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My heart has had its good share of aches and angst that I both practically and figuratively went knocking at from one friend’s door to another’s, seeking comfort and strength in their words of wisdom. But, for me, whose heart was broken by a man, who better to talk to than the best men in my life: God, priests, cousin-cum-brother, ex-boyfriends, real friends? Considering that this guy is just within arm’s reach being a colleague and my certified close confidant, please don’t accuse me of flirting if I say that it’s mostly from him whom I got the best insight.

And because we’re two floors apart from each other, Simon Anthony Roa and I make sure that when we bump into each other during every plain break or lunch break, be it in the elevator or in the cafeteria or on the ground floor, quality time is spent discussing germane issues of today rather than blabbering about crap. I would be a hypocrite if I said that I didn’t have a crush on him, and he would be numb if he didn’t know about it. There have been times that I’ve blogged him on my Facebook Timeline, from because he greeted me inside the lift where I melted in his presence to because we had lunch together and he had me tongue-tied listening to every word he said. He knows that I like him—while I love someone else—and that I hate keeping emotions and thoughts to myself. Blame my ultimate favorite author, the late Maya Angelou, for leaving us with: “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

With Simon I can be myself; before him I can think aloud. And for that he’s a rarity worth a king’s ransom. Never have I felt discriminated against by him or been made to feel small whenever our conversation takes place in the public eye. And you’ll be surprised to know that, on top of his handsome face and the heartthrob that he is to many, his command of writing is terrific. I’m a hard-core aficionado of the written word and can confidently say that, from my own observation, there’s only a handful of gorgeous men who can write very well. What a rarity Simon really is.

If I feel better now after all the hurt that’s been said and done to me, let alone the affliction caused as a result, Simon Anthony Roa, along with the other important men in my life, has played quite a significant role in the process of my healing. So, as for Simon, thank you for being ever-ready to lend me your ears whenever I need a real friend to talk to; to text me back every time only an intelligent and compassionate man’s answer could suffice my labyrinthine question; and most especially, to make me feel accepted, understood, and respected in the midst of others mortifying me for being plain gay.

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(Credit goes to our common friend Maya Mendoza for the photos. Thanks also to Maya for the free ride every Sunday to the Cebu South Bus Terminal.)

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