It all started late last year, I remember it was quite a boring Saturday afternoon, just finished giving my pet dogs a bath and was just chillin and playing around with my Facebook on my kindle. Napatingin ako sa “people you may know” section nito and started scrolling, waiting to see if I might recognize somebody. That’s when I first saw her. “hhmm, Rebecca Gonzales…..kamaganak ko kaya ito? Baka hindi, maputi sya eh, hahaha! (OO my dear readers, medyo moreno kami, Ilokano eh! Of course that’s generalizing, hindi naman syempre lahat!) I clicked on her profile, (mistake #1) and sure enough, we have several mutual friends, all from my dads’ part of the family. Ayos, I thought, Mai-friend request nga… So I clicked on the send friend request button, (mistake #2) and even sent a short message, (mistake #3) “I’m sure we’re related somehow…=)” and that’s that.
Several days later, she accepted my friend request. At duon na nagsimula ang istorya natin… Ok, based on what I said so far and the title of our story, I think we all know we’re I am headed with this….Bawal na pagtingin ito, pero don’t worry my dear readers, I have to tell you early on na walang nangyari sa amin, (sa katunayan, as of this writing, hinde pa kami nagkikita ng personal.) and that will be explained as we move along…
We started chatting, ala lang , puro tanungan lang kung taga –saan sila sa pinas, saan nag-aral, you know, regular stuff lang ng mag-pinsan (2nd cousin kami, mag-pinsan buo tatay namin, I found out.) . Nabaling ang pansin ko sa kanyang location. Hong Kong. I ask her kung bakit sya napadpad dyan. Sagot nya, “ hehe , love life kuya.” I was surprised by her answer, not really expecting that, I mean how could that be a problem eh, ang ganda nya? So I asked, “is it ok for me to ask what happened?” “ Yeah, kuya, no problem, wala na sa akin ito. Na-discover ko kasi mga 6 months bago kami ikasal last year, may nakita akong picture sa facebook, may kasama syang babae na hinde ko kilala. Kin-lick ko at ayun, nakita ko na masyado naman yatang sweet sila.
Tiningnan ko yung ibang picture nung girl sa albums nya, aba! Halos lahat, kasama yung ex-fiancee’ ko. Tapos check ko info nya, ayun, in a relationship with him!” Naku, dali-dali kong pinuntahan sa condo nya na titirhan sana namin after the wedding, deny to death sya pero hinde ako naniwala. After a few days, may nakausap akong friend nung babae at pinagtapat ko kung sino ako, ayun, gulat na gulat yung friend nya, hinde daw nya akalain na engaged na pala kami.
Take note, kuya, walang kaalam-alam yung mga friends nila tungkol sa akin. Buti na lang at may nakausap ako na nagsabi sa akin ng truth. Napakasakit kuya, Iyak ako ng iyak noong mga panahon na yun. Imagine, maka-discover ka ng ganun, samantalang high school pa lang kami kuya, boyfriend ko na sya. Hanggang maka tapos ng college at magka-work kami, wala akong nakitang tell-tale signs na chickboy pala sya. Nasayang lahat ng pangarap ko kuya, how many of us ba na nag-end up marrying their high school sweethearts? I have given up everything to him pa naman, he was my first sa lahat, You know what I mean, right, kuya? Hahaha!!”
Habang kinukwento nya ang mga ito ay halos hinde ako makapaniwala. How could anybody do that to her? I asked myself. That’s not cool at all. I said to her, “ Nagawa nya sa iyo yun, insan? Napaka-pretty mo pa naman!!” “Haha! Thank you Kuya! Ok na ako, nakapag move on na ako. I just need to get away from Manila for a while, I need to clear my head and by being here in Hong Kong and working, it really helped a lot!” Sagot nya.
From that day, naging regular chatmates kami. Puro tawanan, kwentuhan, lokohan…..and there in lies the problem. It was subtle at first, I didn’t see it coming. One day na lang, I realized that there something going on with me. A feeling that I haven’t felt in a long time. I was falling in love, but with my cousin! Holy Crap!! This can’t be good! I cannot accept this, and this is why my dear readers, You see, I’m already married. (Oh before anybody judges me, try to read the whole article first, ok? I promise everything will be cleared.)
I was wrecked with guilt, I never wanted any of this. I know in my heart that I still am in love with my wife, yet I am also having feelings for my cousin. How I wished that I never saw her na lang. But it was too late. Nagkapuwang na sya sa puso ko. Kung bakit naman kasi napaka rami naming similarities. I started noticing that during our chat sessions, there are a lot of experiences na magkapareho kami. It was uncanny. I couldn’t explain it at that time. Little things lang nuong simula. Andyan yung pareho kaming nagging cat officer back in high school, same likes sa food, same type ng barkada, same allergies, same likes/dislikes (too many to mention.) At ang pinaka mabigat sa lahat ng similarities namin, at around the same age naming dalawa (24) nagulo ang buhay naming dalawa. Ang kanya yung discovery nya tungkol sa kanyang mapapa-ngasawa sana, at ako naman yung biglaang pagpunta ko sa amerika, kahit alam kong mahihirapan akong humanap ng trabaho dahil after 3 months ay magiging illegal ako. Eto pa, while looking at her pictures sa fb, may na-notice ako, meron pala syang scar sa may noo nya, about 1 inch above her right eyebrows, just like me!! Actually, I asked her how she got it, and her answered floored me, we both fell from the stairs at around the same age resulting in that scar! That was the last draw! Napatingin na lang ako sa taas at sabay sabing, “ Why are you doing this? This is not right anymore! If this is a test, I’m failing miserably and I feel so helpless!
This went on for a while, I tried to limit our conversations, but it was too much for me to handle. I just couldn’t do it. In desperation, I tried researching about past lives, reincarnation, and soul mates on the net. Hoping It could explain what was happening. A good friend of mine suggested we may be past lovers from a different time, maybe that accounts for the feelings that I have for her. I guess anything is possible at this point. I never wanted to cheat on my wife, never will, she doesn’t deserve that. That I am sure, Why else would I be feeling guilty about this whole thing, right???
During my research, I stumbled upon the works of author Elizabeth Gilbert. On her piece regarding soul mates was this: “People think a soul mate is a perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person that shows you everything that is holding you back, the person that brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with your soul mate? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come to your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave. A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master…”
After reading that, It hit me. It all became clear. Suddenly, for the first time in what seems like ages to me, everything makes perfect sense. I was already doing those things without even realizing it. You see, ever since I started having these feelings, I became health conscious. I couldn’t explain it at that time. I have always been lazy when it comes to exercising, eating right, etc. etc… but since I met her, everything changed. Oh my wife is of course happy about my sudden interest in my own overall health, in fact since I’ve been losing a lot of weight, a lot of the old “spark” that we had came running back, with a vengeance I might add. These feeling I was having for her were just what the author explained, it’s like seeing yourself in another person but at the same time a polar opposite. Make sense? Someone that will make you realize what is missing in your life and will make you fix it.
….they come to your life to reveal another layer of yourself to you and then leave….I’m actually ok with that!
(update: We’re still chatting, although I must admit not as often as before, and the feelings that I used to have for her? All gone. Now that I know what it really is, it helped me a lot, and guess what? She’s engaged now to a Hong Kong national. Still not decided on attending her wedding. Not because of bitterness, ok? Hahahaha! Hirap lang kasi kumuha ng bakasyon from work. Such is life here in Carlsbad, New Mexico.)
(This is the author’s true experience, some names, dates and places have been changed to protect the identity of those in this story…..Mahirap na, Nakakahiya kasi kapag nalaman ng lahat, hehehe. )