It's Better than Eating Alone

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine's Day

Clearly, it was one of the strangest days I ever had.

About a week or so ago I sent out a text message and asked this somebody if she had plans for Valentine's Day. She texted back and said she had none. I proceeded to ask her if there was any place near her condo that would be a good place to have dinner. After a text message that was querying the invitation, I received none afterwards. I opted for plan B.

I contacted a former classmate from high school who I have not seen for a long time. I asked her if we could see each other and have dinner on the 14th. Apparently, she had no plans. The date was set.

Class was no longer going to meet for Thursday in my College in UP, but I needed to go the library for the last parts of my research proposal. While trying to finish some stuff, my brother in Thailand starts YMing me. It got a little distracting which made me late for my appointed time to leave the apartment for about 15 minutes. Panic, I did not, though I did try to hurry up, forgetting my water bottle in the process.

I had to pass by my office to print a 50-page draft, which was again distracted by a co-worker who needed to print her own work. Twenty minutes later, I was still at the office when I should have left for the shuttle shed. I tried to leave in hurry this time.

The shed was near empty, but the shuttles were not. People were just piled in them. The shed, in a while, started getting crowded as well. More people, less vehicles. I looked at my watch and thought to myself, "I can wait 10 minutes, probably." Ten. Twenty. Afterwards, it was becoming a bit hopeless and ridiculous that I was thinking about how I could possibly get to school on time before the library closes. Forty-five minutes and I was on my way to the bus terminal.

My friend and I scheduled to meet at 8pm, so I was thinking that I shouldn't worry about the library time anymore and focus how to get there to meet her. According to my watch, I had plenty.

Two hours later, I was looking out the bus's window. I was still in the highway, when I should have been close enough to school. The bus, and all other vehicles in the same direction, were moving by inches, and all of us were oblivious about why it was taking us too long. Last time I checked, it was already 6pm.

More than three hours in the bus. The library at school was obviously closed, but I never did get a chance to do an ocular because I was still on the platform waiting for the train. I decided that it was no use going to school, and that I had to go straight to the meeting place, which was fortunately at the exact end of the line for my last leg of travel. Again, the transit was crowded, but I felt pleased that in a while, I was going to beat my hunger and dine with my old friend. The intercom suddenly hollered, "We are sorry for the inconvenience, but we are waiting for the red light. The train will not proceed until the light turns green." It happened five times. And it delayed my travel some more.

In my bag was a shirt that I was saving for dinner. I was only wearing black denim pants and a white shirt. I cursed myself for forgetting to shave a little. I looked awful. She already texted though, and there was no more time. It was already 8:20pm.

I found her, finally. She was slimmer this time, but the same, taller-than-I stature and the cute dimpled smile. She wanted to go to the foodcourt because she was obviously hungry. I was hungry too, but I wanted to be served and sit comfortably. Again, I had to munch up my pride because most of the restaurants were full. We settled for the food court. I asked her what she wanted, and she answered, "chicken and pasta." I, on the other hand, was in a rut because I did not eat chicken, but found out that I could order pasta alone. I had our meal on a tray, and walked back to our table, trying ever to avoid the many people who were in my way. Later she would complain that her chicken was not at all that good. Apparently, I was wrong in thinking that she ate from that part of the mall before. She later retorted that she was just actually very hungry. I realized that she hasn't changed a bit in these years. She's still this funny girl that made me laugh even back in high school.

After dinner I asked her if we could go to the sofa area of the foodcourt, noticing that some of the shops were already closing. We then continued talking about how things have been, and how things are. Later I asked her if she was seeing someone, where she replied that she just recently got into a long distance relationship. She even told me about the time when her former boyfriend and her were almost going to tie the knot, but the relationship fizzled and the wedding day did not become a reality. How funny, I told her, because I had the same experience. She is currently working out her present relationship, albeit far away from each other. I told her to try, and ask her guy to be sure about things. In a while, she prompted if we could go home because were both tired. I agreed.

At the back of my mind I still had her in my thoughts. Even in the bus I was asking myself why I was going through this. When I was at the mall I was asking why, when we were so near, when were just a station away, we were not able to see each other that night. She disappeared, never answered my texts, and until now I still wonder about what I said or did to make her do that. And on that day, when there was nothing wrong, in all the reasons I could think of, for us not to have been together, I spent it with someone else. I'm still looking for answers, and it sucks.


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