It was a beautiful Monday morning. The previous evening she called me. She’s in town only for 3 days, and I was here for just the weekend plus 2 days — what a serendipitous thing for 2 “OFWs” to be in Manila at the same time. So we decided to do breakfast together that beautiful Monday morning.
We’ve been Facebook friends for some time now. She added me, and I was just too happy to be her online friend. It was awkward at first, but soon enough we were exchanging messages like we’re good ol’ friends. Finally that Monday morning, we would meet, in person, for the very first time.
I arrived at the restaurant early, so I decided to read the papers while waiting. I barely finished scanning the front page when a beautiful woman came in. It was her. I immediately stood up, walked to her, and we introduced ourselves to each other with a big warm hug. It felt good.
The ensuing conversation was non-stop. The breakfast was just an excuse, we met really to connect with each other. And connect we did. She was chatty, I was too, and except for that one time she whipped out her SLR to capture the moment, we were on to gabfest galore, talking about the littlest things. Until one subject came up. Her brother. Her brother is our connection. He is SAGG. The guy I dated some 3 years ago. The guy who loved me like I was the only man in the world. The guy who treated me like I was his universe. Sadly, I never reciprocated.
She was in tears. “Honestly, there was a time I hated you for what you did to him. But I also love you for what you did. You’re the only guy who made him that happy, and the only one who made him that sad. He loves you until now. Don’t tell him I told you.” She continued, now with a broken voice, “but I really just want my brother to be happy.” I knew what she meant, even if her words did not say it. I held her hand. By this time, her beautiful face was drenched with tears. And yet I knew the best thing to do is to just be with her. Not to rush and fix. To sit with her as she expressed her pain. Not to run and make the pain fade away.
She is just 22. I thought to myself, when she experiences more of life and more of love, she will understand why not reciprocating can be the most loving thing to do.