Thursday, January 13, 2011

Act 17: Insensitivity

I was nervous. I kept on tossing and turning on my bed as I thought of what could possibly happen tomorrow, the day when Enzo will go to our place.

It wasn’t like Enzo had never been to our house nor hasn’t he met my parents but to be honest, after quite a long time, I felt like I’ve already forgotten how it feels to be beside him; to be spending time with him.

A few days after we set the date, I was still a little anxious about my decision of inviting him over. Not that I don’t want to see him or anything, because I really do, but the problem is, I don’t know anymore what kind of treatment I should give him.

After all that happened to us in the past, the tears he cried after knowing that I’ve been texting this girl from my high school, and after finally knowing that I can’t offer give him in return the same amount of love that he could offer, our relationship has really been shaky ever since.

All I know is that until now, I still treasure what we’ve shared in the past. The thing is, I don’t know if he felt the same way. Although I know he was the one who first texted me and asked me if we could meet up, I still don’t know whether to agree with the whole idea, but I was too caught up with my misery that I just can’t contain the feeling of wanting somebody by my side.

I told my mom that Enzo will be visiting us in a few days and she was fine with it. She even said that she missed the boy and she wanted to see him too. She also asked me, out of nowhere, if he already graduated and I just told her he was about to.

With my mom’s question, I again remembered the time when I was trying my best for Enzo to be able to enter the same school as mine.

I just smiled as I reminisced the times when I cried buckets of tears after he told me he wouldn’t want to push through with the application. I was so pathetic. But now, I’m happy for him.

He was taking up Engineering in one of the popular state universities in the country and it was already his last year. I’m really happy for him for I know he was contented with his decision. I have nothing against it but, well, I have to just accept and respect it.

I cleaned my room and threw all the trash that could make Enzo’s stay a disaster. I wanted our sort off "first meeting" to be memorable and at least, less of a catastrophe.

I smelled something from the kitchen and I knew my mom was cooking again something delicious for the both of us.

Enzo, like me, is also not a good cook. Well, I’m not sure if he is, but I haven’t seen him cook yet. It was always my mom who cooks for us, or sometimes, we would just order something and let it be delivered.

That’s something that my mom takes pride on, her cooking. She rarely disappoints anyone with her ability to create delectable dishes, but if she does, she really gets upset. Enzo is one of the people who always appreciate my mom’s cooking so I know that she’ll put in something extra special in the dish that she’s preparing.

Enzo texted me early in the morning and said he’ll be a little late, but he’ll be in our house by 10am.

Actually, Enzo and I decided that he should come to our house as early as possible so that we could spend more time together. We really needed a lot of catching up to do. Obviously, he would agree, but everytime he does, I felt something weird. My hesitant mind kept on telling me what the fuck I'm doing. Why am I putting myself in an awkward situation?

Everytime I decide on something which is connected with Enzo, I kept on asking myself whether I made the right the decision.

I kept on having second thoughts which sometimes makes me mad at myself, for deciding without really thinking.

I let my heart rule my head, and that usually happens when I feel down and depressed. And I totally detest it. I felt hopeless in times when I should supposedly have a clear mind.

I am usually a rational person, always trying to find the right reasons and maintaining a rational mind whenever deciding on something. But during this very crucial moment, my rational mind just shuts down. It just always keeps on letting me down.

After knowing that he’s on his way, I finally made a rush decision again on something. I turned off my phone. Well, I didn’t want anyone bothering us, and the least person I would like to disturb was him. The guy who's life now probably revolves around Cliff.

I had been seeing his name on my inbox just this morning but I didn’t bother opening it. I don’t want to open it just to see messages regarding his latest date with Cliff. I just didn’t want to be bothered by things that would only hurt me.

Since I'm already assured that Enzo is on his way and that he still remembered the way to our house, I switched off my phone. I also gave Enzo some landmarks so that he could still find his way just in case.

I kept my phone inside the cabinet and locked it. I gave a sigh of relief and just sat on the edge of my bed. I stared at my study table and my thoughts started to drift.

I remembered how Enzo and I met. And it was actually one of my first weird experiences in the world of, as much as I hate to say it, the third sex.

That time, I have this friend whose name was Hadi. Well, it was already our second meeting but I still feel a little uncomfortable being with him. I just met the guy but since we were sort of getting along well, we decided to meet a second time.

The morning of our meeting, I prepped up and left the house early. We were supposed to watch a horror flick which I had been meaning to watch ever since it began showing in cinemas.

Since I don’t want to watch alone and there’s really no one I could ask out, I asked Hadi, and he agreed.

So there I was, sitting on a passenger FX, on my way to the mall. I chose a mall which would be near to the both of us so it would be less of a hassle.

When I arrived, I quickly went to the comfort room to pee and to check myself on the mirror. I don’t want to look haggard.

After washing my face and drying up, I directly went to the place where we were supposed to meet. It was just near the book store on the ground floor. It was also the same place where Hadi and I first met each other.

He texted me his exact location and my feet led me to the place. There he was, wearing a regular black shirt, faded jeans and slippers. His back was turned on me as I approached him.

I was about to surprise him but he turned to face me and we both got surprised. We just looked at each other and started laughing.

He was enjoying the ice cream he bought while waiting for me as we walked. Of course, we started chatting as we took the escalator up to the cinema area.

He told me he was glad to see me again and that he felt delighted that I invited him. I just smiled and for sure he saw me blush.

Well, I must admit that I’m quite attracted to Hadi. Having white and flawless complexion and a pointed nose, there’s no reason for me not to like him physically. He looked like Kian Kazemi of Trip na Trip although he is not as buff and as tall as the celebrity host.

We looked at the schedule of the movies and there I saw the film I wanted to watch. There are two cinemas which will show the film so we just chose the one which will start after lunch.

When I was about to give him my payment, he just shoved it away. He told me that it’ll be his treat. No matter how I try to decline his offer and give him the money, he just won’t accept it. He was too determined to treat me so I just gave up and thanked him.

After paying, I asked Hadi if he already ate lunch. He told me not yet and he asked me the same question which apparently also got the same answer. Since it’s already 11:55am  in my watch, and the movie will still still start by 1pm, we decided to have lunch first.

While we were walking, something vibrated in my pocket. It was my cellphone.

I took it out and read who sent the message.

To my surprise, the name that appeared was “Enzo Panganiban”.

Enzo was someone I met about a month ago through a friend. Well, he was already my friend in one of the popular social networking sites before and I’ve seen his pictures but I’ve never met him yet in person.

To be honest, Enzo is a good-looking guy. He also has white complexion and a pointed nose (which by now you obviously guessed was my weakness). The only thing is, he’s younger than me by two years.

Hadi on the other hand is older than me by a year. I was only 19 y/o that time and I prefer having older friends than younger ones for I really wanted to have a “kuya” (big brother).

In his message, he told me that he was in SM North, which coincidentally is the same place where Hadi and I were currently at. He was asking me if I wanted to meet up.

I felt a slight hint of anticipation and excitement. I thought that I might be able to meet him and he could join me and Hadi if ever.

I was smiling when Hadi started to nudge my arm asking me if I were still listening. Apparently, he had been telling me about his plan to have an out of town vacation and he wanted me to come.

Knowing how strict my parents are, I wasn’t able to give him a straight answer. I just told him that I’ll ask permission first.

Then, I also told him about this friend of mine. I told him about Enzo. I asked Hadi if it’s okay if he could tag along with us.

His face began to look serious, as if I said something bad. But that time, I really didn’t care much about it. I was too drowned with the idea of meeting and being with two of my friends. I felt like it’s going to be a great day.

Hadi somewhat wanted to reject the idea but I kept on telling him that Enzo is already at the mall and that it would be more fun if all three of us could watch.

I guess Hadi just agreed because he probably saw in my eyes the determination to let my friend join us. I actually discounted the fact that it might be a little uncomfortable for the three of us but as for me, I didn’t think that way for I was hoping the two of them could get along well and that they might also become good friends.

I replied to Enzo telling him about my plan, and he was also a little bit hesitant, knowing that it's our first time to meet and that I'm with someone he doesn't know.

I just told him that it would be fine and that it would be great if he could really join us.  He should not worry too much. "There's always a first time for everything," I said.

I didn't know what sort of spirit that possessed me but I know I'm not my usual self that time. I've never been this brave and confident. Usually, I'm the one who declines offers of dates and meet-ups, but now, I felt like I'm in control. I disregarded all my inhibitions and just let everything fall in its proper place. I didn't even know if what I'm doing is right.

His next reply signified his agreement and he told me he will just meet us on the other side of the mall, in front of the popular fast food whose mascot is a happy bee.

I felt a little nervous as we approached the spot but I am more excited than anxious. The view of the fast food entrance was almost visible from where we were and there I saw him. He was leaning on the wall near the entrance of the store.

My jaw almost fell when I saw Enzo. Damn he looked hot. He was wearing a fashionable shirt, a dark brown potato cap and a pair of jeans. He didn’t look gay. In fact he almost looked like a teenage celebrity.

By the way, Enzo is also a discreet bisexual like me.

He smiled at me and I almost melted. He stretched his right arm and offered me his hand for a shake and I quickly took it. Hadi on the other hand looked as if he didn’t care. He wasn’t smiling or anything. He just maintained his poker face, although he also shook hands with Enzo after I introduced the both of them.

Since we were all starving, we just decided to eat there. I ordered the usual, burger steak and regular fries, and the two also ordered something.

As we sat down, Enzo was opposite me and Hadi. Enzo kept on looking at me. It made me feel a little uneasy because he probably is sizing me up, and I'm afraid I might not be giving him any positive ones. My hands are a little cold and sweaty because his stares were just so nerve-wracking. Hadi just kept his attention to his food without speaking.

I tried to start a conversation to break the ice and Enzo was very eager in answering. Hadi, on my side, just kept on giving short responses or slight nods. He seemed a little disconnected with all that’s happening. He was physically present but it seemed like he just wanted to evaporate that time. It felt like he wished he was just somewhere else other than here with the two of us. I actually didn’t know why he was acting that way so I just ignored him and continued talking.

As for me and Enzo, we were connecting in a very different way. I felt I can connect more with him than with Hadi.

Enzo, despite his age, thinks more like an adult. Whenever we talk, we were always on the same page. In short, we probably have the same wavelength.

As we finished eating and rested for a while, I looked at my watch and it was almost quarter to 1 and I remembered that Enzo still hasn’t bought his ticket.

Enzo was a little caught off-guard when I asked him to buy a movie ticket. I forgot to tell him that we were supposed to watch a film and that we wanted him to come. Actually,  based on the look on Hadi's face, I was the only one who wanted Enzo to come.

He was a little hesitant because he just really wanted to say “hi”. I told him that it’s a waste of time and opportunity if he won’t join us, given that he was already there and that the only thing he needed to do is to buy a ticket.

I saw Hadi from the corner of my eye getting a little annoyed at Enzo but still, he waited for me while I was still trying to convince the latter to come.

Fortunately, Enzo finally agreed (most probably because he already got fed up of my persuasion) and he bought a ticket.

The movie was about to start when we found a good place to sit. I sat in the middle of the two so as not to increase the building tension between them. I was really hoping that they would click, but the relationship of the two just kept on going downhill. I actually never expected this to happen, even more the next events that would occur.

As the movie started, the lights in the cinema were dimmed. While looking at the screen, a hand started to held mine from under the hand rest of my seat. It was Enzo’s hand.

My heart started to beat faster and my breathing started to deepen. It’s my first time to hold hands with another guy. But that time, regardless of how nervous or probably how sweaty my hand was, I also held his. It was soft and just about the same size as mine.

Then he took it and placed it just above his right thigh as he covered it with the jacket he’s carrying. My breathing became deeper still and my heart pounded inside my chest like it will burst anytime.
He then squeezed my hand a little tighter as he looked at me. I turned to face him and his gentle eyes looked directly at me. I was caught by his gaze and I was just smitten.

Our eyes met and it was as if everyone around us disappeared. I felt like we are the only ones left inside the cinema.

Then, all of a sudden, as if awaken from an unconscious state, someone started poking me from my left. It was Hadi. He wanted to tell me something.

I quickly removed my hand from Enzo’s grasp as I lean towards Hadi.

“I’ll leave now Mark. I just can’t take what I’m seeing.”

After whispering me that, he quickly stood up and stormed out of the cinema without looking back. I didn’t even have the chance to explain. He just left, just like that.

Enzo asked me what’s happening but I just kept silent as I went back to look directly on the big screen right in front of me. What happened just slapped me in the face. Was I really that insensitive? Was I that bad?

The movie continued to roll as I stared on the big screen, but nothing was registering on my head. Nothing. I didn’t hear anything, even Enzo’s voice who kept on asking what happened.

Then suddenly, two hands took my hand again and they tightened their hold on mine. I gave in. I held back those hands as tight as I could. He turned his head to face the screen and the both of us just continued to silently watch whatever was being shown. The only communication that happened after that was the holding of the two hands under the arm rest of the two chairs covered by a jacket.