I was going to post about my recent trip to Batanes. And I may still, depending on how much free time I manage to find/make. But as usual, exactly after something that I think is really cool and interesting happens, in this case a trip to Batanes (one of the most amazing islands of the Philippines), something happens in my life that upstages the whole thing, at least, in terms of ‘What would make people go “WTF?!”‘
Okay. I’m exaggerating. Probably. But you see, for boring old me, whose idea of a great weekend is watching The Walking Dead on both Saturday AND Sunday, it’s considered news when something like this happens. And my friends have told me that this is weird even from their perspectives so… I have validation!
What am I talking about?
He was at my house the other day.
For people to understand the gravity of that statement, I suppose I should talk about who the “he” I’m referring to is. Let’s call him F. And simply put, I used to work with F. He was an employee at our office. Unsimply put, I used to have dinner with him, spend my breaks at work with him and walk to the jeepney terminal after our shift ended with him. I guess you can say we were friends. Or, close friends. At certain points, we very nearly felt like best friends, even in the short time we had known each other. Everyone in the office thought we were together. But we were comfortable enough around each other not to be disturbed by the gossip. We didn’t even bother correcting people. Let them think what they want, we both agreed; we were the only ones who needed to know the truth of our relationship. Except, I didn’t actually know. In fact, I was very confused.
You see, F was the kind of person who was extremely nice to you one second, and then completely cold the next. And I used the adverbs “extremely” and “completely” because they’re really necessary. The arguments we found ourselves in couldn’t be explained by the usual ‘Sometimes people are just in a bad mood’ kind of thing, they were more under the ‘I can’t believe those very horrible statements came out of the same person who just gave me really flattering compliments a few minutes ago’ thing. If that is at all a thing.
I guess I really shouldn’t have been surprised when he showed up at my doorstep. That’s too dramatic. I really shouldn’t have been surprised when I received a text message from him asking if we could meet. But I was. Largely due to the fact that things didn’t actually end well between us. That’s inaccurate. I had no idea that things hadn’t ended yet when he resigned and I’m not even sure if the phrase “between us” is appropriate to use.
On his last day at work, despite having had a lot of laughs during our dinner break, as soon as he left the office we had a fight over text, first about how unprofessional he was being not finishing his shift, but eventually about how he didn’t owe me any explanations and why was I meddling with what time he left the office anyway. It was not pleasant. And it was not resolved. Hence, I thought that that was the last I would ever interact with him. I mean, we hadn’t even added each other on Facebook.
It’s not like I was completely wrong. We didn’t communicate with each other at all after that. Not through text, not Facebook or e-mail or any other means of communication available nowadays. Honestly, it crossed my mind to delete his number from my Contacts List. I ended up not doing so because I thought that in case he did ever text me, I didn’t want to go through the whole ‘Who’s this?’ process. Anyway, I was only right for about a month and a half.
I guess a month and a half isn’t too long a time to not see someone. I mean, some of my real genuine close friends I haven’t seen for longer. But it’s really strange when you think you’ve seen the last of someone and then he suddenly pops up in your life again. That sounds too dramatic again. But that’s really how it feels.
So last Thursday F showed up at my doorstep with a bucket of fried chicken and four pieces of peach mango pie (upon my request, he asked what my mom wanted, too, but my mom wasn’t in the house at the time). And he was super polite to the people in my house and was well-mannered when we ate the food he brought and he asked about my day and how I was and how my friends were and how our colleagues were… And he talked about his new job and his new colleagues and how he has some new hobbies and how he still hadn’t bought that air conditioner he’d been pining for since Christmas…
You couldn’t tell that before that day our last conversation had traces of the both of us trying real hard not to curse at each other and wish the other to go to hell.
By the time we finished eating, the both of us needed to leave. I had to go to work and he had to go back to work. So we tidied up a bit and left the house together. And talked until we had to part ways when I got to my office.
I received another text from him about 30 minutes later telling me he’d arrived at his office and saying thanks again for that afternoon. “Until next time!” he wrote, at the end of his text.
“Like there’s going to be a next time!” I said to my friend when I told her the story.
She shrugged. “Anything can happen.”
Yes, in fact. Apparently.