Friday, February 4, 2011
As usual, the last semester had always been the most tiring and most challenging period for a college student. It is during this time when a lot of deadlines and clearances are being fixed and finalized. Usually, this causes tears to flood the hallways of our building for some might just find out that they have incomplete requirements, lacking units and failed subjects. And I had been a part of that tradition even if my status is irregular (for I shifted from another course).
The discussion room was again crowded. Normally, this area is where students gather to discuss about academic stuff. But based on my experience, students spend only a quarter of the whole period for academic discussions and the rest would just revolve around anything under the sun.
I saw a lot of familiar faces as I try to find a spot where I can wait for my thesis mates. I tried to greet everyone I know as I made my way and luckily I was able to find an empty table on the farthest corner of the room.
I laid my bag on the table, sat on the chair and heaved a sigh of relief. I wiped the sweat off my forehead with my hanky and opened my bag to get my notebook.
I opened it and something fell on the floor. It was a piece of paper. I bent over and reached under the table. It was the message Enzo gave me a month ago after we did the “deed.”
I’m sorry Marky. I know we shouldn’t have done what we did. But to be honest, I didn’t regret what happened. It was something I would’ve done before with you if only you had given me a chance to love you. But I know eveything is over between the two of us. I know you liked somebody else and I respect that. But here’s an advice from an old friend, if you love him, go for it. Try to let go of your inhibitions and just let things happen. That way, you’ll be able to give the love that you had been keeping all this time.
I smiled as I read the letter. Enzo is now just a part of my past but he left me something really valuable, something that opened my eyes. And now, I’m finally able let my feelings show. I’m happy that Gian is now finally a big part of my life. I folded the piece of paper and kept it in my bag.
I scanned my notes and started thinking about ideas for our thesis topic.
After a few minutes, I spotted Charm entering the room and scanning where I probably was. I raised my hand to make it easier for her to find me.
Charm, carrying a backpack, had a difficult time squeezing herself through the crowd, but she was able to manage.
She was sweating when she reached my table and she quickly laid her big backpack and sat down the table opposite mine.
“Hey!” She said as she tried to relax and take out her own notebook from her bag.
That is how Charm works. She is always ready to work and in the mood to start the agenda. No time for fooling around or wasting time. That is what I liked about her. Whenever she’s in my group, we usually finish our job because she kept on putting all of us back on track whenever we start to deviate from our supposed task.
“Hi Charm! How are you?” I responded as I smiled back at her. She was so busy writing stuff on her notebook that she probably didn’t notice what I said. I repeated my question.
“How are you?”
“Oh, sorry, I just wrote something important about my previous class, I might forget it. Well, I’m good, only tired. I had been here since 8am this morning, and this supposedly my only break.”
“Oh, I see. Sorry if we still need to get your break but we really need to discuss this, you know we have a deadline to follow.” I said, sounding sympathetic.
“Oh, it’s ok, don’t worry. I know. I also want this to be done as soon as possible so we could already consult with sir.” Charm said smiling, assuring me that it’s really fine with her.
We were in the middle of our conversation when Rina and Danny arrived. As usual, they were carrying a pile of books and they probably came from the other college building were Danny works as a student assistant.
It has been really quite a while since I saw Danny. She changed since I last saw her. One of the most obvious was her weight gain. She really gained a lot. I suspected that Vic was the reason why she got fat. But of course, who am I to know. Anyway, she looked really blooming that time and I’m really happy for her.
We all greeted each other and they sat on the other two empty chairs. We began to brainstorm on which topics would likely be used for our thesis and all of us were able to exhaust our brain cells and listed down as many as possible ideas. Danny was the one who was able to give as many ideas as possible.
After finishing, Charm asked us if she can just buy some food from the cafeteria for she is already starving. Rina also asked if she could come with Charm to buy food. Of course, we can’t stop them so there we were, the both of us, Danny and I, left sitting alone on the table.
Secretly, I hated Rina for leaving just us two but I guess it’s better that we talk. To be able to have a good harmonious working relationship with each other means that we should already settle anything that happened in the past. I know Danny and I haven’t talked yet since the 2nd floor incident.
“Uhm, hi Danny! Uhm, hmmm, ho-how are you?” I stuttered like a little child trying to confess something. I really looked stupid that time.
“Oh, I’m fine. How about you?” Danny was looking at me as she replied. The good thing is she was smiling so I took the courage to continue the conversation.
“I’m also good. It’s been a long time.”
“Yes, I know. I’ve been busy nowadays. You see, I’m already working as a part-time student assistant.”
“Ah, yes, I’ve heard it from Rina. That’s good. At least you can earn a little extra to help you in your finances.”
“Totally correct! Since she (her mom) left, I really need to budget the money that she’s sending us, and having a source of extra income really made it easier for me to apportion the money for our daily expenses. Whew, it’s really hard to budget!” Danny said putting her right hand on her forehead and acting as if she’s wiping sweat from her forehead as gesture while smiling.
“Haha, it’s hard becoming a mom!” I said as Danny nodded her head. Right now, the only description for what she’s been going through is acting as the single mom of her two younger siblings.
“Well, actually Danny, I would like to say sorry for…”
“Oh, that? It’s ok. Don’t say sorry, it’s not your fault. You just told me the truth and I really respect that. Actually, I thank you for being honest. At least you didn’t make me fall even deeper without you right there to catch me.” Danny responded without me even finishing my statement, as if she could read my mind.
Her response actually made everything easier for me. She continued.
“I was the one who should say sorry. I left you there hanging. I’m sorry. It was just so heartbreaking that the only thing I can do is to leave because I didn’t want you to see me breakdown. I’ll be honest, you totally devastated me that time. I hated you for not being able to return the love and for rejecting me. But I realized that that’s how life is. We live, we love, we get hurt, and then we learn. Of course, it took me sometime before everything finally sinks in. But I’m ok now. I’m fine and I’m happy!”
Danny said, all-smiles. I’m on the verge of asking her about Vic when suddenly, a tall woman arrived and she was smiling at Danny. Danny in turn smiled back and she introduced who the newcomer was.
“Hey Marky, by the way, this is Vic!” The woman standing in front of me smiled and she extended her hand for a shake.
I just stared at the woman who apparently is the current girlfriend of Danny. Luckily, I was able to react immediately. I smiled back and shook her hand.
Vic sat next to Danny and they looked so sweet together. Danny didn’t directly introduce Vic as her girlfriend probably to avoid tension but she looked at me and smiled. I mouthed the words “I know” and she smiled even more as she hugged Vic.
Rina and Charm arrived carrying a lot of food. They said that it’s quite bothering if they will only be the ones to eat so they also bought food for us. Rina knew that Vic is coming so she also bought for her but she didn’t expect to see her arrive early. Charm looked at Vic, clueless, so Danny introduced her.
We began chatting as we munch on the kikiam, the chicken balls and the kwek kwek they bought just outside the building. We were all having a good time when suddenly Charm remembered something.
“Guys, guys, I just thought about this. Since we will probably start doing all-nighter most of the time to finish our thesis within the given time, have you ever thought of a place where we can stay up all night?”
We were all looking at each other trying to digest what Charm said. Obviously, we haven’t thought about it.
“Well, Rina and I live in an all-girls dormitory so we really can’t offer our place. Unless Marky will dress up in girl’s clothes so we could sneak him inside the building.” Danny said looking at me and grinning.
I rolled my eyes and we all started laughing. Even if I’m bi, I didn’t even consider cross-dressing. For me, it’s the last thing I’d ever do even if I finally admit to everyone that I also liked guys.
“Hmmm, I also live in a dorm, but we can’t stay there very late because we have a curfew. They’re really quite strict.” Charm said.
We only have two people left as options and we’re starting to lose hope. When we organized our group, we didn’t think that place would post a problem to us, but now that we’re trying to think about it, it’s starting to dawn on us that we might not pass the subject given this quandary.
“Uhm, we can actually stay at our place, but you know, I live in Bulacan and you know, it’s not a stone’s throw from here.” I said, sounding unenthusiastically.
“Same here, I live far from here so I can’t offer my place either.” Vic said in a dull voice.
We were all there, losing our appetite as we thought of a place where we could stay.
Actually, there are 24-hour cafés around the university but the problem is that we need a stable internet connection and electricity to plug our computers, but most of these coffee shops don’t have both. It’s either one or the other. Also, if we’re going to do this most of the time, we’ll be spending a lot and since all of us are financially challenged, we already discounted that option.
All of us were silent when all of a sudden, my phone beeped. I took it out and saw who texted.
1 message received
A smile crept on my face as I saw who the sender was. I read the message.
Hi love! My classes are done. Do you want us to meet today? :)
As I read the message, something popped out in my head.
“Hey! I already know the solution to our problem!” I finally blurted out.
“What is it?” All of them said in unison.
“I know where we could stay! We could stay at Gian’s house!” I sounded excited more than ever.
They looked at each other, bewildered, until Danny asked “Gian? Who’s Gian?”
I didn’t mind their confused looks, I just flashed them my widest smile as I assured them that we finally have a place. Secretly, I smirked as I saw Danny’s puzzled expression.