Stories we've forgotten

In my usual fits of office boredom, my mind wandered towards one of those nights on my way home.

Traffic at SLEX back then was still bad. I was leaning against the window, looking out at the gas station outside. It was dark, but I can see a girl come out of the shop and chase after a dog, Silhouettes, of course.

I remembered connecting that with what Katia told me a few months back. Since she left her job as a flight attendant, she said, she began working at a gas station. Since she was busy working then, I never got to ask what exactly she was doing there, although I presume it's a fairly significant position.

"Seaoil Merville," she said. Wasn't that the very gas station I was looking at that night?

Just yesterday did I finally tell her that; sometimes I get too bored to remember things that I should be doing. As always, she's busy, so the chat didn't exactly help me get rid of my boredom.

"Depends if the girl is wearing [a] Seaoil uniform or not," she said.

Of course, it didn't help. It was dark. But at least I got the gas station's location right: somewhere along the West Service Road, rather than being further towards the subdivision. (I should know. I have relatives and friends there.)

"Coolness," she responded. "That might've been me chasing Pepper, my dog."

"You have a dog!" I said. "Scary I almost got it right."

"My avatar has a dog," she pointed out.

There is a dog on the avatar. Black, furry, or however you describe it. It was, more or less, the same dog whose silhouette I saw that night. Could it be? Yes, I thought.

"Cool. That's pepper."

It's not as if I didn't know her anymore. We never really talked much since she graduated from UST, found herself flying to Seoul to train, and started going around the world in search of photographs and Manila quickturns. Maybe I just wasn't used to her saying "cool" a lot. Or at least that's not how I remembered her.

Still bored, my mind went to my email. Katia was responsible for giving me a GMail account, and I remembered our email exchanged about stuff. She was working at a call center then; I was a college freshman still crazy over Kizia. Incidentally, we were talking about her, more as a way to help her get past her own office boredom. Topics would change and the next thing we knew, we were discussing call centers, and her constantly clicking on "report phishing" rather than "reply".

Quite conveniently, all our emails to each other were compiled. There it was. An email on Valentine's Day two years ago, with her talking about some stupid guy. ("And that, is the end," she wrote on that long blog entry of sorts.) There were lots of blog entries from me, the stuff she wouldn't otherwise see, but I figured she'd be interested in reading while in between flights. Stuff about Sarah, mostly. And there was this one blog entry about Neobie, too, and Katia said she liked the entry.

What's most amusing was this one email she sent me, way back when we first met, sort of. It was another one of those Kizia-related emails - a "monologue", as she called it - where she talked about the big reveal and geeks and me being a normal kid after all, but still being "the male counterpart of man-haters".

I openly wondered if she remembered writing that email. She laughed - this was Christmas eve last year - and asked, "are you still a geek?"

I was listening to RockEd Radio yesterday, and there was this interesting tidbit from Gang Badoy. "We Filipinos have short term memory," she said, obviously going more political, although I was thinking of how quickly we forgot about these little stories that make us who we are, and how often we don't realize its impact on the things we do at this moment. I don't know. Short attention span? Wham-bam distraction feeds? Something else?

"I wish I could turn back time to those times where I really am so carefree and just floating and all I really have to think about is something as minor as Niko's thoughts on Kizia," she said six months ago.

Maybe there's life getting in the way, too.

"And to think I was not at the service road, but along SLEX," I said yesterday, still surprised that I somehow deduced it was Katia chasing after a dog that night. "Inside a tinted van."

"Coolness!" she merely answered.

I can't get used to it.

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