early bird catches what?

August 14, 2012

it is a disorienting monday for me. start of a new week, back-to-school day from the almost week-long suspension of classes because of the disastrous monsoon. (that’s one gratification of being an educator, you also get unexpected holidays when classes are suspended) well, i admit i was not totally excited when i woke up this morning to go to school, not to mention i only slept  no two hours because of christian grey, huh that control freak, if you know what i mean, but i didn’t wish to be stranded and not to be able to go to work.

yes, i was stranded this morning, sort of. originally, i intended to leave the house earlier than the usual days because i’m aware of the traffic ahead and i did not want to be late. (the alternative route in our area to city is still impassable due to flood, leaving all commuters to pass through the only way to get out of the town.) help yourself picture out the situation: all vehicles, public and private, passing through that narrow national road, northbound and southbound. so having THAT situation, i failed to leave the house earlier, rather i left within the normal time, around 6:06 am.  but usually with that time given, there are still no queu for the shuttle/public transport i ride every day. but this morning, there was. as calculated, three shuttles to go before i could ride.

i was a little worried but generally fine for i thought it was still early. as i used to, i put on my headphones and listened to tmr while waiting for shuttles. 6:15, 6:30, still no shuttle. i became a bit more worried, thinking of the traffic. come 6:50 and good Lord a shuttle came. so the queu moved and i got to take a seat. with my optimistic mind, 2 shuttles to go and i’m good, i told my self. headphones still in my ears. 15, 20, 30 minutes have passed, still no sign of luck.

there was one thing i noticed and seemingly got my attention earlier. so when the line moved as the first shuttle arrived, i noticed this guy who was  at least 10 people behind me on the queu. he was, i think just as the same height as me, wearing a dark blue, striped longsleeves, neatly tucked in his  black pants, complementing his black shoes. he had his backpack on, giving him a casual, quite ragged but neat look. thrice i caught him looking at me and thrice i was the one turning back to cut the stare. hmm, trust me, there was something with that guy.

3o minutes after, there was still no shuttle. sitting with my headphones on, i got worried for not making it on time for my first class. i waited still, and then i noticed a guy sit almost beside me but he was sitting on the opposite direction. i never looked at him even though he was quite jerky and he constantly looked at my direction. he talked on his phone couple of times, still i didn’t look at him. after talking on the phone, i tried to see from my peripheral view because i started to feel awkward  because of him. but i wasn’t sure if he was really looking at me, that close. i pretended not to care, thank you for my earphones.

then the barker walked in front of the line and he was saying something. wanting to know what it was about, i got off my earphones and i intently listened to what he was saying. and the bad news, very bad news broke. remember the road situation i mentioned earlier? unfortunately, a post loosen up and blocked the only road which all commuters pass. sadly, there were people hurt, according to the story of the barker. but, i don’t know which is more heartbreaking between that and the fact that the shuttles we were waiting for were blocked and couldn’t pass. boom! i’m doomed! so that was the reason of the long waiting. after hearing the bad news, some of the passengers on the line walked out. i’m not sure what their plans were.

meanwhile, while i was still digesting this very bad, saddening, hopeless news, the guy sitting next to me took the opportunity to talk to me. for the first time, i got to look at him and his features remind me of a friend. he first asked me if i live around the area. nonchalantly, i answered yes. at one point i thought maybe he was new in the place, but at the other side i thought he was just making a move. and my latter thought was right. after that first random question, he then followed it with, “where?” ugh, so cryptic. bemused with his question, i automatically blurted, “why?” in my mind, the hell you care where i live. answering his question with my bewildered facial expression, i intentionally put on my headphones. but he was quick to interrupt that and he asked my name. thinking just to end that conversation, i said, “kaye.” well, not my real name nor my official nickname,  but i willingly call myself with that one. i giveaway that name whenever i order in coffee shops, fast food chains, and the likes. and my unique nickname really starts with the letter ‘k’ so i regard kaye as my unofficial name valid.

after answering his last question, i quickly and successfully put on my headphones again. i got my phone out of my bag to text the bf and my mom about the horrible traffic and shuttle situation but even before i type 3 words, the guy beside me seemed talking still and showing off his cellphone. what the heck does this guy want? i ignored him at first but he was persistent. at the back of my headphones i could barely hear him but i understood what he was saying. he was asking if he could get my number. at split second i thought of putting off my headphones to answer his question but i decided i didn’t need to. so straightly, with a faint smile, i answered, “no.” and right there i saw his reaction. he managed to flash half a smile, showing the braces on his teeth, and he nodded, wistfully acknowledging my response.

to be honest, i don’t like situations like that when i have to reject someone in any way. but i just want to be straightforward for the benefit of both parties. and going back to my first thoughts, women’s instinct and gut feel always amuse me. i think for me it never failed. i thought something was different with that guy and hola, i was right. though in some angles he seemed to be nice but  he looked easy-going and carefree person. but sorry, i’m taken (;

so after that incidence, the reality came back to my face: how the heck i’d go to school?  it was already 8 o’clock and i could see the line having the tail at the other side of the area and i accepted i couldn’t make it to my first class. sorry dear students, your teacher is stranded, i told myself.  8:15, 8:20, 8:30, 8:40, no hope. two, three shuttles came but none of them got passengers. understandably, the drivers didn’t want to return and continue their work. so quarter to nine, after almost 3 hours of waiting, finally i gave up. got up, collected my things, and joined the others who walked out the line. i thought i would just return in the afternoon and still attend for my last two classes but i decided not to go anymore. tomorrow, i promise, to leave the house EARLY.

as of the guy who made his moves, he was still there talking to a couple, maybe his friends or relatives, who he saw on the line, when i left.  i want to believe they were talking about me when i passed through them. well, that’s life.

and the rest of the day was history.

just a random ice breaker for this one. image below was taken at the reception hall of a friend’s wedding i attended 2 weeks ago.

bulwagang sarimanok


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