Remember when you were a kid, how you and your friends would spend time talking about the scariest things in the world? My friends and I would always have those sessions. Pretty much like how they did it in the series, ‘Are you afraid of the dark?’ except we didn’t have a bonfire, a magic dust and we didn’t do it in the woods. We’d do it just outside our houses. Or at school. During that time, I’d always say I’m too afraid of snakes. Maybe I was eight or nine years old.
But one day, my fear of snakes disappeared after seeing a Fernando Poe Jr. movie. For those of you who don’t know who Fernando Poe Jr., he is the Chuck Norris of the Philippines. In the film, he walked in the middle of, it seemed to me, hundreds of snakes. And every time the snakes would try to bite him, he would grab them one by one and just throw them anywhere. I thought that was surprising and depressing at the same time.
Surprising because I didn’t know that you can walk past that many snakes without being bitten. And that you can just grab them and throw them any way you want to. Told my Lola about the movie and she explained to me how they deal with snakes in the province. My Lola said that snakes are really more afraid of us than we are of them. Depressing because that would mean I’d have nothing to share to my friends when we talk about scary stuff. I know I’m not afraid of horror films. I’m like Tris from the movie, Divergent. I know that horror films are not real. I know I’m not afraid of my mom even if she can be the scariest thing alive. I’m not afraid of ghosts because when I accepted Jesus, people said they weren’t real; and that I shouldn’t be afraid of them.
But just like everything else, the things we fear about changes over time. “Some, but not all.” I used to tell myself. I once believed that some fears are real. They are real because they won’t disappear. Or so I thought.
Ate Liezel is one of the most important people in my life. She looked after me when I was younger and cared for me like no other. I was seven, she was eighteen when she started taking care of me. We would have conversations about everything. And the one thing we would always talk about was my biological father. She kept reminding me not to be angry with him. She kept telling me that God allows things to happen for a reason. And that it may be difficult to understand how a father could leave his child, she said that I didn’t have to be bitter about what the man did.
I remember telling Ate Liezel that I can do that. I can forgive him, try not to be bitter towards my biological father. But I’ve made up my mind, I’m never going to get married. I didn’t want to find a guy who would do to me and my children what my biological father did to me and my mom. I was nine when we had that conversation. She laughed at me and said that I was still too young to make that decision. She said that God had a better plan for me. And that one day, God will give me a man who will show me that things will be different for me. God will give me a man who will treat me right. She said that God will give me my prince. When we say ‘Prince’ here though, we never meant it by earthly terms. It’s not about the dashing guy with flawless hair and a cheeky smile in a shining suit who lives in a far away kingdom. We say ‘Prince’ because he is a son of God. I am a Princess because God, the King of all kings, is my Father. To understand this concept, take what C. S. Lewis said, “We are spiritual beings with a physical body.”
Ever since that time, I was so decided that marriage would be out of the picture of my life.
And so life happened. Two marriage proposals later, I’m still convinced I’m not going to get married. And then I met this awesome guy. Someone who, at that time I was so convinced, was exactly the guy I’ve been praying for. But even then, I couldn’t make myself to take the first step toward marriage. This just shows how weird I am. I mean, I’ve been praying for that kinda guy since I was twelve, but my decision not to get married still won. So, I walked away.
Well, we all know how life can surprise us, right?
So that awesome guy I mentioned? He wasn’t everything I prayed for, apparently. His brother was.
So there were these events his brother organized. I mean, I knew at that time he was the brother of the awesome guy who is now married to an awesome woman. But I didn’t care. He looked strange enough to me. He was nothing special. I wasn’t interested. I was interested with the events he organized. I thought they were nice, helpful, informative, very encouraging and I was determined to help him anyway I can. I thought what he was doing was “noble”. So you get the idea. With his family background I thought this guy who didn’t look very nice, had a funny hair seemed to me had a very good heart. Of course, at that time that’s all I could think of. I had no idea I was being fooled.
So I tried to connect with him through social media because that’s how you get connected now. And because I was genuinely interested with the upcoming events. And then, of course, the usual things happened next. We introduced each other in those events. We talked. He did the funniest things during those times we tried to speak with each other. But… But. I noticed we had to keep introducing ourselves to each other over & over again. I thought, “This guys’s really rude.” Considering it’s a fairly small event with very few participants. I wanted to help spread the word about how cool the event was but here he was acting like he’s never seen me before even if we see each other almost every after two weeks! Safe to say, he’s not just rude, the guy is so typical. He was trying so hard to pull off that kinda move on me. “What an airhead!” I thought.
Still I attended the events. And the rest of the events that followed.
Besides all the awkwardness and weirdness, something happened then that I never expected. He got through to me. I don’t exactly know how but he did. Suddenly, I appreciated all the awkward, strange things he did. I seriously thought he was funny although I don’t think he’s aware of it. In my mind, I had to reconsider things: “This guy looked and acted so typical but he seemed something else too.” Although, it’s too obvious the guy was too insecure. He had a lot of issues. I mean, for someone who grew up rich he sure had a lot of complaints in life. But then, seeing and learning about all his pain and sorrow, it somehow brought me even closer to him. Would you believe it? The unthinkable happened. I fell in love. It was in a very strange way but I did.
But he was still too distant. Obviously, the guy was too afraid. I soon found out that this was a guy who hadn’t a clue how to get a woman. For some reason, he was led to believe that he was good looking and rich enough for women to chase him. It didn’t take a genius to know that this was a man just like any other men my age: those who never gave themselves a chance to discover what being a real man’s like.
Then again, to prove how weird I really am, I let things slide. Some would say that’s what love does. I’m not convinced but I don’t have a better argument so I just kept quiet and smiled.
We tried to make it happen but he claims I was the one who never showed up. Granted there were times I wanted to meet him somewhere but I didn’t show up because on our previous arrangements he had all kinds of excuses. I was always left standing or sitting somewhere alone. Of course, it was no surprise that the guy never really cared that I was seated there all alone. Too many things happened and then finally, the thing I dreaded the most, happened. He did something. Something I told myself I would never allow to happen: He treated me like he never knew me. He treated me like I never existed in his life.
You know all those movies where there’s this one person the main character knew so well but then suddenly in front of a lot of people, that person denies ever even knowing the main character? Or maybe not really the main character but we are familiar with that scenario, right? We all know how to call those people, right? We have a word for them. Well, what he did to me, you can level that up a notch because what he did, well, let’s just say, God knew exactly what to do with what he did.
Now, the word he’s saying is to go to him and throw myself at him after all the stupid things he’s done, after how he treated me. I think that’s what he’s saying. I was ready to go through anything for the man but to treat me worse than my biological father did, that was just a big NO for me. Whoever gave him the idea that a woman needs to beg him for his love is a bonehead.
But then you see, THAT was my greatest fear: To be treated the way my biological father treated me. I thought it would never disappear. Now that I’ve finally experienced it, it’s gone. And gone for good. I have always believed in seeing the good things in all the bad, hurtful things this life brings. Now, when a fool tries to get near me and tries to put up a show that he’s this amazing guy, I’ll know how to deal with him. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned in this experience, it is that whoever tries to show off and would have intentions of getting through to me again, he’s gonna have to go through hell and back if he even so much as thinks he can spend a moment with me, let alone a lifetime.
Otherwise, they can do what the snake did this morning. When it saw me, it crawled away as quickly as it could. The snake didn’t scare me at all. Neither will these coward pretenders.
“Sometimes to understand how a story ends you have to go back where it started.” – Pan, movie