my mobile phone suddenly sounded a lot like my friend mhel. my hands cant seem to grip the gadget tight as i tried to make blood flow thru my numb arm.
dame: sino toh?
mhel: neng!!! andito kami ni tabz sa malate!!! asan ka ba? punta ka dito!!!
mhel was almost screaming while he was trying to make his voice audible in what seem to be a crazy background sound that he was trying to fight off...
dame: huh? anong oras na ba? kagigising ko lang dear... andito ako kina lola.
mhel: pumunta ka dito... andito sila lahat... si tabz, armand, edward, diz, macky at YAMITO... kanina ka pa niya hinahanap...
dame: huh? sino naghahanap?
mhel: si YAM!
mhel: ano ka ba? basta pumuntaka na dito!
i looked at the clock and was shocked to see that ive been sleeping for almost 11hours already.
it was 2 in the morning!
dame: oo nga. nag text ata si macky sa akin kanina, nagyayaya pumunta sa Bed. sige ill fix up first and ill see if i could still be able to catch up with you guys
mhel: wait ka namin ha! dito lang kami sa sonata.
i got up as quickly as possible with nothing in my head but to fix up soon to be on my way. i was so busy looking for a shirt to wear when i suddenly realized that the commotion im making woke up my mom.
mommy: where do you think you're going?
dame: si mhel tumawag nasa malate daw sila.
mommy: so susunod ka?
dame: para pagbalik ko sa makati dadaan muna kami dito to pick up my clothes. mabigat kasi yan eh.
mommy: baka naman andun lang si YAMITO kaya ka pupunta?
dame: hindi... sabi ni mhel lahat daw andun... baka andun nga din si YAM pero gusto ko lang talaga sumama sa kanila
my mom had a look of disbelief in her eyes but like the mom that i've always known her to be, she didnt stop me from going out and just made a point.
mommy: baka isipin ng YAMITONG yan na kaya ka pumunta dun dahil sa kanya???
i was stopped by what she said but i tried to continue picking out a proper shoe for my get-up and pushed that bad thought away.
dame: i dont care what he thinks.
i got into my worn out jeans and black tank top and hurriedly went out to hail a cab. my mom's last words for me for the night echoed inside my head like a headache that nagged me through out the whole ride.
who's he with? he tells me that he doesnt even go to malate that often... why is he there? is he with my friends already? what am i going to do if i see him? the questions seemed endless when i saw nakpil street just a couple of blocks away. when i got off the cab, i went straight to sonata and saw the guys. yamito wasn't there. thank goodness...
sonata was a small cramped crowded place where you could smoke inside, have cheap beer and could even spare some coins for one song in the kareoke machine.
it was a table of five. there was tabz, their new friend mike whom i've also just met, mhel and his frustrating and impossible love... or should i say lust interest, armand. they were almost about to finish their drink so i decided not to order anything. they were talking about ex's and prospects.
mhel: ano ba yan?! kanina pa ito ha!
dame: ano yun?
mhel was looking at his mobile phone. probably got a text message.
mhel: etong ex mo kanina pa niya tinatanong kung kasama ka namin?
dame: ano sinabi mo?
mhel: sabi ko susunod ka.
dame: alam na ba niya na andito na ako?
mhel: hindi pa.
mhel: eh ano naman ngayon kung andito ka? sa kanya ba ang malate?
after that short meeting we fell in line for a dance club right at the corner of the promenade. they call it BED. the line was filled with familiar faces but none of them was YAM. when we finally got in i found myself in a dark, cold, loud and crowded room filled with dancing guys. lights flashed in all colors that you could ever imagine and the music never stopped playing. we went up the second level in the VIP lounge where you could see from an open edge that endless dancing and non stop rhythm that was going on the ground floor.
i was about to enjoy the moment becuase it has been so long since i have been back to that place, when a boy in casual shirt, jeans and cap held my shoulders and stared in front of me.
it was YAM.
it seem the music has stopped and all the people just disappeared. what was left in the middle of that wet and cold place was me and YAM. all i could do was to hold him and wrap my arms around him as tight as i could. it felt like i could just stay there forever, but then the music turned back on as loud as ever and the people slowly began danicing again and i was lost in the middle of the endless rhythm.
i pulled away and turned my back on him. i tried to watch the people as they move together with the rhythym.
yam: musta ka na?
i heard him talking behind me.
dame: ok lang naman.
and i left and went to the dance floor. the details of the place were so prominent. the lights, the music, the drinks that danced together with the guys that danced along with them. i dont know what it is that's happening to me becuase in the midst of all of them i kept on looking at the ledge on the next floor, thinking if YAM had been looking. i tried shoving off the thought and pulled myself to feel the fun of the moment so i started to follow the beat.
then there was a guy behind me who seem not too worried about the arbitrary space that should be in between dancing single guys. he was my type, tall and strong, his face seemed so serious but playful, he seem to be somebody who would tell me what to do, somebody who would say that i'm wrong, somebody who could win an arguement over me, somebody who could make me silent with a look, somebody who could tell me to turn all my plans in another direction and i will be happy with it... but he is somebody that i dont know and my speculations could be so wrong.
i was guided by his rhythym... i was swaying in the direction as he is, i was trying to get lost in my dreamy speculations that somebody within this crowded dance floor could be the guy that's my type and i'm hoping to make my chances with the guy behind me.
and then i saw YAM infront of me... dancing...
he held out his arms and put it around my shoulders and i gave in. i held YAM one more time and left my fantasy behind me. we started to dance. for the first time we have dance together. i dont know why we havent done this in the past 5 months that we were still us and now that we are not, we were dancing like we have been doing this ever since. we danced like we will loose each other if we pull away. but i had to pull myself from going back to the suspended life that i had when i was with him.i have to push him away from the hope and agony and optimism of what i could be for him. something i could not be. something i am not capable of giving him. i have loved him, but not in a way where i would jump a cliff to follow him. i have cared for him, but not when i could feel the hurt that has left me blank all this time that i have given him that care. i know in myself that i was selfish and sinful and i could not bare another day that he would look through the eyes of a man who he thinks he loves and trusts. i needed him to wake up from his dream and i needed to wake from my nightmare.
dame: mhel alis na tayo
i called my friend to ask him if he could take me home.
yam: pwede ba ako sumabay sa inyo? kasi pupunta pa ako sa makati office ko.
dame: sige sabay ka na.
i hurriedly went out of the bar and went rushing towards the parking lot. its as if i was trying to get away from a thought that has been so full of integrity i started to cry.
mhel: neng! anong drama mo?
dame: uwi na tayo.
mhel: sasabay daw si yam ok lang ba?
dame: oo naman.
the ride was long and cold. the sky was beginning to bleed with lighter shades from east to west. i was seated at the back with yam and i kept my stare stuck through the window of the car. i was trying to calm down and compose myself. too much had been said that night even if no words have been uttered. silence covered the truth from us. it may be fear of loosing each other, anger that we dont want to burst that might hurt both of us or just the continuous disagreement that was covered by silence and now in that place where the noise of so many speakers and wild music and crazy drunk people, i have also given him the truth within the silence of each others touch.
the gruelling ride home even got worse when i realized that i need to pass by my moms place to get my clothes. the inside of my ears still had the pressure of those mad speakers when i knocked ever so subtly in front of my moms door. she heard it at once. she waited for me.
dame: kunin ko na yung mga damit ko.
mom: so what happened?
dame: masaya naman. daming tao. nakainom ako pero si mhel naman ang nag-drive ngayon.
mom: si yam?
i didnt know why she needed to ask that question. its as if i havent got enough of too much of him for the night that my family still cares of what was happening to me or to us.
dame: kasama ko siya ngayon. sasabay siya papuntang makati.
mom: andyan siya sa car?
once again she gave me the most sarcastic grin that i felt right through my bones. i was waiting for her to say something about me. i was waiting for her to tell me how stupid i was.
mom: take care ok. im glad you had fun.
she touched my cheeks with her palm and i felt that she was trying to suck all my pain away. she did. it seemed my heavy heart was relieved of all the worries that lingered the whole night.
i remembered when i told yam that it was more of a burden to him if he were to meet my mom... my family. because if things go wrong along the way, it wasnt just me whom he will hurt but my whole family. it has always been that way. i go home to unburden and cry. i look at how this house had been flooded by too much tears and too many disappointments but somehow my mom took everything like she hasnt had enough of the hurt, hers, my sisters and mine. there were too many stories that have been told that made all of us cry, but my mom just had her grin to fill up the spaces with hope and strength. she was more than a mom to me. she is my bearing. she just makes everything do-able... livable. she knew my every heart beat and she knew how hard it is and she understood.
i smiled back at her and went off.
i got home with a heavy head. my eyes were still trying to focus on the blur that might have been caused by the alcohol or that very tiring ride. i dropped face down on my bed and didnt even mind if i still have my shoes on. i know that yam was just right behind me. he stood there as if he was waiting for me to talk.
dame: what time will you need to be in the office?
yam: wala naman. kahit anong oras.
dame: sleep ka muna.
even i didnt believe what just came out of my mouth. but i moved to the side of the bed and gestured that he lay beside me. i know i was out of my mind that crazy sunday morning.
he didnt hesitate. i felt how much he missed me and i missed him too.
he wrapped his arm around me and everything came back. the frustration... the tiring arguement... the immaturity... the lack of trust... the hurt... and i realized that the whole night that i was doing the stupid things that a normal person in a "moving-on stage" shouldnt do, it all would lead to one thought...
"i dont want to go back"
i dont want to be back in that long pause in my life, where everything that i thought would heal me, just left me in a deep hole with nowhere else to go.
and as i drowsed to sleep i knew what to do. i've finally closed this chapter of my life and the next morning when i open my eyes i could look at yam without any regret that my life i now ready to live without him.