Sunday, January 13, 2008

Endless Love

My love,
There's only you in my life
The only thing that's right
My first love,
You're every breath that I take
You're every step I make. 

The paper doll I was holding got frozen in the air. I lost myself to the melody of the song. I was eight years old. Still young to fall in love but old enough to understand the meaning of the song. I knew that it was a promise. A promise of infinite love. 

Some of my sisters were in relationship that time so I could comprehend already the meaning of love. It was crazy but I made this childhood vow that if ever I fall in love, it would be to a man whom I'll spend my lifetime. 

I won't waste investing time and love just for the sake of having a boyfriend. There would only be one and that one will mean "forever". 

Years later, when we were about to finish 6th grade, slum book became popular. That's a notebook where we got to answer some questions that will serve as souvenir to our friends. 

There was this question about "ideal man". While most of my friends wrote "tall, dark and handsome", I on the other hand answered, "intelligent". Funny but true. I was still that young but I knew I won't be attracted to a man with looks alone. 

Whenever I would hear the song, Endless Love, I was being reminded of that one afternoon about 20 years ago. My life was still with paper dolls but I was sure about where my love life was heading. 

Then I reached high school, college and until such time I was working already. The promise I made didn't change. My sister, ______, acquired quite a long list of boyfriends but I remained "zero" with my love life. (I need to make her anonymous or else there would be a World War III. It's a good thing I have eight sisters). 

It wasn't easy but then I'm always confronted with the question, "Do you plan to spend the rest of your life with him?", I knew the answer immediately. Thus, I remained unattached for many years. Investing time and emotions were not simply worth it. I want some sense in a relationship not only mere attraction. 

Many years later, as my "ideal age" written in the slum book was about to end, I've lost hope to meet the "right one". After all, whenever I would start talking to male species they just simply find me too boring (or intimidating?). 

They would stare to the ceiling or just simply try to steer the conversation into crazy things such as my favorite color or actress. They would nibble on their finger nails and pray incessantly for the sky to fall down...ending? even the friendship didn't work out. 

Thank God I've acquired a lot of female friends so their boyfriends and husbands became my instant friends also. That way, I was not completely alienated to the male world. 

The Story of Compassion

I clutched my jacket tightly as I went down the jeep. It was a cold day and the wind was blowing the strands of hair off my face making it hard to see where I was going.

As I entered the San Francisco church just like what I did every morning before going to work, I was momentarily taken aback with the sight of a man dressed in a filthy ragged clothes lying on a pavement still wet from the previous night's rain. He had that blank expression on his face as if his mind were in another world.

My hands suddenly became clammy. My heart was filled with that unexplainable sadness. Before I knew it, my eyes were teary- eyed. More than the pity was that profound feeling of compassion.

It was a very depressing sight. How could a person like him survived that chilly morning on a wet pavement? I had my jacket on but the cold seeped through my body. How much more to him?

It was also apparent with his very thin body that he had not eaten for days. I delved into my bag and looked for the sandwich I made early that morning. I used to have something to eat with me because break time means working in front of the computer so no time really to go to the canteen for snacks. I also included a wad of bill when I gave the food to him. He didn't ask for it but I knew I needed to do it.

As I knelt down inside the church, tears brimmed my eyes as I remembered the image of the man. Why is it there are less fortunate people like him? Was it a matter of choice or by fate?

It was not my habit really to give money or tolerate beggars on the street but that situation was just different. Something was touched deep in the core of my heart.

I have my own share to make and I owe it to people like that man in a grimy clothes one cold day. Someday...


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