Your boyfriend’s real name is Joseph but you call him Enrico, who has a hairy chest and arms so meaty he can feed an entire baranggay in Tondo. Arms so enormous they can carry you to the moon and back. Arms he like to parade whenever you’re around. Every time he comes to your apartment wearing only shorts and sheer sando, the first thing he’d do is hug you from behind, no matter what you’re doing, and then he says Na-miss kita ng sobra, babe, so you’d feel his biceps and inhale the scent of binagoongan or pochero on his breath. You love how much he insists his tongue into your mouth when you push away, how hard he squeezes your teats when you tell him you’ll be working late.

Enrico is a gym person, one of those sweaty workout buffs collecting mirror selfies while lifting weights with all their neck veins popping out. He grew up in Caloocan, in a neighborhood that’s half-slum and half-quaint, where the people are either doing somebody else’s laundry or failing at a business venture they have no brains on doing. After eight years in college, he went to Manila Central University for two semesters, then got his butt kicked out for watching orgy porn in the school grounds. He gave up studying ever since and worked as a helper in his father’s auto repair shop. Enrico loves using his hands. If he’s not getting them greased at the shop or making them sore for hours of jacking the beanstalk, he’s writing down short stories. His last fiction was of you. In the story he made you were some kind of an uppity, brown-haired bitch who won’t return the unadulterated love of a poor farmer from a far-off province in Visayas (who owns a car), who was him. You think his storytelling ability matches that of your thirteen-year-old sister’s, but every time he hands you his work you tell him all sorts of bullcrap so he’d lick your freshness until you come twice.

Enrico has a tanned skin, you’re as white as cow’s milk; Enrico loves cars and driving, you staying at home; Enrico doesn’t know shit about movies, you can recite the ones that won the best picture in the Academy Awards from 1974 to present; Enrico takes a shower thrice a week, you have five different soaps, about six shampoo tubes, and twenty-four bottles of perfume. You are worlds apart – he will truly break your precious neck if you tell him again he’s just wasting time watching basketball on TV.  At home, he tells his father you are the lucky gal he’s taking to church. He tells his boys he’s found the one, the ten over ten, the chick who’s smart as she is sexy as she is funny. He’s more adventurous in bed than any person you have ever had; on your third sex he agreed to plug a cucumber in his hole when you agreed to let him unload on your face. At least twice a week you would tie him to the bed so you can do all sorts of crazy things, riding him like a bull or dripping hot candle wax all over his chiselled stomach. He likes dirty talk, most of all. You want it, yeah? You want it so bad? And when he’s losing it he would cage you in his arms and you’d listen carefully for the cracking of your spine and the bones at the back of your shoulders.

He’s a hard man and he gives you a lot of hardcore, and you’re starting to love it so much you don’t have the balls to deny it. When you see him you start thinking about all the shit you’ve done together and the shit you could still do, and your inner goddess wets herself in excitement. This is what you’ve been looking for! she tells you. Until one day in October Enrico discovers that you’ve been secretly fucking this girl named Samantha, and that you’ve been using all of his tricks to this spicy lesbian chick. You wake up one morning in your apartment and Enrico’s not beside you. He’s pacing around the sala with your freaking journal in his hands, the journal he spent the entire night studying while you were sleeping your stupid ass off. As soon as you step out of your room you see it flying in the direction of your head. You just duck in time and it hit the door instead. He waits for you in the sala, pacing around with his arms crossed over his chest, and when you pick up the journal and open it you find the pages wet, crumpled, and torn. You stare at the sticker of National Bookstore at the back of the notebook for a while. You take your time and so does he. You think, maybe if you’ve been in a relationship with a super open-minded person you can get away with this. Heck, he would get what is happening and join in the fun. Unfortunately, you are not in a relationship with an open-minded person. Your boyfriend is a macho man who likes parading you to his neighborhood thinking you’re a nicely-trimmed Pomeranian. Someone touches your fur he loses the hand. Your boyfriend is the type of boyfriend who makes a grand display of his arms, broad shoulders, and at certain places his chest and six packs if it means any person with a penis would stay out of your way within a five-foot radius. And they did. He’d let down his guard with those who have vaginas, though.

You realize there’s no way to clean this mess but by telling him the truth, and that’s what you do. Then you realize there’s no way to clean this mess. Enrico started knocking things over: the 32-inch LCD TV, the pretty oriental flower vase you bought from the thrift shop, the pictures of you and your little sister and your parents on top of the book shelf. You stare at him while he tells you, for the last time, how much you mean to him: he had ordered a pricey necklace from Lazada for your upcoming sixth monthsary, he had applied for a waiter job at this small restaurant so you won’t have to be ashamed when people ask what it is he does, and that he had socked his best friend in the face when he once told him what you are and he didn’t believe. You apologize, whole-heartedly, and when Enrico cried you stare at your feet that you think deserve to be bruised because you’re such a selfish, back door bitch. You say, I didn’t know you would be this mad. I was going to tell you who I am. I’m just waiting for the perfect time. When you start to touch him, he lashes at you and shrieks: You’re a fucking lesbian! How can I marry someone who likes eating pussy as much as I do? You’re a fucking bulldyke! A fucking kiki! Lesbo! A fucking pillow queen! Then he cries some more.

You are overwhelmed with a profound sadness. You yourself, you don’t like being played at. God knows what you did to those two bitches who ran around on you before. You feel so sad and you don’t know what to do or what to say, so you did nothing and said nothing. You just watch poor Enrico bawl on the floor like an irritated infant with a full-loaded didee. Only when he grabbed the thick encyclopedia under your center table did your brain implore you to move. Your eyes quickly scan the place and you locate the tiny black DVD player within an arm’s length. You smash his head with it before he can do the same to you, knocking him unconscious on the floor, which is really unfair, considering that you are the one who screwed this relationship over.

You go back to your room to get dressed. You take everything you think are valuable with you and you leave. Enrico can break anything he wants. He can even burn the fucking apartment, but you know he won’t. He may be tough but he’s not the kind who goes to prison. You just wish he’d be quick about it because you and your girl Samantha need a place tonight. But God, you swear to the Almighty benevolent merciful powerful God, you’re very, very sorry. You are only human.

Rick Patriarca


Na-miss kita ng sobra – I miss you a lot