The city streets were empty this late at night. I walked slowly, finding which shops were still open. A line of restaurants had their lights shut off and chairs stacked on top of tables. Of course, convenience stores never close. I did know a particular coffee shop that’s open at this hour, but it’s quite a walk to get there. There’s also a bar still open, but they pumped music so loud, you could barely hear each other talking.
Walks could be fun, even if you have nowhere to go. The city’s so small, you’ll feel like you went by the same spot a bunch of times already. The cool breeze and the night sky, with only the yellow light of lamp posts creating your path. You could talk about anything and release your words into the open air, feeling like you’re the only two people in the world. All of this wide space, but you choose to get closer and closer to each other where anything can happen.
I saw a bus waiting at the Loading Station and ran my way to the doors. There weren’t that many people on board given that it was already late at night. I took a seat in the middle and automatically checked my phone as sort of a reflex action already. Again, there are no new notifications from the last time I checked 5 minutes ago.
I looked up from my phone and stared immediately into the biggest pool of eyes I’ve ever seen. They’re mesmerizing, the ones you could get yourself lost in forever. I quickly snapped back from my trance and scooted to the left, giving him the aisle seat.
“Thanks” he said.
Why do I do this? Why does my heart have to skip a beat every time a random cute guy even gives me a second of his attention? Did I have to say a million prayers for something to happen in this one encounter? Why do I claim ‘destiny’ every time I catch the eye of a cute guy walking by or happen to ride an elevator with someone who’s definitely out of my league? I was clearly pathetic and this was probably because of all of those countless romantic comedies I’ve watched growing up.
A sharp trim and a doll face with a jaw that could cut glass. He’s dressed all formal with a blue buttoned down shirt and black slacks. He must be just be coming home from the office. He’s breathing heavily, his wide chest and broad shoulders quickly going up and down, up and down. Huh, he must have be in a hurry and ran to catch up with the bus. Where was he is going?
Again, I had no clue and I really shouldn’t even bother figuring it out. This was just a few minutes of his day, a normal day, not even a special one. I was a stranger, nothing but part of the blur of faces he can ignore because I wasn’t not significant in his life. When I get off this bus and we go our separate ways, he will only remember the fact that he rode a bus home. He won’t remember the person who gave him a seat who suddenly had a lot of trouble swallowing. What if that’s all I’ll ever be to anyone, a stranger, a blur in the background, insignificant?
Overly dramatic and kind of creepy, right? Nothing even happened. A guy just said one word to me and I’ve already proclaimed that we’re star-crossed lovers. My imagination can just really go out of hand sometimes with love stories of what could be, but never will be. I should stop expecting for destiny to come knocking on my door because real-life doesn’t work like that.
It was nearly my stop when the guy beside me already stood up walked to the front of the bus, stopping at the doors, his hands clutching the railings above. Woah, I must have really given out creeper vibes. I checked my mouth to see if I somehow actually drooled in real life, not just in my head. I did not. I mean, I swear I was just silently crushing on him here in my seat with no actual ulterior motive. We have to respect people and know our limits. For goodness sake, the guy should really chill.
It also was my stop already and the doors of the bus opened. The guy quickly went down and out of the bus, clearly in a hurry. I took my time getting off, mourning the loss of my love. What true headache this is! I watched as the bus took off and set off to walk a few blocks to get to my place, feeling really sorry for myself and how single and lonely I still am.
I lived alone in a tiny room inside an a simple apartment complex. There were two to three rooms each floor and you have to unlock a big silver gate to get inside the building. I pretty much kept to myself so I wasn’t not quite sure about what kind of neighbors I have, but they seem pretty chill. No one I would consider asking for sugar or help if my sink gets clogged up again.
I was almost home, and thinking that I probably won’t sleep right away. I wasn’t quite tired yet so I may stay up a couple of hours more and just binge a couple of episodes of some random sitcom in Netflix. A normal typical boring day where nothing happens, but that’s okay. Nothing ever happens and that’s the way I like it.
I suddenly stopped in my tracks when I saw the same guy from the bus earlier by a gate, our silver gate. He was holding the rails of the gate as if he was just imprisoned from the outside. What was he doing here? I haven’t seen him here before. I would have definitely remembered if I did. Why does he seem really pissed?
God, this was so awkward. What exactly do I say? He seemed to be fuming like he can’t believe what just happened. What do I do? I mean, I was the one who lived here and I needed to get inside already.
I didn’t want to bother him, but I didn’t think he’ll ever finish figuring out all of the problems of the world. After a solid 10 minutes of just awkwardly standing there and internally debating what to do, I chose to say “Uhm…”
He looked up at me like I just murdered his family.
“Sorry” he said and stepped away from the gate. I didn’t think he realized how long I was standing there and staring at him for. I also didn’t think he had any intention of leaving. Weird, why was that? Oops none of my business.
I stepped closer to the door and he gave way a little bit, but was still standing way too close. I opened my bag and tried to look for my key. I rummaged through it, but I keep touching the wrong stuff. Why can’t I find it? This was just getting more uncomfortable by the second and I was getting more and more anxious. I just wanna get inside and forget this day already.
The guy was still staring at me like he was expecting me to open the door for him. Why wasn’t he leaving? Why did he also want to get inside? Go back inside? What the heck was his deal?
This was what I get for using knapsacks. Everything was cramped together and you can never find which is which.
I was growing more frantic by the second and started pulling stuff out of my bag and putting them on the street, my jacket, my charger, my laptop. I still couldn’t find my key. Ugh, this was frustrating. The guy was still watching me and I could already sense that he’s judging me like I was some sort of lunatic. Whatever, I just needed to get inside. I literally turned my bag upside down and dumped all of its contents on the sidewalk.
I didn’t care if I left everything out to be stolen. I just had to find my keys and get away from this guy already. I saw a sliver of silver from the stuff on the floor and immediately lunged down to get it. I was so excited and went too fast, I accidentally head-butted the guy right at his crotch, pushing him backward to the wall.
“Ugh” He groaned in pain.
“Oh God, I’m so sorry. Are you okay?” My hand seeming to reach for his crotch as a reflex as I went after him. After a first step though, I slipped on something and fell on hard my knees in front of him.
“Ow. Ow. Ow.” I tried to contain the pain, my knees were probably so bruised underneath my pants.
“Hey, you have to be careful. Are you okay? ” He grabbed both of my hands and helped me up.
“Thanks. Yeah, I’m fine. Sorry about that.” The words rushed out of my mouth. Shame and total embarrassment was burning me from the inside.
“Did you find your key?” He turned my hands over and opened each of them up.
“They’re not here. Where are they? Your hands are very soft though.” He said suddenly massaging my hands for some reason.
I immediately pulled them away. This night just couldn’t get any weirder. I had to get out of here. The longer I stayed out, the more I’ll make a fool of myself and the crazier I’ll look to this guy. I just wanted this long-drawn out embarrassing encounter to be over.
“I was pretty sure I got it.” I looked at the ground and saw nothing but the guy’s shoes and I now noticed how close we were. I took one big gulp before looking back up, knowing that I was again going to be staring up at those mesmerizing eyes.
Now though, he was staring back into mine with what seemed like curiosity and a hint of amusement.
“Haha. Alright, Let me help you fix your stuff” He said squatting down and picking up my stuff to hand to back to me.
“No, It’s okay. You don’t have to do that”. I picked up my stuff again and put them back into my bag.
“Thanks” I said as I tok the stuff he picked up for me.
I closed my bag and faced the gate again. I put my fingers to the lock. Wait what?
“Where’s my key?” I blurted, confused.
“You still haven’t found it” The guys reminded me. That was my problem. Why won’t he just leave?
“Oh right. Did you see where it went? I know it was just here before I.. ” I said pointed at the ground and then onto his crotch.
“Attacked my manhood?” He said laughing.
“Yeah, sorry about that. I just don’t know where it can be. How can it be here one moment and then gone the next? Like some sort of magic trick?” Something just wasn’t right here.
“Hmmm. I have a guess. I’m not sure, but I think you might have slipped on your keys and it got kicked all the way there” He pointed to the sewer grate.
“Goal!” He said putting his two fists in the air while laughing hysterically.
I on the other hand, wasn’t amused. My mouth was wide open and I couldn’t believe that I am now trapped outside my home, on a night where I maxed out a couple of years’ worth of making an absolute idiot of myself.
I was already starting to cry. I just wanna get inside, get on my bed and cry. Huhuhu. I sat down the sidewalk and buried my face under my arms.
The guy suddenly stopped laughing and went silent for a minute. He took a seat next to mine and said “Can’t you call someone to take you in?”
“No one’s home and I don’t know any of my neighbors. They might not even think I live here and call the police. God, why does this always happen to me?” I groaned into the night.
“What about the door bells?” He asked.
“They don’t work. They haven’t worked since I moved in for a couple of years now.” I sighed as the reality sinks in. This may mark the day of my new life as a homeless person just because I lost my freaking keys and had not made any friends in the city.
“What will you do now?” He asked, clearly ignoring the sobs I was trying to cover up.
“I don’t know. The homeowners aren’t home on weekdays. It’s Friday, so they might get here by 12 noon tomorrow. What will I do until then? I don’t even know if they have a copy of my key with them. I can’t just sleep on the streets tonight? Every night for the rest of my life? I can’t be a homeless person, I won’t survive a day in the streets. Those kids will tear me apart! Huhuhuhu.” I was talking so fast, and the emotion was building up inside me. I didn’t notice I was already sobbing, tears were cascading down my cheeks. So yes, I could always more pathetic. Was it possible to get lower than this?
“Sorry, this isn’t your problem. I’ll figure something out. Sorry for like all of that and kicking you in the balls and stuff.” I said, staring at the ground.
I was bolted back into reality by another round of his laughter. “Hahahahaha. You’re really funny, you know that?”.
I was blinking slowly trying to make sense of this guy’s reaction. He was still laughing with his eyes closed and his hand to his stomach. I mean, shouldn’t he have been running away scared by now?
“You should be on stage. I would pay to see you put an act. I’m Daniel.” He commented. Is he serious?
“Sam” I said slowly, while shaking out the hand he reached out to me.
“So Sam, what do you plan on doing now? You seem to be out of options here” He asked.
“Yeah, well I don’t have money to book a hotel just to spend the night. So, I’ll probably just stare at that gate until the homeowners arrive tomorrow. I can’t exactly sleep on the streets you know, all vulnerable and stuff. This isn’t exactly a safe neighborhood.” I sighed.
“I’d be happy to let you stay at my place for the night, but the thing is, I live all the way up North and it will be morning when we get there.” So he wasn’t from here.
“Yeah, no it’s okay. I’m totally fine. I’ve done you enough trouble for the night already. Shouldn’t you be going home right now? It’s very late.”
“I could, but it is super late and if I go, I might just spend hours waiting for buses to fill up and that’s kind of boring. I’m thinking I can just accompany you, right here until morning. I don’t wanna leave you here by your lonesome. What if something happens to you?” He asked.
“Nothing will happen to me” I said defensively, but still feeling a bit scared on the inside.
“Are you sure? From what I noticed, you get yourself in trouble a lot and you’re fragile as a bird.” He
lifted both of my elbows, like mimicking a defenseless little chick.
“No. I’m not.” I said, but kept quiet when I noticed how much of a kid I sounded, only proving his point.
“Are you sure? I mean you barely know me. What if I suddenly beat you up?” I challenged him.
“Well, I know your secret move already so my balls will probably be ready for any attack.” He’s got a point.
“Hahahahaha. Well, yeah you should do that. But, are you sure it’s okay? Isn’t anybody waiting for you at home?”
“Nah. My parents are long asleep by now and it’s cool. I have no plans tomorrow anyways. I’ll just hang with a crazy person. At least, I’ll be entertained.”
“So we just stay here in the middle of the street until the sun goes up?” I asked him
“Yeah, I’m okay with that? Are you?” He replied.
“I don’t exactly have a choice.” I pointed to the sewer grate and looked at it suspiciously. If my keys were down there, I may just never get them back and I will forever blame it for putting me in this spot.
Now, I had a couple of hours alone with a cute guy in a world so empty and quite, it might as well just be ours.
“Instead of just sitting here, wanna go for a walk?” He suddenly asked, after a few minutes of me just staring into the deep black of the sewers.
This brought me right back to reality or was this a dream? “What the hell? Let’s go.”
Disclaimer : This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
hahaha.. this is cute! checking in for part 2~
Dawn Lyndelle Fernando Paragas
One of my frustrations when I was younger was to write a short love story, too. hehe ❤
Sherile Palmaira Guinto
It reminds me of reading pocket books when I was in High school. Ung feeling mo pag nag stop ka magbasa naka freeze lahat ng characters.
This is nicely written. parang yung mga binabasa ko dating nung HS hahaha more please 🙂
Nice one! Waiting for part 2. Kelan yung part 2?
Great start. This reminded me of my younger years. I usually write short stories pero I never published them, nahihiya ako. I wish I have your courage back then. Will wait for Part 2. 🙂
Prado Arturo Navarro Bognot
Wow! You really know how to write, man! You might want to create a video from this story next time. :))
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