Here we are again with my second part of my memoirs. After I posted that first part I really felt nostalgic, not just from New Zealand, but from High School life in particular. Granted it’s not really fuzzy at times (what with the bullying and such) but those are the times where you really “find” yourself. I like remembering it again after all these years.
There are also some questions that were raised after I posted the first part. One, will these women file a case of libel on me? Maybe. But I wouldn’t be scared with those or other kinds of threats from the women I’ve written these memoirs on or their respective boyfriends (I’ve had one a few years ago. How did it go? Let’s just say she’s not my friend in Facebook anymore.) I mean, it’s not like I’m talking about our dirty deeds, bedroom moves and performances. This is the Torpe Road. I would be really surprised if there would be news of some of these women spreading news like “Maliit titi ni (my name)” or “Mabilis syang labasan!!!”. Dude, mas maniniwala pa ako if the news is “Mabaho hininga nyan” or “Me balakubak siya!!!”. Second, yes, I want this to be published in hard copy if given the chance. I’d like to earn some cash besides from my main job. And lastly, I want to be famous because of this. So famous that I can be a guest judge in ABS-CBN’s Showtime. I can see it now:
Me: HEELLLLOOOOOWWWWW MADDDLAAAANNNNGGG PIIIPPOOOLLLL!!!!!
Audience: SAMPOL!!!! SAMPOL!!! SAMPOL!!! SAMPOL!!!!
Me: Eto, joke na lang. Anong baril ang mas malakas pa sa kanyon ???
Audience : ANO !!!!????
Me : Eh di GUN-dam!!! Hahahahaa !!!
Audience : COMMENT NA LANG !!! COMMENT NA LANG!!!!
(followed by judge Vice Ganda’s insults)
I’m getting way over my head there. Let’s just move on to the continuation of the story. So there it was, New Zealand said no to my request. It was sad, sure. But it was also during that time that I met her best friend, to which we shall call Valenzuela City.
Valenzuela City is not someone I will make a double-look at. She’s a few inches shorter than New Zealand, has short, black hair and somewhat thick eyebrows. She has front buck teeth and a little singkit. Granted these descriptions will turn off any guy. But during that time I don’t have plans to court her. One thing led to another, though. Keep reading…
When I tried to court New Zealand I was already introduced to Valenzuela City by her. Throughout the time I have no interest in her and she’s one of the “friends-na-dapat-kaibiganin-para-pumogi-ako-kay-New-Zealand” schtick. She’s with us during breaks and I always saw her at the back of our school because that’s where most of the School Services are. What’s amazing is how some of these Services have evolved. Back then any modeof transportation can be a School Service: L300, FX, Jeepney or even Tricycle (in public schools) and there isn’t much steel railings to stop a kid from sticking his/her arm out on the road. Nowadays the School Service can be illustrated as a Yellow FX or L300 with the words “SCHOOL SERVICE” painted on the side with some black, vertical lines as well. There would also be the occasional name of the associated school painted as well. And then the windows will be really wrapped in steel railings. Makes the kids look like inmates. Don’t know if there are other School Services that don’t follow this now; I have yet to check it.
Anyway, it was at that place that I managed to talk to her really good. During that day we entertained a large group of “Less Unfortunate People” or in layman’s term, “Iskwaters” at our school. They divided them for each of our section to make them happy and give small prizes. It was our school’s way of being charitable. Our section made used of my “rapping abilities” again to entertain them. In truth (again) I was singing to a song of Linkin Park and I was really out of breath. So I saw her standing near the gates of our school, near a spot that sells bootleg toys and items (I’m guilty of looking and buying a few) since that’s where Elementary School is. I saw her and:
Me: Uy, Valenzuela City, musta??
Valenzuela City: Eto, okay lang. Kapagod din kanina.
Me: Oo nga eh. Pinakanta nanaman ako.
Valenzuela City: Talaga? Haha…
Me: Eh ikaw? Anong ginawa nyo?
Valenzuela City: Ayun, nag-game kami na parang Pera O Bayong. Ako yung me hawak-hawak ng isang letra. Muntik na akong malaglag dahil sumusugod sila sa akin.
Me: Hahaha, buti di ka napa-ano…
Then the conversation just went on for a couple of minutes and I learned that she likes to watch Anime. I said to myself, “Ayus. Me kausap din ako tungkol dun.” Usually our conversation goes on for a while until my School Service is ready to leave because the Elementary Kids are already out from school.
The next day goes on and I chatted with her again. This goes on for a while that to remedy my often-sudden departure and cutting our conversation short, I opted to not ride our Service and commute instead. For me, it was very sweet of me to do that because I really wanted to talk to her. Even though I feel that she is left out in her Section and our batch. You see, our batch teases her at her back “Kalawang” because of her bad breath. You know teenagers. We can be so cruel. Why, one female classmate was suspected of having dark armpits. But honestly, I never notice it when I talked to Valenzuela City. I really enjoyed her company.
It was those times with her where I saw compassion and acceptance where I didn’t get much (or none at all) when I courted New Zealand. Take, for instance, our Senior Prom. After I danced with New Zealand, I danced with Valenzuela City. I placed both of my hands on her hips and I remember singing along to a South Border song. She also sung along with me. Looking back, it felt stupid. But hey, it’s High School. We were even texting each other, complementing on how good we looked even before the dance floor was laid for us. She was also the one who appreciated my “demonic rapping” at our School Function. We even texted a lot and this is where I polished my texting habit. I would not leave a lot of vowels out and I always include [… ] to my texts.
There was even this part where she gave me one of her Graduation pictures. Back then, your School “cred” was measured by how many Graduation pics you can get from the opposite sex and how many you also gave. Sadly, I only got at least 3 out of a possible 30+ female students. One of the people who didn’t gave me her pic is who else? New Zealand!!! I tried to convince her to give me a pic but she really hesitated. Her alibi is “Madami akong bibigyan sa pamilya ko”. I hated her for that. So Valenzuela City was really kind to me.
On the short period that I was with her I actually developed feelings for her. But being the Torpe that I am, I didn’t know how to express them without me bumming out. And besides, I don’t know what will happen to us if ever we will be together, being that we might be going to different Universities. So I just buried that feeling under me and just talked about stuff and Anime.
It was near the end of the School year that she gave me a small letter folded and stapled. It was cut from a purple folder. I was surprised about it and I asked:
Me: Ano ito?
Valenzuela City: Basta. Wag mo munang buksan hanggang nakauwi ka na.
I obliged, of course. On the way home as I rode a public jeepney I opened the letter and it read:
U must not be expecting me to write you a letter. I was doing this to express what I want to say. First, I wanna say all my thanks to you, for being there, for listening to me, for taking time, for the understanding, for the care and for everything…in short for being my friend.
I wanted to tell you that I still wanna spend my life hanging around with you. Kung pwede nga lang I could spend the last moment with you habang I am still here. There are so much I wanted to say, so much I wanted to share, that’s why I hate it whenever you would leave me. I still wanna say stay with me ‘coz I still wanna be with you for the last time. I still not yet ready to leave you. I’m just telling you what I feel.
Anyway, I wish you all the happiness in life even kahit wala na ako or di na tayo nagkikita. Ganito lang me ngayon, this is the way how I say goodbye to you.
P’ano ba yan… Graduation na? I will surely miss you. Before I shall let you go, one thing I wanted to tell you is that I LOVE YOU as a friend as we were now.
I havta tell you something important. I have fallen in love with you but I think there’s no sense for me to tell you how I loved you… you might not appreciate ‘coz it’s goodbye now. I waited for you, I’m sorry it’s too late! I mean if ever you have feelings for me too long naman. I’m not quite sure. I can’t figure you out sometimes...
It’s up to you what it’s gonna be but for me, I’ll stay as if I have said nothing… OK?
I remember that feeling that day. When I read the second-to-the-last paragraph I stopped and held my head upwards and closed my eyes. I thought, “Shet. Ang tanga-tanga ko.” That evening I called her on their landline using our wireless phone. I was at our front yard, and I said to her:
Me: Valenzuela City, nabasa ko na yung sulat mo…
Valenzuela City: Hm.
Me: I-try natin…
Valenzuela City: Try yung ano?
Me: Sabi mo ako na bahala. Try natin ito. Tayong dalawa…
I can’t remember much about what transpired on that phone call but I vividly remember that I asked her out to for a date at Ever Gotesco Mall in Caloocan. I plan on maybe go window-shopping since she likes Barbie dolls; eat at a restaurant and a movie. I don’t know what I plan to get out of that “date”, but I just want to spend some time with her outside of the School premises. It’s like, “Bahala na ang susunod na mangyari…” We were supposed to meet at 10am or 11am. It’s been almost an hour and she still hasn’t showed up. I opted to call her at their landline to check if she already left. So I used a pay phone (during that time I was one of those people who don’t want to bring his Nokia 3310 outside because it might get stolen) at a nearby stall:
Me: Hello? Pwede ko bang kausapin si Valenzuela City?
A Kid: Ay natutulog pa po si Valenzuela City…
I was shocked at what I have heard. I had mixed reactions and I stormed out of the mall and went home. I checked my celfone for messages but there’s nothing. I was furious. She left me hanging there. In short, na-Indian ako. Na-Drawing. But that’s not the bad part. The bad part was a text from an unknown number that I received that night:
« Eto ang kaibigan ni Valenzuela City. Gusto kong malaman kung bakit mo sya hindi sinipot kanina. Naghihintay sya sa Ever ng mag-isa!!!“
“Nandun ako sa Ever ng 10 o‘ clock pa. Matagal ko syang hinintay dun at tinawagan ko sa bahay at natutulog daw sya.”
Her “friend” never replied and I thought that maybe it was not her friend that texted me, but just her using a different number. She was pretty good with words so she can be deceptive if needed. I don’t want that kind of a relationship or friendship or whatever. I then started ignoring her and removed her number from my phone list. The ignoring part was easy since it was graduation and we have to worry about passing our grades so that we can walk the stage and stuff. Plus there’s also college and Anime Conventions to look at stuff.
I think the lesson here is pretty obvious. Be careful with women. Who knows what they are cooking. Always listen to what your instinct is telling you. And on a lighter note, I guess you need to be brave on expressing your feelings to someone. Take the leap, as they say. You never know until you tried. I’m thinking that things could have been a little different if I said my feelings early on. This would have been not included on the “Road”. But it’s too late for that, and I’m satisfied with my choice.
Not when I’ve took a dive into answering a request at an Anime magazine from a girl looking for some friends who also loves Anime. Another time, then…