“belated..happpppppeeeee bertdei..wish u ol the best!!!”
There he was. After more than two weeks of hibernating in a deep hiatus called “Space Away from My Boyfriend”, he miraculously appeared in my facebook profile and gave me a surprise greeting I never counted on. If the medium is the message then his greeting was definitely an utter declaration of his preference to literally talk to the wall than directly to me which was quite consistent to his disappearance when he decided to join NASA to be an astronaut and explore his own space. Two weeks of no response to my messages which was previously accounted to his malfunctioning phone or insufficient balance to text to other networks (talk about cheap alibi), his uncalled for apparition was as sudden as Ricky Martin’s coming out of the closet: timely but unnecessary.
But more than the medium, it’s the language that gave me a feeling of humiliation on his behalf, the restricted kind that you get when while having a serious talk with a friend you see some slimy booger skidding out of his nostril. The way he spelled "happy" with 7 Ps and 5 Es, and the word "birthday" like a person who worships Salbakuta would pronounce and spell it, combining it with inappropriate use of punctuation.. marks.. and shortened spellings of "all" and "you" (cummon, he could have saved some effort typing Ps to spell them correctly ), I finally accepted what I had long been trying to deny to myself for two long weeks we were together: I fell in love with a jejemon.
All along, I thought that being 28 and having a five-year experience in my love resume would make me an expert in dating. But I guess my age and experience had only qualified me as a cougar when I got swept away by someone six years younger than me bearing an indubitable charm that masked his jejemonic tendencies. It was a whirlwind romance catapulted by our strong online connection. So strong I boarded a bus to Pampanga to meet him for the first time just barely two days after our first exchanges of messages in a social networking site exclusively for people like us (read: desperate lonely people like me.) On the third day of knowing each other, he introduced me to his best friend as his boyfriend. And that’s how, ladies and gentlemen, I learned for the first time that we were officially together.
Just like a futile investment in a network marketing, there was no turning back and I knew I was about to be doomed. There were red flags everywhere reminding me that the very foundation of our relationship was as strong as a cobweb trying to remain intact against the wind of typhoon Ondoy. We were so different in many aspects. It was like matching a kangaroo with a rabbit and expecting them to bear an armadillo. But I just simply brushed off these red flags consciously and unconsciously mainly because I enjoyed his company for the most part and, admittedly, I wanted to stretch it for as long as I could so it could last until my birthday which was just barely three weeks away.
Truthfully, I found his simple living quite charming. He would prefer to ride the jeepney over an FX even if the five peso difference in the fare was not worth the smoke and dust airbrushed on our faces. He would refuse to go to the mall for a date, but would be inclined to stay home where we could simply make the most out of our time just canoodling like slimy worms put in a jar. He was a generous philanthropist to his friends, giving away his Fossil watch or a bottle of expensive perfume in return to small favors such as helping him pacify an irate customer at work. (I wondered what he would give when someone would try to save his life). But the charm of his simplicity was quite fleeting. As days passed, evidences of him being a jejemon started to surface like panicky cockroaches on the wall foreboding a heavy downpour of rain.
For one, our conversations were limited to what happened to his day, usually the shit ones that took place while dealing with his customers on the phone. When I tried to inject some opinionated questions such as what he thought about the movie we watched he would simply give me one-line answers like “it’s good” or “nice”. And then he would move on to bragging on how he hung up on a difficult customer because he needed to take a shit. I judge a person’s likeability based on his passion. I asked him once what was his. After minutes of blabbering, he settled on sleeping as his final answer and then he laughed hysterically like it was really really funny. I pitied him at that moment.
But the biggest factor that spelled the difference in our age and highlighted his jejemonic inclination was how he handled arguments. Actually, he never did. He always stayed out of it either because it was too much of an effort for him to think of counterarguments or it was just too much of an effort for him to think. Period. So when something exasperated him, he would just walk out on me in the middle of a busy street and shut me off like I never existed in his life. When he said he didn’t want to talk to me, he meant it like a curse. It was like saying sorry to a statue. No amount of pleading and apologizing would make him talk to me again. One night, we were snuggling each other like it was our last night being together when without warning, he just shoved me and got furious with me as if I committed the gravest crime. Turned out, he got irritated by the stubbles on my chin that kept poking his skin. I plead for apology like a hungry dog begging for a piece of bone until I got tired and finally walked out on him. Indeed, that was our last night being together. The next day, he started being indifferent to my existence. He stopped responding to my messages and started barring my calls, which I learned later through his bestfriend, was his way of telling me that he wanted me out of his life for an indefinite amount of time. I never heard from him again until the day after my birthday when I read the birthday greeting I never expected.
I was staring on the monitor for a long time contemplating on whether to respond to his greeting or just pretend that I overlooked on it. But when I viewed our pictures posted in his album, I couldn't help but be transported back to the wonderful moments I had with him. The inexplicable mixture of feelings of giddiness and humiliation I had when he held my hands and kissed me in public like he was really proud to declare to the world that I was his boyfriend. The way he would respond, “I love you more” like it was the only honest thing he said in his life each time I told him I love him. The insurmountable joy I felt at the sight of his face while watching him sleep. These memories made me realize me that, after the death of a dream with the ending of my five-year relationship prior to the one I had with him, I could still lose myself and be in love like I had never been hurt before.
“Thanks J***. It's nice to hear from you again," I responded after some careful thoughts.
Surprisingly, despite his disappearance left unexplained, I meant it in a very forgiving way.
Postscript: In as much as I would have wanted to write this story, I found a better version. This story is not mine. I didn't make any revisions whatsoever, and credit goes to atticus1982.