“Learn to love each other’s flaws and weaknesses. Be ADVENTUROUS. Do not stick to the one that you like. You will never ever find the right person if you will only look for the one that you WANT.. Experiment.”
“If we only die once? Who would you like to die with? If we only live once? Who would you like to live with?” What do we really need in life?
What happened to Phoebe and Lexie’s plan? Who is Mimi? When is Jerry going to ask Yassy to be his girlfriend? Why is Ronnie jealous? What’s going to happen to Jess and Chase? Will Cy get the chance to meet the Anonymous writer?
One Saturday Morning – Jessica – messy hair tied up, nerdy eyeglasses, big shirt and a pair of booty shorts, went down to the kitchen. Turned the lights on, took a cup of coffee and sat down. Daydreaming – the phone rang.
“Hello?” She answered
“Hey! It’s me, Chase, this is my sister’s number. You were not answering my calls so I decided to use my sister’s number. Can I invite you for dinner?”
“Dinner? Like, later?”
“But I just had dinner at your house the other night?”
“Is it an issue?” He asked
“Ah, nah – I – ah.. I’ll let you know later” She answered in a very monotonous voice.
Chase tried asking why she suddenly felt a bit off and was about to ask why she suddenly left the other night.
“Ah, is there any problem Jes?”
“Ah, nah. It’s okay Chase. I just ah, I ah – woke up on the wrong side of the bed.” She answered.
Tiff preparing breakfast for the kids.
Tiff: “Darls! Carlo! Kids come on down.”Shouting. Calling the kids. While preparing for two cups of coffee. “Baby, Mimi has never changed. She still looks sexy”
“Babe, have you checked the latest iPhone?” Matt, tryna change the topic.
“We just bought the latest two months ago..?” Tiff answered.
“I know, but it’s not for us. It’s for Darlene. I think it’s time to give her a cell phone. Besides she is already a teenager. It’s for her birthday anyway.”
“Awwww, that’s so sweet of you. But baby you don’t have to.”
“No, it’s okay. Let’s buy her one tomorrow.”
Matt — Tryna make things cool. He seemed like he’s hiding something from Tiff.
“So, whatchu think of Mimi? Dom dated her in college right?”
Matt, turned the TV on and sat on the couch.
“Yeah? I dunno babe. I have no idea.”
Tiff (confused), holding two cups of coffee, one for her and one for Matt.
“You have no idea??? Are you okay? (Giving the other cup to Matt) You were the one who told me that before!? You told me that Mimi and Dom dated? And that Mimi was awesome, and she was good in bed and that is…?? Hmm she is.. ugh.” And suddenly stopped talking for a second.
“Is there anything that I need to know Matt?” She asked.
“What? What do you mean? There’s none! What are you saying? Come on babe! It’s so early!” Matt became a little vex and for some reason, he decided to just leave Tiff’s house.
After a few minutes.
Tiff talking to Matt over the phone “What is wrong with you?!”
“What is wrong with me? Look, it is so early in the morning and you are such a nagger! Even in front of your children!” Matt yelling.
“I WAS JUST ASKING YOU, WHY WERE YOU SO ANGRY ABOUT IT? I DON’T UNDERSTAND! MY GOD.” Dropped the call.
Matt headed to the coffee shop right away.
Lexie: “Are you ready Phoeb?”
“I don’t think I can make it dude!”
“HAVE THE COURAGE… Remember? It’s better to try than not to. At least, you get an answer. What if it’s a yes?” Lexie answered
“And what if it’s a NO?!” scaredy-cat
“Whatevs! Let’s just try it okay? Do not be a cowardly dog, you idiot! Get ready! I’ll be there by 1.”
1 message received!
Cy: “Hmm, not sure yet. Maybe I will just go to the cafe and read some stories.”
Pots: “Alright, text me or call me when you are already there. I will ask Caleb to drop me off at the cafe after we finish the invites”
“Jess! Coffee later? I hate Matt!”
“Ugh. Okay. But Tiff I don’t have any plans of going out today, can we just have coffee at home? Come over here. Call Yassy and let’s talk it over a cup of coffee. What happened?”
“I dunno. I think he is hiding something.I hafta figure out. I’ll call Yassy and we’ll be there at 1.”
1PM – that same day (Phoebe’s house)
(Phoeb, in a hurry, locking the door, with her black backpack, wore his cap and hopped into Lexie’s car)
Phoeb: “I dunno. But, do I have a choice?”
Lexie: “THE FUDGE! Do you want this or not?”
“I do! I do! I was just kidding! haha Let’s go!”
1PM – that same day (Ronnie’s cafe)
Ronnie – about to sit at the table at the corner where Matt is. “Sorry dude, busy day. So what’s up? What happened?”
“It’s ok. Like as if I’m a customer here! I can manage. I even know how to prepare my own coffee.” Shaking his head. “Dude, I think I’m dead.”
“What the heck did you do?”
“I dunno, I got caught in the middle. I just showed Tiff like I got mad, but the truth is, I do not know what else to do. She kept on asking me about Mimi.”
“Uh-oh. You’re really dead man! I think it’s better if you tell Tiff right away.”
1PM – that same day (Jessica’s house)
“So what made you think he is hiding something from you?”
“Come on Yas! He just got mad! Like as if I did something really bad! I was only asking him about Mimi. That’s it.”
Jess: “Oh okay wai-wait. You mean Mimi? Mimi the Do-you-have-a-car-girl?”
“Exactly!” Tiff answered
“What do you mean Do-you-have-a-car-girl?”
“Well, Mimi, would always go for a guy who has a car. She won’t date you if you do not have a car. Regardless of your relationship status. Single, taken, married as long as you have a car. Old or new. handsome or not.. SHE- would date you.” Tiff answered.
“What the! For real?”
“Well, for the last few years that you were in the US Yas, that has been an issue. We even heard that she dated John Delos Reyes, Mark Felipe, Christian Lim, Anthony Ching, Carl, Nick and the rest of the gang. One group – one girl. The truth is – we didn’t mind. We never thought it’ll be an issue, besides we do not care. Plus, she never dated anybody in our group. But right after we saw her at the party of Dino..” (Shocked. Became a bit quiet. Thought of something.)
Yas: “Oh my God Jess! Do you think???”
“Oh my! No girls!!!!”Tiff
Took their cups and sipped altogether.
Lexie and Phoebe hiding outside.
Lexie: “There she is!! Go to her now and I will just order. I will be the one to do the thing.”
“Okay! Wish me luck!” Phoebe — a little nervous.
Phoebe: “Hey Cy!”
Cy, focused on the story, looked at her and greeted Phoebe. “Hey Phoeb! Who you with?”
“Ah, Lexie, he’s at the counter. Ordering some coffee.” Answered timidly.
“Ah okay. oh. Ordering? Over the counter? But, he can order here? Why does he have to order there?”
“Ah oh yeah. Uhm, he needs to go to the restroom too.” WHEW!
Cy, still reading, didn’t actually mind. “Hmm would you like to move to a different spot?”
“Sure! I think we can just sit at the smoking area. You know, Lexie smokes.”
“Alright, no problem.”
Heading outside of the cafe, Phoebe trying to look for Lexie, opened the door for Cy who is still reading some stories on her iPad.
AT THE COUNTER…
Lexie: “Boss Ronnie, we really need your help. Here’s the plan”
“You really like reading huh?” Phoebe asked Cy while grabbing one chair from the other table
“I am not a fan of reading. I love watching instead. And you know that. But the stories here do not always have a happy ending. REALITY you know.. Unlike in movies. These are like real stories. And I like the writer. Given the chance to meet her in person, I definitely would have the best day of my life.”
Phoebe smiled. “But it says here that she is an anonymous writer right? So how are you gonna see her”
“I dunno.” She answered.
“Hey! What’s up what’s up?!Yours.” (Lexie, giving the coffee to Phoebe and pinched her finger to let her know that everything is all set. Sat down and took a stick of a cigar.)
INSIDE THE CAFE
Matt: “So what do I do? Should I tell her? How? When? I dunno. This is gonna be a very big issue. I mean, you know Mimi.”
“Where is she now? I mean Tiff.” Rica asked. “Hon, can you get me a cup of coffee too, please. Thank you. (Talking to Ronnie)
“She isn’t responding. Kept on texting her and I even called her several times. But na-ah. Well, she usually goes to Jessica’s house.”
Yass: “So you think?…… You really think it happened that time huh?
Jess, slicing a piece of cake.
“Well, the only thing to figure that out is to call Chelsea.” Jess answered. “Try this out! Bought it in Laguna when I visited my grandma last Friday.
“If that is so, then let’s call her now!” Tiff hurriedly took her phone and dialed Chealsea’s number.
“Wow! This tastes really good.” Yass took a bite.
“It is indeed. Brazo de Fernando from Tedz Sta. Cruz, Laguna.”
“It’s just ringing! Is she busy?” Tiff asked.
“No idea. Or maybe she has an event today.”
“Maybe it’s better if we visit her sometime soon? Coffee maybe?” Yass suggested.
“That’s a great idea.”
“So where is Matt now?”
“I do not know. Or maybe at the cafe.” Responded Tiff.
Rica: “Ladies? Excuse me.”
Phoebe and Lexie looking at each other. Cy was a bit confused. Put down her ipad and looked at Rica.
“Yes Miss Rica?” Lexie pretended he doesn’t know anything.
Rica: “Ah, my husband gave handed these to me and asked told me that somebody came here yesterday and left this here. They were actually looking for you (looking at Cy)”
Cy, shocked: “Huh? Me? Left something? But I was here yesterday.”
“Well, yeah, I believe, an hour right after you left. The person looked okay though.” (Handed the bouquet of flowers with a card that says “You always look beautiful with that smile, Cyril”) A paper bag which has a teddy bear inside, And this. Paid for it yesterday and asked me to give you the coffee that you always order here. — So enjoy your day girls! See you around. I’ll get back to work.” Gave Lexie and Phoebe a wink!
Cy – still shocked. “Who could it be? I mean, I never talked to anybody here except you guys!”
Lexie and Phoebe still looking at each other. Confused. A little tensed though.
“Maybe one of your stalkers? Fans?” Lexie said.
“I swear, I do not have any idea. But the flowers are beautiful though… Wait. You guys ain’t playing me a joke huh?”
“And why would we do that?” Lexie asked.
“Ugh. Nah. I dunno. I just thought of it.”
Phoebe suddenly sent Lexie a message. “Where did you get the flowers???”
“I dunno! I only handed the bear and paid for the coffee and told Boss Ronie to pretend that someone was looking for her yesterday!”
Jessica’s house. at 6pm
Jess preparing dinner for the girls.
Yas: “Jess! Your cell phone is ringing!” Looked at it. “Hey!!! It’s Chase!”
Jessica, heard it. Heard that Chase is calling her. But she didn’t say a word.
Tiff: “Jess? Chase is on the phone?!”
Girls started to wonder why she ain’t responding. And not even answering the call.
Yas went to the kitchen and showed Jessica her phone. “3 missed calls, dear. Something wrong? I thought you guys are now ok? I mean you were there last time. You had dinner with his family? Right?”
“Something happened?” Tiff.
Jessica, preparing the table. “Ah. nah. I dunno. I just felt like, were okay that night. Yes. But.. (stopped for a moment). But I don’t think it is right. I mean yeah, we are friends.”
“I ain’t seeing anything wrong with that? Both of you are single.” Yas, While trying to taste the chicken on the table.
Jessica opened the fridge — And slightly closed it — looked at the two girls. “That’s what I actually thought as well.”
“Okay. So oh my God, you mean he is not single?” Tiff asked.
“I am not sure. But I do not know if I am interested in figuring out.”
Yas: “And why do you think is he calling you?”
“Oh we are always like this. Like we talk once in a while. Then a gap. Then talk again. Then a gap. Talk – gap -talk – gap. He was asking me dinner today though. Maybe that’s why he’s calling again. He called me this morning.”
“But courtesy at least Jess? Tell him you ain’t available?” Tiff.
“I dunno. I just don’t feel like talking to any guys today.”
Ronnie: “Hey! It’s been a long time. Heard that you and Jess are dating again. Or aren’t you? Whe’ where is she?”
Chase: “That’s actually the reason why I am here. I am looking for her. Didn’t she come here today? She told me she works here all the time.”
Matt: “Nah dude. She didn’t. But most probably they are having a girls night out. My girlfriend is also there. Didn’t you call her?”
Chase: “I tried. But she didn’t answer.”
Ronnie: “Oh these girls. Uncontrolled huff you know. Anything to drink Chase?”
Chase: “Oh! Sure! Great, I’ll try your coffee of the day?”
“Hey, girls! Wow! What a beautiful set of flowers. Ugh. This is??” Pots just arrived.
“Well, somebody gave it to me and I still do not have any idea who is it from,” Cy answered.
“Oh, my G! You have a stalker!!!! He must be very handsome, and hot and oh my God!!! This is it!!!! You better find him” Pots, very enthusiastic while thinking who the guy is — or it is really a guy?
Lexie and Phoebe looked at each other.
Phoebe felt a little bad about it. And Lexie suddenly sent him a message.
1 message received!
It’s okay. Don’t mind them. They actually do not know who the sender is. So that’s fine. Don’t feel bad. Let’s figure out who that is.
Ronnie: “Would you guys like to go out tonight? Catch up?”
Chase: “It’s fine with me. My treat!”
“Sounds great!” Matt said.
The boys went out for a drink. Rica went home already. The three girls are still at Jessica’s house. The teens went home already.
1 message received!
Phoeb: “Oh my g! What am I gonna do!!!!”
Called Lexie right away. RING! RING!
“Lex!!! the fudge. She texted me! She’s asking me if I can accompany her tomorrow. She needs to buy something for Pots’ wedding!”
“Girl! You know what to do. Push! Goodluck.” Lexie answered
“But I am still wondering who that asshole is?!” Phoebe talking about the flower sender.
“Phoeb I’m already sleepy. Let’s talk about it later.” CALL ENDED
“Sure! I’ll be there tomorrow before lunch?” Phoebe replied to Cyril’s message.
“Oh great! Thanks, Phoeb! You’re the best! See you tomorrow! Goodnight! Kisses!” Cy replied.
PHOEBE – can’t breathe.
Matt: “So Chase, how long do you plan to stay here? Or are you staying for good?”
“I am still actually trying to weigh things first. Well, I will, of course, have to stay for my kid Yanna, as you know, her mother and I separated a few years ago. Her mother already has a new husband and I am only responsible for looking after Yanna.” Chase answered.
“You are still good dad! I can’t believe Jessica let go of you in the past.” Ronnie butt in.
“Ah. Nope. It was actually my choice then. I never really noticed her. I was only into playing computer games way back and I was not into getting committed. And then one day, I saw a post from my friends on facebook and she was tagged in the photo. And I asked my friend if it’s Jessica. And they said yes. I tried finding her right away for some reason that I do not know, but things are getting really hard for the both of us. Fate leads us to a different path.” Grabbed a bottle of beer and took a sip.
“What do you mean?” Matt asked.
“Way back after I graduated from High school, I never saw her again. I got the chance to though, but she was with someone else that time. And when she was studying in college, I got the chance to see her at a bar in the metro but she was with her friends so I didn’t call her. When I added her on facebook and started talking to her again, I thought she isn’t interested in me anymore. And then I tried again when I got back home this month but something happened last week.”
Matt and Ronnie looked at each other.
“I invited her at home last week to hang out and catch up. My mom saw her and invited her over for dinner.” He explained.
“That’s it? I’m not seeing anything wrong with that.” Ronnie said
“But that’s just not it. That same night my sisters asked me to buy a drink for all of us and asked her to stay for a little while so we can bond more. It was okay at first. Heard my kid Yanna crying so I had to ran to her room and check her up. When I got back my sisters told me that she went home.” He added
“But what was the problem? I mean, why did she suddenly leave?”
“I got mad at my siblings I thought they did something bad to make her leave but I realized that Jess and my sisters are very close friends. So I tried calling her again. But no answer. Sent her a message and asked her if something is wrong. Until I received a message late that night.” Took a deep breath. “It was Jess saying she received a message from Donna telling her that she saw Jess at the gate of our house and that she wants to fix things with us so its better for Jess to back off.”
“Wow! That was close! So what did you do? What is your decision by the way?” Matt asked
“I actually do not have any idea. But as you know, Donna gave up on me the day I got back to Dubai and she chose to stay with a different guy only because she cannot stand a long distance relationship. Jessica has been there for me and is still a good friend of mine even if I never liked before.” Chase answered
“Well, dude, we know her well. Even if she really likes the person and even if she has already fallen in love with him, she’d still do the right thing. Well for at least that’s what we know about her.” Ronnie explained
“And she has gone through a lot but she never showed us that she is in pain. She is a very strong person. So you really wouldn’t know if she’s mad or not.” Matt added
The guys decided to just call it a night after a few more bottles. Left the bar and all went home.
The following morning.
“Wow! You are so early! Why are you so excited?! But that’s okay. So we can still hang out later after I finish what I need to buy.”
“Let’s go?” Phoebe asked Cy with a smile while hopping into the car
Phoebe: “Hmm? You ain’t holding your iPad?”
“Well, it’s just you and me inside the car. I don’t want to look rude reading and just let you drive. Besides, I might feel dizzy and let’s talk about stuff. You know what?” Stretched her left arm to the headrest of the car and sat comfortably. “I still do not have any idea who the flower sender is.”
“And are you interested in finding him?” Phoebe asked.
“Well only to find out who he is. Make friends or something? Or just to say thank you.” Cy answered
“If it is someone that you know, how would you feel about it?”
“Phoeb if it’s someone that I know, he must have a good reason why he chose to stay anonymous when he can just give the flowers to me personally.” Cy answered
1 new message received!
Jess, just woke up and stretching. Scratched her eyes. And yawn. Took her phone and checked it.
“Ugh. 7 missed calls and 9 messages received!? Who are these people?” Checked her messages one by one.
“Tiff, ugh okay. Uncle Chi. Ryan. Gilbert and uh..”
Chase: good morning.
Chase: are you up already?
Chase: Can we talk?
Chase: please hit me up when you are awake.
Chase: please lets talk.
Put the phone down and went back to sleep. Opened her eyes again. Took the phone again and replied to Chase.
“Okay. Let’s see later”
Yawning. “Ugh headache. This is what I hate the most. I really don’t like this feeling.” Yas
“Hey, girls! The queen is up! Morning! Hangover sucks. Let me know if we will go to Chelsea today. I will have to drop by the cafe first. I will also bring the invitation for my birthday.”
Ronnie’s Cafe – morning
“Morning! Oh. It’s just you?” Yas
“Ah Ma’am no, sir Ronnie is inside.” Guard
“Oh. Okay. Can I just leave this here and just give it to —
“Yassy??” Ronnie saw her.
“Ahm. Yeah. I just dropped by to give this to you. Invitation. For my ah bday this October.”
“Would love to be there,” Ronnie answered excitedly.
“Ugh. Kindly tell Rica to come to.” Yassy added.
“Ugh isn’t ah – the group bonding?” Ronnie asked.
“Isn’t she part of the group? She is your wife so I believe she has to be there too.”
“Ah okay. If you say so.”
“Alright, I will leave now. I have a lot of client meetings today.”
“Oh! Ugh. Yassy? Coffee?”
“Ah it’s okay I already had coffee at home.”
“I insist. Please stay. Even for 30 minutes.”
Yassy just smirked, smiled, put down her bag on the table and sat down the couch.
At the mall..
“Is there anything else that we need to buy here?” Phoebe asked Cyril
“No, I don’t think so. I think we still have time to hang out. Coffee? My treat” Cy offered.
“Oh no! It’s okay. I’ll pay for it. Where would you like to hang out?” Phoeb insisted
“Whatevs Phoeb. My treat okay? Come!” Grabbed Phoebe’s hand and ran to the coffee shop.
Matt: Message sent!
Baby, pls. talk to me. I am sorry about what happened yesterday. I just really felt bad because you were nagging me in the morning.
Tiff: 1 New Message received!
Read the message, put the phone down and took a bath.
Yassy shouting “Tiff!! Jess!! I am already here! Let’s go… It’s a 3-hour drive we have to go now” honk! honk!
“Coming! Let’s go, Jess!” Tiff headed to Jessica’s house this morning and waited for Yassy there. The girls are leaving for a 3-hour drive to see Chelsea. The boys really do not have any idea about this vacay.
“Mom, my friends will visit us today. We will be going out this noon to have coffee. Is there any errand that you would like me to run first?”
“Na-uh honey! You go, it’s fine. You can take a rest today and unwind. You deserve that.”
“Thanks, mom!” Chealsea answered
Who is Chelsea? Will the girls find out what happened to Matt and Mimi at Dom’s party? Who is the flower sender? What was Jessica’s reason why she suddenly felt off towards Chase? Is the 30-min talk at the cafe enough for Ronnie to tell Yas how he feels about getting jealous? Where is Jerry?
“We sometimes fight for love, because we choose to fight for it — Even if we know that we will never win it..”
………………………..It was 10 in the evening when I decided to take a bath. I wonder why I have been so tired the whole day when all I did was just to sit and work in the office. Took the towel and headed on to the bathroom.
Slowly dipped into the hot tub and.. ugh.. feels great. This is what I always do when I am tired… I would always choose to stay in the tub for an hour or two when I am tired or stressed at work than to go out and party. Staring at the ceiling with random things on my mind. What might have been? What could have been? What if? Shoulda, woulda, coulda. “brain drain” yes! I think I need a break. Took me some time to have finally decided on what to do…
Done! And yeah. okay, that’s it. Now, where did I put my laptop?? Where to?? Hmmm with or without someone?
“Jenny? Would you like to come with me tomorrow?Planning to go to Cebu….Oh! Okay.. I’ll see you next time then.”
“Hey Julie what’s up! You free tomorrow? Would you like to unwind? Let’s book a flight to Cebu tomorrow!!!! Ugh, I see. Okay. Maybe next time..”
“Pete!!! Want to go boy hunting tomorrow? Let’s fly to Cebu! It’ll be fun… Oh sure! You gay! Let’s catch up soon..”
Alright then, I guess it’s going to be just me… Again.. The hardest part of being single.
Booked! 10 am, March 8, 2016. See you tomorrow Cebu! Goodnight everyone…
7 in the morning… prepped up and headed to the airport…
“Good morning ladies and gentlemen! Welcome aboard. Flight 507 bound for Cebu. Please fasten your seatbelt and refrain from smoking while the NO SMOKING sign is on. From Captain Lopez and the crew, it is our pleasure to serve you today. If there is anything you need to make your flight enjoyable, please let us know. Thank you.”
“Oh Dear Lord, thank you for this day. Thank you for making my life awesome. I may not be that happy..for now.. because I am single but I sure am grateful for everything that you provide me. I am very blessed with family and everything that I have. Thank you for all of this. Please bless this flight.”
Took my headset, played a song and I fell into sleep.
“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Cebu. Local time is 11:15 in the morning. For your safety and comfort, please remain seated with your seatbelt fastened until the Captain turns off the Fasten your seatbelt sign. This will indicate the sign that we have already parked at the gate and that is it safe for you to move about.
Please check around your seat for any belongings you may have brought on board with you and please use caution when opening the overhead bins, as heavy articles may have shifted around during the flight.
If you require deplaning assistance, please remain seated until all other passengers have already deplaned and an attendant will come to you and will be pleased to assist you.
On behalf of Cebu Pacific, Captain Lopez and his crew, Thank you for flying with us. We are all looking forward to seeing you again in your next flight. Have a great day ahead and enjoy your vacation.”
Oh great! Finally. When I was about to deplane, I accidentally dropped my cell phone. Oh crap! ugh. So clumsy!
“Here..” and smiled…
“Oh! Why.. Thank you.” A guy suddenly handed me my phone. Who is he? He looks cute though. Anyway, I got off the plane and headed to pick up my luggage.
12:00 in the afternoon…
“I think it’s better to have lunch first. I need to eat first.”
Inhale..exhale… This is life! I have never felt this for a long time… Okay.. So, I better go to the hotel first and I’ll have lunch there.
A van came to pick me up and drive me to the hotel. I had a reservation at The Shang Mactan.
On my way to the hotel, the driver asked.
“Ma’am welcome to Cebu. Kayo lang po ba? Taga saan po kayo?” (Ma’am, welcome to Cebu, are you alone? Where are you from?”
“Yes, ako lang kuya.” (Yes, I’m alone on this trip.” I answered. He’s very nice to ask and chat with me to make me feel at ease while traveling to the hotel.
“Ma’am andito na po tayo. Sana po mag enjoy po kayo dito sa Cebu” (Ma’am we just arrived at the hotel. I hope you enjoy your stay here”
“Sure. Thanks!” Gave him a tip and smiled at him.
“Hi! Reservation for Atty. Yasiera Mae Rondillo.”
“Hi, Atty.! Welcome to Shang Mactan. Here’s the key to your deluxe room 407. Enjoy your stay here!”
Smiled and headed to my room right away. As I lay me down to bed, I thought of what the driver asked me a while ago. “Are you alone on this trip?” I wonder why most people ask if a person goes on a trip alone. What is wrong with going on a trip alone? Anyhow, welcome to Cebu Yassy.. Let’s do this!
Took a quick shower and prepped up for today’s activity. White tee goes with a pair of denim shorts and hmm how about a nude pair of gladiator sandals?! Alright, that would do. Oh and… hmm my hat! My co-worker Liza gave this to me two months ago. So where to first? Oh, my I haven’t eaten yet. I almost forgot. Locked the hotel room and went to the reception. “Hi, I wonder if there is someone available who can assist me for today’s trip?” “Of course Atty. please have a seat and I will call the one available to accompany you today.” “Thank you”
After a couple of minutes. “Ma’am, your driver has arrived. Just tell him the places that you would like to visit or see. And he will take you there. Have fun!”
Thanked the guard and winked at him. When I was about to approach the van, I saw the driver smiling at me. Opened the door and said, “Hello Ma’am ako po ulit ito.” (Hello, Ma’am it’s me again) “Oh hello sir! It’s nice to see you again today.” “Ma’am saan nyo po gusto muna magpunta?”(Ma’am where would like to go first?)
“Sir, right at this moment? I actually do not have any idea. I haven’t eaten anything yet though. But I don’t really know what to do first… I just want to.. I just want to take a break… I don’t want to think of anything..”
“Sige po ma’am, alam ko na po kung saan ko kayo unang dadalin” (Alright ma’am, I think I already know where you need to go first” And he smiled.
I do not know if I would feel bad or scared of where this man could take me to, but all I can feel that time was, he is a good person.
It took us a little time before heading on to the place. Feels like the day is getting a little boring. I dunno if it’s because I still am tired or just because I am overwhelmed with how good Cebu is. Anyhow, I think the driver felt that I am a little quiet and he asked me some questions.
“Ma’am wag nyo pong mamasamain ang aking tanong. Sa tagal ko na po sa trabahong ito, pang-walo pa lang po kayo sa taong naihatid ko ng solo dito sa Cebu, wala po ba kayong boyfriend? asawa? pamilya? Pasensya na po. Napansin ko lang po na para kayong malungkot” (Ma’am I hope you don’t mind. I’ ve been working in this field for a long time and you’re the 8th person that I have served here going on a trip alone. Don’t you have a boyfriend? husband? family? I am sorry ma’am, I just noticed that it seems like you are a little sad)”
Staring outside the window of the car, I smiled and answered. “Ok lang ako kuya, sanay akong mag isa. Madalas nagbabakasyon ako kasama ng pamilya, mga kaibigan. Pero mas madalas solo. Biglaan na plano lagi. Nag eenjoy naman ako so far.” (I’m okay sir. I’m used to it. I usually spend my vacation with my family, close friends. But most of the time, I go alone. Unplanned. But I I enjoy it so far.)
He just gave me a quick smile while nodding. I bet he believed I really am enjoying my trip alone.
A few minutes later…
“Ma’am, andito na po tayo. Sasakay po kayo ng bangka. Mga 30-40 minutes po. Hindi nyo po pagsisihan ang lugar na ito. Sana’y ma enjoy nyo po ang tour ninyo. Welcome to SUMILON ISLAND ma’am. (Ma’am, we just arrived. You will take a boat ride for 30-40 minutes. You won’t regret this trip ma’am. I hope you’ll be able to enjoy this tour. Welcome to SUMILON ISLAND ma’am)
When as I was about to pick up my things, he opened the door of the van and took my bags.
“Wow! Just wow!”
The first time I had a glance at it, I fell in love right away. It suddenly changed my mood. Thanked the driver for taking me here. And smiled.
Inhale.. Exhale.. Wow.. This is life…
Took the boat ride and embraced each and every minute of what I am seeing… After 30-40 minutes, we have finally arrived at Sumilon Island.
Wow. Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful view. You are just amazing.
Looked for a spot and unrolled my tube skirt given by my mom when she visited Boracay a year ago and sat down.
Wow! I still can’t believe there is a spot here in the Philippines like this. Oh well, ME-TIME starts now.
Took my tank top and shorts off. Wore my sunglasses, sat down and thought of random things…
“Excuse me? Yas? Yasiera Mae? Atty. Rondillo? The famous Yassy Rondi of batch 1996? Jerry!! Jerry Cecillo of batch 1995. Remember? The slim boy..? Ronie’s best friend?.. Hmm, The bully guy…Okay.. I think I talk too much..?”
Giggled. “But of course! I remember you. I will never forget you.”
FLASHBACK! August of 2001…
“I know! hahaha But baby, I think it is better if we just hang out with them later?! What do you think?”
“Yeehee, you want to spend more time with me?!”
“YOU WISH! hahaha kiddin! Of course, and you have been hanging out with them since last Tuesday because of basketball. Let’s watch a movie first… please, please, please?”
“Alright, baby. You win!”
Back to the beach.. 2016…
“What’s up? How are you?”
“All good! How are you? We never heard anything about you hmm after the issue.”He said
“Oh! Yeah. Right after I graduated from Law, I went back to the US and stayed there for a couple of years. Until my grandmother died in 2006, so I went back home here. I took the bar exam in 2008 and started working in 2009 in Makati. I now have my law firm.” I answered.
“Okay wait! So you mean, you’ve been here since 2006?”
“What the! Wait, wait! Are you with someone? Family? Friends? Husband? Boyfriend?” He asked.
Giggled. “This is the second time someone asked me if I am with someone on this trip. And the same answer, I am alone on this trip. And still single.”
“For real?? Okay. Ugh. I have no idea, what this is all about, or why this is happening. But is it okay, if I invite you for dinner later?”
“I don’t see anything wrong with that?” I answered.
“Great! Where do you stay?”
“I am staying at Shang mactan, this is supposed to be a day trip, but I might just look for a lodging here then I will just, I dunno, whatever the plan is later, just let me know.”
“Cool! Can I have your number? catch up maybe?”
“Sure! It’s 09178925763”
“I’ll call you later! See you! I’ll just get back to the friends and I’ll call you later!”
“Alright. Laters!” Smiled and started playing some songs on my phone. Wondered, what was it all about?
FLASHBACK.. November of 2004…
“I know Ronnie! But, listen, okay. it was my fault.I know it was my fault. Come on baby, why can’t you just forgive me. I mean, it wasn’t really a big deal. I know that hurt your feelings, but do you really think I would do that? Do you really think I can do that? Or do you really think I WILL DO THAT?? Of course not! It’s just that, I think, you are stressed out at work and your mom is a little annoying these days, and that you lost your wallet. I just.. I just think you need to spend time alone. And that I think, you are experiencing these things because of me..”
“Yassy? Please. Can you just… Can you just leave me alone?”
“What is wrong with you!? It wasn’t intentional! I mean, please baby, okay I am so sorry. I never really wanted to leave. I won’t do that. I was just thinking about you and that maybe your life became a mess when we started dating. You lost your wallet, you forgot your monthly report at work, you lost the game twice, your car’s a mess, you.. you.. your life just became different when I came. “
“Look! We have been dating for almost 3 months now. We act like as if we really are a couple, we may not be committed to each other anymore but I learned to love you. I am used to seeing you every day, you are aware that I ain’t ready for any relationship yet, since the day Jenny died. It has always been very traumatic every time I get to fall in love with a person because I don’t want the person to leave me. And here you are, telling me that you will leave me for a moment only because you think that you are the bad luck in my life! What the fuck yassy!”
“Baby, all I want you to say is.. STAY..” I cried.
“Hi, Yassy! Jerry here. I’ll see you at 7ish? I’ll just prep up..Same spot..And let’s decide there..”
I stayed at a coffee shop somewhere there. A small spot where I can stay to check my email. Okay. I guess I will have to go there now. And wait for Jerry.
As I was approaching the spot where Jerry saw me this noon, there was this guy walking towards me. Familiar. Heart’s beating fast. Sweating. I think I know him, I’m just not sure.
“Hey, Yassy.” Jerry greeted me. “Are you okay? Seems like you are looking for someone from a distance?” He asked.
“Ugh. Nah, I.. I just thought I..Never mind..”
“Hi, Miss..” I suddenly heard a familiar voice. And looked behind me. Shocked.
“Yassy, I hope you don’t mind. I also invited him here because I’m actually with him and the rest of the gang.”
I was still surprised and cannot even say a word. It’s the guy from the past. It’s him. Everything stopped for a moment.
FLASHBACK.. December 2004..
“Jerry?! It’s okay. I am on the verge of giving up even if I don’t want to. But, I.. I think it’s time. I mean, I have done my part. I never wanted to give up on him. I learned to love him. I am happy with him. I don’t understand why he can’t even forgive me. It’s not really a big deal. Been saying sorry for the past 3 weeks. He doesn’t even respond to my messages. He doesn’t even answer my calls. I have texted him many times. I give up! Or. No, I never really wanted to. But he’s pushing me away. And I have been suffering from this pain since the day he decided to let go of me. Yes, we are not committed to each other. But I know and I can feel that he has already fallen in love. Or maybe, maybe it’s just me who thinks that way. And I think it’s time, to save some for myself.”
“Yassy? Yassy? Is everything okay?”
“Oh! Yeah. I’m sorry. I was just. I was just surprised. Yeah! Of course! So what’s the plan?” I was so surprised that I got caught staring at him. After 12 years… After 12 freaking years… I never thought I’d still see this guy. Indeed, a blast from the past!
“Yeah. Okay, where d’you wanna go?” Jerry asked.
“I actually have no idea. Maybe we can just find a spot and hang out there.” I suggested.
“Okay, here. I’ll leave you guys here, and I’ll buy some beer… If.. It’s fine with you guys? Ronnie? Yassy?”
“Ah yeah of course. It’s…It’s okay.” I answered quickly.
“Oh sure. Yes. Of course. I’d love to. I mean, yeah no, no worries.” Ronnie said.
Jerry left us and there was silence for a while.
“So,” both of us said, trying to open up a convo.
“Ah yeah, you first.” He said
“No, no you first,” I said.
“Ah, no go ahead! You first.”
“Ugh. So yeah. What’s ah, what’s up? It’s been for more than a decade since I last saw you. How’s life?”
“Yeah. More than a decade now… Since the day I died twice.” He answered.
Confused. “I’m sorry?”
“Yes. The day you I pushed you away, I died. And the day you went to the US… I died twice.”
I stood up right away. I never really wanted to talk about it. But he took my hand.
“Yassy! Please. Give me a chance. Listen first.”
That moment, I wanted to cry, like as if, it took me back from the past. I felt the same pain I felt 12 years ago.
“Yassy, the day I decided to let go of you..”
FLASHBACK.. Last week of November in 2004..
“Dude! Ano ba kaseng problema mo? Ang babaw kase tsong. Nag sorry naman na si Yassy. Ano pa bang problema dun?” (Dude! What is wrong with you? It’s so petty! Yassy already said sorry. What else do you want?)
“Jerry, hindi mo naiintindihan. Hayaan mo na sya.” (Jerry, you will never understand. Just let her.)
“Dude! She’s already having a hard time. She’s been crying every day. Goes out a lot drinking! She will take her exams this week. You have to understand. The person is taking up law!”
“That day, Jerry kept on telling me about how things are getting really difficult for you already. And I didn’t mind.”
TEARS want to fall from my eyes that very moment while he was telling me about what happened.
“I asked him not to butt into the situation. It was my choice. It was my choice to let go of you. Because I was afraid. I was afraid that I might just not be able to handle it again, if… If you suddenly leave me. It was hard for me to do it too. See you were taking up Law that time. Your life was so okay. Your life was fun and never dull. Until I came. My life was dull and boring.. Until you came. You put colors to my life. I was so happy… I was so happy that led me to become so afraid of dying again. I was so afraid that I might commit suicide if I’d get to fall in love more than the way I felt with Jenny. See when she died from the car accident, I almost killed myself for not eating almost every day. But you pulled me up and helped me recover.”
“Ronnie? I don’t think this is the right time to talk about this. I’m sorry”
For some reason, I wanted to stay and listen to him but my mind is telling me no… No, Yassy. Leave now. I left while tears are falling from my eyes.
“Yassy!!! Yassy wait!!!”
“Dude!? Wha’ what happened? Why’d she leave? Dude what did you do? Ugh. you idiot! Wait up! Hold these bottles, I’ll chase her…………… ugh no. Go chase her! You! ugh! Go! Now!”
“Yassy! Yassy wait!.. Yassy please… Let’s talk. I know that you have already moved on.. that you are already happy now, having a good life, good job, your own house, your own car, a lucky husband…I just..”
“I.. don’t.. have.. a husband..” I whispered.
“Huh? Wai’what? boyfriend maybe?” he asked. “Yassy, even for just a minute. Just give me a chance.”
“Ok. I will give you 5 minutes to explain even if it won’t make any sense anymore.”
“Thank you! Thank you! I am sorry. It was my bad. I was afraid that time. I was afraid, not knowing that being afraid can cause me more pain. I never thought of trusting you instead.”
“Okay. Can I leave now?” I didn’t know what else to say, turned my back and just left.
Found a small bar.. looked for a spot and ordered a couple of booze…
Singer: “Remember when we held on in the rain, the nights we almost lost it.. Once again, we can take the night into tomorrow… Living on feelings… Touching you I feel it, all again..”
“Dude! Ano oras ang flight?! Pucha naman bat ngayon mo lang sinabi!!!! Pare naman!!! Alam mo namang ilang araw ko na syang tinawagan at di nga sinasagot ang mga tawag at text ko! Pati helper nila tinatawagan ko hindi ako sinasagot!” (Dude! What time is her flight?! Fuck why didn’t you tell me earlier?! Dude! You are very well aware that I have been calling her and texting her even the helper! But I am receiving no answers at all!)
“Is this seat taken?”
“Oh hi Jerry, no it’s okay. Beer?” I offered.
“He’s been looking for you since you left him there… Ugh no. He has been looking for you since 2004.. A bottle of beer, please! You want anything?”
“No, I’m good. Thank you.” Took a deep breath… “Jerry? What happened when I left, back in 2004?”
“When I saw you here this noon, everything came back in a snap..I was overwhelmed for my friend. I was surprised. I was shocked. But happy at the same time.”
“Happy?” I asked.
“Yes. Yassy? God has his own reasons why you are here, why he is here, why we are all here today. It has been what? 10? 12 years ago? When you told me that you were leaving for the States and asked me not to tell him, I never did, until the day of your flight. I never wanted to be unfair with you so I didn’t tell him.. RIGHT AWAY… I never wanted to be unfair with my best friend. So I told him, but on the day of your flight. Yassy, when he decided to leave you, he was actually suffering from the pain that Jenny left him, his mom was suffering from cancer.”
“HUH? WHY DIDN’T HE..” I had to butt in! I was surprised!
“No, wait, listen first.. his dad left them, he was so angry that time. He never really wanted to tell you, because you were taking up law that time. He was so down not knowing that you can be someone who can save him from losing himself. He actually thought of you and not himself. He never really wanted to be a burden for you. He was afraid of losing another person when everybody else seems to be like leaving. You were his confidant, yes, but he was afraid that you might just leave him if you’d learn all the issues he was trying to solve that time. He didn’t know what to do. When you told him that you will leave him, he knew then, that you will never do it. But he was afraid that you might. That took him a long time to realize. When you were trying to send him messages, he was always with me. He was so down. He misses you every day, he wanted to send you messages every day, respond to your messages everyday, but..”
“But he DIDN’T!” Crying
“He didn’t because he was just.. he was just not sure if you will still accept him..”
“What the fuck Jerry! Did you guys really think I won’t be able to handle that kind of situation? His life was dull and boring before we started dating! He was so down because Jenny just died. What other tests would you guys like me to try?”
“Yes, and it was too late when he realized it. The day of your flight, I called him. He was still sleeping that time because he used to go out every day, drinking with friends, always getting home late and drunk. It was 1sh in the afternoon, and your flight was 6 in the evening. Yas? He went to the airport. He tried his luck that maybe..just maybe he can still see you and can still say sorry. But you have already checked in. “
SURPRISED. Heart’s beating so fast.
“He tried his best to communicate with you while you were away. But you were not answering his emails. He called your mom. He called your best friend Tina. He called your friends and they all said, just let her be. He didn’t stop stalking you, until he saw a photo with a PhilAm guy at a party that says With the best boyfee in the world“
“Wai’, Wha’ Ho’.. Oh my God! With the best boyfee in the world. Yes! The best boyfriend.. boy – friend.. guy friend… You know?! It never meant I was committed! ugh”
“Oh for real?! stupid. hahaha!”
“Why would I joke around?! The problem with your best friend is – he assumes all the time. He assumes that I will leave him, he assumes that I have already forgotten him and that I committed myself with someone in the US right after a few months huh?! For real? tsk” I explained.
“That time, his mom died of cancer, his dad went back for them. His sister left for Dubai. You see, he felt like everybody’s gonna leave him.” Shaking his head. “I think he’s gay!” He whispered.
“No, but kidding aside, Yas? He never stopped loving you. He has been blaming his attitude since the day you left. He has decided to stop working in 2005 of August. He was always drunk. Getting into trouble all the time, rushing him to the hospital twice a month. His life became miserable. I remember back in 2006. “
FLASHBACK.. February of 2006..
Police car… Siren of the ambulance…
“FUCK PARE! Ano ba kaseng problema mo! Hindi ka ba napapagod makipag away! Sawang sawa na mga tao isalba ka! Nakakaawa na si tito!” (Fuck Dude! What is the matter with you? Aren’t you getting tired of this shit? People are getting tired of saving you from this! I feel bad for you dad!)
Few hours later. Room 203
Jerry: “How are you feeling? Feeling better?!” Punch!
Ronnie: “Ouch! Siraulo ka! Wag mo nga akong suntukin ang sakit pa kaya!” (Ouch! Crazy! Don’t punch me you, idiot! It is still painful!.. But you know what dude? What is even more painful than this? It was my life in 2004. When Yassy left. I thought her life is gonna be better off without me. Yes, I guess. Maybe she’s a lawyer now. Her life is awesome, She has an American BOYFEE.. ugh.. that BOYFEE.. I thought I’ll be fine without her… It even made my life miserable.”
“Ronnie, if you really want her, it’s never late! Be better. Be better than yesterday. Look at you! And Yassy is not the only girl in the world.”
“But she’s the perfect WOMAN for me. Because she’s the only one who was there for me when my life was incomplete. And I just broke her heart”
“Be better than yesterday Dude. One day, you’ll find answers. Someday..”
“Jerry? I still don’t know what to say.”
“2006, he applied for a new job. It was then when he realized that things are getting better for him. He learned. He stood up and he helped himself.”
“I am still puzzled, Jerry. Let’s call it a night?”
“Okay. Where do you stay? I’ll walk you to your hotel.” Jerry offered.
“I stay in Shang, but tonight I’ll just find a lodging here somewhere.”
“There is a GLAMPING TENT at Blue Water resort here in Sumilon, would you like to try that? That is actually where we stay too. Don’t worry it is safe and I won’t let Ronnie bother you”
“Okay. Let’s go there now.”
“Wow! This is cool! Anyhow, Jerry? Thank you. Thank you for today. Thank you for always being there for Ronnie, for me. Thank you for always being there for us. “
“Goodnight Yas.” And he just smiled.
It was already 1:30 in the morning and I still can’t sleep. I went out of the glamping tent and sat down. My glamping tent is next to theirs. They are just a few steps away from me. And yes, what is this all about? Why am I really here? Why are we all here? What is this all about?
Laid down and fell asleep. Yes. Outside the glamping tent. >.<
“Oh Shit! The sun is shining! Ugh! I actually fell asleep outside the tent! Gosh.”
“Oh! Why! What!? What is this?”
Found a blue towel on top of me. Smiled. And yeah. He is still the sweetest.
Looked at me and smiled. “Morning Jerry”.
“Breakfast? Come with us. Ronnie, prepared something for the gang.” He invited me to join them for breakfast.
And yeah. I joined them.
At the table…
“Morning Yas” Ronnie greeted me.
I smiled and said, “Morning”…
“Miss, coffee?” Ronnie offered.
“Wala naman lason to? Thank you.”(No poison? Thank You.)Giggled.
And everything started there… AGAIN. That time, I thought of giving him another chance. Maybe, just maybe… There is a reason… Why we got the chance to talk again.
Right after breakfast, I took a break under the tree next to my glamping. Where the shade is so inviting…
He sat next to me. And smiled. I smiled back.
“So what’s keeping you busy?” I initiated a topic.
“Well, I ah, I now manage my own business. As you know, it has been my dream to put up my own coffee shop. Have it at the metro. If you have a lot of time, you can visit anytime”.
“Okay, so are you inviting me to have coffee or to just visit your shop?” Giggled.
“Haha both?” He answered.
“Let’s see. I’ll let you know when I get back to Manila.”
“And how’d I know? I do not have your number..” He said.
“Well, I can give it to you.. But I’ll think of it first” Giggled again.
“Yassy? I just want to say sorry about..”
“Ronnie? It’s okay. Forget about it”
He smiled. And I smiled back.
“Guys, I have to get back to my hotel now. It’s nice seeing you all.”
“Yassy, when are you going back to Manila?” Jerry asked.
“I’ll be going back to Manila tomorrow. I have a client meeting on Monday” I answered.
“Oh Great! Alright! What time is your flight back to Manila?” Jerry asked.
“I see. What’s your number? So we can meet you there or visit you maybe?” Ronnie asked.
Gave my number to Ronnie and headed back to Shang.
“Hi, Atty. Good morning! Your client meeting at 10 in the morning is canceled today.”
My secretary called me.
“Mrs. Reyes said, she can’t come today. She needs to accompany her daughter at the hospital. She asked me if we can reschedule the meeting on Thursday?”
“Ahuh. I see. Alright then, kindly check my schedule on Thursday and just talk to her about it. Is there any other schedule for today?”
“Well, you actually asked me not to schedule anything today, since you just got back from Cebu last night, except for the one with Mrs. Reyes which is canceled.”
“Alright. I’ll see you tomorrow. Thank you”
When I was about to get back to sleep..Ring! Ring!
“Yassy?” It’s a guy. Voice is familiar.
“Ugh. Hello. Yeah? Who’s this?”
“Jerry here! Seems like you didn’t save my number?! haha You free today?”
“Oh Hi!.. Well fortunately yes. The meeting is canceled. What’s up?”
“Great! Let’s hang out! Let’s visit Ronnie’s coffee shop today”
I was a bit shaky, stood up and answered “Ugh. Okay. Where is it again?”
“No, you don’t have to drive yourself there. Will pick you up at 2ish?”
“I see, okay. See you guys later!”
I was a bit excited! What to wear? Okay. Calm down Yassy.. Everything’s gonna be fine. Breathe in, breathe out.
Tic toc tic toc.. I got myself prepped up at 1ish.
1 message received!
“Hi Yas. OTW”
“Oh. Hi!” Surprised. It’s Jerry. Only Jerry.
On our way to the shop, he was a bit quiet. It’s not the same.
“Are you okay?” I asked.
“Oh yes. Of course.” He answered. “Yas?” Follow up question. “How long have you been single?”
“Hahaha and what is up with that question? Oh well, I’ve never had gotten into a relationship since 2004”
“FOR REAL??? He really broke your heart.”
“Not really. It helped me in many ways anyway. I achieved a lot of things and time is just right I think.”
“I see. And are you ready to fall in love again?”
“Alright! Here we are. After you Madame”
“Hi!” He opened the door for us. Cheek to cheek. Blush.
“Here, this table is really reserved for a special guest like you. What would you like to have? Everything is for free.” Ronnie said.
“Wow! I have been here a thousand times! But this is the first time, you reserved this table and everything is for free! Okay, I want to have coffee of the day please.” Jerry said, cracking a joke.
“Well, I would like to try whichever is the best here”
“Coming up madame,” He said.
He personally prepared the drinks and snacks for us. While waiting, Jerry and I talked about some stuff.
Looked around, a simple girl at the cashier smiled. So I smiled back.
Ronnie, approaching our table, followed by the girl who is smiling at me.
“Yassy, I’d like to you try our coffee of the day and these sandwiches.. especially made by my wife, Rica.”
I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO SAY..
Stuttering.. “Ah, oh yes. of course, thank you! Hi, Rica? yes. Hi, I am..”
“Atty. Rondilla. The famous Atty. Yassy. Finally. It’s nice to meet you. My husband told me a lot of things about you.”
I do not know what to say. I wanted to cry, I wanted to just leave. But, she’s… She’s a nice woman. I caught Jerry looking at me, and he decided to break the ice…
“Okay! So Atty. Rondilla, they actually have here a spot which is called the SAY IT HERE tree.” Handed me some small colored papers and a colored pen.
What to write?
“Please excuse us. We just need to attend to other customers.” Rica suddenly said. Smiled and left.
“Write it there,” Jerry said. Then smiled. “I know the feeling. I know how it feels.I know what it feels like. I know how difficult it is for you to deal with the wife of the guy that you used to love. I know. I felt that”
Staring at the window. Trying to understand what he’s saying.
“I know the feeling. I have been there. Done that. The same feeling……………….. when Ronnie told me that you guys………………….. were……………….. exclusively dating…………….. a decade ago.”
Goes.. “Now that could be my car. That could be my house. That could be my baby boy that you’re nursin. That could be the trash that I always take out. That could be the chair that I love to chill in. That could be my food on the table at the end of the day. Hugs and the kisses, all the love we make. What the hell do you expect me to say? What if it’s really `sposed to be this way? What if you’re really `sposed to be with me?”
What if? T’was exactly 11 years ago when Missy met James. They were never introduced by anybody. James used to be the typical guy from the university who’d always greet people in his weirdest ways. He’d look at you from head to toe with a grin on his face. You won’t actually know if he’s serious about it or he’s just being playful. Not knowing each other, he greeted her with his valiant hello. She looked back and said hi! From then on, a good friendship started. He asked for her number and they started texting. They talked consistently and had been seeing each other in school every day. One day, Missy asked, “why are you being so sweet?” He answered courageously, “Because I like you!” Days and months have gone by. They became really close. Missy then found out that James just broke up with his longtime girlfriend a few months ago. She then figured “Oooh, it could be an undefined period after a break-up. Rebound baby.” However, James proved her wrong.. He continued sending her messages and called her randomly. Sent her food in the classroom and visited her on her dance practice every noon. She started falling for him. It was not just James who showed care for Missy back then. There were some others.
One noon, James sent her a message and asked her to go see him before he heads back home since Missy wasn’t done with her classes yet. She went out of the room and surprisingly, James was there waiting for her. He held her hands and told her “I’ll miss you”. Then he headed home. That same day, Missy became a little off. James sent her messages but she replied with unusual responses. “Is there something wrong?” He asked.“I don’t think you’re ready for this. Before I fall deeply in love with you, let’s just be friends. I know you ain’t over her yet.” He didn’t understand why she just gave up without even having it started. He had no idea why she said that without giving him answers.
He left the university. Missy had a kid of her own. James got married after 4 years with the woman he used to make friends with. They had a family and flew to Sydney. After a decade, they saw each other again. Well, where else?! Facebook. James hit her with a“Hey, what’s up?” And she replied “I’m good. And you?” And what else are we expecting for? Good convo. Catching up and hell yeah, most likely trying to find answers from the past. He asked for Missy’s number and called her right away. Video call. Yes. They were so passionate about learning things about each other since there was an 11-year gap between not talking and not seeing each other. In the middle of the convo, he boldly asked. “What happened to us?” She didn’t know he’d ask that after a decade. And not having a doubt she answered, “The day you bid goodbye before heading home, I saw you wearing the necklace of your ex-girlfriend with her name on it. I didn’t bother to ask. I knew that time, that you were not over yet.” He staggered. “Seriously? I thought you just didn’t like me and thought I got busted!” They both then realized that maybe? Just maybe, they were given the chance to talk again to clear things up. And then they asked, what if? Yeah. What if. James ‘kid asked him, “Who is she dad?” He answered in the language that the kid doesn’t really know. “She’s supposed to be your mom” and Missy was like .. speechless in a way that she didn’t really know how to react to it. All that she knows is that James is happily married, that she’s a single mother and they would always have that space in their hearts.
We live by faith. And fate brings everything according to God’s plan. We may not find answers now, but we’d definitely find answers in the future. In time dear… In time…
“Somewhere, lost in the wind.. I’m watching you, sunlight touching your hair.. And i remember, somehow, we said that we would never stray, but somehow we lost our way..” This song is always playing whenever I drive ugh. Oh shit! I almost ugh. “Dude what time is the party? Fuck I’m sorry. I swear I forgot that it’s today. Hang on, I’ll go check my schedule. Will get back to you later! I’ll try my best to be there tonight, will just drop by Tina’s house..”
Brian.. Brian.. Brian.. A guy who has always been – well almost – ugh, nope wait.. Brian is a guy whom I met back in the days when I was still playing barbie dolls. Yeah schoolmates but was never introduced then because he is older than me. Been seeing him around the town with some mutual friends and sometimes at parties or events. A party goer, a handsome, clean looking guy, a responsible son, brother, uncle and a bachelor.. Yes a bachelor.. You’ve read it right! And when I say BACHELOR, you know what it means.. Single and ALWAYS READY TO MINGLE.. I’m Tiffany and this is OUR story..
“Mom?! What the. We are just dating! Or nope, should I say.. We are just friends..okay? That’s just it.”
“I’m warning you kid! I’m warning you.”
“Em werning u ked, em werning u..” Why do they always have to warn me when it comes to him? What the fudge is wrong with him? Like ugh!
“Dude? You free tonight? Coffee? Two bottles? Foodtrip or something! I just need someone to talk to. And you’re the best bud to answer all my questions.”
“I knew it! Been waiting for you to call..see you in a bit! Same place! Mickey d’s” That’s EG. A sister from a different mother.
“1 cheeseburger, 1 regular burger, 2 large fries, 2 large drinks and a box nuggets for 2 beautiful ladies, please. Thank you. ” “So what’chu tell your mom?”
“Nada! I said we are just friends! That’s what we are anyway… I think?”
“Friends.. That’s actually what I also thought before.. But seeing him everyday and like having lunch, dinner or so.. That is a different thing. Like EVERY FRIGGIN’ DAY”
“Where are you? Why did you go out late at night? I mean. Okay. Shouldn’t ask, but.. Ugh. How are you gonna go home? Can you like ask Erica to drive you home now? Coz I’ll call you and it has been like 30 minutes since the last time you replied to my messages??”
“Okay.. On my way home”
“Good morning beautiful! How’s your sleep? Sorry it took us 4 hours talking over the phone and I think you are still sleeping! Hit me up when the queen has already stepped on the devils head. Kisses!”
“Good morning handsome! Yes. 4 hours and 27 minutes to be exact. But it’s fine. It’s you, remember? ”
“Okay. 7ish then.”
“Hey bud! You still up? I just got home. And my brother is being stupid again. For some reason that I really don’t understand. Like! Can’t these people be happy coz I’m happy? I mean yeah. Not in a relationship. Not committed. No label! – YET. And yeah. I don’t know. ”
“Ok bud! Here we go again. I have said it a lotta times and I will say it again. They are just worried because they know him so well and they know you as well, and you already have a kid. Come on! Yes, you both know your priorities. You guys are both responsible of your actions. However, we cannot make them believe that you are just friends.. Coz you guys have been going out, datin’ for 4 consecutive weeks already! What’chu expect?. Yes, you may – for now, go with the flow. But sooner or later both of you will question yourselves why this, why that, why not? And you won’t be able to answer those questions now. Well not until you get to that day”
“So what do I do?”
“You know what to do! You just don’t want to do it.”
3 months later..
“Thanks for today. I never thought you’d surprise me. I mean, that is not you. That is not the Brian that I have met before. And why are you doing this?”
“Didn’t you like it? Okay. You can throw the flowers. You can forget all about what happened today.”
“No! That’s not what I’m tryna say. I mean, we both agreed that nobody will expect too much from each other. We are just happy being together. Going out everyday. Having dinner, lunch and sometimes breakfast together. But, why are you making me feel special? And then one day what?” (Overwhelmed, confused, happy, and about to cry..)
“I am happy being with you. I have never done this before. You are already a mother. A single mother and I never dated a mother before. I don’t know. I don’t think I need reasons. All I know is I’m very happy when I’m with you. I’m just worried about what people’d say if they see you dating me. I mean, not to offend you but you know I’m single. And you’re a single mom. Point is, I respect you and I’d be the first person to get hurt if they say something bad about you. And I’m sure you know what I mean.” (Tryna hold my hand while driving)
“Just drive me back home and let’s talk tomorrow.” (Quiet.. Very quiet.. Not saying a word)
“Hug.. Kiss on the forehead.. I’ll call you when I’m home. ” and then he left..
“Okay. Okay I get it. But we don’t have to tell people how happy we are. I mean, why do we have to pretend when it’s just you and me and Darlene?” (Darlene is my 3 year old kid)
“Babe? One word. Happiness. Go to bed now. Take a rest. I’ll see you tomorrow”
“Bud? Ugh. I dunno but I think this is what you were tryna tell me a few mos ago.”
“Any answers? I already know the questions. I need an answer and a solution.” (E.G. has always been there for me like 24/7… She knows me well)
5 mos later..
“So, what do you do Tiffany? And who are your parents?”
“Ugh. I ah.”
(Held my hand under the table. Looked at me straight in the eyes. Like as if, he’s reminding me to just be myself)
“I ah, yes. I manage the family business that my parents left for us. My parents put up several businesses before they flew back to the US. I stay at home because I have to look after my kid too, ma’am”
“Oh! Wait what? You’re a single mom?” And whispered to her son “we have a lot to talk about later kiddo”
“Yes, I have a 3-year old kid and she lives with me”
“And where is her dad? Don’t get offended,this question is too personal yes but I’d like to know where the dad is?”
“It’s ok ma’am. Her dad left us when she was just 3 months old. For some reason that he isn’t readyto have a family yet. But I have always been proud of myself being a single mom, because even if I was not able to give my kid a complete family, I know that I was, I have been and will always be a responsible mother to Darlene. Giving her life and not giving up on her is already a difficult job without pay. And not all can do that.”
An hour later.
“Get this over and done you, young man! Or I’ll send you back to Australia!”
“Tif! It has been 5 days since the day you started crying! And you ain’t even picking up his calls! What do you want?! He has been calling me several times since Tuesday.”
“And what do you want me to do? Like! Answer the call and tell him that I’ve been hurting? E.G. you don’t understand! Dating for 5 months is not easy! I HAVE FALLEN IN LOVE!!!”
“Look bud! I can tell. Okay? I know. And I knew from the start. But can’t blame you. Love is love and Even if I have been reminding you a thousand times, I know that one day, you’d say NO LABEL BUT YOU HAVE FALLEN IN LOVE. And so what to do now huh? Cry yourself out at night for 10 months? And then what? Look at you! The last time I visited your office, your secretary said you only visited 2 months ago. Only because you need to get your spare charger! Fudge Tif! You still have Darlene! And the business. Come on!”
After a week.
Dingdong! “Hi! Is tif there? Oh, I see. Okay, I just dropped by to send these food and stuff. Tell her to hit me up when she’s up! Gotta run some errands today! Thanks!”
“Yes ma’am E.G., thank you!”
7 years later
“Morning Bud, can I drive the kids to your house today? I swear I’ll pick them up later tonight! I think this is it! Maybe he has changed. I dunno. I’m a bit excited though. I hope he has already changed.” (Excited!)
“Hello. Ugh. Morning. Okay. Nana is downstairs. Just tell her to prepare food for Darlene and Carlo. I’ll attend to them later. You know I slept late last night. And yeah! Maybe he has changed. Goodluck! Catch you later!” (Sleepy..)
“Oh thanks bud! You are the best! Love you to the moon and back! (Very excited!)
“Yeah whatever tif! Buy me some green veggies for my lunch!!!! You stupid thing! Bye!” (Call ended)
“So what have you been doing for the past years?”
“Been working for the past years. Earning money. Dating women. You know foreign people are really different but I was able to adapt the environment. It was difficult at first but I figured how to manage them. And you? Still single?”
“That’s great! Well yeah. I’ve never dated anybody since the last time I got my heart broken.”
“Whoooowww! Tiffany Ramirez?? The queen of all queens in the campus, the head turner?? Got her heart broken? And who the fuck is this stupid guy huh?”
“It’s Brian.. Brian your batchmate way back in high school Matt.”
“Oh! Brian the bachelor. So when was this?”
“7 years ago?” (While chewing steak)
“Ugh! 7 years ago? So it’s you?! You are the woman in the book? Holy cow! Could you give a minute?”
“Wait? Why? What? What’u talkin’ about?! Matt tell me!”
“Just a second!” Left the table and went out
Ring! “Dude! Is Tiffany the famous Darlene in your story when you got back to Australia 7 years ago? Is she the woman you dated for a few months and left your heart broken?”
“Dude, it’s 1 in the morning here in Australia and you are on a vacation calling me late only to ask if Tiffany is the woman in my book. Are you nuts?! Give me some time to sleep! I just got home from Amanda’s house! Fuck! It’s been ages come on!” (Call ended)
Beep beep! Beep beep!
“Oh Gosh Darlene your mom has always been late since the day we became bestfriends”
“You know what to do aunt… Move over Carlo! Don’t sit on my skirt! I’ll be performing later! Ugh.”
“Stop that you little rugrats! Sorry bud. Alright lets go!” (Wearing the other pair of her earrings)
(Darlene performing on stage.)
“Look at her. We have been finding a father for your kid for the past 10 years. Not knowing that she has already found a father in you. I am so proud of you bud.” (fistbump)
“Oh well, I’m just glad that my siblings did not give up on me. And you, thank you for not giving up on my never ending drama. Thanks for looking after Darlene and Carlo while I’m away. And thanks for treating them like your own kids. I’m sure God will give you and Pete one soon” (leaning on her bud’s shoulder) Green veggies for dinner?”
“Mom? Can I ask you something? Where is my dad?” (Darlene asked while having dinner after the program)
“Darls finish your food. This is not the right time to discuss that honey.”
“And why is Carlo a gift from God? Like, I cannot remember you getting pregnant?”
“Darls I said, finish your food and we will discuss that next time okay?”
“I mean mom! Who is that guy behind you? Holding flowers? Is he my dad?” (Confused)
“Huh?” (Turned around to look who the man is)
“Okay kids? Let’s go out. Let’s play!” I’ll take care of this bud!”
“Hi.” (Brian standing)
“Ugh. Oh. Yeah. Hi.” (Stuttering)
“Let me talk first. Matt told me that he has found you and gave me your new address. Tried finding it but the helper said Darlene has a school program. I texted Erica and asked for the details of your schedule today. And I have been stalking you for the past years and I just decided to stop checking up on you when I saw a new baby on your account thinking that you already have a new partner. But Matt and Erica already explained everything. Carlo is an adopted child. For the past years, I never dated anybody. I have to understand how fragile LOVE can be, and felt broken when I left.”
“I dunno what to say..” (Still surprised)
“Hhsshhh One word Tif.. Happiness. I came back for happiness. Flowers for you. Can we start all over again?”
1 week later.. (Inside the car)
“I love you, love..” (Held my hand while driving”
“I love you more.”
“Trace of forever lingering..Drawing me closer to you..A new beginning..Now I know..There is no doubt I understand..Just how fragile love can be..I can’t forget..Your mem’ry found me..Now I know where I belong..
I’m ready this time..I know that I’m no longer undecided..Don’t wanna be a fool wondering..What might have been..Through every day, into the night..With only love to guide us..I’m ready to go, coz I’ve got to know..What might have been.. Let the lovin’ decide, I can’t run, I can’t hide..”
Disclaimer: This is my friend’s story. But with a twist. Real ending??? They saw each other at the restaurant… Brian with his wife and 2 kids… They got back from Australia. Tiffany? Dating Matt.
I am the writer. Thanks for reading! – Erica Grace.. your bud!