A WHILE back, I was rushing a column. Deadline was near. Panic time. From the corner of my eye, I spotted a lad with longish hair. Half-looking at him, I said: “Please get me a cup of coffee?”

He didn’t answer.

I continued typing away.

Then the coffee arrived.

I can’t remember now if I said thank you or not.

I guess I didn’t. Was too consumed trying to break a sweat on my forehead, trying to burst a temple vein for blood to trickle down my cheeks.

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You know how hard it is to write: You don’t build castles in the sand, you erect mounds of rocks to recreate Fort Knox.

Years later, that scene had been recalled.

No, not that part about how I wrote that column.

Of particular import was the prelude to the column, written in Davao City.

This night, we were having a drink – in Davao City. It was at Ken Angeles’s well-loved Yellow Fin Tuna, a favorite haunt of Mayor Duterte.

I was with the best and the brightest sportswriters from the Visayas and Mindanao, all covering the PAL Interclub.

“Remember one time, Sir, when you were writing something, your column, I guess?” the kid said.

Umm, wait a second. Lemme…

He cut me. He dropped it like a bomb, and the explosion resurrected the Vietnam War.

“You suddenly waved at me and had asked for a cup of coffee,” he said.

I was speechless.

The first words I could utter were, “I hope I was not rude when I mistook you for a waiter?”

“Not at all, Sir,” he said.

”Thank God, for that.”

Months later, the same kid still sporting the flowing locks, had called me up.

“Sir,” he said. “I just had my first born.”

Before I could say congratulations, he said, “You will be the godfather of my son. My wife, Rora, has made sure of that.”

And so, on December 20, the kid and Rora’s first child, Michael Liam P. Limpag (nickname: Mico) was baptized at Cebu’s Sacred Heart Church in Jakosalem.

I was present, together with my fellow godfathers John Pages and Jingo Quijano, two of the most eminent sports columnists of Cebu.

Again, who was it who said that life is stranger than fiction?

Never in my wildest dreams did it ever occur to me that that “coffee boy” would one day become my kumpadre.

And my boss, too.