“Let me know when you get back to Manila.”
Those eight words still linger in my head until now. I don’t know how it managed to stay in my mind for over a month now, but I feel like those words only belong to you. I feel like I can still hear your voice on repeat whenever I remember that last morning. It’s as if those words will put a rewind on what had happened that night.
It was my last night of vacation on that island and I don’t know if fate has something to do with it but on that last night, I met you. It was an exhausting day, and all I wanted to do is to get some rest before finally getting back to the jungle-like Manila. You had plans on that night too but you still made time to bond with me, though I was a bit hesitant at first. But you were persistent, what choice did I have?
I wouldn’t typically meet strangers in unfamiliar places. But as I shook hands with you, when you told me your name, when you asked me to have a drink with you, every hesitation went away. It was one of the most awkward yet satisfying moments in my entire existence. As we sat across each other with my hands on my legs, you casually talked about your life.
I never met someone who’s so confident about what he does but still have reservations on certain things. I never talked to someone who knows how to crack jokes in the middle of the conversation. I never knew someone who can keep the conversation going by making fun of other people’s gestures. Until that night, I never laughed with a stranger, never shared personal dreams with a stranger, never made jokes with a stranger, and never learned a foreign language with a stranger. As we laughed the night away, you slowly held my hand. I swear at that moment, all I can ever think of was how perfect the sky was. Thousand stars litter the sky as the bright, half crescent moon illuminated the water in the pool. The night was so dreamy, and so were you. Typically, I wouldn’t kiss a stranger. But you’re no stranger to me. On that very moment, you were the guy I held hands with and talked about the crowded Eiffel Tower in Paris.
You were the guy who gave me my first kiss.
It was too fast, but I didn’t care. The kiss was everything I ever dreamed of. As I spent the night with you, I got to know more about you. I knew you for 12 hours, but I felt like I had known you for years. The little things about you made me crave to know what’s beyond those eyes that held me captive the entire night. As you held me that night, I knew I was in trouble. If my usually composed self was present in that moment, she would definitely yell at my delusional self for doing things beyond her boundaries.
That night, we didn’t care if we’re both strangers to each other. We talked about life as if we were in each other’s shoes. We reminisced the past as if we played a role in each other’s life. We planned for the future as if we will be there for each other. The beauty in your eyes that night made me think that maybe, this could work out. Maybe when I got back to Manila and when you returned to your hometown, we could still try to reach out for each other. Of course, I know better. I knew it wouldn’t happen. But I was still stupid to risk everything and lived for the moment.
As you held me tight that night, you made me feel loved. I felt secured, protected and cared for. You reminded me of why I always believed in fairy tales, because you gave me one. And I couldn’t thank you enough for that. As you kissed me goodbye in the morning, I knew I was facing the dreaded part with hopelessness and failed expectations. We were meant to cross paths, but never to stay in each other’s lives.
You will always be the best mistake I’ve ever had. But I have no regrets. You will always be the one perfect stranger in this world full of 7 billion.