Saan na kaya siya? She mumbled as she took a sip from the glass of cold pink lemonade. She has been alone for the past 30 minutes, sitting on a cold, green wrought iron chair amidst the hurly burly of college students on their lunch break. She looks at her mobile phone to check the time. 1:30 pm. Anguish was written all over her face. The nerve of this man to keep a lady waiting. And not just any lady. How dare he make me wait this long? She muttered as a group of guys passed her by, scouring for empty tables to rest their weary feet. Not taking notice, she searches her bag for her mobile phone, eager to receive a message from her paramour. Malapit na beh (our term of endearment. Sort of a derivative from the word „baby“). Senxa na kasi kasama ko mga pinsan ko. Ako ang driver nila ngayon. She sighed. Not in relief but in utter discontent as she will be alone for another few minutes. I understand. Ingat! She replied. With that, she pops her mobile phone back in her bag and took another sip from the moist, cold glass, playing with the white plastic straw that plunged inside the iced cold pink liquid.
"Surprised to see you alone..." A lone figure said in his chocolate sweet voice that was unmistakably familiar. His tall shadow blocked the ubiquitous light that surrounded Spazio. She looked up and was flabbergasted to see a blast from the past. Trying to regain her composure, she flashed him a coy smile.
"Fancy seeing you... of all people. How's it been?" She replied.
"Peachy... I guess... Late date?" He asked as he took another chair and sat across her.
"Close enough... My boyfriend will be running a bit late. He's playing nanny to his young cousins and sibs." She replied as she stirred her lemonade.
"Boyfriend? You're not back with-" "Hell no. This is different. And a whole lot better than the last one actually." she interrupted haughtily.
"Um, Frank right?" He asked.
"Actually, that's Fred." She corrected him sheepishly.
"Whatever. I never liked him that much anyway. I figured he's too much of a wuss for you." He mused.
"Well, if you put it that way." She chuckled, amused with his final statement.
"So, am I meeting this wonderful 'new guy' anytime soon?" He asked again. His inquisitiveness made her a bit uneasy.
“Do you have to?” She retorted.
“Ayaw mong ipakilala?”
Her mobile phone rings. Saved by the phone call. She thought. “Hold that thought. Hello?”
“San ka banda?” He asked.
“Spazio, 3rd floor.” She replied.
“Don’t go anywhere. Papunta na ako.”
“Wait!-“ Click. He already hung up before she could say anything. Great. Just Great. She thought.
“Well… Today’s you’re lucky day J. He’s on his way here.” She said smugly.
The next few minutes were agonizing, having to anticipate this moment of reckoning. Her past finally meeting her present. Just imagining the possibility of this first encounter ending in some bloody brawl was simply nerve wrecking for her. J’s menacing smirk wasn’t all too reassuring. Palms sweaty and heart pounding, she watched the entrance with nervous anticipation. By now she was hoping he’d flake out but he sat there waiting as well. She looked at him and smiled awkwardly.
Her temples throbbed as she saw the lone figure with shaved head, a vintage tee and dark denim jeans approach her. Following him was an army of pre-teeners. She quickly stood up to meet him at the entrance when he gestured that she sit down. He turned around and told his young charges to rendezvous with him later on. She glanced at her companion who was already beaming with anticipation as Phil was approaching. As she was about to speak, she was interrupted.
“Uy bay! Daghana nimog alaga uy! (Pare, dami mo naming alaga.)” J greeted as he approached Phil. He was referring to the pre-teeners who were following Phil earlier.
“Lagi bay. Nanny ako ngayon nila. Ganiha pa mo (Kanina pa ba kayo)?” He asked as he scooped her off her chair and gave her a hug and a peck on the lips. She was all too shocked to respond. Seriously? She thought.
“Did I miss anything?” She interrupted, her perplexed gaze going from J to Phil. “I met him at Banz’s party last Saturday. The one you didn’t go to because you were grounded.” Phil replied. “You’re boyfriend’s quite a dancer Dre. He’s a keeper. Hey Phil, teach me those moves if you have time ayt?” J said as he patted Phil’s back. “O ba. Adto sa mi. Ayo ayo. (No problem. We better go. Take care.)” With that, the couple walked out of Spazio.
“That was… surreal.” Dre remarked, obviously dazed from what she has witnessed minutes ago. She opened the car door and sat down, still trying to figure out what she saw back there. My boyfriend and my ex are friends. And he never bothered to tell me.
“I’m sure Noreen mentioned that the guy you’re being chummy with since last Saturday was my ex.” She said, while fastening the buckles of the car seat belt.
“She did. So what?”.
“Doesn’t it even bother you a bit?”
Phil Chuckled as he put the shift gear to reverse.
“Why? The guy’s pretty cool.”
“FYI. He’s my ex Beh.”
“You amuse me beh. Look, whatever happened between you and him was pretty much history. Unless you’re-“
“I’m not.. Okay? God, it’s been like… 3 years already. I’ve moved on since then.”
“Well, what are you so upset about?”
“Nothing. It’s just that… Nevermind. Just drive.”
AND THE WEIRDNESS CONTINUES… (Abangan ang susunod na kabanata)