We wanted to go see Camp Phillips in all its Festival Glory that Saturnight so we hurriedly dressed to go see all the commotion. There weren’t many people around when we got there. Nothing they were selling struck our fancy so we would just have dinner instead. I wanted to eat something that is reminiscent of larsian – a smörgåsbord of grilled meat from intestines to pork to chicken skin but most of the vendors selling them ran out of meat. We settled for this small canteen and ate pancit and soup and chicken.
I love pancit. I happily took some and I only found out how upset he was after dinner.
“I didn’t know you eat pancit!” He exclaimed.
“I love pancit!”
“How could you love pancit? It’s food for the poor. Jeepney drivers eat pancit! Not you!”
Bewildered, I said. “Omg. If you only knew how I love pancit. I learned how to cook it because I love it. And misua, and sotanghon and bihon.”
He just stared at me incredulously. “You are something.” and kissed me on the nose. Giddilicious.
We were holding hands, watching people, walking around until I bumped into Manolo, a family friend.
He was startled as I was. “Hey. Fancy seeing you here.”
He was with his wife, a sister of Manuel, a barkada, who went, “Oh. Hi. However did you get here?”
I gave out a sheepish laugh. “Oh, just for the weekend. Just checking out the fair. Uh, I-i g-gotta go.” I waved off a hasty bye and left him staring at my back and at Sam. They wouldn’t tell on my mom I was in the area and didn’t even bother to drop by, would they?
Sam noticed my agitation and squeezed my hand. “Who were they?”
“Just a family friend.” I said nonchalantly hoping he’d dismiss the idea that I almost had a heart attack.
We passed by the Ferris Wheel when he suddenly made a turn and dragged me to the ticketing counter. Oh, no. No. No.
I pulled back my hand. “No, hun, no. I can’t.”
“Come on,” He said. He was already fishing for coins. “It’s going to be fun.” He turned to the attendant. “How much, bai?”
“Ten pesos, sir.”
“Perfect.” He gave him a twenty and tugged on my dress. “Let’s go.”
I was so stunned I can’t speak. Twenty pesos just to get on that thing and be scared for 10 minutes. It might be fun. Plus I might be so into the thought of him being with me up there to notice anyway. Will they notice a quickie going on up that high? I nodded and asked the attendant, “Do you have a doctor around here, just in case…?”
Sam laughed and almost dragged me to the first car that he saw. It was pink. Maybe it was a good omen. A pink cable car must mean something because it matches my dress.
What a cheap thrill. I latched on his arm even if we were sitting across each other.
“Don’t worry. This is going to be fun.”
Then the cable started rolling. My stomach did, too. I completely forgot about dinner. Suddenly the pancit did matter.
“Hun.” I don’t care what a pussy I was being just for a ferris wheel ride. Hell, it was scary. The cable was already way up high and I realized that it wasn’t going as fast as it was supposed to be. “Why is this thing so slow?”
“Because you asked for a doctor, hunbun.” He said. “you might sue them if you ever get a heart attack.”
I laughed nervously at that. He cupped my face, stared into my eyes and as the cable started descending down fast, he kissed me. I closed my eyes and the ferris wheel no longer came to view. I can only feel the cable floating, his heart beating and feet dangling – well, that’s because the chair was high and seeing how short I am, they had to. Only then did the cable came to a stop did we stopped kissing too. People were staring! Kids were pointing at us. This is a province after all where people hardly see couples kiss in public. Wait, they never see couples kiss in public!
We got off the cable with our heads bowed so low that we only started laughing when we got to the car.
“You make me feel young, hun.” He said between fits.
“I’m glad.” I said. I looked away and prayed again. Lord, make time stop. Please. I’ll do anything.
I must have probably looked so serious when we get back to the room because he asked, “Are you okay?
“Why shouldn’t I be?”
“Because you were frowning all the time.”
“No,” then he groaned and fell facedown on the bed. “But I’m tired.”
I sat on his legs and started poking him with my fingers. “You’ll live. You need a massage?”
He groaned again. “That would be awesome.”
One hour later, he passed out.