“Hi. What are you doing tonight.”
A simple sentence can open lots of possibilities — answers to boredom, alternatives to plans that did not materialize, substitutes for relations that are longed for, panaceas to intimacies forgotten.
“I’m on my way back to the office. Why What’s up?”
“Do you wanna have coffee or dinner?”
Sometimes, we do not know where we muster the courage to do the unthinkable, to get out of out pretty little boxes and create a rampage knowing that we will leave a mess to clean up after. But we still do it anyway.
“You are not going to like what you will see, I look like….”
“I just asked you for coffee or dinner, it’s not like I’m gonna marry you…”
“But of course I have to be presentable, I have to look my best.. I have to…”
“Yes or No?”
“Yes. Where are we meeting then”
“Okay. See you in a bit.”
“See you then…”
Sometimes it makes me wonder why relationships are so complicated, why people never see each other eye to eye. Maybe people don’t understand each other at all, or maybe, people make excuses for a lot of things other than facing these head on. We will see about that.
“Where are you?”
“Gateway heading to Greenbelt”
“Ok, my office is just a few steps from Greenbelt so I’ll just see you there.”
The first date is always crucial. (Well I am using the word date loosely as I am not sure what I am getting into. I am seriously fucked up.) It is when people put their best foot forward, wear the fanciest of clothes just to look like that poster boy for Mr. Right (or Mr. Right Now for some). The first date is usually a process that takes a lifetime to perfect. You can really look good all you want but when you start opening your mouth, that makes a lot of difference. Trust me, unzipping something is a do or die scenario at this point.
“Hey where are you. I’m at Greenbelt”
“Ok..be there in a jiffy”
“I’ll just wait for you in one of those benches. I’m here in between Prada and Hugo Boss.”
Seriously? bench between Prada and Hugo Boss? Are you fucking kidding me? That’s where the ex and I fought nonstop that I had to walkout. Is this some kind of an epiphany? Should I not proceed as planned? Well, like I said, I look mighty fine today.. so here goes….
“Hey there you are. Sorry, took me a while to be here.”
“It’s ok. Just got here anyway.” (Grumpy)
“So, what do you wanna do? Wanna have dinner?”
“Nope, I just ate, look at me”
“Coffee then? Where?”
“Definitely not here, a lot of people will see us.”
“Ok, your options are Coffee Bean over there, Starbucks over there and another Starbucks at Greenbelt 1.”
“Let’s See our options then.”
“Okaaaaaay.” (Getting a little impatient here)
Sometimes people can be so picky that it’s already irritating, and this is starting to irritate me. Definitely not Coffee Bean. Starbucks.. naah-ah….Heading now to Greenbelt I. Great, I’m going down another trip to memory lane. As I remember it correctly, it was at Starbucks where the ex shoved the “I want space or else breakup with me” line down my throat. Not a very good place to date.. A lot of negative vibes. Oh wait.. this is NOT a date. Still walking and walking… Went past Starbucks because there were no seats (yehey! two snaps for you), didn’t want Gilligans because your officemates are there.. Geeziz… I am going to loose my cool.
“You know what, we don’t really have to have coffee you know…
“Oh yeah? You’re not eating either, right?”
“Well you could eat and I could order something else and we could talk..” (Wow..you know how to compromise this early? Does the two year age difference with the ex really matter?)
“Okay let’s go to Conti’s then.”
“Conti’s.. back at the other Greenbelt?” (Getting impatient)
“Yup… that Greenbelt”
“Okay.” (If not for your really cute smile, at this point I will really have to kill you… but no )
Conti’s tonight was packed with people. I don’t know where the hell did everybody get the idea to go out and dine.. here .. of all places… Is there some pre-Valentine Date-a-Palooza I did not know about? I am impatient, and I’m hungry!
“You know what, there’s Fuzion upstairs. They have smoothies of all sorts, maybe I could grab a sandwich too? How does that sound?”
“Cool. Fuzion then.” (Hmmm…you really know how to compromise…I like you already)
After running thru the menu and barking out our orders, we finally have the chance to talk. I never noticed how cuter you are now than earlier… Maybe because I smell food and I’m less grumpy than before? Maybe because you keep in smiling and flashing those cute little fangs of yours….Or maybe it’s because of the fact that we can compromise. I don’t know. Let me have my dinner first and perhaps we will find out.
“I have to tell you honestly, I don’t do this often.. err I don’t do this at all. For crying out loud, I don’t even know you.”
“Same here. Normally, it will take me at least a month or two before I meet someone but, you seem nice, so what the heck.”
“Before anything else…. I’m sorry I forgot to ask your real name.”
“It’s Ritche. And yours?”
“__________________. But why Choi? Can I call you Choi?”
“Because I’m taba-Choi.. that’s why.”
“No you’re not.”
“Trust me, I lost a lot of weight already.”
Fluidity is a very key ingredient to every conversation. It makes or break a date. (Mental Note: This is NOT a date). The mere fact that we carry on having a continuous conversation means we’re doing good. But this is the first date, so I wouldn’t know. All I know is this is freaky. Freaky in the sense that you can finish my sentences and I can finish yours and we’ve just met. I wish all relationships are like this — no expectations, only surprises. But in the real world, people have expectations, people get disappointed, people get hurt trying to live up to these expectations, relationships fail. But not tonight. If only I could look into your eyes…. but I can’t!
“Where do we go after this?”
“I dunno, what say you? What do you wanna do?”
“I really don’t know, but I am having a great time… so anything goes…”
“What to do.. what to do….? Oh yeah how about coffee then?”
“Are you kidding me? I just had a smoothie and a crepe.”
“Okay.. what then?”
“Uhm…. do you know of a place?” (Uy.. place daw o! What are you thinking..)
“Place? What did you have in mind?”
“Are you thinking what I am now thinking…?”
“Well, I don’t know…. It’s just that I really enjoy the company, and you seem like a nice guy.”
“Hmmm… do you really do this on the first date?”
“Uhm….., no.. but it’s weird. I feel like I’ve known you for a long time and I just feel okay with you”
“Sorry… maybe next time? Not tonight…”
“But if you had your way tonight…..would you?”
“Can we talk about this over drinks?”
“Sure, let’s go down..”
The entire strip of bars was crowded with people getting their freak on. Like I said, Pre-Valentine Date-a-Palooza. Off we go to MOA then. I could feel your hand slightly touch mine and I could just grab and hold it… but I can’t. I don’t want to appear overeager. But I really wanted to hold your…….wait, we’re already holding hands. I could feel your palms touch mine and I could feel the warmth of your touch. At certain times when I will look at you, you will look the other way, but I do know you glance back to see if I was looking at you…. and I can see you looking my way. Amazing… I can see people looking at us when we hurried to find seats but I don’t mind. Maybe it’s instinct, or maybe it’s the fact that people can be observant. Just as we sit, your phone rings, you look at me and ask permission to take that call… I know WHO that is….and I had to allow you.
While yo were gone I had time to do a lot of stuff. Thanks to free wifi, I can still multitask. “Blushing. So this is blushing. Now stop looking at me already.” Posted. There.Shared at FaceBook. LeeAnn comments, Chaps comments, I coment — an endless loop of comments. Till you finally showed up. Time for us to get drunk.
“I’m sorry I kept you waiting. It’s just that I had to take the call, I didn’t know it will take this long”
“It’s ok, I understand.” (Actually I just heard the words I’m sorry, and the rest of the explanation didn’t matter. Geeziz, I’m finally getting soft.)
“I can’t seem to look at you. I don’t know”
“That makes two of us.”
“What are we anyway?”
“What do you mean WE?”
“Exactly, do you really want to define this as of this point?”
“No. I don’t know you, you don’t know me”
“Yeah…I wanna kiss you”
“Now?” (Uh-oh…here we go again)
“Do you have a Facebook account. I want to add you now”
“Blushing? You’re blushing? Hahahaha!” (referring to the recently posted status update. Great! Now I’m screwed)
If there is one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s the fact that some relationships are better not to be defined, some are doomed from the start. This is one of those “relationships” that you know will leave a big mess but you go ahead and clean after yourself when the bloodbath begins. The moment that people bind themselves with each other, most of the problems arise when one of them couldn’t breathe, and we don’t want to suffocate our partners with our very presence. And after a long period of staring, looking away, and smiling, we go back to where we started…
“So what do we do now?”
“What do you wanna do?”
“Would you like to stay with me for a while?”
“I’d really like that…”
I’m not sure it it was the alcohol, or the sadness, or the longing….. maybe it’s a bit of everything . I have a secret to confess…… my mind was made up to see a movie tonight, but I guess, I am not yet over with the idea that I have been played by my ex, and that up tot the last minute, I can still salvage my friendship with the ex. After all, it was my stupid idea to ask the ex out earlier. It doesn’t matter now. You’re here. And after that long discussion on what time we should get up, who sets the alarm yada yada yada… we were together… I know we don’t do this.. we aren’t like this. But at this point, we want to be with each other. Can’t argue with that.
At about 3 or 4am…..
“I love you….”
“Why do you love me?”
The most genuine of emotions are expressed when the subconscious takes over. The conscious mind often argues with logic and follows whatever theory outweighs the other. But not when you are sleeping. You sleeping soundly with your head rested on my shoulder….telling me that you love me…… and you don’t even know me. Here’s the deal, I can never have you… I know that…But my brain is too tired to process that information and my heart says, it’s okay, move on already. I fell asleep…..
At about 6am at the time when three mobile phones were alternately alarming…..
“You were drunk”
“Whaaat? No I was not!”
“Yes you were…”
“How was I drunk?”
“You told me you love me”
“I did nooot!”
“Yes you did.. if only I had it recorded”
“No…you heard me wrong…., I said I was going to miss you”
Between those exchanges, I know that a part of you won’t let me go. A part of me won’t let you go. But after we go out of this hotel, we have separate lives to go back to. You have a date, and I have lunch with my friend. But that’s not really the point, is it? We both know that this is doomed from last night. We only both know how many kisses we kissed…how many hugs we hugged…Still, I would like mornings like this where I can wake up next to you, and we still like each other no matter how bad we look or how drunk we are. But this morning is going to end anytime soon…..
“Could you check if you left anything?” (I’m gonna miss you)
“I’m good.. let’s go home now” (Home to where? May I stay with you longer?)
“There’s my cab.. so… I’ll just text you later?”
“Sure. I think I’ll just walk a bit”
I have never appreciated Makati….. I don’t know when was the last time I took a long walk along Ayala Avenue just to clear my head…humming…. singing…… And for the first time, sunshine felt good on my skin. It didn’t burn. A few brisk walks and I was in front of PBCom Tower….. a lot of memories here….That’s where I stood waiting for the ex when I brought food, that’s the spot where…..and then I had to stop and erase these memories in my head. I want to make room for new ones. Better ones. Lasting ones….
I don’t know if this is one of those memories… but I just have to go where the wind blows…