I was at the mall this evening to celebrate a late Father’s Day with of course my dad, sisters, brother and some relatives. While they were deciding on which restaurant to go to, I went to the Book Sale store to get me some new (well, old-new) books. Reading has been my stress reliever as of late, and for the past nights, I’ve finished three books already. So as always, I was at the Religion section. I wanted to find a book on missions (inspired by my Kairos course) and I’m always excited to come across some Christian literature classics. I did find a book on Missions and while I was browsing through it, a guy walks in. He was on the phone but I could here him speak in English. I was near the entrance and the shop is really cramped and small, so I moved a little to my right to give him space to come in. And then he looked at me, for a second I think, and I looked back at him. Just a quick glance, really, but enough for me to make an assessment. “Uy, gwapo”, I thought to myself, then I turned to my book again not wanting to make him think I noticed him, or that I’m even interested.
So he went to the other side of the shelf that I was in front of. Good move, you and I can steal some glances then. I was reading, more like, pretending I was, which makes it half-reading and half-looking at him, and I can hear a million thoughts run through my mind. “Hmm, Religion section. I wonder if he’s Christian. Tall. Taller than me. Wears glasses. Looks smart. Carries a Northface bag and sports a Cargo shorts. A fellow Mountaineer? Athletic built. Wonder what sport. Speaks English well. Wonder what school. Moreno. Yeah, definitely my type.”
Then I saw him look at me, and ever so Maria Clara, I looked away and put on my “‘I’m reading” mode. Gosh, I don’t know why I do that. Like, if a guy looks at me, I look away and pretend like I didn’t see it. So he had just put down the phone, and from the corner of my eye I could see he was browsing some books. I was still half-reading, when suddenly, like I already saw it coming, he stood there, took a deep breath, and made his way towards me. Gulp. Oh no, is he going to approach me? I don’t know why, but right then and there I dashed towards the counter to pay my two books. Wait, was he going to approach me, or was that just another one of my illusions?
I didn’t know what happened after but when I turned back, he was already at the Computer section which was on the other end of the shop. Hmm, he made a detour. Browse, browse, browse. I left my books at the counter and went back to the Religion section. Gosh, Kayz, what are you doing? You already paid for your books, leave! Wait, who knows, he might attempt to approach again!
About 5 minutes after he went to the Computer section, he went back to Religion but this time, he was behind me. Like if-I-turn-around-we-can-see-each-other-face-to-face behind me. I don’t know why he was there, honestly, and I could feel myself acting so foolish already, so at that moment, I decided to leave.
I got the books I left at the counter, said a quick “thanks” to the cashier, composed myself and I walked past him, not looking, but pretended like I wasn’t even aware of him. He was also leaving (how coincidental, I thought) and as soon as I stepped out of the shop and had walked a good few steps, I looked back, and I kid you not, so did he right at the exact moment. BAM! Caught in the act! Two people pretending not to see each other. Reminds me of a commercial.
I smiled (I couldn’t help it), and walked away.
There was that moment of loss and regret for me, kind of like a “wished you approached” feeling and “there goes the opportunity”, but then I thought, as I was already walking away from the shop, “well what made you stop? Why didn’t you go for it?”
I’ve always thought that I would meet my husband in these places: at a book store, at a medical mission, in school, in a mission field, or at a hospital (and no, not the patient!) Yep, that guy would have definitely fulfilled that wish-list, but then that was it. I thought, “if this guy was going to be it, we’d have met, period. If he was going to be The Man, somehow we would have met. Intentionally, of course, he would have taken the courage to talk to me.
But all we shared were a few glances here and there and then a shy smile, not even a generous amount. I had a feeling he was thinking I was more into him than he was into me, but I find that ridiculous because I was trying so hard to be discreet, if at all, about me being attracted to him. Or maybe that’s me over analyzing yet again.
Well, Mr. Tall-looks-like-a-mountaineer-we-probably-share-some-common-things-if-only-we-talked, I wished we met. That would have been a good, early 25th birthday gift to me. :-)