It was dawn when I landed in Manila. I suddenly remembered telling Ivan while he was showing me around in Lima that my favorite words in the Filipino language are takipsilim (twilight) and bukang liwayway (break of dawn), which are also my favorite times of the day. The city was still quiet and the wind was cold, reminding me of the season.
They say things get easier, the people get used to goodbyes. It doesn't. Saying farewell to my family at the airport was just as difficult as the first time. I was alone ... again.
I wanted or maybe needed to feel welcome so I called my best friend.
"Honey!!! I miss you," I said.
"You're home! So ... how was your trip to America?" V replied. "Or, should I say ... the Americas?"
"Hahaha. It was okay," I said.
"Oh spare me K. I read Gossip Girl and I know what you did this winter ... and with who!" V said. "I hope you were protected. Should I be worried?"
"Hahahaha. Well... I may have a thing for cute South American waiters."
"And bartenders. Backpackers. Or anyone who offers you a pisco sour drink."
"Hahahaha. Winter was fun but it's over," I replied. "I'm home and all I want to do is just get back to my life."
"Well, so much for your Eat Pray Love pilgrimage. You certainly got the Love part right."
"Ahahaha gaga ka talaga," I said. "Teka... I read Gossip Girl too and word is you started the year with a bang... or two, to be exact. So... Gregory William. You finally got him. Bravo V."
"Honey!!!! Finally, after years of crushing I crossed him out of my to-do-list."
"Hahaha. So... how was it?"
"Honey, na tense talaga ako (I got so tensed) when he said 'Ride my cock!'," V said.
"OMG!!!! You didnt??!!"
"Well... What's a girl to do?"
"OMG!!! You did!!! Hahaha. Whatever happened to starting the year on top?" I said.
"I was on top. I had to give the bottom in me one last big hurrah," he said. "Alam mo, sabi niya para daw kaming porn stars (You know, he told me we were like pornstars.)"
"Wow ... must have been some hurrah. Hahahaha. I love."
"Honey, I'm glad you're home," V said. "Ang saya. You're back, Arlan's here for good also. I'm so excited for this year."
I took a deep breath.
"About that, there's something I need to tell you," I said.
"I may be leaving the country for good this year."
Johanna and Josepha
4 hours ago