By: MIYANO RAN
I felt a strong thrust as I woke. I just realized that the jeep I was riding came to a full stop as it reached a traffic jam.
Can't believe that I fell asleep, I could've missed my stop! I must have been really tired from school.
What I didn't expect was to see a total stranger staring right at my face!
He must have realized the shock in my face; he distanced himself immediately and looked away, but he was still beside me in the crowded jeep.
He was quite good looking, and I noticed that he wore our school uniform. I shrugged and looked elsewhere.
But a few moments later, I caught him staring again!
I sighed. I took out my phone and started to text my friend, Aria. I typed, "There's a weird guy staring at me at the jeep right now."
The second my eyes looked away from my phone, I caught him still staring! He might have even seen what I was texting since he looked away again.
Since he loved staring, I sighed, and typed once more.
When he glanced at me again, I directed the screen towards his view.
He quizzically looked at me and eyed my phone.
I couldn't help but giggle slightly, just slightly, when he turned red from embarrassment when he read what was written.
"You know, it's rude to stare."
"I'm sorry, miss. It's just that…"
"Wait, is there something on my face?!" I panicked inside.
"No, no. I… I just found you so beautiful; I can't help but stare at you."
I was so embarrassed that my cheeks felt hot! I don't know if he's just a suave talker or he's just making an excuse for his rudeness.
I bit my lip and didn't want to talk at all. So I started texting again. Then, I showed it to him.
"Thanks for the compliment."
He smiled warmly and got a small piece of paper and a ball pen from his pocket. Then, he started scribbling something.
Few moments later, he gave the small folded paper to me.
The jeep had another stopover and more people squeezed themselves in.
Oh, why does he insist on getting passengers when there's clearly no more space in here? And it feels like we're a bunch of sardines squished in a can.
The ride got more uncomfortable! Now I'm bumper to bumper with this guy.
So, anyway, back to the paper he gave me. I opened it and read. "You seem like a really nice girl, I just want to get to know you, let's be friends? Here's my number 0917-xxxx-xxx"
I looked up at him and I saw an expectant look on his face. I took out my phone again and began to text.
Moments later, he read it.
"But I barely know you."
"That's why we'll get to know." He said with a friendly smile. "And besides, we're practically school mates so it's not like I'm a creepy old guy or something."
Then, I suddenly realized that the jeep went a bit beyond my stop and I quickly yelled, "Just at the side, sir!"
The events were too quick, as soon as the jeep stopped at the corner of the street, I jumped down with my bag, and the next thing I knew he was gone.
That was the last time I saw his face.
After I reached home, I pondered yet again about meeting the queer guy on the jeep. I finally decided to give friendship a try.
But then, I realized that I lost the piece of paper.
Five years later, I just finished early from work and I rode the train home.
It was still a beautiful afternoon but I had nothing better to do anyway, might as well head home.
The LRT was far from the jeep I used to ride back in my college days. It was cool and spacious.
Then, suddenly, I saw a guy sitting across me and he looked really familiar. He wasn't any of my classmates, nor was he one of my friends.
Was he an acquaintance? But, from where did we meet? When?
I kept staring at him.
I wanted to figure out who he was. Why was he so familiar?
I kept staring.
Wow, he's good looking.
But do I know him?
He kept texting on his phone and so his head was down, and I tried to make out his face under his hair.
I was shocked when he suddenly looked up to face me, reaching out his phone so that I could see.
I was puzzled. He pointed at the phone and I looked.
It said, "It's rude to stare, too. Remember, I did the same thing to you five years ago? You never called me, nor sent me a message."
"Oh it's you!" I concluded with surprise.
He grinned. "Well, we meet again! But hey, you really threw out the piece of paper I gave you, didn't you? You really weren't interested to be friends with me."
"No, it's not that I wasn't interested!" I protested.
He chuckled. "Oh then so are you saying that you were interested but not available anymore?"
"No, I am available." I blushed and swallowed hard.
My breathings hastened and my heart pounded against my chest.
"I lost the paper. When I got home, I lost it. It's really weird we never met in campus though." I explained; I must have sounded really apologetic and sad because he quickly sat beside me.
"But even so, I think God planned us to meet again. I mean, it's more than coincidence, don't you think?" He asked with a smile.
"I suppose." I replied.
The door of the train opened and this is where I go down. I stood up, gathered my things and walked to the door. I turned around apologetically and said, "I go down here. Bye."
But he was behind me when the train of the door closed. I was stunned.
"Well, what a coincidence, I go down here, too." He said honestly.
"Really…?" I asked, skeptical.
"Yeah, you busy?" He asked.
"No, I'll just be heading home."
"Want to have coffee with me before you head home?" He offered.
He smiled and seemed like a really nice guy, now not anymore in our school uniform, now wearing a coat and tie while holding a nice briefcase.
I realized that we kids have all grown into adults. Time flies too fast.
"Sure." I smiled as he led the way.
Author's note: Got the idea from my jeep ride home from school last August 30, 2013, Friday, not that any of this happened to me, but there's this girl who kept looking at this guy with a nice phone and I had this strange idea. Hope you enjoyed reading!
PS: Jeep and LRT trains are unique Philippine public vehicles and modes of transportation.
Written on the night of August 31, 2013