“God, thank you for giving me the best parents ever!” It was what I always told Him before I would go to bed when I was a kid. My parents were great but a little overprotective when it comes to relationships. My mom was a conservative woman. She always made me change my clothes whenever I wore low-cut tops and would tell me, “wrap the gift, you don’t have to show off”. And my dad was like my ultimate stalker. He followed me wherever I went and picked me up from school even before my curfew. He was a real party-pooper as he always showed up whenever I was out with my girls at night or at a friend’s house. Since then, I couldn’t wait to turn 18. I wanted to have fun and enjoy my youthful days but it felt as if God had forbidden me to do so.
After high school, I moved out from the house and stayed in a college dormitory with my best friend. It was eight hours away from home. Finally, I was on my own but my mom reminded me about the ground rules we had at home that I had to strictly follow whether I was or wasn’t living in the house. Gladly it was a joke because I was looking forward to having fun in my college days. But, I was determined to finish my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. A few months later, I met a guy. His name is Gabriel but I go by his nickname. I was fascinated by how Gab played his violin at a restaurant. He was a music artist and a violinist at night. He composed his own songs and recorded it at his friend’s studio.
I called it ‘love at first’ sight when I saw Gab. He was charming and a gentleman. His music captured my attention as soon as I entered the restaurant’s door. I couldn’t resist looking at him while my girlfriend was conversing with me. I was mesmerized then realized my friend was asking me a question that interrupted my fantasies. Then my friend noticed my actions and immediately grabbed Gab’s attention after his set. She invited him to our table to meet me. I was embarrassed but I wouldn’t miss the chance either. We exchanged phone numbers and from then, we started going out. We always went to a quiet place. I thought it was because of his music genre that encouraged him to go in a solemn place rather than hanging out in a bar as we were still young at that time. I was not really a party girl but I liked the idea of going to loud clubs sometimes. It was then I realized that he was a different kind of a guy. He was classic in a way that his manners were old-fashioned when courting a girl. He had spoken deep affectionate words to me that I myself couldn’t even understand. It came from him naturally and romanced me. He liked classical music as well. He was an interesting guy to date and I didn’t have second thoughts about it.
We dated for two years. I was hesitant to introduce him to my parents while I was still studying because I knew they would tell us to split up. One day, we almost got caught up by my parents. Gab was in my room and we were having a little quality time together. My parents surprised me with a visit and I was only wearing my tank top and underwear by the time they began knocking on the door. So, I pushed Gab into my closet and covered him with my clothes just in case my mom would check it. Then changed into my pants and opened the door. I immediately invited my parents for lunch so Gab could get out. Luckily, my parents were hungry so we left right away. I knew my mom. She would inspect my room if we stayed there longer. After we had lunch, we went back to the dormitory. Gab was gone but he left his jacket. My mom asked me whose jacket it was and I was a bit shaky when I answered her. My mom was getting suspicious. She didn’t believe that it was my roommate’s. I couldn’t think of any better idea at that moment. She started ranting about my priorities. All she wanted was for me to obtain my bachelor’s degree and not get caught up in distractions. I was not a good liar so I admitted I had been seeing somebody. I was thinking if my parents met Gab, they would have let us keep dating. But, I chose not to as I was scared of what my parents would tell him. I didn’t want him to get offended. From then on, my parents called me every night checking on what I was doing and to make sure I was concentrating to my studies. They would call in the middle of the day which was embarrassing as I was either with my friends or with Gab. I explained to Gab why I must hide our relationship to my parents which he fully understood. We limited our hours together because I had to focus more on my studies. I noticed that I was already falling behind in my classes.
One day, my professor advised me to see her after class. I failed two of my classes. They were my major subjects and pre-requisites for my upcoming classes that I was supposed to attend in the next semester. I had no clue how to confess it to my parents as they were paying the rest for my college and were giving me allowances. They would surely get upset and maybe cut off financing me. I wasn’t on the dean’s list anymore so the school removed my scholarship. I started to worry about paying 100% of my tuition fees which I couldn’t afford. I had no idea where or how to come up with the money every semester unless I asked my parents to pay for it.
On the first day of my short break, my parents arrived to bring me home and spend some time with them. I thought they had no idea what I was going on but the dean already informed them about my situation. As we arrived home, my parents asked me why I failed. I told them I did my best and was not slacking on my studies but it was not good enough. They told me that I could have done better if I didn’t get distracted by being in a relationship. They demanded me to transfer to my hometown and picked one of the schools around there. I didn’t agree with it and asked them for another chance. I couldn’t leave my school because of Gab. He motivated me but I was being stubborn and went out to see him perform every night instead of studying. However, my parents were not fine with paying my tuition unless I transferred. I didn’t want to take a break from school either because who knows what would happen to me in the future if I stopped and resumed later.
I had been thinking of what my parents had told me for quite a while. I finally agreed with their terms. I transferred to one of the schools nearby to resume my studies. I explained everything to Gab when I got back in my dormitory to pick up my stuff. I could tell how sad and disappointed he was. But there was no other option for me unless I stopped and worked around there so I could stay with him. But what would our life be if we were both making minimum wages. We wouldn’t be able to afford to move in together unless we stayed at his mother’s home.
A few months later, I was getting the hang of a long distance relationship situation. We still talked over the phone which my parents disapproved of. Gab would sometimes make a trip to my hometown to see me. We met at least once a month over the weekends. I hid it from my parents as they wanted me to concentrate on my studies and it was my last hope to graduate. One day, I handed my transcript to my parents and they were frustrated with my grades. I passed but my grades were only at .1% above the passing rate. My parents expected more from me as I have always been intellectually inclined. So what they did was, they cut off my phone subscription and grounded me over the weekends. They wanted me to focus more on the upcoming semester. I had not called or texted Gab the following days and he was worried sick about me. He suddenly showed up in the front of the house to see me. My mom told me to stay inside and let my dad deal with him. I had no clue what my dad had told Gab but from then on, he never showed up again.
On my graduation day, I was expecting one person to show up and celebrate my special day with me. I tried calling him but it went straight to voicemail. It hurt that I didn’t get to see him for a year but I never stopped loving him. As soon as I got my phone back months before my graduation, I tried calling him but he never answered. My parents threw a party in the house for my graduation but it was no fun for me as I was waiting for only one person, which was Gab. He never showed up but sent me a graduation letter rather. In his letter, he expressed his feelings of how happy he was that my dreams finally came true and I would be able to take care of myself. But, he already had moved on a long while ago and started seeing someone else to keep the pain away. He mentioned what my dad told him. My dad asked him to stay away from me and to never come back or he would call the cops. He also added that I didn’t need a musician who had no directions in life because he wouldn’t be able to support me by just performing in a restaurant every night. After reading his letter, I was so angry at my dad and made it obvious to him. But his answers were, “I did what I know was right. If you stay with him, do you think you would be able to graduate? What would your life be? I did my part as a dad and what I knew what was best for my child. You have already gotten a degree. Now you’re free to go and start your own life without making us, your parents, worried thinking about how you would build your life if you haven’t finished school. These days, even a decent job can’t pull in good money. How would you afford to live with him if your options were limited in getting a job? I don’t want you to be miserable in the end so I had to take my chances in guiding you on the right path.”
From then on, I never dated anybody else. I always thought about Gab and never once forgot about him. I went to see him once but he didn’t live there anymore. He moved abroad as I discovered from a former friend of his. I was happy of what music led him into especially that it was his greatest dream to perform on a big stage in front of many people. He had gotten popular even on the social media as well as on the television. I have never seen Gab since then but I hope he is doing just fine.
Meanwhile, I moved to the other side of the country and stayed busy with work. I’m currently working in a marketing company as a manager. I finally got the job I wanted and a growing career but my love life is not as fruitful. Until now, I’m still waiting for the day to come where our paths shall meet again because Gab will always be the love of my life.