THE STORY OF US
(How The Arvin-Anj Love Affair Started)
As college freshmen, Arvin and Anj met in Ateneo, in their organization's first activity for the year. Anj, who was from Angeles City, had this first impression of Arvin: 'Ang yabang naman, palibhasa galing sa Ateneo High School.' Arvin, who had lived in Manila all his life, saw Anj as 'maganda pero promdi'.
By some twist of fate, Arvin and Anj became locker mates upon the latter's invitation (she wanted to save up on locker fees). As a token of appreciation, Arvin invited Anj for breakfast. This was the first time that they had a serious talk. It marked the start of a friendship that would eventually bloom into a meaningful romance.
The two had their first date at SM Centerpoint. They braved the horrendous traffic to watch the anything-but-a-date-movie Death Becomes Her. They also spent five solid hours sharing their life stories. When he got home that night, Arvin thought, "I like the girl. She is witty and expressive." For her part, Anj had overcome her uneasiness towards Arvin. "Hindi pala siya mayabang. He is nice and thoughtful," she quipped.
Early to Late 1993
The SM date proved to be the start of a slow-but-sure discovery process. Without much fun fare, Arvin and Anj grew steadily closer. Their friendship was beautifully blooming, like flowers during summer time. But it had to experience growing pains. Their friends began to notice and started to tease. It was initially cute but eventually turned irritating. This affected them both. The guy felt conscious. The girl wanted to keep her distance. Their friendship hit rock bottom as the semester ended. Anj took a vacation in her hometown. Arvin had his summer classes.
May 7, 1994
But he just had to see her. So he traveled to Pampanga, armed with only her address and the best intention. Their reunion felt like magic. Anj was secretly pleased that Arvin paid a visit. Arvin was just glad to see Anj after what seemed like an eternity. They picked up from where they left off, away from the prying eyes of their schoolmates. They began to talk and renew their friendship. When Arvin got back to Manila, he felt that he was now ready to profess his love. It would just be a matter of time.
The days went by swiftly. They were back in school for their senior year. Almost everyday they were together, studying, attending meetings, bonding.
July 8, 1994
Then came the appropriate time. Arvin felt it was an ideal opportunity to profess his love. So after watching a concert at the college auditorium, Arvin proposed in the most unromantic circumstances - under the dark sky, amidst the drizzles, and while walking Anj to her dormitory. He couldn't even express himself eloquently. Words seemed to escape him. Anj thought he looked really funny trying to be serious when she knew him to be a comic. But Arvin's intentions were noble, his feelings were pure, his love was sincere. And that was enough. That was what mattered most.
The next three months were a series of ups and downs. Their friendship was at its peak. The courtship was almost perfect. But Anj thought Arvin was not the right guy for her. Not yet anyway. She also doubted if he was for real. Taking their relationship to the next level could ruin their friendship. That was the last thing she wanted. She even had to turn down Arvin's love one night in August. But he didn't give up. Or perhaps, fate had other plans.
October 8, 1994
Apparently Anj needed more time to discern. And when she finally felt that she was ready, she surprised Arvin that Saturday afternoon with her sweetest words, "tayo na," subtly professing her love, commitment, and heartfelt desire to further deepen her bond with Arvin.
The rest - all seven years and six months of them - is history.