8/30/2009
Three hundred bucks to Ebe Dancel wearing shades

"I think I'm right behind you. I think."

I could've approached her, poked her shoulder and saw her surprised face. "Uy, Henrik!" she would've said - or maybe Niko, I'm oddly not sure. And I knew I saw her come out of the car and enter the mall right before I did. I swore the figure was familiar, and the fashion sense, too. And it was funny because we were just talking on Facebook a few hours ago.

I think that's why I didn't just approach her and poke her shoulder and anticipated her surprised face. For some reason, I thought that was predictable, and so I instead sent her that text message, half-hoping that she'd turn, but half-anxious that it wasn't her that I saw enter the mall, partly because I didn't think I'd find her in that particular mall, on that particular day. Or I didn't really know. But my gut feel was right anyway, and thirty seconds later she picked up the phone, saw my text message, and turned around.

No, it shouldn't sound romantic. I was greeting her nervously. For some reason, it felt so surreal.

Drea being Drea meant I didn't expect to bump into her, much more talk to her in a slightly expanded sense. But last week, she sent me a text message - more of a group message, actually, but enough to start a little conversation. She was selling tickets to the last big Sugarfree concert, and it was something that shouldn't have surprised me because, since she is a (half-)business student, you'd expect her to sell stuff. But she was, along with Mae, one of those people who waited anxiously at the amphitheater for the band to come out and play. We were fans, she more of, me a little bit, although I never really was into getting into something that much.

"Yes, Niko, I'm friends with the band now. Coolness. Dati hanggang sulyap lang sa amphi."

Obviously I did two things. I promised I'd see if I'd be able to come - I am, still, a fan of the band - and I never found the time. The concert was, I think, just five days away from those text messages, and being the guy who lives far away and gets too engrossed at work, there just wasn't really any choice but to drop it.

But I was amused anyway. Drea wasn't really the giddy type - that was Mae, and her slightest musings over Kaka. Now I thought of it, I don't know why I was amused. Amazed, perhaps, is the right word.

She ended up going with a bunch of friends. "I was with Arlene, Mae, Sars, EJ, June, Marielle, Butch, Y2K plus two friends," she told me on Facebook. But of course, it'd be them.

"Inggitin ba ako?" I quipped.

"Wait till you see the pics," she quipped back.

There she was, with that unexplainable mix of why-did-you-do-that? and oh-hello-hi-how-are-you? on her face. I think she waved nervously, too. We had nothing to talk about, but I was surprised she had her friends go ahead to chat a bit with me. Of course, it was the Sugarfree concert. And the new album, which I haven't heard of until I saw it on the shelves during one of my forcibly-extended lunch breaks. I realized they've got English song titles again, although I don't know if they're singing it in English, too. (Random factoid: Their only songs in English appear on their debut, Sa Wakas. They've gone all-Filipino since, even if the songs are titled in English. Say, Limbo, off Dramachine.)

Of course, she'd tell me to buy the album. Of course, I can afford to save up for it now, at least until my earphones went bust on me again.

I couldn't remember what we talked about. But it wasn't much, really. Just another familiar, non-hostile face, and all the things that come with it, fleeting or otherwise. And no, it really shouldn't sound romantic.

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