Chapter 4: Dave – Chances

Image result for chicken deli sandwich

I expect Robbie to glance back and at least throw one final smile at me, but he did not. Maybe that’s asking too much, he already gave a few smiles when we talked a few minutes ago, and it isn’t just a civil conversation, I felt his cordiality in each of the words he said. After what I did to him, the heartbreak I made him go through, I don’t think I deserve that cordial regard, even a smile.

But that last glance, that last smile. It may seem nothing, but for someone who has been living with the guilt of breaking someone’s heart, it was the closest thing to a closure I’d ever get.

I cheated on Robbie, broke his heart, and then even tore it to tiny pieces by breaking up with him even if he still wanted to make things work for the both of us. I’m the villain in our story.

Don’t get me wrong, I did loved Rob; we wouldn’t have been together for over a year if I hadn’t seriously loved him, but things happened, I let it things happen. I guess I was interested in other options.

When Robbie found out that I was cheating on him, he dealt with it with so much grace and tact, maybe that’s why I felt really guilty, he never played the victim card, he never got angry at me, or at least he never showed it to me. He just wanted us to fix things, to make the relationship work. But I couldn’t anymore.

I told Robbie that it would be best for the both of us if we break up. I knew in my heart that our relationship is bound to end eventually, even if we try to work things out, even if I stayed. I know what I’m capable of and it would be so unfair for Robbie. I’m no longer good for him. I know that in the long run, Robbie will thank me for making him quit me.

So, there I was standing while I wait for him for to glance back, but it never happened. Robbie walked away carrying his coffee and donut, along with my peace of mind. I felt lonely; it’s like a deep void has been carved inside my heart. I have never allowed myself to be depressed about our break-up, how could I? It was my choice after all, but this chance encounter with Robbie stirred a lot of feelings I didn’t knew I still had. I had to give in to the sadness, it’s screamed to be acknowledged. I finally understood it, even if the break-up was entirely my fault; I should have mourned it.

After my meeting I went straight for lunch, there’s this deli shop right in front of the building, just beside the now historic Starbucks Coffee this morning. I still have an appointment to catch right after lunch time, a quick bite would do. I ordered a roasted chicken sandwich and a fruit platter over at the counter and then started looking for a table. Since it was lunch time, most of the tables were taken. I stood in the middle of the store holding my tray, looking for a vacant table when one of the staff of the store took notice of me and then pointed me at a stair which is partially hidden, that leads to a second floor, he told me that there are more seats upstairs.

As I reach the second floor landing, I cannot help but notice that the tables here are much larger, most probably designed for groups of four or five people. I walk over to an empty table but then I see someone familiar right before I reach the table.

Robbie was having lunch with his best friend, Ludo. They see me, I smile at them nervously. Even if it is the second time I saw Robbie today, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed when he smiles back at me.

I approached their table, and just like a fool who never thinks about the repercussions of his actions I asked them, “Is it okay if I join you guys?”

Ludo looks at Robbie while Robbie looks at me. “Sure”, Robbie replies.

I sit myself in front of Robbie. Ludo greets me with fake-iest smile I’ve ever seen, which I clearly understand; Robbie’s friends hates me for what I did to their friend. Who wouldn’t hate me, right?

“Thank you for the coffee and donut this morning.” Robbie says.

“You let him buy you coffee and donut?!” Ludo mocks Robbie.

Robbie gave Ludo a “shut-up-please” look and turns to me and smile.

“Yep, No big deal…”, as I ignore Ludo’s side comment.

Then Ludo looks at me, “So, why are you here? This is Robbie’s side of town…”

“I’m just here for a project, it’s just for a few weeks and I won’t even be here everyday” I explained while glancing at Robbie. I understand that this side of the town is his place, his territory and I shouldn’t be just barging in unannounced.

“Well, then that’s good!” Ludo blurts out as he shot me and Robbie a glance.

“Be nice, Ludovic…” Robbie quips.

“I am nice.” Ludo replies, as he shift his attention to his meal.

Smelling hostility in the air, I decide not to respond anymore and just sit there until I finish my sandwich and fruits. I cannot blame Ludo for being mad at me; he might have been the receiver of all the drama I caused Robbie. Ludo have been nothing but nice to me all throughout the time Robbie and I dated.

If there’s someone I should blame for this awkward lunch, it is me. What was I thinking? “Is it okay if I join you guys?”-shit. Stupid me.

Robbie, the ever-sensitive guy tries to break the silence by asking me about the project I’m doing for their company.

“It’s just a test app for the employees, like a community board conveniently inside your smart phone”, I explain.

“Wow, they are really shelling out money for that?” Robbie replies.

“It makes communication easier for a large firm…” I continue to explain.

Our conversation was like a job interview, someone asks, and then someone answers. We can’t seem to transcend from the trivial even though I’m itching to ask him how he’s been. When you see your ex that you have not seen in a long while, you always want to know how he’s been.

I excuse myself and stand up as soon as I finished my lunch, and as I say my goodbye to the both of them, Ludo’s phone ring. He motions to Rob that he needs to take the call, and head out to the other side of the room where the balcony is, leaving me and Robbie at the table.

“Thanks for letting me share a table with you, I’m sorry if I kind of ruined your lunch and Ludo’s.” I say.

“No, it’s ok… I’m sorry if he’s a bit off…”

“I clearly understand where he’s coming from…  I’ll go ahead now.” I quickly reply.

“It’s nice seeing Dave, bye”.

“Bye, Rob”, One last smile and I turn my back.

I start walking towards the stairs while Ludo goes back to our table still talking on the phone.

As I step down the stairs, I realize that I still want to talk to Robbie. Why? I don’t know, but I felt the need to talk to him more. I turn around and call his name out as I walk back towards him. Robbie was standing beside Ludo, who is still on his phone. Robbie looks at me as he hears his name.

Yes? Robbie asked.

Then, with all the strength inside me, I asked him.

“Is it okay, if I get your number?”

He takes out a pen from his shirt’s pocket and grabs a paper napkin from the table.

He hands me the napkin.

Written on it is his phone number with the logo of the deli shop we’re in, Chances.


Top Ten: Heartbreak Anthems

Image result for heartbreak anthem

It’s been a month since my last romantic relationship ended. Yes, it broke my heart. First, it was a relationship that I thought would last longer than my usual relationships. Second, I was caught off-guard by the way it ended. And lastly, I was in love with guy.

Well, I guess that’s just how it is. You fall; you risk the chance of getting your heartbroken. I’ve been through several break-ups in my lifetime and I know how hard it is to go through such ordeal. Breaking the habits that you’ve got used to do with your ex, sleepless nights, the temptations of calling/texting your ex either to beg him to come back or to lash out all the emotions still bottled inside you, and the desperation of trying to move on quickly and find a rebound relationship instead. It is hard. It is painful.

You want to move on. So, you fight the sadness, you try to fake courage by playing those torch songs about moving on (mine is always What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger by Kelly Clarkson), you refuse to be angry at your ex, you refuse to be angry with yourself (because being angry means still being affected by the break-up), and you try be logical with everything.  These things work sometimes. But most of the times it will still leave you feeling empty. Trust me, I’ve been there, I’ve done that.

So what do you do after a break up and before moving on?  Grieve what you lost. Let go, instead of trying to fight it, surrender to all the emotions.  Get sad. Get angry. Get really angry but never destructive. When you start to feel better, you’ll be able to let go. You just need to go through your emotions, do not avoid it, or else it will haunt you. Let it sort itself out instead of trying to be logical. A problem of the heart is not something the brain can fix.

And we all know that grieving a failed relationship requires a soundtrack. There’s something about music that helps you feel things more deeply. So, here’s my top ten list of songs that will help you go through the grieving process, be ready to bawl your eyes out with these heartbreak anthems.

*This list excludes songs like Whitney Houston’s Where Do Broken Hearts Go” or Bonnie Raitts’ “I Can’t Make You Love Me” and other classic heartbreak anthem, instead I listed songs that are relatively not popular because new heartbreaks need new anthems.

10. Sixteen Years by Tina Arena

KILLER LINE: Those sixteen years, don’t they mean anything to you. How can you leave with so much to loose. When you walk away, you’re taking the morning from my day, show me the pain that’s inside of you, I need to understand…

9. Between The Lines – Sara Bareilles

KILLER LINE: Leave unsaid unspoken, Eyes wide shut unopened. You and me, always between the lines…

8. The Lover After Me – Savage Garden

KILLER LINE: Here I go again I promised myself I wouldn’t think of you today But I’m standing at your doorway, I’m calling out your name because I can’t move on…

7. Drops of Jupiter – Train/Boyce Avenue

KILLER LINE: Tell me, did you fall from a shooting star, one without a permanent scar. And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there.

6. Landslide – Fleetwood Mac/Glee

KILLER LINE: Well, I’ve been afraid of changin’, ‘Cause I’ve built my life around you but time makes you bolder. Even children get older and I’m getting older, too…

5. Anong Nangyari Sa Ating Dalawa – Aiza Seguerra

KILLER LINE: Anong nangyari sa ating dalawa, Akala ko noon tayo ay iisa. Ako ba ang siyang nagkulang O ikaw ang ‘di lumaban. Sa pagsubok sa ating pagmamahalan…

4. Even if – Jocelyn Enriquez

KILLER LINE: Even if my heart should call out your name out in the rain, And even if this heart would want to embrace you once again, And even if I’m all cried out and no longer in pain. I’ll never fall, in love that way, ever again…

3. Still Hurting – The Last Five Years

KILLER LINE: Jamie is over and Jamie is gone. Jamie’s decided it’s time to move on. Jamie has new dreams he’s building upon…. And I’m still hurting.

2. Fine Fine Line – Avenue Q

KILLER LINE: There’s a fine, fine line between love and a waste of time…

1.  Stay – Carol Banawa/Daryl Ong

KILLER LINE: Why did you have to leave me, When you said that love will conquer all?