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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
Hindi ito makulit. Samantalang hindi ako titig il ng hindi ko nakukuha ang gusto ko. Napahiga na lang ako sa kama . Yeah. nagkakapatong patong na ang mga kasinungalingan ko. Dyos ko po. nakalimutan ko Pregnant women don t bleed. Nagbibilang ba si San Pedro ng penalty? A we ek. How many days? He brushed his hand roughly through his hair. Naaw ardan pa nga ako nung high school na best actress nung gumanap akong Sisa sa Nol i. I couldn t help it. Umusod u lit siya. But some part of me still wanted to hear the conf irmation. What the hell is the matter with you? Ang laki laki ng kama dyan ka nagsusumiksik . in bed with a stranger whom I had just met a few hours ago. Pero lalo lang akong naiyak. Galit itong humiga. Pero lumapat lang ang mga kamay ko sa malapad niy ang dibdib. He slid his hands and fisted my hair. Niyakap kong mahigpit ang unan upang patahimikin an g paghikbi ko. He didn t give even a nary compassion toward me. Me ron kasi `ko. I sighed in relief. Fine. I felt his hard naked chest against m y back when he tried to peek above my shoulder. Silent tears turned into muffled sobs. Hindi ko sinasadya. Ah. The situation wa s worst than I had expected. Natatakot na talaga ko. Not in pain. Then I f elt tears brimming down the side of my face. Silence. Tumagilid ako patalikod sa kanya ng inakala kong hindi na siya sasagot. Pe ro para ko na rin niloko ang sarili ko. Mabilis akong umisod palayo sa kanya papunta sa gilid ko. Kailan ba hindi sinadya ang pikot? Sige nga sabihin niyo sa `kin. Matulog ka na. Yes. Para iyong 1+ 1=2. I felt so alone and vulnerable. How was tha t for a Shakespearean play? Masyadong tragic ang buhay ko. And he also moved along with me! Umusod ulit ako. Jean Rose isn t a crybaby. You are crying. Are you crying? Kung umiiyak ako may paki ka ba? No. I m sorry. Nara mdaman ko ang paghawak niya sa balikat ko. I licked my lower lip. Hindi na nga almost eh. I was alone inside a big mansion. Kahit ba sabihin mong gwapo ang mangre-rape sa `yo. Sa pagkakaalam ko walang pikot na hindi planado. Parang bigla ng nagkaroon ng tenderness sa boses nito. O baka imagination ko lang `yon. Yeah. we were almost in timately embracing. He frowned at me. Obvious na tinatanong pa. Kung kaya t it was very much out of Jean Ros e s league to do something as pikot . I thought my monthly flow was a curse. Sasabihin mong either sipon lang `yan o napuwing ka lang. I am. Pinipilit kong pakalmahin ang mga hikbi k o. Juli an I tried to push him off me. Do you hate me? I whispered again. Well Julian? Humiga na din ako sa pinakagilid ng malaking kama. Ahm a three days. I winced. Why do you hate me so much? Gusto kong matawa sa sarili kong tanong. blessing in disguise din naman pala.mo. Isang malakas na hikbi ang hindi ko napigilan. He si ghed. In this position. He stilled against me. So what game is this? Get into my bed and then play the pakipot later? I promise you. So what s this grand scheme? Tignan mo `tong lalaking `to. But in shock. Didn t he know what he s doing to my senses ? His thumb brushed the moisture on my cheeks. I shook my head. Onti nalang talaga mauubos na pasensya ko. Gusto kong sabihin iyon sa kanya on my twin s behalf. Nakahinga ako ng maluwag ng itulak niya `ko palayo. Juli an! ahhhh I moaned and twisted. I was keeping my fingers crossed. Specifically a very estranged and angry husband and here I was supposed to be pregnant. It is still spelled the same R-A-P-E. Nasan na ang kakambal ko? Bakit ako ang n agdudusa sa kasalanang `di ko ginawa? Alam ko namang magaling akong umarte. 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.
Hangin. Hindi ako makapaniwala sa narinig ko. Not to mention that the house was so big you could get lost. Maaga `kong mababaliw sa bahay na `to. I waved my hand at her in dismissal. Hang in lang ako. I said airily while I was putting butter on the toast. He was staring at me stonily. I gritted my teeth. Isang babae t lalaki. If he did.. I was ready to weep. Mabilis a kong bumangon at ginawa ang morning routines ko. just as well. I closed my eyes. They wouldn t do it. Eh ma am sabi po ni sir `wag daw po kayong pagamitin ng telepono. Jean! I was so worried about you. Wala naman p umigil sa `kin ng nagtuloy tuloy na `kong lumabas ng gate. Sana naisip mo `yan when you and your family blackmailed me into this marriage. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung masira a ng isa kong ngipin. Galit na tumayo ako at hinabol siya. I couldn t believe it. Hindi dahil pina hiran niya ang luha mo okay na Jeannie. Good morning Jules! I take it you had a good night sleep? Deadma. Malamang sa mga araw na `yon mahahanap ko na ang magaling kong kakambal. I dressed hu rriedly and quickly got out. You re not going to see your family. Sinigawan niya ko! I thought we were okay. He was reall y hell-bent on making my life miserable. If I were pregnant you could h ave at least supported me financially. When a car automatically stopped in front of me. Inis na lumayo ito at tumalikod. Para `kong invisible na hindi niya nakita. Nang sa tingin ko ay kumalma na `ko ay lumakad ako sa front porch. 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. may hinahanap po ba kayo? I smiled brightly at the maid. Itinuloy mo pa rin pala ang balak. I woke up late in the morning. Where s the telephone? I didn t want to sound stupid. Pat i ba naman cellphone ko hindi pa nakisama? Naiwan pa. `Pag baba ko ay nag-aalmusal na ang prinsipe sa lanai. Me. So I wouldn t think about him. I thought women are the only ones who are fickle-minded. Uuwi ako sa bahay mamaya may hihingin sana akong pabor. Didn t Eskimos kiss like that? Matulog ka na. Siya nga pala. Sabay bigla `kong naalala ang sitwasyon ko. 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. I smiled sweetly at him. ANO?! Is he serious? Never mind. `Yun lang. Maglalakad na lang ak o palabas ng subdivision para maghanap ng taxi. I cou ld have misheard him. myself and I. I would think first of myself. I don t care anymore kung mukha man ak ong peso sign. Natulig ako ng biglang bumagsak ang tasa ng kape nito sa platito. Dahil hindi ko na alam kung anong magagawa ko. Ang laki nga ng kama dikit ka naman ng dikit. Gusto kong umuwi sa `min sa duration ng honeymoon natin tutal naman hindi mo pa ` ko kailangan. An yway. The food was forgotten. and my twin. Inis na humarap ako sa kanya. The woman hug ged me. He stood up an d cleaned his mouth with the napkin. I didn t care who heard it. Mabilis na humarap ak o sa kanya. Hindi ako martir. Ako ang asawa pero wala akong alam. you know. what s a scandal with the Sunicos right? I saw the muscles on his jaw flexed. Oh-kay. Unless you re with me. Sa pagkakaalam ko hindi ko talaga sinadya na magka tapat `yung mukha namin. Mabilis akong bumaba at na ghanap ng telephone. No one pacified me. Balak?! . Our noses touched. Mabilis akong umakyat at hinagilap ang cellphone sa bag ko. Ngumiti ako and said a tha nk you prayer to my maker. Where the hell are the telephones here? Ano `to mansyon na walang telepono? Ma am. Matagal ng binaril si Rizal sa Luneta at wala akong balak sumu nod sa yapak niya. At take note: he didn t even bother to pull out the chair for me. SANA WAL A. I screamed my frustration within the fo ur walls of the mansion. Humihingal sa galit na sabi ko ng matapos a ng speech ko. Not Jean Rose. Just as well. My eyes grew wide at the implication of his words. Napasabunot ako sa buhok ko.
Home. I closed my eyes in frustration. I mean please wake me up. I gnawed at my lower lip. Go. Nagpatangay na lang ako ng bigla akong hi nila ng babae. My heart went out to my sister and him. I became the blacksheep three years ago when I accepted the scholarship in New Yo rk University. `yung bunso kong anak she stays in N ew York . Pwede pa natin `yun tamain. PERIOD. And three years drew us apart. Nagulat ako ng biglang hinawakan ako ng lalaki sa braso. Julian tried to tug my hand. 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. please kung nanaginip man ako `wag mo po muna akong gisingin. Jean Rose Sunico! I stopped dead in my tracks. Or maybe becau se I didn t want to be in my sister s shadow any more. Run away with me Napalunok ako. Sumakay ka na. A nd then one hand grabbed my other arm from the side. I opened my mouth to say his name.Lumapit ang lalaki. Nakalimutan mo na ba `ko? Hindi kita nakalimutan! Hindi lang talaga kita kilala. Naguluhan ak o bigla. His eyes were like challenging me to do just that. I saw the emotions in his eyes. . Him. And they would stop comparing me to Jean Rose. Tell. And what amazed me most was he embraced me! I missed you love so much. Then I realized I don t know the man s name! You cannot mean this Jean. I could feel my hands shaking. Maybe I m just splitting hairs. may papalit sa `yo kapag absent ka sa clas s. Ang sarap tignan ng may kakambal. And ne ver to be Jeannette Rose. fine w hile my sister is good with figures. Para kasing nilagyan lang nila `k o ng nette pero sa totoo lang it was as if they wanted me to be Jean Rose. Masarap namang pakinggan eh. And boy. maybe I could get some facts about my twin s whereabouts. Jean Rose I know I ve made a mistake. Not that I was caught red-han ded. Julian I Hinila niya `ko bigla sa tabi niya. Then I felt the emanating anger from the other side. Ahmm . Oo. Kutis-mayaman kaya ako. Bumaling ako sa lalaki. Jean Rose Sunico! I heard that one again. pero parang lalong natuyot ang lalamunan ko. Fe eling ko para `kong nagka-amnesia. You love me. Oh no. Siguro kung sa ibang pagkakataon baka kinilig pa `ko. To. My eyes grew wide when he cupped my face up. I slowly looked sideways an d saw the blatant anger in his eyes. The beast roar. Bulong. Pe ro rinig ko ang dagundong `non sa tenga ko. but I wish they would be more proud of me. But don t they already know that we only have one face. ROAR. Ano ba t alaga ang nangyari? Lalo akong naguguluhan. ah. There would surely be bruises later. Ay. My eyes grew wide. Naging Sunico ka lang Jean? He frowned at my reaction. Julian deliberately whispered the words to me. Pero hawak hawak pa rin ako ng lalaki. Well. Something Jean Rose would do. Someone who could break it off with your own boyfriend in proxy kung hindi mo kaya. Mrs. Let s go. THREE We aren t rich. It was like Oh my God. Naramdaman ko ang pagdiin ng pagkakahawak ni Julian sa braso ko . Minsan lang naman akong pag-agawan ng ganito. As in. Wala sa loob kong nasabi. Sabi nila nagpapakatanga ako sa course ko: Fine Arts. He encircled his arm around my waist i n a possessive manner. they were proud to say in the least na. And it ends there. But every time they asked my parents where school I go to? I think . Okay.
Mula sa lamp shade hanggang sa china vase. And I was living a lie after all. I sighed in relief when they walked away. eyes were the windows of the soul. damn him! hind i niya `ko totoong asawa at wala siyang karapatang gawin sa `kin `to. My eyes grew wide. Kung ang iba sa ed ad ko ay humihiling ng prince charming. that must have caused millions. And I just wished he didn t! Hindi ko alam kung paano pa nagig ing lalong singkit ang mga mata niya sa galit. If you don t want to be sitting in jail. Bigla niya `kong ibi nalandra sa kama. We went upstairs while he was still holding my arm tightly. Bigla nitong binitawan ang mukha ko. Naiiyak na napatingin ako doon. Lumabas ito. Pe ro teka. Parang mas lalo akong natakot doon. lalaki siya. And men s ego is sometimes bigger than their brains. Naiisip ko pa lang kung anong gagawin niya sa `kin ay nanlalamig na ang mga kamay ko. I never asked for a wonderful love story. no. Inis na tinabig ko ang kamay niya. Sh!t. Hindi naman a ko buntis pero nagiging iyakin na `ko. Hindi ko alam kung bakit bakit ganon `yung mga mata niya nung sinabi niya iyon. The corner of his mouth twisted in a mockin g smile. All my daydreams flew out of the window when he towered over me. Na par a bang nasasaktan siya. Lumakad na ito palabas. si Jean Rose. Hindi ko ma-imagine ang sarili ko: blessed virgin Jeannette. 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. he isn t in love with me! So bakit siya magagalit well. bakit naman siya magagalit? In the first place. because he would surely int imidate you. My hands turned into tight fists and started banging the door. Because I m sure she was a reluctant bride. Kung ang iba ay humihiling na makapangasawa ng mayaman. His fists were clenched. wasn t he handsome in his thr ee-piece suit. Suplado naman! May K naman kasi siyang magsuplado. Lumingon ulit ito. 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. I s lowly tried to catch my breath to stop from screaming at him. Then I started really crying. Julian As usual. He tilted his head to the other side in question. I only wanted to establish myself on my . Get dressed. Then I heard the click on the other side of the door. Bago pa ako makapag-react ay hinawakan na ng mahigpit ni Julian ang mga braso ko . Ako hindi. Julian you re hurting me! Halos kaladkarin niya na `ko papasok ng mansyon. I don t take to infidelity lightly. Ako hindi. I didn t ask for any of this. He was dangerously gorgeous. my dear wife. Parang gusto kong lumubog sa pagkakaupo ko sa kama habang malapit na malapit ang mukha niya sa `kin. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. That is all I asked of you. Honesty. And boy. I ll come back for you Jean! Then the woman dragged him inside the car. After all. Si Julian `yung tipo ng lalaking hindi mo titilian. Pero may reluctant bang namikot? He did turn around. Julian! Galit na pinihit pihit ko iy on. I wa s afraid he would see through the lies written in my eyes. Kaya t-a-n-g-a nga daw ako sa bi ng mga magulang ko. That was it. Bakit? Had someone hurt him? Betrayed him? Minutes passed by. he didn t turn around. I felt tears threatening to erupt again. Honesty. NO! Mabilis akong tumakbo papunta sa pinto. Gigil na hinarap niya `ko. I couldn t term him just handsome. He tilted my ch in up and looked me angrily in the eye. And and we we both know that you don t want this marriage? Bakit hindi mo na ako pakawalan? I mean. Leave Brad let s go Sabi dito ng babae.Leave my wife alone Brad. Tinignan ko ang mala ki at magarang silid. Women s ultimate weapon: Tears. Nasira lang ang drama ko. He rolled his e yes in disgust. W-what if I still love Brad. In the second place. Please Brad. Nanlamig ang mga kamay ko. Hindi kaya dininig ako ni God? Diyos ko ` wag naman.
Ma am siya nga po pala. may mga pand esal siya sa tyan. Nagbabakasyon kami noon sa lake house n g Aunt Lara namin. Promise. I didn t want to be appreciated only after my death. I had no choice. Hindi na naka-lock! Ma am pinapatawag daw po kayo ni sir. And I was still here. Nasa harap na ako ng swimming pool. At ah. Nanlaki ang mga mata ko. I gritted my teeth in an ger. Mabilis kong hinawi ang glass door pa tungong terrace. Padabog na sumunod ako sa katulong. Please please don t let me die yet. Julian is in every way sexy. my heart beat triple time. And b oy. I screamed my way to the surface. I hate you Julian Sunico! I hate you to the deepest part of the earth Sana binabangungot lang ako. Anim He looked up then. Parang naiiyak na naman ako. I saw his broad shoulders and arms flexed with his ev ery move. Dun sa hindi ako matetempt. 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. Dahil sa `kin kaya nangyari `to. Matangkad ito. 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. Mula sa likod nito ay lumabas si Mang Pio. Then the dog came running. Siguro y napagod na pumunta ito sa railing at umakyat. Dapat dapat bumalik na lang ako bigla sa kwarto ko. A hand grabbed my waist. I didn t know where the German shepherd dog had come from. Sige na Mag-isa siya! I smiled at her. Sumabay na daw po kayong maghapunan sa kanya. Ouc h. I thought it was only termed with women. I was gulping down a mouthful o f water. Dun sa my eyes grew wi de. `Yung katiwala din. Then flashes of yesterday came through my mind. I didn t know. Toward me. He was standing on the edge of the swimming pool clad with only his swimming sinfully black trunks. Julian please don t leave me I whispered frantically against his neck. Nasa teritoryo `ko ng kaaway. Si Amorsolo. Alam ko. I didn t remember covering myself I frowne d. Kaya nga ba hindi ko naging idol si Rizal eh. He cupped my ch eek and looked at me for a very long time. I sucked in my breath. Tumingin ako sa kabilang side. Bilog ang buwan. I tasted the tears mingled with the c hlorine. I tugged her along and sec retly took the boat to explore the lake. I curled into a fetal position on the huge soft bed. I c onceded. At sa maniwala man kayo o hindi. para itong kumunoy na kakainin ako ano mang oras. Papanhikin daw po kayo ni sir kung hindi kayo bababa. Isang napak alaking akala. kahit nga ba talentadong pinoy siya. I screamed when my foot stepped on nothing but water! I was in a deep end of the swimming pool.own as a famous artist. Paatras na ako ng paatras. Must have stood almost a foot taller than me. 5 3 na nga sige na. I looked around me. Hindi ko pinangarap maging si Cinderella. But the sight before me froze me on the ground. Julian was here! I t hrew my arms around his neck and clung to him. I fell into a deep slumber after exhausting mysel f from crying. Hindi ko alam pero `pag upo ko ay dumulas ang kumot mula sa dibdib ko. Jean! Nagmulat ako ng mga mata at umubo. His muscled back was rippling with water as his stroke became faster. Oo. I was eight again. And Jean Rose caught my hand. I heard splashes of water from outside. nakakahiya mang aminin 6 1 siya at 5 2 ½ lang ako. Lumaya s lang ba talaga siya? Hindi niya mabilang kung isang oras na ata akong umiiyak. We were still in the middle of th e pool. I kn ow I must have shouted Julian s name. Sana sana pipikit pa lang ako ng mapansin kong may lumalangoy sa foot-shaped swimmin g pool. Jean! Jean! A voice whispered in my ear. She was crying and did n t want to let me go. G usto kong maging si Juan Luna. Julian gets. Mabilis akong pumasok sa loob ng kwarto. Kinurot ko ang sarili ko. I woke up late. what Julian wants. gabi na. Manang pakilagay na po dyan `yung juice. As in. Feeling ko. . And then I would wake up later and find myself in t he boarding house in New York. I wasn t entirely looking at him. T apos biglang bumukas `yung pinto.
Both of my thighs wrapped around his body on its own accord. Sa isang iglap ay tumagilid ang bang ka at sabay kaming bumagsak. overrrrr. Jean Rose overcame her fear by learning how to swim. And sh e was very good at it. Mabilis nitong inagaw ang sagwan. He said that silently. As if naman. My breasts were flat tened against his hard chest. He said silently. Sa p ag-aagawan namin ay nahulog ang sketch pad ko. I m ten but not entirely stupid. Seriously she had always been there for me. wala pala. Naiiyak na pinilit kong abutin isa isa kahit basa na. I smiled at myself and took my sketch pad with me. And oh Lor d the tree was getting hard all over. Ayoko. I was just shocked by your big dog. At hindi ko kasalanan `yun! Siya kaya lunurin ko. I bit my lower lip when he looked at me closely. Jul ian I wrapped my arms around his neck. You would be more shocked by my big Dog? Gusto ko sanang magbiro. Gume wang gewang ang bangka. Kung meron man well. Alam mo `yun naiilang ako sa titi g niya. Hindi kita pinilit ha. Pero bigla niya `kong pinakawalan. As in over. Pagabi na. Sinimangutan ko siya. Damn. FOUR Jeannie! Kasi baka I looked back at her. Wala talaga siyang kunsiderasyon! `Pag namatay talaga ako. Jeannie nasan na tayo? Bakit parang palayo na tayo ng palayo? She bit her lower lip . Gusto kong sakalin ang kapatid ko n g mga sandaling iyon. Siya ang unang un a kong mumultuhin. Syempre ako na lang `yung natitirang kapatid no. She became a champion in swimming competitions while I nev er learned. I froze in his arms. Yep . Our eyes met. My eyes grew wi de. Pero kasi Jeannie baka Isasagwan ko na sana ang bangka ng tumuntong na din siya. Tignan mo ginawa mo! Naiiyak na sab i ko habang lumulutang lutang ang mga papel. Kung ayaw mo bahala ka! Natanggal ko na ang tali ng bangka. I said airily. Sa katulad ni Julian na perfectionist malamang na kasalana n ang `di marunong lumangoy. As if he were my lifeline. Para akong unggoy na nakabitin sa puno. Rubbish. Jean Rose screamed. We were both screaming flailing And it was all my fault. You re supposed to be a swimmer. I am. Oh my God. . Ito ang taong kahit hindi bagong gising masamang biruin. I ngos ko sa kanya.Ano bang nangyayari sa`yo? You re a swimmer. Anyway sino bang may sabing sumama siya? Jeannie ano ba! Ano? Inis kong sabi habang ginuguhit ang papalubog na sikat ng araw. Sa totoo lang Jea n was never the evil twin sister. `Yan ang madalas na ipanakot sa `kin ni Aunt Lara. There were mermaids in the la ke. Well. Na para bang titig na nagnanasa dududa. Jean Rose scowled at me and didn t say a word. I rolled my eyes heave nward. Hindi ko siya pinansin. I was amazed with its reflection on the water. Jeannie! Bumalik na tayo.
Lalo a kong napayakap sa kanya. that voice of his it was like he had just woken up from a night of debauchery. I cried on his shoulder. wala akong kara patan. His hand caressed my cheek. Naglakad ito kasama ako. At ang gentleman ba sta na lang akong ibinagsak sa marble floor sa gilid ng pool. 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. I winced when I heard him curse. 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. Mag-aangilan lang kami. Hindi iyon lalagpas ng mid-thigh ko. Kung ginawa mo `yun just to get the fame you wa nted then you don t deserve it. From the start. o kaya ay wala lang ang mga katulong doon ay baka nilunod na `ko ni Julian. Susumbatan niya lang ako. Yeah you re right! Siya ang gumawa ako ang umako ng mga Sir telephone po mommy niyo. My heart was beating triple time. Goodness. I m not supposed to be who I am now. 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. Siguro kung hindi lang masamang pumatay ng tao. At ni hindi man la ng nahiyang ipahiram man lang sa `kin. Lelecturan ng walang . Ginamit ko lang ito once sa exhibi t ng kakilala ko. Tumayo ka at magbihis ka may pupuntahan tayo. Siya ang gumawa ikaw ang umaako? You big stupid moron! Tama ito. Isa lang. Kelan ba matatapos ito? Tumingin ako sa harap ng salamin. Nagsasalubong na naman `yung mga kilay nito. Jules I m sorr y. I whispered stupidly with lack of anything to say. He didn t even comment about my appearance. Parang nanlamig ako bigla. Hindi ko nga alam kung dahil sa ano o dahi l sa init. She overcame her fear by well. Si Jean Rose ang gumawa ako ang umaako! He had it all wrong. Inis na sabi nito. Hindi ko alam kung dahil sa naudlot na o dahil sa alam niya na `yung sasabihin ko. At ang utos ng hari hindi mababali. Giniginaw na `ko pero isang towel lang ang nakita ko. Nagsasawa na `ko sa pagtatalo namin ni Julian. It was a matter of choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea. ako I never did learn. Jules I have something to tell you. My creamy white shoulders were very much visible. bata pa `ko. Siya `yung `yung magaling lumangoy. So what was the use of telling him how gorgeous he is? I just shut my mouth up. I wore a n off-shouldered cream tailored dress. I couldn t look him in t he eye. His head came down down down. Thank God for the two-inch stilettos. Siguro hindi naman magagalit si Jean Rose kung kahit isa lang. Ang tanong: sinong mananamantala at sinong pagsas amantalahan? Not I. Two days of being married to Julian Sunico was like hell! And it felt like a lifetime sin ce I said I do . It was now or never. Grabe ang mood swings ng lalaking ito. Prom ise. The hell with the consequences. feeling ko nagkulay mansanas ako. Ang mani pis na suot ko kanina ay halos kita na dahil nga basa na din. I blinked thrice. Bente uno lang po ako God para sa mga ganitong bagay. Ng panahon. He was so m ad at me. I licked my lower lip nervously. My twin she s the swimmer. Ang mahalaga hindi siya nagalit Jea nnie! I tried telling you Ikaw ang Hindi maganda ang panloloko Jean. Had he forgiven me? Hindi siya galit? You should have told me sooner. experienced dr owning before. Then it dawned on me. Ano bang nangyayari sa `kin? I leaned my head in between his shoulder an d neck. Naramdaman ko ang paghigpit ng yakap niya sa `kin. Diyos ko. Galit na hinablot nito ang telephone habang pinupunasan ang sarili.Julian was just staring back at me. Bastos talag a. We uhm. Why not? He said huskily. 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. Hawak pa niya. Akala niya pinagko-compete ko ang kakambal ko tapos tapos ako kunwari ang nananalo? My God. I opened my mouth to shout at him.
Hila dito. He s Biglang pinisil nito ang kamay ko. Ayoko pang mamatay! Parang naiiyak na `ko ng sumadsad ang sasakyan sa gilid ng iliko ni Julian ang s teering wheel. Julian?! I frantic ally searched his face for wounds. Hello Julian. Nanginginig ang mga kamay ko na bumaba ako ng sasakyan. Hello sir. Shock was the understatement of the century. Julian sighed and looked bored. Naglalakad ako sa gilid ng kalsada na wala sa sarili. She looked somewhat familiar. I felt the impact of what almost happened to us. No. I glared at him. We went inside the grand hotel. Sorry sir. Julian ano ba! Napasigaw ako ng pinaharurot niya ang Porsche niya. Baka nakakalimutan mo ako pa rin ang nanay ng anak mo. Gusto kong sumigaw a . I just want to see my son. I gritted my teeth in frustration. Halos lumangitn git iyon. Say hello to your tita Doris. I t felt so awkward. Ano pa nga ba. okay lang `yun okay lang na niloko ng papa mo ang mama mo past is p ast. Na parang demonyo. Nakikpagkarerahan ba ito kay Kamatayan? Napakapit ako sa dashboard. Galit na tinitigan niya ako. I smiled at her politely. Pero bigla niyang tinabig ang kamay ko. 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. Tahimik lang ito. His eyes sent me a warning message. Mahina pero gigil kon g paalala. Sunico. Jean Rose Sunico! I didn t stop. Halos ako at ang papa niya lang ang nag-uusap. Bi glang may sumulpot na malaking truck sa harapan naming. I was numb. Invitation? Ang weird. Act the very lovin g wife. Magtatay ba talaga ang mga ito? Umupo kami in silence at saka ko lang napansin ang babaeng kasama ni Mr. And I m happy for her coz she s not waiting an ymore for someone who hasn t seen her worth. marami pa pala kaming gagawin. Tao lang ako. He was tense. There was something wrong here. My heart went overdrive. is that bad? He said. Ni hindi na ko magtataka kung kukulutkulutin ko na ang buhok ko mamaya. I loved your mother. Ayokong magsalita. Julian please I grabbed his a rm. Nakita kong parang aatak ihin sa puso ang papa nito. Anong sasabi hin ko Julian. I looked at Julian then. Hanggang sa makarating kami sa patutunguhan namin. Mabilis kong hinila si Julian.katapusan about honesty and virtues. I m glad to finally meet you. With his chinky eyes. My eyes grew wide. How s your mom? Ayun. Pudpod na stilettos ko. your husband here didn t send me an invitation card. I smiled. Their fists were both clenched. masaya na si mommy sa buhay niya. I apologize hija. She was in her early thirties and very much beautiful. hila doon. But his pain ran deep. God please! Virgin pa `ko. Eh di baka ihulog na `ko ng tuluyan ni Julian palabas. Hinila niya ako. None. Normal naman sa mga produkto ng broken marriages ang ganitong ugali ni Julian. Na para bang mayroon siya! Julian opened the door for me. Na-amaze ako. Na-iim agine ko na `pagtumanda ito. Julian! Nagulat talaga ako. it s nice to see you again son. Your flavor of the month? Julian! Excuse my husband. Leave me alone! He shouted. Kailan pa kinailanga n ng tatay ng imbitasyon sa kasal ng anak niya? What do you want? Julian said coolly to his father. You loved her? Cut the crap. Bakit wala po kayo nung kasal namin ni Jul ian? We would have been happy kung nandon kayo. The man was just an older version of Julian. Julian started laughing humorlessly. Tears were streaming down the side of my face. 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. Tears were starting to form in my eyes. dad. straight nose Ouch. for the first time Julian knew how to act the gentleman. Nice nice to see you. I was shocked.
Julian would have been with another. His eyes. I sobbed louder. Yes. Not that I f elt anything well. Or was it my imagination? Tricia? Who s Tricia? FIVE Sabi nila best things in life are free . I shook the cobwebs in my head. Julian aren t you going to bed yet? A slow sexy smile twitched on the corner of his mouth.t magwala sa gitna ng kalsada. I know deep down the call had something to do with his sudden withdrawal. Is she special? Julian I jumped in surprise. And thanks t o you it won t happen anymore He looked bored and predatory. I should have known. Ang boses nito. Wala na ang necktie nito. Silence. Mabilis kong sinundan si Ju lian sa study room niya. Sunico. So he knew all a long! Bigla itong tumawa. That T ricia must have been special for him to be like this. His back w as turned to me. Sunico! He roared. . Julian s-sino `yung tumawag? Ano bang pakialam mo Jeannie? I was just curious. Then the phone started ringing. kung bakit hindi ako nabingi sa pagbagsak ng decanter at pagkalabog ng pinto. Are you inviting me to bed Jean? Ang boses niya ah parang nang-aakit. maybe it was just guilt eating at me. wala naman tal aga. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. Ayun. Parang nasasaktan. tenderly. My back hit the wall. He should have been a DJ. My eyes got misty all the more. tinalikuran pa `ko. He poured himself a glass of brandy and downed it in one swallow. Inihagis ni Julian ang coat sa couch at dumiretso sa mini bar. Wala nga ba Jeannie? Hindi naman siguro pinagbabawal ng batas ang pagtatano ng. I can t Julian. Then I started wetting his shirt. Na para ng gagawin akong panghapunan. He had fox-like eyes. Gusto kong sabihing. He started laughing mockingly. True. Julian I just want to hel Help? That s bullsh!t. His shirt was loosened. Like happiness. Marami talagang mga sinungaling sa mundo. His eyes were squinted in anger. Tawang demonyo. Will you please give me peace even just for tonight? Mahina nitong sabi. Hindi ako bulag o bingi. Tricia. I sighed exaggeratedly. Not that I care. But I believe in the sanctity of marriage. She s my girlfriend of two years. Hello? His face suddenly changed. Dahil sa galit. Palap it ito ng palapit. In a split second the beast hugged me! Fiercely. Me meron ako. I sighed again when he didn t even bother to respond. Kaya nga hindi ako nanin iwala sa sinabi ni Kim Chui na habulin mo happiness mo! Eh di kung ganon lang ka dali iyon. Again. At biglang may kamay na humawak sa braso ko upang iharap a ko. He wasn t drunk yet! Was he? Don t pull my leg Jean Do you think I m stupid? You lied to me. bakit ako mag-aalala sa isang taong ni wala man lang pakialam sa `kin? But I do. Ang bastos talaga. He just shrugged. Why is it so elusive? Maybe because we cannot have everything we wanted. `Yun lang. shut up! I m not Jean! Sinong g ustong humamon sa `kin? Mrs.. no he wanted to eat me alive. Then he d tell me that he di dn t believe in love? Bull. Okay lang sana kung desert eh.. Kulang na lang sabihin niya sa mukha kong wala kang pakialam . I don t believe in love Mrs. Parang pagod na pagod. I wonder. Life s not perfect. We are about to get married. You r e bound to me forever. Since I want honesty between us . sana wala ako dito. Well. Pero minsan nga kung ano pa `yung li bre siya pang mahirap kunin. Napalunok ako habang papalapit siya ng papalapit.
At alam ko. Siguro dahil nagtatampo pa rin ako. I was just mad on my twin s ister s behalf. Bakit hindi na lang kami magpa-annul? Sila pala ni Jean? Kung ganito lang din na man Oo nga pala. kapag babae ang nakagawa ng kasalanan para kang nakamatay. Yep. Dahan dahan kong nakitang umaagos ang dugo sa kamay ni Julian. 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. He was always in his study room. Mabilis akong pumunta sa study room. But there s always an exception to the rule. hindi man ako ang pinakamatalinong tao sa mundo. Hindi ko makuhang dalawin sina Mommy. Hindi ako nagagalit. natempt lang. Dahil ba kay Tricia? Parang bigla a kong na-possess. Para `kong naparalyze na nakatitig lang sa sa mukha niya. Rugby. Sa gilid ng ulo ko. Twice. I s hould be thankful. Parang boarder nga lang ako dito sa mansyon niya. It was full of hatred and remorse. I thought you were He said stonily. Pwes. Wow. Thrice. Jean Rose wouldn t do this without a valid reason. Salamat sa pagiging tsis mosa no. May class A at class B. He was bound by the Sunico tradition. Sa saktan ba talaga `ko ni Julian? Would he resort to that? Parang gusto kong umiya k. Pero `pag sila lalaki lang sila eh. What s your excuse? Dahil lalaki ka? Dahil mahina ka? And oh. I felt so hurt. Champion siya 1st pl ace in a swimming competition? I gasped. Wala pa siya. It was a sin in the Sunico commandment. Minsan nga naiisip ko. I closed my eyes with a prayer. Ano pa bang alam nito? O ma s tamang sabihing ano pa ba ang hindi nito alam? He graduated business ad. So Mr. Bakit lalaki lang ba ang mga tao? I slammed the door as I walked out of there. Gigising ako sa umaga. the feeling was mutual. His knuckles were scraped because of the impact. you couldn t resist my charm. Julian s family. eh? It was too good to be true. Akala ko walang taong ganito. I knocked. Love? Letseng love `yan. hindi naman sa kinukwestiyon ko si God. He whispered angrily. I was about to go out when Julian s medals caught my attention. Masyado ba talaga `kong generic? Napagpapalit palit? I had never been lonelier than this. I was quite numb . Julian anong ginawa mo nung pinikot kita? He stared at me. Pero mali ako. Really stared at me like I d grown two heads and a horn. My eyes grew wide. Julian? Walang tao. Arrogant. . No. Kung sa bagay. Once. Then he raised his cle nched fist in the air. Parang kasabay nun ang pagbagal at pag lakas ng tibok ng puso ko. in the states.So sinisisi niya `ko? Ang kapatid ko. bakit nga naman hindi? Eh ako naman itong mamimikot `di ba? It was dark. My breath got hitched. Dahil hindi na niya ipipilit ang marital rights niya. Matutulog ako sa gabi. pagiging mapagobserba ko ay narinig kong sinabi ng mommy niya na there sho uld be no broken marriages . And very much no! Ang mahirap kasi sa mga lalaki. Gusto kong magpakamatay. I was drunk. Parang biglang umakyat lahat ng dugo ko sa ulo. Hindi ko kailangang maging si Madam Auring para ma-vibrate kong iniiwasan ako ni Julian. Julian? No response. Hindi lang siya ang nasakal. Sino bang hindi? Para `kong tuta na basta na lang pinamigay. Naglalabasan na ang ugat sa leeg nito. hinihintay kong dumapo sa `kin ang mga kamay niya. Then he hit the wall. Wala na siya. Three weeks. Tricia? Gusto kong isigaw `yun. He didn t want to see me. 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. It had been three weeks since then. Almost Perfect had the right to be Mr. No. Soccer. Hindi ako pwedeng magalit.
Nasan ang dad dito ni Julian? No. I just wanted to get away from here. Kissing. the bod. Not beca use our parents forced her to do it. I just walked past him and got out. Ang puso ko? And don t ask me why. Here. with his uncle? Hindi ko kilala ang lalaki. Gusto kong magtitili. Jean I prostituted hersel f for a one and a half million. h indi ito soap opera. May issue man ako sa parents ko. Maganda. Napasabunot ako sa buhok ko. Tricia Leyva? I competed with her once in a painting competition in New York. Tumigil lang ako ng maisara ko ang pintuan at sumandal doon. 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. Hindi ko din alam! I dressed quickly upstairs and took my handbag. Eh. Kanino ka pa ba tutungo `pag may problema? `Di syempre sa bestfriend mo. where s the fairness of life in it? And Julian was one of the Class A. Binayaran niya ang bahay namin. I was in New York trying to make out on my own. The picture of a loving couple. SIX Ni hindi ko siya tinignan. may magagawa pa ba siya kung nandun na `ko? I was immersed into deep thoughts. Jean s face! Jean! I half shouted. Naso-suffocate na `ko. He had a broken home. Or the kiss. Binayaran ni Julian ang bahay na min. Alam ko. My eyes grew wide. He was right. She turned to the lane toward the side of the taxi. Para silang buong pamilya. Sabi niya `wag ko na siyang sunduin. `yung tipong pati hanggang dulo ng kuko kaiinggitan mo. They have it all. Samantalang may mga pinagkaitan hirap na nga. Ma yaman. he won first place in a swimming competition. Ho w could I not? I was looking straight into my own face. hirap pang iharap ang mukha. kagandahan. Then another with Julian s mom. I hail ed a cab. I don t want to hate Julian. Tumigil ang taxi nung umilaw ang stoplight. Manong stop! Napakamot ito sa ulo. At hindi sila ganon kasama. Para `kong sirang plaka na napaupo. Yeah. No. Yummy. Then I saw an envelope written with a Leviste on it. I frowned when I saw a woman crossing the street. A ten or so Julian. lumil ipad sa bintana lahat ng logic . .. Then I saw a smiling picture of him. Sinalo lahat. He bought Jean me. Trying to be different from my sister All the while they were making both ends meet. I felt cold. Jean did it because she was always the good daughter. Wala sa loob na sinundan ko siy a ng tingin. Seriously. I rolled my eyes. I started crying. Tahimik na pumunta ako sa desk niya tinignan ang picture don. So sinong dapat sisihin? Feeling ko napakaselfish ko. Ang isip ko sinasabing hindi ako dapat magalit sa kanya. A notice of foreclosure from the bank. They have the same smile though. I opened it. lalo lang sumasak it.Pero bakit kaya may mga taong sinalo ang lahat? Katulad na lang ni Georgina Wils on. Stolen shot. Of course. Hmmm Then my eyes grew wide. What the hell are you doing here? I felt weak. Minsan kahit anong pilit mong ngumiti.Pero kapag nasasaktan ang isang tao. kasikatan. At ang mga n ext pictures ay kasama nitong nagpi-fishing ang lalaki. Oh my God. Bubuksan ko pa lang ang handle ng umandar na si manong. `Didn t know if it was because I knew her. Then I moved on to the next picture. maganda kilalang kilala ko ang mukha na `yun. Cheap. I don t want.. They still loved me. At least CM would make me happy. Napatingin sa `kin si Manong. He wasn t perfect. Nakatula la ako sa mismong picture ng dalawa. Pero hindi na kami makatigil kasi may MMDA dun. Mga sakim. And my. Tricia?. Parang gusto kong matunaw sa ngiting `yun. Very much happy.
Then I stared at his cute f ace. Wow. Kung ganito lang san a si Julian. In short. an g morbid. Alam mo `yun g mga ginagawa ng mga mayayaman na pinapasalvage `yung first wife nila. Pero nakikita ko ang isandaan at isang tanong. Brad this is CM. What if he found out the truth? That you re not pregnant? He wolfed down the pasta e nthusiastically. Then pigs would surely fly. Lahat-lahat ata ng sama ng loob ko kay Julian sinabi ko sa kanya. Ang hudas pumalakpak pa. Too sweet. Ako din uuwi na. Isa pa kakatayin ko na talaga `tong si CM. From the b eginning `till the bitter end. Eh. Hindi gagawin ni Julian `yun. siya ay paminta. CM? Sa tatlong taon na nakilala kita You haven t mentioned him. Grabe. Ako? You ve know n me for three years! I thought you love me? Parang nagbago ka na. Kung alam lang niya. Parang bigla kong nalunok `yung laway ko. Jeannie. I would really melt. Hinatid namin si CM sa bahay nito sa Alabang. halaman g dagat. BRAD? Brad s face was polite. you know . He s he s Jean s ex. Ayan pati a ko naguluhan na din talaga. no. So what happened? I pouted. Kay Brad! Ah ah b-bestfriend siya ni ni Jeannie! How odd I refer someone as myself. Pini sil niya ang kamay ko. Three to four months? I bit my lower lip. Masyado kasing napraktis. At binaba ako ni Brad sa mansyon. Ano `to soap opera? Salamat sa awa ha. Nataw a pa nga ako ng sundan server `yung tingin sa min kay CM.Hindi na `ko magtataka kung akalain niyang may baliw na sumakay sa kanya. Baba na lang ako ng hawakan niya `ko sa braso. Goodness. Inakbayan niya `ko at pumunta kami sa pinakamalapit na Italian Restaurant. Mas morbid `yun. isang buwan lang naman. CM rolled his eyes. I waited for CM s arrival. I think I have to go. Agaw eksena kami ng niyakap niya `ko. CM could help? God. His face was an inch or two away from me. He mouthed. Para kaming sira na nagsasign language. He whispered achingly. Oh. Bakit hindi? Bale-walang sabi nito. CM smiled up at Brad. He s yummy. I bet he s going to plot murder against me. 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. Yeah. Goodness. Tumalikod. Parang gusto ko siyang batukan. I saw t enderness in his eyes. M-my b-bestfriend in New York. SANA. Kung pwede nga lang maghimala ako at magbuntis. Tapos napatingin siya sa `kin . What? I said innocently. Hindi ikaw ang tinatanong! `Di ba Jeanni I sent him a warning glance. Ang bilis talaga ng radar nito. Jeannie? One brow arched. He had t he biggest mouth ever. Ihahatid na kita. at si Zsa Zsa Zaturna. Yuck. Hindi ka pa ba uuwi Jean? Nag-aalalang sabi ni Brad. Nagba yad ako at mabilis na bumaba. Jean? We both turned at the voice. Nagpalumbaba ako at ikinuwento lahat. CM raised o ne brow at me. Si CM ay isang nagbabalatkayong tao este lalaki. some advice.I mouthed. Gross. Nakangiti pa. Pinisil pisil ko `yung bic eps niya. Tapos biglang t umunog `yung cellphone nito at nag-excuse. Hindi kita type no. Nag-X sign pa ako n parang si April boy. Ah oo. I could melt. Katabi ko. Umupo ito sa tapat ni CM. no. bestfriend we could make it a story. Anong alam mo? You haven t known him that long. Kala mo naman hind i nagkita ng isang taon. Pinanlakihan ko siya ng mata. Hinawakan niy a ang siko ko ng tumayo ako. Ahm well. I shivered suddenly. At gigil na kumaga t labi pa ito. Yes. I sighed. Brad frowned. Tumingin ako kay CM. no. CM! Lakad pa lang niya alam ko na. Kaya pala kaya pala parang hindi man la . Sa likod ng mga fats niya ay 24/7 tumitibok ang pusong laan para kay Adan.
Oh my God. At least. in that I didn t lie. I whispered softly. Maliligo tayo ng sabay? Nakataas ang isang kilay nito. Jean. May jetlag pa `ko. Nawala lahat ng antok ko. Again. Niyakap ko siya ng mahigp it. Ganon naman eh. Me included. Inhale. Magbihis ka may pupuntahan tayo. Bilisan mo. mas gusto niyang kasama `yun g mga libro. Julian no! Binuksan niya ang shower at itinapat ako sa ilalim ng napak alamig na tubig. computer at alak niya. Punta ka sa asawa mo. CM !!! The line went dead. Later in t he wee hours of midnight. Nakatulog ako habang byahe kaya nabigla na lang ako ng nasa NAIA na kami. He walked on. Ang sitwasyon lang natin ang nagbago Brad. Por Santo! Ala-una ng madaling araw. Tinanggal ko ang kamay niya sa braso ko. Dahil hindi niya talaga kilala si Jean! Hindi ako ang nagbago Winner! Pwede na `kong manalo sa FAMAS. Grabe. Galit na ibabagsak ko ulit ang katawan ko sa kama ng buhatin niya ko. I screamed. He chuckled. He grabbed my shoulders and made me stand up. Por Diyos. It s it s my nickname.! Jeannie? Oh my God kung tsismis lang `yan ipagpabukas mo na. Anong gagawin ko harangin `yung eroplano? Pasabugin `y ung airport? Anong gagawin ko? We re going to fly to Korea! As in.ng nagtataka si Julian. I felt exhausted and slept early. Wha t did he mean by that? Pinaikli naman talaga ah. Be with me. Relax take a deep breath. In my panic-driven state. naramdaman kong parang may pumasok sa kwarto. Ano `to napagtripan lang basta n i Julian na magtour kami sa Korea?! I bit my lower lip. O buntis nga ba? Had sh e just said it to blackmail Julian? I hadn t seen Julian when I got home. Anyone would want Brad for herself. Jean annul your marriage. I thanked God he didn t unplugged the socket. Hello? Carlo Miguel Jr. Nicknames are supposed to shorten one s name. exhale. Hindi naman siguro babagsak `yung eroplano no. I called CM. na-touched ako sa bestfriend ko. Hindi rin dahil wala pang happy ending. Again. Tapos? . Binabaan ako ng p hone! I tried and tried again. Lum ayo ako lalo. My God Ju lian. Hindi ako mapakali lalo. 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. Tapos lumabas na ito. Then I gasped. now! Julian frowned at me. Tinakpan ko ng unan ang ulo ko at hinampas kung si no man `yung bastos na `yun. CM I can t meet the whole Sunico clan. 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. How? Buntis na si Jean kay Julian. I wanted to make a way for my sister an d him. Sino bang may ayaw ng lalaking ganito magmahal? One in a million siya. He couldn t and wouldn t tell Jean and me apart. Jean must be very lucky. `Yun lang. At ipinarinig pa sa `kin ang malakas na paghikab niya. Then som eone was shaking my shoulder. Julian? He didn t turn around. No! Mabilis akong bumitiw sa kanya kahit pa ma-hypothermia na `ko. Kulang na lang sabih in niyang hang up na. Hindi naman ako manhid. Oh my God. Ang ginaw talaga. I heard the amusement in hi s voice. Please call me Jeannie.
Then he sighed exaggeratedly. Tumaas ang kilay nito. Siguro kung wala lang sakit si Angk o His tone changed. But panic was overwhelming me. It should warm my heart. He raised one brow at me. ka Hindi ko napigilang hindi matawa. Kahit papano gumaan ang pakiramdam ko ng ti nawagan ko si CM. And he was also staring at me! Feeling ko nagkulay man sanas ako. But then I felt him. 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 narinig niya lang ang sinabi ni CM. I already and suddenly missed Philippines! As if What would I do? What should I do? Julian just slept like the dead. Hmm. Inirapan ko siya at umisod pakabila. Habang n asa loob kami ng eroplano ay gusto ko ng tumalon palabas ng bintana. He wore that devil-may-care expres sion on him. I gave him my most charming smile. My hands trembled. Matagal na Jeannie. Inis na tinanggal ko ang kamay ko sa pagkakahawak niya. I whispered when I saw his one good eye fli ckered. Then it fitted the spaces between my fingers. He wasn t looking a t me. Grabe. Gusto ko ng lumabas ng airport at sumigaw ng kidnapping. Julian was sitting handsomely in his Lacoste polo shirt and Levi s jeans. padarag n a tinanggal ko `yung kamay niya sa pagkakahawak ng kamay ko. French kiss na lang. I pouted my lips. He raised one brow at me. Kung alam ko lang na B. I know I was acting childish. Sa sobrang higpit iisipin kong ayaw niya `kong pakawalan. argh . As if he owned the world. Umupo ako sa tabi ni Julian. kung alam ko lang natetempt ka na ding gawin. Julian I don t think this is a good idea. Na para bang may space akong mauusugan. I tried to smile. Malungkot. Natatakot na talaga ako. Para akon g pinasugod ng mga magulang ko sa giyera ng wala man lang dalang armas. no. Mahigpit. Torrid. I didn t want him to be suspicious. Tinignan niya `ko. Pero parang ayaw makisama ng mga muscles ko. Sino si Angko? You ve met him. Oh my. SEVEN I didn t know a thing about Korea much less Julian s Korean family. Julian What? He snapped at me! Sabi ko na nga ba masamang biruin ang bagong gising eh. He looked bored. In disgust. Wala naman siyang pakialam ` . `Sus. I swallowed. I knew he just wanted to make the ordeal light for me. Sino si Tantan? My mind was scre aming. Bakit ba umaasa pa `kong magbabago siya? The stewardess smiled at us specifically at Julian. Gawin ko kaya? Ano kayang magiging reacti on ni Julian? You already met my family when they d come home. He shrugged then looked at me knowingly. I.Yakapin mo at saka mo ikiss. Habang hawak niya ng mahigpit ang kamay ko sa l ap ko mismo. remember? You and Tantan hit it off. Parang nga. The family dinner before the wedding. Pero lalo lang niya ng hinigpitan. At sa pagkagulat ko. I bit my lower lip. As if telling me to keep my thoughts to myself. Eh `di `wag. Unti-unting tumaas ang ulo ko. Damn sexy men. He was there with me. As in. Oh G od. CM! I then gaped at Julian. Julian sm iled charmingly at her! The devil really could smile Tapos sa `kin pinagdadamot n iya `yun.
my nose. Deadma. mag-freeze sa ginaw. Tin uro niya sa`kin ang kotse at kinuha `yung nag-iisang clutch bag na dala ko. Ganon ba talaga ang epekto ni Tricia kay Jul ian? Had he loved her that much to forget about me? Well. It seemed to take an eternity. `Pagkatapos niya `kong sabihang Sa`yo lang ako Lumapit sa `kin `yung sa tantiya `ko ay steward nila. Julian stared at me. What do you want? Girl boy? Hmm His chinito eyes squinted all the more. Bakit niya hinahawakan tummy ko? I tensed. Ba t `di na lang kaya niya `ko yakapin? Now I was sounding very much like CM. Sa `yo lang ako Biglang napatingin ako sa kanya. Binitiwan niya `ko ng kinuha niya `yung mga bag namin. G usto kong sumigaw kay Julian at sabihing hello! I m here! I glared at his back. my lips. And I was meeting the other woman. He didn t speak English. Naka tayo pa rin ako dun. we ll see an OB. his one left dimple. Don t look at me like that I might fall! When we get back. The land was very foreign to me. Excuse me? Mali ba `ko ng rinig? You re my wife. We both stopped when we saw a woman standing in the middle of the parking lot waiting for us. Ayoko sana. hindi ko alam kung ako lang ang nakakaramdam non pero parang m ay kuryente. `Yung Julian na walang pakia lam sa `kin. Tapos hinamas niya ulit `yung tyan ko. Feeling ko nga. Tenderly. Hindi niya `ko pin agbitbit ng gamit ko! Ang bait ah. ako pala `yung kontrabida. Para akong t-a-n-g-a na naghihintay ng himalang mapansin ni la. Na para bang hindi siya `yung Julian na lagi akong sinisigawan. Then Julian replied quietly. Like hell.di `ba? There s nothing to be jealous of I gasped. para akong na sa drama. gusto ko ng maniwala. Ganon ba talaga? Normal ba talaga `yun? O ako lang `yung abnormal? I m already excited to see our baby. He was too gentle. Mayamaya lang tulog na ulit si Julian. Tricia was still as sophisticated as I remembered. At lalong `yung Julian na nilockan ako ng pinto. Para `kong naparalyze. Ako din Wala sa loob na bulong ko. I DON T CARE. I felt warmth in the simple gesture. We ll see an Napalunok ako. I just hoped it wasn t seen as a grimace. I sucked in the air unconsc iously. Sana laging ganito si Julian Well. Or bet ter yet. Galit na inunahan ko na ng bukas ng pinto bago ang steward. In another language. Ano nga kaya ang magiging itsura ng baby namin n i Julian? Kamuka din kaya ni Julian? His eyes. He must have been very tired because of w ork. Inis na nilagpasan ko sila. Dapat matuwa ako sa sinabi niya. Nakita kong natigilan si Julian. They both stared at each other. He said softly. Kahit magtitigan sila buong maghapon. Anything basta healthy. 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. Magdurugo na ata ang lower lip ko sa sobrang kaga . Buti wala akong b ilbil. Marami naman siyang pambili `di ba? Binalibag ko pasara ang pinto. he didn t r eally mean it. Masama bang ma-carried away? I tried to crack a smile. Mayamaya sumeryoso siya. Tapos tapos Oh God. ayoko pa. the hell I care. Na para bang iniisip niya talagang maig i. At tinitignan ang reaksyon ko. Wala akong pakialam kung masira man ang handle non. But I saw amusement written all over his face. I could drown in those brown eyes. We went out of the intern ational airport hand in hand. Palabas na kami ng may naghihintay na sasakyan. Bumalik na naman bigla `yung takot ko. Napataas `yung kilay ko. Na para bang wala ako dun! I gritted my teeth and closed my eyes. Ano nga kayang nakain nito? He gave me a coat. Oh no. Then they were speaking softly. Then he looked at me straight in the eye. Ginising ko siya ng palapag na kami. My tummy. Tapos bumaba `yung kamay niya sa leeg ko. What amazed me next was when he cupped m y face. I giggled. Then down to my Oh my I whispered. Sana lang pareho silang magka-sore eyes. Seriously. Hindi rin naman madali na maging Vice President ng isang malaking kumpanya at the age of 27. Malamig.
Lumapit si Julian. Tinitigan kong m aigi ng kumalas siya mula kay Tricia. At ako ayoko sa bata! Ngumiti ako dito at pasimpleng pinanlakihan ito ng mata. Napatingi n sa `kin si Tricia at Julian. Kami naman ni Tricia sa backseat. I dialed his number. Madapa ka sana. Para akong sinasakal. I I Jeannie I met her in New York. Imo Jean h-hold me! Para akong mahihimatay. You didn t tell me about Jea nie. You knew each other? I groaned inwardly. Ipinikit ko ang mga mata ko. Had the circumstanc es been different we could have been friends. Bakit ganito? Ayoko ng makita si Julian. Julian glared at me. Pero layuan niya muna ako. Then I saw the others looking at us from inside t he big yard. my God. Jeannie? As if naman nagulat ka! I smiled at her mockingly. Tricia had always been soft-spoken. Hindi ko napigilan ang sarili ko. Nag-duet kami ni Tricia. Ganito ako kapag natetense o naiinip. I hated Julian. When the car door opened. Ang matatabang mga braso nito ay tumaas . you were talking about Jean! Yes. My eyes grew wide. Sh!t. Could have been. 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. Nakita kong nagkakatingin an sila sa rearview mirror sa harapan. Julian chuckled. Julian got out and took our luggag e. He frowned. Then he looked at me through the tinted wi ndow sill. Julian was already embracing her! And she was crying. My eyes grew wi de. Na para bang nakikita niya `ko.t. I forgot. Mabilis kong iniiwas ang mga mata ko. Victorian style in Korea? Hmm. Yes. Kung alam ko lang. Ah no. Jean! I laughed nervous ly. Kung hindi ko pa alam na tinted ang sasakyan. That wasn t what I intended. Biglang bumilog ang naniningkit na mga mata ng bata. At pasimpleng umirap. I didn t know why I felt hurt. Pagod ka Jeannie. So? Hindi ko pinansin a ng kamay niyang nakalahad. I m a slut in the making. Wake up we re here. sa mood ko ngayon hindi ko feel maging chummy-chummy sa kanya. Tricia got in. Tumingin ako sa kanila. Mas malaking mansyon. I hated this feeling. Lalo na ng titigan akong maigi ni Julian. Pero twinge lang. at hayun ang magaling na lalaki. Yes. As if he could see through my lies . Julian raised one brow at us. others were Filipinos. Narinig niya `ko. he was wishing me to the moon. Pareho kaming nagkatinginan. In the deepest part of me I felt alone. No. Maputi ito. So are you telling me that I m a scheming b!tch? Hell. I didn t care if I sounded like one. Nagpapabuhat! Oh. Tapos inalalayan niya si Tricia. Ha? Had I said my thoughts aloud? Umiwas ako ng tingin kay Julian. Tricia gaspe d. I felt a twinge of guilt. Itulog mo na lang `yan. Na parang torture. honey she was Jeannie. Imo Jean! Nabigla ako ng may batang lalaking biglang tumakbo at yumakap sa `kin. If I were a scheming b!tch then he s the biggest hypocr ite ever. si Tricia. Gusto ko ng umuwi. Naalimpungatan ako. Pagod ako. . Jean Rose was fond of kids. Chubby cherubin. 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. `Yun lang. Some look Kore an. Baka pa gbuhulin ko pa sila ni Julian. Julian sat in front. Three to four years old. I couldn t be mistaken. What did you say? Tricia turned at me. I didn t know She whispered wonderingly. Tumalikod lang ako saglit.
Nakita ko ang mukha ni Julian. I m okay. Gusto kong maniwala Julian gusto ko. Hindi ba ako titigilan ng batang ito? Kinarga ito ng matandang l alaki. Then someone hugged me. NOT MINE! I fainted. Na parang hinipan lang ng hangin. Tama . Uncle I w hispered tentatively. I just smiled. What have I gotten my self into? Tapos bumalik ulit ito at hinawakan ang kamay ko. EIGHT Jeannie! Jeannie! Damn Jeannie darling please wake up.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. Then he stopped crying. Tantan I gritted my teeth while s miling. Then Tantan kissed my nose. God Sssshhh Tantan don t cry. no. `Pagpasok namin ay niyakap ako isa-isa ng mga kamag-anak ni Julian. Kumiss ito kay Julian. He stared at me. I opened my eyes slowly. Then I saw Julian and Tricia talking quietly fr om a corner. And sadly the divorce of Julian s parents caused the Sunico patriarch to dis own his eldest son. I wanted to g o home. Un cle Jin was his father s cousin. Alam mo cous. Wala na `kong nagawa. Hindi okay. Me. My gaze was fixed on the grand staircase. I smiled at the old man. I froze in place. No Tricia. Kung hindi ko pa ala m in my peripheral vision I saw her. So Juli an s words were asking him to kiss him? Was that it? Oh. NO! He was holding Tricia s hand. Hija! Kamusta ka na? Too sad. You re not Imo Jean! You re not Imo Jean! He started wailing. Imo Jean Yumakap ulit ito. But I m not that stupid. They were almost all half-filipinos half-koreans. like the way Julian stared at me when he was suspicious. There stood Julian s grandfather . Lahat sila naka palibot sa `kin. What the hell is happening here?! Unti-unti akong tumingin sa hagdanan. Sa sobrang inis ko binitawan ko siya. darling? You got me worried We ll go to the nearest hospital. Are you sure. I didn t make it on your wedding day. Our baby he might be He frantically cupped my stomach tenderly. Celine smiled at me. n o. Oh m y. Aunt Risan. Nagkalat ang chocolates sa mga kamay ko. Nakatingin ako sa batang naglalagkit ng chocolates. Imo Jean let s play. Me. Imo Jean s-sorryy My eyes watered. Ngumiti ito at inabutan ako ng wineglass. Kahit isa sa ka nila hindi ko alam ang pangalan. Hindi sila matapobre like what I d expected. Napansin ko ang closeness ni Julian kay Uncle Jin. Emotional stress. My eyes searched for Julian. Drake. ganyan din ako ng pinagbubuntis ko si Tantan. Tantan. No make-believe baby. The patriarch of the Sunico family. Anak siya ni Uncle Jin. Hindi ko na kaya. You missed aunt Jean. Natawa ang mga pinsan ni Ju lian at tinapik ito. kay a ikaw Julian take care of Jean. Me. you re okay? Tanong ni Uncle Jin. Hindi ko ineexpect ito. Tricia ey ed me curiously. He looked at me then started hiccupping. The man who had bear-hugged me earlier. Emotional stress. eh? Pagpasensyahan mo ang apo ko Jean. Tantan smiled up at me. O kay lang po. Tahimik lang ako. He grasped my hand. I heard that one. My throat was dry. Ayoko na. clearly. He was the old man in the pictures! With Julian. and the res t I couldn t very well remember their names. No nothing. Oh. Nananaginip ba `ko? Sa panaginip ko Julian was worried sick about me. Then I started hiccupping. At apo nito si Tantan. . Imo Jean! I almost groaned aloud. Para akong hihimatayin. Pinilit kong tumayo mula sa malaking kama. Si Celine. Reall y stared at me. si Uncle Jin. He looked real worried. At nalaman kong kaya lang sila nan dito ay dahil sa Angko ni Julian Julian s grandfather was sick. Parang ito ang pumalit sa pwestong iniwan ng papa niya. So he s Tantan? I groaned inwardly. Some smiled at me. Nasan ako? Julian cupped my cheek softly. Are you sure. H indi naman ako pinanganak na sinungaling kaya nagi-guilty din naman ako sa pamil ya ni Julian.
Diyos ko. Sadly. He pulled off his coat. Julian seemed like the very devil himself. You love Brad. Nakita kong unti-unt ing nag-iiba `yung expression niya. No that would stomp my damned pride. Narinig ko ang pagsara ng pinto. pati ako naguguluhan. I was amazed at what he had done next pabalyang itinulak ako ni Julian sa kama. Nagpapakatanga ba talaga ako? He was taking his clothes off one by one. Tinanggal ko iyon ng humarap ako sa kanya. But oh my. darling? He said in sarcasm. Do I need consent in raping my wife. Pero dinaganan niya `ko . In the first place. My eyes grew wide I thought it might p opped out. Gigil na itinaas nito ang baba ko. ang pangalan ng pamilya mo . Ju lian was dead serious. Eh. Is there something wrong. I was sudd enly afraid. Niyakap ako ni Tant an sa leeg. di sana hindi tayo parehong nakatali sa kasal na ikaw mismo ang may gawa. Julian don t do this. right? And you re a hypocrit e. Ewan ko. Na parehong meron kay Julian. Right. mapapatawad ko na sana `tong batang `to. I m already doing this. Ginamit kita para makuha ko ang gusto ko. Tatakbo ako mula sa gilid ng hapitin niya ang bewang ko. M y hands were trembling violently. Bulong ko. Well.At sana hindi dumating `yung panahong I d start really hating you. Natakot ako bigla. His face was so close I c ould smell his breathing. Authority. it felt wrong and delicious. I screeched and clawed his face. Ano `to stare-a-thon? The muscle on his jaw flexed furiously. Taas noong tumingin ako sa kanya. Now. Umiiyak ang huli. Magkaya kap. They were both alike. wala siyang kara patan magalit. May tungkod ito. At may mahal din akong iba. Parang bigla akong natakot sa itsura ni Julian. He s got grit and pride. His whole body was covering mine. Jean nie Nakita ko si Tricia. Na para bang ako ang may kasalanan ng lahat. Wala n a `kong pakialam kung magalit siya sa `kin. . I gasped. His fists clenched. as if mocking me. Are you going to rape me? I whispered angrily. Sa likod ng isip ko nakikita ko sila ni Tricia. Ako. para makuha ko ang titulo ng bahay namin. Realization hit me all at once. Hindi niya `ko maririnig na magmakaawa. Julian s face darkened. His rheumy eyes were still clear. He wouldn t hurt me. me and Tricia! I clenched my teeth. Insensitive cad! What s wrong? Ha! Yes! Everything s wrong you. Gi namit kita. Galit na tinitigan niya `ko. Please Julian Tama ka. You ruined both our lives. Pagsalba man lang ng pride. I pushed him hard on the chest. Bakit ako masasaktan? Siguro kasi natatapakan pride ko bilang babae. Pilit kong iniaatras ang katawan ko papuntang headboard. Ang mga mata nito. Hindi naman ako nasaktan dahil malambot ang malaking kama. Because I m good at giving back to charities and you re one of them. Arrogance. I looked over my shoulders Lamp shade? Brush? No! I can t hurt him. I saw red. parang nag-aalala siya. Pero lalo niya lang hinigpitan. My God. And let s face reality may mahal kang ib a. Let s get her to rest. Nagti tigan kami. 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. But there was definitely something about his grandfather t hat made me fear him. Very much like Julian. Overwhe lming anger and desolation. Napalunok ako. Hindi ako makahinga sa bigat niya. Parang naiiyak na `ko. At least not physically. Jeannie Will you please go away from me? I murmured angrily as Julian touched my shoulder. Kulang na lang maging ab o ako sa apoy na nilalabas non. I know an insult when I heard one. Nobody assiste d the old man. He didn t quite budge. The rise and fall of my chest rubbed against his. The corner of his lips twitched lazily. sonja? Napatingin ako sa mukha ng Angko ni Julian. What s wrong? I bit my lower lip from shouting at him. Jeannie. He di dn t look as if he was sick. I sighed. My heart was thundering. And it hit right through the core. And g oodness. Sana nanlimos ka na lang sa `kin. O nag-aalala ba talaga? Tinalik uran ko siya. tukso layuan mo ako! Julian no My eyes grew wide. No! O. He became withdrawn. Sabi nito sa mataas na tinig. Inihiga niya ` ko sa kama. he was clad with his Levi s Ganon kabilis. Niyakap niya `ko.
Something I felt strongly. Nagsabog ang buhok ko sa k ama at sa mukha ko. yet I couldn t name . Sanjo come here. Uncle Jin s mouth was slacked. Julian Sunico and his wife. He was tense. Para akong masosuffocate sa loob ng hospital suite. we weren t in pu rgatory. Surely. But the devil was kissing me. War of heat. His eyes were blazing Then he fisted my hair up that tilted my face in the air. Gusto k ong sabihing family matter `to. I started crying. Parang gusto kong yakapin si Julian. He s dying! We went to the hospital as soon as we got our clothes on. Without clothes on now. War of emotions. Umiiyak na ang mga pinsan nitong babae. Open up for me Jeannie His voice was hoarse. You love Brad? Let s see. Hindi niya kailangang magsalita para mari nig ko `yun. I shouldn t be feeling this way. Tahimik lang si Julian . Tapos hinawakan niya `yung kamay ko. Then he kissed me. Julian! Angko s rushed to the hospital. . openly. The buttons popped. He wanted to see Mr. His hand clutched the side of my neck. And I bet he hated the responsibility. Marahan niyang hinimas ang tyan ko. JUST. Galit na sinabi nito. No Yes no then he was claiming what he shouldn t. parang biglang nag-init ang buong paligid. `Yung parang tinatawag na ni Sa n Pedro. It was like I couldn t do anything anymore. Touching my stomach. Then his hands were there touching me. She was just a family fr iend. Ganoon ba `ko kababaw? Sinisigawan niya `ko lagi. SAVAGELY. Napatingin kami sa doctor. I saw the bitterness written all over his face. Pilit kong iniiwas ang mukha ko. He was already kissing me. We were still in Korea. I closed my eyes ti ghtly. Nanghihina na `ko. I tried hard to close my mouth from his i nvasion. Then he went out of the door. And now I love hi m. But it only ignite d something more more that I wanted. Not l ike this Julian! Then his lips trekked down my neck. And I felt a little sympathy for this old man even though I had met him a few hours ago. Na para bang magkakaroon ng Wo rld War III. Carnally. Then he looked down at me at my bare shoulders and flimsy black underthings. Ang mukha ng lolo ni Julian. Julian? Julian? We both turned at the frantic sound at the door. We were in a war. No. then tears one by one pooled down my eyes. Ro ughly. I love Brad I love Brad I shouted at him. Sa pagkabigla ko Oh my God! I cried out. I opened my mouth to protest.Tumaas lang ang kilay niya. Nakita ko si Tricia na nakatingin sa `min habang nasa labas ng ICU. Pilit akong nagpupumiglas mula sa hawak niya . In bed with a man who thought I was someone else. And I couldn t help falling for him. But I did. Then he kissed me th ere. And I tasted blood there. Angko Julian and him spoke quietly in Korean language. I hate him. You re mine. I was half-naked. Itinulak ko siya ng malakas. He was trying to hide the p ain. Wala na siyang ginawa kundi sa ktan ako. Th e soon-to-be patriarch of Sunicos. Then his lips landed on the side of my neck. wala kang karapatan dito . Hungrily. My God. Ho? Julian pushed me. No one owns me He claimed my mouth not too gently. He was now the heir. He roughly tore my blouse off me.
I m sorry. whatever happens take care of Julian. Nakita ko ang biglang p agmutla ni Uncle Jin. I wanted to tell him. Will you get out of here? You re not a Sunico! Julian hissed silently. At isa pa. I was kinda shocked. Aunt Risan looked worried. Para kaming . Jin. Jeannie could paint. Pero ako si ako si Jean. I nodded. What the hell Ang hirap pumagitna sa mga nag-uumpugang bato. I couldn t help being left out. Ayokong ako pa ang maging dahilan ng pagkamatay ni Angko. Hindi man ako inborn na mabait. At least. Kay Tric ia lang. But he gave me that look that said back off .Angko He smiled sadly. Before we knew it. It was too swift. Parang gusto kong maawa dito. 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. Julian! Celine said authoritatively. Alam ko kung pano magalit ang leon. The Old patriarch of Sunicos were now gone. We were out of the embassy when we saw Julian s father. pano kung balikan ako ni Ang ko? Diyos ko. Too fast. His wrinkled chinky eyes seemed tired. Natatakot akong bak a hindi ko matupad ang promise ko kay Angko. What is over Jin? You tell me! You know it would never be over unless Galit na siga w nito at tumingin kay Julian. After the third day. I heard you are good at painting. naniniwala akong bumabalik ang mga kaluluwa kung may unfinished business. Julian never needed me. meaning almost all of the Sunicos. He needs you. Promise me. `wag naman sana. Tahimik lang siya these past few days. Please make my sanjo happy h-he h-he had the full responsibility now. no. Gusto kong sabihing ako? Ako pa ang mananakit kay Julian? Apo niya nga talaga it o. I m old but I m not stupid. we. why didn t you tell me? He gritted his teeth. Uncle Jin tried to pacify h im. Then his hand went limp. He s dead. Syempre. What if what if Julian turned to his father in anger? O h. I shook my head. Eh. Gusto ko siyang lapitan. Promise. My eyes grew wide. Promise me His voice was ho arse. Pinagtitinginan na kami ng mga tao sa paligid. It s over. I wished you could paint the whole family. Promise. I know I know He chuckled hoarsely. Cremated. nasasaktan din ako. With Tricia. I-comfort. you ll never hurt him. Julian s father was red about the face. Promise me. went back to the Philippines. With me. Yakapin. Julian moved forward. Umiyak na `ko. Hmm He took my hand. Natatakot ako. NINE Julian was withdrawn the whole burial service. hindi naman ako ganon kasama. Ho? Para na akong parrot na paulit ulit.
Ako? I felt alien. 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. We ll have a press conference later. Ayoko na. wala. Ako?. Talo ako. Hindi ko siya ma-t ake. In fairness ha. I gave up. I bit my lower lip. Hi Oh. Pero anong ginagawa ko? Gusto kong protektahan si Julian. Inayos ko ang gown ko sa harap ng salamin. Aunt Risan phoned someone. Nasa kabilang sasakyan si Uncle Jin kasama sina Celine at Tantan. She looked pretty and sophiscated in her pink dress. totoo naman palang sinabi nila. this is the right time to do that? I I don t know. But you know what? I still wanted to reach out to Julian. God.nasa slow motion scene habang nakita namin kung pano tumaas ang kamao ni Julian sa mukha ni Mr.. women have a nurturing nature. Where s your sense of honor dad? Sana hindi na lang kita naging tatay! Julian was making guttural sounds. I d tell him later about everything. Julian was remote. Para akong naestatwa. sa pagkakatanda ko never kang pinagnasaan ni Tricia back in New York. I chose black. I felt exhilarated. Pero paano ang panga ko mo kay Angko Jeannie? Hindi ko na kaya. The n there were papparazzis. you know. Pwede ng makulong. Anong panama ko kay Tricia? She knew a lot. gwapo pala ni Julian Sunico I w ouldn t wonder why Tricia chose him over me.. Sa tingin mo. Wala talagang mabuting idulot si CM. May kumatok. Julian please stop it. I took a step back in horror. Hindi ka si wonde rwoman. Then I sighed. I was mourning my heart out. and men will always be boys at heart. CM I would tell him the truth. Magpabuntis ka kaya kay papa Brad? I cut the line off. Sabi nila. Wrath and envy. Sunico. Hello? Wow. CM I ll talk to you later. When I turned eighteen. I know. I gave up Juli an. LEGAL. At lalong hindi ako magtataka kung ba kit siya pinikot ng kapatid mo. Tamang tama para sa okasyon. Ilang beses ko na bang sinabi: Wala a kong balak sundan ang yapak ni Rizal. Wala ng dialogue na bata ka pa . Tricia was with him. What! Think it over Jeannie. However unreasonable it may be . She was crying now. hindi ako nagi ng mabuting anak. Eve rything. Painful. They have reasons. Where the hell had they come from? Tricia hugged him from behind. Don t cause any more scandal than we have now Even Celine was c rying. There was more to this than I couldn t put a finger on. She understood him about his family. Why? Kasi feeling ko malaya na `ko m ula sa manipulasyon ng parents ko. Nagpapawis. Pero ang m agulang ay magulang. Tonight. I know I m committing two of the seven deadly sins. Mas matalino sa `yo kapatid mo. I gritted my teeth. I saw the headlines. Dumating ang mga bodyguards ni Uncle Jin. At ang hitad tumawa pa. What do you think will Julian feel? Another blow? Dammit. At hin . I saw Tricia squeezed his hand. I rolled my eyes.. Because he needed it t hough he wasn t asking it. And I never wanted to run for an ulirang anak awardee. mag-boyfriend at uminom. Tricia smiled at me. Julian closed his eyes. Mapagpanggap ka. At lalong hindi ko na kailangang magsinungaling na may project par a lang payagang gumala. artista ka na. My phone vibrated. Like I was an altogether different person. I remembered telling Jean this: Jean `wag mong i-save ang mundo. Iyak ng iyak si Tantan ng magising. Ano naman nandyan naman si Tricia! He would feel betrayed. Muy. Excuse me lang Carlo Miguel Jr. CM. Independent. Wala ng curfew. Susuko na ba talaga ako? My hands were cold. Hindi.
Kasabay ng paglabas nito ng pinto. And I promise you My jaw dropped. Kumain na tayo. Julian let go of my hand. Touching my closed lips light against his. his tux on one hand. His han ds automatically wrapped around my waist. But beca use you took Julian from me. A slow grin played about the corner of his lips. Tricia cupped Julian s cheek! Kitang kita ko `yun mula sa salamin. Three. Gutom na `ko. If you don t. Later His eyes burned pr omise. Thirty minut es later. I ll take Julian away from you. Brad. I shrugged. I couldn t risk being seen with him. Parang naririnig ko pa `yun. I swallowed. Parang nanlamig ang buong pagkatao ko. Ayan. Breathe out. Sa ginawa niyong magkapatid. Maganda naman ako. I wanted t o spit fire at her. Julian! For Christ s sake! The reporters are already here. no! I hadn t said my thoughts aloud again. Pero tao lang po ako. And in that moment. Three days ago. Alam ba ng lahat? You knew? She nodded. And his voice like hell. me and our baby. Thirty minutes. I know it s you Jeannie. Tumalikod na siya. You don t have to wor Julian was leaning gorgeously against the doorframe. I saw him tensed. I I ve always been alone. Uncle Jin said from out of nowhere. I tiptoed and wrapped m y arms around his neck. my eyes squinted. Hindi rin naman kita gusto. Lumapit ito. Lumiko ako sa kabilang room. Ikaw Jea nnie mag-prepare ka na. It s alright. Jeannie He groaned. You . you know me. Julian? I smiled and turned around to see Brad?! You called me last night. Ano ba Jeannie! Magtino ka nga Para kang naka-drugs. It was deserted. Oh. Wala akong dapat ikahiya. Lumingon ako.Ito ba ang k aya mong i-give up? Akala ko ba si Eba ang dahilan kung bakit nagkasala ang buon g daigdig. This was one big hell of a joke. Kaya nga nagtataka ako kung bakit magaling din akon g magsinungaling. Tapos nanlaki `yun g mga mata ko.ihiling kong sana y hindi ko na makita ever si Tricia. Parang gustong lumabas ng puso ko. Please take care of Julian. One step. Had Jean c . Then I tried to smile at him. I blushed. If you don t. Tricia ayokong makipagplastikan. I want to have a big family. Two steps. He clutched at me frantically. I wan t this marriage to work. Tsk. Nothing more. L ike hell. Lumabas na ako at pumunta sa conference room. Tricia was challenging me. Tuta l huling gabi ko na ito. That s a mistake. He was a bit taken aback. Oh. Not personally. Dahil sa pagkaparalyze ko hindi ako makapag-react. I m with Julian last night and I was wrong Jean! Once run away with me. I d tell him tonight. I m not a hypocrite Jeannie. I closed my eyes and kissed hi m. I d rather eat you for dinner. Just a peck. I sucked in my breath. I ll take Julian away from you. Parang sirang plaka. I was out looking for Julian. had I? Jean always t old me how transparent I am. Then I remembered what happened. Pilit kong inaalis ang mga kamay ni Brad sa bewang ko. Jeannie I I shrugged and went forward. Patatawarin kita sa ginawa mo. Nagulat ako ng biglang may yumakap sa`kin from behind. I rea lized one thing: Hindi ko kayang i-give up si Julian! Dinner time. Parang namanhid `yung buong katawan ko. My God. You re blushing. Jok e lang ni Brad. he was inviting me to taste the forbidden app le. Bakit hindi ko pa sabihin lahat? She smiled at me. Bakit hindi ka dumating? Ano?! Ano bang pinagsasabi nito? Was he into drugs also? Dahil sa kagandahan ko? Ang lupit talaga ng kamandag ko. The ot her hand on his pocket. parang hindi naman. A fresh start. My eyes grew wide. I don t feel good around you. I love you.
Julian lis ten to me! I pleaded. Unless you knew wh at love really meant. His eyes. Once. Julian She loves me Julian. I m sorry. I caused another scandal. Hindi dapat mandamay ng inosent eng nilalang. Tricia we re regarding me with an accusing stare. Eh. Okay. I clutched at his arm. Sabi ni mommy. by the end of the day I wouldn t wonder if I woul d be six feet underground he was going to kill me. My heart stopped. Tapos may humawak ulit sa braso ko. O dapat pang sabihin. The door was locked. iba ang pakahulugan sa `kin non dati. my jaw almost dropped. Unless you fell in love like this. And opened the damned door. Julian Na kita ko ang nagsabog na mga beer bottles. Wala siyang alam! No! I whispered. Hindi niya kasalanan. NO over me. At natakot ako kasi. For the win pala itong si Tricia! Naiiyak na sana ako nun eh. Nakataas ang paa nito sa drawer. Parang biglang nawala ang lakas ng loob ko. 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. I failed. Even though you couldn t define it. I thought it was in the movies or telenovelas. PAIN. Nalunok ko pa ata ang nanunuyot kong laway. Kapag bukas ko ng pinto madilim. No response. I stood there motionle ss. Then the door opened. Tumakbo ako palabas. The Great JULIAN SUNICO wouldn t cry over a woman. Jeannie. Ahm. I d us e the word banging now. Hindi ba dapat nagse-celebrate siya at hindi na . Bakit ko ba naisipang mag-give up? I never had that in my v ocabulary. No It hurt as I stared coldly at his back. Kay Julian. Then he walked away. Then he turned his back on me. Pwede pala kaming friends. May pills kaya itong dala sa loob? Wire? Rope ? Knife? Grabe naman. 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. Oh my God. Set us free. mahalaga pala ako sa kanya. I saw something luha? No. Ah ewan. Hindi ko na natapos kung ano man ang sasabihin ko. I failed Tricia. ang lola ng lola ko ang p amangkin ng anak ni Gabriela Silang. Feeling ko masusuka a ko. Tricia yelled at me earlier in the ho tel suite and took me out of my reverie. I would underst and if he showed anger. Ako si Jeannie Rose Leviste. Twice. Since. WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK ARE YOU DOING?! Tricia half-screamed half-whispered. Para akong pinagbagsakan ng langit at lupa. What I saw in his face tore my heart into pieces. Julian! I gritted my teeth in anger. Si Brad. `Yung pag-aagawan naming `yu ng bidang lalaki. I failed Angko. Th e reporters were forgotten. The paparazzi. Mas kaya ko pang i-handle ang galit na Julian. Someone gasped. Julian open this damned door! Ma am What! I tried to calm my nerves. I m He was already kissing me! My head spin. `wag daw po siyang gambalain. his deadly glance. I m setting you free. No! Bakit hindi ako makasigaw? Julian turned to me. ma am sabi po ni sir. Nawala na ang overdramatic mood ko kanina. Jean what the hell do you think are you doing to me? TEN I knocked on the door. Posible pala. I swore my life was doomed as Julian stared coldly at me. Flashes of cam era. I turned on the lights and saw Julian s back. Yes. I wasn t knocking now. Siguro h indi niyo ko maiintindihan. `Wag gambalain? Bakit ano bang himala ang ginagawa niya sa loob? Gigil kong sabi.alled him last night? No Brad listen I m not Jean Rose. And I hurt Julian. Bwisit na b inabalibag ko na ang pinto. He was sitting on his swivel chair.
His neck tie was scattered on the desk. My eyes grew wide. three days ago. Screw. Men are men. I blinked thr ice. I felt him moved a little. eh `di tinab lan ka ngayon! I wanted to shout victory. Mas nakakahiya naman kung ako pang humigit sa kanya sa kama `di ba? Oh. At hindi napagi-iwanan si Julian! Did he think his w ords would hurt me? Kilala ko na siya. Dalagang Pilipina ako no.gpapakalasing? Eh. I swore Julian s eyes grew wide. Payag na `ko. My eyes grew wide. His teeth gritted. Bingi ba ito? Ayoko. Tapos lumapit siya sa `kin. here in the library. There. He swung the swivel chair roughly. The tic on his adam s apple moved. 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. Nabasa ko `ya n before. Bosom is for inbred ladies. Hindi ito lu milingon. At galit na tumayo ito. Alam ko kasalanan `tong gagawin ko. bakit Jeannie may kasama namang alak kapag nagse-celebrate `di ba? Hell. D ry. He caressed my neck gently . I hated to admit it. Lumaki ang mga mata ko. His eyes glinted. Papayag ka din sa a nnulment. That chest would hav e been illegal to cover! Payag na `ko. Then his err erri ng hand cupped my hmm. Ju lian. And then his big hand gripped me. The more he was hurt. didn t you? Wouldn t you scream his name if we were going to To make love? I supplied nervously. I m right. I want an annulment.. I whispered and swallowed sharply. I should have known. Bulong ko. Bakit mo ipagpipilitan ang sarili mo sa `kin kung nandyan naman si Brad? Parang biglang bumalik ang animosity nito. Payag na `ko. My I sighed silently. n o. If we re going to do it. Hindi ako magpapatakot sa damuho nato. Nataob ko ang bataan.. I gulped Could n t I just look up and not on his chest. Why wasn t he doing a thing? We were just standing there him touching me. Second time. Whatever. You wanted out of this marriage because of that SOB. The first time. Hindi. Tumawa ito na parang nang-aasar. Ang mga singkit niyang mat a lumaki at bumilog. Payag na `kong magpa-rape sa `yo Julian. See? He laughed out mockingly. Gusto ko sanang sabihin `yun. I was that desperate. Then his hand moved. He was trying to intimi date me. give me strength. Na para bang bago pa sa `kin `yun. Julian What! Pack your things and get out of my house! He whispered angrily. no t down but up. It was a little bit awkward and delicious? I moaned inwardly. He started laughing demonicall y. `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. they were born w ith long and sharp tongues. Ayan. Oh. we ll only be screwing. Nababaliw na ata talaga ako. His brow arched. was I? His eyes squinted anew. Oh lord. darling making love is only women s term. Sabi ko. Naglalabasan na ang ugat nito sa leeg. Then I took his hand and put it on my I swallowed first. the more he lashed . Julian listen to me I want to come clean. Bad `yan ha. I put it on my na. You fvcking love him. What the hell do you think are you doing? I was amazed. I swallowed against his deathly grip. I m not talking to your back. Ang mga butones ng polo shirt nito ay nagkandakalas. Parang nag-init ang punong tenga ko. Hoarse. With consent bosom. He always did that that menacing steps. I winced at the brutal words. Up to my neck.
it didn t matter. Shut up Jeannie . I secretively smiled. Julian you can t run away from me. Biglang tumaas `yung sulok ng bibig nito. Our mommy now. Tapos tinitigan niya `ko. He wiped his mouth with a napkin. Tinanggal nito ang kamay sa leeg ko. We ll ha ve an annulment after you give birth. And one more thing Julian. I whispered. Anong nginingiti-ngiti mo dyan? Ano bang problema nito? Panira ng araw. Tapos tinitigan ni ya si CM mula ulo hanggang paa. Bakit kita hihi walayan eh. Nagkatinginan kami ni Julian. so my mommy s here. Ganon din si Julian. Tapos umupo na kaming lahat. But what the hell was CM doing in here? Sabi ko na nga bad vibes. sir may bisita po kayo. At isinara ko ang pinto. And take note: with consent. Dapat talaga naglagay ako ng banga sa harap ng p intuan para hindi nakakapasok ang masasamang espiritu sa bahay nila Julian. And you can marry your SOB of a lover. May batas na ba dito sa bahay ang bawal ngumiti Jules? I saw his teeth gritted. Oo nga po. Must have been the china vase that caused millions. What is it hija? She smiled at Julian. Napaka-contagious ng aura nito. Hin di ako nagagalit. Kailangan kong malaman ang d eepest and darkest secret nila malay mo. O isa lang talaga lagi `yung expression niya. Parang gusto kong manghina. Ano pa bang dapat sabihin? Julian became withdrawn again. He was pus hing me away. It was like I could take on the world. God. Mommy Ma am. Tawa ng tawa sa `kin mommy ni Julian. Itinaas niya ang baba ko. Ang tanong paano ko manganganak? Paano kung hindi ako pumayag? He shrugged and took to his drinking again. Hindi ko alam kun g bakit energetic ako at masaya. may psychic ability kam i nitong si Julian. So how are we going to do it? Sa desk? Sa couch? Sa ibabaw ng counter? What he was doing was scaring me off. I whispered. Wit h her mom. mommy. ako din kaya. He said very politely. I bet he was wondering what on earth was happening to me. I wouldn t be bothered by his cruel words. para may maipam-blackmail ako kay Julian . I pouted. Minsan naiisip ko. My mommy smiled. She s Jeannie s bestfriend. Ahm . Balae? Napalunok ako. M arami naman siyang pambili eh. Julian kissed my mom s cheek. mas mayaman ka kay Brad? I smiled b!tchily at him. Morning. You wouldn t do that.back. Your bestfriend? Lumingon sa `kin si Julian. amoy tsiko na. CM? Mommy? Marahan akong tumayo at ngumiti sa kanila. Good morning mommy. Then I heard a loud crash. Para tuloy may nagsasabi sa `king may hindi mangyayaring maganda. Then from the do orway came Oh my God. Yes. Su nico on the cheek. 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. Negative vibes. I turned around before opening the door. given. I could see that. Paano mo `ko papakinabangan kung patay na `ko? He sighed. Parang outsider din ang mommy ni Julian sa family Sunico. Ang hininga niya. Rape nga `di ba Inis kong sabi. Good morning Philippines! Good morning World! Good morning mommy! I kissed Mrs. Hindi ako nagtatatalak sa kanya. Inaalagaan mo bang maigi itong si Jean? He snorted. Akala lang nila si Jean ang matalino no. Baliw na kaya ako? Kapag baba ko ay nakita kong nagbebreakfast na sa lanai si Julian. Okay. Tinitigan n iya `ko ng masama. thank you for stopping Julian from killing me last night. If I kill you there would b e justice. At siya? He didn t even g ive me a glance. Ah Julian si CM. Seven months.
My mom bit her lower lip. Julian. Feeling ko lulubog ako sa kahihiyan. He snorted at me. Weather forecast. hija? What k ind of chocolate? A box of chocolates. Biglang binawi ni CM kamay niya at tumuwid ng tayo. Anong gagawin ko? Wala akong alam! Ano ano nga pala ang mga pinaglilihian mo hija? Parang hindi naman siya naglilihi. Really? One brow arched. Pinanlakihan ko siya ng mga mata. Here. Parang nanigas ang panga ko sa pag-smile. Julian tugged my hand. I smiled too sweetly. Politics.Yeah. What the hell? Mom what s this? Pills. so why don t you take on the job? Bigla akong nahirinan. We re bestfriends. Then I gasped softly. May ipapatayo nga pala akong business hija. kitang-kita ang pagkabuhay ng katawang lupa ni CM sa mga mata niya. Ay grabe. Later everybody was well and good. I know you ll surely love it. Inabot niya sa `kin ang isang maliit na paper bag. And fashion Lahat nag-uusap save Julian. Suspicious. Na para bang ewan ko. T sismis. Tila ayaw pa ng makisama! Ganyan din ako ng nagbubuntis ako kay Julian hija I smiled secretively. Ayokong bitawan ang paper bag. I forgot to give my gift. It was now or never. Tinitigan ko siya. . He eyed Julian like my husband was the meal. I m not very particular with gays. Sh!t. God. Usap. Jeannie. Julian was still scrutinizing me. CM an o ba `yang pabango mo ang baho! Itinulak ko si CM. Ni hindi man lang hinimas `yung likod ko! Ahm talaga po? Maganda `yan. Napatayo silang tatlo. Pero hindi eh. Tumaas ang kilay nito. Really. Hindi ko gusto `yung tingin niya sa `kin. How dare you CM ! What is it? My mom asked. Balae. Let me see. Actually may mga gay friends din kami sa New Ahurm. Ah. Then I made mewling sounds like I w as going to throw up. errr Masusuka ata ako. Ahhh. Ang boses. I opened the paper bag. Oh? Naalala ko tutal tapos ka naman ng business administration. Tapo s sumabog ang laman niyon sa lamesa. Julian butted in. CM s eyes grew wide. Plan A and B. Jean Rose finished commerce. Bottle A. Bottle B. I m glad to finally meet you CM ex tended his hand toward Julian. Tapos bigla akong humawak sa tyan ko. A box of chocolates. Tinakpan ko ang bibi g ko. Julian raise d one brow at me. Ang mga mata ni Julian parang lobo. Tumabi sa `kin si CM. Two vials. 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! . CM smiled at me. halika na t mag-breakfast na tayo.. Barakong barako.. how could I? Kung mommy ko pa m ismo ang nagtutulak sa `king gawin ito. I smiled at Julian s mom. sorry. It was like a tug o war between us. In front of me was a box of chocolate-flavored c-o-n-d-o-m-s! ELEVEN My hands trembled. Makakatulong `yan in future references. Hinimas ni mommy ang likod ko.
Tapos parang namimilipit na naman ulit sa s akit. mabango. Tapos bigla akong tinalikuran! Wow. Magtat aka pa ba ako kung saan ako nagmana? Magaling ding umarte `tong mommy ko eh. Napakapit ako sa sink. malay ko ba baka sakaling pagtingin ko sa salamin iba na pala pagkatao ko. Ako na pala si Angel Locsin. Get dressed. Ni hindi man lang marunong kuma tok. Tinignan niya `ko na para bang nababaliw na `ko. Tears were starting to form again. Masama pakiramdam ko. Masakit talaga sa may bandang puson. Dammit. I hissed. magkukunwaring tulog sa tabi niya. This is this is Grabe. Ha? Anak ka ng magaling ang plano ni mommy! Breathe in. `di ba? Ilang beses ko lang pinagpaplanuhang patayin si Julian sa isip ko. He g lanced at me boringly then shrugged. May pupuntahan tayo. In fairness. Una lagi si papa God sa listahan ko kasunod lang si Julian na akala ata siya ang Diyos. Ito give this to him one hour before you go to bed. And he sla mmed the door to my face. Lalong sumasaki t. Na glalawa na ang ilong ko kakasinghot. Tapos tinignan niya `yung basang parte ng polo niya.. Pinipilit ko namang sundin ang sampung utos ni Go d. My God. see? Obedient pa nga ako `di ba? Akalain mong gawin ko ang utos ni mommy na lagyan ng ecstacy pills ang inumin ni Julian. Oh. violation of human rights ang ginagawa ko sa sarili ko! Pwede kong kasuha n ang mga magulang ko. Goodness. I gritted my teeth. Pano kung napasukan niya `kong nagyu-urinate? Or worst nagbabawas ng sama ng loob? Oh? Gigil kong sabi.. Don t pull that act on me Jeannie. Me? Jeannette Rose Le viste? Pumunta ako sa CR at naghilamos ng mukha. J eannie! What the I blew out on his polo shirt. My mom brushed an invisible tear on her left cheek. magtatanggal ng damit. Mayamaya lang I felt something pierced within my tummy. Tinuro ko `yung dibdib niya. Kun g hindi ko pa alam. . Viagra? As if Julian needed i t! Hindi naman ako magtataka sa kakayahan ni Julian kaya lang. Huwag papatay. Jeannie! He gritted his teeth in horror. Magbihis ka na. Then I reached out to h im. Pero sa isip lang `yun! Huwag kang magnakaw. Para alalayan ako. Breathe out. Naiiyak na pinunasan ko ang mga mata ko. Lobo na pala a ko at si Julian ang ihahapunan ko. Sa sobrang inis ko yumakap ako kay Julian. My eyes grew wide. Okay na `ko. Okay lang sana kung hihiga ak o. Grabe ang sakit-sakit talaga ng puson ko. O kaya magbula bigla ang bibig niya. Ano bang ginawa ko para parusahan ako ng Diyos Julian? Naging mabuting tao naman ako. Ano bang nangyayari sa `yo? Bakit ka ba sumisigaw? My eyes watered. He was so caring and v ery sweet! Gusto ko siyang ipapapak sa mga langgam. I winced in pain again. karma na ba ito? Jeannie? Biglang bumukas `yung pinto. She s giving me a dose of ahm. 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. Ikaw na lang. Hindi ba ganon ang pikot? Either that or ecstacy pills! NOT ADVISABLE. It won t work this time. Tinitigan niya `ko. I smiled at him sweetly.Alam ko. Para akong bata. Respetuhin mo ang iyong ama at ina. Clean. One hour later. Right at this moment I was wishing he could fall into a ditch. Shrugged! My God he was so inconsiderate. Thank you. salamat sa singahan. What do I need pills for? Anak there s no other way. Hindi ba Julian? Mabait naman ako bakit ako nagkakaganito? Ngawa ako ng ngawa.
Ito ba ang dahilan? Napasigok ako. Julian s voice became tender. He cleared his throat. Julian Ano? Inis na lumingon siya sa `kin. Hindi ko napansin na nakatulog na pala ako. Eh `di sana h indi mo sa `kin binigay si Julian! Ikaw din papa God ang may kasalanan. Of course not. Muntik na `ko dun. 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. my God. Naghahyperventilate pa `yung hormo nes ko. Malls. Huwag kang magbibintang at huwag kang magsisinungaling. Can you please keep quiet? Lalong lumakas `yung hikbi ko. Ano ba kasing masakit? Gusto kong mapaantanda. Grabe. Nakita kong nakapagpalit na siya ng damit. Nakapamulsa si Julian. Mauuna ka sa `kin. He whispered. biglang nawala `yung antok ko. Kung hindi pa sigaw na tawag `yun eh ano? So bulong pa `yun ganon ? Huwag kang makikiapid sa hindi mo asawa. Ano ba! I hated it. Bak it hindi ko man lang nakita? Tsk. Ano ba `yan Ang bilis naman! Kung ano ano kasi iniisip ko. Ang aga namang punishment nito. Huwag kang magnanasa sa hindi mo asawa. My eyes grew wide. Parang gusto ko ng magpalahaw ng iyak. Oh. Alam niyo naman po `yung white lies `di ba God? Huwag kang magnanasa sa hindi mo pag-aari. Wala pa. Parang tumataas ang altapresyon ko. Jeannie. Are you sure this one was Julian? He was lau ghing cheerfully. Hinimas-himas ko `yung puson ko. Assuming! I rolled my eyes. Gusto nila sila ang hari. The lines around his chink y eyes became soft. I thought you re not coming. Tricia? Promise. Hindi pa ako tapos sa drama ko I bit my lower lip. Honey AHEM! . No. Bakit ka ba kasi iyak ng iyak? Napanguso ako. we re here! My teeth clenched. Wala naman masyado. Parang bumata siya ng isang taon. Pinagnanasaan mo ba `ko? He was astonished at first. Period. Weird. Not one of those demon laughs of his. Ang hirap maging babae. Tumango lang ako as if saying go on . NAIA? Oh. mood swings I snorted. Naramdaman kong may humihimas ng tyan ko. But I saw through his façade.Hindi ako sumisigaw. Pabalibag na tinanggal ko ang kamay niya sa balikat ko kahit disoriented pa `ko. Mga walang puso. There was so much pain written in Julian s face. Awkward. Bac kaches. She smiled at me. Sumanda l ako sa upuan at hinimas niya `yung parte kung saan ko nilagay `yung kamay niya . I didn t care when he stared at me in confusion. Iba ang admiration sa lust. Tap os bigla siyang tumawa. Does this me an I m going to hell also? I groaned inwardly. Hindi ko pa naman sinasabing supe r okay na kami ah. I smirked and peer ed at the scenery outside. Ano ba Hindi ko naman pinagnanasaan si Ju lian ah. Mom told me that there would be times like this you getting emotional on me. I wanted to sleep and never wake up. Of course. Honey I Ahem! Lumingon sila sa `kin. Tricia I m sorry. Establisments. Men never wanted to be termed weak a nd emotional. Naghihikab na sumunod lang ako sa kanya. Isa lang bata pa naman tala ga siya. I could see that. Sa puson. but his touch lessened the pain. Let s go. Liars go to hell. Someone pinched my nose. Ahm no comment ako dyan. So sinamantala ko na. He sighed. Mood swings? Mero Buntis ka rin? Inirapan ko siya. Nagiging habit na a ta niya `yun ah. I put his hand on the spot just below my ( `wag kulay berde) tummy. Naramdaman ko na lang na may yumuyug yog sa balikat ko. Wala pa namang nangyayari sa `min ni Julian. Tumaas ang kilay ko. Masama talaga epekto sa `kin `pag -FOOL moon. he didn t and would n t show it ever. I pouted prettily.
Argh. Take good care of him. Julian looked at me in horror. Lumapit ulit si Tricia kay J ulian.Julian glared at me. O. What for? Ipapakulam kita! You and Tricia. The nerve! Akala ko ba friends na kami? Julian waved at her. Humarap siya sa `kin. Dysmenorrhia. We re just one of those cases of childh ood Korean sweethearts. But a kiss is a kiss! Then she started giggling as she took her bags with her. It was only four in the afternoon. layuan mo `ko! Mi nsan nga naiisip ko ipatanggal ko na lang kaya `yung uterus ko? Kaso kawawa naman sila mommy. Okay lang? A token of farewell. do tell me. Tapos lumapit siya sa `kin. Inirapan ko siya. ano p ang tinatayo tayo mo diyan? Uwi na tayo. Sana ma-solve mo na `y an. Ano namang akala niya gagawin ko `yung ginawa ko sa kanya kay Tricia? I smirked. what have I done again? He sighed impatiently. Oh. I swore I heard Tricia giggled. Nagyakap sila. Bulong ko habang sakay kami ni Julian pabalik. Friends? Yeah. I was really rooted on the ground. Hindi sila magkakaroon ng apo mula sa pinakamaganda nilang anak. Talaga? Oo naman. TWELVE How would I continue with the plan if my fvcking hormones were raging on? Gusto kong magpagulong gulong sa pamimilipit sa sakit. S ometimes he thought he knows what he s doing. Ha? Before I knew it. My God I was going crazy with pain. Then I heard my phone ringing. She kissed Julian on the mouth! Just a peck. Hindi ko sinasadyang mapatingin sa labi niya. Friends! When you come back to New York. Hindi ko siya pinansin. She smiled at me. May excuse ako para magkaganito. Nagulat ako when she hugged me. Meron argh. Ipinikit ko `yung mata ko. Makakaangal pa ba siya eh. What? Do you know where I can buy a doll? His one brow arched. Julian raised his brow. wala naman siya dito? I sighed. buntis ako. As in a smudge of red lipstick on the side of his lips. Niyakap niya `ko! Tumaas `yung kilay ko dun. Ang kapal! I tried to calm my nerves. walang choice. I wanted to die. Wala na namang problema sa `kin `yun eh. I looked at my nails innocently. Our families expected us to marry since we were kids. Hind i ko sinasadya! I gritted my teeth. H inimas himas ko ulit `yung puson ko. Too happy. Kasi naman may pangalan nam an `yung tao. In short. How absurd no I nodded. Suminghot ulit ako. Gusto mong pumunta sa heaven? He pursed his lips teasingly. H-hello? Jeannie! Ano?! Shopping tayo. . I saw red. As in NOW. Full moon. Sy empre second lang si Jean. Ayoko.
Tapos umiwas ng mata na parang nahuli ko sa akto. So? Nasa Pilipinas tayo Jeannie! And who on earth would kiss a friend on the lips? He cleared his throat. Matuwa kaya siya? In the states it is very common! Sigaw ko. Pano kung sabihin ko sa kanyang nag-suggest si CM na i-french kiss ko siya. Tricia is my ex! Until you came along. T-takot ako sa karayom.Narinig kong bumuntunghininga si CM. I heard his footsteps behind me. He told me to meet up! Then what he was late. Anong silbi mo? I rolled my eyes heavenward. Eh Julian. Sumandal ulit ako. Sa huli ako pa rin ang sinunod ni manong at pumunta kami sa S. In amusement? Malamang magsha-shopping. Lecheng si CM. Who s that? CM. I need to buy a nine-mo nth package. wait! Nine months? Kelangan malaki na tyan ko nun. Manong bababa na po ako. Fine. Try me. It was huge and big. N ew establishment. Seryoso nga! Napahaw ak agad ako sa stain sa bandang crotch ko. Afte r CM gave me the details where to the line went disconnected. He was going to get a tongue lashing from me. nagpapanic kong sabi. Naintindihan mo ba ayoko ngan My eyes grew wide. A t sa kutsilyo. Who s that? No one. Oh. I said Sige na Jeannie shopping na tayo. He raised one brow and read the newspaper. Ingos ko sa kay Julian. Feeling ko lalo akong dudugu in kay Julian. Ah ganon. Seryoso ba ito? I looked at his face. The hell I care. Ugh. Tap os hinigit niya `yung braso ko. We go home. Julian. Sinisiguro kong mababaon siya ng buhay sa mura ko. Kung sa mga ganong klase ka ng tao sasama baka kung ano ano mapulot mong kalokoha n. Mall. Jul ian grabbed my hand. Grabe. Mall. No. Lee yesterday I asked her kung pwede kang i-ceasa rian. Ceasarian? As in hiwa. He would submit me to the k nife. Before I knew it. Jeannie! He shouted authoritatively. no. Badtrip. You cannot stop me. I mean kelan gan manganak na `ko Don t worry Jeannie. Hello Jeannie! I ll go shopping with you later. 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 gulped. Eh. You got used to kissing a friend on the lips? Namamangha kong sabi. Bakit ba ako nagsuot ng pa lda? `Yung hanggang kalahating hita ko pa. Nahuli ko naman talaga sila ah! We just got used to it. Fifteen minutes. Stupid. Didn t I tell you not to talk to him again? Manong punta po tayo sa S. Nagtataka lang ako what does S stand for? Anong gagawin natin dito? His lips twitched at the corner. Umuwi na tayo. he was leading me to a a baby section. Nanghihinang sabi ko na ikinalingon ni Julian. Who on earth would give a con contraceptives as a gift? Nakikita kong lalong pan iningkit ng mga mata nito. I saw red! No Naiiyak na bulong ko. Nag-iisa na nga lang ang sanitary pad ko sa bag ko. His bark was always worse th an his bite. Inis na bumaba ako. Bakit pag-aari mo na rin ba `tong mall ha? Ha. Wait lang Julian! What? Virgin ka pa ba? . kaya nga diba? Nandun ako! I saw her kissed you. It was just a kiss. I called Dr.
Tumawa ako sa sarili kong joke. Kauu wi ko lang. No. long time no see twin? Jeannie We both slowly turned at the voice. ri ght. Nanlalaki ang mga mata ni Jean. And why do you ask? Kasi demonyo ka. Let s have lunch together. Unti-unti akong napatingin sa tyan niya. We shook our heads in unison. Gusto ko siyang sakalin. Pinaparusahan niyo ba talaga `ko God? Jeannie Jeannette. May lalaking paparating. She s my mistress. pareho kaming nagkulay papel ng kap atid ko. hindi nak . Sir. Promise. Parang ang corny ata ng joke ko. Parang nanghihinang napakapit ako kay Julian. wife niyo po? At feeling close! Julian smiled back at her. Ah yeah? At ikaw ang ama! Sumasakit `yung puson ko. kill me now! I whispered. Ang kapal! Excuse me lang ha Parang lalabas `yung dugo ko. I didn t know him. Pareho pala kami ng kuku nin. At siya? Tinitigan niya lang ako. Ano bang meron? Parang feeling ko mahihimat ay na `ko kahit anong oras. Excuse me? Gigil na sabi nito. Jean? Pinanlakihan ako ng mata ng kakambal ko. Jean? Let s What the hell was happening? I almost groaned aloud. Ah yeah. hindi ko rin alam?! Ahmm Napalunok ako. Julian He picked up a feeding bottle. Baka hinihintay na tayo ni CM. Bwisit na buha y `to. She s also pregnant? Jean and I both looked stupidly at the baby shoes. No! No! Halos mag-duet kami ng kapatid ko. He knew?! He called you Jeannie! She mouthed when Julian s back was turned to her. Iisa lang `yun! Ako lahat `yun! Tsk. my face. She smiled sweetly at Julian. HAHA. At sabi nila ang mga demonyo daw virgin pa. For the life of me. Masama pa na mang ginagalit ang babaeng kabuwanan. wait `Di ba dapat maging masaya ako? Yeah kauuwi niya lang kahapon Julian. I was about to pick up a a pair of baby shoes when a hand caught mine. Biglang lumapit ang saleslady sa `min. I gasped aloud. Julian frowned. He stared fixedly at Jean. Hindi bumenta. Parang naguluhan. Yumakap ako sa bewang niya. right? Lumingon siya sa `kin tapos kay Jean. Yes. I couldn t sprout any more lies. No. Inis na tinignan ko kung sinomang intrimitid It was like I was looking into my own wide eyes. Julian! I forced a smile upon my face. What the hell Kasi hindi ka pwedeng pumunta sa heaven. Ano bang dapat kong sabihin? Hey. Juli an squinted his eyes. Kung tot oong buntis lang ako baka nakunan ako sa sobrang bwisit kay Julian. Pink or blue? Ha? Hindi pa nga natin alam `yung gender `di ba? My voice trembled. everything save that it wasn t me! Jean?! Jeannie? Para kaming naestatwa. Oh. H-hi s-sorry I wasn t able to to come to your wedding. Meron pa bang surprise? Ano pa ba? But my. He was with Jean! Vince? Vincent Gonzalo? Julian hissed. Inis na naglalakad pa `ko. Takp an ko kaya ng sako ang mukha ni Julian? Artistahin? Kaya lalong lumalaki ang ulo nito. Manipis pa `yun. He was eyeing me and Jean. Kahapon. Na parang natatakot akong bawi in siya sa `kin ni Jean. Jean nette is very busy. You never told me your sister s here. Funny same with you Jeannie. How many months? Napatingin ito sa tyan ni Jean. Paano ko sasabihin sa`yo eh. nakatanga lang siya sa `kin. Two and three weeks. Biglang umayos ako ng tayo.Julian was shocked. Pero meron mer on God. At ngayon sumasakit `yung ulo k o.
He smirked. Bumalik ako sa tabi ni Julian. Bigla akong natakot. What the hell are you doing here? Julian stepped forward in anger. But he s responsible. Muntik na akong mapaubo. Julian! I screamed in panic. 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. Julian I Vincent may pupuntahan pa tayo `di ba? My twin. No. Jean? Napalingon ito sa `ming dalawa. I opened my mouth t o shout at him. I wasn t that bad to wish for her to have a miscarriage. he knew. Then Jean winked at me! My jaw almost dropped. Bodyguards.. Jean nette. Ang sarap hampasin ng mga i nsensitive na lalaki sa mundo. Don t worry about her. wife? You ve never bested me before what now? Inilahad nito ang kamay. Vince looked at my sister in mixture of shock and hor ror. He wasn t handsome but he was sexy. why don t you tell our lover boy here what we re doing here. 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. Hey The guy s mouth twitched sarcastically. I was wishing the floor would cave in and ea t me whole. So who s Michael? Definitely not Julian. Tinatawag ko na si Darna at si Batman. For years. By God. Sasakalin talaga kita `pag tumakas ka pa! Jean honey. I was an idiot. dinadasalan ko na ang lahat ng santo. kung i-seseduce . Gusto ko silang pagumpugin dalawa. THIRTEEN Was it the end of the world? Was it a clash of good and evil? Kung alam niyo lan g. She was just shaking her head. Gusto kong lumubog sa kinatatayuan. Wife? Hinawakan ito ng mariin ni Jean. Then she purred groaned aloud. myself and I. That took Vince out of his reverie. I forgot I was stepping into the great Juli an Sunico s lair. Were they together? Obviously. You promised me She whispered. Pero tinabig lang niya `ko. This one was oozing sex appeal. Mabilis nitong niyakap si Jean at binuhat. Sino `yan? In fairness yummy ha. I play fair. Vince ma y be a bastard son of a bi tch. He even courted Tricia. Ngayon ko lang na-re alize. Pati ata si Sailormoon. Foul `yun no. Afraid of the little woman? Oh The tough Vincent Gonzalo was afraid of his. Jean Bulong ko at hinila ko siya ng onti palayo. Jean wagged the man s arm. Vince let s go. I don t know if I s hould be thankful he didn t get to seduce my wife. Oh. Anong pangako iyon? Napatingin ako sa kakambal ko. Jean took his hand. We re not yet through Sunico. Vince grinned maliciously at me. Halata ko ang takot sa mga mata niya. Ever. no Lucifer and Michael met. Bulong niya. M ay tatlong lalaki sa likod nila ang dumating out of nowhere. Natatakpan ko siya mula sa mga lalaki kaya hindi nila narin ig.aligpas sa pansin ko magaling talagang pumili ang kapatid ko. I should have known. Lumapit agad a ko sa kakambal ko.. Jeannie I won t go back to Julia n.Kung sa bagay. Conceited jerks! To our astonishment Vince started laughing. Pati ako hindi malaman ang gagawin. I ll call you. I opened my mouth to say goodbye. Napangiwi ako at nag-aalalang tinignan ang hit a niya kung may sign ng dugo. Vince `yung tyan ko! Jean sobbed and cupped her stomach gently. Pero wala talaga! I could only save me. Hindi ko na kailangang maging genius para malamang they weren t in good terms. Julian gave him a mocking smile. The guy smirked at him. If you only knew Julian. Julian Hinawakan ko ang braso niya. He laughed humorlessly. lagi na lang siya n akikipagkompitensya sa `kin. The two men looked astounded. Niyakap ko siya. Iumpog ang ulo sa pader para matauhan. More like plead ed. Marahan akong lumingon.
F rom the looks of it. Siya itong nag-aya aya tapos ako manlilibre?! Mahiya ka naman sa lalamunan mo. hindi halatang tsismosa. mukhang hindi mo na talaga maibabalik si Jean. Delicadeza na lang `di ba? Ano `yun `yung mga anak naming mag-pinsan na magkapa tid pa? Ang sagwa `di ba? Tama. Y uck. Kalaba ng mortal ng mga Sunico. Sabi nila the Gonzalos were bankrupt by the Sunicos. Muntik ko ng hindi masalo. He was a chic. I was addlebrained. You have the same features. Tapos iisa ng tatay paglabas non. Parang kinikiliting tumili ito. I didn t know that. Starbucks. He put his two fingers together. Tumaas lang `yung kilay niya. Julian where are you goi The driver already went home. At isipin mo na lang kambal kayo. nagsinungaling na buntis. I smiled sheepi shly. Pabalewalang sabi nito. pinatay ng asawa. Tapos ipinilantik niya `yung kamay. Sabihin ko na lang kaya? I was getting frustrated. See? Ibinigay niya sa `yo si Julian. And she s with Vincent Gonzalo. Ngayon pa lang bumabawi. He took my hand and gave me keys. CM just laughed at me. Hindi ko siya pinapansin. I have to be pregnant. Sabihin mo na. What! There were so many untold stories here. Pasabunot na itinukod ko ang kamay sa round table. Buti ka pa friend. pero `wag mo `kong sisihin kung bakit nasa headlines ka bukas. Not because I was afraid of the dragon. Feel na feel nito. What s this? Obvious ba? Susi ng sasakyan. CM if Jean won t come back. Very observant lang. Ang slow mo naman Jeannie! `Yung tentenenententen. Which means y ou re going to live forever as her. Nag-ano. alam mo na `yun. Hindi ako ipokrita para sabihing hindi ako mate-tempt. Sa kanya si Vince which leaves Brad alone. I stared at him stupidly. ahem. Walang modo talaga! Anong akala niya sa `kin? Bata? May curfew? At saka I gritted my teeth. Gross. Salamat ha. Babae. Ano? Inis kong sabi. `Yung ano Ngumuso ito. My blush intensified. Tinanggal nito a ng rolex wrist watch at ibinato sa `kin. for sure mukha ding kambal. m arunong naman akong tumingin ng oras no. Then he ordered another beverage. Pero kung kung mabubuntis naman ako . no? Teka nga nag hmm na ba kayo? Bumilog ang mga mata nito at lumapit maigi ang mukha sa `kin. Sabihin mo kay Jean ibalato na lang sa `kin `yung isa. Napaatras naman ako. He nodded. He smiled fishily. Nauna na `kong umuwi kay CM. Ay. He even demonstrated the expressions. bongga alam mo naman tayong m agaganda Nahirinan ako dun. praise the lord. Halleluja. So she s pregnant? With Julian? CM sipped his Caffe Mocha. You should be at home before seven. CM? I love you! Julian glared at me. Magkape ka na nga lang para kabahan ka naman sa mga pinagsasasabi mo. Magka-tonsilitis ka sana. business magnate. He hissed and turned his back on me. Akin na lang siya! Hindi si ya magugutom sa `kin promise. Talaga? Wow. ang dami mong naitutulong eh. He shrugged nonchalantly. Really? Biglang lumaki ang mata nito. Inirapan ito ni CM. I don t have money! Isasangla ko `tong relo mo! I shouted after him. Parang ayaw mag-process ng brain ce lls ko. Anong hmm? My brain wasn t functioning well. Landi. Tapos nanlaki ang mga mata na tumingi n sa `kin. I guess so? I told him everythi ng there was. You didn t tell me they re together? Hindi pa rin talaga ako pinapabayaan ni God my phone started ringing. Libre mo `ko ha. Then you ll scream at the peak JU LIAAAAN. I opened my mouth to scream at him.niya `ko. But because . Napatingin ang isan g babae dito na kanina pa titig na titig kay CM.
My eyes were open wide. Hindi ko pa nabibigyan ng apo sina mommy. Hindi pa ako nagbabayad sa mga pinagkakautangan ko sa New York. magkaroon ng maraming pimples. I was feeling drowsy. God I have so many unfinished businesses. Mababangga ako! Pilit kong iniiwas ang sasakyan. I star ted sobbing quietly. It was suffocating me. I should have seduced him sooner. ayokong lumaki ang eyebags ko. I wasn t so sure. I was pulled deeper into a pit less hole of nothingness.the princess also needed her precious rest. Magiging demonyo nga ako? Dahil virgin pa `ko. No! Ibababa nila `ko sa impyerno. I stared incredulously at the shining bald head of St. The shards of glasses splintered on the side. and a lot more blended together. I lived my life spontaneously. Were you telling me that I shouldn t have followed those novels I so much liked? Sabi kasi nila mag pakatotoo. Peter was also a philosopher. Ayaw nila akong papasukin sa heaven! Kasama si Julian. It w as a good thing Jean and I both know how to drive. . Nakalimutan kong mag-slow down sa inter section. emotion al stress. Anong ibig niyong sabihin? Anak katawan lang ang iniiwan sa lupa hindi ang common sense. At may biglang safety air balloon na lumobo sa harapan ko. It was getting hot. I cried out. P eter. It was too quickly. Pinilit ko namang maging mabait. Hanapin mo ang sarili mo blah. I sighed. My eyes opened wide. Right minus wrong. Sana isinama na rin nil a `yung driver na nag-overspeeding. Ayokong mukhang stressed out. pain. `Yun naman ang ginawa ko. I was shocked when an overspeeding c ar on the side tipped its way toward me. FOURTEEN Ito ang listahan ng mga kasalanan at kabutihan mo Was he serious? Sa sa langit na ba ako? I mean. 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. sa langit ba ako pupunta? Para kasing hindi naman ` to heaven eh. `Wag m una. Pati ba ang pagmumura counted na din? You can now take her. blah. I knew that there were endless problems but I stil l wanted to sur vive. My head bumped the side window. My heart hammered loudly. I felt the impact of it. Then I ende d up bumping a big trunk of a tree. Syempre. Hindi pa `ko prepared makita si San Pedro at saka God sabi nga ni CM hindi ko pa alam ang feeling ng nag-tetentenenententen. The impact. Ilang araw na ding hindi ako natutulog ng maayos. Meaning good minus bad? What the fu ck. If only I had known. Plus one. Little did I know that St. Wala sa loob ko. Argh . Jeannie Jeannie Did they know my name? Argh. I drove faster than I should have. blah. Paano kung mas marami ang kasalanan ko? Eh `d i may utang pa `ko? I groaned. I knew I cal led Julian s name.
blame my sister f or giving me this idea. Please. Bulong niya. He stared at me incredulously. Sunico there s no Oh my saving grace. Is she alright? My God. Actually. Doc. I want my mommy. Hindi ko alam kung bakit ito ang ipinahiram sa `kin ng hitad kong bestfriend. My nai ls dug deeper into his arm. I moaned aloud and curled into a fet al position. ang mukha ko. What ever. ang katawan ko. Is she having a miscarriage? Sigaw ulit nito. Pero pero nakiki ta ko na si mommy! I was panting so hard. just pretend the babe s okay. I winced. I have no time to explain doc. The doctor frowned. Naii nggit tuloy ako sa gumanap na Juliet. My jaw became slacked. The doctor frowned e ven more. Naiiyak na niyakap ako ng daddy ko. Totoo naman ah. Sunico. Parang na-guil ty naman ako. What are you watching? I got engrossed. Speaking of the devil. death? Napan giwi ako. `Yung winner na smile ng close-up. Napakapit ako bigla sa puson ko. Anyway. ibalato ni yo na po sa `kin `to. mommy. Ngumiti ang doctor sa mommy ko. What the fu ck s happening to my wife? Sumisigaw na sab i ni Julian. I love you daddy. Papatayin ako ni Julian. maiisip mong kailan mo din palang i-express ang nararamdaman mo sa kanila. Minsan. I hissed at Julian. Ahmm free shopping spree at S. Sorry San Pedro. When the door closed I took the doctor s hand. Mall! I smiled charmingly. damn! I thought she s okay. God. At saka niya lang siguro napansin na nandun nga ang doctor. Are you okay? Natatarantang hinawakan niya ang buhok ko. Tsk. Saka na tayo magbilangan. I tsked. It was as if Julian was possessed by some good spirit. Kinuha ang stethoscope. Grabe. Baby? Mr. As soon as the doctor gave me his promise I persuade Julian to take me home. She was crying. Please. My mommy was crying silentl y.Jeannie Jeannie I slowly opened my eyes. My parents excused themselves. Wala ako ng maramdamang sakit. In all fairness. I bit my lower lip sa sobrang gigil. `Yung natatakpan ang mukha ko. Kung hindi pa siya madaan sa santong dasalan. No ribs broken. Mumultuhin ako ni Angko. kain. Excuse me Mr. Na para bang alam niya gagawin kung may s ugat nga ako! Hindi naman siya ang doctor. Wal a naman talaga akong sugat. nood tv. there s no bab Kumapit ako sa braso ng doctor. It s a matter of life and . Disoriented pa `ko. Tapos . What if it was too late? He smil ed at me and patted my head like the way he used to. There I saw my mom. she s not even in the brink of danger. baka ako pa ang lasunin ni Julian. parang h indi niya nagegets! Naiiyak na `ko sa gigil. Nag-movie marathon ako. for his sake. May ininject bang pampamanhid? She s out of danger. how I missed my family. He was skimming every part of me. He frowned at me. Only a small wo und on her forehead. Parang nataranta ang doctor sa galit nito. mmkay? Anyway. Nakakokonsensya na ng a ako. Awww Pareho silang napatingin sa `kin. Where s Julian? The door burst open. sa santong paspasan na l ang. No nothing. basa ng novels. I whispered brokenly. I couldn t help it. parang hindi tot oo. Call mom my Parang hesitant pa itong tumakbo palabas. Tapos super bait niya. Tulog. Sure ako dun. may DVD version na ang Romeo and Juliet . Biglang bumukas ang pinto. higa. Oh. Iniisip ba niyang iinom din ako ng lason para lang makasama ko si Julian? The wo rst is. Guilty ako. Then I blinked thrice. Whichever comes first. my Leonardo Dicaprio s yummy. She s okay except for How about the baby? He cut him off frantically. Ambad ko. Malaki utang na loob ko sa inyo doc. Gusto kong matawa na matakot kay Jul ian. I don t know. He was worried! I smiled eagerly as the doctor gave his prognosis. Please Julian. My smile froze in place. Then I saw m y dad.
N abitin ako nung tinawag ng nursemaid si Juliet. Despite her in nocent face was a great k-i-s-s-e-r. Siguro kahit ako din naman. One advantage of being rich. Excuse me? Ayoko ng pakinggan pa kung ano na namang panlalait ang maririnig ko kay Julian. I forgot all about our honeymoon. Laway mo tumutulo Julian swiped an invisible saliva down the side of my lips.Goodnes s. Kesyo mali daw `yun. Lumayo-layo si Juliet. Umusod ako palayo. Romeo is stupid. I groaned aloud. Then I sighed. Then they were like kissing. I gasped aloud. Inis na dumiretso na `ko ng upo. His voic e became husky. I shivered delightedly. I was imagining that Julian was Romeo and Juliet was of course me. Tuwang-tuwa talaga ako sa palabas na `to. Gee. while she kept moving her lips to and fro against Romeo s. Hindi ko gusto `yung ngi sing `yun ni Julian. At si Tricia. Plasma ang tv. Titig na titig ako. Give Julian the credit to ruin my fantasy. May reunion nga pala tayo. Tapos sa swimming pool scene. She kept telling no. Fast-learner kaya ako. Sosyal. Sus. Dumila pa `ko sa kanya. I leaned my head in the cove of his neck. thanks. FIFTEEN Make love to me . Napalunok ako. Hindi ko pinansin ang pandidiri sa mukha niya. Parang feeling ko a ko ang naaatat na hatakin si Leonardo at papakin. Wh en in fact. They were kissing underwater! I wished Leonardo would kiss me like th There s a rumor that he s gay. At bakit? Ni hindi man lang naka-home base kay Juliet bago ipainom `yung lason. O. Pasalamat siya kung yummy si Leonardo DiCaprio mas h ot para sa `kin si Johnny Depp. I said he s stupid. I wasn t very particular with the chin itos. Nakatanga talaga ako. aber? I snorted. He smil ed evilly. right stupid. I was having kinky thoughts. Napansin ko pero kunwari wala lang pero deep inside I was like. Natuwa ako kasi mu ka talagang inosente `yung gumanap na Juliet. Care ko. I d hug CM when we meet again. sig e na. Akalain mo `yun. Nagpapakipot na naman. honeymoon na nila.niyakap ko `yung unan ng mahigpit. if I know kung anong bawal siyang masarap. Naalala ko bigla k ami ni Julian. basta gwapo si Romeo. I wondered why men turned away when things get mushy or better yet emotional. Alam mo `yun my hair on the nape stood on ends. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street na lang ang panoorin natin. Siguro nahiya lang siya so for his sake I inched closer. Na para bang sinasabing habulin mo `ko . My mobile started ringing. Mayamaya lang Julian sat on t he bed beside me. Juliet was leading Romeo into a dance kis s. I couldn t help but sigh pleasurably. ugh eating each other in the pool. hell move a little bit closer baby. Siya si Rosaline! Siya `yung first forgotten love . I d tell you. Tsk. Hindi ko napansin na nilagay niya `yung braso niya sa likod ng ulo ko. Then a sm ile slowly inched its way to the corner. dinaig pa `ko. we were both silently watching. Mayamaya lang. Then they fell into the water again when they declared their undying love. Inggit lang siya wala sa kanya `yung atens yon ko. Hello? Jean Rose Leviste? Irene here. they were always the one who resorted to cuddling. I gasped so very loud than the first time. basta siya magtuturo sa `kin. Naka-home base kaya! Ayan oh. Ingos na tinabig ko `yung kamay niya. Then you re the one who s stupid! Had I really said that? Yeah. Napatitig talaga ako sa eksena sa party. I snuggled close to Julia n.
Did you know what he did? Nilagpasan niya lang ako. I wiped the threatening tears away. Napaupo ako bigla at napa-sign of the cross. And happy. Ahm I m suppose d to be drunk. I waved at him. You. Magsakit-sakitan kaya ako ulit? Bak a sakaling bumait pa siya. Masyado ka ng madaming naiinom. Humahabol ata sa buwanang dalaw ko. like a cat. Ang sama talaga ng ugali ni Julian! Ni hindi man l ang binuksan ang lamp shade bago umalis. I bit my lower lip then I sniffed. Lumingon lingon ak o. Hindi ako. NOW. Madilim ang buong paligid. Feeling ko ang dumi-dumi ko. I wasn t that drunk. Oh boy. He was s tanding there. Pero hindi ba `yun naman dapat ang maramdaman ko? Hindi ako ito. My FIRST TIME. And sexy Kaya nga tinawag itong bar `di ba? I stupidly c raned my neck. Not. He shook his head. Hell yeah. No. Tapos lumapit siya sa `kin. Yes. Out of the blue. Hindi ako. I gasped a little. Angko was staring down at me. You promised me! She was sweating coldly. His lips twitched on the side. Someone tapped my shoulder from beh I screamed. I would dance the night away like it would be my last time. Is. I couldn t be m istaken. Kailangan pa bang ulit-ulitin niya `yun? Alam ko. Angko! Jean? Uncle Bert? I gritted my teeth. Hindi kaya nagkakamali si Angko ng pagpaparamdaman? I absent-mindedly touched my stomach. Hell. Galit na binalibag ko ang pinto. I won t effin waste my time on somebody who s not worth it. What was happening? Parang umiikot an g paligid ko. Gee I rocked my hips back in forth to the rhythm. Kinakarma na ba talaga `ko? Hindi na `ko nakatulog. Have you seen Julian? I shook my head. This. Seryoso ba si Angko? Minumulto nga ako nito! I was trembling violently. Marahan akong umupo. Sorry ahm.What? You heard me make love to me. More more My God. This is not you. Ilang shots pa lang. good morning? G morning. Goodness. Not that it was unusal. I felt my eyes widening. Fine. He grabbed my arm. What the hell were those dreams all about? there was a woman with no face. is it a yes or a no? No. Last night ko na `to. Sinabi ko iyon na parang nagdedemand lang ng fla vor ng chupachups. Angko knelt down the side of the bed and touched my stomach. Parang gusto niya na talaga akong isama sa dako paroon kung hindi ko gagawin ang gusto niya. Umiling ito. Wanna ride with me boyo? Parang may sariling isip ang bibig ko. I bet you re feeling fvcking hot? And dir ty. You re drunk. I was actually purring. was I? He s got gray eyes. Me? I slithered my body against him. So. Hindi ako. Sino ba? Parang naririnig ko pa rin ang boses ni Angko. Ano `yun? Insenso seryoso ba tala ga si Angko? Kinilabutan ako. Or Was it me? Then ther e was Angko. A helluva way to say it. who wouldn t? No wonder Julian got dibs on you. Don t hurt him. What s gotten into you? Masamang espiritu. 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. Nakita ko siya kanina paalis. . Grabe lakas ng tam a sa `kin ng martini. I didn t know a mere whisper in the ear could feel ticklish. I m a big time loser. Para akong nakuryente. I rolled my eyes ceilingward.
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?
I smiled at him. I took my perso nal things and left those that weren t mine. kung batukan kaya kita riyan? Bakit mo ba kasi ginawa `yun? What wo uld I do now? We can t just trade places again. Sorry sorry eh. Ni hindi ko man lang napansin. He hissed. I wished we ve never met. Nasa garahe na kami. Una pa man talaga never naman akin `t o. Sige. Was she talking in Latin? Parang sinabi niyang a lien ang nakabuntis sa kanya. my God. Hindi ako `yun Julian. Ayoko ng sabihing bakit siya ba ang nasaktan? Siya ba ang nawa lan ng virginity? Kung sa bagay. I shook my head. no. Butter Diner s. At galit na binalibag ko ang pintuan pasara. Tahimik na bumaba ako ng sasakyan. WHAT?! Seryoso? You you lied to us. Yes. I cried a river last night. So innocent. Everything. The he called my name. Oh. Nothing less. Nothing more. I heard him swore. I can t tell you everything. We re both devils. when I first saw you crying at the hotel. Baka kasi siya ang nawalan ng pinaka-iingatang dangal. I got attracted to you that first time. I I gasped. I didn t turn around. Oh. Sana inutang mo na lang sa `kin ang pambili ng bahay niyo. He called me four times. Baka hindi ko siya matantya. Hinawakan nito ang kamay ko. Ayo ko. Was it that t . Tinitigan ko ang leather seat. Are you mad? My baby it s not Julian s. Para akong naguluhan. Pero parang wala naman akong choice. She was my twin. He wasn t looking at me. Sana sana sinabi mo na lang sa `kin una pa man. What did he want this time? Humarap ako sa kanya. Jeannie.Ayoko siyang tignan. You look so vulnerable and trusting. Kahit isa wala. aren t we? Ang laki ng talo ko. Talo? We re even. what was a piece of flesh for a Sunico like him ? Kapirasong laman lang iyon. To me? To Julian? You wanted him to father your baby? Oh my. The dream. Ours was a marriage made in hell. Hindi ako kumibo. I thought I wouldn t forgive my sister for what she d done. Why did you do that? bulong nito. I swallowed an imaginary lump in my throat. I thought she wouldn t do this. You know what. magpanggap siyang wala ako. Pabalibag na binuksan ko ang closet. Pinigilan ko ang kamay kong masakal ang kapatid ko. He didn t even bother putting his shirt on. Jean what is this all about? Jeannie I m sorry. Wala na `kong balak bumalik kay Julian. Morning. Bayad na `ko sa `yo. He s he s mine now. Before I knew it he threw my underwear with brownish stain on it! I hate you. I winced. God. Was he immune t o pain already? At least they had something in common now. It should have been Jean s. Humarap ako sa kanya. We can live like this forever. Parang hind i nito nararamdaman ang pag-agos ng dugo habang nagmamaneho ito. I smiled mockingly.
I walked like a zombie. At hind i kita ibabalik sa mga magulang mo hangga t hindi mo nababayaran iyon. You owe me five million minus the interest which is your purity. . I bet he was ready to wring our ne cks. We looked down. Uuwi na `ko sa `tin. Pareho kaming pareho kaming Pero Jeannie hindi pwede. My heart went wild. Julian I m Jeannette. He looked fierce. She suddenly winced and moaned. if I know ganyang ganyan din arte ko sa may hospital. I replaced her. Julian didn t know me that well. There the devil stood. May bisita po kayo. Umuwi na tayo Jean. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. Nakita kong may benda ang kam ao niya. he was damned furious. I blamed her. What the hell are you talking about? Napatingin ito kay Jean. It won t work this time. And boy. And the baby s not yours. You are you are She s your real wife Julian. I m so Don t fuccking say sorry to me. Nakita ko ang masamang tingin ni Julian ng dumaan si Jean. He cursed floridly. iba ako. Do you think your virgi nity caused millions? I gasped at his crudeness. Ma am. Wala namang gumalaw non. Stop it.hen? `Di ba ang mga kambal ay may kakaibang koneksyon? Jeannie please No! I couldn t take it. Ayokong isipin kung ano ang napakalaking kasalanan niya sa `kin. darling. Inirapan ko siya. At itinaas ang ulo na parang sa reyna. Narinig ba niya? What truth. Jeannie listen to me. Sinampal ko siya. But tears were starting to pool in my eyes. I promised Vincent. Nakita ko ang galit sa mga mata niya. We both jumped in surprise when I heard a loud crash. 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. Para akong bagong ano panganak. yes. Becau se we just met only a few times after the the Pikot. She went missing before your wedding day. Naiiyak ako habang naliligo naalala ko lahat ng pag-uusap namin. At wala kayong magagawa ni mommy. It was the empty glass. Bakit ba? Eh. Ayoko na Jean. Bakit ka nagbabalot ng damit? Tinabig ko `yung kamay niya. Hinila ko ang kamay niya at kinuha ang clutch bag. Parang dagang tumalilis si Jean. Bigla siyang umupo at hinawakan ang ty an. Ayoko ng magpanggap na ikaw! Kung gus to mo bumalik ka dito at No! Iling ko. If you want you can tell Julian the whole fucccking tru What fuccccking truth are you talking about? We both turned at the door. Nakita ko sa likod niya si si Jean? What are you doing here? Not that I was blaming her but but Hell. I looked up. I stared fixedly at him. The corner of his lips twitched. I couldn t take the lies anymore. damn you! Sigaw nito na rinig ata ng buong subdivision. What else was there? He was betrayed. I walked past him. We ll tell you Julian about thi s. He frowned. I muttered. I mean hindi niya napansin na iba ka. I didn t want to cry. Hindi na pwede. Bigla niyang hinarang ang bulto sa harapan ko. Niloko. You re not that expensive. Bigla itong tumuwid ng tayo.
I erased half part. Hinila niya `ko pataas. O kaya pahihirapan ko muna ng unti-unti. I was fuming mad. Makapal iyon. Oh. Sign this. I smiled nastily. ako ako ang ikinulong niya at gusto niyang magsuffer. Pabalabag. My eyes squinted in anger. I raised one brow. Hindi na siya naawa sa kagandahan ko. Kahit magkita pa kami sa husgado! I took my sketch pad and sat on the floor. I busied myself for how many seconds minutes I pouted and made face. Tapos nagdrawing ako ng dalawang sungay. . I was startin g to hate him. leaning against the bed. Tumayo ka dyan. Wala na lang siyang ginawang mabuti kung hindi paiyakin at sakta n ako. Without clothes on. If it was an y consolation on every one s part Julian let go of Jean. ba My mouth dropped open. Tapos biglang bumukas `yung pinto. Kahit naman f ine arts ang kinuha ko alam ko naman kung anong ibig sabihin ng kontrata. I was the ang el with a halo sent from up above. Then I drew his body again . Mah abang buntot. I brushed my tears angrily. Bakit ba hindi eh. I drew Julian s face. Pati ako nga rin nahihilo na sa sarili ko. Of course. Hell. But not ME. Parang may kulang. He was a cad. His handsome face and his body. At ang hawak niya isang malaking tinidor.SEVENTEEN I was pacing to and fro. I wanted to kill him right this minute. Inirapan ko siya. What s this? Nakakapagbasa ka naman `di. Ganon ba talaga ang mga bida? Laging api? Bulong ko sa sarili ko. Mali mali. I cringed in pain. I glared at him standing like he owned the world. Pabalewalang may ibinagsak siya sa kama. I bit my lower lip until it bled. Sh!t. I took the papers and read it. A chauvinist. This was legal and notarized. `di ba? He looked lik e a bench model on Halloween. hours. Was I that bad to blame my sister? Pero nasa katwiran naman ako. An o ba! Pilit kong tinatanggal ang kamay niya sa braso ko. given the fact that he owned me. Did he thought I was a real bummer? Hindi ba at siya nga ang naloko ko? So he was the one who s stupid. Na aalilain ng demonyo. Puro papeles. Ang pinakababoy sa lahat ng b aboy. Then I did sketch myself. I wrinkled my no se and closed my eyes. Kung legal lang ang krimen sa mundo baka ilang bese s na itong namatay.
you ll tell me anyway. Baka nakakalimutan mo. Hindi na ako magpapanggap na buntis this time. pay me the five million pesos. Na para bang ang paggawa ng baby ay bato-bato-pik lang. I swallowed an imaginary lump in my throat. God. I even put one finger inside my left ea r. Nadah. G anon ba talag siya kasama? I ve already had a lawyer examined it. my goosebumps w ere showing. hey. Tapos tawa pa ulit. perhaps. 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. He said smoothly. Siya lang naman nasiyahan no . Galit na pinalandas nito ang daliri sa mga pi sngi ko. ngu miti ito at lumapit sa `kin. His voice was laced with sarcasm. I kept telling myself that it would be okay. `Yung tawa ng baliw. eh? Tumawa ako. Hinawakan niya ang baba ko ng madiin. As if we were talking about t he weather. The bomb was dropped. Napatayo ako sa sobrang galit. Para iyong sumabog sa mismong tainga ko. honey. Sorry sa ipagsisinungaling ko pero Isn t mine. Nine months then you re free. Feeling ko pinagbagsakan ako ng langit at lupa. Go shoot yourself and go to hell. He cracked a knowing smile. Hindi pangalan ko ang naka-re gister sa marriage certificate. Tapos yumuko siya para magkatapat `yung mukha namin. 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. Wala din! WAS I GOING DEAF? W-what what are you talking about? Nanghihinang napaupo ulit ako. Napaungol ako. Seriously. An heir. Ganon. I ve had my fair share of women Jeannette. I crossed my fingers. He wasn t dead serious. An d you re not the first virgin I ve had. I realized I was really a good painter after all. Tawa pa. `Yung magdadala ng apelyido k o. Ano?! Are you darn serious? It only cost Five hund red thousand? Ganon ako ka-cheap? Sana man lang tinaasan niya kahit one million. `Yung kahit hindi nakakatawa pinipilit mong tumawa. why didn t you even give me a sign? Or even a hint? Nakaupo ako kaya t nakatingala ako sa kanya. I gritted my teeth anguishly. He planted his hands on his hips. Magsalita ba naman sa tapat ng bibig ko! Swear. Hindi ako nakakaintindi ng English. `Yung ngiting alam kong bukas patay na `ko. He said nonchalantly. It was your s ignature not your sister s. Masakit kaya. It was just one of those corny jokes. `Yun naman pala eh. Aren t you going to ask what s the second option? Bakit ko pa itatanong. It was null and void. Tama ka. Buti na lang bagong toothb rush ako kanina. What s this for? You have two options to make: One. You might do that honey. Sana man lang nakapaglagay ako sa account ko mula sa kaban ni Julian ba go nagkabukingan. Tsk. Jean s baby kinagat ko `yung labi ko. So bayad na ang interes. Pero kailan ba naging okay ang magkau tang ng Five million? I was dead before I knew it. I was afraid. And because I wasn t that bad. I appreciated you prostituting yourself to me. I didn t even get any pleasure from it. He stared at me incredulously. Bigyan mo ko ng tagapagmana. Pra ise the Lord! Kung hindi mag-mamagic talaga akong magkaanak within nine months a . Para akong mahihi matay. You heard me. That easy. Really. No spooky things.Ano `to? Printed paper. Tinitigan akong maigi. Then on my right ear. ang int eres sa bangko ay umabot ng half a million. I m not your legal wife Julian. was he? Hindi.
Don t you ever dare. Syempre ngiti rin ako kahit na nga ba never ko pa siyang nakita sa tanang buhay ko. Unggoy! Napakatuso! I opened my mouth in disust. your choice. May psychic ability na ba ito? He glared at me. . NO! REUNION. he shrugged. Pero ikaw din. It s okay. Kaya lalong lumalaki `yung ulo.. 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. Nakita niya akong papalapit sa isa sa mga ito. Julian smiled back. Namilog ang mga mata ko Julian was standing there. I groaned inwardly. Very charming ang loko. Lalo na sa`kin. Hi Dahil assuming ako alam ko. Jean was infamed for her swimming ability. Ikaw din. Well. Later everybody was dancing. At least hindi na niya `ko hahalikan ulit. The woman smiled at me. Nabasa niya ang isip ko! Wow. my God so all the while we were ju st living in sin together? Mga immoral. Kung fine nga bang matatawag ang halos pagyakap ng babae dito! Their faces were in ches away from each other. Hindi nga ako nagkamaling hindi ka imbitahin! Saan? Irene! So Irene pala ang pangalan ng makiring kaibigan na ito ni Jean. Parang siya nga ang nagre-reunion. He smiled e villy. At itinaa s nito ang legal na papeles na binayaran nito ang titulo ng lupa namin! He was w ise. I m sorry. I shrugged. Oh no! Gusto kong batuka n ang sarili ko. a public figure. Well. I was quite surprised when a hand caught mine. Wala kang karapatang karapatang igiit sa `kin ang marital obligations ko dahil hindi tayo mag-asawa! Oh. I he ard about it. kung makapag-react ako parang hindi pa kami nag ano `yung ano alam n iyo na `yun. Malapit na kami dun ng matigilan ako. No doub t. Buti naman. Sawa? Hindi naman ito Zoo `di ba? S he gritted her teeth in anger. Brad stare d fixedly at us. Nakalimutan ko. A businessman s stock in trade. dear. Bakit hindi ako lumapit sa mga iyon at i labas ang baho ni Julian? He was after all. Napaatras ako. my God. he hissed. The business tycoo n.t ang tatay ay Oh. Forcing isn t his cup of tea? Oo hindi.. darling. What would it be Jean nie. I so hate you. He looked like a wolf ready to eat his prey. Ang press! I smiled. it s what you called persuading. Hi. huh? Brad? Uh-oh. Julian grabbed my waist as if he wouldn t want me away from him. Pambablackmai l nga lang! This is pure blackmail! No. The handsome debonair. I snorted. Syempre ang baby hindi basta lumalabas sa tyan ng baba e yan. Nagkalayo kami ni Julian. that was fine. Hindi nakaligtas sa matalas kong paningin. They were all bugging him. I went out of the parking lot to get my cell phone from the car. Then she turned sweetly at Julian. exc ept for the press. three `yan. I smiled here and there. Hindi nga ako nagkamali The woman raised one brow at me. Forcing a woman isn t my cup of tea. I sighed. my dear. Bakit kailangan ko pang magpanggap na si Jean? Alam na naman ng lahat. May step one. Hello Jean. Sa `kin siya nakatingin eh. My phone started ringing. sa `kin patungkol ` yun. my bed s warmer than that of the jail s. Jean! Baka nakakalimutan mo `yung reunion natin mamaya. Flirt. So what is it? This is human violation. Kung makalingkis. May process `yan. Jean told me everything. two. The feeling s mutual.
Hampas dito. I put all my force and slap him. Let go of me. Na parang ako an g may kasalanan! Na parang hindi ko siya nakitang nakikipag-flirt sa ibang babae ! Hinila niya `ko sa braso. I glared at wh oever said that. And take note: Eve was the only woman back then. Gusto ko siyang sabunutan! Sino ba siya? This was all her fault . I moaned aloud. At na-automatic lock niya na ang buong sasakyan. Sinuntok suntok ko ang braso niya. I saw the registration of s hock. I shoul d have wore Hester s scarlet letter.Brad kiss me. Twice. Nakita kong papatay talaga si Julian. para akong nanunuod ng a ction movie. Syempre kahit pagbali -baligtarin ko man ang pangyayari. There was not a bit of gentlemanliness in him. Kinuha ni Julian ang lapel ni Brad at binalya. Abusado. Out of the corner of my eyes I saw Julian s frown. I was too stunned to react. What the hell are you d ing. No choice eh. alam mong hindi pwed I said kiss me. It was unlike any fury I d had. Parehas tikom ang bibig namin. dinugtungan pa. God. Maganda pa naman. Julian Sunico s wife was seen kissing his ex. Pakaladkad. Brad was badly beaten. We both gasped. We both screamed. Pareho kaming napakapit dito. Now I know. No. I gritted my tee th. Itinulak! Niya ako sa loob ng sasakyan. Ku ng pwede lang na sipain ko siya. Para akong bulkang sa sabog. Grabe. makiri nga lang. He gave me that chilling stare that sent shivers down my spine. nakakahiya. Jeannie. Julian no! I screamed. ano bang klasing babae `yan. Matutuwa na sana ako dun sa maganda . nakakasama din pala ang masyadong gentleman ngayon. There were flashes of cameras. He motioned the steering wheel t o the left. I couldn t get enough. Naumpog ako sa silya. I saw Brad s purplish face with bruises. You bastard! Galit kong hiyaw. 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. He w as already seated. Sa paghampas ko sa sugat niya ay nabitawan niya ang manibela. What? Jeannie. Nakita kong pumutok ang labi ni Brad. Pabalyang ipinasok. Galit kong sabi. I wanted to shout at him. loner siya `di ba? Pinagbigyan na nga siya ni God. Julian how dare yo ! He looked at me coldly. They knew nothing! Mga taong walang magawa sa mundo kundi pagpi yestahan ang latest tsismis. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung bakit ito pinagpalit ni Jean eh. Julian. Brad sige paaaa d on t stop kissing me!!! I shouted. At masakit `yun ha! I screamed when he was a bout to kick NO! Niyakap ko si Julian ng mahigpit. Nasty gossips. Brad are you okay? I knelt down in front of him. Bakit ba hindi sila makuntento sa isa? Bakit ba `yun na lang palagi ang problema nila? Nung ginawa naman si Adan. Once. Papalapit na sila. Whew. The next thing I knew Julian and Brad were grappling. Para akong lulubog sa kahihiyan. Muntik na kami dun! My heart was thudding loud in my chest. Eve just tolerated being with Adam. J ulian pulled me roughly in the arm. Anywhere my hand landed. Get in. His voice was icy cold. May paparating na malaking truck. Damn. I said stop it! Tili ko at gumitna ako. Sa bilis ng pangyayari hindi ko na alam kung sino sa kanilang dalawa. And I was frightened by the look in his eyes. this isn t righ I grabbed Brad s lapels and kissed him right on the mouth. You should have killed me and . Naawa naman ako bigla sa kanya. The woman was just standing there. Paikot pa lang siya sa driver s seat ay binuksan ko ang car door para tumakbo. Pinipilit kong gumitna pero natabig ako. I was even m aking gurgling sounds. Ako ang may sagot kay Brad! I winced as Brad punched back. Hampas doon.
My he . Don t try my patience. God. You re dead serious. He was speaking to me. I shook my head. My eyes grew wide. this time was very much different. Okay. Balewalang sagot nito. I closed my eyes. Isang barkadang malakas ang trip. Ang mukha ay nasa gitna ng mga rehas na bakal. Napatitig ako sa kanya. Hindi ko na alam kung paano at anong kaibahan non. Why can t you just let me go? I whispered achingly. Tapos may dumaang sasakyan. There were bruises all over his face. He said silently. Sisigaw akong rape? Fvck you Jeannie. it boils my blood.He gave me that chilling look. Get the hell out of my car. Alam ko. Naiisip ko pa lang na ipapa-salvage niya `ko at itatapon ang kagandahan ko sa kung saang ilog. Gusto kong is igaw sa kanya na baka naapektuhan na ang utak niya. He hissed. Tumaas ang sulok ng bibig niya. no. Why should I? You re mine. Alam mo pala eh! He smiled evilly. Why did he have to d o that? Was this one of his seductions 101? You might be forgetting. I couldn t imagine myself there. Pero bakit ba gwapo pa rin ito kahit mukha itong may sungay sa paningin ko? I might. Did he think I can just bear a child and leave him to his father? I suggest you go see a psychiatrist. In close range as in close to my mou th. He tilted my chin up. The side of his mouth lifted sexily. I d rather you do that Julian. Julian swung the door open. natatakot ako sa itsura ni Julian. my God. Kinilabutan ako. 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. In my predicament I wouldn t have noticed them or anyone else for that matte r. Kahit na nga ba maghubad si Papa P sa harapan ko. Bumaba ka na. Pero syempre `yung masarap na kilabot. It was a mere whisper. Pero gagawin niya na Jeannie! My mouth dro pped open. I swore my neck almost snapped sa mabilis na paglingon ko sa kanya. He wa s forcing me. Really. He said bitterly. I shook my head forcefully and vigorously. Oh. A choice? I said with sarcasm. I did shut up then. And the title: Love the way you lie by Rhianna. Hindi sa natatakot ako. Kung kanina ay halos ipagtulakan niya `ko papasok. I shook my head vigorously. I bought you for five million. BUT they were even singing a verse of some song. Without remorse. The musc les on his jaw flexed. With matching every emphasis pa. Julian wouldn t resort to this. Basta to the highest level na talaga ang pag-iling ko. I gave you a choice. Ganon lang ba talaga tingin niya sa `kin? His property na pwedeng bakuran. Decide now. utos nito. Pe ro pero `di ba may onting konsensya naman si Julian? Even the tiniest bit? Oh. It was as if he would do just that. I looked around me and I gasped. I said get out. Baba. My hair on the nape stood on ends. Parang wala sa sariling nasabi ko habang nakatingin s a Sa Police Station. Julian glared all the more. Ang maging babymaker mo? Ha! Holy crap.
As if there was no tomorrow. Lahat ng sama ng loob ko sa mundo ay inilabas ko. sorry. He didn t know the meaning of love or even gi ving. Why? Asking your whereabouts. if I know. Then I heard his monstrous laugh. Sus. Why was it so? I had living proofs. the hot guys are jerks. Syempre laging naka-coat and tie `yang suplado mong asawa. Kasi may kasunod kang boy. isa pang Bebe `yun e h. gifts and very gentleman.O. One hell of a horse. Masyado siyang makasarili. I avoided eye contact with him. Sigaw ko sa kanya. CM? Geezers. Tipong ikaw pa ang aagawan ng boyfriend. Next time videohan mo ha? Bigyan kitang hidden camera. (secret on) God. Malak as pa naman radar ng mga mothers. But I found out I was doing the same thing. Mabilis niyang pinakawalan ang mukha ko at nag-drive na siya pauwi. `Yung tipong `pagnaglak ad kayong dalawa sa mall feeling mo ang yaman mo. He whispered and bunched my hair up roughly. And he called me. If I were you. Yep. Is he big? CM! I swore I blushed to the roots of my hair. JEANNIE! One hand grabbed my arm and swung me around. Parang gusto kong sabunutan itong si CM. He giggled. Ano ba kasing iniisip mo? Masyado ng polluted `yang utak mo. Sana nga gan on na lang. Chillax Jeannie. Rowel s here. gora na ako sa gusto niya. Wala akong pakialam kung pinagtitinginan man ako ng katulong ni Julian. Nakakaawa siya. `Yu n nga lang pwede siyang pang-S. One theory I realized: The nice? guys are ugly. Jeannie! Kulog lang `yun. CM. `Coz I d kill both of you. Wooooh! I shouted loudly. `Yung t awang pinipilit lumandi. I knew then that he won. Jean di d. help me. Ikaw lang ang magdadala pero anak ko. you know. O inakala nilang ba liw na `ko. and the hot-and-nice guys are gay. Yep. He gave me flowers. Narinig kong naghikab si CM. My eyes were moist. `yung katawan. I don t want the time to come that I would only feel hatred against Ju lian. And very gay. Baritonong high-pitched. Was I that bad? Pero sabi nga ni Andrew E. He was nice to me. dancing under the rain. I agreed to his terms. I was sobbing profusely. Knowing Jean s eccentricity. Wow. I thought it was a bit odd of my twi n to cry under the rain. Ayokong makita n iyang malapit na `kong bumigay. Why not? Pwede ko `yung ipam-b lackmail kay Julian. As in. humanap ka ng panget at ibigin mong tunay . Bibi? Bibi? Bibi? Bebe Gandang hari. Whatever. O k aya naman ang bait mo kasi kasi parang charity lang. Rowel? Ahm. Dati ko siyang manliligaw na artist din. I d like to spit right onto his demonic face. Really? One brow arched. bibigay pa lang. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. Ulam. I closed my eyes. CM said tersely. Sus.art went out to him. Nagpapakamatay ka ba? Gusto mo bang magkasakit? . Paano kung babae maging anak natin? Anak ko Jeannie. And don t you ever dare slee p with Brad. I was stepping o n his Bermuda grass. Julian was one hell of a hot specimen. I sighed as I clutched the wireless phone to my ears. He was naughty and nice. Hay nako Jeannie. I found myself taking my shoes off and standing on Julian s lawn. In short. Lagay mo sa CR `pagnaliligo si Julian. Nakita kong umuulan sa labas. When I was a kid I never liked rainy days. Sabi niya kasi kapag umiiyak over a jerk hindi siya maririnig ni Mommy. Sana vinideohan mo.
I thought I was going to sneeze my head out. This was the magic moment. My God. Pilit kong tinatanggal ang mga patak ng ulan sa mata ko. Hello? This was so small co mpared to what we d done. Pilit kong sumasayaw at nagtampisaw pero hawak pa rin niya ang braso ko. Are we going to start the baby making process here and now? I looked up. Julian was really saying those words? Oh. Was he worried? I shook my head. Na sana hindi lang ako gustong i-detain dito ni Julian dahil sa utang ko. Syempre mahiya naman ako `di ba? Hindi ko pa rin namang nakakalimuta ng babae ako. Julian Niyakap niya `ko. Then I started crying on his chest . Under the rain. At sabay kaming bumagsak sa Bermuda grass. Halos maduling na kami sa titigan namin. He said in amazement. You are my baby. Can you believe that? He did say he loved me. Eskimo kiss. I closed my eyes. Tapos itinapat ko `yung mukha ko sa mukha niya. On top of him. A mixture of tears and rain. I felt hot all over. Ok ay na eh. Bastos ka. Hindi kaya magkapalit kami ng mukha? I smiled at him. Grabe. He brushed the straining hair on my forehead. We were both wet. pang-FAMAS na sana drama ko. Para bang hindi siya makapaniwalang ginawa ko talaga `yun sa kanya. I wrinkled my nose. He pulled me roughly into his arms. Argh. 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. Nagsasalubong ang mga kilay nito at may payong na dala. Was I dreamin g? Tapos bigla siyang umubo. If only it didn t have any value. I waited for him to do the next move. Nakakahiya na talaga.It was lightning. What do you think are you doing? He asked na para bang nandidiri sa `kin! I blinke d thrice. I was wetting his tux. That money was just a piece of pap er. Tapos tapos Hachuuuu! There. So I closed the distance. I wrapped my arms around his neck. Tapos malapit na super lapit na Nanunulis na `yung bibig ko. I knew it. I probably lost one screw earlier. On his face. I wanted to smack his handsome face only if he didn t look amused. Ha? Wow. didn t he? Get off me It was a joke. I was on top . Titig na titig siya sa `kin. Ang lapit lapit ng mukha namin. Nung pagtalon ko kaya? What joke? That you lov e me? No. I love you Uhhh I couldn t believe it. Feeling ko nga matutunaw ako. Nalaglag `yung payong. Gusto kong matawa sa itsura niya. Don t even tell me! . LOL. my God. I looked up at him. My chest was flattened against his. NINETEEN Sometimes you d wished that things were easier. I rubbed my nose against his.
making love in the rain. FROM YOU. Ano bang problema nito? Gusto kong sumigaw pero wala akong lakas. What am I doing? Badtrip na pinilit kong umayos ng upo. But it s as if as if you re going to eat me for dinner. May dictionary ka ba dyan? He shrugged. Will you stop that? angil nito. my God. I moaned aloud. 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. I said stop it. Hingal dito. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung friends sila ni The Grinch. Promise. Jeannie Jeannie I thought my head was going to break into pieces. Ba hala siya kung anong gusto niyang isipin. At ang mga kilay nito? Nagsasalubong na naman. Sino bang may sabing ako lang pala ang n ag-iisip ng hindi kanais-nais dito! Akalain mo `yun. Kasi parang hinihila ako sa antok. It was a great effort to slap the incredulity in his face. May sakit ka ba? He s aid sarcastically. He was pacing to and fro. In disguise. Napaungol ako lalo. Ungol ako ng ungol. Ano na namang kalokohan `to? And stop doing doing that. my ey es almost bulged. He k nelt down in front of me. Pakipot pa. I know. I m handsome and you couldn t resis t that. Ohhh My mouth opened in an indignant O. Narinig kong tinataw ag niya `ko. Ohhh ohhh Jul ian Ohhh YUCK! GROSS! He just raised his brow and looked at me oddly. He was standing there. Parang gusto niya na akong sakalin sa itsura niya. just s eeing him standing there with his shirt loving his body to perfection was making me ahm. . Ang sakit sakit ng ulo ko. I rolled my eyes heavenward. I was still suncking in my breath ever so slowly. Alam ba niya `yung ibig sabihin ng salitang hambog ? No? I thought so. Inirapan ko siya. Bakit hindi ko man lang nalaman? Sayang naman. Ni-rape niya ba `ko? Bakit feeling ko para akong ginahasa? Ang sasakit ng mga kalamnan ko. I ve heard that before. he hissed and brushed his drenched hair. I opened o ne good eye. Pangalan ko. I tried to focus my eyes on him. Oh God. me. I screamed. I closed my eyes. Nakaupo ako sa couch! Basa.He winced. And stop staring at me like that! I know. Nakita kong basang basa na `yung carpet. Basta `wag niya lang asahanag maghuhub ad ako sa harapan niya. Do you ever know the word humility? Okay na magsungit siya. My eyes grew wide. I frowned. What the heck. hindi ko na kasalanan `yun. hot. Hingal don. 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. Tsk. Then I imitated again louder. Julian must have been an angel. You sounded you sounded Sounded what? Like you are making out! For Pete s sake! Ha? Grabe. Para akong lasing. Pag-umpugi n ko pa sila eh. his wet shirt was clinging to his body. Oh well. He knelt down in front of me. Oh. Are you into drugs? I said I was kidding about you. Sigaw sigawan niya `ko . Alam mo `yung parang humalinghing na pusa? My mouth dropped open. I wasn t so sure. He proved to b e tempting. Napatingin ako sa kanya. sabi ko na nga ba Julian ha d a pretty fix on me from the start. Ano na naman bang pinagsisintir nito? His wet hair was clinging to hi s forehead. I couldn t breathe. Wala namang pinainom sa `k in si Julian `di ba? Hindi kaya nilason niya na `ko? I groaned louder than the la st.
You mani ac! I hissed through my teeth. He frowned. Parang nawalang lahat ang panghihina ko. Namatay lahat. Hindi niya `ko pinansin! Tuloy-tuloy lang siya sa pagtanggal ng mga butones. Forceful. The door burst open. But she lay passive. I made sure na nahirapan siya. Inaapoy ito sa lagnat. mabilis pa sa alas-kwatrong yumakap ako kay Julian. God. gracious. Walang p atawad. Para akong lalagnatin . Para akong inaapoy. Sa sobrang gigil ni Julian.Hubaran niya `ko! Joke lang. Oh. pati dun sa baba. He roughly cupped my left cheek. Well. I swore. He ripped it off me! Goodness. The he pulled down my jeans. He was a safe cover from the intrud . Naramdaman kong may nagbababa sa `kin sa tiles. At w ala akong pakialam kahit bumabaha ng mura sa shower room. Nanlaki `yung mga mata ko. Tapos dahan dahang bumaba `yung mga mata ko dun sa kamay ni ya. Bakit hindi? Ang mga katulad niya ang da hilan kung bakit nagkakasala ang mga respetadong babaeng kagaya ko. Kung akala niyang inaapoy sa pagnanasa si Jeannie. Was he insane? We were in the shower room! Hanggang dito ba naman? I shrieke d. She was in and out of consciousness. Hotter. Pakawalan mo `ko!!! Ti nakpan niya `yung bibig ko. Kung kanina y nagkakakawag ako. Julian noooo! I screamed and wailed. Pakawalan mo `ko! Pakawalan mo sabi ak ooo Ibinagsak niya `ko sa bathtub! He was really inconsiderate. he was definitely wrong. Helllpppppppp And in fair ness. Rough. Sisigaw na talaga ako.. The likes of Julian should be banned. 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. Then I closed my eyes. I wished that instant that I were a mermaid. Natatarantang binuhat niya ito. Like the way he always used to. Santisima! Naman si Julian oh. Hindi ko alam kung anong l ubog sa hindi punong bath tub ang gagawin. Galit na binuhat niya ulit ako. I felt his teeth nipped my lower lip. Doon. Then h is mouth landed on mine. I was burning hot. A slow knowing smile played about his kissable lips. Para siyang binuhusan ng malamig na t ubig. In my blurring vision I saw Juli an hovering over me. Jeannie fainted! Napapikit ang mga mata niya. Aba. hindi ko alam kung panong tili ang gagawin ko. I moaned a loud. Anong akala niya sa `kin bata?! I bit his hand. Our wet clothes were felt so paper-thin. Gosh. 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. Pumasok si Mommy! Jean! At ang mga katulong! We heard you scream.. My.
Goodness. I really croaked. I smiled too sweetly. Napalingon siya dito. Julian wouldn t say something like that. Lumingon siya s a `kin. Then I d make him eat the cake of soap. I was trying to cover myself. Darkness was pulling me down. Nang lumabas na silang lahat. Anong masamang ginagawa mo sa kapatid ko? Tili si Jean. Julian bathed me! He dressed me up! What did he thi . Anong gagawin mo? I looked around me. I looked at the alarm clock. Eight o`clock in the morning? I bolted upright. no. Isn t it obvious? My mouth dropped open. Han ggang sa magbula `yung bibig niya. I woke up late that night. Oh-kay. Julian smiled. I bit my lower lip. Ah. Parang binabarena `yung ulo ko. I sucked in my breath. Gusto ko siyang lunurin sa bathtub. Then his hands submerged under the water. Hinawakan nito sa balikat si Julian at pilit inaalis mula sa `kin. Will you please get out? I shouted at him. Ako ang bahala sa `yo. my God. My stomach churned. See? Your sister here wants me Oh. I gasped. An g bigat ng pakiramdam ko. A mere whisper. Hi ndi na `ko magtataka kung mas pa kung sasabihin niyang: I ll kill you Jeannie . At isinandal ang ulo ko sa bathtub. Hindi naman ako kasya sa butas ng banyo.ers. Parang hin di ako mahiwalay sa pagkakayakap sa kanya. He was such a monster. Who said that killing a moron was against the law? Hindi ba pwe deng magbawas kahit isa? TWENTY I hated him. was this déjà vu? I had nowhere to go. They all gasped. Tinitig an niya `ko. There was someth ing endearing about a man who said that he could take on the world for me. It me ant catastrophe. pleaded with me to bathe her. He smirked. Hindi ko gusto ang ngiting iyon. Kinapa ko `yung sarili k o. Bahala? Ha! If I know. `Yung parang hinuhubaran kung hindi ko pa alam na hubad na `ko! I h issed. Sana hindi lang ako nananaginip. didn t I? Then I clos ed my eyes. Nanla laki ang mga mata ko ng Oh. Julian I have hands. Goodness. He scrubbed my stomach. That was only a snippet. tapos tapos bibitawan niya `ko. Don t you want to ask who? He just shrugged. He didn t look pleased with himsel f. Sana totoo. What what? You look as if you would kill. What are you all doing here? Julian smiled. Betty Boop PJs. Buti alam mo. What? He asked innocently. Pinanlakihan ko siya ng mg a mata. Tignan ko lang kung makahalik pa siya ng ibang babae. He shrugged. Then he took the soap. Parang batang bulong ko.
I opened my mouth in disgust. Not talkin g would be the cause of your death. Betty Boop! Kumain ka na. Don t make me laugh. Basta hinalo lang niya ang pagkain. Bakit nga pala nandito sina mommy kahapon? Oh! I forgot to call CM. 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. Galit kaya ako.nk of me? Barbie doll. Pasalamat siya gutom ako. EVER. Sabi nga ni mommy. Wit h his bewitching smile. Sa bi nga pala ni Thrust the food on my mouth. I understand. Hey. I gasped. thank you. Jeannie Rose Leviste? YOU? WON T TALK? Tawa. `Yung tawang parang wala ng bukas. Day off ng mga katulong. Sa daldal mong `yan. Sa paningin ko. I was about to talk again when he thrust the spoonful of kaning baboy in my mouth. Hindi naman masama lasa niya. I took the pillow and covered my ear. eh? Nooo I bemoaned. Bumagsak ang katawan ko sa higaan. All at once my heart started hammering. Alam kong hindi uso sa mahihirap ang omelette . He started laughing. Naramdaman kong lumubog `yung kama sa gilid ko. He was e ven clutching his stomach. He said with sarcasm. Unti-unti akong napangiti. This side of Julian that I wasn t used to. Binuksan ko `yung silver cover. My God. He really had a sweet and cari ng side. He even yawned. My head was poundi ng. Tawa. Breakfast. I really gasped aloud. I wanted to hit him with the lamp shade. I chewed it. Excuse me! Gigil na humarap ako sa kanya. I arched one brow. He tapped my shoulder. Julian? He didn t reply. Julian ano b a! Will just give me peace Jeannie? I opened my mouth to talk again. Tapos bigla niya `kong inabutan ng tablet. Hmp. I glared at him. Confirmed. Biglang bumukas `yung pinto. Julian wala na naman akong lagnat samahan mo `ko mamaya kina Sumpak ulit. No more like poison me! My eyes stared incredulously. Nakita kong napahiga siya kakatawa. Patalikod sa kany a. What did he think of me? Hard-to-get `to no. An ong ginagawa mo dito? bulong ko. Medicine. Whatever. Hindi ba niya `ko papatayin? I looked at the tray in front of me. Napatingin ako sa unan ng masama. Tumagilid ako. He tapped again my shoulder. Surely Ano ng tingin niya sa `kin? BABOY? Ano `to? Kaning baboy? Why. No reply. But still mukha pa rin iyong darak. kumain ka na. Gusto kong sabihing: Amuin mo ko Kumain ka na. There the Ken stood. My hands were itchi ng to take those and cover his That would be the day Jeannie. Evil Ken. I groaned inwardly. Tawa. parang n agkaroon siya ng dalawang sungay. Ganon pala huh? . Wow. Surely I wasn t that fat. I gritted my teeth. parang utang na loob ko pa ang paggawa niya ng breakfast sa `kin. Yep. Parang biglang k umalam ang sikmura ko. ang mahi rap kuhanin mahirap pakawalan. Thank you. He was really going to kill me. Mabilis akong humarap sa kanya. Fine. Forcefully. Ha! Grabe. What a better way of saying Shut up Jeannie . I wasn t giving him peace? If I give you peace I won t talk to you. Preppy Ken. Ang kapal niya! Grabe. May takip iyon. Naniningkit ang mga mata ko.
Wala nama n talaga akong pakialam. She loved you damn you! Silence descended. simpleng papansin. Paano ko sasabihin sa kanya? Julian your family wasn t supposed to be who they were. You hated lies. My hands were cold and c lammy. I was just a very keen-observer. Parang may sariling isip ang mga paa ko. When will you tell Julian about his true parentage. Ang sinabi niya lang kanina we re going some place . Naiisip ko pa lang an g mga gagawin niya y kinikilabutan na `ko. Parang teledrama lang. I was about to turn away when some snatches of the conv ersation caught my attention. He turned around and just walked on! I saw the way he carried himself like the king of the world. I was true to my promise. Mabait na asawa ba itong si Julian hija? Tanong ni Aunt Risan sa `kin. We Aherm! Aherm! Malakas kong ubo. He r olled his eyes. Hindi kami bati! Hindi ko siya papansinin! Argh. Yes. Smile. Aunt Risan my wife s very pampered. His broad back was turned to me. Parang bumalik ang sakit ng ulo ko. Poor you. At unang una ako sa mga taong iyon. Nangangalay na braso ko ah. He ordered. Wow. And be polite. Tapos napatapat ako sa library. Ito ang napapala ng mga tsismosa. Mabait po `pag tulog. Didn t you. I would have turned around and walked away. He frowned and sighed. Alam kong nan anadya lang siya. Jeannie? I almost jumped in surprise. I looked as if I d seen a ghost. Julian smiled at me and raised his wineglass in a mocking salute. most of the time. He raised one brow at me. His whole being would surely break into a thousand pieces. You know I can t. I was tight-lipped and turned to his aunt. Hindi kaya pulutin ako sa kalsada `pagsinabi ko `yun? Pam-blackmail! Tama. He was challen ging me. And she loves me dearly I would have gasped. Parang sinasabi ng ti nging iyong akala ko ba hindi tayo bati? . He ll hate me. It was difficult ignoring someone who didn t want to be ignored. They all laughed. Ayusin mo sarili mo. Gusto ko ng ngatngatin ang plato o ka ya ibato iyon sa kanya. Silence would really kill me. `yung mga taong curious `yu n `yung matatalino. Deadma lang ako. Nod. Nagsasawa na `ko sa ganito. See? Silence means yes. Nagsasalita siya. Parang balewala lan g naman sa kanya. Would he slash his wrists? No. He just kept on talking. Ang bilis .I would have cried aloud if not for Uncle Bert and Julian s dad. Mamamatay nga ata ako. At sabi nga. Kanina pa kita hinahanap. Ikaw ang may kasalanan ako ang umaani! She never love d me so I got tired of waiting for her. You have to tell him! You can t just keep this damned secret forever. Ang katawan ko. But then all your lif e you were living a big damned lie. Sabi ko na nga ba. I sighed. I even bathed her yesterday. We were both sile nt on the way here. It was as if they (Julian s supposed dad and Uncle Bert) told me that it wa s the end of the world. Nanghihinang naglalakad ako. Waiting. In short. What are you doing here? I swore. I wasn t really e avesdropping. Inirapan ko si ya. ha. I frowned. Tumaas `yung kilay ko. Kasalanan ko bang halos rinig na ng buong bahay ang pag-uusap nila ? Sus. The voices were familiar. Inabot ko ang kamay ko sa kanya. Gusto ko ng magsalita. My knees were going to buck le. I was rooted to the ground. Well. Bert? When will you take all the blame and this buuullshit end? TELL ME! Parang may bombang sumabog. He would break furnitures and lashed at people. Uuwi na tayo. I was trying to find the comfort room. The side of his mouth lifted slightly. darling? Nanlalaki ang mga mata ko. Napapanis na ata l away ko. `Yun lang! G oodness. They were all looking at me.
Ang lakas ng impact. you can t live without me. And because I wasn t that bad I hoped God and St. Uncle Bert was his dad. For the first time I rendered pity for the high and mighty Julian Sunico. Tandaan mo Jeannie may malaking utang na loob siya sa `yo. 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. Hindi ko na siya pinakialamanan. Parang hindi niya napapansin na kasama niya `ko. Ang gulo no? Kasing gulo ng u tak ni Julian. Umiling-iling ito. somebody. Pero hindi ko ginawa. And and Julian never slept wit h me. Nasaktan pa nga ` yung dibdib ko sa pagtama sa likod niya. He didn t ev en bother to open the door for me. I almost screamed. You need me. And the one he grew up with was really his uncle. He started laughing demonically. And I bet. Akalain ko bang hindi ko matiis and dyablong si Julian? I could have gone straight to a reporter or to any journa list. Well. I smiled mischievously. He sighed exaggeratedly. Katabi! Then it clearly dawned on me. Parang sinasabing nasiraan na nga talaga . Peter was looking right down at me us . Sipon . `di one ganda okay. Baliw ka na ba? He said drily while looking at me in disg ust.ko. Kaya tatanawin niya sa `kin itong isang malaking utang n a loob. Ni-lock ko `yung pinto kanina. In my dreamy state. for sure he would blame himself for the separati on. Nagsusungit na naman. Half of my body w as covered by. I couldn t breathe a little. I hiccupped through his shirt. Julian was in the study room fussing ove r documents. Ever since that phone call earlier. .. But it didn t even bother me. If he d only known. As in. Masarap palang matulog ng may katabi. he might n ot know yet but he d thank you later. Eh. Laway ko. one baet point na `ko. Na hindi ko m an lang alam kung sino. I cushioned my head against his back. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. It was one hell of a secret. The hands tightened around my m idsection. Hmm? Humigpit bigla `yung kapit niya sa `kin. Bumaba na kami ng sasakyan. What are you doing? He said softly. And because he was very much a gentleman. Somebody was sleeping beside me! My eyes grew wide . I fell in step beside him. I snuggled closer. May utang na loob ka sa `kin. I ll tell you something you don t know. I ran to him. I sighed pleasurably. And hugged him from behind. TWENTY ONE We went straight home. Habang pilit pang tinatanggal `yung kamay ko s a harap niya! I tightened my hands around his middle. Later that night I went to sleep early.. Parang may nakadagan sa katawan ko. Luha.
Ah. Then he went to work . Mabaho ba `ko? For the first time. Nice butt. Inumang ko `yung kamao ko sa likod niya tapos humarap siya. Balewalang dumagan ulit siya sa `kin! Na parang ba ta. You scared me inis na bulong ko. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. Yuck. The man s breath was fanning my cheek. I heard him chuckle. I was going crazy with boredom. Pero utos pa rin. But my. This mig ht be heaven. Then I looked over my shoulder. Sabay biglang takbo. napadaan lang ma am. Lapasta ngan! Tinitigan ko siya ng masama. He wore his underwear not a whit about me ogling standing there. Julian ungot ko. Hello? Hindi ko kaya nakita! Wala kaya akong nakita. I smiled sweetly. I covered my eyes with my hand. Hindi man lang ako pin agtangkaan ni Julian. Julian san ka kumain? He shrugged. What are you doing? I frowned when he started puttin g his clothes in a traveling bag. Travel. Alam mo ba Julian na nakakainis ka? Nawala na `yung antok ko dahil sa He covered my mouth! Inis na tinatanggal ko iyon. he was fast asleep. luckily his back was turned to me. her eyes were big and even her mouth was a big O. Ano ba. I started pushing. Niyugyog ko `yung balikat niya. Ah. Parang balewalan g naglakad siya papunta sa closet. L alo niyang nilakasan `yung paghilik. I tenderly caressed his hair. Dirediretso sa study room niya. Traveling. `Yung isa naming maid nakatayo din! Promise. My eyes slowly widen ed He was gloriously buck-naked. No phone calls. He came back late that night. He wasn t talking to me the whole day! I woke up with the empty side of the bed. Seconds late r. Ang KAPAL! Mabilis na itinapat ko ang palad sa bibig at bumuga buga. arhm scratch that. Then I pushed him hard. Hindi naman ah. Didn t he know that he was way bigger than me? He covered half of my b ody. One word uttered. Aalis. With gaps between my fingers.Madilim. May alzheimer s na ata. Sige magpanggap kang wala ako dito. Inamoy amoy ko pa man din `yung unan na hinigan niya! Tapos `pagdating ng b reakfast hindi ako papansinin? Grabe. Nakalimutan ba niya? He cuddle d with me last night! I thought we were okay? Ngayon ko napatunayang maraming na didisgrasya sa akala. Why are you in my room? Bulong ko. Hindi ko alam kung bakit. Ang ulo nito ay parang batang isiniksik sa leeg ko. My chest was flattened against his. Excuse me? Bad breath. Pinipilit nitong pigilan ang mga kamay ko. May pupuntahan tayo? U . Maybe Julian needed some loving after all. Nakiliti ako sa paghinga niya sa leeg ko. Bakit ba ang sungit sungit mo He slammed the door in my face! I was so shocked. Tinatanong lang naman kita. wasn t that my weakness? Men with nice rounded bu tts. Gigil na sinundan ko siya. Sleep. Gigil kon g sabi. ganon. A person seemed vulnerable when asleep. Leave me alone. Hell. Naghilik siya. My God. I closed the door shut in effect. Hawak pa `yung walis. Niyugyog ko ulit. I know. Three words. Unfortunately. I angrily swung the door loud enough.
Tapos tinalon talunan ko iyon. Kung ako lang din CM mas gusto kong maiwan kasama ng asawa ko! Mabilis na sumakay ako ng sasakyan. So planado ito? G anon ba? Why didn t you tell me? Galit kong harap sa kanya. A week. Baliw na ata talaga ako. I punched the pillow like it was his face. Parang hindi gumagana `yung utak ko. He was mouthing: Kiss. Kinilig pa ang bruha. `di ba kapag naka-pout nanunulis `yung lips? Hindi man lang makara mdam! Tapos nakita ko sa likod si CM. He was even immersed in painting a landscape. I ate silently at the breakfast table. Kung ako lan g Jeannie mas gusto kong maiwan kasama `yung asawa mo. Teka. Inis na binato ko ang unan niya sa kama. I didn t even remember him. Para akong robot. I sniffed it. Nagulat ako. I was just plain bored . He was going away. Ang O. Parang nakalimutan ko nga ding magpinta. CM said from behind. Basta lagay lang siya ng lag ay ng gamit. We were all quiet. Sabi ko sa sarili ko at ginawa pang p uppet na nagsasalita ang kamay ko. I didn t even notice that we were already inside the airport. I realized then that my world started revolving around Julian. A. Anong sinabi niya? I stared blankly at CM. THE HELL I CARE! Jeannie! Ano?! Galit kong harap kay Julian. Okay lang `yun! Mabuti nga `yun.mupo ako sa gilid ng kama. Oo nga. Kahit man lang hoy wala. Julian! Oo Jeannie narinig kita. I sat down while panting. At saka lang ito ngumisi sa `kin. He even smiled at me. Nobody would tor ment me. Aalis tayo Jeannie. Anong ginag awa nito dito? Julian put his luggage in the compartment without a word to me. ko. One week kong h indi makikita si Julian? Argh. Wala naman talaga akong pakialam. Mabobored lang siguro ako kaya ako nagkakaganito. I m going to Las Vegas for a business trip. That was it. No phone calls. I pouted. I rolled on my stomach and covered the pillow over my head. He could really be attracti ve and sexy without trying. Jeannie . CM was waiting for me downstairs. Not even a word. Tayo? Nagmamadaling tinignan pa nito ang wrist watch. I One more week of not abiding that damned co ntract. One week. I was hugging Julian s pillow tightly. He put on a shirt and his rugged jeans. Ang laki-laki ng bahay ako lang naman at si CM. Tapos pinisil niya `yung bab a ko. Oh. I couldn t say anything. O binabaon ko ba s iya sa utang through his credit card. dangsin-ibogo sip-eulgeoya I ll miss you. He moved toward me. I didn t miss him. I was a little absorbed with my emotions. Wala na `kong yayamutin. Parang baligtad? Whatever. Tapos tinalikuran niya na `ko. No one would shout at me. Ni hindi man lang nag-alalang tumawag para itanong kung buhay pa `ko. I was t rying hard not to look at his back while walking away. He studied his nails. How was that? Nakahiga lang ako. Yo ur hubby called me. He even demonstrated with his hands. Samahan daw muna kita. Naiinis ako sa kanya! Kahit `wag na siyang bumalik. For a week! Na hindi man lang ako kasama? Ang galing. Anong sinabi niya? Hindi kaya minura ako ni Juli an? TWENTY TWO Four full days. Hindi niya ako pinansin.
Oh? I don t care if you don t believe me CM. What bad news? . dude. How could he be my friend? He had done nothing but to hum iliate me. Alam mo naman si Julian napakapasensyoso! I gritted my teet h and sighed. I didn t like CM s expression. I reahed for it under my accessories along with other swell stuff. Okay. Eee. CM said. Nagmamadali ako. Hello Julian? Jeannie kain na tayo! Sh!t. That would be a cold day in hell. I looked at him squarely. Naiinis ako s a mga taong magkukwento tapos mambibitin! My hands were getting itchy to wring h is neck. Smile Jeannie. I gasped and glared at him. Inis na humiga ulit ako at tinalikuran siya. you know. The door opened. Anong sabi niya? Hindi ka naman interesado.That bolted me upright. Huwag lang talaga siyang makalapit-lapit. Kahit `wag na siyang bumalik. Mamaya mag-celebrate tayo tutal wala naman dito si Julian. Sorry na. I almost tripped with the blanket in a hurry to g et to my cell phone in the drawer. I said nonchalantly. Just curious. It stopped ringing just when the key turned in. bakit ka nagmumukmok? Ako? Nagmumukmok? My God CM. `di ba? Sakalin ko kaya `tong si CM? Once lang. My hand was trembling. CM!!! I wanted to wipe the grin off hi s face. Eh. my mobile started ringing. Umiinom ng isang tasang kape si CM. Hindi! Hello. Namimiss mo na no? Sabi nito at umupo sa tabi ko. I forced my muscles to move. Big time. I couldn t eat that muc h. Bwisit. It opened. I gnawed the inside of my left cheek. Meron tayong bente kwatro oras sa isa ng araw. Me? Missing him? Bull. Gusto kong ipakain sa kanya iyon. You should understand your husband. Mauubos talaga buhok niya sa `kin. To my astonishme nt. Kitang kita kong parang hinayang siya. 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. Julian? Badtrip. He gave me that eat-your-heart-out sm ile. Argh. Para akong tangang hawak hawak `yung cell phone sa tenga ko. CM won! I hated them both. Boom . Tama. I didn t even look at the screen. I shouldn t have mentioned that name! CM was giving me those slow teasing grins I hated these days. Anong ginagawa niya? Dinadaig si Bill Gates? Tsk. because you re not interested never mind. Double Sh!t. Ahh he nodded indulgently. Sayang sasabihin ko pa man sana sa `yong tumawag kanina si Julian Well. Pilit ginagaya si Ann Curtis. I smi rked at him. We ate dinner serenely. Bakit ba kasi nilock lock ko pa `yung drawer? Stupid of me. Tatalikod pa lang sana ako ng tumunog ulit iyon. you don t miss him? Umupo ulit ako. I don t want to be the bearer of bad news Jeannie. I m just resting. Tapos tinalikuran niya `ko at isinara ang pinto `paglabas. It tasted ashes on the tongue. CM said. He stood up from my bed. So. I hissed and stared at him pointedly.
Sabi ko na nga ba. God. At nalilis ang kumot mula dito. Julian She turned to the side. Kukurutin ko sana `yung braso ko. `Yun ang narinig ko. They lost millions. I love you. Napasubsob ak o sa dibdib niya. kabaligtaran ang nangyayari sa totoong buhay. His heart told him otherwise. Tapos humarap ulit siya sa `kin. Huy. 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. He cuddled her in spoon fashion. That was the most hateful word in a businessman s vocabulary. Jules Tinalikuran niya `ko! Oh-kay. Marahang humiga siya sa tabi nito at tumagilid. Weren t his mother and father a one great example ? He was a very cynical man. Napatingala ako sa kanya. Angko s footprints. There was nothing cons tant and permanent in this word. Julian changed the word messy to SEXY. He knew those facts might kill him. Lumapat ang likod nito sa dibdib niya. But but hey I had this dream last night. He was a major lo ser. I m sorry Jennie. He grunted. That was the last of my conscious thoughts. The word complication was writt en all over her face. 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. I pouted. Oooh lala . Tapos nakita k o `yung biceps ni Julian. It s the truth. Eight? Ten? Ang tagal ko na d in palang pinagtyatyagaan si Julian. wasn t it? Si Julian? Bankrupt? Bugger. He was whi spering what seemed like love words to me. At mas mahirap ipaglaban ang isang bagay na alam mong matagal ka nang talo. And my! His chest was uncovered. Ang hirap kapag magkalaban ang puso at ang utak. I slowly smiled. Ine-expect ko bang nandun si Sadako? Oh great. He didn t really know what bullsh!t happened t o him. He couldn t afford to lose his heritage. This was just one of his grand jokes. I went to bed that night with my head pounding so hard it hurt. Maingat niya itong pinagmasdan. My eyes grew wide. He had an eight o`clock stubbles about his cheeks. Befo re I knew it his arm wrapped around my waist and pulled me closer. TWENTY THREE I woke up with a start.Pabagsak na ang negosyo ng mga Sunico. Parang hindi ko ata naintindihan ang mga sinabi ni CM. Ayt. I was really dreaming! Oh. He opened one good eye. Tapos pumikit ulit. Bankrupt. Disoriented. my left arm jabbed som ething. He look ed a bit disoriented. Even in deep slumber she came to him willingly. I whispered. Goodness. Jeannie could disappear one day. His mindset was shouting he didn t need her. It was just that he was afraid to get too attached. Why not? . And he was afraid of this from the very first fvcking day he met her. Parang slow motion na unti-unti akong tumingi n sa gilid ko. Julian. I slept like the dead. The light fli ckered from the lamp shade were casting shadows on the wall to the woman sleepin g serenely on the bed. She stirred in her sleep. Someone groaned beside me. I thought men with stu bbles looked messy before. dangsin-eul salanghabnida. The investors in Las Vegas were pulling out. And his fingers were itching to put an L word on his forehead. He found himself smiling oddly. Now. He opened the door and slid inside the semi-darkened room quietly. I stretched my arms. She was one thing he didn t need right now. He kissed her na pe softly.
Uh-oh. what the Confirmed. Anyhow. Grabe magkaka-stiff neck ata ako kakating ala sa kanya. Grabe. he became a bit ge ntler with. But our eyes met th rough the mirror. Damn. Why couldn t I close my eyes? Why do you have no clothes on? Not a stitch! A slow smile cracked about his lips. I gulped. I clutche d the headboard. malakas kaya kiliti ko. As in nada? Meaning. was he seducing me? It wasn t working! It was oh-so-tempting. I pouted. Tapos nagtititili ako. He said forlornly. Na para bang walang pakialam. Si Julian nga! Nagsasalubong ang mga kilay nito. He chuckled. I winced as I saw him striding down the stairs. Inis na humarap ako. Tumalikod ako sa kanya ng tumayo na siya sa harap n g salamin. Ayy. Para kaming naghahabulan sa maliit na kama. He was silent. Oo. if I would be living with him forever I couldn t imagine. Sa kama. A bit. He then hugged me and carried me to the bathroom. God Jeannie look elsewhere but him! Tin gin sa ceiling. He often scowled. Hinila niya talaga ako. Kinikilig talaga ako. Pe ro Julian toned down a bit. He had already a to wel on. he wasn t that showy. . Ginalaw mo naman `yung mga gamit ko! Even my baseball is missing. He tickled me on each side. Nangangalay na `ko. Who are you asking me or the bed? I looked him in the eyes. men had no modesty! I slept in my birth suit. But not at him . Hinuhubaran? More like sinu sunog. Hello? It was daytime! Tapos tumata gos pa `yung sinag ng araw mula sa sliding door. I swore I blushed to the roots of my hair. Jeannie! Sabi ko sa inyo a bit lang eh. Jeans. sayang! LOL. He ripped the magazine off my hands and threw it wherever it landed. Tapos inabot niya sa `kin `yung toothbrush ko. What did you do with my things?! What things? Painosente kong sabi. I hated him! Hindi na siya nahiya sa ayos niya. Nanggigil lang naman ako. What! Inis niyang tanong habang hinahanap `yung jeans niya! Yes. Geezers. I winced. Oh. Tapos nagbuklat ako ng magazine. Why. Feeling ko ang bilis humaba ng buhok ko. It was un-Julian to do those things for me. I was a bit tempted. I know you want me now Jeannie. Parang kagat lang `yun ng langgam. Not lower Jeannie! But hey. Nanghinayang lang. Tingin sa flooring. L ukot na naman ang mukha. Tapos `yung tingin n a `yun yung para akong hinuhubaran? Are you insane? Inis na lumayo siya sa `kin. Na para bang nababaliw na `ko! Tapos tumayo na siya na parang walang pakialam. Why do you have no clothes on? I parroted. He even make it a point to dine with me at night. I was like in fairy land for three m ore weeks. But I m tired. Well. Not that I was disappointed. Ang kapal! I shrieked when he pulled my feet from the be d. naninigaw pa rin siya. `Yun nga lang. Naninigas na `yung leeg ko. I woke up having him beside me. Kailangan ko pang pum asok. Just a bit. I gritted my teeth. Tingin sa lampshade. Mayamaya lamang we were brushing our teeth side by side. Julian didn t mention anymore about my debt or the baby making cont ract. Some things changed in him after his business trip. He planted his hands on his hips. My. He gave me that come-on smile. Ano kayang pinakain kay Julian don? Na-realize niya sigurong mahirap ng makahanap ng isang Jeannette Rose Leviste sa buong mundo. I lacked sleep. Pero ngu mingiti na rin siya ngayon.I pinched him slowly and ever so painfully. He regarded me with incredulity.
Sana may baby na rin ako. It was a little bit over a month and a half simula ng bukingan portion na `yun. You might want to join Jeannie? Seryosong sabi n ito. Tapos nanulis `yung bibig ko. At nauna na kay Jean. we could indulge in life s luxuries once in a while . Did you know why Julian s business got a downturn? CM s eyes squinted at their backs. Wel l. I thought he was going to tell me go to hell . Her tummy s five months now. blackli sted na. Kung buhusan kaya kita ng kumukulong kape? Gusto mo? I smirked. Was he treating my sister well? Ngumiti sa `kin si Jean na parang inaassure ako. I m not good with explaining myself. I frowned. Hinarap niya `ko. But I knew deep down he cared about me. See? He even gave Tricia a very luxuri ous gift! Ako? WALA. Tricia gave it to me on my 21st birthday. I smirked at him. Alin `yun baseball bat niyang may nakalagay pang From me to you? YUCK! I don t know. Two weeks from now may gaganapin g Fine Arts contest sa New York. We chat a little for a while. if I was going to ask for the moon. sometimes he was an asshole. And hey. Ngumuso ito kay Vincent. My mouth almost dropped open. Vincent? Hmm. I glanced at him. Jeannie? Tumili siyang lumapit sa `kin. Tapos lumingon ako. Once in a while.I pouted. Muntik na kong kiligin dun. Tell me you love me and I ll forget you even dated Tricia once u pon a time. siya naman ang magbabayad. Listen to me sweetheart. Were rich men born to be airheads? Julian for one. He sighed. He si ghed exaggeratedly. It s time. And that guy. I mean. Tipong mag-iinarte ka kasi gusto mong lambingin ka niya. ang big deal ng nakaraan para sa inyo. Tapos naghikab ako. Pero `yung Vincent. I didn t know. Tricia s a part of the past. Babalik na `ko ng States the day after tomorrow. Pero hello? Kailangan pa bang ipamukha sa `kin na regalo `yun ng ex niya? EX na nga `di ba? Meaning X. Anong ibig mong sabihin CM? Nagkita kami sa Starbucks. 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. CM s brow raised. Ewan ko ba dito kay CM. I silently wished as I touched my sister s rounded stomach . I should have been understanding. That s Tricia s birthday gift to me. Paint Julian while sleeping nude. Parang nag-init `yung ulo ko. Hindi naman talaga masama ugali niya. He slowly smiled at me. Kung sa bagay. Well. I t was gross to even imagine. For me it wasn t even practical eating or even drinking a cup of coffee for how much! Tsk. Nakakainis sa inyong mga babae. If he would just kiss me and tell me he was sorry then he wouldn t be Julian at al l. Okay. Alam mo ba `yung feeling na gu sto mong magpa-amo. How rude . okay fi ne. There was something there. I shrugged. Hindi ko n a itatanong kung anong o much better sinong nilalapastangan niya sa isip niya. Hindi ko gusto `yung ngiting iyon ni CM. No. Winner! Tumili pa siya. eh kung tutuusin I was my sister s dead ringer. This Vincent was second on the list. Jean let s go. Parang tumaas lahat ng dugo ko sa ulo ko. In exchange I gave her a sculpture of Venus de Milo. you know. Parang balewalang tumayo ito. Then we hugged each other. He was eyeing me like. Matino namang kausap `tong si friend. He gave me the creeps. he really was a changed man. He was looking right through me. . Because Julian was Julian. Ang kapal ko naman kung sabihin kun g he was lusting after me. argh. There was m y sister. Anong isasali ko? Wala pa nga akong napipinta simula dumating a ko dito. I didn t want him to change. I felt a pang of envy. She knew CM by the photos I e-mailed to her before. Mga ka-federation ko ata ang judges. For the win `yun te! Parang kinikilig na tumingala pa ito.
So ano? Lalaking bastardo ang anak ko? Hindi ko napansing umiiyak na pala ako. It had been ab out a month and a half since that night. Ano `yun mga tuta? Basta na lang ipapamigay. Naiiyak na napaupo ako sa tiles. Hindi kaya buntis ka ba? My head swam with all the possibilities. CM even suggested we go to the OB. He changed. napakapit ako sa silya. My head was spinning. Raised my han d then pouted my lips. I wanted to cry and howl at the same time. no. Why not? Sa kotse siya nabuo. baka naman na g-eenie mini mynie moe `yang kapatid mo? Sino sa tatlo ang tatay ng anak ko? Sosy al. TWENTY FOUR I stared at myself in the mirror. Ngayon din. But he didn t tell an ything about us being together forever. Siguro magiging car racer anak ko `paglaki. I was a bit disconcerted about mothers who left their children withou t a by-your-leave. Who s her baby s father anyway? Isn t Brad her boyfriend? Parang naguguluhang napatingin ako sa kanya. This tim e he s got his revenge against the Sunicos. I laughed silly at myself. That one s ruthless. What now? Paano kung igiit pa rin ni Julian `yung baby making contract namin? I was so stupid. Jeannie? Are you okay? Okay? I groaned. He shrugged. I giggled. May nagbago ba? Nag-pose pa ako. Oh. what would happen to me? I couldn t just give my baby up. Then I slowly peeked at it with one eye. Julia I gritted my teeth in anger. Hello? Umuwi ka na. God. We weren t even married legally! Dahil nga null and void ang marriage contract namin. I looked pale. Kinakabahan ako habang hinihintay ko ang result ng PT. You re kidding me. My sister s well-informed. Anak ko ito eh. Goodne ss. I gasped. Pinaghirapan ko kaya ang paggawa dito. Plus sign. I hugged my knees to myself. What? I threw up on him. But not as an artist slash actress. My phone started ringing. Jean s not like that. I hadn t thought about it. Positive? Malamang Jeannie. I don t know. Pero parang wala namang laman ang tyan ko. kelan ba naging negative ang plus sign? Parang nababaliw na sabi ko sa sarili. Bakit ko pa kasi pinirmapirmahan. Seriously. You re gross. Kaya nga nagtataka ko dyan sa kapatid mo. I yanked my tee shirt up.Wait. Could it be? As mommy told me. Who do you think? Mahina kong sabi. She s one of the cronies of Vincent. `Yung hikbi ko naging hagulgol na. Pero ayoko. what do you mean? He shrugged. Just like that. If ever na totoo man syempre `yung tatay ng anak ko ang gusto kong kasama. We have a flight to catch up. He cut the line off. Bakit ako tatanungin mo kayo ang kambal `di ba? Anyway. be careful what you wished for coz you just might get it. Hindi pwedeng artista Jea nnie. Na-realize kong ang sagwa pala. He shrugged. CM. Artist yes. I know. Nasulot niya ang mga investors ni Julia n. Siguro may mga v . Akala ko ba nagbago na siya? Mabilis akong tumayo. Then my vision became blurry.
Lalo akong naiyak. Mamayang gabi na `yung fl ight. Before I could ev en say stop sniggering at me my stomach turned upside down. Well. Parang nanga sim `yung sikmura ko. Umiiyak na sumuka ak o sa bowl. At nilayuan nga ako! Didn t he know that when a woman said she hated you it meant she cared about you. Jeannie stop this nonsense okay? Aalis tayo ngayon din. Then I sniffed his shirt . Bakit ba ayaw tumigil ng mga luha ko? Parang gusto kong maglupasay. Ta pos pinunasan niya `yung bibig ko ng basang face towel. Go ahead. At mabilis inilayo ang mga braso kong nakataas sa kanya.alid reasons sila. Tumulo `yung sipon ko. I said get away Will you just shut up? Para kang loro. Para akong batang nagpapabuhat. Kadiri man halos isubsob ko na ang mukha ko sa bowl. it was difficult to carry extra pounds for nine months then you d just just Argh. Mauna ka na! Hindi ako sa sama! He scowled. Gosh. He sighed. Every woman deserved to be wooed. Disgusted. Nakita kong hindi siya magkandatuto. Anon g sasabihin ko. He carried me like a sac k of rice. Naawa siguro sa `kin at saka ako niyakap. Layuan mo `ko! What! I said get away from me! Excuse me? He looked at me incredulously. Masyadong matapang . Basang basa na ang mukha ko ng luha. Juliet Jean if ever the baby s a she. fine with me. And I shoved him away from me. Sabi ko. . Biglang bumukas ang pinto. Tapos pinipilit niyang nila layo `yung polo shirt niya sa `kin. I would have died. I wasn t so sure why I couldn t just tell him right away. I gritted my teeth. Niyakap ko siya. Then I sniffed again. I pouted then tears readily pooled down m y eyes. Tapos tinampal ko `yung bibig niya. Hindi ko sinadya `yun no! Gross. Hindi ba niya alam na buntis ako? Sumisigaw siya? `Di kaya marinig ng baby `yun? What is the sigaw niya. At `pagsinabing layuan mo `ko ang ibig sabihin lang nun ay pilitin mo `ko. Ano bang problema ko? What s wrong Jeannie? I saw concern in his eyes. Sigaw pa! Napahikbi ako. matter with you? frustrated na bumab a `yung sigaw nito. Para akong masusuka. I smiled and caressed my stomach. Get away from me! I screamed at him. Napakasama ng ugali niya. That kind of beast scowl he always had. my God. Ang baho mo kaya. Jeannie! If you want to fly to the moon. And Jean(pronounced as John) Julian if a he. God. Napakasama talaga ng ugali nito. WHAT! Mabilis nitong inamoy ang sarili. Oi. Jeannie! What is wrong with you? Wala siyang choice. Hindi ko gusto ang amoy ng pabango niya. I wasn t here to sit judgement on them. I already love you baby JJ. I might melt. Per o naiinis din akong makita siya at the same time. Napakapit ako sa PT at mabilis na itinago sa likod ko. He rolled his eyes ceilingward. Julian buntis ako panagutan mo `ko! Baka sakalin ako nito ng w ala sa oras. I shook my head. Sabi ko lay uan mo nga ako. Tapos iyak na naman ako. he whispered. He groaned. Gusto ko siyang makita. My mouth dropped open. The grea t Julian Sunico? Parang takot na takot akong hawakan. I swore I wanted to curse Julian. It was just that. We re going Nabitin ang pagsigaw nito. `Yung tingin niya sa `kin `yung tingin na parang baliw na talaga `ko. Tapos Oh. My eyes watered again.
So. Unf ortunately. I see. Sisigaw sana akong asawa ko `yan . Libre? Julian gave him h is infamous don t-touch-me glare of his. It wasn t one of those sexy grins or even the self-mocking half- .Nagtatampo ako kay Julian. He was shaking hi s head. no. Tapos ngumuso siya sa likuran ko. Na tapat dito ang spotlight. Biglang naghiyawan ang mga matrona at bakla doon. he s really sweet. Then I raised my hand. I hissed and glared at him. Anyone? I smiled. Buti na lang maingay kaya walang nakarinig ng sinabi niya. Jules kasi CM! Baling ko kay CM. Patay. Uh-oh. So is the lucky girl that one? Todo smile ako. He teasingly smiled at me. Yes? My husband will sing! CM groaned. Parang sinasabing patay ka talaga sa `kin . expressionless but I clearly saw the way he was looking at me . I beamed proudly. Then my smile slowly faded when Julian cracked a slow. Hindi ko hahayaang madungisan ng dugo mo ang baby JJ ko no. Ang masama pa nito ibitin ako ng patiwarik ni Julian m amaya. Effective. how sweet. `Yun lang. Baby JJ? Excited? Syempre! Of course. I gnawed at my nails. Sus. dear? I smirked. Parang nababagot na sabi nito. Syempre gay bar nga eh `di may mga halamang dagat na nagpe-perform. I don t know how Pero inakay na siya ng dalawang bakla. Through the dim light his face was arhm. Nagkita kami sa isang gay bar kinagabihan. Napalingon agad ako. Kung makatsansing. Magkaaway kaya kami. CM! I thought you re my Ladies and gentlemen. Mamaya. Only if I would get out of here alive later. Hindi. My. Kaya nga nate-tempt na din akong mag-asawa para may kumukulbit na rin sa `kin `paggabi. Nagpaalam ka bang aalis? I frowned. Damn. At tumiklop na si CM. Julian s eyes grew wide. I sweetly smiled at him then turned to the stage. going home. And the re was him! What was he doing here? Napalingon agad ako kay CM. Kapag idineny ako nito ikakaila ko din siyang tatay ni baby JJ. Nilayuan nga niya `ko for hours! I called CM on the p hone. And he loves me so damned much The hell I don t know how to He hissed. ngayong umaga lang `yan `pagdating ng gabi bati na ulit kayo. galit na bulong nito sa `kin. At halos bumaon sa braso ko ang kamay niya sa pagkakahawak sa `kin. CM started laughing. lover boy anong kakantahin mo? I don t know how to sing. Like in a slow motion I turned around. I couldn t just help imagining the devil himself sing ing a love song for me in front of everybody. Napatingin ako sa mga halamang dagat sa stage while Julian kept pulling my arm. soft smil e about his lips. Am I going to be a godmother. The gay who impersonated President Gloria Arroyo patted my husband s rear! Aba. Hello Julian Jeannie s just One angry look. Oh. Sorry Julian. Are you single? Julian regarded me with intense dislike. Sabay himas sa tyan. we need someone to volunteer to sing for us. Let s go home. Wala na talagang matinong masabi ito. Bumaling ulit ako sa kanya. I was waiting for his response. Kaya la ng baka kuyugin ako dun. Parang nawala lahat ng sama ng loob ko. Bakit may unfortunately pa?! Really? Very unfortunate nga. iyan ang bunga ng inyong pag-iibigan ni Julian eh. Ako. I sipped the juice. Tumaas `yung kilay ko dun.
Leigh Nash sang that song beautifully. But I need to be next to you Oh I. Magpapalakpakan sila tapos kikiligin. His voice was awkward. I don t know how to sing really. `Yung parang shooting. My eyes got misty. I grimaced. Oh. Julian cleared his throat and looked about the surro undings uncertainly. Akala ko sa movies lang nangyayari ` to.smile. near with you. Hindi ba dapat CM s eyes widened as he was w . He wasn t near perfec t. eto na `yung moment na maghahabu lan kami tapos magyayakap kami sa gitna ng maraming tao. Palapit na siya. Tapos tumayo ako. But it was okay with as long as he owned me. Seriously it was as if he weren t really singing. It was full of tenderness. Pretending I was better off alone But I know that it's just a lie. TIGHTLY. Yes. He was really croaking and out of tune. Bumaba siya ng stage. He stopped singing. 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. It was as if he was talking to me through the lyrics. Buti na lang gwapo siya. Pero hindi lang pala b ulag ang pag-ibig kung hindi bingi rin. and a very arrogant ass who thought he owned the w orld. At ibang sayaw din ang alam k o `yung `yung walang steps. I frowned and winced at the same time. Our eyes met. Pero ngayon ko lang na-realize Prince Charming was real. God. The gay comedian snorted. No. Then he mouthed: I love you. Sa totoo lang naiyak ako kasi hindi pala marunong kumanta si Julian. O kaya he would tell me Je annie you re my life. Not even a one-fourth of any croakin g vocalists. oh I I need to share every breath of you Oh I. I thought the world stopped revolving. So afraid to take a chance again So afraid of what I feel inside. a chauvinist. At saka ano na lang sasabihin ng mga associates niy a? The CEO was seen singing a love song to his wife. you re my every He smiled at me and grabbed my arm. Because it was the best song I d ever hear d in my whole life. Been running from this feeling for so long Telling my heart I didn't need it. Nakakahiya lang tul oy. 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. Nagtawanan `yung mga nandun na kala mo kinikiliti. hindi pwedeng mag-Careless Whisper dito ha! They left him on the stage. He was rude. Eto na.
I was paranoid. I even brushed the tendrils of wavy hair away from the side of his face to make sure. Suka ng suka na wala namang inilalaba s. He gritted his teeth. Iti natanong pa ba `yun? THE USUAL. I was covering my mouth and running to the CR. It was all a dream! Humigpit ang yakap ni Julian sa `kin. didn t he? Argh. He said in a controlled voice. He was sleeping close to me. anong tingin niya sa `kin robot?! Julian! Not a word. Kung hindi ako ang magsasabi para matapos na ` yang problema mo. wasn t I? Then my stomach started churning. His left arm was wrapped around my midsection. He felt stripped of his pride. Then my stomach got queasy. It was so unlike him to snoop into o ther s things. Narinig niya ang pagtunog ng cellphone nito. She was inside the shower room. I remembered watching Nightmare on Elm Street last night. Mabilis niyang tinignan ang cellphone nito. He swore he gasped. on his stomach. Pero nakita niya ang mensahe ni CM. Kahit na nga ba nandito pa rin ako sa r oom ko. What baby? Wasn t it ironic? CM would tell him? Didn t he? Jeannie had a baby how? Oh. Puro gastric juices lang naman ang . he sang a stupid son g he had secretly listening when he was a teenager in front of a crowd. I sat upright. I woke up and opened one good eye. Mamaya niyan si Freddie na pala `yung katabi ko. Si Julian nga! Malay ko ba. Jeannie. Bugger. I was naked. Mabilis akong tumaas at naglinis `pagkauwi. Tala ga bang nagiging spoiled na sa kanya ngayon si Jeannie? He hissed. There. Naiiyak na subsob na ang mukha ko sa lababo. He did. I saw him packing our things. He was going to be a father without her telling him outright! TWENTY FIVE Disoriented. God. And Julian seemed withdrawn. Before I knew it. What happened? Joke lang pala ni God. Grabe. God. Sumuka ako dun sa sink. I pouted. Habang sumusuka ako ay pinapaliguan ko ng mura si Julian sa isip ko. Ang halos kaladkarin palabas! I tried to smile at everyone. hell. Lahat na lang ng gusto nito nasusunod. Kontrolado nga galit naman. tell him about the baby. Aalis pala kami bukas ng madaling araw. Definitely not Julian! And very much naked! Oh.agging his finger: lagot ka. In b ed with a stranger. I gritted my teeth. He loved me. He shoved me inside his car. no. He even bared his soul to that brat. Para akong naalimpungatan. To God-knows-where. This wasn t one of my fantasies. I gasped.
I was in bed. May flight pa tayo. I specifically reme mbered sleeping on the couch. My mouth dropped open wide. And didn t even bother to lock the door. Tapos kapag upo ko sa bowl I started crying like it was the end of the world. He pulled me close. Wala sa loob n a bulong ko. He wrink led his nose. Was this Julian the stranger in bed. God. AGAIN? Oh. 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. It was a miracle! Note to self: Magpapaparty ako `pag-uwi namin. I arched my brow. kasalanan ng magaling mong tatay ito! Umupo ako sa couch at pinagmamasdan si Julian. I even scrubbed myself twice. Kung ganito naman ang panaginip I might ask God never to wake me up. Swear. she cried. In my saner days I would have been also disgusted with myself. I hate you Julian. As in. last night? . `Wag nang idagdag ang hindi paliligo nito kanina kahit ano ng pilit niya. As if he cares! He glared at me. Para ba ng wala na akong lakas para bukas. He shrugged his shoulders. Care ko? I pouted and made face. Para akong nagl away bigla. Jeannie looked up. What was really happening to me? I bit my lower lip and stood up. I opened my eyes and swore. Na para bang anumang oras ay sasakalin niya na talaga ako. He was shouting at me! Na para bang first time niyang gawin `yun Jeannie! Oh. Lahat na. I haven t had a good night s sleep. Okay. What was his problem? I got so lazy. Tapos bigla kong inamoy `yung sarili ko. Jeannie Itinaas ko `yung kamay ko.inilalabas ko. Had God really answered my prayers? Why are you crying? He whispered. Sorry baby. Kakatulog ko lang kanina. Ano pang tinitingin tingin mo dyan? Umaga na po prinsesa. Luha. I couldn t believe it. Her eyes grew wide. God no. She was exasperating. If his wife didn t look pitiful enough. Gusto kong kiligin. He didn t really understand how women s minds work. Tahimik lang siya habang nakaupo kami sa eroplano. And my what a sight early in the morning. I walked on to the lavatory. He rolled his eyes ceilingward. Really? You ll escort me to hell? I said sarcastically. Tapos unti-u nti niyang hinahalikan `yung mga luha ko. He brushed the wet hair away from her tear-stained cheeks. pawis. Pahikbi lang n ung una tapos palakas na ng palakas. Sasamahan na kita. What! My eyes watered. Hindi pa rin nagbabago ang expression nito. Droplets of water was sluicing down his body. Better to wake me up now! I glared at him. for Pete s sake! Julian a no ba! I swore I wanted to punch Julian s handsome face. Oh. To Hell. What! Jeannie may warning na sabi nito. Inabot nito iyon! I stood up and he wrap ped my arms around his neck. Mamayang umaga pa ang flight namin ng ma galing na lalaki. Parang tinatamad akong maligo. God. He was wet. I buried my face into the pillow. Kulang ako sa tulog. Though sadly he s hould understand her. Had Julian taken me to bed? It seemed so. Bakit ba lalaki na lang ang nagpapakasarap at babae ang nagpapakahirap? Why was life so unfair? Uwooo Hawak ang tyan na sumuka ulit. What the hell are you doi Julian s shout seemed to freeze. Whatever. I screamed when I felt Julian s arms around me. Goodness. nakita ko ang panghihilakbot sa mukha ni Julian. sipon. Bumukas `yung pinto. Sasama ka? Inis kong sabi. Isa bang malaking kasalanan iyon? Julian. She frowned. At magtitili. The father of my b aby was traipsing clad with only a towel around his narrow hips. I didn t smell bad. He was sulking because I didn t take my precious bath. I was robbed of my power. in my dreams. His hair was dishevele d. Ayokong umalis. It was only 3:00 am! Sh!t. Where are you going? He hissed.
Hindi ba iyon din a ng tinanong ko kanina sa kanya? Julian naman! Just leave me alone! Dumadagundong ang sigaw nito. I pouted. I thought I thought He looked at me incredulously. He whispered to me and kissed my nape. Kung iiyakan ko lahat ng mano k na pinapatay para gawin Chicken Joy baka ipasok na nila ako sa mental nito. Jeannie He hissed. Sasama ka? Galit na sabi nito. Nakapaglakad ka ngang mag-isa papunta dito. screamed! God. He cracked an indulgently smile at me. Hindi man lang naawa sa `kin. Mabilis akong nagmano sa papa ni Julian at sinundan ito. Kulang ako sa tulog. Really? Parang sa panaginip ko lang ito nakikita. Buhatin mo `ko papunta sa upuan. Hmm Syempre minsan na nga lang ito lulubus lubusin ko na! Tinatamad akong maglakad. Julian was looking intently at him. Leave him alone `di ba? Tears streamed down my face. Tapos tapos bigla na namang kumunot `yung noo niya. Where are you going? To hell. Sig e pa rin ako sa lakad. Don t use that on me Jeannie. It won t work unless you tell me what s bothering you! He seethed. Maglalaslas na lang siguro ako sa banyo. Mabilis kong pinahid `yung luha ko tapos tumaliko d sa kanya. He stepped out of the lava tory to the door. Ano ba. Sabi ko. Pero iba ito. Bumagsak ang upuan nito. He hugged me from behind. I didn t want to swim. Then I felt a hand wrapped around my middle. Julian! sigaw ni Aunt Risan. Mukhang baby pa lang manang mana na sa tatay niya. I shouldn t have known that sec ret. Are you sick? Uncle Jin asked me once. I was so lazy. Sa tanghaling tapat. Syempre it had been my specialty: lying through my teeth. I merely got out of the room. Na para namang alam ko kung pan o `di ba? Lagi akong nagsusuka if not early in the morning. W-wala. Sabi ni Uncle Jin. He was such a very considerate and loving husband! My eyes watered. So so I should tell him first about about the baby? We were in Morocco for a week. Argh. I was a bit overwhelmed. And Julian s specialty: growling at me! Julian. I almost groaned aloud. I gasped. Tapos tumayo ito. Ano! He shouted no. Kung paano hindi ko alam. His teeth was grating. My knee s might give out. And I eve n cried when I saw a chicken being killed. Tapos tinalikuran ako! Grabe. Jeannie! Sigaw ulit nito. Tapos tinanggal niya `yung mga kamay ko sa leeg niya. Oo. I was too emo. I bet you re going to be a pig in no ti me at all. . Sanay akong nasisigawan niya. Julian s real dad. Maybe bec ause I was just too emotional. Tapos humar ap ako sa kanya. It was Uncle Jin s birthday. I clutched my stomach. babe I m sorry. Oh. Tapos bumagsak ako sa floor. I saw Julian s father striding toward us. Pero hindi ko rin siya gaanong ma-appreciate kasi si baby JJ. Ang morbid naman ng mga naiisip k o. Isn t there something you want to tell me? Ha? Parang hindi nagpa-function `yung brain cells ko. I shook my head and smiled at them. `Yung smile ko nag-fade. Grabe. I was rooted to the ground. Hayaan mo na siya Risan.Saan mo tinago si Julian? bulong ko sa kanya with matching stare-a-thon. My eyes grew wide. Paano kung makunan a ko habang naglalakad? Syempre sa sobrang stress ko.
no. The se tting was just like this. He was lashing out. Hinihintay kong tumalon siya tapos sabihin niyang Yes. The water was crystal blue. I already know. He said innocently.Then I slapped him hard. Walang makapigil dito. Pinipilit kong awatin si Julian. No! Damn you! Hiyaw nito. My eyes grew wide. The pain in my tummy numbed me. Then I even put a chi ld beside him playing with his kite. Kahit ako. Ah. Sunico kay Uncle Jin. Then he slammed the vase with full force. yes. Nakatayo. Tapos lumabas na siya. Mukha siyang maglalakad sa death sentence niya. I couldn t believe it. I tried my hands on it. Para iyong scene sa isang pelikula. May dala siy ang mapa. No no my baby. Na parang may kinukuha mula sa katawan ko. San a forever na kaming ganito. `Di ba? Hindi talaga nagkamali ang kapatid ko ng pagpili. We drove off to miles and miles. eh `di na-shock ka ngayon? Gusto kong sabihin iyon sa kanya. What are you talking about Uncle? That fuucking son of b!tch you call Uncle is your real dad Julian! Para iyong bombang sumabog. Isn t it Uncle Jin? It s the truth. But from the looks of it. Ang sunod na nangyari ang nakapagpatili kay Aunt Risan. Sa sobrang pagwawala niya ay naitulak niya ako. She couldn t even wonder if everyone would have been d eaf and blind by now. Kapag tingin ko sa back seat I was surprised to see a gift. 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. This was the best of all the best vacation I ve ever h ad. You re not happy. He wagged me off him. Nakita ko `yung sakit sa mga mata niya. Julian just please stay away from here! What? Galit niyang sabi kay Uncle Jin. Everyone was afraid to come to him. My heart skipped a beat. He carried me to his car like a sack of rice. Ang gandang tignan. Kapag uwi namin. We halted dead in our tracks. Syempre baby JJ would always come first. Julian froze. Nakita ko si Julian dun sa may bandang cliff. Naalala ko `yung sa Sisterhood of Traveling Pants part two. What are you doing shouting at Uncle like that when you have no right to You re uncle? Julian s dad laughed demonically. Blood! There s blood on her thighs. You re lying! Julian no! Mabilis ko siyang nilapitan pero ilang beses niyang tinatanggal ang kam ay ko sa braso niya. It was the best thing ever. You re drunk. Second best gift Julian had ever given me. Ju lian lost control and punched Mr. It warmed my heart. As if he owned the world. He whispered. . Yep. What s that? Malay ko. Oh my God. I fell hard and flat out on the floor. I slowly looked up from Julian s stricken face back to the blood streaming down my thighs. Sa baba non ay makikita mo `yung dagat. I was like really? It was a canvass with all its painting materials. But said instea d: We re going to have a baby. Naiiyak na nilapitan ko siya at niyakap. I wanted to ease that pain . Sunico in the face. Aunt Risan screamed. We heard someone shouting from inside the house. Oh. I sobbed as I felt the pain k illing me. Because you didn t tell him the truth! He shouted. Naamoy ko na ang war of the worlds. Baka nailagay lang diyan. They were a bunch of rich people. I m the happiest man on earth . I painted him for hours with the sunset as the background. Ano `yun? Naglakad lang dito? I opened the big gift. And damned if I m not happy! At saka lamang ito ngumiti. Uncle Jin owned the house. I grabbed his arm.
Naiiyak na napatingin ako sa labas ng bintana. Magwala. Two days. My head was pounding. Para akong mamamatay sa sakit. Doc what s happening to my wife? He screamed in fear. `Yung baby ko I cried. ako ang nasasaktan. Kaya k o ng sapakin sa mukha si Julian. My long overdue speech. My hand flew to my stomach. In my blurring vision I saw how defeated he looked. Then everything suddenly flashed to my memory again. A blond petite nurse came to my aid. 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. With the last ounce of strength I pulled my hand from him. This time I I m-mean it Finally. Jeannie I m sorry. Hindi ko kaya. But this time. I didn t wish him to be dead bu t I did ask for him to fall into a ditch. Hin di ko alam kung ano `yung tinurok nila sa `kin. Basta mabigat `yung pakiramdam k o. Dapat lang! Dapat lang siyang matakot. Emotionally and physically. As if I were in ele mentary again. Tapos biglang bumukas `yung pinto. Then the nur ses were speaking in English. Do I look fine? Was losing a baby okay to you? But no voice came out. It s okay ma am you re fine now. 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. I couldn t stand t he sight of him! Get away from me! I shouted. I woke up disoriented. This would be my last day in the suffocating hospital. I was in and out of conscious but I saw Julian holdi ng my hand as I was rushed to the ER. Even the nurses were calming me down. `Yun yung naririnig ko. Malakas na nga ako eh. Jeannie! Nilapitan niya agad ako. . Please hang on babe He kept w hispering. He was about to embrace me when I pushed him hard away from me. Death is quicker. Mas ako ang nasasa ktan. Nagtataka ako kung san ko pa nakukuha ang lakas ko. Napataas kilay ko dun. Parang iba `yung room. I hate you Julian. Though my body felt numb. Hindi ko kayang mawala `yung baby JJ ko. 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. right. Suffering isn t. I st arted sobbing hysterically. hatred won.TWENTY SIX I was sent to the hospital. Hindi niya `ko pinupuntahan. They were all there. Tapos nung ipapasok na `ko sa loob ayaw niyan g pakawalan `yung kamay ko. That time. Gusto kong sumigaw. I couldn t live with Julian anymore if my baby would be taken from me. I missed him and hated him at the same ti me.
I avoided eye contact. That stopped him. Jeannie listen to me. Naligo ka na ba? The boy frowned at me. I hugged the boy. Na parang hindi alam ang gagawin. Luha. Kapag uwi namin sa airport ay nakita ko sina mommy. At ayokong dumating sa puntong hihilingin kong sana hindi ko n a siya nakilala o kaya naman ay mamatay na siya. Jeannie. Awkward. Lahat ng sama ng loob ko naipon. I wanted him to feel the pain. Ayaw mo? Ingos niya sa `kin. He squealed. But he hugged me. I looked at CM as if I were saying see? I m not going with you Julian. 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. Hindi mo alam? Na ikaw ang problema ko una pa lang? Galit kong sabi. Pinagpraktisan ko kaya iyon. Tantan s mother. I nodded again. Uncle Jin pwede po bang sa inyo na lang ako sumabay? Halatang nagulat ito. Julian raised one brow and didn t comment. My knees were buckling. Sabay iling papunta sa direksyon ni Julian. Niyakap ko siya `yung parang wala ng bukas. Pero parang ayaw makisama ng loko. Malakas. Hindi ako kumikibo. Don t touch me! I pushed him hard. Tinatanong pa ba kung sino? Nauna na sina Uncle Jin at ang parents ko. Sabay tingin kay Julian. Ngayon ko lang siya na-appreciate. You re so selfish! You think only of yourself?! Honey please He combed his hair with his fingers. Mabilis itong tumalikod at tinapik ang balikat ni Julian. I m sorry baby. I brushed the tears away angrily. My pai n. Ngayon niya matitikman ang isang salita ni Jeannie . I embraced them. Lahat na. I even memoriz ed a speech when we meet again. Hija I think you have to talk to him first. you know. Grabe. bakla takot kay Julian! They were even of the same size and height. kalaking lalaki este. Ayokong umi yak sa harap nila. He was seethin g with anger. Iyon lang. Sipon. he whispered and kissed the top of my head when I was exhausted. Ahm you talk to your husband first. sabi niya. On a serious note I didn t want to see him. I didn t spare that bastaard a glance. was Julian s half-sister now that the truth was finally set free. Tears were threatening to explode again. Pinipilit niyang hawakan `yung kamay ko. Someone grabbed my arm that moment. Uncle Julian! Mabilis itong lumapit sa Uncle nito. Ano pa bang tinatayo tayo mo dyan? Pasko? Galit na sabi ni Julian. I don t have a husband Uncle Jin. Ano? Sumigaw ito. All the things that I was trying to laugh off in the past months. I smiled at Tantan. My hat red ran deep now. Sabi ko. Nagtitimpi siya alam ko. That was harsh I know. What is your problem? Mabilis pa sa alas-kwatrong hinarap niya ako. I mean ta ma. Good. First time after so many days. Salitang ilang beses ng nabali dahil kay Julian. 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. I could walk. I wasn t even speaking in th e airport or on the way back. Naghihintay na may malaglag na butiki.Diretso na tayo sa airport. H e mouthed: Are you sure? Why are you still here? Tanong ko kay CM. I grab bed CM s hand. He was such a dear boy. He bear-hugged me. We weren t shou . Tapos kinusot ko `yung ilong k o. Tapos pi nagsusuntok ko `yung dibdib niya. CM was also there. He wasn t even thinking about our baby? Kung sa ibang pagkakataon baka nagtatalon pa ako at isipin kong ako lang ang inaalala niya. Pawis. I started crying then. Kay Julia n. Hinintay niya lang palang maka-re cover ako. Naintindihan mo naman `di ba? I m not going with you. Because Celine. Kung kailan pa nawala `yung baby ko. I gave him the don t-Jeannie-me glare.
So the baby was only a joke for him? Sobra na ito! Humihingi ako ng saklolo kay CM through my eyes. Jeannie naman oh! CM took the baby clothes from my hands. dalawa na kaming buntis ng kambal ko. Sheesh. Baka nga kaisa ko kayo. Three months seemed to pass without any ado. he did call me on the phone. There were times whe n I wanted to call on him. True? Wasn t he just cracking a s tupid joke on me? Parang maiiyak ako sa tuwa na nababanyo.ting. 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. Dati kasi inisip ko how stupid people were . She hugged me like I were a child again. He mouthed: Hindi ko asawa `yan. Umuwi ako sa bahay namin. There was so much at stake here. Sana man lang pinalipas niya `di ba? Wala. Anong akala niya ganon lang iyon? Kiss an d make up? Pakipot ako no. I willed myself to be strong. Nagpip igil lang. Isa lang `yung alam ko: I neede d space. kung hindi man si Julian eh ako. He couldn t haul me anymore to his car sa harap ng maraming tao. I glared at him. He was shaking his head rapidly. Julian I won t go home with you anymore. Pa-hard to get. But Julian would always be a part of me. Si Julian Sinong Julian? `Yung nakabuntis sa `yo. Someone told me that words weren t enough. I just can t. Dalagang Pilipina. He seemed so shock. I should be happy. Nakita kong nagagalit na siya. I hissed. Grabe ngayon pa lang nami-miss ko na si Julian. Jeannie . I d like to cut off your long tongue. Me. Galit kaya ako ng time na `yun. Away from Julian. I took my arm from his grip. Well. Could I survive without him? Of course. Did he think I was joking? Not on this lifetime. Jeannie. Mother knows best talaga. Julian and the baby. goodbye . Ganon kasi ako kapag n ate-tense. Actions were needed. Julian who? Inis kong harap sa kanya. I m going home with my parents. 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. Actua lly. shouldn t I? Mom was standing in the middle of the room with Jean. Yayakapin niya sana ako ng umiwas ako. Come on. I started crying. What are you talking about? I haven t killed the baby! Hindi siya nawala! Nandyan p a rin siya! He even touched my stomach. True. Meron Tapos lumingon lingon pa. Bakit? Hindi pa naman mag-aaral `yang anak mo ah. My baby JJ? JJ? He raised one brow at me. About Julian Deadma. Hindi. Sa school supplies section. This time I was so serious I woul d have knocked my head against the wall. We were in a public place. May gunting ba dito? CM frowned at me. Na para bang ang sinabi ko ay isang nakakatawang joke . Three months! Halos maglilimang buwan na `yu ng tyan ko ni-hoy wala man lang! Okay. Why did they have to say I love you? Kung magpapaalam lang din naman sila? Friend Hmm? Kumuha ako ng mga baby clothes. I gasped. lalaki lang `yun. In so many words. may mga taong ganon. pinag-usapan talaga namin `yun. didn t he always do that Jeannie? I m leaving you. Julian I won t go with you anymore. And I cut th e line off immediately. LOL. Hindi man lang nag-effort na suyuin ako. Aminin niyo. Mahiya naman kami. Alam mo `yung feeling na. Iyo `yan. Grabe. Mommy Ewan ko kung bakit parang naintindihan niya agad ako. Hindi ito ang napagkasunduan natin.
I was so bloated. But he did. si Julian o? Biglang turo ni CM. I started cryi ng. Napadpad kami sa Filipino restaurant. Thanks mister. Hindi ako papansin no! Grr. I leaned against the cubicle wall. Ngumuso ito.Oh? Gigil kong sabi. Humigpi t ang hawak ko sa tinidor. Galit na inihirap niya ako sa kanya. Dammit Jeannie! Oh. Wala akong narinig. I shouldn t have looked up. Hindi na naman ako naglilihi ah. not Julian Sunico. I started sniffing while I was inside the cubicle. She looked like a model out of a vogue cover. Naniningkit na ang lalong singkit na mata nito. Nakita ko ang pagpipigil niyang magalit. Parang narinig kong may sumabog na naman sa Iraq. Jeannie honey He looked at my now rounded stomach. Hindi ko napansin sa pagkain ko na pala naibunton ang kung ano mang na raramdaman ko. I didn t car e. I cou ldn t walk. Si Julian o? I glared at him. I rolled my eyes heavenward. I just heard it from my sister. Ang sakit ng tyan ko. Listen to me Jeannie Did I really hear him pleading? Oh. okay wala ka pa palang pakialam a ng lagay na `yan. You might be mistaken mister. Hindi ako depress. Hindi kaya lagnatin ito mamaya? Have we met before? I arched my brow. I turned my back on him. Kahit nakakahiya man. Hin di ako `yung third party. I turned around. Like in a slow motion reel film. I went to the comfort room. Gutom ka pa? Lagay pa ito ng lagay sa plato ko. Bigla kong nabitawan `yung baby socks. I sweetly smiled at him. I opened my mouth in a big O. Nasobrahan ata ako. Nagrereklamo si Baby JJ. Baka kasi naghihintay pa `yung date mo. May isang intrimitidang tinignan ako mula ulo hanggang paa. Mamaya talaga bibili ako ng cha kang manika. Hinawakan niya `yung siko ko per o mabilis kong iniiwas iyon. Just like Julian. Napaatras bigla si CM. Gustung gusto ko na siyang murahin. Oh. At lalong aaminin kong gusto kong patayin si Julian ngayon din! Those chinito eyes. Sig e lang. eh `di lumabas din `yung tunay niyang kulay! Stop this playacting of yours. CM s face was devoid of any emotion. Julian s on the dating scene again. Nasa basurahan na! What! I can t believe it! Those flowers are expensive! Ano bang gusto mo? Nahihirap . Saan? Sa puso mo Then he started laughing. I didn t know why I was pushing him to hi s limits. Kasi baka makapatay lang ako ng tao. Why could he be so handsome? I gritted my teeth. I w alked past CM and looked for a restaurant. Jeannie Wala akong naririnig I even sent you flowers. Pwede mo na akong bitawan salamat . Grabe. I saw him controlling his anger. CM was really serious! Julian was speaking to a lovel y woman. God. However you pin a halo to Lucifer he would always be a devil. He raised both hands in the air. I put my hands on my ears. Then he crossed his arm s over his chest. Hindi. He was such a jerk. thank you. Aaminin ko na gseselos ako. Samantalang ako? I looked like like I ate hungrily. How I would love to wring his neck. Hindi masama ang loob ko. Na para bang sinasabing: Ah. Oh. Tignan ko kung san siya tatagal. Why. Jeannie Si Julian at si Wala akong pakialam!!! Tila ata mapapaanak ako ng wala sa oras. Angrily! CM winced at me. Pinagbigyan na kita these past months. Easy ka lang Jeannie. My breath got hitched. Kung pasabugin ko kaya `yung bahay nila Julian? I gritted my teeth. May mga kamay na biglang umalalay sa `k in. Papatayin ata ako sa pagkabusog ni CM. sabi ko at taas noong naglakad ako. I almost slipped off the tiled flooring.
Weren t the roses red and violets blue? Oh. Pero may madaan lang na maganda at sexy `yung titigan mula ulo hanggang cleavage na. Hey. He cupped both of my cheeks. Parang hindi ako makahinga. hindi lang pala feeling `yun. Bad vibes. Hindi pa lang siguro niya alam. nagmana ito ng tantrums sa daddy niya. honey listen to me I did call you many times. Why not? He glared at me. Tama. Ayoko. Damn. Nakangiti ako habang nakaharap sa salamin. Yo ur mom talked to me. Tapos hinimas ko ulit `yung tummy ko. Then what? She s a foreign associate. You look hapy anak? Ganyan nga smile. 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. I was Angelina Jolie s missing twin sister. San ka pupunta? . I frowned. Do you agree with mommy? Sumipa ka ulit baby para twice. Oo. Ay. Okay. ito na naman `yung sumpong niya. O kaya aatakihin ako sa puso. Napansin kong naka-lock na pala `yung pint o sa CR. Not because I couldn t ahm perform for him that he wou ld find somebody available. You re going home with me now? On one condition. The hell I care. He begged. Jeannie please It didn t sound like begging to me now. Kahit magpakasal ako ulit? My eyes grew wide. So like men. Nothing more. TWENTY SEVEN I was smiling stupidly in the mirror. Don t touch me. Baliw na ata ako at hinihintay ko ngang gu malaw ulit ito. Sinabi niya sa `king `wag ka munang guluhin at Mommy what?! Biglang nawala `yung pagka-asthmatic kuno ko ah.an na `ko Jeannie He whispered angrily. Hindi ikaw! I was trying to do what you wanted. Gumagalaw na ba `yung apo ko? Mommy looked at me from head to toe. She asked me. It sounded like a warning. Siguro kahit papaano hindi rin naman malas ang mga babae. Ooops. Ligawan mo muna ako. Bakit ba hindi ko mapigilan ang reflexes ng sarili kong reaksyon! Something gripped me from within. Perform meaning do my wifely obligations. meaning Oo. Jeannie are you okay? Bigla ni ya akong niyakap. Alam ko talaga. At ginawa mo naman! I glared at him. What?! I nodded rapidly. I felt like the most beautiful w oman in the whole world. Why mommy? Nothing She shrugged. Ni-lock niya! Nahihirapan?! `Yung delivery man `yung naghirap. Itinaas niya `yung baba ko. Makipag-date ka kahit sinong gusto mo. I ve got someone on the side when you re busy. Nako. You re trying to do what I wanted. Our eyes met. I straightened up fr om his arms. Magkakalintikan talaga. honey . Mommy really did that? I know she was just p rotecting me. Tsk. There was unfamiliar warmth in my heart. His teeth was grating. I would have laughed silly if anyone just blurted out: Hey. Gumagalaw `yung baby ko! It was amazing how God could implant a living soul within us. Biglang sumipa si Baby JJ! Baby I cooed. Naks. Don t tell me. For the second time I heard the great Julian Sunico pleading. You didn t even bother to call me to go for me I whispered numbly. Umuwi ka na sa `tin. Talaga? Talaga. Bigla a ta akong nagka-asthma. So happy with myself. God. Tapos syempre itatanggi nila `yun. Tsk. At least then you won t pester me anymore! He gritted his teeth. Pero wala talaga. no more like begged me to stay away from you for awhile. You re dating somebody else.
Picture kaya ni Ju lian `yung tinititigan ko nung time na `yun. nakakaawa ka . CM! Mabilis kong kinuha `yung dyaryo sa likuran niya. I smiled at him. Pero umandar na naman `yung pagiging psychic ko. didn t he? For five million pesos! He slowly gave me that charming. Alam ko gasgas na `yun. CM ano `yan? Ito? ah wala. What are you Napatingin ito sa dyaryong hawak ni CM. I was rooted to the ground. Bummer . No mom. I was so mad I was going to explode. Hey. 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. What the hell are you doing? He hissed. Nanlalaki ang mga mata nito. CM just excuse Ako na. I could smell something fishy. he said and handed me a bunch of red roses. Twice. What s this? I didn t know why my heart started hammering wildly. O baka gut feel ko lan g. I was exploding! I hated him. There was a couple cap tured kissing. Basta ang mahalaga I was way too happy to bother with the problems of the world. I gritted my teeth. Dahil galit ako.Going to watch TV. At saka I pouted. Thrice. Ano `yan? Balewalang tanong ko. Then I slowly gasped. Dahil naiiyak ako. he loves me not. After clearing his throat he put the news clipping away. it might be Julia She was already out even before I could finish what I was going to say. Jeannie! I frowned. Naiiyak na ko. Jeannie! Oh. are you ok ay? He kissed the side of my mouth. No! Napataas `yung kilay ko dun. I picked one stem from the bunch of flowers. tanga. It was a major no-no! Hindi hindi si I saw CM nodded rapidly at me. Too achingly sweet. Humigpit ang kamay ko n g kinuha ko ang bouqet. Mommy. `Yung ngiting halatang may itinatago. I was just wait ing for Julian to drop by. Oh. Last petal. Mommy smiled at me. sexy smile. Mommy volunteered. You always make me up just to put me down. Sabi niya pupuntahan niya daw ako ngayon. Judas s kiss. Oh? Ito lang pala eh. At si CM nga ang masangsang na amoy na iyon. God no. I gritted my teeth in anger. Wala lang baka kasi kung ano pang makita mo maging kamukha pa ng apo ko. Ay. He should have bought me those wi th thorns. H e owned me. Nakakahiya naman `di ba? Ngayon pa kami magliligawan kung kailan naka-bingo na. I stepped on his peace offering! Once. I just stared at him. I winced at her. He smiled sheepishly. Sabi ko. What the hell was CM doing here? Again? Hindi kaya ang masama pa nito siya pa maging kamukha ng anak ko. Na parang sinasabing: Oo. Damn him. The moron was standing there looking so smug like he owned the world. Jeannie He wasnow gnawing his nails. Who are they? He winced. 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. There was something wrong here. He loves me. he lov es me he Lalong tumaas `yung kilay ko dun. Sheesh. Ah no. Ewan ko ba. I m way past that stage. Narinig ko `yung pagkatok sa pinto. Whatever. Mabilis na binitiwan iyon nito . Nakatingin lang sa `kin si CM. Ang arte ko no? Ang drama ko. Mabilis kong binagsak ang mga roses sa sahi g. Yes. CM avoided eye contact with me. Honey.
Magmamahal an. Syempre fetus pa lang siya ngayon no. Oh holy sh!t. I didn t have to be Princess Fiona to have the likes of Shrek. All in capital letters. But seriously. Gumala w si baby JJ! Sorry. Look at him. Pero ngayon ko lang na-realize.at binigay sa`kin. SANA. K ung totoong lalaki nga lang siya baka babae na ang tumakbong hubad para dito. It was a cold night in December. Iyon ang sabi nito. Oblation sa UP. Will you just get out? Out of my life Julian. Eeeh. 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. 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 amount of gentle words could ever mar the pai n. Why did a mere whisper in the ear from him and then my heart start beating triple time again and again. But he wasn t anywhere near human. The doctor told me that I should get some rest. I opened my mouth in disgust! Napapagod na `ko sa `yo Julian. I was too emotional. Teka. we couldn t love someone who s faultless. Bakit hindi? I always described them as: STUPID. Kailan bang mawala ka pa? What if dun ka masaya? Would you fight for him or let go? My whole body was rocking violently. Get out!!! I hissed. it was all true . Tea rs were blinding my vision. If you still don t sense that well too bad for you. There was no point denying the obviou s. My friends cried over my sho ulder. Walang taong ganon no. Magbabati. Then suddenly my stomach contracted. Mag-aaway. Arms wrapped around my rounded middle. Pero hindi ako naniniwala don. I quickly pushed him off me. I just needed time off alone. Drunkard on the street! Papalag sana ako. Was baby JJ sensi ng anything? Jeannie He took hold of my arm. Pwede na nga akong magsulat ng Dear Ate Charo dito. I was like are you okay ? Sympathetic. Nakaupo ako sa may bench. Mero n. I m outta here. He was made to be perfect. Kung memory storage lang ang puso hindi ba pwedeng . nadaig mo pa si Ri zal . 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. I start ed sniffing. Or b etter yet my soon-to-be baby JJ. baby I just miss you dad. Lagi na lang kami ganito. Kung dati tinatawanan ko lang `yu ng mga taong na-iinlove sabay sabing ay saludo ako sa `yo teh. Ooops. No stress. I whispered furiously. Hindi ko ginustong maging character sa fairy tale books na kinukulayan ng mga bata. My stomach started contracting violently. They wept. Maybe acceptance would eventually set me free. I gasped. Kahit ilang beses mong marinig ang salitang tanga mapa-english man `yan o ibang lenggwahe. Hindi naman ako magpapagod. Grabe. Mahina ang kapit ng b ata. He was all big aherm I mean he was almost perfect. Nag-panic ako. I whispered. Jeannie. `Wag na lang. Why not? Because I d never been bitten by the love bug before. I never asked for a perfect relationship. You couldn t just stop your idiot of a heart from beating for that pers on. They cursed their jerks of a boyfriend. Argh. 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. Without arms to wrap around you. it s me. Pero hindi ba secretly all the girls i n town wished that? Deep down even if how many times we deny it. Malakas kaya kapit ko ka ya for sure dapat mana sa `kin si baby JJ. I didn t need Edward Cullen to be Bella. He might see your worth when you re gone.
Lalaki ako. That w as rubbish. Malay ko ba. Feel this He hissed and took my hand. Jeannie! Damn you! Julian I was crying like a child. don t you? Kayong mga babae. Syempre financial supp ort is always open mmmkay? Let s just go on separate ways. I paused. Paano kaya kung magkaanak din kami ng tatlong Julian? I shivered. Trying to make everything okay and light. Makinig ka sa `kin. Green Monster. Sssshhh I m here baby. Akala mo ba lahat ng lalaki gustong maging prince charming? No. Pano ko siya hindi maririnig s a sigaw niya? I didn t try to be the hero you want me to be babe. Okay. Specifically without me in your life . Julian you can visit baby JJ anytime you want. He gritted his teeth. I was so pathetic. He was all lean and strong. His voice held warning but his touch was g entle as he brushed the tears away from my cheeks. Here he was. Anong gusto mong sabihin ko? Sigaw nito. He caressed my stomach and I could feel him from behind me. Tapos mabilis niyang itinaas `yung dress ko. I was quite fascinated. Thank God there was no blood. I saw the picture on the news clipping! Okay. Jeannie listen to me there were music and candlelight dinner s here. Surely surely he wouldn t want to Argh! Not here. Lillian kissed me! I didn t kiss her for Pete s sak e Jeannie! Are you listening to me! I started crying. But my hips already bumped into the flooring. Shut up. defending himself. At kung ibababa mo pa `yung kamay mo malalaman mong tao ako. I was a bout to run from him. Aren t you hurt? Let s go the nearest hospital and So tinititigan niya lang pala kung may dugo `yung thighs ko. Tapos galit na tinanggal ko `yung mga kamay niya. Mabilis akong nasalo ni Julian. He could be a very green monster you know. He put it on his heart. Was he nervous? . Nang muntik na akong matapilok. Bakit ba napaka-clums y mo?! Sigaw nito. I screamed. His adam s apple bobbed up and down. My eyes were watering.mag-erase? What are you doing here? I hissed and tried to take his arms away from me. baka iniiisip niyang kulang pa sa daliri si baby JJ kaya pwede pa naming buuin. Jeannie Don t worry about him I ll try to be the best mother I can be. I was real babe. He had been drinking! Malamang amoy alak nga eh. I ll admit. It was just fine with you? I whispered brokenly. Naiiyak na suminghot ako. Or even an orchestra. I ve lusted for y ou since day one. You saw that one. But he wasn t that bad. He wasn t really begging but his voice wa s a mere whisper. Onc e you ve said your piece you had it all figured out that you re right when in fact y ou re wrong. Sabi nito. clutching his arm tightly. Jeannie What! What you saw in the news isn t real. Damn you! You always scare me. Not some hypocritical character of some fancy novel. galit na sabi nito. Amoy al ak. Had he just said okay?! He was such a cad. Now I was getting stup id. Please come back to me honey. My eyes grew wide . He whispered. I didn t ever wonder now why I couldn t exchange him with Shrek. You re still the father and I can t de prive you of that. You are all warmed u p and kept on talking about baby JJ s future. You don t want to listen to me. I slipped off the pavement but I anchored my elbow so my stomach wouldn t fall head-on. Bulong nito. My eyes grew wide. Julian s face softened. Julian this is a public place! Kahit na nga ba walang ta He looked at me incredulously. Gah. Argh. I d even tell you outright that yes. I could never be anyone s prince charming.
Just kidding. Masarap gumawa ng ba by. Men were born to be polygamous. take note: in chorus. Hindi nga ba t mahirap magpalaki ng mga magulang? In the three months I came back to Julian. Siguro kaya maraming nabubuntis ng maaga n gayon. Jeannie! I heard that shout. I had gone to Heaven then back to hel l. Er r. Tapos kapag sila nag-aaway they d both tell us. I could tell you that I know a lot about women. 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. Jeannie! . It was flowing freely. Kahit wala naman talagang nakakatawa. There are and will be times that I can t make you feel special because because I wan t to shout at you. Dahil sa tingin na ganon. I believed that there s one woman who can make a man a one-woman-man. growl. Married life was never perfect. Bakit ba eh. Julian. Not that I told you to tolerate their being babaero . I can t just boom. That will be the best lie ever. He chuckled nervously. Pero mahirap magpalaki ng baby. And I don t know what I d do without you. Because no man eve r did. he shrugged. Jean and I started growing up. Sumbong kay daddy. Sheesh.I could be any man and tell you I love you every day. when Jean and I were ready to rip e ach other s head s off our shoulders. Really looked at me. Aba. But this is me. He looked at me. As if we didn t have the same face. 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. 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. You re the next best thing that happen ed to me. to sh ut up. Nakikisigaw na din si mommy. Big tim e. Bakit ba hindi? Daig ko pang kasama si Hitler. At your stupidity and silliness. we started arguing from our pony tails down to our crushes. But that would be a joke. My professor in Psychology once said. Nah. `di ba? Hindi masaya ang buhay kung magtititigan lang kayo. 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. Pero we couldn t ask for a sain t. On a serious note . change for a day just because you say so. At kami rin.
Jeannie kapag hindi ka Ano? Anong gagawin mo?! Sigaw ko. Without a word he turned his back on me and walked toward the door. Can t you be more endearing and and I gritted my teeth in anger. He was now scowling. Because of Julian. I cried louder . Hoho. hiccups. Julian wouldn t hurt me at least physi cally. Anong pakialam ko?! Walan g utang-na-loob! Ingrato. Nanlisik bigla `yung mga mata ko. Humikbi ako. Nabilang ko pa talaga siya. My. Jeannie naman Parang stress na stress na sabi nito. More gentle this t ime. Tapos sinabog ko ng onti `yung buhok ko. He looked like he was ready to wring my neck. Galit akong tumayo. Kaya pala bumenta ang punchline na you re cute when you re angry . He brushed the locks of hair away from his face. the mess in your study room. and walke d across the room. Right on his face. My tears stopped immediately. Tapos nag-tremble `yung lower lip ko. Pabalibag kong binuksan `yun. Alam mo `yun? Palpak eh. chest out and protruding stomach out. That rooted him to the ground. My mouth dropped open. Alin don? `Yung tirahan ng mga b ukbok? Ah. clean. I was pregnant and he was what? Shouting at me. May bago ba? I gritted my teeth and then groaned. Bakit siya mags isisi? `Di ba dapat ako? I slowly smiled at him. Nauubos na pasensya ko. He glared at me. Of course. Narinig kong naglagutukan `yung mga buto niya sa knuckles. Damn you! Where did you put the documents? He was now shouting. Okay. Mas mahalaga pa ba ang binubukbok na folder na `yun?! I stood up with chin in the air. `Wag ka na lang gumalaw. JEANNIE! I put the big pillow over my head. I heard him sigh. Have I awakened the beast in him agai n? Tumaas `yung kilay ko. Oh. ang hirap magpanggap ng natutulog. I said in a cold tone. He turned around slowly. Napaupo ako sa kama. 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 closed m y eyes tightly. Bummer. Sana kahit `yung kontra na lang natin o titulo ng bahay niyo `yung tinapon mo Hinahanap ko nga kanina. Gigil na ibinato ko `yung unan. I started sobbing. Julian naman oh. Believe. Oh-k ay.. Dream. How dare him! Naiiyak n a talaga ako. I just helped you hiccups. God. Tears wer e pooling in my eyes. Pakiabot nga `yung bag. God.. Jeannie! I know you re not asleep. Julian s face softened. Kapag hindi na ako pwedeng bumalik sa New York makasali na nga lang sa starstruck dito. Binasa mo ba? Kung hindi ka namakialam at binasa mo Hindi. I shivered. Pero I could even h andle Julian shouting at me when he was mad. God. In the middle of the night. Ayan. Hmm Jeannie. Bull s eye. EVER. I swore I took three steps backward. bulong ko. Winner! He sighed exaggeratedly and tilted my head up. Hindi naman ako masokista no. Julia He raised one finger as if saying don t talk to me . . I just helped yaya Oreng clean his study room. But not cold treatment on his part. Jeannie nasan `yung mga lumang folder sa cabinet? He said. An g gwapo talaga ng asawa ko. Na para bang nagsisisi siyang pinabalik niya pa `ko di No. Survive. Napangisi ako. Alam mo Jeannie hindi na uu bra sa `kin `yang arte mong `yan. I pushed him hard away from me. Goodness. Even when stressed. Tinanggal niya `yung unan sa mukha ko. sniffs. Nanulis `yung bibig ko. This was damned serious. tinapon ko na lahat `yu WHAT??? Oh. To the closet. Grabe. His voice held warning. `Yung tipong buk as pagsisisihan ko kung bakit nagkalamat `yun.I hadn t heard a word. I took out all my clothes. We were really screaming. Help me? Papatayin mo ba talaga ako Jeannie? He whispered furiously.
Papatayuan ko na nga ng monument itong si Julian. Samantalang ako naman a ng may katawan. He put me down on t he bed. Syempre I ll tell you you re the most beautiful woman in the world. In my eyes only. I felt his arm snaked behind my back the other one was under my thighs. Naiyak akong lalo. Siya kaya ang manganak! Puro lang siya pasarap tapos magagalit pa siy a sa `kin? Well. For the likes of him. It felt so good to be in his arms like this. Parang batang sabi ko sa kanya. Binuhat niya `ko! Napakapit akong bigla sa leeg niya. Mababanyo daw ako! Tapos sumasakit `yung tyan ko. Tapos tumigil pa ako sa may pintuan. You want me to lie? I hissed at him. these past months we hadn t ahm . Thank my failing eyesight for that. A ng bigat ko na nga ang bigat pa rin ng bag ko. Mapapagod nga ako. He smirked then snorted. ito namang si Julian masunurin! Hmp. I thought I was dreaming. Do you know what sound you emit when y ou snore? I don t snore. Babe. I started sobbing like that of the child s. Bakit kaya hindi ako ang tanungin ni Julian? Baka ang sagot ko ay Oo. . Kaya hindi muna pwedeng gumawa ng Baby JJ the second . he couldn t carry me anymore. W ell. Nag-bounce `yun mattress. N a parang naghahanap ng milagro sa kisame. I d start on my diet aft er I give birth. Why did it hurt like this? Manganganak na ba ako? Julian! I tapped his shoulder. Loud. Walo na. Nakakainis talaga. I was so big. Kaya siguro ayaw niya na sa `kin. Hindi ka naniniwala? Galit kong sabi. Err. Uuwi na talaga `ko. I wra pped my arms around his neck. Tapos ta wa. He snorted. Eh. Goodness. He chuckled. Atapang atao di at akbo. I was all set. Tumaas `yung kilay niya. He nodded rapidly. stop crying please it won t do any good to our baby. He sighed. Napaupo ako sa may gilid ng pinto. Lalo akong naiyak. Epic fail. Grr. My mouth turned into an indignant O. 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 . He winced. Par a akong hippopotamus. I almost screamed when I turned to find myself lo oking back at me in the mirror. Sabay kaming nagkatinginan. I was so big and round. Te ll me I m beautiful. Sabi kasi ng doctor bawal daw akong mapagod. You do. Oh. Three months was like applying for sainthood. Ngumisi ito. Like this: oiiink oiiiink I gritted my teeth. Naramdaman kong lumuhod siya sa harapan ko. I winced as the contraction was violent. Sheeeshhh he kissed my swollen lips. The spasm overtook all consid eration. And ugly . LOL. Tapos hinampas ko siya. Na nakataas pa ang sanda ta niya ha. He rolled his eyes ceilingward. God. Anong ginagawa mo? What do you think am I doing? Hinihingal na `ko. Tapos pinilit niya ulit akong buhatin. Sabi ko. I opened my mouth i n disgust. Next to Andres Bonifacio. Uncontrollable. Delikado sa daan. Nung unang try. Oo. My nose w ere stuffed with you know. I even saluted him for his control. Uuwi na `ko sa parents ko. aum. I pouted.Tapos tapos inabot nga niya! Galit na binato ko lahat ng damit don. Monster! I looked like Princess Fiona now. My eyes were bloodshot. As in BIG. Naiiyak na naman ako. He kissed the tip of my nose. Bukas na gabi na eh.
With blood all over her th ighs. Can t you just take care of my wife first? Galit na sabi ni to habang may inaabot na fill-up form. As cause of preterm is known. Parang nanlamig ang katawan niya. . You have to choose between your wife and the baby. After knowing all complication of pregnancy decisio n has to be taken whether to allow the pregnancy to continue or not. His breath got hitched. We didn t know how we arrived at the hospital with just the two of us. I wanna die. Not that tears made men weak. very frightened. Remember this I love you both. I was in a state of panic How could I? I was only eight mon ths on the way. His precious Jeannie. he could have said not his . No Numb. Maingay. Pleas took my hand. Nagkakagulo. I didn t know where they were taking me. I op ened my eyes again. The pain was killing me. I m sorry. Or else they ll both die. Jeannie oh. Magulo. Julian and baby JJ was rooting for me. And dammit. Buhat niya ito habang kinukuha ang susi ng sasakyan sa drawer. Julian! What? Manganganak na ata ako. But we have to hurry. There was something wrong. In his saner days he would have given co nsideration and credit to their profession. Ayos na din ang room ni baby JJ. She would hate me. Bullsh!t. But goo dness gracious I hadn t expected him this soon. I was bleeding profusely. Julian squeezed my hand. God. Gusto ko ng magwala at magmura. Sumisigaw na ito. Save my baby. He drove his Porsche while I was panting on the passenger seat. Julian I clutched at his shirtsleeve. Tired and lost. Nagmamadaling binuhat niya si Je annie. Why was this happening to them? Mabilis siyang pinagsuot ng hospital gown. he knew. You can talk to your wife she s in and out of consciousness. Na tatakot. Hindi siya relihiyosong tao. Nagkakagulo sa bu ong bahay. Must have been reflex action. I we lost our very first baby. Everything was all set.He groaned. He would ha ve cried and fainted at the sight of Jeannie in pain. The pain was overriding a ll sense of logic from me. He even promised God of a lifetime of rectitude. But I couldn t stop the fight. She kept pleading while squeezing his hand. I tried to crack a reassuring smile through my labored breaths. It was just that he should be the pillar of strength for Jeannie. I took Julian s hand. Pero wala siya sa katinuan para gawi n iyon! He couldn t praise them if they couldn t save Jeannie God. never letting go. He shouted for the maids to come upstairs. But he didn t know w here had gone awfully wrong. I kissed her on her sweating forehead. It was an either-or proposition. Ju lian my baby she started hiccupping. Pity. His Jeannie and baby JJ. Hindi matanggap ng utak niya kung ano mang medical theory ang sinasabi nito. Only o nly HE would spare Jeannie. Dammit. Umiiyak. What do you mean? Sigaw niya dito. Bawat segundo ay nagdara sal siya para sa mag-ina. he coul dn t afford to lose Jeannie. I closed my eyes. the doctor gave him that look. That was what the doctor had said. Galit na sinuntok niya ang pader. He tried hard to calm his nerves. She opened one eye. I started crying. Julian no save baby JJ. My mind kept telling me: I couldn t stand the pain anymore. He took the matters into hi s own hands. It was as if I was torn apart. All I know was that I was very. He was inside in a flash. 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. Pero sa mga panahong iyon. Didn t saying sorry was the worst word ever in w omen s vocabulary? Well. He didn t want to cry.
Unti-unting humarap. I could have kissed him o n the lips. And God s. Gusto kong ako ang intindihi n nila. Ayoko ng makaramdam ng ganitong . Gusto ko ako ang unawain nila. How was that? Jeannie Julian smiled at me tentatively. Hindi mo ba naisip na I know it would be t oo cliché to tell you this. I rolled my eyes. I stopped crying the day Julian told me: I love you Jeannie that I d choose to live without our baby than you. I followed her to the lanai . You go eat without me. I was immersed in finishing the painting I had sta rted in Morocco. I wasn t crying. Hindi ko alam kung kailan `yun nagsimula. Ayokong umunawa. How ironic. So. I asked her with my eyes. Someone was hugging me tight I couldn t breathe. Tama. Nababa lutan ng sakit at galit ang logic ko. Pero hindi nga ba hindi lang pala love ang mahalaga sa mundo. I could have jumped with joy even with my stitches on. What do you want to eat? Anything. I didn t want to wake up because I knew the pain was there. He was also his. I should have been more understanding. yes. Pero napapagod na `kong magsalita k ahit wala pa naman akong sinasabi. Life. Before I thought love was all there was. It had been two months since then. I felt her beside me. Pero ano ang ginawa ko? Minura ko siya. Gusto ko ng mamatay. Till my breath would be sucked out of me. It wasn t his fault. I know I was playing at being the self-centered b!tc h. Kasi nasasaktan ako. Gusto ko sanang sabihing nananady a ka ba? But said instead. Hindi ko gustong sisih in si Julian. I shrugged my shoulders. Bulong ng kakambal ko. But in the best of circumstances. Motherhood is the best fulfillment a woman could ever have. He would rock me to sleep and kiss the top of my he ad. Even CM went home to see me after joining the co ntest in New York. 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. Hindi lang akin si Baby JJ. the one I had done right the first day I told Julia n we were going to be a family. Malulungkot `yung baby mo kung ganyan ka. Ganyan nga. I even told him h e killed our baby. Jeannie stop this to yourself and Julian. Hindi nga ba gasgas na `tong ganitong pakiramdam? You felt like crying but still gave the world a smiling fvcking face . Nandun silang lahat sa may gilid ng pool. Pinalayas. Lagi nilang sinasabing ang lahat ng bagay ay may rason. Pinili t kong pagalawin ang muscles ko sa panga. I remembered that one morning I woke up. Should w as the operative word. At gusto kong ibalik nila sa `kin si Baby JJ ko. I even asked HIM many times why. Tumayo ako para wala ng pagtatalo. bakit pa niya ibinigay sa `kin k ung kukunin niya rin lang naman? Jeannie kakain na tayo I didn t look over my shoulder. I could have Julian and it would be perfect. 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. Mommy smiled and waved at me.TWENTY NINE We couldn t have everything we wanted in life. Oh. Bulong ko.
Can you hold her for me? she hesi tantly asked CM while looking at me. Yes. Why not? The Jeannie I know so well would be dead by now if she didn t talk even a minute. Alam mo te. That was so pathetic. I looked at CM. Well. To the point na kulan g na lang ay suutan niya `ko ng panty. But funny I did. It was almost unbearable. CM winced at me. Missed him shouting at me. Give me baby Czarina Nagkatinginan `yung dalawa. Sana pinili na lang niya si baby JJ kung ganito rin lang kasakit. Tuyot. Nagtataka nga ako kung naglalakad na ng nakahu bad mamaya `yan eh. I forcefully took the almost seven month old baby. Ui.. Nung panahon g iyon. Why are you alone? Lalong tumaas `yung kilay ko. Months had passed. Ah nothing. He just snored and let me cry on his che st.sakit. He shrugged. It was only my sorrow t hat was important. Pwede ba CM! Kung sa bagay kung magpapakamatay ka mas maraming magiging masaya. Kung makatili naman kala mo ambulansiya. What? I asked impatiently. The same spark was still there. I would very much like that. Karga niya si baby Czarina. He became gentler. The people were everywhere in our house. Jeannie! Tumaas `yung kilay ko. I couldn t even go to the nursery room. Baka lang gusto mong sumali. Jeannie? Hmm? . Siguro. I looked away and met Julian s eyes across from us. He wa s still the same handsome devil I fell in love with. And life itself. He didn t say a thing. Nakunan lang ako para na akong nagkaroon ng mga bod yguards. There was sudden warmth that I hadn t felt in ages months now. Our loss. I glared at him. Ano bang tingin nito sa `kin? Kikidnappin k o anak niya? God gave me mercy. I didn t doubt my love for him. Pano kung mabaliw ako? Paano kung manguha na lang ako ng bata at angkinin kong anak? God. Nakatingin lang sa swi mming pool. At one point I even blamed Julian. Ako ba? O siya? I suddenly missed him. I know that painting has been your outlet after t he He cleared his throat. Oh. I was too selfish to even ask him if he was also in pain about the loss. goodness. kulang ka lang sa dilig. Ano pa nga ba. Pero somehow along the way we became more of strangers than lovers. I shouldn t be surprised when an arm drew me closer. But something along the way changed us. He cleared his throat and looked away. In short. It was so unfair. Tignan mo nga k ung pano paglawayan ang asawa mo. What s with you people? Inis kong sabi. may tawag dyan eh. Tapos na ang christening. Umiiyak agad ako first thing in the morning. do you know that there was another exhibit? This one s the big event of the yea r. Siguro okay na `ko. Magsasalita sana ako ng dumating si Jean. I gritted my teeth. Tigang. Pag-umpugin ko kayang `tong dalawa ng `to? Sheesh. 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. At lalong ayokong makakita ng mag-ina. Ano ha? I started cooing sounds. We merely talked anymore. I was out in the garden alone.. Ni hindi ko man lang nakita kung pa ngo ba `yung baby ko. Kung may potential future child star ba siya? I didn t even get to hear him or her wail and kick. She was smili ng at me. Wala akong pakialam kung nandun man siya o wala. D ragging me to God-knows-where. Minsan nga natatakot na rin ako sa sarili ko. But I started doubting about the future. At uhaw sa pagmamahal. Napalingon ako kay CM. Hey. Maalaga. beautiful. These past months napapansin kong kahit saan ako p umunta somebody was with me.
Jeannie! Narinig kong ibinigay nito kay CM ang bata. My heart was beating wildly. my God. Napanganga ako dun. I nodded. He was really shouting at me! Then CM gasped. Let me see her oh. He covered his mouth. Czarina peed on me!!! Napatingin kami sa baba ng pantalon niya. Hi having a great time? He awkwardly said. Syempre inaanak ko ata `yang si Czari na no. Night CM. Tapos hinawakan ko `yung noo niya at pumikit. Para akong teenager na nakatitig sa kanya. I need you. literally. It became somehow awkward. Umiiyak ang baby. Bata pa lang matalino na. I was walking like a zom bie toward Julian. A hand grabbed mind. S he beamed up at CM as if saying: Maitim pala ha. Sawa na `kon g umiyak. Emotionally. Down there on his crotch. very good girl. Pati `yung luha ko parang nag-freeze. Jeannie! Bakit mo `ko sinisigawan? Sigaw ko. Saka makakagawa pa rin na man kayo no.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. I missed this. Goodness gracious Jeannie. beautiful chi ld. His eyes were uncertain. I didn t want to be with Julian in the same car. Mas pinili kong sumabay kay CM sa sasakyan. Napatiti g ako sa niece ko. Oh. I raised one brow at him. Then he slowly smiled. As in. Just kidding. Gah. Naiiyak na naman ako. Will you stop running away like a coward! I stopped dead in my track. Nakita ko si Julian na papalapi t. ang beauty ko pang-alalay sa kinakasal? I should have been you. Kaya tumalikod na lang ako. Trust CM to say all the wonderful things. All I cared about that instant was the man I d hurt so much. Mabilis ko siyang tinalikuran. How can you say beautiful agad eh. Even CM was wailing! Jeanni SHUT UP! Nag-chorus pa silang dalawa ni Julian. She ll be as beautiful like her ninang. she s a bit dark. Parang hindi niya `ko narinig. Jeannie give him a second chance. Didn t really care. I m thinking about joining the contest CM. He grinned at me. And we didn t know how to ruin the wall that separated us. Kampon ni Satanas umalis ka sa katawan ng kaibigan ko! He gasped. Then the baby started making gurgling sounds. baby pa nga? Ang itim pa ni Czarina! CM! Sigaw ko. Tears were already streaming down my face as I turned away. Hindi ko pinansin ang paghabol sa `kin ni Julian. Okay. very dark. Julian told me not to say that he s going to prop I didn t say anything. Mer on ba sa pamilya namin ang pangit? Syempre wala. Kung dati kung pwede lang na ibulsa siya ay ginawa ko na pero ngayon? The silence stretched between us. Can I hold her? He took the baby from me gently. I heard the engine of CM s car out of the driveway. I couldn t afford to see them. . Julian was waiting at the front step of the entrance. I didn t even consider his feelings. the brid Oh. Sabi nit o sabay tampal sa bibig. What are you talking about? Uh-oh. ano bang silbi ng reproductive system mo kung hindi mo naman gagami tin? I hissed at him. He was cooing and tucking her like he was the r eal father. Tapos papakipot muna ng onti. Na na ghihintay hingin ang number ko. But the sorrow kept persisting with every thoughts of what could have been. Jeannie naman oh! We started laughing. Oh. Ayoko nga sanang pumayag na maging best m an. You are acting so cowardly! Ikaw lang ba ang nasasaktan?! His hand gripped my arm so tight it hurt. Jeannie! Oh my. Pero maganda pa rin.
So who was being lucky here? Eh. . Hello ? Kahit naman hindi mo pangarapin `yun. I walked down the streets of Manila bay and along CCP. I have submitted your painting. There was this little cherubin who was looking at me. Hindi gaanong mahigpit. Oi. Ate. `yun nga lang ang hirap ng buhay. Jeannie! I m so rry.He looked like a boy. I recalled one of my classmates in High School telling that particular dream of his. but my heart suddenly went out to him. Kaso wala kaming pera. Nyek. My whole future at stake. I would give him a second chance . Give m e a second chance. Real life drama pala ito. Eh. 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. But of course. ayos. As in now. Anghel na naging tyanak p a. `Pagharap ko nagulat ako. Some would even say that I d won the lottery by having Julian. I started laughing horribly. Baka gusto niya talagang mabaliw ang mommy ni ya kung iiyak siyang bigla sa gabi out of nowhere. Okay lang `yun ate. brokenhearted ka ba? Ah. With rai sed eyebrow I could very well say na ako si Jeannette Rose Leviste ang tanging t aong nakapagtiyaga sa ugali niya. Ewan ko ba . He slowly stepped forward. baby JJ. Pat i siya nakitawa na rin. Oh. I ll give your father a second chance. it was human instinct. Could it be a sign that baby JJ want us to be together again? I was trying to smile. He must have been at least eight years old. Naramdaman ko `yung hangin. As if he wa s testing the waters. kung karirin ko na lang kaya si Julian? Kung pwede nga lang ba. Tapos one seat apart. I slowly smiled. Okay na sana. 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. Sana nagamot ko man lang si tatay at `di siya namata y. Really looking. He coul d have been months now. His right shoe was toying the marbled flooring. Caring to your lo ved ones. I was looking out of the manila bay when the phone started ringing. `Yun g parang sa cannibal? Tapos `yung ilong niya kumakalat lumalapad `pagtumatawa. Ewan ko ba. He was a boy. I didn t push him like I always did in the few months. sa mga novels na nababasa ko `yung hangin na `yun `yung loved ones nila na nawala na. Baliw ba `tong batang `to? Matawa kaya siya kung malaman niyang siya `yung pinagtatawanan ko? But his cute. `di siya. I didn t ask for him to do that now. I walked down the street. Do you know that mommy loves you so much? I murmured achingly. At may hawak siya ng mga sampaguita. NIyakap niya ako. I missed these places. The one with Julian under the shower? This was a make-or-break decision. Either Julian or Career. His teeth were decaying. Wala ka na bang maisip na matinong ambisyon? Gusto kong maging doktor ate. Tignan mo nanay ko nakapag-asaw a agad. Sampu na kami! I winced. Syempre ii sipin nila napuwing lang ako dahil sa lakas ng hangin. Sana hindi na lang siya nag-smile. marami pa namang lalake dyan. Kahit na nga ba sabihing gwapo si Julian a t mayaman. Could I forgive and just forget? Kaya ko pa kayang magmahal kung hindi na buo an g puso ko? THIRTY Of course. God. Madungis nga lang. deep down I already knew the answer. Really? Oo. I nodded. An g hangin tinatangay ang buhok ko. I stood up and stared sadly at the engraved name: BABY JJ. Anong pangarap mo? Kung sinabi nitong maging mabuting asawa t ama babatukan ko talaga `to. Then he smiled. hindi madali `yung decision ko.
I slipped into the room with so much as a noise. Hindi. I didn t even look up. Tha nks mom! I suddenly felt like the biggest scumbag ever. Birthday mo? I hissed. He dipped one finger at the dish. Ipinasa niya `yung painting ko. Little di d he know that I was a descendant of Gabriela Silang? Beware. Not under the sho wer! `Yung ginawa ko noon sa Morocco. He wanted to capture the orange horizon with its reddish rays around the sun. Minsan lang `yan no. I even asked God to make my cooking p erfect. Pero kung isa ka sa mga pinanganak na walang kasiguraduhan ang hinaharap. Very fortunate of you. I was a bit disconcerted at first. I stared fixedly at the blue and white sky. itatanong pa sa `yo kung nasaktan ka. Ngayon pa nga lang baon na kami sa utang kay Julian. He was already in New York by now because of that blasted con test. I th ought my heart would burst any minute. I started putting away the cold food. I was so angry. Dapat all set na para bukas. I smiled at him and slowly stood up. Baka hindi niya na pakinabangan `yung ano niya `yung ano sex aherm appeal niya! Nagtago ako dun sa may corner. It always happened in real life. That s not for you! I was acting childish. at least passable na man. I had nothing against rich kids. Ba ka maibato ko lang sa kanya `yung kare-kare at kalderata. The one with Julian. Hindi man lang nahiya. Masama kutob ko dito. He kept looking around as if it was some top government secret. I want to surprise Jeannie about the engagement. This wasn t one of those overrated version of classic dra mas. Oo. I strained my ears against the wall. nakakapaglabas ako n g pera. May kausap sa phone. Baka pasko. I even bled my finger w ith the bread knife. I m prou d of you. I gave it to him. At anong ginagawa nila? Ayun: Pare let s party! Party! Ilabas na ang cocaine. Tinampal ko `y ung kamay niya. Siya pa ang isawsaw ko sa alamang. `Yung mga may p ampa-aral ayaw mag-aral. Tsk. Siya nga ni hindi man lang maisipang mag-text or tumawag. At ano? Para sa wala. Masama palang napapaisip ako. But really. so I think he d got lots of work to do. Sometimes happy endings were just in Fairy tale stories. Iniyakan ko pa ang paghiwa ng sibuyas. The irony of life. Nagluto ako.Ngumiti ako tapos naglabas ng five hundred pesos. He didn t really deserve a second chance. . Hindi ko alam kung bakit. My eyes got misty. Err. Baka bukas isa na din ako sa mga taong grasa. How could I let Julian go? I love him so much. We ll. God. Hindi man ganon kasarap `yung niluto ko. He frowned and arched one brow. `Wag lang talaga siyang kakaliwa. I made face. `yung mga gustong mag-aral walang pampa-aral. Kung ang motto ko ay: I could kiss and be damned tomorrow. It was only four i n the afternoon. okay. y`know. Why? `Coz I believed that what doesn t kill you can make you stronger . Then I saw a man with his canvass. It was just that I hoped they knew their good f ortune. Nasugatan ka na. Were all the men in general like this? Or only him? He was still insensitive. Who the hell cared. May mga nakapalibot s a kanya habang nagpe-paint siya. Seriously there were people who were given the privilege to live the ir life the way they wanted to be. Alam mo ba `yun. And you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth. I wanted to celebrate Julian s awakening! Namuti na ang mata ko kakahintay sa kanya. Blame CM for this. SOMETIMES. Stupid. Nakita kong nakatalikod si Juli an. Tapos napa-w ow siya. Tapos nagtago akong maigi ng nagmamadali ng umalis si Julian. Nako. He didn t even bother t o call if he wasn t retiring early! Damn him. `di ba sosyal? Samantalang sa kasuluksulukang kalye ng Cubao rugby lang. Oh. kung hindi mo naranasang mag-promissory note sa school o humabol ng scholars hip. Wala na ba akong inisip kundi ang pambabababe ni Julian? Men could be honest. I heard footsteps.
Not t hat I was saying living in was justifiable. Parang napipilita n lang. Brotherly kiss. But this was one? We were groping for each other. Nakakatakot itong Julian na `to. More that you couldn t define. Siguro nga sa `ming dalawa ma s malaki ang pagmamahal ko sa kanya. He was unbuckling his pants. Alright. He even smacked my bottom! Tapos tawa siya ng tawa. He nipped my lower lip and kissed each corner. Would we start makin g babies now? Para makaabot sampu? My mind was screaming: I wasn t prepared for th is. almost a year without this physical aspect of our relationship. Yes. words were mere words until you felt them. He kissed me passionately. while doi ng an imitative dance of that of macho men. I hadn t noticed that he was already on top of me. No. I want you here with our children hmm mga sampu okay na. bed! You re not serious. Anong tingin mo sa `kin palahiang bab oy? I hissed at him. He put me down no threw me onto the bed. A slow sexy goodness. I was trying to capture his mouth. He slouched on the chair and massaged his temple. He was teasing me. Oh. Gusto ko kapag nag-asawa na tayo nasa bahay ka lang. Damn boxers. Our eyes met. L agi namang ganon `di ba? There would always be someone who would give more love than the other. Masyadong wild at aggressive `yung isang `to. Grr. You e xperienced them. smile cracked on his lips. I was really a bit taken aback. He was a cave man! Okay lang kung buhat. Thirsty. He laughed loudl y and lunged at me. chaste. alam na. hindi bagay! I tried to cover my face with my hand. What do yo u think are you doing? Perhaps going to striptease? He said playfully. Julian no! I shrieked when he tickled my feet. Hindi lang sarap ng pisikal. Were there flames everywhere? It was getting hot. Oo. Pero hindi ganito na binibiyabit niya `ko mula sa balikat niya. I was hissing while sinking my fingers deep into his skin. I hadn t thought that I could love this much. I smiled sweetly. Yes. French or torrid. It was more. Pero I believed that you couldn t go play . Galit ka ba? lingon niya sa `kin. He was pulling down his pants and oh So disappointed. Fatherly. Goodness. I might melt. He really smiled at me. Kung pwede lang na bumaon `yun baka nangy ari na. with gaps between my fingers. Papel lang ang kulang sa `min. I was screaming when he scooped me up in his arms. I gasped. Pakipot lang. Panira. A kiss wasn t just classified into: smack. No. I was too eager. Kung makautos kala mo bayad na sa kasalanan niya. He didn t look the man who was so eager to propose. Where s my husband? I whisp ered. Julian let me down! I yelled a t his back.Oh? Kanino? Sa aso. Our bodies touched. Massage my temples. Diniinan ko ang mga kamay sa ulo niya. You prepared this f or me. Like we could satisfy the months. Hindi. My breath got hitched. Sa relationship. I even hugged him tight to myself th at I thought I couldn t breathe anymore. Of course. 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. Maybe we were immoral in the eyes of the society. Julian Oh-kay. Hindi joke lang. I was pummeling his back. He started laughing and crawled to the bed . He even waved his polo up in the air like a cowboy. It was hot and explosive. Grabe. Ayoko nang magpaka-ipokrita. Lalong tumaas `yung kilay ko. ganon? Inis nitong sabi. Tuwang tuwa nga ako sa `yo eh. right. We were husband and wife in the eyes of God. He turned me upside down. He said that with conviction. A kiss meant everything. or whatever we could thin k of. I didn t want to close my eyes for a second because Julian might vanish into thin mists. Stop He groaned. he loves me but not as much as I do. It was proven and tested.
it was very differen t. how I loved this man with all of my heart. I was about to shout at him to go to hell when he started raining tiny kisses do wn the side of my face. Even Brad and Vi ncent were there. C mon! I wasn t raised to be promiscuous. I started crying because because He kneeled down on his knees. Thrice. Well. this was his idea of going slow eh? Parang ako ata a ng unang mamamatay. I love you He whispered as he claimed me. Whatever. We soared. So. Tapos sasabihin ko ano ? kasi hindi ko na maririnig kasi bingi na `ko. And almost the same. Which he thought I had no clue of. Like he really wanted to get acquainted wi th every part and pore of me. every man had his moment. I wanted to laugh at his clumsiness. The great Julian S unico was trembling. Posible pala. Or it could be our heartbeats. Sila mommy at daddy. CM talked to me on the phone earlier. At ang sa `kin. And put out the ring. Kahit `yung mga associates ni Julian. Lalo na `yung mga nagpo-pro pose. Hindi ko alam kung dah il dahil alam kong ngayon magpo-propose si Julian. Mali kot ang mga kamay nito. Si Julian iyon. It w as like this was the last time. Nilagyan niya ako ng blindfold. He was re ally something huh. Nung una nga hindi pa niya m ahanap. I was a bit tensed.around if love wasn t involved. Well. By God and by love. I love you too I whispered against his hair. Nag papa-yummy pa kasi. Don t tell me ipapa-salvage mo `ko? I tried to joke my way around him. Late na pala ako sa school. I just wished that when we grew old together it would still be like this. I was like: OH? With arched brows. For the first time. I was choking back the words. Will you. Where we could hear our breathing as the music playing in our ears. He was also tensed. Everyone. I gasped. Goodness. `yung x-rated version ba naman ang panuorin mo na pinahiram pa sa `yo ng Good Influence and Morally upright mong c mate. Okay na ba? Not yet. Maybe I was really living in one of those fairy t ales and that I would be woken up by my mother. He was cuddling against my bosom. Sisigawan niya `ko. I was staring into his eyes. There was no pain this time. The heat and the rush were there. I was bound to hi m. Akala ko hindi. He was killing me softly. Gentle. He took the blindfold off. ang keso ko. Excuse me? I glared at him and he started chuckling! I just want to make this time gentler. I screamed. I was happy and overwhelmed to see all of them. At pumunta kami sa banda roon. We should all know our limits. I shouldn t be surprised but I was. I tast ed a morsel of heaven. I didn t know it was like this. . And God. Twice. Jeannette Rose Leviste be my wife? I blinked once. Na nakahawak sa bewang ko. And Jean with her baby. 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. Akalain mo `yun. Slow. He came back to my lips and kissed me openly. he cleared his throat. He groaned. Of course. I thought and heard about sex was all hot and swea ty. I could feel it in his hands. Touched me and kissed me like there was no tomorrow. It s just Just? I asked impatiently. What? I would scream if he told me: no. `Wag ka ngang excited. But I wasn t running for a Maria Clara nominee either. What? Siya nga `yun ang manre-reject? Eeh. He loved me.
Didn t you know that not all dreams come true? I needed to grow and that didn t include Julian in the picture. In reality. He did. I whispered through my blurring vision. I should have put that in Julian s vocabulary. For once. But I m sorry I can t. I even dare look at everyone. I was really s orry. Hindi lahat ng tao mas pinipiling mag-settle down kaysa piliin ang opportunity na ibi nibigay sa kanila. it was me all al ong. they would ask me the why s and what s. that s why we have choices. CM s motto: opportunity knocks only at once door. I cried my heart out when I saw the defeat and hatred in his eyes. Tears streamed down my ey es. gusto ko namang maging matatag sa mga desisyon ko. It was the most pai nful and hardest decision to make. Ngayon ko lang na-realize tama sila. Gasgas na pero it wasn t him. But no. know th sakit rej didn t Didn t yo . I love you you know that. I didn t cry.And looked at everyone. As always. Nakita kong napahigpit ang kamay niya sa hawak na box. The diamond ring was sparkling. And I was chasing him. I even once asked many about which would they prefer: love or career? I couldn t very well answer my own question back then. Pero sa totoong buhay. u still have a clue that I love life? And so I did Julian. I couldn t help it while nodding rapidly. As if telling me to say yes. I was nominated for a one-year e xhibit and tour around the world. Because we couldn t have them all. I should have been the one running away after doing the ecting. 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. THIRTY ONE Compromise. 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. Alam ko.
kaartehan lang `yung mga nababasa t napapanood ko. Siguro hindi na `ko natakot. You could have told me yesterday. Why not? Either I ha d no choice `coz there was no one had dared to hold my hand at that time. He looked at me from head to foo t. Pero hindi nga ba k aya nga kakaunti ang pari sa mundo? At ang iba pa sa kanila y. Ang gulo ko no? I asked him not to wait for me but then I wished with all my heart t hat he would. Wala ka bang sasabihin? Gusto kong sabihing naiintindihan kita. And warm hugs. Again. Kasi wala ka ngang ka-monthsary! Wal ang naninigaw sa `yo on the phone when you couldn t text him. Jeannie I will Wait for you My breath got hitched. Julian Akala ko dati. Of course. Na gkakasala. Kung anim na bwan nga `yung iba wala na. I ll be away for a year. T here was no way around that but time. Not that I was here to sit judgment. He didn t turn around. Yes. `Coz I don t know what will happen. Mamamatay `yan kung isang taong walang putahe sa hapag kainan. And it was my dream e ven before Julian entered my oh-so-boring life. That finding your self wasn t really true. Ano? Magtititigan na lang tayong mga bab ae? At the back of our minds we wished for someone to fill the cold nights. Long distance relationship only stood a chance as big as my thumb finger. I pouted and looked out of the w indow. I won t ask you to wait for me Julian. At hindi naman sa wala akong ti wala sa mga lalaki. His back was turned to me. Gusto kong matupad ang mga pangarap ko. If and only if they d devoted themselves to God. It might sound exaggerated. syempre masarap pa ring merong pipilit na kunin `yung kamay mo in public kahit kunwari ayaw mo. there was always an exemption. Pero masak it Jeannie.I found him in the adjacent room. Those were just life s facts. Just being realistic. Pain was pain. Heart grew colder with the absence of the other. C`mon! `Wag na nating loko hin ang sarili natin. But it was almost true. men are men. Hindi lang naman lalaki ang makakapagpaligaya sa `yo. life without them was a boring world. Glory be to God. It was very true. Masara p walang pinagkakagastuhan kapag monthsary. Wala ka pa. O dahi l sa dinami dami ng lalaki sa mundo walang sumigaw sa `kin ng katulad ng pagsiga w ni Julian. I tried to smile. Reality bites. Lit erally and hmm figuratively. Isang taon lang `yun Julian. Unless you tell me. But hey. But wasn t that our problem? Time. In general. Nung humarap siya. You could live without them but somehow let s be honest . Abstinence was an avoidable word in their dictionary. In New York. Or they weren t as sexy as Julian. Sa mga single. you also have to love what I do! Per o alam kong hindi ganon kadali `yun. That was what I wanted to hear from him. Nandun na `yun eh. I smiled bitterly to myself. Kahit ako man. With pho ne calls! LOL. He didn t bother to turn around when I shut the door closed. Ano ba. His fists clenched. Before you. Sino bang nakakaalam kung bakit ganito ang mga babae? . kung iiwan ako ng lalaking m ahal ko sa harap ng altar baka mapatay ko siya ng wala sa oras. Bulong nito. His forehead was be nt against the wall. lagi kong sinasabi noon na mas masarap maging single. Or even last night! He was now shou ting. you stood against odds and still be together after a year. Ano bang alam ko nung time na `yun? Gusto ko lang maging m agaling na pintor. True. Gusto kong isigaw sa kanya: If you love me. One year Jeannie? Do you think a year is only a day for me? Galit nitong sabi. Julian painting is my very first love. Isang taon pa kaya? I wasn t being pessimistic here.
I lo Don t tell me you love me.Never forget you. I gritted my teeth. natetempt akong mag-stay. este uumagahi n. I m sorry baby JJ. You k now dear. Sino pa bang titili ng ganoon kung hindi ang kaisa-isang kaib igan ko sa mundong ibabaw. So this was what he called letting go huh. So what time s your date later with Rick? Todo smile ito. couldn t I just have both? Somehow maybe I would eventually forget him. You re giving up on me. if you walk out of that door. I glared all the more at him. Oo. My mind was made up. I gaped at him. I really do. I didn t really care. Hindi kaya maglolokohan lang tayo? He gave up on me. `Yun lang ang naiintindihan ko sa lahat ng `to. I m hungry. He paushed. Two years later. Julian I whispered when I was in between the door and the outside world toward achi eving my dream. It meant goodbye. Para akong rob ot na naglalakad. Kung gagabihin kayo e. I like him. Sino `to? I avoided his scrutiny. Galit kong sabi sa kanya. I understand. dammit! Just just get the hell out of here!!! Nanlaki ang mga mata ko at naisara ko agad ang pinto. Ano ba `yang ginagawa mo ha? Tingin pa. Sakalin ko na kaya `tong kaibigan kong `to? He tried looking over my shoulders. I didn t care. Eh. BITTER! After a few e-mails and letters. My heart was breaking into pie ces. Ganon din naman `yun. Jeannie! I raised one brow. he isn t nude here. I wanted to slap him at that moment. For you. Was there a difference? Iniba niya lang ng phrase pero ganon din `yun! Jeannie if you stay you choose me. Postcard greetings. Then shrugged. God. Sh!t. I mopped my forehead with the towel. So. Ex mo? Kung makapagtanong kala mo inosente! I gritted my teeth. I cleared my throat and glared at him. Gusto mo bang sabihin ko sa `yong hihintayin kita Jeannie? Then wha t after our promises to one another. Wala. `di topless. Pwede ba. He shook his head. I bit my lip to stop from crying out. He arched one brow. I snatched the cloth from him and cove red it again. He shook his head. And damn if he wasn t handsome here and nud e. You might be seeing some body I don t know. It seemed cliché but I m letting you go. Hinara ngan ko `yung painting sa likuran ko. Get out Jeannie. However. What if you find someone new? What if you do? I hissed at him. And Julian didn t want anything to do with it. I chose my path. But it hurt a lot. Ah. I won t ask where you are going. Of course. And correction. Busy? I shrugged my shoulders. Ang arte. We disappointed you. it s okay with me. Bago pa man ako makapagsalita ay nahugot na ni CM `yung tel a mula sa canvass. A mere whisper. Let s eat. Pero pano na lang `yung mga pa ngarap ko? Hindi lahat ng tao nabibigyan ng ganitong opportunity. Narinig kong ang pagbagsak ng mga gamit at kung ano mang mga nagkala t na basag doon. 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. `Yung lalaki sa panaginip mo? Tuwing gabi dinadalaw ka? CM! He looked at the painting more closely. I tried pushing him toward the kitched. What? He smiled sheepishly. Nahiya ka lang pero ang ido-draw . Ano ba Jeannie defensive na sabi ni to. It would deteriorate with ti me.
Mab ango. I took hold of his hand. Who? I asked innocently. Hindi dahil nasasakal ako sa yakap ng katabi ko. At lalong hindi ko na natatandaan kung pano siya Humalik? Inirapan ko siya. You know that I like you Jeannette. Uh-okay. How could you love another if you couldn t love yourself? She spent wandering around the world. I ve already forgotten him CM. where are you going? I squeezed through the throng of people. Jeannie What! You haven t forgotten him. Nakalimutan ko na siya. I snorted. Mabilis akong na patayo. Pa-humble pa. I was looking out of the crowd when I met a pair of eyes. . Bago pa kung saang imperti nenteng lugar mapadpad iyon. Magtira ka sa sarili mo. huwag mo ng ibigay ang lahat. Two years. Maybe he was an angel sent from above. He was as sleek as a snake. He smiled at me. I was even looking out for some sign s of imperfection. You look beautiful and sexy. Para siyang sawa. Bakit ba hindi? Sino bang unang nakalimot? I e-mailed him. I tried hard not to jab him in the ribs. I tried hard not to glare at him. Naiiyak na `ko ng hindi ko na siya maki ta. Takbo. Me? Ah. Ang h irap kausapin ang sarili mong isip. eleven months and twenty seven days. He didn t exist anymore. Pisil pa. no. those black eyes. It was all worth it. Wala na ni hindi ko na nga natatandaan kung pano siya ngumiti. I couldn t breathe anymore. I know thank you. I shook my head. I started preparing for our food. Totoo naman. But deep inside there was that wishful thinking that somehow he should have been there at night to cuddle her. He stood up and moved right to the door. He raised an inquiring eyebrow at me. Hey. Jeannie kung magmamahal ka. I looked at his impeccable white shirt underneath his coat. we were in the 21st century. Inis na sabi sabay irap. Akala ko ba nakalimutan mo na siya! Grabe. para sa susunod na magmamahal ka u lit may ibibigay ka pa. So now he wasn t perfect. I his sed. In a fashionable way. I know. My eyes grew wide. Dammit. Kahit kahit `pag sumisigaw siya hindi ko na matandaan kung pano nagigin g singkit lalo `yung mga mata niya. I couldn t ever forget that face. Nabigla ako. The people were blocking him. Malay ko bang nagkaroon pa kami ng baby JJ the sec ond. My very first date after almost two years. Kahit anong pigil ko sa kama y niya kung saan napupunta. He was half-Canadian half-Filipino. Rick was handsome. He was really one he ll of a handsome man. sent postcards and letters. I smiled at him. Para kasing sinapian na naman siya ng masamang espiritu. Excuse ako ng excuse par ang wala namang naririnig! Julian Bulong ko. And very gentleman. Actually. No more Julian. And they were all returned! Except for the e-mail syempre. Gwapo. You seemed preoccupied. At si Julian ang devil. And this was New York! Kulang na lang ako ang gawin niyang dinner. He held my hand.ing mo talaga nude. She won the painting contest. His hand started squeezing my thighs. Kung siya ang mapapangasawa ko ulit. Malamang magiging gwa po o maganda ang magiging anak namin. Napa-smile ako kay CM. I was starting a new life now. Y es. It was so un-CM like. Matangkad. Lakad. This was our first date. At bolero! Na ni minsan hindi man lang ginawa sa `kin ni Julian . We now shared a unit. it was a year. Save that he wasn t Julian. Goodn ess. Baka si Piolo Pascual.
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
WHAT?! Just like that? Ganon ba kaliit `yung tingin niya sa `kin? He shrugged. 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. Ah no. I stared stupidly at CM. no. Wala nga lang sa kanya `di ba? He d even moved on and forgotten all about me. Baby. as I stared outside the glas s panel from here. Ahm Jeannie lulubus-lubusin ko na ha. Well. all in capital letters. Pero isa lang sure k o jealousy could kill. Hindi ako ganon ka-kontrabida. We weren t even mar ried. Julian. Mabilis iyong inabot ni CM. Pero kanino? Sa sarili ko? Kay Tri cia ba? O sa napakawalanghiya kong ex-hubby. She was wearing a floral dress with a cardigan. Very fashionable. Err I hated him. Laruan tama. And little did I know that. I was never fond of maltreated protagonists. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. So shall we go? Tricia smiled at me. At ngayon? Hindi ko alam kung unti-unti ko bang pinapatay `yung sarili ko. Hello? Hey. Never EX. Sino bang laruan dito? THIRTY THREE I now know the word STUPID. Tricia. Gusto kong magalit. All about baby JJ. 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. eh? Napatingin . it s me Tricia. Nagsubo ito ng maraming popcorn. that word would be applied to me someday and that someday happened to be now. Not ex. Ah. H e smiled evilly at me. Jeannie! What? Why don t you take Julian back? I slowly shook my head. legally speaking. at least I didn t have evil stepsisters. Si Julian lang talaga ang evi l dito. Teka nga bakit ang dami mong alam? He talked to your mother. `Yung mga tatanga-tangang sumusunod sa yapak ni Cinder ella. Pwede mo ba `kong samahan sa OB? I want this to be a surprise Surprise! The phone went out of my grasp. Was t here such a thing? Could pain kill you? Hindi naman siguro. Silence. CM! The phone started ringing. Ano Jeannie ? Ibabalik na ba ni Tricia si Julian? Now I knew the expression: ASA! OB.
May we all have an everlasting friendship! W alang agawan. Tricia was spared to drink any liquor. Congratulations! You re two and a half months on the family way. Walang iyakan.A. I haven t been celibate say GOD. Hindi ako makangiti. Itinayo niya `ko. I was still silent and mum about it. I met a pair of chinito eyes. We turned around and Tricia quickly ran to him and hugged him. Gusto kong sumi gaw na ang O. Argh. a hand grabbed mine. Julian only looked at me. Kailangan pa ba niyang sabihin `yun? Five months now. As if. It s confirmed J ulian! Thank you So it was confirmed. Congratulations! Let s cheers to that. Tsss. Tricia was the first real love of Julian.akong bigla sa tiyan niya. 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. You and Julian can go to hell together. Tricia! I closed my eyes to keep my emotions intact. The doctor smiled widely. So how are you? Someone new? I wanted to smile and tell her: Yes. Sa totoo lang hindi ko alam kung bakit pa `ko pumayag samahan siya sa OB. So it was five months going huh. mo Tricia! Dahil bitter ako sobrang bitter. almost one year and seven and a ha lf months? Actually I wanted it to be a surprise. 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. Are you okay? Lumingon ako. Hindi siya buntis hindi siya buntis nagdadalang-tae lang si Tricia. Ano bang ginagawa ko dito? Nagpapakamasokista? Maglaslas na lang kaya ako? Nasa baba na kami ng condo building ni Tricia. . No! Oo. Pano kung sila talaga? After all. Anong pakialam ko?! Kahit 24/7 pa `yan! Parang convenient store. Palabas pa lan g kami ng clinic. Tricia was half-laughing. I was rooted to the seat. Before I could even drink my fourth glass. alam k o. Iba na ata ibig sabihin niyon ngayon. Thanks doctor. Tapos pumili na ng kanta si Tricia. Pero minsan naiisip kong patirin si Tricia. Uh-huh. So God wasn t on my side. He hissed. Are you sure? She looked down at me. Give love on Christmas day! CM cheered.? Sa sobrang lakas ng kaba ko parang ako ang mahihimatay. Mag-iinom kasi broken hearted ka. You re drunk. Yeah. for all I care. I tried to smile. half-crying. Big time. Ahm mrs. too bad of me to pray. Utang na loob! So was it any consolation that J ulian mourned over our relationship for over. God forgive me. Spell desperada. At sak a hello? Bakit dito pa? Pwede namang sa Pinas `di ba? Oh. They were together. What the hell It s your fourth glass. Halos akayin na ko ni Tricia. Hindi ba magmumukha ako ng bitter? And that would be sheer hypocrisy. Sabay biglang labas ng doctor. And disgusted wit h myself. Nakakat atlong baso na ko. It was awkward. It was a time to celebrate. Pero pwede ba at some point lahat tayo nagiging makasa rili kapag nagmamahal `di ba? Now I was getting all worked up. Hindi ako iiyak. Nauwi kami sa videoke bar. 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. I averted my eyes away from the scene. I ve found someone new and I m very much happy. Lagyan ng kung anong valium ang inumin nito.
Aren t we here to celebrate? I blurted out bitterly. Oh-kay. Pero hindi ko magawa. slap him or lied about not liking i t. Like you taught me. I eyed CM with warning. Para akong masusuka. Sunico hu h? I gritted my teeth. There at the side of my ahm waist. Ooops. I liked it rough . It was like he was a menacing predator the next. I m going to sing. Uh-oh. I was ushered into Julian s lap. god. Under my lo and behold future! Almost there. don t you? Why not for th e last time Jeannie? Do you know the word fvckiiiing qui ckie? He was mad. Then we turned slowly. Goodness so y ou aren t any different from your sister. Jeannie can you move a little over there? Masikip. no! Hindi ko sinabi `yun! I was drunk. His hands grabbed my sho ulders. He moved forward. The same heat and inten sity was there. I had no strength anymore. CM smiled at me innocently. Gusto ko siyang sampalin. If I know! Pinindot niya talaga ` yung stop button. Julian s chinky eyes turned into slits. So it was the high and mighty Mr. Hindi ko sinasadya. I looked down at his hand. you love it. Uh-oh. shaking me. he said sarcastically. Exactly. I told you. I covered my mouth and ran to the bathroom. He s making me happy Julian. Hindi naman ako claustrophobic pero parang nasosuffocate ako. Galit na sabi nito. Oh. My tears rolled down as the cold nights and empty sheets lay behind the almos . More than happy Do you know what? God forgive me for this. Mabilis akong tumayo despite th e dizziness. that was it. So I ve heard about your new boyfriend. CM said drily. Kung sinong mas magaling! I hissed. I didn t know what I was doing. Someday I just know that love will lead you back in my a rms I winced. yes.I raised one brow. Love will lead you back. Hindi ko alam k ung sinong sumundo sa`kin. Someone was caressing my back to and fro. Move a little. That lips I had kissed many times before. Yes. This was what you called Women s violation! His hand was there. Demanding. Sorry. I was ready to puke. Is h e making you happy Jeannie? He laughed sarcastically. Sige tuloy niyo lang `yan. I missed his ne arness. I missed him. Yes. CM! Julian was also shocked. Tricia frowned. I g asped. Tricia was singing my eyes grew wide. Who t old him about Rick? That maniac. Ahm excuse me Julian pwede bang dito ka na lang umupo? Diyan ako sa tabi ni Tricia . I slowly smiled at him. Hindi naman ako `yung nagsalita non `di ba? Julian s grin was deliberate. Did it still taste the same? Oh. Of course. I thought I d forgotten that mouth. I m sor ry Oh my God. I can t read the lyrics from here. He mouthed. you shouldn t drink. She seemed really oblivious. Yes. We screwed in the backseat I was even comparing notes. Biglang nagiba ang tono ng boses nito. Umusog ako sa gilid palayo. Oh. At sabay tulak sa`kin. mmkay? I looked at Tricia. He moved forward. But I didn t try to hold back. CM smiled at me. His head came down upon me. My eyes were getting misty. Just don t make any noise. Julian s teasing smile froze me in place. my words. Julian s hand steadied me fr om slipping into the floor in the other side. My so-called bestfriend just ignored me! Sa pagkakalipat nito ay nalipat si Julian sa tabi ko. And so w as I. Bruising my lips. I drank it in one fill without breaking the eye contact. Tric ia s busy singing. I missed him shouting at me because he was concerned. Ano bang pakialam mo? Tinanggal ko ang kamay niya at ngumiti. Magtabi kami ni CM. An artist also.
Tatlo lang `yun. I closed my eyes. If he ever chose Tricia for his dream over me I would still be mad at him. 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.t two years. He pushed me away from him. There was always someone in the way. Kung ginawa niya `yun noon. He looked up. Pero hindi. maiintindihan naman nila `ko `di ba? Dapat intindihin nila `ko. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung isang araw ay hindi na`ko magising. I got his point. get in line please! I stared numbly at the organizer. Some consolation. Jeannie our family s business is my dream. Okay. sino pa bang tatalbog sa pinakamagarang award na makukuha ko? Kahit nga si Janine San Miguel walang panama sa `kin. I thought dreams were made to escape the painful reality. Malungkot itong tumingin sa kanya. Was there such a thing? Forever. Ang love parang li pstick. For ever. I swear. Sa`min ni Julian? It should have been Neverever. Na parang walang pakialam! Anger was always okay than indiffe rence. 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. I was the first among the Miss Stupidest runners-up. Thank you because you left me. Totoo `yun. And more years to come He d be gone from me forever. For some reason. It was all too vivid. Congratulations. 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. Isn t that what you want to hear from me Julian? I asked him sarcas tically. That would be sheer stupidity. I m still mad at yo u because you hurt me (In truth. eh. Maybe it was just sp elled that 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. CM nudged my shoulder to keep going. As if I had a contagious disease. Kung umayaw ako. Because the truth was becoming real to me with each passin g day. kahit gawa `yan para hindi matanggal o mapalis basta basta darating at d arating pa rin ang expiration date niyan. Though he didn t love her i t wasn t me he really got tangled with. And at that time Tricia was m y only chance of ever achieving it. music please . Jean was the first one. Pero hindi. If ever my lipstick smeared. O kung meron man hindi ako `yun. I heard CM asking him when he went out. Now tell me. kung nagkita kayo after so many years at hindi naging maganda ang break-up. I started crying. Okay. Tricia was the second one. I didn t dare wipe the tears. I was still wide awake. Walang taong ganoon kabait at kamartir. What for? Couldn t he see my heart breaking i nto pieces in front of him? I felt my lips were swollen. Kaya galit siya sa`kin. At least he was still as affected to me as he was. 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. I d file a laws uit against its manufacturer. 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. I smiled to myself humorlessly. Pero lalo lang akong b inabangungot. He shrugged at me. Katulad mo.
But t hen This practice was a major catastrophic event in my life next to having lost baby JJ. Pero anong alam ko nung time na `yun? I didn t know that I was doing that specifically for her. I started crying and vomiting. Kasalanan niya `to. I do. do you take this woman as your lawfully wedded wife? My vision became blurred.There was a pianist. . Kasi sobra. I brushed my hair away from m y wet face. `felt like it was my death march. Oo na. Tricia smiled at me hesitantly and reached out to me What? Jeannie You re holding the bouquet. Hindi ko alam kung anong masamang espiritung sumapi sa `kin. Or pride? I didn t know. I didn t need another broken heart. Hindi ko na sana nakilala si Julian. Ha? Napatingin ako sa paligid ko. Lalo na `yung mga caretak ers. She tried to pat my hand but I turned away from her. Kunwari tumawa ako. Alam mo ba kung gano kasakit `yun? Hindi. anong ginawa ko sa`yo? She shouldn t have made me replace her. Parang slow motion napatingin ako sa kamay ko. all I cared about was myself. Free will. He didn t say a thing. Neither did I. When he le ft her I was there to catch her. CM was eyeing me pit ifully. Actually. either mabaliw ako or maisipan kong mag-suicide bombin g sa loob ng simbahan. Kaw awa naman `yung mga walang kamuwang-muwang na halaman. My sister was staring helplessly at me. me listening. They were right in front of the pretend pries t reciting their bows. great. Her boyfriend got her pregnant. No Don t J ulian. My heart wasn t just broken into two. Naiinis ako kasi mas aya siya at ako hindi. Para akong nasa pelikula. Sana naman kung nakikinig siya somehow he could guide me. Goodness. I love this woman greatly. And he started talking. I just fou nd myself sitting on the bench with him. I was clutching silly at the bunch of flowers. I couldn t stop from sobbing . He handed me a towel. Para naman alam ko kung kailan pipigilan ang emosyon. Of course. I didn t know how I dared to be here. Kasi feeling ko. Fighting spirit . Julian Sunico. Just as the words were out. As if I was a dimwitted. 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. I couldn t handle it at the moment. but into many pieces. Pero sana sana lang may take two. Jeannie. hopeless case r etard. But she couldn t she couldn t love me back. Sa `kin lahat sila nakatingin. Then I gave Tricia the flower. Gusto kong isigaw na wala akong pakialam. But at this point in time. Lahat naghalo na. Willed her mother to be strong. Sipon. Nakakadiri ako. Syempre nahiya ako sa ayos ko. Luha. This was what they cal led almost dying. But not really. Ang selfish ko no? I was hurting too much to be sensible. t o sacrifice and to understand. I was walking like a zombie. What had I done now? What! I snapped at the organizer. Are you okay? I slowly looked up. chinky eyes. Nanlaki `yung mata niya na parang sinasabing: Oh. The pain was excruciating. you ll feel my pain. And of course. When I looked up I met a pair of dark. Out. I ran away from there as fast as I could. I glared at her. Sana may cut. Do you know. If he was sympathizing with me. Mine was enough for me to handle. At take note: sa loob ng simbahan. That is what love is isn t it? You have to give.
The only way I knew I could hurt her back He shrugged. I crossed my fingers and hiccupped. Not that I was saying love was connected to lust or so. we did things we would never have thought for the sake of love. How cruel love is. Nothing to say. you just have to tell him that at some point you love him as a son. she s grateful to me. standing as if he owned the world. He was looking down at the stones. Loved. I think. I stopped dead in my tracks. right? Jeanni Kung hihilingin kong maging masaya ka. Pero naniniwala akong meron. LOL. Sana nga I was walking down the memory lane. God. that would be sheer hypocrisy Julian. I loved him I love him still But things change d. be us against the world . God will give you the man you are loo king for. Like he always. Sinisisi niya `yung sarili niya sa divorce niyo. I turned to women from night to night. Makakita ka ng PDA sa l abas yamot na yamot ka. Bakit pa kasi nauso ang past. Just as I am to you. but then I wished with all my heart that you d be happy if only that is with me. I loved you. This time I was successful. But only we had different meanings of love. 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. He frowned at me. You re a good woman. But after all those years. Mr. He was there. Ngumiti ako. Nakakatawa no? Manood ka ng XXX tuwang tuwa ka. So I married her. Akal a niya na-neglect siya. Why are you asking this nonsense? Nonsense? I laughed. Sa tingin mo ba kung mabubuhay tayo ulit gugustuhin mo pa rin akong makilala? I tr ied not to croak. Julian whispered. Hindi mo maintind ihan. Whatever.You have to give. Nagkamali kami pa reho. But this time there was one thing he didn t own anymore. Sa totoo lan g hindi ko naman talaga maintindihan kung anong ibig sabihin ng love. Magulo. I really tried. Sunico smiled at me. And you hurt Julian the most. I s tarted hating her for not loving me back. It was like that in love. Go figure. present and future tense? EPILOGUE And in another life I would be your girl We keep all our promises. But I didn t want her gratitude. It was only up to us how to show it. sacrifice and understand. Mali ako. At one point. Napalingon ako sa kanya. Bulong ko. Understanding what he meant. Sabi nila wala daw definition `yun.
next life. Binagalan ko `yung pagda-drive. Perfect. First to Jean then to Tricia. Ak o si ganyan. Relationshi ps: Sawa to awa. My cell phone is ringing. Hello? Ako ang iyong konsensya I grit my teeth. I put down the flowers. Napangiti ako. Love is a very frightenin g thing.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. My eyes grow wide when I s ee a pair of a child s feet. The one that got away I hit the high-pitched note as I imitated Katy Perry s song. I close my eyes and pray. He s laughing. Kung may love potion lang malamang bestselling item `yun. Eh. Right or Mr. I thought I could never live up to Julian s standard. Ang gulo ng mundo no? If you ended up together after so many endeavors. Y our skins tingle when you touch. Congratulations! That started the word forever. CM. O kung hindi man None in a million. Parang umo-order lang sa menu kung humiling. Meron ng bumisita dito? I hear a child s laughter from a distance. Is happiness really elusive? Hindi ko ginustong mag-asawa ng maaga pero hindi ko rin naman pinangarap na tuma ndang dalaga. I raised one brow. Yeah. I chuckle drily. I smile softly to myself. He loves you I sigh. Oh. Yeah. but of course. I was a scared rat. Pero kung sumigaw ba`ko ng mas malakas. I always envy my twin. Al am mo naman `yung tao kung gano nag-aalala sa`yo. So mehow I know it by heart. Well. 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. Kaya nga siguro deep down. 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. And we thought he will be Mr. I feel a pang of uncertainty. Hey. Deep down I know there s always something that kept me apart from her. Wow. I bet you didn t guess how insecure I am. I start hating the phrases what ifs and what could have beens. I am beautiful. Pero lagi akong humihiling na sana ako si ganito. I am funny. Well. Forever. `di sana tumaya na lan g ako sa lotto non `di ba? They were one in a million. I vee never been contented in my whole life. Splitting hairs. Meron sa buhay natin na darating. With rolled eyes. Do you ever believe in destiny? Eh. Hindi niyo siguro napansin. I am always splitting hairs. Oh. yes. 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. Regrets are those for what you can t have done. Paskong pasko. Tita Jeannie! Where s my psp? My laptop and she keeps rambling. ne ver naman akong humiling ng Mr. Merry Christmas! Nagpaparamdam ka ba sa `kin baby JJ? Did you miss mommy? I kneel down. `yung tao ang gumagawa ng kapalaran niya? Ts k. and I find someone more beau tiful than I ever am. Hindi ko rin alam kung bakit nagpe-fade `yun. hell. And hearing her daughter s voice made me w ish that I were her. Someone who can make our hearts beat faster. So like Jean Somehow. Unknowingly comparing myself to other people. my Napaatras ako sa pagkabigla. Halos mapaantanda ako sa gustong ipabili nito. where are you? Haven t you been with Roy? He told me you re not feeling well. Give the phone to Czarina. no don t go there anymore Jeannie. I laugh about that. Na-tense ako. sino ba? I ve always dreamed of something big. better luck next time. may d . God must have pitied upon you.
This is for you Jeannie. I feel that emptiness again. Julian took that particular hand of Tricia s that hand that signified letti ng go while he was looking looking at me. Finish. One. at t his point I was wishing them the worst. Bakit ganon n o? Lagi nating sinasabing hindi tayo nag-eexpect pero deep inside. Natulak. I wish the doctors are wrong. That was the last of my full thoughts. alam natin. My hand was trembling as I took the bouquet from her gloved. Or did I? I . 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. At me. I was doomed to be a spinster forever. I was staring num bly at Jesus Christ. to have held a child of my own.. Tricia was in front of me. I was looking down at the tiled floor. I was going to throw up any minute now. do you take this woman. My fate was sealed. She is thumb sucking. Ayokong tumingin sa tabi niya. It was all over. She remi nds me of Tantan. But he was there his hands were inside his jeans pocket. white hand. An overwhelming urge to slap him was building deep inside me. It was like in slow motion. Was he also mourning for me? Hindi ko kaya. They were all staring. Gusto kong itanong kay father. My heart sank to the pit of my stomach. CM patted my shoulder. Nakita ko na lang si Tricia na naglalakad palapit sa`kin. Tumalik od ito. I was praying with all my might that God w ould give me strength to get through this. Thank you. I heard someone scream. Kung tututol ba `ko papakinggan niya `ko? Hindi ba masasayang ang effort ko kung mapapahiya lan g din naman ako? So let s proceed. ginawa ko na. The corner of his mouth twitched in a lazy smile. Wala bang tututol? Sisigaw ba `ko? I placed a hypocritical smile on my lips. Kasi nasasaktan ako . I wanted to let go of the pain. No no t mocking but it was as if he was telling me that everything would be alright. Sana hindi na lang sana Julian was looking at me. Pe ro pano? I do. Siya ang nagtata nong. the maid smiles tentati vely and take the child s hand. I slowly smiled. Two. I didn t dare look at everyone or anyone for that matter. Hindi ko alam kung anong nangyayari. Nasangga. There were a lot of well-wishers. Ayokong magpaka-ipokrita. So it was really over? The end.alaw! The child is holding a doll. Then a woman came running in uniform. I looked up. My vision was getting blurry.. My eyes got misty. She smiled at me. Giving me the bouquet of flowers. I wished I was in a time warp. Her eyes are chinky. But I couldn t set the love free so ea sily. Now I know what the phrase killing me softly meant. for everything. Kung pwede lang akong sumigaw ng freeze katulad ni Ella. Sino ka? I wince. What was far more hurting than seeing the one you loved walk down the aisle wi th someone not you? Julian August Sunico. O `yun `yung gusto kong palabasin ngayon. Hindi ko na kaya. e xpecting and gaping at us. I almost snorted. Everybody was cheering. biting my lower lip `til I almost draw blood. Siya ang na nga ang nanggulat. Three steps. 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. w e were hoping against hope. Hindi man ako tumingin alam ko alam ko ng lahat sila sa `kin nakatingin. It s been five years I whisper and close my eyes and it all came back to me. Naku halika na.
Do n t you know that Christmas had just been a holiday word to me? Entirely foreign. Goodness. 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. Just a noun. He was an event organizer in New York. This time louder with matching ubo pa. Nakaalis na siya? Damn. WALA AKONG TIWALA. All I want for Christmas is Jul youuuuuu! Hindi ko siya pinansin. ako? Because of just one man? Because of love? . Parang naparalyze `yung buo kong katawan. Then a face so familiar comes in view. Hit me on the head. At sa sobrang katalin uhan ko dinaig ko pa si Rizal. Merry Christmas! Nakita kong may ibunulong si CM kay Czarina. J ean s laughing and kisses her daughter. all in capital letters. She beams at me and kisses my chee k. Siguro mabait lang talaga ako. Lang huh? Okay lang. Na para bang diyan lang sa Star City ang hinihiling nito. dear! I smile at him. Hindi ko alam kung bakit gusto niyang magkita kami ngayon. Magpatayo na rin kaya ako ng monument sa Luneta? A t least he died for his country. I almost touch the stop button on the remote co ntrol. Sana Coach bag `yung matagal ko ng inuungot sa kanya. Somehow I am restless that Christmas day. Hindi ko alam kung matutuwa ba ako kay CM o ano. Nothing else. Hija! It s been a long while since you came back C M clears his throat. The video is blurred at first. I m being ungrateful. of course CM. Wallet? Necklace? My mind s warming up with all the expensive gifts I can ever have from him. Napatingin si mommy dito. sabi nga ni CM titigan mo lang ng buong araw busog ka na. That Christmas eve we open our gifts. That morning I wake up and watch that video. Bakit hindi. I snort. No not name. Merry Christmas. wala akong tiwala. Sabay tumawang parang demonyo. half-canadian . Mamamatay ka na ba at ito ang gift mo? O kaya nagh ihirap? Fine. Special child. Roy hugs me as he hands me his gift. It was a dvd disk. well. I almost throw it in his face. Kung Titanic ang laman nito paniguradong gagawin ko ta lagang parol si CM.fainted. That name. He pouts. CM but in. I roll my eyes. kunsintidora! CM handed me a box. As i n. Czarina comes running with my mom. Okay. Half-fil. Define mabait. I met him through. I learn to like him through the years. My eye s twinkle. Good girl. `Yung tawang: Mwahahaha. Hindi ko alam kung bakit o kung ano ng nagtutulak sa`king panoorin `yun. Knowing CM. Epilogue Part Two Wala na po siya. I gasp. Sa`kin okay lang `yung trip to Disney land. Special ka kaya. I raised one brow. I love you tita. That Five-letter fvcking word. Present. 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. Stupidass. Well. I loathe that word. I snort.
wasn t it? Para `kong nanghihina. The hou se is overlooking the Taal Lake. Damn him Damn he-who-has-no-name. With him. Lofty thoughts Jeannie Bulong ko sa sarili ko. I take it and sniff. Sige. My knees become weak. I raise one brow. Malabo. God sorry. my heart bea t triple time. Who are you? At namaywang pa! Her chinky eyes tur n into slits. kikilabutan lang kayo. May nag-abot sa`kin ng panyo. lady won t you talk to me? She pouts prettily. I close my eyes tight. Napalingon ako sa bulilit na katabi ko.God. Sobra. Anak ka ni Mabilis akong napakapit sa muk ha nito. Vague. if ever. Malamig talaga dito. Kaya nga gusto ko ng pagtakhan si CM. Leviste? I nod. Ipinagbilin po kayo ni ma am Tricia. Those days that I love him. Sumunod po kayo sa `kin. CM tilts his head to one side as if shooing me. She s looking up at me And my. Long ago I ask that mys elf. My so-called doomsday before. Having my own child. My eyes grow wide as we enter a white room. Have she heard me? Oh. That was our best time together. My eyes get misty I so remember those days. I cup both her cheeks. murm uring love words. Hindi ko napigilan ang hindi mapaiyak. My heart constricts just by imagin ing myself having a family. Alam ko matutuwa I mean. Maybe just in anoth er lifetime I d have made him stay. I take it. Three teeth are mi ssing. Parang slow motion sa pelikula. Those days I wish I have again. I m looking around the house. You know what. There are p ictures portraits I remember vaguely. The kid skids away from my grasp. I suddenly blu sh. I slowly turn around. Naiisip ko lang kung pano `y ung next scene. somehow I start hating mysel f. I wince. I stop cold in my tracks. Syempre sinama ko si CM. It s bittersw eet. `Wag niyo ng itanong ang mga details . Masarap s ana kung may kayakap. Of course. Ma am? Napalingon ako. 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. `Nu ba `yan Panira ng m oment! The white petal looks familiar. He ll be the Ice breaker. It reminds me of Oh. D addy! There s a woman here! She s a strangeeeeeer! Napapikit ako. I bet she ll shake t he whole house off. Hindi dahil nakalimutan ko n a kundi dahil hindi ko ginustong maalala. Jade! My eyes grow wider. Ma am? Ha? I turn to. my God! Anak ka ng demon Oh. He s on the phone. Hindi ko napansin na ako na lang pala mag-isa. You bought my paintings? I start hiccupping. Something warm tugs at my heart. Those days that I thought I ll hate him forever w hich I m doing a poor job of it. salamat aalis na lang Kayo po ba si Ms. Nanginginig na naman `yu ng mga kamay ko. He kn ew where. Hey. Cute. no. Kundi ba naman nakakatulig `yung pagtili niya. She frowns at me. he can still make your heart beat faster? Naramdaman mo `yung feeling na kahit na pilit mong . Pictures of me grimacing on our wedding day. Naramdaman mo na bang kahit anong sakit ang idinulot niya sa`yo. I raise one brow at him. Knowing CM. Napatingin ako sa malaking bahay sa harapan ko. And no doubt obscene ones. You re gross. I ll just wait outside. Yuck. their caretaker. 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. Life-size photos of me in Morocco.
Pero nakita ko ang pan ginginig ng kamay niya habang hawak ang anak. And everyone who fell i n love became stupid. Bakit ba? Hindi ba dapat ako ang magalit? Anong karapata n niya? I walk to the door. The video. bad daw ang magsinungaling! Dapat matuwa ako. T hat will be very horrible Mr. They open my child s eyes that there is a prince charming. I even thought he will run to me and hug me. He s thirty-something now. How could I have loved him? Galit na pinunasan ko `yung mga mata ko. how dare him do that. you ll tell me yes. He s expressionless. Pero mahirap gawin. Agree? He slowly squints. Galit na nilagpasan ko siya. Hindi dahil ayoko. Not Julian s more like Tricia s. I thoug ht it did. Five years gives him just ice.sinasabing wala lang siya sa`yo pero isang tawag lang. Sunico. Are you here to laugh at me Jeannie? Just a mere whisper. Or to mock me of what I ve done? Now that you re successful? Hindi ko siya pinansin. I open the door and smile to myself. It s the truth. Long silence stretched. idiot don t let go. ano pa nga bang ineexpect ko mul a sa kanya? He s still the high and might Julian Sunico. I ll be over him in no time at Daddy. It works. So. She pouts a gain. Madaling sabihing mag-let go. My hand stop in midair as a I hear a gasp. Sana. Close. The mature lines on his face tell on the wise years. That face. I can t breathe again. Do you know the word pain? I guess. Anong kayang sinasabi ni Tri cia? Nakita kong tinignan ng pagkasama-sama sa anak. Hindi ako makapaniwala sa mga naririnig ko. Full of pain. It fades as time goes by. Kaya nga nagtataka ako sa sarili ko. I turn my back on him. Have a happy life Is that a fvcking curse Jeannie? Do you know you creep under my skin. You re always good at hurtin g everybody. Kahit pangalan mo lang. Madaling sabihing hindi ko na siya maha l. I say instead. Tisha Jade! I met a pair of chinky eyes. They ll live happily ever after. Tumangkad ba siya? Gumwapo? Tumaba? Lalong pumuti? No. The little girl bit her nails. Now I guess painful is the best term. Sabi ni mommy. Ang hindi matibag-tibag n a lalaki. Isa lang. Mabilis akong humarap sa kanya. Jeannie she smiles at me. Merry Christmas Jeannette Rose Leviste! She waves her hand. I frown when the scree . Bingi ka ba? I m going. Nakalimutan ko she s there. He s more attractive. Nung bata ako. Kundi ayaw makinig ng puso ko. Sasampalin ko siya. A four-year old chinita girl. Juli He even did more than his fair share of kis sing. Yes. Pero sino bang niloko ko? `Yung kuko ko? Gusto kong magreklamo sa Disney! Bakit pa kasi sila nagpaasa. Hindi ako manunumbat. Biglang tumigil ang pagpatak sana ng luha ko. I m not sorry for what I did Jeannie. I m just sorry I let you go. I count one to ten to stop m yself from shouting at him. Eh. L ike he never existed in my whole life. But by God. And that he the beast will turn into a handsome prince and he ll give the word foreve r a meaning. What are you doing here? And more domineering than ever. I ll act matured sophisticated. I remember the video in my mind s eye. she s she s the one in your study room! Her picture s Julian covers her daughter s mouth. He stares at me for the longest while. I tried to. Hindi mo pa rin mapigilan ang sarili mong umasa? There s that tiny part of you that says. That somehow Aladdin will whisk me off wit h his magic carpet. So yeah. Tricia s gone. akala ko kapag hinalikan ni Prince Charming si Snow White okay na . didn t he? I forget his name. I m thankful now `coz I didn t get to live with you forever. this is goodbye.
n zooms in on her face. We thought she s already okay. Oh. That. Ang kapal ng mukha ko no? Alam ko sasabihin mo. CM knew? Oh. Not that sinasabi kong mukha kang pera. I m just sorry that I hurt you. It s like I can hear Tricia saying thank you to me to Ju lian as we went out of the OB that day. sweet girl. That s why She s got Leukemia. Bakit ikaw ang m aiinggit sa`kin Tricia? Nasa `yo `yung gusto ko. or rather our families hastened our engagement. Grabe! Si Tricia talaga oh. But you came mahinang sabi nito. Parang hindi siya hindi naman sa pumangit siya o Oh-kay. He s jesting right? Mommy s gone to heaven. Her own. O siya? Dahil nakakangiti pa rin siya sa`kin ng ganon. Bakit ba gustong gusto niya `kong sinasaktan? I always thought of her as the kind. She looks straight at me as if she is really seeing me. She had already a bone marrow transplant then. I can t seem to ta ke it all in. Nakakasama ng lo ob. Not that I love Julian She raises her hand. you replaced her. Saka naghihintay na sa`kin si Roy. I even hear d him talking to you Tisha Jade! He s now roaring. Five years five long years. Parang nanikip `yung dibdib ko sa sinabi niya. But then knowing that you know it s soo ner. P umangit siya. Gusto kong maiyak sa itsura nito. Though yes. Roy is CM s boo. Natigil `yung muntik kong pagsinga. Do you know she bit her lower lip. Goodness. Jean came a nd unknowingly. I gasp. Naramdaman ko `yung basa sa pisngi ko. I m not sorry I took Julian from you. Na para bang hinihiling sa`king unawain ko siya. We have a d ate! He shrieks. She sighs. Parang umitim ang balat nito. Julian just kiss Jeannie. You can be my mommy ag ain. I still want to yank that lovely ha ir out of her face which is covered with a bonnet. He chuckles to himself. His hand tightens his hold on his daughter. Na para bang pinapatahimik ako kung ano mang magiging violent reaction ko. Nakakaiyak naman kayo. Anyways. Mabilis tinakpan ni Julian ang tenga ng bata. But not the way he loves you. I know something is very wron g here. CM shrugs. Ang sama ko ba? My eyes wate r. I don t know where to start. Living your life knowing that somehow you have a timeline. Para matapos na `tong usapang ito. God. I muffle a gasp. I am now sobbing silently. Na gust o ko ngang gawin. I envy you you have the zest for life Jeannie. queers(halamang dagat) are lovable. Tricia she never looks a day sicker than she is. he loves me. He nods rapidly. Gays. She paused. `Yung parang magkukuhaan kayo ng oxygen sa isa t isa dahil Julian s glare still work. She just wants to live her last years making her family happy. She thanked me on her wedding day. He whispers. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. Ewan ko ba. Am I that selfish? I wish her ill many times in the past? Now what? It s true Jeannie. Considering mayaman si Julia n. Tricia s dead? No. Kinarga niya ang bata. Oo. That shut him up. Jeannie tell him what you feel . Nangingitim ang ilalim ng mga mata n ito. Back to the present. How long is it daddy? She looks at me. He smiles sadly. 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. Surely surely I m wrong? She s dying Jeannie. It was traced way back when yo u entered my life Jeannie. Bilis na Jean nie! Tricia s happy wherever she is. Everyone has. She laughs heartily. They want her to have a family. Nang-aasar ba siya? I even salute you when you left him for your dreams. Hindi ko alam kung ako ba? Dahil dapat makaramdam ako ng galit. Napalingon ako. Daddy always looks at your picture when he thought I m not there. Un til when I came to New York to find you. I blink thrice. Fren ch kiss. They re the happiest years of my life. Relief floods through my bloodstream. She shrugs. Ano ba! Tigilan na nga natin `to. Para akong napako sa kinatatayuan ko. baliw na ata ako. No. Gone.
I m sorry. Hindi nga ba at a ng bata ay regalo ng Diyos? Damn evil stepmothers to hell. I love this freaking insane and mad guy with all my heart. Oh. Per o walang luha don. Pakialamero. Both don t know how to cross the distance. I don t just think. . Julian I m sorry. That I ll still miss baby JJ. Don t ever be afraid to love. Thank God reall . But his eyes are glazed. He smiles tenderly. I m very grateful. I promise Tricia I wo n t be one. Walang reunion na hindi madrama. I m sorry. The years stretch between us. . Naramdaman ko na lang `yung sarili kong mga paa na na glalakad din. I wait for that long overdue kiss. no? Sige ikaw na! Inis kong sabi kay CM. Talaga naman. He innocently look s up at the ceiling. But hey. Overwhelming joy that I m afraid isn t real. be yourself. I can t bear anymore child Julian. All the pain is swept away. Five years. she s even crushed in between. Para siyang bumata ng ilang taon. It s now or never if he can t accept me for what I am about to confess. Hmm? I built this house remember that first time? What first time? I ask innocently. The doctor said it after I ve had a problem with m y He stares at me. I love you. Pe ro wala akong pakialam. Love is a very frightening thing. That forgettable huh? That day i n the car when you yelled like you wanted m Julian `yung bata! I hiss. Like we need to breathe each oth er s oxygen. And believe that dreams do come true. Ang drama ko. I kiss her on the forehead. Mabilis kong hinawakan ang leeg ni Julian. didn t he? I smile. It doesn t matter anymore. Julian tries to suppress his chuckle.. It doesn t matter. Love.I glared at him. There will be times that I ll still shout at you I nod. I nod against his polo shirt. The child is amazed. Well. Just I sigh and smile at Ti sha Jade. Just kiss me J ulian. I do now. Sumimangot ito. Jeannie. Emotions kept hidden for so long is written there. He cups my cheeks. French kiss. . In all that is possible without the eyes really seeing it. How hard it is. He gave love a bad name. CM s giggles are getting louder. He suddenly pulls me into an embrace that robs me of my breath. p lease I still don t want to wake up. I hiss. Gusto kong isiping umiiyak din siya. CM starts laughing. Pain and sadness. I love you He whispers before he bends down. There are times that I want you to shut your lovely mouth sweetheart. I ll be your mommy. I don t know about ghos ts or Tricia. Jeannie ang bagal mo naman kasi pano kayo magkaka Ang dami mong alam eh. I still want to be a part of your life. Now there s j oy. Thank God. Wetting it. I think I ll love her. In God. `coz I k now how persistent and talkative you are. Nakita ko siyang humakbang palapit. If I m dreaming as cliché as it may seem. You re not as pretty as my mommy. But if you believe in it. Naningkit ang mga mata nito.
candymag.196622.com/teentalk/index. Hearing her like I did through that v ideo early this morning.196622.php/topic. how I love him.com/teentalk/index. Naghiwalay. I smile to myself as I hug Julian close to mysel f. Until he kisses me it s as if I can still hear Tricia s last words.html http://www. Only.php/topic. Thank Jesus.candymag.360.com/teentalk/index. the hot guys are jerks.405.html es http://www. Uh nothing.196622.php/topic.html uterus--.html g http://www. you re pressing too close! I can t breathe! I close my eyes in frustration as I look at her chinky eyes. Akala in niyo `yun.196622. Pero hindi pa rin niya alam `yun? Shhh. I hope. Julian grins at me and wink. http://www.candymag.465. It s This is meant for you. I have a gift for you Jeannie. well. we had somethin he think his ex uncle Jin ñ .php/topic.html http://www.y.candymag.candymag.com/teentalk/index. Nakagawa na kami ng bata noon. and the hot-and-nice guys are g ay.candymag.html http://www. mommy. http://www.msg5452895.com/teentalk/index.com/teentalk/index.candymag. promising a one hundred and one pleasu res in life and in the next lifetimes. The nice? guys are ugly.php/topic. I close my eyes again.196622.candymag.php/topic. Oh.540.php/topic.html driver seat http://www. I start laughing.360. Bitin.html#msg54528 95 CC link Splitting Hairs. you did me a favor. Jeannie? I close my eyes and groan. Oh. What! Inis kong sabi.196622.435. I close my eyes and wait wait.php/topic. Hap py Ending na.196622. Nag-asawa siya. It s just that Tricia and I never lived here.ovari Uncle Jin Passenger seat. What a we dding night. I can feel it Ito na. What now? He smiles at me and whispers: Hindi ako marunong manligaw.com/teentalk/index.285. Tricia.com/teentalk/index. Natupad ko mga pangarap ko. Merry Christmas! He murmurs with no one in particular.196622. It s a long time coming do me a favor? you know. This is our wedding night Hey. will will you No.
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