I'm still having flashbacks of that afternoon after school when I was told that my parents were separating. "Hiwalay na si Mama saka si Papa mo..." that's how my lola told me about it, after she asked me to sit down while I still had my backpack on coming from school. I was 10 years old, I was in fourth grade.
That night my mom tried explaining everything to me. Telling me that it wasn't my fault, that it was something that needed to be done. I couldn't help but thing it was my fault. Not directly, but because I had let them keep fighting into the nights when they were still together. Because I did not ask them to make up and stop arguing with each other. Because I did not stop my dad from leaving for the States.
20 years later, here I am - having lunch with my mom and my dad and my little sister. Sharing an afternoon walking with them. I hear them talking about their old friends. They both bring up their old friday evening adventures stumbling luckily into Tony Bennet, The Tony Bennet at the bar they usually go to when he was in Manila.
Between then and now, there were years of questions left unanswered, of bitterness and even hatred. There were years of pride kept unchecked, words that should have been left unsaid, of fights that shouldn't have been escalated. One would think that those were years that could be taken back, that could be forgotten but honestly - yes, sure - I would love to have had it happened differently... But I'm afraid I wouldnt be where I am and wouldnt be who I am if it weren't for that.