The Flying Colors
By clefairy
Date: May 14, 2023

“WHAT? You’re already here in Manila?!” Chastity almost covered her ears when her best friend Karen shouted on the other line. After arriving at the NAIA airport in Manila, she immediately called her best friend. 

“I thought your flight is still tomorrow?" Karen asked. 

“I wanted to surprise you, Karen,” she answered, chuckling at her. 

“OMG!” Karen shrieked on the other line. She heard a loud bang on her best friend's end. “Lucky, get up. We need to go to the airport.”

Lucky is Karen's younger brother. 

“No need to pick me up, Karen," Chastity said to her friend. "I'll just grab a taxi."

“No, Chas! We’ll pick you up," Karen insisted. "Just stay there and wait for us, okay? We’ll be there in thirty.”

While waiting for Karen, Chastity decided to drop by a coffee shop at the airport. She ordered her favorite frappe and occupied the table near the entrance. She then picked up her phone and texted Karen her exact location. 

After living in Davao for eight years, she was back and going to live again in Manila. 

She was almost finished with her drink when she saw Karen together with her brother Lucky. They were coming towards her. Chastity glanced at her watch. She only waited for thirty minutes. 

“Chas! I missed you!” Karen excitedly said as she welcomed her with a hug. She even tried to jump while hugging her. 

“I missed you, Karen.” Chastity muttered. 

“Welcome back to Manila, Chas,” Lucky said after Karen let go of her. Her best friend's brother was two years younger than them. 

“Lucky.” Chastity grinned as she pulled in Lucky for a hug. “Wow, you're so tall now! You grew up so fast. The last time we saw each other, I was still taller than you." Now, Lucky was already taller than her by a half foot. 

“Tsk, you tricked me!” Karen pouted as they headed to the parking lot of the airport. Karen said that she brought a car. “You told me your flight's still tomorrow. Gosh, I can't believe I came here to the airport without taking a bath."

Karen was only wearing a pair of maong shorts and a spaghetti strap blouse. While his brother Lucky was only in his cargo shorts and a white t-shirt. Even his hair was still slightly disheveled. 

“Sorry for the trouble, guys." Chastity pouted. "I told you, I could just take a taxi."

Karen playfully rolled her eyes at Chastity. "I don't want you to get lost."

Chastity chuckled. "Really, Karen? I've been away from Manila for eight years, but I still perfectly know your address."

Karen just grinned before pulling her again in another hug. “I’ve really missed you, Chas. I'm happy you're back."

Karen was her childhood friend. Their parents were both friends and neighbors when Chastity's family still lived here in the metro. Karen was the sister she never had.

She was thirteen years old when her family moved to Davao. Her father was from Davao. When her grandfather died, their family was forced to move back to Davao to manage the business that her grandfather left there. 

Her parents decided to sell their house and lot here in Manila to permanently live in Davao. 

But even though Chastity and Karen were miles apart, they still continue to communicate. 

“I really can’t believe you’re here. And we’re gonna be schoolmates,” Karen excitedly said while they entered their car. She was in the front seat beside Karen while Lucky was in the backseat. 

“I can't believe Aunt Alicia allowed you to transfer here in Manila," Karen said to her as she started the car engine. 

Chastity was a second-year Communication Arts student in Ateneo de Davao. But then she was here in Manila because she was going to transfer to Montello University, a famous university here in Manila where her friend Karen also studies. 

Her parents allowed her to move back here in Manila given that she would stay at Karen's house. 

"Yeah." Chastity just smiled at her best friend. "I'm happy I'm back, Karen. I missed Manila."

“THIS is the campus library.”

Karen pointed at the huge building in front of them. 

Montello University had a huge campus. After her best friend accompanied her to the enrollment, Karen toured her around the campus.

“The Business Ad building is kind of far away,” Karen commented while they were having snacks in the cafetería. Her friend was taking up Marketing Management. The Business Ad building was on the other side of the campus, almost half a mile away from the College of Arts and Letters.

“Even our class schedules are different from each other," Karen continued to lament while checking out her registration card. 

"It's fine, Karen," Chastity smiled. "It's not as if we won't see each other. I'm staying at your house, remember?" 

"Well, yeah." Karen pursed her lips as she took a bite of her pizza. "By the way, Chastity."

“Hmm?” Chastity looked at her friend. 

Karen now looked concerned about something. “You know… You're aware that your ex-boyfriend also studies here in Montello, right? What if…you see him?"

Chastity suddenly stopped sipping her iced tea. "Karen…" 

Karen then shrugged her shoulders. "But anyway, Montello is big, Chastity. There's still a possibility that you won't cross paths with each other."

After leaving the campus, Chastity and Karen went to the mall to watch a movie. They also had their dinner there. 

"I need to buy some books, Karen," Chastity said as she pulled Karen toward the bookstore. 

“Oh, shucks!” Karen tugged her shirt when they saw a standee of a K-pop idol outside the cosmetic shop just beside the bookstore. “That's my love Minggyu!”

Her best friend Karen loves everything about Korean pop culture. She likes listening to Korean pop songs and is a Korean drama addict. 

Chastity just shook her head and chuckled when Karen took out her phone and snapped a selfie with the standee of her idol. 

"I'll just check out something in the bookstore, Karen," Chastity said as she left Karen and went inside the bookstore by herself. 

She was a bibliophile at heart. In fact, she had her own library in her parents' house in Davao.

She was browsing for books on the huge shelf of the bookstore when a familiar cover of a book caught her eye. 

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