For some reason, you were at my place.
It was like nothing bad has ever happened to us. There were no awkward silences and no forced laughs. It was like we were never together.
Oh, but we were. In this alternate universe where you’re in my house and eating a slice of cake while chatting with me, you did become my girlfriend. My heart was pounding against my chest. You, however, pretended (or were you oblivious?) like nothing strange is happening.
I don’t really remember what we talked about but all I know is that we did talk. A lot. We were actually happily talking. That’s something to notice since we hardly exchanged a few words for the past year except for a few polite hellos and happy birthdays.
You finished the cake and handed back the plate to me. I always do the dishes everytime you visited and you always lingered beside me to keep me company. Sure enough, you followed me to the kitchen as I started collecting the empty plates.
“So how is she?”
I can just imagine your smile freezing on your face as I asked the most important (and avoided) person to talk about.
“What? One of us has to mention her at some point,”
“Wala, ayun..” you trailed off.
Inside my head, warning bells started ringing. What the hell are you playing at? Why are you here and what do you want from me?
Silence filled the air as I scrubbed the dishes. It wasn’t awkward but it was thick and you can just hear the wheels inside both of our minds turning as both of us try to make sense of what exactly is happening.
After putting back the last plate in the cabinet, I leaned against the sink and closed my eyes. I got myself in this good, happy place after almost a year and now you’re destroying all the walls I’ve built. Why can’t we just be normal friends who text each other when we have problems or stories to tell? Why do you have to come here? What are you playing at?
I let out a big sigh and willed that no tears (of frustration? or was it sadness?) would fall.
You tugged at my elbow. I know you’re feeling guilty. This feels like three years ago, when we decided to be happy even if someone is left crying. We both know how wrong this is.
“Uy, wag na kasi.”
I can feel your breath against my nape.