11.05.2007

as always, just like any other day in our past, we were talking about the things that we've accomplished lately, how the day went, who from our friends called to say hi, when did mom last called, who will be cooking for tomorrow's breakfast and as such, when the door suddenly opened, slightly. slowly, it casted the dim light outside the room.

she looked at me as if asking me to do what i was supposed to do, i knew. we knew. so i stood up without thinking, even without wearing my sleepers, and went straight towards the door and opened it fully. there, he sprang just as we thought.

"ma.... i can't sleep."

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ngumiti siya tulad ng inaasahan ko. her eyes, beautiful. smile, still the same. pagkabalik ko ng kama, hindi na asawa ko ang katabi ko.

junjun. our first born. makulit, punung-puno ng tanong, makwento rin, saksakan ng taba palibhasa'y mahilig sa hotdog, at.... hindi ko alam kung hindi talaga siya makatulog sa sariling kwarto, mahilig lang talagang magpakwento o.... ayaw niyang nilalambing ko ang nanay niya. but don't get me wrong, we are a family. ihahatid namin siya sa eskwelahan sa umaga, tiyaka kami papasok sa trabaho. after work, i'll fetch my wife and my ubod ng kulit na junjun. it just depends, 'pag friday, it's either we go to malls or eat, o umuwi ng maaga and schedule it on a sunday. we talk things over every now and then, parang meeting na informal, para hindi nagkakaroon ng misunderstanding.

********

hindi sa nagyayabang pero my wife is really unbelievable. walang binatbat kung ikukumpara sa ibang mga babae diyan. but of course, i won't compare her with them kasi.... there is no point of comparison. basta, ganito na lang, to simplify things, she was just the prom i'm-sorry-i-forgot, held several seats in the student council for almost three years, former ms. un, and held a dozen or two certificates and plaques of different sorts noong high school and college. hindi na mahalaga na isa-isahin ko pa, baka mabilib ka na ng sobra 'pag pati yung recent sasabihin ko pa. okay na na nabigyan kita ng kaunting background. oh! i almost forgot, have i mentioned na misis na si diane kathrina kwok? actually, she holds my surname right now.

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"ma.... i can't sleep."
"jun, you have to learn to sleep in your room. big boy ka na."
"but ma..."
"you are a big boy na. 'di ba?"
"pa.... kwento."
"tungkol sa'n?"
"anything."
"i have already told you all the fairy tales i know."
"kahit hindi fairy tales."

big boy na nga siya. dati, kahit paulit-ulit, he'll opt to listen tales and fantasy stories than real once. pero ngayon, any will do na ata, kahit hindi fairy tales.

"what kind of stories?"
"mga napagdaanan ninyo.... ni mama."
"madami e." as i looked at her, my dear, smiling.
"how did you end up together?"

********

sometimes, all you have to do to catch a big fish is offer her a wedding ring. (from the movie big fish, words are not exact but same thought though) but sometimes, you need not offer such grand gift. kailangan lang magpakatotoo, yung ikaw talaga and your sincere intentions. oo, somehow, it's one way, but if your intentions are good and totoo ka sa lahat ng bagay sa kanya, darating din yun. naturally.

********

"sige."
"yey!"
but you need not remember this story.... because i want to retell this story over and over

********

"hindi naging madali, jun. and, it was like a fairy tale so it'll be a good start for you. (if you know what i mean) during that time, i've known your mama for three years na, pero hindi kami masyadong nag-uusap. the only time na nakakapag-usap kami is either tungkol sa banda (which was parokya ni edgar at that time) o aasarin ko siya."

wait! have i told you na junjun got my eyes and my hair, and her mama's brows and forehead? yung ilong, hindi ko alam. i think it's a blend of the both of us, sakto e.

********

pareho kasi kami ng paboritong banda noon. magaganda kasi mga kanta ng parokya, plus, yun lang yung banda na pinakikinggan ko.

"hindi nga kami nag-uusap. we had our own lives and our own sets of friends. tapos, siguro, mga sometime feb., feb yun, 'di ba hun?"

she smiles and says softly, "feb. 17"

"oo, feb 17, that was our first long-and-sweet-weird text-text. nangyari yun kasi no'ng valentines, i texted all my crushes. kasama siya roon, unfortunately." while laughing. "you see, pilyo ako noon e. just like you. actually up to now, pero sobrang timang ako noon." but then, it was tat kapilyuhan that brought me to where i am right now.... beside your mama. siyempre hindi ko sinama yun. bata pa siya para sa mga bagay na ganyan.

"doon na nagstart. often, we text, 'pag hindi, sa phone kami nag-uusap. halos lahat ng topic napag-uusapan namin. hindi kami nauubusan ng kwento, palibhasa pareho kaming kwentista. and, we enjoy talking, and listening to one another. we were like close friends already kahit noon lang kami nakapag-usap."

"i remember the first time i called your mama. sabi ko sa text, "can i call you?" akala niya kung ano, kasi matutulog na. may pasok pa kinabukasan noon. n'ong pumayag siya na tumawag ako, kinakabahan pa ko, tapos sabi ko, "wala lang, good night."

********

"pa.... ang corny."

naalala ko tuloy yung isang text niya one time. ...una korni pero 'pag andun ka na, pag nafeel mo na, kahit korni, sweet e. (again, not the exact words, but same thought )

"someday you'll understand."

********

"hindi naging madali, jun.... "

"i had my own friends, she had her own. halos magkaiba yung mundo namin for them, kami nga lang ang nakakaalam na hindi magkaiba yung mundo namin. we found out na ang dami naming pagkakapareho. we understand each other, and masaya kami."

"..hindi ko maintindihan." bulong ni jun.

"minsan, you need not understand, just listen."

********

"dumating sa point na halos maggive-up na kami, pero wala pang one week, we were together uli. tapos naging okay na uli. nag-uusap na kami uli. trials lang pala."

"everything was going pretty nice. we were comfortable that way. matagal ko na siyang gustong yayain lumabas that time, and it seemed that it was the perfect time. so, naglakas loob na ko. i asked her, the whole day, to go out with me. ang plano lang is to go to manila bay and eat. kwentuhan lang. pero on our way there, napadaan kami ng museong pambata. ganoong ka-comfortable. naglaro kami sa mga trains, sa tiyan ng tao, animals, bones, plants, madami."

"nang makarating kami ng bay mismo, it was already three. malapit na mag-4 p.m. nagpahinga muna kami, then naghanap na kami ng makakainan for dinner. hindi ko naman mapapalampas yun. it was our first date. una, gusto namin doon sa barko magdinner. kaso, it was way too expensive for us. sabi ko sa mama mo, "dito na lang tayo kumain", at that time, may isang hilara ng mga resto doon." (thanks to mayor fred lim, wala na ang first date resto namin)

********

"pjam, saan mo gusto kumain dito?" i asked her.
"kahit saan.", sinundan niya, "ano'ng favorite number mo?"
"bakit?"
"basta! ano?"
"wala e, pero eight na lang." (kasi jonathan, 8)
"sige, bilang na lang tayo ng 8 na resto, tapos yun na."

ganyan kami lagi e. we are so comfortable with each other na kahit pinaka-batang idea namin, nasasabi namin, napag-uusapan namin. gustong gusto ko talaga.... ito.

"ano'ng gusto mo?" naka-upo na kami sa pang-8 na resto tulad ng napag-usapan.
"kahit ano, ikaw? gulay? seafood? beef? baboy?"
"kahit ano, ikaw na lang diyan, ako sa drinks."
"sige"
"iced tea?"
"okay lang." (tiyaka ko na lang nalaman na sinisinok siya sa coke) "karekare?"
"sige."
"seafood?"
"sige"

at that time hindi pa kami nagshashare ng drinks. and at that time, hindi ako nag-extra rice. (kasi nagshare kami sa rice niya)

after namin kumain, 7 p.m. na. sakto, 7 p.m. ang start no'ng bus na umiikot ng baywalk. no'ng may dumaan, i called her attention kaagad. it was not the one we expected, parang truck lang na may upuan sa likod yung nasakyan namin, pero it was enough para mapasaya ko siya. nagulad na lang ako nang makita ko siya, inaantok na. (that was the first time i saw her na inaantok) so, we decided na umuwi na. after all, ang dami na rin naming nagawa for the day.

********

"noong pauwi na kami, muntik na kaming maligaw. buti na lang may isang pulis doon na nag-aabang ng mahuhuli."

"kuya, dito po ba daan papuntang quiapo?"
"oo, diyan."
"sige ho, salamat po."

"boss, wala kayong sasakyan? dapat 'pag ganyang date dapat nakasasakyan na kayo."
"wala e." i looked at her, we smiled.
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