Love, All Over Again
Written Sunday AM
As I drink from my bottle of flavored iced tea from yesterday’s adventure, I can’t help but wonder: what did I do to deserve you? What did I do to deserve this kind of happiness? As you told me last night, I am on cloud nine right now.
I woke up with butterflies in my stomach. Don’t think I’m lying when I say that you were the first person I thought of when I opened my eyes. I’m still drunk in love. I still got that high from our date yesterday, and in a really good way.
I didn’t plan on blogging this. I just wanted to see you finally and feel what it’s like to see you, hear you, touch you in person. To go beyond what technology can bring us and finally see eye to eye, literally speaking. If I’d only say I wanted us to meet eye to eye on an emotional and intellectual level, we’ve already done so way back. I cherished every moment we had. It was the first time I intentionally tried to memorize a person’s face because it’s the face I want to see in my thoughts every day and keep in my heart’s pocket wherever I go.
I want to keep mum about this, about us, but I can’t. Because I want to tell the world that once upon a time, this one guy made me feel this way. And the thing is, we’re not even a thing yet, but I’m already proud of you, of us, of what we have so far.
You were focused on giving me the best day you could. You have this picture in your head, but I knew that somehow you also wanted to be spontaneous. You like having assurance on things, and I like giving an assurance when I can. It’s a win-win for us.
You arrived past 2 pm, and you were not so apologetic about it, thinking that we set up for that time when in my head I was aiming for 1 pm. I’m not sure why, out of all the things we are, we’re not on the same page on this one, but as I kept telling you yesterday, things have their purpose. And you were late for a reason. We loaded our first date with a pack of activities. We planned to go to National Museum, catch the sunset at Manila Bay, and maybe cap off the night with some drinks at an acoustic bar if time still permits. You even wanted to see a movie, and you were very determined about it.
We weren’t able to do every one of those, but you still gave the best date I could ever have, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Everything was perfect, just like you were yesterday.
I saw you sitting patiently, waiting for me. And when you saw me walking towards you, you didn’t just sit there and wait for me. You fixed your chair to face me and looked at me intently as the distance between us closed in. It was awkward at first, sure. But that didn’t stay like that for too long. We dined in this Persian restaurant where they had this plate of roti I was dying to eat again. We ordered our kebab meals and that plate of roti. You liked it, and I was glad.
We indulged ourselves on the food and got lost in the whirlwind of our conversations. We pretty much share the same views when it comes to being in a relationship and being individual partners. We both despise infidelity, and we don’t believe in shaming our partners for the faults of another person. I didn’t look at you as you eat and only looked you in the eyes when I wanted to say something, but I saw how intent your eyes were on me as I tried to finish my plate.
You’d silently laugh at my little antics like how I scooped the decorative spices from the sides of the plate and garnished it on my meat for flavor or how I transferred the water from the glass to my water tumbler and asked for a refill. I saw how you looked at me, and right now I can say; no one has ever looked at me that way before. I had never caught anyone’s attention that way before until you came into the picture.
We had that moment again when you said you eat anything, but you’d always go for grilled squid. I sighed and said that grilled squid is my favorite food, but I didn’t like the white meat and only eat the tentacles. You looked at me like you saw a ghost and said you’d give me the tentacles if I give you the white meat, which is apparently your favorite. So there’s that.
We didn’t finish our plates, so it also goes to show that we have the same appetite for food. That biryani rice sure was filling. We left and took a cab going to the National Museum. It was already 4:30 pm then, but I didn’t mind. I was okay with just spending time with you and I didn’t really mind if we missed the museum. I was okay with it either way. But you kept thinking you disappointed me. I assure you, you didn’t.
While in the cab, there was a track of love songs playing and it was just so perfect for the moment. You asked if you could hold my hand. I declined and said my hands were dirty. I asked for alcohol and you said you didn’t have any. You said it was hot on your side so I told you to scoot closer to me. You did, but after a few minutes, you moved on the far end again and said the view was better that way because you were facing me. I was feeling sleepy from the food and I wanted you to keep quiet and save your stories for later, but I also found your voice soothing.
I asked for a massage. I knew you didn’t know how to, but you tried just so you could hold my hand. And when you’d joke about something, I’d pretend to be mad and shake off my hand but you would only hold it tighter. I take it as a sign that you’re not letting go of me anytime soon.
We were met with closed gates when we got to the museum and I saw the disappointment and sadness on your face, but you spontaneously decided to head to the Rizal Park and you gave the cab driver the instruction. We finally got off the cab and I’m sure you didn’t see it but there was a huge grin on my face when I finally saw how big the place is. I’m ashamed to say that it’s the first time I saw Rizal Park from that angle but I’m glad you were the first one to show me that. I was grateful to be standing right at the spot at the very moment. We walked on and I kept my phone in my bag the entire time. I was pondering to take photos of the place, but I also wanted to be at the moment.
I grabbed your hand and I could tell you were glad I did. I like this, you said. So we walked on while holding hands and you telling me about the park. I’m glad that you’re making the effort to show people how the former Luneta is not a tacky place; that it is rich in history and our citizens should put in the same effort to learn more about our country. We shared the same pet peeve of how Filipinos act like tourists and take selfies with a historical place as their background; that they should give more respect to it instead of making it an accessory to prettify their photos.
We spent some time looking up at the Philippine flag and sighing at its beauty. You showed me the perfect angle to take a picture of Rizal’s monument. You patiently waited as I took some photos and even held up the umbrella for me because it was so hot.
Some people might call it crazy, but we actually walked from the park to Manila Bay. It was a long walk, but it was worth it. We made a stop over at a convenience store, and you asked me if we were buying anything. I bluntly said no and that I just wanted some AC. You laughed when I was walking towards you at the far end of the store to get a bottle of juice, and I got a whiff of air from the AC and stopped walking to stay at that very spot. I said I felt bad for looking messy after a long day and we were just starting with our adventure.
You still look beautiful, you said.
There was there two people taking their time to choose their drinks and I had an annoyed look on my face. I didn’t know you were looking at me, and when they finally left, you told me to calm down because you recognized my annoyance. You were very attentive then. I said I don’t like the lemonade flavor and you agreed with me. You paid for our juices and then after some more minutes in front of the AC, we left.
You kept reaching for my hand and I was completely fine with that. I liked it, too. We soldiered on despite the traffic of cars driving by. It was scary, but you held my hand the entire time and stayed in the danger zone. We finally found a spot along Manila Bay and settled there. We just took photos, chatted some, but mostly sat in silence. You said you liked how calm the sea looked and that you couldn’t pass on the chance. You grabbed your camera and started raping the shutter button. I sat there in silence and took my own photos. I stood on the pavement from time to time to get better angles of the sunset.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t appreciate the calmness of the sea until you said that. I like the breeze that comes from the wind but apparently, it brings noise to the calm waters through the ripples. I said how I liked when the sun would set and you’d see a clash of yellow and orange on one side and pink and purple on the other. You tried to take that picture for me and I was fascinated. Clearly, you were trying to impress me. I snuck some photos of you and I’m not sure if you felt it. But I told you anyway.
On the right side of Manila Bay, where the Quirino Grandstand should be, were fireworks that broke the silence and lit the sky some colors. It was too far to be spectacular but was enough to be noticed. A few minutes in and fireworks started going off. This time, from the left side of the bay. Manila Bay has given you so much to see, you said. It was getting darker by the minute and as the sun kissed the sea and bid the world good night, I scurried to take photos of this beauty before it started looking grainy on my phone screen, with what my camera could best capture. I caught a minuscule object on my lashes. I tried to be the independent woman I am but I couldn’t get it off. You helped me with it. I closed my eyes so you’d see it better. What if I kissed you suddenly? You asked it jokingly but I knew there was some truth to it. You actually wanted to do it.
It never stops, does it? You looked at me in silence. I mean, once the natural light is out, you look forward to the artificials, I said, referring to the city lights across the horizon. You nodded in agreement even still halfway through my sentence. You took out your phone and looked up the movies showing. It was around 7 pm that time. I said it was getting late. You looked at me in amazement. No museum, no movie. Quits. I like how you are understanding of my situation. I admire your kindness.
You said how poorly treated my phone was, seeing that I put it just anywhere. I said there’s a case, it’s made of bamboo and designed with a laser. I’m super picky with casings but when I saw it, I knew it was the one. It’s like looking for something but not knowing what it is until you see it. But when you see it, you just know. Like you, you told me. I didn’t know I was looking for you until you came.
We prepared to leave. We were going home already, almost ready to cap off the night at 7 pm. Have you, by any try, taken a photo of me today even once? You said you didn’t. Too bad, because I did, I said while wearing a mischievous grin, and stood up to wear my backpack. Let’s take a selfie, you said. When I’m already sweaty and sticky, really? We took several. And then we walked on. I asked if you already had a conclusion. You thought I was asking about our transportation going home.
Cab, right? I shook my head. No, a conclusion about us. Is this worth a second date?
You stopped walking and pulled me close. I tried to budge, but you wouldn’t let me. I was desperate to escape from your grip. I was extremely shy that time and I weren’t down for a serious talk… yet. I couldn’t remember what you said, all I know back then was having this strong urge to hug you tight, right then and there. I joked that it was difficult to hug while wearing backpacks just to make light of the situation. You laughed and said that you were ready to take it off just to hug me. Sayang, you said.
You kept telling me how you still couldn’t believe everything that’s happening to us, to you. That last week, you were just an ordinary guy doing ordinary things. I told you that you deserve your chances and that, come what may, you deserve good things. I’m a firm believer that things happen for a reason, no matter how cliché that sounds, that there’s a reason why we are where we are, doing what we are doing, that there’s a purpose for you being late on our very first date. We just held hands while walking. I even mentioned how I always go under because I like the aura of protection when a guy’s hand is over mine.
While in the cab going home, we held hands again. And again, there was a series of songs that hit home. I can’t remember the song now, but I clearly remember the message. The next time I would fall in love, it would be with you. Or something like that. I stared intently at your face and right then and there felt the urge to kiss you with Green Day’s 21 Guns playing in the background. But I didn’t. Maybe next time when the timing is a bit more romantic, and we’re not sitting side by side. Our talk got a tad bit more serious. We talked about our families, our upbringings, our current situations at home. You opened up to me about some things a guy usually doesn’t. You already gave me that kind of trust and even gave me a piece of advice. You admired me for sticking to my principles and for not giving in to temptation. We’re both adults, and we could have given into it easily, but we didn’t. I didn’t let you.
A part of me was wishing we would be stuck in traffic, so I could be with you just a little bit longer, but it was free flowing, and there was no reason for me to be home later than I said. Simply put, I didn’t want the day to end. But I asked if you wanted to stay in this restaurant/pub near us and you said yes. We weren’t really hungry but we had to order something. I was surprised to know you’re a strawberry kind of guy, just like a good friend of mine is head over heels for that red fruit. You tried to guess my flavor, and you initially thought it was vanilla or French vanilla. Ugh, I hate vanilla. Chocolate it is for me. Favorite ice cream flavor? Double Dutch. I love the sprinkle of sweetness and the nuts. I love munching on something. You prefer the softer version, perhaps Maltesers, something that melts in your mouth. I get it; I suppose you’re not into Snickers as well. I hate that thing.
Our orders came, and the server just knew how to switch up our smoothies and give me Strawberry and you Chocolate. We laughed over this quick assumption. Stereotypes. You asked if mine is any good, and I said it tasted like Chuckie. You laughed and said that you were just about to say how yours tasted like Dutchmill. We had that moment again.
I reached out for your hand and played with your watch and your fingers. You noticed how I like fidgeting with stuff. I kept tapping your hand like I was going to say something, but I wasn’t really. We had that moment, and I’m sure you know what I mean. It was too much to bear yet we weren’t making any move. We just kept caressing each other’s hands and looking into each other’s eyes like a pair of hungry hyenas. We were ready to devour yet we just kept playing the staring game. Our eyes did enough of the talking. There was a sexual tension in the air as you circled your thumb on my palm and looked at me intently.
Don’t bite your lip. It doesn’t work on me.
Your eyes were hypnotic. I like staring at your face. Maybe not every girl tells you this, but I actually find you handsome. There’s something about your rugged beard, mustache, soul patch combination that makes you look mysterious, sexy, dangerous, but in the right moment, gentle, caring. You kept asking what I was thinking, and I’d either shake my head softly or look away. I’d sometimes shrug my shoulders and look at you like asking, What do you think I’m thinking?
Are we going to keep doing this every time we meet? Stare at each other? Because I wouldn’t mind. You only looked at me more intently when I said that. We’ve been in the restaurant for about two hours already, but I still wasn’t ready to lose you from my sight. Just thinking about how I’m going back to my life again once I reach home makes me miss you already. I was so damn sleepy, and it was very apparent, but I wanted to keep caressing your fingers and keep feeling your gaze on me.
To be honest, I loved the attention you were giving me. Thank you for letting me look at you like this, you said. Every sigh that escaped my lips sent a shiver down your back, or so I’d like to think. But I could only guess. I hope they did, though. But one thing I’m sure of, you love how I wrinkle my nose when I smile. That sets you off every time. Apparently, I have this gaze that you find alluring, but I can never tell which one it is. I guess I’ll know in time. I kept stalling, but I knew I needed to be home soon. It was already 10:30 pm and I said I’d be home by 8. It’s impossible to be stuck in traffic for 3 hours. You agreed. And you still had a Despedida to attend. Traffic along EDSA, perhaps? Pun intended. You love watching John Lloyd films; I hoped then you got the reference.
You said you love how straightforward I am and how I give definite answers. I said I love that you’re a smart person and that you have the capacity to understand. I wasn’t ready to end the night, but I had to. We were still together, but I was missing you already. It was ridiculous. I was trying to be rational this morning, but you just made me emotional throughout the day. Every time you did those simple quirks I love, my heart would flip and do a quick, happy somersault. Secretly, I love how you take in a quick breath before you speak. I noticed that you did that often. Or how you’d look at me intently before saying something so intellectual that I could only look at you in awe. You’re a wonderful, creature, you. Did I tell you yet how you just gave me the perfect day I could ever ask for? But then again, any time with you would probably be grand, so I’d definitely cherish every one.
I don’t know how to end this post. All I know is I’m excited to see you again, and when, I could only hope. Thank you for making everything perfect just by being you. Your existence alone is very much appreciated. :*
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