Saturday, March 24, 2007

REINER


Reiner Helmut
Lovable rogue, childlike, tall
Brother of Rolf and Randall
Lover of the books, the nocturnal, the excitement
Who feels secure, free, uninhibited
Who needs control, comfort, organization
Who gives fresh air, true love, satisfaction
Who fears truth, solitude, responsibility
Who would like to see the world, grandeur, reality
Resident of Quezon City
Angala.

- Solivia-
I was a new Sigma Betan. We did good stuff like exchanging sample exams, sharing books, and tutoring each other in our General Ed (GE) subjects, and we did other interesting stuff too. I was also learning and exploring with my now sorority sisters what for me was once taboo…smoking, drinking, and the art of flirting with men. The training was to be familiar with these things, never to be hooked with them.

I was enjoying my every day from the day I became a sis (what sorority sisters call each other). But I told myself: enough with those boring academic stuff! After all, I gave my parents good grades from grade school to fourth Year College. Now was my fifth year, time to enjoy!

We were going out a lot, especially with our fraternity counterpart – the Beta Sigma Fraternity.
“What the heck! They were the brods, they were supposed to protect us from whatever…”
And they were good. Well, at least to me. They were surrounding us everyday and we didn’t even have to call them to come to our tambayan (permanent place to hang out). I guess I inherited the sisters’ natural ability to lure men without so much effort, because even without the sisters, they were just so nice and so friendly to me.

The truth was that Beta Sigmans who were “ruggedly handsome”, as they used to call themselves, were friendly outside but really dangerous inside. All they wanted out of life was a good time, a little studying (that was the primary reason why we were in UP, right?), and a whole lot of occasions. They made occasions out of ordinary dull days, whether at the tambayan or in Sarah’s (Sarah’s…ooooh…good beer, good tokwa’t baboy, good old days). On their best days, they function on the level of early teenagers. High spirited (really? Why? You make a guess…), high-energy, where there was fun you’ll find them. When there was no fun, they made one. And on their worst, they would make your day worst too. That was just my personal impression about the brods.
Reiner is a Beta Sigman. I never really noticed him. When my sorority sisters asked me to choose a brod that I found attractive, I pointed at another brod. Not Reiner. I noticed his ex-girlfriend though, who was clinging to him like a booger. Too bad, it was improper for him to pick his nose in public.
After several months of hanging out with the sisters, I was still a novice in everything. They were getting impatient with me already.

“How can you not learn perfectly everything we taught you?” a sis asked me.
“ Probably somebody else can teach you better.”
But if not you guys, who could it be?
“A boyfriend. Do you have someone in mind?”
Ups! That was not my style.

Men had to come to me. The traditional courting, and wooing a girl, that was what I thought how an intimate relationship with a boyfriend would start.

Seemed like heaven heeded my prayer, and my sorority sisters’ prayer. Reiner was becoming too friendly to us. We heard he already broke off with his girlfriend months ago. But he didn’t seem to be really attracted to me at first. He was going out more with my sorority sisters. I thought I was too na├»ve for him.
I began to notice him when he started bringing me home from UP. I would perceive his every move as artistic – the way he shook a cigarette out of the pack and when he would put it between his lips, his smile would make him look boyish though he stood taller than the regular height of Filipino men. He was intellectually funny; I was just too demure to laugh at his jokes.
He would bring me home in his car (we called his car Ecto1, from Ghost Busters), after we brought home all the sisters who hitched with us. It went on like that for several months. We were just friendly and casual to each other. Though some sis and brods were already asking us malicious questions.
September 1, 1995, 8:00 pm. He brought me home one night after we took the sisters to Tia Maria’s bar in Katipunan Ave. Of course he promised to go back there after bringing me home. I was already preparing to review for an exam in my Biology 11 class and was expecting him to leave anytime soon. But he never went back for them anymore.

One hour. Two hours. Three hours had passed. He was still with me blabbing how he was amused with me. I was getting impatient.

12:00 midnight, 1:00 am, 2:00 am…I was really getting impatient.
“When is this guy going home?”
Of course it would be improper to ask him that. I was talking to myself.
Then after hours and hours of telling me how he really liked me, he asked me, “Can I be your boyfriend?” I was surprised with what he said.

I wanted to tell him that he blew it. But I didn’t want to lose his friendship. I grew very fond of him already. Yes, I couldn’t afford to lose his friendship anymore. Ok. I just made it easier for him; I led him to tell me the right words.

Finally, he got it (after several hints), he told me “I love you, do you love me too?” Yes! That made it!

I guess it was too momentous an event for him. He was staring up the ceiling while slouched on the couch, smiling…just smiling and staring on something that I didn’t see on the ceiling. He was staring there for an hour! He left at 3:00 am.

What I thought would make him go earlier made him stay longer!

I wasn’t able to study that night anymore. It was too difficult to sleep either. I was trying to stare on the same spot on the ceiling while lying on the couch but I didn’t see anything interesting there. But I was also smiling.
The next day, we never talked about it to anyone. Mysteriously, they knew. They said our aura was different. Were we two really connected?

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