"Baka stress lang yan. Magpahinga ka."
The doctor said this as she read my EKG which, apparently, was normal. As I rolled down my green tennis dress, I couldn't help but think that what she said made sense. I had every right to be stressed out. I had little sleep the night prior as I was cramming for my Komunikasyon term paper and I had a workout that was far more rigorous than what my normally lethargic body was used to. But, I knew that those were not the reasons for the twinge in my chest that sent me staggering to the infirmary. There were two things that were weighing even more heavily than my "Babae lang ba ang nagme-make up?" term paper: the discovery that my burgeoning friendship with Chenn was ruined and a confession that I didn't know how to react to.
As I stood from the examination table, the doctor addressed me a second time. "Huwag ka muna maglalalakad magisa. Bumalik ka kapag sumakit ulit."
I nodded and thanked her and wondered who I would call to accompany me.
Ivan sounded worried over the phone. He and Rene arrived even before I finished returning my record to that surly old lady at the Records Section and paying for my EKG. When I saw them, they looked even more worried than Ivan had sounded and I commented that they looked like expectant fathers. Rene was the one who first spoke to me, asking how I was. I explained what happened and apologized for calling them over from the Math Building. Ivan hung around, not saying anything. When we got out of the Infirmary, Ivan hailed a cab to take us to the Math Building for Math 53. Ivan took the front seat, leaving the back seat to Rene and me.
"Tumakbo si Ivan."
"Huh?" I blinked, confused by the supposedly stunning revelation of Rene's. He was smiling, amused.
"Hindi tumatakbo si Ivan. Tumakbo siya para sayo."
I think I blushed a bit. I can't really tell. It was at that moment that I realized that I really shouldn't be stressing out. Things would fall into place, eventually.
Later that afternoon, after a long lunch with Teds, at around 4PM, right after Ivan's Physics 101.1 class. I was feeling much better. I had made a decision to deal with one of the two things that were bothering me.
I approached Ivan and pulled him aside. "About last night's message," I began as I stared at his hands picking on the peeling white paint of the ledge separating Pav 4 from the rest of AS...
...and the rest is history, I suppose. Seven years after that extended moment is today (or, rather, yesterday, considering the time). I'm not as eloquent as Ivan when it comes expressing himself. I'm not concise and witty like he is. But I like telling this story because the more I tell it, the more I'm assured that I will never forget why I am in this position and why I am not regretting it.
Thanks for seven years, Ivan.
I also updated Cliched and Corny, but not with my own works. Do check it out.