Saturday, April 22, 2017

STORYTIME: The Future Lawyer – Part II

“Tell me again why you two can’t be together?” asked my friend while she looked at me, one eyebrow raised as she took a puff from her cigarette.
“I..” I started, “I don’t know. The truth is, we go well together but I don’t think he’s ready or he wants it as much as I do. I mean, after I broke up with my last ex, he had every chance to start something with me. To pick up where we left off. Considering how much time we spent together, the topic never came up. But then again, neither one of us brought it up.”
“Maybe he was waiting,” she said.
“Maybe. I don’t know… or maybe there really was nothing left from before.”
“So tell me what happened the other day,” she asked.
I started telling her the story of how he called me up at around dinner time but I missed his call and only got back to him a few hours later.
“You called?” I texted him.
“Yeah. You didn’t pick up. Where are you?” was his reply.
“I was having dinner. I’m home why?”
“You wanna hang out?”
“Now? Uhhm… sure why not. I can only stay out for an hour though.”
“Okay wait I’ll get ready.”
“Actually you know what, it’s almost 2am and you take forever. I’m free tomorrow night if you want.”
He replied and told me that he was ready and asked me to meet him at the gas station near his place.
I thought about it for a minute and replied, “Okay fine. I’m on my way. I need to gas up anyway.”
I took my keys and drove to the gas station and there he was standing at the side. He was wearing a wife beater and those ridiculously short shorts he insists on wearing. I refer to them as his booty shorts, a term he eventually embraced.
He got in my car and I knew immediately where to go. It was the place he once said “would always be our place”. It’s where we always go because it’s close to our neighborhood and it’s open 24 hours.
We got settled in and he went to get a drink. I lit a cigarette.
“So what’s new?” he asked.
I told him about this thing that’s been upsetting me the past few days. He listened.
I pulled another cigarette from my pack but before I could light it, he grabbed my wrist and said, “Stop it! Are you trying to kill yourself?!”
I pulled away and smiled. I lit the cigarette.
"Oh, Happy Anniversary!" he said.
I gave him a questioning look.
"It's been a year," he said.
"Oh right. It's been a year since you disappeared for two months without so much as a goodbye," I answered with a smile.
"Actually, our anniversary was after I disappeared for two months," he said with a sheepish smile.
We started talking about the most mundane of things. It’s what we do when we hang out. We could keep talking the whole night and just get lost in the moment. We’d share the most trivial of stories and all we needed were a pack of cigarettes and something to drink. There are times when we’d realize that we’ve been talking for hours and the sun will be up in an hour.
Midway through whatever we were talking about, he stopped and looked at me.
“Stop looking so sad,” he suddenly said.
“I’m not sad. I have work later and I had work earlier. I’m just tired.”
“No. I can see it in your eyes. I can see how sad you are,” was his response.
I didn't answer.
About 30 minutes later, I called it a night and said we should get going. While in the car, we were listening to music. He played True Colors and said that was his song for me. We were both quiet the rest of the ride.
A few blocks away from his house, I broke the silence.
“Hey, remember a few weeks ago when you didn’t hear from me for a while?” I asked.
“You wanna know why I did that?”
“No. Wait... yes. I wanna know,” he replied.
“Is your default reply to everything ‘No’?” I asked with a laugh. “It’s because I wanted you to miss me.”
That’s the answer I gave him. But it was only half true. You see, there was a time when I stopped replying to his texts and stopped picking up the phone because at that time I felt like he only called me when he was bored. I felt like I was his back up when none of his other friends wanted to deal with him. So it’s true that I wanted him to miss me but I also wanted to feel like I meant something to him.
“So did it work? Your plan?” he asked.
“I don’t know. We don’t talk about things like that remember?” I replied.
“Yeah. Why should we?”
I pulled up a block away from the gate he takes to get to their place. Now whenever I drive him home, he gives me a hug before he gets out of the car.
He leaned in as he always does. But this time it wasn’t for a hug. Before I knew it, I felt his lips on mine.
What lasted for a few seconds felt much longer. He pulled away and got out of my card before I could say anything. I looked at my rear view mirror and there he was running towards the direction of his house.
I drove off.
A few minutes later, I heard my phone beep. I knew it was him.
“I’ll just read it when I get home,” I told myself.
“Sorry. I don’t know why I did that. I’m sorry,” his text read.
“It’s fine. You were probably just trying to cheer me up,” I replied.
“Right,” was his only reply.
I barely slept that night. There were dozens of questions running through my head. Why did he do that? Did it mean something? Were we just caught in some weird moment?
In my sleepless state, I managed to drag myself to work that day. When I got to work I tried calling him. No answer. I told myself that he was probably still asleep.
No texts from him the whole day.
I tried calling again at around 7:00p. No answer.
The next day, I tried calling him at around noon. I also sent a few texts. He still wasn’t picking up or replying. I knew something was up. I knew that he’d be at church later in the evening so I figured I’d drop by and talk to him to clear things. If that kiss didn’t mean anything, then we can just forget about it and put it behind us.
I ended up waiting for two and half hours before he finally came out of church. He was with a bunch of people. I was standing outside smoking. There he was, roughly 8 feet away from me. I texted him to let him know I was there. His phone was in his hand most of the time. He still didn’t reply.
Right then it hit me. He had no plans of talking to me. I started walking to my car.
On the drive home, there was only one thing running through my head. I can’t believe he did this to me. Again.

1 comment:

citybuoy said...

you can only pick at a scab so much until it starts to bleed.