A Reason to Marry

“We’re getting married.”

The silence was thick and awkward as everyone exchanged brief glances and knowing looks.

Should I have yelled a bit? I kind stated it in a matter-of-fact way. Maybe I should’ve waved my hands a bit to show my excitement. Not that I’m really excited about it I’m actually kind of nervous. Oh, great, they all think I’m stupid.

After a split second, everyone seemed to realize that I was still waiting for their reactions and so they spewed out the expected words of shock and happiness.

Congratulations, Redg!
Wow, hindi ko akalain na aabot kayo sa ganyan.
Oh my gooooooooooood!

I felt a bit awkward, standing there as they hugged and clapped me on the back. It was surreal for everyone, I bet. It was surreal even for me. I never thought I’d get married to a woman. Heck, I never thought I’d get married at all. I don’t know, the thought that I’d be in a long relationship, where you can’t just walk out when things get tough just scares the hell out of me. I’m a runner. I run from problems like a pro.

After a long round of questioning about the wedding (Saan niyo gagawin? Sa Canada. Ahh, alam ba ng parents mo? Okay ka lang? Eh di namatay pa yun ng maaga. So ‘di kami invited?
Sorry. Super tight budget kasi eh. Unless may extrang money ka to fly to Canada you’re very much welcome to come with us.)

I went outside to breathe some fresh air. All the excitement and the awe they’re giving me is too much. I don’t know if getting married is a good idea in the first place. I’m just jumping in.

I sat on the pavement, lit up a cigarette and drew a big puff from it. Smoking is slowly becoming more of a normal part of my everyday life and almost every one of my friends is against it. Whatever.

“‘Di ka pa rin tapos sa yosi?”

She sat beside me and then took the stick on my hand to draw a puff for herself.

“At di ko alam na marunong ka pala.”

“Well, there’s a lot you don’t know about me.”

After nine years she looks different. Her hair messier, her eyes lined with eyeliner. She looks leaner. If a stranger saw her on the street that person would totally think she’s cool. You know, the writer in a network company kind of cool.

“Yeah, I guess.” I replied with a tone laced with a hint of bitterness.

“So… getting married, huh? Never would’ve thought you’d settle down.” she continued on as she was taking another puff from the cigarette.

“Yeah, me either.”

“Why?”

“I’m sorry?”

“Why are you getting married?” she asked point blank.

“I don’t know.” I replied, not knowing the right answer to tell her.

“I don’t know…” she scoffed, shaking her head.

“It just feels like it’s the next step, you know? I mean, we’ve been together for eight years and three years of that, we’ve lived together… and, you know, we both see it not changing in the future…”

“But what if it does?” she asked, this time, looking at me in the eye.

“I don’t know what you.. I think … I don’t think that would happen.” I stammered, not knowing where this is going.

“Huh. Okay.”

What the hell is that supposed to mean?” I asked my voice rising a notch higher.

She raised her hands in surrender, “Nothing!”

I put my hands on my his and cocked my eyebrow at her. This is not ‘nothing’. I can see it in her eyes. She thinks I’m pathetic. She think I’m jumping in for no clear reason. Exactly what I’m actually doing.

“I just don’t think you’re marrying her for the right reason.” she added quietly.

“And what do you think my reason is for marrying her?” I demanded.

“I don’t know… security? Familiarity?” she blurted out. It was so obvious she was dying to say this all night. “Nasanay ka na na kayo na and you don’t want that to change! Natakot ka na to meet other people and expand your horizons. Hindi mo ba napapansin, na you’ve changed as your relationship lasted longer? You’re not much fun anymore, you don’t take risks…”

“Oh, kasi sobrang kilala mo ako diba?” I scoffed at her. “Nagb-bonding tayo at sobrang close natin?”

“I know who you are.” she said quietly.

“No. You know the girl you were friends with in high school. That girl grew up. That girl changed. Sa tingin mo ikaw, hindi ka nagbago? You’ve become this boring person who can’t even deliver a witty line in an ordinary conversation. It’s exhausting being in a conversation with you! And I never complained about it.”

Everything was quiet for a few seconds. You could hear whispering inside the house. All of them probably heard their angry tirades against each other.

“I just think you should think about this first. Again.” she said quietly, her head bowed down.

“Thanks for the very unsolicited advice but I already did. A million times.” I retorted.

“Okay, then.” she sighed. “I’m glad you’re happy.”

She got up and put out the cigarette with her foot, leaving me very confused outside.

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