It was summer of 2006 when Gio and I started flirting. I was busy applying for college, and my relationship with Mary Jane was nearing its second month. Other details regarding how we began are vague in my memory; all I remember is we started talking thru SMS. How I got his number or how he acquired mine is already lost in my head. I became very interested and I enjoyed our daily exchange of text messages. Soon, I developed immature feelings (since I have yet to meet him) towards him, and then I left MJ eventually.
I was 16 and Gio was 31 then; he was almost twice my age. What the fuck right? Meh, getting attracted to someone who's way older is quite normal for individuals who were molested as children, like me. I personally know a handful of those individuals, and all of them are also fond of older men. It's like a side-effect of sexual child abuse. Going back, Gio was an OFW, he went home due to contract expiration. He has a daughter and he's already separated from his wife. In my opinion, there are only 3 good things about him: his height, his butt, and his mind. Gio stands tall at 5'9" with a cute butt; he is smart, witty, and very opinionated. The downside is he looks like a cross between Ebe Dancel of Sugarfree and Allan K of Eat Bulaga. No kidding. He has chinito eyes that doesn't complement his chubby cheeks, his big pores, his nose like Shrek's, his dark complexion, and his beer belly. Just dress him in maong pants and a plain white shirt, with a Good Morning towel hanged on his neck, and what you have is a typical jeepney driver as your lover. He is ugly, to summarize it. Having described him, you might wonder what in the world I was thinking when I let myself fall in love with him. Honestly, I have no idea too. Please forgive my immature 16-year-old self. I didn't feel any disappointment when I first saw him. I was already in love before I even laid my eyes on him. Maybe that's why I looked past his exterior qualities and focused, instead, on his inner personality, which I found mesmerizing. Oh Love, you move in mysterious ways, but fuck you.
On our first meeting, we went out of town, to some beach in Batangas. We had been textmates for almost 2 weeks already. Our meet-up venue was a Jollibee, so we ate brunch first before riding the bus. I was quiet and shy the whole time, I was worried he might find me boring, opposite to the personality I showed in my text messages. Well, he can't blame me since it was my first time doing a meet-up. However, during the bus trip, we began talking normally, but we still had several moments of silence and awkwardness; it was a long travel, for your info. Upon arriving at our destination, I was beginning to be affectionate towards him. We rented a small hut, wherein only a single foam bed lay on the floor and there's no electric fan. Its walls are thin and it was situated beside the dining tables of a cheap resort, so it can get very noisy during meal times. I expected that we will have our stay in a comfy room, but I guess I had no right to complain since it was all in his expense. Nonetheless, I enjoyed my time with him. The sex wasn't that hot, I admit, but keep in mind that I was in love at that time, so every moment is pure bliss. Hmm? What about his dick? Nah, its pretty average, I think it is even smaller than normal. I tried fucking him (his cute butt is irresistible), but he can't take my cock, saying that it is big and he can't stand the pain.
During the first night, he told me this sad news that he might soon go back abroad for work, probably after summer. His singing of "Kung Tayo'y Magkakalayo" using the resort's karaoke machine didn't helped me in holding back my tears. When he reached the line 'Mapapatawad mo ba ako sa paghihirap na dulot ko sa buhay mo. Aking nadarama pagsasama nati’y `di magtatagal; kay laki ng hadlang sa ating pagibig...', I had to get away from him because I can't hold back myself from crying. I excused myself and went standing near the beach, crying my eyes out. I was so down in the dumps regarding the idea that he will soon leave me. So dramatic, right? If I could just kick my younger self in the nuts to put some sense into him, I would do it without hesitation. After a couple of minutes, I saw Gio approaching so I immediately wiped my eyes and nose. Seeing that he didn't notice anything, we just talked normally while looking at the stars above and listening to the crashing waves. How fucking romantic.
The next morning, he told me that his girl best friend, Ate Glaiza, will join us later that day together with her family, while his boy best friend, Ryan, will follow the next day. Our out of town trip was supposed to be just a weekend stay, from Friday to Sunday, but it was extended until Monday since Ryan also wanted to have an overnight stay there. Ate Glaiza and company came at noon. I bonded with them, Gio introduced me as his boyfriend, which I found slightly uncomfortable at that time since I was not out to anybody. After having lunch and spending time at the beach, they went home at sunset. The next day, it was Ryan's turn. Ryan is older and more effeminate than Gio, and he is ugly too. He looks a bit like a monkey with wrinkles, dark complexion, a neck length hair, big jaw, and prominent teeth. He is very warm and kind though, and like most effeminate homosexuals, he is very funny. We had our fun the whole day. At sunset, we saw him at the beach, talking to some local boys, flirting with them. At dinner, he brought a date, and we drank beer after.
During that night, I couldn't sleep. Gio was already snoring away in dreamland. I saw his mobile phone lying next to him. I had an itch to poke my nose into it, and so I did. Yes, that's a habit I can't shake off until now, another reason to kick myself in the balls. What I saw in his inbox shocked me; it contained countless text messages from other guys, some are innocent but most are flirtatious. There was this one guy, named Aldrin, who had the most number of messages. According to their conversations, Gio was planning to visit him soon in La Union, and he was wondering if Alvin could give him a good time on his visit. Jealousy and anger swelled up inside me, and I was near crying again. I was having second thoughts if I will talk to him about this, since he might get angry with the fact that I snooped around his phone without his consent, so I decided to go out for the meantime. I went to Ryan for some advice. On my way to his room, I bumped into his date; they just finished doing what they gotta do. I knocked and he told me to enter. He was lying in bed, watching T.V.
"Oh Sepsep, kasama mo ba si Gio? Bakit nandito ka? Anong oras na ah," he asked.
"Tulog na si Gio," I answered, then I told him the reason of my visit, what happened the other night, and the messages I saw in Gio's phone, crying mildly all the while.
"Ah ganon ba. Naku, hindi ko alam yan eh. Mabuti pa kausapin mo na lang siya bukas tungkol diyan, bago tayo umuwi. Minsan ganyan talaga si Gio, mahilig makipagusap sa mga lalake. Para mas malinaw, dapat sa kanya mismo manggaling diba?" he said with a hint of sympathy in his voice.
Ryan was doing something weird to me while saying all of that. Using his hand, he was compassionately rubbing my shoulders up to the back of my head, and he's a slightly pulling me towards him. I felt uncomfortable so I decided to leave.
"Sige kausapin ko na lang siya bukas para mas malinaw. Thanks ha," I said. His hand was still caressing my nape.
"Sigurado ka bang okay ka na? Dito ka na lang muna," he said rather softly.
"Don't worry ok na ko. Pwede mo na kong bitawan. Babalik na ko sa room namin. Thanks ulit," I said, feigning a slight laughter.
He finally let go of me, smiling slightly. I bade good night and started walking back to the hut. In my mind, I was thinking our relationship, which might end prematurely, was possibly a waste. Regret rushed in my head, my legs numb, and I felt a pang of extreme sadness. Geez, teenage emo. I really can't believe and accept that I had been like that. *brrr* I slept lightly that night. Monday morning came, I talked to Gio before preparing to go home.
"I should be angry at you dahil pinakialaman mo ang phone ko, pero I think mas kelangan ko mag-apologize sayo. Sorry if ganon yung mga nabasa mo. Pero maniwala ka sakin na hindi ako seryoso sa mga yun. Landi lang yun," he explained.
"How about yung kay Aldrin? Kelan ka pupunta doon?" I asked with a serious face.
"Aldrin...? Ah siya. Hindi totoo yon, sinabi ko lang yun para humaba ang usapan namin. Maniwala ka sakin, ikaw lang ang mahal ko. Para sayo, ititigil ko na ang mga ka-text ko na yan. Hindi kita magagawang lokohin Sepsep. Mahal na kita," he answered, affection was evident in his face.
Did I believe him? Well, don't expect great sensible decisions from a naive teenager who is madly in love. After talking, we had make-up sex, then we went home soon after. While travelling, I told him about the incident with Ryan the night before, but he said that he wasn't surprised and that was normal for Ryan to do. So I dropped the topic.
Did I mention I have lots of kiss marks on my chest and some on my neck afterwards? All were courtesy of Gio. Foolishly, I even showed them off to my family! I was that proud in an inappropriate way. Of course I told them it was from my new girlfriend, much to their worry. I assured them that we didn't have sex yet. *teehee* Hey, don't give me that look! I am very certain you did something like that before too.
Since Gio lives in Manila, it was difficult for us to see each other on a regular basis; I can't meet him anytime I want to. I have to wait several days for us to be together for a couple of hours. Luckily, Ate Glaiza also lives in the same province I am residing in. They have an abandoned house in the slums near a famous university. They left their former residence because of the unsafe and unhealthy environment; they transferred to a decent subdivision somewhere near. She's lending the house to Gio whenever he visits Ryan, who also lives in the same area, so that he will have a place to say if ever he wants to spend the night. So that's where we stay every time we wanted to see one another. The house looks battered and old; it has no furniture: no bed, no sofa, no refrigerator. We slept in pieces of plywood on the floor covered with bed sheets borrowed from Ryan. Oh, there were also pillows and a single burner gas stove, all borrowed also from his best friend. Apart from that, the house looks bland and creepy. It was the first time for something like this to occur to me, to feel like a poor person. But I didn't complain, since we have no place. I am against the idea of renting a motel room, so I made myself contented with what's available.
The events that will follow taught me a lot in life; it somehow changed me. It was an exposure to the kind of life which was very different than what I used to.
To be continued...
Author's Note: I had no intention for this story to be divided into 2 parts. However, due to a possibly very long post, I had to cut this short. See you on the continuation!