Monday, September 17, 2007

Note: This entry was originally posted in my old blog on Thursday, March 10, 2005. Those were my innocent days. Somehow, reading this reminds me not to become cynical and jaded. :)

Confession #1: Of Pride and Lust

She looked at me, and smiled ever so sweetly. Never before had I regretted invoking God's intervention that he might lead me not into temptation. Did I really love her? Yes, I lusted for her, but the question is, did I really love her?

It was summer, and Christine (not her real name) invited me to her place. She was a scholar student of a med school far away from her home, so she had to stay in an apartment near her school. We met each other in a Christmas camp three months before, and I could only smile whenever I think about our serendipitous encounter.

It was a starry night, and the cold wind gently caressed our body, conspiring for us to seek each other's warmth. There was a star, somewhere near the Orion constellation, that we named "Miguela." Why she named it as such, she alone knows why. It was already past midnight, and our eyes were already imploring us to close. We slept beside each other, happy with this moment.

Then I woke up. Like an angel in her blue pajamas, I saw her sleeping so sweetly and so innocently--so innocently that I wanted to kiss her. Overwhelmed by my emotions, that is exactly what I did. I thought everything was going fine when she suddenly woke up and slapped me. Of course, I was a bit embarrassed, but I summoned all my courage to kiss her again; this time, however, she kissed me back. We kissed each other more, our tongues locked in each other's passion.

Two years ago, it dawned upon me the possibility of marrying someone who is no longer a virgin. That thought did not use to bother me until one day, a girl who is three years my senior befriended me in an aggressive, yet tactful manner. We met each other through the Net, and with the help of technology, our friendship flourished. There came a point when she revealed to me that she is no longer a virgin. She then asked me what I thought about it. I told her, with all honesty, that when I love someone, her virginity would not be an issue at all. I would even accept her dark past as long as we genuinely love each other.

Weeks passed by, yet that thought still lingered on. What I did not tell her, for reasons you will not wish to know, is that I was still a virgin. Deep inside, I told myself that if I marry someone who has already done it with someone else, then that would be terribly unfair on my part. If someone had asked me that same question again, I would no longer be telling the truth if I gave the same reply.

Then it happened again. Two years later, I am now with Christine in her apartment, letting our base instincts take over. Logic and Rationality's hold on us were slowly fading, and liberation would be taking place any minute now.

"Do you love me," she asked.

I knew, at that moment, what my answer would bring. I told myself that if it is her free will and that she indeed craves for it, then who am I to dissuade her from her desires? Yet something inside me was telling me to stop.

"Christine," I stammered my words as I decided whether to heed that voice inside me. "I... I'm sorry this has happened."

She looked at me, and smiled ever so sweetly. Never before had I regretted invoking God's intervention that he might lead me not into temptation. Did I really love her? Yes, I lusted for her, but the question is, did I really love her?

I'm sorry, Christine.

Although I initially regretted my decision, the one who may have been truly liberated from that experience was I. I realized that love is not a fleeting emotion, nor an intense longing for physical intimacy. It is not an overwhelming desire to kiss that special someone, nor an irresistible urge to caress her, and feel our hearts beat as one. These may be some of the manifestation of love, but the real test of love is to love her still, even when these emotions are already gone. Because we did not yet have such opportunity, I am glad it was not too late for us to have realized that.

I am not a saint, and I admit that. I try hard not to fall from grace, but circumstances lead me otherwise. Although I am open to its fulfillment outside the confines of conservatism, I will never use it to gratify my ego.

It has not always been easy to wait. That Christine and I have gracefully parted as friends a year later underscores the reality that relationships are not always lasting. I could only imagine what would have happened if she gave me that precious thing. Would she feel used afterwards? Would I later be forced to feign feelings that are not there?

I am torn between my rather conservative upbringing and by my need to be honest with myself. I thought the world was easy for me to classify as either right or wrong, but when the time came for me to be led into the test, I could not deny the fact that its beauty moved me to consummate it. Suddenly, it became clear to me that the world is in shades of gray. §

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