2017 Resolution

This was what I have feared.

Not cockroaches, although I go ballistic once they fly around my head. I would already apologize in advance to anyone I would hit. My rubber slipper is my best friend on this account.

Not the eyeless baby doll that my younger brother had left lying around the house. I hated the idea of those black empty sockets staring at me. They reminded me of that one episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark? Not only that, dolls reminded me of clowns, and, yes, I was definitely afraid of clowns. I could remember that joke throughout Facebook that Killer Clowns have arrived in Cagayan de Oro City. I was on the lookout then.

Right. Despite flying ugly insects and white-faced entertainers, what I feared the most was—

“I cheated on you,” he said, without so much of a hesitation. He was wearing his white long-sleeved polo, tight on his toned physique. That didn’t distract me from my immediate shock.

Fireworks could be heard from the distance, prematurely lighted by their owners. It was still fifteen minutes before the New Year arrived. We were sitting, side-by-side, on my late father’s narra bench in the living room. Home Alone 2 was blaring from the TV screen. Unlike little Macaulay Caulkin screaming piercingly from the screen, I was shouting from the inside. Eventually, to distract myself from his pronouncement, I took the remote and shut the TV off.

Silence.

“Say something.”

There were many things I wanted to tell him now. I have not the faintest idea where and how to start. As if liquid fire flowed through my veins, I felt my limbs and body heat up. Then in a blink, it was replaced by a void. I felt nothing. Then I remembered. I am the one to be blamed here.

I cheated on him. My fiancé. We got engaged last year hoping that we could finally let go of our horrible past, or what I called the GYM GUY era. I cheated on him with a random stranger from Axis Gym. How many times? Twice? Thrice? I couldn’t remember how many trysts and one-night stands I managed to do while we were together. Gym guy—and other men. He never knew, until he snooped around my phone. Too bad for me, he has these telescopic eyes that could see far from normal. That’s how he probably knew my PIN. After that discovery, he became always so eager to find me at fault. I couldn’t blame him. I was known to be promiscuous. Even back in college.

Back then, I considered him my ultimate crush. He was cute, witty, very talented, and with eyes that glint of otherworldly knowledge. He was kind to everybody. He was of the old rich but you wouldn’t know by looking at his lanky frame back then. He was always so simple. That was probably the reason why I fell for him. I knew that girls and guys wanted him, but I did more effort to finally get him to notice me. I became his best friend.

Typical, I know. But that’s the formula that always worked in movies. All those Gerald Anderson and Kim Chiu movies taught me that (Paano na Kaya? was definitely the culprit.). It all starts with friendship, those movies said. And, my, my, what friendship it was. Having him close by made my heart flutter every time I get a scent of his Oxygen cologne, Static. I once did buy the same cologne from the said store, and masturbated to it, with his handkerchief covering my face, imagining him and me in bed—now that’s too much information. Kinky. But I guess I was already falling for him. Or that was just me and being a Scorpio.

“I don’t know what to say,” I told him. What should I tell him? That I hated him now? That I couldn’t bear to look at him? That I wanted him out of the house? As much as I wanted to, I didn’t want to sound the hypocrite. Well, I was. We both were.

“You probably have something to say,” he desperately moaned. “We want to have a clean slate before the New Year, and just saying that doesn’t help us at all. Na unsa man ka.

There he is. To tell you the truth, he was never the kind and loving guy I thought he was. He was manipulative, an emotional blackmailer, a Type-A asshole. He was paranoid with everything that I did. Going out with my friends? I was hanging out with another guy. Going to an out of city trip? He believed I was fucking someone behind his back.

Again, I couldn’t blame him. This was after the second time he discovered I had another pipe cleaning session with another guy. You see, every time after we had an argument about something he didn’t like, I usually black out and contact any other guy who was available to console me at that time. And by console, I mean, have myself choke someone else’s Hungarian sausage. And soon enough, he discovered from my private messages in Instagram that I was cheating on him with this Chinese Filipino cutie, who was five years our junior. We both are twenty-six years old. I called that the YOUNG CHINOY era. By then, trust between us was powdered china, impossible to reassemble with whatever glue. I never told our friends or anyone how big a problem he was. He was Mr. Perfect after all.

I knew he wanted to hear me say it.

“I am angry. Upset ko. I want to break something, but I feel,” my voice broke. I took a deep breath. “I feel wala ko’y right to feel this.” I looked straightly at him. Happy?

I could see a smile twitch. He caught himself. Or was I becoming as paranoid as he was? He wasn’t as mean—no, as evil as this. But I carried on.

“You know, there were so many guys in Facebook na sige’g chat nako,” I began, trying to play with current emotions. “But sila Debbie, sige ko nila’g kasab-an. I even asked Charles once, “Charles, feeling nako naay lain si Paolo. Ngano man ni?Mag-ingon ra dayon si Charles na, “Ay paghunahuna ana, sis. Sure man ko di na mabuhat ni Paolo.””

We both exhaled. He brushed his delicious brown hair with his veined hands. I stopped myself from grabbing him and kissing him just to shut him up, though he wasn’t speaking at all.

Kabalo man ko na naa kay lain na mga ginaflirt-flirt,” I continued. Let it all out, Alexis. “I know. And I don’t blame you.

Ako ni sala tanan.

In every argument we had for the past six years, it was always my fault. Always. Have you ever had those conversations with trolls in social media, where you are arguing, giving all your points with a particular issue, and despite all of it being rational ones, you still end up being the loser? That’s how it is with him, but the opposite. He was just too logical, always presenting counterarguments that actually make sense, unlike the fucking trolls in social media. With every rebuttal that I cast at him, he has a better point. And in the end, I always shut my mouth. I was the one in the losing end. I only had my way with him…as of the present, four times? Yawa no?

“It,” he stuttered. “It wasn’t only flirting that happened.”

Chchchchshcshshshshshshshsksshshskkkk. I heard static. All around us, the walls of the living room blackened as if tar gruelingly flowed down from the corners of the ceiling. I didn’t feel his hands on mine. His words muffled like a drowning clown; they didn’t matter. I heard him say something about leaving.

Paolo had fucked someone behind my back, just when, in fact, I have tried so hard to be faithful after that careless YOUNG CHINOY era. This couldn’t be true, right? He wouldn’t dare. He was abusive, yes, but he wouldn’t do this. He knew how much this will crush me—despite the multiple times of convincing him and myself that I am not the jealous type.

But he did. For revenge or for pleasure, I wasn’t so sure. Pleasure is relative for him after all.

I looked at him, but he wasn’t there beside me. I glanced at the clock. It told me it was ten minutes before the New Year. Engaged, I thought, and we still have so many things to know about each other. I turned the TV on again. The Force Awakens brightly reflected on my eyes. I was definitely Kylo Ren, anger focused on an imagined console, slashing and destroying that said imagined console with my menacing red lightsaber.

I thought, and thought, and thought. Questions. So many questions flew inside my mind like bats disturbed during the day. Are we to end this? Or should we make it a clean slate? Is that even still possible, given how toxic a relationship we actually have? Can this be a resolution for 2017? Will we ever learn to trust each other again?

I saw our photograph on a frame, on top of the corner table. The glass was cracked. We looked so happy. Then I remembered all those happy moments we had, ever since we became friends, and then memories when we became more than that. And of course, all the bad memories worked their way in as well.

I called his phone. I was surprised to hear the ringing from the kitchen. I went up to our bedroom.

Abi nako nilakaw ka,” I said from the doorway. He was seated on the bed, crying. With his hands covering his face, he looked like a child who lost his toy. I sat beside him. “Why did you it?”

He wiped his face and cleared his throat. “I…I don’t know. You and I, we’ve never had any action for months! And I wanted to hurt you. But it was only once. Right after I found out you cheated on me again. I always wanted to tell you. I though now was the perfect time.”

“You always have the knack with perfect timings,” I said sarcastically, smiling at him. He looked very remorseful. I couldn’t be sure though. He was, after all, one of the best actors I’ve met. Everything about him seemed rehearsed. Anyone could always fall for him. He was quite the charmer. “New Year na New Year, Pao.”

“I wanted both of us to start fresh.” He paused, then, “Tell me, naa pa kay lain mga buto gi-ngalngal paghuman ‘tong nag-away ta?

Fire returned in my limbs. This time, I really hit him on the head with my fist. “Gago ka! We are dealing with what you did right now.” I hit him again. “Sa kadaghan nimo ginapadungog-dungog sa Facebook, wala na koy lain gi-chupa, yawa ra. And again, ginakasab-an nako nila Debbie. Pasalamat ka sa ila.” One last hit.

“I’m sorry,” he said sincerely. He looked at me, with those glinting eyes. I knew he was telling the truth. “All I want is for us to have a clean slate.” Then thoughtfully, he added, “I never expected to fall in love with you. Seeing after you have a small pi-pi, I should have left you.”

Mao ba,” I said. I took the pillow and hit him a couple more times. He mentioned that every after we argue. “Ali na, we still have to light the fireworks.”

He lied on his back, staring at me. “Are we done talking about this?” He sat up. His voice was frail and light as a newborn kitten’s. “Lex…what are we now?”

I sighed. “Five years, Pao. We’ve encountered far worse shits than this. And I’ve expected this to happen. But I wish we will be more honest to each other more than ever. I only want you.”

He wet his dry lips with his tongue—the sexiest thing he constantly did.

“I can’t see anyone else with me in the future. Ikaw ra. So ayaw nag inuwag diha sa lain.”

“Likewise.” I stood from the bed, but he grabbed me by the hand.

“One thing you need to promise me, Lex,” he said, his brown gaze so intense that I immediately sat back on the bed. “Please put me down from that pedestal. Dili ko si Mister Perfect. Tell your friends, I’m an asshole. Na gago ko. Na yawa ko. I don’t want to be pressured from how you make them see me. Mao ra na akong ginapangayo nimo.

It all flashed in my head. All those times I kept defending him from Debbie. He was right. I’ve always placed him like a saint, despite his many sins. He was nothing more than a trophy for me to show around. A glass shattered in front of me, finally making me see clearly outside.

I only nodded.

“All I want is for you to trust me.”

Paolo held my hand. It was smooth as a baby’s. “I will.”

It was three minutes before the clock struck twelve. Paolo and I set the boxes of fireworks outside the yard, securing it around with hollow blocks. With the countdown of ABS-CBN’s annual New Year Countdown Concert in full volume from the living room, Paolo and I held hands together as we waited for that loud zero.

The sky above us filled with vivid colors, accompanied with flashy cracks and booms from the various fireworks lighted around the area. We both looked up. Our necks were straining for the magnificent pyrotechnic view. Paolo’s face was splashed with reds, greens, and yellows from the kaleidoscope of flares from above. He looked very happy with his perfect smile. His beady eyes, teary, were smiling as well. I never saw him this joyous. I couldn’t tell what he was thinking, but I hoped we both share the same thoughts. As I stared in awe at the sky, I thought that 2017 will be a brighter and better year.

I gazed at Paolo again, and as he glanced back at me, with those happy, hopeful eyes, my fear immediately was doused.

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~ by bipolarthespian13 on January 19, 2017.

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