She only had one condition for this dress: It has to be purple.
Oh, and also transformable. But we’ll get to that later.
I woke up that day feeling like I didn’t have any rest at all. I was still warm from the fever last night. With eyes barely open, I squinted at the phone screen while I typed, erased, typed, and erased my conflicted thoughts. I actually finished my message – a simple but heartfelt apologetic text that detailing why I cannot join the celebration that night. One tap on the send button was all it would take. One tap. And then, I can be back to sleep in peace.
But I still couldn’t do it.
On one hand, I can just send the message, give a call if need be, and I can continue regaining strength for my next projects. On the other hand, I can just suck it up, chug down paracetamol, get dressed, and hope for the best. Comparing my stamina today versus back then, I couldn’t imagine how on earth I still managed to find the energy to get up. I just couldn’t not be there. I seriously wanted to attend the debut (and spare my client of trouble over how complicated the gown was, really). But for what it’s worth, I made the right choice. This….actually turned out to be a life-changing night.
I was a fresh grad. First year in the freelancing life, not much experience and a lot of groping in the dark happening everyday, I didn’t really know what would come, more often than not. But as the wheels of fate turned in favor of me that night, I managed to impress a couple among the guests. And so, I scored my first ever wedding client.
It was in the buffet line when I heard a sudden whisper: “Do you also make wedding gowns?” Of course, I said yes. I mean I only had my college experience, but sure. Deep inside, I was still iffy about my ability. I wasn’t exactly Best in Garment Construction…yet. But if I won’t take the leap, what will ever happen to me? So I did.
I had the chance to give my gift to the debutant later that night, as we “transformed” her gown to a cocktail dress. I got an unexpected happy hug from Kim, and a lot of confused guy friends. I wasn’t sure why not many could tell it was still the same dress, hah.
The rest of the night went pretty awesome, actually. I made a lot of friends, did silly photobooths, got lost on the way home all night, and went to bed at six the next day. As I lay flat on the cushions warming my exhausted back, it was the only time I realized where I was. Twenty-four hours ago, I was staring at the same ceiling, holding the same phone, and resting on the same bed. But I was no longer torn. I felt satisfied. I felt lucky. And more than anything, I felt no regret that I didn’t tap on that send button.
Photos by: Darlene San Agustin and Mikko Pena