Tuesday, October 05, 2010



I was drinking at a bar when I met Michael. We were introduced by a common friend and we started chatting after we both found out we grew up at the same hometown.

"So, how long have you been in Manila?" I asked him.

"A couple of years," he said, taking a swig at his bottle.

"So how is it so far?"

"It's great," he replied, grinning. "There are a lot more good looking men in Manila as compared to the province."

Michael was about 25, then. He was young, beautiful, eager to see the city, with its bright brimming lights and dream filled streets.

"Here, there's more variety," he said, gesturing at a couple of muscular men dancing at the ledge.

"Hahaha. A collector, I see. And whose turn is it tonight?"

"It's your turn," he answered, looking straight into my eyes.

Ahhhh… this boy likes the game, I said to myself.

"What makes you think I'll go with you?" I told him.

"What makes you think you won't?"

I found him unnerving and exciting at the same time. I rarely meet a man who could outmatch me.

"Come," he said and pulled me to the dance floor.

The next day, we woke up at around noon. I was about to leave but he insisted we get something to eat at a nearby fastfood.

"Were you always like this? When you were in Davao, were you sleeping around?"

"Oh no," he said seriously. "I had a boyfriend there."

"So what happened to him?"

"He still writes to me. But I never open his letters."

"Why not?" I asked Michael.

"I don't have time for him. But he doesn't understand that. I wish he would stop sending me gifts."

"What doesn't he understand?"

"That things change. He thinks in terms of forever. He doesn't understand why I can't keep the promises I made to him, years ago."

"Promises of eternal love."

"Who hasn't made promises like that? But nobody really keeps them. We all talk a lot, being in love makes you say things you thought you meant. I did mean those things back then. But I was young, we both were and you think you know the future. He still thinks I am his, forever."

"Perhaps he will learn in time."

"I don't think so. You don't know him. As far as he is concerned, I will always be his... always."

Michael said the last word in a way that indicated he knew that word was not his, but his boyfriend's, which he denied everyday by his actions, by not opening his letters and gifts, by placing a distance between each other.

There are people who know exactly what they want; and their will is much stronger than those who don't know what they want, or know only what they don't want. There are forces we can escape, and then there are those that are infinitely patient and determined, and love is one of them.

I thought of Michael's boyfriend, waiting for his lover to come back. I once was that boy, I remember.

I would see Michael once in while, we would go out for a drink or see each other in clubs. He got into several messy relationships and break-ups, including one that led to the loss of his job at a hotel and another that led to drug abuse. He began to lose his youthful looks, and took on the air of a man who has fallen on hard times. He soon disappeared from the scene and later on, I learned he migrated to Singapore for work.

Years later, I saw him in Orchard at a coffee shop with a guy.

"Hey Michael!" I shouted.

"Kane! What a surprise!"

"It's so good to see you," I said. "How have you been?"

"I'm good, good. Here, let me introduce you to someone."

"Kane, this is my boyfriend, Ryan. He's also from Davao," he explained to me, smiling.

"It's nice meeting you," Ryan said, shaking my hand and smiling shyly.

Ryan was nothing special compared to the boys in the clubs we used to frequent. But there was something about him, an air that was at once reserved and determined.

"We got back together," Michael whispered to me. "I guess he was right, after all. That I was always his."


wanderingcommuter said...

sweeet... hihihi

drew said...

I want some of that determinism shit.

kaloy said...

I'm a Ryan-type-of-guy... Weeeeee... You see, we Ryans are persistent and we know who to be persistent with... But at the back of my mind, I can't help but think sometimes that was it merely for persistence that someone stays - we yearn, after all, for that sense of consistency when we're done with playing all sorts of games...

MANDAYA MOORE: Ang bayot sa bukid said...

it could be that michael opened ryan's gifts, read his letters. worse, he ran out of choices.

Ronnie said...

Awwww. ang sweet. :)

Guyrony said...

The innocence of youth never seems to stop to amaze us.

The positive thoughts, optimisms, determination, perseverance, hopefulness, holding to what's dear to us.

Truly, truly amazing.

Until when we learn that the world wasn't sugar-coated in the first place after all.

Nimmy said...

OMG! kilig to the bones.


Anonymous said...

at first i was like: "oh, so sad."

and then when it ended, i was like: "awwww."

i guess it's true that if it's not a happy ending, maybe it's not the end, just yet. :)

engel said...

and how many percent of this is fiction, kane? :P

Momel said...

I've read this post before the update, and I honestly didn't know what to make of it. How much of it is true? If it is fiction, then we know that holds true because the characters dished out the following lines:

"He thinks in terms of forever."

"Promises of eternal love."

Now it will be all the more believable if we had Kristy Fermin and her big bag of matalinhagang hanashi in the title role, but no. Meanwhile, I like the construction, simply because it's there. That made it easy to follow; you can say it was easy to create a mental picture. We knew what happened. But the characters could use some salt.

Cheers Kane!

Désolé Boy said...

Hello Kane. I am Ryan II.
sometimes i wanna lose this innocence, so i could become Michael
but see that! there's always a promise for all the Ryans out there for no one knows what happens next

rudeboy said...

Many people seek their ever-afters. Some end up with nevermores.


That's an awfully long time.

Aris said...

short and sweet. reaffirms what i believe in. :)

Madame DeFarge said...

There's sometimes a person that we can never shake off and never forget, no matter how much we do to forget them or how many people pass through our lives. I'm glad that it worked out for both of them.

Jeanie Black Page said...

I so enjoy your style of writing!