Tinder Tailor Soldier Spy (Part 2)

29 Mar

Chapter 3: Cover Story

Ever since our first meeting, I noticed how Jayson has started to text me more regularly – daily even. I mean, he would still go missing for a few days once in a while but at least now, he would endeavor to tell me beforehand of his anticipated travels. He didn’t want me to wonder why he hadn’t texted. He also didn’t want me to think he was flaking on me for good. Little thing, yes, but I appreciated this gesture a lot… while at the same time I wondered what could he possibly be doing in his job that he couldn’t send me a text for a few days at a time. I mean, so what if you traveled out of town? It is not like you lose your mobile phone signal in the provinces right? But I killed the thought and convinced myself it was way too early to demand for so much.

As far as I know, or as far as he made me believe, he would make sure to ask me out whenever he was back in Manila. So yes, Jayson and I have gone out on a few more dates, and boy was every date great and fun!

Jayson was definitely a man of colorful stories. Every time we saw each other I learned something new and interesting about him:

He has talked about his parents, his sister and nieces, and his friends back in the US. He shared about the little rift he has had with his sister because he was always the good son – achieving great feat academic and career wise, while his older sister has always been involved in a lot of troubles.

Once, he showed me pictures of his pet Elsa – a Siberian husky he named after the character in Frozen because he said it was his nieces’ favourite movie. He showed me photos of him driving his truck while Elsa was right by his side at the passenger’s seat. He showed me pictures of California where he resides.

He told me he got Elsa before he was sent to the Philippines because he wanted some sort of family in his house waiting for him whenever he returns from an overseas assignment. He had hired a dog-sitter to look after Elsa and sometimes the sitter would send him pictures and videos of the dog. He said his job has made life a little lonely for him, but now he was thinking if he did make the right decision of getting a dog that he would just leave behind all the time.

He has told me that his job required him to be away from home a lot. He also said he’s lived in more than thirty countries already. I asked how that was possible and he said he usually gets assigned in one country for 6 months or less (but never more), then he’d move to another country for a fresh 6 months, and so on. He has been working for this water-filtration company for around 15 years already. He said it was founded by a very good friend of his that was why when such friend asked him to be a part of it, he couldn’t say no. That was also why his dedication to his job was that great.

Of course, being the upright woman that I am, I made sure to ask the most important question of all: I asked if he left any girlfriend or wife back in the U.S. He said no with sufficient resolve, although, he shared that he almost did get married way, way back but he and his fiancée broke up months before their wedding because of  – guess what – his job.

 

Chapter 4: The Viber Anomaly

In the course of our hanging out, I had asked Jayson to install Viber because I find it much easier to communicate there. I had this impression that he never used this messaging app before. He did install it right after I asked him to. When he tried to send me a test-message via such app, I noticed something strange.

See, Viber puts up this default thumbnail showing the first letter of your Viber-registered name when you don’t upload any picture as your profile image. Jayson did not upload a picture of him in the said app. So what I was supposed to see in my phone, right by the left side of his name, was the default purple letter inside a gray tile. Oddly enough, the thumbnail that appeared was a letter “R” — when it should’ve been a “J”.

Probably just a Viber glitch. Or a bug. I told myself calmly.

I did not mention this anomaly to him. I actually forgot about it for a while. But looking back, this little technical glitch actually gave away two crucial things which I had chosen to ignore:

  • He has used the app before, otherwise Viber would not have recorded or captured the first letter of his name; and
  • He’s had another name.. and it wasn’t “Jayson”, that’s for sure.

While this is something I decided not to ever bring up in our conversations, I later on discovered the real explanation behind the curious letter “R”. Funnily enough, a story that would come from the horse’s mouth itself was what would birth sense into this anomaly. And he didn’t even know I had put the puzzle pieces together in my mind.

I guess it is also worth noting here that this Viber anomaly is significant in one other respect:

Of all the incredible but unverifiable things he has told me and would soon tell me about his life – the story about his name/s is one of the very few things I am sure are true; And believe me when I say that in this account, a single truth would matter so damn much already.

 (TO BE CONTINUED)

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