It was a box of sweets, intricately prepared and arranged together in an interesting package. The brand is familiar to few.
It was an attempt to make The Artist smile. But it wasn’t the first time he did something like that, in fact, he did several few others in the previous weeks.
They were having a good time every time they were together. The exchange of messages varied from the intellectual to the concerned; though at times also only cutesy, flirtatious chats.
He wasn’t sure how he’s going to give the box of sweets – should he just hold it in one hand while he carried his other stuff on the other, or should he just place it inside a paper bag and give it to The Artist?
It’s not the value or the presentation he was eyeing for, actually, because for him, it was a gesture. A gesture that begs to be transparent and honest. But he knows, too, it’s not (always) his call on how The Artist should and would decipher his gestures.
The Artist enjoyed the box of sweets.
He has been single for a year when he met The Artist.
And The Artist, even The Artist couldn’t clearly define if he was single that time or he was still in the verge of ending the relationship with a boyfriend.
He knew about The Artist’s situation, but he just said to himself, “Everything will improve eventually. And why should I stop here?”
The thought of losing the feeling scared him.
They went out a couple of times – dined in a stiff restaurant where they ordered Italian, a spontaneous dinner invitation in a not so good restaurant, a surprise lunch where The Artist was too busy to show his gratitude immediately, and different meals in other occasions.
In one of their dinners, after enjoying a good meal, they went back to The Artist’s flat. The Artist opened another bottle of red.
They shared a good laugh, a good conversation, there was a connection, he thought.
His intentions were good. He didn’t agree to go The Artist’s flat to have sex with him, but it doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to, that’s a different story altogether. He wants to know The Artist first. To talk to him a little bit more, marvel at his smile longer and connect with him a little deeper.
He left the The Artist’s flat past three in the morning.
He thought he made a good impression to The Artist. The next day The Artist messaged him. It was an affirmation. But the intentions of The Artist were still unclear.
How many gestures should one make until he realize that his actions doesn’t seem to get through to the other person?
Then a designer gift was given. It was Prada.
He was not sure if The Artist will like the gift. It took him more than two hours in the store deciding which item to give him, which color and style to pick. And another hour staring at the card, the card the comes with the gift box, deciding what to write.
He wanted to be straightforward and at the same time witty, but he didn’t want it to look like premeditated.
They were supposed to have dinner that night, but the plans changed because The Artist needed to finish something in the office. Hence, after several few hours later, he just went to The Artist’s flat and they enjoyed a few glasses of wine.
He handed the gift to The Artist and he was reciprocated with big a smile.
The Artist… a debonair, witty, confident, strong and independent. Just like Prada.
And then there was the trip to The Artist’s hometown. The plane ride was almost two hours.
He wanted to cancel the trip one month before, but The Artist convinced him, telling him that it’s going to be a good one. And being a spontaneous guy, he agreed.
He spent one week in The Artist’s hometown. They were together most of the time. Although it wasn’t his first time in the city, it was an exciting experience for him – being with The Artist the whole day, listening to The Artist’s endless stories, their mocking at each other, their agreement and disagreement, the laughs that have been a regular in their every conversation, the smile, yes that smile. And just the thought of owning time… a time spent with The Artist, that is, which was his idea of bliss.
He skipped work that week, but it didn’t matter. It was one of the few times when he could spend more time with The Artist.
They went around the city from morning until evening. They shared several meals together, finished several glasses of cocktails almost every night, and of course, enjoyed each other’s company. That’s the only thing he’s sure of and he wanted everything to last forever.
But then came his last day, his last night in the city, he had to go back to Manila. The Artist will fly back the next day. Had he known about The Artist’s schedule he would have adjusted his.
It felt like it was one of those vacations where you meet someone special and after the vacation ends, the connection, the spark, the rapport would also end.
The thought of losing the feeling scared him.
Some of his friends told him that he went overboard when he went to The Artist’s hometown and when he bought that Prada gift. But when will one know if what he’s doing is enough? Shouldn’t we continue doing the things that make us happy despite the odds?
After 92 days, everything remained the same. It was a good thing and was also a bad thing. He didn’t know if it was him or the situation, or it was just a kneejerk reaction from The Artist after he saw him displaying good intentions and all.
Were the gestures he showed for several months amounted to nothing? Or was it maybe because The Artist doesn’t really understand the meaning of his gestures? And will it really be the last grand gesture?