Day Two: My first heartbreak.
Friends, especially internet friends, who knew me for a long time might remember that I used to be in love with a girl.
The early days of my Livejournal occasionally mentioned her, those times when we used to hang out together. I referred to her as Davaogirl.
I had a crush on her in high school which I carried well into college. I was a torpe kid who wouldn’t know how to act towards the person I was attracted to. She was a friendly, outgoing girl who (I think) enjoyed hanging out with me.
We never dated. She might have known I had a crush on her but she never hinted if she knew. Or she might have, but I was too dense to notice. Even then, I was always too preoccupied with myself to pay much attention to other people. I might be more in love with the idea of pining for her rather than her itself.
She moved out of Manila come college, eventually enrolling in UP Mindanao (hence the name I gave her). We used to write letters to each. Letters! I used to draw little figures on some of the envelopes where I placed my letters in. Men, and sometimes women, with wings or balloons or wrapped up in vines. I knew she had a boyfriend in Davao, but they separated soon after she returned to Manila.
After she finished school, we saw each other again. Friendly, as usual. We would often meet with friends; we, in our twenties, and most were still single. Those nights with friends usually were spent drinking at Davaogirl’s place until we were wasted by morning. Despite the proximity, nothing sexual ever happened to most of us. Oh, some of us would quietly make out with each other, trying (but not trying that much) to pretend to the others that nothing was happening.
Davaogirl and I didn’t get involved with anyone; not her and me, and not each one of us with other people. And still, I carried a torch for her. It’s an attitude that will define my future relationships: I would end up making up for wasted chances and hooking up with lots of people.
Oh. And I tend to remain very fond of old lovers, even after the relationship has ended and both of us have moved on. Most of the time.
Thinking about it now, I was a creepy, pathetic guy. Some things never change.
Eventually, one of our classmates started dating her. He’s cute and they looked good together. They eventually married.
At some point there, I was heartbroken, my first true one. But looking back at it now, I don’t remember when it happened. Was it during the first time I saw them together and realized that they were a couple? Was it when I found out that she was seeing this guy and I didn’t know about it? Was it when I finally saw their wedding invitation? (Surely, it came before that.)
Or maybe it was not fixed on one moment. Heartbreak can be like the gradual ebbing of the tides: Look back after a while and you’ll see the shore was wider than what you remembered. The beach exposed the accumulated hurt you didn’t know you had.
I never loved another woman again.
Photo of the UP Mindanao Oblation was taken by Julienne of Nephithyrion.