When I was in high school I used to dream of love coming to me like a bullet train. I dreamed of falling in love at first sight with a guy who will embody my girlish dreams. The guy has to be popular, a varsity player, appealing if not good-looking, sweet, knows how to sing and dance, has to have long hair and must have anime’ eyes. But high school has come and gone with no one in sight. Still, I waited.
How was I to know that the time will come that I will meet the embodiment of my high school dream? After two years in college I’ve accepted the fact that I will never find the guy who’d make my heart stop and my mind falter. But on that fateful day of February 13, 2001, I met the guy of my girlish dreams –Alvin.
I vividly remember the first time I met him. It was our organization’s Valentines-cum-Acquaintance Party. I was in high spirits that night with the UP Fair going on and despite the fact that I still have no date for February 14. We were preparing the food when one by one our applicants went through the door, each wearing huge smiles in their faces. As an active member, I know all our applicants by their name and have met them at least once in the past. Lazily, I scanned the bunch assessing how they’d dress up for the occasion until my eyes settled to an unfamiliar face in the crowd. He looked great in short sleeved polo matched with khakis and he’s hair… he’s hair is just gorgeous. And he had eyes that resembled an anime’ character from AXN. Wow!
I eyed him secretly hoping that no one would notice how attractive I find him to be. He introduced himself as Alvin, a first year student and a varsity player. We were stunned to hear that he’s just a freshman, he looked older like a junior or senior. But he was telling the truth, we later found out. He wanted to join the organization and no one turned him away, especially not me. Anime eyes, appealing, varsity player, gorgeous hair… Could he be the one? But knowing that he’s a year younger made the left hemisphere of my brain (the thinking brain) tick: It can’t be him. He’s younger, like a brother. You cannot be involved with a younger man. It isn’t right, is it?
My world really flipped a 180-degree turn (read: upside-down). Why was he younger than me? Maybe he’s my age or older? Maybe he’s delayed or he stopped or something else. But as I found out that same night, he was born nine months later than me. He’s definitely younger. Funny, I found myself asking, Does age really matter to me?
Age does not matter when you’re in love. In fact, there was once a time in my life that i believed myself to be in love with someone also a year younger than me. Come to think of it, he was like Alvin in many ways. Gorgeous hair, nice eyes, a dance group member, a varsity player, knows how to play guitar and is popular with girls. Eventually we had what we call a “mutual understanding” for about two years until we drifted apart. I transferred to a farther high school on my third year and he started his sophomore as volleyball varsity player at a nearer private school. What little relationship we had just didn’t work. Or we didn’t make it work.
Going back to my self-directed question, I knew the answer right away. Age does not matter when you’re in love. But I’m not in love with Alvin, I’m just attracted to him. I better stop this nonsense and avoid anything that might transform this crush into something bigger. Besides, as I’ve heard from my org-mates, he’s interested in another girl applicant and one of my batch mates in the organization has a crush on him. Indeed, she had staked her claim on him. All the more reason why I should stay away and forget about him.
Fast forward to seven months later, I found myself drawn into the vortex of whirlwind romance. Truth of the matter is it never ceases to amaze me how I ended up with him. No one, not even I, ever imagined that I’d be telling friends and acquaintances about him being my boyfriend. It just didn’t make sense, him and me. It didn’t make any sense at all. But I was in love with the idea of him being my boyfriend. Nothing could beat that.
How exactly did we end up together? Well, it all started at the final rites of our applicants. Alvin, by that time, was already a member and was participating in the events. I came straight to the location of the rites from my field trip in Nueva Ecija. One of my classmates and a co-member dropped me off in Dahlia’s house while he took another one home. Orgmates greeted me at the gate asking for pasalubong and Alvin was one of them. But unlike the other guys, he greeted me with a kiss on the cheek which made my heart jump and my mind blank. Be still, Nica. It’s just a kiss.
That night was a night of many firsts for us. We ate together, talked and even slept together. We held hands, smiled at each other and laughed together. All of which we hadn’t done before. And I knew that we were creating quite a stir with our co-members. They we’re looking at us, pairs of eyes following our every move. I could almost hear what they couldn’t ask aloud, What’s happening between the two of you? And all they got from me were smiles. I didn’t care what they think. I felt alive, happy and carefree.
Five days later, we surprised ourselves and our friends by officially starting a relationship. By then I knew that he was the embodiment of my high school dream and more. For the first time in my life I’ve finally made the jump to a formal relationship. I was happy and excited but frightened and confused at the same time. But I didn’t care. I was in love at the idea of me being in love and actually having a boyfriend. No one can rain on my parade.
How was I to know that I’d end up loving him? Who was to suspect that beneath my im-just having-fun exterior that I was already falling for the guy? No one did. Not even me. If I knew I wouldn’t have allowed it to happen. If I knew I wouldn’t have suffered as much pain and torment that I am still suffering now. But I didn’t knew. I just fell cluelessly… fell really hard, really deep. I couldn’t get out and still can’t get out.
Save for Kim, a friend, nobody warned me about falling in love. Friends warned me about sex, doing things easy and wished me good luck. But only Kim reminded me not to dig deeper. His exact words were these: “Huwag masyadong malalim ang hukay.” I didn’t fully understood it then, but now I do. Falling in love is like digging your own grave. You don’t realize how much you’ve dug until you realize how deep you love a person. In fact, you dig until you couldn’t see the ground anymore, couldn’t think rationally anymore. You dig until you forget everything around you except for the person you love. You dig until you feel suffocated by the person’s wall-like presence in your life like your trapped into this big hole of him/her. And when finally you realize that you love that person greatly, and if that person leaves you, you die. You realize that you’re so into this big hole of him and every bit of earth that you’ve dug will come crashing down on you. Slowly shattering your dreams and plans before taking the breath of you. In the end you die. Morbid isn’t it?