3. Chapter 8.

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"Always believe something wonderful is about to happen."

The kids were already asleep and so was Manang Pilar. The house was dark and silent, let alone the solitary light that’s been coming from the small lamp that stood in one corner of the living room. Truth is he couldn’t sleep… not while Drei was still out. He kept thinking about her and the more he thought about her not being home yet, the more anxious he got worrying about Drei’s date. The fact is, he shouldn’t be worrying about her but he couldn’t stop himself. He needed a drink and with that, he found himself inside the kitchen.

With Dan being a big fan of different types of wine, they’ve made it a sort of tradition to open the expensive ones whenever there’s an occasion, or a reason to celebrate something. Alex was reserving this five year old Fortnum’s Claret Chateau Fongaban he had in his hands for the ‘first Valentine date’ with Drei. But since the planned date was axed by the last minute, he thought of opening it for the sake of celebrating his first dateless Valentine’s Day. The irony of it was priceless.

He poured himself a glass. Having the house to himself already, he needed to relax. Alex tilted the glass away from him to get a good look at the color of the wine from the rim edges to the middle of the glass. Dan did a fine job of teaching him the basics of wine tasting. Then he swirled his glass for a solid 10-12 seconds and then he took a quick whiff to make his first impression. He took in the sweet smell of this medium-bodied red wine that’s a blend of Merlot, Carbernet France and Cabernet Sauvignon. Lastly, he took a sip and let it roll around his mouth. It was perfect. It was just how he liked it.

With the bottle of wine and a glass in hand, Alex dragged his poor, sorry ass into the living room. If anyone in his old work place could see him right now, moping because of a woman, he’d be a laughing stock! The Alexander the Great losing his groove because of a woman… it was going to be epic. Taking a seat on the couch, he glanced up at the clock. It was already 9:15 and Drei wasn’t home yet and it was enough to make him wonder what’s taking her so long to get home. Did she lose track of time because she was enjoying her date? Was the guy making her laugh? Were her almond eyes twinkling while she listened to her date talk? Just the mere thought of her having a great time was annoying the hell out of him.

“That lucky bastard, whoever he is!” he mumbled to himself.

He decided to wait for her. Each passing minute seemed like an hour. So he got up and turned the radio on, scanning for some good music to while away the time. But with every FM Station he browsed through, the song All By Myself dominated the airwaves. First it was Eric Carmen’s version, then Celine Dion and then vice versa. Could this day get any worse?

“What the hell!” Alex exclaimed. But thinking about it, the song suited him tonight. He smiled to in spite of himself. Yes, he was all by himself alright. Loud and clear! “Thank you for rubbing it in, Manila! Dammit!”

Bored out of his wits and with his aching heart pulling the trigger, he switched the radio off and turned the TV on. Enough with the music, maybe the movies could at least distract him while he was on the waiting game. Just as the next feature presentation was being advertised on the screen, he heard the door unlock. He glanced at the clock – 9:30. She was earlier than he’d expected. He sat upright to watch her come in. When the door was finally open and she stepped in, their gaze met and held on for a fraction of second. He couldn’t tell if she’s happy or shocked to see him still awake.

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