An accidental Valentine

1:35:00 PM

Being newly-single after five whole years, a part of me dreaded this year’s Valentine’s Day as it approached. I didn’t have a boyfriend, I didn’t have a date, and I didn’t have any plans with friends. In my head, I’ve already decided that I was going to stay at home and re-read The Unbearable Lightness of Being while eating a tub of luscious vanilla ice cream.

Imagine my surprise when I got a text message from my ex-boyfriend, asking me if I would like to have dinner with him on Valentine’s Day. We broke up three months prior, but there was a big part of me that was open to getting back together. At that time, I wanted him back, although I didn’t really have time to stop and ask myself why. I wasn’t being my usual practical self, but nevertheless, I said yes.

I let my mind run wild – I indulged in expectation instead of hope. I thought about things that I had to change if we were going to try again. I imagined lovely dinners and movie dates, random out-of-town trips, and of course, sleepovers.

The big day arrived, and I was totally prepared for it, for him. I wore my pink bandage dress with my nude sky-high heels, I fixed my hair and I put on some makeup. I was battle-ready, so to speak. In my head, the scene where he asked me back kept playing over and over, and I was feeling pretty confident.

But my plans changed a little when I got a text message from Kim, a friend I’ve known since I was in high school, asking me if I’d like to have dinner with him. He’s my semi-adopted little brother – I didn’t have one, he was available, so we both declared we’re unofficial siblings from different folks. We got along well, and there were things we could tell each other things that we could never tell anyone else for fear of judgment.

Anyhow, since it was still early, I decided to see Kim first. I was still determined to see my ex-boyfriend, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see my little brother – I haven’t seen him in months, and I wanted to know how he was. He didn’t have a date, so I figured it is but fitting that his big sister comes to his rescue.

Cheesy f*ck
We had a nice buffet dinner at Bono Yaki, where he stuffed himself silly with sushi while I tried not to burn food on the smokeless grill. We both desperately tried to recap everything that happened to us in the three months that we didn’t see each other, and there were tons of stories to tell.

During dinner, I got a text message from my ex-boyfriend, asking where I was and where we were to meet. Kim didn’t think it was healthy for me to go, and he told me that upfront. I guess I was smart enough to know that he was right, and with a somewhat heavy heart, I told my ex-boyfriend that I wasn’t going to see him anymore. I apologized for blowing him off; he said he understood.

When the dinner bill was settled, the receipt arrived with a pink and absolutely cheesy heart on a stick. It was the restaurant’s gimmick, and it was funny. Nevertheless, I kept it, if only as a reminder of the most fun Valentine’s Day ever.

Kim and I grabbed some after-dinner coffee, and we hung out in the cafĂ© for the next few hours. We cyber-stalked people from our high school, our crushes and the people we hated. We laughed like hyenas. We argued like wannabe lawyers. We talked like there was no tomorrow. It wasn’t romantic in the least – he was, after all, my brother-of-sorts. I made the right decision to walk away from my ex-boyfriend; if I weren’t sure of it then, I am definitely sure now.

Because after my pseudo-date, I did see my ex-boyfriend, and he told me that even if our dinner did push through, nothing would have changed. He wasn’t going to ask me back or something; he just didn’t want me to be alone on that one day of the year that reminds single people of their singlehood. It was considerate of him, but it wasn’t what I needed. Each day since, I have been extremely grateful for the intervention.

This is a shout out to my little brother, Kim, for being my accidental Valentine. This time around, it was you who rescued Ate. Thank you.


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