The last time Yen was a title on this blog, she was in a sad relationship.
She was so sad, in fact, that while I was touring her in Sentosa island, she poured out her story with a heavy heart.
“Maybe I should talk to the merlion about this,” she sighed. “What do you think of my problem, Merl?” she asked the giant concrete icon of Singapore.
“Are you kidding me?” the merlion replied in disbelief. “I am stuck in place and can’t even walk, and you ask me for life advice?!?”
Obviously it wasn’t really the merlion who replied, but me, on his behalf. I know him so well. Merly and I, we’re close.
I felt sad for Yen then, sad that I could not do anything, like those other times in the past when I watched her be with a guy I did not approve of. There was this one guy whom I never approved of right from the moment I met him. Our friend Gelle even confronted me about it once, asking me point-blank if I didn’t like him because she noticed that I always changed the topic whenever Yen brought him up.
Gelle was so perceptive. But so was I, because it was later proven that my issues about him were valid, when Yen suddenly contacted me one day, saying:
I wish you were here. I’m so sad today. I have no one to share and cry over this with.
It’s so painful. I just found out that from the start, he was just fooling me. So everything was a lie? Was that it? It hurts so bad.
Am I really that hard to love?
I am an such an embarrassment right now. My eyes can’t stop crying, and I’m at work.
And now here she was again. Different guy, different kind of heartbreak.
Still a heartbreak, nevertheless.
She held on for many more months before she came to her senses and called it off.
Shortly after that, she met Chuck, an American guy who got assigned to Yen’s Philippine office for a long term business trip.
I met him last December and he was wonderful. He was the first guy Yen liked that I liked, too. Not in the same way, okay, but you know what I mean!
I interviewed him about how they met, and he happily told the whole story, starting from the very first time he and Yen accidentally (or serendipitously?) sat next to each other on his first training session in their office, and how they always ended up sitting next to each other afterwards.
The rest, as they say, is history.
By the time he got to the part about him having to head back to USA and building a case to be reassigned back to the Philippines (to the point that he offered paying for his own fare and rent) just so he could be with Yen, I was won over.
“Be honest,” his boss had asked him. “Are you in love?”
“Yes,” he had replied. “It’s so rare that you find a connection like that, and I feel like if I don’t give it a chance, I might regret it.”
So his boss gave the go signal, and he flew back to the Philippines and spent many happy days with not just Yen, but her daughter as well. That was the clincher.
Then in January this year, Yen suddenly announced her happy news.
She was engaged.
After congratulating her and saying how happy we were for her, we asked how he proposed.
“By serenade,” she replied. “He commuted by himself and showed up at my gate and started singing ‘Grow Old with You.’ It was so sweet! I really think that I once helped an old woman who was a fairy in disguise, who rewarded me with what I’m experiencing right now!”
I cracked up at that comment. Classic Yen.
“What happened after his serenade?” we prodded.
“In front of the house, he got down on one knee and asked ‘will you marry me?’ in Tagalog,” she continued. “But it was wrong.”
“What did he say?” I asked curiously.
“Ay kayong magpakasal sakin,” she responded.
“OMG!” I laughed. “What does that even mean? Where did he get that translation and why is it so wrong?”
“Google translate,” she said. “I said, ‘what?’ and he said, ‘will you marry me?'”
“How did you respond?” our friend Arni asked.
“I said yes… kiss… yes… kiss… yes… kiss.”
About a month after that conversation, I was still feeling a bit blue after the Valentine’s season when I suddenly got this message from Yen:
I saw Jerome earlier and he asked me, how did I know that it would work out with Chuck and me when we first started out?That made me think. I was about to answer, but he had to leave, so I decided to respond to him on Facebook. I felt that I needed to share my answer with you too.
When I met Chuck and started a relationship with him, I didn’t know that it would work out. I just felt that he made me happy and thought it was worth giving a chance.
Then slowly I discovered that he was the one… that we were the ones for each other.
I think in the end, when you find the one who is meant for you, it won’t matter how many times you made mistakes and got hurt and broken… because once you find the one for you, you’ll become whole again.
My point is, don’t get tired of trying, because in the end, all the pain.. it’s all worth it.
A tear rolled down my cheek while reading this.
You see, just as I watched Yen get her heart broken again and again, she did the same with me.
The last time we had spoken, I had told her that I no longer believed in love. That I was tired of falling and getting hurt, over and over and over again. That it wasn’t worth it. That I had given up.
“I was just thinking about how I had all these inhibitions at the start,” she continued. “About how he was younger than me, and he would go back to USA… there seemed to be so many reasons for us not to get together.”
“But if we hadn’t tried,” she surmised, “then I wouldn’t have a forever… ever.”
I know this isn’t the end yet, but I feel that this part right here, is that part in Yen’s fairy tale when the narrator (in this case me) goes:
And then they’ll live happily ever after.
This story was published with Yen’s permission.
This post is part of the A to Z Challenge, a blog hop that goes through the alphabet for all the days of April except Sundays. Today’s feature is H for Happily ever after.