I invited Patrick home. We were plopped at the sofa in the living room while waiting for Janet to finish preparing dinner. Patrick Recto was a friend from gradeschool. He was also my only friend back then.
"6 years actually." He corrected.
"Right". Yeah, he's right. He was one of the reason I was so depressed years ago. He left for Australia with his family and my empty life felt emptier then. "What brought you here?"
"I just missed you, that's all." He grinned at me. For a moment I flashback to when I was happier. Rick's parents were no different from mine. They were equally busy and had hardly any time for him. I guess that's why we became good friends.
"No, really. Why?" I crossed my arms and smiled at him.
He leaned back from his seat and looked at me intently. "I haven't had the chance to go home, you know at that time."
"I should have been here with you, you shouldn't have gone through ..." His voice trailed off.
Another long silence.
Five years ago, after my little accident, Patrick has been in constant communication with me, he was partly blaming himself despite me trying to tell him that it wasn't his fault.
"Its ok." I reached and ruffled his hair, he blushed. "Forget it. It wasn't your fault to begin with."
Janet suddenly entered the living room to check on us. "Dinner, kids?" She chuckled. "I missed that, feeding two kids rather that one scrawny teenager." She eyed me lovingly.
Patrick jumped to his seat. "Ohh..I missed your home cooked meals Ate Janet!*"
"I made adobo, cause I know that's your favorite." She winked at him.
I watched the nostalgic scenario. Unlike Patrick, I was lucky I had Janet to take care of me while my parents are away. Patrick was alone, so Janet volunteered to watch over him until his parents pick him up every night.
I smiled at the memory.
Janet walked up to me and patted my shoulders. "You've been smiling a lot lately. That's good. Now get up and have dinner."
I followed them to the kitchen and the three of us ate together. I was glad for today, I haven't felt so happy for a while.
"Can I stay the night?" Patrick asked between spoonful of rice. "I came alone, and out house is being rented and I haven't booked a hotel."
"Stay here, until you want. I have school though so I won't be here most of the day."
"Oh yeah, I forget to tell you, I'll be here for a week to observe in your school for a foreign students program."
I looked at him and frowned.
"I just need to take photos and make a journal of what it's like to study on a foreign school."
"What's the point then? If you're going to do it. I mean, you're not a foreign exchange student, you're just a returnee but technically you are still a Filipino at a Filipino school eating Filipino food."
"Exactly." He laughed. "Then I can be biased on my review of your school." He laughed harder. " I was supposed to be sent to Korea but I declined because it's so cold and I don't speak K-pop."
"Also, I'd join your school for two days but I gotta head to A-UNI afterwards because my assignment is actually there." He continued.
It's 9 PM when we headed to my room. Patrick used to sleep in my bed so when I offered him the guest room he declined. " I wanna sleep in your room, I can right?" He begged.
"You're room didn't change." He commented. "But you did."
"What do you mean?"
He shifted to his right so he could look at me. "Is there something going on with you right now?"
"Hmm.. final exams, deadline for the publication and my last for the year, new editors selection.." and the fact that I might be in love with a guy and I'm probably gay. But I couldn't say it out loud.
"I don't believe you." He pouted.
I stared at the ceiling. Just stared, not thinking of anything or anyone. Then I felt Patrick's arms wrapped around my waist. He cuddled closer I could smell his cologne.