The setting was perfect: the church was only booked by Manila’s finest and the reception was held at the Makati Shangri-la, one of the most expensive and opulent venues to hold a wedding.
The bride’s mother cried and everybody sighed on how lovely and beautiful the bride was. However, to a select few, it was the beginning of a lifelong commitment that started as dour as the weather that day: dim, sour and a bit moist.
The groom hailed from a famous family from the South and everyone was there to show support. But except from his impressive heritage, there doesn’t seem to be much to be awed about this man. .
He was neither tall nor handsome. Stellar grades didn’t come so easily for him and it showed when it took him longer than others to graduate. Maybe stemming from his insecurity, he was also arrogant and that made him quite unpopular with his peers.
Meanwhile, she was every guy’s dream in school. Sporting an angelic face that made you want to protect her, she had a slender physique and is beautiful inside and out, causing several suitors to try to take her as a prize. Of course, it didn’t hurt that she was also one of the smarter ladies in school and played a mean game of volleyball. To many men, she was the perfect package.
Hence it became the story of a beauty and the beast. She was well-loved and him, not as much. But given her popularity, she had her fragile heart broken multiple times, making her vulnerable to persistent advances from any genuine suitor who came.
To his credit, he tried. Hard. Irritatingly at first but later, sweetly as he seemed to be the most reliable and sincere candidate there was. Even rock can be molded by water if exposed long enough. And when she said yes, his heart sung and he was then the happiest man in the world.
Nonetheless, time has a way of dulling one’s feelings. He still loved her and was proud of having such a beautiful woman in his arm. But work took priority and so did many things else, and the woman felt ignored and dare we say unloved.
There’s nothing that can shock a man back to his senses than the threat of losing his prize. And two years in their relationship, he almost did. She has had enough and it wasn’t as if she lacked suitors.
They talked and made up and everything seemed fine again. And when it felt she can finally say her final yes, at the seventh year mark, he finally proposed, right at a yacht in Manila Bay with his best friend lighting up some fireworks after she gave her happy answer.
What transcribed next, I do not know. But in their one-year engagement, the man forgot his lesson and started to take her for granted again.
He would only visit when convenient — passing through her house when he was nearby for business reasons. He disallowed her from going out, afraid that he would soon lose his prize given the chance. She felt ignored and felt the pressure of marrying into a more prestigious clan. Once again, shy of a month prior to the wedding, she thought of calling it off.
The venue her family can pay, but nobody can afford the loss of face caused when hundreds of invitations had to be retracted and excuses needed to be made. With constant reminders, she finally thought when he flew over that weekend trying to convince her to stay on track, he will remember to love me and it will get better. Then again, every couple has their ups and downs and this may just be one of the downs.
And so, the show still went on.
Smiles were brightly shown for memories captured in photo albums. Everybody clapped and the newly weds dutifully kissed when people clinked their glasses.
But to someone who’s always preached that leopards cannot change their spots, that one shouldn’t settle and that the best way to be happy is to choose wisely, that someone weeps inside as she looks around the gathering. As the insider, her best friend predicts that life will not be as peachy for the bride.
The bright lipstick masked forced smiles. Her actions show that she loved him and loving him meant being there even when she wants to run away.
Her friend hears whispers of pending doom. “I hope I’m wrong, but it looks that this marriage won’t last. And if it did, it would only be because of her,” was something heard from a handful of people from the table.
It was one of the few weddings that people hoped the marriage would last and the union be a happy one instead of merely assuming that it would.
Meanwhile, ignoring what we all can see, the groom was ignorant and was just proud to finally claim his prize.
This is a real love story.
Of a modern Rapunzel with no prince to save her. And that was her choice, and decisions must be respected. Who knows, we may actually be ignorant of things that only she can know.
It was said that one of the most important decisions one can make is choosing a life partner. Let’s just pray and hope that the couple made the right choice with each other.