Gie went out of the room to get water. He found his father at the kitchen crying, holding a piece of paper. It was the confirmatory letter. His father stood up and went to Gie. Gie thought he will get some beating from his stocky, ex-military father. Instead, he got a warm hug.
Srory 2. Maxie went gaga over this college basketball superstar. She watched every game, she followed him everywhere. She gave him gifts, she brought food at his dorm. Maxie is not pretty. She's fair, she's got nice boobs, she's got shapely legs. But for the player, she's not pretty. One rainy night, Maxie went to the dorm and she was surprised that she was allowed to go upstairs. Usually, she would just leave her gift at the guard's station. She went to the unit of the basketball player and like a perfect set-up, something happened to them. The player was so horny that rainy night and even the un-pretty Maxie will suffice. Besides, his teammates placed a bet, dared him to do it with Maxie. Call of money and raging hormones, he obliged. He even allowed some players to actually watch. They hid at the closet and Maxie who was so clueless was just so giving to the man of her dreams.
Nine months later, she gave birth to a handsome young boy. Maxie may have lost her virginity that night, but she's gained her self-esteem after she decided to keep the baby.
Story 3. Toni committed suicide when he thought he couldn't take it anymore. All the expectations, all the harassment, all the accusations. He just wanted to make his family happy --- but in fulfilling his obligations, he forgot his own pursuit of happiness. He just wanted to give them everything, but in the end, he found he's got nothing for himself. He just wanted to provide them the best, but never saved anything for himself. On that miserable fateful day, he found himself alone. Unpaid bills, collectors calling him left and right, and not a penny on his pocket. He thought after giving his all, he's still alone. Unhappy. No money. No dignity. He took 238 pills to overdose himself. He put himself in deep slumber not hoping to wake up again.
After three days, Toni woke up. He claimed he already saw the light. He claimed he heard voices, people calling his name. In the end, one voice remained. It was the voice of his mother telling him, anak, gising ka na....
Today, Gie is giving seminars to raise the awareness on HIV and AIDS. His father drives for him --- to the seminars, to the hospital during check-ups or for his medications.
On Sunday, Maxie's child is celebrating his sixth birthday. I got an invitation for the party, the father is not invited. On the child's birthday and on his life.
On this very minute, Toni is about to finish this blog. He claims he's found the light and embraced it. He's sharing that light to others.
Gie, Maxie and me. We survived, and still surviving, because we found love. And that love started inside our hearts.