It was probably the coldest night that I have ever experienced. My jacket was zipped way up to my neck and my breaths sent little wisps of fog into the air. Around me, people were going about their business like it was just any other night. Well, it probably was for them. For me, on the other hand, it was my first time to set foot on the coldest city in the country.
It was also the night that I would meet someone I haven’t seen in a while. I sweat beads in spite of the cold as the final minutes my long wait crept by.
I’ve known him for four months and we had already met five times, but that night would be our first time to meet as something like lovers. Over the first month that I’d known him, I’d gone from liking him to obsessing about him to hating him. Our friendship hovered beneath romance and he was too cautious to let it go higher.
Then he left and we didn’t see each other for three months. Curiously, it was on those three months we spent apart that everything happened. The messages we exchanged became laced with sweet nothings and the nights saw us on the phone, talking for hours on end. Our emotions grew steadily until one night, he told me that he loved me, and I promised to go to him so we can finally see each other again.
But there I was, on the night of our long-awaited meeting, suddnely doubtful at how things were going to turn out. While the place was new to me, the moment was not. I’ve been there enough times to know that there were two possible endings: there could either be fireworks bathing the sky in a tremendous light that can hide even the stars, or the sky could slowly become a dark void as the last lights of dead stars reach my eyes.
Fireworks or dead stars? Pondering only seemed to draw out the minutes.
I checked the time, it’s only been two minutes since he texted that he was on his way. If only “NO SMOKING” signs were not hung on just about every wall of the bus terminal, I could have lit up a cigarette and the smoke could have soothed my nerves. If only my phone’s battery weren’t almost out, then I could have put on my earphones and turned up the music so loud that I won’t have to hear myself think. No, the universe made sure that I had nothing else to do but wait.
The seconds dragged on and I teetered between excitement and dread. I had wagered my heart once again, and in a few minutes, I was going to find out if I had made the right bet. I was scared, but it was a gamble I took willingly. I wanted to be there. However things might turn out when I leave, I would have no regrets.
A few more minutes passed and I felt someone tap my shoulder. It was him. He was wearing the same shirt he wore when we first met. He was smiling the same smile he had back then when he was walking towards me. His eyes sparkled the same way they did when he told me stories of his childhood. And when he said my name, his voice resonated of the same childlike-joy that captivated me from the first time I heard it.
It took me a while to take it in: my wait was over. It was really him standing in front of me. The man who has my heart was finally with me again. I smiled and gazed at his eyes as the rest of the world started to be flooded with light.