He said the last date was our crazy day. One and a half meant another one.
One look at the pair of shorts I had on and the top that showed off my shoulders and he took me back home. “We’ll be taking mom to Waterfront Mactan. Put on a jacket.” Although warning bells told me that someone controlling like him can actually make me change my clothes without objecting, I let him in on the apartment and braced myself for any criticisms. None. He looked at my room and because I panicked, I accidentally dropped the half-opened instant macaroni and cheese on the closet and spilled its contents on the bed.
“What are those pretzels doing there? Clean that up.”
So a pair of jeans it is. I kept the top on. We compromised. Whoa, first truce? The mom sat at the back while ‘l’l me going on a macro heart attack was on the wheel at 60 kph. I couldn’t drive any faster so he took over. It was 5pm, Mactan road. His ticket to Cagayan de Oro will leave at 745 and the traffic moved – yes, pixel by pixel. Part of me wished that he’ll miss his boat, part of me wanted him to leave and not see me again.
He typed something in his phone while the traffic budged an inch. “Can I be your boyfriend?” I bit my lip and looked away. “Tang Ina,” He cursed. “Why does mom have to witness this?” He whispered to no one in particular. The question hang in midair and still fogged my brain for the next hour until it was already 6pm, his mom happily spending money in the casino and us at the ticketing counter to reschedule his departure.
The lady at the ticketing department said, “Sir, there’ll be a twenty percent extra charge for rescheduling.”
“That’s alright. We already fought over that. Charge it.” He winked and the lady blushed.
The lady looked at me and smiled knowingly. Giddily Guilty.
Thursday turned to Friday and his boat was scheduled to leave tomorrow. “When can I see you again?” He asked. “Why didn’t you answer my question? Pungyeta what does it take for you to say yes?”
Should I be carried away to say yes just because we were parked right outside my house and he is leaving to go get his mom?
“I don’t know. When are you coming back? You know too well I’ll just be here.”
“I’ll be gone for a long time. I can’t tell yet.”
“Then there you go.”
I let him kiss me on the forehead and silently got out from the car. The walk to the house felt like eternity. I went inside my room, slumped on the bed, and stared at the ceiling.
Then he called.
On the 6th ring. “Are you mad?”
“It’s hard to let go of someone when you love her.”
“What are you talking about? Why do you have to call? Why do you have to make this difficult?”
“I like you. I want to keep on seeing you. Why can’t I be your boyfriend? Is that so hard to answer?”
“That is so unfair of you to ask me that. You’ll be leaving soon. And if I say yes, what happens next?”
“Tell me. What do you want me to do? 150 employee’s jobs are at stake.”
“I’m not asking you to do that. I won’t let you. You’re putting me on that spot again. I like you but I’m keeping myself from liking you more.”
“I heard you say whenever I like you, you are liking me more.”
There was laughter. The ice was broken.
“How do you see us five months from now?”
“You tell me.”
“My business in Cagayan de Oro will be there. My work in Bangkok will be there. As much as possible I want to take you with —”
and his battery went dead. We’ll talk more. We’re not yet over.