"Come!" he said, motioned with a non-chalant move of his hand for me to come towards him, while he continued to walk. I took several giant steps before I could reach him and by the time I did, his one foot was outside the door of the main gate.
"Wait!" I said. "Where are we going?" I felt my face flushed. How dare this man make me follow him.
But he smiled and said in a low voice, "Let's leave Mila and Danny. I think something's bound to happen tonight."
"But my books are with her," I said and looked back as the security guard closed the metal door of the college's gate. I stopped and hesitated in the middle of the street. But Benjamin continued walking, and I followed him until we reached the jeepney stop. He hailed one going north to Escolta. My face was full of questions, and he knew what those questions were. But his gentle touch at my elbow, as he nudged me to board the jeepney, seemed to calm me and I got inside. He handed the driver some coins.
We got off at Brown Derby on Taft Avenue.
"Have you been here before? The food here is good, right?"
"No, I've never been here before," I replied.
We sat at a table on the quietest corner of the restaurant. Immediately, a uniformed waitress came with a small menu. He ordered a hamburger and Pepsi. I scoffed at him, playfully, though. I ordered a foot long hotdog and Coke.
"I told Danny that bridges sometimes give way to the river's waters, especially when the current is strong," he said, his eyes sparkled in the restaurant lights, the smile in his lips reveal some kind of giddiness. I cocked my head, not understanding what he meant.
Danny, his friend, was fervently wooing me. Danny had asked Benjamin to be his "bridge", meaning he, Benjamin, would woo me for him, Danny. Benjamin had been talking to me almost everyday, telling me how Danny felt. Mila, my friend, however, had this huge crush on Danny. I had told Danny in no uncertain terms that he is not my type. I wasn't particularly into anyone at the time, not even Benjamin.
"So, when you had told Danny for certain it's a no, I told Danny I will have to cross the bridge I built."
"Me?" I asked, pointing at myself as I realized what Benjamin was trying to say.
"Yes," he said.
The number one song of the week was being played on the jukebox: Bobby Goldsboro's version of the song "And I Love You So".
He took my hand and placed it on his chest. "I would have died if you had liked Danny."
I ate my foot-long hotdog with a grin on my face. I had scored the hottest boy in college.
Saturday April 22nd, 2017
10 hours ago