Take Me to the Moon

How far would you go for someone you love? 

For my children, all the way and some more. For them, I will gladly give my life if it is necessary. No second thought. If I know that my sufferings and death will ensure that they will be happy, healthy and safe; by all means, I can die anytime.

How far would you want someone else to go for you? 

Their choice. But to convince me they have to go a long way. Very long. My ex once told me that all the people I had relationships with seemed to come out from the same mold/factory: young, brave and noble. My own brother said that in order to come near me, those young brave and noble have to meet a certain standard and my standard is impossibly high. 

Hard to believe for some people perhaps (since I don’t exactly embody your typical femme fatale) but a number of guys did some quite outrageous things trying to capture my heart (and get into my pants) I remember an engineer who broke both arms and legs jumping off the roof simply because I didn’t want to take advantage of his offer. There was someone who slept every day on the front of our gate because I didn’t want to let him in. A boy once serenaded me on his knees. Best friends who became arch enemies because of me. Someone who said to my husband (who is by the way another one who did outrageous things for my sake like not talking to his family for years simply because they didn’t approve of me and still don’t but if they want to see their only son they have to be civil to me) he wanted to marry me. Students who jumped out of the window of their boarding houses just to be with me missing their final exams and being kicked out of their schools (yes, I’m a bad influence) Things like that…

For all those remarkable things guys did to get my attention, it was a fourteen-year-old boy who managed to impress me. Hold your judgment people, hear me out first. I will tell you the shortened, matter-of-factly, straightforward version of the story. It’s something like this…

He was a nephew of my sister’s husband. I happened to meet him when I was looking for my sister in their place somewhere far off in the mountains. I didn’t know exactly what came to him but when I boarded the bus to go home after a week, he jumped in without permission from his parents and without informing me and came home all the way with us.

He then became my shadow, following me everywhere, fetching things for me, cooking, and staying awake till I came home from gallivanting which I forbid him to be included with since he was so young still. His doings earned him the fitting nickname of a puppy from my siblings and he surprised everyone including me when he launched a competition with my husband who can take better care of me. It was a hilarious affair. Two guys who can be father and son trying to outdo each other.

He was the reason why I stopped drinking alcohol.

Let me tell you that I had my share of wild years looking for my rainbow connection. Repressed/refreshed childhood, my brother calls it. I didn’t regret anything and nothing to be ashamed of perhaps except for that one time. It was my despedida party. I was tipsy and the boy decided to accompany me home like always, I didn’t know why and how it happened but he ended up kissing me. If I was in my usual state of mind, I should have been at least angry, but instead, I laughed and kissed him back. When he put his hand (or at least tried to) in my shorts, I instantly sobered up. I sent him to the kitchen to make me a cup of coffee and the moment he was out of the door, I locked and bolted it and cursed myself to high heaven. When he came back, I pretended I passed out. The next morning, he was with the bunch that brought me to the airport but we didn’t have the time/chance to say anything to each other.

Fast forward four years later.

I was home again vacationing when I saw him stepped out of a passenger jeepney. I was sitting outside the restaurant in town drinking coffee and he saw me before I could escape. He said he was looking for me. 

“How you know I’m back?” I asked him. 

“I heard from my brother.” He told me. I looked at his brother who was by the way sitting opposite me having coffee, together with his best friend (a boy from the neighborhood) and thought: What’s this? A conspiracy?

“He’s been coming here in town every year looking for you.” The brother explained. I believed him. Our neighbors said to me the same thing. The boy was asking for me four years in a row. Good Lord.

We were in the market (the four of us) when a pregnant woman stepped out of their uncle’s tricycle and walked towards me. She was beside herself, talking fast, I thought she was crazy so I decided to go home and forget grocery shopping. Before I reached the door, the pregnant woman materialized again, this time shouting something like: “Give me my husband back.”

” And who are you?” I asked.

“I am the wife of him.” She said indicating the boy. I was shocked! Why no one has told me this? Why it’s even happening? And the woman kept shouting and cursing. Look, I am a reasonable person, but that time I felt that I had to do something or otherwise the situation will go out of hand. So, I said: “If you will not lower your voice, I will smack you right in the mouth it will rattle your teeth.” That did it. She suddenly knelt before me and started crying, begging me to let go of her husband. Nobody said a thing. Not the brother, not the uncle, not the best friend, not even the boy himself. So I addressed him solely when I asked: “What is this all about?”

” I love you.” He said very quietly and seriously I didn’t know what to say.

” How about this woman?”

” I don’t love her. She knows it. I told her when you come back I will leave her. Right from the beginning.” 

” Why did you agree with that?” I asked the woman.

“Because I love him and I thought you will never come back. It’s been four years. I thought…” And she cried harder and harder sobbing inconsolably. 

” She’s pregnant.” I told the boy.

“It’s not mine.” He said. More confusion. By that time, my mother was out there cursing the boy with the most colorful words I have ever heard from her. I told the boy that if he really loves me he will never put me in this predicament so, can he please go home, sort it out with his wife (they are not married he said) and I’ll talk to him later on. He agreed. When they were gone, I packed an overnight bag and left…

The boy came back my mother said, asking for me but she gave him the full load and refused to say where I was hiding (the truth is she didn’t know, I didn’t tell her) the best friend kept me posted about the case development, advised me to lie low indefinitely till the coast is finally clear.

I never see the boy again till at this very moment. I don’t know what become of him. Someone told me he left the woman and headed for the big city. He’s still there. I don’t know what to think. For sure I have had my share of guilt about what happened. Though I didn’t mean it to be that way, I am an adult and should have known better. Young people are impressionable and the first cut is the deepest. I have enough experience in this field to know. How many of them I broke the hearts? Another thing my brother accused me of: having a written script before I left for vacation and acting it out leaving a trail of broken hearts when I board the plane. I cannot confirm nor deny the accusation, but among those incidents, this story, in particular, is the one that left me perplexed, amazed, impressed and at the same time, saddled with guilt, enough not to drink alcohol again…