Monday, March 20, 2017

Cebu Coffee Shops (Part 1)

Cebu Coffee Shops (Part 1)
By: Ram

“I wish to marry the most beautiful girl in the world.” I remembered saying this, twelve or so years ago.

Oh how things have changed…

First of all, this is my story; it happened to me and it’s up to you if you believe me or not (though the names are changed and the conversations aren’t really a word for word recollection, the thought still remains the same and so does the story). I’m new here, probably only a month has passed since I stumbled upon this site. As to how I found it, well, it was one horny night for me and a couple of keywords in google and then bam, here I was. Anyway, based on the stories I’ve read here, I’m supposed to introduce myself so; I’m Ram, a nineteen year old Cebuano, tall, tan and I’m not well built, just average I guess (I enrolled myself in a gym but sometimes my laziness gets the best of me). I won’t lie, there are muscles here and there but that’s as good as it gets hahahaha am I gwapo? I don’t know, I’ll leave it to your imagination (and I won’t even try to say “people say I am handsome/attractive” or “people say I look like *insert handsome actor here*”). As I’ve said, I’m not phony. I don’t know if I’m gay or bi, I like who I like and I love who I love so let’s leave it to that. One thing is clear though, I am not effeminate or flamboyant. I’m comfortable in English so I’ll write my story in English. Here it goes.
Two years ago, I was a freshman in a medical school with a good reputation here in Cebu. On the first day of my college life, I was pretty much a loner since most of my barkada took up another course in another prestigious school (this school has a lot of campuses hahaha) and some went to Manila. I knew some people but they were mostly batchmates and some classmates that I wasn’t really close with but I decided to go with them rather than to spend most of my time alone. Since it was the first week and we were still freshmen, our teachers would only come inside the room and collect our study loads then leave (but on wed-fri on the same week, they started to give short lectures) so we kept on going to the coffee shops surrounding the school and frequented Bo’s coffee most especially.
One day while we were in Bo’s (I think there were around 5 of us) a group of second year students, in the same department as us, came in and sat a couple of tables away from us. They were loud, and we were loud so basically, the peaceful coffee shop turned into a den of noisy teenagers. One of the barista began to make shushing sounds but both of our groups ignored him so he raised his voice and told us to keep quiet. My friends and I looked at the table with the second years and they too looked at us, we exchanged looks and we all burst out into fits of laughter. We continued to chat but in low voices until we had to leave for our next class. Just as we left, I felt a tap on my shoulder.
“Bai excuse me.” I turned around and saw a guy, one of the second years, grinning behind me.
“Yes bai?” I raised my eyebrow in question.
“You see that girl?” he pointed inside and I saw a girl try to hide her face, “she thinks your cute man gud. That’s all bai hahahaha” and then he went back inside. My friends began to mock me on the way to our class.
That was the first time I saw him and our first interaction. In between classes, we’d bump into their group and there would be teasing and the girl would try to slap them and I would try to stop my friends but he’s the worst, because he would try to push the girl to me or me to the girl. But it was all playful.
Friday one week before the week for the finals of the first term, I went to Bo’s alone after my 3pm class. My friends and I were supposed to go to Plantation Bay to spend the weekend there but I told them that I had an important dinner that Friday and that I was being picked up. I promised them that I will go first thing on Saturday. While waiting for my driver, I decided to do a little reading for the exam. After a while, the second year guy came in and took the table beside mine. He was a bit preoccupied so he didn’t notice me until he came back from ordering.
“Oy bai!” he said. I looked up and he was smiling at me.
“Bai!” I smiled back.
“Sorry bitaw if you’re annoyed na by our teasing. Especially by my teasing.”
“It’s ok ra oy, it’s just teasing anyway.” We laughed.
“Yeah but Rhea thinks you really are cute though.”
“Ayaw na bi, gara na hahahaha (stop it, that’s already too much)”
“I’m not kidding! In fact I think she’d be really happy if I got your number for her!” he opened his notebook and made me write my number. I rolled my eyes and wrote it down, both of us laughing.
“I’m Jon by the way.”
“Nice to meet you Ram.”
“Nice to meet you too.” We shook hands.
“Basin (maybe) it’s you who wants my number bai ha!” I joked.
“Naboang na! hahaha” (That’s crazy) he said. “Sige bai, I’ll leave you to your reading, sorry for disturbing.” And so for the next hour, we got submerged in our books. I kept on glancing at my watch, 4:30 and still my driver hasn’t picked me up yet, won’t reply to my texts or even answer my calls and it started to rain. Around 5 o’clock, Jon tapped me and said that he’ll be going to his last class. By this time, I got super pissed at my driver so I decided to get a taxi.
Obviously it was so hard to get a cab and I was already drenched to the bones by the rain. What a bad day I’m having. As I was still desperately trying to get a cab under the rain (by this time, I gave up trying to stay dry since it’s pointless), a black BMW stopped in front of me and the window rolled down. Jon was sitting on the driver’s seat.
“Ram! Ngano nagpa uwan man ka bai?” (Ram, why are you staying under the rain?)
“I’m trying to hail a cab bai, my driver hasn’t picked me up yet and I’m going to be late for something.”
“Sulod sa car bai, masakit gyud ka. Ihatod na tika sa inyo.” (Get inside the car or else you’ll get sick. I’ll drop you off.)
“No thanks bai, mabasa ra imo’ng car. I’ll keep waiting for a taxi.” (Your car will only get wet.) but he went out of the driver’s seat and opened the door for me.
“Sulod lagi ba! Nagpabasa na sad bya ko’s uwan ha, kung masakit ko sala gyud ni nimo.” (Get inside! I’m also under the rain and if I get sick it’s all your fault.) So I had no other choice but to get inside. He parked the car near the gas station and turned the AC down.
“I think I have some dry clothes that we can change into. It’s bad if we dry up in our wet clothes.” He reached for his bag at the back and pulled out two white shirts. We changed into them and tried to dry up.
“I thought you had a class?” I asked.
“I did but it was cancelled, naay lakaw amo’ng maestra gud.” (Our teacher had an errand to do.) “So, where do you want me to drop you off?”
“Sa Banilad ra dapit bai.” (Somewhere in Banilad will do.)
“Taga Banilad sad bya ko.” (I’m also from Banilad.)
“Really?!” he nodded and started the car. The village he lives in turned out to be near the village where I live so it was pretty convenient for both of us. He dropped me off at around 7 in the evening. Turns out, our driver got stuck in traffic and the car broke down.
After that, we’d frequently bump into each other in Bo’s (turns out he’s a coffee lover too!) and in between classes we’d say hi but his teasing still didn’t stop and it was ok. I think you could say that we became friends, in a way a freshman and a sophomore are friends. But that was it; we were friends and nothing more. Yeah I know I have urges to like guys and yeah he was handsome but I didn’t like him in a romantic kind of way. He was just Jon and I was just Ram.
Sembreak in college, I found out, was a total pain in the ass and in the wallet. Three weeks without school means three weeks without allowance and three weeks of looking for things to do. Luckily I got my driver’s license earlier (thank God for connections hehehehe) and well, I spent a lot of time road tripping and late night drives with my friends. But my favourite part was when I get to spend some alone time in random coffee shops. A good book plus a good coffee makes my day better. One day, I went to UCC Café Terrace in Ayala (I’m not a fan of coffee shops in malls because they can get pretty crowded but UCC Café has one of the best coffees and French toast). There were a handful of people but luckily there was a table vacant, near the window and I took it. Hours passed and the shop was filled with people and as I glanced towards the entrance, lo and behold who had just entered! It was Jon and his face was scanning for a free table and then he got sad because he didn’t see any. He probably didn’t see me and as he was about to leave, I called out to him and he smiled the biggest smile I had ever seen on his face.
“Ikaw ra usa?” (Are you alone?) he asked as he sat across from me.
“Yeah, I do that sometimes.”
“Ka-loner sad nimo uy!” (You are such a loner!)
“Hilom uy (shut up)! Hahahaha how about you?”
“I’m waiting for someone but I guess I’ll go to Starbucks nalang since there’s no table here.”
“Your girlfriend? Yeeee hahahaha You guys can stay here, I was about to leave anyway” (even though I wasn’t but hey, I was being a good guy)
“Joke ra bitaw, I’m not meeting anyone. It’s just me. And I don’t have a girlfriend.”
“Loner sad diay ni siya hahahaha” (Turns out you’re a loner too!) “and it’s hard to believe that a good looking guy like you doesn’t have a girlfriend!” I taunted.
“So you think I’m good looking?” he asked and smiled at me, raising his eyebrow playfully.
“Kaluod nimo oy.” (You’re disgusting) I snapped. He just laughed and went to order coffee.
He came back a couple of minutes after. “I thought you were leaving?” he asked.
“Oh so you want me to leave?”
“Joke ra gani.” He smiled again. Gad his smile.
We spent the whole afternoon getting to know each other and we didn’t notice the time until both of us began to feel hungry.
“WTF look at the time! It’s already 8 in the evening!” I said.
“Hahahahahahaha! Wow time sure does fly when you’re having fun.”
“I better go now.” I stood up to go but he stopped me.
“Let’s have dinner first.” He offered but I wasn’t quite sure I wanted to. I mean I did want to but I didn’t trust myself enough to actually say yes. Here’s the thing, I didn’t like him up to that point but after our conversation well, something inside me changed. And I swear I was afraid. I didn’t want to fall for this guy because he’ll never like me back and it only means that I’ll be spending more nights crying and hurting about him. And I’m tired of doing that to myself. And I knew that I was on my way to falling head over heels for this guy. I mean c’mon, who could resist his smile and the dimple on his left cheek? Who could say no to the eyes that disappear when he smiles and to his brown eyes? Yes, he’s gwapo. More than gwapo actually since I found out he tried participating in the school pageants.
“Ok fine but your treat.” I gave in to him.
“Ka cute nimo oy!” (You’re so cute!) He said while smiling and pushing me out the door. We ate in Café Laguna.
After our plates have been cleaned, he called for the bill and I offered to pay my share.
“No, I said I’m paying.” He insisted.
“Let’s split the bill at least.” But he shook his head.
“I would feel bad if I didn’t pay for the first date.”
“So this is a date?” I teased.
“You wish.” He said, grinning.
“Hahahaha! So let me pay then!” I pushed. He rolled his eyes and stuck his tongue out at me, “If I said that this was a date, then would you stop offering to pay?” he said.
“Maybe. But it’s impossible, two guys don’t go on dates.” I stuck my tongue at him.
“It is possible! We’re having one right now!” he laughed.
“Gaaad. Fine. But I’ll make it up to you whether you like it or not.”
“Ok then. It’s settled. This is a date-” I was about to object but he held his hand at me, “and there’s nothing you can do about it.” He laughed at me once again. I sat awkwardly, staring at him. Holy shit I was beginning to like him and I don’t know what I felt that moment but my heart fluttered and my stomach stated churning. The waiter arrived and I was still silent. He smiled and took the bill. I playfully rolled my eyes at him.
“How are you going home?” He asked as we got out of the restaurant.
“I brought my car.”
“Ay bati, ihatod unta tika.” (That sucks, I was going to drop you off.)
“Hahahaha luora na nimo oy.” (You’re getting gross.) But really, I started to blush and I was jumping up and down inside. We walked to the basement parking.
“Sige bai, this was a fun day. Thanks again!” I told him.
“Sure! I hope we can do this again some other time.” He replied.
“Let’s! And next time, it’s my treat.” He smiled and I smiled back.
That night, I wasn’t able to sleep properly. I kept on tossing and turning on my bed and his face kept on appearing in my mind. At around 2am, I received a message in my phone. It was from an unregistered number.
“Hi gwapo.” It said.
“Who’s this?” I replied.
“Imo’ng future ;)” (Your future)
“If you’re trying to be cute, don’t because it’s creepy. I think you got the wrong number.”
“Sure ko this is the right number.” At this point, I stopped replying and continued thinking about Jon and weighing my feelings for him and cursing myself for starting to like him (and cursing him too). My phone vibrated again.
“Hoy Ram it’s me bitaw. It’s Jon hahahahaha!” And when I read this, my heart did a somersault, double flip and some more somersault.
“At ma’y pa ‘your future, your future’ ka pa ha!”
“Hahahaha, I WAS trying to be cute but you are such a cock blocker!”
“Di na kailangan, cute naman ka!” At this point, I couldn’t stop smiling. We continued to text and I was going crazy. I wish you liked me too. I kept on repeating this again and again.
“Bai, can I call you? I want to let you hear something.” He said and I couldn’t contain my feelings.
“Sure.” I replied, trying to act cool even though I was about to burst. My phone rang and I answered it.
“Hello?” I said trying to hide my excitement.
“Bai.” He said on the other line. His voice is even sexier and manlier over the phone.
“Bai.” I said and there was silence for a couple of seconds, only our breathing could be heard and it was still hot.
“Hahahaha bitaw, I want you to listen to something and tell me what you think ha?” There was shuffling and movement on the other end. Then I heard him clearing his throat and a strumming of a guitar.
Shit he’s going to sing. He can sing?! Shit shit shit shit. I thought to myself. He began to sing and he sounded really good. The guitar matched his voice, he sounded like Bamboo and it was just perfect. The song sounded original, it was about falling in love and I thought to myself, Hey, maybe there is a chance for us.
The song ended and he cleared his throat.
“Hello? Ram you still there?” I was dumbfounded. I was lost for words. His voice was just perfect. Can he get even more perfect?
“Yeah, I’m still here. Kuyawa nimo bai oy!”
“Hahahaha thanks. So, how was it?”
“The song? I guess that was original, am I right?”
“Yeah it is.”
“It was great! Jon you are so good! Your voice even sounds great like I swear bai.”
“So you liked it?”
“Liked it? I loved it.” My emotions got the best of me.
“Great, then I guess she’ll like it too.” BAM, the bomb was dropped.
“Yeeeee! So you wrote that for a girl? Kinsa man bai(Who is she)?” I had to act like I was actually happy and not hurting at all. This was what I hated. This was what I told myself. And now it happened again, my heart got ripped out of my chest again. I died at that moment. I literally felt my body drop. But it was my fault but still I hated him. Tears started to fall from my eyes and I had to force myself to sound happy still, suppressing the pain.
“Classmate nako bai. Do you think she’ll like it?”
“Of course bai! She’ll love it, I loved it man gani.”
“Thanks bai! Anyway-”
“Bai I have to sleep na. I’m really sleepy already.” I said before he could say anything else. I immediately disconnected the call without waiting for his reply and after that, the tears fell even harder. My chest was heaving, it literally ached, and I was gasping for air. I slept on a tear drenched pillow that night.
To be continued. Our story is kinda long hahahahaha


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