For you, on Valentine's Day

Hi,

I haven't written you a letter in SO long -- I must admit it's because of the years. When you've been in the same relationship for 10, going on 11 years, you find it hard to think up of things to do and give. Small gifts might seem too small because you're so used to just giving the person anything you see that you think he might like any day. Big gifts are reserved for anniversaries, or birthdays, or Christmas. Valentine's day -- when you've done 10 of it, add the traffic and fully booked restaurants and just a LOT of people in general -- you just choose to skip. But this year's was one of the bests.

It was only the 13th, but I really won't mind if you had plans already. And indeed, you sent me a message telling me we'll have dinner and that you'll pick me up from work. I really wasn't expecting anything, because I know you don't think much of Valentine's day, but let's admit, I AM A GIRL, and there was a small, small hope in my heart that you'd still get me flowers. Even a single rose would suffice. I got in the car, looked at the back seat -- nothing. I admit I got annoyed, but shook it off. You asked me where I wanted to eat for dinner, which added to my annoyance because really? You don't have plans on where to take me??? I thought of having dinner at a really expensive restaurant just to get back at you, but I craved for KBBQ, so you agreed. When we got there, I couldn't hide my annoyance anymore and of course you noticed. You were laughing at me, and teasing me, which of course made me laugh as well, forgetting I was annoyed.

We started eating late dinner and counting down 'til 12 midnight. "Valentine's salubong, maiba naman," you said. And I realized, oo nga, in all the years we've been together, we've never done this. It's always on the day of or after Valentine's day. That got my mood up. I forgot about wanting flowers or chocolates. I just enjoyed eating and spending time with you. A few minutes later, the guard entered the resto holding up a white board with our car's plate number. You went out to move it.

A few minutes later, I noticed the girls beside our table were nudging each other under the table and were looking towards the door. I looked to see what they were talking about and I immediately felt the heat rise to my face. You were holding a huge bouquet of flowers -- lilies and daisies arranged beautifully -- and smiling from ear to ear as you see my face practically turn into a tomato. This time the girls were really staring, from you entering, then sitting beside me and giving me the bouquet. I felt so kilig, but the first thing that came out of my mouth was: "Ano ba yan, binili mo lang 'to sa labas eh napilitan ka pa!" you just said "Hindi ah!" and laughed.

See, these are the things that keep our relationship going. They always tell me, "magpakasal na kayo!" and I always get reactions like, "10 years na kayo? Buti hindi kayo nagkakasawaaan!" I mean, quoting that famous Maroon 5 lyric: it's not always rainbows and butterflies, it's compromise that moves us along. Such an old line from an old song, but it's still true. We've been together for 10 long years, but there are still things I discover about you. There are still things that surprise me and make me realize that you are worth keeping and fighting for. I am a firm believer that love is a choice. You choose to hold on. You choose to keep the relationship going no matter how hard things become. Because when you've found a love that makes you want to look forward to tomorrow, to seeing his face again and being with him despite feeling like you want to give up after a fight -- you'll have to do everything in your power to keep it.

Happy 11th Valentine's together, my love. Thank you for being patient with me always.