opportunities.. .

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by the time i was on the vessel that was to take us back to the mainland, Joey was already seated.. . quite near to where i found a place to sit down – across the aisle and a row in front of me.

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chances. these come and go. the very same way that night comes after day. but unlike the regular setting of the sun or the waning of the moon, the two events tightly woven into our lives, chance has to be realized and grabbed.. . or you miss it.. . or you just let it pass you by.

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the woman beside me is of blood. visiting her homeland every few years. the land of seven thousand and a hundred islands. the land where so many have died for its so-called freedom. her constant chatter always amuses me. it is amazing how she could still be wide awake and talk a lot, despite her lack of sleep and jet lag.

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she was bubbly (that was Joey’s very word). happy. friendly.

it is funny how you try to describe someone else, only to end up describing yourself. is it because that’s exactly how you make others feel.. . just like you?

and how we came to be just an aisle apart on the plane was too good to be coincidence. I would say it was destiny. but only it is not. chances. you have to grab them.

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dried mangoes? the bubbly girl wanted to take some back to her family. somehow, word of this tasty and sweet delicacy most locals ignore, has travelled as far as the shores of her native land. it’s that island known for its symbol of a half-lion, half-mermaid creature. in a matter of hours on that same fateful day, she would be going home. she was on her return trip.. . in the same way that i was.. . from vacation.

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beads of water trickled down from the air-conditioning vents at the center of the cabin’s ceiling, downwards to the overhead luggage bins, and down the sides of the plane’s interior. from time to time, the water droplets would just fall randomly from the ceiling to anyone or anything beneath it. i got hit twice. my seatmmate, Glen, who had his videocam rolling to record this funny “characteristic” of the plane, got his hand watered with a barrage of free-falling droplets. on defrost.. . like a refrigerator with its thermostat turned to zero. that is the best way to describe that moment. the caucasian guy to my right was ecstatic about this, while i was only slightly amused, and at the same time, terrified at the thought that this thing i was on might just fall apart in mid-air. but an hour or so later, it touched down safe and sound. i always hate flying.

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Joey was wearing a skimpy black dress with spaghetti straps. the dress was simply daring and eye-catching. definitely very sexy on her. seated, her dress would hike all the way up her legs. past her knees. from time to time she would, unconcsiously, pull down her dress a little. like doing that would somehow cover the entire length of her legs. embarrased over what she was wearing? funny how she should feel that way (yet still make it look natural) when @ the beach she was clad in the skimpiest 2-piece bikinis most of the time (?).
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on the plane coming back from the island-beach-paradise to the international airport was something i will remember for a long time. the plane on the return trip looked better inside. water was not dripping everywhere. there were only a few people on that flight. and the one who was travelling alone.. .

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