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*SOB* Chronicles

by Meg R   <>

    If you go out, you might meet someone interesting. If you meet someone interesting, you might fall in love. If you fall in love, you might suffer. Don't suffer; stay in bed.

    Jessica Zafra, 30 Reasons Not to Get out of Bed
    Twisted II: Spawn of Twisted

Even as I write this, I can feel the bits and pieces of what used to be my heart come crashing to the ground. But Jessica Zafra claims writing your own *SOB* story -- every teeny-weeny icky detail of it -- is supposed to be cathartic, so what the heck. I don't know if there's a known medication for people allergic to mushy stuff, so if you feel you wanna puke even before you can finish reading this piece, go ahead -- I won't hold it against you.

April 5, 1999: I met IC (Insensitive Clod) in the chatroom (cyberspace romance, I know, I know). He was still out of the country then, on a project. Out of nothing better to do (it was a holdiay there, he didn't wanna stay in their flat, so he went to the office anyway) he wandered into the chatroom about 2 hours after I did. (I wasn't so crazy about going home early that day, so I decided to hang out in the chatroom for a while -- how I wish I did go home early that day; it would have saved me a lot of hurt and heartaches and tears, but that's jumping ahead of the story). Anyway, we had been chatting in private for about 30 minutes when he asked for my number -- to be on the safe side I gave him my mobile phone number, thinking he was too much of a penny-pincher to even contemplate calling me. He did call, we talked for about 15 minutes, the gist of which was him trying to convince me to give him my office and home number, and me trying to get away with giving him neither (you can guess who eventually won in that indefatigability contest -- otherwise there would be no *SOB* story for you to read today. Oh well, tough luck for you ).

April 6-16, 1999: The next few days after that fateful meeting in the chatroom saw us exchanging long e-mails regularly. At that time, I tried to convince myself that there's no hanky-panky involved -- I was naturally curious about my new acquaintance, and anyway I had no intention whatsoever of breaking my self-imposed rule on the chatroom (rule # 1: Thou shall not consider as a prospect any male friend thou shall meet in the chatroom). I thought I'd have no trouble following the said rule, but his "my-dears" and "I-was-really-upset-to-find-that-you-are-offline-and-that-I've-no-e-mails-from-you" were nevertheless starting to affect me. I determinedly quelled the little flutters in my heart. Those gestures, including the two overseas calls he made days before he came home meant nothing, I said -- he's just plain homesick, and that's that.

April 26, 1999: The EB (eyeball) was set: Wednesday, 7 pm, at the Glorietta Mall. He said if I see a guy lugging a green Bobcat backpack and wearing earphones, that'd be him. I told him what exact outfit I would be wearing ( you see that's my problem, I'm too honest for my own good).

Wednesday: At 6:15 pm I haul my ass off to Glorietta, with my stomach churning and all -- half an hour before said time my well-meaning officemates deemed it their duty to tell me stories of ill-fated eb's that sent me hyperventilating. Though I must admit I was also worried about how he would look like, how he would react upon seeing me; this despite our reassurances to each other that we won't let our physical appearances affect our friendship -- hahaha. A minute before seven I troop to the spot where we were supposed to meet. Zoomed past was more like it -- I was scared s--less, I was repeatedly asking myself what was I thinking, agreeing to meet a virtual stranger alone, and why I didn't have enough sense to bring Macy along. At the height of paranoia I even thought of one-way-ing him (one-way means you agree to an EB, but you see your ka-eb first before he or she sees you, for some reason you don't like what you see, and so you leave, and he or she would never know you were there in the first place). And then, in one moment, I recalled the long e-mails, the phone calls, and I decided I really wanted to meet this guy. And so once again I marched to our supposed meeting place and waited. And waited. And waited...

By 7:40 I was fuming mad. I must have seen about ten guys lugging backpacks; some short, some tall, some pleasant-looking, some -- never mind, but not one of them has approached me. And I thought, "the big oaf has actually one-way-ed me!" I thought it was highly possible, because there could be no mistaking me, but as for him, I cannot be 100 per cent sure. Anyway, I was about to approach a nearby stall with a big scowl on my face when I saw a guy whizz past me lugging a green Bobcat backpack. Before I could even conclude that the guy in question was no doubt IC, he vanished from sight. I didn't have time to mull over his seemingly strange behavior, because my mobile phone was ringing. His first words were "ikaw ba yung naka-blue na sleeveless?" I retorted, "oo and you're very late." He answered, " di ako sigurado kasi nakasimangot ka eh...punta na ko dyan." "sya sya sige na," I shot back and pressed the "call end" button.

(to be continued)

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