It's 404 now! 404 followers, despite my absentee posting... =) At dahil pasok na ko sa "Circle of Four", here's my fourth separation... Hihihi!
Of all my separations, perhaps the most emotional one was with Jonel. Aka BLMBM. Aka the Ace of Hearts. Aka "malapit na". Aka patotot. Pagkatapos naming magpatintero, he found himself a new love. Si Boo. Wakangina. Choz!
Siya ang pinaka-sincere sa lahat. Siya yung nagsabi na "napa-oo lang ako." Siya yung nagselos sa pagdating ni Budwire. In fact, siya lang ang aware na meron palang Budwire. Them others simply move on pag wala ako, and move back in pag nandyan na ko uli. Jonel refused to back down. Siya yung nagsabi na "kahit nauna ko, payag akong maging kabit". Siya yung kilala ako ng buong angkan, as in kainuman ko pati mga tito at pinsan. Siya yung may cute na lil bro na pina-notaryo ko na sa city hall -- 17 na sha!!! Siya yung laging nagbubunot ng kilay at lahat ng facial at body hairs kapag naiinis, nabo-bore, nag-iisip, nanonood, nakatulala. Kaya siya rin ang pinakamakinis everywhere. Siya yung papasok muna sa bahay at ila-lock ang pinto, o lilingon kaliwa't kanan, bago humalik.
At sa lahat-lahat din, siya lang ang umiyak nung umalis ako.
Nung natanggap ko ang visa, at kalat na sa Iskwater ang pag-flylaloo soon ng bayot sa iskwala, napadalas ang bonding ko sa lahat. Lahat ng birthday, invited ako. Lahat ng binyagan, in-attend-an ko. Lahat ng umpukan, inumpukan ko. Lahat ng available, in-avail ko. At lahat din ng times na wala si Boo Wakangina, kinamkam ko.
Me sistema na kami eh. He picks her up from work, gora sila sa balur ditey sa Iskwater, bonding with the familia, then hatid nya uli si bilat sa Nyurikina. Then he goes back to me. We kiss. Then we bond. Usually with a bottle (or a case) of redhorse. Lagi talagang me alkohol sa mga events ko noh?! Di ko na nga minsan alam kung ako ba ang gustong maglasing, o sila. Hmmm, both.
My last Saburdey sa Iskwater, as I was having my scheduled separation with Medusa and Galema, Jonel came by. Ang lolo mo, nakainom, ume-emote, naglalambing. Samahan ko daw siya sa balur nila. Apparently, umuwi pala ang buong angkan nya sa Pampanga for the holy week celebration (so alam nyo na rin kung gano katagal na tong post na to) hehehe. Kawawa naman, iniwan siyang nag-iisa. Pagkakataon ang aking hinihiling...
Magagawa ko ba namang iwan ang mga sisterettes ko?! Na sinadya pa ko from Novaliches at Las Piñas?! Na gusto akong makasama bago ko umalis?! Na ang tanging hiling ay ang maka-bonding ako for the last time?! Maipagpapalit ko ba naman sila sa isang pagsintang di naman namunga?! OO NAMAN!!! Hihihi... At saka, busy naman sila sa panonood ng DVD ng Charmed at ANTM, so keri lang. Basta nakatodo ang aircon at sure sila na tataas ang bill ko sa Meralco, sapat nayun sa dalawa.
Pagpunta ko sa balur nila Jonel, para lang akong magnanakaw. Na expert sa akyat-bahay. Ok fine, gawin nating kept woman. Tipong lover on his way to a secret tryst with my man. Kasi yung unit nila, nasa 3rd floor, at me karpintero-made wooden gate na pang-henyo ang design kaya di ko mabuksan. At kailangan eh tahimik para di magising si kapitbahay. Nung ma-figure out ko na kung pano, at nakaakyat na ko sa kanila, sliding door naman ang pinroblema ko, me pako pala na pang-lock. Impernes sa pudrakels, me creativity! Save pa sa space! Kada lakad mo nga lang, me langitngit factor ang floor. Kebs!
Ang excuse ko sa pagpunta, ibibigay ko yung shoes na ina-arbor nya last year pa. Yung shoes na nagbigay sa kin ng makapigil-hiningang alipunga! Choz! Tsaka yung isang sakong chocolates at limang kahon ng keychains!
He was just sitting on the sofa, holding one bottle of redhorse with his right hand, and tapping his knee with the other hand. Upon seeing me, holding a pair of gray shoes and a sack of cadbury's, his face lit up, a slight smile on his face, and suddenly the light went off and the smile faltered, as if remembering the real reason for my visit.
He knows I came to say goodbye.
We went through the motions of pretending to drink, chitchat, kumustahan sa work, nasaan ang pamilya Zaragoza, kung susunod ba siya sa Pampanga -- trivial things just to keep the ball rolling. Occasionally, I lean in and plant small kisses all over his face. What surprised me was, most of the times, he was the one who leans in and kisses me. It was pure bliss. Kung sana lang pwede kong ibote ang kaligayahan na nasa puso ko at ipalit sa energy supply, solve na ang krisis sa kuryente at gas. Sana lang pwedeng baunin kahit saan. But I can;t. All I can do was to seize the moment, and bottle up all the happiness inside.
Para sa isang taong malakas uminom, yun na ata ang pinakamatagal na pag-inom nya ng isang redhorse stallion ever. It was like he was prolonging that one little bottle to have more time with me. He just kept on talking, kissing, and sipping -- not even drinking. Nang maubos yung iniinom nya, binaba nya sa sahig yung bote, tumayo kami pareho and he hugged me tight. Really tight. Inangat pa nya ko, binuhat, and that's when he started saying what's inevitable. After all, I came there to say goodbye, so might as well say it.
It would've been easier to just say it, until he started tearing up. Nakayakap pa rin siya sa akin, minsan he lets go just to kiss me again, while he continually whispers on my ears. And that was when I started crying.
"Jabo, mag-iingat ka dun. Wag kang papaloko. Minsan pa naman, bigay ka lang ng bigay. Basta wag mo kong kakalimutan. Ako nandito lang, di ako aalis. Pag bumalik ka, malamang may asawa na ko, may anak na, pero kahit ganun puntahan mo pa rin ako. Kasi gugustuhin kong makita ka kahit ilang taon pa. Wag kang papaloko Jabo," bilin nya.
"Nagpapaloko ba ko?" tanong ko.
"Oo, masyado ka kasing mabait eh. Basta tandaan mo, maraming nagmamahal sayo dito. Humanap ka ng taong mamahalin ka. Kasi ayaw kong masaktan ka na naman. Basta ako, nandito lang ako. Pamilya ako, Jabo. Di ako bastang lalaki. Pamilya ako, tandaan mo yan."
"Alam ko yan, Jonel. Salamat sa lahat. Kahit di mo ko minahal, salamat pa rin."
"Mahal kita, Jabo. Di mo lang alam, di ko rin nasasabi, pero ipinapakita ko naman sa paraan na kaya ko. Pasensya ka na, yun lang ang nakaya ko. Pero mahal kita, Jabo. Tandaan mo yan. Pamilya ako."
I clung to him like he was my lifeline. As if my life depended on him. As if leaving him is the hardest thing to do. Because I was saying goodbye to family. I stood there, unable to move. I just kept on kissing him, hugging him, loving him. He may not by my first love, and hopefully not my last, but definitely, his love is real, and he's right here with me now, so I'm gonna hang on to this moment and bring it with me wherever I go. Nothing could make me let go.
We stood there for a good 30-40 minutes. Him repeating all his reminders and farewell whispers, and his tight hugs, and his light kisses. Me crying and taking it all in at once. I'm just a lucky beki, I know how to choose the right people to love. I have stumbled 31 times (as of last count) not because they are the wrong persons, they just love me on a different level. No regrets though. At one point in time, he was mine, and that's enough for me.
When I finally had the courage to break free and let go, we awkwardly but passionately kissed, one sweet kiss, but not without finality. It wouldn't be our last kiss yet, but in every essence, it was. I poured everything in that final kiss. Everything.
It was a kiss to remember, and ironically, it was a kiss to help me forget.
To guide me to move on. To push me to turn my back on this sweet, sweet boy. I've learned the art of letting go ages ago. I've a master's degree in masking my emotions and hiding my feelings. I have a doctorate degree in leaving my dreams behind. This too, shall pass.
When I went home, ang gaan-gaan lang, like I didn't come from a crying session. Probably because I knew in my heart, he is happy. And he's happy for me.
The following days, as I prepared for my departure, I felt his presence all throughout. He constantly visited me, checked up on me, had a beer with me, helped me, tickled me, hugged me, kissed me, loved me. We never made love, though. It just never came. Ang drama niya before, "I'm getting there." We never got there. And it's fine by me. For me, that's what made "us" really special.
On my last night sa bahay na kulay-semento, nandun sila ng kapatid nya sa baler, helping me pack my things, nangungulit, nagpapapansin, nagde-demand ng atensyon, nanggugulo basically, making that last night memorable yet more difficult. Close friends came to say goodbye, but he was the one who stayed till the very last minute when I really had to leave. He wanted to go with me to the airport, but I declined. I can't. I just can't.
When I closed the door, and the taxi drove away, I let a tear fall. Sa kaliwang pisngi lang. Aral sa workshop ni Laurice Guillen. I sobbed my way through NAIA Terminal 1, still unable to grasp the truth that I'm leaving a big part of my happiness, my life. Hay, things we do to survive.
Just last week, I received an update from him. He's getting married on September 12, and the girl is two months on the way. I appreciate him telling me. And I am grateful that he waited na makaalis ako bago siya namanhikan. My time has passed. Those last moments with him was between "us" and ours alone. At least, he let me have it. May itinira siya para sa akin. And that's all that matters.
Another separation, another step closer to moving on.
And when I finally let go of everything... that's when BM dies.