‘Twas summer when we met and developed a ” sort of love-at-first-sight” relationship. But I could no longer recall now why her favorite song was September Morn. She had a good voice. I always felt enchanted in listening to her sang that song with gusto. I suspect it was her birthday and my gift might have elated her so much that she wanted to immortalize it with the song. Otherwise, unforgettable things might happened between us on a September morn. Anyway, I can’t help myself but try to recall the highlights of our love affair.
I was having my chaplaincy internship at that time. She was on extended stay at the girl’s dorm after taking the entrance exam in a state university upon the prodding of her parents who wanted her to be a medical doctor. Earlier, she took an entrance exam in another region. Since we stayed at that same compound, our paths would always met. Thereafter, we bound ourselves in a commitment to give love another chance.
She had been traumatized by a painful relationship. She felt in love once to a person who loved her so much too. Yet, the call of vocation separated their ways. Against their will, they could not resist the divine intervention. She vowed not to love again. Much more enter into another love relation especially to a person with noble calling or cause, lest herstory would repeat itself . For many years, she succeeded to fulfill her vow, resisting any attempt to betray it. For she did not want to be hurt again. In fact, that was the reason why despite our mutual admiration, she tried to evade being trapped again into a lasting commitment. Only to give in later when our romance prospered with a renewed vow- ‘twould be her last.
There was a problem though. Before we met, she had already made up her mind to study in another region. As expected, she passed the entrance exam there and failed in the state university.With heavy heart, she enrolled only to leave the school in few months to be with me. Incensed, her father took her away from me, but not without a warning lest I would not follow the next day. It was sort of courtroom drama when for the first time I personally encountered her lawyer father.
But all the heated arguments, (mixed up with insults to agitate me,so as to find reason to vent their anger) boiled down to a crucial issue- whether something happened between us in her stay in my boarding house. It was at this stage when they considered my truth as fiction although I knew they were happy about it. Still they seemed not to believe that a rooster would refuse to peck the feed that willingly come to his cage. Anyway, after that grilling encounter, they gave in to her wish to resume study in a university closer to where I stayed. There was a condition, though – to maintain a “clean and wholesome relationship” until she finish a second course in preparation for our future.
Another problem cropped up, however. At that time, the struggle against dictatorial rule in our country had intensified. Earlier, I gave up my scholarship to do voluntary work in an organization serving the poor, deprived and the oppressed. In resuming my final year in school, I was forced to work part time to sustain my existence. While she always felt heaven when we were together and seemed to demand more time, it was an ambivalent condition for me. While I enjoyed her presence, the thought of missing work load marred the day. She offered to support me and my cause. I refused. She intimated to join the movement I was in. I became over protective with her, knowing the risk as her father is part of the government’s machinery we wanted to dismantle. That ignited the inconvenience. She started to become jealous with our cause and a lady comrade in my collective.
The vulnerability of our relationship found another crack when she got his father’s clock in her belongings under my care through an intermediary. Without malice. I included all her other belongings because of the unstable condition and my delicate situation. I had a constant movement of residence to deter surveillance. She felt offended, I was told. That started the distance until finally we lost contact, except from common friends who would always relay mutual regards. Making matters worse, when I quitted schooling to work full time in the underground movement. Thereinafter, I was engaged in other relationships and finally established my own family, ironically, with a woman whose wholesome background is a contradiction to my colored and controversial past.
Still, from time-to-time, I would receive an extended regards through common friends with additional note: She remained single, ever faithful to our relationship, fulfilling her ultimate vow. So this September, I remember her and her favorite song. And in my recollections, I seem to hear the unforgettable line in another favorite song she always sang:
The truth is I never left you
All through my wild days
My mad existence
I kept my promise
Don’t keep your distance
My dear once, wherever, you are. I did not mean to hurt you. Thank you for keeping your promise. I am sorry I have kept my distance.
Excerpts from my father’s diary