Tuesday, April 15, 2014
When I See Your Smile
I would say all couples have their own love stories; the story of how they met, how they started liking each other, and how they ended up in the altar. Ours was nothing unusual except that I met my wife when we were 10 years old.
Yup, you read it right. We were only 10 years old when we first met. That was in school.
We were both transferees from different private schools. Our parents both decided to move us to a public school where tuition fees are less. And so we met, on the first day of that school year. We were in fourth grade.
I couldn’t remember much but all I knew was I liked her already. I tried to be close to her so we ended up as very good friends. Our classmates started to tease us, and as a school-aged boy, I would feel embarrassed. But then we remained good friends and would end up sharing school stuff like notebooks and crayons.
The following year, we started a project called “Friends Comics”. I would draw some cartoons on folded A4s, and she would do the same. We stapled our work together, and our “comics” was born. I think we can call this our first “baby”. It was a weekly thing and our classmates (even our teachers) would pass the comics along until everybody has read it. I designated myself as the “editor” and she was the “assistant editor.”
This “publishing” relationship continued until we were in Grade 6, and I never realized that we were developing something more. When we graduated from grade school, I thought I’ll never see her again. But destiny led us to the same place for high school and we became classmates again.
We got the same teasing from our classmates, and because we had become teenagers, we felt embarrassed to be teased. So to avoid being picked on by our classmates, we started avoiding each other – physically. But how could I resist her? I secretly sent letters to her, through her best friend. I would ask her how she was doing, how her studies were, and how her family was. And she would answer back. We maintained our friendship secretly. I wrote a poem for her entitled “When I See Your Smile”, and had it published in our school paper. Nobody knew it was for her.
When we graduated from high school, we started to go our separate ways. She took up Civil Engineering in college, while I got admitted for Nursing in another school. We got busy in our respective studies and the exchange of letters became less frequent. Snail mail was to be blamed for getting late news about each other. I had my own relationships and she had her own.
Our paths separated more after graduating from college. I worked from one local hospital to another trying to find my place, until I got a job in Saudi Arabia. She also started working locally after graduating, until she was sent by her company for training in Japan.
The use of internet was already becoming popular during that time, so the exchange of snail mails was replaced with exchange of emails. We got to chat through YM every now and then.
I was in Riyadh, she was in Japan. The distance did not hinder us from becoming close again. Thanks to the internet.
During one chat session, I felt it was time. I loved her and my feelings for her were “ ripe for the picking”. Although I was hesitant initially to speak to her about it, for fear that our friendship might be at stake, I still expressed my heart’s desire for her. And without thinking twice, she typed “Y-E-S!” The feeling was mutual! That was February 19, 2005. Our love for each other was affirmed and that was the start of a lasting relationship.
We met in the Philippines later that same year. It seemed everything has changed between the two of us, as the relationship was now more than friendship. But we treated each other the same – like old best friends needing each other’s companion.
To cut the story short, we finally tied the knot on the 23rd of June 2007. We never knew when we were 10-year-olds that we would end up later as husband and wife. Of course, at that age we wouldn’t be thinking of marriage yet. But what I knew at the time, was that I found the person I am most comfortable with, and that I wouldn’t mind having her around for the rest of my life.
Ah, I would always remember that sweet little 10-year old girl! The notebooks. the penmanship, the comics, my best friend, my childhood sweetheart…now my wife.
To end this short story of ours, I’ll leave you with this final line –
“And we lived happily ever after…”