The Hindsight

Advisory: Mature Content – Editor.

Have you ever been in love? Have you ever been with someone whom you’ve almost love him unconditionally? Well dove, love is a cruel thing. If we aren’t on the same page, come sit beside me and listen to my story.

I’ve had my fair share of love. I’ve learned about it back in the years of my youth. I was only fourteen when I met this boy, an ordinary boy like any other. He had the same traits like any girl would like to a boy: Charming, sweet, has a cute smile, dreamy eyes and suchlike.

We were classmates and I had a big crush on him. I was young so I was easily sort of got swept off my feet when he asked me out on a date. I was so ecstatic when I said yes to him. Months had passed and our love story continued to blossom until one day, I’ve realized that he was “The one” so when he proposed to me, without hesitation, I quickly said yes.

At first, we had a great time. We were young and in love. A good indications of a healthy relationship. Well that’s what I’ve thought since I was blinded by a false love.

He fetched me one afternoon and told me that her mom wanted to meet me, so we went to his house. We were in transit and I wasn’t thinking of anything at all. All that I could recall was the feeling of unexplained happiness. We were on our way to meet his mom and my boyfriend was sitting next to me, what else could I possibly ask for? I kept smiling the whole time.

When we’ve reached his house (and that was the first time I’ve been there), he opened the gate and we walked inside his house. It was dark and kind of eerie. Silence inside the living room greeted us. I’ve noticed that there was no one else there but us. I remained calm and silent then I asked him about her mom. But then he confessed that he lied about her mom so that we could be alone. I didn’t know what to say nor to react with what I’ve discovered, so my knees started to shake feebly. I’ve felt the terror inside my chest that slowly consumed me, but then he smiled at me. Oh that freakin’ smile again. That grin that washes away my fears and doubts when I’m troubled.

On a spur of a moment, he kissed me. Well that was the first time that a boy kissed me and it felt good. My heart started to raise whilst my shoulder started to shake abnormally. I also had this intense feeling, like every inch of my body was urging for something I couldn’t describe.

He kissed me passionately, held both of my arms firmly and whispered, “Always remember that I love you.” That was the first time that he said that 3 deceiving words that melted my heart. So I was light-headed with the ecstasy of the moment so I let him do everything to me. Imagine every 14 year old boy would want to do into a girl during the years of his raging hormones. What a perv.

I enjoyed every moment of it and that was the first time that we had sex. That was the first time that I’ve learned the meaning of love. The very essence of love. Well again, I was young and indeed in love so none of this is valid. I was stupid. Clearly stupid.

Days had passed since that night and my boyfriend continued to ignore me. He would always look away from me whenever we would run into each other in the hall way. I was too ashamed to confront him about what happened. I’ve been paranoid to the extent that I kept telling to my self that I wasn’t good enough for him. He kept avoiding me for months after I’ve discovered that I haven’t bled for 2 months, that I’ve learned that I was indeed pregnant with my first child. That was the time that I had the cojones to approach him.

I told him about the pregnancy and of course he was shocked. He later on told me that everything will be okay. For a moment there, I believed him. He told me that there was no other choice but to elope ‘coz both of our parents would for sure kill us because of my untimely gestation. Right at that moment, my life was at that crossroads where I had no idea what to do.

We ran off to nowhere clutching a small amount of money that we’ve both saved ourselves during our school days inside our bags together with a few pair of clothes. We looked for a decent lodging to spend the night with but realized that our money couldn’t even afford a decent motel room, so we’ve looked for an alternative.We walked around the streets of Pasay like stray cats and asked every individual for a cheap room. Luckily, we’ve found this old woman who gave us some directions towards a bridge that has an apartment beneath it. We walked 2 blocks and reached the bridge that the old woman told us about.

We went down under the bridge and we’ve discovered that there was indeed an apartment underneath. The apartments were made of scraps of wood and metal that was affixed beneath the concrete bridge. Below the apartments was the river that was filled with garbage, dead rats and suchlike. How cheap? 20 freakin’ pesos every night. We looked at each other, shrugged and sighed sadly. We took it. We had no choice.

We were both uneasy when we’ve spent our first night there. There were roaches that would crawl around us in the middle of the night. I would always scream every time a rat passes through my leg. My young skin was filled with mosquito bites. We made it through. Somehow.

Months had passed and my belly started to grow. We were both young and so landing a decent job was far from reality. We had no other means of income therefore my guy didn’t have a choice but to work his ass off and ride a boat that he had assembled. He would scavenge the river every afternoon filled with garbage for cans and plastic. There was a night that he came home with nothing but a dirty rag doll that he picked up from the river. Told me that it could use a little cleaning then it would be a decent toy for our baby. We somehow survived and got used to it but the happiness that we’ve shared before started to fade out.

I was on my fourth month when one night, I felt a warm liquid pouring out between my legs. I told my boyfriend to light the candles and there we’ve discovered that I was bleeding. Obviously we were in-dire need of money so my husband failed to bring me to a hospital. Luckily, we had a neighbor, a “manang” whose an “Albularyo” that took care of my misery.

We’ve lost our first child that night. We were both in extreme despair knowing that we were only months away from holding our first child. I kept telling my guy that I was really sorry. That blaming ourselves wouldn’t do anything good, that it won’t change the fact that our baby died. It was an accident but instead, he kept ignoring me. Our flame started to die out after my miscarriage.

One day when I woke up, my guy was gone. I didn’t panic since it was not the first time since there were times that he would look for “pag-pag” behind those fast food chains so that we could have a breakfast. I’ve waited for him the whole day thinking that he could just be in the river, collecting plastics and cans but as the sun fades out, I haven’t seen his shadow again.

I discovered that he went back to his parents and continued his studies. Later on, he married another girl (I didn’t know the girl) and started a new life with her. I felt sad and lonely knowing that I haven’t  had the same guts as to go back to my parents. That was my second mistake. I should’ve gone back to them. When it wasn’t too late.

I managed to continue my life even after the disintegration. One night, my friend asked me to come along with her. I was sick of scavenging for plastics so I joined her. We would spend our nights behind a church and would wait for clients that ache for a quick sexual delight. Yes, I know that it was indeed wrong but I had no other choice, I decisively entered the world of prostitution. This is the part that my life started to fall apart.

At first, I was disgusted with my self and of course, my clients. There were some nights that a fat, smelly guy would ask for my service. There were also some nights that I’d just close my eyes and just be done with it. Oh and there was this one police officer (I remember him vividly) that asked me out. He was drunk and told me to go down on him. I pulled down his pants and had discovered that he had a freakin’ pea-sized dick.  I nearly laughed when I saw it but the nausea didn’t fade out. When the police was amidst shagging me, I felt nothing. Every inch of my body became numb from both despair and pleasure. I silently screamed and cried  when he threw his money into my face. I whispered “fuck you” as I closed the door behind me.

I haven’t forgotten to visit the church despite the difficulties that I had endured. I occasionally go there in pursuit of solitude and clarity. I would also pray for my baby, hoping that he/she is doing okay.

One Sunday morning, I bumped into my old best friend outside Quiapo. We hugged and said our hellos and asked me to grab some coffee since we had a lot of catching up to do. We exchanged stories about ourselves. Obviously, I lied about my situation. Who would be sane enough to say to your old friend that you spread your legs for a living? But instead I told her that I have a decent job as a sales representative in Ortigas.  She bought it.  But she on the other hand needs no explanation. I noticed her wittiness while we were conversing.  Her branded bag and shoes was exclaiming with social stratum.  She told me that, she already has 3 kids and was happily married with her childhood best friend. They bought a house in Dasmarinas Village and was planning to migrate to England since her husband got a promotion. I smiled back and gave her my congratulations. I told her that I was really happy on how her life turned out.  As we said our goodbyes, I turned my back on her and  went back to “my” reality.

My miserable life continued to rot. I’ve met another guy in a pub one evening. At first, he asked me out for my service. Up until now, I haven’t the faintest idea if it was my performance that made him realize that he wanted me to be his wife.  He assured me of a good life.  He promised me everything.  Everything that a guy might promise to a girl and suchlike.  Every freakin’ promise for a free shag.

He married me.  I gave him four wonderful kids.  Years passed and gradually I felt the frigidness between us until one morning, he suddenly disappeared.  It turned out that the house that we were living in wasn’t owned by my husband.  It was from his boss from Germany and my husband only acted as a caretaker.  I learned the miserable truth when a tall white guy parked his car outside our house and shouted that it was indeed his house.  He was shouting German so I was clueless with what he was saying but then his secretary explained what the fag German was fuming about.

He kicked us out.  Me and my children.  He even threatened me that he would file charges against us if we fail to leave the vicinity that very night. I was so scared for my children so we got out. I thought about going back to my parents house but ignominy slapped me really hard in my face. I had no choice but to live along a railroad line and become an informal settler.

Five decades had passed. My beauty faded out so I retired myself from being a prostitute.  I had my last customer when I was 48 and gave me 50 pesos for my service.  I came home pretty late, clutching a kilo of rice and a can of sardines for my four kids.  I nearly cried when I saw them sleeping.  Silver hair started to grow amidst my hairline while my wrinkles begun to spread out, indication of my old age. I’ve become a vendor, selling cigarettes and candies under an LRT station along Pasay. All of my kids left me when they grew tired of me. Those ingrates. I have no news concerning them though my friend told me that my youngest daughter died in a hit and run. I didn’t shed a tear.

I lasted 10 years there, selling few packs of cigarette everyday despite the burning sun and the raging storms. One morning, a representative from the local government asked me and assisted me to go into an elderly house called Golden Acres. I had no choice. I was feeling weak and old so I decided to go with them.

Here I am now, sitting on my favorite chair amidst a room filled with old grannies like me. Oh and did I mention that I’m also with my old best friend here?  She came in here 3 months ago. We recognized each other when she first set foot inside the facility. I was sitting on a chair eating my biscuit when a familiar face entered the room and finally our eyes met. We eventually exchanged stories about our life, on how our life turned out. We both cried. We found comfort and companion as well on each other.

I learned that she was a millionaire. That her husband left her with tons of money that he inherited from his family. Years had passed and her kids graduated from college and had a life of their own. Finally when she was out of money, her children forsook her. She was bankrupt because of their business and felt weak because of her cancer. Stage four. She only had 8 months to live. What a waste.

I decided not tell her the truth behind my colorful life.  It’s best to leave it that way. After the years of my youth, I finally learned the meaning of love. What is love?  Love is when you constantly hope to see your children one day even if they turned their backs on you.  It is called love if you wish someone to visit and check up on you in a facility like this. I’m still longing for them. I’m weak. Even their shadows will do. Even a glimpse of their shadows will fulfill my last wish.  I’m ready to let go of life just to see their faces again.  If I could just hug them then all will be forgiven.

If i could just…