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For most of my life, I know that I have been living a God-fearing and righteous life. My parents have instilled in me to always think, say and do what is right, to always follow what my conscience tells me. I know I have always been nice, I still am, and I always will.

But back in my late 20s, when I started to live independently, I justified to my almost 30-year-old self that I can and I am allowed to have a bit of fun. You know, the kind of fun that a high school girl would’ve already gone through. I was getting tired of being asked why I’ve never had a boyfriend. The reason why I was NBSB was that I made a vow to my mom that I will never have a boyfriend until I finish school. (I have an MBA degree.)

Also, I was a super late bloomer, maybe. I have had some admirers at work but I would shut their admiration and give the “platonic relationship” ticket right at the start. That’s if I wasn’t attracted and decided that I couldn’t reciprocate their admiration. But I wanted to have some fun, some calculated risks, some harmless mistakes. Being too nice, too goody-two-shoes was bordering on boring and uncool.

I went for guys whom I was strongly attracted to (of course) and who have smitten me with their effort and attention. Before Christian Grey became a girl’s fantasy (sans the BDSM), I was floored by someone who’s got super good looks, who can afford to say the line, “choose what you want, sky is the limit.” At a young age, he is the President and CEO of a foreign company operating in different cities in the region. He is a looker and he knew it. I also got infatuated with someone who had this bad boy Robin Padilla persona. (But I tamed him, or so he says.) I also had an admirer from a prominent family, the good looking and eloquent son of a business tycoon.

But even if I had those guys around, fate had to tell me that if I wanted to just have fun and play—then it’s game over. Christian Grey turned out to be a Christian Grey to a couple of other girls at the same time, Robin Padilla is a married guy and rich kid COO has some loose screws in the head.  

Amidst those men, I had a good, loyal friend. He was an officemate, whom I never thought I’d ever fall for. He was like a younger brother whom I wasn’t physically attracted to, for even a centimeter. I know I wasn’t the prettiest girl in the building but I liked my physical standards in men. I was convinced that the “besty” was the super nice guy that I’m lucky to have around.

He was in a long distance (and long term) relationship with such a beautiful girl who (I think) looks way better than me. I haven’t met his US-based girlfriend, but I was a supporter of their LDR.  He was Mr. Congeniality to everyone so we both know we were platonic right at the onset. He was my confidante, my go-to friend, my ever-reliable Peter Kazinski, without the movie star looks.

After awhile, people around would speculate about us—that what he does is more than being my best bud. Probably pressured by those stares and whispers around, he then confessed that he had this huge crush the moment he laid eyes on me. It was during our first interview, and he never knew if I passed, but he wished I did get accepted, too, when the company confirmed his appointment. One innocent office event led to us catching up from that interview, then sending office emails then exchanging numbers. We started hanging out with other officemates. He became my go-to-buddy, then the inevitable happened. He admitted that he was falling for me already and he was willing to end his 10-year relationship just so we can be officially together. I, on the other hand, felt that I appreciated his love, but I wasn’t too sure that I would want to be with him. I know in my heart and in my mind that I cannot reciprocate that same love. I cannot and I don’t want to picture myself with him mainly because I do not want to break up a relationship, a solid and long one at that. I am a good, conscientious, smart woman who is not desperate to be in a relationship. I know I will have my man on my own terms. I told him to not break up with his girlfriend and that he should be with her and for us to just remain good friends.

We continued seeing each other, making the most of the time we had before he finally decided to leave the country and be with his girlfriend. When he blurted out his flight schedule, I didn’t know why but I almost had a nervous breakdown. Every bone in my body was shivering. We could not stop crying. Even the heavens had been pouring down tears for days—seemingly joining us in our misery. Did I love him unknowingly? Did I cry because I will lose my besty? We were always on the phone as much as we can, even until he had to turn his phone off because he was boarding already. I left the company soon after he left for the States. We would still chat on Yahoo Messenger at night and we both end up in a cry fest again and again.

Until one day I told myself this isn’t healthy anymore. This had to stop. I am a good and intelligent person and I know what should be the best thing to do in this situation. It wasn’t an easy decision. Everyday I missed him. But when I started to talk to him and smile or laugh, it always comes with so many tears and gut wrenching pain. I purposely didn’t go online anymore. We were Facebook friends but purposely didn’t follow him as well. After a few months, I found out that they were engaged, then got married (here in the PH) and went back to the US to start their family. Slowly, the pain turned to numbness and then nothingness. I was okay and happy with my new work, my new set of friends. I was single still, but happy.

Today, as I remember what happened, I knew I used my head over my heart back then. And I would like to pat myself on the back for being a strong, conscientious, nice girl all along.

Confessions are anonymously-penned pieces about heart full, memorable and oftentimes life-changing experiences. Minsan masaya, minsan malungkot, madalas tagos sa buto. At the end of the day, learnings pa rin ito bes.

Illustration by Madel Crudo

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