It was a spontaneous plan. My Ate and Kuya invited me in to their house, which is just a tricycle drive away, for dinner. That’s when it all came back to me.
While everyone else may have already forgotten that day, here I am, remembering every single detail of it.
We woke up early, ate our breakfast, took a bath, changed into our comfy clothes and loaded our gowns and necessaries – as for me, into my backpack, as for Ate, into a big box, plus all her other stuff in a huge travel bag; and I meant HUGE. Together with the other Bride’s Maids, off to the hotel we went.
I remember when we used to live at Parang, Marikina. The thing about preparing MY stuff into MY school bag was one of Ate’s thing. Oh wait! Let me rephrase the statement – it was one of her responsibilities. I knew she wasn’t into it but it was part of her job. She is the ATE. My ate.
But we weren’t much of an ate-bunso type of persons at the moment. We were cats and dogs. We practice on our vocals everytime and the game goes, “the louder the better.’ Sometimes it goes hit-and-miss. We have to hit the target (which was each other) bull’s eye with whatever stuff you have in hand. We were both fierce, even I as a child. How could I ever forget?
So there she goes, already set for the lady in a white polo shirt. The make-up artist tries to beautify my sister’s already beautiful face. A little photography session and she wore her stunning wedding gown. Wow. She’s gonna get married for real.
Off to the church we go to finally face the job of a bride’s maid. The guests had already arrived (and are continuously arriving). Everyone was busy – some with mingling and some with the wedding agendas – but they still were busy. Then came the groom finally participating with the patterns happening. It slapped me on the face again. They’re gonna get married for real.
It was my 13th birthday when Ate and Kuya met. It wasn’t literally the first time but it was probably the hint that started it all. I invited my ballet friends, including him, for a little feast in celebration of my birthday. The people of the same age group will of course get together. Ate was the only lady in their group but all of them have one common denominator – billiards. Yes, they even played billiards nearby ’til guests have gone.
Though I’m dying to tell Kuya and Ate that they owe me, no, they don’t. Kuya was supposed to just settle there at the comfort of his home instead of going to my birthday celebration. Ate could have done something else, be somewhere else, instead of helping out with the birthday thing. Whatever angle I look, it was all God’s divine orchestration. They never owed it to me. But I thank God, that of all events He would choose for those two to connect, He chose MY birthday.
The ceremony began. The entourage started walking along the aisle. Honorary guests wore their best aqua blue and cream gowns and dresses and Barong Tagalogs. My mom and dad, who, for the first time, will walk a daughter through the altar, were there. Then, it was my sister’s turn. Everyone was in suspense.
The band began playing a familiar song. It was a song Kuya composed for ate in behalf of their relationship. No one knew it accept me, to the two of them and of course the band. Kuya sang live. Guests were in awe. Suddenly, they turned into a bunch of spectators. Ate, slowly walking the steps through a wedded life, gained all the attention. Even she wasn’t the prettiest woman on earth, that moment, SHE WAS.
Kuya was one of the instruments God used to bring back communication to the family. Allow me to speak in Filipino: Dati kasi, walang keber-keber. The talks were too seldom and we live in the house like workers or borders. Kuya came and suddenly there was a topic to discuss – “He’s nice,” “What do you think of him?” “Why does he keep coming everyday?” Suddenly, we started talking to each other like family should. Suddenly…
And there they go. Mom and Dad had to delegate Ate’s hands into Kuya’s like a bird freeing her babies when they knew already how to fly. It hit me once more – they’re about to get married. I had to speak to the lady beside me, “Ever, please let me borrow your handkerchief,”
Both of them were imperfect and they both had to face the consequences of imperfect decisions. One of the consequences was to live their seperate lives with their “anothers.” It was a change we had to cope with. It was something we had to accept drastically. I couldn’t say God planned it. What I could say is that God let it happen. As for me, I proved Ate and I can be the best of friends even in the absence of Kuya. And I learned all the more that I’d always be twice as happy where and when Ate chooses to be.
The officiating bishops went on their long yet substantial messages. The candles were lit, the veil was put and so was the cord. Other essentials were done carefully as the ceremony continued. Soon enough, the vows were vowed, just as soon as tears fell from Ate’s and Kuya’s eyes.
I knew I saw it coming. The moment I sensed that they were back together, I know it will be forever (forgive me for the rhyme). The things God did in their lives as lovers made me sure of hearing those wedding bells. They even notified us a year before the wedding that there’s gonna be such. I knew it all along. But again, it struck me. I guess I was aware, but I’ve never been ready.
The months of preparation made me easily miss Ate. I missed her already the moment I saw them planning the plan and it felt the same when I saw their list of guests, when they asked me to do their AVP’s, when we went to be measured for our gowns, when I saw the invitations finally finished, when I helped her fit her gown and the list goes on. But the loneliness only proved one thing – Ate’s a big deal to me.
The time has come. The vows must be sealed. They say it as “kiss the bride” but I’d rather call it “they kissed,” (duhh, it’s an effort of two people not just by the groom). My sister who’s also my best friend is married. This time, I didn’t hit me, nor slapped me, nor struck me anymore. At that very moment, the person inside of me grew contented – “Finally…”
I stick to the premise that I shouldn’t lose a sister nor a best friend. Now she’s a sister, a best friend, a wife, and soon, a mother to my beautiful nieces and nephews. The joy I felt for Ate and Kuya’s finally married life far outweighed the tears I have, am and will shed for parting ways with them. This time, I know God had put completion on Ate’s happiness. To that alone, I was satisfied.
Yes, it was a spontaneous plan. Ate and Kuya invited me over for dinner in their house which is just a tricycle drive away. It all came back to me. But at the moment, I saw a brand new picture, one I know God will bless for eternity. 🙂