At some point, things just fall apart.

Nothing lasts forever.

I do not quite remember the first time we met, or the first time we talked, or how we just.. clicked.

All I remember is seeing your smile and thinking, "You are up to no good", and yet still giving you my calling card.

Then comes flashes of memories.. one text here, asking for girl's number, and then another day, and another girl. "Do you have x and x's number? My friend wants to get to know her." I'll let the girl know, and with her consent, I send it over. "Thanks. By the way, how's your day?"

"Nothing much, just came home from watching liga with my cousins". I reply.

"Oh, you like basketball?"

"No, I like the players. Kidding." I get no reply for a few minutes. "I enjoy being with my cousins than watching the games, my cousins are kalog."

I'm not even sure if we actually had this conversation, but I do remember that you always asked where I was or who I was with, and everytime I answered differently.

"With my cousins here at x and x's place."
"Just chilling with my HS friends."
"On my way to x and x's house."
"On my way home."

Then from texts it became calls, calls that lasted an hour.. then two.. then three.. Until I was no longer going out as much as I used to, and instead just stayed at home and talked to you on the phone for hours on end. Dropping the call only to eat or take a shower or sleep.. Sometimes even falling asleep while on call.

As each day goes, we grow closer together.. from classes to free cuts to lunchbreaks to after classes. My ex even tried to pick a fight with you because he saw us eating lunch and that you were carrying my bag.

Rumors and whispers of "us" started to circulate, and it just became the norm that where I was, you'll be there as well and vice versa.

"Are you a couple?" Friends ask.

"Basta mahal namin ang isa't isa." was always the reply.

We were on the stage of being together yet not being together. M.U. but not magulo.

I was waiting for one thing to happen.. for you to meet my grandparents and pass the ultimate test.

And you did.

You were the first guy my grandfather joked around with, that chocolate cake and roses definitely made their impact, regardless of your cold sweat and nervous smile. My grandmother.. well, she's amiable with everyone but I do know you got massive pogi points that night.

Flash forward to November 13, we officially became a couple.

A simple and innocent college sweetheart love story that somehow turned into a demanding long distance relationship.. Our worlds revolved around each other.. with me trying to pull away for the sake of my own growth. I wanted to experience so much more than what I had.. I was not content.. I had dreams.. goals.. that somehow was just "me, myself and I". You gave in and loosened your hold a little. Like I always said, "This is me, take it or leave it. I will not change for anyone." My pride was an all time high.

All though out our relationship it was a constant push and pull and a everlasting battle of wills.. and I loved that. I loved all of that. I loved the challenge you provided, how you stood your ground and how you tried to manage me and put me in my place, and vice versa.

"You're my mirror," you always told me. "we're alike but different all at the same time."

You loved chocolate and I craved caramel, you loved cheese on your popcorn and I want barbeque. I loved books and you loved movies. We have opposite opinions but somehow still agree in the end.

I don't even know where this post is going.. all I'm doing is trying to remember and give justice to everything.. all three years of our lives that we spent intertwined.

Or at least it should've been.

Just a few weeks short of our third anniversary, things just felt.. wrong. I was busy with school and work, and you were dealing with your own demons. I admit, I was insensitive, just like how I've always been. I wanted my needs addressed first, you can whine later. I guess that was our undoing. Maybe you got fed up, or maybe it just wasn't the right time to be the spoiled bitch that I was.

We had a shouting match over the phone -- neither one listening nor understanding but still trying to get out point across. We exchanged hurtful words, "Nakakasawa na!", "Lagi na lang ako ang mali!", "Pairalin mo pa yang pride mo!", "Kasalananmo to!", "Bahala ka sa buhay mo!".

I don't remember who dropped the call first -- this was nearly four months ago.. but I do remember that neither of us tried to call again.

Four months of silence.. At first it was really hard.. I kept checking my phone for a missed call, a text, a chat.. Nothing. I spent days on your profile, watching that "Active Now" flash.. willing a message from you.. and willing myself not to message you first.

Ah, pride. Motherfucking pride.

It was hard to get you out of my system. There were so many times I almost sent you a text message or dialed your number.. Catching myself at the very last moment. I deleted your number even though I know it by heart.

I threw myself into my studies, not giving myself any free time to think except to sleep. Work - school - home. That was my new routine. I even resorted to leaving my phone in my locker and deleting social media apps. It worked. I got used to being without you.

Come December, I was planning a major comeback. I wanted to rub it in your face that you've been missing out. I was planning to drop by your school for some reason, and just parade it front of you like a peacock.. Then a bag of bullshit hit me.

My hair started falling out. I don't know what's happening. I'm all alone. I was scared, confused, worried.. Terrified.

I wanted to call you so badly and just cry my heart out. Instead I hugged my pillow to sleep. I'm a strong, independent woman. I can handle this.

I dragged myself to the hospital -- my hypothyroidism was acting up, need to get it fixed. Fixing it will fix my hair. Bullshit.

Answers came in the form of a dermatologist -- I have alopecia. My hair will not stop falling out anytime soon. I need a lot of meds to fix it, and I blindly jumped in. Steroids, creams, vitamins, supplements. Side effects are numerous -- gaining weight, bad skin, dry skin, bad hair. Who cares? I want this alopecia out!

These past few months were a whirlwind of doctor's appointments, endless questions, tears and prayers. All my savings out of the window. A new credit card almost being maxed out due to impulse cravings and retail theraphy. After stabilizing myself for year, now I'm back to living from paycheck to paycheck, asking my grandparents for extra cash and having them pay for my hospital bills.

What a fucking failure.

Braving the corporate world at 19, moving out, being a sassy "adult" and enjoying life. Paying my own bills and sending myself to school, taking a course that I actually enjoy for once. Planning to buy my own property -- finally feeling like I have everything under control by 21.

Then just before 2017 ends, shit hits the fan.

Almost failing all my classes -- thank you to my classmates who didn't let me.
Almost losing my job -- thank you my OM for giving me another chance.
Almost dying in my own hands -- thank you to that priest in the confessional who simply listened to me and told me that's it's okay and to pray the rosary everytime I felt like doing so.
Almost losing you..

But did I really lose you? I don't know.

Our Facebook status didn't change.. I mean, if it's not on Facebook, did it really happen? Our Messenger nicknames didn't change. My feelings certainly didn't change.

Today I discovered yours didn't either.

I guess we were just waiting for the right time?

Shout out to my bestfriend, I never suspected anything, you liar. You said we're going to lunch, so that I can finally meet your boyfriend and celebrate my birthday. You said you two will just meet me on my birthday so our schedules match and we don't have to rush, and then just go home to our hometown together - I mean, you have your car and all, rich kid.

Then you moved the meeting for some reason -- okay sure, no problem. Civil Service Exams come first before your bestfriend's birthday.

And today. Today you told me the biggest lie.

You updated me from the time you woke up to the time you arrived at our meeting place.

"OTW na Beshie."
"Traffic sa NLEX."
"Park lang ako."
"Hintayin ko lang si BF."
"Dito na kame."

I arrive at the restaurant, looking for a couple in love.

Instead I see.. you.

Holding flowers.

Red, red roses.

I didn't know what else to do but move towards you and hug you.. hug you so tight and let tears fall unashamedly. Who cares if I just came from work? Or that my face is dry and puffy? Or that I've gained 5 kilos in the span of two months?

Who cares if people were staring?

Who cares if I was ugly crying?

Who cares if I looked like shit?

The most important thing right now is you, and what you told me.

"I love you whatever happens and I love you for you."

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