if i look back 15 years ago, i'd probably see nothing but heartache and pain.
probably, but not quite.
you see, 15 years ago, August 4, 1991... i said yes to a guy whom i am now married and have 3 wonderful kids with.
he was a neighbor that i had a crush on since i was in grade school... he's good-looking kasi. he was lanky, but with nice eyes and nose... hay... everytime i see him, i'd melt.
i remember he had a girlfriend then... i guess they were inseparable since elementary days in school... she was a childhood sweetheart. they were on for 4 years, that i know of.
when i was in high school, i had my fair share of suitors... one of which was also a childhood buddy and was not bad-looking but i only had strong feelings for him more of a brother than that of something else. though, i might have said yes to him if i would've wanted. pickings were few, since i wasn't the type that suitors will pile up at the door and bring flowers to.
my world was this street since i was born. my time, there was no Glorietta 4 to go to... no discos and parties that i was interested on... no celfones and texting... it was boring.
Nald and I became phonepals... that was how it started. My friends knew his phone number and as a group, we began calling him... then, we started getting to know each other, and he'd call me everyday. Not really talking. Not really saying something worthwhile. Just being there for each other.
I had a boyfriend then... he was my sister-in-law's brother and he didn't have a future.. didn't even finish school, a mechanic of all sorts... now, he's in maintenance in a hospital with a live-in partner with kids. i wish him well.
Nald had Clarissa, his girlfriend, but they were on a cool-off period at that time, I believe. It was a long period of getting calls and saying pleasantries... months of it, i guess. I felt I was already falling for the guy and started to lay-off him for a while, telling my mom to say that I was already asleep...
My brother who was a friend of his talked to him that time and asked him his intentions since they saw a change in me already... that they think i'm falling in love with him. He told me this once.
One day, I just had the courage to split up with my boyfriend... I cried, of course... I also felt love for this guy.
The next day, Nald called me up crying. Clarissa has broken up with her. He was heartbroken... truly hurt... that was when I knew that he loved her still and that i was merely someone he wanted to talk to... a friend.
Though i hurt seeing him hurting and crying to me, i put up a strong front... i even talked to his girlfriend who already guessed i have feelings for him and she was the one who told me that Nald is a good man, and we could be good for each other. Clarissa and I were even going to the same school then during college. I couldn't stand it, so I dropped out of school.
I enrolled in STI Taft for computer courses for a year. That was when Nald started approaching me differently. He was going to a nursing school. He asked for one date where we ate at SM foodcourt and he bought a book.
He told me his feelings on the fone when i was in my cousin's house. And I said yes. I didn't hesitate. After that I felt stupid. I thought, i should've asked for more time... that was the proper thing for a girl to do... but I didn't. Stupid.
Heart over mind.
So, that was what happened. I had a boyfriend again. We started going out. He'd visit me and wait for me after school.. We'd talk on the fone... my parents knew about this after a week or two... it was fine... he can openly and freely come to the house to visit.
Every month, he'd cook for my family during our anniversary. We came to know different kinds of food coz he likes to cook really. We were happy and sad together.
We fight almost everyday but we can't keep away from each other... We always patch things up before the day ends. I always give him notes and little things...
When I finally enrolled in Letran, he had to transfer there coz they found something in his heart that he can't continue studying nursing in school. He took the same course. We were classmates. My world revolved around him. Literally. We do everything together. We cannot be seen without the other.
Problems started to arise. Women on the loose. We fought like husband and wife. We started to lose our respect for one another. I was blinded by my love for him that I didn't see that he was fooling around. Our classmates knew of this, and I didn't.
It was my brother's birthday when everything changed. I found out I was pregnant. I went home early and bought a kit. He called me from school and he went home after I told him.. We thought of everything, even abortion. He even went to a classmate who knew of where to go... When he came home to tell me not to do it, I already made a decision not to. It was like i felt cold water being thrown at me and waking me up... telling me, it's a baby. Your baby.
We told his mom first. Then we had a check-up. It was positive. I really was pregnant. We told Dad who laughed at me. I told mom the next day... She didn't look at me.. She didn't slap me... She didn't talk to me for a week.
Nald talked to him telling her that he would marry me, and my mom told him... kung libog lang yan, wag mo ng pakasalanan anak ko. kaya kong buhayin yan pati magiging anak niyo.
He cried and told my mom that he loves me and will take full responsibility for our actions.
The wedding was prepared. We married at Malate Church on April 18, 1995. Nald even wept. I said some blunders on the altar. I even told him, don't cry... isipin naman nila pinikot kita... sabi niya, kasi ngayon ko lang nakita Daddy mo na naiyak... and my dad was indeed crying.
We stayed in their house for a while. but everyday, i'd still go home to my mom... i couldn't stand it there. I'd just go home when Nald is home.. We continued our studies since it was our last year... we were graduating... i went to school pregnant. I just took a leave when i gave birth, just in time for sembreak. I even graduated with Academic Distinction, if it weren't for the line of 7 i got in Taxation, i would've graduated Cum Laude.
I had Anea on October 18, 1995... i had a difficult delivery coz she wouldn't want to come out... i was induced for 2 days to no avail... i had an xray, and they saw that my pelvic bones wouldn't budge... so i was on Cesarian operation. i gave birth in a public hospital near our house in a ward. That time, you wouldn't imagine how filthy and dirty everything was... but i endured.
Nald took care of me... and our baby... i stayed in my mom's house.
There was a lot that happened after that. A lot of heartaches... I do not recall everything, or I just choose not to remember anymore. They involve women, and everything in between... There were issues of irresponsibilities and attitude and physical abuse.
The one time that really struck me was Marika... i even met her, even talked to her and almost begged her to stop seeing Nald. Nald has loved her and wanted to leave me for her. I tried winning him back for 2 months and then I gave up. I started going out, meeting new people. I guess he noticed this and realized that I could do the things he was also doing and he came back... I wouldn't want to but my father got in the way.
Everytime we would fight a major fight and get back together, we'd have a baby. Dale (December 17, 1998) and Tony (January 17, 2001) were the fruits of my prayers that ah... He's gonna change coz God is giving me this baby... You see, we didn't have any birth control that really stuck with us for good... i was on the pill sometimes, but didn't get pregnant.
i even thought that maybe Dale's condition can tighten our bonds together... but he's still in denial over my son's condition...
Change was elusive... i began thinking that maybe this was all my fault... i even doubted my abilities in bed. I thought, if i were just as experienced as all the women he was dating, maybe I could satisfy him better.
I don't know what happened to us... it was just blurs of the past.
We even tried living in an apartment together... but we fought again... and this time, I was physically hurt. I had to leave the house.
We got back together, but not living together... I stayed in my parent's house and he stayed in the apartment... he's there until now. He'd just come here from time to time... check on the kids and me, sometimes sleep over...
That's the set-up until now... it's more than 2 years now since i left the apartment...
He's starting to change, i know... I can see the changes now... it might've taken him 15 years to realize it... it might've taken this disease to make him see... he's now cautious of how i feel... he's now becoming more responsible, not only to his kids but to me in his own little way.
I am not going to say that everything was his fault. Every relationship requires two people. I had a lot of mistakes along the way... in a way, i have gotten 'revenge' over what he did to me... though 'revenge' is not the right word for them.
I am not sure if this relationship will endure... that our first promise of 'four-ever' will ever be that.
I am sure of one thing, though. Not everything is about us. There are 3 wonderful kids in between that's holding us together, whatever other people say, our kids come first, and us last. That's how it will always be.
There were a lot of lessons learned. But as everyone now knows, it's stupid to get married for all the wrong reasons... but finding out good reasons to stay together is much better.
It is not important to dwell in the past now... but look into the future... even if it meant you wasted 15 years of your time getting ready for a new start.
Life is an adventure. Death is another one.
I think my life has yet to start.
he's cooking dinner for the whole family on August 4.