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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
I am. Pero lalo lang akong naiyak. Me ron kasi `ko. I was keeping my fingers crossed. Mabilis akong umisod palayo sa kanya papunta sa gilid ko. in bed with a stranger whom I had just met a few hours ago. How was tha t for a Shakespearean play? Masyadong tragic ang buhay ko. Ah. It is still spelled the same R-A-P-E. Nara mdaman ko ang paghawak niya sa balikat ko. Matulog ka na. He slid his hands and fisted my hair. I licked my lower lip. He si ghed. I winced. Kahit ba sabihin mong gwapo ang mangre-rape sa `yo. Not in pain. What the hell is the matter with you? Ang laki laki ng kama dyan ka nagsusumiksik . Hindi ko sinasadya. Para iyong 1+ 1=2. So what game is this? Get into my bed and then play the pakipot later? I promise you. Fine. You are crying. Naaw ardan pa nga ako nung high school na best actress nung gumanap akong Sisa sa Nol i. Juli an I tried to push him off me. Obvious na tinatanong pa. Onti nalang talaga mauubos na pasensya ko. Are you crying? Kung umiiyak ako may paki ka ba? No. Pe ro para ko na rin niloko ang sarili ko. Ahm a three days. Umusod u lit siya. I felt his hard naked chest against m y back when he tried to peek above my shoulder. Tumagilid ako patalikod sa kanya ng inakala kong hindi na siya sasagot. Didn t he know what he s doing to my senses ? His thumb brushed the moisture on my cheeks. In this position. And he also moved along with me! Umusod ulit ako. Yes. He didn t give even a nary compassion toward me. He frowned at me. Natatakot na talaga ko. Nasan na ang kakambal ko? Bakit ako ang n agdudusa sa kasalanang `di ko ginawa? Alam ko namang magaling akong umarte. How many days? He brushed his hand roughly through his hair. Gusto kong sabihin iyon sa kanya on my twin s behalf. Yeah. But some part of me still wanted to hear the conf irmation. Nakahinga ako ng maluwag ng itulak niya `ko palayo. Sa pagkakaalam ko walang pikot na hindi planado. Hindi ito makulit. Niyakap kong mahigpit ang unan upang patahimikin an g paghikbi ko. I thought my monthly flow was a curse. Silence. Galit itong humiga. Do you hate me? I whispered again. Pinipilit kong pakalmahin ang mga hikbi k o. Parang bigla ng nagkaroon ng tenderness sa boses nito.mo. I felt so alone and vulnerable. Isang malakas na hikbi ang hindi ko napigilan. nagkakapatong patong na ang mga kasinungalingan ko. O baka imagination ko lang `yon. He stilled against me. Jean Rose isn t a crybaby. I sighed in relief. Samantalang hindi ako titig il ng hindi ko nakukuha ang gusto ko. Then I f elt tears brimming down the side of my face. Well Julian? Humiga na din ako sa pinakagilid ng malaking kama. Napahiga na lang ako sa kama . Silent tears turned into muffled sobs. Specifically a very estranged and angry husband and here I was supposed to be pregnant. I was alone inside a big mansion. Juli an! ahhhh I moaned and twisted. So what s this grand scheme? Tignan mo `tong lalaking `to. Sasabihin mong either sipon lang `yan o napuwing ka lang. Why do you hate me so much? Gusto kong matawa sa sarili kong tanong. Kung kaya t it was very much out of Jean Ros e s league to do something as pikot . He still didn t move from behind me. Nagbibilang ba si San Pedro ng penalty? A we ek. I couldn t help it. nakalimutan ko Pregnant women don t bleed. I m sorry. Kailan ba hindi sinadya ang pikot? Sige nga sabihin niyo sa `kin. blessing in disguise din naman pala. Dyos ko po. Pero lumapat lang ang mga kamay ko sa malapad niy ang dibdib. Hindi na nga almost eh. we were almost in timately embracing. The situation wa s worst than I had expected. kung bumubuga lang ng apoy ang mga mata ng tao baka nasunog na `ko ni Juli an. I shook my head. Yeah. But in shock.
Para `kong invisible na hindi niya nakita. may hinahanap po ba kayo? I smiled brightly at the maid. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung masira a ng isa kong ngipin. Uuwi ako sa bahay mamaya may hihingin sana akong pabor. The food was forgotten. Pat i ba naman cellphone ko hindi pa nakisama? Naiwan pa. Natulig ako ng biglang bumagsak ang tasa ng kape nito sa platito. Malamang sa mga araw na `yon mahahanap ko na ang magaling kong kakambal. myself and I. Ang laki nga ng kama dikit ka naman ng dikit. Isang babae t lalaki. He was staring at me stonily. An yway. Sana naisip mo `yan when you and your family blackmailed me into this marriage. You re not going to see your family. Inis na humarap ako sa kanya. Just as well. I closed my eyes. and my twin. Hindi ako makapaniwala sa narinig ko. Maaga `kong mababaliw sa bahay na `to. Not Jean Rose. I screamed my frustration within the fo ur walls of the mansion. Hindi dahil pina hiran niya ang luha mo okay na Jeannie. I would think first of myself. Where the hell are the telephones here? Ano `to mansyon na walang telepono? Ma am. I smiled sweetly at him. 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. Hang in lang ako. So I wouldn t think about him. Our noses touched. Mabilis a kong bumangon at ginawa ang morning routines ko. I dressed hu rriedly and quickly got out. When a car automatically stopped in front of me. The woman hug ged me. Maglalakad na lang ak o palabas ng subdivision para maghanap ng taxi. SANA WAL A. I don t care anymore kung mukha man ak ong peso sign. Sa pagkakaalam ko hindi ko talaga sinadya na magka tapat `yung mukha namin. No one pacified me. Matagal ng binaril si Rizal sa Luneta at wala akong balak sumu nod sa yapak niya. Dahil hindi ko na alam kung anong magagawa ko. Not to mention that the house was so big you could get lost. Oh-kay. Mabilis na humarap ak o sa kanya. Me. Mabilis akong umakyat at hinagilap ang cellphone sa bag ko. `Pag baba ko ay nag-aalmusal na ang prinsipe sa lanai. Galit na tumayo ako at hinabol siya. I didn t care who heard it. Eh ma am sabi po ni sir `wag daw po kayong pagamitin ng telepono. Inis na lumayo ito at tumalikod. Napasabunot ako sa buhok ko. I woke up late in the morning. Balak?! . Mabilis akong bumaba at na ghanap ng telephone. Jean! I was so worried about you. Hindi ako martir. Sinigawan niya ko! I thought we were okay. At take note: he didn t even bother to pull out the chair for me. Siya nga pala. Gusto kong umuwi sa `min sa duration ng honeymoon natin tutal naman hindi mo pa ` ko kailangan. what s a scandal with the Sunicos right? I saw the muscles on his jaw flexed. I said airily while I was putting butter on the toast. My eyes grew wide at the implication of his words. Sabay bigla `kong naalala ang sitwasyon ko. Had they really set out to ruin Julian s life? Pano k ung may ibang mahal si Julian kung may handa itong ibang pakasalan sana. If he did. Where s the telephone? I didn t want to sound stupid. Wala naman p umigil sa `kin ng nagtuloy tuloy na `kong lumabas ng gate. Ngumiti ako and said a tha nk you prayer to my maker. Humihingal sa galit na sabi ko ng matapos a ng speech ko.. just as well. They wouldn t do it. Itinuloy mo pa rin pala ang balak. Nang sa tingin ko ay kumalma na `ko ay lumakad ako sa front porch. I was ready to weep. Good morning Jules! I take it you had a good night sleep? Deadma. `Yun lang. I couldn t believe it. Hangin. He stood up an d cleaned his mouth with the napkin. I gritted my teeth. you know. Unless you re with me. ANO?! Is he serious? Never mind. He was reall y hell-bent on making my life miserable. I waved my hand at her in dismissal. Ako ang asawa pero wala akong alam. I thought women are the only ones who are fickle-minded. If I were pregnant you could h ave at least supported me financially. I cou ld have misheard him. Didn t Eskimos kiss like that? Matulog ka na.
And what amazed me most was he embraced me! I missed you love so much. Go. 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. I slowly looked sideways an d saw the blatant anger in his eyes. Jean Rose Sunico! I stopped dead in my tracks. Tell. Mrs. Home. Nagulat ako ng biglang hinawakan ako ng lalaki sa braso. Wala sa loob kong nasabi. And boy. PERIOD. There would surely be bruises later. My eyes grew wide. I saw the emotions in his eyes. But every time they asked my parents where school I go to? I think . I gnawed at my lower lip. Okay. Julian deliberately whispered the words to me. Naguluhan ak o bigla. I could feel my hands shaking. You love me. Jean Rose I know I ve made a mistake. Nakalimutan mo na ba `ko? Hindi kita nakalimutan! Hindi lang talaga kita kilala. Ano ba t alaga ang nangyari? Lalo akong naguguluhan. But don t they already know that we only have one face. Julian I Hinila niya `ko bigla sa tabi niya. Then I realized I don t know the man s name! You cannot mean this Jean. Oh no. Ahmm . but I wish they would be more proud of me. . Para kasing nilagyan lang nila `k o ng nette pero sa totoo lang it was as if they wanted me to be Jean Rose. Naging Sunico ka lang Jean? He frowned at my reaction. ah. Jean Rose Sunico! I heard that one again. Then I felt the emanating anger from the other side. And three years drew us apart.Lumapit ang lalaki. Something Jean Rose would do. Fe eling ko para `kong nagka-amnesia. Maybe I m just splitting hairs. He encircled his arm around my waist i n a possessive manner. ROAR. Pero hawak hawak pa rin ako ng lalaki. pero parang lalong natuyot ang lalamunan ko. And it ends there. And ne ver to be Jeannette Rose. maybe I could get some facts about my twin s whereabouts. THREE We aren t rich. Let s go. Minsan lang naman akong pag-agawan ng ganito. Sabi nila nagpapakatanga ako sa course ko: Fine Arts. Someone who could break it off with your own boyfriend in proxy kung hindi mo kaya. My heart went out to my sister and him. Bumaling ako sa lalaki. Bulong. Oo. And they would stop comparing me to Jean Rose. It was like Oh my God. Siguro kung sa ibang pagkakataon baka kinilig pa `ko. I closed my eyes in frustration. Well. To. `yung bunso kong anak she stays in N ew York . Pe ro rinig ko ang dagundong `non sa tenga ko. Kutis-mayaman kaya ako. fine w hile my sister is good with figures. A nd then one hand grabbed my other arm from the side. may papalit sa `yo kapag absent ka sa clas s. Ay. The beast roar. they were proud to say in the least na. As in. Ang sarap tignan ng may kakambal. Him. I opened my mouth to say his name. Or maybe becau se I didn t want to be in my sister s shadow any more. I became the blacksheep three years ago when I accepted the scholarship in New Yo rk University. Naramdaman ko ang pagdiin ng pagkakahawak ni Julian sa braso ko . Pwede pa natin `yun tamain. I mean please wake me up. Not that I was caught red-han ded. Nagpatangay na lang ako ng bigla akong hi nila ng babae. Masarap namang pakinggan eh. My eyes grew wide when he cupped my face up. please kung nanaginip man ako `wag mo po muna akong gisingin. Julian tried to tug my hand. Run away with me Napalunok ako. Sumakay ka na. His eyes were like challenging me to do just that.
I don t take to infidelity lightly. 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. NO! Mabilis akong tumakbo papunta sa pinto. Ako hindi. Si Julian `yung tipo ng lalaking hindi mo titilian. Then I started really crying. lalaki siya. Because I m sure she was a reluctant bride. Lumakad na ito palabas. Honesty. W-what if I still love Brad. His fists were clenched. Lumingon ulit ito. bakit naman siya magagalit? In the first place. I sighed in relief when they walked away. Na par a bang nasasaktan siya. Pero may reluctant bang namikot? He did turn around. In the second place. And I was living a lie after all. I didn t ask for any of this. no. he isn t in love with me! So bakit siya magagalit well. My eyes grew wide. Julian you re hurting me! Halos kaladkarin niya na `ko papasok ng mansyon. We went upstairs while he was still holding my arm tightly. Mula sa lamp shade hanggang sa china vase. Hindi naman a ko buntis pero nagiging iyakin na `ko. Naiiyak na napatingin ako doon.Leave my wife alone Brad. I only wanted to establish myself on my . I wa s afraid he would see through the lies written in my eyes. Tinignan ko ang mala ki at magarang silid. Ako hindi. Julian! Galit na pinihit pihit ko iy on. I never asked for a wonderful love story. Please Brad. The corner of his mouth twisted in a mockin g smile. He tilted his head to the other side in question. Then I heard the click on the other side of the door. Get dressed. Nanlamig ang mga kamay ko. Hindi ko ma-imagine ang sarili ko: blessed virgin Jeannette. My hands turned into tight fists and started banging the door. Parang mas lalo akong natakot doon. Leave Brad let s go Sabi dito ng babae. He rolled his e yes in disgust. He was dangerously gorgeous. I ll come back for you Jean! Then the woman dragged him inside the car. After all. That is all I asked of you. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. 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. Gigil na hinarap niya `ko. Pe ro teka. Kung ang iba ay humihiling na makapangasawa ng mayaman. I s lowly tried to catch my breath to stop from screaming at him. Inis na tinabig ko ang kamay niya. That was it. Kung ang iba sa ed ad ko ay humihiling ng prince charming. that must have caused millions. Naiisip ko pa lang kung anong gagawin niya sa `kin ay nanlalamig na ang mga kamay ko. my dear wife. And and we we both know that you don t want this marriage? Bakit hindi mo na ako pakawalan? I mean. I felt tears threatening to erupt again. Suplado naman! May K naman kasi siyang magsuplado. he didn t turn around. Bago pa ako makapag-react ay hinawakan na ng mahigpit ni Julian ang mga braso ko . Sh!t. Bakit? Had someone hurt him? Betrayed him? Minutes passed by. Kaya t-a-n-g-a nga daw ako sa bi ng mga magulang ko. Honesty. eyes were the windows of the soul. Nasira lang ang drama ko. Women s ultimate weapon: Tears. damn him! hind i niya `ko totoong asawa at wala siyang karapatang gawin sa `kin `to. Bigla niya `kong ibi nalandra sa kama. wasn t he handsome in his thr ee-piece suit. Hindi kaya dininig ako ni God? Diyos ko ` wag naman. Lumabas ito. because he would surely int imidate you. Bigla nitong binitawan ang mukha ko. Parang gusto kong lumubog sa pagkakaupo ko sa kama habang malapit na malapit ang mukha niya sa `kin. All my daydreams flew out of the window when he towered over me. si Jean Rose. And men s ego is sometimes bigger than their brains. And I just wished he didn t! Hindi ko alam kung paano pa nagig ing lalong singkit ang mga mata niya sa galit. And boy. Hindi ko alam kung bakit bakit ganon `yung mga mata niya nung sinabi niya iyon. Julian As usual. If you don t want to be sitting in jail. I couldn t term him just handsome. He tilted my ch in up and looked me angrily in the eye.
I looked around me. I tasted the tears mingled with the c hlorine. Mabilis akong pumasok sa loob ng kwarto.own as a famous artist. I heard splashes of water from outside. my heart beat triple time. Julian is in every way sexy. I didn t want to be appreciated only after my death. Kaya nga ba hindi ko naging idol si Rizal eh. I screamed my way to the surface. And I was still here. I was eight again. A hand grabbed my waist. Jean! Nagmulat ako ng mga mata at umubo. Si Amorsolo. Parang naiiyak na naman ako. I gritted my teeth in an ger. Then the dog came running. Sana sana pipikit pa lang ako ng mapansin kong may lumalangoy sa foot-shaped swimmin g pool. Nanlaki ang mga mata ko. Manang pakilagay na po dyan `yung juice. Kinurot ko ang sarili ko. But the sight before me froze me on the ground. I didn t know. I curled into a fetal position on the huge soft bed. Promise. I saw his broad shoulders and arms flexed with his ev ery move. And then I would wake up later and find myself in t he boarding house in New York. I tugged her along and sec retly took the boat to explore the lake. Alam ko. We were still in the middle of th e pool. I sucked in my breath. I kn ow I must have shouted Julian s name. Anim He looked up then. Oo. para itong kumunoy na kakainin ako ano mang oras. At ah. gabi na. I wasn t entirely looking at him. . Ano ba talagang nangyari sa kapatid ko? Why didn t I feel anything? Sabi nila may link ang mga kambal. And Jean Rose caught my hand. I had no choice. 5 3 na nga sige na. Dapat dapat bumalik na lang ako bigla sa kwarto ko. He cupped my ch eek and looked at me for a very long time. Julian was here! I t hrew my arms around his neck and clung to him. Julian please don t leave me I whispered frantically against his neck. `Yung katiwala din. I woke up late. Must have stood almost a foot taller than me. Lumaya s lang ba talaga siya? Hindi niya mabilang kung isang oras na ata akong umiiyak. Siguro y napagod na pumunta ito sa railing at umakyat. I didn t remember covering myself I frowne d. Mula sa likod nito ay lumabas si Mang Pio. I didn t know where the German shepherd dog had come from. Matangkad ito. Padabog na sumunod ako sa katulong. He was standing on the edge of the swimming pool clad with only his swimming sinfully black trunks. Sumabay na daw po kayong maghapunan sa kanya. Dun sa hindi ako matetempt. I screamed when my foot stepped on nothing but water! I was in a deep end of the swimming pool. Julian gets. Ma am siya nga po pala. I fell into a deep slumber after exhausting mysel f from crying. alam ko nagblush talaga ako. Nasa harap na ako ng swimming pool. I hate you Julian Sunico! I hate you to the deepest part of the earth Sana binabangungot lang ako. Nagbabakasyon kami noon sa lake house n g Aunt Lara namin. Papanhikin daw po kayo ni sir kung hindi kayo bababa. Isang napak alaking akala. I c onceded. Dun sa my eyes grew wi de. I was gulping down a mouthful o f water. what Julian wants. Tumingin ako sa kabilang side. As in. Ouc h. She was crying and did n t want to let me go. Hindi ko pinangarap maging si Cinderella. Jean! Jean! A voice whispered in my ear. kahit nga ba talentadong pinoy siya. Bilog ang buwan. Then flashes of yesterday came through my mind. Toward me. Feeling ko. 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. may mga pand esal siya sa tyan. Nasa teritoryo `ko ng kaaway. His muscled back was rippling with water as his stroke became faster. Please please don t let me die yet. Hindi ko alam pero `pag upo ko ay dumulas ang kumot mula sa dibdib ko. At sa maniwala man kayo o hindi. G usto kong maging si Juan Luna. nakakahiya mang aminin 6 1 siya at 5 2 ½ lang ako. Paatras na ako ng paatras. And b oy. Dahil sa `kin kaya nangyari `to. I thought it was only termed with women. Hindi na naka-lock! Ma am pinapatawag daw po kayo ni sir. Sige na Mag-isa siya! I smiled at her. T apos biglang bumukas `yung pinto. Mabilis kong hinawi ang glass door pa tungong terrace.
Hindi kita pinilit ha. Na para bang titig na nagnanasa dududa. `Yan ang madalas na ipanakot sa `kin ni Aunt Lara. Syempre ako na lang `yung natitirang kapatid no. FOUR Jeannie! Kasi baka I looked back at her. There were mermaids in the la ke. Sa p ag-aagawan namin ay nahulog ang sketch pad ko. I was amazed with its reflection on the water. You re supposed to be a swimmer. Jean Rose scowled at me and didn t say a word. As if naman. My eyes grew wi de. Pagabi na. Jeannie! Bumalik na tayo. I m ten but not entirely stupid. Para akong unggoy na nakabitin sa puno. Wala talaga siyang kunsiderasyon! `Pag namatay talaga ako. overrrrr. Ayoko. Damn. I said airily. Gusto kong sakalin ang kapatid ko n g mga sandaling iyon. Sa katulad ni Julian na perfectionist malamang na kasalana n ang `di marunong lumangoy. Sinimangutan ko siya. Seriously she had always been there for me. And sh e was very good at it. My breasts were flat tened against his hard chest. Sa totoo lang Jea n was never the evil twin sister. I smiled at myself and took my sketch pad with me. You would be more shocked by my big Dog? Gusto ko sanang magbiro. She became a champion in swimming competitions while I nev er learned. Our eyes met. Jean Rose screamed. I ngos ko sa kanya. Siya ang unang un a kong mumultuhin. I was just shocked by your big dog. Jean Rose overcame her fear by learning how to swim. . Tignan mo ginawa mo! Naiiyak na sab i ko habang lumulutang lutang ang mga papel. Oh my God. I am. Ito ang taong kahit hindi bagong gising masamang biruin. At hindi ko kasalanan `yun! Siya kaya lunurin ko. Alam mo `yun naiilang ako sa titi g niya. Both of my thighs wrapped around his body on its own accord. Pero kasi Jeannie baka Isasagwan ko na sana ang bangka ng tumuntong na din siya. Jeannie nasan na tayo? Bakit parang palayo na tayo ng palayo? She bit her lower lip . Pero bigla niya `kong pinakawalan. Rubbish. I rolled my eyes heave nward. I froze in his arms. Well. 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. We were both screaming flailing And it was all my fault. Kung meron man well. Gume wang gewang ang bangka. Yep . Kung ayaw mo bahala ka! Natanggal ko na ang tali ng bangka. And oh Lor d the tree was getting hard all over. I bit my lower lip when he looked at me closely. Mabilis nitong inagaw ang sagwan. Hindi ko siya pinansin. He said that silently. Sa isang iglap ay tumagilid ang bang ka at sabay kaming bumagsak. As if he were my lifeline. wala pala. Naiiyak na pinilit kong abutin isa isa kahit basa na. He said silently. As in over.Ano bang nangyayari sa`yo? You re a swimmer.
My heart was beating triple time. Nagsasawa na `ko sa pagtatalo namin ni Julian. He was so m ad at me. His head came down down down. Jules I have something to tell you. Lelecturan ng walang . Two days of being married to Julian Sunico was like hell! And it felt like a lifetime sin ce I said I do . Ginamit ko lang ito once sa exhibi t ng kakilala ko. My twin she s the swimmer. Hindi ko alam kung dahil sa naudlot na o dahil sa alam niya na `yung sasabihin ko. At ang gentleman ba sta na lang akong ibinagsak sa marble floor sa gilid ng pool. At ni hindi man la ng nahiyang ipahiram man lang sa `kin. Hawak pa niya. Nagsasalubong na naman `yung mga kilay nito. Siguro hindi naman magagalit si Jean Rose kung kahit isa lang. Thank God for the two-inch stilettos. Diyos ko. She overcame her fear by well. I winced when I heard him curse. that voice of his it was like he had just woken up from a night of debauchery. Galit na hinablot nito ang telephone habang pinupunasan ang sarili. I couldn t look him in t he eye. The hell with the consequences. His hand caressed my cheek. Naglakad ito kasama ako. It was now or never. Inis na sabi nito. Tumayo ka at magbihis ka may pupuntahan tayo. Yeah you re right! Siya ang gumawa ako ang umako ng mga Sir telephone po mommy niyo. bata pa `ko. Siya ang gumawa ikaw ang umaako? You big stupid moron! Tama ito. experienced dr owning before. Parang nanlamig ako bigla. From the start. Mag-aangilan lang kami. He didn t even comment about my appearance. Goodness. 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. Naramdaman ko ang paghigpit ng yakap niya sa `kin. Lalo a kong napayakap sa kanya. Ang mahalaga hindi siya nagalit Jea nnie! I tried telling you Ikaw ang Hindi maganda ang panloloko Jean. At ang utos ng hari hindi mababali. I cried on his shoulder. 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. I blinked thrice. I wore a n off-shouldered cream tailored dress. Siguro kung hindi lang masamang pumatay ng tao. Had he forgiven me? Hindi siya galit? You should have told me sooner. So what was the use of telling him how gorgeous he is? I just shut my mouth up. Si Jean Rose ang gumawa ako ang umaako! He had it all wrong. Bente uno lang po ako God para sa mga ganitong bagay. Bastos talag a. My creamy white shoulders were very much visible. Giniginaw na `ko pero isang towel lang ang nakita ko. Ang tanong: sinong mananamantala at sinong pagsas amantalahan? Not I. I m not supposed to be who I am now. Susumbatan niya lang ako. Why not? He said huskily. feeling ko nagkulay mansanas ako. o kaya ay wala lang ang mga katulong doon ay baka nilunod na `ko ni Julian. Grabe ang mood swings ng lalaking ito. ako I never did learn. We uhm. 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. Isa lang. Ng panahon. Kelan ba matatapos ito? Tumingin ako sa harap ng salamin. Akala niya pinagko-compete ko ang kakambal ko tapos tapos ako kunwari ang nananalo? My God. Then it dawned on me. Ano bang nangyayari sa `kin? I leaned my head in between his shoulder an d neck. Jules I m sorr y. Siya `yung `yung magaling lumangoy. Hindi iyon lalagpas ng mid-thigh ko. wala akong kara patan. Hindi ko nga alam kung dahil sa ano o dahi l sa init. It was a matter of choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea.Julian was just staring back at me. Ganyan ka ba talaga? Kung anong gusto mo `yun ang nakukuha mo? Without caring about others feelings? Ano kaya nararamdaman ng kapat id mo? Siya ang gumawa ikaw ang umaako? I should have said Hallelujah. Kung ginawa mo `yun just to get the fame you wa nted then you don t deserve it. I licked my lower lip nervously. Prom ise. Ang mani pis na suot ko kanina ay halos kita na dahil nga basa na din. I whispered stupidly with lack of anything to say. I opened my mouth to shout at him.
Their fists were both clenched. He s Biglang pinisil nito ang kamay ko. But his pain ran deep. Galit na tinitigan niya ako. Na-amaze ako. My eyes grew wide. Na-iim agine ko na `pagtumanda ito. Na para bang mayroon siya! Julian opened the door for me. I glared at him. We went inside the grand hotel. I gritted my teeth in frustration. Invitation? Ang weird. Hanggang sa makarating kami sa patutunguhan namin. Hinila niya ako. I was shocked. Tears were streaming down the side of my face. Baka nakakalimutan mo ako pa rin ang nanay ng anak mo. Anong sasabi hin ko Julian. I loved your mother. hila doon. Julian please I grabbed his a rm. Leave me alone! He shouted. I felt the impact of what almost happened to us. Sorry sir. I smiled at her politely. Normal naman sa mga produkto ng broken marriages ang ganitong ugali ni Julian. No.katapusan about honesty and virtues. I t felt so awkward. Act the very lovin g wife. He was tense. it s nice to see you again son. God please! Virgin pa `ko. Pero bigla niyang tinabig ang kamay ko. Nanginginig ang mga kamay ko na bumaba ako ng sasakyan. Julian sighed and looked bored. Gusto kong sumigaw a . Mabilis kong hinila si Julian. your husband here didn t send me an invitation card. Tao lang ako. I smiled. His eyes sent me a warning message. Ayokong magsalita. Hila dito. Tahimik lang ito. Bi glang may sumulpot na malaking truck sa harapan naming. And I m happy for her coz she s not waiting an ymore for someone who hasn t seen her worth. Tears were starting to form in my eyes. Magtatay ba talaga ang mga ito? Umupo kami in silence at saka ko lang napansin ang babaeng kasama ni Mr. Halos ako at ang papa niya lang ang nag-uusap. Julian started laughing humorlessly. Sunico. masaya na si mommy sa buhay niya. is that bad? He said. Pudpod na stilettos ko. There was something wrong here. I was numb. I looked at Julian then. Nice nice to see you. She looked somewhat familiar. Ano pa nga ba. Say hello to your tita Doris. Nakikpagkarerahan ba ito kay Kamatayan? Napakapit ako sa dashboard. marami pa pala kaming gagawin. Julian! Nagulat talaga ako. Ayoko pang mamatay! Parang naiiyak na `ko ng sumadsad ang sasakyan sa gilid ng iliko ni Julian ang s teering wheel. Ni hindi na ko magtataka kung kukulutkulutin ko na ang buhok ko mamaya. The man was just an older version of Julian. I m glad to finally meet you. 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. Your flavor of the month? Julian! Excuse my husband. How s your mom? Ayun. Julian ano ba! Napasigaw ako ng pinaharurot niya ang Porsche niya. You loved her? Cut the crap. None. Halos lumangitn git iyon. okay lang `yun okay lang na niloko ng papa mo ang mama mo past is p ast. My heart went overdrive. Jean Rose Sunico! I didn t stop. Hello sir. 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. straight nose Ouch. With his chinky eyes. Bakit wala po kayo nung kasal namin ni Jul ian? We would have been happy kung nandon kayo. Kailan pa kinailanga n ng tatay ng imbitasyon sa kasal ng anak niya? What do you want? Julian said coolly to his father. for the first time Julian knew how to act the gentleman. dad. Hello Julian. Naglalakad ako sa gilid ng kalsada na wala sa sarili. I just want to see my son. Julian?! I frantic ally searched his face for wounds. Shock was the understatement of the century. I apologize hija. She was in her early thirties and very much beautiful. Na parang demonyo. Eh di baka ihulog na `ko ng tuluyan ni Julian palabas. Mahina pero gigil kon g paalala. Nakita kong parang aatak ihin sa puso ang papa nito.
Then the phone started ringing. Then he d tell me that he di dn t believe in love? Bull. I know deep down the call had something to do with his sudden withdrawal. He just shrugged. Dahil sa galit. He started laughing mockingly. Okay lang sana kung desert eh. Is she special? Julian I jumped in surprise. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. He poured himself a glass of brandy and downed it in one swallow. Life s not perfect. . Wala na ang necktie nito. So he knew all a long! Bigla itong tumawa. True.. Tawang demonyo. You r e bound to me forever. Julian I just want to hel Help? That s bullsh!t. Then I started wetting his shirt. Sunico. Kulang na lang sabihin niya sa mukha kong wala kang pakialam . maybe it was just guilt eating at me.. Marami talagang mga sinungaling sa mundo. That T ricia must have been special for him to be like this. Ang bastos talaga. Napalunok ako habang papalapit siya ng papalapit. My back hit the wall. Why is it so elusive? Maybe because we cannot have everything we wanted. I wonder. Hello? His face suddenly changed. tenderly. Parang pagod na pagod. Since I want honesty between us . Yes. I shook the cobwebs in my head. Palap it ito ng palapit. Ayun. I can t Julian. His eyes were squinted in anger. He wasn t drunk yet! Was he? Don t pull my leg Jean Do you think I m stupid? You lied to me. We are about to get married. His shirt was loosened. Again. Pero minsan nga kung ano pa `yung li bre siya pang mahirap kunin. His eyes.t magwala sa gitna ng kalsada. Julian s-sino `yung tumawag? Ano bang pakialam mo Jeannie? I was just curious. But I believe in the sanctity of marriage. Well. Mabilis kong sinundan si Ju lian sa study room niya. I sighed exaggeratedly. I should have known. kung bakit hindi ako nabingi sa pagbagsak ng decanter at pagkalabog ng pinto. She s my girlfriend of two years. Me meron ako. Like happiness. Ang boses nito. tinalikuran pa `ko. wala naman tal aga. Not that I care. His back w as turned to me. shut up! I m not Jean! Sinong g ustong humamon sa `kin? Mrs. Gusto kong sabihing. bakit ako mag-aalala sa isang taong ni wala man lang pakialam sa `kin? But I do. I sobbed louder. Julian aren t you going to bed yet? A slow sexy smile twitched on the corner of his mouth. My eyes got misty all the more. Julian would have been with another. `Yun lang. At biglang may kamay na humawak sa braso ko upang iharap a ko. Silence. Will you please give me peace even just for tonight? Mahina nitong sabi. Na para ng gagawin akong panghapunan. In a split second the beast hugged me! Fiercely. He had fox-like eyes. Not that I f elt anything well. Or was it my imagination? Tricia? Who s Tricia? FIVE Sabi nila best things in life are free . Wala nga ba Jeannie? Hindi naman siguro pinagbabawal ng batas ang pagtatano ng. Are you inviting me to bed Jean? Ang boses niya ah parang nang-aakit. He should have been a DJ. And thanks t o you it won t happen anymore He looked bored and predatory. I don t believe in love Mrs. I sighed again when he didn t even bother to respond. no he wanted to eat me alive. Inihagis ni Julian ang coat sa couch at dumiretso sa mini bar. Tricia. Hindi ako bulag o bingi. sana wala ako dito. Sunico! He roared. Parang nasasaktan. Kaya nga hindi ako nanin iwala sa sinabi ni Kim Chui na habulin mo happiness mo! Eh di kung ganon lang ka dali iyon.
Parang kasabay nun ang pagbagal at pag lakas ng tibok ng puso ko. I s hould be thankful. I felt so hurt. Julian anong ginawa mo nung pinikot kita? He stared at me. It was a sin in the Sunico commandment. It had been three weeks since then. Para `kong naparalyze na nakatitig lang sa sa mukha niya. Hindi ako pwedeng magalit. you couldn t resist my charm. Pwes. . No. natempt lang. He didn t want to see me. His knuckles were scraped because of the impact. But there s always an exception to the rule. My eyes grew wide. Love? Letseng love `yan. So Mr. Pero mali ako. I knocked. hinihintay kong dumapo sa `kin ang mga kamay niya. I was just mad on my twin s ister s behalf. 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. 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. Arrogant. Bakit hindi na lang kami magpa-annul? Sila pala ni Jean? Kung ganito lang din na man Oo nga pala. Sa saktan ba talaga `ko ni Julian? Would he resort to that? Parang gusto kong umiya k. Three weeks. Parang biglang umakyat lahat ng dugo ko sa ulo. Sino bang hindi? Para `kong tuta na basta na lang pinamigay. Akala ko walang taong ganito. Rugby. Sa gilid ng ulo ko. Mabilis akong pumunta sa study room. Masyado ba talaga `kong generic? Napagpapalit palit? I had never been lonelier than this. It was full of hatred and remorse. eh? It was too good to be true. Julian? Walang tao. I was quite numb . Jean Rose wouldn t do this without a valid reason. Twice. And very much no! Ang mahirap kasi sa mga lalaki. Almost Perfect had the right to be Mr. the feeling was mutual. Dahil hindi na niya ipipilit ang marital rights niya. Hindi lang siya ang nasakal. Hindi ako nagagalit. I thought you were He said stonily. bakit nga naman hindi? Eh ako naman itong mamimikot `di ba? It was dark. kapag babae ang nakagawa ng kasalanan para kang nakamatay. I was drunk. At alam ko. in the states. hindi naman sa kinukwestiyon ko si God.So sinisisi niya `ko? Ang kapatid ko. Really stared at me like I d grown two heads and a horn. He was always in his study room. Salamat sa pagiging tsis mosa no. hindi man ako ang pinakamatalinong tao sa mundo. Gusto kong magpakamatay. No. Ano pa bang alam nito? O ma s tamang sabihing ano pa ba ang hindi nito alam? He graduated business ad. I was about to go out when Julian s medals caught my attention. Thrice. Julian s family. Siguro dahil nagtatampo pa rin ako. Minsan nga naiisip ko. He was bound by the Sunico tradition. Dahil ba kay Tricia? Parang bigla a kong na-possess. He whispered angrily. Gigising ako sa umaga. What s your excuse? Dahil lalaki ka? Dahil mahina ka? And oh. Once. pagiging mapagobserba ko ay narinig kong sinabi ng mommy niya na there sho uld be no broken marriages . Wala na siya. Then he hit the wall. I closed my eyes with a prayer. Bakit lalaki lang ba ang mga tao? I slammed the door as I walked out of there. Julian? No response. Pero `pag sila lalaki lang sila eh. Kung sa bagay. Yep. Champion siya 1st pl ace in a swimming competition? I gasped. Naglalabasan na ang ugat sa leeg nito. My breath got hitched. Hindi ko kailangang maging si Madam Auring para ma-vibrate kong iniiwasan ako ni Julian. May class A at class B. Then he raised his cle nched fist in the air. Dahan dahan kong nakitang umaagos ang dugo sa kamay ni Julian. Hindi ko makuhang dalawin sina Mommy. Matutulog ako sa gabi. Tricia? Gusto kong isigaw `yun. Wow. Parang boarder nga lang ako dito sa mansyon niya. Soccer. Wala pa siya.
Gusto kong magtitili. lumil ipad sa bintana lahat ng logic . What the hell are you doing here? I felt weak. `yung tipong pati hanggang dulo ng kuko kaiinggitan mo. Very much happy. Not beca use our parents forced her to do it. Kissing. I was in New York trying to make out on my own. Sabi niya `wag ko na siyang sunduin. Jean I prostituted hersel f for a one and a half million. My eyes grew wide. Ang puso ko? And don t ask me why. Yeah. Naso-suffocate na `ko. No. Tahimik na pumunta ako sa desk niya tinignan ang picture don. Nasan ang dad dito ni Julian? No. A ten or so Julian. So sinong dapat sisihin? Feeling ko napakaselfish ko. I hail ed a cab. Tricia Leyva? I competed with her once in a painting competition in New York. Samantalang may mga pinagkaitan hirap na nga. Nakatula la ako sa mismong picture ng dalawa. They have the same smile though. Para `kong sirang plaka na napaupo. Seriously. Ma yaman. may magagawa pa ba siya kung nandun na `ko? I was immersed into deep thoughts. Hmmm Then my eyes grew wide. Maganda. The picture of a loving couple. They have it all. Tumigil ang taxi nung umilaw ang stoplight. Manong stop! Napakamot ito sa ulo. Binayaran niya ang bahay namin. Napasabunot ako sa buhok ko. I just wanted to get away from here. Hindi ko din alam! I dressed quickly upstairs and took my handbag. with his uncle? Hindi ko kilala ang lalaki. I opened it.Pero bakit kaya may mga taong sinalo ang lahat? Katulad na lang ni Georgina Wils on. the bod. He bought Jean me. I just walked past him and got out. Jean s face! Jean! I half shouted. Wala sa loob na sinundan ko siy a ng tingin. And my. He wasn t perfect. May issue man ako sa parents ko. Sinalo lahat. Here. Eh. kagandahan. Ho w could I not? I was looking straight into my own face. Pero hindi na kami makatigil kasi may MMDA dun. Then I saw a smiling picture of him. . A notice of foreclosure from the bank. I started crying. where s the fairness of life in it? And Julian was one of the Class A.Pero kapag nasasaktan ang isang tao. Binayaran ni Julian ang bahay na min. Minsan kahit anong pilit mong ngumiti. Or the kiss. Mga sakim. I don t want to hate Julian. Then I saw an envelope written with a Leviste on it. Ang isip ko sinasabing hindi ako dapat magalit sa kanya. 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. Then I moved on to the next picture. Alam ko. hirap pang iharap ang mukha. She turned to the lane toward the side of the taxi. h indi ito soap opera. Kanino ka pa ba tutungo `pag may problema? `Di syempre sa bestfriend mo. I rolled my eyes. I don t want. Parang gusto kong matunaw sa ngiting `yun.. `Didn t know if it was because I knew her. maganda kilalang kilala ko ang mukha na `yun. Of course. Trying to be different from my sister All the while they were making both ends meet. kasikatan. Bubuksan ko pa lang ang handle ng umandar na si manong. At ang mga n ext pictures ay kasama nitong nagpi-fishing ang lalaki. Jean did it because she was always the good daughter. They still loved me. Napatingin sa `kin si Manong. I frowned when I saw a woman crossing the street. Cheap. lalo lang sumasak it. SIX Ni hindi ko siya tinignan. he won first place in a swimming competition. Tricia?. Tumigil lang ako ng maisara ko ang pintuan at sumandal doon. At hindi sila ganon kasama. At least CM would make me happy. Para silang buong pamilya. I felt cold. He had a broken home.. He was right. Yummy. Stolen shot. Oh my God. Then another with Julian s mom.
I could melt. Pinisil pisil ko `yung bic eps niya. BRAD? Brad s face was polite. Katabi ko. Tapos biglang t umunog `yung cellphone nito at nag-excuse. Mas morbid `yun. He s he s Jean s ex. Kala mo naman hind i nagkita ng isang taon. Ako? You ve know n me for three years! I thought you love me? Parang nagbago ka na. Brad this is CM. Goodness. some advice. M-my b-bestfriend in New York. CM rolled his eyes. bestfriend we could make it a story. 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. no. siya ay paminta. At binaba ako ni Brad sa mansyon. Three to four months? I bit my lower lip. Parang bigla kong nalunok `yung laway ko. CM smiled up at Brad. Hinatid namin si CM sa bahay nito sa Alabang. Ahm well. He had t he biggest mouth ever. no. I sighed. Ako din uuwi na. Hindi ikaw ang tinatanong! `Di ba Jeanni I sent him a warning glance. CM could help? God. I saw t enderness in his eyes. Hindi kita type no. Nagpalumbaba ako at ikinuwento lahat. CM raised o ne brow at me. Nakangiti pa. Tapos napatingin siya sa `kin . CM! Lakad pa lang niya alam ko na. Isa pa kakatayin ko na talaga `tong si CM.Hindi na `ko magtataka kung akalain niyang may baliw na sumakay sa kanya. Goodness. Then I stared at his cute f ace. Para kaming sira na nagsasign language. I would really melt. Gross. Agaw eksena kami ng niyakap niya `ko. He whispered achingly. Eh. an g morbid. What if he found out the truth? That you re not pregnant? He wolfed down the pasta e nthusiastically. I shivered suddenly. Kaya pala kaya pala parang hindi man la . Kung pwede nga lang maghimala ako at magbuntis. What? I said innocently. you know . He mouthed. Hindi gagawin ni Julian `yun. Umupo ito sa tapat ni CM. I think I have to go. Kay Brad! Ah ah b-bestfriend siya ni ni Jeannie! How odd I refer someone as myself. Baba na lang ako ng hawakan niya `ko sa braso. I bet he s going to plot murder against me. Ano `to soap opera? Salamat sa awa ha. I waited for CM s arrival. Jean? We both turned at the voice. Ah oo. Jeannie? One brow arched. Too sweet. Jeannie. He s yummy. Si CM ay isang nagbabalatkayong tao este lalaki. Tumalikod. Hindi ka pa ba uuwi Jean? Nag-aalalang sabi ni Brad. Yeah. In short. So what happened? I pouted. Pero nakikita ko ang isandaan at isang tanong. Tumingin ako kay CM. Lahat-lahat ata ng sama ng loob ko kay Julian sinabi ko sa kanya. Then pigs would surely fly. halaman g dagat. Wow. Nag-X sign pa ako n parang si April boy. Bakit hindi? Bale-walang sabi nito. Pini sil niya ang kamay ko. Parang gusto ko siyang batukan. Nataw a pa nga ako ng sundan server `yung tingin sa min kay CM.I mouthed. Kung ganito lang san a si Julian. SANA. Ang hudas pumalakpak pa. Ang bilis talaga ng radar nito. Nagba yad ako at mabilis na bumaba. Hinawakan niy a ang siko ko ng tumayo ako. Grabe. Sa likod ng mga fats niya ay 24/7 tumitibok ang pusong laan para kay Adan. Pinanlakihan ko siya ng mata. at si Zsa Zsa Zaturna. Yuck. no. isang buwan lang naman. At gigil na kumaga t labi pa ito. Ihahatid na kita. Inakbayan niya `ko at pumunta kami sa pinakamalapit na Italian Restaurant. Ayan pati a ko naguluhan na din talaga. His face was an inch or two away from me. Yes. Brad frowned. Kung alam lang niya. Alam mo `yun g mga ginagawa ng mga mayayaman na pinapasalvage `yung first wife nila. Anong alam mo? You haven t known him that long. Oh. Masyado kasing napraktis. From the b eginning `till the bitter end. CM? Sa tatlong taon na nakilala kita You haven t mentioned him.
It s it s my nickname. Ganon naman eh. Por Santo! Ala-una ng madaling araw. Inhale. Jean. computer at alak niya. `Yun lang. na-touched ako sa bestfriend ko. naramdaman kong parang may pumasok sa kwarto. Anong gagawin ko harangin `yung eroplano? Pasabugin `y ung airport? Anong gagawin ko? We re going to fly to Korea! As in. Lum ayo ako lalo. Nakatulog ako habang byahe kaya nabigla na lang ako ng nasa NAIA na kami. Later in t he wee hours of midnight. Tinanggal ko ang kamay niya sa braso ko. Tinakpan ko ng unan ang ulo ko at hinampas kung si no man `yung bastos na `yun. are you out of your mind? It s one in the morning! Kung gusto mo ikaw na lan g mag-isa. He chuckled. I called CM. Ang ginaw talaga. Hindi ako mapakali lalo. Binabaan ako ng p hone! I tried and tried again. now! Julian frowned at me. Then I gasped. mas gusto niyang kasama `yun g mga libro. Kulang na lang sabih in niyang hang up na.ng nagtataka si Julian. Ano `to napagtripan lang basta n i Julian na magtour kami sa Korea?! I bit my lower lip. Grabe. My God Ju lian. Jean! What! Natutulog `yung tao eh. Punta ka sa asawa mo.! Jeannie? Oh my God kung tsismis lang `yan ipagpabukas mo na. from Jeannette to Jeannie Oh Jean was always just Jean. I thanked God he didn t unplugged the socket. No! Mabilis akong bumitiw sa kanya kahit pa ma-hypothermia na `ko. Niyakap ko siya ng mahigp it. I heard the amusement in hi s voice. Nicknames are supposed to shorten one s name. Again. Oh my God. exhale. Julian? He didn t turn around. Hello? Carlo Miguel Jr. Por Diyos. Dahil hindi niya talaga kilala si Jean! Hindi ako ang nagbago Winner! Pwede na `kong manalo sa FAMAS. Please call me Jeannie. Hindi rin dahil wala pang happy ending. O buntis nga ba? Had sh e just said it to blackmail Julian? I hadn t seen Julian when I got home. I screamed. I whispered softly. in that I didn t lie. CM I can t meet the whole Sunico clan. Magbihis ka may pupuntahan tayo. In my panic-driven state. Hindi naman siguro babagsak `yung eroplano no. Maliligo tayo ng sabay? Nakataas ang isang kilay nito. Be with me. Ang sitwasyon lang natin ang nagbago Brad. Nawala lahat ng antok ko. Bilisan mo. Sino bang may ayaw ng lalaking ganito magmahal? One in a million siya. CM !!! The line went dead. At least. 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. Galit na ibabagsak ko ulit ang katawan ko sa kama ng buhatin niya ko. Oh my God. Hindi naman ako manhid. Again. Jean must be very lucky. I felt exhausted and slept early. How? Buntis na si Jean kay Julian. Wha t did he mean by that? Pinaikli naman talaga ah. Tapos? . He grabbed my shoulders and made me stand up. Jean annul your marriage. He walked on. At ipinarinig pa sa `kin ang malakas na paghikab niya. May jetlag pa `ko. Anyone would want Brad for herself. Julian no! Binuksan niya ang shower at itinapat ako sa ilalim ng napak alamig na tubig. Then som eone was shaking my shoulder. Relax take a deep breath. Tapos lumabas na ito. I wanted to make a way for my sister an d him. Me included. He couldn t and wouldn t tell Jean and me apart.
Grabe. It should warm my heart. Umupo ako sa tabi ni Julian. He wore that devil-may-care expres sion on him. Kung narinig niya lang ang sinabi ni CM. kung alam ko lang natetempt ka na ding gawin. But panic was overwhelming me. I whispered when I saw his one good eye fli ckered. CM! I then gaped at Julian. I didn t want him to be suspicious. Eh `di `wag. Gusto ko ng lumabas ng airport at sumigaw ng kidnapping. At sa pagkagulat ko. remember? You and Tantan hit it off. Kahit papano gumaan ang pakiramdam ko ng ti nawagan ko si CM. SEVEN I didn t know a thing about Korea much less Julian s Korean family. He looked bored. Para akon g pinasugod ng mga magulang ko sa giyera ng wala man lang dalang armas. As in. argh . In disgust. Pero parang ayaw makisama ng mga muscles ko. But then I felt him. I pouted my lips. Tumaas ang kilay nito. I. Hmm. no. Julian was sitting handsomely in his Lacoste polo shirt and Levi s jeans. Torrid. padarag n a tinanggal ko `yung kamay niya sa pagkakahawak ng kamay ko. I bit my lower lip. And he was also staring at me! Feeling ko nagkulay man sanas ako.Yakapin mo at saka mo ikiss. He raised one brow at me. The family dinner before the wedding. Sino si Angko? You ve met him. He shrugged then looked at me knowingly. As if he owned the world. I know I was acting childish. Julian sm iled charmingly at her! The devil really could smile Tapos sa `kin pinagdadamot n iya `yun. Habang hawak niya ng mahigpit ang kamay ko sa l ap ko mismo. Parang nga. Julian What? He snapped at me! Sabi ko na nga ba masamang biruin ang bagong gising eh. Gawin ko kaya? Ano kayang magiging reacti on ni Julian? You already met my family when they d come home. I gave him my most charming smile. Wala naman siyang pakialam ` . Na para bang may space akong mauusugan. Julian I don t think this is a good idea. He wasn t looking a t me. `Sus. Matagal na Jeannie. Sino si Tantan? My mind was scre aming. French kiss na lang. Siguro kung wala lang sakit si Angk o His tone changed. My hands trembled. Damn sexy men. 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. Habang n asa loob kami ng eroplano ay gusto ko ng tumalon palabas ng bintana. I knew he just wanted to make the ordeal light for me. Malungkot. Bakit ba umaasa pa `kong magbabago siya? The stewardess smiled at us specifically at Julian. Then he sighed exaggeratedly. Pero lalo lang niya ng hinigpitan. Kung alam ko lang na B. Oh my. Mahigpit. Sa sobrang higpit iisipin kong ayaw niya `kong pakawalan. I swallowed. I tried to smile. Inis na tinanggal ko ang kamay ko sa pagkakahawak niya. Then it fitted the spaces between my fingers. Oh G od. He was there with me. Unti-unting tumaas ang ulo ko. I already and suddenly missed Philippines! As if What would I do? What should I do? Julian just slept like the dead. Inirapan ko siya at umisod pakabila. Tinignan niya `ko. He raised one brow at me. As if telling me to keep my thoughts to myself. ka Hindi ko napigilang hindi matawa. Natatakot na talaga ako.
Napataas `yung kilay ko. Seriously. Kahit magtitigan sila buong maghapon. Or bet ter yet. In another language. his one left dimple. we ll see an OB. And I was meeting the other woman. He was too gentle. He didn t speak English. He said softly. Para akong t-a-n-g-a na naghihintay ng himalang mapansin ni la. Ano nga kayang nakain nito? He gave me a coat. Buti wala akong b ilbil. Tapos tapos Oh God. Inis na nilagpasan ko sila. But I saw amusement written all over his face. Magdurugo na ata ang lower lip ko sa sobrang kaga . At lalong `yung Julian na nilockan ako ng pinto. I giggled. It seemed to take an eternity. Hindi rin naman madali na maging Vice President ng isang malaking kumpanya at the age of 27. My tummy. Like hell. Sana laging ganito si Julian Well. What amazed me next was when he cupped m y face. Tricia was still as sophisticated as I remembered. Dapat matuwa ako sa sinabi niya. At tinitignan ang reaksyon ko. Ginising ko siya ng palapag na kami. Ganon ba talaga? Normal ba talaga `yun? O ako lang `yung abnormal? I m already excited to see our baby. Naka tayo pa rin ako dun. I DON T CARE. Bumalik na naman bigla `yung takot ko. The land was very foreign to me. Then he looked at me straight in the eye. para akong na sa drama. Hindi niya `ko pin agbitbit ng gamit ko! Ang bait ah. Anything basta healthy. Tapos hinamas niya ulit `yung tyan ko. We ll see an Napalunok ako. Then down to my Oh my I whispered. Julian stared at me. Sana lang pareho silang magka-sore eyes. I just hoped it wasn t seen as a grimace. I could drown in those brown eyes. mag-freeze sa ginaw. Tin uro niya sa`kin ang kotse at kinuha `yung nag-iisang clutch bag na dala ko. Mayamaya lang tulog na ulit si Julian. I sucked in the air unconsc iously. Tapos bumaba `yung kamay niya sa leeg ko. He must have been very tired because of w ork. Palabas na kami ng may naghihintay na sasakyan. I felt warmth in the simple gesture. hindi ko alam kung ako lang ang nakakaramdam non pero parang m ay kuryente. Then Julian replied quietly. gusto ko ng maniwala. What do you want? Girl boy? Hmm His chinito eyes squinted all the more. Wala akong pakialam kung masira man ang handle non. ayoko pa. my nose. Excuse me? Mali ba `ko ng rinig? You re my wife.di `ba? There s nothing to be jealous of I gasped. Ano nga kaya ang magiging itsura ng baby namin n i Julian? Kamuka din kaya ni Julian? His eyes. Ayoko sana. Masama bang ma-carried away? I tried to crack a smile. Marami naman siyang pambili `di ba? Binalibag ko pasara ang pinto. Oh no. Bakit niya hinahawakan tummy ko? I tensed. 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. Then they were speaking softly. Malamig. the hell I care. Binitiwan niya `ko ng kinuha niya `yung mga bag namin. Ganon ba talaga ang epekto ni Tricia kay Jul ian? Had he loved her that much to forget about me? Well. Ako din Wala sa loob na bulong ko. `Yung Julian na walang pakia lam sa `kin. Na para bang iniisip niya talagang maig i. Don t look at me like that I might fall! When we get back. We went out of the intern ational airport hand in hand. Feeling ko nga. he didn t r eally mean it. `Pagkatapos niya `kong sabihang Sa`yo lang ako Lumapit sa `kin `yung sa tantiya `ko ay steward nila. We both stopped when we saw a woman standing in the middle of the parking lot waiting for us. Ba t `di na lang kaya niya `ko yakapin? Now I was sounding very much like CM. ako pala `yung kontrabida. my lips. Na para bang hindi siya `yung Julian na lagi akong sinisigawan. Para `kong naparalyze. Galit na inunahan ko na ng bukas ng pinto bago ang steward. G usto kong sumigaw kay Julian at sabihing hello! I m here! I glared at his back. Mayamaya sumeryoso siya. Deadma. Nakita kong natigilan si Julian. Tenderly. Sa `yo lang ako Biglang napatingin ako sa kanya. Na para bang wala ako dun! I gritted my teeth and closed my eyes. They both stared at each other.
I forgot. . Jean! I laughed nervous ly. Ganito ako kapag natetense o naiinip. So? Hindi ko pinansin a ng kamay niyang nakalahad. Julian sat in front. Na parang torture. Chubby cherubin. As if he could see through my lies . my God. Kung alam ko lang. Pero twinge lang. Imo Jean h-hold me! Para akong mahihimatay. Then he looked at me through the tinted wi ndow sill. Ah no. Julian chuckled. He frowned. Imo Jean! Nabigla ako ng may batang lalaking biglang tumakbo at yumakap sa `kin. I didn t know why I felt hurt. Pagod ako. Victorian style in Korea? Hmm. I felt a twinge of guilt. Could have been. Lumapit si Julian. he was wishing me to the moon. honey she was Jeannie. Napatingi n sa `kin si Tricia at Julian. Para akong sinasakal. No. I didn t know She whispered wonderingly. At pasimpleng umirap. Nag-duet kami ni Tricia. at hayun ang magaling na lalaki. Itulog mo na lang `yan. Baka pa gbuhulin ko pa sila ni Julian. Some look Kore an. Jean Rose was fond of kids. Nakita kong nagkakatingin an sila sa rearview mirror sa harapan. Kami naman ni Tricia sa backseat. Gusto ko ng umuwi. At ako ayoko sa bata! Ngumiti ako dito at pasimpleng pinanlakihan ito ng mata. I m a slut in the making. Tricia got in. I hated Julian. Naalimpungatan ako. I didn t care if I sounded like one. Tumingin ako sa kanila. So are you telling me that I m a scheming b!tch? Hell. In the deepest part of me I felt alone. Pareho kaming nagkatinginan.t. That wasn t what I intended. Julian got out and took our luggag e. Mabilis kong iniiwas ang mga mata ko. 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. I dialed his number. Lalo na ng titigan akong maigi ni Julian. Maputi ito. Pero layuan niya muna ako. Yes. Pagod ka Jeannie. Tricia had always been soft-spoken. 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. Bakit ganito? Ayoko ng makita si Julian. Tapos inalalayan niya si Tricia. My eyes grew wide. You didn t tell me about Jea nie. you were talking about Jean! Yes. Madapa ka sana. I couldn t be mistaken. Yes. Ang matatabang mga braso nito ay tumaas . You knew each other? I groaned inwardly. Then I saw the others looking at us from inside t he big yard. Julian was already embracing her! And she was crying. I hated this feeling. Jeannie? As if naman nagulat ka! I smiled at her mockingly. `Yun lang. Na para bang nakikita niya `ko. When the car door opened. Nagpapabuhat! Oh. Mas malaking mansyon. Julian glared at me. sa mood ko ngayon hindi ko feel maging chummy-chummy sa kanya. Sh!t. si Tricia. Kung hindi ko pa alam na tinted ang sasakyan. If I were a scheming b!tch then he s the biggest hypocr ite ever. Had the circumstanc es been different we could have been friends. others were Filipinos. I I Jeannie I met her in New York. Narinig niya `ko. Ha? Had I said my thoughts aloud? Umiwas ako ng tingin kay Julian. Tricia gaspe d. Julian raised one brow at us. Hindi ko napigilan ang sarili ko. Ipinikit ko ang mga mata ko. Three to four years old. Tumalikod lang ako saglit. What did you say? Tricia turned at me. Wake up we re here. Biglang bumilog ang naniningkit na mga mata ng bata. My eyes grew wi de. Tinitigan kong m aigi ng kumalas siya mula kay Tricia.
Drake. Hindi ko ineexpect ito. So he s Tantan? I groaned inwardly. Tantan smiled up at me. Hindi ba ako titigilan ng batang ito? Kinarga ito ng matandang l alaki. Then someone hugged me. H indi naman ako pinanganak na sinungaling kaya nagi-guilty din naman ako sa pamil ya ni Julian. What the hell is happening here?! Unti-unti akong tumingin sa hagdanan. si Uncle Jin. No nothing. Nananaginip ba `ko? Sa panaginip ko Julian was worried sick about me. At nalaman kong kaya lang sila nan dito ay dahil sa Angko ni Julian Julian s grandfather was sick. no. Reall y stared at me. O kay lang po. Nasan ako? Julian cupped my cheek softly. Me. Then Tantan kissed my nose. Parang ito ang pumalit sa pwestong iniwan ng papa niya. . No make-believe baby. And sadly the divorce of Julian s parents caused the Sunico patriarch to dis own his eldest son. Nagkalat ang chocolates sa mga kamay ko. Tantan. ganyan din ako ng pinagbubuntis ko si Tantan. clearly. darling? You got me worried We ll go to the nearest hospital. Natawa ang mga pinsan ni Ju lian at tinapik ito. I wanted to g o home. n o. Gusto kong maniwala Julian gusto ko. You re not Imo Jean! You re not Imo Jean! He started wailing.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. Sa sobrang inis ko binitawan ko siya. I just smiled. Tantan I gritted my teeth while s miling. Tahimik lang ako. Are you sure. Celine smiled at me. eh? Pagpasensyahan mo ang apo ko Jean. Anak siya ni Uncle Jin. Wala na `kong nagawa. The man who had bear-hugged me earlier. At apo nito si Tantan. Nakita ko ang mukha ni Julian. like the way Julian stared at me when he was suspicious. Na parang hinipan lang ng hangin. Some smiled at me. Si Celine. I smiled at the old man. Then I started hiccupping. Tama . I opened my eyes slowly. Kumiss ito kay Julian. No Tricia. God Sssshhh Tantan don t cry. But I m not that stupid. Lahat sila naka palibot sa `kin. Me. So Juli an s words were asking him to kiss him? Was that it? Oh. Oh m y. Imo Jean! I almost groaned aloud. I froze in place. The patriarch of the Sunico family. Hindi ko na kaya. He stared at me. NO! He was holding Tricia s hand. you re okay? Tanong ni Uncle Jin. Uncle I w hispered tentatively. Our baby he might be He frantically cupped my stomach tenderly. Are you sure. You missed aunt Jean. Un cle Jin was his father s cousin. Emotional stress. Hindi sila matapobre like what I d expected. Kahit isa sa ka nila hindi ko alam ang pangalan. Alam mo cous. Me. Imo Jean s-sorryy My eyes watered. He was the old man in the pictures! With Julian. and the res t I couldn t very well remember their names. He looked real worried. I m okay. Hija! Kamusta ka na? Too sad. Hindi okay. Then I saw Julian and Tricia talking quietly fr om a corner. Oh. My gaze was fixed on the grand staircase. Kung hindi ko pa ala m in my peripheral vision I saw her. He looked at me then started hiccupping. Napansin ko ang closeness ni Julian kay Uncle Jin. Aunt Risan. What have I gotten my self into? Tapos bumalik ulit ito at hinawakan ang kamay ko. He grasped my hand. NOT MINE! I fainted. Ngumiti ito at inabutan ako ng wineglass. `Pagpasok namin ay niyakap ako isa-isa ng mga kamag-anak ni Julian. Imo Jean let s play. kay a ikaw Julian take care of Jean. Para akong hihimatayin. Nakatingin ako sa batang naglalagkit ng chocolates. There stood Julian s grandfather . My throat was dry. I heard that one. They were almost all half-filipinos half-koreans. Ayoko na. EIGHT Jeannie! Jeannie! Damn Jeannie darling please wake up. Tricia ey ed me curiously. Imo Jean Yumakap ulit ito. My eyes searched for Julian. Then he stopped crying. Pinilit kong tumayo mula sa malaking kama. I didn t make it on your wedding day. Emotional stress.
I sighed. darling? He said in sarcasm. At least not physically. tukso layuan mo ako! Julian no My eyes grew wide. Parang naiiyak na `ko. His face was so close I c ould smell his breathing. Jeannie. Niyakap niya `ko. In the first place. Eh. O nag-aalala ba talaga? Tinalik uran ko siya. right? And you re a hypocrit e. The rise and fall of my chest rubbed against his. Magkaya kap. My heart was thundering. Overwhe lming anger and desolation. I screeched and clawed his face. Nakita kong unti-unt ing nag-iiba `yung expression niya. He wouldn t hurt me. . Right. Natakot ako bigla. Parang bigla akong natakot sa itsura ni Julian. Ewan ko. Ano `to stare-a-thon? The muscle on his jaw flexed furiously. Is there something wrong. Inihiga niya ` ko sa kama. His rheumy eyes were still clear. Galit na tinitigan niya `ko. it felt wrong and delicious. Niyakap ako ni Tant an sa leeg. His fists clenched. Pilit kong iniaatras ang katawan ko papuntang headboard. May tungkod ito. mapapatawad ko na sana `tong batang `to. Pagsalba man lang ng pride. He pulled off his coat. Diyos ko. He became withdrawn. parang nag-aalala siya. I pushed him hard on the chest. No that would stomp my damned pride. Wala n a `kong pakialam kung magalit siya sa `kin. You ruined both our lives. They were both alike. Umiiyak ang huli. Tinanggal ko iyon ng humarap ako sa kanya. M y hands were trembling violently. Well. Gigil na itinaas nito ang baba ko. Now. I was sudd enly afraid. Nagti tigan kami. di sana hindi tayo parehong nakatali sa kasal na ikaw mismo ang may gawa. Taas noong tumingin ako sa kanya. Do I need consent in raping my wife. Julian s face darkened. No! O. I m already doing this. Sadly. Authority. And let s face reality may mahal kang ib a. Hindi naman ako nasaktan dahil malambot ang malaking kama. And g oodness. I was amazed at what he had done next pabalyang itinulak ako ni Julian sa kama. Arrogance. Are you going to rape me? I whispered angrily. Na parehong meron kay Julian. he was clad with his Levi s Ganon kabilis.At sana hindi dumating `yung panahong I d start really hating you. Hindi niya `ko maririnig na magmakaawa. as if mocking me. Narinig ko ang pagsara ng pinto. Nagpapakatanga ba talaga ako? He was taking his clothes off one by one. wala siyang kara patan magalit. My eyes grew wide I thought it might p opped out. Please Julian Tama ka. 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. Ako. Kulang na lang maging ab o ako sa apoy na nilalabas non. Insensitive cad! What s wrong? Ha! Yes! Everything s wrong you. His whole body was covering mine. Ginamit kita para makuha ko ang gusto ko. Sabi nito sa mataas na tinig. He di dn t look as if he was sick. But oh my. I gasped. I know an insult when I heard one. He s got grit and pride. I saw red. I looked over my shoulders Lamp shade? Brush? No! I can t hurt him. Hindi ako makahinga sa bigat niya. Julian don t do this. Tatakbo ako mula sa gilid ng hapitin niya ang bewang ko. Sa likod ng isip ko nakikita ko sila ni Tricia. pati ako naguguluhan. But there was definitely something about his grandfather t hat made me fear him. Sana nanlimos ka na lang sa `kin. Bulong ko. Nobody assiste d the old man. What s wrong? I bit my lower lip from shouting at him. Very much like Julian. Gi namit kita. And it hit right through the core. You love Brad. Realization hit me all at once. The corner of his lips twitched lazily. Bakit ako masasaktan? Siguro kasi natatapakan pride ko bilang babae. Pero lalo niya lang hinigpitan. At may mahal din akong iba. sonja? Napatingin ako sa mukha ng Angko ni Julian. Napalunok ako. He didn t quite budge. ang pangalan ng pamilya mo . My God. para makuha ko ang titulo ng bahay namin. Jeannie Will you please go away from me? I murmured angrily as Julian touched my shoulder. Pero dinaganan niya `ko . Ju lian was dead serious. Because I m good at giving back to charities and you re one of them. Julian seemed like the very devil himself. Ang mga mata nito. Jean nie Nakita ko si Tricia. Let s get her to rest. Na para bang ako ang may kasalanan ng lahat. me and Tricia! I clenched my teeth.
She was just a family fr iend. And I couldn t help falling for him. then tears one by one pooled down my eyes. I shouldn t be feeling this way. Something I felt strongly. Para akong masosuffocate sa loob ng hospital suite. I opened my mouth to protest. JUST. . I was half-naked. Hindi niya kailangang magsalita para mari nig ko `yun. Nanghihina na `ko. But I did. No Yes no then he was claiming what he shouldn t. But the devil was kissing me. Wala na siyang ginawa kundi sa ktan ako. War of emotions. He was trying to hide the p ain. You re mine. Sa pagkabigla ko Oh my God! I cried out. SAVAGELY. He wanted to see Mr. parang biglang nag-init ang buong paligid. But it only ignite d something more more that I wanted. Napatingin kami sa doctor. No. Then he kissed me th ere. openly. I started crying. `Yung parang tinatawag na ni Sa n Pedro. Tapos hinawakan niya `yung kamay ko. Then his lips landed on the side of my neck. His eyes were blazing Then he fisted my hair up that tilted my face in the air. And now I love hi m. War of heat. we weren t in pu rgatory. No one owns me He claimed my mouth not too gently. Then he went out of the door. Gusto k ong sabihing family matter `to. Ang mukha ng lolo ni Julian. Sanjo come here. The buttons popped. He was already kissing me. Touching my stomach. Pilit akong nagpupumiglas mula sa hawak niya . Ho? Julian pushed me. Th e soon-to-be patriarch of Sunicos. Without clothes on now. I saw the bitterness written all over his face. Julian Sunico and his wife. It was like I couldn t do anything anymore. Open up for me Jeannie His voice was hoarse. I hate him. Nakita ko si Tricia na nakatingin sa `min habang nasa labas ng ICU. And I bet he hated the responsibility. Itinulak ko siya ng malakas. wala kang karapatan dito . Tahimik lang si Julian . Then he kissed me. Parang gusto kong yakapin si Julian. Not l ike this Julian! Then his lips trekked down my neck. Na para bang magkakaroon ng Wo rld War III. Nagsabog ang buhok ko sa k ama at sa mukha ko. He was now the heir. Angko Julian and him spoke quietly in Korean language. Ganoon ba `ko kababaw? Sinisigawan niya `ko lagi. yet I couldn t name . My God. He s dying! We went to the hospital as soon as we got our clothes on. We were still in Korea. Then he looked down at me at my bare shoulders and flimsy black underthings. Surely. And I felt a little sympathy for this old man even though I had met him a few hours ago. He was tense.Tumaas lang ang kilay niya. Hungrily. Julian? Julian? We both turned at the frantic sound at the door. Umiiyak na ang mga pinsan nitong babae. Pilit kong iniiwas ang mukha ko. His hand clutched the side of my neck. I closed my eyes ti ghtly. Then his hands were there touching me. And I tasted blood there. I love Brad I love Brad I shouted at him. Ro ughly. In bed with a man who thought I was someone else. You love Brad? Let s see. Galit na sinabi nito. I tried hard to close my mouth from his i nvasion. Carnally. We were in a war. Julian! Angko s rushed to the hospital. He roughly tore my blouse off me. Marahan niyang hinimas ang tyan ko. Uncle Jin s mouth was slacked.
Promise me. He needs you. I heard you are good at painting. Gusto kong sabihing ako? Ako pa ang mananakit kay Julian? Apo niya nga talaga it o. naniniwala akong bumabalik ang mga kaluluwa kung may unfinished business. But he gave me that look that said back off . Yakapin. Parang gusto kong maawa dito. I couldn t help being left out. Before we knew it. Uncle Jin tried to pacify h im. Ayokong ako pa ang maging dahilan ng pagkamatay ni Angko. Pero ako si ako si Jean. Ho? Para na akong parrot na paulit ulit. Umiyak na `ko. Julian never needed me. NINE Julian was withdrawn the whole burial service. Tahimik lang siya these past few days. It s over. Alam ko kung pano magalit ang leon. I was kinda shocked. no. I shook my head. What is over Jin? You tell me! You know it would never be over unless Galit na siga w nito at tumingin kay Julian. went back to the Philippines. My eyes grew wide. Promise me His voice was ho arse. After the third day. Too fast. Promise me. I m sorry. Natatakot akong bak a hindi ko matupad ang promise ko kay Angko. you ll never hurt him. 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. Promise. He s dead. Aunt Risan looked worried. Jeannie could paint. I nodded. Will you get out of here? You re not a Sunico! Julian hissed silently. nasasaktan din ako. With Tricia. we. Julian moved forward. I know I know He chuckled hoarsely. I wanted to tell him. I-comfort. pano kung balikan ako ni Ang ko? Diyos ko. Julian! Celine said authoritatively. Syempre. We were out of the embassy when we saw Julian s father. His wrinkled chinky eyes seemed tired. Natatakot ako. I m old but I m not stupid. Nakita ko ang biglang p agmutla ni Uncle Jin. Jin. What the hell Ang hirap pumagitna sa mga nag-uumpugang bato. With me. Pinagtitinginan na kami ng mga tao sa paligid. Then his hand went limp.Angko He smiled sadly. Eh. Please make my sanjo happy h-he h-he had the full responsibility now. At least. Hmm He took my hand. Hindi man ako inborn na mabait. Kay Tric ia lang. why didn t you tell me? He gritted his teeth. At isa pa. Promise. The Old patriarch of Sunicos were now gone. It was too swift. I wished you could paint the whole family. Gusto ko siyang lapitan. What if what if Julian turned to his father in anger? O h. Julian s father was red about the face. meaning almost all of the Sunicos. hindi naman ako ganon kasama. Para kaming . Cremated. whatever happens take care of Julian. `wag naman sana.
Susuko na ba talaga ako? My hands were cold. At lalong hindi ko na kailangang magsinungaling na may project par a lang payagang gumala. Pero anong ginagawa ko? Gusto kong protektahan si Julian. sa pagkakatanda ko never kang pinagnasaan ni Tricia back in New York. Inayos ko ang gown ko sa harap ng salamin. My phone vibrated. Sabi nila. Independent. Wala talagang mabuting idulot si CM. I gritted my teeth. totoo naman palang sinabi nila. Eve rything. Wala ng dialogue na bata ka pa . Tricia smiled at me. Excuse me lang Carlo Miguel Jr. Sa tingin mo. What do you think will Julian feel? Another blow? Dammit. Tamang tama para sa okasyon. Para akong naestatwa. Ako?. They have reasons. I know. At hin . you know. Anong panama ko kay Tricia? She knew a lot. Mapagpanggap ka. mag-boyfriend at uminom. CM I would tell him the truth. Talo ako. Wrath and envy. CM I ll talk to you later. The n there were papparazzis. Sunico. I gave up Juli an. I d tell him later about everything. Ako? I felt alien. Where the hell had they come from? Tricia hugged him from behind. Ano naman nandyan naman si Tricia! He would feel betrayed. Iyak ng iyak si Tantan ng magising. gwapo pala ni Julian Sunico I w ouldn t wonder why Tricia chose him over me. Wala ng curfew. At lalong hindi ako magtataka kung ba kit siya pinikot ng kapatid mo. Ilang beses ko na bang sinabi: Wala a kong balak sundan ang yapak ni Rizal. However unreasonable it may be . Ayoko na. Muy. Hindi ko siya ma-t ake. I felt exhilarated. Julian was remote. artista ka na. Mas matalino sa `yo kapatid mo. I know I m committing two of the seven deadly sins. Dumating ang mga bodyguards ni Uncle Jin. and men will always be boys at heart. Julian please stop it. But you know what? I still wanted to reach out to Julian. wala. In fairness ha. I saw the headlines. women have a nurturing nature. Painful. CM. Because he needed it t hough he wasn t asking it. There was more to this than I couldn t put a finger on. I rolled my eyes. Hindi. I took a step back in horror.. LEGAL. I bit my lower lip. I chose black. She looked pretty and sophiscated in her pink dress.. Pero paano ang panga ko mo kay Angko Jeannie? Hindi ko na kaya. Where s your sense of honor dad? Sana hindi na lang kita naging tatay! Julian was making guttural sounds. At ang hitad tumawa pa. Tonight.nasa slow motion scene habang nakita namin kung pano tumaas ang kamao ni Julian sa mukha ni Mr. She understood him about his family. Nasa kabilang sasakyan si Uncle Jin kasama sina Celine at Tantan. Pero ang m agulang ay magulang. God. Pwede ng makulong. Don t cause any more scandal than we have now Even Celine was c rying. When I turned eighteen. Hello? Wow. What! Think it over Jeannie. Then I sighed. And I never wanted to run for an ulirang anak awardee. I was mourning my heart out. We ll have a press conference later. Hindi ka si wonde rwoman. She was crying now. Magpabuntis ka kaya kay papa Brad? I cut the line off. I saw Tricia squeezed his hand. Hi Oh.. Julian closed his eyes. Like I was an altogether different person. Tricia was with him. I gave up. Aunt Risan phoned someone. Nagpapawis. this is the right time to do that? I I don t know. hindi ako nagi ng mabuting anak. I remembered telling Jean this: Jean `wag mong i-save ang mundo. May kumatok. 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. Why? Kasi feeling ko malaya na `ko m ula sa manipulasyon ng parents ko.
I don t feel good around you. Then I tried to smile at him. Kasabay ng paglabas nito ng pinto. had I? Jean always t old me how transparent I am. If you don t. The ot her hand on his pocket. I m with Julian last night and I was wrong Jean! Once run away with me. Parang sirang plaka. It s alright. You re blushing. This was one big hell of a joke. Bakit hindi ka dumating? Ano?! Ano bang pinagsasabi nito? Was he into drugs also? Dahil sa kagandahan ko? Ang lupit talaga ng kamandag ko. Brad. Tsk. Jeannie I I shrugged and went forward. One step. Jok e lang ni Brad. Thirty minutes. It was deserted. Oh. Tuta l huling gabi ko na ito. I ll take Julian away from you. Julian let go of my hand. He clutched at me frantically. A fresh start. me and our baby. Parang nanlamig ang buong pagkatao ko. Touching my closed lips light against his. he was inviting me to taste the forbidden app le. And I promise you My jaw dropped. Thirty minut es later. Gutom na `ko. You don t have to wor Julian was leaning gorgeously against the doorframe. I d rather eat you for dinner. I wanted t o spit fire at her. Maganda naman ako. Pero tao lang po ako. I I ve always been alone. Tricia ayokong makipagplastikan. I d tell him tonight. My eyes grew wide. Lumiko ako sa kabilang room. Ayan. Jeannie He groaned. Please take care of Julian. Lumabas na ako at pumunta sa conference room. I know it s you Jeannie. I swallowed. Tricia cupped Julian s cheek! Kitang kita ko `yun mula sa salamin. Alam ba ng lahat? You knew? She nodded. I saw him tensed. Parang gustong lumabas ng puso ko. I closed my eyes and kissed hi m. I want to have a big family. Kumain na tayo. parang hindi naman. Later His eyes burned pr omise. Three. I rea lized one thing: Hindi ko kayang i-give up si Julian! Dinner time. Bakit hindi ko pa sabihin lahat? She smiled at me. Parang namanhid `yung buong katawan ko. I shrugged. Not personally. I sucked in my breath. Ano ba Jeannie! Magtino ka nga Para kang naka-drugs. His han ds automatically wrapped around my waist. If you don t. I love you. you know me. I m not a hypocrite Jeannie. And his voice like hell. I tiptoed and wrapped m y arms around his neck. I ll take Julian away from you. Hindi rin naman kita gusto.ihiling kong sana y hindi ko na makita ever si Tricia. Julian! For Christ s sake! The reporters are already here. Wala akong dapat ikahiya. Had Jean c . Breathe out. Three days ago. And in that moment. I blushed. Julian? I smiled and turned around to see Brad?! You called me last night. Tapos nanlaki `yun g mga mata ko. But beca use you took Julian from me. Tumalikod na siya. I was out looking for Julian. Patatawarin kita sa ginawa mo. Just a peck. my eyes squinted. I wan t this marriage to work. My God. Ikaw Jea nnie mag-prepare ka na. his tux on one hand. L ike hell. Sa ginawa niyong magkapatid. He was a bit taken aback. I couldn t risk being seen with him. Uncle Jin said from out of nowhere. Kaya nga nagtataka ako kung bakit magaling din akon g magsinungaling. Lumingon ako. Two steps.Ito ba ang k aya mong i-give up? Akala ko ba si Eba ang dahilan kung bakit nagkasala ang buon g daigdig. Oh. Parang naririnig ko pa `yun. That s a mistake. Nagulat ako ng biglang may yumakap sa`kin from behind. Dahil sa pagkaparalyze ko hindi ako makapag-react. Pilit kong inaalis ang mga kamay ni Brad sa bewang ko. Lumapit ito. no! I hadn t said my thoughts aloud again. You . Tricia was challenging me. Then I remembered what happened. Nothing more. A slow grin played about the corner of his lips.
iba ang pakahulugan sa `kin non dati. I caused another scandal. `Wag gambalain? Bakit ano bang himala ang ginagawa niya sa loob? Gigil kong sabi. Nalunok ko pa ata ang nanunuyot kong laway. Unless you knew wh at love really meant. NO over me. I failed Tricia. Feeling ko masusuka a ko. I swore my life was doomed as Julian stared coldly at me. I failed. Kay Julian. The paparazzi. by the end of the day I wouldn t wonder if I woul d be six feet underground he was going to kill me. Then the door opened. Pwede pala kaming friends. ma am sabi po ni sir. He was sitting on his swivel chair. Si Brad. I would underst and if he showed anger. Then he turned his back on me. Hindi ba dapat nagse-celebrate siya at hindi na .alled him last night? No Brad listen I m not Jean Rose. No response. Ahm. Ako si Jeannie Rose Leviste. Posible pala. Julian Na kita ko ang nagsabog na mga beer bottles. What I saw in his face tore my heart into pieces. Ah ewan. Hindi dapat mandamay ng inosent eng nilalang. No It hurt as I stared coldly at his back. I turned on the lights and saw Julian s back. Jeannie. Tricia we re regarding me with an accusing stare. I m setting you free. Oh my God. Para akong pinagbagsakan ng langit at lupa. Even though you couldn t define it. WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK ARE YOU DOING?! Tricia half-screamed half-whispered. Wala siyang alam! No! I whispered. mahalaga pala ako sa kanya. Jean what the hell do you think are you doing to me? TEN I knocked on the door. And I hurt Julian. 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. Th e reporters were forgotten. Nakataas ang paa nito sa drawer. I failed Angko. `Yung pag-aagawan naming `yu ng bidang lalaki. Hindi pa naman ako ganon kamahal ni Julian para gawin niya `yun `di ba? Ma am kasi po baka sa `kin magalit si sir kung Magalit sir mo? Sino bang kaharap mo? Hindi ba dapat mas mauna kang matakot sa `k in? I took the keys in her shaking hands. The door was locked. The Great JULIAN SUNICO wouldn t cry over a woman. Twice. Bakit ko ba naisipang mag-give up? I never had that in my v ocabulary. Eh. Tumakbo ako palabas. Nawala na ang overdramatic mood ko kanina. Julian lis ten to me! I pleaded. Flashes of cam era. Tapos may humawak ulit sa braso ko. Julian open this damned door! Ma am What! I tried to calm my nerves. I stood there motionle ss. Julian! I gritted my teeth in anger. My heart stopped. No! Bakit hindi ako makasigaw? Julian turned to me. I thought it was in the movies or telenovelas. And opened the damned door. I saw something luha? No. I m He was already kissing me! My head spin. His eyes. Set us free. Then he walked away. I m sorry. Mas kaya ko pang i-handle ang galit na Julian. I clutched at his arm. Unless you fell in love like this. `wag daw po siyang gambalain. Hindi ko na natapos kung ano man ang sasabihin ko. ang lola ng lola ko ang p amangkin ng anak ni Gabriela Silang. Sabi ni mommy. Julian She loves me Julian. I wasn t knocking now. Tricia yelled at me earlier in the ho tel suite and took me out of my reverie. Someone gasped. At natakot ako kasi. Hindi niya kasalanan. Parang biglang nawala ang lakas ng loob ko. PAIN. Kapag bukas ko ng pinto madilim. May pills kaya itong dala sa loob? Wire? Rope ? Knife? Grabe naman. O dapat pang sabihin. Okay. Siguro h indi niyo ko maiintindihan. my jaw almost dropped. For the win pala itong si Tricia! Naiiyak na sana ako nun eh. Once. his deadly glance. Bwisit na b inabalibag ko na ang pinto. Yes. Since. I d us e the word banging now.
Men are men. He swung the swivel chair roughly. Then I took his hand and put it on my I swallowed first. Hoarse. give me strength. He was trying to intimi date me. Payag na `ko. three days ago. Parang nag-init ang punong tenga ko. If we re going to do it. See? He laughed out mockingly. I hated to admit it. Ayan. Why wasn t he doing a thing? We were just standing there him touching me. Tapos lumapit siya sa `kin. `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. With consent bosom. Payag na `kong magpa-rape sa `yo Julian. You fvcking love him. Nabasa ko `ya n before. Up to my neck. Hindi ako magpapatakot sa damuho nato. I whispered and swallowed sharply. It was a little bit awkward and delicious? I moaned inwardly. darling making love is only women s term. I want an annulment. Na para bang bago pa sa `kin `yun. 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. Hindi. n o. Dalagang Pilipina ako no. Whatever. I was that desperate. Julian listen to me I want to come clean. His neck tie was scattered on the desk. Ju lian. the more he lashed . Papayag ka din sa a nnulment. My eyes grew wide. Sabi ko. I gulped Could n t I just look up and not on his chest. I swallowed against his deathly grip. There. I should have known. The more he was hurt.gpapakalasing? Eh. I put it on my na. eh `di tinab lan ka ngayon! I wanted to shout victory. Julian What! Pack your things and get out of my house! He whispered angrily. Then his err erri ng hand cupped my hmm. we ll only be screwing. That chest would hav e been illegal to cover! Payag na `ko. Bakit mo ipagpipilitan ang sarili mo sa `kin kung nandyan naman si Brad? Parang biglang bumalik ang animosity nito. I m not talking to your back. Bad `yan ha. they were born w ith long and sharp tongues. My I sighed silently. And then his big hand gripped me. He caressed my neck gently . bakit Jeannie may kasama namang alak kapag nagse-celebrate `di ba? Hell. Ang mga butones ng polo shirt nito ay nagkandakalas. My eyes grew wide. The tic on his adam s apple moved. Second time. His teeth gritted. He always did that that menacing steps. I winced at the brutal words. Hindi ito lu milingon.. What the hell do you think are you doing? I was amazed. no t down but up. I m right. You wanted out of this marriage because of that SOB. His brow arched. Nataob ko ang bataan. didn t you? Wouldn t you scream his name if we were going to To make love? I supplied nervously. Naglalabasan na ang ugat nito sa leeg. Alam ko kasalanan `tong gagawin ko. Tumawa ito na parang nang-aasar. Mas nakakahiya naman kung ako pang humigit sa kanya sa kama `di ba? Oh. Screw. Payag na `ko. The first time. His eyes glinted. Bosom is for inbred ladies. was I? His eyes squinted anew. He started laughing demonicall y. At galit na tumayo ito. Ang mga singkit niyang mat a lumaki at bumilog. Nababaliw na ata talaga ako. Gusto ko sanang sabihin `yun. Bingi ba ito? Ayoko. I felt him moved a little. Lumaki ang mga mata ko.. I swore Julian s eyes grew wide. D ry. Bulong ko. here in the library. I blinked thr ice. At hindi napagi-iwanan si Julian! Did he think his w ords would hurt me? Kilala ko na siya. Oh. Oh lord. Then his hand moved.
Your bestfriend? Lumingon sa `kin si Julian. But what the hell was CM doing in here? Sabi ko na nga bad vibes. Tapos tinitigan niya `ko. Napaka-contagious ng aura nito. Dapat talaga naglagay ako ng banga sa harap ng p intuan para hindi nakakapasok ang masasamang espiritu sa bahay nila Julian. Hindi ako nagtatatalak sa kanya. He said very politely. What is it hija? She smiled at Julian. Bakit kita hihi walayan eh. Wit h her mom. Kailangan kong malaman ang d eepest and darkest secret nila malay mo. Baliw na kaya ako? Kapag baba ko ay nakita kong nagbebreakfast na sa lanai si Julian. mommy. He was pus hing me away. sir may bisita po kayo. Seven months. Balae? Napalunok ako. Ahm . Tinitigan n iya `ko ng masama. Then I heard a loud crash. Parang outsider din ang mommy ni Julian sa family Sunico. And you can marry your SOB of a lover. So how are we going to do it? Sa desk? Sa couch? Sa ibabaw ng counter? What he was doing was scaring me off. Ang tanong paano ko manganganak? Paano kung hindi ako pumayag? He shrugged and took to his drinking again. may psychic ability kam i nitong si Julian. Then from the do orway came Oh my God. And take note: with consent. May batas na ba dito sa bahay ang bawal ngumiti Jules? I saw his teeth gritted. I bet he was wondering what on earth was happening to me. Mukang masarap ang tulog mo hija Too bad I hadn t seen Julian s grandfather. Minsan naiisip ko. Our mommy now. amoy tsiko na. Akala lang nila si Jean ang matalino no. I whispered. God. para may maipam-blackmail ako kay Julian . Biglang tumaas `yung sulok ng bibig nito. Tawa ng tawa sa `kin mommy ni Julian. Nagkatinginan kami ni Julian. I secretively smiled. Tapos umupo na kaming lahat. It was like I could take on the world. I turned around before opening the door. I could see that.back. You wouldn t do that. Tinanggal nito ang kamay sa leeg ko. Ang hininga niya. At isinara ko ang pinto. Good morning mommy. Julian you can t run away from me. Ganon din si Julian. Ah Julian si CM. CM? Mommy? Marahan akong tumayo at ngumiti sa kanila. We ll ha ve an annulment after you give birth. Parang gusto kong manghina. If I kill you there would b e justice. Okay. And one more thing Julian. Inaalagaan mo bang maigi itong si Jean? He snorted. I whispered. My mommy smiled. Su nico on the cheek. Morning. Hindi ko alam kun g bakit energetic ako at masaya. given. I wouldn t be bothered by his cruel words. Do you know what I want to wring your lovely neck right now. mas mayaman ka kay Brad? I smiled b!tchily at him. Yes. Must have been the china vase that caused millions. M arami naman siyang pambili eh. At siya? He didn t even g ive me a glance. O isa lang talaga lagi `yung expression niya. Mommy Ma am. She s Jeannie s bestfriend. Para tuloy may nagsasabi sa `king may hindi mangyayaring maganda. He wiped his mouth with a napkin. Julian kissed my mom s cheek. thank you for stopping Julian from killing me last night. Itinaas niya ang baba ko. Anong nginingiti-ngiti mo dyan? Ano bang problema nito? Panira ng araw. Hin di ako nagagalit. Shut up Jeannie . Negative vibes. Good morning Philippines! Good morning World! Good morning mommy! I kissed Mrs. I pouted. Paano mo `ko papakinabangan kung patay na `ko? He sighed. it didn t matter. Rape nga `di ba Inis kong sabi. so my mommy s here. Ano pa bang dapat sabihin? Julian became withdrawn again. Tapos tinitigan ni ya si CM mula ulo hanggang paa. Oo nga po. ako din kaya.
Ah.Yeah. I m not very particular with gays. CM s eyes grew wide. Really. I know you ll surely love it. Politics. I smiled at Julian s mom. CM smiled at me.. . so why don t you take on the job? Bigla akong nahirinan. Inabot niya sa `kin ang isang maliit na paper bag. Julian raise d one brow at me. Tinitigan ko siya. In front of me was a box of chocolate-flavored c-o-n-d-o-m-s! ELEVEN My hands trembled. Usap. Jean Rose finished commerce. Julian tugged my hand. He snorted at me. Really? One brow arched.. I forgot to give my gift. A box of chocolates. It was like a tug o war between us. Ang boses. Tumabi sa `kin si CM. Tumaas ang kilay nito. Bottle B. Tila ayaw pa ng makisama! Ganyan din ako ng nagbubuntis ako kay Julian hija I smiled secretively. Napatayo silang tatlo. Suspicious. It was now or never. Ahhh. My mom bit her lower lip. God. Ni hindi man lang hinimas `yung likod ko! Ahm talaga po? Maganda `yan. sorry. Let me see. And fashion Lahat nag-uusap save Julian. Actually may mga gay friends din kami sa New Ahurm. Bottle A. Sh!t. Ang mga mata ni Julian parang lobo. Then I made mewling sounds like I w as going to throw up. Hindi ko gusto `yung tingin niya sa `kin. kitang-kita ang pagkabuhay ng katawang lupa ni CM sa mga mata niya. Later everybody was well and good. Tapos bigla akong humawak sa tyan ko. how could I? Kung mommy ko pa m ismo ang nagtutulak sa `king gawin ito. Balae. I opened the paper bag. Ay grabe. Then I gasped softly. What the hell? Mom what s this? Pills. Hinimas ni mommy ang likod ko. He eyed Julian like my husband was the meal. halika na t mag-breakfast na tayo. Plan A and B. Pinanlakihan ko siya ng mga mata. Tinakpan ko ang bibi g ko. Makakatulong `yan in future references. CM an o ba `yang pabango mo ang baho! Itinulak ko si CM. Jeannie. Biglang binawi ni CM kamay niya at tumuwid ng tayo. Na para bang ewan ko. How dare you CM ! What is it? My mom asked. Anong gagawin ko? Wala akong alam! Ano ano nga pala ang mga pinaglilihian mo hija? Parang hindi naman siya naglilihi. Ayokong bitawan ang paper bag. Parang nanigas ang panga ko sa pag-smile. hija? What k ind of chocolate? A box of chocolates. I m glad to finally meet you CM ex tended his hand toward Julian. Two vials. Pero hindi eh. 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! . May ipapatayo nga pala akong business hija. Julian. We re bestfriends. Oh? Naalala ko tutal tapos ka naman ng business administration. Weather forecast. Barakong barako. Julian butted in. Feeling ko lulubog ako sa kahihiyan. I smiled too sweetly. errr Masusuka ata ako. T sismis. Here. Julian was still scrutinizing me. Tapo s sumabog ang laman niyon sa lamesa.
Tears were starting to form again. Ha? Anak ka ng magaling ang plano ni mommy! Breathe in. Tinignan niya `ko na para bang nababaliw na `ko. Ano bang ginawa ko para parusahan ako ng Diyos Julian? Naging mabuting tao naman ako. . Pero sa isip lang `yun! Huwag kang magnakaw. Get dressed. Viagra? As if Julian needed i t! Hindi naman ako magtataka sa kakayahan ni Julian kaya lang. Shrugged! My God he was so inconsiderate. Me? Jeannette Rose Le viste? Pumunta ako sa CR at naghilamos ng mukha. Una lagi si papa God sa listahan ko kasunod lang si Julian na akala ata siya ang Diyos. O kaya magbula bigla ang bibig niya. Tinuro ko `yung dibdib niya. This is this is Grabe. Para akong bata. magkukunwaring tulog sa tabi niya. Ito give this to him one hour before you go to bed. Oh. Masama pakiramdam ko. Pano kung napasukan niya `kong nagyu-urinate? Or worst nagbabawas ng sama ng loob? Oh? Gigil kong sabi. Thank you. Ano bang nangyayari sa `yo? Bakit ka ba sumisigaw? My eyes watered. And he sla mmed the door to my face. J eannie! What the I blew out on his polo shirt. violation of human rights ang ginagawa ko sa sarili ko! Pwede kong kasuha n ang mga magulang ko. Hindi ba ganon ang pikot? Either that or ecstacy pills! NOT ADVISABLE.. Napakapit ako sa sink. Ni hindi man lang marunong kuma tok. My God. Jeannie! He gritted his teeth in horror. Naiiyak na pinunasan ko ang mga mata ko. In fairness. magtatanggal ng damit. Respetuhin mo ang iyong ama at ina. He g lanced at me boringly then shrugged. My eyes grew wide. One hour later. Don t pull that act on me Jeannie. I winced in pain again. Tapos tinignan niya `yung basang parte ng polo niya. Para alalayan ako. Okay na `ko. May pupuntahan tayo. I hissed. Na glalawa na ang ilong ko kakasinghot.Alam ko. Dammit. Huwag papatay. She s giving me a dose of ahm. Sa sobrang inis ko yumakap ako kay Julian. Kun g hindi ko pa alam. Tapos parang namimilipit na naman ulit sa s akit. Hindi ba Julian? Mabait naman ako bakit ako nagkakaganito? Ngawa ako ng ngawa. kaya lang patutu lugin ko muna siya? Hello? How the hell would I do that? Gumagana ba `yung ano k ung tulog ang lalaki? Parang pikot na rin `yun no. Ikaw na lang. What do I need pills for? Anak there s no other way. My mom brushed an invisible tear on her left cheek. Tapos bigla akong tinalikuran! Wow. Grabe ang sakit-sakit talaga ng puson ko. Tinitigan niya `ko. Lalong sumasaki t. Goodness. Then I reached out to h im. Clean. `di ba? Ilang beses ko lang pinagpaplanuhang patayin si Julian sa isip ko. I smiled at him sweetly. Magbihis ka na. Breathe out. salamat sa singahan. mabango. Pinipilit ko namang sundin ang sampung utos ni Go d. Lobo na pala a ko at si Julian ang ihahapunan ko. Ako na pala si Angel Locsin. see? Obedient pa nga ako `di ba? Akalain mong gawin ko ang utos ni mommy na lagyan ng ecstacy pills ang inumin ni Julian. He was so caring and v ery sweet! Gusto ko siyang ipapapak sa mga langgam.. Right at this moment I was wishing he could fall into a ditch. Okay lang sana kung hihiga ak o. I gritted my teeth. Magtat aka pa ba ako kung saan ako nagmana? Magaling ding umarte `tong mommy ko eh. karma na ba ito? Jeannie? Biglang bumukas `yung pinto. Mayamaya lang I felt something pierced within my tummy. Masakit talaga sa may bandang puson. malay ko ba baka sakaling pagtingin ko sa salamin iba na pala pagkatao ko. It won t work this time.
Mood swings? Mero Buntis ka rin? Inirapan ko siya. Iba ang admiration sa lust. Tricia I m sorry. Huwag kang magnanasa sa hindi mo asawa. Does this me an I m going to hell also? I groaned inwardly. Nakita kong nakapagpalit na siya ng damit. Ano ba kasing masakit? Gusto kong mapaantanda. Assuming! I rolled my eyes. Bak it hindi ko man lang nakita? Tsk. He whispered. Julian s voice became tender. Not one of those demon laughs of his. My eyes grew wide. 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. Jeannie. Ahm no comment ako dyan. Honey AHEM! . Ano ba Hindi ko naman pinagnanasaan si Ju lian ah. Julian Ano? Inis na lumingon siya sa `kin. Isa lang bata pa naman tala ga siya. He cleared his throat. I wanted to sleep and never wake up. I thought you re not coming. Liars go to hell. She smiled at me. Pabalibag na tinanggal ko ang kamay niya sa balikat ko kahit disoriented pa `ko. Nagiging habit na a ta niya `yun ah. Naramdaman kong may humihimas ng tyan ko. Tumaas ang kilay ko. Naghahyperventilate pa `yung hormo nes ko. he didn t and would n t show it ever. Mom told me that there would be times like this you getting emotional on me. Wala naman masyado. biglang nawala `yung antok ko. NAIA? Oh. Bac kaches. Muntik na `ko dun. Parang gusto ko ng magpalahaw ng iyak. Are you sure this one was Julian? He was lau ghing cheerfully. Parang tumataas ang altapresyon ko. we re here! My teeth clenched. The lines around his chink y eyes became soft. Kung hindi pa sigaw na tawag `yun eh ano? So bulong pa `yun ganon ? Huwag kang makikiapid sa hindi mo asawa. Pinagnanasaan mo ba `ko? He was astonished at first. Period. Hindi ko pa naman sinasabing supe r okay na kami ah. but his touch lessened the pain. Awkward. Ang aga namang punishment nito. He sighed. Parang bumata siya ng isang taon. Weird. Alam niyo naman po `yung white lies `di ba God? Huwag kang magnanasa sa hindi mo pag-aari. Let s go. Honey I Ahem! Lumingon sila sa `kin. I didn t care when he stared at me in confusion. Sa puson. Gusto nila sila ang hari. Tap os bigla siyang tumawa. Ano ba! I hated it. Someone pinched my nose. Hinimas-himas ko `yung puson ko. Bakit ka ba kasi iyak ng iyak? Napanguso ako. Oh. Wala pa. So sinamantala ko na. Huwag kang magbibintang at huwag kang magsisinungaling. Masama talaga epekto sa `kin `pag -FOOL moon. Wala pa namang nangyayari sa `min ni Julian. mood swings I snorted. No. There was so much pain written in Julian s face. Naghihikab na sumunod lang ako sa kanya. Naramdaman ko na lang na may yumuyug yog sa balikat ko. Men never wanted to be termed weak a nd emotional. I could see that. Ano ba `yan Ang bilis naman! Kung ano ano kasi iniisip ko. Establisments. I smirked and peer ed at the scenery outside. But I saw through his façade. I put his hand on the spot just below my ( `wag kulay berde) tummy. Of course not. Eh `di sana h indi mo sa `kin binigay si Julian! Ikaw din papa God ang may kasalanan. my God. Mga walang puso. Hindi ko napansin na nakatulog na pala ako. Grabe. Of course. Ito ba ang dahilan? Napasigok ako. Sumanda l ako sa upuan at hinimas niya `yung parte kung saan ko nilagay `yung kamay niya . Mauuna ka sa `kin. Malls. I pouted prettily. Can you please keep quiet? Lalong lumakas `yung hikbi ko. Hindi pa ako tapos sa drama ko I bit my lower lip. Nakapamulsa si Julian. Ang hirap maging babae. Tumango lang ako as if saying go on .Hindi ako sumisigaw. Tricia? Promise.
Lumapit ulit si Tricia kay J ulian. H-hello? Jeannie! Ano?! Shopping tayo. Hindi sila magkakaroon ng apo mula sa pinakamaganda nilang anak. The nerve! Akala ko ba friends na kami? Julian waved at her. I was really rooted on the ground. . She smiled at me. She kissed Julian on the mouth! Just a peck. Argh. As in NOW. Makakaangal pa ba siya eh. It was only four in the afternoon. S ometimes he thought he knows what he s doing. Dysmenorrhia. I swore I heard Tricia giggled. do tell me. Nagyakap sila. Inirapan ko siya. Meron argh. I saw red. How absurd no I nodded. Our families expected us to marry since we were kids. Full moon. Ipinikit ko `yung mata ko. Kasi naman may pangalan nam an `yung tao. Sy empre second lang si Jean. Gusto mong pumunta sa heaven? He pursed his lips teasingly. O. Wala na namang problema sa `kin `yun eh. Ayoko. Hindi ko siya pinansin. We re just one of those cases of childh ood Korean sweethearts. Okay lang? A token of farewell. ano p ang tinatayo tayo mo diyan? Uwi na tayo. But a kiss is a kiss! Then she started giggling as she took her bags with her. I looked at my nails innocently. Oh. what have I done again? He sighed impatiently. Nagulat ako when she hugged me. Hindi ko sinasadyang mapatingin sa labi niya. walang choice. Bulong ko habang sakay kami ni Julian pabalik. Tapos lumapit siya sa `kin. In short. What? Do you know where I can buy a doll? His one brow arched. Ha? Before I knew it. Ang kapal! I tried to calm my nerves. As in a smudge of red lipstick on the side of his lips. I wanted to die. buntis ako. Julian looked at me in horror. Sana ma-solve mo na `y an. Julian raised his brow. Humarap siya sa `kin. layuan mo `ko! Mi nsan nga naiisip ko ipatanggal ko na lang kaya `yung uterus ko? Kaso kawawa naman sila mommy. May excuse ako para magkaganito. Talaga? Oo naman. Friends? Yeah. Niyakap niya `ko! Tumaas `yung kilay ko dun. My God I was going crazy with pain. TWELVE How would I continue with the plan if my fvcking hormones were raging on? Gusto kong magpagulong gulong sa pamimilipit sa sakit. Friends! When you come back to New York. Hind i ko sinasadya! I gritted my teeth. wala naman siya dito? I sighed. Take good care of him. Then I heard my phone ringing. What for? Ipapakulam kita! You and Tricia. Suminghot ulit ako. H inimas himas ko ulit `yung puson ko. Too happy.Julian glared at me. Ano namang akala niya gagawin ko `yung ginawa ko sa kanya kay Tricia? I smirked.
Manong bababa na po ako. T-takot ako sa karayom. He was going to get a tongue lashing from me. 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. His bark was always worse th an his bite. You got used to kissing a friend on the lips? Namamangha kong sabi. Inis na bumaba ako. Who on earth would give a con contraceptives as a gift? Nakikita kong lalong pan iningkit ng mga mata nito. In amusement? Malamang magsha-shopping. I need to buy a nine-mo nth package. Didn t I tell you not to talk to him again? Manong punta po tayo sa S. Kung sa mga ganong klase ka ng tao sasama baka kung ano ano mapulot mong kalokoha n. We go home. Lee yesterday I asked her kung pwede kang i-ceasa rian. Tricia is my ex! Until you came along. N ew establishment. Sinisiguro kong mababaon siya ng buhay sa mura ko. Grabe. Jeannie! He shouted authoritatively. Seryoso ba ito? I looked at his face. Ceasarian? As in hiwa. Mall. Ingos ko sa kay Julian. I mean kelan gan manganak na `ko Don t worry Jeannie. Who s that? No one. Sumandal ulit ako. Nag-iisa na nga lang ang sanitary pad ko sa bag ko.Narinig kong bumuntunghininga si CM. So? Nasa Pilipinas tayo Jeannie! And who on earth would kiss a friend on the lips? He cleared his throat. Wait lang Julian! What? Virgin ka pa ba? . Badtrip. Mall. Matuwa kaya siya? In the states it is very common! Sigaw ko. Seryoso nga! Napahaw ak agad ako sa stain sa bandang crotch ko. Oh. Ah ganon. I said Sige na Jeannie shopping na tayo. Eh. Tapos umiwas ng mata na parang nahuli ko sa akto. He raised one brow and read the newspaper. Try me. Anong silbi mo? I rolled my eyes heavenward. It was huge and big. wait! Nine months? Kelangan malaki na tyan ko nun. Fifteen minutes. It was just a kiss. I heard his footsteps behind me. Pano kung sabihin ko sa kanyang nag-suggest si CM na i-french kiss ko siya. Nagtataka lang ako what does S stand for? Anong gagawin natin dito? His lips twitched at the corner. I gulped. Stupid. nagpapanic kong sabi. I called Dr. Fine. I saw red! No Naiiyak na bulong ko. Afte r CM gave me the details where to the line went disconnected. Umuwi na tayo. no. Hello Jeannie! I ll go shopping with you later. Feeling ko lalo akong dudugu in kay Julian. Julian. Ugh. kaya nga diba? Nandun ako! I saw her kissed you. Nanghihinang sabi ko na ikinalingon ni Julian. he was leading me to a a baby section. Tap os hinigit niya `yung braso ko. Who s that? CM. Nahuli ko naman talaga sila ah! We just got used to it. He told me to meet up! Then what he was late. Eh Julian. Naintindihan mo ba ayoko ngan My eyes grew wide. Bakit ba ako nagsuot ng pa lda? `Yung hanggang kalahating hita ko pa. A t sa kutsilyo. Sa huli ako pa rin ang sinunod ni manong at pumunta kami sa S. Lecheng si CM. Before I knew it. No. Bakit pag-aari mo na rin ba `tong mall ha? Ha. The hell I care. Jul ian grabbed my hand. He would submit me to the k nife. You cannot stop me.
Funny same with you Jeannie. You never told me your sister s here. Paano ko sasabihin sa`yo eh. Ano bang meron? Parang feeling ko mahihimat ay na `ko kahit anong oras. Unti-unti akong napatingin sa tyan niya. Julian! I forced a smile upon my face. Jean nette is very busy. Ah yeah. Manipis pa `yun. I couldn t sprout any more lies. No. hindi ko rin alam?! Ahmm Napalunok ako. Iisa lang `yun! Ako lahat `yun! Tsk. Pero meron mer on God. Biglang umayos ako ng tayo. Gusto ko siyang sakalin. Ang kapal! Excuse me lang ha Parang lalabas `yung dugo ko. No! No! Halos mag-duet kami ng kapatid ko. Jean? Let s What the hell was happening? I almost groaned aloud. Julian He picked up a feeding bottle. Two and three weeks. pareho kaming nagkulay papel ng kap atid ko. Sir. Bwisit na buha y `to. She s also pregnant? Jean and I both looked stupidly at the baby shoes. He was with Jean! Vince? Vincent Gonzalo? Julian hissed. Inis na naglalakad pa `ko. Oh. hindi nak . How many months? Napatingin ito sa tyan ni Jean. He stared fixedly at Jean. Yes. Parang ang corny ata ng joke ko. Juli an squinted his eyes. Nanlalaki ang mga mata ni Jean. Pinaparusahan niyo ba talaga `ko God? Jeannie Jeannette. I gasped aloud. Parang nanghihinang napakapit ako kay Julian. Takp an ko kaya ng sako ang mukha ni Julian? Artistahin? Kaya lalong lumalaki ang ulo nito. He was eyeing me and Jean. At sabi nila ang mga demonyo daw virgin pa. Hindi bumenta. Yumakap ako sa bewang niya. long time no see twin? Jeannie We both slowly turned at the voice. Parang naguluhan. She smiled sweetly at Julian. At ngayon sumasakit `yung ulo k o. Ano bang dapat kong sabihin? Hey. Kauu wi ko lang. wife niyo po? At feeling close! Julian smiled back at her. Masama pa na mang ginagalit ang babaeng kabuwanan. Kahapon. Pareho pala kami ng kuku nin. my face. Promise. wait `Di ba dapat maging masaya ako? Yeah kauuwi niya lang kahapon Julian. Inis na tinignan ko kung sinomang intrimitid It was like I was looking into my own wide eyes. At siya? Tinitigan niya lang ako. kill me now! I whispered. She s my mistress. right? Lumingon siya sa `kin tapos kay Jean. H-hi s-sorry I wasn t able to to come to your wedding.Julian was shocked. Jean? Pinanlakihan ako ng mata ng kakambal ko. What the hell Kasi hindi ka pwedeng pumunta sa heaven. Biglang lumapit ang saleslady sa `min. nakatanga lang siya sa `kin. Pink or blue? Ha? Hindi pa nga natin alam `yung gender `di ba? My voice trembled. Na parang natatakot akong bawi in siya sa `kin ni Jean. Kung tot oong buntis lang ako baka nakunan ako sa sobrang bwisit kay Julian. He knew?! He called you Jeannie! She mouthed when Julian s back was turned to her. Let s have lunch together. HAHA. ri ght. Tumawa ako sa sarili kong joke. Ah yeah? At ikaw ang ama! Sumasakit `yung puson ko. May lalaking paparating. And why do you ask? Kasi demonyo ka. Baka hinihintay na tayo ni CM. Meron pa bang surprise? Ano pa ba? But my. No. We shook our heads in unison. Excuse me? Gigil na sabi nito. I was about to pick up a a pair of baby shoes when a hand caught mine. I didn t know him. everything save that it wasn t me! Jean?! Jeannie? Para kaming naestatwa. For the life of me. Julian frowned.
Mabilis nitong niyakap si Jean at binuhat. Bulong niya. Afraid of the little woman? Oh The tough Vincent Gonzalo was afraid of his. Vince grinned maliciously at me. He even courted Tricia. I opened my mouth t o shout at him. You promised me She whispered.Kung sa bagay. Ang sarap hampasin ng mga i nsensitive na lalaki sa mundo. I ll call you. Sino `yan? In fairness yummy ha. That took Vince out of his reverie. Wife? Hinawakan ito ng mariin ni Jean. Pero wala talaga! I could only save me. For years. Gusto kong lumubog sa kinatatayuan. What the hell are you doing here? Julian stepped forward in anger. Lumapit agad a ko sa kakambal ko. Hindi ko na kailangang maging genius para malamang they weren t in good terms. wife? You ve never bested me before what now? Inilahad nito ang kamay. Napangiwi ako at nag-aalalang tinignan ang hit a niya kung may sign ng dugo. Then Jean winked at me! My jaw almost dropped. Pati ata si Sailormoon. I forgot I was stepping into the great Juli an Sunico s lair. Vince `yung tyan ko! Jean sobbed and cupped her stomach gently. He laughed humorlessly. lagi na lang siya n akikipagkompitensya sa `kin. Conceited jerks! To our astonishment Vince started laughing. Ever. 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. Don t worry about her. I don t know if I s hould be thankful he didn t get to seduce my wife.aligpas sa pansin ko magaling talagang pumili ang kapatid ko.. Bodyguards. M ay tatlong lalaki sa likod nila ang dumating out of nowhere. Hey The guy s mouth twitched sarcastically. kung i-seseduce . no Lucifer and Michael met. I should have known. Vince looked at my sister in mixture of shock and hor ror. Jean took his hand. Bumalik ako sa tabi ni Julian. Marahan akong lumingon. No. Jeannie I won t go back to Julia n. We re not yet through Sunico. Iumpog ang ulo sa pader para matauhan.. Were they together? Obviously. he knew. But he s responsible. By God. myself and I. Oh. Ngayon ko lang na-re alize. This one was oozing sex appeal. If you only knew Julian. Natatakpan ko siya mula sa mga lalaki kaya hindi nila narin ig. 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. Pero tinabig lang niya `ko. dinadasalan ko na ang lahat ng santo. He wasn t handsome but he was sexy. More like plead ed. Foul `yun no. Sasakalin talaga kita `pag tumakas ka pa! Jean honey. I was wishing the floor would cave in and ea t me whole. Jean? Napalingon ito sa `ming dalawa. Jean nette. Anong pangako iyon? Napatingin ako sa kakambal ko. Vince let s go. She was just shaking her head. I opened my mouth to say goodbye. Jean wagged the man s arm. I wasn t that bad to wish for her to have a miscarriage. Gusto ko silang pagumpugin dalawa. Julian I Vincent may pupuntahan pa tayo `di ba? My twin. THIRTEEN Was it the end of the world? Was it a clash of good and evil? Kung alam niyo lan g. Pati ako hindi malaman ang gagawin. Julian gave him a mocking smile. why don t you tell our lover boy here what we re doing here. Julian! I screamed in panic. Jean Bulong ko at hinila ko siya ng onti palayo. I was an idiot. I play fair. Halata ko ang takot sa mga mata niya. Julian Hinawakan ko ang braso niya. The guy smirked at him. Then she purred groaned aloud. Vince ma y be a bastard son of a bi tch. So who s Michael? Definitely not Julian. The two men looked astounded. Niyakap ko siya. Bigla akong natakot. He smirked. Muntik na akong mapaubo.
hindi halatang tsismosa. Landi. He smiled fishily. Babae. He put his two fingers together. Anong hmm? My brain wasn t functioning well. Napaatras naman ako. ahem. Julian where are you goi The driver already went home. Talaga? Wow. pero `wag mo `kong sisihin kung bakit nasa headlines ka bukas. Starbucks. ang dami mong naitutulong eh. I stared at him stupidly. CM? I love you! Julian glared at me. Hindi ko siya pinapansin. business magnate. Y uck. Siya itong nag-aya aya tapos ako manlilibre?! Mahiya ka naman sa lalamunan mo. Walang modo talaga! Anong akala niya sa `kin? Bata? May curfew? At saka I gritted my teeth. He nodded. alam mo na `yun. CM if Jean won t come back. Pabalewalang sabi nito. praise the lord. He shrugged nonchalantly. Which means y ou re going to live forever as her. Then you ll scream at the peak JU LIAAAAN. Tumaas lang `yung kilay niya. Hindi ako ipokrita para sabihing hindi ako mate-tempt. Sabihin ko na lang kaya? I was getting frustrated. Then he ordered another beverage. F rom the looks of it. bongga alam mo naman tayong m agaganda Nahirinan ako dun. Muntik ko ng hindi masalo. You should be at home before seven. Buti ka pa friend. no? Teka nga nag hmm na ba kayo? Bumilog ang mga mata nito at lumapit maigi ang mukha sa `kin. Gross. Very observant lang. Kalaba ng mortal ng mga Sunico. What! There were so many untold stories here. You didn t tell me they re together? Hindi pa rin talaga ako pinapabayaan ni God my phone started ringing. Nag-ano. CM just laughed at me. Tapos nanlaki ang mga mata na tumingi n sa `kin. I have to be pregnant. What s this? Obvious ba? Susi ng sasakyan. You have the same features. Tapos iisa ng tatay paglabas non. Feel na feel nito. He took my hand and gave me keys. At isipin mo na lang kambal kayo. Libre mo `ko ha. I didn t know that. My blush intensified. And she s with Vincent Gonzalo. pinatay ng asawa. I was addlebrained. See? Ibinigay niya sa `yo si Julian. Delicadeza na lang `di ba? Ano `yun `yung mga anak naming mag-pinsan na magkapa tid pa? Ang sagwa `di ba? Tama. Really? Biglang lumaki ang mata nito. Nauna na `kong umuwi kay CM. He was a chic. Magka-tonsilitis ka sana. Ay. But because . Tapos ipinilantik niya `yung kamay. Akin na lang siya! Hindi si ya magugutom sa `kin promise. Salamat ha. He hissed and turned his back on me. Pasabunot na itinukod ko ang kamay sa round table. `Yung ano Ngumuso ito. I guess so? I told him everythi ng there was. Tinanggal nito a ng rolex wrist watch at ibinato sa `kin. Napatingin ang isan g babae dito na kanina pa titig na titig kay CM. Halleluja. Sabihin mo na. Ngayon pa lang bumabawi. Ang slow mo naman Jeannie! `Yung tentenenententen. Ano? Inis kong sabi.niya `ko. nagsinungaling na buntis. I smiled sheepi shly. Inirapan ito ni CM. Sa kanya si Vince which leaves Brad alone. for sure mukha ding kambal. Magkape ka na nga lang para kabahan ka naman sa mga pinagsasasabi mo. Parang kinikiliting tumili ito. I opened my mouth to scream at him. mukhang hindi mo na talaga maibabalik si Jean. I don t have money! Isasangla ko `tong relo mo! I shouted after him. Sabihin mo kay Jean ibalato na lang sa `kin `yung isa. He even demonstrated the expressions. Sabi nila the Gonzalos were bankrupt by the Sunicos. Parang ayaw mag-process ng brain ce lls ko. Not because I was afraid of the dragon. So she s pregnant? With Julian? CM sipped his Caffe Mocha. Pero kung kung mabubuntis naman ako . m arunong naman akong tumingin ng oras no.
I drove faster than I should have. It was getting hot. I cried out. I stared incredulously at the shining bald head of St. Ayokong mukhang stressed out. Argh . My head bumped the side window. sa langit ba ako pupunta? Para kasing hindi naman ` to heaven eh. Then I ende d up bumping a big trunk of a tree. I was shocked when an overspeeding c ar on the side tipped its way toward me. I was feeling drowsy.the princess also needed her precious rest. Jeannie Jeannie Did they know my name? Argh. It was too quickly. The shards of glasses splintered on the side. Mababangga ako! Pilit kong iniiwas ang sasakyan. God I have so many unfinished businesses. Were you telling me that I shouldn t have followed those novels I so much liked? Sabi kasi nila mag pakatotoo. FOURTEEN Ito ang listahan ng mga kasalanan at kabutihan mo Was he serious? Sa sa langit na ba ako? I mean. Pati ba ang pagmumura counted na din? You can now take her. No! Ibababa nila `ko sa impyerno. My heart hammered loudly. Peter was also a philosopher. I knew that there were endless problems but I stil l wanted to sur vive. Magiging demonyo nga ako? Dahil virgin pa `ko. Little did I know that St. 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. I wasn t so sure. `Yun naman ang ginawa ko. Right minus wrong. Nakalimutan kong mag-slow down sa inter section. I lived my life spontaneously. I knew I cal led Julian s name. magkaroon ng maraming pimples. Hanapin mo ang sarili mo blah. Sana isinama na rin nil a `yung driver na nag-overspeeding. Hindi pa `ko prepared makita si San Pedro at saka God sabi nga ni CM hindi ko pa alam ang feeling ng nag-tetentenenententen. Syempre. Paano kung mas marami ang kasalanan ko? Eh `d i may utang pa `ko? I groaned. My eyes opened wide. My eyes were open wide. The impact. Ilang araw na ding hindi ako natutulog ng maayos. Hindi ko pa nabibigyan ng apo sina mommy. Hindi pa ako nagbabayad sa mga pinagkakautangan ko sa New York. I was pulled deeper into a pit less hole of nothingness. . Anong ibig niyong sabihin? Anak katawan lang ang iniiwan sa lupa hindi ang common sense. Pinilit ko namang maging mabait. Meaning good minus bad? What the fu ck. blah. `Wag m una. Ayaw nila akong papasukin sa heaven! Kasama si Julian. It w as a good thing Jean and I both know how to drive. emotion al stress. blah. It was suffocating me. I star ted sobbing quietly. At may biglang safety air balloon na lumobo sa harapan ko. ayokong lumaki ang eyebags ko. P eter. Plus one. I should have seduced him sooner. pain. Wala sa loob ko. I sighed. If only I had known. I felt the impact of it. and a lot more blended together.
It s a matter of life and . No ribs broken. may DVD version na ang Romeo and Juliet . Ngumiti ang doctor sa mommy ko. As soon as the doctor gave me his promise I persuade Julian to take me home. my Leonardo Dicaprio s yummy. Parang na-guil ty naman ako. Wala ako ng maramdamang sakit. No nothing. Actually. Gusto kong matawa na matakot kay Jul ian. Please Julian. I tsked. Anyway. Excuse me Mr. She s okay except for How about the baby? He cut him off frantically. I whispered brokenly. Iniisip ba niyang iinom din ako ng lason para lang makasama ko si Julian? The wo rst is. Sure ako dun. What are you watching? I got engrossed. In all fairness. Malaki utang na loob ko sa inyo doc. I moaned aloud and curled into a fet al position.Jeannie Jeannie I slowly opened my eyes. Awww Pareho silang napatingin sa `kin. kain. Tapos . how I missed my family. I have no time to explain doc. Kung hindi pa siya madaan sa santong dasalan. Hindi ko alam kung bakit ito ang ipinahiram sa `kin ng hitad kong bestfriend. May ininject bang pampamanhid? She s out of danger. Na para bang alam niya gagawin kung may s ugat nga ako! Hindi naman siya ang doctor. Call mom my Parang hesitant pa itong tumakbo palabas. Naiiyak na niyakap ako ng daddy ko. Please. Mumultuhin ako ni Angko. damn! I thought she s okay. What ever. Baby? Mr. blame my sister f or giving me this idea. Ahmm free shopping spree at S. Please. basa ng novels. God. Doc. Then I saw m y dad. What the fu ck s happening to my wife? Sumisigaw na sab i ni Julian. baka ako pa ang lasunin ni Julian. Tapos super bait niya. there s no bab Kumapit ako sa braso ng doctor. Totoo naman ah. Papatayin ako ni Julian. ang katawan ko. My nai ls dug deeper into his arm. she s not even in the brink of danger. Nakakokonsensya na ng a ako. Tsk. Mall! I smiled charmingly. The doctor frowned e ven more. He stared at me incredulously. Guilty ako. He was worried! I smiled eagerly as the doctor gave his prognosis. Then I blinked thrice. Kinuha ang stethoscope. I hissed at Julian. He was skimming every part of me. Is she alright? My God. Whichever comes first. Pero pero nakiki ta ko na si mommy! I was panting so hard. Tulog. ibalato ni yo na po sa `kin `to. He frowned at me. Parang nataranta ang doctor sa galit nito. Naii nggit tuloy ako sa gumanap na Juliet. What if it was too late? He smil ed at me and patted my head like the way he used to. Sorry San Pedro. I love you daddy. Only a small wo und on her forehead. Is she having a miscarriage? Sigaw ulit nito. My parents excused themselves. higa. My smile froze in place. mmkay? Anyway. `Yung winner na smile ng close-up. When the door closed I took the doctor s hand. It was as if Julian was possessed by some good spirit. for his sake. Napakapit ako bigla sa puson ko. My jaw became slacked. At saka niya lang siguro napansin na nandun nga ang doctor. Sunico. The doctor frowned. mommy. She was crying. nood tv. My mommy was crying silentl y. Wal a naman talaga akong sugat. Nag-movie marathon ako. Where s Julian? The door burst open. Oh. ang mukha ko. Minsan. Are you okay? Natatarantang hinawakan niya ang buhok ko. I couldn t help it. just pretend the babe s okay. Grabe. parang hindi tot oo. There I saw my mom. I don t know. parang h indi niya nagegets! Naiiyak na `ko sa gigil. `Yung natatakpan ang mukha ko. Biglang bumukas ang pinto. Disoriented pa `ko. maiisip mong kailan mo din palang i-express ang nararamdaman mo sa kanila. I bit my lower lip sa sobrang gigil. death? Napan giwi ako. Ambad ko. I winced. I want my mommy. Sunico there s no Oh my saving grace. Speaking of the devil. sa santong paspasan na l ang. Bulong niya. Saka na tayo magbilangan.
I couldn t help but sigh pleasurably. I said he s stupid. Give Julian the credit to ruin my fantasy. She kept telling no. I was having kinky thoughts. Sus. One advantage of being rich. He smil ed evilly. His voic e became husky. N abitin ako nung tinawag ng nursemaid si Juliet. Alam mo `yun my hair on the nape stood on ends. Napalunok ako. Plasma ang tv. Sosyal. Dumila pa `ko sa kanya. Napatitig talaga ako sa eksena sa party. Pasalamat siya kung yummy si Leonardo DiCaprio mas h ot para sa `kin si Johnny Depp. Na para bang sinasabing habulin mo `ko . Then you re the one who s stupid! Had I really said that? Yeah. Juliet was leading Romeo into a dance kis s. At si Tricia. thanks. Inggit lang siya wala sa kanya `yung atens yon ko. I d tell you.Goodnes s. Siguro nahiya lang siya so for his sake I inched closer. Naalala ko bigla k ami ni Julian. I shivered delightedly. dinaig pa `ko. Natuwa ako kasi mu ka talagang inosente `yung gumanap na Juliet. Mayamaya lang Julian sat on t he bed beside me. basta gwapo si Romeo. Akalain mo `yun. I d hug CM when we meet again. while she kept moving her lips to and fro against Romeo s. Umusod ako palayo. basta siya magtuturo sa `kin. I was imagining that Julian was Romeo and Juliet was of course me. ugh eating each other in the pool. Ingos na tinabig ko `yung kamay niya. they were always the one who resorted to cuddling. Siguro kahit ako din naman. May reunion nga pala tayo. Hindi ko pinansin ang pandidiri sa mukha niya. I forgot all about our honeymoon. aber? I snorted. Naka-home base kaya! Ayan oh. I wasn t very particular with the chin itos. Mayamaya lang. O. Then a sm ile slowly inched its way to the corner. honeymoon na nila. I gasped aloud. Tsk. Romeo is stupid. Tuwang-tuwa talaga ako sa palabas na `to. Then they were like kissing. At bakit? Ni hindi man lang naka-home base kay Juliet bago ipainom `yung lason. Then I sighed. Gee. Hello? Jean Rose Leviste? Irene here. Hindi ko napansin na nilagay niya `yung braso niya sa likod ng ulo ko. Hindi ko gusto `yung ngi sing `yun ni Julian. Inis na dumiretso na `ko ng upo. Titig na titig ako. Tapos sa swimming pool scene. Fast-learner kaya ako. Despite her in nocent face was a great k-i-s-s-e-r. I snuggled close to Julia n. Wh en in fact. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street na lang ang panoorin natin. Then they fell into the water again when they declared their undying love. if I know kung anong bawal siyang masarap. hell move a little bit closer baby. My mobile started ringing. Napansin ko pero kunwari wala lang pero deep inside I was like. Nagpapakipot na naman. we were both silently watching. Laway mo tumutulo Julian swiped an invisible saliva down the side of my lips. Care ko. sig e na. right stupid.niyakap ko `yung unan ng mahigpit. I leaned my head in the cove of his neck. Lumayo-layo si Juliet. I wondered why men turned away when things get mushy or better yet emotional. Siya si Rosaline! Siya `yung first forgotten love . I groaned aloud. I gasped so very loud than the first time. FIFTEEN Make love to me . Excuse me? Ayoko ng pakinggan pa kung ano na namang panlalait ang maririnig ko kay Julian. Nakatanga talaga ako. Parang feeling ko a ko ang naaatat na hatakin si Leonardo at papakin. They were kissing underwater! I wished Leonardo would kiss me like th There s a rumor that he s gay. Kesyo mali daw `yun.
. Angko was staring down at me. He shook his head. He grabbed my arm. I would dance the night away like it would be my last time. What was happening? Parang umiikot an g paligid ko. I won t effin waste my time on somebody who s not worth it. is it a yes or a no? No. Lumingon lingon ak o. Someone tapped my shoulder from beh I screamed. You. And happy. Galit na binalibag ko ang pinto. Fine. I didn t know a mere whisper in the ear could feel ticklish. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. Sino ba? Parang naririnig ko pa rin ang boses ni Angko. A helluva way to say it. Sinabi ko iyon na parang nagdedemand lang ng fla vor ng chupachups. Kailangan pa bang ulit-ulitin niya `yun? Alam ko. Pero hindi ba `yun naman dapat ang maramdaman ko? Hindi ako ito. Hindi ako. And sexy Kaya nga tinawag itong bar `di ba? I stupidly c raned my neck. Did you know what he did? Nilagpasan niya lang ako. Kinakarma na ba talaga `ko? Hindi na `ko nakatulog. Magsakit-sakitan kaya ako ulit? Bak a sakaling bumait pa siya. What the hell were those dreams all about? there was a woman with no face. Goodness. Angko! Jean? Uncle Bert? I gritted my teeth. This. who wouldn t? No wonder Julian got dibs on you. Oh boy. You re drunk. Napaupo ako bigla at napa-sign of the cross. Or Was it me? Then ther e was Angko. I gasped a little. Angko knelt down the side of the bed and touched my stomach. Out of the blue. Hell yeah. Madilim ang buong paligid. Gee I rocked my hips back in forth to the rhythm. I wiped the threatening tears away. Hindi kaya nagkakamali si Angko ng pagpaparamdaman? I absent-mindedly touched my stomach. Marahan akong umupo. I waved at him. Feeling ko ang dumi-dumi ko. I couldn t be m istaken. Umiling ito. good morning? G morning. Hell. You promised me! You promised me you won t hurt Julian. This is not you. Hindi ako. Wanna ride with me boyo? Parang may sariling isip ang bibig ko. Ang sama talaga ng ugali ni Julian! Ni hindi man l ang binuksan ang lamp shade bago umalis. My FIRST TIME. He was s tanding there. was I? He s got gray eyes. I bet you re feeling fvcking hot? And dir ty. Hindi ako. Have you seen Julian? I shook my head. Ilang shots pa lang. I wasn t that drunk. More more My God.What? You heard me make love to me. You promised me! She was sweating coldly. Seryoso ba si Angko? Minumulto nga ako nito! I was trembling violently. Tapos lumapit siya sa `kin. Is. Not. Humahabol ata sa buwanang dalaw ko. Parang gusto niya na talaga akong isama sa dako paroon kung hindi ko gagawin ang gusto niya. like a cat. Nakita ko siya kanina paalis. What s gotten into you? Masamang espiritu. Para akong nakuryente. Don t hurt him. No. NOW. Ano `yun? Insenso seryoso ba tala ga si Angko? Kinilabutan ako. So. Ahm I m suppose d to be drunk. When the man swayed me back and forth I felt his rock hard body poking againt mine. I felt my eyes widening. Not that it was unusal. Me? I slithered my body against him. Masyado ka ng madaming naiinom. Sorry ahm. Yes. Grabe lakas ng tam a sa `kin ng martini. His lips twitched on the side. Last night ko na `to. I bit my lower lip then I sniffed. I was actually purring. I m a big time loser.
Are you okay? I nodded. Tapos nakita ko ang isang make-shift altar. Picture ni Angko! I almost groaned aloud. It was as if he were smiling at me. More like taunting me. Angko nas a heaven ka na ba? Lagot ka kay papa God. Do you want me to continue lying to yo ur grandson? I whispered. Para akong baliw na kinakausap ang larawan niya. What did you say? Ahm nothing. I smiled up at him. Anong meron uncle? Then I heard a loud giggle. I closed my eyes in frustration. Imo Jean! Dyos ko pina pahirapan mo ba talaga `ko? Gigil na lumingon ako kay Tantan, Celine, Aunt Risan at sa iba pa. They were here! Didn t Julian tell you? It was Angko s birthday today. We had a family dinner. And I d tell you. Julian was sulky and withdrawn. Hindi si ya makausap ng mommy niya, eh di ako pa kaya? He just kept shrugging his shoulde r whatever I asked of him. Minsan nga gusto ko ng ibato sa kanya `yung pinggan. My phone vibrated. One text message. Meet me up here in Butter Diner s now. I ll only be waiting for about an hour. Sender: Kambal ko. I opened my mouth in astonishment. Grabe, ang demanding! I couldn t just I gritted my teeth. Kailangan ko siyang makausap. Uncle I have to ran an errand for my twin. She s ahm here in the country. They all agreed. Wala naman silang sinabing masama d ahil tapos na rin naman ang dinner. At isa pa one valid reason `yun para makalay o kay Tantan. I winced. Julian I m going. I looked him in the eyes. At ang ginawa niya: He just shrugged at me! As if I could go anywhere for all he cared in the world. Nakakahiya naman sa `kin, ni hindi man lang ako tinanong kung san ako pupunta o kung anong oras ako uuwi. I glared at him. Mamaya, I d give him a Cold War. `Wag niya kong papansinin! I wou ldn t talk to him. EVER. Jean and I had a long talk. I was getting tired of everything. I sighed and took a step or two on the landing of the first floor. Tapos nakasalubong ko siya, he was holidng something long and big covered with black cloth. He just walked pas t me as if I weren t there. Ni hindi man lang nagtanong kung buhay pa `ko. Malay b a niya kung ghost lang akong gumagala gala. I wouldn t wonder now why Julian never saw the difference. He was always immersed in his agony. Masyado siyang seryoso sa buhay. Where are you going? He just waved his hand. Gigil na tumakbo ako. He was putting his things on his C adillac two-seater convertible. He didn t even ask me if I could join him. Even fo r decency s sake! Walang sabi-sabing umupo ako sa passenger seat. Don t ask me what am I doing. Sasama ako. Period. I crossed my arms over my chest. I want to be alone. Napaka-insensitive mo. Hindi mo ba naiintindihan `yun? I gasped. Me? Insensitive? My God. Talk about morons here. I zipped my mouth. Ba ka kung ano pa ang maisip kung sabihin sa kanya. He drove for miles and miles. T umigil kami sa bandang Tagaytay. I think? It was overlooking the Taal lake. Geez ers, why didn t he tell me? Nakapagdala man lang sana ako ng sketchpad. Even from here the lampposts lit the view, overlooking the lake. Ang ganda. `Yun nga lang. Medyo nakakatakot kasi deserted siya at gabi na. Iba din ang trip nitong si Jul ian. What s that? Deadma. Telescope? Deadma. I clapped my hands. Magii-stargazing tayo? Parang balewalang tumingala siya at sumilip na sa malaking telescope niya. Tayo. That was my operative word. Mali, mali. Siya lang pala! I was like a ghost. Inis na sinipa ko ang gulong ng mamahaling convertible niya. Paulit-ulit. Nakakainis
ka. Alam mo ba `yun? Sigaw ko sa sasakyan. Akala mo kung sino ka laging magaling. Lumakad ito. At nilagpasan siya! Kumuha ng sandwich mula sa basket. Wow. He wolf ed down the food and got himself busied again. Na para bang wala ako dito! At si ya lang ang tao sa mundo. Napakawalang hiya mo. You re a beast! I hate you! I hate you! You don t care about ot hers feelings. Sana tubuan ka ng kulugo. Ng pigsa sa sa ilong! Sana pumangit ka. Sa na sana I was already panting from exhaustion. Sumasakit na rin ang toes ko kakasip a. Ang tibay naman ng gulo. Bakit hindi ka minumulto ni Angko? Parang hindi ka pi nalaking maayos I felt a tight grip on my wrist. It was a vise-like that I thought my blood stop ped flowing to my hand. I was looking straight into his eyes. Namimilog ang mga tsinitong mga mata nito. He gritted his teeth. Ni hindi ko alam kung dapat ba ako ng matakot. How many times had I seen him this mad? This furious? You don t know what you re talking about. Angko loves me Ikaw? What do you know? It was a mere whisper but it sounded like thunder in my ears. You got me hitched into t his this mess. If his eyes were daggers I could have been dead right now. Lagi mo na lang akong sinasaktan. He smiled at me. Evilly. Tapos itinulak niya `ko. I tumbled on the passenger seat of the Cadillac. Nakabu kas na ang pinto noon. Nasaktan ang siko ko sa pagtama sa manibela. Pausog ako n g pausog hanggang sa makarating na `ko sa driver s seat. Ang mga paa ko ay nakalap at sa passenger s seat. He took my shoes off. My eyes were so wide to the extent t hat it hurt. I was like a cornered rat. Nowhere to go. He was kneeling, my legs were trapped between his knees. Julia Pilit kong binubuksa n ang pinto sa likod ko. When I flailed, my arms accidentally bumped onto the ho rn. His mouth cracked a maligned smile. Sabihin ko kayang meron ako? Pero tapos n a period ko. At saka he knew that pregnant wives don t bleed. Go ahead make some noise. Habang ang mukha niya ay palapit ng palapit sa `kin. No! Lagi kitang sinasaktan? Now He murmured against my cheek. I kept pushing his chest. Ang lakas ng tibok ng puso ko, hindi kaya naririnig din niya iyon? I ll give you pl easure, darling. My lawfully wedded and bedded wife. Nanlaki ang mga mata ko. Was he serious? Had he gone mad? He cupped my cheek and pulled me closer. This wasn t my ideal wedding night! I was going to scream that. But his mouth was there already claiming what he thought was rightfully his. I could feel him all over me. Against me. Julia n His kisses turned soft. Not the way he always used to. Not rough and forceful . This time it was a mating of two souls. Kissing like there d be no tomorrow. He rained tiny kisses on the side of my face, on my jawlines. He was too big for th e limited space provided by the Cadillac. My mind went fuzzy. Were we going to r eally do it here? Out in the open? He bit my lower lip and nibbled on it like a candy he couldn t get enough of. I op ened my eyes and saw the stars above. The sky was so dark but the stars were twi nkling brightly. I even thought it winked at me. I felt the cold wind againt my skin. He opened the buttons one by one. Skin skin i nch by inch uncovered. I gripped the car seat tight. So tight my knuckles were w hite yet my cheeks were burning hot. I sucked in my breath. My lungs were starti ng to lack the oxygen it needed. Was it suffocation? I need you There were no love words only the brutal truth. Had the wind only carried it to my ears? Or was my imagination playing tricks on me? I was hesitant to open my e yes. It might not be true. Ganon ata talaga ka-tanga ang main-love. You d wish upo n a star. You willed yourself to believe. Masakit. Because need was different fr om love. I breathed in and out. Here on the car seat. It was wild. Hot. Spontaneous. And scary. We were like teenagers on our first da te. There was the thrill of being caught. He stood before me naked as the day he was born. Sometimes words weren t needed. A t least now, he was loving me. I couldn t breathe. He was touching me everywhere.
There. Here. Again and again. Oh, lord rape na ba talaga ito? He outlined my shoulder blades then down... down to my flat stomach. We kissed u rgently. I heard the unsnapping of jeans. I wasn t so sure if I even helped him to ok it off. Hindi kami gaanong makakilos. Then he started chuckling on my neck. H e was heavy againt me. Hindi niya alam kung paano `pagkasyahin ang sarili niya. Plinano niya siguro ito? Oh, boy he should have brought a bulkier vehicle. Then f rom afar we heard the mewling of My hair stood on ends as his breath fanned my nec k. Was I really ready for this? Was I ready to go heaven? I shut my eyes as I gasped. He drove deep into me. He stilled against me. We were one. Tumaas ang mukha nito. Sana hindi ko na lang nakita ang mga mata niya. His foreh ead was beaded with sweat. You lied to me. Gone was the passion. He took me in anger. I kept pushing me to get off me. Para akong mahahati sa gitna sa sobrang sakit.
It hurt like hell. I couldn t take it him anymore. I fainted. SIXTEEN The first time is usually, if not always, painful. Para iyong karayom na pinilit mong ipasok ang yarn. Pero sa kaso ko, it really hurt like hell. He took me in anger with no amount of gentleness. Parang dalawang metal na nagkiskis na hindi man lang nilagyan ng grasa. Nagasgas. I felt sore all over. I slowly opened my e yes. I wanted to cry and tell him how awful it was. Pero bakit ko siya bibigyan ng satisfaction at malaman niyang nanalo siya? Sinaktan niya `ko. Not just physically but emotionally scraped. Walang pakialam na nagbihis ako sa harap niya. Ano pa bang mawawala sa `kin? I f elt so violated. Why did you do it? He whispered angrily. His jeans were hanging low on his hips. Ni hindi nito nagawang i-snap iyon. He wasn t wearing his shirt. I smirked. Sa likod ng gwapong anyo niya ay nagtatago ang napakasamang ugali. He was an angel in di sguise. A devil s advocate. He was pacing to and fro frantically. Galit na sinuklay nito ang buhok. Why?! He shouted furiously. I was up to the last button when he turned around and faced me. Angry lines were visible. Nagngangalit ang ugat nito sa leeg sa pagpipigil. Well, I didn t care if he d murder me now. I didn t care if he
he punched the rearview mirror! I almost jumped in surprise. Almost. Nakita kong nagdurugo ang knuckles nito. `D i ba sinabi kong wala akong pakialam? WALA. I blindly sat on the passenger seat. Para akong tanga. Tulala. I heard him hissing beside me. Gusto kong sumigaw. Gusto kong tumalon sa bangin. Gusto kong matulog at hindi na magising. I closed my eyes. Malay ko ba, baka mangyari `yun. Baka pakinggan ako ni God at maawa siya sa `kin. Ramdam ko pa rin ang basa sa baba ko. Idemanda ko kaya siya? I would scream I m a battered wife of Julian Sunico . May makinig kaya sa `kin? I didn t want to be a hypocrite. I wanted to kill him. Sunugin siya ng unti-unti. Like what happened to the cursed witches before. Would there be justice in killi ng him?
I can t tell you everything. Why did you do that? bulong nito. Sana sana sinabi mo na lang sa `kin una pa man. It should have been Jean s. So innocent. At galit na binalibag ko ang pintuan pasara. Everything. aren t we? Ang laki ng talo ko. What did he want this time? Humarap ako sa kanya. Ayo ko. Sorry sorry eh. Before I knew it he threw my underwear with brownish stain on it! I hate you. Sana inutang mo na lang sa `kin ang pambili ng bahay niyo. Nothing less. He called me four times.Ayoko siyang tignan. I heard him swore. I thought she wouldn t do this. Oh. I shook my head. magpanggap siyang wala ako. The he called my name. when I first saw you crying at the hotel. We can live like this forever. what was a piece of flesh for a Sunico like him ? Kapirasong laman lang iyon. no. Para akong naguluhan. my God. Pero parang wala naman akong choice. I took my perso nal things and left those that weren t mine. WHAT?! Seryoso? You you lied to us. Wala na `kong balak bumalik kay Julian. Humarap ako sa kanya. Talo? We re even. Bayad na `ko sa `yo. Ours was a marriage made in hell. Ni hindi ko man lang napansin. I winced. Nasa garahe na kami. He wasn t looking at me. You know what. Was it that t . Nothing more. To me? To Julian? You wanted him to father your baby? Oh my. Are you mad? My baby it s not Julian s. Pinigilan ko ang kamay kong masakal ang kapatid ko. Baka kasi siya ang nawalan ng pinaka-iingatang dangal. The dream. I smiled at him. I wished we ve never met. I didn t turn around. Parang hind i nito nararamdaman ang pag-agos ng dugo habang nagmamaneho ito. Pabalibag na binuksan ko ang closet. Tinitigan ko ang leather seat. Sige. I I gasped. Oh. kung batukan kaya kita riyan? Bakit mo ba kasi ginawa `yun? What wo uld I do now? We can t just trade places again. Ayoko ng sabihing bakit siya ba ang nasaktan? Siya ba ang nawa lan ng virginity? Kung sa bagay. Kahit isa wala. Hindi ako kumibo. Una pa man talaga never naman akin `t o. I swallowed an imaginary lump in my throat. I smiled mockingly. Baka hindi ko siya matantya. Hindi ako `yun Julian. He s he s mine now. Was he immune t o pain already? At least they had something in common now. Tahimik na bumaba ako ng sasakyan. I cried a river last night. Jean what is this all about? Jeannie I m sorry. I got attracted to you that first time. I thought I wouldn t forgive my sister for what she d done. Was she talking in Latin? Parang sinabi niyang a lien ang nakabuntis sa kanya. Jeannie. Morning. He didn t even bother putting his shirt on. Butter Diner s. She was my twin. You look so vulnerable and trusting. Hinawakan nito ang kamay ko. We re both devils. He hissed. God. Yes.
I whispered defiantly. What else was there? He was betrayed. Nakita ko ang masamang tingin ni Julian ng dumaan si Jean. My heart went wild. What the hell are you talking about? Napatingin ito kay Jean. Narinig ba niya? What truth. I didn t want to cry. Do you think your virgi nity caused millions? I gasped at his crudeness. Pareho kaming pareho kaming Pero Jeannie hindi pwede. Parang dagang tumalilis si Jean. We ll tell you Julian about thi s. Ayoko na Jean. May bisita po kayo. Julian didn t know me that well. I m so Don t fuccking say sorry to me. yes. damn you! Sigaw nito na rinig ata ng buong subdivision. I bet he was ready to wring our ne cks. And the baby s not yours. We both jumped in surprise when I heard a loud crash. Bigla niyang hinarang ang bulto sa harapan ko. Bakit ka nagbabalot ng damit? Tinabig ko `yung kamay niya. If you want you can tell Julian the whole fucccking tru What fuccccking truth are you talking about? We both turned at the door. Bakit ba? Eh. At wala kayong magagawa ni mommy. He looked fierce. Jeannie listen to me. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. Ma am. But tears were starting to pool in my eyes. Bigla itong tumuwid ng tayo. She suddenly winced and moaned. Naiiyak ako habang naliligo naalala ko lahat ng pag-uusap namin. I replaced her. iba ako. Uuwi na `ko sa `tin. Bigla siyang umupo at hinawakan ang ty an. Julian I m Jeannette. I walked like a zombie. You owe me five million minus the interest which is your purity. Umuwi na tayo Jean. Niloko. At itinaas ang ulo na parang sa reyna. Nakita ko ang galit sa mga mata niya. The corner of his lips twitched. I couldn t take the lies anymore. 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. It won t work this time. I promised Vincent. he was damned furious. It was the empty glass. I stared fixedly at him.hen? `Di ba ang mga kambal ay may kakaibang koneksyon? Jeannie please No! I couldn t take it. I muttered. Ayokong isipin kung ano ang napakalaking kasalanan niya sa `kin. Nakita ko sa likod niya si si Jean? What are you doing here? Not that I was blaming her but but Hell. Para akong bagong ano panganak. And boy. He cursed floridly. if I know ganyang ganyan din arte ko sa may hospital. Hindi na pwede. I walked past him. darling. At hind i kita ibabalik sa mga magulang mo hangga t hindi mo nababayaran iyon. Ayoko ng magpanggap na ikaw! Kung gus to mo bumalik ka dito at No! Iling ko. Sinampal ko siya. He frowned. Becau se we just met only a few times after the the Pikot. I mean hindi niya napansin na iba ka. We looked down. Inirapan ko siya. I blamed her. Hinila ko ang kamay niya at kinuha ang clutch bag. You re not that expensive. I looked up. There the devil stood. She went missing before your wedding day. You are you are She s your real wife Julian. . Wala namang gumalaw non. Stop it. Nakita kong may benda ang kam ao niya.
I busied myself for how many seconds minutes I pouted and made face. I took the papers and read it. I raised one brow. Pabalewalang may ibinagsak siya sa kama. Of course. I cringed in pain. Mali mali. Pabalabag. I brushed my tears angrily. hours. I wanted to kill him right this minute. Kahit magkita pa kami sa husgado! I took my sketch pad and sat on the floor. I smiled nastily. His handsome face and his body. Bakit ba hindi eh. If it was an y consolation on every one s part Julian let go of Jean. Puro papeles. An o ba! Pilit kong tinatanggal ang kamay niya sa braso ko.SEVENTEEN I was pacing to and fro. O kaya pahihirapan ko muna ng unti-unti. I was the ang el with a halo sent from up above. Did he thought I was a real bummer? Hindi ba at siya nga ang naloko ko? So he was the one who s stupid. Then I did sketch myself. Parang may kulang. I was fuming mad. Oh. Then I drew his body again . Was I that bad to blame my sister? Pero nasa katwiran naman ako. But not ME. Sign this. ba My mouth dropped open. leaning against the bed. What s this? Nakakapagbasa ka naman `di. My eyes squinted in anger. Tapos nagdrawing ako ng dalawang sungay. I was startin g to hate him. Pati ako nga rin nahihilo na sa sarili ko. `di ba? He looked lik e a bench model on Halloween. He was a cad. ako ako ang ikinulong niya at gusto niyang magsuffer. Ganon ba talaga ang mga bida? Laging api? Bulong ko sa sarili ko. I glared at him standing like he owned the world. Tumayo ka dyan. Wala na lang siyang ginawang mabuti kung hindi paiyakin at sakta n ako. Hindi na siya naawa sa kagandahan ko. . Kahit naman f ine arts ang kinuha ko alam ko naman kung anong ibig sabihin ng kontrata. A chauvinist. I drew Julian s face. Kung legal lang ang krimen sa mundo baka ilang bese s na itong namatay. Without clothes on. Na aalilain ng demonyo. Tapos biglang bumukas `yung pinto. Makapal iyon. Hinila niya `ko pataas. This was legal and notarized. given the fact that he owned me. Inirapan ko siya. I wrinkled my no se and closed my eyes. At ang hawak niya isang malaking tinidor. Hell. I bit my lower lip until it bled. Ang pinakababoy sa lahat ng b aboy. Mah abang buntot. Sh!t. I erased half part.
And because I wasn t that bad. `Yung ngiting alam kong bukas patay na `ko. 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. Pero kailan ba naging okay ang magkau tang ng Five million? I was dead before I knew it. It was just one of those corny jokes. Ano?! Are you darn serious? It only cost Five hund red thousand? Ganon ako ka-cheap? Sana man lang tinaasan niya kahit one million. God. Pra ise the Lord! Kung hindi mag-mamagic talaga akong magkaanak within nine months a . Tapos yumuko siya para magkatapat `yung mukha namin. I was afraid. The bomb was dropped. I realized I was really a good painter after all. Galit na pinalandas nito ang daliri sa mga pi sngi ko. Para iyong sumabog sa mismong tainga ko. my goosebumps w ere showing. Masakit kaya. That easy. Go shoot yourself and go to hell. An d you re not the first virgin I ve had. His voice was laced with sarcasm. `Yung kahit hindi nakakatawa pinipilit mong tumawa. Magsalita ba naman sa tapat ng bibig ko! Swear. I m not your legal wife Julian. Jean s baby kinagat ko `yung labi ko. I even put one finger inside my left ea r. honey. Tsk. Feeling ko pinagbagsakan ako ng langit at lupa. Ganon. I didn t even get any pleasure from it. I swallowed an imaginary lump in my throat. Sana man lang nakapaglagay ako sa account ko mula sa kaban ni Julian ba go nagkabukingan. Hindi pangalan ko ang naka-re gister sa marriage certificate. He said smoothly. Then on my right ear. Napatayo ako sa sobrang galit. He said nonchalantly. It was your s ignature not your sister s. Bigyan mo ko ng tagapagmana. As if we were talking about t he weather. Siya lang naman nasiyahan no . He cracked a knowing smile. Para akong mahihi matay. ang int eres sa bangko ay umabot ng half a million. I kept telling myself that it would be okay.Ano `to? Printed paper. ngu miti ito at lumapit sa `kin. G anon ba talag siya kasama? I ve already had a lawyer examined it. Aren t you going to ask what s the second option? Bakit ko pa itatanong. Tinitigan akong maigi. Wala din! WAS I GOING DEAF? W-what what are you talking about? Nanghihinang napaupo ulit ako. What s this for? You have two options to make: One. 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. Tama ka. `Yun naman pala eh. eh? Tumawa ako. You heard me. hey. why didn t you even give me a sign? Or even a hint? Nakaupo ako kaya t nakatingala ako sa kanya. Sorry sa ipagsisinungaling ko pero Isn t mine. Hindi ako nakakaintindi ng English. An heir. Seriously. Nine months then you re free. I gritted my teeth anguishly. I appreciated you prostituting yourself to me. Tawa pa. He stared at me incredulously. perhaps. So bayad na ang interes. pay me the five million pesos. Really. `Yung magdadala ng apelyido k o. No spooky things. Buti na lang bagong toothb rush ako kanina. Hindi na ako magpapanggap na buntis this time. `Yung tawa ng baliw. He planted his hands on his hips. Hinawakan niya ang baba ko ng madiin. you ll tell me anyway. I crossed my fingers. Tapos tawa pa ulit. It was null and void. He wasn t dead serious. Nadah. was he? Hindi. Napaungol ako. Baka nakakalimutan mo. You might do that honey. I ve had my fair share of women Jeannette. Na para bang ang paggawa ng baby ay bato-bato-pik lang.
Kaya lalong lumalaki `yung ulo. Hello Jean. Pambablackmai l nga lang! This is pure blackmail! No. three `yan. huh? Brad? Uh-oh.. Nakita niya akong papalapit sa isa sa mga ito. He smiled e villy. Pero ikaw din. it s what you called persuading. kung makapag-react ako parang hindi pa kami nag ano `yung ano alam n iyo na `yun. your choice. They were all bugging him. Very charming ang loko. Syempre ngiti rin ako kahit na nga ba never ko pa siyang nakita sa tanang buhay ko. Sawa? Hindi naman ito Zoo `di ba? S he gritted her teeth in anger. I shrugged. 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. Nagkalayo kami ni Julian. Nakalimutan ko. I so hate you. Hi Dahil assuming ako alam ko. my God. May psychic ability na ba ito? He glared at me. I snorted. Kung makalingkis. Napaatras ako. The handsome debonair. I groaned inwardly. What would it be Jean nie. A businessman s stock in trade. May process `yan. Namilog ang mga mata ko Julian was standing there. Well. Nabasa niya ang isip ko! Wow. Unggoy! Napakatuso! I opened my mouth in disust. It s okay. Bakit kailangan ko pang magpanggap na si Jean? Alam na naman ng lahat. Bakit hindi ako lumapit sa mga iyon at i labas ang baho ni Julian? He was after all. a public figure.t ang tatay ay Oh. Forcing a woman isn t my cup of tea. I he ard about it. I sighed. So what is it? This is human violation. Sa `kin siya nakatingin eh. Jean was infamed for her swimming ability. Jean told me everything. At itinaa s nito ang legal na papeles na binayaran nito ang titulo ng lupa namin! He was w ise. The woman smiled at me. Hindi nga ako nagkamali The woman raised one brow at me. Julian grabbed my waist as if he wouldn t want me away from him. I smiled here and there. Oh no! Gusto kong batuka n ang sarili ko. I m sorry. No doub t. Syempre ang baby hindi basta lumalabas sa tyan ng baba e yan. Brad stare d fixedly at us. he shrugged. . Lalo na sa`kin. The business tycoo n. dear. NO! REUNION. Flirt. my God so all the while we were ju st living in sin together? Mga immoral. Later everybody was dancing. Malapit na kami dun ng matigilan ako. Ang press! I smiled. Parang siya nga ang nagre-reunion. two. my dear. Jean! Baka nakakalimutan mo `yung reunion natin mamaya. Don t you ever dare. Hi. I went out of the parking lot to get my cell phone from the car. Well. My phone started ringing.. Then she turned sweetly at Julian. he hissed. Hindi nga ako nagkamaling hindi ka imbitahin! Saan? Irene! So Irene pala ang pangalan ng makiring kaibigan na ito ni Jean. that was fine. Julian smiled back. The feeling s mutual. Forcing isn t his cup of tea? Oo hindi. Wala kang karapatang karapatang igiit sa `kin ang marital obligations ko dahil hindi tayo mag-asawa! Oh. my bed s warmer than that of the jail s. I was quite surprised when a hand caught mine. darling. May step one. At least hindi na niya `ko hahalikan ulit. exc ept for the press. Buti naman. sa `kin patungkol ` yun. Kung fine nga bang matatawag ang halos pagyakap ng babae dito! Their faces were in ches away from each other. Ikaw din. He looked like a wolf ready to eat his prey. Hindi nakaligtas sa matalas kong paningin.
Brad kiss me. Muntik na kami dun! My heart was thudding loud in my chest. Pinipilit kong gumitna pero natabig ako. And I was frightened by the look in his eyes. Let go of me. Julian no! I screamed. No. Eve just tolerated being with Adam. Brad was badly beaten. Grabe. Paikot pa lang siya sa driver s seat ay binuksan ko ang car door para tumakbo. Sa paghampas ko sa sugat niya ay nabitawan niya ang manibela. God. He gave me that chilling stare that sent shivers down my spine. And take note: Eve was the only woman back then. Brad sige paaaa d on t stop kissing me!!! I shouted. The next thing I knew Julian and Brad were grappling. I gritted my tee th. Papalapit na sila. Galit kong sabi. makiri nga lang. para akong nanunuod ng a ction movie. Naawa naman ako bigla sa kanya. I shoul d have wore Hester s scarlet letter. Pakaladkad. 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. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung bakit ito pinagpalit ni Jean eh. Itinulak! Niya ako sa loob ng sasakyan. Out of the corner of my eyes I saw Julian s frown. His voice was icy cold. this isn t righ I grabbed Brad s lapels and kissed him right on the mouth. Julian. Pareho kaming napakapit dito. Damn. Parehas tikom ang bibig namin. Ku ng pwede lang na sipain ko siya. Anywhere my hand landed. loner siya `di ba? Pinagbigyan na nga siya ni God. Julian Sunico s wife was seen kissing his ex. At na-automatic lock niya na ang buong sasakyan. You bastard! Galit kong hiyaw. Gusto ko siyang sabunutan! Sino ba siya? This was all her fault . Matutuwa na sana ako dun sa maganda . No choice eh. Nakita kong pumutok ang labi ni Brad. nakakahiya. dinugtungan pa. Hampas dito. 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. Nakita kong papatay talaga si Julian. Na parang ako an g may kasalanan! Na parang hindi ko siya nakitang nakikipag-flirt sa ibang babae ! Hinila niya `ko sa braso. Maganda pa naman. Brad are you okay? I knelt down in front of him. Julian how dare yo ! He looked at me coldly. Nasty gossips. Whew. J ulian pulled me roughly in the arm. Sinuntok suntok ko ang braso niya. Para akong lulubog sa kahihiyan. ano bang klasing babae `yan. Abusado. He motioned the steering wheel t o the left. I moaned aloud. I put all my force and slap him. Bakit ba hindi sila makuntento sa isa? Bakit ba `yun na lang palagi ang problema nila? Nung ginawa naman si Adan. I glared at wh oever said that. Naumpog ako sa silya. Now I know. What? Jeannie. Once. nakakasama din pala ang masyadong gentleman ngayon. Jeannie. There was not a bit of gentlemanliness in him. Get in. I wanted to shout at him. May paparating na malaking truck. They knew nothing! Mga taong walang magawa sa mundo kundi pagpi yestahan ang latest tsismis. Pabalyang ipinasok. You should have killed me and . Twice. He w as already seated. I saw Brad s purplish face with bruises. Kinuha ni Julian ang lapel ni Brad at binalya. Para akong bulkang sa sabog. I was too stunned to react. We both screamed. It was unlike any fury I d had. What the hell are you d ing. Sa bilis ng pangyayari hindi ko na alam kung sino sa kanilang dalawa. I was even m aking gurgling sounds. The woman was just standing there. We both gasped. I saw the registration of s hock. I couldn t get enough. I said stop it! Tili ko at gumitna ako. Hampas doon. alam mong hindi pwed I said kiss me. Syempre kahit pagbali -baligtarin ko man ang pangyayari. There were flashes of cameras.
Okay. Kahit na nga ba maghubad si Papa P sa harapan ko. Pero bakit ba gwapo pa rin ito kahit mukha itong may sungay sa paningin ko? I might. Did he think I can just bear a child and leave him to his father? I suggest you go see a psychiatrist. Get the hell out of my car. Kinilabutan ako. Basta to the highest level na talaga ang pag-iling ko. Julian swung the door open. In my predicament I wouldn t have noticed them or anyone else for that matte r. Hindi sa natatakot ako. He tilted my chin up. He said bitterly. It was as if he would do just that. Why should I? You re mine. I couldn t imagine myself there. A choice? I said with sarcasm. He wa s forcing me. I swore my neck almost snapped sa mabilis na paglingon ko sa kanya. He hissed. no. Isang barkadang malakas ang trip. Parang wala sa sariling nasabi ko habang nakatingin s a Sa Police Station. Without remorse. My eyes grew wide. He said silently. And the title: Love the way you lie by Rhianna. Alam ko. 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. Pe ro pero `di ba may onting konsensya naman si Julian? Even the tiniest bit? Oh. I gave you a choice. BUT they were even singing a verse of some song. Don t try my patience. It was a mere whisper. Gusto kong is igaw sa kanya na baka naapektuhan na ang utak niya. Napatitig ako sa kanya. Naiisip ko pa lang na ipapa-salvage niya `ko at itatapon ang kagandahan ko sa kung saang ilog. Pero syempre `yung masarap na kilabot. I shook my head forcefully and vigorously. I did shut up then. Tumaas ang sulok ng bibig niya. Oh. My he . Kung kanina ay halos ipagtulakan niya `ko papasok. God. I bought you for five million. Bumaba ka na. In close range as in close to my mou th. Sisigaw akong rape? Fvck you Jeannie. The side of his mouth lifted sexily. I shook my head vigorously. Alam mo pala eh! He smiled evilly. I closed my eyes. Baba. Ang maging babymaker mo? Ha! Holy crap. There were bruises all over his face. my God. utos nito. Balewalang sagot nito. Really. it boils my blood. I shook my head. Julian glared all the more.He gave me that chilling look. Decide now. You re dead serious. natatakot ako sa itsura ni Julian. Ganon lang ba talaga tingin niya sa `kin? His property na pwedeng bakuran. I said get out. With matching every emphasis pa. He was speaking to me. I looked around me and I gasped. this time was very much different. Tapos may dumaang sasakyan. Ang mukha ay nasa gitna ng mga rehas na bakal. My hair on the nape stood on ends. Pero gagawin niya na Jeannie! My mouth dro pped open. I d rather you do that Julian. Julian wouldn t resort to this. The musc les on his jaw flexed. Why can t you just let me go? I whispered achingly. Hindi ko na alam kung paano at anong kaibahan non. Why did he have to d o that? Was this one of his seductions 101? You might be forgetting.
Baritonong high-pitched. Wow. Ayokong makita n iyang malapit na `kong bumigay. Sus. He giggled. Whatever. Mabilis niyang pinakawalan ang mukha ko at nag-drive na siya pauwi. Yep. Ano ba kasing iniisip mo? Masyado ng polluted `yang utak mo. Then I heard his monstrous laugh. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. I found myself taking my shoes off and standing on Julian s lawn. Masyado siyang makasarili. Sana vinideohan mo. Lagay mo sa CR `pagnaliligo si Julian. Wala akong pakialam kung pinagtitinginan man ako ng katulong ni Julian. gora na ako sa gusto niya.art went out to him. And don t you ever dare slee p with Brad. I d like to spit right onto his demonic face. sorry. I was sobbing profusely. Sana nga gan on na lang. Ikaw lang ang magdadala pero anak ko. My eyes were moist. When I was a kid I never liked rainy days. help me. Sigaw ko sa kanya. Jean di d. As in. Is he big? CM! I swore I blushed to the roots of my hair. Rowel? Ahm. CM? Geezers. Parang gusto kong sabunutan itong si CM. Really? One brow arched. you know. Why was it so? I had living proofs. I was stepping o n his Bermuda grass. Jeannie! Kulog lang `yun. One hell of a horse. `Yu n nga lang pwede siyang pang-S. In short.O. As if there was no tomorrow. Paano kung babae maging anak natin? Anak ko Jeannie. And he called me. O k aya naman ang bait mo kasi kasi parang charity lang. Chillax Jeannie. and the hot-and-nice guys are gay. Was I that bad? Pero sabi nga ni Andrew E. Julian was one hell of a hot specimen. I knew then that he won. `Yung tipong `pagnaglak ad kayong dalawa sa mall feeling mo ang yaman mo. Lahat ng sama ng loob ko sa mundo ay inilabas ko. `Coz I d kill both of you. He gave me flowers. JEANNIE! One hand grabbed my arm and swung me around. Bibi? Bibi? Bibi? Bebe Gandang hari. Dati ko siyang manliligaw na artist din. Why? Asking your whereabouts. Wooooh! I shouted loudly. Narinig kong naghikab si CM. Hay nako Jeannie. `Yung t awang pinipilit lumandi. dancing under the rain. He was nice to me. the hot guys are jerks. One theory I realized: The nice? guys are ugly. gifts and very gentleman. I don t want the time to come that I would only feel hatred against Ju lian. Ulam. CM said tersely. Yep. `yung katawan. CM. (secret on) God. if I know. Kasi may kasunod kang boy. He whispered and bunched my hair up roughly. He was naughty and nice. If I were you. Nakita kong umuulan sa labas. Sus. I agreed to his terms. isa pang Bebe `yun e h. I avoided eye contact with him. Sabi niya kasi kapag umiiyak over a jerk hindi siya maririnig ni Mommy. Nagpapakamatay ka ba? Gusto mo bang magkasakit? . I closed my eyes. Tipong ikaw pa ang aagawan ng boyfriend. Nakakaawa siya. bibigay pa lang. Malak as pa naman radar ng mga mothers. He didn t know the meaning of love or even gi ving. Syempre laging naka-coat and tie `yang suplado mong asawa. Rowel s here. O inakala nilang ba liw na `ko. I thought it was a bit odd of my twi n to cry under the rain. Next time videohan mo ha? Bigyan kitang hidden camera. I sighed as I clutched the wireless phone to my ears. But I found out I was doing the same thing. And very gay. Knowing Jean s eccentricity. Why not? Pwede ko `yung ipam-b lackmail kay Julian. humanap ka ng panget at ibigin mong tunay .
Nalaglag `yung payong. pang-FAMAS na sana drama ko. Julian Niyakap niya `ko. Tapos itinapat ko `yung mukha ko sa mukha niya. I felt hot all over. Bastos ka. I love you Uhhh I couldn t believe it. I wanted to smack his handsome face only if he didn t look amused. I looked up at him. This was the magic moment. I probably lost one screw earlier. I knew it. Ang lapit lapit ng mukha namin. Julian was really saying those words? Oh. my God. On his face. He pulled me roughly into his arms. Nagsasalubong ang mga kilay nito at may payong na dala. Tapos malapit na super lapit na Nanunulis na `yung bibig ko. You are my baby. A mixture of tears and rain. Para bang hindi siya makapaniwalang ginawa ko talaga `yun sa kanya. Ha? Wow. So I closed the distance. I rubbed my nose against his. LOL. He said in amazement. I closed my eyes. Under the rain. My chest was flattened against his. Na sana hindi lang ako gustong i-detain dito ni Julian dahil sa utang ko. Was I dreamin g? Tapos bigla siyang umubo. Are we going to start the baby making process here and now? I looked up. Feeling ko nga matutunaw ako. Grabe. What do you think are you doing? He asked na para bang nandidiri sa `kin! I blinke d thrice. I was wetting his tux. Then I started crying on his chest . At sabay kaming bumagsak sa Bermuda grass. Halos maduling na kami sa titigan namin. Titig na titig siya sa `kin. Eskimo kiss. I was on top . 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. didn t he? Get off me It was a joke. I wrapped my arms around his neck. That money was just a piece of pap er. Ok ay na eh. Hello? This was so small co mpared to what we d done. If only it didn t have any value. Pilit kong tinatanggal ang mga patak ng ulan sa mata ko. Gusto kong matawa sa itsura niya. I thought I was going to sneeze my head out.It was lightning. Hindi kaya magkapalit kami ng mukha? I smiled at him. NINETEEN Sometimes you d wished that things were easier. Tapos tapos Hachuuuu! There. Don t even tell me! . I wrinkled my nose. Can you believe that? He did say he loved me. We were both wet. Nakakahiya na talaga. Nung pagtalon ko kaya? What joke? That you lov e me? No. Syempre mahiya naman ako `di ba? Hindi ko pa rin namang nakakalimuta ng babae ako. My God. He brushed the straining hair on my forehead. Was he worried? I shook my head. Argh. Pilit kong sumasayaw at nagtampisaw pero hawak pa rin niya ang braso ko. On top of him. I waited for him to do the next move.
I couldn t breathe. Ano na naman bang pinagsisintir nito? His wet hair was clinging to hi s forehead. I wasn t so sure. Ano bang problema nito? Gusto kong sumigaw pero wala akong lakas. Para akong lasing. Do you ever know the word humility? Okay na magsungit siya. He was pacing to and fro. You sounded you sounded Sounded what? Like you are making out! For Pete s sake! Ha? Grabe.He winced. Parang gusto niya na akong sakalin sa itsura niya. Are you into drugs? I said I was kidding about you. my God. Sigaw sigawan niya `ko . Ohhh My mouth opened in an indignant O. 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. Ohhh ohhh Jul ian Ohhh YUCK! GROSS! He just raised his brow and looked at me oddly. He was standing there. Pakipot pa. Ni-rape niya ba `ko? Bakit feeling ko para akong ginahasa? Ang sasakit ng mga kalamnan ko. Napaungol ako lalo. Ang sakit sakit ng ulo ko. Julian must have been an angel. What the heck. Nakita kong basang basa na `yung carpet. Inirapan ko siya. But it s as if as if you re going to eat me for dinner. I moaned aloud. Bakit hindi ko man lang nalaman? Sayang naman. Ungol ako ng ungol. Then I imitated again louder. I said stop it. I m handsome and you couldn t resis t that. hindi ko na kasalanan `yun. My eyes grew wide. Pangalan ko. In disguise. I frowned. Ano na namang kalokohan `to? And stop doing doing that. I tried to focus my eyes on him. Will you stop that? angil nito. At ang mga kilay nito? Nagsasalubong na naman. Oh God. Hingal don. Napatingin ako sa kanya. I screamed. Nakaupo ako sa couch! Basa. Wala namang pinainom sa `k in si Julian `di ba? Hindi kaya nilason niya na `ko? I groaned louder than the la st. Tsk. Kasi parang hinihila ako sa antok. It was a great effort to slap the incredulity in his face. just s eeing him standing there with his shirt loving his body to perfection was making me ahm. He proved to b e tempting. Alam ba niya `yung ibig sabihin ng salitang hambog ? No? I thought so. Hingal dito. He k nelt down in front of me. hot. I closed my eyes. I ve heard that before. I opened o ne good eye. . he hissed and brushed his drenched hair. 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. Sino bang may sabing ako lang pala ang n ag-iisip ng hindi kanais-nais dito! Akalain mo `yun. FROM YOU. making love in the rain. Jeannie Jeannie I thought my head was going to break into pieces. I rolled my eyes heavenward. I know. Basta `wag niya lang asahanag maghuhub ad ako sa harapan niya. And stop staring at me like that! I know. Promise. Ba hala siya kung anong gusto niyang isipin. I was still suncking in my breath ever so slowly. Alam mo `yung parang humalinghing na pusa? My mouth dropped open. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung friends sila ni The Grinch. sabi ko na nga ba Julian ha d a pretty fix on me from the start. my ey es almost bulged. What am I doing? Badtrip na pinilit kong umayos ng upo. May dictionary ka ba dyan? He shrugged. Pag-umpugi n ko pa sila eh. his wet shirt was clinging to his body. He knelt down in front of me. Oh well. May sakit ka ba? He s aid sarcastically. me. Oh. Narinig kong tinataw ag niya `ko.
Galit na binuhat niya ulit ako. Kung akala niyang inaapoy sa pagnanasa si Jeannie. gracious. Para akong inaapoy. The likes of Julian should be banned. Rough.Hubaran niya `ko! Joke lang. Then I closed my eyes. He ripped it off me! Goodness. Pumasok si Mommy! Jean! At ang mga katulong! We heard you scream. I made sure na nahirapan siya. Like the way he always used to. Sisigaw na talaga ako. I swore. Then h is mouth landed on mine. Namatay lahat. Helllpppppppp And in fair ness. Naramdaman kong may nagbababa sa `kin sa tiles. The door burst open. mabilis pa sa alas-kwatrong yumakap ako kay Julian. 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. I felt his teeth nipped my lower lip. Parang nawalang lahat ang panghihina ko. Anong akala niya sa `kin bata?! I bit his hand.. Hotter. Hindi ko alam kung anong l ubog sa hindi punong bath tub ang gagawin. In my blurring vision I saw Juli an hovering over me. Our wet clothes were felt so paper-thin. He roughly cupped my left cheek. Hindi niya `ko pinansin! Tuloy-tuloy lang siya sa pagtanggal ng mga butones. Santisima! Naman si Julian oh. Sa sobrang gigil ni Julian. Oh. Pakawalan mo `ko! Pakawalan mo sabi ak ooo Ibinagsak niya `ko sa bathtub! He was really inconsiderate. I moaned a loud. he was definitely wrong. hindi ko alam kung panong tili ang gagawin ko.. Tapos dahan dahang bumaba `yung mga mata ko dun sa kamay ni ya. Walang p atawad. I wished that instant that I were a mermaid. Pakawalan mo `ko!!! Ti nakpan niya `yung bibig ko. Was he insane? We were in the shower room! Hanggang dito ba naman? I shrieke d. Gosh. At w ala akong pakialam kahit bumabaha ng mura sa shower room. Forceful. Nanlaki `yung mga mata ko. My. Bakit hindi? Ang mga katulad niya ang da hilan kung bakit nagkakasala ang mga respetadong babaeng kagaya ko. Doon. God. She was in and out of consciousness. You mani ac! I hissed through my teeth. Well. Kung kanina y nagkakakawag ako. pati dun sa baba. Inaapoy ito sa lagnat. Julian noooo! I screamed and wailed. Para akong lalagnatin . He frowned. A slow knowing smile played about his kissable lips. But she lay passive. He was a safe cover from the intrud . Para siyang binuhusan ng malamig na t ubig. Aba. Natatarantang binuhat niya ito. I was burning hot. The he pulled down my jeans. 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. Jeannie fainted! Napapikit ang mga mata niya.
Tinitig an niya `ko. tapos tapos bibitawan niya `ko. Then I d make him eat the cake of soap. Lumingon siya s a `kin. I really croaked. Julian smiled. Hinawakan nito sa balikat si Julian at pilit inaalis mula sa `kin. A mere whisper. Darkness was pulling me down. Kinapa ko `yung sarili k o. Ako ang bahala sa `yo. He didn t look pleased with himsel f. Gusto ko siyang lunurin sa bathtub. didn t I? Then I clos ed my eyes. I was trying to cover myself. pleaded with me to bathe her. He shrugged. Julian I have hands. They all gasped. Hindi ko gusto ang ngiting iyon. Parang batang bulong ko. Nang lumabas na silang lahat. I woke up late that night. Will you please get out? I shouted at him. Hindi naman ako kasya sa butas ng banyo. That was only a snippet. Then his hands submerged under the water. He smirked. My stomach churned. Nanla laki ang mga mata ko ng Oh. Pinanlakihan ko siya ng mg a mata. Anong masamang ginagawa mo sa kapatid ko? Tili si Jean. Who said that killing a moron was against the law? Hindi ba pwe deng magbawas kahit isa? TWENTY I hated him.ers. Parang hin di ako mahiwalay sa pagkakayakap sa kanya. Sana totoo. Bahala? Ha! If I know. Han ggang sa magbula `yung bibig niya. Oh-kay. `Yung parang hinuhubaran kung hindi ko pa alam na hubad na `ko! I h issed. Sana hindi lang ako nananaginip. Anong gagawin mo? I looked around me. Parang binabarena `yung ulo ko. Don t you want to ask who? He just shrugged. Ah. my God. Goodness. What are you all doing here? Julian smiled. It me ant catastrophe. What? He asked innocently. no. He was such a monster. Betty Boop PJs. Tignan ko lang kung makahalik pa siya ng ibang babae. There was someth ing endearing about a man who said that he could take on the world for me. Buti alam mo. Julian wouldn t say something like that. He scrubbed my stomach. Then he took the soap. I gasped. was this déjà vu? I had nowhere to go. Goodness. At isinandal ang ulo ko sa bathtub. See? Your sister here wants me Oh. Isn t it obvious? My mouth dropped open. What what? You look as if you would kill. I smiled too sweetly. Hi ndi na `ko magtataka kung mas pa kung sasabihin niyang: I ll kill you Jeannie . I looked at the alarm clock. Julian bathed me! He dressed me up! What did he thi . I sucked in my breath. Napalingon siya dito. An g bigat ng pakiramdam ko. I bit my lower lip. Eight o`clock in the morning? I bolted upright.
I glared at him. Sa paningin ko. Sabi nga ni mommy. I was about to talk again when he thrust the spoonful of kaning baboy in my mouth. I took the pillow and covered my ear. Day off ng mga katulong. Yep. Patalikod sa kany a. kumain ka na. 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. Ang kapal niya! Grabe. He even yawned. thank you. Jeannie Rose Leviste? YOU? WON T TALK? Tawa. This side of Julian that I wasn t used to. Hmp. He tapped my shoulder. Hindi ba niya `ko papatayin? I looked at the tray in front of me. Breakfast. I gritted my teeth. 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. Sa bi nga pala ni Thrust the food on my mouth. ang mahi rap kuhanin mahirap pakawalan. Napatingin ako sa unan ng masama. Thank you. An ong ginagawa mo dito? bulong ko. I really gasped aloud. Julian ano b a! Will just give me peace Jeannie? I opened my mouth to talk again. Sa daldal mong `yan. My head was poundi ng. Ha! Grabe. Medicine. I wanted to hit him with the lamp shade. eh? Nooo I bemoaned. May takip iyon. I gasped. Evil Ken. He was e ven clutching his stomach. Wit h his bewitching smile.nk of me? Barbie doll. Betty Boop! Kumain ka na. EVER. parang n agkaroon siya ng dalawang sungay. `Yung tawang parang wala ng bukas. Wow. He started laughing. Basta hinalo lang niya ang pagkain. I chewed it. No more like poison me! My eyes stared incredulously. Biglang bumukas `yung pinto. There the Ken stood. Binuksan ko `yung silver cover. Surely I wasn t that fat. Gusto kong sabihing: Amuin mo ko Kumain ka na. Excuse me! Gigil na humarap ako sa kanya. Alam kong hindi uso sa mahihirap ang omelette . Naramdaman kong lumubog `yung kama sa gilid ko. I groaned inwardly. Naniningkit ang mga mata ko. Tawa. But still mukha pa rin iyong darak. Tapos bigla niya `kong inabutan ng tablet. No reply. Preppy Ken. Don t make me laugh. parang utang na loob ko pa ang paggawa niya ng breakfast sa `kin. He tapped again my shoulder. He was really going to kill me. Confirmed. Julian? He didn t reply. What did he think of me? Hard-to-get `to no. Parang biglang k umalam ang sikmura ko. Tawa. He really had a sweet and cari ng side. Pasalamat siya gutom ako. Ganon pala huh? . Hey. He said with sarcasm. Forcefully. Fine. Bumagsak ang katawan ko sa higaan. Whatever. My hands were itchi ng to take those and cover his That would be the day Jeannie. Unti-unti akong napangiti. I arched one brow. Mabilis akong humarap sa kanya. Hindi naman masama lasa niya. I wasn t giving him peace? If I give you peace I won t talk to you. Nakita kong napahiga siya kakatawa. Not talkin g would be the cause of your death. Galit kaya ako. My God. Surely Ano ng tingin niya sa `kin? BABOY? Ano `to? Kaning baboy? Why. Tumagilid ako. I understand. All at once my heart started hammering. What a better way of saying Shut up Jeannie . I opened my mouth in disgust.
It was as if they (Julian s supposed dad and Uncle Bert) told me that it wa s the end of the world. Mabait po `pag tulog.I would have cried aloud if not for Uncle Bert and Julian s dad. He just kept on talking. He turned around and just walked on! I saw the way he carried himself like the king of the world. He ll hate me. Nod. Nagsasalita siya. Well. Would he slash his wrists? No. You have to tell him! You can t just keep this damned secret forever. I would have turned around and walked away. In short. I was true to my promise. He r olled his eyes. Hindi kaya pulutin ako sa kalsada `pagsinabi ko `yun? Pam-blackmail! Tama. I sighed. Ang sinabi niya lang kanina we re going some place . His broad back was turned to me. `yung mga taong curious `yu n `yung matatalino. I wasn t really e avesdropping. And be polite. I was about to turn away when some snatches of the conv ersation caught my attention. Ang katawan ko. When will you tell Julian about his true parentage. Poor you. We were both sile nt on the way here. Nagsasawa na `ko sa ganito. Jeannie? I almost jumped in surprise. I even bathed her yesterday. They all laughed. My hands were cold and c lammy. And she loves me dearly I would have gasped. The side of his mouth lifted slightly. Alam kong nan anadya lang siya. Kasalanan ko bang halos rinig na ng buong bahay ang pag-uusap nila ? Sus. Naiisip ko pa lang an g mga gagawin niya y kinikilabutan na `ko. He would break furnitures and lashed at people. Inabot ko ang kamay ko sa kanya. I was rooted to the ground. Didn t you. Waiting. Tapos napatapat ako sa library. Ito ang napapala ng mga tsismosa. At sabi nga. Parang may sariling isip ang mga paa ko. ha. I was just a very keen-observer. Tumaas `yung kilay ko. Kanina pa kita hinahanap. Smile. What are you doing here? I swore. My knees were going to buck le. Parang teledrama lang. Napapanis na ata l away ko. Parang balewala lan g naman sa kanya. He ordered. Silence would really kill me. Sabi ko na nga ba. I was tight-lipped and turned to his aunt. Ikaw ang may kasalanan ako ang umaani! She never love d me so I got tired of waiting for her. Ayusin mo sarili mo. Nanghihinang naglalakad ako. See? Silence means yes. simpleng papansin. Yes. But then all your lif e you were living a big damned lie. It was difficult ignoring someone who didn t want to be ignored. I looked as if I d seen a ghost. Gusto ko ng magsalita. Mamamatay nga ata ako. You know I can t. Nangangalay na braso ko ah. Uuwi na tayo. Gusto ko ng ngatngatin ang plato o ka ya ibato iyon sa kanya. The voices were familiar. He was challen ging me. He raised one brow at me. most of the time. Aunt Risan my wife s very pampered. We Aherm! Aherm! Malakas kong ubo. I frowned. You hated lies. I was trying to find the comfort room. Deadma lang ako. She loved you damn you! Silence descended. Inirapan ko si ya. darling? Nanlalaki ang mga mata ko. His whole being would surely break into a thousand pieces. Paano ko sasabihin sa kanya? Julian your family wasn t supposed to be who they were. They were all looking at me. He frowned and sighed. Wala nama n talaga akong pakialam. Mabait na asawa ba itong si Julian hija? Tanong ni Aunt Risan sa `kin. Wow. Bert? When will you take all the blame and this buuullshit end? TELL ME! Parang may bombang sumabog. Parang sinasabi ng ti nging iyong akala ko ba hindi tayo bati? . Hindi kami bati! Hindi ko siya papansinin! Argh. At unang una ako sa mga taong iyon. Ang bilis . Parang bumalik ang sakit ng ulo ko. `Yun lang! G oodness. Julian smiled at me and raised his wineglass in a mocking salute.
Hindi ko na siya pinakialamanan. I ran to him. And because he was very much a gentleman. I fell in step beside him. Uncle Bert was his dad. for sure he would blame himself for the separati on. Ever since that phone call earlier.ko. Baliw ka na ba? He said drily while looking at me in disg ust. And because I wasn t that bad I hoped God and St. Nagsusungit na naman. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. If he d only known. Katabi! Then it clearly dawned on me. Bumaba na kami ng sasakyan. Habang pilit pang tinatanggal `yung kamay ko s a harap niya! I tightened my hands around his middle. he might n ot know yet but he d thank you later. For the first time I rendered pity for the high and mighty Julian Sunico. Masarap palang matulog ng may katabi. He started laughing demonically. Laway ko. Ang gulo no? Kasing gulo ng u tak ni Julian. I smiled mischievously. It was one hell of a secret. But it didn t even bother me. `di one ganda okay.. . Parang sinasabing nasiraan na nga talaga . He didn t ev en bother to open the door for me. Tandaan mo Jeannie may malaking utang na loob siya sa `yo. you can t live without me. TWENTY ONE We went straight home. Well. Sipon . What are you doing? He said softly. And and Julian never slept wit h me. I couldn t breathe a little. You need me. Peter was looking right down at me us . As in. And I bet. Somebody was sleeping beside me! My eyes grew wide . Nasaktan pa nga ` yung dibdib ko sa pagtama sa likod niya.. Ni-lock ko `yung pinto kanina. I ll tell you something you don t know. Luha. The hands tightened around my m idsection. I almost screamed. Akalain ko bang hindi ko matiis and dyablong si Julian? I could have gone straight to a reporter or to any journa list. Julian was in the study room fussing ove r documents. Parang hindi niya napapansin na kasama niya `ko. Later that night I went to sleep early. And hugged him from behind. Pero hindi ko ginawa. Na hindi ko m an lang alam kung sino. May utang na loob ka sa `kin. Kaya nga ba mas close siya sa Uncle Bert niya? Kaya nga ba nag-div orce ang parents niya? If this secret would spill out. He sighed exaggeratedly. And the one he grew up with was really his uncle. Umiling-iling ito. Ang lakas ng impact. I hiccupped through his shirt. I snuggled closer. one baet point na `ko. Kaya tatanawin niya sa `kin itong isang malaking utang n a loob. I cushioned my head against his back. In my dreamy state. Parang may nakadagan sa katawan ko. I sighed pleasurably. somebody. Eh. Half of my body w as covered by. Hmm? Humigpit bigla `yung kapit niya sa `kin.
arhm scratch that. Three words. Hindi naman ah. What are you doing? I frowned when he started puttin g his clothes in a traveling bag. L alo niyang nilakasan `yung paghilik. Maybe Julian needed some loving after all.Madilim. May pupuntahan tayo? U . I heard him chuckle. Why are you in my room? Bulong ko. Then I pushed him hard. Unfortunately. Traveling. I covered my eyes with my hand. A person seemed vulnerable when asleep. Travel. I was going crazy with boredom. Ah. Balewalang dumagan ulit siya sa `kin! Na parang ba ta. I closed the door shut in effect. Ah. Inamoy amoy ko pa man din `yung unan na hinigan niya! Tapos `pagdating ng b reakfast hindi ako papansinin? Grabe. Hell. My chest was flattened against his. Hindi man lang ako pin agtangkaan ni Julian. Niyugyog ko `yung balikat niya. Julian ungot ko. Pinipilit nitong pigilan ang mga kamay ko. Pero utos pa rin. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. Nice butt. Ang ulo nito ay parang batang isiniksik sa leeg ko. `Yung isa naming maid nakatayo din! Promise. Parang balewalan g naglakad siya papunta sa closet. Sabay biglang takbo. My God. Hindi ko alam kung bakit. Nakalimutan ba niya? He cuddle d with me last night! I thought we were okay? Ngayon ko napatunayang maraming na didisgrasya sa akala. Mabaho ba `ko? For the first time. Tinatanong lang naman kita. Nakiliti ako sa paghinga niya sa leeg ko. With gaps between my fingers. Inumang ko `yung kamao ko sa likod niya tapos humarap siya. Gigil kon g sabi. Hello? Hindi ko kaya nakita! Wala kaya akong nakita. Julian san ka kumain? He shrugged. But my. One word uttered. My eyes slowly widen ed He was gloriously buck-naked. Yuck. He wasn t talking to me the whole day! I woke up with the empty side of the bed. I smiled sweetly. Then I looked over my shoulder. Hawak pa `yung walis. her eyes were big and even her mouth was a big O. Ano ba. he was fast asleep. napadaan lang ma am. ganon. Alam mo ba Julian na nakakainis ka? Nawala na `yung antok ko dahil sa He covered my mouth! Inis na tinatanggal ko iyon. You scared me inis na bulong ko. I know. Aalis. wasn t that my weakness? Men with nice rounded bu tts. I angrily swung the door loud enough. Niyugyog ko ulit. This mig ht be heaven. The man s breath was fanning my cheek. Excuse me? Bad breath. No phone calls. Lapasta ngan! Tinitigan ko siya ng masama. May alzheimer s na ata. Then he went to work . Leave me alone. He wore his underwear not a whit about me ogling standing there. Gigil na sinundan ko siya. Sleep. He came back late that night. Sige magpanggap kang wala ako dito. I started pushing. Seconds late r. luckily his back was turned to me. Didn t he know that he was way bigger than me? He covered half of my b ody. Ang KAPAL! Mabilis na itinapat ko ang palad sa bibig at bumuga buga. Naghilik siya. Dirediretso sa study room niya. I tenderly caressed his hair. Bakit ba ang sungit sungit mo He slammed the door in my face! I was so shocked.
CM was waiting for me downstairs. He put on a shirt and his rugged jeans. Aalis tayo Jeannie. Okay lang `yun! Mabuti nga `yun.mupo ako sa gilid ng kama. O binabaon ko ba s iya sa utang through his credit card. Kung ako lang din CM mas gusto kong maiwan kasama ng asawa ko! Mabilis na sumakay ako ng sasakyan. Ang O. No one would shout at me. Anong sinabi niya? Hindi kaya minura ako ni Juli an? TWENTY TWO Four full days. Anong sinabi niya? I stared blankly at CM. Parang hindi gumagana `yung utak ko. I was hugging Julian s pillow tightly. I didn t even notice that we were already inside the airport. For a week! Na hindi man lang ako kasama? Ang galing. Ni hindi man lang nag-alalang tumawag para itanong kung buhay pa `ko. He could really be attracti ve and sexy without trying. Tapos pinisil niya `yung bab a ko. Anong ginag awa nito dito? Julian put his luggage in the compartment without a word to me. Yo ur hubby called me. dangsin-ibogo sip-eulgeoya I ll miss you. I pouted. Oh. `di ba kapag naka-pout nanunulis `yung lips? Hindi man lang makara mdam! Tapos nakita ko sa likod si CM. Tayo? Nagmamadaling tinignan pa nito ang wrist watch. Teka. Para akong robot. Nobody would tor ment me. He studied his nails. I was a little absorbed with my emotions. I didn t even remember him. One week kong h indi makikita si Julian? Argh. Parang baligtad? Whatever. Not even a word. A week. I was t rying hard not to look at his back while walking away. So planado ito? G anon ba? Why didn t you tell me? Galit kong harap sa kanya. Sabi ko sa sarili ko at ginawa pang p uppet na nagsasalita ang kamay ko. Kinilig pa ang bruha. We were all quiet. Hindi niya ako pinansin. He was going away. I realized then that my world started revolving around Julian. He was even immersed in painting a landscape. Mabobored lang siguro ako kaya ako nagkakaganito. Oo nga. That was it. He was mouthing: Kiss. How was that? Nakahiga lang ako. He even smiled at me. Tapos tinalikuran niya na `ko. I rolled on my stomach and covered the pillow over my head. I ate silently at the breakfast table. Julian! Oo Jeannie narinig kita. At saka lang ito ngumisi sa `kin. He moved toward me. A. He even demonstrated with his hands. Samahan daw muna kita. Inis na binato ko ang unan niya sa kama. Naiinis ako sa kanya! Kahit `wag na siyang bumalik. I punched the pillow like it was his face. Ang laki-laki ng bahay ako lang naman at si CM. Nagulat ako. Kahit man lang hoy wala. ko. THE HELL I CARE! Jeannie! Ano?! Galit kong harap kay Julian. One week. I couldn t say anything. I sat down while panting. I m going to Las Vegas for a business trip. I sniffed it. Parang nakalimutan ko nga ding magpinta. Wala na `kong yayamutin. CM said from behind. Basta lagay lang siya ng lag ay ng gamit. Wala naman talaga akong pakialam. No phone calls. I One more week of not abiding that damned co ntract. I didn t miss him. Baliw na ata talaga ako. Tapos tinalon talunan ko iyon. Jeannie . I was just plain bored . Kung ako lan g Jeannie mas gusto kong maiwan kasama `yung asawa mo.
Kahit `wag na siyang bumalik. Pilit ginagaya si Ann Curtis. Double Sh!t. Hello Julian? Jeannie kain na tayo! Sh!t. Para akong tangang hawak hawak `yung cell phone sa tenga ko. Anong sabi niya? Hindi ka naman interesado. He stood up from my bed. It stopped ringing just when the key turned in. Inis na humiga ulit ako at tinalikuran siya. I don t want to be the bearer of bad news Jeannie. dude. It opened.That bolted me upright. Okay. bakit ka nagmumukmok? Ako? Nagmumukmok? My God CM. Boom . I said nonchalantly. That would be a cold day in hell. Mamaya mag-celebrate tayo tutal wala naman dito si Julian. My hand was trembling. Bwisit. CM said. The door opened. Smile Jeannie. Naiinis ako s a mga taong magkukwento tapos mambibitin! My hands were getting itchy to wring h is neck. Tama. CM said. He gave me that eat-your-heart-out sm ile. Meron tayong bente kwatro oras sa isa ng araw. I forced my muscles to move. I hissed and stared at him pointedly. Nagmamadali ako. I didn t like CM s expression. I reahed for it under my accessories along with other swell stuff. Argh. Ahh he nodded indulgently. Big time. I gasped and glared at him. you know. 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. Umiinom ng isang tasang kape si CM. Tatalikod pa lang sana ako ng tumunog ulit iyon. Kitang kita kong parang hinayang siya. Tapos tinalikuran niya `ko at isinara ang pinto `paglabas. CM!!! I wanted to wipe the grin off hi s face. `di ba? Sakalin ko kaya `tong si CM? Once lang. Sorry na. What bad news? . Mauubos talaga buhok niya sa `kin. I shouldn t have mentioned that name! CM was giving me those slow teasing grins I hated these days. Julian? Badtrip. I almost tripped with the blanket in a hurry to g et to my cell phone in the drawer. You should understand your husband. CM won! I hated them both. Huwag lang talaga siyang makalapit-lapit. How could he be my friend? He had done nothing but to hum iliate me. Anong ginagawa niya? Dinadaig si Bill Gates? Tsk. I m just resting. my mobile started ringing. Sayang sasabihin ko pa man sana sa `yong tumawag kanina si Julian Well. I couldn t eat that muc h. Hindi! Hello. Me? Missing him? Bull. Gusto kong ipakain sa kanya iyon. Namimiss mo na no? Sabi nito at umupo sa tabi ko. I smi rked at him. I gnawed the inside of my left cheek. I didn t even look at the screen. Bakit ba kasi nilock lock ko pa `yung drawer? Stupid of me. So. It tasted ashes on the tongue. I looked at him squarely. because you re not interested never mind. We ate dinner serenely. Eee. Alam mo naman si Julian napakapasensyoso! I gritted my teet h and sighed. you don t miss him? Umupo ulit ako. Just curious. Eh. To my astonishme nt. Oh? I don t care if you don t believe me CM.
Parang slow motion na unti-unti akong tumingi n sa gilid ko. He opened one good eye. He cuddled her in spoon fashion. I thought men with stu bbles looked messy before. dangsin-eul salanghabnida. Tapos pumikit ulit. At mas mahirap ipaglaban ang isang bagay na alam mong matagal ka nang talo. He found himself smiling oddly. Befo re I knew it his arm wrapped around my waist and pulled me closer. `Yun ang narinig ko. They lost millions. The investors in Las Vegas were pulling out. Bankrupt. Ine-expect ko bang nandun si Sadako? Oh great. She stirred in her sleep. He kissed her na pe softly. Oooh lala . Kukurutin ko sana `yung braso ko. Someone groaned beside me. That was the most hateful word in a businessman s vocabulary. Tapos humarap ulit siya sa `kin. I love you. He was a major lo ser. I m sorry Jennie. He grunted. But but hey I had this dream last night. Weren t his mother and father a one great example ? He was a very cynical man. And his fingers were itching to put an L word on his forehead. I whispered. Napasubsob ak o sa dibdib niya. And my! His chest was uncovered. kabaligtaran ang nangyayari sa totoong buhay. She was one thing he didn t need right now. Lumapat ang likod nito sa dibdib niya. My eyes grew wide. The word complication was writt en all over her face. It s the truth. Jeannie could disappear one day.Pabagsak na ang negosyo ng mga Sunico. Parang hindi ko ata naintindihan ang mga sinabi ni CM. TWENTY THREE I woke up with a start. Tapos nakita k o `yung biceps ni Julian. His mindset was shouting he didn t need her. He had an eight o`clock stubbles about his cheeks. Why didn t he tell me a thing or two about it? Wala ba talaga akong silbi para sa kanya? It seemed a lifetime since I signed that marriage contract. He knew those facts might kill him. He was whi spering what seemed like love words to me. Marahang humiga siya sa tabi nito at tumagilid. That was the last of my conscious thoughts. He didn t really know what bullsh!t happened t o him. There was nothing cons tant and permanent in this word. Napatingala ako sa kanya. Goodness. Why not? . Jules Tinalikuran niya `ko! Oh-kay. His heart told him otherwise. Sabi ko na nga ba. He couldn t afford to lose his heritage. At nalilis ang kumot mula dito. He opened the door and slid inside the semi-darkened room quietly. He look ed a bit disoriented. The light fli ckered from the lamp shade were casting shadows on the wall to the woman sleepin g serenely on the bed. Ayt. God. wasn t it? Si Julian? Bankrupt? Bugger. I was like was I dreaming? `Di ba merong seven days in a week? Nagkamali ba ako ng bilang? Pang fifth day p a lang ngayon ah! Maybe he wasn t Julian! A twin? I shook my head rapidly. I slowly smiled. Angko s footprints. Even in deep slumber she came to him willingly. Huy. Julian changed the word messy to SEXY. I pouted. Ang hirap kapag magkalaban ang puso at ang utak. I stretched my arms. Disoriented. my left arm jabbed som ething. Now. Julian She turned to the side. Julian. Maingat niya itong pinagmasdan. This was just one of his grand jokes. Eight? Ten? Ang tagal ko na d in palang pinagtyatyagaan si Julian. I went to bed that night with my head pounding so hard it hurt. I slept like the dead. It was just that he was afraid to get too attached. And he was afraid of this from the very first fvcking day he met her. I was really dreaming! Oh.
Hinuhubaran? More like sinu sunog. Tapos inabot niya sa `kin `yung toothbrush ko. He had already a to wel on. . Damn. he became a bit ge ntler with. Para kaming naghahabulan sa maliit na kama. He planted his hands on his hips. Why couldn t I close my eyes? Why do you have no clothes on? Not a stitch! A slow smile cracked about his lips. Tumalikod ako sa kanya ng tumayo na siya sa harap n g salamin. Si Julian nga! Nagsasalubong ang mga kilay nito. I winced as I saw him striding down the stairs. what the Confirmed. I pouted. Tingin sa flooring. Oo. was he seducing me? It wasn t working! It was oh-so-tempting. Not that I was disappointed. Kailangan ko pang pum asok. My. naninigaw pa rin siya. malakas kaya kiliti ko. if I would be living with him forever I couldn t imagine. As in nada? Meaning. Anyhow. He gave me that come-on smile. I winced. I clutche d the headboard. He often scowled. Hello? It was daytime! Tapos tumata gos pa `yung sinag ng araw mula sa sliding door. I know you want me now Jeannie. I woke up having him beside me. Sa kama. A bit. I was like in fairy land for three m ore weeks. Pe ro Julian toned down a bit. Naninigas na `yung leeg ko. He chuckled. he wasn t that showy. He then hugged me and carried me to the bathroom. Nanggigil lang naman ako. Well. Na para bang walang pakialam. Tapos nagtititili ako. I swore I blushed to the roots of my hair. Who are you asking me or the bed? I looked him in the eyes. Hinila niya talaga ako. Nangangalay na `ko. Feeling ko ang bilis humaba ng buhok ko. Julian didn t mention anymore about my debt or the baby making cont ract. Parang kagat lang `yun ng langgam. Ginalaw mo naman `yung mga gamit ko! Even my baseball is missing. L ukot na naman ang mukha. It was un-Julian to do those things for me. men had no modesty! I slept in my birth suit. He regarded me with incredulity. He said forlornly. Tapos nagbuklat ako ng magazine. God Jeannie look elsewhere but him! Tin gin sa ceiling. Ang kapal! I shrieked when he pulled my feet from the be d. Grabe.I pinched him slowly and ever so painfully. sayang! LOL. Uh-oh. He tickled me on each side. Why do you have no clothes on? I parroted. Oh. What did you do with my things?! What things? Painosente kong sabi. Nanghinayang lang. Jeannie! Sabi ko sa inyo a bit lang eh. Kinikilig talaga ako. Mayamaya lamang we were brushing our teeth side by side. Ayy. Why. Tingin sa lampshade. Tapos `yung tingin n a `yun yung para akong hinuhubaran? Are you insane? Inis na lumayo siya sa `kin. Na para bang nababaliw na `ko! Tapos tumayo na siya na parang walang pakialam. Grabe magkaka-stiff neck ata ako kakating ala sa kanya. Not lower Jeannie! But hey. I hated him! Hindi na siya nahiya sa ayos niya. Geezers. He ripped the magazine off my hands and threw it wherever it landed. But not at him . I lacked sleep. I gritted my teeth. He was silent. He even make it a point to dine with me at night. What! Inis niyang tanong habang hinahanap `yung jeans niya! Yes. `Yun nga lang. I gulped. Inis na humarap ako. Just a bit. Jeans. Some things changed in him after his business trip. But our eyes met th rough the mirror. Ano kayang pinakain kay Julian don? Na-realize niya sigurong mahirap ng makahanap ng isang Jeannette Rose Leviste sa buong mundo. I was a bit tempted. Pero ngu mingiti na rin siya ngayon. But I m tired.
siya naman ang magbabayad. No. Tricia s a part of the past. Hinarap niya `ko. you know. See? He even gave Tricia a very luxuri ous gift! Ako? WALA. There was m y sister. Nakakainis sa inyong mga babae. okay fi ne. Vincent? Hmm. Tapos lumingon ako. Hindi naman talaga masama ugali niya. . Tipong mag-iinarte ka kasi gusto mong lambingin ka niya. Babalik na `ko ng States the day after tomorrow. Mga ka-federation ko ata ang judges. My mouth almost dropped open. It s time. He gave me the creeps. Okay. For the win `yun te! Parang kinikilig na tumingala pa ito. Anong isasali ko? Wala pa nga akong napipinta simula dumating a ko dito. If he would just kiss me and tell me he was sorry then he wouldn t be Julian at al l. Alin `yun baseball bat niyang may nakalagay pang From me to you? YUCK! I don t know. Tapos nanulis `yung bibig ko. I didn t want him to change. Hindi ko gusto `yung ngiting iyon ni CM. I shrugged. Jean let s go. Parang balewalang tumayo ito. He was looking right through me. if I was going to ask for the moon. He si ghed exaggeratedly. Was he treating my sister well? Ngumiti sa `kin si Jean na parang inaassure ako. Then we hugged each other. This Vincent was second on the list. Parang tumaas lahat ng dugo ko sa ulo ko. Jeannie? Tumili siyang lumapit sa `kin. I t was gross to even imagine. sometimes he was an asshole. For me it wasn t even practical eating or even drinking a cup of coffee for how much! Tsk. Hindi ko n a itatanong kung anong o much better sinong nilalapastangan niya sa isip niya. And that guy. Ngumuso ito kay Vincent. Alam mo ba `yung feeling na gu sto mong magpa-amo. blackli sted na. I smirked at him. Ewan ko ba dito kay CM. Tell me you love me and I ll forget you even dated Tricia once u pon a time. Muntik na kong kiligin dun. argh. I frowned. Did you know why Julian s business got a downturn? CM s eyes squinted at their backs. It was a little bit over a month and a half simula ng bukingan portion na `yun. Kung sa bagay. Ang kapal ko naman kung sabihin kun g he was lusting after me. And hey. 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.I pouted. In exchange I gave her a sculpture of Venus de Milo. I glanced at him. She knew CM by the photos I e-mailed to her before. At nauna na kay Jean. I didn t know. I thought he was going to tell me go to hell . Kung buhusan kaya kita ng kumukulong kape? Gusto mo? I smirked. Listen to me sweetheart. Winner! Tumili pa siya. There was something there. Pero `yung Vincent. Anong ibig mong sabihin CM? Nagkita kami sa Starbucks. He sighed. eh kung tutuusin I was my sister s dead ringer. I silently wished as I touched my sister s rounded stomach . Tapos naghikab ako. How rude . Her tummy s five months now. Matino namang kausap `tong si friend. He slowly smiled at me. ang big deal ng nakaraan para sa inyo. Once in a while. I felt a pang of envy. I mean. Paint Julian while sleeping nude. he really was a changed man. Parang nag-init `yung ulo ko. Tricia gave it to me on my 21st birthday. Wel l. That s Tricia s birthday gift to me. CM s brow raised. Because Julian was Julian. I should have been understanding. Pero hello? Kailangan pa bang ipamukha sa `kin na regalo `yun ng ex niya? EX na nga `di ba? Meaning X. Well. But I knew deep down he cared about me. We chat a little for a while. Were rich men born to be airheads? Julian for one. we could indulge in life s luxuries once in a while . You might want to join Jeannie? Seryosong sabi n ito. Two weeks from now may gaganapin g Fine Arts contest sa New York. Sana may baby na rin ako. I m not good with explaining myself. He was eyeing me like.
Hello? Umuwi ka na. Who s her baby s father anyway? Isn t Brad her boyfriend? Parang naguguluhang napatingin ako sa kanya. I giggled. Then my vision became blurry. If ever na totoo man syempre `yung tatay ng anak ko ang gusto kong kasama. Then I slowly peeked at it with one eye. What now? Paano kung igiit pa rin ni Julian `yung baby making contract namin? I was so stupid. Raised my han d then pouted my lips. My phone started ringing. That one s ruthless. Anak ko ito eh. what would happen to me? I couldn t just give my baby up. Who do you think? Mahina kong sabi. Seriously. God. But he didn t tell an ything about us being together forever. He cut the line off. Jean s not like that. May nagbago ba? Nag-pose pa ako. My head was spinning. Bakit ko pa kasi pinirmapirmahan. It had been ab out a month and a half since that night. He changed. I yanked my tee shirt up. You re gross. Siguro may mga v . He shrugged. This tim e he s got his revenge against the Sunicos. So ano? Lalaking bastardo ang anak ko? Hindi ko napansing umiiyak na pala ako. Plus sign. Jeannie? Are you okay? Okay? I groaned. Hindi pwedeng artista Jea nnie. Positive? Malamang Jeannie. My sister s well-informed. I know. We have a flight to catch up. But not as an artist slash actress. Artist yes. Why not? Sa kotse siya nabuo. Ano `yun mga tuta? Basta na lang ipapamigay. You re kidding me. Just like that. TWENTY FOUR I stared at myself in the mirror. Kinakabahan ako habang hinihintay ko ang result ng PT. Akala ko ba nagbago na siya? Mabilis akong tumayo. be careful what you wished for coz you just might get it. I wanted to cry and howl at the same time. Oh. Pero ayoko. Julia I gritted my teeth in anger. Goodne ss. She s one of the cronies of Vincent. I don t know. Could it be? As mommy told me. I hugged my knees to myself. Na-realize kong ang sagwa pala. what do you mean? He shrugged. Ngayon din. Nasulot niya ang mga investors ni Julia n. We weren t even married legally! Dahil nga null and void ang marriage contract namin. I laughed silly at myself. I gasped. He shrugged. I hadn t thought about it.Wait. Pero parang wala namang laman ang tyan ko. Naiiyak na napaupo ako sa tiles. I looked pale. Kaya nga nagtataka ko dyan sa kapatid mo. What? I threw up on him. CM. I was a bit disconcerted about mothers who left their children withou t a by-your-leave. Bakit ako tatanungin mo kayo ang kambal `di ba? Anyway. Siguro magiging car racer anak ko `paglaki. CM even suggested we go to the OB. napakapit ako sa silya. Pinaghirapan ko kaya ang paggawa dito. kelan ba naging negative ang plus sign? Parang nababaliw na sabi ko sa sarili. baka naman na g-eenie mini mynie moe `yang kapatid mo? Sino sa tatlo ang tatay ng anak ko? Sosy al. no. Hindi kaya buntis ka ba? My head swam with all the possibilities. `Yung hikbi ko naging hagulgol na.
alid reasons sila. Hindi ko sinadya `yun no! Gross. he whispered. God. He carried me like a sac k of rice. it was difficult to carry extra pounds for nine months then you d just just Argh. Every woman deserved to be wooed. matter with you? frustrated na bumab a `yung sigaw nito. my God. My mouth dropped open. Ang baho mo kaya. Get away from me! I screamed at him. Julian buntis ako panagutan mo `ko! Baka sakalin ako nito ng w ala sa oras. Para akong masusuka. . I wasn t so sure why I couldn t just tell him right away. Napakapit ako sa PT at mabilis na itinago sa likod ko. I might melt. He groaned. And Jean(pronounced as John) Julian if a he. At `pagsinabing layuan mo `ko ang ibig sabihin lang nun ay pilitin mo `ko. Para akong batang nagpapabuhat. Naawa siguro sa `kin at saka ako niyakap. Juliet Jean if ever the baby s a she. Biglang bumukas ang pinto. Jeannie! If you want to fly to the moon. Sabi ko. Sabi ko lay uan mo nga ako. I said get away Will you just shut up? Para kang loro. fine with me. I would have died. Oi. Hindi ba niya alam na buntis ako? Sumisigaw siya? `Di kaya marinig ng baby `yun? What is the sigaw niya. Tapos pinipilit niyang nila layo `yung polo shirt niya sa `kin. I already love you baby JJ. I wasn t here to sit judgement on them. The grea t Julian Sunico? Parang takot na takot akong hawakan. Go ahead. Hindi ko gusto ang amoy ng pabango niya. Sigaw pa! Napahikbi ako. Well. Nakita kong hindi siya magkandatuto. Then I sniffed his shirt . And I shoved him away from me. Gusto ko siyang makita. We re going Nabitin ang pagsigaw nito. Jeannie! What is wrong with you? Wala siyang choice. At nilayuan nga ako! Didn t he know that when a woman said she hated you it meant she cared about you. Tapos tinampal ko `yung bibig niya. Lalo akong naiyak. Kadiri man halos isubsob ko na ang mukha ko sa bowl. He rolled his eyes ceilingward. I gritted my teeth. Layuan mo `ko! What! I said get away from me! Excuse me? He looked at me incredulously. Masyadong matapang . Disgusted. Napakasama ng ugali niya. Umiiyak na sumuka ak o sa bowl. I smiled and caressed my stomach. I swore I wanted to curse Julian. At mabilis inilayo ang mga braso kong nakataas sa kanya. Ta pos pinunasan niya `yung bibig ko ng basang face towel. Per o naiinis din akong makita siya at the same time. That kind of beast scowl he always had. Bakit ba ayaw tumigil ng mga luha ko? Parang gusto kong maglupasay. Jeannie stop this nonsense okay? Aalis tayo ngayon din. Then I sniffed again. `Yung tingin niya sa `kin `yung tingin na parang baliw na talaga `ko. Ano bang problema ko? What s wrong Jeannie? I saw concern in his eyes. I pouted then tears readily pooled down m y eyes. Parang nanga sim `yung sikmura ko. Tapos Oh. Anon g sasabihin ko. He sighed. Niyakap ko siya. My eyes watered again. Mamayang gabi na `yung fl ight. Mauna ka na! Hindi ako sa sama! He scowled. I shook my head. Tumulo `yung sipon ko. Gosh. Before I could ev en say stop sniggering at me my stomach turned upside down. Napakasama talaga ng ugali nito. Basang basa na ang mukha ko ng luha. It was just that. WHAT! Mabilis nitong inamoy ang sarili. Tapos iyak na naman ako.
how sweet. Biglang naghiyawan ang mga matrona at bakla doon. Kapag idineny ako nito ikakaila ko din siyang tatay ni baby JJ. I hissed and glared at him. The gay who impersonated President Gloria Arroyo patted my husband s rear! Aba. Bumaling ulit ako sa kanya. Buti na lang maingay kaya walang nakarinig ng sinabi niya. expressionless but I clearly saw the way he was looking at me . I beamed proudly. lover boy anong kakantahin mo? I don t know how to sing.Nagtatampo ako kay Julian. He was shaking hi s head. Effective. ngayong umaga lang `yan `pagdating ng gabi bati na ulit kayo. I couldn t just help imagining the devil himself sing ing a love song for me in front of everybody. Sisigaw sana akong asawa ko `yan . Like in a slow motion I turned around. It wasn t one of those sexy grins or even the self-mocking half- . I sweetly smiled at him then turned to the stage. At halos bumaon sa braso ko ang kamay niya sa pagkakahawak sa `kin. Hello Julian Jeannie s just One angry look. Nilayuan nga niya `ko for hours! I called CM on the p hone. Sabay himas sa tyan. going home. iyan ang bunga ng inyong pag-iibigan ni Julian eh. galit na bulong nito sa `kin. Damn. And the re was him! What was he doing here? Napalingon agad ako kay CM. Only if I would get out of here alive later. Are you single? Julian regarded me with intense dislike. Then my smile slowly faded when Julian cracked a slow. Hindi. Na tapat dito ang spotlight. I see. Tumaas `yung kilay ko dun. Kung makatsansing. Ako. no. I sipped the juice. Libre? Julian gave him h is infamous don t-touch-me glare of his. Unf ortunately. he s really sweet. Yes? My husband will sing! CM groaned. Nagkita kami sa isang gay bar kinagabihan. Kaya la ng baka kuyugin ako dun. My. Baby JJ? Excited? Syempre! Of course. Sorry Julian. So is the lucky girl that one? Todo smile ako. Magkaaway kaya kami. Hindi ko hahayaang madungisan ng dugo mo ang baby JJ ko no. I don t know how Pero inakay na siya ng dalawang bakla. Ang masama pa nito ibitin ako ng patiwarik ni Julian m amaya. we need someone to volunteer to sing for us. soft smil e about his lips. Jules kasi CM! Baling ko kay CM. Wala na talagang matinong masabi ito. Then I raised my hand. He teasingly smiled at me. I gnawed at my nails. Oh. Parang nababagot na sabi nito. Tapos ngumuso siya sa likuran ko. Napalingon agad ako. `Yun lang. Parang sinasabing patay ka talaga sa `kin . I was waiting for his response. Napatingin ako sa mga halamang dagat sa stage while Julian kept pulling my arm. Nagpaalam ka bang aalis? I frowned. dear? I smirked. Let s go home. Anyone? I smiled. CM started laughing. Kaya nga nate-tempt na din akong mag-asawa para may kumukulbit na rin sa `kin `paggabi. At tumiklop na si CM. Uh-oh. Julian s eyes grew wide. CM! I thought you re my Ladies and gentlemen. Mamaya. So. Parang nawala lahat ng sama ng loob ko. Am I going to be a godmother. And he loves me so damned much The hell I don t know how to He hissed. Through the dim light his face was arhm. Patay. Syempre gay bar nga eh `di may mga halamang dagat na nagpe-perform. Sus. Bakit may unfortunately pa?! Really? Very unfortunate nga.
It was as if he was talking to me through the lyrics. Eto na. Pero ngayon ko lang na-realize Prince Charming was real. Pero hindi lang pala b ulag ang pag-ibig kung hindi bingi rin. But it was okay with as long as he owned me. No. Leigh Nash sang that song beautifully. God. The gay comedian snorted. a chauvinist. `Yung parang shooting. Nakakahiya lang tul oy. He was really croaking and out of tune. So afraid to take a chance again So afraid of what I feel inside. Our eyes met. 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. I grimaced. Akala ko sa movies lang nangyayari ` to. TIGHTLY. Then he mouthed: I love you. He was rude. O kaya he would tell me Je annie you re my life. Been running from this feeling for so long Telling my heart I didn't need it. near with you. He stopped singing. oh I I need to share every breath of you Oh I. Tapos tumayo ako. His voice was awkward. Yes. At saka ano na lang sasabihin ng mga associates niy a? The CEO was seen singing a love song to his wife. I frowned and winced at the same time. Seriously it was as if he weren t really singing. I thought the world stopped revolving. Not even a one-fourth of any croakin g vocalists. But I need to be next to you Oh I. I don t know how to sing really. hindi pwedeng mag-Careless Whisper dito ha! They left him on the stage. 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. and a very arrogant ass who thought he owned the w orld. eto na `yung moment na maghahabu lan kami tapos magyayakap kami sa gitna ng maraming tao. Hindi ba dapat CM s eyes widened as he was w . you re my every He smiled at me and grabbed my arm. Oh. Buti na lang gwapo siya.smile. Because it was the best song I d ever hear d in my whole life. My eyes got misty. Palapit na siya. It was full of tenderness. Sa totoo lang naiyak ako kasi hindi pala marunong kumanta si Julian. Magpapalakpakan sila tapos kikiligin. Pretending I was better off alone But I know that it's just a lie. Bumaba siya ng stage. Julian cleared his throat and looked about the surro undings uncertainly. At ibang sayaw din ang alam k o `yung `yung walang steps. He wasn t near perfec t. Nagtawanan `yung mga nandun na kala mo kinikiliti.
I gritted my teeth. His left arm was wrapped around my midsection. I woke up and opened one good eye. I remembered watching Nightmare on Elm Street last night. no. I was paranoid. He swore he gasped. hell. Grabe. Mabilis niyang tinignan ang cellphone nito. What happened? Joke lang pala ni God. He did. He was going to be a father without her telling him outright! TWENTY FIVE Disoriented. What baby? Wasn t it ironic? CM would tell him? Didn t he? Jeannie had a baby how? Oh. Suka ng suka na wala namang inilalaba s. He gritted his teeth. Then my stomach got queasy.agging his finger: lagot ka. Mabilis akong tumaas at naglinis `pagkauwi. He felt stripped of his pride. I saw him packing our things. Tala ga bang nagiging spoiled na sa kanya ngayon si Jeannie? He hissed. Naiiyak na subsob na ang mukha ko sa lababo. didn t he? Argh. There. In b ed with a stranger. He shoved me inside his car. Kontrolado nga galit naman. Sumuka ako dun sa sink. Pero nakita niya ang mensahe ni CM. I gasped. God. Mamaya niyan si Freddie na pala `yung katabi ko. Puro gastric juices lang naman ang . Lahat na lang ng gusto nito nasusunod. She was inside the shower room. He even bared his soul to that brat. Ang halos kaladkarin palabas! I tried to smile at everyone. Kahit na nga ba nandito pa rin ako sa r oom ko. He said in a controlled voice. Habang sumusuka ako ay pinapaliguan ko ng mura si Julian sa isip ko. anong tingin niya sa `kin robot?! Julian! Not a word. I pouted. He loved me. This wasn t one of my fantasies. wasn t I? Then my stomach started churning. Narinig niya ang pagtunog ng cellphone nito. Aalis pala kami bukas ng madaling araw. Iti natanong pa ba `yun? THE USUAL. Bugger. I even brushed the tendrils of wavy hair away from the side of his face to make sure. on his stomach. I was covering my mouth and running to the CR. Si Julian nga! Malay ko ba. I sat upright. tell him about the baby. I was naked. Before I knew it. It was so unlike him to snoop into o ther s things. Definitely not Julian! And very much naked! Oh. Para akong naalimpungatan. To God-knows-where. He was sleeping close to me. Kung hindi ako ang magsasabi para matapos na ` yang problema mo. Jeannie. God. he sang a stupid son g he had secretly listening when he was a teenager in front of a crowd. And Julian seemed withdrawn. It was all a dream! Humigpit ang yakap ni Julian sa `kin.
It was only 3:00 am! Sh!t. Isa bang malaking kasalanan iyon? Julian. If his wife didn t look pitiful enough. What! Jeannie may warning na sabi nito. He pulled me close. Swear. Though sadly he s hould understand her. God. I walked on to the lavatory. Na para bang anumang oras ay sasakalin niya na talaga ako. I buried my face into the pillow. I didn t smell bad. in my dreams. I screamed when I felt Julian s arms around me. What was his problem? I got so lazy. Ayokong umalis. Sasamahan na kita. Kakatulog ko lang kanina. She was exasperating. He rolled his eyes ceilingward. Really? You ll escort me to hell? I said sarcastically. I arched my brow. He was wet. nakita ko ang panghihilakbot sa mukha ni Julian. Where are you going? He hissed. God. It was a miracle! Note to self: Magpapaparty ako `pag-uwi namin. He wrink led his nose. Tahimik lang siya habang nakaupo kami sa eroplano. Had Julian taken me to bed? It seemed so. Whatever. And didn t even bother to lock the door. Sasama ka? Inis kong sabi. He brushed the wet hair away from her tear-stained cheeks. pawis. I was robbed of my power. I hate you Julian. What! My eyes watered. She frowned. Was this Julian the stranger in bed. The father of my b aby was traipsing clad with only a towel around his narrow hips. Goodness. Luha. And my what a sight early in the morning. Kung ganito naman ang panaginip I might ask God never to wake me up. Jeannie looked up. Oh. last night? . I specifically reme mbered sleeping on the couch. Sorry baby. My mouth dropped open wide. His hair was dishevele d. Bumukas `yung pinto. Care ko? I pouted and made face. Mamayang umaga pa ang flight namin ng ma galing na lalaki. Inabot nito iyon! I stood up and he wrap ped my arms around his neck. Bakit ba lalaki na lang ang nagpapakasarap at babae ang nagpapakahirap? Why was life so unfair? Uwooo Hawak ang tyan na sumuka ulit. Had God really answered my prayers? Why are you crying? He whispered. In my saner days I would have been also disgusted with myself. she cried. I even scrubbed myself twice. Tapos kapag upo ko sa bowl I started crying like it was the end of the world. Hindi pa rin nagbabago ang expression nito. `Wag nang idagdag ang hindi paliligo nito kanina kahit ano ng pilit niya. Tapos unti-u nti niyang hinahalikan `yung mga luha ko. Tapos bigla kong inamoy `yung sarili ko. Wala sa loob n a bulong ko. kasalanan ng magaling mong tatay ito! Umupo ako sa couch at pinagmamasdan si Julian. for Pete s sake! Julian a no ba! I swore I wanted to punch Julian s handsome face. Jeannie Itinaas ko `yung kamay ko. I haven t had a good night s sleep. Better to wake me up now! I glared at him. Pahikbi lang n ung una tapos palakas na ng palakas. AGAIN? Oh. What was really happening to me? I bit my lower lip and stood up. Ano pang tinitingin tingin mo dyan? Umaga na po prinsesa. I couldn t believe it. To Hell. Her eyes grew wide. Para akong nagl away bigla. I opened my eyes and swore. He shrugged his shoulders. Droplets of water was sluicing down his body. At magtitili. Gusto kong kiligin. God no. Kulang ako sa tulog. 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. May flight pa tayo. Parang tinatamad akong maligo. Okay. sipon. What the hell are you doi Julian s shout seemed to freeze. He didn t really understand how women s minds work.inilalabas ko. I was in bed. Para ba ng wala na akong lakas para bukas. As in. He was sulking because I didn t take my precious bath. He was shouting at me! Na para bang first time niyang gawin `yun Jeannie! Oh. As if he cares! He glared at me. Lahat na.
Na para namang alam ko kung pan o `di ba? Lagi akong nagsusuka if not early in the morning. screamed! God. Ang morbid naman ng mga naiisip k o. Where are you going? To hell. babe I m sorry. Sabi ni Uncle Jin. Nakapaglakad ka ngang mag-isa papunta dito. Kulang ako sa tulog. I was a bit overwhelmed. Sig e pa rin ako sa lakad. Kung paano hindi ko alam. I shook my head and smiled at them. Hindi ba iyon din a ng tinanong ko kanina sa kanya? Julian naman! Just leave me alone! Dumadagundong ang sigaw nito. Argh. Mabilis akong nagmano sa papa ni Julian at sinundan ito. . Bumagsak ang upuan nito. I merely got out of the room. His teeth was grating. So so I should tell him first about about the baby? We were in Morocco for a week. I gasped. Tapos humar ap ako sa kanya. Leave him alone `di ba? Tears streamed down my face. W-wala. Syempre it had been my specialty: lying through my teeth. Tapos tinanggal niya `yung mga kamay ko sa leeg niya. Ano! He shouted no. I thought I thought He looked at me incredulously. My eyes grew wide. I was rooted to the ground. Tapos tinalikuran ako! Grabe. Don t use that on me Jeannie.Saan mo tinago si Julian? bulong ko sa kanya with matching stare-a-thon. Really? Parang sa panaginip ko lang ito nakikita. And Julian s specialty: growling at me! Julian. I pouted. It was Uncle Jin s birthday. My knee s might give out. Sa tanghaling tapat. I almost groaned aloud. He was such a very considerate and loving husband! My eyes watered. Isn t there something you want to tell me? Ha? Parang hindi nagpa-function `yung brain cells ko. Mabilis kong pinahid `yung luha ko tapos tumaliko d sa kanya. Jeannie He hissed. Julian s real dad. Julian! sigaw ni Aunt Risan. Julian was looking intently at him. Tapos tapos bigla na namang kumunot `yung noo niya. And I eve n cried when I saw a chicken being killed. Mukhang baby pa lang manang mana na sa tatay niya. I shouldn t have known that sec ret. Oh. He cracked an indulgently smile at me. Pero iba ito. Paano kung makunan a ko habang naglalakad? Syempre sa sobrang stress ko. Hayaan mo na siya Risan. Maybe bec ause I was just too emotional. I saw Julian s father striding toward us. I was too emo. Tapos tumayo ito. Maglalaslas na lang siguro ako sa banyo. Buhatin mo `ko papunta sa upuan. Sanay akong nasisigawan niya. Are you sick? Uncle Jin asked me once. `Yung smile ko nag-fade. Sasama ka? Galit na sabi nito. I didn t want to swim. Sabi ko. I was so lazy. Tapos bumagsak ako sa floor. Hmm Syempre minsan na nga lang ito lulubus lubusin ko na! Tinatamad akong maglakad. Hindi man lang naawa sa `kin. Ano ba. I clutched my stomach. Then I felt a hand wrapped around my middle. Oo. Jeannie! Sigaw ulit nito. Kung iiyakan ko lahat ng mano k na pinapatay para gawin Chicken Joy baka ipasok na nila ako sa mental nito. He hugged me from behind. He whispered to me and kissed my nape. I bet you re going to be a pig in no ti me at all. He stepped out of the lava tory to the door. Pero hindi ko rin siya gaanong ma-appreciate kasi si baby JJ. Grabe. It won t work unless you tell me what s bothering you! He seethed.
Tapos lumabas na siya. Baka nailagay lang diyan. Second best gift Julian had ever given me. Oh.Then I slapped him hard. But from the looks of it. I painted him for hours with the sunset as the background. Nakatayo. He carried me to his car like a sack of rice. I m the happiest man on earth . Everyone was afraid to come to him. Then he slammed the vase with full force. But said instea d: We re going to have a baby. Nakita ko si Julian dun sa may bandang cliff. We drove off to miles and miles. Because you didn t tell him the truth! He shouted. He wagged me off him. Naamoy ko na ang war of the worlds. Ano `yun? Naglakad lang dito? I opened the big gift. Na parang may kinukuha mula sa katawan ko. I couldn t believe it. This was the best of all the best vacation I ve ever h ad. Ang gandang tignan. The se tting was just like this. And damned if I m not happy! At saka lamang ito ngumiti. What s that? Malay ko. Kapag uwi namin. Ju lian lost control and punched Mr. no. Then I even put a chi ld beside him playing with his kite. Yep. I slowly looked up from Julian s stricken face back to the blood streaming down my thighs. Blood! There s blood on her thighs. They were a bunch of rich people. Walang makapigil dito. I tried my hands on it. Julian just please stay away from here! What? Galit niyang sabi kay Uncle Jin. Sunico in the face. My heart skipped a beat. It was the best thing ever. My eyes grew wide. The pain in my tummy numbed me. Ang sunod na nangyari ang nakapagpatili kay Aunt Risan. As if he owned the world. We heard someone shouting from inside the house. Isn t it Uncle Jin? It s the truth. Sa baba non ay makikita mo `yung dagat. 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. 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. Sa sobrang pagwawala niya ay naitulak niya ako. He whispered. What are you talking about Uncle? That fuucking son of b!tch you call Uncle is your real dad Julian! Para iyong bombang sumabog. The water was crystal blue. Julian froze. Para iyong scene sa isang pelikula. He was lashing out. May dala siy ang mapa. Ah. `Di ba? Hindi talaga nagkamali ang kapatid ko ng pagpili. Aunt Risan screamed. Uncle Jin owned the house. You re drunk. Nakita ko `yung sakit sa mga mata niya. Oh my God. I already know. No no my baby. Syempre baby JJ would always come first. Mukha siyang maglalakad sa death sentence niya. No! Damn you! Hiyaw nito. I fell hard and flat out on the floor. San a forever na kaming ganito. . Naalala ko `yung sa Sisterhood of Traveling Pants part two. He said innocently. Kahit ako. eh `di na-shock ka ngayon? Gusto kong sabihin iyon sa kanya. It warmed my heart. Sunico kay Uncle Jin. I grabbed his arm. Kapag tingin ko sa back seat I was surprised to see a gift. yes. We halted dead in our tracks. You re lying! Julian no! Mabilis ko siyang nilapitan pero ilang beses niyang tinatanggal ang kam ay ko sa braso niya. I sobbed as I felt the pain k illing me. Naiiyak na nilapitan ko siya at niyakap. Pinipilit kong awatin si Julian. I wanted to ease that pain . Hinihintay kong tumalon siya tapos sabihin niyang Yes. I was like really? It was a canvass with all its painting materials. You re not happy.
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. Tapos nung ipapasok na `ko sa loob ayaw niyan g pakawalan `yung kamay ko. Then everything suddenly flashed to my memory again. Kaya k o ng sapakin sa mukha si Julian. Nagtataka ako kung san ko pa nakukuha ang lakas ko. At unang una kong nakita si Julian. Gusto kong sumigaw. hatred won. This time I I m-mean it Finally. That time. Hin di ko alam kung ano `yung tinurok nila sa `kin. Do I look fine? Was losing a baby okay to you? But no voice came out. Two days. He was about to embrace me when I pushed him hard away from me. Even the nurses were calming me down. I st arted sobbing hysterically. Parang iba `yung room. But this time. Jeannie I m sorry. I hate you Julian. They were all there. I missed him and hated him at the same ti me. With the last ounce of strength I pulled my hand from him. As if I were in ele mentary again. `Yung baby ko I cried. Death is quicker.TWENTY SIX I was sent to the hospital. ako ang nasasaktan. I couldn t stand t he sight of him! Get away from me! I shouted. This would be my last day in the suffocating hospital. 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. Tapos biglang bumukas `yung pinto. Emotionally and physically. Basta mabigat `yung pakiramdam k o. Please hang on babe He kept w hispering. Suffering isn t. Jeannie! Nilapitan niya agad ako. Malakas na nga ako eh. `Yun yung naririnig ko. . A blond petite nurse came to my aid. In my blurring vision I saw how defeated he looked. Napataas kilay ko dun. 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. Hindi ko kayang mawala `yung baby JJ ko. Mas ako ang nasasa ktan. Dapat lang! Dapat lang siyang matakot. I didn t wish him to be dead bu t I did ask for him to fall into a ditch. Doc what s happening to my wife? He screamed in fear. My head was pounding. Para akong mamamatay sa sakit. Hindi ko kaya. Hindi niya `ko pinupuntahan. Then the nur ses were speaking in English. I was in and out of conscious but I saw Julian holdi ng my hand as I was rushed to the ER. right. Though my body felt numb. My long overdue speech. My hand flew to my stomach. It s okay ma am you re fine now. I woke up disoriented. I couldn t live with Julian anymore if my baby would be taken from me. Naiiyak na napatingin ako sa labas ng bintana. Magwala.
bakla takot kay Julian! They were even of the same size and height. Tears were threatening to explode again. At ayokong dumating sa puntong hihilingin kong sana hindi ko n a siya nakilala o kaya naman ay mamatay na siya. CM was also there. I hugged the boy. Ano pa bang tinatayo tayo mo dyan? Pasko? Galit na sabi ni Julian. Hinintay niya lang palang maka-re cover ako. Grabe. I didn t spare that bastaard a glance. he whispered and kissed the top of my head when I was exhausted. He was seethin g with anger. Pinipilit niyang hawakan `yung kamay ko. We weren t shou . Julian raised one brow and didn t comment. Kapag uwi namin sa airport ay nakita ko sina mommy. Tantan s mother. Naintindihan mo naman `di ba? I m not going with you. Kung kailan pa nawala `yung baby ko. Ano? Sumigaw ito. Uncle Jin pwede po bang sa inyo na lang ako sumabay? Halatang nagulat ito. That stopped him. Naghihintay na may malaglag na butiki. I smiled at Tantan. What is your problem? Mabilis pa sa alas-kwatrong hinarap niya ako. Ayaw mo? Ingos niya sa `kin. Tapos kinusot ko `yung ilong k o.Diretso na tayo sa airport. Lahat ng sama ng loob ko naipon. Naligo ka na ba? The boy frowned at me. Mabilis itong tumalikod at tinapik ang balikat ni Julian. First time after so many days. Malakas. Luha. I don t have a husband Uncle Jin. I grab bed CM s hand. Niyakap ko siya `yung parang wala ng bukas. Pawis. Pinagpraktisan ko kaya iyon. Ahm you talk to your husband first. 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. You re so selfish! You think only of yourself?! Honey please He combed his hair with his fingers. He wasn t even thinking about our baby? Kung sa ibang pagkakataon baka nagtatalon pa ako at isipin kong ako lang ang inaalala niya. Because Celine. I looked at CM as if I were saying see? I m not going with you Julian. I nodded again. Pero parang ayaw makisama ng loko. Kay Julia n. Ngayon niya matitikman ang isang salita ni Jeannie . I wasn t even speaking in th e airport or on the way back. On a serious note I didn t want to see him. He was such a dear boy. I wanted him to feel the pain. sabi niya. Hindi ako kumikibo. I started crying then. H e mouthed: Are you sure? Why are you still here? Tanong ko kay CM. Good. I could walk. Iyon lang. Sipon. My knees were buckling. But he hugged me. Tapos pi nagsusuntok ko `yung dibdib niya. He squealed. was Julian s half-sister now that the truth was finally set free. Sabi ko. I avoided eye contact. All the things that I was trying to laugh off in the past months. That was harsh I know. My pai n. He bear-hugged me. I even memoriz ed a speech when we meet again. Salitang ilang beses ng nabali dahil kay Julian. Jeannie. Na parang hindi alam ang gagawin. 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. Someone grabbed my arm that moment. Awkward. I gave him the don t-Jeannie-me glare. Ngayon ko lang siya na-appreciate. Tinatanong pa ba kung sino? Nauna na sina Uncle Jin at ang parents ko. Ayokong umi yak sa harap nila. Sabay tingin kay Julian. Hindi mo alam? Na ikaw ang problema ko una pa lang? Galit kong sabi. My hat red ran deep now. Uncle Julian! Mabilis itong lumapit sa Uncle nito. Sabay iling papunta sa direksyon ni Julian. Hija I think you have to talk to him first. Don t touch me! I pushed him hard. I brushed the tears away angrily. kalaking lalaki este. Jeannie listen to me. Nagtitimpi siya alam ko. you know. Lahat na. I m sorry baby. I mean ta ma. I embraced them.
Did he think I was joking? Not on this lifetime. 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. And I cut th e line off immediately. He couldn t haul me anymore to his car sa harap ng maraming tao. Actua lly. He seemed so shock. Isa lang `yung alam ko: I neede d space. Iyo `yan. Yayakapin niya sana ako ng umiwas ako. Grabe. Alam mo `yung feeling na. Sa school supplies section. My baby JJ? JJ? He raised one brow at me. There were times whe n I wanted to call on him. Sheesh. But Julian would always be a part of me. pinag-usapan talaga namin `yun. I just can t. Why did they have to say I love you? Kung magpapaalam lang din naman sila? Friend Hmm? Kumuha ako ng mga baby clothes. Julian I won t go with you anymore. Hindi ito ang napagkasunduan natin. Me. LOL. kung hindi man si Julian eh ako. So the baby was only a joke for him? Sobra na ito! Humihingi ako ng saklolo kay CM through my eyes. Bakit? Hindi pa naman mag-aaral `yang anak mo ah. Ganon kasi ako kapag n ate-tense. Pa-hard to get. Mother knows best talaga. True? Wasn t he just cracking a s tupid joke on me? Parang maiiyak ako sa tuwa na nababanyo. We were in a public place. Meron Tapos lumingon lingon pa. Come on. What are you talking about? I haven t killed the baby! Hindi siya nawala! Nandyan p a rin siya! He even touched my stomach. dalawa na kaming buntis ng kambal ko. shouldn t I? Mom was standing in the middle of the room with Jean.ting. Jeannie naman oh! CM took the baby clothes from my hands. Aminin niyo. In so many words. Baka nga kaisa ko kayo. Julian I won t go home with you anymore. Mahiya naman kami. Sana man lang pinalipas niya `di ba? Wala. Julian who? Inis kong harap sa kanya. Mommy Ewan ko kung bakit parang naintindihan niya agad ako. Galit kaya ako ng time na `yun. Three months! Halos maglilimang buwan na `yu ng tyan ko ni-hoy wala man lang! Okay. Hindi. Julian and the baby. I willed myself to be strong. Si Julian Sinong Julian? `Yung nakabuntis sa `yo. I started crying. Three months seemed to pass without any ado. She hugged me like I were a child again. I d like to cut off your long tongue. About Julian Deadma. may mga taong ganon. Dalagang Pilipina. I m going home with my parents. He mouthed: Hindi ko asawa `yan. Could I survive without him? Of course. I should be happy. There was so much at stake here. Well. didn t he always do that Jeannie? I m leaving you. May gunting ba dito? CM frowned at me. I gasped. Anong akala niya ganon lang iyon? Kiss an d make up? Pakipot ako no. he did call me on the phone. Someone told me that words weren t enough. Jeannie . Na para bang ang sinabi ko ay isang nakakatawang joke . Nakita kong nagagalit na siya. True. Jeannie. Nagpip igil lang. goodbye . 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. I glared at him. lalaki lang `yun. I took my arm from his grip. Grabe ngayon pa lang nami-miss ko na si Julian. This time I was so serious I woul d have knocked my head against the wall. Dati kasi inisip ko how stupid people were . I hissed. He was shaking his head rapidly. Hindi man lang nag-effort na suyuin ako. Away from Julian. Umuwi ako sa bahay namin.
Hindi ako depress. Jeannie Wala akong naririnig I even sent you flowers. Oh. Hindi. I didn t car e. Julian s on the dating scene again. Why. Hindi ako papansin no! Grr.Oh? Gigil kong sabi. Hindi kaya lagnatin ito mamaya? Have we met before? I arched my brow. Why could he be so handsome? I gritted my teeth. Parang narinig kong may sumabog na naman sa Iraq. How I would love to wring his neck. Mamaya talaga bibili ako ng cha kang manika. Dammit Jeannie! Oh. Wala akong narinig. I leaned against the cubicle wall. Hin di ako `yung third party. Like in a slow motion reel film. I put my hands on my ears. CM was really serious! Julian was speaking to a lovel y woman. Hindi masama ang loob ko. I was so bloated. But he did. Listen to me Jeannie Did I really hear him pleading? Oh. Kung pasabugin ko kaya `yung bahay nila Julian? I gritted my teeth. Then he crossed his arm s over his chest. Jeannie honey He looked at my now rounded stomach. Nasobrahan ata ako. Oh. Sig e lang. Gutom ka pa? Lagay pa ito ng lagay sa plato ko. He raised both hands in the air. Saan? Sa puso mo Then he started laughing. Na para bang sinasabing: Ah. However you pin a halo to Lucifer he would always be a devil. I sweetly smiled at him. Hinawakan niya `yung siko ko per o mabilis kong iniiwas iyon. Pinagbigyan na kita these past months. May isang intrimitidang tinignan ako mula ulo hanggang paa. I opened my mouth in a big O. Easy ka lang Jeannie. God. Thanks mister. Pwede mo na akong bitawan salamat . Samantalang ako? I looked like like I ate hungrily. Aaminin ko na gseselos ako. He was such a jerk. Angrily! CM winced at me. si Julian o? Biglang turo ni CM. Baka kasi naghihintay pa `yung date mo. Hindi na naman ako naglilihi ah. Nagrereklamo si Baby JJ. sabi ko at taas noong naglakad ako. Napadpad kami sa Filipino restaurant. My breath got hitched. May mga kamay na biglang umalalay sa `k in. I cou ldn t walk. Si Julian o? I glared at him. Ngumuso ito. thank you. Ang sakit ng tyan ko. I almost slipped off the tiled flooring. Napaatras bigla si CM. I w alked past CM and looked for a restaurant. Nasa basurahan na! What! I can t believe it! Those flowers are expensive! Ano bang gusto mo? Nahihirap . Tignan ko kung san siya tatagal. Nakita ko ang pagpipigil niyang magalit. not Julian Sunico. I shouldn t have looked up. Naniningkit na ang lalong singkit na mata nito. I turned my back on him. Bigla kong nabitawan `yung baby socks. I didn t know why I was pushing him to hi s limits. I went to the comfort room. I rolled my eyes heavenward. I just heard it from my sister. eh `di lumabas din `yung tunay niyang kulay! Stop this playacting of yours. Kasi baka makapatay lang ako ng tao. She looked like a model out of a vogue cover. okay wala ka pa palang pakialam a ng lagay na `yan. I started sniffing while I was inside the cubicle. I started cryi ng. At lalong aaminin kong gusto kong patayin si Julian ngayon din! Those chinito eyes. I saw him controlling his anger. Grabe. You might be mistaken mister. CM s face was devoid of any emotion. Galit na inihirap niya ako sa kanya. Hindi ko napansin sa pagkain ko na pala naibunton ang kung ano mang na raramdaman ko. Jeannie Si Julian at si Wala akong pakialam!!! Tila ata mapapaanak ako ng wala sa oras. Gustung gusto ko na siyang murahin. Kahit nakakahiya man. Just like Julian. Humigpi t ang hawak ko sa tinidor. Papatayin ata ako sa pagkabusog ni CM. I turned around.
I straightened up fr om his arms. Tsk. Ooops. Damn. meaning Oo. The hell I care. What?! I nodded rapidly. Umuwi ka na sa `tin. Siguro kahit papaano hindi rin naman malas ang mga babae. I frowned. Our eyes met. There was unfamiliar warmth in my heart. Magkakalintikan talaga. You didn t even bother to call me to go for me I whispered numbly. Tama. His teeth was grating. Why mommy? Nothing She shrugged. O kaya aatakihin ako sa puso. Nakangiti ako habang nakaharap sa salamin. Not because I couldn t ahm perform for him that he wou ld find somebody available. So like men. Biglang sumipa si Baby JJ! Baby I cooed. Perform meaning do my wifely obligations. Jeannie please It didn t sound like begging to me now. Jeannie are you okay? Bigla ni ya akong niyakap. It sounded like a warning.an na `ko Jeannie He whispered angrily. TWENTY SEVEN I was smiling stupidly in the mirror. So happy with myself. He cupped both of my cheeks. He begged. Parang hindi ako makahinga. Talaga? Talaga. You look hapy anak? Ganyan nga smile. You re trying to do what I wanted. Tsk. Tapos syempre itatanggi nila `yun. Pero may madaan lang na maganda at sexy `yung titigan mula ulo hanggang cleavage na. Bigla a ta akong nagka-asthma. Alam ko talaga. honey . ito na naman `yung sumpong niya. You re going home with me now? On one condition. Nothing more. Kung gusto mo kausapin mo He smiled at me in dicating that I was jealous? Hell no! At saka bakit? May lalaki bang umaming nang angaliwa sila. Why not? He glared at me. Hindi pa lang siguro niya alam. nagmana ito ng tantrums sa daddy niya. Ligawan mo muna ako. Gumagalaw na ba `yung apo ko? Mommy looked at me from head to toe. Ayoko. Ni-lock niya! Nahihirapan?! `Yung delivery man `yung naghirap. Sinabi niya sa `king `wag ka munang guluhin at Mommy what?! Biglang nawala `yung pagka-asthmatic kuno ko ah. I was Angelina Jolie s missing twin sister. Baliw na ata ako at hinihintay ko ngang gu malaw ulit ito. Nako. Ay. God. Don t touch me. You re dating somebody else. Tapos hinimas ko ulit `yung tummy ko. Makipag-date ka kahit sinong gusto mo. Weren t the roses red and violets blue? Oh. I ve got someone on the side when you re busy. honey listen to me I did call you many times. Gumagalaw `yung baby ko! It was amazing how God could implant a living soul within us. Napansin kong naka-lock na pala `yung pint o sa CR. Oo. Mommy really did that? I know she was just p rotecting me. hindi lang pala feeling `yun. Then what? She s a foreign associate. no more like begged me to stay away from you for awhile. At least then you won t pester me anymore! He gritted his teeth. Okay. Hindi ikaw! I was trying to do what you wanted. Hey. Yo ur mom talked to me. She asked me. Don t tell me. I felt like the most beautiful w oman in the whole world. Bakit ba hindi ko mapigilan ang reflexes ng sarili kong reaksyon! Something gripped me from within. Naks. Kahit magpakasal ako ulit? My eyes grew wide. At ginawa mo naman! I glared at him. Do you agree with mommy? Sumipa ka ulit baby para twice. San ka pupunta? . For the second time I heard the great Julian Sunico pleading. Bad vibes. Pero wala talaga. I would have laughed silly if anyone just blurted out: Hey. Itinaas niya `yung baba ko.
The moron was standing there looking so smug like he owned the world. I gritted my teeth. I just stared at him. Oh. What the hell are you doing? He hissed. Jeannie He wasnow gnawing his nails. Naiiyak na ko. Nakakahiya naman `di ba? Ngayon pa kami magliligawan kung kailan naka-bingo na. He loves me. Nanlalaki ang mga mata nito. Na parang sinasabing: Oo. He smiled sheepishly. At saka I pouted. Dahil galit ako. After clearing his throat he put the news clipping away. Sabi niya pupuntahan niya daw ako ngayon. Sheesh. O baka gut feel ko lan g. Why was it that every time I thought everything was going to be perfect it would al l turn out to be worst than I expected? Why did Julian have to hurt me many many more times before he would see my worth ? Hanggang ilang beses pa ba? I was feeling and acting crazy I know that. Jeannie! Oh. Mommy. he lov es me he Lalong tumaas `yung kilay ko dun. He should have bought me those wi th thorns. Sabi ko. nakakaawa ka . There was a couple cap tured kissing. Bummer . Picture kaya ni Ju lian `yung tinititigan ko nung time na `yun. Oh? Ito lang pala eh. `Yung ngiting halatang may itinatago. H e owned me.Going to watch TV. At si CM nga ang masangsang na amoy na iyon. Mabilis na binitiwan iyon nito . What are you Napatingin ito sa dyaryong hawak ni CM. I m way past that stage. Jeannie! I frowned. Ang arte ko no? Ang drama ko. Narinig ko `yung pagkatok sa pinto. Hey. I gritted my teeth in anger. Basta ang mahalaga I was way too happy to bother with the problems of the world. I was just wait ing for Julian to drop by. Ewan ko ba. No mom. Last petal. didn t he? For five million pesos! He slowly gave me that charming. CM ano `yan? Ito? ah wala. CM! Mabilis kong kinuha `yung dyaryo sa likuran niya. Honey. sexy smile. Judas s kiss. Mommy volunteered. are you ok ay? He kissed the side of my mouth. it might be Julia She was already out even before I could finish what I was going to say. Humigpit ang kamay ko n g kinuha ko ang bouqet. Whatever. No! Napataas `yung kilay ko dun. What the hell was CM doing here? Again? Hindi kaya ang masama pa nito siya pa maging kamukha ng anak ko. CM just excuse Ako na. Nakatingin lang sa `kin si CM. Yes. Pero umandar na naman `yung pagiging psychic ko. Dahil naiiyak ako. Twice. Ah no. I could smell something fishy. I picked one stem from the bunch of flowers. Then I slowly gasped. Damn him. What s this? I didn t know why my heart started hammering wildly. Alam ko gasgas na `yun. I smiled at him. It was a major no-no! Hindi hindi si I saw CM nodded rapidly at me. I was so mad I was going to explode. tanga. CM avoided eye contact with me. There was something wrong here. Mabilis kong binagsak ang mga roses sa sahi g. I stepped on his peace offering! Once. I winced at her. I was exploding! I hated him. I was rooted to the ground. he said and handed me a bunch of red roses. 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. he loves me not. You always make me up just to put me down. Mommy smiled at me. Who are they? He winced. Thrice. God no. Ay. Wala lang baka kasi kung ano pang makita mo maging kamukha pa ng apo ko. Ano `yan? Balewalang tanong ko. Too achingly sweet.
Then suddenly my stomach contracted. Oblation sa UP. I gasped. baby I just miss you dad. Without arms to wrap around you. I quickly pushed him off me. I start ed sniffing. it s me. Look at him. My stomach started contracting violently. Mero n. Mahina ang kapit ng b ata. Hindi ko ginustong maging character sa fairy tale books na kinukulayan ng mga bata. I didn t need Edward Cullen to be Bella. My friends cried over my sho ulder. I never asked for a perfect relationship. Kung memory storage lang ang puso hindi ba pwedeng . I whispered furiously. I was like are you okay ? Sympathetic. Maybe acceptance would eventually set me free. `Wag na lang. But seriously. Nag-panic ako. I whispered. They cursed their jerks of a boyfriend. He might see your worth when you re gone. Pero hindi ako naniniwala don. Magbabati. Mag-aaway. Or b etter yet my soon-to-be baby JJ. 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. I just needed time off alone. Walang taong ganon no. No stress. I was too emotional. Will you just get out? Out of my life Julian. The doctor told me that I should get some rest. it was all true . Pero hindi ba secretly all the girls i n town wished that? Deep down even if how many times we deny it. Couldn t just Julian see my worth? Sabi nila: iwanan mo na `yung taong hindi ka naman kayang pahalagahan. Argh. No amount of gentle words could ever mar the pai n. I was out walking that night. There was no point denying the obviou s. Oh holy sh!t. Arms wrapped around my rounded middle. If you still don t sense that well too bad for you. Grabe. 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. K ung totoong lalaki nga lang siya baka babae na ang tumakbong hubad para dito. Malakas kaya kapit ko ka ya for sure dapat mana sa `kin si baby JJ. Kahit ilang beses mong marinig ang salitang tanga mapa-english man `yan o ibang lenggwahe. Drunkard on the street! Papalag sana ako. Ooops. Eeeh. Iyon ang sabi nito. I opened my mouth in disgust! Napapagod na `ko sa `yo Julian. Gumala w si baby JJ! Sorry. nadaig mo pa si Ri zal . we couldn t love someone who s faultless. Bakit hindi? I always described them as: STUPID. All in capital letters. Magmamahal an. Kailan bang mawala ka pa? What if dun ka masaya? Would you fight for him or let go? My whole body was rocking violently. Lagi na lang kami ganito. Pero ngayon ko lang na-realize. Get out!!! I hissed. He was all big aherm I mean he was almost perfect. Why not? Because I d never been bitten by the love bug before. Teka. They wept. Hindi ba malamig naman talaga kapag December? Ano bang formula sa pagmu-move on? Pano ba `ko magmu-move on lalo na kung wala n aman talagang closure? I started sobbing. 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. Kung dati tinatawanan ko lang `yu ng mga taong na-iinlove sabay sabing ay saludo ako sa `yo teh. Hindi naman ako magpapagod. I didn t have to be Princess Fiona to have the likes of Shrek. I m outta here. Jeannie.at binigay sa`kin. Tea rs were blinding my vision. You couldn t just stop your idiot of a heart from beating for that pers on. It was a cold night in December. But he wasn t anywhere near human. SANA. Pwede na nga akong magsulat ng Dear Ate Charo dito. Was baby JJ sensi ng anything? Jeannie He took hold of my arm. Nakaupo ako sa may bench. He was made to be perfect.
Lalaki ako. don t you? Kayong mga babae. Pano ko siya hindi maririnig s a sigaw niya? I didn t try to be the hero you want me to be babe. But my hips already bumped into the flooring. I slipped off the pavement but I anchored my elbow so my stomach wouldn t fall head-on. Akala mo ba lahat ng lalaki gustong maging prince charming? No. Specifically without me in your life . Jeannie! Damn you! Julian I was crying like a child. Naiiyak na suminghot ako. I d even tell you outright that yes. Surely surely he wouldn t want to Argh! Not here. He put it on his heart. Gah. My eyes grew wide. I saw the picture on the news clipping! Okay.mag-erase? What are you doing here? I hissed and tried to take his arms away from me. At kung ibababa mo pa `yung kamay mo malalaman mong tao ako. I was real babe. I ll admit. He could be a very green monster you know. He caressed my stomach and I could feel him from behind me. Damn you! You always scare me. Okay. clutching his arm tightly. Argh. Lillian kissed me! I didn t kiss her for Pete s sak e Jeannie! Are you listening to me! I started crying. Trying to make everything okay and light. Now I was getting stup id. You saw that one. Syempre financial supp ort is always open mmmkay? Let s just go on separate ways. I could never be anyone s prince charming. I didn t ever wonder now why I couldn t exchange him with Shrek. Julian you can visit baby JJ anytime you want. Julian s face softened. defending himself. I was so pathetic. Please come back to me honey. My eyes grew wide . I screamed. baka iniiisip niyang kulang pa sa daliri si baby JJ kaya pwede pa naming buuin. Tapos mabilis niyang itinaas `yung dress ko. You are all warmed u p and kept on talking about baby JJ s future. I paused. Amoy al ak. Jeannie listen to me there were music and candlelight dinner s here. Thank God there was no blood. But he wasn t that bad. You re still the father and I can t de prive you of that. Aren t you hurt? Let s go the nearest hospital and So tinititigan niya lang pala kung may dugo `yung thighs ko. Not some hypocritical character of some fancy novel. His voice held warning but his touch was g entle as he brushed the tears away from my cheeks. Onc e you ve said your piece you had it all figured out that you re right when in fact y ou re wrong. galit na sabi nito. He whispered. Feel this He hissed and took my hand. Julian this is a public place! Kahit na nga ba walang ta He looked at me incredulously. Was he nervous? . Bakit ba napaka-clums y mo?! Sigaw nito. Here he was. You don t want to listen to me. Sssshhh I m here baby. Paano kaya kung magkaanak din kami ng tatlong Julian? I shivered. That w as rubbish. Jeannie Don t worry about him I ll try to be the best mother I can be. Had he just said okay?! He was such a cad. Tapos galit na tinanggal ko `yung mga kamay niya. He was all lean and strong. Sabi nito. Malay ko ba. He wasn t really begging but his voice wa s a mere whisper. Nang muntik na akong matapilok. Shut up. It was just fine with you? I whispered brokenly. Mabilis akong nasalo ni Julian. I was a bout to run from him. Anong gusto mong sabihin ko? Sigaw nito. Or even an orchestra. I was quite fascinated. His adam s apple bobbed up and down. Jeannie What! What you saw in the news isn t real. Makinig ka sa `kin. He gritted his teeth. Green Monster. Bulong nito. My eyes were watering. I ve lusted for y ou since day one. He had been drinking! Malamang amoy alak nga eh.
Sheesh. He looked at me. There are and will be times that I can t make you feel special because because I wan t to shout at you. Sumbong kay daddy. My professor in Psychology once said. take note: in chorus. Kahit wala naman talagang nakakatawa. we started arguing from our pony tails down to our crushes. Dahil sa tingin na ganon. when Jean and I were ready to rip e ach other s head s off our shoulders. But that would be a joke. to sh ut up. Masarap gumawa ng ba by. he shrugged. growl. Nah. Pero mahirap magpalaki ng baby. He chuckled nervously. At kami rin. TWENTY EIGHT When I was a kid I was bothered with my parents petty quarrels from the spilled j uices down to the wet home slippers on the bathroom. It was flowing freely. Nakikisigaw na din si mommy. I could tell you that I know a lot about women. That will be the best lie ever. Pero we couldn t ask for a sain t. I believed that there s one woman who can make a man a one-woman-man. 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. Jean and I started growing up. Bakit ba eh. On a serious note . At your stupidity and silliness. Er r.I could be any man and tell you I love you every day. Aba. Men were born to be polygamous. `di ba? Hindi masaya ang buhay kung magtititigan lang kayo. Julian. Not that I told you to tolerate their being babaero . I can t just boom. 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. 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. Bakit ba hindi? Daig ko pang kasama si Hitler. I had gone to Heaven then back to hel l. Siguro kaya maraming nabubuntis ng maaga n gayon. Hindi nga ba t mahirap magpalaki ng mga magulang? In the three months I came back to Julian. Because no man eve r did. Jeannie! . Really looked at me. As if we didn t have the same face. change for a day just because you say so. Just kidding. Jeannie! I heard that shout. You re the next best thing that happen ed to me. Big tim e. Married life was never perfect. Tapos kapag sila nag-aaway they d both tell us. But this is me.
Jeannie kapag hindi ka Ano? Anong gagawin mo?! Sigaw ko. Humikbi ako. Of course. Galit akong tumayo. In the middle of the night. But not cold treatment on his part. This was damned serious. Oh. More gentle this t ime. May bago ba? I gritted my teeth and then groaned. Napaupo ako sa kama. Sana kahit `yung kontra na lang natin o titulo ng bahay niyo `yung tinapon mo Hinahanap ko nga kanina. Can t you be more endearing and and I gritted my teeth in anger. Tapos nag-tremble `yung lower lip ko. Because of Julian. Julian wouldn t hurt me at least physi cally. Tears wer e pooling in my eyes. Jeannie nasan `yung mga lumang folder sa cabinet? He said. clean. To the closet. bulong ko. God. My mouth dropped open. and walke d across the room. I was pregnant and he was what? Shouting at me. I started sobbing. Alin don? `Yung tirahan ng mga b ukbok? Ah. I pushed him hard away from me. Kaya pala bumenta ang punchline na you re cute when you re angry . Help me? Papatayin mo ba talaga ako Jeannie? He whispered furiously. Hoho. I just helped you hiccups. Nauubos na pasensya ko. I cried louder . hiccups. Anong pakialam ko?! Walan g utang-na-loob! Ingrato. Oh-k ay. Pero I could even h andle Julian shouting at me when he was mad. My. Goodness. He glared at me. Dream. His voice held warning. Binasa mo ba? Kung hindi ka namakialam at binasa mo Hindi. I took out all my clothes. He turned around slowly. Julian naman oh. Nabilang ko pa talaga siya. Kapag hindi na ako pwedeng bumalik sa New York makasali na nga lang sa starstruck dito. Survive. He looked like he was ready to wring my neck. 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. Grabe. Alam mo `yun? Palpak eh. Narinig kong naglagutukan `yung mga buto niya sa knuckles. Jeannie! I know you re not asleep. God. the mess in your study room. Winner! He sighed exaggeratedly and tilted my head up. Mas mahalaga pa ba ang binubukbok na folder na `yun?! I stood up with chin in the air. My tears stopped immediately. Even when stressed. I shivered. Nanlisik bigla `yung mga mata ko. Okay. Hindi naman ako masokista no. Julia He raised one finger as if saying don t talk to me . Na para bang nagsisisi siyang pinabalik niya pa `ko di No. Julian s face softened. Pabalibag kong binuksan `yun. Jeannie naman Parang stress na stress na sabi nito. I heard him sigh. Hmm Jeannie. He brushed the locks of hair away from his face. Ayan. I closed m y eyes tightly. `Wag ka na lang gumalaw. chest out and protruding stomach out. Bummer. Napangisi ako.I hadn t heard a word. . God. Pakiabot nga `yung bag. We were really screaming. Bull s eye. EVER.. Tapos sinabog ko ng onti `yung buhok ko. That rooted him to the ground. Damn you! Where did you put the documents? He was now shouting. Bakit siya mags isisi? `Di ba dapat ako? I slowly smiled at him. How dare him! Naiiyak n a talaga ako. Nanulis `yung bibig ko.. An g gwapo talaga ng asawa ko. Gigil na ibinato ko `yung unan. I swore I took three steps backward. Believe. `Yung tipong buk as pagsisisihan ko kung bakit nagkalamat `yun. Right on his face. sniffs. Alam mo Jeannie hindi na uu bra sa `kin `yang arte mong `yan. I just helped yaya Oreng clean his study room. I said in a cold tone. Tinanggal niya `yung unan sa mukha ko. JEANNIE! I put the big pillow over my head. He was now scowling. tinapon ko na lahat `yu WHAT??? Oh. Have I awakened the beast in him agai n? Tumaas `yung kilay ko. Without a word he turned his back on me and walked toward the door.
Naiyak akong lalo. Next to Andres Bonifacio. Mababanyo daw ako! Tapos sumasakit `yung tyan ko. Na nakataas pa ang sanda ta niya ha. And ugly . A ng bigat ko na nga ang bigat pa rin ng bag ko. He put me down on t he bed. Uuwi na talaga `ko. W ell. Nung unang try. Err. Napaupo ako sa may gilid ng pinto. He winced. In my eyes only. Three months was like applying for sainthood. Tumaas `yung kilay niya. Syempre I ll tell you you re the most beautiful woman in the world. I was so big. My mouth turned into an indignant O. My nose w ere stuffed with you know. Epic fail. Parang batang sabi ko sa kanya. LOL. My eyes were bloodshot. He chuckled. Delikado sa daan. He sighed. Nag-bounce `yun mattress. . I d start on my diet aft er I give birth. Why did it hurt like this? Manganganak na ba ako? Julian! I tapped his shoulder. Tapos tumigil pa ako sa may pintuan. Binuhat niya `ko! Napakapit akong bigla sa leeg niya. I wra pped my arms around his neck. Kaya hindi muna pwedeng gumawa ng Baby JJ the second . Loud. I thought I was dreaming. Oh. I felt his arm snaked behind my back the other one was under my thighs. Lalo akong naiyak. It felt so good to be in his arms like this. Tapos pinilit niya ulit akong buhatin. Papatayuan ko na nga ng monument itong si Julian. I pouted. I winced as the contraction was violent. Sabi ko. aum. He nodded rapidly. Sheeeshhh he kissed my swollen lips. Uncontrollable. Sabay kaming nagkatinginan. Naramdaman kong lumuhod siya sa harapan ko. ito namang si Julian masunurin! Hmp.Tapos tapos inabot nga niya! Galit na binato ko lahat ng damit don. He smirked then snorted. Do you know what sound you emit when y ou snore? I don t snore. Atapang atao di at akbo. Sabi kasi ng doctor bawal daw akong mapagod. 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 . You want me to lie? I hissed at him. Thank my failing eyesight for that. He kissed the tip of my nose. Samantalang ako naman a ng may katawan. Par a akong hippopotamus. He snorted. Siya kaya ang manganak! Puro lang siya pasarap tapos magagalit pa siy a sa `kin? Well. Grr. Oo. Hindi ka naniniwala? Galit kong sabi. he couldn t carry me anymore. The spasm overtook all consid eration. Mapapagod nga ako. Te ll me I m beautiful. Tapos hinampas ko siya. I was all set. Like this: oiiink oiiiink I gritted my teeth. He rolled his eyes ceilingward. Monster! I looked like Princess Fiona now. Kaya siguro ayaw niya na sa `kin. I opened my mouth i n disgust. For the likes of him. I even saluted him for his control. You do. Naiiyak na naman ako. Goodness. Eh. Ngumisi ito. God. N a parang naghahanap ng milagro sa kisame. Uuwi na `ko sa parents ko. stop crying please it won t do any good to our baby. these past months we hadn t ahm . I started sobbing like that of the child s. Bakit kaya hindi ako ang tanungin ni Julian? Baka ang sagot ko ay Oo. Tapos ta wa. Walo na. Bukas na gabi na eh. I almost screamed when I turned to find myself lo oking back at me in the mirror. Nakakainis talaga. As in BIG. Babe. Anong ginagawa mo? What do you think am I doing? Hinihingal na `ko. I was so big and round.
Julian squeezed my hand. Pero sa mga panahong iyon. I m sorry. But he didn t know w here had gone awfully wrong. You have to choose between your wife and the baby. He was inside in a flash. I we lost our very first baby.He groaned. 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. Can t you just take care of my wife first? Galit na sabi ni to habang may inaabot na fill-up form. Julian no save baby JJ. Ayos na din ang room ni baby JJ. But goo dness gracious I hadn t expected him this soon. I kissed her on her sweating forehead. Gusto ko ng magwala at magmura. He would ha ve cried and fainted at the sight of Jeannie in pain. Hindi matanggap ng utak niya kung ano mang medical theory ang sinasabi nito. The pain was killing me. God. In his saner days he would have given co nsideration and credit to their profession. The pain was overriding a ll sense of logic from me. I was bleeding profusely. What do you mean? Sigaw niya dito. You can talk to your wife she s in and out of consciousness. I took Julian s hand. He shouted for the maids to come upstairs. I didn t know where they were taking me. She would hate me. Not that tears made men weak. She opened one eye. Didn t saying sorry was the worst word ever in w omen s vocabulary? Well. Galit na sinuntok niya ang pader. Magulo. Pity. His Jeannie and baby JJ. After knowing all complication of pregnancy decisio n has to be taken whether to allow the pregnancy to continue or not. Bawat segundo ay nagdara sal siya para sa mag-ina. he coul dn t afford to lose Jeannie. Must have been reflex action. Na tatakot. His precious Jeannie. the doctor gave him that look. Parang nanlamig ang katawan niya. Ju lian my baby she started hiccupping. But we have to hurry. he knew. Nagmamadaling binuhat niya si Je annie. Tired and lost. I was in a state of panic How could I? I was only eight mon ths on the way. Julian I clutched at his shirtsleeve. We didn t know how we arrived at the hospital with just the two of us. That was what the doctor had said. Pleas took my hand. He drove his Porsche while I was panting on the passenger seat. But I couldn t stop the fight. All I know was that I was very. Buhat niya ito habang kinukuha ang susi ng sasakyan sa drawer. Hindi siya relihiyosong tao. Umiiyak. Or else they ll both die. He even promised God of a lifetime of rectitude. Everything was all set. There was something wrong. . I closed my eyes. Pero wala siya sa katinuan para gawi n iyon! He couldn t praise them if they couldn t save Jeannie God. It was as if I was torn apart. He didn t want to cry. Why was this happening to them? Mabilis siyang pinagsuot ng hospital gown. very frightened. It was an either-or proposition. She kept pleading while squeezing his hand. No Numb. Save my baby. Maingay. I started crying. Julian! What? Manganganak na ata ako. Nagkakagulo. I wanna die. And dammit. Jeannie oh. I tried to crack a reassuring smile through my labored breaths. With blood all over her th ighs. Julian and baby JJ was rooting for me. Remember this I love you both. It was just that he should be the pillar of strength for Jeannie. Sumisigaw na ito. I op ened my eyes again. Nagkakagulo sa bu ong bahay. Only o nly HE would spare Jeannie. never letting go. Dammit. My mind kept telling me: I couldn t stand the pain anymore. He tried hard to calm his nerves. As cause of preterm is known. He took the matters into hi s own hands. Bullsh!t. His breath got hitched. he could have said not his .
Lagi nilang sinasabing ang lahat ng bagay ay may rason. I could have jumped with joy even with my stitches on. It had been two months since then. He would rock me to sleep and kiss the top of my he ad. I was immersed in finishing the painting I had sta rted in Morocco. Tama. I could have Julian and it would be perfect. But in the best of circumstances. Nababa lutan ng sakit at galit ang logic ko. Someone was hugging me tight I couldn t breathe. I could have kissed him o n the lips. You go eat without me. Hindi nga ba gasgas na `tong ganitong pakiramdam? You felt like crying but still gave the world a smiling fvcking face . Till my breath would be sucked out of me. Pero ano ang ginawa ko? Minura ko siya. Gusto ko ng mamatay. yes. How was that? Jeannie Julian smiled at me tentatively. Kasi nasasaktan ako. It wasn t his fault. He was also his. So. Malulungkot `yung baby mo kung ganyan ka. Gusto ko sanang sabihing nananady a ka ba? But said instead. I shrugged my shoulders. Gusto kong ako ang intindihi n nila. I rolled my eyes. Gusto ko ako ang unawain nila. bakit pa niya ibinigay sa `kin k ung kukunin niya rin lang naman? Jeannie kakain na tayo I didn t look over my shoulder. Bulong ko. Bulong ng kakambal ko. I know I was playing at being the self-centered b!tc h. Mommy smiled and waved at me. And God s. What do you want to eat? Anything. Hindi lang akin si Baby JJ. I remembered that one morning I woke up. I asked her with my eyes. I even asked HIM many times why. I should have been more understanding. Hindi mo ba naisip na I know it would be t oo cliché to tell you this. Ganyan nga. I even told him h e killed our baby. Unti-unting humarap. Ayokong umunawa. the one I had done right the first day I told Julia n we were going to be a family. Hindi ko alam kung kailan `yun nagsimula. I followed her to the lanai . Oh. I felt her beside me. I wasn t crying. Motherhood is the best fulfillment a woman could ever have. Life. At gusto kong ibalik nila sa `kin si Baby JJ ko. 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. Nandun silang lahat sa may gilid ng pool. Ayoko ng makaramdam ng ganitong . 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.TWENTY NINE We couldn t have everything we wanted in life. Even CM went home to see me after joining the co ntest in New York. Before I thought love was all there was. Tumayo ako para wala ng pagtatalo. Jeannie stop this to yourself and Julian. Hindi ko gustong sisih in si Julian. Should w as the operative word. How ironic. Pero hindi nga ba hindi lang pala love ang mahalaga sa mundo. Pero napapagod na `kong magsalita k ahit wala pa naman akong sinasabi. I stopped crying the day Julian told me: I love you Jeannie that I d choose to live without our baby than you. I didn t want to wake up because I knew the pain was there. Pinalayas. Pinili t kong pagalawin ang muscles ko sa panga.
Give me baby Czarina Nagkatinginan `yung dalawa. At uhaw sa pagmamahal. Ui. These past months napapansin kong kahit saan ako p umunta somebody was with me. Ah nothing. Tuyot. I looked at CM. Ni hindi ko man lang nakita kung pa ngo ba `yung baby ko. Can you hold her for me? she hesi tantly asked CM while looking at me. I forcefully took the almost seven month old baby. goodness. But funny I did. She was smili ng at me. Why are you alone? Lalong tumaas `yung kilay ko. Siguro. Months had passed. I glared at him. At one point I even blamed Julian. Why not? The Jeannie I know so well would be dead by now if she didn t talk even a minute. Nung panahon g iyon. We merely talked anymore. I couldn t even go to the nursery room. In short. Missed him shouting at me. I was out in the garden alone. Kung may potential future child star ba siya? I didn t even get to hear him or her wail and kick. beautiful. Well. may tawag dyan eh. do you know that there was another exhibit? This one s the big event of the yea r. I shouldn t be surprised when an arm drew me closer. I looked away and met Julian s eyes across from us. Minsan nga natatakot na rin ako sa sarili ko. Kung makatili naman kala mo ambulansiya. Tapos na ang christening. Our loss. Ako ba? O siya? I suddenly missed him. I was too selfish to even ask him if he was also in pain about the loss. He shrugged. Magsasalita sana ako ng dumating si Jean. Pero somehow along the way we became more of strangers than lovers. Ano ha? I started cooing sounds. D ragging me to God-knows-where. Hey. Nakunan lang ako para na akong nagkaroon ng mga bod yguards. CM winced at me. Pwede ba CM! Kung sa bagay kung magpapakamatay ka mas maraming magiging masaya. Karga niya si baby Czarina. I know that painting has been your outlet after t he He cleared his throat. I would very much like that. What? I asked impatiently. What s with you people? Inis kong sabi. Oh. He became gentler.. Maalaga. Pano kung mabaliw ako? Paano kung manguha na lang ako ng bata at angkinin kong anak? God. Sana pinili na lang niya si baby JJ kung ganito rin lang kasakit. Baka lang gusto mong sumali. But I started doubting about the future. Wala akong pakialam kung nandun man siya o wala. To the point na kulan g na lang ay suutan niya `ko ng panty. Tignan mo nga k ung pano paglawayan ang asawa mo. Jeannie! Tumaas `yung kilay ko. Anong akala mo sa `kin? Tatalon ako dyan sa pool? Hindi naman kaya lang sabi kasi ni Julian kausapin daw kita at baka Baka magpakamatay ako dito? Gigil kong sabi. It was almost unbearable. Jeannie? Hmm? . That was so pathetic. Nagtataka nga ako kung naglalakad na ng nakahu bad mamaya `yan eh. Tigang. Alam mo te. kulang ka lang sa dilig. The people were everywhere in our house. The same spark was still there. Siguro okay na `ko. He just snored and let me cry on his che st. He didn t say a thing. But something along the way changed us. It was only my sorrow t hat was important. He cleared his throat and looked away. Napalingon ako kay CM. At lalong ayokong makakita ng mag-ina.. I didn t doubt my love for him. Umiiyak agad ako first thing in the morning.sakit. Yes. There was sudden warmth that I hadn t felt in ages months now. He wa s still the same handsome devil I fell in love with. Pag-umpugin ko kayang `tong dalawa ng `to? Sheesh. Ano bang tingin nito sa `kin? Kikidnappin k o anak niya? God gave me mercy. I gritted my teeth. Nakatingin lang sa swi mming pool. Ano pa nga ba. And life itself. It was so unfair.
Then he slowly smiled. S he beamed up at CM as if saying: Maitim pala ha. Naiiyak na naman ako. Didn t really care.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. Kung dati kung pwede lang na ibulsa siya ay ginawa ko na pero ngayon? The silence stretched between us. Napatiti g ako sa niece ko. Nakita ko si Julian na papalapi t. Syempre inaanak ko ata `yang si Czari na no. What are you talking about? Uh-oh. Jeannie! Narinig kong ibinigay nito kay CM ang bata. You are acting so cowardly! Ikaw lang ba ang nasasaktan?! His hand gripped my arm so tight it hurt. He covered his mouth. Mabilis ko siyang tinalikuran. He was cooing and tucking her like he was the r eal father. Ayoko nga sanang pumayag na maging best m an. My heart was beating wildly. Then the baby started making gurgling sounds. Jeannie give him a second chance. I need you. Hi having a great time? He awkwardly said. Julian was waiting at the front step of the entrance. She ll be as beautiful like her ninang. Even CM was wailing! Jeanni SHUT UP! Nag-chorus pa silang dalawa ni Julian. baby pa nga? Ang itim pa ni Czarina! CM! Sigaw ko. ang beauty ko pang-alalay sa kinakasal? I should have been you. A hand grabbed mind. I didn t even consider his feelings. Julian told me not to say that he s going to prop I didn t say anything. Oh. As in. Pero maganda pa rin. Let me see her oh. His eyes were uncertain. I couldn t afford to see them. Tears were already streaming down my face as I turned away. I heard the engine of CM s car out of the driveway. Gah. Jeannie! Bakit mo `ko sinisigawan? Sigaw ko. Will you stop running away like a coward! I stopped dead in my track. I m thinking about joining the contest CM. . Just kidding. I didn t want to be with Julian in the same car. Hindi ko pinansin ang paghabol sa `kin ni Julian. Down there on his crotch. Night CM. very dark. ano bang silbi ng reproductive system mo kung hindi mo naman gagami tin? I hissed at him. Mas pinili kong sumabay kay CM sa sasakyan. Tapos papakipot muna ng onti. beautiful chi ld. my God. Kaya tumalikod na lang ako. But the sorrow kept persisting with every thoughts of what could have been. Pati `yung luha ko parang nag-freeze. Can I hold her? He took the baby from me gently. Jeannie! Oh my. He was really shouting at me! Then CM gasped. Bata pa lang matalino na. very good girl. I raised one brow at him. Umiiyak ang baby. Napanganga ako dun. the brid Oh. Emotionally. Oh. Parang hindi niya `ko narinig. Na na ghihintay hingin ang number ko. literally. All I cared about that instant was the man I d hurt so much. I nodded. Saka makakagawa pa rin na man kayo no. He grinned at me. Kampon ni Satanas umalis ka sa katawan ng kaibigan ko! He gasped. Okay. It became somehow awkward. Tapos hinawakan ko `yung noo niya at pumikit. Czarina peed on me!!! Napatingin kami sa baba ng pantalon niya. Mer on ba sa pamilya namin ang pangit? Syempre wala. I missed this. Jeannie naman oh! We started laughing. I was walking like a zom bie toward Julian. How can you say beautiful agad eh. Sawa na `kon g umiyak. Goodness gracious Jeannie. Sabi nit o sabay tampal sa bibig. And we didn t know how to ruin the wall that separated us. she s a bit dark. Trust CM to say all the wonderful things. Para akong teenager na nakatitig sa kanya.
The one with Julian under the shower? This was a make-or-break decision. Either Julian or Career. baby JJ. brokenhearted ka ba? Ah. ayos. Sampu na kami! I winced.He looked like a boy. but my heart suddenly went out to him. sa mga novels na nababasa ko `yung hangin na `yun `yung loved ones nila na nawala na. Oh. Give m e a second chance. His teeth were decaying. NIyakap niya ako. Could it be a sign that baby JJ want us to be together again? I was trying to smile. Wala ka na bang maisip na matinong ambisyon? Gusto kong maging doktor ate. Some would even say that I d won the lottery by having Julian. So who was being lucky here? Eh. `Yun g parang sa cannibal? Tapos `yung ilong niya kumakalat lumalapad `pagtumatawa. Sana nagamot ko man lang si tatay at `di siya namata y. I nodded. Really looking. Really? Oo. hindi madali `yung decision ko. I walked down the streets of Manila bay and along CCP. His right shoe was toying the marbled flooring. Okay lang `yun ate. . marami pa namang lalake dyan. Eh. `di siya. Anghel na naging tyanak p a. I didn t ask for him to do that now. Oi. There was this little cherubin who was looking at me. Baliw ba `tong batang `to? Matawa kaya siya kung malaman niyang siya `yung pinagtatawanan ko? But his cute. Then my eyes started getting misty. Jeannie! I m so rry. God. Then he smiled. `yun nga lang ang hirap ng buhay. Baka gusto niya talagang mabaliw ang mommy ni ya kung iiyak siyang bigla sa gabi out of nowhere. `Pagharap ko nagulat ako. Tignan mo nanay ko nakapag-asaw a agad. My whole future at stake. He must have been at least eight years old. I walked down the street. I missed these places. Could I forgive and just forget? Kaya ko pa kayang magmahal kung hindi na buo an g puso ko? THIRTY Of course. Syempre ii sipin nila napuwing lang ako dahil sa lakas ng hangin. He was a boy. An g hangin tinatangay ang buhok ko. I have submitted your painting. Ate. But of course. Madungis nga lang. I would give him a second chance . I ll give your father a second chance. Hello ? Kahit naman hindi mo pangarapin `yun. As if he wa s testing the waters. Pat i siya nakitawa na rin. Kaso wala kaming pera. I didn t push him like I always did in the few months. Ewan ko ba . I slowly smiled. deep down I already knew the answer. Real life drama pala ito. I was looking out of the manila bay when the phone started ringing. With rai sed eyebrow I could very well say na ako si Jeannette Rose Leviste ang tanging t aong nakapagtiyaga sa ugali niya. As in now. Tapos one seat apart. He slowly stepped forward. 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. Okay na sana. Kahit na nga ba sabihing gwapo si Julian a t mayaman. I recalled one of my classmates in High School telling that particular dream of his. Do you know that mommy loves you so much? I murmured achingly. Ewan ko ba. Nyek. Naramdaman ko `yung hangin. I stood up and stared sadly at the engraved name: BABY JJ. 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. Hindi gaanong mahigpit. I started laughing horribly. At may hawak siya ng mga sampaguita. Sana hindi na lang siya nag-smile. I would have given everything to have him crying in the middle of the night waking me up for his breast feed. He coul d have been months now. Caring to your lo ved ones. it was human instinct.
Stupid. He kept looking around as if it was some top government secret. I started putting away the cold food. He didn t really deserve a second chance. And you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth. Birthday mo? I hissed. so I think he d got lots of work to do. SOMETIMES. I even asked God to make my cooking p erfect. It was only four i n the afternoon. I smiled at him and slowly stood up. I was a bit disconcerted at first. Why? `Coz I believed that what doesn t kill you can make you stronger . Baka pasko. Kung ang motto ko ay: I could kiss and be damned tomorrow. Seriously there were people who were given the privilege to live the ir life the way they wanted to be. May kausap sa phone. Ngayon pa nga lang baon na kami sa utang kay Julian. It always happened in real life. Very fortunate of you. Err. itatanong pa sa `yo kung nasaktan ka. This wasn t one of those overrated version of classic dra mas. At anong ginagawa nila? Ayun: Pare let s party! Party! Ilabas na ang cocaine. We ll. He dipped one finger at the dish. Then I saw a man with his canvass. But really. I th ought my heart would burst any minute. Oh. He wanted to capture the orange horizon with its reddish rays around the sun. I want to surprise Jeannie about the engagement. Oo. Baka hindi niya na pakinabangan `yung ano niya `yung ano sex aherm appeal niya! Nagtago ako dun sa may corner. `di ba sosyal? Samantalang sa kasuluksulukang kalye ng Cubao rugby lang. Blame CM for this. nakakapaglabas ako n g pera. okay. Tapos nagtago akong maigi ng nagmamadali ng umalis si Julian. `yung mga gustong mag-aral walang pampa-aral. Who the hell cared. Dapat all set na para bukas. Nasugatan ka na. . He didn t even bother t o call if he wasn t retiring early! Damn him.Ngumiti ako tapos naglabas ng five hundred pesos. I had nothing against rich kids. Tsk. I stared fixedly at the blue and white sky. Hindi. I didn t even look up. Nako. It was just that I hoped they knew their good f ortune. y`know. Iniyakan ko pa ang paghiwa ng sibuyas. Baka bukas isa na din ako sa mga taong grasa. Hindi man lang nahiya. Tinampal ko `y ung kamay niya. God. I slipped into the room with so much as a noise. Masama palang napapaisip ako. I gave it to him. Ba ka maibato ko lang sa kanya `yung kare-kare at kalderata. Sometimes happy endings were just in Fairy tale stories. Hindi man ganon kasarap `yung niluto ko. Little di d he know that I was a descendant of Gabriela Silang? Beware. Nakita kong nakatalikod si Juli an. I made face. Tapos napa-w ow siya. Wala na ba akong inisip kundi ang pambabababe ni Julian? Men could be honest. `Yung mga may p ampa-aral ayaw mag-aral. I wanted to celebrate Julian s awakening! Namuti na ang mata ko kakahintay sa kanya. Alam mo ba `yun. He frowned and arched one brow. How could I let Julian go? I love him so much. Minsan lang `yan no. He was already in New York by now because of that blasted con test. Siya pa ang isawsaw ko sa alamang. I strained my ears against the wall. May mga nakapalibot s a kanya habang nagpe-paint siya. Were all the men in general like this? Or only him? He was still insensitive. Masama kutob ko dito. `Wag lang talaga siyang kakaliwa. Nagluto ako. Pero kung isa ka sa mga pinanganak na walang kasiguraduhan ang hinaharap. Hindi ko alam kung bakit. at least passable na man. Not under the sho wer! `Yung ginawa ko noon sa Morocco. I was so angry. I even bled my finger w ith the bread knife. Tha nks mom! I suddenly felt like the biggest scumbag ever. My eyes got misty. The one with Julian. I heard footsteps. That s not for you! I was acting childish. Siya nga ni hindi man lang maisipang mag-text or tumawag. The irony of life. Ipinasa niya `yung painting ko. kung hindi mo naranasang mag-promissory note sa school o humabol ng scholars hip. I m prou d of you. At ano? Para sa wala.
with gaps between my fingers. Hindi joke lang. Grr. Yes. More that you couldn t define. Where s my husband? I whisp ered. he loves me but not as much as I do. No. Siguro nga sa `ming dalawa ma s malaki ang pagmamahal ko sa kanya. It was more. I was trying to capture his mouth. He was unbuckling his pants. Our bodies touched. Tuwang tuwa nga ako sa `yo eh. He even waved his polo up in the air like a cowboy. hindi bagay! I tried to cover my face with my hand. Like we could satisfy the months. I was pummeling his back. A kiss wasn t just classified into: smack. Julian no! I shrieked when he tickled my feet. Not t hat I was saying living in was justifiable. Of course. Anong tingin mo sa `kin palahiang bab oy? I hissed at him. Julian Oh-kay. Damn boxers. Parang napipilita n lang. Ayoko nang magpaka-ipokrita. Oh. words were mere words until you felt them. Masyadong wild at aggressive `yung isang `to. It was hot and explosive. Panira. I didn t want to close my eyes for a second because Julian might vanish into thin mists. Galit ka ba? lingon niya sa `kin. I was hissing while sinking my fingers deep into his skin. A kiss meant everything. Julian let me down! I yelled a t his back. Kung makautos kala mo bayad na sa kasalanan niya. bed! You re not serious. Pero hindi ganito na binibiyabit niya `ko mula sa balikat niya. 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. Our eyes met. French or torrid. He was a cave man! Okay lang kung buhat. I was really a bit taken aback. Were there flames everywhere? It was getting hot. Goodness. alam na. You prepared this f or me. Pakipot lang. I was too eager. Brotherly kiss. L agi namang ganon `di ba? There would always be someone who would give more love than the other. I was screaming when he scooped me up in his arms. or whatever we could thin k of. He turned me upside down. Thirsty. Kung pwede lang na bumaon `yun baka nangy ari na. He laughed loudl y and lunged at me. He said that with conviction. chaste. Massage my temples. smile cracked on his lips. Hindi. Sa relationship. Gusto ko kapag nag-asawa na tayo nasa bahay ka lang. Pero I believed that you couldn t go play . Stop He groaned. My breath got hitched. I might melt. Nakakatakot itong Julian na `to. I hadn t thought that I could love this much. Papel lang ang kulang sa `min. He really smiled at me. We were husband and wife in the eyes of God. He started laughing and crawled to the bed . Oo. Lalong tumaas `yung kilay ko. No. almost a year without this physical aspect of our relationship. He was pulling down his pants and oh So disappointed. A slow sexy goodness. I smiled sweetly. You e xperienced them. He didn t look the man who was so eager to propose. He put me down no threw me onto the bed. ganon? Inis nitong sabi. Grabe. Hindi lang sarap ng pisikal. But this was one? We were groping for each other. Would we start makin g babies now? Para makaabot sampu? My mind was screaming: I wasn t prepared for th is. Maybe we were immoral in the eyes of the society.Oh? Kanino? Sa aso. He was teasing me. He slouched on the chair and massaged his temple. Fatherly. I even hugged him tight to myself th at I thought I couldn t breathe anymore. He even smacked my bottom! Tapos tawa siya ng tawa. It was proven and tested. while doi ng an imitative dance of that of macho men. I hadn t noticed that he was already on top of me. What do yo u think are you doing? Perhaps going to striptease? He said playfully. I want you here with our children hmm mga sampu okay na. He nipped my lower lip and kissed each corner. He kissed me passionately. Alright. right. I gasped. Yes. Diniinan ko ang mga kamay sa ulo niya.
For the first time. I screamed. it was very differen t. ang keso ko. We should all know our limits. Like he really wanted to get acquainted wi th every part and pore of me. He was cuddling against my bosom. Late na pala ako sa school. Sila mommy at daddy. I shouldn t be surprised but I was. `yung x-rated version ba naman ang panuorin mo na pinahiram pa sa `yo ng Good Influence and Morally upright mong c mate. He was re ally something huh. He groaned. I was bound to hi m. He was also tensed. And put out the ring. Lalo na `yung mga nagpo-pro pose. So. Excuse me? I glared at him and he started chuckling! I just want to make this time gentler. And Jean with her baby. Okay na ba? Not yet. I was happy and overwhelmed to see all of them. Everyone.around if love wasn t involved. Nag papa-yummy pa kasi. I was choking back the words. Posible pala. Slow. I started crying because because He kneeled down on his knees. Hindi ko alam kung dah il dahil alam kong ngayon magpo-propose si Julian. I love you too I whispered against his hair. I wanted to laugh at his clumsiness. We soared. He came back to my lips and kissed me openly. C mon! I wasn t raised to be promiscuous. At pumunta kami sa banda roon. He was killing me softly. Si Julian iyon. Whatever. At ang sa `kin. Even Brad and Vi ncent were there. Well. every man had his moment. Will you. And God. But I wasn t running for a Maria Clara nominee either. Gentle. Akalain mo `yun. Touched me and kissed me like there was no tomorrow. I was staring into his eyes. Maybe I was really living in one of those fairy t ales and that I would be woken up by my mother. By God and by love. Goodness. There was no pain this time. I gasped. Jeannette Rose Leviste be my wife? I blinked once. Kahit `yung mga associates ni Julian. I was about to shout at him to go to hell when he started raining tiny kisses do wn the side of my face. how I loved this man with all of my heart. What? I would scream if he told me: no. this was his idea of going slow eh? Parang ako ata a ng unang mamamatay. Where we could hear our breathing as the music playing in our ears. Or it could be our heartbeats. He loved me. he cleared his throat. Nilagyan niya ako ng blindfold. Nung una nga hindi pa niya m ahanap. I could feel it in his hands. Akala ko hindi. Well. Which he thought I had no clue of. Don t tell me ipapa-salvage mo `ko? I tried to joke my way around him. And almost the same. Wasn t it a bit too late for that? After the wa y he took me that first time? He was going to tell me to go slow? Ach. I was a bit tensed. CM talked to me on the phone earlier. I just wished that when we grew old together it would still be like this. The heat and the rush were there. `Wag ka ngang excited. . It w as like this was the last time. I thought and heard about sex was all hot and swea ty. I tast ed a morsel of heaven. I love you He whispered as he claimed me. Thrice. Tapos sasabihin ko ano ? kasi hindi ko na maririnig kasi bingi na `ko. Sisigawan niya `ko. The great Julian S unico was trembling. He took the blindfold off. What? Siya nga `yun ang manre-reject? Eeh. Of course. Twice. I didn t know it was like this. Mali kot ang mga kamay nito. Na nakahawak sa bewang ko. It s just Just? I asked impatiently. I was like: OH? With arched brows.
Gasgas na pero it wasn t him. It was the most pai nful and hardest decision to make. I love you you know that. 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. 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 was nominated for a one-year e xhibit and tour around the world. Didn t you know that not all dreams come true? I needed to grow and that didn t include Julian in the picture. u still have a clue that I love life? And so I did Julian. For once. He did. Tears streamed down my ey es. The diamond ring was sparkling. But no. I even dare look at everyone. I whispered through my blurring vision. In reality. 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. I should have put that in Julian s vocabulary. I was really s orry. THIRTY ONE Compromise. I couldn t help it while nodding rapidly. And I was chasing him. Nakita kong napahigpit ang kamay niya sa hawak na box. Alam ko. gusto ko namang maging matatag sa mga desisyon ko. CM s motto: opportunity knocks only at once door. As if telling me to say yes. they would ask me the why s and what s. I should have been the one running away after doing the ecting. Hindi lahat ng tao mas pinipiling mag-settle down kaysa piliin ang opportunity na ibi nibigay sa kanila. Pero sa totoong buhay. Because we couldn t have them all. Ngayon ko lang na-realize tama sila. it was me all al ong. that s why we have choices. know th sakit rej didn t Didn t yo . I cried my heart out when I saw the defeat and hatred in his eyes. I didn t cry. As always. But I m sorry I can t.
Pain was pain. syempre masarap pa ring merong pipilit na kunin `yung kamay mo in public kahit kunwari ayaw mo. I ll be away for a year. He didn t turn around. Bulong nito. there was always an exemption. `Coz I don t know what will happen. Those were just life s facts. Unless you tell me. Or even last night! He was now shou ting. That finding your self wasn t really true. But wasn t that our problem? Time. O dahi l sa dinami dami ng lalaki sa mundo walang sumigaw sa `kin ng katulad ng pagsiga w ni Julian. Ano? Magtititigan na lang tayong mga bab ae? At the back of our minds we wished for someone to fill the cold nights. But hey. I won t ask you to wait for me Julian. It might sound exaggerated. Wala ka pa.I found him in the adjacent room. Before you. Sino bang nakakaalam kung bakit ganito ang mga babae? . C`mon! `Wag na nating loko hin ang sarili natin. Julian painting is my very first love. Kung anim na bwan nga `yung iba wala na. Na gkakasala. I pouted and looked out of the w indow. One year Jeannie? Do you think a year is only a day for me? Galit nitong sabi. Isang taon pa kaya? I wasn t being pessimistic here. Pero hindi nga ba k aya nga kakaunti ang pari sa mundo? At ang iba pa sa kanila y. Jeannie I will Wait for you My breath got hitched. If and only if they d devoted themselves to God. Again. lagi kong sinasabi noon na mas masarap maging single. Mamamatay `yan kung isang taong walang putahe sa hapag kainan. I smiled bitterly to myself. kung iiwan ako ng lalaking m ahal ko sa harap ng altar baka mapatay ko siya ng wala sa oras. Sa mga single. Of course. Nandun na `yun eh. kaartehan lang `yung mga nababasa t napapanood ko. Kasi wala ka ngang ka-monthsary! Wal ang naninigaw sa `yo on the phone when you couldn t text him. Kahit ako man. Ano bang alam ko nung time na `yun? Gusto ko lang maging m agaling na pintor. But it was almost true. He looked at me from head to foo t. Glory be to God. At hindi naman sa wala akong ti wala sa mga lalaki. He didn t bother to turn around when I shut the door closed. His fists clenched. Not that I was here to sit judgment. Siguro hindi na `ko natakot. His forehead was be nt against the wall. You could have told me yesterday. Isang taon lang `yun Julian. His back was turned to me. You could live without them but somehow let s be honest . life without them was a boring world. With pho ne calls! LOL. Abstinence was an avoidable word in their dictionary. True. you stood against odds and still be together after a year. I tried to smile. Or they weren t as sexy as Julian. Lit erally and hmm figuratively. Ang gulo ko no? I asked him not to wait for me but then I wished with all my heart t hat he would. Long distance relationship only stood a chance as big as my thumb finger. Pero masak it Jeannie. Why not? Either I ha d no choice `coz there was no one had dared to hold my hand at that time. Ano ba. And warm hugs. Reality bites. you also have to love what I do! Per o alam kong hindi ganon kadali `yun. And it was my dream e ven before Julian entered my oh-so-boring life. Gusto kong matupad ang mga pangarap ko. Wala ka bang sasabihin? Gusto kong sabihing naiintindihan kita. In New York. Hindi lang naman lalaki ang makakapagpaligaya sa `yo. Gusto kong isigaw sa kanya: If you love me. That was what I wanted to hear from him. Masara p walang pinagkakagastuhan kapag monthsary. Nung humarap siya. Just being realistic. Heart grew colder with the absence of the other. In general. Yes. T here was no way around that but time. men are men. It was very true. Julian Akala ko dati.
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. Postcard greetings. este uumagahi n. My mind was made up. So. I like him.Never forget you. `Yung lalaki sa panaginip mo? Tuwing gabi dinadalaw ka? CM! He looked at the painting more closely. Busy? I shrugged my shoulders. Get out Jeannie. Of course. Two years later. So this was what he called letting go huh. dammit! Just just get the hell out of here!!! Nanlaki ang mga mata ko at naisara ko agad ang pinto. We disappointed you. I m hungry. Wala. he isn t nude here. You might be seeing some body I don t know. What if you find someone new? What if you do? I hissed at him. Ano ba Jeannie defensive na sabi ni to. Sino pa bang titili ng ganoon kung hindi ang kaisa-isang kaib igan ko sa mundong ibabaw. You k now dear. Jeannie! I raised one brow. Hindi kaya maglolokohan lang tayo? He gave up on me. A mere whisper. For you. However. What? He smiled sheepishly. if you walk out of that door. I wanted to slap him at that moment. And Julian didn t want anything to do with it. Gusto mo bang sabihin ko sa `yong hihintayin kita Jeannie? Then wha t after our promises to one another. I m sorry baby JJ. Pero pano na lang `yung mga pa ngarap ko? Hindi lahat ng tao nabibigyan ng ganitong opportunity. natetempt akong mag-stay. `di topless. And correction. Ex mo? Kung makapagtanong kala mo inosente! I gritted my teeth. 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. But it hurt a lot. I mopped my forehead with the towel. Oo. I cleared my throat and glared at him. He paushed. Julian I whispered when I was in between the door and the outside world toward achi eving my dream. It would deteriorate with ti me. Eh. Ganon din naman `yun. He arched one brow. I glared all the more at him. Bago pa man ako makapagsalita ay nahugot na ni CM `yung tel a mula sa canvass. Kung gagabihin kayo e. You re giving up on me. Let s eat. I didn t really care. I gritted my teeth. Sakalin ko na kaya `tong kaibigan kong `to? He tried looking over my shoulders. I tried pushing him toward the kitched. Pwede ba. It seemed cliché but I m letting you go. It meant goodbye. Hinara ngan ko `yung painting sa likuran ko. I chose my path. Then shrugged. I snatched the cloth from him and cove red it again. Narinig kong ang pagbagsak ng mga gamit at kung ano mang mga nagkala t na basag doon. I understand. Ang arte. Galit kong sabi sa kanya. I bit my lip to stop from crying out. Sino `to? I avoided his scrutiny. My heart was breaking into pie ces. God. I really do. So what time s your date later with Rick? Todo smile ito. I gaped at him. BITTER! After a few e-mails and letters. And damn if he wasn t handsome here and nud e. He shook his head. Nahiya ka lang pero ang ido-draw . I won t ask where you are going. Ah. I lo Don t tell me you love me. Para akong rob ot na naglalakad. Ano ba `yang ginagawa mo ha? Tingin pa. He shook his head. `Yun lang ang naiintindihan ko sa lahat ng `to. it s okay with me. Sh!t. I didn t care.
Dammit. No more Julian. It was so un-CM like. And they were all returned! Except for the e-mail syempre. Baka si Piolo Pascual. He was as sleek as a snake. Y es. How could you love another if you couldn t love yourself? She spent wandering around the world. it was a year. Rick was handsome. The people were blocking him. Magtira ka sa sarili mo. para sa susunod na magmamahal ka u lit may ibibigay ka pa. Save that he wasn t Julian. Nakalimutan ko na siya. Jeannie What! You haven t forgotten him. At bolero! Na ni minsan hindi man lang ginawa sa `kin ni Julian . Me? Ah. Ang h irap kausapin ang sarili mong isip. He stood up and moved right to the door. I ve already forgotten him CM. Gwapo. Lakad. Kahit kahit `pag sumisigaw siya hindi ko na matandaan kung pano nagigin g singkit lalo `yung mga mata niya. Napa-smile ako kay CM. You look beautiful and sexy. In a fashionable way. He was really one he ll of a handsome man. Excuse ako ng excuse par ang wala namang naririnig! Julian Bulong ko. I took hold of his hand. Uh-okay. You know that I like you Jeannette. I know thank you. Inis na sabi sabay irap. sent postcards and letters. I was starting a new life now. Kahit anong pigil ko sa kama y niya kung saan napupunta. He smiled at me. Akala ko ba nakalimutan mo na siya! Grabe. You seemed preoccupied. But deep inside there was that wishful thinking that somehow he should have been there at night to cuddle her. Wala na ni hindi ko na nga natatandaan kung pano siya ngumiti. I smiled at him. Naiiyak na `ko ng hindi ko na siya maki ta. Actually. He raised an inquiring eyebrow at me. Maybe he was an angel sent from above. I was even looking out for some sign s of imperfection. those black eyes. Mab ango. eleven months and twenty seven days. Mabilis akong na patayo. My very first date after almost two years. . Malay ko bang nagkaroon pa kami ng baby JJ the sec ond. I his sed. So now he wasn t perfect. She won the painting contest. Pa-humble pa. I know. huwag mo ng ibigay ang lahat. At lalong hindi ko na natatandaan kung pano siya Humalik? Inirapan ko siya. we were in the 21st century. I looked at his impeccable white shirt underneath his coat. Hindi dahil nasasakal ako sa yakap ng katabi ko. Pisil pa. Matangkad. He held my hand. I was looking out of the crowd when I met a pair of eyes. I couldn t ever forget that face. Malamang magiging gwa po o maganda ang magiging anak namin. Hey. And this was New York! Kulang na lang ako ang gawin niyang dinner. I tried hard not to jab him in the ribs. Jeannie kung magmamahal ka.ing mo talaga nude. He was half-Canadian half-Filipino. where are you going? I squeezed through the throng of people. Para siyang sawa. At si Julian ang devil. I snorted. And very gentleman. Takbo. I shook my head. Two years. Nabigla ako. Goodn ess. Bakit ba hindi? Sino bang unang nakalimot? I e-mailed him. Bago pa kung saang imperti nenteng lugar mapadpad iyon. Totoo naman. Kung siya ang mapapangasawa ko ulit. It was all worth it. This was our first date. Who? I asked innocently. His hand started squeezing my thighs. I started preparing for our food. My eyes grew wide. no. Para kasing sinapian na naman siya ng masamang espiritu. I couldn t breathe anymore. We now shared a unit. I tried hard not to glare at him. He didn t exist anymore.
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
Pero isa lang sure k o jealousy could kill. Pero kanino? Sa sarili ko? Kay Tri cia ba? O sa napakawalanghiya kong ex-hubby. Wala nga lang sa kanya `di ba? He d even moved on and forgotten all about me. 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. Laruan tama. Teka nga bakit ang dami mong alam? He talked to your mother. Si Julian lang talaga ang evi l dito. Julian. Never EX. Ah no. Nagsubo ito ng maraming popcorn. Ahm Jeannie lulubus-lubusin ko na ha. So shall we go? Tricia smiled at me. And little did I know that. all in capital letters. H e smiled evilly at me. Ah. All about baby JJ. Tricia. Hindi ako ganon ka-kontrabida. Jeannie! What? Why don t you take Julian back? I slowly shook my head. We weren t even mar ried. At ngayon? Hindi ko alam kung unti-unti ko bang pinapatay `yung sarili ko. Pwede mo ba `kong samahan sa OB? I want this to be a surprise Surprise! The phone went out of my grasp. no. Mabilis iyong inabot ni CM. that word would be applied to me someday and that someday happened to be now. I was never fond of maltreated protagonists. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. Sino bang laruan dito? THIRTY THREE I now know the word STUPID. She was wearing a floral dress with a cardigan. Silence. Ano Jeannie ? Ibabalik na ba ni Tricia si Julian? Now I knew the expression: ASA! OB. 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.WHAT?! Just like that? Ganon ba kaliit `yung tingin niya sa `kin? He shrugged. I stared stupidly at CM. CM! The phone started ringing. legally speaking. at least I didn t have evil stepsisters. Err I hated him. Not ex. Very fashionable. Well. it s me Tricia. Baby. Hello? Hey. Was t here such a thing? Could pain kill you? Hindi naman siguro. eh? Napatingin . `Yung mga tatanga-tangang sumusunod sa yapak ni Cinder ella. as I stared outside the glas s panel from here. Gusto kong magalit.
Thanks doctor. 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. So God wasn t on my side. Hindi siya buntis hindi siya buntis nagdadalang-tae lang si Tricia. half-crying. I haven t been celibate say GOD. I met a pair of chinito eyes. Ano bang ginagawa ko dito? Nagpapakamasokista? Maglaslas na lang kaya ako? Nasa baba na kami ng condo building ni Tricia. As if. I was still silent and mum about it. And disgusted wit h myself. God forgive me. They were together. Anong pakialam ko?! Kahit 24/7 pa `yan! Parang convenient store. Pano kung sila talaga? After all. I averted my eyes away from the scene. Tricia was spared to drink any liquor. Give love on Christmas day! CM cheered. a hand grabbed mine. Tricia was the first real love of Julian. Big time. Nakakat atlong baso na ko. Tricia! I closed my eyes to keep my emotions intact. mo Tricia! Dahil bitter ako sobrang bitter. It was awkward. Congratulations! Let s cheers to that. Sa totoo lang hindi ko alam kung bakit pa `ko pumayag samahan siya sa OB. Are you okay? Lumingon ako. I tried to smile. We turned around and Tricia quickly ran to him and hugged him. Tapos pumili na ng kanta si Tricia. Walang iyakan. Hindi ako iiyak. He hissed. Kailangan pa ba niyang sabihin `yun? Five months now. alam k o. So how are you? Someone new? I wanted to smile and tell her: Yes. The doctor smiled widely. You and Julian can go to hell together. Are you sure? She looked down at me. I was rooted to the seat. Nauwi kami sa videoke bar. Tricia was half-laughing. Utang na loob! So was it any consolation that J ulian mourned over our relationship for over.? Sa sobrang lakas ng kaba ko parang ako ang mahihimatay. Lagyan ng kung anong valium ang inumin nito. Pero minsan naiisip kong patirin si Tricia. Pero pwede ba at some point lahat tayo nagiging makasa rili kapag nagmamahal `di ba? Now I was getting all worked up. Hindi ba magmumukha ako ng bitter? And that would be sheer hypocrisy. Itinayo niya `ko. May we all have an everlasting friendship! W alang agawan. You re drunk. Argh. Palabas pa lan g kami ng clinic. Spell desperada.akong bigla sa tiyan niya. Halos akayin na ko ni Tricia. No! Oo. Iba na ata ibig sabihin niyon ngayon. Uh-huh. Before I could even drink my fourth glass. Sabay biglang labas ng doctor. It s confirmed J ulian! Thank you So it was confirmed. Congratulations! You re two and a half months on the family way. too bad of me to pray. So it was five months going huh. Hindi ako makangiti. 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. for all I care. I ve found someone new and I m very much happy. What the hell It s your fourth glass. Julian only looked at me. 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. Tsss. Yeah. It was a time to celebrate. Gusto kong sumi gaw na ang O. . almost one year and seven and a ha lf months? Actually I wanted it to be a surprise. Mag-iinom kasi broken hearted ka. At sak a hello? Bakit dito pa? Pwede namang sa Pinas `di ba? Oh. Ahm mrs.A.
god. he said sarcastically. CM smiled at me. I was ready to puke. Just don t make any noise. Exactly. More than happy Do you know what? God forgive me for this. His head came down upon me. And so w as I. Hindi naman ako claustrophobic pero parang nasosuffocate ako. I thought I d forgotten that mouth. He mouthed. Gusto ko siyang sampalin. Who t old him about Rick? That maniac. Biglang nagiba ang tono ng boses nito. There at the side of my ahm waist. I liked it rough . Sorry. Ahm excuse me Julian pwede bang dito ka na lang umupo? Diyan ako sa tabi ni Tricia . shaking me. Ano bang pakialam mo? Tinanggal ko ang kamay niya at ngumiti. His hands grabbed my sho ulders. We screwed in the backseat I was even comparing notes. Move a little. don t you? Why not for th e last time Jeannie? Do you know the word fvckiiiing qui ckie? He was mad. It was like he was a menacing predator the next. I m sor ry Oh my God. My eyes were getting misty. Of course. Uh-oh. Bruising my lips. I had no strength anymore. Tricia frowned.I raised one brow. I slowly smiled at him. Yes. That lips I had kissed many times before. Sunico hu h? I gritted my teeth. So I ve heard about your new boyfriend. Oh. Someday I just know that love will lead you back in my a rms I winced. Pero hindi ko magawa. Tricia was singing my eyes grew wide. Goodness so y ou aren t any different from your sister. Yes. Para akong masusuka. This was what you called Women s violation! His hand was there. Julian s chinky eyes turned into slits. Yes. He moved forward. Like you taught me. I m going to sing. CM said drily. Did it still taste the same? Oh. Aren t we here to celebrate? I blurted out bitterly. I drank it in one fill without breaking the eye contact. I told you. CM! Julian was also shocked. I covered my mouth and ran to the bathroom. Tric ia s busy singing. you love it. Oh-kay. I eyed CM with warning. Magtabi kami ni CM. you shouldn t drink. Kung sinong mas magaling! I hissed. If I know! Pinindot niya talaga ` yung stop button. I was ushered into Julian s lap. So it was the high and mighty Mr. Love will lead you back. Demanding. I missed him shouting at me because he was concerned. Hindi naman ako `yung nagsalita non `di ba? Julian s grin was deliberate. Someone was caressing my back to and fro. Sige tuloy niyo lang `yan. Julian s teasing smile froze me in place. yes. mmkay? I looked at Tricia. Hindi ko alam k ung sinong sumundo sa`kin. He s making me happy Julian. Galit na sabi nito. Uh-oh. I can t read the lyrics from here. Julian s hand steadied me fr om slipping into the floor in the other side. But I didn t try to hold back. I missed his ne arness. I looked down at his hand. Hindi ko sinasadya. Ooops. Umusog ako sa gilid palayo. Under my lo and behold future! Almost there. Is h e making you happy Jeannie? He laughed sarcastically. I didn t know what I was doing. Mabilis akong tumayo despite th e dizziness. I g asped. He moved forward. I missed him. She seemed really oblivious. My tears rolled down as the cold nights and empty sheets lay behind the almos . CM smiled at me innocently. Jeannie can you move a little over there? Masikip. no! Hindi ko sinabi `yun! I was drunk. Then we turned slowly. At sabay tulak sa`kin. The same heat and inten sity was there. my words. that was it. Oh. slap him or lied about not liking i t. An artist also. My so-called bestfriend just ignored me! Sa pagkakalipat nito ay nalipat si Julian sa tabi ko.
He pushed me away from him. Katulad mo. As if I had a contagious disease. There was always someone in the way.t two years. Ang love parang li pstick. Though he didn t love her i t wasn t me he really got tangled with. Jean was the first one. Totoo `yun. I m still mad at yo u because you hurt me (In truth. I didn t dare wipe the tears. For ever. Pero hindi. And at that time Tricia was m y only chance of ever achieving it. Now tell me. Na parang walang pakialam! Anger was always okay than indiffe rence. Pero lalo lang akong b inabangungot. maiintindihan naman nila `ko `di ba? Dapat intindihin nila `ko. He looked up. Kaya galit siya sa`kin. Maybe it was just sp elled that way. 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 closed my eyes. Okay. Okay. kahit gawa `yan para hindi matanggal o mapalis basta basta darating at d arating pa rin ang expiration date niyan. Tricia was the second one. I was still wide awake. I swear. If ever my lipstick smeared. Thank you because you left me. 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. kung nagkita kayo after so many years at hindi naging maganda ang break-up. Tatlo lang `yun. 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. And more years to come He d be gone from me forever. 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. Jeannie our family s business is my dream. Pero hindi. I started crying. What for? Couldn t he see my heart breaking i nto pieces in front of him? I felt my lips were swollen. It was all too vivid. O kung meron man hindi ako `yun. music please . Sa`min ni Julian? It should have been Neverever. At least he was still as affected to me as he was. I thought dreams were made to escape the painful reality. I smiled to myself humorlessly. Congratulations. Was there such a thing? Forever. For some reason. I heard CM asking him when he went out. eh. Walang taong ganoon kabait at kamartir. Kung ginawa niya `yun noon. Malungkot itong tumingin sa kanya. I d file a laws uit against its manufacturer. If he ever chose Tricia for his dream over me I would still be mad at him. sino pa bang tatalbog sa pinakamagarang award na makukuha ko? Kahit nga si Janine San Miguel walang panama sa `kin. get in line please! I stared numbly at the organizer. He shrugged at me. Some consolation. 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. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung isang araw ay hindi na`ko magising. That would be sheer stupidity. CM nudged my shoulder to keep going. Kung umayaw ako. Because the truth was becoming real to me with each passin g day. I was the first among the Miss Stupidest runners-up. Isn t that what you want to hear from me Julian? I asked him sarcas tically. I got his point. it meant I m still in love with you) kasi bakit ka kailangang mag-waste ng emotions sa isang taong wala namang halaga sa`yo? And indifference you re nothing to me anymore.
t o sacrifice and to understand. hopeless case r etard. CM was eyeing me pit ifully. I ran away from there as fast as I could. This was what they cal led almost dying. I was walking like a zombie. That is what love is isn t it? You have to give. Sa `kin lahat sila nakatingin. anong ginawa ko sa`yo? She shouldn t have made me replace her. Her boyfriend got her pregnant. Ang selfish ko no? I was hurting too much to be sensible. Fighting spirit . Alam mo ba kung gano kasakit `yun? Hindi. Syempre nahiya ako sa ayos ko. Lalo na `yung mga caretak ers. Kasi sobra. Sipon. I was clutching silly at the bunch of flowers.There was a pianist. Hindi ko na sana nakilala si Julian. you ll feel my pain. Hindi ko alam kung anong masamang espiritung sumapi sa `kin. Oo na. either mabaliw ako or maisipan kong mag-suicide bombin g sa loob ng simbahan. 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. Naiinis ako kasi mas aya siya at ako hindi. No Don t J ulian. Para akong nasa pelikula. I didn t know how I dared to be here. Or pride? I didn t know. My sister was staring helplessly at me. Gusto kong isigaw na wala akong pakialam. And he started talking. But t hen This practice was a major catastrophic event in my life next to having lost baby JJ. I just fou nd myself sitting on the bench with him. me listening. I do. When he le ft her I was there to catch her. Then I gave Tricia the flower. Parang slow motion napatingin ako sa kamay ko. When I looked up I met a pair of dark. Nakakadiri ako. Kunwari tumawa ako. Tricia smiled at me hesitantly and reached out to me What? Jeannie You re holding the bouquet. He handed me a towel. As if I was a dimwitted. Kasalanan niya `to. Jeannie. I brushed my hair away from m y wet face. They were right in front of the pretend pries t reciting their bows. Luha. I started crying and vomiting. Do you know. But at this point in time. Kaw awa naman `yung mga walang kamuwang-muwang na halaman. Are you okay? I slowly looked up. Sana may cut. Neither did I. all I cared about was myself. He didn t say a thing. And of course. I couldn t handle it at the moment. Out. She tried to pat my hand but I turned away from her. If he was sympathizing with me. Just as the words were out. great. The pain was excruciating. do you take this woman as your lawfully wedded wife? My vision became blurred. Lahat naghalo na. Julian Sunico. I love this woman greatly. Pero anong alam ko nung time na `yun? I didn t know that I was doing that specifically for her. . Goodness. Pero sana sana lang may take two. Willed her mother to be strong. but into many pieces. I glared at her. chinky eyes. Kasi feeling ko. At take note: sa loob ng simbahan. Mine was enough for me to handle. What had I done now? What! I snapped at the organizer. I didn t need another broken heart. But not really. Actually. Sana naman kung nakikinig siya somehow he could guide me. My heart wasn t just broken into two. But she couldn t she couldn t love me back. Free will. `felt like it was my death march. Para naman alam ko kung kailan pipigilan ang emosyon. Ha? Napatingin ako sa paligid ko. I couldn t stop from sobbing . Nanlaki `yung mata niya na parang sinasabing: Oh.
I stopped dead in my tracks. Nagkamali kami pa reho. you just have to tell him that at some point you love him as a son. I really tried. God.You have to give. Loved. Mali ako. How cruel love is. At one point. Napalingon ako sa kanya. Sa totoo lan g hindi ko naman talaga maintindihan kung anong ibig sabihin ng love. The only way I knew I could hurt her back He shrugged. Akal a niya na-neglect siya. Sa tingin mo ba kung mabubuhay tayo ulit gugustuhin mo pa rin akong makilala? I tr ied not to croak. Mr. I crossed my fingers and hiccupped. we did things we would never have thought for the sake of love. You re a good woman. This time I was successful. I s tarted hating her for not loving me back. Sinisisi niya `yung sarili niya sa divorce niyo. I turned to women from night to night. Why are you asking this nonsense? Nonsense? I laughed. But this time there was one thing he didn t own anymore. right? Jeanni Kung hihilingin kong maging masaya ka. LOL. sacrifice and understand. Magulo. He was looking down at the stones. 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. But I didn t want her gratitude. He frowned at me. So I married her. It was like that in love. Sunico smiled at me. Bakit pa kasi nauso ang past. But after all those years. And you hurt Julian the most. But only we had different meanings of love. that would be sheer hypocrisy Julian. but then I wished with all my heart that you d be happy if only that is with me. God will give you the man you are loo king for. Just as I am to you. Bulong ko. Whatever. standing as if he owned the world. Makakita ka ng PDA sa l abas yamot na yamot ka. Sana nga I was walking down the memory lane. Nothing to say. Go figure. Pero naniniwala akong meron. It was only up to us how to show it. I loved him I love him still But things change d. Hindi mo maintind ihan. Sabi nila wala daw definition `yun. Ngumiti ako. I loved you. present and future tense? EPILOGUE And in another life I would be your girl We keep all our promises. she s grateful to me. He was there. Nakakatawa no? Manood ka ng XXX tuwang tuwa ka. Understanding what he meant. Like he always. I think. be us against the world . Julian whispered. Not that I was saying love was connected to lust or so.
Pero lagi akong humihiling na sana ako si ganito. Well. He s laughing. `yung tao ang gumagawa ng kapalaran niya? Ts k. I close my eyes and pray. Wow. Kaya nga siguro deep down. Deep down I know there s always something that kept me apart from her. Regrets are those for what you can t have done. He loves you I sigh. Ang gulo ng mundo no? If you ended up together after so many endeavors. My cell phone is ringing. Yeah. God must have pitied upon you. I chuckle drily. 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. Do you ever believe in destiny? Eh. no don t go there anymore Jeannie. my Napaatras ako sa pagkabigla. and I find someone more beau tiful than I ever am. I am funny. Yeah. I laugh about that. `di sana tumaya na lan g ako sa lotto non `di ba? They were one in a million. I always envy my twin. Halos mapaantanda ako sa gustong ipabili nito. Oh. I am always splitting hairs. So mehow I know it by heart. I feel a pang of uncertainty. Is happiness really elusive? Hindi ko ginustong mag-asawa ng maaga pero hindi ko rin naman pinangarap na tuma ndang dalaga. Hey. Unknowingly comparing myself to other people. Splitting hairs. Forever. but of course. Right or Mr. Ak o si ganyan. Napangiti ako. Y our skins tingle when you touch. I was a scared rat. Meron ng bumisita dito? I hear a child s laughter from a distance. Hello? Ako ang iyong konsensya I grit my teeth. ne ver naman akong humiling ng Mr. O kung hindi man None in a million. Give the phone to Czarina. Love is a very frightenin g thing. Tita Jeannie! Where s my psp? My laptop and she keeps rambling. Al am mo naman `yung tao kung gano nag-aalala sa`yo. Relationshi ps: Sawa to awa. sino ba? I ve always dreamed of something big. I smile softly to myself. Congratulations! That started the word forever. Someone who can make our hearts beat faster. I thought I could never live up to Julian s standard. next life. Binagalan ko `yung pagda-drive. Eh. where are you? Haven t you been with Roy? He told me you re not feeling well. I am beautiful. Hindi niyo siguro napansin. may d . Na-tense ako. Pero kung sumigaw ba`ko ng mas malakas. So like Jean Somehow. And we thought he will be Mr. better luck next time. Merry Christmas! Nagpaparamdam ka ba sa `kin baby JJ? Did you miss mommy? I kneel down. I put down the flowers. hell. Well. 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. And hearing her daughter s voice made me w ish that I were her. Perfect. 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. Meron sa buhay natin na darating. Oh.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. yes. CM. With rolled eyes. I bet you didn t guess how insecure I am. Hindi ko rin alam kung bakit nagpe-fade `yun. First to Jean then to Tricia. My eyes grow wide when I s ee a pair of a child s feet. I raised one brow. Parang umo-order lang sa menu kung humiling. I start hating the phrases what ifs and what could have beens. I vee never been contented in my whole life. The one that got away I hit the high-pitched note as I imitated Katy Perry s song. Paskong pasko. Kung may love potion lang malamang bestselling item `yun.
Everybody was cheering. So it was really over? The end. Julian took that particular hand of Tricia s that hand that signified letti ng go while he was looking looking at me. do you take this woman. At me. ginawa ko na. Wala bang tututol? Sisigaw ba `ko? I placed a hypocritical smile on my lips. Tumalik od ito. She is thumb sucking. No no t mocking but it was as if he was telling me that everything would be alright. I was looking down at the tiled floor. 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. I almost snorted. It was like in slow motion. Sana hindi na lang sana Julian was looking at me. Gusto kong itanong kay father. I didn t dare look at everyone or anyone for that matter. Kung pwede lang akong sumigaw ng freeze katulad ni Ella. But I couldn t set the love free so ea sily.. I wish the doctors are wrong. Her eyes are chinky. Ayokong tumingin sa tabi niya. to have held a child of my own. An overwhelming urge to slap him was building deep inside me. I slowly smiled. Sino ka? I wince. It s been five years I whisper and close my eyes and it all came back to me. for everything. Kung tututol ba `ko papakinggan niya `ko? Hindi ba masasayang ang effort ko kung mapapahiya lan g din naman ako? So let s proceed. Three steps. I looked up. 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. Hindi ko alam kung anong nangyayari. e xpecting and gaping at us. This is for you Jeannie. She smiled at me. I was going to throw up any minute now. I was praying with all my might that God w ould give me strength to get through this. Siya ang nagtata nong. The corner of his mouth twitched in a lazy smile. My fate was sealed. My heart sank to the pit of my stomach. Ayokong magpaka-ipokrita. My vision was getting blurry. My eyes got misty. I was doomed to be a spinster forever. I heard someone scream. She remi nds me of Tantan. alam natin. biting my lower lip `til I almost draw blood. Siya ang na nga ang nanggulat. Bakit ganon n o? Lagi nating sinasabing hindi tayo nag-eexpect pero deep inside. There were a lot of well-wishers. Hindi ko na kaya. But he was there his hands were inside his jeans pocket. Then a woman came running in uniform. w e were hoping against hope. Tricia was in front of me. Now I know what the phrase killing me softly meant. Hindi man ako tumingin alam ko alam ko ng lahat sila sa `kin nakatingin. at t his point I was wishing them the worst. Kasi nasasaktan ako . Naku halika na. They were all staring. the maid smiles tentati vely and take the child s hand. Pe ro pano? I do. It was all over. Giving me the bouquet of flowers. Nasangga. What was far more hurting than seeing the one you loved walk down the aisle wi th someone not you? Julian August Sunico. CM patted my shoulder. I was staring num bly at Jesus Christ. Natulak. My hand was trembling as I took the bouquet from her gloved. I wished I was in a time warp. Two. One. Or did I? I . white hand.. That was the last of my full thoughts. Nakita ko na lang si Tricia na naglalakad palapit sa`kin.alaw! The child is holding a doll. Thank you. I feel that emptiness again. Finish. Was he also mourning for me? Hindi ko kaya. O `yun `yung gusto kong palabasin ngayon. I wanted to let go of the pain.
`Yung tawang: Mwahahaha. All I want for Christmas is Jul youuuuuu! Hindi ko siya pinansin. Define mabait. He was an event organizer in New York. I gasp. well. Hindi ko alam kung bakit gusto niyang magkita kami ngayon. I loathe that word. I m being ungrateful. sabi nga ni CM titigan mo lang ng buong araw busog ka na. As i n. Just a noun. WALA AKONG TIWALA. Half-fil. Special child. At sa sobrang katalin uhan ko dinaig ko pa si Rizal. Lang huh? Okay lang. half-canadian . Then a face so familiar comes in view. Sabay tumawang parang demonyo. Wallet? Necklace? My mind s warming up with all the expensive gifts I can ever have from him. Bakit hindi. Hija! It s been a long while since you came back C M clears his throat. dear! I smile at him. Hindi ko alam kung matutuwa ba ako kay CM o ano. I almost throw it in his face. CM but in. wala akong tiwala. I roll my eyes. Nakaalis na siya? Damn. J ean s laughing and kisses her daughter. Do n t you know that Christmas had just been a holiday word to me? Entirely foreign. No not name. Stupidass. Siguro mabait lang talaga ako. Okay. That morning I wake up and watch that video. She beams at me and kisses my chee k. It was a dvd disk. Napatingin si mommy dito. I learn to like him through the years. Special ka kaya. Nothing else. Merry Christmas. Roy hugs me as he hands me his gift. 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. Sa`kin okay lang `yung trip to Disney land. Hindi ko alam kung bakit o kung ano ng nagtutulak sa`king panoorin `yun. Well. My eye s twinkle. I love you tita. of course CM. I snort. Mamamatay ka na ba at ito ang gift mo? O kaya nagh ihirap? Fine. kunsintidora! CM handed me a box.fainted. That Christmas eve we open our gifts. He pouts. Good girl. Kung Titanic ang laman nito paniguradong gagawin ko ta lagang parol si CM. That name. This time louder with matching ubo pa. Well. Present. Parang naparalyze `yung buo kong katawan. I raised one brow. Knowing CM. 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. 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. Na para bang diyan lang sa Star City ang hinihiling nito. ako? Because of just one man? Because of love? . Goodness. I met him through. I snort. I almost touch the stop button on the remote co ntrol. all in capital letters. That Five-letter fvcking word. Somehow I am restless that Christmas day. he is a handsome and charming man. Hit me on the head. Epilogue Part Two Wala na po siya. The video is blurred at first. Czarina comes running with my mom. Sana Coach bag `yung matagal ko ng inuungot sa kanya.
`Nu ba `yan Panira ng m oment! The white petal looks familiar. I take it and sniff. That was our best time together. Having my own child. wasn t it? Para `kong nanghihina. my heart bea t triple time. You bought my paintings? I start hiccupping. The hou se is overlooking the Taal Lake. Hindi ko napansin na ako na lang pala mag-isa. Leviste? I nod. Something warm tugs at my heart. kikilabutan lang kayo. Those days I wish I have again. `Wag niyo ng itanong ang mga details . Pictures of me grimacing on our wedding day. Nanginginig na naman `yu ng mga kamay ko. He s on the phone. Napatingin ako sa malaking bahay sa harapan ko. I take it. their caretaker. Three teeth are mi ssing. I raise one brow at him. Anak ka ni Mabilis akong napakapit sa muk ha nito. Hey. Of course. Those days that I love him. My eyes grow wide as we enter a white room. There are p ictures portraits I remember vaguely. You know what. my God! Anak ka ng demon Oh. Maybe just in anoth er lifetime I d have made him stay. Napalingon ako sa bulilit na katabi ko. Yuck. It s bittersw eet. Damn him Damn he-who-has-no-name. Sobra. CM tilts his head to one side as if shooing me. My heart constricts just by imagin ing myself having a family. Malabo. Masarap s ana kung may kayakap. Lofty thoughts Jeannie Bulong ko sa sarili ko. somehow I start hating mysel f. Syempre sinama ko si CM. Those days that I thought I ll hate him forever w hich I m doing a poor job of it. She s looking up at me And my. Kaya nga gusto ko ng pagtakhan si CM. Knowing CM. D addy! There s a woman here! She s a strangeeeeeer! Napapikit ako. She frowns at me. I ll just wait outside. The kid skids away from my grasp. He kn ew where. Malamig talaga dito. I raise one brow. It reminds me of Oh. Kundi ba naman nakakatulig `yung pagtili niya. May nag-abot sa`kin ng panyo. Cute. I slowly turn around. salamat aalis na lang Kayo po ba si Ms. Life-size photos of me in Morocco. And no doubt obscene ones. I wince. He ll be the Ice breaker. Naiisip ko lang kung pano `y ung next scene. I close my eyes tight. I cup both her cheeks. Parang slow motion sa pelikula. I m looking around the house. he can still make your heart beat faster? Naramdaman mo `yung feeling na kahit na pilit mong . You re gross.God. Have she heard me? Oh. Ma am? Napalingon ako. I bet she ll shake t he whole house off. if ever. My so-called doomsday before. Naramdaman mo na bang kahit anong sakit ang idinulot niya sa`yo. Hindi dahil nakalimutan ko n a kundi dahil hindi ko ginustong maalala. Jade! My eyes grow wider. Who are you? At namaywang pa! Her chinky eyes tur n into slits. Long ago I ask that mys elf. 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. My knees become weak. Sige. 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. I suddenly blu sh. Ma am? Ha? I turn to. Alam ko matutuwa I mean. Ipinagbilin po kayo ni ma am Tricia. lady won t you talk to me? She pouts prettily. Hindi ko napigilan ang hindi mapaiyak. Sumunod po kayo sa `kin. God sorry. no. murm uring love words. My eyes get misty I so remember those days. Vague. I stop cold in my tracks. With him.
T hat will be very horrible Mr. I say instead. you ll tell me yes. Hindi dahil ayoko. And that he the beast will turn into a handsome prince and he ll give the word foreve r a meaning. didn t he? I forget his name. I m thankful now `coz I didn t get to live with you forever. He s expressionless. Sana. A four-year old chinita girl. Nakalimutan ko she s there. Madaling sabihing mag-let go. Bakit ba? Hindi ba dapat ako ang magalit? Anong karapata n niya? I walk to the door. Tisha Jade! I met a pair of chinky eyes. That face. Hindi ako manunumbat. I count one to ten to stop m yself from shouting at him. Tumangkad ba siya? Gumwapo? Tumaba? Lalong pumuti? No. Sasampalin ko siya. How could I have loved him? Galit na pinunasan ko `yung mga mata ko. Ang hindi matibag-tibag n a lalaki. Do you know the word pain? I guess. I remember the video in my mind s eye.sinasabing wala lang siya sa`yo pero isang tawag lang. Full of pain. It fades as time goes by. idiot don t let go. Merry Christmas Jeannette Rose Leviste! She waves her hand. Isa lang. L ike he never existed in my whole life. Sabi ni mommy. The video. Sunico. this is goodbye. I m just sorry I let you go. And everyone who fell i n love became stupid. Now I guess painful is the best term. So. Juli He even did more than his fair share of kis sing. I tried to. He s more attractive. I can t breathe again. Yes. she s she s the one in your study room! Her picture s Julian covers her daughter s mouth. I even thought he will run to me and hug me. They ll live happily ever after. Five years gives him just ice. Hindi ako makapaniwala sa mga naririnig ko. Hindi mo pa rin mapigilan ang sarili mong umasa? There s that tiny part of you that says. Are you here to laugh at me Jeannie? Just a mere whisper. Pero nakita ko ang pan ginginig ng kamay niya habang hawak ang anak. It s the truth. That somehow Aladdin will whisk me off wit h his magic carpet. I ll act matured sophisticated. I open the door and smile to myself. Mabilis akong humarap sa kanya. What are you doing here? And more domineering than ever. Kahit pangalan mo lang. Anong kayang sinasabi ni Tri cia? Nakita kong tinignan ng pagkasama-sama sa anak. Jeannie she smiles at me. Not Julian s more like Tricia s. ano pa nga bang ineexpect ko mul a sa kanya? He s still the high and might Julian Sunico. I m not sorry for what I did Jeannie. bad daw ang magsinungaling! Dapat matuwa ako. He s thirty-something now. The little girl bit her nails. how dare him do that. I turn my back on him. Madaling sabihing hindi ko na siya maha l. akala ko kapag hinalikan ni Prince Charming si Snow White okay na . He stares at me for the longest while. You re always good at hurtin g everybody. Pero sino bang niloko ko? `Yung kuko ko? Gusto kong magreklamo sa Disney! Bakit pa kasi sila nagpaasa. Eh. The mature lines on his face tell on the wise years. Tricia s gone. Galit na nilagpasan ko siya. Pero mahirap gawin. Agree? He slowly squints. Close. I frown when the scree . But by God. Or to mock me of what I ve done? Now that you re successful? Hindi ko siya pinansin. Kundi ayaw makinig ng puso ko. They open my child s eyes that there is a prince charming. My hand stop in midair as a I hear a gasp. Nung bata ako. It works. She pouts a gain. Have a happy life Is that a fvcking curse Jeannie? Do you know you creep under my skin. I thoug ht it did. So yeah. Kaya nga nagtataka ako sa sarili ko. Biglang tumigil ang pagpatak sana ng luha ko. Long silence stretched. I ll be over him in no time at Daddy. Bingi ka ba? I m going.
He s jesting right? Mommy s gone to heaven. Hindi ko alam kung ako ba? Dahil dapat makaramdam ako ng galit. God. I gasp. Am I that selfish? I wish her ill many times in the past? Now what? It s true Jeannie. Parang nanikip `yung dibdib ko sa sinabi niya. sweet girl. I m just sorry that I hurt you. She looks straight at me as if she is really seeing me. I envy you you have the zest for life Jeannie. Gone. Ano ba! Tigilan na nga natin `to. P umangit siya. I am now sobbing silently. Ang sama ko ba? My eyes wate r. Her own. Bakit ba gustong gusto niya `kong sinasaktan? I always thought of her as the kind. Na para bang hinihiling sa`king unawain ko siya.n zooms in on her face. Grabe! Si Tricia talaga oh. She shrugs. She just wants to live her last years making her family happy. Relief floods through my bloodstream. They re the happiest years of my life. But not the way he loves you. Nang-aasar ba siya? I even salute you when you left him for your dreams. Tricia she never looks a day sicker than she is. I m not sorry I took Julian from you. O siya? Dahil nakakangiti pa rin siya sa`kin ng ganon. You can be my mommy ag ain. Not that sinasabi kong mukha kang pera. Gusto kong maiyak sa itsura nito. I know something is very wron g here. But you came mahinang sabi nito. He smiles sadly. His hand tightens his hold on his daughter. I muffle a gasp. Considering mayaman si Julia n. We thought she s already okay. Mabilis tinakpan ni Julian ang tenga ng bata. Fren ch kiss. Back to the present. I even hear d him talking to you Tisha Jade! He s now roaring. Na gust o ko ngang gawin. Oo. Nakakaiyak naman kayo. Jean came a nd unknowingly. Parang hindi siya hindi naman sa pumangit siya o Oh-kay. He whispers. She sighs. CM shrugs. Goodness. That. you replaced her. CM knew? Oh. He nods rapidly. Five years five long years. We have a d ate! He shrieks. No. Kinarga niya ang bata. Para matapos na `tong usapang ito. It s like I can hear Tricia saying thank you to me to Ju lian as we went out of the OB that day. But then knowing that you know it s soo ner. Oh. baliw na ata ako. Nakakasama ng lo ob. Na para bang pinapatahimik ako kung ano mang magiging violent reaction ko. Living your life knowing that somehow you have a timeline. queers(halamang dagat) are lovable. They want her to have a family. She paused. Parang umitim ang balat nito. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. Saka naghihintay na sa`kin si Roy. That shut him up. he loves me. She laughs heartily. I still want to yank that lovely ha ir out of her face which is covered with a bonnet. Do you know she bit her lower lip. Un til when I came to New York to find you. Jeannie tell him what you feel . Everyone has. Julian just kiss Jeannie. `Yung parang magkukuhaan kayo ng oxygen sa isa t isa dahil Julian s glare still work. How long is it daddy? She looks at me. He chuckles to himself. Nangingitim ang ilalim ng mga mata n ito. Though yes. Ewan ko ba. That s why She s got Leukemia. Napalingon ako. Natigil `yung muntik kong pagsinga. 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. I can t seem to ta ke it all in. She thanked me on her wedding day. I blink thrice. Para akong napako sa kinatatayuan ko. Bakit ikaw ang m aiinggit sa`kin Tricia? Nasa `yo `yung gusto ko. She had already a bone marrow transplant then. Anyways. Bilis na Jean nie! Tricia s happy wherever she is. Naramdaman ko `yung basa sa pisngi ko. or rather our families hastened our engagement. Tricia s dead? No. Ang kapal ng mukha ko no? Alam ko sasabihin mo. It was traced way back when yo u entered my life Jeannie. I don t know where to start. Roy is CM s boo. Surely surely I m wrong? She s dying Jeannie. Daddy always looks at your picture when he thought I m not there. Not that I love Julian She raises her hand. Gays.
Love. Talaga naman. Naramdaman ko na lang `yung sarili kong mga paa na na glalakad din. Per o walang luha don. French kiss. p lease I still don t want to wake up. `coz I k now how persistent and talkative you are. He cups my cheeks. But his eyes are glazed. I don t know about ghos ts or Tricia. Jeannie. I don t just think. There are times that I want you to shut your lovely mouth sweetheart. I do now. But hey. Hindi nga ba at a ng bata ay regalo ng Diyos? Damn evil stepmothers to hell. In God. And believe that dreams do come true. Sumimangot ito. He innocently look s up at the ceiling. I promise Tricia I wo n t be one. Thank God. . . Hmm? I built this house remember that first time? What first time? I ask innocently. Para siyang bumata ng ilang taon. Gusto kong isiping umiiyak din siya. I still want to be a part of your life. Pakialamero. Just kiss me J ulian. Naningkit ang mga mata nito. Julian tries to suppress his chuckle. That forgettable huh? That day i n the car when you yelled like you wanted m Julian `yung bata! I hiss. CM starts laughing. I m sorry.I glared at him. I can t bear anymore child Julian. I think I ll love her. There will be times that I ll still shout at you I nod. I m sorry. Like we need to breathe each oth er s oxygen. How hard it is. Mabilis kong hinawakan ang leeg ni Julian. Pain and sadness. . I love you He whispers before he bends down. The years stretch between us. He suddenly pulls me into an embrace that robs me of my breath. Well. Both don t know how to cross the distance. He gave love a bad name. I nod against his polo shirt. Thank God reall . But if you believe in it.. Don t ever be afraid to love. Oh. I kiss her on the forehead. Pe ro wala akong pakialam. The doctor said it after I ve had a problem with m y He stares at me. I ll be your mommy. didn t he? I smile. In all that is possible without the eyes really seeing it. Love is a very frightening thing. I wait for that long overdue kiss. Wetting it. It doesn t matter anymore. I love this freaking insane and mad guy with all my heart. The child is amazed. It s now or never if he can t accept me for what I am about to confess. All the pain is swept away. He smiles tenderly. That I ll still miss baby JJ. Nakita ko siyang humakbang palapit. CM s giggles are getting louder. You re not as pretty as my mommy. Five years. If I m dreaming as cliché as it may seem. Walang reunion na hindi madrama. I love you. I m very grateful. It doesn t matter. she s even crushed in between. Now there s j oy. be yourself. Julian I m sorry. no? Sige ikaw na! Inis kong sabi kay CM. Just I sigh and smile at Ti sha Jade. Emotions kept hidden for so long is written there. Jeannie ang bagal mo naman kasi pano kayo magkaka Ang dami mong alam eh. I hiss. Ang drama ko. Overwhelming joy that I m afraid isn t real.
you re pressing too close! I can t breathe! I close my eyes in frustration as I look at her chinky eyes. Bitin. http://www.com/teentalk/index. Natupad ko mga pangarap ko. Naghiwalay. http://www.html driver seat http://www.com/teentalk/index. Oh. What! Inis kong sabi. The nice? guys are ugly.html#msg54528 95 CC link Splitting Hairs. Oh. Julian grins at me and wink. Hap py Ending na.html uterus--.candymag. Pero hindi pa rin niya alam `yun? Shhh. I hope.candymag. and the hot-and-nice guys are g ay.360.php/topic. how I love him. will will you No.435.php/topic.php/topic.php/topic.com/teentalk/index.candymag.php/topic. It s This is meant for you.196622.y.com/teentalk/index. you did me a favor. Nakagawa na kami ng bata noon.html http://www. mommy. promising a one hundred and one pleasu res in life and in the next lifetimes.candymag. I close my eyes again. What now? He smiles at me and whispers: Hindi ako marunong manligaw. Until he kisses me it s as if I can still hear Tricia s last words.php/topic. It s just that Tricia and I never lived here.msg5452895. the hot guys are jerks.540. Merry Christmas! He murmurs with no one in particular.196622.196622.com/teentalk/index. This is our wedding night Hey. well.html http://www.ovari Uncle Jin Passenger seat. Uh nothing.html http://www.405. Hearing her like I did through that v ideo early this morning.candymag.com/teentalk/index. It s a long time coming do me a favor? you know.candymag.html es http://www.196622. I have a gift for you Jeannie.com/teentalk/index.php/topic. I smile to myself as I hug Julian close to mysel f. Nag-asawa siya.465. I start laughing.candymag. Only.285. Tricia. Thank Jesus.com/teentalk/index.candymag.196622.php/topic. we had somethin he think his ex uncle Jin ñ .360. What a we dding night. I can feel it Ito na.196622. Jeannie? I close my eyes and groan. Akala in niyo `yun.196622.196622.html g http://www. I close my eyes and wait wait.
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