Once Upon An Us

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I stared into your eyes, and I can see forever.

I hate it when my friends set me up on blind dates. They think because I'm a twenty-six years old NBSB, ay tungkulin na nilang hanapan ako ng love life. Just like now, here I am on another blind date they set me up.

I sighed. Why can't I say no to them?

Pabalik-balik ang tingin ko sa suot na relo. I've been waiting for a good half an hour. Maybe he stood me up? Maybe he backed out? I sighed. Maybe I should just pay for my coffee and leave. Pero pag-angat pa lang ng kamay ko para tawagin ang atensyon ng waiter, ay biglang may umupo sa upuang nasa harap ko.

'I'm really sorry for being late.'

My hand froze mid-air.

'Hi, I'm Archimedes. Archi for short. I'm guessing you're Reese?' He smiled at me and offered his hand. Dahan-dahan kong ibinaba ang kamay ko at tumango. I stared at his hand for a good minute before accepting it.

I should be mad at him for making me wait, right? Pero parang bulang naglaho ang inis na nararamdaman ko kanina nang magsimula na siyang magsalita, magkwento.

I hate to admit that I'm enjoying his company. Archi is like a fictional character taken out from one of my favorite romance pocketbooks. He's attentive, charming, and a true gentleman. Unlike my past dates who did nothing but brag about their achievements, Archi engages me with the conversation.

'Reese?'

'Huh?'

Nginitian niya ako saka dumukwang palapit sa akin. Naramdaman ko ang unti-unting pag-init ng mga pisngi ko nang hawiin niya ang ilang hibla ng buhok kong kumawala sa pagkakapusod. At nang magtama ang mga mata namin, isa lang ang pumasok sa isip ko; I definitely want to see him again after this date.

At para namang dininig ang hiling ko nang ayain ulit ako ni Archi sa isa pang date. Doon ko rin nalaman na dahil pala sa pangungulit ng pinsan ni Elle na katrabaho niya kaya siya pumayag sa blind date na 'yon. Nasundan pa ang pagkikita namin hanggang sa dumating kami sa puntong sinusundo niya ako sa trabaho. Doon pa lang ay kita ko na ang effort niya. He works as a senior architect in an architectural firm in Makati, while I'm a freelance fashion designer based in Quezon City.

We have the same set-up for months. Susunduin niya ako from work, we'll eat out, saka niya ako ihahatid sa tinitirhan kong condo. I'm a hopeless romantic, and everything that he does to me makes my heart flutter. Whenever I see him, I could feel the butterflies in my stomach, and when he gives me that McDreamy smile, I can feel myself fainting.

'Reese, mawawala ako ng dalawang linggo para sa isang malaking project na binigay sa akin.' Naramdaman ko ang pagpulupot ng mga braso niya sa bewang ko. 'H'wag mo akong masyadong mamiss, babe ha?'

I bit my lower lip to stop myself from grinning like a lovesick fool. Tumango ako bilang sagot. I can feel the happiness in my heart. I'll never love any other guy like him. Pero hindi ko napaghandaan ang katotohanang pwede palang magbago ang lahat ng kung anong meron kami.

He became busy with work since that project started. 'Yong mga bagay na palagi naming ginagawa ay dumalang. Hindi na niya ako sinusundo mula sa trabaho. I got stood up on our dates. Our anniversary, birthday, and holiday celebrations were postponed. Ayos lang sa akin, naiintindihan ko naman siya. It's for his promotion as a senior manager. And I'm his girlfriend, so I should support him... right?

'Let's break up, Archi.' I said while tears streamed down my face. It's his birthday but here I am breaking up with him. 'Ubos na ubos na ako, Archi. We can't keep on continuing like this.'

I picked up my bag from the chair beside me before he could even answer. I could hear his shouts as I walked out of the restaurant. He called me names and hurtful words. I should've expected that he won't take the break up easily since I know that he always has a temper.

Anong nangyari sa atin, Archi?

What went wrong with us?

Nagkulang ba ako?

I heaved a deep breath and placed the bouquet that I'm holding on the ground. My eyes are blurred from my unshed tears. Bakit kailangang umabot sa ganito, Archi?

"It's not your fault, hija. Please don't blame yourself." Nag-unahang bumagsak ang mga luhang kanina ko pa pinipigilan.

Sana hindi na lang ako pumayag na makipagkita sa kaniya ng araw na 'yon. Sana hindi na lang ako pumayag nang humingi siya ng isa pang pagkakataon. Sana... Sana... Sana... nandirito pa rin siya ngayon.

"He wanted to give you this, Reese." Inabot sa akin ng mommy niya ang isang maliit na kulay pulang kahon. Nanginginig ang mga kamay na binuksan ko 'yon. At mas lalong lumakas ang paghagulhol ko nang makita ang nasa loob n'on.

A gold plated ring with the engraving, My Reese, My forever.

Once Upon an UsTahanan ng mga kuwento. Tumuklas ngayon