A Love I Never Had

Love I Never Had

September 3

Tomorrow I will see him. I don’t know how I could face him. I don’t know how to stand the hatred that I will be seeing on his face — the betrayal, the pain that I have caused. My stomach is twisting into tight knots and my chest is constricted I could faint now.

I lay on the bed and saw his picture on my side table — a silly smirk across his face as he was pinning me down because he wouldn’t give me some of his ice cream. Tears began trickling.

September 4

Today, after a year, I will be ready to come in terms with the person whom I have had the longest grievance with.

I dropped by a flower shop and grabbed some white roses. He would like it, hopefully. He always did. He has some of his weird innate kabadingan as I always tell him. I drove to our meeting place and sat down on the cool grass. I looked around and he wasn’t there.

Maybe he decided not to show up. I sighed as tiny shards of ice prick my whole being.

Then the stirring of the wind. And he was there.

I could not move at where I was sitting. I was really afraid of this confrontation so I kept my myself from facing his direction. I was not ready after all.

“Hi.” My voice croaked. “I don’t know where to start.” I felt his stares drilling a hole on my back as I did my seemingly stupid monologue. I toyed with the petals of the flowers I bought for him but I could not have the courage to hand it over.

“I know you’re still angry at me. I fully understand. But I cannot go on like this anymore. I can’t stand the hatred I see in your eyes everytime I dream of you. I can’t stand the pain that this is also causing me.” Tears started to well up again.

I waited for him to reply but I know that his hurting was so great that he could not even utter my name.

“I did not mean to let you go. You were my best friend. We saw each other as ice cream melted on our faces, our two missing front teeth, all those jologs movies that we watched and how you would laugh at me when I cry. Do not resist me as much as you are doing right now. I know that you have a lot of reason to but please…” I sobbed as I could not contain the emotions that I was feeling at that moment.

Still, I was not able to evoke a response from him.

“I am sorry. I am sorry if you think I left you for someone else. But the thing that he and I had was something that I could not imagine with you. Dre, you are my best friend, almost like my brother and I could not just be what you have wanted me to be in your life…” I heaved desperately. “But you were unfair. You just disappeared like that and left me. Like that. Just like that…”

And the memories flooded once again…

Lot, mom ni ni Dre. Pwede ka magkadto di sa Riverside Hospital.” (Lot, this is Dre’s mom. Can you come here in Riverside Hospital). She sounded dumbstruck.

“Ta, nga-a haw?” (Tita, why?) I whispered as my fingers could barely grasp the fone.

“Na-coma si Dre.” (Dre is in a coma.) That was barely a faint sound on the other line.

My legs weakened. This was not happening. Dre is a captain of a basketball team. He is the healthiest, strongest person I have ever known. How can he be near death? I shivered at the thought.

“Pakadto na ko ta.” (I’m coming.)
“That was very unfair of you Dre.” I cried now more than I have ever cried a year ago.

“Lot, may ginpahatag sakon si Andre. Kwa-a lang sa balay.” (Lot, Andre left something for you. Get it from the house) Tita Monica hugged me tight as she walked out of the hospital door. “Let’s pray for the best.”

I took out the letter from my pocket and the sun was slowly settling in the horizon. Dre was still awfully quiet after all this time. After all that I have said.

Lot… I write this letter with one person in mind. You. You who can never be mine. You who can never be someone more than just a best friend. You as my weakness. You as the breath that will be taken away from me. I love you and I always will. Til then.

My heart was throbbing intensely in my ears. I gathered all my guts to face him. As I slowly turned, he was not there anymore. And I could not blame him. I blame myself because I was too late. Too late to realize that I could have been so much more in his life. That I could have been what he would have wanted me to be.

My palms felt the cold pavement beneath it and tiny little goosebumps trailed my spine. Dre is gone. He would never speak to me. He could not. As I looked at the inscription on the ground, my spirit was consumed with pain. It’s been like this for a year. And I do not know how long this would go on.

Andre Villanueva, 1982-2000, For someone who has made a difference in our lives. May you be at peace with God.