This is it!
This is really it!!!
Seven years after we first met, and just over a year since we became a couple, my Kacynthiahan will finally walk down the aisle to marry me. I have never felt so happy and so grateful! Surely, I must have done something good in my past! Why else would God bestow upon me such great gift?
I first met Cynthia when she was still working for the Department of the Interior and Local Government. We went out on a couple of dates, some under the aggressive prodding of her colleagues who were far more thrilled to test their matchmaking prowess and to see her out on the dating circuit again. Other times, we would (on our own volition and without her colleagues’ knowledge) go out to have dinner or to watch a movie. I would learn that we share almost the same background. What also struck me was her love for the Lord. I knew then that this was a lady that I would be proud to introduce to my parents.
But for some reason, the relationship just wouldn’t take off. It’s a long story and I’m not going to bore you with it. But please do grab a copy once my book about this (which has 32 long chapters) is out in the market hehe. Seriously, I guess it all boiled down to the fact that I was not ready just yet. It was a “now on-now off” kind of thing.
Things took a turn for the worse when she told me that she was moving to Singapore. Weeks before she left, she visited my father who was about to undergo his first major brain surgery. I remember she took my father’s hand and offered a prayer for the success of the operation and for his speedy recovery. Tatay then was not his usual self because the tumor in his brain was hindering his ability to sleep, but he was well-behaved all the time while Cynthia was praying for God’s healing touch. When she left, Tatay asked me if Cynthia was “The One”. I couldn’t help but chuckle at Tatay’s attempt to marry me off. But I remember telling him, she could have been “The One” but sadly, she is leaving for abroad.
I knew the distance would mean we will drift farther apart. And indeed our communication would stop for long periods at a time.But we would still say hi to each other whenever we catch each other online. Cynthia came back for a short visit in December 2008 but unfortunately, I was attending a conference that time and thus was not able to see her.
Months and then years soon passed by. In June 2010, I was taking a sidetrip to Paris after attending a conference in Africa. I was so taken by the place that I resolved to bring my future wife at least once to this romantic city of lights. I thought about Cynthia and vowed to reconnect with her because I would be transiting in Singapore on my way home. I bought her a small gift. This time though, it was Cynthia’s turn to say “I’m sorry I couldn’t meet you”. Short notice, she told me. I was disappointed, to put it mildly. I remember telling myself that this is exactly what Jimmy must have felt in the “Don’t Cry Joni” song.
But we would still say “hi” and “hello” whenever we catch each other online.
In March of 2011, Cynthia returned to Manila to attend a friend’s wedding. We met up… and everything changed. I remember holding her hand inside the elevator and realizing how natural that felt. She hugged me just before I hailed a cab and I remember pulling her tight and giving her a small kiss on the cheek and I realized how good and sweet that moment was.
She left for Singapore the next day but it was never going to be “business as usual” for me. I courted her aggressively this time and after a month we were officially “on”.
I admit I had some misgivings on long distance relationships. But thanks to the internet, we have kept the passion and love alive even though we are thousand miles apart. Between us, we have clocked enough mileage (approximately 12,000 miles) in the last year alone just to be together on special occasions.
And what about that small gift that I bought for her in Paris?
It was gathering dust in my drawer but I found the opportunity to give it to her last July when she came for a visit. It will serve both as a reminder and a promise – a reminder that I almost blew my chance to be with the woman I love and a promise that I will bring her to Paris one day.
Who knows, maybe on our 1st wedding anniversary?