Last night on the drive home from my in-laws’ house in Cainta, Summer, who sits in the Chewbacca seat, asked me to “Please play mom’s song.” Nica’s not super fond of listening to her own recordings, especially the studio stuff. Nevertheless, we do let Summer get what she wants every once in a while.
I pulled over and cued up “Oras Oras.” It’s a pre-master version that I happen to have, which is loads better than the cut that eventually made it on to the record. For those of you who have never heard her sing, Nica’s awesome.
The girls drifted off to dreamland to the sounds of their mom’s rock ballad.
While the record played, Nica and I started talking about what our lives were like back then. We do this sometimes. We talk about the past in a sort of post-game analysis. Though the events we discuss are of very little consequence already, it’s nice to share what we think now that time has passed, and perhaps even admit some regrets. Surely some things could have been handled better. We were 16 and foolish or 19 and foolish or 23 and foolish. One day we’ll probably look back and think “32 and foolish.”
At these times of reminiscing, I think back on the amount of time we’ve spent together, and its almost funny how many different evolutions our relationship has gone through. We’ve been best friends, business partners, pen pals, each other’s boss at one time or another, fiancés, travelling buddies, husband and wife, mother and father, emergency contact, officemates, classmates, creative collaborators, lovers.
But i think though she has been all of these things, there’s one term that lands squarely as a perfect catch-all: Life Partner.
I know that that term seems so generic sometimes. People use it interchangably with “spouse” almost to the point where you can almost expect it to be written on something as plain as a form you fill up when declaring your taxes. But the thing is this: I feel like nica has been my life partner for many years before we even started dating.
I distinctly remember the day I got fired from Springs, where we were officemates in the graphic design department. We sat in the dark office and cried together. I remember knowing that nobody else in the world supported and understood that moment the way that you did. Nobody else got it at the time. But you did. And that was years and years before our first kiss.
That support and love has been constant, unwavering throughout the years. The nature of your love has evolved and transformed, but it has always been there. You’ve been so many women and yet are still always the same girl. On so many levels, you make my dreams possible and reachable. I hope I can always be the same for you.
I love you, Nica. I hope that this year is your best ever. I will be right beside you as you chase your dreams. Our dreams.
Happy birthday, baby. I love you.