Fortunately, for my friend Jennifer and her husband Roland (not their real names), it was not the kind of love they hoped for but it was a love that exceeded beyond their imaginations. Their love story is not the epic kind, but it is something special, worthy to be told. They never knew each other, never even talked as far as they could remember. Until that one night happened, everything seemed to fall into place.
Jennifer was 21 and was working as an ESL (English as Secondary Language) instructor at a private English institution in Cebu, Philippines. She was young and very much in love with her then 25-year-old Korean student Kent (not his real name).
She was happy with how her life was running. She had a job and a boyfriend. But one night, Kent suddenly decided to end the relationship with her. He was terribly worried that his family would not be able to accept someone who is not Korean.
Deeply saddened and heartbroken with the break-up, Jennifer went home to her hometown for a couple of days. She called her friends to have a drink in a local bar that night just to clear out her mind – and heart.
While Jennifer was enjoying her drink with the company of her friends, she suddenly noticed a familiar face who came in from the entrance door. As she was checking his face, she realized that it was Roland, the son of her parents’ friends. She only knew him by face and never had a chance of even talking to him.
And, that was it.
To cut the story short, Jennifer and Roland began talking and getting to know basic things about themselves. They talked about how close their families were and how they were not able to become friends. They talked until they began a little bit comfortable with each other. At least that was what they both said to me.
One of Jennifer’s friends approached and told them that it was already time to go home. It was already 2 AM and the bar had to close by that time.
As they stood up from their seats, Roland suddenly asked Jennifer if it would be alright to walk her home. Since both of their houses were just a stone’s throw away from the bar, Jennifer agreed to be accompanied by Roland going home.
As they were walking, Jennifer surprised herself by asking Roland if he wanted to have coffee in her house. At the back of Jennifer’s mind, she could not believe that she just invited him in her house to have coffee. Of course, Roland had no reasons to say no to her invitation. So both of them went inside Jennifer’s house quietly so as not to wake her parents who were already sound asleep.
There was an awkward silence that surrounded both of them. Their eyes veered from each other and not a word came out from their mouths.
It was too quiet until Roland gazed at Jennifer and took her hand that was comfortably positioned on the table. He slowly grabbed it and kissed it gently while looking at the puzzled and shocked face of Jennifer.
Jennifer told me that she had no idea what was going on at that time. She could not take her hand back even if she wanted to. But she felt that something unavoidable was going to happen.
Was it because they drank too much? Or was it a spur of the moment and she just followed what she had felt at that time?
That night led to a physical bond between them.
A month after the 2-day vacation in her hometown, Jennifer was already back to her work.
Everything was back to its normal state and there was no sign of her wanting to see Roland again after what had happened between them. She did not even have his number. So, it was something that made her peaceful.
“At least I did not build any affection for him at that time. It was a bit difficult for me to be in a relationship after a devastating break-up.” she said.
Just when she thought everything was doing fine, she suddenly felt nervous when she knew her monthly period had not arrived yet.
To confirm her suspicions, she went to a pharmacy and bought 3 pregnancy test (PT) kits. She, then, went to her apartment, a little bit shaken on what the results would be. After four hours of doing the three tests, Jennifer was alone in dealing with an all three-POSITIVE PT results. She was pregnant with Roland’s child.
“I was crying alone. It was so difficult to handle that situation alone. After knowing that I was pregnant, I know I needed to go back to the province and tell Roland about it. I didn’t actually know what to do with it,” Jennifer said as she was recalling what happened.
When she arrived in her hometown, she immediately saw Roland at a court playing basketball with his friends. She went near the court and stood at the side to wait for Roland to finish the game.
As the game ended, Roland saw Jennifer’s radiant face across the court and hurriedly ran towards her. She saw him coming and she was glad to see him after a month of not keeping in touch.
“Roland, long time no see. Dugay na gyud ta wa magkita. Kumusta naman ka? (It’s been a long time since we last saw each other. How are you?),” Jennifer asked.
Roland was very much delighted to see her suddenly appear right in front of hime. “Wa ko magdahom nga magpakita pa siya nako human sa nahitabo namong duha (I did not expect to see her again after what happened to us). I was really happy when I saw her,” Roland told me.
But then, the atmosphere suddenly changed when Roland saw Jennifer’s teary eyes. Roland definitely noticed that there was something going on so she kindly asked her to tell him the reason why she did not seem feel OK.
Jennifer broke her silence and said, “Buntis ko, Roland. Ikaw ang amahan. (I’m pregnant, Roland. You are the father).”
Roland had his eyes wide open when he knew about the pregnancy. Jennifer, on the other hand, was a bit nervous about his reaction. She could not read if he was devastated, happy, excited, or whatever. It took a minute or two for him to digest what he just heard until he said,
“Sigurado na gyud ka nga buntis (Are you sure that you are pregnant)?”
Ar that moment, Jennifer lost her hope of having the father for her child when suddenly, Roland ran and shouted, “Amahan nako, amahan nako, amahan nako (I’m a father, I’m a father, I’m a father).”
Jennifer could not believe what she heard. She was crying because of happiness when she saw Roland jumping for joy.
“I could not believe that he was actually that happy to know that I was pregnant,” she said.
Roland came near to Jennifer and wiped her tears from her face. He said that she should not worry because he would be responsible for the baby. And then hugged her so tight.
That evening, Roland and his family went to Jennifer’s house to talk about the pregnancy situation. Since both families were close to the Catholic Church, they wanted Roland and Jennifer to have the traditional church wedding before the baby would come out.
Taken aback, Jennifer opposed to the idea of marriage because she barely knew Roland. They only met once and never had a chance to meet again before the pregnancy news broke out. But the families insisted on the marriage to avoid being tainted with bad reputation and gossips of illegitimacy. If Jennifer and Roland would not follow their wishes, they would be forced not to support them.
Jennifer went out to ease her mind. She couldn’t take in what their families planned for her and Roland. She felt like it was her punishment for having a one-night stand with a total stranger and for getting pregnant with the same guy.
“I couldn’t catch my breathe. What was happening? Why did it have to end with marriage?”, she told me.
Roland followed her outside a moment after Jennifer went out the house. He saw how bothered she was with the sudden marriage proposal and why couldn’t accept it right away.
“Jen?,” he called her. Jennifer didn’t move. Roland hesitantly wanted to give her a back hug to calm her down. He knew he didn’t have the courage to comfort her that way and only said, “Pasensiya na sa tanan, Jen. Pero, wala jud ko nagmahay sa nahitabo natong duha. Kahibaw ko lisod magpakasal sa tawo nga wala pa kaayo ka kaila, pero wala nako damha nga magkagusto ko nimo og maayo pagkahibaw nako nga nagsabak ka sa akong anak (I’m sorry for everything, Jen. But, I never regret about what happened to us. I know it’s hard to marry someone you haven’t known that much, but I didn’t expect to fall for you more after you told me you were pregnant with my child),” he said.
“Bisan wala kaayo ta kaila sa usa’g-usa, pwede ra gyud na nato buhaton bag-o ug inig human sa kasal (We may not know each other that much, we can surely do that before and after the wedding). I’ll give m best to make this relationship work,” Roland continued.
With what she just heard, Jennifer slowly turned to him with tears. She wasn’t able to say something after Roland gave a feeling of wanting to be married to her. They deeply looked into each other’s eyes. And for a second, Jennifer hugged him so tightly, a sincere gesture that said, “Thank you.”
Eventually, after a month of wedding preparations, Roland and Jennifer got married at the church in their hometown. Jennifer was already two months pregnant and, luckily, her baby bump had not shown that much yet. They vow a happy married life, filled with love and trust.
“I never expected that day to be a happy and full of love. I never felt contented until that day. I never knew that I can marry a person I just met for a short while,” Jennifer told me.
Roland said that he was already unconsciously falling for Jennifer the moment he asked her to walk home together. It was something that he could not understand but he felt that she was someone he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. Although, he knew that Jennifer would not feel the same way for him that’s why he never tried to stay in touch with her after that night.
Weeks after the wedding, they had their honeymoon. In July 2012, Jennifer gave birth to a healthy and bouncy baby Dee. And, of course, their marriage had been smooth-sailing. Roland boarded on a ship as a seaman, but was able to be with his wife while giving birth. For them, everything seemed to fall into place.
It is already 2015. Their baby turns 3 and they will be celebrating their 3rd anniversary as well. They both mutually felt that they belong to each other. They love each other.
That one-night was supposedly just sex for the both of them. They never thought that it could blossom into a love of commitment and trust.
“Of course, we had doubts of getting married right away. There were times when we thought that it was not going to work out. And we got married out of our own will because I got pregnant. We had our fair-share of struggles and problems. But, Roland took care of me. He constantly keeps on reminding me how much he loves me and that he married me because he loves me,” Jennifer said.
Jennifer loves Roland as much as he loves her. She wasn’t able to realize that until she got married to him. She loves him even more for giving her a beautiful baby whom they love more than anything else in the world.
I asked Jennifer, if there was no baby involved after all, would she still be able to love someone like Roland?
She answered with a smile, “Yes. Yes, I would.”
For those persons who have experienced a number of one-night stands already, they would probably say that it was just sex for fun. It was a way to keep them away from getting bored. But for Jennifer and Roland, their one-night stand was more than just sex. It made them realized that the existence of love can happen even after getting to know someone less than a day, either with drinks or just merely over a conversation of whatever.
Well, some of you can say that they only loved each other because of their daughter. If that’s the case, why are they still together now? Why would Jennifer show me another positive pregnancy test result?
Yes, Jennifer and Roland will once again welcome a new member of their family very soon.
Note: The post above is contributed by Mary from Philippines.
Mary Josebelle Alusin is Filipina home-based online ESL instructor, freelance writer, and single mother of a beautiful daughter.