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In My Eyes: ‘Reunion’

By Edward B. Antonio

Reunion is defined as gathering or coming together again.

Usually it’s done by batchmates in high school. They contact their batchmates and gather in their former school and do some activities. The usual practice is that first, there is a parade, then a simple program, a luncheon and a party at night with different activities like dancing, raffle draw or simply drinking and singing via the videoke until 3:00 AM.

The following day, a millionaire batchmate would invite everyone to his palatial house with swimming pools for a day of get together. Not to be outdone, another millionaire invites everyone to his house the following day.

These are my ideas of a reunion, fellas.

Modesty aside, everybody is happy, especially when participants engage in “chika-chika” on their lives and other people’s lives.

I don’t know what others do, but I have witnessed some reunions like this. As for our high school batch, we do it every 5 years. The last time we had it was in 2013 so it will be 2018 next.

I know that by then, many of us would probably have rested in peace just like one of our former teachers who attended our 2013 reunion. She discovered she had Stage 4 cancer of the breast last year and all medical remedies were applied but in vain.

Another batchmate died due to diabetes complications. Another had brain stroke.

So, a reunion is sometimes saying, “Ah, you are still alive, baby. What have you been doing to stay on earth this long?”

Sometimes, it’s relating about achievements and children’s achievements and grandchildren’s achievements and so on and so forth. At some point, revelers would speak how much or how little they earn. Of course the blue-collared ones working abroad have lots to say like earning $45 per hour, having 3 cars, a big house with all the amenities in it and doing it with several wives or paramours.

The less fortunate ones who are stuck in the fields would moan how little they earn, how hard is it to work in the fields and how difficult life is now that they have 6 or 7 kids.

I don’t know if you consider it reunion if only ten or less than ten people meet.

Kara was a beauty product agent and had a grocery business when this “reunion” story happened. Her husband worked in a government agency from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. They got 2 kids, a girl and a boy, aged 5 and 8 respectively. Kara was 24 years old when this story happened.

One summer day, Kara asked permission from her husband that she would be attending a reunion organized by some high school friends. Kara studied in that private school for 2 years then transferred to a government school where she graduated in secondary. They went to a house of a batchmate some 8 kilometers away from town, near the mountain.

To Kara’s surprise, when she arrived there, she discovered they were only 8 and one of them was his high school boyfriend, now married, too, but looked like single. She later found out that those invited were high school sweethearts and so it seemed like a blind date! Is it a reunion of batchmates or reunion of high school sweethearts?

When the seats were arranged, she found herself paired with his former boyfriend, Carlos, elbow to elbow, shoulder to shoulder. Did she feel the old flame rekindle?

During that “reunion,” the boys drank beer and the girls had red wine. They ate and sang in the videoke until 6:00PM. By the time they dispersed they were already quite drunk and the pairs were already holding hands as if they were “on” again. But they had to go home to their respective families. Kara was sleepless that night. She did not know why, but the face of her former boyfriend kept on appearing in her mind.

The following day, she inquired from one of her close friends who happened to be a neighbor of Carlos about his former boyfriend’s life. She discovered he had separated from his legal wife of whom he had two kids and was now living with another woman with one child. She also discovered he was a wife beater with no permanent job and had been living like a bachelor.

She suddenly woke up. She had a responsible, good-looking husband with a stable job and two brilliant kids who had been reaping honors in school. She, herself, was also earning to augment the income of the family. She had a happy family. What was she doing? She loved her husband and her kids very much.

One Saturday, while buying stuffs in the market, he suddenly found herself face to face again with Carlos.

Hello, how are you?”

I’m fine,” she answered casually.

Can I wait for you outside so we can have snacks and talk for a while?”

Oh, I’m sorry. My husband will be fetching me here in a short while and besides, we are going to the city this afternoon to buy clothing for my kids’ school program on Friday. Besides, I think you need to fix your life because like me, you also have a family or shall I say, families?”

And with that, Kara left Carlos wondering what went wrong.

That night, Kara confided to her husband what happened during that “reunion” but did not tell about the holding hands. She also swore never to attend such reunions again. Her husband said that in her next reunion with batchmates, he would be joining, too, so he could unwind.

This should be a lesson to all ‘reunionists,’ fellas, particularly to women like Kara.

And one should know how to decipher reunion from blind dates.#