Gentle breeze is caressing my face as I look over the rolling waves at the sea. The water is steadily rising beneath my feet, unaware of the memories rushing back to me. The man in front of me is as oblivious as the retreating waves.
"Aren't you cold?", I ask him softly.
He ignores my question. He reaches out and takes my hand in his own. I quicken my pace just a little bit to catch up with him so we are now walking side by side, holding hands.
I look up at him. It still amazes me how he can look so vulnerable considering that he's towering over most people. He'll always feel small to me.
"Saan ba kasi tayo pupunta?"
He briefly looks at me. I can see that he has so many things in his mind right now. I squeeze his hand lightly.
He leads me to a secluded part of the shore. I can barely hear the noise of the people partying on the other side of the beach.
We sit down on a big rock that has been smoothen by the crashing waves. There's a little space between us, small enough for me to hear his breathing. I can feel his pain with each breath, but he's trying to hold it in.
"Remember where we first met?" he asks me. "It was here. In this very same rock."
I smile at the memory of our first meeting.
"How can I forget? Muntik mo na akong lunurin, 'di ba?" I tease him.
"Hindi ko naman sinasadya. I thought you were Keith that's why I pushed you."
"Mas gwapo naman ako kay Keith 'no!" I punch his shoulder playfully.
For the first time tonight, he laughs. I watch as he throws his head back laughing. It's one of the little things that made me fall in love with him. His laugh can light up the world.
He catches me looking at him. He smiles at me sweetly, making my heart ache. I can't look at his face without thinking how much I love him.
A single tear makes its way to my cheek. He looks at me worriedly, his smile gone. He quickly wipes the tear with his right hand.
"What's wrong? May problema ba?" His eyes are full of concern.
I look at his eyes, unable to control my own emotions.
"Is it about your parents?"
I shake my head. He knows that my parents are having a rough time right now, but it's not the reason why I'm emotional tonight. I wish it is.
"You know it's more than just my parents," I look away from him, tears welling up in my eyes. "We can't do this anymore."
I expect him to ask questions. I'm waiting for his outburst, but there's only silence. I can't hold my tears back any longer. We sit in silence for a while.
He pulled me gently into a hug. I try to look at him but he rests my head in his shoulder, preventing me from looking up at him. He affectionately strokes my hair as he always do when he wants to comfort me.
"I'm sorry. I really am," I tell him in between of my sobs. "Ang dami ko lang talagang issues sa sarili ko right now and I don't want to pull you down with me."
"But I'm willing to follow you anywhere." I can feel his whole body trembling with every words.
I gradually let go of his hug. Tears are streaming down his face. I just want to kiss all of that pain away, but I can't.
"Pero di mo kailangang gawin 'yon. I don't want you to lose yourself for me. I want you to go out there and achieve all the things that you deserve. I want you to be happy." I am sobbing uncontrollably now.
"But I am! Masaya ako kasama ka. I want to go out there. With you. I want to experience all those things with you." His words are full of pain. "I love you so much," he says softly.
"I just want you to have the best things in your life, and right now, I am not one of those things." I am almost whispering. "I have to let you go."
"But I don't want you to."
I cup his face with my hands and say to him, "Life doesn't always give us what we want."
He hugs me and whispers to my ear, "Hindi ba pwedeng ganito na lang tayo habambuhay?"
I want to say that that's all I want in the world. To stay with him forever. To be by his side, cheering him on always.
Instead, I stand up. I walk away, and never look back.
I never looked back.