Jane's Story: CHAPTER TWO
So 'yun nga Leah, there is this Harry guy who helped us carry our wasted friend na si Camille. We introduced ourselves to each other and that we exchanged numbers.
Nung gabing yon, hindi ako aware na abot langit na pala ang ngiti ko nang asarin ako nila Gretchen at Julia. At maging si Camille na halos hindi na maimulat ang mga mata sa labis na kalasingan ay hindi pinalampas ang puntong iyon upang asarin ako. Kahit pa kinakain na niya ang mga katagang lumabas sa bibig niya ay nagawa niya pa ring sambitin ang mga katagang, “See, hindi nakakamatay ang lumandi paminsan minsan.”
Natawa na lang kaming tatlo and that night, when I was already tucked on my bed, my phone rang. Unknown number, hindi ko pinansin pero hindi ako tinigilan kaya nagdecide na akong sagutin. I was ready to launch a lecture to the person on the other line that it is so rude to randomly call a person at two am but then, bigla akong natigilan nang magsalita siya. Si Harry, ang lalaking na-meet namin sa bar.
He was just checking kung nakauwi kami ng safe and ewan ko pero meeting Harry introduced me to a new feeling. A feeling that made me giddy like a school girl and I didn’t certainly understand why.
‘Yung feeling na mapapangiti ka talaga by just simply reading his messages. Sa totoo lang ay mabilis akong ma-cringy- an sa mga ‘kumain ka na’, ‘good morning, wag magpalipas ng gutom’, o ‘yung ‘wag masyadong magpapagod’.
Ayoko ng ganon. Turn off sa akin. Pero with Harry, I didn’t mind at all. ‘Yung mga ayoko naging ‘okay’ with Harry.
Maybe, totoo talaga ‘yung sinasabi na you will get to enjoy these stupid little messages if you have feelings for a person. And maybe this explained why with Harry, I was able to enjoy these things I found them a turn off and stupid in the first place.
Nagpatuloy ang communication namin ni Harry. Araw araw kaming magkausap hanggang sa sinusundo na niya ako after work para magdinner. He’s so sweet and gentleman. I honestly do not ride motorcycles, takot talaga ako and also, my parents discouraged me to ride din since I was a kid.
I have a car na noon pero ayaw ko namang i-disappoint si Harry kaya kahit na natatakot ako ay sumasakay pa rin ako sa motorsiklo niya. But of course, ‘yung takot ko nawawala sa tuwing kumakapit ako ng mahigpit sa bewang niya.
I remember si Enzo, ang mapang-asar kong kapitbahay ay panay ang kantiyaw sa akin sa tuwing nakatayo ako sa labas ng gate namin while waiting for my sundo. Sa totoo lang hindi ganun ka-prompt si Harry, usually I have to wait for 10 minutes before he arrives, kaya naman ang laging sinasabi ni Enzo ay gamitin ko na lang kasi ‘yung sasakyan ko o maglakad na lang daw kasi ako.
This was his way of saying na late na naman yung sundo mo, uy.
Well, Enzo has a point but I didn’t care about it. Ewan ko dahil just the thought na susunduin ako ni Harry ay napapangiti ako.
Yes, Leah. We started dating. Every time na kaharap ko siya, I always feel this urge to just simply stare at him. Yes, it’s stupid but I can’t help it.
With Harry’s gestures and everything, I fell in love, Leah. I fell madly, blindly and stupidly in love. And it was the beginning of my downfall, the downfall everybody out there was dying to see.
I don’t usually get easily distracted, Leah, when I put my focus into something, you’ll hardly get me out of it. But being with Harry? Nawala yung Jane na sobrang focused and passionate sa kanyang ginagawa. 100% ng attention ko napunta kay Harry hanggang sa napabayaan ko ang lahat lalong lalo na ang trabaho ko.
Lagi akong nakadikit sa boyfriend ko na noon ay wala ring trabaho. Oo, wala siyang trabaho at nakadikit lamang sa parents niya. It should have been a major turn off to me dahil kay Enzo nga lang na nagpabaya sa pag-aaral nun ay halos hindi ko na siya tinigilan at tinalakan lang ng tinalakan.
However, I overlooked this fact and that I was a fool to shoulder the finances, too. Oo, halos ako ang nagfi-finance sa lahat like dates, ‘yung load niya, at gifts. Don’t call me tanga yet, it is still too early for that Leah.
So ‘yun nga, I was so okay with it. I wished someone would had just shoot me that time baka sakaling na-save ako sa sarili kong sobrang patay na patay sa isang tao.
The relationship wasn’t healthy dahil ako lang ang nagbibigay. Pero sobra akong nahulog kay Harry na parang ikamamatay ko pag iniwan niya ako, kaya ultimo pang- gas ko ng sasakyan ko ay binibigay ko na sa kanya.
Masyado ko siyang mahal para makinig sa mga sinasabi ng mga tao kahit sa mga sinasabi pa ng mga kaibigan at magulang ko. Wala akong pinakinggan, si Harry lamang.
My parents disliked Harry, especially my mom, sa unang meeting pa lang nila. I decided to introduced Harry nung 3 months na kami. My mom was so excited to cook dahil finally, ang unica hija nila na sasabihang tatandang dalaga ay meron ng ipakikilala.
I invited Harry to our house for dinner and when he arrived on his motorcycle na ang bilis ng takbo at actually ang ingay, my parents were already skeptical about him. My dad had to look at him from head to toe. Okay naman ‘yung pananamit ni Harry, he was dressed casually that time kaya lang ‘yung tattoo sa leeg niya ay litaw na litaw maging yung earrings niya.
I gave my parents a pleading look and asked them to at least be nice. I knew there were lots of comments at the bottom of their tongues, but I was so thankful that they held it for me.
When we were eating, my parents’ eyes were fixed on Harry. They were not saying anything at ino-obserbahan lamang ang lalaking kauna-unahang iniharap ko sa kanila. Honestly, the atmosphere was akward, and I tried so hard to carry the weight of the conversation that’s why I was thankful when my dad finally cleared his throat at saka nagsalita.
However, mas pipiliin ko pa Leah ‘yung hindi siya nagsasalita. Ang unang bigkas niya kasi ay isang question. He asked Harry kung anong trabaho niya and my boyfriend confidently answered na tambay lang siya as if it makes him cool.
Mabilis na tumaas ang kilay ni daddy nun at tsaka nanlaki ang mga mata nung siya’y tumingin sa akin. But, I asked him to be nice. Umiling lang siya sa akin at hindi na nagsalita pa.
Harry seemed not to mind the ambiance dahil cool lang siyang kumain. I knew then that my parents didn’t like Harry. Kitang kita sa kanilang mga mata how disappointed they were, and that kitang kita ko yung mga napakaraming katanungan kung ano ba itong lalaking pinili ko.
But inspite of this, I still stick with Harry. Like I said, I didn’t listen to anyone at pinanghawakan ko yung notion na mahal naman ako ni Harry and that our love to each other will conquer everything.
Sobra akong tinamaan kay Harry kaya naman ay naibigay ko lahat sa kanya. Oo Leah, lahat. Harry was my first everything – first kiss, first boyfriend, first person to introduce to my parents… basta napakaraming first including first person who managed to take me to bed.
Five months na kami nun nang bumigay ako. Honestly, I was raised to keep my v-card until the day I get married. Pinanghawakan ko talaga ito kaya lang natakot ako na baka iwan ako ng boyfriend ko, call it lame excuse, but yes, my head overpowered my heart... and my body.
Harry asked for it many times pero I always decline dahil nga sa gusto ko munang ikasal kami. Kaya lang sa tuwing dine-decline ko siya ay makikita kong unti unti na siyang napapagod kaya naman natakot ako.
I just had this man who made me feel these sorts of feelings and I cannot afford to live another day without him. And so, on the night he asked again, with his ‘paawa- effect’ looks that was so obvious, his tender caress and sweet talks and words of assurances and promises of life everlasting, I…. gave….. in.
He was honestly shocked when he found out that he was my first, pero kalaunan ay hindi na matanggal tanggal ‘yung ngiti sa mukha niya na para bang tumama sa jueteng, I mean, sa lotto pala.
I don’t know if it’s pride na siya ang nakauna sa akin. Diba kasi ang laking factor sa mga lalaki kapag sila raw ang nakakauna sa isang babae.
To be honest Leah, after I gave my v-card to Harry, I felt this pang of guilt. I didn’t feel happy, the feeling I felt was not okay and I never imagined I would ever feel this on my first. I kept it for so many years and I was not happy when I already gave it. Yes Leah, I was so guilty that I gave it even before marriage.
But when I looked at the satisfied smile of Harry, I hold on to that. I settled to the thought na ngayon, at least, wala ng rason pa para iwan ako. And after that night we shared, mas naging affectionate si Harry that he always long for my presence. And so I thought, there’s nothing to regret.
Weeks after we started sleeping together, I decided na siya na talaga Leah. Of course, it has to be him dahil naibigay ko na. That was my notion before. Kaya naman I offered that we move in together.
Pumayag naman si Harry kaya lang when I told my parents, halos yugyugin na ako ni mommy nang makita niyang ni wala pa ngang singsing kahit engagement man lang sa daliri ko. At si daddy naman ay halos magmakaawa na sa akin to at least weigh everything first and consider what my life would be knowing that Harry is jobless.
Pero nagmakaawa rin ako sa kanila Leah. Nagmakaawa ako that they have to trust me on this and that they have to trust that I love Harry and he loves me. Ayaw pumayag ng parents ko. I should have taken this as a sign or as a wake-up call na teka, bakit parang ang bilis bilis naman.
Kaya lang, I was blinded by my love for Harry and so again, I didn’t listen to my parents and that, hinakot ko pa rin ang mga gamit ko at tumira sa iisang bubong with Harry.
We rented an apartment, isang bungalow at hindi siya maayos. Sa totoo lang, maliit iyon maging ang master’s bedroom. It was not comfortable on my part who was raised in a big house and that my room alone has its own bathroom and walk in closet.
Yes, my parents worked that hard in order to provide me a comfortable life. Kaya lang heto ako at tinamaan ng sobra. I had to to adjust.
Hindi matigil yung mata ko nun kaka-examine sa apartment. Old na yung building, yung ceiling ay kitang- kita yung mark na talagang kapag umuulan ay tumutulo, yung paint na rin ay nag-fade na, yung mga furniture kung hindi itatapon ay kailangan ng matinding repair, masikip, basta malayo sa kinalakihan ko.
Gusto ko nang umatras noon, kaya lang when I looked at Harry who was sitting comfortably sa maalikabok na couch, I felt that I should at least have to try. And so with a reassuring smile from Harry, I did try.
Hindi nga ako kumportable sa bahay sa totoo lang at ang daming kailangang ayusin. Our first night of stay there, yung higahan muna ang una naming inayos. Walang foam nun, only bed kaya I was hesitant to lie down. Call me maarte because honestly I was.
But what made me freaked out the most ay ‘yung may ipis, hindi lang basta ipis kundi flying ipis, na dumapo nun sa luggage ko while I was looking for my tooth brush. Literal na napatalon ako at nagsisigaw.
I was expecting for Harry to at least assist me kaya lang ay tinawanan lang ako. To be honest, I am afraid sa ipis at sa daga. Hindi talaga ako nakakapasok sa isang place once na merong ganon.
Halos maiyak na ako nun, if only dad was there, he would have taken it away from me because he knew how scared I was. I thought the man whom I moved in with will do what my dad used to do for me, he didn’t. Instead, after laughing ay iniwan ako sa kwarto at nagtungo sa sala upang manood ng TV.
I had to remind myself to breathe that very moment. Hindi ko alam kung ano ang gagawin ko nun hanggang sa I was distracted by a text message. When I opened it, it was a message from Enzo informing me na he’s about to start his training sa pagka-police.
He asked kung totoo daw ba na wala na ako sa bahay and I said yes. Unlike my parents ay sinabi niya lamang na ‘wag ko raw pababayaan ang sarili ko and that if Harry will ever do something stupid, he is just a call away.
Na-touched ako sa sinabi niya, at dahil nga sa nanginginig pa rin sa takot nun, I dialed Enzo and told him about it. I was expecting him to laugh kasi ‘yun naman ang role niya sa buhay ko, ang bwisetin lang ako. Pero hindi siya tumawa, sa halip ay ni-remind niya ako to breathe until I was able to relax.
It’s ironic na iba pang tao ang magpapakalma sa akin samantalang ‘yung lalaking supposed to be here comforting me ay nandoon at nanunuod. Nope, don’t call me tanga yet, dahil may mga mas malala pang sumunod na nangyari.