For Him

By Michelle Tan

I've been waiting for this moment for so long . . .

            BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE! It's my first time to eat one, well; I've been saving my first bite for today, because I've been lactose intolerant for twenty long years. Now that my doctor told me that I can consume small amounts of dairy a day. However, today is special. Yes! The last time I drank milk was when I was three, so I guess I have to eat one so that I can finally pamper my cravings. I'm not pregnant or anything. Just being adventurous. I'll tell you what's up in a little later, but I have to tell you. The cheesecake, so delectable, considering the fact that it is cold and a bit sweet and salty, the things I prefer in food. Wow! I just had my first aphrodisiac taste of wonder! Yet, before I jump into anything else, I'll tell you why today is remarkable.

            Everybody's got this feeling of attachment to a certain thing, right? I've been dreaming of this day since, like, forever. Twenty minutes ago, I felt my stomach grumble while I was squeezing myself at the rusty but functional jeepney. Today's a different kind of sweat. Normally, when I commute, I feel the smoke launched by the cars or inhaled from the pedestrians' cigarettes, distinct mixes of scent are floating freely in the air, the typical city noise that rings through your ears, the sweat that came from your skin and those from the ones beside you that brushed through your skin; I am telling you, the city is no place for dainty people, and it is most likely that you will have a headache in managing your way commuting from a place to place and to the way back home. Yesterday, when Lance told me something about our first date, all my past heartaches chaste the woes a kiss goodbye. It is today, and yes, I am commuting.

            I planned to dress this silky sateen in aubergrine knee cut dress, wear my simplest sandals, not wedges (for I cannot afford them) and tie my hair in a high bun with a red ribbon. Yet, since I am commuting, so instead of wearing them, I am simply bringing my clothes in a convertible bag. As much as Lance wanted to fetch me, I refused the offer because I was trying to be coy about things. I regret being coy sometimes. I don't know, it's in our culture sometimes to reject the offer to know a person's sincerity (you simply accept it when it is offered twice.) Lance didn't, I couldn't blame him, I mean, he grew up in an elite family with his mestizo, Italian features, him getting everything he needed--the education, the leisure, the praise, the opportunity, the security, and the support. Sometimes, I don't know why he picked me compared to the thousand girls who are waiting in line for him. Day dreaming about what his family and friends were like is bothering me to patch up with my time. I've been preparing for an hour now. I hope he likes me without the makeup, the usual me again. I bandaged my body with some quaint clothing--tees and shorts from granny. I grabbed the wallet and keys lying from the drawer near the exit door.
            That was twenty minutes ago before the traffic jam. My hands are stroking my bag and what's inside it, the dress. I couldn't imagine myself ending up in a "perfect guy" like Lance. Although what I couldn't understand right now is how come the mother before me is so incessant in talking about her divorce to her child. She is so negative about this as I can see the lines on her face grows a bit longer and how her pitch increases in an adverse manner. I don't want to end up like this, first my past life, now this. I say no more. Yet this traffic jam is endless. My spirit rises and my soul celebrates as the jeep gets to advance even for a while.
            My numb buttocks feel the sudden pinch when I realized that the blood flow was interrupted my single, unmoved position. Good thing I made it.
            To Mary Cherry Dine! At first I walked briskly not minding the patterns my feet are exposing, but then I paused and appreciated the nearby view of the bay almost nearby the cafe. I am glad Lance brought me. Roxas Boulevard is as exciting as Beverly Hills as my wildest travelling thoughts are pacing without limits. Here I go.
            A bell rang when I opened the glass door from the cafe. No sign of Lance yet. He told me he was in an important photo shoot at Cosmo Magazine. I couldn't condemn him for being late: he has fans, he gets booked by modeling companies, he is stuck in traffic, too and he might be thinking about me while dressing up. Okay, I'm kidding. I bet men like him don't even think about what ladies like me are being bothered about. Haha! I laugh without a reason to. I walk slowly at the entrance, feeling the air from the air conditioner, on top of the glass door, skim through my forehead and onto my cheeks. It is one of the loveliest feelings, aside from peeing and farting, that one person could ever feel. Plus, I don't have to worry about being disgusting and that no other person is behind me.
            Afterwards, when the moment has ended, I travelled through the "best" spot for him and me: at the glass window, in front of the bay. That view was reserved for us, what a thoughtful boyfriend. But first, I went to the restroom and dressed up. I locked myself into the most spacious cubicle. Well, I need it. When the fabric meets my skin, I forgot about all the previous heartaches I've ever felt back then growing up in the hands of my stepmother, stepsisters and with only my brother. They were vicious. One flashbacked appeared.
            On a park from the South, my stepmother stood near the ice cream vendor, watching Stella and Samantha play beside the mango tree with their high class Barbie's and a matching pink convertible for their dolls. I was sitting with my brother, Andrew, guarding their picnic stuffs. A man in plain white shirt with denim jeans and a towel in his neck asked me, "Why aren't you playing with them?" I answered, "They are not my sisters."
            That story is my past. I can't believe I revisited it once more. The comfort of silk fabrics on my skin is magnanimously effective on my healing. Lance's mom gave me one, this one I am wearing. I wrapped the straps of my sandals to my ankles, fixed my skirts, and got out from the cubicle. I clasp a thick amount of brown hair in my left hand and brushed the messy mounds it created. I tied it to a "fun bun" and rolled the red ribbon to finish up. I smiled at the girl through the looking glass. I can't believe that this grown young woman had a tragic story but can look so beautifully on the outside. I might as well, offer that girl a sense of dignity. When the main door from the restroom opened, I guess I am not alone in this room anymore. I left with confidence that my first date with Lance as his fiancé. Yes, we're getting married, soon.

            I walked through the exit door and find my way on our table. I was awed by the glamorous cuts embedded by the glass hanged by the high-class chains wonderfully tied up. The rays of light are fulfilling chasing and poking each other's ends making a great amount of prism spread through. The chains that clung at the ceiling are a gift of science as it follows the Law of Equilibrium. I remember seven years ago, at Physics class, when I first met Lance. He was the typical school heartthrob that fell for the wallflower. That story.
            "Aila, you made it!" A husky, light but angelic voice lightened up the air. It was Lance! He looks so royal with his cream-colored cardigan that matched his pants. He wore a zipper tie. He looks amazing!
            "You look so beautiful. My angel." He told me then kissed my lips. I moaned a bit while holding his arms.
            "You look so angelic too." I love the way he dresses, clean and simple. He looked through my eyes. I love the way he does it. I observed the way he opened his lips with those tantalizing eyes.
            "Aila Vee Hue. I love you" I bursted into laughter as soon as he said it.
            "You don't have to say my soon-to-be name twice. Right now I'm still Aila Scape" I reminded him, even though I know his point. Sometimes I want to play philosophically. If we traded surnames, mine would be Aila Vee Hue like I love you, and his would be Lance Scape like landscape.
            "I know, smart girl. I've always admire the way you close your eyes while laughing (at me.)" He replied.
            "Well, you're such a fuzzy, sometimes! Anyway how was your day?" I asked him.
            "Ahh, modeling is fun. I like the atmosphere before the lenses of the camera and acting out different characters on set. But I also like the swift changes as soon as you're off camera."
            "Wow, you're deep man! I feel you."
            "I was thinking about you all day. And I wasn't wrong. You look so mesmerizing."
            "Commuting is harrowing." I regret telling that.
            "You commuted? I told you I should've fetched you. I am still wondering how fantastic you look after that exhausting ride on the way here."
            "It was traffic. I have these for you." I reached for the box inside my bag and extended my arms to give it to him. "Open it on you're birthday, okay."
            "Ahhh. It's not until next week. Fine! Even though this knocks the curiosity out of me." I returned a smirk to him. He bit his lips. I want to bite those lips.
            The man dressed in fine black and white uniform handed us the menu. "Ma'am, Sir." And left us for a while.
            I browsed my eyes unto the folder. Wow, kid! The price is high, but always right. "I'll just have the blueberry cheesecake please." Well, it's the cheapest on the list and I am dying to taste one.
            "Love, you can order anything you want. I'll take care of you."
            "Such sweet words, babe, but I am in the mood for a lip-smacking dessert. I hope you're fine with it. Please." He fills the butterflies on my stomach with his thoughtfulness.
            "I know, but still, eat. I'll order for you if you want."
            "I just want a cheesecake. But fine, I'll eat the Sweet and Sour Chicken with Spaghetti Bolognese."
            "Hmmm. Great choice. And for the drink?"
            His face is blank. It always happen. I can't help but stare at his well-defined bone structures. He has the weirdest cheekbones. But his nose, oh my Lord! It always points him in the right direction. His lips, well, thick and long. He has flaws in his face, too, just like a normal person. Maybe it was due to the cakelike cosmetics powdered unto his face every shoot. Even though he seemed perfect, he has a lot of imperfections and I brace them as I can. I'm glad he didn't wear makeup. I know, he's a man and I am a lady, it is peculiar for a woman to think about it outright to his man. We both hate makeup. It gives me rashes, it widens his pores...End of statement.
            "I wonder what you're thinking." He said frankly.
            "Well, I'm glad you look clean today."
            "By clean you mean refreshed?" He looked puzzled.
            "No makeup, I mean. Hahahaha." Here goes my endless chuckle once more.
            "I like it when you laugh a lot. But I'll order, okay." He snapped his fingers and the waiter came.
            "Are you ready to order, sir?"
            "Yup. I'll have one Chicken and Pasta, one Sweet and Sour Chicken with a single bowl of Spaghetti Bolognese, one family-sized Blueberry Cheesecake, and a bottle of white wine."
            I tried to sum up all the digits in our order. I imagine all the zeroes counting up.
            "Love, don't worry, I'll handle this. My mom said she likes your book. My whole family loves and accepts you. Don't worry about the past. Okay."
            "I'm not worried about it at all. Just thinking if maybe we could spend our vacation in Ocean Adventure Island. I thought it would be perfect before we handle our wedding plans. We both love adventure as well!"
            "That's a wonderful idea!" Then he checked his phone, probably his schedule. "I cleared all my plans for tomorrow. Are you game?" He said, but after nodding he dialed someone. "George, a week for the whole Ocean Adventure Premium Package. Yes, exclusive." He looked at me and continued, "For two people only. Hire a photographer. Yes. Tell Miriam to handle all the clothes Aila and I would be wearing. Yes, same size." He ends his call.
            "Tomorrow? You're so spontaneous." I told him.
            "I like taking risks you know. I want to spend every second of my life with you. I love you, Aila."
            "I love you too."
            "You said your name with a two!" He laughed. He got back at me! I pouted at him. "Joke only."
            Okay, I am half full with the Spaghetti. I can't believe how its sauce tastes so scrumptious, and a small amount of mozzarella cheese melting in my mouth and the soft pasta arousing my tongue with flavor. I couldn't wait to take a bite for the cheesecake. I took a slice of it, forked some and launched at my mouth. Delicious. I swallowed some more. Somehow it tastes like childhood. The sweet crumbs of pie unfolds my every bite reminds me a memory of my father. The cream that is quite cold reminds me of how beautiful it was to be freed from the hands of stepmother by the authorities. Yet, something chokes me. I remember the taste of it. Devouring but the pain of it is obsolete, bearable, and annoying. It reminds me of the past, when I was half poisoned by someone. This could only be done by one person, stepmother!

For Him For Him Reviewed by Michelle Tan on 4:38 PM Rating: 5


  1. Fun fact: This was actually a part two of my original work for Cinderella story. The first one was created one year and six months ago by my elective class. I called it West Girl. Aila lived a tragic life from her school being bullied by her batch mates, and at home at the hands of her stepmother who brutally abused her, her stepsisters who vowed to make her life miserable, and her memory of the death of her younger brother Andrew, who was "accidentally" killed by her adopted family. Lance was the typical perfect guy in school. He sticked to the status quo of being the King of The Campus. He fell in love with a Theater Girl who apparently was Aila. He changed a lot and finally Aila sued her family, thanks to Lance's support. Comment if you want to me to post Part One.

  2. Awesome! I love everything about this! I am proud of you as my daughter.

  3. FUN FACT: Cinderella story is the most used fairy tale of SOS because she is the writer's favorite Disney Princess.


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