Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Long Weekend (Chapter 4)

IV.
I was starting to get confused with the way Eric was acting. It was about 8:30 in the evening and I was washing the dirt and dust off me from the day’s trip. I thought aloud.

We were pretty close, yes. He shares his personal matters with me, we have lunch together at work all the time, and we share a lot of passions.. He even persuaded me to apply for promotions. Earlier, I could have sworn he was giving me signals. Is there a possibility there could be more?..

I rinse off quickly as the warm water began to cool. I enter our room and Eric is lying on the bed wearing only his boxers. Uh-oh. I pick up my clothes from my bag and put my shorts on. Then my t-shirt.

His wet clothes from the trek earlier hung at the back of a chair.
“Gab?” He asks.
“Yup?” My eyes squint as I try to see him through the dim light of the lampshade.
“Let's have a drink tomorrow.” He smiles.

“Sure.” I said. I haven’t had the chance to fill in Tatat of the recent incidents. Earlier at the Yoghurt House restaurant, we only talked about the caving trip that they missed. I turn off the light.

The moonlight filtered through the curtains. I could still see the silhouette of his lean body. I turn in my bed, and closed my eyes.

We spent the following day trekking to the waterfalls. I was feeling good, and Eric was in high spirits. The girls on the other hand, didn’t share the same sentiments. The treks were exhausting, often off the road. We made it home just in time for dinner.

“So, do you think you nailed the interview with MAD?” I ask.

“Pretty much. My stats speak for itself.” He says, taking a swig of beer.

Ang yabang nito!” I laugh. I was feeling a little tipsy already. We were in the middle of our fifth bottles of San Mig Light.

“Can I ask a personal question?”

“Shoot.”

“Would you consider dating a guy?”

Eric laughed. “What a question. Why do you ask?”

“I'm in love with you, Eric.”

He just looks at me silently.

“Just kidding. Forget what I said.” I was trying to make the light of it, but my eyes said it all. He really was the impossible dreamboat, and I never could have him.

I took another swig. We became silent. Eric turns his eyes toward the window, his face unmoving.

We made our way back to our room. Eric was so hammered he just fell on his bed. I watched him for a while as he slept, and then I lay beside him, lost in my thoughts, until I drifted off to sleep.

V.

We were silent inside the crowded bus that took us back to Manila. Eric and I hardly spoke to each other since we left St. Joseph hours ago. I glace to my side, Tatat was asleep, with earphones stuck to her ear. I decided I’ll just tell her about it when we get to Manila.

We finally arrived at about 4:00 am. We got off the bus, exhausted from the trip. Tatat hails a cab, and we say our goodbyes to Jen and Eric. I meet Eric’s eyes as the taxi moved away, I had the feeling it was the last time I'll ever see him.

The night I returned to work, I went to see my ACCM.

“What?” Karen exclaimed.

“Are you sure about this Gabby? You have a good chance of getting the promotion, you know.” She looks at me disbelievingly.

“It’s personal Karen.” I said.

“I’m saddened, but it’s your decision.”

I take a deep breath as I sign the document. I walked slowly towards my station and pick up my things. I had one more thing to do- I pick up a pen and a piece of paper and wrote:

Hi Eric,

I guess I should probably start with an apology or an explanation, but something tells me you already know so I won’t. Like what Tatat said, all anyone had to do was see the way I look at you to know that I have feelings for you. Hey, you didn't tell me at the start of the Sagada trip that Jen was your high school girlfriend, so that makes us even.

I regret doing this, but I feel like this is the only way. Unlike some people who can just move on from such an episode and dismiss it as some interesting anecdote later on, I obviously cannot. I’m still in love with you, actually. That’s so hilarious to hear, even to me. But I guess I couldn’t help it.

I’ve decided it was really time for me to go. If I remain here I'd probably get sent to AeroMed every night for recurring heartaches. I’ll never forget that you’ve always been nice to me from the start, and sorry if I caused you a headache.

“The only true paradises are the ones we’ve lost.” Now I know what that line means. Thanks for the four years of great friendship and company, I’ll always remember that. Those memories are like secret beach coves I alone know about- and they’d always be beautiful.

Congratulations on your promotion. Malou told me about it. I’ll bet you’d make a great ACCM. Take care!

Gabby

I fold the paper and tuck it under the keyboard on his station. I walk towards the elevators and take a last look. Beep! The glass door opens, and I step out.

“Are you ok?” Tatat steps out of the elevator.
I shook my head and I felt my eyes blur.

She squeezes my hand and takes my paperbag. “Ikaw talagang bakla ka.” She makes a face. We both burst out laughing as the elevator closes.

10 comments:

cant_u_read said...

"“The only true paradises are the ones we’ve lost.” Now I know what that line means. Thanks for the four years of great friendship and company, I’ll always remember that. Those memories are like secret beach coves I alone know about- and they’d always be beautiful."

----i'm moved to tears, thad. i really am.

cant_u_read said...

p.s. mind if i add u on my blogroll?

rOckY said...

This was an interesting read - my appreciation for taking the time to share this with all of us.

Phoenix said...

@ cant_u_read: Thanks Rye! I'll link you up as well. I was a little nervous because this was my first short story in years.. haha Mostly inspired by true events ; )

@ rocky: I'm glad you found it interesting = )

Pao Pielago said...

oh thad...i feel for you. was reading your post and i couldn't help but admire your courage to tell him and resolve to move on.

tama yan. never apologize for anything because you know you had to do it. :-)

Phoenix said...

@ pao pielago: Thanks Pao! ; )

cant_u_read said...

well, i think you did a wonderfully great job! (ang redundant! but i mean it, you know!)

Phoenix said...

@ cant_u_read: More to come if I don't have writer's block hahaha! Thanks uli ; )

-=mink_blink=- said...

Thadie, is this true to life? im very much aware kasi na you resigned na from your former job. asking lang. hehehe

but i do like the description of the sagada, makes me wanna go there also.

Phoenix said...

@ mink: not 100% true ; ) bits and pieces of it lang hehe

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