Sunday, October 16, 2011

The One That Got Away

For maximum impact, may I suggest that you listen to Lou Pardini's Always Be There For You while reading this post. :)

Photo from the web
I'm not on a dating frenzy, it just so happened that last week I accepted a date from a former colleague Mr. Suave and from Monday afternoon until Thursday noon, I was in the jungle that is Makati on official business. Since the meetings and dinner meetings ended by 8:00 pm, I have enough time to touch base with old friends which I did. Top of the list was my ex turned really good friend Mel.

When I found out that I will be going to Manila as part of the consultation team for the project I'm currently engaged in, I posted a message on his Facebook wall that I'll be in town the following week. We have an informal agreement that if we find ourselves in each other's turf (his is Makati, mine is Davao) we will make it a point to catch up. Tuesday after the post meeting dinner meeting (a meeting over dinner to discuss the meeting we had earlier the day) I sent him a text and asked if he was in the mood for coffee. He replied that he was still in a meeting but agreed to pick me up from the hotel by 9. Few minutes past the hour he texted that he was at the parking area waiting. I met him there and laid my eyes on the new love of his life - Megan. She looked kind of petite for my taste but it was obvious how fond he was of her. I was happy to see Mel and gave him a big hug; I took a good look at Megan and rode her. Megan is Mel's ride by the way. :)

We talked where to go; we decided not to go far so we ended at Greenbelt 3. Over a bottle of beer and chicharon at Gerry's Grill we shared stories and goings-on. He asked about Leia and Mum and Dad and my brother Mark then it was my turn to ask who he was dating and if wedding bells will soon be ringing. He laughed and told me he'd rather wait than end up with the wrong girl. I'd like to believe he got that train of thought from me. He asked about my new job, his job and his family.

Mel is the only ex I have stayed friends with. Our long distance relationship lasted from 2004 until 2007 when we both realized it was not working the way we wanted it to. It was a mutual decision to break-up lest we start being unfaithful to each other. But we didn't become friends right away. It took three months at least for me, to come to terms with the fact that we're out of each other's lives. My family and close friends groaned when I broke the news to them saying that Mel was a great catch and it was dumb for me to let him go. All I can do that time was to explain that LDR is hard work, an arduous task that we sadly failed at. He was a great boyfriend so the best thing was to at least keep the friendship.

After one round of beer I told him I wanted coffee and he knew where to bring me exactly. We decided against Starbucks at GB3 because it was buzzing and I told him I don't want to be shouting while talking. So we drove to Starbucks at Alfaro and I bought him coffee. He thought I would order vanilla fraps but remember earlier I had alcohol so there was no way I was having fraps! We chatted like long lost friends and we laughed and shared experiences at work including the rat races we are trying to get out of. Mel is my favorite person to talk to when it comes to corporate matters. He took a good look at me and I asked if I look like a 31-year old Ina-Tay. He laughed and said no. He made a slip-off by saying that I must have been using the Anew creams he gave me. What??? You never gave me Anew creams ever!!! Wrong girl to ask. I asked about his toy collection (which used to be a reason for some of the fights we had) and his online shopping spree. I made fun of his new preoccupation saying that only old people prefer to shop online. He is at his late thirties anyway. :) We called it a night by 1:30 am then he took me back to the hotel.

The following evening, after getting stuck in traffic for two hours and getting soaked when I tried to make it to a dinner date with Elah and Rollie that got cancelled because I couldn't find the place we were supposed to meet, I texted Mel again to invite him for coffee. He showed up by 8:30 and I begged him if he can drive me to the nearest ramen place because I was so hungry. I wanted to go to Rai Rai Ken but it was a a good 15 minutes drive away and I was so famished so we went to GB3 instead. After a dinner of ramen and bacon rolls we went back to Starbucks Alfaro. He was the perfect gentleman for two nights - opening the car door and pulling chairs for me. It was raining that night so he had to get the umbrella from the trunk. I appreciated the gesture and told him it would cost me a fortune to pay for his chivalry. It would be expensive to have a manager from Ayala Land to open doors for you and drive you around. Before I got off the car, I thanked him for making himself available. He promised to take me to a steak dinner on my next trip and I rolled my eyes, reminding him that I'm not fond of steak. He laughed when he realized that between us, he is the meat and potatoes person. Technically, he will do himself a huge favor by taking me to a steak dinner. Sly!

I told Mum that I got to spend time with Mel and she flashed this grin that was her way of showing approval - she didn't even mind the fact that I gave Mel a good night kiss (it was wholesome friendly kiss, no tongue action or anything improper!). They were really close when he was still my boyfriend. She would cook for him and marvel him with stories about Bohol and Zamboanga. Mum always had the highest regard for Mel among all my boyfriends. She allowed me every time I would ask for permission to fly to Manila to see him. I would also like to believe I'm friends with his mom and brothers and his aunt who stays with them. I'm not sure about the veracity of the statement but Mel said Tita Linda (his mom) said I was a good girlfriend. hehehe See Archer, I always knew your mom has good taste!

I have to agree with Love Radio's Papa Jack's words of wisdom - you cannot be friends with your ex until you have the tiniest ounce of malice running through your veins. In our case, I think we reached that level where we can look back at our past with much ardor and celebrate the fact that despite the relationship that didn't work out, we remained friends. I trust his wisdom particularly when it comes to career moves and Transformers; he asks me and Mum to pray for major events in his life. Mel will always have a soft spot in my heart, wanting only the best for him. He is among the kindest and most responsible people I know. A geek but with a flourishing career at that. I never regretted sharing with him three years of my life because we learned a lot from each other. I'll always be thankful for having him as a friend and will always be proud of all his achievements.

To you Mel, thank you for the two nights of wholesome fun and deep coffee talks, for sharing your take on a lot of things, for opening the car door for me, for knowing where to take me when I want coffee without me saying anything , for the coming christmas presents for me and Leia (blogging about you ain't gonna come free!), for letting me walk under the rain and most importantly, for being a friend for life.

In retrospect, I think you're the one that got away. Easy now Archer!


  1. Pwede magcomment? I'm so hurt!

  2. Hey! I texted you first but never got a reply from you! You think I would go out with Mel and totally forget about you??? I love you Mai! As early as now I'm blocking off an entire night for you on my next trip. And please, can you stick to just one number na lang??? I already have 5 numbers under your name in my phonebook!

  3. there room for a future romance? *echusera mode* hehehe but you're really lucky to remain friends with your shows how mature you both are :)

  4. These are the kind of posts I am always looking forward to find in Inatay...haha!