There are many stories in the world. Most of them are left unwritten and live only in the memories of the people involved.
I have decided to share my space and invite guest writers to share their stories, in their own voices. That way, their stories will go on. The project will be called Open Spaces. My first guest is V and here is his story.
In June 2004, my friend and I were exchanging our views on love.
My friend said:
You're just looking at what's on the outside. I guess it's better to be underestimated than overestimated, yes?
If I can recall watching Batibot -- Kandirit was that skipping game. Or if we use context clues, you mean the sparks and fireworks.
True enough, there are kandirits in the beginning. But true love comes when the element of sacrifice for the other is executed, no?
I'm sure you've thought of this -- I haven't. It came into mind when so many people tore this naive heart of mine and raped me off my innocence for their pleasure or self gain.
Alas, I'm not one to be taken down so easily. Not much was stolen when they reaped my body. They can never have my heart then, right? The spirit is willing, the body is weak yet the heart enduring.
So is my view on love.
And yours, as I heard, is quite budding compared to mine.
Or am I mistaken? -- must I digest some more detail, my friend?
In this fast paced every-man-for-himself world where people change relationships like neon signs on the road, it gives me a sense of comfort and security to hold on to the things that I hope and believe in; that I haven’t betrayed an old part of me — or something like that.
Better underestimated than overestimated, yes; for you should always keep your cards, your aces. Even in my idealisms, I always keep my guard up, my defenses intact. I maybe a dreamer but I am no fool; for I know there is no greater pain than that of a broken heart. Fortitude they say brings out the best in a person. It's not what you bear but how you bear it. I admire how you managed to stay strong after a torn heart and a raped innocence. It takes a lot of courage and strength to have faith again on something that caused you pain. Kudos.
Kandirits, fireworks… it comes with the thrill of young early love. But what happens when the knees get tired, or when the light display is nothing but smoke? A sore knee or a blind eye I hope not, for I believe that when two people who are in love, they would be generating their own fireworks; living their shared lives in skips and hops. Call me idealistic, but yeah, I do believe in it.
My view on love is budding as compared to yours? Maybe. I guess so. You might have taken the advanced course on love and relationship already as I am yet to finish a semester (only a person of vast experience can use the word sacrifice. I still can’t). I try not to think about love, for love is really something you don’t think of. I guess it just comes to you, like a key lime pie smacked at your unsuspecting face.
But I am guilty of thinking of it sometimes — at night in bed mostly. You just can’t ignore those thoughts of love as it visits your window. Some people see it as a nuisance. I see it as a treat.
I was so much younger then when I wrote this. Looking back, I see that it was not just my view on love that I was trying to convey, but also the unwavering hope inside of me that I know I share with practically everyone. The hope that someday we will fall in love; to find the right, if not the perfect partner to love us and to love them in return for as long as we live. That after the love stories we’ve shared, the romantic movies we saw, and the fantasies we’ve conjured every night before going to bed alone, we hope that one day love will happen to us. That one day love will happen to me. And it did.
Three months after writing this piece, I met the love of my life, and I learned a lot about love --- things that I never even imagined when I was younger. The love I had taught me about how it is to give without asking in return, and what it feels to receive without duty to give back. That whatever rut you are in, love certainly will save you and comfort you and assure you that everything is ok, that you will be ok.
I learned to be selfless through compromise while keeping in mind to not lose myself in the process. I learned that love indeed is never selfish and never proud. And yes, true love comes when the element of sacrifice is executed for the other, and not feel an ounce of resentment or regret. I loved truly and deeply. I loved with all my heart, and it was wonderful.
It’s been almost two years now since I’ve been single; and as I revisit this piece, the stage in my life that captured the hope and excitement of having to experience love for the first time; I can’t help but look back and realize how far I’ve come. Events in the past have lead me to reassess my beliefs and views about love and relationships. But regardless from where I was and where I am now, one thing is for certain: that the hope I had in me remains unyielded.
I can’t help but ask myself: “So V, what does happen now that the fireworks have ended, and there’s nothing left but smoke?”
I say, if you look past the smoke that often times tears up the eyes and suffocates the body, you will feel a sense of such overwhelming gratitude that you were blessed with a wonderful experience that only those who have loved and were loved back can know of. You are left nothing but aplenty of beautiful memories to remember, and that no one or nothing can take it away from you. You have learned lessons that you can never gather out of books or movies or whatever references man has made or will ever make.
I know that the time will come that the smoke will completely clear up, but even if the view from where I stand now is slightly hazy, I know deep in my heart that the world is as bright and as hopeful as how I first wrote about it.
The Picture Says It All
6 hours ago