This is not about Edsa, although it is a bit about freedom, but not on that scale, not really. Scratch that – truth be told, I already feel bad about opening with that, because what does Edsa have to do about old loves, right?
But here’s the thing: Once upon a time, I was in love with a girl, and we got together on the anniversary of Martial Law. My friends like pointing this out, because those were rather harrowing years, and it’s been quite a while since I last wrote about her, even. Which is expected, considering it’s been years since I last saw her.
So tonight, on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the revolution that toppled the dictatorship, I saw her again. She’d been waiting for her husband, and I was on my way home, and she called out to me. There had been a time I would have known that voice anywhere, but tonight, I did not; I looked around in the dark, wondering who it was, and when I saw it was her it took me a couple of seconds to actually place her.
I know; what good does writing it all down do at this point, when we’re both married and happy, right? Right.
But you see, I suppose it just deserves saying: It gets better, it really does. It bears noting that I spent years thinking this girl was the last, and that I was never going to get past it. I carried her ghosts around for a time, and I let them weigh me down, and I let them walk around in my room, and I spent some days mistakenly making coffee for two and all that jazz.
And now, here we are: Roughly nine years later, and all the better for it, I guess.
I suppose in the end, that’s all I wanted to say: Everything passes. Take it as a note of hope; take it as a warning. Either way, take it as me shaking you by the shoulders as I say it.
We talked briefly. I was genuinely glad to see her – it’s been a while. We talked about, of all things, graduate school. Turns out we’re both in the middle of wrapping up our efforts. We talked a bit about traffic, and the joys of living in the city. It was friendly and lighthearted and nothing like I had initially feared it would be: Awkward and heavy; all the words stuck in a suddenly crowded chest.
So there was none of that; as it turns out, she was still easy to laughter, and I was relieved to find that it was still easy to connect with that part of her, after all.
And so we laughed.
“It’s so good to see you,” she said.
“Same,” I said.