Some baller bands hanging in his right wrist.

“Stranded,” was the very first thought that came across my mind as soon as the train stopped.


Last Monday, I woke up from the sound of my alarm and from the sun’s rays that slipped through the windows of our room. Lazily, I grabbed my phone beside me, opened it, and read the time.

It was 7am.

I snoozed the alarm, knowing that I only had four hours of sleep after finishing our 2nd take home group quiz in Financial Statistics at 3 am. But then, something inside me reminded me that I need to get off my bed for I still need to submit the quiz before the start of our class.

I immediately got up from bed, feeling light headed.

I did my usual morning routine.

Pet greets me, I greet Pet back, throw her favorite ball across the living room a few times and when I don’t feel like playing with pet anymore, I check what’s on our dining table. After eating, I take a shower, and pamper myself up.

I wasn’t in a hurry, though. I still had plenty of time left before the clock ticks to 8:40am.

I donned one of my favorite white shirt from Rustan’s, and my black skinny jeans, and wore my favorite green sneakers. Fixed my things for the day, and grabbed my violet backpack. Slipped some bills on the left side of the front pocket, and put my phone and the LRT card on the right side.

After rechecking all the things I  needed, I read the time, and, to my surprise, it was already 8:50am.

I was going to be late. Again.

I half ran, half walk on my way to the train station. I was still hoping that I’d get to school at 9:40am, even though it’s an hour trek from our apartment.

Due to my superspeed ability on the way, I managed to catch up with the train on time. I didn’t have to wait for another five minutes just to wait for the next train to arrive.

People were cramped inside the LRT as usual. I squiggled my way in towards the center since I didn’t want to stand infront of the train doors, blocking those people who were trying to get in and out of the train. I didn’t need to stand infront of the door just yet, since my stop was still on the last station.

I ended up standing infront of those people who were seated. I identified that one of them was a Lasallian because of his three baller bands on his wrist. He was sleeping.

I fanned myself for I was almost beginning to sweat. And I was, at the same time, calculating at the back of my mind, how many minutes were left before my 9:40am class. I was confident that I would arrive in school just on time.

Then, something unexpected happened.

The train motioned to a halt as soon as we were in J. Ruiz station, still four stations away from where I was supposed to get off to.

It wasn’t just a stop to get the passengers alight from the train/ get inside the train to that station. It was taking like forever. Something was wrong.

Some people were already shouting something, cursing the staffs, panicking that they were already late for work. While some alighted from the train. Maybe they thought that it was better to ride a jeep than wait for the LRT to start moving.

I was one of those people panicking.

It took on forever before the pilot announced over the train speakers that all passengers for all stations needed to alight from their respective train already. Due to some technical problems, they weren’t sure when they would be able to fix the train.

“Stranded,” was the very first thought that came across my mind as soon as the train stopped.

I fixed my eyes on the boy, knowing that he was my last hope to get to school safe. I didn’t know how to get to school via jeep.

He was pressing buttons on his phone when he was getting off the train. He paused at one corner. I followed him. I was already constructing what I would say to him in English. I was afraid that my tongue would get all tied up and speak alien words.

Excuse me, are you going to La Salle? I don’t know how to go there.

Finally, I got up my courage and asked him. I didn’t know why I didn’t speak in English.

“Excuse me, papunta ka rin bang La Salle?” He was still busy on tinkering his phone. He looked up to see me, and then to my huge arms/belly, and then back to meet my eyes. He might have been too suprised to answer.

He nodded.

“Marunong ka bang magpaschool ng jeep?”

“Hindi rin ako sanay.” I felt relieved when he understood me and replied in Filipino.  His voice sounded mellow, and relaxed.

It was really awkward when the two of us were standing there. I was sure that he kept on texting someone for directions. While I continued fanning myself. We were only 2 feet apart.

While waiting for him to say anything, I studied the place, and there were a lot of students from FEU and San Beda, and working people in their corporate attire. I couldn’t do anything at that time. My phone just got recently stolen. I lost all of my contacts. I was using my old phone when I was still in 6th grade. Good thing, it was still working but I still haven’t bought my sim card yet.

Then finally, someone called him. Hope, at last. He asked for directions on how to get to V. Cruz on the other line.

He hanged up. And turn to me. :))

“Baba tayo. Jeep daw pa Divisoria”

“Ay Divisoria?” I nodded and followed him from behind. I might’ve sounded stupid infront of him after saying that.

While on our way to the North exit, he asked, “Taga La Salle din po ba kayo?”  I think he was still doubtful that I was a Lasallian, too. I wasn’t wearing anything La Salle at that time so it was difficult to tell. I was thinking that maybe he was thinking that I was some kind of a smuggler/kidnapper/criminal.

“Oo” Hearing the word ‘po’ broke my heart. :)) That was when I thought that he was still perhaps a frosh. He looked so Totoy still.

I opened up a topic again to gain his trust, and minimize the awkward silence between us.

“Nakakainis. Late na ako sa 9:40 class ko. May susubmit pa akong quiz.”

“Ako rin nga eh.” He retorted.

Then, I heard the buzzing of the train doors and the train was moving.

“Tapos pala, gumana na. Haha.” We laughed at the same time.

So… is this the part when I will say my name/ introduce what college I came from, or what course I was taking up? Will I ask him? I felt like I was some kind of a ‘pedophile’. :))

However, nothing came out from my mouth until we came to the place where jeeps were. A lot of people were lining up, too, because they were also victims of the LRT’s techincal problems.

Almost, three jeeps have passed with a Divisoria sign, but we couldn’t get on because they were all full.

“Lahat puno. Halika, salubungin natin.” :”> :))) I followed him. We went farther from where the people were lining up. On the way, he happened to came across some guys from San Beda. I knew because of their uniforms.

The guy from San Beda called the boy’s name. I didn’t quite hear them and they greeted each other. His friend, the one who called him, was cute(haha!).

Anyways, we waited for two minutes when he received another text. He read it and said, “Ok na daw”.

I smiled. And all the people lining there went inside the LRT station at the same time.

I lost track of him when I rode the escalator while he took the stairs. I tried to look for him but because of oh so many people, I didn’t. I went inside the train, still in search for him. But no luck. I didn’t even have the chance to say thanks. Oh well.

I checked my phone and it was already 9:40am. I was super late. So as soon as we arrived in Recto station, I walked as fast as I could to catch up with time.

On the overpass, I saw this guy wearing a grey shirt, with his grey bag, and shoes, and creme shorts. It was him! I was behind him. I was supposed to follow him from behind all the way to D. Jose Station but he was walking too slow. I wondered why. It was as if he wasn’t late for class already.

So, I just caught up with him, to say thanks, and in order to get pass him immediately.

“Uy! Uy! Thank you!” I shouted at him while doing this.

“Uuuuuy! Sige lang.” From his reaction, I think I scared him, in a surprise kind of way.

Right after I heard him say, ‘sige lang’, I smiled and ran again. I was in a hurry, remember?

Again, I might have appeared like a weirdo to him. I didn’t even say, “Sige. Mauna na ako. Nagmamadali kasi ako.” D:

And that was when I last saw him. :))


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