4/22/2010
Maybe I was waiting to get hugged back, but whatever

It's a busy Thursday. American Idol went overtime, and I'll be in Boracay tomorrow, which is why I had to do half the things I should've done on Friday today, a busy Thursday. So, I figured, I'll just have a burger at Jollibee. I've been craving for a Champ for a week.

I was planning on texting Valerie when I get settled with my burger. I was supposed to tease her. "Have you seen topless photos of David Cook?" I thought. The goal was to make her conjure that image in her head, make her go nuts, pretty much the same way she did with those Kris Allen topless photos. I didn't get the response I wanted, because apparently there were some already.

So, back to the restaurant. I'm in the counter. The server comes up to me, and I give her my order. "Isang Champ, go-large ng fries."

"Sir, twelve minutes po."

I nod. It's a busy Thursday, but I have lots of time to eat. Oddly.

I do this with my earphones on. Or, at least, one of them on, the one on my left ear, blasting whatever song was blasting at the time. Or was it blasting something? Because I did hear someone call my name. "Niko," it simply went. And I could think I'm just hearing things - they commonly happen - but not this time. So I turned. And there was Clarence. I was oddly surprised.

I mean, I shouldn't be. We've long established that she worked in a building on the same strees as mine. We've had lunch many times, but only when nothing is going on. Certainly today wasn't one of those days, since she's holding some take-out.

Now, I should be surprised to see Mara there.

Or I shouldn't, because I've long known she's working in the same place Clarence is. It's just that, well, the two aren't exactly the people I'd expect to hang out. They're not polar opposites, but they're in different worlds. Then again, that's what you get when you came from the same batch in the same college in the same university. You get to bond.

"Hi, Henrik," she went.

My impulse went one way: hug. I almost did, but the server was giving my change. So I got mine, and I turned back to them, and they said they're leaving, and that's when I realized they bought take out. And my impulse went the way it should. I just opened my arms and grabbed them and hugged them. Tightly. And then I felt awkward, partly because it's not the sort of things I do to Mara. Again, different worlds.

Then again, that's what you should get when you've been through something in common. So, yes, that fits and this one doesn't. But it still felt awkward. Like, should I even be doing it?

And then I got a seat. And then my burger arrived, five minutes later. Not twelve. They always do that.

And your responses...

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