I saw him yesterday. I grew numb when I heard his voice. He was just inches away from me. I'm not sure if he noticed me then. I was standing on the same spot for a good 2 hours while enjoying the performances. I knew our encounter was inevitable at the event. But like I mentioned to Tricia, I am there to support the event, I am there to enjoy the performances. Him being there will not change those facts.

At that moment that I realized he's just a step away, there was this uncomfortable emptiness that formed in my heart. As much as I care to admit, I was distraught the moment i knew of his precense. I sat down on the chair that Kam had given me so as to compose myself. I pretend to fiddle with my phone while listening intently to my surroundings. I tried to drive my attention back to the performance again, the med student who performed in Birdcage was performing on stage. I like her songs, though her melodies are quite generic. Perhaps it's because I relate to some of the songs she sang. It was a battle of attention between the performance and my feelings. It became a struggle to be even at the venue. I decided to go back home.

I surveyed the area to look for Kam. I brought the book that I bought for him in Recto. He mentioned he needed it for his review. I instantly saw him speaking with KJ in my 5 o'clock. I took it out from my bag and immediately handed it him saying I'll be going home. Witholding the fact that it was with a heavy heart that I am leaving. He offered to pay for the book but i declined since I planned to give it as a goodluck gift for his board exams. With a plastered smile, i made quick getaway.

But just like a scene in a soap opera, the exact moment that I was exiting the event premises, he was coming back enter the venue. A slowmo scene fit for a tv show. I did not wished for it nor did I intended it. I was sure he was talking to other event staff before I decided to make my escape. But obviously, the world had another plan. I tried to make it look that I was unfazed and just continued walking.

I knew that he saw me. I knew that he knew I saw him. But I just went on looking ahead as if he was not there. As I approach him, he turned to his side as if to make a room for my exit while I passed by his back. Like strangers non-chalant with each other's presence. I stumbled quite a bit since I kicked some lights on the way out but i didn't mind it since what was priority one was to get out of there.

I was a bit shaken still so I decided to dance it off. Good thing the arcade was also on the same floor. I danced a good hour before deciding to text Tricia so I can say goodbye. The dancing was quite therapeutic. She found me resting in a nearby chair in the arcade. I said my goodbyes and proceeded to go home.

As I mentioned to him on our last meeting day, "Maalala kita sa lahat". True enough. Amidst the light rain and darkness of the streets, all the places I went to that night reminded me of him: Our coffee break in the 7-11 branch beside Michelle's; the walks toward the terminal; our check ups in ICMC where I had doc refer me for a doctor for him; the bus stations; the 7-11 beside the caltex station; the mcdonald's in four lanes; the Starbucks where I made his Thesis Manuscript; the jollibee branch where we ate while making said manuscript; Everywhere I go in Balanga, I am haunted by visions of our memories together.

In all honesty, I wanted to cry, I wanted to just breakdown. But the pain of him leaving and throwing me out of his life is not enough to make me. Perhaps I have grown used to people I care about doing it that I am able to withstand it. But that's what's making it hard on my end. I can't get my loneliness out of me. It remains as a cloud of clout in my heart that always demands to be felt but is not enough to break me. It is a constant reminder that i have trusted yet again a person who didnt see me for who I am.

I know I am in the losing end of this. He probably does not think of me. He probably just went on with his life after he threw me out. He probably felt relief that a thorn in his life was removed.

After all, I did not matter. We're perfect strangers that night.