“Let’s fly back to Malaysia and get married next year.” He uttered in between sipping his coffee and munching on a cookie.
“You’re not happy here why are you staying? What will you do here?” He even added. It hasn’t even been a month since I quit my job and dropped everything to chase for what I think will make my life worth while but this guy is already discouraging me.
“I’m studying teaching. I will start with teaching English.” I nonchalantly said.
“But your English is shit!” Then laughed hysterically and stopped when I didn’t react. He just stared at me probably waiting for the Danica he has met. The Danica with a hearty, unladylike guffaw but this time, I can’t even bring myself to smile. The same straightforwardness that I hated when I just arrived is the same straightforwardness I now abuse and enjoy.
“Your friends are in Malaysia. Your whole life is there. I love Asia. We can start a life there. I’m willing to give up everything here.” He worked in Indonesia as Chef for two years and since Date 1, he has been expressing how he wanted to live in Malaysia. He loves Malaysia and knows that I love it too. Being a son of a former Diplomat allowed him to see almost the whole world and amazed by how a poor, exotic village girl like me silently hopes and works hard to be able to do that too. I am strongly convinced that this is the main reason why he dated me plus the fact that I am okay living in Malaysia. I dated him because I find him witty and didn’t really care if he is six feet and eleven inches that made me look like his walking stick.
“I am not.” It came from my mouth as soft as a whisper but with a sincerity that can’t be persuaded even to a point of just compromise. I looked down and focused my attention to my now lesser appetizing food. We never talked about it again. In fact, we talked lesser and lesser after that. I just can’t see myself with a man who questions how I want to spend the remaining days of my life.
I said yes to being his girlfriend on our third date and he duplicated a key to his apartment for me. He said I can bring my stuff whenever I want. In this age, I haven’t tried moving in and living with a guy and I am not sure if I really wanted that especially after he indirectly told me to give up on my dreams to pursue his. Basing on the advises other Filipinos are giving me, every other Filipina will be jumping with joy to be offered marriage by a European and have that powerful passport compared to our wimpy one. But I despise that. It makes me freaking mad. I will only marry if I meet the right one. This is why there are stereotypes. This is why we are branded gold-diggers. This is why some Europeans say that we South-East Asians are ignorant and only want to get married for better quality of life. This is why I don’t allow men to pay for my meal when I date. Like when me and my Syrian ex boyfriend ate in a restaurant in Malaysia and waitress happened to be a Filipina.
I handed her my card t pay for our meal but she told me to make my boyfriend pay instead. I wanted to scold her right there and then. I don’t feel very well if I can certainly pay for something but expect the guy to shoulder everything. This gives me a feeling that I am giving him the right to not respect me. I believe in chivalry but the voluntary ones. The ones where I feel it came from the heart.
Chivalry that is hard to distinguish these days because of the instantness of everything.
I want to show that not every South East Asian is like that. Not all South East Asians are greedy.
Not all South East Asians are ignorant.
I am not born and raised here but I am struggling to be as European as them. My German friend said pride is a bad consultant. I say it’s principle and values and not pride. I will stay firm on what I am fighting for. I honestly don’t care if I will grow old alone if being with someone means that I have to sell myself short. I think that the best advise I have been given is to never ever settle. After all, I have only one short life. I don’t want to be just someone else’s daughter then later on, someone else’s wife. I need to have a “me” in between no matter how long it will be. Why am I even alive? I am making sure that I will not just pay bills and die. I will not just live in one place. Maybe other people are born to find true love and it’s fine. I just don’t feel the same. If I didn’t force myself to go and try, I probably would have been married to my neighbor with five or six kids and planting sweet potatoes. I mean, nothing is wrong with having kids nor planting sweet potatoes. It’s just that it’s not how I see myself. I still often ask why the world is big, beautiful and filled with different cultures and why shouldn’t I go and see it.
Why would I keep on impressing other people by trying to fit in when it makes me feel like I will burst in misery? Why would I keep on doing things that aren’t aligned with my truth? If I’m a butterfly, why will I come near people who want to cut my wings when I can just be a butterfly who doesn’t give a f*ck about anything but flying?
I don’t need to meet the right man. I want to live my dreams then decide later on if this man is worth sharing this dream with. Until then, I will be happy shopping for thicker blankets for cold winter nights. I don’t even care if I ‘m 31 and that this is my last year in the Roman calendar.
In this digital age, thirty five is the new twenty five therefore I have the time. How beautiful it is to be able to live in an era where conforming isn’t such a big deal anymore. How sweet it is to be able to live without much responsibilities? When I let go of the fact that I can’t be what my mom wants me to be, my misery subsided.
I learned how to let go of the things I cant control anymore and tries so hard to live in the present moment and bask in the beauty of simplicity life has to offer. Small things like how happier the birds in Germany than its people? I grew up in the village where people seemed happier and showed more concern for others but the birds didn’t sing this loud.
“You’re too strong for me.”
I guess this is how he chose to break my brave heart. For the first time, I want to be sorry for being strong. Nobody can say I didn’t give myself a chance to be loved and love in return. I was even ready to lie where I met him and maybe I am not yet ready to be tamed. Being independent since fifteen is now taking its toll or but I’d rather say, showing its wonders.
“I want someone I can show weakness to. Someone I can take care of. Someone I can show how man enough I am.”
I am not sure how to respond on this savageness. I only wanted to feel and trust that my heart will never lead me astray no matter how much wandering I still will do.
“Will you write about me?” He asked as if I’m a famous writer. I am not even sure if I can give an answer that will not make him further question his manhood. I chose complete silence. Rare. I know. But needed.
“Aren’t you going to say something?” He asked once more.
“If the vibes I send off already intimidated you, I don’t know what else I can say that will make you feel better.” I shrugged and prepared to bid him goodbye.
“Are you mad at me?” He whispered.
I smiled. “I can never be mad at someone who is already scared to begin with. I have a very merciful heart.” I hope he sensed my sarcasm.
“I wish you can find the damsel in distress you’re looking for.” I added.
“Hahaha.” His laughter sounded dry and bitter. “I hate that you’re smarter than me.”
“Me too!”And with that, I grabbed my over-sized bag and marched out of that cozy WIFIless cafe. I guess, acceptance that everything will happen in their right time no matter how cliche it is. I guess I can’t hit everything with just a stone.