The Perfect Storm

My boyfriend’s best friend posted a video on Facebook:
“Shit Filipino Moms Say”. It was hilarious. Later in the month I ended the relationship after nearly 3 years.

It was that time of year again; time to mentally prepare myself for yet another year of nursing school, but this time alone. Day by day went by, at times I felt so alone. I remembered The Boy from the video on YouTube. I looked him up on Instagram...follow. I searched for a photo with some hint of the video and commented “love the hilarious videos!” He followed me back and even said thanks! We exchanged some comments on photos here and there, and then we ended up on Insta-chat, the messaging platform for instagram. At the end of the month I texted him a “Happy birthday”: 9pm New York time or midnight Arizona time.

Still not over my breakup, I had a little to drink alone in my room and texted The Boy. I told him I liked our little chit chat but I felt like all we talked about was him and the exchange wasn’t anything fun, that I wanted out. Somehow my east- coast sarcasm came off as flattering to The Boy. He instantly Face-timed me with the knowledge that I was already in bed. There he sat at his best friend’s house with a guitar. He sang to a dark screen where I lay speechless but smiling to his version of A Team by Ed Sheeran. We would talk every night, sometimes until past 3am for me and midnight for him. I would wake up just 3 hours later for my clinical rotation, each time without regret about staying up all night.

The Boy was a good distraction for my feelings about the breakup. One day I told him about my thoughts on going back to my ex. The Boy gave me a long spiel and it hit me hard. The next day I booked a flight to go see him in Arizona. Delta airlines, 2 stop overs, nearly 10 hours of travel till I landed in Arizona on Oct. 25th, 2012. We laid eyes on each other for the first time, he hugged me. We went to A- loft hotel and watched a documentary until it was time to go out later that evening. It wasn’t uncomfortable or awkward, it felt just fine. We hung out all weekend, it was perfect. As Sunday approached I wasn’t looking forward to returning home without him.

Saturday night, my flight was delayed; October 27th, 2012. Sunday morning my flight was cancelled. Monday-cancelled. Tuesday-cancelled. Wednesday-cancelled. Thursday- Delta airlines, 1 stop over, nearly 8 hours of travel till I landed at JFK on Nov. 1st 2012. We had all this extra time together but I couldn’t help but think of the disaster back home. My family called to tell me everything was fine and it was—thank God. I would never wish the tragedies that Hurricane Sandy brought to my hometown or the east-coast. However I would never wish that I wasn’t stranded with The Boy. Those 4 added days of being stranded turned into an anticipated countdown of when we would have to say our sad goodbyes. We got along so well, I have no words to describe our time together besides perfection and joy.

I landed in JFK on Nov 1st 2012. I collected my luggage on soggy carpets from the baggage claim. The water seeped through my shoes; I walked carrying my luggage in an attempt to keep it dry. My heavy bag full of extra clothes I needed for my extended trip slipped through my hands just as I made it to the exit where my dad picked me up on an empty tank of gas. It was a long drive home, but we only lived 10 minutes away. Trees were down, traffic lights were out, cars were abandoned and streets were closed.

At home, there was no food, there was no power. For a few more days we woke up with the sunlight and went to sleep very early with the sunset, as there was nothing else to do. With no gas we had nowhere to go. With no light there was nothing to do. As the days went by, the conditions improved, streets were cleaned, lights came back on, and gas stations served lines of 50 cars or more. As my parents are both nurses, they were able to have gas from work in order to work. As for me, all I could do was gather my friends and drive to Long Beach to drop off our bags of clothes and other things we had that we hoped others could use. My school reopened a few days later with the hopes of returning to the semester but boy did the hurricane throw everything off. Preoccupations with lost homes hovered over everyone. T he hurricane brought out a lot of new emotions and strengths in everyone I encountered. Stories and experiences all irreplaceable and irreconcilable. All I could think of–The Boy.

I skipped over a lot of the mushy stuff because this isn’t our love story, it’s simply my story on the impact that Hurricane Sandy left me with. It is likely to be the greatest and most life-changing experience of my lifetime, as today I sit here with a promise ring on my hand and with the most amazing man by my side. I am eternally grateful my family and friends went unharmed throughout the storm, and I empathize with everyone who experienced such loss.

Since then, we have spent New Year’s in Arizona, Valentine’s Day in NYC, and my spring break on the west coast. Never have I encountered someone so wonderful that I had to make him mine. We reflect one another and I thank God everyday for bringing us together. That leap of faith we took in October and Hurricane Sandy were just the beginnings of our greatness.

I know this story is unconventional in comparison to other entries; however its impact on my life and The Boy’s life is just as great as anyone who faced Hurricane Sandy head on.