Joecar and Lenny were both members of a student organization. He was an over staying college student who switched courses a few units from graduating to perpetuate his campus presence so he could continue serving the organization. He was 26 years old when Lenny was a freshman at 16.
Joecar became the protective elder brother Lenny did not have. She was comfortable with him. She laughed at his jokes and repeated them like a fan. He wrote a poem for her titled "Soliloquy of an Aging Revolutionary". She thought it was sweet. He could tell Lenny was not like some of their friends who have taken class struggle personally, judging and misjudging those they considered as comrades. He came from old money the activists called Burgis (bourgeoisie). Some of the student leaders resented Joecar’s jokes making light of political issues.
In the wave of tumultuous events the Philippine history calls First Quarter Storm, Lenny and Joecar lost touch. They both found themselves outside the university, struggling in careers they had not plan on and married to people they met after they dropped out.
Two decades later martial law was lifted. Reformed activists reconnected as old friends. Lenny was 36. After a meeting she invited some friends to her home including Joecar. She'll never forget how he sat on her couch looking at her intently like he was saving the moment in his memory.
When the Holiday season came Lenny received a greeting card from Joecar that said "what I felt for you back then was real". Three weeks later she heard that Joecar was hospitalized for high blood pressure and against doctor's orders would sneak out to smoke and drink coffee. He died within four days of confinement.
During Joecar’s wake some of their old friends gave a eulogy. His ex-wife and children did not show up. Lenny was inconsolable. She met Joecar’s mother and was surprised that the old woman knew so much about her. She realized Joecar loved her since she was 16 till she was 36 years old. It was another love affair that did not have enough moments to qualify for a happy ending. Books and movies are full of them. It makes one wonder why people let go so easily of a love they would find only once in their lifetime.