Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Blind Side

It all started with social networking,, nah, think it's with IPhone, but let me go deeper, I think it started when her husband abandoned her 10 years ago and she had to leave the Philippines to work abroad in order to provide for her two daughters overall needs. Her journey started sanguine, trying in most times, surviving along the way and just recently, almost ended with a disastrous, embarrassing and stupid finale. Glad it didn’t happen and now – she could just laugh about it, albeit the hope lost.

Introducing – N I C O L E ..R E Y E S.

She's an OFW here in Dubai, a single mother of two until last year when she decided to embrace her estranged husband and gave family a second chance. Though her decision was met with disagreement especially from her mother and from people whom she has shared her life's ordeals, she swallowed her pride and braved through old pains and lies with her children in mind. It is difficult for any children to grow without a father and hoping this time he has changed; she let him in to their lives once again. He already has another set of family; I say families, apart from hers. Call it stupid, she calls it love, one that's willing to forgive, forget and move forward like there was no crime committed, like she had never been hurt before.

But it was never like that - hers was a brutally bruised heart for so long. She had no wedding ring. She threw it when he ran away with another woman he had vehemently chosen over her. He was a notorious womanizer, with little regards for marriage, family and love. For the longest time that she was separated, she had fathered her children to make sure they were brought up well-loved and well-thought about life. At the other end of the broken vow, he’s spreading his genes and forgetful of the responsibility that he has helped built and broken as well. She did not stop him nor persuade him to stay. Willed as she is, she was determined to raise their children on her own, without his presence, without his aid and far from his un-redeeming character.

Her mother tended for her kids while she worked abroad. Being a single mother isn’t easy but being far away from the only family you have is even more excruciating and painful, but she has born them all. Seeing her children only once a year in the stage where they needed someone to guide their ways is a cut to the heart, but she has endured them all. The many nights she has slept alone are forlorn nightmares and at times she couldn’t contain her longing, she could only wish to the moon to look after them on her behalf. That’s her lonely predicament, paddling through swampy waters of disintegration, financial woes and the ever opinionated extended family. What more could she ask for? Well, maybe, just some sympathy and understanding that no matter how hard she tried, she could never be in most ways perfect.

Then he came back, when everything is almost forgotten, the wounds healed, the girls grown up and only a few humps up the horizon. Then he saw and conquered. With only a slight gram of hesitation and amidst the unequivocal objection from family and friends, all efforts to make her believe she’s heading to something she would regret later on came to waste. She needed a companion, she defended, someone who’ll share her duties of bringing up her kids. After all, they are still married. She’s in Dubai. He’s back there in the Philippines. He wanted to go to Dubai so he could possibly earn bigger, so he could man up and be a father to the children he had missed. Sounds good? Oh well, he wouldn’t be as cunning for nothing. There was no closure with regards to his other families. She opted not to hear. For a moment, enough that hope has risen. A father coming on his own terms with his legal family, nothing can be sweeter.

Trusting in the might of redemption, she arranged for his travel docs in Dubai at his own expense in the shortest span of time. She taught that moving him away from his other families would culminate in total reconciliation. She fetched him at the airport – after six long years of not seeing each other. It must have been a very awkward feeling. He stayed in the same house as hers, she’s sleeping at the lower part of the bunker bed while he took the top. At first, things went casual between them like two old friends that met again by choice. After two weeks, the top part of the double deck was no longer occupied. Suddenly, her FB status changed from single to married. She’s a wife once again – taking a leave just to accompany him on job interviews, preparing his meals, making sure that his stay was as comfortable as possible. Finally, he landed a job as a delivery guy for a fast food chain that tells you to eat something fresh. It was a call for celebration.

As days progressed, things begun to resemble old habits. Yes, he’s been giving her a portion of his salary for their kids, but just the same, he’s also sending allowances to his other families. While he was served a king, he also started to get wary of her. Her liberty and relationships with friends were curtailed. What’s his wasn’t hers. He disregarded the conjugal principle. He’s sharing with the happy times but not the part when she has to deal with problems with her family. Her eyes grew soggy. She felt tired and cold. It was becoming unfair and foolish. When he took his vacation a few months back, she realized what she’d been warned of. For a month that he’s away in the Philippines , he never sent her a single text message or drop call. He visited and took her children to malls anyhow, but he brought them with his other children. It was offending. Even her kids felt it wasn’t right. Worst of all, when she was borrowing money from him to pay for her credit card dues; he said he has no money. But last to know, upon arriving in the Philippines , he bought a van and gave it to his second mistress. She was ridden with guilt – guilt why she had believed and ignored his incorrigibility.

When he came back, she didn’t fetch him at the airport. She decided to part ways with him for good. After all, she was just getting a portion of his salary; the rest she’s receiving were heartaches and pain. But it wasn’t gonna be an amicable settlement. She wanted him out of her house and he agreed provided he’s gonna cut her children’s monthly allowance. She stammered for a moment. She weighed things up and down. Would she be willing to deal with him despite everything for the sake of her children? While confusion and retribution clouded her mind, she found an ugly refuge to entertain her dead beat psyche. She started exploring and making friends thru various networking sites. While news here and there warned people of various scams and crimes perpetuated by cyber criminals, she gave up on her instincts believing she anyway has nothing more to lose. She just wanna have fun.

Dramatically, her quest for fun has shifted to hope, hope that someday she would find someone who's gonna love her and save her from her little desperation. Communications with her online friends started to eat most of her time, even that which she should have devoted to sleeping and working in the office. Her husband perception of her also begun to look ugly. The sweet words of her online friends were taking her breath away, while her friends never failed to remind her of the dangerous waters she's swimming. Until finally, one event made her realized her false hopes. One of her admirers told him that he sent her a packaged gift, but she would have to send some 1000 USD to the courier to pay for some charges. Thereafter, she stopped communicating to them and went back to her usual self. The latest news we got, she's keeping her husband for now after making some mutual conditions. They went to church last week and he gave her a fancy ring which she showed to us today. Maybe, she realized that he's still the father of her children no matter what and they still have time to patch up and work things out.

Nicole Reyes has always been the central object of both affection and nit-picking in the office for the ways she acts, she talks, she eats and she dresses up. But we respect and adore her for standing up on her own. She used to cry a lot but her experiences have made her see the bright side of life. Aside from her children, she's also helping her parents and other family members despite her minimal salary and various financial responsibilities. Sometimes we hate her, it's only because we care. She had enough suffering and she deserves no more of that. She maybe blinded sometimes by false hopes and the wrong kind of love, but we know it's her way of fulfilling her selfless intentions.


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