After all the commotion onstage, everybody went to the victory party sponsored by the school faculty.
“Sige, una na kayo guys. Punta lang ako sa washroom.”
But really, I just wanted to be left behind for some time. After everybody has left, I went backstage right away to check if the girl is still there. It was still dark back there. I looked to the corner where I saw her but she wasn’t there. I looked around the unlit room, calling her to come out but there was no answer. She was not there. I felt really disappointed. All the gladness I felt after the performance all suddenly dissipated.
There I was, standing in the middle of the stage, with my head looking down the floor in disbelief. My heart was really troubled. I finally saw her once again, but now I couldn’t find her. There are many questions bugging my mind at that very moment. Is she real? Who is she? Why does she suddenly appear and then vanish all the time?
I heard footsteps coming down the center isle of the auditorium, and the image was clapping as it walks towards me. I felt light as I saw her beautiful face smiling at me, with her red lips shining as light from above strikes them. She was wearing pink satin dress, with a white lace tied around her long, black hair smooth as silk. I jumped off the stage and started walking towards her.
“Akala mo umalis na ako ano?” she chuckled.
“Oo nga eh. Nagdadrama na nga ako dun oh.” I said in a shy way, pointing at the stage behind me. I couldn’t tell what my heart wants to feel at that time, if it wanted to get irritated because of her tricking me, or be as light as a feather in the presence of the girl I was longing to see and meet for quite a long time.
She laughed at what I said, and still I was a bit shy. There was a moment of silence, I was just standing there, staring at her.
“Oh, natulala ka na. Kilala na kita, hindi mo pa ako kilala.”
I nodded swiftly in agreement. I asked her name and if she was real, which was a very stupid thing to ask. And I proved myself right.
“Sira ka ata eh. Siyempre totoo naman ako ano! I’m Julia Lozano. It’s nice to finally meet you.”
We shook hands and she explained to me she was Mr. Rey Lozano, our school nurse’s daughter. She is not a student in our school, but she always go to campus to go home together with her father.
“Eh anung ginagawa mo dun sa room nang una tayong magkita nung umuulan?”
She looked up and thought about what I asked. She remembered that she was walking around the school that afternoon before the rain began to fall. She forgot to bring her umbrella so she sought for a place to shed for a while.
“Takot kasi ako sa kidlat kaya hindi ako agad nakalabas noon.”
I laughed hard at what she says, though I know it’s really normal for girls to be scared of stuff. I looked at her, her right eyebrow was rising up, and so I stopped laughing. We looked at each other, and we both burst into laughter. At that moment, I felt that it was the start of something I was seeking for, something that I have been praying for, something that was meant by destiny to happen.
Just a day after the performance, I sent her a text message to check up on how she’s doing.
“Kmusta?? Yun lang sasabihin mo nagtext ka pa?..haha”
I wanted to get angry, but I really could not get mad at her though how much I tried to. It was as if she can do whatever she wants to me and still I’ll still be at her feet. It felt like an addiction, an obsession perhaps.
We sent text messages to each other the whole day. It was a Saturday and I really had nothing to do. I keep on asking her if I was disturbing her, but she always insisted that it was alright and that she was not busy. We kept on texting as if we can never run out of things to talk about. I almost forgot to eat my meals because I was anxious for every reply she sends me. I wait like a pregnant pig walking round and round in anxiousness.
We got to know each other through text before we finally got the nerve to ask her for a “get to know each other personally” time. I thought about what to say for almost six hours, wasting too much paper and ink before I finally figured out what to say exactly. All my skill in writing songs in a flash was no use in this situation.
The date went well; we really had a great time. We had fun strolling around a nearby park, and then went out to eat lunch at Jolibee. We both ate our favorite spaghetti, which is one of many things we had in common. I was really thinking that she was meant for me, we had so much chemistry together, like we knew each other even before we had even met. We spent the afternoon together at a spot beside a white rock by the sea shore. She told me she usually stays there to watch the sun set right before they have dinner.
“Salamat sa paghatid. Sa uulitin ha.” Then she winked at me.
I knew right away what she meant by that gesture. We were still together but my mind was looking forward to the next time we would be together, thinking of other sweet things and meaningful ways to spend our time. I had a huge smile at my face the whole time I was heading back home. I can hardly sleep that night, and I was thinking about taking it to a whole new level.
There I was, sitting beside Julia, eating “chicharon” together with the girl I wanted to spend that exact moment with. We were about to finish our second pack, and I was excited of what was going to happen next. I talked to the vendor earlier and asked him to put something inside one pack of the “chicharon” he was selling. When he saw me and Julia together, he approached us and sold us the packed where my surprise was, just as I have planned.
“Yuck! Bakit may bakal dito?”
She picked up the metal thing inside the almost empty pack. She stared at it for a while, and I was smiling as I looked at her reaction. It was a silver ring with 3 small sapphire ornaments.
“Matagal ko nang gustong gawin ito, pero ngayon lang kasi ulit tayo pumunta dito. Julia, will you be my girl?”
It was a tense moment for the both of us. She looks at me, looks at the ring, looks at me one more time, and then she ran away. I was stunned by what had just occurred. Why? Is there something she did not like with the ring? But why would she bring it with her when she left? Is this not the right time for me to ask her that question?
I found her standing under the coconut tree where I curved out our names inside a heart oddly shaped, she was waiting for me. She had tears in her eyes but she was smiling as I come near her.
“Bakit ka tumakbo? Ayaw mo ba? Okay lang naman eh, kaya ko pa naman maghintay.”
She looked down, shook her head, then she looked back at me. She told me she was just too nervous she did not know what to say or do, so she ran away to think things through.
“So, anu sagot mo?”
My heart wanted to jump so high it could reach the sky. So far, it was the happiest thing that has happened in my life. I was filled with love, it was so intense. We looked at each other, and it really felt magical. It was like finding the perfect lyrics to a scintillating, blissful melody.
We went back to the beach and stayed there for hours, but it felt like forever for the both of us. Our lips smiled the whole time, like it can never be taken away from them. Time flew by that we didn’t realize it was almost 8 o’ clock. We quickly went to her house and bid each other goodbye for a couple of minutes, not really wanting to leave each other’s presence. I even called her right away when I got home. We talked and talked on the phone until our ears hurt and the phone was hot enough to cook eggs.
Our happiness seemed endless for the next few months. We never argued, we never had any disagreements. It was a perfect relationship, I thought. I can never ask for more than this. I almost disregarded everything else, music, academics, even myself for a fact. All I thought of was us. It was everything to me, she was everything to me. And I felt like it’s going to stay this way for a very, very long time.
And somehow I was right. Our loved grew and grew, like a well nourished plant. It bore so many fruits, we both excelled in other things. The intensity we had carried out to other aspects of our life. The things I once disregarded were now blooming along our relationship. Even our faith grew, often thanking the One who gave us the opportunity of our lives.
There I was, just in awe of what was happening around me. My life had a brand new meaning. Like a new song in spring, it brought life back to my soul once cold and alone. It felt like the start of forever, like this feeling won’t die even until forever and a day.