Eight years seems too long a time especially for a relationship that was first measured in months, amid earlier doubts that it would not live past twelve.
But it did. We did. The months became years. And now at eight years, we started wondering how in the world did we ever get this far?
Let me just step back a bit. ^_^
Eight years ago, our partnership was forged under the June 28 rain. Prior to that is a tale that spanned four years of serendipitous circumstances, a year of silence, and another year of gray areas.
“were you dancing to the same tune?...”
She was seated a few rows behind me during the UPCAT examination in Iloilo. She was in the same plaza during the culminating night of the 1991 Kalibo Ati-atihan, shouting and dancing along hundred others as we celebrated the last moments of highschool life, even as the final fireworks failed to burn.
“the vision wafted through the newly-polished hall, rising above the din amid the sea of unfamiliar faces...”
The vision stayed. She became my classmate, my sparring partner, my thesis advisee, and my friend. Fate played a hilariously frustrating game of hide-and-seek, bringing us closer everyday but never giving us the chance to be unattached at the same time.
“destiny at the crossroads...”
We graduated. I worked, she went to law school. Our lives were pointing us to separate directions, but somehow in that quiet UP Campus street, near the place where we first met, magic brewed over again when I agreed to tune her friend's guitar.
“your kung-fu is better than mine... *smile*...”
Dream. Believe. Thrive. The time to know the real score has finally arrived. A time of charades, prose, rhetoric, and riddles that put sensibilities to the test. A time of debates that come with the decision to cross the line. The beginning of late long night walks and talks, and days that never end.
More importantly, a discovery of love, strength, and faith – the ones that we could share. The same ones that we share still, eight years later, the ones we’ll take further on.
On the eve of my 30th birthday, Joan has accepted my proposal and, in less than a year from now, we will take our vows to be united in marriage.
We give thanks, above all, to God for all the blessings and for orchestrating the whole thing.
To our friends who have played roles in bringing us together:
Vincent, for telling me her name on our first week in Kalayaan Residence Hall, 1991. ^_^
Euge, even before you were labeled “that quiet guy” by Joan way back during our Kalayaan orientation, you’ve been a buddy like no other. You were the first topic Joan and I talked about. You’ve become my confidante and the calm voice in my times of turmoil and euphoria. You and Cez were there all throughout as inspiration and source of wisdom, as you still are.
Cez, you kept me grounded when my heart overwhelms my head. Our every conversation was a learning experience. The snippets of advice here and there from you and Euge all counted. And, of course, we will never forget that Communication class that started it all (Mr. Grassroots aka Littlejohn).
Jen, it was you who spotted the signs, the twinkle in my eyes, and helped me make sense of it all.
Aids, you’ve been my ally in academics and in the lovefront. Your objectivity and sound judgment have been my stop signs at times when I’m rushing blindly head-on.
Our Tong Il Moo Do friends. You have ensured us healthy bodies and minds, hearts that feel, and memories to last a lifetime.
And to all others who know our story and saw us through it all.
Next year starts a new chapter, and you are all part of it.
Joan and Leo