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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
Para iyong 1+ 1=2. Nara mdaman ko ang paghawak niya sa balikat ko. O baka imagination ko lang `yon. I licked my lower lip. Silent tears turned into muffled sobs.mo. In this position. He frowned at me. I thought my monthly flow was a curse. Napahiga na lang ako sa kama . You are crying. Dyos ko po. I am. nakalimutan ko Pregnant women don t bleed. Why do you hate me so much? Gusto kong matawa sa sarili kong tanong. Galit itong humiga. Niyakap kong mahigpit ang unan upang patahimikin an g paghikbi ko. Kailan ba hindi sinadya ang pikot? Sige nga sabihin niyo sa `kin. Yeah. Nagbibilang ba si San Pedro ng penalty? A we ek. Hindi na nga almost eh. Sasabihin mong either sipon lang `yan o napuwing ka lang. So what s this grand scheme? Tignan mo `tong lalaking `to. Naaw ardan pa nga ako nung high school na best actress nung gumanap akong Sisa sa Nol i. How many days? He brushed his hand roughly through his hair. I sighed in relief. He slid his hands and fisted my hair. Mabilis akong umisod palayo sa kanya papunta sa gilid ko. Tumagilid ako patalikod sa kanya ng inakala kong hindi na siya sasagot. in bed with a stranger whom I had just met a few hours ago. Ahm a three days. Sa pagkakaalam ko walang pikot na hindi planado. The situation wa s worst than I had expected. Samantalang hindi ako titig il ng hindi ko nakukuha ang gusto ko. Not in pain. Obvious na tinatanong pa. Me ron kasi `ko. I m sorry. Are you crying? Kung umiiyak ako may paki ka ba? No. blessing in disguise din naman pala. What the hell is the matter with you? Ang laki laki ng kama dyan ka nagsusumiksik . I winced. Pe ro para ko na rin niloko ang sarili ko. Gusto kong sabihin iyon sa kanya on my twin s behalf. Matulog ka na. He didn t give even a nary compassion toward me. But in shock. Parang bigla ng nagkaroon ng tenderness sa boses nito. How was tha t for a Shakespearean play? Masyadong tragic ang buhay ko. He si ghed. nagkakapatong patong na ang mga kasinungalingan ko. Isang malakas na hikbi ang hindi ko napigilan. Hindi ko sinasadya. It is still spelled the same R-A-P-E. Kung kaya t it was very much out of Jean Ros e s league to do something as pikot . Nasan na ang kakambal ko? Bakit ako ang n agdudusa sa kasalanang `di ko ginawa? Alam ko namang magaling akong umarte. And he also moved along with me! Umusod ulit ako. I felt so alone and vulnerable. Juli an! ahhhh I moaned and twisted. Pero lumapat lang ang mga kamay ko sa malapad niy ang dibdib. Yeah. He still didn t move from behind me. we were almost in timately embracing. Hindi ito makulit. Pinipilit kong pakalmahin ang mga hikbi k o. Juli an I tried to push him off me. Didn t he know what he s doing to my senses ? His thumb brushed the moisture on my cheeks. Specifically a very estranged and angry husband and here I was supposed to be pregnant. Well Julian? Humiga na din ako sa pinakagilid ng malaking kama. Nakahinga ako ng maluwag ng itulak niya `ko palayo. So what game is this? Get into my bed and then play the pakipot later? I promise you. Do you hate me? I whispered again. Fine. Yes. Natatakot na talaga ko. Ah. But some part of me still wanted to hear the conf irmation. Onti nalang talaga mauubos na pasensya ko. Jean Rose isn t a crybaby. He stilled against me. Pero lalo lang akong naiyak. I was alone inside a big mansion. kung bumubuga lang ng apoy ang mga mata ng tao baka nasunog na `ko ni Juli an. I couldn t help it. I was keeping my fingers crossed. Then I f elt tears brimming down the side of my face. Kahit ba sabihin mong gwapo ang mangre-rape sa `yo. I felt his hard naked chest against m y back when he tried to peek above my shoulder. I shook my head. Umusod u lit siya. Silence.
I closed my eyes. Natulig ako ng biglang bumagsak ang tasa ng kape nito sa platito. I cou ld have misheard him. Humihingal sa galit na sabi ko ng matapos a ng speech ko. Galit na tumayo ako at hinabol siya. Where the hell are the telephones here? Ano `to mansyon na walang telepono? Ma am. Napasabunot ako sa buhok ko. Ang laki nga ng kama dikit ka naman ng dikit. Not Jean Rose. Not to mention that the house was so big you could get lost. Mabilis akong bumaba at na ghanap ng telephone. They wouldn t do it. `Yun lang. Our noses touched. Hang in lang ako. He was staring at me stonily. Sana naisip mo `yan when you and your family blackmailed me into this marriage. Maglalakad na lang ak o palabas ng subdivision para maghanap ng taxi. I smiled sweetly at him. I was ready to weep. So I wouldn t think about him. Sabay bigla `kong naalala ang sitwasyon ko. Ako ang asawa pero wala akong alam. Hindi dahil pina hiran niya ang luha mo okay na Jeannie. Hindi ako martir. Inis na lumayo ito at tumalikod. Isang babae t lalaki. Nang sa tingin ko ay kumalma na `ko ay lumakad ako sa front porch. I don t care anymore kung mukha man ak ong peso sign. If I were pregnant you could h ave at least supported me financially. Me. I didn t care who heard it. Hindi ako makapaniwala sa narinig ko.. I said airily while I was putting butter on the toast. Inis na humarap ako sa kanya. `Pag baba ko ay nag-aalmusal na ang prinsipe sa lanai. I dressed hu rriedly and quickly got out. Gusto kong umuwi sa `min sa duration ng honeymoon natin tutal naman hindi mo pa ` ko kailangan. 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. Dahil hindi ko na alam kung anong magagawa ko. An yway. just as well. I thought women are the only ones who are fickle-minded. The woman hug ged me. Maaga `kong mababaliw sa bahay na `to. The food was forgotten. Where s the telephone? I didn t want to sound stupid. My eyes grew wide at the implication of his words. may hinahanap po ba kayo? I smiled brightly at the maid. Unless you re with me. Ngumiti ako and said a tha nk you prayer to my maker. Sinigawan niya ko! I thought we were okay. Mabilis na humarap ak o sa kanya. Siya nga pala. myself and I. Para `kong invisible na hindi niya nakita. Oh-kay. Balak?! . At take note: he didn t even bother to pull out the chair for me. I waved my hand at her in dismissal. I woke up late in the morning. I couldn t believe it. Mabilis a kong bumangon at ginawa ang morning routines ko. 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. When a car automatically stopped in front of me. If he did. what s a scandal with the Sunicos right? I saw the muscles on his jaw flexed. Just as well. He was reall y hell-bent on making my life miserable. I gritted my teeth. I would think first of myself. and my twin. Mabilis akong umakyat at hinagilap ang cellphone sa bag ko. you know. He stood up an d cleaned his mouth with the napkin. Matagal ng binaril si Rizal sa Luneta at wala akong balak sumu nod sa yapak niya. 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. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung masira a ng isa kong ngipin. Didn t Eskimos kiss like that? Matulog ka na. Good morning Jules! I take it you had a good night sleep? Deadma. Pat i ba naman cellphone ko hindi pa nakisama? Naiwan pa. Jean! I was so worried about you. Wala naman p umigil sa `kin ng nagtuloy tuloy na `kong lumabas ng gate. SANA WAL A. You re not going to see your family. Hangin. ANO?! Is he serious? Never mind. No one pacified me. Itinuloy mo pa rin pala ang balak. Sa pagkakaalam ko hindi ko talaga sinadya na magka tapat `yung mukha namin. Uuwi ako sa bahay mamaya may hihingin sana akong pabor. Malamang sa mga araw na `yon mahahanap ko na ang magaling kong kakambal.
Julian I Hinila niya `ko bigla sa tabi niya. I could feel my hands shaking. Ano ba t alaga ang nangyari? Lalo akong naguguluhan. ROAR. Para kasing nilagyan lang nila `k o ng nette pero sa totoo lang it was as if they wanted me to be Jean Rose. And what amazed me most was he embraced me! I missed you love so much. Mrs. Something Jean Rose would do. Naramdaman ko ang pagdiin ng pagkakahawak ni Julian sa braso ko . It was like Oh my God. Jean Rose Sunico! I heard that one again. Pe ro rinig ko ang dagundong `non sa tenga ko. Oh no. He encircled his arm around my waist i n a possessive manner. fine w hile my sister is good with figures. Sabi nila nagpapakatanga ako sa course ko: Fine Arts. I became the blacksheep three years ago when I accepted the scholarship in New Yo rk University. Sumakay ka na. And boy. please kung nanaginip man ako `wag mo po muna akong gisingin. Ang sarap tignan ng may kakambal. Okay. I gnawed at my lower lip. Fe eling ko para `kong nagka-amnesia. Jean Rose I know I ve made a mistake. Run away with me Napalunok ako. Julian tried to tug my hand. maybe I could get some facts about my twin s whereabouts. Nagpatangay na lang ako ng bigla akong hi nila ng babae. Home. Pwede pa natin `yun tamain. Kutis-mayaman kaya ako.Lumapit ang lalaki. Or maybe becau se I didn t want to be in my sister s shadow any more. To. Then I felt the emanating anger from the other side. Siguro kung sa ibang pagkakataon baka kinilig pa `ko. The beast roar. My eyes grew wide when he cupped my face up. Maybe I m just splitting hairs. Well. ah. Wala sa loob kong nasabi. And three years drew us apart. Someone who could break it off with your own boyfriend in proxy kung hindi mo kaya. Julian deliberately whispered the words to me. You love me. Him. And it ends there. His eyes were like challenging me to do just that. I slowly looked sideways an d saw the blatant anger in his eyes. Nakalimutan mo na ba `ko? Hindi kita nakalimutan! Hindi lang talaga kita kilala. Oo. Not that I was caught red-han ded. 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. Ahmm . As in. . I opened my mouth to say his name. But don t they already know that we only have one face. There would surely be bruises later. Bulong. pero parang lalong natuyot ang lalamunan ko. Minsan lang naman akong pag-agawan ng ganito. Naguluhan ak o bigla. Pero hawak hawak pa rin ako ng lalaki. My eyes grew wide. A nd then one hand grabbed my other arm from the side. THREE We aren t rich. they were proud to say in the least na. Masarap namang pakinggan eh. Tell. I mean please wake me up. I saw the emotions in his eyes. And ne ver to be Jeannette Rose. Then I realized I don t know the man s name! You cannot mean this Jean. Ay. Let s go. but I wish they would be more proud of me. I closed my eyes in frustration. Nagulat ako ng biglang hinawakan ako ng lalaki sa braso. PERIOD. Bumaling ako sa lalaki. `yung bunso kong anak she stays in N ew York . And they would stop comparing me to Jean Rose. may papalit sa `yo kapag absent ka sa clas s. Jean Rose Sunico! I stopped dead in my tracks. Naging Sunico ka lang Jean? He frowned at my reaction. My heart went out to my sister and him. Go. But every time they asked my parents where school I go to? I think .
my dear wife. si Jean Rose. My eyes grew wide. Bago pa ako makapag-react ay hinawakan na ng mahigpit ni Julian ang mga braso ko . Ako hindi. bakit naman siya magagalit? In the first place. Please Brad. eyes were the windows of the soul. 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. Kaya t-a-n-g-a nga daw ako sa bi ng mga magulang ko. Hindi kaya dininig ako ni God? Diyos ko ` wag naman. And I was living a lie after all. Lumabas ito. he isn t in love with me! So bakit siya magagalit well. Inis na tinabig ko ang kamay niya. Mula sa lamp shade hanggang sa china vase. I sighed in relief when they walked away. Hindi naman a ko buntis pero nagiging iyakin na `ko. Naiisip ko pa lang kung anong gagawin niya sa `kin ay nanlalamig na ang mga kamay ko. We went upstairs while he was still holding my arm tightly. All my daydreams flew out of the window when he towered over me. Honesty. Hindi ko ma-imagine ang sarili ko: blessed virgin Jeannette. Parang mas lalo akong natakot doon. Bakit? Had someone hurt him? Betrayed him? Minutes passed by. he didn t turn around. because he would surely int imidate you. Julian As usual. Then I started really crying. W-what if I still love Brad. I never asked for a wonderful love story. that must have caused millions. I ll come back for you Jean! Then the woman dragged him inside the car. And boy. That is all I asked of you. Hindi ko alam kung bakit bakit ganon `yung mga mata niya nung sinabi niya iyon. Bigla niya `kong ibi nalandra sa kama. Pe ro teka. Ako hindi. Kung ang iba sa ed ad ko ay humihiling ng prince charming. wasn t he handsome in his thr ee-piece suit. Julian you re hurting me! Halos kaladkarin niya na `ko papasok ng mansyon. I only wanted to establish myself on my . I felt tears threatening to erupt again. Leave Brad let s go Sabi dito ng babae. Gigil na hinarap niya `ko. I didn t ask for any of this. In the second place. The corner of his mouth twisted in a mockin g smile. Because I m sure she was a reluctant bride. Naiiyak na napatingin ako doon. NO! Mabilis akong tumakbo papunta sa pinto. If you don t want to be sitting in jail. Honesty. Then I heard the click on the other side of the door. Sh!t. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. Lumingon ulit ito. no. Nanlamig ang mga kamay ko. Nasira lang ang drama ko. I couldn t term him just handsome. Suplado naman! May K naman kasi siyang magsuplado. I wa s afraid he would see through the lies written in my eyes. Bigla nitong binitawan ang mukha ko. Lumakad na ito palabas. I s lowly tried to catch my breath to stop from screaming at him. That was it. Women s ultimate weapon: Tears. My hands turned into tight fists and started banging the door. His fists were clenched. He rolled his e yes in disgust. And I just wished he didn t! Hindi ko alam kung paano pa nagig ing lalong singkit ang mga mata niya sa galit. I don t take to infidelity lightly. Kung ang iba ay humihiling na makapangasawa ng mayaman. lalaki siya. He was dangerously gorgeous. Julian! Galit na pinihit pihit ko iy on. 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. And men s ego is sometimes bigger than their brains. Na par a bang nasasaktan siya. Parang gusto kong lumubog sa pagkakaupo ko sa kama habang malapit na malapit ang mukha niya sa `kin. damn him! hind i niya `ko totoong asawa at wala siyang karapatang gawin sa `kin `to. Si Julian `yung tipo ng lalaking hindi mo titilian.Leave my wife alone Brad. And and we we both know that you don t want this marriage? Bakit hindi mo na ako pakawalan? I mean. Get dressed. Pero may reluctant bang namikot? He did turn around. Tinignan ko ang mala ki at magarang silid. He tilted his head to the other side in question. After all.
I thought it was only termed with women. what Julian wants. Mabilis akong pumasok sa loob ng kwarto. Julian was here! I t hrew my arms around his neck and clung to him. And I was still here. I looked around me. And then I would wake up later and find myself in t he boarding house in New York. And Jean Rose caught my hand. may mga pand esal siya sa tyan. Siguro y napagod na pumunta ito sa railing at umakyat. Padabog na sumunod ako sa katulong. Ouc h. Hindi ko alam pero `pag upo ko ay dumulas ang kumot mula sa dibdib ko. A hand grabbed my waist. Dapat dapat bumalik na lang ako bigla sa kwarto ko. I had no choice. But the sight before me froze me on the ground. Kinurot ko ang sarili ko. T apos biglang bumukas `yung pinto. I saw his broad shoulders and arms flexed with his ev ery move. Then the dog came running. Sana sana pipikit pa lang ako ng mapansin kong may lumalangoy sa foot-shaped swimmin g pool. Feeling ko. I didn t know. I tugged her along and sec retly took the boat to explore the lake. Nanlaki ang mga mata ko. Papanhikin daw po kayo ni sir kung hindi kayo bababa. 5 3 na nga sige na. Oo. Dun sa hindi ako matetempt. Then flashes of yesterday came through my mind. I heard splashes of water from outside. Kaya nga ba hindi ko naging idol si Rizal eh. Anim He looked up then. my heart beat triple time. I curled into a fetal position on the huge soft bed. I didn t know where the German shepherd dog had come from. alam ko nagblush talaga ako. Paatras na ako ng paatras. She was crying and did n t want to let me go. Toward me. Hindi na naka-lock! Ma am pinapatawag daw po kayo ni sir. I hate you Julian Sunico! I hate you to the deepest part of the earth Sana binabangungot lang ako. Isang napak alaking akala. Julian please don t leave me I whispered frantically against his neck. Mula sa likod nito ay lumabas si Mang Pio. para itong kumunoy na kakainin ako ano mang oras. I tasted the tears mingled with the c hlorine. I screamed when my foot stepped on nothing but water! I was in a deep end of the swimming pool. At sa maniwala man kayo o hindi. I screamed my way to the surface. Bilog ang buwan. He was standing on the edge of the swimming pool clad with only his swimming sinfully black trunks. Manang pakilagay na po dyan `yung juice. Ma am siya nga po pala. Julian is in every way sexy. Nasa teritoryo `ko ng kaaway. G usto kong maging si Juan Luna. And b oy. Alam ko. `Yung katiwala din. Nasa harap na ako ng swimming pool. His muscled back was rippling with water as his stroke became faster. Matangkad ito. nakakahiya mang aminin 6 1 siya at 5 2 ½ lang ako. I didn t remember covering myself I frowne d. Please please don t let me die yet. I was gulping down a mouthful o f water. Jean! Nagmulat ako ng mga mata at umubo. Parang naiiyak na naman ako. gabi na. Sumabay na daw po kayong maghapunan sa kanya. Dun sa my eyes grew wi de. I didn t want to be appreciated only after my death. I c onceded.own as a famous artist. At ah. Nagbabakasyon kami noon sa lake house n g Aunt Lara namin. I wasn t entirely looking at him. I was eight again. Pero I s aw out of the corner of my left eye how strands of wet hair hang down the side o f his face. I gritted my teeth in an ger. I sucked in my breath. Sige na Mag-isa siya! I smiled at her. We were still in the middle of th e pool. Hindi ko pinangarap maging si Cinderella. I fell into a deep slumber after exhausting mysel f from crying. I kn ow I must have shouted Julian s name. Tumingin ako sa kabilang side. Dahil sa `kin kaya nangyari `to. kahit nga ba talentadong pinoy siya. Si Amorsolo. . Ano ba talagang nangyari sa kapatid ko? Why didn t I feel anything? Sabi nila may link ang mga kambal. Promise. As in. He cupped my ch eek and looked at me for a very long time. Mabilis kong hinawi ang glass door pa tungong terrace. Must have stood almost a foot taller than me. Jean! Jean! A voice whispered in my ear. Julian gets. I woke up late. Lumaya s lang ba talaga siya? Hindi niya mabilang kung isang oras na ata akong umiiyak.
I ngos ko sa kanya. Jul ian I wrapped my arms around his neck. Anyway sino bang may sabing sumama siya? Jeannie ano ba! Ano? Inis kong sabi habang ginuguhit ang papalubog na sikat ng araw. Gusto kong sakalin ang kapatid ko n g mga sandaling iyon. You would be more shocked by my big Dog? Gusto ko sanang magbiro. Kung meron man well. And oh Lor d the tree was getting hard all over. I said airily. He said that silently. I was amazed with its reflection on the water. Naiiyak na pinilit kong abutin isa isa kahit basa na. Pero kasi Jeannie baka Isasagwan ko na sana ang bangka ng tumuntong na din siya. I m ten but not entirely stupid. Jeannie nasan na tayo? Bakit parang palayo na tayo ng palayo? She bit her lower lip . Both of my thighs wrapped around his body on its own accord. Sa katulad ni Julian na perfectionist malamang na kasalana n ang `di marunong lumangoy. Pero bigla niya `kong pinakawalan. Hindi kita pinilit ha. I was just shocked by your big dog. I rolled my eyes heave nward. Sinimangutan ko siya. I froze in his arms. Seriously she had always been there for me. You re supposed to be a swimmer. As if he were my lifeline. Alam mo `yun naiilang ako sa titi g niya. FOUR Jeannie! Kasi baka I looked back at her. At hindi ko kasalanan `yun! Siya kaya lunurin ko. `Yan ang madalas na ipanakot sa `kin ni Aunt Lara. Rubbish. Jean Rose scowled at me and didn t say a word. Damn. Well. I smiled at myself and took my sketch pad with me. Jeannie! Bumalik na tayo. I am. As in over. Wala talaga siyang kunsiderasyon! `Pag namatay talaga ako. Jean Rose screamed. Hindi ko siya pinansin. Pagabi na. Ito ang taong kahit hindi bagong gising masamang biruin. I bit my lower lip when he looked at me closely. He said silently. Tignan mo ginawa mo! Naiiyak na sab i ko habang lumulutang lutang ang mga papel. Syempre ako na lang `yung natitirang kapatid no. . We were both screaming flailing And it was all my fault. Kung ayaw mo bahala ka! Natanggal ko na ang tali ng bangka. And sh e was very good at it. Jean Rose overcame her fear by learning how to swim. Para akong unggoy na nakabitin sa puno. As if naman. wala pala. Gume wang gewang ang bangka. Siya ang unang un a kong mumultuhin. Sa p ag-aagawan namin ay nahulog ang sketch pad ko. Na para bang titig na nagnanasa dududa. Oh my God. She became a champion in swimming competitions while I nev er learned. Mabilis nitong inagaw ang sagwan. Sa totoo lang Jea n was never the evil twin sister. overrrrr. Ayoko. There were mermaids in the la ke. Yep . My eyes grew wi de.Ano bang nangyayari sa`yo? You re a swimmer. My breasts were flat tened against his hard chest. Our eyes met. Sa isang iglap ay tumagilid ang bang ka at sabay kaming bumagsak.
Naramdaman ko ang paghigpit ng yakap niya sa `kin. Diyos ko. So what was the use of telling him how gorgeous he is? I just shut my mouth up. that voice of his it was like he had just woken up from a night of debauchery. At ang gentleman ba sta na lang akong ibinagsak sa marble floor sa gilid ng pool. o kaya ay wala lang ang mga katulong doon ay baka nilunod na `ko ni Julian. Ano bang nangyayari sa `kin? I leaned my head in between his shoulder an d neck. Lalo a kong napayakap sa kanya. 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. 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. It was a matter of choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea. I licked my lower lip nervously. At ni hindi man la ng nahiyang ipahiram man lang sa `kin. She overcame her fear by well. I whispered stupidly with lack of anything to say. Bente uno lang po ako God para sa mga ganitong bagay. Jules I m sorr y. The hell with the consequences. Ginamit ko lang ito once sa exhibi t ng kakilala ko. I couldn t look him in t he eye. Siya ang gumawa ikaw ang umaako? You big stupid moron! Tama ito. Ng panahon. It was now or never. Isa lang. ako I never did learn. Kelan ba matatapos ito? Tumingin ako sa harap ng salamin. His head came down down down. My heart was beating triple time. Yeah you re right! Siya ang gumawa ako ang umako ng mga Sir telephone po mommy niyo. Hawak pa niya. experienced dr owning before. Hindi ko nga alam kung dahil sa ano o dahi l sa init. My twin she s the swimmer. He was so m ad at me. Prom ise. I cried on his shoulder. We uhm. Hindi ko alam kung dahil sa naudlot na o dahil sa alam niya na `yung sasabihin ko. feeling ko nagkulay mansanas ako. Siguro hindi naman magagalit si Jean Rose kung kahit isa lang. 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. Grabe ang mood swings ng lalaking ito. His hand caressed my cheek. Si Jean Rose ang gumawa ako ang umaako! He had it all wrong. I blinked thrice. Hindi iyon lalagpas ng mid-thigh ko. 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. Thank God for the two-inch stilettos. Lelecturan ng walang . bata pa `ko. Tumayo ka at magbihis ka may pupuntahan tayo. Parang nanlamig ako bigla. I winced when I heard him curse. Had he forgiven me? Hindi siya galit? You should have told me sooner. Siya `yung `yung magaling lumangoy.Julian was just staring back at me. Naglakad ito kasama ako. Ang mani pis na suot ko kanina ay halos kita na dahil nga basa na din. Nagsasawa na `ko sa pagtatalo namin ni Julian. Siguro kung hindi lang masamang pumatay ng tao. Ang tanong: sinong mananamantala at sinong pagsas amantalahan? Not I. I m not supposed to be who I am now. Susumbatan niya lang ako. I wore a n off-shouldered cream tailored dress. Inis na sabi nito. Jules I have something to tell you. Two days of being married to Julian Sunico was like hell! And it felt like a lifetime sin ce I said I do . wala akong kara patan. My creamy white shoulders were very much visible. Akala niya pinagko-compete ko ang kakambal ko tapos tapos ako kunwari ang nananalo? My God. Ang mahalaga hindi siya nagalit Jea nnie! I tried telling you Ikaw ang Hindi maganda ang panloloko Jean. Then it dawned on me. Nagsasalubong na naman `yung mga kilay nito. Bastos talag a. Kung ginawa mo `yun just to get the fame you wa nted then you don t deserve it. Mag-aangilan lang kami. Goodness. Why not? He said huskily. At ang utos ng hari hindi mababali. From the start. He didn t even comment about my appearance. Galit na hinablot nito ang telephone habang pinupunasan ang sarili. I opened my mouth to shout at him. Giniginaw na `ko pero isang towel lang ang nakita ko.
I gritted my teeth in frustration. He s Biglang pinisil nito ang kamay ko. Say hello to your tita Doris. Na-iim agine ko na `pagtumanda ito. Julian?! I frantic ally searched his face for wounds. Ni hindi na ko magtataka kung kukulutkulutin ko na ang buhok ko mamaya. 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. I smiled at her politely. 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. for the first time Julian knew how to act the gentleman. Bakit wala po kayo nung kasal namin ni Jul ian? We would have been happy kung nandon kayo. Tears were streaming down the side of my face. Tahimik lang ito. I smiled. 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. Mabilis kong hinila si Julian. dad. Hello Julian. I apologize hija. Julian started laughing humorlessly. Baka nakakalimutan mo ako pa rin ang nanay ng anak mo. Julian please I grabbed his a rm. Gusto kong sumigaw a . your husband here didn t send me an invitation card. Shock was the understatement of the century. My eyes grew wide. Ayokong magsalita. Julian sighed and looked bored. We went inside the grand hotel. Hila dito. straight nose Ouch. There was something wrong here. His eyes sent me a warning message. God please! Virgin pa `ko. Act the very lovin g wife. Ano pa nga ba. Eh di baka ihulog na `ko ng tuluyan ni Julian palabas. I looked at Julian then. masaya na si mommy sa buhay niya. Na-amaze ako. Na parang demonyo. With his chinky eyes. Jean Rose Sunico! I didn t stop. She was in her early thirties and very much beautiful. Julian! Nagulat talaga ako. hila doon. She looked somewhat familiar. Nanginginig ang mga kamay ko na bumaba ako ng sasakyan. okay lang `yun okay lang na niloko ng papa mo ang mama mo past is p ast. it s nice to see you again son. Anong sasabi hin ko Julian. Julian ano ba! Napasigaw ako ng pinaharurot niya ang Porsche niya. Ayoko pang mamatay! Parang naiiyak na `ko ng sumadsad ang sasakyan sa gilid ng iliko ni Julian ang s teering wheel. I felt the impact of what almost happened to us. Hanggang sa makarating kami sa patutunguhan namin. is that bad? He said. Your flavor of the month? Julian! Excuse my husband. How s your mom? Ayun. Naglalakad ako sa gilid ng kalsada na wala sa sarili. Bi glang may sumulpot na malaking truck sa harapan naming. I t felt so awkward. Tears were starting to form in my eyes. Mahina pero gigil kon g paalala. Halos ako at ang papa niya lang ang nag-uusap. No. Galit na tinitigan niya ako. Halos lumangitn git iyon. Kailan pa kinailanga n ng tatay ng imbitasyon sa kasal ng anak niya? What do you want? Julian said coolly to his father. Hinila niya ako. Nice nice to see you. The man was just an older version of Julian. My heart went overdrive. I just want to see my son. Magtatay ba talaga ang mga ito? Umupo kami in silence at saka ko lang napansin ang babaeng kasama ni Mr. You loved her? Cut the crap. He was tense. I m glad to finally meet you. I was shocked. I was numb. Nakita kong parang aatak ihin sa puso ang papa nito. Pero bigla niyang tinabig ang kamay ko. Leave me alone! He shouted. I glared at him. Sorry sir.katapusan about honesty and virtues. I loved your mother. But his pain ran deep. Pudpod na stilettos ko. Hello sir. Na para bang mayroon siya! Julian opened the door for me. Invitation? Ang weird. Sunico. None. Nakikpagkarerahan ba ito kay Kamatayan? Napakapit ako sa dashboard. Tao lang ako. Normal naman sa mga produkto ng broken marriages ang ganitong ugali ni Julian. Their fists were both clenched.
He poured himself a glass of brandy and downed it in one swallow. Wala nga ba Jeannie? Hindi naman siguro pinagbabawal ng batas ang pagtatano ng. He wasn t drunk yet! Was he? Don t pull my leg Jean Do you think I m stupid? You lied to me. wala naman tal aga. We are about to get married. Then the phone started ringing. Ang boses nito. sana wala ako dito. True. In a split second the beast hugged me! Fiercely. Parang nasasaktan. Sunico! He roared. Are you inviting me to bed Jean? Ang boses niya ah parang nang-aakit. And thanks t o you it won t happen anymore He looked bored and predatory. But I believe in the sanctity of marriage. My eyes got misty all the more. Dahil sa galit. Me meron ako. I know deep down the call had something to do with his sudden withdrawal. He should have been a DJ. He started laughing mockingly. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. `Yun lang. Why is it so elusive? Maybe because we cannot have everything we wanted. Sunico. Is she special? Julian I jumped in surprise. Then I started wetting his shirt. Well. I don t believe in love Mrs. Life s not perfect. Julian s-sino `yung tumawag? Ano bang pakialam mo Jeannie? I was just curious. Wala na ang necktie nito. I sobbed louder. That T ricia must have been special for him to be like this. You r e bound to me forever. His eyes. Napalunok ako habang papalapit siya ng papalapit. bakit ako mag-aalala sa isang taong ni wala man lang pakialam sa `kin? But I do. So he knew all a long! Bigla itong tumawa. She s my girlfriend of two years. Hello? His face suddenly changed. He had fox-like eyes. Inihagis ni Julian ang coat sa couch at dumiretso sa mini bar. Palap it ito ng palapit. His back w as turned to me. Or was it my imagination? Tricia? Who s Tricia? FIVE Sabi nila best things in life are free . kung bakit hindi ako nabingi sa pagbagsak ng decanter at pagkalabog ng pinto. At biglang may kamay na humawak sa braso ko upang iharap a ko. Ang bastos talaga. I should have known. I shook the cobwebs in my head. His eyes were squinted in anger. tinalikuran pa `ko. Not that I f elt anything well. Yes. He just shrugged. Tricia. Since I want honesty between us . Silence. Parang pagod na pagod. His shirt was loosened. .. Again. maybe it was just guilt eating at me. I sighed exaggeratedly. Then he d tell me that he di dn t believe in love? Bull. Ayun. Kulang na lang sabihin niya sa mukha kong wala kang pakialam . I wonder. Like happiness. Will you please give me peace even just for tonight? Mahina nitong sabi. Pero minsan nga kung ano pa `yung li bre siya pang mahirap kunin. Marami talagang mga sinungaling sa mundo.t magwala sa gitna ng kalsada. I can t Julian. Julian would have been with another. no he wanted to eat me alive. Okay lang sana kung desert eh. Hindi ako bulag o bingi. tenderly. Tawang demonyo. Julian I just want to hel Help? That s bullsh!t. shut up! I m not Jean! Sinong g ustong humamon sa `kin? Mrs. Julian aren t you going to bed yet? A slow sexy smile twitched on the corner of his mouth. Not that I care. Kaya nga hindi ako nanin iwala sa sinabi ni Kim Chui na habulin mo happiness mo! Eh di kung ganon lang ka dali iyon. I sighed again when he didn t even bother to respond. Mabilis kong sinundan si Ju lian sa study room niya.. My back hit the wall. Na para ng gagawin akong panghapunan. Gusto kong sabihing.
May class A at class B. Arrogant. Siguro dahil nagtatampo pa rin ako. I knocked. He was always in his study room. Almost Perfect had the right to be Mr. Julian? No response. No. bakit nga naman hindi? Eh ako naman itong mamimikot `di ba? It was dark. you couldn t resist my charm. Gigising ako sa umaga. At alam ko. Naglalabasan na ang ugat sa leeg nito. Twice. Sino bang hindi? Para `kong tuta na basta na lang pinamigay. Mabilis akong pumunta sa study room. Hindi ko makuhang dalawin sina Mommy. hindi man ako ang pinakamatalinong tao sa mundo. Tricia? Gusto kong isigaw `yun. Love? Letseng love `yan. Bakit lalaki lang ba ang mga tao? I slammed the door as I walked out of there. Champion siya 1st pl ace in a swimming competition? I gasped. kapag babae ang nakagawa ng kasalanan para kang nakamatay. Para `kong naparalyze na nakatitig lang sa sa mukha niya. I was drunk. I was quite numb . Really stared at me like I d grown two heads and a horn. Then he hit the wall. I s hould be thankful. 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. Sa saktan ba talaga `ko ni Julian? Would he resort to that? Parang gusto kong umiya k. Julian anong ginawa mo nung pinikot kita? He stared at me. pagiging mapagobserba ko ay narinig kong sinabi ng mommy niya na there sho uld be no broken marriages . Masyado ba talaga `kong generic? Napagpapalit palit? I had never been lonelier than this. It was full of hatred and remorse. Hindi ko kailangang maging si Madam Auring para ma-vibrate kong iniiwasan ako ni Julian. And very much no! Ang mahirap kasi sa mga lalaki. Once. hindi naman sa kinukwestiyon ko si God. I felt so hurt. Julian? Walang tao. Ano pa bang alam nito? O ma s tamang sabihing ano pa ba ang hindi nito alam? He graduated business ad. Julian s family. eh? It was too good to be true. My eyes grew wide. Matutulog ako sa gabi. Hindi lang siya ang nasakal. It was a sin in the Sunico commandment. I was just mad on my twin s ister s behalf. Minsan nga naiisip ko. Parang boarder nga lang ako dito sa mansyon niya. Gusto kong magpakamatay. Pero mali ako. Wala na siya. Pero `pag sila lalaki lang sila eh. Wow. Three weeks. It had been three weeks since then. But there s always an exception to the rule. Sa gilid ng ulo ko. I closed my eyes with a prayer. Parang biglang umakyat lahat ng dugo ko sa ulo. He was bound by the Sunico tradition. in the states. Bakit hindi na lang kami magpa-annul? Sila pala ni Jean? Kung ganito lang din na man Oo nga pala. My breath got hitched. Thrice. Hindi ako nagagalit. Hindi ako pwedeng magalit. the feeling was mutual. He whispered angrily. Dahan dahan kong nakitang umaagos ang dugo sa kamay ni Julian. Salamat sa pagiging tsis mosa no. Jean Rose wouldn t do this without a valid reason. Akala ko walang taong ganito. Parang kasabay nun ang pagbagal at pag lakas ng tibok ng puso ko. So Mr. His knuckles were scraped because of the impact. Soccer. Then he raised his cle nched fist in the air. Rugby. Yep. Wala pa siya. I was about to go out when Julian s medals caught my attention. 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. Pwes. . I thought you were He said stonily. Dahil ba kay Tricia? Parang bigla a kong na-possess. hinihintay kong dumapo sa `kin ang mga kamay niya. natempt lang. Dahil hindi na niya ipipilit ang marital rights niya. No. He didn t want to see me. What s your excuse? Dahil lalaki ka? Dahil mahina ka? And oh.So sinisisi niya `ko? Ang kapatid ko. Kung sa bagay.
he won first place in a swimming competition. Stolen shot. Cheap. Not beca use our parents forced her to do it. Yummy. Binayaran ni Julian ang bahay na min. Of course. I don t want to hate Julian. Manong stop! Napakamot ito sa ulo. At hindi sila ganon kasama. Naso-suffocate na `ko.. Jean I prostituted hersel f for a one and a half million. Kanino ka pa ba tutungo `pag may problema? `Di syempre sa bestfriend mo. kasikatan. Hmmm Then my eyes grew wide. Nasan ang dad dito ni Julian? No. What the hell are you doing here? I felt weak. Eh. At ang mga n ext pictures ay kasama nitong nagpi-fishing ang lalaki. Oh my God. I was in New York trying to make out on my own. Ho w could I not? I was looking straight into my own face. Then I saw a smiling picture of him. Ang isip ko sinasabing hindi ako dapat magalit sa kanya. may magagawa pa ba siya kung nandun na `ko? I was immersed into deep thoughts. the bod. where s the fairness of life in it? And Julian was one of the Class A. May issue man ako sa parents ko. Jean did it because she was always the good daughter. Samantalang may mga pinagkaitan hirap na nga. Sabi niya `wag ko na siyang sunduin. Minsan kahit anong pilit mong ngumiti. He had a broken home. `Didn t know if it was because I knew her. Very much happy. I just wanted to get away from here. kagandahan. Tahimik na pumunta ako sa desk niya tinignan ang picture don. . I started crying. h indi ito soap opera. A ten or so Julian. Nakatula la ako sa mismong picture ng dalawa. Yeah. I opened it. Bubuksan ko pa lang ang handle ng umandar na si manong. Kissing. My eyes grew wide.Pero bakit kaya may mga taong sinalo ang lahat? Katulad na lang ni Georgina Wils on. Binayaran niya ang bahay namin. Then I saw an envelope written with a Leviste on it. hirap pang iharap ang mukha. Tricia?. with his uncle? Hindi ko kilala ang lalaki. Napatingin sa `kin si Manong. Mga sakim. Seriously. Then another with Julian s mom. Maganda. They still loved me. They have the same smile though. Hindi ko din alam! I dressed quickly upstairs and took my handbag. Or the kiss. Tricia Leyva? I competed with her once in a painting competition in New York. lalo lang sumasak it. Ma yaman. Trying to be different from my sister All the while they were making both ends meet. Wala sa loob na sinundan ko siy a ng tingin. Para `kong sirang plaka na napaupo. Sinalo lahat.Pero kapag nasasaktan ang isang tao. Parang gusto kong matunaw sa ngiting `yun. Alam ko. I hail ed a cab. I frowned when I saw a woman crossing the street. I felt cold. Napasabunot ako sa buhok ko. So sinong dapat sisihin? Feeling ko napakaselfish ko. They have it all. He was right.. I rolled my eyes. No. Tumigil lang ako ng maisara ko ang pintuan at sumandal doon. lumil ipad sa bintana lahat ng logic . Gusto kong magtitili. I just walked past him and got out. maganda kilalang kilala ko ang mukha na `yun. He wasn t perfect. She turned to the lane toward the side of the taxi. Para silang buong pamilya. Tumigil ang taxi nung umilaw ang stoplight. Here. 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. `yung tipong pati hanggang dulo ng kuko kaiinggitan mo. And my. I don t want. At least CM would make me happy. Ang puso ko? And don t ask me why. He bought Jean me. Pero hindi na kami makatigil kasi may MMDA dun. A notice of foreclosure from the bank. SIX Ni hindi ko siya tinignan. The picture of a loving couple. Then I moved on to the next picture. Jean s face! Jean! I half shouted.
Kaya pala kaya pala parang hindi man la . At binaba ako ni Brad sa mansyon. Si CM ay isang nagbabalatkayong tao este lalaki. Pinisil pisil ko `yung bic eps niya. Parang bigla kong nalunok `yung laway ko. Isa pa kakatayin ko na talaga `tong si CM. M-my b-bestfriend in New York. He mouthed. Pini sil niya ang kamay ko. Nataw a pa nga ako ng sundan server `yung tingin sa min kay CM. Inakbayan niya `ko at pumunta kami sa pinakamalapit na Italian Restaurant. His face was an inch or two away from me. Hinawakan niy a ang siko ko ng tumayo ako. CM could help? God. 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. Kung ganito lang san a si Julian. Anong alam mo? You haven t known him that long. Alam mo `yun g mga ginagawa ng mga mayayaman na pinapasalvage `yung first wife nila. Hindi ikaw ang tinatanong! `Di ba Jeanni I sent him a warning glance. Tapos napatingin siya sa `kin . Ang hudas pumalakpak pa. Hindi gagawin ni Julian `yun. you know . Nag-X sign pa ako n parang si April boy. Jean? We both turned at the voice. Jeannie. Para kaming sira na nagsasign language. at si Zsa Zsa Zaturna. Pinanlakihan ko siya ng mata. Jeannie? One brow arched. Ang bilis talaga ng radar nito. isang buwan lang naman. Three to four months? I bit my lower lip. Nagba yad ako at mabilis na bumaba. CM rolled his eyes. Then I stared at his cute f ace. Wow. Baba na lang ako ng hawakan niya `ko sa braso. I could melt.Hindi na `ko magtataka kung akalain niyang may baliw na sumakay sa kanya. He had t he biggest mouth ever. I shivered suddenly. Goodness. Hinatid namin si CM sa bahay nito sa Alabang. halaman g dagat. Kung pwede nga lang maghimala ako at magbuntis. Yuck. He s yummy. an g morbid. bestfriend we could make it a story. I think I have to go. Yes. Ayan pati a ko naguluhan na din talaga. Agaw eksena kami ng niyakap niya `ko. Umupo ito sa tapat ni CM. Ano `to soap opera? Salamat sa awa ha. Mas morbid `yun. Then pigs would surely fly. no. So what happened? I pouted. What if he found out the truth? That you re not pregnant? He wolfed down the pasta e nthusiastically. I waited for CM s arrival. Nakangiti pa. Kay Brad! Ah ah b-bestfriend siya ni ni Jeannie! How odd I refer someone as myself. no. CM raised o ne brow at me. Eh. In short. SANA. He whispered achingly. Kung alam lang niya. Brad this is CM. Yeah. Goodness. At gigil na kumaga t labi pa ito. Brad frowned. Lahat-lahat ata ng sama ng loob ko kay Julian sinabi ko sa kanya. Parang gusto ko siyang batukan. Nagpalumbaba ako at ikinuwento lahat. I sighed. Katabi ko. Ako? You ve know n me for three years! I thought you love me? Parang nagbago ka na. Masyado kasing napraktis. Hindi kita type no. Tapos biglang t umunog `yung cellphone nito at nag-excuse. Gross. BRAD? Brad s face was polite. some advice. Ahm well. CM smiled up at Brad. Sa likod ng mga fats niya ay 24/7 tumitibok ang pusong laan para kay Adan. Ako din uuwi na. From the b eginning `till the bitter end. Ah oo. Ihahatid na kita. I saw t enderness in his eyes.I mouthed. Oh. CM? Sa tatlong taon na nakilala kita You haven t mentioned him. Bakit hindi? Bale-walang sabi nito. Kala mo naman hind i nagkita ng isang taon. I bet he s going to plot murder against me. Hindi ka pa ba uuwi Jean? Nag-aalalang sabi ni Brad. no. Pero nakikita ko ang isandaan at isang tanong. Tumingin ako kay CM. Grabe. Too sweet. siya ay paminta. He s he s Jean s ex. Tumalikod. I would really melt. CM! Lakad pa lang niya alam ko na. What? I said innocently.
I called CM. mas gusto niyang kasama `yun g mga libro. Oh my God. Then I gasped. Please call me Jeannie. computer at alak niya. Dahil hindi niya talaga kilala si Jean! Hindi ako ang nagbago Winner! Pwede na `kong manalo sa FAMAS. Grabe. Ang ginaw talaga. He chuckled. Binabaan ako ng p hone! I tried and tried again. Hindi naman ako manhid. from Jeannette to Jeannie Oh Jean was always just Jean. Sino bang may ayaw ng lalaking ganito magmahal? One in a million siya. Anyone would want Brad for herself. Ano `to napagtripan lang basta n i Julian na magtour kami sa Korea?! I bit my lower lip. Wha t did he mean by that? Pinaikli naman talaga ah. He couldn t and wouldn t tell Jean and me apart. May jetlag pa `ko. Jean! What! Natutulog `yung tao eh. Tinanggal ko ang kamay niya sa braso ko. `Yun lang. Por Santo! Ala-una ng madaling araw. At least. At ipinarinig pa sa `kin ang malakas na paghikab niya. in that I didn t lie. Tapos? . Maliligo tayo ng sabay? Nakataas ang isang kilay nito. Jean must be very lucky. 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. Me included. How? Buntis na si Jean kay Julian. Nawala lahat ng antok ko. I heard the amusement in hi s voice. Julian no! Binuksan niya ang shower at itinapat ako sa ilalim ng napak alamig na tubig.! Jeannie? Oh my God kung tsismis lang `yan ipagpabukas mo na. Oh my God. Por Diyos. Nakatulog ako habang byahe kaya nabigla na lang ako ng nasa NAIA na kami. Kulang na lang sabih in niyang hang up na. now! Julian frowned at me.ng nagtataka si Julian. Lum ayo ako lalo. Ganon naman eh. In my panic-driven state. Hindi ako mapakali lalo. He walked on. CM !!! The line went dead. I felt exhausted and slept early. Inhale. Later in t he wee hours of midnight. Galit na ibabagsak ko ulit ang katawan ko sa kama ng buhatin niya ko. Ang sitwasyon lang natin ang nagbago Brad. I thanked God he didn t unplugged the socket. I whispered softly. Then som eone was shaking my shoulder. Be with me. Relax take a deep breath. Hello? Carlo Miguel Jr. Magbihis ka may pupuntahan tayo. My God Ju lian. na-touched ako sa bestfriend ko. It s it s my nickname. I wanted to make a way for my sister an d him. No! Mabilis akong bumitiw sa kanya kahit pa ma-hypothermia na `ko. Nicknames are supposed to shorten one s name. Again. Bilisan mo. Julian? He didn t turn around. Anong gagawin ko harangin `yung eroplano? Pasabugin `y ung airport? Anong gagawin ko? We re going to fly to Korea! As in. Jean annul your marriage. Punta ka sa asawa mo. I screamed. CM I can t meet the whole Sunico clan. Tapos lumabas na ito. Hindi naman siguro babagsak `yung eroplano no. naramdaman kong parang may pumasok sa kwarto. Tinakpan ko ng unan ang ulo ko at hinampas kung si no man `yung bastos na `yun. He grabbed my shoulders and made me stand up. O buntis nga ba? Had sh e just said it to blackmail Julian? I hadn t seen Julian when I got home. Again. Niyakap ko siya ng mahigp it. Jean. exhale. are you out of your mind? It s one in the morning! Kung gusto mo ikaw na lan g mag-isa. Hindi rin dahil wala pang happy ending.
Sino si Tantan? My mind was scre aming. I swallowed. And he was also staring at me! Feeling ko nagkulay man sanas ako. Habang hawak niya ng mahigpit ang kamay ko sa l ap ko mismo. I pouted my lips. Unti-unting tumaas ang ulo ko. ka Hindi ko napigilang hindi matawa. SEVEN I didn t know a thing about Korea much less Julian s Korean family. Eh `di `wag. Julian I don t think this is a good idea. As if he owned the world. Sino si Angko? You ve met him. Julian sm iled charmingly at her! The devil really could smile Tapos sa `kin pinagdadamot n iya `yun. I. French kiss na lang. kung alam ko lang natetempt ka na ding gawin. Inis na tinanggal ko ang kamay ko sa pagkakahawak niya. Para akon g pinasugod ng mga magulang ko sa giyera ng wala man lang dalang armas. Torrid. I already and suddenly missed Philippines! As if What would I do? What should I do? Julian just slept like the dead. I whispered when I saw his one good eye fli ckered. Julian What? He snapped at me! Sabi ko na nga ba masamang biruin ang bagong gising eh. But then I felt him. Mahigpit. He raised one brow at me. It should warm my heart. The family dinner before the wedding. Kahit papano gumaan ang pakiramdam ko ng ti nawagan ko si CM. Malungkot. Gawin ko kaya? Ano kayang magiging reacti on ni Julian? You already met my family when they d come home.Yakapin mo at saka mo ikiss. Natatakot na talaga ako. Pero parang ayaw makisama ng mga muscles ko. remember? You and Tantan hit it off. Oh G od. Hmm. Parang nga. Inirapan ko siya at umisod pakabila. Oh my. As in. In disgust. Umupo ako sa tabi ni Julian. Matagal na Jeannie. I knew he just wanted to make the ordeal light for me. `Sus. My hands trembled. I gave him my most charming smile. Habang n asa loob kami ng eroplano ay gusto ko ng tumalon palabas ng bintana. argh . He raised one brow at me. Pero lalo lang niya ng hinigpitan. Bakit ba umaasa pa `kong magbabago siya? The stewardess smiled at us specifically at Julian. 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. Grabe. He was there with me. Tumaas ang kilay nito. Siguro kung wala lang sakit si Angk o His tone changed. I know I was acting childish. I didn t want him to be suspicious. CM! I then gaped at Julian. As if telling me to keep my thoughts to myself. padarag n a tinanggal ko `yung kamay niya sa pagkakahawak ng kamay ko. Damn sexy men. Na para bang may space akong mauusugan. Kung alam ko lang na B. no. He wore that devil-may-care expres sion on him. Sa sobrang higpit iisipin kong ayaw niya `kong pakawalan. But panic was overwhelming me. I bit my lower lip. I tried to smile. At sa pagkagulat ko. Gusto ko ng lumabas ng airport at sumigaw ng kidnapping. Tinignan niya `ko. Wala naman siyang pakialam ` . He looked bored. Then he sighed exaggeratedly. Kung narinig niya lang ang sinabi ni CM. Then it fitted the spaces between my fingers. He wasn t looking a t me. He shrugged then looked at me knowingly. Julian was sitting handsomely in his Lacoste polo shirt and Levi s jeans.
The land was very foreign to me. Na para bang hindi siya `yung Julian na lagi akong sinisigawan. 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. Nakita kong natigilan si Julian. his one left dimple. We both stopped when we saw a woman standing in the middle of the parking lot waiting for us. I DON T CARE. Tenderly. Naka tayo pa rin ako dun. Sa `yo lang ako Biglang napatingin ako sa kanya. Marami naman siyang pambili `di ba? Binalibag ko pasara ang pinto. Napataas `yung kilay ko. Masama bang ma-carried away? I tried to crack a smile. mag-freeze sa ginaw. we ll see an OB. Ganon ba talaga? Normal ba talaga `yun? O ako lang `yung abnormal? I m already excited to see our baby. Then down to my Oh my I whispered. Inis na nilagpasan ko sila. Ako din Wala sa loob na bulong ko. He didn t speak English. Ayoko sana. He said softly. Julian stared at me. Wala akong pakialam kung masira man ang handle non. They both stared at each other. the hell I care. I just hoped it wasn t seen as a grimace. Ano nga kayang nakain nito? He gave me a coat. Don t look at me like that I might fall! When we get back. Then Julian replied quietly. Malamig. I felt warmth in the simple gesture. Feeling ko nga. Dapat matuwa ako sa sinabi niya. What amazed me next was when he cupped m y face. Or bet ter yet. Hindi niya `ko pin agbitbit ng gamit ko! Ang bait ah. Then they were speaking softly. I giggled. Tapos tapos Oh God. I sucked in the air unconsc iously. Hindi rin naman madali na maging Vice President ng isang malaking kumpanya at the age of 27. What do you want? Girl boy? Hmm His chinito eyes squinted all the more. I could drown in those brown eyes. Tin uro niya sa`kin ang kotse at kinuha `yung nag-iisang clutch bag na dala ko. he didn t r eally mean it. hindi ko alam kung ako lang ang nakakaramdam non pero parang m ay kuryente.di `ba? There s nothing to be jealous of I gasped. `Pagkatapos niya `kong sabihang Sa`yo lang ako Lumapit sa `kin `yung sa tantiya `ko ay steward nila. Galit na inunahan ko na ng bukas ng pinto bago ang steward. In another language. Oh no. `Yung Julian na walang pakia lam sa `kin. Para akong t-a-n-g-a na naghihintay ng himalang mapansin ni la. Mayamaya sumeryoso siya. Tapos hinamas niya ulit `yung tyan ko. Sana lang pareho silang magka-sore eyes. Anything basta healthy. At lalong `yung Julian na nilockan ako ng pinto. It seemed to take an eternity. Palabas na kami ng may naghihintay na sasakyan. Sana laging ganito si Julian Well. We ll see an Napalunok ako. Binitiwan niya `ko ng kinuha niya `yung mga bag namin. My tummy. Like hell. ako pala `yung kontrabida. gusto ko ng maniwala. my nose. Seriously. Na para bang wala ako dun! I gritted my teeth and closed my eyes. At tinitignan ang reaksyon ko. Ginising ko siya ng palapag na kami. Para `kong naparalyze. Buti wala akong b ilbil. Ba t `di na lang kaya niya `ko yakapin? Now I was sounding very much like CM. Bakit niya hinahawakan tummy ko? I tensed. Magdurugo na ata ang lower lip ko sa sobrang kaga . G usto kong sumigaw kay Julian at sabihing hello! I m here! I glared at his back. He must have been very tired because of w ork. para akong na sa drama. We went out of the intern ational airport hand in hand. But I saw amusement written all over his face. Ganon ba talaga ang epekto ni Tricia kay Jul ian? Had he loved her that much to forget about me? Well. Ano nga kaya ang magiging itsura ng baby namin n i Julian? Kamuka din kaya ni Julian? His eyes. And I was meeting the other woman. Tricia was still as sophisticated as I remembered. Tapos bumaba `yung kamay niya sa leeg ko. Mayamaya lang tulog na ulit si Julian. Deadma. Kahit magtitigan sila buong maghapon. Na para bang iniisip niya talagang maig i. Bumalik na naman bigla `yung takot ko. He was too gentle. ayoko pa. Excuse me? Mali ba `ko ng rinig? You re my wife. my lips. Then he looked at me straight in the eye.
Then I saw the others looking at us from inside t he big yard. Hindi ko napigilan ang sarili ko. I didn t know why I felt hurt. Na para bang nakikita niya `ko. Chubby cherubin. My eyes grew wi de. Ganito ako kapag natetense o naiinip. No. Tumalikod lang ako saglit. Tinitigan kong m aigi ng kumalas siya mula kay Tricia. Mabilis kong iniiwas ang mga mata ko. honey she was Jeannie. Maputi ito. He frowned. `Yun lang. Madapa ka sana. I felt a twinge of guilt. Napatingi n sa `kin si Tricia at Julian. Lalo na ng titigan akong maigi ni Julian. Baka pa gbuhulin ko pa sila ni Julian. Jean Rose was fond of kids. Some look Kore an. Three to four years old. Naalimpungatan ako. Sh!t. Yes. Bakit ganito? Ayoko ng makita si Julian. I couldn t be mistaken. So are you telling me that I m a scheming b!tch? Hell. Ipinikit ko ang mga mata ko. others were Filipinos. Tricia got in. Pero twinge lang. sa mood ko ngayon hindi ko feel maging chummy-chummy sa kanya. Julian was already embracing her! And she was crying. Kami naman ni Tricia sa backseat. Ang matatabang mga braso nito ay tumaas . I didn t care if I sounded like one. Jean! I laughed nervous ly. Could have been. Gusto ko ng umuwi. . I I Jeannie I met her in New York. My eyes grew wide.t. Then he looked at me through the tinted wi ndow sill. Tumingin ako sa kanila. If I were a scheming b!tch then he s the biggest hypocr ite ever. Kung hindi ko pa alam na tinted ang sasakyan. Imo Jean h-hold me! Para akong mahihimatay. You knew each other? I groaned inwardly. he was wishing me to the moon. Julian chuckled. my God. Biglang bumilog ang naniningkit na mga mata ng bata. What did you say? Tricia turned at me. As if he could see through my lies . When the car door opened. That wasn t what I intended. I forgot. Ah no. Ha? Had I said my thoughts aloud? Umiwas ako ng tingin kay Julian. Narinig niya `ko. I hated Julian. Had the circumstanc es been different we could have been friends. Nagpapabuhat! Oh. Para akong sinasakal. Julian raised one brow at us. Pareho kaming nagkatinginan. Lumapit si Julian. I m a slut in the making. Nag-duet kami ni Tricia. Yes. I hated this feeling. At ako ayoko sa bata! Ngumiti ako dito at pasimpleng pinanlakihan ito ng mata. I didn t know She whispered wonderingly. At pasimpleng umirap. Jeannie? As if naman nagulat ka! I smiled at her mockingly. Tricia gaspe d. Julian glared at me. Wake up we re here. In the deepest part of me I felt alone. 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. Kung alam ko lang. So? Hindi ko pinansin a ng kamay niyang nakalahad. 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. Pagod ka Jeannie. Mas malaking mansyon. Pero layuan niya muna ako. Itulog mo na lang `yan. Pagod ako. you were talking about Jean! Yes. Victorian style in Korea? Hmm. Imo Jean! Nabigla ako ng may batang lalaking biglang tumakbo at yumakap sa `kin. Julian got out and took our luggag e. Na parang torture. si Tricia. Tapos inalalayan niya si Tricia. Tricia had always been soft-spoken. Nakita kong nagkakatingin an sila sa rearview mirror sa harapan. at hayun ang magaling na lalaki. You didn t tell me about Jea nie. Julian sat in front. I dialed his number.
Are you sure. Nakita ko ang mukha ni Julian. He grasped my hand. Imo Jean! I almost groaned aloud. Emotional stress. My throat was dry. n o. Me. I smiled at the old man. Our baby he might be He frantically cupped my stomach tenderly. No nothing. Me. Then I started hiccupping. kay a ikaw Julian take care of Jean. darling? You got me worried We ll go to the nearest hospital. Kumiss ito kay Julian. Kung hindi ko pa ala m in my peripheral vision I saw her. No Tricia. You missed aunt Jean. Hindi sila matapobre like what I d expected. and the res t I couldn t very well remember their names. Hija! Kamusta ka na? Too sad. eh? Pagpasensyahan mo ang apo ko Jean. no. Lahat sila naka palibot sa `kin. He looked real worried. What the hell is happening here?! Unti-unti akong tumingin sa hagdanan. Parang ito ang pumalit sa pwestong iniwan ng papa niya. Celine smiled at me. They were almost all half-filipinos half-koreans. clearly.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. ganyan din ako ng pinagbubuntis ko si Tantan. Alam mo cous. Oh. God Sssshhh Tantan don t cry. My eyes searched for Julian. Hindi ko ineexpect ito. Tricia ey ed me curiously. Gusto kong maniwala Julian gusto ko. He was the old man in the pictures! With Julian. `Pagpasok namin ay niyakap ako isa-isa ng mga kamag-anak ni Julian. Some smiled at me. Ngumiti ito at inabutan ako ng wineglass. Pinilit kong tumayo mula sa malaking kama. Nakatingin ako sa batang naglalagkit ng chocolates. si Uncle Jin. Si Celine. He looked at me then started hiccupping. Ayoko na. I just smiled. Imo Jean s-sorryy My eyes watered. Then someone hugged me. Emotional stress. like the way Julian stared at me when he was suspicious. Tantan. I wanted to g o home. The patriarch of the Sunico family. Wala na `kong nagawa. He stared at me. H indi naman ako pinanganak na sinungaling kaya nagi-guilty din naman ako sa pamil ya ni Julian. Then I saw Julian and Tricia talking quietly fr om a corner. You re not Imo Jean! You re not Imo Jean! He started wailing. There stood Julian s grandfather . At apo nito si Tantan. What have I gotten my self into? Tapos bumalik ulit ito at hinawakan ang kamay ko. Sa sobrang inis ko binitawan ko siya. At nalaman kong kaya lang sila nan dito ay dahil sa Angko ni Julian Julian s grandfather was sick. Tahimik lang ako. Hindi ba ako titigilan ng batang ito? Kinarga ito ng matandang l alaki. Para akong hihimatayin. Napansin ko ang closeness ni Julian kay Uncle Jin. The man who had bear-hugged me earlier. O kay lang po. Tantan smiled up at me. I froze in place. Then he stopped crying. Me. I opened my eyes slowly. Natawa ang mga pinsan ni Ju lian at tinapik ito. Drake. Aunt Risan. NOT MINE! I fainted. EIGHT Jeannie! Jeannie! Damn Jeannie darling please wake up. Un cle Jin was his father s cousin. So Juli an s words were asking him to kiss him? Was that it? Oh. I m okay. But I m not that stupid. Imo Jean Yumakap ulit ito. I didn t make it on your wedding day. Then Tantan kissed my nose. Tama . My gaze was fixed on the grand staircase. Na parang hinipan lang ng hangin. Reall y stared at me. Are you sure. Anak siya ni Uncle Jin. . Nasan ako? Julian cupped my cheek softly. Tantan I gritted my teeth while s miling. NO! He was holding Tricia s hand. Uncle I w hispered tentatively. Nagkalat ang chocolates sa mga kamay ko. Hindi ko na kaya. Imo Jean let s play. Nananaginip ba `ko? Sa panaginip ko Julian was worried sick about me. And sadly the divorce of Julian s parents caused the Sunico patriarch to dis own his eldest son. So he s Tantan? I groaned inwardly. No make-believe baby. Hindi okay. I heard that one. Kahit isa sa ka nila hindi ko alam ang pangalan. you re okay? Tanong ni Uncle Jin. Oh m y.
Nakita kong unti-unt ing nag-iiba `yung expression niya. O nag-aalala ba talaga? Tinalik uran ko siya. me and Tricia! I clenched my teeth. I know an insult when I heard one. Taas noong tumingin ako sa kanya. ang pangalan ng pamilya mo . I was amazed at what he had done next pabalyang itinulak ako ni Julian sa kama. Gigil na itinaas nito ang baba ko. darling? He said in sarcasm. Tinanggal ko iyon ng humarap ako sa kanya. Authority. Sadly. mapapatawad ko na sana `tong batang `to. And g oodness. Sana nanlimos ka na lang sa `kin. Magkaya kap. Pero lalo niya lang hinigpitan. right? And you re a hypocrit e. And it hit right through the core. No! O. parang nag-aalala siya. At least not physically. 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. it felt wrong and delicious. Bulong ko. Parang naiiyak na `ko. You ruined both our lives. My God. Ginamit kita para makuha ko ang gusto ko. Please Julian Tama ka. Overwhe lming anger and desolation. as if mocking me. pati ako naguguluhan. Arrogance. M y hands were trembling violently. Sa likod ng isip ko nakikita ko sila ni Tricia. tukso layuan mo ako! Julian no My eyes grew wide. Ewan ko. Galit na tinitigan niya `ko. His fists clenched. Niyakap niya `ko. He pulled off his coat. Nagpapakatanga ba talaga ako? He was taking his clothes off one by one. I gasped. He wouldn t hurt me. His rheumy eyes were still clear. Is there something wrong. And let s face reality may mahal kang ib a. He s got grit and pride. Insensitive cad! What s wrong? Ha! Yes! Everything s wrong you. I saw red. Realization hit me all at once. You love Brad. . He didn t quite budge. Na parehong meron kay Julian. Gi namit kita. Wala n a `kong pakialam kung magalit siya sa `kin. Ju lian was dead serious. Sabi nito sa mataas na tinig. Ang mga mata nito. Let s get her to rest. Do I need consent in raping my wife. Hindi ako makahinga sa bigat niya. Pilit kong iniaatras ang katawan ko papuntang headboard. Eh. Parang bigla akong natakot sa itsura ni Julian. I sighed. I looked over my shoulders Lamp shade? Brush? No! I can t hurt him. No that would stomp my damned pride. Diyos ko. Pero dinaganan niya `ko . Julian seemed like the very devil himself. para makuha ko ang titulo ng bahay namin. Well. Jean nie Nakita ko si Tricia.At sana hindi dumating `yung panahong I d start really hating you. May tungkod ito. Hindi niya `ko maririnig na magmakaawa. But there was definitely something about his grandfather t hat made me fear him. I pushed him hard on the chest. His whole body was covering mine. Narinig ko ang pagsara ng pinto. Jeannie. Pagsalba man lang ng pride. Nobody assiste d the old man. Right. Julian don t do this. Inihiga niya ` ko sa kama. I screeched and clawed his face. wala siyang kara patan magalit. Umiiyak ang huli. Julian s face darkened. Napalunok ako. he was clad with his Levi s Ganon kabilis. I m already doing this. At may mahal din akong iba. Kulang na lang maging ab o ako sa apoy na nilalabas non. Are you going to rape me? I whispered angrily. di sana hindi tayo parehong nakatali sa kasal na ikaw mismo ang may gawa. In the first place. The rise and fall of my chest rubbed against his. My eyes grew wide I thought it might p opped out. Ano `to stare-a-thon? The muscle on his jaw flexed furiously. But oh my. They were both alike. Nagti tigan kami. My heart was thundering. sonja? Napatingin ako sa mukha ng Angko ni Julian. What s wrong? I bit my lower lip from shouting at him. Niyakap ako ni Tant an sa leeg. Now. Jeannie Will you please go away from me? I murmured angrily as Julian touched my shoulder. The corner of his lips twitched lazily. Ako. Because I m good at giving back to charities and you re one of them. He di dn t look as if he was sick. Tatakbo ako mula sa gilid ng hapitin niya ang bewang ko. Na para bang ako ang may kasalanan ng lahat. Hindi naman ako nasaktan dahil malambot ang malaking kama. Natakot ako bigla. His face was so close I c ould smell his breathing. I was sudd enly afraid. He became withdrawn. Bakit ako masasaktan? Siguro kasi natatapakan pride ko bilang babae. Very much like Julian.
Angko Julian and him spoke quietly in Korean language. And I bet he hated the responsibility. It was like I couldn t do anything anymore. You love Brad? Let s see. Ganoon ba `ko kababaw? Sinisigawan niya `ko lagi. Something I felt strongly. Julian! Angko s rushed to the hospital. Carnally. Hungrily. Then his hands were there touching me. Ho? Julian pushed me. Surely. He was tense. Ang mukha ng lolo ni Julian. Then his lips landed on the side of my neck. Nakita ko si Tricia na nakatingin sa `min habang nasa labas ng ICU. JUST. I love Brad I love Brad I shouted at him. Hindi niya kailangang magsalita para mari nig ko `yun. Nanghihina na `ko. Open up for me Jeannie His voice was hoarse. Th e soon-to-be patriarch of Sunicos. We were in a war. The buttons popped. He roughly tore my blouse off me. And I felt a little sympathy for this old man even though I had met him a few hours ago. My God. Wala na siyang ginawa kundi sa ktan ako. Nagsabog ang buhok ko sa k ama at sa mukha ko. . Sa pagkabigla ko Oh my God! I cried out. Parang gusto kong yakapin si Julian. We were still in Korea. Galit na sinabi nito. Sanjo come here. Without clothes on now. Tapos hinawakan niya `yung kamay ko. parang biglang nag-init ang buong paligid. And I tasted blood there. Na para bang magkakaroon ng Wo rld War III. I opened my mouth to protest. Marahan niyang hinimas ang tyan ko. Then he looked down at me at my bare shoulders and flimsy black underthings. He was now the heir. Then he went out of the door. Pilit akong nagpupumiglas mula sa hawak niya . we weren t in pu rgatory. I shouldn t be feeling this way. Napatingin kami sa doctor. I saw the bitterness written all over his face. He wanted to see Mr.Tumaas lang ang kilay niya. I tried hard to close my mouth from his i nvasion. Then he kissed me th ere. Para akong masosuffocate sa loob ng hospital suite. He was already kissing me. Itinulak ko siya ng malakas. Tahimik lang si Julian . And I couldn t help falling for him. His eyes were blazing Then he fisted my hair up that tilted my face in the air. yet I couldn t name . Umiiyak na ang mga pinsan nitong babae. In bed with a man who thought I was someone else. Not l ike this Julian! Then his lips trekked down my neck. I was half-naked. wala kang karapatan dito . Ro ughly. She was just a family fr iend. No one owns me He claimed my mouth not too gently. And now I love hi m. Uncle Jin s mouth was slacked. then tears one by one pooled down my eyes. SAVAGELY. Then he kissed me. openly. No. I hate him. War of emotions. `Yung parang tinatawag na ni Sa n Pedro. But I did. But the devil was kissing me. I started crying. Julian Sunico and his wife. You re mine. Gusto k ong sabihing family matter `to. War of heat. I closed my eyes ti ghtly. He s dying! We went to the hospital as soon as we got our clothes on. His hand clutched the side of my neck. Julian? Julian? We both turned at the frantic sound at the door. But it only ignite d something more more that I wanted. He was trying to hide the p ain. Pilit kong iniiwas ang mukha ko. No Yes no then he was claiming what he shouldn t. Touching my stomach.
Ayokong ako pa ang maging dahilan ng pagkamatay ni Angko. Nakita ko ang biglang p agmutla ni Uncle Jin. Promise me His voice was ho arse. Julian s father was red about the face. I know I know He chuckled hoarsely. Julian moved forward. Jin. Will you get out of here? You re not a Sunico! Julian hissed silently.Angko He smiled sadly. you ll never hurt him. Natatakot ako. After the third day. I nodded. It was too swift. I m old but I m not stupid. naniniwala akong bumabalik ang mga kaluluwa kung may unfinished business. He s dead. `wag naman sana. Syempre. Kay Tric ia lang. I heard you are good at painting. we. Umiyak na `ko. His wrinkled chinky eyes seemed tired. Promise me. Alam ko kung pano magalit ang leon. meaning almost all of the Sunicos. Eh. Please make my sanjo happy h-he h-he had the full responsibility now. I m sorry. Then his hand went limp. Hmm He took my hand. What the hell Ang hirap pumagitna sa mga nag-uumpugang bato. Pero ako si ako si Jean. pano kung balikan ako ni Ang ko? Diyos ko. Promise. Uncle Jin tried to pacify h im. I wished you could paint the whole family. hindi naman ako ganon kasama. Julian! Celine said authoritatively. I shook my head. Natatakot akong bak a hindi ko matupad ang promise ko kay Angko. With Tricia. whatever happens take care of Julian. NINE Julian was withdrawn the whole burial service. What if what if Julian turned to his father in anger? O h. Parang gusto kong maawa dito. Hindi man ako inborn na mabait. Pinagtitinginan na kami ng mga tao sa paligid. It s over. I was kinda shocked. no. Para kaming . What is over Jin? You tell me! You know it would never be over unless Galit na siga w nito at tumingin kay Julian. Promise. My eyes grew wide. Aunt Risan looked worried. With me. Ho? Para na akong parrot na paulit ulit. But he gave me that look that said back off . nasasaktan din ako. Tahimik lang siya these past few days. Too fast. Jeannie could paint. We were out of the embassy when we saw Julian s father. Julian never needed me. I couldn t help being left out. At isa pa. Gusto ko siyang lapitan. I-comfort. The Old patriarch of Sunicos were now gone. went back to the Philippines. Before we knew it. why didn t you tell me? He gritted his teeth. Cremated. Yakapin. 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. Gusto kong sabihing ako? Ako pa ang mananakit kay Julian? Apo niya nga talaga it o. I wanted to tell him. At least. Promise me. He needs you.
Ako?. LEGAL. Mas matalino sa `yo kapatid mo. I gave up. Anong panama ko kay Tricia? She knew a lot. And I never wanted to run for an ulirang anak awardee. you know. Mapagpanggap ka. Hello? Wow. I was mourning my heart out. I bit my lower lip.. Eve rything. Sa tingin mo. Wala talagang mabuting idulot si CM. hindi ako nagi ng mabuting anak. May kumatok. Don t cause any more scandal than we have now Even Celine was c rying. sa pagkakatanda ko never kang pinagnasaan ni Tricia back in New York. Julian please stop it. CM I ll talk to you later. My phone vibrated. Hindi ko siya ma-t ake. Wala ng curfew. I chose black. Wala ng dialogue na bata ka pa . God. Pwede ng makulong. Nagpapawis. They have reasons. Susuko na ba talaga ako? My hands were cold. Where the hell had they come from? Tricia hugged him from behind. CM I would tell him the truth. She looked pretty and sophiscated in her pink dress. I took a step back in horror.. wala. I gave up Juli an. Inayos ko ang gown ko sa harap ng salamin. At hin . She understood him about his family. Tricia smiled at me. Hindi ka si wonde rwoman. I felt exhilarated. totoo naman palang sinabi nila. At lalong hindi ko na kailangang magsinungaling na may project par a lang payagang gumala. I remembered telling Jean this: Jean `wag mong i-save ang mundo. Because he needed it t hough he wasn t asking it. When I turned eighteen. Excuse me lang Carlo Miguel Jr. Muy. What! Think it over Jeannie. What do you think will Julian feel? Another blow? Dammit. Independent. I know I m committing two of the seven deadly sins. Julian closed his eyes. Hindi. Dumating ang mga bodyguards ni Uncle Jin. mag-boyfriend at uminom. Like I was an altogether different person. Pero anong ginagawa ko? Gusto kong protektahan si Julian. CM. At ang hitad tumawa pa. Hi Oh. Sabi nila. Painful. and men will always be boys at heart. Para akong naestatwa. 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. Magpabuntis ka kaya kay papa Brad? I cut the line off. Then I sighed. Ano naman nandyan naman si Tricia! He would feel betrayed. Tonight. Nasa kabilang sasakyan si Uncle Jin kasama sina Celine at Tantan. Pero paano ang panga ko mo kay Angko Jeannie? Hindi ko na kaya. Ilang beses ko na bang sinabi: Wala a kong balak sundan ang yapak ni Rizal. We ll have a press conference later.nasa slow motion scene habang nakita namin kung pano tumaas ang kamao ni Julian sa mukha ni Mr. I rolled my eyes. Aunt Risan phoned someone. I saw Tricia squeezed his hand. this is the right time to do that? I I don t know. Talo ako. However unreasonable it may be . Iyak ng iyak si Tantan ng magising. At lalong hindi ako magtataka kung ba kit siya pinikot ng kapatid mo. The n there were papparazzis. Sunico. Ako? I felt alien. I d tell him later about everything. There was more to this than I couldn t put a finger on. Tamang tama para sa okasyon. In fairness ha. Julian was remote.. gwapo pala ni Julian Sunico I w ouldn t wonder why Tricia chose him over me. Ayoko na. women have a nurturing nature. Why? Kasi feeling ko malaya na `ko m ula sa manipulasyon ng parents ko. But you know what? I still wanted to reach out to Julian. I know. Where s your sense of honor dad? Sana hindi na lang kita naging tatay! Julian was making guttural sounds. Tricia was with him. She was crying now. I saw the headlines. Pero ang m agulang ay magulang. artista ka na. Wrath and envy. I gritted my teeth.
This was one big hell of a joke. Jok e lang ni Brad. Parang nanlamig ang buong pagkatao ko. Touching my closed lips light against his. I sucked in my breath. Alam ba ng lahat? You knew? She nodded. parang hindi naman. It s alright. Tumalikod na siya. my eyes squinted. You don t have to wor Julian was leaning gorgeously against the doorframe. Hindi rin naman kita gusto. Then I remembered what happened. Kumain na tayo. Gutom na `ko. Nagulat ako ng biglang may yumakap sa`kin from behind. And I promise you My jaw dropped. A slow grin played about the corner of his lips. I ll take Julian away from you. And his voice like hell. Tricia cupped Julian s cheek! Kitang kita ko `yun mula sa salamin. Jeannie He groaned. Parang namanhid `yung buong katawan ko. I blushed. And in that moment. I ll take Julian away from you. I tiptoed and wrapped m y arms around his neck. Maganda naman ako. Three. Lumingon ako. Please take care of Julian. I want to have a big family. Bakit hindi ko pa sabihin lahat? She smiled at me. Tsk. Breathe out. Tuta l huling gabi ko na ito. You . I m not a hypocrite Jeannie. Thirty minutes. His han ds automatically wrapped around my waist. I I ve always been alone. I don t feel good around you. I swallowed. I m with Julian last night and I was wrong Jean! Once run away with me. Julian let go of my hand. Just a peck. Tapos nanlaki `yun g mga mata ko. Parang naririnig ko pa `yun. his tux on one hand. My eyes grew wide. Later His eyes burned pr omise. I couldn t risk being seen with him. Brad. Three days ago. But beca use you took Julian from me. I closed my eyes and kissed hi m. Dahil sa pagkaparalyze ko hindi ako makapag-react. Pero tao lang po ako. Patatawarin kita sa ginawa mo. A fresh start. I shrugged. I saw him tensed. The ot her hand on his pocket. It was deserted. I rea lized one thing: Hindi ko kayang i-give up si Julian! Dinner time. L ike hell. Jeannie I I shrugged and went forward. Ayan. If you don t. I wanted t o spit fire at her. Oh. Julian! For Christ s sake! The reporters are already here. I know it s you Jeannie. Uncle Jin said from out of nowhere. He was a bit taken aback. Had Jean c . I d rather eat you for dinner. me and our baby. One step. Lumiko ako sa kabilang room. Parang sirang plaka. Oh. I was out looking for Julian. Lumapit ito. If you don t. Lumabas na ako at pumunta sa conference room. Kasabay ng paglabas nito ng pinto. Sa ginawa niyong magkapatid. Tricia was challenging me. Tricia ayokong makipagplastikan. he was inviting me to taste the forbidden app le. you know me. Ano ba Jeannie! Magtino ka nga Para kang naka-drugs. I d tell him tonight. Pilit kong inaalis ang mga kamay ni Brad sa bewang ko. Parang gustong lumabas ng puso ko. Kaya nga nagtataka ako kung bakit magaling din akon g magsinungaling. Then I tried to smile at him. I love you. Julian? I smiled and turned around to see Brad?! You called me last night. My God. Not personally. Wala akong dapat ikahiya. had I? Jean always t old me how transparent I am.ihiling kong sana y hindi ko na makita ever si Tricia. Two steps. He clutched at me frantically. Bakit hindi ka dumating? Ano?! Ano bang pinagsasabi nito? Was he into drugs also? Dahil sa kagandahan ko? Ang lupit talaga ng kamandag ko. Ikaw Jea nnie mag-prepare ka na. no! I hadn t said my thoughts aloud again. Nothing more. You re blushing. I wan t this marriage to work.Ito ba ang k aya mong i-give up? Akala ko ba si Eba ang dahilan kung bakit nagkasala ang buon g daigdig. That s a mistake. Thirty minut es later.
Once. May pills kaya itong dala sa loob? Wire? Rope ? Knife? Grabe naman. At natakot ako kasi. Oh my God. Julian lis ten to me! I pleaded. NO over me. Julian open this damned door! Ma am What! I tried to calm my nerves. iba ang pakahulugan sa `kin non dati. ang lola ng lola ko ang p amangkin ng anak ni Gabriela Silang. `wag daw po siyang gambalain. For the win pala itong si Tricia! Naiiyak na sana ako nun eh. Mas kaya ko pang i-handle ang galit na Julian. I failed Tricia. mahalaga pala ako sa kanya. Nakataas ang paa nito sa drawer. I d us e the word banging now. I m He was already kissing me! My head spin. Okay. Tapos may humawak ulit sa braso ko.alled him last night? No Brad listen I m not Jean Rose. Posible pala. I wasn t knocking now. I failed. I would underst and if he showed anger. PAIN. Siguro h indi niyo ko maiintindihan. Flashes of cam era. Kay Julian. Then the door opened. `Yung pag-aagawan naming `yu ng bidang lalaki. Twice. 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. Set us free. No It hurt as I stared coldly at his back. He was sitting on his swivel chair. by the end of the day I wouldn t wonder if I woul d be six feet underground he was going to kill me. Kapag bukas ko ng pinto madilim. I turned on the lights and saw Julian s back. Tumakbo ako palabas. his deadly glance. Yes. Tricia we re regarding me with an accusing stare. No response. Parang biglang nawala ang lakas ng loob ko. Julian She loves me Julian. Bakit ko ba naisipang mag-give up? I never had that in my v ocabulary. I swore my life was doomed as Julian stared coldly at me. Para akong pinagbagsakan ng langit at lupa. Jean what the hell do you think are you doing to me? TEN I knocked on the door. Bwisit na b inabalibag ko na ang pinto. I saw something luha? No. Tricia yelled at me earlier in the ho tel suite and took me out of my reverie. Then he turned his back on me. Jeannie. I stood there motionle ss. And I hurt Julian. my jaw almost dropped. WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK ARE YOU DOING?! Tricia half-screamed half-whispered. Si Brad. I clutched at his arm. The Great JULIAN SUNICO wouldn t cry over a woman. I m setting you free. I failed Angko. My heart stopped. The door was locked. I thought it was in the movies or telenovelas. Julian! I gritted my teeth in anger. Since. And opened the damned door. I m sorry. O dapat pang sabihin. ma am sabi po ni sir. Sabi ni mommy. Nalunok ko pa ata ang nanunuyot kong laway. Someone gasped. Hindi dapat mandamay ng inosent eng nilalang. Hindi ba dapat nagse-celebrate siya at hindi na . Unless you fell in love like this. Unless you knew wh at love really meant. Ah ewan. His eyes. Wala siyang alam! No! I whispered. Ako si Jeannie Rose Leviste. Eh. Julian Na kita ko ang nagsabog na mga beer bottles. The paparazzi. Even though you couldn t define it. 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. Feeling ko masusuka a ko. Then he walked away. Ahm. Hindi niya kasalanan. What I saw in his face tore my heart into pieces. No! Bakit hindi ako makasigaw? Julian turned to me. I caused another scandal. Th e reporters were forgotten. Hindi ko na natapos kung ano man ang sasabihin ko. Nawala na ang overdramatic mood ko kanina. Pwede pala kaming friends. `Wag gambalain? Bakit ano bang himala ang ginagawa niya sa loob? Gigil kong sabi.
I swore Julian s eyes grew wide. If we re going to do it. Sabi ko. Oh lord. His brow arched. the more he lashed . Tumawa ito na parang nang-aasar. I blinked thr ice. Ju lian. Ang mga singkit niyang mat a lumaki at bumilog. give me strength. they were born w ith long and sharp tongues. You fvcking love him. Na para bang bago pa sa `kin `yun. I felt him moved a little. Hindi ako magpapatakot sa damuho nato. Then his err erri ng hand cupped my hmm. D ry. Men are men. Up to my neck. bakit Jeannie may kasama namang alak kapag nagse-celebrate `di ba? Hell. At galit na tumayo ito. three days ago. He caressed my neck gently . Bosom is for inbred ladies. See? He laughed out mockingly. At hindi napagi-iwanan si Julian! Did he think his w ords would hurt me? Kilala ko na siya. I put it on my na. He started laughing demonicall y. I want an annulment. I was that desperate. Payag na `kong magpa-rape sa `yo Julian. What the hell do you think are you doing? I was amazed. Ayan. With consent bosom. Gusto ko sanang sabihin `yun. Dalagang Pilipina ako no. Tapos lumapit siya sa `kin. His eyes glinted. He was trying to intimi date me. His teeth gritted. Then I took his hand and put it on my I swallowed first. I should have known. Bakit mo ipagpipilitan ang sarili mo sa `kin kung nandyan naman si Brad? Parang biglang bumalik ang animosity nito. Alam ko kasalanan `tong gagawin ko. I winced at the brutal words. Julian listen to me I want to come clean. was I? His eyes squinted anew. Hoarse. didn t you? Wouldn t you scream his name if we were going to To make love? I supplied nervously. Nataob ko ang bataan. Lumaki ang mga mata ko. I m right. n o. The first time. Parang nag-init ang punong tenga ko.gpapakalasing? Eh. And then his big hand gripped me. Then his hand moved. `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. we ll only be screwing. Mas nakakahiya naman kung ako pang humigit sa kanya sa kama `di ba? Oh. darling making love is only women s term. I m not talking to your back. His neck tie was scattered on the desk. eh `di tinab lan ka ngayon! I wanted to shout victory. Hindi. Hindi ito lu milingon. The more he was hurt. Payag na `ko. That chest would hav e been illegal to cover! Payag na `ko. Nabasa ko `ya n before. Bad `yan ha. 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. Bulong ko. Nababaliw na ata talaga ako. Naglalabasan na ang ugat nito sa leeg. I whispered and swallowed sharply. Second time. Payag na `ko. Papayag ka din sa a nnulment. Whatever. Why wasn t he doing a thing? We were just standing there him touching me. I gulped Could n t I just look up and not on his chest. no t down but up. Screw. The tic on his adam s apple moved. He always did that that menacing steps.. My eyes grew wide. My I sighed silently. It was a little bit awkward and delicious? I moaned inwardly. Bingi ba ito? Ayoko. He swung the swivel chair roughly.. I hated to admit it. Julian What! Pack your things and get out of my house! He whispered angrily. Oh. My eyes grew wide. Ang mga butones ng polo shirt nito ay nagkandakalas. There. here in the library. I swallowed against his deathly grip. You wanted out of this marriage because of that SOB.
Julian kissed my mom s cheek. Paano mo `ko papakinabangan kung patay na `ko? He sighed. Oo nga po. Dapat talaga naglagay ako ng banga sa harap ng p intuan para hindi nakakapasok ang masasamang espiritu sa bahay nila Julian. I turned around before opening the door. Su nico on the cheek. Do you know what I want to wring your lovely neck right now. Mukang masarap ang tulog mo hija Too bad I hadn t seen Julian s grandfather. ako din kaya. Itinaas niya ang baba ko. We ll ha ve an annulment after you give birth. Bakit kita hihi walayan eh. Napaka-contagious ng aura nito. He was pus hing me away. Kailangan kong malaman ang d eepest and darkest secret nila malay mo. May batas na ba dito sa bahay ang bawal ngumiti Jules? I saw his teeth gritted. Tapos umupo na kaming lahat.back. Minsan naiisip ko. may psychic ability kam i nitong si Julian. Ah Julian si CM. He said very politely. so my mommy s here. 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. At siya? He didn t even g ive me a glance. Negative vibes. para may maipam-blackmail ako kay Julian . You wouldn t do that. Inaalagaan mo bang maigi itong si Jean? He snorted. Tapos tinitigan ni ya si CM mula ulo hanggang paa. Ang hininga niya. Hindi ko alam kun g bakit energetic ako at masaya. Tinitigan n iya `ko ng masama. At isinara ko ang pinto. Julian you can t run away from me. given. Anong nginingiti-ngiti mo dyan? Ano bang problema nito? Panira ng araw. Ganon din si Julian. Hindi ako nagtatatalak sa kanya. And one more thing Julian. mommy. Mommy Ma am. Hin di ako nagagalit. Nagkatinginan kami ni Julian. Ano pa bang dapat sabihin? Julian became withdrawn again. I bet he was wondering what on earth was happening to me. Okay. I pouted. Shut up Jeannie . Wit h her mom. I wouldn t be bothered by his cruel words. CM? Mommy? Marahan akong tumayo at ngumiti sa kanila. Baliw na kaya ako? Kapag baba ko ay nakita kong nagbebreakfast na sa lanai si Julian. Your bestfriend? Lumingon sa `kin si Julian. Good morning Philippines! Good morning World! Good morning mommy! I kissed Mrs. amoy tsiko na. O isa lang talaga lagi `yung expression niya. Parang outsider din ang mommy ni Julian sa family Sunico. Tawa ng tawa sa `kin mommy ni Julian. Parang gusto kong manghina. She s Jeannie s bestfriend. Morning. Biglang tumaas `yung sulok ng bibig nito. Our mommy now. And you can marry your SOB of a lover. Rape nga `di ba Inis kong sabi. it didn t matter. I could see that. Para tuloy may nagsasabi sa `king may hindi mangyayaring maganda. mas mayaman ka kay Brad? I smiled b!tchily at him. It was like I could take on the world. M arami naman siyang pambili eh. sir may bisita po kayo. Then I heard a loud crash. I whispered. But what the hell was CM doing in here? Sabi ko na nga bad vibes. God. My mommy smiled. I whispered. What is it hija? She smiled at Julian. Akala lang nila si Jean ang matalino no. If I kill you there would b e justice. Ang tanong paano ko manganganak? Paano kung hindi ako pumayag? He shrugged and took to his drinking again. Must have been the china vase that caused millions. He wiped his mouth with a napkin. Then from the do orway came Oh my God. And take note: with consent. Seven months. Ahm . Yes. thank you for stopping Julian from killing me last night. Good morning mommy. Tapos tinitigan niya `ko. Tinanggal nito ang kamay sa leeg ko. I secretively smiled.
Two vials. Jeannie. sorry. Tinakpan ko ang bibi g ko. In front of me was a box of chocolate-flavored c-o-n-d-o-m-s! ELEVEN My hands trembled. Napatayo silang tatlo. Politics. My mom bit her lower lip. Ni hindi man lang hinimas `yung likod ko! Ahm talaga po? Maganda `yan. Ay grabe. We re bestfriends.. Julian was still scrutinizing me. Parang nanigas ang panga ko sa pag-smile. Ah. I forgot to give my gift. so why don t you take on the job? Bigla akong nahirinan. Really? One brow arched. Plan A and B.. And fashion Lahat nag-uusap save Julian. kitang-kita ang pagkabuhay ng katawang lupa ni CM sa mga mata niya. Na para bang ewan ko. Bottle B. Bottle A. Weather forecast. How dare you CM ! What is it? My mom asked. how could I? Kung mommy ko pa m ismo ang nagtutulak sa `king gawin ito. He eyed Julian like my husband was the meal. Really. God. What the hell? Mom what s this? Pills. Hinimas ni mommy ang likod ko. I m glad to finally meet you CM ex tended his hand toward Julian. Then I gasped softly. Hindi ko gusto `yung tingin niya sa `kin. Sh!t. May ipapatayo nga pala akong business hija. 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! . halika na t mag-breakfast na tayo. Then I made mewling sounds like I w as going to throw up. Makakatulong `yan in future references. A box of chocolates. I m not very particular with gays. Julian raise d one brow at me. Julian tugged my hand. Ang boses. It was like a tug o war between us. CM smiled at me. Biglang binawi ni CM kamay niya at tumuwid ng tayo. Here. Barakong barako. Oh? Naalala ko tutal tapos ka naman ng business administration. Tapos bigla akong humawak sa tyan ko. Tapo s sumabog ang laman niyon sa lamesa. Inabot niya sa `kin ang isang maliit na paper bag. CM an o ba `yang pabango mo ang baho! Itinulak ko si CM. Let me see. Later everybody was well and good. Ang mga mata ni Julian parang lobo. T sismis. Pinanlakihan ko siya ng mga mata. Anong gagawin ko? Wala akong alam! Ano ano nga pala ang mga pinaglilihian mo hija? Parang hindi naman siya naglilihi. errr Masusuka ata ako. . Tumaas ang kilay nito. I smiled at Julian s mom. Tila ayaw pa ng makisama! Ganyan din ako ng nagbubuntis ako kay Julian hija I smiled secretively. CM s eyes grew wide. Julian butted in. Suspicious. Balae. Ayokong bitawan ang paper bag. Jean Rose finished commerce. hija? What k ind of chocolate? A box of chocolates. Julian. Usap. Tinitigan ko siya. Feeling ko lulubog ako sa kahihiyan. He snorted at me. Actually may mga gay friends din kami sa New Ahurm. I know you ll surely love it. I smiled too sweetly.Yeah. I opened the paper bag. Pero hindi eh. Ahhh. It was now or never. Tumabi sa `kin si CM.
Clean. Ha? Anak ka ng magaling ang plano ni mommy! Breathe in. Respetuhin mo ang iyong ama at ina. Ito give this to him one hour before you go to bed. Tears were starting to form again. Me? Jeannette Rose Le viste? Pumunta ako sa CR at naghilamos ng mukha. Breathe out. I gritted my teeth. Ano bang ginawa ko para parusahan ako ng Diyos Julian? Naging mabuting tao naman ako. mabango. Okay na `ko. karma na ba ito? Jeannie? Biglang bumukas `yung pinto.. Mayamaya lang I felt something pierced within my tummy. Ikaw na lang. Oh. My mom brushed an invisible tear on her left cheek. Viagra? As if Julian needed i t! Hindi naman ako magtataka sa kakayahan ni Julian kaya lang.Alam ko. Lobo na pala a ko at si Julian ang ihahapunan ko. I hissed. Tinignan niya `ko na para bang nababaliw na `ko. 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. Na glalawa na ang ilong ko kakasinghot. Ni hindi man lang marunong kuma tok. Dammit. Pinipilit ko namang sundin ang sampung utos ni Go d. magkukunwaring tulog sa tabi niya. Sa sobrang inis ko yumakap ako kay Julian. I winced in pain again. He was so caring and v ery sweet! Gusto ko siyang ipapapak sa mga langgam. Pero sa isip lang `yun! Huwag kang magnakaw. Hindi ba Julian? Mabait naman ako bakit ako nagkakaganito? Ngawa ako ng ngawa. Para alalayan ako. I smiled at him sweetly. Pano kung napasukan niya `kong nagyu-urinate? Or worst nagbabawas ng sama ng loob? Oh? Gigil kong sabi. Magtat aka pa ba ako kung saan ako nagmana? Magaling ding umarte `tong mommy ko eh. Ano bang nangyayari sa `yo? Bakit ka ba sumisigaw? My eyes watered. J eannie! What the I blew out on his polo shirt. May pupuntahan tayo. `di ba? Ilang beses ko lang pinagpaplanuhang patayin si Julian sa isip ko. Jeannie! He gritted his teeth in horror. Para akong bata. Tinuro ko `yung dibdib niya. Tapos bigla akong tinalikuran! Wow. She s giving me a dose of ahm. magtatanggal ng damit. salamat sa singahan. Tapos parang namimilipit na naman ulit sa s akit. Right at this moment I was wishing he could fall into a ditch. Then I reached out to h im. Grabe ang sakit-sakit talaga ng puson ko. What do I need pills for? Anak there s no other way. He g lanced at me boringly then shrugged. Magbihis ka na. Una lagi si papa God sa listahan ko kasunod lang si Julian na akala ata siya ang Diyos. Get dressed. It won t work this time. This is this is Grabe. Napakapit ako sa sink. Thank you. Kun g hindi ko pa alam. In fairness. Tapos tinignan niya `yung basang parte ng polo niya.. Huwag papatay. My eyes grew wide. Lalong sumasaki t. violation of human rights ang ginagawa ko sa sarili ko! Pwede kong kasuha n ang mga magulang ko. Shrugged! My God he was so inconsiderate. Goodness. Tinitigan niya `ko. O kaya magbula bigla ang bibig niya. Okay lang sana kung hihiga ak o. Masakit talaga sa may bandang puson. Masama pakiramdam ko. . Hindi ba ganon ang pikot? Either that or ecstacy pills! NOT ADVISABLE. One hour later. Don t pull that act on me Jeannie. see? Obedient pa nga ako `di ba? Akalain mong gawin ko ang utos ni mommy na lagyan ng ecstacy pills ang inumin ni Julian. malay ko ba baka sakaling pagtingin ko sa salamin iba na pala pagkatao ko. And he sla mmed the door to my face. Ako na pala si Angel Locsin. Naiiyak na pinunasan ko ang mga mata ko. My God.
Are you sure this one was Julian? He was lau ghing cheerfully. Awkward. Grabe. There was so much pain written in Julian s face. Kung hindi pa sigaw na tawag `yun eh ano? So bulong pa `yun ganon ? Huwag kang makikiapid sa hindi mo asawa. Julian Ano? Inis na lumingon siya sa `kin. No. Wala naman masyado. Nagiging habit na a ta niya `yun ah. 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. Alam niyo naman po `yung white lies `di ba God? Huwag kang magnanasa sa hindi mo pag-aari. we re here! My teeth clenched. I put his hand on the spot just below my ( `wag kulay berde) tummy. I pouted prettily. Nakapamulsa si Julian. Period. he didn t and would n t show it ever. Liars go to hell. Wala pa. Weird. Huwag kang magnanasa sa hindi mo asawa. He cleared his throat. He sighed. Ano ba Hindi ko naman pinagnanasaan si Ju lian ah. Malls. I didn t care when he stared at me in confusion. Iba ang admiration sa lust. Ito ba ang dahilan? Napasigok ako. Tricia? Promise. Naghihikab na sumunod lang ako sa kanya. Tumango lang ako as if saying go on . Ano ba kasing masakit? Gusto kong mapaantanda. Nakita kong nakapagpalit na siya ng damit. my God. Let s go. Huwag kang magbibintang at huwag kang magsisinungaling. Bak it hindi ko man lang nakita? Tsk. Naramdaman ko na lang na may yumuyug yog sa balikat ko. Muntik na `ko dun. Does this me an I m going to hell also? I groaned inwardly. Ano ba! I hated it. Gusto nila sila ang hari. Pinagnanasaan mo ba `ko? He was astonished at first. Someone pinched my nose. Hinimas-himas ko `yung puson ko. but his touch lessened the pain. biglang nawala `yung antok ko. Mauuna ka sa `kin. He whispered. Isa lang bata pa naman tala ga siya. Ang aga namang punishment nito. Ang hirap maging babae. Naramdaman kong may humihimas ng tyan ko. I could see that. NAIA? Oh. Ahm no comment ako dyan. Honey AHEM! .Hindi ako sumisigaw. Ano ba `yan Ang bilis naman! Kung ano ano kasi iniisip ko. Establisments. She smiled at me. Masama talaga epekto sa `kin `pag -FOOL moon. Parang gusto ko ng magpalahaw ng iyak. Of course. Mga walang puso. Sumanda l ako sa upuan at hinimas niya `yung parte kung saan ko nilagay `yung kamay niya . Tap os bigla siyang tumawa. Hindi ko pa naman sinasabing supe r okay na kami ah. Julian s voice became tender. So sinamantala ko na. Wala pa namang nangyayari sa `min ni Julian. I thought you re not coming. I smirked and peer ed at the scenery outside. Assuming! I rolled my eyes. Tricia I m sorry. Of course not. I wanted to sleep and never wake up. Mood swings? Mero Buntis ka rin? Inirapan ko siya. But I saw through his façade. Men never wanted to be termed weak a nd emotional. Tumaas ang kilay ko. Honey I Ahem! Lumingon sila sa `kin. Oh. Eh `di sana h indi mo sa `kin binigay si Julian! Ikaw din papa God ang may kasalanan. Bakit ka ba kasi iyak ng iyak? Napanguso ako. Sa puson. Hindi ko napansin na nakatulog na pala ako. Parang bumata siya ng isang taon. Can you please keep quiet? Lalong lumakas `yung hikbi ko. Hindi pa ako tapos sa drama ko I bit my lower lip. Not one of those demon laughs of his. mood swings I snorted. The lines around his chink y eyes became soft. Parang tumataas ang altapresyon ko. Pabalibag na tinanggal ko ang kamay niya sa balikat ko kahit disoriented pa `ko. Bac kaches. Mom told me that there would be times like this you getting emotional on me. Naghahyperventilate pa `yung hormo nes ko. My eyes grew wide. Jeannie.
Tapos lumapit siya sa `kin. Nagyakap sila. I wanted to die. But a kiss is a kiss! Then she started giggling as she took her bags with her. Oh. Julian raised his brow. Ha? Before I knew it. S ometimes he thought he knows what he s doing. Too happy. Friends? Yeah. wala naman siya dito? I sighed. Take good care of him. TWELVE How would I continue with the plan if my fvcking hormones were raging on? Gusto kong magpagulong gulong sa pamimilipit sa sakit. The nerve! Akala ko ba friends na kami? Julian waved at her. Our families expected us to marry since we were kids. How absurd no I nodded. As in a smudge of red lipstick on the side of his lips. layuan mo `ko! Mi nsan nga naiisip ko ipatanggal ko na lang kaya `yung uterus ko? Kaso kawawa naman sila mommy. We re just one of those cases of childh ood Korean sweethearts. H-hello? Jeannie! Ano?! Shopping tayo. Friends! When you come back to New York. She smiled at me. Argh. Meron argh. do tell me. Hindi ko sinasadyang mapatingin sa labi niya. Hind i ko sinasadya! I gritted my teeth. Inirapan ko siya. Wala na namang problema sa `kin `yun eh. walang choice. I swore I heard Tricia giggled. Makakaangal pa ba siya eh. She kissed Julian on the mouth! Just a peck. O. Nagulat ako when she hugged me. I looked at my nails innocently. Ipinikit ko `yung mata ko. buntis ako. Ayoko. Full moon. Sy empre second lang si Jean. Bulong ko habang sakay kami ni Julian pabalik. H inimas himas ko ulit `yung puson ko. Niyakap niya `ko! Tumaas `yung kilay ko dun. Sana ma-solve mo na `y an. As in NOW. May excuse ako para magkaganito. I saw red. What? Do you know where I can buy a doll? His one brow arched. Ang kapal! I tried to calm my nerves. Okay lang? A token of farewell. ano p ang tinatayo tayo mo diyan? Uwi na tayo. Talaga? Oo naman. Hindi sila magkakaroon ng apo mula sa pinakamaganda nilang anak. Kasi naman may pangalan nam an `yung tao. Then I heard my phone ringing. In short. It was only four in the afternoon. My God I was going crazy with pain. Suminghot ulit ako. . Gusto mong pumunta sa heaven? He pursed his lips teasingly.Julian glared at me. Julian looked at me in horror. what have I done again? He sighed impatiently. Hindi ko siya pinansin. Dysmenorrhia. Lumapit ulit si Tricia kay J ulian. Ano namang akala niya gagawin ko `yung ginawa ko sa kanya kay Tricia? I smirked. What for? Ipapakulam kita! You and Tricia. I was really rooted on the ground. Humarap siya sa `kin.
Matuwa kaya siya? In the states it is very common! Sigaw ko. Before I knew it. Nanghihinang sabi ko na ikinalingon ni Julian. Sinisiguro kong mababaon siya ng buhay sa mura ko. I need to buy a nine-mo nth package. Grabe. It was just a kiss. Who on earth would give a con contraceptives as a gift? Nakikita kong lalong pan iningkit ng mga mata nito. Eh. Julian. Mall. Ugh. kaya nga diba? Nandun ako! I saw her kissed you. I heard his footsteps behind me. Afte r CM gave me the details where to the line went disconnected. Oh. Try me. Jeannie! He shouted authoritatively. Who s that? CM. no. nagpapanic kong sabi. Mall. I mean kelan gan manganak na `ko Don t worry Jeannie. Tapos umiwas ng mata na parang nahuli ko sa akto. The hell I care. Hello Jeannie! I ll go shopping with you later. Bakit ba ako nagsuot ng pa lda? `Yung hanggang kalahating hita ko pa. Fine. Seryoso nga! Napahaw ak agad ako sa stain sa bandang crotch ko. So? Nasa Pilipinas tayo Jeannie! And who on earth would kiss a friend on the lips? He cleared his throat. Kung sa mga ganong klase ka ng tao sasama baka kung ano ano mapulot mong kalokoha n. Manong bababa na po ako. Stupid. Bakit pag-aari mo na rin ba `tong mall ha? Ha. Inis na bumaba ako. he was leading me to a a baby section. I saw red! No Naiiyak na bulong ko. N ew establishment. Eh Julian. Lecheng si CM. wait! Nine months? Kelangan malaki na tyan ko nun. Tricia is my ex! Until you came along. Didn t I tell you not to talk to him again? Manong punta po tayo sa S. Anong silbi mo? I rolled my eyes heavenward. Nag-iisa na nga lang ang sanitary pad ko sa bag ko. Nahuli ko naman talaga sila ah! We just got used to it. I said Sige na Jeannie shopping na tayo. Lee yesterday I asked her kung pwede kang i-ceasa rian. I called Dr. Ceasarian? As in hiwa. Pano kung sabihin ko sa kanyang nag-suggest si CM na i-french kiss ko siya. Sa huli ako pa rin ang sinunod ni manong at pumunta kami sa S. Who s that? No one. In amusement? Malamang magsha-shopping. Feeling ko lalo akong dudugu in kay Julian. He told me to meet up! Then what he was late. Seryoso ba ito? I looked at his face. He was going to get a tongue lashing from me. He would submit me to the k nife. A t sa kutsilyo. We go home. You got used to kissing a friend on the lips? Namamangha kong sabi. Tap os hinigit niya `yung braso ko. No. I gulped. Ah ganon. T-takot ako sa karayom. Badtrip. Sumandal ulit ako. Fifteen minutes. It was huge and big. His bark was always worse th an his bite. Umuwi na tayo. Nagtataka lang ako what does S stand for? Anong gagawin natin dito? His lips twitched at the corner. You cannot stop me. Jul ian grabbed my hand. Wait lang Julian! What? Virgin ka pa ba? . 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.Narinig kong bumuntunghininga si CM. He raised one brow and read the newspaper. Ingos ko sa kay Julian. Naintindihan mo ba ayoko ngan My eyes grew wide.
Manipis pa `yun. HAHA. Pero meron mer on God. And why do you ask? Kasi demonyo ka. Julian frowned. Hindi bumenta. everything save that it wasn t me! Jean?! Jeannie? Para kaming naestatwa. For the life of me. Baka hinihintay na tayo ni CM. She s my mistress. Ang kapal! Excuse me lang ha Parang lalabas `yung dugo ko. Oh. Biglang umayos ako ng tayo. Meron pa bang surprise? Ano pa ba? But my. Juli an squinted his eyes. right? Lumingon siya sa `kin tapos kay Jean. Inis na tinignan ko kung sinomang intrimitid It was like I was looking into my own wide eyes. Iisa lang `yun! Ako lahat `yun! Tsk. We shook our heads in unison. Ah yeah? At ikaw ang ama! Sumasakit `yung puson ko. Ano bang meron? Parang feeling ko mahihimat ay na `ko kahit anong oras. Jean? Pinanlakihan ako ng mata ng kakambal ko. Julian He picked up a feeding bottle. No! No! Halos mag-duet kami ng kapatid ko. At ngayon sumasakit `yung ulo k o. Inis na naglalakad pa `ko. hindi nak . What the hell Kasi hindi ka pwedeng pumunta sa heaven. H-hi s-sorry I wasn t able to to come to your wedding. Kung tot oong buntis lang ako baka nakunan ako sa sobrang bwisit kay Julian. I was about to pick up a a pair of baby shoes when a hand caught mine. No. Bwisit na buha y `to. Takp an ko kaya ng sako ang mukha ni Julian? Artistahin? Kaya lalong lumalaki ang ulo nito. nakatanga lang siya sa `kin. At siya? Tinitigan niya lang ako. He was eyeing me and Jean. May lalaking paparating. Funny same with you Jeannie. Promise. You never told me your sister s here. Ano bang dapat kong sabihin? Hey. Parang ang corny ata ng joke ko. He was with Jean! Vince? Vincent Gonzalo? Julian hissed. Excuse me? Gigil na sabi nito. She s also pregnant? Jean and I both looked stupidly at the baby shoes. Julian! I forced a smile upon my face. Gusto ko siyang sakalin. I gasped aloud. I didn t know him. He knew?! He called you Jeannie! She mouthed when Julian s back was turned to her. I couldn t sprout any more lies. pareho kaming nagkulay papel ng kap atid ko. my face. Na parang natatakot akong bawi in siya sa `kin ni Jean. Kahapon. Masama pa na mang ginagalit ang babaeng kabuwanan. Let s have lunch together. Yes. Pinaparusahan niyo ba talaga `ko God? Jeannie Jeannette. ri ght. Ah yeah. Tumawa ako sa sarili kong joke. At sabi nila ang mga demonyo daw virgin pa. Jean? Let s What the hell was happening? I almost groaned aloud. Kauu wi ko lang. How many months? Napatingin ito sa tyan ni Jean. Paano ko sasabihin sa`yo eh. No. Nanlalaki ang mga mata ni Jean. She smiled sweetly at Julian. Two and three weeks. wife niyo po? At feeling close! Julian smiled back at her. Parang naguluhan. Sir.Julian was shocked. hindi ko rin alam?! Ahmm Napalunok ako. Pareho pala kami ng kuku nin. kill me now! I whispered. Parang nanghihinang napakapit ako kay Julian. He stared fixedly at Jean. wait `Di ba dapat maging masaya ako? Yeah kauuwi niya lang kahapon Julian. Pink or blue? Ha? Hindi pa nga natin alam `yung gender `di ba? My voice trembled. Yumakap ako sa bewang niya. Jean nette is very busy. Unti-unti akong napatingin sa tyan niya. Biglang lumapit ang saleslady sa `min. long time no see twin? Jeannie We both slowly turned at the voice.
myself and I.Kung sa bagay. But he s responsible. Iumpog ang ulo sa pader para matauhan. Hindi ko na kailangang maging genius para malamang they weren t in good terms. Foul `yun no. he knew. Marahan akong lumingon.. Vince `yung tyan ko! Jean sobbed and cupped her stomach gently. Jean? Napalingon ito sa `ming dalawa. Ngayon ko lang na-re alize. wife? You ve never bested me before what now? Inilahad nito ang kamay. She was just shaking her head. Natatakpan ko siya mula sa mga lalaki kaya hindi nila narin ig. I don t know if I s hould be thankful he didn t get to seduce my wife. He laughed humorlessly. No. Mabilis nitong niyakap si Jean at binuhat. I wasn t that bad to wish for her to have a miscarriage. Halata ko ang takot sa mga mata niya. I opened my mouth t o shout at him. Sasakalin talaga kita `pag tumakas ka pa! Jean honey. Don t worry about her. The two men looked astounded. Julian gave him a mocking smile. Gusto ko silang pagumpugin dalawa. Were they together? Obviously. I ll call you. Bumalik ako sa tabi ni Julian. Pero tinabig lang niya `ko. Then Jean winked at me! My jaw almost dropped. I was an idiot. no Lucifer and Michael met. Wife? Hinawakan ito ng mariin ni Jean. Vince let s go. Muntik na akong mapaubo. why don t you tell our lover boy here what we re doing here. Julian I Vincent may pupuntahan pa tayo `di ba? My twin. Bigla akong natakot. The guy smirked at him. Niyakap ko siya. He smirked. You promised me She whispered. Jeannie I won t go back to Julia n. Pati ako hindi malaman ang gagawin. Vince looked at my sister in mixture of shock and hor ror. Julian! I screamed in panic.. We re not yet through Sunico. I forgot I was stepping into the great Juli an Sunico s lair. Conceited jerks! To our astonishment Vince started laughing. I play fair. Jean nette. Ang sarap hampasin ng mga i nsensitive na lalaki sa mundo. I opened my mouth to say goodbye. Gusto kong lumubog sa kinatatayuan. He even courted Tricia. Afraid of the little woman? Oh The tough Vincent Gonzalo was afraid of his. More like plead ed. Vince ma y be a bastard son of a bi tch. Jean wagged the man s arm. Vince grinned maliciously at me. dinadasalan ko na ang lahat ng santo. If you only knew Julian. He wasn t handsome but he was sexy. So who s Michael? Definitely not Julian. Julian Hinawakan ko ang braso niya. Sino `yan? In fairness yummy ha. Napangiwi ako at nag-aalalang tinignan ang hit a niya kung may sign ng dugo. I should have known. Pati ata si Sailormoon. Then she purred groaned aloud. lagi na lang siya n akikipagkompitensya sa `kin. I was wishing the floor would cave in and ea t me whole. THIRTEEN Was it the end of the world? Was it a clash of good and evil? Kung alam niyo lan g. What the hell are you doing here? Julian stepped forward in anger. M ay tatlong lalaki sa likod nila ang dumating out of nowhere. For years. Bulong niya. Pero wala talaga! I could only save me. Anong pangako iyon? Napatingin ako sa kakambal ko. By God. That took Vince out of his reverie. Lumapit agad a ko sa kakambal ko.aligpas sa pansin ko magaling talagang pumili ang kapatid ko. Ever. Jean took his hand. Oh. 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 Bulong ko at hinila ko siya ng onti palayo. kung i-seseduce . Tinatawag ko na si Darna at si Batman. 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. Bodyguards. This one was oozing sex appeal. Hey The guy s mouth twitched sarcastically.
hindi halatang tsismosa. praise the lord. And she s with Vincent Gonzalo. What s this? Obvious ba? Susi ng sasakyan. no? Teka nga nag hmm na ba kayo? Bumilog ang mga mata nito at lumapit maigi ang mukha sa `kin. Really? Biglang lumaki ang mata nito. Muntik ko ng hindi masalo. Libre mo `ko ha. Not because I was afraid of the dragon. Then you ll scream at the peak JU LIAAAAN. business magnate. Magka-tonsilitis ka sana. What! There were so many untold stories here. Then he ordered another beverage. Ngayon pa lang bumabawi. Sabi nila the Gonzalos were bankrupt by the Sunicos. Sabihin mo kay Jean ibalato na lang sa `kin `yung isa. He nodded. Landi. He hissed and turned his back on me. Ay. I opened my mouth to scream at him. My blush intensified. Hindi ko siya pinapansin. ang dami mong naitutulong eh. Ang slow mo naman Jeannie! `Yung tentenenententen. But because . `Yung ano Ngumuso ito. Which means y ou re going to live forever as her. Sabihin ko na lang kaya? I was getting frustrated. Buti ka pa friend. Magkape ka na nga lang para kabahan ka naman sa mga pinagsasasabi mo. alam mo na `yun. Parang kinikiliting tumili ito. CM? I love you! Julian glared at me. Walang modo talaga! Anong akala niya sa `kin? Bata? May curfew? At saka I gritted my teeth. CM just laughed at me. Tinanggal nito a ng rolex wrist watch at ibinato sa `kin. Pasabunot na itinukod ko ang kamay sa round table. Starbucks. Julian where are you goi The driver already went home. Napatingin ang isan g babae dito na kanina pa titig na titig kay CM. Sa kanya si Vince which leaves Brad alone. Tapos iisa ng tatay paglabas non. I have to be pregnant. He shrugged nonchalantly. mukhang hindi mo na talaga maibabalik si Jean. nagsinungaling na buntis. He even demonstrated the expressions. ahem.niya `ko. Very observant lang. Halleluja. See? Ibinigay niya sa `yo si Julian. Nag-ano. Pabalewalang sabi nito. Pero kung kung mabubuntis naman ako . Kalaba ng mortal ng mga Sunico. I was addlebrained. I guess so? I told him everythi ng there was. Sabihin mo na. He took my hand and gave me keys. I don t have money! Isasangla ko `tong relo mo! I shouted after him. F rom the looks of it. Gross. At isipin mo na lang kambal kayo. pero `wag mo `kong sisihin kung bakit nasa headlines ka bukas. bongga alam mo naman tayong m agaganda Nahirinan ako dun. Inirapan ito ni CM. for sure mukha ding kambal. He smiled fishily. Delicadeza na lang `di ba? Ano `yun `yung mga anak naming mag-pinsan na magkapa tid pa? Ang sagwa `di ba? Tama. Nauna na `kong umuwi kay CM. I stared at him stupidly. Siya itong nag-aya aya tapos ako manlilibre?! Mahiya ka naman sa lalamunan mo. Hindi ako ipokrita para sabihing hindi ako mate-tempt. I didn t know that. Y uck. m arunong naman akong tumingin ng oras no. Feel na feel nito. Akin na lang siya! Hindi si ya magugutom sa `kin promise. You should be at home before seven. Anong hmm? My brain wasn t functioning well. You have the same features. Tapos nanlaki ang mga mata na tumingi n sa `kin. Babae. I smiled sheepi shly. Parang ayaw mag-process ng brain ce lls ko. He put his two fingers together. Talaga? Wow. Ano? Inis kong sabi. CM if Jean won t come back. So she s pregnant? With Julian? CM sipped his Caffe Mocha. pinatay ng asawa. Salamat ha. He was a chic. Napaatras naman ako. You didn t tell me they re together? Hindi pa rin talaga ako pinapabayaan ni God my phone started ringing. Tumaas lang `yung kilay niya. Tapos ipinilantik niya `yung kamay.
I was feeling drowsy. . I knew that there were endless problems but I stil l wanted to sur vive. I lived my life spontaneously. Argh . No! Ibababa nila `ko sa impyerno. FOURTEEN Ito ang listahan ng mga kasalanan at kabutihan mo Was he serious? Sa sa langit na ba ako? I mean. I star ted sobbing quietly. Were you telling me that I shouldn t have followed those novels I so much liked? Sabi kasi nila mag pakatotoo. It was suffocating me. Hanapin mo ang sarili mo blah. I stared incredulously at the shining bald head of St. I was pulled deeper into a pit less hole of nothingness. sa langit ba ako pupunta? Para kasing hindi naman ` to heaven eh. Pati ba ang pagmumura counted na din? You can now take her. blah. Plus one. Hindi pa `ko prepared makita si San Pedro at saka God sabi nga ni CM hindi ko pa alam ang feeling ng nag-tetentenenententen. Hindi ko pa nabibigyan ng apo sina mommy. I was shocked when an overspeeding c ar on the side tipped its way toward me. I should have seduced him sooner. I sighed. Magiging demonyo nga ako? Dahil virgin pa `ko. God I have so many unfinished businesses. I wasn t so sure. Pinilit ko namang maging mabait. `Yun naman ang ginawa ko. ayokong lumaki ang eyebags ko. It w as a good thing Jean and I both know how to drive.the princess also needed her precious rest. Nakalimutan kong mag-slow down sa inter section. Ayokong mukhang stressed out. Peter was also a philosopher. The shards of glasses splintered on the side. I drove faster than I should have. Right minus wrong. magkaroon ng maraming pimples. My heart hammered loudly. Mababangga ako! Pilit kong iniiwas ang sasakyan. I felt the impact of it. Ilang araw na ding hindi ako natutulog ng maayos. It was getting hot. I cried out. Sana isinama na rin nil a `yung driver na nag-overspeeding. Anong ibig niyong sabihin? Anak katawan lang ang iniiwan sa lupa hindi ang common sense. It was too quickly. My eyes were open wide. Then I ende d up bumping a big trunk of a tree. Syempre. The impact. blah. Little did I know that St. emotion al stress. and a lot more blended together. P eter. If only I had known. My head bumped the side window. I knew I cal led Julian s name. Ayaw nila akong papasukin sa heaven! Kasama si Julian. At may biglang safety air balloon na lumobo sa harapan ko. Wala sa loob ko. 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. pain. `Wag m una. Hindi pa ako nagbabayad sa mga pinagkakautangan ko sa New York. My eyes opened wide. Paano kung mas marami ang kasalanan ko? Eh `d i may utang pa `ko? I groaned. Meaning good minus bad? What the fu ck. Jeannie Jeannie Did they know my name? Argh.
ang katawan ko. The doctor frowned. She was crying. What are you watching? I got engrossed. Is she having a miscarriage? Sigaw ulit nito. Tulog. Is she alright? My God. In all fairness. No ribs broken. Call mom my Parang hesitant pa itong tumakbo palabas. `Yung winner na smile ng close-up. Bulong niya. maiisip mong kailan mo din palang i-express ang nararamdaman mo sa kanila. kain. Anyway. He was worried! I smiled eagerly as the doctor gave his prognosis. `Yung natatakpan ang mukha ko. It was as if Julian was possessed by some good spirit. Totoo naman ah. sa santong paspasan na l ang. I bit my lower lip sa sobrang gigil. Awww Pareho silang napatingin sa `kin. He was skimming every part of me. Where s Julian? The door burst open. At saka niya lang siguro napansin na nandun nga ang doctor. What if it was too late? He smil ed at me and patted my head like the way he used to. Sunico. Kinuha ang stethoscope. blame my sister f or giving me this idea. Iniisip ba niyang iinom din ako ng lason para lang makasama ko si Julian? The wo rst is. I tsked. My mommy was crying silentl y. I want my mommy. Ngumiti ang doctor sa mommy ko. My nai ls dug deeper into his arm. Baby? Mr. may DVD version na ang Romeo and Juliet . Hindi ko alam kung bakit ito ang ipinahiram sa `kin ng hitad kong bestfriend. Tsk. When the door closed I took the doctor s hand. Sunico there s no Oh my saving grace. I have no time to explain doc. Whichever comes first. May ininject bang pampamanhid? She s out of danger. Wal a naman talaga akong sugat. higa. It s a matter of life and . Actually. I winced. Then I blinked thrice. baka ako pa ang lasunin ni Julian. Pero pero nakiki ta ko na si mommy! I was panting so hard. He frowned at me. Grabe. Please. just pretend the babe s okay. Doc. Please. Papatayin ako ni Julian. I love you daddy. nood tv. My parents excused themselves. Only a small wo und on her forehead. I couldn t help it. God. Saka na tayo magbilangan. Nag-movie marathon ako. What ever. Parang nataranta ang doctor sa galit nito. Speaking of the devil. how I missed my family. Kung hindi pa siya madaan sa santong dasalan. Nakakokonsensya na ng a ako. Sure ako dun. Are you okay? Natatarantang hinawakan niya ang buhok ko. mmkay? Anyway. Disoriented pa `ko. Parang na-guil ty naman ako. I moaned aloud and curled into a fet al position. for his sake. Gusto kong matawa na matakot kay Jul ian. death? Napan giwi ako. There I saw my mom. ang mukha ko. The doctor frowned e ven more. Mumultuhin ako ni Angko. parang hindi tot oo. Malaki utang na loob ko sa inyo doc. Minsan. Excuse me Mr. parang h indi niya nagegets! Naiiyak na `ko sa gigil. Naiiyak na niyakap ako ng daddy ko. there s no bab Kumapit ako sa braso ng doctor. He stared at me incredulously. Ahmm free shopping spree at S. Sorry San Pedro. My jaw became slacked. What the fu ck s happening to my wife? Sumisigaw na sab i ni Julian. Naii nggit tuloy ako sa gumanap na Juliet. She s okay except for How about the baby? He cut him off frantically. No nothing. damn! I thought she s okay. I whispered brokenly. My smile froze in place. Tapos . mommy. I hissed at Julian. I don t know. ibalato ni yo na po sa `kin `to. Please Julian. Mall! I smiled charmingly. Oh. Wala ako ng maramdamang sakit. Napakapit ako bigla sa puson ko. Ambad ko. she s not even in the brink of danger.Jeannie Jeannie I slowly opened my eyes. Tapos super bait niya. As soon as the doctor gave me his promise I persuade Julian to take me home. Guilty ako. my Leonardo Dicaprio s yummy. basa ng novels. Then I saw m y dad. Biglang bumukas ang pinto. Na para bang alam niya gagawin kung may s ugat nga ako! Hindi naman siya ang doctor.
One advantage of being rich. O. Then you re the one who s stupid! Had I really said that? Yeah.niyakap ko `yung unan ng mahigpit. Napalunok ako. I shivered delightedly. His voic e became husky. Gee. aber? I snorted. Siya si Rosaline! Siya `yung first forgotten love . Titig na titig ako. I forgot all about our honeymoon. Napatitig talaga ako sa eksena sa party. thanks. Then a sm ile slowly inched its way to the corner. Hindi ko pinansin ang pandidiri sa mukha niya. Pasalamat siya kung yummy si Leonardo DiCaprio mas h ot para sa `kin si Johnny Depp. I d hug CM when we meet again. Then they fell into the water again when they declared their undying love. I groaned aloud. Juliet was leading Romeo into a dance kis s. Ingos na tinabig ko `yung kamay niya. Siguro nahiya lang siya so for his sake I inched closer. I was imagining that Julian was Romeo and Juliet was of course me. Excuse me? Ayoko ng pakinggan pa kung ano na namang panlalait ang maririnig ko kay Julian. Sus. Dumila pa `ko sa kanya. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street na lang ang panoorin natin. Kesyo mali daw `yun. Tapos sa swimming pool scene. Mayamaya lang Julian sat on t he bed beside me. Nakatanga talaga ako. She kept telling no. Despite her in nocent face was a great k-i-s-s-e-r. Wh en in fact. honeymoon na nila. Nagpapakipot na naman. Sosyal. Parang feeling ko a ko ang naaatat na hatakin si Leonardo at papakin. Fast-learner kaya ako. Hindi ko gusto `yung ngi sing `yun ni Julian. dinaig pa `ko. if I know kung anong bawal siyang masarap. Care ko. ugh eating each other in the pool. hell move a little bit closer baby. Inis na dumiretso na `ko ng upo. Tsk. basta gwapo si Romeo. we were both silently watching. Inggit lang siya wala sa kanya `yung atens yon ko. Hindi ko napansin na nilagay niya `yung braso niya sa likod ng ulo ko. while she kept moving her lips to and fro against Romeo s. FIFTEEN Make love to me . I said he s stupid. May reunion nga pala tayo. My mobile started ringing. sig e na. At si Tricia. Naka-home base kaya! Ayan oh. Naalala ko bigla k ami ni Julian. Laway mo tumutulo Julian swiped an invisible saliva down the side of my lips. Plasma ang tv. Give Julian the credit to ruin my fantasy. Umusod ako palayo. I d tell you. Alam mo `yun my hair on the nape stood on ends. Natuwa ako kasi mu ka talagang inosente `yung gumanap na Juliet. they were always the one who resorted to cuddling. He smil ed evilly. Akalain mo `yun. I snuggled close to Julia n. I wondered why men turned away when things get mushy or better yet emotional. Lumayo-layo si Juliet. Siguro kahit ako din naman. I couldn t help but sigh pleasurably. At bakit? Ni hindi man lang naka-home base kay Juliet bago ipainom `yung lason. Then I sighed. Hello? Jean Rose Leviste? Irene here. right stupid. I leaned my head in the cove of his neck. basta siya magtuturo sa `kin. They were kissing underwater! I wished Leonardo would kiss me like th There s a rumor that he s gay. Mayamaya lang. N abitin ako nung tinawag ng nursemaid si Juliet. I gasped so very loud than the first time. I wasn t very particular with the chin itos. I gasped aloud. Romeo is stupid. Napansin ko pero kunwari wala lang pero deep inside I was like. Then they were like kissing. I was having kinky thoughts. Na para bang sinasabing habulin mo `ko . Tuwang-tuwa talaga ako sa palabas na `to.Goodnes s.
. Have you seen Julian? I shook my head. So. I m a big time loser. I was actually purring. Seryoso ba si Angko? Minumulto nga ako nito! I was trembling violently. You promised me! You promised me you won t hurt Julian. Feeling ko ang dumi-dumi ko. Para akong nakuryente. I wasn t that drunk. His lips twitched on the side. No. Last night ko na `to. What was happening? Parang umiikot an g paligid ko. Tapos lumapit siya sa `kin. Masyado ka ng madaming naiinom. I would dance the night away like it would be my last time. Hindi ako. Wanna ride with me boyo? Parang may sariling isip ang bibig ko. Don t hurt him. I couldn t be m istaken. Galit na binalibag ko ang pinto. I bet you re feeling fvcking hot? And dir ty. Hindi ako. I wiped the threatening tears away. Kinakarma na ba talaga `ko? Hindi na `ko nakatulog. Ano `yun? Insenso seryoso ba tala ga si Angko? Kinilabutan ako. NOW. This is not you. I didn t know a mere whisper in the ear could feel ticklish. Marahan akong umupo. What s gotten into you? Masamang espiritu. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. You promised me! She was sweating coldly. Grabe lakas ng tam a sa `kin ng martini. Kailangan pa bang ulit-ulitin niya `yun? Alam ko. Someone tapped my shoulder from beh I screamed. Sino ba? Parang naririnig ko pa rin ang boses ni Angko. Ilang shots pa lang. Is. Angko was staring down at me. I felt my eyes widening. good morning? G morning. You. Ang sama talaga ng ugali ni Julian! Ni hindi man l ang binuksan ang lamp shade bago umalis. Nakita ko siya kanina paalis. Angko! Jean? Uncle Bert? I gritted my teeth. Not that it was unusal. When the man swayed me back and forth I felt his rock hard body poking againt mine. Madilim ang buong paligid. You re drunk. Goodness. I bit my lower lip then I sniffed.What? You heard me make love to me. Hindi kaya nagkakamali si Angko ng pagpaparamdaman? I absent-mindedly touched my stomach. Magsakit-sakitan kaya ako ulit? Bak a sakaling bumait pa siya. Hindi ako. Pero hindi ba `yun naman dapat ang maramdaman ko? Hindi ako ito. More more My God. like a cat. And happy. was I? He s got gray eyes. Me? I slithered my body against him. I won t effin waste my time on somebody who s not worth it. A helluva way to say it. My FIRST TIME. And sexy Kaya nga tinawag itong bar `di ba? I stupidly c raned my neck. Angko knelt down the side of the bed and touched my stomach. Fine. Parang gusto niya na talaga akong isama sa dako paroon kung hindi ko gagawin ang gusto niya. Yes. He shook his head. Ahm I m suppose d to be drunk. Did you know what he did? Nilagpasan niya lang ako. This. Sorry ahm. who wouldn t? No wonder Julian got dibs on you. is it a yes or a no? No. I waved at him. He grabbed my arm. Or Was it me? Then ther e was Angko. Out of the blue. Not. Oh boy. He was s tanding there. Sinabi ko iyon na parang nagdedemand lang ng fla vor ng chupachups. Hell yeah. Napaupo ako bigla at napa-sign of the cross. Umiling ito. Hell. Humahabol ata sa buwanang dalaw ko. Gee I rocked my hips back in forth to the rhythm. What the hell were those dreams all about? there was a woman with no face. Lumingon lingon ak o. I gasped a little.
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?
We re both devils. Tahimik na bumaba ako ng sasakyan. I wished we ve never met. Tinitigan ko ang leather seat. I can t tell you everything. He hissed. Hinawakan nito ang kamay ko. Ayoko ng sabihing bakit siya ba ang nasaktan? Siya ba ang nawa lan ng virginity? Kung sa bagay. my God. Pinigilan ko ang kamay kong masakal ang kapatid ko. It should have been Jean s. Hindi ako kumibo. I winced. Was it that t . Talo? We re even. The dream. I thought she wouldn t do this. Nasa garahe na kami. I smiled at him. when I first saw you crying at the hotel. I cried a river last night. To me? To Julian? You wanted him to father your baby? Oh my. Was she talking in Latin? Parang sinabi niyang a lien ang nakabuntis sa kanya. Nothing more. Bayad na `ko sa `yo. What did he want this time? Humarap ako sa kanya. Sige. Nothing less. Kahit isa wala. WHAT?! Seryoso? You you lied to us. Sana inutang mo na lang sa `kin ang pambili ng bahay niyo. Para akong naguluhan. Pero parang wala naman akong choice. He didn t even bother putting his shirt on. I I gasped. Baka hindi ko siya matantya. Parang hind i nito nararamdaman ang pag-agos ng dugo habang nagmamaneho ito.Ayoko siyang tignan. Pabalibag na binuksan ko ang closet. Are you mad? My baby it s not Julian s. Humarap ako sa kanya. Baka kasi siya ang nawalan ng pinaka-iingatang dangal. Sana sana sinabi mo na lang sa `kin una pa man. God. The he called my name. At galit na binalibag ko ang pintuan pasara. Ni hindi ko man lang napansin. I shook my head. We can live like this forever. She was my twin. Yes. no. He wasn t looking at me. He s he s mine now. Ours was a marriage made in hell. Ayo ko. I smiled mockingly. Everything. kung batukan kaya kita riyan? Bakit mo ba kasi ginawa `yun? What wo uld I do now? We can t just trade places again. Before I knew it he threw my underwear with brownish stain on it! I hate you. Butter Diner s. I didn t turn around. You look so vulnerable and trusting. what was a piece of flesh for a Sunico like him ? Kapirasong laman lang iyon. aren t we? Ang laki ng talo ko. I swallowed an imaginary lump in my throat. Sorry sorry eh. Morning. He called me four times. Jean what is this all about? Jeannie I m sorry. Hindi ako `yun Julian. Was he immune t o pain already? At least they had something in common now. So innocent. I heard him swore. Wala na `kong balak bumalik kay Julian. magpanggap siyang wala ako. Oh. I thought I wouldn t forgive my sister for what she d done. Why did you do that? bulong nito. You know what. I got attracted to you that first time. Jeannie. Oh. Una pa man talaga never naman akin `t o. I took my perso nal things and left those that weren t mine.
hen? `Di ba ang mga kambal ay may kakaibang koneksyon? Jeannie please No! I couldn t take it. My heart went wild. He cursed floridly. Nakita kong may benda ang kam ao niya. I walked like a zombie. Para akong bagong ano panganak. You owe me five million minus the interest which is your purity. And the baby s not yours. But tears were starting to pool in my eyes. I bet he was ready to wring our ne cks. I replaced her. I muttered. if I know ganyang ganyan din arte ko sa may hospital. What else was there? He was betrayed. Nakita ko ang galit sa mga mata niya. Julian didn t know me that well. Pareho kaming pareho kaming Pero Jeannie hindi pwede. At hind i kita ibabalik sa mga magulang mo hangga t hindi mo nababayaran iyon. Bigla siyang umupo at hinawakan ang ty an. Parang dagang tumalilis si Jean. 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. We ll tell you Julian about thi s. Niloko. He looked fierce. Nakita ko ang masamang tingin ni Julian ng dumaan si Jean. It was the empty glass. Naiiyak ako habang naliligo naalala ko lahat ng pag-uusap namin. Ma am. If you want you can tell Julian the whole fucccking tru What fuccccking truth are you talking about? We both turned at the door. Ayoko na Jean. We looked down. At wala kayong magagawa ni mommy. Stop it. We both jumped in surprise when I heard a loud crash. . Ayoko ng magpanggap na ikaw! Kung gus to mo bumalik ka dito at No! Iling ko. Bakit ba? Eh. What the hell are you talking about? Napatingin ito kay Jean. Umuwi na tayo Jean. Ayokong isipin kung ano ang napakalaking kasalanan niya sa `kin. he was damned furious. She suddenly winced and moaned. Julian I m Jeannette. darling. At itinaas ang ulo na parang sa reyna. Becau se we just met only a few times after the the Pikot. I walked past him. Uuwi na `ko sa `tin. Bigla itong tumuwid ng tayo. Bakit ka nagbabalot ng damit? Tinabig ko `yung kamay niya. Bigla niyang hinarang ang bulto sa harapan ko. Wala namang gumalaw non. You are you are She s your real wife Julian. I looked up. yes. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. And boy. I promised Vincent. I stared fixedly at him. Sinampal ko siya. Do you think your virgi nity caused millions? I gasped at his crudeness. I mean hindi niya napansin na iba ka. There the devil stood. He frowned. Jeannie listen to me. You re not that expensive. It won t work this time. Nakita ko sa likod niya si si Jean? What are you doing here? Not that I was blaming her but but Hell. Inirapan ko siya. iba ako. She went missing before your wedding day. Hindi na pwede. I blamed her. I whispered defiantly. I m so Don t fuccking say sorry to me. Hinila ko ang kamay niya at kinuha ang clutch bag. The corner of his lips twitched. May bisita po kayo. I didn t want to cry. I couldn t take the lies anymore. damn you! Sigaw nito na rinig ata ng buong subdivision. Narinig ba niya? What truth.
I was the ang el with a halo sent from up above. Was I that bad to blame my sister? Pero nasa katwiran naman ako. I drew Julian s face. Mali mali.SEVENTEEN I was pacing to and fro. leaning against the bed. I smiled nastily. I was startin g to hate him. My eyes squinted in anger. Inirapan ko siya. Kahit magkita pa kami sa husgado! I took my sketch pad and sat on the floor. I took the papers and read it. I brushed my tears angrily. But not ME. His handsome face and his body. Tapos nagdrawing ako ng dalawang sungay. Ganon ba talaga ang mga bida? Laging api? Bulong ko sa sarili ko. Ang pinakababoy sa lahat ng b aboy. Of course. Makapal iyon. ba My mouth dropped open. Hell. Parang may kulang. Kahit naman f ine arts ang kinuha ko alam ko naman kung anong ibig sabihin ng kontrata. An o ba! Pilit kong tinatanggal ang kamay niya sa braso ko. If it was an y consolation on every one s part Julian let go of Jean. I raised one brow. Pabalewalang may ibinagsak siya sa kama. Bakit ba hindi eh. Pati ako nga rin nahihilo na sa sarili ko. Then I did sketch myself. I erased half part. Hinila niya `ko pataas. Na aalilain ng demonyo. A chauvinist. Tumayo ka dyan. I busied myself for how many seconds minutes I pouted and made face. I bit my lower lip until it bled. Tapos biglang bumukas `yung pinto. I glared at him standing like he owned the world. Puro papeles. Sign this. . ako ako ang ikinulong niya at gusto niyang magsuffer. I wanted to kill him right this minute. Kung legal lang ang krimen sa mundo baka ilang bese s na itong namatay. given the fact that he owned me. Pabalabag. O kaya pahihirapan ko muna ng unti-unti. Wala na lang siyang ginawang mabuti kung hindi paiyakin at sakta n ako. Hindi na siya naawa sa kagandahan ko. Then I drew his body again . Oh. Sh!t. I cringed in pain. Mah abang buntot. hours. I was fuming mad. `di ba? He looked lik e a bench model on Halloween. Did he thought I was a real bummer? Hindi ba at siya nga ang naloko ko? So he was the one who s stupid. What s this? Nakakapagbasa ka naman `di. At ang hawak niya isang malaking tinidor. This was legal and notarized. Without clothes on. I wrinkled my no se and closed my eyes. He was a cad.
Pero kailan ba naging okay ang magkau tang ng Five million? I was dead before I knew it. `Yung ngiting alam kong bukas patay na `ko. I crossed my fingers. God. honey. Para akong mahihi matay. He stared at me incredulously. Sorry sa ipagsisinungaling ko pero Isn t mine. Galit na pinalandas nito ang daliri sa mga pi sngi ko. He wasn t dead serious. So bayad na ang interes. An heir. It was just one of those corny jokes. G anon ba talag siya kasama? I ve already had a lawyer examined it. I realized I was really a good painter after all. Masakit kaya. I didn t even get any pleasure from it. Seriously. You heard me. I gritted my teeth anguishly. I m not your legal wife Julian. Jean s baby kinagat ko `yung labi ko. 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. Go shoot yourself and go to hell. As if we were talking about t he weather. Tapos yumuko siya para magkatapat `yung mukha namin. why didn t you even give me a sign? Or even a hint? Nakaupo ako kaya t nakatingala ako sa kanya. Napaungol ako. Baka nakakalimutan mo. You might do that honey. He cracked a knowing smile. `Yun naman pala eh. you ll tell me anyway. hey. Then on my right ear. Nine months then you re free. He said nonchalantly. What s this for? You have two options to make: One. It was your s ignature not your sister s. `Yung kahit hindi nakakatawa pinipilit mong tumawa. I kept telling myself that it would be okay. perhaps. `Yung magdadala ng apelyido k o. Siya lang naman nasiyahan no . I was afraid. I swallowed an imaginary lump in my throat. That easy. Hindi ako nakakaintindi ng English. Bigyan mo ko ng tagapagmana. No spooky things. And because I wasn t that bad. He planted his hands on his hips. eh? Tumawa ako. Hindi pangalan ko ang naka-re gister sa marriage certificate. ngu miti ito at lumapit sa `kin. `Yung tawa ng baliw. Nadah. Wala din! WAS I GOING DEAF? W-what what are you talking about? Nanghihinang napaupo ulit ako. Na para bang ang paggawa ng baby ay bato-bato-pik lang. Tsk. Really. pay me the five million pesos. Tapos tawa pa ulit. Ano?! Are you darn serious? It only cost Five hund red thousand? Ganon ako ka-cheap? Sana man lang tinaasan niya kahit one million. Sana man lang nakapaglagay ako sa account ko mula sa kaban ni Julian ba go nagkabukingan. The bomb was dropped. Ganon. Tinitigan akong maigi. Hinawakan niya ang baba ko ng madiin. my goosebumps w ere showing. was he? Hindi. I appreciated you prostituting yourself to me.Ano `to? Printed paper. An d you re not the first virgin I ve had. I even put one finger inside my left ea r. B ecause I had drawn this pig s face exactly the way he was evilly smiling at me! Nagpapatawa ba siya? Kaya nga siya pinikot ng kakambal ko dahil wala kaming pamb ayad `di ba? Anong gusto niyang gawin ko? Malay ko bang papalpak pala ang plano ni Jean. Tama ka. Magsalita ba naman sa tapat ng bibig ko! Swear. Tawa pa. His voice was laced with sarcasm. Napatayo ako sa sobrang galit. I ve had my fair share of women Jeannette. It was null and void. Buti na lang bagong toothb rush ako kanina. Hindi na ako magpapanggap na buntis this time. He said smoothly. Para iyong sumabog sa mismong tainga ko. Feeling ko pinagbagsakan ako ng langit at lupa. Pra ise the Lord! Kung hindi mag-mamagic talaga akong magkaanak within nine months a . Aren t you going to ask what s the second option? Bakit ko pa itatanong. ang int eres sa bangko ay umabot ng half a million.
Hello Jean. I snorted. Namilog ang mga mata ko Julian was standing there. huh? Brad? Uh-oh. your choice. Don t you ever dare. What would it be Jean nie. I sighed. I smiled here and there. Unggoy! Napakatuso! I opened my mouth in disust. my dear. It s okay. May step one. I so hate you. Flirt. May psychic ability na ba ito? He glared at me. Brad stare d fixedly at us. Jean! Baka nakakalimutan mo `yung reunion natin mamaya. Nabasa niya ang isip ko! Wow. my God. Buti naman. Hindi nga ako nagkamali The woman raised one brow at me. 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. At itinaa s nito ang legal na papeles na binayaran nito ang titulo ng lupa namin! He was w ise. Forcing isn t his cup of tea? Oo hindi. At least hindi na niya `ko hahalikan ulit. The feeling s mutual. I m sorry.. May process `yan. sa `kin patungkol ` yun. Bakit kailangan ko pang magpanggap na si Jean? Alam na naman ng lahat. Kung makalingkis. The business tycoo n.t ang tatay ay Oh. Jean was infamed for her swimming ability. Julian grabbed my waist as if he wouldn t want me away from him. a public figure. Then she turned sweetly at Julian. Jean told me everything. it s what you called persuading.. My phone started ringing. my bed s warmer than that of the jail s. Syempre ngiti rin ako kahit na nga ba never ko pa siyang nakita sa tanang buhay ko. The handsome debonair. No doub t. Very charming ang loko. Hi Dahil assuming ako alam ko. Hindi nga ako nagkamaling hindi ka imbitahin! Saan? Irene! So Irene pala ang pangalan ng makiring kaibigan na ito ni Jean. three `yan. NO! REUNION. Parang siya nga ang nagre-reunion. They were all bugging him. my God so all the while we were ju st living in sin together? Mga immoral. . Nakita niya akong papalapit sa isa sa mga ito. Nagkalayo kami ni Julian. He looked like a wolf ready to eat his prey. Lalo na sa`kin. Forcing a woman isn t my cup of tea. Kung fine nga bang matatawag ang halos pagyakap ng babae dito! Their faces were in ches away from each other. Nakalimutan ko. Pero ikaw din. Wala kang karapatang karapatang igiit sa `kin ang marital obligations ko dahil hindi tayo mag-asawa! Oh. that was fine. The woman smiled at me. Ang press! I smiled. he hissed. So what is it? This is human violation. he shrugged. Sawa? Hindi naman ito Zoo `di ba? S he gritted her teeth in anger. I shrugged. Malapit na kami dun ng matigilan ako. Hi. Ikaw din. Well. Julian smiled back. Well. Syempre ang baby hindi basta lumalabas sa tyan ng baba e yan. A businessman s stock in trade. I he ard about it. I groaned inwardly. He smiled e villy. I was quite surprised when a hand caught mine. Bakit hindi ako lumapit sa mga iyon at i labas ang baho ni Julian? He was after all. Kaya lalong lumalaki `yung ulo. Later everybody was dancing. exc ept for the press. Sa `kin siya nakatingin eh. Oh no! Gusto kong batuka n ang sarili ko. Hindi nakaligtas sa matalas kong paningin. two. darling. I went out of the parking lot to get my cell phone from the car. Napaatras ako. kung makapag-react ako parang hindi pa kami nag ano `yung ano alam n iyo na `yun. dear. Pambablackmai l nga lang! This is pure blackmail! No.
Paikot pa lang siya sa driver s seat ay binuksan ko ang car door para tumakbo. Brad was badly beaten. They knew nothing! Mga taong walang magawa sa mundo kundi pagpi yestahan ang latest tsismis. I wanted to shout at him. Naawa naman ako bigla sa kanya. Nakita kong pumutok ang labi ni Brad. Syempre kahit pagbali -baligtarin ko man ang pangyayari. I couldn t get enough. J ulian pulled me roughly in the arm. Bakit ba hindi sila makuntento sa isa? Bakit ba `yun na lang palagi ang problema nila? Nung ginawa naman si Adan. alam mong hindi pwed I said kiss me. The next thing I knew Julian and Brad were grappling. You bastard! Galit kong hiyaw. I said stop it! Tili ko at gumitna ako. para akong nanunuod ng a ction movie. Itinulak! Niya ako sa loob ng sasakyan. May paparating na malaking truck. What? Jeannie. He motioned the steering wheel t o the left. Pareho kaming napakapit dito. Brad sige paaaa d on t stop kissing me!!! I shouted. Gusto ko siyang sabunutan! Sino ba siya? This was all her fault . Para akong bulkang sa sabog. You should have killed me and . Damn. Matutuwa na sana ako dun sa maganda . Julian how dare yo ! He looked at me coldly. Kinuha ni Julian ang lapel ni Brad at binalya. God. He w as already seated. ano bang klasing babae `yan. Twice. nakakasama din pala ang masyadong gentleman ngayon. Maganda pa naman. Ako ang may sagot kay Brad! I winced as Brad punched back. At masakit `yun ha! I screamed when he was a bout to kick NO! Niyakap ko si Julian ng mahigpit. I put all my force and slap him. Galit kong sabi. this isn t righ I grabbed Brad s lapels and kissed him right on the mouth. I was even m aking gurgling sounds. Whew. Sinuntok suntok ko ang braso niya.Brad kiss me. Ku ng pwede lang na sipain ko siya. I was too stunned to react. Hampas doon. No choice eh. makiri nga lang. No. I moaned aloud. His voice was icy cold. Pakaladkad. There was not a bit of gentlemanliness in him. Jeannie. Eve just tolerated being with Adam. We both screamed. I glared at wh oever said that. dinugtungan pa. Brad are you okay? I knelt down in front of him. And take note: Eve was the only woman back then. Nakita kong papatay talaga si Julian. Naumpog ako sa silya. Muntik na kami dun! My heart was thudding loud in my chest. Once. At na-automatic lock niya na ang buong sasakyan. Nasty gossips. Papalapit na sila. I gritted my tee th. Out of the corner of my eyes I saw Julian s frown. I shoul d have wore Hester s scarlet letter. We both gasped. What the hell are you d ing. I saw the registration of s hock. Hampas dito. And I was frightened by the look in his eyes. loner siya `di ba? Pinagbigyan na nga siya ni God. 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. Julian. Parehas tikom ang bibig namin. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung bakit ito pinagpalit ni Jean eh. Na parang ako an g may kasalanan! Na parang hindi ko siya nakitang nakikipag-flirt sa ibang babae ! Hinila niya `ko sa braso. Now I know. nakakahiya. Pinipilit kong gumitna pero natabig ako. Para akong lulubog sa kahihiyan. Anywhere my hand landed. Sa bilis ng pangyayari hindi ko na alam kung sino sa kanilang dalawa. Abusado. Julian Sunico s wife was seen kissing his ex. Sa paghampas ko sa sugat niya ay nabitawan niya ang manibela. Pabalyang ipinasok. Let go of me. There were flashes of cameras. He gave me that chilling stare that sent shivers down my spine. The woman was just standing there. Get in. It was unlike any fury I d had. Grabe. I saw Brad s purplish face with bruises. Julian no! I screamed.
Tapos may dumaang sasakyan. this time was very much different. It was as if he would do just that. And the title: Love the way you lie by Rhianna. Okay. My he . Balewalang sagot nito. my God. no. BUT they were even singing a verse of some song. He tilted my chin up. Basta to the highest level na talaga ang pag-iling ko.He gave me that chilling look. Parang wala sa sariling nasabi ko habang nakatingin s a Sa Police Station. You re dead serious. utos nito. Bumaba ka na. He wa s forcing me. Isang barkadang malakas ang trip. The side of his mouth lifted sexily. Oh. Julian wouldn t resort to this. it boils my blood. I did shut up then. Julian glared all the more. Alam ko. I shook my head forcefully and vigorously. Ganon lang ba talaga tingin niya sa `kin? His property na pwedeng bakuran. A choice? I said with sarcasm. Why should I? You re mine. Hindi ko na alam kung paano at anong kaibahan non. I gave you a choice. Tumaas ang sulok ng bibig niya. Pero bakit ba gwapo pa rin ito kahit mukha itong may sungay sa paningin ko? I might. I swore my neck almost snapped sa mabilis na paglingon ko sa kanya. Pero gagawin niya na Jeannie! My mouth dro pped open. I bought you for five million. Decide now. My eyes grew wide. The musc les on his jaw flexed. Kung kanina ay halos ipagtulakan niya `ko papasok. Baba. Pe ro pero `di ba may onting konsensya naman si Julian? Even the tiniest bit? Oh. Julian swung the door open. 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. Ang maging babymaker mo? Ha! Holy crap. Hindi sa natatakot ako. Without remorse. I shook my head vigorously. natatakot ako sa itsura ni Julian. Don t try my patience. Napatitig ako sa kanya. He hissed. God. Alam mo pala eh! He smiled evilly. Get the hell out of my car. I closed my eyes. I d rather you do that Julian. It was a mere whisper. Sisigaw akong rape? Fvck you Jeannie. He said bitterly. Naiisip ko pa lang na ipapa-salvage niya `ko at itatapon ang kagandahan ko sa kung saang ilog. I shook my head. Kahit na nga ba maghubad si Papa P sa harapan ko. Gusto kong is igaw sa kanya na baka naapektuhan na ang utak niya. Really. I looked around me and I gasped. He was speaking to me. Kinilabutan ako. Ang mukha ay nasa gitna ng mga rehas na bakal. Why can t you just let me go? I whispered achingly. There were bruises all over his face. I couldn t imagine myself there. With matching every emphasis pa. I said get out. Why did he have to d o that? Was this one of his seductions 101? You might be forgetting. Did he think I can just bear a child and leave him to his father? I suggest you go see a psychiatrist. My hair on the nape stood on ends. In close range as in close to my mou th. Pero syempre `yung masarap na kilabot. He said silently. In my predicament I wouldn t have noticed them or anyone else for that matte r.
Is he big? CM! I swore I blushed to the roots of my hair. Dati ko siyang manliligaw na artist din. `Yung t awang pinipilit lumandi. Wow. Was I that bad? Pero sabi nga ni Andrew E. Sus. Kasi may kasunod kang boy. And don t you ever dare slee p with Brad. bibigay pa lang. Nakita kong umuulan sa labas. Really? One brow arched. He was naughty and nice. the hot guys are jerks. He giggled.O. As in. Malak as pa naman radar ng mga mothers. I closed my eyes. Rowel? Ahm. Chillax Jeannie. `yung katawan. Parang gusto kong sabunutan itong si CM. I knew then that he won. I was sobbing profusely. Then I heard his monstrous laugh. Sigaw ko sa kanya. Jean di d. When I was a kid I never liked rainy days. Julian was one hell of a hot specimen. And very gay. Bibi? Bibi? Bibi? Bebe Gandang hari. And he called me. Wala akong pakialam kung pinagtitinginan man ako ng katulong ni Julian. sorry. He didn t know the meaning of love or even gi ving. Ano ba kasing iniisip mo? Masyado ng polluted `yang utak mo. Why was it so? I had living proofs. Sana nga gan on na lang. isa pang Bebe `yun e h. help me. Sabi niya kasi kapag umiiyak over a jerk hindi siya maririnig ni Mommy. Nagpapakamatay ka ba? Gusto mo bang magkasakit? . if I know. JEANNIE! One hand grabbed my arm and swung me around. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. Why not? Pwede ko `yung ipam-b lackmail kay Julian. O k aya naman ang bait mo kasi kasi parang charity lang. I thought it was a bit odd of my twi n to cry under the rain. Masyado siyang makasarili. dancing under the rain. Sus. Rowel s here. `Yu n nga lang pwede siyang pang-S. Ulam. Mabilis niyang pinakawalan ang mukha ko at nag-drive na siya pauwi. O inakala nilang ba liw na `ko. CM said tersely. He whispered and bunched my hair up roughly. Nakakaawa siya. Yep. Baritonong high-pitched. Wooooh! I shouted loudly. humanap ka ng panget at ibigin mong tunay . Yep.art went out to him. Whatever. gifts and very gentleman. `Coz I d kill both of you. Paano kung babae maging anak natin? Anak ko Jeannie. He was nice to me. Tipong ikaw pa ang aagawan ng boyfriend. But I found out I was doing the same thing. One hell of a horse. I avoided eye contact with him. He gave me flowers. Lagay mo sa CR `pagnaliligo si Julian. If I were you. I sighed as I clutched the wireless phone to my ears. I don t want the time to come that I would only feel hatred against Ju lian. Syempre laging naka-coat and tie `yang suplado mong asawa. CM. Sana vinideohan mo. As if there was no tomorrow. gora na ako sa gusto niya. Lahat ng sama ng loob ko sa mundo ay inilabas ko. My eyes were moist. CM? Geezers. Why? Asking your whereabouts. I found myself taking my shoes off and standing on Julian s lawn. and the hot-and-nice guys are gay. I agreed to his terms. Ikaw lang ang magdadala pero anak ko. One theory I realized: The nice? guys are ugly. I d like to spit right onto his demonic face. (secret on) God. Jeannie! Kulog lang `yun. you know. `Yung tipong `pagnaglak ad kayong dalawa sa mall feeling mo ang yaman mo. Knowing Jean s eccentricity. Hay nako Jeannie. I was stepping o n his Bermuda grass. In short. Ayokong makita n iyang malapit na `kong bumigay. Narinig kong naghikab si CM. Next time videohan mo ha? Bigyan kitang hidden camera.
Nung pagtalon ko kaya? What joke? That you lov e me? No. I knew it. Argh. pang-FAMAS na sana drama ko. Para bang hindi siya makapaniwalang ginawa ko talaga `yun sa kanya. A mixture of tears and rain. Then I started crying on his chest . On his face. Ha? Wow. NINETEEN Sometimes you d wished that things were easier. I probably lost one screw earlier. Ang lapit lapit ng mukha namin. I wanted to smack his handsome face only if he didn t look amused. Nagsasalubong ang mga kilay nito at may payong na dala. Under the rain. I closed my eyes. We were both wet. Are we going to start the baby making process here and now? I looked up. Was he worried? I shook my head. Tapos itinapat ko `yung mukha ko sa mukha niya. I wrapped my arms around his neck. Nalaglag `yung payong. At sabay kaming bumagsak sa Bermuda grass. That money was just a piece of pap er. I waited for him to do the next move. This was the magic moment. He pulled me roughly into his arms. 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 rubbed my nose against his. Gusto kong matawa sa itsura niya. didn t he? Get off me It was a joke. Eskimo kiss. Julian Niyakap niya `ko. Na sana hindi lang ako gustong i-detain dito ni Julian dahil sa utang ko. I was on top . Was I dreamin g? Tapos bigla siyang umubo. Bastos ka. Titig na titig siya sa `kin. Tapos malapit na super lapit na Nanunulis na `yung bibig ko. Hello? This was so small co mpared to what we d done. Nakakahiya na talaga.It was lightning. Can you believe that? He did say he loved me. Pilit kong tinatanggal ang mga patak ng ulan sa mata ko. My God. Halos maduling na kami sa titigan namin. I felt hot all over. Ok ay na eh. Don t even tell me! . I was wetting his tux. He said in amazement. What do you think are you doing? He asked na para bang nandidiri sa `kin! I blinke d thrice. If only it didn t have any value. I wrinkled my nose. Julian was really saying those words? Oh. My chest was flattened against his. Tapos tapos Hachuuuu! There. Pilit kong sumasayaw at nagtampisaw pero hawak pa rin niya ang braso ko. Syempre mahiya naman ako `di ba? Hindi ko pa rin namang nakakalimuta ng babae ako. I thought I was going to sneeze my head out. So I closed the distance. LOL. Hindi kaya magkapalit kami ng mukha? I smiled at him. You are my baby. On top of him. I looked up at him. He brushed the straining hair on my forehead. my God. Grabe. I love you Uhhh I couldn t believe it. Feeling ko nga matutunaw ako.
He was standing there. 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. Ba hala siya kung anong gusto niyang isipin. He proved to b e tempting. But it s as if as if you re going to eat me for dinner. Are you into drugs? I said I was kidding about you. I opened o ne good eye. He k nelt down in front of me. Wala namang pinainom sa `k in si Julian `di ba? Hindi kaya nilason niya na `ko? I groaned louder than the la st. my ey es almost bulged. Julian must have been an angel. . Alam ba niya `yung ibig sabihin ng salitang hambog ? No? I thought so. FROM YOU. I frowned. Ano na namang kalokohan `to? And stop doing doing that. Napaungol ako lalo. May dictionary ka ba dyan? He shrugged. Ohhh ohhh Jul ian Ohhh YUCK! GROSS! He just raised his brow and looked at me oddly. I closed my eyes. his wet shirt was clinging to his body. My eyes grew wide. Ano na naman bang pinagsisintir nito? His wet hair was clinging to hi s forehead. Ni-rape niya ba `ko? Bakit feeling ko para akong ginahasa? Ang sasakit ng mga kalamnan ko. my God. hindi ko na kasalanan `yun. 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. What am I doing? Badtrip na pinilit kong umayos ng upo. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung friends sila ni The Grinch. And stop staring at me like that! I know. I couldn t breathe. I screamed. Kasi parang hinihila ako sa antok. Pakipot pa. Ang sakit sakit ng ulo ko. making love in the rain. Oh. I said stop it. Then I imitated again louder. Hingal don. Basta `wag niya lang asahanag maghuhub ad ako sa harapan niya. Pag-umpugi n ko pa sila eh. Ano bang problema nito? Gusto kong sumigaw pero wala akong lakas. Pangalan ko. Bakit hindi ko man lang nalaman? Sayang naman.He winced. Promise. Sigaw sigawan niya `ko . Tsk. You sounded you sounded Sounded what? Like you are making out! For Pete s sake! Ha? Grabe. Oh well. I rolled my eyes heavenward. just s eeing him standing there with his shirt loving his body to perfection was making me ahm. I m handsome and you couldn t resis t that. sabi ko na nga ba Julian ha d a pretty fix on me from the start. he hissed and brushed his drenched hair. It was a great effort to slap the incredulity in his face. Jeannie Jeannie I thought my head was going to break into pieces. I wasn t so sure. Nakaupo ako sa couch! Basa. Sino bang may sabing ako lang pala ang n ag-iisip ng hindi kanais-nais dito! Akalain mo `yun. I know. Oh God. Will you stop that? angil nito. I ve heard that before. Napatingin ako sa kanya. hot. Alam mo `yung parang humalinghing na pusa? My mouth dropped open. In disguise. Narinig kong tinataw ag niya `ko. I was still suncking in my breath ever so slowly. May sakit ka ba? He s aid sarcastically. I moaned aloud. Ohhh My mouth opened in an indignant O. I tried to focus my eyes on him. me. Hingal dito. Do you ever know the word humility? Okay na magsungit siya. He knelt down in front of me. At ang mga kilay nito? Nagsasalubong na naman. Inirapan ko siya. Parang gusto niya na akong sakalin sa itsura niya. Ungol ako ng ungol. He was pacing to and fro. Nakita kong basang basa na `yung carpet. What the heck.
. Parang nawalang lahat ang panghihina ko. Walang p atawad. Forceful. You mani ac! I hissed through my teeth. I moaned a loud. She was in and out of consciousness. He frowned. Kung kanina y nagkakakawag ako. I felt his teeth nipped my lower lip. At w ala akong pakialam kahit bumabaha ng mura sa shower room. But she lay passive. Galit na binuhat niya ulit ako. he was definitely wrong. The he pulled down my jeans. God. Bakit hindi? Ang mga katulad niya ang da hilan kung bakit nagkakasala ang mga respetadong babaeng kagaya ko. He ripped it off me! Goodness. I made sure na nahirapan siya. Was he insane? We were in the shower room! Hanggang dito ba naman? I shrieke d. 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. Jeannie fainted! Napapikit ang mga mata niya. Rough. Santisima! Naman si Julian oh. Pakawalan mo `ko!!! Ti nakpan niya `yung bibig ko. Nanlaki `yung mga mata ko. Aba. Sa sobrang gigil ni Julian. pati dun sa baba. hindi ko alam kung panong tili ang gagawin ko. I wished that instant that I were a mermaid. Para akong lalagnatin . Julian noooo! I screamed and wailed. Like the way he always used to.Hubaran niya `ko! Joke lang. Tapos dahan dahang bumaba `yung mga mata ko dun sa kamay ni ya. In my blurring vision I saw Juli an hovering over me. Para siyang binuhusan ng malamig na t ubig. Oh. Pakawalan mo `ko! Pakawalan mo sabi ak ooo Ibinagsak niya `ko sa bathtub! He was really inconsiderate. Helllpppppppp And in fair ness. Natatarantang binuhat niya ito. He roughly cupped my left cheek. gracious. Naramdaman kong may nagbababa sa `kin sa tiles. Pumasok si Mommy! Jean! At ang mga katulong! We heard you scream. A slow knowing smile played about his kissable lips. He was a safe cover from the intrud . Kung akala niyang inaapoy sa pagnanasa si Jeannie. Hindi niya `ko pinansin! Tuloy-tuloy lang siya sa pagtanggal ng mga butones. Para akong inaapoy. Gosh. Our wet clothes were felt so paper-thin. I was burning hot. I swore. Well. mabilis pa sa alas-kwatrong yumakap ako kay Julian. Anong akala niya sa `kin bata?! I bit his hand. My.. The door burst open. Hindi ko alam kung anong l ubog sa hindi punong bath tub ang gagawin. Inaapoy ito sa lagnat. 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. Then I closed my eyes. Doon. Then h is mouth landed on mine. Sisigaw na talaga ako. Hotter. Namatay lahat. The likes of Julian should be banned.
I was trying to cover myself. was this déjà vu? I had nowhere to go. tapos tapos bibitawan niya `ko. Goodness. Ah. My stomach churned. Bahala? Ha! If I know. Then his hands submerged under the water. Parang hin di ako mahiwalay sa pagkakayakap sa kanya. He didn t look pleased with himsel f. Will you please get out? I shouted at him. Lumingon siya s a `kin. Don t you want to ask who? He just shrugged. Tignan ko lang kung makahalik pa siya ng ibang babae. Isn t it obvious? My mouth dropped open. Then he took the soap. There was someth ing endearing about a man who said that he could take on the world for me. Sana totoo. Parang binabarena `yung ulo ko. Hindi ko gusto ang ngiting iyon. What are you all doing here? Julian smiled. Darkness was pulling me down. Oh-kay.ers. Nanla laki ang mga mata ko ng Oh. He smirked. no. I looked at the alarm clock. pleaded with me to bathe her. Tinitig an niya `ko. A mere whisper. They all gasped. Napalingon siya dito. `Yung parang hinuhubaran kung hindi ko pa alam na hubad na `ko! I h issed. What what? You look as if you would kill. Hi ndi na `ko magtataka kung mas pa kung sasabihin niyang: I ll kill you Jeannie . Eight o`clock in the morning? I bolted upright. Hinawakan nito sa balikat si Julian at pilit inaalis mula sa `kin. my God. Nang lumabas na silang lahat. It me ant catastrophe. didn t I? Then I clos ed my eyes. Ako ang bahala sa `yo. I smiled too sweetly. Goodness. Parang batang bulong ko. That was only a snippet. Who said that killing a moron was against the law? Hindi ba pwe deng magbawas kahit isa? TWENTY I hated him. Julian smiled. Han ggang sa magbula `yung bibig niya. Julian wouldn t say something like that. He was such a monster. What? He asked innocently. I sucked in my breath. Julian I have hands. Anong masamang ginagawa mo sa kapatid ko? Tili si Jean. Then I d make him eat the cake of soap. Julian bathed me! He dressed me up! What did he thi . He scrubbed my stomach. Pinanlakihan ko siya ng mg a mata. I bit my lower lip. Betty Boop PJs. I really croaked. I gasped. He shrugged. At isinandal ang ulo ko sa bathtub. An g bigat ng pakiramdam ko. Anong gagawin mo? I looked around me. Kinapa ko `yung sarili k o. Sana hindi lang ako nananaginip. See? Your sister here wants me Oh. I woke up late that night. Gusto ko siyang lunurin sa bathtub. Buti alam mo. Hindi naman ako kasya sa butas ng banyo.
kumain ka na. I was about to talk again when he thrust the spoonful of kaning baboy in my mouth. No reply. Biglang bumukas `yung pinto. No more like poison me! My eyes stared incredulously. Medicine. Alam kong hindi uso sa mahihirap ang omelette . Parang biglang k umalam ang sikmura ko. eh? Nooo I bemoaned. An ong ginagawa mo dito? bulong ko. Omelette? Omelette? Ma y bago na palang tawag sa sunog na kaning baboy ngayon? Will you just be grateful and eat? He angrily shoved the plate of food on my lap. Bumagsak ang katawan ko sa higaan. EVER. parang utang na loob ko pa ang paggawa niya ng breakfast sa `kin. I arched one brow. Whatever. Excuse me! Gigil na humarap ako sa kanya. Sa daldal mong `yan. Wit h his bewitching smile. Preppy Ken. Julian? He didn t reply. I wanted to hit him with the lamp shade. Nakita kong napahiga siya kakatawa. I opened my mouth in disgust.nk of me? Barbie doll. What did he think of me? Hard-to-get `to no. I chewed it. `Yung tawang parang wala ng bukas. Sa bi nga pala ni Thrust the food on my mouth. Gusto kong sabihing: Amuin mo ko Kumain ka na. May takip iyon. Tawa. Day off ng mga katulong. I groaned inwardly. Surely I wasn t that fat. But still mukha pa rin iyong darak. thank you. Galit kaya ako. I really gasped aloud. Unti-unti akong napangiti. I glared at him. Breakfast. He really had a sweet and cari ng side. Evil Ken. Hindi naman masama lasa niya. Don t make me laugh. Hindi ba niya `ko papatayin? I looked at the tray in front of me. I gritted my teeth. Naramdaman kong lumubog `yung kama sa gilid ko. My hands were itchi ng to take those and cover his That would be the day Jeannie. Patalikod sa kany a. Sabi nga ni mommy. Surely Ano ng tingin niya sa `kin? BABOY? Ano `to? Kaning baboy? Why. I took the pillow and covered my ear. I gasped. Basta hinalo lang niya ang pagkain. I understand. He tapped my shoulder. Pasalamat siya gutom ako. Not talkin g would be the cause of your death. He even yawned. Hmp. My God. Tawa. Tapos bigla niya `kong inabutan ng tablet. He tapped again my shoulder. Hey. parang n agkaroon siya ng dalawang sungay. ang mahi rap kuhanin mahirap pakawalan. Ha! Grabe. Naniningkit ang mga mata ko. Ang kapal niya! Grabe. This side of Julian that I wasn t used to. Bakit nga pala nandito sina mommy kahapon? Oh! I forgot to call CM. Julian wala na naman akong lagnat samahan mo `ko mamaya kina Sumpak ulit. There the Ken stood. Wow. He was really going to kill me. My head was poundi ng. Binuksan ko `yung silver cover. He was e ven clutching his stomach. What a better way of saying Shut up Jeannie . Sa paningin ko. Confirmed. Jeannie Rose Leviste? YOU? WON T TALK? Tawa. Julian ano b a! Will just give me peace Jeannie? I opened my mouth to talk again. He started laughing. Napatingin ako sa unan ng masama. Forcefully. Fine. Tumagilid ako. All at once my heart started hammering. Thank you. He said with sarcasm. I wasn t giving him peace? If I give you peace I won t talk to you. Betty Boop! Kumain ka na. Mabilis akong humarap sa kanya. Ganon pala huh? . Yep.
I frowned. Napapanis na ata l away ko. Mamamatay nga ata ako. Gusto ko ng magsalita. You hated lies. Mabait po `pag tulog. He ll hate me. I was tight-lipped and turned to his aunt. Tumaas `yung kilay ko. The voices were familiar. I was just a very keen-observer. Nanghihinang naglalakad ako. Waiting. He would break furnitures and lashed at people. I would have turned around and walked away. He turned around and just walked on! I saw the way he carried himself like the king of the world. Silence would really kill me. Ikaw ang may kasalanan ako ang umaani! She never love d me so I got tired of waiting for her. At sabi nga. Ang bilis . He just kept on talking. They were all looking at me. It was as if they (Julian s supposed dad and Uncle Bert) told me that it wa s the end of the world. Bert? When will you take all the blame and this buuullshit end? TELL ME! Parang may bombang sumabog. You know I can t. We Aherm! Aherm! Malakas kong ubo. His broad back was turned to me. Julian smiled at me and raised his wineglass in a mocking salute. Would he slash his wrists? No. Uuwi na tayo. Nagsasalita siya. Deadma lang ako. Mabait na asawa ba itong si Julian hija? Tanong ni Aunt Risan sa `kin. Ang sinabi niya lang kanina we re going some place . Paano ko sasabihin sa kanya? Julian your family wasn t supposed to be who they were. simpleng papansin. Naiisip ko pa lang an g mga gagawin niya y kinikilabutan na `ko. darling? Nanlalaki ang mga mata ko. Parang balewala lan g naman sa kanya. Alam kong nan anadya lang siya. I was trying to find the comfort room. It was difficult ignoring someone who didn t want to be ignored. Ayusin mo sarili mo. My hands were cold and c lammy. Ang katawan ko. He ordered. What are you doing here? I swore. Sabi ko na nga ba. I even bathed her yesterday. He was challen ging me. Jeannie? I almost jumped in surprise. See? Silence means yes. You have to tell him! You can t just keep this damned secret forever. Yes.I would have cried aloud if not for Uncle Bert and Julian s dad. I was about to turn away when some snatches of the conv ersation caught my attention. Gusto ko ng ngatngatin ang plato o ka ya ibato iyon sa kanya. Parang teledrama lang. Inirapan ko si ya. Nangangalay na braso ko ah. I wasn t really e avesdropping. He raised one brow at me. I was true to my promise. We were both sile nt on the way here. Didn t you. The side of his mouth lifted slightly. I was rooted to the ground. Parang sinasabi ng ti nging iyong akala ko ba hindi tayo bati? . In short. Kanina pa kita hinahanap. Hindi kami bati! Hindi ko siya papansinin! Argh. Inabot ko ang kamay ko sa kanya. most of the time. Kasalanan ko bang halos rinig na ng buong bahay ang pag-uusap nila ? Sus. `yung mga taong curious `yu n `yung matatalino. Ito ang napapala ng mga tsismosa. Wow. Parang may sariling isip ang mga paa ko. `Yun lang! G oodness. Tapos napatapat ako sa library. He frowned and sighed. At unang una ako sa mga taong iyon. Hindi kaya pulutin ako sa kalsada `pagsinabi ko `yun? Pam-blackmail! Tama. But then all your lif e you were living a big damned lie. Smile. He r olled his eyes. Poor you. Parang bumalik ang sakit ng ulo ko. I sighed. And be polite. Nagsasawa na `ko sa ganito. Aunt Risan my wife s very pampered. She loved you damn you! Silence descended. ha. Well. My knees were going to buck le. I looked as if I d seen a ghost. Nod. His whole being would surely break into a thousand pieces. And she loves me dearly I would have gasped. Wala nama n talaga akong pakialam. They all laughed. When will you tell Julian about his true parentage.
It was one hell of a secret. I smiled mischievously. Sipon . for sure he would blame himself for the separati on. Parang sinasabing nasiraan na nga talaga . And hugged him from behind. somebody. Ever since that phone call earlier. Masarap palang matulog ng may katabi. Well. And because I wasn t that bad I hoped God and St. Akalain ko bang hindi ko matiis and dyablong si Julian? I could have gone straight to a reporter or to any journa list. you can t live without me. Nagsusungit na naman. I ran to him. If he d only known. I couldn t breathe a little. Ang gulo no? Kasing gulo ng u tak ni Julian. He started laughing demonically. TWENTY ONE We went straight home. And and Julian never slept wit h me. I fell in step beside him. Tandaan mo Jeannie may malaking utang na loob siya sa `yo. Hindi ko na siya pinakialamanan. Pero hindi ko ginawa. Half of my body w as covered by. Katabi! Then it clearly dawned on me. he might n ot know yet but he d thank you later. Julian was in the study room fussing ove r documents. And the one he grew up with was really his uncle. May utang na loob ka sa `kin.. The hands tightened around my m idsection. I almost screamed. And I bet.. Later that night I went to sleep early. I hiccupped through his shirt. Baliw ka na ba? He said drily while looking at me in disg ust. 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. Uncle Bert was his dad. I ll tell you something you don t know. Na hindi ko m an lang alam kung sino. As in. For the first time I rendered pity for the high and mighty Julian Sunico. Luha. He sighed exaggeratedly. Habang pilit pang tinatanggal `yung kamay ko s a harap niya! I tightened my hands around his middle. `di one ganda okay. I snuggled closer. He didn t ev en bother to open the door for me. Parang may nakadagan sa katawan ko. Hmm? Humigpit bigla `yung kapit niya sa `kin. . I sighed pleasurably. Umiling-iling ito. Kaya tatanawin niya sa `kin itong isang malaking utang n a loob. Ang lakas ng impact. In my dreamy state. You need me. I cushioned my head against his back. Nasaktan pa nga ` yung dibdib ko sa pagtama sa likod niya. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. What are you doing? He said softly. Ni-lock ko `yung pinto kanina. And because he was very much a gentleman. Parang hindi niya napapansin na kasama niya `ko. But it didn t even bother me. Bumaba na kami ng sasakyan. Laway ko. Peter was looking right down at me us .ko. Eh. Somebody was sleeping beside me! My eyes grew wide . one baet point na `ko.
This mig ht be heaven. A person seemed vulnerable when asleep. Why are you in my room? Bulong ko. Ano ba. Excuse me? Bad breath. Balewalang dumagan ulit siya sa `kin! Na parang ba ta. Hawak pa `yung walis. He wore his underwear not a whit about me ogling standing there. Then he went to work . Parang balewalan g naglakad siya papunta sa closet. L alo niyang nilakasan `yung paghilik. Hello? Hindi ko kaya nakita! Wala kaya akong nakita. Pinipilit nitong pigilan ang mga kamay ko. No phone calls. May pupuntahan tayo? U . I started pushing. Hindi naman ah. ganon. luckily his back was turned to me. Nakiliti ako sa paghinga niya sa leeg ko. Yuck. Ah. I closed the door shut in effect. Inumang ko `yung kamao ko sa likod niya tapos humarap siya. I heard him chuckle. Leave me alone. napadaan lang ma am. Naghilik siya. Sige magpanggap kang wala ako dito. Julian ungot ko. wasn t that my weakness? Men with nice rounded bu tts. Ang KAPAL! Mabilis na itinapat ko ang palad sa bibig at bumuga buga. Maybe Julian needed some loving after all. Ang ulo nito ay parang batang isiniksik sa leeg ko. I know. Inamoy amoy ko pa man din `yung unan na hinigan niya! Tapos `pagdating ng b reakfast hindi ako papansinin? Grabe. Gigil na sinundan ko siya. Sleep. Sabay biglang takbo. But my. With gaps between my fingers. her eyes were big and even her mouth was a big O. Bakit ba ang sungit sungit mo He slammed the door in my face! I was so shocked. Pero utos pa rin. Julian san ka kumain? He shrugged. Tinatanong lang naman kita. Didn t he know that he was way bigger than me? He covered half of my b ody. arhm scratch that. Then I pushed him hard. Ah. Hell. Mabaho ba `ko? For the first time. Gigil kon g sabi. My God. I tenderly caressed his hair. Then I looked over my shoulder. One word uttered. My chest was flattened against his. Niyugyog ko ulit. Nice butt. I was going crazy with boredom. `Yung isa naming maid nakatayo din! Promise. Hindi man lang ako pin agtangkaan ni Julian. Three words. Hindi ko alam kung bakit. he was fast asleep. I covered my eyes with my hand. The man s breath was fanning my cheek. Traveling. Unfortunately. My eyes slowly widen ed He was gloriously buck-naked. What are you doing? I frowned when he started puttin g his clothes in a traveling bag. May alzheimer s na ata. Lapasta ngan! Tinitigan ko siya ng masama. Dirediretso sa study room niya. Nakalimutan ba niya? He cuddle d with me last night! I thought we were okay? Ngayon ko napatunayang maraming na didisgrasya sa akala. Niyugyog ko `yung balikat niya.Madilim. He came back late that night. I smiled sweetly. You scared me inis na bulong ko. He wasn t talking to me the whole day! I woke up with the empty side of the bed. Travel. I angrily swung the door loud enough. Aalis. Alam mo ba Julian na nakakainis ka? Nawala na `yung antok ko dahil sa He covered my mouth! Inis na tinatanggal ko iyon. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. Seconds late r.
I realized then that my world started revolving around Julian. He moved toward me. Nobody would tor ment me. For a week! Na hindi man lang ako kasama? Ang galing. I sniffed it. I rolled on my stomach and covered the pillow over my head. How was that? Nakahiga lang ako. Ang O. I was a little absorbed with my emotions. I ate silently at the breakfast table. dangsin-ibogo sip-eulgeoya I ll miss you. THE HELL I CARE! Jeannie! Ano?! Galit kong harap kay Julian. Kung ako lang din CM mas gusto kong maiwan kasama ng asawa ko! Mabilis na sumakay ako ng sasakyan. Parang hindi gumagana `yung utak ko. Anong ginag awa nito dito? Julian put his luggage in the compartment without a word to me. CM was waiting for me downstairs. One week kong h indi makikita si Julian? Argh. Yo ur hubby called me. CM said from behind. Tapos tinalikuran niya na `ko. He could really be attracti ve and sexy without trying. Nagulat ako. Wala na `kong yayamutin. Hindi niya ako pinansin. We were all quiet. I pouted. Parang baligtad? Whatever. Oh. I One more week of not abiding that damned co ntract. Ang laki-laki ng bahay ako lang naman at si CM. Basta lagay lang siya ng lag ay ng gamit. I was hugging Julian s pillow tightly. I didn t even notice that we were already inside the airport. A. So planado ito? G anon ba? Why didn t you tell me? Galit kong harap sa kanya. ko. Teka. `di ba kapag naka-pout nanunulis `yung lips? Hindi man lang makara mdam! Tapos nakita ko sa likod si CM. No one would shout at me. He even demonstrated with his hands. That was it. Tayo? Nagmamadaling tinignan pa nito ang wrist watch. I was t rying hard not to look at his back while walking away. Jeannie . Parang nakalimutan ko nga ding magpinta. He even smiled at me. Baliw na ata talaga ako. He put on a shirt and his rugged jeans. Kahit man lang hoy wala. He was mouthing: Kiss. A week. Naiinis ako sa kanya! Kahit `wag na siyang bumalik. I punched the pillow like it was his face. Mabobored lang siguro ako kaya ako nagkakaganito. Anong sinabi niya? Hindi kaya minura ako ni Juli an? TWENTY TWO Four full days. Kinilig pa ang bruha. One week. At saka lang ito ngumisi sa `kin. I didn t even remember him. I sat down while panting. Aalis tayo Jeannie.mupo ako sa gilid ng kama. I was just plain bored . Tapos tinalon talunan ko iyon. Julian! Oo Jeannie narinig kita. Tapos pinisil niya `yung bab a ko. Inis na binato ko ang unan niya sa kama. I didn t miss him. Para akong robot. Wala naman talaga akong pakialam. No phone calls. Sabi ko sa sarili ko at ginawa pang p uppet na nagsasalita ang kamay ko. O binabaon ko ba s iya sa utang through his credit card. He was going away. I m going to Las Vegas for a business trip. I couldn t say anything. Not even a word. Oo nga. Kung ako lan g Jeannie mas gusto kong maiwan kasama `yung asawa mo. He was even immersed in painting a landscape. Anong sinabi niya? I stared blankly at CM. Ni hindi man lang nag-alalang tumawag para itanong kung buhay pa `ko. Samahan daw muna kita. Okay lang `yun! Mabuti nga `yun. He studied his nails.
Eee. Bakit ba kasi nilock lock ko pa `yung drawer? Stupid of me. It stopped ringing just when the key turned in. Double Sh!t. Just curious. Okay. I smi rked at him. He stood up from my bed. Ahh he nodded indulgently. Bwisit. Mauubos talaga buhok niya sa `kin. I looked at him squarely. CM!!! I wanted to wipe the grin off hi s face. Smile Jeannie. I didn t even look at the screen. Kitang kita kong parang hinayang siya. Big time. `di ba? Sakalin ko kaya `tong si CM? Once lang. It opened. I gnawed the inside of my left cheek. Me? Missing him? Bull. I gasped and glared at him. 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. It tasted ashes on the tongue. I didn t like CM s expression. CM said. Hello Julian? Jeannie kain na tayo! Sh!t. Tama. What bad news? . CM won! I hated them both. my mobile started ringing. Nagmamadali ako. you don t miss him? Umupo ulit ako. Hindi! Hello. dude. Tatalikod pa lang sana ako ng tumunog ulit iyon. Pilit ginagaya si Ann Curtis. I couldn t eat that muc h. CM said. Oh? I don t care if you don t believe me CM. Para akong tangang hawak hawak `yung cell phone sa tenga ko. Huwag lang talaga siyang makalapit-lapit. So. The door opened. I shouldn t have mentioned that name! CM was giving me those slow teasing grins I hated these days. My hand was trembling. Anong sabi niya? Hindi ka naman interesado. Umiinom ng isang tasang kape si CM. I hissed and stared at him pointedly. Namimiss mo na no? Sabi nito at umupo sa tabi ko. That would be a cold day in hell. I forced my muscles to move. Alam mo naman si Julian napakapasensyoso! I gritted my teet h and sighed. I reahed for it under my accessories along with other swell stuff. Boom . you know. Argh. Gusto kong ipakain sa kanya iyon. Eh. bakit ka nagmumukmok? Ako? Nagmumukmok? My God CM. because you re not interested never mind. Kahit `wag na siyang bumalik. Mamaya mag-celebrate tayo tutal wala naman dito si Julian. To my astonishme nt. I m just resting. Sayang sasabihin ko pa man sana sa `yong tumawag kanina si Julian Well. I almost tripped with the blanket in a hurry to g et to my cell phone in the drawer. He gave me that eat-your-heart-out sm ile. Julian? Badtrip. Meron tayong bente kwatro oras sa isa ng araw. Anong ginagawa niya? Dinadaig si Bill Gates? Tsk. Naiinis ako s a mga taong magkukwento tapos mambibitin! My hands were getting itchy to wring h is neck. Sorry na. Tapos tinalikuran niya `ko at isinara ang pinto `paglabas. We ate dinner serenely. You should understand your husband. Inis na humiga ulit ako at tinalikuran siya.That bolted me upright. I don t want to be the bearer of bad news Jeannie. I said nonchalantly. How could he be my friend? He had done nothing but to hum iliate me.
Angko s footprints. He was a major lo ser. The light fli ckered from the lamp shade were casting shadows on the wall to the woman sleepin g serenely on the bed. Julian She turned to the side. My eyes grew wide. Parang slow motion na unti-unti akong tumingi n sa gilid ko. Napasubsob ak o sa dibdib niya. He kissed her na pe softly. He opened the door and slid inside the semi-darkened room quietly. I whispered. He grunted. I went to bed that night with my head pounding so hard it hurt. Napatingala ako sa kanya. my left arm jabbed som ething. Weren t his mother and father a one great example ? He was a very cynical man. She stirred in her sleep. Someone groaned beside me. kabaligtaran ang nangyayari sa totoong buhay. This was just one of his grand jokes. Huy. Ang hirap kapag magkalaban ang puso at ang utak. He look ed a bit disoriented. And his fingers were itching to put an L word on his forehead. Jeannie could disappear one day. Ayt. And he was afraid of this from the very first fvcking day he met her. It was just that he was afraid to get too attached. I slowly smiled. That was the most hateful word in a businessman s vocabulary. That was the last of my conscious thoughts. Julian changed the word messy to SEXY. Lumapat ang likod nito sa dibdib niya. TWENTY THREE I woke up with a start. dangsin-eul salanghabnida. Parang hindi ko ata naintindihan ang mga sinabi ni CM. They lost millions. Disoriented. I thought men with stu bbles looked messy before. Jules Tinalikuran niya `ko! Oh-kay. He was whi spering what seemed like love words to me.Pabagsak na ang negosyo ng mga Sunico. Tapos nakita k o `yung biceps ni Julian. His mindset was shouting he didn t need her. I slept like the dead. He couldn t afford to lose his heritage. I stretched my arms. Kukurutin ko sana `yung braso ko. `Yun ang narinig ko. There was nothing cons tant and permanent in this word. Goodness. God. Tapos pumikit ulit. He cuddled her in spoon fashion. Marahang humiga siya sa tabi nito at tumagilid. I was really dreaming! Oh. Eight? Ten? Ang tagal ko na d in palang pinagtyatyagaan si Julian. At mas mahirap ipaglaban ang isang bagay na alam mong matagal ka nang talo. Maingat niya itong pinagmasdan. She was one thing he didn t need right now. Oooh lala . 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. Tapos humarap ulit siya sa `kin. Why not? . Ine-expect ko bang nandun si Sadako? Oh great. He opened one good eye. He knew those facts might kill him. I love you. 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. The word complication was writt en all over her face. Even in deep slumber she came to him willingly. At nalilis ang kumot mula dito. He didn t really know what bullsh!t happened t o him. I m sorry Jennie. And my! His chest was uncovered. Bankrupt. He found himself smiling oddly. Befo re I knew it his arm wrapped around my waist and pulled me closer. I pouted. Sabi ko na nga ba. Julian. It s the truth. Now. The investors in Las Vegas were pulling out. His heart told him otherwise. But but hey I had this dream last night. wasn t it? Si Julian? Bankrupt? Bugger.
He regarded me with incredulity. Jeans. Uh-oh. Ginalaw mo naman `yung mga gamit ko! Even my baseball is missing. Tingin sa lampshade. He chuckled. Tapos inabot niya sa `kin `yung toothbrush ko. As in nada? Meaning. I winced as I saw him striding down the stairs. Grabe. Why do you have no clothes on? I parroted. I gritted my teeth. Naninigas na `yung leeg ko. Hinuhubaran? More like sinu sunog. I know you want me now Jeannie. Ano kayang pinakain kay Julian don? Na-realize niya sigurong mahirap ng makahanap ng isang Jeannette Rose Leviste sa buong mundo. Parang kagat lang `yun ng langgam. He ripped the magazine off my hands and threw it wherever it landed. Mayamaya lamang we were brushing our teeth side by side. I swore I blushed to the roots of my hair. I gulped. Tumalikod ako sa kanya ng tumayo na siya sa harap n g salamin. Damn. A bit. Na para bang nababaliw na `ko! Tapos tumayo na siya na parang walang pakialam. Para kaming naghahabulan sa maliit na kama. He gave me that come-on smile. malakas kaya kiliti ko. Oo. he became a bit ge ntler with. Pero ngu mingiti na rin siya ngayon. My. But not at him . Tapos `yung tingin n a `yun yung para akong hinuhubaran? Are you insane? Inis na lumayo siya sa `kin. I hated him! Hindi na siya nahiya sa ayos niya. Geezers. I winced. Kinikilig talaga ako. He then hugged me and carried me to the bathroom. Well. He planted his hands on his hips. Tapos nagtititili ako. He was silent. what the Confirmed. Tingin sa flooring. It was un-Julian to do those things for me. I pouted. Ayy. if I would be living with him forever I couldn t imagine. naninigaw pa rin siya. Tapos nagbuklat ako ng magazine. Not lower Jeannie! But hey. He even make it a point to dine with me at night. Hinila niya talaga ako.I pinched him slowly and ever so painfully. Nangangalay na `ko. Pe ro Julian toned down a bit. L ukot na naman ang mukha. Inis na humarap ako. he wasn t that showy. Oh. sayang! LOL. Who are you asking me or the bed? I looked him in the eyes. I clutche d the headboard. He had already a to wel on. Why. Julian didn t mention anymore about my debt or the baby making cont ract. Nanghinayang lang. Si Julian nga! Nagsasalubong ang mga kilay nito. What did you do with my things?! What things? Painosente kong sabi. . But I m tired. I was a bit tempted. He often scowled. Not that I was disappointed. Why couldn t I close my eyes? Why do you have no clothes on? Not a stitch! A slow smile cracked about his lips. But our eyes met th rough the mirror. Grabe magkaka-stiff neck ata ako kakating ala sa kanya. Feeling ko ang bilis humaba ng buhok ko. Sa kama. I was like in fairy land for three m ore weeks. Na para bang walang pakialam. Just a bit. Jeannie! Sabi ko sa inyo a bit lang eh. I woke up having him beside me. What! Inis niyang tanong habang hinahanap `yung jeans niya! Yes. He said forlornly. `Yun nga lang. Nanggigil lang naman ako. men had no modesty! I slept in my birth suit. Ang kapal! I shrieked when he pulled my feet from the be d. He tickled me on each side. Some things changed in him after his business trip. Kailangan ko pang pum asok. God Jeannie look elsewhere but him! Tin gin sa ceiling. was he seducing me? It wasn t working! It was oh-so-tempting. I lacked sleep. Anyhow. Hello? It was daytime! Tapos tumata gos pa `yung sinag ng araw mula sa sliding door.
Pero hello? Kailangan pa bang ipamukha sa `kin na regalo `yun ng ex niya? EX na nga `di ba? Meaning X. Her tummy s five months now. Kung sa bagay. Hinarap niya `ko. Because Julian was Julian. Then we hugged each other. Parang nag-init `yung ulo ko. Tricia s a part of the past.I pouted. . Alin `yun baseball bat niyang may nakalagay pang From me to you? YUCK! I don t know. CM s brow raised. Parang tumaas lahat ng dugo ko sa ulo ko. blackli sted na. Winner! Tumili pa siya. you know. You might want to join Jeannie? Seryosong sabi n ito. She knew CM by the photos I e-mailed to her before. Matino namang kausap `tong si friend. Parang balewalang tumayo ito. ang big deal ng nakaraan para sa inyo. Pero `yung Vincent. Was he treating my sister well? Ngumiti sa `kin si Jean na parang inaassure ako. And hey. Muntik na kong kiligin dun. How rude . He sighed. I felt a pang of envy. See? He even gave Tricia a very luxuri ous gift! Ako? WALA. Jeannie? Tumili siyang lumapit sa `kin. Jean let s go. He was looking right through me. I t was gross to even imagine. He si ghed exaggeratedly. Anong isasali ko? Wala pa nga akong napipinta simula dumating a ko dito. No. Once in a while. okay fi ne. Alam mo ba `yung feeling na gu sto mong magpa-amo. Did you know why Julian s business got a downturn? CM s eyes squinted at their backs. He gave me the creeps. Babalik na `ko ng States the day after tomorrow. Tapos naghikab ako. This Vincent was second on the list. Listen to me sweetheart. I didn t want him to change. siya naman ang magbabayad. Mga ka-federation ko ata ang judges. I frowned. I m not good with explaining myself. argh. It s time. Okay. There was m y sister. We chat a little for a while. I thought he was going to tell me go to hell . Tapos lumingon ako. Hindi naman talaga masama ugali niya. I didn t know. For me it wasn t even practical eating or even drinking a cup of coffee for how much! Tsk. he really was a changed man. Tell me you love me and I ll forget you even dated Tricia once u pon a time. Tipong mag-iinarte ka kasi gusto mong lambingin ka niya. Hindi ko n a itatanong kung anong o much better sinong nilalapastangan niya sa isip niya. He was eyeing me like. My mouth almost dropped open. Ang kapal ko naman kung sabihin kun g he was lusting after me. But I knew deep down he cared about me. Wel l. I should have been understanding. Sana may baby na rin ako. Paint Julian while sleeping nude. There was something there. If he would just kiss me and tell me he was sorry then he wouldn t be Julian at al l. Nakakainis sa inyong mga babae. He slowly smiled at me. if I was going to ask for the moon. Vincent? Hmm. Were rich men born to be airheads? Julian for one. In exchange I gave her a sculpture of Venus de Milo. Well. Tapos nanulis `yung bibig ko. eh kung tutuusin I was my sister s dead ringer. Kung buhusan kaya kita ng kumukulong kape? Gusto mo? I smirked. Hindi ko gusto `yung ngiting iyon ni CM. I glanced at him. Ngumuso ito kay Vincent. Two weeks from now may gaganapin g Fine Arts contest sa New York. I silently wished as I touched my sister s rounded stomach . That s Tricia s birthday gift to me. Ewan ko ba dito kay CM. At nauna na kay Jean. It was a little bit over a month and a half simula ng bukingan portion na `yun. I smirked at him. I shrugged. And that guy. Anong ibig mong sabihin CM? Nagkita kami sa Starbucks. sometimes he was an asshole. I mean. 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. we could indulge in life s luxuries once in a while . For the win `yun te! Parang kinikilig na tumingala pa ito. Tricia gave it to me on my 21st birthday.
Na-realize kong ang sagwa pala. I looked pale. He changed. Jean s not like that. kelan ba naging negative ang plus sign? Parang nababaliw na sabi ko sa sarili. You re gross. I laughed silly at myself. It had been ab out a month and a half since that night. Bakit ako tatanungin mo kayo ang kambal `di ba? Anyway. napakapit ako sa silya. My phone started ringing. I gasped. Hindi pwedeng artista Jea nnie.Wait. I was a bit disconcerted about mothers who left their children withou t a by-your-leave. Positive? Malamang Jeannie. Jeannie? Are you okay? Okay? I groaned. TWENTY FOUR I stared at myself in the mirror. My sister s well-informed. He cut the line off. We weren t even married legally! Dahil nga null and void ang marriage contract namin. My head was spinning. Hello? Umuwi ka na. Why not? Sa kotse siya nabuo. what would happen to me? I couldn t just give my baby up. Just like that. Anak ko ito eh. Ano `yun mga tuta? Basta na lang ipapamigay. Pero ayoko. what do you mean? He shrugged. Oh. She s one of the cronies of Vincent. Kinakabahan ako habang hinihintay ko ang result ng PT. Siguro magiging car racer anak ko `paglaki. Raised my han d then pouted my lips. Seriously. Ngayon din. CM even suggested we go to the OB. be careful what you wished for coz you just might get it. What? I threw up on him. 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. Who s her baby s father anyway? Isn t Brad her boyfriend? Parang naguguluhang napatingin ako sa kanya. Plus sign. So ano? Lalaking bastardo ang anak ko? Hindi ko napansing umiiyak na pala ako. I don t know. baka naman na g-eenie mini mynie moe `yang kapatid mo? Sino sa tatlo ang tatay ng anak ko? Sosy al. I giggled. We have a flight to catch up. `Yung hikbi ko naging hagulgol na. I hugged my knees to myself. May nagbago ba? Nag-pose pa ako. He shrugged. Nasulot niya ang mga investors ni Julia n. Artist yes. This tim e he s got his revenge against the Sunicos. CM. God. Goodne ss. But not as an artist slash actress. Who do you think? Mahina kong sabi. Naiiyak na napaupo ako sa tiles. But he didn t tell an ything about us being together forever. Julia I gritted my teeth in anger. I hadn t thought about it. You re kidding me. Hindi kaya buntis ka ba? My head swam with all the possibilities. Then my vision became blurry. That one s ruthless. He shrugged. I wanted to cry and howl at the same time. Pinaghirapan ko kaya ang paggawa dito. Then I slowly peeked at it with one eye. Kaya nga nagtataka ko dyan sa kapatid mo. Siguro may mga v . Akala ko ba nagbago na siya? Mabilis akong tumayo. Could it be? As mommy told me. If ever na totoo man syempre `yung tatay ng anak ko ang gusto kong kasama. no. I yanked my tee shirt up. I know. Bakit ko pa kasi pinirmapirmahan.
Lalo akong naiyak. I might melt. I swore I wanted to curse Julian. Gusto ko siyang makita. Mauna ka na! Hindi ako sa sama! He scowled. Hindi ba niya alam na buntis ako? Sumisigaw siya? `Di kaya marinig ng baby `yun? What is the sigaw niya. Hindi ko sinadya `yun no! Gross. Masyadong matapang . Every woman deserved to be wooed. God. Sabi ko. We re going Nabitin ang pagsigaw nito. Napakasama ng ugali niya. He carried me like a sac k of rice. Kadiri man halos isubsob ko na ang mukha ko sa bowl. Then I sniffed his shirt . He sighed. Mamayang gabi na `yung fl ight. Layuan mo `ko! What! I said get away from me! Excuse me? He looked at me incredulously. Tapos tinampal ko `yung bibig niya. Napakapit ako sa PT at mabilis na itinago sa likod ko. Tapos pinipilit niyang nila layo `yung polo shirt niya sa `kin. he whispered. Ang baho mo kaya. Julian buntis ako panagutan mo `ko! Baka sakalin ako nito ng w ala sa oras. At nilayuan nga ako! Didn t he know that when a woman said she hated you it meant she cared about you. He groaned. `Yung tingin niya sa `kin `yung tingin na parang baliw na talaga `ko. Bakit ba ayaw tumigil ng mga luha ko? Parang gusto kong maglupasay. Parang nanga sim `yung sikmura ko. I smiled and caressed my stomach. Sabi ko lay uan mo nga ako. Oi. I gritted my teeth. Umiiyak na sumuka ak o sa bowl. Tumulo `yung sipon ko. I shook my head. Biglang bumukas ang pinto. Juliet Jean if ever the baby s a she. my God. My mouth dropped open. The grea t Julian Sunico? Parang takot na takot akong hawakan. Ta pos pinunasan niya `yung bibig ko ng basang face towel. At mabilis inilayo ang mga braso kong nakataas sa kanya. Jeannie! What is wrong with you? Wala siyang choice. Then I sniffed again. At `pagsinabing layuan mo `ko ang ibig sabihin lang nun ay pilitin mo `ko. It was just that. I already love you baby JJ. Tapos iyak na naman ako. Jeannie stop this nonsense okay? Aalis tayo ngayon din. Disgusted. I wasn t so sure why I couldn t just tell him right away. fine with me. . And Jean(pronounced as John) Julian if a he. Before I could ev en say stop sniggering at me my stomach turned upside down. Get away from me! I screamed at him. it was difficult to carry extra pounds for nine months then you d just just Argh. Well. That kind of beast scowl he always had. Niyakap ko siya. Para akong batang nagpapabuhat. Anon g sasabihin ko. And I shoved him away from me. Gosh. Go ahead. Ano bang problema ko? What s wrong Jeannie? I saw concern in his eyes.alid reasons sila. I said get away Will you just shut up? Para kang loro. Naawa siguro sa `kin at saka ako niyakap. Nakita kong hindi siya magkandatuto. Napakasama talaga ng ugali nito. I would have died. Tapos Oh. matter with you? frustrated na bumab a `yung sigaw nito. He rolled his eyes ceilingward. I wasn t here to sit judgement on them. My eyes watered again. I pouted then tears readily pooled down m y eyes. Per o naiinis din akong makita siya at the same time. WHAT! Mabilis nitong inamoy ang sarili. Hindi ko gusto ang amoy ng pabango niya. Sigaw pa! Napahikbi ako. Jeannie! If you want to fly to the moon. Para akong masusuka. Basang basa na ang mukha ko ng luha.
Sabay himas sa tyan. Kaya la ng baka kuyugin ako dun. we need someone to volunteer to sing for us. I see. he s really sweet. Through the dim light his face was arhm. Sus. Kung makatsansing. I couldn t just help imagining the devil himself sing ing a love song for me in front of everybody. So. So is the lucky girl that one? Todo smile ako. Wala na talagang matinong masabi ito. Are you single? Julian regarded me with intense dislike. The gay who impersonated President Gloria Arroyo patted my husband s rear! Aba. Tumaas `yung kilay ko dun. lover boy anong kakantahin mo? I don t know how to sing. At halos bumaon sa braso ko ang kamay niya sa pagkakahawak sa `kin. It wasn t one of those sexy grins or even the self-mocking half- . Oh. galit na bulong nito sa `kin. Only if I would get out of here alive later. Bumaling ulit ako sa kanya. He teasingly smiled at me. He was shaking hi s head. ngayong umaga lang `yan `pagdating ng gabi bati na ulit kayo. Sisigaw sana akong asawa ko `yan . Hindi ko hahayaang madungisan ng dugo mo ang baby JJ ko no. Napalingon agad ako. At tumiklop na si CM. I was waiting for his response. Baby JJ? Excited? Syempre! Of course. Hello Julian Jeannie s just One angry look. Kaya nga nate-tempt na din akong mag-asawa para may kumukulbit na rin sa `kin `paggabi. My. Parang sinasabing patay ka talaga sa `kin . Like in a slow motion I turned around. Nagkita kami sa isang gay bar kinagabihan. I hissed and glared at him. Uh-oh. expressionless but I clearly saw the way he was looking at me . Effective. going home. And he loves me so damned much The hell I don t know how to He hissed. Jules kasi CM! Baling ko kay CM. Then my smile slowly faded when Julian cracked a slow. Sorry Julian. Ako. Napatingin ako sa mga halamang dagat sa stage while Julian kept pulling my arm. Parang nababagot na sabi nito. Yes? My husband will sing! CM groaned. Anyone? I smiled. Bakit may unfortunately pa?! Really? Very unfortunate nga. Na tapat dito ang spotlight. Tapos ngumuso siya sa likuran ko. Mamaya.Nagtatampo ako kay Julian. Ang masama pa nito ibitin ako ng patiwarik ni Julian m amaya. Magkaaway kaya kami. I don t know how Pero inakay na siya ng dalawang bakla. I beamed proudly. Parang nawala lahat ng sama ng loob ko. Biglang naghiyawan ang mga matrona at bakla doon. Kapag idineny ako nito ikakaila ko din siyang tatay ni baby JJ. Buti na lang maingay kaya walang nakarinig ng sinabi niya. iyan ang bunga ng inyong pag-iibigan ni Julian eh. Unf ortunately. Let s go home. Syempre gay bar nga eh `di may mga halamang dagat na nagpe-perform. soft smil e about his lips. `Yun lang. CM! I thought you re my Ladies and gentlemen. I sweetly smiled at him then turned to the stage. dear? I smirked. Hindi. Am I going to be a godmother. Julian s eyes grew wide. Nilayuan nga niya `ko for hours! I called CM on the p hone. Patay. how sweet. I gnawed at my nails. no. Damn. CM started laughing. I sipped the juice. Then I raised my hand. Nagpaalam ka bang aalis? I frowned. Libre? Julian gave him h is infamous don t-touch-me glare of his. And the re was him! What was he doing here? Napalingon agad ako kay CM.
But I need to be next to you Oh I. hindi pwedeng mag-Careless Whisper dito ha! They left him on the stage. Pretending I was better off alone But I know that it's just a lie. Not even a one-fourth of any croakin g vocalists. At saka ano na lang sasabihin ng mga associates niy a? The CEO was seen singing a love song to his wife. oh I I need to share every breath of you Oh I. He stopped singing. God. I thought the world stopped revolving. No. I frowned and winced at the same time. At ibang sayaw din ang alam k o `yung `yung walang steps. He was really croaking and out of tune. He wasn t near perfec t. My eyes got misty. O kaya he would tell me Je annie you re my life. Bumaba siya ng stage. Buti na lang gwapo siya. Sa totoo lang naiyak ako kasi hindi pala marunong kumanta si Julian. Seriously it was as if he weren t really singing. eto na `yung moment na maghahabu lan kami tapos magyayakap kami sa gitna ng maraming tao. It was as if he was talking to me through the lyrics. His voice was awkward. Leigh Nash sang that song beautifully. Because it was the best song I d ever hear d in my whole life. Yes. The gay comedian snorted. So afraid to take a chance again So afraid of what I feel inside. Eto na. I don t know how to sing really. oh I I need to be next to you Need to be next to you Right here with you is right where I belong I lose my mind if I can't see you Without you there's nothing in this life I would make life worth living for I can't make it if you're not there I can't fight what I feel any more. TIGHTLY. I grimaced. Julian cleared his throat and looked about the surro undings uncertainly. Akala ko sa movies lang nangyayari ` to. Palapit na siya. Hindi ba dapat CM s eyes widened as he was w . Nagtawanan `yung mga nandun na kala mo kinikiliti.smile. near with you. Been running from this feeling for so long Telling my heart I didn't need it. you re my every He smiled at me and grabbed my arm. `Yung parang shooting. and a very arrogant ass who thought he owned the w orld. Pero hindi lang pala b ulag ang pag-ibig kung hindi bingi rin. Pero ngayon ko lang na-realize Prince Charming was real. Oh. He was rude. a chauvinist. Magpapalakpakan sila tapos kikiligin. Then he mouthed: I love you. Our eyes met. Nakakahiya lang tul oy. It was full of tenderness. 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. Tapos tumayo ako. But it was okay with as long as he owned me.
It was so unlike him to snoop into o ther s things. I saw him packing our things. Definitely not Julian! And very much naked! Oh. Grabe. Iti natanong pa ba `yun? THE USUAL. I was covering my mouth and running to the CR. He was sleeping close to me. Sumuka ako dun sa sink. He loved me. Tala ga bang nagiging spoiled na sa kanya ngayon si Jeannie? He hissed. God. Mabilis niyang tinignan ang cellphone nito. Kung hindi ako ang magsasabi para matapos na ` yang problema mo. Naiiyak na subsob na ang mukha ko sa lababo. Pero nakita niya ang mensahe ni CM. He said in a controlled voice. he sang a stupid son g he had secretly listening when he was a teenager in front of a crowd. Mabilis akong tumaas at naglinis `pagkauwi. I remembered watching Nightmare on Elm Street last night. no. He swore he gasped. Kahit na nga ba nandito pa rin ako sa r oom ko. What happened? Joke lang pala ni God. God. Mamaya niyan si Freddie na pala `yung katabi ko. Then my stomach got queasy. 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. This wasn t one of my fantasies. didn t he? Argh. She was inside the shower room. hell. wasn t I? Then my stomach started churning. tell him about the baby. I gritted my teeth. Lahat na lang ng gusto nito nasusunod. In b ed with a stranger. His left arm was wrapped around my midsection. He did.agging his finger: lagot ka. It was all a dream! Humigpit ang yakap ni Julian sa `kin. Narinig niya ang pagtunog ng cellphone nito. Jeannie. anong tingin niya sa `kin robot?! Julian! Not a word. I even brushed the tendrils of wavy hair away from the side of his face to make sure. Suka ng suka na wala namang inilalaba s. He shoved me inside his car. Si Julian nga! Malay ko ba. I sat upright. Before I knew it. Aalis pala kami bukas ng madaling araw. Para akong naalimpungatan. I woke up and opened one good eye. He even bared his soul to that brat. Puro gastric juices lang naman ang . Kontrolado nga galit naman. I gasped. He gritted his teeth. There. I was naked. on his stomach. He felt stripped of his pride. Habang sumusuka ako ay pinapaliguan ko ng mura si Julian sa isip ko. To God-knows-where. And Julian seemed withdrawn. I was paranoid. Ang halos kaladkarin palabas! I tried to smile at everyone. I pouted. Bugger.
In my saner days I would have been also disgusted with myself. 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. And didn t even bother to lock the door. Whatever. It was a miracle! Note to self: Magpapaparty ako `pag-uwi namin. nakita ko ang panghihilakbot sa mukha ni Julian. He pulled me close. She frowned. Ayokong umalis. The father of my b aby was traipsing clad with only a towel around his narrow hips. I arched my brow. Wala sa loob n a bulong ko. kasalanan ng magaling mong tatay ito! Umupo ako sa couch at pinagmamasdan si Julian. Sasama ka? Inis kong sabi. Really? You ll escort me to hell? I said sarcastically. Tapos bigla kong inamoy `yung sarili ko. I was in bed. last night? . AGAIN? Oh. Luha. I specifically reme mbered sleeping on the couch. What! Jeannie may warning na sabi nito. Tapos unti-u nti niyang hinahalikan `yung mga luha ko. What! My eyes watered. Na para bang anumang oras ay sasakalin niya na talaga ako. And my what a sight early in the morning. He brushed the wet hair away from her tear-stained cheeks. I was robbed of my power. I didn t smell bad. sipon. Okay. Care ko? I pouted and made face. Sorry baby. Had God really answered my prayers? Why are you crying? He whispered. She was exasperating. Bakit ba lalaki na lang ang nagpapakasarap at babae ang nagpapakahirap? Why was life so unfair? Uwooo Hawak ang tyan na sumuka ulit. I buried my face into the pillow. I haven t had a good night s sleep. in my dreams. If his wife didn t look pitiful enough. Had Julian taken me to bed? It seemed so. Sasamahan na kita. Swear. Kung ganito naman ang panaginip I might ask God never to wake me up. Inabot nito iyon! I stood up and he wrap ped my arms around his neck. for Pete s sake! Julian a no ba! I swore I wanted to punch Julian s handsome face. Goodness. Kakatulog ko lang kanina. He was wet. I opened my eyes and swore. At magtitili. To Hell. Kulang ako sa tulog. `Wag nang idagdag ang hindi paliligo nito kanina kahit ano ng pilit niya. As in. Her eyes grew wide. I even scrubbed myself twice. Gusto kong kiligin. Though sadly he s hould understand her. Jeannie looked up. Oh. He wrink led his nose. Parang tinatamad akong maligo. His hair was dishevele d. God no. What was his problem? I got so lazy. What was really happening to me? I bit my lower lip and stood up. Tahimik lang siya habang nakaupo kami sa eroplano. My mouth dropped open wide. He was sulking because I didn t take my precious bath. Better to wake me up now! I glared at him.inilalabas ko. God. Pahikbi lang n ung una tapos palakas na ng palakas. I couldn t believe it. Droplets of water was sluicing down his body. Bumukas `yung pinto. Isa bang malaking kasalanan iyon? Julian. He was shouting at me! Na para bang first time niyang gawin `yun Jeannie! Oh. It was only 3:00 am! Sh!t. pawis. Where are you going? He hissed. Was this Julian the stranger in bed. I hate you Julian. God. Ano pang tinitingin tingin mo dyan? Umaga na po prinsesa. Para akong nagl away bigla. she cried. Hindi pa rin nagbabago ang expression nito. Para ba ng wala na akong lakas para bukas. He shrugged his shoulders. Tapos kapag upo ko sa bowl I started crying like it was the end of the world. Lahat na. I screamed when I felt Julian s arms around me. May flight pa tayo. I walked on to the lavatory. He didn t really understand how women s minds work. As if he cares! He glared at me. He rolled his eyes ceilingward. What the hell are you doi Julian s shout seemed to freeze. Jeannie Itinaas ko `yung kamay ko. Mamayang umaga pa ang flight namin ng ma galing na lalaki.
He whispered to me and kissed my nape. Bumagsak ang upuan nito. He hugged me from behind. Ang morbid naman ng mga naiisip k o. Sa tanghaling tapat. Nakapaglakad ka ngang mag-isa papunta dito. Kulang ako sa tulog. Na para namang alam ko kung pan o `di ba? Lagi akong nagsusuka if not early in the morning. Sabi ni Uncle Jin. I gasped. Sanay akong nasisigawan niya. Tapos tinalikuran ako! Grabe. Buhatin mo `ko papunta sa upuan. screamed! God. I thought I thought He looked at me incredulously. I saw Julian s father striding toward us. Maglalaslas na lang siguro ako sa banyo. I was rooted to the ground. Tapos bumagsak ako sa floor. Pero hindi ko rin siya gaanong ma-appreciate kasi si baby JJ. And Julian s specialty: growling at me! Julian. I was too emo. Ano ba. Isn t there something you want to tell me? Ha? Parang hindi nagpa-function `yung brain cells ko. Where are you going? To hell. Syempre it had been my specialty: lying through my teeth. Then I felt a hand wrapped around my middle. I bet you re going to be a pig in no ti me at all. Hmm Syempre minsan na nga lang ito lulubus lubusin ko na! Tinatamad akong maglakad. Really? Parang sa panaginip ko lang ito nakikita. It won t work unless you tell me what s bothering you! He seethed. Pero iba ito. I was so lazy.Saan mo tinago si Julian? bulong ko sa kanya with matching stare-a-thon. My knee s might give out. Mabilis akong nagmano sa papa ni Julian at sinundan ito. Julian! sigaw ni Aunt Risan. I didn t want to swim. Leave him alone `di ba? Tears streamed down my face. I shouldn t have known that sec ret. So so I should tell him first about about the baby? We were in Morocco for a week. Sabi ko. Tapos tinanggal niya `yung mga kamay ko sa leeg niya. I pouted. . Tapos tapos bigla na namang kumunot `yung noo niya. Ano! He shouted no. Julian was looking intently at him. babe I m sorry. I was a bit overwhelmed. Oo. Hayaan mo na siya Risan. Argh. Kung paano hindi ko alam. Sig e pa rin ako sa lakad. Paano kung makunan a ko habang naglalakad? Syempre sa sobrang stress ko. Tapos humar ap ako sa kanya. I merely got out of the room. Sasama ka? Galit na sabi nito. He cracked an indulgently smile at me. Hindi ba iyon din a ng tinanong ko kanina sa kanya? Julian naman! Just leave me alone! Dumadagundong ang sigaw nito. Maybe bec ause I was just too emotional. Tapos tumayo ito. Grabe. W-wala. Mabilis kong pinahid `yung luha ko tapos tumaliko d sa kanya. Mukhang baby pa lang manang mana na sa tatay niya. And I eve n cried when I saw a chicken being killed. Don t use that on me Jeannie. I almost groaned aloud. His teeth was grating. I shook my head and smiled at them. `Yung smile ko nag-fade. Hindi man lang naawa sa `kin. Julian s real dad. Oh. Jeannie! Sigaw ulit nito. I clutched my stomach. It was Uncle Jin s birthday. He was such a very considerate and loving husband! My eyes watered. My eyes grew wide. Jeannie He hissed. Kung iiyakan ko lahat ng mano k na pinapatay para gawin Chicken Joy baka ipasok na nila ako sa mental nito. He stepped out of the lava tory to the door. Are you sick? Uncle Jin asked me once.
I slowly looked up from Julian s stricken face back to the blood streaming down my thighs. But from the looks of it. I m the happiest man on earth . And damned if I m not happy! At saka lamang ito ngumiti. You re not happy. Everyone was afraid to come to him. The se tting was just like this. Para iyong scene sa isang pelikula. It was the best thing ever. He wagged me off him. Oh. Sa sobrang pagwawala niya ay naitulak niya ako. `Di ba? Hindi talaga nagkamali ang kapatid ko ng pagpili. What s that? Malay ko. May dala siy ang mapa. Second best gift Julian had ever given me. The pain in my tummy numbed me. Ang gandang tignan. No! Damn you! Hiyaw nito. . Then he slammed the vase with full force. Sa baba non ay makikita mo `yung dagat. This was the best of all the best vacation I ve ever h ad. You re lying! Julian no! Mabilis ko siyang nilapitan pero ilang beses niyang tinatanggal ang kam ay ko sa braso niya. Kahit ako. He whispered. no. Nakita ko si Julian dun sa may bandang cliff. Syempre baby JJ would always come first. He was lashing out. I painted him for hours with the sunset as the background. I grabbed his arm. You re drunk. I wanted to ease that pain .Then I slapped him hard. He carried me to his car like a sack of rice. Julian just please stay away from here! What? Galit niyang sabi kay Uncle Jin. I already know. Walang makapigil dito. Oh my God. Aunt Risan screamed. He said innocently. Julian froze. But said instea d: We re going to have a baby. Because you didn t tell him the truth! He shouted. She couldn t even wonder if everyone would have been d eaf and blind by now. What are you doing shouting at Uncle like that when you have no right to You re uncle? Julian s dad laughed demonically. Yep. Naiiyak na nilapitan ko siya at niyakap. San a forever na kaming ganito. We drove off to miles and miles. Tapos lumabas na siya. Blood! There s blood on her thighs. We halted dead in our tracks. Nakita ko `yung sakit sa mga mata niya. Hinihintay kong tumalon siya tapos sabihin niyang Yes. yes. Then I even put a chi ld beside him playing with his kite. I was like really? It was a canvass with all its painting materials. What are you talking about Uncle? That fuucking son of b!tch you call Uncle is your real dad Julian! Para iyong bombang sumabog. Mukha siyang maglalakad sa death sentence niya. We heard someone shouting from inside the house. They were a bunch of rich people. Ju lian lost control and punched Mr. Ah. My heart skipped a beat. I tried my hands on it. Uncle Jin owned the house. Kapag uwi namin. Na parang may kinukuha mula sa katawan ko. The water was crystal blue. Pinipilit kong awatin si Julian. Ano `yun? Naglakad lang dito? I opened the big gift. eh `di na-shock ka ngayon? Gusto kong sabihin iyon sa kanya. Isn t it Uncle Jin? It s the truth. Nakatayo. Naamoy ko na ang war of the worlds. I fell hard and flat out on the floor. I couldn t believe it. It warmed my heart. Sunico kay Uncle Jin. Sunico in the face. I sobbed as I felt the pain k illing me. As if he owned the world. Ang sunod na nangyari ang nakapagpatili kay Aunt Risan. No no my baby. Kapag tingin ko sa back seat I was surprised to see a gift. Baka nailagay lang diyan. Naalala ko `yung sa Sisterhood of Traveling Pants part two. My eyes grew wide. 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.
Hin di ko alam kung ano `yung tinurok nila sa `kin. ako ang nasasaktan. At unang una kong nakita si Julian.TWENTY SIX I was sent to the hospital. Tapos nung ipapasok na `ko sa loob ayaw niyan g pakawalan `yung kamay ko. Dapat lang! Dapat lang siyang matakot. I couldn t live with Julian anymore if my baby would be taken from me. Though my body felt numb. Do I look fine? Was losing a baby okay to you? But no voice came out. This time I I m-mean it Finally. I woke up disoriented. I hate you Julian. But this time. Then everything suddenly flashed to my memory again. As if I were in ele mentary again. Nagtataka ako kung san ko pa nakukuha ang lakas ko. `Yung baby ko I cried. I was in and out of conscious but I saw Julian holdi ng my hand as I was rushed to the ER. With the last ounce of strength I pulled my hand from him. In my blurring vision I saw how defeated he looked. 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. 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. My hand flew to my stomach. My head was pounding. Please hang on babe He kept w hispering. Then the nur ses were speaking in English. How inconsiderate of him! He didn t even get to v isit me? Ha! Hello okay na ba pakiramdam mo? Uncle Jin smiled at me. I st arted sobbing hysterically. `Yun yung naririnig ko. Parang iba `yung room. Hindi ko kaya. Even the nurses were calming me down. Malakas na nga ako eh. Hindi niya `ko pinupuntahan. They were all there. . Jeannie I m sorry. Tapos biglang bumukas `yung pinto. Napataas kilay ko dun. Jeannie! Nilapitan niya agad ako. Emotionally and physically. I couldn t stand t he sight of him! Get away from me! I shouted. That time. This would be my last day in the suffocating hospital. It s okay ma am you re fine now. Gusto kong sumigaw. Naiiyak na napatingin ako sa labas ng bintana. Basta mabigat `yung pakiramdam k o. My long overdue speech. Two days. I missed him and hated him at the same ti me. A blond petite nurse came to my aid. Suffering isn t. Para akong mamamatay sa sakit. Doc what s happening to my wife? He screamed in fear. Kaya k o ng sapakin sa mukha si Julian. hatred won. Mas ako ang nasasa ktan. He was about to embrace me when I pushed him hard away from me. right. I didn t wish him to be dead bu t I did ask for him to fall into a ditch. Magwala. Hindi ko kayang mawala `yung baby JJ ko. Death is quicker.
On a serious note I didn t want to see him. Naintindihan mo naman `di ba? I m not going with you. Na parang hindi alam ang gagawin. sabi niya. He was such a dear boy.Diretso na tayo sa airport. Mabilis itong tumalikod at tinapik ang balikat ni Julian. I didn t spare that bastaard a glance. My hat red ran deep now. I could walk. Tapos pi nagsusuntok ko `yung dibdib niya. Naligo ka na ba? The boy frowned at me. Julian raised one brow and didn t comment. Jeannie listen to me. Kapag uwi namin sa airport ay nakita ko sina mommy. Ayokong umi yak sa harap nila. Ngayon ko lang siya na-appreciate. He wasn t even thinking about our baby? Kung sa ibang pagkakataon baka nagtatalon pa ako at isipin kong ako lang ang inaalala niya. He squealed. Malakas. Lahat na. All the things that I was trying to laugh off in the past months. What is your problem? Mabilis pa sa alas-kwatrong hinarap niya ako. Pero parang ayaw makisama ng loko. Tinatanong pa ba kung sino? Nauna na sina Uncle Jin at ang parents ko. H e mouthed: Are you sure? Why are you still here? Tanong ko kay CM. I mean ta ma. We weren t shou . Pawis. Hindi ako kumikibo. Sabay iling papunta sa direksyon ni Julian. Tapos kinusot ko `yung ilong k o. Luha. I looked at CM as if I were saying see? I m not going with you Julian. What was the use of talking if all we would ever do was throw snide remarks at e ach other? I drummed my fingers on my arm. I gave him the don t-Jeannie-me glare. Pinipilit niyang hawakan `yung kamay ko. Kung kailan pa nawala `yung baby ko. Awkward. Ayaw mo? Ingos niya sa `kin. I wasn t even speaking in th e airport or on the way back. was Julian s half-sister now that the truth was finally set free. My knees were buckling. Tantan s mother. I embraced them. Uncle Jin pwede po bang sa inyo na lang ako sumabay? Halatang nagulat ito. he whispered and kissed the top of my head when I was exhausted. Nagtitimpi siya alam ko. That was harsh I know. Ano pa bang tinatayo tayo mo dyan? Pasko? Galit na sabi ni Julian. I don t have a husband Uncle Jin. My pai n. Hindi mo alam? Na ikaw ang problema ko una pa lang? Galit kong sabi. I smiled at Tantan. Because Celine. Salitang ilang beses ng nabali dahil kay Julian. I grab bed CM s hand. Grabe. Tears were threatening to explode again. You re so selfish! You think only of yourself?! Honey please He combed his hair with his fingers. He was seethin g with anger. Sabay tingin kay Julian. I brushed the tears away angrily. Good. I started crying then. That stopped him. Kay Julia n. Don t touch me! I pushed him hard. I avoided eye contact. I m sorry baby. Hija I think you have to talk to him first. CM was also there. I nodded 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. Ahm you talk to your husband first. Naghihintay na may malaglag na butiki. First time after so many days. you know. I hugged the boy. He bear-hugged me. I even memoriz ed a speech when we meet again. Pinagpraktisan ko kaya iyon. I wanted him to feel the pain. Sipon. Jeannie. Sabi ko. Uncle Julian! Mabilis itong lumapit sa Uncle nito. kalaking lalaki este. Niyakap ko siya `yung parang wala ng bukas. Iyon lang. Hinintay niya lang palang maka-re cover ako. But he hugged me. At ayokong dumating sa puntong hihilingin kong sana hindi ko n a siya nakilala o kaya naman ay mamatay na siya. Lahat ng sama ng loob ko naipon. bakla takot kay Julian! They were even of the same size and height. Ngayon niya matitikman ang isang salita ni Jeannie . Someone grabbed my arm that moment. Ano? Sumigaw ito.
He was shaking his head rapidly. And I cut th e line off immediately.ting. Away from Julian. Dati kasi inisip ko how stupid people were . Galit kaya ako ng time na `yun. Jeannie. Come on. goodbye . Julian who? Inis kong harap sa kanya. I started crying. Three months! Halos maglilimang buwan na `yu ng tyan ko ni-hoy wala man lang! Okay. Iyo `yan. he did call me on the phone. True? Wasn t he just cracking a s tupid joke on me? Parang maiiyak ako sa tuwa na nababanyo. There were times whe n I wanted to call on him. lalaki lang `yun. I glared at him. Actua lly. I should be happy. I d like to cut off your long tongue. Actions were needed. 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. didn t he always do that Jeannie? I m leaving you. may mga taong ganon. I just can t. Sheesh. She hugged me like I were a child again. Julian I won t go home with you anymore. He mouthed: Hindi ko asawa `yan. Nakita kong nagagalit na siya. I willed myself to be strong. I hissed. Could I survive without him? Of course. May gunting ba dito? CM frowned at me. Sa school supplies section. Me. My baby JJ? JJ? He raised one brow at me. kung hindi man si Julian eh ako. I gasped. Umuwi ako sa bahay namin. In so many words. Someone told me that words weren t enough. True. Jeannie naman oh! CM took the baby clothes from my hands. Hindi man lang nag-effort na suyuin ako. He couldn t haul me anymore to his car sa harap ng maraming tao. Mommy Ewan ko kung bakit parang naintindihan niya agad ako. LOL. Why did they have to say I love you? Kung magpapaalam lang din naman sila? Friend Hmm? Kumuha ako ng mga baby clothes. Meron Tapos lumingon lingon pa. So the baby was only a joke for him? Sobra na ito! Humihingi ako ng saklolo kay CM through my eyes. Julian I won t go with you anymore. Na para bang ang sinabi ko ay isang nakakatawang joke . He seemed so shock. pinag-usapan talaga namin `yun. Julian and the baby. I m going home with my parents. Grabe. Bakit? Hindi pa naman mag-aaral `yang anak mo ah. This time I was so serious I woul d have knocked my head against the wall. Mother knows best talaga. Jeannie . Si Julian Sinong Julian? `Yung nakabuntis sa `yo. shouldn t I? Mom was standing in the middle of the room with Jean. I took my arm from his grip. Hindi. There was so much at stake here. Nagpip igil lang. Baka nga kaisa ko kayo. Sana man lang pinalipas niya `di ba? Wala. Three months seemed to pass without any ado. About Julian Deadma. Yayakapin niya sana ako ng umiwas ako. Pa-hard to get. Grabe ngayon pa lang nami-miss ko na si Julian. Anong akala niya ganon lang iyon? Kiss an d make up? Pakipot ako no. 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. Did he think I was joking? Not on this lifetime. dalawa na kaming buntis ng kambal ko. What are you talking about? I haven t killed the baby! Hindi siya nawala! Nandyan p a rin siya! He even touched my stomach. Alam mo `yung feeling na. Mahiya naman kami. Aminin niyo. We were in a public place. But Julian would always be a part of me. Well. Ganon kasi ako kapag n ate-tense. Hindi ito ang napagkasunduan natin. Isa lang `yung alam ko: I neede d space. Dalagang Pilipina.
okay wala ka pa palang pakialam a ng lagay na `yan. Si Julian o? I glared at him. Bigla kong nabitawan `yung baby socks. God. Naniningkit na ang lalong singkit na mata nito. Samantalang ako? I looked like like I ate hungrily. Mamaya talaga bibili ako ng cha kang manika. But he did. Parang narinig kong may sumabog na naman sa Iraq. I sweetly smiled at him. Papatayin ata ako sa pagkabusog ni CM. eh `di lumabas din `yung tunay niyang kulay! Stop this playacting of yours. Hindi na naman ako naglilihi ah. I opened my mouth in a big O. Humigpi t ang hawak ko sa tinidor. Like in a slow motion reel film. I turned around. Nasa basurahan na! What! I can t believe it! Those flowers are expensive! Ano bang gusto mo? Nahihirap . I started cryi ng. Jeannie Wala akong naririnig I even sent you flowers. I just heard it from my sister. I saw him controlling his anger. Thanks mister. He was such a jerk. He raised both hands in the air. I didn t car e. May isang intrimitidang tinignan ako mula ulo hanggang paa. thank you. Kahit nakakahiya man. si Julian o? Biglang turo ni CM. Napadpad kami sa Filipino restaurant. How I would love to wring his neck. I shouldn t have looked up. Dammit Jeannie! Oh. CM s face was devoid of any emotion. I cou ldn t walk. Gutom ka pa? Lagay pa ito ng lagay sa plato ko. I rolled my eyes heavenward. Just like Julian. Oh. You might be mistaken mister. Hindi ko napansin sa pagkain ko na pala naibunton ang kung ano mang na raramdaman ko. Hindi ako papansin no! Grr.Oh? Gigil kong sabi. Why could he be so handsome? I gritted my teeth. Nasobrahan ata ako. Tignan ko kung san siya tatagal. Napaatras bigla si CM. Hindi masama ang loob ko. Aaminin ko na gseselos ako. Kung pasabugin ko kaya `yung bahay nila Julian? I gritted my teeth. Sig e lang. Listen to me Jeannie Did I really hear him pleading? Oh. I didn t know why I was pushing him to hi s limits. I almost slipped off the tiled flooring. CM was really serious! Julian was speaking to a lovel y woman. Saan? Sa puso mo Then he started laughing. Wala akong narinig. Gustung gusto ko na siyang murahin. I was so bloated. May mga kamay na biglang umalalay sa `k in. Jeannie Si Julian at si Wala akong pakialam!!! Tila ata mapapaanak ako ng wala sa oras. Julian s on the dating scene again. I w alked past CM and looked for a restaurant. Ngumuso ito. Grabe. Then he crossed his arm s over his chest. Hindi. Angrily! CM winced at me. Jeannie honey He looked at my now rounded stomach. Nagrereklamo si Baby JJ. I put my hands on my ears. I leaned against the cubicle wall. Na para bang sinasabing: Ah. Oh. Pinagbigyan na kita these past months. Pwede mo na akong bitawan salamat . Kasi baka makapatay lang ako ng tao. I turned my back on him. At lalong aaminin kong gusto kong patayin si Julian ngayon din! Those chinito eyes. Baka kasi naghihintay pa `yung date mo. I went to the comfort room. Hindi ako depress. Galit na inihirap niya ako sa kanya. However you pin a halo to Lucifer he would always be a devil. Hindi kaya lagnatin ito mamaya? Have we met before? I arched my brow. not Julian Sunico. I started sniffing while I was inside the cubicle. She looked like a model out of a vogue cover. Hinawakan niya `yung siko ko per o mabilis kong iniiwas iyon. Ang sakit ng tyan ko. Why. Hin di ako `yung third party. Nakita ko ang pagpipigil niyang magalit. Easy ka lang Jeannie. sabi ko at taas noong naglakad ako. My breath got hitched.
O kaya aatakihin ako sa puso. Parang hindi ako makahinga. His teeth was grating. Hey. I straightened up fr om his arms. Pero wala talaga. Talaga? Talaga. Okay. At ginawa mo naman! I glared at him. So happy with myself. TWENTY SEVEN I was smiling stupidly in the mirror. Naks. Nothing more. Gumagalaw na ba `yung apo ko? Mommy looked at me from head to toe. Napansin kong naka-lock na pala `yung pint o sa CR.an na `ko Jeannie He whispered angrily. Hindi ikaw! I was trying to do what you wanted. I would have laughed silly if anyone just blurted out: Hey. Hindi pa lang siguro niya alam. Alam ko talaga. God. hindi lang pala feeling `yun. Jeannie please It didn t sound like begging to me now. Yo ur mom talked to me. Siguro kahit papaano hindi rin naman malas ang mga babae. Nako. Then what? She s a foreign associate. You didn t even bother to call me to go for me I whispered numbly. Tama. It sounded like a warning. Our eyes met. San ka pupunta? . I frowned. I felt like the most beautiful w oman in the whole world. You re trying to do what I wanted. I ve got someone on the side when you re busy. Bigla a ta akong nagka-asthma. There was unfamiliar warmth in my heart. honey . Ooops. Ayoko. Not because I couldn t ahm perform for him that he wou ld find somebody available. So like men. She asked me. For the second time I heard the great Julian Sunico pleading. Gumagalaw `yung baby ko! It was amazing how God could implant a living soul within us. Tapos hinimas ko ulit `yung tummy ko. Don t touch me. You re going home with me now? On one condition. Umuwi ka na sa `tin. Biglang sumipa si Baby JJ! Baby I cooed. Perform meaning do my wifely obligations. nagmana ito ng tantrums sa daddy niya. Magkakalintikan talaga. At least then you won t pester me anymore! He gritted his teeth. The hell I care. Itinaas niya `yung baba ko. Jeannie are you okay? Bigla ni ya akong niyakap. You look hapy anak? Ganyan nga smile. Oo. Bad vibes. Damn. honey listen to me I did call you many times. no more like begged me to stay away from you for awhile. Tapos syempre itatanggi nila `yun. What?! I nodded rapidly. meaning Oo. He begged. Don t tell me. Makipag-date ka kahit sinong gusto mo. You re dating somebody else. I was Angelina Jolie s missing twin sister. Nakangiti ako habang nakaharap sa salamin. Sinabi niya sa `king `wag ka munang guluhin at Mommy what?! Biglang nawala `yung pagka-asthmatic kuno ko ah. Tsk. Baliw na ata ako at hinihintay ko ngang gu malaw ulit ito. Bakit ba hindi ko mapigilan ang reflexes ng sarili kong reaksyon! Something gripped me from within. Tsk. Ni-lock niya! Nahihirapan?! `Yung delivery man `yung naghirap. Kahit magpakasal ako ulit? My eyes grew wide. ito na naman `yung sumpong niya. Weren t the roses red and violets blue? Oh. Ligawan mo muna ako. Mommy really did that? I know she was just p rotecting me. Why mommy? Nothing She shrugged. Pero may madaan lang na maganda at sexy `yung titigan mula ulo hanggang cleavage na. Ay. Why not? He glared at me. 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. Do you agree with mommy? Sumipa ka ulit baby para twice. He cupped both of my cheeks.
After clearing his throat he put the news clipping away. Nakatingin lang sa `kin si CM. CM ano `yan? Ito? ah wala. Sabi niya pupuntahan niya daw ako ngayon. Last petal. Jeannie! I frowned. Sheesh. I was exploding! I hated him. Humigpit ang kamay ko n g kinuha ko ang bouqet. I could smell something fishy. Wala lang baka kasi kung ano pang makita mo maging kamukha pa ng apo ko. `Yung ngiting halatang may itinatago. Picture kaya ni Ju lian `yung tinititigan ko nung time na `yun. There was a couple cap tured kissing. 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. It was a major no-no! Hindi hindi si I saw CM nodded rapidly at me. Judas s kiss. he loves me not. I was so mad I was going to explode.Going to watch TV. nakakaawa ka . Thrice. Nakakahiya naman `di ba? Ngayon pa kami magliligawan kung kailan naka-bingo na. At saka I pouted. I gritted my teeth. H e owned me. Sabi ko. The moron was standing there looking so smug like he owned the world. Mabilis kong binagsak ang mga roses sa sahi g. tanga. Dahil naiiyak ako. CM just excuse Ako na. What the hell are you doing? He hissed. I smiled at him. I was just wait ing for Julian to drop by. Damn him. Na parang sinasabing: Oo. sexy smile. Jeannie He wasnow gnawing his nails. Basta ang mahalaga I was way too happy to bother with the problems of the world. Pero umandar na naman `yung pagiging psychic ko. Mommy. Hey. At si CM nga ang masangsang na amoy na iyon. Bummer . He should have bought me those wi th thorns. he lov es me he Lalong tumaas `yung kilay ko dun. O baka gut feel ko lan g. What the hell was CM doing here? Again? Hindi kaya ang masama pa nito siya pa maging kamukha ng anak ko. Ah no. I stepped on his peace offering! Once. No mom. Alam ko gasgas na `yun. He loves me. What s this? I didn t know why my heart started hammering wildly. Dahil galit ako. I was rooted to the ground. Nanlalaki ang mga mata nito. Yes. There was something wrong here. Ay. CM avoided eye contact with me. No! Napataas `yung kilay ko dun. I winced at her. I picked one stem from the bunch of flowers. Then I slowly gasped. CM! Mabilis kong kinuha `yung dyaryo sa likuran niya. Mommy smiled at me. You always make me up just to put me down. Ano `yan? Balewalang tanong ko. are you ok ay? He kissed the side of my mouth. I gritted my teeth in anger. I m way past that stage. Mabilis na binitiwan iyon nito . didn t he? For five million pesos! He slowly gave me that charming. Mommy volunteered. Twice. I just stared at him. God no. 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. Oh? Ito lang pala eh. it might be Julia She was already out even before I could finish what I was going to say. Ewan ko ba. He smiled sheepishly. Naiiyak na ko. Ang arte ko no? Ang drama ko. he said and handed me a bunch of red roses. Oh. What are you Napatingin ito sa dyaryong hawak ni CM. Too achingly sweet. Whatever. Jeannie! Oh. Narinig ko `yung pagkatok sa pinto. Who are they? He winced. Honey.
You couldn t just stop your idiot of a heart from beating for that pers on. But he wasn t anywhere near human. I never asked for a perfect relationship. nadaig mo pa si Ri zal . Gumala w si baby JJ! Sorry. All in capital letters. Nakaupo ako sa may bench. But seriously. Ooops. I was too emotional. They wept. it s me. Drunkard on the street! Papalag sana ako. Grabe. I was like are you okay ? Sympathetic. Pero hindi ba secretly all the girls i n town wished that? Deep down even if how many times we deny it. Iyon ang sabi nito. Nag-panic ako. Couldn t just Julian see my worth? Sabi nila: iwanan mo na `yung taong hindi ka naman kayang pahalagahan. I didn t need Edward Cullen to be Bella. Magmamahal an. They cursed their jerks of a boyfriend. Maybe acceptance would eventually set me free. No stress. I m outta here. Mahina ang kapit ng b ata. He was all big aherm I mean he was almost perfect.at binigay sa`kin. I whispered furiously. I quickly pushed him off me. 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. `Wag na lang. we couldn t love someone who s faultless. Bakit hindi? I always described them as: STUPID. Magbabati. Walang taong ganon no. Get out!!! I hissed. My stomach started contracting violently. He was made to be perfect. Eeeh. Why not? Because I d never been bitten by the love bug before. I gasped. Then suddenly my stomach contracted. Kahit ilang beses mong marinig ang salitang tanga mapa-english man `yan o ibang lenggwahe. Teka. Jeannie. Kailan bang mawala ka pa? What if dun ka masaya? Would you fight for him or let go? My whole body was rocking violently. I start ed sniffing. 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. Arms wrapped around my rounded middle. I was out walking that night. K ung totoong lalaki nga lang siya baka babae na ang tumakbong hubad para dito. Pero hindi ako naniniwala don. I opened my mouth in disgust! Napapagod na `ko sa `yo Julian. Was baby JJ sensi ng anything? Jeannie He took hold of my arm. it was all true . Look at him. baby I just miss you dad. He might see your worth when you re gone. Without arms to wrap around you. It was a cold night in December. I whispered. Argh. Syempre fetus pa lang siya ngayon no. Why did a mere whisper in the ear from him and then my heart start beating triple time again and again. If you still don t sense that well too bad for you. Lagi na lang kami ganito. Hindi naman ako magpapagod. 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. Oblation sa UP. I just needed time off alone. There was no point denying the obviou s. My friends cried over my sho ulder. SANA. Pero ngayon ko lang na-realize. Hindi ko ginustong maging character sa fairy tale books na kinukulayan ng mga bata. No amount of gentle words could ever mar the pai n. The doctor told me that I should get some rest. Oh holy sh!t. Kung memory storage lang ang puso hindi ba pwedeng . Or b etter yet my soon-to-be baby JJ. Pwede na nga akong magsulat ng Dear Ate Charo dito. Mag-aaway. Tea rs were blinding my vision. Mero n. Kung dati tinatawanan ko lang `yu ng mga taong na-iinlove sabay sabing ay saludo ako sa `yo teh. I didn t have to be Princess Fiona to have the likes of Shrek. Will you just get out? Out of my life Julian. Malakas kaya kapit ko ka ya for sure dapat mana sa `kin si baby JJ.
He had been drinking! Malamang amoy alak nga eh. Please come back to me honey. Lalaki ako. My eyes grew wide. Nang muntik na akong matapilok. Had he just said okay?! He was such a cad. Sabi nito. You saw that one. That w as rubbish. You don t want to listen to me. Makinig ka sa `kin. I saw the picture on the news clipping! Okay. You are all warmed u p and kept on talking about baby JJ s future. Julian this is a public place! Kahit na nga ba walang ta He looked at me incredulously. At kung ibababa mo pa `yung kamay mo malalaman mong tao ako. He wasn t really begging but his voice wa s a mere whisper. baka iniiisip niyang kulang pa sa daliri si baby JJ kaya pwede pa naming buuin. He caressed my stomach and I could feel him from behind me. I could never be anyone s prince charming. Pano ko siya hindi maririnig s a sigaw niya? I didn t try to be the hero you want me to be babe. Sssshhh I m here baby. He was all lean and strong.mag-erase? What are you doing here? I hissed and tried to take his arms away from me. Anong gusto mong sabihin ko? Sigaw nito. I didn t ever wonder now why I couldn t exchange him with Shrek. But he wasn t that bad. Malay ko ba. Green Monster. Jeannie Don t worry about him I ll try to be the best mother I can be. He whispered. I was quite fascinated. I paused. Trying to make everything okay and light. Akala mo ba lahat ng lalaki gustong maging prince charming? No. Was he nervous? . Bulong nito. Julian you can visit baby JJ anytime you want. Shut up. He put it on his heart. I was real babe. don t you? Kayong mga babae. Jeannie listen to me there were music and candlelight dinner s here. My eyes were watering. clutching his arm tightly. Bakit ba napaka-clums y mo?! Sigaw nito. Or even an orchestra. I was so pathetic. He could be a very green monster you know. Feel this He hissed and took my hand. Julian s face softened. His adam s apple bobbed up and down. I slipped off the pavement but I anchored my elbow so my stomach wouldn t fall head-on. Gah. I screamed. Thank God there was no blood. galit na sabi nito. defending himself. Tapos mabilis niyang itinaas `yung dress ko. Not some hypocritical character of some fancy novel. He gritted his teeth. Aren t you hurt? Let s go the nearest hospital and So tinititigan niya lang pala kung may dugo `yung thighs ko. Damn you! You always scare me. Here he was. I ll admit. It was just fine with you? I whispered brokenly. I ve lusted for y ou since day one. Jeannie What! What you saw in the news isn t real. Onc e you ve said your piece you had it all figured out that you re right when in fact y ou re wrong. Now I was getting stup id. Lillian kissed me! I didn t kiss her for Pete s sak e Jeannie! Are you listening to me! I started crying. Naiiyak na suminghot ako. But my hips already bumped into the flooring. You re still the father and I can t de prive you of that. Specifically without me in your life . Okay. His voice held warning but his touch was g entle as he brushed the tears away from my cheeks. Mabilis akong nasalo ni Julian. Paano kaya kung magkaanak din kami ng tatlong Julian? I shivered. Tapos galit na tinanggal ko `yung mga kamay niya. Surely surely he wouldn t want to Argh! Not here. Syempre financial supp ort is always open mmmkay? Let s just go on separate ways. Argh. Amoy al ak. I d even tell you outright that yes. Jeannie! Damn you! Julian I was crying like a child. I was a bout to run from him. My eyes grew wide .
As if we didn t have the same face. Jeannie! I heard that shout. Nakikisigaw na din si mommy. change for a day just because you say so. Men were born to be polygamous. Just kidding. 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. Pero mahirap magpalaki ng baby. Really looked at me. Hindi nga ba t mahirap magpalaki ng mga magulang? In the three months I came back to Julian. My professor in Psychology once said. Jeannie! .I could be any man and tell you I love you every day. He looked at me. That will be the best lie ever. 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. I could tell you that I know a lot about women. Big tim e. to sh ut up. Sheesh. Not that I told you to tolerate their being babaero . growl. Tapos kapag sila nag-aaway they d both tell us. There are and will be times that I can t make you feel special because because I wan t to shout at you. I believed that there s one woman who can make a man a one-woman-man. Dahil sa tingin na ganon. Sumbong kay daddy. Nah. `di ba? Hindi masaya ang buhay kung magtititigan lang kayo. But that would be a joke. he shrugged. On a serious note . we started arguing from our pony tails down to our crushes. Because no man eve r did. Masarap gumawa ng ba by. Pero we couldn t ask for a sain t. You re the next best thing that happen ed to me. At kami rin. He chuckled nervously. when Jean and I were ready to rip e ach other s head s off our shoulders. I had gone to Heaven then back to hel l. But this is me. Aba. Kahit wala naman talagang nakakatawa. 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. Bakit ba hindi? Daig ko pang kasama si Hitler. It was flowing freely. Jean and I started growing up. I can t just boom. Er r. Bakit ba eh. Julian. At your stupidity and silliness. And I don t know what I d do without you. 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. Married life was never perfect. Siguro kaya maraming nabubuntis ng maaga n gayon. take note: in chorus.
Tinanggal niya `yung unan sa mukha ko. God. His voice held warning. He looked like he was ready to wring my neck. Tapos nag-tremble `yung lower lip ko. Right on his face. May bago ba? I gritted my teeth and then groaned. I just helped yaya Oreng clean his study room. I said in a cold tone. Nauubos na pasensya ko. He brushed the locks of hair away from his face. Napangisi ako. My mouth dropped open. Pakiabot nga `yung bag. and walke d across the room. I started sobbing. He turned around slowly. Grabe. Ayan. To the closet. Bakit siya mags isisi? `Di ba dapat ako? I slowly smiled at him. Julian s face softened. Galit akong tumayo. I shivered. Nabilang ko pa talaga siya. sniffs. EVER. Jeannie kapag hindi ka Ano? Anong gagawin mo?! Sigaw ko. We were really screaming. I closed m y eyes tightly. Gigil na ibinato ko `yung unan. chest out and protruding stomach out. Bummer. Have I awakened the beast in him agai n? Tumaas `yung kilay ko. Jeannie! I know you re not asleep. I was pregnant and he was what? Shouting at me. Hoho. My tears stopped immediately. Sana kahit `yung kontra na lang natin o titulo ng bahay niyo `yung tinapon mo Hinahanap ko nga kanina. Tears wer e pooling in my eyes. God. Oh-k ay. hiccups. Damn you! Where did you put the documents? He was now shouting. God. Nanulis `yung bibig ko. Pero I could even h andle Julian shouting at me when he was mad. My. Anong pakialam ko?! Walan g utang-na-loob! Ingrato. That rooted him to the ground. Kapag hindi na ako pwedeng bumalik sa New York makasali na nga lang sa starstruck dito. the mess in your study room. He was now scowling. I cried louder . I heard him sigh. Na para bang nagsisisi siyang pinabalik niya pa `ko di No. Of course. `Wag ka na lang gumalaw. Bull s eye. Hmm Jeannie. bulong ko. Kaya pala bumenta ang punchline na you re cute when you re angry . Tapos sinabog ko ng onti `yung buhok ko. Believe. But not cold treatment on his part. Alin don? `Yung tirahan ng mga b ukbok? Ah. How dare him! Naiiyak n a talaga ako. Nanlisik bigla `yung mga mata ko. An g gwapo talaga ng asawa ko.. Without a word he turned his back on me and walked toward the door. Binasa mo ba? Kung hindi ka namakialam at binasa mo Hindi. JEANNIE! I put the big pillow over my head.. In the middle of the night. Oh. Survive. Because of Julian. I swore I took three steps backward. Napaupo ako sa kama. tinapon ko na lahat `yu WHAT??? Oh. Julia He raised one finger as if saying don t talk to me . Julian wouldn t hurt me at least physi cally. Dream. Alam mo `yun? Palpak eh. I pushed him hard away from me. . Alam mo Jeannie hindi na uu bra sa `kin `yang arte mong `yan. 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. ang hirap magpanggap ng natutulog. Okay. Goodness. Jeannie naman Parang stress na stress na sabi nito.I hadn t heard a word. Jeannie nasan `yung mga lumang folder sa cabinet? He said. Can t you be more endearing and and I gritted my teeth in anger. Hindi naman ako masokista no. Mas mahalaga pa ba ang binubukbok na folder na `yun?! I stood up with chin in the air. `Yung tipong buk as pagsisisihan ko kung bakit nagkalamat `yun. This was damned serious. Narinig kong naglagutukan `yung mga buto niya sa knuckles. I just helped you hiccups. Winner! He sighed exaggeratedly and tilted my head up. Even when stressed. Julian naman oh. He glared at me. Help me? Papatayin mo ba talaga ako Jeannie? He whispered furiously. I took out all my clothes. clean. Humikbi ako. Pabalibag kong binuksan `yun. More gentle this t ime.
Do you know what sound you emit when y ou snore? I don t snore. Mababanyo daw ako! Tapos sumasakit `yung tyan ko. I thought I was dreaming. Epic fail. Oo. He chuckled. Err. Nakakainis talaga. A ng bigat ko na nga ang bigat pa rin ng bag ko. Hindi ka naniniwala? Galit kong sabi. My mouth turned into an indignant O. Next to Andres Bonifacio. Syempre I ll tell you you re the most beautiful woman in the world. Naramdaman kong lumuhod siya sa harapan ko. He winced. Like this: oiiink oiiiink I gritted my teeth. He kissed the tip of my nose. Oh. I felt his arm snaked behind my back the other one was under my thighs. he couldn t carry me anymore. It felt so good to be in his arms like this. In my eyes only. I almost screamed when I turned to find myself lo oking back at me in the mirror. . Anong ginagawa mo? What do you think am I doing? Hinihingal na `ko. The spasm overtook all consid eration. Binuhat niya `ko! Napakapit akong bigla sa leeg niya. My nose w ere stuffed with you know. Sabi kasi ng doctor bawal daw akong mapagod. For the likes of him. You do. I winced as the contraction was violent. Na nakataas pa ang sanda ta niya ha. Kaya hindi muna pwedeng gumawa ng Baby JJ the second . Walo na. Nung unang try. Loud. Babe. Par a akong hippopotamus. Tapos hinampas ko siya. God. Tapos ta wa. Goodness. He rolled his eyes ceilingward. I was so big. Te ll me I m beautiful. Thank my failing eyesight for that. Sheeeshhh he kissed my swollen lips. Bakit kaya hindi ako ang tanungin ni Julian? Baka ang sagot ko ay Oo. Eh. I started sobbing like that of the child s. He snorted. Naiyak akong lalo. Ngumisi ito. N a parang naghahanap ng milagro sa kisame. Tapos pinilit niya ulit akong buhatin. He put me down on t he bed. Why did it hurt like this? Manganganak na ba ako? Julian! I tapped his shoulder. Lalo akong naiyak. Nag-bounce `yun mattress. Siya kaya ang manganak! Puro lang siya pasarap tapos magagalit pa siy a sa `kin? Well. I even saluted him for his control. My eyes were bloodshot. Monster! I looked like Princess Fiona now. Sabay kaming nagkatinginan. He smirked then snorted. Napaupo ako sa may gilid ng pinto. I wra pped my arms around his neck. 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. And ugly . Uuwi na talaga `ko. Samantalang ako naman a ng may katawan. He nodded rapidly. LOL. Sabi ko. You want me to lie? I hissed at him. Atapang atao di at akbo. Mapapagod nga ako. aum. Bukas na gabi na eh. Parang batang sabi ko sa kanya. I pouted. Kaya siguro ayaw niya na sa `kin. W ell. I was so big and round. Three months was like applying for sainthood. Tumaas `yung kilay niya. Uuwi na `ko sa parents ko. Delikado sa daan. these past months we hadn t ahm . As in BIG. ito namang si Julian masunurin! Hmp. Papatayuan ko na nga ng monument itong si Julian. I was all set. I opened my mouth i n disgust. Tapos tumigil pa ako sa may pintuan. Grr. Uncontrollable.Tapos tapos inabot nga niya! Galit na binato ko lahat ng damit don. I d start on my diet aft er I give birth. stop crying please it won t do any good to our baby. Naiiyak na naman ako.
Jeannie oh. Tired and lost. Pleas took my hand. I started crying. You can talk to your wife she s in and out of consciousness. I kissed her on her sweating forehead. God. But goo dness gracious I hadn t expected him this soon. She opened one eye. He shouted for the maids to come upstairs. After knowing all complication of pregnancy decisio n has to be taken whether to allow the pregnancy to continue or not. I op ened my eyes again. I tried to crack a reassuring smile through my labored breaths. It was an either-or proposition. Can t you just take care of my wife first? Galit na sabi ni to habang may inaabot na fill-up form. With blood all over her th ighs. Ju lian my baby she started hiccupping. Umiiyak. Or else they ll both die. Pity. He even promised God of a lifetime of rectitude. Bullsh!t. His Jeannie and baby JJ. I took Julian s hand. I m sorry. Nagkakagulo. Galit na sinuntok niya ang pader. Na tatakot. His breath got hitched. He didn t want to cry. Buhat niya ito habang kinukuha ang susi ng sasakyan sa drawer. Must have been reflex action. I was bleeding profusely. You have to choose between your wife and the baby. Not that tears made men weak. very frightened. Pero wala siya sa katinuan para gawi n iyon! He couldn t praise them if they couldn t save Jeannie God. He would ha ve cried and fainted at the sight of Jeannie in pain. But he didn t know w here had gone awfully wrong. But I couldn t stop the fight. Magulo. Ayos na din ang room ni baby JJ. She kept pleading while squeezing his hand. It was just that he should be the pillar of strength for Jeannie. That was what the doctor had said. never letting go. Gusto ko ng magwala at magmura.He groaned. Julian no save baby JJ. Bawat segundo ay nagdara sal siya para sa mag-ina. Dammit. Only o nly HE would spare Jeannie. What do you mean? Sigaw niya dito. Nagmamadaling binuhat niya si Je annie. He took the matters into hi s own hands. The pain was overriding a ll sense of logic from me. And dammit. Julian and baby JJ was rooting for me. Parang nanlamig ang katawan niya. Hindi matanggap ng utak niya kung ano mang medical theory ang sinasabi nito. It was as if I was torn apart. I wanna die. 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. In his saner days he would have given co nsideration and credit to their profession. He tried hard to calm his nerves. Julian I clutched at his shirtsleeve. Everything was all set. There was something wrong. Nagkakagulo sa bu ong bahay. We didn t know how we arrived at the hospital with just the two of us. I didn t know where they were taking me. Remember this I love you both. I we lost our very first baby. But we have to hurry. No Numb. he coul dn t afford to lose Jeannie. Julian! What? Manganganak na ata ako. He was inside in a flash. Maingay. I closed my eyes. All I know was that I was very. Julian squeezed my hand. The pain was killing me. Pero sa mga panahong iyon. Didn t saying sorry was the worst word ever in w omen s vocabulary? Well. he knew. I was in a state of panic How could I? I was only eight mon ths on the way. . She would hate me. the doctor gave him that look. My mind kept telling me: I couldn t stand the pain anymore. His precious Jeannie. Sumisigaw na ito. As cause of preterm is known. he could have said not his . Save my baby. Hindi siya relihiyosong tao. He drove his Porsche while I was panting on the passenger seat. Why was this happening to them? Mabilis siyang pinagsuot ng hospital gown.
I know I was playing at being the self-centered b!tc h. Malulungkot `yung baby mo kung ganyan ka. Should w as the operative word. Life. Hindi ko alam kung kailan `yun nagsimula. I was immersed in finishing the painting I had sta rted in Morocco. Nandun silang lahat sa may gilid ng pool. What do you want to eat? Anything. Pero ano ang ginawa ko? Minura ko siya. I remembered that one morning I woke up. I didn t want to wake up because I knew the pain was there. I should have been more understanding. And God s. I could have Julian and it would be perfect. I followed her to the lanai . Someone was hugging me tight I couldn t breathe. But in the best of circumstances. I could have jumped with joy even with my stitches on. Hindi mo ba naisip na I know it would be t oo cliché to tell you this. Jeannie stop this to yourself and Julian. At gusto kong ibalik nila sa `kin si Baby JJ ko. Pero napapagod na `kong magsalita k ahit wala pa naman akong sinasabi. How was that? Jeannie Julian smiled at me tentatively. the one I had done right the first day I told Julia n we were going to be a family. 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. I wasn t crying. Hindi nga ba gasgas na `tong ganitong pakiramdam? You felt like crying but still gave the world a smiling fvcking face . Pinalayas. I felt her beside me. Till my breath would be sucked out of me. Gusto ko ng mamatay. I could have kissed him o n the lips. Gusto kong ako ang intindihi n nila. Ganyan nga.TWENTY NINE We couldn t have everything we wanted in life. He was also his. Pero hindi nga ba hindi lang pala love ang mahalaga sa mundo. He would rock me to sleep and kiss the top of my he ad. Even CM went home to see me after joining the co ntest in New York. Was it the day afte r I cursed Julian to hell? Pero isang buwan isang buwan akong niyayakap ni Julian sa gabi habang umiiyak ako. I shrugged my shoulders. Hindi ko gustong sisih in si Julian. It wasn t his fault. I even told him h e killed our baby. Pinili t kong pagalawin ang muscles ko sa panga. Unti-unting humarap. It had been two months since then. You go eat without me. Bulong ko. Kasi nasasaktan ako. So. I asked her with my eyes. I rolled my eyes. Nababa lutan ng sakit at galit ang logic ko. Motherhood is the best fulfillment a woman could ever have. Oh. Before I thought love was all there was. I stopped crying the day Julian told me: I love you Jeannie that I d choose to live without our baby than you. How ironic. Tumayo ako para wala ng pagtatalo. yes. Tama. I even asked HIM many times why. Ayoko ng makaramdam ng ganitong . Mommy smiled and waved at me. bakit pa niya ibinigay sa `kin k ung kukunin niya rin lang naman? Jeannie kakain na tayo I didn t look over my shoulder. Gusto ko sanang sabihing nananady a ka ba? But said instead. Hindi lang akin si Baby JJ. Bulong ng kakambal ko. Gusto ko ako ang unawain nila. Ayokong umunawa. Lagi nilang sinasabing ang lahat ng bagay ay may rason.
Ui. Pag-umpugin ko kayang `tong dalawa ng `to? Sheesh.sakit. Months had passed. In short. Karga niya si baby Czarina. Hey. She was smili ng at me. But funny I did. goodness. It was only my sorrow t hat was important. Why are you alone? Lalong tumaas `yung kilay ko. Nagtataka nga ako kung naglalakad na ng nakahu bad mamaya `yan eh. Kung makatili naman kala mo ambulansiya. He shrugged. He wa s still the same handsome devil I fell in love with. Alam mo te. Pwede ba CM! Kung sa bagay kung magpapakamatay ka mas maraming magiging masaya. Wala akong pakialam kung nandun man siya o wala. Ano bang tingin nito sa `kin? Kikidnappin k o anak niya? God gave me mercy. Magsasalita sana ako ng dumating si Jean. Baka lang gusto mong sumali. He became gentler. Siguro. The people were everywhere in our house. I shouldn t be surprised when an arm drew me closer. These past months napapansin kong kahit saan ako p umunta somebody was with me. Napalingon ako kay CM. But I started doubting about the future. CM winced at me. It was so unfair. do you know that there was another exhibit? This one s the big event of the yea r. I know that painting has been your outlet after t he He cleared his throat. Tuyot. Nakatingin lang sa swi mming pool. Missed him shouting at me.. It was almost unbearable. Nakunan lang ako para na akong nagkaroon ng mga bod yguards. Yes. I glared at him. Give me baby Czarina Nagkatinginan `yung dalawa. Pano kung mabaliw ako? Paano kung manguha na lang ako ng bata at angkinin kong anak? God. I was out in the garden alone. We merely talked anymore. kulang ka lang sa dilig. Kung may potential future child star ba siya? I didn t even get to hear him or her wail and kick.. Ah nothing. But something along the way changed us. I forcefully took the almost seven month old baby. Nung panahon g iyon. Our loss. That was so pathetic. Why not? The Jeannie I know so well would be dead by now if she didn t talk even a minute. Pero somehow along the way we became more of strangers than lovers. Can you hold her for me? she hesi tantly asked CM while looking at me. I looked at CM. What s with you people? Inis kong sabi. may tawag dyan eh. At uhaw sa pagmamahal. Ako ba? O siya? I suddenly missed him. The same spark was still there. D ragging me to God-knows-where. What? I asked impatiently. He just snored and let me cry on his che st. Siguro okay na `ko. At lalong ayokong makakita ng mag-ina. Umiiyak agad ako first thing in the morning. I was too selfish to even ask him if he was also in pain about the loss. Jeannie? Hmm? . There was sudden warmth that I hadn t felt in ages months now. Sana pinili na lang niya si baby JJ kung ganito rin lang kasakit. He didn t say a thing. To the point na kulan g na lang ay suutan niya `ko ng panty. Ni hindi ko man lang nakita kung pa ngo ba `yung baby 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. I didn t doubt my love for him. I couldn t even go to the nursery room. Tigang. beautiful. And life itself. Minsan nga natatakot na rin ako sa sarili ko. Ano ha? I started cooing sounds. He cleared his throat and looked away. Tignan mo nga k ung pano paglawayan ang asawa mo. I would very much like that. Maalaga. Oh. I looked away and met Julian s eyes across from us. At one point I even blamed Julian. I gritted my teeth. Jeannie! Tumaas `yung kilay ko. Tapos na ang christening. Ano pa nga ba. Well.
I need you. Mas pinili kong sumabay kay CM sa sasakyan. Then the baby started making gurgling sounds. And we didn t know how to ruin the wall that separated us. Na na ghihintay hingin ang number ko. Kung dati kung pwede lang na ibulsa siya ay ginawa ko na pero ngayon? The silence stretched between us. Down there on his crotch. Julian told me not to say that he s going to prop I didn t say anything. I couldn t afford to see them. beautiful chi ld. Mabilis ko siyang tinalikuran. I nodded. Jeannie naman oh! We started laughing. He was really shouting at me! Then CM gasped. Napatiti g ako sa niece ko. Tapos hinawakan ko `yung noo niya at pumikit. I heard the engine of CM s car out of the driveway. Hi having a great time? He awkwardly said. What are you talking about? Uh-oh. Napanganga ako dun. S he beamed up at CM as if saying: Maitim pala ha. All I cared about that instant was the man I d hurt so much. Goodness gracious Jeannie. Jeannie! Narinig kong ibinigay nito kay CM ang bata.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. Oh. Syempre inaanak ko ata `yang si Czari na no. Then he slowly smiled. Czarina peed on me!!! Napatingin kami sa baba ng pantalon niya. Jeannie give him a second chance. Ayoko nga sanang pumayag na maging best m an. Oh. very dark. Will you stop running away like a coward! I stopped dead in my track. Saka makakagawa pa rin na man kayo no. Tears were already streaming down my face as I turned away. Bata pa lang matalino na. I didn t want to be with Julian in the same car. baby pa nga? Ang itim pa ni Czarina! CM! Sigaw ko. she s a bit dark. the brid Oh. He covered his mouth. She ll be as beautiful like her ninang. Trust CM to say all the wonderful things. It became somehow awkward. He was cooing and tucking her like he was the r eal father. He grinned at me. Julian was waiting at the front step of the entrance. Pati `yung luha ko parang nag-freeze. Didn t really care. Pero maganda pa rin. Naiiyak na naman ako. ano bang silbi ng reproductive system mo kung hindi mo naman gagami tin? I hissed at him. I missed this. ang beauty ko pang-alalay sa kinakasal? I should have been you. I didn t even consider his feelings. Let me see her oh. I raised one brow at him. Night CM. You are acting so cowardly! Ikaw lang ba ang nasasaktan?! His hand gripped my arm so tight it hurt. Kampon ni Satanas umalis ka sa katawan ng kaibigan ko! He gasped. My heart was beating wildly. But the sorrow kept persisting with every thoughts of what could have been. Jeannie! Bakit mo `ko sinisigawan? Sigaw ko. Emotionally. Nakita ko si Julian na papalapi t. Okay. Gah. Just kidding. How can you say beautiful agad eh. I was walking like a zom bie toward Julian. . Sabi nit o sabay tampal sa bibig. Kaya tumalikod na lang ako. Para akong teenager na nakatitig sa kanya. Tapos papakipot muna ng onti. Mer on ba sa pamilya namin ang pangit? Syempre wala. literally. Jeannie! Oh my. As in. Hindi ko pinansin ang paghabol sa `kin ni Julian. Umiiyak ang baby. Parang hindi niya `ko narinig. Can I hold her? He took the baby from me gently. His eyes were uncertain. Sawa na `kon g umiyak. I m thinking about joining the contest CM. very good girl. my God. Even CM was wailing! Jeanni SHUT UP! Nag-chorus pa silang dalawa ni Julian. A hand grabbed mind.
brokenhearted ka ba? Ah. God. The one with Julian under the shower? This was a make-or-break decision. I didn t ask for him to do that now. `Pagharap ko nagulat ako. Tignan mo nanay ko nakapag-asaw a agad. it was human instinct. `yun nga lang ang hirap ng buhay. As in now. At may hawak siya ng mga sampaguita. Madungis nga lang. Tapos one seat apart. NIyakap niya ako. baby JJ. But of course. I missed these places. Then he smiled. 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. Some would even say that I d won the lottery by having Julian. `di siya. Ewan ko ba. Hindi gaanong mahigpit. Caring to your lo ved ones. I slowly smiled. Sampu na kami! I winced. Could I forgive and just forget? Kaya ko pa kayang magmahal kung hindi na buo an g puso ko? THIRTY Of course. Anghel na naging tyanak p a. I started laughing horribly. Okay na sana. I would give him a second chance . deep down I already knew the answer. My whole future at stake. Hello ? Kahit naman hindi mo pangarapin `yun. Oh. With rai sed eyebrow I could very well say na ako si Jeannette Rose Leviste ang tanging t aong nakapagtiyaga sa ugali niya. As if he wa s testing the waters. An g hangin tinatangay ang buhok ko. Syempre ii sipin nila napuwing lang ako dahil sa lakas ng hangin. but my heart suddenly went out to him. 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. marami pa namang lalake dyan. Sana nagamot ko man lang si tatay at `di siya namata y.He looked like a boy. I stood up and stared sadly at the engraved name: BABY JJ. hindi madali `yung decision ko. Give m e a second chance. kung karirin ko na lang kaya si Julian? Kung pwede nga lang ba. Anong pangarap mo? Kung sinabi nitong maging mabuting asawa t ama babatukan ko talaga `to. Ewan ko ba . I walked down the streets of Manila bay and along CCP. Real life drama pala ito. Pat i siya nakitawa na rin. Kahit na nga ba sabihing gwapo si Julian a t mayaman. Ate. Kaso wala kaming pera. I ll give your father a second chance. He was a boy. His right shoe was toying the marbled flooring. Sana hindi na lang siya nag-smile. Baka gusto niya talagang mabaliw ang mommy ni ya kung iiyak siyang bigla sa gabi out of nowhere. There was this little cherubin who was looking at me. So who was being lucky here? Eh. He slowly stepped forward. ayos. Really looking. Naramdaman ko `yung hangin. Jeannie! I m so rry. Nyek. Okay lang `yun ate. I was looking out of the manila bay when the phone started ringing. Oi. Wala ka na bang maisip na matinong ambisyon? Gusto kong maging doktor ate. I didn t push him like I always did in the few months. I have submitted your painting. His teeth were decaying. Eh. I nodded. He coul d have been months now. Really? Oo. Then my eyes started getting misty. He must have been at least eight years old. Do you know that mommy loves you so much? I murmured achingly. . `Yun g parang sa cannibal? Tapos `yung ilong niya kumakalat lumalapad `pagtumatawa. I recalled one of my classmates in High School telling that particular dream of his. I walked down the street. Either Julian or Career. sa mga novels na nababasa ko `yung hangin na `yun `yung loved ones nila na nawala na. Baliw ba `tong batang `to? Matawa kaya siya kung malaman niyang siya `yung pinagtatawanan ko? But his cute.
I even bled my finger w ith the bread knife. At ano? Para sa wala. This wasn t one of those overrated version of classic dra mas. It always happened in real life. I gave it to him. He wanted to capture the orange horizon with its reddish rays around the sun. Then I saw a man with his canvass. `di ba sosyal? Samantalang sa kasuluksulukang kalye ng Cubao rugby lang. Oo. I was so angry. He dipped one finger at the dish. Nagluto ako. I even asked God to make my cooking p erfect. I want to surprise Jeannie about the engagement. Hindi ko alam kung bakit. Minsan lang `yan no. . Masama palang napapaisip ako. Seriously there were people who were given the privilege to live the ir life the way they wanted to be. He didn t even bother t o call if he wasn t retiring early! Damn him. y`know. I th ought my heart would burst any minute. I smiled at him and slowly stood up. I slipped into the room with so much as a noise. I had nothing against rich kids. Siya pa ang isawsaw ko sa alamang. My eyes got misty. I stared fixedly at the blue and white sky. Dapat all set na para bukas. Masama kutob ko dito. Tapos napa-w ow siya. Nako. nakakapaglabas ako n g pera. We ll. I m prou d of you. Siya nga ni hindi man lang maisipang mag-text or tumawag. How could I let Julian go? I love him so much. Ba ka maibato ko lang sa kanya `yung kare-kare at kalderata. Iniyakan ko pa ang paghiwa ng sibuyas. okay.Ngumiti ako tapos naglabas ng five hundred pesos. `yung mga gustong mag-aral walang pampa-aral. Stupid. May mga nakapalibot s a kanya habang nagpe-paint siya. I heard footsteps. Not under the sho wer! `Yung ginawa ko noon sa Morocco. Wala na ba akong inisip kundi ang pambabababe ni Julian? Men could be honest. SOMETIMES. Very fortunate of you. Tapos nagtago akong maigi ng nagmamadali ng umalis si Julian. It was only four i n the afternoon. Baka pasko. Tha nks mom! I suddenly felt like the biggest scumbag ever. Nakita kong nakatalikod si Juli an. Why? `Coz I believed that what doesn t kill you can make you stronger . I strained my ears against the wall. Kung ang motto ko ay: I could kiss and be damned tomorrow. Baka bukas isa na din ako sa mga taong grasa. itatanong pa sa `yo kung nasaktan ka. Who the hell cared. Baka hindi niya na pakinabangan `yung ano niya `yung ano sex aherm appeal niya! Nagtago ako dun sa may corner. Nasugatan ka na. Were all the men in general like this? Or only him? He was still insensitive. I wanted to celebrate Julian s awakening! Namuti na ang mata ko kakahintay sa kanya. Oh. And you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth. Hindi. so I think he d got lots of work to do. Ngayon pa nga lang baon na kami sa utang kay Julian. He kept looking around as if it was some top government secret. Sometimes happy endings were just in Fairy tale stories. Alam mo ba `yun. kung hindi mo naranasang mag-promissory note sa school o humabol ng scholars hip. He didn t really deserve a second chance. Err. I was a bit disconcerted at first. `Wag lang talaga siyang kakaliwa. I started putting away the cold food. May kausap sa phone. But really. The irony of life. Hindi man ganon kasarap `yung niluto ko. At anong ginagawa nila? Ayun: Pare let s party! Party! Ilabas na ang cocaine. God. I made face. at least passable na man. Pero kung isa ka sa mga pinanganak na walang kasiguraduhan ang hinaharap. Ipinasa niya `yung painting ko. Tsk. He was already in New York by now because of that blasted con test. I didn t even look up. Little di d he know that I was a descendant of Gabriela Silang? Beware. Hindi man lang nahiya. The one with Julian. Birthday mo? I hissed. Tinampal ko `y ung kamay niya. Blame CM for this. He frowned and arched one brow. `Yung mga may p ampa-aral ayaw mag-aral. It was just that I hoped they knew their good f ortune. That s not for you! I was acting childish.
right. I was too eager. No. alam na. Parang napipilita n lang. He slouched on the chair and massaged his temple. or whatever we could thin k of. Pero hindi ganito na binibiyabit niya `ko mula sa balikat niya. It was hot and explosive. A kiss wasn t just classified into: smack. I was hissing while sinking my fingers deep into his skin. He kissed me passionately. You e xperienced them. while doi ng an imitative dance of that of macho men. Sa relationship. with gaps between my fingers. Would we start makin g babies now? Para makaabot sampu? My mind was screaming: I wasn t prepared for th is. hindi bagay! I tried to cover my face with my hand. He started laughing and crawled to the bed . I was screaming when he scooped me up in his arms. Julian Oh-kay. He put me down no threw me onto the bed. Hindi lang sarap ng pisikal. Gusto ko kapag nag-asawa na tayo nasa bahay ka lang. Kung pwede lang na bumaon `yun baka nangy ari na. Like we could satisfy the months. Oo. Masyadong wild at aggressive `yung isang `to. I smiled sweetly. He was pulling down his pants and oh So disappointed. You prepared this f or me. Where s my husband? I whisp ered. He turned me upside down. Grr. Of course. Had his horse been hidden somewhere here? He should h ave been putting me on his white horse and dashing me off to a castle and not to a Err. A slow sexy goodness. He even smacked my bottom! Tapos tawa siya ng tawa. Our eyes met. I hadn t thought that I could love this much. I was pummeling his back. Lalong tumaas `yung kilay ko. Galit ka ba? lingon niya sa `kin. Pakipot lang. He was a cave man! Okay lang kung buhat. I want you here with our children hmm mga sampu okay na. Papel lang ang kulang sa `min. Fatherly. I hadn t noticed that he was already on top of me. He didn t look the man who was so eager to propose. Nakakatakot itong Julian na `to. He was teasing me. Julian let me down! I yelled a t his back. He really smiled at me. chaste. Alright. almost a year without this physical aspect of our relationship. He laughed loudl y and lunged at me. He even waved his polo up in the air like a cowboy. Stop He groaned. Ayoko nang magpaka-ipokrita. Damn boxers. It was proven and tested. Grabe. French or torrid. But this was one? We were groping for each other. It was more. He said that with conviction. Our bodies touched. No. He was unbuckling his pants. ganon? Inis nitong sabi. We were husband and wife in the eyes of God. Siguro nga sa `ming dalawa ma s malaki ang pagmamahal ko sa kanya. L agi namang ganon `di ba? There would always be someone who would give more love than the other. What do yo u think are you doing? Perhaps going to striptease? He said playfully. Brotherly kiss. words were mere words until you felt them. I didn t want to close my eyes for a second because Julian might vanish into thin mists. I was trying to capture his mouth. Yes. Julian no! I shrieked when he tickled my feet. Hindi joke lang. Oh. Kung makautos kala mo bayad na sa kasalanan niya.Oh? Kanino? Sa aso. Tuwang tuwa nga ako sa `yo eh. Hindi. I even hugged him tight to myself th at I thought I couldn t breathe anymore. Panira. Pero I believed that you couldn t go play . Anong tingin mo sa `kin palahiang bab oy? I hissed at him. He nipped my lower lip and kissed each corner. Goodness. Thirsty. Massage my temples. Not t hat I was saying living in was justifiable. I gasped. he loves me but not as much as I do. bed! You re not serious. Maybe we were immoral in the eyes of the society. My breath got hitched. I might melt. Were there flames everywhere? It was getting hot. I was really a bit taken aback. smile cracked on his lips. Diniinan ko ang mga kamay sa ulo niya. A kiss meant everything. More that you couldn t define. Yes.
Okay na ba? Not yet. every man had his moment. Posible pala. `yung x-rated version ba naman ang panuorin mo na pinahiram pa sa `yo ng Good Influence and Morally upright mong c mate. Na nakahawak sa bewang ko. I just wished that when we grew old together it would still be like this. It s just Just? I asked impatiently. Nilagyan niya ako ng blindfold. Late na pala ako sa school. ang keso ko. Sila mommy at daddy. Touched me and kissed me like there was no tomorrow. I was like: OH? With arched brows. Nung una nga hindi pa niya m ahanap. Goodness. this was his idea of going slow eh? Parang ako ata a ng unang mamamatay. I shouldn t be surprised but I was. Akala ko hindi. Everyone. I could feel it in his hands. What? Siya nga `yun ang manre-reject? Eeh. Tapos sasabihin ko ano ? kasi hindi ko na maririnig kasi bingi na `ko. Which he thought I had no clue of. The heat and the rush were there. Twice. But I wasn t running for a Maria Clara nominee either. Gentle. And put out the ring. Slow. We should all know our limits. Kahit `yung mga associates ni Julian. By God and by love. I love you He whispered as he claimed me. Si Julian iyon. I was choking back the words. I screamed. Whatever. how I loved this man with all of my heart. Or it could be our heartbeats. He was cuddling against my bosom. I was staring into his eyes. Nag papa-yummy pa kasi. C mon! I wasn t raised to be promiscuous. At ang sa `kin. Well. I was bound to hi m. Mali kot ang mga kamay nito. Akalain mo `yun. Where we could hear our breathing as the music playing in our ears. it was very differen t. He loved me. he cleared his throat. Sisigawan niya `ko. I started crying because because He kneeled down on his knees.around if love wasn t involved. He came back to my lips and kissed me openly. I wanted to laugh at his clumsiness. Jeannette Rose Leviste be my wife? I blinked once. And God. What? I would scream if he told me: no. I was happy and overwhelmed to see all of them. I love you too I whispered against his hair. He took the blindfold off. There was no pain this time. Lalo na `yung mga nagpo-pro pose. Well. `Wag ka ngang excited. . He was killing me softly. He was also tensed. Excuse me? I glared at him and he started chuckling! I just want to make this time gentler. Don t tell me ipapa-salvage mo `ko? I tried to joke my way around him. The great Julian S unico was trembling. We soared. Will you. I thought and heard about sex was all hot and swea ty. Like he really wanted to get acquainted wi th every part and pore of me. He was re ally something huh. Maybe I was really living in one of those fairy t ales and that I would be woken up by my mother. Of course. 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 didn t know it was like this. So. I tast ed a morsel of heaven. He groaned. And almost the same. And Jean with her baby. For the first time. It w as like this was the last time. Hindi ko alam kung dah il dahil alam kong ngayon magpo-propose si Julian. I was a bit tensed. CM talked to me on the phone earlier. Even Brad and Vi ncent were there. I was about to shout at him to go to hell when he started raining tiny kisses do wn the side of my face. Thrice. I gasped. At pumunta kami sa banda roon.
But no. it was me all al ong. Ngayon ko lang na-realize tama sila. I was really s orry. Hindi lahat ng tao mas pinipiling mag-settle down kaysa piliin ang opportunity na ibi nibigay sa kanila. As always. Nakita kong napahigpit ang kamay niya sa hawak na box. Pero sa totoong buhay. I was nominated for a one-year e xhibit and tour around the world. In reality. But I m sorry I can t. 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. Gasgas na pero it wasn t him. 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. I even once asked many about which would they prefer: love or career? I couldn t very well answer my own question back then.And looked at everyone. Alam ko. Tears streamed down my ey es. I should have been the one running away after doing the ecting. As if telling me to say yes. It was the most pai nful and hardest decision to make. The diamond ring was sparkling. For once. u still have a clue that I love life? And so I did Julian. I should have put that in Julian s vocabulary. And I was chasing him. gusto ko namang maging matatag sa mga desisyon ko. Because we couldn t have them all. that s why we have choices. know th sakit rej didn t Didn t yo . I didn t cry. I even dare look at everyone. THIRTY ONE Compromise. I whispered through my blurring vision. I couldn t help it while nodding rapidly. they would ask me the why s and what s. Didn t you know that not all dreams come true? I needed to grow and that didn t include Julian in the picture. I love you you know that. CM s motto: opportunity knocks only at once door. I cried my heart out when I saw the defeat and hatred in his eyes. He did.
there was always an exemption. lagi kong sinasabi noon na mas masarap maging single. Unless you tell me. Abstinence was an avoidable word in their dictionary. you stood against odds and still be together after a year. I won t ask you to wait for me Julian. Heart grew colder with the absence of the other. Pero hindi nga ba k aya nga kakaunti ang pari sa mundo? At ang iba pa sa kanila y. T here was no way around that but time. With pho ne calls! LOL. Glory be to God. It might sound exaggerated. you also have to love what I do! Per o alam kong hindi ganon kadali `yun. Not that I was here to sit judgment. Julian painting is my very first love. That finding your self wasn t really true. Kasi wala ka ngang ka-monthsary! Wal ang naninigaw sa `yo on the phone when you couldn t text him. Of course. Hindi lang naman lalaki ang makakapagpaligaya sa `yo. You could live without them but somehow let s be honest . Siguro hindi na `ko natakot. Ano bang alam ko nung time na `yun? Gusto ko lang maging m agaling na pintor. Yes. Pero masak it Jeannie. Bulong nito. Ang gulo ko no? I asked him not to wait for me but then I wished with all my heart t hat he would. syempre masarap pa ring merong pipilit na kunin `yung kamay mo in public kahit kunwari ayaw mo. His forehead was be nt against the wall. Sa mga single. Wala ka pa. Mamamatay `yan kung isang taong walang putahe sa hapag kainan. Pain was pain. Masara p walang pinagkakagastuhan kapag monthsary. One year Jeannie? Do you think a year is only a day for me? Galit nitong sabi. Nung humarap siya. Why not? Either I ha d no choice `coz there was no one had dared to hold my hand at that time. He didn t bother to turn around when I shut the door closed. Just being realistic. In New York. Lit erally and hmm figuratively. His back was turned to me. But it was almost true. kung iiwan ako ng lalaking m ahal ko sa harap ng altar baka mapatay ko siya ng wala sa oras. Julian Akala ko dati. Isang taon pa kaya? I wasn t being pessimistic here. Long distance relationship only stood a chance as big as my thumb finger. men are men. Kung anim na bwan nga `yung iba wala na. O dahi l sa dinami dami ng lalaki sa mundo walang sumigaw sa `kin ng katulad ng pagsiga w ni Julian. Ano ba. Gusto kong matupad ang mga pangarap ko. Wala ka bang sasabihin? Gusto kong sabihing naiintindihan kita. His fists clenched. Isang taon lang `yun Julian.I found him in the adjacent room. Again. Nandun na `yun eh. Sino bang nakakaalam kung bakit ganito ang mga babae? . But hey. In general. Gusto kong isigaw sa kanya: If you love me. Jeannie I will Wait for you My breath got hitched. kaartehan lang `yung mga nababasa t napapanood ko. C`mon! `Wag na nating loko hin ang sarili natin. And it was my dream e ven before Julian entered my oh-so-boring life. True. Na gkakasala. Or even last night! He was now shou ting. Reality bites. Those were just life s facts. Or they weren t as sexy as Julian. Before you. Kahit ako man. But wasn t that our problem? Time. `Coz I don t know what will happen. I smiled bitterly to myself. He didn t turn around. He looked at me from head to foo t. That was what I wanted to hear from him. I tried to smile. life without them was a boring world. If and only if they d devoted themselves to God. At hindi naman sa wala akong ti wala sa mga lalaki. And warm hugs. I pouted and looked out of the w indow. Ano? Magtititigan na lang tayong mga bab ae? At the back of our minds we wished for someone to fill the cold nights. I ll be away for a year. It was very true. You could have told me yesterday.
if you walk out of that door. I lo Don t tell me you love me. Jeannie! I raised one brow. I like him. Ano ba `yang ginagawa mo ha? Tingin pa. BITTER! After a few e-mails and letters. What? He smiled sheepishly. 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.Never forget you. I didn t care. I tried pushing him toward the kitched. It seemed cliché but I m letting you go. Pwede ba. I mopped my forehead with the towel. So this was what he called letting go huh. Busy? I shrugged my shoulders. I won t ask where you are going. He arched one brow. I understand. Sino `to? I avoided his scrutiny. I cleared my throat and glared at him. Ano ba Jeannie defensive na sabi ni to. Ang arte. You k now dear. it s okay with me. este uumagahi n. Then shrugged. `Yung lalaki sa panaginip mo? Tuwing gabi dinadalaw ka? CM! He looked at the painting more closely. I glared all the more at him. Hindi kaya maglolokohan lang tayo? He gave up on me. We disappointed you. Narinig kong ang pagbagsak ng mga gamit at kung ano mang mga nagkala t na basag doon. I snatched the cloth from him and cove red it again. Ganon din naman `yun. I chose my path. It meant goodbye. My heart was breaking into pie ces. Kung gagabihin kayo e. For you. `di topless. Ex mo? Kung makapagtanong kala mo inosente! I gritted my teeth. He shook his head. I wanted to slap him at that moment. Ah. Gusto mo bang sabihin ko sa `yong hihintayin kita Jeannie? Then wha t after our promises to one another. couldn t I just have both? Somehow maybe I would eventually forget him. Was there a difference? Iniba niya lang ng phrase pero ganon din `yun! Jeannie if you stay you choose me. Of course. It would deteriorate with ti me. Sino pa bang titili ng ganoon kung hindi ang kaisa-isang kaib igan ko sa mundong ibabaw. Let s eat. I m sorry baby JJ. However. Para akong rob ot na naglalakad. You re giving up on me. Two years later. Oo. He paushed. natetempt akong mag-stay. You might be seeing some body I don t know. Julian I whispered when I was in between the door and the outside world toward achi eving my dream. Bago pa man ako makapagsalita ay nahugot na ni CM `yung tel a mula sa canvass. I bit my lip to stop from crying out. Nahiya ka lang pero ang ido-draw . And Julian didn t want anything to do with it. Hinara ngan ko `yung painting sa likuran ko. Eh. dammit! Just just get the hell out of here!!! Nanlaki ang mga mata ko at naisara ko agad ang pinto. Get out Jeannie. And damn if he wasn t handsome here and nud e. But it hurt a lot. He shook his head. What if you find someone new? What if you do? I hissed at him. Sakalin ko na kaya `tong kaibigan kong `to? He tried looking over my shoulders. Sh!t. he isn t nude here. I m hungry. So. Galit kong sabi sa kanya. A mere whisper. God. So what time s your date later with Rick? Todo smile ito. `Yun lang ang naiintindihan ko sa lahat ng `to. My mind was made up. I gritted my teeth. Postcard greetings. And correction. I didn t really care. Wala. Pero pano na lang `yung mga pa ngarap ko? Hindi lahat ng tao nabibigyan ng ganitong opportunity. I really do. I gaped at him.
And they were all returned! Except for the e-mail syempre. Kung siya ang mapapangasawa ko ulit. Mabilis akong na patayo. Bago pa kung saang imperti nenteng lugar mapadpad iyon. He stood up and moved right to the door. He smiled at me. Who? I asked innocently. Dammit. He held my hand. Lakad. Magtira ka sa sarili mo. We now shared a unit. I couldn t ever forget that face. Inis na sabi sabay irap. those black eyes. Two years. I tried hard not to jab him in the ribs. . Naiiyak na `ko ng hindi ko na siya maki ta. we were in the 21st century. Akala ko ba nakalimutan mo na siya! Grabe. No more Julian. You look beautiful and sexy. She won the painting contest. I was even looking out for some sign s of imperfection. I snorted. You know that I like you Jeannette. Maybe he was an angel sent from above. My eyes grew wide. I ve already forgotten him CM. It was so un-CM like. Hey. Takbo. He was half-Canadian half-Filipino.ing mo talaga nude. Ang h irap kausapin ang sarili mong isip. Excuse ako ng excuse par ang wala namang naririnig! Julian Bulong ko. Nakalimutan ko na siya. Uh-okay. I tried hard not to glare at him. Malamang magiging gwa po o maganda ang magiging anak namin. It was all worth it. Goodn ess. Gwapo. I smiled at him. He didn t exist anymore. So now he wasn t perfect. My very first date after almost two years. Y es. sent postcards and letters. This was our first date. eleven months and twenty seven days. Me? Ah. Rick was handsome. At bolero! Na ni minsan hindi man lang ginawa sa `kin ni Julian . para sa susunod na magmamahal ka u lit may ibibigay ka pa. Nabigla ako. Actually. Totoo naman. He was really one he ll of a handsome man. I know. I was looking out of the crowd when I met a pair of eyes. Baka si Piolo Pascual. His hand started squeezing my thighs. Napa-smile ako kay CM. And very gentleman. Kahit kahit `pag sumisigaw siya hindi ko na matandaan kung pano nagigin g singkit lalo `yung mga mata niya. How could you love another if you couldn t love yourself? She spent wandering around the world. At si Julian ang devil. I know thank you. where are you going? I squeezed through the throng of people. Para siyang sawa. Para kasing sinapian na naman siya ng masamang espiritu. He raised an inquiring eyebrow at me. I couldn t breathe anymore. In a fashionable way. I was starting a new life now. Save that he wasn t Julian. And this was New York! Kulang na lang ako ang gawin niyang dinner. I started preparing for our food. But deep inside there was that wishful thinking that somehow he should have been there at night to cuddle her. Pisil pa. Bakit ba hindi? Sino bang unang nakalimot? I e-mailed him. it was a year. Hindi dahil nasasakal ako sa yakap ng katabi ko. I looked at his impeccable white shirt underneath his coat. Matangkad. At lalong hindi ko na natatandaan kung pano siya Humalik? Inirapan ko siya. huwag mo ng ibigay ang lahat. I his sed. Kahit anong pigil ko sa kama y niya kung saan napupunta. I took hold of his hand. Wala na ni hindi ko na nga natatandaan kung pano siya ngumiti. He was as sleek as a snake. Mab ango. The people were blocking him. Malay ko bang nagkaroon pa kami ng baby JJ the sec ond. Jeannie kung magmamahal ka. I shook my head. Jeannie What! You haven t forgotten him. Pa-humble pa. You seemed preoccupied. no.
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
`Yung mga tatanga-tangang sumusunod sa yapak ni Cinder ella. Very fashionable. it s me Tricia. Si Julian lang talaga ang evi l dito. all in capital letters. So shall we go? Tricia smiled at me. Not ex. Hello? Hey. Julian. Tricia. Teka nga bakit ang dami mong alam? He talked to your mother. CM! The phone started ringing. Hindi ako ganon ka-kontrabida. no. Pero isa lang sure k o jealousy could kill. as I stared outside the glas s panel from here. Ah no. Silence. legally speaking. Laruan tama. I was never fond of maltreated protagonists. 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. Ahm Jeannie lulubus-lubusin ko na ha. Well. Mabilis iyong inabot ni CM.WHAT?! Just like that? Ganon ba kaliit `yung tingin niya sa `kin? He shrugged. at least I didn t have evil stepsisters. H e smiled evilly at me. Pero kanino? Sa sarili ko? Kay Tri cia ba? O sa napakawalanghiya kong ex-hubby. Sino bang laruan dito? THIRTY THREE I now know the word STUPID. And little did I know that. At ngayon? Hindi ko alam kung unti-unti ko bang pinapatay `yung sarili ko. that word would be applied to me someday and that someday happened to be now. Baby. Nagsubo ito ng maraming popcorn. Jeannie! What? Why don t you take Julian back? I slowly shook my head. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. All about baby JJ. Ah. Wala nga lang sa kanya `di ba? He d even moved on and forgotten all about me. She was wearing a floral dress with a cardigan. Err I hated him. Was t here such a thing? Could pain kill you? Hindi naman siguro. Never EX. I stared stupidly at CM. Ano Jeannie ? Ibabalik na ba ni Tricia si Julian? Now I knew the expression: ASA! OB. Gusto kong magalit. Pwede mo ba `kong samahan sa OB? I want this to be a surprise Surprise! The phone went out of my grasp. eh? Napatingin . We weren t even mar ried. 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.
God forgive me. 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. Tricia was the first real love of Julian. I was still silent and mum about it. Nauwi kami sa videoke bar. Before I could even drink my fourth glass. Pero pwede ba at some point lahat tayo nagiging makasa rili kapag nagmamahal `di ba? Now I was getting all worked up. Palabas pa lan g kami ng clinic. almost one year and seven and a ha lf months? Actually I wanted it to be a surprise. Hindi siya buntis hindi siya buntis nagdadalang-tae lang si Tricia. . Tapos pumili na ng kanta si Tricia. He hissed. too bad of me to pray. Julian only looked at me. It was awkward. The doctor smiled widely. And disgusted wit h myself. half-crying. a hand grabbed mine. Are you sure? She looked down at me. Ahm mrs. Argh. Tricia was spared to drink any liquor. 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. So it was five months going huh. Tricia was half-laughing. It s confirmed J ulian! Thank you So it was confirmed.? Sa sobrang lakas ng kaba ko parang ako ang mahihimatay. Anong pakialam ko?! Kahit 24/7 pa `yan! Parang convenient store. May we all have an everlasting friendship! W alang agawan. Tsss. Utang na loob! So was it any consolation that J ulian mourned over our relationship for over. Walang iyakan. No! Oo. Tricia! I closed my eyes to keep my emotions intact. 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.akong bigla sa tiyan niya. for all I care. Itinayo niya `ko. I met a pair of chinito eyes. Hindi ako makangiti. Give love on Christmas day! CM cheered. It was a time to celebrate. You and Julian can go to hell together. Nakakat atlong baso na ko. Hindi ba magmumukha ako ng bitter? And that would be sheer hypocrisy. Are you okay? Lumingon ako. I tried to smile. Kailangan pa ba niyang sabihin `yun? Five months now. Pero minsan naiisip kong patirin si Tricia. Lagyan ng kung anong valium ang inumin nito. At sak a hello? Bakit dito pa? Pwede namang sa Pinas `di ba? Oh. Sabay biglang labas ng doctor. You re drunk. Spell desperada. Ano bang ginagawa ko dito? Nagpapakamasokista? Maglaslas na lang kaya ako? Nasa baba na kami ng condo building ni Tricia.A. I haven t been celibate say GOD. Thanks doctor. Uh-huh. They were together. alam k o. So God wasn t on my side. Gusto kong sumi gaw na ang O. Pano kung sila talaga? After all. Congratulations! Let s cheers to that. What the hell It s your fourth glass. Halos akayin na ko ni Tricia. Hindi ako iiyak. Big time. mo Tricia! Dahil bitter ako sobrang bitter. Yeah. As if. I was rooted to the seat. Mag-iinom kasi broken hearted ka. We turned around and Tricia quickly ran to him and hugged him. So how are you? Someone new? I wanted to smile and tell her: Yes. Sa totoo lang hindi ko alam kung bakit pa `ko pumayag samahan siya sa OB. I averted my eyes away from the scene. Iba na ata ibig sabihin niyon ngayon. I ve found someone new and I m very much happy. Congratulations! You re two and a half months on the family way.
he said sarcastically. Demanding. I told you. My tears rolled down as the cold nights and empty sheets lay behind the almos . no! Hindi ko sinabi `yun! I was drunk. Sunico hu h? I gritted my teeth. Like you taught me. Move a little. Who t old him about Rick? That maniac. I thought I d forgotten that mouth. That lips I had kissed many times before. Under my lo and behold future! Almost there. I eyed CM with warning. Love will lead you back. I covered my mouth and ran to the bathroom. I was ready to puke. Of course. Kung sinong mas magaling! I hissed. Then we turned slowly. CM smiled at me. Galit na sabi nito. He moved forward. His head came down upon me. We screwed in the backseat I was even comparing notes. His hands grabbed my sho ulders. I m sor ry Oh my God. slap him or lied about not liking i t. Hindi ko alam k ung sinong sumundo sa`kin. I missed his ne arness. Ano bang pakialam mo? Tinanggal ko ang kamay niya at ngumiti. Is h e making you happy Jeannie? He laughed sarcastically. More than happy Do you know what? God forgive me for this. So I ve heard about your new boyfriend. CM! Julian was also shocked. Uh-oh. Oh. I was ushered into Julian s lap. you love it. I had no strength anymore. Jeannie can you move a little over there? Masikip. I didn t know what I was doing. don t you? Why not for th e last time Jeannie? Do you know the word fvckiiiing qui ckie? He was mad. CM smiled at me innocently. shaking me. My eyes were getting misty. Tric ia s busy singing. I drank it in one fill without breaking the eye contact. Uh-oh.I raised one brow. He s making me happy Julian. Someday I just know that love will lead you back in my a rms I winced. Aren t we here to celebrate? I blurted out bitterly. An artist also. I can t read the lyrics from here. I g asped. yes. There at the side of my ahm waist. He mouthed. Yes. The same heat and inten sity was there. Tricia was singing my eyes grew wide. Did it still taste the same? Oh. She seemed really oblivious. Yes. I liked it rough . Gusto ko siyang sampalin. god. Yes. that was it. Julian s chinky eyes turned into slits. Sorry. Magtabi kami ni CM. Julian s hand steadied me fr om slipping into the floor in the other side. He moved forward. Just don t make any noise. It was like he was a menacing predator the next. Biglang nagiba ang tono ng boses nito. But I didn t try to hold back. This was what you called Women s violation! His hand was there. I m going to sing. Para akong masusuka. My so-called bestfriend just ignored me! Sa pagkakalipat nito ay nalipat si Julian sa tabi ko. I looked down at his hand. And so w as I. Oh. Ooops. I slowly smiled at him. At sabay tulak sa`kin. you shouldn t drink. Hindi naman ako claustrophobic pero parang nasosuffocate ako. Someone was caressing my back to and fro. Sige tuloy niyo lang `yan. Julian s teasing smile froze me in place. Exactly. Hindi naman ako `yung nagsalita non `di ba? Julian s grin was deliberate. Goodness so y ou aren t any different from your sister. Pero hindi ko magawa. mmkay? I looked at Tricia. So it was the high and mighty Mr. Hindi ko sinasadya. Mabilis akong tumayo despite th e dizziness. Oh-kay. I missed him shouting at me because he was concerned. Ahm excuse me Julian pwede bang dito ka na lang umupo? Diyan ako sa tabi ni Tricia . Tricia frowned. I missed him. CM said drily. If I know! Pinindot niya talaga ` yung stop button. Bruising my lips. my words. Umusog ako sa gilid palayo.
Hindi na `ko magtataka kung isang araw ay hindi na`ko magising. I got his point. Because the truth was becoming real to me with each passin g day. At least he was still as affected to me as he was. I started crying. There was always someone in the way. 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. get in line please! I stared numbly at the organizer. He shrugged at me. I was still wide awake. Totoo `yun. kung nagkita kayo after so many years at hindi naging maganda ang break-up. Okay. 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. Kaya galit siya sa`kin. He pushed me away from him. He looked up. For ever. Na parang walang pakialam! Anger was always okay than indiffe rence. I was the first among the Miss Stupidest runners-up. Tricia was the second one. Jean was the first one. Kung umayaw ako. Katulad mo. Maybe it was just sp elled that way. Tatlo lang `yun. 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 heard CM asking him when he went out. Sa`min ni Julian? It should have been Neverever. 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. I swear. I didn t dare wipe the tears. Though he didn t love her i t wasn t me he really got tangled with. Congratulations. Kung ginawa niya `yun? Syempre magagalit ako ng bonggang b ongga! Pero maiintindihan ko ba siya? Syempre kung tanong lang `yun madaling sabi hing: I ll understand you. Pero hindi. I thought dreams were made to escape the painful reality. music please . And more years to come He d be gone from me forever. It was all too vivid. maiintindihan naman nila `ko `di ba? Dapat intindihin nila `ko. Ang love parang li pstick. Isn t that what you want to hear from me Julian? I asked him sarcas tically. kahit gawa `yan para hindi matanggal o mapalis basta basta darating at d arating pa rin ang expiration date niyan. Pero hindi. Pero lalo lang akong b inabangungot. eh. Okay. And at that time Tricia was m y only chance of ever achieving it. If ever my lipstick smeared. Kung ginawa niya `yun noon. Walang taong ganoon kabait at kamartir. I m still mad at yo u because you hurt me (In truth. I smiled to myself humorlessly. Malungkot itong tumingin sa kanya. I closed my eyes.t two years. Thank you because you left me. I d file a laws uit against its manufacturer. O kung meron man hindi ako `yun. What for? Couldn t he see my heart breaking i nto pieces in front of him? I felt my lips were swollen. sino pa bang tatalbog sa pinakamagarang award na makukuha ko? Kahit nga si Janine San Miguel walang panama sa `kin. Now tell me. CM nudged my shoulder to keep going. Was there such a thing? Forever. If he ever chose Tricia for his dream over me I would still be mad at him. Some consolation. That would be sheer stupidity. Jeannie our family s business is my dream. 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. As if I had a contagious disease. For some reason.
Alam mo ba `yung feeling na nagsisikip `yung dibdib mo? Like you were getting suffocated due to pain? Na lalong sumasakit an g dibdib mo kapag pinipigil mong umiyak? That was how I felt just by looking str aight at him. Of course. When I looked up I met a pair of dark. Are you okay? I slowly looked up. Kaw awa naman `yung mga walang kamuwang-muwang na halaman. Mine was enough for me to handle.There was a pianist. I ran away from there as fast as I could. This was what they cal led almost dying. do you take this woman as your lawfully wedded wife? My vision became blurred. Then I gave Tricia the flower. Goodness. I couldn t stop from sobbing . She tried to pat my hand but I turned away from her. Nakakadiri ako. chinky eyes. As if I was a dimwitted. Kasi sobra. Julian Sunico. What had I done now? What! I snapped at the organizer. Sa `kin lahat sila nakatingin. I didn t need another broken heart. you ll feel my pain. Sana may cut. I was walking like a zombie. I was clutching silly at the bunch of flowers. He handed me a towel. but into many pieces. Luha. CM was eyeing me pit ifully. Or pride? I didn t know. all I cared about was myself. I love this woman greatly. I just fou nd myself sitting on the bench with him. He didn t say a thing. And he started talking. either mabaliw ako or maisipan kong mag-suicide bombin g sa loob ng simbahan. But she couldn t she couldn t love me back. The pain was excruciating. When he le ft her I was there to catch her. I started crying and vomiting. Kasi feeling ko. Willed her mother to be strong. Para naman alam ko kung kailan pipigilan ang emosyon. They were right in front of the pretend pries t reciting their bows. Neither did I. Out. No Don t J ulian. hopeless case r etard. t o sacrifice and to understand. Alam mo ba kung gano kasakit `yun? Hindi. great. Fighting spirit . Hindi ko alam kung anong masamang espiritung sumapi sa `kin. Kunwari tumawa ako. Hindi ko na sana nakilala si Julian. Free will. Parang slow motion napatingin ako sa kamay ko. Oo na. Actually. Jeannie. me listening. That is what love is isn t it? You have to give. Kasalanan niya `to. Ha? Napatingin ako sa paligid ko. Nanlaki `yung mata niya na parang sinasabing: Oh. Pero sana sana lang may take two. My sister was staring helplessly at me. Lahat naghalo na. But not really. Sana naman kung nakikinig siya somehow he could guide me. At take note: sa loob ng simbahan. Her boyfriend got her pregnant. If he was sympathizing with me. Just as the words were out. Naiinis ako kasi mas aya siya at ako hindi. Gusto kong isigaw na wala akong pakialam. Lalo na `yung mga caretak ers. I glared at her. Do you know. 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. Pero anong alam ko nung time na `yun? I didn t know that I was doing that specifically for her. Ang selfish ko no? I was hurting too much to be sensible. Para akong nasa pelikula. And of course. Sipon. I do. I brushed my hair away from m y wet face. My heart wasn t just broken into two. `felt like it was my death march. Tricia smiled at me hesitantly and reached out to me What? Jeannie You re holding the bouquet. I couldn t handle it at the moment. But at this point in time. anong ginawa ko sa`yo? She shouldn t have made me replace her. . I didn t know how I dared to be here.
How cruel love is. Julian whispered. Mali ako. I stopped dead in my tracks. Mr. Magulo. Understanding what he meant. Nothing to say. But this time there was one thing he didn t own anymore. be us against the world . So I married her. You re a good woman. I turned to women from night to night. Bakit pa kasi nauso ang past. Sa tingin mo ba kung mabubuhay tayo ulit gugustuhin mo pa rin akong makilala? I tr ied not to croak. we did things we would never have thought for the sake of love. I loved you. Sana nga I was walking down the memory lane. Why are you asking this nonsense? Nonsense? I laughed. But after all those years. Sabi nila wala daw definition `yun. she s grateful to me. Nagkamali kami pa reho. I s tarted hating her for not loving me back. sacrifice and understand. Sa totoo lan g hindi ko naman talaga maintindihan kung anong ibig sabihin ng love. He was there.You have to give. God. This time I was successful. Go figure. Napalingon ako sa kanya. I really tried. Nakakatawa no? Manood ka ng XXX tuwang tuwa ka. He frowned at me. He was looking down at the stones. God will give you the man you are loo king for. you just have to tell him that at some point you love him as a son. Loved. Makakita ka ng PDA sa l abas yamot na yamot ka. But only we had different meanings of love. Not that I was saying love was connected to lust or so. right? Jeanni Kung hihilingin kong maging masaya ka. Just as I am to you. Sinisisi niya `yung sarili niya sa divorce niyo. Hindi mo maintind ihan. I think. I crossed my fingers and hiccupped. At one point. And you hurt Julian the most. present and future tense? EPILOGUE And in another life I would be your girl We keep all our promises. I loved him I love him still But things change d. 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. Like he always. standing as if he owned the world. But I didn t want her gratitude. Whatever. It was only up to us how to show it. Akal a niya na-neglect siya. Ngumiti ako. LOL. Sunico smiled at me. that would be sheer hypocrisy Julian. It was like that in love. Pero naniniwala akong meron. Bulong ko. The only way I knew I could hurt her back He shrugged. but then I wished with all my heart that you d be happy if only that is with me.
I was a scared rat. Congratulations! That started the word forever. and I find someone more beau tiful than I ever am. yes. maibabalik ko ba lahat? Had I cried openly would he would we What if there is a time machine? Or Reincarnation is real? Would I have made him stay? Would we meet again? Sa totoo lang hindi ko alam kung anong formula kung p ano manatili ang love. Halos mapaantanda ako sa gustong ipabili nito. Meron ng bumisita dito? I hear a child s laughter from a distance. My eyes grow wide when I s ee a pair of a child s feet.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. Eh. Unknowingly comparing myself to other people. where are you? Haven t you been with Roy? He told me you re not feeling well. Hey. I bet you didn t guess how insecure I am. I chuckle drily. CM. 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. Pero lagi akong humihiling na sana ako si ganito. may d . Ang gulo ng mundo no? If you ended up together after so many endeavors. Oh. Perfect. Deep down I know there s always something that kept me apart from her. Na-tense ako. Splitting hairs. sino ba? I ve always dreamed of something big. First to Jean then to Tricia. `yung tao ang gumagawa ng kapalaran niya? Ts k. I vee never been contented in my whole life. my Napaatras ako sa pagkabigla. Forever. Pero kung sumigaw ba`ko ng mas malakas. With rolled eyes. Wow. Well. but of course. better luck next time. Paskong pasko. I am always splitting hairs. Relationshi ps: Sawa to awa. I laugh about that. I start hating the phrases what ifs and what could have beens. next life. So like Jean Somehow. Kung may love potion lang malamang bestselling item `yun. 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. `di sana tumaya na lan g ako sa lotto non `di ba? They were one in a million. Tita Jeannie! Where s my psp? My laptop and she keeps rambling. Give the phone to Czarina. Do you ever believe in destiny? Eh. Yeah. I put down the flowers. Y our skins tingle when you touch. Merry Christmas! Nagpaparamdam ka ba sa `kin baby JJ? Did you miss mommy? I kneel down. hell. Regrets are those for what you can t have done. Love is a very frightenin g thing. Is happiness really elusive? Hindi ko ginustong mag-asawa ng maaga pero hindi ko rin naman pinangarap na tuma ndang dalaga. The one that got away I hit the high-pitched note as I imitated Katy Perry s song. And hearing her daughter s voice made me w ish that I were her. Yeah. Well. He loves you I sigh. God must have pitied upon you. I smile softly to myself. O kung hindi man None in a million. My cell phone is ringing. So mehow I know it by heart. Binagalan ko `yung pagda-drive. Someone who can make our hearts beat faster. I feel a pang of uncertainty. Kaya nga siguro deep down. Hindi niyo siguro napansin. I close my eyes and pray. I thought I could never live up to Julian s standard. I am funny. Hindi ko rin alam kung bakit nagpe-fade `yun. I am beautiful. He s laughing. Hello? Ako ang iyong konsensya I grit my teeth. And we thought he will be Mr. Oh. no don t go there anymore Jeannie. I raised one brow. Right or Mr. Al am mo naman `yung tao kung gano nag-aalala sa`yo. Parang umo-order lang sa menu kung humiling. Meron sa buhay natin na darating. ne ver naman akong humiling ng Mr. Napangiti ako. I always envy my twin. Ak o si ganyan.
ginawa ko na. No no t mocking but it was as if he was telling me that everything would be alright. Ayokong magpaka-ipokrita. do you take this woman. O `yun `yung gusto kong palabasin ngayon. Tumalik od ito. My vision was getting blurry. I was looking down at the tiled floor. Naku halika na. I wanted to let go of the pain. Nakita ko na lang si Tricia na naglalakad palapit sa`kin. An overwhelming urge to slap him was building deep inside me. I feel that emptiness again. It s been five years I whisper and close my eyes and it all came back to me. w e were hoping against hope. I heard someone scream. Siya ang nagtata nong. Now I know what the phrase killing me softly meant. Giving me the bouquet of flowers. The corner of his mouth twitched in a lazy smile. Then a woman came running in uniform. Finish. Pe ro pano? I do. But I couldn t set the love free so ea sily. She remi nds me of Tantan. Sino ka? I wince. Tricia was in front of me. This is for you Jeannie. Kung pwede lang akong sumigaw ng freeze katulad ni Ella.. I slowly smiled. My heart sank to the pit of my stomach. It was all over. Hindi ko na kaya. There were a lot of well-wishers.. Julian took that particular hand of Tricia s that hand that signified letti ng go while he was looking looking at me. My eyes got misty. So it was really over? The end. But he was there his hands were inside his jeans pocket. Three steps. What was far more hurting than seeing the one you loved walk down the aisle wi th someone not you? Julian August Sunico. It was like in slow motion. CM patted my shoulder. They were all staring. Bakit ganon n o? Lagi nating sinasabing hindi tayo nag-eexpect pero deep inside. Hindi ko alam kung anong nangyayari. Kasi nasasaktan ako . at t his point I was wishing them the worst. She smiled at me. I wish the doctors are wrong. alam natin. I almost snorted. I looked up. I didn t dare look at everyone or anyone for that matter.alaw! The child is holding a doll. I was doomed to be a spinster forever. Thank you. Siya ang na nga ang nanggulat. Two. I wished I was in a time warp. Nasangga. Ayokong tumingin sa tabi niya. 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. She is thumb sucking. Kung tututol ba `ko papakinggan niya `ko? Hindi ba masasayang ang effort ko kung mapapahiya lan g din naman ako? So let s proceed. My hand was trembling as I took the bouquet from her gloved. Wala bang tututol? Sisigaw ba `ko? I placed a hypocritical smile on my lips. I was praying with all my might that God w ould give me strength to get through this. e xpecting and gaping at us. Hindi man ako tumingin alam ko alam ko ng lahat sila sa `kin nakatingin. I was going to throw up any minute now. Natulak. Sana hindi na lang sana Julian was looking at me. the maid smiles tentati vely and take the child s hand. Everybody was cheering. Gusto kong itanong kay father. My fate was sealed. white hand. I was staring num bly at Jesus Christ. Was he also mourning for me? Hindi ko kaya. Or did I? I . That was the last of my full thoughts. to have held a child of my own. for everything. biting my lower lip `til I almost draw blood. 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. One. At me.
That Five-letter fvcking word. As i n. `Yung tawang: Mwahahaha. Parang naparalyze `yung buo kong katawan. Present. I almost touch the stop button on the remote co ntrol. Goodness. WALA AKONG TIWALA. Sana Coach bag `yung matagal ko ng inuungot sa kanya. Hija! It s been a long while since you came back C M clears his throat. ako? Because of just one man? Because of love? . No not name. Czarina comes running with my mom. Hindi ko alam kung matutuwa ba ako kay CM o ano. Napatingin si mommy dito. Special child. he is a handsome and charming man. I met him through. 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 learn to like him through the years. I snort. half-canadian . Roy hugs me as he hands me his gift. wala akong tiwala. All I want for Christmas is Jul youuuuuu! Hindi ko siya pinansin. Half-fil. My eye s twinkle. Kung Titanic ang laman nito paniguradong gagawin ko ta lagang parol si CM. I snort. Hit me on the head. Magpatayo na rin kaya ako ng monument sa Luneta? A t least he died for his country. Merry Christmas! Nakita kong may ibunulong si CM kay Czarina. Somehow I am restless that Christmas day. Special ka kaya. Lang huh? Okay lang. Then a face so familiar comes in view. It was a dvd disk. CM but in. Well. He pouts. all in capital letters. Merry Christmas. I gasp. Stupidass. of course CM. kunsintidora! CM handed me a box. She beams at me and kisses my chee k. The video is blurred at first. Na para bang diyan lang sa Star City ang hinihiling nito. Epilogue Part Two Wala na po siya.fainted. Good girl. I raised one brow. At sa sobrang katalin uhan ko dinaig ko pa si Rizal. Hindi ko alam kung bakit gusto niyang magkita kami ngayon. Sa`kin okay lang `yung trip to Disney land. Hindi ko alam kung bakit o kung ano ng nagtutulak sa`king panoorin `yun. 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. Nakaalis na siya? Damn. dear! I smile at him. He was an event organizer in New York. Mamamatay ka na ba at ito ang gift mo? O kaya nagh ihirap? Fine. Wallet? Necklace? My mind s warming up with all the expensive gifts I can ever have from him. I almost throw it in his face. That name. Nothing else. I roll my eyes. J ean s laughing and kisses her daughter. That Christmas eve we open our gifts. I m being ungrateful. I loathe that word. Do n t you know that Christmas had just been a holiday word to me? Entirely foreign. Knowing CM. Siguro mabait lang talaga ako. Well. Sabay tumawang parang demonyo. Okay. Define mabait. well. Just a noun. sabi nga ni CM titigan mo lang ng buong araw busog ka na. That morning I wake up and watch that video. I love you tita. This time louder with matching ubo pa. Bakit hindi.
You bought my paintings? I start hiccupping. It s bittersw eet. 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. their caretaker. Leviste? I nod. Malabo. I raise one brow at him. Kundi ba naman nakakatulig `yung pagtili niya. Yuck. Lofty thoughts Jeannie Bulong ko sa sarili ko. Hindi ko napansin na ako na lang pala mag-isa. And no doubt obscene ones. Something warm tugs at my heart. You know what. Vague. Nanginginig na naman `yu ng mga kamay ko. Naramdaman mo na bang kahit anong sakit ang idinulot niya sa`yo. I take it and sniff. Damn him Damn he-who-has-no-name. You re gross. I slowly turn around. I raise one brow. Syempre sinama ko si CM. Pictures of me grimacing on our wedding day. Sumunod po kayo sa `kin. Parang slow motion sa pelikula. D addy! There s a woman here! She s a strangeeeeeer! Napapikit ako. Napatingin ako sa malaking bahay sa harapan ko. She frowns at me. I take it. My so-called doomsday before. Maybe just in anoth er lifetime I d have made him stay. if ever. Having my own child. Ikaw ikaw `yung Ikaw `yung babae sa cemetery! Saan ba nagmana ang batang `to? Hindi ba tinuturuan ang mga mayayaman ng GMRC sa exclusive schools nila? I slowly chuckle at the thought. Jade! My eyes grow wider. Who are you? At namaywang pa! Her chinky eyes tur n into slits. My heart constricts just by imagin ing myself having a family. Hey. `Wag niyo ng itanong ang mga details . my God! Anak ka ng demon Oh. I bet she ll shake t he whole house off. I cup both her cheeks. He kn ew where. Three teeth are mi ssing. I stop cold in my tracks. My knees become weak. I m looking around the house. he can still make your heart beat faster? Naramdaman mo `yung feeling na kahit na pilit mong . The kid skids away from my grasp. Sobra. Ipinagbilin po kayo ni ma am Tricia. The hou se is overlooking the Taal Lake. Long ago I ask that mys elf. Malamig talaga dito. Hindi dahil nakalimutan ko n a kundi dahil hindi ko ginustong maalala. Those days that I love him. Of course. Knowing CM. Hindi ko napigilan ang hindi mapaiyak. I ll just wait outside. wasn t it? Para `kong nanghihina. salamat aalis na lang Kayo po ba si Ms. I close my eyes tight. CM tilts his head to one side as if shooing me. Those days I wish I have again. I wince. With him. my heart bea t triple time. murm uring love words. Those days that I thought I ll hate him forever w hich I m doing a poor job of it. He ll be the Ice breaker. Life-size photos of me in Morocco. Naiisip ko lang kung pano `y ung next scene.God. Anak ka ni Mabilis akong napakapit sa muk ha nito. Alam ko matutuwa I mean. I suddenly blu sh. somehow I start hating mysel f. There are p ictures portraits I remember vaguely. Kaya nga gusto ko ng pagtakhan si CM. Ma am? Napalingon ako. It reminds me of Oh. kikilabutan lang kayo. Have she heard me? Oh. lady won t you talk to me? She pouts prettily. Sige. She s looking up at me And my. That was our best time together. no. My eyes get misty I so remember those days. God sorry. May nag-abot sa`kin ng panyo. Ma am? Ha? I turn to. Cute. He s on the phone. Napalingon ako sa bulilit na katabi ko. Masarap s ana kung may kayakap. My eyes grow wide as we enter a white room. `Nu ba `yan Panira ng m oment! The white petal looks familiar.
He s expressionless. Kaya nga nagtataka ako sa sarili ko. Close. Hindi dahil ayoko. Or to mock me of what I ve done? Now that you re successful? Hindi ko siya pinansin. ano pa nga bang ineexpect ko mul a sa kanya? He s still the high and might Julian Sunico. That somehow Aladdin will whisk me off wit h his magic carpet. I m just sorry I let you go. Merry Christmas Jeannette Rose Leviste! She waves her hand. And that he the beast will turn into a handsome prince and he ll give the word foreve r a meaning. You re always good at hurtin g everybody. Tricia s gone. How could I have loved him? Galit na pinunasan ko `yung mga mata ko. Pero nakita ko ang pan ginginig ng kamay niya habang hawak ang anak. bad daw ang magsinungaling! Dapat matuwa ako. Hindi ako makapaniwala sa mga naririnig ko. What are you doing here? And more domineering than ever. Sunico. It fades as time goes by. Bakit ba? Hindi ba dapat ako ang magalit? Anong karapata n niya? I walk to the door. this is goodbye. how dare him do that. Jeannie she smiles at me. It works. It s the truth. Ang hindi matibag-tibag n a lalaki. The video. I can t breathe again. They open my child s eyes that there is a prince charming. He s more attractive. Have a happy life Is that a fvcking curse Jeannie? Do you know you creep under my skin. Madaling sabihing hindi ko na siya maha l. I tried to. didn t he? I forget his name. I thoug ht it did.sinasabing wala lang siya sa`yo pero isang tawag lang. Biglang tumigil ang pagpatak sana ng luha ko. So. They ll live happily ever after. I ll be over him in no time at Daddy. Nakalimutan ko she s there. Nung bata ako. He s thirty-something now. you ll tell me yes. She pouts a gain. I open the door and smile to myself. The little girl bit her nails. I frown when the scree . So yeah. Full of pain. Isa lang. Galit na nilagpasan ko siya. idiot don t let go. Sabi ni mommy. Are you here to laugh at me Jeannie? Just a mere whisper. she s she s the one in your study room! Her picture s Julian covers her daughter s mouth. Not Julian s more like Tricia s. Sasampalin ko siya. I ll act matured sophisticated. Hindi ako manunumbat. Now I guess painful is the best term. I even thought he will run to me and hug me. Kundi ayaw makinig ng puso ko. Agree? He slowly squints. But by God. Tumangkad ba siya? Gumwapo? Tumaba? Lalong pumuti? No. Mabilis akong humarap sa kanya. Anong kayang sinasabi ni Tri cia? Nakita kong tinignan ng pagkasama-sama sa anak. Eh. That face. Pero mahirap gawin. Long silence stretched. Hindi mo pa rin mapigilan ang sarili mong umasa? There s that tiny part of you that says. Bingi ka ba? I m going. And everyone who fell i n love became stupid. Juli He even did more than his fair share of kis sing. He stares at me for the longest while. L ike he never existed in my whole life. A four-year old chinita girl. Kahit pangalan mo lang. Madaling sabihing mag-let go. I say instead. Pero sino bang niloko ko? `Yung kuko ko? Gusto kong magreklamo sa Disney! Bakit pa kasi sila nagpaasa. Five years gives him just ice. I m thankful now `coz I didn t get to live with you forever. akala ko kapag hinalikan ni Prince Charming si Snow White okay na . Yes. Sana. Tisha Jade! I met a pair of chinky eyes. Do you know the word pain? I guess. I turn my back on him. I remember the video in my mind s eye. My hand stop in midair as a I hear a gasp. I m not sorry for what I did Jeannie. T hat will be very horrible Mr. The mature lines on his face tell on the wise years. I count one to ten to stop m yself from shouting at him.
It s like I can hear Tricia saying thank you to me to Ju lian as we went out of the OB that day. Gusto kong maiyak sa itsura nito. Julian just kiss Jeannie. Napalingon ako. Back to the present. Naramdaman ko `yung basa sa pisngi ko. She shrugs. That. I m just sorry that I hurt you. I muffle a gasp. Ewan ko ba. Na para bang hinihiling sa`king unawain ko siya. Jeannie tell him what you feel . he loves me. She just wants to live her last years making her family happy. Daddy always looks at your picture when he thought I m not there. Natigil `yung muntik kong pagsinga. I still want to yank that lovely ha ir out of her face which is covered with a bonnet. queers(halamang dagat) are lovable. But then knowing that you know it s soo ner. Not that I love Julian She raises her hand. I m not sorry I took Julian from you. Bakit ikaw ang m aiinggit sa`kin Tricia? Nasa `yo `yung gusto ko. Parang umitim ang balat nito. Nang-aasar ba siya? I even salute you when you left him for your dreams. How long is it daddy? She looks at me. You can be my mommy ag ain. We have a d ate! He shrieks. Surely surely I m wrong? She s dying Jeannie. Do you know she bit her lower lip. P umangit siya. Na para bang pinapatahimik ako kung ano mang magiging violent reaction ko. Grabe! Si Tricia talaga oh. They want her to have a family. It was traced way back when yo u entered my life Jeannie. I even hear d him talking to you Tisha Jade! He s now roaring. `Yung parang magkukuhaan kayo ng oxygen sa isa t isa dahil Julian s glare still work. But you came mahinang sabi nito. Everyone has. Anyways. Mabilis tinakpan ni Julian ang tenga ng bata. I can t seem to ta ke it all in. sweet girl. That s why She s got Leukemia. She thanked me on her wedding day. Ang sama ko ba? My eyes wate r. Living your life knowing that somehow you have a timeline. I am now sobbing silently. Considering mayaman si Julia n. Bilis na Jean nie! Tricia s happy wherever she is. Ano ba! Tigilan na nga natin `to. I don t know where to start. Tricia s dead? No. She laughs heartily. I gasp. Her own. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. 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. Not that sinasabi kong mukha kang pera. That shut him up. God. She looks straight at me as if she is really seeing me. He s jesting right? Mommy s gone to heaven. Hindi ko alam kung ako ba? Dahil dapat makaramdam ako ng galit. She had already a bone marrow transplant then. Gone. No. Na gust o ko ngang gawin. His hand tightens his hold on his daughter. Roy is CM s boo. I envy you you have the zest for life Jeannie. Oh. She paused. Tricia she never looks a day sicker than she is. Ang kapal ng mukha ko no? Alam ko sasabihin mo. Fren ch kiss. Nakakaiyak naman kayo. Five years five long years. He whispers. They re the happiest years of my life. He nods rapidly. Gays. you replaced her. Goodness. O siya? Dahil nakakangiti pa rin siya sa`kin ng ganon. Nakakasama ng lo ob. CM shrugs. I know something is very wron g here. Kinarga niya ang bata. But not the way he loves you. Un til when I came to New York to find you. Bakit ba gustong gusto niya `kong sinasaktan? I always thought of her as the kind. He smiles sadly.n zooms in on her face. baliw na ata ako. Parang hindi siya hindi naman sa pumangit siya o Oh-kay. Relief floods through my bloodstream. Para akong napako sa kinatatayuan ko. Though yes. Jean came a nd unknowingly. Saka naghihintay na sa`kin si Roy. She sighs. Oo. Am I that selfish? I wish her ill many times in the past? Now what? It s true Jeannie. We thought she s already okay. Parang nanikip `yung dibdib ko sa sinabi niya. He chuckles to himself. Para matapos na `tong usapang ito. I blink thrice. or rather our families hastened our engagement. Nangingitim ang ilalim ng mga mata n ito. CM knew? Oh.
`coz I k now how persistent and talkative you are. The doctor said it after I ve had a problem with m y He stares at me. Overwhelming joy that I m afraid isn t real. Well. He gave love a bad name. He innocently look s up at the ceiling. Julian I m sorry. I think I ll love her. Naningkit ang mga mata nito. He smiles tenderly. Gusto kong isiping umiiyak din siya. He suddenly pulls me into an embrace that robs me of my breath. I do now. That I ll still miss baby JJ.I glared at him. I don t know about ghos ts or Tricia. . Jeannie. didn t he? I smile. Per o walang luha don. That forgettable huh? That day i n the car when you yelled like you wanted m Julian `yung bata! I hiss. Julian tries to suppress his chuckle. I still want to be a part of your life. In all that is possible without the eyes really seeing it. How hard it is. Emotions kept hidden for so long is written there. Love. I ll be your mommy. It doesn t matter. Thank God. I m sorry. Just I sigh and smile at Ti sha Jade. Para siyang bumata ng ilang taon. Naramdaman ko na lang `yung sarili kong mga paa na na glalakad din. Wetting it. Pakialamero. CM starts laughing. But if you believe in it. I wait for that long overdue kiss. I can t bear anymore child Julian. It doesn t matter anymore. I kiss her on the forehead. p lease I still don t want to wake up. There are times that I want you to shut your lovely mouth sweetheart. Hmm? I built this house remember that first time? What first time? I ask innocently. I hiss. The years stretch between us. The child is amazed. He cups my cheeks. In God. But hey. All the pain is swept away. Five years. Love is a very frightening thing. Walang reunion na hindi madrama. Nakita ko siyang humakbang palapit. I love you. CM s giggles are getting louder. It s now or never if he can t accept me for what I am about to confess. I nod against his polo shirt. Oh. Sumimangot ito. Pe ro wala akong pakialam. If I m dreaming as cliché as it may seem. Like we need to breathe each oth er s oxygen. I love this freaking insane and mad guy with all my heart. I m very grateful. Hindi nga ba at a ng bata ay regalo ng Diyos? Damn evil stepmothers to hell. Both don t know how to cross the distance. I promise Tricia I wo n t be one. You re not as pretty as my mommy. And believe that dreams do come true.. . Mabilis kong hinawakan ang leeg ni Julian. But his eyes are glazed. Just kiss me J ulian. . Jeannie ang bagal mo naman kasi pano kayo magkaka Ang dami mong alam eh. Thank God reall . Now there s j oy. I love you He whispers before he bends down. Don t ever be afraid to love. I m sorry. be yourself. Talaga naman. Pain and sadness. no? Sige ikaw na! Inis kong sabi kay CM. I don t just think. Ang drama ko. There will be times that I ll still shout at you I nod. French kiss. she s even crushed in between.
candymag.com/teentalk/index. http://www. how I love him.196622.ovari Uncle Jin Passenger seat.com/teentalk/index. Jeannie? I close my eyes and groan.candymag. Merry Christmas! He murmurs with no one in particular.html http://www. and the hot-and-nice guys are g ay. Thank Jesus. well.candymag. we had somethin he think his ex uncle Jin ñ . Until he kisses me it s as if I can still hear Tricia s last words.php/topic. Tricia. you re pressing too close! I can t breathe! I close my eyes in frustration as I look at her chinky eyes. The nice? guys are ugly. Oh. http://www. Julian grins at me and wink. Naghiwalay. I smile to myself as I hug Julian close to mysel f. I have a gift for you Jeannie.405. I close my eyes and wait wait. mommy.html es http://www.php/topic. I can feel it Ito na.196622. Hearing her like I did through that v ideo early this morning.com/teentalk/index. Uh nothing.candymag.196622.php/topic.196622.540. you did me a favor.candymag.com/teentalk/index.360.msg5452895. Nag-asawa siya.196622.php/topic.com/teentalk/index. Oh.285.435. I close my eyes again.candymag.html g http://www.com/teentalk/index.html uterus--. will will you No.com/teentalk/index. What now? He smiles at me and whispers: Hindi ako marunong manligaw.php/topic. Pero hindi pa rin niya alam `yun? Shhh.360. the hot guys are jerks.candymag.y. Bitin. What a we dding night.196622. Hap py Ending na.html http://www.html driver seat http://www. I start laughing.465. It s This is meant for you.html http://www.php/topic. Akala in niyo `yun.196622.php/topic. This is our wedding night Hey.html#msg54528 95 CC link Splitting Hairs. Only.com/teentalk/index. What! Inis kong sabi. I hope. It s just that Tricia and I never lived here.candymag.196622. It s a long time coming do me a favor? you know. Nakagawa na kami ng bata noon.php/topic. promising a one hundred and one pleasu res in life and in the next lifetimes. Natupad ko mga pangarap ko.