I watched as she fell 200 meters down the gorge. I felt what she felt. My insides leapt as were hers. I wanted to catch her and when she swung from one end to the other of Bohol’s The Plunge, a deep breath escaped me.
My knees were shaking but as I was next in line among five officemates, I had to muster all the courage I had and take the challenge.
He was biting his lip, squinting at the inevitable fright of the freefall I was about to make. It was horrible. The line could snap and I would be a 24-year-old six feet under. But it was part of my bucket list so I had no room for excuses.
They belayed me down and the operator told me that at the count of three, they would release the cord and I would freefall.
I felt helpless and all I could do is trust that nothing could go wrong.
They were pulling her back to the ramp and I saw her laughing and smiling after that thrilling experience. I was happy for her but I was trembling all over. The operator did the same thing.
As I crouched in that inclined plank while holding on to the harness, I knew that if something could go wrong, I would be a 24-year-old six feet under. But it was part of my bucket list so I wanted to tick it off for good.
I felt helpless and all I could do is trust that nothing could go wrong, that this fall wouldn’t last forever.
He brought me flowers one day and it really surprised me. We just came back from Bohol and he was jumping at the chance for my affection. I asked him if he was kidding. He said he was. It was sweet. I always wanted men to be honest and this one was impressive. He was the silent type; the one that was easy to get along with but never really took initiative, but there he was, brave enough to bring me flowers. He must be ill.
I woke up at 6AM that Monday, and I had Lennon’s “Imagine” on playback while I sipped my coffee. The aroma started playing with my thoughts. I imagined all the what-ifs of approaching her until a spectacular idea came to my mind: why not pick some fresh flowers from Mom’s garden and give it to her? So I did as my intuition dictated and I had the flowers in my hand while teenage girls where giggling when they saw me inside the metro. With flowers in one hand and a palm on my face, I was tempted to just blow off the idea. But I didn’t. So I entered the floor and there she was in her cubicle at the leftmost end. I pretended to be looking at the new paintings that hang on the walls at the end of each cubicle cluster until I arrived at hers.
The only thing I blurted out was: “Um, hi!” She replied with a bewildered “Hello” and I handed her the flowers and said good morning. She said “Ooooookaaaaaaaayyyyy” and that was the longest okay I have ever heard in my entire life.
He brought me to this Chinese restaurant; it was a very interesting one. They had fishes in huge aquariums where you could select for your main course but I felt like they were poor things to be turned into delectable dishes. So I decided to ask him which dishes he would recommend and he suggested some sweet and spicy dishes. I added that would want some stir-fried vegetables with some Dim sum. He said that it was his treat so I could choose as I please. The tea was as soothing as way he glanced at me. I can’t explain why but I felt like he knew me deep inside and I was so comfortable with him.
Then I was talking to him about how nice the place, about the upcoming wedding of my friend Kassandra and how excited I was to be there. I even made a side joke that I would ask Kassandra for him to be my partner in the entourage. But he wasn’t there. He was fidgeting with his fork, rubbing it to the table cloth like he wanted to tell me something very deep.
I asked him what was wrong and if he was okay. He simply told me that it was nothing. I remained wondering.
I sat beside her in church during her friend’s wedding. It was a warm summer day. Everyone had their smiles up to their ears for the newlyweds. I was there and not there. Ivana held my arms and pulled it close to her while watching her friend saying her vows. I looked at her and gave her a smile. She smiled as if she wanted to kiss me that moment. Her eyes sparkled with so much eagerness. I had a placid face after that smile. I knew she noticed.
He sat there at the edge of that sandbar while I was approaching him, my feet sinking in the sand. He was looking at the horizon, deep in thought. I didn’t want to disturb him but I sat down beside him just feeling the wind combing through my hair; I had to hold them altogether. He traced my hair through my ears and kissed me in my right cheek. It was a long one. I closed my eyes and the golden rays of the sun pierced through my eyelids; it was heart-warming. This man loved me so much.
I kissed her cheek understanding that I still didn’t know her. I couldn’t know much more than I wanted to. I was deprived of that gift to ever keep her. It felt like I was going to betray her. It felt like she was taking advantage over me. It was a short kiss.