The Realization, the Truth and the Lie (2/2)
Chapter 1: The Realization, the Truth and the Lie (2/2)
It was now lunch time. Rick and I sat at the center of the lunch area. There in the middle was a neem tree giving us a shade from the afternoon sun as we were sitting on the bench near it. It was a bit cloudy though, so it wasn’t really that hot. The wind was getting a bit colder than last month’s. Considering that summer is almost over, my observation was quite accurate. It’s almost as if the heat died out...
Well, there’s one thing I want to die out too...
“Diko, what a way to get famous, right?”
“Shut up! I know I did something stupid! You don’t have to keep repeating it!”
I answered angrily as I took a bite from my siopao. I unconsciously took my anger on it.
But for some reason, it tasted a bit sour. Hmm, must be a new flavor.
“Ha-ha-ha, were you practicing a skit or something? I gotta say, man. That was pretty funny.”
Rick was laughing a bit as he slowly ate his hotdog bun.
I decided to ignore his comment. Knowing him, I already knew that he meant well.
At the same time, we took our juice boxes to our mouth and made a slurping sound.
A sigh of relief escaped our mouth and mixed in with the sound of singing cicadas, the traffic of the town, clamoring of the cheerleaders in front of us, faint but noticeable whispers of the wind and rustling of the neem tree and people talking about the next fad or something.
Rick decided to break the ice.
“So what did you mean what you said you mean?”
Rick leaned on both his arms behind him as he looked up the sky and kicked his feet a few times.
“I meant what I meant.” I answered as I slowly took both of our trashes and dropped it in the trash can next to our bench.
“So you want to travel?”
“I guess so. Doesn’t really matter where. I just...”
I followed what he did and looked to the sky.
“I just want to go somewhere.”
A peaceful silence followed. Not the suffocating kind.
Again, Rick broke the silence from both of us.
“What do you think about airplanes?”
The question was sudden and random. I flinched a bit. I didn’t think he noticed.
“Well, if I think about it. They’re annoyingly loud!”
For context, our school is near the airport of Cebu. Every hour, an airplane always departs or lands on this airfield and it’s incredibly loud. It always disturb our classes, but not too much. I remember some of us using those airplanes as time markers. Basically, when an airplane departs at a certain time, some students tell the teachers that it’s time to go or vice versa.
But the fact remains that airplanes are incredibly loud.
“That’s not what I meant.”
“Ha-Ha, I know, I know.”
We both laughed for a while. I can tell that moments like these are the main source of human nostalgia and reminisce. Like a pair of old WW2 veterans looking back on their earlier days. Like mothers and fathers watching their sons and daughters walking down the nave. Like staring out the window of the car as you pass people and knowing that you’ll probably never meet them again in your entire lifetime. In my opinion, it’s moments like these that remind us that maybe being human isn’t so bad.
Our laughter felt a bit melancholic. And so.
“Well, to answer your question. I think airplanes are-”
As I was about to say what I wanted to say, an airplane whooshed by us, cueing the end of our lunch time and our conversation. I’m pretty sure Rick wasn’t able to hear what I said because of the sound but I’d like to believe that he understood me.
He gave me a melancholic smile.
“That was a lie, wasn’t it?” Rick answered.
“Nope. That was the truth.”
Rick’s parents were believed to have been killed in a plane incident.
The smell of Italian viands surrounded us as steps of different walks of life clattered their shoes around us. I can hear the chef shouting at one of his employees and her apologizing as she bowed her head a bunch of times. At my right was the view of people going about their businesses. I’d like to think it was cold outside because of the people carefully covering their bodies with whatever clothing they had. But it was different inside this restaurant. It was warm because of the advent of human technology and ingenuity.
Science has always intrigued me to be honest.
I am currently in an Italian restaurant with my friend, Rick. I invited him out to talk about my problem. Knowing the kind of person he was, he accepted. But of course, with an incentive. I get to pay for his food.
“So what exactly are you gonna do?” He asked as he twisted his fork to catch some unfortunate carbonara.
As he ate it, he added.
“Also, don’t answer vaguely. You won’t get anywhere when you’re always vague.”
Hey, Hey, I should be the last one to say this but proper manners please!
“Yeah, you’re right.” I answered as I slowly took a pizza marinara slice. The sauce somehow got stuck and created this long strand so I caught it with my mouth.
I’m being a complete hypocrite, aren’t I?
“Uhmm, I think I’ll quit school for a bit.”
Rick was surprised and started coughing just a bit.
He fixed himself and drank some iced tea.
“Of course, I am. I’ve always been serious my whole life.”
Rick smirked as if I was the last person he expected so say that. You know, that condescending kind. It pissed me off a bit but not too much to ruin the flavors of these delicious pizza marinara!
“That’s news to me.”
As if to restart, both of us filled our mouths with these Italian masterpieces and slurped our iced tea slowly.
“What are you gonna tell Auntie then?”
“I can handle her. I think...”
Completely synchronized, we both felt a chill as we both remember how scary my mom is.
“Anyways, when are you gonna stop going to school?” He twisted his fork again as he ate a mouth-full of creamy carbonaras.
“Tomorrow, I think.” Another pizza marinara went inside my mouth.
Seriously, this is like the best tasting pizza ever! Bless the Italians!
“Okay, so where are you going?”
“I don’t know. Anywhere is fine. Probably Leyte or Bohol or Baguio.”
“Well, at least you’re not being too vague.”
“Yeah, well anyways, we’re almost done here. Also, I think I need to prepare for my trip or something.” At this moment, the last pizza marinara slice was already in my hand. I ate it as if it was the last pizza in the entire world.
I can feel myself blushing from the taste. I flushed it down with my last remaining iced tea. I took one ice cube and played with it in my mouth.
Same with Rick, he too ate the last strand of carbonara from his plate and drank his remaining iced tea.
We both released a sigh of relief as if all the problems of the world vanished into thin air.
“Yeah, So I guess I won’t be seeing you tomorrow then?”
“Yes. I’ll be giving it my all!”
Rick smiled and he put his right hand on my shoulder.
“I’ll be cheering for you.”
After that, I called for the waiter to pay and we left. I had a good feeling about it so I left a bigger tip than what I usually tip. Also, to pay for the girl who got chewed out by her boss. It was probably my fault she got chewed out because I had spilled my water and she nearly fell and dropped the food because of it... I’m sorry Waiter-san...
I woke up earlier than I usually do. I had prepared everything. From my boxers to my socks. From my t-shirts to my shorts. Everything. I was roaring to go. But... But...
“So why are you here?” Rick asked as he saw me enter the classroom.
“He-he... I lied...”
I looked down in sadness.