The High-Five

The first thing I knew about you was that you are too close with your so-called best girl – friend, to the point of suspicions that you were secret lovers. I, an impassive listener, just thought “the usual girly guy.”

The first time I heard you was when you coaxed us participants to sing along. I just smiled and shook my head a little, whether you were trying to be funny or to catch our attention.

The first time I met you personally was during a supposedly one-on-one talk. It was at the Metro. I saw you already, but I feigned nonchalance. So maybe you thought you saw us first. With your supposedly “secret lover.”

Using your soul mate friend (yes, I believe you are soul mates and friends only), as a wall, you started acting nervous. You hide behind your “mother” as you direct your funny antics towards me. I seemed to be uninterested. But the thing was, I felt overwhelmed. By you. Yes, by you. My social life had been too stagnant that I seemed repugnant and without grace. But with you, I just had to smile, to laugh, to ride on with your jokes as I find you so charmingly weird I will beat myself bloody if I ever let you see my smile falter.  I did not want your confidence to falter. I suddenly did not want to disappoint you.

We went to the food court and I were about to claim the seat beside you when you said, nope, on the other side. Be grateful I did not take it as a slight. Why do you mind if I sit beside you? It’s not as if you will keep on looking at me across the table. Your eyes were on the cellphone screen.  A ladies’ man, indeed.

When you asked me about my worries; I blurted out my insecurity with my overweight body, and my constant struggle to limit my food. And you simply said, “I like fat girls.” I thought you were referring to your soulmate-friend again. I might have rolled my eyes. What was this? Was I a third wheel here?

But then again, I seemed bored. I did not know. Maybe I was not still impressed. And your friend kept telling me not to mind you. So I tried.

I failed.

I felt glad that you played a charmingly caring person. You did the ordering of food. You did the paying (or was it your soulmate- friend?). When I wanted to bag the remaining food as take away, you got the bag, but I had to snatch it from you as you are not giving it to me for some reason that to this day I still couldn’t fathom.

But when your other female friends come, I could not shake this warning signal “a ladies’ man, a ladies’ man” off my mind and I kept silent. I was wary of ladies’ men for I could be too jealous. Wait, what?

Anyway, we left you to the care of your female friends. Ciao!

I felt glad, for I did not feel overwhelmed anymore. I had not had that much socialization for years that your gregariousness took me off balanced. I just did not know how to react properly. Or maybe you’re just playing friendly. Okay, I appreciated that.

In one of the talks, you were behind us. The talk was veering toward God’s gift of a special person and the speaker was asking if we want our “God’s gift”, then maybe that “gift” was in front, beside or behind us. Did I just hear you squeal a fervent “Yes”?

I did not think much about it.

I was thinking of nothing before but God’s promise of a special person in my life.

Then the past called. I mean, my HS friend, and long-time one-sided object of unhealthy affection suddenly sent a message. There I was in that limbo of indecision. I had already called it quits after waiting for his moves for 6 + years. And here he came, an intermittent but persistent reminder. I was about to go down my knees and plead the Lord to spare me from agony when I heard singing.

Yes, the first time your group sang to us. That was what I heard.

And my HS friend was forgotten.

The next few days I was thinking about you. Yes, you. Why oh why? No, no, no… Not again. Not again. I was sick of this yearning of mine. What if you don’t reciprocate? What if you’re just a ladies’ man, or just too friendly a friend? What if you’re unavailable? And on the trip to the sporting event I had this question of why you were not there.

And when we arrived, I saw you, you saw me, or it is the other way around? And you looked at me, I looked at you. You have this hand poised for a literally high-five, and I reached for the high-five. We were both smiling genuinely.

Then my mood darkened. You just have too many girls around you. Or maybe I was just envious. God, what was happening to me? I shouldn’t feel like this. This was absurd, and improper, and totally out of proportions. But it persisted. And for the first time, I let my disappointment show.

When my female companion nudged me to leave the spectacle, I was just too happy to oblige, but our leader came and turned us back to the action. But my mood was foul already; the sky seemed intent on raining on us for emphasis. And it did. Not without making us eat airborne sand first.

As we watched the others compete, you had seen me with a fresh coat of lipstick. The lipstick color is “Kiss Me Pink” and I thought I saw you staring at my pout before engaging you best girl – friend in another telepathic exchange of opinions.

I felt better when watching your team compete. Even if I had to excuse myself from my companion, just to watch, even just standing quite alone, with a fervent hope for a win. And when you finally sit on the bench where I was leaning on, I had the chance to speak with you.

“Congrats.”

“Thank you.”

And I loved that view I see. The pockmarked cheeks blushing as fiercely pink as my lips.  The smiles were on both lips and eyes. And the image quite did not leave me.

In another meeting I had the intention of ignoring you. But you were there. And you came up to me with your hand poised on a high-five and I did the most natural thing to do. And in my haste to take away the earphone from my ear, my earring fell off. And you picked it up and gave to me. I believed I was not able to stammer an audible thanks. But I kept tugging at that earring for the rest of the week.

You know, I’d been very indecisive about you lately. One moment I like you, another moment I don’t like you. When I was expecting your presence, you were gone. But whenever I told God, “no, no, no”, you suddenly popped out of nowhere, in person or in my mind. My hormonal imbalance did not help either. I go back and forth from intense yearning to an air of indifference and back. I just did not want anything to do with you (even though I still scoured the Facebook wall for any update on you and holding back myself from instantly adding you as friend). I was scared. What if I was cursed? That people I started to like would not be attached to me, not until I have already let go of them completely. The irony. Again, I was scared. Shit scared. And frustrated. That when you bestest friend couldn’t stop talking about you, I felt like “I seriously don’t want to hear this, lemme out of here” and tugging at the necklace.

The cloudy morning of that fateful day I woke up early, and suddenly decided to go for a jog. After a hour of walking, jogging and running (and petting furry cats on the way), I lie down the grass. I did not care if it was morning, or if the sky was so dark it might rain. I lie down, breathed deeply and slowly immersed myself into another state of consciousness. I prayed to God that may his Holy Spirit come to me. In that moment, I felt something like a warm air hovering over my chest. The sounds grew louder. And in my closed eyes, the red gave way to green and then blue. Why blue? Were my eyes still closed? I opened it and the sky was less grey, more blue. Where was the sun? I thought it had grown warm? I stood up, with a heightened level of sensation. The colors were bright, but with a hint of blue; the sounds were crisp and loud, like I’ve never heard this clearly before, nor seen so clearly before. I feel a sense of calmness over me. Even the thoughts of him did not perturbe me.

The activity in the evening was different. I knew that when my leader (his bestest friend) and her leader were praying over me, I felt like someone is preventing me from being fully empowered. It tugged my arms twice, nearly dropping the rosary on my outstretched hands. I wanted to sing, but I couldn’t. In the end I managed to whisper “Father, Father help me”

The invocation left my mortal body too weak. The next day I had the cold. I felt like not blessed.

But to think about it this way, when a person goes through the cold, the body weakens to focus on fighting the virus.

The next day afternoon, I was well enough to carry out requests from my leader and group mate.

I woke up today, saw again the new pictures. I liked the pictures. Then I realized, there were no pangs of jealousy. I wanted to shout for joy! No jealousy! No negativity! I uttered a sincere prayer to God for keeping the peace in my heart. And I intend to keep it this way. I just know God is my Father and He will give me away to the righteous man. The day I realize who it is I will give Him a high-five also. If you are truly God’s gift to me, then, we’ll see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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