Memories


memories…light the corners of my eyes…

I saw Steve earlier…on my way to my dentist…our dentist…

Steve was my ex. I thought I am/was completely over him…but seeing him for the first time after 5 months brought back memories…some happy…mostly bitter…

I told myself, go ahead, talk to him. This is your chance…don’t let this opportunity pass…

I walked…away from the clinic…

Inside my head…a voice echoed.

COWARD!

Walking away from the clinic brought back years of memories.  I remember being the chubby guy at work, I remember Steve walking up to me and before long, we were having a conversation.  I am having a conversation with the cutest and the most sought after guy in the office!

Everything happened so fast, after the conversation came numerous meeting.  I wasn’t sure we were dating then.  We just enjoyed watching movies together, reading books from hours to end at the National Bookstore, going out together and drinking till the wee hours of the morning.  It may be during one of those drunken moments that I asked Steve what we are, his answer instantly made me sober.

“I didn’t think you’d ask, I thought you’ve figured it out already.  I love you.”

We became even more happier after that confirmation.  I guess, on my end, I was just waiting for him to ‘label’ what we have.  After all, isn’t it nice finally know we’re not just two friends going out and enjoying each other’s company.  We’re both genuinely in-love with each other.

Then came the fateful night.  Steve decided to hit one of Cebu’s really popular bar then, Yo Latino.  I didn’t wanna go at first, but he whined like a kid, as he would normally do to get his way, and I always fell for that antic of his, so I said yes.

On our way inside, we bumped into his ex.  All my insecurities returned.  The guy was tall, mestizo, buffed, I think gorgeous is the word I’m looking for.  He was everything I’m not, and the realization made my insecurities grow a hundred-fold.  I smiled and excused myself so I could them catch up and talk, thing is I didn’t excused myself fast enough…

Behind my back I heard his ex whisper “That who you replaced me with?  Tasteless.”

I doubled my pace to escape from the bitch he calls his ex.  I felt tears getting ready to pour out of my eyes.  I exited as fast as I can, not waiting for Steve to reply.  Tears fell and with each of them I shed, so did my confidence.

Those were just words but those words hurt me a lot. Steve caught up with me and tried consoling me.  He told me I am still the best he ever had, the most loving, the most fun.  I wanted so much to believe him but the words that came from his ex  kept going through my head, even after we both got home.

I resolved to slim down. I will not allow him to be embarrassed whenever we are together.  I told Steve I wanted a couple of months off to work on slimming down.  He didn’t like the idea at all, but agreed when I told him I wanted to do it for myself too.

The following months were a struggle. I religiously went to the gym, every waking hour I devoted to working out…at the back of my mind, I secretly competed with his ex.  I wanted to be as sexy as his ex…

I realized far too late that doing so was my biggest mistake…I started neglecting him.  Every time he’d visit me at my apartment, I was always too tired from working out, or too busy lifting weights.  My dedication to working out resorted to me neglecting my responsibilities as Steve’s partner.

On my 5th month, I was a different person. I was no longer the chubby guy he first met. I felt really sexy, his ex would never have the chance to look down at me again.  It was also then that I realized that in 5 months, we hardly had the chance to talk, go out and do the things we used to and enjoyed doing together before.

I called him, excited to show him how different I look now.  His voice was distant on the other line and he said he wanted to talk to me too.

Meeting up, my worst nightmare was confirmed.  I have lost Steve.

“Congrats.  You look good…” was his words
“You approve?” I asked.  He gave me a weak smile.   “Did it ever occur to you that maybe I didn’t really care about how you look like before?” was his answer.  I was speechless.

“You look good alright, but I hardly know.  You’re not the guy I fell in-love with before.”

“Steve…I did all of this for you.” My head felt really heavy, it was a surprise I managed to remain seated without falling down.

I’m sure with the way you look now…you’d have no problem replacing me.”

And he was gone…

 

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