My best friend and I were studying in my apartment, or at least we were trying to. It was our first long exam for Computer Science 150, one of the break or break courses in our curriculum. “Numerical and Symbolic Computation”, what the hell does that even mean? We spent a good four hours trying to figure out what the things in our lecture slides meant before we finally gave up. There was only one thing left to do before we went to the impending doom that was our exam: take a bath and dress up. We had this principle that if we were going to plunge into a sure-fail exam, we might as well fail beautifully.
I got out of the bathroom after thirty minutes of showering and scrubbing. I was going to enter my room when I heard an unfamiliar girl’s voice from inside. Being the gentleman that I was, I thought for a minute if I should go inside with nothing on but a towel around my waist. I opened the door slowly and peeked. Inside was my roommate Edward and another guy, but there was no girl.
“Oh hey,” Edward said when he saw me. He must have noticed me staring at the guy because he suddenly added “This is my friend. I invited him over since there’s no one else in his apartment.”
“Hi,” said the guy. I realized that the girl’s voice that I heard earlier was actually his.
“Hey,” I greeted back. I looked at him for a moment. Yeah, I was trying to check him out. But being terribly near-sighted, I could only tell that there was a possibility that he was cute.
I took some clothes from the closet and went back outside to change. I can still hear them talking inside. Man, that guy really sounded like a girl. After I finished changing, I went off to the exam. While I was walking to school, I texted Edward to ask what his friend’s name was. His reply was “Bakit? Ikaw ha. Hehe.” Damn it, why don’t I know how to not be too obvious?
After the exam, my housemates and I decided to watch a horror movie. I suddenly remembered what Edward said about his friend being alone in his apartment so I told him to invite his friend over so I could have a better look at him.
“Wait, I don’t have any prepaid load anymore,” Edward said after a few failed texts.
I quickly handed him my phone. “Here, use mine.” Yeah, that’s how I got the friend’s number.
His friend did not come though. Apparently, he was already too tired. I was quite disappointed at first, but I realized later on that it may actually have been a good thing because I screamed my lungs out while watching the movie. That would have been a total turn-off.
The next day, I was staring at the friend’s number trying to think of what to say to him when I received a text. From him. I swear I felt like doing cartwheels. It was just a forwarded message with a “Good afternoon” in the end, but it was enough to give me the rush of ten cups of coffee.
I replied, “Good afternoon din. Pero hindi na si Edward to. Si Jason to, yung roommate niya.”
One message received. “Ah ganun ba? Sige, sorry po.”
My heart fell. I was about to stand in the corner and bang my head on the wall when I received another text.
“Joke lang. Alam kong ikaw yan. Hehe.”
And that was the start of three hours of text flirting. I was grinning the entire time. The scene was so high school, I know. Eventually, I invited him to meet up and he agreed.
We met that night. I went to his apartment to fetch him. I waited for him outside the gate, taking long drags from my cigarette to try and calm my nerves. And then he came out. I got a long look at his face while he was walking towards me. Possibly cute? No, definitely cute.
“Where will we go?” I asked him.
“I don’t know. You asked me out, remember?”
Smooth move, Jason.
We ended up going to one of the nearby coffee shops. I don’t really remember whose idea it was to go there, but I hope it was mine. We ordered coffee and started to talk. Being the incredibly talented conversationalist that I was, I talked about the only topic that I was sure we both knew about: Edward.
Yep, really smooth.
And to make it even worse, there were a lot of times when I blanked out. Awkward silences, crickets. But I blame that on his cuteness. He just looked so damn good that instead of listening to him, half the time I was just staring at him. Halfway into our date and I still could not believe that I was with someone as gorgeous as him.
After a couple more hours of my futile attempts to impress him, I finally gave up. I walked him to his apartment, said goodbye and started to walk home, feeling utterly dejected. Then I got a text from him.
“Ingat pauwi. I had fun tonight.”
And I was happy once again. I replied, “Thanks. Ako din. Ano na ginagawa mo?”
“Eto, nakahiga. Sinusubukang magpaantok pero high pa din.”
Cartwheels, part two. With backflips this time.
We met again the next day. We both really liked each other, but we also both felt that things were happening a bit too fast. We decided to go out for a week, something like a dry run. If we still liked each other after the week has passed, then we would make it official.
And so we were trial boyfriends for a week. I walked with him to his classes, waited for him outside his classroom when his classes were about to end, and walked back home with him. We ate together. I carried the food tray and got water for us while he took spoons, forks and table napkins. And at night, we took long walks around the campus, talking about anything we can think of. Every day, I learned a bit more about him. And every day I grew to like him even more.
We were in my apartment on the last night of our trial week. We had just come from another one of our walks around campus. We were lying on the bed, hands held and with his head on my shoulder. We were talking about what would happen if we became boyfriends. It was already past twelve when we remembered to look at the clock. The trial week had ended.
I looked at him. “Ayan, tapos na yung one week. Tayo na ba?”
He looked up at me and smiled. “Oo, tayo na.”
And we kissed for the first time.
Today was going to be our third anniversary.