hence we deserve to stand out in this photo. (Sophomore Year, c. 2000)
What do you think Bono, Jon Bon Jovi, and I have in common?
Well, apart from being musically inclined, all three of us met our [would-be] spouse in high school. Unlike them, however, Roan and I did not date in high school. We were classmates in sophomore year, and that’s just about it. We have several common friends, but we didn’t really hang out as others would. Truth is, I got along well with some of his close pals because they’re naturally funny. Building rapport with them was effortless for someone with superficial happiness like myself. Roan, on the other hand, seldom to never smiled.
I don’t remember much about Roan in high school except that one time when we were casted as parents of Florante in a Florante at Laura stage play for our Filipino class. Memories from that experience remain vivid because they were mostly hilarious, thus unforgettable. Well, at least for me. Roan does not even remember playing the role of my husband at all. Sad, isn’t it? The following year, he moved—along with half of his friends—to another school which happened to be managed by a distant relative of ours.
Two years later, we met again in college. We went to the same university, and were enrolled in the same course. We were not classmates this time, but a friend of mine from grade school was, and she became his instant companion on the first day of school. I teased them every time I came upon the two together in campus, and both would simply give me the same nauseating look. It’s funny that they both got married on the same day—Roan with me and she with her long-time boyfriend from college.
Roan finally migrated to the United States in 2005 and continued his studies there. He enlisted himself in the US Army in 2007, and was deployed to Iraq immediately after he graduated from bootcamp at Fort Benning in Georgia. Halfway through his service, he decided to come home to the Philippines for his much-needed break. That’s where I came into the picture.
I was responsible for bringing all of our friends together to his homecoming. I was that person who had connection with almost every person in our batch, so it was quite an easy task. I have to admit that seeing him for the first time since the last made me feel nervous. I didn’t know he’d become a soldier, and I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. Little did we know that our mini-reunion will eventually lead to something we both didn’t see coming, not even in our wildest dreams.
I am grateful for a lot of things since Roan came into my life. In hindsight, it’s a blessing in disguise that he didn’t get the slightest interest in me nor did I find him fascinating back in high school. Honestly, neither of these things even crossed our mind. Granting that it did, we might have dated each other, but our relationship would have been short-lived. After all, we were fifteen, still young and stupid.
Who would have thought that despite having known each other since high school, God allowed us to live our separate lives, grow as two individuals, and let life’s experiences mold us to become better versions of ourselves that we are today? It is amazing how God’s hands weaved the threads of fate, and brought us together once more, several years later. I believe there was no coincidence; God’s timing was perfect: we crossed our paths again at the right place and at the right time, and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
The title of this post is a quote by Albert Einstein.
P.S. Roan and I have been married for five months today. Where did the days go?