1. The midafternoon office hum is interrupted by a delivery guy bearing two bilaos of pancit palabok, pichi-pichi and barbecue from Amber’s. We quickly run out of plates and forks, but hunger makes us resourceful. Plastic cups and chopsticks do just as well for my first birthday treat here.
2. Without any ceremony, I hand over my non-wrapped 6th lunary gift. My Ian’s whoop of joy upon seeing it is gratifying. Thank you, book sale.
3. I notice a small bump on his finger; he answers my worried query withÂ ”I got burned by melted wax.” He then gives me a folded missive sealed with a crimson fleur de lis. Â I remember the Song of Solomon (8:6-7, NIV):
Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death,
its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire,
like a mighty flame.
Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot sweep it away.
If one were to give
all the wealth of oneâ€™s house for love,
it would be utterly scorned.