The night was about to fall when I arrived at the place to meet him for one last time. It was a humble home being renovated at the ungodly hour located in a private village in the North of Metro.
I immediately recognized it as the home of my college best friend. What nostalgia summoned me there. I asked.
Upon entering the door, I saw three men, friends of the guy I should be meeting up with, they were discussing some serious matters to the house owners, the family of my best friend.
Lately, I heard they were trying to start a business in which I don’t have any idea on what it was about. At least, that’s the most my interest in the matter could get me.
Everyone noticed as I walk reaching for the sofa, but they did not bother to greet as they were in the middle of a serious discourse. I sat there and waited until he came, the guy I was waiting for.
He came in a shoddy condition, tipsily walked towards the room and fell right beside me. The cushion of the sofa saved his head from having a concussion from a bump he could’ve gotten if he fell on the wooden table or cold ceramic floor.
He was sweating in his burning body temperature and the air didn’t seem to circulate around the room that worsened his health.
I looked at him, trying to grasp his state, thinking what I could’ve done to ease his pain for a while. But I saw a painful sight through his glasses; It clearly reflected his sufferings from his eyes. Red tint slowly covered the pearliness of his eyeballs that triggered my alertness to panic. Trying to make a signal through my hands, I tried to grab everyone’s attention. Yet, not one was alarmed of this guy’s immediate need of medical attention. My effort wasn’t recognized.
Not soon after, the family of four looked at his friends in disappointment. I guess their minds did not meet. Their mental states weren’t mutual as of the moment to agree on the various business proposals, or at least that’s what I figured.
Darkness took over the cloudy sky and his friends bid farewell to the family. I felt that I needed to go with them to assure this guy’s life will not be in danger or else, I know, it will haunt me forever.
When I once again checked his condition, his eyes were tearing blood. That time, I felt I was in inferno, looking at a demon suffering in flames. The entire house seemed burning in sizzling fire but not one item was scorching in fire.
The guy was such a wreck. I sensed his physical and emotional pains, which ripped me apart. Tears began to roll down my cheeks in sympathy for the life he’s trying to win over the god of death.
I wanted to help him, after all, we had memories to cherish and a good story of friendship to tell. I once again attempted to get their attention for the sake of their dear friend. They immediately responded and we hopped into their red sedan.
His head laid on my lap along our way to nowhere near a hospital. I no longer panicked as I notice his health gradually improving as if a miracle happened. I guess, all along, he just needed to be near me.
I pulled out my phone and suddenly called my best friend to inform her about what happened in their home. Talking to her at that moment, while the guy was soundly sleeping in my lap, cheered me up a lot.
It was a long drive from the metro. I napped and lost track of time, but surprisingly, the sky cleared for the daybreak. We reached our destination when his friends left us to finally have the talk. They drove the car back to where they came from without the intention of returning.
The serene nature-loving place was a hilly grassland far away from all infrastructures of the city. A native restaurant built out of interwoven splits of bamboo (sawali) stood there that offered a variety of Filipino foods and cultural dances for entertainment while you dine. It wasn’t that big, but it provides other amenities you could pay for similar to that of hotels – a massage parlor, perhaps.
The entire place was very relaxing and big enough to find your own spot to clear your mind for meditation. We both entered the restaurant to fill our groaning stomachs. The interior was very native with all the wooden furnitures and decorations. Fresh flowers aesthetically pleased the area and its aroma soothed the atmosphere.
Soon after we finished dining, we stayed for awhile and began talking. We discussed the roller coaster ride of our lives during those times we were tiptoeing around what could’ve been cleared as mutual from the beginning. But it was our fate, I believe, to influence each other at some point in our existence that prepared a stable foundation for the life partners we would separately end up with.
He ended it with a brush of his lips against mine. Not too long that would be considered arousing and expression of love. But a kiss that stayed and let me felt the sincerity from the heart. An apology, a peace-making act, and an au revoir until who knows when.
However, it was a burning kiss that left a mark in my lips. It was from a demon in flames that tempted me to ask for more. But I resisted and prevailed the act of the underworld. It was the perfect time to leave everything behind now.
I knew it was the end. The end of a beautiful yet chaotic long journey. It’s time to live our lives apart and just be thankful for the good and bad memories that were left hidden behind our usual recognition. From that day on, until the rest of my days in this life, I knew I had those memories stored in my head even if it no longer crosses my mind.
Finally, I got what I was looking for some time now. Peace finally came into me to continue the rest of my existence with the man I’m in love with. The man I want to be my life partner through the ups and downs that are ahead of us.
Ultimately, both of us attained peace.