the last temptation of jonaPosted: March 7, 2011
it was the afternoon before my wedding and i was finally allowing myself to relax. i had just waved goodbye to the car containing alvin and the friends who were staying the night in tagaytay and i had most of the afternoon to myself.
all i had lined up before meeting up with jing in the late afternoon was a spa treatment (my one concession to mainstream bridal preps), so after a leisurely lunch of cbtl’s yummy ceasar salad, i decided to walk around and see if i can find myself a last-minute wedding hair accessory.
i actually already bought some sort of headband with fluffy yellowish things a few months ago, but i’ve puked a little more each time i revisited it in my closet, and since there were more important wedding details to attend to than what’ll be sitting on top of my head, i had no choice but to accept the fact that i was just going to have to go bare-headed. when i suddenly found time on my hands though, i figured it wouldn’t hurt to do the aksesorya rounds one last time.
so i walked over to greenbelt 5, keeping one eye on my watch and mentally picking out stores i could check out -aldo, promod, accessorize, etc. a few meters from aldo, i automatically did a quick sweep of the hallway and caught this tall guy in shorts staring at me with his mouth half open. our eyes met for a fraction of a second and then i was inside aldo and plowing through rows and rows of long, shiny things.
a few minutes later, as i was stepping out of promod, i saw the same guy seated on one of the benches across the store entrance, busily fiddling with his mobile phone. i remember thinking he must’ve been waiting for someone, probably a wife, girlfriend or even mother who was taking her time inside one of the stores.
with only about ten minutes before i had to be at the spa, i made a quick stop at accessorize, weaving in and out of the display racks, trying to peer into the bottom ones in case i missed something.
i emerged from the store empty-handed and hurried towards the direction of the spa. i took maybe three steps before i heard a voice call out to me: excuse me!
startled, i came to an abrupt stop, trying to locate where the voice was coming from. i was surprised to see the same tall guy standing in front of me, looking sheepish.
um, (smiles) i saw you from back there (gestures vaguely) and i thought you were really pretty.
oh. thank you.
(smiles again) can i get your name? i’m rafael. (acts flustered)
hi, i’m jona. (smiles)
(acts all cute and sheepish) can i, um, (looks away, shakes his head, smiles some more, looks back) is it okay if i get your number?
(reddens a little) i’m really sorry. i was just…
no, no. it’s okay, and this is all really very flattering but now isn’t a good time. you see, i’m getting married tomorrow. (smiles)
(eyes widen) tomorrow?!
(laughs) yes, tomorrow.
now if this was a hollywood romcom, i told alvin over the phone a short while later, rafael and i would’ve decided to get coffee anyway, and we would’ve spent the rest of the afternoon talking and laughing. by sunset i would’ve broken off our wedding, all weepy and confused, and a celluloid hour later, he and i would’ve been running across some beach and screaming delightedly at the waves while the end credits rolled.