Sometimes the sweetest gestures are those given in mystery.
For me, ÜÜÜ meant a lot of things. They never really stood for words, but rather for emotions that couldn’t find their way out through words. It was the easiest way of saying “I like you” or “I’m happy with you” or “I’m praying for you” or many other things. Often, they were the sweet excuses for just trying to make my presence felt.
At first, she was both intrigued by what they meant. Often I would really have to put into phrases what they really meant in a particular message. The fact that text messaging could be vague, such a message was everything but clear. Catching the thoughts embedded in the symbols was not something that initially went like reading words with nothing in between. Here, they were neither words or the lines in between.
But as the bond between us grew deeper from liking to loving, ÜÜÜ took a new meaning for both of us. The months passed and soon, she did not require an explanation for the three smiles. Somehow,she was now beginning to get their meanings in the context of a discussion. Still, it couldn’t be avoided that she would have to ask what the three smiles were for in that particular conversation. But i loved it–her constant asking of their meanings.
And in the days that have passed since that first Wednesday of October 2001, it had finally come to its all-encompassing meaning…
… that I truly love her…
All that was missing now was for me to tell her that.
As this was, for me, the most serious move that I was about to make as far as matters of the heart were concerned, i could not afford to make any assumptions. I did not assume that she knew my feelings for her, neither did I assume of myself that I was indeed falling in love with her. I had to be sure of my feelings this time. I have gone through too much of love’s complications that this one has to be wisely and sensibly thought of. I prayed to God for my feelings, and I asked Him to settle my emotional upsurges, and let His wisdom flow through me dominate my head in taking the road up ahead. I prayed for her also, that as I am finally now ready to tell her my feelings of love for, so also would she be ready to take it. Neither did I assume her possible reactions–they would only torture my head harder than the thought of saying it and waiting for an answer. In short, I would have to face things one at a time.
And so I called her up.
I was at Burger King at that time, having lunch with my high school classmates. They used to be friends and eventually ended up as couples. I watched the beginning of their relationship, and now they were to witness mine.
I greeted her, checked how she was doing and if i was disturbing her. She said she was okay and that she was quite free that time. I asked her if she was cool for a conversation, and she was fine with it.
Honestly, at that time, i really did not know how to start the conversation that would end up into the confession. And so, I said it with the only way I know–with all honesty…
“Cess, I called up just to tell you something that I’ve always wanted to tell you…
“…well, we’ve known each other for quite sometime now, and thus far it was quite an experience. It was something I have never experienced before–a relationship that has grown deeper and stronger than just emotional ties. I have prayed about this, and I wanted to make sure that the moment I tell you this, I would be in the highest level of certainty about this, and that no matter what your reaction is, I would be ready for it…”
There was a pause… and then she answered…
“Ummm… okay. What is it?”
“… I just wanted to tell you that…”
“…I love you…”
a very long pause….
“Ummm… okay… ummm… ”
“well… ummm… let me finish first…”
“I really don’t have any reason why. It’s not your looks, or your kind heart or your good nature that has made me fall for you. But its you… all of you. Your entire person. It’s you and everything of you that I love. Well, I know I’m imperfect. I may not be someone you’ll like and love. But still, I just wanted you to know that.”
again… the pause…
“Don’t worry, if you don’t have to say anything, you don’t have to.”
“No… really, I want to say something also…”
“Okay. Ummm… i’m listening…”
Over the line,I could hear her giggling a bit. In my head I could imagine her smiling… a sweet killer smile…
“Well, with what you just said… i also want to tell you…”
“…tell me what?”
“…tell you that…”
“…that I love you too…”
…could you say that again?”
“Yes, I love you too, RC. I was really afraid of this feeling. Really. I was afraid to love again. But because of your love, because of what you have shown and done for me…”
another long pause…
“…I’m listening Cess…”
“…because of your love… you’ve taught me to love again. You’ve taught me to love you. And in the days that we have known each other, i have come to know you to be a person i could trust , respect and depend upon. I see your faithfulness to God and your commitment to Him. I’m so glad to have met you, and for us that we could have this commitment for each other.”
That was perhaps the most profound expression of love that I have both said and heard of. I have never said anything like that before, neither have I heard anyone say that to anyone, let alone to me. It was really an inexplicable feeling. It was a mix of sheer happiness, perplexed surprise, and a healthy feeling of pride.
Time had gone so fast. My cellphone load was soon draining and I had to wrap up the conversation. I promised to call her at home as soon as I arrived. She said she’ll be waiting, and soon we said our “good byes” and a pair of “i love you.”
It was already past lunch time. The restaurant was soon thinning down from its crowd. My friends were taking their last bites on their burgers. Cars and buses were crawling through the avenue just outside the window glasses. Bystanders and transients were moving to and fro from every direction. The next 5 minutes was coming and we we’re soon leaving.
As I put that phone down, I realized it would be the last time I would make a phone call as an ordinary RC. I knew things would be different–wonderfully different. I was smiling profusely as placed the cellphone back into my pocket. I snapped my finger and winked my eye to the world outside me. I stood up with an air of confidence and healthy pride. I strode along towards the door with a feeling of lightness and joy.
I walked out that restaurant as someone who was in love with, and was being loved by…
… A Princess