How to Love
He hitched her up, so her face was above his. Her eyes wandered down to his chin, out of habit. "Look at me," he said.
Cath looked up. At Levi's pastel-colored face. Too lovely, too good.
"I like you here," he said, squeezing her. "With me."
She smiled, and her eyes started to drift downward.
Back up to his eyes.
"You know that I'm falling in love with you, right?"
© Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl
I closed the book shut and sighed dreamily. Nandito ako ngayon sa isang public library sa may pinakadulong part dahil dito lang tahimik. Actually, hindi siya ganun katahimik dito. There was a couple here who has been making out for the last half hour or so. Ugh. These people.
Ano kayang feeling ng may kahalikan ka sa isang public library?
I shuddered at the thought of kissing someone publicly. Hell, I haven't even had my first kiss yet.
But some part of me—deep down inside—I somehow feel envious just by simply watching them kiss. I've never had a boyfriend. Well, I think it's still normal for a 15 year old girl like me. But still. Kinikilig lang ako sa mga movies at mga libro. Is it still normal?
I bowed my head on top of my crossed arms on the desk and closed my eyes.
Everyone else was busy getting boyfriends and being pretty... but there I was in a quiet library with a couple that has been kissing noisily.
How inexperienced am I when it comes to love: totally inexperienced. As in mang-mang when it comes to having boyfriends. I did have crushes before but... I don't know. I couldn't even get too close with them.
Ugh. I want a boyfriend.
Then I sat right back up from my seat and blinked a couple of times.
Gusto ko ba talaga ng boyfriend?
Yes. No. Maybe.
Pagbinigyan ni God sige go na lang?
I sighed and thought of something I never thought of before.
I grabbed my bag and walked towards a computer and turned it on. I opened a browser and typed in the search bar.
"How to Love?"
Paano ba magmahal?
Yan yung nasa isip ko habang naglalakad pauwi ng bahay galing library. Have I already mentioned that it's still summer? Well, yeah. Wala kasi akong magawa sa bahay kaya naman naisipan kong pumunta ng library dahil sa sobrang inip. I printed the page I have found and it was inside my bag, protected from the eyes of people.
Sabi sa wikihow.com there are 37 steps on how to love. Well, hindi ko naman sasabihin yun lahat sa inyo.
Okay, maybe a few.
Pero bago natin alamin kung paano magmahal, alamin muna natin kung ano bang ibig sabihin ng "Love".
Ano nga ba ang "Love"?
According to Wikipedia, "Love" is a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes that ranges from interpersonal affection to pleasure. It can refer to an emotion of a strong attraction and personal attachment... Love may be understood as a function to keep human beings together against menaces and to facilitate the continuation of the species.
The third sentence from the paragraph above refers "Love" as an instrument to keep the earth populated.
Pero hindi ba nang dahil diyan sa "Love" na yan, overpopulated ang Pilipinas?
Yung mga bitter naman sinsabi, "Love? Ano yun? Nakakain ba yun?"
Side Question: Bakit nga ba may mga bitter sa mundo?
Answer: Simple lang, dahil may mga gagong nanloko/nang-iwan sa kanila na akala ay nakakatuwa na paglaruan ang damdamin ng iba.
Love... ang dami kasing meaning ng "Love". Sa isang tao nga lang, mahigit isang libong salita ang kaya nilang sabihin para lang ma-describe ang "Love". Ngayon naman, sa sobrang dami ng salita na pagpipilian mo, hindi mo na alam kung ano ba talaga ang best word para ma-describe ang "Love".
Pero para sakin, and best word para sa love... "Love is sacrifice." Oo, alam ko. Sawang-sawa na kayong marinig yan tas pag-tinanong kung bakit, ang sasabihin tungkol kay Jesus, who died on a cross to save us from our sins—which proves his eternal love for us. Pero hindi ako nandito para mag-discuss ng Religion subject. Common na din yung pagsasabi na "Love is Sacrifice kasi isasakripisiyo mo yung sarili mong kaligayahan para lang dun sa taong mahal mo." Tas mayroon pang iba na, "Love is Sacrifice kasi ile-let go mo yung taong mahal na mahal mo para lang maging masaya siya sa piling ng iba dahil alam mo sa sarili mo na hindi mo siya napapasaya."
Oh di ba? Sounds a bit stupid, right? But we shan't discriminate the power of love. We never know kung anong kayang gawin sa iyo ng isang salitang yan.
Isa lang masasabi ko, "Love is indescribable and that's what it makes it DANGEROUS."
Ayan! CAPSLOCK para INTENSE. Parang babala na rin. Lahat tayo delikado sa pag-ibig. Lalo na't lahat ng tao ay magiging tanga nang dahil lang diyan.
"Di ba pag-in love ka, tanga ka?"
If I'm not mistaken, yan yung sinabi ni Ramon Bautista sa opening ng "Bakit hindi ka crush ng crush mo?"
"AAAHHHHHHHHH!" sigaw ng isang babae.
My monologue was cut off by that scream. I stopped walking and looked around. Ako lang pala mag-isa sa street na to? How creepy.
"AHHHH!" sigaw ulit.
I followed the sound of the scream and reached an empty, dark street on the other side of the road. On the other end of the street, there was a tall guy and a girl. And they were yanking each strap of a black and white bag.
"Akin na sabi eh!" the guy shouted. He sounded like a teenager. Just like me.
"AYOKO!!" sigaw naman nung babae.
I don't know what to do! Should I help her and get tangled in this mess?
Of course I should. Babae din kaya siya! Kung siya naman siguro nasa posisyon ko, tutulungan nya rin ako. Hopefully.
My heart started to beat fast inside my chest as I search for something to hit the guy with. Tapos, nakakita ako ng bote ng Red Horse dun sa gilid ng pader. The girl flicked her eyes at me for just a moment in recognition. I grabbed the bottle by the neck and slowly made my way to the guy's back. Mahirap na no! Mamaya pag nakita ako nito, i-pasalvage ako. HUHU!
"Ano ba?!" sigaw nung babae while she continued to struggle to get the bag.
Buti na lang hindi pa nasisira yung bag sa sobrang lakas ng hatak nilang dalawa. As in, like, they're putting all their weight in the straps and leaning backward, pulling.
"Bakit ko naman ibibigay sayo to eh a—" The guy shouted but he was cut off since I already smashed the bottle on his head. Then suddenly, he was unconscious on the dirty gravel. The girl's eyes widened in shock but then regained her composure when the guy didn't move.
"Miss! Thank You!" she said and started to run on the other street with the bag. I watched her escape until my eyes can no longer see her. I looked at the person by my feet and tossed the remains of the bottle aside. I nudged him with the toe of my shoe; he didn't move.
Is he dead?
The thought scared me but then I reminded myself that I don't think that anyone died by getting a bottle smashed on their head. But of course, we can never be sure. I might have hit a sensitive nerve and cause him to lose all his memories and stuff. Then I have to take care of him. Then he'll fall in love with me and I've got no choice but to be with him since I'm guilty. Then my whole life will be ruined!
Teka nga, bakit nga ba ako masyadong nagw-worry. Para tuloy akong tanga. Sobrang cliché naman kung mangyayari yun. Buti sana kung nasa movie kami o di naman kaya nasa Young Adult Book.
Still, natatakot pa rin ako. Paano nga kung namatay? I crouched down and hesitantly reached with my two fingers to his neck. The beat of his pulse drummed under my fingertips and I felt a cold air of relief settled over me.
Whew! He's alive! HAHA! Magpapa-fiesta ako!
Pero anung gagawin ko sa kanya? Iiwan ko na lang ba dito? Eh pano kung magising to at maghanap ng bagong mabibiktima? Konsensya ko pa yun kapag may nabalita sa T.V na may pinatay ng magnanakaw or holdaper.
Tinignan ko yung lalaki na nasa paanan ko—actually mukha na siyang nasagasaang pusa ngayon, ang payat kasi; parang buto lang tas tinapalan ng balat. Pero syempre, biro lang yan.
I was guessing that he was at the same age as me. Maputi, may pagka-singkit, matangos ang ilong, tas ang ganda lang nung buhok niya. Hindi naman siya mukhang holdaper eh! Eh bakit niya inaagaw yung bag dun sa babae kanina? Pogi niya sana eh. CHINITO! Mga Xian Lim lang daw ba. AJAJAJA.
Kaya naman humanap ako ng guard tapos tumawag naman siya ng pulis. Dinala yung lalaki sa presinto. Aalis na sana ako kaya lang sabi nung mga pulis kailangan daw ako dun. Kailangan ko daw ikwento lahat nung nakita ko. Tas lalabas daw ako sa news. CHAROT!
So kinwento ko nga simula nung naglalakad ako pauwi habang nagmumuni-muni—pero syempre hindi ko sinabi na yung iniisip ko ay tungkol sa pag-ibig, mamaya itsismis pa ko nitong mga to eh—hanggang dun sa paghahanap ko nung guard. Paulit-ulit nila akong tinanong; parang sirang plaka nga lang eh. Same questions. Kala siguro nila magbabago yung mga sagot ko.
After about 15 minutes of questioning and sitting—on a hard plastic stool in front of a fat policeman in a police station that has a temperature of 35 degrees on the inside—the guy finally regained consciousness.
"YUNG BAG KO!?" yan agad yung sinigaw niya sabay na paupo. Then he looked around curiously. "Bakit ako nandito?" he demanded and stood up. Two policemen sat him on the stool in front of me. "Sino ka naman?"
I raised an eyebrow at him.
He didn't even wait for an answer before turning to look at the fat policeman behind the wooden desk. "Yung bag ko ho?" he asked with a hint of annoyance.
"Bag daw niya," I muttered and snorted.
"Oo!" he shouted at me. "Bag ko!!" he said, putting a lot of effort in saying the word 'Ko'.
"Psh. Unbelievable." I muttered again.
"Sino ka nga ulit?" he asked, annoyed.
"Sorry, pero hindi ko pa sinasabi sayo yung pangalan ko." I said.
"Edi, sino ka nga?" he asked impatiently.
"I'm Shane." I said.
"Ikaw, Miss. Kasabwat ka nung babae kanina no?"
Then my right hand started to itch, as if itching to slap his face. "Ugh! Ang kapal ng mukha! Bandang huli kasabwat ako? Di ba't ikaw yung masama dito?"
"Oy, babae! Hindi mo naman alam yung nangyari eh at tsaka wala naman akong pakialam sayo. Ang kailangan ko yung bag ko!"
Those words stung and I had no choice but to just glare at him.
"Tumahimik nga kayong dalawa!" the policeman shouted at the two of us and we went silent.
"Asan na ba yung babaeng yun?" he asked as he leaned over the desk of the policeman.
"Hindi pa namin alam. Baka gusto mong magkwento kung anong nangyari sayo."
"Ganito kasi yun, pinuntahan ko kasi yung bahay nung kaibigan ko. Papunta na ko sa sakayan nun nung may babaeng biglang sumulpot. Kakain daw kaming dalawa. Mura lang daw, ililibre nya pa ko. Nalulungkot daw kasi siya."
I snorted. "Edi sumama ka naman dahil ililibre ka niya?"
He just simply glared at me. CUTE! Ay! Yuck pala!
"Tapos hinatak niya na ko dun sa isang street sabay sinuntok ako!" he said and showed us the right side of his face with a purplish bruise that I have just noticed. "Bigla na lang kinuha nung babae yung bag ko sabay tumakbo. Naabutan ko siya dun sa kabilang side nung street tas dun na namin pinag-agawan yung bag. Tas maya-maya bigla na lang sumakit yung ulo ko at nawalan ng malay."
After he finished recounting the story, I laughed out loud in my seat and he just watched me. "Lalaki ka ba talaga? Nasuntok ka ng babae! Nakakahiya 'to!"
He didn't say anything but still glared. Kung nakakamatay lang ang tingin, kanina pa ko nakalibing.
"Totoo ba yan?" tanong nung pulis dun sa lalaki.
"Opo." He said politely for the first time.
"Wait! Don't tell me you believe him." I said to the police.
"Eh, ma'am. May mga report na rin ho na nakakarating dito sa presinto na may mga babae nga daw na magyayaya sa inyong kumain sabay nanakawan kayo. Hindi lang mga lalaki ang nabibiktima dito. Pati na rin mga babae."
So that's what makes it believable. I can't believe women can do this kind of stuff. Aren't they supposed to be sweet and caring?
"Pero ang problema ko, ay yung bag ko." The guy said.
"Oh come on! Do you really think na masosoli pa yung bag mo sayo? If I were that girl, itatapon ko na lang yun sa tabing ilog. Tutal, wala namang silbi sakin yung bag. Not unless, original yun." I said.
"Oy! Original yun!"
"So anung gusto mo, palitan ko?"
"Gusto mo ngayon na eh?" I dared.
"Oh sige!" he said and stood up. "Maraming salamat po." He said to the fat policeman and exited the station.
Without another word, I stood up and followed him outside. He looked devastated. He has his face in his hands and he sighed. Suddenly, I felt pity for him. "Uy! Sorry ah? Kung alam ko naman, I would have helped you retrieve your bag."
"Okay lang. Wala ka namang kasalanan eh." He sent me a weak smile and started walking on the other way.
"Uy! Teka lang!" I said and held onto his arm. "Akala ko ba papalitan ko yung bag mo?"
"Seryoso ka pala nun?" he asked disbelievingly.
"Oo naman!" I said almost too loudly that he cringed.
"Ang lakas ng boses mo!" he complained.
"Psh. Tara na. Abot pa tayo sa mall." I looked at my watch and it read 7:30 pm.
"Wag na. Marami naman akong bag eh." He said and started to walk away again.
"Oy! Teka lang!" I said and he looked back at me. "May pamasahe ka ba?"
"Meron!" he said in between chuckles. Bakit siya natatawa? "Na sakin yung wallet ko."
"Bakit ka tumatawa?" I asked and crossed my arms on my chest.
"Ang cute mo kasi eh!" he said and then suddenly, I was stunned. "Wag ka masyadong mag-alala, napaghahalataang may gusto ka sakin eh." He said and smirked at me.
"Ano!?" I shouted. "Ako may gusto sayo? Oh, please, over my dead body."
"Wag kang magsalita ng tapos! Magkikita pa ulit tayo alam ko." He said confidently and started walking.
"Wag tatanga-tanga nang hindi ka nanakawan ng bag!" I shouted at his back and turned my back and started walking home. What an unexpected way to meet someone right? Who would've thought na may makikilala akong nanakawan ng bag? Ang masaklap pa dun, tinulungan ko pa yung magnanakaw! But I was innocent, wasn't I?
So kanina, natanong ko kung "Paano magmahal". Bakit ko nga ba natanong? Simple, dahil curious lang ako. At kakasabi ko lang kanina na parang gusto kong magkaboyfrined. Pero parang hindi din. Parang ang gusto ko lang ay yung experience. Some sort of an experiment. I just want to know how it feels. Pero paano nga ba magkaroon ng boyfriend? Masearch ko rin ba yun sa internet, or bahala na lang si batman sakin? Pwede bang tatanga-tanga ka sa pag-ibig?
Hindi pa pala ako nagpapakilala, ako si Shane De La Vega. 15 years old. Third year high school sa St. Claire Academy. At eto ang kwento naming mag-kakaibigan na nahumaling sa salitang "Pag-ibig."