Writing Challenge, Day 17
I'm kinda tipsy while writing this (had colleagues from overseas to entertain earlier; ended up drinking too much wine, i.e., two glasses). LOL! Anyway, after doing flashbacks and flash-forwards, I'm now jumping to the meetup between Bryan and the one he's texting from the taxi cab.
This is kinda short, so expect additional (and hopefully interestingly lengthy) details soon.
* * *
"Hi Barry, I'm so sorry I'm late," Bryan said as he approached the middle-aged man waiting by the taxi bay. "I didn't expect the traffic is going to be so bad at this hour," he continued.
"That's okay," the man replied good-naturedly, his blue-green eyes crinkling.
"Come on, how long were you standing here?" Bryan prodded.
"Oh just ten minutes," Barry replied.
Bryan raised his eyebrows in mock disbelief.
"Okay, so I did walk around the area for about fifteen more," Barry admitted, laughing.
"I'm sorry," Bryan repeated, laughing along to hide the embarrassment coloring his already flushed cheeks.
"That's alright. I did say 'take your time,'" Barry quipped. "Anyway, that's what I get for staying in a hotel near the area, I guess," he continued, scanning the buildings that surround the mall's main driveway.
Bryan said nothing. Instead he followed Barry's gaze, silently deciding what to do next. Their conversation was surprisingly easy, he realized, despite the fact that this is the first time they met face-to-face. They met online about a year ago, when Bryan was still working in Makati. Perks of being a call center agent, he had thought wryly. He had, after all, practically unlimited Internet access at work. While waiting for calls to come in or during their break times, he and some of his friends would check out online dating sites and chatrooms. It was on one of these sites where Bryan met Barry, an American twenty years his senior. Since then they've chatted and IM-ed countless of times, even when Bryan switched jobs and had a more regular work schedule. The previous month, Barry announced that he will be visiting the country for his yearly post-holiday, anti-winter break, and had asked Bryan to meet him when he arrives.
"So," Barry continued, as he started to walk toward the mall entrace. "Where do you want to eat?"