Monday, August 08, 2005

Unexpected Moments

It’s always surprising how small a part of life can be illuminated just by a flicker of unexpected simple moments. More often than not, these priceless “moments” are over before they start. Nevertheless, they leave that special mark… Making the person who instigated them – unforgettable.

I just recently arrived from a three-week “mission” for our company. It was a very exciting assignment, and I deem it to be such a privilege to be chosen as part of the core team. Right from the start, I carried on a lot of expectations – the project, the workload, the end result, my teammates, and myself included. At the onset, I psyched myself to be prepared for a very hectic, pressure-laden and argumentative project. And indeed, like pieces of a puzzle, all my expectations fell into place… except for one thing. In the end, I got more than what I hoped for.

From the very first day, I noticed his hair. He is sleek and posh for a guy. His style and the way he exudes himself qualifies him to join the Fab Five of the Queer Eye.

Then we were broken into sub-teams. We belonged to the same triumvirate - him, me and another senior officemate. When initial discussions came, he would not give me any attention at all. I was as invisible as air to him.

“He must be gay.” I concluded.

I have absolutely no problem with it. But what’s troubling me is his utter disregard for me. Oh, how much I do not like him. I wished to be grouped with the other teams, besides him. But no use perturbing myself, I have no other option but to work on with what I’ve got. Him. Not to mention that he is the leader of the entire group. Need to find a way to blend with him, or at least with the group. Nothing I can do about him anymore, but at least there’s something I can do about myself. Even if it means doubling or tripling all my efforts, I will. Nothing, not even his gay prejudices, will stand against my way.

At the first week, it was tough. I had a lot of proving to do. I am the youngest female member of the group. Substantiating myself and earning his attention was quite a feat. Not to mention that I was a tad feeble on the first days since I was recuperating from tummy trouble (a.k.a. food poisoning).

The end of week one came. Suffice it to say, I am proud of the progress I have done so far. I have upgraded myself from air, now to a cloud - already visible to him, but still not solid enough. At least he already acknowledged my existence.

On the second week, I realized that I should not work according to what I think would please him. I was beginning to feel insecure and unhappy. I decided to change strategy and be myself. Just as I have to accept him for what he is, I should accept myself (my accomplishments included) for what I am. I opened myself to look beyond my own preconceptions. Besides, who knows I might just be battling against an imaginary issue, driven by my own insecurities.

So far, it went well. The aloof atmosphere evolved into something light. Beyond acknowledging my existence, I think he now recognized my opinions. Aside from that, we moved up from being mere strangers now to officemates. Yes, good officemates with no imposed boss-to-subordinate relationship. (Although I highly respected him.)

As we got “closer” (for the lack of a better term) I began to learn few things about him. Shame on me for judging him. Talk about prejudice. I was wrong. He’s not gay. He’s a man as he can be… fashionable, yes, but in a manly kind of way.

I learned a lot of things by spending my time with him. From the way he process information, to how he integrates things, down to how he manages his people (aside from me). He’s intelligent at the same time practical and street-smart. And how he can be so cool amid the pressures. (Some have lost their poise and temper) I felt lucky to be grouped with him.

Despite the progress, I felt that something was still wrong. I felt like he sees me as a junior, a kid, his little sister. He would oftentimes joke around and tease me. I must admit that I liked it whenever he would tease me. The way he would look at me, the way he would smile at me with his mischievous smile, and the way he would call my name. He has this unique way of calling my name – which only he can do.

It felt good. Yes. But I need to prove to him that there is much more in me than being young, and that I can do a lot of things. He may be ten years wiser than me, but I am willing to learn. I am here for business and I’m serious in bringing in whatever I can contribute to the group.

Then our last week came. It was show time. Time to present our headline recommendations coming from the review of our project. Amidst the hectic schedule, a thought suddenly dawned unto me that once this is over – I will miss his shenanigans, his teasing smiles, his tantalizing eyes and his way of calling my name.

Darn! I have unconsciously developed certain affection for him. How could I be such a fool? This is totally unthinkable. He may have some sort of fondness for me, but more on towards as a little sister – and nothing more. I need to restrain the butterflies in my stomach from flying. Clip their wings and woosh - kill them fast. I cannot afford to open my heart and be again vulnerable.

I tried hard to avoid him. But fate had its way of defying my will. The clincher was our victory party. We went to a Videoke bar. It was a wonderfully fun party. What made it more special was how we spent the night seated right next to each other – singing, talking, laughing, and teasing each other. Moments shared together are still vivid on my mind. As much as I hated to admit it, I felt good that night.

On the last day, we planned to go Greenhills for their last minute techie (a.k.a gadgets) shopping. But as I was walking to follow them in the lobby, a certain voice deep inside me held me back. I should not go with them anymore. I cannot tolerate creating more moments with him. To him, I am just a mere kid and nothing more. Should I continue liking him, I’ll end up as the poor little girl he left behind…which I am turning out to be at this point.

When I reached the lobby, I saw them getting into the van. I met one of his counterparts and I told him I am not joining them anymore. So he hugged me and we said our goodbyes. Then, I looked at them behind the glass walls of our building, as I waved my hand.

He was seated at the front seat. He put down the windows to tell me to join them. I looked straight into his eyes. “This will be the last time, I will be able to gaze into his blue eyes.” I thought. I waved my hand to indicate my decline. With my wave, my thoughts raced to say, “Tomorrow I will be going back to CDO, and you to Sydney. This is the end of it.” My heart dropped for a second.

Just as the van was about to leave, he went down. Braving the rain, he went down and ran into the building with his arms wide open. He hugged me and kissed me his goodbye – twice on the cheek. I was speechless.

He said nothing, and turned his back. As he ran back to the van, I muttered to say, “take care”. But my words were drowned by the sound of the rain.

I stood there at the lobby. Faking a smile, waving to them. I just stood there with my hand against the misty glass wall – watching the van leave until I saw it no more.

I looked up to the skies, asking them if they too felt my sadness. I felt a tear running into my cheek, joining the rain as they fell.

This ends my three-week, one-sided, puppy-love story. It was good while it lasted. And the memories left behind will never fail to leave a special mark in my heart.

It’s always surprising how small a part of life can be illuminated just by a flicker of unexpected simple moments. More often than not, these priceless “moments” are over before they start. Nevertheless, they leave that special mark… Making the person who instigated them – unforgettable.

5 comments:

Lanee Girl said...

naks, how cute and....medyo sad. must've been because of the time constraints or it was just really meant to be so short and bittersweet. ue ryt, moments like those will always leave a special mark within us. smile pa rin =)

Rhyanne said...

Thanks Lanee Gurl!

Yeah, bittersweet it is. What makes it special because it was utterly unexpected. But just before it is about to begin - it has to end. Ahh, the irony of life's journey.

Yes you're right! SMILE I will! I'll dwell more on the beautiful side of it - no matter how short a time it was. At the end of it all - I'm happy still for those wonderful unexpected moments. Priceless!

Pie said...

such a moving piece. naku rhy! blue eyes ba?!

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BabyPink said...

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