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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
So what game is this? Get into my bed and then play the pakipot later? I promise you. Mabilis akong umisod palayo sa kanya papunta sa gilid ko. Samantalang hindi ako titig il ng hindi ko nakukuha ang gusto ko. Then I f elt tears brimming down the side of my face. Kahit ba sabihin mong gwapo ang mangre-rape sa `yo. Galit itong humiga. Are you crying? Kung umiiyak ako may paki ka ba? No. Specifically a very estranged and angry husband and here I was supposed to be pregnant. Matulog ka na. Nara mdaman ko ang paghawak niya sa balikat ko. He still didn t move from behind me. He stilled against me. I felt his hard naked chest against m y back when he tried to peek above my shoulder. He si ghed. Napahiga na lang ako sa kama . So what s this grand scheme? Tignan mo `tong lalaking `to. Juli an I tried to push him off me. nakalimutan ko Pregnant women don t bleed. I sighed in relief. But in shock. Well Julian? Humiga na din ako sa pinakagilid ng malaking kama. I thought my monthly flow was a curse. Isang malakas na hikbi ang hindi ko napigilan. Do you hate me? I whispered again. I shook my head. Nagbibilang ba si San Pedro ng penalty? A we ek. Hindi ko sinasadya. Naaw ardan pa nga ako nung high school na best actress nung gumanap akong Sisa sa Nol i. Kailan ba hindi sinadya ang pikot? Sige nga sabihin niyo sa `kin. Pero lumapat lang ang mga kamay ko sa malapad niy ang dibdib. we were almost in timately embracing. O baka imagination ko lang `yon. Gusto kong sabihin iyon sa kanya on my twin s behalf. Not in pain. What the hell is the matter with you? Ang laki laki ng kama dyan ka nagsusumiksik . But some part of me still wanted to hear the conf irmation. Umusod u lit siya. How many days? He brushed his hand roughly through his hair. I m sorry. It is still spelled the same R-A-P-E. He didn t give even a nary compassion toward me. in bed with a stranger whom I had just met a few hours ago. He frowned at me. Parang bigla ng nagkaroon ng tenderness sa boses nito. Sasabihin mong either sipon lang `yan o napuwing ka lang. Yes. Ahm a three days. You are crying. Onti nalang talaga mauubos na pasensya ko. In this position. I felt so alone and vulnerable. kung bumubuga lang ng apoy ang mga mata ng tao baka nasunog na `ko ni Juli an. Tumagilid ako patalikod sa kanya ng inakala kong hindi na siya sasagot. The situation wa s worst than I had expected. Why do you hate me so much? Gusto kong matawa sa sarili kong tanong. Me ron kasi `ko. nagkakapatong patong na ang mga kasinungalingan ko. Nakahinga ako ng maluwag ng itulak niya `ko palayo. Sa pagkakaalam ko walang pikot na hindi planado.mo. How was tha t for a Shakespearean play? Masyadong tragic ang buhay ko. Fine. Niyakap kong mahigpit ang unan upang patahimikin an g paghikbi ko. Natatakot na talaga ko. Pinipilit kong pakalmahin ang mga hikbi k o. He slid his hands and fisted my hair. Silence. Hindi ito makulit. Nasan na ang kakambal ko? Bakit ako ang n agdudusa sa kasalanang `di ko ginawa? Alam ko namang magaling akong umarte. Hindi na nga almost eh. Dyos ko po. Juli an! ahhhh I moaned and twisted. Silent tears turned into muffled sobs. Didn t he know what he s doing to my senses ? His thumb brushed the moisture on my cheeks. Pero lalo lang akong naiyak. I am. Ah. I was alone inside a big mansion. I couldn t help it. Yeah. Kung kaya t it was very much out of Jean Ros e s league to do something as pikot . Yeah. I winced. I licked my lower lip. Obvious na tinatanong pa. Para iyong 1+ 1=2. Pe ro para ko na rin niloko ang sarili ko. I was keeping my fingers crossed. blessing in disguise din naman pala. Jean Rose isn t a crybaby. And he also moved along with me! Umusod ulit ako.
I couldn t believe it. Sabay bigla `kong naalala ang sitwasyon ko. Just as well. Dahil hindi ko na alam kung anong magagawa ko. Nang sa tingin ko ay kumalma na `ko ay lumakad ako sa front porch. I was ready to weep. I didn t care who heard it. SANA WAL A. Where the hell are the telephones here? Ano `to mansyon na walang telepono? Ma am. I said airily while I was putting butter on the toast. myself and I. Inis na lumayo ito at tumalikod. I woke up late in the morning. He was reall y hell-bent on making my life miserable. He stood up an d cleaned his mouth with the napkin. I don t care anymore kung mukha man ak ong peso sign. Maaga `kong mababaliw sa bahay na `to. Jean! I was so worried about you. Sana naisip mo `yan when you and your family blackmailed me into this marriage. Siya nga pala. Hangin. Napasabunot ako sa buhok ko. Balak?! . Maglalakad na lang ak o palabas ng subdivision para maghanap ng taxi. Wala naman p umigil sa `kin ng nagtuloy tuloy na `kong lumabas ng gate. When a car automatically stopped in front of me. what s a scandal with the Sunicos right? I saw the muscles on his jaw flexed. Unless you re with me. Where s the telephone? I didn t want to sound stupid. Eh ma am sabi po ni sir `wag daw po kayong pagamitin ng telepono. I gritted my teeth. If I were pregnant you could h ave at least supported me financially. If he did. Me. 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. Natulig ako ng biglang bumagsak ang tasa ng kape nito sa platito. I screamed my frustration within the fo ur walls of the mansion. Para `kong invisible na hindi niya nakita. Not Jean Rose. Ngumiti ako and said a tha nk you prayer to my maker. Malamang sa mga araw na `yon mahahanap ko na ang magaling kong kakambal. I waved my hand at her in dismissal. Our noses touched. Uuwi ako sa bahay mamaya may hihingin sana akong pabor. Hindi ako makapaniwala sa narinig ko. Not to mention that the house was so big you could get lost. Sa pagkakaalam ko hindi ko talaga sinadya na magka tapat `yung mukha namin. You re not going to see your family. `Yun lang. I would think first of myself. I closed my eyes. Mabilis a kong bumangon at ginawa ang morning routines ko. Humihingal sa galit na sabi ko ng matapos a ng speech ko. Oh-kay.. Mabilis na humarap ak o sa kanya. Itinuloy mo pa rin pala ang balak. Ako ang asawa pero wala akong alam. Mabilis akong bumaba at na ghanap ng telephone. Pat i ba naman cellphone ko hindi pa nakisama? Naiwan pa. They wouldn t do it. ANO?! Is he serious? Never mind. Mabilis akong umakyat at hinagilap ang cellphone sa bag ko. I cou ld have misheard him. The woman hug ged me. No one pacified me. He was staring at me stonily. I dressed hu rriedly and quickly got out. may hinahanap po ba kayo? I smiled brightly at the maid. I thought women are the only ones who are fickle-minded. 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. Inis na humarap ako sa kanya. you know. Didn t Eskimos kiss like that? Matulog ka na. An yway. Hang in lang ako. My eyes grew wide at the implication of his words. Gusto kong umuwi sa `min sa duration ng honeymoon natin tutal naman hindi mo pa ` ko kailangan. Good morning Jules! I take it you had a good night sleep? Deadma. Sinigawan niya ko! I thought we were okay. and my twin. Hindi dahil pina hiran niya ang luha mo okay na Jeannie. The food was forgotten. `Pag baba ko ay nag-aalmusal na ang prinsipe sa lanai. Hindi ako martir. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung masira a ng isa kong ngipin. Ang laki nga ng kama dikit ka naman ng dikit. Matagal ng binaril si Rizal sa Luneta at wala akong balak sumu nod sa yapak niya. I smiled sweetly at him. just as well. Galit na tumayo ako at hinabol siya. So I wouldn t think about him. Isang babae t lalaki. At take note: he didn t even bother to pull out the chair for me.
Him. Kutis-mayaman kaya ako. I saw the emotions in his eyes. Not that I was caught red-han ded. Pe ro rinig ko ang dagundong `non sa tenga ko. PERIOD. may papalit sa `yo kapag absent ka sa clas s. I became the blacksheep three years ago when I accepted the scholarship in New Yo rk University. Sabi nila nagpapakatanga ako sa course ko: Fine Arts. There would surely be bruises later. But don t they already know that we only have one face. fine w hile my sister is good with figures. Mrs. It was like Oh my God. Julian deliberately whispered the words to me. Naguluhan ak o bigla. Okay. I slowly looked sideways an d saw the blatant anger in his eyes. 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. Nakalimutan mo na ba `ko? Hindi kita nakalimutan! Hindi lang talaga kita kilala. Ay. Someone who could break it off with your own boyfriend in proxy kung hindi mo kaya. The beast roar. My eyes grew wide when he cupped my face up. And it ends there. Ang sarap tignan ng may kakambal. please kung nanaginip man ako `wag mo po muna akong gisingin.Lumapit ang lalaki. Naging Sunico ka lang Jean? He frowned at my reaction. ROAR. Then I felt the emanating anger from the other side. I closed my eyes in frustration. Nagulat ako ng biglang hinawakan ako ng lalaki sa braso. Let s go. `yung bunso kong anak she stays in N ew York . ah. A nd then one hand grabbed my other arm from the side. Or maybe becau se I didn t want to be in my sister s shadow any more. You love me. Naramdaman ko ang pagdiin ng pagkakahawak ni Julian sa braso ko . Maybe I m just splitting hairs. Home. My heart went out to my sister and him. And what amazed me most was he embraced me! I missed you love so much. Siguro kung sa ibang pagkakataon baka kinilig pa `ko. Something Jean Rose would do. THREE We aren t rich. Pero hawak hawak pa rin ako ng lalaki. And they would stop comparing me to Jean Rose. I opened my mouth to say his name. Tell. But every time they asked my parents where school I go to? I think . Run away with me Napalunok ako. Oo. Masarap namang pakinggan eh. they were proud to say in the least na. Well. Julian I Hinila niya `ko bigla sa tabi niya. Sumakay ka na. pero parang lalong natuyot ang lalamunan ko. I gnawed at my lower lip. Wala sa loob kong nasabi. Bulong. maybe I could get some facts about my twin s whereabouts. Jean Rose I know I ve made a mistake. Para kasing nilagyan lang nila `k o ng nette pero sa totoo lang it was as if they wanted me to be Jean Rose. Ahmm . I could feel my hands shaking. Then I realized I don t know the man s name! You cannot mean this Jean. Bumaling ako sa lalaki. And ne ver to be Jeannette Rose. His eyes were like challenging me to do just that. Fe eling ko para `kong nagka-amnesia. I mean please wake me up. Go. Ano ba t alaga ang nangyari? Lalo akong naguguluhan. Pwede pa natin `yun tamain. Oh no. Nagpatangay na lang ako ng bigla akong hi nila ng babae. And three years drew us apart. Jean Rose Sunico! I heard that one again. but I wish they would be more proud of me. . And boy. Julian tried to tug my hand. Jean Rose Sunico! I stopped dead in my tracks. My eyes grew wide. He encircled his arm around my waist i n a possessive manner. To. Minsan lang naman akong pag-agawan ng ganito. As in.
Si Julian `yung tipo ng lalaking hindi mo titilian. Bakit? Had someone hurt him? Betrayed him? Minutes passed by. After all. Leave Brad let s go Sabi dito ng babae. eyes were the windows of the soul. Nasira lang ang drama ko. I never asked for a wonderful love story.Leave my wife alone Brad. Hindi ko alam kung bakit bakit ganon `yung mga mata niya nung sinabi niya iyon. Kaya t-a-n-g-a nga daw ako sa bi ng mga magulang ko. I don t take to infidelity lightly. All my daydreams flew out of the window when he towered over me. Julian As usual. he isn t in love with me! So bakit siya magagalit well. that must have caused millions. Julian! Galit na pinihit pihit ko iy on. And I just wished he didn t! Hindi ko alam kung paano pa nagig ing lalong singkit ang mga mata niya sa galit. Lumabas ito. We went upstairs while he was still holding my arm tightly. He tilted my ch in up and looked me angrily in the eye. Because I m sure she was a reluctant bride. Pero may reluctant bang namikot? He did turn around. W-what if I still love Brad. His fists were clenched. Na par a bang nasasaktan siya. My hands turned into tight fists and started banging the door. Mula sa lamp shade hanggang sa china vase. And men s ego is sometimes bigger than their brains. Parang gusto kong lumubog sa pagkakaupo ko sa kama habang malapit na malapit ang mukha niya sa `kin. NO! Mabilis akong tumakbo papunta sa pinto. He rolled his e yes in disgust. I ll come back for you Jean! Then the woman dragged him inside the car. In the second place. because he would surely int imidate you. The corner of his mouth twisted in a mockin g smile. Kung ang iba sa ed ad ko ay humihiling ng prince charming. Nanlamig ang mga kamay ko. Pe ro teka. damn him! hind i niya `ko totoong asawa at wala siyang karapatang gawin sa `kin `to. And boy. That was it. bakit naman siya magagalit? In the first place. Parang mas lalo akong natakot doon. He was dangerously gorgeous. Naiiyak na napatingin ako doon. Honesty. Hindi ko ma-imagine ang sarili ko: blessed virgin Jeannette. Hindi naman a ko buntis pero nagiging iyakin na `ko. Then I heard the click on the other side of the door. I couldn t term him just handsome. Julian you re hurting me! Halos kaladkarin niya na `ko papasok ng mansyon. Ako hindi. Suplado naman! May K naman kasi siyang magsuplado. Lumingon ulit ito. I sighed in relief when they walked away. My eyes grew wide. Tinignan ko ang mala ki at magarang silid. Honesty. And I was living a lie after all. my dear wife. Bigla nitong binitawan ang mukha ko. no. wasn t he handsome in his thr ee-piece suit. Sh!t. he didn t turn around. I s lowly tried to catch my breath to stop from screaming at him. Naiisip ko pa lang kung anong gagawin niya sa `kin ay nanlalamig na ang mga kamay ko. I didn t ask for any of this. Then I started really crying. He tilted his head to the other side in question. si Jean Rose. Get dressed. And and we we both know that you don t want this marriage? Bakit hindi mo na ako pakawalan? I mean. lalaki siya. That is all I asked of you. I only wanted to establish myself on my . Bago pa ako makapag-react ay hinawakan na ng mahigpit ni Julian ang mga braso ko . Inis na tinabig ko ang kamay niya. Please Brad. Kung ang iba ay humihiling na makapangasawa ng mayaman. I wa s afraid he would see through the lies written in my eyes. Ako hindi. Lumakad na ito palabas. Hindi kaya dininig ako ni God? Diyos ko ` wag naman. If you don t want to be sitting in jail. 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. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. Women s ultimate weapon: Tears. I felt tears threatening to erupt again. Bigla niya `kong ibi nalandra sa kama. Gigil na hinarap niya `ko. 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.
Dun sa hindi ako matetempt. She was crying and did n t want to let me go. I screamed when my foot stepped on nothing but water! I was in a deep end of the swimming pool. Jean! Jean! A voice whispered in my ear. I wasn t entirely looking at him. Padabog na sumunod ako sa katulong. Si Amorsolo. Oo. I didn t want to be appreciated only after my death. Kinurot ko ang sarili ko. Jean! Nagmulat ako ng mga mata at umubo. kahit nga ba talentadong pinoy siya. I didn t know where the German shepherd dog had come from. `Yung katiwala din. He cupped my ch eek and looked at me for a very long time. And then I would wake up later and find myself in t he boarding house in New York. T apos biglang bumukas `yung pinto. Nasa teritoryo `ko ng kaaway. 5 3 na nga sige na. And I was still here. Papanhikin daw po kayo ni sir kung hindi kayo bababa. Alam ko. Mabilis kong hinawi ang glass door pa tungong terrace. Please please don t let me die yet. nakakahiya mang aminin 6 1 siya at 5 2 ½ lang ako. I was gulping down a mouthful o f water. And b oy. I saw his broad shoulders and arms flexed with his ev ery move. I had no choice. Hindi na naka-lock! Ma am pinapatawag daw po kayo ni sir. alam ko nagblush talaga ako. I woke up late. I was eight again. I didn t know. He was standing on the edge of the swimming pool clad with only his swimming sinfully black trunks. A hand grabbed my waist. what Julian wants. I gritted my teeth in an ger. gabi na. Hindi ko pinangarap maging si Cinderella. Mabilis akong pumasok sa loob ng kwarto. Matangkad ito. Sige na Mag-isa siya! I smiled at her. At sa maniwala man kayo o hindi. Sumabay na daw po kayong maghapunan sa kanya. Nasa harap na ako ng swimming pool. Must have stood almost a foot taller than me. Julian gets. I curled into a fetal position on the huge soft bed. Ano ba talagang nangyari sa kapatid ko? Why didn t I feel anything? Sabi nila may link ang mga kambal. I kn ow I must have shouted Julian s name. Then the dog came running. Dun sa my eyes grew wi de. Dapat dapat bumalik na lang ako bigla sa kwarto ko. Tumingin ako sa kabilang side.own as a famous artist. my heart beat triple time. Nagbabakasyon kami noon sa lake house n g Aunt Lara namin. Anim He looked up then. I didn t remember covering myself I frowne d. Nanlaki ang mga mata ko. But the sight before me froze me on the ground. 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. Feeling ko. Isang napak alaking akala. I screamed my way to the surface. Ouc h. Manang pakilagay na po dyan `yung juice. Then flashes of yesterday came through my mind. 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. Promise. And Jean Rose caught my hand. I sucked in my breath. Julian please don t leave me I whispered frantically against his neck. Siguro y napagod na pumunta ito sa railing at umakyat. Julian was here! I t hrew my arms around his neck and clung to him. Mula sa likod nito ay lumabas si Mang Pio. I c onceded. Paatras na ako ng paatras. Lumaya s lang ba talaga siya? Hindi niya mabilang kung isang oras na ata akong umiiyak. I hate you Julian Sunico! I hate you to the deepest part of the earth Sana binabangungot lang ako. . Parang naiiyak na naman ako. We were still in the middle of th e pool. Julian is in every way sexy. As in. Ma am siya nga po pala. G usto kong maging si Juan Luna. His muscled back was rippling with water as his stroke became faster. Kaya nga ba hindi ko naging idol si Rizal eh. Sana sana pipikit pa lang ako ng mapansin kong may lumalangoy sa foot-shaped swimmin g pool. I heard splashes of water from outside. Dahil sa `kin kaya nangyari `to. para itong kumunoy na kakainin ako ano mang oras. Bilog ang buwan. I thought it was only termed with women. may mga pand esal siya sa tyan. I looked around me. At ah. I tugged her along and sec retly took the boat to explore the lake. Toward me. I tasted the tears mingled with the c hlorine.
Pero kasi Jeannie baka Isasagwan ko na sana ang bangka ng tumuntong na din siya. I bit my lower lip when he looked at me closely. He said that silently. As if naman. And sh e was very good at it. Jean Rose overcame her fear by learning how to swim. Jean Rose scowled at me and didn t say a word. Jean Rose screamed. Siya ang unang un a kong mumultuhin. We were both screaming flailing And it was all my fault. I was amazed with its reflection on the water. Jeannie! Bumalik na tayo. Hindi kita pinilit ha. There were mermaids in the la ke. Kung meron man well. Sa isang iglap ay tumagilid ang bang ka at sabay kaming bumagsak. Na para bang titig na nagnanasa dududa. I ngos ko sa kanya. I smiled at myself and took my sketch pad with me. You re supposed to be a swimmer. Sa p ag-aagawan namin ay nahulog ang sketch pad ko. I was just shocked by your big dog. Hindi ko siya pinansin. Kung ayaw mo bahala ka! Natanggal ko na ang tali ng bangka. Sa katulad ni Julian na perfectionist malamang na kasalana n ang `di marunong lumangoy. Damn. I m ten but not entirely stupid. My eyes grew wi de. Yep . Jeannie nasan na tayo? Bakit parang palayo na tayo ng palayo? She bit her lower lip . And oh Lor d the tree was getting hard all over. Our eyes met. Wala talaga siyang kunsiderasyon! `Pag namatay talaga ako. Syempre ako na lang `yung natitirang kapatid no. Para akong unggoy na nakabitin sa puno. FOUR Jeannie! Kasi baka I looked back at her. Seriously she had always been there for me. Both of my thighs wrapped around his body on its own accord. Pero bigla niya `kong pinakawalan. I said airily. I am.Ano bang nangyayari sa`yo? You re a swimmer. You would be more shocked by my big Dog? Gusto ko sanang magbiro. Ito ang taong kahit hindi bagong gising masamang biruin. As if he were my lifeline. overrrrr. Jul ian I wrapped my arms around his neck. Oh my God. Gusto kong sakalin ang kapatid ko n g mga sandaling iyon. Gume wang gewang ang bangka. He said silently. As in over. . `Yan ang madalas na ipanakot sa `kin ni Aunt Lara. Mabilis nitong inagaw ang sagwan. Anyway sino bang may sabing sumama siya? Jeannie ano ba! Ano? Inis kong sabi habang ginuguhit ang papalubog na sikat ng araw. wala pala. Alam mo `yun naiilang ako sa titi g niya. Naiiyak na pinilit kong abutin isa isa kahit basa na. My breasts were flat tened against his hard chest. Sinimangutan ko siya. I rolled my eyes heave nward. At hindi ko kasalanan `yun! Siya kaya lunurin ko. Well. Rubbish. Tignan mo ginawa mo! Naiiyak na sab i ko habang lumulutang lutang ang mga papel. She became a champion in swimming competitions while I nev er learned. Sa totoo lang Jea n was never the evil twin sister. Pagabi na. Ayoko. I froze in his arms.
His head came down down down. Kung ginawa mo `yun just to get the fame you wa nted then you don t deserve it. Then it dawned on me. experienced dr owning before. Isa lang. Lelecturan ng walang . At ni hindi man la ng nahiyang ipahiram man lang sa `kin. Si Jean Rose ang gumawa ako ang umaako! He had it all wrong. feeling ko nagkulay mansanas ako. He didn t even comment about my appearance. I opened my mouth to shout at him. Siya `yung `yung magaling lumangoy. Thank God for the two-inch stilettos. ako I never did learn. that voice of his it was like he had just woken up from a night of debauchery. Ang mani pis na suot ko kanina ay halos kita na dahil nga basa na din. bata pa `ko. We uhm. I cried on his shoulder. I wore a n off-shouldered cream tailored dress. Had he forgiven me? Hindi siya galit? You should have told me sooner. I licked my lower lip nervously. Bente uno lang po ako God para sa mga ganitong bagay. Naramdaman ko ang paghigpit ng yakap niya sa `kin. 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. Bastos talag a. Parang nanlamig ako bigla. Naglakad ito kasama ako. I winced when I heard him curse. 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. It was a matter of choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea. From the start. Two days of being married to Julian Sunico was like hell! And it felt like a lifetime sin ce I said I do . Why not? He said huskily. 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. Akala niya pinagko-compete ko ang kakambal ko tapos tapos ako kunwari ang nananalo? My God.Julian was just staring back at me. Ang mahalaga hindi siya nagalit Jea nnie! I tried telling you Ikaw ang Hindi maganda ang panloloko Jean. Lalo a kong napayakap sa kanya. Siguro kung hindi lang masamang pumatay ng tao. Mag-aangilan lang kami. Siya ang gumawa ikaw ang umaako? You big stupid moron! Tama ito. Hawak pa niya. My twin she s the swimmer. Prom ise. Susumbatan niya lang ako. His hand caressed my cheek. Grabe ang mood swings ng lalaking ito. Diyos ko. Hindi ko alam kung dahil sa naudlot na o dahil sa alam niya na `yung sasabihin ko. The hell with the consequences. Ng panahon. Nagsasawa na `ko sa pagtatalo namin ni Julian. She overcame her fear by well. He was so m ad at me. Ganyan ka ba talaga? Kung anong gusto mo `yun ang nakukuha mo? Without caring about others feelings? Ano kaya nararamdaman ng kapat id mo? Siya ang gumawa ikaw ang umaako? I should have said Hallelujah. Hindi ko nga alam kung dahil sa ano o dahi l sa init. Kelan ba matatapos ito? Tumingin ako sa harap ng salamin. At ang gentleman ba sta na lang akong ibinagsak sa marble floor sa gilid ng pool. I m not supposed to be who I am now. Tumayo ka at magbihis ka may pupuntahan tayo. Galit na hinablot nito ang telephone habang pinupunasan ang sarili. I blinked thrice. Hindi iyon lalagpas ng mid-thigh ko. It was now or never. Goodness. I whispered stupidly with lack of anything to say. o kaya ay wala lang ang mga katulong doon ay baka nilunod na `ko ni Julian. Ano bang nangyayari sa `kin? I leaned my head in between his shoulder an d neck. Nagsasalubong na naman `yung mga kilay nito. So what was the use of telling him how gorgeous he is? I just shut my mouth up. Ginamit ko lang ito once sa exhibi t ng kakilala ko. Jules I m sorr y. Inis na sabi nito. I couldn t look him in t he eye. My heart was beating triple time. wala akong kara patan. Giniginaw na `ko pero isang towel lang ang nakita ko. At ang utos ng hari hindi mababali. Ang tanong: sinong mananamantala at sinong pagsas amantalahan? Not I. Siguro hindi naman magagalit si Jean Rose kung kahit isa lang. Jules I have something to tell you. Yeah you re right! Siya ang gumawa ako ang umako ng mga Sir telephone po mommy niyo. My creamy white shoulders were very much visible.
Naglalakad ako sa gilid ng kalsada na wala sa sarili. I t felt so awkward. Baka nakakalimutan mo ako pa rin ang nanay ng anak mo. Gusto kong sumigaw a . I glared at him. Hila dito. Normal naman sa mga produkto ng broken marriages ang ganitong ugali ni Julian. She looked somewhat familiar.katapusan about honesty and virtues. I smiled. straight nose Ouch. Eh di baka ihulog na `ko ng tuluyan ni Julian palabas. Kailan pa kinailanga n ng tatay ng imbitasyon sa kasal ng anak niya? What do you want? Julian said coolly to his father. My eyes grew wide. Na parang demonyo. Tahimik lang ito. Nanginginig ang mga kamay ko na bumaba ako ng sasakyan. Say hello to your tita Doris. I was shocked. Bakit wala po kayo nung kasal namin ni Jul ian? We would have been happy kung nandon kayo. Invitation? Ang weird. I m glad to finally meet you. marami pa pala kaming gagawin. 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. Nakikpagkarerahan ba ito kay Kamatayan? Napakapit ako sa dashboard. He was tense. Hinila niya ako. I loved your mother. Mahina pero gigil kon g paalala. Mabilis kong hinila si Julian. Nice nice to see you. Act the very lovin g wife. Ni hindi na ko magtataka kung kukulutkulutin ko na ang buhok ko mamaya. Pudpod na stilettos ko. His eyes sent me a warning message. He s Biglang pinisil nito 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. hila doon. And I m happy for her coz she s not waiting an ymore for someone who hasn t seen her worth. masaya na si mommy sa buhay niya. Tears were streaming down the side of my face. Galit na tinitigan niya ako. Hanggang sa makarating kami sa patutunguhan namin. Ayoko pang mamatay! Parang naiiyak na `ko ng sumadsad ang sasakyan sa gilid ng iliko ni Julian ang s teering wheel. You loved her? Cut the crap. for the first time Julian knew how to act the gentleman. Julian?! I frantic ally searched his face for wounds. okay lang `yun okay lang na niloko ng papa mo ang mama mo past is p ast. I just want to see my son. Their fists were both clenched. Na para bang mayroon siya! Julian opened the door for me. I gritted my teeth in frustration. Hello sir. Julian please I grabbed his a rm. We went inside the grand hotel. your husband here didn t send me an invitation card. I was numb. She was in her early thirties and very much beautiful. I smiled at her politely. None. Anong sasabi hin ko Julian. How s your mom? Ayun. The man was just an older version of Julian. Your flavor of the month? Julian! Excuse my husband. With his chinky eyes. it s nice to see you again son. Halos ako at ang papa niya lang ang nag-uusap. Julian! Nagulat talaga ako. No. Leave me alone! He shouted. Julian sighed and looked bored. My heart went overdrive. Julian started laughing humorlessly. I looked at Julian then. I apologize hija. Julian ano ba! Napasigaw ako ng pinaharurot niya ang Porsche niya. Nakita kong parang aatak ihin sa puso ang papa nito. God please! Virgin pa `ko. I felt the impact of what almost happened to us. Tao lang ako. Ayokong magsalita. There was something wrong here. Pero bigla niyang tinabig ang kamay ko. Shock was the understatement of the century. Ano pa nga ba. But his pain ran deep. Sunico. Jean Rose Sunico! I didn t stop. Bi glang may sumulpot na malaking truck sa harapan naming. dad. Magtatay ba talaga ang mga ito? Umupo kami in silence at saka ko lang napansin ang babaeng kasama ni Mr. Hello Julian. Na-iim agine ko na `pagtumanda ito. Halos lumangitn git iyon. Tears were starting to form in my eyes. is that bad? He said. Na-amaze ako. Sorry sir.
Palap it ito ng palapit. Gusto kong sabihing. I sobbed louder. True. He wasn t drunk yet! Was he? Don t pull my leg Jean Do you think I m stupid? You lied to me. Parang nasasaktan. Again. Julian I just want to hel Help? That s bullsh!t. Tawang demonyo. I don t believe in love Mrs. Julian would have been with another. shut up! I m not Jean! Sinong g ustong humamon sa `kin? Mrs. Or was it my imagination? Tricia? Who s Tricia? FIVE Sabi nila best things in life are free . Okay lang sana kung desert eh. I wonder. Ang bastos talaga. And thanks t o you it won t happen anymore He looked bored and predatory. . Silence. Mabilis kong sinundan si Ju lian sa study room niya. Are you inviting me to bed Jean? Ang boses niya ah parang nang-aakit. He just shrugged. Wala na ang necktie nito. I know deep down the call had something to do with his sudden withdrawal. sana wala ako dito. Pero minsan nga kung ano pa `yung li bre siya pang mahirap kunin.. His back w as turned to me. Will you please give me peace even just for tonight? Mahina nitong sabi. His shirt was loosened. At biglang may kamay na humawak sa braso ko upang iharap a ko. Then the phone started ringing. Kulang na lang sabihin niya sa mukha kong wala kang pakialam . So he knew all a long! Bigla itong tumawa. Sunico! He roared. Dahil sa galit. I shook the cobwebs in my head. Since I want honesty between us . `Yun lang. You r e bound to me forever. kung bakit hindi ako nabingi sa pagbagsak ng decanter at pagkalabog ng pinto. I sighed again when he didn t even bother to respond. Hello? His face suddenly changed. I can t Julian. I should have known. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. Tricia. Napalunok ako habang papalapit siya ng papalapit. Yes. My back hit the wall. Ang boses nito. Is she special? Julian I jumped in surprise. Not that I care. He poured himself a glass of brandy and downed it in one swallow. Me meron ako. He had fox-like eyes. Wala nga ba Jeannie? Hindi naman siguro pinagbabawal ng batas ang pagtatano ng. Marami talagang mga sinungaling sa mundo. My eyes got misty all the more. Then he d tell me that he di dn t believe in love? Bull. bakit ako mag-aalala sa isang taong ni wala man lang pakialam sa `kin? But I do. Na para ng gagawin akong panghapunan. Sunico. His eyes were squinted in anger. Julian aren t you going to bed yet? A slow sexy smile twitched on the corner of his mouth. His eyes. She s my girlfriend of two years. Julian s-sino `yung tumawag? Ano bang pakialam mo Jeannie? I was just curious. Hindi ako bulag o bingi. He started laughing mockingly. But I believe in the sanctity of marriage. Why is it so elusive? Maybe because we cannot have everything we wanted. Parang pagod na pagod. tenderly.t magwala sa gitna ng kalsada. Then I started wetting his shirt. Well. Not that I f elt anything well. Ayun. He should have been a DJ. tinalikuran pa `ko. Life s not perfect. That T ricia must have been special for him to be like this. Like happiness. Kaya nga hindi ako nanin iwala sa sinabi ni Kim Chui na habulin mo happiness mo! Eh di kung ganon lang ka dali iyon. wala naman tal aga. Inihagis ni Julian ang coat sa couch at dumiretso sa mini bar. no he wanted to eat me alive. We are about to get married. I sighed exaggeratedly. In a split second the beast hugged me! Fiercely. maybe it was just guilt eating at me..
Champion siya 1st pl ace in a swimming competition? I gasped. I was drunk. So Mr. Soccer. Gusto kong magpakamatay. No. I s hould be thankful. Dahil ba kay Tricia? Parang bigla a kong na-possess. I closed my eyes with a prayer. Pero mali ako. Julian? No response. Parang boarder nga lang ako dito sa mansyon niya. Parang biglang umakyat lahat ng dugo ko sa ulo. hindi man ako ang pinakamatalinong tao sa mundo. What s your excuse? Dahil lalaki ka? Dahil mahina ka? And oh. Dahan dahan kong nakitang umaagos ang dugo sa kamay ni Julian. Hindi ko makuhang dalawin sina Mommy. 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. Then he raised his cle nched fist in the air. Really stared at me like I d grown two heads and a horn. My breath got hitched. Arrogant. I was just mad on my twin s ister s behalf. hindi naman sa kinukwestiyon ko si God. Minsan nga naiisip ko.So sinisisi niya `ko? Ang kapatid ko. Julian? Walang tao. in the states. Sino bang hindi? Para `kong tuta na basta na lang pinamigay. Dahil hindi na niya ipipilit ang marital rights niya. Hindi ako nagagalit. No. Then he hit the wall. you couldn t resist my charm. . the feeling was mutual. Para `kong naparalyze na nakatitig lang sa sa mukha niya. Masyado ba talaga `kong generic? Napagpapalit palit? I had never been lonelier than this. I was quite numb . His knuckles were scraped because of the impact. I felt so hurt. Yep. He was always in his study room. kapag babae ang nakagawa ng kasalanan para kang nakamatay. Love? Letseng love `yan. He didn t want to see me. Wow. Almost Perfect had the right to be Mr. hinihintay kong dumapo sa `kin ang mga kamay niya. Hindi ako pwedeng magalit. I knocked. Hindi lang siya ang nasakal. Parang kasabay nun ang pagbagal at pag lakas ng tibok ng puso ko. Wala pa siya. 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. natempt lang. Julian anong ginawa mo nung pinikot kita? He stared at me. Matutulog ako sa gabi. eh? It was too good to be true. Siguro dahil nagtatampo pa rin ako. Pero `pag sila lalaki lang sila eh. Mabilis akong pumunta sa study room. Once. It was a sin in the Sunico commandment. But there s always an exception to the rule. Akala ko walang taong ganito. Hindi ko kailangang maging si Madam Auring para ma-vibrate kong iniiwasan ako ni Julian. I thought you were He said stonily. Naglalabasan na ang ugat sa leeg nito. Tricia? Gusto kong isigaw `yun. Bakit hindi na lang kami magpa-annul? Sila pala ni Jean? Kung ganito lang din na man Oo nga pala. Pwes. Sa gilid ng ulo ko. At alam ko. It was full of hatred and remorse. Bakit lalaki lang ba ang mga tao? I slammed the door as I walked out of there. Salamat sa pagiging tsis mosa no. Wala na siya. Rugby. He was bound by the Sunico tradition. Twice. Sa saktan ba talaga `ko ni Julian? Would he resort to that? Parang gusto kong umiya k. Jean Rose wouldn t do this without a valid reason. Ano pa bang alam nito? O ma s tamang sabihing ano pa ba ang hindi nito alam? He graduated business ad. And very much no! Ang mahirap kasi sa mga lalaki. bakit nga naman hindi? Eh ako naman itong mamimikot `di ba? It was dark. Gigising ako sa umaga. Three weeks. My eyes grew wide. I was about to go out when Julian s medals caught my attention. pagiging mapagobserba ko ay narinig kong sinabi ng mommy niya na there sho uld be no broken marriages . Thrice. Kung sa bagay. He whispered angrily. It had been three weeks since then. Julian s family. May class A at class B.
May issue man ako sa parents ko. He had a broken home. Seriously. Para `kong sirang plaka na napaupo. They have the same smile though. Naso-suffocate na `ko.Pero bakit kaya may mga taong sinalo ang lahat? Katulad na lang ni Georgina Wils on. Samantalang may mga pinagkaitan hirap na nga. Then I moved on to the next picture. Hmmm Then my eyes grew wide. Tumigil ang taxi nung umilaw ang stoplight. He wasn t perfect. Mga sakim. SIX Ni hindi ko siya tinignan. `Didn t know if it was because I knew her. Pero hindi na kami makatigil kasi may MMDA dun. Oh my God. Parang gusto kong matunaw sa ngiting `yun.. Not beca use our parents forced her to do it. Maganda. Bubuksan ko pa lang ang handle ng umandar na si manong. I felt cold. Ang puso ko? And don t ask me why. Wala sa loob na sinundan ko siy a ng tingin. Sinalo lahat. He was right. Then I saw a smiling picture of him. Binayaran niya ang bahay namin. Cheap. Hindi ko din alam! I dressed quickly upstairs and took my handbag. The picture of a loving couple. I just walked past him and got out. Tricia?. Napatingin sa `kin si Manong. hirap pang iharap ang mukha. Kissing. I don t want to hate Julian. Napasabunot ako sa buhok ko. No. Then another with Julian s mom. I was in New York trying to make out on my own. They still loved me. At hindi sila ganon kasama. Very much happy. I rolled my eyes. Binayaran ni Julian ang bahay na min. Ho w could I not? I was looking straight into my own face. At least CM would make me happy. lalo lang sumasak it. My eyes grew wide. Nasan ang dad dito ni Julian? No. She turned to the lane toward the side of the taxi.. I frowned when I saw a woman crossing the street. I don t want. Eh. A notice of foreclosure from the bank. kasikatan. What the hell are you doing here? I felt weak. `yung tipong pati hanggang dulo ng kuko kaiinggitan mo. They have it all. Alam ko. Then I saw an envelope written with a Leviste on it. Tumigil lang ako ng maisara ko ang pintuan at sumandal doon. Ma yaman. Here. Or the kiss. . Nakatula la ako sa mismong picture ng dalawa. Tahimik na pumunta ako sa desk niya tinignan ang picture don. I hail ed a cab. may magagawa pa ba siya kung nandun na `ko? I was immersed into deep thoughts. h indi ito soap opera. kagandahan. A ten or so Julian. Jean I prostituted hersel f for a one and a half million. Yeah. the bod. At ang mga n ext pictures ay kasama nitong nagpi-fishing ang lalaki. Tricia Leyva? I competed with her once in a painting competition in New York. Ang isip ko sinasabing hindi ako dapat magalit sa kanya. Trying to be different from my sister All the while they were making both ends meet. So sinong dapat sisihin? Feeling ko napakaselfish ko. Sabi niya `wag ko na siyang sunduin. And my. Minsan kahit anong pilit mong ngumiti. Gusto kong magtitili. where s the fairness of life in it? And Julian was one of the Class A. I just wanted to get away from here. I started crying. he won first place in a swimming competition. with his uncle? Hindi ko kilala ang lalaki. Of course. lumil ipad sa bintana lahat ng logic .Pero kapag nasasaktan ang isang tao. Jean s face! Jean! I half shouted. Kanino ka pa ba tutungo `pag may problema? `Di syempre sa bestfriend mo. maganda kilalang kilala ko ang mukha na `yun. Para silang buong pamilya. Stolen shot. I opened it. Jean did it because she was always the good daughter. He bought Jean me. 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. Manong stop! Napakamot ito sa ulo. Yummy.
Nag-X sign pa ako n parang si April boy. Inakbayan niya `ko at pumunta kami sa pinakamalapit na Italian Restaurant. CM raised o ne brow at me. Parang gusto ko siyang batukan. I shivered suddenly. I think I have to go. no. M-my b-bestfriend in New York. He had t he biggest mouth ever. Bakit hindi? Bale-walang sabi nito. Wow. Ano `to soap opera? Salamat sa awa ha. Tumingin ako kay CM. Kay Brad! Ah ah b-bestfriend siya ni ni Jeannie! How odd I refer someone as myself. Masyado kasing napraktis. He s yummy. Ihahatid na kita. Too sweet. Ang bilis talaga ng radar nito. Hinawakan niy a ang siko ko ng tumayo ako.I mouthed. He whispered achingly. some advice.Hindi na `ko magtataka kung akalain niyang may baliw na sumakay sa kanya. Umupo ito sa tapat ni CM. Ah oo. Tumalikod. Hinatid namin si CM sa bahay nito sa Alabang. I would really melt. Kaya pala kaya pala parang hindi man la . Grabe. Pini sil niya ang kamay ko. Para kaming sira na nagsasign language. Si CM ay isang nagbabalatkayong tao este lalaki. siya ay paminta. He mouthed. Kung ganito lang san a si Julian. Jean? We both turned at the voice. I waited for CM s arrival. Nagba yad ako at mabilis na bumaba. Nagpalumbaba ako at ikinuwento lahat. At gigil na kumaga t labi pa ito. BRAD? Brad s face was polite. Sa likod ng mga fats niya ay 24/7 tumitibok ang pusong laan para kay Adan. I could melt. Yes. Kala mo naman hind i nagkita ng isang taon. Anong alam mo? You haven t known him that long. Tapos napatingin siya sa `kin . Tapos biglang t umunog `yung cellphone nito at nag-excuse. Isa pa kakatayin ko na talaga `tong si CM. halaman g dagat. 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. What if he found out the truth? That you re not pregnant? He wolfed down the pasta e nthusiastically. I bet he s going to plot murder against me. an g morbid. Eh. Baba na lang ako ng hawakan niya `ko sa braso. Yuck. Pero nakikita ko ang isandaan at isang tanong. Gross. Pinisil pisil ko `yung bic eps niya. bestfriend we could make it a story. What? I said innocently. Brad frowned. Hindi ikaw ang tinatanong! `Di ba Jeanni I sent him a warning glance. Jeannie? One brow arched. Hindi ka pa ba uuwi Jean? Nag-aalalang sabi ni Brad. Hindi gagawin ni Julian `yun. Katabi ko. In short. at si Zsa Zsa Zaturna. Goodness. Mas morbid `yun. I sighed. Ang hudas pumalakpak pa. CM rolled his eyes. CM! Lakad pa lang niya alam ko na. Parang bigla kong nalunok `yung laway ko. Then I stared at his cute f ace. Goodness. Alam mo `yun g mga ginagawa ng mga mayayaman na pinapasalvage `yung first wife nila. Agaw eksena kami ng niyakap niya `ko. Kung alam lang niya. Ako din uuwi na. I saw t enderness in his eyes. Brad this is CM. Kung pwede nga lang maghimala ako at magbuntis. Nakangiti pa. CM could help? God. At binaba ako ni Brad sa mansyon. CM smiled up at Brad. Jeannie. you know . From the b eginning `till the bitter end. He s he s Jean s ex. no. Pinanlakihan ko siya ng mata. Ahm well. Hindi kita type no. Ayan pati a ko naguluhan na din talaga. Ako? You ve know n me for three years! I thought you love me? Parang nagbago ka na. SANA. isang buwan lang naman. Three to four months? I bit my lower lip. CM? Sa tatlong taon na nakilala kita You haven t mentioned him. So what happened? I pouted. Nataw a pa nga ako ng sundan server `yung tingin sa min kay CM. His face was an inch or two away from me. Lahat-lahat ata ng sama ng loob ko kay Julian sinabi ko sa kanya. Then pigs would surely fly. Yeah. no. Oh.
Hello? Carlo Miguel Jr. Hindi naman ako manhid. from Jeannette to Jeannie Oh Jean was always just Jean. Tapos? . naramdaman kong parang may pumasok sa kwarto. Bilisan mo. Again. I whispered softly. Please call me Jeannie. My God Ju lian. Hindi naman siguro babagsak `yung eroplano no. Maliligo tayo ng sabay? Nakataas ang isang kilay nito. Ano `to napagtripan lang basta n i Julian na magtour kami sa Korea?! I bit my lower lip. Jean must be very lucky. Nawala lahat ng antok ko. Inhale. computer at alak niya. I wanted to make a way for my sister an d him. Jean.ng nagtataka si Julian. Anong gagawin ko harangin `yung eroplano? Pasabugin `y ung airport? Anong gagawin ko? We re going to fly to Korea! As in. Jean annul your marriage. Hindi rin dahil wala pang happy ending. Julian no! Binuksan niya ang shower at itinapat ako sa ilalim ng napak alamig na tubig. Jean! What! Natutulog `yung tao eh. I called CM. Niyakap ko siya ng mahigp it. are you out of your mind? It s one in the morning! Kung gusto mo ikaw na lan g mag-isa. Ang sitwasyon lang natin ang nagbago Brad. Por Diyos. He grabbed my shoulders and made me stand up. In my panic-driven state. Then I gasped. Nicknames are supposed to shorten one s name. I screamed. Kulang na lang sabih in niyang hang up na. Nakatulog ako habang byahe kaya nabigla na lang ako ng nasa NAIA na kami. Oh my God. Oh my God. Later in t he wee hours of midnight. Binabaan ako ng p hone! I tried and tried again. Me included. It s it s my nickname. exhale. Lum ayo ako lalo. At least. in that I didn t lie. I felt exhausted and slept early. No! Mabilis akong bumitiw sa kanya kahit pa ma-hypothermia na `ko. I thanked God he didn t unplugged the socket. Ganon naman eh. now! Julian frowned at me. How? Buntis na si Jean kay Julian.! Jeannie? Oh my God kung tsismis lang `yan ipagpabukas mo na. O buntis nga ba? Had sh e just said it to blackmail Julian? I hadn t seen Julian when I got home. Then som eone was shaking my shoulder. `Yun lang. Ang ginaw talaga. CM !!! The line went dead. CM I can t meet the whole Sunico clan. Grabe. May jetlag pa `ko. Sino bang may ayaw ng lalaking ganito magmahal? One in a million siya. Be with me. He walked on. He couldn t and wouldn t tell Jean and me apart. Punta ka sa asawa mo. At ipinarinig pa sa `kin ang malakas na paghikab niya. Galit na ibabagsak ko ulit ang katawan ko sa kama ng buhatin niya ko. Relax take a deep breath. Again. Por Santo! Ala-una ng madaling araw. Dahil hindi niya talaga kilala si Jean! Hindi ako ang nagbago Winner! Pwede na `kong manalo sa FAMAS. Hindi ako mapakali lalo. na-touched ako sa bestfriend ko. Julian? He didn t turn around. Anyone would want Brad for herself. He chuckled. Tinanggal ko ang kamay niya sa braso ko. 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. I heard the amusement in hi s voice. mas gusto niyang kasama `yun g mga libro. Tinakpan ko ng unan ang ulo ko at hinampas kung si no man `yung bastos na `yun. Magbihis ka may pupuntahan tayo. Tapos lumabas na ito. Wha t did he mean by that? Pinaikli naman talaga ah.
He looked bored. Tumaas ang kilay nito. Sino si Tantan? My mind was scre aming. Natatakot na talaga ako. remember? You and Tantan hit it off. The family dinner before the wedding. Sa sobrang higpit iisipin kong ayaw niya `kong pakawalan. As if he owned the world. Tinignan niya `ko. Matagal na Jeannie. He wore that devil-may-care expres sion on him. Gawin ko kaya? Ano kayang magiging reacti on ni Julian? You already met my family when they d come home. Kung alam ko lang na B. He shrugged then looked at me knowingly. ka Hindi ko napigilang hindi matawa. Oh G od. Oh my. I already and suddenly missed Philippines! As if What would I do? What should I do? Julian just slept like the dead. In disgust. Damn sexy men. He raised one brow at me. I gave him my most charming smile. I didn t want him to be suspicious. Julian I don t think this is a good idea. My hands trembled. I. I whispered when I saw his one good eye fli ckered. I bit my lower lip. argh . Then it fitted the spaces between my fingers. It should warm my heart. I know I was acting childish. Julian What? He snapped at me! Sabi ko na nga ba masamang biruin ang bagong gising eh. Wala naman siyang pakialam ` . At sa pagkagulat ko. Inis na tinanggal ko ang kamay ko sa pagkakahawak niya. He raised one brow at me. Habang n asa loob kami ng eroplano ay gusto ko ng tumalon palabas ng bintana. Gusto ko ng lumabas ng airport at sumigaw ng kidnapping. Sino si Angko? You ve met him. Hmm. As in.Yakapin mo at saka mo ikiss. CM! I then gaped at Julian. And he was also staring at me! Feeling ko nagkulay man sanas ako. Kahit papano gumaan ang pakiramdam ko ng ti nawagan ko si CM. Siguro kung wala lang sakit si Angk o His tone changed. Umupo ako sa tabi ni Julian. Mahigpit. But then I felt him. I swallowed. Bakit ba umaasa pa `kong magbabago siya? The stewardess smiled at us specifically at Julian. Malungkot. kung alam ko lang natetempt ka na ding gawin. I knew he just wanted to make the ordeal light for me. Pero parang ayaw makisama ng mga muscles ko. He was there with me. Para akon g pinasugod ng mga magulang ko sa giyera ng wala man lang dalang armas. Inirapan ko siya at umisod pakabila. But panic was overwhelming me. He wasn t looking a t me. Torrid. I pouted my lips. Grabe. Julian sm iled charmingly at her! The devil really could smile Tapos sa `kin pinagdadamot n iya `yun. padarag n a tinanggal ko `yung kamay niya sa pagkakahawak ng kamay ko. Then he sighed exaggeratedly. Pero lalo lang niya ng hinigpitan. Habang hawak niya ng mahigpit ang kamay ko sa l ap ko mismo. Julian was sitting handsomely in his Lacoste polo shirt and Levi s jeans. Parang nga. As if telling me to keep my thoughts to myself. no. `Sus. French kiss na lang. Na para bang may space akong mauusugan. SEVEN I didn t know a thing about Korea much less Julian s Korean family. 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. I tried to smile. Eh `di `wag. Unti-unting tumaas ang ulo ko. Kung narinig niya lang ang sinabi ni CM.
Excuse me? Mali ba `ko ng rinig? You re my wife. Napataas `yung kilay ko. Tapos tapos Oh God. Marami naman siyang pambili `di ba? Binalibag ko pasara ang pinto. He said softly. Then down to my Oh my I whispered. the hell I care. Galit na inunahan ko na ng bukas ng pinto bago ang steward. Sana lang pareho silang magka-sore eyes. Don t look at me like that I might fall! When we get back. Tin uro niya sa`kin ang kotse at kinuha `yung nag-iisang clutch bag na dala ko. Mayamaya sumeryoso siya. Magdurugo na ata ang lower lip ko sa sobrang kaga . I sucked in the air unconsc iously. I DON T CARE. `Pagkatapos niya `kong sabihang Sa`yo lang ako Lumapit sa `kin `yung sa tantiya `ko ay steward nila. Naka tayo pa rin ako dun. What amazed me next was when he cupped m y face. para akong na sa drama. he didn t r eally mean it. Ako din Wala sa loob na bulong ko. Wala akong pakialam kung masira man ang handle non. Seriously. Para `kong naparalyze. Na para bang wala ako dun! I gritted my teeth and closed my eyes. We ll see an Napalunok ako. Then he looked at me straight in the eye. I felt warmth in the simple gesture. Na para bang hindi siya `yung Julian na lagi akong sinisigawan. Deadma. Ganon ba talaga ang epekto ni Tricia kay Jul ian? Had he loved her that much to forget about me? Well. Oh no. We went out of the intern ational airport hand in hand. my lips. gusto ko ng maniwala. But I saw amusement written all over his face. my nose. hindi ko alam kung ako lang ang nakakaramdam non pero parang m ay kuryente. Or bet ter yet. We both stopped when we saw a woman standing in the middle of the parking lot waiting for us. Palabas na kami ng may naghihintay na sasakyan. his one left dimple. Julian stared at me. Ano nga kayang nakain nito? He gave me a coat. ako pala `yung kontrabida. Inis na nilagpasan ko sila. `Yung Julian na walang pakia lam sa `kin. Tenderly. Tricia was still as sophisticated as I remembered. At tinitignan ang reaksyon ko. I just hoped it wasn t seen as a grimace. It seemed to take an eternity. Ginising ko siya ng palapag na kami. Buti wala akong b ilbil. Para akong t-a-n-g-a na naghihintay ng himalang mapansin ni la. Ayoko sana. Bakit niya hinahawakan tummy ko? I tensed. Nakita kong natigilan si Julian. The land was very foreign to me. 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. Masama bang ma-carried away? I tried to crack a smile. Kahit magtitigan sila buong maghapon. Dapat matuwa ako sa sinabi niya. G usto kong sumigaw kay Julian at sabihing hello! I m here! I glared at his back. Like hell. Hindi niya `ko pin agbitbit ng gamit ko! Ang bait ah. What do you want? Girl boy? Hmm His chinito eyes squinted all the more. He must have been very tired because of w ork. 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. Hindi rin naman madali na maging Vice President ng isang malaking kumpanya at the age of 27. Na para bang iniisip niya talagang maig i. In another language. He was too gentle. Then they were speaking softly. we ll see an OB. And I was meeting the other woman. Tapos hinamas niya ulit `yung tyan ko. They both stared at each other. Then Julian replied quietly. Sana laging ganito si Julian Well. Anything basta healthy. ayoko pa. Binitiwan niya `ko ng kinuha niya `yung mga bag namin. mag-freeze sa ginaw. Ganon ba talaga? Normal ba talaga `yun? O ako lang `yung abnormal? I m already excited to see our baby.di `ba? There s nothing to be jealous of I gasped. He didn t speak English. My tummy. Malamig. Ano nga kaya ang magiging itsura ng baby namin n i Julian? Kamuka din kaya ni Julian? His eyes. Tapos bumaba `yung kamay niya sa leeg ko. At lalong `yung Julian na nilockan ako ng pinto. I giggled. Feeling ko nga. I could drown in those brown eyes. Bumalik na naman bigla `yung takot ko. Mayamaya lang tulog na ulit si Julian.
Julian chuckled. Na para bang nakikita niya `ko. Pero layuan niya muna ako. Julian raised one brow at us. Ah no. I felt a twinge of guilt. Pero twinge lang. Bakit ganito? Ayoko ng makita si Julian. My eyes grew wide. Sh!t. I didn t know why I felt hurt. Ipinikit ko ang mga mata ko. What did you say? Tricia turned at me. Some look Kore an. sa mood ko ngayon hindi ko feel maging chummy-chummy sa kanya. I hated this feeling. Kung alam ko lang. Lumapit si Julian. I couldn t be mistaken. Narinig niya `ko. Three to four years old. Mabilis kong iniiwas ang mga mata ko. Wake up we re here. Had the circumstanc es been different we could have been friends. Jeannie? As if naman nagulat ka! I smiled at her mockingly. Ha? Had I said my thoughts aloud? Umiwas ako ng tingin kay Julian. he was wishing me to the moon. Julian got out and took our luggag e. Tumingin ako sa kanila. Could have been. Tricia gaspe d. Naalimpungatan ako. Ganito ako kapag natetense o naiinip. I I Jeannie I met her in New York. Jean Rose was fond of kids. I hated Julian. Lalo na ng titigan akong maigi ni Julian. Julian sat in front. . Madapa ka sana. others were Filipinos. No. Then I saw the others looking at us from inside t he big yard. at hayun ang magaling na lalaki. Napatingi n sa `kin si Tricia at Julian. In the deepest part of me I felt alone. Tumalikod lang ako saglit. Chubby cherubin. Imo Jean h-hold me! Para akong mahihimatay. Biglang bumilog ang naniningkit na mga mata ng bata. Tinitigan kong m aigi ng kumalas siya mula kay Tricia. You knew each other? I groaned inwardly. `Yun lang. Julian glared at me. At ako ayoko sa bata! Ngumiti ako dito at pasimpleng pinanlakihan ito ng mata. At pasimpleng umirap. Yes. Gusto ko ng umuwi. honey she was Jeannie. Tricia had always been soft-spoken. I forgot. If I were a scheming b!tch then he s the biggest hypocr ite ever. Pagod ka Jeannie. Imo Jean! Nabigla ako ng may batang lalaking biglang tumakbo at yumakap sa `kin. When the car door opened. My eyes grew wi de. my God. Ang matatabang mga braso nito ay tumaas . Victorian style in Korea? Hmm. So? Hindi ko pinansin a ng kamay niyang nakalahad. I didn t know She whispered wonderingly. As if he could see through my lies . I m a slut in the making. Pareho kaming nagkatinginan. Jean! I laughed nervous ly. you were talking about Jean! Yes. Pagod ako. Mas malaking mansyon. Itulog mo na lang `yan. Hindi ko napigilan ang sarili ko. Then he looked at me through the tinted wi ndow sill. Maputi ito. Kami naman ni Tricia sa backseat. Julian was already embracing her! And she was crying. He frowned. That wasn t what I intended. You didn t tell me about Jea nie. Nakita kong nagkakatingin an sila sa rearview mirror sa harapan. Nag-duet kami ni Tricia. Tricia got in. Baka pa gbuhulin ko pa sila ni Julian. So are you telling me that I m a scheming b!tch? Hell. I didn t care if I sounded like one. Yes. 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. Para akong sinasakal. Kung hindi ko pa alam na tinted ang sasakyan. 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. si Tricia.t. Na parang torture. I dialed his number. Nagpapabuhat! Oh. Tapos inalalayan niya si Tricia.
Sa sobrang inis ko binitawan ko siya. Oh m y. My gaze was fixed on the grand staircase. At apo nito si Tantan. si Uncle Jin. clearly. Then Tantan kissed my nose. you re okay? Tanong ni Uncle Jin. Imo Jean! I almost groaned aloud. So he s Tantan? I groaned inwardly. Tantan smiled up at me. I m okay. No nothing. Na parang hinipan lang ng hangin.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. I didn t make it on your wedding day. I smiled at the old man. He grasped my hand. Ngumiti ito at inabutan ako ng wineglass. n o. Kung hindi ko pa ala m in my peripheral vision I saw her. Hindi ko na kaya. Napansin ko ang closeness ni Julian kay Uncle Jin. Imo Jean Yumakap ulit ito. Pinilit kong tumayo mula sa malaking kama. Hija! Kamusta ka na? Too sad. He looked real worried. I opened my eyes slowly. The patriarch of the Sunico family. And sadly the divorce of Julian s parents caused the Sunico patriarch to dis own his eldest son. Wala na `kong nagawa. He looked at me then started hiccupping. Aunt Risan. I froze in place. Kahit isa sa ka nila hindi ko alam ang pangalan. At nalaman kong kaya lang sila nan dito ay dahil sa Angko ni Julian Julian s grandfather was sick. Hindi ba ako titigilan ng batang ito? Kinarga ito ng matandang l alaki. Tricia ey ed me curiously. NOT MINE! I fainted. Me. Ayoko na. no. like the way Julian stared at me when he was suspicious. The man who had bear-hugged me earlier. Oh. There stood Julian s grandfather . Tahimik lang ako. EIGHT Jeannie! Jeannie! Damn Jeannie darling please wake up. Si Celine. Are you sure. You missed aunt Jean. Our baby he might be He frantically cupped my stomach tenderly. My eyes searched for Julian. Imo Jean let s play. He was the old man in the pictures! With Julian. No Tricia. Hindi sila matapobre like what I d expected. Nasan ako? Julian cupped my cheek softly. Then he stopped crying. Emotional stress. What have I gotten my self into? Tapos bumalik ulit ito at hinawakan ang kamay ko. Hindi okay. Kumiss ito kay Julian. I just smiled. What the hell is happening here?! Unti-unti akong tumingin sa hagdanan. darling? You got me worried We ll go to the nearest hospital. Parang ito ang pumalit sa pwestong iniwan ng papa niya. Alam mo cous. Anak siya ni Uncle Jin. Hindi ko ineexpect ito. Un cle Jin was his father s cousin. `Pagpasok namin ay niyakap ako isa-isa ng mga kamag-anak ni Julian. eh? Pagpasensyahan mo ang apo ko Jean. kay a ikaw Julian take care of Jean. Nakita ko ang mukha ni Julian. God Sssshhh Tantan don t cry. They were almost all half-filipinos half-koreans. Gusto kong maniwala Julian gusto ko. Natawa ang mga pinsan ni Ju lian at tinapik ito. No make-believe baby. NO! He was holding Tricia s hand. Then I started hiccupping. My throat was dry. Drake. Me. Some smiled at me. O kay lang po. Are you sure. Para akong hihimatayin. I wanted to g o home. I heard that one. Lahat sila naka palibot sa `kin. Reall y stared at me. You re not Imo Jean! You re not Imo Jean! He started wailing. . So Juli an s words were asking him to kiss him? Was that it? Oh. Then someone hugged me. Imo Jean s-sorryy My eyes watered. Tantan I gritted my teeth while s miling. and the res t I couldn t very well remember their names. Then I saw Julian and Tricia talking quietly fr om a corner. Uncle I w hispered tentatively. Tantan. ganyan din ako ng pinagbubuntis ko si Tantan. Emotional stress. Nakatingin ako sa batang naglalagkit ng chocolates. Me. Nagkalat ang chocolates sa mga kamay ko. H indi naman ako pinanganak na sinungaling kaya nagi-guilty din naman ako sa pamil ya ni Julian. Celine smiled at me. But I m not that stupid. Nananaginip ba `ko? Sa panaginip ko Julian was worried sick about me. Tama . He stared at me.
Gi namit kita. His rheumy eyes were still clear. Insensitive cad! What s wrong? Ha! Yes! Everything s wrong you. Parang naiiyak na `ko. Pero dinaganan niya `ko . Galit na tinitigan niya `ko. Well. darling? He said in sarcasm. Arrogance. it felt wrong and delicious. Taas noong tumingin ako sa kanya. Ang mga mata nito. At least not physically. What s wrong? I bit my lower lip from shouting at him. as if mocking me. Napalunok ako. O nag-aalala ba talaga? Tinalik uran ko siya. di sana hindi tayo parehong nakatali sa kasal na ikaw mismo ang may gawa. My heart was thundering. And g oodness. M y hands were trembling violently. Sana nanlimos ka na lang sa `kin. Jeannie Will you please go away from me? I murmured angrily as Julian touched my shoulder. me and Tricia! I clenched my teeth. They were both alike. His whole body was covering mine. Ako. Niyakap niya `ko. And it hit right through the core. Is there something wrong. Na para bang ako ang may kasalanan ng lahat. Umiiyak ang huli. 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. Julian seemed like the very devil himself. Parang bigla akong natakot sa itsura ni Julian. Nagpapakatanga ba talaga ako? He was taking his clothes off one by one. Tinanggal ko iyon ng humarap ako sa kanya. Very much like Julian. right? And you re a hypocrit e. I m already doing this. parang nag-aalala siya. Hindi naman ako nasaktan dahil malambot ang malaking kama. Magkaya kap. His fists clenched. May tungkod ito. Authority. I was amazed at what he had done next pabalyang itinulak ako ni Julian sa kama. Pagsalba man lang ng pride. Kulang na lang maging ab o ako sa apoy na nilalabas non. Ano `to stare-a-thon? The muscle on his jaw flexed furiously. Ju lian was dead serious. You ruined both our lives. I was sudd enly afraid. No! O. Julian don t do this. I screeched and clawed his face. My God. He di dn t look as if he was sick. Ewan ko. Eh. sonja? Napatingin ako sa mukha ng Angko ni Julian. Please Julian Tama ka. Realization hit me all at once. Hindi ako makahinga sa bigat niya. Niyakap ako ni Tant an sa leeg. Nobody assiste d the old man. Jean nie Nakita ko si Tricia. Now. Gigil na itinaas nito ang baba ko. The rise and fall of my chest rubbed against his. But there was definitely something about his grandfather t hat made me fear him. I looked over my shoulders Lamp shade? Brush? No! I can t hurt him. Natakot ako bigla. Bulong ko. I sighed. Inihiga niya ` ko sa kama. At may mahal din akong iba. The corner of his lips twitched lazily. Julian s face darkened. para makuha ko ang titulo ng bahay namin. In the first place. My eyes grew wide I thought it might p opped out. mapapatawad ko na sana `tong batang `to. Nagti tigan kami. No that would stomp my damned pride. Sabi nito sa mataas na tinig. . He became withdrawn. Pilit kong iniaatras ang katawan ko papuntang headboard. Diyos ko. He pulled off his coat. Right.At sana hindi dumating `yung panahong I d start really hating you. pati ako naguguluhan. tukso layuan mo ako! Julian no My eyes grew wide. Nakita kong unti-unt ing nag-iiba `yung expression niya. wala siyang kara patan magalit. Because I m good at giving back to charities and you re one of them. he was clad with his Levi s Ganon kabilis. Overwhe lming anger and desolation. Sa likod ng isip ko nakikita ko sila ni Tricia. He s got grit and pride. I know an insult when I heard one. Do I need consent in raping my wife. You love Brad. I pushed him hard on the chest. Are you going to rape me? I whispered angrily. Jeannie. Narinig ko ang pagsara ng pinto. He didn t quite budge. Tatakbo ako mula sa gilid ng hapitin niya ang bewang ko. Na parehong meron kay Julian. Ginamit kita para makuha ko ang gusto ko. But oh my. And let s face reality may mahal kang ib a. Let s get her to rest. Sadly. Hindi niya `ko maririnig na magmakaawa. His face was so close I c ould smell his breathing. ang pangalan ng pamilya mo . Wala n a `kong pakialam kung magalit siya sa `kin. He wouldn t hurt me. I saw red. Bakit ako masasaktan? Siguro kasi natatapakan pride ko bilang babae. I gasped. Pero lalo niya lang hinigpitan.
. wala kang karapatan dito . Then he kissed me th ere. Ro ughly. No Yes no then he was claiming what he shouldn t. we weren t in pu rgatory. You love Brad? Let s see. I was half-naked. Then his lips landed on the side of my neck. Nanghihina na `ko. Pilit akong nagpupumiglas mula sa hawak niya . Not l ike this Julian! Then his lips trekked down my neck. But I did. I saw the bitterness written all over his face. Gusto k ong sabihing family matter `to. Hindi niya kailangang magsalita para mari nig ko `yun. Napatingin kami sa doctor. My God. I opened my mouth to protest. She was just a family fr iend. Uncle Jin s mouth was slacked. SAVAGELY. He was tense. No one owns me He claimed my mouth not too gently. I love Brad I love Brad I shouted at him. Wala na siyang ginawa kundi sa ktan ako. Na para bang magkakaroon ng Wo rld War III. Itinulak ko siya ng malakas. Surely. He was already kissing me. Parang gusto kong yakapin si Julian. And I bet he hated the responsibility. He wanted to see Mr. Sanjo come here. Tahimik lang si Julian . Galit na sinabi nito. War of emotions. Then his hands were there touching me. We were in a war. Without clothes on now. I tried hard to close my mouth from his i nvasion. I started crying. Marahan niyang hinimas ang tyan ko. His eyes were blazing Then he fisted my hair up that tilted my face in the air. Julian Sunico and his wife. You re mine. yet I couldn t name . Th e soon-to-be patriarch of Sunicos. `Yung parang tinatawag na ni Sa n Pedro. Ho? Julian pushed me. He s dying! We went to the hospital as soon as we got our clothes on. then tears one by one pooled down my eyes. Nakita ko si Tricia na nakatingin sa `min habang nasa labas ng ICU. Hungrily. Angko Julian and him spoke quietly in Korean language. Then he went out of the door. openly. War of heat. JUST. Julian! Angko s rushed to the hospital. Then he looked down at me at my bare shoulders and flimsy black underthings. I hate him. Julian? Julian? We both turned at the frantic sound at the door. In bed with a man who thought I was someone else. Ganoon ba `ko kababaw? Sinisigawan niya `ko lagi. parang biglang nag-init ang buong paligid. He was now the heir. His hand clutched the side of my neck. It was like I couldn t do anything anymore. Ang mukha ng lolo ni Julian. No. He roughly tore my blouse off me. Sa pagkabigla ko Oh my God! I cried out. Pilit kong iniiwas ang mukha ko. Something I felt strongly. And I couldn t help falling for him. But the devil was kissing me. We were still in Korea.Tumaas lang ang kilay niya. But it only ignite d something more more that I wanted. Umiiyak na ang mga pinsan nitong babae. And I felt a little sympathy for this old man even though I had met him a few hours ago. Open up for me Jeannie His voice was hoarse. He was trying to hide the p ain. The buttons popped. I closed my eyes ti ghtly. Nagsabog ang buhok ko sa k ama at sa mukha ko. I shouldn t be feeling this way. Carnally. Touching my stomach. And I tasted blood there. And now I love hi m. Para akong masosuffocate sa loob ng hospital suite. Tapos hinawakan niya `yung kamay ko. Then he kissed me.
I couldn t help being left out. He needs you. Hmm He took my hand. With me. Para kaming . Kay Tric ia lang. Nakita ko ang biglang p agmutla ni Uncle Jin. no. Uncle Jin tried to pacify h im. I know I know He chuckled hoarsely. I m old but I m not stupid. My eyes grew wide. Jeannie could paint. Ho? Para na akong parrot na paulit ulit. Pero ako si ako si Jean. why didn t you tell me? He gritted his teeth. Julian! Celine said authoritatively. Natatakot akong bak a hindi ko matupad ang promise ko kay Angko. Alam ko kung pano magalit ang leon. whatever happens take care of Julian. His wrinkled chinky eyes seemed tired. naniniwala akong bumabalik ang mga kaluluwa kung may unfinished business. Before we knew it. hindi naman ako ganon kasama. Then his hand went limp. Jin. Julian s father was red about the face. Promise me. I nodded. Too fast. Gusto ko siyang lapitan. I m sorry. Ayokong ako pa ang maging dahilan ng pagkamatay ni Angko. Tahimik lang siya these past few days. What the hell Ang hirap pumagitna sa mga nag-uumpugang bato. Aunt Risan looked worried. I shook my head. you ll never hurt him. I wished you could paint the whole family. I was kinda shocked. It was too swift. NINE Julian was withdrawn the whole burial service. Promise me. Cremated. We were out of the embassy when we saw Julian s father. What if what if Julian turned to his father in anger? O h. we. 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. At isa pa. Syempre. It s over. Pinagtitinginan na kami ng mga tao sa paligid. Gusto kong sabihing ako? Ako pa ang mananakit kay Julian? Apo niya nga talaga it o. pano kung balikan ako ni Ang ko? Diyos ko. Hindi man ako inborn na mabait. Parang gusto kong maawa dito. Julian moved forward. But he gave me that look that said back off . Promise. Promise. Yakapin. Natatakot ako. I-comfort. Eh. The Old patriarch of Sunicos were now gone. Please make my sanjo happy h-he h-he had the full responsibility now.Angko He smiled sadly. I wanted to tell him. What is over Jin? You tell me! You know it would never be over unless Galit na siga w nito at tumingin kay Julian. went back to the Philippines. Will you get out of here? You re not a Sunico! Julian hissed silently. He s dead. `wag naman sana. Julian never needed me. nasasaktan din ako. I heard you are good at painting. Umiyak na `ko. meaning almost all of the Sunicos. After the third day. With Tricia. Promise me His voice was ho arse. At least.
The n there were papparazzis. gwapo pala ni Julian Sunico I w ouldn t wonder why Tricia chose him over me. Sunico. Ako? I felt alien. My phone vibrated. CM I would tell him the truth. Susuko na ba talaga ako? My hands were cold.. Anong panama ko kay Tricia? She knew a lot. Wala talagang mabuting idulot si CM. I saw the headlines. women have a nurturing nature. What do you think will Julian feel? Another blow? Dammit. Tamang tama para sa okasyon. Where s your sense of honor dad? Sana hindi na lang kita naging tatay! Julian was making guttural sounds. Julian was remote. God. Wala ng dialogue na bata ka pa . Iyak ng iyak si Tantan ng magising. Hindi ko siya ma-t ake. I rolled my eyes. Sabi nila. I gave up. Nagpapawis. When I turned eighteen. And I never wanted to run for an ulirang anak awardee. Independent. I d tell him later about everything. Wrath and envy. Mas matalino sa `yo kapatid mo.. Dumating ang mga bodyguards ni Uncle Jin. Hindi. Julian please stop it. Ayoko na. Tricia was with him. Wala ng curfew. artista ka na. Aunt Risan phoned someone. Hi Oh. totoo naman palang sinabi nila. Excuse me lang Carlo Miguel Jr. Para akong naestatwa. She understood him about his family. Magpabuntis ka kaya kay papa Brad? I cut the line off. Ilang beses ko na bang sinabi: Wala a kong balak sundan ang yapak ni Rizal. Tonight. Because he needed it t hough he wasn t asking it.nasa slow motion scene habang nakita namin kung pano tumaas ang kamao ni Julian sa mukha ni Mr. She looked pretty and sophiscated in her pink dress. CM. Pero paano ang panga ko mo kay Angko Jeannie? Hindi ko na kaya. Sa tingin mo. At hin . I know. Pwede ng makulong. Hindi ka si wonde rwoman. There was more to this than I couldn t put a finger on. Nasa kabilang sasakyan si Uncle Jin kasama sina Celine at Tantan. I felt exhilarated. I was mourning my heart out. Where the hell had they come from? Tricia hugged him from behind. Then I sighed. We ll have a press conference later. Eve rything. Julian closed his eyes. this is the right time to do that? I I don t know. sa pagkakatanda ko never kang pinagnasaan ni Tricia back in New York. Why? Kasi feeling ko malaya na `ko m ula sa manipulasyon ng parents ko. In fairness ha. At lalong hindi ko na kailangang magsinungaling na may project par a lang payagang gumala. you know. However unreasonable it may be . I remembered telling Jean this: Jean `wag mong i-save ang mundo. Hello? Wow. I chose black. CM I ll talk to you later. Ako?. wala. What! Think it over Jeannie. Tricia smiled at me. and men will always be boys at heart. Muy. Pero anong ginagawa ko? Gusto kong protektahan si Julian. Like I was an altogether different person. I bit my lower lip. Mapagpanggap ka. I know I m committing two of the seven deadly sins. Don t cause any more scandal than we have now Even Celine was c rying. At ang hitad tumawa pa. I gritted my teeth. At lalong hindi ako magtataka kung ba kit siya pinikot ng kapatid mo. hindi ako nagi ng mabuting anak. LEGAL. I gave up Juli an. May kumatok. Pero ang m agulang ay magulang. She was crying now. Talo ako. They have reasons. Painful. But you know what? I still wanted to reach out to Julian. I saw Tricia squeezed his hand.. 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. I took a step back in horror. Ano naman nandyan naman si Tricia! He would feel betrayed. Inayos ko ang gown ko sa harap ng salamin. mag-boyfriend at uminom.
I shrugged. He was a bit taken aback. Hindi rin naman kita gusto. Kasabay ng paglabas nito ng pinto. That s a mistake. Wala akong dapat ikahiya. I couldn t risk being seen with him. he was inviting me to taste the forbidden app le. had I? Jean always t old me how transparent I am. Breathe out. Just a peck. Jeannie He groaned. Maganda naman ako. Then I remembered what happened. Tapos nanlaki `yun g mga mata ko. It was deserted. It s alright. Jeannie I I shrugged and went forward. Pero tao lang po ako. If you don t. I swallowed. Julian? I smiled and turned around to see Brad?! You called me last night. Two steps. Kumain na tayo. Oh. me and our baby. Tricia was challenging me. Parang naririnig ko pa `yun. Dahil sa pagkaparalyze ko hindi ako makapag-react. I know it s you Jeannie. I m not a hypocrite Jeannie. Tsk. Parang nanlamig ang buong pagkatao ko. I don t feel good around you. I ll take Julian away from you.Ito ba ang k aya mong i-give up? Akala ko ba si Eba ang dahilan kung bakit nagkasala ang buon g daigdig. Then I tried to smile at him. Uncle Jin said from out of nowhere. My eyes grew wide. Tuta l huling gabi ko na ito. Gutom na `ko. I was out looking for Julian. Jok e lang ni Brad. I saw him tensed. And his voice like hell. You don t have to wor Julian was leaning gorgeously against the doorframe. Tricia ayokong makipagplastikan. Ayan. you know me. A slow grin played about the corner of his lips. no! I hadn t said my thoughts aloud again. But beca use you took Julian from me. my eyes squinted. Three. Three days ago. Tumalikod na siya. I sucked in my breath. The ot her hand on his pocket. I rea lized one thing: Hindi ko kayang i-give up si Julian! Dinner time. Ikaw Jea nnie mag-prepare ka na. I wanted t o spit fire at her. Brad. Nagulat ako ng biglang may yumakap sa`kin from behind. One step. Julian let go of my hand. If you don t. I wan t this marriage to work. I d tell him tonight. Parang sirang plaka.ihiling kong sana y hindi ko na makita ever si Tricia. Oh. And in that moment. Sa ginawa niyong magkapatid. His han ds automatically wrapped around my waist. And I promise you My jaw dropped. He clutched at me frantically. his tux on one hand. Not personally. Lumingon ako. parang hindi naman. I closed my eyes and kissed hi m. Thirty minut es later. You . Alam ba ng lahat? You knew? She nodded. Bakit hindi ka dumating? Ano?! Ano bang pinagsasabi nito? Was he into drugs also? Dahil sa kagandahan ko? Ang lupit talaga ng kamandag ko. I ll take Julian away from you. I d rather eat you for dinner. Lumiko ako sa kabilang room. Pilit kong inaalis ang mga kamay ni Brad sa bewang ko. Ano ba Jeannie! Magtino ka nga Para kang naka-drugs. Had Jean c . I love you. You re blushing. Please take care of Julian. Touching my closed lips light against his. I I ve always been alone. I tiptoed and wrapped m y arms around his neck. Parang gustong lumabas ng puso ko. Parang namanhid `yung buong katawan ko. I want to have a big family. Lumapit ito. L ike hell. Lumabas na ako at pumunta sa conference room. Tricia cupped Julian s cheek! Kitang kita ko `yun mula sa salamin. I m with Julian last night and I was wrong Jean! Once run away with me. Patatawarin kita sa ginawa mo. Thirty minutes. Later His eyes burned pr omise. A fresh start. My God. I blushed. Bakit hindi ko pa sabihin lahat? She smiled at me. Nothing more. This was one big hell of a joke. Kaya nga nagtataka ako kung bakit magaling din akon g magsinungaling. Julian! For Christ s sake! The reporters are already here.
No response. Tumakbo ako palabas. PAIN. Eh. And I hurt Julian. 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. Ah ewan.alled him last night? No Brad listen I m not Jean Rose. Julian She loves me Julian. The Great JULIAN SUNICO wouldn t cry over a woman. I would underst and if he showed anger. I swore my life was doomed as Julian stared coldly at me. Then the door opened. I saw something luha? No. I caused another scandal. I failed Angko. ang lola ng lola ko ang p amangkin ng anak ni Gabriela Silang. `Yung pag-aagawan naming `yu ng bidang lalaki. For the win pala itong si Tricia! Naiiyak na sana ako nun eh. His eyes. I thought it was in the movies or telenovelas. Twice. I m setting you free. Julian lis ten to me! I pleaded. mahalaga pala ako sa kanya. Even though you couldn t define it. Someone gasped. NO over me. ma am sabi po ni sir. Kapag bukas ko ng pinto madilim. Yes. Th e reporters were forgotten. Unless you fell in love like this. Wala siyang alam! No! I whispered. I m He was already kissing me! My head spin. Sabi ni mommy. Flashes of cam era. O dapat pang sabihin. Hindi ba dapat nagse-celebrate siya at hindi na . I clutched at his arm. Mas kaya ko pang i-handle ang galit na Julian. Hindi niya kasalanan. He was sitting on his swivel chair. Tapos may humawak ulit sa braso ko. I failed. Unless you knew wh at love really meant. No It hurt as I stared coldly at his back. I wasn t knocking now. Bakit ko ba naisipang mag-give up? I never had that in my v ocabulary. Pwede pala kaming friends. Hindi dapat mandamay ng inosent eng nilalang. Set us free. Oh my God. Feeling ko masusuka a ko. Jeannie. Parang biglang nawala ang lakas ng loob ko. I stood there motionle ss. Nawala na ang overdramatic mood ko kanina. Kay Julian. May pills kaya itong dala sa loob? Wire? Rope ? Knife? Grabe naman. `wag daw po siyang gambalain. And opened the damned door. Nakataas ang paa nito sa drawer. Since. Hindi ko na natapos kung ano man ang sasabihin ko. Para akong pinagbagsakan ng langit at lupa. iba ang pakahulugan sa `kin non dati. Ako si Jeannie Rose Leviste. Posible pala. The paparazzi. Bwisit na b inabalibag ko na ang pinto. I failed Tricia. by the end of the day I wouldn t wonder if I woul d be six feet underground he was going to kill me. Julian open this damned door! Ma am What! I tried to calm my nerves. Ahm. The door was locked. Once. WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK ARE YOU DOING?! Tricia half-screamed half-whispered. Jean what the hell do you think are you doing to me? TEN I knocked on the door. his deadly glance. Julian! I gritted my teeth in anger. Tricia we re regarding me with an accusing stare. What I saw in his face tore my heart into pieces. Si Brad. I m sorry. My heart stopped. Okay. Then he walked away. At natakot ako kasi. Nalunok ko pa ata ang nanunuyot kong laway. Julian Na kita ko ang nagsabog na mga beer bottles. Tricia yelled at me earlier in the ho tel suite and took me out of my reverie. Then he turned his back on me. No! Bakit hindi ako makasigaw? Julian turned to me. I turned on the lights and saw Julian s back. 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. `Wag gambalain? Bakit ano bang himala ang ginagawa niya sa loob? Gigil kong sabi. Siguro h indi niyo ko maiintindihan. I d us e the word banging now. my jaw almost dropped.
Nataob ko ang bataan. Parang nag-init ang punong tenga ko. Bad `yan ha. Bingi ba ito? Ayoko. He started laughing demonicall y. That chest would hav e been illegal to cover! Payag na `ko. I gulped Could n t I just look up and not on his chest. There. Men are men. At galit na tumayo ito. Payag na `ko. The first time. I m not talking to your back. Whatever. Na para bang bago pa sa `kin `yun. Why wasn t he doing a thing? We were just standing there him touching me. 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. Screw. I swallowed against his deathly grip. `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. Bosom is for inbred ladies. If we re going to do it. His brow arched. Ayan. I winced at the brutal words. Oh. Payag na `kong magpa-rape sa `yo Julian. Papayag ka din sa a nnulment. Dalagang Pilipina ako no. Nabasa ko `ya n before. we ll only be screwing. Ang mga singkit niyang mat a lumaki at bumilog. You fvcking love him. Mas nakakahiya naman kung ako pang humigit sa kanya sa kama `di ba? Oh. Second time. My eyes grew wide. Tumawa ito na parang nang-aasar. Gusto ko sanang sabihin `yun. give me strength. here in the library. Hindi ako magpapatakot sa damuho nato. Up to my neck. Payag na `ko. I want an annulment.gpapakalasing? Eh. Bulong ko. He caressed my neck gently . D ry. And then his big hand gripped me. Alam ko kasalanan `tong gagawin ko. See? He laughed out mockingly. I put it on my na. Lumaki ang mga mata ko. I felt him moved a little. Ju lian. He was trying to intimi date me. Ang mga butones ng polo shirt nito ay nagkandakalas. He always did that that menacing steps. Nababaliw na ata talaga ako. I m right. With consent bosom. I blinked thr ice. What the hell do you think are you doing? I was amazed. Sabi ko. n o. I should have known. they were born w ith long and sharp tongues. At hindi napagi-iwanan si Julian! Did he think his w ords would hurt me? Kilala ko na siya. You wanted out of this marriage because of that SOB. Then I took his hand and put it on my I swallowed first.. His eyes glinted. Naglalabasan na ang ugat nito sa leeg. Tapos lumapit siya sa `kin. His teeth gritted. Hoarse. The more he was hurt. I swore Julian s eyes grew wide. Oh lord. eh `di tinab lan ka ngayon! I wanted to shout victory. three days ago. darling making love is only women s term. The tic on his adam s apple moved. Julian What! Pack your things and get out of my house! He whispered angrily. bakit Jeannie may kasama namang alak kapag nagse-celebrate `di ba? Hell. He swung the swivel chair roughly. My eyes grew wide.. His neck tie was scattered on the desk. Then his err erri ng hand cupped my hmm. the more he lashed . Bakit mo ipagpipilitan ang sarili mo sa `kin kung nandyan naman si Brad? Parang biglang bumalik ang animosity nito. was I? His eyes squinted anew. I hated to admit it. My I sighed silently. didn t you? Wouldn t you scream his name if we were going to To make love? I supplied nervously. I was that desperate. Julian listen to me I want to come clean. no t down but up. Then his hand moved. Hindi ito lu milingon. It was a little bit awkward and delicious? I moaned inwardly. Hindi. I whispered and swallowed sharply.
mommy. Hindi ako nagtatatalak sa kanya. Do you know what I want to wring your lovely neck right now. Nagkatinginan kami ni Julian. Good morning mommy. Oo nga po. Then I heard a loud crash. Kailangan kong malaman ang d eepest and darkest secret nila malay mo. Para tuloy may nagsasabi sa `king may hindi mangyayaring maganda. Anong nginingiti-ngiti mo dyan? Ano bang problema nito? Panira ng araw. may psychic ability kam i nitong si Julian. Ang hininga niya. Napaka-contagious ng aura nito. Biglang tumaas `yung sulok ng bibig nito. We ll ha ve an annulment after you give birth. Negative vibes. I whispered. Tapos umupo na kaming lahat. I could see that. At isinara ko ang pinto. And you can marry your SOB of a lover. Tawa ng tawa sa `kin mommy ni Julian. Balae? Napalunok ako. Minsan naiisip ko. He was pus hing me away. But what the hell was CM doing in here? Sabi ko na nga bad vibes. given. Good morning Philippines! Good morning World! Good morning mommy! I kissed Mrs. God. sir may bisita po kayo. Must have been the china vase that caused millions. Wit h her mom. Itinaas niya ang baba ko. Julian you can t run away from me. May batas na ba dito sa bahay ang bawal ngumiti Jules? I saw his teeth gritted. Akala lang nila si Jean ang matalino no. para may maipam-blackmail ako kay Julian . Inaalagaan mo bang maigi itong si Jean? He snorted. I secretively smiled. She s Jeannie s bestfriend. Okay. I bet he was wondering what on earth was happening to me. Tapos tinitigan ni ya si CM mula ulo hanggang paa. so my mommy s here. Ang tanong paano ko manganganak? Paano kung hindi ako pumayag? He shrugged and took to his drinking again. Then from the do orway came Oh my God. 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 turned around before opening the door. Julian kissed my mom s cheek. He said very politely. Tapos tinitigan niya `ko. If I kill you there would b e justice. Ah Julian si CM. It was like I could take on the world. You wouldn t do that. Parang outsider din ang mommy ni Julian sa family Sunico. I whispered. it didn t matter. Tinitigan n iya `ko ng masama. Su nico on the cheek. Ganon din si Julian. Rape nga `di ba Inis kong sabi. Hin di ako nagagalit. I pouted. I wouldn t be bothered by his cruel words. Morning. Dapat talaga naglagay ako ng banga sa harap ng p intuan para hindi nakakapasok ang masasamang espiritu sa bahay nila Julian. mas mayaman ka kay Brad? I smiled b!tchily at him. Hindi ko alam kun g bakit energetic ako at masaya. What is it hija? She smiled at Julian. Mukang masarap ang tulog mo hija Too bad I hadn t seen Julian s grandfather. Mommy Ma am. And take note: with consent. amoy tsiko na. CM? Mommy? Marahan akong tumayo at ngumiti sa kanila. And one more thing Julian. Bakit kita hihi walayan eh. Our mommy now. My mommy smiled. Parang gusto kong manghina. ako din kaya. Yes. Tinanggal nito ang kamay sa leeg ko. Seven months. Ahm . O isa lang talaga lagi `yung expression niya.back. Baliw na kaya ako? Kapag baba ko ay nakita kong nagbebreakfast na sa lanai si Julian. He wiped his mouth with a napkin. thank you for stopping Julian from killing me last night. Paano mo `ko papakinabangan kung patay na `ko? He sighed. Ano pa bang dapat sabihin? Julian became withdrawn again. At siya? He didn t even g ive me a glance. Shut up Jeannie . Your bestfriend? Lumingon sa `kin si Julian. M arami naman siyang pambili eh.
sorry. Julian raise d one brow at me. Then I made mewling sounds like I w as going to throw up. Julian was still scrutinizing me. Bottle B. Let me see. I m glad to finally meet you CM ex tended his hand toward Julian. CM smiled at me. Really? One brow arched. kitang-kita ang pagkabuhay ng katawang lupa ni CM sa mga mata niya. Ah. Ahhh. What the hell? Mom what s this? Pills. Two vials. Ang mga mata ni Julian parang lobo. Ay grabe. halika na t mag-breakfast na tayo. Politics. Here. It was now or never. Pero hindi eh. He eyed Julian like my husband was the meal. Then I gasped softly. Julian tugged my hand. Hindi ko gusto `yung tingin niya sa `kin. A box of chocolates. Tila ayaw pa ng makisama! Ganyan din ako ng nagbubuntis ako kay Julian hija I smiled secretively. Suspicious. Parang nanigas ang panga ko sa pag-smile. Jeannie. Jean Rose finished commerce. Napatayo silang tatlo. Really. In front of me was a box of chocolate-flavored c-o-n-d-o-m-s! ELEVEN My hands trembled. errr Masusuka ata ako. Oh? Naalala ko tutal tapos ka naman ng business administration. Balae.Yeah. Julian. Makakatulong `yan in future references. I smiled at Julian s mom. how could I? Kung mommy ko pa m ismo ang nagtutulak sa `king gawin ito. T sismis. Pinanlakihan ko siya ng mga mata. hija? What k ind of chocolate? A box of chocolates. Tapo s sumabog ang laman niyon sa lamesa. Hinimas ni mommy ang likod ko. Julian butted in. 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! . Plan A and B. Anong gagawin ko? Wala akong alam! Ano ano nga pala ang mga pinaglilihian mo hija? Parang hindi naman siya naglilihi. Tumaas ang kilay nito. Ayokong bitawan ang paper bag. . Feeling ko lulubog ako sa kahihiyan. Later everybody was well and good. We re bestfriends. Biglang binawi ni CM kamay niya at tumuwid ng tayo. so why don t you take on the job? Bigla akong nahirinan. God. Usap. Bottle A. And fashion Lahat nag-uusap save Julian. My mom bit her lower lip.. He snorted at me. Barakong barako. CM an o ba `yang pabango mo ang baho! Itinulak ko si CM. Tinakpan ko ang bibi g ko. I forgot to give my gift. CM s eyes grew wide. Inabot niya sa `kin ang isang maliit na paper bag. Ni hindi man lang hinimas `yung likod ko! Ahm talaga po? Maganda `yan. Na para bang ewan ko. It was like a tug o war between us. Sh!t. Tinitigan ko siya. I know you ll surely love it. Weather forecast. May ipapatayo nga pala akong business hija. Tumabi sa `kin si CM. I smiled too sweetly. I opened the paper bag. Tapos bigla akong humawak sa tyan ko.. I m not very particular with gays. Actually may mga gay friends din kami sa New Ahurm. Ang boses. How dare you CM ! What is it? My mom asked.
I winced in pain again. Okay lang sana kung hihiga ak o. 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. Goodness. Okay na `ko. Then I reached out to h im. Tinuro ko `yung dibdib niya. Viagra? As if Julian needed i t! Hindi naman ako magtataka sa kakayahan ni Julian kaya lang. What do I need pills for? Anak there s no other way. He was so caring and v ery sweet! Gusto ko siyang ipapapak sa mga langgam. He g lanced at me boringly then shrugged.Alam ko. Ano bang ginawa ko para parusahan ako ng Diyos Julian? Naging mabuting tao naman ako. Naiiyak na pinunasan ko ang mga mata ko. Para akong bata. Dammit. karma na ba ito? Jeannie? Biglang bumukas `yung pinto. Ito give this to him one hour before you go to bed. Right at this moment I was wishing he could fall into a ditch. Mayamaya lang I felt something pierced within my tummy. Pinipilit ko namang sundin ang sampung utos ni Go d. And he sla mmed the door to my face. Jeannie! He gritted his teeth in horror. Pero sa isip lang `yun! Huwag kang magnakaw.. Me? Jeannette Rose Le viste? Pumunta ako sa CR at naghilamos ng mukha. Lobo na pala a ko at si Julian ang ihahapunan ko. Shrugged! My God he was so inconsiderate. Masakit talaga sa may bandang puson. Oh. Kun g hindi ko pa alam. Huwag papatay. mabango. Ha? Anak ka ng magaling ang plano ni mommy! Breathe in. I hissed. Na glalawa na ang ilong ko kakasinghot.. . Tapos parang namimilipit na naman ulit sa s akit. Tapos bigla akong tinalikuran! Wow. Masama pakiramdam ko. see? Obedient pa nga ako `di ba? Akalain mong gawin ko ang utos ni mommy na lagyan ng ecstacy pills ang inumin ni Julian. My God. O kaya magbula bigla ang bibig niya. Lalong sumasaki t. Sa sobrang inis ko yumakap ako kay Julian. It won t work this time. Para alalayan ako. Get dressed. Thank you. Tears were starting to form again. Una lagi si papa God sa listahan ko kasunod lang si Julian na akala ata siya ang Diyos. One hour later. salamat sa singahan. Tinitigan niya `ko. magkukunwaring tulog sa tabi niya. In fairness. J eannie! What the I blew out on his polo shirt. My mom brushed an invisible tear on her left cheek. I gritted my teeth. I smiled at him sweetly. Don t pull that act on me Jeannie. violation of human rights ang ginagawa ko sa sarili ko! Pwede kong kasuha n ang mga magulang ko. malay ko ba baka sakaling pagtingin ko sa salamin iba na pala pagkatao ko. Ikaw na lang. Hindi ba ganon ang pikot? Either that or ecstacy pills! NOT ADVISABLE. Breathe out. `di ba? Ilang beses ko lang pinagpaplanuhang patayin si Julian sa isip ko. Magtat aka pa ba ako kung saan ako nagmana? Magaling ding umarte `tong mommy ko eh. This is this is Grabe. Clean. Ako na pala si Angel Locsin. Napakapit ako sa sink. May pupuntahan tayo. Hindi ba Julian? Mabait naman ako bakit ako nagkakaganito? Ngawa ako ng ngawa. Magbihis ka na. My eyes grew wide. Grabe ang sakit-sakit talaga ng puson ko. Tinignan niya `ko na para bang nababaliw na `ko. Tapos tinignan niya `yung basang parte ng polo niya. Pano kung napasukan niya `kong nagyu-urinate? Or worst nagbabawas ng sama ng loob? Oh? Gigil kong sabi. magtatanggal ng damit. Ano bang nangyayari sa `yo? Bakit ka ba sumisigaw? My eyes watered. Ni hindi man lang marunong kuma tok. Respetuhin mo ang iyong ama at ina. She s giving me a dose of ahm.
Wala naman masyado. but his touch lessened the pain. The lines around his chink y eyes became soft. Hindi ko pa naman sinasabing supe r okay na kami ah. He sighed. But I saw through his façade. Gusto nila sila ang hari. Ahm no comment ako dyan. So sinamantala ko na. Nagiging habit na a ta niya `yun ah. Liars go to hell. biglang nawala `yung antok ko.Hindi ako sumisigaw. Julian Ano? Inis na lumingon siya sa `kin. Tricia I m sorry. Honey AHEM! . Jeannie. My eyes grew wide. Grabe. Iba ang admiration sa lust. I could see that. NAIA? Oh. Mga walang puso. Ang hirap maging babae. I wanted to sleep and never wake up. I thought you re not coming. mood swings I snorted. I didn t care when he stared at me in confusion. Bak it hindi ko man lang nakita? Tsk. I put his hand on the spot just below my ( `wag kulay berde) tummy. Of course. Ano ba kasing masakit? Gusto kong mapaantanda. Pinagnanasaan mo ba `ko? He was astonished at first. I pouted prettily. my God. Naghihikab na sumunod lang ako sa kanya. Alam niyo naman po `yung white lies `di ba God? Huwag kang magnanasa sa hindi mo pag-aari. Ano ba `yan Ang bilis naman! Kung ano ano kasi iniisip ko. Kung hindi pa sigaw na tawag `yun eh ano? So bulong pa `yun ganon ? Huwag kang makikiapid sa hindi mo asawa. Parang tumataas ang altapresyon ko. Are you sure this one was Julian? He was lau ghing cheerfully. Ito ba ang dahilan? Napasigok ako. Tumango lang ako as if saying go on . Mom told me that there would be times like this you getting emotional on me. Huwag kang magbibintang at huwag kang magsisinungaling. Ano ba! I hated it. Period. Eh `di sana h indi mo sa `kin binigay si Julian! Ikaw din papa God ang may kasalanan. Tap os bigla siyang tumawa. Muntik na `ko dun. Can you please keep quiet? Lalong lumakas `yung hikbi ko. He whispered. He cleared his throat. I smirked and peer ed at the scenery outside. Ano ba Hindi ko naman pinagnanasaan si Ju lian ah. Mood swings? Mero Buntis ka rin? Inirapan ko siya. Parang bumata siya ng isang taon. Sumanda l ako sa upuan at hinimas niya `yung parte kung saan ko nilagay `yung kamay niya . Sa puson. Wala pa. Isa lang bata pa naman tala ga siya. No. we re here! My teeth clenched. Hinimas-himas ko `yung puson ko. Huwag kang magnanasa sa hindi mo asawa. Masama talaga epekto sa `kin `pag -FOOL moon. Hindi ko napansin na nakatulog na pala ako. Nakapamulsa si Julian. Honey I Ahem! Lumingon sila sa `kin. Of course not. Malls. Establisments. Does this me an I m going to hell also? I groaned inwardly. Hindi pa ako tapos sa drama ko I bit my lower lip. Men never wanted to be termed weak a nd emotional. Tricia? Promise. Tumaas ang kilay ko. Let s go. Wala pa namang nangyayari sa `min ni Julian. Julian s voice became tender. Ang aga namang punishment nito. he didn t and would n t show it ever. Someone pinched my nose. She smiled at me. Bakit ka ba kasi iyak ng iyak? Napanguso ako. Naramdaman ko na lang na may yumuyug yog sa balikat ko. Mauuna ka sa `kin. Assuming! I rolled my eyes. Pabalibag na tinanggal ko ang kamay niya sa balikat ko kahit disoriented pa `ko. Awkward. Naghahyperventilate pa `yung hormo nes ko. There was so much pain written in Julian s face. Oh. Parang gusto ko ng magpalahaw ng iyak. Bac kaches. Not one of those demon laughs of his. Nakita kong nakapagpalit na siya ng damit. Naramdaman kong may humihimas ng tyan ko. 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. Weird.
We re just one of those cases of childh ood Korean sweethearts. Argh. . The nerve! Akala ko ba friends na kami? Julian waved at her. Our families expected us to marry since we were kids. My God I was going crazy with pain. Oh. ano p ang tinatayo tayo mo diyan? Uwi na tayo. What? Do you know where I can buy a doll? His one brow arched. As in a smudge of red lipstick on the side of his lips. Ayoko. Nagulat ako when she hugged me.Julian glared at me. Gusto mong pumunta sa heaven? He pursed his lips teasingly. In short. Then I heard my phone ringing. Take good care of him. Full moon. It was only four in the afternoon. I was really rooted on the ground. Humarap siya sa `kin. Sana ma-solve mo na `y an. Dysmenorrhia. Friends! When you come back to New York. Kasi naman may pangalan nam an `yung tao. Meron argh. Niyakap niya `ko! Tumaas `yung kilay ko dun. Makakaangal pa ba siya eh. Hindi ko siya pinansin. TWELVE How would I continue with the plan if my fvcking hormones were raging on? Gusto kong magpagulong gulong sa pamimilipit sa sakit. I wanted to die. Ano namang akala niya gagawin ko `yung ginawa ko sa kanya kay Tricia? I smirked. Julian raised his brow. Okay lang? A token of farewell. wala naman siya dito? I sighed. buntis ako. How absurd no I nodded. what have I done again? He sighed impatiently. Ang kapal! I tried to calm my nerves. Bulong ko habang sakay kami ni Julian pabalik. do tell me. Too happy. She smiled at me. Julian looked at me in horror. H-hello? Jeannie! Ano?! Shopping tayo. Friends? Yeah. Lumapit ulit si Tricia kay J ulian. Suminghot ulit ako. But a kiss is a kiss! Then she started giggling as she took her bags with her. Ha? Before I knew it. May excuse ako para magkaganito. S ometimes he thought he knows what he s doing. Talaga? Oo naman. Wala na namang problema sa `kin `yun eh. O. I looked at my nails innocently. H inimas himas ko ulit `yung puson ko. Nagyakap sila. Inirapan ko siya. What for? Ipapakulam kita! You and Tricia. As in NOW. Tapos lumapit siya sa `kin. Hindi sila magkakaroon ng apo mula sa pinakamaganda nilang anak. I swore I heard Tricia giggled. Ipinikit ko `yung mata ko. Sy empre second lang si Jean. layuan mo `ko! Mi nsan nga naiisip ko ipatanggal ko na lang kaya `yung uterus ko? Kaso kawawa naman sila mommy. Hind i ko sinasadya! I gritted my teeth. Hindi ko sinasadyang mapatingin sa labi niya. I saw red. walang choice. She kissed Julian on the mouth! Just a peck.
He raised one brow and read the newspaper. Umuwi na tayo. Manong bababa na po ako. Try me. Seryoso ba ito? I looked at his face. Kung sa mga ganong klase ka ng tao sasama baka kung ano ano mapulot mong kalokoha n. You got used to kissing a friend on the lips? Namamangha kong sabi. I need to buy a nine-mo nth package. Before I knew it. Seryoso nga! Napahaw ak agad ako sa stain sa bandang crotch ko. Grabe. I heard his footsteps behind me. He told me to meet up! Then what he was late. Lee yesterday I asked her kung pwede kang i-ceasa rian. Who s that? CM. Feeling ko lalo akong dudugu in kay Julian. In amusement? Malamang magsha-shopping. Jul ian grabbed my hand. Bakit ba ako nagsuot ng pa lda? `Yung hanggang kalahating hita ko pa. Stupid. Mall. Ugh. nagpapanic kong sabi. The hell I care. Bakit pag-aari mo na rin ba `tong mall ha? Ha. Eh Julian. Ceasarian? As in hiwa. Tap os hinigit niya `yung braso ko. wait! Nine months? Kelangan malaki na tyan ko nun. Inis na bumaba ako. Julian. We go home. Ah ganon. I gulped. Anong silbi mo? I rolled my eyes heavenward. Sumandal ulit ako. kaya nga diba? Nandun ako! I saw her kissed you. Hello Jeannie! I ll go shopping with you later. Lecheng si CM. I said Sige na Jeannie shopping na tayo. Sinisiguro kong mababaon siya ng buhay sa mura ko. His bark was always worse th an his bite. I saw red! No Naiiyak na bulong ko. Wait lang Julian! What? Virgin ka pa ba? . So? Nasa Pilipinas tayo Jeannie! And who on earth would kiss a friend on the lips? He cleared his throat. I called Dr. Matuwa kaya siya? In the states it is very common! Sigaw ko.Narinig kong bumuntunghininga si CM. Ingos ko sa kay Julian. Jeannie! He shouted authoritatively. Eh. You cannot stop me. Fine. Nahuli ko naman talaga sila ah! We just got used to it. Nagtataka lang ako what does S stand for? Anong gagawin natin dito? His lips twitched at the corner. T-takot ako sa karayom. Oh. Mall. Nag-iisa na nga lang ang sanitary pad ko sa bag ko. Tapos umiwas ng mata na parang nahuli ko sa akto. No. 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. He would submit me to the k nife. Nanghihinang sabi ko na ikinalingon ni Julian. A t sa kutsilyo. Who s that? No one. Tricia is my ex! Until you came along. Afte r CM gave me the details where to the line went disconnected. Badtrip. Naintindihan mo ba ayoko ngan My eyes grew wide. N ew establishment. Fifteen minutes. It was just a kiss. Sa huli ako pa rin ang sinunod ni manong at pumunta kami sa S. I mean kelan gan manganak na `ko Don t worry Jeannie. He was going to get a tongue lashing from me. Didn t I tell you not to talk to him again? Manong punta po tayo sa S. It was huge and big. he was leading me to a a baby section. Who on earth would give a con contraceptives as a gift? Nakikita kong lalong pan iningkit ng mga mata nito. no. Pano kung sabihin ko sa kanyang nag-suggest si CM na i-french kiss ko siya.
Na parang natatakot akong bawi in siya sa `kin ni Jean. Manipis pa `yun. How many months? Napatingin ito sa tyan ni Jean. I was about to pick up a a pair of baby shoes when a hand caught mine.Julian was shocked. Iisa lang `yun! Ako lahat `yun! Tsk. She s also pregnant? Jean and I both looked stupidly at the baby shoes. Yes. May lalaking paparating. Sir. Let s have lunch together. Baka hinihintay na tayo ni CM. Julian! I forced a smile upon my face. Paano ko sasabihin sa`yo eh. Meron pa bang surprise? Ano pa ba? But my. Pinaparusahan niyo ba talaga `ko God? Jeannie Jeannette. Hindi bumenta. Jean? Pinanlakihan ako ng mata ng kakambal ko. Parang naguluhan. He stared fixedly at Jean. Julian He picked up a feeding bottle. Ah yeah? At ikaw ang ama! Sumasakit `yung puson ko. I didn t know him. Parang nanghihinang napakapit ako kay Julian. No. He was eyeing me and Jean. Two and three weeks. At ngayon sumasakit `yung ulo k o. Juli an squinted his eyes. wait `Di ba dapat maging masaya ako? Yeah kauuwi niya lang kahapon Julian. Inis na naglalakad pa `ko. ri ght. nakatanga lang siya sa `kin. Ah yeah. You never told me your sister s here. hindi nak . At siya? Tinitigan niya lang ako. my face. Tumawa ako sa sarili kong joke. Ang kapal! Excuse me lang ha Parang lalabas `yung dugo ko. I couldn t sprout any more lies. Unti-unti akong napatingin sa tyan niya. Oh. Kauu wi ko lang. I gasped aloud. right? Lumingon siya sa `kin tapos kay Jean. Funny same with you Jeannie. Pero meron mer on God. At sabi nila ang mga demonyo daw virgin pa. We shook our heads in unison. Julian frowned. Nanlalaki ang mga mata ni Jean. Kahapon. wife niyo po? At feeling close! Julian smiled back at her. And why do you ask? Kasi demonyo ka. Takp an ko kaya ng sako ang mukha ni Julian? Artistahin? Kaya lalong lumalaki ang ulo nito. He knew?! He called you Jeannie! She mouthed when Julian s back was turned to her. Inis na tinignan ko kung sinomang intrimitid It was like I was looking into my own wide eyes. Promise. She smiled sweetly at Julian. H-hi s-sorry I wasn t able to to come to your wedding. She s my mistress. HAHA. Kung tot oong buntis lang ako baka nakunan ako sa sobrang bwisit kay Julian. Gusto ko siyang sakalin. hindi ko rin alam?! Ahmm Napalunok ako. pareho kaming nagkulay papel ng kap atid ko. Yumakap ako sa bewang niya. kill me now! I whispered. Pink or blue? Ha? Hindi pa nga natin alam `yung gender `di ba? My voice trembled. Biglang umayos ako ng tayo. Ano bang dapat kong sabihin? Hey. For the life of me. He was with Jean! Vince? Vincent Gonzalo? Julian hissed. No. Pareho pala kami ng kuku nin. Jean nette is very busy. Ano bang meron? Parang feeling ko mahihimat ay na `ko kahit anong oras. Masama pa na mang ginagalit ang babaeng kabuwanan. No! No! Halos mag-duet kami ng kapatid ko. long time no see twin? Jeannie We both slowly turned at the voice. Biglang lumapit ang saleslady sa `min. Excuse me? Gigil na sabi nito. Parang ang corny ata ng joke ko. What the hell Kasi hindi ka pwedeng pumunta sa heaven. everything save that it wasn t me! Jean?! Jeannie? Para kaming naestatwa. Bwisit na buha y `to. Jean? Let s What the hell was happening? I almost groaned aloud.
So who s Michael? Definitely not Julian. I should have known. Iumpog ang ulo sa pader para matauhan. he knew. Jean? Napalingon ito sa `ming dalawa. Foul `yun no. Jean nette. I was wishing the floor would cave in and ea t me whole. Ang sarap hampasin ng mga i nsensitive na lalaki sa mundo. Wife? Hinawakan ito ng mariin ni Jean. Don t worry about her. Oh.aligpas sa pansin ko magaling talagang pumili ang kapatid ko.. Mabilis nitong niyakap si Jean at binuhat. What the hell are you doing here? Julian stepped forward in anger. Vince ma y be a bastard son of a bi tch. If you only knew Julian.Kung sa bagay. This one was oozing sex appeal. Julian Hinawakan ko ang braso niya. Bigla akong natakot. Hey The guy s mouth twitched sarcastically. Conceited jerks! To our astonishment Vince started laughing. Gusto kong lumubog sa kinatatayuan. He smirked. myself and I. He even courted Tricia. lagi na lang siya n akikipagkompitensya sa `kin. Natatakpan ko siya mula sa mga lalaki kaya hindi nila narin ig. Hindi ko na kailangang maging genius para malamang they weren t in good terms. For years. I ll call you. He wasn t handsome but he was sexy. Napangiwi ako at nag-aalalang tinignan ang hit a niya kung may sign ng dugo. I opened my mouth to say goodbye. Sino `yan? In fairness yummy ha. Jean wagged the man s arm. 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.. Vince grinned maliciously at me. Niyakap ko siya. no Lucifer and Michael met. why don t you tell our lover boy here what we re doing here. dinadasalan ko na ang lahat ng santo. Anong pangako iyon? Napatingin ako sa kakambal ko. wife? You ve never bested me before what now? Inilahad nito ang kamay. No. He laughed humorlessly. Marahan akong lumingon. Bumalik ako sa tabi ni Julian. I wasn t that bad to wish for her to have a miscarriage. Vince `yung tyan ko! Jean sobbed and cupped her stomach gently. Bodyguards. You promised me She whispered. Bulong niya. THIRTEEN Was it the end of the world? Was it a clash of good and evil? Kung alam niyo lan g. Pati ata si Sailormoon. I play fair. But he s responsible. Halata ko ang takot sa mga mata niya. Gusto ko silang pagumpugin dalawa. Ever. Jeannie I won t go back to Julia n. Vince looked at my sister in mixture of shock and hor ror. Julian I Vincent may pupuntahan pa tayo `di ba? My twin. By God. The guy smirked at him. M ay tatlong lalaki sa likod nila ang dumating out of nowhere. I was an idiot. Julian! I screamed in panic. Then she purred groaned aloud. Jean Bulong ko at hinila ko siya ng onti palayo. Jean took his hand. We re not yet through Sunico. Julian gave him a mocking smile. kung i-seseduce . Tinatawag ko na si Darna at si Batman. Afraid of the little woman? Oh The tough Vincent Gonzalo was afraid of his. Muntik na akong mapaubo. I forgot I was stepping into the great Juli an Sunico s lair. Lumapit agad a ko sa kakambal ko. 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. She was just shaking her head. That took Vince out of his reverie. Pati ako hindi malaman ang gagawin. I opened my mouth t o shout at him. Were they together? Obviously. I don t know if I s hould be thankful he didn t get to seduce my wife. Pero wala talaga! I could only save me. Vince let s go. The two men looked astounded. More like plead ed. Pero tinabig lang niya `ko. Sasakalin talaga kita `pag tumakas ka pa! Jean honey. Ngayon ko lang na-re alize. Then Jean winked at me! My jaw almost dropped.
Napaatras naman ako. Walang modo talaga! Anong akala niya sa `kin? Bata? May curfew? At saka I gritted my teeth. I smiled sheepi shly. He shrugged nonchalantly. You should be at home before seven. Nag-ano. He was a chic. bongga alam mo naman tayong m agaganda Nahirinan ako dun. no? Teka nga nag hmm na ba kayo? Bumilog ang mga mata nito at lumapit maigi ang mukha sa `kin. Tapos iisa ng tatay paglabas non. Kalaba ng mortal ng mga Sunico. Sabihin mo kay Jean ibalato na lang sa `kin `yung isa. Sabihin ko na lang kaya? I was getting frustrated. pinatay ng asawa. Tapos ipinilantik niya `yung kamay. You have the same features. Ngayon pa lang bumabawi. He smiled fishily. Landi. Magkape ka na nga lang para kabahan ka naman sa mga pinagsasasabi mo. I have to be pregnant. He took my hand and gave me keys. Akin na lang siya! Hindi si ya magugutom sa `kin promise. Sa kanya si Vince which leaves Brad alone. CM? I love you! Julian glared at me. Anong hmm? My brain wasn t functioning well. F rom the looks of it. What! There were so many untold stories here. Pero kung kung mabubuntis naman ako . Pabalewalang sabi nito. Pasabunot na itinukod ko ang kamay sa round table. Libre mo `ko ha. Ang slow mo naman Jeannie! `Yung tentenenententen. Then you ll scream at the peak JU LIAAAAN. He even demonstrated the expressions. I guess so? I told him everythi ng there was. m arunong naman akong tumingin ng oras no. Delicadeza na lang `di ba? Ano `yun `yung mga anak naming mag-pinsan na magkapa tid pa? Ang sagwa `di ba? Tama. Not because I was afraid of the dragon. Really? Biglang lumaki ang mata nito. Very observant lang. Gross. Nauna na `kong umuwi kay CM. Sabi nila the Gonzalos were bankrupt by the Sunicos. I opened my mouth to scream at him. Talaga? Wow. Tinanggal nito a ng rolex wrist watch at ibinato sa `kin. Napatingin ang isan g babae dito na kanina pa titig na titig kay CM. And she s with Vincent Gonzalo.niya `ko. Hindi ko siya pinapansin. `Yung ano Ngumuso ito. Tumaas lang `yung kilay niya. ang dami mong naitutulong eh. mukhang hindi mo na talaga maibabalik si Jean. Y uck. Feel na feel nito. Buti ka pa friend. Muntik ko ng hindi masalo. Tapos nanlaki ang mga mata na tumingi n sa `kin. Magka-tonsilitis ka sana. business magnate. CM if Jean won t come back. Starbucks. I was addlebrained. Babae. Then he ordered another beverage. Which means y ou re going to live forever as her. He hissed and turned his back on me. Ay. I stared at him stupidly. praise the lord. Julian where are you goi The driver already went home. But because . Parang kinikiliting tumili ito. He put his two fingers together. Siya itong nag-aya aya tapos ako manlilibre?! Mahiya ka naman sa lalamunan mo. See? Ibinigay niya sa `yo si Julian. CM just laughed at me. nagsinungaling na buntis. Hindi ako ipokrita para sabihing hindi ako mate-tempt. Inirapan ito ni CM. I didn t know that. alam mo na `yun. for sure mukha ding kambal. Parang ayaw mag-process ng brain ce lls ko. hindi halatang tsismosa. Ano? Inis kong sabi. Halleluja. At isipin mo na lang kambal kayo. What s this? Obvious ba? Susi ng sasakyan. ahem. So she s pregnant? With Julian? CM sipped his Caffe Mocha. He nodded. You didn t tell me they re together? Hindi pa rin talaga ako pinapabayaan ni God my phone started ringing. pero `wag mo `kong sisihin kung bakit nasa headlines ka bukas. My blush intensified. Sabihin mo na. Salamat ha. I don t have money! Isasangla ko `tong relo mo! I shouted after him.
blah. I was feeling drowsy. magkaroon ng maraming pimples. My heart hammered loudly. I lived my life spontaneously. `Wag m una. Anong ibig niyong sabihin? Anak katawan lang ang iniiwan sa lupa hindi ang common sense. I should have seduced him sooner. My eyes opened wide. Argh . emotion al stress. Ayokong mukhang stressed out. My head bumped the side window. It was suffocating me. Jeannie Jeannie Did they know my name? Argh. I felt the impact of it. pain. Hindi pa ako nagbabayad sa mga pinagkakautangan ko sa New York. My eyes were open wide. Little did I know that St. The impact. Hindi pa `ko prepared makita si San Pedro at saka God sabi nga ni CM hindi ko pa alam ang feeling ng nag-tetentenenententen. Nakalimutan kong mag-slow down sa inter section. The shards of glasses splintered on the side. blah. Magiging demonyo nga ako? Dahil virgin pa `ko. Sana isinama na rin nil a `yung driver na nag-overspeeding. Syempre. Then I ende d up bumping a big trunk of a tree. Pati ba ang pagmumura counted na din? You can now take her. I knew that there were endless problems but I stil l wanted to sur vive. If only I had known. `Yun naman ang ginawa ko. Right minus wrong. It was getting hot. It was too quickly.the princess also needed her precious rest. ayokong lumaki ang eyebags ko. . No! Ibababa nila `ko sa impyerno. It w as a good thing Jean and I both know how to drive. Were you telling me that I shouldn t have followed those novels I so much liked? Sabi kasi nila mag pakatotoo. I was shocked when an overspeeding c ar on the side tipped its way toward me. I wasn t so sure. Meaning good minus bad? What the fu ck. I drove faster than I should have. sa langit ba ako pupunta? Para kasing hindi naman ` to heaven eh. FOURTEEN Ito ang listahan ng mga kasalanan at kabutihan mo Was he serious? Sa sa langit na ba ako? I mean. God I have so many unfinished businesses. At may biglang safety air balloon na lumobo sa harapan ko. I cried out. Paano kung mas marami ang kasalanan ko? Eh `d i may utang pa `ko? I groaned. P eter. Peter was also a philosopher. I knew I cal led Julian s name. I star ted sobbing quietly. Ilang araw na ding hindi ako natutulog ng maayos. Wala sa loob ko. Plus one. I stared incredulously at the shining bald head of St. Ayaw nila akong papasukin sa heaven! Kasama si Julian. I was pulled deeper into a pit less hole of nothingness. Hindi ko pa nabibigyan ng apo sina mommy. and a lot more blended together. Mababangga ako! Pilit kong iniiwas ang sasakyan. Pinilit ko namang maging mabait. I sighed. Hanapin mo ang sarili mo blah. 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.
how I missed my family. parang h indi niya nagegets! Naiiyak na `ko sa gigil. ang katawan ko. Minsan. Papatayin ako ni Julian. baka ako pa ang lasunin ni Julian. When the door closed I took the doctor s hand. Biglang bumukas ang pinto. parang hindi tot oo. Then I blinked thrice. she s not even in the brink of danger. Saka na tayo magbilangan. Ambad ko. He frowned at me. In all fairness. I winced. nood tv. Awww Pareho silang napatingin sa `kin. Is she having a miscarriage? Sigaw ulit nito. Sunico. The doctor frowned e ven more. mmkay? Anyway. My mommy was crying silentl y. Tsk. I whispered brokenly. What ever. My parents excused themselves. Parang na-guil ty naman ako. for his sake. my Leonardo Dicaprio s yummy. At saka niya lang siguro napansin na nandun nga ang doctor. Parang nataranta ang doctor sa galit nito. Wal a naman talaga akong sugat. I have no time to explain doc. Mall! I smiled charmingly. Excuse me Mr. Malaki utang na loob ko sa inyo doc. I tsked. Napakapit ako bigla sa puson ko. Bulong niya. Then I saw m y dad. Sorry San Pedro. Whichever comes first. God. Where s Julian? The door burst open. Nag-movie marathon ako. Sunico there s no Oh my saving grace. Na para bang alam niya gagawin kung may s ugat nga ako! Hindi naman siya ang doctor. Please Julian. He stared at me incredulously. I don t know. She was crying. Mumultuhin ako ni Angko. The doctor frowned. Actually. He was skimming every part of me. He was worried! I smiled eagerly as the doctor gave his prognosis. Naii nggit tuloy ako sa gumanap na Juliet. It s a matter of life and . sa santong paspasan na l ang. ang mukha ko. My smile froze in place. Speaking of the devil. Tulog. Ngumiti ang doctor sa mommy ko. Are you okay? Natatarantang hinawakan niya ang buhok ko. blame my sister f or giving me this idea. What the fu ck s happening to my wife? Sumisigaw na sab i ni Julian. What if it was too late? He smil ed at me and patted my head like the way he used to. kain. Sure ako dun. Oh. Tapos . Guilty ako. My jaw became slacked. Totoo naman ah. Call mom my Parang hesitant pa itong tumakbo palabas. Kung hindi pa siya madaan sa santong dasalan. Baby? Mr. Doc. Only a small wo und on her forehead. I want my mommy. I bit my lower lip sa sobrang gigil. Naiiyak na niyakap ako ng daddy ko. There I saw my mom. Hindi ko alam kung bakit ito ang ipinahiram sa `kin ng hitad kong bestfriend. Disoriented pa `ko. Is she alright? My God. I love you daddy. May ininject bang pampamanhid? She s out of danger. `Yung winner na smile ng close-up. Please. higa. maiisip mong kailan mo din palang i-express ang nararamdaman mo sa kanila. `Yung natatakpan ang mukha ko. Iniisip ba niyang iinom din ako ng lason para lang makasama ko si Julian? The wo rst is. Pero pero nakiki ta ko na si mommy! I was panting so hard. As soon as the doctor gave me his promise I persuade Julian to take me home. just pretend the babe s okay. It was as if Julian was possessed by some good spirit. Wala ako ng maramdamang sakit. Tapos super bait niya. Please. I hissed at Julian. Gusto kong matawa na matakot kay Jul ian. Anyway. Grabe. there s no bab Kumapit ako sa braso ng doctor. She s okay except for How about the baby? He cut him off frantically. I couldn t help it. basa ng novels. may DVD version na ang Romeo and Juliet . ibalato ni yo na po sa `kin `to. damn! I thought she s okay. Ahmm free shopping spree at S. mommy. No nothing. death? Napan giwi ako. What are you watching? I got engrossed. No ribs broken.Jeannie Jeannie I slowly opened my eyes. I moaned aloud and curled into a fet al position. Kinuha ang stethoscope. Nakakokonsensya na ng a ako. My nai ls dug deeper into his arm.
I said he s stupid. Inggit lang siya wala sa kanya `yung atens yon ko. I gasped aloud. right stupid. Akalain mo `yun. I was imagining that Julian was Romeo and Juliet was of course me. Wh en in fact. Nagpapakipot na naman. Tsk. Romeo is stupid. Then they fell into the water again when they declared their undying love. Hindi ko napansin na nilagay niya `yung braso niya sa likod ng ulo ko. He smil ed evilly. Napalunok ako. My mobile started ringing. I couldn t help but sigh pleasurably. They were kissing underwater! I wished Leonardo would kiss me like th There s a rumor that he s gay. I shivered delightedly. Then they were like kissing. if I know kung anong bawal siyang masarap. basta gwapo si Romeo. Siya si Rosaline! Siya `yung first forgotten love . Siguro kahit ako din naman. Sosyal. Lumayo-layo si Juliet. I snuggled close to Julia n. At bakit? Ni hindi man lang naka-home base kay Juliet bago ipainom `yung lason. One advantage of being rich. Natuwa ako kasi mu ka talagang inosente `yung gumanap na Juliet. At si Tricia. Inis na dumiretso na `ko ng upo. Nakatanga talaga ako. Parang feeling ko a ko ang naaatat na hatakin si Leonardo at papakin. I forgot all about our honeymoon. Hello? Jean Rose Leviste? Irene here. Then you re the one who s stupid! Had I really said that? Yeah. Umusod ako palayo. honeymoon na nila. I d hug CM when we meet again. O. basta siya magtuturo sa `kin. Hindi ko gusto `yung ngi sing `yun ni Julian. Alam mo `yun my hair on the nape stood on ends. Fast-learner kaya ako. Ingos na tinabig ko `yung kamay niya. FIFTEEN Make love to me . dinaig pa `ko. Excuse me? Ayoko ng pakinggan pa kung ano na namang panlalait ang maririnig ko kay Julian. N abitin ako nung tinawag ng nursemaid si Juliet. Na para bang sinasabing habulin mo `ko . Napansin ko pero kunwari wala lang pero deep inside I was like. Siguro nahiya lang siya so for his sake I inched closer. Then I sighed. Plasma ang tv. I gasped so very loud than the first time. ugh eating each other in the pool. thanks. Hindi ko pinansin ang pandidiri sa mukha niya. Laway mo tumutulo Julian swiped an invisible saliva down the side of my lips. Despite her in nocent face was a great k-i-s-s-e-r. Naalala ko bigla k ami ni Julian. Pasalamat siya kung yummy si Leonardo DiCaprio mas h ot para sa `kin si Johnny Depp. Juliet was leading Romeo into a dance kis s. they were always the one who resorted to cuddling.niyakap ko `yung unan ng mahigpit. May reunion nga pala tayo. I was having kinky thoughts. Mayamaya lang Julian sat on t he bed beside me. I d tell you. we were both silently watching. Sus. while she kept moving her lips to and fro against Romeo s. Mayamaya lang. Napatitig talaga ako sa eksena sa party. I wondered why men turned away when things get mushy or better yet emotional. Then a sm ile slowly inched its way to the corner. Care ko. I groaned aloud. Gee.Goodnes s. Kesyo mali daw `yun. Titig na titig ako. She kept telling no. Naka-home base kaya! Ayan oh. I leaned my head in the cove of his neck. sig e na. Tapos sa swimming pool scene. His voic e became husky. Tuwang-tuwa talaga ako sa palabas na `to. aber? I snorted. Give Julian the credit to ruin my fantasy. Dumila pa `ko sa kanya. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street na lang ang panoorin natin. hell move a little bit closer baby. I wasn t very particular with the chin itos.
. Angko knelt down the side of the bed and touched my stomach. is it a yes or a no? No. Wanna ride with me boyo? Parang may sariling isip ang bibig ko. Goodness. Oh boy. Nakita ko siya kanina paalis. His lips twitched on the side. Lumingon lingon ak o. He was s tanding there. Not. What was happening? Parang umiikot an g paligid ko. Out of the blue. Hindi ako. I bet you re feeling fvcking hot? And dir ty. like a cat. Don t hurt him. I would dance the night away like it would be my last time. And happy. Ang sama talaga ng ugali ni Julian! Ni hindi man l ang binuksan ang lamp shade bago umalis. NOW. Did you know what he did? Nilagpasan niya lang ako. I felt my eyes widening. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. Pero hindi ba `yun naman dapat ang maramdaman ko? Hindi ako ito. Marahan akong umupo. I m a big time loser. good morning? G morning. who wouldn t? No wonder Julian got dibs on you.What? You heard me make love to me. Masyado ka ng madaming naiinom. I won t effin waste my time on somebody who s not worth it. Magsakit-sakitan kaya ako ulit? Bak a sakaling bumait pa siya. Or Was it me? Then ther e was Angko. So. Hell. I wasn t that drunk. Angko! Jean? Uncle Bert? I gritted my teeth. Sorry ahm. I was actually purring. Madilim ang buong paligid. I didn t know a mere whisper in the ear could feel ticklish. Last night ko na `to. More more My God. He grabbed my arm. Have you seen Julian? I shook my head. Sino ba? Parang naririnig ko pa rin ang boses ni Angko. Seryoso ba si Angko? Minumulto nga ako nito! I was trembling violently. Yes. Umiling ito. And sexy Kaya nga tinawag itong bar `di ba? I stupidly c raned my neck. You. Is. I bit my lower lip then I sniffed. Hindi ako. This. Ano `yun? Insenso seryoso ba tala ga si Angko? Kinilabutan ako. Hindi kaya nagkakamali si Angko ng pagpaparamdaman? I absent-mindedly touched my stomach. Hell yeah. Not that it was unusal. You re drunk. Me? I slithered my body against him. Sinabi ko iyon na parang nagdedemand lang ng fla vor ng chupachups. Someone tapped my shoulder from beh I screamed. Fine. Ahm I m suppose d to be drunk. Kailangan pa bang ulit-ulitin niya `yun? Alam ko. Tapos lumapit siya sa `kin. Napaupo ako bigla at napa-sign of the cross. Para akong nakuryente. What s gotten into you? Masamang espiritu. I wiped the threatening tears away. Kinakarma na ba talaga `ko? Hindi na `ko nakatulog. Gee I rocked my hips back in forth to the rhythm. I couldn t be m istaken. What the hell were those dreams all about? there was a woman with no face. I waved at him. Angko was staring down at me. My FIRST TIME. You promised me! She was sweating coldly. I gasped a little. You promised me! You promised me you won t hurt Julian. A helluva way to say it. When the man swayed me back and forth I felt his rock hard body poking againt mine. He shook his head. Galit na binalibag ko ang pinto. Humahabol ata sa buwanang dalaw ko. Ilang shots pa lang. Parang gusto niya na talaga akong isama sa dako paroon kung hindi ko gagawin ang gusto niya. Grabe lakas ng tam a sa `kin ng martini. Hindi ako. was I? He s got gray eyes. No. Feeling ko ang dumi-dumi ko. This is not you.
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 cried a river last night. It should have been Jean s. I thought she wouldn t do this. He didn t even bother putting his shirt on. Para akong naguluhan. Hinawakan nito ang kamay ko. Oh. Why did you do that? bulong nito. Ours was a marriage made in hell. Oh. I winced. WHAT?! Seryoso? You you lied to us. Baka kasi siya ang nawalan ng pinaka-iingatang dangal. Jean what is this all about? Jeannie I m sorry. Parang hind i nito nararamdaman ang pag-agos ng dugo habang nagmamaneho ito. What did he want this time? Humarap ako sa kanya. I can t tell you everything. Humarap ako sa kanya. Pabalibag na binuksan ko ang closet. The dream. I took my perso nal things and left those that weren t mine. Nothing less. She was my twin. Sana inutang mo na lang sa `kin ang pambili ng bahay niyo. Tahimik na bumaba ako ng sasakyan. Butter Diner s. Jeannie. no. Kahit isa wala. Was she talking in Latin? Parang sinabi niyang a lien ang nakabuntis sa kanya. what was a piece of flesh for a Sunico like him ? Kapirasong laman lang iyon. Ni hindi ko man lang napansin. I didn t turn around. To me? To Julian? You wanted him to father your baby? Oh my. I wished we ve never met. I got attracted to you that first time. magpanggap siyang wala ako. You look so vulnerable and trusting. Nothing more. You know what. Ayo ko. Are you mad? My baby it s not Julian s. my God. He called me four times. I shook my head. He s he s mine now. I heard him swore. I swallowed an imaginary lump in my throat. Before I knew it he threw my underwear with brownish stain on it! I hate you. I thought I wouldn t forgive my sister for what she d done. Talo? We re even. kung batukan kaya kita riyan? Bakit mo ba kasi ginawa `yun? What wo uld I do now? We can t just trade places again. Ayoko ng sabihing bakit siya ba ang nasaktan? Siya ba ang nawa lan ng virginity? Kung sa bagay. So innocent. Pinigilan ko ang kamay kong masakal ang kapatid ko. Sige. Was he immune t o pain already? At least they had something in common now. Baka hindi ko siya matantya. He hissed. Bayad na `ko sa `yo. Yes. Pero parang wala naman akong choice. I I gasped. We can live like this forever. I smiled mockingly. At galit na binalibag ko ang pintuan pasara. Nasa garahe na kami. He wasn t looking at me. Wala na `kong balak bumalik kay Julian.Ayoko siyang tignan. I smiled at him. Hindi ako `yun Julian. Was it that t . We re both devils. God. aren t we? Ang laki ng talo ko. Sana sana sinabi mo na lang sa `kin una pa man. Sorry sorry eh. Una pa man talaga never naman akin `t o. The he called my name. Hindi ako kumibo. Everything. Tinitigan ko ang leather seat. Morning. when I first saw you crying at the hotel.
He looked fierce. But tears were starting to pool in my eyes.hen? `Di ba ang mga kambal ay may kakaibang koneksyon? Jeannie please No! I couldn t take it. We both jumped in surprise when I heard a loud crash. I bet he was ready to wring our ne cks. if I know ganyang ganyan din arte ko sa may hospital. Do you think your virgi nity caused millions? I gasped at his crudeness. What the hell are you talking about? Napatingin ito kay Jean. We looked down. Wala namang gumalaw non. At hind i kita ibabalik sa mga magulang mo hangga t hindi mo nababayaran iyon. He cursed floridly. Sinampal ko siya. Naiiyak ako habang naliligo naalala ko lahat ng pag-uusap namin. Ma am. Bakit ba? Eh. I stared fixedly at him. Julian I m Jeannette. Nakita kong may benda ang kam ao niya. At wala kayong magagawa ni mommy. What else was there? He was betrayed. We ll tell you Julian about thi s. Uuwi na `ko sa `tin. Ayoko ng magpanggap na ikaw! Kung gus to mo bumalik ka dito at No! Iling ko. May bisita po kayo. And boy. She went missing before your wedding day. I looked up. he was damned furious. Para akong bagong ano panganak. It won t work this time. . My heart went wild. I walked like a zombie. Stop it. iba ako. She suddenly winced and moaned. Ayokong isipin kung ano ang napakalaking kasalanan niya sa `kin. You re not that expensive. Nakita ko ang galit sa mga mata niya. Pareho kaming pareho kaming Pero Jeannie hindi pwede. Jeannie listen to me. I walked past him. I couldn t take the lies anymore. darling. Bigla niyang hinarang ang bulto sa harapan ko. I didn t want to cry. Hindi na pwede. He frowned. It was the empty glass. I blamed her. Niloko. I promised Vincent. Hinila ko ang kamay niya at kinuha ang clutch bag. Nakita ko sa likod niya si si Jean? What are you doing here? Not that I was blaming her but but Hell. Inirapan ko siya. The corner of his lips twitched. Julian didn t know me that well. Narinig ba niya? What truth. Bigla itong tumuwid ng tayo. I m so Don t fuccking say sorry to me. If you want you can tell Julian the whole fucccking tru What fuccccking truth are you talking about? We both turned at the door. I muttered. And the baby s not yours. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. Ayoko na Jean. damn you! Sigaw nito na rinig ata ng buong subdivision. 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. Bakit ka nagbabalot ng damit? Tinabig ko `yung kamay niya. Umuwi na tayo Jean. yes. Becau se we just met only a few times after the the Pikot. Bigla siyang umupo at hinawakan ang ty an. I mean hindi niya napansin na iba ka. You owe me five million minus the interest which is your purity. Nakita ko ang masamang tingin ni Julian ng dumaan si Jean. You are you are She s your real wife Julian. At itinaas ang ulo na parang sa reyna. There the devil stood. Parang dagang tumalilis si Jean. I whispered defiantly. I replaced her.
I was startin g to hate him. Of course. I glared at him standing like he owned the world. Oh. ba My mouth dropped open. Did he thought I was a real bummer? Hindi ba at siya nga ang naloko ko? So he was the one who s stupid. Kung legal lang ang krimen sa mundo baka ilang bese s na itong namatay. O kaya pahihirapan ko muna ng unti-unti. Tumayo ka dyan. I raised one brow. I was fuming mad. Sh!t. Mah abang buntot. At ang hawak niya isang malaking tinidor. I erased half part. Wala na lang siyang ginawang mabuti kung hindi paiyakin at sakta n ako. leaning against the bed. Sign this. I wanted to kill him right this minute. His handsome face and his body. I smiled nastily. I drew Julian s face. Tapos nagdrawing ako ng dalawang sungay. Makapal iyon. Na aalilain ng demonyo. given the fact that he owned me. I busied myself for how many seconds minutes I pouted and made face. Was I that bad to blame my sister? Pero nasa katwiran naman ako. I took the papers and read it. Kahit naman f ine arts ang kinuha ko alam ko naman kung anong ibig sabihin ng kontrata. Ganon ba talaga ang mga bida? Laging api? Bulong ko sa sarili ko. I bit my lower lip until it bled. He was a cad. Hell. I brushed my tears angrily. Pabalabag. What s this? Nakakapagbasa ka naman `di. Hindi na siya naawa sa kagandahan ko. Puro papeles. An o ba! Pilit kong tinatanggal ang kamay niya sa braso ko. My eyes squinted in anger. Pabalewalang may ibinagsak siya sa kama. Kahit magkita pa kami sa husgado! I took my sketch pad and sat on the floor. hours. . Tapos biglang bumukas `yung pinto. But not ME. I wrinkled my no se and closed my eyes. Ang pinakababoy sa lahat ng b aboy. Without clothes on. Parang may kulang. If it was an y consolation on every one s part Julian let go of Jean. Hinila niya `ko pataas. `di ba? He looked lik e a bench model on Halloween. Then I did sketch myself. Then I drew his body again . Pati ako nga rin nahihilo na sa sarili ko. Mali mali.SEVENTEEN I was pacing to and fro. This was legal and notarized. Inirapan ko siya. Bakit ba hindi eh. I cringed in pain. ako ako ang ikinulong niya at gusto niyang magsuffer. A chauvinist. I was the ang el with a halo sent from up above.
He cracked a knowing smile. It was null and void. Ano?! Are you darn serious? It only cost Five hund red thousand? Ganon ako ka-cheap? Sana man lang tinaasan niya kahit one million. An heir. `Yun naman pala eh. `Yung tawa ng baliw. Sorry sa ipagsisinungaling ko pero Isn t mine. Nine months then you re free. And because I wasn t that bad. Aren t you going to ask what s the second option? Bakit ko pa itatanong. Ganon. Pero kailan ba naging okay ang magkau tang ng Five million? I was dead before I knew it. Seriously. What s this for? You have two options to make: One. Baka nakakalimutan mo. Tinitigan akong maigi. I swallowed an imaginary lump in my throat. The bomb was dropped. Jean s baby kinagat ko `yung labi ko. Para iyong sumabog sa mismong tainga ko. No spooky things. He said nonchalantly. my goosebumps w ere showing. That easy. you ll tell me anyway. why didn t you even give me a sign? Or even a hint? Nakaupo ako kaya t nakatingala ako sa kanya. You might do that honey. `Yung kahit hindi nakakatawa pinipilit mong tumawa. Hindi na ako magpapanggap na buntis this time. I gritted my teeth anguishly. It was your s ignature not your sister s. Hindi pangalan ko ang naka-re gister sa marriage certificate. Magsalita ba naman sa tapat ng bibig ko! Swear. Napatayo ako sa sobrang galit. Really. I appreciated you prostituting yourself to me. I didn t even get any pleasure from it. I even put one finger inside my left ea r. Tawa pa. I kept telling myself that it would be okay. 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. Feeling ko pinagbagsakan ako ng langit at lupa. I crossed my fingers. Hinawakan niya ang baba ko ng madiin. You heard me. Hindi ako nakakaintindi ng English. ngu miti ito at lumapit sa `kin. An d you re not the first virgin I ve had. hey. He stared at me incredulously. I realized I was really a good painter after all. Tapos tawa pa ulit. Sana man lang nakapaglagay ako sa account ko mula sa kaban ni Julian ba go nagkabukingan. Para akong mahihi matay. G anon ba talag siya kasama? I ve already had a lawyer examined it. I m not your legal wife Julian. 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. Tama ka. Then on my right ear. He planted his hands on his hips. Tsk. Galit na pinalandas nito ang daliri sa mga pi sngi ko. Siya lang naman nasiyahan no . Wala din! WAS I GOING DEAF? W-what what are you talking about? Nanghihinang napaupo ulit ako. Na para bang ang paggawa ng baby ay bato-bato-pik lang. `Yung ngiting alam kong bukas patay na `ko. Nadah. God. honey. It was just one of those corny jokes. Pra ise the Lord! Kung hindi mag-mamagic talaga akong magkaanak within nine months a . His voice was laced with sarcasm. So bayad na ang interes. He said smoothly. was he? Hindi. He wasn t dead serious. perhaps. Tapos yumuko siya para magkatapat `yung mukha namin. Masakit kaya. As if we were talking about t he weather. I was afraid. eh? Tumawa ako. Go shoot yourself and go to hell. Buti na lang bagong toothb rush ako kanina. `Yung magdadala ng apelyido k o. pay me the five million pesos. I ve had my fair share of women Jeannette. ang int eres sa bangko ay umabot ng half a million. Bigyan mo ko ng tagapagmana.Ano `to? Printed paper. Napaungol ako.
Hindi nga ako nagkamaling hindi ka imbitahin! Saan? Irene! So Irene pala ang pangalan ng makiring kaibigan na ito ni Jean. Hello Jean. Hi Dahil assuming ako alam ko. Parang siya nga ang nagre-reunion. my God. I he ard about it. May process `yan. exc ept for the press. I sighed. Buti naman. Jean told me everything. my dear. Julian grabbed my waist as if he wouldn t want me away from him. Later everybody was dancing. that was fine.t ang tatay ay Oh. Very charming ang loko. Nagkalayo kami ni Julian. Sawa? Hindi naman ito Zoo `di ba? S he gritted her teeth in anger. Wala kang karapatang karapatang igiit sa `kin ang marital obligations ko dahil hindi tayo mag-asawa! Oh. Well. I shrugged. Forcing a woman isn t my cup of tea. Unggoy! Napakatuso! I opened my mouth in disust. Syempre ang baby hindi basta lumalabas sa tyan ng baba e yan. I went out of the parking lot to get my cell phone from the car. My phone started ringing. Lalo na sa`kin. Kaya lalong lumalaki `yung ulo. kung makapag-react ako parang hindi pa kami nag ano `yung ano alam n iyo na `yun. No doub t. . Jean! Baka nakakalimutan mo `yung reunion natin mamaya. Nabasa niya ang isip ko! Wow. Namilog ang mga mata ko Julian was standing there. Pambablackmai l nga lang! This is pure blackmail! No. huh? Brad? Uh-oh. my bed s warmer than that of the jail s. sa `kin patungkol ` yun. 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. Ikaw din. Nakalimutan ko. The business tycoo n. Ang press! I smiled. I smiled here and there. May step one. It s okay. At least hindi na niya `ko hahalikan ulit. he shrugged. I was quite surprised when a hand caught mine. May psychic ability na ba ito? He glared at me.. Julian smiled back. Bakit kailangan ko pang magpanggap na si Jean? Alam na naman ng lahat. two. darling. I so hate you. Jean was infamed for her swimming ability. So what is it? This is human violation. He smiled e villy. Well. Hi.. Napaatras ako. Malapit na kami dun ng matigilan ako. Kung fine nga bang matatawag ang halos pagyakap ng babae dito! Their faces were in ches away from each other. The feeling s mutual. The handsome debonair. At itinaa s nito ang legal na papeles na binayaran nito ang titulo ng lupa namin! He was w ise. he hissed. They were all bugging him. Flirt. Pero ikaw din. He looked like a wolf ready to eat his prey. Sa `kin siya nakatingin eh. Then she turned sweetly at Julian. it s what you called persuading. Hindi nga ako nagkamali The woman raised one brow at me. Hindi nakaligtas sa matalas kong paningin. A businessman s stock in trade. I snorted. Forcing isn t his cup of tea? Oo hindi. Oh no! Gusto kong batuka n ang sarili ko. my God so all the while we were ju st living in sin together? Mga immoral. The woman smiled at me. a public figure. What would it be Jean nie. I m sorry. Don t you ever dare. dear. Nakita niya akong papalapit sa isa sa mga ito. Bakit hindi ako lumapit sa mga iyon at i labas ang baho ni Julian? He was after all. I groaned inwardly. your choice. Syempre ngiti rin ako kahit na nga ba never ko pa siyang nakita sa tanang buhay ko. Kung makalingkis. NO! REUNION. three `yan. Brad stare d fixedly at us.
Brad kiss me. Hampas dito. Parehas tikom ang bibig namin. Nakita kong pumutok ang labi ni Brad. Julian. Bakit ba hindi sila makuntento sa isa? Bakit ba `yun na lang palagi ang problema nila? Nung ginawa naman si Adan. this isn t righ I grabbed Brad s lapels and kissed him right on the mouth. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung bakit ito pinagpalit ni Jean eh. ano bang klasing babae `yan. Pinipilit kong gumitna pero natabig ako. loner siya `di ba? Pinagbigyan na nga siya ni God. Ako ang may sagot kay Brad! I winced as Brad punched back. And take note: Eve was the only woman back then. Pakaladkad. Eve just tolerated being with Adam. I moaned aloud. Sinuntok suntok ko ang braso niya. I saw Brad s purplish face with bruises. No. At na-automatic lock niya na ang buong sasakyan. I shoul d have wore Hester s scarlet letter. Now I know. I wanted to shout at him. Sa bilis ng pangyayari hindi ko na alam kung sino sa kanilang dalawa. Hampas doon. nakakahiya. No choice eh. Let go of me. Brad sige paaaa d on t stop kissing me!!! I shouted. Gusto ko siyang sabunutan! Sino ba siya? This was all her fault . Brad are you okay? I knelt down in front of him. Syempre kahit pagbali -baligtarin ko man ang pangyayari. Matutuwa na sana ako dun sa maganda . Na parang ako an g may kasalanan! Na parang hindi ko siya nakitang nakikipag-flirt sa ibang babae ! Hinila niya `ko sa braso. God. I couldn t get enough. I put all my force and slap him. I saw the registration of s hock. 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. Jeannie. Naawa naman ako bigla sa kanya. Kinuha ni Julian ang lapel ni Brad at binalya. Whew. Get in. Para akong bulkang sa sabog. Pareho kaming napakapit dito. He gave me that chilling stare that sent shivers down my spine. Muntik na kami dun! My heart was thudding loud in my chest. Brad was badly beaten. Anywhere my hand landed. His voice was icy cold. Twice. They knew nothing! Mga taong walang magawa sa mundo kundi pagpi yestahan ang latest tsismis. I said stop it! Tili ko at gumitna ako. J ulian pulled me roughly in the arm. There were flashes of cameras. And I was frightened by the look in his eyes. I was even m aking gurgling sounds. Nasty gossips. We both screamed. May paparating na malaking truck. Julian how dare yo ! He looked at me coldly. I was too stunned to react. It was unlike any fury I d had. Sa paghampas ko sa sugat niya ay nabitawan niya ang manibela. Paikot pa lang siya sa driver s seat ay binuksan ko ang car door para tumakbo. Once. Galit kong sabi. Maganda pa naman. You bastard! Galit kong hiyaw. Ku ng pwede lang na sipain ko siya. You should have killed me and . I gritted my tee th. He motioned the steering wheel t o the left. dinugtungan pa. I glared at wh oever said that. At masakit `yun ha! I screamed when he was a bout to kick NO! Niyakap ko si Julian ng mahigpit. Nakita kong papatay talaga si Julian. He w as already seated. Itinulak! Niya ako sa loob ng sasakyan. There was not a bit of gentlemanliness in him. nakakasama din pala ang masyadong gentleman ngayon. Abusado. alam mong hindi pwed I said kiss me. We both gasped. Julian Sunico s wife was seen kissing his ex. Grabe. makiri nga lang. Pabalyang ipinasok. Naumpog ako sa silya. The woman was just standing there. Damn. Para akong lulubog sa kahihiyan. What? Jeannie. Julian no! I screamed. What the hell are you d ing. para akong nanunuod ng a ction movie. Out of the corner of my eyes I saw Julian s frown. The next thing I knew Julian and Brad were grappling. Papalapit na sila.
Tapos may dumaang sasakyan. He wa s forcing me. He said silently. I couldn t imagine myself there. Ganon lang ba talaga tingin niya sa `kin? His property na pwedeng bakuran. I said get out. He tilted my chin up. Why can t you just let me go? I whispered achingly. I shook my head. My eyes grew wide. Napatitig ako sa kanya. Why should I? You re mine. Julian glared all the more. I did shut up then. 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. Don t try my patience. Pero bakit ba gwapo pa rin ito kahit mukha itong may sungay sa paningin ko? I might. He said bitterly. no. BUT they were even singing a verse of some song. my God. Pe ro pero `di ba may onting konsensya naman si Julian? Even the tiniest bit? Oh. I looked around me and I gasped. it boils my blood. Bumaba ka na. natatakot ako sa itsura ni Julian. He hissed. Julian wouldn t resort to this. Hindi sa natatakot ako. I closed my eyes. Balewalang sagot nito. Hindi ko na alam kung paano at anong kaibahan non. He was speaking to me. Alam ko. Oh. I swore my neck almost snapped sa mabilis na paglingon ko sa kanya. The musc les on his jaw flexed. God. Kung kanina ay halos ipagtulakan niya `ko papasok. I gave you a choice. Really. Gusto kong is igaw sa kanya na baka naapektuhan na ang utak niya. I bought you for five million. Sisigaw akong rape? Fvck you Jeannie. Without remorse. Get the hell out of my car. Pero gagawin niya na Jeannie! My mouth dro pped open. Baba. It was a mere whisper. In my predicament I wouldn t have noticed them or anyone else for that matte r. Isang barkadang malakas ang trip. I shook my head vigorously. Julian swung the door open. Ang mukha ay nasa gitna ng mga rehas na bakal. 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.He gave me that chilling look. Tumaas ang sulok ng bibig niya. The side of his mouth lifted sexily. Pero syempre `yung masarap na kilabot. My hair on the nape stood on ends. There were bruises all over his face. In close range as in close to my mou th. A choice? I said with sarcasm. Naiisip ko pa lang na ipapa-salvage niya `ko at itatapon ang kagandahan ko sa kung saang ilog. Kahit na nga ba maghubad si Papa P sa harapan ko. And the title: Love the way you lie by Rhianna. Kinilabutan ako. Okay. I d rather you do that Julian. With matching every emphasis pa. Parang wala sa sariling nasabi ko habang nakatingin s a Sa Police Station. Ang maging babymaker mo? Ha! Holy crap. My he . You re dead serious. It was as if he would do just that. Decide now. Did he think I can just bear a child and leave him to his father? I suggest you go see a psychiatrist. I shook my head forcefully and vigorously. Basta to the highest level na talaga ang pag-iling ko. utos nito. this time was very much different.
Why? Asking your whereabouts. Sabi niya kasi kapag umiiyak over a jerk hindi siya maririnig ni Mommy. O k aya naman ang bait mo kasi kasi parang charity lang. As in. I thought it was a bit odd of my twi n to cry under the rain. you know. I was sobbing profusely. dancing under the rain. And he called me. and the hot-and-nice guys are gay. Yep. Yep. CM said tersely. In short. Nakita kong umuulan sa labas. Ulam. Ayokong makita n iyang malapit na `kong bumigay. Rowel s here.art went out to him. He was nice to me. bibigay pa lang. help me. Kasi may kasunod kang boy. I closed my eyes. CM. Mabilis niyang pinakawalan ang mukha ko at nag-drive na siya pauwi. Rowel? Ahm. Parang gusto kong sabunutan itong si CM. the hot guys are jerks. humanap ka ng panget at ibigin mong tunay . Sigaw ko sa kanya. Next time videohan mo ha? Bigyan kitang hidden camera. sorry. Jeannie! Kulog lang `yun. Sana nga gan on na lang. Lagay mo sa CR `pagnaliligo si Julian. Syempre laging naka-coat and tie `yang suplado mong asawa. Hay nako Jeannie. Is he big? CM! I swore I blushed to the roots of my hair. Tipong ikaw pa ang aagawan ng boyfriend. if I know. Ano ba kasing iniisip mo? Masyado ng polluted `yang utak mo. When I was a kid I never liked rainy days. Knowing Jean s eccentricity. (secret on) God. My eyes were moist. isa pang Bebe `yun e h. `Yu n nga lang pwede siyang pang-S. I was stepping o n his Bermuda grass. Really? One brow arched. And very gay. Nagpapakamatay ka ba? Gusto mo bang magkasakit? . Julian was one hell of a hot specimen. Why was it so? I had living proofs. But I found out I was doing the same thing. Malak as pa naman radar ng mga mothers. `yung katawan. Dati ko siyang manliligaw na artist din. Lahat ng sama ng loob ko sa mundo ay inilabas ko. I knew then that he won. If I were you. Wooooh! I shouted loudly. CM? Geezers. Narinig kong naghikab si CM. Paano kung babae maging anak natin? Anak ko Jeannie. Chillax Jeannie. As if there was no tomorrow. Jean di d. O inakala nilang ba liw na `ko. I found myself taking my shoes off and standing on Julian s lawn. Sana vinideohan mo. He was naughty and nice. `Yung t awang pinipilit lumandi. I d like to spit right onto his demonic face. He didn t know the meaning of love or even gi ving. Wala akong pakialam kung pinagtitinginan man ako ng katulong ni Julian. Nakakaawa siya. One hell of a horse.O. And don t you ever dare slee p with Brad. He whispered and bunched my hair up roughly. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. I avoided eye contact with him. Whatever. I agreed to his terms. `Coz I d kill both of you. Ikaw lang ang magdadala pero anak ko. Then I heard his monstrous laugh. gifts and very gentleman. Sus. Baritonong high-pitched. JEANNIE! One hand grabbed my arm and swung me around. gora na ako sa gusto niya. Why not? Pwede ko `yung ipam-b lackmail kay Julian. One theory I realized: The nice? guys are ugly. Wow. I don t want the time to come that I would only feel hatred against Ju lian. I sighed as I clutched the wireless phone to my ears. `Yung tipong `pagnaglak ad kayong dalawa sa mall feeling mo ang yaman mo. Masyado siyang makasarili. Was I that bad? Pero sabi nga ni Andrew E. He gave me flowers. He giggled. Sus. Bibi? Bibi? Bibi? Bebe Gandang hari.
My chest was flattened against his. He pulled me roughly into his arms.It was lightning. I was wetting his tux. My God. didn t he? Get off me It was a joke. Was he worried? I shook my head. He said in amazement. I love you Uhhh I couldn t believe it. Then I started crying on his chest . I waited for him to do the next move. Hello? This was so small co mpared to what we d done. LOL. So I closed the distance. Julian was really saying those words? Oh. He brushed the straining hair on my forehead. Under the rain. I rubbed my nose against his. I wanted to smack his handsome face only if he didn t look amused. Na sana hindi lang ako gustong i-detain dito ni Julian dahil sa utang ko. Nalaglag `yung payong. Ok ay na eh. my God. Bastos ka. Tapos itinapat ko `yung mukha ko sa mukha niya. At sabay kaming bumagsak sa Bermuda grass. Eskimo kiss. I looked up at him. This was the magic moment. If only it didn t have any value. Gusto kong matawa sa itsura niya. I probably lost one screw earlier. Argh. You are my baby. I felt hot all over. Was I dreamin g? Tapos bigla siyang umubo. NINETEEN Sometimes you d wished that things were easier. pang-FAMAS na sana drama ko. I closed my eyes. I wrapped my arms around his neck. Tapos tapos Hachuuuu! There. Pilit kong tinatanggal ang mga patak ng ulan sa mata ko. Pilit kong sumasayaw at nagtampisaw pero hawak pa rin niya ang braso ko. Can you believe that? He did say he loved me. I knew it. Nagsasalubong ang mga kilay nito at may payong na dala. Ha? Wow. I was on top . Para bang hindi siya makapaniwalang ginawa ko talaga `yun sa kanya. That money was just a piece of pap er. On his face. 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. Don t even tell me! . Nakakahiya na talaga. Julian Niyakap niya `ko. Tapos malapit na super lapit na Nanunulis na `yung bibig ko. Nung pagtalon ko kaya? What joke? That you lov e me? No. What do you think are you doing? He asked na para bang nandidiri sa `kin! I blinke d thrice. Feeling ko nga matutunaw ako. I wrinkled my nose. Syempre mahiya naman ako `di ba? Hindi ko pa rin namang nakakalimuta ng babae ako. Are we going to start the baby making process here and now? I looked up. We were both wet. Ang lapit lapit ng mukha namin. Hindi kaya magkapalit kami ng mukha? I smiled at him. On top of him. Grabe. Halos maduling na kami sa titigan namin. A mixture of tears and rain. I thought I was going to sneeze my head out. Titig na titig siya sa `kin.
What am I doing? Badtrip na pinilit kong umayos ng upo. I ve heard that before. Parang gusto niya na akong sakalin sa itsura niya. Ano na namang kalokohan `to? And stop doing doing that. Inirapan ko siya. Alam ba niya `yung ibig sabihin ng salitang hambog ? No? I thought so. Ano bang problema nito? Gusto kong sumigaw pero wala akong lakas. I m handsome and you couldn t resis t that. my God. Napatingin ako sa kanya. making love in the rain. Ungol ako ng ungol. He was pacing to and fro. hot. Jeannie Jeannie I thought my head was going to break into pieces. . What the heck. Do you ever know the word humility? Okay na magsungit siya. hindi ko na kasalanan `yun. Tsk. Basta `wag niya lang asahanag maghuhub ad ako sa harapan niya. It was a great effort to slap the incredulity in his face. I moaned aloud. Ang sakit sakit ng ulo ko. my ey es almost bulged. And stop staring at me like that! I know. I know. May dictionary ka ba dyan? He shrugged. FROM YOU. his wet shirt was clinging to his body. Pakipot pa. I screamed. In disguise. Ohhh My mouth opened in an indignant O. Pangalan ko. My eyes grew wide. Then I imitated again louder. He k nelt down in front of me. he hissed and brushed his drenched hair. Kasi parang hinihila ako sa antok. He knelt down in front of me. At ang mga kilay nito? Nagsasalubong na naman. Nakita kong basang basa na `yung carpet. I rolled my eyes heavenward. Are you into drugs? I said I was kidding about you. me. Napaungol ako lalo. Sigaw sigawan niya `ko . Promise. sabi ko na nga ba Julian ha d a pretty fix on me from the start. Ni-rape niya ba `ko? Bakit feeling ko para akong ginahasa? Ang sasakit ng mga kalamnan ko. 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. just s eeing him standing there with his shirt loving his body to perfection was making me ahm. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung friends sila ni The Grinch. I closed my eyes. He proved to b e tempting. I wasn t so sure. Oh God. I tried to focus my eyes on him. He was standing there. I opened o ne good eye. Hingal don.He winced. Wala namang pinainom sa `k in si Julian `di ba? Hindi kaya nilason niya na `ko? I groaned louder than the la st. Para akong lasing. Oh. Ohhh ohhh Jul ian Ohhh YUCK! GROSS! He just raised his brow and looked at me oddly. Oh well. 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. I frowned. I couldn t breathe. Pag-umpugi n ko pa sila eh. Julian must have been an angel. Ano na naman bang pinagsisintir nito? His wet hair was clinging to hi s forehead. Alam mo `yung parang humalinghing na pusa? My mouth dropped open. May sakit ka ba? He s aid sarcastically. Hingal dito. Sino bang may sabing ako lang pala ang n ag-iisip ng hindi kanais-nais dito! Akalain mo `yun. Ba hala siya kung anong gusto niyang isipin. I was still suncking in my breath ever so slowly. Bakit hindi ko man lang nalaman? Sayang naman. But it s as if as if you re going to eat me for dinner. I said stop it. You sounded you sounded Sounded what? Like you are making out! For Pete s sake! Ha? Grabe. Narinig kong tinataw ag niya `ko. Will you stop that? angil nito. Nakaupo ako sa couch! Basa.
Helllpppppppp And in fair ness. Aba. hindi ko alam kung panong tili ang gagawin ko. Was he insane? We were in the shower room! Hanggang dito ba naman? I shrieke d. 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. Natatarantang binuhat niya ito. She was in and out of consciousness. I swore. mabilis pa sa alas-kwatrong yumakap ako kay Julian. My. The he pulled down my jeans. I moaned a loud. I made sure na nahirapan siya. Para akong lalagnatin . Well. Anong akala niya sa `kin bata?! I bit his hand. Our wet clothes were felt so paper-thin. Naramdaman kong may nagbababa sa `kin sa tiles. Pumasok si Mommy! Jean! At ang mga katulong! We heard you scream. You mani ac! I hissed through my teeth. God. Rough. Galit na binuhat niya ulit ako. Doon. Jeannie fainted! Napapikit ang mga mata niya. But she lay passive. At w ala akong pakialam kahit bumabaha ng mura sa shower room. Then h is mouth landed on mine. 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. Tapos dahan dahang bumaba `yung mga mata ko dun sa kamay ni ya. gracious. He frowned. Kung kanina y nagkakakawag ako. I wished that instant that I were a mermaid.. In my blurring vision I saw Juli an hovering over me. Kung akala niyang inaapoy sa pagnanasa si Jeannie. I felt his teeth nipped my lower lip. Nanlaki `yung mga mata ko. A slow knowing smile played about his kissable lips. The likes of Julian should be banned. he was definitely wrong. Walang p atawad. Pakawalan mo `ko! Pakawalan mo sabi ak ooo Ibinagsak niya `ko sa bathtub! He was really inconsiderate. Julian noooo! I screamed and wailed. Forceful. Hindi niya `ko pinansin! Tuloy-tuloy lang siya sa pagtanggal ng mga butones.. Then I closed my eyes. Like the way he always used to. pati dun sa baba. The door burst open. Santisima! Naman si Julian oh. Para siyang binuhusan ng malamig na t ubig. I was burning hot. He roughly cupped my left cheek.Hubaran niya `ko! Joke lang. Pakawalan mo `ko!!! Ti nakpan niya `yung bibig ko. Para akong inaapoy. He was a safe cover from the intrud . Gosh. Sisigaw na talaga ako. Sa sobrang gigil ni Julian. Oh. Inaapoy ito sa lagnat. Parang nawalang lahat ang panghihina ko. Namatay lahat. Hotter. He ripped it off me! Goodness. Hindi ko alam kung anong l ubog sa hindi punong bath tub ang gagawin. Bakit hindi? Ang mga katulad niya ang da hilan kung bakit nagkakasala ang mga respetadong babaeng kagaya ko.
Eight o`clock in the morning? I bolted upright. Don t you want to ask who? He just shrugged. They all gasped. I was trying to cover myself. Hindi naman ako kasya sa butas ng banyo. I looked at the alarm clock. Kinapa ko `yung sarili k o. Goodness. Julian wouldn t say something like that. Anong gagawin mo? I looked around me. Tignan ko lang kung makahalik pa siya ng ibang babae. Anong masamang ginagawa mo sa kapatid ko? Tili si Jean. I smiled too sweetly. pleaded with me to bathe her. Then he took the soap. See? Your sister here wants me Oh. Julian I have hands. There was someth ing endearing about a man who said that he could take on the world for me. Will you please get out? I shouted at him. He was such a monster. Oh-kay. Parang hin di ako mahiwalay sa pagkakayakap sa kanya. Hinawakan nito sa balikat si Julian at pilit inaalis mula sa `kin. What what? You look as if you would kill. That was only a snippet. didn t I? Then I clos ed my eyes. Buti alam mo. I really croaked. Julian bathed me! He dressed me up! What did he thi . I woke up late that night. Sana totoo. He shrugged. I sucked in my breath. I bit my lower lip. Nang lumabas na silang lahat. What are you all doing here? Julian smiled. I gasped. my God. Julian smiled. Nanla laki ang mga mata ko ng Oh.ers. Hindi ko gusto ang ngiting iyon. He didn t look pleased with himsel f. Hi ndi na `ko magtataka kung mas pa kung sasabihin niyang: I ll kill you Jeannie . He smirked. Bahala? Ha! If I know. Betty Boop PJs. Parang batang bulong ko. Then I d make him eat the cake of soap. What? He asked innocently. Ako ang bahala sa `yo. Darkness was pulling me down. Sana hindi lang ako nananaginip. Lumingon siya s a `kin. no. Gusto ko siyang lunurin sa bathtub. `Yung parang hinuhubaran kung hindi ko pa alam na hubad na `ko! I h issed. Then his hands submerged under the water. He scrubbed my stomach. Isn t it obvious? My mouth dropped open. Ah. Pinanlakihan ko siya ng mg a mata. My stomach churned. Napalingon siya dito. Han ggang sa magbula `yung bibig niya. A mere whisper. was this déjà vu? I had nowhere to go. At isinandal ang ulo ko sa bathtub. It me ant catastrophe. Who said that killing a moron was against the law? Hindi ba pwe deng magbawas kahit isa? TWENTY I hated him. Parang binabarena `yung ulo ko. tapos tapos bibitawan niya `ko. Tinitig an niya `ko. An g bigat ng pakiramdam ko. Goodness.
Sa paningin ko. He really had a sweet and cari ng side. All at once my heart started hammering. Tumagilid ako. Evil Ken. `Yung tawang parang wala ng bukas.nk of me? Barbie doll. Don t make me laugh. Hindi naman masama lasa niya. Day off ng mga katulong. I was about to talk again when he thrust the spoonful of kaning baboy in my mouth. Jeannie Rose Leviste? YOU? WON T TALK? Tawa. Betty Boop! Kumain ka na. I gritted my teeth. Binuksan ko `yung silver cover. Sa daldal mong `yan. Alam kong hindi uso sa mahihirap ang omelette . parang utang na loob ko pa ang paggawa niya ng breakfast sa `kin. Julian ano b a! Will just give me peace Jeannie? I opened my mouth to talk again. He even yawned. EVER. I wasn t giving him peace? If I give you peace I won t talk to you. ang mahi rap kuhanin mahirap pakawalan. Ha! Grabe. Pasalamat siya gutom ako. Wow. eh? Nooo I bemoaned. Julian wala na naman akong lagnat samahan mo `ko mamaya kina Sumpak ulit. This side of Julian that I wasn t used to. Hindi ba niya `ko papatayin? I looked at the tray in front of me. I groaned inwardly. Wit h his bewitching smile. Biglang bumukas `yung pinto. 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. He was e ven clutching his stomach. Nakita kong napahiga siya kakatawa. Tawa. I chewed it. No reply. I took the pillow and covered my ear. Parang biglang k umalam ang sikmura ko. Breakfast. He started laughing. May takip iyon. I really gasped aloud. My God. thank you. parang n agkaroon siya ng dalawang sungay. Julian? He didn t reply. Hmp. My head was poundi ng. Not talkin g would be the cause of your death. Bakit nga pala nandito sina mommy kahapon? Oh! I forgot to call CM. He was really going to kill me. I wanted to hit him with the lamp shade. I arched one brow. What did he think of me? Hard-to-get `to no. Sabi nga ni mommy. Tapos bigla niya `kong inabutan ng tablet. Ang kapal niya! Grabe. Confirmed. No more like poison me! My eyes stared incredulously. I understand. Thank you. Bumagsak ang katawan ko sa higaan. Medicine. Unti-unti akong napangiti. But still mukha pa rin iyong darak. What a better way of saying Shut up Jeannie . kumain ka na. There the Ken stood. Fine. He said with sarcasm. Surely Ano ng tingin niya sa `kin? BABOY? Ano `to? Kaning baboy? Why. Excuse me! Gigil na humarap ako sa kanya. Surely I wasn t that fat. I opened my mouth in disgust. Patalikod sa kany a. Preppy Ken. He tapped again my shoulder. Tawa. I glared at him. Basta hinalo lang niya ang pagkain. Naniningkit ang mga mata ko. Ganon pala huh? . I gasped. Forcefully. He tapped my shoulder. Yep. Mabilis akong humarap sa kanya. Whatever. Napatingin ako sa unan ng masama. Hey. Galit kaya ako. My hands were itchi ng to take those and cover his That would be the day Jeannie. Sa bi nga pala ni Thrust the food on my mouth. Gusto kong sabihing: Amuin mo ko Kumain ka na. Naramdaman kong lumubog `yung kama sa gilid ko. An ong ginagawa mo dito? bulong ko.
Smile. Inabot ko ang kamay ko sa kanya. Waiting. Tumaas `yung kilay ko. They were all looking at me. I wasn t really e avesdropping. You hated lies. I frowned. Ang bilis . Hindi kaya pulutin ako sa kalsada `pagsinabi ko `yun? Pam-blackmail! Tama. He turned around and just walked on! I saw the way he carried himself like the king of the world. Didn t you. darling? Nanlalaki ang mga mata ko. I sighed. I was just a very keen-observer. You have to tell him! You can t just keep this damned secret forever. His whole being would surely break into a thousand pieces. I was about to turn away when some snatches of the conv ersation caught my attention. What are you doing here? I swore. Nod. The voices were familiar. Paano ko sasabihin sa kanya? Julian your family wasn t supposed to be who they were. Wala nama n talaga akong pakialam. He would break furnitures and lashed at people. I looked as if I d seen a ghost. See? Silence means yes. Ito ang napapala ng mga tsismosa. Sabi ko na nga ba. When will you tell Julian about his true parentage. He frowned and sighed. Nagsasawa na `ko sa ganito. It was as if they (Julian s supposed dad and Uncle Bert) told me that it wa s the end of the world. Bert? When will you take all the blame and this buuullshit end? TELL ME! Parang may bombang sumabog. Silence would really kill me. Aunt Risan my wife s very pampered. Parang teledrama lang. Parang balewala lan g naman sa kanya. It was difficult ignoring someone who didn t want to be ignored. `yung mga taong curious `yu n `yung matatalino. Jeannie? I almost jumped in surprise. And be polite.I would have cried aloud if not for Uncle Bert and Julian s dad. She loved you damn you! Silence descended. Kasalanan ko bang halos rinig na ng buong bahay ang pag-uusap nila ? Sus. ha. I even bathed her yesterday. Parang sinasabi ng ti nging iyong akala ko ba hindi tayo bati? . But then all your lif e you were living a big damned lie. I was rooted to the ground. Poor you. `Yun lang! G oodness. Julian smiled at me and raised his wineglass in a mocking salute. My hands were cold and c lammy. Inirapan ko si ya. Would he slash his wrists? No. They all laughed. Nangangalay na braso ko ah. His broad back was turned to me. simpleng papansin. Gusto ko ng magsalita. Naiisip ko pa lang an g mga gagawin niya y kinikilabutan na `ko. Napapanis na ata l away ko. I was true to my promise. Nagsasalita siya. Mabait po `pag tulog. He ll hate me. At unang una ako sa mga taong iyon. Yes. At sabi nga. My knees were going to buck le. We Aherm! Aherm! Malakas kong ubo. He r olled his eyes. Hindi kami bati! Hindi ko siya papansinin! Argh. Deadma lang ako. Ang katawan ko. He ordered. Nanghihinang naglalakad ako. Ayusin mo sarili mo. Parang may sariling isip ang mga paa ko. Gusto ko ng ngatngatin ang plato o ka ya ibato iyon sa kanya. Wow. Uuwi na tayo. Kanina pa kita hinahanap. The side of his mouth lifted slightly. Ang sinabi niya lang kanina we re going some place . I was tight-lipped and turned to his aunt. And she loves me dearly I would have gasped. In short. most of the time. I would have turned around and walked away. Parang bumalik ang sakit ng ulo ko. Mabait na asawa ba itong si Julian hija? Tanong ni Aunt Risan sa `kin. He raised one brow at me. Ikaw ang may kasalanan ako ang umaani! She never love d me so I got tired of waiting for her. You know I can t. Mamamatay nga ata ako. Tapos napatapat ako sa library. I was trying to find the comfort room. He just kept on talking. We were both sile nt on the way here. He was challen ging me. Alam kong nan anadya lang siya. Well.
Parang hindi niya napapansin na kasama niya `ko. Parang sinasabing nasiraan na nga talaga . What are you doing? He said softly. He started laughing demonically. Akalain ko bang hindi ko matiis and dyablong si Julian? I could have gone straight to a reporter or to any journa list. And I bet. Uncle Bert was his dad. Nagsusungit na naman. Masarap palang matulog ng may katabi. I sighed pleasurably. you can t live without me. And the one he grew up with was really his uncle. I ll tell you something you don t know. Nasaktan pa nga ` yung dibdib ko sa pagtama sa likod niya. `di one ganda okay. He didn t ev en bother to open the door for me. Somebody was sleeping beside me! My eyes grew wide . I couldn t breathe a little. You need me. Habang pilit pang tinatanggal `yung kamay ko s a harap niya! I tightened my hands around his middle. I smiled mischievously. If he d only known. I cushioned my head against his back. As in. In my dreamy state. He sighed exaggeratedly. Bumaba na kami ng sasakyan.. Sipon . I snuggled closer. Umiling-iling ito. Hindi ko na siya pinakialamanan. Ang gulo no? Kasing gulo ng u tak ni Julian. Later that night I went to sleep early. Ni-lock ko `yung pinto kanina. But it didn t even bother me. I hiccupped through his shirt. Julian was in the study room fussing ove r documents. The hands tightened around my m idsection. Laway ko. I almost screamed. And because he was very much a gentleman. And because I wasn t that bad I hoped God and St. Half of my body w as covered by. Peter was looking right down at me us . 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. Na hindi ko m an lang alam kung sino. for sure he would blame himself for the separati on. one baet point na `ko. Tandaan mo Jeannie may malaking utang na loob siya sa `yo. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. he might n ot know yet but he d thank you later. .. Well. And hugged him from behind. Kaya tatanawin niya sa `kin itong isang malaking utang n a loob. somebody. And and Julian never slept wit h me. Luha. Ang lakas ng impact. TWENTY ONE We went straight home. It was one hell of a secret. Baliw ka na ba? He said drily while looking at me in disg ust. Hmm? Humigpit bigla `yung kapit niya sa `kin. I ran to him. May utang na loob ka sa `kin. For the first time I rendered pity for the high and mighty Julian Sunico. Katabi! Then it clearly dawned on me. I fell in step beside him.ko. Parang may nakadagan sa katawan ko. Ever since that phone call earlier. Pero hindi ko ginawa. Eh.
Ah. He came back late that night. Nakalimutan ba niya? He cuddle d with me last night! I thought we were okay? Ngayon ko napatunayang maraming na didisgrasya sa akala. The man s breath was fanning my cheek. Inamoy amoy ko pa man din `yung unan na hinigan niya! Tapos `pagdating ng b reakfast hindi ako papansinin? Grabe. I tenderly caressed his hair. Nice butt. her eyes were big and even her mouth was a big O. I was going crazy with boredom. My eyes slowly widen ed He was gloriously buck-naked. Dirediretso sa study room niya. Gigil na sinundan ko siya. Pero utos pa rin. he was fast asleep. You scared me inis na bulong ko. I heard him chuckle. luckily his back was turned to me. Traveling. Ang ulo nito ay parang batang isiniksik sa leeg ko. Seconds late r. He wore his underwear not a whit about me ogling standing there. Niyugyog ko `yung balikat niya. Balewalang dumagan ulit siya sa `kin! Na parang ba ta. Parang balewalan g naglakad siya papunta sa closet. Leave me alone. Naghilik siya. No phone calls. Aalis. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. Gigil kon g sabi. Then I looked over my shoulder. Hello? Hindi ko kaya nakita! Wala kaya akong nakita. Hindi ko alam kung bakit. Inumang ko `yung kamao ko sa likod niya tapos humarap siya. Then I pushed him hard. Three words. I smiled sweetly. I closed the door shut in effect. Hawak pa `yung walis. Maybe Julian needed some loving after all. Sabay biglang takbo. Nakiliti ako sa paghinga niya sa leeg ko. Why are you in my room? Bulong ko. arhm scratch that. Excuse me? Bad breath. My chest was flattened against his. Alam mo ba Julian na nakakainis ka? Nawala na `yung antok ko dahil sa He covered my mouth! Inis na tinatanggal ko iyon. One word uttered. Ano ba. What are you doing? I frowned when he started puttin g his clothes in a traveling bag. Julian ungot ko. napadaan lang ma am. I covered my eyes with my hand. ganon. Then he went to work . Julian san ka kumain? He shrugged. Bakit ba ang sungit sungit mo He slammed the door in my face! I was so shocked. May alzheimer s na ata. Hindi naman ah. Yuck. My God. Ah. May pupuntahan tayo? U . I know. Travel. Hell. I angrily swung the door loud enough. Mabaho ba `ko? For the first time. Unfortunately. Sleep. Sige magpanggap kang wala ako dito. Didn t he know that he was way bigger than me? He covered half of my b ody. `Yung isa naming maid nakatayo din! Promise. Lapasta ngan! Tinitigan ko siya ng masama. Hindi man lang ako pin agtangkaan ni Julian. Pinipilit nitong pigilan ang mga kamay ko. A person seemed vulnerable when asleep.Madilim. I started pushing. This mig ht be heaven. Ang KAPAL! Mabilis na itinapat ko ang palad sa bibig at bumuga buga. Tinatanong lang naman kita. But my. He wasn t talking to me the whole day! I woke up with the empty side of the bed. With gaps between my fingers. Niyugyog ko ulit. wasn t that my weakness? Men with nice rounded bu tts. L alo niyang nilakasan `yung paghilik.
He was mouthing: Kiss. I realized then that my world started revolving around Julian. Baliw na ata talaga ako. Parang nakalimutan ko nga ding magpinta. CM said from behind. Teka. THE HELL I CARE! Jeannie! Ano?! Galit kong harap kay Julian. No one would shout at me. Oh. Para akong robot. I ate silently at the breakfast table. I rolled on my stomach and covered the pillow over my head. How was that? Nakahiga lang ako. Parang hindi gumagana `yung utak ko. I didn t even remember him. CM was waiting for me downstairs. He could really be attracti ve and sexy without trying. He was even immersed in painting a landscape. dangsin-ibogo sip-eulgeoya I ll miss you. I m going to Las Vegas for a business trip. I pouted. Julian! Oo Jeannie narinig kita. I was a little absorbed with my emotions. I was just plain bored . Nobody would tor ment me. At saka lang ito ngumisi sa `kin. One week kong h indi makikita si Julian? Argh. I punched the pillow like it was his face. A week. Ang O. `di ba kapag naka-pout nanunulis `yung lips? Hindi man lang makara mdam! Tapos nakita ko sa likod si CM. I didn t even notice that we were already inside the airport. Nagulat ako. I was t rying hard not to look at his back while walking away. ko. I didn t miss him. Inis na binato ko ang unan niya sa kama. Mabobored lang siguro ako kaya ako nagkakaganito. Wala naman talaga akong pakialam. Anong ginag awa nito dito? Julian put his luggage in the compartment without a word to me. Aalis tayo Jeannie. I One more week of not abiding that damned co ntract. One week. Naiinis ako sa kanya! Kahit `wag na siyang bumalik. Tayo? Nagmamadaling tinignan pa nito ang wrist watch. Kung ako lang din CM mas gusto kong maiwan kasama ng asawa ko! Mabilis na sumakay ako ng sasakyan. Anong sinabi niya? I stared blankly at CM. He was going away. Sabi ko sa sarili ko at ginawa pang p uppet na nagsasalita ang kamay ko. Oo nga. That was it. Kung ako lan g Jeannie mas gusto kong maiwan kasama `yung asawa mo. Ang laki-laki ng bahay ako lang naman at si CM. Kinilig pa ang bruha.mupo ako sa gilid ng kama. Basta lagay lang siya ng lag ay ng gamit. Tapos tinalikuran niya na `ko. He put on a shirt and his rugged jeans. Samahan daw muna kita. Okay lang `yun! Mabuti nga `yun. Tapos pinisil niya `yung bab a ko. He studied his nails. Anong sinabi niya? Hindi kaya minura ako ni Juli an? TWENTY TWO Four full days. So planado ito? G anon ba? Why didn t you tell me? Galit kong harap sa kanya. Kahit man lang hoy wala. For a week! Na hindi man lang ako kasama? Ang galing. He even smiled at me. I sniffed it. A. Ni hindi man lang nag-alalang tumawag para itanong kung buhay pa `ko. No phone calls. We were all quiet. Not even a word. Yo ur hubby called me. He moved toward me. I couldn t say anything. Tapos tinalon talunan ko iyon. O binabaon ko ba s iya sa utang through his credit card. Parang baligtad? Whatever. Jeannie . Wala na `kong yayamutin. I sat down while panting. I was hugging Julian s pillow tightly. He even demonstrated with his hands. Hindi niya ako pinansin.
Ahh he nodded indulgently. It opened. I said nonchalantly. Inis na humiga ulit ako at tinalikuran siya. I looked at him squarely. `di ba? Sakalin ko kaya `tong si CM? Once lang. Oh? I don t care if you don t believe me CM. Sorry na. Just curious. Eee. Boom . It tasted ashes on the tongue. Hello Julian? Jeannie kain na tayo! Sh!t. We ate dinner serenely. Julian? Badtrip. Mamaya mag-celebrate tayo tutal wala naman dito si Julian. Argh. my mobile started ringing. I gasped and glared at him. I forced my muscles to move. CM said. Tama. Double Sh!t. I didn t like CM s expression. Hindi! Hello. To my astonishme nt. Naiinis ako s a mga taong magkukwento tapos mambibitin! My hands were getting itchy to wring h is neck. you know. It stopped ringing just when the key turned in. Bakit ba kasi nilock lock ko pa `yung drawer? Stupid of me. My hand was trembling. I gnawed the inside of my left cheek. Huwag lang talaga siyang makalapit-lapit. I m just resting. Tatalikod pa lang sana ako ng tumunog ulit iyon. Me? Missing him? Bull. Pilit ginagaya si Ann Curtis. because you re not interested never mind. Gusto kong ipakain sa kanya iyon. Umiinom ng isang tasang kape si CM. The door opened. How could he be my friend? He had done nothing but to hum iliate me. He stood up from my bed. CM said. bakit ka nagmumukmok? Ako? Nagmumukmok? My God CM. So. Nagmamadali ako. That would be a cold day in hell. Kitang kita kong parang hinayang siya. I reahed for it under my accessories along with other swell stuff. Eh. you don t miss him? Umupo ulit ako. 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. CM won! I hated them both. Big time. Para akong tangang hawak hawak `yung cell phone sa tenga ko. 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. dude. I smi rked at him. Mauubos talaga buhok niya sa `kin. Tapos tinalikuran niya `ko at isinara ang pinto `paglabas. Alam mo naman si Julian napakapasensyoso! I gritted my teet h and sighed. Meron tayong bente kwatro oras sa isa ng araw. What bad news? . Okay. Smile Jeannie.That bolted me upright. Anong ginagawa niya? Dinadaig si Bill Gates? Tsk. I couldn t eat that muc h. Anong sabi niya? Hindi ka naman interesado. Namimiss mo na no? Sabi nito at umupo sa tabi ko. Kahit `wag na siyang bumalik. I hissed and stared at him pointedly. Sayang sasabihin ko pa man sana sa `yong tumawag kanina si Julian Well. He gave me that eat-your-heart-out sm ile. Bwisit. You should understand your husband. CM!!! I wanted to wipe the grin off hi s face. I almost tripped with the blanket in a hurry to g et to my cell phone in the drawer. I don t want to be the bearer of bad news Jeannie.
dangsin-eul salanghabnida. And my! His chest was uncovered. I thought men with stu bbles looked messy before. There was nothing cons tant and permanent in this word. He found himself smiling oddly. Disoriented. I stretched my arms. He opened the door and slid inside the semi-darkened room quietly. I m sorry Jennie. Ang hirap kapag magkalaban ang puso at ang utak. Angko s footprints. That was the most hateful word in a businessman s vocabulary. 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. This was just one of his grand jokes. The word complication was writt en all over her face. Goodness. At nalilis ang kumot mula dito. He opened one good eye. 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. He grunted. His mindset was shouting he didn t need her. Weren t his mother and father a one great example ? He was a very cynical man. wasn t it? Si Julian? Bankrupt? Bugger. I went to bed that night with my head pounding so hard it hurt. He look ed a bit disoriented. Even in deep slumber she came to him willingly. Eight? Ten? Ang tagal ko na d in palang pinagtyatyagaan si Julian. Bankrupt. kabaligtaran ang nangyayari sa totoong buhay. Tapos humarap ulit siya sa `kin. Kukurutin ko sana `yung braso ko. TWENTY THREE I woke up with a start. He was a major lo ser. Sabi ko na nga ba. Julian She turned to the side. I pouted. Maingat niya itong pinagmasdan. I was really dreaming! Oh. 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. I slowly smiled. Now. And his fingers were itching to put an L word on his forehead. Ayt. She stirred in her sleep. Marahang humiga siya sa tabi nito at tumagilid. He couldn t afford to lose his heritage. Napatingala ako sa kanya. It s the truth. He kissed her na pe softly. Jeannie could disappear one day. At mas mahirap ipaglaban ang isang bagay na alam mong matagal ka nang talo. Oooh lala . Julian. Lumapat ang likod nito sa dibdib niya. They lost millions. Tapos nakita k o `yung biceps ni Julian. `Yun ang narinig ko. It was just that he was afraid to get too attached. I love you. That was the last of my conscious thoughts. 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. He didn t really know what bullsh!t happened t o him. The light fli ckered from the lamp shade were casting shadows on the wall to the woman sleepin g serenely on the bed. He knew those facts might kill him. She was one thing he didn t need right now. Jules Tinalikuran niya `ko! Oh-kay. My eyes grew wide. Huy. I slept like the dead. Someone groaned beside me. God. my left arm jabbed som ething. The investors in Las Vegas were pulling out. Why not? . Parang hindi ko ata naintindihan ang mga sinabi ni CM. His heart told him otherwise.Pabagsak na ang negosyo ng mga Sunico. Ine-expect ko bang nandun si Sadako? Oh great. Napasubsob ak o sa dibdib niya. He was whi spering what seemed like love words to me. Julian changed the word messy to SEXY. Tapos pumikit ulit. But but hey I had this dream last night. He cuddled her in spoon fashion. I whispered.
Tapos `yung tingin n a `yun yung para akong hinuhubaran? Are you insane? Inis na lumayo siya sa `kin. was he seducing me? It wasn t working! It was oh-so-tempting. Why couldn t I close my eyes? Why do you have no clothes on? Not a stitch! A slow smile cracked about his lips. naninigaw pa rin siya. . Who are you asking me or the bed? I looked him in the eyes. Damn. Parang kagat lang `yun ng langgam. Uh-oh. Tapos nagtititili ako. But I m tired. Grabe magkaka-stiff neck ata ako kakating ala sa kanya. He chuckled. He even make it a point to dine with me at night. Oo. Grabe. Naninigas na `yung leeg ko. He tickled me on each side. Why do you have no clothes on? I parroted. Hinila niya talaga ako. Pe ro Julian toned down a bit. I was a bit tempted. Kinikilig talaga ako. he wasn t that showy. Not lower Jeannie! But hey. Tapos inabot niya sa `kin `yung toothbrush ko. sayang! LOL. Pero ngu mingiti na rin siya ngayon. Tingin sa lampshade. Some things changed in him after his business trip. He ripped the magazine off my hands and threw it wherever it landed. He said forlornly. if I would be living with him forever I couldn t imagine. Ayy. I clutche d the headboard. Na para bang nababaliw na `ko! Tapos tumayo na siya na parang walang pakialam. I woke up having him beside me. Well. Feeling ko ang bilis humaba ng buhok ko. Oh. I hated him! Hindi na siya nahiya sa ayos niya. I gulped. I winced as I saw him striding down the stairs. I lacked sleep. Julian didn t mention anymore about my debt or the baby making cont ract. Nanghinayang lang. Jeans. malakas kaya kiliti ko. `Yun nga lang. Nangangalay na `ko. Geezers. I winced. A bit. he became a bit ge ntler with. I pouted. Para kaming naghahabulan sa maliit na kama. He was silent. Hello? It was daytime! Tapos tumata gos pa `yung sinag ng araw mula sa sliding door. Why. What did you do with my things?! What things? Painosente kong sabi.I pinched him slowly and ever so painfully. Tingin sa flooring. Inis na humarap ako. Mayamaya lamang we were brushing our teeth side by side. L ukot na naman ang mukha. He had already a to wel on. God Jeannie look elsewhere but him! Tin gin sa ceiling. As in nada? Meaning. Jeannie! Sabi ko sa inyo a bit lang eh. He planted his hands on his hips. Kailangan ko pang pum asok. Na para bang walang pakialam. What! Inis niyang tanong habang hinahanap `yung jeans niya! Yes. Anyhow. what the Confirmed. He then hugged me and carried me to the bathroom. I know you want me now Jeannie. He regarded me with incredulity. Sa kama. My. Nanggigil lang naman ako. Hinuhubaran? More like sinu sunog. Tapos nagbuklat ako ng magazine. It was un-Julian to do those things for me. Ano kayang pinakain kay Julian don? Na-realize niya sigurong mahirap ng makahanap ng isang Jeannette Rose Leviste sa buong mundo. I was like in fairy land for three m ore weeks. Ginalaw mo naman `yung mga gamit ko! Even my baseball is missing. Tumalikod ako sa kanya ng tumayo na siya sa harap n g salamin. Just a bit. men had no modesty! I slept in my birth suit. But our eyes met th rough the mirror. Ang kapal! I shrieked when he pulled my feet from the be d. Not that I was disappointed. I swore I blushed to the roots of my hair. He gave me that come-on smile. He often scowled. Si Julian nga! Nagsasalubong ang mga kilay nito. But not at him . I gritted my teeth.
Sana may baby na rin ako. Hindi naman talaga masama ugali niya. Ang kapal ko naman kung sabihin kun g he was lusting after me. Tricia gave it to me on my 21st birthday. Jeannie? Tumili siyang lumapit sa `kin. if I was going to ask for the moon. Okay. It s time. Tell me you love me and I ll forget you even dated Tricia once u pon a time. Pero hello? Kailangan pa bang ipamukha sa `kin na regalo `yun ng ex niya? EX na nga `di ba? Meaning X. I thought he was going to tell me go to hell . We chat a little for a while. I m not good with explaining myself. There was something there. I silently wished as I touched my sister s rounded stomach . Hinarap niya `ko. He was looking right through me. Babalik na `ko ng States the day after tomorrow. eh kung tutuusin I was my sister s dead ringer. No. He si ghed exaggeratedly. That s Tricia s birthday gift to me. He was eyeing me like. For me it wasn t even practical eating or even drinking a cup of coffee for how much! Tsk. sometimes he was an asshole. Parang tumaas lahat ng dugo ko sa ulo ko. I glanced at him. At nauna na kay Jean. She knew CM by the photos I e-mailed to her before. Then we hugged each other. ang big deal ng nakaraan para sa inyo. Alin `yun baseball bat niyang may nakalagay pang From me to you? YUCK! I don t know.I pouted. Kung gusto mo kunin mo sa attic! The hell I care if it was even the Queen of England s gift to you! Ayoko kasi ng maraming basura sa room ko! Bwisit. you know. How rude . okay fi ne. Were rich men born to be airheads? Julian for one. Kung sa bagay. . we could indulge in life s luxuries once in a while . Ewan ko ba dito kay CM. Because Julian was Julian. I mean. I frowned. Tricia s a part of the past. Pero `yung Vincent. Parang balewalang tumayo ito. And that guy. He slowly smiled at me. Winner! Tumili pa siya. Jean let s go. For the win `yun te! Parang kinikilig na tumingala pa ito. Tapos naghikab ako. He gave me the creeps. Well. See? He even gave Tricia a very luxuri ous gift! Ako? WALA. Kung buhusan kaya kita ng kumukulong kape? Gusto mo? I smirked. Listen to me sweetheart. Wel l. There was m y sister. Paint Julian while sleeping nude. This Vincent was second on the list. I felt a pang of envy. But I knew deep down he cared about me. I t was gross to even imagine. Vincent? Hmm. Ngumuso ito kay Vincent. My mouth almost dropped open. I shrugged. I smirked at him. blackli sted na. Alam mo ba `yung feeling na gu sto mong magpa-amo. Anong isasali ko? Wala pa nga akong napipinta simula dumating a ko dito. Parang nag-init `yung ulo ko. siya naman ang magbabayad. If he would just kiss me and tell me he was sorry then he wouldn t be Julian at al l. Matino namang kausap `tong si friend. Muntik na kong kiligin dun. I didn t want him to change. Tapos nanulis `yung bibig ko. Did you know why Julian s business got a downturn? CM s eyes squinted at their backs. Hindi ko gusto `yung ngiting iyon ni CM. It was a little bit over a month and a half simula ng bukingan portion na `yun. Hindi ko n a itatanong kung anong o much better sinong nilalapastangan niya sa isip niya. I should have been understanding. Once in a while. Tipong mag-iinarte ka kasi gusto mong lambingin ka niya. Her tummy s five months now. Anong ibig mong sabihin CM? Nagkita kami sa Starbucks. I didn t know. In exchange I gave her a sculpture of Venus de Milo. Two weeks from now may gaganapin g Fine Arts contest sa New York. Mga ka-federation ko ata ang judges. You might want to join Jeannie? Seryosong sabi n ito. And hey. He sighed. Nakakainis sa inyong mga babae. argh. Tapos lumingon ako. CM s brow raised. he really was a changed man. Was he treating my sister well? Ngumiti sa `kin si Jean na parang inaassure ako.
`Yung hikbi ko naging hagulgol na. Kaya nga nagtataka ko dyan sa kapatid mo. I wanted to cry and howl at the same time. what would happen to me? I couldn t just give my baby up. Hindi pwedeng artista Jea nnie. napakapit ako sa silya. Siguro magiging car racer anak ko `paglaki. I looked pale. baka naman na g-eenie mini mynie moe `yang kapatid mo? Sino sa tatlo ang tatay ng anak ko? Sosy al. He cut the line off. I laughed silly at myself. Hindi kaya buntis ka ba? My head swam with all the possibilities. Positive? Malamang Jeannie. Pinaghirapan ko kaya ang paggawa dito. Who s her baby s father anyway? Isn t Brad her boyfriend? Parang naguguluhang napatingin ako sa kanya. Just like that. Anak ko ito eh. This tim e he s got his revenge against the Sunicos. kelan ba naging negative ang plus sign? Parang nababaliw na sabi ko sa sarili. Then my vision became blurry. Siguro may mga v . What? I threw up on him. It had been ab out a month and a half since that night. Na-realize kong ang sagwa pala. Who do you think? Mahina kong sabi. be careful what you wished for coz you just might get it. My head was spinning. Jeannie? Are you okay? Okay? I groaned. Julia I gritted my teeth in anger. You re gross. Seriously. Pero parang wala namang laman ang tyan ko. CM. But not as an artist slash actress. Naiiyak na napaupo ako sa tiles. Nasulot niya ang mga investors ni Julia n. Akala ko ba nagbago na siya? Mabilis akong tumayo. God. What now? Paano kung igiit pa rin ni Julian `yung baby making contract namin? I was so stupid. But he didn t tell an ything about us being together forever. what do you mean? He shrugged. So ano? Lalaking bastardo ang anak ko? Hindi ko napansing umiiyak na pala ako. Goodne ss. I giggled. Pero ayoko. I know. Hello? Umuwi ka na. He shrugged. Raised my han d then pouted my lips. Why not? Sa kotse siya nabuo. He shrugged. My phone started ringing. I yanked my tee shirt up. Bakit ako tatanungin mo kayo ang kambal `di ba? Anyway. If ever na totoo man syempre `yung tatay ng anak ko ang gusto kong kasama. May nagbago ba? Nag-pose pa ako. He changed. I hugged my knees to myself. She s one of the cronies of Vincent. You re kidding me. Plus sign. Bakit ko pa kasi pinirmapirmahan.Wait. Artist yes. Ano `yun mga tuta? Basta na lang ipapamigay. Could it be? As mommy told me. We weren t even married legally! Dahil nga null and void ang marriage contract namin. Oh. We have a flight to catch up. My sister s well-informed. Jean s not like that. I was a bit disconcerted about mothers who left their children withou t a by-your-leave. TWENTY FOUR I stared at myself in the mirror. CM even suggested we go to the OB. I gasped. I don t know. That one s ruthless. Kinakabahan ako habang hinihintay ko ang result ng PT. no. Ngayon din. I hadn t thought about it. Then I slowly peeked at it with one eye.
Julian buntis ako panagutan mo `ko! Baka sakalin ako nito ng w ala sa oras. He groaned. I shook my head. Gosh. Tapos iyak na naman ako. Tapos Oh. At mabilis inilayo ang mga braso kong nakataas sa kanya. Jeannie! If you want to fly to the moon. Sabi ko lay uan mo nga ako. I already love you baby JJ. Ta pos pinunasan niya `yung bibig ko ng basang face towel. Bakit ba ayaw tumigil ng mga luha ko? Parang gusto kong maglupasay. And I shoved him away from me. Hindi ko sinadya `yun no! Gross. I smiled and caressed my stomach. At `pagsinabing layuan mo `ko ang ibig sabihin lang nun ay pilitin mo `ko. He rolled his eyes ceilingward. matter with you? frustrated na bumab a `yung sigaw nito. I gritted my teeth. Hindi ba niya alam na buntis ako? Sumisigaw siya? `Di kaya marinig ng baby `yun? What is the sigaw niya. He sighed.alid reasons sila. Napakapit ako sa PT at mabilis na itinago sa likod ko. Napakasama ng ugali niya. Niyakap ko siya. he whispered. I would have died. Disgusted. Anon g sasabihin ko. Jeannie! What is wrong with you? Wala siyang choice. . The grea t Julian Sunico? Parang takot na takot akong hawakan. My eyes watered again. Gusto ko siyang makita. Juliet Jean if ever the baby s a she. He carried me like a sac k of rice. Sabi ko. And Jean(pronounced as John) Julian if a he. Para akong batang nagpapabuhat. Biglang bumukas ang pinto. God. Tapos pinipilit niyang nila layo `yung polo shirt niya sa `kin. Ang baho mo kaya. Jeannie stop this nonsense okay? Aalis tayo ngayon din. I swore I wanted to curse Julian. I might melt. Mamayang gabi na `yung fl ight. I wasn t here to sit judgement on them. Para akong masusuka. Basang basa na ang mukha ko ng luha. my God. Parang nanga sim `yung sikmura ko. Napakasama talaga ng ugali nito. Tapos tinampal ko `yung bibig niya. Nakita kong hindi siya magkandatuto. My mouth dropped open. Go ahead. `Yung tingin niya sa `kin `yung tingin na parang baliw na talaga `ko. Umiiyak na sumuka ak o sa bowl. fine with me. I said get away Will you just shut up? Para kang loro. it was difficult to carry extra pounds for nine months then you d just just Argh. Get away from me! I screamed at him. Before I could ev en say stop sniggering at me my stomach turned upside down. WHAT! Mabilis nitong inamoy ang sarili. Kadiri man halos isubsob ko na ang mukha ko sa bowl. Ano bang problema ko? What s wrong Jeannie? I saw concern in his eyes. Then I sniffed again. Per o naiinis din akong makita siya at the same time. Tumulo `yung sipon ko. We re going Nabitin ang pagsigaw nito. I wasn t so sure why I couldn t just tell him right away. Mauna ka na! Hindi ako sa sama! He scowled. I pouted then tears readily pooled down m y eyes. Every woman deserved to be wooed. It was just that. Masyadong matapang . That kind of beast scowl he always had. Oi. At nilayuan nga ako! Didn t he know that when a woman said she hated you it meant she cared about you. Lalo akong naiyak. Hindi ko gusto ang amoy ng pabango niya. Sigaw pa! Napahikbi ako. Then I sniffed his shirt . Layuan mo `ko! What! I said get away from me! Excuse me? He looked at me incredulously. Well. Naawa siguro sa `kin at saka ako niyakap.
Uh-oh. lover boy anong kakantahin mo? I don t know how to sing. Parang nababagot na sabi nito. I was waiting for his response. Hello Julian Jeannie s just One angry look. Sorry Julian. Are you single? Julian regarded me with intense dislike. Libre? Julian gave him h is infamous don t-touch-me glare of his. Tapos ngumuso siya sa likuran ko. It wasn t one of those sexy grins or even the self-mocking half- . I hissed and glared at him. I don t know how Pero inakay na siya ng dalawang bakla. I see. My. soft smil e about his lips. Magkaaway kaya kami. Napalingon agad ako. Biglang naghiyawan ang mga matrona at bakla doon. Anyone? I smiled. Only if I would get out of here alive later. Then I raised my hand. Nilayuan nga niya `ko for hours! I called CM on the p hone. Let s go home. Bakit may unfortunately pa?! Really? Very unfortunate nga. So. At tumiklop na si CM. Ang masama pa nito ibitin ako ng patiwarik ni Julian m amaya. Sus. He was shaking hi s head. Na tapat dito ang spotlight. Hindi ko hahayaang madungisan ng dugo mo ang baby JJ ko no. The gay who impersonated President Gloria Arroyo patted my husband s rear! Aba. Mamaya. Parang sinasabing patay ka talaga sa `kin . Sisigaw sana akong asawa ko `yan . Nagpaalam ka bang aalis? I frowned. I sipped the juice. no. Unf ortunately. Like in a slow motion I turned around. CM started laughing. Ako. Bumaling ulit ako sa kanya. Parang nawala lahat ng sama ng loob ko. He teasingly smiled at me. Kaya la ng baka kuyugin ako dun. And he loves me so damned much The hell I don t know how to He hissed. `Yun lang. At halos bumaon sa braso ko ang kamay niya sa pagkakahawak sa `kin. Through the dim light his face was arhm. Nagkita kami sa isang gay bar kinagabihan. how sweet. Then my smile slowly faded when Julian cracked a slow. Yes? My husband will sing! CM groaned. And the re was him! What was he doing here? Napalingon agad ako kay CM. going home. Oh. Am I going to be a godmother. Damn. Tumaas `yung kilay ko dun. Kung makatsansing. we need someone to volunteer to sing for us. Jules kasi CM! Baling ko kay CM. I couldn t just help imagining the devil himself sing ing a love song for me in front of everybody. Baby JJ? Excited? Syempre! Of course.Nagtatampo ako kay Julian. Wala na talagang matinong masabi ito. Napatingin ako sa mga halamang dagat sa stage while Julian kept pulling my arm. Kaya nga nate-tempt na din akong mag-asawa para may kumukulbit na rin sa `kin `paggabi. galit na bulong nito sa `kin. Patay. iyan ang bunga ng inyong pag-iibigan ni Julian eh. Kapag idineny ako nito ikakaila ko din siyang tatay ni baby JJ. Hindi. Effective. CM! I thought you re my Ladies and gentlemen. I gnawed at my nails. Syempre gay bar nga eh `di may mga halamang dagat na nagpe-perform. expressionless but I clearly saw the way he was looking at me . dear? I smirked. I sweetly smiled at him then turned to the stage. he s really sweet. Sabay himas sa tyan. ngayong umaga lang `yan `pagdating ng gabi bati na ulit kayo. I beamed proudly. So is the lucky girl that one? Todo smile ako. Buti na lang maingay kaya walang nakarinig ng sinabi niya. Julian s eyes grew wide.
Nakakahiya lang tul oy. oh I I need to share every breath of you Oh I. But I need to be next to you Oh I. Because it was the best song I d ever hear d in my whole life. 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. So afraid to take a chance again So afraid of what I feel inside. Akala ko sa movies lang nangyayari ` to. TIGHTLY. At ibang sayaw din ang alam k o `yung `yung walang steps. God. Pero hindi lang pala b ulag ang pag-ibig kung hindi bingi rin. He wasn t near perfec t. At saka ano na lang sasabihin ng mga associates niy a? The CEO was seen singing a love song to his wife. I thought the world stopped revolving. I frowned and winced at the same time. Hindi ba dapat CM s eyes widened as he was w . Eto na. hindi pwedeng mag-Careless Whisper dito ha! They left him on the stage. Then he mouthed: I love you. He stopped singing. Seriously it was as if he weren t really singing.smile. near with you. He was really croaking and out of tune. My eyes got misty. Pero ngayon ko lang na-realize Prince Charming was real. Leigh Nash sang that song beautifully. `Yung parang shooting. Sa totoo lang naiyak ako kasi hindi pala marunong kumanta si Julian. I grimaced. Bumaba siya ng stage. Oh. Not even a one-fourth of any croakin g vocalists. I don t know how to sing really. 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. eto na `yung moment na maghahabu lan kami tapos magyayakap kami sa gitna ng maraming tao. and a very arrogant ass who thought he owned the w orld. Our eyes met. you re my every He smiled at me and grabbed my arm. He was rude. Pretending I was better off alone But I know that it's just a lie. O kaya he would tell me Je annie you re my life. It was as if he was talking to me through the lyrics. Magpapalakpakan sila tapos kikiligin. His voice was awkward. Buti na lang gwapo siya. Julian cleared his throat and looked about the surro undings uncertainly. The gay comedian snorted. Tapos tumayo ako. No. Yes. Been running from this feeling for so long Telling my heart I didn't need it. Nagtawanan `yung mga nandun na kala mo kinikiliti. It was full of tenderness. Palapit na siya. But it was okay with as long as he owned me. a chauvinist.
Before I knew it. Mamaya niyan si Freddie na pala `yung katabi ko. I was naked. hell. I woke up and opened one good eye. To God-knows-where. Narinig niya ang pagtunog ng cellphone nito. Si Julian nga! Malay ko ba. He even bared his soul to that brat. he sang a stupid son g he had secretly listening when he was a teenager in front of a crowd. God. This wasn t one of my fantasies. Lahat na lang ng gusto nito nasusunod. I remembered watching Nightmare on Elm Street last night. It was all a dream! Humigpit ang yakap ni Julian sa `kin. Bugger. I gasped. His left arm was wrapped around my midsection. God. Pero nakita niya ang mensahe ni CM. There. Grabe. Sumuka ako dun sa sink. What baby? Wasn t it ironic? CM would tell him? Didn t he? Jeannie had a baby how? Oh. I sat upright. Ang halos kaladkarin palabas! I tried to smile at everyone. Kontrolado nga galit naman. Definitely not Julian! And very much naked! Oh. She was inside the shower room. He felt stripped of his pride. I was paranoid. tell him about the baby. He loved me. Mabilis akong tumaas at naglinis `pagkauwi. wasn t I? Then my stomach started churning. Mabilis niyang tinignan ang cellphone nito. Suka ng suka na wala namang inilalaba s. And Julian seemed withdrawn. Jeannie.agging his finger: lagot ka. He shoved me inside his car. I was covering my mouth and running to the CR. Iti natanong pa ba `yun? THE USUAL. Then my stomach got queasy. He was going to be a father without her telling him outright! TWENTY FIVE Disoriented. He said in a controlled voice. Naiiyak na subsob na ang mukha ko sa lababo. Kahit na nga ba nandito pa rin ako sa r oom ko. He did. I saw him packing our things. He was sleeping close to me. Tala ga bang nagiging spoiled na sa kanya ngayon si Jeannie? He hissed. It was so unlike him to snoop into o ther s things. I even brushed the tendrils of wavy hair away from the side of his face to make sure. Para akong naalimpungatan. no. He gritted his teeth. He swore he gasped. didn t he? Argh. Puro gastric juices lang naman ang . on his stomach. Aalis pala kami bukas ng madaling araw. anong tingin niya sa `kin robot?! Julian! Not a word. In b ed with a stranger. What happened? Joke lang pala ni God. I gritted my teeth. Habang sumusuka ako ay pinapaliguan ko ng mura si Julian sa isip ko. I pouted. Kung hindi ako ang magsasabi para matapos na ` yang problema mo.
Though sadly he s hould understand her. `Wag nang idagdag ang hindi paliligo nito kanina kahit ano ng pilit niya. Tapos kapag upo ko sa bowl I started crying like it was the end of the world. Parang tinatamad akong maligo. Para akong nagl away bigla. Tahimik lang siya habang nakaupo kami sa eroplano. He rolled his eyes ceilingward. Inabot nito iyon! I stood up and he wrap ped my arms around his neck. Hindi pa rin nagbabago ang expression nito. At anong ginagawa ng demonyong si Julian dito? He squeezed himself into the limited space of the lavatory and knel t in front of her. I specifically reme mbered sleeping on the couch. He was wet. Kulang ako sa tulog. Kakatulog ko lang kanina. What! My eyes watered. Bakit ba lalaki na lang ang nagpapakasarap at babae ang nagpapakahirap? Why was life so unfair? Uwooo Hawak ang tyan na sumuka ulit. Better to wake me up now! I glared at him. Lahat na. Sasama ka? Inis kong sabi. I couldn t believe it. At magtitili. Really? You ll escort me to hell? I said sarcastically. Tapos unti-u nti niyang hinahalikan `yung mga luha ko. Her eyes grew wide. Bumukas `yung pinto. Wala sa loob n a bulong ko. She was exasperating. Droplets of water was sluicing down his body. Na para bang anumang oras ay sasakalin niya na talaga ako. He was sulking because I didn t take my precious bath. Jeannie looked up. Tapos bigla kong inamoy `yung sarili ko. The father of my b aby was traipsing clad with only a towel around his narrow hips. God. Mamayang umaga pa ang flight namin ng ma galing na lalaki. I walked on to the lavatory. Had God really answered my prayers? Why are you crying? He whispered. for Pete s sake! Julian a no ba! I swore I wanted to punch Julian s handsome face. God. I was robbed of my power. In my saner days I would have been also disgusted with myself.inilalabas ko. I hate you Julian. sipon. Sorry baby. He didn t really understand how women s minds work. It was a miracle! Note to self: Magpapaparty ako `pag-uwi namin. Jeannie Itinaas ko `yung kamay ko. Whatever. He shrugged his shoulders. I haven t had a good night s sleep. He pulled me close. Kung ganito naman ang panaginip I might ask God never to wake me up. What was really happening to me? I bit my lower lip and stood up. Sasamahan na kita. And my what a sight early in the morning. Para ba ng wala na akong lakas para bukas. My mouth dropped open wide. Oh. He brushed the wet hair away from her tear-stained cheeks. God no. Ayokong umalis. Goodness. Was this Julian the stranger in bed. Luha. He was shouting at me! Na para bang first time niyang gawin `yun Jeannie! Oh. As in. What was his problem? I got so lazy. I buried my face into the pillow. Care ko? I pouted and made face. I screamed when I felt Julian s arms around me. And didn t even bother to lock the door. last night? . Ano pang tinitingin tingin mo dyan? Umaga na po prinsesa. What the hell are you doi Julian s shout seemed to freeze. Okay. Isa bang malaking kasalanan iyon? Julian. I even scrubbed myself twice. Where are you going? He hissed. I didn t smell bad. in my dreams. Swear. If his wife didn t look pitiful enough. What! Jeannie may warning na sabi nito. pawis. As if he cares! He glared at me. kasalanan ng magaling mong tatay ito! Umupo ako sa couch at pinagmamasdan si Julian. His hair was dishevele d. Gusto kong kiligin. nakita ko ang panghihilakbot sa mukha ni Julian. It was only 3:00 am! Sh!t. I was in bed. Pahikbi lang n ung una tapos palakas na ng palakas. she cried. May flight pa tayo. I opened my eyes and swore. Had Julian taken me to bed? It seemed so. AGAIN? Oh. She frowned. I arched my brow. To Hell. He wrink led his nose.
Ano ba. Sa tanghaling tapat. Sanay akong nasisigawan niya. Ang morbid naman ng mga naiisip k o. Pero iba ito. Jeannie! Sigaw ulit nito. I saw Julian s father striding toward us. And Julian s specialty: growling at me! Julian. Kung paano hindi ko alam. Buhatin mo `ko papunta sa upuan. Sabi ko. Tapos tumayo ito. Hindi man lang naawa sa `kin. Tapos bumagsak ako sa floor. . Maybe bec ause I was just too emotional. I was a bit overwhelmed. Paano kung makunan a ko habang naglalakad? Syempre sa sobrang stress ko. It was Uncle Jin s birthday. Mabilis akong nagmano sa papa ni Julian at sinundan ito. Grabe. I almost groaned aloud. Na para namang alam ko kung pan o `di ba? Lagi akong nagsusuka if not early in the morning. Where are you going? To hell. I clutched my stomach. Tapos tinalikuran ako! Grabe. I bet you re going to be a pig in no ti me at all. Oo. He cracked an indulgently smile at me. `Yung smile ko nag-fade. Hmm Syempre minsan na nga lang ito lulubus lubusin ko na! Tinatamad akong maglakad. And I eve n cried when I saw a chicken being killed. Oh. I was so lazy. Hindi ba iyon din a ng tinanong ko kanina sa kanya? Julian naman! Just leave me alone! Dumadagundong ang sigaw nito. Then I felt a hand wrapped around my middle. I didn t want to swim. So so I should tell him first about about the baby? We were in Morocco for a week. Syempre it had been my specialty: lying through my teeth. His teeth was grating. Tapos tapos bigla na namang kumunot `yung noo niya. I was rooted to the ground. My knee s might give out. I merely got out of the room. He hugged me from behind. Sabi ni Uncle Jin. Tapos humar ap ako sa kanya. Tapos tinanggal niya `yung mga kamay ko sa leeg niya. babe I m sorry. Ano! He shouted no. Julian! sigaw ni Aunt Risan. Bumagsak ang upuan nito. Maglalaslas na lang siguro ako sa banyo. Jeannie He hissed. Leave him alone `di ba? Tears streamed down my face. Mukhang baby pa lang manang mana na sa tatay niya. He stepped out of the lava tory to the door. Kung iiyakan ko lahat ng mano k na pinapatay para gawin Chicken Joy baka ipasok na nila ako sa mental nito. I thought I thought He looked at me incredulously.Saan mo tinago si Julian? bulong ko sa kanya with matching stare-a-thon. Julian was looking intently at him. Hayaan mo na siya Risan. It won t work unless you tell me what s bothering you! He seethed. I shouldn t have known that sec ret. Sasama ka? Galit na sabi nito. Are you sick? Uncle Jin asked me once. Mabilis kong pinahid `yung luha ko tapos tumaliko d sa kanya. I was too emo. He whispered to me and kissed my nape. I pouted. I shook my head and smiled at them. screamed! God. Pero hindi ko rin siya gaanong ma-appreciate kasi si baby JJ. Really? Parang sa panaginip ko lang ito nakikita. Don t use that on me Jeannie. Sig e pa rin ako sa lakad. Argh. My eyes grew wide. Kulang ako sa tulog. Julian s real dad. I gasped. He was such a very considerate and loving husband! My eyes watered. W-wala. Nakapaglakad ka ngang mag-isa papunta dito. Isn t there something you want to tell me? Ha? Parang hindi nagpa-function `yung brain cells ko.
I fell hard and flat out on the floor. He wagged me off him. Walang makapigil dito. Sa sobrang pagwawala niya ay naitulak niya ako. Julian just please stay away from here! What? Galit niyang sabi kay Uncle Jin. Then I even put a chi ld beside him playing with his kite. As if he owned the world. Tapos lumabas na siya. Then he slammed the vase with full force. I slowly looked up from Julian s stricken face back to the blood streaming down my thighs. Mukha siyang maglalakad sa death sentence niya. Sunico in the face. no. She couldn t even wonder if everyone would have been d eaf and blind by now. Nakita ko si Julian dun sa may bandang cliff. Oh my God. Syempre baby JJ would always come first. Para iyong scene sa isang pelikula. My eyes grew wide. My heart skipped a beat. I sobbed as I felt the pain k illing me. Nakatayo. Sa baba non ay makikita mo `yung dagat. And damned if I m not happy! At saka lamang ito ngumiti. Uncle Jin owned the house. What are you talking about Uncle? That fuucking son of b!tch you call Uncle is your real dad Julian! Para iyong bombang sumabog. This was the best of all the best vacation I ve ever h ad. Julian froze. Naamoy ko na ang war of the worlds. You re lying! Julian no! Mabilis ko siyang nilapitan pero ilang beses niyang tinatanggal ang kam ay ko sa braso niya. The water was crystal blue. Ju lian lost control and punched Mr. I painted him for hours with the sunset as the background. I already know. Kahit ako. He said innocently. San a forever na kaming ganito. He whispered. Naiiyak na nilapitan ko siya at niyakap. It was the best thing ever. Oh. You re not happy. The se tting was just like this. Ang gandang tignan. I m the happiest man on earth . Everyone was afraid to come to him. Nakita ko `yung sakit sa mga mata niya. What s that? Malay ko. We halted dead in our tracks. eh `di na-shock ka ngayon? Gusto kong sabihin iyon sa kanya. Hinihintay kong tumalon siya tapos sabihin niyang Yes. . No! Damn you! Hiyaw nito. I was like really? It was a canvass with all its painting materials. He carried me to his car like a sack of rice. Because you didn t tell him the truth! He shouted. Ano `yun? Naglakad lang dito? I opened the big gift. `Di ba? Hindi talaga nagkamali ang kapatid ko ng pagpili. I grabbed his arm. I wanted to ease that pain . Yep. But said instea d: We re going to have a baby. I couldn t believe it. Ah. Second best gift Julian had ever given me. Ang sunod na nangyari ang nakapagpatili kay Aunt Risan. He was lashing out. But from the looks of it. Baka nailagay lang diyan. Pinipilit kong awatin si Julian. We drove off to miles and miles. What are you doing shouting at Uncle like that when you have no right to You re uncle? Julian s dad laughed demonically. 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. Kapag tingin ko sa back seat I was surprised to see a gift. May dala siy ang mapa. Blood! There s blood on her thighs. Na parang may kinukuha mula sa katawan ko. I tried my hands on it. We heard someone shouting from inside the house. Sunico kay Uncle Jin. It warmed my heart. Naalala ko `yung sa Sisterhood of Traveling Pants part two. They were a bunch of rich people. Isn t it Uncle Jin? It s the truth.Then I slapped him hard. The pain in my tummy numbed me. Aunt Risan screamed. No no my baby. yes. Kapag uwi namin. You re drunk.
hatred won. Hindi ko kaya. But this time. Death is quicker. A blond petite nurse came to my aid. Then the nur ses were speaking in English. Parang iba `yung room. 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. Magwala. Jeannie I m sorry. Jeannie! Nilapitan niya agad ako. Though my body felt numb. Tapos nung ipapasok na `ko sa loob ayaw niyan g pakawalan `yung kamay ko. My long overdue speech. `Yung baby ko I cried. At unang una kong nakita si Julian. Then everything suddenly flashed to my memory again. Two days. Mas ako ang nasasa ktan. I missed him and hated him at the same ti me. He was about to embrace me when I pushed him hard away from me. Do I look fine? Was losing a baby okay to you? But no voice came out. I couldn t stand t he sight of him! Get away from me! I shouted. 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. Napataas kilay ko dun. I was in and out of conscious but I saw Julian holdi ng my hand as I was rushed to the ER. My hand flew to my stomach. In my blurring vision I saw how defeated he looked. They were all there. Basta mabigat `yung pakiramdam k o. Malakas na nga ako eh. Hin di ko alam kung ano `yung tinurok nila sa `kin. Tapos biglang bumukas `yung pinto. Kaya k o ng sapakin sa mukha si Julian. That time. Nagtataka ako kung san ko pa nakukuha ang lakas ko. Naiiyak na napatingin ako sa labas ng bintana. Gusto kong sumigaw. Emotionally and physically. As if I were in ele mentary again. ako ang nasasaktan. 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. This would be my last day in the suffocating hospital. It s okay ma am you re fine now. Hindi ko kayang mawala `yung baby JJ ko. Para akong mamamatay sa sakit. . This time I I m-mean it Finally. My head was pounding. Hindi niya `ko pinupuntahan. Suffering isn t. I hate you Julian. I couldn t live with Julian anymore if my baby would be taken from me. Even the nurses were calming me down. I didn t wish him to be dead bu t I did ask for him to fall into a ditch.TWENTY SIX I was sent to the hospital. Doc what s happening to my wife? He screamed in fear. Dapat lang! Dapat lang siyang matakot. Please hang on babe He kept w hispering. With the last ounce of strength I pulled my hand from him. I woke up disoriented. right. `Yun yung naririnig ko. I st arted sobbing hysterically.
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. I mean ta ma. Hija I think you have to talk to him first. Awkward. Naghihintay na may malaglag na butiki. Because Celine. That stopped him. I embraced them. Hinintay niya lang palang maka-re cover ako. Salitang ilang beses ng nabali dahil kay Julian. My hat red ran deep now. Hindi ako kumikibo. He was such a dear boy. I wasn t even speaking in th e airport or on the way back. I even memoriz ed a speech when we meet again. I hugged the boy. 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. He was seethin g with anger. I wanted him to feel the pain. Ahm you talk to your husband first. I m sorry baby. Tapos pi nagsusuntok ko `yung dibdib niya. Naligo ka na ba? The boy frowned at me. Ngayon niya matitikman ang isang salita ni Jeannie . I looked at CM as if I were saying see? I m not going with you Julian. Luha. Lahat na. Sipon. At ayokong dumating sa puntong hihilingin kong sana hindi ko n a siya nakilala o kaya naman ay mamatay na siya. Ano? Sumigaw ito. Jeannie. First time after so many days. Julian raised one brow and didn t comment. CM was also there. Naintindihan mo naman `di ba? I m not going with you. Hindi mo alam? Na ikaw ang problema ko una pa lang? Galit kong sabi. Tantan s mother. I started crying then. Pinipilit niyang hawakan `yung kamay ko. What is your problem? Mabilis pa sa alas-kwatrong hinarap niya ako. Na parang hindi alam ang gagawin. Ayokong umi yak sa harap nila. Pinagpraktisan ko kaya iyon. I didn t spare that bastaard a glance. Ayaw mo? Ingos niya sa `kin. But he hugged me. I avoided eye contact. We weren t shou . Sabi ko. was Julian s half-sister now that the truth was finally set free.Diretso na tayo sa airport. I smiled at Tantan. Uncle Julian! Mabilis itong lumapit sa Uncle nito. That was harsh I know. sabi niya. Sabay iling papunta sa direksyon ni Julian. Ngayon ko lang siya na-appreciate. kalaking lalaki este. Grabe. Tears were threatening to explode again. he whispered and kissed the top of my head when I was exhausted. Malakas. I don t have a husband Uncle Jin. Kung kailan pa nawala `yung baby ko. He wasn t even thinking about our baby? Kung sa ibang pagkakataon baka nagtatalon pa ako at isipin kong ako lang ang inaalala niya. I gave him the don t-Jeannie-me glare. He squealed. Niyakap ko siya `yung parang wala ng bukas. Iyon lang. Uncle Jin pwede po bang sa inyo na lang ako sumabay? Halatang nagulat ito. Nagtitimpi siya alam ko. Sabay tingin kay Julian. I nodded again. My pai n. bakla takot kay Julian! They were even of the same size and height. Jeannie listen to me. Kay Julia n. you know. Tapos kinusot ko `yung ilong k o. H e mouthed: Are you sure? Why are you still here? Tanong ko kay CM. Lahat ng sama ng loob ko naipon. My knees were buckling. Pero parang ayaw makisama ng loko. He bear-hugged me. Tinatanong pa ba kung sino? Nauna na sina Uncle Jin at ang parents ko. Someone grabbed my arm that moment. Mabilis itong tumalikod at tinapik ang balikat ni Julian. Pawis. I could walk. You re so selfish! You think only of yourself?! Honey please He combed his hair with his fingers. I grab bed CM s hand. On a serious note I didn t want to see him. I brushed the tears away angrily. Kapag uwi namin sa airport ay nakita ko sina mommy. Ano pa bang tinatayo tayo mo dyan? Pasko? Galit na sabi ni Julian. Don t touch me! I pushed him hard. Good. All the things that I was trying to laugh off in the past months.
Hindi ito ang napagkasunduan natin. There were times whe n I wanted to call on him. Na para bang ang sinabi ko ay isang nakakatawang joke . Aminin niyo. dalawa na kaming buntis ng kambal ko. I m going home with my parents. He mouthed: Hindi ko asawa `yan. Iyo `yan. I willed myself to be strong. Anong akala niya ganon lang iyon? Kiss an d make up? Pakipot ako no. Grabe. So the baby was only a joke for him? Sobra na ito! Humihingi ako ng saklolo kay CM through my eyes. he did call me on the phone. Julian who? Inis kong harap sa kanya. In so many words. Hindi. Dalagang Pilipina. Sana man lang pinalipas niya `di ba? Wala. shouldn t I? Mom was standing in the middle of the room with Jean. Julian I won t go home with you anymore. Meron Tapos lumingon lingon pa. True? Wasn t he just cracking a s tupid joke on me? Parang maiiyak ako sa tuwa na nababanyo. 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. Galit kaya ako ng time na `yun. Sa school supplies section. Mother knows best talaga. Jeannie. didn t he always do that Jeannie? I m leaving you. goodbye . He was shaking his head rapidly. Pa-hard to get. I glared at him. True. LOL. Nagpip igil lang. I took my arm from his grip. We were in a public place. 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. And I cut th e line off immediately. Come on. Jeannie naman oh! CM took the baby clothes from my hands. Sheesh. She hugged me like I were a child again. I started crying. Could I survive without him? Of course. Hindi man lang nag-effort na suyuin ako. Three months seemed to pass without any ado. Isa lang `yung alam ko: I neede d space. kung hindi man si Julian eh ako. Mommy Ewan ko kung bakit parang naintindihan niya agad ako. Well. Actions were needed. I gasped. may mga taong ganon. Umuwi ako sa bahay namin. Bakit? Hindi pa naman mag-aaral `yang anak mo ah. He seemed so shock. Me. Three months! Halos maglilimang buwan na `yu ng tyan ko ni-hoy wala man lang! Okay. My baby JJ? JJ? He raised one brow at me. There was so much at stake here. He couldn t haul me anymore to his car sa harap ng maraming tao. May gunting ba dito? CM frowned at me. Mahiya naman kami. I hissed. Ganon kasi ako kapag n ate-tense. Did he think I was joking? Not on this lifetime. Julian and the baby. Jeannie . Dati kasi inisip ko how stupid people were . I just can t.ting. Why did they have to say I love you? Kung magpapaalam lang din naman sila? Friend Hmm? Kumuha ako ng mga baby clothes. Alam mo `yung feeling na. Away from Julian. I should be happy. Grabe ngayon pa lang nami-miss ko na si Julian. Actua lly. Someone told me that words weren t enough. This time I was so serious I woul d have knocked my head against the wall. Nakita kong nagagalit na siya. Julian I won t go with you anymore. pinag-usapan talaga namin `yun. I d like to cut off your long tongue. What are you talking about? I haven t killed the baby! Hindi siya nawala! Nandyan p a rin siya! He even touched my stomach. About Julian Deadma. Si Julian Sinong Julian? `Yung nakabuntis sa `yo. lalaki lang `yun. But Julian would always be a part of me. Baka nga kaisa ko kayo. Yayakapin niya sana ako ng umiwas ako.
not Julian Sunico. Pinagbigyan na kita these past months. I opened my mouth in a big O. Oh. Hindi. Saan? Sa puso mo Then he started laughing. Galit na inihirap niya ako sa kanya. Nagrereklamo si Baby JJ. May mga kamay na biglang umalalay sa `k in. Bigla kong nabitawan `yung baby socks. I almost slipped off the tiled flooring. I shouldn t have looked up. Parang narinig kong may sumabog na naman sa Iraq. Jeannie Si Julian at si Wala akong pakialam!!! Tila ata mapapaanak ako ng wala sa oras. CM s face was devoid of any emotion. I cou ldn t walk. She looked like a model out of a vogue cover. Nasobrahan ata ako. Grabe. Thanks mister. Jeannie Wala akong naririnig I even sent you flowers. Why. Dammit Jeannie! Oh. Oh. eh `di lumabas din `yung tunay niyang kulay! Stop this playacting of yours. sabi ko at taas noong naglakad ako. I was so bloated. Tignan ko kung san siya tatagal. Gutom ka pa? Lagay pa ito ng lagay sa plato ko. thank you. May isang intrimitidang tinignan ako mula ulo hanggang paa. Like in a slow motion reel film. But he did. Easy ka lang Jeannie. He raised both hands in the air. I w alked past CM and looked for a restaurant. I turned my back on him. Kung pasabugin ko kaya `yung bahay nila Julian? I gritted my teeth. Mamaya talaga bibili ako ng cha kang manika. Hindi na naman ako naglilihi ah. si Julian o? Biglang turo ni CM. Si Julian o? I glared at him. Aaminin ko na gseselos ako. Wala akong narinig. I started sniffing while I was inside the cubicle. I started cryi ng. Julian s on the dating scene again. Hindi masama ang loob ko. Hin di ako `yung third party. Jeannie honey He looked at my now rounded stomach. Nakita ko ang pagpipigil niyang magalit. God. Gustung gusto ko na siyang murahin. Hindi ako depress. I went to the comfort room.Oh? Gigil kong sabi. Just like Julian. Why could he be so handsome? I gritted my teeth. My breath got hitched. Ngumuso ito. Baka kasi naghihintay pa `yung date mo. Napadpad kami sa Filipino restaurant. Humigpi t ang hawak ko sa tinidor. Hindi ko napansin sa pagkain ko na pala naibunton ang kung ano mang na raramdaman ko. Kahit nakakahiya man. Ang sakit ng tyan ko. I saw him controlling his anger. Listen to me Jeannie Did I really hear him pleading? Oh. Then he crossed his arm s over his chest. I sweetly smiled at him. CM was really serious! Julian was speaking to a lovel y woman. I rolled my eyes heavenward. He was such a jerk. Hindi ako papansin no! Grr. Naniningkit na ang lalong singkit na mata nito. Papatayin ata ako sa pagkabusog ni CM. I put my hands on my ears. You might be mistaken mister. Hindi kaya lagnatin ito mamaya? Have we met before? I arched my brow. Nasa basurahan na! What! I can t believe it! Those flowers are expensive! Ano bang gusto mo? Nahihirap . I leaned against the cubicle wall. Na para bang sinasabing: Ah. I just heard it from my sister. Pwede mo na akong bitawan salamat . How I would love to wring his neck. I didn t know why I was pushing him to hi s limits. Angrily! CM winced at me. I didn t car e. Hinawakan niya `yung siko ko per o mabilis kong iniiwas iyon. However you pin a halo to Lucifer he would always be a devil. Kasi baka makapatay lang ako ng tao. Sig e lang. Napaatras bigla si CM. okay wala ka pa palang pakialam a ng lagay na `yan. At lalong aaminin kong gusto kong patayin si Julian ngayon din! Those chinito eyes. I turned around. Samantalang ako? I looked like like I ate hungrily.
Nakangiti ako habang nakaharap sa salamin. Don t tell me. The hell I care. Not because I couldn t ahm perform for him that he wou ld find somebody available. TWENTY SEVEN I was smiling stupidly in the mirror. Gumagalaw `yung baby ko! It was amazing how God could implant a living soul within us. Tsk. It sounded like a warning. Our eyes met. I ve got someone on the side when you re busy. So happy with myself. Umuwi ka na sa `tin. San ka pupunta? . Don t touch me. Hindi pa lang siguro niya alam. So like men. Talaga? Talaga. She asked me. I was Angelina Jolie s missing twin sister. You look hapy anak? Ganyan nga smile. Bigla a ta akong nagka-asthma. At least then you won t pester me anymore! He gritted his teeth. Oo. He cupped both of my cheeks. 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. You re trying to do what I wanted. Why not? He glared at me. no more like begged me to stay away from you for awhile. hindi lang pala feeling `yun. I would have laughed silly if anyone just blurted out: Hey. Tapos hinimas ko ulit `yung tummy ko. Pero wala talaga. Nako. Ni-lock niya! Nahihirapan?! `Yung delivery man `yung naghirap. You re dating somebody else. Jeannie please It didn t sound like begging to me now. Alam ko talaga. Napansin kong naka-lock na pala `yung pint o sa CR. O kaya aatakihin ako sa puso. Naks. His teeth was grating. Ligawan mo muna ako. Ayoko. meaning Oo. Kahit magpakasal ako ulit? My eyes grew wide. Do you agree with mommy? Sumipa ka ulit baby para twice. Perform meaning do my wifely obligations. Magkakalintikan talaga. Mommy really did that? I know she was just p rotecting me. You didn t even bother to call me to go for me I whispered numbly. Bakit ba hindi ko mapigilan ang reflexes ng sarili kong reaksyon! Something gripped me from within. At ginawa mo naman! I glared at him. Hindi ikaw! I was trying to do what you wanted. Baliw na ata ako at hinihintay ko ngang gu malaw ulit ito. Tapos syempre itatanggi nila `yun. He begged. God. You re going home with me now? On one condition. honey listen to me I did call you many times. Then what? She s a foreign associate. I straightened up fr om his arms. Bad vibes. For the second time I heard the great Julian Sunico pleading. I felt like the most beautiful w oman in the whole world. Yo ur mom talked to me.an na `ko Jeannie He whispered angrily. Pero may madaan lang na maganda at sexy `yung titigan mula ulo hanggang cleavage na. Parang hindi ako makahinga. nagmana ito ng tantrums sa daddy niya. Itinaas niya `yung baba ko. Ooops. honey . Jeannie are you okay? Bigla ni ya akong niyakap. There was unfamiliar warmth in my heart. ito na naman `yung sumpong niya. Nothing more. Makipag-date ka kahit sinong gusto mo. Tama. Siguro kahit papaano hindi rin naman malas ang mga babae. Weren t the roses red and violets blue? Oh. What?! I nodded rapidly. I frowned. Ay. Sinabi niya sa `king `wag ka munang guluhin at Mommy what?! Biglang nawala `yung pagka-asthmatic kuno ko ah. Hey. Gumagalaw na ba `yung apo ko? Mommy looked at me from head to toe. Why mommy? Nothing She shrugged. Tsk. Biglang sumipa si Baby JJ! Baby I cooed. Okay. Damn.
I winced at her. sexy smile. Pero umandar na naman `yung pagiging psychic ko. The moron was standing there looking so smug like he owned the world. Whatever. I stepped on his peace offering! Once. Mabilis kong binagsak ang mga roses sa sahi g. it might be Julia She was already out even before I could finish what I was going to say. Ewan ko ba. He loves me. Sabi ko. I gritted my teeth in anger. Wala lang baka kasi kung ano pang makita mo maging kamukha pa ng apo ko. Oh. I could smell something fishy. Thrice. Basta ang mahalaga I was way too happy to bother with the problems of the world. H e owned me.Going to watch TV. Then I slowly gasped. Nanlalaki ang mga mata nito. Ah no. There was a couple cap tured kissing. CM just excuse Ako na. No mom. Yes. It was a major no-no! Hindi hindi si I saw CM nodded rapidly at me. Oh? Ito lang pala eh. Mommy smiled at me. Who are they? He winced. Mommy. tanga. Mommy volunteered. Sabi niya pupuntahan niya daw ako ngayon. Picture kaya ni Ju lian `yung tinititigan ko nung time na `yun. No! Napataas `yung kilay ko dun. I picked one stem from the bunch of flowers. Nakatingin lang sa `kin si CM. I was rooted to the ground. are you ok ay? He kissed the side of my mouth. He smiled sheepishly. I gritted my teeth. I was just wait ing for Julian to drop by. O baka gut feel ko lan g. he said and handed me a bunch of red roses. `Yung ngiting halatang may itinatago. After clearing his throat he put the news clipping away. God no. Ang arte ko no? Ang drama ko. Alam ko gasgas na `yun. nakakaawa ka . Bummer . Ay. I m way past that stage. Ano `yan? Balewalang tanong ko. I smiled at him. CM! Mabilis kong kinuha `yung dyaryo sa likuran niya. 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. Too achingly sweet. 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 was CM doing here? Again? Hindi kaya ang masama pa nito siya pa maging kamukha ng anak ko. Jeannie He wasnow gnawing his nails. Dahil galit ako. Damn him. What s this? I didn t know why my heart started hammering wildly. Honey. What the hell are you doing? He hissed. Dahil naiiyak ako. he lov es me he Lalong tumaas `yung kilay ko dun. Mabilis na binitiwan iyon nito . At saka I pouted. What are you Napatingin ito sa dyaryong hawak ni CM. Jeannie! Oh. Twice. didn t he? For five million pesos! He slowly gave me that charming. You always make me up just to put me down. There was something wrong here. Hey. Jeannie! I frowned. Nakakahiya naman `di ba? Ngayon pa kami magliligawan kung kailan naka-bingo na. I was so mad I was going to explode. CM avoided eye contact with me. Sheesh. I just stared at him. I was exploding! I hated him. He should have bought me those wi th thorns. Judas s kiss. CM ano `yan? Ito? ah wala. Naiiyak na ko. Na parang sinasabing: Oo. At si CM nga ang masangsang na amoy na iyon. Narinig ko `yung pagkatok sa pinto. Humigpit ang kamay ko n g kinuha ko ang bouqet. he loves me not. Last petal.
at binigay sa`kin. Iyon ang sabi nito. Maybe acceptance would eventually set me free. I gasped. Magbabati. Drunkard on the street! Papalag sana ako. Nakaupo ako sa may bench. I whispered furiously. it s me. I quickly pushed him off me. Jeannie. Tea rs were blinding my vision. Argh. Or b etter yet my soon-to-be baby JJ. I didn t have to be Princess Fiona to have the likes of Shrek. You couldn t just stop your idiot of a heart from beating for that pers on. No amount of gentle words could ever mar the pai n. He was all big aherm I mean he was almost perfect. Couldn t just Julian see my worth? Sabi nila: iwanan mo na `yung taong hindi ka naman kayang pahalagahan. I was out walking that night. I start ed sniffing. They cursed their jerks of a boyfriend. Mag-aaway. Kailan bang mawala ka pa? What if dun ka masaya? Would you fight for him or let go? My whole body was rocking violently. Gumala w si baby JJ! Sorry. Eeeh. Pwede na nga akong magsulat ng Dear Ate Charo dito. SANA. I never asked for a perfect relationship. Grabe. Get out!!! I hissed. The doctor told me that I should get some rest. Without arms to wrap around you. Pero hindi ako naniniwala don. There was no point denying the obviou s. Hindi ko ginustong maging character sa fairy tale books na kinukulayan ng mga bata. Look at him. Pero hindi ba secretly all the girls i n town wished that? Deep down even if how many times we deny it. Nag-panic ako. I was too emotional. I whispered. All in capital letters. Kahit ilang beses mong marinig ang salitang tanga mapa-english man `yan o ibang lenggwahe. It was a cold night in December. Bakit hindi? I always described them as: STUPID. 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. baby I just miss you dad. Was baby JJ sensi ng anything? Jeannie He took hold of my arm. Magmamahal an. Ooops. Mero n. No stress. I didn t need Edward Cullen to be Bella. Then suddenly my stomach contracted. Teka. Lagi na lang kami ganito. He might see your worth when you re gone. Pero ngayon ko lang na-realize. Why not? Because I d never been bitten by the love bug before. My friends cried over my sho ulder. I opened my mouth in disgust! Napapagod na `ko sa `yo Julian. I just needed time off alone. But seriously. K ung totoong lalaki nga lang siya baka babae na ang tumakbong hubad para dito. Oblation sa UP. Kung dati tinatawanan ko lang `yu ng mga taong na-iinlove sabay sabing ay saludo ako sa `yo teh. Kung memory storage lang ang puso hindi ba pwedeng . Syempre fetus pa lang siya ngayon no. Will you just get out? Out of my life Julian. Arms wrapped around my rounded middle. They wept. Hindi naman ako magpapagod. I m outta here. it was all true . nadaig mo pa si Ri zal . If you still don t sense that well too bad for you. Mahina ang kapit ng b ata. I was like are you okay ? Sympathetic. Malakas kaya kapit ko ka ya for sure dapat mana sa `kin si baby JJ. He was made to be perfect. Walang taong ganon no. My stomach started contracting violently. we couldn t love someone who s faultless. `Wag na lang. 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. 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. Oh holy sh!t. 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.
Tapos galit na tinanggal ko `yung mga kamay niya. I screamed. It was just fine with you? I whispered brokenly. He could be a very green monster you know. Julian this is a public place! Kahit na nga ba walang ta He looked at me incredulously. Makinig ka sa `kin. That w as rubbish. I was real babe. Gah. You are all warmed u p and kept on talking about baby JJ s future. But he wasn t that bad. You re still the father and I can t de prive you of that. He wasn t really begging but his voice wa s a mere whisper. I was quite fascinated. Naiiyak na suminghot ako. Jeannie Don t worry about him I ll try to be the best mother I can be. Please come back to me honey. Damn you! You always scare me. Syempre financial supp ort is always open mmmkay? Let s just go on separate ways. Sssshhh I m here baby. I slipped off the pavement but I anchored my elbow so my stomach wouldn t fall head-on. defending himself. But my hips already bumped into the flooring. I was a bout to run from him. You don t want to listen to me. Had he just said okay?! He was such a cad. Here he was. Mabilis akong nasalo ni Julian. Amoy al ak. Feel this He hissed and took my hand. Lalaki ako. Aren t you hurt? Let s go the nearest hospital and So tinititigan niya lang pala kung may dugo `yung thighs ko. He had been drinking! Malamang amoy alak nga eh. Jeannie What! What you saw in the news isn t real. My eyes grew wide. Or even an orchestra. Jeannie! Damn you! Julian I was crying like a child. Shut up. Thank God there was no blood. galit na sabi nito. He put it on his heart. Nang muntik na akong matapilok. Akala mo ba lahat ng lalaki gustong maging prince charming? No. I ve lusted for y ou since day one. Argh. Specifically without me in your life . Lillian kissed me! I didn t kiss her for Pete s sak e Jeannie! Are you listening to me! I started crying. I paused. Trying to make everything okay and light. Sabi nito. clutching his arm tightly. I ll admit. Not some hypocritical character of some fancy novel. Green Monster. Anong gusto mong sabihin ko? Sigaw nito. I saw the picture on the news clipping! Okay. Pano ko siya hindi maririnig s a sigaw niya? I didn t try to be the hero you want me to be babe. His voice held warning but his touch was g entle as he brushed the tears away from my cheeks. He was all lean and strong. don t you? Kayong mga babae. Bakit ba napaka-clums y mo?! Sigaw nito. Jeannie listen to me there were music and candlelight dinner s here. His adam s apple bobbed up and down. I didn t ever wonder now why I couldn t exchange him with Shrek. I d even tell you outright that yes. I was so pathetic. Julian you can visit baby JJ anytime you want. He caressed my stomach and I could feel him from behind me. Tapos mabilis niyang itinaas `yung dress ko. I could never be anyone s prince charming. Onc e you ve said your piece you had it all figured out that you re right when in fact y ou re wrong. He whispered. My eyes were watering. Now I was getting stup id. Julian s face softened. Was he nervous? .mag-erase? What are you doing here? I hissed and tried to take his arms away from me. Bulong nito. My eyes grew wide . Okay. baka iniiisip niyang kulang pa sa daliri si baby JJ kaya pwede pa naming buuin. Surely surely he wouldn t want to Argh! Not here. Malay ko ba. Paano kaya kung magkaanak din kami ng tatlong Julian? I shivered. At kung ibababa mo pa `yung kamay mo malalaman mong tao ako. You saw that one. He gritted his teeth.
And I don t know what I d do without you. At kami rin. Kahit wala naman talagang nakakatawa. 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. he shrugged. It was flowing freely. Jeannie! . growl. Pero we couldn t ask for a sain t. Nah. But this is me. I can t just boom. Er r. Julian. You re the next best thing that happen ed to me. 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. Really looked at me. Hindi nga ba t mahirap magpalaki ng mga magulang? In the three months I came back to Julian. Bakit ba hindi? Daig ko pang kasama si Hitler. Nakikisigaw na din si mommy. But that would be a joke. Married life was never perfect.I could be any man and tell you I love you every day. I had gone to Heaven then back to hel l. On a serious note . Men were born to be polygamous. Sheesh. Jean and I started growing up. As if we didn t have the same face. There are and will be times that I can t make you feel special because because I wan t to shout at you. Just kidding. Sumbong kay daddy. My professor in Psychology once said. He chuckled nervously. That will be the best lie ever. Tapos kapag sila nag-aaway they d both tell us. Dahil sa tingin na ganon. 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. Masarap gumawa ng ba by. Because no man eve r did. when Jean and I were ready to rip e ach other s head s off our shoulders. change for a day just because you say so. Aba. Bakit ba eh. Siguro kaya maraming nabubuntis ng maaga n gayon. we started arguing from our pony tails down to our crushes. 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. I could tell you that I know a lot about women. Jeannie! I heard that shout. to sh ut up. At your stupidity and silliness. take note: in chorus. Big tim e. Not that I told you to tolerate their being babaero . Pero mahirap magpalaki ng baby. I believed that there s one woman who can make a man a one-woman-man. He looked at me. `di ba? Hindi masaya ang buhay kung magtititigan lang kayo.
Anong pakialam ko?! Walan g utang-na-loob! Ingrato. clean. In the middle of the night. Alam mo Jeannie hindi na uu bra sa `kin `yang arte mong `yan. Jeannie kapag hindi ka Ano? Anong gagawin mo?! Sigaw ko. He brushed the locks of hair away from his face. Julian s face softened. Grabe. Ayan. Without a word he turned his back on me and walked toward the door. His voice held warning. Nanulis `yung bibig ko. Julia He raised one finger as if saying don t talk to me . Survive. the mess in your study room. Right on his face. I closed m y eyes tightly. hiccups. Have I awakened the beast in him agai n? Tumaas `yung kilay ko. chest out and protruding stomach out. We were really screaming. Of course. Alin don? `Yung tirahan ng mga b ukbok? Ah. Binasa mo ba? Kung hindi ka namakialam at binasa mo Hindi. EVER. God. Kapag hindi na ako pwedeng bumalik sa New York makasali na nga lang sa starstruck dito. May bago ba? I gritted my teeth and then groaned. I cried louder . My. `Yung tipong buk as pagsisisihan ko kung bakit nagkalamat `yun. I just helped yaya Oreng clean his study room. Nauubos na pasensya ko. Alam mo `yun? Palpak eh. Humikbi ako. God. Sana kahit `yung kontra na lang natin o titulo ng bahay niyo `yung tinapon mo Hinahanap ko nga kanina. Dream. Julian naman oh. Winner! He sighed exaggeratedly and tilted my head up. Na para bang nagsisisi siyang pinabalik niya pa `ko di No. I took out all my clothes. I heard him sigh. Hoho. Tapos nag-tremble `yung lower lip ko. sniffs. . But not cold treatment on his part. Nanlisik bigla `yung mga mata ko. An g gwapo talaga ng asawa ko.. He looked like he was ready to wring my neck. How dare him! Naiiyak n a talaga ako. Jeannie nasan `yung mga lumang folder sa cabinet? He said. He turned around slowly. tinapon ko na lahat `yu WHAT??? Oh. Damn you! Where did you put the documents? He was now shouting. Hmm Jeannie. and walke d across the room. Bakit siya mags isisi? `Di ba dapat ako? I slowly smiled at him. That rooted him to the ground. Napangisi ako. I was pregnant and he was what? Shouting at me. Pero I could even h andle Julian shouting at me when he was mad. Pakiabot nga `yung bag. Hindi naman ako masokista no. Napaupo ako sa kama. Even when stressed. Mas mahalaga pa ba ang binubukbok na folder na `yun?! I stood up with chin in the air. Tinanggal niya `yung unan sa mukha ko. Okay. More gentle this t ime. Goodness. JEANNIE! I put the big pillow over my head. Oh-k ay. He was now scowling. My tears stopped immediately. He glared at me. To the closet. I pushed him hard away from me. Believe. Julian wouldn t hurt me at least physi cally. I started sobbing. 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. Galit akong tumayo.I hadn t heard a word. Nabilang ko pa talaga siya. bulong ko. Jeannie! I know you re not asleep. My mouth dropped open. Bummer. `Wag ka na lang gumalaw. I shivered. Tapos sinabog ko ng onti `yung buhok ko. Oh. Gigil na ibinato ko `yung unan. Kaya pala bumenta ang punchline na you re cute when you re angry . Help me? Papatayin mo ba talaga ako Jeannie? He whispered furiously. This was damned serious. ang hirap magpanggap ng natutulog. I said in a cold tone. Pabalibag kong binuksan `yun. Jeannie naman Parang stress na stress na sabi nito. Bull s eye.. I swore I took three steps backward. Tears wer e pooling in my eyes. God. Narinig kong naglagutukan `yung mga buto niya sa knuckles. Because of Julian. I just helped you hiccups. Can t you be more endearing and and I gritted my teeth in anger.
I was all set. Err. A ng bigat ko na nga ang bigat pa rin ng bag ko. Goodness. You want me to lie? I hissed at him. He put me down on t he bed. And ugly . He nodded rapidly.Tapos tapos inabot nga niya! Galit na binato ko lahat ng damit don. aum. Naiiyak na naman ako. In my eyes only. . He winced. Samantalang ako naman a ng may katawan. Eh. Tapos tumigil pa ako sa may pintuan. Naiyak akong lalo. It felt so good to be in his arms like this. For the likes of him. Tumaas `yung kilay niya. Anong ginagawa mo? What do you think am I doing? Hinihingal na `ko. LOL. Tapos hinampas ko siya. Oh. Nag-bounce `yun mattress. Sabi ko. he couldn t carry me anymore. I opened my mouth i n disgust. Kaya hindi muna pwedeng gumawa ng Baby JJ the second . Hindi ka naniniwala? Galit kong sabi. I wra pped my arms around his neck. Binuhat niya `ko! Napakapit akong bigla sa leeg niya. Par a akong hippopotamus. Why did it hurt like this? Manganganak na ba ako? Julian! I tapped his shoulder. Atapang atao di at akbo. Uuwi na `ko sa parents ko. Syempre I ll tell you you re the most beautiful woman in the world. Tapos pinilit niya ulit akong buhatin. N a parang naghahanap ng milagro sa kisame. Bakit kaya hindi ako ang tanungin ni Julian? Baka ang sagot ko ay Oo. Delikado sa daan. God. Sheeeshhh he kissed my swollen lips. My nose w ere stuffed with you know. Nung unang try. Siya kaya ang manganak! Puro lang siya pasarap tapos magagalit pa siy a sa `kin? Well. Te ll me I m beautiful. Do you know what sound you emit when y ou snore? I don t snore. these past months we hadn t ahm . The spasm overtook all consid eration. I started sobbing like that of the child s. Nakakainis talaga. Monster! I looked like Princess Fiona now. Three months was like applying for sainthood. ito namang si Julian masunurin! Hmp. Naramdaman kong lumuhod siya sa harapan ko. He rolled his eyes ceilingward. Napaupo ako sa may gilid ng pinto. Uuwi na talaga `ko. He kissed the tip of my nose. Loud. Oo. Like this: oiiink oiiiink I gritted my teeth. Walo na. He smirked then snorted. Epic fail. He snorted. I even saluted him for his control. Next to Andres Bonifacio. Papatayuan ko na nga ng monument itong si Julian. Uncontrollable. I thought I was dreaming. Tapos ta wa. Jeannie hindi mo ba naisip na ilang beses na ang pagbabalak mong lumayas? If I m goi ng to count it with my fingers save the part after the almost miscarriage thing . I almost screamed when I turned to find myself lo oking back at me in the mirror. Babe. W ell. I was so big. My mouth turned into an indignant O. Lalo akong naiyak. Sabay kaming nagkatinginan. stop crying please it won t do any good to our baby. Parang batang sabi ko sa kanya. As in BIG. I was so big and round. I d start on my diet aft er I give birth. He sighed. Bukas na gabi na eh. Mapapagod nga ako. Mababanyo daw ako! Tapos sumasakit `yung tyan ko. Na nakataas pa ang sanda ta niya ha. I pouted. Grr. You do. Thank my failing eyesight for that. I felt his arm snaked behind my back the other one was under my thighs. Ngumisi ito. Sabi kasi ng doctor bawal daw akong mapagod. He chuckled. I winced as the contraction was violent. Kaya siguro ayaw niya na sa `kin. My eyes were bloodshot.
It was just that he should be the pillar of strength for Jeannie. That was what the doctor had said. My mind kept telling me: I couldn t stand the pain anymore. Not that tears made men weak. Pero sa mga panahong iyon. Or else they ll both die. He didn t want to cry. We didn t know how we arrived at the hospital with just the two of us. I tried to crack a reassuring smile through my labored breaths. Ju lian my baby she started hiccupping. Didn t saying sorry was the worst word ever in w omen s vocabulary? Well. He drove his Porsche while I was panting on the passenger seat. Sumisigaw na ito. He would ha ve cried and fainted at the sight of Jeannie in pain. Nagkakagulo sa bu ong bahay. She would hate me. Julian and baby JJ was rooting for me. I didn t know where they were taking me. She opened one eye. After knowing all complication of pregnancy decisio n has to be taken whether to allow the pregnancy to continue or not. He even promised God of a lifetime of rectitude. God. I took Julian s hand. It was as if I was torn apart. You have to choose between your wife and the baby. Gusto ko ng magwala at magmura. All I know was that I was very. He was inside in a flash. Julian squeezed my hand. But goo dness gracious I hadn t expected him this soon. Hindi siya relihiyosong tao. In his saner days he would have given co nsideration and credit to their profession. Julian I clutched at his shirtsleeve. As cause of preterm is known. he could have said not his . Only o nly HE would spare Jeannie. But we have to hurry. I closed my eyes. It was an either-or proposition. Bullsh!t. I op ened my eyes again. Dammit. Galit na sinuntok niya ang pader. Hindi matanggap ng utak niya kung ano mang medical theory ang sinasabi nito. he coul dn t afford to lose Jeannie. I was bleeding profusely. The pain was overriding a ll sense of logic from me. I was in a state of panic How could I? I was only eight mon ths on the way. Julian no save baby JJ. But he didn t know w here had gone awfully wrong. the doctor gave him that look. With blood all over her th ighs. . His breath got hitched. Na tatakot. Remember this I love you both. His Jeannie and baby JJ. he knew. Why was this happening to them? Mabilis siyang pinagsuot ng hospital gown. Magulo. And dammit. Ayos na din ang room ni baby JJ. Buhat niya ito habang kinukuha ang susi ng sasakyan sa drawer. She kept pleading while squeezing his hand. What do you mean? Sigaw niya dito. Maingay. Nagmamadaling binuhat niya si Je annie. I kissed her on her sweating forehead. Nagkakagulo. I wanna die. never letting go. Jeannie oh. I started crying. Everything was all set. I m sorry. No Numb. Julian! What? Manganganak na ata ako. Can t you just take care of my wife first? Galit na sabi ni to habang may inaabot na fill-up form. Must have been reflex action. Tired and lost. But I couldn t stop the fight. He tried hard to calm his nerves. I we lost our very first baby. Umiiyak. very frightened. Pleas took my hand. You can talk to your wife she s in and out of consciousness. He shouted for the maids to come upstairs. His precious Jeannie. Pity. There was something wrong. Parang nanlamig ang katawan niya. 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. He took the matters into hi s own hands.He groaned. Save my baby. Pero wala siya sa katinuan para gawi n iyon! He couldn t praise them if they couldn t save Jeannie God. Bawat segundo ay nagdara sal siya para sa mag-ina. The pain was killing me.
yes. Malulungkot `yung baby mo kung ganyan ka. I even told him h e killed our baby. Jeannie stop this to yourself and Julian. At gusto kong ibalik nila sa `kin si Baby JJ ko. Hindi ko alam kung kailan `yun nagsimula. I felt her beside me. How was that? Jeannie Julian smiled at me tentatively. I wasn t crying. Gusto ko ng mamatay. Hindi nga ba gasgas na `tong ganitong pakiramdam? You felt like crying but still gave the world a smiling fvcking face . Life. Bulong ko. Pinalayas. How ironic. And God s. Was it the day afte r I cursed Julian to hell? Pero isang buwan isang buwan akong niyayakap ni Julian sa gabi habang umiiyak ako. Hindi lang akin si Baby JJ. I rolled my eyes. I even asked HIM many times why. Tumayo ako para wala ng pagtatalo. I stopped crying the day Julian told me: I love you Jeannie that I d choose to live without our baby than you. Tama. Till my breath would be sucked out of me. Lagi nilang sinasabing ang lahat ng bagay ay may rason. You go eat without me. So. I could have jumped with joy even with my stitches on. I shrugged my shoulders. Hindi ko gustong sisih in si Julian. 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. Pero ano ang ginawa ko? Minura ko siya. It wasn t his fault. But in the best of circumstances. Gusto ko ako ang unawain nila. Nababa lutan ng sakit at galit ang logic ko. the one I had done right the first day I told Julia n we were going to be a family. I could have Julian and it would be perfect. Nandun silang lahat sa may gilid ng pool. Gusto ko sanang sabihing nananady a ka ba? But said instead. I remembered that one morning I woke up. Pero napapagod na `kong magsalita k ahit wala pa naman akong sinasabi. He would rock me to sleep and kiss the top of my he ad. bakit pa niya ibinigay sa `kin k ung kukunin niya rin lang naman? Jeannie kakain na tayo I didn t look over my shoulder. Unti-unting humarap. Mommy smiled and waved at me. I could have kissed him o n the lips. Ayoko ng makaramdam ng ganitong .TWENTY NINE We couldn t have everything we wanted in life. It had been two months since then. I know I was playing at being the self-centered b!tc h. Ayokong umunawa. I was immersed in finishing the painting I had sta rted in Morocco. Hindi mo ba naisip na I know it would be t oo cliché to tell you this. Kasi nasasaktan ako. Ganyan nga. Someone was hugging me tight I couldn t breathe. Even CM went home to see me after joining the co ntest in New York. I asked her with my eyes. He was also his. Pinili t kong pagalawin ang muscles ko sa panga. Bulong ng kakambal ko. Before I thought love was all there was. Should w as the operative word. I should have been more understanding. I followed her to the lanai . Oh. I didn t want to wake up because I knew the pain was there. Gusto kong ako ang intindihi n nila. What do you want to eat? Anything. Motherhood is the best fulfillment a woman could ever have. Pero hindi nga ba hindi lang pala love ang mahalaga sa mundo.
I was too selfish to even ask him if he was also in pain about the loss. What s with you people? Inis kong sabi. He became gentler. do you know that there was another exhibit? This one s the big event of the yea r. It was almost unbearable. may tawag dyan eh. Pwede ba CM! Kung sa bagay kung magpapakamatay ka mas maraming magiging masaya. Nung panahon g iyon. He wa s still the same handsome devil I fell in love with. Baka lang gusto mong sumali. To the point na kulan g na lang ay suutan niya `ko ng panty. In short. D ragging me to God-knows-where.. Wala akong pakialam kung nandun man siya o wala. Sana pinili na lang niya si baby JJ kung ganito rin lang kasakit. Umiiyak agad ako first thing in the morning. Our loss. But funny I did. And life itself. Karga niya si baby Czarina. goodness. Ako ba? O siya? I suddenly missed him. Can you hold her for me? she hesi tantly asked CM while looking at me. There was sudden warmth that I hadn t felt in ages months now. CM winced at me. He didn t say a thing. Magsasalita sana ako ng dumating si Jean. I know that painting has been your outlet after t he He cleared his throat. That was so pathetic. Alam mo te. Pero somehow along the way we became more of strangers than lovers. I shouldn t be surprised when an arm drew me closer. He just snored and let me cry on his che st. It was so unfair. Missed him shouting at me. I would very much like that. Yes. The people were everywhere in our house. Tignan mo nga k ung pano paglawayan ang asawa mo. Kung makatili naman kala mo ambulansiya. I didn t doubt my love for him. The same spark was still there. Ano pa nga ba. Kung may potential future child star ba siya? I didn t even get to hear him or her wail and kick. Tuyot. Siguro. At one point I even blamed Julian. I couldn t even go to the nursery room. 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. Nakunan lang ako para na akong nagkaroon ng mga bod yguards. Why are you alone? Lalong tumaas `yung kilay ko. I forcefully took the almost seven month old baby. Why not? The Jeannie I know so well would be dead by now if she didn t talk even a minute. Jeannie! Tumaas `yung kilay ko. What? I asked impatiently. Tigang. Well. Nagtataka nga ako kung naglalakad na ng nakahu bad mamaya `yan eh. beautiful. Minsan nga natatakot na rin ako sa sarili ko. Pag-umpugin ko kayang `tong dalawa ng `to? Sheesh. Ano ha? I started cooing sounds. I was out in the garden alone. But something along the way changed us. Jeannie? Hmm? . Maalaga. At lalong ayokong makakita ng mag-ina. Siguro okay na `ko. Nakatingin lang sa swi mming pool.. Give me baby Czarina Nagkatinginan `yung dalawa. Hey. I gritted my teeth. Napalingon ako kay CM. Months had passed. I glared at him. He shrugged. Tapos na ang christening. She was smili ng at me. We merely talked anymore. I looked away and met Julian s eyes across from us. Ah nothing.sakit. These past months napapansin kong kahit saan ako p umunta somebody was with me. kulang ka lang sa dilig. I looked at CM. He cleared his throat and looked away. At uhaw sa pagmamahal. Ui. But I started doubting about the future. Oh. It was only my sorrow t hat was important. Ni hindi ko man lang nakita kung pa ngo ba `yung baby ko. Ano bang tingin nito sa `kin? Kikidnappin k o anak niya? God gave me mercy. Pano kung mabaliw ako? Paano kung manguha na lang ako ng bata at angkinin kong anak? God.
Mabilis ko siyang tinalikuran. Julian was waiting at the front step of the entrance. I didn t want to be with Julian in the same car. Trust CM to say all the wonderful things. Mas pinili kong sumabay kay CM sa sasakyan. Mer on ba sa pamilya namin ang pangit? Syempre wala. His eyes were uncertain. Down there on his crotch. ang beauty ko pang-alalay sa kinakasal? I should have been you. Napanganga ako dun. He was cooing and tucking her like he was the r eal father. Syempre inaanak ko ata `yang si Czari na no. Tapos papakipot muna ng onti. He covered his mouth. Emotionally. I raised one brow at him. Julian told me not to say that he s going to prop I didn t say anything. I didn t even consider his feelings. He grinned at me. I m thinking about joining the contest CM. Jeannie! Narinig kong ibinigay nito kay CM ang bata. S he beamed up at CM as if saying: Maitim pala ha. Gah. Just kidding. He was really shouting at me! Then CM gasped. Hi having a great time? He awkwardly said. Then he slowly smiled. Pati `yung luha ko parang nag-freeze. Will you stop running away like a coward! I stopped dead in my track. I need you. Parang hindi niya `ko narinig. Ayoko nga sanang pumayag na maging best m an. Para akong teenager na nakatitig sa kanya. Then the baby started making gurgling sounds. . I heard the engine of CM s car out of the driveway. Kaya tumalikod na lang ako. Czarina peed on me!!! Napatingin kami sa baba ng pantalon niya. As in. very dark. ano bang silbi ng reproductive system mo kung hindi mo naman gagami tin? I hissed at him. Hindi ko pinansin ang paghabol sa `kin ni Julian. A hand grabbed mind. literally. What are you talking about? Uh-oh. Oh. Goodness gracious Jeannie. Even CM was wailing! Jeanni SHUT UP! Nag-chorus pa silang dalawa ni Julian. my God. Let me see her oh. And we didn t know how to ruin the wall that separated us. You are acting so cowardly! Ikaw lang ba ang nasasaktan?! His hand gripped my arm so tight it hurt. All I cared about that instant was the man I d hurt so much. Didn t really care. Night CM. Napatiti g ako sa niece ko. I couldn t afford to see them. Sabi nit o sabay tampal sa bibig. Jeannie! Oh my. Bata pa lang matalino na. baby pa nga? Ang itim pa ni Czarina! CM! Sigaw ko. Kampon ni Satanas umalis ka sa katawan ng kaibigan ko! He gasped. Okay. Jeannie! Bakit mo `ko sinisigawan? Sigaw ko. Sawa na `kon g umiyak. I missed this. Pero maganda pa rin. She ll be as beautiful like her ninang. Jeannie give him a second chance. I nodded. the brid Oh. beautiful chi ld. Naiiyak na naman ako. Umiiyak ang baby. Tapos hinawakan ko `yung noo niya at pumikit. Kung dati kung pwede lang na ibulsa siya ay ginawa ko na pero ngayon? The silence stretched between us. Na na ghihintay hingin ang number ko. very good girl. Tears were already streaming down my face as I turned away. Nakita ko si Julian na papalapi t.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. My heart was beating wildly. Saka makakagawa pa rin na man kayo no. I was walking like a zom bie toward Julian. But the sorrow kept persisting with every thoughts of what could have been. Jeannie naman oh! We started laughing. she s a bit dark. Can I hold her? He took the baby from me gently. How can you say beautiful agad eh. Oh. It became somehow awkward.
I would give him a second chance . Sana nagamot ko man lang si tatay at `di siya namata y. The one with Julian under the shower? This was a make-or-break decision. `yun nga lang ang hirap ng buhay. it was human instinct. I slowly smiled. NIyakap niya ako. I didn t push him like I always did in the few months. Really looking. I walked down the streets of Manila bay and along CCP. Really? Oo. . Hindi gaanong mahigpit. Naramdaman ko `yung hangin. Okay na sana. I nodded. Caring to your lo ved ones. Some would even say that I d won the lottery by having Julian. Ewan ko ba.He looked like a boy. He was a boy. Give m e a second chance. Madungis nga lang. He slowly stepped forward. `di siya. `Yun g parang sa cannibal? Tapos `yung ilong niya kumakalat lumalapad `pagtumatawa. hindi madali `yung decision ko. I recalled one of my classmates in High School telling that particular dream of his. So who was being lucky here? Eh. but my heart suddenly went out to him. `Pagharap ko nagulat ako. As in now. Tapos one seat apart. With rai sed eyebrow I could very well say na ako si Jeannette Rose Leviste ang tanging t aong nakapagtiyaga sa ugali niya. ayos. Baka gusto niya talagang mabaliw ang mommy ni ya kung iiyak siyang bigla sa gabi out of nowhere. Real life drama pala ito. Ewan ko ba . marami pa namang lalake dyan. Syempre ii sipin nila napuwing lang ako dahil sa lakas ng hangin. Do you know that mommy loves you so much? I murmured achingly. Wala ka na bang maisip na matinong ambisyon? Gusto kong maging doktor ate. Hello ? Kahit naman hindi mo pangarapin `yun. Eh. Pat i siya nakitawa na rin. I would have given everything to have him crying in the middle of the night waking me up for his breast feed. Jeannie! I m so rry. I walked down the street. Okay lang `yun ate. 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. Then he smiled. He must have been at least eight years old. Sampu na kami! I winced. Kaso wala kaming pera. Kahit na nga ba sabihing gwapo si Julian a t mayaman. His teeth were decaying. I didn t ask for him to do that now. kung karirin ko na lang kaya si Julian? Kung pwede nga lang ba. There was this little cherubin who was looking at me. Then my eyes started getting misty. Sana hindi na lang siya nag-smile. Either Julian or Career. My whole future at stake. Baliw ba `tong batang `to? Matawa kaya siya kung malaman niyang siya `yung pinagtatawanan ko? But his cute. He coul d have been months now. brokenhearted ka ba? Ah. Nyek. Anong pangarap mo? Kung sinabi nitong maging mabuting asawa t ama babatukan ko talaga `to. Ate. But of course. I stood up and stared sadly at the engraved name: BABY JJ. I was looking out of the manila bay when the phone started ringing. Tignan mo nanay ko nakapag-asaw a agad. Could it be a sign that baby JJ want us to be together again? I was trying to smile. I started laughing horribly. Anghel na naging tyanak p a. I ll give your father a second chance. Oi. I have submitted your painting. baby JJ. At may hawak siya ng mga sampaguita. deep down I already knew the answer. His right shoe was toying the marbled flooring. Oh. I missed these places. An g hangin tinatangay ang buhok ko. God. Could I forgive and just forget? Kaya ko pa kayang magmahal kung hindi na buo an g puso ko? THIRTY Of course. sa mga novels na nababasa ko `yung hangin na `yun `yung loved ones nila na nawala na. As if he wa s testing the waters.
I heard footsteps. He was already in New York by now because of that blasted con test. Nagluto ako. Tha nks mom! I suddenly felt like the biggest scumbag ever. I wanted to celebrate Julian s awakening! Namuti na ang mata ko kakahintay sa kanya. kung hindi mo naranasang mag-promissory note sa school o humabol ng scholars hip. I was a bit disconcerted at first. Ngayon pa nga lang baon na kami sa utang kay Julian.Ngumiti ako tapos naglabas ng five hundred pesos. I slipped into the room with so much as a noise. Tsk. Siya nga ni hindi man lang maisipang mag-text or tumawag. But really. I gave it to him. Stupid. Minsan lang `yan no. Seriously there were people who were given the privilege to live the ir life the way they wanted to be. May mga nakapalibot s a kanya habang nagpe-paint siya. Oh. Alam mo ba `yun. Masama kutob ko dito. Not under the sho wer! `Yung ginawa ko noon sa Morocco. Ba ka maibato ko lang sa kanya `yung kare-kare at kalderata. Tapos nagtago akong maigi ng nagmamadali ng umalis si Julian. Iniyakan ko pa ang paghiwa ng sibuyas. Siya pa ang isawsaw ko sa alamang. Err. He frowned and arched one brow. . He didn t really deserve a second chance. Ipinasa niya `yung painting ko. Blame CM for this. The one with Julian. I even bled my finger w ith the bread knife. That s not for you! I was acting childish. Sometimes happy endings were just in Fairy tale stories. I was so angry. He wanted to capture the orange horizon with its reddish rays around the sun. I stared fixedly at the blue and white sky. so I think he d got lots of work to do. My eyes got misty. Hindi. Pero kung isa ka sa mga pinanganak na walang kasiguraduhan ang hinaharap. This wasn t one of those overrated version of classic dra mas. I didn t even look up. God. I even asked God to make my cooking p erfect. Why? `Coz I believed that what doesn t kill you can make you stronger . Nako. SOMETIMES. Kung ang motto ko ay: I could kiss and be damned tomorrow. at least passable na man. Baka pasko. 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. Who the hell cared. I started putting away the cold food. Masama palang napapaisip ako. Hindi ko alam kung bakit. `di ba sosyal? Samantalang sa kasuluksulukang kalye ng Cubao rugby lang. It was just that I hoped they knew their good f ortune. Baka bukas isa na din ako sa mga taong grasa. Nasugatan ka na. Tapos napa-w ow siya. Hindi man lang nahiya. itatanong pa sa `yo kung nasaktan ka. `Wag lang talaga siyang kakaliwa. Hindi man ganon kasarap `yung niluto ko. Tinampal ko `y ung kamay niya. At anong ginagawa nila? Ayun: Pare let s party! Party! Ilabas na ang cocaine. nakakapaglabas ako n g pera. Little di d he know that I was a descendant of Gabriela Silang? Beware. I strained my ears against the wall. I want to surprise Jeannie about the engagement. I th ought my heart would burst any minute. And you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth. Then I saw a man with his canvass. I had nothing against rich kids. Very fortunate of you. He dipped one finger at the dish. How could I let Julian go? I love him so much. The irony of life. I made face. It was only four i n the afternoon. Oo. He didn t even bother t o call if he wasn t retiring early! Damn him. It always happened in real life. y`know. `yung mga gustong mag-aral walang pampa-aral. He kept looking around as if it was some top government secret. At ano? Para sa wala. `Yung mga may p ampa-aral ayaw mag-aral. Nakita kong nakatalikod si Juli an. okay. May kausap sa phone. Were all the men in general like this? Or only him? He was still insensitive. I m prou d of you. We ll. Dapat all set na para bukas. Birthday mo? I hissed. Wala na ba akong inisip kundi ang pambabababe ni Julian? Men could be honest.
I hadn t thought that I could love this much. Panira. Galit ka ba? lingon niya sa `kin. He really smiled at me. Fatherly. My breath got hitched. You e xperienced them. 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. or whatever we could thin k of. He kissed me passionately. He was a cave man! Okay lang kung buhat. He was unbuckling his pants. Tuwang tuwa nga ako sa `yo eh. Would we start makin g babies now? Para makaabot sampu? My mind was screaming: I wasn t prepared for th is. Thirsty. Lalong tumaas `yung kilay ko. Pero I believed that you couldn t go play . Parang napipilita n lang. ganon? Inis nitong sabi. A kiss meant everything. Alright. Our eyes met. A kiss wasn t just classified into: smack. You prepared this f or me. He put me down no threw me onto the bed. words were mere words until you felt them. Our bodies touched. Hindi joke lang. I was pummeling his back. Kung pwede lang na bumaon `yun baka nangy ari na. I even hugged him tight to myself th at I thought I couldn t breathe anymore. Grr. But this was one? We were groping for each other. he loves me but not as much as I do. Damn boxers.Oh? Kanino? Sa aso. Yes. He laughed loudl y and lunged at me. Not t hat I was saying living in was justifiable. He nipped my lower lip and kissed each corner. Ayoko nang magpaka-ipokrita. Massage my temples. It was more. It was proven and tested. He was pulling down his pants and oh So disappointed. I gasped. What do yo u think are you doing? Perhaps going to striptease? He said playfully. Stop He groaned. Sa relationship. I was too eager. I smiled sweetly. Hindi. Brotherly kiss. French or torrid. Oh. almost a year without this physical aspect of our relationship. Julian no! I shrieked when he tickled my feet. He even smacked my bottom! Tapos tawa siya ng tawa. No. Of course. We were husband and wife in the eyes of God. I didn t want to close my eyes for a second because Julian might vanish into thin mists. Maybe we were immoral in the eyes of the society. bed! You re not serious. smile cracked on his lips. chaste. Papel lang ang kulang sa `min. Pero hindi ganito na binibiyabit niya `ko mula sa balikat niya. Siguro nga sa `ming dalawa ma s malaki ang pagmamahal ko sa kanya. Gusto ko kapag nag-asawa na tayo nasa bahay ka lang. No. Masyadong wild at aggressive `yung isang `to. L agi namang ganon `di ba? There would always be someone who would give more love than the other. hindi bagay! I tried to cover my face with my hand. Julian let me down! I yelled a t his back. I might melt. alam na. I hadn t noticed that he was already on top of me. He even waved his polo up in the air like a cowboy. Like we could satisfy the months. He didn t look the man who was so eager to propose. Anong tingin mo sa `kin palahiang bab oy? I hissed at him. while doi ng an imitative dance of that of macho men. I was hissing while sinking my fingers deep into his skin. He said that with conviction. I was trying to capture his mouth. More that you couldn t define. with gaps between my fingers. I want you here with our children hmm mga sampu okay na. Where s my husband? I whisp ered. Were there flames everywhere? It was getting hot. Oo. I was screaming when he scooped me up in his arms. Grabe. Yes. Nakakatakot itong Julian na `to. A slow sexy goodness. He started laughing and crawled to the bed . Pakipot lang. Julian Oh-kay. He was teasing me. Kung makautos kala mo bayad na sa kasalanan niya. He turned me upside down. Goodness. Hindi lang sarap ng pisikal. I was really a bit taken aback. right. It was hot and explosive. Diniinan ko ang mga kamay sa ulo niya. He slouched on the chair and massaged his temple.
I wanted to laugh at his clumsiness. He loved me. The heat and the rush were there. I was about to shout at him to go to hell when he started raining tiny kisses do wn the side of my face. It w as like this was the last time. I was bound to hi m. I was like: OH? With arched brows. I shouldn t be surprised but I was. Akala ko hindi. Where we could hear our breathing as the music playing in our ears. Slow. Hindi ko alam kung dah il dahil alam kong ngayon magpo-propose si Julian. ang keso ko. Nilagyan niya ako ng blindfold. Well. Touched me and kissed me like there was no tomorrow. CM talked to me on the phone earlier. I was a bit tensed. Lalo na `yung mga nagpo-pro pose. Will you. Like he really wanted to get acquainted wi th every part and pore of me. it was very differen t. Don t tell me ipapa-salvage mo `ko? I tried to joke my way around him. I could feel it in his hands. For the first time. What? I would scream if he told me: no. Everyone. He was also tensed. He took the blindfold off. We should all know our limits. Nung una nga hindi pa niya m ahanap. I love you too I whispered against his hair. There was no pain this time. Na nakahawak sa bewang ko. And God. Well. Okay na ba? Not yet. I was happy and overwhelmed to see all of them. `Wag ka ngang excited. Akalain mo `yun. Or it could be our heartbeats. Late na pala ako sa school. 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. Nag papa-yummy pa kasi.around if love wasn t involved. . At pumunta kami sa banda roon. Maybe I was really living in one of those fairy t ales and that I would be woken up by my mother. I was staring into his eyes. C mon! I wasn t raised to be promiscuous. Sila mommy at daddy. Excuse me? I glared at him and he started chuckling! I just want to make this time gentler. It s just Just? I asked impatiently. By God and by love. Of course. I was choking back the words. He was cuddling against my bosom. I started crying because because He kneeled down on his knees. And put out the ring. And almost the same. Thrice. Si Julian iyon. I love you He whispered as he claimed me. He was killing me softly. But I wasn t running for a Maria Clara nominee either. What? Siya nga `yun ang manre-reject? Eeh. Gentle. Twice. Even Brad and Vi ncent were there. Sisigawan niya `ko. So. I screamed. Whatever. He came back to my lips and kissed me openly. He was re ally something huh. We soared. I tast ed a morsel of heaven. every man had his moment. I just wished that when we grew old together it would still be like this. Jeannette Rose Leviste be my wife? I blinked once. Which he thought I had no clue of. Tapos sasabihin ko ano ? kasi hindi ko na maririnig kasi bingi na `ko. I didn t know it was like this. I thought and heard about sex was all hot and swea ty. `yung x-rated version ba naman ang panuorin mo na pinahiram pa sa `yo ng Good Influence and Morally upright mong c mate. this was his idea of going slow eh? Parang ako ata a ng unang mamamatay. how I loved this man with all of my heart. He groaned. And Jean with her baby. The great Julian S unico was trembling. I gasped. At ang sa `kin. he cleared his throat. Mali kot ang mga kamay nito. Kahit `yung mga associates ni Julian. Posible pala. Goodness.
But no. It was the most pai nful and hardest decision to make. I should have been the one running away after doing the ecting. 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. As always. know th sakit rej didn t Didn t yo . Because we couldn t have them all. Nakita kong napahigpit ang kamay niya sa hawak na box. In reality. Gasgas na pero it wasn t him. that s why we have choices. I was really s orry. 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. Ngayon ko lang na-realize tama sila. As if telling me to say yes. I was nominated for a one-year e xhibit and tour around the world. Hindi lahat ng tao mas pinipiling mag-settle down kaysa piliin ang opportunity na ibi nibigay sa kanila. it was me all al ong. He did. u still have a clue that I love life? And so I did Julian. THIRTY ONE Compromise. Tears streamed down my ey es. I even dare look at everyone. I cried my heart out when I saw the defeat and hatred in his eyes. I didn t cry. I should have put that in Julian s vocabulary. they would ask me the why s and what s. I whispered through my blurring vision. Pero sa totoong buhay. gusto ko namang maging matatag sa mga desisyon ko. And I was chasing him. I love you you know that. For once.And looked at everyone. Didn t you know that not all dreams come true? I needed to grow and that didn t include Julian in the picture. But I m sorry I can t. I even once asked many about which would they prefer: love or career? I couldn t very well answer my own question back then. The diamond ring was sparkling. CM s motto: opportunity knocks only at once door. I couldn t help it while nodding rapidly. Alam ko.
you also have to love what I do! Per o alam kong hindi ganon kadali `yun. Pero masak it Jeannie. Glory be to God. He didn t turn around. you stood against odds and still be together after a year. syempre masarap pa ring merong pipilit na kunin `yung kamay mo in public kahit kunwari ayaw mo. C`mon! `Wag na nating loko hin ang sarili natin. I pouted and looked out of the w indow. I tried to smile. His fists clenched. Gusto kong isigaw sa kanya: If you love me. Hindi lang naman lalaki ang makakapagpaligaya sa `yo. Reality bites. And it was my dream e ven before Julian entered my oh-so-boring life. Julian Akala ko dati. Gusto kong matupad ang mga pangarap ko. You could have told me yesterday. In general. I ll be away for a year. Kung anim na bwan nga `yung iba wala na. Masara p walang pinagkakagastuhan kapag monthsary. Wala ka bang sasabihin? Gusto kong sabihing naiintindihan kita. If and only if they d devoted themselves to God. Ano ba. Ano bang alam ko nung time na `yun? Gusto ko lang maging m agaling na pintor. lagi kong sinasabi noon na mas masarap maging single. kaartehan lang `yung mga nababasa t napapanood ko. I won t ask you to wait for me Julian. Yes. It was very true. But it was almost true. That finding your self wasn t really true. One year Jeannie? Do you think a year is only a day for me? Galit nitong sabi. Pero hindi nga ba k aya nga kakaunti ang pari sa mundo? At ang iba pa sa kanila y. Jeannie I will Wait for you My breath got hitched. Why not? Either I ha d no choice `coz there was no one had dared to hold my hand at that time. T here was no way around that but time. Sa mga single. `Coz I don t know what will happen. Ang gulo ko no? I asked him not to wait for me but then I wished with all my heart t hat he would. Mamamatay `yan kung isang taong walang putahe sa hapag kainan. It might sound exaggerated. Nandun na `yun eh. Wala ka pa.I found him in the adjacent room. Or even last night! He was now shou ting. Lit erally and hmm figuratively. You could live without them but somehow let s be honest . Nung humarap siya. He looked at me from head to foo t. Julian painting is my very first love. O dahi l sa dinami dami ng lalaki sa mundo walang sumigaw sa `kin ng katulad ng pagsiga w ni Julian. Unless you tell me. At hindi naman sa wala akong ti wala sa mga lalaki. Kahit ako man. His back was turned to me. Siguro hindi na `ko natakot. Na gkakasala. Abstinence was an avoidable word in their dictionary. Those were just life s facts. men are men. Ano? Magtititigan na lang tayong mga bab ae? At the back of our minds we wished for someone to fill the cold nights. Isang taon lang `yun Julian. Or they weren t as sexy as Julian. Heart grew colder with the absence of the other. True. kung iiwan ako ng lalaking m ahal ko sa harap ng altar baka mapatay ko siya ng wala sa oras. In New York. Kasi wala ka ngang ka-monthsary! Wal ang naninigaw sa `yo on the phone when you couldn t text him. there was always an exemption. I smiled bitterly to myself. Bulong nito. Of course. But wasn t that our problem? Time. Just being realistic. He didn t bother to turn around when I shut the door closed. Long distance relationship only stood a chance as big as my thumb finger. life without them was a boring world. That was what I wanted to hear from him. Sino bang nakakaalam kung bakit ganito ang mga babae? . With pho ne calls! LOL. And warm hugs. Isang taon pa kaya? I wasn t being pessimistic here. His forehead was be nt against the wall. Before you. Not that I was here to sit judgment. Pain was pain. But hey. Again.
I won t ask where you are going. I really do. Bago pa man ako makapagsalita ay nahugot na ni CM `yung tel a mula sa canvass. natetempt akong mag-stay. Sino pa bang titili ng ganoon kung hindi ang kaisa-isang kaib igan ko sa mundong ibabaw. I mopped my forehead with the towel. Postcard greetings. And Julian didn t want anything to do with it. I chose my path. I lo Don t tell me you love me. I gaped at him. However. Ah. Sh!t. What? He smiled sheepishly. He shook his head. He paushed. Galit kong sabi sa kanya. It seemed cliché but I m letting you go. Sino `to? I avoided his scrutiny. A mere whisper. BITTER! After a few e-mails and letters. Gusto mo bang sabihin ko sa `yong hihintayin kita Jeannie? Then wha t after our promises to one another. I glared all the more at him. It meant goodbye. So. I didn t really care. You k now dear. if you walk out of that door. I snatched the cloth from him and cove red it again. Hinara ngan ko `yung painting sa likuran ko. 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. I wanted to slap him at that moment.Never forget you. Of course. Eh. `Yung lalaki sa panaginip mo? Tuwing gabi dinadalaw ka? CM! He looked at the painting more closely. Oo. Hindi kaya maglolokohan lang tayo? He gave up on me. And damn if he wasn t handsome here and nud e. Let s eat. Get out Jeannie. It would deteriorate with ti me. Wala. Ano ba Jeannie defensive na sabi ni to. I like him. `Yun lang ang naiintindihan ko sa lahat ng `to. He shook his head. dammit! Just just get the hell out of here!!! Nanlaki ang mga mata ko at naisara ko agad ang pinto. Two years later. `di topless. este uumagahi n. couldn t I just have both? Somehow maybe I would eventually forget him. I understand. But it hurt a lot. I m sorry baby JJ. it s okay with me. Nahiya ka lang pero ang ido-draw . I didn t care. Narinig kong ang pagbagsak ng mga gamit at kung ano mang mga nagkala t na basag doon. You re giving up on me. Kung gagabihin kayo e. I gritted my teeth. Pero pano na lang `yung mga pa ngarap ko? Hindi lahat ng tao nabibigyan ng ganitong opportunity. Then shrugged. I cleared my throat and glared at him. Sakalin ko na kaya `tong kaibigan kong `to? He tried looking over my shoulders. For you. I bit my lip to stop from crying out. My mind was made up. Was there a difference? Iniba niya lang ng phrase pero ganon din `yun! Jeannie if you stay you choose me. So what time s your date later with Rick? Todo smile ito. My heart was breaking into pie ces. Pwede ba. Jeannie! I raised one brow. And correction. So this was what he called letting go huh. God. He arched one brow. Busy? I shrugged my shoulders. Ex mo? Kung makapagtanong kala mo inosente! I gritted my teeth. I tried pushing him toward the kitched. You might be seeing some body I don t know. I m hungry. Ano ba `yang ginagawa mo ha? Tingin pa. What if you find someone new? What if you do? I hissed at him. We disappointed you. Ganon din naman `yun. Julian I whispered when I was in between the door and the outside world toward achi eving my dream. Para akong rob ot na naglalakad. Ang arte. he isn t nude here.
I was starting a new life now. It was so un-CM like. Excuse ako ng excuse par ang wala namang naririnig! Julian Bulong ko. sent postcards and letters. But deep inside there was that wishful thinking that somehow he should have been there at night to cuddle her. Kahit kahit `pag sumisigaw siya hindi ko na matandaan kung pano nagigin g singkit lalo `yung mga mata niya. Nabigla ako. Two years. Pa-humble pa. I couldn t breathe anymore. it was a year. He didn t exist anymore. Y es. Me? Ah. At si Julian ang devil. He held my hand. I ve already forgotten him CM. And they were all returned! Except for the e-mail syempre. I snorted. Pisil pa. So now he wasn t perfect. Kahit anong pigil ko sa kama y niya kung saan napupunta. He was half-Canadian half-Filipino. I know thank you. Mabilis akong na patayo. Actually. Dammit. I know. Rick was handsome. In a fashionable way. You look beautiful and sexy. Bakit ba hindi? Sino bang unang nakalimot? I e-mailed him. My very first date after almost two years. No more Julian. Bago pa kung saang imperti nenteng lugar mapadpad iyon. where are you going? I squeezed through the throng of people. Save that he wasn t Julian. para sa susunod na magmamahal ka u lit may ibibigay ka pa. How could you love another if you couldn t love yourself? She spent wandering around the world. Para siyang sawa. Kung siya ang mapapangasawa ko ulit. My eyes grew wide. Hey. Naiiyak na `ko ng hindi ko na siya maki ta. Lakad. Baka si Piolo Pascual. Napa-smile ako kay CM. He stood up and moved right to the door. I tried hard not to jab him in the ribs. those black eyes. I was looking out of the crowd when I met a pair of eyes. I took hold of his hand. Malamang magiging gwa po o maganda ang magiging anak namin. Para kasing sinapian na naman siya ng masamang espiritu. And very gentleman. And this was New York! Kulang na lang ako ang gawin niyang dinner. Matangkad. You seemed preoccupied. Akala ko ba nakalimutan mo na siya! Grabe. He was really one he ll of a handsome man. I looked at his impeccable white shirt underneath his coat. Totoo naman. we were in the 21st century. Takbo. I tried hard not to glare at him. Ang h irap kausapin ang sarili mong isip. He smiled at me. eleven months and twenty seven days. Gwapo. Jeannie kung magmamahal ka. I started preparing for our food. I smiled at him. This was our first date. His hand started squeezing my thighs. huwag mo ng ibigay ang lahat. It was all worth it. Mab ango. Who? I asked innocently.ing mo talaga nude. . You know that I like you Jeannette. Nakalimutan ko na siya. Hindi dahil nasasakal ako sa yakap ng katabi ko. I couldn t ever forget that face. Goodn ess. At lalong hindi ko na natatandaan kung pano siya Humalik? Inirapan ko siya. Wala na ni hindi ko na nga natatandaan kung pano siya ngumiti. I was even looking out for some sign s of imperfection. no. He raised an inquiring eyebrow at me. She won the painting contest. Uh-okay. I shook my head. Maybe he was an angel sent from above. The people were blocking him. At bolero! Na ni minsan hindi man lang ginawa sa `kin ni Julian . Magtira ka sa sarili mo. Malay ko bang nagkaroon pa kami ng baby JJ the sec ond. We now shared a unit. I his sed. Inis na sabi sabay irap. He was as sleek as a snake. Jeannie What! You haven t forgotten him.
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
as I stared outside the glas s panel from here. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. Ah no. Mabilis iyong inabot ni CM. At ngayon? Hindi ko alam kung unti-unti ko bang pinapatay `yung sarili ko. all in capital letters. Well. legally speaking. Was t here such a thing? Could pain kill you? Hindi naman siguro. Sino bang laruan dito? THIRTY THREE I now know the word STUPID. Ah. And little did I know that. it s me Tricia. I was never fond of maltreated protagonists. Hindi ako ganon ka-kontrabida. I stared stupidly at CM. Wala nga lang sa kanya `di ba? He d even moved on and forgotten all about me. Ahm Jeannie lulubus-lubusin ko na ha. 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. Nagsubo ito ng maraming popcorn. Not ex. Hello? Hey. Very fashionable. Si Julian lang talaga ang evi l dito. We weren t even mar ried. Silence. `Yung mga tatanga-tangang sumusunod sa yapak ni Cinder ella. Ano Jeannie ? Ibabalik na ba ni Tricia si Julian? Now I knew the expression: ASA! OB. Teka nga bakit ang dami mong alam? He talked to your mother.WHAT?! Just like that? Ganon ba kaliit `yung tingin niya sa `kin? He shrugged. H e smiled evilly at me. no. Never EX. Julian. that word would be applied to me someday and that someday happened to be now. Gusto kong magalit. Jeannie! What? Why don t you take Julian back? I slowly shook my head. at least I didn t have evil stepsisters. eh? Napatingin . Laruan tama. Pero isa lang sure k o jealousy could kill. Tricia. Pwede mo ba `kong samahan sa OB? I want this to be a surprise Surprise! The phone went out of my grasp. Err I hated him. Pero kanino? Sa sarili ko? Kay Tri cia ba? O sa napakawalanghiya kong ex-hubby. 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. CM! The phone started ringing. She was wearing a floral dress with a cardigan. All about baby JJ. Baby. So shall we go? Tricia smiled at me.
Thanks doctor. Palabas pa lan g kami ng clinic. almost one year and seven and a ha lf months? Actually I wanted it to be a surprise. Halos akayin na ko ni Tricia. Itinayo niya `ko. Anong pakialam ko?! Kahit 24/7 pa `yan! Parang convenient store. 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. Argh. Lagyan ng kung anong valium ang inumin nito. a hand grabbed mine. The doctor smiled widely. Pano kung sila talaga? After all. . alam k o. 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.akong bigla sa tiyan niya. Hindi siya buntis hindi siya buntis nagdadalang-tae lang si Tricia. Nauwi kami sa videoke bar. half-crying. And disgusted wit h myself. Pero pwede ba at some point lahat tayo nagiging makasa rili kapag nagmamahal `di ba? Now I was getting all worked up. Gusto kong sumi gaw na ang O. Before I could even drink my fourth glass. Are you sure? She looked down at me. Big time. May we all have an everlasting friendship! W alang agawan. Hindi ba magmumukha ako ng bitter? And that would be sheer hypocrisy. So it was five months going huh. 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. They were together. Nakakat atlong baso na ko. Congratulations! Let s cheers to that. No! Oo. Utang na loob! So was it any consolation that J ulian mourned over our relationship for over. Tricia was the first real love of Julian. Give love on Christmas day! CM cheered.? Sa sobrang lakas ng kaba ko parang ako ang mahihimatay. Tricia was spared to drink any liquor. It was a time to celebrate. Yeah. Tricia! I closed my eyes to keep my emotions intact. mo Tricia! Dahil bitter ako sobrang bitter. It s confirmed J ulian! Thank you So it was confirmed. God forgive me. You re drunk. Congratulations! You re two and a half months on the family way. So how are you? Someone new? I wanted to smile and tell her: Yes. It was awkward. I was rooted to the seat. Hindi ako makangiti. Julian only looked at me. too bad of me to pray. Sabay biglang labas ng doctor. We turned around and Tricia quickly ran to him and hugged him. Hindi ako iiyak. Mag-iinom kasi broken hearted ka. I met a pair of chinito eyes. Spell desperada. Tapos pumili na ng kanta si Tricia. As if. Tsss. At sak a hello? Bakit dito pa? Pwede namang sa Pinas `di ba? Oh. I tried to smile. for all I care. What the hell It s your fourth glass. Are you okay? Lumingon ako. Ano bang ginagawa ko dito? Nagpapakamasokista? Maglaslas na lang kaya ako? Nasa baba na kami ng condo building ni Tricia. Iba na ata ibig sabihin niyon ngayon. I was still silent and mum about it. Ahm mrs. I ve found someone new and I m very much happy. Sa totoo lang hindi ko alam kung bakit pa `ko pumayag samahan siya sa OB. Walang iyakan. You and Julian can go to hell together. So God wasn t on my side.A. Pero minsan naiisip kong patirin si Tricia. I haven t been celibate say GOD. Uh-huh. Tricia was half-laughing. Kailangan pa ba niyang sabihin `yun? Five months now. I averted my eyes away from the scene. He hissed.
CM smiled at me innocently. I m sor ry Oh my God. The same heat and inten sity was there. I missed him. Did it still taste the same? Oh. Hindi naman ako claustrophobic pero parang nasosuffocate ako. Is h e making you happy Jeannie? He laughed sarcastically. I m going to sing. He moved forward. Just don t make any noise. I told you. I covered my mouth and ran to the bathroom. Yes. Tricia was singing my eyes grew wide. I was ready to puke. I can t read the lyrics from here. At sabay tulak sa`kin. His hands grabbed my sho ulders. So it was the high and mighty Mr. Sunico hu h? I gritted my teeth. Tric ia s busy singing. Oh-kay. Yes. Mabilis akong tumayo despite th e dizziness. Love will lead you back. Julian s hand steadied me fr om slipping into the floor in the other side. Yes. Someone was caressing my back to and fro. no! Hindi ko sinabi `yun! I was drunk. I missed him shouting at me because he was concerned. don t you? Why not for th e last time Jeannie? Do you know the word fvckiiiing qui ckie? He was mad. Oh. Ooops. shaking me. you shouldn t drink. He s making me happy Julian. I g asped. Galit na sabi nito. Biglang nagiba ang tono ng boses nito. Under my lo and behold future! Almost there. CM! Julian was also shocked. Bruising my lips. Aren t we here to celebrate? I blurted out bitterly. Someday I just know that love will lead you back in my a rms I winced. I slowly smiled at him. Who t old him about Rick? That maniac. CM smiled at me. I had no strength anymore. you love it. Umusog ako sa gilid palayo. He mouthed. An artist also. It was like he was a menacing predator the next. She seemed really oblivious. So I ve heard about your new boyfriend. He moved forward. I eyed CM with warning. Like you taught me. Pero hindi ko magawa. mmkay? I looked at Tricia. More than happy Do you know what? God forgive me for this. Of course. Jeannie can you move a little over there? Masikip. Move a little. Uh-oh. my words. I looked down at his hand. If I know! Pinindot niya talaga ` yung stop button. Then we turned slowly. CM said drily. This was what you called Women s violation! His hand was there. yes. god. Ano bang pakialam mo? Tinanggal ko ang kamay niya at ngumiti. Hindi ko alam k ung sinong sumundo sa`kin. I liked it rough . I didn t know what I was doing. Gusto ko siyang sampalin. Kung sinong mas magaling! I hissed. Oh. Tricia frowned. Sorry. Magtabi kami ni CM. Hindi ko sinasadya. Julian s chinky eyes turned into slits. Sige tuloy niyo lang `yan. But I didn t try to hold back. My eyes were getting misty. slap him or lied about not liking i t. Exactly. he said sarcastically. Demanding. Ahm excuse me Julian pwede bang dito ka na lang umupo? Diyan ako sa tabi ni Tricia . Uh-oh. And so w as I. His head came down upon me. There at the side of my ahm waist. Hindi naman ako `yung nagsalita non `di ba? Julian s grin was deliberate. I drank it in one fill without breaking the eye contact. I missed his ne arness. that was it.I raised one brow. My so-called bestfriend just ignored me! Sa pagkakalipat nito ay nalipat si Julian sa tabi ko. That lips I had kissed many times before. Julian s teasing smile froze me in place. Goodness so y ou aren t any different from your sister. We screwed in the backseat I was even comparing notes. I thought I d forgotten that mouth. I was ushered into Julian s lap. Para akong masusuka. My tears rolled down as the cold nights and empty sheets lay behind the almos .
Thank you because you left me. I started crying. That would be sheer stupidity. Kaya galit siya sa`kin. 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. If he ever chose Tricia for his dream over me I would still be mad at him. 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. Though he didn t love her i t wasn t me he really got tangled with. Pero hindi. I swear. Totoo `yun. sino pa bang tatalbog sa pinakamagarang award na makukuha ko? Kahit nga si Janine San Miguel walang panama sa `kin. I got his point. I heard CM asking him when he went out. Isn t that what you want to hear from me Julian? I asked him sarcas tically. Okay. Na parang walang pakialam! Anger was always okay than indiffe rence. Jeannie our family s business is my dream. kung nagkita kayo after so many years at hindi naging maganda ang break-up. Sa`min ni Julian? It should have been Neverever. I m still mad at yo u because you hurt me (In truth. Ang love parang li pstick. Walang taong ganoon kabait at kamartir. As if I had a contagious disease. He shrugged at me. If ever my lipstick smeared. What for? Couldn t he see my heart breaking i nto pieces in front of him? I felt my lips were swollen. He looked up. I thought dreams were made to escape the painful reality. For ever. Tricia was the second one. I was still wide awake. Some consolation. O kung meron man hindi ako `yun. I was the first among the Miss Stupidest runners-up. music please . Because the truth was becoming real to me with each passin g day. Kung umayaw ako. Was there such a thing? Forever. For some reason. 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. Tatlo lang `yun. Okay. I closed my eyes. Congratulations. He pushed me away from him. At least he was still as affected to me as he was. It was all too vivid. eh.t two years. Malungkot itong tumingin sa kanya. Now tell me. And more years to come He d be gone from me forever. Kung ginawa niya `yun noon. Jean was the first one. 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. There was always someone in the way. I didn t dare wipe the tears. But why should I be the one to understand them? Walking down the aisle with the one you love is every girl s dream but walking dow n the aisle with the one you love when you happened to be the bridesmaid was out of the question. Pero hindi. And at that time Tricia was m y only chance of ever achieving it. Pero lalo lang akong b inabangungot. Katulad mo. get in line please! I stared numbly at the organizer. kahit gawa `yan para hindi matanggal o mapalis basta basta darating at d arating pa rin ang expiration date niyan. 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. CM nudged my shoulder to keep going. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung isang araw ay hindi na`ko magising. I smiled to myself humorlessly. Maybe it was just sp elled that way. maiintindihan naman nila `ko `di ba? Dapat intindihin nila `ko.
Fighting spirit . Willed her mother to be strong. I brushed my hair away from m y wet face. Kasi sobra. anong ginawa ko sa`yo? She shouldn t have made me replace her. Sana may cut. but into many pieces. Out. As if I was a dimwitted. chinky eyes. I didn t know how I dared to be here. you ll feel my pain. Para naman alam ko kung kailan pipigilan ang emosyon. t o sacrifice and to understand. I started crying and vomiting. This was what they cal led almost dying. The pain was excruciating. I didn t need another broken heart. He handed me a towel. Then I gave Tricia the flower. Kunwari tumawa ako. But t hen This practice was a major catastrophic event in my life next to having lost baby JJ. Sa `kin lahat sila nakatingin. That is what love is isn t it? You have to give. Sana naman kung nakikinig siya somehow he could guide me. Her boyfriend got her pregnant. Are you okay? I slowly looked up. Sipon. I glared at her. I love this woman greatly. Nakakadiri ako. He didn t say a thing. Ha? Napatingin ako sa paligid ko. I just fou nd myself sitting on the bench with him. Lalo na `yung mga caretak ers. Kasi feeling ko. My sister was staring helplessly at me. But not really. Oo na. Ang selfish ko no? I was hurting too much to be sensible. Tricia smiled at me hesitantly and reached out to me What? Jeannie You re holding the bouquet. Hindi ko na sana nakilala si Julian. Alam mo ba kung gano kasakit `yun? Hindi. And he started talking. I ran away from there as fast as I could. Gusto kong isigaw na wala akong pakialam. Free will. Of course. What had I done now? What! I snapped at the organizer. Syempre nahiya ako sa ayos ko. Lahat naghalo na. Just as the words were out. Do you know. I was clutching silly at the bunch of flowers. But at this point in time. And of course. Pero anong alam ko nung time na `yun? I didn t know that I was doing that specifically for her. me listening. Naiinis ako kasi mas aya siya at ako hindi. Neither did I. Or pride? I didn t know. At take note: sa loob ng simbahan. great. Goodness. Nanlaki `yung mata niya na parang sinasabing: Oh. Pero sana sana lang may take two. either mabaliw ako or maisipan kong mag-suicide bombin g sa loob ng simbahan.There was a pianist. I do. Actually. Hindi ko alam kung anong masamang espiritung sumapi sa `kin. No Don t J ulian. Para akong nasa pelikula. Parang slow motion napatingin ako sa kamay ko. hopeless case r etard. CM was eyeing me pit ifully. She tried to pat my hand but I turned away from her. They were right in front of the pretend pries t reciting their bows. I couldn t stop from sobbing . `felt like it was my death march. Kaw awa naman `yung mga walang kamuwang-muwang na halaman. 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. Jeannie. Julian Sunico. If he was sympathizing with me. When I looked up I met a pair of dark. But she couldn t she couldn t love me back. Luha. My heart wasn t just broken into two. do you take this woman as your lawfully wedded wife? My vision became blurred. . Mine was enough for me to handle. When he le ft her I was there to catch her. Kasalanan niya `to. I couldn t handle it at the moment. I was walking like a zombie. all I cared about was myself.
This time I was successful. present and future tense? EPILOGUE And in another life I would be your girl We keep all our promises. I crossed my fingers and hiccupped. Ngumiti ako. You re a good woman. Sana nga I was walking down the memory lane. Sunico smiled at me. But I didn t want her gratitude. Just as I am to you. He was there. But only we had different meanings of love. you just have to tell him that at some point you love him as a son. Mr. I loved you. Pero naniniwala akong meron. Not that I was saying love was connected to lust or so. Sa tingin mo ba kung mabubuhay tayo ulit gugustuhin mo pa rin akong makilala? I tr ied not to croak. At one point.You have to give. God. right? Jeanni Kung hihilingin kong maging masaya ka. Like he always. Nothing to say. Sabi nila wala daw definition `yun. Makakita ka ng PDA sa l abas yamot na yamot ka. Why are you asking this nonsense? Nonsense? I laughed. I think. God will give you the man you are loo king for. Julian whispered. The only way I knew I could hurt her back He shrugged. It was only up to us how to show it. I s tarted hating her for not loving me back. Napalingon ako sa kanya. Understanding what he meant. So I married her. I really tried. she s grateful to me. And you hurt Julian the most. Sinisisi niya `yung sarili niya sa divorce niyo. How cruel love is. He frowned at me. be us against the world . I stopped dead in my tracks. we did things we would never have thought for the sake of love. Loved. Whatever. Magulo. Sa totoo lan g hindi ko naman talaga maintindihan kung anong ibig sabihin ng love. but then I wished with all my heart that you d be happy if only that is with me. But this time there was one thing he didn t own anymore. But after all those years. Nakakatawa no? Manood ka ng XXX tuwang tuwa ka. LOL. Nagkamali kami pa reho. I loved him I love him still But things change d. Mali ako. He was looking down at the stones. Bakit pa kasi nauso ang past. sacrifice and understand. It was like that in love. Akal a niya na-neglect siya. Go figure. Bulong ko. 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. that would be sheer hypocrisy Julian. standing as if he owned the world. I turned to women from night to night. Hindi mo maintind ihan.
Kung may love potion lang malamang bestselling item `yun. I am always splitting hairs. Hello? Ako ang iyong konsensya I grit my teeth. I close my eyes and pray. I am beautiful. I put down the flowers. and I find someone more beau tiful than I ever am. Hindi ko rin alam kung bakit nagpe-fade `yun. Do you ever believe in destiny? Eh. Binagalan ko `yung pagda-drive. Relationshi ps: Sawa to awa. no don t go there anymore Jeannie. Parang umo-order lang sa menu kung humiling. My cell phone is ringing. CM. Splitting hairs. but of course. Well. I bet you didn t guess how insecure I am. With rolled eyes. Y our skins tingle when you touch. 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. The one that got away I hit the high-pitched note as I imitated Katy Perry s song. Deep down I know there s always something that kept me apart from her. `yung tao ang gumagawa ng kapalaran niya? Ts k. I raised one brow. Yeah. Kaya nga siguro deep down. Hindi niyo siguro napansin. Halos mapaantanda ako sa gustong ipabili nito. yes. O kung hindi man None in a million. Wow. sino ba? I ve always dreamed of something big. Give the phone to Czarina. He s laughing. I laugh about that. Merry Christmas! Nagpaparamdam ka ba sa `kin baby JJ? Did you miss mommy? I kneel down. my Napaatras ako sa pagkabigla. I smile softly to myself. Na-tense ako. Ang gulo ng mundo no? If you ended up together after so many endeavors. Meron ng bumisita dito? I hear a child s laughter from a distance. Well. First to Jean then to Tricia. I feel a pang of uncertainty. I chuckle drily. Unknowingly comparing myself to other people. 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. Oh. Pero lagi akong humihiling na sana ako si ganito. Al am mo naman `yung tao kung gano nag-aalala sa`yo. Forever. Regrets are those for what you can t have done. I vee never been contented in my whole life. Napangiti ako. Hey. may d . I start hating the phrases what ifs and what could have beens. Congratulations! That started the word forever. Yeah.And in another life I would make you stay So I don't have to say you were the one that got away The one that got away. 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. I am funny. Eh. Perfect. So like Jean Somehow. where are you? Haven t you been with Roy? He told me you re not feeling well. I was a scared rat. Oh. Ak o si ganyan. hell. So mehow I know it by heart. And hearing her daughter s voice made me w ish that I were her. Tita Jeannie! Where s my psp? My laptop and she keeps rambling. And we thought he will be Mr. My eyes grow wide when I s ee a pair of a child s feet. `di sana tumaya na lan g ako sa lotto non `di ba? They were one in a million. Paskong pasko. I thought I could never live up to Julian s standard. next life. God must have pitied upon you. Right or Mr. Pero kung sumigaw ba`ko ng mas malakas. Meron sa buhay natin na darating. Love is a very frightenin g thing. ne ver naman akong humiling ng Mr. He loves you I sigh. Someone who can make our hearts beat faster. Is happiness really elusive? Hindi ko ginustong mag-asawa ng maaga pero hindi ko rin naman pinangarap na tuma ndang dalaga. better luck next time. I always envy my twin.
That was the last of my full thoughts. at t his point I was wishing them the worst. Nasangga. w e were hoping against hope. Nakita ko na lang si Tricia na naglalakad palapit sa`kin. I was praying with all my might that God w ould give me strength to get through this. Giving me the bouquet of flowers. Natulak. My heart sank to the pit of my stomach. O `yun `yung gusto kong palabasin ngayon. My fate was sealed. I was doomed to be a spinster forever. I was staring num bly at Jesus Christ. 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. Gusto kong itanong kay father. ginawa ko na. The corner of his mouth twitched in a lazy smile. She remi nds me of Tantan. Hindi man ako tumingin alam ko alam ko ng lahat sila sa `kin nakatingin.alaw! The child is holding a doll. Hindi ko na kaya. What was far more hurting than seeing the one you loved walk down the aisle wi th someone not you? Julian August Sunico. CM patted my shoulder. My vision was getting blurry. Then a woman came running in uniform. I slowly smiled. Tumalik od ito. Kung pwede lang akong sumigaw ng freeze katulad ni Ella. Kung tututol ba `ko papakinggan niya `ko? Hindi ba masasayang ang effort ko kung mapapahiya lan g din naman ako? So let s proceed. I wanted to let go of the pain. I was going to throw up any minute now. to have held a child of my own. They were all staring. e xpecting and gaping at us. There were a lot of well-wishers. Pe ro pano? I do. I heard someone scream. My hand was trembling as I took the bouquet from her gloved. Ayokong tumingin sa tabi niya. I almost snorted. Two. Or did I? I . Thank you. It was all over. Now I know what the phrase killing me softly meant. It was like in slow motion. do you take this woman. I didn t dare look at everyone or anyone for that matter. This is for you Jeannie. Siya ang na nga ang nanggulat. Finish. At me. white hand.. It s been five years I whisper and close my eyes and it all came back to me. I wished I was in a time warp. Hindi ko alam kung anong nangyayari. Bakit ganon n o? Lagi nating sinasabing hindi tayo nag-eexpect pero deep inside. Three steps. I was looking down at the tiled floor. Naku halika na. Sana hindi na lang sana Julian was looking at me. My eyes got misty. One. So it was really over? The end. 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. Was he also mourning for me? Hindi ko kaya. Ayokong magpaka-ipokrita. Tricia was in front of me. But I couldn t set the love free so ea sily. No no t mocking but it was as if he was telling me that everything would be alright. I feel that emptiness again. Kasi nasasaktan ako . But he was there his hands were inside his jeans pocket. alam natin. Julian took that particular hand of Tricia s that hand that signified letti ng go while he was looking looking at me. An overwhelming urge to slap him was building deep inside me. Wala bang tututol? Sisigaw ba `ko? I placed a hypocritical smile on my lips. Sino ka? I wince.. I looked up. She smiled at me. I wish the doctors are wrong. She is thumb sucking. Her eyes are chinky. biting my lower lip `til I almost draw blood. for everything. Siya ang nagtata nong. Everybody was cheering. the maid smiles tentati vely and take the child s hand.
He pouts.fainted. I loathe that word. ako? Because of just one man? Because of love? . Stupidass. Well. At sa sobrang katalin uhan ko dinaig ko pa si Rizal. Roy hugs me as he hands me his gift. Siguro mabait lang talaga ako. My eye s twinkle. Hindi ko alam kung bakit gusto niyang magkita kami ngayon. I gasp. I snort. I almost throw it in his face. I love you tita. Parang naparalyze `yung buo kong katawan. Hija! It s been a long while since you came back C M clears his throat. Okay. Merry Christmas. Good girl. Hindi ko alam kung matutuwa ba ako kay CM o ano. Special child. Nothing else. That Five-letter fvcking word. That name. sabi nga ni CM titigan mo lang ng buong araw busog ka na. Kung Titanic ang laman nito paniguradong gagawin ko ta lagang parol si CM. No not name. Sabay tumawang parang demonyo. I m being ungrateful. As i n. J ean s laughing and kisses her daughter. `Yung tawang: Mwahahaha. He was an event organizer in New York. This time louder with matching ubo pa. Half-fil. Well. half-canadian . Napatingin si mommy dito. CM but in. Just a noun. Hit me on the head. Mamamatay ka na ba at ito ang gift mo? O kaya nagh ihirap? Fine. Somehow I am restless that Christmas day. Lang huh? Okay lang. Sa`kin okay lang `yung trip to Disney land. Na para bang diyan lang sa Star City ang hinihiling nito. wala akong tiwala. That Christmas eve we open our gifts. Czarina comes running with my mom. Bakit hindi. kunsintidora! CM handed me a box. Nakaalis na siya? Damn. Hindi ko alam kung bakit o kung ano ng nagtutulak sa`king panoorin `yun. Present. 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. I learn to like him through the years. Knowing CM. Goodness. Then a face so familiar comes in view. 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. Merry Christmas! Nakita kong may ibunulong si CM kay Czarina. I met him through. I snort. It was a dvd disk. I raised one brow. Epilogue Part Two Wala na po siya. well. dear! I smile at him. Do n t you know that Christmas had just been a holiday word to me? Entirely foreign. of course CM. She beams at me and kisses my chee k. Define mabait. That morning I wake up and watch that video. 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. The video is blurred at first. Wallet? Necklace? My mind s warming up with all the expensive gifts I can ever have from him. Sana Coach bag `yung matagal ko ng inuungot sa kanya. WALA AKONG TIWALA. All I want for Christmas is Jul youuuuuu! Hindi ko siya pinansin. he is a handsome and charming man. all in capital letters. I roll my eyes. Special ka kaya.
their caretaker. I slowly turn around. I raise one brow. Those days that I love him.God. Nanginginig na naman `yu ng mga kamay ko. Having my own child. Knowing CM. Napalingon ako sa bulilit na katabi ko. Hindi dahil nakalimutan ko n a kundi dahil hindi ko ginustong maalala. Life-size photos of me in Morocco. My eyes get misty I so remember those days. CM tilts his head to one side as if shooing me. Ma am? Napalingon ako. Those days that I thought I ll hate him forever w hich I m doing a poor job of it. Naiisip ko lang kung pano `y ung next scene. God sorry. 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. Napatingin ako sa malaking bahay sa harapan ko. Naramdaman mo na bang kahit anong sakit ang idinulot niya sa`yo. lady won t you talk to me? She pouts prettily. Those days I wish I have again. no. `Wag niyo ng itanong ang mga details . I bet she ll shake t he whole house off. Damn him Damn he-who-has-no-name. Ipinagbilin po kayo ni ma am Tricia. salamat aalis na lang Kayo po ba si Ms. my God! Anak ka ng demon Oh. Maybe just in anoth er lifetime I d have made him stay. My knees become weak. I suddenly blu sh. It s bittersw eet. I close my eyes tight. Yuck. Long ago I ask that mys elf. She s looking up at me And my. You re gross. Malabo. Leviste? I nod. Hindi ko napigilan ang hindi mapaiyak. That was our best time together. I take it and sniff. He s on the phone. if ever. I ll just wait outside. Sumunod po kayo sa `kin. Ma am? Ha? I turn to. murm uring love words. Three teeth are mi ssing. My so-called doomsday before. Pictures of me grimacing on our wedding day. It reminds me of Oh. You know what. Kaya nga gusto ko ng pagtakhan si CM. Hey. He kn ew where. my heart bea t triple time. Who are you? At namaywang pa! Her chinky eyes tur n into slits. Sobra. He ll be the Ice breaker. Parang slow motion sa pelikula. The kid skids away from my grasp. Alam ko matutuwa I mean. he can still make your heart beat faster? Naramdaman mo `yung feeling na kahit na pilit mong . somehow I start hating mysel f. Vague. Something warm tugs at my heart. My eyes grow wide as we enter a white room. Masarap s ana kung may kayakap. Hindi ko napansin na ako na lang pala mag-isa. Of course. Malamig talaga dito. D addy! There s a woman here! She s a strangeeeeeer! Napapikit ako. I stop cold in my tracks. Kundi ba naman nakakatulig `yung pagtili niya. I take it. My heart constricts just by imagin ing myself having a family. With him. kikilabutan lang kayo. Syempre sinama ko si CM. The hou se is overlooking the Taal Lake. I wince. wasn t it? Para `kong nanghihina. And no doubt obscene ones. Have she heard me? Oh. Cute. Lofty thoughts Jeannie Bulong ko sa sarili ko. She frowns at me. I cup both her cheeks. Anak ka ni Mabilis akong napakapit sa muk ha nito. I m looking around the house. `Nu ba `yan Panira ng m oment! The white petal looks familiar. There are p ictures portraits I remember vaguely. 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. Jade! My eyes grow wider. Sige. I raise one brow at him. May nag-abot sa`kin ng panyo. You bought my paintings? I start hiccupping.
Do you know the word pain? I guess. Sunico. What are you doing here? And more domineering than ever. It works. He s expressionless. Long silence stretched. Are you here to laugh at me Jeannie? Just a mere whisper. how dare him do that. bad daw ang magsinungaling! Dapat matuwa ako. Madaling sabihing hindi ko na siya maha l. Kundi ayaw makinig ng puso ko. I m just sorry I let you go. So. I count one to ten to stop m yself from shouting at him. Hindi ako manunumbat. The mature lines on his face tell on the wise years. How could I have loved him? Galit na pinunasan ko `yung mga mata ko. They open my child s eyes that there is a prince charming. He stares at me for the longest while. I ll act matured sophisticated. idiot don t let go. Close. Five years gives him just ice. Pero nakita ko ang pan ginginig ng kamay niya habang hawak ang anak. Sasampalin ko siya. akala ko kapag hinalikan ni Prince Charming si Snow White okay na . this is goodbye. So yeah. Biglang tumigil ang pagpatak sana ng luha ko. Hindi mo pa rin mapigilan ang sarili mong umasa? There s that tiny part of you that says. I thoug ht it did. She pouts a gain. Anong kayang sinasabi ni Tri cia? Nakita kong tinignan ng pagkasama-sama sa anak. Hindi ako makapaniwala sa mga naririnig ko. I m not sorry for what I did Jeannie. I even thought he will run to me and hug me. Isa lang. Eh. Merry Christmas Jeannette Rose Leviste! She waves her hand. you ll tell me yes. I m thankful now `coz I didn t get to live with you forever. ano pa nga bang ineexpect ko mul a sa kanya? He s still the high and might Julian Sunico. Kahit pangalan mo lang.sinasabing wala lang siya sa`yo pero isang tawag lang. Juli He even did more than his fair share of kis sing. I ll be over him in no time at Daddy. she s she s the one in your study room! Her picture s Julian covers her daughter s mouth. They ll live happily ever after. The little girl bit her nails. I say instead. Pero mahirap gawin. Kaya nga nagtataka ako sa sarili ko. Sana. Madaling sabihing mag-let go. Ang hindi matibag-tibag n a lalaki. Or to mock me of what I ve done? Now that you re successful? Hindi ko siya pinansin. didn t he? I forget his name. That somehow Aladdin will whisk me off wit h his magic carpet. Tumangkad ba siya? Gumwapo? Tumaba? Lalong pumuti? No. Galit na nilagpasan ko siya. I turn my back on him. Mabilis akong humarap sa kanya. My hand stop in midair as a I hear a gasp. It s the truth. 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. He s thirty-something now. Bakit ba? Hindi ba dapat ako ang magalit? Anong karapata n niya? I walk to the door. Not Julian s more like Tricia s. I tried to. I open the door and smile to myself. Yes. L ike he never existed in my whole life. The video. Nakalimutan ko she s there. It fades as time goes by. Bingi ka ba? I m going. Agree? He slowly squints. Pero sino bang niloko ko? `Yung kuko ko? Gusto kong magreklamo sa Disney! Bakit pa kasi sila nagpaasa. Tricia s gone. He s more attractive. A four-year old chinita girl. And everyone who fell i n love became stupid. Full of pain. But by God. That face. Jeannie she smiles at me. Tisha Jade! I met a pair of chinky eyes. And that he the beast will turn into a handsome prince and he ll give the word foreve r a meaning. Sabi ni mommy. I remember the video in my mind s eye. I can t breathe again. I frown when the scree . Hindi dahil ayoko. T hat will be very horrible Mr. Nung bata ako. Now I guess painful is the best term.
Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. Relief floods through my bloodstream. Gone. He chuckles to himself. Bakit ikaw ang m aiinggit sa`kin Tricia? Nasa `yo `yung gusto ko. God. How long is it daddy? She looks at me. She sighs. he loves me. queers(halamang dagat) are lovable. It s like I can hear Tricia saying thank you to me to Ju lian as we went out of the OB that day. Daddy always looks at your picture when he thought I m not there. you replaced her. She shrugs. Nangingitim ang ilalim ng mga mata n ito. Though yes. Bilis na Jean nie! Tricia s happy wherever she is. O siya? Dahil nakakangiti pa rin siya sa`kin ng ganon. Living your life knowing that somehow you have a timeline. She just wants to live her last years making her family happy. She laughs heartily. Naramdaman ko `yung basa sa pisngi ko. Five years five long years. Nakakasama ng lo ob. Para matapos na `tong usapang ito. Mabilis tinakpan ni Julian ang tenga ng bata. Na para bang pinapatahimik ako kung ano mang magiging violent reaction ko. She had already a bone marrow transplant then. Tricia s dead? No. That s why She s got Leukemia. He smiles sadly. Kinarga niya ang bata. I even hear d him talking to you Tisha Jade! He s now roaring. Tricia she never looks a day sicker than she is. Am I that selfish? I wish her ill many times in the past? Now what? It s true Jeannie. `Yung parang magkukuhaan kayo ng oxygen sa isa t isa dahil Julian s glare still work. Fren ch kiss. I envy you you have the zest for life Jeannie. We have a d ate! He shrieks. It was traced way back when yo u entered my life Jeannie. Saka naghihintay na sa`kin si Roy. Natigil `yung muntik kong pagsinga. She thanked me on her wedding day. He s jesting right? Mommy s gone to heaven. You can be my mommy ag ain. They re the happiest years of my life. But you came mahinang sabi nito. sweet girl. Parang nanikip `yung dibdib ko sa sinabi niya. Jeannie tell him what you feel . Roy is CM s boo. Do you know she bit her lower lip. She looks straight at me as if she is really seeing me. Jean came a nd unknowingly. I blink thrice. Na para bang hinihiling sa`king unawain ko siya.n zooms in on her face. Goodness. P umangit siya. Napalingon ako. They want her to have a family. I know something is very wron g here. Na gust o ko ngang gawin. Oh. baliw na ata ako. or rather our families hastened our engagement. Ano ba! Tigilan na nga natin `to. I gasp. Not that sinasabi kong mukha kang pera. Considering mayaman si Julia n. I can t seem to ta ke it all in. But not the way he loves you. Everyone has. I m just sorry that I hurt you. He whispers. Back to the present. We thought she s already okay. Nang-aasar ba siya? I even salute you when you left him for your dreams. Gays. Ang kapal ng mukha ko no? Alam ko sasabihin mo. CM shrugs. Para akong napako sa kinatatayuan ko. But then knowing that you know it s soo ner. Hindi ko alam kung ako ba? Dahil dapat makaramdam ako ng galit. CM knew? Oh. Gusto kong maiyak sa itsura nito. Her own. Not that I love Julian She raises her hand. Surely surely I m wrong? She s dying Jeannie. 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. Oo. I muffle a gasp. Grabe! Si Tricia talaga oh. Anyways. That shut him up. Parang hindi siya hindi naman sa pumangit siya o Oh-kay. No. Parang umitim ang balat nito. That. Nakakaiyak naman kayo. Ewan ko ba. He nods rapidly. I don t know where to start. His hand tightens his hold on his daughter. I still want to yank that lovely ha ir out of her face which is covered with a bonnet. She paused. Bakit ba gustong gusto niya `kong sinasaktan? I always thought of her as the kind. Julian just kiss Jeannie. Un til when I came to New York to find you. I m not sorry I took Julian from you. I am now sobbing silently. Ang sama ko ba? My eyes wate r.
Gusto kong isiping umiiyak din siya.I glared at him. He suddenly pulls me into an embrace that robs me of my breath. Naningkit ang mga mata nito. It s now or never if he can t accept me for what I am about to confess. But his eyes are glazed. Naramdaman ko na lang `yung sarili kong mga paa na na glalakad din. Oh. I nod against his polo shirt. CM starts laughing. Well. Ang drama ko. I think I ll love her. be yourself. . That I ll still miss baby JJ. Like we need to breathe each oth er s oxygen. Thank God reall . He smiles tenderly. He cups my cheeks. I kiss her on the forehead. The doctor said it after I ve had a problem with m y He stares at me. Per o walang luha don. Nakita ko siyang humakbang palapit. CM s giggles are getting louder. And believe that dreams do come true. Just kiss me J ulian. didn t he? I smile. . I do now. I promise Tricia I wo n t be one. But hey. Five years. I m very grateful. Talaga naman. He gave love a bad name. p lease I still don t want to wake up. Love. Julian tries to suppress his chuckle. I don t know about ghos ts or Tricia. no? Sige ikaw na! Inis kong sabi kay CM. Both don t know how to cross the distance. Now there s j oy. Thank God. she s even crushed in between. But if you believe in it. In God. There are times that I want you to shut your lovely mouth sweetheart. Just I sigh and smile at Ti sha Jade. Walang reunion na hindi madrama. I m sorry. Love is a very frightening thing. I love this freaking insane and mad guy with all my heart. It doesn t matter. Pain and sadness. Para siyang bumata ng ilang taon. I still want to be a part of your life. I love you. I m sorry. . Emotions kept hidden for so long is written there. The years stretch between us. How hard it is. I wait for that long overdue kiss. Jeannie. Wetting it. He innocently look s up at the ceiling. I love you He whispers before he bends down.. It doesn t matter anymore. I ll be your mommy. Pakialamero. You re not as pretty as my mommy. Sumimangot ito. In all that is possible without the eyes really seeing it. If I m dreaming as cliché as it may seem. I don t just think. Hindi nga ba at a ng bata ay regalo ng Diyos? Damn evil stepmothers to hell. There will be times that I ll still shout at you I nod. Julian I m sorry. Pe ro wala akong pakialam. That forgettable huh? That day i n the car when you yelled like you wanted m Julian `yung bata! I hiss. French kiss. Jeannie ang bagal mo naman kasi pano kayo magkaka Ang dami mong alam eh. Hmm? I built this house remember that first time? What first time? I ask innocently. Overwhelming joy that I m afraid isn t real. `coz I k now how persistent and talkative you are. Mabilis kong hinawakan ang leeg ni Julian. Don t ever be afraid to love. I can t bear anymore child Julian. The child is amazed. All the pain is swept away. I hiss.
php/topic.com/teentalk/index.435. Bitin. Oh.candymag.com/teentalk/index.ovari Uncle Jin Passenger seat.html driver seat http://www.196622.196622.196622.540. Thank Jesus. Julian grins at me and wink. the hot guys are jerks.php/topic.com/teentalk/index. Uh nothing.196622.html uterus--.php/topic.196622. Naghiwalay. It s a long time coming do me a favor? you know. Natupad ko mga pangarap ko.196622. promising a one hundred and one pleasu res in life and in the next lifetimes.196622.candymag.com/teentalk/index. I hope. It s just that Tricia and I never lived here.html http://www. and the hot-and-nice guys are g ay.html http://www. What! Inis kong sabi.html es http://www. This is our wedding night Hey.php/topic. you did me a favor. What now? He smiles at me and whispers: Hindi ako marunong manligaw. Jeannie? I close my eyes and groan.com/teentalk/index. mommy. Tricia.285. we had somethin he think his ex uncle Jin ñ .com/teentalk/index.php/topic.candymag.465.196622.msg5452895.php/topic.candymag. http://www. Hap py Ending na. will will you No.candymag. I can feel it Ito na.candymag.y. how I love him. I close my eyes again. I start laughing. Oh.html http://www.candymag. What a we dding night. well. I close my eyes and wait wait.com/teentalk/index.360. you re pressing too close! I can t breathe! I close my eyes in frustration as I look at her chinky eyes. Merry Christmas! He murmurs with no one in particular. Hearing her like I did through that v ideo early this morning. Nakagawa na kami ng bata noon. Pero hindi pa rin niya alam `yun? Shhh.html g http://www.html#msg54528 95 CC link Splitting Hairs. I have a gift for you Jeannie. Nag-asawa siya. Akala in niyo `yun.360.com/teentalk/index.405.php/topic. The nice? guys are ugly. 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.candymag. Only. http://www. It s This is meant for you.php/topic.
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