Monday, October 10, 2011

The Way We Were


Note: Please play the video at the end before reading the story.

The moment Albert stepped inside the club, people stopped and stared. Guys paused midway their conversations, their whirling, dancing, drinking and crotch grabbing to steal casual glances at him. And then slowly look at me.

Why, you might ask. Because I was leading him by the hand which was, I suppose, a not so subtle way of saying "Back off ladies, the boy is mine." Except ... he wasn't really mine.

It was Albert's first time in the club. Which meant he was a fresh face.

"Don't you just love fresh meat?" I said.

"I know," Arlan replied. "They're just so … "

"Fresh?" I said, and we both laughed.

Albert and I dated a few years ago. We haven't seen each other in a while but we kept in touch through the years. He and his boyfriend had a huge fight and that was why he was out tonight.

"Actually Kane, andoon kasi boyfriend ko. Inaway niya ako para makalabas siya (my boyfriend's there. We had a fight just so he could go out)," Albert told me. He was hesitating to join us.

"Come on. You don't have to worry. Hindi naman kita pababayaan. (I'll take care of you)."

After a while, the inevitable happened. They saw each other and froze. When Albert introduced us, I could see the boyfriend was taken aback that Albert was out, and more importantly, that his boyfriend was out with us.

"I bet your boyfriend was shocked to see you earlier," I said. We were at home with my friends who decided to continue the party, and Albert opted to join us.

"Yeah. Akala niya siya lang ang marunong (He thought only he could play the game)," he replied.

I plopped down beside him on the bed. Tell me about him, I commanded.

Albert and his boyfriend have been together for about a year. He had recently found out his lover was cheating on him.

"Did you confront him?" I asked.


"What did he say?"

"He said 'Ganito na talaga ako (This is how I am). Tanggapin mo na lang'."

I listened intently to Albert's stories. His voice was hushed, sad; can't stay, can't leave. Stuck. Fuck, he says. Why? He asks. Why am I not enough?

"Ikaw, kamusta ka (how are you)?" Albert asked.  "It seems like you're still the boy I first met," he said, giving me a crooked smile.

I shook my head. "Nahhh … I've gotten old Albert. I'm no longer the same boy."

"Do you still remember when we first met?" he suddenly asked.

Four years ago …

I was at a party hosted by a friend on a penthouse overlooking the glitzy city of Makati. I was out on the terrace, holding a glass of Merlot, admiring the skyline when I turned and bumped into a stranger. I spilled my drink and some of its contents were now causing stains on the guy's jeans

"Oh fuck. I'm sorry, pasensya," I said, embarrassed at my clumsiness.

"It's okay," he said. I looked up and saw that, the stranger was well, cute.

He had an accent which marked him as someone not from Manila. It was adorable. We found out we both actually hailed from the same province; that he had arrived in the city only recently. He and his friends were about to leave when he suddenly whispered text me, and surreptitiously gave me his number.

Present …

"I still remember ...  diba diyan tayo nag sex (wasn't that where we fucked)?" Albert said and suddenly, one by one pointed out certain spots in the room.

"Oh my God! Gago ka. You remember?" I said, astounded.

"Nakakainis ka nga eh," I said. "You didn't even suck me then."

"Hayaan mo na," he said. "Alam mo naman, bago pa lang ako noon and marami pang issues. (You know I was just new then in the scene and still had a lot of issues.)"

"But if you want … you can fuck me now," Albert added.

"Whaaaaat? Tang-ina mo. Gago ka. (You fucking piece of shit.) You wouldn't even put my dick in your mouth before and now you let guys fuck you. Nakakainis ka!"

I pretended to be miffed. "Come on, don't be upset na," he said. "Let's set a date so you can fuck me."

"You never got to keep your promise. You told me I'd be the first," I told him. Once, in the middle of our cuddling, he promised me I would be his first. But not all promises are kept.

"I know Kane. Some things just happen."

After a while, he bid me goodbye. I walked him out the door.

"Uy, salamat ha. (Hey, thanks a lot.) It was really good to see you again," he said.

I took his hand and squeezed it.

"You know … I really did like you," I slowly said, and smiled wistfully. He looked at me and nodded.

"I really did like you too," Albert answered in a quiet voice. "Perhaps, if we had met at a different time … "

So there we were. The years have passed but our pasts continue to haunt us. We were young, eager lads; now one's an unhappy husband, the other a gallivanting man around town. It seems the love we were looking for had somehow eluded us and all that we have right now is this tender thing; a memory of who we used to be ... and perhaps it is enough.

I hugged him tightly. "Goodbye, Albert," I whispered. He turned to leave. I stared at his back until his image slowly faded away.



Nate said...

@Kane: bittersweet, huh? --- It seems the love we were looking for had somehow eluded as and all that we have right now is this tender thing, a memory of who we used to be ... and perhaps it is enough.

gillboard said...


rudeboy said...

"Why am I not enough?"

I asked myself this question the first time I discovered my first lover cheating on me, many many moons ago.

I discovered the answer over time, and, like you and your Albert, became a changed man for it.

You will never be enough.

He will never be enough.

No one will ever be enough.

That is our curse, and our challenge.

citybuoy said...

Cheesy as it may sound, I guess it's possible for you to have the right love at the wrong time. And if you keep persisting towards it, you'll only hurt each other.

It's crazy to have moments like this and realize how different you've become. Sana pwedeng ibalik ang pagiging inosente no?

citybuoy said...

Oh and I love the little song at the end. Sia can do now wrong. Sia wil save the world. lol

Mugen said...

Why am I not enough,

The bigger question is, if some men can stick it out despite the overwhelming temptation, why others can't?

Désolé Boy said...

In all the seriousness of this I have this childish question that I know I won't rest 'till I voice out:

Was it really possible to get fucked in the ass and actually enjoy it? Confused and curious, that's how I am.
Anyway, who would want to be that same person as they are before? That's why we'll never be enough. And somehow, the reality of it makes me sad.

Jerro Santos said...

Lagi namang ganyan ang drama. Magkikita kayo't muling aalala. Pero ang lahat ay huli na. Har har har. :[

V1nC3 said...

ooppss sorry.. ulit..


The insecure ones tend to do this a lot - cheat. Somehow they have this urge to validate that they're still hot, still desirable, etc. Sometimes, someone nice comes along who can make players stop playing. It maybe too idealistic, pero baka naman kasi meron (following the virtue of 'The Secret').

Pero interesting questions from the people here. Could be a goood topic sa inuman. Hahaha.

Spiral Prince said...

Haaaaay. I fell in love with the song when I first heard it a few months back, K. It still has that magic.

Albert pretty much sums it all: some things just happen, in love and in life.

SilverwingX said...

you know this is a painful read for me but I can't stop myself from finishing the whole entry. I guess people like us are really masochist in nature... or maybe it's just me.

R. Burnett Baker said...

Perhaps if we'd met at a different time, indeed... and yet...

This story really reminded me of the song "Taxi" by the late Harry Chapin. Don't know why, but that "different time" is the story of his song.

And sometimes our own songs...


R. Burnett Baker said...

Oh.... here's a link:

eon said...

maybe it's just L.A.'s desolation but I did shed a tear after reading this.

♥N said...

Tender, sweet and bitter... memories of a love that could have been, but never really was.

Perhaps it is enough.

Dan said...

breathe me... I remembered the Forbidden Love Scene of olli and Christian... hahaha

Hey Kane.. lately the boys you've written about are either from an unfinished past or a could've been... You don't like the word closure don't you...

^_^ nice post...