AOL Clark Parking Lot
Weather Forecast: Scattered rainshowers
Three months had passed since Dean and I broke up. I initiated it. The break-up, I mean. It all began when I saw his email to his office mate, Hannah. Dean didn’t know that I knew his password. He absentmindedly lent me his wallet one day and I caught sight of a piece of paper containing an email address and a password. Curiosity got the best of me so I accessed it. Yes, that was a bad thing to do, but there was something that nudged me to do it. Imagine my surprise when I read his correspondence to her. I was hurt. I confronted him. He lied.
The next day, I caught him red-handed kissing Hannah in his apartment. That was it. I was done.
Three months had passed. According to Popoy aka John Lloyd Cruz (a famous local celebrity in the Philippines), there’s the three month rule that must be observed after a breakup. No one moves on within three months. Got it.
I was single and available and was anxious to move on after that chapter in my life. In fairness, there were at least two people who had already expressed their desires to woo me, but I wasn’t really interested because I was still reeling from a broken heart at that time.
Well, there was this guy I have been friends with – a colleague and constant companion, Axle. No, he wasn’t among those who were courting me, but he was a really dear friend. Eventually, I didn’t realize, i was actually falling hard for Axle due to our occasional walks together at a nearby park in our office, lunches together, him dropping me off work and then we had those constant exchange of Instant Messages (via AIM) and text messages. Somehow, there was something inside me that grew and I could no longer ignore it.
And on that one fine afternoon, on the last day of May, an hour left before we went home, Axle and I had one of our walks along the park at the back of our office. Suddenly, the sky darkened and before we knew it, raindrops fell on our heads. We were already near the parking lot, so we ran to his car and waited for the rain to stop.
Inside the car, he turned on the ignition and we parked a little nearer our main office door. I switched on his CD player and was surprised to hear my “Art of Letting Go” CD playing. I remember him borrowing it a few days back and he told me he was supposed to return it later that afternoon. But he forgot about it until today. The song Stay by Lisa Loeb was playing in the background.
“Of all the songs to play, why this has to be the one to greet me? Huh..” I complained.
“Sorry about that. I forgot you just had your heart broken, right?”
“That’s alright. It’s been three months. I’ve moved on. I think I’ve moved on. I barely think about him actually,” I told him.
“Oh that’s great then. Maybe it’s time for you to meet someone else,” he said.
“Actually, there’s this guy..” I started.
“What? Really? Why am I hearing about this just now? Who is he.. do I know him?”
SO many questions… and I only got one answer. I paused. I lingered. I meditated.
“So… who is he?” he reiterated.
There. He was asking about it. About him. I knew I couldn’t hide my feelings anymore. My feelings for him.
So I finally told him the truth..
I said.. “Axle… actually.. it’s you… I.. I think, I like you… I think I’m falling for you.. I think I’m in love with you.. ”
Holy shit! What did I just say? Oh my.. Yes, I said it..
A twinge fluttered through my belly. Anticipating. Calculating. Nauseating.
Axle’s eyes went wide and his jaw dropped. I thought he was going to strangle me. I thought he was going to laugh at me. And then his face went a little closer to mine. I thought he was gonna kiss me..
And then he murmured… “You know I care for you like a big sister right? You know I treat you like an older sister, right? You know that, Ate Claire?”
Okay… so my world collapsed. Damn it. I was his older bigger sister all along. Damn, that was embarrassing!
He actually called me “ATE” right after our encounter. (“Ate” means big older sister in our dialect). While the song Stay was nearing it’s end, he grabbed my hand and said, “I’m sorry, but can’t give you back the love that you have for me. You’re just confused. You’re not falling for me. You don’t love me.. I’m really sorry but, I love someone else.”
Yes, it was like a basin of water was poured over me. No, make that, a body of water as large as the river was poured over my head.. I was super embarrassed with what I have done. I didn’t know what else to do. So I did what I thought was the perfect thing to do.
I got out of the car, braved the rains and never looked back.