Aaminin ko, si Schoolboi na siguro ang pinakapoging naka-date ko.
On the way to Bonifacio High, while in his car, I kept making kurot myself just to make sure na hindi ako nanaginip (utong ko ang kinukurot ko para may halong kiliti).
"You're very quiet," ang puna ni Schoolboi habang lumiko kami sa McKinley Road.
Tumingin ako sa kaniya, and I couldn't help but gasp a little as I noticed how good he looked tonight.
Actually, scratch that.
He did not just look good in his navy blue long-sleeved shirt.
He looked edible.
Yung tipong pagnaglalakad ka sa mall tapos ito yung naka-akbay sayo, parang feeling mo ikaw na ang pinakamagandang lukaret sa NCR.
Plus, he was wearing my favorite perfume, Kenzo L'eau Par.
Anyway, I didn't exactly know how to respond to what he said so ngumiti na lang ako.
"You don't think this is a good idea, do you?" he asked.
Umiling ako, "Hindi naman sa ganun, it's just that..."
"It's just that I don't understand why you're doing this," ang sagot ko, "Nabighani ka ba sa kurba ng ilong ko? Alam mo ba na dito minodel ang Volkswagen?"
He smiled, "I'll tell you over dinner."
Fast-forward sa dinner.
My favorite resto, Mamou's.
As we sat down by our table, he said, "Order anything or everything."
"I'll order anything, paki-balot na lang nung everything."
Tumawa siya ng malakas, tapos, tapos, tapos, nahihiya man akong ilagay ito sa blog, pero he reached across the table and hinawakan niya ang kamay ko.
Pinawisan ako. Hinila ko palayo ang kamay ko at nagkunyaring abala ako sa pagbabasa ng menu.
"So what are you going to have?" I asked him, all nonchalant.
I looked up from my menu, and saw him smiling.
"What? May kulangot ba ako sa ilong?" tanong ko.
He shook his head, "No, but I think I better tell you why I asked you out. Why we're having this so far rather awkward dinner."
"It is awkward, isn't it? I'm sorry, it's just that... well, sige, go ahead, ano ba ang dahilan mo at out of the blue eh in-a-aura-han mo ako?" tanong ko.
His face became serious, "Don't be offended or anything but, I think you're waiting for him to love you."
Namutla ako, "Him?"
"Sinong Him? Si Jesus Christ?" sagot ko, pinipilit idaan sa biro ang kaba.
Schoolboi didn't smile, "You know who I'm talking about, si..."
"Okay okay, you don't have to say his name," ang sagot ko, "Let's call him Roman, shall we? What about him? And what are you talking about?"
Tumahimik muna siya sandali, habang nilalatag ng waiter ang mga in-order naming food na parang enough na para pakainin ang Sales department ng account ko.
Pag-alis ng waiter, sumagot siya,"Bookie, you'd have to be deaf, dumb, and blind to not realize that you're head over heels in love with Roman."
"I am NOT in love with him," sagot ko, medyo naiinis.
Tahimik lang siya, tapos ngumiti, "Sige, if you admit na in love ka sa kanya, i-ki-kiss kita."
"Mahal na mahal ko si Roman habang buhay", sagot ko agad.
Tumawa kami ng malakas.
"Finally, inamin mo rin," sabi niya.
"Finally, malalaman ko na rin kung totoo ang sinabi ni Pasha na you are the best kisser in Manila raw," biro ko.
"But wait, what do my feelings for Roman have to do with you? Why this date?" tanong ko.
He cut with a knife the steak that was lying on my plate, sabay subo sa akin, "You see, the thing is, alam nating pareho na Roman loves you, but not in the way you love him, am I right?"
Sinubuan ko naman siya ng salad, "Harsh mo ha?"
Nilunok niya ang gulay bago sumagot, "I thought we agreed a long time ago that we'd never lie to each other?"
"Fine fine. Okay sige na, my love for Roman burns with the fire of a thousand suns, samantalang ang love niya sa akin ay pang-watusi lang, what's your point? Wala naman akong inaasahan na mangyari sa amin eh. I'm not like that. Tanggap ko na friends lang kami."
Sinubuan niya ako ng garlic bread, "The thing is, you are stuck on him."
"Yes, stuck," pagpapatuloy ni Schoolboi, "You fail to see how many people around you love you."
"Dapat pala i-canonize na ako ng Vatican."
"Sira!," sabi niya, "Laging feeling mo, nag-iisa ka, alone ka, it's you against the world, but that's just not true."
"It's not," sabi niya, "I know for a fact that you're closest friends love you very much. Plus there's Pasha and I and Rica."
Uminom ako ng tubig bago sumagot, "So, why the date? You still haven't answered that."
"I'm tired of seeing you like this," sabi niya, holding my hand again and not allowing me to let go, "I guess, what I'm trying to say is..."
"Yes?" I leaned forward.
"What I'm trying to say is, I can be your anything, Bookie," sagot niya.
"My what?" tanong ko.
"Your anything," sabi niya, "Ikaw ang bahala."
I drank some water, and answered...
To be continued...