A love story…almost

About a week ago I went to Quiapo to buy some medium format films (120 film). I was planning to create a pinhole camera so I could start taking pictures again since I don’t have a DSLR at the moment. But that is not what I’m gonna write about for now, hopefully soon, after I’ve taken a few shots.

Anyway I was riding a jeepney towards LRT Santolan on my way to Quiapo and there were these two friends talking rather loudly. One was a lady and her friend was gay. It was not really annoying but their words were very audible. I didn’t pay attention to them at first, their conversation was not really interesting, until the girl defensively shouted “ay shet nasabi ko ung pangalan!” (OMG I mentioned his name!) to her friend. Apparently she’s paranoid that someone in the crowd actually knows the said person. Then things started to get interesting and I decided to eavesdrop without changing my bored look to avoid getting noticed.

It was a love story, well almost. The girl was narrating that she met her childhood sweetheart again after 17 years. They were in a church choir together with her current boyfriend during their high school days. Back then she was already secretly admiring the said guy until finally they both admitted to having admiration for each other. Promises of love were made and held on with a positive outlook that they will be together. But for one reason or another they didn’t end up in each other’s arms. As time passed their professed love was left hanging, unsure whether to keep on waiting or not, life moved on for her. Seventeen years later, she is now getting married to her present boyfriend, and her reunion with her former “lover” only made the longing worse. Greetings of “how are you?’s” were exchanged followed by an awkward silence, knowing that the situation will not simplify into a more convenient one for both of them. Questions of “what if’s”, “what happened?”, and “why’s” were kept to oneself believing that it was better that way, and the short reconciliation was concluded by an ironic “see you around”, accepting that it won’t probably happen again. As she walked away from him, blank spaces in her heart were left unanswered and the only way for her to move forward was to convince herself that they weren’t really meant to be. As I listened through her story, I could hear the sound of regret, murmurs of a ghost that will hunt her forever. But that’s understandable; each one of us have our own frustrations and bitterness, whether we learn from it and move on, or be stuck with the past is entirely up to us.

I alighted the jeepney and was walking towards the LRT station when I realized something. Love is a very simple thing; people are the complicated ones. They have so many if’s and but’s. I have witnessed first hand similar stories whether from my friends or someone I know, and I have had my fair share too. For me, if I love the person and she loves me back, I will have no reason to hold myself. Unfortunately no matter how much you fight for someone, most people do not have the courage to stand up for themselves, how much more for you. And it is frustrating to learn that many live by the rules and opinions of others. Not to mention the moral dilemma we face. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not as courageous before as I speak now, but I have since learned my lesson.

***The photograph above is copyrighted to the author, Lester Jamorabo, and may not be copied, reproduced, redistributed, manipulated, projected, used or altered without the prior express written permission from him.

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