Stay With Me


January 23, 2016

It was late January. On a Saturday. In front of hundreds in the studio and thousands more inside of their homes. I was still reeling from how beautiful you looked wearing that suit earlier, down that made up aisle in the middle of the stage with your hands clasped together. You looked paler than usual and I wondered if you thought about it too — us, being together, getting married, and having a family. It happened briefly, the thoughts I mean, and I remember how scared I was that I even thought about it because I guess, I realized that there’s a part of me that wishes for it to happen.

But not now. Not yet.

We haven’t even gone out on a proper date.

On our break we sat by the gazebo we’ve claimed as ours. You asked me how I was (again) and I said that I was okay (again), and then your eyes did that thing where it would linger on mine. I held on to your gaze for as long as I could, and then I passed off my shyness with a joke I heard from Dean this morning. You laughed, I smiled, and when you looked away because Direk Pat called you, I took the chance to start breathing like normal (again).

We started to talk about everything and nothing, laughed about everything and nothing. At one point, a member of the staff came in with a cup of siomai from the store across the street and you asked me, silently, if I wanted some too. I shook my head ‘No’ because my stomach was still full from the swarm of butterflies that decided to flap their wings incessantly when you intertwined your fingers with mine during the opening scene.

Scratch that.

The things that moved inside my stomach earlier were just the caterpillars wrapping themselves up in a cocoon.

The actual butterflies started to appear when you put your hand over my eyes and started guiding me towards the stage. A Thousand Years was playing in the background but I found it hard to appreciate it with the lack of vision and all.

I made a mental note to tell you to stop doing the whole blindfold thing because it honestly scares the crap out of me.


…Will you catch me?

You started playing Thinking Out Loud on the ukulele and it felt like the butterflies were just floating around with the big breakfast I had this morning. I chalked their calmness to the fact that you told me that you were going to play this song earlier.

It wasn’t until you sat behind the keyboard with me next to you did I feel the force of the butterflies’ wings banging inside of me. I forgot that I was playing a role and it’s entirely your fault because…you remembered.

And for the first time since this wonderful, inexplicable, and confusing happenstance of our (maybe) love story, I was the one who managed to hold my gaze longer.

I saw how proud you were over the fact that this was entirely your idea, that it had RJ written all over it and not Alden. I saw how RJ quietly told Nicomaine that he remembered the story she shared with him all those months ago. The one where she told him offhandedly that Sam Smith made her cry when she heard him sing this song live.

That’s when I saw you. Right smack in the middle of dimmed lights and cheers that faded into soft whispers so that I can only hear you. You furrowed your eyebrows as your fingers listlessly pressed the keys, sometimes hovering over the blacks and the whites, until every note came together to form a piece.

The butterflies flapped their wings along the rhythm of my heart and I allowed them because I wanted to focus on you.

At that moment I felt like I was in one of those old fashioned movies that’s coming to an end and everyone is screaming “Tell him you love him already!”

But I couldn’t.

Not now.

Not yet.

We haven’t even gone out on a proper date.

Let me know what you think about it by tagging me with your favorite quotes/lines on Twitter! (ninnabautista) You can also just yell with me on there if you want haha


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