I wanted to spend my last day in Siquijor by the beach. No healers, no witchcraft, no weird stuff. I booked at Blue Wave Inn. It’s a quaint resort with an awesome beach. My ex and I used to stay here frequently, and I was wary I might run into some old acquaintances. However, the resort has a new infinity pool, and the call of the waves was deafening. Memories be damned, I need a beach fix!
Mercifully, I didn’t see anyone familiar. There seemed to be a change in management, and the place was renovated too. I was given a welcome drink while waiting to be shown my room. I was the only local checked in, as the other guests were foreigners.
I thought I made the right choice in going there until I was shown my room—it was the room we usually used. The Universe and her little jokes. I refuse to let that dampen my mood. The room looked the same. I wish they renovated it too. I decided to go swimming, and let the water wash away my troubles.
After the pool, I sauntered on to the beach. Ah, my happy place! Alone, by the beach, gazing at the wide expanse of blue, the powdery sands in my toes, I didn’t want to leave. I wish I had a million dollars. I’m gonna buy this place and live here! I sat at this platform by the beach, lost in thought and staring at the horizon, waiting for the sunset while listening to my beach chill out songs when out of nowhere, an old man came. I was a little startled but I returned his greeting, nodded, and smiled. He stopped to chat. “It’s nice to see you again! It’s been a long time,” he said. I was confused. Surely, he must have mistaken me for someone else. “*Manong, do we know each other?” I asked. He didn’t look familiar. I suck at names, but I’m pretty good with faces. “I used to see you here all the time, with your boyfriend. Where is he?” he asked. Nosy old man. I had no plans of telling my life story to some stranger. “He’s in Manila,” I replied curtly while putting my earphones back, as if to say this conversation was over. I was a little weirded out. Just as he was walking on, he called out to me, “He sat there in that very spot too, you know, last year after you broke up. Staring out to sea, lost in thought. The very same thing you are doing now.” What the…? “What are you talking about?” I asked the old man. “Calvin of course. He, too, was torn up like you, Jen. You had the same look,” he said. My mouth suddenly went dry. I remember wanting to say something but the words got stuck in my throat. Oddly, I couldn’t remember what I did after. All I could remember was climbing down the platform, trying to follow the old man but he was nowhere to be found.
There was a foreign guy lounging a few meters from me. I walked up to him and asked if he saw the old man I was just talking to. He said he didn’t see me talking to anyone. I probably had this look of utter bewilderment that he asked me if I was okay. But what could I say? I wasn’t going to insist I was just talking to someone or he’d think I must have lost my mind. I told him I thought I saw someone. He started talking to me about his excitement for being there, how magical the island is, asked me about healers and other weird stuff. I nodded absentmindedly, told him I had to go. “Hey wanna grab some beers later? Tell me stories about this island,” he said. “Yeah maybe, if I’m not too tired,” I replied. He held out his hand and shook mine, “Nice meeting you. My name is Calvin, by the way.”
*Manong — a term for the elderly