An Ashlloyd Story
December 19, 2010, right after ASAP / Inside someone’s dressing room
He walked to her dressing room still wearing his costume from their presentation. He looked inside and saw that there were several people, but she was only with her assistant, the new one that got featured on TV.
She looked up and saw that it was him. “Wow, the Pharaoh of Egypt gracing us with his presence. To what do we owe this honor?”
“Just dropping by to see how you are after that hair-whipping performance. And to gloat over the fact that Pharaohs can beat elves anytime. And I’m willing to bet my life on that.”
“Oh yeah? Well don’t get too comfy up there on your high horse Pharaoh. The elves may just kick your butt next year. But kidding aside, you were hilarious. ”
“Thanks. And you weren’t so bad yourself whipping that hair. That was awesome. But you did not happen to break a vertebra on your neck, did you? “
“I could still move it from side to side so I don’t think so.”
“Aside from checking up on your neck, I also came by to give you this. ” He handed her a small square box, about five inches in width and wrapped with a tiny ribbon.
“A Christmas gift, a New Year’s gift or just a plain gift. Whatever you might want to call it. But don’t open it yet. Just do it when you get home.”
“Now you’ve got me really curious as to what’s inside.”
“Nah, it’s just something that I thought you might use.”
“Well, thanks for this. Unfortunately, I haven’t done my shopping yet so I don’t have one to give you.”
“That’s okay. A Porsche or a Ferrari would be fine even if it’s given kinda late.”
“Really now. I heard a certain gas station is selling model cars of those. So don’t worry, I’d get you one.”
He smiled and looked at her for quite some time without saying a word and then finally said, “You are okay.”
“Of course I am! Who wouldn’t be when the Pharaoh himself visits me bringing gifts of goodwill.”
He laughed and then suddenly remembered the times they used to be like this, bantering and trading jokes.
“I just wanted to make sure, that’s all.”
“Hey, I had a blast watching your movie, by the way. And I heard it’s doing really well. I’m so happy for you.”
“That line’s been said so many times by so many people, it sometimes has lost its meaning to me. But if there’s anyone in this world who says “I’m happy for you” and really means it, it’s you.”
“Are you sure about that? If you haven’t noticed lately, my acting skills have considerably improved. I could be practicing it on you right now for all you know.”
“Yeah, you could be. That’s why I’m trying to improve on my other talents, like my dancing skills. In this business, one can’t rest on his laurels.”
He got closer and leaned over as if he was about to say something top secret. Whispering so that only she could hear, he said. “You know, when it got around that you mentioned about a guy who’s magaling sumayaw, the first person I thought of was me.”
She laughed loud enough for the rest of the people inside to look their way. But she did not notice at all.
“I mean, magaling sumayaw,” he deadpanned, “who else could it be but me, right? That’s why I was so surprised when some guy thought it was him you were referring to. Modesty aside, if I were not that busy, Teacher Georcelle would have offered me a spot with the GForce. But between my singing and acting career, I really can’t squeeze it in.”
This time she really was laughing so hard, her eyes were almost tearful.
And he was transported to the time when he would hear her laugh almost everyday. And how he missed those days. And right now, he felt something tugging at his heart, something that reminded him of a different time and place, something that he buried long ago and never planned to dig up. But here it is now, trying to resurface.
There were many who could make her laugh. But when it came to him, it was different. He had a way with him that even when he did not say a word, she could not help herself from laughing, even in situations where she shouldn’t.
The room suddenly filled with people coming in. He stood up and said, “Guess I’ll have to go.”
For a moment she wanted to tell him , please stay for a while. But she didn’t. Instead she said, “Thank you. For everything.”
He nodded and smiled. “Merry Christmas.”
When she got home, she went inside her room and took out the present that he gave her. She opened it and when she saw what was inside, she couldn’t help but smile. And she laughed softly when she got to read the note inside: “Kapag may spiel tayo, huwag ka masyadong magwala”. She held the bracelet and studied it for a while and then she slipped it on her wrist. She decided that it fitted perfectly and wondered how he had gotten something like this in so short a time. But then she remembered that when it comes to him and the things that he does, she should not be wondering anymore.
And somewhere, someone was lying down on his bed thinking about the events of his day. He had this habit before going to sleep to review the day’s activities, whether what happened made it an ordinary or an extraordinary day. He closed his eyes and the last thing he remembered before he fell asleep was the beauty of a girl’s laughter. Was that enough to make that day extraordinary?
To him it was not enough. It was more than enough.