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I attended a debut last night. It was a pretty big bash. The debutante was a high school classmate.
I really didn't know the debutante that much. Okay, so she was a classmate of mine. However, I found myself feeling out of place last night. A lot of the people from my high school were invited.
It felt like high school all over again. There was this social pecking order in high school that came in the room full-force. Maybe it was all in my head; maybe the stares and glances of contempt or disdain were all imagined.
Three of my friends were also invited: Leandro, Nicolo, and Keo. Keo was the most flexible of us four; Nicolo the least.
I hitched a ride to the debut with Leandro. His parents brought us to the event. I remember what his dad was telling us.
"Wala kayong rango (rank). It's all bullshit. You're out of high school already."
He had a very good point. A full year separated now from the last days of high school. And yet, you could discern the pecking order. It was still there. We were still at the lower bounds of the social order.
There were very gracious people in the crowd, of course. They greeted us, talked to us, asked us how we were doing.
Maybe it was all in our mind.
My friends and I left early. We strolled into Starbucks and I treated them. Over Mocha Frapps and a Cappucino, we talked about life, love, and the debut.
"Hindi na uso 'yan," Keo stated with finality when asked about courting. "Become the girl's best friend, then see if it can be moved to the next level. If the girl doesn't like you, then you can't do anything."
"But," I inquired, "isn't that what courting is about? Getting the girl to like you?"