The 5th of September

Written by Stanley Semilla | Published at 25 September 2017

All in. It wasn’t a tough decision to go all-in. But, it was a tough process to think how to go all-in.

So what happened? Let me tell you a story.

Before I even met Marielle, I made sure that I am ready and prepared for this chapter in my life — where I get to meet people, know them and eventually, if God approves, pursue them. It was a tough tug-of-war game between what I want and what God wants for the last couple of months. Until I went to search again, and by God’s grace, I met Marielle. As I’ve told in my past write-ups, Marielle is the woman I prayed for, and I completely trust God that He’ll guide me along the way.

I know how easy it is nowadays for men to court women. Most of the time, it isn’t even being asked if it’s okay to court. They say it’s magic, but I’d say, it would be majestic to get a woman’s permission to court or pursue her. I wasn’t good at this though. No ideas were coming up my mind how to do it. I wasn’t sure if I’d do a simple or extravagant one. Well, I didn’t have a complete idea how to ask. When I got back from my Indochina trip, I knew back then that I want to pursue Marielle, and that I’d go all in on this one. I want to make her feel special and important. I want her to feel my love and care. But I’d want to do it in a simple way — or in a more genuine and sincere way. No other props, no other people involved, just the two of us with me asking her in a nice way. Of course, it wasn’t a sure ‘yes’ and I had to prepare myself for a ‘no’. It was a good thing though, that we were able to watch several films. And I tried to get excerpts from the movies that we’ve seen. Though we haven’t seen ‘Kita Kita’ together, I remember one essential part of the movie. It was about the 10 important things that happened. Another movie that we’ve seen is ‘100 Tula Para Kay Stella’ — where Fidel had written poems for his love, Stella. But both story didn’t end happily. But for me, the question was, “should I incorporate those films to what I wanted to do?” I was hesitant, but nonetheless, our story will be different. That’s what I have in mind.

In the morning of the 5th of September, I had prepared 10 things that are memorable for me. Things or moments during the time I’ve spent with Marielle. (I’ll post it in another story) I didn’t know how to deliver it though. Should I just say it? Well, I don’t think that will work because I might tear up before I even finish. So I have to think, and think deeper. Find a way how to do it. Or I’ll never have the chance. Fortunately, I’ve seen the postcards I bought from Ho Chi Minh. And I looked at them, and realized one thing — postcards are made for writing and mailing without an envelope (according to Wikipedia). Postcards are also meant to be sent from one place, probably far away place, to someone from a different location. Marielle is a tourism graduate, and part of her education involves places. Postcards will also be a great way to connect to her expertise. And so I used them. I personally like good typography, but I was never good at them. I hand-picked every postcard that I’ll use. And each one should correlate to the number or count in my list. It was a hard process. And I’m glad I was being guided in this process.

I went to my now favorite Starbucks branch, and worked there while I wait for Marielle. Of course, my nerves is getting the best of me. And I didn’t know if I’ll push through. It was around 4 o’clock when I decided to write down my list. I have a calligraphy pen, and a brush pen. As I tried writing, I noticed that I’m not good at this. And it looks like a mess. I need to find a pen because I didn’t have one. I was worried because time is of the essence. So I had to rush to a nearby 7–11 and buy a pen. After getting 2 pens from the store, I went back to Starbucks, get a new drink and start writing. It was 5 o’clock then. I am getting nervous that Marielle will arrive before I finish writing. I’ve made a few tweaks, and rephrased some of the items on my list. And thank God, I finished writing around 5:25PM. That was God’s grace. I kept the postcards in my bag, and I started praying. I was asking God’s guidance, blessing and of course, His favor. But at the same time, I was preparing myself for a rejection.

And so, Marielle arrived. Oh God, I am dead nervous. I was actually planning on bringing her to Wooden Spoon, another favorite. But we decided to just go to Greenbelt, and watch “Patay na si Jesus”. The movie was very funny, but there weren’t a lot of people in the cinemas. After seeing the movie, we went to get ice cream. The store was closing already, so we had our ice creams and walked around Greenbelt. I was looking for a place where we could sit down, and I could give the postcards. We ended up in a memorable Starbucks branch for me. There were few seats available, and Marielle didn’t want to get coffee anymore. I ordered mine, hopefully, to help me ease my nerves. We were telling stories, laughing the scenes from the movie, and I didn’t know how to tell her I have something. But I got the chance. God gave me the courage to tell her I have something for her. And so I did gave it to her. She didn’t have a clue at the start. She started reading, and my heart started pumping, beating faster and faster by the second. I couldn’t look at her, because I’m afraid she’ll reject me. But as she was nearing the last postcards, I looked at her. She was smiling. From that smile, I got the courage to face her. And then, she read the last one. The last one had the question, “will you allow me to pursue you?” She asked me to read it in front of her. And so I did. She asked for a piece of paper and a pen. Unfortunately, we didn’t have paper that time. But she had an idea. Marielle asked me to not look while she writes something. I had to look back, and calm myself because my heart will soon stop beating. It was taking a long time, and I think I’m prepared for a ‘no’. She was done writing, and she showed me 2 pieces of tissue paper. She wanted me to read it at home, but I was so eager to check it out. And so I did open the first one with a smiley. Inside was a big ‘YES’. I smiled, but I’ve read in the bottom right corner there’s a ‘pero…’. Now, I’m back to a nervous-state-of-life situation. I slowly opened the second piece, and God knows how my heart was in joy. “Don’t worry, I’d still say yes.” It was written in all caps. And I had an immense amount of joy in my heart. I looked at her, and she looks at me. And there I knew, that I and Marielle will be going ‘Into The Wild’.

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