Ragged Claws: My Secret Love Affair

We’ve been together for four years now. We met while I was a bright-eyed, tottery freshman, a few days short into stepping foot on the beloved and beautiful campus of UP Diliman. From the first time we met, I knew deep down that this would last. Beyond friends, beyond acads, beyond heartaches, beyond the good times, beyond the disappointments…

I didn’t want to admit to myself how strong our affinity was. I preferred to keep a distance, to keep safe. I didn’t want to tell too many people, I didn’t want to explain to anyone… I just wanted to be. I just wanted to feel good inside, to be happy. We’re best friends and we can survive anything, that much I know. We’ve been together on a dozen joyrides, we’ve sat together in companionable silence at the Sunken, we’ve watched the stars together from the roof deck and as Humphrey Bogart says in Casablanca, “Here’s to looking at you, kid.”

You will sit through the next heartbreak, the perpetual religious crisis, the momentary lapses and ‘warps.’ You will survive the next serious discussion, the idle gossip and the hurtful questions. You will share in the laughter and the corny jokes and the drunken remarks. You will watch me get stinking drunk tonight and you will wait for me to sober up in the morning.

You, and like so many others before you. I’ve loved you all.

Who cares if I might not be able to have kids in the future because of you?

Who cares about the questioning looks, the whispered comments, the lectures and the veiled concern?

I am tired of being constantly told that one day I will die and it will be because of you.

Today is not my day. It is not my time to die.

Today, this beautiful day, I will look at you like it’s my first time to lay eyes on you.

And I will light you up. And I will watch you burn. And I will draw my life from you. From all the rest of you.

And I will love the world again.