Previously: Night Of The Fallen
Four months later.
Ndoto had just vibrated. It was a message on Viber.
"Manila ka na?"
I knew the subtext of the message. After all, I was dodging his invitation since before Christmas.
"Yup, pero asa work ako. Hehe."
I lied. I was minutes from disembarking the cab a few streets away from his place. It was a variation of the same spin when he returned to the city on the first day of the year. The same ruse, when he invited me for a quickie a few days before Christmas. Sometimes I ask why I'm his favorite target when we only did the act once and the answer that comes to mind is that I live within his vicinity; that I exist because of convenience.
"Oks lang." He replied.
"Heto, nasa bahay."
I sent a grin emoticon to let him know I get the message.
It would have been a fitting cap to a night spent with another friend. A guy I spoke on Grindr before Christmas. I was driven to install the app out of boredom, and just when I was about to linger longer for a possible hook-up, he sent a message and sealed our present.
I deleted the app and never used it in search for another again.
The meet up with this guy could be summed up as platonic. We had dinner at Sinangag Express. And then I stayed at his place while he searched online for a condo unit to buy. Despite the sexual undertones of our past conversations, nothing intimate happened in the privacy of his quarters. Nobody would like to make the first move - and I was, in all honesty - felt relieved.
Not because I didn't find the guy attractive. He's ten years my senior, and if I were looking for a daddy fantasy, I would have done so with a drop of his pants. It is that I decided to respect his lair by never making an impression that I there to have fun.
Or the ties that bind us is nothing but a carnal episode.
Because just by looking at the two situations before me - one of the five I successfully ditched since the start of the Christmas season - I knew how things would likely end when I let lust take over instead of self-restraint. On my way to the meet the guy on Grindr, I was meaning to post an update on Twitter. To express that weariness in picking fights instead of making real connections. Nakakapagod na rin kasi; ang maging on the defense when careless jokes lead to flirting. It must be me who got a problem.
I always take things seriously.
So this is how the year begins. Replete in provocations yet refusing to get into trouble. Attached to several pasts, and declining to open the doors to the present. Unprobed - since the time of the Third. Driller to someone else. The Oracle at the casa has already spoken, and much as I wish to be hopeful that I'd find happiness.
The portents decree against my longings.
Temptations abound and I don't know how long I'd be able to hold back.
But this I know and I'd always be proud of:
That every time I refrain from the call. Every time I practice self-control, opens a path, to a possibility that maybe.
There's still hope that someone special could stick it up to me - that love - like it's my very first.
In the future.