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Unfinished Business

Note: Last July 26, 2005, I wrote this article in my hotel room somewhere in Mindanao. I had nothing to do since I was booked at the hotel far from the downtown, so I thought that jotting my thoughts would be more productive than going out and go malling. I also thought that, finally, I have to break my silence from this group and contribute to sharing of thoughts and feelings, which this group is meant to be. Moreover, I deem that this is a very good prelude to my next article.

I was so annoyed (or have become so mad, rather) by the fact that I could not continue writing my next story! The laptop which I have been using needed some repair and I have to transfer all the documents I have stored in it, including my story: “Ang Lalaki sa Balon”. It would have been a very good story to share. The diskette where I stored my article screwed up. Who would not get mad? I was about to end the story! I mulled over the thought of rewriting it but I just do not have the energy to do it all over again. It would take a lot of not only imagination but also so much emotion to rewrite a story that has become close to my heart. So it becomes an unfinished business? Well, I still decide to rewrite it, but maybe some other time.

Reflecting over this incident, some unfinished businesses flooded my mind. I realize, they still remain in my subconscious and sometimes appear in my dreams.

One morning, I woke up in the middle of my dream about my girl in college. In that dream, we were intently talking and amorously telling each other about what has become of us after more than a decade. Although we knew I was married and she was engaged, we still both have the feelings we shared back in college. Until I heard a loud noise, that ended the dream—in the part when we were about to consummate the love we failed to savor. (Of course, there is a psychological explanation to my dream but I do not want to dwell on that lest it becomes a psychological discourse.)

We did not end our relationship well because she just ended it up for reasons only known to her. Just like what I felt with my unfinished story, I was in shambles. We were physically apart and I was in an OJT somewhere in Southern Luzon and she was in the North. No amount of incessant letters from me gave the answers. I have never heard about her since 1991.

I was torn into pieces. I wanted to see her just to know what has become of her and why she all ended it up. I realized too that her sister could give me the answer but did not lift a finger to get in touch with her. After giving it a thought, I decided to just leave her in her own peace (which I hope she had after dumping me!). I just contented myself with the thought that she was happy with her decision.

This thought was further provoked by the fact that I have just met someone who looked like her. A male version, although not entirely physically. He has some physical attributes that pleased and attracted me a lot to my ex-girlfriend. His eyes are big like Elaine’s. He has long curly lashes and that characteristic shape that droop at the outer corner. Both of their noses had that cleft on the tip, sans the mole on hers. I guess, they have similar reddish lips. When I saw his picture, I thought that he looks like someone I knew from the past. I thought it was Jason. But no! It was Elaine who looked like him. Definitely, meeting him was so riveting that it created chaos again! Could they be kin? But no! They come from different hometowns. It was painfully annoying, because what I thought were already obscured by time pushing everything in the recesses of my subconscious, resurfaced.

Several times, I have seen or met people whom I knew in the past. Each time I would bump into them, I would wonder, if there would be any slim chance that Elaine and I would ever see each other again. I would like to think that all of us want to see someone from the past—maybe for some very important reasons like emotional attachment, unforgettable memories, or we simply miss their company. In my case, I just want to know the reason why she ended it abruptly. I wanted a proper closure, so I can move on.

It is still a baggage, so to speak—a baggage that I have to carry in my entire life. I realize it is hard to bring this extra baggage all along. My friends keep on telling me to forget it. After all I am already married. I believe them it has to be that way. However, I would still wish a closure.

Ending relationships is not an easy thing to do. My most recent gay relationship did not last. But what separates me from other guys is the fact that I made it a point to end and properly close it, giving enough reason why I had to do that. I did not want my ex to experience what I have felt with Elaine—to keep him waiting for answers and wondering why it had to be that way. My chatmate two nights ago had admitted that he felt so bad because his boyfriend ended their relationship for no apparent reason. Just like me, he groped for answers and has a hard time moving on.

Some people just do not care about the feelings of others. Their callousness or plain lack of respect for the other person’s feelings drives them to just pop out. Not many of us have the courage to tell the exact and real reasons why we have to end a relationship. Why? It is better to just move away and call it quits because it takes so much emotional preparation on our part. Maybe because we are afraid to hurt someone else when we say a word, but little do we realize that it pains the other person more if we did not even say a word. Fear of confrontation is another thing, because we are dreaded by the thought of facing our own fears when we engage in a straight talk. Definitely, the other person may have something against you, but it is better than leaving an indelible impression of your smugness or what have you.

But I would like to believe that what is more lasting than our act of leaving things hanging is the psychological effect on the person we left. On my part, I have to live with it as long as I am breathing. And I still wish someday, somehow, somewhere, I would be able to find the answers to these burning and nagging questions.

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