We found each other in the most unexpected time on a very familiar territory.
Or should I say, I found you again.
A year ago, I found myself facing the world without bitterness and hatred.
As for you, I really don’t know why...
On my way out for an unadulterated night out with friends, out of nowhere, you sent an SMS.
YOU: Hi! Kamusta!
ME: I’m OK. On my way out. Inuman with friends.
YOU: Ah OK. Ako din baka lumabas. Just waiting for the confirmation kung tuloy o hindi.
ME: I see. Ingat. Keep in touch.
I rarely get a message from you and when I do, your cellular gratuities are consistently limited to one liner, 10 character long texts but this time I felt there’s something different. I’m not sure why.
I punch in another SMS while inconveniently hailing for a cab amidst uncertainties that your response will be favourable... or if you even would.
ME: Would you like to come with me?
Then my invite was followed by a cold mobile phone silence and I kind of expected it already.
It’s true that we sort of kept in touch online and via web but it’s almost always no more than “Hi’s” and “Hello’s” with the regular “see you soon” or “keep in touch” post scripts. We did “keep in touch” but never “see you soon”. Good thing I have learned not to keep my hopes up a long time ago.
Then halfway from Monumento to Malate, my phone vibrated.
YOU: My officemate confirmed. Tuloy inuman namin.
Then quickly followed by another one.
YOU: Sige kita tayo later paguwi ko from inuman. Text kita pag paalis na ako dun. Saan ba kayo iinom?
ME: Sa Malate. Bed.
YOU: I’m not familiar with the place, text text nalang tapos sunduin mo na lang ako somewhere pag andun na ako.
ME: Ok. Ingat.
I didn’t make an effort to provide directions. I did not even elaborate anymore not because I don’t want to but because I want to keep myself from expecting even though your desire to meet me this time is almost convincing...
We have been in the same movie playing the same role too many times... us, agreeing to see each other then you bailing out after. And considering that you barely made a peek outside the closet, the chances of history repeating itself is all too apparent.
But then all night, we were exchanging messages and with every text, you broke down my defences. Before I knew it, I was already nursing a small fire of hope.
You were drinking somewhere in Taguig with your officemates and miles away, I am somewhere in Manila having good but lack luster time with my friends. I say that because after what seem like forever, looks like I would finally see you again and by this time, my mind was so set on our re-acquaintance so much that I refused an offer of a possible good time with my total eye candy and ex-fubu who saw me at the bar without a second thought.
Already, all I can think of is seeing you. Your own drinking session with your officemates had made it past 2:30 with still enough fuel for another 2 or 3 hours. You were trying your best to escape out of it for an hour already and I am getting a little worried.
By 3:30 AM, my friends had gone home and I begged to be left for no reason. I spent my last few hours and ounces of hope at the bar’s roof deck. Your last message was over an hour ago.
I had downed another bottle of beer and with a sigh, accepted the fact that you have taken another rain check and again, conviently forgetting about me. I cursed myself for rekindling that desire.
By that time, I was so drunk I decided to let go of my pride and tried to look for my eye candy, ex-fubu. Maybe he is still around and still interested to play.
So I can be happy. So I can forget.
But then my phone rang.
“Silvan, dito na ako Malate.”
photo captured here.