Seeing you in front of me felt like someone had slapped me hard right in the face. It was difficult to mask my emotions but I had to.
"It's been a while," you said while giving me a subtle smile.
"Yeah," I replied.
Gusto kong tumakbo. Gusto kong tumakas palayo sa'yo dahil hindi pa ako handang kausapin ka. Gusto kong bumalik sa dati kung kailan ako lang ang nakatingin sa'yo.
My train of thought dissolved into thin air when you suddenly called my name. It felt strange. It was as if I was back to the time when we were still joking about how we should call each other. My name sounded different when you were the one saying it.
Maybe it was just me, but you made it sound special.
There was a minute-long silence between us. It was uncomfortable and awkward, yet it felt familiar. The way you play with your thumb, how you keep on looking to the right side when you're nervous and how you purse your lips when you want to say something but can't . . . they were kind of nostalgic.
"Do you have something to tell me?" I bravely asked and I wished I could take it back.
You look at me and the agitation you had a while ago slowly dissipated. Even though I wanted to run away, I knew it would just get harder to speak with you if I kept on evading this situation.
Maybe this was the right time to face you.
"Yes," you softly said as you looked straight into my eyes. "I have a lot to tell you."
"I . . . I see . . ."
"Let's meet tomorrow."
Napakunot naman ang noo ko nang marinig ko 'yon mula sa'yo.
"Why tomorrow? Why not now?" I asked.
"I can't," you replied. There was a look of guilt and sadness in your eyes. "She'll be here in a minute."
Para namang lumubog ang puso ko nang marinig ko 'yon. Right. You were waiting for her. She's your priority now. Not me. But hearing it straight from you made it more painful.
Lagi kong sinasabi sa sarili ko na wala nang pag-asa na maibalik pa ang lahat sa dati. I should move on. I should forget about you. But a simple interaction like this almost made me want to believe that there could still be a slim chance.
Almost. Because I also know I don't have any right to interfere with someone's happiness.
These false hopes were the reason why I got hurt. I got my hopes up, expecting that there was something between us, but it turned out I was wrong.
I breathed deeply to keep myself calm. "Right," I nodded.
"See you tomorrow."
Pagkatapos no'n ay pumunta ka sa table kung saan kayo madalas umuupo. I watched you walk away from me and it felt weird, knowing that you just talked to me.
Sakto namang dumating siya at agad kong nakita ang pagngiti mo. You looked at her as if she was the most precious person in the world. And in your world, that was the truth.
I heaved a sigh and started eating. Somehow, I felt a little conflicted. It was still painful to see you with her but I guess this was the right path for me. For us.
Part of me was still regretting everything but my mind was kind of relieved that we could finally talk and end that 'something' between us. That 'something' that we couldn't even define.
Napatingin ako sa cup ko at muli kong nakita ang smiley sa takip. Funny how I smiled upon seeing that yet it still felt heavy inside.
Hindi ko na kayo tiningnan at pinilit kong tapusin ang paperworks para sa week na 'to. I was drowning in calculations when I suddenly heard the two of you laughing. Despite saying I wouldn't look at you anymore, I glanced at your direction and you were already preparing to leave. That moment, our gaze met each other and you nodded. I, too, nodded in response and watched your backs until I couldn't see you anymore.
I heaved a sigh and leaned against the chair.
That might be the last time I would see you.
I guess I wouldn't be able to sleep tonight.