"You wrote letters that you never sent
I made promises I’ll always deny
Now we’ll never know what the other meant."
---Norah Jones, "Young Blood"
It was a cold, rainy night. Manila was drenched and the streets had quieted down as midnight approached.
I was listening to old Pinoy bands that were popular in the 90s; Introvoys and Neocolors. The music brought back memories, as they usually do on nights like these. The smell of a dormitory, the silence of a Sunday, old faces.
Suddenly, a window opened in my Yahoo messenger. I didn't recognize the sender.
"Hey, who is this?" I replied.
His name was Jay. We had chatted before apparently though I don't remember when. Jay lived near the area. We traded photos and then he asked me if I wanted to hook-up.
"But bro, I want to set things clear from the start," Jay told me.
"I have a boyfriend. This is just a one-time fun. I don't want any trouble."
"Ahhhhhh. So you have a boyfriend."
Ever since my ex cheated on me, I made a promise to myself that I will not sleep with anyone who is in a monogamous relationship.
"Why is that?" Rudeboy asked me.
"I guess I know how it feels like to be the other guy. And how painful it is."
"Ahhhh. We all have been there, I think."
We were quiet for awhile. If I allow myself to, I can still remember the shock of that knowledge, to discover that your lover cheated on you.
"So, what did you decide?" Rudeboy asked.
"Well… it was a cold, rainy night," I said.
Timing, really, is everything. If he had messaged me on another night, if he didn't live so close, if the night wasn't so cold it made me yearn for a human touch.
"Hayy Rudie, I guess boys will be boys."
"Well, as I always say, all men are pigs."
"Hahaha. And gay men?"
"They're worse. They're swine."
"And married gay men?"
"The worst. Hogs, every one of them."
Jay was quiet, tense. His excitement was palpable, like a little boy who knows this is forbidden.
Does he feel guilty, I wonder? Does he think of his lover when we kiss? Perhaps it was because it was illicit that made the sex so good. His hands and mouth were hungry, forceful. We all crave the forbidden fruit.
"How long have you been together?" I asked him afterwards. We were both spent.
"34 months. You won't understand Kane," he said, trying to explain himself. "It doesn't mean that I don't love him, that I am not happy with him. I am... but we're men."
All men are pigs.
Can there be love without truthfulness? Sometimes I wonder if what we had, no matter how fleeting and meaningless, was more real than his love for his boyfriend. Where does love end and betrayal begin?
"Do you think he does this too?" I asked Jay.
"I don't know. I don't really think about it. And I don't do this often, just… once in a while."
He stood up, and prepared to go.
"So, I guess, see you whenever," I said and smiled.
"Yeah. I'll text you."
But we both know that wasn't true.
DISCLAIMER: Although some things were borne out of the writer's imagination, certain events did transpire and any resemblance to actual events, people, places can exist.
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