Friday, July 01, 2011

the end of an era

i met the pilot at the martian's birthday party in 2004.

at that time, i was dating this person, spike wasn't even a year old, and when the pilot mentioned that he was working for PAL, i mistakenly thought that he was a flight attendant. so sue me, he was that beautiful a specimen of a boy.

of course it didn't hurt that he drove a bmw. (a fact i discovered when i asked my brother if he could point out to me where in our village the pilot lived.)

in any case, he got my number and gave me his and we'd exchanged text messages every so often. for some reason, that semester, i had a lot of airline cases so i'd "innocently" text him something like, "hey, reading an airline case etc. etc." so he'd reply and we'd be texting until one of us had to go (him on a flight, me to sleep)

my best male bud died a day after my birthday. that weekend, i ended up hanging out with the pilot after i was too bummed over the fact that the person i was dating refused to go with me to my best bud's wake. and then the person i was dating ended up physically hurting me (that's a long, sad, icky part of my life that i refuse to think about up until now) so we broke up. a couple of days later, the pilot had to leave for vacation with his family in thailand (where his dad works) and all i had with me was the thought that maybe, just maybe, this beautiful specimen of a boy may one day fancy me.

we exchanged text messages. and i think there was a phone call thrown in. he came back the day of my PRIL exam. i can't remember how i managed to pass that subject, but i do remember how happy i was when the pilot handed me a wad of letters from the time he was in bangkok. old school love letters. that was new. and sweet. and kilig.

we got together on 3 april 2004. he went with me as my date to a good friend's wedding where i had to wear a horrid gown. after the wedding, i changed into a much nicer outfit and he took me to this place with a lovely view of the bay and asked me to be his girlfriend. it would've been stupid to say no, especially since he got the band to sing overjoyed, my favorite stevie wonder song.

everything was fabulous until february of the following year when for some reason, i couldn't count on him to be there. we broke up on easter sunday -- i remember he picked me and my brother up from the bus station and when we got home, we talked and he told me that he couldn't do it anymore. the week after would've been out first year anniversary; our anniversary would've been the same day that pope john paul II died (although it was still 2 april 2005 in rome) ... he took me out for dinner at gloria maris, gave me a tight hug, and brought me home.

the patrick i would meet over the intervening years was every bit the jerk everyone told me he was. he'd be fresh with me, demanding, weird, childish, impulsive. he'd want to come over and he'd steal my mint chocolates. he borrowed money from me -- money which should've gone towards my bar petition -- and never paid me back. he'd call me and ask me to draft letters for him, and he'd give my number to random people who'd call me for legal advice. i was incensed at this person who had the gall to think we'd be friends after he broke my heart.

we lost all contact eventually, and met up again one day when i spied him smoking at the corner of our street. he was every bit the good looking specimen of a boy i fell in love with, but he totally lost whatever charm he had. he was crass ... and he smoked a lot now. so not the boy i loved.

until one day, i had to text him to ask about his airline's free baggage allowance. and he replied and asked what flight i was taking so he could take it. all of a sudden, i was reminded of how it was when we were in our twenties and he'd attach "captain" to his name and "atty." to mine and it would be the representation of our dreams and future. he's now a captain, and i'm now a lawyer and sometimes i can't help but imagine what it would've been like had our paths not gone separate ways. wednesday night he dropped by and instead of his demanding, irritable, hateful self, he actually told me how he was resigning cause his only dream was to fly alongside his dad and that dream would be a reality soon. he also told me that he's already gotten his greencard and the plan was to eventually migrate to the US.

after he left, i realized it was so easy to hate him as an ex. it was so "normal" to put him down because he borrowed money and never paid me back. but wednesday night i saw a glimpse of the boy i fell in love with 7 years ago - the boy who wrote me cards and drove to UP when i was too tired to go home for the weekend; the boy who gave me spam so i'd never go hungry in the dorm, saved up bottles of coins for me so we could talk using the payphone at night (no unlicalls yet!), the boy who called me at work every morning to say how much he loved me. i don't exactly know why that boy turned into a monster in the intervening years, but the boy that visited me wednesday night, well, that was the boy who had my heart for 51 weeks (and probably a couple more of weeks after that, except i didn't have his anymore, haha!) and it's hateful that this time around, i can't even begin to hate him.

the old pat's back ... and he's leaving for good.

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