Long-distance love is real
“Here I am, taking that leap of faith.” This was his first message to me. Indeed, he was. He was in California and I was in Manila. We were 7,295 miles apart. With the 15-hour time difference, I thought it would be another disastrous and traumatic long-distance relationship. I told him directly that I did not want any of it anymore. I had been on that road before and I did not want to take that chance again. I got my heart broken and just moved on.
But he said he is different. He is persistent and consistent. Everyday, he would send me messages, asking what I was doing and how I was. Everyday, I would answer, civil and cautious. I did not want to keep his hopes up and mine either. I even told him that our zodiac signs are not matched. He is an Aries and I am Capricorn. We both know it was a ridiculous excuse. I thought that he just wanted to reconnect with his Filipino roots since he migrated 10 years ago. I thought that he would be bored and he would eventually stop sending me messages.
But our conversations did not end. His messages even came with a bouquet of flowers and chocolates five months later. It was an unexpected sweet gesture, and his note said: “So your workmates will be jealous.” Ha! He was really different. I told him to stop giving me flowers. Then, he told me he wanted to come home to the Philippines.
I panicked a little. I thought he was not serious until he sent me a copy of his plane tickets. I calmed myself down and thought I would just play as a tourist guide. My friends and I were going to Palawan that summer so I would just tag him along. He liked the idea of the beach but I had second thoughts.
Days before our vacation with my friends, we went out on our first real date. He was late but I waited. I picked this restaurant where they have gourmet tuyo pasta. I wanted to try something local but extraordinary. When he arrived, he walked confidently towards me, his footsteps were certain. But my heart was not.
It was the first time that I saw him in the flesh and noticed the constellation of tiny moles on his pale face. He looked good in his gray polo shirt and maong pants. As a smooth talker, he said the Italian-inspired ceiling of the restaurant that looked like a Michaelangelo painting matched my pleated skirt. There was a bit of twang in his Tagalog. He rolled his r’s and enunciated his t’s, but I did not mind. I focused more on our conversation which was not as stale as our dinner. We did not like the fish that much but finished it anyway. Then, he held my hand and we went to see a Marvel movie. I was worried about my cold and sweaty palms and why we were holding hands, but I let it slide. In the middle of the movie, I looked at him, confused of what was going on and where it was headed. Then, he managed to kiss me despite the 3D glasses we were wearing. It may be a bad first date for others but it was ours.
More dates, more texts, more chats, and more Skype video calls happened. From that day on, we have been inseparable, away but close. Out of sight, but not out of mind. When we are apart, we do not make each other feel that we are not physically together. He takes pictures of his breakfast and I share my dinner. He checks in when he is in the office and I bid him good night. I greet him good morning and he drives home. When we feel lonesome, he makes an effort to go to Manila every now and then. We have savored the sweetness of return flights in spite of the bitterness of departures. The airport has been our official rendezvous. We treasure each golden moment that we can put our arms around each other. We cherish even the slightest touch when we hold hands.
We have sustained our long-distance love for three years. Finally, when he asked me to marry him, I said: “I am not afraid anymore. I know you will take care of me because you always do.” Up to this day, I cannot believe that here we are now. The tears of joy and sadness were worth it. We have proven that our love is beyond time and distance. We will be closing that distance and will never be apart anymore. Because we took that leap of faith and believed; because he said he is different and he is mine and he will be forever.
Cristta Igloria-Florendo does corporate work, is a part-time graduate student, used to be a teacher, plays the guitar and ukulele, loves to travel, and is an aspiring writer-photographer. She describes herself as a “forever goddess of peace who recently moved to the Netherlands for love.”
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