• Leah's Real Life Stories

Michael's Story: CHAPTER THREE

Updated: Apr 29


Life in the academy was not easy, there’s a lot to endure. Maraming beses kong naisip na mag-quit na lang, na umuwi na lang sa bahay. Siguro Leah may na-encounter ka ng sentiments ng mga nakapagtapos sa academy kasi pare-pareho lang ang sinasabi nila, na at some points naisipan na lang nila na mag-quit because it is more challenging than what we think habang nasa outside sa academy.


Matirang matibay talaga. And what made me stay and pursue my dream was the passion to serve the country, my family, and of course the stars at night. Yes the stars… I look at them every night and amidst uncertainties and all, I always get reminded that there is this very special girl na kahit takot siyang I’d really lose my life in the service, ay naniniwala pa rin sa kakayahan ko and that she would still support me all the way.


When I entered the academy, lalong lalo na nung mga unang buwan, kailangan ko talagang mag-adjust. From childhood, lumaki akong may Ella na siyang few steps away lang sa akin na siyang lagi kong pinupuntahan at kasama ko sa napakaraming bahay… halos lahat ng bahay kung tutuusin.


Physically, I was alone but through the stars, gaya ng sabi niya, ay nariyan lang siya.


That’s how I endure a long and challenging four years of my life in the academy. Ang hirap, sobra. But the stars didn’t leave me and would always shine bright through my darkest times … that’s my Ella and I just couldn’t wait to be reunited with her.


During my graduation, the star in my life, was there clapping proudly along with my parents and sister. Seeing her, I just couldn’t help myself, kaya naman ay talagang niyakap ko siya.


Noon ay katatapos lang din ang graduation niya. We were at that point kung saan pakiramdam namin we were already a step closer to our dreams and that they were still there, standing in front of each other … just simple being the Ella and Michael who had dreamed all of these and talked about it many times while star gazing.


Leah, hindi nawala ‘yung pakiramdam ko kay Ella. Ganon na ganon pa rin, sa totoo lang noon ay willing na akong magtapat, willing na akong sabihin sa kanya na all of those years, I only wanted to be with her.


Nakakatakot pero after the years I spent in the academy, conditioning myself na dapat pagkatapos ko ay magtatapat na ako… medyo malakas na ang loob ko nun to confess my feelings.


Handang handa na akong tumaya Leah. Handang handa na akong ipagsigawan sa mundo kung gaano ko siya kamahal… kaya lang bago ko pa man nagawa, ay mayroon ng ibang gumawa and I just stood there, watch her get swayed by another man na in the first place ako sana… ako sana Leah pero hindi.


Umuwi muna ako sa bahay Leah after my graduation pero kasama ko nun si Jared na siyang naging ka-close ko rin sa academy. Siya kasi dahil sa mga kwento ko sa kanya noon ay talagang ang sabi niya after talaga namin sa academy, bibisita siya sa bahay. At tinotoo nga niya.


My family welcomed him at dahil nga sa joker si Jared mabilis siyang nagustuhan ni mommy dahil sa mga hirit niya at pambobola na halos maiiyak sa katatawa si mommy.


Kaya lang Leah, never kong na-imagine na dahil sa pagstay ni Jared sa amin magbabago lahat… at hindi matutuloy ‘yung balak ko sanang pagtatapat kay Ella.


Yes Leah, I know what you are thinking. Oo, when Jared met Ella, he was taken off his feet by my bestfriend’s charm, beauty, and being. I do not know but there was that instant connection between them at halos hindi na sila mapaghiwalay.


Isang gabi, the night before Jared left ay tinanong niya ako kung ano ba kami ni Ella. This was taken me by surprise at sa totoo lang gustong gusto kong sabihin sakanya na bro she’s off limits, but I just couldn’t dahil ano nga ba kami ni Ella. Ano nga ba kami Leah?


Gustong gusto ko siyang ipagdamot, gustong gusto ko pero when I remembered the way they look at each other … hindi ko nagawa Leah. Instead, I told him na we’re bestfriends. I knew that my answer had given him permission to date the woman whom I had feelings for since we were young.


Gustong gusto ko siyang bakuran, but with the way they talk and laugh at everything, I knew there is something … and I am not sure if it’s the infamous love at first sight.


Hindi na nga nagpaligoy ligoy pa si Jared at niligawan si Ella. Yes, they kept in touch even after Jared left our place.


I hate to say this pero maraming nagbago. Oo, lumalabas pa rin kami ni Ella at pumupunta kung saan saan kaya lang sa tuwing magkasama kami, kung hindi sila magkausap ni Jared sa text ay siyang lagi niyang bukambibig.


Yes, it hurts. It stings. But who am I to stand in their way especially at heto nga nakikita ko kung paano nila napapasaya ang isa’t isa kahit pa man sa simpleng text.


Hindi rin nagtagal Leah at naging sila nga. Pumupunta punta na rin noon si Jared at hindi gaya nung una, sa bahay na nila Ella siya tumutuloy.


Masakit … pero Leah, kung mahal mo ‘yung isang tao at nakikita mong masaya siya kahit pa man sa piling ng iba, I bet you would do the same thing. I just simply watch them fall in love with each other without letting her know that I love her since we were young.


Jared makes her happy and I can settle with that dahil wala naman akong hinangad kundi ang kasiyahan ni Ella and now it’s here, so why would I stand in their way?


Yes Leah, just like that … I had to keep this feelings to myself … perhaps, in no time it will probably hurt less.


I do not resent Jared kaya lang it would have been better if we were not assigned together at the same place. Siguro okay kasi nga hindi ko kakailanganing mag-isa sa lugar na wala akong kakilala pero Leah, being with him every day is a constant reminder na hindi ko na talaga maaabot pa ‘yung babaeng pinangarap ko.


Every day, through phone calls, naririnig ko kung paano sila mag-I love you han. You know ‘yung pain na talagang kukurutin ‘yung puso mo but you still had to smile and show that you are happy even when your heart is breaking.


Oo, Leah. Sa malayo nga ako nadestino, perfect sana para ma-divert ng tuluyan ‘yung isipan at who knows pati ‘yung puso ko ko pero iba ang nangyari. Dahil sumunod sa akin ‘yung sakit at araw araw nadudurog ng paulit ulit ‘yung puso ko.


Sa totoo lang, may mga gabi na naiisip ko, paano kaya kung ako ‘yung laging kausap ni Ella … ‘yung ako ‘yung tinatanong niya kung kumain na ba ako o kung kamusta ba ‘yung tulog ko … at ‘yung sinasabihan niya ng mahal kita.


Noon napapaisip na ako, would things turn out different had I confessed my feelings to her? Ako kaya ang nasa sitwasyon ni Jared kung nagtapat lang ako? Oo Leah, I had those what ifs… but then eventually reality always reminds me na heto na nga, meron na ngang Jared and Ella ko and that I cannot alter this heart wrenching fact.


They were happily and madly in love at hindi nga nagtagal Leah, mga 1 year na sila nun, they got engaged. At oo, I was there when he proposed dahil saktong sabay kami nagbakasyon.


Pero Leah, sa totoo lang kahit masakit, I still helped Jared set-up a dinner table for two under a tree na nilagyan din namin ng ilaw. Tita Ellen was the one who prepared the food at si Via naman ang nagdecorate sa place.


Via being Via, biniro pa ako na proposal mo sana ito kung hindi ka lang naging duwag. Kung nung bata kami ay talagang hinahabol ko si Via sa tuwing nang-aasar dahil sa totoo lang ang lakas niyang mang-asar Leah, napaka-effective. Pero that time, maybe partly because we’ve grown up and partly because she’s right.


So, I just shrugged my shoulders and chuckle. At bago pa man siya makahirit muli, nagsignal na si Tita Ellen that Ella was already coming. Naka uniform siya nun ng pang nurse dahil katatapos lang din ng shift niya.


She was blindfolded at gina-guide siya ni Jared sa certain spot at nang masigurong nakatayo na nga roon si Ella ay tinanggal niya ‘yung blindfold. She had to adjust her eyes sa mga pailaw and once na naka-adjust ang mga ito, nanlalaking mata siyang tumingin sa amin sa gilid bago pinagtuunan ng pansin si Jared na tinake ang second na na-distract si Ella to kneel in front of her.


They cried and even before Jared could pop the will you marry me question ay nag-Yes na kaagad si Ella. Certainly, love was in the air that time but my heart was again shattering into the tiniest bits of pieces.


That same night, while they were celebrating I had to excuse myself dahil sa totoo lang ay hindi ko kayang magtagal nang hindi maiiyak. I made an excuse na masakit ang tiyan ko dahil naparami ako ng kain, among thousands of reasons na pwede kong sabihin ito ang napili ko dahil alam kong hindi nila makokontra. Tumatawa nga akong pinayagan nun ni Ella.


Hindi malayo sa bahay namin ‘yung venue at sa totoo lang meron pa ngang short cut na siyang lagi naming dinadaanan ni Ella. Pero that night, I opted for the longer way dahil gusto ko ring maglakad lakad. Dahil sa gabi na nun, iilan na lang ang tao sa labas.


Ang bigat bigat ng pakiramdam ko Leah at dahil nga sa nakasanayan kong magstar gazing lalong lalo na sa tuwing nasa lowest points ako ng life, dumeretso ako sa roof top ng bahay. And I just lied there, staring at the sky na noon ay napakaraming stars… just like the night before I travelled to the academy, when Ella told me na I just have to look at the stars and know that she’s there with me.


I would have taken comfort with that, just the way I used to do. However, staring at the stars I know Ella was no longer there at iyon na nga ang tuluyan nakapagpalabas ng mga luhang pilit kong pinipigilan while watching Jared propose, imagining myself doing to her kung sana ay mas napaaga lang ako.


I thought watching her slip through my fingers is the most painful thing, meron pa palang mas isasakit at ito ‘yung finally mawawala na nga siya sa grasp mo. Hindi na siya pawala pa lang bagkus ay talagang heto na, isang hakbang na lang at wala na.

Yes Leah, ito ‘yung sinasabi nilang tama na siguro ‘yung isa sa inyo masaya. And so kahit wala ng mas isasakit pa ‘yung sakit na naramdaman ko, I was still fulfilled na nahanap na nga ni Ella ‘yung makakapagpasaya sa kanya.


Finally, ‘yung Ella na iyak lang nang iyak nun sa takot, ngayon umiiyak dahil sa nag-uumapaw na kaligayahan.


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