It was 9:30 in the evening somewhere along the busy buzzing streets of Makati, where corporate buildings glimmered as if it were Christmas eve. A gentle, yet cold breeze brushed across my face as I waited quietly at the bus stop near Ayala triangle gardens.
It was perhaps, because of the massive collection of trees around the park which made it a popular destination for young and old corporate workers to gather and meet. Not to mention, there are quite a few popular cafés around the area, as well as notable restaurants perfect for a date or corporate meeting.
As the evening grew colder, rain gently began to pour onto the streets.
Pitter... patter… pit…
The sound echoed throughout the shed.
I swear the weather channel said it would be sunny skies and starry nights.
I told myself, as I quietly fished out my tiny black umbrella.
People then began to flock around the bus stop, and what was once a quiet solstice of peace was now gently engulfed with the busy murmurs of the bystanders waiting for their ride.
I leaned towards a nearby railway, turned my MP3 on, breathing in the cold air, slowly I began to let myself drown into the music and ambiance of the evening.
The streets were crowded, I could feel the mad rush slowly building.
should I head home?
Only to get caught trap in the middle of the sea of cars.
or pass the time?
In my head, I knew the debate was over as soon as I stood up and turned towards the gardens and saw kittens taking shelter beneath the bushes.
A smile crept across my face; it was a moment to cherish, but the dampness in the air, began to send chills, and I thought about coffee or tea, which would be perfect for this weather, while I wait for things to settle down.
My eyes wandered off towards the nearest café, from afar you can see there weren’t many people inside. Until a figure of a man my attention.
After all these years, who would have thought our paths would cross again.
I thought in disbelief, “Could it be?”
My feet began to move forward before I knew it, I was a few steps away from the window of the coffee shop.
“Jun—” I whispered quietly to myself.
I tried to take a deep breath, but before I could do anything else, my mind began to race from past up till the present.
It felt like the droplets of rain stood still, floating in mid-air, and for a few seconds, I swear I could hear my heart beating louder than ever.
In those few seconds, my whole world froze.
Unable to even breathe in anticipation.
It was only when one of the kittens began purring onto my leg, where time began to flow again.
“It’s him…” I murmured, clutching the straps of my bag while trying to tilt my umbrella to hide half of my face, as I took a quick peek at him.
There he was seated, leaning towards his computer, typing away his thoughts.
Caught in a trance, my thoughts drifted to a distant past, a friend used to share me her favorite quote, whenever she felt unsure about life. I remember it went something like—
Sometimes, it takes a leap of faith— to get where we need to be.
It was because of this thought, which made me realize, how quickly life can change with just one hello.
Where a gentle tap on the surface of the window, would just do the trick. Yet, my arms would not lift, and my legs would not budge.
What was holding me back?
Silently, I argued at the back of my mind. Even though, at one point I must have looked out of place, awkward or suspicious from outside.
It was only when he leaned back to his seat, raising his hand, and called the barista that I was able to snap back into reality.
should I talk to you?
I asked myself.
Should I say your name?
Do I have the right to meet you?
I contemplated further—
It is not often that we are granted the opportunity to meet with our past lives. When these occurrences happen, we are often left wondering about the truth and reality of its presence.
Yet, in the middle of these momentous events, it is where we begin to define ourselves without knowing how thin the borders of our lives have been.
Slowly I was able to raise my right hand to the straps of my bag, and I found myself clutching it closer to my chest. Peeling my eyes away from the coffee shops window, I felt the rain that was now drizzling faintly across my cheeks.
He looks happy—
I sighed and thought quietly.
Turning away from the coffee shop, I turned my gaze towards the bus stop.
Perhaps, some things are better left in the past. No matter how wrong or big the misunderstandings that might have happened back then. Some things should be left alone.
I thought to myself this and began walking away.
Even though it felt like my heart was stuck up to my throat, I willed myself to press forward. My resolve to keep him away from myself and disturbing his peace was all I could care about.
As I walked away, I felt a faint nudge from my left shoulder, and for a minute I swore I heard him speak to me without looking back.
My eyes followed his figure running towards the bus.
At that very moment, it was as if the heaviness of my heart was lifted.
It didn’t have to be direct— yet, it felt like it was exactly what I needed.
The sign I’ve been searching for that day.
I realized that the reason why I didn’t want to say his name, I did not want to open a half-baked chapter with him in it. And although it was never sure, he’d be staying in it, some say that our names can hold the future that it must bring.
And in that future, I couldn’t bring myself to have him in it, when I was unsure of where I was going. she thought to herself.
Perhaps she was in love with the idea of him— and knowing him from then and now would be entirely different. All the things that have happened to him which lead to where he is right now.
And as the doors of that bus closed, she watched it drove away.
“It could have been my only chance.”
Again, I whispered to myself.
The Bus stop seemed like a roundabout of the present and past. Where life seems to have made it a subtle chance to rediscover what was once a question into an answer.
It felt like a tombstone without the sadness in it.
Yet, it was as liberating to finally feel like I’ve finally decided.
Letting go of old memories.
Walking towards the future without being held back by the idea of rekindled love.
No fiction. Just the truth of what I’ve built throughout the years.
The idea of living life to the fullest, towards the days of who she has decided.
As she walked away from that opportunity, a bystander suddenly spoke to her.
“Did you miss your bus?” he asked looking concerned.
“It’s fine. Other bus routes will come by.” She smiled as she replied to him.
“It’s getting late though; would you be alright Miss?”
“Yes. I think I’ll be just fine. It’s all heading back the same direction anyway.”
“To where?” he asked looking amused.
“Home.” She responded with a satisfied look on her face.