30 March 2014

The Night I Met You

"Alright. I'll see you tonight."

I leaned on my car and let out a long sigh. I stared at my phone blankly as it did it automatic set-up. The red button turned gray. The screen changed back to its home, showing the photo of my guitar in black and white, with no icon for any application. The light dimmed and soon died off indicating that it has been locked automatically. I let out another sigh before I put the phone back in my pocket.

My head limped forward, as if it was hanging with no support but the skin and nerves connecting it to my body. This certainly would not be a good day and it was only morning. I was not in a good mood when I woke up which was unusual. I have been a morning person for as long as I can remember. Mornings are my best time of the day. And being irritable since waking up had never happened before. Was this what it meant by waking up in the wrong side of the bed? That must be it.

I woke up with an odd sensation within me. I feel annoyed, grumpy, gloomy, out-of-it... It was a feeling so strange that I don't even know what word to describe it. It was worse than the feeling of forgetting something you can't remember, but you were certain that there was something you have forgotten...confusing eh? Yeah, I have been like that since I opened my eyes from a short slumber. I have been on a daze for several times and sighed a lot as well. My sister even told me that I was going crazy.

I don't understand it either. I've never been like this in the morning. It was my best time of the day. It had always been my time. Why this was happening, I had completely not the tiniest bit of idea. Come to think of it, I was feeling like shit since last night. I slept with unease in my mind. I was too bothered that I just want to shut down my fucking brain and sleep. That I did.

What has occupied my mind was her. Again. She had been on my mind since I met her that night in the park. I might not be thinking of her all the time but she was always there. I know, because sometimes I find myself suddenly blurting out questions about her. No one, not even I, could answer them though. She was like a virus that infiltrated my mind ever since, never wanting to leave. She was just there but always hiding her presence. She infected me with an unknown disease and the cure is yet to be discovered.

I felt restless after she left and never came back the previous night. She left to answer a stupid phone call and left me there with no other word. I waited for her like an idiot, expecting she would return. But she never did. I didn't even know what became of her after that. It was happening a lot. She probably liked to worry me, eh?

Despite how bad of a state I was in, I still arrived at her apartment's building at six in the morning. It was already eight but I was still standing outside and waiting. I've been hesitating for the past two hours whether I should just knock on her apartment's door or wait until she saw me from her room's window. I did the latter. Dumb move, I know. I don't know what's wrong with me but that's what I really did. Somehow, I don't really feel like being here. It actually felt like I dragged myself just to get here. Even so I still came here early. Blame it on my fucked up body clock.

All this time I was only staring at her supposedly bedroom window while letting seconds turn into minutes, and eventually hours. I might look like a stalker to others but at the moment, I don't give a shit about their piece of mind. It was unlike the first time I came to visit her. There was no excitement of any sort. I might have even cancelled on her if only I had any way to contact her. Fortunately, or not, I don't. So I was here.

She was the one who invited me out last night but I don't even know if she was serious about it. She was pretty drunk when she mentioned it. Deep inside, I was probably hesitating to see her. Usually I was excited to see her. I will be all antsy and smiling to myself just by the thought of her being in front of me. This time, however, I wasn't. I don't even understand what's wrong with me. I might really be going crazy.

I might have been deep in thought because when I averted my gaze from her supposedly bedroom window, there was someone standing in front of me. It was her - the girl I was hesitating to see. She was in her grey sweat pants and jacket. She looked like she just woke up but managed to fix herself a bit. Her lips were curbed as if she was trying to suppress a smile. She was just standing there and watching me for only God knows how long.

"Hey." I greeted her and unconsciously smiled at her.

She stared at me for a moment that felt like hours, eyes widening the slightest bit. Was there something wrong with me? Maybe, otherwise she wouldn't have had that reaction. A comforting kind of silence fell upon us. I did nothing but study her appearance. Her face void of any make up looked more innocent and younger. Her lashes were still long. Her eyes were still round and big, but they were not the same pair filled with loneliness that I've been used to seeing. I saw my small reflection in them through the lens of her glasses. The sight of her gives me a kind of light and gentle feeling. I did not even realize that I was holding my breath as I look at her. I noticed her smile spread across her face as she returned my greeting. "Morning."

Her sweet and gentle voice rang inside my head. One word. That was all she needed to break the confusion building inside of me. Just one word from her and my hesitation of seeing her disappeared instantly. It felt like her smile took away all the uneasiness within me. Almost. Again, she seemed like an angel reaching out to me.

I have only known her for a few days, and she still has the same effect on me. If it was about her, I wasn't myself. If I was around her, I don't understand my actions. It was like I become someone else while with her. It was like she's making me dance in her palm and she doesn't even realize it. Just why was that so?

"You're early." She said chirpily. She sounded happy unlike the previous days I was with her. The broken tone that I used to hear from her was not there either.

"It's because I'm a morning person." I responded simply.

"Oh, right. Why didn't you go straight to my unit then?" She asked, cocking her head to the side in that cute manner of hers.

"I don't know. Enjoying the morning breeze, perhaps." I answered, putting my hands in my jeans pocket.

"Are you okay?" She asked again, looking a little worried. Her eyebrows furrowed a little bit. Even her worried expression looked cute to me. God, I need to snap out of it.

"Yeah, I'm fine." I simply answered. I am not sure if I actually am. Nor do I know what's wrong with me.

"Well, even if you say that...Let's go to my apartment first." She looked hesitant for a brief moment, like she wanted to say something else but decided against it. Was it because of my current state? Seriously though, what was wrong with me?

I can feel that she tried to lighten the mood between us but I can't somehow go along with it. She told me stuff like how she woke up early and that it was a hard feat for her. How she thought I would not show up since there was no concrete plans and all. She told me all various stuff on the way to her apartment which took like forever. I did my part of entertaining her enthusiasm to talk, but it was still obvious that I was not in the right mood for a long chit-chat. She seemed to sense it but she still tried to fill in the awkward silence that always fall upon us.
"Is your cousin back yet?" I asked all of a sudden. I was afraid that in my current state, a repeat of two days ago might happen. Or maybe worse.

"Yep. But they're still sleeping. I had a friend who slept over." She answered. At least I know that we wouldn't be alone in her place this time.

"Do you want something?" She asked, opening the door as we reached her apartment. I didn't even notice that we were already outside her unit.

"Just water. I brought you breakfast." I informed her and raise the paper bag that I was holding.
"That's nice of you. But I think we should leave soon. So keep the breakfast until later." She answered. It felt like our characters were somehow reversed this time.

"Okay then." I simply answered.

"I'll be quick. Just hang around here first." She answered and left me on my own in the front room of her apartment again.

Unlike the first time that I was in her apartment, I wasn't worried to be found by her cousin. Rather, I just didn't care at the moment. I sat down in the couch, remembering the first time I was in her place. Our interactions were full of drama. Chance meetings, tears and mistaken identities. Had it not been for the dare that my friend imposed on me, I wouldn't have met her. Huh? Oh, right. I should tell her about the dare. I have already forgotten about it.

I looked around her place and my eyes were set on a certain part of it upon noticing a change. I stared at the empty wall where several pictures used to be posted. Even the framed photos were nowhere in sight. The wall that used to have photos of her and her friends became a blank canvas. Is that her first step to move on? Was she trying to forget her ex now? That was a good decision. I don't think she'll ever get anything by being hung up on a cheater of an ex.

But what if she met him and her feelings just come back to her? I have never been in a serious relationship before so I don't really know how these things work. But I think that emotions and feelings don't die. They were always there. So it was not impossible that she still loved him. They have been together for several years. And if he felt the same with her, then they could have the happy-ever-after ending. That's good, right? Fuck, I'm getting all sappy again.

I feel stupid. It was as if I was trying to convince myself that they will happily be back together. I want to think that it will be good for her if that happened because it appeared that she really loved him. But somehow deep inside, a part of me, just a tiny bit of me, was not happy of that happening at all. Rather than convincing myself that it will be for her good, it was more like I was trying hard to accept the possibility of that happening. I feel strange about the whole idea. It was the same odd feeling I had since last night. It was like an uneasy feeling about her, a little annoyance for no particular reason, self-pity; I don't know...just a strange feeling.

But I feel like I'm missing something too. Ah, right. Didn't she just receive a call from her ex last night? So it didn't turn out right? Then, why did she not come back? And why take out the pictures if they managed to patch things up? And what about her best friend? Was she the one who slept over at her place? Oh God! What the fuck is wrong with me? Thinking about her ex is making my situation worse. I should try to think of something else. I should-

I was pulled out of my thoughts by a clap. Her. She was clapping her hand in front of my face, probably trying to get my attention. Was I that deep in thought again? I really need to snap out of it.

"Jacob?" I heard her say in a worried tone.

"Yeah?" I answered, trying to bring my focus back on my surroundings.

"Are you sure you're okay?" She asked. I wanted to tell her that I am but I knew that I wasn't. I couldn't let her know that though since even I don't know what's wrong with me.

"Just a little out of it today. Sorry."

"Maybe you're sick?" She asked and reached to touch my forehead. Her hand was warm and damp. I like the comforting feeling that her touch gives me. It makes me feel secured. It makes me feel like everything will definitely be alright. Damn. Just what the hell is wrong with me?

I held her hand and pulled it away from my forehead. I brought it to my cheek feeling her warmth through her palm. It felt so normal to have her close to me. I looked her in the eyes like I was aimlessly searching for an answer from her dark brown orbs. I wanted to find something, anything, yet there was nothing but concern and worry.

I pulled her hand away from my cheek and placed it over my lips. I kissed it lightly all the while not breaking eye contact with her. I saw a light hue of pink appeared on her cheeks. It was cute but it only managed to lift my mood a little. I squeezed her hand gently before letting it go. "I'm fine, Angel. Why don't you go and finish your stuff. We need to leave early right?"

"Actually, I am already done. We can leave now." She took the paper bag that I placed on the coffee table and headed for the front door. "C'mon. Before my cousin and friend woke up."

Still out of it, I watched her every movement. The movement of her lips as she talked, the way she blinked her eyes, and how she tucked her short hair behind her ears. I've seen her do so for the past few days I was with her. Still, I couldn't help but marvel on how everything about her still feels new to me. It felt like she was a stranger I just met seconds ago instead of days before. She was before me yet she was unreachable. I just need to extend my hand to touch her yet she feels so far away. She was just there but it felt like she wasn't at the same time. I was afraid that she would be just an illusion that will disappear once I try to reach out to her. But the lingering warmth of her touch was proof that she was real. It was my only proof that being this close to her was a reality instead of a dream.

"Jacob?" I heard her call out my name. Her sweet voice was ringing inside my head. I seriously really need to snap out of it.

"Yes, ma'am." I answered and stood up from how lazily I have been sitting in the couch. I tried to add a little bounce to my steps but it also felt like it was not enough. I can feel her wary eyes on me, watching my every movement as I neared her.

I reached for her hand and held it in mine; our warmth mixing in the minuscule of gap between our palms. The comfort I feel from feeling her warmth was my only guarantee that everything was not part of a dream. She did not seem to mind too as she did not try to take her hand back. Ah right. I can hold her hand for as long as I like. Those were her words that night. How long have I known her as of today? Three days.

"What's with three days?" I heard her asked as we continue to stand in the doorway.

"Sorry?" I answered vaguely.

"I heard you say three days. So what's up?" She informed me, curiosity lining her voice.

"Ah. I was just thinking that I've known you for three days now." I answered.

"Oh, was it really only three days?" She asked and seemed to ponder about it.

"I believe so. Try counting."

"Never mind then. I'm too lazy to count." She answered. I let out a breathy chuckle at her remark. Even that felt like forced but at least it sounded natural.

"Anyway, I think we really should leave now. Otherwise, my friend and cousin might wake up soon." She informed me trying to push me out of the doorway and managing to do so.

"Oh, wait! I forgot something in my room." She exclaimed. "Just give me a minute okay?" She said and stepped back inside her apartment closing the door behind her.

Once again, I watched her back until it slowly disappeared from my sight. Her figure as she walked away from me seemed to be etched inside my head. I raised my hand trying to reach out to her but she was beyond my limits. The same odd sensation took over me. Was it longing? Was it loneliness? I don't really know.

All I know was that she left me.


But this time, I was sure that she was coming back.

<< Chapter Eleven

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