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Tuesday, November 03, 2020

In love there is forgiveness


Please call me Diane. Graduate ko sa UC-Main. Di lang nako isulti unsa kurso ug what year kay naa niya makaila nako. My story goes like this…

I was with my ex bf for 2 years when I decided to have a bit of fun kay na bored nako niya. I cheated on him sa among classmate rapud- yes, classmates ming 3. Last year namo sa kurso nag start ang akong kabuang. The relationship went on for 2 years and on those 2 years, ako gi blind akong uyab ug ang ako classmate pud. Pero nagbuwag rapud mi sa ako bf ug classmate for different reasons. Sa ako bf, kay nasakpan mi niya ni classmate. Ug ni classmate, kay nag cheat siya nako ug mangulata siya.

Fast forward 2 years later…

Nagka reconnect ko balik sa akong elementary crush. Nikalit ra siya ug chat nako sa fb. I was single that time and I'm really curious how he turned out. Let's call him Liam. Na shock jud ko pagkita namo because he changed so much. He's now tall, chiseled, ug ni gwapo siya pag ayo. Liam is an epitome of my dream guy. 

Pag una namo ug kita perte namong storya naabtan mi ug 6 hours storya ra tanan. We cramped the past 10 years sa kato nga night. We've talked about everything under the sun and I've found out nang migrate diay sila sa iyang pamilya sa Europe pag graduate namo ug grade 6. Pero bisan naa na siya sa gawas, dili jud siya arte. He is still the same down to earth guy I've known since elementary. Ako sad siya gisultian about sa akong lovelife. I've told him everything, including my cheating. Nalingaw jud ko ug storya niya kay bisan iya ko gibadlong sa akong nabuhat, wala jud siya ni judge nako.

We went out a couple more times. Ug na develop jud among feelings for each other. I know it's not going to last kay he needs to go back sa iyang country and continue living his life while mag stay rako sa Cebu. Sa iyang last day, ako siya gihatod sa airport.

Liam: I'll come back for you

Me: When?

Liam: Next year? Makahuwat ka?

Me: I don't know. Kahibalo na baya kas akong cheater history

Liam: Diane, you need to choose to let go of that person. It's not who you are anymore. Learn to forgive yourself.

Me: I don't think I can do this LDR thing

Liam: You don't have to decide now. We'll keep in touch lang ha?

Me: Sure

Pero wala siya kabalo, namakak ko niya. I didn’t plan on keeping in touch. I've decided to let go of what we have and call it a summer fling. So every time mo log in siya sa fb igkita nako online siya, mag dali2x ko ug offline. That went on for 3 weeks, wala rapud siya ni message nako. So, I took it as a sign  nga di sad siya interesado. Until one day wala ko kabantay nga online na diay siya,  ni message siya nako nangumusta.

Liam: Diane, finally, naabtan jud tika. How have you been?

Me: (deciding to be honest) Nagsige ko ug offline para di ko nimo maabtan. If I tell you I'm fine, I'd be lying.

Liam: Have you decided na nga what we have is a risk not worth taking?

Me: No, quite the opposite really. I think it's worth losing too much that I'm afraid. I'm afraid to get hurt, to disappoint you in case I do something stupid again and afraid that this might not work and will be left with nothing.

Liam: I’ve been thinking about us all the time since I got here.

Me: I've missed you.

And that one statement changed my life. After ko nisulti niya nga gimingaw ko niya, we've talked for a couple more hours and decided to be a couple. And it was the best decision I've made. He was the best boyfriend anyone could ask for. Grabe jud siya makapangga nako and he is sweet, kind, generous and loving. We've bridged our distance through fb and skype. Sige jud mi ug chat or skype everyday without miss.

He proposed after 4 months sa amo relationship. Niuli jud iya parents sa Pinas to meet mine and talked about our coming wedding. Best moment jud to sa akong life. I didn't think I deserved all these things considering what I did years ago. I savoured it nonetheless.

We got married in a simple garden wedding. Iya pamilya gasto sa tanan kay wala jud kaayo ma contribute ako family kay pobre man gud mi. A few months after the wedding, nadala nako niya sa Europe. It was too hard at first kay wala koy kaila and wala work. Naa rako permi sa balay while he works. I can't complain on my new husband though. Liam is every bit as loving as when we were bf-gf if not more.

Eventually naka work ko diri and I was happy that I could finally contribute financially. Liam and I decided nga mag baby nami after a year because stable naman sad mi. Liam has a good position in a big company. Ni try ko ug apply sa same company nga iya gi work-an and nadawat pud ko. Dili mi same department but magkita rami.

Everything went well for a couple of months. Liam is still the loving husband I could only wish for. Until one day, nakabantay ko si Liam tag dugay na mouli. Sige siya ug ingon nga OT daw naa man gud sila dako nga project. Naguol ko kay naanad jud ko nga permi mi kuyog but I know para rani sa among future. Kani si Liam maypagka workaholic sad jud ni siya so wala rako na concern.

It continued being like that for 3 more months. Until one day naa koy nadunggan nga storya within the office nga si Liam daw ug ang iyang kauban sa department named Carly has a secret relationship. Someone saw them leaving Carly’s apartment nga duol rapud sa balay sa amo usa ka kauban. I can't believe what I've heard kahilakon ko pero ako gipugngan. I don't want to believe in rumors and would want to hear the truth from my husband. Apparently it has been going on for several months but no one had evidence until that recent sighting.

Niuli ko ato nga day nga guol kaayo. I've waited for Liam to go home pero as usual late napud daw siya mauli.

Me: what time are you going to be home today babe?

Liam: I need to finish a couple of things kay weekend baya ugma this can't wait. Mga midnight nako mauli babe don't wait up.

Me: Okay, I'll see you tomorrow then.

I've slept that night with eyes drenched in tears. Bisan wala pa na confirm ni Liam ako suspicion, I know in my heart he's got someone else. I am determined to know the truth the next day. I drifted in a restless sleep.

The next day, after mi nag breakfast,

Me: Liam, I need to ask you something. And I want to know the truth.

Liam: I'm afraid this day would come. I know what you're going to ask. Yes, it's true, I'm with Carly. We've been going out for 6 months na behind your back. I know daghan na ug storya about namo sa opisina. I would like to be the one to tell you but obviously, someone beat me to it.

Me: (while gatulo ang luha) Why? Naay kuwang nako?

Liam: I'm so sorry Diane, I was weak. She is attractive and I am attracted.

The whole time nagstorya mi, emotionless kaayo si Liam. Feeling nako this is karma hitting me hard on the face. Fate has served it to me cold. All this time I thought I had my fairytale.

Me: I just want to know kung love pako nimo and if you want to start over and end it with Carly.

Liam: I want a divorce.

Mura ko ug nabungog sa ako nadunggan. It felt like the whole world is crashing down on me. So ang akong gibuhat, nitando ko ug nilakaw sa among room para mohilak. I've looked at everything sa amo room while reminiscing everything we've gone through as a couple. Sayang kaayo siya but I know when I'm not needed anymore. After awhile Liam went in our room.

Liam: I'm so sorry babe. I know how hard this is for you. But I want to be with her.

Me: Can you please tell me what I could have done differently para wala ka matintal?

Liam: (speechless).. We need to decide a few details sa ato separation. Don't worry about the lawyer fee, I got it. I'll give you your half sa ato properties plus you can have all of our savings. I owe you that much.

Me: I don't need all that. Ikaw ako kinahanglan and I'm willing to do everything to fix our marriage.

Liam: Babe please. Don't make this any harder. Ganahan ko ug divorce, I don't love you anymore, it's Carly whom I love.

Sakto jud diay sila. Lisod pugson ang taw nga dili na. It felt like my soul was split in two. I've recalled all the good times that we had and it made my heart ache more. Gone is the sweet and carefree guy I've married. Whenever I look at Liam, he's not the same guy anymore. He is harsh and cold. 

Nihangyo ko ni Liam to let me stay a couple more days while I sort out my new living arrangement. I've moved to the spare bedroom while packing my things. Carly moved in a couple of days later. My side of the bed hasn’t even gone cold yet iya na gipapuyo iyang querida. She is now the queen of his household and I can’t do anything because his love is no longer mine. After a week gikan sa amo storya nibalhin nako sa ako new place.

The divorce proceedings would take months to be finalised kay daghan pa ug stages. While it's still ongoing, I've resigned from my job nga kauban ming 3 ug kompanya and decided to move farther away from the area. While packing up my things, niduol si Carly ug Liam nako,

Carly: Thanks for not taking us to HR. I know they would've fired both of us if you went and complained.

Me: I have no desire to take something you've worked so hard for. I hope you've felt the same before you seduced my husband.

Liam: C’mon Diane, Carly went here to thank you. You don't need to insult her.

Me: It's funny isn't it? You have the nerve to ask me to be grateful because she thanked me for not getting both of you sacked?

Liam: Look, when this is all over, I hope we can all be at least civil to each other. Our lawyer would be in touch to let you sign the papers once it's finalised.

Me: Sure. For now, goodbye Liam and Carly. I do wish you find happiness with each other.

A few days after ko ni resign, nakakita ra dayon ko ug work sa usa ka start up company. It helped me a lot to to keep my mind off things. Until one day, nimata ko nga ga suka2x. Niadto ko ug ospital to confirm my suspicion. 14 weeks pregnant na diay ko wala ko kabantay tungod sa akong ka busy ug ka guol.  Nihilak jud ko pag ingon sa doctor. I didn't want my kid to grow up without a dad but wala koy choice. Bisan lisod, I've persevered and I took care of myself better because I have a child growing in me. 

Nag duha2x ko ug sultian ba nakos Liam nga pregnant ko. I've decided against it a couple of times within the past month. Pero after awhile, naka huna2x ko nga he has the right to know. He may not have been a good husband to me, but maybe he can be a good father to our child. So I decided to call..

Me: Hi Liam, sorry naka disturb ko nimo. Naa lang unta ko’y tuyo nimo.

Liam: Look Diane, now is not a good time for me.

Me: I won't take a lot of your time I just need to tell you something important.

Liam: (suko) Di ka kasabot? I'm in a rush karon. I'm not in the mood to talk about your feelings or anything to do with you.

Me: Okay. No worries, I'm sorry to have bothered you.

Wala pa gani ko kahuman ug storya iya na gi end ang call. To be honest, I didn't recognize the person I was speaking to. Nausab jud pag ayo si Liam. I've finally decided to take it as a sign to keep the pregnancy to myself.

Around 6 months preggy ko gi assign ko sa ako boss sa lain nga city. So I've decided to move again. I've texted Liam my PO Box address pero naa toy forwarding in case need na nako mo sign sa among divorce papers. Di ko ganahan makatultol siya asa nako nagpuyo. So I’ve changed my number and went with my maiden name bisan wala pami ma divorce. Life went on for me until nanganak ko.

My baby girl is a spitting image of me but with her father's jet black eyes and hair. I've named my daughter Leanne and she is the most wonderful kid a parent could ask for. Liwat kaayo siya sa iyang daddy ug batasan nga hilumon and well-behaved.

Ako gipaapas kadali akong sister sa Europe para naa koy mauban while recovering gikan panganak. Sige siya ug pangutana nako unsa ang nahitabo, I've told her everything but made her promise not to tell anyone even my parents. Di ko ganahan maguol sila nako. Ang ilang nahibal an, wala nami nagkasinabot maong nag divorce. It's not too farfetched anyway because we got married too quickly. I’ve cut ties with Liam’s family pud kay ganahan jud ko mag start ug fresh. Ako gi deactivate akong fb and Liam is not posting things on his fb with Carly on it kay wala pa sad baya nahuman among divorce. Nahadlok guro siya makiha. He didn't know I have no plans in pursuing anything.

6 months gikan ko nanganak, niuli na akong sister balik sa Cebu while nibalik nako ug work. Di man gud ko ka leave ug dugay kay I was given by my boss an opportunity to spearhead a project. Leanne would be in day care all day til makuha na nako siya ig hapon after work. This went on for awhile kay wala jud makatabang ug babysit nako. Looking back, lisod jud siya but nakaya ra nako.

At night I will cuddle her to sleep but before that I would always show her photos of her daddy on my phone. Photos of him and us together, when we were still happy. Bisan pa sa gibuhat ni Liam nako, I still love him, and I want our child to know and love him as well. Nakahilak jud ko kay ang 1st word sa among anak is “dada” while looking at her dad's photo. It broke my heart thinking what we could have been. Pero I have to remain strong for Leanne.

Fast forward 3 years..

Nagdali2x ko ug guyod ni Leanne while galakaw sa city kay hapit nami ma late sa Lion King play nga among tan awn. Ganahan jud siya molakaw di siya pakugos so nagbaw ko ug bitad.

Leanne: Mummy want to toilet.

Me: Okay baby, let's go toilet.

Leanne: Just wait outside mum I can go by myself.

Bisan nagkandayungit iyang agi di jud siya pakuyog. Kani ako anak, nagdako jud ni siya nga maypagka independent. Anad man gud siya nga permi ko naas work. While naghuwat kos gawas,

Liam: Diane?

Me: (nangluspad) Uy, kumusta? Long time no see. Sige ko ug huwat2x sa papers wala man naabot. Nag return address sa imo?

Liam: Wow! You're too keen to sign that paper eh?

Me: I was just wondering because it's been 3 years Liam and I haven't received anything.

Liam: Where have you been Diane? I've looked everywhere for you. Asked your family, my family, your friends, but no one can tell me where you are.

Me: Diri ras kilid2x uy (laugh)

Leanne: Mummy, I'm finished.

Nilingi ko sa akong anak nga naa na diay sa akong kilid wala ko kabantay. Nitan aw si Liam niya pero ambot lang ug nakamay ong ba siya sa iyang anak. Ug sa dihang..

Leanne: Daddy, kugos..

Wala jud ko katingog sa gisulti sa akong anak. Wala ko nag expect makaila siyas iyang papa nga mga karaan man to nga pictures ako gipakita niya katong kuha pa nako sa akong phone.

Wala motingog si Liam, pero iyang giaswat si Leanne.

Liam: How are you baby girl? Did you miss daddy?

Leanne: Yes. I miss you daddy. Mummy said you live far far away.

Nagtinan away ming 2 ni Liam ug halos di ko ka harong ug tan aw niya. Pero nakita nako sa iyang mata ang grabe nga pagmahay ug guilt while nagkugos siya sa among anak.

Me: Baby, let's go na late nata sa play.

Leanne: But I want to stay with my daddy.

Me: Busy paman si daddy anak. Come to mum and be a good girl okay? Daddy still needs to go somewhere.

Ako gikuha si Leanne niya ug halos modagan nalang ko.

Leanne: Bye daddy! We love you!

Nagbaw jud ko ug pugong sa ako luha. Mao man gud na amo idungan ug sulti every night before mi matulog after mi tan aw sa mga pictures. So nitalikod ko dayon ug nagpaspas ug lakaw paingon sa entrance sa play.

Liam: Diane wait, Pwede ta mag storya please?

Diane: Sorry kaayo Liam late nami sa play. Please have your lawyers send the papers so I could sign it. Same PO Box address. Okay?

Liam: Diane, we have a lot to talk about. Please.

Nisulod ko deretso sa venue sa play while gakugos ni Leanne. Wa jud ko molingi. Makakita unya si Liam sa akong mata nga love pa gihapon nako siya ug ang mga luha nga nitulo. May gani ngit2x na ang venue kay nagsugod naman. Walay nakabantay nako nga naghilak ko. Si Leanne pud kay concentrate kaayo siya sa play.

Paghuman sa play nag dali2x mi ug gawas kauban sa majority sa crowd pang camouflage just in case Liam is still waiting outside. Padulong nako labang sa dihang naay nihunong nga sakyanan sa amo atubangan.

Leanne: Daddy!!

Liam: Get in Diane. Need ta mag storya.

Nisulod kos awto nga wala ko kasabot unsa ang dapat nakong bati-on. Nahadlok ko nga ilugon ni Liam ang akong anak or makigtunga siya ug custody sa bata. Nihunong among gisakyan sa atubangan sa restaurant.

Liam: I reckon this is the best place to talk. I'm sure gigutom napud mo.

Leanne: I'm gutom daddy.

Liam: Yes baby girl, it's daddy's treat tonight. What would my princess like?

Naminaw ko nilang 2 ga storya, they sound like they've known each other for one lifetime not a few hours. So ako ra sila gisagdan sa ilang interaction because I don't know what else to do. My daughter is too happy to see her dad,  and I can't take it away from her.

Liam: Diane, I would like to apologize for a lot of things I've put you through.

Me: It's in the past. We've all moved on.

Liam: Have you? Not me. I've spent the last 2 years looking for you. I initially thought you went home to Phils.

Me: Nah, life has been good to me after the whole break up. Mas nindot ang opportunity ni Leanne ug nako diri.

Liam: Babe, sorry jud kaayo sa akong nabuhat. If I could turn back time, I would have made a better choice. You have always been the better part of me. I was just too blinded with what I thought was the finer things in life. I didn't know what I had til I went home one day and the warmth you've created to our home is gone. When I can no longer hear your high-pitched laugh every time I crack a joke. When the smell of the person beside me in bed is not the same sweet scent that reminded me of tulips and calla lillies. When all I ever looked forward to after a long day’s work is your hug, kisses and endless chatter of how your day went. Please take me back.

Me: Liam please. It hurt so much I can't go back. It was really hard, I may not make it if I have to redo the whole thing.

Liam: Diane, please think about it. I know it's too early to decide. But I want to be part of your life again. I want my daughter to go home to a family. Let me make this right I beg you.

After ato nga dinner, ni insist ko nga di lang mi niya ihatod. I didn't want him to know where we live. He insisted on getting my number so ako gihatag niya kay di jud mi niya papaulion til nakuha niya akong number.

That night, I've evaluated how I felt making Liam a part of my daughter's life. Nag huna2x sad ko kung napasaylo na ba nako siya and if I'm willing to take him back. Gusto ko maka sure unsa ang iyang tinuod nga rason to get back together. I wouldn't want to start again kung naluoy lang siya nako or tungod lang sa among anak. I want to ascertain his feelings for me.

2 days after sa among dinner, nagsabot mi magkita ug balik para mag storya.

Naay gibutang si Liam nga envelop sa table. Ako gi ablihan to find our divorce papers - unsigned. Nitan aw ko niya..

Me: Bag o ni nga draft sa papers? Nagpuno ka para custody pud?

Liam: Look closely Diane, it's the same paper you've signed 3 years ago pag initial nato ug apply for divorce. I can't bring myself to sign it bisan ako ang nangayo ug divorce. Carly was so pissed ngano ga langay2x ko. I've told her we'll have to wait for a year before we can file it. I lied. I didn't know what I wanted that time pero I can't bear to pick up a pen and sign the damn paper.

Me: What's the point of telling me this?

Liam: I just want you to know how sorry I am for everything you've gone through because I was too stupid and weak to see what is in front of me. I went around wishing for things I thought nga makalipay nako. I've pursued Carly because she is beautiful, ambitious and every man's dream. I thought I needed a woman who is my equal. You are too simple, too docile, too good and too contented with life's trivialities that I've mistaken it for lack of ambition.

Me: Dugay na kaayo to Liam uy. Let's not rehash the past palihug lang. If you want custody sa imong anak, it would be a hard bargain. I live in this city now ug di ko pwede mobalhin kay diri na among life ni Leanne.

Liam: I'm only asking for a chance to be part of your life again. I still love you Diane. I loved you then, I love you now. I've never stopped loving you even if I've said those hurtful words to you.

Me: Then why? Kahibalo ba ka unsa kasakit ang madunggan to gikan nimo? (Crying)

Liam: I'm so so sorry babe. I've made a mistake. Let me make it up to you. I want us to be a family again.

After ato nga meeting namo, nisugot ko nga si Liam mobisita namo sa balay para maka bonding siya sa among anak. Nagsugod napud ug gaan akong buot niya. He is so good to our daughter. And he makes her happy. Nalipay pud ko nga nakaila na akong anak sa iyang papa.

We've decided to get to know each other again. A lot of things have changed in the last 3 years. Didto nako nahibal an that Liam broke it off with Carly 2 months after I've moved out. Mao diay wala jud siya ni post ug photos nilang 2 sa fb abi ko nahadlok lang siya makiha kay nangabit. They have been arguing because Liam wouldn't sign the papers and she got fed up and left.

Liam: The house, it's still there. It's still the same as how you left it. I didn't let Carly change anything and rid the house of your touch.

Me: Mao siguro sige mo ug away. Abi niya emotionally attach paka nako.

Liam: It is our home. I feel sick to my stomach having desecrated it by letting Carly live there even before we're officially divorced.

Me: Why did you decide to keep it that way? Remember, you kicked me out of the house and in your life coz you don't want me in it.

Liam: Wala jud ko kabalo Diane. I was so torn between what I thought I want and what my heart is telling me. It's like a brain vs heart thing and I was so confused. 

Bisan ug nag try mi ug work on sa amo relationship, I didn’t let him stay in my place. I believe it was safer that way. He has a place in the same city namo kay naa siya project for 6 months didto nga gi manage that's why nagkakita mi. Every day mobisita siya. And he always brings me flowers. Mura siya ug nanguyab nako ug balik. He wasn't kidding when he asked if we could start over again. Mura mi ug mga teenagers nga mag uyab2x though guarded gihapon kaayo ko. I didn't want to get hurt again.

One day, while naglingkod mi sa kitchen after namo gipakatulog si Leanne. Iyang gikuha akong kamot, ug gisul ob akong engagement ring ug wedding ring nga ako gibilin niya paghawa nako.

Liam: Will you do me the honor of being my wife again? I want to wake up next to you for the rest of my life. I love you Diane.

Nitan aw ko sa mata ni Liam, and I've recognized the same guy I fell in love with 5 years ago. Nitando ko ug ako siyang gigakos ug hugot kaayo. Mao to ang pinakauna nga nigakos ko niya since nagbuwag mi. He is still so familiar even after all the years. My heart remembered all the pain and tears, but it also remembered all the joy, laughs, hugs and kisses we've shared and it knows it's finally home. Back to my one true love. To the only man who can make and break me. I've given him my heart again knowing he can break it, the only difference is I know this time he won't. Our love is more steadfast and enduring the 2nd time around.

Fast forward 5 years..

Nang migrate napud mi somewhere sa Europe. Naa nami 2nd baby ni Liam and it's a boy. He is now 3 years old and looked so much like his father. Tall, tan, and black eyes and hair. Wala jud naliwat sa ako bisan usa.

Since we got back together, Liam has changed to be a better man. If sauna feeling nako pinangga kaayo ko niya, samot na karon. He is making up for all the lost times we've had. Ug bisan pa usahay guilt still creeps up on him every time makadumdum siya sa iyang nabuhat, I always reassure him that although pain and anger is a potent memory, forgiveness is a stronger antidote. And I have completely forgiven him of his shortcomings. He has made his choice and lived with it. But every day is a chance to heal and make better choices in life. I've chosen to stand by him and let go of the past and make a better future for our family.

Thank you all for reading my story. It's a bittersweet tale of love. It is still beautiful all the same.

P.S. sa akong mga friends, ayaw ko i tag please :)


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