It had been a couple of months since I last saw her. I didn't know that being in a distance relationship could be this hard. I was in Cebu, she was in Tacloban. I tried to make it work, really.
I don't know what happened, but there came a point when she suddenly stopped answering my calls and text messages. Her twin sister told me that she was feeling confused at that time. Still hopeful that our relationship might work somehow, I persevered, hoping for the best.
Months went by. One day, I was walking alone in Ayala, reflecting upon the sad state of my love life.
I love walking. I seem to think effectively whenever I'm walking, especially when I'm walking alone. I also love to observe people in a detached perspective, amusing myself with observing people's idiosyncrasies in interacting with each other.
When not observing, however, I'm oblivious to the world, not giving a damn to what's happening around me. The world is shit. I sometimes find that part of me strange, yet at the same time not strange. Perhaps that's the way I am.
It was almost Valentines, yet I was still alone. Happy lovers would pass me by, seemingly content in each other's arms. Yet there I was, sitting in the lagoon with only a cup of coffee as my company.
I'm not much of a hopeless romantic, I suppose. Or at least that's what I thought I was. But observing those couples made me realize how lonely l was. Emotions are scary. I thought I was immune to this sort of thing.
So there I was in the lagoon, pondering about the meaning of life, emotions, and this thing called love. Lagoon, coffee, and loneliness makes for philosophical shit, don't you think?
What is the meaning of love, really? Most people probably see it as a strong desire, a burning passion, or something that has been mysteriously predestined by fate; but to me, I see it as something logical: it is a natural consequence of free will.
Love cannot exist without free will, I realized, and this concept intrigued me. I believe that God was the one who gave us free will. And because free will is a gift, it follows that the capacity to love one another is also a gift as well.
I'm a former atheist. I never found the answer to life's meaning until I found it in God. Life is shit, and I've always find it unfortunate that evil is a byproduct of free will; but never have I thought that love also came with it. Love may be a very emotional experience accompanied by a strong desire and burning passion, but in the end, true love is still a logical decision.
I can go on and on and talk about my own Theory of Love, but do I really know what love is? If love is a decision, then why do I place high and unreasonable standards to the ones whom I choose to love? What if one day, I came across a great girl but later find out that she possesses certain values that are directly at odds with mine? What if the girl is a former prostitute who has genuinely changed her ways? Will I still love her? Will I still accept her with open arms?
I realized that I don't really know what love is.
It was almost Valentines, yet I was still alone. I'll send her flowers, I thought. It's the least I can do to make her know that I've been loyal to her all this time. But I already knew what to expect. I knew that giving flowers to a girl is a big no-no, because it has a high chance of evoking emotional reactions that would bring me away from the girl. In fact, I never sent any girl flowers until that time. It was my first, but I did it anyway. I didn't know what else to do. It was my symbolic way of saying that I love her.
Valentines came. I was expecting it, but at the same time, I wasn't. My heart sank. Of all dates for her to choose to break up with me, she chose the one on Valentines day. Oh well, life is shit.
Fast forward a few months later, and then came Francise*. I can't believe my luck. That girl from one of the commercials I've seen was there sitting right beside me. Her eyes were telling me that she wants me.
"Hi Simon", she said with a smile.
We were in Mactan island at that time, attending an FHM event. She was an usherette. I managed to grab her away from the crowd, and we were left alone in the seashore, under the twinkle of the evening stars. The rest was history.
Francise is not my type. She may be pretty, but she doesn't fit into any of my preconceived notions of my ideal girlfriend. I wanted a geek whom I can spend hours discussing Computer Science and Philosophy topics. I wanted a lady who is content on being loyal and who doesn't exhibit flirtatious behavior towards others. I wanted someone who doesn't fear commitment.
She is none of those. She is wild and daring, a party animal, the center of all attention. Gregarious and playful, she is not the type of girl who would appreciate the beauty of solitude. Yet beyond the surface level, she is actually the type of girl who values tradition, and decides things according to how they fit into her value system. She is the type of girl who is easily wounded.
I'm sure I also didn't fit into her preconceived notions of her ideal boyfriend either.
To be continued...
*This blog adheres to a No Kiss-And-Tell policy. Real names have been changed. Some details have been intentionally left out.