[ Note : Rambling, raving and regurgitating lots of scattered thoughts, that’s what I’ll be doing today sorry to say. Kudos to the sterling and selfless efforts of all NZ-based groups to help our kabayan ravaged by typhoon Sendong, mabuhay kayo! ]
IF NOT for the singular event of meeting Mahal, I would have tolerated, but not believed in Fate disguised as randomness.
I would have conceded that we are astounded by most of what befalls us in Life, only because it is unknown. For is not Fate that which is, until the crucial moment, undisclosed to us, even if all sense and training prepare us for it?
In other words, finding the one person who you choose to live with the rest of your life, can happen with one eye closed, in the blur of the moment, and unsurprisingly, when you least expect it. Hate to say it, but most of what those rom-coms say are true.
After my personal experience (a redundancy, for isn’t all experience personal?) I’m a firm believer in this. As you might expect, I’m also mulling my extreme good fortune, because it is to the day the first anniversary since we wed in happy circumstances before friends and harrassed relatives (harrassed because I asked them to attend on such short notice, thanks). But it was no whirlwind affair, as Mahal and I had been together for nearly five years before she made an honest man out of this accidental migrant.
But back to the serendipity and randomness of our encounter, which I think is one on which everything else revolves. To anybody who cares to know and ask, I always tell this cautionary tale (cautionary to those who don’t believe in meeting your future spouse at the drop of a pin), but to my knowledge I’ve never recorded it for reference and posterity. I also do this at the risk of incurring Mahal’s ire, as I’m sure you’ve deduced that, compared to the open-book policy on my life, she is intensely private, and would rather not disclose any of her details to strangers and friendly acquaintances. So if ever you meet her, just pretend you haven’t read this OK? 🙂
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I was coming off the nightly graveyard shift at the call center I was working in when I realized I’d run out of load / phone credit, my only source of communication with family. The nearest place being Megamall, the breakfast catchbasin of all wasted call center agents, I dragged my carcass to Fax N’ Parcel, not ideal given the distance from the mall entrance, but certain at least to be open at 10.00 am.
Although I was expecting early birds there, it was an unexpectedly long queue that greeted me, and I sighed a second time, presuming having to wait for at least 10 to 15 minutes.
It wasn’t long before I spotted a head of chestnut brown hair three spots ahead of me. You and I know that such hair color, in a sea of ebony black hair, instantly stands out, so it caught my attention. the owner of the chestnut hair also had on saleslady attire covered by a tastefully chosen maong jacket, which I thought a bit cheeky given the strict dress code for salesladies everywhere in the mall.
One could be forgiven for the standout mane and the maong jacket, but her dazzling smile so early in the morning and in such mundane surroundings seemed unfair. Its luminosity, I’m sorry to say given my bias, lit up the room. Probably it was the fuzziness in my sleep-deprived brain, but voices began to gnaw at my center of nasty thoughts : forget everything, but don’t leave the shop without her number, or are you too chicken ???
Yessss, we wants it, I wanted to say, but my seat of prim and properness said : WTF??? are you crazy? Magkakalat ka at 10 in the morning in front of all these people (yes, my conscience could curse a blue streak if it wanted to, apologies)? Do you want to be wasted AND embarrassed? Hmmm. Good point, but my id was working overtime too, it usually does when I haven’t slept for almost 24 hours.
At the same time, resourcefulness and improvisation also have a way of making themselves handy, and I hit upon an idea. Most of you who haven’t been away from the Philippines for too long know that in quite a few stores, one is required to note down one’s cell phone number for the merchant, to easily verify the transaction in case of complaints later.
Drawing upon that suddenly-important piece of info, and counting the number of places between her and me on the queue, it was easy to find out which number was hers on the loader’s logbook, from which I duly copied said number as soon as my turn ( to be served ) came. She was long gone by then, but not to worry, I had captured my precious prize. 🙂
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A few hours after some much needed sleep :
Hi. nagkita tayo sa Fax N Parcel, sensya n po nakopya ko cp mo mkpagkila2 sana.
I could also feel the minutes of hesitation crawl by. A reply came forthwith.
Thnx. Cnu k po run ? Me ngtxt na nakawhite, student daw sya, may 1 nakipagkila2 rin.
Omg. To make a long story short, not one, not two, but three count em three individuals including your accidental migrant took down the number and craftily put it aside for sinister purposes (except for me, who had nothing but honorable intentions).
Serendipitously again, I was the only one who didn’t chicken out. She courteously asked all three of us to show up at her workplace, partly to check us out, and partly to get to know us. I was the only one desperate enough to apply for the position.
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Lots of good (and a few bad) things have happened between those first few days and our wedding day last year. I choose to shorten this story to focus on the randomness of predestination. Those eternal romantics who declare to their dying day that in the infinite world of infinite souls, there is only one soulmate, may be the very same romantics that I ask : how do we know that the first, second or hundredth person we meet is The One?
The short answer is WE DON’T, and therefore the element of randomness is kept alive by foreknowledge kept hidden and our unique privilege to never stop making mistakes, in life and in love.
Happy 1st anniversary Mahal, I love you always and thanks for everything !
Thanks for reading !