Forevermore: The Story of RC and Cess (chapter 3: Blooming Friendship)
From that time on, when I finally got to be introduced to Cess, things began to turn in a different direction for me. Among other things, this new beginning caused a lot of unnecessary moments of my life in between that time and the closing of summer to be deleted from my memory. As the season went along, I hardly noticed that two months have already passed. I was soon busy prepping for my sophomore year in college at UP, while she was entering PNU as a freshman.
Another significant change I felt in my life was the way I woke up. I had become eager and excited of what the day has in store for me. I recovered my zeal and drive to take on the day’s challenge. I picked up from where I left off with a lot of lags and unfinished businesses, and soon i was checking them off my to-do list. The blood surge in my veins was running 70 an hour. Quite exagerrated, one could say. But that was simply how dramatically different the velocity of my life was going than when before I met Cess.
Though we hardly talked in person, we kept in touch through the text line. Though texts were often times vague, they helped me add the colors to my sketches of her in my head. And from one message to another, I was gradually understanding the deeper side of her. A vivid idea of her persona was now coming into the picture of my mind, and it was incomparably unique and intriguing.
As for my part, I was also opening up my real world to her. And for the first time in my life, I was revealing the side of me that hardly anyone had known or would I ever allow anybody else to know. We were both drawing and digging into each other’s lives, and it was an enjoyable time.
But love was not yet a part of that grand scheme.
At that time, my mind was simply fixed with the idea of strengthening our friendship. I wanted to be someone she could easily connect with, and me to her on the other hand. And my wish was never denied, for she had also thought of the same idea. Soon enough we had become close friends. Still we hardly talked to each other. I guess at that time, we were not yet at that level. But our short glances, with an added dash of a smile at each other, signified how much we have grown comfortable and easy to one another. I would often utter simple “hi, hello, how are you’s” to her, and she would never deny me a decent reply. I cherished each moment she did that, no matter how seemingly small the gestures were. At least, I knew I was headed somewhere…
…a place where she was also there.
But among many other things that happened during that time, I can remember one moment in that early stage of our friendship, that I knew there was something in me that had more than just the intent of keeping in touch.
During one of our Workplace Bible Studies, I was attending there as an invited musician together with Cess’ aunt, Tita Sally. When the meeting was over, I hitched a ride with them back home. As we were walking towards the parking lot, the following conversation took place:
“Tita, where’s Cess right now?”
“Oh, okay. How’s she doing?”
“Fine, so far. Why’d you ask?”
“Well, umm, nothing. Was just asking.”
For a moment, I thought I hated myself for making that conversation. But in a way, it had confirmed something for me: that I was feeling something more than just a connection of friendship to her.
That night, she texted me.
“Gud pm. I heard you were asking Tita about me.”
“Yeah, I was.”
“What’d you tell her?”
“Oh nothing really. I was just asking how are you?”
“Well, I’m doing quite well. Thanks. Why’d you have to ask Tita about it? I mean… you could just have texted me, right?”
“Well, i don’t really know why. But, ummm, at least I know you’re ok. I’m glad to hear that you’re doing good.”
“Thanks. How about you? Are you ok? I hope you’re ok too.”
For whatever reason, among the thousands of conversation we have had in the past, that was a conversation I would never forget. For me, it was the first time that I began to seriously care for someone. And for me, it was also the first time that I felt someone seriously care for me.
It was at this time that our friendship began to bloom more than the normal. And as if couldn’t get any better, it was turning out to be something more than expected…