first you save yourself. then, you can save the world.

i was listening to my YM music humming the said lyrics when an officemate of mine came upon my workstation and ranted something.  i took off the gigantic Philipps headphone (david calls it my mickey mouse headphone, which was only partly right because it was my sister’s.) and this was what i heard,  “…organizing a it’s pre-valentine’s singles night at 9pm. come with us!”

i stared at her.  “but you are not single.  you shouldn’t take part on stuff like that.”

she laughed. “my friends, the girls from sales..?.. well, they’re singles and they’re organizing it.”

“oh. i am not single.”

man, i am humoured-deprived on a friday night (actually, the saturday sunrise is about to come up any moment now but i follow the pacific standard time (e.g. california).  i will explain why that is so later. not just today though.)

“im bringing my boyfriend, too.” as to why she insisted, i do not know.  but what i can tell you is that, that is typically filipino.  if you decline the first time, we always have a follow up.  just in case, you know, you did not really meant your answer the first time.  “bring your boyfriend.”

i thought about david.  david back in norwich, in a snow-covered norwich.   “that would be very helluva expensive…” i shook my head and smiled at her.  “besides, i have some stuff, work-related ones, i need to bury my head into over the weekend.”

“hey, what do they say about all work and no play….” she heartily said and gave me the address of the bar, anyway. 

fuck.  is it going to be valentines day in 4 days already?  i know it isn’t a big deal in the U.K. or even the U.S. but back here in my country, that is the sole reason why some gardens are planted with roses.  that was one reason why back in high school, a classmate of mine sent herself a valentine’s card and a rose.  i knew that for a fact because i saw the receipt sticking out of her bag. 

i almost forgotten all about that incident.  but the invitation to the singles’ party made me remember. 

it reminded me of other things, too.  the first valentines day with deo when he showed up at my office at 7pm holding three glass flowers. he was apologetic; there were no flowers left in the entire makati.  i guessed he didn’t looked harder but then if one only starts looking for one to buy at 5:30, one can’t expect to find a decent one.  i remembered holding it against him, especially when the hope of the night being saved by surprising me with a dinner at a fancy restaurant turned into a fast food dining at kentucky fried chicken with a third wheel.  i shared three valentines day with him after that, though, and they turned out quite well.  

i had lunch with him the other day; i was in the makati business district area to claim a refund of an expiring plane ticket i wasn’t able to use. 

“so, when are you going to enrol in an open water course? my filipino instructor is quite good; dennis is still better but that dane charges too much for his Padi instructions.” i told him.

“i cant do scuba diving anymore.”

“hell, why?”

“because i spent it on something else.” his grin was sheepish.  deo never grins sheepishly; it is very true i found him arrogant when i first met him.  “i bought her some valentine’s surprise.”

“one hell expensive valentine’s surprise.” i commented.  lucky bitch.  oh, okay, she is not a bitch. i haven’t met her but basing from his impression of her, she’s quite nice and so unlike me. me— i am a bitch.  and i wondered what david has for me for valentines.

“have you gone to the bookstore sale?”

“no, but i want to. i will find time next week. there are bestsellers there; harry potter, even.  but i think im gonna wait until book 7 so i can buy the entire collection.” i answered him.

“i already pre-ordered one. it’s expensive.”

“lucky bastard.” i commented off-handedly as i sipped my soup. i do not understand what is the fuss about pre-ordering a book. 

“it is not for me.  it is for her.” the sheepish grin again.  “she has no idea yet but it wouldn’t be like her to pre-order it.  she couldn’t understand the need to do so.”

he looked at me, hoping to see a surprised look on my face.  i gave none.  i knew a long time ago this time is gonna come.  and it has come.  and i am genuinely happy.

i have taught my bestfriend-turned-ex-boyfriend-turned-confidante the element of surprise.  and i have taught him well.

a few hours ago, david was asking which agatha christie books i still haven’t read.  it doesn’t take a genius to guess why he was asking about it.  it also doesn’t take a genius to guess what he is going to ask next.

“honey, can i have your address?”

surprises come in different packages. 

mine came naked and knocked on my door.  i can handle that.

but you know what?  i am kinda liking it.


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