I had been a Woman focused too much on the success of my career. Focused too much on victory. Focused too much on rewards and achievements. Focused too much on earning a huge amount of money. Now, I can say that I am already successful in my career. I won. I received too many rewards and achievements that my room is filled with plaques and certificates. I own a mansion. I travel the world. I eat the finest delicacies. I am already rich. I am successful. But, am I happy?
I grew as a poor kid. We once lived in a Nipa Hut. We eat rice and salt. We struggle to find money for school. We can’t buy what we want. Poverty. It has been my inspiration. It has been that one thing that pushed me to forget everything that brought joy to my life so I can focus on my studies and on what’s above. And with those that I forget is Peter– my long time friend and love. We had been friends for 18 years until I decided to forget him– as quick as that. To forget the happy memories, the laughter, the love that we have is not as easy, I admit but I became so successful on forgetting him. I became a scholar of the Philippines to the United States. I studied business management. Peter eventually send me letters. The first two, i sent a reply but I thought this would only prevent me on focusing on my studies so I tried to forget him, and I forgot about him– I can’t say completely but the happy memories are gone, at once! After I finish college, I was already 22 years old then, I had a master’s degree, which will make me even more professional. After that, I tried to put up a small business– a department store. Eventually, I became so popular in this field of business. I earned a lot. I started building more branches until I decided to build a mall. Then, a company which helped me put up more branches all over the world. Then, subdivisions and estates. Now, this is success for me. This is a complete victory. But am I happy?
I went back to the Philippines after so many years. I put up a mansion there for my family. I’m already 35 years old and I am successful, I can say. I’ve decided to have a reunion with my friends and family. And yes, I sent an invitation to Peter, confident that I don’t have feelings for him anymore.
I dressed in a long, black, flowy gown. This is not just any reunion. This is a grand reunion. Everybody is dressed in night gowns and formal. I thought Peter would not come but I saw him entering the ball with a pregnant woman–his wife, I’m sure. A feeling that I never expected came to me. Jealousy. Sadness. Envy.Repentance. Yes. And I don’t like these feelings. Do I still love him? Do I still treasure the happy memories and the love? Do I still love him?
“Hi, Peter. I’m so glad you came……..with your pregnant……. wife?” I said, trying to make my voice sound normal
“Hi. Yes, she’s my wonderful wife and she bears our second baby. In fact we’ve been married for 5 years.” my eyes are starting to show the repentance for not answering his letters, for trying to forget the love we had for each other. Just when I knew that I don’t love him anymore, I thought I was successful, but no. I still love him and I felt it again– the feeling of love that I never felt as I focused on victory.
“Well, congratulations. If you’ll excuse me? I have to get to my other friends.”
“Thank you. I want to talk to you. Just the two of us. Now.” No. This can’t happen . My tears are starting to fall. I looked at his wife for approval.
“It’s okay. I’ll just sit here.” her wife said.
We went at the backstage. Just the two of us.
“Hi, again.” I said, trying to hold my tears back
“Come on, Celina. I can see it in your eyes. Don’t hold your tears back.”
“Why would I, I mean, I’m not going to cry. Why would I cry?”
“Because you still love me. You may not know it as you swim across the pool of your money and success but I know there’s something.” This is so true. My eyes finally let go of the tears they had been hiding for so long.
“I’m just happy…… to see you again. You know_____”
“Don’t fool around. That’s also what I felt. I thought I don’t love you anymore after you rejected my letters a lot of times. I still love you. I just want to hear the truth, Celina.”
“Come on. I know you.”
“Okay! I still love you and I don’t know how I’ll take it. Especially when I heard that you’ve been married.”
“I love you too. So much. But it’s too late. I might love you so much more than my wife, but it’s too late.”
“I know and it brought everything back. I want you so much just the moment I saw you again.”
“Me too. I love you and I want you, but it’s too late. My children need me, and my wife.”
“I know and I’m not planning to ruin your family. I’m so sorry. I have to go.”
“I’m so sor___” He pulled me close to him and the next thing I knew, I was breathless. It was a showstopper kiss. A kiss I never expected. One thing that I’ve been missing for so long and I felt it again, in a forbidden way. I want to feel this forever. To have him by my side forever.
“I love you.” he whispered in my ears.
“Goodbye. You’ve cheated against your wife. Let’s just forget one another again.”
“You know I can’t do that.”
“Try your best then.” And the next time I know, I’ve been crying in the comfort room.
That was a 10-minute encounter that made me realize what wrong I have done. I can never erase him from my mind again.Never can I forget about him again. But the worst thing is, never can I have him again. I can have everything when it comes to luxury but am I happy? No, I am not because only him could make me happy, I knew.
Now, I’m already 85 years old and I already am married for 40 years having a child and a husband. I always knew I could fall in love again but the love that my husband and I shared can never be more than what Peter and I shared for 18 years– before I became so focused to have the success that I thought would give me the life that I want but then I knew that the life I want is to be with Peter, and I was not able to get that. So, Am I happy? Yes, I can say with my family–husband, child– but never can be happier than those times when peter and I are together.