BACKTRACKS

“Do you believe in forever? I asked someone that question before. Hearing those words wasn’t even a surprise. For those people who knew him, that was expected. For a writer who has written box office love stories which I know most of you have watched in the big screen, he was quite cynical when it comes to love. And being the optimist that I was, I just laughed and said; I’ll believe enough for both of us.”

I can feel the heat on my face as everyone in the room started looking at me. It’s not that nobody knew about us but it was a little awkward when someone is actually talking about it, out loud, especially with present company. What’s more is the fact that it’s you who was doing the talking.

My best friend elbowed me under the table as if taunting me to stand and stop you. I was on the verge of doing so when I saw you gave me a wink of assurance. I may have nothing to hide but I’m not really quite okay about being put on the spotlight all of a sudden.

“Mind you, he wasn’t as good looking as he is now. He never really cared about how he looks that’s why no one really realized that beneath the tangled hair, the messy clothes, and the forever attached paperback of some sort in his hands, he can be as dashing as he is now. By the way, remember to pay me later for all the things that I am saying. This is going to cost you.”

I just smiled weakly as everyone around us started laughing. I look around and saw that everyone was having a good time. It may have been to my expense but as long as everyone was okay, it was okay with me too.

“On second thought, hold on to your money. You might need it to get a lawyer for the things that I am about to say.”

That got me confused. Again, you winked at me so I just let a sigh out and continued listening to you like everyone else.

“He was lazy, though. He was contented with what he has and wasn’t really in any hurry to do something more than what he was doing. He is a talented writer as you already know. But during those times, it was just something that he does on a whim. There was a pile in his apartment of unfinished scripts and novels, always waiting for the time he would pick up the pen but he never did. He had a job that pays the bill and that was enough.”

Sometimes, it still scares me when I realize just how much you know about me. I smiled weakly.

“And that was something that wasn’t good enough for me. I urged him, argued with him almost every day, calling him names. Despite how he had looked and how he had viewed life before, I have seen what he can do with his life and I wanted him to grab that life, the life that he is living now. So to everyone who had received anything from that guy over there in the tux looking all handsome and important, I’m taking my five percent of whatever it is later. Cash is preferred by the way.”

I couldn’t help but laugh with the crowd. If there was one thing that I clearly remember and will never forget, it’s the fact that you can probably even make a comedy bar out of someone’s funeral. You even tried doing it once, although that was a completely a different story which ended up with your mother not talking to any of us for a while.

“All I am saying is, this person that you see in front of you know, I’ve seen it before, even when everyone else didn’t. Still, I left him.”

The silence that followed was quite remarkable. It was like someone suddenly pushed the mute button.

“For those nosy people, who wanted to know why, it’s quite simple; he didn’t believe in forever.” Even my mouth was agape after that.

“Basing from your expressions, I can see that it wasn’t the reason that you are expecting and before you start thinking that I am just some shallow bitch who can’t keep her mouth shut, let me explain.”

That’s when you stared at me like no one else was in the room.

“Remember when I broke up with you and you asked why and all I said was, about a boy?” I just nodded. It wasn’t really clear to me what you meant that time so I just assumed that there was someone else and didn’t argue.

“That was the first essay you wrote that I read.” Again, my jaw dropped. I don’t even remember writing that essay anymore.

“In there you said that Disney should stop talking about forever as if it’s something that just drops down from the sky. You said that forever means doing all that you can to make something last, to make things better, to make things work out.”

The words started to come back one by one to me.

“You said that forever was about trying to better yourself every single day so that the person who loves you will continue to fall in love with you, one day at a time.”

Everyone was again staring at me and I wasn’t really sure if it was in awe or disgust. I guess being a cynic do come hand in hand with being realistic.

“That’s why when I didn’t see you trying, I just assumed that you didn’t believe in forever, or even if you did, you didn’t believe that you would have it with me. So I left. Even after seeing the things everyone see in you know, I left.”

I smiled weakly. I didn’t quite understand the reason why you left before. All I knew was that I have to be better if I wanted you back. That was the only reason I saw why you left me, because I wasn’t enough. Seven years went by before I got the chance to see you again and that was just two days ago.

“The funny thing is that I wasn’t the only one who saw you.” And just like that, you started looking at my wife, your sister; the one I just married a couple of hours ago.

“The only difference between the two of us aside from the ring she has on her finger and the fact that she’s younger and more beautiful than I am now because of all the make-up she has on, no offense sissy, is the fact that she never stopped believing even when I did. That’s the reason why she deserves you more than me or more than any of the girls and guys in this room. But the question is; do you deserve her?”

Again, there you are stirring the crowd. I can see how uncomfortable your mother is, twitching in her seat. My wife, your sister, as always, is just smiling like she actually knows what was happening.

“What do you mean?” I asked which surprised everyone else in the reception hall. Again, you gave me a wink. At the same time, I felt the hand of my wife gently caressing my arm.

“Simple. Just answer one question. Do you believe in forever?”

I just smiled. Took my wife’s hand and said, “I don’t just believe in it. I was lucky enough to find it.”

Amidst the applause, I gave you one last look and mouthed a simple thank you. You just smiled and started walking towards us.

I looked at my wife with questions and she just smiled.

“Guilty as charged.” She said, laughing. I should have known that you wouldn’t pull something like this without telling her.

“I can’t believe you actually let her do this.” I said, still unbelieving that all that happened in my own wedding.

“Well, she hasn’t actually forgiven us for telling mama about our engagement before she told her about her engagement with Ian.” She said, looking at my best friend. “Then we went ahead and scheduled a wedding a month before their supposed wedding knowing that mama would never agree with us being married on the same year because of her superstitions.”

“And you two still aren’t forgiven!” You said just in time. My wife stood up and hugged you, laughing all the while. Then it was my turn to be hugged. Smiling, I grabbed you in a tight embrace and you did the same thing.

“Thank you.” I said. You just hugged me a little tighter.

“Should I be jealous?” I heard Ian, my best friend and my best man asked. I just stared at him. I let you go and you went into his arms immediately.

“I guess this means that I wasn’t your forever too?” I asked.

“I was lucky enough to find it.” You said, echoing what I said earlier. And somehow, I know that it’s true.

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