The wind was chilly and I felt it sting my cheeks.
Eric was waiting at the bus station.
“At Four Am?”
“Tatat and I had a little argument.”
“Forget it, we do these things.” I said dismissively as I boarded the bus. I was quiet on the way to Batangas Pier.
Tatat did have a point, Eric was like a bad habit I have. This time, I hope she isn’t right about the ending.
The sun was rising in the horizon as the boat drifted in the water. I looked at the man beside me and smiled. He was a little older, and I notice new lines on his face I haven’t seen before.
He had a few freckles on the bridge of his nose, and a laugh line that would show itself now and then.
“All aboard!” Eric said, with anticipation in his eyes.
I was massaging my slightly sunburned neck as we walked on the sand. We had joined a group of Korean students snorkeling at high noon. Bad idea- even with sunblock lotion, Eric and I were as red as beets because of sunburn. The sun was now setting, and we were on the way to the bars.
Eric laughed. “Who’s idea was it to join those Korean kids?”
“Better than just stay in the room. There was nothing else to do earlier.”
“Then stop complaining.”
We settled at a popular hangout called Peter's. After dinner, we started a round of cocktails.
“I’ve always been curious. How did you react when you found my letter that night?”
He looks me in the eye.
“A little sad.”
“Just a little?”
“I was sad because I lost a friend.”
I stopped. “Why did you invite me here?”
“I missed you.”
Early the next day, we had to return to Manila because of a 911 situation at work and Eric was expected later in the day. I myself needed to get back to Tacloban the following day. We were walking along the shore, waiting for the boat to take us back to Batangas.
“So, how do you like the shift in career so far?”
I make a face. “Sucks.”
“But you don’t want to go back to the Customer Service Industry either.”
“I told you, I’m done with that already.”
I nudge him on the stomach.
“Aren’t you tired of the night shift?”
“Ah, what a great ACCM you are. Six years and still going”
“What time is your flight tomorrow?”
“I’ll have to check my ticket. I left it in Tatat’s apartment.”
“Gab, I appreciate your coming with me.”
“Ang pormal mo naman.”
“It’s hard for me to say it sometimes.”
“In my book, I always get to decide the ending.”
He looks at me. His hair blown by the wind, his face tan, and that little laugh line showing itself again.
“And how does this end?”
“The good guy gets the guy.”
He gives me a wide smile that was almost a laugh of delight. He grabs my hand and pulls me in the direction of the boat that was now moored to the shore.