Friday, February 27, 2015

Hopia (Second Part)

Previously: Hopia (First Part)

All I asked was a sign; an unconscious permission to cross over, and for once, go beyond the established friends-with-benefits arrangement we have grown accustomed in the past two years. It's been ages since I really had a Valentine's, where suddenly I appeared in front of the ex's house with a slice of cake to celebrate the occasion. It was a brief, but unforgettable encounter, because as much as I wanted to stay, family duties required me to be at home for my brother-in-law's birthday salubong. 

It would have been a breeze to tell the Weatherman that I'll be coming over, and give him something on that special day. But to speak of the plan defeats the massive undertaking. We are not even a couple to begin with, and to lay down what I had in mind, probably results in being told to - politely, or even rudely - back off, like what I did to someone a month ago. There is certainty I won't be entertained had I asked even for a fraction of his time, so the idea was to surprise the boy, hoping the effort will pay off.

But first, he needs to make me believe I have a chance.

On the eve of Valentines Day, just mere hours after the cryptic Twitter post was seen by hundreds of digital souls, the succeeding updates on my timeline belonged to him. They were objects associated with our common interests, from historical speculations, to places and things that we both love. The idea was for him to click the "star" button to tell me he liked what he saw.

Just one.

So I know, we still have that connection.

To prove my attachment, I scaled the walls of Intramuros for that image of the clock tower of the Manila City Hall in the distance; I took a photo of that stray cat, even distracting her serene gaze into the sunset for her to crane her neck and look at my phone's camera. I rummaged the Internet for that song that got me hooked to his Tumblr account when he used to be a secret crush. Also, I came across an image of that painting by Juan Luna depicting two ladies pointing at the horizon. It represents Mother Spain and Lady Philippines, not as master and slave, but equals in progress and friendship. The corresponding Tweet includes musings about 18th century Manila, and how I'd probably speak English just to pass off as an American-Asian lost in a Spanish colony. The postings gathered more approval than I could ever imagine from my followers, save for one:

The Weatherman.

Either he chose to ignore my tweets, or I was on mute, therefore preventing him from seeing my references.

No sign ever came during the day, and as the night wore on, I was bracing for the possibility that the Valentine's plan had to be scrapped. It was only before bedtime, in a cab going home from buying a cake for my sister's husband did he finally respond to my call: A single "like" for that photo of the cat I posted on Facebook through my Instagram feed. It was not the validation I sought, but it would suffice to raise my hopes and pursue what I had in mind.

At the strike of midnight, I posted a tweet greeting everyone still awake on my timeline a Happy Valentine's Day.

To my surprise, he replied to the tweet, which further emboldened me to make the surprise visit.

"Happy Valentines, Weatherman." I shot back.

Of all the guys who greeted me, it was only him who received a resounding response.


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