Cebu Coffee Shops - Part 4

Written by: Ram 
“How was your exam?”

“Bullshit!” he hit the steering wheel and made me jump.

“Jon, bai…” I said, trying to calm him down. He was breathing heavily and he gave out a sigh.

“Sorry Ram. It’s just…” he said in between breaths. I nodded at him and held his hand on the steering wheel. He smiled.

“That’s better.” I said.

“Dinner?” he asked, starting the engine.

“Dinner.” I replied.

He took me to Mountain View and there, we ate a silent dinner after the stressful exams. I was happy, we both were but there was something that was bothering me and I couldn’t take it any longer.

“Jon, I have a question.”

“What is it bai?” he said, sitting straight and waited for me to speak but I found it very hard; I felt my throat going numb and my mouth running dry. But I had to do it so I swallowed hard.

“Bai, what are we bai?” I asked him but he only raised his eyebrow and gave me a confused look.

I sighed, “I mean, what is this between the two of us Jon? Are we fuck buddies? Friends with benefits? Best friends? Just a friend? Are we something else completely? Or is there nothing here between us?”

He was just silent so I decided to continue, “Bai I know nga what we have going on between the two of us is really great and that we’ve confessed our feelings towards each other but dinha ra gyud kutob tanan bai? (Is that all there is to us?)I need a name for both of us bai, what are we? It’s stupid and shallow I know but it’s weird for me bai. Are you mine? Am I yours? Are we allowed to-”

“Ram shut up.” He said, “Just shut up bai okay?” What the fuck, is he for real?! I thought.

I was hurt. There I was, pouring my heart and thoughts to him and he just told me to shut up.

“Fine.” I stood up and walked away, trying to hide the tears from him. I walked as fast as my feet could take me down the slope but he was able to run after me. He was standing in front of me and stopped me while trying to catch his breath. He began to smile and laugh.

“So this is funny bai? Fuck you oy.” I said and walked passed him but he caught my arm.

“Ram just shut up for a while okay?” he said. He made me face him.

“I was going to do this after the dinner but you are so impatient.” He smiled but I just rolled my eyes at him.

“You’re so cute. Anyway, close your eyes.” He told me. I refused but he urged so I gave in.

“Don’t open them until I tell you ok?” I nodded at him. He then took my right hand and I could feel his fingers between mine. His fingers lingered for a while.

“Don’t open them yet ok.” He said. Then I felt something cold on my index finger. I was about to open my eyes to take a peek but he covered them with his hand. “I said no peeking!” he said so I closed them back again. I could feel his hand on mine, his thumb rubbing on my thumb then I felt his lips on mine. Our kiss lasted for a minute or two or three or four, honestly I lost count. We both were lost in the moment, completely forgetting that someone could see us. But at that moment, we didn’t care. It was just us.

He pulled away and I could feel him smiling.

“Can I open them now?” I asked. He kissed me lightly on the forehead and I guess that was a yes. When I opened them, he was smiling widely in front of me and there was a thin silver ring with intricate, abstract carvings on its surface on my index finger. He grabbed my hand with his and held them both up high.

“Ram. I am yours and you are mine. I love you.” He said and I smiled at him. But his face turned into a scowl.

“What?” I asked.

“You were supposed to repeat those words to me too.” He said and I laughed at him. He’s so cute.

“Jon. I am yours and you are mine. I love you too.” I said and he gave me another passionate kiss.

“Now let’s go back and finish our dinner.” He said.

Things were going great, our relationship was going strong and frequent I love yous have been said and whispered between the two of us. There were nights when he’d surprise me at home and he’d sneak into my room but both of us were patient, we made sure that our first time was going to be special. It happened during sembreak. His parents were away and we had their house all to ourselves for the whole week. On our first night, he prepared a candlelit dinner for us in their garden. It was so romantic; there were candles around us, he set up a little stereo that played romantic instrumentals, there was a bottle of wine and the best part was that he was the one who cooked dinner. He completely surprised me and outdid himself. The best night ever.

We chatted over dinner and when it was done, he looked at me and I smiled at him; we were ready. He led me upstairs to his room. We kissed, savouring the taste of our lips and kissing ever visible inch of our bodies. We slowly undid our clothes until we were both naked, standing face to face in the moonlit room. We lay in bed and continued our passionate kissing; our skins grew hot against each other and we could feel each other getting excited with each passing moment.

“I love you.”

“I love you.”

We constantly whispered to each other as we progressed from gentle to aggressive. We were all over each other. That night, we didn’t sleep much.

The week went great. We did the grocery that would last for a week and was enough for the two of us. Every morning I’d wake up to his cooking or twice he surprised me with breakfast in bed. And we’d just lay in bed the whole day or watch a movie and bask in each other’s company. We took a shower together, cuddled under the sheets. And at night, we satisfied our carnal pleasure and physically expressed our affections towards each other. All in all, we got lost in our own little world. It was perfect and if I had my way, I wanted to stay in our little nest.
But things never really go the way we want them to.

“Ram!” Jon called out to me as I was rushing to my next class.

“Yeah?” I said.

“Dinner party this Saturday night at our house ok?”

“What’s the celebration?” I asked.

“My love for you.” He whispered and I punched him lightly on the shoulder. We both laughed
“My parents always have this little gathering before Christmas. They told me to invite some of my friends. Go ok?” he said and I nodded.

Saturday came and I drove myself to their house. And again, it wasn’t just a little gathering. Since I had no friends, I decided to go with my schoolmates who were also there. To my surprise, Sarah was also there (the girl who Jon claimed as his girlfriend before) but I brushed it off since they were close friends. His friends got over the little accident and they were cool that night, they didn’t make me feel out of place. Jon joined us and he sat beside Sarah. Ouch. I didn’t mind it and continued talking with his friends.

During dinner, I couldn’t help but keep glancing at both of them; they were extra touchy. Jon caught me looking at them and his expression changed. I stood up and went to the bathroom.

After I got in the bathroom, the door opened and it was Jon.

“Hey.” He said and I only gave him a weak smile. It was awkwardly silent so I quickly went to the wash area to turn on the faucet. As I was washing my hands, he caught me in a back hug and lightly pressed his lips on my neck. I lightly pulled away from his embrace.

“Is something wrong Ram?” he asked.

“Wala man.” (Nothing’s wrong) I replied but really, I want to tell him something’s bothering me. But I can’t. Because I love him and I know that he loves me and if I told him about my stupid little jealousy then it’s like I’m saying that I don’t trust him. So I remained quiet and tried to get out but he closed the door.

“Someone might catch us.” I told him.

“I don’t care.” He said and the jealousy disappeared. I smiled the biggest smile I could muster that night and kissed him.

“That’s better.” He said after pulling away and we went out.

“Jon there you are! Come here, I’d like you to meet some people.” His mother called out to him when we came back. “And bring your girlfriend with you.” He looked at me but I avoided his gaze. Sarah walked up to him and he grabbed her hand, soon enough both of them were drowned in the circle of friends of his mother.

“Malanay nana sila tanan if you won’t stop staring bai.” (They’ll all melt if you won’t stop staring.) Mike, Jon’s best friend, sat beside me and startled me.

“Ha? What do you mean bai?” I acted innocent and laughed, shifting my gaze from where Jon and Sarah were laughing with Jon’s mom and her friends. I was keeping an eye on them and I noticed how Jon’s hand kept on looking for Sarah’s and how he held her back, how he whispered to her ear with his lips brushing her cheek and ear and how Sarah reacted to all of these but I didn’t notice that I was staring until Mike made it obvious for me.

“Bai, don’t even try to hide it.” Mike slapped my back and continued, “Follow me, we’ll talk.” And I followed him to his car.

“Do you smoke bai?” Mike asked me and I refused.

“So what do you want to talk about?” I asked him as I leaned beside him.

“No bai, what do YOU want to talk about?” he said.

“Nothing, liboga nimo bai oy!” (You are so confusing.) I said and laughed. I was about to leave him when he stopped me.

“Ram I know.” He said and I looked at him.

“Know what?” I tried to give a small laugh and pretended not to know what he was talking about.

“C’mon bai, stop acting like you don’t know what I’m talking about.” I returned to my place beside him and sighed. He put his arms on my shoulder and said, “It’s ok bai.” I gave him a weak smile.

“How did you know?” I asked him.

“I noticed it, you guys were acting different. Then Jon told me one night. He was crying, he didn’t know what to do. He called me and told me that he needed to talk to someone so we met.”

“Then he began to tell me everything and I was just silent. After that, he asked me if I was disgusted by him, if I didn’t want to be his friend anymore.”

“What did you say?” I asked.

“I punched him on his shoulder and told him, ‘Is that how you think of me? 11 years of friendship Jon, I love you like a brother bai.’ then we both laughed and we hugged it out.” He smiled and I smiled at him.

“Thanks.” I told him.

“For what?”

“For being so accepting. And for being there for him. For us.” He shrugged his shoulders and smiled.

“Do you want to go back now?” he asked me. I shook my head.

“What’s wrong?” he asked me but I was silent.

“You can’t take the scene that’s happening?” I nodded and he laughed lightly.

“I mean, of course he didn’t tell his parents or anyone else about me, about us but seeing both of them hurts. Even if I know that his heart is with me, it still hurts. I guess I’m just jealous of the fact that he can openly touch her and show affections towards her while both of us can only do it in the shadows.” I sighed.

“This is hard.” I said and Mike only nodded and said, “I really don’t know what to tell you right now. But Ram, it’s ok. Things will be ok bai.” He smiled and it made me a little better.

“Thanks a lot bai. Thanks for the support gyud.” I told him. We stayed there for a couple more minutes until we decided it was time to go back.

When we returned, Jon and Sarah disappeared so I left Mike on the table and began looking for them. They weren’t in the party area so I decided to try and search in the house. When I entered, I heard giggling and followed the voices to the upper floor. The voices grew louder and it led me to Jon’s room. The door was slightly open and when I peeked inside, the sliding door to his balcony was open and I could see both of their backs, they were leaning on the railings.

“So what’s the deal between you and Ram?” Sarah asked, “You guys became pretty close.”
Jon shook his head and laughed, “Nothing! The kid is pretty friendly that’s all.”

“And what about the rings?” Sarah pointed at Jon’s finger.

“He gave it to me, a sign of our friendship daw. Sounds pretty gay to me.” And he laughed. I wanted to walk away but my feet wouldn’t move.

“I knew that kid was gay. Stay away from him or he might infect you with his disease.” She laughed and Jon gave a forced laughed.

“Let’s not talk about him, it’s getting weird.” Jon said and Sarah leaned closer to him.

“Sorry. What should we talk about?”

“What if we don’t talk and do something else?” There was lust in Jon’s voice and I couldn’t stop the tears from falling.

“Like what?” Sarah leaned in closer.

“Like…” their lips met and I closed my eyes. I quickly went out of the house and ran straight to my car. There, I cried like the little gay boy that I was.

After thirty minutes, or an hour (I lost track of time), there was a knock on my window. It was Jon.

“Hey.” He said as I rolled down the window.

“What’s wrong?” He asked as I wiped the tears away.

“Nothing. I’m pretty tired. I want to go home.” I attempted to close the window but he stopped me, “Ram what’s wrong.”

“Nothing.”

“Come out of the car for a while.”

“I’m going home.”

“Please?” he opened the door and I sluggishly went out.

“Let’s talk.” He said and I waited for him to say something.

“Well then, talk!” I snapped.

“What’s wrong with you?” He said, putting his hands on my shoulders.

“What’s wrong with me? I guess I’m just a silly gay boy who’s too friendly, giving away friendship rings. Better step away from me before I infect you with my gayness bai.” I told him and he fell silent.

“Yeah, I heard what you said. Saw what you did. Sorry bai. I’m so sorry for actually believing in you Jon. Sorry for doing all the things that we did. Sorry that I love you.”

“Ram-”

“Oh! Kuhaa ni imo’ng singsing, ihatag ni Sarah!” (Here! Get your ring and give it to Sarah.) I pulled out my ring and threw it at him. By this time, he just kept his head low and avoided my gaze.
I was about to get in my car but my knees gave in and I fell to the ground and began crying. My chest heaved and it hurt. My lungs were gasping for breath and my vision was clouded by tears and anger and pain.

“Ram. Sorry Ram.” I heard him whisper behind me. I wanted to say something but I found it very hard to do.

“Ram. Please. I’m so sorry.”

“Bai, sakit kaayo Jon.” (It hurts so bad.) I managed to say in between the tears and gasps of air.

“I didn’t mean them bai. Ram sorry Ram. I love you. You’re the one I love Ram. I’m so sorry Ram. Please Ram.” I felt his arms but I shook them off. I felt the sincerity in his voice and the pain and tears in them too.

“Jon sakit gyud kaayo. It fucking hurts like hell bai!” (It really really hurts!) I was shouting and facing him, punching his chest as he tried to calm me down and hug me.

“Sakit kaayo. (It hurts so much) Buang ka. Fuck you. Sakit kaayo. Buang ka. Fuck you. Sakit kaayo. Buang ka. Fuck you. Sakit kaayo. Buang ka. Fuck you. Sakit kaayo. Buang ka. Fuck you. Sakit kaayo. Buang ka. Fuck you.” I repeated them again and again as he tried to calm me down and hug me. But I kept on saying them like a mantra, in hopes that he could feel the pain I was feeling.

“Ram please!” He yelled and held both of my hands. I stopped and looked at him, tears and pain were on our faces. We just stared at each other and he locked his lips with mine. For a moment, the pain and betrayal that I felt disappeared. But then I remembered his kiss with Sarah. I pushed him away and tried to say something, but no words could explain just how much pain I was feeling. So I just cried and slumped my shoulders in surrender.

“Ram-”

“Don’t.”

I drove home and spent the whole night and the next day crying in bed, ignoring his texts and calls.

After that night, avoiding him was easy thanks to the holiday break. I didn’t reply to any of his texts, ignored all of his calls. On December 26, he knocked on our house but I told our helper to gently send him away. His texts and his calls never stopped; everyday he texted me about the things that he was doing, asking me how I am, telling me to eat, saying sorry again and again and he’d also call but I ‘d still ignore all of them. I thought I could keep this up but one day, a day after new year, a text from him shook my world.

“Ram, I’m leaving. We have a lot to talk about, I hope you’ll talk to me bai before I leave. I’m sorry again. I love you. I love you so much.”

Things were going great, our relationship was going strong and frequent I love yous have been said and whispered between the two of us. There were nights when he’d surprise me at home and he’d sneak into my room but both of us were patient, we made sure that our first time was going to be special.

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