As I was half-heartedly listening to the speaker on stage in U.P., I got a text message:
"Buquir! Hindi mo pa ba ako kakausapin? Ang tagal na ha!"
Shit. Si Pumpkin.
"Alam mo kung anong nakakatawa? Nakita ko kanina yung billboard ni Sam Milby, tapos naalala ko how you would always claim na kamukha mo siya. When in fact, mas kamukha mo pala si Toni!"
Reply naman ang gago:
"Kainis to. Andito ako Makati now. Job-hunting. Samahan mo ako. Kuwentuhan tayo."
I told him I couldn't at the time but that we could meet up later around 5pm. Inaya ko siyang kumain somewhere.
Nagreply naman siya:
"Maarte na ako, Buks. Weekends na lang ako kumakain ng carbs. A healthy sandwich would be perfect for later."
May matching smiley face pa. Di pa rin siya nagbabago. Artistahen pa rin.
I asked myself if I was nervous meeting up with him after so many years. I honestly couldn't tell you how I felt. I was, of course, excited. I mean, this was the guy who I considered the love of my life. But do I still feel that way about him? I dunno. But I can tell you this, I wasn't nervous at all to see him.
We decided to meet sa Earl's, dyan sa may Columns. Malayo pa lang, nakikita ko na siya nakatingin sa akin na nakapamewang pa ang puta.
"Ang shugal ha!" ang pagbati ng gago.
I took stock of how he looked. He was definitely thinner.
"Tignan mo oh! May biceps na ako!" Pumpkin said, smiling like a kid.
Ganun pa rin siya. Madaldal. Dire-diretsong salita na medyo bulol. He used to say "sheenyelas" instead of tsinelas.
"Alam mo ba? Umalis ako ng Bacolod kasi yung ka-housemate ko na babae na-in love sa akin! Na-obsess! Medyo awkward na kaya balik Manila na lang ako," Pumpkin said, while taking a bite of his roast beef sandwich, which he chose because it was the priciest sandwich on the menu. Artistahen talaga.
"Sayang nga eh, kasi sa Bacolod, para akong celebrity dun! Doble pa ang pagkasikat ko dun kesa dito sa PS!" he semi-joked.
While he kept on talking, I was texting someone. He noticed that I didn't have his full attention so he joked, "Uy! Pansinin mo ako!"
KSP pa rin ang lolo mo, aheheh.
I was continually asking myself all throughout our conversation how I felt about Pumpkin. To be honest? It wasn't like before. I saw him as I saw him before I fell head-over-heels with him. He was just someone that was fun to talk to and be around with. Dare I say it? Am I actually *gasp* over Pumpkin???
We left when his friend and neighbor came to pick him up. As I was walking towards the office, he texted me again:
"Thanks, Buks! See? No harm in seeing me again... "
No harm indeed... finally.