You will never know true happiness until you have truly loved, and you will never understand what pain really is until you have lost it.
I bumped into him as I was rushing to catch the BART headed for work. This was the time when I had to take the train, rapid transit and bus to get to places. Back then, I didn’t have any means to get a car. So public transportation was my best bet to go from one place to another.
It was the last seat inside the train and I sat by him. Only to spill hot coffee on his jacket. I was so embarrassed and kept on apologizing for my clumsiness. Funny cause I heard him say it was alright, but I couldn’t stop saying how sorry I was. Until finally, he put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Don’t worry, it’s okay. No harm done! I work in construction. This is nothing. Really, stop apologizing.” He said with such a lovely accent that made me shut my mouth, and I did.
Found out that his name was Leonardo and he work for this contruction company in the city. They have this project right near where I was working, and he works for them as a Foreman. I offered to buy him coffee for that little accident we had on the train and he gladly agreed. After a quick stop at the nearby cafe, we said our goodbyes. But after work I saw him again at the BART station, this time he looks like he was waiting for someone. He said that he was waiting for me. I was a bit surprised, but clueless. So we took the same train going home. This went on for about two weeks, seeing each other at the same spot. I did sense something, but I ignored it. Whatever I was visualizing inside my head, it was a step close to impossible. I don’t think it will ever happen!
Then one Friday on our way home, he invited me to dinner. As usual, I was suppressing my suspicions. I agreed to dinner at this mexican restaurant. It was awkward the whole time, sitting right in front of each other. We were silent, besides the occassional smile we give when our eyes meet. We look like two bewildered morons. After dinner, I told him it was getting late and I had to get home. What he said after came as a complete surprise, “Can I walk you home?” Then I said, “what?” Maybe he’s thinking I didn’t hear him the first time and repeated himself, “I said, can I walk you home?”
Funny how my suspicions turned conclusive, and I can’t deny either that I was feeling gigglish inside. I agreed to his kind offer and we started walking. My house was just six blocks away, so we decided not to take the bus. The conversations mostly about our family and work. But somehow, somewhere in our conversation he asked me if I was with someone. And I quickly said no, claiming that I was a single gay guy. I asked him that same question and he answered it without any hesitation. He did claim that he has a daughter back home. But single nonetheless and living on his own.
I think we can both agree that we grew fond of each other. I had no intentions of falling for a single father, but he was adorable enough to make me fall and able to accept him for what he is. His honesty surprises me, not everyone would be gutsy enough to spill their past. And he answers my every question with complete veracity . And it didn’t took me long to realize that I was in love — with him.
Eight months has passed and everything has been surprisingly settling. We barely argue, most of our time is spent watching movies and taking long walks. It was one smooth sailing relationship, where there’s no screech; but mutual respect. I think his very calm nature took an effect on me. It felt like I’ve found true love and inner peace in one person. Truly, he was a blessing.
But as swift as he came into my life, losing him came at the same pace. I went to his apartment one night and he was nowhere to be found. I don’t recall ever having an argument with him the day before. So I was mystified about his sudden lost. I came back the next day and then the next, only to find his apartment locked and his stuff gone. I was simply puzzled, left with unanswered questions. I didn’t know what I did to deserve such anguish? Did I do something wrong to push him away? I tried to comfort myself, but I failed — too many times.
I didn’t get my answer till a month later. It came thru a letter, all the way from Ecuador. Looks like he’s been evicted back to his country by the authorities. He didn’t tell he was having problems with his immigration proceedings. Now I asked myself, was he hiding it from me or I just didn’t ask the right questions? His letters was filled with tears and melancholy. And as I read each and every line, my heart cries longing for his presence.
There were days that I wanted to look for him, buy a ticket and fly to Ecuador. But everytime I made an attempt, financial matters get in the way. That I had to put it on hold, over and over again. Until came that day when I got this letter, the very last. And in it, he said his goodbye. He didn’t give me details, but my heart understood. I knew it was going to happen eventually. Like every long distance affair, he’s decided to move on with his life without me. And I can understand perfectly, what we had was great; but it couldn’t hold much longer. Holding on to each other would only bring more torture to our long suffering emotions. In my heart I know, it wasn’t easy for him to say goodbye.
There are just some things that are meant to end. Things that’s beyond our grip and apprehension. Something my intellect could never understand, but only my heart can enfold and thoroughly comprehend.