Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Croissant

"You like Dunkin Donuts ba?" The message read. I was busy doing some work-related stuff at that time so I delayed replying to his text message.

10 minutes later, I received another message in my phone's inbox.

"I'm here in Eclipse Gym. Lapit lang po ba dito office mo?"

Urgency demands to send a reply this time, lest I might leave the person on the other line lost in the vast expanse of Wack-Wack neighborhood should I continue ignoring his text message.

"Malayo po eh. Sa looban pa ako ng addtn hills. Ingat sa pag-drive."

"I have something for you so you won't have to think of lunch later." Flattered to the verge of being embarrassed, I discouraged him to pursue his goal. In all the years I've been romantic with anyone, only few - were able to show this kind of sweetness to me.

It's always the other way around.

"Waaah! Dyahe naman. Marami pasikot-sikot from Eclipse going to my office in [Name of the street] Can't even instruct cab drivers where to turn going here. Sobrang thanks! But if u would get lost or into trouble finding my building, okay lang kahit hindi na. Sobrang naappreciate ko yan."

Somehow I felt my reply might have disappointed him.

I tried my best to put myself in his shoes. There he was, braving the dark and dangerous back streets of Addition Hills, while in the comforts of my office cubicle, the only encouragement I showed was to turn him away. I know something's not right. Guilt ridden, my better angels were telling me to give him directions.

After all, no one has ever come this close.

Armed with the best navigational instructions I could muster, every back-street which I denied earlier suddenly got their names back. Every turn, every corner and every landmark was revealed to serve as a guide towards my building. I warned him that the building where we hold office was unmarked. He remained persistent. By then I was sure that no matter how confusing my instructions were, will still lead him towards my location.

Whatever that drives him, I'll leave to his interpretation.


The first time someone attempted to find my office, his efforts were turned down vigorously. The guy offered to bring me some snacks but my conscience insists that I can't let him get close. He was in a relationship. I was in a relationship. And whatever ties that bound us can be summed up with a raunchy one night stand.

The second one who did the attempt was discouraged even before his feet set forth to find me. It was the ex and we were about to split up when he thought of showing up in the office to pick me up. His gesture was sweet, but I saw the whole charade as a desperate attempt to win me back. In five years we were together, he never bothered to make such move. It was me who picked him up and in many occasions brought him straight to his home. Therefore I told him politely that his efforts were appreciated. But no. It was too late for him to turn back the tide.

Less than a week later, I finally left his side.

In times I still remember how to daydream, my mind plays a scene where a guy would park his car in front of the building and wait for me to get off from work. In full view of my colleagues, I would slide myself into the passenger seat and plant a kiss to his cheek. We would then leave to head off to a better place - unmindful of what the people will say the following day.

But daydreams are for kids.

Reality are for those whose eyes have seen how dreams fail.


"I'm here na po."

I stood up from my cubicle without breathing a word. Passing in front of the supervisor, it didn't matter if I sought his permission to take a break or not. Walking quietly along the hallway and into the waiting elevator, confusion reigns over my head.

Why did I reveal my location?

Emerging from the huge gate that separates the inner parkway from the main street, I found his Toyota Corolla parked not far from a bunch of people who would soon become my subordinates. They were having their cigarette break and being new to their shift, I chose not to reveal my true color. Opening the passenger door, I slid myself inside the car. Only few words were spoken, but my hand gripped the one whose hand is still moist from wrestling the steering wheel while driving across the city.

Returning to my work station, I opened the Styrofoam box to find a Croissant waiting to be eaten. It didn't take long for my stomach to grumble. Who in his right mind would resist a crescent-shaped bread with ham and cheese filling? It's ambrosia tempting and its presence starved me. However something tells me to wait. The provider must be honored in subtle ways I could.

"Thank you sobra..." If only he knew how his pasalubong brightened up my weary day.

"I will wait for you to get home before I eat this."

The minutes rolled over while keeping my gaze fixed toward the Croissant. Around me were colleagues who were eating their lunches at past 2 in the morning. Remembering how I evaded people from ever finding my workplace, the sudden revelation made me feel a little uncomfortable. Was it a sign of surrender? Wrestling the hesitations, the guilt, and the ever-looming past insisting to be remembered, I got a text message from the one who made the effort to find me.

The one who might become the next ruler of my...

"Nakauwi ka na po?" I inquired. My tummy was already mounting a revolution.

"Just parking the car. Enjoy your lunch po, I'm home na."

In a matter of seconds, the bread was already within my grasp. Firmly. As I was about to take the first bite, one final thought came to mind.

I guess some past needed to be forgotten to allow a better future to come.

With this, the bread and its filling melted inside my mouth like the fears of getting attached I am temporarily leaving behind.