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You could never accuse me of flirting with this charming guy from Denmark, because it’s he who smiled first when our eyes met in between our seats during a bus ride from Cebu City last week. “Whom are you gonna give that cake to?” Steffen, a handsome businessman from a city called Aarhus, asked.

I answered, “That’s for my 98-year-old grandma. It’s my belated Valentine present to her.”

Before and after we took this photo during a five-minute bus stop in Barili, we enjoyed conversing as though we’d been close friends for a long time—giggling, sharing phone numbers, and adding each other to Facebook—on topics ranging from our individual preferences to anything around Filipino and Danish culture.

But if there’s one thing that I learned most, it’s about not assuming too much that every smile aimed at me would mean love at first sight. With my animated way of carrying the conversation, I would presume that Steffen had an inkling of my sexuality. And because he kept poking me for just about any topic under the sun, I was thrilled at the thought that, probably, he was so smitten with my charm, or, possibly, he was bound to be my boyfriend.

But not really . . . especially when he started talking about this or that girl he met somewhere. What?

I awoke to the realization that some guys are just naturally friendly towards any person, despite differences in sexual preference, culture, and beliefs. That’s what kept our conversation going, until he got off in the touristy town of Moalboal. And that’s how he gained my trust and crush: he’s super nice, well-spoken, and very hot.

The following day, I received a text message from him saying that he’s already in Dumaguete City. And, oh, we look forward to seeing each other again, over a cup of coffee either at Cebu I.T. Park or at Ayala Center Cebu, when his friend from Europe arrives next month. Who wants to tag along?

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