(Continued from The Boracay Eyeball)
And then, I saw a guy standing in one corner. Smiling. Smiling at me. The noise… seemed to fade out. My heart skipped a beat, and I knew it was him.
Indeed it was him.
I approached him, and said almost in a whisper, “Dan?”
He smiled, then a melodramatic pause that seemed like forever. Still smiling, he said “Kamusta, Migs?” Without waiting for my answer he motioned to carry my bag, and all I could say was, “okay lang.”
All familiarity mustered through those phone conversations seemed to suddenly thin away, and I felt I was with a stranger. He looked very different from how I imagined him to be. He was tall, meaty not fat, and there was something so masculine with how he kept his facial hair. He looked like a tanned mestizo, with beautiful almond eyes whose innocent expression betray the provinciano in him. While he was walking me to a clearing where a tricycle waited for us, I was thinking to myself - “Migs, you are in deep, deep trouble.”
“Meryenda muna tayo,” he said. His maasikaso ways added to my dilemma. He brought me to Jollibee, of all places, because it is actually a beacon of progress in rural areas like theirs — “asenso na rin dito, kahit papaano,” he said. We passed by a nearby market where I met his mom, a mild-mannered yet cheerful, wonderful woman. “Migs, sana mag-enjoy ka dito,” I remember her saying. She made us bring longaniza and other stuff as baon and pasalubong to their Boracay relatives. We were on the bus to Caticlan soon after.
I cannot remember now how long that bus ride took - was it 3 hours? 2 hours? 1 hour? It seemed like heaven in aeternum, because as the bus went bumping along to Caticlan, Dan was holding my hand.
*** to be continued ***
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