• Leah's Real Life Stories

Martin's Story: CHAPTER FOUR


We tried our best to balance our career and marriage. At kahit ang demanding ng trabaho namin, we were still able to make things work. Every day, sa tuwing nagigising ako at ang napakagandang mukha ni Carla ang nakikita ko, I can’t help but ask myself how come I got so lucky in life?


Coming home to her or waiting for her at home or coming home together is just so fulfilling, Leah. It is like watching the first buds of flowers to open after the long drought or feeling the droplets of rain pouring against your lips while your eyes are closed, or the soft and cool breeze of the wind embracing your sweaty skin in a hot summer day.


I never thought it is possible to feel this certain emotion, this certain kind of love for someone who was once but a stranger, happen to just cross your way. I never thought that love could dive down this deep, so deep that the only way to breathe, Leah, is through her.


I love my wife, Leah, I love her so much that I could not put to words how much I feel towards her. Siguro ganon talaga kung nahanap mo na ‘yung taong kusang maglalabas nung klaseng pagmamahal na never mong na-imagine na maibibigay mo sa tao lalong lalo na sa hindi mo pa kadugo.


Ikaw ba Leah? Have you ever been in love? Or are you in love? Hindi ko alam kung paano ko idescribe pero sobrang saya...napakasaya Leah. ‘Yung may rason kang gumising at magpursigi araw araw. ‘Yung parating nariyan siya para sa’yo. ‘Yung may yayakapin ka at yayakap sa’yo any moment. ‘Yung mapapangiti ka na lang bigla na parang timang kapag naaalala mo kung paano ka hagkan at yakapin bago pumasok sa sa trabaho. At ‘yung matatawa ka out of the blue kapag naaalala mo yung grumpiness niya – yung pagtaas ng kilay at paghawak niyas a baywang sa tuwing tatalakan ako because I forgot to close the bathroom door after taking a shower.


We were happily married... happily in love. However, Leah, sadyang hindi lang talaga kasi pwede ang basta masaya lang. Dahil kung gaano kami kasaya, ganoon din kasakit yung pagsubok na dumating.


As I’ve said, my workaholic wife was consumed by her academic career due to the demands of work, projects, proposals, not to mention her teaching responsibilities and other services required by the university. That led her to being stressed all those times. Dahil sa ganun na work ethics nya, nagsimula siyang gabihin na kung umuwi. Yes, may mga araw talagang gabi na siya umuuwi pero dati rati alas otso yung pinaka-late nyang uwi at kung kailangan niyang mag-overtime nun, tatawag at tatawag siya sa aking, kung hindi naman at busy dahil nasa meeting o conference, gagawa siya ng way na inform ako through text, reaasuing me that she is alright.


Kaya hindi ko maiwasang magtaka dahil napapadalas na siyang mga 10 or 11 nakakauwi at hindi na rin siya nakakapagpaalam or naaabisuhan man lang kung siya ay late nang makakauwi. Kapansin- pansin na lagi siyang pagod, at madalas, deretso na siya agad sa bed para matulog pagkauwi.


Hindi niya rin mabitaw bitawan nun ang cellphone niya Leah. I get it, baka nga naman talaga may mga important work matters kaya lang, sa dinami- dami ng mga ginagawa niya sa work at sa dinami dami ng mga kumokontak sa kanya before, iniiwan niya lang ang cellphone niya sa table or kahit saan sa bahay.


Lagi din siyang tulala at laging malalim ang iniisip. Hindi na rin niya nauubos ‘yung pagkain niya. I’ve seen how she managed her stress at hindi ganito Leah.


I don’t want to entertain people’s words before, ang sabi nila sa akin noon darating din daw yung araw na matatauhan si Carla, at marerealize na sobrang layo ko sa kanya that she deserves more and better. I don’t even want to go to that level of thinking, Leah, but her sudden behavior is just not helping.


Is she cheating on me? I don’t even want to know Leah.


Hindi ako nagsasalita nun, ino-observe ko lamang siya. Gusto kong ipagsawalang bahala ang kakaibang behavior ng asawa ko pero habang tumatagal ay parang nawawala na yung Carla na kilala ko.


Lagi siyang irritable kahit pa man sa maliliit lang na bagay Leah at hind na rin siya kagaya nung dati na malambing siya, ngayon halos hindi na niya ako pinapansin. Papansinin lang ako kung papagalitan niya ako.


I always stay wide awake at night and wait for her na minsan nakakatulog na ako sa living area kahihintay sakanya. Whenever she arrives, she doesn’t have this energy to even acknowledge me.

Ganun ang nangyayari Leah. We’re living in one roof pero halos hindi na kami nagkikita at hindi na nag-uusap. May mga umaga rin na magigising ako na wala si Carla, at yung side niya sa bed ay walang indication na natulog siya don.


Clearly Leah, she was too occupied over something and I couldn’t bring myself to ask her. I couldn’t bring myself to ask her the question na alam ko naman na ang sagot. Hindi ko magawang kumpirmahin yung mga nasa isipan ko dahil natatakot ako sa sagot niya. Natatakot ako na maging totoo ‘yung mga sinasabi nila sa akin noon na matatauhan si Carla at makakahanap ng iba.


Natatakot ako na mawala siya. Hindi ko alam Leah sa totoo lang, hindi ko alam kung ano ang gagawin ko kapag tuluyan na nga siyang mawala sa akin at mapunta sa ibang lalaki.


So, I just let those wild imaginations slip through my senses because I just can’t pop the question and ask her if she has somebody else.


If there’s any consolation, it is that she’s still wearing our engagement and wedding ring. So, I just settled and hold on to that.


She has been ignoring me for weeks ngunit isang araw, maaga siyang umuwi. Sa totoo lang yun ang pinakamaaga niyang uwi.


Alas sais na nun at nagluluto na ako for dinner nang magulat na lang ako nang may yumakap mula sa aking likuran.


Sa totoo lang ay namiss ko siya, namiss ko yung yakap niya, yung halik, yung ngiti niya at tawa …. just her. I missed her and that time, I was honestly on the verge of breaking down. Oo, kalalaking tao. Pero everything was too much for the past weeks.


Hindi ako nakakatulog kakaisip kung ano nga ba ang nangyayari at kung ano ang gagawin ko. I just couldn’t help but to think my wife being held by a rich and handsome man na siyang deserve niya in the first place.


Sa totoo lang, never akong na-insecure. Carla never made me feel less and she kept on telling me na I’m the best and she couldn’t ask for more. Kaya lang with her recent behavior, hindi ko maiwasang magisip nang mga bagay na sobra ding nakaapekto sa akin.


Sa sobrang pagmamahal ko sa kanya, Leah, hindi kayang tanggapin ng isipan ko kung malaman ko na meron na siyang iba. Binigay ko lahat ng pagmamahal, Leah, and I don’t think that I deserve to be cheated on. I am every woman’s dream, I believe so, dahil maayos akong napalaki ng aking mga magulang. Nakuwento ko naman na nun una di ba, Leah, kung gaano ako ka-gentleman, maalaga, malambing, maunawain, mahaba ang pasensya, very supportive, masarap pang magluto, at hindi rin naman ako bobo. I can also be at par with the academicians or the so-called scholars. I may not be a wide reader, but I am well-read.


Pero dahil sa mga kinikilos nya sa mga nagdaang linggo, hindi ko alam ang mga dahilan kung bakit nagkaganun, at ayoko nang mag isip pa pero hindi ko maiwasang magduda, at yun ang dahilan ng aking panghihina, pagkatakot, pagkabahala, kirot sa dibdib, natutulala na lang ako minsan habang kasama ang mga katrabaho, wala na rin akong ganang kumain nun.. at muntik nang nilamon ang aking isipan sa moment na yun nung nakaharap ako sa salamin while getting ready for work, I looked at myself and I felt like I became less of a man. I started to pity myself and insecurity found its way into my heart..


However, Leah, nung hapon iyon na I was preparing for dinnier, mahigpit ang yakap ni Carla sa akin and whispered into my ears: hon, dinner could wait. I didn’t know how to react or what to say because lots of things were running in my mind. Is she trying to make amends of her adulterous misconduct? Has she really been busy with her work? Does she still love me the same? Am I thinking too much? But why the warmth of her body tells me never to doubt her love? Why the way her soft fingers run through my hair, the look in her eyes, the warmth of her lips pressed against mine dispelled all those doubtful thoughts? Why?


We ended up in bed. Sobrang namiss ko ang asawa ko nung mga oras na iyon Leah pero hindi rin nagtagal yung tuwa na naramdaman ko dahil while we’re being intimate…may nakapa ako sa left breast niya.


Something hard and firm and right there, I knew that it was a lump.


After spending the night together, bumalik ulit si Carla sa pag-uwi ng late. Pero pagkatapos nung gabing iyon, tila nawaglit yung thought that she might be seeing somebody else dahil ang laman ng isipan ko na nun ay ‘yung bukol na nakapa ko sakanya.


What was that? I knew it was a lump, but what was that lump for? Bakit siya may ganon?


Hindi ko alam nun kung anong gagawin ko, lalo na at si Carla ay lethargic . At kitang kita nun na talagang pumayat na siya. Sa kinikilos niya, mas lalo akong nahirapang iwaglit yung nakapa ng kamay ko sakanya.


Kaya isang gabi, pasado 11 na nun nang makauwi si Carla. Kitang kita ko yung gulat niya nang makita niya ako sa sala dahil nga for the past days ay sa master’s bedroom na ako naghihintay.


For the first time after weeks, she smiled at me ngunit kitang kita ko pa rin yung pagod sa mga mata niya. Hindi ako nagsalita bagkus ay hinawakan ko yung kamay niya and I guided her to sit down with me sa sofa.


I stared at her for a few minutes dahil hindi ko alam kung paano ko sisimulan kaya nanahan ang nakabibinging katahimikan sa buong bahay.She was too searching my eyes na para bang sinusubukan niyang alamin kung ano ang tumatakbo sa aking isipan through my eyes.


I couldn’t speak but Carla squeezed my hand and gave me a reassuring smile na whatever I’m going to say, she’s there to listen. With this, I blurted out what I discovered on that night we spent together in bed.


Kitang kita ko ang gulat noon sa mukha ng asawa ko na kalaunan ay napalitan ng isang malungkot na ngiti.


I told her about the lump and her face blanched but later on, it was changed into a sad smile. Mas humigpit nun ang hawak niya sa dalawang kamay ko and she stared deeply into my eyes.


Ayoko sanang i-interpret o i-entertain kung ano yung nadiskubre ko pero her reaction … her reaction didn’t help my case and so we were sitting on the couch that night, holding hands, as she tried to compose whatever she’s about to say.


Wala pa man siyang sinasabi but I know what she’s about to say is going to break my heart. It took her several minutes, probably she has to at least filter and sugarcoat what’s at the tip of her tongue.


And there Leah, habang hawak ang dalawa kong kamay ay sinabi na niya yung rason kung bakit siya laging ginagabi ng uwi. I knew the moment I cupped that lump, there’s already a great possibility pero with the confirmation? Halos hindi na ako makahinga. I feel like lahat ng hangin sa lungs ko ay nawala dahil sa sinabi niya and I struggled to breathe.


Yes Leah. Breast cancer. May breast cancer si Carla and she already started her medication.


Hindi ko alam kung ano ba ‘yung mas masakit o kung ano ba yung mas kakayanin ko. Yung bang may iba si Carla o yung may cancer siya. Thinking of that, I am like caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. But, I’d rather want that she be with another, at least I am 100% sure na andyan lang siya, na kahit mapapunta siya sa iba, mas kakayanin ko pa, dahil meron pa rin akong pagkakataon, oo Leah, meron pa rin akong pagkakataon na bawiin siyang muli, na ligawan siyang muli, na suyuin siyang muli higit pa sa mga ginawa ko nun mapabalik lang siya sa akin..Leah.

Hindi yung parang alam mong talo ka na sa sugal, pero wala kang magawa kung di tumaya pa rin.. and I don’t have any idea or anything to hold on to that she will still be with me in the coming years.


I cannot lose her and most especially, I cannot just let her die. Hindi ko kakayanin Leah… hindi ko kakayanin ang mabuhay na ala-ala na lang ang babaeng mahal na mahal ko ng lubusan.


I didn’t know what to say after Carla told me everything, para akong nabingi sa mga sinabi niya. At dun din sa oras na iyon nangyari ang pinakademanding na dasal na ginawa ko sa buong buhay ko.


I closed my eyes and asked Him to wake me up. Na utang na loob gisingin na Niya ako sa bangungot na kinasadlakan ko. I wanted to scream dahil tila walang nangyayari. Dapat gisingin na niya ako. Kaya lang when I opened my eyes when Carla say my name, wala pa rin…hindi nga ako tulog, gising na gising ako.. gising na nasa isang napakatinding bangungot.


I pulled Carla towards me at niyakap siya ng ubod higpit na para bang once na pinakawalan ko ay tuluyan siyang maglalaho sa akin.


I prayed or more like, I questioned Him habang yung mga masasayang alaala na pinagsaluhan namin ni Carla ay nagfla-flash sa isipan ko. I questioned Him kung bakit niya pa ibinigay, kung bakit niya pa ibinigay kung anong meron kami kung heto kami ngayon, kaharap ang posibilidad na any minute ay babawiin niya ang lahat.


I hugged Carla tight never willing to let her go. Kahit ano man ang mangyari, call me insane, but I will do everything I could to let her live and to make her survive. Call me derange Leah, but I will not just stand and watch her be taken away from me.


She’s the most beautiful thing I ever had. She’s the one who brought color to my life. She’s the one giving me the reason to face the morning with hope.


She is my strength, she is my rock, and I wouldn’t know what to do kung isang araw paggising ko wala na siya sa tabi ko… na hindi ko na maaamoy yung mabangong amoy niya sa bahay… na hindi ko na maririnig yung mga rants niya… na hindi ko na mararamdaman yung mga yakap niya at halik.


With cancer, there’s a possibility na isang araw, mangyayari ang lahat ng mga ito … but I can’t. I just can’t Leah.

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