Some identities shall remain confidential until the details of this story have been disbursed properly to the appropriate people — people whom we are actually hiding the identities from. It is best they hear of it personally before being briefed on the details.
Catherine and I celebrate our monthly celebration on the 8th. It was our 28th month together last Saturday. We’ve never been too lavish; for as long as we’re with each other, it speaks for itself — although it doesn’t hurt when we go out for a movie or a dinner date. Last month, we even spent our monthly celebration by bringing her little sister to the hospital because she contracted dengue. It was in the middle of that catastrophic monsoon and the road outside the hospital was under knee-deep flood, so I had to carry the little girl on my back. So what could be worse, right? It wasn’t the best way to make a special day worth remembering but we found a way to smile at the oddity of the circumstances. At least we were together. And we still are.
That day, after a seminar at school, I went over to her house with a box of donuts. We talked, laughed, told stories, cuddled, teased, showed appreciation for all the things we do for each other; things couples do. We then had her appointment with her dentist and did a little grocery shopping.
I know what you’re thinking; we must be a really fun couple to spend one of our very special days doing house errands. But we get along without the cliche romantic nights we see in movies. When you think about it, with the way we celebrate, a cliche romantic night would be that much more appreciated by the both of us. We’ll get there. In the mean time…
While we were hunting for a memory card for her phone, I spotted a good buddy of mine at his usual hangout place. He wasn’t too hard to miss; 5’10” or something dude with a chicken’s crest for a hairstyle, sporting a pair of hipster glasses. We were a bit surprised to see him there, since he just got rejected by a girl whom he met at that place.
We decided not to approach him immediately, and proceeded to get Cath’s memory card. As she was doing her business inside the tech shop, I stood outside since I was carrying a huge cup of buko shake. Food & Drinks aren’t typically allowed inside those establishments, so while waiting, I sent a text to my friend. When I saw him read the message, he started scanning around nervously, as if he was being followed by the FBI. It went on for a couple of minutes with me chuckling at his panic from a distance.
After purchasing a USB Mouse for her cousin, we agreed to finally approach my now-paranoid friend. He saw us and came running. Angels must have sung when he saw us. The three of us caught up a bit with each other, talked about this and that. An idea came out of my noggin, so I looked at Catherine.
“Pakilala na ba natin to?”, said I.
She had a good friend which we were trying to make a match with with this buddy of mine. We’ve tried it before, but someone else came first for the girl and my friend wasn’t about to just insert himself in between. So we let that go. Maturity issues between the two eventually led to them breaking up eventually, so this girl was available again. The opportunity arose, and both me and Catherine knew their capacities since we’re good friends with both of them — they’ve just never met each other. This was our first time to try matchmaking, and we weren’t expecting much, but these two together was something we really wanted to see.
“Text ko na siya, malapit lang naman bahay niya sa amin,” says Catherine.
When we got the reply we wanted from her friend, the mission was on. We brought the groceries, a bag of lechon manok, drinking paraphernalia and my buddy home to Catherine’s little abode. When Cath’s friend came in, it was time. They clicked almost immediately, since they were both motor mouths with natural wits. He wasn’t drop dead handsome by any means; and she was once a contestant in a local beauty pageant — but Cath and I both knew that attraction goes beyond the physical boundaries. With what these two have experienced with relationships, they’re looking for something more than just a pretty face or a chiseled cluster of six pack abs.
Seeing the blooming interaction between the two, we decided to sprinkle the atmosphere with a little romance — as far as we could take it anyway. Cath got one of her stout scented candles. We turned the lights off in the dining area and let the two eat together. We were persistent in letting them talk one on one, so we occupied ourselves by doodling with my friend’s tablet. That way we could pretend to ignore them and they wouldn’t pester us to eat with them.
When they realized we were serious about it, the mood suddenly changed between them. In the blink of an eye, what was shy and timid became boisterous and almost annoyingly sweet. They were like a young couple, without the touching.
After our turn to eat was over, I took out the 1-liter bottle of Emperador Light, got the juice pack out, the chips, what remained of the romantic chicken and laid it out on the floor; with Cath’s “Magic Carpet” serving as a mattress for the session.
There wasn’t much to say about me and Catherine, though it was our monthly celebration. The night was more of about these two people we managed to finally get acquainted with one another. While I believe in the saying that opposites attract, finding something you both have in common is a point of conversation — thus an open door to one’s personality. These two had too many things in common. I went to the kitchen for a stick. Cath followed.
“I really want to see how these two will be together. But I don’t want to expect,” I whispered to her.
“I’m expecting them to do very well together. Kinikilig ako sa kanila eh,” she chirps.
Another unique monthsary night for us went on. Catherine’s friend was not only a pageant contestant, she was a dancer and a singer — with a damn good voice, at that. My friend, on the other hand, wasn’t into any of those things. But he’s one of the most industrious people I know, and he’s currently caught up in freelance programming. Simultaneously, he’s educating himself further with different programming languages. He also has — how do I put this — a deep understanding of the Filipino language; matalinghaga, so to speak. But he ain’t no damn singer or dancer.
But he can dance when drunk (who can’t?). So did I. And after finishing one bottle, inhibitions were lowered. It was crazy enough.
I was still having Gangnam Style Fever, so while the friend of my girlfriend was resting after being made to sing by my girlfriend over and over again, I plugged Cath’s sub-woofer speakers into her laptop and played the hit K-Pop song on YouTube (I swear to God, that’s the only K-Pop song I like — the others are garbage).
Catherine was also into it. Unfortunately, she was so much into it — and I was stupid enough to show her earlier how I danced to it — that the two women wanted us men to dance while they put it on video.
I knew it was a bad idea. But I was a bit drunk. I tried to tell them it was a bad idea, but all I could tell my friend was, “Well man sometimes you gotta dance, I dunno”, and pulled him out of his chair. With all that dancing, laughing and coffee drinking we did, we were up until 6 in the morning. I came home around 7 that Sunday morning and slept the whole day. It was one fun monthsary.
And my friend was all thankful and shit, saying he really enjoyed being with us — especially his new “friend”. I told him everything from this point forward would be in his hands. I won’t meddle. Catherine won’t. I’ll make sure none of my friends try to.
What happened to the video of us dancing? I requested Catherine to keep it in her phone for the meantime until my friend spills the beans to our circle. Our little tea party of men can be sour when they aren’t informed of a chance to drink. We’re also keeping from them the fact that we got my friend another chance for a relationship. They have the tendency to step in, we don’t want them to do that. I trust my friend. He knows what to do.
And besides, that video is embarrassing.