Cebu Coffee Shops - Part 2

Written by: Ram 
Avoiding him in school was so hard; our classes were practically right next to each other. Once or twice he tried to talk to me but I always had an excuse; “I’m late for my next class bai,”, “I’m being fetched na,”, or sometimes I just completely ignore him. It’s shallow of me, I know but I was trying to get as far away as possible from him because I didn’t trust myself enough and I didn’t want to fall harder and harder for a straight guy who can never give me what I wanted, what I needed.

But the teasing between my barkada and his didn’t stop and it was an avenue for the two of us to interact again. I decided that there was no point in trying to get away from him, so as hard as it was for me, I endured the pain of having him within arm’s reach but never really getting the chance to touch him.

One Saturday morning, I decided to ditch the community service class and went to Bo’s to wait for my 1pm class. It was there that I saw him again; he was alone. Don’t get me wrong; we were friends but having him alone, without the distraction of our barkadas, it was something else. I was about to turn and make a run for it but he looked up from his books and smiled at me; that gorgeous, perfect smile of his. It would be rude to walk away now would it? I had no choice but to return his smile and sit down a few tables away from him. I thought he was going out but the annoying but quirky bastard that he is, he was getting his things to transfer to my table. What a douche. I thought but really, I was smiling inside.

“What’s up bai?” he asked.

“Busy as usual. I didn’t even attend my morning class.” I replied.

“Bad-ass kid o!” he teased and I just rolled my eyes.

“Pagtuon na dinha.” (Continue studying), I told him and he just smiled and went back to his books.

Time stretched on and I caught myself staring at him. But I wasn’t the only one who caught staring.

“Unsa’y gitanaw nimo bai?” (What are you looking at?) he asked with a sly smile on his face.

Shit. “Huh? Ay, it’s nothing. Just zoned out for a while.” I looked away and quickly sipped on my coffee. I stung myself.

“Shit shit shit! It fucking burns. Ouch my tongue!” I began to curse. He was surprised and laughed at me.

“Di man gud maghinay gud!” (You’re not careful, that’s why) and tried to help me wipe off the coffee but I dismissed him.

“Yeah, that’s my problem. I’m never careful, that’s why I get hurt easily.” I said out of the blue.

“Ka drama!” (So dramatic!) we both laughed and I realized just how stupid I sounded.

“Anyway, I have to get going. Don’t want to miss my class.”

My class was PE and it ended at 4. When I checked my phone, there was a text from him, two hours ago.

“Ram, remember that you owe me dinner? I’d like to claim that now hahaha!” he said in the text.

I replied, “Douche! Ok fine. I just had PE, where are we meeting?” and changed into my casual clothes. After I changed, I saw him sitting at the bleachers smiling widely like he just won first prize in something. We had dinner at Casa Verde.

“Have you been avoiding me bai?” he asked, over dinner.

I almost choked, “What? Of course not, busy lang gyud ko bai.” (I just got really busy.)

“Oh ok, I thought you were avoiding me. I got kinda lonely bya.” He pouted his lips and I just rolled my eyes. But god he looked so cute.

“So anyway, it’s my birthday next Saturday. I’m having a simple dinner and I expect to see your face.” He said.

“I wouldn’t be absent if it comes to food.” I jokingly told him.

“Great, adto sa Chateau de Busay ha. You can bring a friend.” (It’s in Chateau de Busay)

“Ok, is it too formal?” I asked.

“Yeah kinda, we’re also celebrating my grandparents’ anniversary. And I have a surprise announcement so I want you to be there. Ok?” I nodded at him.

“Promise me you’ll be there ok?” he urged.

“Ok geez I promise.” The night dragged on and we were enjoying each other’s company, as friends. Or at least only one of us feels that way.

Saturday came and I decided to drag Jason along with me and I drove both of us all the way to chateau in our tuxedos. It was a grand party; Jon totally lied about the simple dinner thing. We saw familiar faces from school and his barkada were there and we decided to sit along with them. The night was beautiful and the place was perfect. There was a short program before the dinner and there was a part where Jon sang to everyone the song he sang to me over the phone. I felt chills everywhere.

“I’d like to make an announcement to everyone.” He said after the song, “Everyone important to me and those that I hold dear are here with me tonight. So I’d like to take this chance to say that…” I didn’t know what he was about to say but my heart was beating so fast.

“Ma, Pa, Lolo, Lola and everyone else; I’d like you to meet my girlfriend, Sarah.” A girl from our table shyly stood up and went to hug him. Everyone cheered and applauded and I joined in the celebration too, even though my heart was practically torn away from my chest that time. In front, his parents were hugging Sarah and all his family was welcoming her. His father took the mic, “For everyone’s information, this is the first time our boy has introduced a girl to us. We were worried that he was gay!” Everyone laughed and the merrymaking continued.

I was feeling sick so I decided to go to the bathroom. I had to lock the doors because the tears started to come when I entered. What the fuck is wrong with you? Why are you crying over a guy? He’s just your friend. I told myself.

You are not gay. I rolled my eyes. My heart was stubborn and I knew better.

Someone knocked on the door and I went out. Slow music was playing and the scene that greeted me was too heartbreaking; everyone was slow dancing and Sarah was wrapped in Jon’s arms.

“Jason, I’m going now.” I told my friend but he wanted to stay a bit longer so I left him. I drove to Vudu and I felt like a sore loser. I drank the night away.

At around 1am, I received a text from Jason asking me if I have arrived home but I didn’t reply to him. He got worried because he kept on sending me texts and tried to call me but I ignored him still. A couple of minutes later, it was Jon who texted me and it was a mistake to reply to him because I think he knew that I was drunk but I wasn’t drunk yet, just a bit tipsy. Ok maybe I was a bit drunk but not too drunk to completely forget everything that happened. So he called me.

“Ram, asa man ka bai?” (Ram, where are you?) he said

“Hi Jooooooooon! Naa ko sa balay bai.” (I’m at home)

“Ram don’t shit with me. Where are you?”

“I’m at home lagi! Musta si Sarah? Lami siya bai?” (How’s Sarah? Does she taste good?) I laughed.

“Dude what the fuck? Are you alone? You can’t drive like that man. Where the fuck are you?” he said, a bit pissed now.

“Ayaw paglagot, pasagdi gud ko. Kung ganahan ka, ali sa Vudu mag-inom ta.” (Don’t be mad, just leave me be. If you like, come here in Vudu and we’ll drink) he immediately disconnected the call. A few minutes later, he arrived.

“Jon! So glad to see you here! Come on let’s drink some more!” I said but he took me by the collar and dragged me out.

“But I don’t want to go home yet!” I protested.

“No you’re not going home like that Ram. Get inside the car.” His tone was serious and I decided not to shit with him anymore.

“What about my car?” I said.

“We can get it in the morning. Tonight you’re staying in my place.” We drove in silence and I was slowly sobering up and realized the mess that I was in.

We arrived at their house and he ushered me inside.

“Jon, I think I’m going to puke. Where’s your bathroom?” he brought me there to puke and I told him that he can leave me. When I went out, he called out from the kitchen. When I went inside, I saw him standing by the sink and he looked angry.

“Drink.” He handed me a cup of coffee so I took it.

“Look Jon-”

“What the fuck were you thinking?” it was more of a contained shout.

I wasn’t able to look him in the eyes. There was silence and I heard him sigh.

“My parents aren’t home; they’re staying at chateau with my grandparents. Ram look at me.” My gaze met his and I felt my insides turn into jelly.

“Why did you do that bai?” he asked. I only swallowed.

“If something happened to you, kinsa ang pasanginlan?” (Who’s going to be blamed?) he continued.

“Bai, you almost gave me a heart attack bai. What if Jason hadn’t called me. What if you were left there alone and you drove home drunk. Imagine all the things that could have happened Ram!” I tried to stop myself form crying.

“Can we do this tomorrow Jon?”

“No, let’s finish this now Ram. You’re being stupid and selfish bai!” that was it, I couldn’t take it anymore.

“Sorry na if I was being stupid and selfish. Sorry na if I got you worried. Sorry na if I wanted to get wasted. Sorry na if that’s the way I try to cope with pain. Sorry na if I want to get away from you. Sorry na if I can’t be a friend to you. Sorry na if I was trying to cover up the pain. Sorry na. Sorry na. Sorry na. Can we please talk in the morning?” I tried to walk away but he caught my arm.

“What are you talking about bai?” he whispered. I swallowed hard and, with the alcohol in my veins, felt like it’s time to be brave and say something.

“Jon, I like you bai. I fucking like you and I can’t do this anymore. I’m so sorry bai.” I pulled my arm away and walked out of the kitchen but he caught me in a backhug. Shit.

“Ram, you’re drunk. Stay the night and we’ll work this out in the morning. Please bai.” He whispered.

“Jon, you’re not making this anymore easier bai. Let me go bai.” I struggled to break free and I was already crying. But he wouldn’t let me go.

“Ram, we’ll talk in the morning bai. Please bai. Please bai. Stay sa bai, for tonight please lang bai.” He kept on pleading and won’t let go. I continued sobbing and tried to stop myself from crying some more as I nodded and let him usher me to his room.

“Sleep on the bed, I’ll sleep on the floor tonight. And don’t argue.” He told me and I complied.

At around 1am, I received a text from Jason asking me if I have arrived home but I didn’t reply to him. He got worried because he kept on sending me texts and tried to call me but I ignored him still.

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