I had always believed in destiny. Say when a guy met a girl and they fell head over heels in love with each other, and decided to get married – that was destiny. Or when a girl kept on walking away from a guy who knew nothing but try to make her his, and still she ended up loving him anyway – that was destiny.
But that was not the very reasons I believed in destiny – not even close. I believed in destiny because though I met the man of my dreams, the man I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with, the man I wanted to welcome home each night, I was bound to be with someone else.
When I woke up that morning, I knew nothing but my desire to realize what life had in store for me. Somehow, I knew what to search for or perhaps where to start searching and so I sought for it.
That same evening – he was right there in front of me.
He did not look at me or anywhere towards my direction as he asked me that one question I had kept away from the moment he picked me up from the university. He asked me why I called for him.
He stretched his back to feel more comfortable as I sat still at the passenger’s seat of his car, fidgeting. We had been parked for almost ten minutes and I had not uttered a single word. He was growing impatient, and I was growing more and more nervous at each second he had to sigh.
I called him three hours before to tell him there were things we needed to talk about. Those were the things I should have told him before three long years had passed our lives with no clear point as to where we were in each other’s hearts.
Were we best friends when sometimes he couldn’t help but kiss me? That must have happened a few more times than thrice. Were we friends when I always responded each time I felt his lips? Were we lovers when he had a woman beside him in the movies? Were we lovers when I had a man holding my hand?
There was distance between us – one which you know you can never fill up no matter how close you get to each other. It was called steady relationships. And they weren’t for the both of us, but for the ones we came to be with in spite of each other… in spite of our secrets.
I fell in love with him. There. I said it. I knew I did not have to think twice. For he was there beside me and all we had was that very moment – nothing else.
There was silence between us. Then there was nothing again but the busy streets outside; beyond the park, the laughter of cuddling lovers and the voices of shouting kids. The sky was a deep shade of blue with a single line of the sun, which did not insist on staying to keep watch. The streets were as orange as the lights; the night so cold with the January air; the music as gloomy as my days had been. There was silence and there was nothing again.
He sniffed the cigarette he had just lighted and looked around the park. He held my hand, tighter by the second, looked at me and then forced a curve upon his lips. He loved me, too. He said it.
Then there was silence again. And again.
For what seemed to be a million seconds of waiting for someone to speak, I sat listening to a million echoes inside my brain of how different singsong versions of his admission came to my heart.
One version sounded like it was straight out of the movies. Another sounded like a chorus from a favorite pop song. Then there was another, which sounded like it was rehearsed, orchestrated for this perfect moment. Yet another one battled that it was a version right out of a horror flick – where it was forced to be uttered so no one would die.
I could never really tell which one was it. And for everything it all seemed to be worth, I had to decide it sounded like it was the last one. It was real, no doubt about it. I felt it. Yet it sounded like he admitted it just so our friendship wouldn’t fade away.
When I tried to cry, he told me to stop just so we could both be strong. We had responsibilities; he had one now, growing each month until its ninth one. I wanted to cry even more. For all the years of waiting, we were bound to find an end as dead as this with no point of escape. He had a responsibility to keep.
He tried convincing me how much he wanted the moment to stay that way – him holding me. But that it was just fairly impossible. He tried to kiss me but I broke away. Agreeing was just unfair.
He tried to convince me that he loved me, but we were simply not meant to be.
And I knew that he was not the kind of person who forced things to happen when they were not supposed to. I guess that was what I was thinking of doing – force him to come to me.
Funny how he knew it. “Don’t do anything about this,” he said. “I don’t want you hurt.”
There was, after all, a lady waiting for him and a man expecting my call.
“So this is goodbye,” I said softly. My voice could never be more forced.
“I guess so,” he replied.
We parted ways.
It was that night I realized not all stories have happy endings but they do have happy-this-way endings.
Destiny does not always mean you get to be with the one you really love or the man you fall in love with at first sight.
Destiny means letting go and accepting that someone more fated will catch it when it falls.
Destiny means being able to keep away no matter the pain just to allow the world to turn the right way, to watch everyone in it with a life.
Destiny means having to accept that choices often fail and that something better fated is up in your downfall.
Destiny means falling in love over and over and over again until your heart could take no more… because someone will come and rid you the pain of it all.
I believed in destiny not because I won him for myself or because I stayed with the man I had that time.
I believed in destiny because four years after that nightfall, my world stopped again just meeting at a man, who married me and became my all.