I sat down, said a little prayer, glanced at everyone around the fast food restaurant and started eating.
It’s 1PM, no wonder there were a lot of people eating. I didn’t play my favorite game, psyche-seeing. I was too busy devouring on my meal. Besides, there was no one interesting enough around. Mas interested ako sa Original Recipe chicken ko.
A little later, there was this guy who passed by in front of me. He was holding a refilled cup of gravy. I thought he looked familiar, but I didn’t bother. But wait… second glance… yes he was familiar! I’ve seen him before, not personally, but in Facebook. Friend siya ni TJ, my recent ex.
Sinundan ko siya ng tingin kung saang table siya nakapuwesto. He went on the opposite side of the restaurant. He sat down on a table with several other people. And then, I saw more familiar faces. Barkada ni TJ ang mga kasama niya. I have never met any of them. I only see them through Facebook kaya ko sila namumukhaan.
One by one, I scanned through their faces. Ayun si Friend A, si Friend B, si Friend C at pati si Friend D. And there he is, nakita ko si ex, si TJ.
After our break-up, ngayon ko na lang ulit siya nakita. Mag 2 months na rin yata.
Unknowingly, bigla ko pala nahawakan yung glass of softdrinks ko and emptied it with one drinking. Stressed! Bigla ako kinabahan. I didn't know why.
Of all places to have lunch, bakit andito rin siya? We are both not fond of eating here. Pero it's not unusual naman din talaga that he's here.
Why haven’t I noticed them before? I scanned the place naman before eating. Maybe I surveyed the people around but did not pay much attention on their faces. I think they were already there before I even arrived. Mukhang patapos na rin yata sila.
Na-conscious ako bigla. Did he see me? It’s not impossible for him to see me. Although we were both at the far end, it’s still easy to recognize familiar faces if you’ll focus on the people around.
And then, I examined myself. How do I look na nga ba ngayon? A bit different from the last time we saw each other. I grew my hair longer recently. Do I look haggard? Hindi naman. I looked perfectly fine. Halos kaaalis ko lang naman ng bahay so I still looked fresh, fresh from the oven. How did I look like when I was ordering my meal? I guess I was fine too.
Biglang naging stalker ang peg.
Pasulyap-sulyap pero trying my best to do it discreetly. I don’t want him to see me looking at him. I don’t want our eyes to meet baka mahulog ulit ako. Yikes!
I tried to concentrate on finishing the rest of my meal so that I could go ahead of them sana pero ang dami pa eh. Baka mauna pa sila na lumabas kaysa sa akin.
And then, nagpakitang gilas na naman ang aking utak - flashbacks – the power of the remembering mind. And they were still vivid. Pero what I remembered now was how I broke up with him. No happy thoughts this time around.
Pero bakit ako kinakabahan? Ang tanga talaga ni puso. Hindi ko naman inutusan na magpalpitate but it’s pounding. Yung feeling na you want to act normal but your body's responding differently.
Once and for all, do I still love him?
No! Ayoko nang magpakatanga. I dumped him too many times already pero hindi siya nagbago. Besides, hindi na kami pwede. He is with another guy now. And more importantly why we can no longer be together is that we are not compatible anymore. He is negative, (well I do hope he is) and I am positive. Yun na rin yung main reason na ginamit ko for myself, my driving force to forget him, para mas madali mai-let go.
I was still having my coleslaw when I looked at their table again. I saw them getting fixed, standing up, and leaving the table. Paalis na sila. And my heart was beating extra fast. Dadaan sila dito malapit sa table ko. What to do?
I faced the other way just enough for me not see him, pero hindi naman tagong-tago. I wanted him to see me. Ayoko lang magkita kami at magkausap ng wala sa oras. I didn't know what to say that time. But I was hoping for him to see me, tap me on the back and say hi. Ang gulo lang.
But nothing happened. A few minutes later, I looked at the door. Wala na sila. They have already left.
"Buti na lang nakaalis na sila." I told myself. Relieved but saddened by the fact that he didn't even notice me. Maybe, talagang wala na ako sa kanya. Oh well.
This, too, shall pass. A few more time, and a little diversion will do. Plus, a new inspiration would do the trick just perfectly. (Did I just say plus? No pun intended. But yeah, a positive inspiration would be nice. Lovely!)
Tonight, I received a text message. The sender's number wasn't registered in my phone book, but it seemed very familiar.
"Hey, nakita kita kanina sa KFC."
Message read, and deleted.