Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My First Love

Just like any love story, it all begins with the first encounter. I met Jake when I was in high school. It was a rainy day and I was on my way home. We rode the same jeep and got off on the same stop. We were walking down the same road and no one else was around. I looked at him and he looked back. Before I could offer to share my umbrella, he ran towards me, smiled and said, "Your bag looks heavy. Can I hold this for you?" He took the umbrella and introduced himself. The entire time he was talking he sounded like he was doing me a favor. He always had his way with words.
A few days after that, I realized that he was not from that area. He just wanted to know my name and of course where i was residing. I discovered his secret because I went to the neighboring barangay to return my classmate's notebook and of all people, I bumped into him as I was waving goodbye to my friend. They were next door neighbors. We exchanged numbers and became close friends.
We started going out but nothing romantic. We were like buddies just having a great time. One day, he invited me to watch him play basketball. After the game, one of his friends Lester came to me and asked if I was Jake's girlfriend. But before I could give an answer, Jake had said that I was his best friend. My heart broke. Lester then asked if it was alright if he invited me for pizza. Jake replied that he had to be somewhere so he has to go and my business was not his.
Since that day, we grew further and further away from each other. I saw Lester more and heard less from Jake. The next thing I knew, he was leaving to study college in Manila.
Lester was sweet but eventually the thing between us didn't work out. We decided to stop seeing each other. We never became an item.
Three years after, I heard that Jake and his friends were in a car accident. He was in bad shape. Lester, who was like a brother to him, flew to Manila to see how he was. I, on the other hand, was unable to concentrate. I could not bring myself to focus studying for my final exams. Three days passed, exams were over and Lester came back. He told me that He was too late. Jake had left us five hours before he came to the hospital. Jake's mom had given him an envelope. It was a letter for me. Jake was looking for me the last two days of his life. His mom didn't know where to find me or how to reach me. So when he realized that he could not see me, he insisted to write on a torn-out page from a magazine the following: Hanna, I love you...then...now and forever.--Jake. I could barely read the word 'forever'. I was told that he was in severe pain while holding on to the marker. Every time I recall that moment, it just drives me crazy.
Now, I am living my life. I have not loved and have not been loved the same way. Well, not yet. Jake was unforgettably my first and I, his last.

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