It’s 5:03AM and I am still lulled from the chimera that gently plays in my forever frolicsome mind. But today, I have to move this lazy ass and wimpy feet off the ground and start brushing these flawed teeth wrapped up together with a musk scent of last night’s interfusion of those bitter yet invigorating tequilas and vodkas and whiskeys. I have to wash up and get rid of this chaotic monster that stands before the mirror because today, I have to meet up my friend Lamont who is visiting the metro for a week. For starters, I have to pick him up at the airport before the scorching heat of the sun engulfs the whole city. Thirty minutes has come to pass, here I am now by the elevator slowly stretching my neck as I monstrously yawn, deprived of sleep paired up with sensations of intoxication. Oh, I badly need a demitasse of espresso for this. By the coffee shop I then grabbed a cup and immediately hailed a cab.
As soon as I got one, from the radio reverberates a mundane song that goes by the words “Two hearts, two hearts that beat as one, our lives have just begun”. Aswoon I still was, it became difficult to remember the title but by the end, like a child who got a box of those mouthwatering chocolates, I suddenly shouted vigorously “Endless Love”! Yes, now I remember. The driver then coarsely stared at me for a while as we stopped by the traffic light dangling from the disfigured post which was once hit by a drunk ambulance driver claiming there was an emergency during that time. I just then painted a small smile, trying to avoid grinning wickedly. It was quite a long drive and I can’t barely sleep anymore so I made myself busy.
From the fading shade of this supposedly tinted window, I can see a lot of vendors by the flea market at such an early hour. Bouquets of red and white roses, heart-shaped balloons, chocolates, pink stuff toys are just among those palpable from such a distance. Perplexed I was, I asked myself “What seems to be so special today?” So then, I took out my ancient and humongous phone until it hit me. Shoot! It’s February 14, Valentine’s Day, a day for me and my lover! From a crippled state, ecstatic and pumped up I became until I realized and thought “Wait a minute, I’m still single.” Dismayed I was but then my phone rang. Inscribed from the screen is the name of the first woman I ever fell in love with, my mom. We had our fancy chitchat for a while until I arrived at the airport. As I bid my short goodbye, those words “I love you” that softly echoed through my ears were so heartwarming my eyes broke into small drops of pure crystal tears. It was a totally mood changing scene.
As I stepped off the cab, I then gave my unfeigned smile and gratitude to the driver. Right in front of me now lies thousands of people from all corners of the world coming in and out of our small yet fondly visited homeland. So I did a little time check. It is now a quarter before seven, just right enough to reach the third terminal’s lounge as I wait for my friend who is bound to arrive by 7:00AM as he said.
By the lounge I then sat. To my left I saw a newspaper left perhaps by some rushing traveler. It was still early and I got nothing to do except wait so I then slowly extended my hands on the newspaper, scanning over the crowd if either one remembers to go back for it. As my hand got a grip of it, I then quickly opened it on the most convenient page I could do so. As I started to read the columns, one section caught my eye. Horoscopes! I always love the idea of reading it and debunking every statement written as such instances can almost happen to everyone. Or am I wrong? So for today, my horoscope reads “Taurus, today will just be like any other day except it’s a Valentines Day. As an advice, be cautious about the people surrounding you today. In the near future, you will find yourself tangled to someone and today is the day you will first meet. A great day lies ahead of you. Enjoy!” As I have thought, just another common prediction for today. Destiny, is it? Who believes in them anyway now. Only a teenager would fall for these writings I even insisted to myself.
As I finally got bored from reading, I just decided to walk around until someone tried to grapple with me from behind and whisked my already polished hair. As I look back, it was my friend Lamont. I nearly fought back and punched him straight in the face. He then just cunningly smiled back which turned into a burst of uncontrollable laughter. A little annoyed I was, I just said “Shall we go now?” Through the exit we went and there we then continued where we left off, talking about how things went off after our college graduation. As planned, we will be joining a group of tourists bound for one of the most famous beach lying on the southern peninsula, four hours away from the metro. As we head for the meeting place, we decided to satisfy our hunger first by a local diner just a hundred meters away. Lamont took our orders since I could no longer hold on to the call of nature. By the restroom I rushed and instantly took a seat, not caring anymore about the emanating smell that makes you feel nauseated and want to spew forth everything that’s inside your stomach.
Minutes passed and there I am, free of all that once made me cramp. Heading back to where my friend was seated, I accidentally bumped into someone. She almost fell off so I instantly took her by one hand. A thank you perhaps I expected from such a petite yet gorgeous young lady but instead an upset tone of voice I heard. Sorry I was, I tried to apologize which she gladly accepted. As a peace offering, I humbly asked if she would like to have anything for breakfast in an au courant way as I introduced myself “I’m Thaddeus by the way. Would you mind having something for breakfast? My treat.” Timidly she said “I’m Carlyle. That’s nice of you but I’m with my friends right now.” Hesitant I was to offer her something, but then I saw her friends all looking at me so I then gave her my best regards and walked away.
“Whoa! What was that all about?” Lamont inquisitively asked. I told him what happened yet he kept nagging me that there was something else to it. I just ignored him, grabbed my plate and savored those freshly cooked French toast with bacons. Add up the hot invigorating brewed coffee that penetrates through my nostrils. Once we devoured all the vittles served up our table, we decided to already go by the meeting place.
From a distance I could already hear someone shouting “To El Canto Port!” repeatedly. That would be perhaps the organizer of the trip we are joining in. So I approached her and asked “You must be Ms. Ida? I’m Thaddeus and this is my friend Lamont, and we would be two of those participating in your trip heading for El Canto” with which she simply nodded and replied “Yes, I am. It’s nice meeting you. Please take your seat by the car already while we wait for the others.” We then entered the car and planned on just taking the back seat. To my surprise, by the side of the window there at the back seat was the lady I just met at the diner, Carlyle. I sat next to her and greeted her once more “Hey there. You are also going to the beach, eh?” She looked at me, surprised like I was as she uttered “Yes, I am too. That’s funny. You are going there also. Such a small world, is it?” We both chuckled when suddenly someone was intentionally trying to clear his throat. Oh yes, I forgot I have my friend with me. I then introduced Lamont to Carlyle “Oh by the way, this is my friend Lamont who just came to visit here.” He then took the stage and gave his own self-introduction in a totally snappy manner. We all just laughed at the end of it.
It was already half an hour after eight and Ms. Ida already told us that we are about depart. Along the way, I find myself wide awake. I am not one who really sleeps during travels because I am always fascinated by the new roads I pass through. To my right is Lamont, almost caught up in dreamland with his stentorian snore as it’s visible he is exhausted from his prior travel. To my left is Carlyle, just busy looking over the scenic landscape from the window. I took a deep breath, and gutsily tried to start up some conversation. Dynamic it was not, for I always run out of topics we can somehow start from, a common ground perhaps. As awkward as it already was, I still pursued with talking to her. I don’t know why I am doing this anyway. I might just be bored. Or could this be something else? Somehow, there’s that feeling of excitement which I cannot explain. Is this the long term effect of those booze from last night that my heart is starting to beat faster than the usual? I really don’t know.
Hours have passed and it was already midday, nearly a quarter before one in the afternoon when we arrived at the beach. From afar, I can already feel the sparkling sea of diamond-like pristine water calling on to the very chasm of my athirst soul. It was like heaven. All the worries I had just vanished in an instant as I took repose by the seemingly old yet still sturdy palm tree. Like a balloon freely floating in the air I was as I gazed upon the wild blue yonder. The moment was just perfect until a ball hit the contour of my already worn-out face and quickly slammed to the ground. As I was about to let my steam off to whoever hit me with that, again I saw Carlyle running towards my direction. “I am terribly sorry. I didn’t mean to hit you or anything” she said in a rueful voice expressed even more by those innocent eyes she had. In a blink of an eye, my anger just went off. “It’s okay. It didn’t hurt much at all.” I said in a chortled way. “Are you sure about that?” she still asked. In a manly voice I said “Of course. Just a ball like that?” Match it up with a sexy wink she chuckled. Accepting my reason she invited me to play volleyball with her friends which I modestly declined as I was never really an athletic person. From her eyes I could see her wanting to insist but then she just smiled and went back to her friends.
As they played, I just continued where I left off, completely laid back as I sweetly devour the zest air while listening to the harmonious melody produced by the ceaseless waves. Yet, I can hear someone constantly shouting on one end. The voice sounded familiar so I opened my eyes. As I looked forth where it was coming from, there I saw my friend Lamont playing with Carlyle and her friends. What a very sneaky guy I thought, trying to find someone he could be with by the night. Oh well, he came here to relax anyway just like I am. So I didn’t bother at all. As the somber night came to its peak, our organizer Ms. Ida set up a bonfire for us as we sat in circles. In those moments, we shared about our traveling experiences, where have we been to, where do we plan to go next, why do we travel? It was a conversation full of diverse responses, from jest to earnest thoughts far from the familiar platitudes you usually hear or read. It was a very splendid and satiating night.
As I awoke, by the window I can already see the bedazzling ray of light and feel the heat of the effulgent sun making its grand entrée. After having our breakfast consisting of exotic local dishes, we took one last dip by the summer beach as we are bound to leave by 9:00AM. Soon as we were finished, we then took a bath and had our same seating arrangement at the car, by the backseat as we all slept, exhausted from all the swimming and the like. Tired were we, as we woke up, we were already back at the metro. As we all got out of the car, slowly we bid our farewell to all those we spent time with, most especially to Carlyle. While she walked away, the word goodbye was the only thing that remained in my head. A pleasant trip it was, it’s all I can say. Since my friend Lamont also has plans after, we then separated by the bus station where we were dropped off.
Like a car that has ran out of fuel, there I was back at our home, completely laid back on the sofa. I tried to get some sleep but something kept bugging me. From one side of the sofa to the other I repeatedly changed my view yet still, I can’t sleep. I decided to go online then and there I saw a group photo of our recent travel to the beach already uploaded on the social networking site. I checked out on the profiles tagged and there my eyes got stuck. On the list I saw one particular name, and it was Carlyle’s. I looked up on her profile and without any second thoughts, I sent her a request for us to become friends. Hours I have waited until I got a notification mentioning her accepting my request. Though we became friends, there it has ended. For months, I got so busy at work. I wake up at six in the morning, leave the house at around quarter before seven, and come home again by seven or eight in the evening. My social life ends there, I presumably concluded.
Then, one day, I woke up late due to all those late night overtime works I have gotten myself into. As I tried to rush and enter the office by 9:00AM, I suddenly hit someone moments after I exited by our house’s gate. To my surprise, I looked back and saw a lady, a familiar face again. It was Carlyle. For the second time, I bumped into her. Sorry I was again, I begged for her forgiveness. It was in those moments I have learned she actually lives just around two blocks away from us, and she has been working just by the twenty-third floor of the building where I also go to work. Coincidence was it, or could this be destiny? Precisely, was it by kismet that we met?