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It was four and a half years ago. The day after April Fool's Day. The day after my high school graduation.

I was seated in a relatively lavish living room, although I pin that description because it's pretty big and brightly lit and the sofa's designed with flowers. I was with Gio and Mari, I think, nibbling on something, winding down, while waiting for my ride home to come. Upstairs, my classmates - former classmates, probably, at this point - were either playing video games, or getting drunk, or putting their romantic futures on the line.

Actually, I can't remember what the circumstances were. I might be mixing this up with Gio's birthday the previous year. Besides, his house was pretty near Mari's - we called him MJ then - and it pretty much looked the same. I might be mixing memories of Anton getting frustrated at my apparent video game prowess with memories of Robyn being so red and, arguably, so impulsive. I do remember that it was the second time I met Ana, Robyn's friend from her old high school. By some twist of fate, she was already a year ahead of her, studying at the Ateneo.

That's the only definite, surely, because I only met Ana during the graduation ceremonies the day before. For some reason, Robyn brought her along. For some reason, she was let in. I remember being surprised when she showed up at Mari's party. I think I was angling to impress. I don't know why.

It was past midnight already, I think, which would've made this two days after I got my diploma. Or somewhere before it, I don't remember. But I do remember the question I asked Ana, an impulsive thing on my part, but that's how I'd see it nowadays. Back then, it was sheer curiosity.

"What's your last name?" I said. Maybe in Filipino, I can't really remember. She did speak Filipino but you look at her and it seems she speaks a smattering of English most of the time.

"Marfori," she replied.

"Are you half-something?"


I don't know why this is one of the proudest moments of my life.

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