You laid there, just laid there — exhausted and nonchalant. Your eyes were focused on the screen of the laptop on your belly while I was lying beside you. You tried to squeeze as much enthusiasm as you can get out of you. Enthusiasm about the fact that the clock just struck 12 and it’s our first year anniversary. It was probably just pretense. The embrace. The words. All of your actions. Maybe, it really meant nothing to you.
Exactly a year ago, you were running around Makati, searching for a copy of ‘Manila Standard Today’. You loved your almost unblemished face but you didn’t care much about the sweat and whether or not the scorching sun will ruin your beautifully kempt hair. I told you an article of mine just got published on the broadsheet. You said you were proud of me. I believed you. I believed the sincerity of your words and your actions because I knew if I weren’t special, you wouldn’t have gone through all the trouble just to get that lousy newspaper. That same day, we decided to become lovers.
But how did we end up here? Me, unhappy. You, apathetic. We used to walk the streets of Ayala with our hands tightly holding and our lips never somber. Is this what ‘living together’ does to lovers? Does it ruin all the magic and throw away all the spark that we once held in our hands? Or is it us who allowed for this to happen? Not to defend myself but I know for a fact that I have been working really hard just to make sure you’re happy. I have always tried to protect you, whether we’re in the house, outside the house, on a bus, on a jeepney, a taxi, in Pampanga. I have always shown you love and care. But too bad for me I don’t get the same from you. Not anymore. I don’t get the same feeling of protection, of security, of value anymore. We used to cry in front of each other just because we were afraid to lose each other. Where has all that gone?
Last night you turned away from me when I said I was only your boyfriend whenever we’re in the room. It’s true, isn’t it? Whenever we’re outside, you couldn’t care less about me. You don’t show me fondness and affection like you used to. You can’t even bother look at me because you’re either looking at your reflection or at other people. Have you become too complacent because you know that I will always be around? Because I love you and I cannot un-love you no matter how hard I try? Are you less caring because you know I will always be there on the bed waiting for you no matter what time you come home?
I used to have sleepless nights whenever we fight. I used to not be able to last a day without talking to you until it’s finally okay. I used to swallow my pride whole whenever we fight. But this morning, something weird happened to me. We stopped talking and I felt relief. Like a heavy burden on chest just suddenly disappeared. Am I starting not to give too much of a damn, just like you? Have I become numb? Am I starting to think for and love myself a little more? Have I finally realized that if one person in a relationship stopped functioning, everything falls apart and there’s really nothing much I can do? You know what, I am not sure what this feeling of comfort is. But one thing’s certain, I will always love you and I’m going to fight for this to my last breath.
You know why? Because no matter how sad you make me sometimes, the happy memories prevail. Remember our first Jolli Hotdog together, our Skype ‘landian’ sessions, the Google Map, Casino and Valero streets, MiniStop sundae and gummy worms, Glorietta, UP isaw, Gaya ng Dati, Yoü and I – you do not give up all these and everything that we shared without giving it a tough fight. I have never been this happy in my life and I cannot believe all this happiness I can find in a 5 foot 4 (or 5’3?) guy from Iloilo who’s got a big belly and a sexy butt. I will continue fight because if we break up there’s no way in the world I can ever find a Mark Louisse again, a guy who’s scar near his lips reminds me how a flaw can make someone genuinely beautiful. Because no matter where I go and who I meet, I will never find another man who will climb the highest floor of the Chatham Building just to surprise me on my birthday. And I do hope you are with me in this fight.
I am not asking too much from you, all I want is for you to remember how we used to love and care for each other. How you used to hold my hand and let me rest my head on shoulder on the bus and not care about the world. I want to be the same Jan who you used to miss and could not let go of at the corner of Filmore and Gil Puyat.
I love you.
Happy anniversary, Buhbuh.