A Love that Never (Is) Was
It was a foggy afternoon. The sky was dark. Rain was looming. The wind was chilly, yet the air was heavy. For some reasons, he cursed. The day couldn’t just stay better, though he was prepared for the rain.
Things hadn’t gone his way for the most part of the day. The impending rain just added a weight to his already dampened spirit. He hated to go home yet, but he loathed being outside when the rain would pour.
He waited for a taxi to come by, but he was just frustrated. At this time, and with the looming disaster, it seemed people were scrambling to fight for a taxi ride. So he opted to ride a jeepney, instead. Just as he entered the jeepney and paid his fare, the rain poured. He was relieved to have ridden in the nick of time. But it wasn’t enough to lift him up. He cursed again.
Then for a moment, everything froze. The resentment and anger boiling up inside him became cold as ice. The trickling of the rain on the roof of the vehicle became spears clanging on a metal armor. A vortex transported him to a place of his own. BUT, he was not alone. There, in front of him, was a familiar face. And so, he thought. There were the curly strands of hair hanging on the side of her face. The curve of her lips brought some tingle in him. And there were the all too familiar dimples on both cheeks. Add to those were the expressive eyes.
He mustered the courage to break the silence between them. As he was about to give his complimentary greeting, reality struck him. He didn’t know her name – or more aptly, he couldn’t remember it. What’s more frustrating was, he couldn’t remember where he met this woman. But he knew in his heart, they’ve met before. He backed down. He cursed again.
The rain was getting harder. He looked at her. He didn’t see any umbrella or any sort of rain protection in her. He had one. Opportunity was knocking on the door once more. They locked eyes. They smiled at each other, slightly and slyly. Then he remembered, he groped for his phone. In a matter of seconds, he was scrolling down the list of saved names and numbers. He stopped at a number, the name said JENNA. He dialed it. It rang. He looked at her. She had no reaction. He gave up. That was a stupid thing to do, he thought.
A few minutes later, she alighted from the vehicle. There was his chance to become her hero. But he was hesitant; divided – a part of him wanted to go with her and protect her from the rain with his umbrella, yet another part held him up. His butt was glued to the seat. He felt helpless as he watched her soak in the rain. The darkening surrounding swallowed her and the moving vehicle led him farther from her. There was his chance to take, but he didn’t. Little did he know that that incident led her away from him – literally and figuratively.
About 5 months later at her friend’s apartment:
SHE: I hate you!! Did you know that I liked you before? And until now, I still like you. Why do you always have to enter my life at an inopportune time? You had your chance to have me, but you didn’t take it. Remember that rainy afternoon, the time that you let me walk under the rain?
HE: Yeah, I remember it. I wanted to talk to you and protect you from the rain, but I wasn’t so sure that it was you. Why didn’t you asked me to go with you?
SHE: You’re so stupid!!. You know that?
HE: I’m sorry!!
SHE: Sorry? That’s all you can say!!!? Damn you!! I hate you!! Stupid!!
She hit him. He let her. She broke down. He hugged her. She cried on his shoulder. He caressed her back, then her hair. She bit him slightly. He held her face up. She looked at his eyes. He wiped her tears with his hand. She smiled dryly, her dimples becoming deeper. He longed for her. She cracked opened her lips. He couldn’t resist the feeling swelling up any longer – he kissed her. She kissed him back. He hugged her, tightly. She caressed his nape.
They let their feelings out – feelings that they had held for a long time. They consummated what they had long wanted to do. Satisfaction was an understatement. Perfect! Yes, perfect was the word. At least, for 5 long minutes. And only. They both knew where they stood.
SHE: I have longed for your kiss for a long time.
HE: Me too. I don’t want this to end. I love you!!!
SHE: I love you too!!! But I can’t be with you. You know that.
HE: Yes, I know.
SHE: If only I were in a different situation, right now and here, you can have me. Did you know that because of you, I got into this?
HE: What? How’s that possible?
SHE: Because of what you did, or didn’t do, that afternoon, I got so mad at you that I couldn’t get over it for a few weeks. I felt really depressed and angry. So, one night I went to my boyfriend’s house. We had some drinks, and I got drunk. Then, it happened.
HE: Damn it!!
SHE: Did you also know that during that time, I wished you were him? And until now, I’m wishing that you were the father of my baby.
He slumped. He felt a ton of an invisible rock dropped over him. What a waste! Silence prevailed – a long awkward silence. He knew the inevitable. He had to do it. He had to let her go. He held her closer to him. He hugged her tightly – a goodbye hug. After all, he had a girlfriend.
He met her at a school event. She was the friend of his best friend’s sister. He was a basketball player of their school. And he could still remember how she cheered for him whenever she was around to watch their games. Though they never verbalized their admiration for each other (at that time), he felt that there was definitely something between them. He was just too shy/cowardice to act on it. Then they had a falling off.
About 5 months after the jeepney incident was the birthday of her friend. Her friend invited her to the “party”. His best friend brought him to the “party”. The “party” was their MEETING. The siblings knew what they (he and she) felt for each other, and the siblings had thought that they ought to talk.
NOW: He is still single. He just broke up with his girlfriend. She is already married with two kids. But before her marriage and her second baby, they met again. But they couldn’t just get together for several reasons. He is still thinking of her, sometimes, and that fateful rainy afternoon.
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