I Might Be a Little Late

Due to the demanding academic life of a senior student I was not able to regularly visit my blog and keep it updated. Most of my days were spent writing papers and studying for upcoming exams, but that doesn’t mean that I have completely shut myself to the world. Despite the tight schedule and busy weeks, I still found ways to squeeze some time for my friends and for org activities. I couldn’t just let school get in the way and sacrifice time with people. The trade off however is not being able to keep this blog alive. Given one week before seniors’ final exams it is a miracle that I am here composing something for my dearly beloved little space.

This story might be five days late, but then whatever.

I woke up on a Friday morning as my alarm went off. [It was Valentine ’s Day.] At eight in the morning a message was waiting to be opened in my phone. It was from Marge greeting me a happy valentine’s.

[Is everyone truly celebrating the day of hearts and roses? Is everyone truly in love?]

I went out of bed and did my routine. I was contemplating when I started getting annoyed with Valentine’s, about how overrated it is. Not so long ago, it’s actually my third favorite event of the year (Christmas is and always the first and then my birthday comes second). I would usually make cards for everyone in my family along with those little hearts and cupid decorations.

But as time passed by I began to question the importance of this “special” day. I mean, people fuss about Valentine’s as if it is such a great event when in fact it is just another ordinary day in the Roman calendar.

Society would answer me by saying, “Oh don’t kill the fun, don’t be a cynic! It’s a day to celebrate love.”

Can’t love be celebrated every day? Can’t roses be delivered at any day of the month? Can’t chocolates be given for any reason? Can’t dates be scheduled just because you want to spend time with the person? Can’t surprises be given at any time?

[Maybe I am saying this because I am single and like other single people I am bitter?]

I just think that a lot of people are just going with the flow, with what society dictates. Most are trying to be sweet with roses and chocolates because they are afraid that if they don’t participate with this trend then society will look down on them.

Since I have no one to celebrate my valentines with (romantically) I just had a simple dinner with my other single friends. [Misery loves company]. My three other girl friends decided to hit the restaurant five minutes away from my place. Unfortunately, due to the heavy traffic brought about by those couples on a date it took us 45 minutes to get to our destination.

The good thing though was that we had a really nice and talkative cab driver who amused us while we’re stuck in traffic. He is a member of the uniformed men and is currently in the city because he was called in to report at the general headquarters. As he’s off duty for the time being he decided to utilize his time for some extra cash.

I learned that he’s only 23 and been in service for three years. The man, even though he has a degree used to work in a shopping mall down south. He wasn’t originally from the city and he’s deployed in the south where there’s civil war.

I asked him what made him decide to join the army when there are other jobs out there that are less risky. He told me that he didn’t like his work in the mall because it pays little, so it’s either he look for another job overseas or join the army. Besides according to him he really wanted to serve.

As I talked to him about his work he didn’t seem fearful for his life even though it is a fact that anytime a bullet might just hit him when he’s in the mission. For him explosions, bullets and blood are the common every day scenario. The scar on the left side of his head (given that his head’s shaved) was showing. He shared the story of how he got that cut,  they were ambushed on the field and shrapnel went flying hitting him on the head . His face didn’t show any trace of hesitation or of the memory of tragic incident of the past.

[I guess death is something one can get used to.]

But then again it made me ask (not vocally), what happens to these men after they reach 40 which is the retirement age for them? They are like the pawns in the battle field that are faceless, with names unheard and unknown by the people living at peace– by people like me. Because let’s be honest even though we care about those who are deployed in the field we do not know who they are unless of course we have a friend or a family member who are part of the platoon.

Our conversation got cut when we finally reached the restaurant. We paid the fare, greeted the cab driver a “happy valentine” and left. The place was actually packed with star crossed lovers who were having their fill. Our all girls group entered the room, scanned the area and took a spot in the middle of the restaurant where there’s a free table. We sent text messages to our male friends where to find us just in case they wanted to join our feast, three musketeers responded to the invitation– not bad.

It was a great night with great people. What more could I ask for? I might not have a boyfriend to cuddle with me but then I have friends to laugh with and share my misery with who emanates the genuine love that not all couples posses.

True, it was just an ordinary day. Yet it became special, not because of chocolates, roses and whatnot. It was special for the simple reason that it was spent with people I value. I was also able to listen to a new story, a story worth carrying with me.

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