It was June, the start of classes. I was alone in the boarding house,eating while watching tv, when a group of guys came marching from the entrance door going upstairs. I didnt know we had new housemates. Maybe they came during the summer break, while I was at my province enjoying my couple of months vacation. Later that night I learned from my roommates that they were mechanical engineering graduates from Aklan and was enrolled at a review center near our boarding house. There were 7 of them; 6 guys and 1 girl, but the girl was staying at the boys room since she’s already comfortable with them. She’s married by the way, with 1 son and 1 of the boys is her brother.Since I was a shy type especially to boys, I didn’t had the chance to introduce myself to them. I didn’t even know their names, while my roommates are already good friends with them. I didn’t mind though since it was the least of my concern at that time.
Then one afternoon while walking to the house from school, I received a text message. I do not usually reply to unknown numbers but something inside told me to ask who it was. So I asked for his/her name and the reply was a weird name that I did not comprehend at first. Nayr. Wtf was that? Then I remembered overhearing my roommates’ conversation and a name was mentioned. Ryan. So I asked if it was him and he confirmed. We exchanged few more text messages. He said he was curious about me because of all the people in the house, I was the only one they were not able to converse with. He said I looked shy and silent that he wanted to get to know me. Long story short, we became friends at my roommates surprise.
We were constant textmates. From the moment we woke up, until going to bed. We both are busy during the days; me on my classes while him on his review. But even so, we would always find time to exchange text messages. After my classes, I would stay long hours on my bed with my books. As well as him. But at exactly 9:00pm, he would take a break and would ask me to go to the terrace so we can talk privately. The first time he asked me was very awkward. We really never had a chance to talk, more so in private. Im not used to being alone with a guy. But it went well. We got along so fast that our ‘terrace moments’ became frequent, almost every night. I would usually sneak out of my room going to the terrace, making sure no one sees me. But ofcourse, a secret can never be hidden forever. Sooner, our housemates learned of our little secret that they started teasing us. It was really awkward that I almost stopped seeing him. But how can I when we were both living at the same roof?
We became an item in the eyes of the people around us. They thought we were already dating and would not believe me even if I deny it.
Days, weeks, months went on and our bond becomes stronger that I started falling for him. I would always need to remind myself that a complication was not welcome at that time. I could not allow myself to be distracted by him. I had bigger priorities. But that feeling kept on growing inside me and it became so hard to fight. I have consulted my bestfriend about it. She became happy to my dismay upon hearing that finally some guy was able to mess with my head. She said I should not fight what I feel. I should let it flow. My heart agrees but my mind wont. There was a constant battle inside me and I was losing it.
He was the best guy I’ve ever known. The most gentle and caring one. He would wake me up every morning by ringing my phone to make sure I wont be late for my classes. He would bring foods during our 9:00pm dates so I could eat to replenish my lost energy in studying. One night there was a blackout in our area and I was still in school, he picked me up so I wont be walking alone in the dark. Then I joined a fun run that would start at 4:00am, he voluntered to wake me up at 3:00am and escorted me to the meeting area. He was very thoughtful in every way that it became harder for me to neglect my feelings.
Then it came. The night he asked me for an official date. We went to the mall to eat and watch a movie. I can never forget that night. For on that moment I felt really special. We were having a good time in the movie theater when he popped the question. “Will you be my girlfriend?” He asked me in a whisper. Damn I froze right there and then. I didnt know how to react. My heartbeat was racing and I could hardly breathe. My heart was excitedly saying “Yes! Yes!” But my brain was screaming with a “NOOOO!!!” I was confused. He asked me one more time and I paused for the longest time. When I thought I am finally decided and was about to say ‘yes’, the word that came out of my mouth was a ‘no’. Idiot! I told myself that. He asked me why and I explained in almost a whisper that I have priorities and having a boyfriend is not yet one of them. I could not remember how that night ended. But the following day, we were back to how we used to be. We both know we were more than just friends but we’re not together.
His review was almost over and the board exam was fast approaching. I was sad because I will not be with him when the result would come out. I will be in the province for the semestral break. He passed the licensure exam and the next thing I knew we were saying our goodbyes. Our time was over.
Though we were far from each other, our communication remained. It survived for another couple of years. How? I did not know. He was already working in Manila when finally we had a chance to meet again. I was graduating and our class had a tour to several places in luzon. When he learned that I would be in Makati for a couple of days, he arranged for us to meet. It was very brief though because we were not allowed to leave the hotel premises and I would need to meet another friend.
That was my last memory of him. I stopped hearing from him even on my birthdays. It was sad but life must go on. The next thing I knew, he married someone from his town and had a child. I cried hard on that news. We never became together but i knew we could have been, if only I was not that scared.
Sometimes I would ask myself, what could have happened if I said ‘yes’? If I could turn back time, would it be worth it if I would answer him differently? Maybe yes, maybe not. But one thing is for sure, I am happy now. I would still look back. But no more regrets.
That’s life. We have to choose on what we believe is really best for us. But choosing becomes harder when both choices are the ‘best’. So you have to really choose wisely and choose the bestest among the best (if that makes sense:)), and be happy with the choices we made.