Everything seemed so surreal at that time. Who would have thought that a guy like him would fall for a simple, plain, girl like me?
It all started with a game on Facebook. While most of my friends were going gaga over Farmville, I chose the less popular but equally fun game called Farm Town. You build your own farm and you meet other people who could help you grow it. While my character was busy in the market, a player named "cowboyrob" appeared out of nowhere. Now, Farm Town allows you to chat with other players, but before I could start a conversation with him, a message popped up on my screen: "Hi! Thanks for saving my crops. Here are a few gifts."
That one message started it all. We began to help each other out and regularly send gifts and such throughout the game. One weekend, he asked me for my email address. I gave it to him since he seemed harmless. After a few days, I got an email from an MSN address and found out that that was him. We started to chat on Messenger. I learned that he was a 23-year old guy from Puerto Rico who was studying computer science in university. I told him I was a journalism student in Manila.
Everything was clean–no nude photos, no dirty talk–nothing that implied that he could be a rapist or a sexual predator. I have to admit, I was scared and was very careful about opening up to him since he was, after all, a stranger to me.After a few weeks of sharing stories about our life, friends, and family, he asked me if I had Skype. My heart skipped a beat and all my fears and doubts of him actually being a predator clouded my mind. Still, I told him I did have an account and around evening, Philippine time, I finally saw the man I would, soon enough, fall for.
He had big, round eyes, a pointy nose, and thin lips. We stared at each other and I was feeling kind of awkward at first, so we typed what we wanted to say and before you know it, we were the same people who were conversing behind the screen again. My dormmates in college, who happen to be my high school best friends as well, were the only ones who knew about this secret love affair, and they would roll their eyes whenever they see me smiling like an idiot in front of the monitor. He was, after all, the first man I had feelings for.
This went on for weeks. I would go online the moment I finished my classes and he’d just be waking up at that time. At first, I was confused about what we were. He would sing to me, tell me I’m beautiful, but when he dropped the L-bomb, there was no mistaking it and the feeling was mutual–we were actually something. The pseudo-relationship made me feel really good about myself. I felt loved, cared for, and special. It didn't matter that we weren't able to go out on dates and cuddle in bed like normal couples. The connection we had went beyond the physical, and was more emotional and spiritual. Weird as it sounds, I felt (at that time) that we could possibly be soul mates. After almost four months, he told me that his family knew who I was and he wanted us to meet halfway. It got me excited, and just like any girlfriend meeting her significant other’s family for the first time, I was as nervous as hell. What if he doesn't like what he sees in person? What if his family prefers someone else beside me? These questions raced inside my head and I tried my best not to think about them.
Setting those thoughts aside, I began to plan and save up to go to the US. But then, the excitement slowly dwindled when he got busy. His depression, the longing for his daughter (with his former girlfriend), and his jealousy over the little things also became an issue for us until it was just too much for me to handle. I felt a bit neglected and the happy ending I was hoping for suddenly seemed so far away.
Slowly, I began to see a different side of him, the vulnerable side that he was so hesistant to show.
It was in September of 2009 when I decided that enough was enough.
I learned the hard way that things shouldn't be rushed, that I shouldn't invest too much of myself too quickly. But I must say that the experience was worth it. I had something to look forward to every day, and even though he was miles and miles away from me, it still felt like he was just beside me.
We still talked a few times after our split, until one day, we just stopped. The last time we spoke to each other was two years ago. He apologized for everything that happened between us and he told me, "I know we’re over. But I’m hoping that I just met you at the wrong time. Hopefully, when we meet again, you’ll still be the right one for me."
PHOTO: Pixabay; GIFs: Giphy