Memory Lane

More than two years ago, around quarter to 10 in the evening, you were driving me home from our first date. It was a make-or-break kind of night, and I remember feeling very happy that we finally had the chance to spend time together without everyone’s eyes on us — always giving us that look, suspecting that we have a relationship. You know how everyone is.

While we were already dating, meaning spending our remaining lunch hours strolling around Greenbelt or rushing to the nearest Ministop for cheap coffee, we weren’t really together yet — it was kind of complicated. But our bosses and other workmates thought it best to keep us away from each other for reasons like, as they say, whatever we have will never work. 

We were stuck in the usual Manila traffic that night and I found myself looking outside the window, trying to stop my tears from falling as I sing along to Ariana Grande’s Almost Is Never Enough that’s playing on the radio, each word hitting me straight to the heart. My mind is a mess thinking how I in the world I ended up here. I just— I couldn’t stand the thought of not knowing what we could be and how wonderful it would be to with you.

When we were near my place, you decided to park at the nearest Mcdonald’s, just so you could walk me home for the first time — probably even the last. When we reached the door and saying goodbye, you held both my cheeks and kissed me tenderly on the lips as you uttered something under your breath: Crush na crush kita. And something inside me just… sparked and I stopped thinking altogether.

I kissed you back.

Shortly after, you turned your back and walked away, about to leave. And I stared at your back, not wanting to blink. Half-way through, you stopped and rushed back to me holding your hand up with a gesture that meant “Wait.” You kissed me again — longer and more passionately this time. I kissed you back and held you tight, not sure if it’s because I didn’t want you to go or because I wanted to make sure that this was all real, maybe both.

Little did I know at the time that that kiss would change my life in ways I never would have imagined. I guess you could say that that kiss saved us from the myriad things which were holding us back. 

I was 24 at the time and I just couldn’t help thinking that for the first time in 24 years, after that one kiss, I started living my life. It was like you ignited something within my soul — you are this absolute ray of sunshine and positivity. You held my hand and suddenly the future just looked so bright.

It’s been almost three years and I still remember everything like it was yesterday. You are one of those once-in-a-lifetime people and I am so glad that I took the risk with you. A lot of things have happened since then, and whatever modest achievements I have up until this point, I owe them all to that very kiss — I owe them all to you. I can only wish that I have made the same difference in your life.


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