kismet (n) : FATE
serendipity (n) : the gift of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for
4:30 am, Sunday: Our bus arrived at the Naga CBD (Central Bus District?)
4:32: I picked up my bags, fished for some TicTacs and semi-fixed my hair.
4:33: I looked out. Usual terminal scene--taho vendors waiting for a hungry traveler who's desperate for some sugar+soy intake, check; porters calling out for heavy travelers, check; people hustling and bustling, check; people waiting at the adjoining metal seats, check.
4:34: Wait. One of those in the waiting area looks familiar...
4:35: I alighted from the bus and walked towards the seemingly familiar person.
4:35.5: We smiled at each other. It's Raymond.
4:36: I told him it was weird to see him there (because I thought of him in passing during the bus ride).
He said he was tasked to fetch his uncle's girlfriend.
4:38: Quick updates. Told him I am headed home to ask for my Pa's permission to file for a LOA (Leave of Absence). He, on the other, have pending applications and plans to apply abroad as a Registered Nurse.
4:40: I was being self-conscious of a bump on my forehead. I often knock my head on the window's metal edge while asleep. He laughed at me and said I haven't changed. (Haha.Really now...)
4:45: He walked with me on the way to the JC Liner lane and said our good byes.
4:50: He texted me the usual pleasantries (take care/hope to see you again/good luck). I said thanks and I hope to jam with him too some time.
4:55: He said if only I wasn't in such a hurry to leave we could have hanged out a for a while. I said, I didn't want him to have to stay there longer than he should have.
4:57: I was floored when he said he actually would very much like to stay.
4:59: Oh, I said. He should have told me earlier. He said he was trying to tell me but then again I was in such a hurry.
5:02: Oh well. There's always a next time. So, I told him I'll contact him whenever.
3:30 pm, same day: Back in Naga. Happy I got Pa's go signal for the LOA and for my Batanes' plans.
3:57: I texted an old friend, asked him if he's in town since I'm on my way to a coffee shop...
5:27: He replied and said he can't drop by as he's into something at the moment.
5:28: I considered my options. To enjoy solitude or to contact someone else? I decided on the latter. I texted Raymond.
5:30- 6:15pm: He said sure he could come and pick me up at the coffee shop. So I waited for him there.
6:16: He apologized for taking a while as he got confused and went to the coffee shop's other branch at Magsaysay Avenue. He didn't notice the part of my message where I said I was at the Panganiban branch.
6:17: No problem, I said. I'll still be waiting anyway whether I'd like to or not as my return trip's not until 9pm.
6:20- 8:30: We walked downtown while talking/we talked while walking downtown. Didn't expect that after 6 years we'll still be "at home" with each other. it was amazing. exhilarating even. I was a bit ashamed though for I bet I sounded like a giddy 16 year old. As expected though, many things have happened to each of our lives within the span of 6 years. He lost his father to colon cancer and his grandma to heart failure. He wasn't able to work permanently in a hospital as he needed to attend successively to his Pa and lola.
On lighter things, we talked about the relationships/loves we had after each other. For the record, we learned ours was still the longest in terms of being together formally. "18 months, right?" He said. (Again, I'm floored. He remembered.) He told me he didn't think we'd even last that long as, according to him, I tried to break up several times. Really? I don't recall that, I said. Must be my amnesia.
We went on talking, walking, talking, walking. He came to know of my dream to travel the Philipppines before the world. At this point, he floors me yet again when he tells me he hopes to win the lottery one of these days so he can join me in my travels. That would be nice, I said. I'll look forward to that.
8:30-8:52pm: Last stop. Triboo Grill near CBD. He treated me with dinner. Meanwhile, the song playing in the background while we were eating was "Maybe this Time." I had to laugh in my thoughts. Happy accidents. Love 'em.