In My Eyes
By Edward B. Antonio
Let’s call her Joan.
Let’s call him Mark.
Both are topnotch photographers.
They are both in their late teens. Both come from Ilocos who met at the Zamboanga Peninsula, the site of the contest.
Joan is something like 5’ 2,” fair-skinned, below-the- shoulder-long, silky hair, has expressive eyes, small mouth and a dainty gait. She comes with a most captivating smile that seems to magnetize the opposite sex. Her interests are in gadget and computer operations and adept in all those android applications including the social media (FB, Twitter and Instagram). Intelligent and good conversationalist, she exudes an aura that seems to fill the atmosphere with radiance. She is considering engineering and fashion designing as her future courses. She has been a regular member of the class’ With Honors category.
Mark comes from a Catholic school. He is around 5’ 5” with fair complexion. Like Joan, he has expressive eyes, sharp nose and quite the shy type. He is that “artistahin” type, if only he has more skin to show He could hardly start a conversation with the opposite sex. He is a regional photography winner representing Region 1 in the national photography contest. Like Joan, his interests are also in computers and gadgets.
I don’t know how you call it, fellas.
Is it love at first sight, or friendship at first glance?
Joan and Mark were with some 52 photographers competing in a national photo tilt, using the point and shoot camera with a maximum resolution of 20 megapixels. When their eyes first met, their chemistry suddenly went aflame but nobody seemed to start the talk. In a pre-contest activity, they found themselves in tandem and the conversations started. At first, it was not that sporadic, then they suddenly found themselves at ease with one another.
Typical friends’ story.
Or typical love story?
As the days passed by, the intimacy grew.
Joan could not eat alone without Mark and vice-versa.
Where one is, the other should be there, too.
They were inseparable.
Their chaperons could not even cope up guarding both.
One day, the group were walking home after a day of lecture at the gym. Suddenly, Mark and Joan disappeared. Their chaperons could not find them. They suddenly appeared after 10 minutes. They went to buy ice cream and banana cue.
Irked of suddenly disappearing, Mark’s chaperon suddenly burst: “Ditakayman laengen. Nakabaybayagkayo!”
After the competition, the group was treated to a tour of the best places in Zamboanga. All throughout, Mark and Joan were all together — kayaking, swimming, travelling to places, eating together, talking at the park and whispering probably sweet nothings?
Other photo-contestants noticed the closeness of the two.
All they could do was to give out meaningful smiles.
But all things would come to pass, fellas.
And the week-long acivity came to an end.
Joan had to take her plane in the nearby city and would board the plane the following day, the same time as Mark but with a different plane.
Before Joan boarded the cab to take her to the airport, Mark was all beside her.
Everyone noticed the sadness in both eyes.
“So, you are leaving, eh, how is that? Can I text or call you?” Mark said to Joan while handing her her laptop.
“Yeah…” she nodded her head, her voice shivering.
“I am giving you a picture, can I see you in Manila before you go to the province? I’ll give my picture there.”
And Mark hugged Joan tenderly.
They both landed at NAIA at the same time, but Mark and his chaperon tarried for a while for their breakfast. Joan and her chaperon proceeded directly to the bus station. The bus then was about to leave, so they just bought something to eat.
There were still 2 vacancies in the bus when Mark arrived. Joan went down the bus and met him at the ticket counter, but unfortunately, they could not be together in the same bus. The dispatcher had already closed the folder to take in more passengers. Mark was late for 10 minutes.
“My picture, here it is….” Mark said, giving his picture to Joan.
“You have to go now, madam,” the dispatcher said. “The bus is leaving.”
And so, Joan and her chaperon went ahead.
Mark and his chaperon would be travelling 2 hours later.
Joan’s birthday would be 3 days later.
She was asked: “What’s your birthday wish?”
“Secret,” and she gave out a meaningful smile.
Suddenly, her phone rang.
“Mark, is that you…?”
And the conversation and texting seemed to be endless.
That was some days back.
I yet have to hear what happened next.
Ah, two people meeting in the most unexpected places.
“Love comes from the most unexpected places,” sang Jose Feliciano.
Is it another love story in the making?
This is only Part I.
What could be the story behind Part II?
Be writing that soon, fellas.