Smitten (2006)

3:54:00 AM

Below is a story I wrote a few years ago. None of it is true. My college friends and I were supposed to make a short film out of this, but it never happened. This was my poor attempt to write with a male voice, and I really don’t think I succeeded. 

(photo from the internet)
I looked at her the way I did for the past six months that I’ve known her, and for the first time, I saw the young woman that she was. I’ve always known she was a woman, but because she was my age, and that she was the ‘boss’ – she manages my band – I never really treated her differently. That, to her, meant I was underestimating her and all females across the globe. She’s a feminist.

She’s pretty strange, if you ask me. She over-thinks most of the time, and she says it’s because she’s training to become one of the best theoreticians in the country. Not that there’s anything wrong with thinking, but I think she ought not to overdo it. She got hit by a bike once, she told me, when she was trying to construct a theory for Filipina feminism.

In some respects, however, she’s like a guy. She beat me in an eating contest before – she cleaned up five plates, while I finished only two. But she’s not fat. She’s not thin, I’ll say, but her weight is just right for her height. I think she maintains it through basketball. She plays better than some guys I know, including me.

The feminist movement did not stop there. She’s good at billiards, too. She has her own table and a custom-made cue stick, for crying out loud. Her uncle gave them to her when she turned sixteen. I wonder if she had the capacity to suck at any sport.

Good thing she’s not one of those ‘burn-the-bra’ feminists; she can be a little vain, too. Whenever we’d go to gigs, she’d always be in high heels. She’d have makeup on, something I deem unnecessary. That’s not to say it looks bad, that’s not the case at all. I just think she looks better with a pony tail and no makeup, as she does now.

Her name’s Andie, by the way, and no, it’s not short for anything. Her mother wanted a nickname-ish real name for her. I think the name suited her just fine. When I first heard it, I thought she was a guy until I actually met her.

Now I feel like I’m meeting her all over again. She’s wearing a pair of jeans, a white top and a pair of Chucks. Her long brown hair was pulled back in a pony tail, and her face was void of makeup. Very simple and very nice; I think she looked beautiful.

I must have been staring at her too long; she had to pull me back to reality with the words, “Are we going?” Then she smiled. I managed a nod as I kept staring at her lips. They were pink, even without artificial coloring. We walked out of Power Books. We were going to a gig – she didn’t know where it was so she’s going with me.

Andie and I walked in silence, made bearable only by the ambient noises of the crowded mall. She noticed I was being quiet, so she asked if something was the matter. I said, “Nothing,” although I really wanted to tell her she looked nice. My heart was pounding as I tried to think of some way to tell her I liked the way she looked, or maybe that I liked her, period.

Due to my incredible inexperience with women, I wasn’t able to utter a single word as we walked to the taxi terminal. I was afraid that it might come out the wrong way. She was still the boss.

In the cab, I was still trying in vain to put together a simple English sentence when she said she had something to tell me. I saw this as a window of opportunity, so I smiled and said, “Me, too!” Andie urged me to go first, but in my best attempt at being a gentleman (I forgot to open the car door for her – I was too distracted), I insisted that she went ahead. After a minute of two of ‘you firsts,’ she conceded.

She flashed me a big smile (again) and she told me the news. She got the band a regular playing slot at a hip jazz lounge. We were going to get free food and unlimited beer, in addition to the Php3,000 we’ll get for every set. That was great news for the band.

It got even better for me because it gave me an excuse to hug her. The scent of her cologne filled my nose, and I liked it very much, as I did everything about her that night. I didn’t want to let go. I wanted her in my arms, and I probably wanted her way back, I just didn’t want to admit it until then. I’m not sure why – maybe I was afraid, as I am now.

I held her tight and it felt great, as though she were all mine and all the world could do was look. I didn’t want to let her go anymore, but I knew I had to, especially when she told me the other bit of good news.

"King? Kami na ni John." (Translation: "King? John and I are dating now.")

With those words, I gently let go.

All I could do was smile as I swallowed everything I was supposed to say.


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