Previously: The Stuff That Haunts You
The story began with an SMS.
"Kagigising lang," I sent after the introductory hello. "Napanaginipan kita."
"Talaga. Anu napanaginipan mo? Iniisip mo ata ako e. Hehe." He replied a few minutes later. At this point, I was searching for excuses. The dream was made up. It was meant to start a conversation.
"Haha jahe yung panaginip." I sent back. "Uu naman, naiisip kita. Iniyakan mo kaya ako nung niroromansa kita."
I still scratch my head in amusement every time I remember our failed and unplanned tryst. I caved in after he gave me a boner when he brushed his elbow against my arm. So instead of me walking him to his dorm, he tiptoed with me to my room.
The kid forced me to spill the beans, and because I was getting horny at the flashback, I gave in to his order.
"Pinakandong daw kita sakin tapos tinigasan ako." In my head, I was drawing his reaction when he got to take a peek at my jun-jun last time. "Kaw naman napangiti lang."
I could have been more graphic with the imagery, but to do so would sound too obvious.
Nevertheless, his response had put a smile on my face.
"Baka nakiliti ako nung tinigasan ka. Hehehe. Gusto ko tuloy ikaw makasama."
Much as I would like to think that I'm less of a flirt than what I write, the truth is, I have my unguarded moments. When I do so, when I'm meaning to seduce someone, I cuddle one's soft spot with the most romantic picture of a couple being sweet to each other.
It so happened that I knew what his interests are, so I weaved it to my narrative.
"Sana man lang kung yung panaginip ko eh nakayakap ako sayo habang nanunuod ka ng NBA. Mas di diyahe yun." I knew the carefully crafted message will get through. As to what outcome I wish to read, I was never certain.
"Na miss tuloy kita. Nainip na tuloy ako mag-19." He told me he would return to the city two weeks from now. To attend a reunion of sort. I told him to stay for the night so he can finally sleep beside me.
"Bsta gustong-gusto na kita yakapin ng mahigpit."
"Aww. Yaan mo, pagbalik mo dito, yayakapin kita ng buong higpit." I replied. "Lalambingin kita sa mga oras na kasama mo ako."
To a pragmatist, the exchange of sweet nothings is a show of pronounced, but hollow affirmation of mutual attraction. He likes me only because I am broad-chested, manly, and have big arms. He had this impression that I was probably mature, protective, and a presence he could seek comfort when he feels vulnerable. Meanwhile, he turns me on because he's a twink, who is masculine, and is very much a reminder of the Weatherman. The fact that I could flirt with the likes of him, when there is certainty that his good looks and manly physique get the attention of everyone, is already a rub to my ego.
To me, ours is but a plaything that is bound to diminish over time. The problem is that I no longer read how kids think of attachments; of how exactly this kid view our exchanges.
"Ikaw ang huling nakadampi sa labi ko at niyakap ko. Ikaw din ang tangi at nag-iisa kong alaala sa Hornet." There was no trickery there. I was sincere with my confession.
There are words, so sacred and ties-changing that they shouldn't be said without actions to back them up. Words that need ground to grow and time to bloom. And while I was guilty in the past of carelessly sending a fitting response when such words are said to me, It is the emotions and moments that linger, when the same, sacred words fail to take root.
The carelessness haunts to this day, but hopefully, I already know how to fake my feelings.
So when the kid, unexpectedly, and irresponsibly sent this reply to me.
I was caught off guard, briefly, only to assuredly tell my self that whatever words the control channel send across the emptiness of hearts, I can take back as swiftly as I had disposed of them.
"I love you too."