Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The VITO Experience pt. 1

If there was something I feared about going to college, it’s enlisting in the Army Reserve Training. The fear of being teased the straight men is inevitable. I never looked forward to the dreadful Sunday mornings led by a man we call the ‘Tiger’. My first day was generally okay. I did 5 push-ups and stood under the scorching heat of the sun for 8 hours. One thing I liked about it is that I had the chance to choose the hottest freshmen and sophomore in the whole university.

We didn’t have a huge field to conduct the weekly trainings. We were asked to train at the Army’s base which is almost two hours away from the campus. There I met Vito, a non-commissioned officer and a sophomore who was then taking up Physical Therapy.

I didn’t really know the job description of NCOs. What I noticed is that they don’t join the battalion. They gather us into formation and scream their lungs out to embarrass the freshmen standing right next to me. One time, we were giggling because a fellow cadet couldn’t hit the target at the shooting range, an NCO named Jared was about an inch close to his face and was asking what the fuck his problem was.

I thought it was pretty hot. Jared is undeniably cute and being that close to him makes me want to giggle some more. He spoke in straight and flawless English which is such a turn-on.

No matter how hot and sexy Jared looked, I only had a crush on him for a week. I realized later on that he was dating the rich, smart and popular student council Councilor Amy from the College of Sciences. He was definitely straight. Me no likey.

So I turned my attention to the gorgeous Vito. He was one of the most popular students at the College of Allied Medicine. Yes, he does have a gorgeous face but that wasn’t why people loved him. The guy’s got a great sense of humour and drives one of the coolest cars too. He also writes for the same major daily.

I don’t remember how our first conversation happened. I do, however, remember the time when I didn’t visit the headquarters for the signing of the logbook. It was when I was told that we’ll be training at the football field so we have to bring lots of Gatorade or water.

It was about 4: 30 AM when I arrived. The formation is in 30 minutes and I didn’t see a single cadet hanging around the stage and the bleachers. I was literally the only one in the field. I went around and asked a few people who passed by. They were Flag Football players who will be training in an hour or so.

I was already walking towards the main gate when Vito’s car showed up. He looked at me and drove away. I was like, ‘Hell, he didn’t even want to talk to me.’ I sat on one of the bleachers and waited for him to drive back to the gate. He did come back, parked his car and finally talked to me.

‘Did you sign the log book this week?’

'No but I was told we’re going to train here. Did you?’

'Nah, I was only told of the same thing. Where the hell is everybody?’

Don’t mind about them. Let’s start talking about you and me, I said to myself. The Army Reserve uniform fits him well. Although he is not really buff and has some baby fat surrounding his pelvis, his sweet looking face has overshadowed my thirst for his flesh.

‘I think I better check on the other site. Maybe they’re still there.’
‘Okay, Will do that too.’

He jumped back into his car and I walked back to the gate. I couldn’t believe it. Don’t these straight guys have manners? He didn’t even bother to offer me a ride. As I was ready to get on the next cab, he yelled out for me to get in the car. I was elated.

‘Thanks man.’ I said. I didn’t want him to think I’m one of those guys who take advantage of free rides.

‘We should get there fast. If they’re already in formation then we’re dead.’

He was always serious about the Reserve Corps. Although he didn’t apply to be an officer, he did have a special position and task being an NCO.

I was right. The other guys were already in formation and the headcount was being checked by another NCO. We got off the car and ran to the formation area. The officers were having a meeting and I was glad they didn’t see us.

‘Thanks Acosta.’ That was his last name. Although that name is sounds a Spanish, he said he was French/Spanish/Chinese/Pakistani.

‘You’re welcome.’ He smiled at me.


I was surprised that day for two things. First, we didn’t get caught and I didn’t have to do 50 push-ups. Also, we didn’t really do anything that day. We just listened to a battalion Commander teaching us how to assemble and disassemble a rifle. This was one rare opportunity to get to know the other cadets, most especially Vito.

‘Hey, I’m glad we didn’t get caught.’


‘What course are you taking?’

‘Physical Therapy. Sophomore. You?’

‘Journalism.’ This is when I noticed his initials on his uniform.

‘Your last name sounds very familiar. Acosta. Sounds like the last name of the editor from the newspaper I write for.’

‘You write for the Chronicle?’

‘Yeah, why?’

‘I believe you’re talking about my Uncle. James Acosta. He recently released a book—a compilation of all the essays written for the Youth section.’

‘You’re his nephew?! That’s cool!’

This was the point when we were both getting comfortable and was enjoying the sight of his eyes and lips. He obviously doesn’t smoke.

‘Yes, but before you even say it, I don’t get published because of him.’

‘What? You also write for them?’

‘Lifestyle section. I write about online games and stuff. I have a review coming up. It’s for this CGI flick.’

‘That’s cool. You should tell me when I t comes out.’

‘This Thursday.’

We shared a few more stories about school and the newspaper. It turns out we are both freelance correspondents for the Youth and Lifestyle section. He told me a few tips on how to get more articles published.

We ended the day with a salute to the General of the Army Division based in that compound. It was the best training I attended. As we were about to say our goodbyes, I turned to Vito who was standing right next to me.

‘Hey dude, thanks again for the ride.’

‘Yeah, don’t forget. Thursday. There’s another one coming up..’


‘And tell me what you think.’

‘Uhm, how?’

‘I’m sure I’ll see you in school.’

‘Yeah, I’m sure.’

But I wasn’t sure. His college was five blocks away from mine. I didn’t even know his schedule. I tried a few times to use my connection as a Student Assistant to find out what his schedule was. I went to his college, wishing we’d bump into each other. I’d tell him the article was great when I haven’t really read it. I’d talk some more and probably we can have lunch together. But it was impossible. This straight guy wouldn’t really spend that much time with a fellow cadet he just met last Sunday.

As I was holding his article at school, I was reading his name out loud. VITO ACOSTA. Very sexy. And he writes well. I looked forward to seeing him again and talking more not just about writing but about anything.

I didn’t see him for months. I moved to another battalion and he was moved somewhere else. It was on a wet Friday morning when I bumped into him at the Administration office.

‘Hey I know you.’ I said with a nervous voice.

‘I know you too. Musta?’

‘I’m cool. Haven’t seen you at the training lately.’

‘Yeah, they moved some of the NCOs to the office. I don’t go to the field anymore.’

‘Coolness. No wonder your skin’s fairer haha!’ What I really noticed is how cute he really was. His smile was glowing and his growing beard made him a little sexier than the last time I saw him.

I was ready to say goodbye when he stopped me.

‘You never really told me what you thought about it.’

‘Huh? About what?’

‘The article… Final Fantasy?’ I was surprised he remembered.

‘Oh.. right. It was great.’ Emphasis on GREAT. ‘ I loved it.’

‘Glad you did. I have another one this week. Don’t miss it.’

‘Yeah. Hey see you around!’


And I had a great feeling that I really am going to see more of him.

And I did.

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