“Ooops, sorry.” I mumbled when I suddenly step on a shoe on the crowded bus. I looked up and my breath hitched as I stared on a very familiar face that I knew not so long ago.
“Hi, Ley,” He smiled in a friendly way but I turned around, having the urge to punch that handsome face who seems too friendly for my taste. I swallowed a lump of emotion blocking my throat and chided myself for still being affected of him after all these years. All these years! Get a grip Leah! It’s been six years already! Get over him!
“Hmmmm, it’s been a long time. How are you, Ley?” He tried to ease the tension between us but I was too far gone in controlling my emotion that I opted to just ignore him or find myself blaming him from all the heartaches and miseries that I’ve experienced since he left me for another girl six years ago. I don’t want to give a spectacle in this crowded place, on a public bus at that, so I just gritted my teeth together til my jaw hurt from clamping down my mouth heavily.
Thank God he didn’t attempt again to talk to me and I sigh in relief as I saw my stop and proceeded to disembark the vehicle. What I didn’t anticipate is that he will also get out of the bus and started to keep up with my angry stride. The nerve!
“What do you want, Randy?!” I suddenly stopped and face him. He was startled by my sudden change of pace and almost bump into me. “Why are following me?!” I spat at him and he cringed when he saw the vehemence on my face.
“Please, Ley, we need to talk.” He pleadingly asked me. “There’s nothing to talk about, Randy. You’re six years late and I don’t give a heck anymore of what you did. So, please, don’t bother me anymore. Continue doing what you’ve been doing all these years, being invisible.”
I turned around and started to walk again towards home but he blocked my path and with a determined gleam in his eyes, he ushered me inside the park by holding my elbow firmly and I knew with that look, he will not stop until he could talk to me. So, I stop resisting him and sat down on the bench.
“So, talk away.” I said without looking at him. I just stared ahead, crossing my arms in front of me while he sat down beside me with a few feet between us. “I knew I’ve hurt you badly. I knew I’ve betrayed your trust and I’m so sorry. I don’t have an excuse of what I did and for all those years, I’ve regretted everyday of my mistake and if I could only take back the time, I will never intentionally want to hurt you.” I looked up when I heard a choking sound coming from him and find myself staring into his hurting eyes with tears forming, ready to cascade down his face.
I bowed down my head as I started to get emotional as well and tried to stop my own tears but before I knew it, the pain that I thought I’ve forgotten bloomed inside my heart and flows down my face. We’re both suspended in time, reminiscing that painful part of our relationship and kept silent, broken only by occasional hiccups and sighs as we tried to compose our emotional state.
After a while, he tried to talk again with more strength in his voice this time. “I met Cindy in a party of one of my frat mates. She’s very friendly but not flirtatious and easy to talk to. You were away on vacation that time and I stayed in school for a summer class. We get to be friends and I thought it will stay that way. One afternoon, she called me up and she was crying. She told me to come into her rented apartment and because she is so heartbroken on the phone, I pitied her and get along with her invitation to console her. We talked about her problems with her boyfriend and we drank some wine. I guess, we drunk too much because the next thing I knew, I woke up with a hang over, with just my boxer on and in bed with her.”
I looked up again in shock and he raised his left hand to silence the questions ready to spout inside my mouth. “I know, Ley, but please let me finish explaining and after, you can do anything to me.”
I sighed and bowed down my head again, so afraid of what happens next.
“I grabbed my clothes, put it on and hurriedly left her apartment and when I reached my dorm, I vomited and cried for seems like hours because I knew I betrayed you, our love and I couldn’t face you again of what I did. I felt so stupid and guilt ate at my heart,” He slightly placed his right hand on my shoulder, “That’s the reason why whenever you call me up, I always tell you that I’m busy with school and stuff but really, it was all just an alibi.”
I kept silent and just shrugged his hand away. He gave out a deep breath and proceeded with his story. “I didn’t see or talk to her after that, ignoring all her calls and texts but after a month of avoiding her, she cornered me outside my room as I got home and told me she was pregnant with my child.”
I felt my breath whoosh out of me as if my stomach were being punch with a fist and I felt suddenly dizzy. I find myself grasping for air as he rubbed my back, telling me to breathe, in, out, in, out until he felt that I am calming down.
He let go in rubbing my back and I just stared at him, speechless of what he just revealed to me. He straighten his back and looked away. “That’s the reason why I broke up with you on the phone telling you all those lies that I don’t love you anymore, that I found someone new etc, etc,” He looked at me with all the hurt inside streaming out of his eyes. “I wanted you to stay away from because I don’t deserve your love anymore. I made a mistake and even though I don’t love Cindy, as a man, I need to be responsible for my action so I told her that I will marry her.” He sighed, “That’s why I didn’t finish my summer class, we went to my hometown and hers to talked to our parents and scheduled our civil wedding.”
A tear rolled down his face and this time, I looked away, not brave enough to see the anguish written all over his face. “But before the wedding materialized, she talked to me in tears, telling me that nothing happen to us that night, asking for forgiveness, she staged it all to make me believe that I am the father of her child when in fact, the true father was her boyfriend who abandoned her when he found out that she was pregnant.”
I suddenly turned my head in his direction that I thought I had a whiplash and incredulously stared at him with mouth agape not believing all the lies that this…..this….I was at loss for words to describe that insufferable girl!
“She deliberately break us up because of her selfish reason!” I jumped up and started to pace to and fro, muttering angry remarks of her evil intentions. I stopped abruptly and faced Randy with my hands flayed out to confront him. “You mean to say, my heart was broken because she just want to have a father for her child, so that she will not be humiliated! You mean to say, I’ve cried all those tears for years because of a lie! I’ve tried to hate you and it’s not even entirely all your fault! Why didn’t you tell me! Why?!” I shouted at him and he stood up, embracing me and let me pummel his chest with my left hand as he murmurs soothing words to me. ” I’m sorry, baby…..I came back…..I tried….shhhhh, everything will gonna be alright….. I love you…..shhhh, shhhh”
He continues to sooth me by caressing my back as I let go of all my pent up emotions of anger, longing, love, hate and loneliness in his embrace, soaking wet his polo shirt with my tears. After almost an eternity, my tears subsided and he led me back to the bench and we sat down, not letting go of me. I raised my head and he tenderly wiped out the remnants of my tears, seeing all the love written boldly on his face. “I loved you and I still love you, Ley. I never stop. I came back on the campus to tell you everything but you were not enrolled there anymore. I searched for you but nobody could tell me where you were. I even went to your hometown but your family adamantly didn’t want to tell me where you are….but I didn’t give up, I continue to searched for you until I found out you’re here in this particular city where you finished your degree and been working here ever since you graduated five years ago.” He affectionately kissed my nose the way he always do on our three years together and always, he took my breath away. “I missed you so much baby and now that I finally found you, I will never let you go again….never…. even if you throw me away.” He declares it with so much conviction that I believe him.
“I’m sorry for hurting you with my stupidity. Please Ley, baby, can we start all over again? Even if you stop loving me now, even if you can’t forgive me now…please give me a chance to prove to you that I love you and make you love me again….please, baby, please….”
He imploringly searched my face for a glimpse of hope of a second chance and when he saw the love still shining inside my eyes, he embraced me so tightly that I squirmed in protest because I couldn’t breathe. “Oh, sorry, baby, I didn’t mean to crush you. Have you forgiven me? You’ll gonna give me a second chance right?” He enthusiastically inquire of my answer.
“Well, okay but….” I stopped him by putting my right pointer finger to his lips….”on one condition….you need to earn my trust again and my love. You know what to do and I mean, you will work much more harder this second time around than the first time you started wooing me. Am I clear?” I told him mischievously.
“Yes, Ma’m. Scouts honor. I will do my very best.” And he suddenly scooped me on a fireman style and twirl me around the park, shouting “I love you, Leah!”
“Randy, put me down! OMG! This is so embarrassing.” He stopped twirling and I looked around and saw some people looking at us with amusement written all over their faces. Thank God their were just few of them.
Randy put me down and took a bow as the people dispersed to do their own thing, shaking their heads in bewilderment.
He suddenly pulled me back by his side to sit down again on the bench at the same time thanking me profusely for giving him this chance, promising not to screw it up again.
When he finished all his gibberish and we sat down contentedly on the bench with his right arm around me, I asked him what has happened to Cindy. “After a year of giving birth on her hometown, she went abroad and worked in L.A. That’s what her friends told me on campus. I’ve already forgiven her and you should, too,” He looked at me and sincerely told me, “It is better to forgive her even if we can’t understand her motives. It is much freer that way.”
And I nod in approval, knowing that sometimes circumstances can be cruel and can’t be understood but the most important part is, is here, now, right this moment. Past is past. Today is a new beginning and tomorrow is a promise.
I leaned my head on Randy’s shoulder and felt contentment wrapped around my heart. Nothing is so good when you’re at peace with your past and nothing is more sweeter when your second chance is now a reality.
We both sighed together, looked at each other and laughed, knowing that a great future is looming ahead of us. A future that we never thought could come to pass.
” For I know well the plans I have in mind for you–oracle of the Lord–plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope. ”
Jesus love you ❤