Who’s Your “The One?”
Trigger Warning: Abusive relationship
Note: This story is originally written in Filipino last 2019.
“Who’s your ‘the one?’”
He waited for my answer as I sip my coffee.
“What’s your understanding of the concept of ‘the one?’” I ask, answering his question.
He looks at me, surprised. Nevertheless, he still answers the question. “They’re the person you can love fully, and they won’t hurt you, at least not intentionally. You’ll feel that they’re ‘the one’ because you feel different when with him. You know the saying, ‘butterflies in your stomach.’”
“Ah,” was my answer to him.
He pestered me, “So now that you know, who’s your ‘the one?’”
“My ‘the one?’ I already found him. A long time ago.” I answered.
He smiled. “Well, tell me your story.”
I can feel the coffee lingering in my lips.
“He loved me, a lot. Sometimes, a little too much.”
He continues to look at me, his smile wide, begging me to tell him my secret.
“He was too uptight. A lot of rules. When he talks, it’s almost painful to listen. I remember him telling me that he loves me, and no other man is allowed to be near me. Not even my own brother.
“Butterflies in my stomach? I felt that too. How every time I see him, I tremble in fear. I wouldn’t know what he would do next.”
His smile disappeared. A look of shock and sadness replaced the twinkle in his eyes.
“Yes. He loved me. He loved me too much. To the point he didn’t even notice I was hurting.”
I drank my coffee.
“So yes. I met my ‘the one.’ And if I only knew, I wish I never met him in the first place.”
I put down my coffee and look at him in the eye. “So what about you? Who’s your ‘the one?’”
Filipino version (original).
“Sino ang ‘The One’ mo?”
Inantay niya ang sagot ko habang ako ay uminom ng kape.
“Ano ba ang pag-intindi mo sa ‘The One’?” tanong ko, sa sagot niya.
Nagulat siya, ngunit sinagot parin ang tanong ko “Siya yung isang tao na mamahalin ka ng buong-buo, at hindi ka niya sasaktan ng sinasadya. At mararamdaman mo na siya na ang ‘The One’ dahil iba ang mararamdaman mo sa kanya. Yung sabi nga nila, ‘butterflies in your stomach daw.’”
“Ah.” Sagot ko.
Kinulit niya ako, “Oh? Ngayon alam mo na, sino ang ‘The One’ mo?”
“The One ko? Nahanap ko na siya. Matagal na.” sagot ko.
Nakangiti na siya.”Ikwento mo naman siya sa akin.”
Naramdaman ko ang lasa ng kape.
“Grabe siya mag mahal. Minsan masyado na.”
Nakatingin parin siya, malaki ang ngiti niya, ngiting gustong malaman ang aking sikreto.
“Masyado siyang mahigpit. Maraming bawal. Minsan kung makasalita, masyadong masakit. Natandaan ko nga, sabi niya, mahal daw niya ako, at wala na dapat ibang lalaki ang pwedeng lumapit sa akin. Kahit sa sarili kong kapatid.
“Butterflies in my stomach? Naramdaman ko rin iyan. Yung tuwing nakikita mo sya, nararamdaman mo sarili mo takot na takot. Hindi ko kasi alam kung ano susunod yung gagawin niya ehh.”
Nawala na ang ngiti niya. Gulat at lungkot ang pumalit sa kaniyang mga mata.
“Oo. Mahal niya ako. Masyado niya akong mahal. Yung tipong, hindi na niya napapansin na nasasaktan na ako.
Ininom ko ulit ang aking kape.
“Kaya oo. Nakilala ko na ang ‘The One’ ko. Kung alam ko lang, sana hindi ko nalang siya nakilala.”
Tanong ko naman sa kanya, “Eh ikaw? Sino na pala ang ‘The One’ mo?”