Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Boiling Waters PH.


I’m sorry I’ve had to disappear.

I’m sorry I’ve smeared our best-friendship.

I’m sorry I’ve had to leave it in ruins.

It was just so pure and innocent back then.

The afternoon sunlight passing through the windows creates shafts of dust motes inside our highschool library while we were babbling about the meaning of life. It was surreal. How’d you expect 12-year-old kids talking about existence and philosophy and theology? It’s funny.

Sa mga pagkakataong iyon nagmula ang isang pagkakaibigang hanggang ngayon ay tinatangi kong yaman sa aking puso.

Ngunit natapos ang mga araw na lagi tayong magkausap at unti-unti tayong naging abala sa ibang mga bagay habang tumatanda tayo.

But we somehow managed to keep our connection from time to time, albeit not as intimate as when we’re kids.

Then there was this day that we meet again and spent time as if we were sent back to that library as highschool sophomores.

Napadalas ang mga pagkikita. Tumagal ang mga pag-uusap. Lumakas ang mga halakhakan. Unti-unting umikot sa isa’t isa ang mga buhay natin.

Sinabi ko sa sarili ko na nais kong panatilihin at pahalagahan ang kayamanan ng pakikipagkaibigan ko sa’yo. Nangako ako sa sarili ko na hinding hindi ko ito babahiran ng anumang ikasisira natin.

Or so I thought. I thought that we have agreed to stay being friends and keep the wonders alive. But I failed. I suddenly realized that I’m falling in love with you. I was hesitant but I wanted to give it a shot and so I took the risk. I’ve made calculations and verified the statistics. It was an informed risk.

I told you I love you and laid my intentions to you. I did confirm my words with actions and aligned them with my intention and emotion. I did try to cross that friend-lover barrier even if we perceive such as polluting our pristine best-friendship.

Ginawa ko lahat para patunayan sa’yo na mahal kita. Niligawan kita. Pinigilan ko lahat ng antok makasama ka lang. Pinahalagahan ko ang mga bagay at tao na mahalaga sa’yo. Pinanuod ko ang mga pelikulang nais mong ipanuod sa akin kahit wala sa panlasa ko.

Ibinuhos ko lahat ng kaya kong ibuhos upang malaman at madama mo na mahal kita na higit sa isang matalik na kaibigan. Sinikap kong hindi ka malito sa kung ano tayo ‘nung mga panahong iyon.

Though you were initially upset about my confession and we were even awkward when we first met after telling you my feelings, you eventually gave your attention to me not just as your best friend but as your suitor. You accepted that we are moving forward from friendship to courtship. I was elated that it was somehow smooth sailing but I made sure I was still acting our label.

Our universes started to converge together, more unified than that of friendship. You let me in within your walls. I let you pass my scorched bridges. You were my adventure. I was your home.

Maligaya ako. Maligaya ka. Kahit hindi ko pansin na nauubos na pala ang oras natin sa isa’t isa. Wala akong pakialam basta’t kasama kita. Masaya tayo. Akala ko ganoon lang kadali ang lahat.

Hanggang sa may nakilala kang nagsabi sa’yo na gusto ka rin at nais kang ligawan. Alam kong tumanggi ka sa kanya at sinabing nililigawan ka na ng matalik mong kaibigan. Ngunit naging saksi ako sa kung paano mong ikinukwento na nahuhulog na ang loob mo sa kanya sapagkat hindi mo s’ya maiwasan sa iyong pinagtatrabahuhan. Nauunawaan ko. Hindi pa naman tayo. Lumalaban pa ako.

You assured me that I am the one you were choosing and even wanted to try to prove it but this caused us to almost breach the sanctity I put to physical touch.

I heard I was the one you were choosing. But I felt otherwise. I knew you were silently screaming and asking for help to save you from loving that guy so as not to hurt me and our friendship.

Pero tama bang pigilan kita na piliin kung sino ang nais mong ibigin? Ayaw kong ilagay ka sa isang sitwasyon na tila namamangka ka na sa dalawang ilog. Ayaw ko ring maging pamalit-gulong. Ayaw kong pilitin ka na mahalin mo ko para lang sa pagkakaibigang pinagsaluhan natin. Nais kong maging masaya ka.

Ngunit hindi ko alam kung anong gagawin ko. Unti-unti akong nauubos kakabuhos ng pag-ibig habang nakikita ko na sa iba mo na binabaling ang iyong pagmamahal. Hanggang sa ako’y naupos at naitanong kung ano na ba ako sa iyong buhay. Alam kong doon na rin patungo ang iyong kasagutan ngunit iba ang sakit noong sa iyo mismo nagmula na nais mo na lang na ibalik sa dati ang lahat – sa ating walang muwang na pagkakaibigan, na para bang ganoon na lamang kadali.

I agreee to it and pretended that nothing happened. I pretended that those moments we were so romantically attached never existed. But I just can’t and I decided to vanish. Even just for weeks. Without blocking you, I temporarily stayed away from your universe and denied your existence from mine. I removed myself from the equation for the meantime to help you with your indecisiveness.

But deep within me was this anticipation of a call or a text message from you, after all, you told me that I was the one you chose. I was hoping that you’d just treat my disappearance as a prank, like how you make fun of my gullibility. However, I didn’t receive any.

Nagulat na lang ako kayo na pala. Pero hindi ako nagtaka. Tutal ako naman ‘tong inalis ang sarili sa larawan.

Natawa na lang ako. Hindi ako maiyak kahit gusto ko dahil naubos na pala noong mga panahong lumalaban pa ako nang hindi ko naman alam na talo na ako. Nagpasya na lang ako na tuluyan nang lisanin ang kalawakang binuo nating dalawa.

Yes, you did your last attempt to reach out and at least keep the friendship by sending a message in our chatroom, though I just knew of it several months after.

I tried responding and the first thing that I sent was an apology. Yet all the things I wanted to say thereafter were full of animosity and hatred, exacerbated by the fact that I didn’t even receive an apology from you. “I’m sorry” would’ve been enough. But it was an “are you mad?” that I got. Of course I am, even though I said “nope”!

Sinabi ko ‘yun para lang matapos na ang usapan.

Ngunit marami pa akong nais banggitin at nawa’y ito sa iyo’y makarating.

I’m sorry for ghosting you. I don’t know if I hurt you or if I gave what your heart really desires: an ease of decision. I’m still sorry regardless.

I’m sorry. It was me who started all of this. I didn’t take into consideration certain factors when I calculated the risk of loving you more than a friend.

I should have realized that you were still in the process of healing from your previous heartache but I took it as a challenge instead.

I should have known that what you needed back then was a simple friend, a best friend, nothing more and nothing less but I gave you more than what you needed instead.

I should have taken seriously the fancy you have for a life without commitments, especially the romantic ones, but I just laughed at it instead.

I should have noticed all the red flags in your personality that would’ve pose a problem in a romantic set-up: too much indecisiveness, too much spontaneity, too much liberty, too much licentiousness, but I shrugged them off instead.

I should have seen that you’ve always been convincing me to just pursue other women instead of you and that you keep on suggesting whom you think I’ll be compatible with, but I overlooked it instead.

I should have felt that unhealthy attachment we had towards each other that made us spend all of our free time together rather than being productive with other things, but I savored it instead.

I should have sensed that deep within you, I still am that naive, clumsy, and frolic 12-year-old kid you met in highschool, but I glossed it over.

Gusto kitang sisihin. Sumbatan. Sana tinulog ko na lang mga puyat na pinilit kong labanan makasama at makausap ka lang. Sana kinain ko na lang lahat ng pagkain na binigay ko sa’yo. Sinayang mo oras ko. Sinayang mo gas ng motor ko pang hatid at sundo sa’yo.

Ginawa mo lang akong panakip-butas. Kahit alam kong hindi mo naman iyon ninais.

Pero sa akin lang rin bumabalik lahat ng sisi. Ginusto ko ‘to eh. Ginusto kong dungisan ang pagkakaibigan natin.

Datapwat may natutunan ako.

That not all battles are worth fighting for.

That I also deserve to be fought for.

That indecisiveness and confusion have no place in love.

That setting myself up to be a spare tyre is not love.

That forgetting doesn’t necessarily mean forgiveness.

Please don’t get me wrong.

I still treasure our best-friendship in my heart.

But this tragic event triggered the hatred I’ve always had since I was a kid: the hatred of associating myself with others, the misanthropy that started to fade away when we met more than a decade ago and lied dormant when I fell in love with you.

Now, I have to work my way out of this into love again, but this time, a love for myself. I know that it’s still possible because God loves us first, that’s why we can always love again.

Now, I have to keep distance from you.

I just don’t want to perpetuate the hurt that you passed on to me from that person who previously failed you.

I need to cut you off my life and sever all the things that connect us.

Maybe temporarily. Maybe permanently.

I don’t know.

Siguro kapag nakakangiti na ako sa tuwing maiisip kong masaya kayong dalawa ng kasintahan mo, handa na akong makipag-ayos, kung bukas ka pang maisaayos ang pagkakaibigan natin.

Pero hindi pa ngayon. Paumanhin na muna.

Patawad.

I’m sorry that I needed to ghost you.