Previously: Ice Block
Shifting tide, it will always be, the events of February 3. He showed up unannounced, and the rest, as they say, is history. I trailed behind for a whole month. Searched for his footsteps and adored them to no end. I looked for ways to get close. Dropped the armor that sheathed me from pursuers. I was hoping he would notice, and maybe, resurrect once was, an emotion that he had already put to rest.
It is for this reason I overlooked the epic fail that was the Hopia caper. I could have retreated, or maybe, set my eyes elsewhere. But there was a word to keep, an invitation I personally set. On the night of our re-encounter, I promised a dinner on the eve of Lunar New Year. He was gracious with the accommodation, and despite the absence of labels, the caresses of the nippy air, as fireworks lit the skies of Binondo, tells of a romantic evening.
A moment, I wish not to forget.
It was followed by an unplanned day trip at Intramuros. He was there, waiting, as his siblings took the entrance test at the state university. The pangs of attachment pinched, and despite having to deliver work for the Raketship, I choose to see him for reasons the heart will never speak. Over a shared breakfast meal at KFC, we spoke of what ifs - Chinese Junks mounted with cannons to aid the aging Galleons at the Battle of La Naval. Omitted in history to glorify the feats of Imperio Espana; Left-hand traffic in the streets of Manila before the Postwar returned American cars in the black market; the Tranvias and the question of the hours they operate; and the uprisings of the Chinese in Binondo, and how, despite the bullying of Beijing, we will never extract the race from our blood. Such trivial things we would talk to no end.
How unfortunate that I realized too late.
That me and him speak a common tongue.
Looking through a rose-stained glass window, the events of February would have ended positively: that he would recognize the mended bonds; that he would show reception to the prospects of trying again, and he, at the receiving end; that we would have spent the hours thinking nothing but our lofty dreams and silly imaginations. I would have love that mirrored reality, and savor the fictional narrative, but the present divergence speaks of one thing:
My time is over.
If his brief re-entry meant something, it is to prove that I am capable of feeling - of being selfless and perfect, for the person I would like to spend my days with. Of letting go of some breakups, so I may look into the unresolved hang-ups that will forever scar the heart. And of telling some once-upon-a-time story that may never find a happy ending. I had so much plans in store, ideas he may find amazing knowing I can dip my hands into what he enjoys contemplating. But I appreciate, too, what preoccupies him at present: his devotion to his faith, his family, and his artistry; his solitude and love of sunsets; his liberty to choose who he wants to spend time with. And for all the past I regard as legend, I might just be an abstract in his very interesting life. This, I now embrace with humility, and resolve never to take against him.
The second book of the Weatherman ends here, with me, stepping back but never forgetting who we are in each other's life. And if in some future, fate affords another crossover, it is my hope that the affections I still cradle today already disappears, only for reasons of enduring a lifetime of friendship.