I could taste it. The cruelty of long, lonely days, perhaps years of waiting for something better, something good, something right. As I was sitting on that van on my way home with two of my best friends, a myriad of questions ran through my mind as the landscape raced outside the window. Questions I've asked countless times before. Answers that have eluded me for too long.
Little did I know that all that was about to change. With a single message it all started. And what was initially supposed to be a long, mournful weekend became an exciting seduction. It became the start of something new.
I allowed myself to engage in harmless flirtation, being careful not to be hypnotized by his wit. We got to know each other in the way only modern technology can afford us. But I was in no hurry and frankly quite apprehensive. I was content with our mild flirtation and witty banter which I planned to turn into a pastime, he wanted something more. He asked, begged for us to meet. When asked why, he only replied,"because I want you to know me. I want you to know who I am."
And so, days later, I found myself sitting at a cafe, listening to his story. Dumaguete put on all her pretty colors for us that lovely afternoon as he bared his soul to me. As I looked at him in that afternoon light and digested what he called "shocking revelations", I thought to myself, "this is someone I could care about."
Afternoon turned into evening and our first meeting turned into our first date. It would be a night of many firsts. Our first movie (together with friends of course). Our first holding of hands. Our first dinner together which also happened to be the first time in years since a guy spoon-fed me. And as time dragged on, it unexpectedly became the first night we'd spend together.
When he and his friend finally saw us home, rain came. We had no choice but to let them spend the night. As we crowded in the room, the events of the day took its toll on me. I fell asleep on the thin mattress on the floor, next to him but as far away from him as possible and with my back to him. Lulled by incoherent dreams I slept.
And then, in the middle of the night I woke. As I felt him reach for me I turned to him and let him wrap me in his warm embrace. With his hand he traced my face as if memorizing its every line in the darkness. A breath of space between his face and mine, lips almost touching, he held me in his arms. An eternity within a moment. And then the first kiss...
I felt loose, loosed limbed and opened up--as though someone tugged at a thread and started unravelling me. And there, in his arms, I became someone else... Someone more like myself.
He held me long after it ended. And I feel happy. It is pure and undiluted happiness that brought tears to my eyes. And just when I started to be afraid that it would end there, he wiped away my tears and whispered, "this is our new beginning".