"Hey, you might know this guy who's now attending this church. Younger brother of Ate Becky. You went to the same university. Fine Arts graduate," a girlfriend excitedly told me. A welcome addition to the single churchgoing male minority?
"No, I don't know him," I replied. But I knew Ate Becky.
One Sunday morning, this same friend pulled me aside as I was preparing for choir behind the sanctuary. "He's here!" she whispered and we both peeked through a slightly opened door. "That's him," she said trying not to be obvious. He was talking with some people before the service.
"No, he's not familiar," I said again and turned around, wondering what was so exciting about him.
On the contrary, I looked familiar to This Guy. He told me years later that he once saw me in the University circa '78. The image of a girl in long braids apparently stuck in his mind.
So here we were, attending the same church. Without my knowledge, Ate Becky started playing matchmaker and "promoting" me to her brother. He began to give it serious thought, serious enough to start praying about it.
Meanwhile, I was clueless...
Sometimes, ignorance is bliss. I felt relaxed around him whenever we bumped into each other. No awkwardness on my part. He turned out to be very friendly and easygoing.
He was one of the reasons why I was encouraged to join a small group of Young Professionals on a trip to Banaue Rice Terraces. I was not an active part of the group, but at least he was there to talk to if ever I felt left out.
The trip was fun and so was the company. But I was more absorbed with the beauty of the place and its chilly weather. It didn't occur to me that destiny was unfolding and my destiny was right there in that small group.
Having lunch in one of the roadside souvenir shops in Banaue.
I can't remember why we were eating in a souvenir shop.
There was probably no eatery nearby or we were being cheap.
We actually did not have a lot of one-on-one conversations on this trip but we briefly tried out a borrowed pedal-less wooden bike together. Kids rode this downhill and dragged it uphill.
Fast forward: So what happened after the surprising proposal?
(to be continued)