I remember following him.
We were in Yogyakarta for the first time and didn’t have a proper map to guide us.
I said I wanted to go to a coffee shop I found on the Internet. I forget what it’s called. Some pretentious name that sounded like National Cafe or something. It’s ridiculous.
And so we walked for miles, with him leading the way.
Not admitting that we were lost.
My feet were starting to hurt as I struggled to keep my sandals on. Motorbikes and becaks whizzed past us. I’m pretty sure one almost ran over my foot. The drivers were unapologetic. They were too busy ferrying people back and forth.
Surely they would know where that damned coffee shop was?
So I asked him
why don’t we just hire a becak?
He said no, he knows how to get there.
That was an hour ago.
And yet we were still walking.
I wanted to kill him, my husband who didn’t like asking for directions. I was so angry.
Then a thought
what if I take the first becak that comes my way and just go back to the hotel alone?
I let him walk a few paces ahead of me, actually entertaining the sinister plan.
And then I saw on his nape the symbol that he let some tattoo artist carve onto his skin. It’s the first letters of our names in baybayin.
P + P
He had it done a few months after our wedding day.
As my anger slowly melted away, all I could think about was how I would follow this man to the ends of the earth.