Tatlong araw akong hindi nakapunta sa cafe na 'to. After that incident, I became too afraid to come here because I might see you again. However, my friend said something that cleared my head.
You can't move on if you keep on looking back. Look in front of you and move forward, even if you have to start with small and slow steps.
She said that to one of our co-workers but her words moved me, too. Hindi ko alam kung handa na ako pero alam kong isang araw ay kailangan kitang harapin.
In-order ko ang usual kong pagkain—grande caramel macchiato and chocolate cheesecake—at umupo sa isang bakanteng lamesa. My eyes wandered around, half of me hoping you weren't here and the other half, wished to see your face.
Napabuntong-hininga na lang ako nang ma-realize kong wala ka. The feeling of relief won. I guess hindi pa nga ako handabg makita ka ulit.
Napatingin ako sa harapan ko at agad kong nakilala ang mukha niya. It was the guy who accidentally broke the saucer into pieces.
Bigla naman akong na-conscious dahil naalala kong nakita niya akong umiyak. Tumango na lang ako sa kanya at iniwas ko ang tingin ko pero mukhang maling desisyon 'yon dahil nakita ko kayong papasok dito sa cafe.
You were grinning this time. She was blushing. Maybe you told her a heart-fluttering comment. Or an embarrassing joke. You always do that before.
I thought I could already act normal when I see you with her but I still felt a little uncomfortable. But it hurt a little less compared before. Maybe crying my heart out that time helped me accept the reality.
That's good. That way, I can finally move on. I can finally forget what happened between us.
"Thank you," she said while looking at you intently.
"Hmm? For what?"
"You surprised me on your birthday when it should be the other way around."
You smiled. Again. And this time, I could feel the sincerity and fondness in it.
"What's with that smile?"
"Wala lang. I'm just happy."
It was hard to listen to your conversation but those were the words I needed to hear. It was an assurance. I wanted to make sure you're happy.
And I'm glad you are.
No need to ask how you are because I already know by looking at you.
"You're quite the masochist, Miss."
Napatingin naman ako sa nagsabi no'n at na-realize kong siya rin 'yong lalaki kanina. Nasa kabilang table siya at nasa opposite side ko siya nakaupo kaya magkaharap kami.
Did he saw me looking at you? But he was just too focused on his phone. I was about to think that maybe he wasn't talking to me when he suddenly looked at my direction.
"If you keep on staring at them, you'll—"
"Your cup," I said, cutting him off. Nabaling ang tingin niya sa kape niyang nakapwesto na sa gilid ng lamesa. One wrong move and his coffee would end up spilling the floor.
"And that would be the last time," I added while fighting the urge to look at your direction.
"Your words and actions do not match, Miss."
Ngumiti naman ako sa kanya. "I know," I muttered. "I know."
In the end, it was only me who couldn't let go of the past.
In the end, even if I move forward, I wouldn't see you in my present or future because our paths weren't intertwined anymore.
Trying to move forward,