting for praise from the sports class teacher who rather preferred the burlies and bullies in a game. I was the silent guy who drew while in the library and got the “Great job! Keep it up!” remark from the pretty new teacher. I was a class geek who preferred quizzes to jumping over shrub hedges in the school playground. Except for very few exchanges that led nowhere, and attempted calls to her home phone that ended in interminable rings and, once, the sweet voice of her uncle, I remained uncertain of what to do with my childish wonder.
Now, I am more than the science and math geek that I once was. I can do a marathon and more; because life is a matter of decision, I have taken the path less traveled. But some things just stay the same. For one, though a mere kid more than a decade ago, I already took it as fact that pretty women get to be wooed by a file of men—that is, if they file. In reality, they get into a melee. And so it always was my decision to wait. First and foremost, will what I am doing be to her benefit? Second, because the confusion often confuses her as well, I realized that I do not want my intentions confused with the intentions of other men. So, I believe I waited right. There have been many distractions along the way, but I knew that waiting right was over that night we connected once more. I knew because I was more certain than that kid who swooned over her more than a decade ago.
Now, she is everything I desire. Definitely more than who I wanted as a kid, she connects with me in everything and relates with life. “Isn’t ‘relate’ the root word of ‘relationship’?” she asks me. I tell her she is everything I have asked for. My mother says that when she is the one, there will be no complications, and with her there is none. Love is not difficult, one novella I read claims. And she has just been making life easy. Now, I attest firsthand to the adage
“You complete me.”
The day we met again after 16 years, I was to show her my journals where, in one date in my high school junior year, I endlessly wrote her initials. Twelve years ago, those made no sense, like all else in between. Now, those journals mean everything. Indeed, there is true love. This is my testament to it, and my commitment to her. We have already been in a tight embrace, making our first promises of forever, and waiting for it that long, I cannot ask for more magic in life. She has filled up voids in my existence, woven individual fibers into one beautiful drapery called life.
The Almighty really does wonders in ways unimaginable. I believe in Him overseeing the details of life, from the ordinary to the grandiose, from the minute to the immense. Walking by faith, I love you, Ruth Shirley. And I will romance you till death do us part. This is just one. We, both, are just two more for romance. Three more with Him.
Ian Carlo M. Lositaño, 29, is completing his master’s degree in energy engineering at the University of the Philippines Diliman, and is “still dumbfounded by the surreal feeling that my grade school crush is now my sweetheart.”
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