TAMBUCHO TALE #: 9
TRT: 20 MINS.
Confession: This entry remained a draft for 5 years until an equally depressed friend asked that dreaded question, "What if...?", a few weekends ago (read: recent pre-election liquor ban). It's 25.05.2010 today.
I was on my way to work again that evening. Suddenly, a nice-looking guy seated across initiated a small talk with me. I can hardly recall what he said and what made me react. But it felt uncomfortable knowing that the other passengers suddenly found a real-life source of entertainment. He didn't mind at all.
Eventually, the passenger seated next to me alighted. He was quick to claim the vacant seat as his new territory and our chat went on. I discovered he was 2 years younger (today, I'd call him Kiddie Meal), he hailed from Mindoro and he had a bad injury resulting from his motorcycle accident. Still, his lust for adventure remained unshakable.
He had me at "I made it to the peak of Mt. Halcon...and you can do it, too!"
Well, it's no secret how gullible I can get but his grins and manner of speech reminded me of Jack Johnson's. He was articulate and he made sure our eyes meet. So laidback, so unassuming, so...surreal! It was easy to dismiss it was nothing but a friendly conversation.
When the van reached Baclaran and we prepared to descend, he told me he's taking the same route. Since my office then was along Buendia, I needed to take a bus that will pass by LRT Ayala. His destination was in Crossing; he could take any Edsa-bound bus. Taking the same bus would just prolong his commute. My heart skipped a beat. Was he really THAT willing to extend our light dialogue?
I remember my former team leader saying you can put a guy to a test by insisting to pay for yourself and, if the guy remains firm to take care of everything after three times, he's genuinely willing to shell out for you. He passed this test! But, hey, before you start swooning over there, it was just P9. [Or was the regular fare about P7 way back in 2005?] No big deal.
One block away from my office building, we were engaged in a similar dispute again. This time, he was asking for my mobile number. He thought we'd make good text mates. The first time he did, I said no. In my head, let's see if he seriously wanted to know. The second time, he threatened to join me get off the bus until he obtained my number. With a smile, I shrugged it off, said goodbye and never looked back. He must ask one more time!
Guess what? He didn't come down.
What a fool I had been to expect something cinematic to take place!
Upon depositing my huge backpack in my locker and making sure he didn't manage to steal anything from me, I went looking for my officemate Eleanor to give her a blow-by-blow account of what just happened. When I was finished, she gave me a head-to-toe look. "You managed to attract someone even if you look like that?"
She had a point. I wasn't my usual Marimar self. Unflattering t-shirt, pang-harabas pants, my mother's sneakers and huge backpack. I wasn't even wearing any make up that time. What are the odds I would meet The One Who Got Away that night?
For the past years, I convinced myself he was too smooth so he can chat up anyone that easily. But a part of me enjoys to torture myself with what ifs. What if...what if I gave him my number?