out on a date, and I said yes, later, when school's
over for the summer. You were happy with that for
a moment but the next moment you wanted more.
"I'll wait for you after class, ok?" you told me.
"My last class is until nine."
"So I can walk you home."
"So I can make sure you're all right."
And you waited until nine that night and many
more TThS (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday) nights
afterwards. Until almost every night, you were
already "walking me home", which actually meant
we had to take two jeepney rides and an LRT ride
together. At around 11:00 p.m., after you've said
good night to my parents, you'd take another three
jeepney rides (because the LRT had closed). You'd
get to your home at past midnight. Seven hours
later, we'd see each other again at school, and
you'd smile at me as if you'd had enough sleep,
and the hundredth time, I was in Makati. I was
getting used to my first job and you were gettting
used to yours. I thought graduation meant we would
soon have to break up and either try to be friends
or try to forget about each other. When you had to
work and live in Cavite, I knew in my heart that
everything would soon be over. But it was never
over because you called me one lunch time and
said, "I'll pick you up." So from Cavite to Makati
you came, then to Paranaque to make sure I made
it home all right. You called each lunch time
afterwards and made that seven-hour trip each
evening to bring me home safely and then get back
home to your place. My friends made me realize
that not all boyfriends do the things you do. My
mom made me realize you would take care of me
for the rest of my life. The three thousandth
time, we were married. And now you weren't just
picking me up anymore. In the mornings you would
drive me first to my office before driving on to
yours. You endured each hour I spent in the
bathroom putting on makeup, patiently looked over
the clothes I kept pulling out of the closet, ignoring
each memo from your boss that told you to come
in earlier. In the afternoon you still waited for me (in
a car this time, so no more jeepneys), ready to
make sure we got home to our baby safely. The
last time, I think we'd be really, really old...Our
kids would all be grown up with families of their
own and you would've lost your hair and would've
lost my 24-inch waistline.
On that day, the sun wil be shining, but I'll be
crying because the doctor will tell me there's
nothing more they can do for you. I will see your
calm face as they cover you with a white blanket
and for a moment I will think, "Who's gonna make
sure I get home all right?"
But then, in that hospital room, I will suddenly look
up, and you'd be there beside me looking as cute
as when we were in college.
"Come on," you will tell me. "Let's walk home
together." And I will take your hand, stand by your
side and together we'll walk away from that
hospital room. And that will be the last time,
because then on you wouldn't need to look after
me because we'll never have to leave home again.