MANILA - Her long hair was plainly styled with a single ponytail. She looked svelte with her soft makeup, which matched her velvet, two-piece dress. A table sat between Elisse Joson, one of the celebrity housemates of "Pinoy Big Brother," and her former boyfriend, young actor Jerome Ponce.
Shaking, she tried to avoid looking at him, afraid perhaps that those empty feelings that broke her episodes earlier will burst out of her eyes. The two split because of the complicated demands of the showbiz industry. As a newcomer, Ponce had to keep their relationship hidden. It didn't work.
"Weeks before nito, kino-compose ko ang sarili ko gabi-gabi. Hindi ko alam kung anong sasabihin ko sa iyo. Ito na iyong gusto mo, hindi ba?" Ponce asked her.
And suddenly, for Joson at least, it became immediately clear that they were there for contrasting reasons: Ponce wants to get back together, while she wants to make peace with her past and move on. Ponce wants to apologize and make amends for the way he treated her, while she wants him to know that she has long forgotten about her feelings.
Straight-faced and with a renewed sense of self-belief, Joson told Ponce: "I'm okay now. I'm trying to make you understand that it's not the same before. Kung before ito nangyari, I would be happy. The thing is, it is different now. Things have changed. Wala na."
Less the Joson who was prone to tears that viewers got to know in recent weeks, she more closely resembled the woman she portrayed for a commercial which went viral online: a woman who found the courage to leave her past behind.
"Bye," Joson said as she walked away from Ponce, who had a resigned look in his face.
He knew that he missed his chance. He knew he made a mistake.
And as he was told, there are many times in life when one does not exactly get what one wants.