And now we can’t have it.

I am writing this as an unedited piece. No back-reading to check for grammar. To check for inconsistencies.

I was doing okay today. I told myself I won’t doing work—but hey, I still did, but only for a couple of hours—and that I’d just have some “me” time. The Phoenix Suns lost this morning, and I texted a friend who was always there around NBA Playoffs and is a source of occasional kilig.

And then my life drastically changed around 9PM.

I don’t know if I should be happy that I knew about it, or that it was one of the most honest conversations I’ve had ever since with him. It started as an innocent kamustahan, and then he just popped the news to me that he got his girlfriend pregnant. And then he said they don’t have plans to get married yet, coz he still doesn’t know what to do. Biglaan lang daw lahat.

And then we were moving along with the conversation when he asked me: “anong nararamdaman mo?”

I used to love this guy. He was my best friend. He brought out the good in me and I think I also do the same for him. He used to give me all the stuff that I liked. I still have the bracelet he gave me and the necklace and the teddy bear. And I still have the calculator with the words “I love you, Chie” at the back (we used to call each other Chie). And the wrappers of the first ever Jollibee meal he had ever bought me and the pack of the three Oreos that he’d given me. I used to have the stories and the poems that I’ve written because of him, and he was my biggest fan—always encouraging, always supportive.

But back then I thought it was all one-sided. I love him. And when I told him that he moved away. We were best friends. It was one of the cardinal rules of a guy-girl friendship that you shouldn’t fall the other, but I had always, always broken that rule. He stayed away, two weeks I remember. He said he doesn’t deserve the love I’m giving him—which was at that time a valid reason and I didn’t see it as bullshit.

And then we were okay. Made okay by a Mister Donut Twist.

And I loved him. Continued to love him after that. Even though I know he won’t love me back. Even though I know I was just a little sister to him.

But tonight… all I could do was ask why. Why do I have to know it after you told me you got your girlfriend pregnant? Why do we have to have this conversation five years later (actually it’s seven)… when everything is just too late? Why do we have to know this when we can’t do anything about it? When there is nothing we can do anymore to change things?

So you asked me how I felt about you getting her pregnant. I told you it was shocking, and then you said that doesn’t answer it.

And I asked you: “Ano bang gusto mong marinig?”

And then you said: “Ano bang gusto mong marinig ko?”

And then I told you: It is shocking. And painful.

And then you asked: “Why is it painful?”

I told you I couldn’t explain it. And then you said: “May feelings ka pa rin bas a akin?”

I literally cussed. Here you are, fishing. You want to feel good about yourself again.

I told you we need not go back there, coz things won’t change. And then I just… ate my words afterwards.

But I still told you that I love you. It’s the kind of love that won’t go away because I loved you so much before. And then I said if I can ask you a question since we’re all for being honest. You said you wanted honest.

And then… I asked you if you cared for me in the way that I did before for you. If you loved me.

And you said: “Oo naman. You’ll always be special here in my heart.”

And then I go: “Nung tinanong mo ako kung pwede mo akong ligawan, practice lang talaga yun.”

It wasn’t even a question. I was preparing myself for you to say that yes, it was just a practice run because the next day, you had a new girlfriend.

I remember this. Really clear. You and I were at the school bus and you asked me, looking straight into my eyes: “PWEDE BA KITANG LIGAWAN?” And I was just so lost in your eyes and in my thoughts that I lost all words. And then I took a deep breath, was about to say yes, when you said: “practice lang.”

I remember not talking to you for two weeks.

“HINDI. Totoo yun.”

And all I could do was cuss, aloud, and say: “Bakit mo binawi?”

“Nawalan ako ng lakas ng loob.”

And then I replied: “I was about to say yes the moment you said ‘practice lang.’”

And then you didn’t reply anymore.

Part of me is wondering if you’re cussing on your side of the Philippines just like I am right now. It’s a big WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN for both of us. And now we can’t do anything about it. You telling me how you feel from way back and me telling you that her pregnant right now is just painful won’t change the fact that we missed out on our chance, and we might not have it again.

It was there. Already. SO CLOSE. And yet you just… threw it away.

What were you so scared about? You knew I loved you. You knew I’d do anything. Was it because you’re scared that if we took that chance, we might end up hurting each other and losing what we have at that time?

And now we can’t have it.

And I am just plainly amused at how an hour-long text exchange and how you being far away from me is able to just break my heart again.

I was thinking about telling you that I’m happy for you that you’re about to have a family, but then again I know it would come off as something plastic, since I told you it hurt me. I don’t know what you plan to do. If you mean to marry her or if you just plan to raise the kid with her.

And I don’t know if I still want to see you this October. I know I owe you lunch or whatever, but I just can’t do October. I just can’t… see you after this. For I know when I see you, I’d think about this conversation that we had on May 30. The day you told me that hey, you used to love me too, at that time when I love you also.

And the day that the world just slapped me on the face to tell me that you and I… couldn’t be together anymore.

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