Tinder Tailor Soldier Spy (Part 1)

27 Mar

This is a story of a total jerk of a guy, or a spy (whichever you find more believable), that I once dated.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Yes.

What do you mean, yes?

Do you remember your last question to me? The answer is YES.

Just as he was about to kiss me, my eyes grew big and I got as excited as a five-year old child seeing a Superhero mascot for the first time. I remembered his last text on my phone now. It read as such:

“I will tell you the answer only if you agree to see me one last time.”

I am not dumb to believe what he said just like that, without hard evidence and without verifiable facts…. but there was this inner child in me deciding to actually believe it because at that moment, the fantasy was all too important to leave behind.

Disenchantment was the last thing on my mind.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Chapter 1: Tinder Chats

His name is Jayson. But this is not his work name. This is his social name, his name in the Philippines, but not the name he is called by his colleagues. I found out about this eventually because of a Viber anomaly, but let us hold that story down for later.

So I met Jayson in Tinder. We both swiped right one fine day, but just like most of my Tinder matches, we did not necessarily talk right away. At that time, Jayson was just one of the many people I was care-freely chatting with, so it didn’t really bother me that his messages started out intermittently.

Intermittently – this is a word that I would probably overuse in this story. Because that was what he was basically, which therefore leads me to believe that he is either one of these things only: (1) A GUY WHO ENJOYS MAKING A FOOL OUT OF ME, or (2) A GUY WHO KEEPS AND DOES SECRETS FOR A LIVING.

Anyway, Jayson messaged me for the first time a day after we matched, if I recall it correctly. He was polite, he seemed intelligent, he knows a lot of general knowledge stuff that I thought he could actually win one of those televised quiz-bees of sorts. He introduced himself to me rather properly, and he was not the kind that sends unsolicited dick pics or the kind that tells you he was at the moment horny. So that was good.

We asked the normal introductory questions:

What are you here for in the Philippines? I’m here for work.

What do you do for work? I am an industrial engineer, but ironically, I am functioning more as a civil engineer these days (or was it the other way around? I’m not so sure anymore).

I see. So you are an expat. Of what company? A company that installs water-filtration systems, now trying its market in the Philippines…

He insinuated about getting coffee together if his schedule that week would permit, and I insinuated that I am cool with the idea. We talked a bit more about pretty trivial things. But that was that.

Our conversation would end without much hang-ups. But he didn’t text me for a week after that. I didn’t mind. In fact, he didn’t even enter my mind during the time that he was quiet. After all, I did not really know this guy.

Exactly seven days have passed before he texted me again. I could still remember I was shopping with my friend at SM Manila when he buzzed. First and foremost, he apologized for his being “missing in action” for a week. I said it was not a big deal. He said sorry one more time and explained that he needed to take care of some things, and had to find a more permanent place to stay in. He told me he used to stay at the Holiday Inn Hotel, but finally his company has found him a unit in Rockwell. He finished moving all his things there today, and now he had time to rest.

I went on with my shopping, he went on with bothering me, although I was willingly allowing it because hey, he was fun to talk to. He was witty, he was decent, he was almost too courteous at times, and he spoke Spanish. He kept the conversation interesting, and me interested, just enough.

I counted two days before he texted me again, then another three days before his next text. Another day, for another text, and another cycle of intermittence after that, that eventually I started to wonder why this guy has not asked me out yet. Surely, that was too long for message exchanges already. Based on my past experiences, a western guy would ask you out after a week – sometimes even less – of texting.

Another day has passed until he finally reached out again.

Hello, miss…

Oh hi there! How’s it going?

I’m all good. He then proceeded to tell me about his day. He once again apologized for not being able to text so often. We talked for a while about any and all things we could think of, but this time, he made sure to ask me out for coffee before we ended the conversation for the night, to which I said yes.

Finally. A date with this Spanish-speaking American man who doesn’t text much, and yet has texted me too much by now!

One particular thing I found unusual about him was his disinclination to give me his phone number. It seemed to me he was content with talking just through Tinder chat but I knew well enough that that would mean disaster when we try to meet up because Tinder crashes all the time, and I really don’t wanna waste my time going to a certain place while losing contact real-time with a guy I’m trying to meet for the first time.

So I just went ahead and asked for his number. He didn’t reply to me which was really weird. It was the first and only time that a guy from Tinder would not give me his number or ask for mine, especially when we have already agreed to meet up. I sensed he was really being very cautious so I didn’t push it. Instead, I volunteered mine away. I typed my digits and told him that he could text me directly (via SMS) if something came up on the day that we were supposed to meet. And that was that.

Chapter 2: First Meeting

Tuesday night. It was raining a little bit. I was wearing my favorite immaculately white dress because that was our color code for the day in the office. I made sure to put on my peach-colored lipstick, wear a sexy black and gold stiletto and sport my glorious long curls. I know I said I am not really into him in the beginning, but somehow I still wanted to impress the guy.

I arrived at the café a few minutes before our agreed time. I bought my own coffee, and looked at my pocket mirror too often. A few more minutes passed and still no elusive guy on sight. I tried to open my Tinder app just in case he left me a message there telling me he couldn’t make it, but of course, as I’ve foreseen, it crashed.

Before long, I got an SMS from an unidentified number.

It was him.

He said he was just caught in traffic somewhere in Makati Avenue but he was almost there.

Ha. He was finally forced to text me using his real number. Wasn’t I smart to have provided him with mine? It made me smile a little bit knowing that he wouldn’t trade chivalry for his cautiousness, after all. I learned later on that he was almost never late for any rendezvous. He was very particular with time.

A few more moments into that rainy night, and a familiar face passed by the glass walls of Starbucks. I know it sounds cliché but he almost went slowmo in my head. I was watching him come closer and closer to me. And I was watching my jaw not to drop out of too much excitement.

He was wearing casual clothes – a baseball cap, a dark-colored collared t-shirt, a pair of light khaki cargo shorts, and slip-ons. He had wonderful blue eyes, well-complemented by his clean-cut but very blonde hair. He was not particularly stunning, but I liked how he carried himself. He was not that tall, but he commanded a healthy dose of pride, authority and manliness, I would say. Jayson was not the first guy from Tinder I went on a date with. He was the fourth actually. But I never felt the sensation I just had with the three previous men. There was just something about him that made me predict I was going to fall head-over-heels in love for the first time after a long time.

He saw me, and he smiled. He immediately removed his cap which had been somehow drenched in rain. And then, he spoke his first few words to me:

Hi there! Wow you look really beautiful.

Oh thank you! You’re very sweet!

I am so sorry I am late, I didn’t expect the rain and traffic. Have you been waiting for a while now?

No. not really. I came early so no worries.

He asked where I wanted to eat. He said he couldn’t recommend any place around because he was just new in Manila, and so I took him to one of my favorite restaurants in the area. There, we talked and talked, and I learned a lot of things about him.

I learned that he had to leave for Pampanga a few days ago to take care of some business. I clarified if that was where his office was located. He said not really, their office was in fact in Quezon City, but there was a site he needed to regularly inspect in Pampanga, and he just got back from it.

So where exactly in Pampanga were you at?

Clark. Subic.

A-huh. Now I’m pretty sure you did get busy there!

You know, Clark is quite a seedy place, but there is some serious work to be done there. Really dirty water. I barely had time to go out. And I had to return back to Manila right after.

There he was answering a question that I didn’t actually ask, but actually did. I liked him for his sharpness, and his seeming “un-offendable” character…

(TO BE CONTINUED)

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