Tinder Tailor Soldier Spy (Part 7)

5 Aug

Chapter 11:  Ending Inconvenience 

I couldn’t quite believe how I managed to have Jayson take me in his arms and make him sway around. All I could recall was earlier that evening, we were sharing a box of pizza for dinner, goofing around, and talking about whatever, when I suddenly felt this intense desire to make the night more magical and special than it has already been.

While we were sitting on the floor, with an open box of Yellow Cab resting coldly now on the center table ,television was on but was completely being ignored, I randomly pulled out my phone, and did the unthinkable.

Jayson, you have three minutes to spare?

Yes, sure.  What’s up?

Do you mind if I waste them by asking you to dance with me?

A little bit flushed with shame but also a little bit proud of myself for being brave, I quickly scrolled down my playlist and chose a love song to play, and then I shared my earphones with him so we could both hear the music.

Jayson was just smiling the entire time. Perhaps giggling a little bit inside. He would always tell me my boldness usually surprised him, but he would never ever complain.  As for me, I was just happy he obliged and I didn’t have to suffer a night of rejection and awkwardness.

He turned the television off to eliminate the background noise. Then he stood up and he wrapped his arms around me, and  we started moving side to side to the rhythm of my song. My heart was beating so hard while we were dancing quietly right in the middle of his living room. He was looking at me so dearly, and he was smiling a lot, and  kissing me a lot too. And there I was thinking to myself: He was it. He was the one. And that I was truly, deeply, in love with this man.

Halfway through the song, we began talking about random stuff again. And at some point in our conversation, we got to the topic of dreams and ambitions.

… Well, if I ever get the chance years from now, I think I just want to slow down, relax and run a vineyard. I’ll make some fine wine, earn some money and just stay at home more. But that’s something I cannot do just yet. Still busy running around…. And you? … Maybe 10, 15 years from now, you’re already a Senator, or a big time person at the UN, or you’ll be Woman of the Year… and then I’ll see you on TV just doing something really significant with your life.. huh?

I don’t think so….

But I think so! You’re smart, you’re beautiful, you’ll go places I’m sure!

I took my gaze away from him and blankly into to the wall and slowly inward into the future I carved in my head. Then I uttered dreamily:

I really just want a simple, happy life you know. 10 or 15 years from now, I see myself doing a fulfilling job, and having enough time to pursue my other passions, and going home to a modestly sized but pretty, cozy house right by the beach or the countryside. Maybe by then, I also have a small family of my own already – a loving and responsible husband, and two kids at most. Nothing too grand. Just… something filled with meaning and beauty and joy and love.

Yeah?

Yeah. I replied as I pulled myself back to the moment.

Jayson looked at me again, but this time his stare said something different.

And then he embraced me tightly.  And the song came to an end.

______________

 

I couldn’t forget the way Jayson looked at me that night. It carried a sense of foreboding which, no matter how much I chose to ignore,  just wouldn’t escape me.

On the afternoon the next day, my fears were proven right. I received a rather long text from Jayson which I wished I never read.

“Janica, I couldn’t forget what you said about your dreams. You mean a lot to me, and our conversation last night got me feeling guilty. I didn’t really expect this to go this far, I didn’t plan to even have a second date with you. I didn’t plan on liking you this much because I didn’t think you’d be this amazing… but it all happened anyway. However, I don’t want to get in the way of your plans in life. And I should not have led you on. I wasn’t completely honest with you. You should know that I’m not staying long in the Philippines. I leave in June. July at most. Unlikely to ever be back. As much as I want to keep on seeing you, my job requires so much of me and it just cannot afford an inconvenience right now, or at all. I am not telling you that this would be the last time I’d see or talk to you, because I can’t. I don’t want to. But I’m hoping you ‘d take it upon yourself to stop seeing me, and to get away as far as you can from me. It is the only way to keep you on track. You are brilliant, and lovely, and you deserve to be happy. You are better off without me. ”

I wasn’t prepared for that message at all. And I didn’t know how to process all the emotions that it created either.  I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t stop my tears from flowing. I was so mad and so at a loss. And I couldn’t talk. nor think. No words. Not even a hint of reason.

But I needed to reply. Clarify. Change his mind. Then like a giant wave that came crashing through the shore, a thousand and one thoughts started running inside my head all at the same time.

Eventually,  I gathered enough courage and calmness to respond:

I am an INCONVENIENCE?! You have the fucking nerve to tell me I am an inconvenience? What the fuck, Jayson! WHAT THE HELL! WHAT THE FUCKING HELL!!! 

That is not what I said! You are not an inconvenience. Relationships ARE my inconvenience. You think we’d work out if I’m away three or more years at a time?  What kind of a husband and father would I be then? Will you ever be ready to live a life of uncertainty? Because that’s all I can give you Janica… Uncertainty.

Bull shit! Don’t fuck with me! Do you know that the Philippines has millions of Overseas Filipino Workers who are away just as much? And yet their families here manage just fine! Don’t give me this shit about your demanding job! Just tell me the truth, Jayson! You’re married aren’t you? Tell me! Are you married????

I’ve told you a million times I’m not married! You’re the closest thing I have to that!

Well fuck you!

Damn it, Janica! What else do you want me to say!

The fucking truth!

It’s all the truth I can afford to tell you. My job has taken over my life. And it’s not the same as your overseas workers.

To hell with your job, Jayson!  And to hell with you! I cannot believe you made a big fool out of me! You’re a selfish person! What have I been to you all this time then? Your favorite pastime?

Can you please calm down! You know to yourself that you are not a pastime. You know it! Don’t convince yourself otherwise because you know exactly how I feel about you!

My eyes were all bawled out by this time. My emotions were high as the sky. Thankfully, a full-blown exhaustion hit me like thunder. And I was saved. I lost all the energy to sustain our first real fight. And I just finished off the conversation with this last statement:

Just tell me the real reason why you’re leaving me. And you won’t ever hear from me again.

To which Jayson did not anymore reply.

 —————-

 Chapter 12:  Prelude

It’s been three days since that fight. Jayson and I have never spoken again after that. I was still so upset and mad at him, but I cannot deny how much I was missing him too. I couldn’t help but reminisce all our good times together, and all our bad times as well. I started recalling all the past arguments we had, hoping it might shed some light about his decision to suddenly end things with me.

I couldn’t think of a reason other than one. And if anything, recollecting our other fights in the past just made me miss him more. See, Jayson’s ability to handle my very potty mouth every time I get upset or angry, is a quality so unique and rare. He seemed to have mastered what all the others couldn’t even begin to comprehend. Jayson figured out the trick in dealing with my worst. Jayson would never leave in the middle of an argument. He wouldn’t try to give me space, hoping to calm me down first. He knew that never worked. Therefore, what he’d do is to keep “engaged” in our fight in order to give me the opportunity to air out all the feelings I have. He always had a head-on response to my every attack. He never ran out of words to say, and he would never ever try to shut me up. He just gets me. Except that he never really took my angry self seriously and never did he let my rude words get into his head. He would just play along so well, he’d pretend to be on this lovers’ quarrel with me even though we both know it wasn’t really the case.  One time, while we were in the middle of a heated argument (or so I thought) I called him a jerk, among other things, and I made a very offensive, yet quite clever of a remark. I was waiting for him to say something equally mean, but instead he said “Touche, babe! That is so witty, I like it!” and he chuckled, and I could see how truly amused he was of my play of words.

“What are you doing! I thought we are fighting!”

“Oh, right! I forgot!  and then he’d start to laugh. “Ok.  ahem. ahum. carry on!”

And then I would start recovering my normal temper – against my childish will, mind you — until there was nothing else I could do but throw a pillow on his way.

“Well i’m sorry, you’re too witty I lost my focus!”

That was when I realized that Jayson was never really flared up as I was. He was just giving me what I needed – a platform to take my emotions out.  He’d patiently wait for me to finish spewing fire, but occasionally, he’d forget his role and would crack the corniest jokes in the middle of the skirmish he had carefully preserved just for my sake. So I always just ended up surrendering to laughter too. And I used to be so annoyed at this but I also knew at the back of my head, that this was exactly how I wanted him to deal with me.

And so I thought the relationship I had with Jayson was so ideal. He was my perfect match – and I mean that not in the naïve sense of the words….

But now he was gone, and I couldn’t fathom why. I couldn’t point to anything that I must have done to piss him off or make him lose interest just like that. As I’ve said, I thought everything was going so perfectly well. And Jayson never saw me in a bad light. He only saw the best in me all the effin’ time.

Married to his job. It’s always been his job. He loves his job more than he loves me, or anyone for that matter actually! An engineering job in a water filtration company. Tssss. Subic Samar Palawan. Intramuros. The canons. Strong sense of direction. An engineer making sure to run every morning? And do some heavy lifting? Away all the time. Spanish-speaking American.  Passing himself off as Canadian. Smart. Wealthy. Cautious. A US Marine. Well, wait now — Why was there a book about Philippine topography lying around in his apartment? No. That’s crazy. You’re crazy. That only happens in movies. Stop. Don’t think about him. Work. Move. Distract yourself.

The distraction came too soon. My phone suddenly buzzed, snapping me out of obsessively analysing Jayson’s peculiar behavior and situation.

I miss you. I shouldn’t be texting you. But I miss you.

I forced myself to ignore his text. It was a task I was so unwilling to do. But I knew better than be too available for him. So I just kept quiet.

Guy’s stubborn though.

He kept on texting me in the next succeeding days until I couldn’t not reply anymore.

 I miss you too 😦 Why did you have to send me that text a week ago? 😦

It was necessary.

I don’t understand.

It’s complicated.

I’m not stupid, Jayson. I can understand your reasons if you just tell me what they are.

I know. Do you still hate me?

What do you think?

I really don’t want you to hate me.

You know what it’s going to take.

Janica. Come on now.

What are you not telling me, Jayson?

Not here. Are you free on Saturday? Let’s have lunch.

(TO BE CONTINUED)

 

 

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