It did happen. And in the most unimaginable way.
He was a timid and aloof guy. Or maybe it's because of his super friendly, chatty companion that I found him aloof. My first impression of him was a low-profile guy who would stay as far away from the limelight as he could.
It was funny how we had been together since the previous day - from Ecoland Bus Terminal, to the overnight camp at Sitio Mainit, up to the seven hour hike to where we had our breakfast before I became aware of his existence.
|our first photo together | Digos City Terminal II, April 20, 2011|
|the setting for our first conversation | Baroring Camp, April 21, 2011|
After that, I had no interaction with him whatsoever. He and his groupmates were not aware that we were freezing and struggling to survive that night. The descent the following morning didn't open any opportunity for small talk, either; probably because I was a little left behind. Well, just two hours left behind that they had to assign a guide specifically for me.
I had my agaw-eksena moment on our last day because of my "alone time" with the guide the night before. Everyone was teasing me and the guide. Yet, I can't recall him in the scene, if he was laughing or did he even care.
As it had been a habit for me to add in Facebook new acquaintances from trips, I added him upon arrival in Manila. I didn't have a hard time recalling his name because his chatty friend was for some reason repeating his name over and over whenever he talked to me, telling that he was his officemate.
The moment I added him, what struck me was that he lives too close to where I live. For that reason alone, I somewhat became his "stalker". I vividly recall how I opened a photo where I found that he commented, "super like" and to my surprise, this was what I saw:
|our first ever conversation|
|Knowing that someone was waiting for my blog made me smile.|
|the thrill-seeker's favorite food aside from bulalo|
I could not get over the fact that it was him, and to think I didn't even care about his presence until the moment he talked to me. On the contrary, he remembered me. He told me that it was amusing to see my rosy cheeks during that climb. I explained that it was due to the difficulty that I had turned red. What puzzled me though was how he was able to still have time to look at me, despite the situation where we had to rely heavily on our own survival skills.
Time passed and we learned more about each other. We were both lucky and blessed to find a "counterpart" in each other. It has been a "not-so-silent" wish for me to someday end up with someone who was as equally adventurous and kaladkarin as me. He was that. And the best thing about it? He felt the same. He loved me.
I so love writing, but it has also been a silent wish, too, that someday, someone writes for me. As if he could read my mind, I found this pleasant surprise on his Facebook notes:
|this made me the happiest girl in the world|
|a preview of the adventures that we have done together|
|I wish your smile would always be like this.|
|Mt. Apo, you told me to leave no trace, but thankfully, you left a trace on me.|