I had been privileged to witness once a kind of love story that could only be seen in movies, and could only be imagined in the most vivid of day dreams by hormone addled teens. It is a love story that I could only describe as one much sweeter and passionate than that of Edward and Bella’s, yet more nourishing and delicate than that of Romeo and Juliet’s.
Just like anything in life, it started in uncertainty; to be honest, at the start I didn’t even realize that I am witnessing what would be, for me, one of the most inspiring and heartwarming proof of humanity’s capacity to love and be loved.
NOTE: For the sake of their privacy, allow me to change the names of the characters.
Ron and Ren were studying on the same University as me. Ron was taking up a degree in Mechanical Engineering, an intelligent and charming man, and the ladies find him quite attractive. Ren was studying Psychology; passionate, articulate, and sexy. Since our school has a rather huge campus and their particular colleges being situated a fair distance from each other, it was only on their final year when they were made aware that the other exists.
I don’t know if it was destiny or if there really is some fat kid with wings out there who makes use of humanity as target practice for his frigging arrows; but with some twist of fate and the connivance of the Universe, they did meet.
Maybe life sometimes hate to copy some cheesy scene in a romantic movie or that the Mighty Hand that wrote the story of their lives just wanted to have some variety, but as far as first meetings go it was the lamest for a love story. You see, they met at a meeting – an extremely atrociously boring and god-awful honest to goodness meeting.
It was a University Student Council Meeting; packed full of pompous and overbearing individuals with aspirations to fame and visions of self-importance. Ron was the then chairman for the College of Engineering student body, and at that time too, Ren was the Prime Councilor of the University student body (a position quite similar in nature to the Speaker of the House of Representatives).
Attractiveness, intelligence and being all around cool, though, did not make them immune to the overwhelming and contagious nature of boredom. Just like anyone who found themselves in such a situation, they tried to find something more interesting to pass the time, like flirting with the nearest attractive person for example – which they did. It so happened, thanks to the mysterious workings of the Universe (again!), that they were sitting just near enough to start talking.
Their eyes met. Just a shy tentative look at first, then followed by several quick and successive secretive glances, just to make sure that there really was that initial spark – that tingling sensation that resonates from the heart.
Seconds passed by as eternity, minutes were already an agony.
Finally, Ron found the courage – the audacity, to ask Ren out.
It was a short courtship, nothing fancy, and certainly not the kind of courtship that would look good in movies. They went out for walks, talked a lot, and occasionally had that fleeting moments of rapturous harmony that often come with that affectionate bond that forms when minds and hearts connect.
What makes their story awesome is not their courtship, which was very brief to say the least. What makes it great was the kind of devotion and love that only a few people, since the time when man first loved and be loved, had ever tasted – that sweet intoxicating nectar of young love with the heady zest of fading innocence.
You see, this love story happened in our little country, the Philippines, and they were student leaders during a time where there was deep rooted animosity between the university administration and the studentry. In our country, where there is still an ongoing war between the government and communist insurgents, instances where there are tensions between the “establishment” and the idealistic yet disillusioned students are ripe ground for the communist movement to plant the seeds of rebellious thoughts and harvest new recruits that grew out of what they had spread.
One of those seeds took root in the mind of Ren, she was recruited and entered into the ranks of the communist insurgency. This happened just a couple of months from the start of their sweet romance. It was a troubling time for them, Ron totally disapproved of anything to do with communism. He already saw what ruin it causes in the lives of many. He saw families from the small village he came from that were torn apart because of the fighting. He saw death and destruction, where there was once laughter and smiles, in the eyes of those bereft. It was a cycle of agony without an end in sight.
He was a simple man with simple dreams, to have a family and to live a life of simple bliss. He was a righteous man, strong in principles and always stand for what is right. But, he said, bearing arms to kill people is not right and should never be right. Suffering breeds hate, hate breeds more hate and will end in death, death gives birth to more death, and death caused by hate creates suffering.
Now, if Ron was just any man and the love that he professed to feel for Ren was just a way to get her to bed, then the romance would have fizzled out at that point. It was a clusterfuck waiting to happen. No matter what action movies would tell you, in real life seldom was there a happy ending if you mix guns with romance. But Ron loved Ren in a way that is seldom seen outside the big screen, like Thor with his hammer or Puss with his boots, she completes him.
And, he was no ordinary man – he has balls of brass the size of coconuts.
He joined the communist insurgency with Ren.
“What will happen to Ren in the mountains if there is no one to take care of her, she is a city girl for *u*ksakes! How will she survive there without anyone looking out for her?And who will convince her to come down if not me?” Admittedly, we were drunk when he said those words, but i never expected that when his hangover has come and gone and sanity kicks in that he would still push through.
They say that for every gallon of bravery there is always a dash of insanity thrown in for good measure. At that time i thought he had more than a dash of insanity in him. Be that as it may, one thing is for sure, he has balls of brass the size of coconuts!
In between joining communist led rallies and cleaning empty bullet shells for reloading, he talked patiently and lovingly with Ren. Ever patient, ever loving, ever dependable even in the face of adversity. He was the shoulders she could lean on and the arms to cradle her when she was at her weakest.
In the end, he won her over with his patient love and his devotion to her. By willing to march into the mouth of hell to bring her back, Ron had shown the kind of love that is not often seen in movies with glittery vampires and bare-chested werewolves. Sometimes true love does not manifest through a passionate kiss under the rain in a moonlit night, or through an electrifying sex behind the bookshelves in the library, sometimes true love is shown through the simple actions made day by day that when looked from afar become awesome tales of adventure and romance.
Now, Ron is a Marine and Mechanical Engineer and Ren is working as a representative for a medical firm, they live a simple yet a very happy life with their baby daughter.
True and lasting love is not made by blazing ecstasy and fiery heat of passion, it is through a conscious decision to stick together and fight for the love that burns in the heart and in the soul. True love is not always accompanied by sweet music and romantic bliss, often times to have our true love we need to walk a hard and rocky road.
Ron only decided that he must not let Ren ruin her life and that he must not leave her because he love her; a simple decision that led him to happiness through a torturous and agonizing road. No words of mine could give vivid color to how terrible were those times for them and how it almost led them to the brink of death’s abyss.
To have true love and a happy ending to our story we must actively seek for it, and when we find it we must fight our damned best to retain it, and when we have retained it we must work our hardest to nurture it and make it grow and bloom.