Earlier today, I was sitting alone in one of my school’s waiting sheds where I texted a friend to meet me as she was my lunch mate during Tuesdays. Like always, I was the one waiting because the building I come from is nearer to our meeting place. It was about 1 in the afternoon already. A number of jeepneys have passed by me, many of which honked at me repeatedly because they thought I was waiting for a ride but I ignored them anyway. I was trying to turn on my phone because it kept on turning off. After some time, my phone was on for long again.
I kept on checking my phone for any texts and maybe also because I wanted to look like I was waiting for someone, and I really was so it made sense. I also kept on lifting my head to my right checking if my friend was there already. Prior to her arrival at our meeting place, this guy in a what seemed to be a jogging/exercise getup sat about a foot away from my right side. I’m not sure if he came out of a white fb car or just passed by it from the other side of the road. At the corner of my eye, I thought he was an adult driver or a standby.
After a while, he asked me what time it was. Since my phone had restarted, I didn’t really know. I just reasoned “Advance ‘to eh” in a soft voice then faked a smile. I looked at him and was surprised to see he was not as old as I thought he was. He was actually kind of good-looking. I think he didn’t hear my reply because he asked again. This time I said “I think it’s 1 already.” He then nodded lightly. Some time later, he asked, “You’re on break?” “Yeah,” I replied. After a moment of silence, he asked “What time’s your next class?” I responded with “3.” At that moment I started texting my friend begging her to hurry up because the guy beside me was creeping me out. Seconds later, I saw my friend walking nearby, in front of her some college students in high school uniforms. Inside I was relieved she was already there. When she was very near already, she called me and I immediately stood up and walked past the guy beside me yelling my friend’s name. I should have at least smiled or nodded as a sign of respect but I didn’t.
And that was it. During our lunch, I thought of how I was disrespectful to just ignore the guy upon my friend’s arrival. I’m pretty sure he would have made a conversation if I were alone for a longer time in that waiting shed. I felt guilty and even thought of passing by the waiting shed after my friend and I ate so I could see if he was still there but we didn’t. My friend and I even joked, “What if he was the one?” Which reminded us of John Lloyd’s line in My Amnesia Girl, “Sabi sa census may 11 milyon na tao sa Metro Manila. Paano mo malalaman na nahanap mo na yung taong para sa’yo? Maaring nakita mo na siya, pero yumuko ka para magsintas. Maaring nakatabi mo na siya, pero lumingon ka para tingnan ang traffic lights. Maaring nakasalubong mo na siya pero humarang yung pedicab. May mga maswerteng tao na nahanap na yung taong para sa kanila. May mga tanong patuloy na naghahanap at may iba na sumuko na. Pero yung pinakamasaklap, eh yung na sa’yo na pinakawalan mo pa.”
To the guy who talked to me at the waiting shed this afternoon, I’m sorry I left so ever rudely. I’m sorry I was easily creeped out. I’m just not used to guy strangers talking to me because the ones who usually do have bad intentions. I hope you weren’t offended by my awkward behavior towards other people.