A high school love story

After having weathered several romantic relationships, trying to figure out what went wrong, what happened along the course of the journey, or what has prodded each of the parties to leave, my previous romantic affairs concluded in un-extraordinary fashion. I loved, lost, loved again, just like anyone of us. Their ends were never preempted by the happiness brought by their beginnings. There was nothing spectacular about their endings, no spark, or anything near magical.

I wrote love letters before. Some I sent and was read by the intended recipient; some were sent but were read by other people other than to whom it was supposed to be sent to. And a few were never sent at all either because of fear to be rejected or for the fear that the person who will receive them will laugh at the cheesy lines I carefully concocted or I simply was not confident that my letters were free of any grammatical blunders.

Youthful insecurities kept me from fully expressing love, too young to understand the complications and complexities of baring my emotion for people to trample it, crush it, or simply ignore it. But I knew I tried to love. That for me was enough no matter how the adult world tried to underrate my ability to feel and to express what I feel in a way I deemed appropriate.

I was so young then, barely 14, when I felt so sure that I was starting to fall in love with a very beautiful girl of my age. We were high school classmates. For reasons of privacy, I will not mention her name here. We both have already moved on. Now she is living a happy life with somebody she loves and loves her in return. She is also running after her dreams like what I am doing.

Then, life was simpler. We were too innocent to care about the future. What is to become of us after a year, a month, or even the following week was the least of our concern. For us then the present was the only thing that mattered.

She was from another elementary school in the poblacion; and being first year high school students then, we were too shy to approach anyone we think a stranger. She caught everyone’s attention, including mine, because she’s beautiful. In that public high school where I graduated from, it was rare to see a beautiful girl who dresses so well and modest all at the same time. You either see a pretty girl who looks drab, a well-dressed one but just too provincial, or both good-looking and nicely-dressed but an epitome of egotism and pride.

She was simply the most beautiful girl, the kindest, and the most intelligent in class (second to me, hahaha): everything a thirteen-year-old boy was looking for in the girl of his life. We were competitors in class; she graduated with the highest honor when she was in elementary; I, in the other hand, was the valedictorian of my class. But we were friends. I tried hard to make her laugh at my jokes or impress her with my scientific knowledge and love for literature. I won competitions outside the school because I wanted her to notice me.

I started formally courting her during our third year in high school. I sent her love letters through a close friend of us both. Sometimes I deliberately borrowed books from her, although I never read then, to insert my love letter inside. She never replied any of my letters, but I know she felt something for me because I noticed a difference in the way she smiled at me. I felt it.

I joined the CAT (Citizen Army Training) program to become an officer so that in our fourth year I could ask her to be my sponsor during the induction of officers and presentation of sponsors. I faced pain, fatigue, and hard work while in the program. She taught me to think of the future and make my self better so that my life in the future will be far better from what my current life.

I started walking with her from our school to the town plaza every afternoon during the last months of our third year in high school.  I took those walks as confirmations that she also felt something for me. Although that time they had a new red car, which was her family’s transportation during that time, she chose not to go with her mother who is a teacher in our school, and walk with her friends, and me to the plaza and wait for the tricycle to transport her to their house four kilometers away in the town. I reasoned that any intelligent girl would not choose to walk on dusty roads surrounded by pineapples with a guy if she’s not interested with him.

Even though I was not a practicing Catholic, I would always accompany her every Wednesday to attend mass after class. One time we were both asked to carry the bread and wine; we did that while we were wearing our high school uniforms. Days following that afternoon we were our classmates’ object of teasing; I secretly liked it, though. I just smile every time I remember that ordinary Wednesday afternoon in the Parish of the Good Shepherd.

This continued until our fourth year, and on September 1st 2002 she said to me that she also loved me, the day we were officially romantically attached. It was however odd. That time, cell phones were just starting to be introduced in our place and so we were sending SMS to each other. I was ironing my school uniform while texting her using my mother’s Nokia 5110i phone (in case you forget, it’s a very fat and heavy Nokia model with an equally big antenna; this model was already not fashionable during that time) when she became my girlfriend. It was anticlimactic.

Earlier that day, as the Corps Commander, I lead my high school’s CAT Battalion  in the town parade so she asked me if I was okay because she heard from her mother that I was sick. The conversation went on further until I asked her if she cared for me. She said “a lot”. I asked her if it was because she loved me. And then she replied a very short answer: “yes”.

That was one of my most memorable high school experience. Looking back now that I am 22 and definitely more mature and experienced with life and how it is to love, that day remained too difficult to surpass. My young heart during that time, for the first time, knew how it was to love and to find out that somebody was also loving me back.

We lasted for seven months. On the 8th of April 2003, I remember it was in a park, I broke up with her. I gave her many reasons why our relationship cannot go on. I told her that I would be studying in a far place; we would not be able to maintain communication; and that I don’t believe in long distance relationships. She said nothing at first just cried. That was the first time I saw her cry. It almost made me regret saying those things and take back what I said telling her I was just kidding. But my resolve was final. She tried to negotiate, telling me that she could wait and that she loved me so much. I said I loved her too, but I could not anymore go on. I gave her reasons why I was ending the relationship but it’s only now that I accepted the fact that it was because of my insecurities. Insecurities about the future, about our fragile relationship, and about myself and who I really am.

We seldom communicated after that, and in the second year of my college she told me that she already has a boyfriend. I was devastated, but I had no choice but to accept it. She had moved on. I hadn’t. I tried my best to divert my attention to my academics just to forget about her. A lot of things happened to our individual lives after that. When we both finished college, we met again, and finally put and end to our love story. She told me her story which made me to fully I understand her.

“You hurt me so much,” she said.

“I’m sorry. It’s not only you who was hurt,” I said.

“I’m with somebody now. I know he loves me so much. He makes me happy.”

“Really? That’s good. I also wanted you to be happy.”

“By leaving me? I suffered a lot because of what you did. Two years after we separated, I still couldn’t move on. I compared every man who tried to love me with you. ‘Ah this man is not as good a conversationalist as Fev.’ ‘This man is too stupid, not like Fev.'”

“I’m sorry.”

“Is that all you can say? Yeah, but I’m so happy this man came. He loves me more than anyone did.”

“It was not only you who was hurt. I was only thinking of what was to become of us in the future.”

“I hope it made you happy.”


Our story ended in silence.

Her story, however, will remain to be her story. I will not include it here because for me it is sacred and only she can tell it. I know I will never give full justice to the pains she went through because of a love story that began one Monday morning of June 1999.

20 thoughts on “A high school love story”

  1. Fev im sorry i just read this.. not that i didnt know but still, i now understand how it start and it ends.. dili man gud kaau ko tsismosa sauna hahaha love your story mr valedictorian and ms salutatorian.. but unfortunately that town plaza we use to walk along with our kanya kanyang loveteam has been closed for quite a long time. MaKita na lng intawon nato ang mga saksing punuan nga nanglabaw sa gawas sa pader nga ilang gipalibot hehehe

    1. Rache, funny how twenty years of experience can change how we see ourselves and the past. I wrote this post ten years ago and I cringe at how I used language and how I sounded (I did nothing but bragged in the post—I almost wanted to kill my 22-year-old self). But we have gone much older now, less rough, smoothened by our struggles with life. Someday, I will write again about my high school love story.

      Naugot ko gani every time I’m home and see the plaza. The people who did that never valued the significance of a public space where people can come together and make shared memories. Daw nami ipabakbak ang pader and let people re-own that space that really are theirs.

      I miss you. Thank you for passing by here.

  2. Parang imbento naman ito. The ending is too bizarre because of the very shallow reasons provided.

    What’s really is the reason, kid? You found out you didn’t really liked girls?

    1. lahat naman ng naisusulat, regardless whether they are truthful or not originally, become fiction, because the act of writing means that the writer has already intervened, adding some details and downplaying others. but it does not matter much.

      and why would i explain to a total stranger my real reason (if I really did have)? thanks for reading.

  3. I like ur puppy love story. it was a wonderful experience, you tried hard you got it and you didnt hang on to it, this is a fact of life.

  4. I never knew that. I could have advised you if only I knew. Every single decision you made had a reason and slowly it’s is being unwrapped. Goodluck.

  5. Thanks a lot for reading, Viet. I couldn’t remember that I said that in class. But I agree with you, love can be quite fleeting sometimes. You just know it was love, but it’s already gone.

  6. I read your love story. But i was surprising because you used to fall in love. Last time in class, you told ” i have never fall in love and i love alone ” but i don’t believe at all because i thought everybody used to love least only one in life. And me too, i had a wonderful love story when i learnt in high school, this is a first love, bright and romantic, i never forget.
    Sometime when you think again, have you ever felt really regret with whatever passed over and you lost ? And with me, sometime i really regret. but no proplem, i love alone now but i can’t live alone in future. I haven’t gf now but i enjoy with my life, i fall in love everyday, everywhere and everytime. When i look out side, i come across a pretty girl, i fall in love a few minute and when have someone call for me, this is a nice voice, i fall in love a few second. That all, i am shallow man ?? haa haa, i think everybody is like me. have manything in this life really interesting and we need time to discovery, like a pretty woman. Hope you will look for a big love , lucky and your future in future.
    and Nothing to lose
    ” There are times when you make me laugh
    There are moment when you drive me mad
    There are seconds when i see the light though many time you made me cry
    There’s something you don’t understand
    I want to be your man

    Nothing to lose, your love to win
    Hoping so bad that you let me in
    I am at your feet wating for you
    I’ve got time and nothing to lose

    There are time when i believe in you
    These moments when i feel close to you
    There are times i think that i am your
    Though many times i feel unsure
    There’s something you don’t understand
    I want to be your man

    Nothing to lose, your love to win
    Hoping so bad that you laet me in
    I am at your feet wating for you
    I’ve got time and nothing to lose

    I’ll always be around you , keep an eye on you
    Cos my patience is strong and i won’t let go you run
    Cos you are the only one………..

    Nothing to lose, your love to win
    Hoping so bad that you laet me in
    I am at your feet wating for you
    I’ve got time and nothing to lose
    And nothing to lose…………….

    I love this song and i love Michael Learn to Rock too
    If you want to listen, click in link bellow

  7. i enjoy reading this love story. one of those stories you cannot tell why it has to end and you wished had not ended. but the story did end sadly because…, maybe another lovestory awaits to begin.

    john, its very nice!
    i wish the next love story
    that will be posted here is a happy ending one!

  8. i like this topic. i felt the pain because i once had a relationship. i hope other people can see the different you. The Fev that we never thought you were.

  9. im not a fan of any love letters or the like but i get amused of reading this blog. the emotion was there. the intensity of love and even the “kilig” factor was there. not to mention the corky and corny lines but hey i made spice to the whole story. unfortunately in the near end it appeared frustrating. leaving a person because you could not continue to communicate and at the same time telling her ” i love you” is somewhat ironic. love conquers all my friend. it surpasses anything that blocks its way. i dont know if there was really love in this story or the author was just forced to do so with his personal reasons. reasons reasons reasons. to be fair enough, the author tried to love its just that the love story ended sadly. anyway i hope the author learns his lesson well upon this love story of his.

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