“Free to Love Me” (Prologue)
I’ve been working as a writer for this magazine and yes, this is my dream job. My mom often tells me to follow my heart and while my dad wants me to pursue business, I declined.
The heart works mechanically at some point, as if trying to tell you what to love…and for me, I, pursuing Marketing in college, mean following my so called “mechanical heart,” for in reality, I am in love with writing, I breathe it and live through words.
Love…relationships…how to find the perfect boyfriend?
I furrowed my brows, as if minding what to type next. I need this. I have to do well with this article or else I’m done.
One caramel macchiato for Julie!
Okay, that’s mine. I stood up and went for the counter. She smiled. I smiled. And as she handed me my caffeine fix, I walked towards my seat, carefully laid the cup on the table and occupied my permanence. Amidst the chatter and what not, behind every unknown face, I am here. In this secluded nook here inside this little coffee shop. Drinking macchiato. Typing my next article.
And as I try to think of the proper words. As I try to see the perfect synopsis to my next project. I am eyeing this- LOVE.
Yeah, right, Jules, you typed it right. L-O-V-E.
Really now, love? How do I see love knowing that I do not know it by heart? Surely, I have family. I have my own circle of gal pals but romantic love…I am no expert.
I am in front of my lappy now…I looked up and saw this handsome face eyeing me. I tried not to look distracted, “Oh really Jules, but you are.” Yup, normally, this second voice is bugging me but sitting it out here in this small coffee shop, I don’t mind any company.
I forced a soft smile and I noticed him smirk. Hmmm…he looks good, I must say. His family may have good genes, haha, oh shoot, what I am thinking but still…pwede…
I straightened myself trying to look dignified by typing away. And in the process I ended typing these words:
Struggling writer. A good-looking boy in front me.
Topic in mind? Love. But I am part of the club known as NBSB.
I then stopped writing and shifted my gaze from these words towards that lovely distraction as I peer over my glasses. He kept his gaze. I looked down and then an idea hovered, presented itself. And before I knew it, I stood up and approached him.
Shet, lalapit nga ata. Ikaw kasi, hilig mong tumingin but she’s cute. Yan na nga….okay Den, diyan ka lang, act cool and composed.
She walked towards me and instantly, I noticed her uhm legs. I’m no perv but dang, ang kinis. She looks smart too judging by the specs. Another weakness. A pretty lass in glasses. Nice.
Hi! She said while gesturing for a handshake. Whoah, not only cute and pretty, she has guts, I told myself.
Hi! And I held my hand to meet hers. Really Alden, yan lang ang kaya mong sabihin. Tsk, tsk.
Do you mind if I join you? She continued, I smiled and nodded. The next thing I knew, she went back to her table, grabbed her things and occupied the seat before me.
As I watch her carefully…as she laid her things on our table and rummaged inside her bag, napaisip ako, di kaya ahente to? But still, I can listen to what she has to say. A few minutes with a pretty girl in glasses won’t hurt.
Hi, I’m Julie and you are?
Alden, hmmm, nice name. I know you may find this odd but, I noticed you earlier and you were checking me out.
I can’t help but burst out a laugh.
Hahaha, sorry, did it bother you?
Hmm…not really. But since you may have the hots for me, I wanted to talk to you.
Whoah…ibang klase, she speaks with ease and confidence. Kakaiba.
I ended up flashing a smile, “So, what if I am?”
She kept her gaze and looked at me. Judging by her looks, I don’t think she’s a flirt. Straightforward maybe but not a flirt.
She then continued,
Good. Coz honestly, I need something from you.
I found myself furrowing my brows. This is getting too interesting…buti na lang mabait ako.
Julie…Julie, right? I won’t deny that I’m looking at you earlier but aren’t you even afraid of me, na baka masama akong tao?
Hmm…I am a risk taker. I don’t mind meeting new people. And besides, I just approached you, asked if I can join you here. It’s not as if I’ll sleep with you.
Hahaha! You’re really something. So, why?
Let’s just say that I wanted to ask you a favor.
And ano naman yun?
Consider this as a business proposal. I write for a living and I have this very important assignment. I need to impress my boss and I wanted to write the perfect piece and I want you to help me.
What made you so sure that I’ll agree?
You seem nice…and capable and looking at your shoes, you’re practically neat.
Hahaha, okay, compliment ba yun?
Consider it as is. So will you help me?
Wait, we just met and you wanted me to help you simply because you find me neat, hahaha, okay, di mo man lang ba naisip na I may be here waiting for someone, a girlfriend perhaps?
Do you have one?
What about it?
She heaved a sigh and looked straight at me. There is something about this lady. She is not only interesting. I like how she does her thing.
Alden, I want to know you as a boyfriend. Are you in?