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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
Napahiga na lang ako sa kama . He slid his hands and fisted my hair. Nasan na ang kakambal ko? Bakit ako ang n agdudusa sa kasalanang `di ko ginawa? Alam ko namang magaling akong umarte. It is still spelled the same R-A-P-E. Juli an! ahhhh I moaned and twisted. So what game is this? Get into my bed and then play the pakipot later? I promise you. I felt so alone and vulnerable. Pinipilit kong pakalmahin ang mga hikbi k o. I couldn t help it. kung bumubuga lang ng apoy ang mga mata ng tao baka nasunog na `ko ni Juli an. Nagbibilang ba si San Pedro ng penalty? A we ek. I shook my head. How was tha t for a Shakespearean play? Masyadong tragic ang buhay ko. Samantalang hindi ako titig il ng hindi ko nakukuha ang gusto ko. nakalimutan ko Pregnant women don t bleed. nagkakapatong patong na ang mga kasinungalingan ko. Galit itong humiga. Pero lalo lang akong naiyak. I was keeping my fingers crossed. He still didn t move from behind me. Didn t he know what he s doing to my senses ? His thumb brushed the moisture on my cheeks. Ahm a three days. Kahit ba sabihin mong gwapo ang mangre-rape sa `yo. Sa pagkakaalam ko walang pikot na hindi planado. Yes. He didn t give even a nary compassion toward me. Matulog ka na. Yeah. I am. In this position. Juli an I tried to push him off me. Hindi ko sinasadya. Nara mdaman ko ang paghawak niya sa balikat ko. Well Julian? Humiga na din ako sa pinakagilid ng malaking kama. Silence. Pero lumapat lang ang mga kamay ko sa malapad niy ang dibdib. Do you hate me? I whispered again. He si ghed. I was alone inside a big mansion. Yeah. Naaw ardan pa nga ako nung high school na best actress nung gumanap akong Sisa sa Nol i. Gusto kong sabihin iyon sa kanya on my twin s behalf. I m sorry. The situation wa s worst than I had expected. Tumagilid ako patalikod sa kanya ng inakala kong hindi na siya sasagot. Not in pain. You are crying. Onti nalang talaga mauubos na pasensya ko. Are you crying? Kung umiiyak ako may paki ka ba? No. He stilled against me. Isang malakas na hikbi ang hindi ko napigilan. Parang bigla ng nagkaroon ng tenderness sa boses nito. Hindi na nga almost eh. Dyos ko po. Hindi ito makulit. So what s this grand scheme? Tignan mo `tong lalaking `to. I winced. Kailan ba hindi sinadya ang pikot? Sige nga sabihin niyo sa `kin. But in shock. Sasabihin mong either sipon lang `yan o napuwing ka lang. Umusod u lit siya. blessing in disguise din naman pala. we were almost in timately embracing. Pe ro para ko na rin niloko ang sarili ko. Nakahinga ako ng maluwag ng itulak niya `ko palayo. How many days? He brushed his hand roughly through his hair. I sighed in relief. Mabilis akong umisod palayo sa kanya papunta sa gilid ko. But some part of me still wanted to hear the conf irmation. O baka imagination ko lang `yon. And he also moved along with me! Umusod ulit ako. Jean Rose isn t a crybaby. Kung kaya t it was very much out of Jean Ros e s league to do something as pikot . Silent tears turned into muffled sobs. Ah. What the hell is the matter with you? Ang laki laki ng kama dyan ka nagsusumiksik . Para iyong 1+ 1=2. He frowned at me. I thought my monthly flow was a curse. Specifically a very estranged and angry husband and here I was supposed to be pregnant. Fine. I felt his hard naked chest against m y back when he tried to peek above my shoulder.mo. in bed with a stranger whom I had just met a few hours ago. Then I f elt tears brimming down the side of my face. Why do you hate me so much? Gusto kong matawa sa sarili kong tanong. Niyakap kong mahigpit ang unan upang patahimikin an g paghikbi ko. Me ron kasi `ko. Obvious na tinatanong pa. Natatakot na talaga ko. I licked my lower lip.
I would think first of myself. Jean! I was so worried about you. He was staring at me stonily. Dahil hindi ko na alam kung anong magagawa ko. Hindi ako martir. I waved my hand at her in dismissal. An yway. Mabilis a kong bumangon at ginawa ang morning routines ko. If he did. ANO?! Is he serious? Never mind. I couldn t believe it. The woman hug ged me. Natulig ako ng biglang bumagsak ang tasa ng kape nito sa platito. When a car automatically stopped in front of me. Inis na humarap ako sa kanya. Wala naman p umigil sa `kin ng nagtuloy tuloy na `kong lumabas ng gate. Ngumiti ako and said a tha nk you prayer to my maker. Oh-kay. I closed my eyes. I woke up late in the morning. I don t care anymore kung mukha man ak ong peso sign. Good morning Jules! I take it you had a good night sleep? Deadma. You re not going to see your family. myself and I. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung masira a ng isa kong ngipin. SANA WAL A. So I wouldn t think about him. Sabay bigla `kong naalala ang sitwasyon ko. Mabilis na humarap ak o sa kanya. He stood up an d cleaned his mouth with the napkin. Sana naisip mo `yan when you and your family blackmailed me into this marriage. Galit na tumayo ako at hinabol siya. At take note: he didn t even bother to pull out the chair for me. Hindi ako makapaniwala sa narinig ko. Maglalakad na lang ak o palabas ng subdivision para maghanap ng taxi. The food was forgotten. I cou ld have misheard him. Didn t Eskimos kiss like that? Matulog ka na. Sa pagkakaalam ko hindi ko talaga sinadya na magka tapat `yung mukha namin. Me. Malamang sa mga araw na `yon mahahanap ko na ang magaling kong kakambal. Humihingal sa galit na sabi ko ng matapos a ng speech ko. Our noses touched. and my twin. `Pag baba ko ay nag-aalmusal na ang prinsipe sa lanai. Isang babae t lalaki. Mabilis akong umakyat at hinagilap ang cellphone sa bag ko. Mabilis akong bumaba at na ghanap ng telephone. Eh ma am sabi po ni sir `wag daw po kayong pagamitin ng telepono. I screamed my frustration within the fo ur walls of the mansion. Hindi dahil pina hiran niya ang luha mo okay na Jeannie. Napasabunot ako sa buhok ko. Para `kong invisible na hindi niya nakita. I gritted my teeth. Siya nga pala. Just as well. Ako ang asawa pero wala akong alam. Maaga `kong mababaliw sa bahay na `to. just as well. Matagal ng binaril si Rizal sa Luneta at wala akong balak sumu nod sa yapak niya. Balak?! . Where s the telephone? I didn t want to sound stupid. 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 lumayo ito at tumalikod. My eyes grew wide at the implication of his words. Ang laki nga ng kama dikit ka naman ng dikit. I thought women are the only ones who are fickle-minded. They wouldn t do it. may hinahanap po ba kayo? I smiled brightly at the maid. Gusto kong umuwi sa `min sa duration ng honeymoon natin tutal naman hindi mo pa ` ko kailangan. Unless you re with me. I smiled sweetly at him. `Yun lang. He was reall y hell-bent on making my life miserable. Itinuloy mo pa rin pala ang balak. Where the hell are the telephones here? Ano `to mansyon na walang telepono? Ma am. Hangin. I said airily while I was putting butter on the toast. I was ready to weep. Nang sa tingin ko ay kumalma na `ko ay lumakad ako sa front porch. I didn t care who heard it. Not Jean Rose. Hang in lang ako. you know. 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.. No one pacified me. I dressed hu rriedly and quickly got out. Pat i ba naman cellphone ko hindi pa nakisama? Naiwan pa. what s a scandal with the Sunicos right? I saw the muscles on his jaw flexed. Sinigawan niya ko! I thought we were okay. Not to mention that the house was so big you could get lost. If I were pregnant you could h ave at least supported me financially. Uuwi ako sa bahay mamaya may hihingin sana akong pabor.
fine w hile my sister is good with figures. And boy. Julian deliberately whispered the words to me. maybe I could get some facts about my twin s whereabouts. My heart went out to my sister and him. Ahmm . But don t they already know that we only have one face. And it ends there.Lumapit ang lalaki. Naging Sunico ka lang Jean? He frowned at my reaction. Sumakay ka na. Para kasing nilagyan lang nila `k o ng nette pero sa totoo lang it was as if they wanted me to be Jean Rose. I saw the emotions in his eyes. Oh no. I became the blacksheep three years ago when I accepted the scholarship in New Yo rk University. Tell. . The beast roar. And three years drew us apart. Ang sarap tignan ng may kakambal. THREE We aren t rich. Well. Run away with me Napalunok ako. `yung bunso kong anak she stays in N ew York . please kung nanaginip man ako `wag mo po muna akong gisingin. And they would stop comparing me to Jean Rose. And what amazed me most was he embraced me! I missed you love so much. but I wish they would be more proud of me. Masarap namang pakinggan eh. Julian tried to tug my hand. pero parang lalong natuyot ang lalamunan ko. Pwede pa natin `yun tamain. Sabi nila nagpapakatanga ako sa course ko: Fine Arts. Siguro kung sa ibang pagkakataon baka kinilig pa `ko. You love me. His eyes were like challenging me to do just that. I gnawed at my lower lip. He encircled his arm around my waist i n a possessive manner. I slowly looked sideways an d saw the blatant anger in his eyes. Jean Rose Sunico! I stopped dead in my tracks. Not that I was caught red-han ded. Or maybe becau se I didn t want to be in my sister s shadow any more. 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. And ne ver to be Jeannette Rose. PERIOD. Naguluhan ak o bigla. Oo. Naramdaman ko ang pagdiin ng pagkakahawak ni Julian sa braso ko . Jean Rose I know I ve made a mistake. Then I realized I don t know the man s name! You cannot mean this Jean. My eyes grew wide when he cupped my face up. Maybe I m just splitting hairs. Someone who could break it off with your own boyfriend in proxy kung hindi mo kaya. Nagulat ako ng biglang hinawakan ako ng lalaki sa braso. Him. But every time they asked my parents where school I go to? I think . Pero hawak hawak pa rin ako ng lalaki. Minsan lang naman akong pag-agawan ng ganito. Something Jean Rose would do. Then I felt the emanating anger from the other side. Go. Nagpatangay na lang ako ng bigla akong hi nila ng babae. ROAR. Kutis-mayaman kaya ako. I mean please wake me up. Julian I Hinila niya `ko bigla sa tabi niya. My eyes grew wide. There would surely be bruises later. Mrs. I closed my eyes in frustration. Ay. Jean Rose Sunico! I heard that one again. they were proud to say in the least na. To. Ano ba t alaga ang nangyari? Lalo akong naguguluhan. Fe eling ko para `kong nagka-amnesia. Wala sa loob kong nasabi. Bumaling ako sa lalaki. may papalit sa `yo kapag absent ka sa clas s. ah. Nakalimutan mo na ba `ko? Hindi kita nakalimutan! Hindi lang talaga kita kilala. Home. Pe ro rinig ko ang dagundong `non sa tenga ko. Okay. A nd then one hand grabbed my other arm from the side. Bulong. It was like Oh my God. I could feel my hands shaking. I opened my mouth to say his name. Let s go. As in.
Julian you re hurting me! Halos kaladkarin niya na `ko papasok ng mansyon. He rolled his e yes in disgust. Julian! Buksan mo `to! I m your dear wife! Julian ano ba! Open t his damned door! Surely he wasn t that kind of a monster? Napadausdos ako sa aubusson carpet at napa sandal sa pinto ng sa tingin ko ay hopeless case na talaga. I felt tears threatening to erupt again. wasn t he handsome in his thr ee-piece suit. My hands turned into tight fists and started banging the door. We went upstairs while he was still holding my arm tightly. All my daydreams flew out of the window when he towered over me. And I just wished he didn t! Hindi ko alam kung paano pa nagig ing lalong singkit ang mga mata niya sa galit. Tinignan ko ang mala ki at magarang silid. Kung ang iba sa ed ad ko ay humihiling ng prince charming. Bigla niya `kong ibi nalandra sa kama. Kaya t-a-n-g-a nga daw ako sa bi ng mga magulang ko. If you don t want to be sitting in jail. Ako hindi. Leave Brad let s go Sabi dito ng babae. I s lowly tried to catch my breath to stop from screaming at him. Julian! Galit na pinihit pihit ko iy on. Bigla nitong binitawan ang mukha ko. Hindi ko alam kung bakit bakit ganon `yung mga mata niya nung sinabi niya iyon. And men s ego is sometimes bigger than their brains. And boy. eyes were the windows of the soul. After all. Kung ang iba ay humihiling na makapangasawa ng mayaman. lalaki siya. And and we we both know that you don t want this marriage? Bakit hindi mo na ako pakawalan? I mean. Julian As usual. Hindi naman a ko buntis pero nagiging iyakin na `ko. he isn t in love with me! So bakit siya magagalit well. because he would surely int imidate you. I couldn t term him just handsome. that must have caused millions. That is all I asked of you. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. Sh!t. Pe ro teka. Lumingon ulit ito. Parang mas lalo akong natakot doon. Si Julian `yung tipo ng lalaking hindi mo titilian. he didn t turn around. Pero may reluctant bang namikot? He did turn around. Hindi ko ma-imagine ang sarili ko: blessed virgin Jeannette. Get dressed. Suplado naman! May K naman kasi siyang magsuplado. Please Brad. His fists were clenched. Parang gusto kong lumubog sa pagkakaupo ko sa kama habang malapit na malapit ang mukha niya sa `kin. Just like that? Julian what you saw earlier was how can I explain something I don t know? Hiniklas niya ang necktie sa sobrang galit. He tilted my ch in up and looked me angrily in the eye. damn him! hind i niya `ko totoong asawa at wala siyang karapatang gawin sa `kin `to. That was it. In the second place. Honesty. I don t take to infidelity lightly. Gigil na hinarap niya `ko. I ll come back for you Jean! Then the woman dragged him inside the car. NO! Mabilis akong tumakbo papunta sa pinto. I only wanted to establish myself on my . The corner of his mouth twisted in a mockin g smile. si Jean Rose. He tilted his head to the other side in question. no. Na par a bang nasasaktan siya. bakit naman siya magagalit? In the first place. Ako hindi. Bakit? Had someone hurt him? Betrayed him? Minutes passed by. Because I m sure she was a reluctant bride. 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. Inis na tinabig ko ang kamay niya. I sighed in relief when they walked away. He was dangerously gorgeous. Bago pa ako makapag-react ay hinawakan na ng mahigpit ni Julian ang mga braso ko . Women s ultimate weapon: Tears. Mula sa lamp shade hanggang sa china vase. Hindi kaya dininig ako ni God? Diyos ko ` wag naman. And I was living a lie after all. Then I started really crying. my dear wife. Nanlamig ang mga kamay ko. My eyes grew wide. I never asked for a wonderful love story. W-what if I still love Brad. Nasira lang ang drama ko. Then I heard the click on the other side of the door. Lumakad na ito palabas. I wa s afraid he would see through the lies written in my eyes.Leave my wife alone Brad. Naiiyak na napatingin ako doon. Honesty. Lumabas ito.
Dahil sa `kin kaya nangyari `to. Toward me. Si Amorsolo. But the sight before me froze me on the ground. His muscled back was rippling with water as his stroke became faster. Bilog ang buwan. Hindi ko pinangarap maging si Cinderella. Anim He looked up then. I didn t know where the German shepherd dog had come from. Hindi ko alam pero `pag upo ko ay dumulas ang kumot mula sa dibdib ko. Mabilis kong hinawi ang glass door pa tungong terrace. Ouc h. Isang napak alaking akala. Dapat dapat bumalik na lang ako bigla sa kwarto ko. Nasa teritoryo `ko ng kaaway. I looked around me. I didn t remember covering myself I frowne d. nakakahiya mang aminin 6 1 siya at 5 2 ½ lang ako. At sa maniwala man kayo o hindi. Jean! Nagmulat ako ng mga mata at umubo. my heart beat triple time. Ma am siya nga po pala. And Jean Rose caught my hand. I was gulping down a mouthful o f water. I had no choice. Siguro y napagod na pumunta ito sa railing at umakyat. Mabilis akong pumasok sa loob ng kwarto. G usto kong maging si Juan Luna. I sucked in my breath. may mga pand esal siya sa tyan. And I was still here. Sumabay na daw po kayong maghapunan sa kanya. At ah. I heard splashes of water from outside. She was crying and did n t want to let me go. Mula sa likod nito ay lumabas si Mang Pio. Julian is in every way sexy. Lumaya s lang ba talaga siya? Hindi niya mabilang kung isang oras na ata akong umiiyak. Manang pakilagay na po dyan `yung juice. Matangkad ito.own as a famous artist. Kinurot ko ang sarili ko. I didn t want to be appreciated only after my death. Papanhikin daw po kayo ni sir kung hindi kayo bababa. Nagbabakasyon kami noon sa lake house n g Aunt Lara namin. I didn t know. Hindi na naka-lock! Ma am pinapatawag daw po kayo ni sir. Feeling ko. Oo. I c onceded. I screamed when my foot stepped on nothing but water! I was in a deep end of the swimming pool. Paatras na ako ng paatras. Then the dog came running. I screamed my way to the surface. I tugged her along and sec retly took the boat to explore the lake. I woke up late. . Dun sa my eyes grew wi de. We were still in the middle of th e pool. I hate you Julian Sunico! I hate you to the deepest part of the earth Sana binabangungot lang ako. I gritted my teeth in an ger. Alam ko. 5 3 na nga sige na. Julian please don t leave me I whispered frantically against his neck. Nasa harap na ako ng swimming pool. kahit nga ba talentadong pinoy siya. I fell into a deep slumber after exhausting mysel f from crying. Nanlaki ang mga mata ko. Dun sa hindi ako matetempt. Julian gets. `Yung katiwala din. Please please don t let me die yet. He was standing on the edge of the swimming pool clad with only his swimming sinfully black trunks. I tasted the tears mingled with the c hlorine. 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. Julian was here! I t hrew my arms around his neck and clung to him. Tumingin ako sa kabilang side. I saw his broad shoulders and arms flexed with his ev ery move. A hand grabbed my waist. Sana sana pipikit pa lang ako ng mapansin kong may lumalangoy sa foot-shaped swimmin g pool. I curled into a fetal position on the huge soft bed. Then flashes of yesterday came through my mind. I was eight again. I thought it was only termed with women. Must have stood almost a foot taller than me. Sige na Mag-isa siya! I smiled at her. I wasn t entirely looking at him. T apos biglang bumukas `yung pinto. Promise. He cupped my ch eek and looked at me for a very long time. Ano ba talagang nangyari sa kapatid ko? Why didn t I feel anything? Sabi nila may link ang mga kambal. Jean! Jean! A voice whispered in my ear. I kn ow I must have shouted Julian s name. And b oy. Parang naiiyak na naman ako. Padabog na sumunod ako sa katulong. alam ko nagblush talaga ako. And then I would wake up later and find myself in t he boarding house in New York. para itong kumunoy na kakainin ako ano mang oras. As in. what Julian wants. Kaya nga ba hindi ko naging idol si Rizal eh. gabi na.
I was just shocked by your big dog. Sa isang iglap ay tumagilid ang bang ka at sabay kaming bumagsak. Siya ang unang un a kong mumultuhin. Tignan mo ginawa mo! Naiiyak na sab i ko habang lumulutang lutang ang mga papel. I froze in his arms. Pagabi na. I ngos ko sa kanya. Na para bang titig na nagnanasa dududa. Jeannie! Bumalik na tayo. FOUR Jeannie! Kasi baka I looked back at her. . I smiled at myself and took my sketch pad with me. Wala talaga siyang kunsiderasyon! `Pag namatay talaga ako. I said airily. Oh my God. Jean Rose scowled at me and didn t say a word. We were both screaming flailing And it was all my fault. Seriously she had always been there for me. I rolled my eyes heave nward. Para akong unggoy na nakabitin sa puno. He said that silently. My eyes grew wi de. I m ten but not entirely stupid. Kung ayaw mo bahala ka! Natanggal ko na ang tali ng bangka. Pero kasi Jeannie baka Isasagwan ko na sana ang bangka ng tumuntong na din siya. wala pala. I bit my lower lip when he looked at me closely. Syempre ako na lang `yung natitirang kapatid no. Our eyes met. You re supposed to be a swimmer. Damn. Alam mo `yun naiilang ako sa titi g niya. Mabilis nitong inagaw ang sagwan. Both of my thighs wrapped around his body on its own accord. Gume wang gewang ang bangka. Jeannie nasan na tayo? Bakit parang palayo na tayo ng palayo? She bit her lower lip . Well. Ayoko. I was amazed with its reflection on the water. Jean Rose screamed. She became a champion in swimming competitions while I nev er learned. Jean Rose overcame her fear by learning how to swim. And sh e was very good at it. Yep . Sa totoo lang Jea n was never the evil twin sister. Hindi ko siya pinansin. Hindi kita pinilit ha. My breasts were flat tened against his hard chest. Sinimangutan ko siya. As if naman. At hindi ko kasalanan `yun! Siya kaya lunurin ko. `Yan ang madalas na ipanakot sa `kin ni Aunt Lara. And oh Lor d the tree was getting hard all over. Jul ian I wrapped my arms around his neck.Ano bang nangyayari sa`yo? You re a swimmer. I am. He said silently. As if he were my lifeline. There were mermaids in the la ke. Pero bigla niya `kong pinakawalan. Anyway sino bang may sabing sumama siya? Jeannie ano ba! Ano? Inis kong sabi habang ginuguhit ang papalubog na sikat ng araw. Sa katulad ni Julian na perfectionist malamang na kasalana n ang `di marunong lumangoy. As in over. Gusto kong sakalin ang kapatid ko n g mga sandaling iyon. Rubbish. Naiiyak na pinilit kong abutin isa isa kahit basa na. overrrrr. Kung meron man well. Ito ang taong kahit hindi bagong gising masamang biruin. You would be more shocked by my big Dog? Gusto ko sanang magbiro. Sa p ag-aagawan namin ay nahulog ang sketch pad ko.
Bastos talag a. Two days of being married to Julian Sunico was like hell! And it felt like a lifetime sin ce I said I do . Isa lang. Lelecturan ng walang . that voice of his it was like he had just woken up from a night of debauchery. Inis na sabi nito. Siya `yung `yung magaling lumangoy. I licked my lower lip nervously. Ano bang nangyayari sa `kin? I leaned my head in between his shoulder an d neck. 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. Grabe ang mood swings ng lalaking ito. Naramdaman ko ang paghigpit ng yakap niya sa `kin. Hindi ko nga alam kung dahil sa ano o dahi l sa init. Nagsasawa na `ko sa pagtatalo namin ni Julian. Bente uno lang po ako God para sa mga ganitong bagay. Siya ang gumawa ikaw ang umaako? You big stupid moron! Tama ito. Tumayo ka at magbihis ka may pupuntahan tayo. o kaya ay wala lang ang mga katulong doon ay baka nilunod na `ko ni Julian. At ang utos ng hari hindi mababali. Ang mahalaga hindi siya nagalit Jea nnie! I tried telling you Ikaw ang Hindi maganda ang panloloko Jean. I wore a n off-shouldered cream tailored dress. My heart was beating triple time. Parang nanlamig ako bigla. I cried on his shoulder. Ang tanong: sinong mananamantala at sinong pagsas amantalahan? Not I. I whispered stupidly with lack of anything to say. My creamy white shoulders were very much visible. Then it dawned on me. We uhm. I couldn t look him in t he eye. 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. Mag-aangilan lang kami. ako I never did learn. I opened my mouth to shout at him. Had he forgiven me? Hindi siya galit? You should have told me sooner. Why not? He said huskily. Kung ginawa mo `yun just to get the fame you wa nted then you don t deserve it. Prom ise. feeling ko nagkulay mansanas ako. bata pa `ko. wala akong kara patan. Diyos ko. Si Jean Rose ang gumawa ako ang umaako! He had it all wrong. He didn t even comment about my appearance. Galit na hinablot nito ang telephone habang pinupunasan ang sarili. Lalo a kong napayakap sa kanya. 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. I m not supposed to be who I am now. It was a matter of choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea. Jules I m sorr y. Jules I have something to tell you. Thank God for the two-inch stilettos. At ni hindi man la ng nahiyang ipahiram man lang sa `kin. From the start. 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. Ginamit ko lang ito once sa exhibi t ng kakilala ko. The hell with the consequences. Giniginaw na `ko pero isang towel lang ang nakita ko. Nagsasalubong na naman `yung mga kilay nito. Hindi ko alam kung dahil sa naudlot na o dahil sa alam niya na `yung sasabihin ko. Akala niya pinagko-compete ko ang kakambal ko tapos tapos ako kunwari ang nananalo? My God. Susumbatan niya lang ako. It was now or never. experienced dr owning before. He was so m ad at me. Siguro kung hindi lang masamang pumatay ng tao. Hindi iyon lalagpas ng mid-thigh ko. She overcame her fear by well. Yeah you re right! Siya ang gumawa ako ang umako ng mga Sir telephone po mommy niyo. Ng panahon. His head came down down down. I winced when I heard him curse. Goodness. At ang gentleman ba sta na lang akong ibinagsak sa marble floor sa gilid ng pool. I blinked thrice.Julian was just staring back at me. Naglakad ito kasama ako. My twin she s the swimmer. His hand caressed my cheek. Hawak pa niya. Ang mani pis na suot ko kanina ay halos kita na dahil nga basa na din. Siguro hindi naman magagalit si Jean Rose kung kahit isa lang. Kelan ba matatapos ito? Tumingin ako sa harap ng salamin. So what was the use of telling him how gorgeous he is? I just shut my mouth up.
Sorry sir. Their fists were both clenched. Galit na tinitigan niya ako. Nakikpagkarerahan ba ito kay Kamatayan? Napakapit ako sa dashboard. Kailan pa kinailanga n ng tatay ng imbitasyon sa kasal ng anak niya? What do you want? Julian said coolly to his father. Julian sighed and looked bored. Hello sir. Ayoko pang mamatay! Parang naiiyak na `ko ng sumadsad ang sasakyan sa gilid ng iliko ni Julian ang s teering wheel. 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.katapusan about honesty and virtues. I smiled at her politely. Na para bang mayroon siya! Julian opened the door for me. Mabilis kong hinila si Julian. 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. Tears were streaming down the side of my face. I t felt so awkward. I looked at Julian then. Julian started laughing humorlessly. masaya na si mommy sa buhay niya. Eh di baka ihulog na `ko ng tuluyan ni Julian palabas. He s Biglang pinisil nito ang kamay ko. Gusto kong sumigaw a . I was shocked. And I m happy for her coz she s not waiting an ymore for someone who hasn t seen her worth. marami pa pala kaming gagawin. She was in her early thirties and very much beautiful. Magtatay ba talaga ang mga ito? Umupo kami in silence at saka ko lang napansin ang babaeng kasama ni Mr. Tears were starting to form in my eyes. straight nose Ouch. Ayokong magsalita. Shock was the understatement of the century. Anong sasabi hin ko Julian. it s nice to see you again son. Julian please I grabbed his a rm. None. Baka nakakalimutan mo ako pa rin ang nanay ng anak mo. Halos lumangitn git iyon. There was something wrong here. Pudpod na stilettos ko. I was numb. Say hello to your tita Doris. Jean Rose Sunico! I didn t stop. My heart went overdrive. I just want to see my son. I loved your mother. Naglalakad ako sa gilid ng kalsada na wala sa sarili. Sunico. dad. Nanginginig ang mga kamay ko na bumaba ako ng sasakyan. But his pain ran deep. The man was just an older version of Julian. My eyes grew wide. You loved her? Cut the crap. Na-amaze ako. I gritted my teeth in frustration. Na parang demonyo. Ano pa nga ba. Ni hindi na ko magtataka kung kukulutkulutin ko na ang buhok ko mamaya. your husband here didn t send me an invitation card. Tahimik lang ito. Hila dito. Leave me alone! He shouted. Nice nice to see you. Hanggang sa makarating kami sa patutunguhan namin. How s your mom? Ayun. Bakit wala po kayo nung kasal namin ni Jul ian? We would have been happy kung nandon kayo. I m glad to finally meet you. hila doon. Your flavor of the month? Julian! Excuse my husband. I smiled. We went inside the grand hotel. Halos ako at ang papa niya lang ang nag-uusap. Julian ano ba! Napasigaw ako ng pinaharurot niya ang Porsche niya. Julian! Nagulat talaga ako. Hello Julian. Invitation? Ang weird. She looked somewhat familiar. Tao lang ako. Julian?! I frantic ally searched his face for wounds. Hinila niya ako. Na-iim agine ko na `pagtumanda ito. Nakita kong parang aatak ihin sa puso ang papa nito. Mahina pero gigil kon g paalala. Bi glang may sumulpot na malaking truck sa harapan naming. With his chinky eyes. Normal naman sa mga produkto ng broken marriages ang ganitong ugali ni Julian. Pero bigla niyang tinabig ang kamay ko. His eyes sent me a warning message. Act the very lovin g wife. for the first time Julian knew how to act the gentleman. No. I felt the impact of what almost happened to us. He was tense. God please! Virgin pa `ko. I apologize hija. okay lang `yun okay lang na niloko ng papa mo ang mama mo past is p ast. I glared at him. is that bad? He said.
Are you inviting me to bed Jean? Ang boses niya ah parang nang-aakit.t magwala sa gitna ng kalsada. He had fox-like eyes. My back hit the wall. We are about to get married. Ang boses nito. Napalunok ako habang papalapit siya ng papalapit. Ang bastos talaga. I can t Julian. I shook the cobwebs in my head. Why is it so elusive? Maybe because we cannot have everything we wanted. Julian would have been with another. In a split second the beast hugged me! Fiercely. Gusto kong sabihing. I know deep down the call had something to do with his sudden withdrawal. That T ricia must have been special for him to be like this.. At biglang may kamay na humawak sa braso ko upang iharap a ko. He should have been a DJ. Na para ng gagawin akong panghapunan. Well. Then he d tell me that he di dn t believe in love? Bull. . Sunico! He roared. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. I don t believe in love Mrs. I sighed exaggeratedly. Kulang na lang sabihin niya sa mukha kong wala kang pakialam . Will you please give me peace even just for tonight? Mahina nitong sabi. tenderly. Marami talagang mga sinungaling sa mundo. Hindi ako bulag o bingi. He wasn t drunk yet! Was he? Don t pull my leg Jean Do you think I m stupid? You lied to me. I sighed again when he didn t even bother to respond. He just shrugged. I should have known. Pero minsan nga kung ano pa `yung li bre siya pang mahirap kunin. maybe it was just guilt eating at me. True. no he wanted to eat me alive. wala naman tal aga. Life s not perfect. He poured himself a glass of brandy and downed it in one swallow. His eyes were squinted in anger. Or was it my imagination? Tricia? Who s Tricia? FIVE Sabi nila best things in life are free . I wonder. Wala na ang necktie nito.. Like happiness. And thanks t o you it won t happen anymore He looked bored and predatory. Again. Julian s-sino `yung tumawag? Ano bang pakialam mo Jeannie? I was just curious. tinalikuran pa `ko. Silence. Wala nga ba Jeannie? Hindi naman siguro pinagbabawal ng batas ang pagtatano ng. Not that I f elt anything well. Dahil sa galit. He started laughing mockingly. bakit ako mag-aalala sa isang taong ni wala man lang pakialam sa `kin? But I do. Since I want honesty between us . His back w as turned to me. So he knew all a long! Bigla itong tumawa. Julian aren t you going to bed yet? A slow sexy smile twitched on the corner of his mouth. Not that I care. My eyes got misty all the more. Kaya nga hindi ako nanin iwala sa sinabi ni Kim Chui na habulin mo happiness mo! Eh di kung ganon lang ka dali iyon. Ayun. Then I started wetting his shirt. Then the phone started ringing. Tawang demonyo. kung bakit hindi ako nabingi sa pagbagsak ng decanter at pagkalabog ng pinto. His eyes. Me meron ako. Parang pagod na pagod. Sunico. Mabilis kong sinundan si Ju lian sa study room niya. shut up! I m not Jean! Sinong g ustong humamon sa `kin? Mrs. She s my girlfriend of two years. Hello? His face suddenly changed. Julian I just want to hel Help? That s bullsh!t. Tricia. But I believe in the sanctity of marriage. His shirt was loosened. You r e bound to me forever. Yes. I sobbed louder. Okay lang sana kung desert eh. Is she special? Julian I jumped in surprise. sana wala ako dito. `Yun lang. Palap it ito ng palapit. Parang nasasaktan. Inihagis ni Julian ang coat sa couch at dumiretso sa mini bar.
Parang boarder nga lang ako dito sa mansyon niya. I closed my eyes with a prayer. Yep. Ano pa bang alam nito? O ma s tamang sabihing ano pa ba ang hindi nito alam? He graduated business ad. Hindi lang siya ang nasakal. Love? Letseng love `yan. I was just mad on my twin s ister s behalf. I thought you were He said stonily. Wow. Tricia? Gusto kong isigaw `yun. I was quite numb . Jean Rose wouldn t do this without a valid reason. Pero mali ako. I felt so hurt. in the states. Akala ko walang taong ganito. Champion siya 1st pl ace in a swimming competition? I gasped. And very much no! Ang mahirap kasi sa mga lalaki. Thrice. He was always in his study room. Arrogant. 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. Parang kasabay nun ang pagbagal at pag lakas ng tibok ng puso ko. Julian anong ginawa mo nung pinikot kita? He stared at me. Sino bang hindi? Para `kong tuta na basta na lang pinamigay. Hindi ko kailangang maging si Madam Auring para ma-vibrate kong iniiwasan ako ni Julian. I was drunk. Kung sa bagay. Gigising ako sa umaga. Hindi ako pwedeng magalit. Siguro dahil nagtatampo pa rin ako. pagiging mapagobserba ko ay narinig kong sinabi ng mommy niya na there sho uld be no broken marriages . My eyes grew wide. Wala pa siya. So Mr. But there s always an exception to the rule. I knocked. . Rugby. Matutulog ako sa gabi. Hindi ko makuhang dalawin sina Mommy. hindi man ako ang pinakamatalinong tao sa mundo. Julian? Walang tao. Gusto kong magpakamatay. Salamat sa pagiging tsis mosa no. Dahil ba kay Tricia? Parang bigla a kong na-possess. Pero `pag sila lalaki lang sila eh. Julian s family. you couldn t resist my charm. Soccer. Dahil hindi na niya ipipilit ang marital rights niya. What s your excuse? Dahil lalaki ka? Dahil mahina ka? And oh. Then he hit the wall. Sa gilid ng ulo ko. the feeling was mutual. Julian? No response. Minsan nga naiisip ko. He didn t want to see me. At alam ko. bakit nga naman hindi? Eh ako naman itong mamimikot `di ba? It was dark. Three weeks. Pwes. Wala na siya. Sa saktan ba talaga `ko ni Julian? Would he resort to that? Parang gusto kong umiya k. Really stared at me like I d grown two heads and a horn. kapag babae ang nakagawa ng kasalanan para kang nakamatay. hindi naman sa kinukwestiyon ko si God. It was full of hatred and remorse. It had been three weeks since then. eh? It was too good to be true. Naglalabasan na ang ugat sa leeg nito.So sinisisi niya `ko? Ang kapatid ko. He was bound by the Sunico tradition. Twice. Once. Para `kong naparalyze na nakatitig lang sa sa mukha niya. It was a sin in the Sunico commandment. Almost Perfect had the right to be Mr. Bakit hindi na lang kami magpa-annul? Sila pala ni Jean? Kung ganito lang din na man Oo nga pala. I s hould be thankful. May class A at class B. Bakit lalaki lang ba ang mga tao? I slammed the door as I walked out of there. No. I was about to go out when Julian s medals caught my attention. Masyado ba talaga `kong generic? Napagpapalit palit? I had never been lonelier than this. Then he raised his cle nched fist in the air. hinihintay kong dumapo sa `kin ang mga kamay niya. My breath got hitched. His knuckles were scraped because of the impact. He whispered angrily. No. 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. Mabilis akong pumunta sa study room. Hindi ako nagagalit. Parang biglang umakyat lahat ng dugo ko sa ulo. Dahan dahan kong nakitang umaagos ang dugo sa kamay ni Julian.
She turned to the lane toward the side of the taxi. Then another with Julian s mom. Yeah.. Cheap. `yung tipong pati hanggang dulo ng kuko kaiinggitan mo. I started crying. I just walked past him and got out. Pero hindi na kami makatigil kasi may MMDA dun. He bought Jean me. Very much happy. kasikatan. Tahimik na pumunta ako sa desk niya tinignan ang picture don. Then I moved on to the next picture. I frowned when I saw a woman crossing the street. I just wanted to get away from here. lumil ipad sa bintana lahat ng logic . Napatingin sa `kin si Manong. Then I saw an envelope written with a Leviste on it. Oh my God. I don t want to hate Julian. I rolled my eyes. Para silang buong pamilya. Eh. Minsan kahit anong pilit mong ngumiti. may magagawa pa ba siya kung nandun na `ko? I was immersed into deep thoughts. where s the fairness of life in it? And Julian was one of the Class A. h indi ito soap opera. The picture of a loving couple. Gusto kong magtitili. I opened it. Kanino ka pa ba tutungo `pag may problema? `Di syempre sa bestfriend mo. Ho w could I not? I was looking straight into my own face. Binayaran niya ang bahay namin. Hmmm Then my eyes grew wide. Alam ko. Here. Tricia?. Tumigil ang taxi nung umilaw ang stoplight. maganda kilalang kilala ko ang mukha na `yun. I hail ed a cab. They still loved me. At ang mga n ext pictures ay kasama nitong nagpi-fishing ang lalaki. SIX Ni hindi ko siya tinignan. Nasan ang dad dito ni Julian? No. Stolen shot. So sinong dapat sisihin? Feeling ko napakaselfish ko.Pero bakit kaya may mga taong sinalo ang lahat? Katulad na lang ni Georgina Wils on. Then I saw a smiling picture of him. Jean I prostituted hersel f for a one and a half million. Tumigil lang ako ng maisara ko ang pintuan at sumandal doon. A ten or so Julian. Kissing. He wasn t perfect. he won first place in a swimming competition. Not beca use our parents forced her to do it. Manong stop! Napakamot ito sa ulo. Tricia Leyva? I competed with her once in a painting competition in New York. Parang gusto kong matunaw sa ngiting `yun. Naso-suffocate na `ko. He was right. Hindi ko din alam! I dressed quickly upstairs and took my handbag.Pero kapag nasasaktan ang isang tao. He had a broken home. They have it all. Para `kong sirang plaka na napaupo. Sabi niya `wag ko na siyang sunduin. I don t want. . Trying to be different from my sister All the while they were making both ends meet. Nakatula la ako sa mismong picture ng dalawa. Seriously. A notice of foreclosure from the bank. My eyes grew wide. Yummy. Samantalang may mga pinagkaitan hirap na nga. Napasabunot ako sa buhok ko. Sinalo lahat. the bod. Wala sa loob na sinundan ko siy a ng tingin. No. Ang puso ko? And don t ask me why. Binayaran ni Julian ang bahay na min. kagandahan. What the hell are you doing here? I felt weak. with his uncle? Hindi ko kilala ang lalaki. hirap pang iharap ang mukha. At least CM would make me happy. `Didn t know if it was because I knew her. May issue man ako sa parents ko. At hindi sila ganon kasama. Of course. I felt cold. Maganda.. Jean did it because she was always the good daughter. Or the kiss. Jean s face! Jean! I half shouted. Mga sakim. lalo lang sumasak it. Ang isip ko sinasabing hindi ako dapat magalit sa kanya. Bubuksan ko pa lang ang handle ng umandar na si manong. They have the same smile though. Ma yaman. I was in New York trying to make out on my own. And my. 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.
Mas morbid `yun. Tapos biglang t umunog `yung cellphone nito at nag-excuse. Tapos napatingin siya sa `kin . Isa pa kakatayin ko na talaga `tong si CM. He s yummy. CM rolled his eyes. Nag-X sign pa ako n parang si April boy. Ihahatid na kita. Si CM ay isang nagbabalatkayong tao este lalaki. Kung alam lang niya. I could melt. Pinanlakihan ko siya ng mata. Para kaming sira na nagsasign language. M-my b-bestfriend in New York. What? I said innocently. CM could help? God.I mouthed. Umupo ito sa tapat ni CM. Jean? We both turned at the voice. CM? Sa tatlong taon na nakilala kita You haven t mentioned him. CM smiled up at Brad. no. CM raised o ne brow at me. Masyado kasing napraktis. Parang bigla kong nalunok `yung laway ko. Kung pwede nga lang maghimala ako at magbuntis. Too sweet. I bet he s going to plot murder against me. Yeah. an g morbid. Then I stared at his cute f ace. Tumalikod. Ayan pati a ko naguluhan na din talaga. you know . some advice. 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. He mouthed. Nakangiti pa. I shivered suddenly. Jeannie. Alam mo `yun g mga ginagawa ng mga mayayaman na pinapasalvage `yung first wife nila. bestfriend we could make it a story. Ako din uuwi na. He whispered achingly. I waited for CM s arrival. Baba na lang ako ng hawakan niya `ko sa braso. He s he s Jean s ex. Bakit hindi? Bale-walang sabi nito. Eh. I saw t enderness in his eyes. Goodness. CM! Lakad pa lang niya alam ko na. I think I have to go. Ang bilis talaga ng radar nito. At binaba ako ni Brad sa mansyon. Gross. Yuck. Anong alam mo? You haven t known him that long. Kung ganito lang san a si Julian. Tumingin ako kay CM. Parang gusto ko siyang batukan. I would really melt. Kaya pala kaya pala parang hindi man la . Lahat-lahat ata ng sama ng loob ko kay Julian sinabi ko sa kanya. Goodness. Pero nakikita ko ang isandaan at isang tanong. isang buwan lang naman. Nataw a pa nga ako ng sundan server `yung tingin sa min kay CM. Ano `to soap opera? Salamat sa awa ha. Grabe. Nagba yad ako at mabilis na bumaba. Nagpalumbaba ako at ikinuwento lahat. Ah oo. Pini sil niya ang kamay ko. From the b eginning `till the bitter end. Ako? You ve know n me for three years! I thought you love me? Parang nagbago ka na. Ahm well. siya ay paminta. at si Zsa Zsa Zaturna. At gigil na kumaga t labi pa ito. Three to four months? I bit my lower lip. no. Inakbayan niya `ko at pumunta kami sa pinakamalapit na Italian Restaurant. Katabi ko. Sa likod ng mga fats niya ay 24/7 tumitibok ang pusong laan para kay Adan. Then pigs would surely fly. Wow. Jeannie? One brow arched. Kala mo naman hind i nagkita ng isang taon. Oh. SANA. Pinisil pisil ko `yung bic eps niya. Ang hudas pumalakpak pa. BRAD? Brad s face was polite. So what happened? I pouted. What if he found out the truth? That you re not pregnant? He wolfed down the pasta e nthusiastically. Kay Brad! Ah ah b-bestfriend siya ni ni Jeannie! How odd I refer someone as myself. no. His face was an inch or two away from me. Hindi kita type no. Brad this is CM. halaman g dagat. Hinawakan niy a ang siko ko ng tumayo ako. Hindi ikaw ang tinatanong! `Di ba Jeanni I sent him a warning glance. Hinatid namin si CM sa bahay nito sa Alabang. Brad frowned.Hindi na `ko magtataka kung akalain niyang may baliw na sumakay sa kanya. Agaw eksena kami ng niyakap niya `ko. I sighed. He had t he biggest mouth ever. Hindi ka pa ba uuwi Jean? Nag-aalalang sabi ni Brad. In short. Yes. Hindi gagawin ni Julian `yun.
Kulang na lang sabih in niyang hang up na. Por Santo! Ala-una ng madaling araw. Relax take a deep breath. Please call me Jeannie. Jean! What! Natutulog `yung tao eh. now! Julian frowned at me. May jetlag pa `ko. Magbihis ka may pupuntahan tayo. Ang sitwasyon lang natin ang nagbago Brad. Por Diyos. from Jeannette to Jeannie Oh Jean was always just Jean. I felt exhausted and slept early. Ang ginaw talaga. Ganon naman eh. Lum ayo ako lalo. Julian no! Binuksan niya ang shower at itinapat ako sa ilalim ng napak alamig na tubig. Hindi rin dahil wala pang happy ending. Punta ka sa asawa mo. Hindi naman siguro babagsak `yung eroplano no. Again. Nakatulog ako habang byahe kaya nabigla na lang ako ng nasa NAIA na kami. Ano `to napagtripan lang basta n i Julian na magtour kami sa Korea?! I bit my lower lip. Tinakpan ko ng unan ang ulo ko at hinampas kung si no man `yung bastos na `yun. No! Mabilis akong bumitiw sa kanya kahit pa ma-hypothermia na `ko. How? Buntis na si Jean kay Julian. `Yun lang. Sino bang may ayaw ng lalaking ganito magmahal? One in a million siya. Be with me. It s it s my nickname. Inhale.! Jeannie? Oh my God kung tsismis lang `yan ipagpabukas mo na. Tinanggal ko ang kamay niya sa braso ko. I heard the amusement in hi s voice. CM I can t meet the whole Sunico clan. Tapos lumabas na ito. He walked on. Again. in that I didn t lie. Then som eone was shaking my shoulder. I called CM. At least. At ipinarinig pa sa `kin ang malakas na paghikab niya. Jean must be very lucky. I whispered softly. Bilisan mo. Wha t did he mean by that? Pinaikli naman talaga ah. My God Ju lian. Niyakap ko siya ng mahigp it. He chuckled. mas gusto niyang kasama `yun g mga libro. Jean annul your marriage. Julian? He didn t turn around. Jean. Tapos? . 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. Binabaan ako ng p hone! I tried and tried again. Me included. Dahil hindi niya talaga kilala si Jean! Hindi ako ang nagbago Winner! Pwede na `kong manalo sa FAMAS. Nawala lahat ng antok ko. Then I gasped. CM !!! The line went dead. He couldn t and wouldn t tell Jean and me apart. are you out of your mind? It s one in the morning! Kung gusto mo ikaw na lan g mag-isa. Anong gagawin ko harangin `yung eroplano? Pasabugin `y ung airport? Anong gagawin ko? We re going to fly to Korea! As in. I wanted to make a way for my sister an d him. He grabbed my shoulders and made me stand up. computer at alak niya. I screamed. In my panic-driven state.ng nagtataka si Julian. Nicknames are supposed to shorten one s name. Maliligo tayo ng sabay? Nakataas ang isang kilay nito. Hello? Carlo Miguel Jr. Oh my God. Galit na ibabagsak ko ulit ang katawan ko sa kama ng buhatin niya ko. O buntis nga ba? Had sh e just said it to blackmail Julian? I hadn t seen Julian when I got home. Anyone would want Brad for herself. Later in t he wee hours of midnight. Hindi ako mapakali lalo. Oh my God. naramdaman kong parang may pumasok sa kwarto. Grabe. na-touched ako sa bestfriend ko. I thanked God he didn t unplugged the socket. Hindi naman ako manhid. exhale.
He raised one brow at me. Hmm. Para akon g pinasugod ng mga magulang ko sa giyera ng wala man lang dalang armas. Julian sm iled charmingly at her! The devil really could smile Tapos sa `kin pinagdadamot n iya `yun. Na para bang may space akong mauusugan. Julian I don t think this is a good idea. argh .Yakapin mo at saka mo ikiss. Sa sobrang higpit iisipin kong ayaw niya `kong pakawalan. Inirapan ko siya at umisod pakabila. Habang hawak niya ng mahigpit ang kamay ko sa l ap ko mismo. I whispered when I saw his one good eye fli ckered. Sino si Tantan? My mind was scre aming. Umupo ako sa tabi ni Julian. It should warm my heart. I swallowed. CM! I then gaped at Julian. Oh my. I tried to smile. I bit my lower lip. My hands trembled. 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. Mahigpit. I know I was acting childish. Inis na tinanggal ko ang kamay ko sa pagkakahawak niya. I gave him my most charming smile. padarag n a tinanggal ko `yung kamay niya sa pagkakahawak ng kamay ko. Oh G od. SEVEN I didn t know a thing about Korea much less Julian s Korean family. The family dinner before the wedding. He was there with me. Unti-unting tumaas ang ulo ko. Grabe. I didn t want him to be suspicious. I knew he just wanted to make the ordeal light for me. But panic was overwhelming me. Gawin ko kaya? Ano kayang magiging reacti on ni Julian? You already met my family when they d come home. no. Julian What? He snapped at me! Sabi ko na nga ba masamang biruin ang bagong gising eh. Then it fitted the spaces between my fingers. Gusto ko ng lumabas ng airport at sumigaw ng kidnapping. But then I felt him. Sino si Angko? You ve met him. And he was also staring at me! Feeling ko nagkulay man sanas ako. As in. French kiss na lang. I already and suddenly missed Philippines! As if What would I do? What should I do? Julian just slept like the dead. In disgust. Wala naman siyang pakialam ` . At sa pagkagulat ko. Bakit ba umaasa pa `kong magbabago siya? The stewardess smiled at us specifically at Julian. Then he sighed exaggeratedly. Habang n asa loob kami ng eroplano ay gusto ko ng tumalon palabas ng bintana. Damn sexy men. Pero lalo lang niya ng hinigpitan. Malungkot. As if he owned the world. He shrugged then looked at me knowingly. Julian was sitting handsomely in his Lacoste polo shirt and Levi s jeans. Kung narinig niya lang ang sinabi ni CM. Pero parang ayaw makisama ng mga muscles ko. Tinignan niya `ko. Matagal na Jeannie. remember? You and Tantan hit it off. `Sus. Eh `di `wag. I pouted my lips. He wore that devil-may-care expres sion on him. ka Hindi ko napigilang hindi matawa. I. Kahit papano gumaan ang pakiramdam ko ng ti nawagan ko si CM. Siguro kung wala lang sakit si Angk o His tone changed. Tumaas ang kilay nito. Kung alam ko lang na B. kung alam ko lang natetempt ka na ding gawin. Parang nga. Torrid. Natatakot na talaga ako. He wasn t looking a t me. He raised one brow at me. As if telling me to keep my thoughts to myself. He looked bored.
his one left dimple. Malamig. Then they were speaking softly. I DON T CARE. Masama bang ma-carried away? I tried to crack a smile. Julian stared at me. Then down to my Oh my I whispered. my nose. At tinitignan ang reaksyon ko. Feeling ko nga. hindi ko alam kung ako lang ang nakakaramdam non pero parang m ay kuryente. I sucked in the air unconsc iously. gusto ko ng maniwala. Tapos hinamas niya ulit `yung tyan ko. Hindi rin naman madali na maging Vice President ng isang malaking kumpanya at the age of 27. He was too gentle. Mayamaya lang tulog na ulit si Julian. para akong na sa drama. `Yung Julian na walang pakia lam sa `kin.di `ba? There s nothing to be jealous of I gasped. mag-freeze sa ginaw. And I was meeting the other woman. Hindi niya `ko pin agbitbit ng gamit ko! Ang bait ah. Na para bang wala ako dun! I gritted my teeth and closed my eyes. Bakit niya hinahawakan tummy ko? I tensed. Dapat matuwa ako sa sinabi niya. Wala akong pakialam kung masira man ang handle non. We went out of the intern ational airport hand in hand. Tenderly. Oh no. G usto kong sumigaw kay Julian at sabihing hello! I m here! I glared at his back. my lips. We ll see an Napalunok ako. Tapos tapos Oh God. He didn t speak English. Palabas na kami ng may naghihintay na sasakyan. At lalong `yung Julian na nilockan ako ng pinto. Inis na nilagpasan ko sila. Mayamaya sumeryoso siya. Ginising ko siya ng palapag na kami. `Pagkatapos niya `kong sabihang Sa`yo lang ako Lumapit sa `kin `yung sa tantiya `ko ay steward nila. Ayoko sana. Ganon ba talaga? Normal ba talaga `yun? O ako lang `yung abnormal? I m already excited to see our baby. Marami naman siyang pambili `di ba? Binalibag ko pasara ang pinto. he didn t r eally mean it. Then he looked at me straight in the eye. Galit na inunahan ko na ng bukas ng pinto bago ang steward. I could drown in those brown eyes. Tricia was still as sophisticated as I remembered. Napataas `yung kilay ko. Na para bang iniisip niya talagang maig i. Ako din Wala sa loob na bulong ko. Anything basta healthy. Bumalik na naman bigla `yung takot ko. the hell I care. Binitiwan niya `ko ng kinuha niya `yung mga bag namin. It seemed to take an eternity. In another language. Tin uro niya sa`kin ang kotse at kinuha `yung nag-iisang clutch bag na dala ko. Ganon ba talaga ang epekto ni Tricia kay Jul ian? Had he loved her that much to forget about me? Well. Para `kong naparalyze. Ano nga kaya ang magiging itsura ng baby namin n i Julian? Kamuka din kaya ni Julian? His eyes. Excuse me? Mali ba `ko ng rinig? You re my wife. Sana laging ganito si Julian Well. Kahit magtitigan sila buong maghapon. Sana lang pareho silang magka-sore eyes. Sa `yo lang ako Biglang napatingin ako sa kanya. Or bet ter yet. Naka tayo pa rin ako dun. Buti wala akong b ilbil. Deadma. Na para bang hindi siya `yung Julian na lagi akong sinisigawan. I felt warmth in the simple gesture. My tummy. Like hell. But I saw amusement written all over his face. The land was very foreign to me. What amazed me next was when he cupped m y face. we ll see an OB. Seriously. He said softly. We both stopped when we saw a woman standing in the middle of the parking lot waiting for us. I just hoped it wasn t seen as a grimace. Ba t `di na lang kaya niya `ko yakapin? Now I was sounding very much like CM. Then Julian replied quietly. Don t look at me like that I might fall! When we get back. They both stared at each other. ako pala `yung kontrabida. Magdurugo na ata ang lower lip ko sa sobrang kaga . 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. Tapos bumaba `yung kamay niya sa leeg ko. He must have been very tired because of w ork. Para akong t-a-n-g-a na naghihintay ng himalang mapansin ni la. Nakita kong natigilan si Julian. Ano nga kayang nakain nito? He gave me a coat. ayoko pa. I giggled. What do you want? Girl boy? Hmm His chinito eyes squinted all the more.
Wake up we re here. Lumapit si Julian. Yes. Tumalikod lang ako saglit. Victorian style in Korea? Hmm. I didn t know She whispered wonderingly. At ako ayoko sa bata! Ngumiti ako dito at pasimpleng pinanlakihan ito ng mata. 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. Then I saw the others looking at us from inside t he big yard. Madapa ka sana. As if he could see through my lies . Imo Jean h-hold me! Para akong mahihimatay. Na para bang nakikita niya `ko. Nakita kong nagkakatingin an sila sa rearview mirror sa harapan. Had the circumstanc es been different we could have been friends. Mabilis kong iniiwas ang mga mata ko. Pagod ako. Julian raised one brow at us. Jeannie? As if naman nagulat ka! I smiled at her mockingly. Narinig niya `ko. Julian chuckled. Pero layuan niya muna ako. Napatingi n sa `kin si Tricia at Julian. . Kung alam ko lang. Tinitigan kong m aigi ng kumalas siya mula kay Tricia. `Yun lang. Biglang bumilog ang naniningkit na mga mata ng bata. at hayun ang magaling na lalaki. 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. others were Filipinos. Three to four years old. I felt a twinge of guilt. Hindi ko napigilan ang sarili ko. I I Jeannie I met her in New York. you were talking about Jean! Yes. my God.t. Then he looked at me through the tinted wi ndow sill. Na parang torture. I couldn t be mistaken. Pero twinge lang. I hated Julian. Para akong sinasakal. He frowned. Sh!t. sa mood ko ngayon hindi ko feel maging chummy-chummy sa kanya. Jean Rose was fond of kids. When the car door opened. Could have been. My eyes grew wi de. honey she was Jeannie. Ganito ako kapag natetense o naiinip. You didn t tell me about Jea nie. If I were a scheming b!tch then he s the biggest hypocr ite ever. Nagpapabuhat! Oh. Julian got out and took our luggag e. Kung hindi ko pa alam na tinted ang sasakyan. Julian sat in front. Ipinikit ko ang mga mata ko. Imo Jean! Nabigla ako ng may batang lalaking biglang tumakbo at yumakap sa `kin. he was wishing me to the moon. So are you telling me that I m a scheming b!tch? Hell. Bakit ganito? Ayoko ng makita si Julian. Tapos inalalayan niya si Tricia. I m a slut in the making. Jean! I laughed nervous ly. Yes. Chubby cherubin. Julian was already embracing her! And she was crying. Kami naman ni Tricia sa backseat. Ang matatabang mga braso nito ay tumaas . Tricia got in. si Tricia. That wasn t what I intended. Ha? Had I said my thoughts aloud? Umiwas ako ng tingin kay Julian. I dialed his number. Mas malaking mansyon. Pareho kaming nagkatinginan. Itulog mo na lang `yan. I hated this feeling. Some look Kore an. Ah no. What did you say? Tricia turned at me. In the deepest part of me I felt alone. You knew each other? I groaned inwardly. My eyes grew wide. Baka pa gbuhulin ko pa sila ni Julian. Lalo na ng titigan akong maigi ni Julian. Gusto ko ng umuwi. At pasimpleng umirap. Tricia had always been soft-spoken. Tricia gaspe d. Pagod ka Jeannie. No. I didn t care if I sounded like one. Nag-duet kami ni Tricia. I didn t know why I felt hurt. Maputi ito. Tumingin ako sa kanila. So? Hindi ko pinansin a ng kamay niyang nakalahad. I forgot. Julian glared at me. Naalimpungatan ako.
Natawa ang mga pinsan ni Ju lian at tinapik ito. Hindi okay. Then someone hugged me. Reall y stared at me. Emotional stress. Hindi sila matapobre like what I d expected. The patriarch of the Sunico family. Pinilit kong tumayo mula sa malaking kama. Then he stopped crying. Our baby he might be He frantically cupped my stomach tenderly. My eyes searched for Julian. Drake. I froze in place. At nalaman kong kaya lang sila nan dito ay dahil sa Angko ni Julian Julian s grandfather was sick. I heard that one. n o. Emotional stress. Oh m y. Ngumiti ito at inabutan ako ng wineglass. Tricia ey ed me curiously. Are you sure. What have I gotten my self into? Tapos bumalik ulit ito at hinawakan ang kamay ko. Nakatingin ako sa batang naglalagkit ng chocolates. He looked real worried. kay a ikaw Julian take care of Jean. Uncle I w hispered tentatively. Oh. Then I saw Julian and Tricia talking quietly fr om a corner. Imo Jean! I almost groaned aloud. Tahimik lang ako. He looked at me then started hiccupping. darling? You got me worried We ll go to the nearest hospital. NO! He was holding Tricia s hand. The man who had bear-hugged me earlier. So he s Tantan? I groaned inwardly. `Pagpasok namin ay niyakap ako isa-isa ng mga kamag-anak ni Julian. Gusto kong maniwala Julian gusto ko. Are you sure. Sa sobrang inis ko binitawan ko siya. There stood Julian s grandfather . Tantan smiled up at me. eh? Pagpasensyahan mo ang apo ko Jean. What the hell is happening here?! Unti-unti akong tumingin sa hagdanan. Na parang hinipan lang ng hangin. ganyan din ako ng pinagbubuntis ko si Tantan. . God Sssshhh Tantan don t cry. But I m not that stupid. you re okay? Tanong ni Uncle Jin. And sadly the divorce of Julian s parents caused the Sunico patriarch to dis own his eldest son. Hija! Kamusta ka na? Too sad. and the res t I couldn t very well remember their names. He was the old man in the pictures! With Julian. I just smiled. Un cle Jin was his father s cousin. Alam mo cous. no. Me. At apo nito si Tantan. Kahit isa sa ka nila hindi ko alam ang pangalan. Hindi ko ineexpect ito. I m okay. Kung hindi ko pa ala m in my peripheral vision I saw her. Lahat sila naka palibot sa `kin. Then I started hiccupping. clearly. Parang ito ang pumalit sa pwestong iniwan ng papa niya. Wala na `kong nagawa. I smiled at the old man. Hindi ko na kaya. I opened my eyes slowly. Me. Aunt Risan. Tantan I gritted my teeth while s miling. My throat was dry. H indi naman ako pinanganak na sinungaling kaya nagi-guilty din naman ako sa pamil ya ni Julian. Nananaginip ba `ko? Sa panaginip ko Julian was worried sick about me. O kay lang po. EIGHT Jeannie! Jeannie! Damn Jeannie darling please wake up. Some smiled at me. Ayoko na. Hindi ba ako titigilan ng batang ito? Kinarga ito ng matandang l alaki. So Juli an s words were asking him to kiss him? Was that it? Oh. My gaze was fixed on the grand staircase. Then Tantan kissed my nose. Nagkalat ang chocolates sa mga kamay ko. Imo Jean let s play. Para akong hihimatayin. NOT MINE! I fainted. Tantan. No make-believe baby. I didn t make it on your wedding day. Nasan ako? Julian cupped my cheek softly.Hello Tantan dangsin-i samchon jullian-i cheos kiseu wonhaneun geos-il sudo? You might want to kiss Uncle Julian first Nakahinga ako ng maluwag ng umalis ito sa pagkakayakap sa mga hita ko. Imo Jean Yumakap ulit ito. si Uncle Jin. Nakita ko ang mukha ni Julian. Me. Imo Jean s-sorryy My eyes watered. He grasped my hand. He stared at me. Kumiss ito kay Julian. They were almost all half-filipinos half-koreans. You re not Imo Jean! You re not Imo Jean! He started wailing. Celine smiled at me. Si Celine. Tama . I wanted to g o home. No nothing. Anak siya ni Uncle Jin. like the way Julian stared at me when he was suspicious. You missed aunt Jean. No Tricia. Napansin ko ang closeness ni Julian kay Uncle Jin.
His rheumy eyes were still clear. Jean nie Nakita ko si Tricia. Ano `to stare-a-thon? The muscle on his jaw flexed furiously. Bulong ko. I was sudd enly afraid. Hindi niya `ko maririnig na magmakaawa. Sadly. Pilit kong iniaatras ang katawan ko papuntang headboard. pati ako naguguluhan. Eh. Na para bang ako ang may kasalanan ng lahat. ang pangalan ng pamilya mo . Jeannie Will you please go away from me? I murmured angrily as Julian touched my shoulder. I looked over my shoulders Lamp shade? Brush? No! I can t hurt him. Overwhe lming anger and desolation. it felt wrong and delicious. At least not physically. You ruined both our lives. O nag-aalala ba talaga? Tinalik uran ko siya. No that would stomp my damned pride. as if mocking me. Is there something wrong. Tatakbo ako mula sa gilid ng hapitin niya ang bewang ko. Ang mga mata nito. wala siyang kara patan magalit. I sighed. He became withdrawn. My God. M y hands were trembling violently. Let s get her to rest. Tinanggal ko iyon ng humarap ako sa kanya. The corner of his lips twitched lazily. sonja? Napatingin ako sa mukha ng Angko ni Julian. Julian don t do this. But there was definitely something about his grandfather t hat made me fear him. And g oodness. Diyos ko. Realization hit me all at once. He didn t quite budge. Pero dinaganan niya `ko . His whole body was covering mine. Na parehong meron kay Julian. I know an insult when I heard one. Ako. I pushed him hard on the chest. he was clad with his Levi s Ganon kabilis.At sana hindi dumating `yung panahong I d start really hating you. And let s face reality may mahal kang ib a. Nagti tigan kami. Very much like Julian. right? And you re a hypocrit e. Napalunok ako. Jeannie. Pero lalo niya lang hinigpitan. Right. The rise and fall of my chest rubbed against his. I saw red. He di dn t look as if he was sick. Niyakap ako ni Tant an sa leeg. Julian s face darkened. Please Julian Tama ka. He wouldn t hurt me. Wala n a `kong pakialam kung magalit siya sa `kin. They were both alike. parang nag-aalala siya. Galit na tinitigan niya `ko. Gi namit kita. And it hit right through the core. Niyakap niya `ko. Pagsalba man lang ng pride. mapapatawad ko na sana `tong batang `to. Ginamit kita para makuha ko ang gusto ko. Hindi naman ako nasaktan dahil malambot ang malaking kama. Now. What s wrong? I bit my lower lip from shouting at him. I was amazed at what he had done next pabalyang itinulak ako ni Julian sa kama. Parang bigla akong natakot sa itsura ni Julian. Sa likod ng isip ko nakikita ko sila ni Tricia. Julian seemed like the very devil himself. My heart was thundering. His fists clenched. Authority. At may mahal din akong iba. Do I need consent in raping my wife. Ewan ko. Nobody assiste d the old man. Bakit ako masasaktan? Siguro kasi natatapakan pride ko bilang babae. I m already doing this. I screeched and clawed his face. Hindi ako makahinga sa bigat niya. Parang naiiyak na `ko. 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. May tungkod ito. His face was so close I c ould smell his breathing. Sabi nito sa mataas na tinig. Gigil na itinaas nito ang baba ko. darling? He said in sarcasm. tukso layuan mo ako! Julian no My eyes grew wide. He pulled off his coat. Insensitive cad! What s wrong? Ha! Yes! Everything s wrong you. di sana hindi tayo parehong nakatali sa kasal na ikaw mismo ang may gawa. He s got grit and pride. Ju lian was dead serious. Magkaya kap. . Because I m good at giving back to charities and you re one of them. Are you going to rape me? I whispered angrily. You love Brad. Kulang na lang maging ab o ako sa apoy na nilalabas non. Arrogance. Sana nanlimos ka na lang sa `kin. Umiiyak ang huli. I gasped. Narinig ko ang pagsara ng pinto. Nagpapakatanga ba talaga ako? He was taking his clothes off one by one. me and Tricia! I clenched my teeth. In the first place. Well. Nakita kong unti-unt ing nag-iiba `yung expression niya. para makuha ko ang titulo ng bahay namin. Inihiga niya ` ko sa kama. But oh my. My eyes grew wide I thought it might p opped out. Taas noong tumingin ako sa kanya. No! O. Natakot ako bigla.
Th e soon-to-be patriarch of Sunicos. Something I felt strongly. Hindi niya kailangang magsalita para mari nig ko `yun. Julian? Julian? We both turned at the frantic sound at the door. Nakita ko si Tricia na nakatingin sa `min habang nasa labas ng ICU. Carnally. I closed my eyes ti ghtly. yet I couldn t name . Napatingin kami sa doctor. But it only ignite d something more more that I wanted. Ang mukha ng lolo ni Julian. Nanghihina na `ko. Sanjo come here. We were in a war. I tried hard to close my mouth from his i nvasion. Then he kissed me. Uncle Jin s mouth was slacked. Julian! Angko s rushed to the hospital. Sa pagkabigla ko Oh my God! I cried out. Marahan niyang hinimas ang tyan ko. I saw the bitterness written all over his face. No one owns me He claimed my mouth not too gently. Nagsabog ang buhok ko sa k ama at sa mukha ko. `Yung parang tinatawag na ni Sa n Pedro. Na para bang magkakaroon ng Wo rld War III. I hate him. Without clothes on now. Ho? Julian pushed me. I started crying. We were still in Korea. He was already kissing me. . parang biglang nag-init ang buong paligid. Julian Sunico and his wife. Ganoon ba `ko kababaw? Sinisigawan niya `ko lagi. He roughly tore my blouse off me. Not l ike this Julian! Then his lips trekked down my neck. My God. No. Touching my stomach.Tumaas lang ang kilay niya. Then he went out of the door. Pilit akong nagpupumiglas mula sa hawak niya . And I felt a little sympathy for this old man even though I had met him a few hours ago. SAVAGELY. Open up for me Jeannie His voice was hoarse. And now I love hi m. The buttons popped. Surely. I opened my mouth to protest. But I did. War of emotions. He was tense. I shouldn t be feeling this way. In bed with a man who thought I was someone else. But the devil was kissing me. And I couldn t help falling for him. I was half-naked. He was now the heir. Umiiyak na ang mga pinsan nitong babae. Para akong masosuffocate sa loob ng hospital suite. Galit na sinabi nito. Then his hands were there touching me. I love Brad I love Brad I shouted at him. Parang gusto kong yakapin si Julian. Tahimik lang si Julian . Angko Julian and him spoke quietly in Korean language. His hand clutched the side of my neck. And I bet he hated the responsibility. No Yes no then he was claiming what he shouldn t. You re mine. openly. It was like I couldn t do anything anymore. Then he looked down at me at my bare shoulders and flimsy black underthings. And I tasted blood there. we weren t in pu rgatory. Ro ughly. She was just a family fr iend. He wanted to see Mr. Wala na siyang ginawa kundi sa ktan ako. Gusto k ong sabihing family matter `to. JUST. His eyes were blazing Then he fisted my hair up that tilted my face in the air. Then his lips landed on the side of my neck. Tapos hinawakan niya `yung kamay ko. Pilit kong iniiwas ang mukha ko. Then he kissed me th ere. wala kang karapatan dito . You love Brad? Let s see. He was trying to hide the p ain. Itinulak ko siya ng malakas. War of heat. then tears one by one pooled down my eyes. Hungrily. He s dying! We went to the hospital as soon as we got our clothes on.
why didn t you tell me? He gritted his teeth. I couldn t help being left out. Promise. I shook my head. Eh. I m old but I m not stupid. Promise me. It was too swift. It s over. Before we knew it. Promise me. I was kinda shocked. Tahimik lang siya these past few days. Promise. The Old patriarch of Sunicos were now gone. Julian! Celine said authoritatively. With me. whatever happens take care of Julian. I heard you are good at painting. Alam ko kung pano magalit ang leon. Natatakot ako. We were out of the embassy when we saw Julian s father. Parang gusto kong maawa dito. He needs you. 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. I nodded. Julian moved forward. nasasaktan din ako. Then his hand went limp. At isa pa. Nakita ko ang biglang p agmutla ni Uncle Jin. What is over Jin? You tell me! You know it would never be over unless Galit na siga w nito at tumingin kay Julian. `wag naman sana. Jeannie could paint. I wished you could paint the whole family. Pero ako si ako si Jean. I know I know He chuckled hoarsely. no. Uncle Jin tried to pacify h im. Syempre. Julian s father was red about the face. I m sorry. Natatakot akong bak a hindi ko matupad ang promise ko kay Angko. But he gave me that look that said back off . Para kaming . What if what if Julian turned to his father in anger? O h. Yakapin. Kay Tric ia lang. meaning almost all of the Sunicos. Promise me His voice was ho arse. Gusto kong sabihing ako? Ako pa ang mananakit kay Julian? Apo niya nga talaga it o. Hmm He took my hand. Umiyak na `ko. At least. I wanted to tell him. Pinagtitinginan na kami ng mga tao sa paligid. Julian never needed me. His wrinkled chinky eyes seemed tired. He s dead. went back to the Philippines. hindi naman ako ganon kasama. Ayokong ako pa ang maging dahilan ng pagkamatay ni Angko. Ho? Para na akong parrot na paulit ulit. Hindi man ako inborn na mabait. Cremated. Will you get out of here? You re not a Sunico! Julian hissed silently. you ll never hurt him.Angko He smiled sadly. NINE Julian was withdrawn the whole burial service. Please make my sanjo happy h-he h-he had the full responsibility now. Too fast. Aunt Risan looked worried. After the third day. With Tricia. What the hell Ang hirap pumagitna sa mga nag-uumpugang bato. Jin. My eyes grew wide. we. pano kung balikan ako ni Ang ko? Diyos ko. naniniwala akong bumabalik ang mga kaluluwa kung may unfinished business. Gusto ko siyang lapitan. I-comfort.
this is the right time to do that? I I don t know. Anong panama ko kay Tricia? She knew a lot. Pero paano ang panga ko mo kay Angko Jeannie? Hindi ko na kaya. Hindi ka si wonde rwoman. Ako?. Mapagpanggap ka. Sabi nila. Wala talagang mabuting idulot si CM. I felt exhilarated. Tricia was with him.. We ll have a press conference later. mag-boyfriend at uminom. I remembered telling Jean this: Jean `wag mong i-save ang mundo. But you know what? I still wanted to reach out to Julian. I d tell him later about everything. Sa tingin mo. Pwede ng makulong. you know. May kumatok. She understood him about his family. Hello? Wow. gwapo pala ni Julian Sunico I w ouldn t wonder why Tricia chose him over me. When I turned eighteen. artista ka na. Painful. They have reasons. At lalong hindi ko na kailangang magsinungaling na may project par a lang payagang gumala. I saw Tricia squeezed his hand. Independent. Wala ng dialogue na bata ka pa . Inayos ko ang gown ko sa harap ng salamin. sa pagkakatanda ko never kang pinagnasaan ni Tricia back in New York. I rolled my eyes. I bit my lower lip. I saw the headlines. I gritted my teeth. My phone vibrated. Ayoko na. Julian please stop it.. She was crying now. What! Think it over Jeannie. Iyak ng iyak si Tantan ng magising. I was mourning my heart out. totoo naman palang sinabi nila. Aunt Risan phoned someone. Why? Kasi feeling ko malaya na `ko m ula sa manipulasyon ng parents ko. CM I ll talk to you later. Ano naman nandyan naman si Tricia! He would feel betrayed. The n there were papparazzis. Hi Oh. Because he needed it t hough he wasn t asking it. Dumating ang mga bodyguards ni Uncle Jin. Tricia smiled at me. I know I m committing two of the seven deadly sins. Sunico. I chose black. CM. Julian closed his eyes. and men will always be boys at heart. Susuko na ba talaga ako? My hands were cold. LEGAL. Magpabuntis ka kaya kay papa Brad? I cut the line off. Tamang tama para sa okasyon. CM I would tell him the truth. Excuse me lang Carlo Miguel Jr. Para akong naestatwa. Where the hell had they come from? Tricia hugged him from behind. Then I sighed. At ang hitad tumawa pa. What do you think will Julian feel? Another blow? Dammit. Nasa kabilang sasakyan si Uncle Jin kasama sina Celine at Tantan. Pero ang m agulang ay magulang. There was more to this than I couldn t put a finger on. Pero anong ginagawa ko? Gusto kong protektahan si Julian. Muy. Hindi. At hin . Julian was remote. I took a step back in horror. Ilang beses ko na bang sinabi: Wala a kong balak sundan ang yapak ni Rizal. Wala ng curfew. wala. Hindi ko siya ma-t ake. Nagpapawis. I know. Where s your sense of honor dad? Sana hindi na lang kita naging tatay! Julian was making guttural sounds. Mas matalino sa `yo kapatid mo.nasa slow motion scene habang nakita namin kung pano tumaas ang kamao ni Julian sa mukha ni Mr. Tonight. Talo ako. I gave up. Don t cause any more scandal than we have now Even Celine was c rying. Wrath and envy. At lalong hindi ako magtataka kung ba kit siya pinikot ng kapatid mo. I gave up Juli an. However unreasonable it may be . Like I was an altogether different person. She looked pretty and sophiscated in her pink dress. Eve rything. hindi ako nagi ng mabuting anak.. women have a nurturing nature. In fairness ha. 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. And I never wanted to run for an ulirang anak awardee. Ako? I felt alien. God.
I saw him tensed. Had Jean c . I blushed. I want to have a big family. I was out looking for Julian. The ot her hand on his pocket. If you don t. Kumain na tayo. You . Lumabas na ako at pumunta sa conference room. It s alright. And I promise you My jaw dropped. I swallowed. Three days ago. Tsk. Please take care of Julian. I wan t this marriage to work. Dahil sa pagkaparalyze ko hindi ako makapag-react. My eyes grew wide. Nothing more. me and our baby. Brad. I shrugged. And his voice like hell. That s a mistake. My God. Jok e lang ni Brad. Lumapit ito. You re blushing. And in that moment. Patatawarin kita sa ginawa mo. Three. Oh. Ikaw Jea nnie mag-prepare ka na. his tux on one hand. Maganda naman ako. Two steps. Parang nanlamig ang buong pagkatao ko. Jeannie I I shrugged and went forward. Julian? I smiled and turned around to see Brad?! You called me last night. Pero tao lang po ako. Tricia ayokong makipagplastikan. Sa ginawa niyong magkapatid. Then I tried to smile at him. Oh. Just a peck. I tiptoed and wrapped m y arms around his neck. Tapos nanlaki `yun g mga mata ko. Thirty minutes. Parang sirang plaka. Parang namanhid `yung buong katawan ko. Alam ba ng lahat? You knew? She nodded. Lumiko ako sa kabilang room. Bakit hindi ko pa sabihin lahat? She smiled at me. Bakit hindi ka dumating? Ano?! Ano bang pinagsasabi nito? Was he into drugs also? Dahil sa kagandahan ko? Ang lupit talaga ng kamandag ko. L ike hell. Julian let go of my hand. Then I remembered what happened. Hindi rin naman kita gusto. I m with Julian last night and I was wrong Jean! Once run away with me. Tricia cupped Julian s cheek! Kitang kita ko `yun mula sa salamin. Kasabay ng paglabas nito ng pinto. Gutom na `ko. Touching my closed lips light against his. I d rather eat you for dinner. I closed my eyes and kissed hi m. my eyes squinted. It was deserted. Tuta l huling gabi ko na ito. I love you. A fresh start. Wala akong dapat ikahiya.Ito ba ang k aya mong i-give up? Akala ko ba si Eba ang dahilan kung bakit nagkasala ang buon g daigdig. he was inviting me to taste the forbidden app le. I d tell him tonight. had I? Jean always t old me how transparent I am. His han ds automatically wrapped around my waist. Kaya nga nagtataka ako kung bakit magaling din akon g magsinungaling. Parang gustong lumabas ng puso ko. I ll take Julian away from you. I don t feel good around you. Pilit kong inaalis ang mga kamay ni Brad sa bewang ko. Jeannie He groaned. Not personally. One step. A slow grin played about the corner of his lips. Uncle Jin said from out of nowhere. This was one big hell of a joke. He clutched at me frantically. Parang naririnig ko pa `yun. Ano ba Jeannie! Magtino ka nga Para kang naka-drugs. you know me.ihiling kong sana y hindi ko na makita ever si Tricia. You don t have to wor Julian was leaning gorgeously against the doorframe. I wanted t o spit fire at her. I couldn t risk being seen with him. I rea lized one thing: Hindi ko kayang i-give up si Julian! Dinner time. I I ve always been alone. Thirty minut es later. Julian! For Christ s sake! The reporters are already here. Lumingon ako. I sucked in my breath. If you don t. But beca use you took Julian from me. Tumalikod na siya. Breathe out. parang hindi naman. Tricia was challenging me. Nagulat ako ng biglang may yumakap sa`kin from behind. no! I hadn t said my thoughts aloud again. I m not a hypocrite Jeannie. I ll take Julian away from you. Ayan. I know it s you Jeannie. Later His eyes burned pr omise. He was a bit taken aback.
iba ang pakahulugan sa `kin non dati. Someone gasped. I saw something luha? No. my jaw almost dropped. I m sorry. Siguro h indi niyo ko maiintindihan. No response. Parang biglang nawala ang lakas ng loob ko. Si Brad. his deadly glance. I failed Angko. Hindi ba dapat nagse-celebrate siya at hindi na . He was sitting on his swivel chair. Julian open this damned door! Ma am What! I tried to calm my nerves. I failed Tricia. Flashes of cam era. His eyes. ang lola ng lola ko ang p amangkin ng anak ni Gabriela Silang. I clutched at his arm. ma am sabi po ni sir. Twice. Ahm. O dapat pang sabihin. Pwede pala kaming friends. Jeannie. Th e reporters were forgotten. Hindi niya kasalanan. Mas kaya ko pang i-handle ang galit na Julian. I m setting you free. I wasn t knocking now. Since. Unless you fell in love like this. Even though you couldn t define it. Yes. Nakataas ang paa nito sa drawer. Ako si Jeannie Rose Leviste. Once. Julian lis ten to me! I pleaded. Set us free. Eh. Kapag bukas ko ng pinto madilim. Then he walked away. I failed. Okay. 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. Hindi ko na natapos kung ano man ang sasabihin ko. Posible pala. The paparazzi. For the win pala itong si Tricia! Naiiyak na sana ako nun eh. And opened the damned door. Tapos may humawak ulit sa braso ko. Then the door opened. No! Bakit hindi ako makasigaw? Julian turned to me. Then he turned his back on me. I thought it was in the movies or telenovelas. At natakot ako kasi. I caused another scandal. The Great JULIAN SUNICO wouldn t cry over a woman. I d us e the word banging now. Hindi dapat mandamay ng inosent eng nilalang. `Wag gambalain? Bakit ano bang himala ang ginagawa niya sa loob? Gigil kong sabi. Sabi ni mommy. My heart stopped. Oh my God. What I saw in his face tore my heart into pieces. mahalaga pala ako sa kanya. Unless you knew wh at love really meant. Julian She loves me Julian. Feeling ko masusuka a ko. `wag daw po siyang gambalain. PAIN.alled him last night? No Brad listen I m not Jean Rose. Bakit ko ba naisipang mag-give up? I never had that in my v ocabulary. Jean what the hell do you think are you doing to me? TEN I knocked on the door. I turned on the lights and saw Julian s back. Kay Julian. Tumakbo ako palabas. NO over me. by the end of the day I wouldn t wonder if I woul d be six feet underground he was going to kill me. I m He was already kissing me! My head spin. Nawala na ang overdramatic mood ko kanina. And I hurt Julian. Ah ewan. The door was locked. I would underst and if he showed anger. Tricia we re regarding me with an accusing stare. No It hurt as I stared coldly at his back. Bwisit na b inabalibag ko na ang pinto. Tricia yelled at me earlier in the ho tel suite and took me out of my reverie. `Yung pag-aagawan naming `yu ng bidang lalaki. 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. May pills kaya itong dala sa loob? Wire? Rope ? Knife? Grabe naman. WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK ARE YOU DOING?! Tricia half-screamed half-whispered. Julian Na kita ko ang nagsabog na mga beer bottles. Para akong pinagbagsakan ng langit at lupa. I stood there motionle ss. Julian! I gritted my teeth in anger. Nalunok ko pa ata ang nanunuyot kong laway. Wala siyang alam! No! I whispered. I swore my life was doomed as Julian stared coldly at me.
I m not talking to your back.. Payag na `ko. Second time. With consent bosom. I hated to admit it. He always did that that menacing steps. If we re going to do it. His eyes glinted. the more he lashed . Bulong ko. Payag na `kong magpa-rape sa `yo Julian.. I blinked thr ice. Julian listen to me I want to come clean. Payag na `ko. His teeth gritted. Ayan. Hindi. here in the library. bakit Jeannie may kasama namang alak kapag nagse-celebrate `di ba? Hell. My eyes grew wide. Bad `yan ha. Mas nakakahiya naman kung ako pang humigit sa kanya sa kama `di ba? Oh. I whispered and swallowed sharply. I swore Julian s eyes grew wide. Then I took his hand and put it on my I swallowed first. And then his big hand gripped me. Ang mga butones ng polo shirt nito ay nagkandakalas. Tumawa ito na parang nang-aasar. n o. Then his err erri ng hand cupped my hmm. Lumaki ang mga mata ko. The first time. I want an annulment. I m right. Na para bang bago pa sa `kin `yun. The tic on his adam s apple moved. There. eh `di tinab lan ka ngayon! I wanted to shout victory. was I? His eyes squinted anew. Men are men. Screw. Hindi ito lu milingon. Oh. Nabasa ko `ya n before. we ll only be screwing. He started laughing demonicall y. Oh lord. Parang nag-init ang punong tenga ko. I felt him moved a little. At galit na tumayo ito. Bosom is for inbred ladies. Gusto ko sanang sabihin `yun. Nababaliw na ata talaga ako. Dalagang Pilipina ako no. You wanted out of this marriage because of that SOB. I swallowed against his deathly grip. Naglalabasan na ang ugat nito sa leeg. Bingi ba ito? Ayoko. I was that desperate. The more he was hurt.gpapakalasing? Eh. no t down but up. Whatever. Bakit mo ipagpipilitan ang sarili mo sa `kin kung nandyan naman si Brad? Parang biglang bumalik ang animosity nito. He swung the swivel chair roughly. D ry. Hoarse. I put it on my na. Papayag ka din sa a nnulment. Up to my neck. Tapos lumapit siya sa `kin. Sabi ko. He was trying to intimi date 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. Ang mga singkit niyang mat a lumaki at bumilog. I should have known. darling making love is only women s term. Ju lian. I gulped Could n t I just look up and not on his chest. Julian What! Pack your things and get out of my house! He whispered angrily. His brow arched. I winced at the brutal words. His neck tie was scattered on the desk. Hindi ako magpapatakot sa damuho nato. Why wasn t he doing a thing? We were just standing there him touching me. You fvcking love him. give me strength. At hindi napagi-iwanan si Julian! Did he think his w ords would hurt me? Kilala ko na siya. My I sighed silently. they were born w ith long and sharp tongues. `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. See? He laughed out mockingly. three days ago. That chest would hav e been illegal to cover! Payag na `ko. Then his hand moved. He caressed my neck gently . What the hell do you think are you doing? I was amazed. Alam ko kasalanan `tong gagawin ko. Nataob ko ang bataan. didn t you? Wouldn t you scream his name if we were going to To make love? I supplied nervously. My eyes grew wide. It was a little bit awkward and delicious? I moaned inwardly.
Rape nga `di ba Inis kong sabi. given. amoy tsiko na. Hin di ako nagagalit. What is it hija? She smiled at Julian. Good morning Philippines! Good morning World! Good morning mommy! I kissed Mrs. Your bestfriend? Lumingon sa `kin si Julian. Tawa ng tawa sa `kin mommy ni Julian. I wouldn t be bothered by his cruel words. O isa lang talaga lagi `yung expression niya.back. May batas na ba dito sa bahay ang bawal ngumiti Jules? I saw his teeth gritted. I turned around before opening the door. My mommy smiled. I pouted. Ang hininga niya. Ang tanong paano ko manganganak? Paano kung hindi ako pumayag? He shrugged and took to his drinking again. If I kill you there would b e justice. Tapos tinitigan niya `ko. We ll ha ve an annulment after you give birth. Our mommy now. Wit h her mom. Then I heard a loud crash. Tinanggal nito ang kamay sa leeg ko. Then from the do orway came Oh my God. I could see that. He wiped his mouth with a napkin. Ano pa bang dapat sabihin? Julian became withdrawn again. Su nico on the cheek. Negative vibes. God. Julian kissed my mom s cheek. Akala lang nila si Jean ang matalino no. it didn t matter. Biglang tumaas `yung sulok ng bibig nito. It was like I could take on the world. Mukang masarap ang tulog mo hija Too bad I hadn t seen Julian s grandfather. Nagkatinginan kami ni Julian. Anong nginingiti-ngiti mo dyan? Ano bang problema nito? Panira ng araw. Tapos umupo na kaming lahat. Kailangan kong malaman ang d eepest and darkest secret nila malay mo. He was pus hing me away. Para tuloy may nagsasabi sa `king may hindi mangyayaring maganda. thank you for stopping Julian from killing me last night. You wouldn t do that. Balae? Napalunok ako. So how are we going to do it? Sa desk? Sa couch? Sa ibabaw ng counter? What he was doing was scaring me off. Ganon din si Julian. Parang outsider din ang mommy ni Julian sa family Sunico. Do you know what I want to wring your lovely neck right now. Parang gusto kong manghina. Must have been the china vase that caused millions. He said very politely. And take note: with consent. CM? Mommy? Marahan akong tumayo at ngumiti sa kanila. Tinitigan n iya `ko ng masama. Good morning mommy. I whispered. so my mommy s here. Yes. Ahm . mas mayaman ka kay Brad? I smiled b!tchily at him. And you can marry your SOB of a lover. Tapos tinitigan ni ya si CM mula ulo hanggang paa. mommy. Seven months. Morning. And one more thing Julian. I bet he was wondering what on earth was happening to me. She s Jeannie s bestfriend. Mommy Ma am. Shut up Jeannie . Ah Julian si CM. Dapat talaga naglagay ako ng banga sa harap ng p intuan para hindi nakakapasok ang masasamang espiritu sa bahay nila Julian. At siya? He didn t even g ive me a glance. Bakit kita hihi walayan eh. Hindi ako nagtatatalak sa kanya. I whispered. At isinara ko ang pinto. para may maipam-blackmail ako kay Julian . Julian you can t run away from me. ako din kaya. may psychic ability kam i nitong si Julian. Baliw na kaya ako? Kapag baba ko ay nakita kong nagbebreakfast na sa lanai si Julian. Hindi ko alam kun g bakit energetic ako at masaya. I secretively smiled. Paano mo `ko papakinabangan kung patay na `ko? He sighed. M arami naman siyang pambili eh. But what the hell was CM doing in here? Sabi ko na nga bad vibes. Oo nga po. Inaalagaan mo bang maigi itong si Jean? He snorted. Minsan naiisip ko. Napaka-contagious ng aura nito. Itinaas niya ang baba ko. Okay. sir may bisita po kayo.
Politics. Inabot niya sa `kin ang isang maliit na paper bag. Tinitigan ko siya.Yeah. Then I made mewling sounds like I w as going to throw up. I m glad to finally meet you CM ex tended his hand toward Julian. Julian was still scrutinizing me. CM s eyes grew wide. Feeling ko lulubog ako sa kahihiyan. Jean Rose finished commerce. I smiled too sweetly. CM an o ba `yang pabango mo ang baho! Itinulak ko si CM. Tapos bigla akong humawak sa tyan ko. How dare you CM ! What is it? My mom asked. Parang nanigas ang panga ko sa pag-smile. Bottle B. Tapo s sumabog ang laman niyon sa lamesa. errr Masusuka ata ako. Usap. A box of chocolates. Ahhh. Then I gasped softly. My mom bit her lower lip. Suspicious. I know you ll surely love it. halika na t mag-breakfast na tayo. Weather forecast. CM smiled at me. In front of me was a box of chocolate-flavored c-o-n-d-o-m-s! ELEVEN My hands trembled. I smiled at Julian s mom. I forgot to give my gift. Julian. Anong gagawin ko? Wala akong alam! Ano ano nga pala ang mga pinaglilihian mo hija? Parang hindi naman siya naglilihi. Barakong barako. Tumabi sa `kin si CM. 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! . kitang-kita ang pagkabuhay ng katawang lupa ni CM sa mga mata niya. I opened the paper bag. hija? What k ind of chocolate? A box of chocolates. And fashion Lahat nag-uusap save Julian. Pero hindi eh. God. Ah. T sismis. Two vials. Julian butted in. Hinimas ni mommy ang likod ko. Na para bang ewan ko.. May ipapatayo nga pala akong business hija. Pinanlakihan ko siya ng mga mata. Bottle A. Tila ayaw pa ng makisama! Ganyan din ako ng nagbubuntis ako kay Julian hija I smiled secretively. Ang mga mata ni Julian parang lobo. how could I? Kung mommy ko pa m ismo ang nagtutulak sa `king gawin ito. It was now or never. Sh!t. Tumaas ang kilay nito. Napatayo silang tatlo. Julian tugged my hand. What the hell? Mom what s this? Pills. He snorted at me. Biglang binawi ni CM kamay niya at tumuwid ng tayo. Oh? Naalala ko tutal tapos ka naman ng business administration. sorry. Let me see. Here. We re bestfriends. Hindi ko gusto `yung tingin niya sa `kin. Balae. Julian raise d one brow at me. Later everybody was well and good. Really. Ayokong bitawan ang paper bag. Ay grabe. Jeannie. It was like a tug o war between us.. Tinakpan ko ang bibi g ko. Ang boses. Plan A and B. Ni hindi man lang hinimas `yung likod ko! Ahm talaga po? Maganda `yan. He eyed Julian like my husband was the meal. Makakatulong `yan in future references. . Actually may mga gay friends din kami sa New Ahurm. I m not very particular with gays. Really? One brow arched. so why don t you take on the job? Bigla akong nahirinan.
. Then I reached out to h im. Mayamaya lang I felt something pierced within my tummy. May pupuntahan tayo. This is this is Grabe. I hissed. magtatanggal ng damit. salamat sa singahan. Kun g hindi ko pa alam. She s giving me a dose of ahm. O kaya magbula bigla ang bibig niya. My God. Pero sa isip lang `yun! Huwag kang magnakaw. Para alalayan ako. He g lanced at me boringly then shrugged. Ha? Anak ka ng magaling ang plano ni mommy! Breathe in. Lalong sumasaki t. My mom brushed an invisible tear on her left cheek. Hindi ba ganon ang pikot? Either that or ecstacy pills! NOT ADVISABLE. Sa sobrang inis ko yumakap ako kay Julian. Me? Jeannette Rose Le viste? Pumunta ako sa CR at naghilamos ng mukha. Jeannie! He gritted his teeth in horror. Pinipilit ko namang sundin ang sampung utos ni Go d. Shrugged! My God he was so inconsiderate. Magbihis ka na. Una lagi si papa God sa listahan ko kasunod lang si Julian na akala ata siya ang Diyos. 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. One hour later. Get dressed. Tears were starting to form again. Clean. mabango. Huwag papatay. Dammit. Thank you. Respetuhin mo ang iyong ama at ina. Don t pull that act on me Jeannie. Ako na pala si Angel Locsin. Para akong bata. Goodness. I gritted my teeth. Tapos tinignan niya `yung basang parte ng polo niya. magkukunwaring tulog sa tabi niya. Ikaw na lang. J eannie! What the I blew out on his polo shirt. Ni hindi man lang marunong kuma tok. Tapos bigla akong tinalikuran! Wow. Right at this moment I was wishing he could fall into a ditch. And he sla mmed the door to my face. Ano bang ginawa ko para parusahan ako ng Diyos Julian? Naging mabuting tao naman ako. Napakapit ako sa sink. malay ko ba baka sakaling pagtingin ko sa salamin iba na pala pagkatao ko. Ito give this to him one hour before you go to bed. Na glalawa na ang ilong ko kakasinghot. Okay na `ko. Breathe out. Grabe ang sakit-sakit talaga ng puson 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. Hindi ba Julian? Mabait naman ako bakit ako nagkakaganito? Ngawa ako ng ngawa.. `di ba? Ilang beses ko lang pinagpaplanuhang patayin si Julian sa isip ko. violation of human rights ang ginagawa ko sa sarili ko! Pwede kong kasuha n ang mga magulang ko. Tinignan niya `ko na para bang nababaliw na `ko. Magtat aka pa ba ako kung saan ako nagmana? Magaling ding umarte `tong mommy ko eh. Oh. karma na ba ito? Jeannie? Biglang bumukas `yung pinto. Okay lang sana kung hihiga ak o. Masama pakiramdam ko. In fairness. I smiled at him sweetly. Naiiyak na pinunasan ko ang mga mata ko. Viagra? As if Julian needed i t! Hindi naman ako magtataka sa kakayahan ni Julian kaya lang. It won t work this time. Tinitigan niya `ko. Masakit talaga sa may bandang puson. Tinuro ko `yung dibdib niya. Ano bang nangyayari sa `yo? Bakit ka ba sumisigaw? My eyes watered. Tapos parang namimilipit na naman ulit sa s akit. What do I need pills for? Anak there s no other way. . I winced in pain again. Pano kung napasukan niya `kong nagyu-urinate? Or worst nagbabawas ng sama ng loob? Oh? Gigil kong sabi. My eyes grew wide. Lobo na pala a ko at si Julian ang ihahapunan ko. He was so caring and v ery sweet! Gusto ko siyang ipapapak sa mga langgam.Alam ko.
The lines around his chink y eyes became soft. Naramdaman ko na lang na may yumuyug yog sa balikat ko. So sinamantala ko na. Malls. Ito ba ang dahilan? Napasigok ako. Pabalibag na tinanggal ko ang kamay niya sa balikat ko kahit disoriented pa `ko. we re here! My teeth clenched. Iba ang admiration sa lust. Mauuna ka sa `kin. I smirked and peer ed at the scenery outside. Ano ba `yan Ang bilis naman! Kung ano ano kasi iniisip ko. Julian Ano? Inis na lumingon siya sa `kin. Are you sure this one was Julian? He was lau ghing cheerfully. but his touch lessened the pain. Tap os bigla siyang tumawa. Does this me an I m going to hell also? I groaned inwardly. I pouted prettily. He cleared his throat. Nakapamulsa si Julian. Men never wanted to be termed weak a nd emotional. I wanted to sleep and never wake up. She smiled at me. Ahm no comment ako dyan. Masama talaga epekto sa `kin `pag -FOOL moon. My eyes grew wide. Establisments. Ano ba Hindi ko naman pinagnanasaan si Ju lian ah. Naramdaman kong may humihimas ng tyan ko. Isa lang bata pa naman tala ga siya. Someone pinched my nose. Huwag kang magnanasa sa hindi mo asawa. Kung hindi pa sigaw na tawag `yun eh ano? So bulong pa `yun ganon ? Huwag kang makikiapid sa hindi mo asawa. Parang bumata siya ng isang taon. Of course. 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. Naghahyperventilate pa `yung hormo nes ko. Parang gusto ko ng magpalahaw ng iyak. biglang nawala `yung antok ko. Tricia? Promise. Tricia I m sorry. Weird. Mood swings? Mero Buntis ka rin? Inirapan ko siya. He whispered. Naghihikab na sumunod lang ako sa kanya. Of course not. Not one of those demon laughs of his. Nagiging habit na a ta niya `yun ah. But I saw through his façade. Wala naman masyado. There was so much pain written in Julian s face. Alam niyo naman po `yung white lies `di ba God? Huwag kang magnanasa sa hindi mo pag-aari. Muntik na `ko dun. Mga walang puso. Pinagnanasaan mo ba `ko? He was astonished at first. Ano ba! I hated it. Hindi pa ako tapos sa drama ko I bit my lower lip. Oh. I didn t care when he stared at me in confusion. Mom told me that there would be times like this you getting emotional on me. Tumango lang ako as if saying go on . Grabe. Period. Bac kaches. Ano ba kasing masakit? Gusto kong mapaantanda. Hinimas-himas ko `yung puson ko. Honey AHEM! . I thought you re not coming. Bakit ka ba kasi iyak ng iyak? Napanguso ako. Nakita kong nakapagpalit na siya ng damit. Eh `di sana h indi mo sa `kin binigay si Julian! Ikaw din papa God ang may kasalanan. Awkward. NAIA? Oh. Hindi ko pa naman sinasabing supe r okay na kami ah. Parang tumataas ang altapresyon ko. Ang hirap maging babae. Liars go to hell. my God. Julian s voice became tender. Jeannie. Let s go. he didn t and would n t show it ever. No. Honey I Ahem! Lumingon sila sa `kin. Bak it hindi ko man lang nakita? Tsk. He sighed. Wala pa namang nangyayari sa `min ni Julian. Gusto nila sila ang hari. Sa puson.Hindi ako sumisigaw. Huwag kang magbibintang at huwag kang magsisinungaling. Wala pa. Tumaas ang kilay ko. I put his hand on the spot just below my ( `wag kulay berde) tummy. mood swings I snorted. Sumanda l ako sa upuan at hinimas niya `yung parte kung saan ko nilagay `yung kamay niya . I could see that. Ang aga namang punishment nito. Hindi ko napansin na nakatulog na pala ako. Assuming! I rolled my eyes. Can you please keep quiet? Lalong lumakas `yung hikbi ko.
Bulong ko habang sakay kami ni Julian pabalik. I looked at my nails innocently. In short. Too happy. Hindi ko siya pinansin. Okay lang? A token of farewell. Inirapan ko siya. H inimas himas ko ulit `yung puson ko. I was really rooted on the ground. layuan mo `ko! Mi nsan nga naiisip ko ipatanggal ko na lang kaya `yung uterus ko? Kaso kawawa naman sila mommy. May excuse ako para magkaganito. My God I was going crazy with pain. Then I heard my phone ringing. Friends! When you come back to New York. Ayoko. Nagyakap sila. She smiled at me. O.Julian glared at me. What for? Ipapakulam kita! You and Tricia. Julian raised his brow. Humarap siya sa `kin. wala naman siya dito? I sighed. Ha? Before I knew it. Hindi sila magkakaroon ng apo mula sa pinakamaganda nilang anak. ano p ang tinatayo tayo mo diyan? Uwi na tayo. Gusto mong pumunta sa heaven? He pursed his lips teasingly. The nerve! Akala ko ba friends na kami? Julian waved at her. TWELVE How would I continue with the plan if my fvcking hormones were raging on? Gusto kong magpagulong gulong sa pamimilipit sa sakit. It was only four in the afternoon. Meron argh. S ometimes he thought he knows what he s doing. Julian looked at me in horror. 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. We re just one of those cases of childh ood Korean sweethearts. Friends? Yeah. How absurd no I nodded. I swore I heard Tricia giggled. buntis ako. Sy empre second lang si Jean. But a kiss is a kiss! Then she started giggling as she took her bags with her. Suminghot ulit ako. do tell me. Our families expected us to marry since we were kids. Dysmenorrhia. Sana ma-solve mo na `y an. walang choice. I wanted to die. Argh. Ang kapal! I tried to calm my nerves. Ipinikit ko `yung mata ko. Talaga? Oo naman. . Makakaangal pa ba siya eh. Kasi naman may pangalan nam an `yung tao. Tapos lumapit siya sa `kin. Hind i ko sinasadya! I gritted my teeth. Nagulat ako when she hugged me. As in NOW. what have I done again? He sighed impatiently. Take good care of him. Lumapit ulit si Tricia kay J ulian. Niyakap niya `ko! Tumaas `yung kilay ko dun. Ano namang akala niya gagawin ko `yung ginawa ko sa kanya kay Tricia? I smirked. Wala na namang problema sa `kin `yun eh. Full moon. Hindi ko sinasadyang mapatingin sa labi niya. I saw red. H-hello? Jeannie! Ano?! Shopping tayo. She kissed Julian on the mouth! Just a peck. Oh.
Ingos ko sa kay Julian. Didn t I tell you not to talk to him again? Manong punta po tayo sa S. Sumandal ulit ako. Stupid. Nag-iisa na nga lang ang sanitary pad ko sa bag ko. Wait lang Julian! What? Virgin ka pa ba? . Fifteen minutes. Mall. kaya nga diba? Nandun ako! I saw her kissed you. Who s that? No one. Badtrip. We go home. Who on earth would give a con contraceptives as a gift? Nakikita kong lalong pan iningkit ng mga mata nito. Naintindihan mo ba ayoko ngan My eyes grew wide. Ceasarian? As in hiwa. I saw red! No Naiiyak na bulong ko. N ew establishment. Nahuli ko naman talaga sila ah! We just got used to it. So? Nasa Pilipinas tayo Jeannie! And who on earth would kiss a friend on the lips? He cleared his throat. Bakit pag-aari mo na rin ba `tong mall ha? Ha. Anong silbi mo? I rolled my eyes heavenward. Before I knew it. Oh. Sa huli ako pa rin ang sinunod ni manong at pumunta kami sa S. A t sa kutsilyo. He was going to get a tongue lashing from me. I said Sige na Jeannie shopping na tayo. Tap os hinigit niya `yung braso ko. wait! Nine months? Kelangan malaki na tyan ko nun. Who s that? CM. Bakit ba ako nagsuot ng pa lda? `Yung hanggang kalahating hita ko pa. I mean kelan gan manganak na `ko Don t worry Jeannie. Jeannie! He shouted authoritatively. He would submit me to the k nife. Nanghihinang sabi ko na ikinalingon ni Julian. He raised one brow and read the newspaper. Pano kung sabihin ko sa kanyang nag-suggest si CM na i-french kiss ko siya. It was huge and big. Try me. Matuwa kaya siya? In the states it is very common! Sigaw ko. You got used to kissing a friend on the lips? Namamangha kong sabi. Lecheng si CM. T-takot ako sa karayom. Sinisiguro kong mababaon siya ng buhay sa mura ko. His bark was always worse th an his bite. In amusement? Malamang magsha-shopping. Manong bababa na po ako. Eh Julian. no. I heard his footsteps behind me. Feeling ko lalo akong dudugu in kay Julian. I gulped. Ugh. Tapos umiwas ng mata na parang nahuli ko sa akto. nagpapanic kong sabi.Narinig kong bumuntunghininga si CM. I called Dr. Kung sa mga ganong klase ka ng tao sasama baka kung ano ano mapulot mong kalokoha n. The hell I care. He told me to meet up! Then what he was late. No. Hello Jeannie! I ll go shopping with you later. Umuwi na tayo. Jul ian grabbed my hand. Ah ganon. It was just a kiss. Seryoso ba ito? I looked at his face. Seryoso nga! Napahaw ak agad ako sa stain sa bandang crotch ko. Tricia is my ex! Until you came along. Lee yesterday I asked her kung pwede kang i-ceasa rian. Mall. Grabe. Eh. Fine. Afte r CM gave me the details where to the line went disconnected. I need to buy a nine-mo nth package. Inis na bumaba ako. Nagtataka lang ako what does S stand for? Anong gagawin natin dito? His lips twitched at the corner. Julian. he was leading me to a a baby section. 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. You cannot stop me.
wife niyo po? At feeling close! Julian smiled back at her. Ah yeah? At ikaw ang ama! Sumasakit `yung puson ko. Baka hinihintay na tayo ni CM. Kung tot oong buntis lang ako baka nakunan ako sa sobrang bwisit kay Julian. Iisa lang `yun! Ako lahat `yun! Tsk. hindi nak . Julian frowned. He stared fixedly at Jean. I couldn t sprout any more lies. H-hi s-sorry I wasn t able to to come to your wedding. Unti-unti akong napatingin sa tyan niya. We shook our heads in unison. She s my mistress. And why do you ask? Kasi demonyo ka. Biglang lumapit ang saleslady sa `min. right? Lumingon siya sa `kin tapos kay Jean. At sabi nila ang mga demonyo daw virgin pa.Julian was shocked. Pink or blue? Ha? Hindi pa nga natin alam `yung gender `di ba? My voice trembled. Parang nanghihinang napakapit ako kay Julian. You never told me your sister s here. He was eyeing me and Jean. Two and three weeks. Hindi bumenta. Ano bang dapat kong sabihin? Hey. No. I gasped aloud. Takp an ko kaya ng sako ang mukha ni Julian? Artistahin? Kaya lalong lumalaki ang ulo nito. Parang naguluhan. long time no see twin? Jeannie We both slowly turned at the voice. Ano bang meron? Parang feeling ko mahihimat ay na `ko kahit anong oras. How many months? Napatingin ito sa tyan ni Jean. Manipis pa `yun. Sir. Bwisit na buha y `to. For the life of me. Promise. wait `Di ba dapat maging masaya ako? Yeah kauuwi niya lang kahapon Julian. What the hell Kasi hindi ka pwedeng pumunta sa heaven. Masama pa na mang ginagalit ang babaeng kabuwanan. Pareho pala kami ng kuku nin. Jean nette is very busy. pareho kaming nagkulay papel ng kap atid ko. Excuse me? Gigil na sabi nito. Yumakap ako sa bewang niya. Pero meron mer on God. Julian He picked up a feeding bottle. Inis na naglalakad pa `ko. May lalaking paparating. Meron pa bang surprise? Ano pa ba? But my. Jean? Pinanlakihan ako ng mata ng kakambal ko. No! No! Halos mag-duet kami ng kapatid ko. nakatanga lang siya sa `kin. Paano ko sasabihin sa`yo eh. Kauu wi ko lang. Tumawa ako sa sarili kong joke. HAHA. At ngayon sumasakit `yung ulo k o. Na parang natatakot akong bawi in siya sa `kin ni Jean. Funny same with you Jeannie. Julian! I forced a smile upon my face. He knew?! He called you Jeannie! She mouthed when Julian s back was turned to her. ri ght. Nanlalaki ang mga mata ni Jean. He was with Jean! Vince? Vincent Gonzalo? Julian hissed. kill me now! I whispered. Ang kapal! Excuse me lang ha Parang lalabas `yung dugo ko. She s also pregnant? Jean and I both looked stupidly at the baby shoes. Gusto ko siyang sakalin. Parang ang corny ata ng joke ko. Inis na tinignan ko kung sinomang intrimitid It was like I was looking into my own wide eyes. Kahapon. I was about to pick up a a pair of baby shoes when a hand caught mine. Juli an squinted his eyes. Jean? Let s What the hell was happening? I almost groaned aloud. Biglang umayos ako ng tayo. Let s have lunch together. At siya? Tinitigan niya lang ako. everything save that it wasn t me! Jean?! Jeannie? Para kaming naestatwa. hindi ko rin alam?! Ahmm Napalunok ako. Ah yeah. She smiled sweetly at Julian. Pinaparusahan niyo ba talaga `ko God? Jeannie Jeannette. No. I didn t know him. my face. Yes. Oh.
kung i-seseduce . Bigla akong natakot. The guy smirked at him. Napangiwi ako at nag-aalalang tinignan ang hit a niya kung may sign ng dugo. Muntik na akong mapaubo. If you only knew Julian. Ever. Sasakalin talaga kita `pag tumakas ka pa! Jean honey. dinadasalan ko na ang lahat ng santo. Hindi ko na kailangang maging genius para malamang they weren t in good terms. Jeannie I won t go back to Julia n. I opened my mouth to say goodbye. But he s responsible. The two men looked astounded. I ll call you. I was wishing the floor would cave in and ea t me whole. He even courted Tricia. I forgot I was stepping into the great Juli an Sunico s lair. Pero wala talaga! I could only save me. I opened my mouth t o shout at him. I wasn t that bad to wish for her to have a miscarriage. Tinatawag ko na si Darna at si Batman. why don t you tell our lover boy here what we re doing here. Julian gave him a mocking smile.aligpas sa pansin ko magaling talagang pumili ang kapatid ko. Wife? Hinawakan ito ng mariin ni Jean. I should have known. Bodyguards. Pati ako hindi malaman ang gagawin. Jean nette. Julian I Vincent may pupuntahan pa tayo `di ba? My twin. I was an idiot. Jean took his hand. This one was oozing sex appeal. myself and I. So who s Michael? Definitely not Julian. Vince grinned maliciously at me. Natatakpan ko siya mula sa mga lalaki kaya hindi nila narin ig. Oh. Mabilis nitong niyakap si Jean at binuhat. Sino `yan? In fairness yummy ha. Vince ma y be a bastard son of a bi tch. Don t worry about her. You promised me She whispered. Afraid of the little woman? Oh The tough Vincent Gonzalo was afraid of his. By God.. 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. Jean wagged the man s arm. More like plead ed. Ngayon ko lang na-re alize. Julian! I screamed in panic. Then she purred groaned aloud. Bulong niya. He smirked.. 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. We re not yet through Sunico. No. I play fair. Julian Hinawakan ko ang braso niya. She was just shaking her head. Were they together? Obviously. Marahan akong lumingon. Iumpog ang ulo sa pader para matauhan. Lumapit agad a ko sa kakambal ko. Vince `yung tyan ko! Jean sobbed and cupped her stomach gently.Kung sa bagay. Vince let s go. Jean Bulong ko at hinila ko siya ng onti palayo. Conceited jerks! To our astonishment Vince started laughing. What the hell are you doing here? Julian stepped forward in anger. Niyakap ko siya. He laughed humorlessly. lagi na lang siya n akikipagkompitensya sa `kin. Halata ko ang takot sa mga mata niya. M ay tatlong lalaki sa likod nila ang dumating out of nowhere. Ang sarap hampasin ng mga i nsensitive na lalaki sa mundo. I don t know if I s hould be thankful he didn t get to seduce my wife. Anong pangako iyon? Napatingin ako sa kakambal ko. Foul `yun no. For years. Gusto kong lumubog sa kinatatayuan. Hey The guy s mouth twitched sarcastically. wife? You ve never bested me before what now? Inilahad nito ang kamay. Pero tinabig lang niya `ko. he knew. Bumalik ako sa tabi ni Julian. That took Vince out of his reverie. He wasn t handsome but he was sexy. Vince looked at my sister in mixture of shock and hor ror. Pati ata si Sailormoon. THIRTEEN Was it the end of the world? Was it a clash of good and evil? Kung alam niyo lan g. Then Jean winked at me! My jaw almost dropped. no Lucifer and Michael met. Gusto ko silang pagumpugin dalawa. Jean? Napalingon ito sa `ming dalawa.
CM just laughed at me. Muntik ko ng hindi masalo. Libre mo `ko ha. So she s pregnant? With Julian? CM sipped his Caffe Mocha. You have the same features. Babae. bongga alam mo naman tayong m agaganda Nahirinan ako dun. I guess so? I told him everythi ng there was. Akin na lang siya! Hindi si ya magugutom sa `kin promise. Parang kinikiliting tumili ito. I don t have money! Isasangla ko `tong relo mo! I shouted after him. F rom the looks of it. He took my hand and gave me keys.niya `ko. Magkape ka na nga lang para kabahan ka naman sa mga pinagsasasabi mo. Then he ordered another beverage. I smiled sheepi shly. `Yung ano Ngumuso ito. Ay. Kalaba ng mortal ng mga Sunico. Hindi ko siya pinapansin. Inirapan ito ni CM. pero `wag mo `kong sisihin kung bakit nasa headlines ka bukas. And she s with Vincent Gonzalo. Nauna na `kong umuwi kay CM. Sa kanya si Vince which leaves Brad alone. See? Ibinigay niya sa `yo si Julian. mukhang hindi mo na talaga maibabalik si Jean. Ngayon pa lang bumabawi. Tapos ipinilantik niya `yung kamay. At isipin mo na lang kambal kayo. Starbucks. no? Teka nga nag hmm na ba kayo? Bumilog ang mga mata nito at lumapit maigi ang mukha sa `kin. Napatingin ang isan g babae dito na kanina pa titig na titig kay CM. I was addlebrained. I didn t know that. Hindi ako ipokrita para sabihing hindi ako mate-tempt. Buti ka pa friend. ahem. Feel na feel nito. Pabalewalang sabi nito. I stared at him stupidly. Halleluja. Tumaas lang `yung kilay niya. I opened my mouth to scream at him. Ang slow mo naman Jeannie! `Yung tentenenententen. Very observant lang. He even demonstrated the expressions. Walang modo talaga! Anong akala niya sa `kin? Bata? May curfew? At saka I gritted my teeth. ang dami mong naitutulong eh. He put his two fingers together. business magnate. Siya itong nag-aya aya tapos ako manlilibre?! Mahiya ka naman sa lalamunan mo. Sabihin ko na lang kaya? I was getting frustrated. Not because I was afraid of the dragon. Sabi nila the Gonzalos were bankrupt by the Sunicos. Napaatras naman ako. Ano? Inis kong sabi. Magka-tonsilitis ka sana. hindi halatang tsismosa. Gross. Tapos nanlaki ang mga mata na tumingi n sa `kin. Nag-ano. Talaga? Wow. CM if Jean won t come back. Pero kung kung mabubuntis naman ako . You should be at home before seven. My blush intensified. He was a chic. You didn t tell me they re together? Hindi pa rin talaga ako pinapabayaan ni God my phone started ringing. Julian where are you goi The driver already went home. But because . praise the lord. Which means y ou re going to live forever as her. Y uck. Anong hmm? My brain wasn t functioning well. He nodded. for sure mukha ding kambal. CM? I love you! Julian glared at me. alam mo na `yun. He shrugged nonchalantly. Pasabunot na itinukod ko ang kamay sa round table. He hissed and turned his back on me. Parang ayaw mag-process ng brain ce lls ko. Sabihin mo na. Tinanggal nito a ng rolex wrist watch at ibinato sa `kin. m arunong naman akong tumingin ng oras no. nagsinungaling na buntis. Really? Biglang lumaki ang mata nito. What s this? Obvious ba? Susi ng sasakyan. Then you ll scream at the peak JU LIAAAAN. Delicadeza na lang `di ba? Ano `yun `yung mga anak naming mag-pinsan na magkapa tid pa? Ang sagwa `di ba? Tama. I have to be pregnant. Landi. Tapos iisa ng tatay paglabas non. What! There were so many untold stories here. Salamat ha. He smiled fishily. pinatay ng asawa. Sabihin mo kay Jean ibalato na lang sa `kin `yung isa.
Magiging demonyo nga ako? Dahil virgin pa `ko. I was shocked when an overspeeding c ar on the side tipped its way toward me. I lived my life spontaneously. I sighed. I knew I cal led Julian s name. I was feeling drowsy. It w as a good thing Jean and I both know how to drive. I drove faster than I should have. Pinilit ko namang maging mabait. emotion al stress. I stared incredulously at the shining bald head of St. `Yun naman ang ginawa ko. I felt the impact of it. Hindi pa ako nagbabayad sa mga pinagkakautangan ko sa New York. My heart hammered loudly. Plus one. It was suffocating me. `Wag m una. I was pulled deeper into a pit less hole of nothingness. Peter was also a philosopher. It was too quickly. Hanapin mo ang sarili mo blah. Hindi pa `ko prepared makita si San Pedro at saka God sabi nga ni CM hindi ko pa alam ang feeling ng nag-tetentenenententen. I knew that there were endless problems but I stil l wanted to sur vive. God I have so many unfinished businesses. I should have seduced him sooner. Ayaw nila akong papasukin sa heaven! Kasama si Julian. The shards of glasses splintered on the side. ayokong lumaki ang eyebags ko. My head bumped the side window. Nakalimutan kong mag-slow down sa inter section. I cried out. Little did I know that St. No! Ibababa nila `ko sa impyerno. Right minus wrong.the princess also needed her precious rest. . Pati ba ang pagmumura counted na din? You can now take her. I wasn t so sure. Wala sa loob ko. pain. magkaroon ng maraming pimples. P eter. I star ted sobbing quietly. Sana isinama na rin nil a `yung driver na nag-overspeeding. Then I ende d up bumping a big trunk of a tree. Anong ibig niyong sabihin? Anak katawan lang ang iniiwan sa lupa hindi ang common sense. The impact. Syempre. My eyes opened wide. It was getting hot. Argh . FOURTEEN Ito ang listahan ng mga kasalanan at kabutihan mo Was he serious? Sa sa langit na ba ako? I mean. Paano kung mas marami ang kasalanan ko? Eh `d i may utang pa `ko? I groaned. Hindi ko pa nabibigyan ng apo sina mommy. blah. blah. Jeannie Jeannie Did they know my name? Argh. 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. Were you telling me that I shouldn t have followed those novels I so much liked? Sabi kasi nila mag pakatotoo. Meaning good minus bad? What the fu ck. My eyes were open wide. sa langit ba ako pupunta? Para kasing hindi naman ` to heaven eh. Ayokong mukhang stressed out. At may biglang safety air balloon na lumobo sa harapan ko. If only I had known. Ilang araw na ding hindi ako natutulog ng maayos. Mababangga ako! Pilit kong iniiwas ang sasakyan. and a lot more blended together.
I winced. There I saw my mom. Sorry San Pedro. mommy. Biglang bumukas ang pinto. Kinuha ang stethoscope. When the door closed I took the doctor s hand. Call mom my Parang hesitant pa itong tumakbo palabas. Sure ako dun. Speaking of the devil. My nai ls dug deeper into his arm. Malaki utang na loob ko sa inyo doc. Pero pero nakiki ta ko na si mommy! I was panting so hard. Guilty ako. Tapos super bait niya. kain. I bit my lower lip sa sobrang gigil. At saka niya lang siguro napansin na nandun nga ang doctor. Disoriented pa `ko. Please. there s no bab Kumapit ako sa braso ng doctor. She s okay except for How about the baby? He cut him off frantically. Ngumiti ang doctor sa mommy ko. Totoo naman ah. `Yung winner na smile ng close-up. I love you daddy. No nothing. Are you okay? Natatarantang hinawakan niya ang buhok ko. I whispered brokenly. I want my mommy. God. In all fairness. Excuse me Mr. I tsked. Naiiyak na niyakap ako ng daddy ko. Awww Pareho silang napatingin sa `kin. blame my sister f or giving me this idea. Please. Parang na-guil ty naman ako. Oh. What are you watching? I got engrossed. Iniisip ba niyang iinom din ako ng lason para lang makasama ko si Julian? The wo rst is. He was worried! I smiled eagerly as the doctor gave his prognosis. Actually. My mommy was crying silentl y. Napakapit ako bigla sa puson ko. He stared at me incredulously. ibalato ni yo na po sa `kin `to. He frowned at me. Minsan. I moaned aloud and curled into a fet al position. What if it was too late? He smil ed at me and patted my head like the way he used to. Ambad ko. maiisip mong kailan mo din palang i-express ang nararamdaman mo sa kanila. Is she alright? My God. Is she having a miscarriage? Sigaw ulit nito. She was crying. Tsk. Mall! I smiled charmingly. Mumultuhin ako ni Angko. just pretend the babe s okay. higa. for his sake. Ahmm free shopping spree at S. The doctor frowned. sa santong paspasan na l ang. Please Julian. What the fu ck s happening to my wife? Sumisigaw na sab i ni Julian. damn! I thought she s okay. `Yung natatakpan ang mukha ko. Anyway. Grabe. Baby? Mr. Gusto kong matawa na matakot kay Jul ian. It was as if Julian was possessed by some good spirit. My jaw became slacked. basa ng novels. Parang nataranta ang doctor sa galit nito. Sunico there s no Oh my saving grace. Then I saw m y dad. death? Napan giwi ako. I don t know. Only a small wo und on her forehead. Where s Julian? The door burst open. my Leonardo Dicaprio s yummy. Tulog. My parents excused themselves. she s not even in the brink of danger. Papatayin ako ni Julian. Wal a naman talaga akong sugat. It s a matter of life and . parang hindi tot oo.Jeannie Jeannie I slowly opened my eyes. Sunico. ang katawan ko. nood tv. ang mukha ko. Kung hindi pa siya madaan sa santong dasalan. As soon as the doctor gave me his promise I persuade Julian to take me home. What ever. Na para bang alam niya gagawin kung may s ugat nga ako! Hindi naman siya ang doctor. Then I blinked thrice. baka ako pa ang lasunin ni Julian. Bulong niya. Naii nggit tuloy ako sa gumanap na Juliet. Saka na tayo magbilangan. The doctor frowned e ven more. Hindi ko alam kung bakit ito ang ipinahiram sa `kin ng hitad kong bestfriend. He was skimming every part of me. Doc. may DVD version na ang Romeo and Juliet . I hissed at Julian. May ininject bang pampamanhid? She s out of danger. mmkay? Anyway. Whichever comes first. I have no time to explain doc. My smile froze in place. I couldn t help it. Nag-movie marathon ako. No ribs broken. Tapos . parang h indi niya nagegets! Naiiyak na `ko sa gigil. Wala ako ng maramdamang sakit. how I missed my family. Nakakokonsensya na ng a ako.
if I know kung anong bawal siyang masarap. I couldn t help but sigh pleasurably. His voic e became husky. Then they fell into the water again when they declared their undying love. Gee. I snuggled close to Julia n. sig e na. Napatitig talaga ako sa eksena sa party.niyakap ko `yung unan ng mahigpit. Napansin ko pero kunwari wala lang pero deep inside I was like. They were kissing underwater! I wished Leonardo would kiss me like th There s a rumor that he s gay. I was imagining that Julian was Romeo and Juliet was of course me. Na para bang sinasabing habulin mo `ko . He smil ed evilly.Goodnes s. She kept telling no. Romeo is stupid. we were both silently watching. Hello? Jean Rose Leviste? Irene here. Parang feeling ko a ko ang naaatat na hatakin si Leonardo at papakin. Siguro nahiya lang siya so for his sake I inched closer. Then you re the one who s stupid! Had I really said that? Yeah. I d tell you. Hindi ko gusto `yung ngi sing `yun ni Julian. Natuwa ako kasi mu ka talagang inosente `yung gumanap na Juliet. Napalunok ako. Mayamaya lang. Fast-learner kaya ako. N abitin ako nung tinawag ng nursemaid si Juliet. I leaned my head in the cove of his neck. they were always the one who resorted to cuddling. Hindi ko pinansin ang pandidiri sa mukha niya. Mayamaya lang Julian sat on t he bed beside me. I shivered delightedly. At bakit? Ni hindi man lang naka-home base kay Juliet bago ipainom `yung lason. Kesyo mali daw `yun. I wasn t very particular with the chin itos. Excuse me? Ayoko ng pakinggan pa kung ano na namang panlalait ang maririnig ko kay Julian. Juliet was leading Romeo into a dance kis s. basta siya magtuturo sa `kin. Despite her in nocent face was a great k-i-s-s-e-r. I groaned aloud. Give Julian the credit to ruin my fantasy. May reunion nga pala tayo. FIFTEEN Make love to me . Siguro kahit ako din naman. Sus. I was having kinky thoughts. Plasma ang tv. I wondered why men turned away when things get mushy or better yet emotional. thanks. right stupid. Then they were like kissing. Care ko. Siya si Rosaline! Siya `yung first forgotten love . Then I sighed. Alam mo `yun my hair on the nape stood on ends. while she kept moving her lips to and fro against Romeo s. Dumila pa `ko sa kanya. Ingos na tinabig ko `yung kamay niya. Titig na titig ako. Nakatanga talaga ako. basta gwapo si Romeo. I said he s stupid. Laway mo tumutulo Julian swiped an invisible saliva down the side of my lips. Inis na dumiretso na `ko ng upo. Akalain mo `yun. Then a sm ile slowly inched its way to the corner. One advantage of being rich. Naalala ko bigla k ami ni Julian. I gasped aloud. hell move a little bit closer baby. At si Tricia. Sosyal. Tapos sa swimming pool scene. Tsk. My mobile started ringing. Umusod ako palayo. Lumayo-layo si Juliet. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street na lang ang panoorin natin. honeymoon na nila. dinaig pa `ko. I d hug CM when we meet again. O. I gasped so very loud than the first time. aber? I snorted. Naka-home base kaya! Ayan oh. Tuwang-tuwa talaga ako sa palabas na `to. I forgot all about our honeymoon. ugh eating each other in the pool. Hindi ko napansin na nilagay niya `yung braso niya sa likod ng ulo ko. Nagpapakipot na naman. Inggit lang siya wala sa kanya `yung atens yon ko. Pasalamat siya kung yummy si Leonardo DiCaprio mas h ot para sa `kin si Johnny Depp. Wh en in fact.
Ahm I m suppose d to be drunk. Sino ba? Parang naririnig ko pa rin ang boses ni Angko. Umiling ito. Pero hindi ba `yun naman dapat ang maramdaman ko? Hindi ako ito. When the man swayed me back and forth I felt his rock hard body poking againt mine. Kinakarma na ba talaga `ko? Hindi na `ko nakatulog. He shook his head. I bit my lower lip then I sniffed. What the hell were those dreams all about? there was a woman with no face. Out of the blue. Angko was staring down at me. I waved at him. I would dance the night away like it would be my last time. You. I m a big time loser. I wiped the threatening tears away. Angko! Jean? Uncle Bert? I gritted my teeth. Last night ko na `to. What s gotten into you? Masamang espiritu. . I rolled my eyes ceilingward. I won t effin waste my time on somebody who s not worth it. Have you seen Julian? I shook my head. Hindi ako. Ilang shots pa lang. His lips twitched on the side. Is. Madilim ang buong paligid. Not that it was unusal. Humahabol ata sa buwanang dalaw ko. Marahan akong umupo. good morning? G morning. And sexy Kaya nga tinawag itong bar `di ba? I stupidly c raned my neck. Lumingon lingon ak o. Oh boy. Magsakit-sakitan kaya ako ulit? Bak a sakaling bumait pa siya. Me? I slithered my body against him. Grabe lakas ng tam a sa `kin ng martini. Nakita ko siya kanina paalis. So. Seryoso ba si Angko? Minumulto nga ako nito! I was trembling violently. Don t hurt him. Ang sama talaga ng ugali ni Julian! Ni hindi man l ang binuksan ang lamp shade bago umalis. Parang gusto niya na talaga akong isama sa dako paroon kung hindi ko gagawin ang gusto niya. He grabbed my arm. My FIRST TIME. I felt my eyes widening. Hell. Sorry ahm. I wasn t that drunk. Angko knelt down the side of the bed and touched my stomach. Hell yeah. Goodness. This. I was actually purring. is it a yes or a no? No. And happy. Gee I rocked my hips back in forth to the rhythm. Galit na binalibag ko ang pinto. Hindi ako. He was s tanding there. was I? He s got gray eyes. Did you know what he did? Nilagpasan niya lang ako. You re drunk. This is not you. Hindi ako. Feeling ko ang dumi-dumi ko. Tapos lumapit siya sa `kin. Fine. Hindi kaya nagkakamali si Angko ng pagpaparamdaman? I absent-mindedly touched my stomach. I gasped a little. Sinabi ko iyon na parang nagdedemand lang ng fla vor ng chupachups. I didn t know a mere whisper in the ear could feel ticklish. Someone tapped my shoulder from beh I screamed. No. You promised me! She was sweating coldly. Wanna ride with me boyo? Parang may sariling isip ang bibig ko. Not.What? You heard me make love to me. I couldn t be m istaken. NOW. I bet you re feeling fvcking hot? And dir ty. Para akong nakuryente. Yes. You promised me! You promised me you won t hurt Julian. Napaupo ako bigla at napa-sign of the cross. Masyado ka ng madaming naiinom. What was happening? Parang umiikot an g paligid ko. Or Was it me? Then ther e was Angko. A helluva way to say it. Ano `yun? Insenso seryoso ba tala ga si Angko? Kinilabutan ako. who wouldn t? No wonder Julian got dibs on you. like a cat. More more My God. Kailangan pa bang ulit-ulitin niya `yun? Alam ko.
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?
when I first saw you crying at the hotel. Baka hindi ko siya matantya. Yes. I thought she wouldn t do this. Humarap ako sa kanya. I didn t turn around. magpanggap siyang wala ako. Nothing less. Sige. It should have been Jean s. Sana sana sinabi mo na lang sa `kin una pa man. Baka kasi siya ang nawalan ng pinaka-iingatang dangal.Ayoko siyang tignan. Morning. God. I took my perso nal things and left those that weren t mine. Tinitigan ko ang leather seat. Bayad na `ko sa `yo. He s he s mine now. He hissed. I thought I wouldn t forgive my sister for what she d done. We re both devils. aren t we? Ang laki ng talo ko. Nasa garahe na kami. He wasn t looking at me. Hindi ako kumibo. no. I cried a river last night. I winced. Kahit isa wala. Ni hindi ko man lang napansin. I wished we ve never met. Ayoko ng sabihing bakit siya ba ang nasaktan? Siya ba ang nawa lan ng virginity? Kung sa bagay. Everything. I got attracted to you that first time. Nothing more. Talo? We re even. Hindi ako `yun Julian. I swallowed an imaginary lump in my throat. Sana inutang mo na lang sa `kin ang pambili ng bahay niyo. Jeannie. He called me four times. At galit na binalibag ko ang pintuan pasara. Pinigilan ko ang kamay kong masakal ang kapatid ko. Was she talking in Latin? Parang sinabi niyang a lien ang nakabuntis sa kanya. He didn t even bother putting his shirt on. Oh. I heard him swore. So innocent. You look so vulnerable and trusting. Why did you do that? bulong nito. Tahimik na bumaba ako ng sasakyan. Was he immune t o pain already? At least they had something in common now. Pero parang wala naman akong choice. Are you mad? My baby it s not Julian s. Ayo ko. Parang hind i nito nararamdaman ang pag-agos ng dugo habang nagmamaneho ito. What did he want this time? Humarap ako sa kanya. Una pa man talaga never naman akin `t o. The dream. I shook my head. Jean what is this all about? Jeannie I m sorry. Wala na `kong balak bumalik kay Julian. Para akong naguluhan. You know what. The he called my name. Hinawakan nito ang kamay ko. WHAT?! Seryoso? You you lied to us. Before I knew it he threw my underwear with brownish stain on it! I hate you. I smiled mockingly. She was my twin. what was a piece of flesh for a Sunico like him ? Kapirasong laman lang iyon. Butter Diner s. I I gasped. To me? To Julian? You wanted him to father your baby? Oh my. Sorry sorry eh. Was it that t . I smiled at him. my God. kung batukan kaya kita riyan? Bakit mo ba kasi ginawa `yun? What wo uld I do now? We can t just trade places again. Pabalibag na binuksan ko ang closet. Ours was a marriage made in hell. We can live like this forever. Oh. I can t tell you everything.
We looked down. Pareho kaming pareho kaming Pero Jeannie hindi pwede. And boy. Naiiyak ako habang naliligo naalala ko lahat ng pag-uusap namin. Ma am. Julian didn t know me that well. Nakita kong may benda ang kam ao niya. Bigla niyang hinarang ang bulto sa harapan ko. It was the empty glass. I promised Vincent. She suddenly winced and moaned. You are you are She s your real wife Julian. I stared fixedly at him. Do you think your virgi nity caused millions? I gasped at his crudeness. But tears were starting to pool in my eyes. He frowned. I replaced her. Narinig ba niya? What truth. I didn t want to cry.hen? `Di ba ang mga kambal ay may kakaibang koneksyon? Jeannie please No! I couldn t take it. We ll tell you Julian about thi s. Becau se we just met only a few times after the the Pikot. I walked like a zombie. if I know ganyang ganyan din arte ko sa may hospital. 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. You owe me five million minus the interest which is your purity. My heart went wild. Inirapan ko siya. Bigla siyang umupo at hinawakan ang ty an. Nakita ko ang galit sa mga mata niya. Bakit ba? Eh. At hind i kita ibabalik sa mga magulang mo hangga t hindi mo nababayaran iyon. damn you! Sigaw nito na rinig ata ng buong subdivision. Julian I m Jeannette. Ayoko na Jean. Wala namang gumalaw non. What the hell are you talking about? Napatingin ito kay Jean. Nakita ko ang masamang tingin ni Julian ng dumaan si Jean. iba ako. . Hinila ko ang kamay niya at kinuha ang clutch bag. darling. I looked up. Para akong bagong ano panganak. Bakit ka nagbabalot ng damit? Tinabig ko `yung kamay niya. He cursed floridly. Umuwi na tayo Jean. Uuwi na `ko sa `tin. May bisita po kayo. There the devil stood. You re not that expensive. I blamed her. At itinaas ang ulo na parang sa reyna. I bet he was ready to wring our ne cks. She went missing before your wedding day. Ayoko ng magpanggap na ikaw! Kung gus to mo bumalik ka dito at No! Iling ko. Bigla itong tumuwid ng tayo. Parang dagang tumalilis si Jean. Jeannie listen to me. I couldn t take the lies anymore. I mean hindi niya napansin na iba ka. Niloko. he was damned furious. What else was there? He was betrayed. Stop it. He looked fierce. I walked past him. I whispered defiantly. Sinampal ko siya. Hindi na pwede. It won t work this time. I muttered. Ayokong isipin kung ano ang napakalaking kasalanan niya sa `kin. At wala kayong magagawa ni mommy. The corner of his lips twitched. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. And the baby s not yours. 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 m so Don t fuccking say sorry to me. yes. We both jumped in surprise when I heard a loud crash. Nakita ko sa likod niya si si Jean? What are you doing here? Not that I was blaming her but but Hell.
Parang may kulang. I drew Julian s face. An o ba! Pilit kong tinatanggal ang kamay niya sa braso ko. If it was an y consolation on every one s part Julian let go of Jean. hours. Sign this. What s this? Nakakapagbasa ka naman `di. Tapos biglang bumukas `yung pinto. Hinila niya `ko pataas. Kung legal lang ang krimen sa mundo baka ilang bese s na itong namatay. This was legal and notarized. ba My mouth dropped open. I cringed in pain. Wala na lang siyang ginawang mabuti kung hindi paiyakin at sakta n ako. Sh!t. Pati ako nga rin nahihilo na sa sarili ko. I smiled nastily. My eyes squinted in anger. A chauvinist. I was fuming mad. I raised one brow. `di ba? He looked lik e a bench model on Halloween. ako ako ang ikinulong niya at gusto niyang magsuffer. Hell. Ang pinakababoy sa lahat ng b aboy. Then I drew his body again . Puro papeles. Then I did sketch myself. given the fact that he owned me. . He was a cad. Pabalabag.SEVENTEEN I was pacing to and fro. Mali mali. Without clothes on. O kaya pahihirapan ko muna ng unti-unti. I busied myself for how many seconds minutes I pouted and made face. Mah abang buntot. Tumayo ka dyan. I wrinkled my no se and closed my eyes. Pabalewalang may ibinagsak siya sa kama. Was I that bad to blame my sister? Pero nasa katwiran naman ako. Ganon ba talaga ang mga bida? Laging api? Bulong ko sa sarili ko. I erased half part. Of course. I bit my lower lip until it bled. I was the ang el with a halo sent from up above. Kahit magkita pa kami sa husgado! I took my sketch pad and sat on the floor. I wanted to kill him right this minute. But not ME. I was startin g to hate him. I glared at him standing like he owned the world. Hindi na siya naawa sa kagandahan ko. His handsome face and his body. leaning against the bed. Tapos nagdrawing ako ng dalawang sungay. Bakit ba hindi eh. I took the papers and read it. Makapal iyon. I brushed my tears angrily. Did he thought I was a real bummer? Hindi ba at siya nga ang naloko ko? So he was the one who s stupid. Inirapan ko siya. Oh. At ang hawak niya isang malaking tinidor. Na aalilain ng demonyo. Kahit naman f ine arts ang kinuha ko alam ko naman kung anong ibig sabihin ng kontrata.
Jean s baby kinagat ko `yung labi ko. I swallowed an imaginary lump in my throat. Magsalita ba naman sa tapat ng bibig ko! Swear. You might do that honey. 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. `Yung ngiting alam kong bukas patay na `ko. It was just one of those corny jokes. you ll tell me anyway. I kept telling myself that it would be okay. Hindi na ako magpapanggap na buntis this time. Hindi pangalan ko ang naka-re gister sa marriage certificate. Pra ise the Lord! Kung hindi mag-mamagic talaga akong magkaanak within nine months a . `Yung kahit hindi nakakatawa pinipilit mong tumawa. I appreciated you prostituting yourself to me. Buti na lang bagong toothb rush ako kanina. honey. Na para bang ang paggawa ng baby ay bato-bato-pik lang. I m not your legal wife Julian. my goosebumps w ere showing. Nadah. Wala din! WAS I GOING DEAF? W-what what are you talking about? Nanghihinang napaupo ulit ako. `Yung magdadala ng apelyido k o. An heir. pay me the five million pesos. As if we were talking about t he weather. Sorry sa ipagsisinungaling ko pero Isn t mine. Tawa pa. Tama ka. Go shoot yourself and go to hell. Sana man lang nakapaglagay ako sa account ko mula sa kaban ni Julian ba go nagkabukingan. eh? Tumawa ako. Masakit kaya. The bomb was dropped. I even put one finger inside my left ea r. Really. Nine months then you re free. Tinitigan akong maigi. Ganon. An d you re not the first virgin I ve had. Galit na pinalandas nito ang daliri sa mga pi sngi ko. Para iyong sumabog sa mismong tainga ko. Baka nakakalimutan mo. 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. hey. He cracked a knowing smile. I crossed my fingers. Ano?! Are you darn serious? It only cost Five hund red thousand? Ganon ako ka-cheap? Sana man lang tinaasan niya kahit one million. Then on my right ear. He stared at me incredulously. It was null and void. No spooky things. I was afraid. I gritted my teeth anguishly. was he? Hindi. His voice was laced with sarcasm. Napatayo ako sa sobrang galit. `Yun naman pala eh. I ve had my fair share of women Jeannette. perhaps.Ano `to? Printed paper. Feeling ko pinagbagsakan ako ng langit at lupa. Hinawakan niya ang baba ko ng madiin. Hindi ako nakakaintindi ng English. Para akong mahihi matay. He wasn t dead serious. Aren t you going to ask what s the second option? Bakit ko pa itatanong. Napaungol ako. `Yung tawa ng baliw. He said smoothly. God. Bigyan mo ko ng tagapagmana. Siya lang naman nasiyahan no . I realized I was really a good painter after all. You heard me. What s this for? You have two options to make: One. why didn t you even give me a sign? Or even a hint? Nakaupo ako kaya t nakatingala ako sa kanya. ngu miti ito at lumapit sa `kin. It was your s ignature not your sister s. And because I wasn t that bad. That easy. So bayad na ang interes. He planted his hands on his hips. Tapos tawa pa ulit. Tsk. Seriously. G anon ba talag siya kasama? I ve already had a lawyer examined it. He said nonchalantly. Pero kailan ba naging okay ang magkau tang ng Five million? I was dead before I knew it. I didn t even get any pleasure from it. Tapos yumuko siya para magkatapat `yung mukha namin. ang int eres sa bangko ay umabot ng half a million.
What would it be Jean nie. Kung fine nga bang matatawag ang halos pagyakap ng babae dito! Their faces were in ches away from each other. Wala kang karapatang karapatang igiit sa `kin ang marital obligations ko dahil hindi tayo mag-asawa! Oh. Jean told me everything.t ang tatay ay Oh. It s okay. Sawa? Hindi naman ito Zoo `di ba? S he gritted her teeth in anger. my dear. He smiled e villy. The handsome debonair. Nabasa niya ang isip ko! Wow. Namilog ang mga mata ko Julian was standing there. Pambablackmai l nga lang! This is pure blackmail! No. May step one. May psychic ability na ba ito? He glared at me. Hindi nakaligtas sa matalas kong paningin. Hindi nga ako nagkamaling hindi ka imbitahin! Saan? Irene! So Irene pala ang pangalan ng makiring kaibigan na ito ni Jean. he hissed. No doub t. my bed s warmer than that of the jail s. Pero ikaw din. I snorted. kung makapag-react ako parang hindi pa kami nag ano `yung ano alam n iyo na `yun. A businessman s stock in trade. huh? Brad? Uh-oh. He looked like a wolf ready to eat his prey. I so hate you. Brad stare d fixedly at us. Buti naman. I shrugged. Syempre ngiti rin ako kahit na nga ba never ko pa siyang nakita sa tanang buhay ko. Bakit hindi ako lumapit sa mga iyon at i labas ang baho ni Julian? He was after all. Parang siya nga ang nagre-reunion. Lalo na sa`kin. Forcing isn t his cup of tea? Oo hindi. May process `yan. three `yan. two. Malapit na kami dun ng matigilan ako. sa `kin patungkol ` yun. my God so all the while we were ju st living in sin together? Mga immoral. They were all bugging him. I he ard about it. Ang press! I smiled.. I smiled here and there. Very charming ang loko. 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. Kaya lalong lumalaki `yung ulo. I m sorry. your choice. Then she turned sweetly at Julian. I was quite surprised when a hand caught mine. Ikaw din. exc ept for the press. Kung makalingkis. Syempre ang baby hindi basta lumalabas sa tyan ng baba e yan. Jean was infamed for her swimming ability. The woman smiled at me. Nakalimutan ko. my God. dear. Forcing a woman isn t my cup of tea. Nagkalayo kami ni Julian. I sighed. Sa `kin siya nakatingin eh.. Napaatras ako. Bakit kailangan ko pang magpanggap na si Jean? Alam na naman ng lahat. At least hindi na niya `ko hahalikan ulit. a public figure. that was fine. darling. he shrugged. Julian grabbed my waist as if he wouldn t want me away from him. I went out of the parking lot to get my cell phone from the car. Unggoy! Napakatuso! I opened my mouth in disust. Hi Dahil assuming ako alam ko. Oh no! Gusto kong batuka n ang sarili ko. NO! REUNION. Nakita niya akong papalapit sa isa sa mga ito. At itinaa s nito ang legal na papeles na binayaran nito ang titulo ng lupa namin! He was w ise. Flirt. So what is it? This is human violation. Hello Jean. I groaned inwardly. Jean! Baka nakakalimutan mo `yung reunion natin mamaya. My phone started ringing. Later everybody was dancing. Well. it s what you called persuading. Julian smiled back. The feeling s mutual. . Don t you ever dare. Hindi nga ako nagkamali The woman raised one brow at me. Well. Hi. The business tycoo n.
nakakasama din pala ang masyadong gentleman ngayon. God. Let go of me. And I was frightened by the look in his eyes. Ku ng pwede lang na sipain ko siya. I was too stunned to react. They knew nothing! Mga taong walang magawa sa mundo kundi pagpi yestahan ang latest tsismis. Naawa naman ako bigla sa kanya. What the hell are you d ing. 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. I said stop it! Tili ko at gumitna ako. Abusado. I saw Brad s purplish face with bruises. No choice eh. I was even m aking gurgling sounds.Brad kiss me. Once. Para akong lulubog sa kahihiyan. We both gasped. Maganda pa naman. Julian how dare yo ! He looked at me coldly. The woman was just standing there. There was not a bit of gentlemanliness in him. makiri nga lang. He motioned the steering wheel t o the left. May paparating na malaking truck. Julian. I glared at wh oever said that. I shoul d have wore Hester s scarlet letter. Ako ang may sagot kay Brad! I winced as Brad punched back. Grabe. Sa paghampas ko sa sugat niya ay nabitawan niya ang manibela. I put all my force and slap him. Matutuwa na sana ako dun sa maganda . No. Muntik na kami dun! My heart was thudding loud in my chest. Anywhere my hand landed. Sinuntok suntok ko ang braso niya. He gave me that chilling stare that sent shivers down my spine. loner siya `di ba? Pinagbigyan na nga siya ni God. Kinuha ni Julian ang lapel ni Brad at binalya. It was unlike any fury I d had. Hampas dito. Nakita kong pumutok ang labi ni Brad. Eve just tolerated being with Adam. I wanted to shout at him. this isn t righ I grabbed Brad s lapels and kissed him right on the mouth. Paikot pa lang siya sa driver s seat ay binuksan ko ang car door para tumakbo. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung bakit ito pinagpalit ni Jean eh. Brad was badly beaten. You should have killed me and . Parehas tikom ang bibig namin. His voice was icy cold. Gusto ko siyang sabunutan! Sino ba siya? This was all her fault . J ulian pulled me roughly in the arm. Damn. Bakit ba hindi sila makuntento sa isa? Bakit ba `yun na lang palagi ang problema nila? Nung ginawa naman si Adan. ano bang klasing babae `yan. nakakahiya. There were flashes of cameras. Naumpog ako sa silya. Whew. We both screamed. I saw the registration of s hock. Out of the corner of my eyes I saw Julian s frown. Julian no! I screamed. Para akong bulkang sa sabog. alam mong hindi pwed I said kiss me. Pabalyang ipinasok. What? Jeannie. I couldn t get enough. And take note: Eve was the only woman back then. He w as already seated. Julian Sunico s wife was seen kissing his ex. Hampas doon. para akong nanunuod ng a ction movie. Na parang ako an g may kasalanan! Na parang hindi ko siya nakitang nakikipag-flirt sa ibang babae ! Hinila niya `ko sa braso. Brad are you okay? I knelt down in front of him. At na-automatic lock niya na ang buong sasakyan. You bastard! Galit kong hiyaw. Nasty gossips. Syempre kahit pagbali -baligtarin ko man ang pangyayari. Pareho kaming napakapit dito. Papalapit na sila. dinugtungan pa. I moaned aloud. Brad sige paaaa d on t stop kissing me!!! I shouted. Twice. Nakita kong papatay talaga si Julian. Jeannie. At masakit `yun ha! I screamed when he was a bout to kick NO! Niyakap ko si Julian ng mahigpit. Pinipilit kong gumitna pero natabig ako. Sa bilis ng pangyayari hindi ko na alam kung sino sa kanilang dalawa. I gritted my tee th. Pakaladkad. Itinulak! Niya ako sa loob ng sasakyan. Get in. Galit kong sabi. Now I know. The next thing I knew Julian and Brad were grappling.
utos nito. There were bruises all over his face. Why can t you just let me go? I whispered achingly. My hair on the nape stood on ends. He wa s forcing me. Tapos may dumaang sasakyan. BUT they were even singing a verse of some song. My he . He tilted my chin up. With matching every emphasis pa. Isang barkadang malakas ang trip. Okay. It was as if he would do just that. And the title: Love the way you lie by Rhianna. Why should I? You re mine. Gusto kong is igaw sa kanya na baka naapektuhan na ang utak niya. Parang wala sa sariling nasabi ko habang nakatingin s a Sa Police Station. Bumaba ka na. It was a mere whisper. In my predicament I wouldn t have noticed them or anyone else for that matte r. My eyes grew wide. 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. I gave you a choice. my God. Balewalang sagot nito. Decide now. Napatitig ako sa kanya. Don t try my patience. Alam ko. I did shut up then. Why did he have to d o that? Was this one of his seductions 101? You might be forgetting. Pero bakit ba gwapo pa rin ito kahit mukha itong may sungay sa paningin ko? I might. this time was very much different. I couldn t imagine myself there. I closed my eyes. I shook my head. I swore my neck almost snapped sa mabilis na paglingon ko sa kanya. Julian swung the door open. A choice? I said with sarcasm. Pe ro pero `di ba may onting konsensya naman si Julian? Even the tiniest bit? Oh. Alam mo pala eh! He smiled evilly. no. natatakot ako sa itsura ni Julian. Pero gagawin niya na Jeannie! My mouth dro pped open. Tumaas ang sulok ng bibig niya. Baba. Naiisip ko pa lang na ipapa-salvage niya `ko at itatapon ang kagandahan ko sa kung saang ilog. The side of his mouth lifted sexily. Basta to the highest level na talaga ang pag-iling ko. I d rather you do that Julian. Julian glared all the more. I looked around me and I gasped. He said silently. Kinilabutan ako. Really. Ang mukha ay nasa gitna ng mga rehas na bakal. The musc les on his jaw flexed. I shook my head forcefully and vigorously. Sisigaw akong rape? Fvck you Jeannie. Hindi sa natatakot ako. I said get out. Oh. Hindi ko na alam kung paano at anong kaibahan non. Ang maging babymaker mo? Ha! Holy crap. Get the hell out of my car. He was speaking to me. Pero syempre `yung masarap na kilabot. I bought you for five million. it boils my blood. You re dead serious. Ganon lang ba talaga tingin niya sa `kin? His property na pwedeng bakuran. Julian wouldn t resort to this. In close range as in close to my mou th. God. Did he think I can just bear a child and leave him to his father? I suggest you go see a psychiatrist. He said bitterly. Kung kanina ay halos ipagtulakan niya `ko papasok. Without remorse. Kahit na nga ba maghubad si Papa P sa harapan ko. He hissed. I shook my head vigorously.He gave me that chilling look.
He didn t know the meaning of love or even gi ving. As in. bibigay pa lang. you know. Tipong ikaw pa ang aagawan ng boyfriend. Sana vinideohan mo. I thought it was a bit odd of my twi n to cry under the rain. `Coz I d kill both of you. isa pang Bebe `yun e h. Is he big? CM! I swore I blushed to the roots of my hair. Then I heard his monstrous laugh. Lagay mo sa CR `pagnaliligo si Julian. I closed my eyes. When I was a kid I never liked rainy days. Kasi may kasunod kang boy. if I know. And he called me. Paano kung babae maging anak natin? Anak ko Jeannie. Next time videohan mo ha? Bigyan kitang hidden camera. In short. My eyes were moist. He was naughty and nice. I don t want the time to come that I would only feel hatred against Ju lian. Sus. CM. gifts and very gentleman. I was stepping o n his Bermuda grass. One theory I realized: The nice? guys are ugly. Nakakaawa siya. Nagpapakamatay ka ba? Gusto mo bang magkasakit? . Knowing Jean s eccentricity. JEANNIE! One hand grabbed my arm and swung me around.O. the hot guys are jerks. Sus. `Yung t awang pinipilit lumandi. O inakala nilang ba liw na `ko. Rowel? Ahm. One hell of a horse. And very gay. He was nice to me. Mabilis niyang pinakawalan ang mukha ko at nag-drive na siya pauwi. CM said tersely. and the hot-and-nice guys are gay. Nakita kong umuulan sa labas. dancing under the rain. Lahat ng sama ng loob ko sa mundo ay inilabas ko. And don t you ever dare slee p with Brad. Bibi? Bibi? Bibi? Bebe Gandang hari. Syempre laging naka-coat and tie `yang suplado mong asawa. He gave me flowers. He whispered and bunched my hair up roughly. He giggled. Wala akong pakialam kung pinagtitinginan man ako ng katulong ni Julian. I was sobbing profusely. Chillax Jeannie. I sighed as I clutched the wireless phone to my ears. Parang gusto kong sabunutan itong si CM. Wow. Ano ba kasing iniisip mo? Masyado ng polluted `yang utak mo. humanap ka ng panget at ibigin mong tunay . If I were you. Jean di d. Whatever. As if there was no tomorrow.art went out to him. Sigaw ko sa kanya. Ikaw lang ang magdadala pero anak ko. Was I that bad? Pero sabi nga ni Andrew E. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. Baritonong high-pitched. Why not? Pwede ko `yung ipam-b lackmail kay Julian. `Yung tipong `pagnaglak ad kayong dalawa sa mall feeling mo ang yaman mo. CM? Geezers. I knew then that he won. Rowel s here. `Yu n nga lang pwede siyang pang-S. I found myself taking my shoes off and standing on Julian s lawn. Narinig kong naghikab si CM. O k aya naman ang bait mo kasi kasi parang charity lang. Julian was one hell of a hot specimen. `yung katawan. gora na ako sa gusto niya. Why was it so? I had living proofs. I agreed to his terms. help me. Yep. But I found out I was doing the same thing. Why? Asking your whereabouts. Hay nako Jeannie. Sabi niya kasi kapag umiiyak over a jerk hindi siya maririnig ni Mommy. Malak as pa naman radar ng mga mothers. Dati ko siyang manliligaw na artist din. Really? One brow arched. Sana nga gan on na lang. I avoided eye contact with him. Ayokong makita n iyang malapit na `kong bumigay. Wooooh! I shouted loudly. I d like to spit right onto his demonic face. sorry. Yep. (secret on) God. Masyado siyang makasarili. Jeannie! Kulog lang `yun. Ulam.
I looked up at him. My chest was flattened against his. Was he worried? I shook my head. Gusto kong matawa sa itsura niya. I was on top . This was the magic moment. I wanted to smack his handsome face only if he didn t look amused. Julian Niyakap niya `ko. I probably lost one screw earlier. Bastos ka. On top of him. didn t he? Get off me It was a joke. Tapos malapit na super lapit na Nanunulis na `yung bibig ko. NINETEEN Sometimes you d wished that things were easier. We were both wet. I knew it. I love you Uhhh I couldn t believe it. So I closed the distance. Argh. Nung pagtalon ko kaya? What joke? That you lov e me? No. Grabe. Can you believe that? He did say he loved me. Na sana hindi lang ako gustong i-detain dito ni Julian dahil sa utang ko. My God. Julian was really saying those words? Oh. Ok ay na eh. Nalaglag `yung payong. pang-FAMAS na sana drama ko. Under the rain. Are we going to start the baby making process here and now? I looked up. I closed my eyes. Tapos tapos Hachuuuu! There. What do you think are you doing? He asked na para bang nandidiri sa `kin! I blinke d thrice. Eskimo kiss. Hello? This was so small co mpared to what we d done. Feeling ko nga matutunaw ako. I wrapped my arms around his neck. I waited for him to do the next move. Pilit kong sumasayaw at nagtampisaw pero hawak pa rin niya ang braso ko. I thought I was going to sneeze my head out. Don t even tell me! . Para bang hindi siya makapaniwalang ginawa ko talaga `yun sa kanya. Ang lapit lapit ng mukha namin. Nagsasalubong ang mga kilay nito at may payong na dala. Tapos itinapat ko `yung mukha ko sa mukha niya. Nakakahiya na talaga. I was wetting his tux. Then I started crying on his chest . Ha? Wow. I wrinkled my nose.It was lightning. Titig na titig siya sa `kin. Halos maduling na kami sa titigan namin. LOL. You are my baby. A mixture of tears and rain. Pilit kong tinatanggal ang mga patak ng ulan sa mata ko. He pulled me roughly into his arms. Was I dreamin g? Tapos bigla siyang umubo. 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. I felt hot all over. If only it didn t have any value. Syempre mahiya naman ako `di ba? Hindi ko pa rin namang nakakalimuta ng babae ako. I rubbed my nose against his. He brushed the straining hair on my forehead. He said in amazement. That money was just a piece of pap er. On his face. Hindi kaya magkapalit kami ng mukha? I smiled at him. At sabay kaming bumagsak sa Bermuda grass. my God.
But it s as if as if you re going to eat me for dinner. Pangalan ko. I ve heard that before. Promise. Hingal dito. I said stop it. He was standing there. Ano na naman bang pinagsisintir nito? His wet hair was clinging to hi s forehead. I wasn t so sure. hot. He proved to b e tempting. me. Parang gusto niya na akong sakalin sa itsura niya. making love in the rain. Pakipot pa. just s eeing him standing there with his shirt loving his body to perfection was making me ahm. . Alam mo `yung parang humalinghing na pusa? My mouth dropped open. I screamed. Hingal don.He winced. Tsk. Ang sakit sakit ng ulo ko. Nakita kong basang basa na `yung carpet. hindi ko na kasalanan `yun. I moaned aloud. Jeannie Jeannie I thought my head was going to break into pieces. At ang mga kilay nito? Nagsasalubong na naman. What the heck. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung friends sila ni The Grinch. Inirapan ko siya. Will you stop that? angil nito. I rolled my eyes heavenward. My eyes grew wide. I closed my eyes. Are you into drugs? I said I was kidding about you. Bakit hindi ko man lang nalaman? Sayang naman. He knelt down in front of me. Ohhh My mouth opened in an indignant O. What am I doing? Badtrip na pinilit kong umayos ng upo. FROM YOU. Ohhh ohhh Jul ian Ohhh YUCK! GROSS! He just raised his brow and looked at me oddly. my ey es almost bulged. Alam ba niya `yung ibig sabihin ng salitang hambog ? No? I thought so. Oh. Oh well. I opened o ne good eye. Ano na namang kalokohan `to? And stop doing doing that. May dictionary ka ba dyan? He shrugged. Basta `wag niya lang asahanag maghuhub ad ako sa harapan niya. And stop staring at me like that! I know. In disguise. Wala namang pinainom sa `k in si Julian `di ba? Hindi kaya nilason niya na `ko? I groaned louder than the la st. You sounded you sounded Sounded what? Like you are making out! For Pete s sake! Ha? Grabe. I was still suncking in my breath ever so slowly. Then I imitated again louder. Napaungol ako lalo. sabi ko na nga ba Julian ha d a pretty fix on me from the start. Pag-umpugi n ko pa sila eh. Julian must have been an angel. I know. he hissed and brushed his drenched hair. Sino bang may sabing ako lang pala ang n ag-iisip ng hindi kanais-nais dito! Akalain mo `yun. Oh God. I m handsome and you couldn t resis t that. I tried to focus my eyes on him. Ano bang problema nito? Gusto kong sumigaw pero wala akong lakas. my God. Kasi parang hinihila ako sa antok. He was pacing to and fro. It was a great effort to slap the incredulity in his face. his wet shirt was clinging to his body. 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. Para akong lasing. Narinig kong tinataw ag niya `ko. May sakit ka ba? He s aid sarcastically. Ni-rape niya ba `ko? Bakit feeling ko para akong ginahasa? Ang sasakit ng mga kalamnan ko. Ungol ako ng ungol. I couldn t breathe. Nakaupo ako sa couch! Basa. Sigaw sigawan niya `ko . Do you ever know the word humility? Okay na magsungit siya. I frowned. He k nelt down in front of me. Ba hala siya kung anong gusto niyang isipin. Napatingin ako sa kanya. 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.
She was in and out of consciousness. Para akong inaapoy. Santisima! Naman si Julian oh. Hindi ko alam kung anong l ubog sa hindi punong bath tub ang gagawin. 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. Rough.. A slow knowing smile played about his kissable lips. I moaned a loud. he was definitely wrong. My. God. Julian noooo! I screamed and wailed. 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.. Like the way he always used to. Jeannie fainted! Napapikit ang mga mata niya. Pakawalan mo `ko!!! Ti nakpan niya `yung bibig ko. He ripped it off me! Goodness. Hotter. Our wet clothes were felt so paper-thin. Well. Anong akala niya sa `kin bata?! I bit his hand. Hindi niya `ko pinansin! Tuloy-tuloy lang siya sa pagtanggal ng mga butones. Gosh. But she lay passive. I wished that instant that I were a mermaid.Hubaran niya `ko! Joke lang. Sisigaw na talaga ako. He roughly cupped my left cheek. mabilis pa sa alas-kwatrong yumakap ako kay Julian. Aba. Naramdaman kong may nagbababa sa `kin sa tiles. I felt his teeth nipped my lower lip. hindi ko alam kung panong tili ang gagawin ko. I made sure na nahirapan siya. Namatay lahat. He frowned. You mani ac! I hissed through my teeth. Then I closed my eyes. Tapos dahan dahang bumaba `yung mga mata ko dun sa kamay ni ya. gracious. The door burst open. At w ala akong pakialam kahit bumabaha ng mura sa shower room. Para siyang binuhusan ng malamig na t ubig. I was burning hot. Pakawalan mo `ko! Pakawalan mo sabi ak ooo Ibinagsak niya `ko sa bathtub! He was really inconsiderate. Para akong lalagnatin . Bakit hindi? Ang mga katulad niya ang da hilan kung bakit nagkakasala ang mga respetadong babaeng kagaya ko. Forceful. The he pulled down my jeans. Inaapoy ito sa lagnat. Was he insane? We were in the shower room! Hanggang dito ba naman? I shrieke d. Parang nawalang lahat ang panghihina ko. In my blurring vision I saw Juli an hovering over me. Kung kanina y nagkakakawag ako. pati dun sa baba. Nanlaki `yung mga mata ko. Galit na binuhat niya ulit ako. Oh. Natatarantang binuhat niya ito. Kung akala niyang inaapoy sa pagnanasa si Jeannie. I swore. Helllpppppppp And in fair ness. The likes of Julian should be banned. Walang p atawad. Then h is mouth landed on mine. Sa sobrang gigil ni Julian. Doon. Pumasok si Mommy! Jean! At ang mga katulong! We heard you scream. He was a safe cover from the intrud .
Hindi ko gusto ang ngiting iyon. Napalingon siya dito. tapos tapos bibitawan niya `ko. Parang hin di ako mahiwalay sa pagkakayakap sa kanya. Nang lumabas na silang lahat. Anong masamang ginagawa mo sa kapatid ko? Tili si Jean. Hindi naman ako kasya sa butas ng banyo. didn t I? Then I clos ed my eyes. He didn t look pleased with himsel f. I sucked in my breath. Julian bathed me! He dressed me up! What did he thi . Isn t it obvious? My mouth dropped open. My stomach churned. He smirked. Tignan ko lang kung makahalik pa siya ng ibang babae. Sana hindi lang ako nananaginip. I smiled too sweetly. Julian I have hands. Hinawakan nito sa balikat si Julian at pilit inaalis mula sa `kin. Tinitig an niya `ko. Ah. I bit my lower lip. Bahala? Ha! If I know. Don t you want to ask who? He just shrugged. Betty Boop PJs. There was someth ing endearing about a man who said that he could take on the world for me. Oh-kay. They all gasped. That was only a snippet. What? He asked innocently. Will you please get out? I shouted at him. An g bigat ng pakiramdam ko. He shrugged. What what? You look as if you would kill. He scrubbed my stomach. At isinandal ang ulo ko sa bathtub. Han ggang sa magbula `yung bibig niya. Nanla laki ang mga mata ko ng Oh. It me ant catastrophe. Sana totoo. Anong gagawin mo? I looked around me. See? Your sister here wants me Oh. Eight o`clock in the morning? I bolted upright. I really croaked. Buti alam mo. What are you all doing here? Julian smiled. Then I d make him eat the cake of soap. Lumingon siya s a `kin. I woke up late that night. Julian wouldn t say something like that. Goodness. Ako ang bahala sa `yo. He was such a monster. Pinanlakihan ko siya ng mg a mata. pleaded with me to bathe her. I looked at the alarm clock. `Yung parang hinuhubaran kung hindi ko pa alam na hubad na `ko! I h issed. Goodness. I gasped. Then he took the soap. Darkness was pulling me down. Parang batang bulong ko. Who said that killing a moron was against the law? Hindi ba pwe deng magbawas kahit isa? TWENTY I hated him. Hi ndi na `ko magtataka kung mas pa kung sasabihin niyang: I ll kill you Jeannie . Julian smiled. I was trying to cover myself. Gusto ko siyang lunurin sa bathtub. was this déjà vu? I had nowhere to go. no. my God.ers. Parang binabarena `yung ulo ko. Then his hands submerged under the water. Kinapa ko `yung sarili k o. A mere whisper.
I took the pillow and covered my ear. I understand. Nakita kong napahiga siya kakatawa. Hmp. He said with sarcasm. He even yawned. I wasn t giving him peace? If I give you peace I won t talk to you. My hands were itchi ng to take those and cover his That would be the day Jeannie. Naniningkit ang mga mata ko. Jeannie Rose Leviste? YOU? WON T TALK? Tawa. Evil Ken. He was e ven clutching his stomach. Excuse me! Gigil na humarap ako sa kanya. He was really going to kill me. thank you. ang mahi rap kuhanin mahirap pakawalan. Medicine. I was about to talk again when he thrust the spoonful of kaning baboy in my mouth. I opened my mouth in disgust. parang n agkaroon siya ng dalawang sungay. This side of Julian that I wasn t used to. Alam kong hindi uso sa mahihirap ang omelette . Mabilis akong humarap sa kanya. I chewed it. Julian wala na naman akong lagnat samahan mo `ko mamaya kina Sumpak ulit. I wanted to hit him with the lamp shade. I arched one brow. I gritted my teeth. Hey. Fine. No reply. Basta hinalo lang niya ang pagkain. eh? Nooo I bemoaned. I groaned inwardly. Wit h his bewitching smile. I glared at him. parang utang na loob ko pa ang paggawa niya ng breakfast sa `kin. Gusto kong sabihing: Amuin mo ko Kumain ka na. Tapos bigla niya `kong inabutan ng tablet. My head was poundi ng. Bumagsak ang katawan ko sa higaan. Not talkin g would be the cause of your death. All at once my heart started hammering. Sa daldal mong `yan. Bakit nga pala nandito sina mommy kahapon? Oh! I forgot to call CM. He started laughing. But still mukha pa rin iyong darak. `Yung tawang parang wala ng bukas. Preppy Ken. Hindi naman masama lasa niya. I really gasped aloud. Whatever. Ganon pala huh? . What did he think of me? Hard-to-get `to no. Unti-unti akong napangiti. He tapped my shoulder. Sa bi nga pala ni Thrust the food on my mouth. Tumagilid ako. Confirmed. Day off ng mga katulong. No more like poison me! My eyes stared incredulously. Julian? He didn t reply. Binuksan ko `yung silver cover. Sabi nga ni mommy. Biglang bumukas `yung pinto. Thank you. Wow. Julian ano b a! Will just give me peace Jeannie? I opened my mouth to talk again. kumain ka na. Ang kapal niya! Grabe. Yep. Sa paningin ko. Galit kaya ako. Pasalamat siya gutom ako. May takip iyon. My God. Hindi ba niya `ko papatayin? I looked at the tray in front of me. Parang biglang k umalam ang sikmura ko. Patalikod sa kany a. Surely Ano ng tingin niya sa `kin? BABOY? Ano `to? Kaning baboy? Why. Betty Boop! Kumain ka na. Forcefully. There the Ken stood. Ha! Grabe. What a better way of saying Shut up Jeannie . Surely I wasn t that fat. 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. Napatingin ako sa unan ng masama. He tapped again my shoulder. Tawa. I gasped. He really had a sweet and cari ng side. EVER. Tawa. Naramdaman kong lumubog `yung kama sa gilid ko. An ong ginagawa mo dito? bulong ko. Don t make me laugh. Breakfast.nk of me? Barbie doll.
You know I can t. They all laughed. ha. Ikaw ang may kasalanan ako ang umaani! She never love d me so I got tired of waiting for her. Nangangalay na braso ko ah. Kasalanan ko bang halos rinig na ng buong bahay ang pag-uusap nila ? Sus. At unang una ako sa mga taong iyon. And she loves me dearly I would have gasped. Julian smiled at me and raised his wineglass in a mocking salute. Inabot ko ang kamay ko sa kanya. Jeannie? I almost jumped in surprise. He ordered. Didn t you. My knees were going to buck le. What are you doing here? I swore. Tumaas `yung kilay ko. Mabait na asawa ba itong si Julian hija? Tanong ni Aunt Risan sa `kin. She loved you damn you! Silence descended. `Yun lang! G oodness. `yung mga taong curious `yu n `yung matatalino. Deadma lang ako. Ang sinabi niya lang kanina we re going some place . And be polite. Would he slash his wrists? No. He ll hate me. His broad back was turned to me. Mamamatay nga ata ako. Naiisip ko pa lang an g mga gagawin niya y kinikilabutan na `ko. Parang sinasabi ng ti nging iyong akala ko ba hindi tayo bati? . See? Silence means yes. Paano ko sasabihin sa kanya? Julian your family wasn t supposed to be who they were. I was true to my promise. Parang bumalik ang sakit ng ulo ko. Well. I was about to turn away when some snatches of the conv ersation caught my attention. Wow. Smile. We Aherm! Aherm! Malakas kong ubo. He just kept on talking. Hindi kaya pulutin ako sa kalsada `pagsinabi ko `yun? Pam-blackmail! Tama. I looked as if I d seen a ghost. My hands were cold and c lammy. Sabi ko na nga ba. Gusto ko ng ngatngatin ang plato o ka ya ibato iyon sa kanya. Uuwi na tayo. He frowned and sighed. Kanina pa kita hinahanap. Gusto ko ng magsalita. Tapos napatapat ako sa library. At sabi nga. Alam kong nan anadya lang siya. darling? Nanlalaki ang mga mata ko. In short. simpleng papansin. It was as if they (Julian s supposed dad and Uncle Bert) told me that it wa s the end of the world. He turned around and just walked on! I saw the way he carried himself like the king of the world. But then all your lif e you were living a big damned lie. I was trying to find the comfort room. We were both sile nt on the way here. He would break furnitures and lashed at people. Ang bilis . Bert? When will you take all the blame and this buuullshit end? TELL ME! Parang may bombang sumabog. I was rooted to the ground. I was tight-lipped and turned to his aunt. Nod. Yes. They were all looking at me. I would have turned around and walked away. Ito ang napapala ng mga tsismosa. Napapanis na ata l away ko. You have to tell him! You can t just keep this damned secret forever. I sighed. The side of his mouth lifted slightly. I was just a very keen-observer. Hindi kami bati! Hindi ko siya papansinin! Argh. It was difficult ignoring someone who didn t want to be ignored.I would have cried aloud if not for Uncle Bert and Julian s dad. Parang teledrama lang. The voices were familiar. Ang katawan ko. He r olled his eyes. I wasn t really e avesdropping. Parang may sariling isip ang mga paa ko. most of the time. You hated lies. Inirapan ko si ya. Parang balewala lan g naman sa kanya. I frowned. Poor you. I even bathed her yesterday. Ayusin mo sarili mo. His whole being would surely break into a thousand pieces. He was challen ging me. Nagsasalita siya. When will you tell Julian about his true parentage. Waiting. Aunt Risan my wife s very pampered. Nagsasawa na `ko sa ganito. Silence would really kill me. He raised one brow at me. Wala nama n talaga akong pakialam. Nanghihinang naglalakad ako. Mabait po `pag tulog.
I smiled mischievously. Na hindi ko m an lang alam kung sino. Well.. Ni-lock ko `yung pinto kanina. But it didn t even bother me. He started laughing demonically. Julian was in the study room fussing ove r documents. Nagsusungit na naman. Ang lakas ng impact. Tandaan mo Jeannie may malaking utang na loob siya sa `yo. For the first time I rendered pity for the high and mighty Julian Sunico. Pero hindi ko ginawa. Katabi! Then it clearly dawned on me. Luha. And because I wasn t that bad I hoped God and St. As in. Laway ko. `di one ganda okay. He didn t ev en bother to open the door for me. Peter was looking right down at me us . Akalain ko bang hindi ko matiis and dyablong si Julian? I could have gone straight to a reporter or to any journa list. And and Julian never slept wit h me. Masarap palang matulog ng may katabi. Hindi ko na siya pinakialamanan. You need me. And because he was very much a gentleman. In my dreamy state. Umiling-iling ito. I hiccupped through his shirt. Parang hindi niya napapansin na kasama niya `ko. Sipon . you can t live without me. And the one he grew up with was really his uncle. Bumaba na kami ng sasakyan. I almost screamed. May utang na loob ka sa `kin. It was one hell of a secret. somebody.. Half of my body w as covered by. he might n ot know yet but he d thank you later. Later that night I went to sleep early. Nasaktan pa nga ` yung dibdib ko sa pagtama sa likod niya. Kaya tatanawin niya sa `kin itong isang malaking utang n a loob. TWENTY ONE We went straight home. What are you doing? He said softly. for sure he would blame himself for the separati on. Ever since that phone call earlier. Hmm? Humigpit bigla `yung kapit niya sa `kin. Parang sinasabing nasiraan na nga talaga . Ang gulo no? Kasing gulo ng u tak ni Julian. 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. He sighed exaggeratedly. And I bet. Eh. Baliw ka na ba? He said drily while looking at me in disg ust. If he d only known. I ran to him. I couldn t breathe a little. Uncle Bert was his dad. The hands tightened around my m idsection. I ll tell you something you don t know. I cushioned my head against his back. I fell in step beside him. one baet point na `ko. I sighed pleasurably. Habang pilit pang tinatanggal `yung kamay ko s a harap niya! I tightened my hands around his middle.ko. And hugged him from behind. Parang may nakadagan sa katawan ko. . Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. Somebody was sleeping beside me! My eyes grew wide . I snuggled closer.
Naghilik siya. Inamoy amoy ko pa man din `yung unan na hinigan niya! Tapos `pagdating ng b reakfast hindi ako papansinin? Grabe. Tinatanong lang naman kita. I smiled sweetly. Gigil na sinundan ko siya. With gaps between my fingers. Didn t he know that he was way bigger than me? He covered half of my b ody. My God. Hindi naman ah. You scared me inis na bulong ko. Parang balewalan g naglakad siya papunta sa closet. Pero utos pa rin.Madilim. luckily his back was turned to me. May pupuntahan tayo? U . Travel. Three words. My chest was flattened against his. I closed the door shut in effect. ganon. I know. No phone calls. her eyes were big and even her mouth was a big O. Julian ungot ko. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. Sabay biglang takbo. A person seemed vulnerable when asleep. He wasn t talking to me the whole day! I woke up with the empty side of the bed. Inumang ko `yung kamao ko sa likod niya tapos humarap siya. May alzheimer s na ata. Bakit ba ang sungit sungit mo He slammed the door in my face! I was so shocked. Leave me alone. I was going crazy with boredom. Lapasta ngan! Tinitigan ko siya ng masama. Ang KAPAL! Mabilis na itinapat ko ang palad sa bibig at bumuga buga. This mig ht be heaven. Ang ulo nito ay parang batang isiniksik sa leeg ko. Seconds late r. Balewalang dumagan ulit siya sa `kin! Na parang ba ta. The man s breath was fanning my cheek. Aalis. Ano ba. What are you doing? I frowned when he started puttin g his clothes in a traveling bag. Hindi ko alam kung bakit. Dirediretso sa study room niya. Then I pushed him hard. Then I looked over my shoulder. Hello? Hindi ko kaya nakita! Wala kaya akong nakita. Ah. Mabaho ba `ko? For the first time. arhm scratch that. Sige magpanggap kang wala ako dito. Hell. He wore his underwear not a whit about me ogling standing there. Yuck. I started pushing. Then he went to work . Maybe Julian needed some loving after all. Niyugyog ko ulit. Sleep. I covered my eyes with my hand. But my. Hindi man lang ako pin agtangkaan ni Julian. he was fast asleep. Hawak pa `yung walis. I heard him chuckle. Gigil kon g sabi. My eyes slowly widen ed He was gloriously buck-naked. Niyugyog ko `yung balikat niya. Nakalimutan ba niya? He cuddle d with me last night! I thought we were okay? Ngayon ko napatunayang maraming na didisgrasya sa akala. Why are you in my room? Bulong ko. Nakiliti ako sa paghinga niya sa leeg ko. I angrily swung the door loud enough. Pinipilit nitong pigilan ang mga kamay ko. One word uttered. Nice butt. I tenderly caressed his hair. He came back late that night. napadaan lang ma am. wasn t that my weakness? Men with nice rounded bu tts. Excuse me? Bad breath. Ah. Traveling. Alam mo ba Julian na nakakainis ka? Nawala na `yung antok ko dahil sa He covered my mouth! Inis na tinatanggal ko iyon. Julian san ka kumain? He shrugged. L alo niyang nilakasan `yung paghilik. `Yung isa naming maid nakatayo din! Promise. Unfortunately.
I couldn t say anything. I didn t even notice that we were already inside the airport. ko. Not even a word. At saka lang ito ngumisi sa `kin. Parang nakalimutan ko nga ding magpinta. Ang O. Hindi niya ako pinansin. Para akong robot. He studied his nails. Ni hindi man lang nag-alalang tumawag para itanong kung buhay pa `ko. Kung ako lan g Jeannie mas gusto kong maiwan kasama `yung asawa mo. Samahan daw muna kita. Oh. Tapos tinalon talunan ko iyon. I pouted. Parang hindi gumagana `yung utak ko. One week. Oo nga. He was even immersed in painting a landscape. No one would shout at me. Tapos tinalikuran niya na `ko. I didn t even remember him. He was going away. Nobody would tor ment me. He even demonstrated with his hands. I rolled on my stomach and covered the pillow over my head. I sniffed it. I didn t miss him. dangsin-ibogo sip-eulgeoya I ll miss you. Tapos pinisil niya `yung bab a ko. Aalis tayo Jeannie. Baliw na ata talaga ako. Basta lagay lang siya ng lag ay ng gamit. One week kong h indi makikita si Julian? Argh. Okay lang `yun! Mabuti nga `yun. Tayo? Nagmamadaling tinignan pa nito ang wrist watch. O binabaon ko ba s iya sa utang through his credit card. He was mouthing: Kiss. That was it. Naiinis ako sa kanya! Kahit `wag na siyang bumalik. Mabobored lang siguro ako kaya ako nagkakaganito. A week. He even smiled at me. We were all quiet. Yo ur hubby called me. Julian! Oo Jeannie narinig kita. Kinilig pa ang bruha. I sat down while panting. CM was waiting for me downstairs. `di ba kapag naka-pout nanunulis `yung lips? Hindi man lang makara mdam! Tapos nakita ko sa likod si CM. Anong sinabi niya? Hindi kaya minura ako ni Juli an? TWENTY TWO Four full days. Inis na binato ko ang unan niya sa kama. I ate silently at the breakfast table. A. Wala na `kong yayamutin. I was a little absorbed with my emotions. How was that? Nakahiga lang ako.mupo ako sa gilid ng kama. Kahit man lang hoy wala. Wala naman talaga akong pakialam. Parang baligtad? Whatever. I was hugging Julian s pillow tightly. Ang laki-laki ng bahay ako lang naman at si CM. He moved toward me. Kung ako lang din CM mas gusto kong maiwan kasama ng asawa ko! Mabilis na sumakay ako ng sasakyan. I realized then that my world started revolving around Julian. CM said from behind. Teka. I was just plain bored . So planado ito? G anon ba? Why didn t you tell me? Galit kong harap sa kanya. Anong ginag awa nito dito? Julian put his luggage in the compartment without a word to me. For a week! Na hindi man lang ako kasama? Ang galing. Jeannie . Sabi ko sa sarili ko at ginawa pang p uppet na nagsasalita ang kamay ko. I was t rying hard not to look at his back while walking away. I One more week of not abiding that damned co ntract. I m going to Las Vegas for a business trip. THE HELL I CARE! Jeannie! Ano?! Galit kong harap kay Julian. Anong sinabi niya? I stared blankly at CM. He could really be attracti ve and sexy without trying. Nagulat ako. No phone calls. He put on a shirt and his rugged jeans. I punched the pillow like it was his face.
I gnawed the inside of my left cheek. Inis na humiga ulit ako at tinalikuran siya. Anong sabi niya? Hindi ka naman interesado. 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. I reahed for it under my accessories along with other swell stuff. bakit ka nagmumukmok? Ako? Nagmumukmok? My God CM. I smi rked at him. Julian? Badtrip. Umiinom ng isang tasang kape si CM. We ate dinner serenely. He stood up from my bed. Pilit ginagaya si Ann Curtis. Double Sh!t. Tatalikod pa lang sana ako ng tumunog ulit iyon. Para akong tangang hawak hawak `yung cell phone sa tenga ko. Bakit ba kasi nilock lock ko pa `yung drawer? Stupid of me. It stopped ringing just when the key turned in. Tama. What bad news? . I almost tripped with the blanket in a hurry to g et to my cell phone in the drawer. I didn t like CM s expression. Hello Julian? Jeannie kain na tayo! Sh!t. Boom . Tapos tinalikuran niya `ko at isinara ang pinto `paglabas. because you re not interested never mind. Meron tayong bente kwatro oras sa isa ng araw. So. Argh. Kahit `wag na siyang bumalik. I couldn t eat that muc h. I didn t even look at the screen. Naiinis ako s a mga taong magkukwento tapos mambibitin! My hands were getting itchy to wring h is neck. Eee. Mamaya mag-celebrate tayo tutal wala naman dito si Julian. I gasped and glared at him. Me? Missing him? Bull. Ahh he nodded indulgently. Alam mo naman si Julian napakapasensyoso! I gritted my teet h and sighed. Bwisit. CM won! I hated them both. To my astonishme nt. you know. I shouldn t have mentioned that name! CM was giving me those slow teasing grins I hated these days. I hissed and stared at him pointedly. Sorry na. Smile Jeannie. I forced my muscles to move. Okay. Sayang sasabihin ko pa man sana sa `yong tumawag kanina si Julian Well. Anong ginagawa niya? Dinadaig si Bill Gates? Tsk. Eh. I m just resting. my mobile started ringing. I don t want to be the bearer of bad news Jeannie. It tasted ashes on the tongue. I said nonchalantly. Mauubos talaga buhok niya sa `kin. `di ba? Sakalin ko kaya `tong si CM? Once lang. You should understand your husband. How could he be my friend? He had done nothing but to hum iliate me. Huwag lang talaga siyang makalapit-lapit.That bolted me upright. Just curious. Kitang kita kong parang hinayang siya. Big time. The door opened. Hindi! Hello. you don t miss him? Umupo ulit ako. Oh? I don t care if you don t believe me CM. CM said. He gave me that eat-your-heart-out sm ile. It opened. dude. Gusto kong ipakain sa kanya iyon. Namimiss mo na no? Sabi nito at umupo sa tabi ko. I looked at him squarely. CM!!! I wanted to wipe the grin off hi s face. That would be a cold day in hell. CM said. Nagmamadali ako. My hand was trembling.
I m sorry Jennie. Tapos nakita k o `yung biceps ni Julian. I pouted. Eight? Ten? Ang tagal ko na d in palang pinagtyatyagaan si Julian. Julian changed the word messy to SEXY. my left arm jabbed som ething. Ang hirap kapag magkalaban ang puso at ang utak. Someone groaned beside me. He look ed a bit disoriented. She stirred in her sleep. Sabi ko na nga ba. Befo re I knew it his arm wrapped around my waist and pulled me closer. I stretched my arms. Napasubsob ak o sa dibdib niya. Julian. He had an eight o`clock stubbles about his cheeks. 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. Weren t his mother and father a one great example ? He was a very cynical man. This was just one of his grand jokes. There was nothing cons tant and permanent in this word. Parang hindi ko ata naintindihan ang mga sinabi ni CM. He was whi spering what seemed like love words to me. I slowly smiled. He kissed her na pe softly. She was one thing he didn t need right now. The word complication was writt en all over her face. Jeannie could disappear one day. His heart told him otherwise. `Yun ang narinig ko. Disoriented. I went to bed that night with my head pounding so hard it hurt. Ayt. Kukurutin ko sana `yung braso ko. And my! His chest was uncovered. And he was afraid of this from the very first fvcking day he met her. He was a major lo ser. The investors in Las Vegas were pulling out. It was just that he was afraid to get too attached. Oooh lala . Tapos pumikit ulit. At mas mahirap ipaglaban ang isang bagay na alam mong matagal ka nang talo. He grunted. He found himself smiling oddly. Why not? . Jules Tinalikuran niya `ko! Oh-kay. He knew those facts might kill him. Now. He didn t really know what bullsh!t happened t o him. I slept like the dead. That was the last of my conscious thoughts. God. I whispered. At nalilis ang kumot mula dito. Maingat niya itong pinagmasdan. Goodness. He opened one good eye. My eyes grew wide. kabaligtaran ang nangyayari sa totoong buhay. They lost millions. Ine-expect ko bang nandun si Sadako? Oh great. dangsin-eul salanghabnida. TWENTY THREE I woke up with a start. I love you. But but hey I had this dream last night. I was really dreaming! Oh. Huy. I thought men with stu bbles looked messy before. Bankrupt. That was the most hateful word in a businessman s vocabulary. His mindset was shouting he didn t need her. wasn t it? Si Julian? Bankrupt? Bugger. He opened the door and slid inside the semi-darkened room quietly.Pabagsak na ang negosyo ng mga Sunico. Even in deep slumber she came to him willingly. Parang slow motion na unti-unti akong tumingi n sa gilid ko. Julian She turned to the side. And his fingers were itching to put an L word on his forehead. Napatingala ako sa kanya. It s the truth. He cuddled her in spoon fashion. He couldn t afford to lose his heritage. 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. Lumapat ang likod nito sa dibdib niya. Tapos humarap ulit siya sa `kin. Angko s footprints. The light fli ckered from the lamp shade were casting shadows on the wall to the woman sleepin g serenely on the bed. Marahang humiga siya sa tabi nito at tumagilid.
Ang kapal! I shrieked when he pulled my feet from the be d. He even make it a point to dine with me at night. Julian didn t mention anymore about my debt or the baby making cont ract. L ukot na naman ang mukha. Jeans. Para kaming naghahabulan sa maliit na kama. He was silent. Oo. Tapos `yung tingin n a `yun yung para akong hinuhubaran? Are you insane? Inis na lumayo siya sa `kin. Just a bit. I hated him! Hindi na siya nahiya sa ayos niya. I gritted my teeth. He often scowled. Tapos nagtititili ako. I gulped. I was a bit tempted. A bit. `Yun nga lang. sayang! LOL. Tingin sa flooring. if I would be living with him forever I couldn t imagine. Why. Ano kayang pinakain kay Julian don? Na-realize niya sigurong mahirap ng makahanap ng isang Jeannette Rose Leviste sa buong mundo. I know you want me now Jeannie. Why do you have no clothes on? I parroted. Who are you asking me or the bed? I looked him in the eyes. But I m tired. Well. Hinila niya talaga ako. Naninigas na `yung leeg ko. Si Julian nga! Nagsasalubong ang mga kilay nito. Uh-oh. Pe ro Julian toned down a bit. Damn. What! Inis niyang tanong habang hinahanap `yung jeans niya! Yes. Kinikilig talaga ako. Feeling ko ang bilis humaba ng buhok ko.I pinched him slowly and ever so painfully. Tapos nagbuklat ako ng magazine. Sa kama. what the Confirmed. Nanggigil lang naman ako. I clutche d the headboard. Anyhow. men had no modesty! I slept in my birth suit. Hinuhubaran? More like sinu sunog. Some things changed in him after his business trip. God Jeannie look elsewhere but him! Tin gin sa ceiling. I winced. I lacked sleep. Tumalikod ako sa kanya ng tumayo na siya sa harap n g salamin. I was like in fairy land for three m ore weeks. He said forlornly. naninigaw pa rin siya. What did you do with my things?! What things? Painosente kong sabi. Pero ngu mingiti na rin siya ngayon. Nanghinayang lang. He tickled me on each side. He planted his hands on his hips. He gave me that come-on smile. Geezers. I winced as I saw him striding down the stairs. He regarded me with incredulity. Not that I was disappointed. Jeannie! Sabi ko sa inyo a bit lang eh. malakas kaya kiliti ko. He had already a to wel on. Parang kagat lang `yun ng langgam. Tingin sa lampshade. Nangangalay na `ko. Hello? It was daytime! Tapos tumata gos pa `yung sinag ng araw mula sa sliding door. Mayamaya lamang we were brushing our teeth side by side. I swore I blushed to the roots of my hair. was he seducing me? It wasn t working! It was oh-so-tempting. he became a bit ge ntler with. Not lower Jeannie! But hey. It was un-Julian to do those things for me. I pouted. Ginalaw mo naman `yung mga gamit ko! Even my baseball is missing. But our eyes met th rough the mirror. Tapos inabot niya sa `kin `yung toothbrush ko. Why couldn t I close my eyes? Why do you have no clothes on? Not a stitch! A slow smile cracked about his lips. He then hugged me and carried me to the bathroom. But not at him . Grabe. Na para bang nababaliw na `ko! Tapos tumayo na siya na parang walang pakialam. he wasn t that showy. Oh. I woke up having him beside me. Grabe magkaka-stiff neck ata ako kakating ala sa kanya. Inis na humarap ako. Na para bang walang pakialam. My. As in nada? Meaning. Ayy. Kailangan ko pang pum asok. He ripped the magazine off my hands and threw it wherever it landed. . He chuckled.
Hindi ko n a itatanong kung anong o much better sinong nilalapastangan niya sa isip niya. I felt a pang of envy. Alin `yun baseball bat niyang may nakalagay pang From me to you? YUCK! I don t know. Parang balewalang tumayo ito. If he would just kiss me and tell me he was sorry then he wouldn t be Julian at al l. he really was a changed man. I frowned. eh kung tutuusin I was my sister s dead ringer. Hindi ko gusto `yung ngiting iyon ni CM. Was he treating my sister well? Ngumiti sa `kin si Jean na parang inaassure ako. we could indulge in life s luxuries once in a while . CM s brow raised. He si ghed exaggeratedly. Paint Julian while sleeping nude. Sana may baby na rin ako. Ang kapal ko naman kung sabihin kun g he was lusting after me. Once in a while. There was m y sister. I mean. He gave me the creeps. He sighed. Tell me you love me and I ll forget you even dated Tricia once u pon a time. It s time. Tapos naghikab ako. Because Julian was Julian. You might want to join Jeannie? Seryosong sabi n ito. How rude . Well. Tapos lumingon ako. At nauna na kay Jean. Kung buhusan kaya kita ng kumukulong kape? Gusto mo? I smirked. ang big deal ng nakaraan para sa inyo. Matino namang kausap `tong si friend. We chat a little for a while. And hey. No.I pouted. He slowly smiled at me. There was something there. Muntik na kong kiligin dun. Did you know why Julian s business got a downturn? CM s eyes squinted at their backs. you know. Okay. siya naman ang magbabayad. blackli sted na. Her tummy s five months now. . I smirked at him. I m not good with explaining myself. okay fi ne. I should have been understanding. Anong isasali ko? Wala pa nga akong napipinta simula dumating a ko dito. Hinarap niya `ko. In exchange I gave her a sculpture of Venus de Milo. Ngumuso ito kay Vincent. For the win `yun te! Parang kinikilig na tumingala pa ito. Two weeks from now may gaganapin g Fine Arts contest sa New York. Alam mo ba `yung feeling na gu sto mong magpa-amo. I silently wished as I touched my sister s rounded stomach . Babalik na `ko ng States the day after tomorrow. See? He even gave Tricia a very luxuri ous gift! Ako? WALA. Vincent? Hmm. I didn t want him to change. Nakakainis sa inyong mga babae. I shrugged. Jeannie? Tumili siyang lumapit sa `kin. Tipong mag-iinarte ka kasi gusto mong lambingin ka niya. Hindi naman talaga masama ugali niya. Jean let s go. I thought he was going to tell me go to hell . Tricia gave it to me on my 21st birthday. Kung sa bagay. He was looking right through me. That s Tricia s birthday gift to me. And that guy. Parang nag-init `yung ulo ko. sometimes he was an asshole. Wel l. Pero hello? Kailangan pa bang ipamukha sa `kin na regalo `yun ng ex niya? EX na nga `di ba? Meaning X. Tricia s a part of the past. I didn t know. if I was going to ask for the moon. But I knew deep down he cared about me. argh. Pero `yung Vincent. It was a little bit over a month and a half simula ng bukingan portion na `yun. Ewan ko ba dito kay CM. He was eyeing me like. Listen to me sweetheart. Then we hugged each other. This Vincent was second on the list. Winner! Tumili pa siya. Tapos nanulis `yung bibig ko. I t was gross to even imagine. For me it wasn t even practical eating or even drinking a cup of coffee for how much! Tsk. Anong ibig mong sabihin CM? Nagkita kami sa Starbucks. She knew CM by the photos I e-mailed to her before. My mouth almost dropped open. 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. Mga ka-federation ko ata ang judges. Were rich men born to be airheads? Julian for one. Parang tumaas lahat ng dugo ko sa ulo ko. I glanced at him.
Wait. Akala ko ba nagbago na siya? Mabilis akong tumayo. Positive? Malamang Jeannie. CM. Pero parang wala namang laman ang tyan ko. What now? Paano kung igiit pa rin ni Julian `yung baby making contract namin? I was so stupid. what would happen to me? I couldn t just give my baby up. Ano `yun mga tuta? Basta na lang ipapamigay. Who s her baby s father anyway? Isn t Brad her boyfriend? Parang naguguluhang napatingin ako sa kanya. Then my vision became blurry. Siguro may mga v . Could it be? As mommy told me. baka naman na g-eenie mini mynie moe `yang kapatid mo? Sino sa tatlo ang tatay ng anak ko? Sosy al. He shrugged. This tim e he s got his revenge against the Sunicos. Bakit ako tatanungin mo kayo ang kambal `di ba? Anyway. My head was spinning. What? I threw up on him. I know. You re gross. Nasulot niya ang mga investors ni Julia n. But not as an artist slash actress. I laughed silly at myself. Pinaghirapan ko kaya ang paggawa dito. Artist yes. He cut the line off. He shrugged. Julia I gritted my teeth in anger. Oh. But he didn t tell an ything about us being together forever. It had been ab out a month and a half since that night. Kaya nga nagtataka ko dyan sa kapatid mo. My sister s well-informed. May nagbago ba? Nag-pose pa ako. I wanted to cry and howl at the same time. Na-realize kong ang sagwa pala. Goodne ss. Anak ko ito eh. Who do you think? Mahina kong sabi. Hindi kaya buntis ka ba? My head swam with all the possibilities. We weren t even married legally! Dahil nga null and void ang marriage contract namin. My phone started ringing. CM even suggested we go to the OB. You re kidding me. Jean s not like that. Hindi pwedeng artista Jea nnie. I don t know. God. be careful what you wished for coz you just might get it. Plus sign. I looked pale. no. So ano? Lalaking bastardo ang anak ko? Hindi ko napansing umiiyak na pala ako. I giggled. Naiiyak na napaupo ako sa tiles. Raised my han d then pouted my lips. I hugged my knees to myself. Bakit ko pa kasi pinirmapirmahan. Siguro magiging car racer anak ko `paglaki. Jeannie? Are you okay? Okay? I groaned. `Yung hikbi ko naging hagulgol na. TWENTY FOUR I stared at myself in the mirror. Kinakabahan ako habang hinihintay ko ang result ng PT. I yanked my tee shirt up. Ngayon din. He changed. She s one of the cronies of Vincent. what do you mean? He shrugged. Seriously. Just like that. I was a bit disconcerted about mothers who left their children withou t a by-your-leave. I gasped. That one s ruthless. Hello? Umuwi ka na. kelan ba naging negative ang plus sign? Parang nababaliw na sabi ko sa sarili. We have a flight to catch up. Pero ayoko. Then I slowly peeked at it with one eye. I hadn t thought about it. Why not? Sa kotse siya nabuo. If ever na totoo man syempre `yung tatay ng anak ko ang gusto kong kasama. napakapit ako sa silya.
I smiled and caressed my stomach. WHAT! Mabilis nitong inamoy ang sarili. Masyadong matapang . Go ahead. Tumulo `yung sipon ko. he whispered. That kind of beast scowl he always had. Basang basa na ang mukha ko ng luha. We re going Nabitin ang pagsigaw nito. Disgusted. Tapos tinampal ko `yung bibig niya. The grea t Julian Sunico? Parang takot na takot akong hawakan. I pouted then tears readily pooled down m y eyes. Niyakap ko siya. God. Tapos Oh. Jeannie! If you want to fly to the moon. Ta pos pinunasan niya `yung bibig ko ng basang face towel. Sabi ko. I said get away Will you just shut up? Para kang loro. Every woman deserved to be wooed. I already love you baby JJ. Para akong batang nagpapabuhat. He rolled his eyes ceilingward. Biglang bumukas ang pinto. Anon g sasabihin ko. Layuan mo `ko! What! I said get away from me! Excuse me? He looked at me incredulously. Ano bang problema ko? What s wrong Jeannie? I saw concern in his eyes. I would have died. Ang baho mo kaya. Sabi ko lay uan mo nga ako. My mouth dropped open. Oi. Tapos iyak na naman ako. Then I sniffed his shirt . I wasn t so sure why I couldn t just tell him right away. Hindi ba niya alam na buntis ako? Sumisigaw siya? `Di kaya marinig ng baby `yun? What is the sigaw niya. `Yung tingin niya sa `kin `yung tingin na parang baliw na talaga `ko. matter with you? frustrated na bumab a `yung sigaw nito. And I shoved him away from me. At `pagsinabing layuan mo `ko ang ibig sabihin lang nun ay pilitin mo `ko. I shook my head. Parang nanga sim `yung sikmura ko. At mabilis inilayo ang mga braso kong nakataas sa kanya. Naawa siguro sa `kin at saka ako niyakap. And Jean(pronounced as John) Julian if a he. Napakasama ng ugali niya. It was just that. Bakit ba ayaw tumigil ng mga luha ko? Parang gusto kong maglupasay. Napakapit ako sa PT at mabilis na itinago sa likod ko. Mauna ka na! Hindi ako sa sama! He scowled. Para akong masusuka. Get away from me! I screamed at him. Kadiri man halos isubsob ko na ang mukha ko sa bowl. I swore I wanted to curse Julian. my God. He groaned. Umiiyak na sumuka ak o sa bowl. Juliet Jean if ever the baby s a she. Then I sniffed again. I wasn t here to sit judgement on them. Jeannie stop this nonsense okay? Aalis tayo ngayon din. Napakasama talaga ng ugali nito. Before I could ev en say stop sniggering at me my stomach turned upside down. My eyes watered again. Mamayang gabi na `yung fl ight. it was difficult to carry extra pounds for nine months then you d just just Argh. He sighed. Gusto ko siyang makita. I gritted my teeth. I might melt. Hindi ko sinadya `yun no! Gross. Sigaw pa! Napahikbi ako. Jeannie! What is wrong with you? Wala siyang choice. fine with me. At nilayuan nga ako! Didn t he know that when a woman said she hated you it meant she cared about you. .alid reasons sila. Tapos pinipilit niyang nila layo `yung polo shirt niya sa `kin. Hindi ko gusto ang amoy ng pabango niya. Lalo akong naiyak. Well. He carried me like a sac k of rice. Gosh. Julian buntis ako panagutan mo `ko! Baka sakalin ako nito ng w ala sa oras. Per o naiinis din akong makita siya at the same time. Nakita kong hindi siya magkandatuto.
At tumiklop na si CM. Damn. I couldn t just help imagining the devil himself sing ing a love song for me in front of everybody. Biglang naghiyawan ang mga matrona at bakla doon. Bakit may unfortunately pa?! Really? Very unfortunate nga. And he loves me so damned much The hell I don t know how to He hissed. expressionless but I clearly saw the way he was looking at me . So is the lucky girl that one? Todo smile ako. Buti na lang maingay kaya walang nakarinig ng sinabi niya. how sweet. Bumaling ulit ako sa kanya. The gay who impersonated President Gloria Arroyo patted my husband s rear! Aba. dear? I smirked. At halos bumaon sa braso ko ang kamay niya sa pagkakahawak sa `kin. I don t know how Pero inakay na siya ng dalawang bakla. So. Nagpaalam ka bang aalis? I frowned. Let s go home. Effective. Are you single? Julian regarded me with intense dislike. Yes? My husband will sing! CM groaned. `Yun lang. He was shaking hi s head. Sisigaw sana akong asawa ko `yan . Kaya la ng baka kuyugin ako dun. no. Ako. ngayong umaga lang `yan `pagdating ng gabi bati na ulit kayo. Sus.Nagtatampo ako kay Julian. I see. Kung makatsansing. Napalingon agad ako. Then I raised my hand. lover boy anong kakantahin mo? I don t know how to sing. Then my smile slowly faded when Julian cracked a slow. Parang sinasabing patay ka talaga sa `kin . I gnawed at my nails. He teasingly smiled at me. CM started laughing. Parang nababagot na sabi nito. Hello Julian Jeannie s just One angry look. Like in a slow motion I turned around. Sabay himas sa tyan. I sweetly smiled at him then turned to the stage. Only if I would get out of here alive later. Am I going to be a godmother. soft smil e about his lips. Napatingin ako sa mga halamang dagat sa stage while Julian kept pulling my arm. CM! I thought you re my Ladies and gentlemen. Parang nawala lahat ng sama ng loob ko. we need someone to volunteer to sing for us. Jules kasi CM! Baling ko kay CM. I was waiting for his response. Through the dim light his face was arhm. going home. And the re was him! What was he doing here? Napalingon agad ako kay CM. Nilayuan nga niya `ko for hours! I called CM on the p hone. I sipped the juice. Kaya nga nate-tempt na din akong mag-asawa para may kumukulbit na rin sa `kin `paggabi. Oh. Uh-oh. Anyone? I smiled. Sorry Julian. iyan ang bunga ng inyong pag-iibigan ni Julian eh. Hindi. Hindi ko hahayaang madungisan ng dugo mo ang baby JJ ko no. Unf ortunately. Mamaya. Na tapat dito ang spotlight. Libre? Julian gave him h is infamous don t-touch-me glare of his. Tumaas `yung kilay ko dun. Wala na talagang matinong masabi ito. Ang masama pa nito ibitin ako ng patiwarik ni Julian m amaya. I hissed and glared at him. I beamed proudly. It wasn t one of those sexy grins or even the self-mocking half- . he s really sweet. Syempre gay bar nga eh `di may mga halamang dagat na nagpe-perform. Baby JJ? Excited? Syempre! Of course. Patay. Julian s eyes grew wide. galit na bulong nito sa `kin. Kapag idineny ako nito ikakaila ko din siyang tatay ni baby JJ. My. Nagkita kami sa isang gay bar kinagabihan. Tapos ngumuso siya sa likuran ko. Magkaaway kaya kami.
He stopped singing. oh I I need to share every breath of you Oh I. Hindi ba dapat CM s eyes widened as he was w . Leigh Nash sang that song beautifully. Tapos tumayo ako. It was as if he was talking to me through the lyrics. The gay comedian snorted. At ibang sayaw din ang alam k o `yung `yung walang steps. He was really croaking and out of tune. you re my every He smiled at me and grabbed my arm. a chauvinist. I thought the world stopped revolving. Julian cleared his throat and looked about the surro undings uncertainly. I grimaced. Eto na. O kaya he would tell me Je annie you re my life. God. Been running from this feeling for so long Telling my heart I didn't need it. His voice was awkward. Because it was the best song I d ever hear d in my whole life. So afraid to take a chance again So afraid of what I feel inside. It was full of tenderness. 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. Buti na lang gwapo siya. Not even a one-fourth of any croakin g vocalists. Nagtawanan `yung mga nandun na kala mo kinikiliti. But it was okay with as long as he owned me. Akala ko sa movies lang nangyayari ` to. TIGHTLY. near with you. 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. Then he mouthed: I love you. Palapit na siya. Our eyes met. He was rude. I don t know how to sing really. I frowned and winced at the same time. Pretending I was better off alone But I know that it's just a lie. Sa totoo lang naiyak ako kasi hindi pala marunong kumanta si Julian. Nakakahiya lang tul oy. No.smile. Pero hindi lang pala b ulag ang pag-ibig kung hindi bingi rin. Yes. My eyes got misty. Magpapalakpakan sila tapos kikiligin. But I need to be next to you Oh I. He wasn t near perfec t. `Yung parang shooting. Seriously it was as if he weren t really singing. Pero ngayon ko lang na-realize Prince Charming was real. At saka ano na lang sasabihin ng mga associates niy a? The CEO was seen singing a love song to his wife. and a very arrogant ass who thought he owned the w orld. hindi pwedeng mag-Careless Whisper dito ha! They left him on the stage. Oh. Bumaba siya ng stage. eto na `yung moment na maghahabu lan kami tapos magyayakap kami sa gitna ng maraming tao.
This wasn t one of my fantasies. I pouted. I was naked. Mabilis niyang tinignan ang cellphone nito. She was inside the shower room. on his stomach. He loved me. I was covering my mouth and running to the CR. God. Aalis pala kami bukas ng madaling araw. It was so unlike him to snoop into o ther s things.agging his finger: lagot ka. There. Habang sumusuka ako ay pinapaliguan ko ng mura si Julian sa isip ko. In b ed with a stranger. Kung hindi ako ang magsasabi para matapos na ` yang problema mo. He shoved me inside his car. Jeannie. Bugger. Si Julian nga! Malay ko ba. Suka ng suka na wala namang inilalaba s. Naiiyak na subsob na ang mukha ko sa lababo. I even brushed the tendrils of wavy hair away from the side of his face to make sure. wasn t I? Then my stomach started churning. Iti natanong pa ba `yun? THE USUAL. Puro gastric juices lang naman ang . Kontrolado nga galit naman. What happened? Joke lang pala ni God. anong tingin niya sa `kin robot?! Julian! Not a word. didn t he? Argh. Kahit na nga ba nandito pa rin ako sa r oom ko. I remembered watching Nightmare on Elm Street last night. I woke up and opened one good eye. He even bared his soul to that brat. hell. Para akong naalimpungatan. He did. Ang halos kaladkarin palabas! I tried to smile at everyone. God. Lahat na lang ng gusto nito nasusunod. Narinig niya ang pagtunog ng cellphone nito. His left arm was wrapped around my midsection. It was all a dream! Humigpit ang yakap ni Julian sa `kin. He felt stripped of his pride. he sang a stupid son g he had secretly listening when he was a teenager in front of a crowd. Grabe. tell him about the baby. Before I knew it. He said in a controlled voice. I gasped. Tala ga bang nagiging spoiled na sa kanya ngayon si Jeannie? He hissed. He was sleeping close to me. Sumuka ako dun sa sink. I sat upright. Definitely not Julian! And very much naked! Oh. He gritted his teeth. I gritted my teeth. What baby? Wasn t it ironic? CM would tell him? Didn t he? Jeannie had a baby how? Oh. He was going to be a father without her telling him outright! TWENTY FIVE Disoriented. He swore he gasped. Pero nakita niya ang mensahe ni CM. Then my stomach got queasy. Mamaya niyan si Freddie na pala `yung katabi ko. I was paranoid. Mabilis akong tumaas at naglinis `pagkauwi. I saw him packing our things. And Julian seemed withdrawn. To God-knows-where. no.
Sasama ka? Inis kong sabi. Care ko? I pouted and made face. What the hell are you doi Julian s shout seemed to freeze. He was wet. What was really happening to me? I bit my lower lip and stood up. Oh. He was sulking because I didn t take my precious bath. As in. I specifically reme mbered sleeping on the couch. Whatever. He shrugged his shoulders. He rolled his eyes ceilingward. He brushed the wet hair away from her tear-stained cheeks. `Wag nang idagdag ang hindi paliligo nito kanina kahit ano ng pilit niya. Had God really answered my prayers? Why are you crying? He whispered. Tahimik lang siya habang nakaupo kami sa eroplano. The father of my b aby was traipsing clad with only a towel around his narrow hips.inilalabas ko. Pahikbi lang n ung una tapos palakas na ng palakas. nakita ko ang panghihilakbot sa mukha ni Julian. And my what a sight early in the morning. He wrink led his nose. At magtitili. Goodness. kasalanan ng magaling mong tatay ito! Umupo ako sa couch at pinagmamasdan si Julian. It was only 3:00 am! Sh!t. sipon. I couldn t believe it. Her eyes grew wide. Para akong nagl away bigla. Para ba ng wala na akong lakas para bukas. 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. She was exasperating. for Pete s sake! Julian a no ba! I swore I wanted to punch Julian s handsome face. Okay. Jeannie Itinaas ko `yung kamay ko. Had Julian taken me to bed? It seemed so. Sorry baby. Tapos kapag upo ko sa bowl I started crying like it was the end of the world. Where are you going? He hissed. Jeannie looked up. I walked on to the lavatory. Tapos unti-u nti niyang hinahalikan `yung mga luha ko. Mamayang umaga pa ang flight namin ng ma galing na lalaki. I haven t had a good night s sleep. He was shouting at me! Na para bang first time niyang gawin `yun Jeannie! Oh. I even scrubbed myself twice. If his wife didn t look pitiful enough. Luha. I hate you Julian. She frowned. Though sadly he s hould understand her. What! My eyes watered. Really? You ll escort me to hell? I said sarcastically. God. Lahat na. What was his problem? I got so lazy. Parang tinatamad akong maligo. Droplets of water was sluicing down his body. I buried my face into the pillow. I didn t smell bad. It was a miracle! Note to self: Magpapaparty ako `pag-uwi namin. What! Jeannie may warning na sabi nito. Wala sa loob n a bulong ko. As if he cares! He glared at me. Isa bang malaking kasalanan iyon? Julian. He didn t really understand how women s minds work. she cried. last night? . He pulled me close. Kung ganito naman ang panaginip I might ask God never to wake me up. I was in bed. Sasamahan na kita. My mouth dropped open wide. Ano pang tinitingin tingin mo dyan? Umaga na po prinsesa. Kakatulog ko lang kanina. Gusto kong kiligin. Ayokong umalis. Swear. May flight pa tayo. Tapos bigla kong inamoy `yung sarili ko. And didn t even bother to lock the door. Bakit ba lalaki na lang ang nagpapakasarap at babae ang nagpapakahirap? Why was life so unfair? Uwooo Hawak ang tyan na sumuka ulit. Kulang ako sa tulog. in my dreams. Better to wake me up now! I glared at him. In my saner days I would have been also disgusted with myself. His hair was dishevele d. I was robbed of my power. pawis. God. I screamed when I felt Julian s arms around me. Was this Julian the stranger in bed. I arched my brow. I opened my eyes and swore. Hindi pa rin nagbabago ang expression nito. Inabot nito iyon! I stood up and he wrap ped my arms around his neck. Bumukas `yung pinto. Na para bang anumang oras ay sasakalin niya na talaga ako. AGAIN? Oh. To Hell. God no.
I was too emo. . Julian was looking intently at him. I bet you re going to be a pig in no ti me at all. `Yung smile ko nag-fade. It won t work unless you tell me what s bothering you! He seethed. Ano ba. Hindi man lang naawa sa `kin. I merely got out of the room. Sanay akong nasisigawan niya. I clutched my stomach. I was so lazy. Kung iiyakan ko lahat ng mano k na pinapatay para gawin Chicken Joy baka ipasok na nila ako sa mental nito. I was a bit overwhelmed. Tapos humar ap ako sa kanya. He stepped out of the lava tory to the door. I shouldn t have known that sec ret. Pero iba ito. My eyes grew wide. Isn t there something you want to tell me? Ha? Parang hindi nagpa-function `yung brain cells ko. And I eve n cried when I saw a chicken being killed. I didn t want to swim. His teeth was grating. Sasama ka? Galit na sabi nito. Oh. Really? Parang sa panaginip ko lang ito nakikita. Maybe bec ause I was just too emotional. He was such a very considerate and loving husband! My eyes watered.Saan mo tinago si Julian? bulong ko sa kanya with matching stare-a-thon. Hayaan mo na siya Risan. Sa tanghaling tapat. Ano! He shouted no. I shook my head and smiled at them. Tapos tinalikuran ako! Grabe. Sig e pa rin ako sa lakad. Julian! sigaw ni Aunt Risan. Sabi ni Uncle Jin. Are you sick? Uncle Jin asked me once. Mukhang baby pa lang manang mana na sa tatay niya. He hugged me from behind. He cracked an indulgently smile at me. Ang morbid naman ng mga naiisip k o. I pouted. Syempre it had been my specialty: lying through my teeth. Nakapaglakad ka ngang mag-isa papunta dito. I saw Julian s father striding toward us. Argh. Kulang ako sa tulog. screamed! God. Hindi ba iyon din a ng tinanong ko kanina sa kanya? Julian naman! Just leave me alone! Dumadagundong ang sigaw nito. Leave him alone `di ba? Tears streamed down my face. Tapos tinanggal niya `yung mga kamay ko sa leeg niya. Jeannie! Sigaw ulit nito. I gasped. So so I should tell him first about about the baby? We were in Morocco for a week. Sabi ko. Mabilis akong nagmano sa papa ni Julian at sinundan ito. Tapos bumagsak ako sa floor. Grabe. And Julian s specialty: growling at me! Julian. I thought I thought He looked at me incredulously. Kung paano hindi ko alam. My knee s might give out. Don t use that on me Jeannie. Na para namang alam ko kung pan o `di ba? Lagi akong nagsusuka if not early in the morning. It was Uncle Jin s birthday. Jeannie He hissed. Tapos tapos bigla na namang kumunot `yung noo niya. He whispered to me and kissed my nape. Pero hindi ko rin siya gaanong ma-appreciate kasi si baby JJ. Maglalaslas na lang siguro ako sa banyo. babe I m sorry. I almost groaned aloud. Julian s real dad. Oo. Buhatin mo `ko papunta sa upuan. Mabilis kong pinahid `yung luha ko tapos tumaliko d sa kanya. Then I felt a hand wrapped around my middle. I was rooted to the ground. Tapos tumayo ito. Hmm Syempre minsan na nga lang ito lulubus lubusin ko na! Tinatamad akong maglakad. Paano kung makunan a ko habang naglalakad? Syempre sa sobrang stress ko. W-wala. Where are you going? To hell. Bumagsak ang upuan nito.
Syempre baby JJ would always come first. I already know. The se tting was just like this. He carried me to his car like a sack of rice. San a forever na kaming ganito. She couldn t even wonder if everyone would have been d eaf and blind by now. Nakatayo. I couldn t believe it. Nakita ko `yung sakit sa mga mata niya. And damned if I m not happy! At saka lamang ito ngumiti. Sunico kay Uncle Jin. As if he owned the world. Sa sobrang pagwawala niya ay naitulak niya ako. Sa baba non ay makikita mo `yung dagat. I slowly looked up from Julian s stricken face back to the blood streaming down my thighs. Yep. Hinihintay kong tumalon siya tapos sabihin niyang Yes. Na parang may kinukuha mula sa katawan ko. Para iyong scene sa isang pelikula. Kapag uwi namin. It was the best thing ever. Tapos lumabas na siya. No! Damn you! Hiyaw nito. Naamoy ko na ang war of the worlds. I fell hard and flat out on the floor. He said innocently. We heard someone shouting from inside the house. May dala siy ang mapa. It warmed my heart. Kapag tingin ko sa back seat I was surprised to see a gift. Oh my God. Oh. Aunt Risan screamed. This was the best of all the best vacation I ve ever h ad. You re drunk. The pain in my tummy numbed me. Uncle Jin owned the house. What s that? Malay ko. The water was crystal blue. eh `di na-shock ka ngayon? Gusto kong sabihin iyon sa kanya. Second best gift Julian had ever given me. Naiiyak na nilapitan ko siya at niyakap. Everyone was afraid to come to him. no. We halted dead in our tracks. Ang sunod na nangyari ang nakapagpatili kay Aunt Risan. Julian just please stay away from here! What? Galit niyang sabi kay Uncle Jin. What are you doing shouting at Uncle like that when you have no right to You re uncle? Julian s dad laughed demonically. No no my baby. He wagged me off him. . Mukha siyang maglalakad sa death sentence niya. Sunico in the face. He whispered. Ang gandang tignan. I m the happiest man on earth . Julian froze. You re lying! Julian no! Mabilis ko siyang nilapitan pero ilang beses niyang tinatanggal ang kam ay ko sa braso niya. Naalala ko `yung sa Sisterhood of Traveling Pants part two. I sobbed as I felt the pain k illing me. I was like really? It was a canvass with all its painting materials. Nakita ko si Julian dun sa may bandang cliff. He was lashing out. Ah. Isn t it Uncle Jin? It s the truth. We drove off to miles and miles. Kahit ako. Ano `yun? Naglakad lang dito? I opened the big gift. My eyes grew wide.Then I slapped him hard. Then I even put a chi ld beside him playing with his kite. `Di ba? Hindi talaga nagkamali ang kapatid ko ng pagpili. Pinipilit kong awatin si Julian. I tried my hands on it. Walang makapigil dito. Blood! There s blood on her thighs. 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. I grabbed his arm. You re not happy. Because you didn t tell him the truth! He shouted. What are you talking about Uncle? That fuucking son of b!tch you call Uncle is your real dad Julian! Para iyong bombang sumabog. But said instea d: We re going to have a baby. I wanted to ease that pain . They were a bunch of rich people. yes. I painted him for hours with the sunset as the background. My heart skipped a beat. Then he slammed the vase with full force. Ju lian lost control and punched Mr. Baka nailagay lang diyan. But from the looks of it.
Hindi ko kaya. I couldn t live with Julian anymore if my baby would be taken from me. Malakas na nga ako eh. Hin di ko alam kung ano `yung tinurok nila sa `kin. I hate you Julian. I woke up disoriented. They were all there. Naiiyak na napatingin ako sa labas ng bintana. As if I were in ele mentary again. He was about to embrace me when I pushed him hard away from me. Suffering isn t. Do I look fine? Was losing a baby okay to you? But no voice came out. Doc what s happening to my wife? He screamed in fear. A blond petite nurse came to my aid. At unang una kong nakita si Julian. Basta mabigat `yung pakiramdam k o. 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. right. . Kaya k o ng sapakin sa mukha si Julian. Then the nur ses were speaking in English. `Yun yung naririnig ko. Magwala. This time I I m-mean it Finally. It s okay ma am you re fine now. I was in and out of conscious but I saw Julian holdi ng my hand as I was rushed to the ER. Please hang on babe He kept w hispering. Even the nurses were calming me down. But this time. With the last ounce of strength I pulled my hand from him. Death is quicker. Though my body felt numb. Gusto kong sumigaw. Dapat lang! Dapat lang siyang matakot. That time. My hand flew to my stomach. Parang iba `yung room. Tapos nung ipapasok na `ko sa loob ayaw niyan g pakawalan `yung kamay ko. I missed him and hated him at the same ti me. Napataas kilay ko dun. Emotionally and physically. Hindi niya `ko pinupuntahan.TWENTY SIX I was sent to the hospital. Para akong mamamatay sa sakit. `Yung baby ko I cried. 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. Jeannie! Nilapitan niya agad ako. Two days. Jeannie I m sorry. My head was pounding. Tapos biglang bumukas `yung pinto. 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. Then everything suddenly flashed to my memory again. I couldn t stand t he sight of him! Get away from me! I shouted. I st arted sobbing hysterically. I didn t wish him to be dead bu t I did ask for him to fall into a ditch. Nagtataka ako kung san ko pa nakukuha ang lakas ko. ako ang nasasaktan. Mas ako ang nasasa ktan. My long overdue speech. hatred won. In my blurring vision I saw how defeated he looked. This would be my last day in the suffocating hospital. Hindi ko kayang mawala `yung baby JJ ko.
Ano pa bang tinatayo tayo mo dyan? Pasko? Galit na sabi ni Julian. Tears were threatening to explode again. 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. Pero parang ayaw makisama ng loko. was Julian s half-sister now that the truth was finally set free. Good. Lahat na. Tapos pi nagsusuntok ko `yung dibdib niya. Pinipilit niyang hawakan `yung kamay ko. Mabilis itong tumalikod at tinapik ang balikat ni Julian. Naintindihan mo naman `di ba? I m not going with you. My pai n. Someone grabbed my arm that moment. Ano? Sumigaw ito. Nagtitimpi siya alam ko. That stopped him. Hija I think you have to talk to him first. But he hugged me. We weren t shou . kalaking lalaki este. I embraced them. Malakas. Hindi ako kumikibo.Diretso na tayo sa airport. He was seethin g with anger. I wasn t even speaking in th e airport or on the way back. Ngayon niya matitikman ang isang salita ni Jeannie . bakla takot kay Julian! They were even of the same size and height. Niyakap ko siya `yung parang wala ng bukas. I don t have a husband Uncle Jin. you know. Grabe. Pawis. He was such a dear boy. H e mouthed: Are you sure? Why are you still here? Tanong ko kay CM. Uncle Jin pwede po bang sa inyo na lang ako sumabay? Halatang nagulat ito. Naghihintay na may malaglag na butiki. My hat red ran deep now. Tapos kinusot ko `yung ilong k o. On a serious note I didn t want to see him. Ayaw mo? Ingos niya sa `kin. CM was also there. Lahat ng sama ng loob ko naipon. I could walk. I didn t spare that bastaard a glance. I avoided eye contact. Salitang ilang beses ng nabali dahil kay Julian. That was harsh I know. Sabi ko. Kapag uwi namin sa airport ay nakita ko sina mommy. First time after so many days. He bear-hugged me. Kay Julia n. At ayokong dumating sa puntong hihilingin kong sana hindi ko n a siya nakilala o kaya naman ay mamatay na siya. He squealed. He wasn t even thinking about our baby? Kung sa ibang pagkakataon baka nagtatalon pa ako at isipin kong ako lang ang inaalala niya. Hindi mo alam? Na ikaw ang problema ko una pa lang? Galit kong sabi. I wanted him to feel the pain. Sipon. Iyon lang. I mean ta ma. Uncle Julian! Mabilis itong lumapit sa Uncle nito. Luha. Kung kailan pa nawala `yung baby ko. I started crying then. Don t touch me! I pushed him hard. You re so selfish! You think only of yourself?! Honey please He combed his hair with his fingers. he whispered and kissed the top of my head when I was exhausted. Ngayon ko lang siya na-appreciate. Tantan s mother. What was the use of talking if all we would ever do was throw snide remarks at e ach other? I drummed my fingers on my arm. I hugged the boy. sabi niya. I grab bed CM s hand. What is your problem? Mabilis pa sa alas-kwatrong hinarap niya ako. Na parang hindi alam ang gagawin. Because Celine. I gave him the don t-Jeannie-me glare. I looked at CM as if I were saying see? I m not going with you Julian. Hinintay niya lang palang maka-re cover ako. Ayokong umi yak sa harap nila. Ahm you talk to your husband first. Awkward. I m sorry baby. Jeannie listen to me. My knees were buckling. Julian raised one brow and didn t comment. Sabay iling papunta sa direksyon ni Julian. I nodded again. I even memoriz ed a speech when we meet again. Naligo ka na ba? The boy frowned at me. Pinagpraktisan ko kaya iyon. Tinatanong pa ba kung sino? Nauna na sina Uncle Jin at ang parents ko. All the things that I was trying to laugh off in the past months. Jeannie. Sabay tingin kay Julian. I brushed the tears away angrily. I smiled at Tantan.
shouldn t I? Mom was standing in the middle of the room with Jean. Mommy Ewan ko kung bakit parang naintindihan niya agad ako. Well. Alam mo `yung feeling na. didn t he always do that Jeannie? I m leaving you. Could I survive without him? Of course. Three months! Halos maglilimang buwan na `yu ng tyan ko ni-hoy wala man lang! Okay. Julian who? Inis kong harap sa kanya. He was shaking his head rapidly. I gasped. Julian and the baby. Come on. He couldn t haul me anymore to his car sa harap ng maraming tao. And I cut th e line off immediately. Si Julian Sinong Julian? `Yung nakabuntis sa `yo. Anong akala niya ganon lang iyon? Kiss an d make up? Pakipot ako no. There was so much at stake here. Three months seemed to pass without any ado. kung hindi man si Julian eh ako. pinag-usapan talaga namin `yun. About Julian Deadma. Jeannie naman oh! CM took the baby clothes from my hands. Nagpip igil lang. 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. Grabe. I started crying. Hindi ito ang napagkasunduan natin. lalaki lang `yun. Did he think I was joking? Not on this lifetime. Aminin niyo. Julian I won t go home with you anymore. My baby JJ? JJ? He raised one brow at me. Meron Tapos lumingon lingon pa. Pa-hard to get. Sa school supplies section. But Julian would always be a part of me. I took my arm from his grip. Hindi man lang nag-effort na suyuin ako.ting. Dalagang Pilipina. Na para bang ang sinabi ko ay isang nakakatawang joke . Nakita kong nagagalit na siya. may mga taong ganon. Mother knows best talaga. Hindi. Jeannie . I willed myself to be strong. I just can t. Umuwi ako sa bahay namin. Yayakapin niya sana ako ng umiwas ako. Ganon kasi ako kapag n ate-tense. Mahiya naman kami. I hissed. What are you talking about? I haven t killed the baby! Hindi siya nawala! Nandyan p a rin siya! He even touched my stomach. There were times whe n I wanted to call on him. She hugged me like I were a child again. So the baby was only a joke for him? Sobra na ito! Humihingi ako ng saklolo kay CM through my eyes. Actions were needed. dalawa na kaming buntis ng kambal ko. LOL. True? Wasn t he just cracking a s tupid joke on me? Parang maiiyak ako sa tuwa na nababanyo. Galit kaya ako ng time na `yun. I d like to cut off your long tongue. This time I was so serious I woul d have knocked my head against the wall. Sheesh. he did call me on the phone. Dati kasi inisip ko how stupid people were . We were in a public place. Jeannie. Me. Bakit? Hindi pa naman mag-aaral `yang anak mo ah. I glared at him. May gunting ba dito? CM frowned at me. I m going home with my parents. Iyo `yan. Someone told me that words weren t enough. Julian I won t go with you anymore. Grabe ngayon pa lang nami-miss ko na si Julian. 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. He seemed so shock. True. Sana man lang pinalipas niya `di ba? Wala. Baka nga kaisa ko kayo. Isa lang `yung alam ko: I neede d space. Away from Julian. He mouthed: Hindi ko asawa `yan. I should be happy. Actua lly. Why did they have to say I love you? Kung magpapaalam lang din naman sila? Friend Hmm? Kumuha ako ng mga baby clothes. In so many words. goodbye .
Hindi ako depress. Jeannie Si Julian at si Wala akong pakialam!!! Tila ata mapapaanak ako ng wala sa oras. Baka kasi naghihintay pa `yung date mo. I almost slipped off the tiled flooring. I turned my back on him. Gustung gusto ko na siyang murahin. Tignan ko kung san siya tatagal. Galit na inihirap niya ako sa kanya. I started cryi ng. CM s face was devoid of any emotion.Oh? Gigil kong sabi. Hinawakan niya `yung siko ko per o mabilis kong iniiwas iyon. CM was really serious! Julian was speaking to a lovel y woman. sabi ko at taas noong naglakad ako. Hin di ako `yung third party. I turned around. I saw him controlling his anger. Grabe. I was so bloated. si Julian o? Biglang turo ni CM. Dammit Jeannie! Oh. Hindi. Hindi kaya lagnatin ito mamaya? Have we met before? I arched my brow. Napaatras bigla si CM. Humigpi t ang hawak ko sa tinidor. Pwede mo na akong bitawan salamat . Hindi masama ang loob ko. Hindi ako papansin no! Grr. She looked like a model out of a vogue cover. Nasa basurahan na! What! I can t believe it! Those flowers are expensive! Ano bang gusto mo? Nahihirap . I just heard it from my sister. Ang sakit ng tyan ko. Saan? Sa puso mo Then he started laughing. Jeannie honey He looked at my now rounded stomach. Just like Julian. Ngumuso ito. I rolled my eyes heavenward. Pinagbigyan na kita these past months. I put my hands on my ears. Nakita ko ang pagpipigil niyang magalit. But he did. He was such a jerk. Sig e lang. Mamaya talaga bibili ako ng cha kang manika. Si Julian o? I glared at him. He raised both hands in the air. Aaminin ko na gseselos ako. How I would love to wring his neck. thank you. Samantalang ako? I looked like like I ate hungrily. At lalong aaminin kong gusto kong patayin si Julian ngayon din! Those chinito eyes. I shouldn t have looked up. I w alked past CM and looked for a restaurant. I leaned against the cubicle wall. God. Napadpad kami sa Filipino restaurant. okay wala ka pa palang pakialam a ng lagay na `yan. Parang narinig kong may sumabog na naman sa Iraq. Kasi baka makapatay lang ako ng tao. Oh. Why. You might be mistaken mister. Then he crossed his arm s over his chest. May isang intrimitidang tinignan ako mula ulo hanggang paa. Why could he be so handsome? I gritted my teeth. Nagrereklamo si Baby JJ. I didn t know why I was pushing him to hi s limits. Jeannie Wala akong naririnig I even sent you flowers. Na para bang sinasabing: Ah. Hindi ko napansin sa pagkain ko na pala naibunton ang kung ano mang na raramdaman ko. Like in a slow motion reel film. Gutom ka pa? Lagay pa ito ng lagay sa plato ko. My breath got hitched. Julian s on the dating scene again. I cou ldn t walk. Oh. Wala akong narinig. not Julian Sunico. Nasobrahan ata ako. I started sniffing while I was inside the cubicle. I didn t car e. I went to the comfort room. I sweetly smiled at him. Bigla kong nabitawan `yung baby socks. However you pin a halo to Lucifer he would always be a devil. eh `di lumabas din `yung tunay niyang kulay! Stop this playacting of yours. Naniningkit na ang lalong singkit na mata nito. I opened my mouth in a big O. Kung pasabugin ko kaya `yung bahay nila Julian? I gritted my teeth. May mga kamay na biglang umalalay sa `k in. Papatayin ata ako sa pagkabusog ni CM. Thanks mister. Angrily! CM winced at me. Easy ka lang Jeannie. Hindi na naman ako naglilihi ah. Listen to me Jeannie Did I really hear him pleading? Oh. Kahit nakakahiya man.
Naks. There was unfamiliar warmth in my heart. San ka pupunta? . It sounded like a warning. His teeth was grating. Ligawan mo muna ako. So happy with myself. Jeannie please It didn t sound like begging to me now. Nako. She asked me. Magkakalintikan talaga. At least then you won t pester me anymore! He gritted his teeth. For the second time I heard the great Julian Sunico pleading. Pero may madaan lang na maganda at sexy `yung titigan mula ulo hanggang cleavage na. Hey. Bakit ba hindi ko mapigilan ang reflexes ng sarili kong reaksyon! Something gripped me from within. Tsk. ito na naman `yung sumpong niya. Pero wala talaga. What?! I nodded rapidly. Ayoko. Ay. Weren t the roses red and violets blue? Oh. Umuwi ka na sa `tin. Hindi pa lang siguro niya alam. Bigla a ta akong nagka-asthma. At ginawa mo naman! I glared at him. The hell I care. Don t tell me. honey . Tapos syempre itatanggi nila `yun. Tama. So like men. Parang hindi ako makahinga. Alam ko talaga. Gumagalaw na ba `yung apo ko? Mommy looked at me from head to toe. Perform meaning do my wifely obligations. Our eyes met. Why mommy? Nothing She shrugged. Makipag-date ka kahit sinong gusto mo. I frowned. O kaya aatakihin ako sa puso. Hindi ikaw! I was trying to do what you wanted. Then what? She s a foreign associate. You re trying to do what I wanted. Talaga? Talaga. Ni-lock niya! Nahihirapan?! `Yung delivery man `yung naghirap.an na `ko Jeannie He whispered angrily. Baliw na ata ako at hinihintay ko ngang gu malaw ulit ito. Okay. hindi lang pala feeling `yun. God. He begged. Itinaas niya `yung baba ko. You re dating somebody else. Biglang sumipa si Baby JJ! Baby I cooed. Kahit magpakasal ako ulit? My eyes grew wide. I would have laughed silly if anyone just blurted out: Hey. nagmana ito ng tantrums sa daddy niya. Nakangiti ako habang nakaharap sa salamin. Nothing more. 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. Jeannie are you okay? Bigla ni ya akong niyakap. Bad vibes. Ooops. TWENTY SEVEN I was smiling stupidly in the mirror. Not because I couldn t ahm perform for him that he wou ld find somebody available. I straightened up fr om his arms. honey listen to me I did call you many times. I ve got someone on the side when you re busy. Tsk. Tapos hinimas ko ulit `yung tummy ko. I felt like the most beautiful w oman in the whole world. You look hapy anak? Ganyan nga smile. You re going home with me now? On one condition. Yo ur mom talked to me. Mommy really did that? I know she was just p rotecting me. Gumagalaw `yung baby ko! It was amazing how God could implant a living soul within us. Why not? He glared at me. Do you agree with mommy? Sumipa ka ulit baby para twice. meaning Oo. Sinabi niya sa `king `wag ka munang guluhin at Mommy what?! Biglang nawala `yung pagka-asthmatic kuno ko ah. You didn t even bother to call me to go for me I whispered numbly. no more like begged me to stay away from you for awhile. Oo. I was Angelina Jolie s missing twin sister. Damn. Napansin kong naka-lock na pala `yung pint o sa CR. He cupped both of my cheeks. Don t touch me. Siguro kahit papaano hindi rin naman malas ang mga babae.
Mommy. Dahil galit ako. I gritted my teeth in anger. Basta ang mahalaga I was way too happy to bother with the problems of the world. Oh. The moron was standing there looking so smug like he owned the world. Wala lang baka kasi kung ano pang makita mo maging kamukha pa ng apo ko. Mabilis na binitiwan iyon nito . CM just excuse Ako na. I was rooted to the ground. No mom. What the hell was CM doing here? Again? Hindi kaya ang masama pa nito siya pa maging kamukha ng anak ko. He loves me. Who are they? He winced. Nakakahiya naman `di ba? Ngayon pa kami magliligawan kung kailan naka-bingo na. Narinig ko `yung pagkatok sa pinto. I was so mad I was going to explode. tanga. Oh? Ito lang pala eh. H e owned me. Then I slowly gasped. I stepped on his peace offering! Once. Ano `yan? Balewalang tanong ko. You always make me up just to put me down. There was a couple cap tured kissing. Ewan ko ba. are you ok ay? He kissed the side of my mouth. There was something wrong here. Sheesh. CM! Mabilis kong kinuha `yung dyaryo sa likuran niya. What s this? I didn t know why my heart started hammering wildly. Hey. He should have bought me those wi th thorns. What are you Napatingin ito sa dyaryong hawak ni CM. I gritted my teeth. Picture kaya ni Ju lian `yung tinititigan ko nung time na `yun. I just stared at him. He smiled sheepishly. Bummer . I picked one stem from the bunch of flowers. I was exploding! I hated him. CM ano `yan? Ito? ah wala. Mabilis kong binagsak ang mga roses sa sahi g. It was a major no-no! Hindi hindi si I saw CM nodded rapidly at me.Going to watch TV. Dahil naiiyak ako. Nakatingin lang sa `kin si CM. Last petal. Yes. sexy smile. it might be Julia She was already out even before I could finish what I was going to say. At saka I pouted. Jeannie He wasnow gnawing his nails. Thrice. he lov es me he Lalong tumaas `yung kilay ko dun. Jeannie! I frowned. I was just wait ing for Julian to drop by. Mommy smiled at me. Alam ko gasgas na `yun. Sabi ko. Honey. O baka gut feel ko lan g. Sabi niya pupuntahan niya daw ako ngayon. he said and handed me a bunch of red roses. No! Napataas `yung kilay ko dun. Na parang sinasabing: Oo. Mommy volunteered. Ay. Humigpit ang kamay ko n g kinuha ko ang bouqet. What the hell are you doing? He hissed. Ang arte ko no? Ang drama ko. 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. 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. Twice. I could smell something fishy. he loves me not. didn t he? For five million pesos! He slowly gave me that charming. After clearing his throat he put the news clipping away. I smiled at him. nakakaawa ka . `Yung ngiting halatang may itinatago. Damn him. At si CM nga ang masangsang na amoy na iyon. Naiiyak na ko. God no. Ah no. Nanlalaki ang mga mata nito. I winced at her. Judas s kiss. CM avoided eye contact with me. I m way past that stage. Whatever. Jeannie! Oh. Pero umandar na naman `yung pagiging psychic ko. Too achingly sweet.
Pero hindi ako naniniwala don. He was all big aherm I mean he was almost perfect. Nakaupo ako sa may bench. I was too emotional. Pwede na nga akong magsulat ng Dear Ate Charo dito. Bakit hindi? I always described them as: STUPID. I whispered furiously. Without arms to wrap around you. Why not? Because I d never been bitten by the love bug before. I was like are you okay ? Sympathetic. I was out walking that night. I never asked for a perfect relationship. All in capital letters. Magbabati. Hindi ko ginustong maging character sa fairy tale books na kinukulayan ng mga bata. It was a cold night in December. Iyon ang sabi nito. I didn t need Edward Cullen to be Bella. There was no point denying the obviou s. Malakas kaya kapit ko ka ya for sure dapat mana sa `kin si baby JJ. I opened my mouth in disgust! Napapagod na `ko sa `yo Julian. I m outta here. No stress. Gumala w si baby JJ! Sorry. My stomach started contracting violently. nadaig mo pa si Ri zal . You couldn t just stop your idiot of a heart from beating for that pers on. I just needed time off alone. Magmamahal an. K ung totoong lalaki nga lang siya baka babae na ang tumakbong hubad para dito. Maybe acceptance would eventually set me free. Grabe. Mahina ang kapit ng b ata. If you still don t sense that well too bad for you. Ooops. Jeannie. Kahit ilang beses mong marinig ang salitang tanga mapa-english man `yan o ibang lenggwahe. Then suddenly my stomach contracted. But seriously. Pero hindi ba secretly all the girls i n town wished that? Deep down even if how many times we deny it. Arms wrapped around my rounded middle. I whispered. I quickly pushed him off me. Argh. it was all true . No amount of gentle words could ever mar the pai n. Drunkard on the street! Papalag sana ako. 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.at binigay sa`kin. Eeeh. Couldn t just Julian see my worth? Sabi nila: iwanan mo na `yung taong hindi ka naman kayang pahalagahan. baby I just miss you dad. I gasped. SANA. Walang taong ganon no. My friends cried over my sho ulder. Get out!!! I hissed. I start ed sniffing. Nag-panic ako. Hindi naman ako magpapagod. Kailan bang mawala ka pa? What if dun ka masaya? Would you fight for him or let go? My whole body was rocking violently. 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. Teka. Tea rs were blinding my vision. Lagi na lang kami ganito. it s me. They wept. 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. `Wag na lang. Will you just get out? Out of my life Julian. Look at him. Why did a mere whisper in the ear from him and then my heart start beating triple time again and again. Oh holy sh!t. He was made to be perfect. I didn t have to be Princess Fiona to have the likes of Shrek. They cursed their jerks of a boyfriend. The doctor told me that I should get some rest. But he wasn t anywhere near human. He might see your worth when you re gone. Mag-aaway. Syempre fetus pa lang siya ngayon no. Was baby JJ sensi ng anything? Jeannie He took hold of my arm. Pero ngayon ko lang na-realize. Kung memory storage lang ang puso hindi ba pwedeng . Kung dati tinatawanan ko lang `yu ng mga taong na-iinlove sabay sabing ay saludo ako sa `yo teh. Or b etter yet my soon-to-be baby JJ. Mero n. Oblation sa UP. we couldn t love someone who s faultless.
I was quite fascinated. Bakit ba napaka-clums y mo?! Sigaw nito. I screamed. Julian s face softened. But he wasn t that bad. That w as rubbish. He could be a very green monster you know. Damn you! You always scare me. I could never be anyone s prince charming. Here he was. Akala mo ba lahat ng lalaki gustong maging prince charming? No. I was a bout to run from him. He caressed my stomach and I could feel him from behind me. His voice held warning but his touch was g entle as he brushed the tears away from my cheeks. Thank God there was no blood. Onc e you ve said your piece you had it all figured out that you re right when in fact y ou re wrong. don t you? Kayong mga babae. Or even an orchestra. My eyes grew wide. Lillian kissed me! I didn t kiss her for Pete s sak e Jeannie! Are you listening to me! I started crying. I slipped off the pavement but I anchored my elbow so my stomach wouldn t fall head-on. Sabi nito. Malay ko ba. He put it on his heart. Argh. Syempre financial supp ort is always open mmmkay? Let s just go on separate ways. I d even tell you outright that yes. He had been drinking! Malamang amoy alak nga eh. Jeannie Don t worry about him I ll try to be the best mother I can be. His adam s apple bobbed up and down. Jeannie listen to me there were music and candlelight dinner s here. I didn t ever wonder now why I couldn t exchange him with Shrek. He wasn t really begging but his voice wa s a mere whisper. Not some hypocritical character of some fancy novel. I ve lusted for y ou since day one. Surely surely he wouldn t want to Argh! Not here. He gritted his teeth. Julian this is a public place! Kahit na nga ba walang ta He looked at me incredulously. Was he nervous? . Nang muntik na akong matapilok. Okay. Green Monster. Jeannie! Damn you! Julian I was crying like a child. You re still the father and I can t de prive you of that. Makinig ka sa `kin. Bulong nito. Paano kaya kung magkaanak din kami ng tatlong Julian? I shivered. galit na sabi nito. baka iniiisip niyang kulang pa sa daliri si baby JJ kaya pwede pa naming buuin. But my hips already bumped into the flooring. You are all warmed u p and kept on talking about baby JJ s future. Please come back to me honey.mag-erase? What are you doing here? I hissed and tried to take his arms away from me. Shut up. He whispered. Pano ko siya hindi maririnig s a sigaw niya? I didn t try to be the hero you want me to be babe. I paused. Jeannie What! What you saw in the news isn t real. Tapos mabilis niyang itinaas `yung dress ko. He was all lean and strong. Amoy al ak. I was real babe. Gah. You don t want to listen to me. clutching his arm tightly. Aren t you hurt? Let s go the nearest hospital and So tinititigan niya lang pala kung may dugo `yung thighs ko. My eyes were watering. Had he just said okay?! He was such a cad. Now I was getting stup id. At kung ibababa mo pa `yung kamay mo malalaman mong tao ako. Anong gusto mong sabihin ko? Sigaw nito. Specifically without me in your life . I saw the picture on the news clipping! Okay. defending himself. Feel this He hissed and took my hand. Lalaki ako. Naiiyak na suminghot ako. You saw that one. Mabilis akong nasalo ni Julian. Julian you can visit baby JJ anytime you want. Tapos galit na tinanggal ko `yung mga kamay niya. Trying to make everything okay and light. I was so pathetic. My eyes grew wide . It was just fine with you? I whispered brokenly. I ll admit. Sssshhh I m here baby.
I could tell you that I know a lot about women. to sh ut up. At kami rin. Aba. Hindi nga ba t mahirap magpalaki ng mga magulang? In the three months I came back to Julian. On a serious note . growl. Pero we couldn t ask for a sain t. I believed that there s one woman who can make a man a one-woman-man. Jeannie! I heard that shout. Er r. Big tim e. Pero mahirap magpalaki ng baby. Nah. My professor in Psychology once said. Because no man eve r did. Kahit wala naman talagang nakakatawa. change for a day just because you say so. Dahil sa tingin na ganon. I can t just boom. 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. he shrugged. 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. Julian. we started arguing from our pony tails down to our crushes. when Jean and I were ready to rip e ach other s head s off our shoulders. Masarap gumawa ng ba by. As if we didn t have the same face. Bakit ba eh. There are and will be times that I can t make you feel special because because I wan t to shout at you. And I don t know what I d do without you. Nakikisigaw na din si mommy. 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. It was flowing freely. Men were born to be polygamous. 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. Tapos kapag sila nag-aaway they d both tell us. You re the next best thing that happen ed to me. Siguro kaya maraming nabubuntis ng maaga n gayon. take note: in chorus. Really looked at me. I had gone to Heaven then back to hel l. But that would be a joke.I could be any man and tell you I love you every day. Jeannie! . Jean and I started growing up. Just kidding. He looked at me. But this is me. At your stupidity and silliness. He chuckled nervously. `di ba? Hindi masaya ang buhay kung magtititigan lang kayo. Not that I told you to tolerate their being babaero . Sheesh. Married life was never perfect. Sumbong kay daddy. Bakit ba hindi? Daig ko pang kasama si Hitler. That will be the best lie ever.
Alam mo Jeannie hindi na uu bra sa `kin `yang arte mong `yan. Tinanggal niya `yung unan sa mukha ko. . We were really screaming. Napangisi ako. I heard him sigh. My tears stopped immediately. This was damned serious. Of course. Nauubos na pasensya ko. clean. Narinig kong naglagutukan `yung mga buto niya sa knuckles. Nanlisik bigla `yung mga mata ko. To the closet. chest out and protruding stomach out. Without a word he turned his back on me and walked toward the door. Even when stressed. How dare him! Naiiyak n a talaga ako. He turned around slowly. JEANNIE! I put the big pillow over my head. Nabilang ko pa talaga siya. More gentle this t ime. His voice held warning. Humikbi ako. Mas mahalaga pa ba ang binubukbok na folder na `yun?! I stood up with chin in the air. Help me? Papatayin mo ba talaga ako Jeannie? He whispered furiously. Survive. I pushed him hard away from me. Bull s eye. He was now scowling. Jeannie kapag hindi ka Ano? Anong gagawin mo?! Sigaw ko. He brushed the locks of hair away from his face. I said in a cold tone. Ayan. Julia He raised one finger as if saying don t talk to me . I swore I took three steps backward. Tears wer e pooling in my eyes. Binasa mo ba? Kung hindi ka namakialam at binasa mo Hindi. Julian naman oh. Nanulis `yung bibig ko. Alam mo `yun? Palpak eh. Tapos sinabog ko ng onti `yung buhok ko. `Yung tipong buk as pagsisisihan ko kung bakit nagkalamat `yun. Oh. God. Dream. Kapag hindi na ako pwedeng bumalik sa New York makasali na nga lang sa starstruck dito. 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. Hmm Jeannie. Anong pakialam ko?! Walan g utang-na-loob! Ingrato. God. Hoho.. That rooted him to the ground. Pero I could even h andle Julian shouting at me when he was mad. An g gwapo talaga ng asawa ko. My mouth dropped open. God.I hadn t heard a word. Jeannie naman Parang stress na stress na sabi nito. Pabalibag kong binuksan `yun. and walke d across the room. I closed m y eyes tightly. Have I awakened the beast in him agai n? Tumaas `yung kilay ko. But not cold treatment on his part. Kaya pala bumenta ang punchline na you re cute when you re angry . bulong ko. Believe. `Wag ka na lang gumalaw. I started sobbing. Hindi naman ako masokista no. Tapos nag-tremble `yung lower lip ko.. Sana kahit `yung kontra na lang natin o titulo ng bahay niyo `yung tinapon mo Hinahanap ko nga kanina. Winner! He sighed exaggeratedly and tilted my head up. I shivered. Can t you be more endearing and and I gritted my teeth in anger. I was pregnant and he was what? Shouting at me. He looked like he was ready to wring my neck. Right on his face. sniffs. I just helped you hiccups. I took out all my clothes. Julian s face softened. In the middle of the night. Oh-k ay. Galit akong tumayo. the mess in your study room. Because of Julian. I cried louder . Napaupo ako sa kama. tinapon ko na lahat `yu WHAT??? Oh. Julian wouldn t hurt me at least physi cally. I just helped yaya Oreng clean his study room. Na para bang nagsisisi siyang pinabalik niya pa `ko di No. May bago ba? I gritted my teeth and then groaned. Goodness. My. hiccups. Jeannie! I know you re not asleep. Bummer. Jeannie nasan `yung mga lumang folder sa cabinet? He said. Grabe. Bakit siya mags isisi? `Di ba dapat ako? I slowly smiled at him. Damn you! Where did you put the documents? He was now shouting. He glared at me. Gigil na ibinato ko `yung unan. ang hirap magpanggap ng natutulog. Alin don? `Yung tirahan ng mga b ukbok? Ah. Pakiabot nga `yung bag. EVER. Okay.
Tapos ta wa. Naiyak akong lalo. In my eyes only. He snorted. He chuckled. My nose w ere stuffed with you know. And ugly . Lalo akong naiyak. You want me to lie? I hissed at him. Ngumisi ito. I was all set. ito namang si Julian masunurin! Hmp. I started sobbing like that of the child s. Mababanyo daw ako! Tapos sumasakit `yung tyan ko. aum.Tapos tapos inabot nga niya! Galit na binato ko lahat ng damit don. I felt his arm snaked behind my back the other one was under my thighs. Uuwi na talaga `ko. He smirked then snorted. Like this: oiiink oiiiink I gritted my teeth. I pouted. Nag-bounce `yun mattress. I almost screamed when I turned to find myself lo oking back at me in the mirror. I even saluted him for his control. N a parang naghahanap ng milagro sa kisame. He put me down on t he bed. He winced. Do you know what sound you emit when y ou snore? I don t snore. Walo na. Na nakataas pa ang sanda ta niya ha. I d start on my diet aft er I give birth. Binuhat niya `ko! Napakapit akong bigla sa leeg niya. Monster! I looked like Princess Fiona now. Goodness. Syempre I ll tell you you re the most beautiful woman in the world. Err. Sabi ko. Atapang atao di at akbo. Te ll me I m beautiful. Epic fail. Tapos tumigil pa ako sa may pintuan. Naramdaman kong lumuhod siya sa harapan ko. My mouth turned into an indignant O. Grr. stop crying please it won t do any good to our baby. Oo. Uuwi na `ko sa parents ko. I was so big. He kissed the tip of my nose. Oh. Parang batang sabi ko sa kanya. these past months we hadn t ahm . The spasm overtook all consid eration. He nodded rapidly. Babe. Par a akong hippopotamus. For the likes of him. Tumaas `yung kilay niya. Sheeeshhh he kissed my swollen lips. Jeannie hindi mo ba naisip na ilang beses na ang pagbabalak mong lumayas? If I m goi ng to count it with my fingers save the part after the almost miscarriage thing . He sighed. Kaya siguro ayaw niya na sa `kin. Bakit kaya hindi ako ang tanungin ni Julian? Baka ang sagot ko ay Oo. Loud. W ell. Sabi kasi ng doctor bawal daw akong mapagod. he couldn t carry me anymore. I winced as the contraction was violent. God. It felt so good to be in his arms like this. Next to Andres Bonifacio. Three months was like applying for sainthood. Sabay kaming nagkatinginan. Naiiyak na naman ako. Anong ginagawa mo? What do you think am I doing? Hinihingal na `ko. Delikado sa daan. Samantalang ako naman a ng may katawan. Why did it hurt like this? Manganganak na ba ako? Julian! I tapped his shoulder. I opened my mouth i n disgust. Nung unang try. . Tapos hinampas ko siya. You do. A ng bigat ko na nga ang bigat pa rin ng bag ko. Eh. Kaya hindi muna pwedeng gumawa ng Baby JJ the second . As in BIG. Papatayuan ko na nga ng monument itong si Julian. I was so big and round. My eyes were bloodshot. Mapapagod nga ako. Thank my failing eyesight for that. Tapos pinilit niya ulit akong buhatin. LOL. Napaupo ako sa may gilid ng pinto. Siya kaya ang manganak! Puro lang siya pasarap tapos magagalit pa siy a sa `kin? Well. I wra pped my arms around his neck. He rolled his eyes ceilingward. I thought I was dreaming. Bukas na gabi na eh. Uncontrollable. Hindi ka naniniwala? Galit kong sabi. Nakakainis talaga.
Julian! What? Manganganak na ata ako. he coul dn t afford to lose Jeannie. His Jeannie and baby JJ. After knowing all complication of pregnancy decisio n has to be taken whether to allow the pregnancy to continue or not. Pity. Nagkakagulo. He shouted for the maids to come upstairs. I was bleeding profusely. Sumisigaw na ito. Bawat segundo ay nagdara sal siya para sa mag-ina. Magulo. Hindi siya relihiyosong tao. Can t you just take care of my wife first? Galit na sabi ni to habang may inaabot na fill-up form. She kept pleading while squeezing his hand. Didn t saying sorry was the worst word ever in w omen s vocabulary? Well. Gusto ko ng magwala at magmura. Julian squeezed my hand. the doctor gave him that look. Remember this I love you both. Only o nly HE would spare Jeannie. Julian and baby JJ was rooting for me. Galit na sinuntok niya ang pader. He took the matters into hi s own hands. . he could have said not his . It was as if I was torn apart. Na tatakot. Jeannie oh. Maingay. He drove his Porsche while I was panting on the passenger seat. Nagmamadaling binuhat niya si Je annie. Pleas took my hand. No Numb. Ayos na din ang room ni baby JJ. Why was this happening to them? Mabilis siyang pinagsuot ng hospital gown. You have to choose between your wife and the baby. But goo dness gracious I hadn t expected him this soon. He even promised God of a lifetime of rectitude. And dammit. Pero wala siya sa katinuan para gawi n iyon! He couldn t praise them if they couldn t save Jeannie God. I started crying. As cause of preterm is known. There was something wrong. Ju lian my baby she started hiccupping.He groaned. Julian I clutched at his shirtsleeve. That was what the doctor had said. What do you mean? Sigaw niya dito. But I couldn t stop the fight. Parang nanlamig ang katawan niya. He was inside in a flash. Pero sa mga panahong iyon. My mind kept telling me: I couldn t stand the pain anymore. He didn t want to cry. Nagkakagulo sa bu ong bahay. 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. But we have to hurry. With blood all over her th ighs. You can talk to your wife she s in and out of consciousness. He would ha ve cried and fainted at the sight of Jeannie in pain. God. he knew. Julian no save baby JJ. I took Julian s hand. never letting go. Save my baby. very frightened. She opened one eye. Or else they ll both die. He tried hard to calm his nerves. I tried to crack a reassuring smile through my labored breaths. Everything was all set. Not that tears made men weak. Dammit. But he didn t know w here had gone awfully wrong. I op ened my eyes again. The pain was overriding a ll sense of logic from me. The pain was killing me. In his saner days he would have given co nsideration and credit to their profession. I closed my eyes. It was just that he should be the pillar of strength for Jeannie. Tired and lost. Buhat niya ito habang kinukuha ang susi ng sasakyan sa drawer. His breath got hitched. His precious Jeannie. Bullsh!t. Hindi matanggap ng utak niya kung ano mang medical theory ang sinasabi nito. I we lost our very first baby. I wanna die. She would hate me. I didn t know where they were taking me. I kissed her on her sweating forehead. I was in a state of panic How could I? I was only eight mon ths on the way. All I know was that I was very. We didn t know how we arrived at the hospital with just the two of us. Umiiyak. It was an either-or proposition. Must have been reflex action. I m sorry.
I asked her with my eyes. Nababa lutan ng sakit at galit ang logic ko. Pero napapagod na `kong magsalita k ahit wala pa naman akong sinasabi. Pero ano ang ginawa ko? Minura ko siya. I stopped crying the day Julian told me: I love you Jeannie that I d choose to live without our baby than you. I remembered that one morning I woke up. Gusto ko ako ang unawain nila. Kasi nasasaktan ako. Hindi nga ba gasgas na `tong ganitong pakiramdam? You felt like crying but still gave the world a smiling fvcking face . I could have Julian and it would be perfect. Life. Pinalayas. the one I had done right the first day I told Julia n we were going to be a family. bakit pa niya ibinigay sa `kin k ung kukunin niya rin lang naman? Jeannie kakain na tayo I didn t look over my shoulder. I could have jumped with joy even with my stitches on. I was immersed in finishing the painting I had sta rted in Morocco. It wasn t his fault. Lagi nilang sinasabing ang lahat ng bagay ay may rason. I rolled my eyes. I could have kissed him o n the lips. Pero hindi nga ba hindi lang pala love ang mahalaga sa mundo. How ironic. yes. Bulong ng kakambal ko. I even told him h e killed our baby. Unti-unting humarap. So. You go eat without me. Gusto ko sanang sabihing nananady a ka ba? But said instead. Ayokong umunawa. Hindi mo ba naisip na I know it would be t oo cliché to tell you this. I shrugged my shoulders. I wasn t crying. Before I thought love was all there was. Someone was hugging me tight I couldn t breathe. He would rock me to sleep and kiss the top of my he ad. Hindi ko gustong sisih in si Julian. At gusto kong ibalik nila sa `kin si Baby JJ ko. It had been two months since then. But in the best of circumstances. I didn t want to wake up because I knew the pain was there. How was that? Jeannie Julian smiled at me tentatively. 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 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. Gusto kong ako ang intindihi n nila. I should have been more understanding. Mommy smiled and waved at me. I know I was playing at being the self-centered b!tc h. Nandun silang lahat sa may gilid ng pool. Till my breath would be sucked out of me. I even asked HIM many times why. Malulungkot `yung baby mo kung ganyan ka. I followed her to the lanai . Hindi lang akin si Baby JJ. Tama. What do you want to eat? Anything. Ganyan nga. He was also his. Hindi ko alam kung kailan `yun nagsimula. Bulong ko. Tumayo ako para wala ng pagtatalo. Should w as the operative word. Oh. Jeannie stop this to yourself and Julian.TWENTY NINE We couldn t have everything we wanted in life. Even CM went home to see me after joining the co ntest in New York. Motherhood is the best fulfillment a woman could ever have. I felt her beside me. Pinili t kong pagalawin ang muscles ko sa panga. And God s. Gusto ko ng mamatay. Ayoko ng makaramdam ng ganitong .
Tuyot. It was almost unbearable. What s with you people? Inis kong sabi. The same spark was still there. Kung makatili naman kala mo ambulansiya. At uhaw sa pagmamahal. To the point na kulan g na lang ay suutan niya `ko ng panty. We merely talked anymore. Tapos na ang christening. But something along the way changed us. Minsan nga natatakot na rin ako sa sarili ko. Nakunan lang ako para na akong nagkaroon ng mga bod yguards. Alam mo te. I looked at CM. What? I asked impatiently. He wa s still the same handsome devil I fell in love with. He shrugged. Tignan mo nga k ung pano paglawayan ang asawa mo. At lalong ayokong makakita ng mag-ina. At one point I even blamed Julian. Jeannie? Hmm? . Siguro okay na `ko. He didn t say a thing. Nagtataka nga ako kung naglalakad na ng nakahu bad mamaya `yan eh. Umiiyak agad ako first thing in the morning. Pero somehow along the way we became more of strangers than lovers. Nung panahon g iyon. Ano ha? I started cooing sounds. Months had passed. Ui. Baka lang gusto mong sumali. And life itself. Missed him shouting at me. Ni hindi ko man lang nakita kung pa ngo ba `yung baby ko. Pano kung mabaliw ako? Paano kung manguha na lang ako ng bata at angkinin kong anak? God. I was out in the garden alone. Jeannie! Tumaas `yung kilay ko. I couldn t even go to the nursery room. kulang ka lang sa dilig. Why not? The Jeannie I know so well would be dead by now if she didn t talk even a minute. She was smili ng at me. I gritted my teeth. The people were everywhere in our house. It was so unfair. beautiful. goodness. Hey. But I started doubting about the future. Maalaga. Kung may potential future child star ba siya? I didn t even get to hear him or her wail and kick.. He just snored and let me cry on his che st. Pwede ba CM! Kung sa bagay kung magpapakamatay ka mas maraming magiging masaya. do you know that there was another exhibit? This one s the big event of the yea r. CM winced at me. Yes. There was sudden warmth that I hadn t felt in ages months now. I forcefully took the almost seven month old baby.sakit. It was only my sorrow t hat was important. Give me baby Czarina Nagkatinginan `yung dalawa. Sana pinili na lang niya si baby JJ kung ganito rin lang kasakit. I would very much like that. He cleared his throat and looked away. Nakatingin lang sa swi mming pool. Why are you alone? Lalong tumaas `yung kilay ko. 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. That was so pathetic. may tawag dyan eh. Ah nothing.. In short. Ako ba? O siya? I suddenly missed him. D ragging me to God-knows-where. Our loss. Can you hold her for me? she hesi tantly asked CM while looking at me. Well. Siguro. I was too selfish to even ask him if he was also in pain about the loss. Oh. Ano pa nga ba. I didn t doubt my love for him. Wala akong pakialam kung nandun man siya o wala. But funny I did. I looked away and met Julian s eyes across from us. I glared at him. Ano bang tingin nito sa `kin? Kikidnappin k o anak niya? God gave me mercy. I know that painting has been your outlet after t he He cleared his throat. Tigang. These past months napapansin kong kahit saan ako p umunta somebody was with me. Napalingon ako kay CM. I shouldn t be surprised when an arm drew me closer. Magsasalita sana ako ng dumating si Jean. Karga niya si baby Czarina. Pag-umpugin ko kayang `tong dalawa ng `to? Sheesh. He became gentler.
Na na ghihintay hingin ang number ko. But the sorrow kept persisting with every thoughts of what could have been. How can you say beautiful agad eh. He grinned at me. I nodded. Ayoko nga sanang pumayag na maging best m an. ano bang silbi ng reproductive system mo kung hindi mo naman gagami tin? I hissed at him. very dark. As in. Czarina peed on me!!! Napatingin kami sa baba ng pantalon niya. . Oh. I need you. I didn t even consider his feelings. Tapos hinawakan ko `yung noo niya at pumikit. He was cooing and tucking her like he was the r eal father. I m thinking about joining the contest CM. Let me see her oh. You are acting so cowardly! Ikaw lang ba ang nasasaktan?! His hand gripped my arm so tight it hurt. I was walking like a zom bie toward Julian. My heart was beating wildly. A hand grabbed mind. Umiiyak ang baby. Pero maganda pa rin. the brid Oh. Jeannie! Narinig kong ibinigay nito kay CM ang bata. Can I hold her? He took the baby from me gently. Mabilis ko siyang tinalikuran. Kampon ni Satanas umalis ka sa katawan ng kaibigan ko! He gasped. Syempre inaanak ko ata `yang si Czari na no. Saka makakagawa pa rin na man kayo no. I missed this. I raised one brow at him. Nakita ko si Julian na papalapi t. Didn t really care. Down there on his crotch. literally. Goodness gracious Jeannie. Julian was waiting at the front step of the entrance. very good girl. Then the baby started making gurgling sounds. Then he slowly smiled. Trust CM to say all the wonderful things. Emotionally. Sawa na `kon g umiyak. Kaya tumalikod na lang ako. Para akong teenager na nakatitig sa kanya. Tears were already streaming down my face as I turned away. Mer on ba sa pamilya namin ang pangit? Syempre wala. It became somehow awkward. Kung dati kung pwede lang na ibulsa siya ay ginawa ko na pero ngayon? The silence stretched between us. Okay. ang beauty ko pang-alalay sa kinakasal? I should have been you. beautiful chi ld. Bata pa lang matalino na. Julian told me not to say that he s going to prop I didn t say anything. Mas pinili kong sumabay kay CM sa sasakyan.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. Pati `yung luha ko parang nag-freeze. Jeannie naman oh! We started laughing. Gah. Night CM. I heard the engine of CM s car out of the driveway. S he beamed up at CM as if saying: Maitim pala ha. Will you stop running away like a coward! I stopped dead in my track. Hindi ko pinansin ang paghabol sa `kin ni Julian. my God. Napatiti g ako sa niece ko. She ll be as beautiful like her ninang. I didn t want to be with Julian in the same car. He covered his mouth. Oh. Even CM was wailing! Jeanni SHUT UP! Nag-chorus pa silang dalawa ni Julian. Jeannie! Oh my. Parang hindi niya `ko narinig. All I cared about that instant was the man I d hurt so much. Sabi nit o sabay tampal sa bibig. baby pa nga? Ang itim pa ni Czarina! CM! Sigaw ko. His eyes were uncertain. Jeannie! Bakit mo `ko sinisigawan? Sigaw ko. she s a bit dark. I couldn t afford to see them. And we didn t know how to ruin the wall that separated us. Naiiyak na naman ako. Hi having a great time? He awkwardly said. Just kidding. Jeannie give him a second chance. He was really shouting at me! Then CM gasped. Tapos papakipot muna ng onti. What are you talking about? Uh-oh. Napanganga ako dun.
Caring to your lo ved ones. Jeannie! I m so rry. Anghel na naging tyanak p a. So who was being lucky here? Eh. He coul d have been months now. Wala ka na bang maisip na matinong ambisyon? Gusto kong maging doktor ate. I walked down the street. He must have been at least eight years old. Baka gusto niya talagang mabaliw ang mommy ni ya kung iiyak siyang bigla sa gabi out of nowhere. Ewan ko ba. Could I forgive and just forget? Kaya ko pa kayang magmahal kung hindi na buo an g puso ko? THIRTY Of course. At may hawak siya ng mga sampaguita. Hello ? Kahit naman hindi mo pangarapin `yun. Nyek. The one with Julian under the shower? This was a make-or-break decision. Oi. Some would even say that I d won the lottery by having Julian. `di siya.He looked like a boy. it was human instinct. baby JJ. Could it be a sign that baby JJ want us to be together again? I was trying to smile. I would have given everything to have him crying in the middle of the night waking me up for his breast feed. kung karirin ko na lang kaya si Julian? Kung pwede nga lang ba. I walked down the streets of Manila bay and along CCP. I missed these places. Really looking. ayos. NIyakap niya ako. `Yun g parang sa cannibal? Tapos `yung ilong niya kumakalat lumalapad `pagtumatawa. I started laughing horribly. An g hangin tinatangay ang buhok ko. I nodded. Okay lang `yun ate. Naramdaman ko `yung hangin. deep down I already knew the answer. Baliw ba `tong batang `to? Matawa kaya siya kung malaman niyang siya `yung pinagtatawanan ko? But his cute. There was this little cherubin who was looking at me. Then he smiled. I stood up and stared sadly at the engraved name: BABY JJ. sa mga novels na nababasa ko `yung hangin na `yun `yung loved ones nila na nawala na. But of course. marami pa namang lalake dyan. I was looking out of the manila bay when the phone started ringing. I didn t ask for him to do that now. Then my eyes started getting misty. `Pagharap ko nagulat ako. With rai sed eyebrow I could very well say na ako si Jeannette Rose Leviste ang tanging t aong nakapagtiyaga sa ugali niya. Do you know that mommy loves you so much? I murmured achingly. Give m e a second chance. Anong pangarap mo? Kung sinabi nitong maging mabuting asawa t ama babatukan ko talaga `to. Madungis nga lang. Oh. `yun nga lang ang hirap ng buhay. Either Julian or Career. Really? Oo. He slowly stepped forward. Kahit na nga ba sabihing gwapo si Julian a t mayaman. I would give him a second chance . God. He was a boy. Okay na sana. I have submitted your painting. I recalled one of my classmates in High School telling that particular dream of his. Eh. Sana nagamot ko man lang si tatay at `di siya namata y. Sampu na kami! I winced. Pat i siya nakitawa na rin. but my heart suddenly went out to him. His teeth were decaying. Tapos one seat apart. . brokenhearted ka ba? Ah. Tignan mo nanay ko nakapag-asaw a agad. 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. As in now. Hindi gaanong mahigpit. Syempre ii sipin nila napuwing lang ako dahil sa lakas ng hangin. Sana hindi na lang siya nag-smile. I didn t push him like I always did in the few months. I ll give your father a second chance. Real life drama pala ito. His right shoe was toying the marbled flooring. Kaso wala kaming pera. I slowly smiled. Ate. hindi madali `yung decision ko. My whole future at stake. Ewan ko ba . As if he wa s testing the waters.
He didn t really deserve a second chance. nakakapaglabas ako n g pera. Oo. Then I saw a man with his canvass. At ano? Para sa wala. Birthday mo? I hissed. at least passable na man. May mga nakapalibot s a kanya habang nagpe-paint siya. Iniyakan ko pa ang paghiwa ng sibuyas. It was only four i n the afternoon. Masama kutob ko dito. Baka pasko. Baka bukas isa na din ako sa mga taong grasa. Very fortunate of you. okay. so I think he d got lots of work to do. Nasugatan ka na. Not under the sho wer! `Yung ginawa ko noon sa Morocco. This wasn t one of those overrated version of classic dra mas. He kept looking around as if it was some top government secret. He was already in New York by now because of that blasted con test. That s not for you! I was acting childish. Pero kung isa ka sa mga pinanganak na walang kasiguraduhan ang hinaharap. I started putting away the cold food. I made face. How could I let Julian go? I love him so much.Ngumiti ako tapos naglabas ng five hundred pesos. God. SOMETIMES. I th ought my heart would burst any minute. I didn t even look up. Seriously there were people who were given the privilege to live the ir life the way they wanted to be. At anong ginagawa nila? Ayun: Pare let s party! Party! Ilabas na ang cocaine. kung hindi mo naranasang mag-promissory note sa school o humabol ng scholars hip. Baka hindi niya na pakinabangan `yung ano niya `yung ano sex aherm appeal niya! Nagtago ako dun sa may corner. The one with Julian. I even bled my finger w ith the bread knife. I m prou d of you. Who the hell cared. y`know. And you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth. I even asked God to make my cooking p erfect. Tapos napa-w ow siya. We ll. Ngayon pa nga lang baon na kami sa utang kay Julian. Nagluto ako. `Wag lang talaga siyang kakaliwa. Hindi man ganon kasarap `yung niluto ko. I wanted to celebrate Julian s awakening! Namuti na ang mata ko kakahintay sa kanya. itatanong pa sa `yo kung nasaktan ka. I smiled at him and slowly stood up. Ba ka maibato ko lang sa kanya `yung kare-kare at kalderata. Siya pa ang isawsaw ko sa alamang. I was so angry. He dipped one finger at the dish. Blame CM for this. Dapat all set na para bukas. My eyes got misty. I was a bit disconcerted at first. Tha nks mom! I suddenly felt like the biggest scumbag ever. Nakita kong nakatalikod si Juli an. Alam mo ba `yun. He didn t even bother t o call if he wasn t retiring early! Damn him. Minsan lang `yan no. May kausap sa phone. Sometimes happy endings were just in Fairy tale stories. I heard footsteps. Siya nga ni hindi man lang maisipang mag-text or tumawag. `di ba sosyal? Samantalang sa kasuluksulukang kalye ng Cubao rugby lang. I had nothing against rich kids. I gave it to him. Were all the men in general like this? Or only him? He was still insensitive. Err. It was just that I hoped they knew their good f ortune. Little di d he know that I was a descendant of Gabriela Silang? Beware. It always happened in real life. `Yung mga may p ampa-aral ayaw mag-aral. I want to surprise Jeannie about the engagement. He wanted to capture the orange horizon with its reddish rays around the sun. Ipinasa niya `yung painting ko. Why? `Coz I believed that what doesn t kill you can make you stronger . `yung mga gustong mag-aral walang pampa-aral. Hindi ko alam kung bakit. He frowned and arched one brow. Hindi. But really. Kung ang motto ko ay: I could kiss and be damned tomorrow. I slipped into the room with so much as a noise. I stared fixedly at the blue and white sky. Tapos nagtago akong maigi ng nagmamadali ng umalis si Julian. I strained my ears against the wall. The irony of life. Oh. Tsk. Hindi man lang nahiya. Wala na ba akong inisip kundi ang pambabababe ni Julian? Men could be honest. Stupid. . Tinampal ko `y ung kamay niya. Nako. Masama palang napapaisip ako.
No. He kissed me passionately. He really smiled at me. Nakakatakot itong Julian na `to. bed! You re not serious. Hindi joke lang. He put me down no threw me onto the bed.Oh? Kanino? Sa aso. right. I was pummeling his back. Brotherly kiss. You e xperienced them. Would we start makin g babies now? Para makaabot sampu? My mind was screaming: I wasn t prepared for th is. he loves me but not as much as I do. He was unbuckling his pants. Grr. I was really a bit taken aback. More that you couldn t define. I smiled sweetly. He laughed loudl y and lunged at me. Masyadong wild at aggressive `yung isang `to. He even smacked my bottom! Tapos tawa siya ng tawa. Julian Oh-kay. Parang napipilita n lang. A kiss wasn t just classified into: smack. He turned me upside down. or whatever we could thin k of. smile cracked on his lips. We were husband and wife in the eyes of God. Damn boxers. It was more. 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. He was pulling down his pants and oh So disappointed. Our bodies touched. Maybe we were immoral in the eyes of the society. Alright. Fatherly. Massage my temples. I was trying to capture his mouth. Hindi. Kung makautos kala mo bayad na sa kasalanan niya. Panira. Pero I believed that you couldn t go play . He didn t look the man who was so eager to propose. Gusto ko kapag nag-asawa na tayo nasa bahay ka lang. Pakipot lang. Papel lang ang kulang sa `min. while doi ng an imitative dance of that of macho men. I didn t want to close my eyes for a second because Julian might vanish into thin mists. A kiss meant everything. I hadn t thought that I could love this much. He was a cave man! Okay lang kung buhat. Julian let me down! I yelled a t his back. Lalong tumaas `yung kilay ko. Hindi lang sarap ng pisikal. Our eyes met. I was screaming when he scooped me up in his arms. ganon? Inis nitong sabi. Not t hat I was saying living in was justifiable. Kung pwede lang na bumaon `yun baka nangy ari na. I want you here with our children hmm mga sampu okay na. Like we could satisfy the months. Galit ka ba? lingon niya sa `kin. Were there flames everywhere? It was getting hot. I even hugged him tight to myself th at I thought I couldn t breathe anymore. But this was one? We were groping for each other. You prepared this f or me. words were mere words until you felt them. A slow sexy goodness. Siguro nga sa `ming dalawa ma s malaki ang pagmamahal ko sa kanya. It was proven and tested. Oo. Diniinan ko ang mga kamay sa ulo niya. Grabe. Ayoko nang magpaka-ipokrita. alam na. Yes. Of course. I was too eager. Pero hindi ganito na binibiyabit niya `ko mula sa balikat niya. Sa relationship. Thirsty. He even waved his polo up in the air like a cowboy. I hadn t noticed that he was already on top of me. No. I was hissing while sinking my fingers deep into his skin. What do yo u think are you doing? Perhaps going to striptease? He said playfully. chaste. Stop He groaned. He started laughing and crawled to the bed . Anong tingin mo sa `kin palahiang bab oy? I hissed at him. Oh. with gaps between my fingers. I gasped. He said that with conviction. Tuwang tuwa nga ako sa `yo eh. hindi bagay! I tried to cover my face with my hand. Julian no! I shrieked when he tickled my feet. It was hot and explosive. He nipped my lower lip and kissed each corner. He slouched on the chair and massaged his temple. L agi namang ganon `di ba? There would always be someone who would give more love than the other. My breath got hitched. I might melt. He was teasing me. Yes. French or torrid. almost a year without this physical aspect of our relationship. Goodness. Where s my husband? I whisp ered.
At pumunta kami sa banda roon. Akalain mo `yun. Na nakahawak sa bewang ko. I was happy and overwhelmed to see all of them. The great Julian S unico was trembling. The heat and the rush were there. By God and by love. He loved me.around if love wasn t involved. I just wished that when we grew old together it would still be like this. Jeannette Rose Leviste be my wife? I blinked once. Even Brad and Vi ncent were there. It w as like this was the last time. We should all know our limits. I thought and heard about sex was all hot and swea ty. Well. Thrice. Akala ko hindi. it was very differen t. Sila mommy at daddy. I didn t know it was like this. It s just Just? I asked impatiently. Lalo na `yung mga nagpo-pro pose. He took the blindfold off. . And Jean with her baby. Excuse me? I glared at him and he started chuckling! I just want to make this time gentler. I was bound to hi m. I was staring into his eyes. C mon! I wasn t raised to be promiscuous. I gasped. Hindi ko alam kung dah il dahil alam kong ngayon magpo-propose si Julian. CM talked to me on the phone earlier. I love you He whispered as he claimed me. Will you. Si Julian iyon. He came back to my lips and kissed me openly. `yung x-rated version ba naman ang panuorin mo na pinahiram pa sa `yo ng Good Influence and Morally upright mong c mate. how I loved this man with all of my heart. He was cuddling against my bosom. Goodness. I love you too I whispered against his hair. There was no pain this time. Late na pala ako sa school. For the first time. At ang sa `kin. Where we could hear our breathing as the music playing in our ears. I shouldn t be surprised but I was. Nag papa-yummy pa kasi. every man had his moment. He groaned. And almost the same. I was a bit tensed. I wanted to laugh at his clumsiness. Mali kot ang mga kamay nito. `Wag ka ngang excited. this was his idea of going slow eh? Parang ako ata a ng unang mamamatay. Maybe I was really living in one of those fairy t ales and that I would be woken up by my mother. Nung una nga hindi pa niya m ahanap. I was about to shout at him to go to hell when he started raining tiny kisses do wn the side of my face. We soared. So. And put out the ring. Nilagyan niya ako ng blindfold. Sisigawan niya `ko. Well. Of course. I could feel it in his hands. Kahit `yung mga associates ni Julian. Touched me and kissed me like there was no tomorrow. He was also tensed. He was killing me softly. Twice. I started crying because because He kneeled down on his knees. Whatever. Okay na ba? Not yet. Slow. Don t tell me ipapa-salvage mo `ko? I tried to joke my way around him. Everyone. I screamed. Tapos sasabihin ko ano ? kasi hindi ko na maririnig kasi bingi na `ko. What? Siya nga `yun ang manre-reject? Eeh. Or it could be our heartbeats. he cleared his throat. I was choking back the words. Gentle. But I wasn t running for a Maria Clara nominee either. What? I would scream if he told me: no. Posible pala. I tast ed a morsel of heaven. And God. He was re ally something huh. Which he thought I had no clue of. Like he really wanted to get acquainted wi th every part and pore of me. ang keso ko. 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. I was like: OH? With arched brows.
I should have been the one running away after doing the ecting. they would ask me the why s and what s. Nakita kong napahigpit ang kamay niya sa hawak na box. I couldn t help it while nodding rapidly. 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.And looked at everyone. Alam ko. CM s motto: opportunity knocks only at once door. In reality. But no. As always. I should have put that in Julian s vocabulary. it was me all al ong. I even dare look at everyone. Gasgas na pero it wasn t him. It was the most pai nful and hardest decision to make. THIRTY ONE Compromise. I whispered through my blurring vision. I even once asked many about which would they prefer: love or career? I couldn t very well answer my own question back then. Ngayon ko lang na-realize tama sila. Hindi lahat ng tao mas pinipiling mag-settle down kaysa piliin ang opportunity na ibi nibigay sa kanila. I was nominated for a one-year e xhibit and tour around the world. know th sakit rej didn t Didn t yo . 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. The diamond ring was sparkling. I cried my heart out when I saw the defeat and hatred in his eyes. He did. that s why we have choices. Tears streamed down my ey es. gusto ko namang maging matatag sa mga desisyon ko. I was really s orry. Because we couldn t have them all. Pero sa totoong buhay. Didn t you know that not all dreams come true? I needed to grow and that didn t include Julian in the picture. I didn t cry. As if telling me to say yes. I love you you know that. And I was chasing him. For once. But I m sorry I can t. u still have a clue that I love life? And so I did Julian.
Why not? Either I ha d no choice `coz there was no one had dared to hold my hand at that time. I ll be away for a year. Julian Akala ko dati. Wala ka bang sasabihin? Gusto kong sabihing naiintindihan kita. you stood against odds and still be together after a year. Ang gulo ko no? I asked him not to wait for me but then I wished with all my heart t hat he would. With pho ne calls! LOL. And warm hugs. Siguro hindi na `ko natakot. But it was almost true. syempre masarap pa ring merong pipilit na kunin `yung kamay mo in public kahit kunwari ayaw mo. Or they weren t as sexy as Julian. I smiled bitterly to myself. Gusto kong matupad ang mga pangarap ko. Sino bang nakakaalam kung bakit ganito ang mga babae? . Or even last night! He was now shou ting. Kasi wala ka ngang ka-monthsary! Wal ang naninigaw sa `yo on the phone when you couldn t text him. True. Unless you tell me. T here was no way around that but time. Lit erally and hmm figuratively. Kung anim na bwan nga `yung iba wala na. In general. Not that I was here to sit judgment. Abstinence was an avoidable word in their dictionary. Glory be to God. But hey. `Coz I don t know what will happen. Of course. you also have to love what I do! Per o alam kong hindi ganon kadali `yun. At hindi naman sa wala akong ti wala sa mga lalaki. Pero hindi nga ba k aya nga kakaunti ang pari sa mundo? At ang iba pa sa kanila y. Ano? Magtititigan na lang tayong mga bab ae? At the back of our minds we wished for someone to fill the cold nights. You could have told me yesterday. But wasn t that our problem? Time. Pain was pain. Nung humarap siya. Ano bang alam ko nung time na `yun? Gusto ko lang maging m agaling na pintor. Kahit ako man. His fists clenched. Long distance relationship only stood a chance as big as my thumb finger. kung iiwan ako ng lalaking m ahal ko sa harap ng altar baka mapatay ko siya ng wala sa oras. Nandun na `yun eh. kaartehan lang `yung mga nababasa t napapanood ko. Just being realistic. Ano ba. I pouted and looked out of the w indow. I won t ask you to wait for me Julian. It was very true. He didn t turn around. He looked at me from head to foo t. One year Jeannie? Do you think a year is only a day for me? Galit nitong sabi. Again. Isang taon pa kaya? I wasn t being pessimistic here. Yes. Reality bites. That was what I wanted to hear from him. Julian painting is my very first love. He didn t bother to turn around when I shut the door closed. In New York. Hindi lang naman lalaki ang makakapagpaligaya sa `yo. Na gkakasala. Wala ka pa. life without them was a boring world. And it was my dream e ven before Julian entered my oh-so-boring life. Those were just life s facts. men are men. lagi kong sinasabi noon na mas masarap maging single. His back was turned to me. Masara p walang pinagkakagastuhan kapag monthsary. Heart grew colder with the absence of the other. Before you. If and only if they d devoted themselves to God. C`mon! `Wag na nating loko hin ang sarili natin. Bulong nito. You could live without them but somehow let s be honest . Pero masak it Jeannie. Jeannie I will Wait for you My breath got hitched. I tried to smile. His forehead was be nt against the wall. O dahi l sa dinami dami ng lalaki sa mundo walang sumigaw sa `kin ng katulad ng pagsiga w ni Julian.I found him in the adjacent room. Mamamatay `yan kung isang taong walang putahe sa hapag kainan. Gusto kong isigaw sa kanya: If you love me. That finding your self wasn t really true. Sa mga single. It might sound exaggerated. Isang taon lang `yun Julian. there was always an exemption.
Pwede ba. Ano ba Jeannie defensive na sabi ni to. I snatched the cloth from him and cove red it again. He shook his head. Ganon din naman `yun. Hindi kaya maglolokohan lang tayo? He gave up on me. Get out Jeannie. Was there a difference? Iniba niya lang ng phrase pero ganon din `yun! Jeannie if you stay you choose me. I tried pushing him toward the kitched. You might be seeing some body I don t know. He arched one brow. Hinara ngan ko `yung painting sa likuran ko. And correction. You re giving up on me. My mind was made up. Then shrugged. Ano ba `yang ginagawa mo ha? Tingin pa. I bit my lip to stop from crying out. Of course. I didn t care. Sh!t. Busy? I shrugged my shoulders. What if you find someone new? What if you do? I hissed at him. I mopped my forehead with the towel. I really do. este uumagahi n. Ah. it s okay with me. I lo Don t tell me you love me. `di topless. he isn t nude here. Galit kong sabi sa kanya. I cleared my throat and glared at him. `Yung lalaki sa panaginip mo? Tuwing gabi dinadalaw ka? CM! He looked at the painting more closely. God. I m hungry. Jeannie! I raised one brow. And damn if he wasn t handsome here and nud e. For you. Wala. Sino `to? I avoided his scrutiny. I m sorry baby JJ. 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. Kung gagabihin kayo e. I gaped at him. But it hurt a lot. It would deteriorate with ti me. Narinig kong ang pagbagsak ng mga gamit at kung ano mang mga nagkala t na basag doon. Sakalin ko na kaya `tong kaibigan kong `to? He tried looking over my shoulders. My heart was breaking into pie ces. However. So what time s your date later with Rick? Todo smile ito. Two years later. dammit! Just just get the hell out of here!!! Nanlaki ang mga mata ko at naisara ko agad ang pinto. Para akong rob ot na naglalakad.Never forget you. I chose my path. Ex mo? Kung makapagtanong kala mo inosente! I gritted my teeth. He paushed. It seemed cliché but I m letting you go. And Julian didn t want anything to do with it. So this was what he called letting go huh. So. I understand. It meant goodbye. Postcard greetings. A mere whisper. Gusto mo bang sabihin ko sa `yong hihintayin kita Jeannie? Then wha t after our promises to one another. I didn t really care. Julian I whispered when I was in between the door and the outside world toward achi eving my dream. I like him. Ang arte. Pero pano na lang `yung mga pa ngarap ko? Hindi lahat ng tao nabibigyan ng ganitong opportunity. couldn t I just have both? Somehow maybe I would eventually forget him. I won t ask where you are going. Nahiya ka lang pero ang ido-draw . We disappointed you. if you walk out of that door. He shook his head. Let s eat. Sino pa bang titili ng ganoon kung hindi ang kaisa-isang kaib igan ko sa mundong ibabaw. I glared all the more at him. I gritted my teeth. BITTER! After a few e-mails and letters. You k now dear. Oo. Eh. Bago pa man ako makapagsalita ay nahugot na ni CM `yung tel a mula sa canvass. `Yun lang ang naiintindihan ko sa lahat ng `to. I wanted to slap him at that moment. natetempt akong mag-stay. What? He smiled sheepishly.
She won the painting contest. Bakit ba hindi? Sino bang unang nakalimot? I e-mailed him. Excuse ako ng excuse par ang wala namang naririnig! Julian Bulong ko. He was really one he ll of a handsome man. You seemed preoccupied. Rick was handsome. How could you love another if you couldn t love yourself? She spent wandering around the world. He was as sleek as a snake. Magtira ka sa sarili mo. In a fashionable way. Matangkad. Ang h irap kausapin ang sarili mong isip. Me? Ah. Baka si Piolo Pascual. it was a year. I his sed. Goodn ess. Takbo. where are you going? I squeezed through the throng of people. Kahit anong pigil ko sa kama y niya kung saan napupunta. no. The people were blocking him. He didn t exist anymore. Malamang magiging gwa po o maganda ang magiging anak namin. Nabigla ako. You look beautiful and sexy.ing mo talaga nude. Actually. those black eyes. My eyes grew wide. Malay ko bang nagkaroon pa kami ng baby JJ the sec ond. Save that he wasn t Julian. Who? I asked innocently. At lalong hindi ko na natatandaan kung pano siya Humalik? Inirapan ko siya. Hey. Kung siya ang mapapangasawa ko ulit. Hindi dahil nasasakal ako sa yakap ng katabi ko. I snorted. Uh-okay. Napa-smile ako kay CM. At bolero! Na ni minsan hindi man lang ginawa sa `kin ni Julian . I tried hard not to jab him in the ribs. Jeannie What! You haven t forgotten him. He was half-Canadian half-Filipino. This was our first date. He smiled at me. I couldn t breathe anymore. I couldn t ever forget that face. I ve already forgotten him CM. Lakad. He held my hand. He stood up and moved right to the door. No more Julian. para sa susunod na magmamahal ka u lit may ibibigay ka pa. Totoo naman. I was starting a new life now. I shook my head. It was all worth it. My very first date after almost two years. Gwapo. So now he wasn t perfect. Pisil pa. Pa-humble pa. And this was New York! Kulang na lang ako ang gawin niyang dinner. I know thank you. And very gentleman. At si Julian ang devil. Jeannie kung magmamahal ka. Naiiyak na `ko ng hindi ko na siya maki ta. I smiled at him. Mab ango. Kahit kahit `pag sumisigaw siya hindi ko na matandaan kung pano nagigin g singkit lalo `yung mga mata niya. But deep inside there was that wishful thinking that somehow he should have been there at night to cuddle her. I tried hard not to glare at him. Para kasing sinapian na naman siya ng masamang espiritu. Dammit. I started preparing for our food. I was even looking out for some sign s of imperfection. Para siyang sawa. Maybe he was an angel sent from above. Wala na ni hindi ko na nga natatandaan kung pano siya ngumiti. Mabilis akong na patayo. It was so un-CM like. He raised an inquiring eyebrow at me. Y es. eleven months and twenty seven days. And they were all returned! Except for the e-mail syempre. Akala ko ba nakalimutan mo na siya! Grabe. You know that I like you Jeannette. we were in the 21st century. His hand started squeezing my thighs. huwag mo ng ibigay ang lahat. I know. Inis na sabi sabay irap. I took hold of his hand. I looked at his impeccable white shirt underneath his coat. Two years. We now shared a unit. sent postcards and letters. Bago pa kung saang imperti nenteng lugar mapadpad iyon. Nakalimutan ko na siya. I was looking out of the crowd when I met a pair of eyes. .
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
Err I hated him. it s me Tricia.WHAT?! Just like that? Ganon ba kaliit `yung tingin niya sa `kin? He shrugged. Was t here such a thing? Could pain kill you? Hindi naman siguro. Si Julian lang talaga ang evi l dito. Ahm Jeannie lulubus-lubusin ko na ha. Very fashionable. Ah. CM! The phone started ringing. Jeannie! What? Why don t you take Julian back? I slowly shook my head. at least I didn t have evil stepsisters. Not ex. 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. I stared stupidly at CM. Sino bang laruan dito? THIRTY THREE I now know the word STUPID. Wala nga lang sa kanya `di ba? He d even moved on and forgotten all about me. Pero kanino? Sa sarili ko? Kay Tri cia ba? O sa napakawalanghiya kong ex-hubby. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. H e smiled evilly at me. Mabilis iyong inabot ni CM. Laruan tama. She was wearing a floral dress with a cardigan. `Yung mga tatanga-tangang sumusunod sa yapak ni Cinder ella. 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. Pwede mo ba `kong samahan sa OB? I want this to be a surprise Surprise! The phone went out of my grasp. Julian. At ngayon? Hindi ko alam kung unti-unti ko bang pinapatay `yung sarili ko. Teka nga bakit ang dami mong alam? He talked to your mother. that word would be applied to me someday and that someday happened to be now. Hello? Hey. All about baby JJ. Baby. So shall we go? Tricia smiled at me. Pero isa lang sure k o jealousy could kill. Tricia. no. all in capital letters. Silence. Gusto kong magalit. I was never fond of maltreated protagonists. legally speaking. Nagsubo ito ng maraming popcorn. Ah no. Well. eh? Napatingin . Never EX. We weren t even mar ried. And little did I know that. Ano Jeannie ? Ibabalik na ba ni Tricia si Julian? Now I knew the expression: ASA! OB. Hindi ako ganon ka-kontrabida. as I stared outside the glas s panel from here.
So it was five months going huh. Hindi ako iiyak. almost one year and seven and a ha lf months? Actually I wanted it to be a surprise. Walang iyakan. God forgive me. May we all have an everlasting friendship! W alang agawan. 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. 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. Nauwi kami sa videoke bar. half-crying. So how are you? Someone new? I wanted to smile and tell her: Yes. He hissed. Before I could even drink my fourth glass. Hindi ba magmumukha ako ng bitter? And that would be sheer hypocrisy. Give love on Christmas day! CM cheered. Pero minsan naiisip kong patirin si Tricia. Thanks doctor.akong bigla sa tiyan niya. alam k o. 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. Spell desperada. Uh-huh. Hindi ako makangiti. Argh. You re drunk. Tricia was the first real love of Julian. I haven t been celibate say GOD. I averted my eyes away from the scene. Hindi siya buntis hindi siya buntis nagdadalang-tae lang si Tricia. They were together. Sa totoo lang hindi ko alam kung bakit pa `ko pumayag samahan siya sa OB. So God wasn t on my side. Iba na ata ibig sabihin niyon ngayon. Utang na loob! So was it any consolation that J ulian mourned over our relationship for over. Gusto kong sumi gaw na ang O. Nakakat atlong baso na ko. It s confirmed J ulian! Thank you So it was confirmed. Congratulations! You re two and a half months on the family way. Big time. Anong pakialam ko?! Kahit 24/7 pa `yan! Parang convenient store. What the hell It s your fourth glass. Kailangan pa ba niyang sabihin `yun? Five months now. As if. We turned around and Tricia quickly ran to him and hugged him. It was awkward. I was rooted to the seat. Pero pwede ba at some point lahat tayo nagiging makasa rili kapag nagmamahal `di ba? Now I was getting all worked up. Julian only looked at me. Itinayo niya `ko. mo Tricia! Dahil bitter ako sobrang bitter. I ve found someone new and I m very much happy. Pano kung sila talaga? After all. too bad of me to pray. At sak a hello? Bakit dito pa? Pwede namang sa Pinas `di ba? Oh. I was still silent and mum about it. Are you okay? Lumingon ako. I tried to smile. Tricia was spared to drink any liquor. Tricia was half-laughing. Palabas pa lan g kami ng clinic. You and Julian can go to hell together. The doctor smiled widely. a hand grabbed mine. And disgusted wit h myself. Are you sure? She looked down at me. .A. I met a pair of chinito eyes. Tsss. Sabay biglang labas ng doctor. Ahm mrs. Ano bang ginagawa ko dito? Nagpapakamasokista? Maglaslas na lang kaya ako? Nasa baba na kami ng condo building ni Tricia. Tricia! I closed my eyes to keep my emotions intact. It was a time to celebrate. Yeah. Mag-iinom kasi broken hearted ka. No! Oo. Tapos pumili na ng kanta si Tricia. Halos akayin na ko ni Tricia. Congratulations! Let s cheers to that. Lagyan ng kung anong valium ang inumin nito. for all I care.? Sa sobrang lakas ng kaba ko parang ako ang mahihimatay.
I eyed CM with warning. Uh-oh. you love it. Biglang nagiba ang tono ng boses nito. Uh-oh. Galit na sabi nito. He s making me happy Julian. If I know! Pinindot niya talaga ` yung stop button. he said sarcastically. Sige tuloy niyo lang `yan. We screwed in the backseat I was even comparing notes. Umusog ako sa gilid palayo. Magtabi kami ni CM. I drank it in one fill without breaking the eye contact. Tricia was singing my eyes grew wide. mmkay? I looked at Tricia. I m going to sing. More than happy Do you know what? God forgive me for this. I can t read the lyrics from here. Love will lead you back. Someday I just know that love will lead you back in my a rms I winced. slap him or lied about not liking i t. She seemed really oblivious. Yes. my words. So it was the high and mighty Mr. Like you taught me. Hindi naman ako `yung nagsalita non `di ba? Julian s grin was deliberate. He moved forward. shaking me. don t you? Why not for th e last time Jeannie? Do you know the word fvckiiiing qui ckie? He was mad. I missed him shouting at me because he was concerned. Demanding. god. Ahm excuse me Julian pwede bang dito ka na lang umupo? Diyan ako sa tabi ni Tricia . Sorry. Ooops. Exactly. I had no strength anymore. Julian s hand steadied me fr om slipping into the floor in the other side. Yes. It was like he was a menacing predator the next. Who t old him about Rick? That maniac. I was ready to puke. I g asped. Jeannie can you move a little over there? Masikip. Goodness so y ou aren t any different from your sister. I missed his ne arness. I covered my mouth and ran to the bathroom. Under my lo and behold future! Almost there. Did it still taste the same? Oh. Sunico hu h? I gritted my teeth. I looked down at his hand. that was it. That lips I had kissed many times before. Tricia frowned. Is h e making you happy Jeannie? He laughed sarcastically. And so w as I. yes. Kung sinong mas magaling! I hissed. The same heat and inten sity was there. He mouthed. Gusto ko siyang sampalin. I told you. He moved forward. Julian s chinky eyes turned into slits. Mabilis akong tumayo despite th e dizziness. His hands grabbed my sho ulders. I thought I d forgotten that mouth. Tric ia s busy singing. There at the side of my ahm waist. Ano bang pakialam mo? Tinanggal ko ang kamay niya at ngumiti. My tears rolled down as the cold nights and empty sheets lay behind the almos . you shouldn t drink. CM said drily. Hindi ko alam k ung sinong sumundo sa`kin. Then we turned slowly. I didn t know what I was doing. My so-called bestfriend just ignored me! Sa pagkakalipat nito ay nalipat si Julian sa tabi ko. Julian s teasing smile froze me in place. Hindi naman ako claustrophobic pero parang nasosuffocate ako. Yes. CM smiled at me. I missed him. no! Hindi ko sinabi `yun! I was drunk. Someone was caressing my back to and fro. Oh-kay. CM smiled at me innocently. This was what you called Women s violation! His hand was there. Para akong masusuka. Aren t we here to celebrate? I blurted out bitterly. Just don t make any noise. I liked it rough . An artist also. But I didn t try to hold back.I raised one brow. Move a little. Bruising my lips. Hindi ko sinasadya. I m sor ry Oh my God. Oh. I slowly smiled at him. His head came down upon me. Pero hindi ko magawa. Oh. At sabay tulak sa`kin. CM! Julian was also shocked. I was ushered into Julian s lap. My eyes were getting misty. So I ve heard about your new boyfriend. Of course.
It was all too vivid. And at that time Tricia was m y only chance of ever achieving it. Pero hindi. Totoo `yun. 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. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung isang araw ay hindi na`ko magising. What for? Couldn t he see my heart breaking i nto pieces in front of him? I felt my lips were swollen. I was the first among the Miss Stupidest runners-up. I d file a laws uit against its manufacturer. Pero lalo lang akong b inabangungot. That would be sheer stupidity. 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. Sa`min ni Julian? It should have been Neverever. I heard CM asking him when he went out. I smiled to myself humorlessly. Kaya galit siya sa`kin. And more years to come He d be gone from me forever. Because the truth was becoming real to me with each passin g day. Jean was the first one. Thank you because you left me. Isn t that what you want to hear from me Julian? I asked him sarcas tically. Okay. There was always someone in the way. He shrugged at me. Kung umayaw ako. Was there such a thing? Forever. kung nagkita kayo after so many years at hindi naging maganda ang break-up. 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. CM nudged my shoulder to keep going. As if I had a contagious disease. If he ever chose Tricia for his dream over me I would still be mad at him. Maybe it was just sp elled that way. sino pa bang tatalbog sa pinakamagarang award na makukuha ko? Kahit nga si Janine San Miguel walang panama sa `kin.t two years. I was still wide awake. get in line please! I stared numbly at the organizer. He looked up. I m still mad at yo u because you hurt me (In truth. Walang taong ganoon kabait at kamartir. Pero hindi. Ang love parang li pstick. Tricia was the second one. I thought dreams were made to escape the painful reality. I got his point. I started crying. I didn t dare wipe the tears. At least he was still as affected to me as he was. Though he didn t love her i t wasn t me he really got tangled with. maiintindihan naman nila `ko `di ba? Dapat intindihin nila `ko. O kung meron man hindi ako `yun. He pushed me away from him. music please . eh. Now tell me. Kung ginawa niya `yun noon. Okay. 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. Jeannie our family s business is my dream. it meant I m still in love with you) kasi bakit ka kailangang mag-waste ng emotions sa isang taong wala namang halaga sa`yo? And indifference you re nothing to me anymore. I swear. I closed my eyes. If ever my lipstick smeared. For some reason. Na parang walang pakialam! Anger was always okay than indiffe rence. Some consolation. 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. Tatlo lang `yun. Malungkot itong tumingin sa kanya. kahit gawa `yan para hindi matanggal o mapalis basta basta darating at d arating pa rin ang expiration date niyan. Congratulations. Katulad mo. For ever.
At take note: sa loob ng simbahan. She tried to pat my hand but I turned away from her. do you take this woman as your lawfully wedded wife? My vision became blurred. Then I gave Tricia the flower. My sister was staring helplessly at me. The pain was excruciating. anong ginawa ko sa`yo? She shouldn t have made me replace her. Julian Sunico. Alam mo ba `yung feeling na nagsisikip `yung dibdib mo? Like you were getting suffocated due to pain? Na lalong sumasakit an g dibdib mo kapag pinipigil mong umiyak? That was how I felt just by looking str aight at him. I didn t know how I dared to be here. Or pride? I didn t know. Do you know. great. Sana may cut. This was what they cal led almost dying. all I cared about was myself. No Don t J ulian. Ang selfish ko no? I was hurting too much to be sensible. `felt like it was my death march. That is what love is isn t it? You have to give. Free will. Alam mo ba kung gano kasakit `yun? Hindi. I ran away from there as fast as I could. Nanlaki `yung mata niya na parang sinasabing: Oh. t o sacrifice and to understand. Kunwari tumawa ako. I couldn t stop from sobbing . Gusto kong isigaw na wala akong pakialam. Kaw awa naman `yung mga walang kamuwang-muwang na halaman. I couldn t handle it at the moment. And of course. Lahat naghalo na. Neither did I. Are you okay? I slowly looked up. I was walking like a zombie. Pero anong alam ko nung time na `yun? I didn t know that I was doing that specifically for her. But not really. But at this point in time.There was a pianist. Lalo na `yung mga caretak ers. What had I done now? What! I snapped at the organizer. . Kasalanan niya `to. I brushed my hair away from m y wet face. I glared at her. Sa `kin lahat sila nakatingin. Syempre nahiya ako sa ayos ko. But t hen This practice was a major catastrophic event in my life next to having lost baby JJ. Of course. I do. Naiinis ako kasi mas aya siya at ako hindi. Sana naman kung nakikinig siya somehow he could guide me. I was clutching silly at the bunch of flowers. Goodness. me listening. When he le ft her I was there to catch her. Hindi ko na sana nakilala si Julian. Willed her mother to be strong. My heart wasn t just broken into two. Actually. Parang slow motion napatingin ako sa kamay ko. Nakakadiri ako. And he started talking. either mabaliw ako or maisipan kong mag-suicide bombin g sa loob ng simbahan. They were right in front of the pretend pries t reciting their bows. Her boyfriend got her pregnant. I started crying and vomiting. Sipon. Hindi ko alam kung anong masamang espiritung sumapi sa `kin. chinky eyes. Just as the words were out. Para akong nasa pelikula. I love this woman greatly. but into many pieces. But she couldn t she couldn t love me back. Luha. Kasi feeling ko. If he was sympathizing with me. Oo na. Tricia smiled at me hesitantly and reached out to me What? Jeannie You re holding the bouquet. Kasi sobra. Fighting spirit . As if I was a dimwitted. He didn t say a thing. Mine was enough for me to handle. hopeless case r etard. CM was eyeing me pit ifully. I just fou nd myself sitting on the bench with him. I didn t need another broken heart. Para naman alam ko kung kailan pipigilan ang emosyon. Ha? Napatingin ako sa paligid ko. Pero sana sana lang may take two. When I looked up I met a pair of dark. Out. He handed me a towel. you ll feel my pain. Jeannie.
Just as I am to you.You have to give. I turned to women from night to night. Akal a niya na-neglect siya. Sinisisi niya `yung sarili niya sa divorce niyo. Nagkamali kami pa reho. Mali ako. I crossed my fingers and hiccupped. I stopped dead in my tracks. standing as if he owned the world. right? Jeanni Kung hihilingin kong maging masaya ka. He was there. He was looking down at the stones. Sa totoo lan g hindi ko naman talaga maintindihan kung anong ibig sabihin ng love. Makakita ka ng PDA sa l abas yamot na yamot ka. I really tried. You re a good woman. God. 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. It was only up to us how to show it. that would be sheer hypocrisy Julian. But I didn t want her gratitude. The only way I knew I could hurt her back He shrugged. It was like that in love. This time I was successful. Sunico smiled at me. Sa tingin mo ba kung mabubuhay tayo ulit gugustuhin mo pa rin akong makilala? I tr ied not to croak. Nothing to say. present and future tense? EPILOGUE And in another life I would be your girl We keep all our promises. Pero naniniwala akong meron. sacrifice and understand. Loved. Not that I was saying love was connected to lust or so. But this time there was one thing he didn t own anymore. But only we had different meanings of love. Mr. Sana nga I was walking down the memory lane. He frowned at me. Bulong ko. I think. Whatever. but then I wished with all my heart that you d be happy if only that is with me. Bakit pa kasi nauso ang past. I loved him I love him still But things change d. you just have to tell him that at some point you love him as a son. God will give you the man you are loo king for. LOL. we did things we would never have thought for the sake of love. How cruel love is. I loved you. Why are you asking this nonsense? Nonsense? I laughed. And you hurt Julian the most. Understanding what he meant. Like he always. Hindi mo maintind ihan. Ngumiti ako. Sabi nila wala daw definition `yun. But after all those years. Napalingon ako sa kanya. Go figure. Nakakatawa no? Manood ka ng XXX tuwang tuwa ka. So I married her. Julian whispered. I s tarted hating her for not loving me back. At one point. Magulo. she s grateful to me. be us against the world .
Ang gulo ng mundo no? If you ended up together after so many endeavors. Tita Jeannie! Where s my psp? My laptop and she keeps rambling. First to Jean then to Tricia. I was a scared rat. Give the phone to Czarina. Forever. Relationshi ps: Sawa to awa. Hello? Ako ang iyong konsensya I grit my teeth. I am funny. Wow. Is happiness really elusive? Hindi ko ginustong mag-asawa ng maaga pero hindi ko rin naman pinangarap na tuma ndang dalaga. Regrets are those for what you can t have done. The one that got away I hit the high-pitched note as I imitated Katy Perry s song. Love is a very frightenin g thing. My cell phone is ringing. Well. Eh. God must have pitied upon you. Hey. Someone who can make our hearts beat faster. Perfect. I am beautiful. Hindi ko rin alam kung bakit nagpe-fade `yun. Congratulations! That started the word forever. but of course. Oh. I vee never been contented in my whole life. may d . With rolled eyes. better luck next time. and I find someone more beau tiful than I ever am. Na-tense ako. hell.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. Yeah. sino ba? I ve always dreamed of something big. Ak o si ganyan. I smile softly to myself. Al am mo naman `yung tao kung gano nag-aalala sa`yo. Do you ever believe in destiny? Eh. where are you? Haven t you been with Roy? He told me you re not feeling well. Napangiti ako. O kung hindi man None in a million. Oh. `di sana tumaya na lan g ako sa lotto non `di ba? They were one in a million. I bet you didn t guess how insecure I am. next life. Y our skins tingle when you touch. I feel a pang of uncertainty. Pero lagi akong humihiling na sana ako si ganito. I start hating the phrases what ifs and what could have beens. Binagalan ko `yung pagda-drive. 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. So like Jean Somehow. Unknowingly comparing myself to other people. And hearing her daughter s voice made me w ish that I were her. my Napaatras ako sa pagkabigla. Right or Mr. `yung tao ang gumagawa ng kapalaran niya? Ts k. Splitting hairs. Meron ng bumisita dito? I hear a child s laughter from a distance. Parang umo-order lang sa menu kung humiling. no don t go there anymore Jeannie. I close my eyes and pray. Kaya nga siguro deep down. Well. Pero kung sumigaw ba`ko ng mas malakas. He loves you I sigh. He s laughing. 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. I raised one brow. And we thought he will be Mr. ne ver naman akong humiling ng Mr. So mehow I know it by heart. I always envy my twin. I thought I could never live up to Julian s standard. yes. Deep down I know there s always something that kept me apart from her. Halos mapaantanda ako sa gustong ipabili nito. I put down the flowers. Hindi niyo siguro napansin. 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. Paskong pasko. I am always splitting hairs. Yeah. I laugh about that. Kung may love potion lang malamang bestselling item `yun. My eyes grow wide when I s ee a pair of a child s feet. I chuckle drily. Merry Christmas! Nagpaparamdam ka ba sa `kin baby JJ? Did you miss mommy? I kneel down. CM. Meron sa buhay natin na darating.
at t his point I was wishing them the worst. Kasi nasasaktan ako . w e were hoping against hope. They were all staring. 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. Her eyes are chinky. My eyes got misty. My fate was sealed. Natulak. I looked up.alaw! The child is holding a doll.. So it was really over? The end. No no t mocking but it was as if he was telling me that everything would be alright. Ayokong tumingin sa tabi niya. for everything. That was the last of my full thoughts. The corner of his mouth twitched in a lazy smile. I almost snorted. Siya ang na nga ang nanggulat. I wanted to let go of the pain. Ayokong magpaka-ipokrita. Tricia was in front of me. Tumalik od ito. She is thumb sucking. My heart sank to the pit of my stomach. I was looking down at the tiled floor. ginawa ko na. white hand. Naku halika na. At me. It was like in slow motion. e xpecting and gaping at us. My hand was trembling as I took the bouquet from her gloved. Hindi man ako tumingin alam ko alam ko ng lahat sila sa `kin nakatingin. Pe ro pano? I do. Hindi ko alam kung anong nangyayari. Nakita ko na lang si Tricia na naglalakad palapit sa`kin. I didn t dare look at everyone or anyone for that matter. An overwhelming urge to slap him was building deep inside me. Nasangga. My vision was getting blurry. She smiled at me. Julian took that particular hand of Tricia s that hand that signified letti ng go while he was looking looking at me. What was far more hurting than seeing the one you loved walk down the aisle wi th someone not you? Julian August Sunico. do you take this woman. I heard someone scream. Siya ang nagtata nong. I slowly smiled. Now I know what the phrase killing me softly meant. biting my lower lip `til I almost draw blood. Or did I? I . One. Kung pwede lang akong sumigaw ng freeze katulad ni Ella. It was all over. Then a woman came running in uniform. Sino ka? I wince.. Gusto kong itanong kay father. I was praying with all my might that God w ould give me strength to get through this. I feel that emptiness again. Was he also mourning for me? Hindi ko kaya. I was staring num bly at Jesus Christ. alam natin. CM patted my shoulder. I was doomed to be a spinster forever. O `yun `yung gusto kong palabasin ngayon. I wish the doctors are wrong. to have held a child of my own. But he was there his hands were inside his jeans pocket. Bakit ganon n o? Lagi nating sinasabing hindi tayo nag-eexpect pero deep inside. But I couldn t set the love free so ea sily. She remi nds me of Tantan. This is for you Jeannie. There were a lot of well-wishers. Sana hindi na lang sana Julian was looking at me. Giving me the bouquet of flowers. Hindi ko na kaya. Kung tututol ba `ko papakinggan niya `ko? Hindi ba masasayang ang effort ko kung mapapahiya lan g din naman ako? So let s proceed. the maid smiles tentati vely and take the child s hand. Finish. I wished I was in a time warp. Three steps. Everybody was cheering. 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. Two. Wala bang tututol? Sisigaw ba `ko? I placed a hypocritical smile on my lips. Thank you. I was going to throw up any minute now. It s been five years I whisper and close my eyes and it all came back to me.
The video is blurred at first. I almost throw it in his face. all in capital letters. Hindi ko alam kung matutuwa ba ako kay CM o ano. Magpatayo na rin kaya ako ng monument sa Luneta? A t least he died for his country. Hindi ko alam kung bakit o kung ano ng nagtutulak sa`king panoorin `yun. he is a handsome and charming man. Czarina comes running with my mom. Napatingin si mommy dito. He pouts. Then a face so familiar comes in view. Present. Goodness. I snort. I love you tita. Define mabait. My eye s twinkle. Somehow I am restless that Christmas day. Roy hugs me as he hands me his gift.fainted. I roll my eyes. I learn to like him through the years. 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. I loathe that word. I almost touch the stop button on the remote co ntrol. Na para bang diyan lang sa Star City ang hinihiling nito. sabi nga ni CM titigan mo lang ng buong araw busog ka na. Okay. Kung Titanic ang laman nito paniguradong gagawin ko ta lagang parol si CM. That name. well. That morning I wake up and watch that video. He was an event organizer in New York. Hija! It s been a long while since you came back C M clears his throat. Sana Coach bag `yung matagal ko ng inuungot sa kanya. Special ka kaya. Good girl. It was a dvd disk. ako? Because of just one man? Because of love? . Stupidass. That Christmas eve we open our gifts. Do n t you know that Christmas had just been a holiday word to me? Entirely foreign. I met him through. Knowing CM. Well. J ean s laughing and kisses her daughter. Nakaalis na siya? Damn. I gasp. Epilogue Part Two Wala na po siya. That Five-letter fvcking word. of course CM. Parang naparalyze `yung buo kong katawan. Wallet? Necklace? My mind s warming up with all the expensive gifts I can ever have from him. At sa sobrang katalin uhan ko dinaig ko pa si Rizal. 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. No not name. Special child. This time louder with matching ubo pa. Mamamatay ka na ba at ito ang gift mo? O kaya nagh ihirap? Fine. She beams at me and kisses my chee k. Merry Christmas. Just a noun. I m being ungrateful. WALA AKONG TIWALA. As i n. All I want for Christmas is Jul youuuuuu! Hindi ko siya pinansin. Bakit hindi. kunsintidora! CM handed me a box. Nothing else. CM but in. dear! I smile at him. half-canadian . I snort. Sa`kin okay lang `yung trip to Disney land. Half-fil. Merry Christmas! Nakita kong may ibunulong si CM kay Czarina. I raised one brow. Sabay tumawang parang demonyo. Well. Hit me on the head. Lang huh? Okay lang. Siguro mabait lang talaga ako. Hindi ko alam kung bakit gusto niyang magkita kami ngayon. wala akong tiwala. `Yung tawang: Mwahahaha.
Pictures of me grimacing on our wedding day. I cup both her cheeks. Napatingin ako sa malaking bahay sa harapan ko. You re gross. I suddenly blu sh. I bet she ll shake t he whole house off. Of course. I slowly turn around. May nag-abot sa`kin ng panyo. Malabo. salamat aalis na lang Kayo po ba si Ms. `Nu ba `yan Panira ng m oment! The white petal looks familiar. You know what. Syempre sinama ko si CM. It reminds me of Oh. Leviste? I nod. kikilabutan lang kayo. I close my eyes tight. You bought my paintings? I start hiccupping. God sorry. Damn him Damn he-who-has-no-name. It s bittersw eet. I take it and sniff. Hey. The kid skids away from my grasp. Vague. Long ago I ask that mys elf. I ll just wait outside. There are p ictures portraits I remember vaguely. Cute. Alam ko matutuwa I mean. lady won t you talk to me? She pouts prettily. I take it. Sobra. 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. Sige. Parang slow motion sa pelikula. Naramdaman mo na bang kahit anong sakit ang idinulot niya sa`yo. Malamig talaga dito. Hindi dahil nakalimutan ko n a kundi dahil hindi ko ginustong maalala. The hou se is overlooking the Taal Lake. Ma am? Napalingon ako. I m looking around the house. Kaya nga gusto ko ng pagtakhan si CM. Hindi ko napansin na ako na lang pala mag-isa. He s on the phone. My knees become weak. My eyes grow wide as we enter a white room. I stop cold in my tracks. Sumunod po kayo sa `kin. He kn ew where. Those days that I love him. if ever. my God! Anak ka ng demon Oh. Knowing CM. Have she heard me? Oh. Maybe just in anoth er lifetime I d have made him stay. She s looking up at me And my. my heart bea t triple time. Jade! My eyes grow wider. Those days that I thought I ll hate him forever w hich I m doing a poor job of it. Three teeth are mi ssing. Anak ka ni Mabilis akong napakapit sa muk ha nito. That was our best time together. CM tilts his head to one side as if shooing me. wasn t it? Para `kong nanghihina. Naiisip ko lang kung pano `y ung next scene. Ipinagbilin po kayo ni ma am Tricia. My eyes get misty I so remember those days. Those days I wish I have again. Who are you? At namaywang pa! Her chinky eyes tur n into slits. Ma am? Ha? I turn to. Life-size photos of me in Morocco. I wince. Yuck. D addy! There s a woman here! She s a strangeeeeeer! Napapikit ako. Having my own child. `Wag niyo ng itanong ang mga details . somehow I start hating mysel f. their caretaker. Nanginginig na naman `yu ng mga kamay ko. I raise one brow at him. Hindi ko napigilan ang hindi mapaiyak. With him. Kundi ba naman nakakatulig `yung pagtili niya. She frowns at me.God. no. He ll be the Ice breaker. he can still make your heart beat faster? Naramdaman mo `yung feeling na kahit na pilit mong . Masarap s ana kung may kayakap. 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. And no doubt obscene ones. My heart constricts just by imagin ing myself having a family. murm uring love words. Lofty thoughts Jeannie Bulong ko sa sarili ko. Napalingon ako sa bulilit na katabi ko. Something warm tugs at my heart. I raise one brow. My so-called doomsday before.
Close. Hindi ako makapaniwala sa mga naririnig ko. Juli He even did more than his fair share of kis sing. So yeah. I frown when the scree .sinasabing wala lang siya sa`yo pero isang tawag lang. Jeannie she smiles at me. akala ko kapag hinalikan ni Prince Charming si Snow White okay na . Long silence stretched. Madaling sabihing hindi ko na siya maha l. Five years gives him just ice. bad daw ang magsinungaling! Dapat matuwa ako. Agree? He slowly squints. He s more attractive. They open my child s eyes that there is a prince charming. Tumangkad ba siya? Gumwapo? Tumaba? Lalong pumuti? No. she s she s the one in your study room! Her picture s Julian covers her daughter s mouth. He stares at me for the longest while. The mature lines on his face tell on the wise years. The little girl bit her nails. T hat will be very horrible Mr. Pero mahirap gawin. My hand stop in midair as a I hear a gasp. Full of pain. Nung bata ako. Bingi ka ba? I m going. So. Anong kayang sinasabi ni Tri cia? Nakita kong tinignan ng pagkasama-sama sa anak. Ang hindi matibag-tibag n a lalaki. Kundi ayaw makinig ng puso ko. That somehow Aladdin will whisk me off wit h his magic carpet. Bakit ba? Hindi ba dapat ako ang magalit? Anong karapata n niya? I walk to the door. Madaling sabihing mag-let go. He s expressionless. ano pa nga bang ineexpect ko mul a sa kanya? He s still the high and might Julian Sunico. Sana. It works. I m thankful now `coz I didn t get to live with you forever. I m not sorry for what I did Jeannie. I open the door and smile to myself. how dare him do that. Merry Christmas Jeannette Rose Leviste! She waves her hand. L ike he never existed in my whole life. And everyone who fell i n love became stupid. I remember the video in my mind s eye. It fades as time goes by. I even thought he will run to me and hug me. Pero nakita ko ang pan ginginig ng kamay niya habang hawak ang anak. The video. Biglang tumigil ang pagpatak sana ng luha ko. Nakalimutan ko she s there. I m just sorry I let you go. I count one to ten to stop m yself from shouting at him. Pero sino bang niloko ko? `Yung kuko ko? Gusto kong magreklamo sa Disney! Bakit pa kasi sila nagpaasa. Kaya nga nagtataka ako sa sarili ko. didn t he? I forget his name. I can t breathe again. That face. Isa lang. And that he the beast will turn into a handsome prince and he ll give the word foreve r a meaning. What are you doing here? And more domineering than ever. Sabi ni mommy. I ll act matured sophisticated. Or to mock me of what I ve done? Now that you re successful? Hindi ko siya pinansin. He s thirty-something now. She pouts a gain. I thoug ht it did. Have a happy life Is that a fvcking curse Jeannie? Do you know you creep under my skin. It s the truth. Mabilis akong humarap sa kanya. Eh. Now I guess painful is the best term. Yes. I turn my back on him. Do you know the word pain? I guess. Not Julian s more like Tricia s. I tried to. I ll be over him in no time at Daddy. Are you here to laugh at me Jeannie? Just a mere whisper. idiot don t let go. Tisha Jade! I met a pair of chinky eyes. A four-year old chinita girl. Galit na nilagpasan ko siya. Tricia s gone. How could I have loved him? Galit na pinunasan ko `yung mga mata ko. They ll live happily ever after. you ll tell me yes. Hindi dahil ayoko. Kahit pangalan mo lang. this is goodbye. Hindi ako manunumbat. Hindi mo pa rin mapigilan ang sarili mong umasa? There s that tiny part of you that says. I say instead. But by God. You re always good at hurtin g everybody. Sunico. Sasampalin ko siya.
He s jesting right? Mommy s gone to heaven. P umangit siya. He whispers. Na para bang hinihiling sa`king unawain ko siya. Natigil `yung muntik kong pagsinga. Saka naghihintay na sa`kin si Roy. She had already a bone marrow transplant then. I m just sorry that I hurt you. or rather our families hastened our engagement. Surely surely I m wrong? She s dying Jeannie. Daddy always looks at your picture when he thought I m not there. CM knew? Oh. Ano ba! Tigilan na nga natin `to. Everyone has. You can be my mommy ag ain. Anyways. Her own. Ang sama ko ba? My eyes wate r. I envy you you have the zest for life Jeannie. That shut him up. God. Para matapos na `tong usapang ito. I muffle a gasp. She thanked me on her wedding day. That. Grabe! Si Tricia talaga oh. I know something is very wron g here. Gusto kong maiyak sa itsura nito. I don t know where to start. Five years five long years. CM shrugs. Parang hindi siya hindi naman sa pumangit siya o Oh-kay. I even hear d him talking to you Tisha Jade! He s now roaring. She sighs. Not that I love Julian She raises her hand. you replaced her. They re the happiest years of my life. Fren ch kiss. Gays. Gone. She just wants to live her last years making her family happy. Considering mayaman si Julia n. His hand tightens his hold on his daughter. No. Relief floods through my bloodstream. She looks straight at me as if she is really seeing me. queers(halamang dagat) are lovable. Bilis na Jean nie! Tricia s happy wherever she is. How long is it daddy? She looks at me. Un til when I came to New York to find you. I blink thrice. Para akong napako sa kinatatayuan ko. Do you know she bit her lower lip. Am I that selfish? I wish her ill many times in the past? Now what? It s true Jeannie. Though yes. But then knowing that you know it s soo ner. She shrugs. They want her to have a family. Back to the present. `Yung parang magkukuhaan kayo ng oxygen sa isa t isa dahil Julian s glare still work. Not that sinasabi kong mukha kang pera. We thought she s already okay. He nods rapidly. Bakit ba gustong gusto niya `kong sinasaktan? I always thought of her as the kind. Ewan ko ba. Living your life knowing that somehow you have a timeline. baliw na ata ako. Tricia she never looks a day sicker than she is. Nangingitim ang ilalim ng mga mata n ito. Mabilis tinakpan ni Julian ang tenga ng bata. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. Julian just kiss Jeannie. Parang umitim ang balat nito. Na para bang pinapatahimik ako kung ano mang magiging violent reaction ko. Jean came a nd unknowingly. I am now sobbing silently. Nakakaiyak naman kayo. Nakakasama ng lo ob. I can t seem to ta ke it all in. Jeannie tell him what you feel . Nang-aasar ba siya? I even salute you when you left him for your dreams. I gasp. Na gust o ko ngang gawin. Goodness. Parang nanikip `yung dibdib ko sa sinabi niya. But not the way he loves you. That s why She s got Leukemia. sweet girl. But you came mahinang sabi nito. He smiles sadly. O siya? Dahil nakakangiti pa rin siya sa`kin ng ganon. It s like I can hear Tricia saying thank you to me to Ju lian as we went out of the OB that day. Napalingon ako.n zooms in on her face. We have a d ate! He shrieks. he loves me. Roy is CM s boo. I still want to yank that lovely ha ir out of her face which is covered with a bonnet. Oo. He chuckles to himself. It was traced way back when yo u entered my life Jeannie. I m not sorry I took Julian from you. Kinarga niya ang bata. 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. She paused. Tricia s dead? No. Hindi ko alam kung ako ba? Dahil dapat makaramdam ako ng galit. Oh. She laughs heartily. Ang kapal ng mukha ko no? Alam ko sasabihin mo. Naramdaman ko `yung basa sa pisngi ko. Bakit ikaw ang m aiinggit sa`kin Tricia? Nasa `yo `yung gusto ko.
But his eyes are glazed. Pe ro wala akong pakialam. I kiss her on the forehead. The child is amazed. Thank God reall . I love this freaking insane and mad guy with all my heart. I love you. CM s giggles are getting louder. she s even crushed in between. . Para siyang bumata ng ilang taon. Just kiss me J ulian. Thank God. I promise Tricia I wo n t be one. CM starts laughing. Overwhelming joy that I m afraid isn t real. Talaga naman. Julian I m sorry. I ll be your mommy. In God. I nod against his polo shirt. . Don t ever be afraid to love. Both don t know how to cross the distance. But hey. Now there s j oy. Like we need to breathe each oth er s oxygen. The years stretch between us. no? Sige ikaw na! Inis kong sabi kay CM. It s now or never if he can t accept me for what I am about to confess. He suddenly pulls me into an embrace that robs me of my breath. Well. Five years. How hard it is. I don t know about ghos ts or Tricia. And believe that dreams do come true. He smiles tenderly. You re not as pretty as my mommy. Naningkit ang mga mata nito. Naramdaman ko na lang `yung sarili kong mga paa na na glalakad din. didn t he? I smile. Gusto kong isiping umiiyak din siya. Hmm? I built this house remember that first time? What first time? I ask innocently. Just I sigh and smile at Ti sha Jade. If I m dreaming as cliché as it may seem. Pain and sadness. There are times that I want you to shut your lovely mouth sweetheart. Sumimangot ito. He innocently look s up at the ceiling. I don t just think. Nakita ko siyang humakbang palapit. Emotions kept hidden for so long is written there. He cups my cheeks. In all that is possible without the eyes really seeing it. Hindi nga ba at a ng bata ay regalo ng Diyos? Damn evil stepmothers to hell. Julian tries to suppress his chuckle. The doctor said it after I ve had a problem with m y He stares at me. . French kiss. Pakialamero. Per o walang luha don. I think I ll love her. I m sorry. All the pain is swept away. It doesn t matter. Ang drama ko. Oh. It doesn t matter anymore. Jeannie.. I hiss. Jeannie ang bagal mo naman kasi pano kayo magkaka Ang dami mong alam eh. be yourself. But if you believe in it. I do now. I still want to be a part of your life. Love. I m sorry. That I ll still miss baby JJ. Love is a very frightening thing. That forgettable huh? That day i n the car when you yelled like you wanted m Julian `yung bata! I hiss. There will be times that I ll still shout at you I nod. I wait for that long overdue kiss. p lease I still don t want to wake up. I love you He whispers before he bends down. I can t bear anymore child Julian. Walang reunion na hindi madrama. I m very grateful. Wetting it. `coz I k now how persistent and talkative you are. He gave love a bad name.I glared at him. Mabilis kong hinawakan ang leeg ni Julian.
candymag. well. I start laughing. Until he kisses me it s as if I can still hear Tricia s last words. we had somethin he think his ex uncle Jin ñ . This is our wedding night Hey.html http://www. Naghiwalay.com/teentalk/index.html#msg54528 95 CC link Splitting Hairs. I hope. Hearing her like I did through that v ideo early this morning.php/topic. http://www.php/topic.com/teentalk/index.y.html driver seat http://www.php/topic. Tricia. you did me a favor.html uterus--.com/teentalk/index.196622.196622.540. Julian grins at me and wink.435. What! Inis kong sabi. Natupad ko mga pangarap ko. promising a one hundred and one pleasu res in life and in the next lifetimes.465. I close my eyes and wait wait. and the hot-and-nice guys are g ay.196622.com/teentalk/index. Nakagawa na kami ng bata noon. mommy.196622.candymag.msg5452895. how I love him. Uh nothing.405. http://www.candymag.html http://www. Hap py Ending na. the hot guys are jerks.candymag.360. Oh. Akala in niyo `yun. Nag-asawa siya.360.html http://www. I close my eyes again.candymag. I smile to myself as I hug Julian close to mysel f.196622. Thank Jesus.com/teentalk/index. It s just that Tricia and I never lived here.candymag. Merry Christmas! He murmurs with no one in particular. The nice? guys are ugly. Pero hindi pa rin niya alam `yun? Shhh. What a we dding night. Bitin. It s This is meant for you.285.php/topic. What now? He smiles at me and whispers: Hindi ako marunong manligaw.196622.html es http://www.196622.html g http://www. you re pressing too close! I can t breathe! I close my eyes in frustration as I look at her chinky eyes. Jeannie? I close my eyes and groan. It s a long time coming do me a favor? you know.com/teentalk/index.php/topic.com/teentalk/index. I can feel it Ito na. will will you No.196622.com/teentalk/index.php/topic.php/topic.php/topic.ovari Uncle Jin Passenger seat. Oh. I have a gift for you Jeannie.candymag.candymag. Only.
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