Sunday, June 3, 2007

Fall of Rain

Sunday, June 3, 2007
It was the sureness of his gait that she noticed first. The second is his smile. He exuded an air of authority tempered with a subtle gentleness and a hint of sense of humor.

In this age where the quest for love has been elevated to the status of a holy pilgrimage, without really looking they somehow found each other. She didn’t know how it all started because there never was a formal courtship between them, only furtive glances and little smiles that spoke of what lies beneath. Before, every time he speaks she’d stop briefly and listen intently – not really to what he’s saying but more to the sound of his mellifluous voice. Now, often alone and desolate, his is the voice that she yearns for – to soothe her and make her feel that everything’s going to be all right.

A day after they first met, he passed by her table and said, “Can we talk?” Those three words started everything and eventually changed the course of their lives. They spent virtually the whole afternoon talking and assessing each other. She was quite impressed – with his mental acuity, zeal, eloquence and inimitability. That afternoon, he won her over completely and irrevocably. He was intrigued - with her naïveté, aloofness, idealism and air of mystery. With an airy, lightheaded feeling, it suddenly dawned on her that by some means she interested him, too. To this day, she can still remember the evolving spark and the original chemistry that connected him to her.

Their relationship was like a fall of rain. They might have hoped for it; they might have predicted it; they might have wanted it; they might have dreaded it; they might have needed it; they might have wanted it to stop; they might have watched the clouds headed their way on radar, feeling certain rain is imminent. But when it finally rained, it was a wonder – an experience like no other. And never did they expect that the wonder would last until this day.

All odds are against them. He is a widower in his early 40’s who has been there and done that; She is a wide-eyed wannabe in her late 20’s, still struggling to find her place in this world. He has been trained within the rigid walls of the military, espousing discipline and strength of character; She has been educated within the liberal halls of the academe, advocating intellectual freedom and academic excellence. He was raised with strong family values; She came from a broken family. He wasn’t ready for any commitment; She accepted that but never fully understood why. She is at times very insecure; He tried to but never fully understood why. He is short-tempered; She tends to force the issue. She is very proud of him and their relationship; He wants to keep everything under wraps. He has an artless, rocklike solidity about him; She is of a wistful, melancholic spirit. For a long time, they lived miles away from each other. He is explosive; She is implosive. He’s a realist; she’s a romantic. He is a father full of responsibilities; She doesn’t have the kind of responsibilities he has and is terribly immature but wants to learn and be of help to him.

Despite all these, they’re still together – the probity of their love unwavering, each contributing to the other’s happiness and well-being, constantly being each other’s support system, and unyieldingly trying to understand, respect and accept each other’s perspectives, needs and idiosyncrasies. Several untoward incidents have happened that threatened to break them apart. Only then did they realize that what couldn’t break their relationship only made it stronger.

They have been together – intermittently but incessantly - for one thousand and one hundred seventy days now. She still feels the tension, uncertainty, fear and thrill in not knowing what he really feels and whether they will end up together. But she has now realized that loving him is about knowing all the facts about him – good and bad – and caring about him anyway. Not merely caring about him, but loving him more.

(written January 2005)

But the inevitable happened - the rain has ceased to fall…

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