Saturday, June 29, 2019

Silay Stories: Lost Love, Lost Years

This is another Silay story about a lost love.  This time, it is a story that is close to my heart.

Once upon a time, a handsome young boy fell in love with a beautiful young girl.  This boy began to court the girl and not long after, he asked for her hand in marriage. The boy's family was well placed in local society and so, it was not hard for him to get permission from the girl's parents.  The engagement period was going to be a short one, because the girl being modest and conservative, believed that a long one only make people gossip.  But before we go on with the story, bear in mind that this was an age where an individual's behavior is judged by strict moral codes, and blood relationships are of utmost importance.

In those days where most engagements and marriages were typically arranged by families, this particular one was without doubt based on true love. At least this was what I gathered from the storyteller.  Boy sees Girl, Girl meets Boy and love happens. It would have ended in a happily ever after, if not for a singular but life-changing event.

One day, a few weeks before the wedding day, the fiance asked his bride-to-be for a postponement, giving as his reason something about family health problems.  The girl reluctantly agreed (remember, she did not like long engagements) but her intuition told her that there must be more that meets the eye, and so she did some sleuthing.  Her happy world came tumbling down with what she found out. It was revealed to her that her father (well known for falling into financial embarrassment) borrowed a substantial amount of money from her fiance.  This of course angered his family, and his sisters now objected to the marriage abhorring the idea of becoming related to such a family of ill repute.  Knowing all these, the girl was so ashamed, and out of delicadeza, decided to break the engagement. She met with her fiance and apologized for her father's actions.  Her fiance refused to take back the ring he gave her, asking for just more time to turn his family around.  But she was not to be convinced. Mustering what little pride she had left, she told him that although she cared for him very much, she firmly believes that this incident will always create a wall between their families, and she did not have the confidence that she will be strong enough to bear it all.  She also did not have the courage to face his family especially his sisters. His was an aristocratic family, while hers (although of good lineage) was on the verge of was a relationship doomed from the start.

And so because they were good children, with their hearts broken, they parted ways, never to meet again.

It was years later that this girl, now a woman and who by the standards of those bygone days was already an "old maid", finally got married, this time to someone she hardly knew.  It was not a love match, but more of a marriage of convenience. She will be the first among her sisters to get married and her security will be guaranteed as her betrothed was an eligible bachelor, a lawyer and a businessman. She told herself, love will come later.

But...all her life, she kept this secret of a love lost deep inside her, never forgetting.  In her twilight years, she finally shared her little secret to her first grandchild.  Why she shared it, no one knows...maybe it was her way to keep alive that which she has forever lost.

Do I know this woman? Of course...

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