No bullshit here. I want to spill it out. I’m on the process of regression. Regression is defined as “the act or an instance of regressing [going/coming back]” [Merriam-Webster]
With the rise of technology and social media, many have thought of using these platforms as an escape, an outlet of regression. This includes me. With my personal “Regression” series, I will do a backtrack of what happened and predict what will happen, emphasize on what happened. But, I will not go back to 2003, my first real relationship; not go back to 1995, when I had developed an infatuation with a foreigner 4 years my senior (a Chinese girl); rather, I will start this series in the most turbulent year(s) of my life: high school. To be specific, 2006 and 2007, when I watched history unfold. I’ll start from March 2006 and go wherever my mind decides to go.
[Note: Specific dates not exact, except for the text messages (60+ of it are in my archive). Details are 95% correct. Despite me writing about my recollections of my high school love in the past, this is the most accurate, sans the dates, of how it happened in my perspective. All based on text messages from the archive. Sudden shifts in tenses are intentional.]
March 28, 2006, Tuesday:
My mom, still under “House” arrest because of the President’s order to detain them in jail for charges of rebellion, called me to visit her with my brother. Her jail is not much of a jail at all: it was the House of Representatives, where she works. The entrance of the House has a little garden near the South Wing building where I use to walk when I need some time for myself before all this shit happened. I am 15 and I am already emotionally wrecked because of a lot of things that affected me. Of course, this includes my mom’s “House” arrest.
February 25, 2006, Saturday:
I knew Ma would be celebrating the EDSA Revolution commemoration. I thought, hey, I’ll just read my copy of the “Little Red Book”. Little did I know, it was during this time that I watched history being made.
February 27, 2006, Monday:
Ma still haven’t returned home. I was not worried until I watched the news that night: “Solon protesters charged with rebellion!” One of them was Ma.
3rd week of March, 2006:
Last week of classes. I’m going to enjoy the summer break! But, hopefully, Ma would be free before the summer break ends. This “House” arrest of her by the little woman President has put a leash on us: I can rarely go out of the house just when I started to explore as a high school student, my brother goes home earlier even if he needed to stay at the University for long hours of plates [Fine Arts projects], Pa would call us if we don’t get home by 8PM, and no one should get out of the house without knowing where the rest are. Basic safety protocols already placed pressure on our, otherwise, “normal” lives.
March 24, 2006, Friday:
3:45PM – Last day of classes! I am watching the graduation practice of the grade 7 class from a bird’s-eye view. The second floor walkway is long, almost the same length as the main building of the school. I am standing near the grade 7 classroom, a faculty room, the library, an old detuned piano on my right, and a water closet on my left. The graduation practice of the grade 7 class is a little laid-back: it is, after all, the afternoon and everyone’s tired. My eyes are scanning my bus mates. I see Nicolo, the gay, and Cyril and Karla, best buds and conspirators for making Nicolo angry as fuck. I see David’s girl, Andrea, from afar. Lucky bastard got a young girl. Not that I want to but, what the hell, if given the chance, why not? I’m eyeing someone now from the same batch as her: actually, she’s her classmate! And, from my sources, her best friend, too! But, I don’t know her name. Ugh.
3:50PM – There are some projects and papers made by the grade 7 class. I’m scanning the patriotic shit these students wrote. I know there’s at least one paper with good writing here, come on!
3:51PM – A paper with a Philippine flag drawn on it is attracting me. It’s stupid, I know. But the handwriting is distinctly from a girl. It’s very neat! My god, better than everything I saw! What was written there, though, did not really make any mark on me. But, theirs is the most patriotic of what I read. It’s, actually, a plea to the President to be a good leader, et.al… how timely! The writers were “Laya, Kaye, and Faye.” I’m familiar with Laya and Kaye since Nicolo is friends or, in the case of Laya, acquaintances with them. I do not know this “Faye”. I became curious, too. I don’t know what she looks like. [Now that I think about it, I have not fully developed my little game of “Anong Pangalan ang Bagay sa Mukhang ‘Yan?” (“What Name Matches That Face?”) during this time. Shame on me.] I’ll just go back to the classroom, it’s almost dismissal time.
2nd week of April 2006:
I started to text Faye during this time. Actually, I was trying to be friendly. I had no real intention and was to “go with the flow”. I actually got her number from sources: Nicolo, David, and Karla and Cyril before the school year ended. They actually helped me to reach her. Weird, huh? I also did a bit of stalking around this time on Friendster, but I was having second thoughts about adding her because, by the etiquette of the social order, I don’t know her and she doesn’t know me. Texting her and not expecting a reply was a norm during this time. I distracted this expectation by playing the Playstation 2 with my brother or, more importantly, have a little bonding time with my mother by listening to music or play “Text Twist”.
The text I sent her, in question, was very simple: “Hi. I got your number from a friend from COLF. I want to be friends with you.”
Ma had some interviews piled up. It’s our third week of living in the House with Ma, who had been there officially since March. I took another chance in sending a text message to Faye, despite having apprehensions. While I was preparing the airbed, I received a text. It was from Faye. “Hello. Who is this?” A modest and honest reply. I forgot, for a second, that we both don’t know each other. “I’m Anton. A student of COLF.” She replied, to which I forgot what she said but I remember replying “Don’t worry, I don’t bite.” Her reply was a laugh. In my naïve way of thinking back then, I seriously thought she really laughed when I dropped that line. Well, I was right later on.
Late April 2006:
It was my last meeting with David. He was bound for the United States to live there for good. David was one of the people I made friends with when I entered the school 3 years ago. He was a damn good singer but a mediocre guitarist. It was alright, though. He has a knack for the latest and classic [not classical] music and he was open to other kinds of music. Moreover, he helped me to reach the impossible. As a parting gift, I told him I’ll buy his phone, a Nokia 3200, so I’ll have a remembrance of him. The phone still survives today.
Early August 2006 (undetermined part of the week):
I started to engage her in some talking. I still not have added her on Friendster, yet. It was something I considered a sacred place: Don’t add her until you feel it’s right. I kept on texting her, she kept on replying. It was as if our friendship was artificially made but was naturally occurring [Paradoxical, I know].
Early May 2006:
Ma was set free by order of the Malacanang Palace. But the charges of rebellion were still being lobbied by the Department of Justice. I thought that while physically, Ma is free… the government still has their eyes set on our every move. During the announcement of their freedom, I immediately texted Faye and another girl, an older girl named Kristen who I met during my shenanigans during second year. (To describe her briefly, Kristen was a pretty 21 year old girl [I was 15 during this time, remember this] and she likes anime and video games. I almost gave in to her but, I retracted. We lost contact with each other after I started talking to Faye.) Faye texted “That’s good to hear. :-)” Kristen called and shouted “Congratulations!” on the phone, almost destroying my eardrums. I started to pack up after Kristen’s call. Ma and her colleagues had a celebration at UP. Distracting me was the thought that the school year was about to start, it also gave me another apprehensive behavior: how will Faye and I interact in school? Son of a bitch.
The first week of classes. I did not want anyone to know that Faye and I were talking. I thought it was actually a big deal for all the right reasons:
1) There were many guys and boys who like her, including two of my busmates who are older than me
2) I did not want to jinx the developing friendship we have that time and
3) I am fucking shy!
Although, I had an inkling that Nicolo, Cyril, and Karla already knew what I was doing, they stayed silent as if approving what I was doing. But, something bothered me that time: Faye was not around. I had no one to talk to, at least on a level of being “myself”.
Early July 2006:
Still no sign of her. I overheard Nicolo about Faye being in New York. Ah, the Big Apple [Comedian George Carlin calls NYC the “Apple”]. I barely imagined her as the type of person fit for New York. I mean, NYC? Come on! But, hey, I did not mean to discriminate her.
October 8, 2006, Sunday:
(2:41PM) – “One time i said to myself, “if ever i was a guy, i’d wanna be anton. Hahaha!” – Faye
(2:42PM) – “That’s funny. Why? Haha!” – Me
(2:45PM) – “It’s very funny. I don’t know…i just thought about it one day. [It came again] Especially when you described yourself last night.” – Faye
October 7, 2006, Saturday:
“How about you? How would you describe yourself?” – Faye
“Me? Actually, I don’t know. I just let people define me. Some of my friends call me ‘mysterious’. Haha!” – Me
After a month of not being able to have to talk to Faye, I distracted myself by looking at pictures of her. I decided to check her Friendster, again. It was the nth time I checked her profile but I still have not added her.
Late July 2006:
I was happy to see Faye back in school. Secretly, it gave me some feeling of lightness. Weird. This guy who plays the “devil’s music” felt light because of a girl he wanted to know better.
August 2006 (undetermined part of the month): I started to text her again. I had not texted her since she returned to Manila.
“Welcome home. :-)” – Me
“Thanks. :-)” – Faye
And that’s where we started.
September 16, 2006, Saturday
4:46PM – “Aw…how nice. You are so sweet. Haha. Well I’ll stop asking questions already. It might be too “personal” already. Haha.” – Faye
4:47PM – “Haha. No. It’s okay. Personal questions are good. Haha!” – Me
September 17, 2006, Sunday
around midnight – “Happy birthday my feline friend. :-)” – Faye
around 1AM – “What is your wish for your birthday?” – Faye
“I always wish for world peace but i guess that’s impossible. So, I’d go for a girlfriend. Haha! I’m kidding.” – Me
We continued texting until we fell asleep. By this time, we were saying “good night” to each other. To me, it was weird, exciting, and sweet. For the first time, I felt something for a younger girl. [Having a history of preferring older women]
I was with the new girl, Nica, in the classroom. [Nica, during this time, professed being bisexual, coming from an all-girls school. Her demeanor was similar to a punk girl.] She wanted to know the boys better. Johann, Daryl, and Gab already set their intention(s) on her, albeit being in secret [except for Daryl who told me months after]. I could see right through them: I had an intention of making her my girlfriend, too. But, like Kristen, I retracted. Nica and I, at this point, are good acquaintances, bordering a stable friendship. She was asking me an obviously high school question: “Who’s your crush?” Being the guy who’ll easily give in to a girl friend, I told her by describing Faye: “She’s a freshman here. The prettiest.” I assumed she’d be observant or, more likely, her “radar” is properly calibrated since she came from Saint Scholastica. I went back to the open court.
3rd week of August 2006:
I noticed one of my classmates, Sam, instructing Raymarc for her Math project: tesselations of fish. My tesselations were almost finished because I had my motivation. I commented on Sam’s treatment to Raymarc, in a mocking way: “You made him your slave! You’re mean!” Sam retorted, “He wanted it!” Thus starting a friendship that I regret not starting when I first entered the school 3 years ago.
[Sam is one of the down-to-earth girls I know who, at the same time, has a high-class taste. As a guy, I was drawn to her physical features: big breasts, curves, round and firm ass, curly hair, and exotic look. Match those with her all-around good attitude! Raymarc, however, is one of the “math whiz” of the batch. Despite having odd social skills, he remains friendly to those whom he considers friends. He easily gets ticked off. Which most of my friends would use to their advantage.]
Sam and I became friends immediately, referring to her as “le friend”, with matching French accent. She was the first to know who my crush was by telling her the complete details, including the name. I remember telling Sam what I thought about Faye. “Nakakabighani siya.” [“She’s amazing.”] From then on, she’d refer to her, when talking to me, as “Bighani” which roughly translates to “[to] amaze”.
September 21, 2006, Thursday:
6:45AM – “Good morning, little Ysobel. Did you sleep well? :-)” – Me
[Ysobel is Faye’s real name.]
6:53AM – “Same as always. Weird. I dreamt about you. Haha.” – Faye
Late August 2006:
Faye and I have developed a friendship that I, at least, never expected to happen. We were similar in some aspects but our perspective with life always differ: She’s the optimist and realist, while I’m the cynical realist. [Looking back now, we both had the behavior of liking the ‘practical’.] I comically thought that we were opposites yet equal. Despite the difference in outlook in life, Faye showed brilliance and intelligence far greater for her age [13 years old], almost matching mine! She was also diligent with academics and always found time to practice her passion: theater arts. She can act, dance, and sing. A total performance artist.
While I was one of the “bad boys” of the third year class: Known by our teachers for being promising academic figures of the school with each person having their own specialties: one was good in Math, another in Science, another in English, another in Filipino, and me, the “Social Science” guy. Moreover, we were infamous for being called to the faculty lounge/purgatory, dubbed “107”, because of our shenanigans. And, we’d wait for the annual music event of the school to show our talent(s); the only time we were vulnerable.
This year was a bit different: I started to straighten myself up. Slowly making my way out of the dreaded Science Lab, where the high school students who are “incomplete” [seatworks, homeworks, projects not yet submitted] will never take the long exam until they become “complete”, I found a way to bypass the problem of not doing my homework: I started doing it with the seatwork. While the point of homework was defeated, it allowed me to think of my home as a home and not an extention of the school. Moreover, it made me have more time to talk with Faye. Which was, at that time, my main motivation. My friends followed suit. Daryl and I were the proponents of the new technique even though it was me who started it. But, I thought, what the hell. “We’re all going to benefit from it.”
October 3, 2006, Tuesday:
12:29PM – “Haha. Yeah. Man…you know you’re such a big influence. Haha. I find myself saying artisté and ‘what does that imply.'” – Faye
I was surprised when she texted me this. I forgot what I replied but, I know that I said I was both flattered and embarrassed.
October 6, 2006, Friday:
I posted on our home room bulletin board a picture of a fairy I used as a reference for one of my paintings. Faye said she had this affinity with fairies. I, being a researcher of the occult and mythical creatures that time, told her that I, too, had an affinity with fairies. I did not expect that, on that level, we had an understanding for mythical creatures despite how we both saw it.
October 3, 2006, Tuesday:
1:11PM – “Hahaha. Yeah. I’ll tell you a secret…i secretly wish i was one…or that they exist. It’s such a coincidence that you…have an understanding with them. Haha.” – Faye
October 6, 2006, Friday:
The picture I posted was intended as a “present” for her, for being a friend.
6:50PM – “Of course. I thought it would be hard to fine [sic] since i didn’t know what to look for. But i saw the fairy and…that was it. Haha. It was nice. Thanks.” – Faye
2nd Week of August 2006:
I decided to add her on Friendster after months of stalking her. Despite barely knowing each other during this time, I figured it was the right time. She accepted my request.
3rd Week of September 2006:
I was checking her Friendster and saw her profile picture. It was one picture multiplied by… 6. In the style of The Fool/Pop Art. I sent her a post: [non-verbatim] “Hey. Nice picture. Artisté!”
September 22, 2006, Friday:
9:53PM – “Haha. Especially about my picture…which you said was artisté!” – Faye
9:55PM – “Why? It’s true. I really like it. Especially the girl in the picture. Haha!” – Me
October 14, 2006, Saturday:
It was one of the “critical” days of our secret friendship. I dropped her hints that I like her, or, at most, have developed a crush or an intimate feeling for her. Despite that, I maintained my cool. I still called her, “little Ysobel”.
around noon – [non-verbatim] “You know, I start to look at you as my mentor.” – Faye
“Oh? Why? Haha!” – Me
1:02PM – “Haha. I don’t know. Seems like i know more things with sense ever since we started talking. And it’s what pops up in my head when you say, little ysobel.” – Faye
I was taken aback. In my mind, I was someone she respects. I never expected that. But, at the same time, I thought: “Shit. She only sees me as her mentor.”
3rd Week of October 2006:
The semestral break is near. Faye and I won’t be able to see each other for some time. The physical distance seemed so unreal even after having a connection through cyberspace. In the physical realm, I would always take a glimpse of her when I have the chance. She’d do the same. Sometimes, our eyes would meet and one of us would either look away, in embarrassment, or to smile. We had a weird interaction considering the fact that I had developed the intimate feeling I had for her a week before. I was apprehensive when she told me that she looked at me as her “mentor”.
I knew I had to do something to impress her: I started to write poetry. I was never the kind of guy who’ll adorn a girl with artistic works. I have always claimed to get a girl by letting them play my game [Will not expose what that game is.] But, the approach I made with her was the first time I did something beyond my comfort zone, on my own. I knew during this time that I don’t have a lot of influences for my poetry. My lack of influences was compensated by the raw emotions of my poetry for her. I would always say that “it’s shit!” but, I know, in my heart, that she’ll appreciate it. I edited most of them to my liking and gave my works to her. She would often read my poems and wisdoms and use them to her advantage. My “mentor” figure began to take shape at this point. I began to worry more. What I thought was something to impress her in a “I want to be more than friends with her, not just a mentor” way, turned out to be “ah, fuck!”
October 22, 2006, Sunday:
7:16PM – “Yeah…creativity is a fragment of illusion…hahaha. That’s genius anton.” – Faye
Give me a break!
October 28, 2006, Saturday:
I was at my dad’s IT school when we started to text each other. The morning conversations started at 9AM, quite late. But, it was the semestral break. My mood back then was kind of ticked: I was worried about my academic performance since I straightened up. After lunch, I decided to take my worries into the playful realm of feelings. I took the chance. After some conversations about crushes and outlook in love, I dropped the biggest hint.
Around 1:45PM – [non-verbatim] “You know, I think I don’t have a chance with you (talk about being straightforward!). Haha.” – Me
2:10PM – “Hm. Me too. I thought you wouldn’t have a chance with me (even more straightforward) too. But here i am, with a crush on you. Fuck.” – Faye
I was taken by surprise. All my expectations were bashed in the head by the words she said. I actually didn’t know what to say. The sudden surge of emotion dropped me off my seat.
2:15PM – [non-verbatim] “Shit. I don’t know what to do/say.” – Me
2:22PM – “Hm. The least you could do is make me feel better about what i just did. Damnit. i still feel so hesitant.” – Faye
I knew it was my cue to tell her that it’s going to be alright. I told her that I, too, have a crush on her. Alas, my effort paid off. But, the thought of me still being her mentor stuck… until now.
October 28, 2006 [nighttime]:
I went to Savannah Moon, Eastwood, for the “Baila! Baila!” dance event hosted by the school. I asked Faye if she’s going. She affirmed. I told her I was going, too. But, the world conspired in a stupid way: I forgot about her parents. [Details of her family will be kept secret here. Don’t worry, nothing really bad. It’s just for her sake.] We kept a safe distance that night, in Savannah Moon, but we exchanged glances. I looked away instantly. But, I smiled on my way out of the dance hall to catch some air.
Thoughts quickly entered my mind.
7:45PM – [Thought loop; no texting involved] “What should I do? I can’t call her now.”
At around 8PM, I left Savannah Moon… but not without taking a good look at her again. I left the premises with a smile on my face.
September 17, 2006, Sunday:
I’m happy waking up every day and recalling the last message we sent to each other, usually a “Good night. :-)” or, sometimes, a random statement from a completely random topic. Faye has some sort of charisma with her that I cannot resist. Her mixture of simple and complex made her more irresistible. That’s the problem. I may never find someone like that… ever. By this time, however, I felt more comfortable with her. Her way of thinking is, certainly, different from mine. But, that doesn’t mean she’s closed-minded. Coming from the same school certainly has its advantages.
November 18, 2006, Saturday:
11:25PM – “Hahaha. I feel….like i can talk to you and never ever stop. I feel like with you i can be who i really am even the things i hate about myself.” – Faye
October 29, 2006, Sunday:
Well, first day since Faye and I “confessed”. Funny how it all escalated to this. We were complete strangers for 3 years and now, we’re more than friends. How did that… happen? I miss the way we would glance at each other, secretly, before this happened. I wonder if she knew it. But, I sure knew.
November 18, 2006, Saturday:
11:57PM – “Weirdo, you think i don’t do the same?! I almost memorize your class sched, always looking for an excuse to go down and write about you almost all the time!!” – Faye
December 9, 2006, Saturday:
5:25PM – “Haha. Yeah. I always felt you were ‘different’ that’s why i wanted to know you better. Haha. Then i guess it is worth it… ;)” – Faye
Our pretense for being lovers had an effect on us. We became better people apart and we were like children as we had our “meeting” every morning [from 8:15AM – 8:45AM] and afternoon [4:15PM – whoever leaves first].
Indeterminable time 2006 – 2007:
Our time together, physically, has been restricted to mornings and afternoons. Sometimes, I would wait for her break time if my seatworks and/or projects let me to go out the classroom. Sometimes, she does the same thing. I really love the idea of being with her, physically. For the first time in my still-developing teenage life, my carnal desires were suppressed. It made me connect to Faye in a way that both of us will be comfortable with each other.
In the mornings, when she arrives at the expected time, usually 8:15AM, I wait for her to go down, because, well, I’m cooped in the classroom doing my homework or the previous meeting’s seatwork. I make sure that if she comes to the classroom, or our usual meeting place, the catwalk, I would have done my academic works and focus my time for her until the clock strikes at 8:40. At 8:40, in which we both have agreed that it’s the “magical 5 minutes” before we go to our respective classes, we will both exchange affirmations and some random topic(s). Funny how we managed to do that. Then, usually, at 8:43, we will both walk to her home room class then we’ll part ways. It has always been my habit to let go of her at the very last feeling of keratin and I always look back at her before I go down to my home room class. I wonder if she noticed those details.
April 9, 2007, Monday:
12:57AM – “Haha. I like it when you drum your fingers on my back. I like it when you bend down to listen to me whisper to you. Damnit anton..think of a classier love song!” – Faye
1:21AM – “Hahaha! How nice.. ‘baby v’..oh yeah. ..you do? Eh..i know i’ll never succeed. ..mm, i like it when you remove the hair covering my face. I like the way you only let go at the last finger.” – Faye
1:29AM – “Really? Shit why don’t i remember that! So..you like gabriella huh..haha. Oh.. look at her name…haha. ..i like it that you always ask about my day. I like it when you look back when we part.” – Faye
April 9, 2014, Wednesday:
Shit! She knew!
Early to Mid-December 2006:
The air in school was different. It was the spirit of Bonfire again. I never performed as a member of any band there. It was, after all, the highlight of the year. The Christmas Bonfire that I have attended for a total of 12 years, since my brother studied there, became a spectacle for parents and their children to gather and talk. Most of them were invited to sing and/or dance with the teachers… usually after the program proper, when the bonfire is lit.
I wondered: what will happen between me and Faye?
December 6, 2006, Wednesday:
“Happy Birthday, my little Ysobel! :-)” By now, calling her “my little Ysobel” or “my little one” [to ascertain her that she’s the only one I have] have become a standard. She would sometimes call me “Antoine” or, rarely, “Gab” [a name I didn’t like people calling me; but I gave her the right to] but, she preffered Anton. It was all right.
We didn’t celebrate her birthday but I made it special, at least, for her: I gave her poems of undying faithfulness and affirmation of love. I slipped in some poems of doubt, too. But, it was all natural. We were both gifted writers and thinkers at that time. With her being the muse of my art, she fuelled me at my most creative.
The start of the “AFC” series of poetry and letters I sent to her/kept for myself. Being simple-minded, I conjured AFC as an abbreviation of our relationship, in poetry/letter form: “Anton-Faye Chronicles”, followed by its corresponding number [eg; “AFC-001”] It was, at the time, my baby that I decided to give her because I felt she’d be more assured with what I’d say, given our physical restrictions. It worked.
December 19, 2006, Saturday:
Christmas Potluck and Bonfire. Our class was slated to dance for the Bonfire, as per annual tradition of all batches performing. Of course, Faye had her performance with her batch, and another with the committee she had joined, the Performing Arts committee. Before the Bonfire, the Potluck was a hit. Daryl brought with him yet another peculiar object: a can of corn. The rest of the class ordered pizza, chicken, and sweets. While I maintained that I’m poor. Of course, I just didn’t tell my mom about the Potluck. The whole festivities of the Potluck lasted until, at most, 4PM. After that, preparations for Bonfire took place. I would look for Faye during that time and would be bummed out if I didn’t see her. My only company aside my usual group of friends was Sam and Nica.
Sam, having been the first to know that Faye and I have had confessed to each other, was the one who urged me to go look for her. But, I insisted. I stayed in the classroom where the performers would wait. Since the room was mainly occupied by me, Nica, Sam and my friends, with most of them going in and out of the room, it took some time before I gave myself a little trouble.
When the others left me and Sam in the room, I kissed her on the cheek. She was flustered. I smiled. She asked me why I did that. I told her, directly, and without stuttering, that I had a crush on her [never told her that it was also to make ends meet] Sam told me, in a soft way, that I should not do it again because I already have a girlfriend. [So, was she implying…? Now that I think about it, would it be different if I didn’t pursue Faye and went with Sam instead? Oh well. I already made my decision at that time.] The kiss never made things awkward between us. We still remain friends until now.
The time has come to start the Bonfire. As always, the younger batches performed first, working up with bands in-between. Our batch was near the closing, the latter half of the program proper. Faye’s performance was finished and she’s free to do what she wants. She stayed with her friends while waiting for me.
After our performance, I immediately looked for Faye. I texted her where she was. We met backstage, with my friends which, in turn, became her acquaintances and friends. She was a participant in my realm: She took pictures when we went to room 106 and talked to the girls of the group, later dubbed as “La Familia Perfecto” or “La Fa”. “La Fa” was a small “fraternity” consisting of select students from all high school levels. We usually bonded through music and our notoriety. There was no idea of a leader but, definitely, Kyu was the one who led us. The girls, sans Faye, were mostly my batchmates who were close to the 4th year boys. After the brief meeting with “La Fa”, Faye and I stayed at the high school corridor. A song was being played through the monitors: it was Bonnie Bailey’s house hit, “Ever After”. I heard Faye singing it and, surprisingly, she was smiling while she was singing it. I did not ask her who she dedicated that song to but, judging at how she sung it [low-volume, sultry voice] it could’ve been for me. The song is now a part of my EDM playlist.
Alas, the night drew to a close. I had to go home. I was with my father who, then, was working with the Quezon City government and he just had to pick me up. Faye accompanied me to him. I introduced her. My father smiled. That was that. I texted her when I got home and we both said our good nights.
December 25, 2006, Monday:
Around midnight – “Merry Christmas, my love/my little one/my little Ysobel! :-)” – Me
1:29AM – “Haha. I wasn’t expecting that. Merry christmas my love. It just…isn’t so merry this year. Hm.” – Faye
[She told me about her problems. For her sake, if ever she reads this, I’ll keep it a secret.]
9:27PM – “Oh anton. That’s the only thing I needed to hear. That’s why im always hesitant. Im afraid you’ll tire of waiting with all these limits [parents, academics, et.al – Me].” – Faye
New Year! Back to school! I was fresh with ideas and all the things I needed to write. During this time, I was about to compose a song for her. I did it before with “The Perfect Poem” which I conceived months before our confession. It was borne out of an idea that I’ll put chords and melody into it. It never materialized but I sent it over to someone who could do it for me. It became a Christmas hit single… in Japan back in 2006. The lyrics revised a little and added some verses, the title changed [“Kimi no Suki na Uta” – “The Song You Love”] and became a song by the Japanese rock band, UVERworld. I was not given credit but I accepted it. I got a free copy of the single and the album “BUGRIGHT”. [Weeks later, it would be revealed to me by one of my uncles, to whom I sent the words, that the lead singer of the band is actually a distant relative. Upon knowing this, I forgave myself for thinking I won’t get any credit for the poem.] At this point, there was a line that separates poetry and music. I’ve never wrote poetry in its purest sense. I wrote lyrics, something I can sing to someone. [Of course, that line began to blur as my mind expanded.]
An excerpt of what I wrote:
“The tone of your voice when you talk, where you look, and even what you say to other people
Those little things captivate me
I hope you feel the same, that your answer is here too
If only the miracle I’ve been waiting for would happen here”
It went untouched in the published version. And I maintain that this is the exact translation of the verse.
We were facing our first problem: I was preparing for the school fair, the exam, and the formation the band, Tejaks, on stage. Tejaks was composed of me [bass], Tron [my closest friend; vocals], Johann [my best friend; lead guitar], Jethro [Faye’s classmate; drums/percs], and Pappu [a second year friend of ours; rhythm guitar/keys]. I became a bit irritable. It affected our relationship. She sent me a letter. Then, I came to my senses. I said sorry.
March 10, 2007, Saturday:
3:46PM – “Hahaha. *smile smile sile* i really really don’t regret anything about you.” – Faye
Early March 2007:
We had another problem. But, the details of which is now a blur.
January 12, 2007, Friday:
Sam’s birthday. Me and my friends promised her a one-year celebration. Funny, I know. But, the idealist group gave her something on the first day: a box of cake and a tub of ice cream, which, of course, we all shared. Faye asked earlier if Sam liked dogs. I told her “Yeah. She’s a dog person.” She gave Sam a dog keychain. It was a good gesture between friends.
On that same day, just near the open court, Faye and I were standing side-by-side. Sam took a picture of us, although it was overexposed. That picture still survives in my archive.
March 18, 2007, Sunday:
9:35PM – “Hahaha. That sounds softer than.. The ‘don’t know don’t care’ attitude. I like that. Good night baby… hahaha! I love you […] sleep well. :)” – Faye
March 22, 2007, Thursday:
9:19PM – “Yeah..before, caring for someone seemed like some curse. With you it really isn’t. Because you always do the same. Finally, you make me feel..hm, safe.” – Faye
Early February – Mid February:
Preparations for Himig ng Kabataan, or Himig, were in place. This event was intended to showcase the musical abilities of COLF students and alumni. I’ve played in that event since I entered the school. This year is a bit different: Now that David left us, my New Wave cover group disbanded. In turn, Johann formed Tejaks with me, Tron, Jethro, and Pappu. Our motif was simple: guitar legends. We practised Steve Vai’s “Giant Balls of Gold” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze” With Tron leading the vocals on the Hendrix number, our group was, in every sense of the word, complete. The band was solid in terms of chemistry, and our ideas flowed naturally.
Late February 2007:
The Himig gig came after the “Multiple Intelligence Fair”. Being a progressive school, COLF patterned itself after the Piaget belief of enriching the multiple intelligence of a child. And this “fair” became the epitome of that belief. There were many “Smarts”, as the school would call each discipline, to join. But, the school limited it up to two “Smarts”. I, obviously, joined the “Music Smart” group. This year’s gimmick: music lessons. I was put into the task of teaching children how to play the bass. I immediately took the task.
A stage was set up for the Music Smart and another Smart group to use. Mainly, the stage was for Himig. Me and some of my groupmates and bandmates were on the stage to set up our equipment. The bass set up was minimal: bass, cable, amp. No instruments were fed to the mixer console yet. As soon as we finished setting up, we waited for students. Some of my groupmates left the stage because of their classes, leaving me and another groupmate to secure the spot. We both waited for students.
I saw a group of kids, probably in grade 6 or grade 7, approaching the stage. Finally, someone interested in learning music!
One of them approached me: A long-haired wonder. He looked like Andrea, Faye’s best friend. [I found out later that he’s Andrea’s little brother!] He wanted to learn the intro riff of “Master of Puppets”. I obliged despite not learning the song. I got him to learn finger dexterity and a little finger flexing exercises for him to reach the frets [“Master of Puppets” intro uses the first four frets of the bass neck, making it a bit difficult for small fingers to reach]. When we got to the fast part of the song, where the fingers will do some extending and dexterity, he found little difficulty with it, except for the speed. He told me it was the warm-up that did the job. He never approached learning the song after warming up [because he knew none of it]. I told him it was my pleasure to be of help for him and told him, honestly, that I didn’t know how to play the song. I had to make face just for him to learn the part he wanted to learn. He laughed and said “thanks.” This interaction with the boy would make an impact on me years after.
Two more students later [one learned “Blitzkrieg Bop” and the other, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, another song I haven’t learned but taught with knowledge on how to play it on the guitar. Bassist cheat mode!] I sought for Faye. If my memory serves me correctly, Faye joined a peforming arts “Smart”. I wasn’t sure what it was, though. [I may be wrong, shit!] But, I remembered that I still had class after the bass lessons. I quickly resumed my student life.
Late February (possibly February 23, Friday) 2007:
The Multiple Intelligence Fair has ended. The highly-anticipated music event was about to start. Tejaks will perform as the “transition” band between the “soft” bands and the “heavy”/alumni bands. I was slated to be the bassist with the band Kyu formed, with some “La Fa” members, called “Granada”, too. I was estatic. I treated Faye with a ticket so she could watch me perform [She told me before that she had not watch me play, despite being in the same school.] I was about to sing a German song but Tron and I dropped the idea because we only had days before the performance. So, Tejaks stuck with the “Guitar Legends” theme. Granada, however, planned a grand entrance: an entourage of “La Fa” members, one of them carrying an improvised flag, and, during the performance, a rotating bassist format, each bassist playing one song each. I played “Feuer Frei!” by Rammstein with “La Fa” creating a scene.
Indeterminable time (Possibly December 2006 or January 2007):
Faye let me borrow her diary. It was a hardbound black notebook which contained her intimate thoughts. There were poetries she wrote for her past loves and for me [written on the upper-right corner of the pages were either the letters “J” or “A”, the “A” was written in my adopted symbol: the “Star of Amuro Ray” from the anime “Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack”] Most of the “A”-labeled poetries/write-ups were considerably mature in writing style compared to those labeled “J”. Her diary was symbolic for me. Here was a girl, completely unknown before August 2006, who wrote the most mature poetry for her age.
Written there, too, was my class schedule. She wrote my class schedule! I seriously laughed when I read it in my room.
April 10, 2014, Thursday:
Now that I’m looking back at certain “artifacts” from seven or eight years ago, I am thinking of getting from Faye that black notebook. In exchange for poetry I never gave her. HAHAHA! Moreover, I gave her a black notebook which had some writings in it. Covered in anime magazine cutouts, the pages were also black; it needed a metallic gel pen for the writings to be seen. I wonder now if she wrote anything in it.
March 23, 2007, Friday:
5:59PM: “What what what! Ahahaha! I can’t believe it…sobra kasi akong ‘nabakla’ kanina i forgot to sa la la la i love you back! Ack!” – Faye
During the course of our relationship, we had our little quirks. It’s funny thinking about it now, as then. The memory of us being “children” and me acting like one to understand her (after all, the age difference was clear).
Exam week was approaching and this week was straining her. While I didn’t panic. In terms of academic excellence, Faye was the perfectionist while I was the carefree student who just wanted to pass my subjects.
11:18PM: “Super. I don’t think my brother will be falling asleep soon. So i think i’ll go ahead. You rest na rin. Good night antoine. I love you i love you i love you. Thank you..for helping me get through this week. :*” – Faye
Indeterminable time (Probably January or February 2007):
Faye and I were at the catwalk, her past love visited the school. While I maintained my cool, I felt a little doubtful and jealous. Was she only using me as a phase? To ease my doubts, she kissed me on the cheek. It was the first time she did so. Up until then, we only held hands. It was a big deal to me at the time, being two people who didn’t want to display our affection in public. It also marked something in me: the thought of being with her as something I can think forever. Yes, that time, I believed that she’s the one. [Refer to September 17, 2006]
March 24, 2007, Saturday:
2:04PM – “Hi! Hahaha. What are you up to? I woke up in a real good mood to your text this morning.” – Faye
The message I sent her that morning, in which she woke up hours later, was me telling her something about my love for her on top of the usual “Good morning”. Haha. Yeah, I was a really cheesy guy back then.
March 25, 2007, Sunday:
9:25AM – “I dreamt about you. It was raining [we had a penchance for rain and the full moon.], so much people. And i really wanted to be alone with you. But there was always someone else. Hm.” – Faye
Indeterminable time (Probably Late February – Early March 2007):
By this time, I have already told her about some of my ex-girlfriends. She was jealous about them, given the obvious age gap: they were older than I. But, I assured her that she’s the one I love.
March 25, 2007, Sunday:
9:48AM – “I don’t know. But…i did begin to imagine things. Maybe that’s why i panicked. I was thinking too much about you and things that would never happen. I know it sounds untrue. But it is real.” – Faye
After affirming her that things will remain the same…
11:44AM – “Good. That’s just how i want you to be antoine. :*” – Faye
9:06PM – “Hahaha! Hell yeah you made me happy…i don’t ever want to be the first to give you up know…because last night…i was also ‘thinking’ and surprisingly what you said to me this whole day…proved me wrong. And i’m so thankful for that.” – Faye
March 30, 2007, Monday:
Last day of the semester. Summer break, yet again! It was so different from the previous year. For one, Ma’s out of the House arrest. And two, it was almost exactly this time that Faye and I were complete strangers. Talk about time flying fast!
Every end of the school year, the school has a sem-ender perogram. I don’t remember exactly now what it was but it was something like Bonfire. Of course, Faye had performed and our batch did, too. After our performances, I met up with Faye at the grotto, at the back of the open court. The grotto was a place with some plants strategically placed on some big rocks where students would sit down and talk/study in the daytime. During night time, though, things were a lot more different. Those plants became a cover for those who wanted to sneak a little private time, especially couples. It was a haven for them especially when there’s an event in school that lasted until midnight. Faye and I were no exception. Although we were with her friends, we did manage to be together for a little while. It was something I will never forget. After talking with her, sitting down on one of the big rocks, we stood up and hugged each other. Then, at the very last second of our hug, I decided to kiss her on the lips. It was the first time I did so. We kissed for about some time and I begged for a “souvenir” [another kiss] but she denied. I was a bit sad but I understood. Time was not on our side at the time, and both of us had to part ways again. Our night ended with us texting each other.
8:53PM – “I love you anton…it may not seem like it but i enjoyed every second of your kiss. I was just so scared na may makakita. I hope you get home safely and try to sleep tonight baby.” – Faye
11:10PM – “I’ve been dreaming about you more often these days. But i haven’t told you that we always kiss in my dreams. Haha! See..i shouldn’t have let go of you!” – Faye
11:14PM – “You…are actually..my first kiss. *giggle*” – Faye
[Note: I had this habit that developed way before I met Faye in which I could not sleep at all. This still happens to me today although it happens less. But, before, especially after what happened on March 30, I couldn’t sleep at all! After that, I was up for two straight days. Returning my body clock temporarily the night after.]
That time with her at the grotto was something I wanted to loop forever.
April 4, 2007, Wednesday:
12:57AM – “Fuck you. Don’t say that. I love you ok? I love you i love you i love you i love you. Don’t leave me ok? Don’t leave me. New mantra for both of us baby.” – Faye
During this time, I was doubtful again. But, I assured her that I love her and won’t leave her. It was a turning point in our relationship. She held on until the end.
April 20, 2007, Friday:
Andrea set Faye and I on a date. I had summer class so I told Andrea that I could make it. It was weird. My uncle visited from Singapore en route to the US [He was working at the US Navy back then] and stayed in our house since last week. This day was his last day and then he’s off to the US. He gave me a little something that surprised me: money. I was suppose to ask my mom for extra money for my date with Faye but my uncle gave me 1000php, which was big at the time, and told me to go spend it on a date. It was as if he knew what I was suppose to do with it.
Getting hyped with the date, I immediately went to school for the summer class. I honestly wanted the class to end fast so I can go to the mall and have our date.
After the class, I went straight to the mall. Waited for them, Faye and her friends, to come. I was nervous. It was, after all, our first date outside the school. Being the older one in the relationship, I did not know what to do. My hands were shaking.
When they arrived, we did a little arcade. I was a bit pissed at the time, mainly because I did not know what to do. It was stupid. Looking back now, I’m very ashamed of what I did. Then, after that, we went straight to the cinema to, obviously, watch a movie. She treated me to watch a horror flick [If I remember correctly, it was a movie starring a young Dakota Fanning]. She knew I’m not really fond of the movies and that’s why she treated me. I actually insisted that I should treat her but, she denied. I thought of another way to treat her that’s when she said that we should wait at the nearby coffee place. That was my cue. The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf had some desserts that Faye wanted. I told her, and she instantly agreed, that I should pay for this one. She ordered Blueberry Cheesecake, which happens to be my favorite. [Believe it or not, the receipt is still with me! But it is barely readable.]
Then, we went to watch the movie.
After that, while waiting for Faye to be picked up, we talked a little. About family, about life, about my day. It was fun. Talking to her that way, I really had a genuine smile on my face. After that, we parted ways.
April 10, 2014, Thursday:
I was really nervous back then. I tried my best to keep my posture but, again, I did not satisfy my own “perfectionist” attitude. Coupled with inexperience with younger women, I told myself that the next time Faye and I were to date, it would be different. There was no next time.
May 1, 2007, Tuesday:
It was Labor Day. I joined my mother in the festivities during that day and I decided to take pictures [I was already practicing photography almost the same time I met Faye who, coincidentally, was practicing the craft as well!]. I took about 300 pictures and was satisfied with the outcome. I thought of uploading most of them on the internet [Multiply] but something happened:
Faye had her Parent-Teacher Conference (PTC).
Although I was not informed by Faye about the details of her PTC, I knew it contributed a little to what happened next: the once-evitable break-up. My world was devastated. It created a void in which no human can fill. An emotion so dark and hollow, no one can touch it. I cried for days, weeks, even months. Until I decided not to cry anymore. I kept her writings and doodles in a green folder that I still have today. If I wanted to feel anything, I’d check that folder out. I call it my Black Box.
Post Script (April 10, 2014, Thursday):
It was a curse seeing her in school during the 2007-2008 school year in which I was graduating from high school and coincidentally, her sister was also graduating from grade 7! Imagine when she greeted me on my birthday and she had to go to my homeroom class before 8:45AM to do that. It took her a lot of effort to do that feat. I was amazed and angry at the same time. But, I had to keep my composure. Imagine, too, when I found her black notebook on top of a cabinet in our homeroom after class. I took it home instead of giving it to a courier [Nicolo] and thought about burning it or ripping it to pieces. But, being the good guy that I was, and still am, I returned it to her the very next day. I still regret not keeping that black notebook when I had the chance. Imagine when she approached me the day after the Batasan bombing took place, asking me about my mother. Imagine when graduation day arrived. I had to keep a playlist in my head consisting of the following songs just to calm me down on that day:
1) The Verve – “Bittersweet Symphony”
2) Bobby Caldwell – “Heart Of Mine”
3) Tears For Fears – “Mad World”
4) Astrud Gilberto – “The Girl From Impanema”
5) The Beatles – “Yesterday”
6) A Perfect Circle – “3 Libras”
7) Nine Inch Nails – “Hurt”
8) Bonnie Bailey – “Ever After”
9) Gyskard – “Pink Life”
10) Steve Vai – “Firewall”
I had no idea what college would bring me after experiencing the past two years in both its ups (March 2006 – April 2007) and downs (from May 2007 until April 2008). But, the Pontifical and Royal University opened up another avenue for me: the possibility that another one like Faye would show up. I’ll reserve that story for my next chapter in this “Regression Series”.