the boy with the broken stomach

It was 8 am or something around that. I just finished jogging and was about to take a bath. I went at the back door to get my towel, then a rush of wind blew slamming the door hard. I hurried to the knob but it was too late. I was locked outside. The small space made me claustrophobic but I tried to calm myself. I told myself I'm not that weak. I need to stay focus. I need to be smart. I tried to shift my attention to everything that was happening. I imagined I'm on an aptitude test, like on the movie Divergent. I am a divergent! This is just a simulation; but it wasn't. I had to deal this for real.

I tried to wait for a couple of minutes, hoping my land lady come by and check on me, like she always do. Then moments passed and I started to get impatient. I looked at my surroundings. Everything was becoming uneasy. The awful smell of my cat's feces was suffocating. The temperature was getting warmer. I thought that I could lose my consciousness when I continue to breathe into this. I had to take an action. Panic was already consuming me.

I tried thrice to pull myself on to the concrete dividing me and the other apartment. I looked down from my position how high I was from the ground, from the wall decorated with pieces of broken glasses, which surely can cut me. I went down again and grab this small stone I used to expoliate. I told myself: "This is so divergent! I'm on an aptitude test"

I hit the glasses using the small stone to clear some space for my hand to hold. When I got a decent portion, I collected my courage. This was it. I need to jump. I tried to recall all those science videos I watched on Youtube. I tried to remember my lessons on physics regarding free fall. I tried to analyze everything as I could, before plunging to this dangerous act.

When I looked again, more than 5 feet above, I saw pieces of glasses on the grass. I needed to push myself a little bit to avoid those sharp objects below. I had to maneuver my body with the least impact and the safest landing possible. Then I dived for the longest two seconds of my life. I landed my right foot first on the ground flawlessly. I was delighted I made a good jump. After a split second, my left foot ache so hard I can't bare the pain.

My eyes started to mist but I needed to stay focus. If I cry, it won't help. The sun was burning my skin and the dirt was rubbing over me. I tried to walk but I can't, so I crawled. I crawled to find help, but there wasn't any.

A couple of meters away, there was still no help. There were two men from a junk shop. I tried to call there attention, but they just stared back to me. There were people few yards away, just looking at me. Everything was horrifying. I was about to lose hope then help came. Next thing I knew I was inside my land lady's car, heading to the hospital. I was still in pain, but I felt a relief. Finally.

Abe and AB Maningat-Consul Nuptial with my good friend Aina

Meron pa rin forever! (There’s still forever!)”

We all dream of that one true love to walk into our life, that special someone that we can share our forever. It seems so hard to find it but we should never lose hope. There’s still forever – for real!

It was a decade of love for Abe and AB – now Mr. and Mrs. Maningat-Consul – when they tied the knot last March 12. Their relationship went through several ups and downs – it wasn’t perfect – but that day was. Witnessed by their families and friends, it was a very solemn and hearth warming celebration of a magical story that took ten wonderful years.

Every now and then, I would be with these two on reunions and have chit-chats with them. But everything was different when I attended their wedding, with my good friend Aina. It made me feel this weird tingling sensation of happiness and excitement again (just like last year), when they exchanged their vows.

“..Ini-i-SMALL man nila ako, inii-BIG naman kita,” Abe said jokingly but with sincerity.

“...I can now already say that I’m ABC,” said AB with a trembling voice and teary eyes of sheer joy.

A video posted by Daveil Arroyo (@daveilarroyo) on

When you see these kind of people, it gives you hope that someday and somehow you too can find someone to share those intimate lines: “to cherish and to hold, as long as you shall live,” even if it takes a while. When you can celebrate a magical moment like this and be a part of the story, it makes you believe that true love still exists. It might be hard to find, but you know it’s real and it’s somewhere out there.

To my two good friends, Abe Maningat-Consul and Mary Anne Bernadette Maningat-Consul, I wish you joy, happiness and success in every way possible. May you forever share the love and passion to face every day of your life strong together. Congratulations and best wishes!