I'm with me

4:54:00 AM

I met Ace (not his real name) back in grade school; he was a year ahead, but since we took the same bus to and fro, we got to know each other pretty well. We became good friends because of our shared love for basketball and sports, in general. He graduated and moved to another school, while I got kicked out and I transferred, too. We didn’t see or hear from each other for about seven years.

Thanks to the cutting-edge technology that is the mobile phone, we got back in touch. We were both different people by then, but we got along like we did when we were younger. Although we’ve grown up and changed a lot, when we finally met up again, it was as though time had not passed.

He asked me to host an event that he and his friends have put together, and I agreed (I must have been really drunk or high when I said yes) to do it. After the gig, we had dinner with two of his other friends. Ace brought me home, and at the doorstep of my parents’ house, we kissed for the first time. It was a short, sweet kiss that felt right.

After that, we went out on several dates (some were with a group) as we tried to get to know each other again/more. We were inches away from a real relationship. Our parents and siblings approved of the whole thing. It seemed as though the Universe, itself, was conspiring to make “us” happen. I wanted it, too, or so I thought.

At the last minute, I changed my mind. I stopped replying to his text messages. I refused to answer his calls. I didn’t want to see him anymore. For the record, Ace didn’t do anything wrong. He didn’t hurt me in any way. But all of a sudden, I couldn’t see myself with him.

Insecure people can't dine alone.
(photo from the internet)
Our last date was in a small restaurant in Manila. He noticed a gentleman eating alone not far from where we were seated. Ace said, “Hindi ko kayang kumain mag-isa sa labas; para kang kawawa” (“I can’t ever eat alone in a restaurant; you look pitiful”). He went on and shared with me all the other things he can’t do by himself: watching a movie, going to the mall, and traveling.

Sometimes, I want to quietly sit in the corner of a cafe and drink my tea without someone talking to me (and no, I don’t need to hide behind a book to do this). Sometimes, I want to watch a movie without someone beside me, offering me popcorn or drinks. Sometimes, I want to window shop for underwear without having to worry about bringing a guy in the store. Sometimes, I want to take a bus to a random destination with just my luggage.

Sometimes, I just want to be alone. I can’t be with someone who can’t do things by himself, because that means I won’t be able to do things by myself, either.

That’s what changed my mind, and I’m sorry I couldn’t tell him that.


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