Fall Ep. 29

Today has been momentous for me for more reasons than one.

It also helps that I haven’t talked to Miguel in the past two weeks.

And then you ask: how is that possible when we live in the same house and go to the same office?

It is possible, I tell you, when Miguel had gone back to the workaholic that he was before he and I were together. Maybe I pushed him to do that when I turned down his “proposal” (in quotes for the time-being, for reasons that I told Gabe—and I was serious… no ring?), or maybe it’s just really this time of the year when his projects would pound him, but I don’t want to second-guess. He goes home at midnight when I’m already asleep, and leaves even before I wake up.

The only good thing about that is that he remembers to cook breakfast for me before he leaves in the morning—if that is anything comforting.

At least he remembers I still exist as his housemate that he has to feed.

At the office, you can barely hold a decent conversation with him for (1) he is always on the phone; (2) he doesn’t answer my Pops; (3) he’s in a meeting or a client call; (4) he’s too buried in his computer that I have thought he had proposed marriage to it (and the PC accepted—what do you know); and (5) he doesn’t join the lunch table and eats at his desk.

This saddens me—absolute truth.

I got so used to him being around me all the time—okay, not all the time, but come on, we share the same bed and he is my boyfriend from what I recall.

Yeah. Boyfriend whose marriage proposal I had turned down—more like shut down.

He hasn’t asked me anything about my pregnancy, and the house that he had told me back in La Union was never mentioned again ever.

I am attributing everything to his busy schedule—not.

And when my “hell weeks” started to materialize as well, I barely noticed Miguel’s absence—until my babies reminded me that they still exist by kicking me hard. I wasn’t able to call Miguel this time—he left for a briefing—and I just had this empty, sinking feeling in my heart when I realized that Miguel’s somehow slipping away.

I had to corner him by waking up before he does just to talk to him.

“Miguel,” was the only word that came out of my mouth as I felt him sit up. He stretched his arms and then looked at me. “Wow, you’re up. Good morning, J,” he said, his voice indifferent, and tears stung my eyes. I missed Miguel’s voice, his touch… I missed Miguel.

“You’re leaving already?” I asked, my voice wavering. He pulled me closer to him and hugged me.

“Wow, what’s wrong?” he asked me back, kissing my hair. His voice did soften this time, and I guess he missed me too. I hoped he missed me too.

I let out a sob, and then replied, “I don’t know if you are aware, but you haven’t been around me for the past two weeks.” He released me from the hug and looked at me.

“How exactly? We live in the same house and work in the same office.”

My exact points.

“We don’t talk,” I said simply, and he sighed. “I’m just… busy,” was all he offered as an explanation.

“Miguel, I’m sorry about the La Union thing. If that’s what you’re trying to make me feel guilty about—”

Miguel smiled wearily. “JJ, I’m serious. I’m just plainly busy. It’s not about La Union, the marriage, or the house. I’m just swamped.”

I just nodded, and then he gave me one last kiss on the forehead before standing up and headed for the kitchen. I felt so frustrated at that point that the walls that held my tears just cracked. Okay, not cracked. The tears just pounded their way through the wall and destroyed it to bits. I headed to the bathroom to hide from Miguel just in case he sees me crying.

You know that scene in the movie when the actor—the actress, fine—cries under the shower, sprawled on the floor, real helpless?

I did my own reenactment, and tried to do it justice.

I was already sniffing, crying the last of my tears for this scene, when Miguel knocked on the door. “Breakfast is ready, JJ,” he said in a voice I measured as cold.

I have succeeded in making Miguel hate me.

I finished taking a bath and waited for him to take his turn while I fixed myself. I hoped he didn’t notice that my eyes were red from crying and my cheeks were flushed. I dressed up quickly—not in corporate attire as we were required to wear from Mondays to Thursdays, but in casual clothes.

I am not heading to office today.

I knew Miguel takes eons taking a bath—he’s one of them guys who’re vain and all that jazz, those guys who looks, smells, and tastes yummy, and they don’t do that without exerting effort—so I packed my breakfast (coz Miguel is a mean cook), took my things, sneaked a text message to Lorraine that I’m not heading for work, and went out the door without looking back.

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