Garage Sale! All Must Go! (And How I Healed my VVB* Heart)  

Thursday, August 19, 2010

by: Mei Velas-Suarin

Pioneer DVD Player, barely a year old, P2,800. Blue sofa (recliner), good for studio units, P1,000. Honda City Lxi, 1999 Model, Automatic Transmission, P220,000. And so goes the list of all things I was selling when I left Manila in May 2007 because of a very broken heart.

Flashback to late evening of February 13, 2007, Tuesday. I couldn’t sleep. I was tossing and turning. I knew there was something awfully wrong. My then boyfriend (of more than 5 years) left for a business trip to India exactly two days before and he wasn’t calling yet. There had been minor signs already. But I chose to ignore them because somehow, I knew he was a great guy. Or so I thought.

I went down and absentmindedly opened my laptop. I forgot to lower the volume the last time I shut it off so Windows shouted its presence like a giant who was forced out of sleep. Darn these gadgets. Can’t they be more polite for one? I mean, hello, it’s the dead of the night and someone here is just about to find her world turning upside down. In all the cinematic colors ever invented by Hollywood.

I automatically clicked Internet Explorer. Something immediately got my attention when I halfheartedly clicked the drop-down button that shows the previously visited website addresses. It seemed to be my guy’s office email box. Click. Voila…it didn’t even ask for a password! Oh my God, I said to myself, should I really do this? I mean, I am generally a good citizen and peering into someone else’s email is not something that falls under the category of “good deeds.” But. But. But, dear Lord, you will understand me, right? Was it actually divine intervention, I asked myself the day after.

At first, I couldn’t find anything really ‘interesting’ or yeah, a bit incriminating. Most are office memos, notes from his secretary, schedules…I guess the boyfriend is indeed a good guy…or just knew how to sanitize his emails?! I scrolled further down and just about the time that I was already finding this exercise a bit futile (and stupid?), I saw a subject heading that is a little bit different from the rest. It wasn’t really shouting ‘incriminating’ but there was something there…I counted 1…2…3…and clicked it open.

I froze. I started to feel weak in my knees. Wobbly, watery knees. I am not exaggerating.

The email just confirmed what must be causing those little butterflies in my tummy. The tossing and turning ever since he left that Sunday. The unexplainable feeling of sadness. It wasn’t really a love letter. There was no “love and kisses”, no sweet promises, no lover’s talks about growing old together. Still, it hurt the same.

In the email exchange dated sometime in December 2006, the person who was supposed to be ‘my guy’ was asking a girl if she was joining his India trip “this upcoming February.” He also briefly asked if she can take care of her visa. Then he went on about taking care of her tickets, and to add more insult to injury (pardon the cliché!), apologizing not being able to show her most part of the day but that he will be free all evenings… WTF, I screamed in my mind (perhaps louder than the sleepy giant named Windows). Can someone give me a glass of water, please? Or, maybe, wake me up from this nightmare?

But it is real. As real as the tears that started falling.

She replied briefly as well, assuring him that she can manage to entertain herself while he is working during the day. At this very moment, I was already imagining them holding hands while crossing the sea of humanity and smog of Bangalore, laughing, getting amused from the street hawkers and tuktuks that crisscrossed the streets like Pac-Man (no, dearies, not our Manny Pacquiao), hungry for pac-dots.

I realized I didn’t even know where to call him outside of his mobile phone. Unlike all his previous trips, I just realized that this time, he didn’t even tell me his hotel’s name. Then all the tell-tale signs just started running across my brain’s hard drive, in bold, all-caps prints, 40 points Arial font…he vaguely reasoning out that he will just be too busy during the trip so it’s not a good idea for me to join when I asked if I can join…he informing me about the trip too near the date of his departure…bleep bleep…

Forward to July 2007, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I am screaming, but this time, for another reason. It’s almost two months since I left Manila. Five months after the harrowing discovery a few hours before that ‘iconic’ Valentine’s Day. I am on the way to recovery, slowly but surely. Meet Sabbay and Luna, two puppies-turning-into-dogs, my wards who also keep me company while I house-sit for friends who went to France for vacation. Their house was just what I needed: quiet and open spaces, well-tended gardens, wide-screen TV, fairly good collection of CDs, wi-fi, and friendly 24-hour security guards who managed to talk to me in a combination of hand gestures, nods, smiles, and half-English half-Khmer sentences.

I was screaming because Sabbay, the Cambodian version of the mixed-breed Pinoy askal, is happily eating away my DSLR’s leather case and cable wire! Darn this crazy dog. While Luna is the typical sweet, cuddly, behaved and well-balanced puppy, Sabbay is the horrific opposite. No more description is needed. You get the drift.

I guess the deafening and worthy-of-YouTube-uploading kind of scream was enough to rattle her. She got the message. She slowly decided my case and cable are not delectable at all and with heads bowed and eyes begging for mercy, she walked away. I was ready to squeeze her neck like the way I’d wring water out of a wet sink towel but had sudden vision of becoming a dog in my next life. Darn, I can’t even have a decent revenge.

Up until the time I had to sell my DSLR a few months ago, I have not bought a new case. Sure, Sabbay successfully left her teeth marks all over it as well as on the cable (which surprisingly still works!), but somehow, the marks reminded me of my own heart’s scars. My heart is scarred, yes, but it definitely survived the strongest storms and longest crying bouts, carrying with it all the wonderful, sad, and bittersweet stories that cannot even be contained in a 1-million GB storage drive.

And unlike the TV, DVD player, sofas, car, and numerous other stuffs that I easily put on sale when I left last 2007 to be able to afford a long travel, heal my broken heart, and start anew, the scars will never ever be put on sale. They made me into what I am now: richer, fuller, more beautiful maybe (?), and very happily married.

So, are you mending a horribly bruised heart? Nothing is ever crazy. Jump, fly, shout….or maybe, sell your stuffs, pack your bags, and just go wherever your feet will land you. Commit to be happy again.

Originally posted at Meilbox by Mei Velas-Suarin

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