I saw scenes of Cinema Paradiso from a TV in Eastwood Fuente Circle while waiting for Lala's second set about two weeks ago. I told my 2 guy pals that I haven't met a man like Salvatore who would wait out for days and nights, even in the rain, in faith that his beloved Elena's bedroom window will open and fill his heart with hope of love's reciprocity.
This idea of courtship was brought up again during Hangad's anniversary mass when Fr. Nono said that boys used to "make igib from the poso" (sosyal si Father?), get firewood and take pains just to win a girl's affections.
I was raised by parents who believed it unwise for a woman to declare her feelings for a man unless it is the proper time to do so, though they were not too clear about when that would actually happen. My mom even told me that I should look for someone who loves me for than I do him, because, "in time, it will always even out". I say it never does. Or, at least, not to me.
My first love blossomed from a friendship but died a natural death. In its final days I was waiting by my window, hoping to see a Salvatore in the rain outside my house. He did come, but I was forbidden by my mother to see him, out of respect for myself and to help me heal. Eventually he got the idea that I wasn't interested anymore, and apparently, neither was he.
My second and longest relationship so far was, supposedly, one that fulfilled my parents' expectations. I said yes to a boy who had been wooing me for a semester and a half, who was unsure of his chances with me. I thought I had met my Salvatore. My love for him developed as the years passed, and it grew until we found ourselves in a community of friends and family bound by our relationship. We had our share of major fights but managed to get back in each other's arms because we were happy together, until that fateful Thursday night when I stepped out of his car because he wasn't too pleased about having to bring me home so late. I asked if he still loved me or not. He answered with a painful silence that haunts me up to now.
A branch relocation, my dad's bypass surgery and 6 months later, I suddenly saw him in front of my house, with a bag of pasalubong and a note that he read to me in tears. He still loved me, he said. He was foolish, he was unworthy, and he wanted to woo me back. This time, I didn't need my mother's stern warning. I said no. And I remember him saying that he would still be there even if I said no. And for about a couple of months, he made my family believe that he was sincere by texting my mom every so often, bringing food to the house, texting me everyday even if I didn't always reply, and calling me on the phone. I was civil, and at times I think I was even quite accommodating. Then, all of a sudden, he was nowhere to be found. Some friends speculated that he probably got a new girlfriend, or maybe he got busy with work. I said to myself, there is no Salvatore.
But today, after talking to our helper (who has been with us since I was small), I realised something. She said that it's not hard for anyone to fall for me because I'm the one who waits for them, I'm the one who slows down my pace so they could catch up, I'm the one who forgets herself and stands out in the rain for them.
Ako pala si Salvatore.
Lucky is the man who gets to be my Elena.