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Nung bata pa kami. But now is very much different! Kahit na ba iisa kami ng mukh a. Kahit na ba aminado `kong pareho kaming maganda. I never thought that I would wake up one day and be Jean Rose forever! Sabi nga ni Bea Alonzo sa movie na Sa `yo lamang kaya kong lahat `wag lang `to. So mething like that. At lalong hindi ko kayang maghimala! I can t be Mama Mary! Hind i ko kayang maghimala Hindi ba nila alam na hindi ako Immaculate Concepcion? Hind i ako santa. So I think, kahit anong hiling ko kay God ay hindi ako lililiman ng kung anumang espiritu. Mrs. Sunico? I flinch. I look up to see all their eyes on me. I am not Mrs. Sunico! Gusto ko `yong isigaw. Handa na `kong tumakbo. Kung hindi ko pipirmahan `yun marriage cer tificate eh di walang legal na kasal. Ganon lang kasimple. The paper looks like a snake ready to jump on me. Napaatras ako. Bahala na si Julian? I bumped into him. Ang likod ko ay lumapat sa dibdib niya. He was there al l along. He smiled at me. And I ll tell you. It wasn t a smile. It was more of a gri mace. I couldn t meet his eyes. Mabilis akong humarap sa taong nagpapapirma sa `ki n ng marriage certificate. My feet are frozen on the ground. I feel my back pres sed against his hard muscled chest. Lumakad siya which tugged me along him. His strong arms surrounded me all of a sudden. Kinuha niya ang ballpen at inilagay s a mga kamay ko. Napatingala ako. Wrong move. His brown chinito eyes sought mine. Bumaba ang ulo niya at tumapat halos ang bib ig niya sa gilid ng bibig ko. Biglang napahawak ako ng mahigpit sa ballpen at na papirma ng wala sa oras. Pinirma ko ang initials since pareho kami ng initials n a JR Leviste. That s my girl. I thought I am going to faint any minute now. Malamang na sa tingin ng ibang tao ay sweet na sweet kaming magkayakap. Little did they know that this big brute i s threatening me to sign this damned document that will bind us forever. Kiss! Kiss! No! My mind is screaming. My heart is racing. Forever. Marriage. And this is one of those ahm. Sh!t. Sh!t. Smile sweetie. And we ll give them the show they ve all been waiting for. He tilted my chin up. Sa gilid ng mga mata ko ay nakita ko ang pag-iyak ni mommy. Gusto kong sumigaw. Gusto kong sabihin sa kanyang dapat ako ang umiiyak at hindi siya. Isn t she happy? I become the good daughter they want me to be. All my life, I d been t he black sheep. At minsan na nga lang akong nag-attempt sumunod. Pumalpak pa! Jules I think this is not a good ide Don t call me that. Galit na sabi nito. Just because of that? He wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled me tighter. He pinched my waist n ot-so-gently. I yelped. Lumapit ang mukha niya sa `kin. As in, malapit na malapi t. My eyes grew wide. Stop acting the naïve little virgin darling The sarcasm wasn t lost on me. He whispered that almost to my mouth considering he was only an inch or two away from me. Isn t it late for that? Mabagal ata ang pagpafunction ng brain cells ko. At hindi ko nakuha ang ibig niy ang sabihin. Bakit Virgin pa naman ako tal Pumikit agad ako ng makita kong pababa na `yung mukha niya. This isn t my first ti me to be kissed. But this was the first time I would be kissed by someone I am n ot in love with. May napakalaking difference `yun! It seemed like a lifetime.
I opened my eyes. Tapos na ba? `Yun agad ang unang nag-register sa isip ko. But what amazed me was that I was already looking to Julian s back. At nakikipagkamay na ito sa mga guests. Parang biglang namula `yung pisngi ko. He didn t kiss me!
Ano? Tatayo ka na lang ba dyan? Magsasalita sana ako. Lumapit ito at hinila ang braso ko. Naiinis na ko ha. Juli an Sunico is anything but gentleman! Kung totoo man ang sinabi nito na pinikot i to ng kapatid niya pwes bakit nag-ala runaway bride din ito sa mismong araw ng k asal nito? Sa tingin mo ba pinikot talaga kita? Inis kong sabi habang pilit hinihila ang bras o ko sa kamay niya. He looked at me from head to foot. At ang response niya? He dragged me all the m ore. Pano kung nagustuhan mo naman? I know I m pushing my luck. Wala akong idea kung anon g nangyari bago ang kasal na ito. Sino ba? Mommy woke me up two days ago in my N ew York boarding house just to tell me that, Jeannie honey, two days from now you r e going to get married! Wow. Ganon lang. Parang nag-announce lang siya na-late na ko for school. We stopped from walking. Mommy, I think we re going to push through our honeymoon. Kayo na pong bahala sa rec eption. Mrs. Sunico, Julian s mother smiled at me and hugged me. Nakahinga ako ng maluwag ng bitiwan nito ang braso ko. Habang niyakap ako ng mama niya ay kitang kita ko ang warning sa mga mata niya. Hija, please take care of him. Pagpasensyahan mo na kung minsa y may tantrums si Ju lian. Please since you re going to be a mother. Please take care of them both. Hind i mo lang alam how you made me happy. I was overwhelmed with guilt. Walang baby! Gusto ko na ring makiiyak sa mommy ni to. Bago pa man ako makapagsalita ay hinila niya na ulit ako sa braso. Juli an I winc ed. Magiging masaya ka sa kanya. I doubt it. Pano ko magiging masaya sa isang taong ngayon ko lang nakita? On my wedding day. Of course mom, he kissed her on the cheek. Hindi na kasi kami makapaghintay. We hav en t had a proper honeymoon, you know. Ngumiti ito. At hindi ko gusto ang ngiti nit ong iyon. Parang mas lalo akong kinabahan. Julian let s talk. I stopped him on the way. Pero parang wala itong naririnig. If he dislike this marriage as much as I do. Why didn t he object? Dahil ba sa baby ni Jea n? Pero bakit ito umalis? Why didn t my mother tell me about this whole stuff? Pwede ba! Sumakay ka na nga lang. Bigla akong natakot sa biglaan niyang pagsigaw. Napaupo ako sa passenger seat ng wala sa oras. He drove off for about fifteen mi nutes. The silence stretched on between us. Tumalon kaya ako palabas ng kotse? T apos palabasin kong nalaglag ang baby? Pero pano kung mamatay naman ako? HINDI PW EDE. Ipagtapat ko sa kanya! Yes. That was it. Julian I ll tell you something Hindi ko napansin na nasa tapat na pala kami ng isang malaking gate. Must have b een their mansion. He glanced at me boringly. Na para bang wala siyang pakialam kung ano man iyon. About this marriage about the baby Don t tell me that the baby isn t real because I ll surely wring your neck. I might kil l you, you know. I looked him in the eye. He isn t joking! Ganon mo ba kahalaga `yung baby?... Hindi ba dahil mahal mo `ko? Sa pagkagulat ko ay bigla itong tumawa. He moved forward. Ang isang kamay niya a y humawak sa pisngi ko. I bit my lower lip. His nearness was causing my heart to palpitate at a not so normal pace. Dahil kinakabahan lang siguro ako. Dahil dahi l Bumaba iyon hanggang sa palapulsuhan ng leeg ko. His one hand wrapped around my n eck. My eyes grew wide. You ruined my future Jean. And I m going to make you regret the day you trapped me into this. Pinakawalan niya ko. I tried catching my breath. Bumaba ito ng kotse a t ibinaba lahat ng gamit ko, tatlong malaking suitcase at isang bag. `Pag baba k o ay nakatingin lang siya sa `kin. Dalin mo `yung gamit mo.
Ano?! Napatingin ako sa mga gamit ko. Hindi siya ganon kasama para gawin sa `kin `to. Ginagawa na niya. He s dead serious. He s going to make my life a living hell! Julian! He didn t turn around. Pero at least tumigil ito sa paglalakad. Oh Lord. I m sorry. Alam kong madadagdagan na naman `yung kasalanan ko. But this w asn t my entire fault! Gusto mo bang makunan ako?
TWO Hindi na `ko magtataka kung bakit nag-ala Julia Roberts `yung kakambal ko. Anywa y, I remembered specifically that Runaway Bride was her favorite movie. Had she thought for the first time that this Julian was a prince charming? LOL. I couldn t blame her. He is every woman s wicked fantasy. Though I was never particular with tsinitos, sige na nga since uso naman `yun ngayon. He was of a Chinese descent. Mayaman(sa hirap ba naman ng buhay ngayon, that s on top of my list ever) gwapo ( in fairness, my twin s got a taste), muy simpatico antipatiko `kamo. At ngayong na-realize niyang mas masahol pa kay Beast ang ugali nito ay umalis n a lang ito basta? On a serious basis, I knew deep down that she wouldn t do it. Un less may napakabigat siyang dinadala. `Yung baby! I sighed. Patihayang humiga ako sa kama habang ang mga binti ko ay nakasayad pa rin sa sahig. I could live like a princess here with the Beast. Unti-unti na `kon g hinihila ng antok. Then the door slammed open. LOUDLY. I groaned inwardly. I opened one good eye. Hindi ka ba marunong kumatok? Nakakainis. Wala ba itong natutunan sa GMRC? He didn t even look at me. Believe me , bigla akong nagising sa sunod niyang ginawa. Tinanggal niya ang necktie niya t apos ay inisa-isa ang mga butones ng polo niya. Bakit ako kakatok sa sarili kong kwarto? Lumingon ako bigla sa queen sized bed. Sh!t. Sh!t. Double sh!t. Jules surely you don t mean to Oh, I mean to. No! Papatayin na ba siya nito sa unang gabi ng kasal nila? I gnawed the inside o f my right cheek as I looked at him. He was already jerking his pants off! Damn. My brain wasn t functioning well. When he was standing very proud in front of me clad with his jockey, lo and behold! He should have he should have been a ramp mod el instead. He stared pointedly at me. Then reality dawned on me at once. This wasn t any of J ean Rose s pranks anymore. You re serious. I whispered. Lumapit ito sa kama paharap sa `kin. At itinukod ang dalawang kamay sa gilid ng mga hita ko. Our faces were in ches away from each other. Para `kong maso-suffocate na hindi maintindihan. I co uld smell his masculine scent mingled with perfume. Bakit ba hindi nakikisama an g mga senses ko! Are you forgetting wife? That this is our honeymoon night. Napalunok ako. His chinito eyes turned into slits. I m pregnant. Sabay kaming napatin gin sa tiyan ko. Naalala ko ang mommy noon kapag nagsisinungaling kami ni Jean, m agkakatotoo daw ang kung ano mang pinagsisinungalingan namin . Hindi naman siguro. Exactly. I couldn t get you any more pregnant than you are now. Saka stop acting as if you don t want this. Three months ago, halos ipagsiksikan mo sa `kin ang sarili
Yeah. Do you hate me? I whispered again. I sighed in relief. Silence. Why do you hate me so much? Gusto kong matawa sa sarili kong tanong. I couldn t help it. Yeah. And he also moved along with me! Umusod ulit ako. Not in pain. Isang malakas na hikbi ang hindi ko napigilan. You are crying. How many days? He brushed his hand roughly through his hair. Pinipilit kong pakalmahin ang mga hikbi k o. Matulog ka na. I thought my monthly flow was a curse. He si ghed. Yes. Hindi ito makulit. He frowned at me. O baka imagination ko lang `yon. I shook my head. Obvious na tinatanong pa. Natatakot na talaga ko. I felt so alone and vulnerable. Pero lalo lang akong naiyak. Naaw ardan pa nga ako nung high school na best actress nung gumanap akong Sisa sa Nol i.mo. I winced. Niyakap kong mahigpit ang unan upang patahimikin an g paghikbi ko. Sasabihin mong either sipon lang `yan o napuwing ka lang. we were almost in timately embracing. So what s this grand scheme? Tignan mo `tong lalaking `to. So what game is this? Get into my bed and then play the pakipot later? I promise you. Dyos ko po. He still didn t move from behind me. kung bumubuga lang ng apoy ang mga mata ng tao baka nasunog na `ko ni Juli an. Nara mdaman ko ang paghawak niya sa balikat ko. Parang bigla ng nagkaroon ng tenderness sa boses nito. Well Julian? Humiga na din ako sa pinakagilid ng malaking kama. Juli an I tried to push him off me. Are you crying? Kung umiiyak ako may paki ka ba? No. nakalimutan ko Pregnant women don t bleed. I was keeping my fingers crossed. Hindi na nga almost eh. Ah. But in shock. I am. Fine. But some part of me still wanted to hear the conf irmation. Gusto kong sabihin iyon sa kanya on my twin s behalf. In this position. He didn t give even a nary compassion toward me. Pe ro para ko na rin niloko ang sarili ko. What the hell is the matter with you? Ang laki laki ng kama dyan ka nagsusumiksik . I was alone inside a big mansion. Me ron kasi `ko. Pero lumapat lang ang mga kamay ko sa malapad niy ang dibdib. Ahm a three days. Then I f elt tears brimming down the side of my face. I licked my lower lip. He stilled against me. blessing in disguise din naman pala. Para iyong 1+ 1=2. I m sorry. Napahiga na lang ako sa kama . Nakahinga ako ng maluwag ng itulak niya `ko palayo. Sa pagkakaalam ko walang pikot na hindi planado. He slid his hands and fisted my hair. in bed with a stranger whom I had just met a few hours ago. Samantalang hindi ako titig il ng hindi ko nakukuha ang gusto ko. Silent tears turned into muffled sobs. Didn t he know what he s doing to my senses ? His thumb brushed the moisture on my cheeks. Nasan na ang kakambal ko? Bakit ako ang n agdudusa sa kasalanang `di ko ginawa? Alam ko namang magaling akong umarte. Umusod u lit siya. The situation wa s worst than I had expected. Juli an! ahhhh I moaned and twisted. Jean Rose isn t a crybaby. Tumagilid ako patalikod sa kanya ng inakala kong hindi na siya sasagot. I felt his hard naked chest against m y back when he tried to peek above my shoulder. Galit itong humiga. Mabilis akong umisod palayo sa kanya papunta sa gilid ko. Kailan ba hindi sinadya ang pikot? Sige nga sabihin niyo sa `kin. nagkakapatong patong na ang mga kasinungalingan ko. Nagbibilang ba si San Pedro ng penalty? A we ek. Kung kaya t it was very much out of Jean Ros e s league to do something as pikot . Onti nalang talaga mauubos na pasensya ko. It is still spelled the same R-A-P-E. How was tha t for a Shakespearean play? Masyadong tragic ang buhay ko. Hindi ko sinasadya. Kahit ba sabihin mong gwapo ang mangre-rape sa `yo. Specifically a very estranged and angry husband and here I was supposed to be pregnant.
He stood up an d cleaned his mouth with the napkin. I gritted my teeth. Sa pagkakaalam ko hindi ko talaga sinadya na magka tapat `yung mukha namin. I closed my eyes. If he did. I smiled sweetly at him. Hangin. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung masira a ng isa kong ngipin. what s a scandal with the Sunicos right? I saw the muscles on his jaw flexed. I waved my hand at her in dismissal. Hindi ako makapaniwala sa narinig ko. Sinigawan niya ko! I thought we were okay. He was reall y hell-bent on making my life miserable. Ang laki nga ng kama dikit ka naman ng dikit. Humihingal sa galit na sabi ko ng matapos a ng speech ko. An yway. Our noses touched. If I were pregnant you could h ave at least supported me financially. Where the hell are the telephones here? Ano `to mansyon na walang telepono? Ma am. Good morning Jules! I take it you had a good night sleep? Deadma. Para `kong invisible na hindi niya nakita. Just as well. I was ready to weep. `Pag baba ko ay nag-aalmusal na ang prinsipe sa lanai. Jean! I was so worried about you. Galit na tumayo ako at hinabol siya. Isang babae t lalaki. Hindi ako martir. Me. I said airily while I was putting butter on the toast. My eyes grew wide at the implication of his words. Why are you being so difficult? Nakikiusap na `ko sa `yo! If you didn t want this marriage in the first place then why didn t you object? Computer age na tayo! Hindi na uso ang shotgun wedding ngayon no. Sana naisip mo `yan when you and your family blackmailed me into this marriage. Mabilis a kong bumangon at ginawa ang morning routines ko. Eh ma am sabi po ni sir `wag daw po kayong pagamitin ng telepono. Didn t Eskimos kiss like that? Matulog ka na. Dahil hindi ko na alam kung anong magagawa ko. You re not going to see your family. Itinuloy mo pa rin pala ang balak. Maglalakad na lang ak o palabas ng subdivision para maghanap ng taxi. Oh-kay. Inis na lumayo ito at tumalikod. Unless you re with me. Mabilis akong umakyat at hinagilap ang cellphone sa bag ko. He was staring at me stonily. may hinahanap po ba kayo? I smiled brightly at the maid. Hang in lang ako. No one pacified me. I screamed my frustration within the fo ur walls of the mansion. Not to mention that the house was so big you could get lost. I don t care anymore kung mukha man ak ong peso sign. ANO?! Is he serious? Never mind. Maaga `kong mababaliw sa bahay na `to. Sabay bigla `kong naalala ang sitwasyon ko. I couldn t believe it. Pat i ba naman cellphone ko hindi pa nakisama? Naiwan pa. Hindi dahil pina hiran niya ang luha mo okay na Jeannie. I cou ld have misheard him. Ako ang asawa pero wala akong alam.. I would think first of myself. I thought women are the only ones who are fickle-minded. myself and I. Mabilis akong bumaba at na ghanap ng telephone. Mabilis na humarap ak o sa kanya. SANA WAL A. Where s the telephone? I didn t want to sound stupid. you know. They wouldn t do it. Not Jean Rose. Gusto kong umuwi sa `min sa duration ng honeymoon natin tutal naman hindi mo pa ` ko kailangan. Malamang sa mga araw na `yon mahahanap ko na ang magaling kong kakambal. Balak?! . Uuwi ako sa bahay mamaya may hihingin sana akong pabor. At take note: he didn t even bother to pull out the chair for me. Napasabunot ako sa buhok ko. I dressed hu rriedly and quickly got out. The woman hug ged me. just as well. Inis na humarap ako sa kanya. and my twin. `Yun lang. Had they really set out to ruin Julian s life? Pano k ung may ibang mahal si Julian kung may handa itong ibang pakasalan sana. Wala naman p umigil sa `kin ng nagtuloy tuloy na `kong lumabas ng gate. Siya nga pala. Ngumiti ako and said a tha nk you prayer to my maker. I didn t care who heard it. The food was forgotten. Natulig ako ng biglang bumagsak ang tasa ng kape nito sa platito. So I wouldn t think about him. When a car automatically stopped in front of me. Matagal ng binaril si Rizal sa Luneta at wala akong balak sumu nod sa yapak niya. Nang sa tingin ko ay kumalma na `ko ay lumakad ako sa front porch. I woke up late in the morning.
His eyes were like challenging me to do just that. they were proud to say in the least na. And they would stop comparing me to Jean Rose. I could feel my hands shaking. But don t they already know that we only have one face. Kutis-mayaman kaya ako. Mrs. `yung bunso kong anak she stays in N ew York . Naguluhan ak o bigla. There would surely be bruises later. And three years drew us apart. As in. Oh no. I became the blacksheep three years ago when I accepted the scholarship in New Yo rk University. but I wish they would be more proud of me. Ahmm . Nagulat ako ng biglang hinawakan ako ng lalaki sa braso. Him. He encircled his arm around my waist i n a possessive manner. Or maybe becau se I didn t want to be in my sister s shadow any more. Minsan lang naman akong pag-agawan ng ganito. Something Jean Rose would do. ROAR. Home. Bumaling ako sa lalaki. Julian I Hinila niya `ko bigla sa tabi niya. My heart went out to my sister and him. please kung nanaginip man ako `wag mo po muna akong gisingin. Siguro kung sa ibang pagkakataon baka kinilig pa `ko. Julian deliberately whispered the words to me. Run away with me Napalunok ako. Nakalimutan mo na ba `ko? Hindi kita nakalimutan! Hindi lang talaga kita kilala. Bulong. . Pero hawak hawak pa rin ako ng lalaki. Wala sa loob kong nasabi. Tell. Let s go. Naramdaman ko ang pagdiin ng pagkakahawak ni Julian sa braso ko . I mean please wake me up. Jean Rose Sunico! I heard that one again. maybe I could get some facts about my twin s whereabouts. ah. Nagpatangay na lang ako ng bigla akong hi nila ng babae. For the first time I was very much speechless! Have I heard it wrong? Run away run away in tagalog tan an! Blessed Virgin Mary. THREE We aren t rich. Then I felt the emanating anger from the other side. Pwede pa natin `yun tamain. My eyes grew wide. Maybe I m just splitting hairs. Para kasing nilagyan lang nila `k o ng nette pero sa totoo lang it was as if they wanted me to be Jean Rose. Then I realized I don t know the man s name! You cannot mean this Jean. Masarap namang pakinggan eh. Pe ro rinig ko ang dagundong `non sa tenga ko. You love me. I closed my eyes in frustration. The beast roar. And what amazed me most was he embraced me! I missed you love so much. My eyes grew wide when he cupped my face up. Someone who could break it off with your own boyfriend in proxy kung hindi mo kaya. But every time they asked my parents where school I go to? I think . And boy. Naging Sunico ka lang Jean? He frowned at my reaction. PERIOD. And it ends there. Ay. Ano ba t alaga ang nangyari? Lalo akong naguguluhan. Ang sarap tignan ng may kakambal. Oo. Go. I slowly looked sideways an d saw the blatant anger in his eyes. Not that I was caught red-han ded. To. Jean Rose I know I ve made a mistake. Fe eling ko para `kong nagka-amnesia. And ne ver to be Jeannette Rose. fine w hile my sister is good with figures. Jean Rose Sunico! I stopped dead in my tracks. Sumakay ka na. Sabi nila nagpapakatanga ako sa course ko: Fine Arts. I opened my mouth to say his name.Lumapit ang lalaki. pero parang lalong natuyot ang lalamunan ko. Well. It was like Oh my God. I gnawed at my lower lip. I saw the emotions in his eyes. A nd then one hand grabbed my other arm from the side. Okay. Julian tried to tug my hand. may papalit sa `yo kapag absent ka sa clas s.
He rolled his e yes in disgust. Si Julian `yung tipo ng lalaking hindi mo titilian. si Jean Rose. Na par a bang nasasaktan siya. I didn t ask for any of this. Bakit? Had someone hurt him? Betrayed him? Minutes passed by. I never asked for a wonderful love story. lalaki siya. I ll come back for you Jean! Then the woman dragged him inside the car. Kaya t-a-n-g-a nga daw ako sa bi ng mga magulang ko. Hindi ko ma-imagine ang sarili ko: blessed virgin Jeannette. Pe ro teka. Gigil na hinarap niya `ko. Then I heard the click on the other side of the door.Leave my wife alone Brad. Honesty. damn him! hind i niya `ko totoong asawa at wala siyang karapatang gawin sa `kin `to. And and we we both know that you don t want this marriage? Bakit hindi mo na ako pakawalan? I mean. His fists were clenched. Parang gusto kong lumubog sa pagkakaupo ko sa kama habang malapit na malapit ang mukha niya sa `kin. Bigla nitong binitawan ang mukha ko. Suplado naman! May K naman kasi siyang magsuplado. I wa s afraid he would see through the lies written in my eyes. Hindi kaya dininig ako ni God? Diyos ko ` wag naman. Inis na tinabig ko ang kamay niya. If you don t want to be sitting in jail. That was it. Mula sa lamp shade hanggang sa china vase. And I just wished he didn t! Hindi ko alam kung paano pa nagig ing lalong singkit ang mga mata niya sa galit. He tilted his head to the other side in question. After all. Lumingon ulit ito. that must have caused millions. Bigla niya `kong ibi nalandra sa kama. I couldn t term him just handsome. Pero may reluctant bang namikot? He did turn around. because he would surely int imidate you. Naiisip ko pa lang kung anong gagawin niya sa `kin ay nanlalamig na ang mga kamay ko. My hands turned into tight fists and started banging the door. Kung ang iba sa ed ad ko ay humihiling ng prince charming. he didn t turn around. My eyes grew wide. And boy. eyes were the windows of the soul. I s lowly tried to catch my breath to stop from screaming at him. Leave Brad let s go Sabi dito ng babae. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. Hindi naman a ko buntis pero nagiging iyakin na `ko. And I was living a lie after all. He was dangerously gorgeous. All my daydreams flew out of the window when he towered over me. We went upstairs while he was still holding my arm tightly. I only wanted to establish myself on my . my dear wife. That is all I asked of you. I felt tears threatening to erupt again. Kung ang iba ay humihiling na makapangasawa ng mayaman. NO! Mabilis akong tumakbo papunta sa pinto. I don t take to infidelity lightly. Nanlamig ang mga kamay ko. Please Brad. Because I m sure she was a reluctant bride. I sighed in relief when they walked away. In the second place. Sh!t. Ako hindi. Women s ultimate weapon: Tears. Tinignan ko ang mala ki at magarang silid. Honesty. The corner of his mouth twisted in a mockin g smile. He tilted my ch in up and looked me angrily in the eye. Julian! Buksan mo `to! I m your dear wife! Julian ano ba! Open t his damned door! Surely he wasn t that kind of a monster? Napadausdos ako sa aubusson carpet at napa sandal sa pinto ng sa tingin ko ay hopeless case na talaga. Julian you re hurting me! Halos kaladkarin niya na `ko papasok ng mansyon. Hindi ko alam kung bakit bakit ganon `yung mga mata niya nung sinabi niya iyon. And men s ego is sometimes bigger than their brains. Julian As usual. Just like that? Julian what you saw earlier was how can I explain something I don t know? Hiniklas niya ang necktie sa sobrang galit. Lumabas ito. bakit naman siya magagalit? In the first place. Nasira lang ang drama ko. Parang mas lalo akong natakot doon. W-what if I still love Brad. Then I started really crying. Bago pa ako makapag-react ay hinawakan na ng mahigpit ni Julian ang mga braso ko . Julian! Galit na pinihit pihit ko iy on. he isn t in love with me! So bakit siya magagalit well. Ako hindi. Get dressed. no. Naiiyak na napatingin ako doon. wasn t he handsome in his thr ee-piece suit. Lumakad na ito palabas.
Hindi na naka-lock! Ma am pinapatawag daw po kayo ni sir. what Julian wants. Padabog na sumunod ako sa katulong. Mula sa likod nito ay lumabas si Mang Pio. I c onceded. Dahil sa `kin kaya nangyari `to. And then I would wake up later and find myself in t he boarding house in New York. . Hindi ko pinangarap maging si Cinderella. Julian was here! I t hrew my arms around his neck and clung to him. Toward me. Nagbabakasyon kami noon sa lake house n g Aunt Lara namin. Papanhikin daw po kayo ni sir kung hindi kayo bababa. Julian gets. Must have stood almost a foot taller than me. Kaya nga ba hindi ko naging idol si Rizal eh.own as a famous artist. Alam ko. Mabilis kong hinawi ang glass door pa tungong terrace. And b oy. gabi na. I curled into a fetal position on the huge soft bed. my heart beat triple time. I fell into a deep slumber after exhausting mysel f from crying. Ouc h. Dun sa my eyes grew wi de. I thought it was only termed with women. Bilog ang buwan. Sige na Mag-isa siya! I smiled at her. I didn t know where the German shepherd dog had come from. Ma am siya nga po pala. I gritted my teeth in an ger. `Yung katiwala din. I tugged her along and sec retly took the boat to explore the lake. She was crying and did n t want to let me go. I looked around me. Si Amorsolo. Nasa teritoryo `ko ng kaaway. Lumaya s lang ba talaga siya? Hindi niya mabilang kung isang oras na ata akong umiiyak. At sa maniwala man kayo o hindi. Then flashes of yesterday came through my mind. We were still in the middle of th e pool. I hate you Julian Sunico! I hate you to the deepest part of the earth Sana binabangungot lang ako. nakakahiya mang aminin 6 1 siya at 5 2 ½ lang ako. I woke up late. T apos biglang bumukas `yung pinto. Jean! Nagmulat ako ng mga mata at umubo. Kinurot ko ang sarili ko. Isang napak alaking akala. Julian please don t leave me I whispered frantically against his neck. 5 3 na nga sige na. Feeling ko. Sana sana pipikit pa lang ako ng mapansin kong may lumalangoy sa foot-shaped swimmin g pool. I kn ow I must have shouted Julian s name. And I was still here. Oo. I didn t want to be appreciated only after my death. Paatras na ako ng paatras. Sumabay na daw po kayong maghapunan sa kanya. A hand grabbed my waist. Manang pakilagay na po dyan `yung juice. I heard splashes of water from outside. kahit nga ba talentadong pinoy siya. Nasa harap na ako ng swimming pool. Tumingin ako sa kabilang side. Siguro y napagod na pumunta ito sa railing at umakyat. I was gulping down a mouthful o f water. His muscled back was rippling with water as his stroke became faster. He was standing on the edge of the swimming pool clad with only his swimming sinfully black trunks. I didn t know. He cupped my ch eek and looked at me for a very long time. I didn t remember covering myself I frowne d. I saw his broad shoulders and arms flexed with his ev ery move. I had no choice. But the sight before me froze me on the ground. I screamed my way to the surface. G usto kong maging si Juan Luna. Jean! Jean! A voice whispered in my ear. Anim He looked up then. Pero I s aw out of the corner of my left eye how strands of wet hair hang down the side o f his face. I wasn t entirely looking at him. para itong kumunoy na kakainin ako ano mang oras. may mga pand esal siya sa tyan. Promise. Julian is in every way sexy. As in. Parang naiiyak na naman ako. I was eight again. At ah. Matangkad ito. Nanlaki ang mga mata ko. I tasted the tears mingled with the c hlorine. I sucked in my breath. Then the dog came running. I screamed when my foot stepped on nothing but water! I was in a deep end of the swimming pool. Mabilis akong pumasok sa loob ng kwarto. Dun sa hindi ako matetempt. Please please don t let me die yet. And Jean Rose caught my hand. alam ko nagblush talaga ako. Ano ba talagang nangyari sa kapatid ko? Why didn t I feel anything? Sabi nila may link ang mga kambal. Hindi ko alam pero `pag upo ko ay dumulas ang kumot mula sa dibdib ko. Dapat dapat bumalik na lang ako bigla sa kwarto ko.
As in over. Gusto kong sakalin ang kapatid ko n g mga sandaling iyon. As if naman. Wala talaga siyang kunsiderasyon! `Pag namatay talaga ako. Kung ayaw mo bahala ka! Natanggal ko na ang tali ng bangka. overrrrr. Jeannie! Bumalik na tayo. Sa totoo lang Jea n was never the evil twin sister. Jul ian I wrapped my arms around his neck. Yep . Naiiyak na pinilit kong abutin isa isa kahit basa na. My eyes grew wi de. . Syempre ako na lang `yung natitirang kapatid no. I was amazed with its reflection on the water. Pero kasi Jeannie baka Isasagwan ko na sana ang bangka ng tumuntong na din siya. Both of my thighs wrapped around his body on its own accord. Mabilis nitong inagaw ang sagwan. Tignan mo ginawa mo! Naiiyak na sab i ko habang lumulutang lutang ang mga papel. My breasts were flat tened against his hard chest. Damn. I froze in his arms. There were mermaids in the la ke. Jeannie nasan na tayo? Bakit parang palayo na tayo ng palayo? She bit her lower lip . I ngos ko sa kanya. Na para bang titig na nagnanasa dududa. I said airily. Anyway sino bang may sabing sumama siya? Jeannie ano ba! Ano? Inis kong sabi habang ginuguhit ang papalubog na sikat ng araw. Jean Rose scowled at me and didn t say a word. Para akong unggoy na nakabitin sa puno. I bit my lower lip when he looked at me closely. As if he were my lifeline. And oh Lor d the tree was getting hard all over. Pero bigla niya `kong pinakawalan. Pagabi na. Seriously she had always been there for me. I smiled at myself and took my sketch pad with me. Sinimangutan ko siya. I am. And sh e was very good at it. He said silently. I m ten but not entirely stupid. Our eyes met. I rolled my eyes heave nward. Sa isang iglap ay tumagilid ang bang ka at sabay kaming bumagsak.Ano bang nangyayari sa`yo? You re a swimmer. Jean Rose screamed. At hindi ko kasalanan `yun! Siya kaya lunurin ko. Jean Rose overcame her fear by learning how to swim. wala pala. Kung meron man well. Well. Ayoko. You would be more shocked by my big Dog? Gusto ko sanang magbiro. Hindi ko siya pinansin. Ito ang taong kahit hindi bagong gising masamang biruin. We were both screaming flailing And it was all my fault. You re supposed to be a swimmer. Siya ang unang un a kong mumultuhin. `Yan ang madalas na ipanakot sa `kin ni Aunt Lara. She became a champion in swimming competitions while I nev er learned. He said that silently. FOUR Jeannie! Kasi baka I looked back at her. Gume wang gewang ang bangka. Oh my God. Hindi kita pinilit ha. Sa p ag-aagawan namin ay nahulog ang sketch pad ko. I was just shocked by your big dog. Alam mo `yun naiilang ako sa titi g niya. Rubbish. Sa katulad ni Julian na perfectionist malamang na kasalana n ang `di marunong lumangoy.
wala akong kara patan. Jules I m sorr y. She overcame her fear by well. I wore a n off-shouldered cream tailored dress. Grabe ang mood swings ng lalaking ito. I winced when I heard him curse. He was so m ad at me. It was now or never. Ang tanong: sinong mananamantala at sinong pagsas amantalahan? Not I. At ang utos ng hari hindi mababali. It was a matter of choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea. Thank God for the two-inch stilettos. experienced dr owning before. Ano bang nangyayari sa `kin? I leaned my head in between his shoulder an d neck. I blinked thrice. Bastos talag a. I m not supposed to be who I am now. Si Jean Rose ang gumawa ako ang umaako! He had it all wrong. I couldn t look him in t he eye. His hand caressed my cheek. Then it dawned on me. From the start. feeling ko nagkulay mansanas ako. Ganyan ka ba talaga? Kung anong gusto mo `yun ang nakukuha mo? Without caring about others feelings? Ano kaya nararamdaman ng kapat id mo? Siya ang gumawa ikaw ang umaako? I should have said Hallelujah. Hindi iyon lalagpas ng mid-thigh ko. Kelan ba matatapos ito? Tumingin ako sa harap ng salamin. Akala niya pinagko-compete ko ang kakambal ko tapos tapos ako kunwari ang nananalo? My God. Hindi ko nga alam kung dahil sa ano o dahi l sa init.Julian was just staring back at me. ako I never did learn. Prom ise. Why not? He said huskily. Ng panahon. Naramdaman ko ang paghigpit ng yakap niya sa `kin. I whispered stupidly with lack of anything to say. Kung ginawa mo `yun just to get the fame you wa nted then you don t deserve it. Galit na hinablot nito ang telephone habang pinupunasan ang sarili. He didn t even comment about my appearance. o kaya ay wala lang ang mga katulong doon ay baka nilunod na `ko ni Julian. My creamy white shoulders were very much visible. I licked my lower lip nervously. Parang nanlamig ako bigla. Lalo a kong napayakap sa kanya. bata pa `ko. At ni hindi man la ng nahiyang ipahiram man lang sa `kin. Ginamit ko lang ito once sa exhibi t ng kakilala ko. So he already knew! Bakit ba ni konting pag-aalala man lang wala ang lalaking ito? Wala ba talaga itong inisip kundi ang sarili? Inis na humarap siya dito. Just to satisfy my curiosity of what it feels like to be ki ssed No! He is still the father of Jean Rose s baby. Goodness. Siya ang gumawa ikaw ang umaako? You big stupid moron! Tama ito. His head came down down down. Hindi ko alam kung dahil sa naudlot na o dahil sa alam niya na `yung sasabihin ko. Giniginaw na `ko pero isang towel lang ang nakita ko. As if hindi siya ang may kagagawan ng pinagk akaganito ko! As if it was a normal catastrophic event in my life! Bakit ba kasi I couldn t put my thighs down. My heart was beating triple time. Susumbatan niya lang ako. Isa lang. Had he forgiven me? Hindi siya galit? You should have told me sooner. Tumayo ka at magbihis ka may pupuntahan tayo. I opened my mouth to shout at him. Hawak pa niya. Two days of being married to Julian Sunico was like hell! And it felt like a lifetime sin ce I said I do . Siguro kung hindi lang masamang pumatay ng tao. We uhm. Diyos ko. Yeah you re right! Siya ang gumawa ako ang umako ng mga Sir telephone po mommy niyo. Siya `yung `yung magaling lumangoy. At ang gentleman ba sta na lang akong ibinagsak sa marble floor sa gilid ng pool. Siguro hindi naman magagalit si Jean Rose kung kahit isa lang. Nagsasawa na `ko sa pagtatalo namin ni Julian. I cried on his shoulder. Ang mahalaga hindi siya nagalit Jea nnie! I tried telling you Ikaw ang Hindi maganda ang panloloko Jean. Bente uno lang po ako God para sa mga ganitong bagay. that voice of his it was like he had just woken up from a night of debauchery. The hell with the consequences. Lelecturan ng walang . My twin she s the swimmer. So what was the use of telling him how gorgeous he is? I just shut my mouth up. Nagsasalubong na naman `yung mga kilay nito. Mag-aangilan lang kami. Naglakad ito kasama ako. Inis na sabi nito. Ang mani pis na suot ko kanina ay halos kita na dahil nga basa na din. Jules I have something to tell you.
And I m happy for her coz she s not waiting an ymore for someone who hasn t seen her worth. She looked somewhat familiar. I was numb. Tahimik lang ito. Nice nice to see you. Hello Julian. Hila dito. Na-iim agine ko na `pagtumanda ito. okay lang `yun okay lang na niloko ng papa mo ang mama mo past is p ast. masaya na si mommy sa buhay niya. With his chinky eyes. Sunico. Julian started laughing humorlessly. straight nose Ouch. Bakit wala po kayo nung kasal namin ni Jul ian? We would have been happy kung nandon kayo. Say hello to your tita Doris. Nakikpagkarerahan ba ito kay Kamatayan? Napakapit ako sa dashboard. Ano bang ginawa ko par a parusahan ni God? Ang tanga tanga ko ano bang akala ko sa sarili ko? Na ako sa darna? I can t save everybody. We went inside the grand hotel. Julian?! I frantic ally searched his face for wounds. Halos lumangitn git iyon. Leave me alone! He shouted. Shock was the understatement of the century. Nanginginig ang mga kamay ko na bumaba ako ng sasakyan. Tao lang ako. Jean Rose Sunico! I didn t stop. No. I smiled at her politely. Tears were starting to form in my eyes. I felt the impact of what almost happened to us. Ayoko pang mamatay! Parang naiiyak na `ko ng sumadsad ang sasakyan sa gilid ng iliko ni Julian ang s teering wheel. Magtatay ba talaga ang mga ito? Umupo kami in silence at saka ko lang napansin ang babaeng kasama ni Mr. My heart went overdrive. Normal naman sa mga produkto ng broken marriages ang ganitong ugali ni Julian. Nakita kong parang aatak ihin sa puso ang papa nito. Bi glang may sumulpot na malaking truck sa harapan naming. I was shocked. Baka nakakalimutan mo ako pa rin ang nanay ng anak mo. is that bad? He said. How s your mom? Ayun. The man was just an older version of Julian. She was in her early thirties and very much beautiful. I apologize hija.katapusan about honesty and virtues. I gritted my teeth in frustration. Ayokong magsalita. God please! Virgin pa `ko. Their fists were both clenched. None. I t felt so awkward. Na-amaze ako. I m glad to finally meet you. dad. Pero bigla niyang tinabig ang kamay ko. He s Biglang pinisil nito ang kamay ko. He was tense. Your flavor of the month? Julian! Excuse my husband. I glared at him. Galit na tinitigan niya ako. Hanggang sa makarating kami sa patutunguhan namin. Hello sir. Gusto kong sumigaw a . Sorry sir. My eyes grew wide. Julian please I grabbed his a rm. I looked at Julian then. Julian ano ba! Napasigaw ako ng pinaharurot niya ang Porsche niya. Mabilis kong hinila si Julian. it s nice to see you again son. hila doon. Pudpod na stilettos ko. Ni hindi na ko magtataka kung kukulutkulutin ko na ang buhok ko mamaya. Na parang demonyo. You loved her? Cut the crap. Tears were streaming down the side of my face. Na para bang mayroon siya! Julian opened the door for me. Kailan pa kinailanga n ng tatay ng imbitasyon sa kasal ng anak niya? What do you want? Julian said coolly to his father. for the first time Julian knew how to act the gentleman. I just want to see my son. Anong sasabi hin ko Julian. Julian sighed and looked bored. Julian! Nagulat talaga ako. Eh di baka ihulog na `ko ng tuluyan ni Julian palabas. marami pa pala kaming gagawin. Naglalakad ako sa gilid ng kalsada na wala sa sarili. I loved your mother. Act the very lovin g wife. There was something wrong here. Halos ako at ang papa niya lang ang nag-uusap. Mahina pero gigil kon g paalala. When did you know t he meaning of love? Jumping off from bed to bed while you know someone s waiting f or you? Pareho silang tumayo. your husband here didn t send me an invitation card. Ano pa nga ba. His eyes sent me a warning message. I smiled. But his pain ran deep. Hinila niya ako. Invitation? Ang weird.
In a split second the beast hugged me! Fiercely. Not that I care. I sighed exaggeratedly. Wala na ang necktie nito. My back hit the wall. I should have known. Will you please give me peace even just for tonight? Mahina nitong sabi.. Are you inviting me to bed Jean? Ang boses niya ah parang nang-aakit. I know deep down the call had something to do with his sudden withdrawal. Dahil sa galit. Julian I just want to hel Help? That s bullsh!t. Then I started wetting his shirt. But I believe in the sanctity of marriage. Julian aren t you going to bed yet? A slow sexy smile twitched on the corner of his mouth. Not that I f elt anything well. His eyes were squinted in anger. Ang bastos talaga. Julian would have been with another. Then he d tell me that he di dn t believe in love? Bull. His eyes. Okay lang sana kung desert eh.. Sunico! He roared. Ang boses nito. Mabilis kong sinundan si Ju lian sa study room niya. Julian s-sino `yung tumawag? Ano bang pakialam mo Jeannie? I was just curious. Again. He started laughing mockingly. Well. Kulang na lang sabihin niya sa mukha kong wala kang pakialam . Inihagis ni Julian ang coat sa couch at dumiretso sa mini bar. Sunico. I wonder. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. no he wanted to eat me alive. maybe it was just guilt eating at me. . Kaya nga hindi ako nanin iwala sa sinabi ni Kim Chui na habulin mo happiness mo! Eh di kung ganon lang ka dali iyon. Silence. Na para ng gagawin akong panghapunan. Or was it my imagination? Tricia? Who s Tricia? FIVE Sabi nila best things in life are free . We are about to get married. True. He wasn t drunk yet! Was he? Don t pull my leg Jean Do you think I m stupid? You lied to me. His back w as turned to me. I sobbed louder. He should have been a DJ. I don t believe in love Mrs. Marami talagang mga sinungaling sa mundo. bakit ako mag-aalala sa isang taong ni wala man lang pakialam sa `kin? But I do. At biglang may kamay na humawak sa braso ko upang iharap a ko. Ayun.t magwala sa gitna ng kalsada. Parang pagod na pagod. Hindi ako bulag o bingi. Wala nga ba Jeannie? Hindi naman siguro pinagbabawal ng batas ang pagtatano ng. I sighed again when he didn t even bother to respond. Palap it ito ng palapit. You r e bound to me forever. He had fox-like eyes. So he knew all a long! Bigla itong tumawa. Gusto kong sabihing. I shook the cobwebs in my head. I can t Julian. kung bakit hindi ako nabingi sa pagbagsak ng decanter at pagkalabog ng pinto. Then the phone started ringing. Napalunok ako habang papalapit siya ng papalapit. Pero minsan nga kung ano pa `yung li bre siya pang mahirap kunin. tinalikuran pa `ko. Like happiness. Tawang demonyo. shut up! I m not Jean! Sinong g ustong humamon sa `kin? Mrs. Me meron ako. Is she special? Julian I jumped in surprise. tenderly. And thanks t o you it won t happen anymore He looked bored and predatory. He poured himself a glass of brandy and downed it in one swallow. Hello? His face suddenly changed. Life s not perfect. She s my girlfriend of two years. He just shrugged. Tricia. `Yun lang. sana wala ako dito. Since I want honesty between us . Yes. My eyes got misty all the more. That T ricia must have been special for him to be like this. wala naman tal aga. His shirt was loosened. Why is it so elusive? Maybe because we cannot have everything we wanted. Parang nasasaktan.
Hindi ko makuhang dalawin sina Mommy. At alam ko. He was bound by the Sunico tradition. Minsan nga naiisip ko. Dahan dahan kong nakitang umaagos ang dugo sa kamay ni Julian. Pero mali ako. No. It had been three weeks since then. Then he raised his cle nched fist in the air. What s your excuse? Dahil lalaki ka? Dahil mahina ka? And oh. Pero `pag sila lalaki lang sila eh. No. Salamat sa pagiging tsis mosa no. I was quite numb . Julian anong ginawa mo nung pinikot kita? He stared at me. Sa gilid ng ulo ko. in the states. Parang kasabay nun ang pagbagal at pag lakas ng tibok ng puso ko. Champion siya 1st pl ace in a swimming competition? I gasped. Masyado ba talaga `kong generic? Napagpapalit palit? I had never been lonelier than this. Wala pa siya. Ano pa bang alam nito? O ma s tamang sabihing ano pa ba ang hindi nito alam? He graduated business ad. Bakit lalaki lang ba ang mga tao? I slammed the door as I walked out of there. Twice. hindi man ako ang pinakamatalinong tao sa mundo. hindi naman sa kinukwestiyon ko si God. you couldn t resist my charm. Jean Rose wouldn t do this without a valid reason. He didn t want to see me. I was about to go out when Julian s medals caught my attention. Bakit hindi na lang kami magpa-annul? Sila pala ni Jean? Kung ganito lang din na man Oo nga pala. I was just mad on my twin s ister s behalf. Arrogant. He was always in his study room. Wow. It was full of hatred and remorse. natempt lang. Sino bang hindi? Para `kong tuta na basta na lang pinamigay. Sa saktan ba talaga `ko ni Julian? Would he resort to that? Parang gusto kong umiya k. eh? It was too good to be true. Yep. Soccer. Wala na siya. Parang boarder nga lang ako dito sa mansyon niya. Three weeks. I knocked. Para `kong naparalyze na nakatitig lang sa sa mukha niya.So sinisisi niya `ko? Ang kapatid ko. And very much no! Ang mahirap kasi sa mga lalaki. Really stared at me like I d grown two heads and a horn. Hindi ako pwedeng magalit. Mabilis akong pumunta sa study room. Parang biglang umakyat lahat ng dugo ko sa ulo. I s hould be thankful. Gigising ako sa umaga. It was a sin in the Sunico commandment. Julian? No response. Love? Letseng love `yan. Ikaw? What s your excuse? Having the Sunico name? You prostituted yourself to me! And ruined our future! Ginamit mo lang ako Jean! Ginamit mo lang. Siguro dahil nagtatampo pa rin ako. bakit nga naman hindi? Eh ako naman itong mamimikot `di ba? It was dark. Dahil hindi na niya ipipilit ang marital rights niya. the feeling was mutual. pagiging mapagobserba ko ay narinig kong sinabi ng mommy niya na there sho uld be no broken marriages . But there s always an exception to the rule. Gusto kong magpakamatay. Hindi ko kailangang maging si Madam Auring para ma-vibrate kong iniiwasan ako ni Julian. Naglalabasan na ang ugat sa leeg nito. kapag babae ang nakagawa ng kasalanan para kang nakamatay. Julian s family. . He whispered angrily. Pwes. I thought you were He said stonily. So Mr. My breath got hitched. You were drunk Julian? So how do you think did I do it? Hindi ka ba nag-participa te nung ginawa natin `yun! Anong ginawa mo? Humiga ka lang and let me do all the dirty work? I wanted to shake some sense into him. I was drunk. Almost Perfect had the right to be Mr. Once. His knuckles were scraped because of the impact. Julian? Walang tao. Akala ko walang taong ganito. Kung sa bagay. Hindi ako nagagalit. Matutulog ako sa gabi. Thrice. Hindi lang siya ang nasakal. hinihintay kong dumapo sa `kin ang mga kamay niya. Dahil ba kay Tricia? Parang bigla a kong na-possess. I closed my eyes with a prayer. May class A at class B. I felt so hurt. Then he hit the wall. Tricia? Gusto kong isigaw `yun. Rugby. My eyes grew wide.
A ten or so Julian. Kissing. Ang puso ko? And don t ask me why. with his uncle? Hindi ko kilala ang lalaki. They have the same smile though. Nakatula la ako sa mismong picture ng dalawa. Manong stop! Napakamot ito sa ulo. Very much happy. I hail ed a cab. Hmmm Then my eyes grew wide.Pero kapag nasasaktan ang isang tao. Samantalang may mga pinagkaitan hirap na nga. SIX Ni hindi ko siya tinignan. He had a broken home. h indi ito soap opera. Kanino ka pa ba tutungo `pag may problema? `Di syempre sa bestfriend mo. Then I saw a smiling picture of him. Napatingin sa `kin si Manong. `Didn t know if it was because I knew her. They still loved me. The picture of a loving couple. I don t want. Yeah. I don t want to hate Julian.Pero bakit kaya may mga taong sinalo ang lahat? Katulad na lang ni Georgina Wils on. What the hell are you doing here? I felt weak. Jean s face! Jean! I half shouted. maganda kilalang kilala ko ang mukha na `yun. Sabi niya `wag ko na siyang sunduin. At ang mga n ext pictures ay kasama nitong nagpi-fishing ang lalaki. Here. I frowned when I saw a woman crossing the street. Para silang buong pamilya. Binayaran ni Julian ang bahay na min. I was in New York trying to make out on my own.. Cheap. My eyes grew wide. Trying to be different from my sister All the while they were making both ends meet. Hindi ko din alam! I dressed quickly upstairs and took my handbag. Maganda. Minsan kahit anong pilit mong ngumiti. where s the fairness of life in it? And Julian was one of the Class A. lalo lang sumasak it. Eh. Mga sakim. Para `kong sirang plaka na napaupo. I opened it. Nasan ang dad dito ni Julian? No. Gusto kong magtitili. I rolled my eyes. Or the kiss. may magagawa pa ba siya kung nandun na `ko? I was immersed into deep thoughts. Ho w could I not? I was looking straight into my own face. I started crying. Alam ko. He was right. kagandahan. lumil ipad sa bintana lahat ng logic . Tumigil lang ako ng maisara ko ang pintuan at sumandal doon. At hindi sila ganon kasama. No. I just wanted to get away from here. Tumigil ang taxi nung umilaw ang stoplight. kasikatan. He wasn t perfect. Ma yaman. Yummy. the bod. he won first place in a swimming competition. Tricia Leyva? I competed with her once in a painting competition in New York. May issue man ako sa parents ko. Oh my God. A notice of foreclosure from the bank. Napasabunot ako sa buhok ko. Bubuksan ko pa lang ang handle ng umandar na si manong. Parang gusto kong matunaw sa ngiting `yun. Then I saw an envelope written with a Leviste on it. Another surprise God? Paran g napapansin ko na you never ran out of surprises for me? And I didn t like it for one sec. I just walked past him and got out. Ang isip ko sinasabing hindi ako dapat magalit sa kanya. Then another with Julian s mom. Binayaran niya ang bahay namin. Of course. Then I moved on to the next picture. Jean I prostituted hersel f for a one and a half million. She turned to the lane toward the side of the taxi. Naso-suffocate na `ko. Not beca use our parents forced her to do it. He bought Jean me. hirap pang iharap ang mukha. Pero hindi na kami makatigil kasi may MMDA dun. Tricia?. Jean did it because she was always the good daughter. Seriously. Tahimik na pumunta ako sa desk niya tinignan ang picture don.. Stolen shot. Wala sa loob na sinundan ko siy a ng tingin. So sinong dapat sisihin? Feeling ko napakaselfish ko. Sinalo lahat. I felt cold. `yung tipong pati hanggang dulo ng kuko kaiinggitan mo. They have it all. And my. . At least CM would make me happy.
Ang hudas pumalakpak pa. Ahm well.I mouthed. Tapos biglang t umunog `yung cellphone nito at nag-excuse. siya ay paminta. CM raised o ne brow at me. Kung ganito lang san a si Julian. Eh. CM smiled up at Brad. Ang bilis talaga ng radar nito. Agaw eksena kami ng niyakap niya `ko. Then I stared at his cute f ace. Ayan pati a ko naguluhan na din talaga. Sa likod ng mga fats niya ay 24/7 tumitibok ang pusong laan para kay Adan. Ako? You ve know n me for three years! I thought you love me? Parang nagbago ka na. no. Katabi ko. no. Gross. an g morbid. Nagba yad ako at mabilis na bumaba. His face was an inch or two away from me. halaman g dagat. Kay Brad! Ah ah b-bestfriend siya ni ni Jeannie! How odd I refer someone as myself. Si CM ay isang nagbabalatkayong tao este lalaki. I shivered suddenly. Jeannie? One brow arched. Tumingin ako kay CM. Hindi ka pa ba uuwi Jean? Nag-aalalang sabi ni Brad. Hindi gagawin ni Julian `yun. Tumalikod. Pero nakikita ko ang isandaan at isang tanong. isang buwan lang naman. Nataw a pa nga ako ng sundan server `yung tingin sa min kay CM. Tapos napatingin siya sa `kin . Isa pa kakatayin ko na talaga `tong si CM. M-my b-bestfriend in New York. Jeannie. I saw t enderness in his eyes. Inakbayan niya `ko at pumunta kami sa pinakamalapit na Italian Restaurant. Masyado kasing napraktis. SANA. Too sweet. Hindi kita type no. bakit ba umuulan ng mga lalaki sa buhay ni Jean? Jean why did you do that to me? Anong sasabihin ko? Kelangan ba pag-naguusap ganito pa kalapit? You ve known him for only three to four months. CM? Sa tatlong taon na nakilala kita You haven t mentioned him. Hinawakan niy a ang siko ko ng tumayo ako. Brad this is CM. Oh. Yeah. Ano `to soap opera? Salamat sa awa ha. Baba na lang ako ng hawakan niya `ko sa braso. Brad frowned. you know . Grabe. CM! Lakad pa lang niya alam ko na. At binaba ako ni Brad sa mansyon. Para kaming sira na nagsasign language. Pinanlakihan ko siya ng mata. Kung pwede nga lang maghimala ako at magbuntis. Nagpalumbaba ako at ikinuwento lahat. bestfriend we could make it a story. at si Zsa Zsa Zaturna. At gigil na kumaga t labi pa ito. Nakangiti pa. Alam mo `yun g mga ginagawa ng mga mayayaman na pinapasalvage `yung first wife nila. some advice. Lahat-lahat ata ng sama ng loob ko kay Julian sinabi ko sa kanya. He whispered achingly. He had t he biggest mouth ever. Anong alam mo? You haven t known him that long. Then pigs would surely fly. Yes. I would really melt. Hinatid namin si CM sa bahay nito sa Alabang. Mas morbid `yun. Pinisil pisil ko `yung bic eps niya.Hindi na `ko magtataka kung akalain niyang may baliw na sumakay sa kanya. CM could help? God. What if he found out the truth? That you re not pregnant? He wolfed down the pasta e nthusiastically. BRAD? Brad s face was polite. In short. I waited for CM s arrival. Hindi ikaw ang tinatanong! `Di ba Jeanni I sent him a warning glance. He s yummy. Bakit hindi? Bale-walang sabi nito. Jean? We both turned at the voice. Ah oo. Pini sil niya ang kamay ko. Parang bigla kong nalunok `yung laway ko. Kung alam lang niya. Ihahatid na kita. Ako din uuwi na. From the b eginning `till the bitter end. Umupo ito sa tapat ni CM. Goodness. Kaya pala kaya pala parang hindi man la . Nag-X sign pa ako n parang si April boy. Wow. Parang gusto ko siyang batukan. I sighed. He mouthed. What? I said innocently. Yuck. I think I have to go. I could melt. no. He s he s Jean s ex. Kala mo naman hind i nagkita ng isang taon. CM rolled his eyes. Three to four months? I bit my lower lip. So what happened? I pouted. Goodness. I bet he s going to plot murder against me.
Binabaan ako ng p hone! I tried and tried again. Sino bang may ayaw ng lalaking ganito magmahal? One in a million siya. Nawala lahat ng antok ko. I called CM. Niyakap ko siya ng mahigp it. Tapos lumabas na ito. Hindi naman siguro babagsak `yung eroplano no. Inhale. At ipinarinig pa sa `kin ang malakas na paghikab niya. May jetlag pa `ko. exhale. Galit na ibabagsak ko ulit ang katawan ko sa kama ng buhatin niya ko. CM I can t meet the whole Sunico clan. At least. Por Diyos. I felt exhausted and slept early. Lum ayo ako lalo. Hindi ako mapakali lalo. Magbihis ka may pupuntahan tayo. He grabbed my shoulders and made me stand up. Hindi rin dahil wala pang happy ending. Julian no! Binuksan niya ang shower at itinapat ako sa ilalim ng napak alamig na tubig. Jean annul your marriage. Nicknames are supposed to shorten one s name. Maliligo tayo ng sabay? Nakataas ang isang kilay nito. Nakatulog ako habang byahe kaya nabigla na lang ako ng nasa NAIA na kami. He couldn t and wouldn t tell Jean and me apart. No! Mabilis akong bumitiw sa kanya kahit pa ma-hypothermia na `ko. na-touched ako sa bestfriend ko. naramdaman kong parang may pumasok sa kwarto. It s it s my nickname. are you out of your mind? It s one in the morning! Kung gusto mo ikaw na lan g mag-isa. from Jeannette to Jeannie Oh Jean was always just Jean. Julian? He didn t turn around. I heard the amusement in hi s voice. Please call me Jeannie. Be with me. Bilisan mo. Again. now! Julian frowned at me. I whispered softly. He walked on. Hindi naman ako manhid. in that I didn t lie. Ang ginaw talaga. Por Santo! Ala-una ng madaling araw.! Jeannie? Oh my God kung tsismis lang `yan ipagpabukas mo na. Ang sitwasyon lang natin ang nagbago Brad. My God Ju lian. Tinakpan ko ng unan ang ulo ko at hinampas kung si no man `yung bastos na `yun. Hello? Carlo Miguel Jr. Punta ka sa asawa mo. Me included. Kulang na lang sabih in niyang hang up na. Tapos? . Then som eone was shaking my shoulder. I wanted to make a way for my sister an d him. mas gusto niyang kasama `yun g mga libro. `Yun lang. CM !!! The line went dead. Relax take a deep breath. Grabe. Anong gagawin ko harangin `yung eroplano? Pasabugin `y ung airport? Anong gagawin ko? We re going to fly to Korea! As in. Then I gasped. Later in t he wee hours of midnight. I thanked God he didn t unplugged the socket. He chuckled.ng nagtataka si Julian. computer at alak niya. CM! We re going to Korea! So? Pati ba naman bestfriend ko nahawahan ng pagiging insensitive ni Julian? Help m e! Jeannie hindi ako si Darna. Jean! What! Natutulog `yung tao eh. Anyone would want Brad for herself. Jean must be very lucky. I screamed. Ano `to napagtripan lang basta n i Julian na magtour kami sa Korea?! I bit my lower lip. Again. In my panic-driven state. Tinanggal ko ang kamay niya sa braso ko. Ganon naman eh. O buntis nga ba? Had sh e just said it to blackmail Julian? I hadn t seen Julian when I got home. Wha t did he mean by that? Pinaikli naman talaga ah. How? Buntis na si Jean kay Julian. Dahil hindi niya talaga kilala si Jean! Hindi ako ang nagbago Winner! Pwede na `kong manalo sa FAMAS. Jean. Oh my God. Oh my God.
Hmm. no. Eh `di `wag. It should warm my heart. Kung narinig niya lang ang sinabi ni CM. At sa pagkagulat ko. Inirapan ko siya at umisod pakabila. argh . He wore that devil-may-care expres sion on him. Matagal na Jeannie. I pouted my lips. Malungkot. He looked bored. Pero parang ayaw makisama ng mga muscles ko. French kiss na lang. Sa sobrang higpit iisipin kong ayaw niya `kong pakawalan. He shrugged then looked at me knowingly. I. And he was also staring at me! Feeling ko nagkulay man sanas ako. As in. Natatakot na talaga ako. Grabe. Na para bang may space akong mauusugan. Gawin ko kaya? Ano kayang magiging reacti on ni Julian? You already met my family when they d come home. Inis na tinanggal ko ang kamay ko sa pagkakahawak niya. Mahigpit. Sino si Angko? You ve met him. I know I was acting childish. Bakit ba umaasa pa `kong magbabago siya? The stewardess smiled at us specifically at Julian. padarag n a tinanggal ko `yung kamay niya sa pagkakahawak ng kamay ko. What if they found out? I couldn t act as Jean ! In Korea! With Julian s estranged family! I was quite surprised when I felt a big hand hovered over my own. kung alam ko lang natetempt ka na ding gawin. I bit my lower lip. Damn sexy men. Wala naman siyang pakialam ` . Oh my. Oh G od. As if he owned the world. Then it fitted the spaces between my fingers. He was there with me. Unti-unting tumaas ang ulo ko. Julian was sitting handsomely in his Lacoste polo shirt and Levi s jeans. Habang n asa loob kami ng eroplano ay gusto ko ng tumalon palabas ng bintana. `Sus. Julian I don t think this is a good idea. Kung alam ko lang na B. remember? You and Tantan hit it off. SEVEN I didn t know a thing about Korea much less Julian s Korean family. Habang hawak niya ng mahigpit ang kamay ko sa l ap ko mismo. He wasn t looking a t me. He raised one brow at me. Torrid. Para akon g pinasugod ng mga magulang ko sa giyera ng wala man lang dalang armas. ka Hindi ko napigilang hindi matawa. Tumaas ang kilay nito.Yakapin mo at saka mo ikiss. I knew he just wanted to make the ordeal light for me. I already and suddenly missed Philippines! As if What would I do? What should I do? Julian just slept like the dead. The family dinner before the wedding. As if telling me to keep my thoughts to myself. I tried to smile. Julian What? He snapped at me! Sabi ko na nga ba masamang biruin ang bagong gising eh. Parang nga. I whispered when I saw his one good eye fli ckered. My hands trembled. I gave him my most charming smile. I didn t want him to be suspicious. Siguro kung wala lang sakit si Angk o His tone changed. Umupo ako sa tabi ni Julian. Then he sighed exaggeratedly. CM! I then gaped at Julian. Julian sm iled charmingly at her! The devil really could smile Tapos sa `kin pinagdadamot n iya `yun. Pero lalo lang niya ng hinigpitan. Kahit papano gumaan ang pakiramdam ko ng ti nawagan ko si CM. I swallowed. Gusto ko ng lumabas ng airport at sumigaw ng kidnapping. Sino si Tantan? My mind was scre aming. But then I felt him. But panic was overwhelming me. He raised one brow at me. Tinignan niya `ko. In disgust.
Bumalik na naman bigla `yung takot ko. I DON T CARE. he didn t r eally mean it. I for got all about the make-believe baby! Parang gusto kong lumubos sa kinauupuan ko habang himas himas niya ang tiyan kong wala naman talagang laman kundi puro inte stines. He didn t speak English. Tapos tapos Oh God. Anything basta healthy. Buti wala akong b ilbil. Ako din Wala sa loob na bulong ko. He must have been very tired because of w ork. `Pagkatapos niya `kong sabihang Sa`yo lang ako Lumapit sa `kin `yung sa tantiya `ko ay steward nila. Na para bang hindi siya `yung Julian na lagi akong sinisigawan. Naka tayo pa rin ako dun.di `ba? There s nothing to be jealous of I gasped. Para `kong naparalyze. Galit na inunahan ko na ng bukas ng pinto bago ang steward. But I saw amusement written all over his face. Dapat matuwa ako sa sinabi niya. Feeling ko nga. Seriously. Tin uro niya sa`kin ang kotse at kinuha `yung nag-iisang clutch bag na dala ko. Or bet ter yet. Then they were speaking softly. Excuse me? Mali ba `ko ng rinig? You re my wife. Marami naman siyang pambili `di ba? Binalibag ko pasara ang pinto. Tapos bumaba `yung kamay niya sa leeg ko. Sana lang pareho silang magka-sore eyes. At lalong `yung Julian na nilockan ako ng pinto. Then down to my Oh my I whispered. Bakit niya hinahawakan tummy ko? I tensed. My tummy. Magdurugo na ata ang lower lip ko sa sobrang kaga . Mayamaya sumeryoso siya. ayoko pa. Para akong t-a-n-g-a na naghihintay ng himalang mapansin ni la. Tricia was still as sophisticated as I remembered. my nose. In another language. Na para bang iniisip niya talagang maig i. Deadma. It seemed to take an eternity. Mayamaya lang tulog na ulit si Julian. We ll see an Napalunok ako. `Yung Julian na walang pakia lam sa `kin. Hindi niya `ko pin agbitbit ng gamit ko! Ang bait ah. Na para bang wala ako dun! I gritted my teeth and closed my eyes. What do you want? Girl boy? Hmm His chinito eyes squinted all the more. para akong na sa drama. Sana laging ganito si Julian Well. I just hoped it wasn t seen as a grimace. Nakita kong natigilan si Julian. Masama bang ma-carried away? I tried to crack a smile. Kahit magtitigan sila buong maghapon. Binitiwan niya `ko ng kinuha niya `yung mga bag namin. Hindi rin naman madali na maging Vice President ng isang malaking kumpanya at the age of 27. Oh no. Don t look at me like that I might fall! When we get back. the hell I care. At tinitignan ang reaksyon ko. Like hell. I giggled. Palabas na kami ng may naghihintay na sasakyan. They both stared at each other. Sa `yo lang ako Biglang napatingin ako sa kanya. Julian stared at me. I sucked in the air unconsc iously. Then Julian replied quietly. Ganon ba talaga ang epekto ni Tricia kay Jul ian? Had he loved her that much to forget about me? Well. Ano nga kaya ang magiging itsura ng baby namin n i Julian? Kamuka din kaya ni Julian? His eyes. gusto ko ng maniwala. Ano nga kayang nakain nito? He gave me a coat. And I was meeting the other woman. ako pala `yung kontrabida. Ganon ba talaga? Normal ba talaga `yun? O ako lang `yung abnormal? I m already excited to see our baby. He said softly. Ginising ko siya ng palapag na kami. G usto kong sumigaw kay Julian at sabihing hello! I m here! I glared at his back. Ayoko sana. Malamig. Napataas `yung kilay ko. I could drown in those brown eyes. hindi ko alam kung ako lang ang nakakaramdam non pero parang m ay kuryente. Ba t `di na lang kaya niya `ko yakapin? Now I was sounding very much like CM. mag-freeze sa ginaw. my lips. We went out of the intern ational airport hand in hand. Inis na nilagpasan ko sila. The land was very foreign to me. his one left dimple. Tenderly. Then he looked at me straight in the eye. We both stopped when we saw a woman standing in the middle of the parking lot waiting for us. Wala akong pakialam kung masira man ang handle non. Tapos hinamas niya ulit `yung tyan ko. What amazed me next was when he cupped m y face. He was too gentle. we ll see an OB. I felt warmth in the simple gesture.
Wake up we re here. In the deepest part of me I felt alone. Pagod ako. Julian raised one brow at us. Could have been. Julian got out and took our luggag e. Pagod ka Jeannie. Jeannie? As if naman nagulat ka! I smiled at her mockingly. Kung alam ko lang. Nakita kong nagkakatingin an sila sa rearview mirror sa harapan. I hated Julian. As if he could see through my lies . Tumingin ako sa kanila. Napatingi n sa `kin si Tricia at Julian. I dialed his number. Bakit ganito? Ayoko ng makita si Julian. I felt a twinge of guilt. Jean! I laughed nervous ly. Baka pa gbuhulin ko pa sila ni Julian. Hindi ko napigilan ang sarili ko. Pero twinge lang. Yes. my God. Biglang bumilog ang naniningkit na mga mata ng bata. You didn t tell me about Jea nie. I m a slut in the making. So are you telling me that I m a scheming b!tch? Hell. I hated this feeling. Julian glared at me. Gusto ko ng umuwi. Kami naman ni Tricia sa backseat. Itulog mo na lang `yan. Narinig niya `ko. Chubby cherubin. He frowned. Pareho kaming nagkatinginan. I didn t know why I felt hurt. si Tricia. he was wishing me to the moon. sa mood ko ngayon hindi ko feel maging chummy-chummy sa kanya. Julian sat in front. No. That wasn t what I intended. So? Hindi ko pinansin a ng kamay niyang nakalahad. At ako ayoko sa bata! Ngumiti ako dito at pasimpleng pinanlakihan ito ng mata. I didn t know She whispered wonderingly. Para akong sinasakal. Julian was already embracing her! And she was crying. My eyes grew wide. Tinitigan kong m aigi ng kumalas siya mula kay Tricia. Tricia gaspe d. Three to four years old. you were talking about Jean! Yes. You knew each other? I groaned inwardly. Naalimpungatan ako. I forgot. If I were a scheming b!tch then he s the biggest hypocr ite ever. Tumalikod lang ako saglit. Lumapit si Julian. Ah no. May kayakap ng iba! Gigil na kinuha ko sa bag ang cellphone na pinakuha ko sa isa sa mga maids ni Ju lian mula sa bahay naming nung isang araw. `Yun lang. Na para bang nakikita niya `ko. Madapa ka sana. Tapos inalalayan niya si Tricia. Imo Jean h-hold me! Para akong mahihimatay. Nag-duet kami ni Tricia. Victorian style in Korea? Hmm. Had the circumstanc es been different we could have been friends. Sh!t. honey she was Jeannie. . Maputi ito. When the car door opened. Mabilis kong iniiwas ang mga mata ko. Nagpapabuhat! Oh. Some look Kore an. Tricia had always been soft-spoken. Mas malaking mansyon. Jean Rose was fond of kids. Then he looked at me through the tinted wi ndow sill. I didn t care if I sounded like one. Ang matatabang mga braso nito ay tumaas . Na parang torture. I I Jeannie I met her in New York. We re not friends but we have been Hindi ko alam kung saan uminit ang ulo ko: sa endearment ni Tricia o dahil hindi ko lang talaga siya feel.t. My eyes grew wi de. Ipinikit ko ang mga mata ko. Ganito ako kapag natetense o naiinip. Pero layuan niya muna ako. Tricia got in. What did you say? Tricia turned at me. Yes. Julian chuckled. At pasimpleng umirap. Then I saw the others looking at us from inside t he big yard. I couldn t be mistaken. others were Filipinos. Lalo na ng titigan akong maigi ni Julian. Kung hindi ko pa alam na tinted ang sasakyan. Imo Jean! Nabigla ako ng may batang lalaking biglang tumakbo at yumakap sa `kin. at hayun ang magaling na lalaki. Ha? Had I said my thoughts aloud? Umiwas ako ng tingin kay Julian.
Lahat sila naka palibot sa `kin. Oh m y. Imo Jean Yumakap ulit ito. Wala na `kong nagawa. . H indi naman ako pinanganak na sinungaling kaya nagi-guilty din naman ako sa pamil ya ni Julian. My gaze was fixed on the grand staircase. Sa sobrang inis ko binitawan ko siya. He looked real worried. Hindi ba ako titigilan ng batang ito? Kinarga ito ng matandang l alaki. Emotional stress. Then I saw Julian and Tricia talking quietly fr om a corner. I opened my eyes slowly. Celine smiled at me. Tricia ey ed me curiously. si Uncle Jin. Nananaginip ba `ko? Sa panaginip ko Julian was worried sick about me. Napansin ko ang closeness ni Julian kay Uncle Jin. He was the old man in the pictures! With Julian. Some smiled at me. He grasped my hand. Then someone hugged me. The man who had bear-hugged me earlier. My eyes searched for Julian. Hija! Kamusta ka na? Too sad. Then he stopped crying. There stood Julian s grandfather . Then I started hiccupping. Gusto kong maniwala Julian gusto ko. I froze in place. I heard that one. So he s Tantan? I groaned inwardly. He looked at me then started hiccupping. No Tricia. I smiled at the old man. Hindi ko ineexpect ito. Anak siya ni Uncle Jin. So Juli an s words were asking him to kiss him? Was that it? Oh. Natawa ang mga pinsan ni Ju lian at tinapik ito. I wanted to g o home. like the way Julian stared at me when he was suspicious. What the hell is happening here?! Unti-unti akong tumingin sa hagdanan. Para akong hihimatayin. Me. ganyan din ako ng pinagbubuntis ko si Tantan. Are you sure. Oh. Are you sure. What have I gotten my self into? Tapos bumalik ulit ito at hinawakan ang kamay ko. Hindi ko na kaya. Tantan smiled up at me. Ayoko na. I just smiled. Emotional stress. Then Tantan kissed my nose. Uncle I w hispered tentatively. Hindi okay. Hindi sila matapobre like what I d expected. darling? You got me worried We ll go to the nearest hospital. Tantan I gritted my teeth while s miling. Aunt Risan. Imo Jean let s play. I didn t make it on your wedding day. Kahit isa sa ka nila hindi ko alam ang pangalan. Imo Jean! I almost groaned aloud. I m okay. And sadly the divorce of Julian s parents caused the Sunico patriarch to dis own his eldest son. kay a ikaw Julian take care of Jean. `Pagpasok namin ay niyakap ako isa-isa ng mga kamag-anak ni Julian. no. O kay lang po. Drake. Tama . My throat was dry. God Sssshhh Tantan don t cry. Kung hindi ko pa ala m in my peripheral vision I saw her. Si Celine. Kumiss ito kay Julian. NO! He was holding Tricia s hand.Hello Tantan dangsin-i samchon jullian-i cheos kiseu wonhaneun geos-il sudo? You might want to kiss Uncle Julian first Nakahinga ako ng maluwag ng umalis ito sa pagkakayakap sa mga hita ko. Imo Jean s-sorryy My eyes watered. Tahimik lang ako. Pinilit kong tumayo mula sa malaking kama. eh? Pagpasensyahan mo ang apo ko Jean. and the res t I couldn t very well remember their names. Ngumiti ito at inabutan ako ng wineglass. You re not Imo Jean! You re not Imo Jean! He started wailing. Na parang hinipan lang ng hangin. Me. Our baby he might be He frantically cupped my stomach tenderly. you re okay? Tanong ni Uncle Jin. But I m not that stupid. Tantan. Nagkalat ang chocolates sa mga kamay ko. No make-believe baby. The patriarch of the Sunico family. n o. Nakatingin ako sa batang naglalagkit ng chocolates. Reall y stared at me. Nasan ako? Julian cupped my cheek softly. At apo nito si Tantan. Alam mo cous. NOT MINE! I fainted. EIGHT Jeannie! Jeannie! Damn Jeannie darling please wake up. He stared at me. Parang ito ang pumalit sa pwestong iniwan ng papa niya. At nalaman kong kaya lang sila nan dito ay dahil sa Angko ni Julian Julian s grandfather was sick. Nakita ko ang mukha ni Julian. No nothing. Me. You missed aunt Jean. clearly. Un cle Jin was his father s cousin. They were almost all half-filipinos half-koreans.
Authority. Sa likod ng isip ko nakikita ko sila ni Tricia. He wouldn t hurt me. Overwhe lming anger and desolation. Sabi nito sa mataas na tinig. Because I m good at giving back to charities and you re one of them. Nakita kong unti-unt ing nag-iiba `yung expression niya. right? And you re a hypocrit e. Diyos ko. And g oodness. Now. Realization hit me all at once. Please Julian Tama ka. I know an insult when I heard one. You ruined both our lives. My heart was thundering. I saw red. di sana hindi tayo parehong nakatali sa kasal na ikaw mismo ang may gawa. darling? He said in sarcasm. Tatakbo ako mula sa gilid ng hapitin niya ang bewang ko. Umiiyak ang huli. parang nag-aalala siya. Hindi naman ako nasaktan dahil malambot ang malaking kama. wala siyang kara patan magalit. Sadly. I was sudd enly afraid. Jean nie Nakita ko si Tricia. The corner of his lips twitched lazily. Na parehong meron kay Julian. I looked over my shoulders Lamp shade? Brush? No! I can t hurt him. Insensitive cad! What s wrong? Ha! Yes! Everything s wrong you. Niyakap ako ni Tant an sa leeg. Are you going to rape me? I whispered angrily. Nagpapakatanga ba talaga ako? He was taking his clothes off one by one. it felt wrong and delicious. Do I need consent in raping my wife. Hindi ako makahinga sa bigat niya. But oh my. Nagti tigan kami. Bakit ako masasaktan? Siguro kasi natatapakan pride ko bilang babae.At sana hindi dumating `yung panahong I d start really hating you. sonja? Napatingin ako sa mukha ng Angko ni Julian. Napalunok ako. His rheumy eyes were still clear. Parang naiiyak na `ko. . Bulong ko. Ewan ko. Nobody assiste d the old man. Pero dinaganan niya `ko . Julian seemed like the very devil himself. Pero lalo niya lang hinigpitan. My God. He di dn t look as if he was sick. Pilit kong iniaatras ang katawan ko papuntang headboard. They were both alike. Gi namit kita. At least not physically. M y hands were trembling violently. Narinig ko ang pagsara ng pinto. At may mahal din akong iba. He s got grit and pride. No! O. The rise and fall of my chest rubbed against his. Charity? `Yun ba talaga tingin sa `min ng kapatid ko? I hate you Julian! I love Brad I so love Brad that I wished he were you right this minute! Pasigaw na sabi ko. His whole body was covering mine. I pushed him hard on the chest. Galit na tinitigan niya `ko. I sighed. But there was definitely something about his grandfather t hat made me fear him. Very much like Julian. May tungkod ito. me and Tricia! I clenched my teeth. Kulang na lang maging ab o ako sa apoy na nilalabas non. And it hit right through the core. And let s face reality may mahal kang ib a. I m already doing this. He became withdrawn. as if mocking me. tukso layuan mo ako! Julian no My eyes grew wide. Ginamit kita para makuha ko ang gusto ko. Right. His fists clenched. ang pangalan ng pamilya mo . Julian don t do this. Natakot ako bigla. Jeannie Will you please go away from me? I murmured angrily as Julian touched my shoulder. Ako. Na para bang ako ang may kasalanan ng lahat. he was clad with his Levi s Ganon kabilis. I screeched and clawed his face. You love Brad. Eh. I was amazed at what he had done next pabalyang itinulak ako ni Julian sa kama. What s wrong? I bit my lower lip from shouting at him. No that would stomp my damned pride. Is there something wrong. Taas noong tumingin ako sa kanya. My eyes grew wide I thought it might p opped out. Pagsalba man lang ng pride. Ang mga mata nito. Tinanggal ko iyon ng humarap ako sa kanya. Let s get her to rest. O nag-aalala ba talaga? Tinalik uran ko siya. Wala n a `kong pakialam kung magalit siya sa `kin. Jeannie. mapapatawad ko na sana `tong batang `to. Ju lian was dead serious. His face was so close I c ould smell his breathing. In the first place. Inihiga niya ` ko sa kama. Parang bigla akong natakot sa itsura ni Julian. Niyakap niya `ko. I gasped. Julian s face darkened. Hindi niya `ko maririnig na magmakaawa. He pulled off his coat. He didn t quite budge. Arrogance. Ano `to stare-a-thon? The muscle on his jaw flexed furiously. para makuha ko ang titulo ng bahay namin. Well. Magkaya kap. Gigil na itinaas nito ang baba ko. pati ako naguguluhan. Sana nanlimos ka na lang sa `kin.
Then he went out of the door. I opened my mouth to protest. Tapos hinawakan niya `yung kamay ko. Then he looked down at me at my bare shoulders and flimsy black underthings. Tahimik lang si Julian . Wala na siyang ginawa kundi sa ktan ako. Open up for me Jeannie His voice was hoarse. Napatingin kami sa doctor. And I bet he hated the responsibility. No one owns me He claimed my mouth not too gently. He was trying to hide the p ain. His eyes were blazing Then he fisted my hair up that tilted my face in the air. Then his hands were there touching me. then tears one by one pooled down my eyes. But it only ignite d something more more that I wanted. Carnally. Then he kissed me th ere. I started crying. No Yes no then he was claiming what he shouldn t. openly. Then he kissed me. He roughly tore my blouse off me. The buttons popped. You love Brad? Let s see. Nakita ko si Tricia na nakatingin sa `min habang nasa labas ng ICU. War of heat. we weren t in pu rgatory. He wanted to see Mr. Ganoon ba `ko kababaw? Sinisigawan niya `ko lagi. But I did. He was now the heir. And I felt a little sympathy for this old man even though I had met him a few hours ago. Something I felt strongly. Touching my stomach. Nanghihina na `ko. Ho? Julian pushed me. Ro ughly. And now I love hi m. Then his lips landed on the side of my neck. I closed my eyes ti ghtly. JUST. Th e soon-to-be patriarch of Sunicos. Umiiyak na ang mga pinsan nitong babae. He was already kissing me. Julian! Angko s rushed to the hospital. Not l ike this Julian! Then his lips trekked down my neck. His hand clutched the side of my neck. Na para bang magkakaroon ng Wo rld War III. Parang gusto kong yakapin si Julian. I love Brad I love Brad I shouted at him. Gusto k ong sabihing family matter `to. He was tense. She was just a family fr iend. I was half-naked. And I tasted blood there. Marahan niyang hinimas ang tyan ko. And I couldn t help falling for him. Sa pagkabigla ko Oh my God! I cried out. We were in a war. I hate him. yet I couldn t name . Angko Julian and him spoke quietly in Korean language. Ang mukha ng lolo ni Julian. Julian Sunico and his wife. SAVAGELY. Surely. You re mine. I tried hard to close my mouth from his i nvasion. Hindi niya kailangang magsalita para mari nig ko `yun. In bed with a man who thought I was someone else. My God. Itinulak ko siya ng malakas. We were still in Korea. I saw the bitterness written all over his face. Sanjo come here.Tumaas lang ang kilay niya. Hungrily. Nagsabog ang buhok ko sa k ama at sa mukha ko. `Yung parang tinatawag na ni Sa n Pedro. . I shouldn t be feeling this way. Pilit akong nagpupumiglas mula sa hawak niya . Uncle Jin s mouth was slacked. It was like I couldn t do anything anymore. He s dying! We went to the hospital as soon as we got our clothes on. Galit na sinabi nito. parang biglang nag-init ang buong paligid. But the devil was kissing me. Pilit kong iniiwas ang mukha ko. Without clothes on now. Para akong masosuffocate sa loob ng hospital suite. wala kang karapatan dito . No. War of emotions. Julian? Julian? We both turned at the frantic sound at the door.
Promise. I shook my head. no. I nodded. I wished you could paint the whole family. naniniwala akong bumabalik ang mga kaluluwa kung may unfinished business. Parang gusto kong maawa dito. It s over. It was too swift. I couldn t help being left out. `wag naman sana. Kay Tric ia lang. You didn t even call me Risan? Me? Your own brother when dad died? I have every rig ht! Galit na nagwawala na ngayon ang daddy ni Julian. Will you get out of here? You re not a Sunico! Julian hissed silently. went back to the Philippines. Pero ako si ako si Jean. He s dead. Gusto kong sabihing ako? Ako pa ang mananakit kay Julian? Apo niya nga talaga it o. Julian! Celine said authoritatively. we. Cremated. why didn t you tell me? He gritted his teeth. We were out of the embassy when we saw Julian s father. Umiyak na `ko. Promise me. Ayokong ako pa ang maging dahilan ng pagkamatay ni Angko. Julian s father was red about the face. whatever happens take care of Julian. Ho? Para na akong parrot na paulit ulit. After the third day. nasasaktan din ako. meaning almost all of the Sunicos. What is over Jin? You tell me! You know it would never be over unless Galit na siga w nito at tumingin kay Julian. Aunt Risan looked worried. Tahimik lang siya these past few days. you ll never hurt him. I heard you are good at painting. Alam ko kung pano magalit ang leon. Julian moved forward. I-comfort. NINE Julian was withdrawn the whole burial service. Nakita ko ang biglang p agmutla ni Uncle Jin. Then his hand went limp. Pinagtitinginan na kami ng mga tao sa paligid. Promise me. Promise. He needs you. Too fast. Jeannie could paint. Natatakot ako. With me. The Old patriarch of Sunicos were now gone. I m sorry. Gusto ko siyang lapitan. I m old but I m not stupid. Uncle Jin tried to pacify h im. Jin. I was kinda shocked. With Tricia. What the hell Ang hirap pumagitna sa mga nag-uumpugang bato. Promise me His voice was ho arse. His wrinkled chinky eyes seemed tired. Hmm He took my hand. Before we knew it. Syempre. My eyes grew wide. hindi naman ako ganon kasama. At least. Hindi man ako inborn na mabait. Eh.Angko He smiled sadly. I wanted to tell him. I know I know He chuckled hoarsely. But he gave me that look that said back off . pano kung balikan ako ni Ang ko? Diyos ko. At isa pa. Para kaming . Natatakot akong bak a hindi ko matupad ang promise ko kay Angko. What if what if Julian turned to his father in anger? O h. Yakapin. Julian never needed me. Please make my sanjo happy h-he h-he had the full responsibility now.
I rolled my eyes. Wrath and envy. Like I was an altogether different person. Dumating ang mga bodyguards ni Uncle Jin. She understood him about his family. Wala ng dialogue na bata ka pa . Wala ng curfew. Ako?. May kumatok. In fairness ha. Nagpapawis. wala. Tonight. Nasa kabilang sasakyan si Uncle Jin kasama sina Celine at Tantan. Para akong naestatwa. Why? Kasi feeling ko malaya na `ko m ula sa manipulasyon ng parents ko. Eve rything. mag-boyfriend at uminom. Julian closed his eyes. Ayoko na. God. Ano naman nandyan naman si Tricia! He would feel betrayed. Tricia smiled at me. I remembered telling Jean this: Jean `wag mong i-save ang mundo. artista ka na. Tricia was with him. CM. Ilang beses ko na bang sinabi: Wala a kong balak sundan ang yapak ni Rizal. LEGAL. CM I would tell him the truth. Mas matalino sa `yo kapatid mo. Tamang tama para sa okasyon. I saw the headlines. this is the right time to do that? I I don t know. I was mourning my heart out. Iyak ng iyak si Tantan ng magising. Anong panama ko kay Tricia? She knew a lot.. This is all your fault! You ruined mom s life! My life! And gave me the responsibil ity I never wanted in the first place. Where s your sense of honor dad? Sana hindi na lang kita naging tatay! Julian was making guttural sounds. women have a nurturing nature. I gave up. But you know what? I still wanted to reach out to Julian. totoo naman palang sinabi nila. I chose black. At lalong hindi ko na kailangang magsinungaling na may project par a lang payagang gumala. I gave up Juli an. Julian was remote. I gritted my teeth. I d tell him later about everything. There was more to this than I couldn t put a finger on.nasa slow motion scene habang nakita namin kung pano tumaas ang kamao ni Julian sa mukha ni Mr. I felt exhilarated. I took a step back in horror. Hi Oh. At lalong hindi ako magtataka kung ba kit siya pinikot ng kapatid mo. Independent. gwapo pala ni Julian Sunico I w ouldn t wonder why Tricia chose him over me. They have reasons. She was crying now. Ako? I felt alien. Hindi. Hindi ka si wonde rwoman. Hello? Wow. Where the hell had they come from? Tricia hugged him from behind. Pero anong ginagawa ko? Gusto kong protektahan si Julian. At hin . Hindi ko siya ma-t ake. I bit my lower lip. sa pagkakatanda ko never kang pinagnasaan ni Tricia back in New York. She looked pretty and sophiscated in her pink dress. Pero paano ang panga ko mo kay Angko Jeannie? Hindi ko na kaya. Sunico. What do you think will Julian feel? Another blow? Dammit. Mapagpanggap ka. At ang hitad tumawa pa. When I turned eighteen.. However unreasonable it may be . We ll have a press conference later. The n there were papparazzis. Sabi nila. you know. Talo ako. What! Think it over Jeannie. I know. Susuko na ba talaga ako? My hands were cold. Magpabuntis ka kaya kay papa Brad? I cut the line off. CM I ll talk to you later. Excuse me lang Carlo Miguel Jr. Then I sighed. My phone vibrated. Don t cause any more scandal than we have now Even Celine was c rying. Pwede ng makulong. Pero ang m agulang ay magulang. and men will always be boys at heart. Muy. Because he needed it t hough he wasn t asking it. Wala talagang mabuting idulot si CM. Painful.. Sa tingin mo. Julian please stop it. Aunt Risan phoned someone. Inayos ko ang gown ko sa harap ng salamin. I know I m committing two of the seven deadly sins. I saw Tricia squeezed his hand. hindi ako nagi ng mabuting anak. And I never wanted to run for an ulirang anak awardee.
Thirty minutes. Bakit hindi ko pa sabihin lahat? She smiled at me. Lumingon ako. Ayan. A fresh start. One step. no! I hadn t said my thoughts aloud again. I was out looking for Julian.ihiling kong sana y hindi ko na makita ever si Tricia. If you don t. his tux on one hand. Uncle Jin said from out of nowhere. I sucked in my breath. I m not a hypocrite Jeannie. You don t have to wor Julian was leaning gorgeously against the doorframe. my eyes squinted. It was deserted. Kaya nga nagtataka ako kung bakit magaling din akon g magsinungaling. I wanted t o spit fire at her. Two steps. A slow grin played about the corner of his lips. I ll take Julian away from you. I tiptoed and wrapped m y arms around his neck. Breathe out. Then I tried to smile at him. Lumabas na ako at pumunta sa conference room. Tapos nanlaki `yun g mga mata ko. It s alright. Ano ba Jeannie! Magtino ka nga Para kang naka-drugs. I swallowed. But beca use you took Julian from me. My God. Parang namanhid `yung buong katawan ko. And in that moment. he was inviting me to taste the forbidden app le. parang hindi naman. Nagulat ako ng biglang may yumakap sa`kin from behind. Ikaw Jea nnie mag-prepare ka na. Oh. Parang naririnig ko pa `yun. Please take care of Julian. Nothing more. Julian let go of my hand. Three days ago. Brad. I know it s you Jeannie. He clutched at me frantically. Jeannie He groaned. Lumiko ako sa kabilang room. You . Hindi rin naman kita gusto. Oh. Parang nanlamig ang buong pagkatao ko. I shrugged. You re blushing. Then I remembered what happened. I love you. I want to have a big family. And I promise you My jaw dropped. Dahil sa pagkaparalyze ko hindi ako makapag-react. Alam ba ng lahat? You knew? She nodded. Bakit hindi ka dumating? Ano?! Ano bang pinagsasabi nito? Was he into drugs also? Dahil sa kagandahan ko? Ang lupit talaga ng kamandag ko. That s a mistake. I couldn t risk being seen with him. I closed my eyes and kissed hi m.Ito ba ang k aya mong i-give up? Akala ko ba si Eba ang dahilan kung bakit nagkasala ang buon g daigdig. Pilit kong inaalis ang mga kamay ni Brad sa bewang ko. Lumapit ito. Tuta l huling gabi ko na ito. Touching my closed lips light against his. Later His eyes burned pr omise. Tricia ayokong makipagplastikan. Tumalikod na siya. His han ds automatically wrapped around my waist. you know me. He was a bit taken aback. Just a peck. Julian! For Christ s sake! The reporters are already here. L ike hell. Had Jean c . This was one big hell of a joke. Julian? I smiled and turned around to see Brad?! You called me last night. Tricia cupped Julian s cheek! Kitang kita ko `yun mula sa salamin. I m with Julian last night and I was wrong Jean! Once run away with me. I ll take Julian away from you. Maganda naman ako. I d rather eat you for dinner. I blushed. I wan t this marriage to work. Parang gustong lumabas ng puso ko. I saw him tensed. The ot her hand on his pocket. Tsk. Thirty minut es later. Sa ginawa niyong magkapatid. Parang sirang plaka. I I ve always been alone. me and our baby. Tricia was challenging me. I rea lized one thing: Hindi ko kayang i-give up si Julian! Dinner time. Jok e lang ni Brad. Wala akong dapat ikahiya. And his voice like hell. If you don t. Jeannie I I shrugged and went forward. Kumain na tayo. My eyes grew wide. Not personally. Pero tao lang po ako. Patatawarin kita sa ginawa mo. had I? Jean always t old me how transparent I am. I don t feel good around you. Gutom na `ko. I d tell him tonight. Kasabay ng paglabas nito ng pinto. Three.
Parang biglang nawala ang lakas ng loob ko. Yes. And opened the damned door. PAIN. NO over me. The Great JULIAN SUNICO wouldn t cry over a woman. Tricia yelled at me earlier in the ho tel suite and took me out of my reverie. I m sorry. Pwede pala kaming friends. I wasn t knocking now. by the end of the day I wouldn t wonder if I woul d be six feet underground he was going to kill me. He was sitting on his swivel chair. mahalaga pala ako sa kanya. Hindi ko na natapos kung ano man ang sasabihin ko. I caused another scandal. I m He was already kissing me! My head spin. Unless you knew wh at love really meant. `Wag gambalain? Bakit ano bang himala ang ginagawa niya sa loob? Gigil kong sabi. Julian! I gritted my teeth in anger. Kapag bukas ko ng pinto madilim. O dapat pang sabihin. Flashes of cam era. I failed Tricia. Once. Hindi niya kasalanan. I m setting you free. Ah ewan. Then the door opened.alled him last night? No Brad listen I m not Jean Rose. Oh my God. Th e reporters were forgotten. I stood there motionle ss. Tricia we re regarding me with an accusing stare. Then he walked away. Kay Julian. ang lola ng lola ko ang p amangkin ng anak ni Gabriela Silang. Julian She loves me Julian. Bwisit na b inabalibag ko na ang pinto. Sabi ni mommy. Nalunok ko pa ata ang nanunuyot kong laway. No It hurt as I stared coldly at his back. Hindi pa naman ako ganon kamahal ni Julian para gawin niya `yun `di ba? Ma am kasi po baka sa `kin magalit si sir kung Magalit sir mo? Sino bang kaharap mo? Hindi ba dapat mas mauna kang matakot sa `k in? I took the keys in her shaking hands. No! Bakit hindi ako makasigaw? Julian turned to me. At natakot ako kasi. Hindi dapat mandamay ng inosent eng nilalang. Set us free. Julian open this damned door! Ma am What! I tried to calm my nerves. No response. his deadly glance. Are you just going to stand there like a n idiot? You re not even going to defend yourself? What? Iiyak ka at sasabihin mon g ikaw ang biktima? For the second time. Nakataas ang paa nito sa drawer. I would underst and if he showed anger. Posible pala. Twice. What I saw in his face tore my heart into pieces. The paparazzi. Wala siyang alam! No! I whispered. my jaw almost dropped. I thought it was in the movies or telenovelas. Then he turned his back on me. Jeannie. For the win pala itong si Tricia! Naiiyak na sana ako nun eh. I d us e the word banging now. Mas kaya ko pang i-handle ang galit na Julian. Since. Nawala na ang overdramatic mood ko kanina. iba ang pakahulugan sa `kin non dati. Ahm. Okay. Eh. May pills kaya itong dala sa loob? Wire? Rope ? Knife? Grabe naman. `wag daw po siyang gambalain. Unless you fell in love like this. I saw something luha? No. Hindi ba dapat nagse-celebrate siya at hindi na . Tumakbo ako palabas. Julian lis ten to me! I pleaded. Siguro h indi niyo ko maiintindihan. Bakit ko ba naisipang mag-give up? I never had that in my v ocabulary. I failed. `Yung pag-aagawan naming `yu ng bidang lalaki. Jean what the hell do you think are you doing to me? TEN I knocked on the door. Someone gasped. Even though you couldn t define it. I clutched at his arm. Tapos may humawak ulit sa braso ko. The door was locked. My heart stopped. I swore my life was doomed as Julian stared coldly at me. Ako si Jeannie Rose Leviste. I failed Angko. His eyes. And I hurt Julian. ma am sabi po ni sir. Si Brad. I turned on the lights and saw Julian s back. Feeling ko masusuka a ko. WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK ARE YOU DOING?! Tricia half-screamed half-whispered. Para akong pinagbagsakan ng langit at lupa. Julian Na kita ko ang nagsabog na mga beer bottles.
His brow arched. He was trying to intimi date me.gpapakalasing? Eh. didn t you? Wouldn t you scream his name if we were going to To make love? I supplied nervously. Julian listen to me I want to come clean. Nabasa ko `ya n before. Screw. I m right. His neck tie was scattered on the desk. His eyes glinted. What the hell do you think are you doing? I was amazed. Papayag ka din sa a nnulment. Hoarse. Oh lord. See? He laughed out mockingly. we ll only be screwing. here in the library. n o. the more he lashed . The tic on his adam s apple moved. Then his err erri ng hand cupped my hmm. It was a little bit awkward and delicious? I moaned inwardly. Bakit mo ipagpipilitan ang sarili mo sa `kin kung nandyan naman si Brad? Parang biglang bumalik ang animosity nito. Whatever. three days ago. no t down but up. The first time. Then I took his hand and put it on my I swallowed first. Bad `yan ha. Nataob ko ang bataan. And then his big hand gripped me. Hindi. I blinked thr ice. Payag na `ko. I want an annulment. Oh. Ju lian.. I put it on my na. He always did that that menacing steps. The more he was hurt. Oh I moaned only because lust is a deadly sin not because because May mabubuo bang baby kung nakaganito lang kami? Nakakahiya na nga `yung sitwasy on ko. Second time. I swallowed against his deathly grip. Bulong ko. He caressed my neck gently . Sabi ko. Why wasn t he doing a thing? We were just standing there him touching me. Up to my neck. darling making love is only women s term. they were born w ith long and sharp tongues. Payag na `kong magpa-rape sa `yo Julian. You fvcking love him. Mas nakakahiya naman kung ako pang humigit sa kanya sa kama `di ba? Oh. There. At galit na tumayo ito. My eyes grew wide. I winced at the brutal words. Payag na `ko. Men are men. Gusto ko sanang sabihin `yun. With consent bosom. Then his hand moved. If we re going to do it. My eyes grew wide. Naglalabasan na ang ugat nito sa leeg. I should have known. I gulped Could n t I just look up and not on his chest. You wanted out of this marriage because of that SOB. was I? His eyes squinted anew. eh `di tinab lan ka ngayon! I wanted to shout victory. I m not talking to your back. Parang nag-init ang punong tenga ko. D ry. He swung the swivel chair roughly. `Di ba `yun din ang tanong sa `kin ni Tricia kanina? And all the while he didn t even take his hand off me! Naintin dihan mo naman `yung meaning ng rape `di ba? Pumapayag na `ko.. Tapos lumapit siya sa `kin. Alam ko kasalanan `tong gagawin ko. I swore Julian s eyes grew wide. Ang mga singkit niyang mat a lumaki at bumilog. He started laughing demonicall y. I hated to admit it. bakit Jeannie may kasama namang alak kapag nagse-celebrate `di ba? Hell. Nababaliw na ata talaga ako. Dalagang Pilipina ako no. Hindi ito lu milingon. I felt him moved a little. Tumawa ito na parang nang-aasar. I was that desperate. Julian What! Pack your things and get out of my house! He whispered angrily. Hindi ako magpapatakot sa damuho nato. Bingi ba ito? Ayoko. I whispered and swallowed sharply. Na para bang bago pa sa `kin `yun. Lumaki ang mga mata ko. Ang mga butones ng polo shirt nito ay nagkandakalas. Ayan. His teeth gritted. That chest would hav e been illegal to cover! Payag na `ko. My I sighed silently. give me strength. At hindi napagi-iwanan si Julian! Did he think his w ords would hurt me? Kilala ko na siya. Bosom is for inbred ladies.
Okay. Seven months. I could see that. Kailangan kong malaman ang d eepest and darkest secret nila malay mo. I whispered. CM? Mommy? Marahan akong tumayo at ngumiti sa kanila. thank you for stopping Julian from killing me last night. My mommy smiled. Our mommy now. Itinaas niya ang baba ko. Napaka-contagious ng aura nito. Nagkatinginan kami ni Julian. Then from the do orway came Oh my God. I secretively smiled. para may maipam-blackmail ako kay Julian . At siya? He didn t even g ive me a glance. And take note: with consent. What is it hija? She smiled at Julian. Negative vibes. Paano mo `ko papakinabangan kung patay na `ko? He sighed. I bet he was wondering what on earth was happening to me. Then I heard a loud crash. Ano pa bang dapat sabihin? Julian became withdrawn again. At isinara ko ang pinto. But what the hell was CM doing in here? Sabi ko na nga bad vibes. We ll ha ve an annulment after you give birth. may psychic ability kam i nitong si Julian. If I kill you there would b e justice. I wouldn t be bothered by his cruel words. Hin di ako nagagalit. Para tuloy may nagsasabi sa `king may hindi mangyayaring maganda. Wit h her mom. Balae? Napalunok ako. Parang outsider din ang mommy ni Julian sa family Sunico. He was pus hing me away. Tapos tinitigan niya `ko. Mommy Ma am. Your bestfriend? Lumingon sa `kin si Julian. Ah Julian si CM. Minsan naiisip ko. so my mommy s here. Yes.back. Dapat talaga naglagay ako ng banga sa harap ng p intuan para hindi nakakapasok ang masasamang espiritu sa bahay nila Julian. I pouted. God. given. Julian you can t run away from me. He said very politely. Parang gusto kong manghina. Baliw na kaya ako? Kapag baba ko ay nakita kong nagbebreakfast na sa lanai si Julian. M arami naman siyang pambili eh. Rape nga `di ba Inis kong sabi. Oo nga po. Akala lang nila si Jean ang matalino no. Shut up Jeannie . Tapos umupo na kaming lahat. So how are we going to do it? Sa desk? Sa couch? Sa ibabaw ng counter? What he was doing was scaring me off. Tinanggal nito ang kamay sa leeg ko. Julian kissed my mom s cheek. Tinitigan n iya `ko ng masama. Morning. sir may bisita po kayo. You wouldn t do that. amoy tsiko na. mommy. Must have been the china vase that caused millions. Ahm . Su nico on the cheek. Good morning mommy. Ganon din si Julian. He wiped his mouth with a napkin. She s Jeannie s bestfriend. Bakit kita hihi walayan eh. Inaalagaan mo bang maigi itong si Jean? He snorted. O isa lang talaga lagi `yung expression niya. I turned around before opening the door. May batas na ba dito sa bahay ang bawal ngumiti Jules? I saw his teeth gritted. Biglang tumaas `yung sulok ng bibig nito. And one more thing Julian. Tapos tinitigan ni ya si CM mula ulo hanggang paa. Anong nginingiti-ngiti mo dyan? Ano bang problema nito? Panira ng araw. Ang hininga niya. Do you know what I want to wring your lovely neck right now. Mukang masarap ang tulog mo hija Too bad I hadn t seen Julian s grandfather. ako din kaya. Hindi ako nagtatatalak sa kanya. Hindi ko alam kun g bakit energetic ako at masaya. Tawa ng tawa sa `kin mommy ni Julian. And you can marry your SOB of a lover. mas mayaman ka kay Brad? I smiled b!tchily at him. It was like I could take on the world. I whispered. Good morning Philippines! Good morning World! Good morning mommy! I kissed Mrs. Ang tanong paano ko manganganak? Paano kung hindi ako pumayag? He shrugged and took to his drinking again. it didn t matter.
Sh!t. He eyed Julian like my husband was the meal. . Here. Tila ayaw pa ng makisama! Ganyan din ako ng nagbubuntis ako kay Julian hija I smiled secretively. Ah. Pinanlakihan ko siya ng mga mata. I m glad to finally meet you CM ex tended his hand toward Julian. Bottle B. Tinitigan ko siya. Anong gagawin ko? Wala akong alam! Ano ano nga pala ang mga pinaglilihian mo hija? Parang hindi naman siya naglilihi. Then I made mewling sounds like I w as going to throw up. Makakatulong `yan in future references. It was now or never. Ahhh. Julian was still scrutinizing me. kitang-kita ang pagkabuhay ng katawang lupa ni CM sa mga mata niya. Actually may mga gay friends din kami sa New Ahurm. We re bestfriends. And fashion Lahat nag-uusap save Julian. My mom bit her lower lip. halika na t mag-breakfast na tayo. sorry. Tumaas ang kilay nito. T sismis. Inabot niya sa `kin ang isang maliit na paper bag. CM smiled at me. In front of me was a box of chocolate-flavored c-o-n-d-o-m-s! ELEVEN My hands trembled. A box of chocolates.Yeah. Usap. Balae. I smiled at Julian s mom. Hinimas ni mommy ang likod ko. May ipapatayo nga pala akong business hija. I smiled too sweetly. Jeannie. Then I gasped softly. Really. how could I? Kung mommy ko pa m ismo ang nagtutulak sa `king gawin ito. Napatayo silang tatlo. Ang boses. Julian tugged my hand. Ang mga mata ni Julian parang lobo. What the hell? Mom what s this? Pills. Bottle A. Two vials. errr Masusuka ata ako. Plan A and B. I know you ll surely love it. Later everybody was well and good. CM s eyes grew wide. Julian raise d one brow at me. Weather forecast. Ni hindi man lang hinimas `yung likod ko! Ahm talaga po? Maganda `yan. Let me see. Barakong barako. I m not very particular with gays.. Julian. Tapo s sumabog ang laman niyon sa lamesa. Tinakpan ko ang bibi g ko. Hindi ko gusto `yung tingin niya sa `kin. CM an o ba `yang pabango mo ang baho! Itinulak ko si CM. Parang nanigas ang panga ko sa pag-smile. I forgot to give my gift. Ay grabe. Julian butted in. Pero hindi eh. Tumabi sa `kin si CM. He snorted at me. It was like a tug o war between us. Na para bang ewan ko. Politics. How dare you CM ! What is it? My mom asked. Suspicious. God. Really? One brow arched. Jean Rose finished commerce. Ayokong bitawan ang paper bag. I opened the paper bag. Oh? Naalala ko tutal tapos ka naman ng business administration. Biglang binawi ni CM kamay niya at tumuwid ng tayo.. so why don t you take on the job? Bigla akong nahirinan. hija? What k ind of chocolate? A box of chocolates. Feeling ko lulubog ako sa kahihiyan. Tapos bigla akong humawak sa tyan ko. Pwede bang or na lang? Akala ko ba m ay mga choices sa mundo bakit ako lang ata ang pinagkaitan ni God? Gusto kong ma glumpasay at magngangawa ng mommy! .
Clean. Viagra? As if Julian needed i t! Hindi naman ako magtataka sa kakayahan ni Julian kaya lang. Tinuro ko `yung dibdib niya. Okay lang sana kung hihiga ak o. My eyes grew wide. He was so caring and v ery sweet! Gusto ko siyang ipapapak sa mga langgam. Sa sobrang inis ko yumakap ako kay Julian.. Ano bang ginawa ko para parusahan ako ng Diyos Julian? Naging mabuting tao naman ako. magtatanggal ng damit. What do I need pills for? Anak there s no other way.. Napakapit ako sa sink. magkukunwaring tulog sa tabi niya. Para alalayan ako. `di ba? Ilang beses ko lang pinagpaplanuhang patayin si Julian sa isip ko. I gritted my teeth. My mom brushed an invisible tear on her left cheek. Hindi ba ganon ang pikot? Either that or ecstacy pills! NOT ADVISABLE. Right at this moment I was wishing he could fall into a ditch. And he sla mmed the door to my face. see? Obedient pa nga ako `di ba? Akalain mong gawin ko ang utos ni mommy na lagyan ng ecstacy pills ang inumin ni Julian. karma na ba ito? Jeannie? Biglang bumukas `yung pinto. Magtat aka pa ba ako kung saan ako nagmana? Magaling ding umarte `tong mommy ko eh. He g lanced at me boringly then shrugged. May pupuntahan tayo. I hissed. Tapos parang namimilipit na naman ulit sa s akit. Jeannie! He gritted his teeth in horror. She s giving me a dose of ahm. Shrugged! My God he was so inconsiderate. Oh. Breathe out. Tapos tinignan niya `yung basang parte ng polo niya.Alam ko. I winced in pain again. In fairness. Tears were starting to form again. I smiled at him sweetly. Mayamaya lang I felt something pierced within my tummy. Pano kung napasukan niya `kong nagyu-urinate? Or worst nagbabawas ng sama ng loob? Oh? Gigil kong sabi. J eannie! What the I blew out on his polo shirt. Thank you. Una lagi si papa God sa listahan ko kasunod lang si Julian na akala ata siya ang Diyos. Para akong bata. Ano bang nangyayari sa `yo? Bakit ka ba sumisigaw? My eyes watered. violation of human rights ang ginagawa ko sa sarili ko! Pwede kong kasuha n ang mga magulang ko. Naiiyak na pinunasan ko ang mga mata ko. Ni hindi man lang marunong kuma tok. This is this is Grabe. Lobo na pala a ko at si Julian ang ihahapunan ko. Magbihis ka na. Dammit. salamat sa singahan. Respetuhin mo ang iyong ama at ina. Na glalawa na ang ilong ko kakasinghot. Pinipilit ko namang sundin ang sampung utos ni Go d. Tinitigan niya `ko. mabango. Don t pull that act on me Jeannie. Masakit talaga sa may bandang puson. kaya lang patutu lugin ko muna siya? Hello? How the hell would I do that? Gumagana ba `yung ano k ung tulog ang lalaki? Parang pikot na rin `yun no. It won t work this time. malay ko ba baka sakaling pagtingin ko sa salamin iba na pala pagkatao ko. Hindi ba Julian? Mabait naman ako bakit ako nagkakaganito? Ngawa ako ng ngawa. My God. Okay na `ko. Ha? Anak ka ng magaling ang plano ni mommy! Breathe in. Ako na pala si Angel Locsin. Then I reached out to h im. Tinignan niya `ko na para bang nababaliw na `ko. Masama pakiramdam ko. Me? Jeannette Rose Le viste? Pumunta ako sa CR at naghilamos ng mukha. O kaya magbula bigla ang bibig niya. Ito give this to him one hour before you go to bed. Pero sa isip lang `yun! Huwag kang magnakaw. . Tapos bigla akong tinalikuran! Wow. Huwag papatay. Kun g hindi ko pa alam. Lalong sumasaki t. Grabe ang sakit-sakit talaga ng puson ko. One hour later. Ikaw na lang. Get dressed. Goodness.
He whispered. Wala naman masyado. Can you please keep quiet? Lalong lumakas `yung hikbi ko. Alam niyo naman po `yung white lies `di ba God? Huwag kang magnanasa sa hindi mo pag-aari. my God. He sighed. Honey AHEM! . Ano ba kasing masakit? Gusto kong mapaantanda. Ano ba! I hated it. but his touch lessened the pain. Liars go to hell. Sumanda l ako sa upuan at hinimas niya `yung parte kung saan ko nilagay `yung kamay niya . Tap os bigla siyang tumawa. She smiled at me. So sinamantala ko na. Ang aga namang punishment nito. Malls. Pinagnanasaan mo ba `ko? He was astonished at first. He cleared his throat. Ano ba `yan Ang bilis naman! Kung ano ano kasi iniisip ko. we re here! My teeth clenched. Of course not. Pabalibag na tinanggal ko ang kamay niya sa balikat ko kahit disoriented pa `ko. Sa puson. I thought you re not coming. Not one of those demon laughs of his. I could see that. Men never wanted to be termed weak a nd emotional. Iba ang admiration sa lust. biglang nawala `yung antok ko. Gusto nila sila ang hari. Ito ba ang dahilan? Napasigok ako. Parang gusto ko ng magpalahaw ng iyak.Hindi ako sumisigaw. no please don t tell me we were going away again? Where on earth would you drag me now? After Angko Parang gusto kong kainin ang dila ko. Are you sure this one was Julian? He was lau ghing cheerfully. Bac kaches. Muntik na `ko dun. Parang tumataas ang altapresyon ko. Someone pinched my nose. Julian s voice became tender. Wala pa. Honey I Ahem! Lumingon sila sa `kin. Naghihikab na sumunod lang ako sa kanya. Ahm no comment ako dyan. Bak it hindi ko man lang nakita? Tsk. mood swings I snorted. Mood swings? Mero Buntis ka rin? Inirapan ko siya. Hinimas-himas ko `yung puson ko. Masama talaga epekto sa `kin `pag -FOOL moon. Hindi ko napansin na nakatulog na pala ako. Oh. Mga walang puso. I put his hand on the spot just below my ( `wag kulay berde) tummy. Eh `di sana h indi mo sa `kin binigay si Julian! Ikaw din papa God ang may kasalanan. Establisments. Bakit ka ba kasi iyak ng iyak? Napanguso ako. Weird. Tricia I m sorry. Huwag kang magnanasa sa hindi mo asawa. Grabe. I smirked and peer ed at the scenery outside. Wala pa namang nangyayari sa `min ni Julian. There was so much pain written in Julian s face. Hindi pa ako tapos sa drama ko I bit my lower lip. No. My eyes grew wide. Kung hindi pa sigaw na tawag `yun eh ano? So bulong pa `yun ganon ? Huwag kang makikiapid sa hindi mo asawa. Period. I didn t care when he stared at me in confusion. Tricia? Promise. he didn t and would n t show it ever. Julian Ano? Inis na lumingon siya sa `kin. Naramdaman ko na lang na may yumuyug yog sa balikat ko. Does this me an I m going to hell also? I groaned inwardly. Nakita kong nakapagpalit na siya ng damit. Mauuna ka sa `kin. Ang hirap maging babae. Mom told me that there would be times like this you getting emotional on me. Tumaas ang kilay ko. Parang bumata siya ng isang taon. I wanted to sleep and never wake up. I pouted prettily. The lines around his chink y eyes became soft. NAIA? Oh. Isa lang bata pa naman tala ga siya. Ano ba Hindi ko naman pinagnanasaan si Ju lian ah. But I saw through his façade. Nakapamulsa si Julian. Tumango lang ako as if saying go on . Awkward. Huwag kang magbibintang at huwag kang magsisinungaling. Jeannie. Of course. Let s go. Nagiging habit na a ta niya `yun ah. Assuming! I rolled my eyes. Naramdaman kong may humihimas ng tyan ko. Naghahyperventilate pa `yung hormo nes ko. Hindi ko pa naman sinasabing supe r okay na kami ah.
Okay lang? A token of farewell. Ha? Before I knew it. May excuse ako para magkaganito. Too happy. layuan mo `ko! Mi nsan nga naiisip ko ipatanggal ko na lang kaya `yung uterus ko? Kaso kawawa naman sila mommy. Take good care of him. Tapos lumapit siya sa `kin. Sana ma-solve mo na `y an. What? Do you know where I can buy a doll? His one brow arched. Ang kapal! I tried to calm my nerves. Argh. Hindi ko sinasadyang mapatingin sa labi niya. Suminghot ulit ako. Lumapit ulit si Tricia kay J ulian. Ano namang akala niya gagawin ko `yung ginawa ko sa kanya kay Tricia? I smirked. Sy empre second lang si Jean. wala naman siya dito? I sighed. Inirapan ko siya. Hindi ko siya pinansin. Nagyakap sila. Friends! When you come back to New York. O. I was really rooted on the ground. Nagulat ako when she hugged me. Gusto mong pumunta sa heaven? He pursed his lips teasingly. What for? Ipapakulam kita! You and Tricia. H-hello? Jeannie! Ano?! Shopping tayo. In short. She smiled at me. Julian looked at me in horror. My God I was going crazy with pain. Friends? Yeah. Our families expected us to marry since we were kids. S ometimes he thought he knows what he s doing. She kissed Julian on the mouth! Just a peck. H inimas himas ko ulit `yung puson ko. Then I heard my phone ringing. Humarap siya sa `kin. TWELVE How would I continue with the plan if my fvcking hormones were raging on? Gusto kong magpagulong gulong sa pamimilipit sa sakit. As in a smudge of red lipstick on the side of his lips. Wala na namang problema sa `kin `yun eh. what have I done again? He sighed impatiently. I wanted to die. Ipinikit ko `yung mata ko. It was only four in the afternoon.Julian glared at me. Julian raised his brow. I swore I heard Tricia giggled. Niyakap niya `ko! Tumaas `yung kilay ko dun. But a kiss is a kiss! Then she started giggling as she took her bags with her. Oh. . walang choice. Bulong ko habang sakay kami ni Julian pabalik. Meron argh. Ayoko. Full moon. Hindi sila magkakaroon ng apo mula sa pinakamaganda nilang anak. As in NOW. buntis ako. Makakaangal pa ba siya eh. We re just one of those cases of childh ood Korean sweethearts. I saw red. do tell me. Kasi naman may pangalan nam an `yung tao. Dysmenorrhia. I looked at my nails innocently. ano p ang tinatayo tayo mo diyan? Uwi na tayo. How absurd no I nodded. Hind i ko sinasadya! I gritted my teeth. Talaga? Oo naman. The nerve! Akala ko ba friends na kami? Julian waved at her.
So? Nasa Pilipinas tayo Jeannie! And who on earth would kiss a friend on the lips? He cleared his throat. Manong bababa na po ako. Bakit ba ako nagsuot ng pa lda? `Yung hanggang kalahating hita ko pa. Lee yesterday I asked her kung pwede kang i-ceasa rian. no. Matuwa kaya siya? In the states it is very common! Sigaw ko. Nahuli ko naman talaga sila ah! We just got used to it. Ah ganon. Bakit ka pa magsha-shopping? At ano naman ang ipa ng-shopping mo aber? May pera ka ba? My mouth turned into a big O. I called Dr. A t sa kutsilyo. Try me. Before I knew it. Tapos umiwas ng mata na parang nahuli ko sa akto. He raised one brow and read the newspaper. He was going to get a tongue lashing from me. Who s that? No one. Nagtataka lang ako what does S stand for? Anong gagawin natin dito? His lips twitched at the corner. Oh. nagpapanic kong sabi. Pano kung sabihin ko sa kanyang nag-suggest si CM na i-french kiss ko siya. Sumandal ulit ako. He told me to meet up! Then what he was late. Mall. It was huge and big. Tap os hinigit niya `yung braso ko. Seryoso nga! Napahaw ak agad ako sa stain sa bandang crotch ko. Mall. We go home. Eh. Afte r CM gave me the details where to the line went disconnected. In amusement? Malamang magsha-shopping. Who s that? CM. He would submit me to the k nife. Eh Julian. Who on earth would give a con contraceptives as a gift? Nakikita kong lalong pan iningkit ng mga mata nito. Wait lang Julian! What? Virgin ka pa ba? . Anong silbi mo? I rolled my eyes heavenward. It was just a kiss. I said Sige na Jeannie shopping na tayo. Tricia is my ex! Until you came along. Lecheng si CM. T-takot ako sa karayom.Narinig kong bumuntunghininga si CM. Hello Jeannie! I ll go shopping with you later. N ew establishment. Umuwi na tayo. Ceasarian? As in hiwa. I mean kelan gan manganak na `ko Don t worry Jeannie. You got used to kissing a friend on the lips? Namamangha kong sabi. The hell I care. No. Nag-iisa na nga lang ang sanitary pad ko sa bag ko. You cannot stop me. he was leading me to a a baby section. Didn t I tell you not to talk to him again? Manong punta po tayo sa S. His bark was always worse th an his bite. kaya nga diba? Nandun ako! I saw her kissed you. Kung sa mga ganong klase ka ng tao sasama baka kung ano ano mapulot mong kalokoha n. Sinisiguro kong mababaon siya ng buhay sa mura ko. Seryoso ba ito? I looked at his face. Grabe. Sa huli ako pa rin ang sinunod ni manong at pumunta kami sa S. Nanghihinang sabi ko na ikinalingon ni Julian. I heard his footsteps behind me. Ugh. I saw red! No Naiiyak na bulong ko. Bakit pag-aari mo na rin ba `tong mall ha? Ha. Ingos ko sa kay Julian. Feeling ko lalo akong dudugu in kay Julian. Badtrip. Naintindihan mo ba ayoko ngan My eyes grew wide. Fine. Jeannie! He shouted authoritatively. Fifteen minutes. Julian. Inis na bumaba ako. I gulped. Jul ian grabbed my hand. Stupid. I need to buy a nine-mo nth package. wait! Nine months? Kelangan malaki na tyan ko nun.
Tumawa ako sa sarili kong joke. Promise. Yes. No! No! Halos mag-duet kami ng kapatid ko. Ah yeah? At ikaw ang ama! Sumasakit `yung puson ko. Jean? Let s What the hell was happening? I almost groaned aloud. Julian! I forced a smile upon my face. Let s have lunch together. I didn t know him. Kung tot oong buntis lang ako baka nakunan ako sa sobrang bwisit kay Julian. He was eyeing me and Jean. nakatanga lang siya sa `kin. I was about to pick up a a pair of baby shoes when a hand caught mine. Julian He picked up a feeding bottle. Pero meron mer on God. You never told me your sister s here. Two and three weeks. Funny same with you Jeannie. No. Iisa lang `yun! Ako lahat `yun! Tsk. my face. Pinaparusahan niyo ba talaga `ko God? Jeannie Jeannette. He knew?! He called you Jeannie! She mouthed when Julian s back was turned to her. Excuse me? Gigil na sabi nito. Parang ang corny ata ng joke ko. Oh. At ngayon sumasakit `yung ulo k o. She smiled sweetly at Julian. Pareho pala kami ng kuku nin. Baka hinihintay na tayo ni CM. Hindi bumenta. I couldn t sprout any more lies. At siya? Tinitigan niya lang ako. everything save that it wasn t me! Jean?! Jeannie? Para kaming naestatwa. ri ght. Pink or blue? Ha? Hindi pa nga natin alam `yung gender `di ba? My voice trembled. HAHA. May lalaking paparating. Parang naguluhan. Paano ko sasabihin sa`yo eh. Na parang natatakot akong bawi in siya sa `kin ni Jean. right? Lumingon siya sa `kin tapos kay Jean. Gusto ko siyang sakalin. Biglang umayos ako ng tayo. She s my mistress. Ah yeah. Manipis pa `yun. Jean nette is very busy. He stared fixedly at Jean. I gasped aloud. He was with Jean! Vince? Vincent Gonzalo? Julian hissed. Bwisit na buha y `to. Unti-unti akong napatingin sa tyan niya. pareho kaming nagkulay papel ng kap atid ko. At sabi nila ang mga demonyo daw virgin pa. Julian frowned. And why do you ask? Kasi demonyo ka. wait `Di ba dapat maging masaya ako? Yeah kauuwi niya lang kahapon Julian. H-hi s-sorry I wasn t able to to come to your wedding. Sir. She s also pregnant? Jean and I both looked stupidly at the baby shoes. long time no see twin? Jeannie We both slowly turned at the voice. Biglang lumapit ang saleslady sa `min. Ano bang meron? Parang feeling ko mahihimat ay na `ko kahit anong oras. kill me now! I whispered. Inis na tinignan ko kung sinomang intrimitid It was like I was looking into my own wide eyes. No. Inis na naglalakad pa `ko. How many months? Napatingin ito sa tyan ni Jean. Kahapon. Ano bang dapat kong sabihin? Hey. hindi ko rin alam?! Ahmm Napalunok ako. Meron pa bang surprise? Ano pa ba? But my. We shook our heads in unison. For the life of me. Takp an ko kaya ng sako ang mukha ni Julian? Artistahin? Kaya lalong lumalaki ang ulo nito. Yumakap ako sa bewang niya. Juli an squinted his eyes. wife niyo po? At feeling close! Julian smiled back at her. What the hell Kasi hindi ka pwedeng pumunta sa heaven. Ang kapal! Excuse me lang ha Parang lalabas `yung dugo ko. hindi nak .Julian was shocked. Kauu wi ko lang. Masama pa na mang ginagalit ang babaeng kabuwanan. Jean? Pinanlakihan ako ng mata ng kakambal ko. Nanlalaki ang mga mata ni Jean. Parang nanghihinang napakapit ako kay Julian.
I opened my mouth t o shout at him. I wasn t that bad to wish for her to have a miscarriage. Vince let s go. What the hell are you doing here? Julian stepped forward in anger. Pati ata si Sailormoon. Ngayon ko lang na-re alize. Vince looked at my sister in mixture of shock and hor ror. Pero wala talaga! I could only save me. I opened my mouth to say goodbye.aligpas sa pansin ko magaling talagang pumili ang kapatid ko. M ay tatlong lalaki sa likod nila ang dumating out of nowhere. I should have known. Pero tinabig lang niya `ko. Lumapit agad a ko sa kakambal ko. We re not yet through Sunico. Vince ma y be a bastard son of a bi tch. Natatakpan ko siya mula sa mga lalaki kaya hindi nila narin ig. Sino `yan? In fairness yummy ha. THIRTEEN Was it the end of the world? Was it a clash of good and evil? Kung alam niyo lan g. Jeannie I won t go back to Julia n. why don t you tell our lover boy here what we re doing here. Jean wagged the man s arm. myself and I. So who s Michael? Definitely not Julian. Ever. Then she purred groaned aloud. I was wishing the floor would cave in and ea t me whole. I forgot I was stepping into the great Juli an Sunico s lair. Bodyguards. Vince `yung tyan ko! Jean sobbed and cupped her stomach gently. Conceited jerks! To our astonishment Vince started laughing. Bigla akong natakot. Hindi ko na kailangang maging genius para malamang they weren t in good terms. Jean Bulong ko at hinila ko siya ng onti palayo. Were they together? Obviously. He wasn t handsome but he was sexy. Iumpog ang ulo sa pader para matauhan. Jean took his hand. I don t know if I s hould be thankful he didn t get to seduce my wife. If you only knew Julian. But he s responsible. wife? You ve never bested me before what now? Inilahad nito ang kamay. Julian Hinawakan ko ang braso niya. I was an idiot. More like plead ed. Pati ako hindi malaman ang gagawin. By God. no Lucifer and Michael met. Bulong niya. Tinatawag ko na si Darna at si Batman. Foul `yun no. That took Vince out of his reverie. Jean nette. She was just shaking her head.. Niyakap ko siya. Vince grinned maliciously at me. He even courted Tricia. I play fair. The two men looked astounded. Oh. Ang sarap hampasin ng mga i nsensitive na lalaki sa mundo. He laughed humorlessly. Talaga bang nasa pamilya na namin ang sinungaling? Or we were just made t o be a good actress? I felt a caress on my back. I ll call you. Napangiwi ako at nag-aalalang tinignan ang hit a niya kung may sign ng dugo. No. He smirked. Mabilis nitong niyakap si Jean at binuhat. Then Jean winked at me! My jaw almost dropped. Bumalik ako sa tabi ni Julian. Muntik na akong mapaubo. Gusto ko silang pagumpugin dalawa. Anong pangako iyon? Napatingin ako sa kakambal ko. For years. Hey The guy s mouth twitched sarcastically. Halata ko ang takot sa mga mata niya. Julian I Vincent may pupuntahan pa tayo `di ba? My twin. Afraid of the little woman? Oh The tough Vincent Gonzalo was afraid of his. Kahit na nga ba gusto k ong sakalin ang kapatid ko kahit na nga ba minsan hiniling kong sana una ko na la ng nakilala si Julian kaysa sa kanya. Gusto kong lumubog sa kinatatayuan.Kung sa bagay.. You promised me She whispered. Sasakalin talaga kita `pag tumakas ka pa! Jean honey. Julian! I screamed in panic. Jean? Napalingon ito sa `ming dalawa. This one was oozing sex appeal. he knew. lagi na lang siya n akikipagkompitensya sa `kin. dinadasalan ko na ang lahat ng santo. Marahan akong lumingon. Wife? Hinawakan ito ng mariin ni Jean. Don t worry about her. The guy smirked at him. kung i-seseduce . Julian gave him a mocking smile.
nagsinungaling na buntis. I opened my mouth to scream at him. You have the same features. Muntik ko ng hindi masalo. Tumaas lang `yung kilay niya. business magnate. But because . Halleluja. Inirapan ito ni CM. He even demonstrated the expressions. Nag-ano. for sure mukha ding kambal. alam mo na `yun. Landi. Julian where are you goi The driver already went home. bongga alam mo naman tayong m agaganda Nahirinan ako dun. Talaga? Wow. ahem. Parang ayaw mag-process ng brain ce lls ko. F rom the looks of it. What! There were so many untold stories here. See? Ibinigay niya sa `yo si Julian. Sa kanya si Vince which leaves Brad alone. Nauna na `kong umuwi kay CM. Very observant lang. At isipin mo na lang kambal kayo. Feel na feel nito. Libre mo `ko ha. `Yung ano Ngumuso ito. I stared at him stupidly. I smiled sheepi shly. I have to be pregnant. Salamat ha. Pasabunot na itinukod ko ang kamay sa round table. Which means y ou re going to live forever as her. And she s with Vincent Gonzalo. So she s pregnant? With Julian? CM sipped his Caffe Mocha. m arunong naman akong tumingin ng oras no. pero `wag mo `kong sisihin kung bakit nasa headlines ka bukas. Tapos iisa ng tatay paglabas non. Sabi nila the Gonzalos were bankrupt by the Sunicos. He hissed and turned his back on me. Hindi ako ipokrita para sabihing hindi ako mate-tempt. Magkape ka na nga lang para kabahan ka naman sa mga pinagsasasabi mo. Napatingin ang isan g babae dito na kanina pa titig na titig kay CM. I don t have money! Isasangla ko `tong relo mo! I shouted after him. Anong hmm? My brain wasn t functioning well. You should be at home before seven. Sabihin mo na. praise the lord. Then you ll scream at the peak JU LIAAAAN. I didn t know that. I was addlebrained. What s this? Obvious ba? Susi ng sasakyan. I guess so? I told him everythi ng there was. CM if Jean won t come back. Sabihin mo kay Jean ibalato na lang sa `kin `yung isa. Akin na lang siya! Hindi si ya magugutom sa `kin promise. ang dami mong naitutulong eh. Napaatras naman ako. Pabalewalang sabi nito. Ngayon pa lang bumabawi. Starbucks. Babae.niya `ko. CM just laughed at me. hindi halatang tsismosa. Parang kinikiliting tumili ito. Siya itong nag-aya aya tapos ako manlilibre?! Mahiya ka naman sa lalamunan mo. He put his two fingers together. He shrugged nonchalantly. You didn t tell me they re together? Hindi pa rin talaga ako pinapabayaan ni God my phone started ringing. Then he ordered another beverage. mukhang hindi mo na talaga maibabalik si Jean. He nodded. Y uck. Tapos nanlaki ang mga mata na tumingi n sa `kin. Ay. Gross. Magka-tonsilitis ka sana. Sabihin ko na lang kaya? I was getting frustrated. Tapos ipinilantik niya `yung kamay. Not because I was afraid of the dragon. Pero kung kung mabubuntis naman ako . He took my hand and gave me keys. He was a chic. Delicadeza na lang `di ba? Ano `yun `yung mga anak naming mag-pinsan na magkapa tid pa? Ang sagwa `di ba? Tama. He smiled fishily. Ano? Inis kong sabi. My blush intensified. Really? Biglang lumaki ang mata nito. Kalaba ng mortal ng mga Sunico. Buti ka pa friend. Tinanggal nito a ng rolex wrist watch at ibinato sa `kin. pinatay ng asawa. Ang slow mo naman Jeannie! `Yung tentenenententen. CM? I love you! Julian glared at me. Walang modo talaga! Anong akala niya sa `kin? Bata? May curfew? At saka I gritted my teeth. no? Teka nga nag hmm na ba kayo? Bumilog ang mga mata nito at lumapit maigi ang mukha sa `kin. Hindi ko siya pinapansin.
Were you telling me that I shouldn t have followed those novels I so much liked? Sabi kasi nila mag pakatotoo. `Wag m una. The shards of glasses splintered on the side. Wala sa loob ko. I lived my life spontaneously. I knew I cal led Julian s name. Then I ende d up bumping a big trunk of a tree. Hanapin mo ang sarili mo blah. The impact. Ilang araw na ding hindi ako natutulog ng maayos. P eter. Ayokong mukhang stressed out. sa langit ba ako pupunta? Para kasing hindi naman ` to heaven eh. I drove faster than I should have. My eyes were open wide. I was feeling drowsy. I sighed. I was pulled deeper into a pit less hole of nothingness. I star ted sobbing quietly. Argh . Hindi pa `ko prepared makita si San Pedro at saka God sabi nga ni CM hindi ko pa alam ang feeling ng nag-tetentenenententen. Mababangga ako! Pilit kong iniiwas ang sasakyan. Hindi ko pa nabibigyan ng apo sina mommy. I was shocked when an overspeeding c ar on the side tipped its way toward me. I wasn t so sure. If only I had known. Pinilit ko namang maging mabait. God I have so many unfinished businesses. Hindi ba sabi nila kung mamamatay ka parang may mga scene kang makikita sa buhay mo? Mamamatay na ba `ko? God hindi pa talaga `ko ready. My heart hammered loudly. magkaroon ng maraming pimples. Peter was also a philosopher. `Yun naman ang ginawa ko. Pati ba ang pagmumura counted na din? You can now take her. My eyes opened wide. blah. Magiging demonyo nga ako? Dahil virgin pa `ko. . It was too quickly. It was suffocating me. I cried out. ayokong lumaki ang eyebags ko. Syempre. My head bumped the side window. At may biglang safety air balloon na lumobo sa harapan ko. Little did I know that St. emotion al stress. I felt the impact of it. Paano kung mas marami ang kasalanan ko? Eh `d i may utang pa `ko? I groaned. I should have seduced him sooner. It w as a good thing Jean and I both know how to drive. I knew that there were endless problems but I stil l wanted to sur vive. Anong ibig niyong sabihin? Anak katawan lang ang iniiwan sa lupa hindi ang common sense. pain. blah. No! Ibababa nila `ko sa impyerno. Right minus wrong. Meaning good minus bad? What the fu ck. I stared incredulously at the shining bald head of St. It was getting hot. Plus one. and a lot more blended together. Ayaw nila akong papasukin sa heaven! Kasama si Julian. Hindi pa ako nagbabayad sa mga pinagkakautangan ko sa New York. Jeannie Jeannie Did they know my name? Argh. Nakalimutan kong mag-slow down sa inter section. Sana isinama na rin nil a `yung driver na nag-overspeeding.the princess also needed her precious rest. FOURTEEN Ito ang listahan ng mga kasalanan at kabutihan mo Was he serious? Sa sa langit na ba ako? I mean.
He was worried! I smiled eagerly as the doctor gave his prognosis. Disoriented pa `ko. No nothing. `Yung winner na smile ng close-up. Tapos super bait niya. Call mom my Parang hesitant pa itong tumakbo palabas. What the fu ck s happening to my wife? Sumisigaw na sab i ni Julian. My parents excused themselves. Tulog. Parang na-guil ty naman ako. Please Julian. Then I saw m y dad. What if it was too late? He smil ed at me and patted my head like the way he used to. Oh. Speaking of the devil. Sure ako dun. As soon as the doctor gave me his promise I persuade Julian to take me home. Tsk. Gusto kong matawa na matakot kay Jul ian. Doc. Ngumiti ang doctor sa mommy ko. `Yung natatakpan ang mukha ko. Ambad ko. Only a small wo und on her forehead. Naii nggit tuloy ako sa gumanap na Juliet. Saka na tayo magbilangan. I couldn t help it. Napakapit ako bigla sa puson ko. Iniisip ba niyang iinom din ako ng lason para lang makasama ko si Julian? The wo rst is. The doctor frowned. I winced. Whichever comes first. Mall! I smiled charmingly. blame my sister f or giving me this idea. He stared at me incredulously. ang katawan ko. Please. Sunico. Na para bang alam niya gagawin kung may s ugat nga ako! Hindi naman siya ang doctor. Awww Pareho silang napatingin sa `kin. Grabe. There I saw my mom. Pero pero nakiki ta ko na si mommy! I was panting so hard. She s okay except for How about the baby? He cut him off frantically. Papatayin ako ni Julian. mmkay? Anyway. ibalato ni yo na po sa `kin `to. Nag-movie marathon ako. Anyway. No ribs broken. I have no time to explain doc. At saka niya lang siguro napansin na nandun nga ang doctor. maiisip mong kailan mo din palang i-express ang nararamdaman mo sa kanila. ang mukha ko. God. Totoo naman ah. I tsked. I hissed at Julian. My jaw became slacked. damn! I thought she s okay. The doctor frowned e ven more. Mumultuhin ako ni Angko. I want my mommy. My nai ls dug deeper into his arm. Hindi ko alam kung bakit ito ang ipinahiram sa `kin ng hitad kong bestfriend. sa santong paspasan na l ang. My smile froze in place. Is she having a miscarriage? Sigaw ulit nito.Jeannie Jeannie I slowly opened my eyes. My mommy was crying silentl y. It s a matter of life and . Sunico there s no Oh my saving grace. higa. Ahmm free shopping spree at S. Wal a naman talaga akong sugat. In all fairness. mommy. Kinuha ang stethoscope. Kung hindi pa siya madaan sa santong dasalan. may DVD version na ang Romeo and Juliet . death? Napan giwi ako. May ininject bang pampamanhid? She s out of danger. She was crying. Then I blinked thrice. Nakakokonsensya na ng a ako. Is she alright? My God. He frowned at me. I moaned aloud and curled into a fet al position. What are you watching? I got engrossed. It was as if Julian was possessed by some good spirit. I whispered brokenly. Bulong niya. kain. there s no bab Kumapit ako sa braso ng doctor. I bit my lower lip sa sobrang gigil. Where s Julian? The door burst open. my Leonardo Dicaprio s yummy. how I missed my family. parang h indi niya nagegets! Naiiyak na `ko sa gigil. basa ng novels. just pretend the babe s okay. Sorry San Pedro. Parang nataranta ang doctor sa galit nito. I don t know. Minsan. baka ako pa ang lasunin ni Julian. Biglang bumukas ang pinto. Baby? Mr. Tapos . Malaki utang na loob ko sa inyo doc. Guilty ako. Wala ako ng maramdamang sakit. Actually. for his sake. He was skimming every part of me. Are you okay? Natatarantang hinawakan niya ang buhok ko. When the door closed I took the doctor s hand. parang hindi tot oo. Excuse me Mr. Naiiyak na niyakap ako ng daddy ko. nood tv. I love you daddy. What ever. she s not even in the brink of danger. Please.
His voic e became husky. hell move a little bit closer baby. they were always the one who resorted to cuddling. Sus. Kesyo mali daw `yun. Then you re the one who s stupid! Had I really said that? Yeah. Hindi ko pinansin ang pandidiri sa mukha niya. right stupid. At si Tricia. Hello? Jean Rose Leviste? Irene here. I shivered delightedly. Pasalamat siya kung yummy si Leonardo DiCaprio mas h ot para sa `kin si Johnny Depp. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street na lang ang panoorin natin. She kept telling no. we were both silently watching. Then they fell into the water again when they declared their undying love. He smil ed evilly. They were kissing underwater! I wished Leonardo would kiss me like th There s a rumor that he s gay. Then I sighed. I couldn t help but sigh pleasurably.Goodnes s. Then they were like kissing. Natuwa ako kasi mu ka talagang inosente `yung gumanap na Juliet. My mobile started ringing. N abitin ako nung tinawag ng nursemaid si Juliet. Na para bang sinasabing habulin mo `ko . Inis na dumiretso na `ko ng upo. thanks. Parang feeling ko a ko ang naaatat na hatakin si Leonardo at papakin. I was imagining that Julian was Romeo and Juliet was of course me. honeymoon na nila. Hindi ko gusto `yung ngi sing `yun ni Julian. Tapos sa swimming pool scene. Wh en in fact. Excuse me? Ayoko ng pakinggan pa kung ano na namang panlalait ang maririnig ko kay Julian. basta gwapo si Romeo. Gee. Siguro nahiya lang siya so for his sake I inched closer. Siguro kahit ako din naman. I gasped aloud. Naalala ko bigla k ami ni Julian. I forgot all about our honeymoon. sig e na. Tuwang-tuwa talaga ako sa palabas na `to. Siya si Rosaline! Siya `yung first forgotten love . Nakatanga talaga ako. Then a sm ile slowly inched its way to the corner. O. aber? I snorted. Dumila pa `ko sa kanya. Ingos na tinabig ko `yung kamay niya. Mayamaya lang. Give Julian the credit to ruin my fantasy. FIFTEEN Make love to me . Akalain mo `yun. One advantage of being rich. Napalunok ako. Nagpapakipot na naman. I leaned my head in the cove of his neck. Mayamaya lang Julian sat on t he bed beside me. Care ko. Lumayo-layo si Juliet. Sosyal. Plasma ang tv. May reunion nga pala tayo. Laway mo tumutulo Julian swiped an invisible saliva down the side of my lips. Napansin ko pero kunwari wala lang pero deep inside I was like. while she kept moving her lips to and fro against Romeo s. Napatitig talaga ako sa eksena sa party. if I know kung anong bawal siyang masarap. Juliet was leading Romeo into a dance kis s. Fast-learner kaya ako. ugh eating each other in the pool. I gasped so very loud than the first time. I wondered why men turned away when things get mushy or better yet emotional. I d tell you. Alam mo `yun my hair on the nape stood on ends. At bakit? Ni hindi man lang naka-home base kay Juliet bago ipainom `yung lason. I was having kinky thoughts. Romeo is stupid. Titig na titig ako. dinaig pa `ko. Hindi ko napansin na nilagay niya `yung braso niya sa likod ng ulo ko. basta siya magtuturo sa `kin. I groaned aloud.niyakap ko `yung unan ng mahigpit. I said he s stupid. Umusod ako palayo. Naka-home base kaya! Ayan oh. I wasn t very particular with the chin itos. I d hug CM when we meet again. Tsk. I snuggled close to Julia n. Inggit lang siya wala sa kanya `yung atens yon ko. Despite her in nocent face was a great k-i-s-s-e-r.
who wouldn t? No wonder Julian got dibs on you. You re drunk. Hell. What was happening? Parang umiikot an g paligid ko. He grabbed my arm. Umiling ito. Last night ko na `to. Me? I slithered my body against him. Ilang shots pa lang. I couldn t be m istaken. And happy. was I? He s got gray eyes. Napaupo ako bigla at napa-sign of the cross. Goodness. Or Was it me? Then ther e was Angko. Hindi ako. NOW. I waved at him. Wanna ride with me boyo? Parang may sariling isip ang bibig ko. Pero hindi ba `yun naman dapat ang maramdaman ko? Hindi ako ito. No. So. A helluva way to say it. Ang sama talaga ng ugali ni Julian! Ni hindi man l ang binuksan ang lamp shade bago umalis. . Hindi ako. I didn t know a mere whisper in the ear could feel ticklish. This. Angko was staring down at me. I gasped a little. Sorry ahm. Angko! Jean? Uncle Bert? I gritted my teeth. What s gotten into you? Masamang espiritu. Seryoso ba si Angko? Minumulto nga ako nito! I was trembling violently. I bit my lower lip then I sniffed. Feeling ko ang dumi-dumi ko. Hindi ako. What the hell were those dreams all about? there was a woman with no face. I bet you re feeling fvcking hot? And dir ty. Sinabi ko iyon na parang nagdedemand lang ng fla vor ng chupachups. I m a big time loser. Kailangan pa bang ulit-ulitin niya `yun? Alam ko. You promised me! You promised me you won t hurt Julian. When the man swayed me back and forth I felt his rock hard body poking againt mine. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. He shook his head. Marahan akong umupo. is it a yes or a no? No. Hell yeah. Tapos lumapit siya sa `kin. Sino ba? Parang naririnig ko pa rin ang boses ni Angko. Para akong nakuryente. Yes. You. I felt my eyes widening. He was s tanding there. This is not you. His lips twitched on the side. Fine. More more My God. Not that it was unusal. Gee I rocked my hips back in forth to the rhythm. Galit na binalibag ko ang pinto. Masyado ka ng madaming naiinom. Is. Out of the blue. Did you know what he did? Nilagpasan niya lang ako. I would dance the night away like it would be my last time. Angko knelt down the side of the bed and touched my stomach. Humahabol ata sa buwanang dalaw ko. Nakita ko siya kanina paalis. I won t effin waste my time on somebody who s not worth it. Oh boy. I was actually purring.What? You heard me make love to me. My FIRST TIME. And sexy Kaya nga tinawag itong bar `di ba? I stupidly c raned my neck. good morning? G morning. Not. Ano `yun? Insenso seryoso ba tala ga si Angko? Kinilabutan ako. You promised me! She was sweating coldly. Magsakit-sakitan kaya ako ulit? Bak a sakaling bumait pa siya. Parang gusto niya na talaga akong isama sa dako paroon kung hindi ko gagawin ang gusto niya. Someone tapped my shoulder from beh I screamed. I wasn t that drunk. Hindi kaya nagkakamali si Angko ng pagpaparamdaman? I absent-mindedly touched my stomach. I wiped the threatening tears away. Don t hurt him. Have you seen Julian? I shook my head. Madilim ang buong paligid. Grabe lakas ng tam a sa `kin ng martini. Lumingon lingon ak o. like a cat. Kinakarma na ba talaga `ko? Hindi na `ko nakatulog. Ahm I m suppose d to be drunk.
Are you okay? I nodded. Tapos nakita ko ang isang make-shift altar. Picture ni Angko! I almost groaned aloud. It was as if he were smiling at me. More like taunting me. Angko nas a heaven ka na ba? Lagot ka kay papa God. Do you want me to continue lying to yo ur grandson? I whispered. Para akong baliw na kinakausap ang larawan niya. What did you say? Ahm nothing. I smiled up at him. Anong meron uncle? Then I heard a loud giggle. I closed my eyes in frustration. Imo Jean! Dyos ko pina pahirapan mo ba talaga `ko? Gigil na lumingon ako kay Tantan, Celine, Aunt Risan at sa iba pa. They were here! Didn t Julian tell you? It was Angko s birthday today. We had a family dinner. And I d tell you. Julian was sulky and withdrawn. Hindi si ya makausap ng mommy niya, eh di ako pa kaya? He just kept shrugging his shoulde r whatever I asked of him. Minsan nga gusto ko ng ibato sa kanya `yung pinggan. My phone vibrated. One text message. Meet me up here in Butter Diner s now. I ll only be waiting for about an hour. Sender: Kambal ko. I opened my mouth in astonishment. Grabe, ang demanding! I couldn t just I gritted my teeth. Kailangan ko siyang makausap. Uncle I have to ran an errand for my twin. She s ahm here in the country. They all agreed. Wala naman silang sinabing masama d ahil tapos na rin naman ang dinner. At isa pa one valid reason `yun para makalay o kay Tantan. I winced. Julian I m going. I looked him in the eyes. At ang ginawa niya: He just shrugged at me! As if I could go anywhere for all he cared in the world. Nakakahiya naman sa `kin, ni hindi man lang ako tinanong kung san ako pupunta o kung anong oras ako uuwi. I glared at him. Mamaya, I d give him a Cold War. `Wag niya kong papansinin! I wou ldn t talk to him. EVER. Jean and I had a long talk. I was getting tired of everything. I sighed and took a step or two on the landing of the first floor. Tapos nakasalubong ko siya, he was holidng something long and big covered with black cloth. He just walked pas t me as if I weren t there. Ni hindi man lang nagtanong kung buhay pa `ko. Malay b a niya kung ghost lang akong gumagala gala. I wouldn t wonder now why Julian never saw the difference. He was always immersed in his agony. Masyado siyang seryoso sa buhay. Where are you going? He just waved his hand. Gigil na tumakbo ako. He was putting his things on his C adillac two-seater convertible. He didn t even ask me if I could join him. Even fo r decency s sake! Walang sabi-sabing umupo ako sa passenger seat. Don t ask me what am I doing. Sasama ako. Period. I crossed my arms over my chest. I want to be alone. Napaka-insensitive mo. Hindi mo ba naiintindihan `yun? I gasped. Me? Insensitive? My God. Talk about morons here. I zipped my mouth. Ba ka kung ano pa ang maisip kung sabihin sa kanya. He drove for miles and miles. T umigil kami sa bandang Tagaytay. I think? It was overlooking the Taal lake. Geez ers, why didn t he tell me? Nakapagdala man lang sana ako ng sketchpad. Even from here the lampposts lit the view, overlooking the lake. Ang ganda. `Yun nga lang. Medyo nakakatakot kasi deserted siya at gabi na. Iba din ang trip nitong si Jul ian. What s that? Deadma. Telescope? Deadma. I clapped my hands. Magii-stargazing tayo? Parang balewalang tumingala siya at sumilip na sa malaking telescope niya. Tayo. That was my operative word. Mali, mali. Siya lang pala! I was like a ghost. Inis na sinipa ko ang gulong ng mamahaling convertible niya. Paulit-ulit. Nakakainis
ka. Alam mo ba `yun? Sigaw ko sa sasakyan. Akala mo kung sino ka laging magaling. Lumakad ito. At nilagpasan siya! Kumuha ng sandwich mula sa basket. Wow. He wolf ed down the food and got himself busied again. Na para bang wala ako dito! At si ya lang ang tao sa mundo. Napakawalang hiya mo. You re a beast! I hate you! I hate you! You don t care about ot hers feelings. Sana tubuan ka ng kulugo. Ng pigsa sa sa ilong! Sana pumangit ka. Sa na sana I was already panting from exhaustion. Sumasakit na rin ang toes ko kakasip a. Ang tibay naman ng gulo. Bakit hindi ka minumulto ni Angko? Parang hindi ka pi nalaking maayos I felt a tight grip on my wrist. It was a vise-like that I thought my blood stop ped flowing to my hand. I was looking straight into his eyes. Namimilog ang mga tsinitong mga mata nito. He gritted his teeth. Ni hindi ko alam kung dapat ba ako ng matakot. How many times had I seen him this mad? This furious? You don t know what you re talking about. Angko loves me Ikaw? What do you know? It was a mere whisper but it sounded like thunder in my ears. You got me hitched into t his this mess. If his eyes were daggers I could have been dead right now. Lagi mo na lang akong sinasaktan. He smiled at me. Evilly. Tapos itinulak niya `ko. I tumbled on the passenger seat of the Cadillac. Nakabu kas na ang pinto noon. Nasaktan ang siko ko sa pagtama sa manibela. Pausog ako n g pausog hanggang sa makarating na `ko sa driver s seat. Ang mga paa ko ay nakalap at sa passenger s seat. He took my shoes off. My eyes were so wide to the extent t hat it hurt. I was like a cornered rat. Nowhere to go. He was kneeling, my legs were trapped between his knees. Julia Pilit kong binubuksa n ang pinto sa likod ko. When I flailed, my arms accidentally bumped onto the ho rn. His mouth cracked a maligned smile. Sabihin ko kayang meron ako? Pero tapos n a period ko. At saka he knew that pregnant wives don t bleed. Go ahead make some noise. Habang ang mukha niya ay palapit ng palapit sa `kin. No! Lagi kitang sinasaktan? Now He murmured against my cheek. I kept pushing his chest. Ang lakas ng tibok ng puso ko, hindi kaya naririnig din niya iyon? I ll give you pl easure, darling. My lawfully wedded and bedded wife. Nanlaki ang mga mata ko. Was he serious? Had he gone mad? He cupped my cheek and pulled me closer. This wasn t my ideal wedding night! I was going to scream that. But his mouth was there already claiming what he thought was rightfully his. I could feel him all over me. Against me. Julia n His kisses turned soft. Not the way he always used to. Not rough and forceful . This time it was a mating of two souls. Kissing like there d be no tomorrow. He rained tiny kisses on the side of my face, on my jawlines. He was too big for th e limited space provided by the Cadillac. My mind went fuzzy. Were we going to r eally do it here? Out in the open? He bit my lower lip and nibbled on it like a candy he couldn t get enough of. I op ened my eyes and saw the stars above. The sky was so dark but the stars were twi nkling brightly. I even thought it winked at me. I felt the cold wind againt my skin. He opened the buttons one by one. Skin skin i nch by inch uncovered. I gripped the car seat tight. So tight my knuckles were w hite yet my cheeks were burning hot. I sucked in my breath. My lungs were starti ng to lack the oxygen it needed. Was it suffocation? I need you There were no love words only the brutal truth. Had the wind only carried it to my ears? Or was my imagination playing tricks on me? I was hesitant to open my e yes. It might not be true. Ganon ata talaga ka-tanga ang main-love. You d wish upo n a star. You willed yourself to believe. Masakit. Because need was different fr om love. I breathed in and out. Here on the car seat. It was wild. Hot. Spontaneous. And scary. We were like teenagers on our first da te. There was the thrill of being caught. He stood before me naked as the day he was born. Sometimes words weren t needed. A t least now, he was loving me. I couldn t breathe. He was touching me everywhere.
There. Here. Again and again. Oh, lord rape na ba talaga ito? He outlined my shoulder blades then down... down to my flat stomach. We kissed u rgently. I heard the unsnapping of jeans. I wasn t so sure if I even helped him to ok it off. Hindi kami gaanong makakilos. Then he started chuckling on my neck. H e was heavy againt me. Hindi niya alam kung paano `pagkasyahin ang sarili niya. Plinano niya siguro ito? Oh, boy he should have brought a bulkier vehicle. Then f rom afar we heard the mewling of My hair stood on ends as his breath fanned my nec k. Was I really ready for this? Was I ready to go heaven? I shut my eyes as I gasped. He drove deep into me. He stilled against me. We were one. Tumaas ang mukha nito. Sana hindi ko na lang nakita ang mga mata niya. His foreh ead was beaded with sweat. You lied to me. Gone was the passion. He took me in anger. I kept pushing me to get off me. Para akong mahahati sa gitna sa sobrang sakit.
It hurt like hell. I couldn t take it him anymore. I fainted. SIXTEEN The first time is usually, if not always, painful. Para iyong karayom na pinilit mong ipasok ang yarn. Pero sa kaso ko, it really hurt like hell. He took me in anger with no amount of gentleness. Parang dalawang metal na nagkiskis na hindi man lang nilagyan ng grasa. Nagasgas. I felt sore all over. I slowly opened my e yes. I wanted to cry and tell him how awful it was. Pero bakit ko siya bibigyan ng satisfaction at malaman niyang nanalo siya? Sinaktan niya `ko. Not just physically but emotionally scraped. Walang pakialam na nagbihis ako sa harap niya. Ano pa bang mawawala sa `kin? I f elt so violated. Why did you do it? He whispered angrily. His jeans were hanging low on his hips. Ni hindi nito nagawang i-snap iyon. He wasn t wearing his shirt. I smirked. Sa likod ng gwapong anyo niya ay nagtatago ang napakasamang ugali. He was an angel in di sguise. A devil s advocate. He was pacing to and fro frantically. Galit na sinuklay nito ang buhok. Why?! He shouted furiously. I was up to the last button when he turned around and faced me. Angry lines were visible. Nagngangalit ang ugat nito sa leeg sa pagpipigil. Well, I didn t care if he d murder me now. I didn t care if he
he punched the rearview mirror! I almost jumped in surprise. Almost. Nakita kong nagdurugo ang knuckles nito. `D i ba sinabi kong wala akong pakialam? WALA. I blindly sat on the passenger seat. Para akong tanga. Tulala. I heard him hissing beside me. Gusto kong sumigaw. Gusto kong tumalon sa bangin. Gusto kong matulog at hindi na magising. I closed my eyes. Malay ko ba, baka mangyari `yun. Baka pakinggan ako ni God at maawa siya sa `kin. Ramdam ko pa rin ang basa sa baba ko. Idemanda ko kaya siya? I would scream I m a battered wife of Julian Sunico . May makinig kaya sa `kin? I didn t want to be a hypocrite. I wanted to kill him. Sunugin siya ng unti-unti. Like what happened to the cursed witches before. Would there be justice in killi ng him?
Morning. Baka kasi siya ang nawalan ng pinaka-iingatang dangal. To me? To Julian? You wanted him to father your baby? Oh my. no. Ours was a marriage made in hell. So innocent. At galit na binalibag ko ang pintuan pasara. I shook my head. Why did you do that? bulong nito. magpanggap siyang wala ako. Talo? We re even. Humarap ako sa kanya. God. kung batukan kaya kita riyan? Bakit mo ba kasi ginawa `yun? What wo uld I do now? We can t just trade places again. Everything. Baka hindi ko siya matantya. I got attracted to you that first time. Yes. Ayo ko. He s he s mine now. He wasn t looking at me. Sige. Una pa man talaga never naman akin `t o. Hinawakan nito ang kamay ko. Nothing less. What did he want this time? Humarap ako sa kanya. Nasa garahe na kami. The dream. I I gasped. WHAT?! Seryoso? You you lied to us. Parang hind i nito nararamdaman ang pag-agos ng dugo habang nagmamaneho ito. Are you mad? My baby it s not Julian s. Was she talking in Latin? Parang sinabi niyang a lien ang nakabuntis sa kanya. aren t we? Ang laki ng talo ko. Kahit isa wala. He called me four times. Bayad na `ko sa `yo. It should have been Jean s. Tahimik na bumaba ako ng sasakyan. I thought I wouldn t forgive my sister for what she d done. I took my perso nal things and left those that weren t mine. Ni hindi ko man lang napansin. I cried a river last night. Pinigilan ko ang kamay kong masakal ang kapatid ko. Wala na `kong balak bumalik kay Julian. We re both devils. Sorry sorry eh. Jean what is this all about? Jeannie I m sorry. I thought she wouldn t do this. I smiled mockingly. Ayoko ng sabihing bakit siya ba ang nasaktan? Siya ba ang nawa lan ng virginity? Kung sa bagay. Sana inutang mo na lang sa `kin ang pambili ng bahay niyo. Nothing more. Butter Diner s. She was my twin. I wished we ve never met. my God. Was he immune t o pain already? At least they had something in common now. I didn t turn around.Ayoko siyang tignan. I swallowed an imaginary lump in my throat. Oh. You look so vulnerable and trusting. You know what. I winced. Was it that t . I can t tell you everything. Pero parang wala naman akong choice. Oh. Para akong naguluhan. I heard him swore. He didn t even bother putting his shirt on. Before I knew it he threw my underwear with brownish stain on it! I hate you. The he called my name. what was a piece of flesh for a Sunico like him ? Kapirasong laman lang iyon. Hindi ako `yun Julian. We can live like this forever. when I first saw you crying at the hotel. He hissed. I smiled at him. Sana sana sinabi mo na lang sa `kin una pa man. Tinitigan ko ang leather seat. Jeannie. Pabalibag na binuksan ko ang closet. Hindi ako kumibo.
Julian I m Jeannette. Bigla itong tumuwid ng tayo. There the devil stood. Ayokong isipin kung ano ang napakalaking kasalanan niya sa `kin. Jeannie listen to me. Ayoko ng magpanggap na ikaw! Kung gus to mo bumalik ka dito at No! Iling ko. Sinampal ko siya. It won t work this time. Nakita ko sa likod niya si si Jean? What are you doing here? Not that I was blaming her but but Hell. I mean hindi niya napansin na iba ka. Do you think your virgi nity caused millions? I gasped at his crudeness. I didn t want to cry. He frowned. Para akong bagong ano panganak. If you want you can tell Julian the whole fucccking tru What fuccccking truth are you talking about? We both turned at the door. iba ako. It was the empty glass. Naiiyak ako habang naliligo naalala ko lahat ng pag-uusap namin. And the baby s not yours. Stop it. Becau se we just met only a few times after the the Pikot. darling. Umuwi na tayo Jean. What the hell are you talking about? Napatingin ito kay Jean. Wala namang gumalaw non. You owe me five million minus the interest which is your purity. I couldn t take the lies anymore. We both jumped in surprise when I heard a loud crash. Ma am. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. Bigla siyang umupo at hinawakan ang ty an. Ayoko na Jean. I blamed her. I replaced her. Nakita kong may benda ang kam ao niya. You are you are She s your real wife Julian. At hind i kita ibabalik sa mga magulang mo hangga t hindi mo nababayaran iyon. May bisita po kayo. We ll tell you Julian about thi s. he was damned furious. Inirapan ko siya. At wala kayong magagawa ni mommy. Julian didn t know me that well. Bigla niyang hinarang ang bulto sa harapan ko. I walked like a zombie. She went missing before your wedding day. I muttered. I bet he was ready to wring our ne cks. I m so Don t fuccking say sorry to me. Nakita ko ang galit sa mga mata niya.hen? `Di ba ang mga kambal ay may kakaibang koneksyon? Jeannie please No! I couldn t take it. Hindi na pwede. Pareho kaming pareho kaming Pero Jeannie hindi pwede. Niloko. Uuwi na `ko sa `tin. The corner of his lips twitched. You re not that expensive. Didn t her explanations a bit too late? Anong ginagawa mo? Isn t it obvious? I wanted to scream and shake some common sense into her. I whispered defiantly. I walked past him. Bakit ka nagbabalot ng damit? Tinabig ko `yung kamay niya. Narinig ba niya? What truth. He looked fierce. Bakit ba? Eh. We looked down. yes. My heart went wild. I stared fixedly at him. At itinaas ang ulo na parang sa reyna. if I know ganyang ganyan din arte ko sa may hospital. I looked up. And boy. I promised Vincent. But tears were starting to pool in my eyes. Hinila ko ang kamay niya at kinuha ang clutch bag. What else was there? He was betrayed. . Nakita ko ang masamang tingin ni Julian ng dumaan si Jean. Parang dagang tumalilis si Jean. damn you! Sigaw nito na rinig ata ng buong subdivision. She suddenly winced and moaned. He cursed floridly.
given the fact that he owned me. Makapal iyon. Without clothes on. Inirapan ko siya. Hindi na siya naawa sa kagandahan ko. I glared at him standing like he owned the world. . Kung legal lang ang krimen sa mundo baka ilang bese s na itong namatay. Mah abang buntot. A chauvinist. leaning against the bed. But not ME. I bit my lower lip until it bled. Then I did sketch myself. Puro papeles. Kahit naman f ine arts ang kinuha ko alam ko naman kung anong ibig sabihin ng kontrata. I wanted to kill him right this minute. I was the ang el with a halo sent from up above. Tapos nagdrawing ako ng dalawang sungay. Sign this. Kahit magkita pa kami sa husgado! I took my sketch pad and sat on the floor. Was I that bad to blame my sister? Pero nasa katwiran naman ako. Tapos biglang bumukas `yung pinto. Pati ako nga rin nahihilo na sa sarili ko. Sh!t. Pabalewalang may ibinagsak siya sa kama. Parang may kulang. Pabalabag. I smiled nastily. Then I drew his body again . Mali mali. Of course. I erased half part. Na aalilain ng demonyo. Hinila niya `ko pataas. Tumayo ka dyan. Oh. I was fuming mad. An o ba! Pilit kong tinatanggal ang kamay niya sa braso ko. If it was an y consolation on every one s part Julian let go of Jean. I cringed in pain. I wrinkled my no se and closed my eyes. I brushed my tears angrily. His handsome face and his body. Wala na lang siyang ginawang mabuti kung hindi paiyakin at sakta n ako. I busied myself for how many seconds minutes I pouted and made face. My eyes squinted in anger. What s this? Nakakapagbasa ka naman `di. I drew Julian s face. This was legal and notarized. hours. Did he thought I was a real bummer? Hindi ba at siya nga ang naloko ko? So he was the one who s stupid. Ganon ba talaga ang mga bida? Laging api? Bulong ko sa sarili ko. I took the papers and read it. Hell. He was a cad. Ang pinakababoy sa lahat ng b aboy. At ang hawak niya isang malaking tinidor.SEVENTEEN I was pacing to and fro. I raised one brow. I was startin g to hate him. O kaya pahihirapan ko muna ng unti-unti. `di ba? He looked lik e a bench model on Halloween. Bakit ba hindi eh. ba My mouth dropped open. ako ako ang ikinulong niya at gusto niyang magsuffer.
hey. I even put one finger inside my left ea r. He wasn t dead serious.Ano `to? Printed paper. Nadah. why didn t you even give me a sign? Or even a hint? Nakaupo ako kaya t nakatingala ako sa kanya. His voice was laced with sarcasm. Para iyong sumabog sa mismong tainga ko. Feeling ko pinagbagsakan ako ng langit at lupa. Hindi na ako magpapanggap na buntis this time. was he? Hindi. You might do that honey. honey. Bigyan mo ko ng tagapagmana. I realized I was really a good painter after all. He said nonchalantly. He said smoothly. He cracked a knowing smile. You heard me. An d you re not the first virgin I ve had. Aalilain niya ba `ko? Was I going to age cleaning this damned house? Kinakalkula ko na s a utak ko kung magkano ang sweldo ng katulong at ilang taon ko siyang makakasama sa impyernong bahay na `t You ll give me an heir. Sana man lang nakapaglagay ako sa account ko mula sa kaban ni Julian ba go nagkabukingan. eh? Tumawa ako. I kept telling myself that it would be okay. Pra ise the Lord! Kung hindi mag-mamagic talaga akong magkaanak within nine months a . I gritted my teeth anguishly. Napatayo ako sa sobrang galit. Tawa pa. `Yun naman pala eh. Seriously. It was just one of those corny jokes. my goosebumps w ere showing. It was your s ignature not your sister s. you ll tell me anyway. Hindi ako nakakaintindi ng English. B ecause I had drawn this pig s face exactly the way he was evilly smiling at me! Nagpapatawa ba siya? Kaya nga siya pinikot ng kakambal ko dahil wala kaming pamb ayad `di ba? Anong gusto niyang gawin ko? Malay ko bang papalpak pala ang plano ni Jean. Ano?! Are you darn serious? It only cost Five hund red thousand? Ganon ako ka-cheap? Sana man lang tinaasan niya kahit one million. What s this for? You have two options to make: One. Tapos yumuko siya para magkatapat `yung mukha namin. `Yung kahit hindi nakakatawa pinipilit mong tumawa. ang int eres sa bangko ay umabot ng half a million. Galit na pinalandas nito ang daliri sa mga pi sngi ko. perhaps. Magsalita ba naman sa tapat ng bibig ko! Swear. And because I wasn t that bad. Sorry sa ipagsisinungaling ko pero Isn t mine. Para akong mahihi matay. I ve had my fair share of women Jeannette. `Yung tawa ng baliw. G anon ba talag siya kasama? I ve already had a lawyer examined it. I didn t even get any pleasure from it. The bomb was dropped. I m not your legal wife Julian. Masakit kaya. I was afraid. No spooky things. As if we were talking about t he weather. `Yung magdadala ng apelyido k o. Pero kailan ba naging okay ang magkau tang ng Five million? I was dead before I knew it. I crossed my fingers. Go shoot yourself and go to hell. Aren t you going to ask what s the second option? Bakit ko pa itatanong. Then on my right ear. ngu miti ito at lumapit sa `kin. I swallowed an imaginary lump in my throat. Tsk. Na para bang ang paggawa ng baby ay bato-bato-pik lang. God. pay me the five million pesos. `Yung ngiting alam kong bukas patay na `ko. Buti na lang bagong toothb rush ako kanina. Napaungol ako. Siya lang naman nasiyahan no . Tama ka. Tapos tawa pa ulit. Really. He stared at me incredulously. An heir. That easy. Hinawakan niya ang baba ko ng madiin. Baka nakakalimutan mo. Hindi pangalan ko ang naka-re gister sa marriage certificate. I appreciated you prostituting yourself to me. Nine months then you re free. He planted his hands on his hips. So bayad na ang interes. Tinitigan akong maigi. Jean s baby kinagat ko `yung labi ko. Ganon. It was null and void. Wala din! WAS I GOING DEAF? W-what what are you talking about? Nanghihinang napaupo ulit ako.
kung makapag-react ako parang hindi pa kami nag ano `yung ano alam n iyo na `yun. huh? Brad? Uh-oh. Napaatras ako. my God. Julian grabbed my waist as if he wouldn t want me away from him. The handsome debonair. Later everybody was dancing. . Syempre ang baby hindi basta lumalabas sa tyan ng baba e yan. Oh no! Gusto kong batuka n ang sarili ko. it s what you called persuading. that was fine. Hi Dahil assuming ako alam ko. Wala kang karapatang karapatang igiit sa `kin ang marital obligations ko dahil hindi tayo mag-asawa! Oh. At least hindi na niya `ko hahalikan ulit. Then she turned sweetly at Julian. Nakita niya akong papalapit sa isa sa mga ito. a public figure. exc ept for the press. He smiled e villy. A businessman s stock in trade. Don t you ever dare. It s okay. Namilog ang mga mata ko Julian was standing there. Hi. Syempre ngiti rin ako kahit na nga ba never ko pa siyang nakita sa tanang buhay ko.t ang tatay ay Oh.. Hindi nga ako nagkamaling hindi ka imbitahin! Saan? Irene! So Irene pala ang pangalan ng makiring kaibigan na ito ni Jean. Buti naman. sa `kin patungkol ` yun. Unggoy! Napakatuso! I opened my mouth in disust. Jean was infamed for her swimming ability. NO! REUNION. Hello Jean. my dear. Hindi nga ako nagkamali The woman raised one brow at me. dear. I so hate you. I groaned inwardly. darling. your choice. Brad stare d fixedly at us. Bakit hindi ako lumapit sa mga iyon at i labas ang baho ni Julian? He was after all. What would it be Jean nie. Kung fine nga bang matatawag ang halos pagyakap ng babae dito! Their faces were in ches away from each other. Well. Nagkalayo kami ni Julian. He looked like a wolf ready to eat his prey. Sawa? Hindi naman ito Zoo `di ba? S he gritted her teeth in anger. May process `yan. Very charming ang loko. May psychic ability na ba ito? He glared at me. Forcing isn t his cup of tea? Oo hindi. Hindi nakaligtas sa matalas kong paningin. I he ard about it. I was quite surprised when a hand caught mine. I went out of the parking lot to get my cell phone from the car. Lalo na sa`kin. Kaya lalong lumalaki `yung ulo. I smiled here and there. At itinaa s nito ang legal na papeles na binayaran nito ang titulo ng lupa namin! He was w ise. I shrugged. Sa `kin siya nakatingin eh. my bed s warmer than that of the jail s. Nakalimutan ko. I m sorry. May step one. Nabasa niya ang isip ko! Wow. Bakit kailangan ko pang magpanggap na si Jean? Alam na naman ng lahat.. The woman smiled at me. Malapit na kami dun ng matigilan ako. They were all bugging him. Pambablackmai l nga lang! This is pure blackmail! No. Ang press! I smiled. I sighed. two. Jean! Baka nakakalimutan mo `yung reunion natin mamaya. The business tycoo n. he hissed. three `yan. No doub t. Kung makalingkis. Parang siya nga ang nagre-reunion. So what is it? This is human violation. Ikaw din. my God so all the while we were ju st living in sin together? Mga immoral. Julian smiled back. bakit hindi mo man lang kami inimbitahin? Gusto kong isigaw: Sino b ang kinakausap mo? Ako o si Julian? Kung makangiti naman labas lahat ng ngipin! She flipped one hair expertly. Flirt. he shrugged. The feeling s mutual. Well. Pero ikaw din. My phone started ringing. Forcing a woman isn t my cup of tea. Jean told me everything. I snorted.
Papalapit na sila. And I was frightened by the look in his eyes. J ulian pulled me roughly in the arm. I gritted my tee th. May paparating na malaking truck. Whew. nakakasama din pala ang masyadong gentleman ngayon. No choice eh. Ku ng pwede lang na sipain ko siya. Julian no! I screamed. What the hell are you d ing. Hampas doon. Eve just tolerated being with Adam. Grabe. Julian Sunico s wife was seen kissing his ex. You bastard! Galit kong hiyaw. He w as already seated. At na-automatic lock niya na ang buong sasakyan. Sa paghampas ko sa sugat niya ay nabitawan niya ang manibela. loner siya `di ba? Pinagbigyan na nga siya ni God. Naumpog ako sa silya. Ako ang may sagot kay Brad! I winced as Brad punched back. Matutuwa na sana ako dun sa maganda . The woman was just standing there. Para akong lulubog sa kahihiyan. God. Bakit ba hindi sila makuntento sa isa? Bakit ba `yun na lang palagi ang problema nila? Nung ginawa naman si Adan. Nakita kong papatay talaga si Julian.Brad kiss me. Kinuha ni Julian ang lapel ni Brad at binalya. It was unlike any fury I d had. There were flashes of cameras. Nasty gossips. What? Jeannie. We both screamed. Pabalyang ipinasok. I glared at wh oever said that. makiri nga lang. The next thing I knew Julian and Brad were grappling. Julian. Now I know. I was too stunned to react. Anywhere my hand landed. Sa bilis ng pangyayari hindi ko na alam kung sino sa kanilang dalawa. Sinuntok suntok ko ang braso niya. I shoul d have wore Hester s scarlet letter. I couldn t get enough. Pinipilit kong gumitna pero natabig ako. Brad was badly beaten. ano bang klasing babae `yan. Naawa naman ako bigla sa kanya. Brad sige paaaa d on t stop kissing me!!! I shouted. Maganda pa naman. I saw the registration of s hock. I moaned aloud. He motioned the steering wheel t o the left. Pareho kaming napakapit dito. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung bakit ito pinagpalit ni Jean eh. His voice was icy cold. Let go of me. Syempre kahit pagbali -baligtarin ko man ang pangyayari. Get in. I wanted to shout at him. No. At masakit `yun ha! I screamed when he was a bout to kick NO! Niyakap ko si Julian ng mahigpit. Na parang ako an g may kasalanan! Na parang hindi ko siya nakitang nakikipag-flirt sa ibang babae ! Hinila niya `ko sa braso. Jeannie. And take note: Eve was the only woman back then. Itinulak! Niya ako sa loob ng sasakyan. You should have killed me and . Abusado. Twice. Damn. Parehas tikom ang bibig namin. Muntik na kami dun! My heart was thudding loud in my chest. I saw Brad s purplish face with bruises. Nakita kong pumutok ang labi ni Brad. this isn t righ I grabbed Brad s lapels and kissed him right on the mouth. Para akong bulkang sa sabog. Paikot pa lang siya sa driver s seat ay binuksan ko ang car door para tumakbo. For the benefit of others! EIGHTEEN I didn t want to hate men in general but it seemed to be in their nature to be unl ikable. There was not a bit of gentlemanliness in him. I was even m aking gurgling sounds. para akong nanunuod ng a ction movie. Galit kong sabi. Julian how dare yo ! He looked at me coldly. Once. Pakaladkad. We both gasped. dinugtungan pa. They knew nothing! Mga taong walang magawa sa mundo kundi pagpi yestahan ang latest tsismis. He gave me that chilling stare that sent shivers down my spine. alam mong hindi pwed I said kiss me. nakakahiya. Out of the corner of my eyes I saw Julian s frown. I put all my force and slap him. Brad are you okay? I knelt down in front of him. I said stop it! Tili ko at gumitna ako. Hampas dito. Gusto ko siyang sabunutan! Sino ba siya? This was all her fault .
Baba. Really. I gave you a choice. Kinilabutan ako. Balewalang sagot nito. Pero gagawin niya na Jeannie! My mouth dro pped open. There were bruises all over his face. I did shut up then. utos nito. Isang barkadang malakas ang trip. Why should I? You re mine. He hissed. Pe ro pero `di ba may onting konsensya naman si Julian? Even the tiniest bit? Oh. He said silently. Why can t you just let me go? I whispered achingly. Julian glared all the more. Hanggang ngayon ba iyon pa rin ang iniisip niya? You very well know I can t pay you even if it s a one-year term. It was a mere whisper. Ang mukha ay nasa gitna ng mga rehas na bakal. Hindi ko na alam kung paano at anong kaibahan non. Kahit na nga ba maghubad si Papa P sa harapan ko. Basta to the highest level na talaga ang pag-iling ko. You re dead serious. Alam ko. A choice? I said with sarcasm. Hindi sa natatakot ako. God. Alam mo pala eh! He smiled evilly. Did he think I can just bear a child and leave him to his father? I suggest you go see a psychiatrist. Ang maging babymaker mo? Ha! Holy crap. He wa s forcing me. He was speaking to me.He gave me that chilling look. Ganon lang ba talaga tingin niya sa `kin? His property na pwedeng bakuran. I shook my head vigorously. Don t try my patience. I said get out. I closed my eyes. Without remorse. I bought you for five million. this time was very much different. Sisigaw akong rape? Fvck you Jeannie. I d rather you do that Julian. With matching every emphasis pa. In my predicament I wouldn t have noticed them or anyone else for that matte r. He tilted my chin up. Napatitig ako sa kanya. no. Bumaba ka na. And the title: Love the way you lie by Rhianna. Okay. The musc les on his jaw flexed. Gusto kong is igaw sa kanya na baka naapektuhan na ang utak niya. I shook my head. Julian wouldn t resort to this. It was as if he would do just that. it boils my blood. Decide now. Tapos may dumaang sasakyan. My he . Why did he have to d o that? Was this one of his seductions 101? You might be forgetting. Tumaas ang sulok ng bibig niya. Kung kanina ay halos ipagtulakan niya `ko papasok. My eyes grew wide. my God. My hair on the nape stood on ends. Julian swung the door open. He said bitterly. BUT they were even singing a verse of some song. In close range as in close to my mou th. Pero bakit ba gwapo pa rin ito kahit mukha itong may sungay sa paningin ko? I might. I couldn t imagine myself there. I shook my head forcefully and vigorously. I looked around me and I gasped. Oh. The side of his mouth lifted sexily. Naiisip ko pa lang na ipapa-salvage niya `ko at itatapon ang kagandahan ko sa kung saang ilog. Get the hell out of my car. Parang wala sa sariling nasabi ko habang nakatingin s a Sa Police Station. natatakot ako sa itsura ni Julian. I swore my neck almost snapped sa mabilis na paglingon ko sa kanya. Pero syempre `yung masarap na kilabot.
Lahat ng sama ng loob ko sa mundo ay inilabas ko. you know. I knew then that he won. I don t want the time to come that I would only feel hatred against Ju lian. Jean di d. One hell of a horse. Sus. isa pang Bebe `yun e h. Sana vinideohan mo. Sigaw ko sa kanya. Yep. Syempre laging naka-coat and tie `yang suplado mong asawa. I found myself taking my shoes off and standing on Julian s lawn. I was stepping o n his Bermuda grass. And don t you ever dare slee p with Brad. Julian was one hell of a hot specimen. Next time videohan mo ha? Bigyan kitang hidden camera. One theory I realized: The nice? guys are ugly. Why? Asking your whereabouts. Why was it so? I had living proofs. Hay nako Jeannie. He whispered and bunched my hair up roughly. I avoided eye contact with him. Narinig kong naghikab si CM. Ano ba kasing iniisip mo? Masyado ng polluted `yang utak mo. Bibi? Bibi? Bibi? Bebe Gandang hari. He gave me flowers. `Yu n nga lang pwede siyang pang-S. Nakakaawa siya. dancing under the rain. Rowel s here. `Yung t awang pinipilit lumandi. gora na ako sa gusto niya. Sabi niya kasi kapag umiiyak over a jerk hindi siya maririnig ni Mommy. JEANNIE! One hand grabbed my arm and swung me around. Mabilis niyang pinakawalan ang mukha ko at nag-drive na siya pauwi. Really? One brow arched. Kasi may kasunod kang boy. Nakita kong umuulan sa labas. if I know. `Yung tipong `pagnaglak ad kayong dalawa sa mall feeling mo ang yaman mo. I thought it was a bit odd of my twi n to cry under the rain. He was naughty and nice. `Coz I d kill both of you.O. I was sobbing profusely. Sana nga gan on na lang. In short. But I found out I was doing the same thing. Is he big? CM! I swore I blushed to the roots of my hair. I sighed as I clutched the wireless phone to my ears. Malak as pa naman radar ng mga mothers. He was nice to me. (secret on) God. the hot guys are jerks. And very gay. O k aya naman ang bait mo kasi kasi parang charity lang. Lagay mo sa CR `pagnaliligo si Julian. Rowel? Ahm. He giggled. Baritonong high-pitched. Parang gusto kong sabunutan itong si CM. Ulam. CM said tersely. If I were you. CM. As if there was no tomorrow. He didn t know the meaning of love or even gi ving. Sus. Wow. Dati ko siyang manliligaw na artist din. And he called me. and the hot-and-nice guys are gay. Then I heard his monstrous laugh. humanap ka ng panget at ibigin mong tunay . Paano kung babae maging anak natin? Anak ko Jeannie. Knowing Jean s eccentricity.art went out to him. Chillax Jeannie. Why not? Pwede ko `yung ipam-b lackmail kay Julian. sorry. Yep. My eyes were moist. CM? Geezers. Nagpapakamatay ka ba? Gusto mo bang magkasakit? . Wooooh! I shouted loudly. bibigay pa lang. As in. Was I that bad? Pero sabi nga ni Andrew E. I closed my eyes. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. Ayokong makita n iyang malapit na `kong bumigay. help me. I agreed to his terms. Jeannie! Kulog lang `yun. I d like to spit right onto his demonic face. gifts and very gentleman. When I was a kid I never liked rainy days. `yung katawan. Ikaw lang ang magdadala pero anak ko. Wala akong pakialam kung pinagtitinginan man ako ng katulong ni Julian. Masyado siyang makasarili. O inakala nilang ba liw na `ko. Tipong ikaw pa ang aagawan ng boyfriend. Whatever.
Julian was really saying those words? Oh. I felt hot all over. I closed my eyes. Hindi kaya magkapalit kami ng mukha? I smiled at him. I rubbed my nose against his. That money was just a piece of pap er. He brushed the straining hair on my forehead. What do you think are you doing? He asked na para bang nandidiri sa `kin! I blinke d thrice. NINETEEN Sometimes you d wished that things were easier. My God. I wrinkled my nose. Gusto kong matawa sa itsura niya. I knew it. Na sana hindi lang ako gustong i-detain dito ni Julian dahil sa utang ko. I was on top . Nakakahiya na talaga. I wrapped my arms around his neck. Pilit kong tinatanggal ang mga patak ng ulan sa mata ko. Ang lapit lapit ng mukha namin. Grabe. Para bang hindi siya makapaniwalang ginawa ko talaga `yun sa kanya. Bastos ka. I probably lost one screw earlier. Julian Niyakap niya `ko. Eskimo kiss. I love you Uhhh I couldn t believe it. I waited for him to do the next move. I was wetting his tux. Ha? Wow. Tapos malapit na super lapit na Nanunulis na `yung bibig ko. This was the magic moment. Ok ay na eh. Under the rain. Was he worried? I shook my head. You are my baby. At sabay kaming bumagsak sa Bermuda grass. Feeling ko nga matutunaw ako. On top of him. He said in amazement. A mixture of tears and rain. Halos maduling na kami sa titigan namin. my God. Are we going to start the baby making process here and now? I looked up. Tapos tapos Hachuuuu! There. Nagsasalubong ang mga kilay nito at may payong na dala. Can you believe that? He did say he loved me. My chest was flattened against his. Titig na titig siya sa `kin. I looked up at him. On his face. Nalaglag `yung payong. Then I started crying on his chest . pang-FAMAS na sana drama ko. So I closed the distance. Syempre mahiya naman ako `di ba? Hindi ko pa rin namang nakakalimuta ng babae ako. Why was it so hard to hate somebody who could hurt you the most? Somebody you never intended to fall in love with? Napakatanga ng puso ng tao. Pilit kong sumasayaw at nagtampisaw pero hawak pa rin niya ang braso ko. He pulled me roughly into his arms. Don t even tell me! . If only it didn t have any value. Hello? This was so small co mpared to what we d done. Was I dreamin g? Tapos bigla siyang umubo. I wanted to smack his handsome face only if he didn t look amused. LOL. Argh.It was lightning. I thought I was going to sneeze my head out. Nung pagtalon ko kaya? What joke? That you lov e me? No. didn t he? Get off me It was a joke. We were both wet. Tapos itinapat ko `yung mukha ko sa mukha niya.
My eyes grew wide. just s eeing him standing there with his shirt loving his body to perfection was making me ahm. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung friends sila ni The Grinch. my God. What am I doing? Badtrip na pinilit kong umayos ng upo. May sakit ka ba? He s aid sarcastically. Oh well. I screamed. Hingal don. hindi ko na kasalanan `yun. Kasi parang hinihila ako sa antok. Wala namang pinainom sa `k in si Julian `di ba? Hindi kaya nilason niya na `ko? I groaned louder than the la st. Napaungol ako lalo. Tsk. Ano na naman bang pinagsisintir nito? His wet hair was clinging to hi s forehead. . Basta `wag niya lang asahanag maghuhub ad ako sa harapan niya. I moaned aloud. Ni-rape niya ba `ko? Bakit feeling ko para akong ginahasa? Ang sasakit ng mga kalamnan ko. I was still suncking in my breath ever so slowly. I rolled my eyes heavenward. Inirapan ko siya. At ang mga kilay nito? Nagsasalubong na naman. He k nelt down in front of me. Pangalan ko. Oh God. But it s as if as if you re going to eat me for dinner. my ey es almost bulged. hot. Ano bang problema nito? Gusto kong sumigaw pero wala akong lakas. He knelt down in front of me. Alam ba niya `yung ibig sabihin ng salitang hambog ? No? I thought so. I couldn t breathe. Pag-umpugi n ko pa sila eh. And stop staring at me like that! I know. Ba hala siya kung anong gusto niyang isipin. Do you ever know the word humility? Okay na magsungit siya. Hingal dito. Sigaw sigawan niya `ko . I m handsome and you couldn t resis t that. I closed my eyes. Napatingin ako sa kanya. He was pacing to and fro. his wet shirt was clinging to his body. Pakipot pa. Para akong lasing. Nakaupo ako sa couch! Basa. Will you stop that? angil nito. I opened o ne good eye. Nakita kong basang basa na `yung carpet.He winced. FROM YOU. sabi ko na nga ba Julian ha d a pretty fix on me from the start. He proved to b e tempting. Narinig kong tinataw ag niya `ko. Bakit hindi ko man lang nalaman? Sayang naman. Are you into drugs? I said I was kidding about you. Parang gusto niya na akong sakalin sa itsura niya. Ano na namang kalokohan `to? And stop doing doing that. I know. Will you just shut up? Ex cuse me? Hindi na nga ako makahinga t lahat then he wanted me to shut up? He was a lways grumpy. In disguise. Pero `yung ipamukha niya sa `king siya na lang ang natitirang lalaki sa mundo at handa akong halikan ang mga paa niya? It was abso-fvcking-lutely insane. Ang sakit sakit ng ulo ko. It was a great effort to slap the incredulity in his face. I wasn t so sure. I ve heard that before. I frowned. he hissed and brushed his drenched hair. I said stop it. Jeannie Jeannie I thought my head was going to break into pieces. me. I tried to focus my eyes on him. Then I imitated again louder. He was standing there. You sounded you sounded Sounded what? Like you are making out! For Pete s sake! Ha? Grabe. Sino bang may sabing ako lang pala ang n ag-iisip ng hindi kanais-nais dito! Akalain mo `yun. Oh. Ohhh My mouth opened in an indignant O. What the heck. making love in the rain. May dictionary ka ba dyan? He shrugged. Promise. Ohhh ohhh Jul ian Ohhh YUCK! GROSS! He just raised his brow and looked at me oddly. Julian must have been an angel. Alam mo `yung parang humalinghing na pusa? My mouth dropped open. Ungol ako ng ungol.
God. Sa sobrang gigil ni Julian. Sisigaw na talaga ako. My. Anong akala niya sa `kin bata?! I bit his hand. Galit na binuhat niya ulit ako. I moaned a loud. mabilis pa sa alas-kwatrong yumakap ako kay Julian. Namatay lahat. The likes of Julian should be banned. Tapos dahan dahang bumaba `yung mga mata ko dun sa kamay ni ya. Pakawalan mo `ko!!! Ti nakpan niya `yung bibig ko. The door burst open. Para akong inaapoy. Gosh. Then h is mouth landed on mine. He ripped it off me! Goodness. At w ala akong pakialam kahit bumabaha ng mura sa shower room. He roughly cupped my left cheek. hindi ko alam kung panong tili ang gagawin ko. Inaapoy ito sa lagnat. A slow knowing smile played about his kissable lips. Pumasok si Mommy! Jean! At ang mga katulong! We heard you scream. Hind i ba dapat Julian s kisses would send me straight to heaven? Pero bakit feeling ko hinihinila ako pababa sa impyerno? Julian thought she was okay. Rough. Like the way he always used to. Walang p atawad. I felt his teeth nipped my lower lip. Natatarantang binuhat niya ito.Hubaran niya `ko! Joke lang. ano sa ti ngin niyang ginagawa niya? Magpapatintero kami? Mahuli huli taya! I was going to try for another scream even though my throat felt scraped. Parang nawalang lahat ang panghihina ko. he was definitely wrong. But she lay passive. Santisima! Naman si Julian oh. Nanlaki `yung mga mata ko. Kung akala niyang inaapoy sa pagnanasa si Jeannie. Well. Hotter. Was he insane? We were in the shower room! Hanggang dito ba naman? I shrieke d. gracious. He frowned. pati dun sa baba. Helllpppppppp And in fair ness. The he pulled down my jeans. Hindi niya `ko pinansin! Tuloy-tuloy lang siya sa pagtanggal ng mga butones. I wished that instant that I were a mermaid. Then I closed my eyes. Forceful. Jeannie fainted! Napapikit ang mga mata niya. Kung kanina y nagkakakawag ako. Julian noooo! I screamed and wailed. Hindi ko alam kung anong l ubog sa hindi punong bath tub ang gagawin. Aba. I made sure na nahirapan siya. Pakawalan mo `ko! Pakawalan mo sabi ak ooo Ibinagsak niya `ko sa bathtub! He was really inconsiderate. He was a safe cover from the intrud . Para akong lalagnatin . Doon. In my blurring vision I saw Juli an hovering over me. Oh. I swore. You mani ac! I hissed through my teeth.. I was burning hot.. Bakit hindi? Ang mga katulad niya ang da hilan kung bakit nagkakasala ang mga respetadong babaeng kagaya ko. Para siyang binuhusan ng malamig na t ubig. She was in and out of consciousness. Our wet clothes were felt so paper-thin. Naramdaman kong may nagbababa sa `kin sa tiles.
tapos tapos bibitawan niya `ko. Julian I have hands. Then I d make him eat the cake of soap. I looked at the alarm clock. An g bigat ng pakiramdam ko. was this déjà vu? I had nowhere to go. What? He asked innocently. Ako ang bahala sa `yo. Eight o`clock in the morning? I bolted upright. Julian smiled. Hindi naman ako kasya sa butas ng banyo. Goodness. Anong gagawin mo? I looked around me. no. Hi ndi na `ko magtataka kung mas pa kung sasabihin niyang: I ll kill you Jeannie . I gasped. pleaded with me to bathe her. Goodness. Napalingon siya dito. Who said that killing a moron was against the law? Hindi ba pwe deng magbawas kahit isa? TWENTY I hated him. Isn t it obvious? My mouth dropped open. My stomach churned. He was such a monster. I really croaked. Pinanlakihan ko siya ng mg a mata. Darkness was pulling me down. Nanla laki ang mga mata ko ng Oh. Bahala? Ha! If I know. Oh-kay. Tignan ko lang kung makahalik pa siya ng ibang babae. Sana hindi lang ako nananaginip. `Yung parang hinuhubaran kung hindi ko pa alam na hubad na `ko! I h issed. There was someth ing endearing about a man who said that he could take on the world for me. Will you please get out? I shouted at him. Kinapa ko `yung sarili k o. That was only a snippet. Parang batang bulong ko. It me ant catastrophe. Buti alam mo. Betty Boop PJs. didn t I? Then I clos ed my eyes. At isinandal ang ulo ko sa bathtub. Han ggang sa magbula `yung bibig niya. my God. See? Your sister here wants me Oh. He didn t look pleased with himsel f. Nang lumabas na silang lahat. What what? You look as if you would kill. Hindi ko gusto ang ngiting iyon. A mere whisper. Hinawakan nito sa balikat si Julian at pilit inaalis mula sa `kin. Then he took the soap. I sucked in my breath.ers. Sana totoo. He smirked. What are you all doing here? Julian smiled. I was trying to cover myself. He scrubbed my stomach. He shrugged. I woke up late that night. Parang binabarena `yung ulo ko. Anong masamang ginagawa mo sa kapatid ko? Tili si Jean. Julian wouldn t say something like that. Gusto ko siyang lunurin sa bathtub. Ah. Then his hands submerged under the water. Lumingon siya s a `kin. I bit my lower lip. Don t you want to ask who? He just shrugged. They all gasped. Tinitig an niya `ko. Julian bathed me! He dressed me up! What did he thi . Parang hin di ako mahiwalay sa pagkakayakap sa kanya. I smiled too sweetly.
I wanted to hit him with the lamp shade. Sa paningin ko. He tapped again my shoulder. EVER. I groaned inwardly. Unti-unti akong napangiti. Wow. I glared at him. Julian? He didn t reply. I chewed it. Biglang bumukas `yung pinto. parang utang na loob ko pa ang paggawa niya ng breakfast sa `kin. Fine. Galit kaya ako. My God. My head was poundi ng. Preppy Ken. I gasped.nk of me? Barbie doll. Excuse me! Gigil na humarap ako sa kanya. But still mukha pa rin iyong darak. Bumagsak ang katawan ko sa higaan. No more like poison me! My eyes stared incredulously. He was really going to kill me. Julian ano b a! Will just give me peace Jeannie? I opened my mouth to talk again. Surely I wasn t that fat. He even yawned. Mabilis akong humarap sa kanya. Tapos bigla niya `kong inabutan ng tablet. eh? Nooo I bemoaned. May takip iyon. Forcefully. ang mahi rap kuhanin mahirap pakawalan. He tapped my shoulder. thank you. Ganon pala huh? . Surely Ano ng tingin niya sa `kin? BABOY? Ano `to? Kaning baboy? Why. This side of Julian that I wasn t used to. Not talkin g would be the cause of your death. I was about to talk again when he thrust the spoonful of kaning baboy in my mouth. Gusto kong sabihing: Amuin mo ko Kumain ka na. I opened my mouth in disgust. Sa bi nga pala ni Thrust the food on my mouth. I understand. Jeannie Rose Leviste? YOU? WON T TALK? Tawa. I really gasped aloud. Naramdaman kong lumubog `yung kama sa gilid ko. Day off ng mga katulong. Hindi naman masama lasa niya. What a better way of saying Shut up Jeannie . He really had a sweet and cari ng side. Hey. An ong ginagawa mo dito? bulong ko. Omelette? Omelette? Ma y bago na palang tawag sa sunog na kaning baboy ngayon? Will you just be grateful and eat? He angrily shoved the plate of food on my lap. I gritted my teeth. Parang biglang k umalam ang sikmura ko. Whatever. Ang kapal niya! Grabe. Julian wala na naman akong lagnat samahan mo `ko mamaya kina Sumpak ulit. Breakfast. Pasalamat siya gutom ako. Sa daldal mong `yan. Basta hinalo lang niya ang pagkain. There the Ken stood. No reply. My hands were itchi ng to take those and cover his That would be the day Jeannie. He was e ven clutching his stomach. Hmp. Hindi ba niya `ko papatayin? I looked at the tray in front of me. Evil Ken. Confirmed. He said with sarcasm. Yep. parang n agkaroon siya ng dalawang sungay. Alam kong hindi uso sa mahihirap ang omelette . Binuksan ko `yung silver cover. Betty Boop! Kumain ka na. Wit h his bewitching smile. Medicine. He started laughing. Sabi nga ni mommy. I took the pillow and covered my ear. I wasn t giving him peace? If I give you peace I won t talk to you. Napatingin ako sa unan ng masama. Tawa. kumain ka na. Tumagilid ako. Thank you. Nakita kong napahiga siya kakatawa. All at once my heart started hammering. `Yung tawang parang wala ng bukas. Patalikod sa kany a. Ha! Grabe. Tawa. I arched one brow. What did he think of me? Hard-to-get `to no. Naniningkit ang mga mata ko. Bakit nga pala nandito sina mommy kahapon? Oh! I forgot to call CM. Don t make me laugh.
I sighed. Julian smiled at me and raised his wineglass in a mocking salute. Smile. Parang balewala lan g naman sa kanya. At sabi nga. I was tight-lipped and turned to his aunt. Well. And be polite. Parang sinasabi ng ti nging iyong akala ko ba hindi tayo bati? . Nod. Parang may sariling isip ang mga paa ko. Mamamatay nga ata ako. Inirapan ko si ya. Didn t you. Alam kong nan anadya lang siya. I was just a very keen-observer. When will you tell Julian about his true parentage. `yung mga taong curious `yu n `yung matatalino. I even bathed her yesterday. Paano ko sasabihin sa kanya? Julian your family wasn t supposed to be who they were. He raised one brow at me. Poor you. Aunt Risan my wife s very pampered. Inabot ko ang kamay ko sa kanya. You know I can t. Mabait na asawa ba itong si Julian hija? Tanong ni Aunt Risan sa `kin. Sabi ko na nga ba. Jeannie? I almost jumped in surprise. Hindi kami bati! Hindi ko siya papansinin! Argh. Ang bilis . Ang sinabi niya lang kanina we re going some place . I frowned. Hindi kaya pulutin ako sa kalsada `pagsinabi ko `yun? Pam-blackmail! Tama. I was trying to find the comfort room. Ito ang napapala ng mga tsismosa. ha. Mabait po `pag tulog. Wow. most of the time. Nangangalay na braso ko ah. Tapos napatapat ako sa library. My knees were going to buck le. It was difficult ignoring someone who didn t want to be ignored. He would break furnitures and lashed at people. Nagsasalita siya. They were all looking at me. In short. At unang una ako sa mga taong iyon. simpleng papansin. You have to tell him! You can t just keep this damned secret forever. Waiting. Nagsasawa na `ko sa ganito. My hands were cold and c lammy. I would have turned around and walked away. Tumaas `yung kilay ko. His whole being would surely break into a thousand pieces. She loved you damn you! Silence descended. Napapanis na ata l away ko. He was challen ging me. He turned around and just walked on! I saw the way he carried himself like the king of the world. They all laughed. I was rooted to the ground. I was true to my promise. I was about to turn away when some snatches of the conv ersation caught my attention. It was as if they (Julian s supposed dad and Uncle Bert) told me that it wa s the end of the world. Ikaw ang may kasalanan ako ang umaani! She never love d me so I got tired of waiting for her. His broad back was turned to me. And she loves me dearly I would have gasped. Yes. What are you doing here? I swore. Kasalanan ko bang halos rinig na ng buong bahay ang pag-uusap nila ? Sus. Gusto ko ng ngatngatin ang plato o ka ya ibato iyon sa kanya. Would he slash his wrists? No. I looked as if I d seen a ghost. The side of his mouth lifted slightly. Naiisip ko pa lang an g mga gagawin niya y kinikilabutan na `ko. Wala nama n talaga akong pakialam. Gusto ko ng magsalita. We Aherm! Aherm! Malakas kong ubo. Ayusin mo sarili mo. He ll hate me. I wasn t really e avesdropping.I would have cried aloud if not for Uncle Bert and Julian s dad. You hated lies. Deadma lang ako. Nanghihinang naglalakad ako. Uuwi na tayo. Bert? When will you take all the blame and this buuullshit end? TELL ME! Parang may bombang sumabog. Parang teledrama lang. Ang katawan ko. Silence would really kill me. Kanina pa kita hinahanap. But then all your lif e you were living a big damned lie. darling? Nanlalaki ang mga mata ko. He ordered. We were both sile nt on the way here. He just kept on talking. `Yun lang! G oodness. See? Silence means yes. The voices were familiar. Parang bumalik ang sakit ng ulo ko. He frowned and sighed. He r olled his eyes.
Na hindi ko m an lang alam kung sino. Tandaan mo Jeannie may malaking utang na loob siya sa `yo. I smiled mischievously. And because I wasn t that bad I hoped God and St. And and Julian never slept wit h me. Later that night I went to sleep early. Hmm? Humigpit bigla `yung kapit niya sa `kin. Nasaktan pa nga ` yung dibdib ko sa pagtama sa likod niya. Baliw ka na ba? He said drily while looking at me in disg ust. Eh. Ang lakas ng impact. Laway ko. It was one hell of a secret.. Nagsusungit na naman. Masarap palang matulog ng may katabi. Parang hindi niya napapansin na kasama niya `ko. But it didn t even bother me.. Well. for sure he would blame himself for the separati on. He sighed exaggeratedly. Akalain ko bang hindi ko matiis and dyablong si Julian? I could have gone straight to a reporter or to any journa list. What are you doing? He said softly. May utang na loob ka sa `kin. `di one ganda okay. And hugged him from behind. And the one he grew up with was really his uncle. He didn t ev en bother to open the door for me. I fell in step beside him. In my dreamy state. I couldn t breathe a little. Uncle Bert was his dad. Sipon . Somebody was sleeping beside me! My eyes grew wide . Umiling-iling ito. Julian was in the study room fussing ove r documents. Bumaba na kami ng sasakyan. Ang gulo no? Kasing gulo ng u tak ni Julian. TWENTY ONE We went straight home. one baet point na `ko. Peter was looking right down at me us . Parang may nakadagan sa katawan ko. And I bet. Katabi! Then it clearly dawned on me. Parang sinasabing nasiraan na nga talaga . Hindi ko na siya pinakialamanan. I ran to him. I ll tell you something you don t know. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. If he d only known.ko. I almost screamed. The hands tightened around my m idsection. Luha. he might n ot know yet but he d thank you later. I sighed pleasurably. You need me. And because he was very much a gentleman. Pero hindi ko ginawa. Ever since that phone call earlier. For the first time I rendered pity for the high and mighty Julian Sunico. Habang pilit pang tinatanggal `yung kamay ko s a harap niya! I tightened my hands around his middle. He started laughing demonically. . I snuggled closer. I hiccupped through his shirt. As in. Kaya nga ba mas close siya sa Uncle Bert niya? Kaya nga ba nag-div orce ang parents niya? If this secret would spill out. somebody. Kaya tatanawin niya sa `kin itong isang malaking utang n a loob. I cushioned my head against his back. you can t live without me. Half of my body w as covered by. Ni-lock ko `yung pinto kanina.
One word uttered. I know. Maybe Julian needed some loving after all. My chest was flattened against his. Hello? Hindi ko kaya nakita! Wala kaya akong nakita. her eyes were big and even her mouth was a big O. Travel. My eyes slowly widen ed He was gloriously buck-naked. Yuck. Excuse me? Bad breath. Aalis. No phone calls. What are you doing? I frowned when he started puttin g his clothes in a traveling bag. Leave me alone. Sleep. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. I angrily swung the door loud enough. Inumang ko `yung kamao ko sa likod niya tapos humarap siya. Ah. Parang balewalan g naglakad siya papunta sa closet. Hell. Pinipilit nitong pigilan ang mga kamay ko. Niyugyog ko `yung balikat niya. Unfortunately. Mabaho ba `ko? For the first time. Hindi man lang ako pin agtangkaan ni Julian. Bakit ba ang sungit sungit mo He slammed the door in my face! I was so shocked. Lapasta ngan! Tinitigan ko siya ng masama. Julian ungot ko. L alo niyang nilakasan `yung paghilik. Hindi naman ah. Tinatanong lang naman kita. luckily his back was turned to me. Inamoy amoy ko pa man din `yung unan na hinigan niya! Tapos `pagdating ng b reakfast hindi ako papansinin? Grabe. Traveling. wasn t that my weakness? Men with nice rounded bu tts. May alzheimer s na ata. My God. Dirediretso sa study room niya. napadaan lang ma am. Ah. ganon. Didn t he know that he was way bigger than me? He covered half of my b ody. I closed the door shut in effect. Pero utos pa rin. Julian san ka kumain? He shrugged. Nice butt. You scared me inis na bulong ko. Ang ulo nito ay parang batang isiniksik sa leeg ko. Balewalang dumagan ulit siya sa `kin! Na parang ba ta. The man s breath was fanning my cheek. Nakiliti ako sa paghinga niya sa leeg ko. He came back late that night. Ano ba. He wasn t talking to me the whole day! I woke up with the empty side of the bed. Ang KAPAL! Mabilis na itinapat ko ang palad sa bibig at bumuga buga. arhm scratch that. Alam mo ba Julian na nakakainis ka? Nawala na `yung antok ko dahil sa He covered my mouth! Inis na tinatanggal ko iyon. May pupuntahan tayo? U . Seconds late r. Then I looked over my shoulder. Then he went to work . Nakalimutan ba niya? He cuddle d with me last night! I thought we were okay? Ngayon ko napatunayang maraming na didisgrasya sa akala. A person seemed vulnerable when asleep. Naghilik siya. Niyugyog ko ulit. I started pushing. `Yung isa naming maid nakatayo din! Promise. he was fast asleep. Why are you in my room? Bulong ko. This mig ht be heaven. Gigil na sinundan ko siya. Sige magpanggap kang wala ako dito. Gigil kon g sabi. I covered my eyes with my hand. Hawak pa `yung walis. I was going crazy with boredom. I tenderly caressed his hair. Three words. Then I pushed him hard. He wore his underwear not a whit about me ogling standing there. But my.Madilim. With gaps between my fingers. Sabay biglang takbo. I heard him chuckle. Hindi ko alam kung bakit. I smiled sweetly.
Ang laki-laki ng bahay ako lang naman at si CM. Nagulat ako. Ni hindi man lang nag-alalang tumawag para itanong kung buhay pa `ko. Parang nakalimutan ko nga ding magpinta. At saka lang ito ngumisi sa `kin. Ang O. One week. I rolled on my stomach and covered the pillow over my head. Parang baligtad? Whatever. He even demonstrated with his hands. ko. He was mouthing: Kiss. Julian! Oo Jeannie narinig kita. Okay lang `yun! Mabuti nga `yun. I sat down while panting. Teka. Hindi niya ako pinansin. Para akong robot. Wala na `kong yayamutin. He studied his nails. He was going away. Parang hindi gumagana `yung utak ko. Oh. I didn t even notice that we were already inside the airport. Tapos pinisil niya `yung bab a ko. Tapos tinalikuran niya na `ko. Yo ur hubby called me. I was hugging Julian s pillow tightly. I One more week of not abiding that damned co ntract. A week. I was a little absorbed with my emotions. I ate silently at the breakfast table. CM was waiting for me downstairs. A. He could really be attracti ve and sexy without trying. I sniffed it. For a week! Na hindi man lang ako kasama? Ang galing. He moved toward me. Aalis tayo Jeannie. Kahit man lang hoy wala. dangsin-ibogo sip-eulgeoya I ll miss you. Nobody would tor ment me. Kung ako lang din CM mas gusto kong maiwan kasama ng asawa ko! Mabilis na sumakay ako ng sasakyan. He put on a shirt and his rugged jeans. I m going to Las Vegas for a business trip. I pouted. I was t rying hard not to look at his back while walking away. Anong sinabi niya? Hindi kaya minura ako ni Juli an? TWENTY TWO Four full days. Sabi ko sa sarili ko at ginawa pang p uppet na nagsasalita ang kamay ko. Anong sinabi niya? I stared blankly at CM. O binabaon ko ba s iya sa utang through his credit card. Basta lagay lang siya ng lag ay ng gamit. He was even immersed in painting a landscape. Wala naman talaga akong pakialam. `di ba kapag naka-pout nanunulis `yung lips? Hindi man lang makara mdam! Tapos nakita ko sa likod si CM. CM said from behind. I was just plain bored . Oo nga. No one would shout at me. I didn t even remember him. So planado ito? G anon ba? Why didn t you tell me? Galit kong harap sa kanya. He even smiled at me. Kinilig pa ang bruha. Tayo? Nagmamadaling tinignan pa nito ang wrist watch.mupo ako sa gilid ng kama. THE HELL I CARE! Jeannie! Ano?! Galit kong harap kay Julian. I realized then that my world started revolving around Julian. Jeannie . I couldn t say anything. Kung ako lan g Jeannie mas gusto kong maiwan kasama `yung asawa mo. That was it. Inis na binato ko ang unan niya sa kama. No phone calls. I didn t miss him. We were all quiet. Tapos tinalon talunan ko iyon. Anong ginag awa nito dito? Julian put his luggage in the compartment without a word to me. Samahan daw muna kita. Baliw na ata talaga ako. I punched the pillow like it was his face. How was that? Nakahiga lang ako. Naiinis ako sa kanya! Kahit `wag na siyang bumalik. Mabobored lang siguro ako kaya ako nagkakaganito. Not even a word. One week kong h indi makikita si Julian? Argh.
Nagmamadali ako. Bakit ba kasi nilock lock ko pa `yung drawer? Stupid of me. I smi rked at him. CM!!! I wanted to wipe the grin off hi s face. Ahh he nodded indulgently. The door opened. Me? Missing him? Bull. Boom . I shouldn t have mentioned that name! CM was giving me those slow teasing grins I hated these days. My hand was trembling. We ate dinner serenely. I hissed and stared at him pointedly. Julian? Badtrip. I said nonchalantly. Kahit `wag na siyang bumalik. Sorry na. my mobile started ringing. I reahed for it under my accessories along with other swell stuff.That bolted me upright. Okay. `di ba? Sakalin ko kaya `tong si CM? Once lang. He gave me that eat-your-heart-out sm ile. I m just resting. Smile Jeannie. How could he be my friend? He had done nothing but to hum iliate me. Mamaya mag-celebrate tayo tutal wala naman dito si Julian. I couldn t eat that muc h. Sayang sasabihin ko pa man sana sa `yong tumawag kanina si Julian Well. CM won! I hated them both. Tama. Namimiss mo na no? Sabi nito at umupo sa tabi ko. So. Meron tayong bente kwatro oras sa isa ng araw. Anong sabi niya? Hindi ka naman interesado. Hello Julian? Jeannie kain na tayo! Sh!t. Umiinom ng isang tasang kape si CM. you know. Argh. Naiinis ako s a mga taong magkukwento tapos mambibitin! My hands were getting itchy to wring h is neck. Pilit ginagaya si Ann Curtis. I didn t even look at the screen. dude. I almost tripped with the blanket in a hurry to g et to my cell phone in the drawer. Kitang kita kong parang hinayang siya. I forced my muscles to move. Huwag lang talaga siyang makalapit-lapit. Double Sh!t. He stood up from my bed. Anong ginagawa niya? Dinadaig si Bill Gates? Tsk. Bakit ko mamimiss `yung taong lagi na man akong inaaway? Why should I miss him when he didn t even remember me? Ano ba a ng one-minute call sa 24/7? I sticked to my viewpoint that if a person valued you that much though he was bu sy he d take time even a minute to text you. Bwisit. I didn t like CM s expression. Tatalikod pa lang sana ako ng tumunog ulit iyon. It stopped ringing just when the key turned in. Oh? I don t care if you don t believe me CM. Alam mo naman si Julian napakapasensyoso! I gritted my teet h and sighed. Hindi! Hello. Mauubos talaga buhok niya sa `kin. Inis na humiga ulit ako at tinalikuran siya. CM said. I looked at him squarely. Para akong tangang hawak hawak `yung cell phone sa tenga ko. bakit ka nagmumukmok? Ako? Nagmumukmok? My God CM. Big time. To my astonishme nt. Gusto kong ipakain sa kanya iyon. It tasted ashes on the tongue. Just curious. I gasped and glared at him. What bad news? . CM said. It opened. You should understand your husband. Eee. That would be a cold day in hell. I don t want to be the bearer of bad news Jeannie. you don t miss him? Umupo ulit ako. because you re not interested never mind. I gnawed the inside of my left cheek. Tapos tinalikuran niya `ko at isinara ang pinto `paglabas. Eh.
That was the most hateful word in a businessman s vocabulary. Tapos nakita k o `yung biceps ni Julian. Sabi ko na nga ba. He was a major lo ser. He grunted. He cuddled her in spoon fashion. wasn t it? Si Julian? Bankrupt? Bugger. TWENTY THREE I woke up with a start. The investors in Las Vegas were pulling out. Why not? . Weren t his mother and father a one great example ? He was a very cynical man. Napatingala ako sa kanya. My eyes grew wide. I m sorry Jennie. His mindset was shouting he didn t need her. He didn t really know what bullsh!t happened t o him. Someone groaned beside me. Angko s footprints. Parang slow motion na unti-unti akong tumingi n sa gilid ko. And his fingers were itching to put an L word on his forehead. He opened the door and slid inside the semi-darkened room quietly. Even in deep slumber she came to him willingly. At mas mahirap ipaglaban ang isang bagay na alam mong matagal ka nang talo. He had an eight o`clock stubbles about his cheeks. I pouted. She stirred in her sleep. Ang hirap kapag magkalaban ang puso at ang utak. Julian changed the word messy to SEXY. She was one thing he didn t need right now. Now. God. At nalilis ang kumot mula dito. Jeannie could disappear one day. I whispered. And he was afraid of this from the very first fvcking day he met her. Parang hindi ko ata naintindihan ang mga sinabi ni CM. His heart told him otherwise. Eight? Ten? Ang tagal ko na d in palang pinagtyatyagaan si Julian. Befo re I knew it his arm wrapped around my waist and pulled me closer. `Yun ang narinig ko. There was nothing cons tant and permanent in this word. I slowly smiled. The word complication was writt en all over her face. Lumapat ang likod nito sa dibdib niya. They lost millions. That was the last of my conscious thoughts. Ine-expect ko bang nandun si Sadako? Oh great. He knew those facts might kill him. But but hey I had this dream last night. The light fli ckered from the lamp shade were casting shadows on the wall to the woman sleepin g serenely on the bed. kabaligtaran ang nangyayari sa totoong buhay. I love you. Julian. I stretched my arms. Kukurutin ko sana `yung braso ko.Pabagsak na ang negosyo ng mga Sunico. He kissed her na pe softly. Why didn t he tell me a thing or two about it? Wala ba talaga akong silbi para sa kanya? It seemed a lifetime since I signed that marriage contract. my left arm jabbed som ething. Jules Tinalikuran niya `ko! Oh-kay. And my! His chest was uncovered. Julian She turned to the side. I thought men with stu bbles looked messy before. Marahang humiga siya sa tabi nito at tumagilid. Ayt. Tapos humarap ulit siya sa `kin. Goodness. He opened one good eye. I slept like the dead. I went to bed that night with my head pounding so hard it hurt. It s the truth. dangsin-eul salanghabnida. Maingat niya itong pinagmasdan. This was just one of his grand jokes. I was like was I dreaming? `Di ba merong seven days in a week? Nagkamali ba ako ng bilang? Pang fifth day p a lang ngayon ah! Maybe he wasn t Julian! A twin? I shook my head rapidly. Oooh lala . He look ed a bit disoriented. Bankrupt. Huy. Tapos pumikit ulit. He found himself smiling oddly. Napasubsob ak o sa dibdib niya. He was whi spering what seemed like love words to me. Disoriented. It was just that he was afraid to get too attached. He couldn t afford to lose his heritage. I was really dreaming! Oh.
I pouted. A bit. I hated him! Hindi na siya nahiya sa ayos niya. Feeling ko ang bilis humaba ng buhok ko. Mayamaya lamang we were brushing our teeth side by side. He regarded me with incredulity. Para kaming naghahabulan sa maliit na kama. I gritted my teeth. He then hugged me and carried me to the bathroom. men had no modesty! I slept in my birth suit. Tapos nagbuklat ako ng magazine. Just a bit. . sayang! LOL. Hinila niya talaga ako. Kinikilig talaga ako. if I would be living with him forever I couldn t imagine.I pinched him slowly and ever so painfully. Why couldn t I close my eyes? Why do you have no clothes on? Not a stitch! A slow smile cracked about his lips. He had already a to wel on. He planted his hands on his hips. Damn. what the Confirmed. I winced. Anyhow. He tickled me on each side. I was like in fairy land for three m ore weeks. Tapos `yung tingin n a `yun yung para akong hinuhubaran? Are you insane? Inis na lumayo siya sa `kin. Tapos inabot niya sa `kin `yung toothbrush ko. Julian didn t mention anymore about my debt or the baby making cont ract. Well. Geezers. As in nada? Meaning. L ukot na naman ang mukha. Naninigas na `yung leeg ko. I winced as I saw him striding down the stairs. Some things changed in him after his business trip. But our eyes met th rough the mirror. What did you do with my things?! What things? Painosente kong sabi. Hello? It was daytime! Tapos tumata gos pa `yung sinag ng araw mula sa sliding door. Jeannie! Sabi ko sa inyo a bit lang eh. My. Tingin sa lampshade. `Yun nga lang. I lacked sleep. he wasn t that showy. I clutche d the headboard. He chuckled. Hinuhubaran? More like sinu sunog. Ang kapal! I shrieked when he pulled my feet from the be d. He gave me that come-on smile. I swore I blushed to the roots of my hair. Si Julian nga! Nagsasalubong ang mga kilay nito. Tumalikod ako sa kanya ng tumayo na siya sa harap n g salamin. Parang kagat lang `yun ng langgam. Nanggigil lang naman ako. Grabe magkaka-stiff neck ata ako kakating ala sa kanya. He often scowled. naninigaw pa rin siya. He was silent. Why do you have no clothes on? I parroted. Oo. It was un-Julian to do those things for me. He said forlornly. He even make it a point to dine with me at night. Sa kama. I know you want me now Jeannie. He ripped the magazine off my hands and threw it wherever it landed. Inis na humarap ako. What! Inis niyang tanong habang hinahanap `yung jeans niya! Yes. God Jeannie look elsewhere but him! Tin gin sa ceiling. But I m tired. I gulped. Not that I was disappointed. I woke up having him beside me. he became a bit ge ntler with. Not lower Jeannie! But hey. Tingin sa flooring. But not at him . Ayy. Pe ro Julian toned down a bit. Pero ngu mingiti na rin siya ngayon. Nangangalay na `ko. I was a bit tempted. Grabe. Why. Nanghinayang lang. Na para bang walang pakialam. malakas kaya kiliti ko. Ano kayang pinakain kay Julian don? Na-realize niya sigurong mahirap ng makahanap ng isang Jeannette Rose Leviste sa buong mundo. Tapos nagtititili ako. Kailangan ko pang pum asok. Who are you asking me or the bed? I looked him in the eyes. was he seducing me? It wasn t working! It was oh-so-tempting. Na para bang nababaliw na `ko! Tapos tumayo na siya na parang walang pakialam. Oh. Jeans. Ginalaw mo naman `yung mga gamit ko! Even my baseball is missing. Uh-oh.
okay fi ne. At nauna na kay Jean.I pouted. Kung sa bagay. In exchange I gave her a sculpture of Venus de Milo. Tapos naghikab ako. I smirked at him. This Vincent was second on the list. I mean. Kung buhusan kaya kita ng kumukulong kape? Gusto mo? I smirked. we could indulge in life s luxuries once in a while . Paint Julian while sleeping nude. I didn t know. For me it wasn t even practical eating or even drinking a cup of coffee for how much! Tsk. Jeannie? Tumili siyang lumapit sa `kin. Muntik na kong kiligin dun. Two weeks from now may gaganapin g Fine Arts contest sa New York. Listen to me sweetheart. Well. Vincent? Hmm. I should have been understanding. Parang nag-init `yung ulo ko. Hindi naman talaga masama ugali niya. Matino namang kausap `tong si friend. Ewan ko ba dito kay CM. Tell me you love me and I ll forget you even dated Tricia once u pon a time. Once in a while. I t was gross to even imagine. He was eyeing me like. He gave me the creeps. he really was a changed man. Did you know why Julian s business got a downturn? CM s eyes squinted at their backs. No. Parang balewalang tumayo ito. You might want to join Jeannie? Seryosong sabi n ito. Pero `yung Vincent. Alin `yun baseball bat niyang may nakalagay pang From me to you? YUCK! I don t know. if I was going to ask for the moon. See? He even gave Tricia a very luxuri ous gift! Ako? WALA. Hindi ko n a itatanong kung anong o much better sinong nilalapastangan niya sa isip niya. Tapos nanulis `yung bibig ko. Tricia s a part of the past. He si ghed exaggeratedly. He sighed. siya naman ang magbabayad. Tapos lumingon ako. But I knew deep down he cared about me. Winner! Tumili pa siya. Ngumuso ito kay Vincent. I silently wished as I touched my sister s rounded stomach . blackli sted na. Alam mo ba `yung feeling na gu sto mong magpa-amo. And that guy. And hey. Then we hugged each other. Jean let s go. I glanced at him. I thought he was going to tell me go to hell . Because Julian was Julian. Kung gusto mo kunin mo sa attic! The hell I care if it was even the Queen of England s gift to you! Ayoko kasi ng maraming basura sa room ko! Bwisit. you know. ang big deal ng nakaraan para sa inyo. I frowned. Tipong mag-iinarte ka kasi gusto mong lambingin ka niya. I m not good with explaining myself. My mouth almost dropped open. Hindi ko gusto `yung ngiting iyon ni CM. How rude . It was a little bit over a month and a half simula ng bukingan portion na `yun. Parang tumaas lahat ng dugo ko sa ulo ko. For the win `yun te! Parang kinikilig na tumingala pa ito. Ang kapal ko naman kung sabihin kun g he was lusting after me. sometimes he was an asshole. I didn t want him to change. I shrugged. CM s brow raised. Nakakainis sa inyong mga babae. Babalik na `ko ng States the day after tomorrow. Okay. eh kung tutuusin I was my sister s dead ringer. I felt a pang of envy. We chat a little for a while. It s time. . argh. Anong isasali ko? Wala pa nga akong napipinta simula dumating a ko dito. Mga ka-federation ko ata ang judges. She knew CM by the photos I e-mailed to her before. Was he treating my sister well? Ngumiti sa `kin si Jean na parang inaassure ako. There was something there. Tricia gave it to me on my 21st birthday. He slowly smiled at me. He was looking right through me. Wel l. Anong ibig mong sabihin CM? Nagkita kami sa Starbucks. Hinarap niya `ko. There was m y sister. If he would just kiss me and tell me he was sorry then he wouldn t be Julian at al l. That s Tricia s birthday gift to me. Were rich men born to be airheads? Julian for one. Her tummy s five months now. Sana may baby na rin ako. Pero hello? Kailangan pa bang ipamukha sa `kin na regalo `yun ng ex niya? EX na nga `di ba? Meaning X.
We weren t even married legally! Dahil nga null and void ang marriage contract namin. Na-realize kong ang sagwa pala. He shrugged. napakapit ako sa silya. Goodne ss. Jean s not like that. I yanked my tee shirt up. If ever na totoo man syempre `yung tatay ng anak ko ang gusto kong kasama. I looked pale. My sister s well-informed. Hindi pwedeng artista Jea nnie. I laughed silly at myself. Nasulot niya ang mga investors ni Julia n. TWENTY FOUR I stared at myself in the mirror.Wait. Ano `yun mga tuta? Basta na lang ipapamigay. It had been ab out a month and a half since that night. Oh. no. Bakit ako tatanungin mo kayo ang kambal `di ba? Anyway. You re kidding me. So ano? Lalaking bastardo ang anak ko? Hindi ko napansing umiiyak na pala ako. Pero parang wala namang laman ang tyan ko. I hadn t thought about it. Just like that. He shrugged. What now? Paano kung igiit pa rin ni Julian `yung baby making contract namin? I was so stupid. Julia I gritted my teeth in anger. Naiiyak na napaupo ako sa tiles. You re gross. what would happen to me? I couldn t just give my baby up. I was a bit disconcerted about mothers who left their children withou t a by-your-leave. That one s ruthless. Then I slowly peeked at it with one eye. My head was spinning. Bakit ko pa kasi pinirmapirmahan. Who s her baby s father anyway? Isn t Brad her boyfriend? Parang naguguluhang napatingin ako sa kanya. I know. Ngayon din. Could it be? As mommy told me. Akala ko ba nagbago na siya? Mabilis akong tumayo. My phone started ringing. what do you mean? He shrugged. I gasped. Anak ko ito eh. I giggled. What? I threw up on him. We have a flight to catch up. Pero ayoko. CM even suggested we go to the OB. Positive? Malamang Jeannie. Pinaghirapan ko kaya ang paggawa dito. Why not? Sa kotse siya nabuo. CM. Hindi kaya buntis ka ba? My head swam with all the possibilities. Kaya nga nagtataka ko dyan sa kapatid mo. Jeannie? Are you okay? Okay? I groaned. Siguro may mga v . baka naman na g-eenie mini mynie moe `yang kapatid mo? Sino sa tatlo ang tatay ng anak ko? Sosy al. This tim e he s got his revenge against the Sunicos. But he didn t tell an ything about us being together forever. Who do you think? Mahina kong sabi. I hugged my knees to myself. Seriously. Siguro magiging car racer anak ko `paglaki. He cut the line off. He changed. I don t know. Plus sign. Kinakabahan ako habang hinihintay ko ang result ng PT. May nagbago ba? Nag-pose pa ako. She s one of the cronies of Vincent. kelan ba naging negative ang plus sign? Parang nababaliw na sabi ko sa sarili. Hello? Umuwi ka na. I wanted to cry and howl at the same time. be careful what you wished for coz you just might get it. Artist yes. Raised my han d then pouted my lips. But not as an artist slash actress. God. Then my vision became blurry. `Yung hikbi ko naging hagulgol na.
He carried me like a sac k of rice. `Yung tingin niya sa `kin `yung tingin na parang baliw na talaga `ko. Every woman deserved to be wooed. Oi. Sabi ko lay uan mo nga ako. I would have died. Hindi ba niya alam na buntis ako? Sumisigaw siya? `Di kaya marinig ng baby `yun? What is the sigaw niya. Lalo akong naiyak. Gosh. it was difficult to carry extra pounds for nine months then you d just just Argh. Go ahead. Tumulo `yung sipon ko. I shook my head. I swore I wanted to curse Julian. I gritted my teeth. Biglang bumukas ang pinto. I pouted then tears readily pooled down m y eyes. Ta pos pinunasan niya `yung bibig ko ng basang face towel. Gusto ko siyang makita. Hindi ko gusto ang amoy ng pabango niya. He rolled his eyes ceilingward. Ano bang problema ko? What s wrong Jeannie? I saw concern in his eyes. Tapos Oh. fine with me. Sabi ko. He sighed. Layuan mo `ko! What! I said get away from me! Excuse me? He looked at me incredulously. Bakit ba ayaw tumigil ng mga luha ko? Parang gusto kong maglupasay. Ang baho mo kaya. Juliet Jean if ever the baby s a she. Then I sniffed his shirt . Napakasama talaga ng ugali nito. I smiled and caressed my stomach. Parang nanga sim `yung sikmura ko.alid reasons sila. Jeannie stop this nonsense okay? Aalis tayo ngayon din. He groaned. Per o naiinis din akong makita siya at the same time. Well. WHAT! Mabilis nitong inamoy ang sarili. Mauna ka na! Hindi ako sa sama! He scowled. Tapos pinipilit niyang nila layo `yung polo shirt niya sa `kin. Para akong batang nagpapabuhat. Julian buntis ako panagutan mo `ko! Baka sakalin ako nito ng w ala sa oras. Tapos tinampal ko `yung bibig niya. The grea t Julian Sunico? Parang takot na takot akong hawakan. matter with you? frustrated na bumab a `yung sigaw nito. God. At mabilis inilayo ang mga braso kong nakataas sa kanya. Masyadong matapang . Before I could ev en say stop sniggering at me my stomach turned upside down. It was just that. And Jean(pronounced as John) Julian if a he. That kind of beast scowl he always had. Jeannie! If you want to fly to the moon. he whispered. Hindi ko sinadya `yun no! Gross. my God. Anon g sasabihin ko. Mamayang gabi na `yung fl ight. Jeannie! What is wrong with you? Wala siyang choice. We re going Nabitin ang pagsigaw nito. At nilayuan nga ako! Didn t he know that when a woman said she hated you it meant she cared about you. Sigaw pa! Napahikbi ako. My eyes watered again. I wasn t here to sit judgement on them. And I shoved him away from me. Get away from me! I screamed at him. . I already love you baby JJ. Napakasama ng ugali niya. Basang basa na ang mukha ko ng luha. Naawa siguro sa `kin at saka ako niyakap. Kadiri man halos isubsob ko na ang mukha ko sa bowl. I wasn t so sure why I couldn t just tell him right away. Umiiyak na sumuka ak o sa bowl. Disgusted. At `pagsinabing layuan mo `ko ang ibig sabihin lang nun ay pilitin mo `ko. Nakita kong hindi siya magkandatuto. Tapos iyak na naman ako. Para akong masusuka. I might melt. My mouth dropped open. Napakapit ako sa PT at mabilis na itinago sa likod ko. I said get away Will you just shut up? Para kang loro. Niyakap ko siya. Then I sniffed again.
I gnawed at my nails. I don t know how Pero inakay na siya ng dalawang bakla. Napalingon agad ako. `Yun lang. Then I raised my hand. Nagpaalam ka bang aalis? I frowned. I see. CM! I thought you re my Ladies and gentlemen. Hello Julian Jeannie s just One angry look. Mamaya. Jules kasi CM! Baling ko kay CM. Sorry Julian. Let s go home.Nagtatampo ako kay Julian. Kaya nga nate-tempt na din akong mag-asawa para may kumukulbit na rin sa `kin `paggabi. Buti na lang maingay kaya walang nakarinig ng sinabi niya. And he loves me so damned much The hell I don t know how to He hissed. no. Then my smile slowly faded when Julian cracked a slow. Yes? My husband will sing! CM groaned. Napatingin ako sa mga halamang dagat sa stage while Julian kept pulling my arm. He was shaking hi s head. Kapag idineny ako nito ikakaila ko din siyang tatay ni baby JJ. Tumaas `yung kilay ko dun. Parang nawala lahat ng sama ng loob ko. Sabay himas sa tyan. Patay. I sweetly smiled at him then turned to the stage. At halos bumaon sa braso ko ang kamay niya sa pagkakahawak sa `kin. Kung makatsansing. Am I going to be a godmother. And the re was him! What was he doing here? Napalingon agad ako kay CM. expressionless but I clearly saw the way he was looking at me . So. Effective. Like in a slow motion I turned around. Biglang naghiyawan ang mga matrona at bakla doon. At tumiklop na si CM. he s really sweet. Ang masama pa nito ibitin ako ng patiwarik ni Julian m amaya. It wasn t one of those sexy grins or even the self-mocking half- . I was waiting for his response. Through the dim light his face was arhm. galit na bulong nito sa `kin. going home. how sweet. Parang nababagot na sabi nito. Nagkita kami sa isang gay bar kinagabihan. Na tapat dito ang spotlight. Damn. My. Wala na talagang matinong masabi ito. Anyone? I smiled. Sus. Sisigaw sana akong asawa ko `yan . Julian s eyes grew wide. I beamed proudly. Libre? Julian gave him h is infamous don t-touch-me glare of his. I sipped the juice. Only if I would get out of here alive later. Bakit may unfortunately pa?! Really? Very unfortunate nga. we need someone to volunteer to sing for us. So is the lucky girl that one? Todo smile ako. iyan ang bunga ng inyong pag-iibigan ni Julian eh. Oh. Tapos ngumuso siya sa likuran ko. Ako. Uh-oh. Baby JJ? Excited? Syempre! Of course. soft smil e about his lips. dear? I smirked. ngayong umaga lang `yan `pagdating ng gabi bati na ulit kayo. Bumaling ulit ako sa kanya. Syempre gay bar nga eh `di may mga halamang dagat na nagpe-perform. Hindi. Kaya la ng baka kuyugin ako dun. I hissed and glared at him. lover boy anong kakantahin mo? I don t know how to sing. CM started laughing. Hindi ko hahayaang madungisan ng dugo mo ang baby JJ ko no. The gay who impersonated President Gloria Arroyo patted my husband s rear! Aba. He teasingly smiled at me. Nilayuan nga niya `ko for hours! I called CM on the p hone. I couldn t just help imagining the devil himself sing ing a love song for me in front of everybody. Parang sinasabing patay ka talaga sa `kin . Unf ortunately. Are you single? Julian regarded me with intense dislike. Magkaaway kaya kami.
oh I I need to know I can see you smile each morning Looking to your eyes each night for the rest of my life Here with you. Julian cleared his throat and looked about the surro undings uncertainly. Oh. Pretending I was better off alone But I know that it's just a lie. `Yung parang shooting. He wasn t near perfec t. I don t know how to sing really. His voice was awkward. God. oh I I need to be next to you Need to be next to you Right here with you is right where I belong I lose my mind if I can't see you Without you there's nothing in this life I would make life worth living for I can't make it if you're not there I can't fight what I feel any more. Seriously it was as if he weren t really singing. Magpapalakpakan sila tapos kikiligin. It was as if he was talking to me through the lyrics. He was really croaking and out of tune. I frowned and winced at the same time.smile. Yes. So afraid to take a chance again So afraid of what I feel inside. Bumaba siya ng stage. Hindi ba dapat CM s eyes widened as he was w . you re my every He smiled at me and grabbed my arm. Pero ngayon ko lang na-realize Prince Charming was real. Buti na lang gwapo siya. Nakakahiya lang tul oy. Our eyes met. Been running from this feeling for so long Telling my heart I didn't need it. Palapit na siya. Because it was the best song I d ever hear d in my whole life. He stopped singing. Eto na. Sa totoo lang naiyak ako kasi hindi pala marunong kumanta si Julian. I thought the world stopped revolving. He was rude. At saka ano na lang sasabihin ng mga associates niy a? The CEO was seen singing a love song to his wife. Pero hindi lang pala b ulag ang pag-ibig kung hindi bingi rin. No. Not even a one-fourth of any croakin g vocalists. eto na `yung moment na maghahabu lan kami tapos magyayakap kami sa gitna ng maraming tao. and a very arrogant ass who thought he owned the w orld. The gay comedian snorted. Tapos tumayo ako. O kaya he would tell me Je annie you re my life. Leigh Nash sang that song beautifully. near with you. But I need to be next to you Oh I. But it was okay with as long as he owned me. hindi pwedeng mag-Careless Whisper dito ha! They left him on the stage. My eyes got misty. Nagtawanan `yung mga nandun na kala mo kinikiliti. Akala ko sa movies lang nangyayari ` to. At ibang sayaw din ang alam k o `yung `yung walang steps. Then he mouthed: I love you. a chauvinist. TIGHTLY. oh I I need to share every breath of you Oh I. I grimaced. It was full of tenderness.
Kung hindi ako ang magsasabi para matapos na ` yang problema mo. To God-knows-where. He shoved me inside his car. He gritted his teeth. I pouted. God. Mamaya niyan si Freddie na pala `yung katabi ko. God. What baby? Wasn t it ironic? CM would tell him? Didn t he? Jeannie had a baby how? Oh. Grabe. There. Habang sumusuka ako ay pinapaliguan ko ng mura si Julian sa isip ko. I woke up and opened one good eye. didn t he? Argh. I saw him packing our things. He did. Bugger. He swore he gasped. hell. he sang a stupid son g he had secretly listening when he was a teenager in front of a crowd. Kontrolado nga galit naman. In b ed with a stranger. I gritted my teeth. And Julian seemed withdrawn. Tala ga bang nagiging spoiled na sa kanya ngayon si Jeannie? He hissed. His left arm was wrapped around my midsection. He said in a controlled voice. Mabilis niyang tinignan ang cellphone nito. Para akong naalimpungatan. I sat upright. I even brushed the tendrils of wavy hair away from the side of his face to make sure. wasn t I? Then my stomach started churning. Narinig niya ang pagtunog ng cellphone nito. Mabilis akong tumaas at naglinis `pagkauwi. It was all a dream! Humigpit ang yakap ni Julian sa `kin. This wasn t one of my fantasies. Ang halos kaladkarin palabas! I tried to smile at everyone. Jeannie. Then my stomach got queasy. Suka ng suka na wala namang inilalaba s. I remembered watching Nightmare on Elm Street last night. I was covering my mouth and running to the CR.agging his finger: lagot ka. Aalis pala kami bukas ng madaling araw. He loved me. I was paranoid. Naiiyak na subsob na ang mukha ko sa lababo. tell him about the baby. He was going to be a father without her telling him outright! TWENTY FIVE Disoriented. He was sleeping close to me. Definitely not Julian! And very much naked! Oh. I gasped. It was so unlike him to snoop into o ther s things. Puro gastric juices lang naman ang . Sumuka ako dun sa sink. He felt stripped of his pride. She was inside the shower room. What happened? Joke lang pala ni God. no. He even bared his soul to that brat. Lahat na lang ng gusto nito nasusunod. anong tingin niya sa `kin robot?! Julian! Not a word. Si Julian nga! Malay ko ba. Iti natanong pa ba `yun? THE USUAL. Pero nakita niya ang mensahe ni CM. Before I knew it. Kahit na nga ba nandito pa rin ako sa r oom ko. I was naked. on his stomach.
Really? You ll escort me to hell? I said sarcastically. Sasama ka? Inis kong sabi. I was in bed. He was shouting at me! Na para bang first time niyang gawin `yun Jeannie! Oh. Droplets of water was sluicing down his body. Kung ganito naman ang panaginip I might ask God never to wake me up. As if he cares! He glared at me. AGAIN? Oh. God no. Though sadly he s hould understand her. Isa bang malaking kasalanan iyon? Julian. Jeannie Itinaas ko `yung kamay ko. Where are you going? He hissed. she cried. I haven t had a good night s sleep. I hate you Julian. last night? . Para akong nagl away bigla. At anong ginagawa ng demonyong si Julian dito? He squeezed himself into the limited space of the lavatory and knel t in front of her. I buried my face into the pillow. He was sulking because I didn t take my precious bath. Inabot nito iyon! I stood up and he wrap ped my arms around his neck. At magtitili. Wala sa loob n a bulong ko. What was his problem? I got so lazy. Na para bang anumang oras ay sasakalin niya na talaga ako. Sorry baby. `Wag nang idagdag ang hindi paliligo nito kanina kahit ano ng pilit niya. Jeannie looked up. Bumukas `yung pinto. Para ba ng wala na akong lakas para bukas. He didn t really understand how women s minds work. pawis. Tapos unti-u nti niyang hinahalikan `yung mga luha ko. Her eyes grew wide. Parang tinatamad akong maligo. Mamayang umaga pa ang flight namin ng ma galing na lalaki. He brushed the wet hair away from her tear-stained cheeks. What! Jeannie may warning na sabi nito. If his wife didn t look pitiful enough. She frowned. in my dreams. He rolled his eyes ceilingward. Luha. I couldn t believe it. God. sipon. Better to wake me up now! I glared at him. Hindi pa rin nagbabago ang expression nito. And didn t even bother to lock the door. Kulang ako sa tulog. She was exasperating. I screamed when I felt Julian s arms around me. The father of my b aby was traipsing clad with only a towel around his narrow hips. Care ko? I pouted and made face. Had God really answered my prayers? Why are you crying? He whispered. Swear. May flight pa tayo. His hair was dishevele d. Ano pang tinitingin tingin mo dyan? Umaga na po prinsesa. What was really happening to me? I bit my lower lip and stood up. It was only 3:00 am! Sh!t. And my what a sight early in the morning. Pahikbi lang n ung una tapos palakas na ng palakas. Kakatulog ko lang kanina. Whatever. nakita ko ang panghihilakbot sa mukha ni Julian. He wrink led his nose. God.inilalabas ko. kasalanan ng magaling mong tatay ito! Umupo ako sa couch at pinagmamasdan si Julian. Goodness. for Pete s sake! Julian a no ba! I swore I wanted to punch Julian s handsome face. It was a miracle! Note to self: Magpapaparty ako `pag-uwi namin. My mouth dropped open wide. Oh. I was robbed of my power. Sasamahan na kita. Bakit ba lalaki na lang ang nagpapakasarap at babae ang nagpapakahirap? Why was life so unfair? Uwooo Hawak ang tyan na sumuka ulit. I even scrubbed myself twice. Tapos kapag upo ko sa bowl I started crying like it was the end of the world. I arched my brow. He pulled me close. Tahimik lang siya habang nakaupo kami sa eroplano. Lahat na. Had Julian taken me to bed? It seemed so. I opened my eyes and swore. I didn t smell bad. He shrugged his shoulders. He was wet. Okay. What! My eyes watered. To Hell. Tapos bigla kong inamoy `yung sarili ko. What the hell are you doi Julian s shout seemed to freeze. Was this Julian the stranger in bed. In my saner days I would have been also disgusted with myself. I walked on to the lavatory. Ayokong umalis. I specifically reme mbered sleeping on the couch. Gusto kong kiligin. As in.
I pouted. Are you sick? Uncle Jin asked me once. I bet you re going to be a pig in no ti me at all. Julian was looking intently at him. Jeannie He hissed. `Yung smile ko nag-fade. Mabilis kong pinahid `yung luha ko tapos tumaliko d sa kanya. I saw Julian s father striding toward us. Hmm Syempre minsan na nga lang ito lulubus lubusin ko na! Tinatamad akong maglakad. Ano ba. Syempre it had been my specialty: lying through my teeth. I shouldn t have known that sec ret. Sabi ni Uncle Jin. He stepped out of the lava tory to the door. Tapos tapos bigla na namang kumunot `yung noo niya. I was rooted to the ground. Julian s real dad. He cracked an indulgently smile at me. Julian! sigaw ni Aunt Risan. I merely got out of the room. Kulang ako sa tulog. I was a bit overwhelmed. Kung iiyakan ko lahat ng mano k na pinapatay para gawin Chicken Joy baka ipasok na nila ako sa mental nito. He whispered to me and kissed my nape. . Sa tanghaling tapat. So so I should tell him first about about the baby? We were in Morocco for a week. Hindi ba iyon din a ng tinanong ko kanina sa kanya? Julian naman! Just leave me alone! Dumadagundong ang sigaw nito. And I eve n cried when I saw a chicken being killed. Maybe bec ause I was just too emotional. Oo. It was Uncle Jin s birthday. I shook my head and smiled at them. Paano kung makunan a ko habang naglalakad? Syempre sa sobrang stress ko. It won t work unless you tell me what s bothering you! He seethed.Saan mo tinago si Julian? bulong ko sa kanya with matching stare-a-thon. Isn t there something you want to tell me? Ha? Parang hindi nagpa-function `yung brain cells ko. Pero hindi ko rin siya gaanong ma-appreciate kasi si baby JJ. Nakapaglakad ka ngang mag-isa papunta dito. My eyes grew wide. Buhatin mo `ko papunta sa upuan. Maglalaslas na lang siguro ako sa banyo. Pero iba ito. Grabe. Sabi ko. Argh. Mukhang baby pa lang manang mana na sa tatay niya. Don t use that on me Jeannie. babe I m sorry. Ang morbid naman ng mga naiisip k o. screamed! God. I clutched my stomach. Sasama ka? Galit na sabi nito. Hindi man lang naawa sa `kin. I thought I thought He looked at me incredulously. My knee s might give out. He hugged me from behind. And Julian s specialty: growling at me! Julian. I gasped. Then I felt a hand wrapped around my middle. Really? Parang sa panaginip ko lang ito nakikita. Sanay akong nasisigawan niya. Bumagsak ang upuan nito. I was so lazy. Hayaan mo na siya Risan. I didn t want to swim. Where are you going? To hell. Jeannie! Sigaw ulit nito. I was too emo. W-wala. Tapos tinalikuran ako! Grabe. Leave him alone `di ba? Tears streamed down my face. Mabilis akong nagmano sa papa ni Julian at sinundan ito. Oh. Ano! He shouted no. Sig e pa rin ako sa lakad. Tapos tumayo ito. Tapos bumagsak ako sa floor. Na para namang alam ko kung pan o `di ba? Lagi akong nagsusuka if not early in the morning. His teeth was grating. Tapos tinanggal niya `yung mga kamay ko sa leeg niya. Kung paano hindi ko alam. Tapos humar ap ako sa kanya. He was such a very considerate and loving husband! My eyes watered. I almost groaned aloud.
Pinipilit kong awatin si Julian. Sa baba non ay makikita mo `yung dagat. Nakita ko si Julian dun sa may bandang cliff. I painted him for hours with the sunset as the background. Para iyong scene sa isang pelikula. No no my baby. She couldn t even wonder if everyone would have been d eaf and blind by now. Mukha siyang maglalakad sa death sentence niya. I m the happiest man on earth . My eyes grew wide. Hinihintay kong tumalon siya tapos sabihin niyang Yes. The se tting was just like this. Ju lian lost control and punched Mr. Julian froze. Julian just please stay away from here! What? Galit niyang sabi kay Uncle Jin. May dala siy ang mapa. Oh my God. You re not happy. Then he slammed the vase with full force. Ang sunod na nangyari ang nakapagpatili kay Aunt Risan. Second best gift Julian had ever given me. Ano `yun? Naglakad lang dito? I opened the big gift. My heart skipped a beat. I sobbed as I felt the pain k illing me. Could I just shout freeze like what Ella in the Ella Enchanted did? Ju lian let s go someplace else and Tell him! Sigaw ni Mr. Walang makapigil dito. Naiiyak na nilapitan ko siya at niyakap. This was the best of all the best vacation I ve ever h ad. Because you didn t tell him the truth! He shouted. Kapag uwi namin. Oh. Then I even put a chi ld beside him playing with his kite. It warmed my heart. You re drunk. But from the looks of it. They were a bunch of rich people. What are you doing shouting at Uncle like that when you have no right to You re uncle? Julian s dad laughed demonically. no. Uncle Jin owned the house. Nakatayo. What s that? Malay ko. You re lying! Julian no! Mabilis ko siyang nilapitan pero ilang beses niyang tinatanggal ang kam ay ko sa braso niya. Naalala ko `yung sa Sisterhood of Traveling Pants part two. He whispered. The pain in my tummy numbed me. Sunico in the face. We halted dead in our tracks. He carried me to his car like a sack of rice. Isn t it Uncle Jin? It s the truth. Na parang may kinukuha mula sa katawan ko. Baka nailagay lang diyan. yes. I slowly looked up from Julian s stricken face back to the blood streaming down my thighs. What are you talking about Uncle? That fuucking son of b!tch you call Uncle is your real dad Julian! Para iyong bombang sumabog. Nakita ko `yung sakit sa mga mata niya. We drove off to miles and miles. He said innocently. Kapag tingin ko sa back seat I was surprised to see a gift. But said instea d: We re going to have a baby. No! Damn you! Hiyaw nito. He wagged me off him. . Blood! There s blood on her thighs. Aunt Risan screamed.Then I slapped him hard. I tried my hands on it. I couldn t believe it. I already know. I fell hard and flat out on the floor. It was the best thing ever. The water was crystal blue. Everyone was afraid to come to him. Yep. Tapos lumabas na siya. I grabbed his arm. Syempre baby JJ would always come first. He was lashing out. Sunico kay Uncle Jin. Naamoy ko na ang war of the worlds. Kahit ako. Sa sobrang pagwawala niya ay naitulak niya ako. I was like really? It was a canvass with all its painting materials. Ah. As if he owned the world. eh `di na-shock ka ngayon? Gusto kong sabihin iyon sa kanya. And damned if I m not happy! At saka lamang ito ngumiti. `Di ba? Hindi talaga nagkamali ang kapatid ko ng pagpili. We heard someone shouting from inside the house. San a forever na kaming ganito. Ang gandang tignan. I wanted to ease that pain .
hatred won. Hindi ko kayang mawala `yung baby JJ ko. I missed him and hated him at the same ti me. ako ang nasasaktan. Then everything suddenly flashed to my memory again. With the last ounce of strength I pulled my hand from him. I didn t wish him to be dead bu t I did ask for him to fall into a ditch. Nagtataka ako kung san ko pa nakukuha ang lakas ko. Naiiyak na napatingin ako sa labas ng bintana. right. My long overdue speech. Emotionally and physically. He was about to embrace me when I pushed him hard away from me. A blond petite nurse came to my aid. Hindi ko kaya. Para akong mamamatay sa sakit. Even the nurses were calming me down. Doc what s happening to my wife? He screamed in fear. I st arted sobbing hysterically. That time. I couldn t live with Julian anymore if my baby would be taken from me. Do I look fine? Was losing a baby okay to you? But no voice came out. Tapos biglang bumukas `yung pinto. In my blurring vision I saw how defeated he looked.TWENTY SIX I was sent to the hospital. At unang una kong nakita si Julian. How inconsiderate of him! He didn t even get to v isit me? Ha! Hello okay na ba pakiramdam mo? Uncle Jin smiled at me. I was in and out of conscious but I saw Julian holdi ng my hand as I was rushed to the ER. Then the nur ses were speaking in English. My head was pounding. Wasn t it long overdue for him to care for me? My heart went out to the tiny little thing who hadn t even seen the world. Though my body felt numb. Please hang on babe He kept w hispering. Jeannie I m sorry. But this time. Malakas na nga ako eh. My hand flew to my stomach. Dapat lang! Dapat lang siyang matakot. I hate you Julian. Napataas kilay ko dun. `Yung baby ko I cried. Tapos nung ipapasok na `ko sa loob ayaw niyan g pakawalan `yung kamay ko. Death is quicker. It s okay ma am you re fine now. . `Yun yung naririnig ko. Hindi niya `ko pinupuntahan. I couldn t stand t he sight of him! Get away from me! I shouted. Wow Sosyal na ba ang mga nur ses sa Pilipinas? Are they required to talk in English now? May pisong multa na din ba kapag nag-tagalog sila kapag duty hours? Yeah. Parang iba `yung room. Mas ako ang nasasa ktan. This time I I m-mean it Finally. Two days. Kaya k o ng sapakin sa mukha si Julian. They were all there. Basta mabigat `yung pakiramdam k o. Jeannie! Nilapitan niya agad ako. Gusto kong sumigaw. This would be my last day in the suffocating hospital. Suffering isn t. Hin di ko alam kung ano `yung tinurok nila sa `kin. Magwala. I woke up disoriented. As if I were in ele mentary again.
Naintindihan mo naman `di ba? I m not going with you. I looked at CM as if I were saying see? I m not going with you Julian. Kung kailan pa nawala `yung baby ko. Tinatanong pa ba kung sino? Nauna na sina Uncle Jin at ang parents ko. sabi niya. I nodded again. Salitang ilang beses ng nabali dahil kay Julian. My pai n. Tapos pi nagsusuntok ko `yung dibdib niya. Iyon lang. What is your problem? Mabilis pa sa alas-kwatrong hinarap niya ako. Ngayon ko lang siya na-appreciate. I m sorry baby. All the things that I was trying to laugh off in the past months. I started crying then. He was seethin g with anger. Mabilis itong tumalikod at tinapik ang balikat ni Julian. Pero parang ayaw makisama ng loko. Pawis. Awkward. CM was also there. Ngayon niya matitikman ang isang salita ni Jeannie . I didn t spare that bastaard a glance. Uncle Julian! Mabilis itong lumapit sa Uncle nito. Pinipilit niyang hawakan `yung kamay ko. I brushed the tears away angrily. I avoided eye contact. Sipon. Lahat ng sama ng loob ko naipon. Luha. At ayokong dumating sa puntong hihilingin kong sana hindi ko n a siya nakilala o kaya naman ay mamatay na siya. Because Celine. bakla takot kay Julian! They were even of the same size and height. Hindi ako kumikibo. Julian raised one brow and didn t comment. I mean ta ma. He bear-hugged me. Sabay tingin kay Julian. I hugged the boy. You re so selfish! You think only of yourself?! Honey please He combed his hair with his fingers. Don t touch me! I pushed him hard. H e mouthed: Are you sure? Why are you still here? Tanong ko kay CM. Hija I think you have to talk to him first. Kay Julia n. Ano? Sumigaw ito. Lahat na. But he hugged me. On a serious note I didn t want to see him. Good. kalaking lalaki este. Naghihintay na may malaglag na butiki. That stopped him. I wanted him to feel the pain. Tantan s mother. Tapos kinusot ko `yung ilong k o. Hinintay niya lang palang maka-re cover ako. First time after so many days. Ano pa bang tinatayo tayo mo dyan? Pasko? Galit na sabi ni Julian. Ahm you talk to your husband first. I could walk. What was the use of talking if all we would ever do was throw snide remarks at e ach other? I drummed my fingers on my arm. My knees were buckling. We weren t shou . Sabi ko. I don t have a husband Uncle Jin. He wasn t even thinking about our baby? Kung sa ibang pagkakataon baka nagtatalon pa ako at isipin kong ako lang ang inaalala niya.Diretso na tayo sa airport. Ayaw mo? Ingos niya sa `kin. Sabay iling papunta sa direksyon ni Julian. Hindi mo alam? Na ikaw ang problema ko una pa lang? Galit kong sabi. he whispered and kissed the top of my head when I was exhausted. was Julian s half-sister now that the truth was finally set free. Uncle Jin pwede po bang sa inyo na lang ako sumabay? Halatang nagulat ito. I embraced them. Ayokong umi yak sa harap nila. He squealed. That was harsh I know. I m sorry ab out the baby thank God you re alive and You thank God because I m alive? You bastard! Galit kong sabi. Pinagpraktisan ko kaya iyon. I gave him the don t-Jeannie-me glare. you know. Naligo ka na ba? The boy frowned at me. Niyakap ko siya `yung parang wala ng bukas. Malakas. Kapag uwi namin sa airport ay nakita ko sina mommy. I even memoriz ed a speech when we meet again. I smiled at Tantan. Tears were threatening to explode again. I grab bed CM s hand. He was such a dear boy. Jeannie listen to me. I wasn t even speaking in th e airport or on the way back. Nagtitimpi siya alam ko. My hat red ran deep now. Grabe. Someone grabbed my arm that moment. Jeannie. Na parang hindi alam ang gagawin.
Could I survive without him? Of course. Away from Julian. didn t he always do that Jeannie? I m leaving you. Jeannie naman oh! CM took the baby clothes from my hands. Mommy Ewan ko kung bakit parang naintindihan niya agad ako. I d like to cut off your long tongue. Julian who? Inis kong harap sa kanya. Julian and the baby. True? Wasn t he just cracking a s tupid joke on me? Parang maiiyak ako sa tuwa na nababanyo. Hindi man lang nag-effort na suyuin ako. If it s about the baby Of course it s about the baby! Are you stupid? I couldn t live with a killer like you ! A what? He started laughing. Jeannie. Hindi ito ang napagkasunduan natin. Anong akala niya ganon lang iyon? Kiss an d make up? Pakipot ako no. So the baby was only a joke for him? Sobra na ito! Humihingi ako ng saklolo kay CM through my eyes. Dati kasi inisip ko how stupid people were . shouldn t I? Mom was standing in the middle of the room with Jean. In so many words. Actua lly. Aminin niyo. Sheesh. dalawa na kaming buntis ng kambal ko. I gasped. Iyo `yan. Isa lang `yung alam ko: I neede d space. Hindi. Three months! Halos maglilimang buwan na `yu ng tyan ko ni-hoy wala man lang! Okay. There were times whe n I wanted to call on him. Na para bang ang sinabi ko ay isang nakakatawang joke . Three months seemed to pass without any ado. goodbye . Mahiya naman kami. Si Julian Sinong Julian? `Yung nakabuntis sa `yo. he did call me on the phone. I m going home with my parents. Baka nga kaisa ko kayo. Someone told me that words weren t enough. I glared at him. you re pini ng for that someone that you choose to leave behind? Ngayon ko na naintindihan a ng ibig sabihin ng I love you. Why did they have to say I love you? Kung magpapaalam lang din naman sila? Friend Hmm? Kumuha ako ng mga baby clothes. may mga taong ganon. Sa school supplies section. Galit kaya ako ng time na `yun. There was so much at stake here. Actions were needed. I hissed. May gunting ba dito? CM frowned at me. I took my arm from his grip. Come on. My baby JJ? JJ? He raised one brow at me. We were in a public place. Ganon kasi ako kapag n ate-tense. Bakit? Hindi pa naman mag-aaral `yang anak mo ah. kung hindi man si Julian eh ako. He mouthed: Hindi ko asawa `yan. What are you talking about? I haven t killed the baby! Hindi siya nawala! Nandyan p a rin siya! He even touched my stomach. This time I was so serious I woul d have knocked my head against the wall. I willed myself to be strong. Nagpip igil lang. About Julian Deadma. Me.ting. Pa-hard to get. She hugged me like I were a child again. Mother knows best talaga. I should be happy. Jeannie . But Julian would always be a part of me. He was shaking his head rapidly. True. Sana man lang pinalipas niya `di ba? Wala. LOL. I started crying. pinag-usapan talaga namin `yun. lalaki lang `yun. Grabe ngayon pa lang nami-miss ko na si Julian. Well. Umuwi ako sa bahay namin. Did he think I was joking? Not on this lifetime. Alam mo `yung feeling na. Dalagang Pilipina. And I cut th e line off immediately. Julian I won t go home with you anymore. Julian I won t go with you anymore. Grabe. Meron Tapos lumingon lingon pa. He couldn t haul me anymore to his car sa harap ng maraming tao. I just can t. Nakita kong nagagalit na siya. He seemed so shock. Yayakapin niya sana ako ng umiwas ako.
Julian s on the dating scene again. eh `di lumabas din `yung tunay niyang kulay! Stop this playacting of yours. I sweetly smiled at him. I was so bloated. Napadpad kami sa Filipino restaurant. si Julian o? Biglang turo ni CM. Kahit nakakahiya man. Samantalang ako? I looked like like I ate hungrily. Oh. He was such a jerk. Jeannie Wala akong naririnig I even sent you flowers. Nasobrahan ata ako. Angrily! CM winced at me. At lalong aaminin kong gusto kong patayin si Julian ngayon din! Those chinito eyes. I cou ldn t walk. Then he crossed his arm s over his chest. Papatayin ata ako sa pagkabusog ni CM. I saw him controlling his anger. Pinagbigyan na kita these past months. Jeannie Si Julian at si Wala akong pakialam!!! Tila ata mapapaanak ako ng wala sa oras. Nakita ko ang pagpipigil niyang magalit. Aaminin ko na gseselos ako. May isang intrimitidang tinignan ako mula ulo hanggang paa. not Julian Sunico. Mamaya talaga bibili ako ng cha kang manika. Why could he be so handsome? I gritted my teeth. Hindi ako depress. Parang narinig kong may sumabog na naman sa Iraq. Sig e lang. Hinawakan niya `yung siko ko per o mabilis kong iniiwas iyon. Oh.Oh? Gigil kong sabi. I almost slipped off the tiled flooring. Na para bang sinasabing: Ah. Si Julian o? I glared at him. You might be mistaken mister. Dammit Jeannie! Oh. My breath got hitched. Hin di ako `yung third party. May mga kamay na biglang umalalay sa `k in. I just heard it from my sister. Easy ka lang Jeannie. Napaatras bigla si CM. I didn t car e. But he did. Pwede mo na akong bitawan salamat . Just like Julian. Kung pasabugin ko kaya `yung bahay nila Julian? I gritted my teeth. He raised both hands in the air. I didn t know why I was pushing him to hi s limits. Hindi masama ang loob ko. sabi ko at taas noong naglakad ako. Naniningkit na ang lalong singkit na mata nito. God. Thanks mister. Galit na inihirap niya ako sa kanya. Why. Nagrereklamo si Baby JJ. Kasi baka makapatay lang ako ng tao. I w alked past CM and looked for a restaurant. Ang sakit ng tyan ko. I put my hands on my ears. CM s face was devoid of any emotion. I rolled my eyes heavenward. I turned my back on him. Listen to me Jeannie Did I really hear him pleading? Oh. Hindi ako papansin no! Grr. How I would love to wring his neck. Tignan ko kung san siya tatagal. Bigla kong nabitawan `yung baby socks. Gustung gusto ko na siyang murahin. I went to the comfort room. She looked like a model out of a vogue cover. I started cryi ng. I leaned against the cubicle wall. Hindi. I turned around. Hindi ko napansin sa pagkain ko na pala naibunton ang kung ano mang na raramdaman ko. Nasa basurahan na! What! I can t believe it! Those flowers are expensive! Ano bang gusto mo? Nahihirap . Jeannie honey He looked at my now rounded stomach. Ngumuso ito. I started sniffing while I was inside the cubicle. Baka kasi naghihintay pa `yung date mo. Gutom ka pa? Lagay pa ito ng lagay sa plato ko. I shouldn t have looked up. Grabe. CM was really serious! Julian was speaking to a lovel y woman. thank you. okay wala ka pa palang pakialam a ng lagay na `yan. Wala akong narinig. I opened my mouth in a big O. However you pin a halo to Lucifer he would always be a devil. Hindi kaya lagnatin ito mamaya? Have we met before? I arched my brow. Saan? Sa puso mo Then he started laughing. Like in a slow motion reel film. Hindi na naman ako naglilihi ah. Humigpi t ang hawak ko sa tinidor.
Our eyes met. You didn t even bother to call me to go for me I whispered numbly. Bakit ba hindi ko mapigilan ang reflexes ng sarili kong reaksyon! Something gripped me from within. I straightened up fr om his arms. He begged. Biglang sumipa si Baby JJ! Baby I cooed. Kung gusto mo kausapin mo He smiled at me in dicating that I was jealous? Hell no! At saka bakit? May lalaki bang umaming nang angaliwa sila. Napansin kong naka-lock na pala `yung pint o sa CR. Baliw na ata ako at hinihintay ko ngang gu malaw ulit ito. Naks. San ka pupunta? . Okay. hindi lang pala feeling `yun. At least then you won t pester me anymore! He gritted his teeth. Itinaas niya `yung baba ko. Nako. She asked me. Nothing more. Why not? He glared at me. TWENTY SEVEN I was smiling stupidly in the mirror. O kaya aatakihin ako sa puso. no more like begged me to stay away from you for awhile. Don t tell me. Tapos syempre itatanggi nila `yun. Mommy really did that? I know she was just p rotecting me. Then what? She s a foreign associate. Tapos hinimas ko ulit `yung tummy ko. Ooops. I felt like the most beautiful w oman in the whole world. Jeannie please It didn t sound like begging to me now. Kahit magpakasal ako ulit? My eyes grew wide. You look hapy anak? Ganyan nga smile. Tsk. Gumagalaw na ba `yung apo ko? Mommy looked at me from head to toe. So like men. The hell I care. You re trying to do what I wanted. Why mommy? Nothing She shrugged. Bad vibes. God. nagmana ito ng tantrums sa daddy niya. Do you agree with mommy? Sumipa ka ulit baby para twice. Ligawan mo muna ako. meaning Oo. At ginawa mo naman! I glared at him. Tsk. Hindi ikaw! I was trying to do what you wanted. Ni-lock niya! Nahihirapan?! `Yung delivery man `yung naghirap. honey . There was unfamiliar warmth in my heart. I ve got someone on the side when you re busy. His teeth was grating. Not because I couldn t ahm perform for him that he wou ld find somebody available. Tama. Pero may madaan lang na maganda at sexy `yung titigan mula ulo hanggang cleavage na. Siguro kahit papaano hindi rin naman malas ang mga babae. Makipag-date ka kahit sinong gusto mo. ito na naman `yung sumpong niya. Talaga? Talaga. Perform meaning do my wifely obligations. He cupped both of my cheeks. I would have laughed silly if anyone just blurted out: Hey. It sounded like a warning. Damn. Gumagalaw `yung baby ko! It was amazing how God could implant a living soul within us. Weren t the roses red and violets blue? Oh. You re going home with me now? On one condition. Magkakalintikan talaga. I was Angelina Jolie s missing twin sister. I frowned. Oo. Yo ur mom talked to me. Ayoko. Nakangiti ako habang nakaharap sa salamin. So happy with myself. For the second time I heard the great Julian Sunico pleading. Alam ko talaga. Don t touch me.an na `ko Jeannie He whispered angrily. You re dating somebody else. honey listen to me I did call you many times. Jeannie are you okay? Bigla ni ya akong niyakap. Pero wala talaga. Parang hindi ako makahinga. Sinabi niya sa `king `wag ka munang guluhin at Mommy what?! Biglang nawala `yung pagka-asthmatic kuno ko ah. What?! I nodded rapidly. Ay. Bigla a ta akong nagka-asthma. Hey. Umuwi ka na sa `tin. Hindi pa lang siguro niya alam.
he said and handed me a bunch of red roses. Basta ang mahalaga I was way too happy to bother with the problems of the world. Mabilis na binitiwan iyon nito . What the hell are you doing? He hissed. Oh? Ito lang pala eh. No mom. O baka gut feel ko lan g. Sabi niya pupuntahan niya daw ako ngayon. Mommy smiled at me. Dahil naiiyak ako. He smiled sheepishly. It was a major no-no! Hindi hindi si I saw CM nodded rapidly at me. CM avoided eye contact with me. I picked one stem from the bunch of flowers. Sheesh. Na parang sinasabing: Oo. `Yung ngiting halatang may itinatago. Look at this! What? I glanced at the newspaper he was holding in my face! I didn t even bother to look closely at the news clipping. What the hell was CM doing here? Again? Hindi kaya ang masama pa nito siya pa maging kamukha ng anak ko. Naiiyak na ko. Ewan ko ba. Honey. Jeannie! I frowned. I gritted my teeth in anger. Mommy. Ay. God no. I was exploding! I hated him. Alam ko gasgas na `yun. Oh. I could smell something fishy. are you ok ay? He kissed the side of my mouth. Damn him. Nakakahiya naman `di ba? Ngayon pa kami magliligawan kung kailan naka-bingo na. it might be Julia She was already out even before I could finish what I was going to say. Humigpit ang kamay ko n g kinuha ko ang bouqet. After clearing his throat he put the news clipping away. Wala lang baka kasi kung ano pang makita mo maging kamukha pa ng apo ko. I was so mad I was going to explode. CM! Mabilis kong kinuha `yung dyaryo sa likuran niya. I just stared at him. Then I slowly gasped. I smiled at him. tanga. Mabilis kong binagsak ang mga roses sa sahi g. Last petal. Twice. he lov es me he Lalong tumaas `yung kilay ko dun. Too achingly sweet. Ang arte ko no? Ang drama ko. nakakaawa ka . I stepped on his peace offering! Once. Who are they? He winced. Jeannie! Oh. Sabi ko. Dahil galit ako. Picture kaya ni Ju lian `yung tinititigan ko nung time na `yun. I winced at her. You always make me up just to put me down. Whatever. I m way past that stage. Pero umandar na naman `yung pagiging psychic ko. H e owned me. Ah no. Hey. Nanlalaki ang mga mata nito. Yes. At saka I pouted. At si CM nga ang masangsang na amoy na iyon. I gritted my teeth. Bummer . Thrice. Mommy volunteered. He should have bought me those wi th thorns. I was just wait ing for Julian to drop by. I was rooted to the ground. Why was it that every time I thought everything was going to be perfect it would al l turn out to be worst than I expected? Why did Julian have to hurt me many many more times before he would see my worth ? Hanggang ilang beses pa ba? I was feeling and acting crazy I know that. Jeannie He wasnow gnawing his nails. Ano `yan? Balewalang tanong ko. CM ano `yan? Ito? ah wala. There was something wrong here. he loves me not. He loves me. No! Napataas `yung kilay ko dun. Nakatingin lang sa `kin si CM. CM just excuse Ako na. The moron was standing there looking so smug like he owned the world. sexy smile. didn t he? For five million pesos! He slowly gave me that charming. There was a couple cap tured kissing. Judas s kiss. Narinig ko `yung pagkatok sa pinto. What s this? I didn t know why my heart started hammering wildly.Going to watch TV. What are you Napatingin ito sa dyaryong hawak ni CM.
Walang taong ganon no. He was made to be perfect. Syempre fetus pa lang siya ngayon no. Why not? Because I d never been bitten by the love bug before. Mag-aaway. Pero hindi ako naniniwala don. K ung totoong lalaki nga lang siya baka babae na ang tumakbong hubad para dito. There was no point denying the obviou s. Drunkard on the street! Papalag sana ako. Without arms to wrap around you. Grabe. Malakas kaya kapit ko ka ya for sure dapat mana sa `kin si baby JJ. I was like are you okay ? Sympathetic. Then suddenly my stomach contracted. Arms wrapped around my rounded middle. Why did a mere whisper in the ear from him and then my heart start beating triple time again and again. I just needed time off alone. Teka. I whispered. I didn t need Edward Cullen to be Bella. Lagi na lang kami ganito. I gasped. Or b etter yet my soon-to-be baby JJ. Maybe acceptance would eventually set me free. `Wag na lang. If you still don t sense that well too bad for you. Magbabati. No amount of gentle words could ever mar the pai n. You couldn t just stop your idiot of a heart from beating for that pers on. It was a cold night in December. The doctor told me that I should get some rest. Hindi naman ako magpapagod. Nag-panic ako. Kung dati tinatawanan ko lang `yu ng mga taong na-iinlove sabay sabing ay saludo ako sa `yo teh. Bakit hindi? I always described them as: STUPID. I m outta here. Why did it have to hurt so bad? Na min san akala mo wala ng katapusan? I wasn t asking for a happily ever after. No stress. it was all true . Hindi ba malamig naman talaga kapag December? Ano bang formula sa pagmu-move on? Pano ba `ko magmu-move on lalo na kung wala n aman talagang closure? I started sobbing. Kahit ilang beses mong marinig ang salitang tanga mapa-english man `yan o ibang lenggwahe. Oblation sa UP. baby I just miss you dad. Jeannie. He might see your worth when you re gone. Kung memory storage lang ang puso hindi ba pwedeng . Oh holy sh!t. I start ed sniffing. SANA. My friends cried over my sho ulder. Pwede na nga akong magsulat ng Dear Ate Charo dito. Ooops. Iyon ang sabi nito. I didn t have to be Princess Fiona to have the likes of Shrek. Magmamahal an. Pero hindi ba secretly all the girls i n town wished that? Deep down even if how many times we deny it. I quickly pushed him off me. They wept. My stomach started contracting violently. I was out walking that night. Couldn t just Julian see my worth? Sabi nila: iwanan mo na `yung taong hindi ka naman kayang pahalagahan. it s me. Pero ngayon ko lang na-realize. Look at him. Nakaupo ako sa may bench. Mero n.at binigay sa`kin. Will you just get out? Out of my life Julian. I never asked for a perfect relationship. All in capital letters. Mahina ang kapit ng b ata. Argh. nadaig mo pa si Ri zal . I was too emotional. Tea rs were blinding my vision. Eeeh. But he wasn t anywhere near human. Kailan bang mawala ka pa? What if dun ka masaya? Would you fight for him or let go? My whole body was rocking violently. He was all big aherm I mean he was almost perfect. we couldn t love someone who s faultless. Jeannie Lilian kissed me I didn t know there was a paparazzi So kung wala pala dun baka kung saang biglang liko pa kayo nagpunta?! I was shouti ng now. Was baby JJ sensi ng anything? Jeannie He took hold of my arm. Hindi ko ginustong maging character sa fairy tale books na kinukulayan ng mga bata. They cursed their jerks of a boyfriend. I whispered furiously. Gumala w si baby JJ! Sorry. I opened my mouth in disgust! Napapagod na `ko sa `yo Julian. But seriously. Get out!!! I hissed.
Naiiyak na suminghot ako. His adam s apple bobbed up and down. Had he just said okay?! He was such a cad. Tapos mabilis niyang itinaas `yung dress ko. I didn t ever wonder now why I couldn t exchange him with Shrek. I screamed. Bakit ba napaka-clums y mo?! Sigaw nito. galit na sabi nito. Gah. He had been drinking! Malamang amoy alak nga eh. You saw that one. Julian this is a public place! Kahit na nga ba walang ta He looked at me incredulously. Amoy al ak. He caressed my stomach and I could feel him from behind me.mag-erase? What are you doing here? I hissed and tried to take his arms away from me. My eyes grew wide . Jeannie Don t worry about him I ll try to be the best mother I can be. Was he nervous? . He could be a very green monster you know. I ve lusted for y ou since day one. Onc e you ve said your piece you had it all figured out that you re right when in fact y ou re wrong. Mabilis akong nasalo ni Julian. I d even tell you outright that yes. Tapos galit na tinanggal ko `yung mga kamay niya. You don t want to listen to me. Aren t you hurt? Let s go the nearest hospital and So tinititigan niya lang pala kung may dugo `yung thighs ko. But my hips already bumped into the flooring. He put it on his heart. Julian you can visit baby JJ anytime you want. Not some hypocritical character of some fancy novel. clutching his arm tightly. I could never be anyone s prince charming. I was real babe. My eyes grew wide. I was quite fascinated. Trying to make everything okay and light. He whispered. Green Monster. Julian s face softened. Paano kaya kung magkaanak din kami ng tatlong Julian? I shivered. Please come back to me honey. Now I was getting stup id. He was all lean and strong. I was a bout to run from him. Syempre financial supp ort is always open mmmkay? Let s just go on separate ways. Shut up. I saw the picture on the news clipping! Okay. Akala mo ba lahat ng lalaki gustong maging prince charming? No. Bulong nito. That w as rubbish. I was so pathetic. Surely surely he wouldn t want to Argh! Not here. He gritted his teeth. Okay. Pano ko siya hindi maririnig s a sigaw niya? I didn t try to be the hero you want me to be babe. Or even an orchestra. It was just fine with you? I whispered brokenly. Makinig ka sa `kin. Thank God there was no blood. baka iniiisip niyang kulang pa sa daliri si baby JJ kaya pwede pa naming buuin. Here he was. Malay ko ba. At kung ibababa mo pa `yung kamay mo malalaman mong tao ako. I slipped off the pavement but I anchored my elbow so my stomach wouldn t fall head-on. He wasn t really begging but his voice wa s a mere whisper. Damn you! You always scare me. Anong gusto mong sabihin ko? Sigaw nito. don t you? Kayong mga babae. Sabi nito. Feel this He hissed and took my hand. His voice held warning but his touch was g entle as he brushed the tears away from my cheeks. Lalaki ako. Lillian kissed me! I didn t kiss her for Pete s sak e Jeannie! Are you listening to me! I started crying. Specifically without me in your life . You re still the father and I can t de prive you of that. Nang muntik na akong matapilok. My eyes were watering. Argh. I ll admit. You are all warmed u p and kept on talking about baby JJ s future. But he wasn t that bad. Sssshhh I m here baby. Jeannie! Damn you! Julian I was crying like a child. I paused. defending himself. Jeannie What! What you saw in the news isn t real. Jeannie listen to me there were music and candlelight dinner s here.
Jeannie! . And I don t know what I d do without you. Masarap gumawa ng ba by. he shrugged. Jean and I started growing up. That will be the best lie ever. Because no man eve r did. Just kidding. Bakit ba hindi? Daig ko pang kasama si Hitler. Sumbong kay daddy. when Jean and I were ready to rip e ach other s head s off our shoulders. Er r. Nah. At kami rin. He chuckled nervously. growl. I could tell you that I know a lot about women. On a serious note . Siguro kaya maraming nabubuntis ng maaga n gayon. Big tim e. Jeannie! I heard that shout. As if we didn t have the same face. You re the next best thing that happen ed to me.I could be any man and tell you I love you every day. I had gone to Heaven then back to hel l. Men were born to be polygamous. He looked at me. Not that I told you to tolerate their being babaero . Tapos kapag sila nag-aaway they d both tell us. take note: in chorus. Sheesh. Pero mahirap magpalaki ng baby. `di ba? Hindi masaya ang buhay kung magtititigan lang kayo. change for a day just because you say so. Julian. Sin o bang mas gwapo? `Yung crush nyang kahawig `yung bida sa nightmare before Chris tmas? O si Johnny Depp sa Edward Scissorhands? And the biggest competition ever: Sinong mas maganda? Great. Pero we couldn t ask for a sain t. I can t just boom. Hindi nga ba t mahirap magpalaki ng mga magulang? In the three months I came back to Julian. Nakikisigaw na din si mommy. Married life was never perfect. My professor in Psychology once said. I believed that there s one woman who can make a man a one-woman-man. Talaga nga bang mahirap ispelengin ang mga babae? And I can even promise you that I ll never hurt you Hindi na niya pinapahiran `yung luha ko sa mga mata. we started arguing from our pony tails down to our crushes. At your stupidity and silliness. Bakit ba eh. TWENTY EIGHT When I was a kid I was bothered with my parents petty quarrels from the spilled j uices down to the wet home slippers on the bathroom. Sa lahat ng iyon isa lang kaya kong aminin sa `yo with all honesty: Kahit mukha k ang bola sa paningin ko he cleared his throat. Kahit wala naman talagang nakakatawa. to sh ut up. Really looked at me. Aba. There are and will be times that I can t make you feel special because because I wan t to shout at you. It was flowing freely. But this is me. Dahil sa tingin na ganon. But that would be a joke.
Oh-k ay. Kapag hindi na ako pwedeng bumalik sa New York makasali na nga lang sa starstruck dito. God. bulong ko. Goodness. How dare him! Naiiyak n a talaga ako. I started sobbing. ang hirap magpanggap ng natutulog. Pero I could even h andle Julian shouting at me when he was mad. We were really screaming. `Yung tipong buk as pagsisisihan ko kung bakit nagkalamat `yun. Napangisi ako. Tinanggal niya `yung unan sa mukha ko. God. JEANNIE! I put the big pillow over my head. `Wag ka na lang gumalaw. Can t you be more endearing and and I gritted my teeth in anger. I closed m y eyes tightly. Tinulungan ko na nga si manang na ayusin `yung mal agubat mong study room! Kung sabagay who dwells on that jungle? A monkey! I screa med at him. I said in a cold tone. . I swore I took three steps backward. Sana kahit `yung kontra na lang natin o titulo ng bahay niyo `yung tinapon mo Hinahanap ko nga kanina. My. God. His voice held warning. Anong pakialam ko?! Walan g utang-na-loob! Ingrato.. Hoho. Julian s face softened. Okay. In the middle of the night. Humikbi ako. Jeannie nasan `yung mga lumang folder sa cabinet? He said. Napaupo ako sa kama. To the closet. Ayan. Help me? Papatayin mo ba talaga ako Jeannie? He whispered furiously. I cried louder . Winner! He sighed exaggeratedly and tilted my head up. He turned around slowly. and walke d across the room. Even when stressed. Pabalibag kong binuksan `yun. Damn you! Where did you put the documents? He was now shouting. Without a word he turned his back on me and walked toward the door. Bakit siya mags isisi? `Di ba dapat ako? I slowly smiled at him. Nabilang ko pa talaga siya. Binasa mo ba? Kung hindi ka namakialam at binasa mo Hindi. I took out all my clothes. Julian wouldn t hurt me at least physi cally. Gigil na ibinato ko `yung unan. Dream. Nanlisik bigla `yung mga mata ko. Kaya pala bumenta ang punchline na you re cute when you re angry . Have I awakened the beast in him agai n? Tumaas `yung kilay ko. Alin don? `Yung tirahan ng mga b ukbok? Ah. sniffs. Tapos sinabog ko ng onti `yung buhok ko. Bummer. EVER. Because of Julian. Grabe. Hindi naman ako masokista no. Right on his face. I just helped yaya Oreng clean his study room. May bago ba? I gritted my teeth and then groaned. Tapos nag-tremble `yung lower lip ko. He looked like he was ready to wring my neck. He brushed the locks of hair away from his face. Jeannie kapag hindi ka Ano? Anong gagawin mo?! Sigaw ko. Narinig kong naglagutukan `yung mga buto niya sa knuckles. Nauubos na pasensya ko. Hmm Jeannie. Jeannie naman Parang stress na stress na sabi nito. More gentle this t ime. That rooted him to the ground. He glared at me. Jeannie! I know you re not asleep. Mas mahalaga pa ba ang binubukbok na folder na `yun?! I stood up with chin in the air. Julia He raised one finger as if saying don t talk to me . Tears wer e pooling in my eyes. Alam mo Jeannie hindi na uu bra sa `kin `yang arte mong `yan.I hadn t heard a word. But not cold treatment on his part. Pakiabot nga `yung bag. My mouth dropped open. My tears stopped immediately. tinapon ko na lahat `yu WHAT??? Oh. I was pregnant and he was what? Shouting at me. clean. I shivered. the mess in your study room. Bull s eye.. I pushed him hard away from me. hiccups. I heard him sigh. Of course. Alam mo `yun? Palpak eh. Oh. Nanulis `yung bibig ko. He was now scowling. I just helped you hiccups. Galit akong tumayo. This was damned serious. An g gwapo talaga ng asawa ko. Believe. Na para bang nagsisisi siyang pinabalik niya pa `ko di No. chest out and protruding stomach out. Survive. Julian naman oh.
And ugly . Uuwi na `ko sa parents ko. Eh. Lalo akong naiyak. He nodded rapidly. Uuwi na talaga `ko. Three months was like applying for sainthood. Kaya hindi muna pwedeng gumawa ng Baby JJ the second . Mapapagod nga ako. LOL. Goodness. I started sobbing like that of the child s. Naramdaman kong lumuhod siya sa harapan ko. ito namang si Julian masunurin! Hmp. Syempre I ll tell you you re the most beautiful woman in the world. N a parang naghahanap ng milagro sa kisame. He kissed the tip of my nose. For the likes of him. In my eyes only. He snorted. It felt so good to be in his arms like this. My nose w ere stuffed with you know. Uncontrollable. Par a akong hippopotamus. My eyes were bloodshot. Ngumisi ito. Papatayuan ko na nga ng monument itong si Julian. these past months we hadn t ahm . You want me to lie? I hissed at him. The spasm overtook all consid eration. A ng bigat ko na nga ang bigat pa rin ng bag ko. Next to Andres Bonifacio. Tapos tumigil pa ako sa may pintuan. I was so big and round. Grr. Atapang atao di at akbo. Anong ginagawa mo? What do you think am I doing? Hinihingal na `ko. Tapos ta wa. aum. Why did it hurt like this? Manganganak na ba ako? Julian! I tapped his shoulder. Oh. Sabay kaming nagkatinginan. Parang batang sabi ko sa kanya. Sheeeshhh he kissed my swollen lips. He rolled his eyes ceilingward. You do. Do you know what sound you emit when y ou snore? I don t snore. Naiiyak na naman ako. He chuckled. God. He put me down on t he bed. Epic fail. Sabi ko. Tumaas `yung kilay niya. Sabi kasi ng doctor bawal daw akong mapagod. He sighed. Walo na. Bukas na gabi na eh. . stop crying please it won t do any good to our baby. As in BIG. Loud. Siya kaya ang manganak! Puro lang siya pasarap tapos magagalit pa siy a sa `kin? Well.Tapos tapos inabot nga niya! Galit na binato ko lahat ng damit don. Nag-bounce `yun mattress. Te ll me I m beautiful. Napaupo ako sa may gilid ng pinto. Na nakataas pa ang sanda ta niya ha. Delikado sa daan. I pouted. Nakakainis talaga. Err. I felt his arm snaked behind my back the other one was under my thighs. I thought I was dreaming. Mababanyo daw ako! Tapos sumasakit `yung tyan ko. Monster! I looked like Princess Fiona now. W ell. I winced as the contraction was violent. Kaya siguro ayaw niya na sa `kin. Babe. Like this: oiiink oiiiink I gritted my teeth. Thank my failing eyesight for that. Bakit kaya hindi ako ang tanungin ni Julian? Baka ang sagot ko ay Oo. Naiyak akong lalo. I even saluted him for his control. he couldn t carry me anymore. He winced. My mouth turned into an indignant O. Oo. I d start on my diet aft er I give birth. Jeannie hindi mo ba naisip na ilang beses na ang pagbabalak mong lumayas? If I m goi ng to count it with my fingers save the part after the almost miscarriage thing . I wra pped my arms around his neck. Tapos pinilit niya ulit akong buhatin. Tapos hinampas ko siya. He smirked then snorted. Hindi ka naniniwala? Galit kong sabi. I was so big. I opened my mouth i n disgust. Binuhat niya `ko! Napakapit akong bigla sa leeg niya. I almost screamed when I turned to find myself lo oking back at me in the mirror. I was all set. Samantalang ako naman a ng may katawan. Nung unang try.
I started crying. It was as if I was torn apart. You can talk to your wife she s in and out of consciousness. But we have to hurry. Can t you just take care of my wife first? Galit na sabi ni to habang may inaabot na fill-up form. But he didn t know w here had gone awfully wrong. he coul dn t afford to lose Jeannie. All I know was that I was very. I tried to crack a reassuring smile through my labored breaths. We didn t know how we arrived at the hospital with just the two of us. . With blood all over her th ighs. My mind kept telling me: I couldn t stand the pain anymore. She kept pleading while squeezing his hand. You have to choose between your wife and the baby. Pity. Didn t saying sorry was the worst word ever in w omen s vocabulary? Well. He was inside in a flash. That was what the doctor had said. In his saner days he would have given co nsideration and credit to their profession. Bawat segundo ay nagdara sal siya para sa mag-ina. Jeannie oh. I took Julian s hand. The pain was overriding a ll sense of logic from me. But goo dness gracious I hadn t expected him this soon. I kissed her on her sweating forehead. Julian squeezed my hand. Must have been reflex action. Not that tears made men weak. It was just that he should be the pillar of strength for Jeannie. God. Julian no save baby JJ. Nagmamadaling binuhat niya si Je annie. I was bleeding profusely. The pain was killing me. Bullsh!t. Parang nanlamig ang katawan niya. Nagkakagulo sa bu ong bahay. He even promised God of a lifetime of rectitude. I op ened my eyes again. Remember this I love you both. I didn t know where they were taking me. the doctor gave him that look. And dammit. I closed my eyes. Sumisigaw na ito. Pero wala siya sa katinuan para gawi n iyon! He couldn t praise them if they couldn t save Jeannie God. Dammit. Julian I clutched at his shirtsleeve. Julian and baby JJ was rooting for me. No Numb. I we lost our very first baby. He took the matters into hi s own hands. The risk of delivery of a low birth weight baby has to be weighed against the risk involved to the unborn and mother in continued pregnancy. There was something wrong. Magulo. Ayos na din ang room ni baby JJ. Save my baby. He tried hard to calm his nerves. His precious Jeannie. Hindi matanggap ng utak niya kung ano mang medical theory ang sinasabi nito. It was an either-or proposition. Julian! What? Manganganak na ata ako. He would ha ve cried and fainted at the sight of Jeannie in pain. very frightened. But I couldn t stop the fight. I m sorry. Pleas took my hand. Why was this happening to them? Mabilis siyang pinagsuot ng hospital gown. Nagkakagulo. She would hate me.He groaned. She opened one eye. never letting go. Umiiyak. Hindi siya relihiyosong tao. He shouted for the maids to come upstairs. Or else they ll both die. Maingay. Pero sa mga panahong iyon. Ju lian my baby she started hiccupping. Everything was all set. he knew. I wanna die. I was in a state of panic How could I? I was only eight mon ths on the way. He drove his Porsche while I was panting on the passenger seat. Tired and lost. After knowing all complication of pregnancy decisio n has to be taken whether to allow the pregnancy to continue or not. Only o nly HE would spare Jeannie. Na tatakot. His Jeannie and baby JJ. As cause of preterm is known. Galit na sinuntok niya ang pader. Gusto ko ng magwala at magmura. he could have said not his . Buhat niya ito habang kinukuha ang susi ng sasakyan sa drawer. What do you mean? Sigaw niya dito. His breath got hitched. He didn t want to cry.
Should w as the operative word. yes. I shrugged my shoulders. Unti-unting humarap. I followed her to the lanai . I should have been more understanding. Gusto ko sanang sabihing nananady a ka ba? But said instead. I rolled my eyes. Pero ano ang ginawa ko? Minura ko siya. Hindi mo ba naisip na I know it would be t oo cliché to tell you this. I even told him h e killed our baby. Bulong ko. I could have Julian and it would be perfect. Motherhood is the best fulfillment a woman could ever have. It had been two months since then. Life. How ironic. You go eat without me. Ganyan nga. He would rock me to sleep and kiss the top of my he ad. Hindi nga ba gasgas na `tong ganitong pakiramdam? You felt like crying but still gave the world a smiling fvcking face . Nababa lutan ng sakit at galit ang logic ko. Pinalayas. I asked her with my eyes. I was immersed in finishing the painting I had sta rted in Morocco. Lagi nilang sinasabing ang lahat ng bagay ay may rason. Jeannie stop this to yourself and Julian. I could have kissed him o n the lips. Gusto ko ng mamatay. Till my breath would be sucked out of me. How was that? Jeannie Julian smiled at me tentatively. At gusto kong ibalik nila sa `kin si Baby JJ ko. But in the best of circumstances. And God s. Was it the day afte r I cursed Julian to hell? Pero isang buwan isang buwan akong niyayakap ni Julian sa gabi habang umiiyak ako. I remembered that one morning I woke up. I even asked HIM many times why. I wasn t crying. I didn t want to wake up because I knew the pain was there. I felt her beside me. So. the one I had done right the first day I told Julia n we were going to be a family. Mommy smiled and waved at me. He was also his. Kasi nasasaktan ako. Nandun silang lahat sa may gilid ng pool. Bulong ng kakambal ko. Hindi ko gustong sisih in si Julian. Gusto kong ako ang intindihi n nila. Hindi lang akin si Baby JJ. Before I thought love was all there was. Oh. Hindi ko nga maintindihan kung bakit pa sila nagpa-barbecue p arty! Why? Hindi ako naniniwalang gusto nila `kong sumaya! Jeannie I wanted to be alone! Gusto ko `yung isigaw. Malulungkot `yung baby mo kung ganyan ka. Tama. Pinili t kong pagalawin ang muscles ko sa panga. Pero napapagod na `kong magsalita k ahit wala pa naman akong sinasabi. I stopped crying the day Julian told me: I love you Jeannie that I d choose to live without our baby than you. Hindi ko alam kung kailan `yun nagsimula. Ayoko ng makaramdam ng ganitong . It wasn t his fault. Pero hindi nga ba hindi lang pala love ang mahalaga sa mundo. I know I was playing at being the self-centered b!tc h. I could have jumped with joy even with my stitches on. Ayokong umunawa. Even CM went home to see me after joining the co ntest in New York. bakit pa niya ibinigay sa `kin k ung kukunin niya rin lang naman? Jeannie kakain na tayo I didn t look over my shoulder. Gusto ko ako ang unawain nila. Someone was hugging me tight I couldn t breathe. Tumayo ako para wala ng pagtatalo.TWENTY NINE We couldn t have everything we wanted in life. What do you want to eat? Anything.
What? I asked impatiently. Sana pinili na lang niya si baby JJ kung ganito rin lang kasakit. In short. Napalingon ako kay CM. Nung panahon g iyon. Jeannie? Hmm? . I looked at CM. To the point na kulan g na lang ay suutan niya `ko ng panty. At one point I even blamed Julian. Give me baby Czarina Nagkatinginan `yung dalawa. Wala akong pakialam kung nandun man siya o wala. He just snored and let me cry on his che st. Missed him shouting at me. It was almost unbearable. He didn t say a thing. But something along the way changed us. The same spark was still there. What s with you people? Inis kong sabi. He wa s still the same handsome devil I fell in love with. Months had passed. Ako ba? O siya? I suddenly missed him. I gritted my teeth. Why are you alone? Lalong tumaas `yung kilay ko. At lalong ayokong makakita ng mag-ina. kulang ka lang sa dilig. He became gentler. Umiiyak agad ako first thing in the morning. He shrugged. And life itself. I would very much like that. Can you hold her for me? she hesi tantly asked CM while looking at me. We merely talked anymore. I glared at him. I looked away and met Julian s eyes across from us. Tuyot. beautiful. Maalaga. Pano kung mabaliw ako? Paano kung manguha na lang ako ng bata at angkinin kong anak? God. Well.sakit. Pero somehow along the way we became more of strangers than lovers. Anong akala mo sa `kin? Tatalon ako dyan sa pool? Hindi naman kaya lang sabi kasi ni Julian kausapin daw kita at baka Baka magpakamatay ako dito? Gigil kong sabi. I know that painting has been your outlet after t he He cleared his throat. The people were everywhere in our house. Ano ha? I started cooing sounds. But funny I did. I didn t doubt my love for him. Nakunan lang ako para na akong nagkaroon ng mga bod yguards. There was sudden warmth that I hadn t felt in ages months now. He cleared his throat and looked away.. Jeannie! Tumaas `yung kilay ko. D ragging me to God-knows-where. Siguro okay na `ko. Siguro. Pag-umpugin ko kayang `tong dalawa ng `to? Sheesh. Oh. I forcefully took the almost seven month old baby. may tawag dyan eh. Nakatingin lang sa swi mming pool. Kung may potential future child star ba siya? I didn t even get to hear him or her wail and kick. goodness. Ni hindi ko man lang nakita kung pa ngo ba `yung baby ko. Karga niya si baby Czarina. Baka lang gusto mong sumali. do you know that there was another exhibit? This one s the big event of the yea r. Tapos na ang christening. But I started doubting about the future. I was out in the garden alone. Yes. Ui. She was smili ng at me. Ano bang tingin nito sa `kin? Kikidnappin k o anak niya? God gave me mercy. Tignan mo nga k ung pano paglawayan ang asawa mo. It was so unfair.. Our loss. Ah nothing. Nagtataka nga ako kung naglalakad na ng nakahu bad mamaya `yan eh. Tigang. I shouldn t be surprised when an arm drew me closer. It was only my sorrow t hat was important. Hey. Pwede ba CM! Kung sa bagay kung magpapakamatay ka mas maraming magiging masaya. Ano pa nga ba. At uhaw sa pagmamahal. Kung makatili naman kala mo ambulansiya. Minsan nga natatakot na rin ako sa sarili ko. These past months napapansin kong kahit saan ako p umunta somebody was with me. Magsasalita sana ako ng dumating si Jean. That was so pathetic. Why not? The Jeannie I know so well would be dead by now if she didn t talk even a minute. I was too selfish to even ask him if he was also in pain about the loss. CM winced at me. Alam mo te. I couldn t even go to the nursery room.
Goodness gracious Jeannie. Kampon ni Satanas umalis ka sa katawan ng kaibigan ko! He gasped. Na na ghihintay hingin ang number ko. Parang hindi niya `ko narinig. Sabi nit o sabay tampal sa bibig. Pati `yung luha ko parang nag-freeze. What are you talking about? Uh-oh. I was walking like a zom bie toward Julian. Nakita ko si Julian na papalapi t. Bata pa lang matalino na. Even CM was wailing! Jeanni SHUT UP! Nag-chorus pa silang dalawa ni Julian. I didn t even consider his feelings. Pero maganda pa rin. He was cooing and tucking her like he was the r eal father. Jeannie give him a second chance. Julian was waiting at the front step of the entrance. I didn t want to be with Julian in the same car. And we didn t know how to ruin the wall that separated us. beautiful chi ld. Napatiti g ako sa niece ko. ano bang silbi ng reproductive system mo kung hindi mo naman gagami tin? I hissed at him. . I need you. He was really shouting at me! Then CM gasped. S he beamed up at CM as if saying: Maitim pala ha. Naiiyak na naman ako. Will you stop running away like a coward! I stopped dead in my track. Umiiyak ang baby. You are acting so cowardly! Ikaw lang ba ang nasasaktan?! His hand gripped my arm so tight it hurt. Oh. my God. Tears were already streaming down my face as I turned away. I nodded. Jeannie! Oh my. very good girl. Okay. I m thinking about joining the contest CM. Down there on his crotch. Then he slowly smiled. Sawa na `kon g umiyak. Syempre inaanak ko ata `yang si Czari na no. How can you say beautiful agad eh. Let me see her oh. Mas pinili kong sumabay kay CM sa sasakyan. Mabilis ko siyang tinalikuran. Didn t really care. the brid Oh. Napanganga ako dun. All I cared about that instant was the man I d hurt so much. His eyes were uncertain. very dark. Jeannie! Narinig kong ibinigay nito kay CM ang bata. Saka makakagawa pa rin na man kayo no. A hand grabbed mind. Oh. Hindi ko pinansin ang paghabol sa `kin ni Julian. Tapos hinawakan ko `yung noo niya at pumikit. She ll be as beautiful like her ninang. baby pa nga? Ang itim pa ni Czarina! CM! Sigaw ko. Julian told me not to say that he s going to prop I didn t say anything. I heard the engine of CM s car out of the driveway. ang beauty ko pang-alalay sa kinakasal? I should have been you. Ayoko nga sanang pumayag na maging best m an. I couldn t afford to see them. Can I hold her? He took the baby from me gently.Bakit ang ne ne negrita ng baby ni Jean? Don t tell me salamat lotion lang kayong dalaw a? I opened my mouth in disgust. Czarina peed on me!!! Napatingin kami sa baba ng pantalon niya. Para akong teenager na nakatitig sa kanya. Mer on ba sa pamilya namin ang pangit? Syempre wala. Jeannie! Bakit mo `ko sinisigawan? Sigaw ko. He covered his mouth. Jeannie naman oh! We started laughing. literally. He grinned at me. I raised one brow at him. Tapos papakipot muna ng onti. Just kidding. Night CM. As in. But the sorrow kept persisting with every thoughts of what could have been. Trust CM to say all the wonderful things. Kaya tumalikod na lang ako. My heart was beating wildly. Hi having a great time? He awkwardly said. Kung dati kung pwede lang na ibulsa siya ay ginawa ko na pero ngayon? The silence stretched between us. Emotionally. I missed this. Then the baby started making gurgling sounds. Gah. It became somehow awkward. she s a bit dark.
I recalled one of my classmates in High School telling that particular dream of his. `di siya. Jeannie! I m so rry. Oh. I didn t ask for him to do that now. Real life drama pala ito. Tignan mo nanay ko nakapag-asaw a agad. God. His teeth were decaying. Baliw ba `tong batang `to? Matawa kaya siya kung malaman niyang siya `yung pinagtatawanan ko? But his cute. Sana nagamot ko man lang si tatay at `di siya namata y. Anghel na naging tyanak p a. Ewan ko ba . Wala ka na bang maisip na matinong ambisyon? Gusto kong maging doktor ate. At may hawak siya ng mga sampaguita. As if he wa s testing the waters. Sampu na kami! I winced. I walked down the streets of Manila bay and along CCP. I have submitted your painting. I walked down the street. Okay lang `yun ate. Hello ? Kahit naman hindi mo pangarapin `yun. marami pa namang lalake dyan. baby JJ. I didn t push him like I always did in the few months. He slowly looked up and arched one brow and whispered: What took you so long? As if he was waiting for me all his life. He must have been at least eight years old. Some would even say that I d won the lottery by having Julian. sa mga novels na nababasa ko `yung hangin na `yun `yung loved ones nila na nawala na. I stood up and stared sadly at the engraved name: BABY JJ. `yun nga lang ang hirap ng buhay. Sana hindi na lang siya nag-smile. Oi. Eh. . His right shoe was toying the marbled flooring. The one with Julian under the shower? This was a make-or-break decision. but my heart suddenly went out to him. My whole future at stake. NIyakap niya ako. Really? Oo. Ewan ko ba. Give m e a second chance. Then he smiled. Really looking. Hindi gaanong mahigpit. Syempre ii sipin nila napuwing lang ako dahil sa lakas ng hangin. I slowly smiled. As in now. An g hangin tinatangay ang buhok ko. hindi madali `yung decision ko. He coul d have been months now. kung karirin ko na lang kaya si Julian? Kung pwede nga lang ba. Madungis nga lang. I nodded. Nyek. But of course. Naramdaman ko `yung hangin. Kaso wala kaming pera.He looked like a boy. I would give him a second chance . `Yun g parang sa cannibal? Tapos `yung ilong niya kumakalat lumalapad `pagtumatawa. ayos. brokenhearted ka ba? Ah. Then my eyes started getting misty. I would have given everything to have him crying in the middle of the night waking me up for his breast feed. Baka gusto niya talagang mabaliw ang mommy ni ya kung iiyak siyang bigla sa gabi out of nowhere. Anong pangarap mo? Kung sinabi nitong maging mabuting asawa t ama babatukan ko talaga `to. There was this little cherubin who was looking at me. With rai sed eyebrow I could very well say na ako si Jeannette Rose Leviste ang tanging t aong nakapagtiyaga sa ugali niya. I ll give your father a second chance. He slowly stepped forward. He was a boy. Okay na sana. I started laughing horribly. `Pagharap ko nagulat ako. Kahit na nga ba sabihing gwapo si Julian a t mayaman. Do you know that mommy loves you so much? I murmured achingly. I was looking out of the manila bay when the phone started ringing. Tapos one seat apart. Either Julian or Career. Could it be a sign that baby JJ want us to be together again? I was trying to smile. Pat i siya nakitawa na rin. Caring to your lo ved ones. deep down I already knew the answer. Could I forgive and just forget? Kaya ko pa kayang magmahal kung hindi na buo an g puso ko? THIRTY Of course. it was human instinct. So who was being lucky here? Eh. Ate. I missed these places.
I stared fixedly at the blue and white sky. This wasn t one of those overrated version of classic dra mas. Baka bukas isa na din ako sa mga taong grasa. Hindi man ganon kasarap `yung niluto ko. Siya pa ang isawsaw ko sa alamang. itatanong pa sa `yo kung nasaktan ka. Alam mo ba `yun. I wanted to celebrate Julian s awakening! Namuti na ang mata ko kakahintay sa kanya. My eyes got misty. The one with Julian. I smiled at him and slowly stood up. okay. God. Baka pasko. It always happened in real life. Tinampal ko `y ung kamay niya. nakakapaglabas ako n g pera. Oh. That s not for you! I was acting childish. I was so angry. Wala na ba akong inisip kundi ang pambabababe ni Julian? Men could be honest. Little di d he know that I was a descendant of Gabriela Silang? Beware. Baka hindi niya na pakinabangan `yung ano niya `yung ano sex aherm appeal niya! Nagtago ako dun sa may corner. Very fortunate of you. Masama palang napapaisip ako. He frowned and arched one brow. Ipinasa niya `yung painting ko. `di ba sosyal? Samantalang sa kasuluksulukang kalye ng Cubao rugby lang. May kausap sa phone. Kung ang motto ko ay: I could kiss and be damned tomorrow. Nako. Stupid. Tapos napa-w ow siya. I even bled my finger w ith the bread knife. Were all the men in general like this? Or only him? He was still insensitive. Tapos nagtago akong maigi ng nagmamadali ng umalis si Julian. Nasugatan ka na. Hindi ko alam kung bakit. Hindi. I th ought my heart would burst any minute. Blame CM for this. . at least passable na man. He was already in New York by now because of that blasted con test. Tha nks mom! I suddenly felt like the biggest scumbag ever. I strained my ears against the wall. Then I saw a man with his canvass. I gave it to him. How could I let Julian go? I love him so much.Ngumiti ako tapos naglabas ng five hundred pesos. `Wag lang talaga siyang kakaliwa. Masama kutob ko dito. He didn t really deserve a second chance. so I think he d got lots of work to do. And you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth. Siya nga ni hindi man lang maisipang mag-text or tumawag. I heard footsteps. SOMETIMES. Nakita kong nakatalikod si Juli an. Nagluto ako. Who the hell cared. Sometimes happy endings were just in Fairy tale stories. I didn t even look up. I want to surprise Jeannie about the engagement. `yung mga gustong mag-aral walang pampa-aral. Pero kung isa ka sa mga pinanganak na walang kasiguraduhan ang hinaharap. y`know. At ano? Para sa wala. Why? `Coz I believed that what doesn t kill you can make you stronger . We ll. May mga nakapalibot s a kanya habang nagpe-paint siya. Minsan lang `yan no. Oo. Iniyakan ko pa ang paghiwa ng sibuyas. Hindi man lang nahiya. I made face. Birthday mo? I hissed. But really. `Yung mga may p ampa-aral ayaw mag-aral. Not under the sho wer! `Yung ginawa ko noon sa Morocco. At anong ginagawa nila? Ayun: Pare let s party! Party! Ilabas na ang cocaine. He wanted to capture the orange horizon with its reddish rays around the sun. He dipped one finger at the dish. It was only four i n the afternoon. He didn t even bother t o call if he wasn t retiring early! Damn him. I m prou d of you. Seriously there were people who were given the privilege to live the ir life the way they wanted to be. I slipped into the room with so much as a noise. I even asked God to make my cooking p erfect. He kept looking around as if it was some top government secret. I started putting away the cold food. Ngayon pa nga lang baon na kami sa utang kay Julian. The irony of life. It was just that I hoped they knew their good f ortune. Err. kung hindi mo naranasang mag-promissory note sa school o humabol ng scholars hip. I had nothing against rich kids. Ba ka maibato ko lang sa kanya `yung kare-kare at kalderata. Dapat all set na para bukas. Tsk. I was a bit disconcerted at first.
What do yo u think are you doing? Perhaps going to striptease? He said playfully. Kung makautos kala mo bayad na sa kasalanan niya. Yes. or whatever we could thin k of. Damn boxers.Oh? Kanino? Sa aso. He kissed me passionately. Oo. hindi bagay! I tried to cover my face with my hand. Yes. I was hissing while sinking my fingers deep into his skin. A slow sexy goodness. I was pummeling his back. But this was one? We were groping for each other. Papel lang ang kulang sa `min. Sa relationship. Julian Oh-kay. Like we could satisfy the months. Masyadong wild at aggressive `yung isang `to. Kung pwede lang na bumaon `yun baka nangy ari na. L agi namang ganon `di ba? There would always be someone who would give more love than the other. My breath got hitched. It was hot and explosive. He even smacked my bottom! Tapos tawa siya ng tawa. bed! You re not serious. More that you couldn t define. It was more. Massage my temples. right. I was too eager. I was really a bit taken aback. He put me down no threw me onto the bed. He was teasing me. Where s my husband? I whisp ered. I might melt. He really smiled at me. Panira. I was screaming when he scooped me up in his arms. He laughed loudl y and lunged at me. Not t hat I was saying living in was justifiable. Goodness. I smiled sweetly. A kiss wasn t just classified into: smack. French or torrid. Fatherly. Our eyes met. Pakipot lang. No. He was unbuckling his pants. Pero I believed that you couldn t go play . Galit ka ba? lingon niya sa `kin. Siguro nga sa `ming dalawa ma s malaki ang pagmamahal ko sa kanya. ganon? Inis nitong sabi. I want you here with our children hmm mga sampu okay na. You e xperienced them. He was pulling down his pants and oh So disappointed. Lalong tumaas `yung kilay ko. Our bodies touched. He even waved his polo up in the air like a cowboy. Brotherly kiss. Thirsty. Julian no! I shrieked when he tickled my feet. Of course. alam na. Pero hindi ganito na binibiyabit niya `ko mula sa balikat niya. Gusto ko kapag nag-asawa na tayo nasa bahay ka lang. I hadn t noticed that he was already on top of me. while doi ng an imitative dance of that of macho men. Grabe. Alright. Ayoko nang magpaka-ipokrita. Hindi lang sarap ng pisikal. I hadn t thought that I could love this much. Had his horse been hidden somewhere here? He should h ave been putting me on his white horse and dashing me off to a castle and not to a Err. A kiss meant everything. I didn t want to close my eyes for a second because Julian might vanish into thin mists. Julian let me down! I yelled a t his back. You prepared this f or me. He was a cave man! Okay lang kung buhat. Oh. Grr. Stop He groaned. smile cracked on his lips. Anong tingin mo sa `kin palahiang bab oy? I hissed at him. He said that with conviction. Nakakatakot itong Julian na `to. Maybe we were immoral in the eyes of the society. Hindi joke lang. It was proven and tested. Were there flames everywhere? It was getting hot. No. He turned me upside down. I gasped. I was trying to capture his mouth. Hindi. he loves me but not as much as I do. with gaps between my fingers. Parang napipilita n lang. I even hugged him tight to myself th at I thought I couldn t breathe anymore. almost a year without this physical aspect of our relationship. Diniinan ko ang mga kamay sa ulo niya. He slouched on the chair and massaged his temple. He nipped my lower lip and kissed each corner. We were husband and wife in the eyes of God. He started laughing and crawled to the bed . He didn t look the man who was so eager to propose. Tuwang tuwa nga ako sa `yo eh. Would we start makin g babies now? Para makaabot sampu? My mind was screaming: I wasn t prepared for th is. chaste. words were mere words until you felt them.
around if love wasn t involved. I was choking back the words. For the first time. He groaned. Nung una nga hindi pa niya m ahanap. `Wag ka ngang excited. Like he really wanted to get acquainted wi th every part and pore of me. He was killing me softly. Hindi ko alam kung dah il dahil alam kong ngayon magpo-propose si Julian. Wasn t it a bit too late for that? After the wa y he took me that first time? He was going to tell me to go slow? Ach. Of course. I didn t know it was like this. Akalain mo `yun. Well. He came back to my lips and kissed me openly. He was also tensed. Everyone. I was a bit tensed. this was his idea of going slow eh? Parang ako ata a ng unang mamamatay. I started crying because because He kneeled down on his knees. At ang sa `kin. I just wished that when we grew old together it would still be like this. Sisigawan niya `ko. he cleared his throat. it was very differen t. I gasped. I was bound to hi m. Tapos sasabihin ko ano ? kasi hindi ko na maririnig kasi bingi na `ko. And God. Gentle. Mali kot ang mga kamay nito. I was about to shout at him to go to hell when he started raining tiny kisses do wn the side of my face. The heat and the rush were there. I tast ed a morsel of heaven. Nag papa-yummy pa kasi. Lalo na `yung mga nagpo-pro pose. We should all know our limits. `yung x-rated version ba naman ang panuorin mo na pinahiram pa sa `yo ng Good Influence and Morally upright mong c mate. So. Twice. And put out the ring. He was cuddling against my bosom. And almost the same. I was happy and overwhelmed to see all of them. I love you He whispered as he claimed me. I could feel it in his hands. . I love you too I whispered against his hair. Akala ko hindi. Thrice. Which he thought I had no clue of. He took the blindfold off. I was like: OH? With arched brows. But I wasn t running for a Maria Clara nominee either. Excuse me? I glared at him and he started chuckling! I just want to make this time gentler. I was staring into his eyes. Touched me and kissed me like there was no tomorrow. What? Siya nga `yun ang manre-reject? Eeh. Where we could hear our breathing as the music playing in our ears. Okay na ba? Not yet. And Jean with her baby. Maybe I was really living in one of those fairy t ales and that I would be woken up by my mother. ang keso ko. Whatever. At pumunta kami sa banda roon. Nilagyan niya ako ng blindfold. What? I would scream if he told me: no. The great Julian S unico was trembling. I screamed. By God and by love. every man had his moment. I thought and heard about sex was all hot and swea ty. Posible pala. Even Brad and Vi ncent were there. Will you. Kahit `yung mga associates ni Julian. There was no pain this time. He loved me. Slow. Goodness. Well. how I loved this man with all of my heart. Si Julian iyon. Sila mommy at daddy. I shouldn t be surprised but I was. Don t tell me ipapa-salvage mo `ko? I tried to joke my way around him. Jeannette Rose Leviste be my wife? I blinked once. It s just Just? I asked impatiently. Or it could be our heartbeats. CM talked to me on the phone earlier. It w as like this was the last time. C mon! I wasn t raised to be promiscuous. I wanted to laugh at his clumsiness. Late na pala ako sa school. He was re ally something huh. Na nakahawak sa bewang ko. We soared.
It was the most pai nful and hardest decision to make. Alam ko. they would ask me the why s and what s. As if telling me to say yes. For once. I even dare look at everyone. Because we couldn t have them all. Nakita kong napahigpit ang kamay niya sa hawak na box. THIRTY ONE Compromise. I should have put that in Julian s vocabulary. I was really s orry. He did. I cried my heart out when I saw the defeat and hatred in his eyes. I should have been the one running away after doing the ecting. gusto ko namang maging matatag sa mga desisyon ko. it was me all al ong. CM s motto: opportunity knocks only at once door. Ngayon ko lang na-realize tama sila. Tears streamed down my ey es. But didn t I ever at a person in pain overlooked everything? Hindi nga ba t mas natatabunan ng ang logic? He walked out on me. Gasgas na pero it wasn t him. The diamond ring was sparkling. But I m sorry I can t. Hindi lahat ng tao mas pinipiling mag-settle down kaysa piliin ang opportunity na ibi nibigay sa kanila. As always. I whispered through my blurring vision. Didn t you know that not all dreams come true? I needed to grow and that didn t include Julian in the picture. I was nominated for a one-year e xhibit and tour around the world.And looked at everyone. I even once asked many about which would they prefer: love or career? I couldn t very well answer my own question back then. Did you think I wasn t hurt? Did you think I mi ght be selfish? Pero hindi nga ba mahirap abutin ang mga pangarap? I didn t want t o look back one day and blame Julian for not fulfilling my dream. u still have a clue that I love life? And so I did Julian. know th sakit rej didn t Didn t yo . I love you you know that. In reality. I couldn t help it while nodding rapidly. I didn t cry. But no. Pero sa totoong buhay. that s why we have choices. And I was chasing him.
In New York. If and only if they d devoted themselves to God. Pain was pain. syempre masarap pa ring merong pipilit na kunin `yung kamay mo in public kahit kunwari ayaw mo. I smiled bitterly to myself. Hindi lang naman lalaki ang makakapagpaligaya sa `yo. But wasn t that our problem? Time. But hey. Heart grew colder with the absence of the other. That finding your self wasn t really true. With pho ne calls! LOL. `Coz I don t know what will happen. You could have told me yesterday. Pero masak it Jeannie. Jeannie I will Wait for you My breath got hitched. Siguro hindi na `ko natakot. Nung humarap siya. Julian Akala ko dati. Unless you tell me. Gusto kong matupad ang mga pangarap ko. Before you. His fists clenched. Those were just life s facts. Pero hindi nga ba k aya nga kakaunti ang pari sa mundo? At ang iba pa sa kanila y. Isang taon lang `yun Julian. Nandun na `yun eh. In general. Na gkakasala. But it was almost true. He looked at me from head to foo t. life without them was a boring world. And it was my dream e ven before Julian entered my oh-so-boring life. Bulong nito. Ano ba. He didn t bother to turn around when I shut the door closed. Lit erally and hmm figuratively. Of course. O dahi l sa dinami dami ng lalaki sa mundo walang sumigaw sa `kin ng katulad ng pagsiga w ni Julian. I ll be away for a year. Sa mga single. Kung anim na bwan nga `yung iba wala na. Abstinence was an avoidable word in their dictionary. Yes. I pouted and looked out of the w indow. Reality bites. Glory be to God. Julian painting is my very first love. Just being realistic. That was what I wanted to hear from him. Or even last night! He was now shou ting. Wala ka pa. you also have to love what I do! Per o alam kong hindi ganon kadali `yun. I won t ask you to wait for me Julian. T here was no way around that but time. You could live without them but somehow let s be honest . At hindi naman sa wala akong ti wala sa mga lalaki. Or they weren t as sexy as Julian. He didn t turn around. And warm hugs. men are men. His forehead was be nt against the wall. Isang taon pa kaya? I wasn t being pessimistic here. Wala ka bang sasabihin? Gusto kong sabihing naiintindihan kita. True. Long distance relationship only stood a chance as big as my thumb finger. Why not? Either I ha d no choice `coz there was no one had dared to hold my hand at that time. Masara p walang pinagkakagastuhan kapag monthsary. Kasi wala ka ngang ka-monthsary! Wal ang naninigaw sa `yo on the phone when you couldn t text him. there was always an exemption. I tried to smile. It was very true. Ano bang alam ko nung time na `yun? Gusto ko lang maging m agaling na pintor.I found him in the adjacent room. One year Jeannie? Do you think a year is only a day for me? Galit nitong sabi. lagi kong sinasabi noon na mas masarap maging single. Again. Mamamatay `yan kung isang taong walang putahe sa hapag kainan. His back was turned to me. kung iiwan ako ng lalaking m ahal ko sa harap ng altar baka mapatay ko siya ng wala sa oras. Ang gulo ko no? I asked him not to wait for me but then I wished with all my heart t hat he would. Sino bang nakakaalam kung bakit ganito ang mga babae? . Gusto kong isigaw sa kanya: If you love me. kaartehan lang `yung mga nababasa t napapanood ko. It might sound exaggerated. Kahit ako man. you stood against odds and still be together after a year. C`mon! `Wag na nating loko hin ang sarili natin. Ano? Magtititigan na lang tayong mga bab ae? At the back of our minds we wished for someone to fill the cold nights. Not that I was here to sit judgment.
Let s eat. Postcard greetings. He shook his head. I didn t really care. I didn t care. `Yun lang ang naiintindihan ko sa lahat ng `to. So. Sino pa bang titili ng ganoon kung hindi ang kaisa-isang kaib igan ko sa mundong ibabaw. Ganon din naman `yun. I gaped at him. I mopped my forehead with the towel. Ah. I snatched the cloth from him and cove red it again. Get out Jeannie. And damn if he wasn t handsome here and nud e. He arched one brow. natetempt akong mag-stay. I won t ask where you are going. My mind was made up. Galit kong sabi sa kanya. Ex mo? Kung makapagtanong kala mo inosente! I gritted my teeth. Gusto mo bang sabihin ko sa `yong hihintayin kita Jeannie? Then wha t after our promises to one another. Oo. I bit my lip to stop from crying out. It meant goodbye. Sh!t. Jeannie! I raised one brow. For you. if you walk out of that door. Two years later. Julian I whispered when I was in between the door and the outside world toward achi eving my dream. And Julian didn t want anything to do with it. I m sorry baby JJ. And correction. Ano ba Jeannie defensive na sabi ni to. I gritted my teeth. I really do. Pero pano na lang `yung mga pa ngarap ko? Hindi lahat ng tao nabibigyan ng ganitong opportunity. Busy? I shrugged my shoulders. Sino `to? I avoided his scrutiny. Pwede ba. Para akong rob ot na naglalakad. `Yung lalaki sa panaginip mo? Tuwing gabi dinadalaw ka? CM! He looked at the painting more closely. Nahiya ka lang pero ang ido-draw . couldn t I just have both? Somehow maybe I would eventually forget him. he isn t nude here. I lo Don t tell me you love me. What? He smiled sheepishly. I m hungry. A mere whisper. Then shrugged. BITTER! After a few e-mails and letters. I like him. You might be seeing some body I don t know. I glared all the more at him. I understand. However. Wala. We disappointed you. este uumagahi n. I cleared my throat and glared at him. Hinara ngan ko `yung painting sa likuran ko. Hindi kaya maglolokohan lang tayo? He gave up on me. Ano ba `yang ginagawa mo ha? Tingin pa. It seemed cliché but I m letting you go. Kung gagabihin kayo e. You k now dear. So this was what he called letting go huh. You re giving up on me. He paushed. Of course. Sakalin ko na kaya `tong kaibigan kong `to? He tried looking over my shoulders. Bago pa man ako makapagsalita ay nahugot na ni CM `yung tel a mula sa canvass. Ang arte. My heart was breaking into pie ces. `di topless.Never forget you. it s okay with me. Eh. dammit! Just just get the hell out of here!!! Nanlaki ang mga mata ko at naisara ko agad ang pinto. So what time s your date later with Rick? Todo smile ito. Narinig kong ang pagbagsak ng mga gamit at kung ano mang mga nagkala t na basag doon. It would deteriorate with ti me. I wanted to slap him at that moment. I chose my path. dapat ba magpasalamat pa `ko? Utang na loob ko pa bang hindi niya `ko makakalimutan? Dapat bang magpaparty pa `ko? He s mirked at me. But it hurt a lot. Was there a difference? Iniba niya lang ng phrase pero ganon din `yun! Jeannie if you stay you choose me. What if you find someone new? What if you do? I hissed at him. God. He shook his head. I tried pushing him toward the kitched.
Nabigla ako. At bolero! Na ni minsan hindi man lang ginawa sa `kin ni Julian . Excuse ako ng excuse par ang wala namang naririnig! Julian Bulong ko. In a fashionable way. I started preparing for our food. This was our first date. Naiiyak na `ko ng hindi ko na siya maki ta. huwag mo ng ibigay ang lahat. Actually. He held my hand. Rick was handsome. I his sed. I couldn t breathe anymore. He raised an inquiring eyebrow at me. Wala na ni hindi ko na nga natatandaan kung pano siya ngumiti. I know. I was starting a new life now. Matangkad. Jeannie What! You haven t forgotten him. I tried hard not to jab him in the ribs. Gwapo. Kahit kahit `pag sumisigaw siya hindi ko na matandaan kung pano nagigin g singkit lalo `yung mga mata niya. He didn t exist anymore. Mab ango. It was all worth it. Baka si Piolo Pascual. Jeannie kung magmamahal ka. . He was as sleek as a snake. Totoo naman. I was looking out of the crowd when I met a pair of eyes. Hey. Nakalimutan ko na siya. How could you love another if you couldn t love yourself? She spent wandering around the world. it was a year. My eyes grew wide. para sa susunod na magmamahal ka u lit may ibibigay ka pa. Uh-okay. I looked at his impeccable white shirt underneath his coat. It was so un-CM like. And this was New York! Kulang na lang ako ang gawin niyang dinner. My very first date after almost two years. Me? Ah. Y es. I ve already forgotten him CM. Lakad. No more Julian. He was half-Canadian half-Filipino. I was even looking out for some sign s of imperfection. His hand started squeezing my thighs. I smiled at him. Hindi dahil nasasakal ako sa yakap ng katabi ko. But deep inside there was that wishful thinking that somehow he should have been there at night to cuddle her. We now shared a unit. He smiled at me. The people were blocking him. we were in the 21st century. Takbo. where are you going? I squeezed through the throng of people. Para kasing sinapian na naman siya ng masamang espiritu. Bakit ba hindi? Sino bang unang nakalimot? I e-mailed him. He was really one he ll of a handsome man. Malamang magiging gwa po o maganda ang magiging anak namin. Goodn ess. I took hold of his hand. Maybe he was an angel sent from above. Inis na sabi sabay irap. Save that he wasn t Julian. I snorted. eleven months and twenty seven days. And very gentleman. Pisil pa. You look beautiful and sexy. So now he wasn t perfect. Malay ko bang nagkaroon pa kami ng baby JJ the sec ond. Two years. He stood up and moved right to the door.ing mo talaga nude. Dammit. She won the painting contest. no. Magtira ka sa sarili mo. Ang h irap kausapin ang sarili mong isip. sent postcards and letters. Kung siya ang mapapangasawa ko ulit. And they were all returned! Except for the e-mail syempre. At lalong hindi ko na natatandaan kung pano siya Humalik? Inirapan ko siya. Para siyang sawa. those black eyes. Mabilis akong na patayo. At si Julian ang devil. You seemed preoccupied. Akala ko ba nakalimutan mo na siya! Grabe. Kahit anong pigil ko sa kama y niya kung saan napupunta. I tried hard not to glare at him. I shook my head. Pa-humble pa. Napa-smile ako kay CM. Bago pa kung saang imperti nenteng lugar mapadpad iyon. Who? I asked innocently. I couldn t ever forget that face. You know that I like you Jeannette. I know thank you.
I saw this man with his black coat. The same with Julian! Um sorry miss? Parang gusto kong lumubog sa kahihiyan. Ano ba. Bakit ba `ko ginaganito ni God? I didn t really care about him anymore, did I? Sino bang niloko ko? Kung hindi ang sarili ko. I turned around in defeat. I gasped. There I saw him. I realized then that I missed him I missed slapping him. Yeah. He was walking beside the very lovely Tricia. Could I just pluck that lovely hair out of her head? Just this once.
THIRTY TWO Operation Iwas. Whenever I bumped into someone I didn t feel like being chummy-chummy with, the mo st effective way I do was simply pretend to busy myself with finding my purse or looking at something in the opposite direction. Pero hello? Wasn t it too obvious of me? Nakita ko na sila t lahat. Wala akong dalang bag para mag-pretend na may h inahalungkat. I had failing eyesight. Yes! I had as of today, this exact minute. Pero pano ko idadahilang near-sighted ako, eh, kung tutuusin ilang hakbang na la ng sila sa`kin? Damn. I gnawed at my lower lip. My hand was sweating coldly. Thi s wasn t what I d envisioned of seeing Julian again. Bakit ang hirap magkunwaring hi ndi ka nasasaktan? When in fact you wanted to cry in front of him? You know what; I believed that there d be that one person you couldn t ever forget i n your life. Siya `yung sa dinami dami ng nakahawak ng kamay mo. O kung marami m an. Siya lang `yung perfect fit para sa `yo. `Yung totoo? Pwede mong sabihing hindi na `ko magmamahal ulit . Words from a mouth of a heartbroken. Rubbish. You d be a big time liar. Kasi we were made to be human. Human nature na `yun. We d keep falling and falling in love over and over again. But to those who had passed by. Tandaan niyo, may isang maiiwan diyan sa kasuluk sulukan ng puso mo. Either he or she stayed or not for keeps. Hindi nga ba makab ayan si Rizal? Siguro kung buhay pa siya active siya sa United Nations. Why not? Iba t ibang lahi ang mga minahal niya. But he had one great love. Leonor Rivera.
I d tell you I could love again but there was only one Julian Sunico. Hindi lahat ng nasa kasalukuyan ay siyang one great love. I didn t know if it was from Bob Ong : Hindi lahat ng nagmamahalan ay magkasama at hindi lahat ng magkasama ay nagmam ahalan. So I was very confident. Kahit sampung Tricia pa `yan, ako pa rin ang mahal ni J ulian. My breath got hitched. They did pass me by without so much as hi! Parang gumuho `yung mundo ko. Iyon pala ang ibig sabihin non. Jeannie?! I didn t turn around. Jeannie? Jeannette Rose Leviste? I closed my eyes. So, she did remember me huh. God give me strength not to throt tle the two of them. At lalong ayokong umiyak sa harapan nilang dalawa. I automa tically turned around and placed a robotic smile on my lips. Hi. You still remember me, don t you? Excited na sabi nito. Of course, nanadya ka ba? Gusto kong isigaw `yun sa kanya. She seemed nice and gen uine. Alam ko, lahat ng third party ang impression sa kanila ay masama. But no, in my rational state of mind, trust me, Tricia was kind and sweet. Pero hindi ak o rational ngayon! God. You ve changed. You ve thinned a little. But it s okay! Before I knew it, she was h ugging me. Argh. I met a pair of dark eyes. Those eyes I d painted in my mind. And he looked bored! As if he didn t recognize me. Gusto kong itulak si Tricia. So he was here, without telling me. At bakit pa Jeannie? Ano pa bang koneksyon niyo? He should have told me, for old times sake! Para ano? Para saktan ang sarili mo? Bakit mo pa kasi siya hinabol?! My hands were shaking due to the cold December night? Or because the chillness i n Julian s stare? I wasn t so sure. Anyway, Jeannie lumingon ito kay Julian. Julian ano ka ba! Para namang wala kayong p inagsamahan. My mouth almost dropped open. Goodness, pinagsamahan? That was an understatement of the century. He shrugged his shoulder and tilted his head toward her. Na par a bang isa lang siyang matagal ng kakilala. Julian Hinawakan ni Tricia `yung braso nito. I rolled my eyes heavenward. What? What do you want me to say? Long time no see? Nice seeing her again? Napabuka `yung bibig ko. He was referring to me now as HER. As if I didn t ah, no, n o never exist in his life. As if I d never been in his bed! Anong tingin niya sa ha los isang taong pinagsamahan namin? One-year stand? Damn him. I felt like crying at the same time bashing him in the head. Akala niyo ba babae lang ang bitter kapag hindi maayos ang ending ng relationship? O walang closure ? Somehow men took it all in. They were the high and mighty Mr. Macho men. But d eep inside they were more hurting. Because they couldn t let it out in the open. Th ey couldn t cry shamelessly like women did. It s okay Tricia. I so smiled at her. But ah, it hurt. Tapos biglang parang bumbilyang nag-lighten up `yung mukha niya. Jeannie! Since you re here, I m going to ask you a favor. You won t mind, right? Tricia ! Julian gripped her arm to shut her up. I frowned. Favor? Could I just kick mysel f for still standing here and not walking out on them? I I Hindi ko sinasadya. As in hindi. Napatingin ako kay Julian. And he was looking b ack at me. His hands were inside his jeans pocket. One brow arched in question. Tricia don t make her lie to you to come up with an excuse. I think she s busy with he r dreams. He snorted! Nanlalaki `yung mga mata ko. I knew a sarcasm when I heard one. I I m not busy Tricia. It s okay. Ilang beses ko na bang sinasabing it s okay ? At ilang es bang para kong sinasaksak kapag sinasabi ko `yun? Oh, my God! Thanks Jeannie! So much. Ano ba `yun?
Jeannie I want you to be my maid of honor! May bomba bang sumabog? It was like I couldn t breathe. She even put her ring fing er in the air. It was sparkling with diamond? Deymmmmm Damn Didn t Julian try to put something like that on me two years ago? Jeannie? Tricia eyed me. Are you okay? I m okay. Gusto ko ng sakalin `yung leeg ko. What was okay here? I looked at them bot h. Nakayakap si Tricia sa braso ni Julian. I saw the way he perused my expressio n. I m okay I m I started laughing, choking a laughter that caught on a sob. Jeannie? Tricia asked again. Are you crying? Ah no, no I m just just too happy! I felt like crying! Tumatawang pinunasan ko `yung l sa mga mata ko. Gusto kong sumigaw sa kanila: Nanadya ba kayong dalawa? I felt like an idiot. No. I was an idiot! I was trying to tell myself I had move d on. Hindi ko alam kung may dapat ba `kong pagsisihan. Like, I should have been in he r place, right? Or we should have been building a family now? Pero kung siya ang pinili ko maabot ko ba `yung mga pangarap ko ngayon? Did you ever feel empty inside? Like there was this giant hole in your heart. I left Julian so that I could grow on my own. I left him because I had no choice. Meron man akong mga choices. `Yun naman `yung mga choices na wala sa options ko . He asked me to choose between him and my career. Bakit hindi niya na lang hiniling sa `king hintayin niya `ko? He could even fly here once in a while. Nagagalit ako sa kanya. Because he didn t even put up a good fight. He just let me go. Just like that. You just call me Tricia. I have so many things to do. Hindi pa man ito nakakapagsali ta ay tumakbo na `ko palayo sa kanila. I was sobbing like a child. Napatingin sa `kin si CM. I didn t care. Eh, kung naka kaiyak naman talaga `yung Dvd na One More Chance ni JL at ni Bea Alonzo. Lalo na `yung part na bumabalik si Basha kay Popoy. He winced. Why are you crying? Nakaka iyak kaya. Huwaaa I hiccupped many times. And cried again. Tumingin ulit siya. This time slow motion `yung pagbaling ng ulo niya. Na para bang nababaliw na ng a ako. W-what? He rolled his eyes heavenward. Ang corny mo `te. Now that stopped me from sobbing. Excuse me? He sighed exaggeratedly. Alam mo ba mas naririnig ko pa `yung pag-iyak mo kesa sa dialogue nilang dalawa. He hissed at me. Bakit ba kapag brokenhearted ang tao kont ing masaling mo lang ng movie o sad songs umiiyak na? Malay ko I shrugged. Mukha ba `kong brokenhearted? Itinaas nito `yung kamay ko at ginawang puppet. `Yan. Tanong mo sa sarili mo. I glared at him. Alam mo ba I saw Julian? Yep. He s here. I ve seen him with Tricia. Nag-aayos kasi sila ng kasal My mouth dropped. Goodness, he knew? You didn t tell me? He shrugged again. Baka kasi makita na lang kitang nakabigti na dyan kaya `di ko sinabi. Alam mo friend you don t look brokenhearted. He nodded solemnly and looked b ack at the wide screen. You look suicidal. Naiyak ako ng malakas sa sinabi niya. Julian s business got bankrupt Jeannie. He couldn t take a day or two to go here for you back then. Alam mo naman siguro `yun he thought you left him because of that. I gasped at the seriousness in CM s voice. Well, he was damned serious. I didn t. Well he thought. Maraming namamatay sa maling akala. Sa sitwasyon niyong dalawa. H indi si Julian `yun. You knew the family scandal. He was sucked dry by Vince Gon zalo. That s why he let you go
Nagsubo ito ng maraming popcorn. At ngayon? Hindi ko alam kung unti-unti ko bang pinapatay `yung sarili ko. Your twin told me Maybe it s better this way I m oka Okay? C`mon Jeannie! You have to be dead to be okay. I stared stupidly at CM. Teka nga bakit ang dami mong alam? He talked to your mother. Was t here such a thing? Could pain kill you? Hindi naman siguro. Gusto kong magalit. Pwede mo ba `kong samahan sa OB? I want this to be a surprise Surprise! The phone went out of my grasp. All about baby JJ. that word would be applied to me someday and that someday happened to be now. Very fashionable. Ah. Laruan tama. Hindi ako ganon ka-kontrabida. all in capital letters. Ah no. legally speaking. H e smiled evilly at me. Sino bang laruan dito? THIRTY THREE I now know the word STUPID. And little did I know that. We weren t even mar ried. Baby. Not ex. as I stared outside the glas s panel from here. Tricia. Well. She was wearing a floral dress with a cardigan. Pero isa lang sure k o jealousy could kill.WHAT?! Just like that? Ganon ba kaliit `yung tingin niya sa `kin? He shrugged. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. Wala nga lang sa kanya `di ba? He d even moved on and forgotten all about me. Silence. CM! The phone started ringing. So what would happen to Tricia? Julian will have a stag party! Bakit bakit hindi na lang nating totohanin `yung pi kot?! I groaned aloud. Julian. Err I hated him. Pero kanino? Sa sarili ko? Kay Tri cia ba? O sa napakawalanghiya kong ex-hubby. Si Julian lang talaga ang evi l dito. eh? Napatingin . Jeannie! What? Why don t you take Julian back? I slowly shook my head. I was never fond of maltreated protagonists. at least I didn t have evil stepsisters. Ano Jeannie ? Ibabalik na ba ni Tricia si Julian? Now I knew the expression: ASA! OB. Mabilis iyong inabot ni CM. `Yung mga tatanga-tangang sumusunod sa yapak ni Cinder ella. it s me Tricia. Ahm Jeannie lulubus-lubusin ko na ha. So shall we go? Tricia smiled at me. Hello? Hey. no. Never EX.
Had I seen in his eyes how he wanted me to be sorry? D ahil iniwan ko siya? Dahil pinagpalit ko siya sa mga pangarap ko? Tinawagan nila si CM. It was awkward. God forgive me. Congratulations! Let s cheers to that. Congratulations! You re two and a half months on the family way. . Tricia! I closed my eyes to keep my emotions intact. Lagyan ng kung anong valium ang inumin nito.A. Are you sure? She looked down at me. Yeah. Thanks doctor. Pano kung sila talaga? After all. Tapos pumili na ng kanta si Tricia. almost one year and seven and a ha lf months? Actually I wanted it to be a surprise. Hindi ako iiyak. Walang iyakan. Palabas pa lan g kami ng clinic. I was rooted to the seat. What the hell It s your fourth glass. Iba na ata ibig sabihin niyon ngayon. Uh-huh. I met a pair of chinito eyes. for all I care. c`mon! Don t tell me nau ubusan na ng OB don? Maybe because half part of me was harboring a tiny hope that either Tricia was a certified scheming b!tch. Hindi ba magmumukha ako ng bitter? And that would be sheer hypocrisy. Nakakat atlong baso na ko. I was still silent and mum about it. Anong pakialam ko?! Kahit 24/7 pa `yan! Parang convenient store. Kailangan pa ba niyang sabihin `yun? Five months now. Give love on Christmas day! CM cheered. Ahm mrs. Mag-iinom kasi broken hearted ka. At sak a hello? Bakit dito pa? Pwede namang sa Pinas `di ba? Oh. Argh. Are you okay? Lumingon ako. I averted my eyes away from the scene. It s confirmed J ulian! Thank you So it was confirmed. Ano bang ginagawa ko dito? Nagpapakamasokista? Maglaslas na lang kaya ako? Nasa baba na kami ng condo building ni Tricia. Pero pwede ba at some point lahat tayo nagiging makasa rili kapag nagmamahal `di ba? Now I was getting all worked up. I haven t been celibate say GOD. alam k o. Spell desperada. We turned around and Tricia quickly ran to him and hugged him. Halos akayin na ko ni Tricia. May we all have an everlasting friendship! W alang agawan. Nauwi kami sa videoke bar.akong bigla sa tiyan niya. half-crying. Hindi siya buntis hindi siya buntis nagdadalang-tae lang si Tricia. So God wasn t on my side. Itinayo niya `ko. Tricia was spared to drink any liquor. I tried to smile. Before I could even drink my fourth glass. too bad of me to pray. So how are you? Someone new? I wanted to smile and tell her: Yes. So it was five months going huh. that she was lying for all that Julian s worth (which w as what I would have also done if I were in her place) or she was just too insen sitive. mo Tricia! Dahil bitter ako sobrang bitter. It was a time to celebrate. As if. Julian only looked at me. Tricia was half-laughing. Sa totoo lang hindi ko alam kung bakit pa `ko pumayag samahan siya sa OB. a hand grabbed mine. The doctor smiled widely. You and Julian can go to hell together. No! Oo. I ve found someone new and I m very much happy. Hindi ako makangiti. And disgusted wit h myself.? Sa sobrang lakas ng kaba ko parang ako ang mahihimatay. They were together. Gusto kong sumi gaw na ang O. He hissed. Big time. Utang na loob! So was it any consolation that J ulian mourned over our relationship for over. Tsss. Pero minsan naiisip kong patirin si Tricia. Sabay biglang labas ng doctor. Tricia was the first real love of Julian. You re drunk.
Para akong masusuka. Gusto ko siyang sampalin. I m sor ry Oh my God. Aren t we here to celebrate? I blurted out bitterly. I missed him. That lips I had kissed many times before. My so-called bestfriend just ignored me! Sa pagkakalipat nito ay nalipat si Julian sa tabi ko. Oh. Jeannie can you move a little over there? Masikip. Mabilis akong tumayo despite th e dizziness. Exactly. I looked down at his hand. Magtabi kami ni CM. I missed his ne arness. If I know! Pinindot niya talaga ` yung stop button. Yes. CM said drily. Kung sinong mas magaling! I hissed. There at the side of my ahm waist. I covered my mouth and ran to the bathroom. Tricia was singing my eyes grew wide. Pero hindi ko magawa. At sabay tulak sa`kin. He moved forward. yes. He s making me happy Julian. Did it still taste the same? Oh. Sige tuloy niyo lang `yan. Demanding. This was what you called Women s violation! His hand was there. I missed him shouting at me because he was concerned. Hindi naman ako claustrophobic pero parang nasosuffocate ako. Like you taught me. Uh-oh. Tricia frowned. He mouthed. His hands grabbed my sho ulders. Just don t make any noise. Julian s chinky eyes turned into slits. Sorry. An artist also. Sunico hu h? I gritted my teeth. he said sarcastically. Biglang nagiba ang tono ng boses nito. Galit na sabi nito. More than happy Do you know what? God forgive me for this. Julian s hand steadied me fr om slipping into the floor in the other side. Oh. I m going to sing. slap him or lied about not liking i t. Who t old him about Rick? That maniac. Tric ia s busy singing. She seemed really oblivious. Someday I just know that love will lead you back in my a rms I winced. Love will lead you back. Hindi ko alam k ung sinong sumundo sa`kin. I thought I d forgotten that mouth. Someone was caressing my back to and fro. And so w as I. god. my words. shaking me. CM! Julian was also shocked. I slowly smiled at him. CM smiled at me. Move a little. Hindi ko sinasadya. His head came down upon me. I was ushered into Julian s lap. you shouldn t drink. Bruising my lips. The same heat and inten sity was there. Then we turned slowly. Julian s teasing smile froze me in place. Is h e making you happy Jeannie? He laughed sarcastically. that was it. So it was the high and mighty Mr. Oh-kay. I g asped. It was like he was a menacing predator the next. Ooops. Hindi naman ako `yung nagsalita non `di ba? Julian s grin was deliberate. no! Hindi ko sinabi `yun! I was drunk. I had no strength anymore. I was ready to puke. He moved forward. We screwed in the backseat I was even comparing notes. But I didn t try to hold back. I drank it in one fill without breaking the eye contact. Uh-oh. I eyed CM with warning. Goodness so y ou aren t any different from your sister. I liked it rough . My eyes were getting misty. mmkay? I looked at Tricia. don t you? Why not for th e last time Jeannie? Do you know the word fvckiiiing qui ckie? He was mad. Ahm excuse me Julian pwede bang dito ka na lang umupo? Diyan ako sa tabi ni Tricia . Under my lo and behold future! Almost there. Yes. Ano bang pakialam mo? Tinanggal ko ang kamay niya at ngumiti. Yes. you love it. I can t read the lyrics from here. Umusog ako sa gilid palayo. Of course. I didn t know what I was doing. CM smiled at me innocently.I raised one brow. I told you. So I ve heard about your new boyfriend. My tears rolled down as the cold nights and empty sheets lay behind the almos .
I started crying. Totoo `yun. That would be sheer stupidity. For ever. He shrugged at me. kung nagkita kayo after so many years at hindi naging maganda ang break-up. Tatlo lang `yun. He pushed me away from him. Tricia was the second one. What for? Couldn t he see my heart breaking i nto pieces in front of him? I felt my lips were swollen. Now tell me. Okay. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung isang araw ay hindi na`ko magising.t two years. I d file a laws uit against its manufacturer. As if I had a contagious disease. Maybe it was just sp elled that way. Kaya galit siya sa`kin. Katulad mo. If he ever chose Tricia for his dream over me I would still be mad at him. Jeannie our family s business is my dream. Kung umayaw ako. Thank you because you left me. I was the first among the Miss Stupidest runners-up. Because the truth was becoming real to me with each passin g day. I m still mad at yo u because you hurt me (In truth. Malungkot itong tumingin sa kanya. O kung meron man hindi ako `yun. Okay. Was there such a thing? Forever. kahit gawa `yan para hindi matanggal o mapalis basta basta darating at d arating pa rin ang expiration date niyan. It was all too vivid. At least he was still as affected to me as he was. Walang taong ganoon kabait at kamartir. Some consolation. Kung ginawa niya `yun noon. I heard CM asking him when he went out. CM nudged my shoulder to keep going. Isn t that what you want to hear from me Julian? I asked him sarcas tically. He looked up. I swear. Kung iniwan kita non? At sinabi ng pamilya kong pakasalan ko si Tri cia dahil papalubog na ang business naming Jeannie? What would you feel? I was a bit confused. Pero lalo lang akong b inabangungot. And at that time Tricia was m y only chance of ever achieving it. Though he didn t love her i t wasn t me he really got tangled with. I smiled to myself humorlessly. Pero hindi. I got his point. it meant I m still in love with you) kasi bakit ka kailangang mag-waste ng emotions sa isang taong wala namang halaga sa`yo? And indifference you re nothing to me anymore. Congratulations. Kung ginawa niya `yun? Syempre magagalit ako ng bonggang b ongga! Pero maiintindihan ko ba siya? Syempre kung tanong lang `yun madaling sabi hing: I ll understand you. get in line please! I stared numbly at the organizer. Jean was the first one. For some reason. Pero hindi. I was still wide awake. Ang love parang li pstick. I didn t dare wipe the tears. But why should I be the one to understand them? Walking down the aisle with the one you love is every girl s dream but walking dow n the aisle with the one you love when you happened to be the bridesmaid was out of the question. Ano `yan? Lipstick? THIRTY FOUR How many times did I pray to God that this was just a nightmare? I should be waking up now. There was always someone in the way. Ilang araw na ba nang bumalik ako dito sa Pilipinas? Isa lang ang na-real ize ko: Ang tanga ko no? Ang tanga-tanga ko. sino pa bang tatalbog sa pinakamagarang award na makukuha ko? Kahit nga si Janine San Miguel walang panama sa `kin. If ever my lipstick smeared. eh. Sa`min ni Julian? It should have been Neverever. maiintindihan naman nila `ko `di ba? Dapat intindihin nila `ko. And more years to come He d be gone from me forever. music please . I thought dreams were made to escape the painful reality. I closed my eyes. Na parang walang pakialam! Anger was always okay than indiffe rence.
hopeless case r etard. This was what they cal led almost dying. But not really. Just as the words were out. you ll feel my pain. Kasalanan niya `to. Nanlaki `yung mata niya na parang sinasabing: Oh. My heart wasn t just broken into two. Sipon. Neither did I. As if I was a dimwitted. `felt like it was my death march. But at this point in time.There was a pianist. Do you know. Her boyfriend got her pregnant. either mabaliw ako or maisipan kong mag-suicide bombin g sa loob ng simbahan. I started crying and vomiting. Sa `kin lahat sila nakatingin. but into many pieces. Lalo na `yung mga caretak ers. chinky eyes. I didn t need another broken heart. Or pride? I didn t know. They were right in front of the pretend pries t reciting their bows. Kasi sobra. Free will. I ran away from there as fast as I could. When he le ft her I was there to catch her. Syempre nahiya ako sa ayos ko. Goodness. Fighting spirit . At take note: sa loob ng simbahan. Sana may cut. He handed me a towel. But t hen This practice was a major catastrophic event in my life next to having lost baby JJ. And of course. Julian Sunico. me listening. I was walking like a zombie. Alam mo ba kung gano kasakit `yun? Hindi. Kasi feeling ko. I do. great. No Don t J ulian. Lahat naghalo na. Parang slow motion napatingin ako sa kamay ko. Jeannie. I brushed my hair away from m y wet face. I was clutching silly at the bunch of flowers. Sana naman kung nakikinig siya somehow he could guide me. all I cared about was myself. Ha? Napatingin ako sa paligid ko. CM was eyeing me pit ifully. Hindi ko alam kung anong masamang espiritung sumapi sa `kin. Mine was enough for me to handle. I love this woman greatly. Luha. Pero anong alam ko nung time na `yun? I didn t know that I was doing that specifically for her. He didn t say a thing. Ang selfish ko no? I was hurting too much to be sensible. If he was sympathizing with me. My sister was staring helplessly at me. That is what love is isn t it? You have to give. Nakakadiri ako. Gusto kong isigaw na wala akong pakialam. I didn t know how I dared to be here. What had I done now? What! I snapped at the organizer. Are you okay? I slowly looked up. Kunwari tumawa ako. do you take this woman as your lawfully wedded wife? My vision became blurred. When I looked up I met a pair of dark. Then I gave Tricia the flower. Hindi ko na sana nakilala si Julian. I glared at her. Oo na. . Kaw awa naman `yung mga walang kamuwang-muwang na halaman. Willed her mother to be strong. The pain was excruciating. And he started talking. But she couldn t she couldn t love me back. Tricia smiled at me hesitantly and reached out to me What? Jeannie You re holding the bouquet. Alam mo ba `yung feeling na nagsisikip `yung dibdib mo? Like you were getting suffocated due to pain? Na lalong sumasakit an g dibdib mo kapag pinipigil mong umiyak? That was how I felt just by looking str aight at him. Of course. Para naman alam ko kung kailan pipigilan ang emosyon. Out. She tried to pat my hand but I turned away from her. Pero sana sana lang may take two. Actually. Para akong nasa pelikula. I couldn t stop from sobbing . Naiinis ako kasi mas aya siya at ako hindi. anong ginawa ko sa`yo? She shouldn t have made me replace her. t o sacrifice and to understand. I couldn t handle it at the moment. I just fou nd myself sitting on the bench with him.
I loved him I love him still But things change d. Bakit pa kasi nauso ang past. But this time there was one thing he didn t own anymore. Makakita ka ng PDA sa l abas yamot na yamot ka.You have to give. Mr. be us against the world . you just have to tell him that at some point you love him as a son. I s tarted hating her for not loving me back. she s grateful to me. He was there. I stopped dead in my tracks. I think. God will give you the man you are loo king for. Why are you asking this nonsense? Nonsense? I laughed. Sa totoo lan g hindi ko naman talaga maintindihan kung anong ibig sabihin ng love. Magulo. At one point. Go figure. Ngumiti ako. But after all those years. The only way I knew I could hurt her back He shrugged. Just as I am to you. Mali ako. But only we had different meanings of love. right? Jeanni Kung hihilingin kong maging masaya ka. present and future tense? EPILOGUE And in another life I would be your girl We keep all our promises. I really tried. It was only up to us how to show it. But I didn t want her gratitude. This time I was successful. Nothing to say. So I married her. And you hurt Julian the most. Napalingon ako sa kanya. He frowned at me. Like he always. I turned to women from night to night. Sinisisi niya `yung sarili niya sa divorce niyo. Sana nga I was walking down the memory lane. God. standing as if he owned the world. Nagkamali kami pa reho. Sabi nila wala daw definition `yun. How cruel love is. Julian whispered. Loved. He was looking down at the stones. Bulong ko. sacrifice and understand. Akal a niya na-neglect siya. You re a good woman. Whatever. that would be sheer hypocrisy Julian. but then I wished with all my heart that you d be happy if only that is with me. How could you l et go of something that wasn t yours in the first place? How could I forgive Julian for letting me go so easily? How could I stop the pai n? Would time really help me? Or would it just get worse? Hindi naman nakakamatay a ng pagiging brokenhearted `di ba? Unless maglaslas ka. we did things we would never have thought for the sake of love. Pero naniniwala akong meron. Nakakatawa no? Manood ka ng XXX tuwang tuwa ka. Sa tingin mo ba kung mabubuhay tayo ulit gugustuhin mo pa rin akong makilala? I tr ied not to croak. It was like that in love. Sunico smiled at me. Hindi mo maintind ihan. LOL. I loved you. Not that I was saying love was connected to lust or so. Understanding what he meant. I crossed my fingers and hiccupped.
Meron ng bumisita dito? I hear a child s laughter from a distance. The one that got away I hit the high-pitched note as I imitated Katy Perry s song. `yung tao ang gumagawa ng kapalaran niya? Ts k. Oh. So like Jean Somehow. Pano kung mahal niyo ang isa t isa pero kahit anong gawin niyo however you struggle d with fate you still ended up apart? Well. He loves you I sigh. I vee never been contented in my whole life. Pero kung sumigaw ba`ko ng mas malakas. And hearing her daughter s voice made me w ish that I were her. I thought I could never live up to Julian s standard. I am always splitting hairs. Merry Christmas! Nagpaparamdam ka ba sa `kin baby JJ? Did you miss mommy? I kneel down. I bet you didn t guess how insecure I am. So mehow I know it by heart. Yeah. Meron sa buhay natin na darating. may d . Paskong pasko. I was a scared rat. I smile softly to myself. Napangiti ako. I am beautiful. God must have pitied upon you. Perfect. I start hating the phrases what ifs and what could have beens. I raised one brow. Deep down I know there s always something that kept me apart from her. He s laughing. Unknowingly comparing myself to other people. Splitting hairs. maibabalik ko ba lahat? Had I cried openly would he would we What if there is a time machine? Or Reincarnation is real? Would I have made him stay? Would we meet again? Sa totoo lang hindi ko alam kung anong formula kung p ano manatili ang love. `di sana tumaya na lan g ako sa lotto non `di ba? They were one in a million. Tita Jeannie! Where s my psp? My laptop and she keeps rambling. Do you ever believe in destiny? Eh. where are you? Haven t you been with Roy? He told me you re not feeling well. Relationshi ps: Sawa to awa. Is happiness really elusive? Hindi ko ginustong mag-asawa ng maaga pero hindi ko rin naman pinangarap na tuma ndang dalaga. Y our skins tingle when you touch. I always envy my twin. Ang gulo ng mundo no? If you ended up together after so many endeavors. I close my eyes and pray. Pero lagi akong humihiling na sana ako si ganito. Parang umo-order lang sa menu kung humiling. Congratulations! That started the word forever. Yeah.And in another life I would make you stay So I don't have to say you were the one that got away The one that got away. Hindi ko rin alam kung bakit nagpe-fade `yun. and I find someone more beau tiful than I ever am. And we thought he will be Mr. I put down the flowers. I laugh about that. I chuckle drily. Well. Binagalan ko `yung pagda-drive. O kung hindi man None in a million. Oh. hell. Forever. Al am mo naman `yung tao kung gano nag-aalala sa`yo. Someone who can make our hearts beat faster. Na-tense ako. I am funny. Kaya nga siguro deep down. Love is a very frightenin g thing. sino ba? I ve always dreamed of something big. Hello? Ako ang iyong konsensya I grit my teeth. yes. Didn t I already k now that? I m on my way to Tita! Where s my pasalubong? I hear that from the other line. but of course. My cell phone is ringing. Regrets are those for what you can t have done. Kung may love potion lang malamang bestselling item `yun. Hey. With rolled eyes. Halos mapaantanda ako sa gustong ipabili nito. Well. my Napaatras ako sa pagkabigla. next life. Hindi niyo siguro napansin. First to Jean then to Tricia. CM. better luck next time. Eh. Give the phone to Czarina. no don t go there anymore Jeannie. Wow. ne ver naman akong humiling ng Mr. Right or Mr. I feel a pang of uncertainty. Ak o si ganyan. My eyes grow wide when I s ee a pair of a child s feet.
I wish the doctors are wrong. I almost snorted. I was doomed to be a spinster forever. Hindi ko na kaya. She remi nds me of Tantan. Finish. O `yun `yung gusto kong palabasin ngayon. I feel that emptiness again. Nakita ko na lang si Tricia na naglalakad palapit sa`kin. CM patted my shoulder. for everything. Her eyes are chinky. I slowly smiled. I looked up. I didn t dare look at everyone or anyone for that matter. So it was really over? The end. I wished I was in a time warp. I was praying with all my might that God w ould give me strength to get through this. I was going to throw up any minute now. Julian took that particular hand of Tricia s that hand that signified letti ng go while he was looking looking at me. Hindi ko alam kung anong nangyayari. I was staring num bly at Jesus Christ. At me. No no t mocking but it was as if he was telling me that everything would be alright. white hand. The corner of his mouth twitched in a lazy smile.. Bakit ba hindi nakikinig ang sariling puso? Hindi kaya hindi lang natin alam per o nilagyan ni God ng utak ito sa loob? Our hearts were more stubborn than the ow ner himself. biting my lower lip `til I almost draw blood. It was like in slow motion. My eyes got misty. Tumalik od ito. It s been five years I whisper and close my eyes and it all came back to me. They were all staring. An overwhelming urge to slap him was building deep inside me. Sino ka? I wince. My heart sank to the pit of my stomach. Bakit ganon n o? Lagi nating sinasabing hindi tayo nag-eexpect pero deep inside. Two. She smiled at me.alaw! The child is holding a doll. Pe ro pano? I do.. My hand was trembling as I took the bouquet from her gloved. Thank you. Wala bang tututol? Sisigaw ba `ko? I placed a hypocritical smile on my lips. the maid smiles tentati vely and take the child s hand. That was the last of my full thoughts. w e were hoping against hope. I wanted to let go of the pain. at t his point I was wishing them the worst. She is thumb sucking. Kung tututol ba `ko papakinggan niya `ko? Hindi ba masasayang ang effort ko kung mapapahiya lan g din naman ako? So let s proceed. Siya ang nagtata nong. My vision was getting blurry. alam natin. Kasi nasasaktan ako . Was he also mourning for me? Hindi ko kaya. Or did I? I . There were a lot of well-wishers. Ayokong tumingin sa tabi niya. Gusto kong itanong kay father. Giving me the bouquet of flowers. Sana hindi na lang sana Julian was looking at me. Hindi man ako tumingin alam ko alam ko ng lahat sila sa `kin nakatingin. It was all over. Now I know what the phrase killing me softly meant. Tricia was in front of me. e xpecting and gaping at us. But I couldn t set the love free so ea sily. Siya ang na nga ang nanggulat. Natulak. to have held a child of my own. Tricia Leyva Cheng to be your lawfu lly wedded wife? In sickness and in health `till death do you part? Do you know how sick I was? My hands were shaking all over. Ayokong magpaka-ipokrita. do you take this woman. Then a woman came running in uniform. Nasangga. Naku halika na. But he was there his hands were inside his jeans pocket. My fate was sealed. ginawa ko na. Kung pwede lang akong sumigaw ng freeze katulad ni Ella. I was looking down at the tiled floor. One. I heard someone scream. Three steps. Everybody was cheering. This is for you Jeannie. What was far more hurting than seeing the one you loved walk down the aisle wi th someone not you? Julian August Sunico.
Half-fil. Do n t you know that Christmas had just been a holiday word to me? Entirely foreign. of course CM. Special ka kaya. That name. Sana Coach bag `yung matagal ko ng inuungot sa kanya. Hija! It s been a long while since you came back C M clears his throat. all in capital letters. I met him through. `Yung tawang: Mwahahaha. Wallet? Necklace? My mind s warming up with all the expensive gifts I can ever have from him. Parang naparalyze `yung buo kong katawan. Well. Epilogue Part Two Wala na po siya. I snort. Knowing CM. Okay. Good girl. Nakaalis na siya? Damn. He was an event organizer in New York. I roll my eyes. Czarina comes running with my mom. I almost touch the stop button on the remote co ntrol. It was a dvd disk. Special child. I almost throw it in his face. sabi nga ni CM titigan mo lang ng buong araw busog ka na. That morning I wake up and watch that video. CM but in. But isn t Christmas about giving? And someone told me AND receiving as well? But dammit if CM isn t having his joke time again. he is a handsome and charming man. well. Hindi ko alam kung bakit gusto niyang magkita kami ngayon. I loathe that word. At sa sobrang katalin uhan ko dinaig ko pa si Rizal. He pouts. The video is blurred at first. dear! I smile at him. Sabay tumawang parang demonyo. Sa`kin okay lang `yung trip to Disney land. Somehow I am restless that Christmas day. I m being ungrateful. I snort. Lang huh? Okay lang. half-canadian . Nothing else. Goodness. J ean s laughing and kisses her daughter. Hit me on the head. Mamamatay ka na ba at ito ang gift mo? O kaya nagh ihirap? Fine. That Christmas eve we open our gifts. Roy hugs me as he hands me his gift. WALA AKONG TIWALA. Present. I love you tita. Merry Christmas. As i n. kunsintidora! CM handed me a box. Stupidass. Then a face so familiar comes in view. Napatingin si mommy dito. Well. Siguro mabait lang talaga ako. Bakit hindi. No not name. Merry Christmas! Nakita kong may ibunulong si CM kay Czarina. wala akong tiwala. Define mabait. That Five-letter fvcking word. My eye s twinkle. I learn to like him through the years.fainted. She beams at me and kisses my chee k. Just a noun. I raised one brow. I gasp. All I want for Christmas is Jul youuuuuu! Hindi ko siya pinansin. Magpatayo na rin kaya ako ng monument sa Luneta? A t least he died for his country. ako? Because of just one man? Because of love? . Na para bang diyan lang sa Star City ang hinihiling nito. Tanga na ba talaga `ko? O ako na ang pinaka-tanga sa l ahat ng tanga? Ginagawa ko ang hininging pabor sa`kin ng taong sanhi ng kalungku tan ko? Oh. This time louder with matching ubo pa. Kung Titanic ang laman nito paniguradong gagawin ko ta lagang parol si CM. Hindi ko alam kung matutuwa ba ako kay CM o ano. Hindi ko alam kung bakit o kung ano ng nagtutulak sa`king panoorin `yun.
Kundi ba naman nakakatulig `yung pagtili niya. Have she heard me? Oh. Jade! My eyes grow wider. Sumunod po kayo sa `kin. It s bittersw eet. Lofty thoughts Jeannie Bulong ko sa sarili ko. And no doubt obscene ones. Something warm tugs at my heart. I wince. May nag-abot sa`kin ng panyo. It reminds me of Oh. Naiisip ko lang kung pano `y ung next scene. kikilabutan lang kayo. Malamig talaga dito. my God! Anak ka ng demon Oh. Those days that I love him. Damn him Damn he-who-has-no-name. no. Life-size photos of me in Morocco. I raise one brow. he can still make your heart beat faster? Naramdaman mo `yung feeling na kahit na pilit mong . You know what. I cup both her cheeks. Those days that I thought I ll hate him forever w hich I m doing a poor job of it. Malabo. I close my eyes tight. wasn t it? Para `kong nanghihina. He s on the phone. Kaya nga gusto ko ng pagtakhan si CM. I m looking around the house. Masarap s ana kung may kayakap. Naramdaman mo na bang kahit anong sakit ang idinulot niya sa`yo. Of course. I suddenly blu sh. Long ago I ask that mys elf. You bought my paintings? I start hiccupping. Sige. Cute. murm uring love words. Ikaw ikaw `yung Ikaw `yung babae sa cemetery! Saan ba nagmana ang batang `to? Hindi ba tinuturuan ang mga mayayaman ng GMRC sa exclusive schools nila? I slowly chuckle at the thought. I stop cold in my tracks. Sayang It s that damn man s fault! My sigh is long I ll promise that after this I ll try with all my might to for Biglang m y isang petal na lumipad at dumikit sa gilid ng bibig ko. `Wag niyo ng itanong ang mga details . Napalingon ako sa bulilit na katabi ko. There are p ictures portraits I remember vaguely. salamat aalis na lang Kayo po ba si Ms. lady won t you talk to me? She pouts prettily. You re gross. With him. The hou se is overlooking the Taal Lake. Maybe just in anoth er lifetime I d have made him stay. my heart bea t triple time. He kn ew where. My eyes grow wide as we enter a white room. Hindi ko napigilan ang hindi mapaiyak. Sobra. Yuck. I raise one brow at him. I take it and sniff. The kid skids away from my grasp. if ever. My so-called doomsday before. Vague. Who are you? At namaywang pa! Her chinky eyes tur n into slits. CM tilts his head to one side as if shooing me. Hindi ko napansin na ako na lang pala mag-isa. She frowns at me. Those days I wish I have again. I bet she ll shake t he whole house off. God sorry. Nanginginig na naman `yu ng mga kamay ko. I take it. Hey. My heart constricts just by imagin ing myself having a family. Napatingin ako sa malaking bahay sa harapan ko. Hindi dahil nakalimutan ko n a kundi dahil hindi ko ginustong maalala. That was our best time together. Alam ko matutuwa I mean. D addy! There s a woman here! She s a strangeeeeeer! Napapikit ako. Ma am? Napalingon ako. He ll be the Ice breaker. Pictures of me grimacing on our wedding day. I slowly turn around. I ll just wait outside. My eyes get misty I so remember those days. My knees become weak. Having my own child. Syempre sinama ko si CM.God. Three teeth are mi ssing. their caretaker. Knowing CM. Parang slow motion sa pelikula. Ipinagbilin po kayo ni ma am Tricia. somehow I start hating mysel f. Ma am? Ha? I turn to. Leviste? I nod. `Nu ba `yan Panira ng m oment! The white petal looks familiar. Anak ka ni Mabilis akong napakapit sa muk ha nito. She s looking up at me And my.
Do you know the word pain? I guess. Or to mock me of what I ve done? Now that you re successful? Hindi ko siya pinansin. L ike he never existed in my whole life. Nung bata ako. Ang hindi matibag-tibag n a lalaki. I even thought he will run to me and hug me. He s expressionless. Five years gives him just ice. He stares at me for the longest while. Madaling sabihing hindi ko na siya maha l. I say instead. she s she s the one in your study room! Her picture s Julian covers her daughter s mouth. A four-year old chinita girl. akala ko kapag hinalikan ni Prince Charming si Snow White okay na . Mabilis akong humarap sa kanya. Tumangkad ba siya? Gumwapo? Tumaba? Lalong pumuti? No. She pouts a gain. The mature lines on his face tell on the wise years. He s thirty-something now. Nakalimutan ko she s there. How could I have loved him? Galit na pinunasan ko `yung mga mata ko. So yeah. Hindi ako makapaniwala sa mga naririnig ko. Agree? He slowly squints. The little girl bit her nails. didn t he? I forget his name. I thoug ht it did. It works. Have a happy life Is that a fvcking curse Jeannie? Do you know you creep under my skin. Pero mahirap gawin. Galit na nilagpasan ko siya. idiot don t let go. I turn my back on him. So. Full of pain. Eh. But by God. It fades as time goes by. Sabi ni mommy. Kundi ayaw makinig ng puso ko.sinasabing wala lang siya sa`yo pero isang tawag lang. What are you doing here? And more domineering than ever. Merry Christmas Jeannette Rose Leviste! She waves her hand. They open my child s eyes that there is a prince charming. Sana. Sasampalin ko siya. And everyone who fell i n love became stupid. how dare him do that. Hindi dahil ayoko. Long silence stretched. I count one to ten to stop m yself from shouting at him. I ll be over him in no time at Daddy. Hindi ako manunumbat. And that he the beast will turn into a handsome prince and he ll give the word foreve r a meaning. I remember the video in my mind s eye. I m thankful now `coz I didn t get to live with you forever. I m not sorry for what I did Jeannie. He s more attractive. Sunico. Juli He even did more than his fair share of kis sing. Yes. That face. The video. T hat will be very horrible Mr. Bakit ba? Hindi ba dapat ako ang magalit? Anong karapata n niya? I walk to the door. I can t breathe again. I tried to. My hand stop in midair as a I hear a gasp. Jeannie she smiles at me. this is goodbye. Hindi mo pa rin mapigilan ang sarili mong umasa? There s that tiny part of you that says. Tricia s gone. They ll live happily ever after. I ll act matured sophisticated. Bingi ka ba? I m going. ano pa nga bang ineexpect ko mul a sa kanya? He s still the high and might Julian Sunico. I m just sorry I let you go. Now I guess painful is the best term. Anong kayang sinasabi ni Tri cia? Nakita kong tinignan ng pagkasama-sama sa anak. You re always good at hurtin g everybody. Isa lang. I frown when the scree . Kaya nga nagtataka ako sa sarili ko. Pero sino bang niloko ko? `Yung kuko ko? Gusto kong magreklamo sa Disney! Bakit pa kasi sila nagpaasa. Close. That somehow Aladdin will whisk me off wit h his magic carpet. Biglang tumigil ang pagpatak sana ng luha ko. I open the door and smile to myself. Kahit pangalan mo lang. Pero nakita ko ang pan ginginig ng kamay niya habang hawak ang anak. Tisha Jade! I met a pair of chinky eyes. Are you here to laugh at me Jeannie? Just a mere whisper. bad daw ang magsinungaling! Dapat matuwa ako. It s the truth. you ll tell me yes. Madaling sabihing mag-let go. Not Julian s more like Tricia s.
Para akong napako sa kinatatayuan ko. We thought she s already okay. Julian just kiss Jeannie. Oh. She shrugs. She laughs heartily. I m just sorry that I hurt you. That. Nang-aasar ba siya? I even salute you when you left him for your dreams. How long is it daddy? She looks at me. I gasp. Ano ba! Tigilan na nga natin `to. Jean came a nd unknowingly. God. His hand tightens his hold on his daughter. That s why She s got Leukemia. He s jesting right? Mommy s gone to heaven. Roy is CM s boo. She thanked me on her wedding day. Nakakasama ng lo ob. you replaced her. I still want to yank that lovely ha ir out of her face which is covered with a bonnet. Para matapos na `tong usapang ito. Napalingon ako. Living your life knowing that somehow you have a timeline. They want her to have a family. Na para bang hinihiling sa`king unawain ko siya. O siya? Dahil nakakangiti pa rin siya sa`kin ng ganon. Bakit ikaw ang m aiinggit sa`kin Tricia? Nasa `yo `yung gusto ko. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. Back to the present. Kaya pala hin di na siya sumali sa painting competition? Kaya ba hindi ko na siya napagkikita non? It s almost nothing compared to what I endured. Anyways. Un til when I came to New York to find you. She just wants to live her last years making her family happy. I m not sorry I took Julian from you. He chuckles to himself. He whispers. He nods rapidly. Gusto kong maiyak sa itsura nito. Ang kapal ng mukha ko no? Alam ko sasabihin mo. Not that sinasabi kong mukha kang pera. Tricia she never looks a day sicker than she is. Do you know she bit her lower lip. CM shrugs. That shut him up. I muffle a gasp. Bakit ba gustong gusto niya `kong sinasaktan? I always thought of her as the kind. He smiles sadly. Bilis na Jean nie! Tricia s happy wherever she is. Oo. Fren ch kiss. Five years five long years. Considering mayaman si Julia n. Relief floods through my bloodstream. But you came mahinang sabi nito. I even hear d him talking to you Tisha Jade! He s now roaring. She paused. Natigil `yung muntik kong pagsinga. It was traced way back when yo u entered my life Jeannie. Parang umitim ang balat nito. No. Na gust o ko ngang gawin. Hindi ko alam kung ako ba? Dahil dapat makaramdam ako ng galit. Am I that selfish? I wish her ill many times in the past? Now what? It s true Jeannie. Nakakaiyak naman kayo. P umangit siya. You can be my mommy ag ain. I know something is very wron g here. Ewan ko ba. It s like I can hear Tricia saying thank you to me to Ju lian as we went out of the OB that day. Tricia s dead? No. Parang hindi siya hindi naman sa pumangit siya o Oh-kay. Ang sama ko ba? My eyes wate r. Daddy always looks at your picture when he thought I m not there. She had already a bone marrow transplant then. Surely surely I m wrong? She s dying Jeannie. sweet girl. They re the happiest years of my life. We have a d ate! He shrieks. or rather our families hastened our engagement. baliw na ata ako. I envy you you have the zest for life Jeannie. Grabe! Si Tricia talaga oh. Goodness.n zooms in on her face. I am now sobbing silently. But not the way he loves you. Not that I love Julian She raises her hand. Mabilis tinakpan ni Julian ang tenga ng bata. But then knowing that you know it s soo ner. Kinarga niya ang bata. `Yung parang magkukuhaan kayo ng oxygen sa isa t isa dahil Julian s glare still work. Everyone has. I don t know where to start. She sighs. Na para bang pinapatahimik ako kung ano mang magiging violent reaction ko. Jeannie tell him what you feel . CM knew? Oh. Saka naghihintay na sa`kin si Roy. he loves me. She looks straight at me as if she is really seeing me. Naramdaman ko `yung basa sa pisngi ko. Though yes. Nangingitim ang ilalim ng mga mata n ito. Gone. Parang nanikip `yung dibdib ko sa sinabi niya. Gays. Her own. I can t seem to ta ke it all in. I blink thrice. queers(halamang dagat) are lovable.
I think I ll love her. Naningkit ang mga mata nito. But if you believe in it. Love is a very frightening thing. Hmm? I built this house remember that first time? What first time? I ask innocently. Ang drama ko. The doctor said it after I ve had a problem with m y He stares at me. Well. I nod against his polo shirt. I ll be your mommy. There are times that I want you to shut your lovely mouth sweetheart. He suddenly pulls me into an embrace that robs me of my breath. Just I sigh and smile at Ti sha Jade. Love. Five years. Julian tries to suppress his chuckle. Hindi nga ba at a ng bata ay regalo ng Diyos? Damn evil stepmothers to hell. That forgettable huh? That day i n the car when you yelled like you wanted m Julian `yung bata! I hiss. CM s giggles are getting louder. There will be times that I ll still shout at you I nod. He smiles tenderly. But his eyes are glazed. . no? Sige ikaw na! Inis kong sabi kay CM. I don t just think. Pain and sadness. Para siyang bumata ng ilang taon. Both don t know how to cross the distance. Gusto kong isiping umiiyak din siya. If I m dreaming as cliché as it may seem. I love this freaking insane and mad guy with all my heart. Jeannie. Like we need to breathe each oth er s oxygen. I don t know about ghos ts or Tricia. Julian I m sorry. be yourself. I love you. Just kiss me J ulian. French kiss. Pakialamero. . Mabilis kong hinawakan ang leeg ni Julian. Don t ever be afraid to love. It doesn t matter. didn t he? I smile. Talaga naman. I m sorry. I wait for that long overdue kiss.I glared at him. You re not as pretty as my mommy. I m sorry. Sumimangot ito. Pe ro wala akong pakialam. Emotions kept hidden for so long is written there. I m very grateful. she s even crushed in between. But hey. He cups my cheeks. In God. . Naramdaman ko na lang `yung sarili kong mga paa na na glalakad din. In all that is possible without the eyes really seeing it. The child is amazed. It s now or never if he can t accept me for what I am about to confess. Nakita ko siyang humakbang palapit. p lease I still don t want to wake up. How hard it is. I hiss. Wetting it. All the pain is swept away. Overwhelming joy that I m afraid isn t real. And believe that dreams do come true. Per o walang luha don. Walang reunion na hindi madrama. I can t bear anymore child Julian. Jeannie ang bagal mo naman kasi pano kayo magkaka Ang dami mong alam eh. He gave love a bad name. Thank God. I still want to be a part of your life. Thank God reall . Now there s j oy.. It doesn t matter anymore. CM starts laughing. I love you He whispers before he bends down. That I ll still miss baby JJ. I kiss her on the forehead. `coz I k now how persistent and talkative you are. Oh. I promise Tricia I wo n t be one. I do now. He innocently look s up at the ceiling. The years stretch between us.
html http://www.com/teentalk/index. I hope. It s a long time coming do me a favor? you know. we had somethin he think his ex uncle Jin ñ .candymag. It s This is meant for you.candymag. Uh nothing. What a we dding night.php/topic. I close my eyes again.196622. The nice? guys are ugly.285. Julian grins at me and wink. Nakagawa na kami ng bata noon.196622. Thank Jesus. I have a gift for you Jeannie.candymag.540.com/teentalk/index.com/teentalk/index.msg5452895.html#msg54528 95 CC link Splitting Hairs.php/topic.html g http://www.465. http://www. well.com/teentalk/index. Akala in niyo `yun.196622. It s just that Tricia and I never lived here.html http://www.candymag. Oh. http://www. Nag-asawa siya.html uterus--. I close my eyes and wait wait. Pero hindi pa rin niya alam `yun? Shhh.html driver seat http://www. Merry Christmas! He murmurs with no one in particular. you re pressing too close! I can t breathe! I close my eyes in frustration as I look at her chinky eyes.com/teentalk/index. Jeannie? I close my eyes and groan. This is our wedding night Hey.candymag.com/teentalk/index.y.candymag.405. I can feel it Ito na.php/topic.360. Until he kisses me it s as if I can still hear Tricia s last words.435. will will you No. Oh. you did me a favor. mommy. the hot guys are jerks.php/topic.html http://www.com/teentalk/index.196622. Hearing her like I did through that v ideo early this morning. Natupad ko mga pangarap ko. What! Inis kong sabi. Bitin.php/topic. Naghiwalay.candymag.196622.php/topic. Tricia. Only.php/topic. and the hot-and-nice guys are g ay. I smile to myself as I hug Julian close to mysel f.196622.candymag.php/topic. I start laughing. promising a one hundred and one pleasu res in life and in the next lifetimes.360. What now? He smiles at me and whispers: Hindi ako marunong manligaw.196622. how I love him. Hap py Ending na.html es http://www.com/teentalk/index.196622.ovari Uncle Jin Passenger seat.
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