‘Tales of Same Love’

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

IN THIS month of love, couples especially on Valentine’s Day had been busy prepping for that special day whether going out on dates, buying gifts or giving surprises such as bouquet of flowers, and chocolates and anything that smells commercial and instant while others were creative in showing the importance of the people they love.

Most food shops were filled on Friday that ordering pizza would take 40 minutes. Others celebrated in their houses cooking special menus for the families.

While others like the single ones gave themselves presents – perhaps a discounted dinner spree at restaurants in Rosario Arcade, jeans or perfume, or dates with other “single” friends over a BFB party-size pizza, booze and a 2 Broke Girls marathon.


Despite all the revelries some people who took part in the celebration had different love stories to tell.

I could have surprised myself like those singles but the story I heard in one sitting over a wintermelon milk tea a night before Valentine’s Day broke my heart.

The Princesses

Once upon a time, a girl named Belle went on dreaming of her prince charming who would slay dragons in the tower and grapple with the lions in the Colosseum. One who would bring roses from the meadows of Gulmarg and kiss her soft, red lips one night under a blanket of stars, serenade her with songs and read her haikus outside her window.

It was her ideal man and she found him, he even proposed to her unto his knees over dinner one night with her parents around. She had loved her prince charming over time, a longer period of time. She thought of saying “yes” to his love.

But she thought, are those slaying of dragons, grappling with the lions, giving of roses, the momentous kisses, singing in the midnight outside the window enough for her to get married and live happily ever after? Or will it even be a happily ever after even if they have not seen each other for weeks yet, and he had the guts to show up out of nowhere?

Belle was baffled. She had doubts and the swarming of thoughts suddenly hindered her brain to think. A friend told her, “Do not make decisions that wouldn’t make you happy at all.”

Anna, another protagonist of this story was also having problems with her prince charming. When happy moments could be overshadowed by the constant fights and screams; and when showering together or holding hands under the rain were not cute anymore.

Belle, confused and who sought for advice found the answers in Anna. They became friends and eventually bestfriends. When Belle shies her way to the corner, Anna would bring her to the crowd. When Anna gets infuriated, Belle is there to calm her down. Both tell each other that everything’s going to be okay in times of one’s downfall. And when victories would triumph in, both are there to celebrate. And even in Belle’s bland days, Anna is there to cheer her up.

Days came and care became something unusual. In the prying eyes of the many, a spark was ignited. Texting and calling became frequent. Pictures and song dedications sent thru email had become a routine, because Anna is basic. There were cheat nights and drinking days. And there were fights, trivial arguments on respective relationships and jealousy.

It wasn’t friendship anymore until Belle dismissed her feelings with her prince charming and so was Anna too.

It wasn’t friendship anymore when both realized there was something going on than meets the eye. And it wasn’t friendship anymore when Anna, had chills one dawn morning in December, and Belle took care of her as if she was scared to lose her and later on, Anna asked Belle to be her girlfriend.

It is not the girlfriend who accompanies her to Faceshop and tries on the testers and compares nail contours.

It is the girlfriend who takes her to a dinner date and talks about random fandom, and keeps on loving beyond the night.

But it is the girlfriend, who friends would frown upon holding of hands, kissing in public and hugging before one rides the jeepney.

Belle said no to the proposal and said yes to Anna’s.

Belle has found her true prince charming who would protect her from dragons and lions and give her roses every single day and stolen kisses in public.

“We wanted to see how beautiful this love is. And we’re doing this one step at a time till everyone will accept us,” Anna ended.

The Princes

Last March 9, 2013, Arvin, 29, had come to the idea of giving another shot of falling in love again after a 7-year relationship breakup. He wanted to have another companion, a comrade, some person whom he could share his thoughts with.

While surfing the net, he came across to this “cutie,” he said. He messaged him and this cutie named JS responded to him. They chatted until the morn and decided to see each other personally. The typical “eyeball” protocol: color of the shirt, what kind of pants are donned, style of hair and what shoes are worn. Both described the moment when they saw each other “kilig” that made JS swerved from his place.

Arvin became interested on how shy JS is. Later, JS gave in and agreed to a dinner date. He was then convinced that Arvin was someone than the guy from his chat list. Later that night, Arvin proposed to this 20-year old and JS who came from four traumatic breakups, surprisingly said “yes.”

“Ako siya tagaan ug shot,” JS said. He then introduced his 29-year old hubby to his mom. His mom was angry and dismayed, Arvin left.

But the dismay wasn’t the fetter to stop him pursuing JS. He was persistent. He gave flowers, chocolates, things or anything that would please JS’ furious mom. “Thankfully gyud,” Arvin said smilingly, JS mom approved their relationship. But the fear of the disapproval by the society was what JS mom fears the most now.

Nothing stopped both as they opened their relationship to everyone. Traveled to Palawan, Davao, and other places their wanderlust would permit them to go. They went mainstream as interviews popped out from tin cans. They became a hot topic in the community.

And with this, bashers throw hates on their Facebook inboxes. Arvin is calm but he fears for JS as the latter would impulsively reply to their haters. Arvin guides JS in his schooling and life. “He is more than a partner, he is a friend,” JS said.

JS is the sweet one – who keeps warmth in the relationship while Arvin is the adamant one – the one who protects them both from people who “try to pull them down.”

The courage they showed helped a lot of other gay couples in coming out. Some would invite both over dinner asking for help in order to come out. Some would ask about society’s rejections. Some would just love to talk to them both, hear their stories and the inevitable sweetness they usually have over a little food fight.

The 9-year gap relationship is no hindrance for the couple to grow beautifully in a relationship that would near one year as they will celebrate their first anniversary in March. Both are excited what surprises they would have for each other.

Now, JS lives at Arvin’s home. (Alyssa C. Clenuar, MUST Intern)

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 16, 2014.


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