Laging bigo, laging sawi sa pag-ibig. Minamalas, oh kay sakit. May balat nga ba ako sa pwet?
I woke up to the sliver of sunshine slicing my face through the slats of the window blinds. It’s Valentine’s Day. I groaned. Half of my brain is telling me to get up quick because I need to be at the school fair earlier than anyone else, yet the other half is contemplating on my miserable, lonely life euphemized as “single-blessedness”. Should I get up? “You’re not gonna make it through this day, I’m warning you,” a voice in my head seems to tell me.
7:05am. Fuck it. I hurriedly head down to the bathroom.
Mabuti pa ang tindera sa aming kanto. Nakakainggit, TL ang sweet nila ng kanyang nobyo.
I cursed to myself when I realized I have to buy my shampoo from the neighborhood store. And as I’ve been dreading to witness, I saw the seller holding a stem of rose while giddily texting on her phone. Anyone who has seen a romantic flick or two could easily assume it’s her beau. Great. What a nice, early reminder that this is NOT gonna be a particularly special day for me.
Gusto ko lang maranasang umibig, tamaan ni Kupido. Gusto ko lang maranasan ang langit, tumibok muli ang puso ko….
I tightened my grip on the closure of my jacket as I patiently wait for a jeepney going to the campus. The chilly weather on this fine February day could be just any other days but it seems to have chosen the 14th to make any single person feel the need for a cuddle. Blech.
(READ: Forever Alone: A Perspective from a Long-Time Single Woman)
Tumatakbo ang oras, naiiwan na ako ng panahon. ‘Di na nagbago, bawat araw pare-pareho. Parang kahapon.
To be honest, I don’t feel any pressure coming from myself. If I’m bound to be a spinster all my life, I might as well be prepared for it as early as now. What makes me feel miserable is actually the way people around me keep suggesting that I need to have a boyfriend soon or else. Do you get my point? Does anyone ever feel the same thing about this damned day dedicated to couples?
May birthday cake ka nga, ngunit wala namang kandila.
I arrived at the campus thirty minutes later. Despite preparing myself early for any instances that might make me sad, I ended up getting teary-eyed when I see every couple I know hugging their respective partners and exchanging cards. I hurriedly climb up the stairs to the second floor where our org’s booth is located. We’ve transformed a room into a karaoke hub where any student can sing his heart out.
May Christmas tree ka ngang malupet, wala namang dekorasyong pansabit.
Then a classmate of mine suggested we take a look at the campus freedom wall. It took everything in me not to feel envious of those classmates who have found their respective letters from their admirers. I left the spot empty-handed and as if a cloud of storm suddenly appeared above my head.
Sadyang ganyan ang aking buhay. Walang kasing tamlay. Ayoko sanang tumandang nag-iisa….
I made it back to the safety of my org’s booth without a tear falling from my eyes—thanks goodness. But then again, another friend asked me to see the “wedding” of one of our professors at the quadrangle below. I saw each of them were handcuffed and being led to the “priest” who will perform the “ceremony”. They “exchanged vows” and yes, I didn’t look long enough to see them fake a kiss.
Tatanggapin na lang ba ang malupit na tadhana?
So at lunch time, I decided to go to the nearby mall to eat at Pizza Hut, alone. It was the worst decision I’ve ever made. There were couples posting heart-shaped Sticky-Notes on the glass walls of the resto. I could do that, too, if only I wouldn’t look like I have a multiple personality disorder who invents an imaginary significant other whenever convenient.
O kaya’y tatanggapin na lang bang ako’y sadyang hindi pinagpala?
Yeah, I agree that everything’s just too much for this day to bear. Believing I will be consoled by playing at the arcade on the third floor of the same mall, I exchanged a bill for a few tokens. I played the machine that “rips people off by not gripping hard on the stuffed toy that they wanted”. I was halfway to claiming a free Patrick Star when the “claw” decided to release it soon. It’s alrighty, I said to myself.
Tigilan na ang drama. Punasan na ang mga luha…yeah….
As I walk away from the machine, I saw a schoolmate (not an acquaintance, though) holding a stuffed toy which her boyfriend apparently won from another claw machine. That was the last scene that would eventually make me cry as I hurriedly look for the comfort room.
After wiping my tears, I looked at myself in the mirror. “Kaya pa,” I whispered and forced a smile.
I head out of the mall and back to the campus.
After all, the day will AND won’t be over soon.
*based on a true story