I was about to leave my desk for some coffee when his text popped up.

“Hey, up for a grocery shopping?” I checked the clock on my computer. 5.45 PM. He was done early.

“Sure. See you in five?” coffee can wait, I murmured

Our buildings were only twenty feet away, but his workload at the time-of-the-month like this made it harder for us to set a meeting or two (I wouldn’t say a date up to this point). Good thing he got his priorities sorted out. *cough*

I packed my bag and rushed to my office building gate, our meeting point. I caught his smile two minutes later.

With rolled up sleeves, leather postman bag and glasses on, he resembled young executive male at its finest.

He took out his phone and ordered an online cab. Awaiting its confirmation, we sat on a bench next to the gate and exchanged updates of each other’s life. We didn’t do texting much, hence the number of topics we could bring up in real life was countless.

I loved it. Hoped he did, too.

A few minutes later a red city car approaching from the front. He nodded to me. We both hopped in and headed to my least, yet his most favourite mall. Pejaten Village. No matter how hard he tried to convince me that the mall had everything you could ever ask for, I just hated it to the core. Period.

Little did I know that he referred ‘grocery shopping’ to hiking gear hunting. He’s got a checklist consisting of the essentials like footwear, safety items, compass, knife and the not-so-essentials like stylish sunnies and tongsis (lol no). Someone was up for Mount Rinjani.

“So do you hike on like a regular basis or what?”

My hands were now busy picking some flashlight. I insisted on the pink one because it was cute but he rolled his eyes then a small, ugly, black one completed our checklist.

“This is my first time actually. Five of us have planned it months ago. I gave it some thought but guessed it would be so much fun!”

His sparkly eyes looked so sparkling. He was always joy-fueled when it came to his love for adrenaline-rush activities. And often times, I found it contagious.

We ended the grocery shopping with a fancy dinner. Not the one with candles and dim light of course, our version was more like lele-kremes-nasi-bakul kind of fancy.

I loved it. Hoped he did, too.

Half hour and tens of empty plates later we headed back to his place to do the most fun part: packing. His hatred for ‘administrative’ task and my love for organizing wasn’t too coincidental. He knew and made the most of it. Boys.

I started doing my thing and he did his own—laying down with a laptop on his lap while frequently checking on my work. I asked about his Eurotrip (he just got back from the UK for his Master’s weeks ago). He asked about my interest in educational psychology. We talked about everything, but spent most of it on relationships. The friendship one, romantic one, family one.

Little did I know that he had such a soft spot for family-wise issues. I was tempted to dig deeper, but couldn’t risk the fun conversation.

I finished my work ten minutes later. All in one big blue backpack.

“Thanks! You’re the best,” he looked at his favourite backpack with sparkling eyes as if he did major part.

“Take care. Let me know once you’ve reached the top,” I grinned.

“What if I don’t make it?”

“Well,” I took a moment. “then I’ll be on standby at the lowest point,” I murmured. He smiled.

“See you in three days!”

We goodbye-hugged before I left.

Little did I know that apart from being a lone-wolf himself, somehow you could spot a slight fear in his eyes.

 

Take care, you.