Our Love Story8:52 AM
|Ramon and Teresa|
We grew up in two different worlds,
Our paths almost did not cross,
But one surprise was hurled,
And that one chance was not lost.
R: I was a regular 16-year old boy, fresh out of high school. My thoughts were on getting a college education and nothing else. I was totally unattached romantically as it was probably the farthest thing from my mind.
T: I was a mother at 16 and was committed to someone. My parents extended me a lifeline by allowing me to finish my college education. I took the chance for my daughter at the cost of making a personal sacrifice of a mutually agreed temporary separation.
R: I first saw her when we took our entrance examinations for college. I thought she was a vision in white. For some unknown reason, I made a mental note of her name.
T: I took the entrance examinations with nothing in mind but to finish college in the fastest possible time. I was hoping for a promise to be fulfilled. I was oblivious to anything else.
R: It was the first day of classes. I found my name in two sections and quickly scanned each for her name. I found it in one list and reported to that class and we became classmates.
T: I reported to class on the first day with mixed feelings of excitement and apprehension. I introduced myself to the class and told them about my child. It felt good to be in school again.
R: I felt a tinge of regret when I heard what she said but accepted the fact for what it was. I contented myself with being her classmate. Because of the alphabetical seating arrangement, she was always in front of me and because of that we often had the chance to talk. She was nice to me as she was with everybody else. I would sometimes see him fetching her from school and they looked happy together. In a way, I was happy for her too.
T: The separation appeared to be taking its toll in my relationship. In the third year of college, I was having some serious doubts about the fidelity of the father of my child. It was a suspicion that will soon find its confirmation. The betrayal came and the pain dulled my senses and was literally sucking the life out of me. First, I felt hopelessness and then anger that remained with me for so many years. This time the separation was permanent.
R: Sometime during third year college, I sensed a different kind of sadness about her. Even when she was laughing in class with the rest of us, she looked different. I also noticed that he was no longer fetching her. I wonder if that has anything to do with her unexplained sadness but I dare not ask as I knew it was too personal.
R: It was getting near our graduation. Somehow I knew he was gone from her life. I wondered if I can call her. I have been saving her number which I got when we worked on a project together. I was afraid that we will not see each other again after graduation and so I had to try. Although obviously surprised with my call, she talked with me and answered my pretend questions about our assignments. I would call her every time I summoned enough courage to do so which was not often as I was running out of reasons to call her. She would talk to me and I was happy.
T: I really didn't know how to feel about his calls. I wasn't sure where all of these was leading to. I was just happy to have someone to talk to.
Graduation came and went and we were not to see each other again until about more than a year after. We concentrated in finding work and would just talk to each other over the phone sharing our experiences in job hunting and eventually our work. The calls became more regular, expected even, and everything went well with us as friends. Then the unexpected happened...
R: One day, I called her up as usual but to my great alarm, I was informed by the one who answered that she no longer lived there. Apparently, she went with her father, two siblings and her daughter to live in their restaurant. I panicked and felt an urgency to finally let her know how I really felt. After pleading for her contact number from the one who answered my call, I called her up and felt an immense sense of relief from hearing her voice. I asked her permission to visit her which she gave with a warning that her father may not welcome such a visit.
T: Our family was undergoing a very stressful situation during this time as my father was given only six months to live because of his sickness. A visiting suitor was probably the least expected to come at this time. To my surprise however, my father simply said yes when I asked his permission. Wonders never cease!
And so it came to pass that after five years of friendship, our relationship evolved into a romantic one. We dated exclusively for ten years and watched our friends get married one after the other. Our situation was a lot complicated than theirs so we found ourselves holding back. Fifteen years ago today, we finally took the marital plunge.
It was one of the most solemn and beautiful weddings if we may say so, not because it was extravagant but because of the emotions that it had been given not only by us but also by our guests and the officiating priest who knew what we went through to get to that day. In our fifteen years of marriage, we have literally gone through the lines contained in the marital vow "for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health...".
Every day of that fifteen years represented our triumph over the various challenges we have to face. These years were nowhere perfect and that is why we are thankful we are still together. We are thankful that we have not given up.
Five years of friendship, ten years of engagement, and fifteen years of marriage equal thirty years worth of a love story. We hope it isn't too much to ask for thirty more years together in this world. By then, we would have readied part two of this story.
- Ramon and Teresa