“I think we should widen our prospects, you know, to those beyond our group.”
The after-dinner conversation had sped and spun through a year or more of catch-up between friends. At a café whose specialty was chocolate pastries and drinks, five college mates talked old times and timely issues.
They were two girls and three boys, 22 or 23, currently single, all barely out of college.
The kids ate dinner elsewhere, but wanted to keep talking, and so landed here. Other friends with other engagements or schedules to keep already bid good night.
The girl who just spoke was appending the current train of thought. Someone had asked the girls earlier what they looked for in a future beau.
From their answers, it seemed no one in their university org or no one their age would fit the bill.
No one remembered talk of boyfriends and girlfriends spoken about so candidly before.
One boy was nursing a dark cocoa shake he found too rich to finish.
“There are other fish in the sea. But you gotta swim,” he said.
The other boys cheered and gave him high-fives, thrilled to stumble upon an interesting extension to the usual advice offered to the love-spurned or the heart-broken.
“Hey, this is worth a blog post. Not just a tweet!” said Boy A to his seat mate, who wore glasses like him. Boy B smiled and kept shaking his head at the lengths the metaphor began to stretch.
Girl A, curls and all, warmed to the topic. “You should go out. Meet people,” she said. “Show that you’re available.”
“Isn’t that advice for them?” said short-haired Girl B, who pointed to the boys. “We’re the fish here.”
“Of course you can’t catch any fish by staying in a yacht,” Boy A plunged on.
“You’ve also got to gear up!” said Boy C. “You need the right equipment: goggles, suit…”
He passed a glass pitcher to Girl A. The five drank sips of cold water to wash down the sweet aftertaste of the chocolate.
The girls answered: “The fish could be hiding in the corals.” “Yeah, to get away from the muro ami (reef-hunters).” “Or the unworthy fishermen who use dynamite.”
Amid the chuckles, Boy B typed quick notes on his cell phone.
The whole affair had turned out a stream of topics made up on the fly–as any lengthy conversation would go.
Over dinner of chicken wings and noodles earlier, it was talk of buying cars and switching jobs. Before the fish and corals, a quick discourse on the currently-hot Reproductive Health and Divorce bills.
Then a pass at the good-old (albeit recent) college days.
Soon it was all talk of men, women, and relationships. Didn’t a psychologist suggest that young adulthood amounts to a quest for intimacy?
“I’ve always loved those movies where best friends fall in love,” said Boy B. “It is an attractive concept.”
“You were best friends with Girl B,” Girl A asked. “Didn’t you ever?”
Boy B smiled at Girl B who sat beside him. “The thought has crossed my mind…” he said, to laughs.
“At least someone admits to it,” Girl A said.
Fast forward–Boy A had given up on finishing his cocoa. But he was on a roll.
“You also have to know about the different schools of fish–UP, Ateneo…”
“Yeah, you have to know which one to join,” said Boy C.
Boy A kept on: “There are also what we call fish ponds–”
Girl B held out a hand. “Please, tama na (That’s enough).”
For the nth time that night, the five laughed.