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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
Why do you hate me so much? Gusto kong matawa sa sarili kong tanong. Fine. Dyos ko po. Obvious na tinatanong pa. Sa pagkakaalam ko walang pikot na hindi planado. Jean Rose isn t a crybaby. Nagbibilang ba si San Pedro ng penalty? A we ek. I sighed in relief. But some part of me still wanted to hear the conf irmation. Kahit ba sabihin mong gwapo ang mangre-rape sa `yo. Para iyong 1+ 1=2. Nasan na ang kakambal ko? Bakit ako ang n agdudusa sa kasalanang `di ko ginawa? Alam ko namang magaling akong umarte. How was tha t for a Shakespearean play? Masyadong tragic ang buhay ko. Kailan ba hindi sinadya ang pikot? Sige nga sabihin niyo sa `kin. nagkakapatong patong na ang mga kasinungalingan ko. Sasabihin mong either sipon lang `yan o napuwing ka lang. He si ghed. I was keeping my fingers crossed. Nakahinga ako ng maluwag ng itulak niya `ko palayo. Hindi ko sinasadya. So what game is this? Get into my bed and then play the pakipot later? I promise you. Well Julian? Humiga na din ako sa pinakagilid ng malaking kama. Gusto kong sabihin iyon sa kanya on my twin s behalf. How many days? He brushed his hand roughly through his hair. Napahiga na lang ako sa kama . Pero lalo lang akong naiyak. Matulog ka na. He slid his hands and fisted my hair. Me ron kasi `ko. Isang malakas na hikbi ang hindi ko napigilan. kung bumubuga lang ng apoy ang mga mata ng tao baka nasunog na `ko ni Juli an. Naaw ardan pa nga ako nung high school na best actress nung gumanap akong Sisa sa Nol i. Nara mdaman ko ang paghawak niya sa balikat ko. Juli an! ahhhh I moaned and twisted. Galit itong humiga. You are crying. I felt so alone and vulnerable. Yes. we were almost in timately embracing. Specifically a very estranged and angry husband and here I was supposed to be pregnant. Natatakot na talaga ko. Samantalang hindi ako titig il ng hindi ko nakukuha ang gusto ko. Tumagilid ako patalikod sa kanya ng inakala kong hindi na siya sasagot. Yeah. Parang bigla ng nagkaroon ng tenderness sa boses nito. O baka imagination ko lang `yon. Silence. In this position. He still didn t move from behind me. nakalimutan ko Pregnant women don t bleed. Pe ro para ko na rin niloko ang sarili ko. Silent tears turned into muffled sobs. I thought my monthly flow was a curse. blessing in disguise din naman pala. Umusod u lit siya. Mabilis akong umisod palayo sa kanya papunta sa gilid ko. I shook my head. Hindi ito makulit. Are you crying? Kung umiiyak ako may paki ka ba? No. I felt his hard naked chest against m y back when he tried to peek above my shoulder. I was alone inside a big mansion. Ah. I am.mo. Didn t he know what he s doing to my senses ? His thumb brushed the moisture on my cheeks. in bed with a stranger whom I had just met a few hours ago. He frowned at me. Hindi na nga almost eh. I couldn t help it. But in shock. Ahm a three days. Onti nalang talaga mauubos na pasensya ko. So what s this grand scheme? Tignan mo `tong lalaking `to. Kung kaya t it was very much out of Jean Ros e s league to do something as pikot . He stilled against me. Juli an I tried to push him off me. Pero lumapat lang ang mga kamay ko sa malapad niy ang dibdib. What the hell is the matter with you? Ang laki laki ng kama dyan ka nagsusumiksik . I m sorry. Do you hate me? I whispered again. Pinipilit kong pakalmahin ang mga hikbi k o. It is still spelled the same R-A-P-E. I licked my lower lip. He didn t give even a nary compassion toward me. Niyakap kong mahigpit ang unan upang patahimikin an g paghikbi ko. I winced. Then I f elt tears brimming down the side of my face. And he also moved along with me! Umusod ulit ako. Not in pain. The situation wa s worst than I had expected. Yeah.
I waved my hand at her in dismissal. Matagal ng binaril si Rizal sa Luneta at wala akong balak sumu nod sa yapak niya. what s a scandal with the Sunicos right? I saw the muscles on his jaw flexed. I couldn t believe it. ANO?! Is he serious? Never mind. Just as well. Para `kong invisible na hindi niya nakita. Sinigawan niya ko! I thought we were okay. Where s the telephone? I didn t want to sound stupid. At take note: he didn t even bother to pull out the chair for me. Ang laki nga ng kama dikit ka naman ng dikit. Wala naman p umigil sa `kin ng nagtuloy tuloy na `kong lumabas ng gate. I don t care anymore kung mukha man ak ong peso sign. I gritted my teeth. I smiled sweetly at him. `Yun lang. Not Jean Rose. you know. Hang in lang ako. myself and I. Didn t Eskimos kiss like that? Matulog ka na. just as well. No one pacified me. Hindi ako martir. I cou ld have misheard him. Hindi dahil pina hiran niya ang luha mo okay na Jeannie. Inis na lumayo ito at tumalikod. If he did. Nang sa tingin ko ay kumalma na `ko ay lumakad ako sa front porch. Balak?! . I dressed hu rriedly and quickly got out. If I were pregnant you could h ave at least supported me financially. I said airily while I was putting butter on the toast. Gusto kong umuwi sa `min sa duration ng honeymoon natin tutal naman hindi mo pa ` ko kailangan. Sa pagkakaalam ko hindi ko talaga sinadya na magka tapat `yung mukha namin. Ako ang asawa pero wala akong alam. Mabilis a kong bumangon at ginawa ang morning routines ko. Jean! I was so worried about you. Maglalakad na lang ak o palabas ng subdivision para maghanap ng taxi. Ngumiti ako and said a tha nk you prayer to my maker. may hinahanap po ba kayo? I smiled brightly at the maid. Where the hell are the telephones here? Ano `to mansyon na walang telepono? Ma am. Good morning Jules! I take it you had a good night sleep? Deadma. 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. He stood up an d cleaned his mouth with the napkin. I screamed my frustration within the fo ur walls of the mansion. So I wouldn t think about him. I thought women are the only ones who are fickle-minded. Pat i ba naman cellphone ko hindi pa nakisama? Naiwan pa. Oh-kay. I woke up late in the morning. Malamang sa mga araw na `yon mahahanap ko na ang magaling kong kakambal. Sabay bigla `kong naalala ang sitwasyon ko. An yway. Unless you re with me. Dahil hindi ko na alam kung anong magagawa ko. Napasabunot ako sa buhok ko. Our noses touched. Natulig ako ng biglang bumagsak ang tasa ng kape nito sa platito. Mabilis akong bumaba at na ghanap ng telephone. He was staring at me stonily. The food was forgotten. Humihingal sa galit na sabi ko ng matapos a ng speech 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. Mabilis na humarap ak o sa kanya. Hangin. I would think first of myself. Itinuloy mo pa rin pala ang balak. I was ready to weep. You re not going to see your family. Inis na humarap ako sa kanya. They wouldn t do it. Galit na tumayo ako at hinabol siya. He was reall y hell-bent on making my life miserable. `Pag baba ko ay nag-aalmusal na ang prinsipe sa lanai. Isang babae t lalaki. When a car automatically stopped in front of me. Uuwi ako sa bahay mamaya may hihingin sana akong pabor. I didn t care who heard it. Me. and my twin. Maaga `kong mababaliw sa bahay na `to. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung masira a ng isa kong ngipin. SANA WAL A. The woman hug ged me. Sana naisip mo `yan when you and your family blackmailed me into this marriage. My eyes grew wide at the implication of his words. Eh ma am sabi po ni sir `wag daw po kayong pagamitin ng telepono.. Siya nga pala. I closed my eyes. Mabilis akong umakyat at hinagilap ang cellphone sa bag ko. Hindi ako makapaniwala sa narinig ko. Not to mention that the house was so big you could get lost.
It was like Oh my God. Jean Rose Sunico! I heard that one again. ROAR. Bulong. His eyes were like challenging me to do just that. I could feel my hands shaking. please kung nanaginip man ako `wag mo po muna akong gisingin. I slowly looked sideways an d saw the blatant anger in his eyes. Well. they were proud to say in the least na. I saw the emotions in his eyes. And they would stop comparing me to Jean Rose. Pwede pa natin `yun tamain. Home. Fe eling ko para `kong nagka-amnesia. Ay. A nd then one hand grabbed my other arm from the side. Him. There would surely be bruises later. Jean Rose I know I ve made a mistake. My eyes grew wide. Ano ba t alaga ang nangyari? Lalo akong naguguluhan. Something Jean Rose would do. I gnawed at my lower lip. I opened my mouth to say his name. Naramdaman ko ang pagdiin ng pagkakahawak ni Julian sa braso ko . Nagulat ako ng biglang hinawakan ako ng lalaki sa braso. Kutis-mayaman kaya ako. Then I realized I don t know the man s name! You cannot mean this Jean. Nakalimutan mo na ba `ko? Hindi kita nakalimutan! Hindi lang talaga kita kilala. Julian deliberately whispered the words to me. And ne ver to be Jeannette Rose. Then I felt the emanating anger from the other side. Pero hawak hawak pa rin ako ng lalaki. Naging Sunico ka lang Jean? He frowned at my reaction. And it ends there. My eyes grew wide when he cupped my face up. As in. Jean Rose Sunico! I stopped dead in my tracks. but I wish they would be more proud of me. Okay. pero parang lalong natuyot ang lalamunan ko. PERIOD. Bumaling ako sa lalaki. And three years drew us apart. . Run away with me Napalunok ako. Go. I became the blacksheep three years ago when I accepted the scholarship in New Yo rk University. The beast roar. Sabi nila nagpapakatanga ako sa course ko: Fine Arts. My heart went out to my sister and him. Siguro kung sa ibang pagkakataon baka kinilig pa `ko. Sumakay ka na. Naguluhan ak o bigla. And what amazed me most was he embraced me! I missed you love so much. Para kasing nilagyan lang nila `k o ng nette pero sa totoo lang it was as if they wanted me to be Jean Rose. Oo. And boy. But every time they asked my parents where school I go to? I think . `yung bunso kong anak she stays in N ew York . 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. ah. I mean please wake me up. Ang sarap tignan ng may kakambal. Wala sa loob kong nasabi. Nagpatangay na lang ako ng bigla akong hi nila ng babae. Someone who could break it off with your own boyfriend in proxy kung hindi mo kaya. Minsan lang naman akong pag-agawan ng ganito. THREE We aren t rich. maybe I could get some facts about my twin s whereabouts. Ahmm . Not that I was caught red-han ded. I closed my eyes in frustration. Let s go. may papalit sa `yo kapag absent ka sa clas s. Pe ro rinig ko ang dagundong `non sa tenga ko. Oh no. Tell. You love me. Maybe I m just splitting hairs. But don t they already know that we only have one face. Julian tried to tug my hand. Julian I Hinila niya `ko bigla sa tabi niya. Masarap namang pakinggan eh.Lumapit ang lalaki. He encircled his arm around my waist i n a possessive manner. fine w hile my sister is good with figures. Mrs. Or maybe becau se I didn t want to be in my sister s shadow any more. To.
Then I started really crying. Nanlamig ang mga kamay ko. I felt tears threatening to erupt again. Kung ang iba sa ed ad ko ay humihiling ng prince charming. 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. Ako hindi. All my daydreams flew out of the window when he towered over me. He was dangerously gorgeous. Naiisip ko pa lang kung anong gagawin niya sa `kin ay nanlalamig na ang mga kamay ko. Get dressed. Julian you re hurting me! Halos kaladkarin niya na `ko papasok ng mansyon. NO! Mabilis akong tumakbo papunta sa pinto. And I was living a lie after all. He tilted my ch in up and looked me angrily in the eye. my dear wife. Honesty. Suplado naman! May K naman kasi siyang magsuplado. Tinignan ko ang mala ki at magarang silid. that must have caused millions. eyes were the windows of the soul. Bakit? Had someone hurt him? Betrayed him? Minutes passed by. I s lowly tried to catch my breath to stop from screaming at him. Hindi ko alam kung bakit bakit ganon `yung mga mata niya nung sinabi niya iyon. I only wanted to establish myself on my . Honesty. I didn t ask for any of this. Hindi naman a ko buntis pero nagiging iyakin na `ko. Lumakad na ito palabas. Hindi ko ma-imagine ang sarili ko: blessed virgin Jeannette. Ako hindi. Bigla nitong binitawan ang mukha ko. lalaki siya. That was it. Bigla niya `kong ibi nalandra sa kama. Julian As usual. He tilted his head to the other side in question. wasn t he handsome in his thr ee-piece suit. That is all I asked of you. If you don t want to be sitting in jail. bakit naman siya magagalit? In the first place. Pero may reluctant bang namikot? He did turn around. because he would surely int imidate you. And and we we both know that you don t want this marriage? Bakit hindi mo na ako pakawalan? I mean. My hands turned into tight fists and started banging the door. Please Brad. W-what if I still love Brad. Leave Brad let s go Sabi dito ng babae. Lumingon ulit ito. damn him! hind i niya `ko totoong asawa at wala siyang karapatang gawin sa `kin `to. After all. In the second place. We went upstairs while he was still holding my arm tightly. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. he didn t turn around. Lumabas ito. Hindi kaya dininig ako ni God? Diyos ko ` wag naman. He rolled his e yes in disgust. My eyes grew wide. no. Because I m sure she was a reluctant bride. Nasira lang ang drama ko. And I just wished he didn t! Hindi ko alam kung paano pa nagig ing lalong singkit ang mga mata niya sa galit. 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. Sh!t. Women s ultimate weapon: Tears. The corner of his mouth twisted in a mockin g smile. Naiiyak na napatingin ako doon. I don t take to infidelity lightly. I wa s afraid he would see through the lies written in my eyes. Na par a bang nasasaktan siya. Gigil na hinarap niya `ko. Kaya t-a-n-g-a nga daw ako sa bi ng mga magulang ko. Bago pa ako makapag-react ay hinawakan na ng mahigpit ni Julian ang mga braso ko . And boy. His fists were clenched. he isn t in love with me! So bakit siya magagalit well. Si Julian `yung tipo ng lalaking hindi mo titilian. Mula sa lamp shade hanggang sa china vase. si Jean Rose. I couldn t term him just handsome. Parang mas lalo akong natakot doon. Inis na tinabig ko ang kamay niya. And men s ego is sometimes bigger than their brains. Then I heard the click on the other side of the door. Kung ang iba ay humihiling na makapangasawa ng mayaman.Leave my wife alone Brad. Parang gusto kong lumubog sa pagkakaupo ko sa kama habang malapit na malapit ang mukha niya sa `kin. Pe ro teka. I ll come back for you Jean! Then the woman dragged him inside the car. Julian! Galit na pinihit pihit ko iy on. I sighed in relief when they walked away. I never asked for a wonderful love story.
I gritted my teeth in an ger.own as a famous artist. And b oy. nakakahiya mang aminin 6 1 siya at 5 2 ½ lang ako. para itong kumunoy na kakainin ako ano mang oras. Sige na Mag-isa siya! I smiled at her. I fell into a deep slumber after exhausting mysel f from crying. Dun sa hindi ako matetempt. I saw his broad shoulders and arms flexed with his ev ery move. Manang pakilagay na po dyan `yung juice. alam ko nagblush talaga ako. Siguro y napagod na pumunta ito sa railing at umakyat. I kn ow I must have shouted Julian s name. Ma am siya nga po pala. She was crying and did n t want to let me go. I looked around me. And then I would wake up later and find myself in t he boarding house in New York. Julian was here! I t hrew my arms around his neck and clung to him. I didn t know where the German shepherd dog had come from. Tumingin ako sa kabilang side. 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. A hand grabbed my waist. Isang napak alaking akala. 5 3 na nga sige na. Then the dog came running. I sucked in my breath. I c onceded. Dun sa my eyes grew wi de. Julian is in every way sexy. Hindi ko alam pero `pag upo ko ay dumulas ang kumot mula sa dibdib ko. Mabilis akong pumasok sa loob ng kwarto. . Nanlaki ang mga mata ko. I tasted the tears mingled with the c hlorine. Please please don t let me die yet. Nagbabakasyon kami noon sa lake house n g Aunt Lara namin. Si Amorsolo. I thought it was only termed with women. G usto kong maging si Juan Luna. Hindi ko pinangarap maging si Cinderella. Julian please don t leave me I whispered frantically against his neck. I didn t want to be appreciated only after my death. At ah. We were still in the middle of th e pool. Jean! Nagmulat ako ng mga mata at umubo. Paatras na ako ng paatras. Kinurot ko ang sarili ko. Bilog ang buwan. But the sight before me froze me on the ground. I woke up late. T apos biglang bumukas `yung pinto. my heart beat triple time. I screamed when my foot stepped on nothing but water! I was in a deep end of the swimming pool. At sa maniwala man kayo o hindi. Sumabay na daw po kayong maghapunan sa kanya. And Jean Rose caught my hand. I had no choice. Nasa harap na ako ng swimming pool. Feeling ko. I curled into a fetal position on the huge soft bed. I heard splashes of water from outside. I screamed my way to the surface. I didn t know. Padabog na sumunod ako sa katulong. He was standing on the edge of the swimming pool clad with only his swimming sinfully black trunks. I tugged her along and sec retly took the boat to explore the lake. Dahil sa `kin kaya nangyari `to. Sana sana pipikit pa lang ako ng mapansin kong may lumalangoy sa foot-shaped swimmin g pool. Hindi na naka-lock! Ma am pinapatawag daw po kayo ni sir. Nasa teritoryo `ko ng kaaway. I didn t remember covering myself I frowne d. And I was still here. Anim He looked up then. I wasn t entirely looking at him. Kaya nga ba hindi ko naging idol si Rizal eh. Ouc h. Toward me. Matangkad ito. As in. Alam ko. He cupped my ch eek and looked at me for a very long time. I was gulping down a mouthful o f water. gabi na. Then flashes of yesterday came through my mind. Must have stood almost a foot taller than me. Jean! Jean! A voice whispered in my ear. Oo. kahit nga ba talentadong pinoy siya. what Julian wants. Papanhikin daw po kayo ni sir kung hindi kayo bababa. may mga pand esal siya sa tyan. Julian gets. Mula sa likod nito ay lumabas si Mang Pio. `Yung katiwala din. Dapat dapat bumalik na lang ako bigla sa kwarto ko. I was eight again. His muscled back was rippling with water as his stroke became faster. Promise. I hate you Julian Sunico! I hate you to the deepest part of the earth Sana binabangungot lang ako. Ano ba talagang nangyari sa kapatid ko? Why didn t I feel anything? Sabi nila may link ang mga kambal. Mabilis kong hinawi ang glass door pa tungong terrace. Lumaya s lang ba talaga siya? Hindi niya mabilang kung isang oras na ata akong umiiyak. Parang naiiyak na naman ako.
. Yep . `Yan ang madalas na ipanakot sa `kin ni Aunt Lara. Kung ayaw mo bahala ka! Natanggal ko na ang tali ng bangka. There were mermaids in the la ke. wala pala. I rolled my eyes heave nward. Alam mo `yun naiilang ako sa titi g niya. Oh my God. Sinimangutan ko siya. I froze in his arms. We were both screaming flailing And it was all my fault. She became a champion in swimming competitions while I nev er learned. He said that silently. As if naman.Ano bang nangyayari sa`yo? You re a swimmer. Jul ian I wrapped my arms around his neck. Sa p ag-aagawan namin ay nahulog ang sketch pad ko. Rubbish. I was just shocked by your big dog. Siya ang unang un a kong mumultuhin. As if he were my lifeline. Our eyes met. At hindi ko kasalanan `yun! Siya kaya lunurin ko. Seriously she had always been there for me. Syempre ako na lang `yung natitirang kapatid no. Both of my thighs wrapped around his body on its own accord. I said airily. He said silently. And sh e was very good at it. Gusto kong sakalin ang kapatid ko n g mga sandaling iyon. Jean Rose overcame her fear by learning how to swim. I m ten but not entirely stupid. As in over. I bit my lower lip when he looked at me closely. Anyway sino bang may sabing sumama siya? Jeannie ano ba! Ano? Inis kong sabi habang ginuguhit ang papalubog na sikat ng araw. Jean Rose scowled at me and didn t say a word. Ito ang taong kahit hindi bagong gising masamang biruin. Para akong unggoy na nakabitin sa puno. Pero bigla niya `kong pinakawalan. Kung meron man well. Mabilis nitong inagaw ang sagwan. Sa katulad ni Julian na perfectionist malamang na kasalana n ang `di marunong lumangoy. I was amazed with its reflection on the water. Ayoko. overrrrr. My eyes grew wi de. Hindi ko siya pinansin. And oh Lor d the tree was getting hard all over. Pagabi na. Jeannie nasan na tayo? Bakit parang palayo na tayo ng palayo? She bit her lower lip . Sa isang iglap ay tumagilid ang bang ka at sabay kaming bumagsak. I ngos ko sa kanya. I am. Na para bang titig na nagnanasa dududa. You re supposed to be a swimmer. Damn. My breasts were flat tened against his hard chest. Naiiyak na pinilit kong abutin isa isa kahit basa na. Gume wang gewang ang bangka. Sa totoo lang Jea n was never the evil twin sister. Tignan mo ginawa mo! Naiiyak na sab i ko habang lumulutang lutang ang mga papel. I smiled at myself and took my sketch pad with me. Pero kasi Jeannie baka Isasagwan ko na sana ang bangka ng tumuntong na din siya. Well. Jean Rose screamed. FOUR Jeannie! Kasi baka I looked back at her. You would be more shocked by my big Dog? Gusto ko sanang magbiro. Hindi kita pinilit ha. Jeannie! Bumalik na tayo. Wala talaga siyang kunsiderasyon! `Pag namatay talaga ako.
At ang gentleman ba sta na lang akong ibinagsak sa marble floor sa gilid ng pool. I blinked thrice. Jules I have something to tell you.Julian was just staring back at me. He was so m ad at me. Si Jean Rose ang gumawa ako ang umaako! He had it all wrong. Galit na hinablot nito ang telephone habang pinupunasan ang sarili. Susumbatan niya lang ako. I whispered stupidly with lack of anything to say. I wore a n off-shouldered cream tailored dress. bata pa `ko. Ang mahalaga hindi siya nagalit Jea nnie! I tried telling you Ikaw ang Hindi maganda ang panloloko Jean. His head came down down down. 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. He didn t even comment about my appearance. wala akong kara patan. Diyos ko. We uhm. Two days of being married to Julian Sunico was like hell! And it felt like a lifetime sin ce I said I do . feeling ko nagkulay mansanas ako. Bastos talag a. It was now or never. I cried on his shoulder. Jules I m sorr y. She overcame her fear by well. It was a matter of choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea. Siguro kung hindi lang masamang pumatay ng tao. Mag-aangilan lang kami. Parang nanlamig ako bigla. experienced dr owning before. My creamy white shoulders were very much visible. Ginamit ko lang ito once sa exhibi t ng kakilala ko. Lelecturan ng walang . His hand caressed my cheek. Kelan ba matatapos ito? Tumingin ako sa harap ng salamin. At ang utos ng hari hindi mababali. Lalo a kong napayakap sa kanya. 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. Hindi iyon lalagpas ng mid-thigh ko. Why not? He said huskily. 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. Inis na sabi nito. Nagsasawa na `ko sa pagtatalo namin ni Julian. Tumayo ka at magbihis ka may pupuntahan tayo. Siya `yung `yung magaling lumangoy. Isa lang. 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. Siguro hindi naman magagalit si Jean Rose kung kahit isa lang. Siya ang gumawa ikaw ang umaako? You big stupid moron! Tama ito. ako I never did learn. Had he forgiven me? Hindi siya galit? You should have told me sooner. Ano bang nangyayari sa `kin? I leaned my head in between his shoulder an d neck. I winced when I heard him curse. Bente uno lang po ako God para sa mga ganitong bagay. Giniginaw na `ko pero isang towel lang ang nakita ko. The hell with the consequences. Then it dawned on me. I licked my lower lip nervously. Hawak pa niya. Ng panahon. My heart was beating triple time. Ang tanong: sinong mananamantala at sinong pagsas amantalahan? Not I. Thank God for the two-inch stilettos. At ni hindi man la ng nahiyang ipahiram man lang sa `kin. Akala niya pinagko-compete ko ang kakambal ko tapos tapos ako kunwari ang nananalo? My God. My twin she s the swimmer. Ang mani pis na suot ko kanina ay halos kita na dahil nga basa na din. o kaya ay wala lang ang mga katulong doon ay baka nilunod na `ko ni Julian. Kung ginawa mo `yun just to get the fame you wa nted then you don t deserve it. So what was the use of telling him how gorgeous he is? I just shut my mouth up. Naglakad ito kasama ako. I couldn t look him in t he eye. Yeah you re right! Siya ang gumawa ako ang umako ng mga Sir telephone po mommy niyo. From the start. I m not supposed to be who I am now. that voice of his it was like he had just woken up from a night of debauchery. Naramdaman ko ang paghigpit ng yakap niya sa `kin. Hindi ko alam kung dahil sa naudlot na o dahil sa alam niya na `yung sasabihin ko. I opened my mouth to shout at him. Grabe ang mood swings ng lalaking ito. Nagsasalubong na naman `yung mga kilay nito. Goodness. Prom ise. Hindi ko nga alam kung dahil sa ano o dahi l sa init.
Julian ano ba! Napasigaw ako ng pinaharurot niya ang Porsche niya. His eyes sent me a warning message. We went inside the grand hotel. I looked at Julian then. Pero bigla niyang tinabig ang kamay ko. Julian started laughing humorlessly. Gusto kong sumigaw a . Galit na tinitigan niya ako. Hanggang sa makarating kami sa patutunguhan namin. 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. Na-iim agine ko na `pagtumanda ito. Kailan pa kinailanga n ng tatay ng imbitasyon sa kasal ng anak niya? What do you want? Julian said coolly to his father. And I m happy for her coz she s not waiting an ymore for someone who hasn t seen her worth. I just want to see my son. Tears were streaming down the side of my face. None. I glared at him. your husband here didn t send me an invitation card. Mahina pero gigil kon g paalala. I smiled at her politely. He was tense. Ayokong magsalita. I was numb. God please! Virgin pa `ko. Sunico. My eyes grew wide. Na para bang mayroon siya! Julian opened the door for me. Julian please I grabbed his a rm. Anong sasabi hin ko Julian. Julian?! I frantic ally searched his face for wounds. She looked somewhat familiar. Tears were starting to form in my eyes. Eh di baka ihulog na `ko ng tuluyan ni Julian palabas. I gritted my teeth in frustration. Halos lumangitn git iyon. Your flavor of the month? Julian! Excuse my husband. Hello Julian. it s nice to see you again son. Julian! Nagulat talaga ako. I apologize hija. There was something wrong here. Nakikpagkarerahan ba ito kay Kamatayan? Napakapit ako sa dashboard. Nanginginig ang mga kamay ko na bumaba ako ng sasakyan. Halos ako at ang papa niya lang ang nag-uusap. I smiled. Normal naman sa mga produkto ng broken marriages ang ganitong ugali ni Julian. Bi glang may sumulpot na malaking truck sa harapan naming. How s your mom? Ayun. You loved her? Cut the crap. Na-amaze ako. marami pa pala kaming gagawin. She was in her early thirties and very much beautiful. straight nose Ouch. I m glad to finally meet you. I was shocked. Pudpod na stilettos ko. okay lang `yun okay lang na niloko ng papa mo ang mama mo past is p ast. Act the very lovin g wife. Their fists were both clenched. I loved your mother. But his pain ran deep. Shock was the understatement of the century. He s Biglang pinisil nito ang kamay ko. Na parang demonyo. hila doon. Sorry sir. Nakita kong parang aatak ihin sa puso ang papa nito. Julian sighed and looked bored. dad. With his chinky eyes. Mabilis kong hinila si Julian. masaya na si mommy sa buhay niya. Ni hindi na ko magtataka kung kukulutkulutin ko na ang buhok ko mamaya. Bakit wala po kayo nung kasal namin ni Jul ian? We would have been happy kung nandon kayo. My heart went overdrive. Hinila niya ako. Say hello to your tita Doris. Tahimik lang ito. 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. Invitation? Ang weird. No. Baka nakakalimutan mo ako pa rin ang nanay ng anak mo. Jean Rose Sunico! I didn t stop. I t felt so awkward. The man was just an older version of Julian. Naglalakad ako sa gilid ng kalsada na wala sa sarili. Nice nice to see you. Hello sir. Magtatay ba talaga ang mga ito? Umupo kami in silence at saka ko lang napansin ang babaeng kasama ni Mr. Ayoko pang mamatay! Parang naiiyak na `ko ng sumadsad ang sasakyan sa gilid ng iliko ni Julian ang s teering wheel. Ano pa nga ba. I felt the impact of what almost happened to us. Leave me alone! He shouted. for the first time Julian knew how to act the gentleman.katapusan about honesty and virtues. Hila dito. Tao lang ako. is that bad? He said.
Palap it ito ng palapit. He just shrugged. Not that I f elt anything well. Not that I care.. Wala na ang necktie nito. Parang pagod na pagod. tenderly. Ayun. Inihagis ni Julian ang coat sa couch at dumiretso sa mini bar. Sunico. That T ricia must have been special for him to be like this. kung bakit hindi ako nabingi sa pagbagsak ng decanter at pagkalabog ng pinto. Julian aren t you going to bed yet? A slow sexy smile twitched on the corner of his mouth. You r e bound to me forever. Marami talagang mga sinungaling sa mundo. Julian I just want to hel Help? That s bullsh!t. Again.. We are about to get married. Parang nasasaktan. Why is it so elusive? Maybe because we cannot have everything we wanted. He had fox-like eyes. At biglang may kamay na humawak sa braso ko upang iharap a ko. Wala nga ba Jeannie? Hindi naman siguro pinagbabawal ng batas ang pagtatano ng. He started laughing mockingly. Is she special? Julian I jumped in surprise. Na para ng gagawin akong panghapunan. Well. But I believe in the sanctity of marriage. I wonder. Kaya nga hindi ako nanin iwala sa sinabi ni Kim Chui na habulin mo happiness mo! Eh di kung ganon lang ka dali iyon. Gusto kong sabihing. Then the phone started ringing. His eyes were squinted in anger. Julian would have been with another. In a split second the beast hugged me! Fiercely. Like happiness. Ang boses nito. Hindi ako bulag o bingi. Are you inviting me to bed Jean? Ang boses niya ah parang nang-aakit. I can t Julian. His eyes. no he wanted to eat me alive. wala naman tal aga. So he knew all a long! Bigla itong tumawa. Silence. Or was it my imagination? Tricia? Who s Tricia? FIVE Sabi nila best things in life are free . `Yun lang. Kulang na lang sabihin niya sa mukha kong wala kang pakialam . His back w as turned to me. maybe it was just guilt eating at me. Mabilis kong sinundan si Ju lian sa study room niya. bakit ako mag-aalala sa isang taong ni wala man lang pakialam sa `kin? But I do. Tawang demonyo. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. tinalikuran pa `ko. Julian s-sino `yung tumawag? Ano bang pakialam mo Jeannie? I was just curious. Tricia. Will you please give me peace even just for tonight? Mahina nitong sabi. I shook the cobwebs in my head. Then he d tell me that he di dn t believe in love? Bull. And thanks t o you it won t happen anymore He looked bored and predatory. Life s not perfect. Ang bastos talaga. sana wala ako dito. She s my girlfriend of two years. Napalunok ako habang papalapit siya ng papalapit. I sighed again when he didn t even bother to respond. He poured himself a glass of brandy and downed it in one swallow. Okay lang sana kung desert eh. I sobbed louder. True. Me meron ako. I know deep down the call had something to do with his sudden withdrawal. Hello? His face suddenly changed. My eyes got misty all the more. I should have known. Dahil sa galit. He should have been a DJ. His shirt was loosened. shut up! I m not Jean! Sinong g ustong humamon sa `kin? Mrs. Since I want honesty between us . Pero minsan nga kung ano pa `yung li bre siya pang mahirap kunin.t magwala sa gitna ng kalsada. I sighed exaggeratedly. My back hit the wall. I don t believe in love Mrs. He wasn t drunk yet! Was he? Don t pull my leg Jean Do you think I m stupid? You lied to me. Sunico! He roared. Then I started wetting his shirt. . Yes.
I was about to go out when Julian s medals caught my attention. Sino bang hindi? Para `kong tuta na basta na lang pinamigay. 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. Tricia? Gusto kong isigaw `yun. Then he hit the wall. Pero `pag sila lalaki lang sila eh. Masyado ba talaga `kong generic? Napagpapalit palit? I had never been lonelier than this. . Parang biglang umakyat lahat ng dugo ko sa ulo. Thrice. Naglalabasan na ang ugat sa leeg nito. May class A at class B. Gigising ako sa umaga. His knuckles were scraped because of the impact. Champion siya 1st pl ace in a swimming competition? I gasped. Once. Minsan nga naiisip ko. Siguro dahil nagtatampo pa rin ako. pagiging mapagobserba ko ay narinig kong sinabi ng mommy niya na there sho uld be no broken marriages . He whispered angrily. Dahan dahan kong nakitang umaagos ang dugo sa kamay ni Julian. Pwes. Dahil hindi na niya ipipilit ang marital rights niya. I was drunk. My breath got hitched. Parang kasabay nun ang pagbagal at pag lakas ng tibok ng puso ko. Hindi ko kailangang maging si Madam Auring para ma-vibrate kong iniiwasan ako ni Julian. hindi naman sa kinukwestiyon ko si God. Then he raised his cle nched fist in the air. At alam ko. Yep. Julian anong ginawa mo nung pinikot kita? He stared at me. I closed my eyes with a prayer. Hindi ako pwedeng magalit. Rugby. Bakit lalaki lang ba ang mga tao? I slammed the door as I walked out of there. Hindi ako nagagalit. Kung sa bagay. No. Julian? No response. Para `kong naparalyze na nakatitig lang sa sa mukha niya. Dahil ba kay Tricia? Parang bigla a kong na-possess. 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. And very much no! Ang mahirap kasi sa mga lalaki. But there s always an exception to the rule. natempt lang. It had been three weeks since then. I was just mad on my twin s ister s behalf. Julian? Walang tao. He didn t want to see me. eh? It was too good to be true. My eyes grew wide. Wala pa siya. Matutulog ako sa gabi. He was always in his study room. the feeling was mutual. hindi man ako ang pinakamatalinong tao sa mundo. Parang boarder nga lang ako dito sa mansyon niya. I thought you were He said stonily. Almost Perfect had the right to be Mr. Wow. It was full of hatred and remorse. Sa saktan ba talaga `ko ni Julian? Would he resort to that? Parang gusto kong umiya k. I knocked. It was a sin in the Sunico commandment. I felt so hurt. Mabilis akong pumunta sa study room. Three weeks. Sa gilid ng ulo ko. Akala ko walang taong ganito. Bakit hindi na lang kami magpa-annul? Sila pala ni Jean? Kung ganito lang din na man Oo nga pala. Really stared at me like I d grown two heads and a horn. hinihintay kong dumapo sa `kin ang mga kamay niya. No. Ano pa bang alam nito? O ma s tamang sabihing ano pa ba ang hindi nito alam? He graduated business ad. Arrogant. So Mr. bakit nga naman hindi? Eh ako naman itong mamimikot `di ba? It was dark. Gusto kong magpakamatay. Salamat sa pagiging tsis mosa no. Love? Letseng love `yan. Hindi ko makuhang dalawin sina Mommy. you couldn t resist my charm. Wala na siya. Pero mali ako. Hindi lang siya ang nasakal. I s hould be thankful.So sinisisi niya `ko? Ang kapatid ko. Twice. He was bound by the Sunico tradition. kapag babae ang nakagawa ng kasalanan para kang nakamatay. I was quite numb . Soccer. in the states. Julian s family. What s your excuse? Dahil lalaki ka? Dahil mahina ka? And oh. Jean Rose wouldn t do this without a valid reason.
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. hirap pang iharap ang mukha. They have it all. Eh. . Mga sakim. At ang mga n ext pictures ay kasama nitong nagpi-fishing ang lalaki. the bod. I don t want. At least CM would make me happy. Very much happy.Pero kapag nasasaktan ang isang tao. A notice of foreclosure from the bank. Bubuksan ko pa lang ang handle ng umandar na si manong. She turned to the lane toward the side of the taxi. Yummy. Ang isip ko sinasabing hindi ako dapat magalit sa kanya. Jean did it because she was always the good daughter. Nakatula la ako sa mismong picture ng dalawa. He bought Jean me. And my. lumil ipad sa bintana lahat ng logic . Manong stop! Napakamot ito sa ulo. Here. Then I saw a smiling picture of him. A ten or so Julian.Pero bakit kaya may mga taong sinalo ang lahat? Katulad na lang ni Georgina Wils on. Cheap. lalo lang sumasak it. where s the fairness of life in it? And Julian was one of the Class A. Tricia?. maganda kilalang kilala ko ang mukha na `yun. I started crying. Gusto kong magtitili. Naso-suffocate na `ko. At hindi sila ganon kasama. Kissing. Jean I prostituted hersel f for a one and a half million. Then I moved on to the next picture. Not beca use our parents forced her to do it. h indi ito soap opera.. May issue man ako sa parents ko. Hmmm Then my eyes grew wide. `yung tipong pati hanggang dulo ng kuko kaiinggitan mo. Tahimik na pumunta ako sa desk niya tinignan ang picture don. Wala sa loob na sinundan ko siy a ng tingin. with his uncle? Hindi ko kilala ang lalaki. Maganda. Stolen shot. I don t want to hate Julian. I hail ed a cab. I frowned when I saw a woman crossing the street. He was right. He wasn t perfect. Sinalo lahat. Ma yaman. Hindi ko din alam! I dressed quickly upstairs and took my handbag. Sabi niya `wag ko na siyang sunduin. he won first place in a swimming competition. I opened it. Then another with Julian s mom. Jean s face! Jean! I half shouted. I felt cold. kasikatan. So sinong dapat sisihin? Feeling ko napakaselfish ko. Ang puso ko? And don t ask me why. Parang gusto kong matunaw sa ngiting `yun. I just wanted to get away from here. Or the kiss. Then I saw an envelope written with a Leviste on it. Minsan kahit anong pilit mong ngumiti. Napatingin sa `kin si Manong. Samantalang may mga pinagkaitan hirap na nga. Napasabunot ako sa buhok ko.. No. I just walked past him and got out. `Didn t know if it was because I knew her. I rolled my eyes. Tricia Leyva? I competed with her once in a painting competition in New York. The picture of a loving couple. They still loved me. Oh my God. may magagawa pa ba siya kung nandun na `ko? I was immersed into deep thoughts. Nasan ang dad dito ni Julian? No. Yeah. Binayaran ni Julian ang bahay na min. Para `kong sirang plaka na napaupo. Alam ko. My eyes grew wide. He had a broken home. Kanino ka pa ba tutungo `pag may problema? `Di syempre sa bestfriend mo. Of course. Tumigil ang taxi nung umilaw ang stoplight. Seriously. What the hell are you doing here? I felt weak. They have the same smile though. Para silang buong pamilya. I was in New York trying to make out on my own. Trying to be different from my sister All the while they were making both ends meet. Pero hindi na kami makatigil kasi may MMDA dun. Tumigil lang ako ng maisara ko ang pintuan at sumandal doon. SIX Ni hindi ko siya tinignan. Ho w could I not? I was looking straight into my own face. kagandahan. Binayaran niya ang bahay namin.
isang buwan lang naman. Isa pa kakatayin ko na talaga `tong si CM. I think I have to go. He whispered achingly. CM? Sa tatlong taon na nakilala kita You haven t mentioned him. Goodness. Katabi ko. Hindi gagawin ni Julian `yun. I shivered suddenly. Tapos napatingin siya sa `kin . Sa likod ng mga fats niya ay 24/7 tumitibok ang pusong laan para kay Adan. SANA. I saw t enderness in his eyes. Jeannie. Grabe. Ano `to soap opera? Salamat sa awa ha. So what happened? I pouted. I bet he s going to plot murder against me. Nataw a pa nga ako ng sundan server `yung tingin sa min kay CM. What? I said innocently. Ako din uuwi na. Ah oo. CM! Lakad pa lang niya alam ko na. an g morbid. siya ay paminta. Parang bigla kong nalunok `yung laway ko.I mouthed. no. Brad this is CM. Masyado kasing napraktis. Pero nakikita ko ang isandaan at isang tanong. Wow. Jeannie? One brow arched. Pinanlakihan ko siya ng mata. At binaba ako ni Brad sa mansyon. Nakangiti pa. Eh. Then I stared at his cute f ace. Hinatid namin si CM sa bahay nito sa Alabang. CM raised o ne brow at me. bakit ba umuulan ng mga lalaki sa buhay ni Jean? Jean why did you do that to me? Anong sasabihin ko? Kelangan ba pag-naguusap ganito pa kalapit? You ve known him for only three to four months. at si Zsa Zsa Zaturna. Tumalikod. no. At gigil na kumaga t labi pa ito. Anong alam mo? You haven t known him that long. Ako? You ve know n me for three years! I thought you love me? Parang nagbago ka na. Inakbayan niya `ko at pumunta kami sa pinakamalapit na Italian Restaurant. Ang bilis talaga ng radar nito. Para kaming sira na nagsasign language. halaman g dagat. bestfriend we could make it a story. He s he s Jean s ex. Gross. Kung ganito lang san a si Julian. Umupo ito sa tapat ni CM. Lahat-lahat ata ng sama ng loob ko kay Julian sinabi ko sa kanya. Agaw eksena kami ng niyakap niya `ko. Yes. In short. Oh. Yeah. Brad frowned. Ihahatid na kita. Too sweet. From the b eginning `till the bitter end. M-my b-bestfriend in New York.Hindi na `ko magtataka kung akalain niyang may baliw na sumakay sa kanya. Kaya pala kaya pala parang hindi man la . Hindi kita type no. Yuck. Goodness. Alam mo `yun g mga ginagawa ng mga mayayaman na pinapasalvage `yung first wife nila. Si CM ay isang nagbabalatkayong tao este lalaki. Kay Brad! Ah ah b-bestfriend siya ni ni Jeannie! How odd I refer someone as myself. some advice. Kung alam lang niya. Baba na lang ako ng hawakan niya `ko sa braso. Jean? We both turned at the voice. CM smiled up at Brad. CM rolled his eyes. Tumingin ako kay CM. Nag-X sign pa ako n parang si April boy. no. He s yummy. BRAD? Brad s face was polite. Ang hudas pumalakpak pa. Hindi ikaw ang tinatanong! `Di ba Jeanni I sent him a warning glance. Three to four months? I bit my lower lip. I would really melt. CM could help? God. Parang gusto ko siyang batukan. you know . Ayan pati a ko naguluhan na din talaga. Hindi ka pa ba uuwi Jean? Nag-aalalang sabi ni Brad. Pini sil niya ang kamay ko. Kung pwede nga lang maghimala ako at magbuntis. His face was an inch or two away from me. I sighed. I could melt. Kala mo naman hind i nagkita ng isang taon. Tapos biglang t umunog `yung cellphone nito at nag-excuse. Hinawakan niy a ang siko ko ng tumayo ako. I waited for CM s arrival. Bakit hindi? Bale-walang sabi nito. Nagpalumbaba ako at ikinuwento lahat. What if he found out the truth? That you re not pregnant? He wolfed down the pasta e nthusiastically. Ahm well. Mas morbid `yun. Then pigs would surely fly. Pinisil pisil ko `yung bic eps niya. He had t he biggest mouth ever. He mouthed. Nagba yad ako at mabilis na bumaba.
Niyakap ko siya ng mahigp it. Nicknames are supposed to shorten one s name. Grabe. I called CM. Ganon naman eh. Me included. I screamed. In my panic-driven state. Sino bang may ayaw ng lalaking ganito magmahal? One in a million siya. computer at alak niya. Relax take a deep breath. CM !!! The line went dead. Kulang na lang sabih in niyang hang up na. Nawala lahat ng antok ko. Inhale. Oh my God. At ipinarinig pa sa `kin ang malakas na paghikab niya. It s it s my nickname. Punta ka sa asawa mo. Oh my God. Julian no! Binuksan niya ang shower at itinapat ako sa ilalim ng napak alamig na tubig. He couldn t and wouldn t tell Jean and me apart. Again. Galit na ibabagsak ko ulit ang katawan ko sa kama ng buhatin niya ko. He walked on. Jean annul your marriage. mas gusto niyang kasama `yun g mga libro. CM I can t meet the whole Sunico clan. Then I gasped. Ano `to napagtripan lang basta n i Julian na magtour kami sa Korea?! I bit my lower lip. My God Ju lian. Binabaan ako ng p hone! I tried and tried again. No! Mabilis akong bumitiw sa kanya kahit pa ma-hypothermia na `ko. Later in t he wee hours of midnight. I whispered softly. Then som eone was shaking my shoulder. I heard the amusement in hi s voice. Nakatulog ako habang byahe kaya nabigla na lang ako ng nasa NAIA na kami. CM! We re going to Korea! So? Pati ba naman bestfriend ko nahawahan ng pagiging insensitive ni Julian? Help m e! Jeannie hindi ako si Darna. Jean must be very lucky. Tapos? . Ang sitwasyon lang natin ang nagbago Brad. naramdaman kong parang may pumasok sa kwarto. Hindi naman siguro babagsak `yung eroplano no. Jean! What! Natutulog `yung tao eh. Anong gagawin ko harangin `yung eroplano? Pasabugin `y ung airport? Anong gagawin ko? We re going to fly to Korea! As in. How? Buntis na si Jean kay Julian. from Jeannette to Jeannie Oh Jean was always just Jean. Hindi naman ako manhid. Por Santo! Ala-una ng madaling araw. Por Diyos. Bilisan mo. in that I didn t lie. Hello? Carlo Miguel Jr. O buntis nga ba? Had sh e just said it to blackmail Julian? I hadn t seen Julian when I got home. Tapos lumabas na ito. na-touched ako sa bestfriend ko. I thanked God he didn t unplugged the socket. Anyone would want Brad for herself. Again. exhale. `Yun lang. Lum ayo ako lalo. I felt exhausted and slept early. Tinanggal ko ang kamay niya sa braso ko. now! Julian frowned at me. Wha t did he mean by that? Pinaikli naman talaga ah.! Jeannie? Oh my God kung tsismis lang `yan ipagpabukas mo na. Maliligo tayo ng sabay? Nakataas ang isang kilay nito. Jean. are you out of your mind? It s one in the morning! Kung gusto mo ikaw na lan g mag-isa. Hindi rin dahil wala pang happy ending.ng nagtataka si Julian. Please call me Jeannie. Be with me. Hindi ako mapakali lalo. Julian? He didn t turn around. Tinakpan ko ng unan ang ulo ko at hinampas kung si no man `yung bastos na `yun. He chuckled. At least. Ang ginaw talaga. May jetlag pa `ko. He grabbed my shoulders and made me stand up. Magbihis ka may pupuntahan tayo. Dahil hindi niya talaga kilala si Jean! Hindi ako ang nagbago Winner! Pwede na `kong manalo sa FAMAS. I wanted to make a way for my sister an d him.
Mahigpit. He raised one brow at me. In disgust. 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. Damn sexy men. And he was also staring at me! Feeling ko nagkulay man sanas ako. Pero lalo lang niya ng hinigpitan. Inirapan ko siya at umisod pakabila. Pero parang ayaw makisama ng mga muscles ko.Yakapin mo at saka mo ikiss. SEVEN I didn t know a thing about Korea much less Julian s Korean family. Sa sobrang higpit iisipin kong ayaw niya `kong pakawalan. Then he sighed exaggeratedly. `Sus. As if he owned the world. He looked bored. Siguro kung wala lang sakit si Angk o His tone changed. Kahit papano gumaan ang pakiramdam ko ng ti nawagan ko si CM. The family dinner before the wedding. Habang n asa loob kami ng eroplano ay gusto ko ng tumalon palabas ng bintana. Hmm. Grabe. I tried to smile. He was there with me. Julian was sitting handsomely in his Lacoste polo shirt and Levi s jeans. Inis na tinanggal ko ang kamay ko sa pagkakahawak niya. He wasn t looking a t me. Oh G od. Natatakot na talaga ako. Malungkot. Sino si Angko? You ve met him. Tumaas ang kilay nito. Julian I don t think this is a good idea. He wore that devil-may-care expres sion on him. Julian sm iled charmingly at her! The devil really could smile Tapos sa `kin pinagdadamot n iya `yun. At sa pagkagulat ko. CM! I then gaped at Julian. I didn t want him to be suspicious. But then I felt him. Para akon g pinasugod ng mga magulang ko sa giyera ng wala man lang dalang armas. I know I was acting childish. He raised one brow at me. Kung alam ko lang na B. Sino si Tantan? My mind was scre aming. 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. Eh `di `wag. Gusto ko ng lumabas ng airport at sumigaw ng kidnapping. Habang hawak niya ng mahigpit ang kamay ko sa l ap ko mismo. But panic was overwhelming me. It should warm my heart. Matagal na Jeannie. Oh my. argh . Kung narinig niya lang ang sinabi ni CM. ka Hindi ko napigilang hindi matawa. My hands trembled. remember? You and Tantan hit it off. Unti-unting tumaas ang ulo ko. Wala naman siyang pakialam ` . kung alam ko lang natetempt ka na ding gawin. no. I bit my lower lip. Bakit ba umaasa pa `kong magbabago siya? The stewardess smiled at us specifically at Julian. I. padarag n a tinanggal ko `yung kamay niya sa pagkakahawak ng kamay ko. Umupo ako sa tabi ni Julian. Torrid. I swallowed. I knew he just wanted to make the ordeal light for me. Na para bang may space akong mauusugan. French kiss na lang. Then it fitted the spaces between my fingers. I already and suddenly missed Philippines! As if What would I do? What should I do? Julian just slept like the dead. As in. I gave him my most charming smile. Parang nga. Tinignan niya `ko. He shrugged then looked at me knowingly. I pouted my lips. I whispered when I saw his one good eye fli ckered. As if telling me to keep my thoughts to myself.
We went out of the intern ational airport hand in hand. Magdurugo na ata ang lower lip ko sa sobrang kaga . Mayamaya sumeryoso siya. my lips. Bumalik na naman bigla `yung takot ko. Napataas `yung kilay ko. In another language. Nakita kong natigilan si Julian. We ll see an Napalunok ako. Sana laging ganito si Julian Well. I felt warmth in the simple gesture. Para akong t-a-n-g-a na naghihintay ng himalang mapansin ni la. Masama bang ma-carried away? I tried to crack a smile. Para `kong naparalyze. Ano nga kaya ang magiging itsura ng baby namin n i Julian? Kamuka din kaya ni Julian? His eyes. Ako din Wala sa loob na bulong ko. Na para bang iniisip niya talagang maig i. My tummy. Then down to my Oh my I whispered. 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. mag-freeze sa ginaw. Excuse me? Mali ba `ko ng rinig? You re my wife. He was too gentle. hindi ko alam kung ako lang ang nakakaramdam non pero parang m ay kuryente. Seriously. Like hell. Na para bang wala ako dun! I gritted my teeth and closed my eyes. Na para bang hindi siya `yung Julian na lagi akong sinisigawan. Sa `yo lang ako Biglang napatingin ako sa kanya. Anything basta healthy. his one left dimple. And I was meeting the other woman. ako pala `yung kontrabida. Naka tayo pa rin ako dun. Sana lang pareho silang magka-sore eyes. G usto kong sumigaw kay Julian at sabihing hello! I m here! I glared at his back. Tin uro niya sa`kin ang kotse at kinuha `yung nag-iisang clutch bag na dala ko. Tapos hinamas niya ulit `yung tyan ko. Ginising ko siya ng palapag na kami. The land was very foreign to me. He didn t speak English. Then he looked at me straight in the eye. `Yung Julian na walang pakia lam sa `kin. the hell I care.di `ba? There s nothing to be jealous of I gasped. Binitiwan niya `ko ng kinuha niya `yung mga bag namin. Ayoko sana. Buti wala akong b ilbil. He said softly. Marami naman siyang pambili `di ba? Binalibag ko pasara ang pinto. Inis na nilagpasan ko sila. Then Julian replied quietly. Ano nga kayang nakain nito? He gave me a coat. para akong na sa drama. my nose. he didn t r eally mean it. Feeling ko nga. I DON T CARE. Wala akong pakialam kung masira man ang handle non. Ganon ba talaga? Normal ba talaga `yun? O ako lang `yung abnormal? I m already excited to see our baby. Then they were speaking softly. What do you want? Girl boy? Hmm His chinito eyes squinted all the more. At tinitignan ang reaksyon ko. It seemed to take an eternity. Hindi niya `ko pin agbitbit ng gamit ko! Ang bait ah. Deadma. I just hoped it wasn t seen as a grimace. gusto ko ng maniwala. Ganon ba talaga ang epekto ni Tricia kay Jul ian? Had he loved her that much to forget about me? Well. Galit na inunahan ko na ng bukas ng pinto bago ang steward. He must have been very tired because of w ork. Tapos tapos Oh God. I sucked in the air unconsc iously. What amazed me next was when he cupped m y face. Tenderly. I giggled. we ll see an OB. We both stopped when we saw a woman standing in the middle of the parking lot waiting for us. Mayamaya lang tulog na ulit si Julian. Don t look at me like that I might fall! When we get back. `Pagkatapos niya `kong sabihang Sa`yo lang ako Lumapit sa `kin `yung sa tantiya `ko ay steward nila. Tricia was still as sophisticated as I remembered. But I saw amusement written all over his face. Kahit magtitigan sila buong maghapon. They both stared at each other. Dapat matuwa ako sa sinabi niya. Tapos bumaba `yung kamay niya sa leeg ko. Bakit niya hinahawakan tummy ko? I tensed. Palabas na kami ng may naghihintay na sasakyan. Ba t `di na lang kaya niya `ko yakapin? Now I was sounding very much like CM. Julian stared at me. Hindi rin naman madali na maging Vice President ng isang malaking kumpanya at the age of 27. I could drown in those brown eyes. Malamig. At lalong `yung Julian na nilockan ako ng pinto. Or bet ter yet. Oh no. ayoko pa.
Tinitigan kong m aigi ng kumalas siya mula kay Tricia. Naalimpungatan ako. Napatingi n sa `kin si Tricia at Julian. at hayun ang magaling na lalaki. Ipinikit ko ang mga mata ko. So are you telling me that I m a scheming b!tch? Hell. Julian raised one brow at us. Baka pa gbuhulin ko pa sila ni Julian. 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. Tricia got in. sa mood ko ngayon hindi ko feel maging chummy-chummy sa kanya. Chubby cherubin. Kung hindi ko pa alam na tinted ang sasakyan. Three to four years old. si Tricia. Jean! I laughed nervous ly. Sh!t. Julian sat in front. Lalo na ng titigan akong maigi ni Julian. Yes. Itulog mo na lang `yan. Julian glared at me. My eyes grew wi de. I couldn t be mistaken. Julian was already embracing her! And she was crying. `Yun lang. Tumingin ako sa kanila. You knew each other? I groaned inwardly. Tricia had always been soft-spoken. Nag-duet kami ni Tricia. Na para bang nakikita niya `ko. Nakita kong nagkakatingin an sila sa rearview mirror sa harapan. Hindi ko napigilan ang sarili ko. At ako ayoko sa bata! Ngumiti ako dito at pasimpleng pinanlakihan ito ng mata. He frowned. 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. I forgot. I didn t know She whispered wonderingly. Imo Jean h-hold me! Para akong mahihimatay. So? Hindi ko pinansin a ng kamay niyang nakalahad. Na parang torture. Ang matatabang mga braso nito ay tumaas . Lumapit si Julian. Pareho kaming nagkatinginan. At pasimpleng umirap. Nagpapabuhat! Oh. Pagod ako. Narinig niya `ko. Mabilis kong iniiwas ang mga mata ko. Victorian style in Korea? Hmm. he was wishing me to the moon. Then he looked at me through the tinted wi ndow sill. Ha? Had I said my thoughts aloud? Umiwas ako ng tingin kay Julian. Yes. I hated Julian. Bakit ganito? Ayoko ng makita si Julian. Ah no. Then I saw the others looking at us from inside t he big yard. Gusto ko ng umuwi. . you were talking about Jean! Yes. What did you say? Tricia turned at me. I hated this feeling. No.t. When the car door opened. Kami naman ni Tricia sa backseat. Jean Rose was fond of kids. my God. Tricia gaspe d. I didn t care if I sounded like one. If I were a scheming b!tch then he s the biggest hypocr ite ever. Imo Jean! Nabigla ako ng may batang lalaking biglang tumakbo at yumakap sa `kin. others were Filipinos. Julian chuckled. honey she was Jeannie. Pero layuan niya muna ako. Had the circumstanc es been different we could have been friends. Some look Kore an. Ganito ako kapag natetense o naiinip. I m a slut in the making. Madapa ka sana. That wasn t what I intended. Mas malaking mansyon. Tapos inalalayan niya si Tricia. I felt a twinge of guilt. Jeannie? As if naman nagulat ka! I smiled at her mockingly. Pero twinge lang. Pagod ka Jeannie. Could have been. Julian got out and took our luggag e. Kung alam ko lang. I didn t know why I felt hurt. You didn t tell me about Jea nie. Biglang bumilog ang naniningkit na mga mata ng bata. Wake up we re here. As if he could see through my lies . In the deepest part of me I felt alone. My eyes grew wide. I I Jeannie I met her in New York. Tumalikod lang ako saglit. Maputi ito. Para akong sinasakal.
What have I gotten my self into? Tapos bumalik ulit ito at hinawakan ang kamay ko. Reall y stared at me. Hindi sila matapobre like what I d expected. O kay lang po. No Tricia. Celine smiled at me. Imo Jean let s play. Alam mo cous. Si Celine. n o. I m okay. NOT MINE! I fainted. Hindi okay. Me. He stared at me. Nagkalat ang chocolates sa mga kamay ko. No make-believe baby. But I m not that stupid. What the hell is happening here?! Unti-unti akong tumingin sa hagdanan. Oh m y. Oh. `Pagpasok namin ay niyakap ako isa-isa ng mga kamag-anak ni Julian. Lahat sila naka palibot sa `kin. and the res t I couldn t very well remember their names. clearly. Para akong hihimatayin. I froze in place. no. Natawa ang mga pinsan ni Ju lian at tinapik ito. Hindi ko ineexpect ito. At nalaman kong kaya lang sila nan dito ay dahil sa Angko ni Julian Julian s grandfather was sick. God Sssshhh Tantan don t cry. Then someone hugged me. Kahit isa sa ka nila hindi ko alam ang pangalan. Hija! Kamusta ka na? Too sad. Napansin ko ang closeness ni Julian kay Uncle Jin. So he s Tantan? I groaned inwardly. Imo Jean s-sorryy My eyes watered. darling? You got me worried We ll go to the nearest hospital. So Juli an s words were asking him to kiss him? Was that it? Oh. Ayoko na. Then I saw Julian and Tricia talking quietly fr om a corner. Tricia ey ed me curiously. The patriarch of the Sunico family. si Uncle Jin. Drake. He was the old man in the pictures! With Julian. ganyan din ako ng pinagbubuntis ko si Tantan. My throat was dry. Imo Jean! I almost groaned aloud. My eyes searched for Julian.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. Pinilit kong tumayo mula sa malaking kama. you re okay? Tanong ni Uncle Jin. Kumiss ito kay Julian. NO! He was holding Tricia s hand. Parang ito ang pumalit sa pwestong iniwan ng papa niya. Then I started hiccupping. kay a ikaw Julian take care of Jean. Emotional stress. He looked at me then started hiccupping. Un cle Jin was his father s cousin. H indi naman ako pinanganak na sinungaling kaya nagi-guilty din naman ako sa pamil ya ni Julian. Tahimik lang ako. You re not Imo Jean! You re not Imo Jean! He started wailing. Wala na `kong nagawa. He grasped my hand. There stood Julian s grandfather . Tantan. I heard that one. Are you sure. Our baby he might be He frantically cupped my stomach tenderly. Tantan smiled up at me. The man who had bear-hugged me earlier. like the way Julian stared at me when he was suspicious. I smiled at the old man. Then he stopped crying. Anak siya ni Uncle Jin. Nakita ko ang mukha ni Julian. Me. My gaze was fixed on the grand staircase. He looked real worried. Tantan I gritted my teeth while s miling. I just smiled. Imo Jean Yumakap ulit ito. Aunt Risan. I opened my eyes slowly. Emotional stress. Nananaginip ba `ko? Sa panaginip ko Julian was worried sick about me. Hindi ba ako titigilan ng batang ito? Kinarga ito ng matandang l alaki. Nasan ako? Julian cupped my cheek softly. eh? Pagpasensyahan mo ang apo ko Jean. Na parang hinipan lang ng hangin. Ngumiti ito at inabutan ako ng wineglass. Then Tantan kissed my nose. I wanted to g o home. Some smiled at me. Are you sure. You missed aunt Jean. EIGHT Jeannie! Jeannie! Damn Jeannie darling please wake up. At apo nito si Tantan. Me. No nothing. Tama . . And sadly the divorce of Julian s parents caused the Sunico patriarch to dis own his eldest son. Kung hindi ko pa ala m in my peripheral vision I saw her. Sa sobrang inis ko binitawan ko siya. Hindi ko na kaya. Uncle I w hispered tentatively. I didn t make it on your wedding day. Gusto kong maniwala Julian gusto ko. Nakatingin ako sa batang naglalagkit ng chocolates. They were almost all half-filipinos half-koreans.
At may mahal din akong iba. His rheumy eyes were still clear. Please Julian Tama ka. pati ako naguguluhan. His whole body was covering mine. My God. Sabi nito sa mataas na tinig. And it hit right through the core. Arrogance. Hindi niya `ko maririnig na magmakaawa. Bulong ko. O nag-aalala ba talaga? Tinalik uran ko siya. In the first place. di sana hindi tayo parehong nakatali sa kasal na ikaw mismo ang may gawa. Magkaya kap. Pilit kong iniaatras ang katawan ko papuntang headboard. tukso layuan mo ako! Julian no My eyes grew wide. They were both alike. The corner of his lips twitched lazily. as if mocking me. Gi namit kita. But oh my. My heart was thundering. Nagpapakatanga ba talaga ako? He was taking his clothes off one by one. You love Brad. Galit na tinitigan niya `ko. Na parehong meron kay Julian. Parang naiiyak na `ko. No! O. I m already doing this. Authority. Ako. Overwhe lming anger and desolation. me and Tricia! I clenched my teeth. it felt wrong and delicious. I screeched and clawed his face. Insensitive cad! What s wrong? Ha! Yes! Everything s wrong you. I saw red. Sa likod ng isip ko nakikita ko sila ni Tricia. Are you going to rape me? I whispered angrily. I was amazed at what he had done next pabalyang itinulak ako ni Julian sa kama. Because I m good at giving back to charities and you re one of them. Is there something wrong. Ginamit kita para makuha ko ang gusto ko. He didn t quite budge. Do I need consent in raping my wife. I know an insult when I heard one. Right. I pushed him hard on the chest. But there was definitely something about his grandfather t hat made me fear him. Julian s face darkened. I was sudd enly afraid. Tinanggal ko iyon ng humarap ako sa kanya. Napalunok ako. Parang bigla akong natakot sa itsura ni Julian. Jeannie Will you please go away from me? I murmured angrily as Julian touched my shoulder. He s got grit and pride. Realization hit me all at once. I sighed. Nagti tigan kami. Hindi naman ako nasaktan dahil malambot ang malaking kama. His face was so close I c ould smell his breathing. he was clad with his Levi s Ganon kabilis. Bakit ako masasaktan? Siguro kasi natatapakan pride ko bilang babae. Nobody assiste d the old man. Niyakap ako ni Tant an sa leeg. His fists clenched. I gasped. ang pangalan ng pamilya mo . He pulled off his coat. M y hands were trembling violently. Jeannie. 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. Umiiyak ang huli. Now. Kulang na lang maging ab o ako sa apoy na nilalabas non. The rise and fall of my chest rubbed against his. Jean nie Nakita ko si Tricia. Eh. Ang mga mata nito. Wala n a `kong pakialam kung magalit siya sa `kin. Pero lalo niya lang hinigpitan. parang nag-aalala siya. Na para bang ako ang may kasalanan ng lahat. Julian don t do this. What s wrong? I bit my lower lip from shouting at him. para makuha ko ang titulo ng bahay namin. Narinig ko ang pagsara ng pinto. Hindi ako makahinga sa bigat niya. Sadly. Let s get her to rest. right? And you re a hypocrit e. Ano `to stare-a-thon? The muscle on his jaw flexed furiously. And g oodness. Niyakap niya `ko. Gigil na itinaas nito ang baba ko. Tatakbo ako mula sa gilid ng hapitin niya ang bewang ko. Ewan ko. May tungkod ito. No that would stomp my damned pride. I looked over my shoulders Lamp shade? Brush? No! I can t hurt him.At sana hindi dumating `yung panahong I d start really hating you. At least not physically. Pero dinaganan niya `ko . And let s face reality may mahal kang ib a. wala siyang kara patan magalit. darling? He said in sarcasm. Natakot ako bigla. Ju lian was dead serious. He di dn t look as if he was sick. . Taas noong tumingin ako sa kanya. sonja? Napatingin ako sa mukha ng Angko ni Julian. Inihiga niya ` ko sa kama. Julian seemed like the very devil himself. Nakita kong unti-unt ing nag-iiba `yung expression niya. Well. My eyes grew wide I thought it might p opped out. Very much like Julian. Pagsalba man lang ng pride. He became withdrawn. mapapatawad ko na sana `tong batang `to. You ruined both our lives. Sana nanlimos ka na lang sa `kin. He wouldn t hurt me. Diyos ko.
Tahimik lang si Julian . Open up for me Jeannie His voice was hoarse. Angko Julian and him spoke quietly in Korean language. Wala na siyang ginawa kundi sa ktan ako. Ganoon ba `ko kababaw? Sinisigawan niya `ko lagi. Umiiyak na ang mga pinsan nitong babae. I tried hard to close my mouth from his i nvasion. You re mine. Th e soon-to-be patriarch of Sunicos. War of heat. JUST. openly. And I tasted blood there. Something I felt strongly. In bed with a man who thought I was someone else. Then he kissed me th ere. I shouldn t be feeling this way. Na para bang magkakaroon ng Wo rld War III. Then his lips landed on the side of my neck. Then he went out of the door. He was already kissing me. I saw the bitterness written all over his face. No. He roughly tore my blouse off me. wala kang karapatan dito . Gusto k ong sabihing family matter `to. Napatingin kami sa doctor. Tapos hinawakan niya `yung kamay ko. No one owns me He claimed my mouth not too gently. His hand clutched the side of my neck. Sa pagkabigla ko Oh my God! I cried out. His eyes were blazing Then he fisted my hair up that tilted my face in the air. But it only ignite d something more more that I wanted. And I bet he hated the responsibility. He was trying to hide the p ain. He wanted to see Mr. Then he looked down at me at my bare shoulders and flimsy black underthings. Galit na sinabi nito. Ang mukha ng lolo ni Julian. And I couldn t help falling for him. And now I love hi m. The buttons popped. Pilit akong nagpupumiglas mula sa hawak niya . Nakita ko si Tricia na nakatingin sa `min habang nasa labas ng ICU. I opened my mouth to protest. Pilit kong iniiwas ang mukha ko. He was now the heir. then tears one by one pooled down my eyes. We were in a war. You love Brad? Let s see. No Yes no then he was claiming what he shouldn t. I hate him. Marahan niyang hinimas ang tyan ko. Nanghihina na `ko. War of emotions. He s dying! We went to the hospital as soon as we got our clothes on. parang biglang nag-init ang buong paligid. Nagsabog ang buhok ko sa k ama at sa mukha ko. Ro ughly. Sanjo come here. Hungrily. we weren t in pu rgatory. yet I couldn t name . I started crying. Then he kissed me. But I did. Then his hands were there touching me. Julian! Angko s rushed to the hospital. Itinulak ko siya ng malakas. Carnally. It was like I couldn t do anything anymore. Not l ike this Julian! Then his lips trekked down my neck. . We were still in Korea. I closed my eyes ti ghtly. SAVAGELY. Without clothes on now. She was just a family fr iend. I was half-naked. `Yung parang tinatawag na ni Sa n Pedro. Julian? Julian? We both turned at the frantic sound at the door. Parang gusto kong yakapin si Julian. I love Brad I love Brad I shouted at him. Para akong masosuffocate sa loob ng hospital suite. Julian Sunico and his wife. My God. He was tense. And I felt a little sympathy for this old man even though I had met him a few hours ago. Ho? Julian pushed me. Touching my stomach. But the devil was kissing me. Hindi niya kailangang magsalita para mari nig ko `yun. Uncle Jin s mouth was slacked.Tumaas lang ang kilay niya. Surely.
Hmm He took my hand. Promise me. no. I was kinda shocked. After the third day. 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. Umiyak na `ko. I wished you could paint the whole family. Natatakot ako. What the hell Ang hirap pumagitna sa mga nag-uumpugang bato. pano kung balikan ako ni Ang ko? Diyos ko. At least. I-comfort. Julian never needed me. you ll never hurt him. We were out of the embassy when we saw Julian s father. meaning almost all of the Sunicos. Cremated. It was too swift. What is over Jin? You tell me! You know it would never be over unless Galit na siga w nito at tumingin kay Julian. we. Eh. Gusto kong sabihing ako? Ako pa ang mananakit kay Julian? Apo niya nga talaga it o. I shook my head. Yakapin. I couldn t help being left out. Too fast. Then his hand went limp. Ho? Para na akong parrot na paulit ulit. He needs you. nasasaktan din ako. Uncle Jin tried to pacify h im. whatever happens take care of Julian. went back to the Philippines. Please make my sanjo happy h-he h-he had the full responsibility now. Alam ko kung pano magalit ang leon. Hindi man ako inborn na mabait. Promise. Will you get out of here? You re not a Sunico! Julian hissed silently. I nodded. Julian s father was red about the face.Angko He smiled sadly. Promise. Promise me His voice was ho arse. naniniwala akong bumabalik ang mga kaluluwa kung may unfinished business. The Old patriarch of Sunicos were now gone. What if what if Julian turned to his father in anger? O h. Aunt Risan looked worried. I know I know He chuckled hoarsely. Ayokong ako pa ang maging dahilan ng pagkamatay ni Angko. It s over. Julian! Celine said authoritatively. I heard you are good at painting. Jin. I m sorry. Pinagtitinginan na kami ng mga tao sa paligid. Nakita ko ang biglang p agmutla ni Uncle Jin. NINE Julian was withdrawn the whole burial service. I m old but I m not stupid. With me. Para kaming . Jeannie could paint. Pero ako si ako si Jean. Natatakot akong bak a hindi ko matupad ang promise ko kay Angko. But he gave me that look that said back off . Gusto ko siyang lapitan. Promise me. why didn t you tell me? He gritted his teeth. Tahimik lang siya these past few days. Julian moved forward. `wag naman sana. Syempre. My eyes grew wide. Kay Tric ia lang. He s dead. At isa pa. hindi naman ako ganon kasama. I wanted to tell him. Before we knew it. With Tricia. His wrinkled chinky eyes seemed tired. Parang gusto kong maawa dito.
. Para akong naestatwa. I gritted my teeth. I saw the headlines. LEGAL. this is the right time to do that? I I don t know. Tamang tama para sa okasyon. wala. Wrath and envy. She was crying now. Nasa kabilang sasakyan si Uncle Jin kasama sina Celine at Tantan. At hin . I d tell him later about everything. Excuse me lang Carlo Miguel Jr. However unreasonable it may be . I know. I bit my lower lip. My phone vibrated. Dumating ang mga bodyguards ni Uncle Jin. At lalong hindi ko na kailangang magsinungaling na may project par a lang payagang gumala. totoo naman palang sinabi nila. She understood him about his family. Ayoko na. Don t cause any more scandal than we have now Even Celine was c rying. CM I would tell him the truth.nasa slow motion scene habang nakita namin kung pano tumaas ang kamao ni Julian sa mukha ni Mr. Pero ang m agulang ay magulang. We ll have a press conference later. I saw Tricia squeezed his hand. Julian closed his eyes. Susuko na ba talaga ako? My hands were cold. Hindi ka si wonde rwoman. artista ka na. Nagpapawis. Sa tingin mo. Painful. CM I ll talk to you later. Ako? I felt alien. Mas matalino sa `yo kapatid mo. Sabi nila. Muy. Because he needed it t hough he wasn t asking it. The n there were papparazzis. There was more to this than I couldn t put a finger on. Tricia smiled at me.. Wala ng dialogue na bata ka pa . Pero anong ginagawa ko? Gusto kong protektahan si Julian. I gave up Juli an. I was mourning my heart out. Talo ako. women have a nurturing nature. Pwede ng makulong. They have reasons. Aunt Risan phoned someone. Anong panama ko kay Tricia? She knew a lot. sa pagkakatanda ko never kang pinagnasaan ni Tricia back in New York. Independent. Ano naman nandyan naman si Tricia! He would feel betrayed. hindi ako nagi ng mabuting anak. mag-boyfriend at uminom. May kumatok. God. Pero paano ang panga ko mo kay Angko Jeannie? Hindi ko na kaya. Julian was remote. Ako?. Why? Kasi feeling ko malaya na `ko m ula sa manipulasyon ng parents ko. What do you think will Julian feel? Another blow? Dammit. Tricia was with him. you know. 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. Then I sighed. Where s your sense of honor dad? Sana hindi na lang kita naging tatay! Julian was making guttural sounds. Hindi. Mapagpanggap ka. I chose black. I felt exhilarated. I gave up. CM. What! Think it over Jeannie. At lalong hindi ako magtataka kung ba kit siya pinikot ng kapatid mo. Where the hell had they come from? Tricia hugged him from behind. Hi Oh. Julian please stop it. And I never wanted to run for an ulirang anak awardee. Hindi ko siya ma-t ake. Hello? Wow. I remembered telling Jean this: Jean `wag mong i-save ang mundo. and men will always be boys at heart. Like I was an altogether different person. Sunico. But you know what? I still wanted to reach out to Julian. When I turned eighteen. I know I m committing two of the seven deadly sins. Ilang beses ko na bang sinabi: Wala a kong balak sundan ang yapak ni Rizal. Wala talagang mabuting idulot si CM. Magpabuntis ka kaya kay papa Brad? I cut the line off. Tonight. Inayos ko ang gown ko sa harap ng salamin.. gwapo pala ni Julian Sunico I w ouldn t wonder why Tricia chose him over me. I rolled my eyes. In fairness ha. Eve rything. I took a step back in horror. Wala ng curfew. At ang hitad tumawa pa. Iyak ng iyak si Tantan ng magising. She looked pretty and sophiscated in her pink dress.
I rea lized one thing: Hindi ko kayang i-give up si Julian! Dinner time. my eyes squinted. Tricia was challenging me. I d rather eat you for dinner. I don t feel good around you. It was deserted. Pero tao lang po ako. Oh. Jeannie I I shrugged and went forward. You . Tumalikod na siya. Three days ago. If you don t. You don t have to wor Julian was leaning gorgeously against the doorframe. I d tell him tonight. Brad. Lumapit ito.Ito ba ang k aya mong i-give up? Akala ko ba si Eba ang dahilan kung bakit nagkasala ang buon g daigdig. I tiptoed and wrapped m y arms around his neck. Bakit hindi ka dumating? Ano?! Ano bang pinagsasabi nito? Was he into drugs also? Dahil sa kagandahan ko? Ang lupit talaga ng kamandag ko. I couldn t risk being seen with him. Parang nanlamig ang buong pagkatao ko. Jok e lang ni Brad. he was inviting me to taste the forbidden app le. Bakit hindi ko pa sabihin lahat? She smiled at me. Tuta l huling gabi ko na ito. Jeannie He groaned. Two steps. I m not a hypocrite Jeannie. It s alright. If you don t. I wanted t o spit fire at her. My God. Later His eyes burned pr omise. A fresh start. Parang gustong lumabas ng puso ko. He was a bit taken aback. you know me. Maganda naman ako. Nothing more. I I ve always been alone. His han ds automatically wrapped around my waist. Touching my closed lips light against his. I closed my eyes and kissed hi m. That s a mistake. Nagulat ako ng biglang may yumakap sa`kin from behind. I was out looking for Julian. Lumingon ako. He clutched at me frantically. I saw him tensed. I love you. Please take care of Julian. And in that moment. I shrugged. Julian! For Christ s sake! The reporters are already here. Wala akong dapat ikahiya. his tux on one hand. Alam ba ng lahat? You knew? She nodded. Julian let go of my hand. Ayan. Patatawarin kita sa ginawa mo. Lumabas na ako at pumunta sa conference room. Tapos nanlaki `yun g mga mata ko.ihiling kong sana y hindi ko na makita ever si Tricia. Sa ginawa niyong magkapatid. Parang naririnig ko pa `yun. My eyes grew wide. One step. Then I remembered what happened. Hindi rin naman kita gusto. Parang namanhid `yung buong katawan ko. Three. I ll take Julian away from you. Just a peck. Parang sirang plaka. Julian? I smiled and turned around to see Brad?! You called me last night. parang hindi naman. Uncle Jin said from out of nowhere. And his voice like hell. I want to have a big family. And I promise you My jaw dropped. A slow grin played about the corner of his lips. This was one big hell of a joke. Kasabay ng paglabas nito ng pinto. Thirty minut es later. Thirty minutes. Tricia ayokong makipagplastikan. I swallowed. I blushed. Oh. had I? Jean always t old me how transparent I am. Dahil sa pagkaparalyze ko hindi ako makapag-react. Had Jean c . I wan t this marriage to work. I know it s you Jeannie. L ike hell. Breathe out. Ano ba Jeannie! Magtino ka nga Para kang naka-drugs. But beca use you took Julian from me. Kaya nga nagtataka ako kung bakit magaling din akon g magsinungaling. Pilit kong inaalis ang mga kamay ni Brad sa bewang ko. no! I hadn t said my thoughts aloud again. I sucked in my breath. me and our baby. You re blushing. Then I tried to smile at him. I ll take Julian away from you. I m with Julian last night and I was wrong Jean! Once run away with me. Gutom na `ko. Ikaw Jea nnie mag-prepare ka na. Tricia cupped Julian s cheek! Kitang kita ko `yun mula sa salamin. The ot her hand on his pocket. Kumain na tayo. Not personally. Tsk. Lumiko ako sa kabilang room.
Pwede pala kaming friends. I thought it was in the movies or telenovelas. I failed Angko. And opened the damned door. Oh my God. May pills kaya itong dala sa loob? Wire? Rope ? Knife? Grabe naman.alled him last night? No Brad listen I m not Jean Rose. I would underst and if he showed anger. I clutched at his arm. I m He was already kissing me! My head spin. I turned on the lights and saw Julian s back. Someone gasped. 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. Nalunok ko pa ata ang nanunuyot kong laway. by the end of the day I wouldn t wonder if I woul d be six feet underground he was going to kill me. Th e reporters were forgotten. Para akong pinagbagsakan ng langit at lupa. I stood there motionle ss. Hindi niya kasalanan. I saw something luha? No. Eh. Ahm. He was sitting on his swivel chair. Since. Hindi dapat mandamay ng inosent eng nilalang. `Yung pag-aagawan naming `yu ng bidang lalaki. I m sorry. Ako si Jeannie Rose Leviste. Julian She loves me Julian. Tricia we re regarding me with an accusing stare. Sabi ni mommy. Nawala na ang overdramatic mood ko kanina. Nakataas ang paa nito sa drawer. Unless you fell in love like this. No! Bakit hindi ako makasigaw? Julian turned to me. Yes. Si Brad. I swore my life was doomed as Julian stared coldly at me. WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK ARE YOU DOING?! Tricia half-screamed half-whispered. What I saw in his face tore my heart into pieces. Julian! I gritted my teeth in anger. Julian open this damned door! Ma am What! I tried to calm my nerves. NO over me. Unless you knew wh at love really meant. His eyes. I failed. Mas kaya ko pang i-handle ang galit na Julian. No It hurt as I stared coldly at his back. Jean what the hell do you think are you doing to me? TEN I knocked on the door. Julian Na kita ko ang nagsabog na mga beer bottles. `Wag gambalain? Bakit ano bang himala ang ginagawa niya sa loob? Gigil kong sabi. No response. I d us e the word banging now. The door was locked. I caused another scandal. I m setting you free. And I hurt Julian. Even though you couldn t define it. Flashes of cam era. Kay Julian. At natakot ako kasi. Tapos may humawak ulit sa braso ko. Once. Set us free. ma am sabi po ni sir. my jaw almost dropped. Tricia yelled at me earlier in the ho tel suite and took me out of my reverie. My heart stopped. Then the door opened. O dapat pang sabihin. Twice. Bakit ko ba naisipang mag-give up? I never had that in my v ocabulary. I failed Tricia. his deadly glance. Tumakbo ako palabas. mahalaga pala ako sa kanya. Ah ewan. Bwisit na b inabalibag ko na ang pinto. Hindi ba dapat nagse-celebrate siya at hindi na . The paparazzi. Okay. Julian lis ten to me! I pleaded. Feeling ko masusuka a ko. Posible pala. iba ang pakahulugan sa `kin non dati. For the win pala itong si Tricia! Naiiyak na sana ako nun eh. Siguro h indi niyo ko maiintindihan. Then he turned his back on me. Wala siyang alam! No! I whispered. 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. Then he walked away. PAIN. ang lola ng lola ko ang p amangkin ng anak ni Gabriela Silang. `wag daw po siyang gambalain. Hindi ko na natapos kung ano man ang sasabihin ko. Parang biglang nawala ang lakas ng loob ko. I wasn t knocking now. The Great JULIAN SUNICO wouldn t cry over a woman. Kapag bukas ko ng pinto madilim. Jeannie.
Nataob ko ang bataan. Tapos lumapit siya sa `kin. Payag na `kong magpa-rape sa `yo Julian. Na para bang bago pa sa `kin `yun. Lumaki ang mga mata ko. I blinked thr ice. If we re going to do it. Tumawa ito na parang nang-aasar. Payag na `ko.. was I? His eyes squinted anew. You wanted out of this marriage because of that SOB. here in the library. I should have known. Hoarse. I swallowed against his deathly grip. Dalagang Pilipina ako no. Julian listen to me I want to come clean.. Gusto ko sanang sabihin `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. Ang mga butones ng polo shirt nito ay nagkandakalas. I m right. didn t you? Wouldn t you scream his name if we were going to To make love? I supplied nervously. Hindi ito lu milingon. give me strength. we ll only be screwing. Alam ko kasalanan `tong gagawin ko. I was that desperate. He started laughing demonicall y. I winced at the brutal words. they were born w ith long and sharp tongues. Ju lian. Parang nag-init ang punong tenga ko. Then his err erri ng hand cupped my hmm. Papayag ka din sa a nnulment. He always did that that menacing steps. At hindi napagi-iwanan si Julian! Did he think his w ords would hurt me? Kilala ko na siya. Ayan. Bosom is for inbred ladies. Bulong ko. darling making love is only women s term. The tic on his adam s apple moved. What the hell do you think are you doing? I was amazed. I put it on my na. Hindi. My eyes grew wide. That chest would hav e been illegal to cover! Payag na `ko. Oh. D ry. Second time. Then I took his hand and put it on my I swallowed first. bakit Jeannie may kasama namang alak kapag nagse-celebrate `di ba? Hell. His brow arched. Nababaliw na ata talaga ako. no t down but up. 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. And then his big hand gripped me. Payag na `ko. The more he was hurt. Ang mga singkit niyang mat a lumaki at bumilog. The first time. Oh lord. His neck tie was scattered on the desk. Hindi ako magpapatakot sa damuho nato. I hated to admit it. I swore Julian s eyes grew wide. Naglalabasan na ang ugat nito sa leeg. He swung the swivel chair roughly. At galit na tumayo ito. Whatever. I gulped Could n t I just look up and not on his chest. Screw. Up to my neck.gpapakalasing? Eh. Bakit mo ipagpipilitan ang sarili mo sa `kin kung nandyan naman si Brad? Parang biglang bumalik ang animosity nito. Then his hand moved. You fvcking love him. His eyes glinted. Nabasa ko `ya n before. I want an annulment. There. I m not talking to your back. He was trying to intimi date me. three days ago. n o. the more he lashed . Bingi ba ito? Ayoko. `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. My I sighed silently. It was a little bit awkward and delicious? I moaned inwardly. Mas nakakahiya naman kung ako pang humigit sa kanya sa kama `di ba? Oh. With consent bosom. My eyes grew wide. I felt him moved a little. Men are men. I whispered and swallowed sharply. He caressed my neck gently . His teeth gritted. Why wasn t he doing a thing? We were just standing there him touching me. Sabi ko. Bad `yan ha. See? He laughed out mockingly.
At siya? He didn t even g ive me a glance. Su nico on the cheek. Anong nginingiti-ngiti mo dyan? Ano bang problema nito? Panira ng araw. Tapos umupo na kaming lahat. What is it hija? She smiled at Julian.back. M arami naman siyang pambili eh. Must have been the china vase that caused millions. Ang tanong paano ko manganganak? Paano kung hindi ako pumayag? He shrugged and took to his drinking again. Your bestfriend? Lumingon sa `kin si Julian. And you can marry your SOB of a lover. Ano pa bang dapat sabihin? Julian became withdrawn again. Biglang tumaas `yung sulok ng bibig nito. Wit h her mom. mas mayaman ka kay Brad? I smiled b!tchily at him. Okay. Oo nga po. Bakit kita hihi walayan eh. Julian you can t run away from me. Akala lang nila si Jean ang matalino no. And take note: with consent. so my mommy s here. Kailangan kong malaman ang d eepest and darkest secret nila malay mo. Yes. Julian kissed my mom s cheek. Balae? Napalunok ako. Rape nga `di ba Inis kong sabi. You wouldn t do that. given. God. Our mommy now. Mommy Ma am. He was pus hing me away. I whispered. Tawa ng tawa sa `kin mommy ni Julian. Inaalagaan mo bang maigi itong si Jean? He snorted. Nagkatinginan kami ni Julian. If I kill you there would b e justice. Ang hininga niya. Morning. I secretively smiled. para may maipam-blackmail ako kay Julian . So how are we going to do it? Sa desk? Sa couch? Sa ibabaw ng counter? What he was doing was scaring me off. Seven months. Paano mo `ko papakinabangan kung patay na `ko? He sighed. Ganon din si Julian. Para tuloy may nagsasabi sa `king may hindi mangyayaring maganda. Ahm . Ah Julian si CM. Napaka-contagious ng aura nito. Minsan naiisip ko. Good morning Philippines! Good morning World! Good morning mommy! I kissed Mrs. My mommy smiled. I could see that. Baliw na kaya ako? Kapag baba ko ay nakita kong nagbebreakfast na sa lanai si Julian. Hindi ako nagtatatalak sa kanya. He wiped his mouth with a napkin. We ll ha ve an annulment after you give birth. Mukang masarap ang tulog mo hija Too bad I hadn t seen Julian s grandfather. sir may bisita po kayo. Then from the do orway came Oh my God. it didn t matter. Hindi ko alam kun g bakit energetic ako at masaya. Do you know what I want to wring your lovely neck right now. O isa lang talaga lagi `yung expression niya. Tinitigan n iya `ko ng masama. Shut up Jeannie . Itinaas niya ang baba ko. I whispered. I pouted. Negative vibes. But what the hell was CM doing in here? Sabi ko na nga bad vibes. May batas na ba dito sa bahay ang bawal ngumiti Jules? I saw his teeth gritted. Hin di ako nagagalit. Then I heard a loud crash. And one more thing Julian. It was like I could take on the world. He said very politely. Parang gusto kong manghina. Tinanggal nito ang kamay sa leeg ko. Tapos tinitigan niya `ko. mommy. I bet he was wondering what on earth was happening to me. thank you for stopping Julian from killing me last night. ako din kaya. amoy tsiko na. At isinara ko ang pinto. Parang outsider din ang mommy ni Julian sa family Sunico. I turned around before opening the door. may psychic ability kam i nitong si Julian. Good morning mommy. CM? Mommy? Marahan akong tumayo at ngumiti sa kanila. Tapos tinitigan ni ya si CM mula ulo hanggang paa. She s Jeannie s bestfriend. Dapat talaga naglagay ako ng banga sa harap ng p intuan para hindi nakakapasok ang masasamang espiritu sa bahay nila Julian. I wouldn t be bothered by his cruel words.
Ang boses. It was like a tug o war between us. Politics. Makakatulong `yan in future references.. Julian butted in. A box of chocolates. Tila ayaw pa ng makisama! Ganyan din ako ng nagbubuntis ako kay Julian hija I smiled secretively. Actually may mga gay friends din kami sa New Ahurm. Ang mga mata ni Julian parang lobo. Ni hindi man lang hinimas `yung likod ko! Ahm talaga po? Maganda `yan. Then I made mewling sounds like I w as going to throw up. . It was now or never. Tinakpan ko ang bibi g ko. My mom bit her lower lip. I forgot to give my gift. Hinimas ni mommy ang likod ko. I m glad to finally meet you CM ex tended his hand toward Julian. Sh!t. so why don t you take on the job? Bigla akong nahirinan. We re bestfriends. Anong gagawin ko? Wala akong alam! Ano ano nga pala ang mga pinaglilihian mo hija? Parang hindi naman siya naglilihi. Tapos bigla akong humawak sa tyan ko. Bottle A. Jean Rose finished commerce. Tinitigan ko siya. And fashion Lahat nag-uusap save Julian. CM an o ba `yang pabango mo ang baho! Itinulak ko si CM. CM s eyes grew wide. In front of me was a box of chocolate-flavored c-o-n-d-o-m-s! ELEVEN My hands trembled. Bottle B. Tumabi sa `kin si CM. Usap. Pinanlakihan ko siya ng mga mata. 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! . Suspicious. Balae. Biglang binawi ni CM kamay niya at tumuwid ng tayo. Inabot niya sa `kin ang isang maliit na paper bag. Ah. Feeling ko lulubog ako sa kahihiyan. Julian raise d one brow at me. Later everybody was well and good. Julian tugged my hand. Julian was still scrutinizing me. Really? One brow arched. How dare you CM ! What is it? My mom asked. Pero hindi eh. God. Plan A and B. Barakong barako. Tapo s sumabog ang laman niyon sa lamesa. Ahhh. He snorted at me. Na para bang ewan ko. Tumaas ang kilay nito. Really. Here. sorry. Ayokong bitawan ang paper bag. I opened the paper bag. kitang-kita ang pagkabuhay ng katawang lupa ni CM sa mga mata niya. I smiled too sweetly. Let me see. Jeannie. I smiled at Julian s mom. Napatayo silang tatlo. Oh? Naalala ko tutal tapos ka naman ng business administration. CM smiled at me.Yeah. how could I? Kung mommy ko pa m ismo ang nagtutulak sa `king gawin ito.. Weather forecast. Ay grabe. Parang nanigas ang panga ko sa pag-smile. hija? What k ind of chocolate? A box of chocolates. I m not very particular with gays. T sismis. errr Masusuka ata ako. I know you ll surely love it. Julian. He eyed Julian like my husband was the meal. What the hell? Mom what s this? Pills. Two vials. May ipapatayo nga pala akong business hija. halika na t mag-breakfast na tayo. Hindi ko gusto `yung tingin niya sa `kin. Then I gasped softly.
`di ba? Ilang beses ko lang pinagpaplanuhang patayin si Julian sa isip ko. . Ako na pala si Angel Locsin. Right at this moment I was wishing he could fall into a ditch. And he sla mmed the door to my face. karma na ba ito? Jeannie? Biglang bumukas `yung pinto.Alam ko. Get dressed.. J eannie! What the I blew out on his polo shirt. mabango. Para akong bata. Tapos tinignan niya `yung basang parte ng polo niya. Ikaw na lang. 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. Kun g hindi ko pa alam. I gritted my teeth. Shrugged! My God he was so inconsiderate. Clean. I winced in pain again. Okay na `ko. Naiiyak na pinunasan ko ang mga mata ko. Tapos bigla akong tinalikuran! Wow. In fairness. Ano bang ginawa ko para parusahan ako ng Diyos Julian? Naging mabuting tao naman ako.. One hour later. Magbihis ka na. Na glalawa na ang ilong ko kakasinghot. Viagra? As if Julian needed i t! Hindi naman ako magtataka sa kakayahan ni Julian kaya lang. He was so caring and v ery sweet! Gusto ko siyang ipapapak sa mga langgam. This is this is Grabe. Ha? Anak ka ng magaling ang plano ni mommy! Breathe in. Ni hindi man lang marunong kuma tok. salamat sa singahan. She s giving me a dose of ahm. magkukunwaring tulog sa tabi niya. O kaya magbula bigla ang bibig niya. My eyes grew wide. see? Obedient pa nga ako `di ba? Akalain mong gawin ko ang utos ni mommy na lagyan ng ecstacy pills ang inumin ni Julian. Dammit. I smiled at him sweetly. Ano bang nangyayari sa `yo? Bakit ka ba sumisigaw? My eyes watered. He g lanced at me boringly then shrugged. Grabe ang sakit-sakit talaga ng puson ko. Breathe out. Pero sa isip lang `yun! Huwag kang magnakaw. May pupuntahan tayo. Me? Jeannette Rose Le viste? Pumunta ako sa CR at naghilamos ng mukha. Hindi ba ganon ang pikot? Either that or ecstacy pills! NOT ADVISABLE. Sa sobrang inis ko yumakap ako kay Julian. My mom brushed an invisible tear on her left cheek. What do I need pills for? Anak there s no other way. Don t pull that act on me Jeannie. Masama pakiramdam ko. violation of human rights ang ginagawa ko sa sarili ko! Pwede kong kasuha n ang mga magulang ko. Mayamaya lang I felt something pierced within my tummy. malay ko ba baka sakaling pagtingin ko sa salamin iba na pala pagkatao ko. Pano kung napasukan niya `kong nagyu-urinate? Or worst nagbabawas ng sama ng loob? Oh? Gigil kong sabi. Una lagi si papa God sa listahan ko kasunod lang si Julian na akala ata siya ang Diyos. Tinuro ko `yung dibdib niya. Tinignan niya `ko na para bang nababaliw na `ko. Magtat aka pa ba ako kung saan ako nagmana? Magaling ding umarte `tong mommy ko eh. It won t work this time. My God. Lalong sumasaki t. Thank you. Napakapit ako sa sink. Tapos parang namimilipit na naman ulit sa s akit. Huwag papatay. Okay lang sana kung hihiga ak o. Ito give this to him one hour before you go to bed. Then I reached out to h im. Respetuhin mo ang iyong ama at ina. Lobo na pala a ko at si Julian ang ihahapunan ko. Masakit talaga sa may bandang puson. Tinitigan niya `ko. Jeannie! He gritted his teeth in horror. Goodness. Oh. Pinipilit ko namang sundin ang sampung utos ni Go d. Tears were starting to form again. Para alalayan ako. Hindi ba Julian? Mabait naman ako bakit ako nagkakaganito? Ngawa ako ng ngawa. I hissed. magtatanggal ng damit.
Parang tumataas ang altapresyon ko. Malls. Gusto nila sila ang hari. Hinimas-himas ko `yung puson ko. I could see that. Bac kaches. Nakapamulsa si Julian. mood swings I snorted. Mga walang puso. 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. Ahm no comment ako dyan. Ano ba kasing masakit? Gusto kong mapaantanda. Mauuna ka sa `kin. Grabe. Sa puson. Nagiging habit na a ta niya `yun ah. Huwag kang magbibintang at huwag kang magsisinungaling. Oh. Hindi pa ako tapos sa drama ko I bit my lower lip. Bakit ka ba kasi iyak ng iyak? Napanguso ako. My eyes grew wide. Naghihikab na sumunod lang ako sa kanya. Mom told me that there would be times like this you getting emotional on me. Wala naman masyado. Period. Tap os bigla siyang tumawa. Huwag kang magnanasa sa hindi mo asawa. There was so much pain written in Julian s face. Liars go to hell. Of course not. Weird. Establisments. Naghahyperventilate pa `yung hormo nes ko. Tricia I m sorry. He cleared his throat. Wala pa. The lines around his chink y eyes became soft. NAIA? Oh. he didn t and would n t show it ever. Bak it hindi ko man lang nakita? Tsk. Men never wanted to be termed weak a nd emotional. I smirked and peer ed at the scenery outside. my God. But I saw through his façade. Iba ang admiration sa lust. Does this me an I m going to hell also? I groaned inwardly. Tumaas ang kilay ko. She smiled at me.Hindi ako sumisigaw. Assuming! I rolled my eyes. Wala pa namang nangyayari sa `min ni Julian. we re here! My teeth clenched. Jeannie. Muntik na `ko dun. Awkward. So sinamantala ko na. Pinagnanasaan mo ba `ko? He was astonished at first. Hindi ko napansin na nakatulog na pala ako. Honey I Ahem! Lumingon sila sa `kin. Ano ba Hindi ko naman pinagnanasaan si Ju lian ah. Ano ba! I hated it. Ano ba `yan Ang bilis naman! Kung ano ano kasi iniisip ko. Pabalibag na tinanggal ko ang kamay niya sa balikat ko kahit disoriented pa `ko. Sumanda l ako sa upuan at hinimas niya `yung parte kung saan ko nilagay `yung kamay niya . Masama talaga epekto sa `kin `pag -FOOL moon. Someone pinched my nose. Kung hindi pa sigaw na tawag `yun eh ano? So bulong pa `yun ganon ? Huwag kang makikiapid sa hindi mo asawa. Tumango lang ako as if saying go on . Hindi ko pa naman sinasabing supe r okay na kami ah. but his touch lessened the pain. Honey AHEM! . I thought you re not coming. Ito ba ang dahilan? Napasigok ako. He sighed. Naramdaman ko na lang na may yumuyug yog sa balikat ko. Are you sure this one was Julian? He was lau ghing cheerfully. Parang gusto ko ng magpalahaw ng iyak. I put his hand on the spot just below my ( `wag kulay berde) tummy. Not one of those demon laughs of his. Parang bumata siya ng isang taon. biglang nawala `yung antok ko. Alam niyo naman po `yung white lies `di ba God? Huwag kang magnanasa sa hindi mo pag-aari. Julian s voice became tender. Can you please keep quiet? Lalong lumakas `yung hikbi ko. Isa lang bata pa naman tala ga siya. I didn t care when he stared at me in confusion. Tricia? Promise. Ang aga namang punishment nito. No. Naramdaman kong may humihimas ng tyan ko. He whispered. I pouted prettily. Of course. I wanted to sleep and never wake up. Eh `di sana h indi mo sa `kin binigay si Julian! Ikaw din papa God ang may kasalanan. Ang hirap maging babae. Nakita kong nakapagpalit na siya ng damit. Let s go. Mood swings? Mero Buntis ka rin? Inirapan ko siya. Julian Ano? Inis na lumingon siya sa `kin.
Take good care of him. S ometimes he thought he knows what he s doing. She smiled at me. Inirapan ko siya. layuan mo `ko! Mi nsan nga naiisip ko ipatanggal ko na lang kaya `yung uterus ko? Kaso kawawa naman sila mommy. Hindi ko sinasadyang mapatingin sa labi niya. Makakaangal pa ba siya eh. I was really rooted on the ground. Lumapit ulit si Tricia kay J ulian. buntis ako. Sy empre second lang si Jean. Okay lang? A token of farewell. Bulong ko habang sakay kami ni Julian pabalik. She kissed Julian on the mouth! Just a peck. TWELVE How would I continue with the plan if my fvcking hormones were raging on? Gusto kong magpagulong gulong sa pamimilipit sa sakit. H-hello? Jeannie! Ano?! Shopping tayo. May excuse ako para magkaganito. I swore I heard Tricia giggled. It was only four in the afternoon. Oh. I looked at my nails innocently. In short. wala naman siya dito? I sighed. Gusto mong pumunta sa heaven? He pursed his lips teasingly. Friends! When you come back to New York. Talaga? Oo naman. Dysmenorrhia. Hindi sila magkakaroon ng apo mula sa pinakamaganda nilang anak. Ano namang akala niya gagawin ko `yung ginawa ko sa kanya kay Tricia? I smirked. Full moon. Friends? Yeah. As in NOW. Too happy. what have I done again? He sighed impatiently. . How absurd no I nodded. Hind i ko sinasadya! I gritted my teeth. We re just one of those cases of childh ood Korean sweethearts. My God I was going crazy with pain.Julian glared at me. Ang kapal! I tried to calm my nerves. O. But a kiss is a kiss! Then she started giggling as she took her bags with her. Humarap siya sa `kin. Our families expected us to marry since we were kids. Julian looked at me in horror. Meron argh. Julian raised his brow. H inimas himas ko ulit `yung puson ko. Ha? Before I knew it. Niyakap niya `ko! Tumaas `yung kilay ko dun. The nerve! Akala ko ba friends na kami? Julian waved at her. Wala na namang problema sa `kin `yun eh. do tell me. Suminghot ulit ako. ano p ang tinatayo tayo mo diyan? Uwi na tayo. Argh. I wanted to die. Kasi naman may pangalan nam an `yung tao. Nagyakap sila. walang choice. Nagulat ako when she hugged me. I saw red. As in a smudge of red lipstick on the side of his lips. Tapos lumapit siya sa `kin. Ayoko. Hindi ko siya pinansin. What? Do you know where I can buy a doll? His one brow arched. Then I heard my phone ringing. Sana ma-solve mo na `y an. What for? Ipapakulam kita! You and Tricia. Ipinikit ko `yung mata ko.
Ceasarian? As in hiwa. Inis na bumaba ako. Lecheng si CM. Fifteen minutes. He was going to get a tongue lashing from me. It was just a kiss. Matuwa kaya siya? In the states it is very common! Sigaw ko. I gulped. Naintindihan mo ba ayoko ngan My eyes grew wide. Jul ian grabbed my hand. I saw red! No Naiiyak na bulong ko. N ew establishment. The hell I care. It was huge and big. Feeling ko lalo akong dudugu in kay Julian. Ah ganon. He told me to meet up! Then what he was late. Sumandal ulit ako. Bakit pag-aari mo na rin ba `tong mall ha? Ha. Tapos umiwas ng mata na parang nahuli ko sa akto. Nag-iisa na nga lang ang sanitary pad ko sa bag ko. I said Sige na Jeannie shopping na tayo. You cannot stop me. Nanghihinang sabi ko na ikinalingon ni Julian. Nahuli ko naman talaga sila ah! We just got used to it. Tap os hinigit niya `yung braso ko. Bakit ba ako nagsuot ng pa lda? `Yung hanggang kalahating hita ko pa. I called Dr. Stupid. T-takot ako sa karayom. Didn t I tell you not to talk to him again? Manong punta po tayo sa S. Mall. Kung sa mga ganong klase ka ng tao sasama baka kung ano ano mapulot mong kalokoha n. I mean kelan gan manganak na `ko Don t worry Jeannie. Seryoso ba ito? I looked at his face. Mall. nagpapanic kong sabi. His bark was always worse th an his bite. So? Nasa Pilipinas tayo Jeannie! And who on earth would kiss a friend on the lips? He cleared his throat. Seryoso nga! Napahaw ak agad ako sa stain sa bandang crotch ko. Eh Julian. No. Eh. Jeannie! He shouted authoritatively. Grabe. Sa huli ako pa rin ang sinunod ni manong at pumunta kami sa S. He raised one brow and read the newspaper. kaya nga diba? Nandun ako! I saw her kissed you. Pano kung sabihin ko sa kanyang nag-suggest si CM na i-french kiss ko siya. 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. Wait lang Julian! What? Virgin ka pa ba? . Try me. he was leading me to a a baby section. Umuwi na tayo. Ingos ko sa kay Julian. He would submit me to the k nife. Tricia is my ex! Until you came along. Lee yesterday I asked her kung pwede kang i-ceasa rian. no. Manong bababa na po ako. Badtrip. Before I knew it. In amusement? Malamang magsha-shopping. You got used to kissing a friend on the lips? Namamangha kong sabi. Ugh. Julian. A t sa kutsilyo. Who s that? No one. I need to buy a nine-mo nth package.Narinig kong bumuntunghininga si CM. Afte r CM gave me the details where to the line went disconnected. Hello Jeannie! I ll go shopping with you later. Sinisiguro kong mababaon siya ng buhay sa mura ko. We go home. wait! Nine months? Kelangan malaki na tyan ko nun. I heard his footsteps behind me. Nagtataka lang ako what does S stand for? Anong gagawin natin dito? His lips twitched at the corner. Oh. Who on earth would give a con contraceptives as a gift? Nakikita kong lalong pan iningkit ng mga mata nito. Who s that? CM. Anong silbi mo? I rolled my eyes heavenward. Fine.
Kung tot oong buntis lang ako baka nakunan ako sa sobrang bwisit kay Julian. No! No! Halos mag-duet kami ng kapatid ko. HAHA. Biglang umayos ako ng tayo. Ah yeah? At ikaw ang ama! Sumasakit `yung puson ko. He stared fixedly at Jean. Sir. What the hell Kasi hindi ka pwedeng pumunta sa heaven. Ang kapal! Excuse me lang ha Parang lalabas `yung dugo ko. Let s have lunch together. Ano bang meron? Parang feeling ko mahihimat ay na `ko kahit anong oras. At siya? Tinitigan niya lang ako. For the life of me. Gusto ko siyang sakalin. nakatanga lang siya sa `kin. Inis na naglalakad pa `ko. How many months? Napatingin ito sa tyan ni Jean. Jean? Pinanlakihan ako ng mata ng kakambal ko. I didn t know him. Biglang lumapit ang saleslady sa `min. Ah yeah. She smiled sweetly at Julian. I gasped aloud. He knew?! He called you Jeannie! She mouthed when Julian s back was turned to her. Julian He picked up a feeding bottle. Parang ang corny ata ng joke ko. She s also pregnant? Jean and I both looked stupidly at the baby shoes. Iisa lang `yun! Ako lahat `yun! Tsk. Inis na tinignan ko kung sinomang intrimitid It was like I was looking into my own wide eyes. my face. wait `Di ba dapat maging masaya ako? Yeah kauuwi niya lang kahapon Julian. Pink or blue? Ha? Hindi pa nga natin alam `yung gender `di ba? My voice trembled. pareho kaming nagkulay papel ng kap atid ko. Excuse me? Gigil na sabi nito. Julian! I forced a smile upon my face. Jean nette is very busy. H-hi s-sorry I wasn t able to to come to your wedding. Bwisit na buha y `to. kill me now! I whispered. I was about to pick up a a pair of baby shoes when a hand caught mine. We shook our heads in unison. You never told me your sister s here. At ngayon sumasakit `yung ulo k o. Jean? Let s What the hell was happening? I almost groaned aloud. Meron pa bang surprise? Ano pa ba? But my. He was eyeing me and Jean. Nanlalaki ang mga mata ni Jean. Kauu wi ko lang. Masama pa na mang ginagalit ang babaeng kabuwanan. long time no see twin? Jeannie We both slowly turned at the voice. At sabi nila ang mga demonyo daw virgin pa. Kahapon. Ano bang dapat kong sabihin? Hey. May lalaking paparating. Pinaparusahan niyo ba talaga `ko God? Jeannie Jeannette. Tumawa ako sa sarili kong joke. everything save that it wasn t me! Jean?! Jeannie? Para kaming naestatwa. wife niyo po? At feeling close! Julian smiled back at her. Unti-unti akong napatingin sa tyan niya. right? Lumingon siya sa `kin tapos kay Jean. ri ght. Parang naguluhan. Two and three weeks. Na parang natatakot akong bawi in siya sa `kin ni Jean. Oh. Julian frowned. Juli an squinted his eyes.Julian was shocked. I couldn t sprout any more lies. Hindi bumenta. He was with Jean! Vince? Vincent Gonzalo? Julian hissed. hindi ko rin alam?! Ahmm Napalunok ako. And why do you ask? Kasi demonyo ka. She s my mistress. Yes. Parang nanghihinang napakapit ako kay Julian. Paano ko sasabihin sa`yo eh. Takp an ko kaya ng sako ang mukha ni Julian? Artistahin? Kaya lalong lumalaki ang ulo nito. Pero meron mer on God. Manipis pa `yun. No. Pareho pala kami ng kuku nin. Yumakap ako sa bewang niya. Baka hinihintay na tayo ni CM. Funny same with you Jeannie. No. Promise. hindi nak .
Mabilis nitong niyakap si Jean at binuhat. dinadasalan ko na ang lahat ng santo. why don t you tell our lover boy here what we re doing here. Vince grinned maliciously at me. Julian Hinawakan ko ang braso niya. No. Hindi ko na kailangang maging genius para malamang they weren t in good terms. Jean took his hand. Iumpog ang ulo sa pader para matauhan. Wife? Hinawakan ito ng mariin ni Jean. More like plead ed. But he s responsible. Ang sarap hampasin ng mga i nsensitive na lalaki sa mundo. kung i-seseduce . Hey The guy s mouth twitched sarcastically. I wasn t that bad to wish for her to have a miscarriage. You promised me She whispered. He laughed humorlessly. Niyakap ko siya. Then Jean winked at me! My jaw almost dropped. I opened my mouth to say goodbye.. I was an idiot. Kahit na nga ba gusto k ong sakalin ang kapatid ko kahit na nga ba minsan hiniling kong sana una ko na la ng nakilala si Julian kaysa sa kanya. Julian! I screamed in panic. lagi na lang siya n akikipagkompitensya sa `kin. For years. Ngayon ko lang na-re alize. I play fair. Gusto ko silang pagumpugin dalawa. We re not yet through Sunico. Julian gave him a mocking smile. Julian I Vincent may pupuntahan pa tayo `di ba? My twin. M ay tatlong lalaki sa likod nila ang dumating out of nowhere. Sasakalin talaga kita `pag tumakas ka pa! Jean honey. THIRTEEN Was it the end of the world? Was it a clash of good and evil? Kung alam niyo lan g. Vince looked at my sister in mixture of shock and hor ror. Jean wagged the man s arm. Napangiwi ako at nag-aalalang tinignan ang hit a niya kung may sign ng dugo. The two men looked astounded. Muntik na akong mapaubo. Bodyguards. Pero tinabig lang niya `ko. Natatakpan ko siya mula sa mga lalaki kaya hindi nila narin ig. I don t know if I s hould be thankful he didn t get to seduce my wife. Bigla akong natakot. I opened my mouth t o shout at him. Foul `yun no. That took Vince out of his reverie. he knew. If you only knew Julian. He wasn t handsome but he was sexy. 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. myself and I. By God. Pati ata si Sailormoon. Jean? Napalingon ito sa `ming dalawa. He even courted Tricia. I ll call you. wife? You ve never bested me before what now? Inilahad nito ang kamay. no Lucifer and Michael met. Pati ako hindi malaman ang gagawin. I should have known. What the hell are you doing here? Julian stepped forward in anger. Afraid of the little woman? Oh The tough Vincent Gonzalo was afraid of his. Conceited jerks! To our astonishment Vince started laughing. Then she purred groaned aloud. Halata ko ang takot sa mga mata niya. Bulong niya. Sino `yan? In fairness yummy ha. Vince ma y be a bastard son of a bi tch. I forgot I was stepping into the great Juli an Sunico s lair. I was wishing the floor would cave in and ea t me whole. Oh. He smirked. Gusto kong lumubog sa kinatatayuan. She was just shaking her head. Anong pangako iyon? Napatingin ako sa kakambal ko. Marahan akong lumingon. Tinatawag ko na si Darna at si Batman. Lumapit agad a ko sa kakambal ko. Pero wala talaga! I could only save me. Vince `yung tyan ko! Jean sobbed and cupped her stomach gently. This one was oozing sex appeal. Jeannie I won t go back to Julia n. Vince let s go..aligpas sa pansin ko magaling talagang pumili ang kapatid ko.Kung sa bagay. So who s Michael? Definitely not Julian. Jean nette. The guy smirked at him. Jean Bulong ko at hinila ko siya ng onti palayo. Don t worry about her. Ever. Were they together? Obviously. Bumalik ako sa tabi ni Julian.
He took my hand and gave me keys. Ngayon pa lang bumabawi. I was addlebrained. Napatingin ang isan g babae dito na kanina pa titig na titig kay CM. Tumaas lang `yung kilay niya. Very observant lang. business magnate.niya `ko. Tapos iisa ng tatay paglabas non. He put his two fingers together. Nag-ano. Pasabunot na itinukod ko ang kamay sa round table. Napaatras naman ako. I have to be pregnant. So she s pregnant? With Julian? CM sipped his Caffe Mocha. Magkape ka na nga lang para kabahan ka naman sa mga pinagsasasabi mo. He even demonstrated the expressions. Parang kinikiliting tumili ito. He shrugged nonchalantly. You should be at home before seven. Hindi ko siya pinapansin. Sabi nila the Gonzalos were bankrupt by the Sunicos. I opened my mouth to scream at him. Pabalewalang sabi nito. Tapos ipinilantik niya `yung kamay. He nodded. Pero kung kung mabubuntis naman ako . You have the same features. Feel na feel nito. Inirapan ito ni CM. ang dami mong naitutulong eh. Then you ll scream at the peak JU LIAAAAN. My blush intensified. pinatay ng asawa. Sa kanya si Vince which leaves Brad alone. Tapos nanlaki ang mga mata na tumingi n sa `kin. Salamat ha. Babae. hindi halatang tsismosa. Landi. m arunong naman akong tumingin ng oras no. Delicadeza na lang `di ba? Ano `yun `yung mga anak naming mag-pinsan na magkapa tid pa? Ang sagwa `di ba? Tama. Hindi ako ipokrita para sabihing hindi ako mate-tempt. What s this? Obvious ba? Susi ng sasakyan. But because . for sure mukha ding kambal. Parang ayaw mag-process ng brain ce lls ko. Siya itong nag-aya aya tapos ako manlilibre?! Mahiya ka naman sa lalamunan mo. `Yung ano Ngumuso ito. Halleluja. mukhang hindi mo na talaga maibabalik si Jean. I stared at him stupidly. praise the lord. pero `wag mo `kong sisihin kung bakit nasa headlines ka bukas. Magka-tonsilitis ka sana. Akin na lang siya! Hindi si ya magugutom sa `kin promise. Kalaba ng mortal ng mga Sunico. He hissed and turned his back on me. bongga alam mo naman tayong m agaganda Nahirinan ako dun. CM if Jean won t come back. I smiled sheepi shly. Talaga? Wow. I didn t know that. Ay. Muntik ko ng hindi masalo. And she s with Vincent Gonzalo. Sabihin mo na. He smiled fishily. Then he ordered another beverage. CM just laughed at me. Gross. Ang slow mo naman Jeannie! `Yung tentenenententen. nagsinungaling na buntis. F rom the looks of it. He was a chic. Which means y ou re going to live forever as her. At isipin mo na lang kambal kayo. Not because I was afraid of the dragon. Starbucks. Anong hmm? My brain wasn t functioning well. Tinanggal nito a ng rolex wrist watch at ibinato sa `kin. no? Teka nga nag hmm na ba kayo? Bumilog ang mga mata nito at lumapit maigi ang mukha sa `kin. Really? Biglang lumaki ang mata nito. Nauna na `kong umuwi kay CM. Ano? Inis kong sabi. What! There were so many untold stories here. Walang modo talaga! Anong akala niya sa `kin? Bata? May curfew? At saka I gritted my teeth. alam mo na `yun. Y uck. CM? I love you! Julian glared at me. Buti ka pa friend. ahem. Sabihin mo kay Jean ibalato na lang sa `kin `yung isa. See? Ibinigay niya sa `yo si Julian. You didn t tell me they re together? Hindi pa rin talaga ako pinapabayaan ni God my phone started ringing. I don t have money! Isasangla ko `tong relo mo! I shouted after him. I guess so? I told him everythi ng there was. Julian where are you goi The driver already went home. Libre mo `ko ha. Sabihin ko na lang kaya? I was getting frustrated.
Argh . My heart hammered loudly. Mababangga ako! Pilit kong iniiwas ang sasakyan. It was suffocating me. Hindi ko pa nabibigyan ng apo sina mommy. Meaning good minus bad? What the fu ck. magkaroon ng maraming pimples. Nakalimutan kong mag-slow down sa inter section. Ilang araw na ding hindi ako natutulog ng maayos.the princess also needed her precious rest. `Yun naman ang ginawa ko. Pinilit ko namang maging mabait. My eyes opened wide. . blah. Jeannie Jeannie Did they know my name? Argh. The impact. If only I had known. Magiging demonyo nga ako? Dahil virgin pa `ko. Ayaw nila akong papasukin sa heaven! Kasama si Julian. `Wag m una. Then I ende d up bumping a big trunk of a tree. pain. I was pulled deeper into a pit less hole of nothingness. Sana isinama na rin nil a `yung driver na nag-overspeeding. It was too quickly. I knew that there were endless problems but I stil l wanted to sur vive. My head bumped the side window. Little did I know that St. God I have so many unfinished businesses. I knew I cal led Julian s name. Peter was also a philosopher. It w as a good thing Jean and I both know how to drive. No! Ibababa nila `ko sa impyerno. blah. My eyes were open wide. P eter. and a lot more blended together. Wala sa loob ko. I lived my life spontaneously. Paano kung mas marami ang kasalanan ko? Eh `d i may utang pa `ko? I groaned. Were you telling me that I shouldn t have followed those novels I so much liked? Sabi kasi nila mag pakatotoo. Pati ba ang pagmumura counted na din? You can now take her. I sighed. FOURTEEN Ito ang listahan ng mga kasalanan at kabutihan mo Was he serious? Sa sa langit na ba ako? I mean. I star ted sobbing quietly. Syempre. Hindi pa `ko prepared makita si San Pedro at saka God sabi nga ni CM hindi ko pa alam ang feeling ng nag-tetentenenententen. It was getting hot. I was shocked when an overspeeding c ar on the side tipped its way toward me. I stared incredulously at the shining bald head of St. I should have seduced him sooner. I cried out. 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. Hindi pa ako nagbabayad sa mga pinagkakautangan ko sa New York. Hanapin mo ang sarili mo blah. ayokong lumaki ang eyebags ko. Ayokong mukhang stressed out. I wasn t so sure. Anong ibig niyong sabihin? Anak katawan lang ang iniiwan sa lupa hindi ang common sense. Plus one. I drove faster than I should have. Right minus wrong. At may biglang safety air balloon na lumobo sa harapan ko. I felt the impact of it. I was feeling drowsy. emotion al stress. sa langit ba ako pupunta? Para kasing hindi naman ` to heaven eh. The shards of glasses splintered on the side.
Sorry San Pedro. maiisip mong kailan mo din palang i-express ang nararamdaman mo sa kanila. When the door closed I took the doctor s hand. May ininject bang pampamanhid? She s out of danger. Ngumiti ang doctor sa mommy ko. I winced. Napakapit ako bigla sa puson ko. Minsan. What the fu ck s happening to my wife? Sumisigaw na sab i ni Julian. my Leonardo Dicaprio s yummy. `Yung winner na smile ng close-up. may DVD version na ang Romeo and Juliet . What if it was too late? He smil ed at me and patted my head like the way he used to. Parang nataranta ang doctor sa galit nito. Ambad ko. Is she alright? My God. My smile froze in place. Awww Pareho silang napatingin sa `kin. Nag-movie marathon ako. sa santong paspasan na l ang. There I saw my mom. Guilty ako. What ever. I tsked. parang h indi niya nagegets! Naiiyak na `ko sa gigil. Malaki utang na loob ko sa inyo doc.Jeannie Jeannie I slowly opened my eyes. In all fairness. I hissed at Julian. Mall! I smiled charmingly. He frowned at me. Pero pero nakiki ta ko na si mommy! I was panting so hard. ibalato ni yo na po sa `kin `to. Hindi ko alam kung bakit ito ang ipinahiram sa `kin ng hitad kong bestfriend. The doctor frowned. mommy. death? Napan giwi ako. Iniisip ba niyang iinom din ako ng lason para lang makasama ko si Julian? The wo rst is. Naii nggit tuloy ako sa gumanap na Juliet. blame my sister f or giving me this idea. He was worried! I smiled eagerly as the doctor gave his prognosis. Then I saw m y dad. how I missed my family. Doc. It was as if Julian was possessed by some good spirit. At saka niya lang siguro napansin na nandun nga ang doctor. there s no bab Kumapit ako sa braso ng doctor. She s okay except for How about the baby? He cut him off frantically. for his sake. basa ng novels. ang mukha ko. ang katawan ko. Call mom my Parang hesitant pa itong tumakbo palabas. baka ako pa ang lasunin ni Julian. Tapos . Parang na-guil ty naman ako. I have no time to explain doc. Please Julian. Please. Bulong niya. Papatayin ako ni Julian. mmkay? Anyway. What are you watching? I got engrossed. Sure ako dun. Excuse me Mr. It s a matter of life and . She was crying. Please. Wala ako ng maramdamang sakit. Whichever comes first. I couldn t help it. Where s Julian? The door burst open. Naiiyak na niyakap ako ng daddy ko. No nothing. As soon as the doctor gave me his promise I persuade Julian to take me home. Sunico there s no Oh my saving grace. I bit my lower lip sa sobrang gigil. damn! I thought she s okay. Mumultuhin ako ni Angko. God. My mommy was crying silentl y. Only a small wo und on her forehead. Then I blinked thrice. Sunico. Na para bang alam niya gagawin kung may s ugat nga ako! Hindi naman siya ang doctor. just pretend the babe s okay. My nai ls dug deeper into his arm. Disoriented pa `ko. I don t know. Ahmm free shopping spree at S. kain. The doctor frowned e ven more. parang hindi tot oo. I moaned aloud and curled into a fet al position. Tapos super bait niya. My jaw became slacked. He was skimming every part of me. Biglang bumukas ang pinto. Actually. Gusto kong matawa na matakot kay Jul ian. Kinuha ang stethoscope. Is she having a miscarriage? Sigaw ulit nito. Saka na tayo magbilangan. My parents excused themselves. Grabe. He stared at me incredulously. nood tv. Anyway. she s not even in the brink of danger. No ribs broken. Totoo naman ah. Wal a naman talaga akong sugat. higa. Kung hindi pa siya madaan sa santong dasalan. I love you daddy. Tsk. Tulog. Baby? Mr. Are you okay? Natatarantang hinawakan niya ang buhok ko. Speaking of the devil. Nakakokonsensya na ng a ako. `Yung natatakpan ang mukha ko. Oh. I want my mommy. I whispered brokenly.
Hello? Jean Rose Leviste? Irene here. Nagpapakipot na naman. Kesyo mali daw `yun. I was having kinky thoughts. right stupid. Mayamaya lang. basta siya magtuturo sa `kin. FIFTEEN Make love to me . Akalain mo `yun. O.Goodnes s. They were kissing underwater! I wished Leonardo would kiss me like th There s a rumor that he s gay. Then you re the one who s stupid! Had I really said that? Yeah. I snuggled close to Julia n. thanks. honeymoon na nila. Wh en in fact. Then they were like kissing. I wondered why men turned away when things get mushy or better yet emotional. Juliet was leading Romeo into a dance kis s. Pasalamat siya kung yummy si Leonardo DiCaprio mas h ot para sa `kin si Johnny Depp. Sus. Then I sighed. if I know kung anong bawal siyang masarap. I gasped aloud. Titig na titig ako. Hindi ko gusto `yung ngi sing `yun ni Julian. Plasma ang tv. Lumayo-layo si Juliet. dinaig pa `ko. Inis na dumiretso na `ko ng upo. Napalunok ako. She kept telling no. Napansin ko pero kunwari wala lang pero deep inside I was like. ugh eating each other in the pool. Dumila pa `ko sa kanya. Hindi ko napansin na nilagay niya `yung braso niya sa likod ng ulo ko. we were both silently watching. I d hug CM when we meet again. Alam mo `yun my hair on the nape stood on ends. aber? I snorted. Excuse me? Ayoko ng pakinggan pa kung ano na namang panlalait ang maririnig ko kay Julian. hell move a little bit closer baby. I d tell you. Umusod ako palayo. Naka-home base kaya! Ayan oh. I leaned my head in the cove of his neck. N abitin ako nung tinawag ng nursemaid si Juliet. I groaned aloud. Despite her in nocent face was a great k-i-s-s-e-r. Inggit lang siya wala sa kanya `yung atens yon ko. He smil ed evilly. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street na lang ang panoorin natin. My mobile started ringing. I said he s stupid. Na para bang sinasabing habulin mo `ko . Care ko. Naalala ko bigla k ami ni Julian. I wasn t very particular with the chin itos. Mayamaya lang Julian sat on t he bed beside me. Sosyal. Nakatanga talaga ako. while she kept moving her lips to and fro against Romeo s. Romeo is stupid. His voic e became husky. May reunion nga pala tayo.niyakap ko `yung unan ng mahigpit. Napatitig talaga ako sa eksena sa party. Give Julian the credit to ruin my fantasy. I shivered delightedly. Tapos sa swimming pool scene. Then a sm ile slowly inched its way to the corner. Laway mo tumutulo Julian swiped an invisible saliva down the side of my lips. Siguro nahiya lang siya so for his sake I inched closer. Ingos na tinabig ko `yung kamay niya. I forgot all about our honeymoon. One advantage of being rich. Tsk. Siya si Rosaline! Siya `yung first forgotten love . Natuwa ako kasi mu ka talagang inosente `yung gumanap na Juliet. At si Tricia. I gasped so very loud than the first time. they were always the one who resorted to cuddling. Siguro kahit ako din naman. Fast-learner kaya ako. Hindi ko pinansin ang pandidiri sa mukha niya. Gee. Tuwang-tuwa talaga ako sa palabas na `to. I was imagining that Julian was Romeo and Juliet was of course me. sig e na. Then they fell into the water again when they declared their undying love. At bakit? Ni hindi man lang naka-home base kay Juliet bago ipainom `yung lason. I couldn t help but sigh pleasurably. basta gwapo si Romeo. Parang feeling ko a ko ang naaatat na hatakin si Leonardo at papakin.
Not. What the hell were those dreams all about? there was a woman with no face. Seryoso ba si Angko? Minumulto nga ako nito! I was trembling violently. Magsakit-sakitan kaya ako ulit? Bak a sakaling bumait pa siya. I bit my lower lip then I sniffed. Last night ko na `to. Pero hindi ba `yun naman dapat ang maramdaman ko? Hindi ako ito. Para akong nakuryente. Not that it was unusal. You. I didn t know a mere whisper in the ear could feel ticklish. This is not you. Ilang shots pa lang. I was actually purring. No. who wouldn t? No wonder Julian got dibs on you. Feeling ko ang dumi-dumi ko. Have you seen Julian? I shook my head. And sexy Kaya nga tinawag itong bar `di ba? I stupidly c raned my neck. Is. NOW. Out of the blue. His lips twitched on the side. Me? I slithered my body against him. He grabbed my arm. You promised me! She was sweating coldly. Tapos lumapit siya sa `kin. I won t effin waste my time on somebody who s not worth it. I gasped a little. Gee I rocked my hips back in forth to the rhythm. Lumingon lingon ak o. Ano `yun? Insenso seryoso ba tala ga si Angko? Kinilabutan ako. Nakita ko siya kanina paalis. Ang sama talaga ng ugali ni Julian! Ni hindi man l ang binuksan ang lamp shade bago umalis. Marahan akong umupo. Humahabol ata sa buwanang dalaw ko. . I m a big time loser. was I? He s got gray eyes. I wiped the threatening tears away. My FIRST TIME. More more My God. Hindi ako. like a cat. This. Napaupo ako bigla at napa-sign of the cross. Grabe lakas ng tam a sa `kin ng martini. Hell. Wanna ride with me boyo? Parang may sariling isip ang bibig ko. Hell yeah. Umiling ito. And happy. Angko knelt down the side of the bed and touched my stomach. Parang gusto niya na talaga akong isama sa dako paroon kung hindi ko gagawin ang gusto niya. Sinabi ko iyon na parang nagdedemand lang ng fla vor ng chupachups. What s gotten into you? Masamang espiritu. Someone tapped my shoulder from beh I screamed. I wasn t that drunk.What? You heard me make love to me. Or Was it me? Then ther e was Angko. Hindi ako. Angko was staring down at me. Kinakarma na ba talaga `ko? Hindi na `ko nakatulog. Galit na binalibag ko ang pinto. Goodness. Madilim ang buong paligid. Hindi kaya nagkakamali si Angko ng pagpaparamdaman? I absent-mindedly touched my stomach. Kailangan pa bang ulit-ulitin niya `yun? Alam ko. So. A helluva way to say it. I waved at him. He was s tanding there. good morning? G morning. Hindi ako. Sino ba? Parang naririnig ko pa rin ang boses ni Angko. You promised me! You promised me you won t hurt Julian. You re drunk. I felt my eyes widening. Fine. is it a yes or a no? No. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. Sorry ahm. What was happening? Parang umiikot an g paligid ko. I couldn t be m istaken. Angko! Jean? Uncle Bert? I gritted my teeth. I would dance the night away like it would be my last time. He shook his head. Ahm I m suppose d to be drunk. Don t hurt him. Did you know what he did? Nilagpasan niya lang ako. Oh boy. I bet you re feeling fvcking hot? And dir ty. When the man swayed me back and forth I felt his rock hard body poking againt mine. Masyado ka ng madaming naiinom. Yes.
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?
The he called my name. At galit na binalibag ko ang pintuan pasara. You know what. Bayad na `ko sa `yo. Ours was a marriage made in hell. aren t we? Ang laki ng talo ko. magpanggap siyang wala ako. Una pa man talaga never naman akin `t o. Was she talking in Latin? Parang sinabi niyang a lien ang nakabuntis sa kanya.Ayoko siyang tignan. when I first saw you crying at the hotel. I can t tell you everything. I wished we ve never met. Jean what is this all about? Jeannie I m sorry. God. I I gasped. Jeannie. He didn t even bother putting his shirt on. Before I knew it he threw my underwear with brownish stain on it! I hate you. Ni hindi ko man lang napansin. Morning. We can live like this forever. WHAT?! Seryoso? You you lied to us. Pinigilan ko ang kamay kong masakal ang kapatid ko. no. Was he immune t o pain already? At least they had something in common now. I heard him swore. She was my twin. Wala na `kong balak bumalik kay Julian. Humarap ako sa kanya. Oh. Talo? We re even. Tahimik na bumaba ako ng sasakyan. You look so vulnerable and trusting. Ayoko ng sabihing bakit siya ba ang nasaktan? Siya ba ang nawa lan ng virginity? Kung sa bagay. The dream. Hinawakan nito ang kamay ko. Everything. Para akong naguluhan. my God. I thought she wouldn t do this. Sana inutang mo na lang sa `kin ang pambili ng bahay niyo. I smiled mockingly. what was a piece of flesh for a Sunico like him ? Kapirasong laman lang iyon. I got attracted to you that first time. Ayo ko. He hissed. kung batukan kaya kita riyan? Bakit mo ba kasi ginawa `yun? What wo uld I do now? We can t just trade places again. Baka kasi siya ang nawalan ng pinaka-iingatang dangal. Are you mad? My baby it s not Julian s. What did he want this time? Humarap ako sa kanya. To me? To Julian? You wanted him to father your baby? Oh my. I shook my head. He wasn t looking at me. I cried a river last night. Nothing less. Butter Diner s. He called me four times. I smiled at him. Nothing more. We re both devils. Tinitigan ko ang leather seat. I swallowed an imaginary lump in my throat. So innocent. Baka hindi ko siya matantya. It should have been Jean s. I took my perso nal things and left those that weren t mine. Yes. He s he s mine now. Sorry sorry eh. Oh. Pabalibag na binuksan ko ang closet. I thought I wouldn t forgive my sister for what she d done. Hindi ako `yun Julian. Sige. Kahit isa wala. Was it that t . Hindi ako kumibo. I winced. Sana sana sinabi mo na lang sa `kin una pa man. Why did you do that? bulong nito. Parang hind i nito nararamdaman ang pag-agos ng dugo habang nagmamaneho ito. I didn t turn around. Nasa garahe na kami. Pero parang wala naman akong choice.
Stop it. Nakita ko ang galit sa mga mata niya.hen? `Di ba ang mga kambal ay may kakaibang koneksyon? Jeannie please No! I couldn t take it. I stared fixedly at him. Nakita ko sa likod niya si si Jean? What are you doing here? Not that I was blaming her but but Hell. He looked fierce. Parang dagang tumalilis si Jean. You are you are She s your real wife Julian. he was damned furious. I looked up. iba ako. I m so Don t fuccking say sorry to me. Uuwi na `ko sa `tin. Ayoko na Jean. Do you think your virgi nity caused millions? I gasped at his crudeness. I blamed her. Ayokong isipin kung ano ang napakalaking kasalanan niya sa `kin. I walked like a zombie. 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. Wala namang gumalaw non. Narinig ba niya? What truth. We ll tell you Julian about thi s. My heart went wild. Nakita ko ang masamang tingin ni Julian ng dumaan si Jean. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. Ma am. I walked past him. if I know ganyang ganyan din arte ko sa may hospital. It was the empty glass. I whispered defiantly. Para akong bagong ano panganak. What else was there? He was betrayed. yes. Julian I m Jeannette. I promised Vincent. It won t work this time. 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. I couldn t take the lies anymore. Bigla niyang hinarang ang bulto sa harapan ko. We looked down. Julian didn t know me that well. I bet he was ready to wring our ne cks. Umuwi na tayo Jean. The corner of his lips twitched. I didn t want to cry. At hind i kita ibabalik sa mga magulang mo hangga t hindi mo nababayaran iyon. Pareho kaming pareho kaming Pero Jeannie hindi pwede. You owe me five million minus the interest which is your purity. There the devil stood. Niloko. She went missing before your wedding day. Ayoko ng magpanggap na ikaw! Kung gus to mo bumalik ka dito at No! Iling ko. . At itinaas ang ulo na parang sa reyna. You re not that expensive. Bigla itong tumuwid ng tayo. Becau se we just met only a few times after the the Pikot. And boy. I muttered. He cursed floridly. darling. But tears were starting to pool in my eyes. I replaced her. What the hell are you talking about? Napatingin ito kay Jean. Inirapan ko siya. Bakit ba? Eh. She suddenly winced and moaned. Hinila ko ang kamay niya at kinuha ang clutch bag. Bigla siyang umupo at hinawakan ang ty an. Jeannie listen to me. And the baby s not yours. Hindi na pwede. He frowned. At wala kayong magagawa ni mommy. Naiiyak ako habang naliligo naalala ko lahat ng pag-uusap namin. Nakita kong may benda ang kam ao niya. We both jumped in surprise when I heard a loud crash. damn you! Sigaw nito na rinig ata ng buong subdivision. Sinampal ko siya. I mean hindi niya napansin na iba ka. May bisita po kayo.
Tapos nagdrawing ako ng dalawang sungay. Pabalewalang may ibinagsak siya sa kama. leaning against the bed. Tumayo ka dyan. I was the ang el with a halo sent from up above. Mali mali. I took the papers and read it. I glared at him standing like he owned the world. But not ME. I bit my lower lip until it bled. ba My mouth dropped open. Sh!t.SEVENTEEN I was pacing to and fro. I busied myself for how many seconds minutes I pouted and made face. Makapal iyon. Did he thought I was a real bummer? Hindi ba at siya nga ang naloko ko? So he was the one who s stupid. Tapos biglang bumukas `yung pinto. ako ako ang ikinulong niya at gusto niyang magsuffer. Inirapan ko siya. Pati ako nga rin nahihilo na sa sarili ko. Kahit naman f ine arts ang kinuha ko alam ko naman kung anong ibig sabihin ng kontrata. Ganon ba talaga ang mga bida? Laging api? Bulong ko sa sarili ko. Hinila niya `ko pataas. Pabalabag. Bakit ba hindi eh. O kaya pahihirapan ko muna ng unti-unti. Kung legal lang ang krimen sa mundo baka ilang bese s na itong namatay. Without clothes on. Of course. Oh. Puro papeles. At ang hawak niya isang malaking tinidor. I cringed in pain. I wrinkled my no se and closed my eyes. I erased half part. `di ba? He looked lik e a bench model on Halloween. This was legal and notarized. hours. I wanted to kill him right this minute. Then I did sketch myself. Hell. Ang pinakababoy sa lahat ng b aboy. I was fuming mad. Hindi na siya naawa sa kagandahan ko. My eyes squinted in anger. I was startin g to hate him. Kahit magkita pa kami sa husgado! I took my sketch pad and sat on the floor. He was a cad. I drew Julian s face. I smiled nastily. What s this? Nakakapagbasa ka naman `di. Na aalilain ng demonyo. I raised one brow. Then I drew his body again . Was I that bad to blame my sister? Pero nasa katwiran naman ako. His handsome face and his body. A chauvinist. I brushed my tears angrily. Mah abang buntot. . Parang may kulang. If it was an y consolation on every one s part Julian let go of Jean. Sign this. An o ba! Pilit kong tinatanggal ang kamay niya sa braso ko. given the fact that he owned me. Wala na lang siyang ginawang mabuti kung hindi paiyakin at sakta n ako.
I realized I was really a good painter after all. honey. Then on my right ear. I gritted my teeth anguishly. Tapos yumuko siya para magkatapat `yung mukha namin. Magsalita ba naman sa tapat ng bibig ko! Swear. Napatayo ako sa sobrang galit. Seriously. I even put one finger inside my left ea r. `Yung magdadala ng apelyido k o. The bomb was dropped. I swallowed an imaginary lump in my throat. my goosebumps w ere showing. Nine months then you re free. Aren t you going to ask what s the second option? Bakit ko pa itatanong. Para akong mahihi matay. Masakit kaya. 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. He cracked a knowing smile. He planted his hands on his hips. I appreciated you prostituting yourself to me. Galit na pinalandas nito ang daliri sa mga pi sngi ko. Hindi na ako magpapanggap na buntis this time. ang int eres sa bangko ay umabot ng half a million. Tama ka. Tawa pa. He wasn t dead serious. It was null and void. 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. And because I wasn t that bad. Pra ise the Lord! Kung hindi mag-mamagic talaga akong magkaanak within nine months a . I didn t even get any pleasure from it. Wala din! WAS I GOING DEAF? W-what what are you talking about? Nanghihinang napaupo ulit ako. I m not your legal wife Julian. was he? Hindi. Para iyong sumabog sa mismong tainga ko. Really. G anon ba talag siya kasama? I ve already had a lawyer examined it. I was afraid. Bigyan mo ko ng tagapagmana. Tapos tawa pa ulit. I kept telling myself that it would be okay. Sana man lang nakapaglagay ako sa account ko mula sa kaban ni Julian ba go nagkabukingan. Sorry sa ipagsisinungaling ko pero Isn t mine. His voice was laced with sarcasm. `Yung tawa ng baliw. It was just one of those corny jokes. That easy. Hinawakan niya ang baba ko ng madiin. He stared at me incredulously. hey. I crossed my fingers. Tinitigan akong maigi. What s this for? You have two options to make: One. why didn t you even give me a sign? Or even a hint? Nakaupo ako kaya t nakatingala ako sa kanya. Tsk. eh? Tumawa ako. Nadah. pay me the five million pesos. Feeling ko pinagbagsakan ako ng langit at lupa.Ano `to? Printed paper. Go shoot yourself and go to hell. Jean s baby kinagat ko `yung labi ko. Buti na lang bagong toothb rush ako kanina. Na para bang ang paggawa ng baby ay bato-bato-pik lang. Hindi ako nakakaintindi ng English. ngu miti ito at lumapit sa `kin. As if we were talking about t he weather. Ganon. Ano?! Are you darn serious? It only cost Five hund red thousand? Ganon ako ka-cheap? Sana man lang tinaasan niya kahit one million. Hindi pangalan ko ang naka-re gister sa marriage certificate. It was your s ignature not your sister s. perhaps. You heard me. He said nonchalantly. God. Napaungol ako. you ll tell me anyway. Siya lang naman nasiyahan no . An heir. `Yun naman pala eh. An d you re not the first virgin I ve had. `Yung kahit hindi nakakatawa pinipilit mong tumawa. No spooky things. I ve had my fair share of women Jeannette. `Yung ngiting alam kong bukas patay na `ko. Baka nakakalimutan mo. You might do that honey. He said smoothly. Pero kailan ba naging okay ang magkau tang ng Five million? I was dead before I knew it. So bayad na ang interes.
Julian smiled back. two. exc ept for the press. What would it be Jean nie. kung makapag-react ako parang hindi pa kami nag ano `yung ano alam n iyo na `yun. The woman smiled at me. The feeling s mutual. Jean! Baka nakakalimutan mo `yung reunion natin mamaya. Nagkalayo kami ni Julian. Forcing a woman isn t my cup of tea. Flirt. Hi Dahil assuming ako alam ko. he shrugged. So what is it? This is human violation. Unggoy! Napakatuso! I opened my mouth in disust. I so hate you.. Wala kang karapatang karapatang igiit sa `kin ang marital obligations ko dahil hindi tayo mag-asawa! Oh. At itinaa s nito ang legal na papeles na binayaran nito ang titulo ng lupa namin! He was w ise. a public figure. No doub t. sa `kin patungkol ` yun. . darling. Bakit hindi ako lumapit sa mga iyon at i labas ang baho ni Julian? He was after all. May process `yan. Malapit na kami dun ng matigilan ako. I snorted. Pambablackmai l nga lang! This is pure blackmail! No. Oh no! Gusto kong batuka n ang sarili ko. Well. The handsome debonair. Don t you ever dare. Kaya lalong lumalaki `yung ulo. Sa `kin siya nakatingin eh. my God so all the while we were ju st living in sin together? Mga immoral. Jean was infamed for her swimming ability. he hissed. At least hindi na niya `ko hahalikan ulit. Kung fine nga bang matatawag ang halos pagyakap ng babae dito! Their faces were in ches away from each other. I he ard about it. He looked like a wolf ready to eat his prey. Julian grabbed my waist as if he wouldn t want me away from him. Buti naman. huh? Brad? Uh-oh. your choice. Later everybody was dancing. Then she turned sweetly at Julian. Jean told me everything. Hindi nga ako nagkamaling hindi ka imbitahin! Saan? Irene! So Irene pala ang pangalan ng makiring kaibigan na ito ni Jean. three `yan. I groaned inwardly. Bakit kailangan ko pang magpanggap na si Jean? Alam na naman ng lahat. my dear. I sighed. NO! REUNION. Hindi nga ako nagkamali The woman raised one brow at me. I shrugged. I smiled here and there. Ang press! I smiled. Syempre ang baby hindi basta lumalabas sa tyan ng baba e yan. Namilog ang mga mata ko Julian was standing there. May step one. My phone started ringing. Hello Jean. Nabasa niya ang isip ko! Wow. The business tycoo n. I was quite surprised when a hand caught mine. my God. Kung makalingkis. May psychic ability na ba ito? He glared at me. Sawa? Hindi naman ito Zoo `di ba? S he gritted her teeth in anger. Pero ikaw din. He smiled e villy. Nakita niya akong papalapit sa isa sa mga ito. Lalo na sa`kin. Syempre ngiti rin ako kahit na nga ba never ko pa siyang nakita sa tanang buhay ko. that was fine. Forcing isn t his cup of tea? Oo hindi. They were all bugging him. Ikaw din. Hi. It s okay.t ang tatay ay Oh. Napaatras ako.. I went out of the parking lot to get my cell phone from the car. Well. I m sorry. Hindi nakaligtas sa matalas kong paningin. Nakalimutan ko. A businessman s stock in trade. Brad stare d fixedly at us. my bed s warmer than that of the jail s. Very charming ang loko. it s what you called persuading. 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. Parang siya nga ang nagre-reunion. dear.
Let go of me. Julian Sunico s wife was seen kissing his ex.Brad kiss me. Sa paghampas ko sa sugat niya ay nabitawan niya ang manibela. I saw Brad s purplish face with bruises. I couldn t get enough. What the hell are you d ing. I saw the registration of s hock. Twice. Parehas tikom ang bibig namin. Out of the corner of my eyes I saw Julian s frown. Galit kong sabi. Brad sige paaaa d on t stop kissing me!!! I shouted. alam mong hindi pwed I said kiss me. And I was frightened by the look in his eyes. He gave me that chilling stare that sent shivers down my spine. Bakit ba hindi sila makuntento sa isa? Bakit ba `yun na lang palagi ang problema nila? Nung ginawa naman si Adan. He motioned the steering wheel t o the left. Kinuha ni Julian ang lapel ni Brad at binalya. Eve just tolerated being with Adam. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung bakit ito pinagpalit ni Jean eh. We both gasped. Syempre kahit pagbali -baligtarin ko man ang pangyayari. I gritted my tee th. The woman was just standing there. Once. At masakit `yun ha! I screamed when he was a bout to kick NO! Niyakap ko si Julian ng mahigpit. loner siya `di ba? Pinagbigyan na nga siya ni God. I wanted to shout at him. At na-automatic lock niya na ang buong sasakyan. They knew nothing! Mga taong walang magawa sa mundo kundi pagpi yestahan ang latest tsismis. What? Jeannie. Muntik na kami dun! My heart was thudding loud in my chest. Get in. You should have killed me and . J ulian pulled me roughly in the arm. Na parang ako an g may kasalanan! Na parang hindi ko siya nakitang nakikipag-flirt sa ibang babae ! Hinila niya `ko sa braso. Nakita kong pumutok ang labi ni Brad. Pakaladkad. Sa bilis ng pangyayari hindi ko na alam kung sino sa kanilang dalawa. I put all my force and slap him. Pinipilit kong gumitna pero natabig ako. Hampas dito. Pareho kaming napakapit dito. Nasty gossips. Sinuntok suntok ko ang braso niya. Whew. I said stop it! Tili ko at gumitna ako. Julian no! I screamed. nakakasama din pala ang masyadong gentleman ngayon. May paparating na malaking truck. Matutuwa na sana ako dun sa maganda . Julian. Abusado. Ku ng pwede lang na sipain ko siya. He w as already seated. We both screamed. Anywhere my hand landed. God. I shoul d have wore Hester s scarlet letter. Papalapit na sila. dinugtungan pa. nakakahiya. Ako ang may sagot kay Brad! I winced as Brad punched back. Paikot pa lang siya sa driver s seat ay binuksan ko ang car door para tumakbo. I glared at wh oever said that. Jeannie. Now I know. Maganda pa naman. Para akong lulubog sa kahihiyan. I moaned aloud. ano bang klasing babae `yan. Brad are you okay? I knelt down in front of him. Damn. Hampas doon. para akong nanunuod ng a ction movie. And take note: Eve was the only woman back then. makiri nga lang. There were flashes of cameras. I was too stunned to react. Itinulak! Niya ako sa loob ng sasakyan. It was unlike any fury I d had. Para akong bulkang sa sabog. Grabe. I was even m aking gurgling sounds. Naumpog ako sa silya. Julian how dare yo ! He looked at me coldly. Naawa naman ako bigla sa kanya. No. Gusto ko siyang sabunutan! Sino ba siya? This was all her fault . There was not a bit of gentlemanliness in him. The next thing I knew Julian and Brad were grappling. 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. Brad was badly beaten. You bastard! Galit kong hiyaw. this isn t righ I grabbed Brad s lapels and kissed him right on the mouth. No choice eh. Nakita kong papatay talaga si Julian. Pabalyang ipinasok. His voice was icy cold.
Gusto kong is igaw sa kanya na baka naapektuhan na ang utak niya. Ganon lang ba talaga tingin niya sa `kin? His property na pwedeng bakuran. I d rather you do that Julian. With matching every emphasis pa. My eyes grew wide. You re dead serious. I shook my head. Really. I gave you a choice. Hindi sa natatakot ako. my God. God. Pero bakit ba gwapo pa rin ito kahit mukha itong may sungay sa paningin ko? I might. Why can t you just let me go? I whispered achingly. Kahit na nga ba maghubad si Papa P sa harapan ko. Ang mukha ay nasa gitna ng mga rehas na bakal. Sisigaw akong rape? Fvck you Jeannie. It was as if he would do just that. utos nito. Isang barkadang malakas ang trip. The side of his mouth lifted sexily. Napatitig ako sa kanya. He wa s forcing me. My hair on the nape stood on ends. Naiisip ko pa lang na ipapa-salvage niya `ko at itatapon ang kagandahan ko sa kung saang ilog. I shook my head forcefully and vigorously. no. BUT they were even singing a verse of some song. He hissed. I bought you for five million. I said get out. I did shut up then. Kung kanina ay halos ipagtulakan niya `ko papasok. He was speaking to me. Bumaba ka na. Baba. And the title: Love the way you lie by Rhianna. Pe ro pero `di ba may onting konsensya naman si Julian? Even the tiniest bit? Oh. In close range as in close to my mou th. It was a mere whisper. I closed my eyes.He gave me that chilling look. Julian swung the door open. Alam mo pala eh! He smiled evilly. Pero gagawin niya na Jeannie! My mouth dro pped open. In my predicament I wouldn t have noticed them or anyone else for that matte r. I swore my neck almost snapped sa mabilis na paglingon ko sa kanya. Tapos may dumaang sasakyan. Hindi ko na alam kung paano at anong kaibahan non. Basta to the highest level na talaga ang pag-iling ko. I looked around me and I gasped. There were bruises all over his face. Balewalang sagot nito. Julian glared all the more. this time was very much different. Parang wala sa sariling nasabi ko habang nakatingin s a Sa Police Station. Without remorse. Ang maging babymaker mo? Ha! Holy crap. Kinilabutan ako. Decide now. Oh. Get the hell out of my car. I shook my head vigorously. Pero syempre `yung masarap na kilabot. natatakot ako sa itsura ni Julian. it boils my blood. I couldn t imagine myself there. Alam ko. Did he think I can just bear a child and leave him to his father? I suggest you go see a psychiatrist. Tumaas ang sulok ng bibig niya. Why did he have to d o that? Was this one of his seductions 101? You might be forgetting. Don t try my patience. A choice? I said with sarcasm. He tilted my chin up. Hanggang ngayon ba iyon pa rin ang iniisip niya? You very well know I can t pay you even if it s a one-year term. He said bitterly. My he . Okay. The musc les on his jaw flexed. Why should I? You re mine. He said silently. Julian wouldn t resort to this.
Really? One brow arched. isa pang Bebe `yun e h. Syempre laging naka-coat and tie `yang suplado mong asawa. `yung katawan. gifts and very gentleman. Dati ko siyang manliligaw na artist din. Why was it so? I had living proofs. Sabi niya kasi kapag umiiyak over a jerk hindi siya maririnig ni Mommy. Ikaw lang ang magdadala pero anak ko. Lahat ng sama ng loob ko sa mundo ay inilabas ko. Paano kung babae maging anak natin? Anak ko Jeannie. Sana vinideohan mo. I don t want the time to come that I would only feel hatred against Ju lian. `Yung tipong `pagnaglak ad kayong dalawa sa mall feeling mo ang yaman mo. Sus. Chillax Jeannie. Rowel s here. He gave me flowers. I was stepping o n his Bermuda grass. In short. Lagay mo sa CR `pagnaliligo si Julian. Ano ba kasing iniisip mo? Masyado ng polluted `yang utak mo. Yep. I agreed to his terms. Whatever. Sana nga gan on na lang. Knowing Jean s eccentricity. My eyes were moist. I sighed as I clutched the wireless phone to my ears. CM. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. Malak as pa naman radar ng mga mothers. He was naughty and nice. And very gay. humanap ka ng panget at ibigin mong tunay . and the hot-and-nice guys are gay. Then I heard his monstrous laugh. `Yung t awang pinipilit lumandi. If I were you. He was nice to me. Hay nako Jeannie. As if there was no tomorrow. I d like to spit right onto his demonic face. He giggled. Wooooh! I shouted loudly. the hot guys are jerks. Sigaw ko sa kanya. Masyado siyang makasarili. if I know. Wow. I closed my eyes. dancing under the rain. I found myself taking my shoes off and standing on Julian s lawn. you know. Mabilis niyang pinakawalan ang mukha ko at nag-drive na siya pauwi. Kasi may kasunod kang boy. Is he big? CM! I swore I blushed to the roots of my hair. Nagpapakamatay ka ba? Gusto mo bang magkasakit? . Baritonong high-pitched. Jean di d. Ayokong makita n iyang malapit na `kong bumigay. CM? Geezers. O k aya naman ang bait mo kasi kasi parang charity lang. And he called me. help me. Julian was one hell of a hot specimen. Wala akong pakialam kung pinagtitinginan man ako ng katulong ni Julian. But I found out I was doing the same thing. bibigay pa lang. One hell of a horse. Yep. Parang gusto kong sabunutan itong si CM. Jeannie! Kulog lang `yun. (secret on) God. He whispered and bunched my hair up roughly. Was I that bad? Pero sabi nga ni Andrew E. Next time videohan mo ha? Bigyan kitang hidden camera. sorry. Narinig kong naghikab si CM. I thought it was a bit odd of my twi n to cry under the rain. He didn t know the meaning of love or even gi ving. O inakala nilang ba liw na `ko. `Coz I d kill both of you. `Yu n nga lang pwede siyang pang-S. Tipong ikaw pa ang aagawan ng boyfriend. gora na ako sa gusto niya. Why? Asking your whereabouts.O. When I was a kid I never liked rainy days.art went out to him. Sus. I avoided eye contact with him. Nakita kong umuulan sa labas. Ulam. One theory I realized: The nice? guys are ugly. JEANNIE! One hand grabbed my arm and swung me around. As in. Why not? Pwede ko `yung ipam-b lackmail kay Julian. I was sobbing profusely. Bibi? Bibi? Bibi? Bebe Gandang hari. I knew then that he won. Nakakaawa siya. Rowel? Ahm. CM said tersely. And don t you ever dare slee p with Brad.
I wanted to smack his handsome face only if he didn t look amused. I felt hot all over. Was I dreamin g? Tapos bigla siyang umubo. my God. Bastos ka. He brushed the straining hair on my forehead. Tapos malapit na super lapit na Nanunulis na `yung bibig ko. I love you Uhhh I couldn t believe it. Argh. Ha? Wow. Eskimo kiss. He said in amazement. Syempre mahiya naman ako `di ba? Hindi ko pa rin namang nakakalimuta ng babae ako. At sabay kaming bumagsak sa Bermuda grass. Pilit kong tinatanggal ang mga patak ng ulan sa mata ko. didn t he? Get off me It was a joke. Gusto kong matawa sa itsura niya.It was lightning. Are we going to start the baby making process here and now? I looked up. Hindi kaya magkapalit kami ng mukha? I smiled at him. Grabe. I knew it. pang-FAMAS na sana drama ko. I probably lost one screw earlier. If only it didn t have any value. Para bang hindi siya makapaniwalang ginawa ko talaga `yun sa kanya. I was on top . He pulled me roughly into his arms. I wrinkled my nose. Nalaglag `yung payong. Nagsasalubong ang mga kilay nito at may payong na dala. Tapos tapos Hachuuuu! There. Ok ay na eh. Titig na titig siya sa `kin. My chest was flattened against his. NINETEEN Sometimes you d wished that things were easier. On his face. I rubbed my nose against his. Feeling ko nga matutunaw ako. Julian was really saying those words? Oh. LOL. Was he worried? I shook my head. So I closed the distance. I thought I was going to sneeze my head out. 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. Tapos itinapat ko `yung mukha ko sa mukha niya. Hello? This was so small co mpared to what we d done. Can you believe that? He did say he loved me. That money was just a piece of pap er. I waited for him to do the next move. We were both wet. I looked up at him. I wrapped my arms around his neck. Under the rain. Then I started crying on his chest . Don t even tell me! . Na sana hindi lang ako gustong i-detain dito ni Julian dahil sa utang ko. I was wetting his tux. What do you think are you doing? He asked na para bang nandidiri sa `kin! I blinke d thrice. A mixture of tears and rain. Ang lapit lapit ng mukha namin. My God. Nakakahiya na talaga. On top of him. This was the magic moment. Nung pagtalon ko kaya? What joke? That you lov e me? No. You are my baby. Halos maduling na kami sa titigan namin. I closed my eyes. Julian Niyakap niya `ko. Pilit kong sumasayaw at nagtampisaw pero hawak pa rin niya ang braso ko.
At ang mga kilay nito? Nagsasalubong na naman. Ang sakit sakit ng ulo ko. He k nelt down in front of me. Sino bang may sabing ako lang pala ang n ag-iisip ng hindi kanais-nais dito! Akalain mo `yun. He was pacing to and fro. I closed my eyes. Parang gusto niya na akong sakalin sa itsura niya. I tried to focus my eyes on him. Alam mo `yung parang humalinghing na pusa? My mouth dropped open. He knelt down in front of me. hot. Ano na naman bang pinagsisintir nito? His wet hair was clinging to hi s forehead. But it s as if as if you re going to eat me for dinner. Then I imitated again louder. Ohhh My mouth opened in an indignant O. Tsk.He winced. Ohhh ohhh Jul ian Ohhh YUCK! GROSS! He just raised his brow and looked at me oddly. Julian must have been an angel. Oh God. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung friends sila ni The Grinch. Pag-umpugi n ko pa sila eh. What am I doing? Badtrip na pinilit kong umayos ng upo. My eyes grew wide. Oh well. Jeannie Jeannie I thought my head was going to break into pieces. Inirapan ko siya. May dictionary ka ba dyan? He shrugged. Do you ever know the word humility? Okay na magsungit siya. I rolled my eyes heavenward. my ey es almost bulged. Oh. Ano na namang kalokohan `to? And stop doing doing that. I said stop it. Ungol ako ng ungol. Narinig kong tinataw ag niya `ko. I was still suncking in my breath ever so slowly. I moaned aloud. Are you into drugs? I said I was kidding about you. . I ve heard that before. In disguise. Nakaupo ako sa couch! Basa. And stop staring at me like that! I know. He was standing there. Kasi parang hinihila ako sa antok. Ni-rape niya ba `ko? Bakit feeling ko para akong ginahasa? Ang sasakit ng mga kalamnan ko. Pero `yung ipamukha niya sa `king siya na lang ang natitirang lalaki sa mundo at handa akong halikan ang mga paa niya? It was abso-fvcking-lutely insane. I frowned. May sakit ka ba? He s aid sarcastically. Napatingin ako sa kanya. Ano bang problema nito? Gusto kong sumigaw pero wala akong lakas. I know. I m handsome and you couldn t resis t that. I opened o ne good eye. my God. Basta `wag niya lang asahanag maghuhub ad ako sa harapan niya. It was a great effort to slap the incredulity in his face. Will you just shut up? Ex cuse me? Hindi na nga ako makahinga t lahat then he wanted me to shut up? He was a lways grumpy. I wasn t so sure. Sigaw sigawan niya `ko . Pangalan ko. Hingal dito. his wet shirt was clinging to his body. Ba hala siya kung anong gusto niyang isipin. hindi ko na kasalanan `yun. Promise. Para akong lasing. He proved to b e tempting. Alam ba niya `yung ibig sabihin ng salitang hambog ? No? I thought so. Hingal don. sabi ko na nga ba Julian ha d a pretty fix on me from the start. I couldn t breathe. Napaungol ako lalo. You sounded you sounded Sounded what? Like you are making out! For Pete s sake! Ha? Grabe. me. Wala namang pinainom sa `k in si Julian `di ba? Hindi kaya nilason niya na `ko? I groaned louder than the la st. What the heck. he hissed and brushed his drenched hair. just s eeing him standing there with his shirt loving his body to perfection was making me ahm. making love in the rain. FROM YOU. I screamed. Will you stop that? angil nito. Nakita kong basang basa na `yung carpet. Pakipot pa. Bakit hindi ko man lang nalaman? Sayang naman.
Namatay lahat.. Hotter. Like the way he always used to. You mani ac! I hissed through my teeth. Helllpppppppp And in fair ness. The he pulled down my jeans. Forceful. A slow knowing smile played about his kissable lips. Para siyang binuhusan ng malamig na t ubig. Well. I swore. I moaned a loud. But she lay passive. I was burning hot. Julian noooo! I screamed and wailed. He frowned. Rough. He was a safe cover from the intrud . Inaapoy ito sa lagnat. he was definitely wrong. Then I closed my eyes. pati dun sa baba. Galit na binuhat niya ulit ako. She was in and out of consciousness. Nanlaki `yung mga mata ko. Pumasok si Mommy! Jean! At ang mga katulong! We heard you scream. Oh. Bakit hindi? Ang mga katulad niya ang da hilan kung bakit nagkakasala ang mga respetadong babaeng kagaya ko. Hindi ko alam kung anong l ubog sa hindi punong bath tub ang gagawin. My. Doon. 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. Hindi niya `ko pinansin! Tuloy-tuloy lang siya sa pagtanggal ng mga butones. Sisigaw na talaga ako. Kung akala niyang inaapoy sa pagnanasa si Jeannie. Natatarantang binuhat niya ito. Santisima! Naman si Julian oh. gracious. I felt his teeth nipped my lower lip.Hubaran niya `ko! Joke lang. The likes of Julian should be banned. Anong akala niya sa `kin bata?! I bit his hand. Parang nawalang lahat ang panghihina ko. Pakawalan mo `ko!!! Ti nakpan niya `yung bibig ko. The door burst open. Para akong inaapoy. Our wet clothes were felt so paper-thin.. He roughly cupped my left cheek. hindi ko alam kung panong tili ang gagawin ko. God. Kung kanina y nagkakakawag ako. Tapos dahan dahang bumaba `yung mga mata ko dun sa kamay ni ya. Pakawalan mo `ko! Pakawalan mo sabi ak ooo Ibinagsak niya `ko sa bathtub! He was really inconsiderate. I made sure na nahirapan siya. Then h is mouth landed on mine. 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. Was he insane? We were in the shower room! Hanggang dito ba naman? I shrieke d. Gosh. Jeannie fainted! Napapikit ang mga mata niya. Naramdaman kong may nagbababa sa `kin sa tiles. In my blurring vision I saw Juli an hovering over me. Aba. mabilis pa sa alas-kwatrong yumakap ako kay Julian. At w ala akong pakialam kahit bumabaha ng mura sa shower room. I wished that instant that I were a mermaid. Walang p atawad. Sa sobrang gigil ni Julian. He ripped it off me! Goodness. Para akong lalagnatin .
There was someth ing endearing about a man who said that he could take on the world for me. Darkness was pulling me down. Will you please get out? I shouted at him. He was such a monster. Kinapa ko `yung sarili k o. My stomach churned. my God. Parang binabarena `yung ulo ko. Julian smiled. Lumingon siya s a `kin. Napalingon siya dito. See? Your sister here wants me Oh. no. Oh-kay. didn t I? Then I clos ed my eyes. Betty Boop PJs. Hi ndi na `ko magtataka kung mas pa kung sasabihin niyang: I ll kill you Jeannie . Isn t it obvious? My mouth dropped open. He scrubbed my stomach. I woke up late that night. Ako ang bahala sa `yo. That was only a snippet. He shrugged. Hinawakan nito sa balikat si Julian at pilit inaalis mula sa `kin. I smiled too sweetly. What? He asked innocently. I looked at the alarm clock. Julian wouldn t say something like that. At isinandal ang ulo ko sa bathtub. Han ggang sa magbula `yung bibig niya. Nanla laki ang mga mata ko ng Oh. Then I d make him eat the cake of soap. Gusto ko siyang lunurin sa bathtub. pleaded with me to bathe her. Then his hands submerged under the water. Nang lumabas na silang lahat. I really croaked. A mere whisper. tapos tapos bibitawan niya `ko. He didn t look pleased with himsel f. It me ant catastrophe. Goodness. Buti alam mo. Hindi naman ako kasya sa butas ng banyo. `Yung parang hinuhubaran kung hindi ko pa alam na hubad na `ko! I h issed. He smirked. Bahala? Ha! If I know. Don t you want to ask who? He just shrugged. Hindi ko gusto ang ngiting iyon. Goodness. An g bigat ng pakiramdam ko. Parang batang bulong ko. Parang hin di ako mahiwalay sa pagkakayakap sa kanya. was this déjà vu? I had nowhere to go. Eight o`clock in the morning? I bolted upright. What what? You look as if you would kill. I gasped. I sucked in my breath. I bit my lower lip. Anong gagawin mo? I looked around me. Then he took the soap. Julian I have hands. Tinitig an niya `ko. Julian bathed me! He dressed me up! What did he thi . Anong masamang ginagawa mo sa kapatid ko? Tili si Jean. Sana hindi lang ako nananaginip.ers. What are you all doing here? Julian smiled. They all gasped. Pinanlakihan ko siya ng mg a mata. Sana totoo. Ah. I was trying to cover myself. Tignan ko lang kung makahalik pa siya ng ibang babae. Who said that killing a moron was against the law? Hindi ba pwe deng magbawas kahit isa? TWENTY I hated him.
I took the pillow and covered my ear. Jeannie Rose Leviste? YOU? WON T TALK? Tawa. I wanted to hit him with the lamp shade. I understand. No more like poison me! My eyes stared incredulously. Bakit nga pala nandito sina mommy kahapon? Oh! I forgot to call CM. I was about to talk again when he thrust the spoonful of kaning baboy in my mouth. Don t make me laugh.nk of me? Barbie doll. Tapos bigla niya `kong inabutan ng tablet. Omelette? Omelette? Ma y bago na palang tawag sa sunog na kaning baboy ngayon? Will you just be grateful and eat? He angrily shoved the plate of food on my lap. He was e ven clutching his stomach. Hmp. Surely I wasn t that fat. Naramdaman kong lumubog `yung kama sa gilid ko. Alam kong hindi uso sa mahihirap ang omelette . He started laughing. Evil Ken. Galit kaya ako. Nakita kong napahiga siya kakatawa. Gusto kong sabihing: Amuin mo ko Kumain ka na. Mabilis akong humarap sa kanya. Hindi naman masama lasa niya. He was really going to kill me. Fine. Not talkin g would be the cause of your death. He said with sarcasm. No reply. Naniningkit ang mga mata ko. parang n agkaroon siya ng dalawang sungay. But still mukha pa rin iyong darak. I chewed it. Hey. Ganon pala huh? . My hands were itchi ng to take those and cover his That would be the day Jeannie. I arched one brow. ang mahi rap kuhanin mahirap pakawalan. Hindi ba niya `ko papatayin? I looked at the tray in front of me. He tapped again my shoulder. Napatingin ako sa unan ng masama. Sa paningin ko. Confirmed. I wasn t giving him peace? If I give you peace I won t talk to you. Forcefully. Surely Ano ng tingin niya sa `kin? BABOY? Ano `to? Kaning baboy? Why. Medicine. All at once my heart started hammering. Binuksan ko `yung silver cover. Basta hinalo lang niya ang pagkain. `Yung tawang parang wala ng bukas. parang utang na loob ko pa ang paggawa niya ng breakfast sa `kin. Julian ano b a! Will just give me peace Jeannie? I opened my mouth to talk again. Unti-unti akong napangiti. I gritted my teeth. Sabi nga ni mommy. I opened my mouth in disgust. He even yawned. He tapped my shoulder. An ong ginagawa mo dito? bulong ko. What did he think of me? Hard-to-get `to no. Thank you. May takip iyon. Preppy Ken. Julian? He didn t reply. He really had a sweet and cari ng side. My God. Pasalamat siya gutom ako. Whatever. I glared at him. Bumagsak ang katawan ko sa higaan. I really gasped aloud. Yep. I groaned inwardly. Day off ng mga katulong. My head was poundi ng. Wit h his bewitching smile. kumain ka na. Ha! Grabe. Betty Boop! Kumain ka na. EVER. Wow. Breakfast. Tawa. Biglang bumukas `yung pinto. Ang kapal niya! Grabe. Sa daldal mong `yan. Parang biglang k umalam ang sikmura ko. Excuse me! Gigil na humarap ako sa kanya. thank you. Sa bi nga pala ni Thrust the food on my mouth. eh? Nooo I bemoaned. Tawa. What a better way of saying Shut up Jeannie . Patalikod sa kany a. Tumagilid ako. There the Ken stood. Julian wala na naman akong lagnat samahan mo `ko mamaya kina Sumpak ulit. I gasped. This side of Julian that I wasn t used to.
Wow. His whole being would surely break into a thousand pieces. I was just a very keen-observer. He raised one brow at me. `Yun lang! G oodness. Nanghihinang naglalakad ako. Ang sinabi niya lang kanina we re going some place . What are you doing here? I swore. Would he slash his wrists? No. Alam kong nan anadya lang siya. I was rooted to the ground. He ordered. Naiisip ko pa lang an g mga gagawin niya y kinikilabutan na `ko. Inabot ko ang kamay ko sa kanya. And she loves me dearly I would have gasped. Parang sinasabi ng ti nging iyong akala ko ba hindi tayo bati? . darling? Nanlalaki ang mga mata ko. I frowned. We were both sile nt on the way here. Gusto ko ng ngatngatin ang plato o ka ya ibato iyon sa kanya. Parang balewala lan g naman sa kanya. I wasn t really e avesdropping. You have to tell him! You can t just keep this damned secret forever. They were all looking at me. Julian smiled at me and raised his wineglass in a mocking salute. When will you tell Julian about his true parentage. And be polite. Sabi ko na nga ba. Inirapan ko si ya. Paano ko sasabihin sa kanya? Julian your family wasn t supposed to be who they were. Didn t you. Kanina pa kita hinahanap. Deadma lang ako. My hands were cold and c lammy. At sabi nga. 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. Wala nama n talaga akong pakialam. Hindi kaya pulutin ako sa kalsada `pagsinabi ko `yun? Pam-blackmail! Tama. My knees were going to buck le. Parang bumalik ang sakit ng ulo ko. Ito ang napapala ng mga tsismosa. Mabait na asawa ba itong si Julian hija? Tanong ni Aunt Risan sa `kin. I would have turned around and walked away. He was challen ging me. Napapanis na ata l away ko. Tapos napatapat ako sa library. At unang una ako sa mga taong iyon. In short. Yes. I was about to turn away when some snatches of the conv ersation caught my attention. Silence would really kill me. You hated lies. Parang teledrama lang. He frowned and sighed. I was true to my promise. Nagsasalita siya. most of the time. I even bathed her yesterday. Nagsasawa na `ko sa ganito. You know I can t. Uuwi na tayo. Poor you. Ang katawan ko. His broad back was turned to me. He would break furnitures and lashed at people. Ikaw ang may kasalanan ako ang umaani! She never love d me so I got tired of waiting for her. Ang bilis . She loved you damn you! Silence descended. Nangangalay na braso ko ah. Parang may sariling isip ang mga paa ko. He turned around and just walked on! I saw the way he carried himself like the king of the world. Well. I looked as if I d seen a ghost. ha. It was as if they (Julian s supposed dad and Uncle Bert) told me that it wa s the end of the world. We Aherm! Aherm! Malakas kong ubo. The voices were familiar. Ayusin mo sarili mo. See? Silence means yes. They all laughed. He ll hate me. Aunt Risan my wife s very pampered. I sighed. He just kept on talking. I was tight-lipped and turned to his aunt. simpleng papansin. Jeannie? I almost jumped in surprise.I would have cried aloud if not for Uncle Bert and Julian s dad. `yung mga taong curious `yu n `yung matatalino. Kasalanan ko bang halos rinig na ng buong bahay ang pag-uusap nila ? Sus. Tumaas `yung kilay ko. Gusto ko ng magsalita. Hindi kami bati! Hindi ko siya papansinin! Argh. He r olled his eyes. Mabait po `pag tulog. Waiting. Mamamatay nga ata ako. Nod. I was trying to find the comfort room. The side of his mouth lifted slightly. Bert? When will you take all the blame and this buuullshit end? TELL ME! Parang may bombang sumabog. Smile.
Nagsusungit na naman. You need me. I fell in step beside him. But it didn t even bother me. Somebody was sleeping beside me! My eyes grew wide . For the first time I rendered pity for the high and mighty Julian Sunico. He sighed exaggeratedly. I sighed pleasurably.. Baliw ka na ba? He said drily while looking at me in disg ust. `di one ganda okay. And I bet. Katabi! Then it clearly dawned on me. Peter was looking right down at me us . I smiled mischievously. He didn t ev en bother to open the door for me. Half of my body w as covered by. I couldn t breathe a little. Ever since that phone call earlier. And the one he grew up with was really his uncle. Well. Parang may nakadagan sa katawan ko. Tandaan mo Jeannie may malaking utang na loob siya sa `yo. Later that night I went to sleep early. for sure he would blame himself for the separati on. He started laughing demonically. May utang na loob ka sa `kin. one baet point na `ko. Sipon . And because he was very much a gentleman. As in. Akalain ko bang hindi ko matiis and dyablong si Julian? I could have gone straight to a reporter or to any journa list.ko. TWENTY ONE We went straight home. If he d only known. Parang sinasabing nasiraan na nga talaga . Eh. Hindi ko na siya pinakialamanan. What are you doing? He said softly. I ll tell you something you don t know. Masarap palang matulog ng may katabi. Pero hindi ko ginawa. I snuggled closer. I cushioned my head against his back. In my dreamy state. he might n ot know yet but he d thank you later. The hands tightened around my m idsection. And hugged him from behind. Umiling-iling ito. Kaya tatanawin niya sa `kin itong isang malaking utang n a loob. 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. Hmm? Humigpit bigla `yung kapit niya sa `kin. Ni-lock ko `yung pinto kanina. somebody. And because I wasn t that bad I hoped God and St. Luha. Parang hindi niya napapansin na kasama niya `ko. Ang gulo no? Kasing gulo ng u tak ni Julian.. Bumaba na kami ng sasakyan. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. Habang pilit pang tinatanggal `yung kamay ko s a harap niya! I tightened my hands around his middle. Uncle Bert was his dad. Ang lakas ng impact. It was one hell of a secret. Na hindi ko m an lang alam kung sino. And and Julian never slept wit h me. I ran to him. I almost screamed. Laway ko. you can t live without me. Nasaktan pa nga ` yung dibdib ko sa pagtama sa likod niya. I hiccupped through his shirt. Julian was in the study room fussing ove r documents. .
Naghilik siya. Dirediretso sa study room niya. Traveling. Julian ungot ko. Travel. Pero utos pa rin. Balewalang dumagan ulit siya sa `kin! Na parang ba ta. Sige magpanggap kang wala ako dito. arhm scratch that.Madilim. What are you doing? I frowned when he started puttin g his clothes in a traveling bag. Bakit ba ang sungit sungit mo He slammed the door in my face! I was so shocked. Seconds late r. One word uttered. Then he went to work . My eyes slowly widen ed He was gloriously buck-naked. You scared me inis na bulong ko. Niyugyog ko `yung balikat niya. her eyes were big and even her mouth was a big O. Ang ulo nito ay parang batang isiniksik sa leeg ko. A person seemed vulnerable when asleep. I covered my eyes with my hand. He wasn t talking to me the whole day! I woke up with the empty side of the bed. I angrily swung the door loud enough. This mig ht be heaven. Then I pushed him hard. Ang KAPAL! Mabilis na itinapat ko ang palad sa bibig at bumuga buga. Three words. L alo niyang nilakasan `yung paghilik. I know. Then I looked over my shoulder. Gigil na sinundan ko siya. Pinipilit nitong pigilan ang mga kamay ko. Hindi man lang ako pin agtangkaan ni Julian. Leave me alone. Julian san ka kumain? He shrugged. Maybe Julian needed some loving after all. he was fast asleep. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. With gaps between my fingers. No phone calls. I started pushing. ganon. Excuse me? Bad breath. I was going crazy with boredom. Ah. My chest was flattened against his. Inamoy amoy ko pa man din `yung unan na hinigan niya! Tapos `pagdating ng b reakfast hindi ako papansinin? Grabe. wasn t that my weakness? Men with nice rounded bu tts. Sleep. Inumang ko `yung kamao ko sa likod niya tapos humarap siya. Hell. Ah. May pupuntahan tayo? U . Hindi ko alam kung bakit. Yuck. The man s breath was fanning my cheek. Nakiliti ako sa paghinga niya sa leeg ko. I smiled sweetly. Alam mo ba Julian na nakakainis ka? Nawala na `yung antok ko dahil sa He covered my mouth! Inis na tinatanggal ko iyon. Gigil kon g sabi. My God. Sabay biglang takbo. Ano ba. Niyugyog ko ulit. Lapasta ngan! Tinitigan ko siya ng masama. Hello? Hindi ko kaya nakita! Wala kaya akong nakita. Hawak pa `yung walis. Parang balewalan g naglakad siya papunta sa closet. I tenderly caressed his hair. `Yung isa naming maid nakatayo din! Promise. He wore his underwear not a whit about me ogling standing there. Nakalimutan ba niya? He cuddle d with me last night! I thought we were okay? Ngayon ko napatunayang maraming na didisgrasya sa akala. Tinatanong lang naman kita. I heard him chuckle. I closed the door shut in effect. He came back late that night. Nice butt. May alzheimer s na ata. luckily his back was turned to me. Mabaho ba `ko? For the first time. Unfortunately. Hindi naman ah. But my. napadaan lang ma am. Didn t he know that he was way bigger than me? He covered half of my b ody. Why are you in my room? Bulong ko. Aalis.
I was hugging Julian s pillow tightly. Ang O. Basta lagay lang siya ng lag ay ng gamit. Teka. Ang laki-laki ng bahay ako lang naman at si CM. Parang nakalimutan ko nga ding magpinta. Inis na binato ko ang unan niya sa kama. ko. I ate silently at the breakfast table. I m going to Las Vegas for a business trip. Baliw na ata talaga ako. Nagulat ako. Aalis tayo Jeannie. A week. Yo ur hubby called me. Anong sinabi niya? Hindi kaya minura ako ni Juli an? TWENTY TWO Four full days. I couldn t say anything. I was a little absorbed with my emotions. O binabaon ko ba s iya sa utang through his credit card. Tapos tinalon talunan ko iyon. Parang baligtad? Whatever. So planado ito? G anon ba? Why didn t you tell me? Galit kong harap sa kanya. Mabobored lang siguro ako kaya ako nagkakaganito. Kinilig pa ang bruha. Samahan daw muna kita. I didn t even remember him. I was just plain bored . Sabi ko sa sarili ko at ginawa pang p uppet na nagsasalita ang kamay ko. I sniffed it. He even demonstrated with his hands. He was mouthing: Kiss. He put on a shirt and his rugged jeans. I didn t miss him. He moved toward me. No one would shout at me. That was it. We were all quiet. Anong ginag awa nito dito? Julian put his luggage in the compartment without a word to me. Wala na `kong yayamutin. dangsin-ibogo sip-eulgeoya I ll miss you. Tapos pinisil niya `yung bab a ko. `di ba kapag naka-pout nanunulis `yung lips? Hindi man lang makara mdam! Tapos nakita ko sa likod si CM. I realized then that my world started revolving around Julian. One week kong h indi makikita si Julian? Argh. Julian! Oo Jeannie narinig kita. He was even immersed in painting a landscape. Tayo? Nagmamadaling tinignan pa nito ang wrist watch.mupo ako sa gilid ng kama. No phone calls. I didn t even notice that we were already inside the airport. CM said from behind. Para akong robot. I sat down while panting. I was t rying hard not to look at his back while walking away. THE HELL I CARE! Jeannie! Ano?! Galit kong harap kay Julian. Hindi niya ako pinansin. He was going away. Wala naman talaga akong pakialam. Oo nga. Anong sinabi niya? I stared blankly at CM. I rolled on my stomach and covered the pillow over my head. He even smiled at me. Okay lang `yun! Mabuti nga `yun. He studied his nails. Naiinis ako sa kanya! Kahit `wag na siyang bumalik. Ni hindi man lang nag-alalang tumawag para itanong kung buhay pa `ko. Nobody would tor ment me. Jeannie . Kahit man lang hoy wala. How was that? Nakahiga lang ako. Parang hindi gumagana `yung utak ko. CM was waiting for me downstairs. Oh. One week. At saka lang ito ngumisi sa `kin. I pouted. I One more week of not abiding that damned co ntract. A. Tapos tinalikuran niya na `ko. He could really be attracti ve and sexy without trying. Not even a word. Kung ako lang din CM mas gusto kong maiwan kasama ng asawa ko! Mabilis na sumakay ako ng sasakyan. I punched the pillow like it was his face. For a week! Na hindi man lang ako kasama? Ang galing. Kung ako lan g Jeannie mas gusto kong maiwan kasama `yung asawa mo.
dude. I forced my muscles to move. I almost tripped with the blanket in a hurry to g et to my cell phone in the drawer. So. Ahh he nodded indulgently. Pilit ginagaya si Ann Curtis. Hello Julian? Jeannie kain na tayo! Sh!t. Tatalikod pa lang sana ako ng tumunog ulit iyon. We ate dinner serenely. I don t want to be the bearer of bad news Jeannie. Mamaya mag-celebrate tayo tutal wala naman dito si Julian. Tapos tinalikuran niya `ko at isinara ang pinto `paglabas. Naiinis ako s a mga taong magkukwento tapos mambibitin! My hands were getting itchy to wring h is neck. because you re not interested never mind. I looked at him squarely. Boom . CM said. I didn t even look at the screen. Namimiss mo na no? Sabi nito at umupo sa tabi ko. CM won! I hated them both. How could he be my friend? He had done nothing but to hum iliate me. Hindi! Hello. CM!!! I wanted to wipe the grin off hi s face. That would be a cold day in hell. Mauubos talaga buhok niya sa `kin. Sorry na. Bakit ba kasi nilock lock ko pa `yung drawer? Stupid of me. Inis na humiga ulit ako at tinalikuran siya. Eee. I gnawed the inside of my left cheek. I hissed and stared at him pointedly. Anong sabi niya? Hindi ka naman interesado. Gusto kong ipakain sa kanya iyon. Oh? I don t care if you don t believe me CM. He gave me that eat-your-heart-out sm ile. my mobile started ringing. Kitang kita kong parang hinayang siya. Me? Missing him? Bull. Para akong tangang hawak hawak `yung cell phone sa tenga ko. Big time. I gasped and glared at him. Tama. you know. Nagmamadali ako. I shouldn t have mentioned that name! CM was giving me those slow teasing grins I hated these days. To my astonishme nt. I didn t like CM s expression. What bad news? . Huwag lang talaga siyang makalapit-lapit. 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. The door opened. CM said. I m just resting. Meron tayong bente kwatro oras sa isa ng araw. My hand was trembling. Double Sh!t. You should understand your husband. It opened. It tasted ashes on the tongue. you don t miss him? Umupo ulit ako. bakit ka nagmumukmok? Ako? Nagmumukmok? My God CM. Julian? Badtrip. I smi rked at him. He stood up from my bed. Anong ginagawa niya? Dinadaig si Bill Gates? Tsk. I reahed for it under my accessories along with other swell stuff. Kahit `wag na siyang bumalik. Argh. Alam mo naman si Julian napakapasensyoso! I gritted my teet h and sighed. Okay. Sayang sasabihin ko pa man sana sa `yong tumawag kanina si Julian Well. Bwisit. Smile Jeannie. `di ba? Sakalin ko kaya `tong si CM? Once lang.That bolted me upright. Umiinom ng isang tasang kape si CM. I said nonchalantly. I couldn t eat that muc h. Eh. Just curious. It stopped ringing just when the key turned in.
Julian changed the word messy to SEXY. At nalilis ang kumot mula dito. I went to bed that night with my head pounding so hard it hurt. Maingat niya itong pinagmasdan. Angko s footprints. Disoriented. wasn t it? Si Julian? Bankrupt? Bugger. She stirred in her sleep. I m sorry Jennie. His mindset was shouting he didn t need her. The investors in Las Vegas were pulling out. My eyes grew wide. Befo re I knew it his arm wrapped around my waist and pulled me closer. He couldn t afford to lose his heritage. And he was afraid of this from the very first fvcking day he met her. TWENTY THREE I woke up with a start. He didn t really know what bullsh!t happened t o him. The light fli ckered from the lamp shade were casting shadows on the wall to the woman sleepin g serenely on the bed. He opened one good eye. Ang hirap kapag magkalaban ang puso at ang utak. Julian. Oooh lala . Sabi ko na nga ba. Tapos nakita k o `yung biceps ni Julian. But but hey I had this dream last night. `Yun ang narinig ko. There was nothing cons tant and permanent in this word. I slept like the dead. He cuddled her in spoon fashion. I whispered. I stretched my arms. Tapos pumikit ulit. She was one thing he didn t need right now. Now. Marahang humiga siya sa tabi nito at tumagilid. Even in deep slumber she came to him willingly. At mas mahirap ipaglaban ang isang bagay na alam mong matagal ka nang talo. He was whi spering what seemed like love words to me. Parang slow motion na unti-unti akong tumingi n sa gilid ko. The word complication was writt en all over her face. This was just one of his grand jokes. And my! His chest was uncovered. Julian She turned to the side. my left arm jabbed som ething. He look ed a bit disoriented. I thought men with stu bbles looked messy before. 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. Jeannie could disappear one day. Tapos humarap ulit siya sa `kin. He grunted. He knew those facts might kill him. He kissed her na pe softly. That was the last of my conscious thoughts. Weren t his mother and father a one great example ? He was a very cynical man. 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. Kukurutin ko sana `yung braso ko. kabaligtaran ang nangyayari sa totoong buhay. It was just that he was afraid to get too attached. He opened the door and slid inside the semi-darkened room quietly. Someone groaned beside me. I was really dreaming! Oh. That was the most hateful word in a businessman s vocabulary. Bankrupt. He found himself smiling oddly. They lost millions. Napasubsob ak o sa dibdib niya. God. dangsin-eul salanghabnida. And his fingers were itching to put an L word on his forehead. Why not? . Eight? Ten? Ang tagal ko na d in palang pinagtyatyagaan si Julian. I slowly smiled. Napatingala ako sa kanya. Ayt. He was a major lo ser. Jules Tinalikuran niya `ko! Oh-kay. It s the truth. Parang hindi ko ata naintindihan ang mga sinabi ni CM. I love you. Huy. Ine-expect ko bang nandun si Sadako? Oh great. His heart told him otherwise. I pouted.Pabagsak na ang negosyo ng mga Sunico. Goodness. Lumapat ang likod nito sa dibdib niya.
was he seducing me? It wasn t working! It was oh-so-tempting. sayang! LOL. Well. I gritted my teeth. I lacked sleep. Why couldn t I close my eyes? Why do you have no clothes on? Not a stitch! A slow smile cracked about his lips. Hinila niya talaga ako. But I m tired. Jeans. Tapos `yung tingin n a `yun yung para akong hinuhubaran? Are you insane? Inis na lumayo siya sa `kin. Who are you asking me or the bed? I looked him in the eyes. Anyhow. Grabe. Nangangalay na `ko. Grabe magkaka-stiff neck ata ako kakating ala sa kanya. . Si Julian nga! Nagsasalubong ang mga kilay nito. He chuckled. Not lower Jeannie! But hey. he became a bit ge ntler with. Nanggigil lang naman ako. I clutche d the headboard. He was silent. Kinikilig talaga ako. Feeling ko ang bilis humaba ng buhok ko. if I would be living with him forever I couldn t imagine. He ripped the magazine off my hands and threw it wherever it landed. I gulped. God Jeannie look elsewhere but him! Tin gin sa ceiling. Tingin sa lampshade. Mayamaya lamang we were brushing our teeth side by side. Geezers. He said forlornly. He tickled me on each side.I pinched him slowly and ever so painfully. what the Confirmed. He gave me that come-on smile. Parang kagat lang `yun ng langgam. Tingin sa flooring. A bit. Tapos inabot niya sa `kin `yung toothbrush ko. My. I pouted. He regarded me with incredulity. Na para bang walang pakialam. I hated him! Hindi na siya nahiya sa ayos niya. Hello? It was daytime! Tapos tumata gos pa `yung sinag ng araw mula sa sliding door. Nanghinayang lang. Ayy. But our eyes met th rough the mirror. he wasn t that showy. Ang kapal! I shrieked when he pulled my feet from the be d. Just a bit. Tumalikod ako sa kanya ng tumayo na siya sa harap n g salamin. Tapos nagtititili ako. He even make it a point to dine with me at night. men had no modesty! I slept in my birth suit. Sa kama. Ginalaw mo naman `yung mga gamit ko! Even my baseball is missing. Pero ngu mingiti na rin siya ngayon. He then hugged me and carried me to the bathroom. Inis na humarap ako. Jeannie! Sabi ko sa inyo a bit lang eh. Naninigas na `yung leeg ko. `Yun nga lang. Ano kayang pinakain kay Julian don? Na-realize niya sigurong mahirap ng makahanap ng isang Jeannette Rose Leviste sa buong mundo. Pe ro Julian toned down a bit. Oo. It was un-Julian to do those things for me. Damn. He often scowled. He had already a to wel on. I swore I blushed to the roots of my hair. What! Inis niyang tanong habang hinahanap `yung jeans niya! Yes. Hinuhubaran? More like sinu sunog. I winced as I saw him striding down the stairs. He planted his hands on his hips. I was a bit tempted. What did you do with my things?! What things? Painosente kong sabi. I winced. Why. Na para bang nababaliw na `ko! Tapos tumayo na siya na parang walang pakialam. But not at him . I know you want me now Jeannie. Not that I was disappointed. Some things changed in him after his business trip. I was like in fairy land for three m ore weeks. Oh. Uh-oh. Kailangan ko pang pum asok. malakas kaya kiliti ko. As in nada? Meaning. L ukot na naman ang mukha. I woke up having him beside me. Para kaming naghahabulan sa maliit na kama. Why do you have no clothes on? I parroted. Tapos nagbuklat ako ng magazine. naninigaw pa rin siya. Julian didn t mention anymore about my debt or the baby making cont ract.
Jean let s go. argh. Ngumuso ito kay Vincent. And that guy. eh kung tutuusin I was my sister s dead ringer. Muntik na kong kiligin dun. Mga ka-federation ko ata ang judges. I glanced at him. Ewan ko ba dito kay CM. Well. It was a little bit over a month and a half simula ng bukingan portion na `yun. I mean. We chat a little for a while. Tricia gave it to me on my 21st birthday. Wel l. we could indulge in life s luxuries once in a while . Anong ibig mong sabihin CM? Nagkita kami sa Starbucks. Tricia s a part of the past. Tapos lumingon ako. I silently wished as I touched my sister s rounded stomach . Hindi naman talaga masama ugali niya. Matino namang kausap `tong si friend. He sighed. if I was going to ask for the moon. For me it wasn t even practical eating or even drinking a cup of coffee for how much! Tsk. And hey. It s time. Tapos naghikab ako. Were rich men born to be airheads? Julian for one. Ang kapal ko naman kung sabihin kun g he was lusting after me. No. But I knew deep down he cared about me. Alin `yun baseball bat niyang may nakalagay pang From me to you? YUCK! I don t know. Pero `yung Vincent. you know. My mouth almost dropped open. See? He even gave Tricia a very luxuri ous gift! Ako? WALA.I pouted. He was looking right through me. Anong isasali ko? Wala pa nga akong napipinta simula dumating a ko dito. For the win `yun te! Parang kinikilig na tumingala pa ito. He slowly smiled at me. That s Tricia s birthday gift to me. He was eyeing me like. Because Julian was Julian. Once in a while. Was he treating my sister well? Ngumiti sa `kin si Jean na parang inaassure ako. I m not good with explaining myself. I should have been understanding. This Vincent was second on the list. 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. Hindi ko gusto `yung ngiting iyon ni CM. CM s brow raised. Babalik na `ko ng States the day after tomorrow. Kung buhusan kaya kita ng kumukulong kape? Gusto mo? I smirked. ang big deal ng nakaraan para sa inyo. Winner! Tumili pa siya. I shrugged. There was something there. Two weeks from now may gaganapin g Fine Arts contest sa New York. Tipong mag-iinarte ka kasi gusto mong lambingin ka niya. If he would just kiss me and tell me he was sorry then he wouldn t be Julian at al l. Okay. In exchange I gave her a sculpture of Venus de Milo. Alam mo ba `yung feeling na gu sto mong magpa-amo. siya naman ang magbabayad. Then we hugged each other. At nauna na kay Jean. There was m y sister. . Listen to me sweetheart. Sana may baby na rin ako. I felt a pang of envy. I t was gross to even imagine. Tapos nanulis `yung bibig ko. Parang nag-init `yung ulo ko. I thought he was going to tell me go to hell . blackli sted na. Parang tumaas lahat ng dugo ko sa ulo ko. Nakakainis sa inyong mga babae. Hindi ko n a itatanong kung anong o much better sinong nilalapastangan niya sa isip niya. Did you know why Julian s business got a downturn? CM s eyes squinted at their backs. I didn t want him to change. he really was a changed man. sometimes he was an asshole. You might want to join Jeannie? Seryosong sabi n ito. Pero hello? Kailangan pa bang ipamukha sa `kin na regalo `yun ng ex niya? EX na nga `di ba? Meaning X. Vincent? Hmm. Paint Julian while sleeping nude. He gave me the creeps. Parang balewalang tumayo ito. I smirked at him. Hinarap niya `ko. I didn t know. Jeannie? Tumili siyang lumapit sa `kin. I frowned. Kung sa bagay. How rude . Tell me you love me and I ll forget you even dated Tricia once u pon a time. She knew CM by the photos I e-mailed to her before. okay fi ne. Her tummy s five months now. He si ghed exaggeratedly.
You re gross. Jean s not like that. what would happen to me? I couldn t just give my baby up. What now? Paano kung igiit pa rin ni Julian `yung baby making contract namin? I was so stupid. You re kidding me. That one s ruthless. CM. Who do you think? Mahina kong sabi. `Yung hikbi ko naging hagulgol na. It had been ab out a month and a half since that night. Seriously. He shrugged. Bakit ko pa kasi pinirmapirmahan. Julia I gritted my teeth in anger. Hindi pwedeng artista Jea nnie. Bakit ako tatanungin mo kayo ang kambal `di ba? Anyway. Hindi kaya buntis ka ba? My head swam with all the possibilities. He shrugged. Raised my han d then pouted my lips. CM even suggested we go to the OB. Could it be? As mommy told me.Wait. Akala ko ba nagbago na siya? Mabilis akong tumayo. But he didn t tell an ything about us being together forever. My sister s well-informed. baka naman na g-eenie mini mynie moe `yang kapatid mo? Sino sa tatlo ang tatay ng anak ko? Sosy al. be careful what you wished for coz you just might get it. Siguro may mga v . Why not? Sa kotse siya nabuo. My head was spinning. Just like that. Pero ayoko. She s one of the cronies of Vincent. Nasulot niya ang mga investors ni Julia n. Kinakabahan ako habang hinihintay ko ang result ng PT. Then my vision became blurry. But not as an artist slash actress. Ano `yun mga tuta? Basta na lang ipapamigay. I yanked my tee shirt up. I don t know. Positive? Malamang Jeannie. If ever na totoo man syempre `yung tatay ng anak ko ang gusto kong kasama. Plus sign. I gasped. Ngayon din. Siguro magiging car racer anak ko `paglaki. no. I know. He changed. Oh. God. Goodne ss. Then I slowly peeked at it with one eye. He cut the line off. I was a bit disconcerted about mothers who left their children withou t a by-your-leave. We weren t even married legally! Dahil nga null and void ang marriage contract namin. Artist yes. I looked pale. Pero parang wala namang laman ang tyan ko. kelan ba naging negative ang plus sign? Parang nababaliw na sabi ko sa sarili. We have a flight to catch up. What? I threw up on him. I wanted to cry and howl at the same time. Who s her baby s father anyway? Isn t Brad her boyfriend? Parang naguguluhang napatingin ako sa kanya. May nagbago ba? Nag-pose pa ako. I giggled. Kaya nga nagtataka ko dyan sa kapatid mo. Pinaghirapan ko kaya ang paggawa dito. what do you mean? He shrugged. So ano? Lalaking bastardo ang anak ko? Hindi ko napansing umiiyak na pala ako. Anak ko ito eh. I laughed silly at myself. I hadn t thought about it. TWENTY FOUR I stared at myself in the mirror. I hugged my knees to myself. Naiiyak na napaupo ako sa tiles. napakapit ako sa silya. This tim e he s got his revenge against the Sunicos. Jeannie? Are you okay? Okay? I groaned. Hello? Umuwi ka na. My phone started ringing. Na-realize kong ang sagwa pala.
Biglang bumukas ang pinto. Disgusted. I swore I wanted to curse Julian. At mabilis inilayo ang mga braso kong nakataas sa kanya. Basang basa na ang mukha ko ng luha. Tumulo `yung sipon ko. WHAT! Mabilis nitong inamoy ang sarili. matter with you? frustrated na bumab a `yung sigaw nito. it was difficult to carry extra pounds for nine months then you d just just Argh. Jeannie! What is wrong with you? Wala siyang choice. Get away from me! I screamed at him. `Yung tingin niya sa `kin `yung tingin na parang baliw na talaga `ko. my God. Hindi ko gusto ang amoy ng pabango niya. That kind of beast scowl he always had. Parang nanga sim `yung sikmura ko. I already love you baby JJ. He sighed. Gosh. Before I could ev en say stop sniggering at me my stomach turned upside down. I shook my head. At `pagsinabing layuan mo `ko ang ibig sabihin lang nun ay pilitin mo `ko. Niyakap ko siya. Then I sniffed his shirt . Juliet Jean if ever the baby s a she. I wasn t so sure why I couldn t just tell him right away. Lalo akong naiyak. Napakasama talaga ng ugali nito. He rolled his eyes ceilingward. And Jean(pronounced as John) Julian if a he. Layuan mo `ko! What! I said get away from me! Excuse me? He looked at me incredulously. Sigaw pa! Napahikbi ako. he whispered. Ta pos pinunasan niya `yung bibig ko ng basang face towel. He carried me like a sac k of rice. Jeannie stop this nonsense okay? Aalis tayo ngayon din. Napakasama ng ugali niya. Ang baho mo kaya. . Well. I would have died. It was just that. Nakita kong hindi siya magkandatuto. And I shoved him away from me. Anon g sasabihin ko. Tapos iyak na naman ako. Every woman deserved to be wooed. Ano bang problema ko? What s wrong Jeannie? I saw concern in his eyes. I pouted then tears readily pooled down m y eyes. I might melt. He groaned. My eyes watered again. Para akong masusuka. My mouth dropped open. Umiiyak na sumuka ak o sa bowl. Hindi ba niya alam na buntis ako? Sumisigaw siya? `Di kaya marinig ng baby `yun? What is the sigaw niya. At nilayuan nga ako! Didn t he know that when a woman said she hated you it meant she cared about you. Mauna ka na! Hindi ako sa sama! He scowled. fine with me. The grea t Julian Sunico? Parang takot na takot akong hawakan. Tapos Oh. Kadiri man halos isubsob ko na ang mukha ko sa bowl. We re going Nabitin ang pagsigaw nito. Then I sniffed again. Tapos pinipilit niyang nila layo `yung polo shirt niya sa `kin. Per o naiinis din akong makita siya at the same time. Sabi ko lay uan mo nga ako. God. Para akong batang nagpapabuhat. Napakapit ako sa PT at mabilis na itinago sa likod ko. I gritted my teeth. Naawa siguro sa `kin at saka ako niyakap. I wasn t here to sit judgement on them. Tapos tinampal ko `yung bibig niya. Julian buntis ako panagutan mo `ko! Baka sakalin ako nito ng w ala sa oras. I said get away Will you just shut up? Para kang loro. Masyadong matapang . Jeannie! If you want to fly to the moon. Sabi ko.alid reasons sila. Bakit ba ayaw tumigil ng mga luha ko? Parang gusto kong maglupasay. Go ahead. Gusto ko siyang makita. Oi. Hindi ko sinadya `yun no! Gross. Mamayang gabi na `yung fl ight. I smiled and caressed my stomach.
Anyone? I smiled. And the re was him! What was he doing here? Napalingon agad ako kay CM. Sorry Julian. Kaya la ng baka kuyugin ako dun. ngayong umaga lang `yan `pagdating ng gabi bati na ulit kayo. no. Napalingon agad ako. Like in a slow motion I turned around. I beamed proudly. Uh-oh. At halos bumaon sa braso ko ang kamay niya sa pagkakahawak sa `kin. Patay. Parang sinasabing patay ka talaga sa `kin . Through the dim light his face was arhm. `Yun lang. Tumaas `yung kilay ko dun. Damn. Wala na talagang matinong masabi ito. I gnawed at my nails. Julian s eyes grew wide. Then I raised my hand. Ang masama pa nito ibitin ako ng patiwarik ni Julian m amaya. expressionless but I clearly saw the way he was looking at me . Then my smile slowly faded when Julian cracked a slow.Nagtatampo ako kay Julian. Magkaaway kaya kami. Am I going to be a godmother. Na tapat dito ang spotlight. galit na bulong nito sa `kin. CM started laughing. Nagpaalam ka bang aalis? I frowned. Only if I would get out of here alive later. I sweetly smiled at him then turned to the stage. how sweet. Biglang naghiyawan ang mga matrona at bakla doon. So. So is the lucky girl that one? Todo smile ako. My. I was waiting for his response. Parang nawala lahat ng sama ng loob ko. Oh. Mamaya. Kapag idineny ako nito ikakaila ko din siyang tatay ni baby JJ. I sipped the juice. It wasn t one of those sexy grins or even the self-mocking half- . Yes? My husband will sing! CM groaned. Nagkita kami sa isang gay bar kinagabihan. dear? I smirked. Bumaling ulit ako sa kanya. he s really sweet. Sisigaw sana akong asawa ko `yan . Kaya nga nate-tempt na din akong mag-asawa para may kumukulbit na rin sa `kin `paggabi. Ako. Kung makatsansing. Effective. Syempre gay bar nga eh `di may mga halamang dagat na nagpe-perform. lover boy anong kakantahin mo? I don t know how to sing. And he loves me so damned much The hell I don t know how to He hissed. Nilayuan nga niya `ko for hours! I called CM on the p hone. Hello Julian Jeannie s just One angry look. Unf ortunately. I couldn t just help imagining the devil himself sing ing a love song for me in front of everybody. He teasingly smiled at me. Baby JJ? Excited? Syempre! Of course. iyan ang bunga ng inyong pag-iibigan ni Julian eh. I see. Hindi. going home. Bakit may unfortunately pa?! Really? Very unfortunate nga. Libre? Julian gave him h is infamous don t-touch-me glare of his. Are you single? Julian regarded me with intense dislike. Jules kasi CM! Baling ko kay CM. Parang nababagot na sabi nito. I don t know how Pero inakay na siya ng dalawang bakla. Tapos ngumuso siya sa likuran ko. He was shaking hi s head. Let s go home. Sabay himas sa tyan. soft smil e about his lips. At tumiklop na si CM. The gay who impersonated President Gloria Arroyo patted my husband s rear! Aba. we need someone to volunteer to sing for us. Hindi ko hahayaang madungisan ng dugo mo ang baby JJ ko no. CM! I thought you re my Ladies and gentlemen. Napatingin ako sa mga halamang dagat sa stage while Julian kept pulling my arm. I hissed and glared at him. Sus. Buti na lang maingay kaya walang nakarinig ng sinabi niya.
It was full of tenderness. Seriously it was as if he weren t really singing. Buti na lang gwapo siya. and a very arrogant ass who thought he owned the w orld.smile. a chauvinist. Leigh Nash sang that song beautifully. Because it was the best song I d ever hear d in my whole life. Sa totoo lang naiyak ako kasi hindi pala marunong kumanta si Julian. O kaya he would tell me Je annie you re my life. My eyes got misty. I frowned and winced at the same time. Magpapalakpakan sila tapos kikiligin. hindi pwedeng mag-Careless Whisper dito ha! They left him on the stage. He wasn t near perfec t. Pretending I was better off alone But I know that it's just a lie. oh I I need to share every breath of you Oh I. Nagtawanan `yung mga nandun na kala mo kinikiliti. I thought the world stopped revolving. Hindi ba dapat CM s eyes widened as he was w . No. I grimaced. At saka ano na lang sasabihin ng mga associates niy a? The CEO was seen singing a love song to his wife. Julian cleared his throat and looked about the surro undings uncertainly. you re my every He smiled at me and grabbed my arm. Yes. His voice was awkward. Palapit na siya. Our eyes met. Then he mouthed: I love you. God. Pero ngayon ko lang na-realize Prince Charming was real. I don t know how to sing really. Been running from this feeling for so long Telling my heart I didn't need it. Akala ko sa movies lang nangyayari ` to. But it was okay with as long as he owned me. Nakakahiya lang tul oy. So afraid to take a chance again So afraid of what I feel inside. 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. But I need to be next to you Oh I. 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. He was rude. Eto na. He was really croaking and out of tune. `Yung parang shooting. It was as if he was talking to me through the lyrics. Pero hindi lang pala b ulag ang pag-ibig kung hindi bingi rin. Not even a one-fourth of any croakin g vocalists. TIGHTLY. Tapos tumayo ako. Oh. At ibang sayaw din ang alam k o `yung `yung walang steps. near with you. eto na `yung moment na maghahabu lan kami tapos magyayakap kami sa gitna ng maraming tao. Bumaba siya ng stage. The gay comedian snorted. He stopped singing.
To God-knows-where. Si Julian nga! Malay ko ba. I pouted. His left arm was wrapped around my midsection. Jeannie. I was naked. tell him about the baby. He loved me. He did. Aalis pala kami bukas ng madaling araw. Lahat na lang ng gusto nito nasusunod. Sumuka ako dun sa sink. anong tingin niya sa `kin robot?! Julian! Not a word. Mabilis niyang tinignan ang cellphone nito. And Julian seemed withdrawn. I was paranoid. I sat upright. Naiiyak na subsob na ang mukha ko sa lababo. He said in a controlled voice. He was sleeping close to me. God. no. Habang sumusuka ako ay pinapaliguan ko ng mura si Julian sa isip ko. He swore he gasped. Ang halos kaladkarin palabas! I tried to smile at everyone. I gasped. What happened? Joke lang pala ni God. Definitely not Julian! And very much naked! Oh. Pero nakita niya ang mensahe ni CM. I was covering my mouth and running to the CR. This wasn t one of my fantasies. In b ed with a stranger. he sang a stupid son g he had secretly listening when he was a teenager in front of a crowd. Iti natanong pa ba `yun? THE USUAL. I woke up and opened one good eye. 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. He shoved me inside his car. Before I knew it. God. I even brushed the tendrils of wavy hair away from the side of his face to make sure. Then my stomach got queasy. It was so unlike him to snoop into o ther s things. I saw him packing our things. He gritted his teeth.agging his finger: lagot ka. Grabe. She was inside the shower room. Kahit na nga ba nandito pa rin ako sa r oom ko. I gritted my teeth. wasn t I? Then my stomach started churning. Suka ng suka na wala namang inilalaba s. Puro gastric juices lang naman ang . Kung hindi ako ang magsasabi para matapos na ` yang problema mo. He even bared his soul to that brat. Mamaya niyan si Freddie na pala `yung katabi ko. I remembered watching Nightmare on Elm Street last night. There. Kontrolado nga galit naman. Narinig niya ang pagtunog ng cellphone nito. He felt stripped of his pride. on his stomach. Mabilis akong tumaas at naglinis `pagkauwi. hell. Bugger. didn t he? Argh. Para akong naalimpungatan. Tala ga bang nagiging spoiled na sa kanya ngayon si Jeannie? He hissed. It was all a dream! Humigpit ang yakap ni Julian sa `kin.
Tapos kapag upo ko sa bowl I started crying like it was the end of the world. He was shouting at me! Na para bang first time niyang gawin `yun Jeannie! Oh. Okay. At magtitili. Her eyes grew wide. And didn t even bother to lock the door. Tapos bigla kong inamoy `yung sarili ko. I was robbed of my power. Sorry baby. He didn t really understand how women s minds work. Inabot nito iyon! I stood up and he wrap ped my arms around his neck. Tahimik lang siya habang nakaupo kami sa eroplano. I couldn t believe it. pawis. In my saner days I would have been also disgusted with myself. I even scrubbed myself twice. The father of my b aby was traipsing clad with only a towel around his narrow hips. Sasama ka? Inis kong sabi. God. Kakatulog ko lang kanina. Though sadly he s hould understand her. AGAIN? Oh. What! My eyes watered. Whatever. If his wife didn t look pitiful enough.inilalabas ko. I hate you Julian. Para ba ng wala na akong lakas para bukas. I screamed when I felt Julian s arms around me. Luha. God no. He shrugged his shoulders. Was this Julian the stranger in bed. I walked on to the lavatory. Jeannie Itinaas ko `yung kamay ko. in my dreams. To Hell. Jeannie looked up. Droplets of water was sluicing down his body. Gusto kong kiligin. What the hell are you doi Julian s shout seemed to freeze. nakita ko ang panghihilakbot sa mukha ni Julian. Really? You ll escort me to hell? I said sarcastically. I arched my brow. What was his problem? I got so lazy. God. for Pete s sake! Julian a no ba! I swore I wanted to punch Julian s handsome face. Where are you going? He hissed. May flight pa tayo. I didn t smell bad. Swear. last night? . Tapos unti-u nti niyang hinahalikan `yung mga luha ko. It was only 3:00 am! Sh!t. kasalanan ng magaling mong tatay ito! Umupo ako sa couch at pinagmamasdan si Julian. Kulang ako sa tulog. Mamayang umaga pa ang flight namin ng ma galing na lalaki. As if he cares! He glared at me. Had Julian taken me to bed? It seemed so. I was in bed. Better to wake me up now! I glared at him. Bumukas `yung pinto. Isa bang malaking kasalanan iyon? Julian. sipon. He rolled his eyes ceilingward. He pulled me close. Parang tinatamad akong maligo. It was a miracle! Note to self: Magpapaparty ako `pag-uwi namin. My mouth dropped open wide. Para akong nagl away bigla. She frowned. 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. Lahat na. What! Jeannie may warning na sabi nito. I haven t had a good night s sleep. Kung ganito naman ang panaginip I might ask God never to wake me up. He brushed the wet hair away from her tear-stained cheeks. I opened my eyes and swore. `Wag nang idagdag ang hindi paliligo nito kanina kahit ano ng pilit niya. His hair was dishevele d. As in. He wrink led his nose. Wala sa loob n a bulong ko. Pahikbi lang n ung una tapos palakas na ng palakas. Oh. She was exasperating. Goodness. I buried my face into the pillow. she cried. Care ko? I pouted and made face. At anong ginagawa ng demonyong si Julian dito? He squeezed himself into the limited space of the lavatory and knel t in front of her. And my what a sight early in the morning. Sasamahan na kita. He was wet. Ano pang tinitingin tingin mo dyan? Umaga na po prinsesa. Ayokong umalis. Hindi pa rin nagbabago ang expression nito. He was sulking because I didn t take my precious bath. Na para bang anumang oras ay sasakalin niya na talaga ako. What was really happening to me? I bit my lower lip and stood up. I specifically reme mbered sleeping on the couch.
I shouldn t have known that sec ret. Hayaan mo na siya Risan. screamed! God. I pouted. Kulang ako sa tulog. Nakapaglakad ka ngang mag-isa papunta dito. He was such a very considerate and loving husband! My eyes watered. Tapos tumayo ito. Buhatin mo `ko papunta sa upuan. I was too emo. I bet you re going to be a pig in no ti me at all. Sa tanghaling tapat. . I gasped. I saw Julian s father striding toward us. Tapos humar ap ako sa kanya. He stepped out of the lava tory to the door. Oh. My knee s might give out. Where are you going? To hell. W-wala. Ang morbid naman ng mga naiisip k o. I thought I thought He looked at me incredulously. Syempre it had been my specialty: lying through my teeth. Maybe bec ause I was just too emotional. I was so lazy. Sanay akong nasisigawan niya. He hugged me from behind. Sig e pa rin ako sa lakad. Kung iiyakan ko lahat ng mano k na pinapatay para gawin Chicken Joy baka ipasok na nila ako sa mental nito. `Yung smile ko nag-fade. I almost groaned aloud. I shook my head and smiled at them. Isn t there something you want to tell me? Ha? Parang hindi nagpa-function `yung brain cells ko. Ano! He shouted no. Tapos tapos bigla na namang kumunot `yung noo niya. I was rooted to the ground. Don t use that on me Jeannie. Oo. Pero iba ito. Paano kung makunan a ko habang naglalakad? Syempre sa sobrang stress ko.Saan mo tinago si Julian? bulong ko sa kanya with matching stare-a-thon. He cracked an indulgently smile at me. Julian was looking intently at him. I clutched my stomach. And I eve n cried when I saw a chicken being killed. He whispered to me and kissed my nape. I was a bit overwhelmed. Pero hindi ko rin siya gaanong ma-appreciate kasi si baby JJ. His teeth was grating. Are you sick? Uncle Jin asked me once. Hindi ba iyon din a ng tinanong ko kanina sa kanya? Julian naman! Just leave me alone! Dumadagundong ang sigaw nito. Bumagsak ang upuan nito. Grabe. Really? Parang sa panaginip ko lang ito nakikita. Then I felt a hand wrapped around my middle. It was Uncle Jin s birthday. Tapos tinanggal niya `yung mga kamay ko sa leeg niya. Kung paano hindi ko alam. Jeannie! Sigaw ulit nito. Tapos bumagsak ako sa floor. Sasama ka? Galit na sabi nito. It won t work unless you tell me what s bothering you! He seethed. Argh. Tapos tinalikuran ako! Grabe. Jeannie He hissed. I didn t want to swim. Na para namang alam ko kung pan o `di ba? Lagi akong nagsusuka if not early in the morning. I merely got out of the room. babe I m sorry. Hindi man lang naawa sa `kin. Mabilis akong nagmano sa papa ni Julian at sinundan ito. Mabilis kong pinahid `yung luha ko tapos tumaliko d sa kanya. Maglalaslas na lang siguro ako sa banyo. Hmm Syempre minsan na nga lang ito lulubus lubusin ko na! Tinatamad akong maglakad. My eyes grew wide. Ano ba. Julian! sigaw ni Aunt Risan. Sabi ni Uncle Jin. So so I should tell him first about about the baby? We were in Morocco for a week. Leave him alone `di ba? Tears streamed down my face. And Julian s specialty: growling at me! Julian. Sabi ko. Mukhang baby pa lang manang mana na sa tatay niya. Julian s real dad.
I tried my hands on it. Ah. Na parang may kinukuha mula sa katawan ko. No! Damn you! Hiyaw nito. Sunico kay Uncle Jin. eh `di na-shock ka ngayon? Gusto kong sabihin iyon sa kanya. We halted dead in our tracks. He wagged me off him. Second best gift Julian had ever given me. She couldn t even wonder if everyone would have been d eaf and blind by now. yes. Everyone was afraid to come to him. I was like really? It was a canvass with all its painting materials. But said instea d: We re going to have a baby.Then I slapped him hard. We drove off to miles and miles. I wanted to ease that pain . Oh. Nakatayo. The pain in my tummy numbed me. Ang gandang tignan. And damned if I m not happy! At saka lamang ito ngumiti. Mukha siyang maglalakad sa death sentence niya. He said innocently. He whispered. Nakita ko si Julian dun sa may bandang cliff. Because you didn t tell him the truth! He shouted. It was the best thing ever. He was lashing out. My eyes grew wide. Then he slammed the vase with full force. Hinihintay kong tumalon siya tapos sabihin niyang Yes. They were a bunch of rich people. Baka nailagay lang diyan. What are you doing shouting at Uncle like that when you have no right to You re uncle? Julian s dad laughed demonically. Pinipilit kong awatin si Julian. Sa sobrang pagwawala niya ay naitulak niya ako. You re drunk. Nakita ko `yung sakit sa mga mata niya. We heard someone shouting from inside the house. Naamoy ko na ang war of the worlds. I painted him for hours with the sunset as the background. Ang sunod na nangyari ang nakapagpatili kay Aunt Risan. Tapos lumabas na siya. This was the best of all the best vacation I ve ever h ad. My heart skipped a beat. Kapag uwi namin. Julian froze. Then I even put a chi ld beside him playing with his kite. I fell hard and flat out on the floor. Naalala ko `yung sa Sisterhood of Traveling Pants part two. I grabbed his arm. May dala siy ang mapa. Julian just please stay away from here! What? Galit niyang sabi kay Uncle Jin. Aunt Risan screamed. Syempre baby JJ would always come first. Ano `yun? Naglakad lang dito? I opened the big gift. You re not happy. Uncle Jin owned the house. San a forever na kaming ganito. I already know. You re lying! Julian no! Mabilis ko siyang nilapitan pero ilang beses niyang tinatanggal ang kam ay ko sa braso niya. Oh my God. I sobbed as I felt the pain k illing me. Naiiyak na nilapitan ko siya at niyakap. Yep. Ju lian lost control and punched Mr. I couldn t believe it. But from the looks of it. It warmed my heart. The water was crystal blue. Sa baba non ay makikita mo `yung dagat. . Blood! There s blood on her thighs. Kahit ako. What s that? Malay ko. `Di ba? Hindi talaga nagkamali ang kapatid ko ng pagpili. Walang makapigil dito. no. Isn t it Uncle Jin? It s the truth. He carried me to his car like a sack of rice. 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. Sunico in the face. No no my baby. As if he owned the world. Kapag tingin ko sa back seat I was surprised to see a gift. I slowly looked up from Julian s stricken face back to the blood streaming down my thighs. The se tting was just like this. I m the happiest man on earth . What are you talking about Uncle? That fuucking son of b!tch you call Uncle is your real dad Julian! Para iyong bombang sumabog. Para iyong scene sa isang pelikula.
Basta mabigat `yung pakiramdam k o. `Yung baby ko I cried. He was about to embrace me when I pushed him hard away from me. Malakas na nga ako eh. Doc what s happening to my wife? He screamed in fear. Do I look fine? Was losing a baby okay to you? But no voice came out. Hindi ko kayang mawala `yung baby JJ ko. This time I I m-mean it Finally. I was in and out of conscious but I saw Julian holdi ng my hand as I was rushed to the ER. Though my body felt numb. I st arted sobbing hysterically. Death is quicker. As if I were in ele mentary again. 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. Mas ako ang nasasa ktan. I woke up disoriented. At unang una kong nakita si Julian. Para akong mamamatay sa sakit. Nagtataka ako kung san ko pa nakukuha ang lakas ko. 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. . I hate you Julian. Parang iba `yung room. I couldn t live with Julian anymore if my baby would be taken from me. 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. Emotionally and physically.TWENTY SIX I was sent to the hospital. With the last ounce of strength I pulled my hand from him. But this time. Dapat lang! Dapat lang siyang matakot. My long overdue speech. This would be my last day in the suffocating hospital. Magwala. Hindi niya `ko pinupuntahan. They were all there. right. My head was pounding. That time. I missed him and hated him at the same ti me. Please hang on babe He kept w hispering. Hin di ko alam kung ano `yung tinurok nila sa `kin. A blond petite nurse came to my aid. Gusto kong sumigaw. Two days. Kaya k o ng sapakin sa mukha si Julian. Hindi ko kaya. Napataas kilay ko dun. I couldn t stand t he sight of him! Get away from me! I shouted. In my blurring vision I saw how defeated he looked. I didn t wish him to be dead bu t I did ask for him to fall into a ditch. It s okay ma am you re fine now. `Yun yung naririnig ko. Even the nurses were calming me down. Naiiyak na napatingin ako sa labas ng bintana. Then the nur ses were speaking in English. ako ang nasasaktan. Suffering isn t. Jeannie! Nilapitan niya agad ako. My hand flew to my stomach. Jeannie I m sorry. Then everything suddenly flashed to my memory again. Tapos biglang bumukas `yung pinto. hatred won.
He bear-hugged me. All the things that I was trying to laugh off in the past months. Sabay tingin kay Julian. I don t have a husband Uncle Jin. Jeannie listen to me. Ayaw mo? Ingos niya sa `kin. Awkward. I avoided eye contact. I started crying then. That stopped him. Julian raised one brow and didn t comment. Pero parang ayaw makisama ng loko. We weren t shou . Uncle Julian! Mabilis itong lumapit sa Uncle nito. Salitang ilang beses ng nabali dahil kay Julian. I smiled at Tantan. I nodded again. Someone grabbed my arm that moment. I wanted him to feel the pain. Niyakap ko siya `yung parang wala ng bukas. I mean ta ma. Malakas. Don t touch me! I pushed him hard. Kapag uwi namin sa airport ay nakita ko sina mommy. First time after so many days. was Julian s half-sister now that the truth was finally set free. I looked at CM as if I were saying see? I m not going with you Julian. What was the use of talking if all we would ever do was throw snide remarks at e ach other? I drummed my fingers on my arm. I gave him the don t-Jeannie-me glare. I grab bed CM s hand. What is your problem? Mabilis pa sa alas-kwatrong hinarap niya ako. Good. Naintindihan mo naman `di ba? I m not going with you. bakla takot kay Julian! They were even of the same size and height. He was such a dear boy. H e mouthed: Are you sure? Why are you still here? Tanong ko kay CM. Hinintay niya lang palang maka-re cover ako. He squealed. Grabe. Uncle Jin pwede po bang sa inyo na lang ako sumabay? Halatang nagulat ito. At ayokong dumating sa puntong hihilingin kong sana hindi ko n a siya nakilala o kaya naman ay mamatay na siya. Luha. Tears were threatening to explode again. Naligo ka na ba? The boy frowned at me. Sabi ko. My hat red ran deep now. I wasn t even speaking in th e airport or on the way back. Tapos pi nagsusuntok ko `yung dibdib niya. He was seethin g with anger. Tapos kinusot ko `yung ilong k o.Diretso na tayo sa airport. Because Celine. Na parang hindi alam ang gagawin. On a serious note I didn t want to see him. Tinatanong pa ba kung sino? Nauna na sina Uncle Jin at ang parents ko. I m sorry baby. kalaking lalaki este. Ayokong umi yak sa harap nila. Hindi ako kumikibo. Ano? Sumigaw ito. I brushed the tears away angrily. I didn t spare that bastaard a glance. Ano pa bang tinatayo tayo mo dyan? Pasko? Galit na sabi ni Julian. But he hugged me. Ngayon niya matitikman ang isang salita ni Jeannie . Tantan s mother. Ngayon ko lang siya na-appreciate. Pinipilit niyang hawakan `yung kamay ko. My knees were buckling. Mabilis itong tumalikod at tinapik ang balikat ni Julian. You re so selfish! You think only of yourself?! Honey please He combed his hair with his fingers. My pai n. Pawis. Pinagpraktisan ko kaya iyon. Kay Julia n. he whispered and kissed the top of my head when I was exhausted. Sabay iling papunta sa direksyon ni Julian. Kung kailan pa nawala `yung baby ko. CM was also there. Iyon lang. 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. Jeannie. I even memoriz ed a speech when we meet again. That was harsh I know. Sipon. Naghihintay na may malaglag na butiki. you know. I embraced them. Ahm you talk to your husband first. sabi niya. Lahat ng sama ng loob ko naipon. I could walk. Hindi mo alam? Na ikaw ang problema ko una pa lang? Galit kong sabi. Hija I think you have to talk to him first. Lahat na. Nagtitimpi siya alam ko. I hugged the boy. He wasn t even thinking about our baby? Kung sa ibang pagkakataon baka nagtatalon pa ako at isipin kong ako lang ang inaalala niya.
He seemed so shock. lalaki lang `yun. My baby JJ? JJ? He raised one brow at me. he did call me on the phone. Jeannie naman oh! CM took the baby clothes from my hands. In so many words. Na para bang ang sinabi ko ay isang nakakatawang joke . I just can t. Did he think I was joking? Not on this lifetime. Jeannie . Actions were needed. Me. didn t he always do that Jeannie? I m leaving you. Hindi ito ang napagkasunduan natin. Mommy Ewan ko kung bakit parang naintindihan niya agad ako. He couldn t haul me anymore to his car sa harap ng maraming tao. kung hindi man si Julian eh ako. LOL. He mouthed: Hindi ko asawa `yan. Could I survive without him? Of course. I started crying. Sa school supplies section. May gunting ba dito? CM frowned at me. There were times whe n I wanted to call on him. Three months! Halos maglilimang buwan na `yu ng tyan ko ni-hoy wala man lang! Okay. I d like to cut off your long tongue. 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. True? Wasn t he just cracking a s tupid joke on me? Parang maiiyak ako sa tuwa na nababanyo. I took my arm from his grip. Galit kaya ako ng time na `yun. Three months seemed to pass without any ado. She hugged me like I were a child again. About Julian Deadma. 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. Come on. But Julian would always be a part of me. Actua lly. We were in a public place. I should be happy. True. Isa lang `yung alam ko: I neede d space. Grabe. Alam mo `yung feeling na. goodbye . Mother knows best talaga. Sana man lang pinalipas niya `di ba? Wala. Julian and the baby. Umuwi ako sa bahay namin. Dalagang Pilipina. Baka nga kaisa ko kayo. And I cut th e line off immediately. Pa-hard to get. Sheesh. Anong akala niya ganon lang iyon? Kiss an d make up? Pakipot ako no. I hissed. I m going home with my parents. Nagpip igil lang. I gasped. Someone told me that words weren t enough.ting. Yayakapin niya sana ako ng umiwas ako. Nakita kong nagagalit na siya. may mga taong ganon. Julian who? Inis kong harap sa kanya. What are you talking about? I haven t killed the baby! Hindi siya nawala! Nandyan p a rin siya! He even touched my stomach. Hindi. I willed myself to be strong. Julian I won t go home with you anymore. There was so much at stake here. Iyo `yan. pinag-usapan talaga namin `yun. He was shaking his head rapidly. Away from Julian. So the baby was only a joke for him? Sobra na ito! Humihingi ako ng saklolo kay CM through my eyes. Meron Tapos lumingon lingon pa. Dati kasi inisip ko how stupid people were . 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. Aminin niyo. Jeannie. Si Julian Sinong Julian? `Yung nakabuntis sa `yo. This time I was so serious I woul d have knocked my head against the wall. Well. dalawa na kaming buntis ng kambal ko. Ganon kasi ako kapag n ate-tense. shouldn t I? Mom was standing in the middle of the room with Jean. Mahiya naman kami. Grabe ngayon pa lang nami-miss ko na si Julian. Hindi man lang nag-effort na suyuin ako. I glared at him. Bakit? Hindi pa naman mag-aaral `yang anak mo ah.
Naniningkit na ang lalong singkit na mata nito. May isang intrimitidang tinignan ako mula ulo hanggang paa. Thanks mister. Nasobrahan ata ako. But he did. I cou ldn t walk. Hin di ako `yung third party. Oh. I rolled my eyes heavenward. Hinawakan niya `yung siko ko per o mabilis kong iniiwas iyon. Nakita ko ang pagpipigil niyang magalit. I didn t car e. Baka kasi naghihintay pa `yung date mo. My breath got hitched. Mamaya talaga bibili ako ng cha kang manika. Nasa basurahan na! What! I can t believe it! Those flowers are expensive! Ano bang gusto mo? Nahihirap . si Julian o? Biglang turo ni CM. I just heard it from my sister. I started cryi ng. Napaatras bigla si CM. Samantalang ako? I looked like like I ate hungrily. He was such a jerk. I opened my mouth in a big O. Papatayin ata ako sa pagkabusog ni CM. I turned my back on him. Kung pasabugin ko kaya `yung bahay nila Julian? I gritted my teeth. CM s face was devoid of any emotion. Tignan ko kung san siya tatagal. Pinagbigyan na kita these past months. I went to the comfort room. Parang narinig kong may sumabog na naman sa Iraq. Galit na inihirap niya ako sa kanya. I leaned against the cubicle wall. eh `di lumabas din `yung tunay niyang kulay! Stop this playacting of yours. Hindi ako papansin no! Grr. Jeannie Si Julian at si Wala akong pakialam!!! Tila ata mapapaanak ako ng wala sa oras. not Julian Sunico. She looked like a model out of a vogue cover. I almost slipped off the tiled flooring. Dammit Jeannie! Oh. Why. Hindi ako depress. You might be mistaken mister. Bigla kong nabitawan `yung baby socks. God. How I would love to wring his neck. I started sniffing while I was inside the cubicle. Aaminin ko na gseselos ako. Jeannie Wala akong naririnig I even sent you flowers. Hindi kaya lagnatin ito mamaya? Have we met before? I arched my brow. Grabe. Gutom ka pa? Lagay pa ito ng lagay sa plato ko. Pwede mo na akong bitawan salamat . Kasi baka makapatay lang ako ng tao. Then he crossed his arm s over his chest. Listen to me Jeannie Did I really hear him pleading? Oh. Napadpad kami sa Filipino restaurant. Just like Julian. Hindi masama ang loob ko. Angrily! CM winced at me. Na para bang sinasabing: Ah. However you pin a halo to Lucifer he would always be a devil. CM was really serious! Julian was speaking to a lovel y woman. At lalong aaminin kong gusto kong patayin si Julian ngayon din! Those chinito eyes. Si Julian o? I glared at him. I was so bloated. Ngumuso ito. Gustung gusto ko na siyang murahin. Saan? Sa puso mo Then he started laughing. I saw him controlling his anger. He raised both hands in the air. I shouldn t have looked up. Wala akong narinig. I put my hands on my ears. Humigpi t ang hawak ko sa tinidor. I turned around. I w alked past CM and looked for a restaurant. Easy ka lang Jeannie. okay wala ka pa palang pakialam a ng lagay na `yan. Oh. Why could he be so handsome? I gritted my teeth. Julian s on the dating scene again. Sig e lang. Kahit nakakahiya man. Hindi ko napansin sa pagkain ko na pala naibunton ang kung ano mang na raramdaman ko. Like in a slow motion reel film. Jeannie honey He looked at my now rounded stomach. I didn t know why I was pushing him to hi s limits.Oh? Gigil kong sabi. May mga kamay na biglang umalalay sa `k in. Hindi na naman ako naglilihi ah. Hindi. thank you. I sweetly smiled at him. Ang sakit ng tyan ko. Nagrereklamo si Baby JJ. sabi ko at taas noong naglakad ako.
Sinabi niya sa `king `wag ka munang guluhin at Mommy what?! Biglang nawala `yung pagka-asthmatic kuno ko ah. Tapos hinimas ko ulit `yung tummy ko. 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. Weren t the roses red and violets blue? Oh. Jeannie are you okay? Bigla ni ya akong niyakap. Hindi pa lang siguro niya alam. Our eyes met. Do you agree with mommy? Sumipa ka ulit baby para twice. His teeth was grating. Not because I couldn t ahm perform for him that he wou ld find somebody available. Bigla a ta akong nagka-asthma. Kahit magpakasal ako ulit? My eyes grew wide. He cupped both of my cheeks. hindi lang pala feeling `yun. For the second time I heard the great Julian Sunico pleading. San ka pupunta? . You re trying to do what I wanted. Parang hindi ako makahinga. honey . Napansin kong naka-lock na pala `yung pint o sa CR. Hindi ikaw! I was trying to do what you wanted. Umuwi ka na sa `tin. honey listen to me I did call you many times. You re dating somebody else. Mommy really did that? I know she was just p rotecting me. Why not? He glared at me. Don t tell me. TWENTY SEVEN I was smiling stupidly in the mirror. meaning Oo. What?! I nodded rapidly. At least then you won t pester me anymore! He gritted his teeth. Hey. Tapos syempre itatanggi nila `yun. ito na naman `yung sumpong niya. It sounded like a warning. nagmana ito ng tantrums sa daddy niya. Tama. You didn t even bother to call me to go for me I whispered numbly. I would have laughed silly if anyone just blurted out: Hey. So happy with myself. I ve got someone on the side when you re busy. Magkakalintikan talaga. You re going home with me now? On one condition. Then what? She s a foreign associate. Pero may madaan lang na maganda at sexy `yung titigan mula ulo hanggang cleavage na. Biglang sumipa si Baby JJ! Baby I cooed. I felt like the most beautiful w oman in the whole world. Gumagalaw `yung baby ko! It was amazing how God could implant a living soul within us. Oo. Okay. O kaya aatakihin ako sa puso. Talaga? Talaga. I frowned. Ligawan mo muna ako. God. no more like begged me to stay away from you for awhile. Siguro kahit papaano hindi rin naman malas ang mga babae. Jeannie please It didn t sound like begging to me now. Ay. Itinaas niya `yung baba ko. I straightened up fr om his arms. Why mommy? Nothing She shrugged. Perform meaning do my wifely obligations. He begged. Pero wala talaga. Tsk. I was Angelina Jolie s missing twin sister. Ayoko. Gumagalaw na ba `yung apo ko? Mommy looked at me from head to toe.an na `ko Jeannie He whispered angrily. Nothing more. At ginawa mo naman! I glared at him. Ni-lock niya! Nahihirapan?! `Yung delivery man `yung naghirap. Naks. Nako. Bad vibes. Yo ur mom talked to me. She asked me. Don t touch me. Ooops. There was unfamiliar warmth in my heart. Tsk. Makipag-date ka kahit sinong gusto mo. Baliw na ata ako at hinihintay ko ngang gu malaw ulit ito. Alam ko talaga. Bakit ba hindi ko mapigilan ang reflexes ng sarili kong reaksyon! Something gripped me from within. The hell I care. You look hapy anak? Ganyan nga smile. So like men. Nakangiti ako habang nakaharap sa salamin. Damn.
he lov es me he Lalong tumaas `yung kilay ko dun. 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. CM just excuse Ako na. At saka I pouted. I gritted my teeth in anger. tanga. Ah no. There was something wrong here. didn t he? For five million pesos! He slowly gave me that charming. O baka gut feel ko lan g. Oh? Ito lang pala eh. Twice. Who are they? He winced. I gritted my teeth. He loves me. There was a couple cap tured kissing. `Yung ngiting halatang may itinatago. Bummer . I was rooted to the ground. Narinig ko `yung pagkatok sa pinto. I just stared at him. I was so mad I was going to explode. It was a major no-no! Hindi hindi si I saw CM nodded rapidly at me. Judas s kiss. I stepped on his peace offering! Once. Mommy. Pero umandar na naman `yung pagiging psychic ko. No mom. After clearing his throat he put the news clipping away. it might be Julia She was already out even before I could finish what I was going to say. I winced at her. Dahil galit ako. CM ano `yan? Ito? ah wala. Ewan ko ba. Nakatingin lang sa `kin si CM. Ang arte ko no? Ang drama ko. Mabilis na binitiwan iyon nito . I was just wait ing for Julian to drop by. The moron was standing there looking so smug like he owned the world. Last petal. H e owned me. Humigpit ang kamay ko n g kinuha ko ang bouqet. Yes. Damn him. Naiiyak na ko. Look at this! What? I glanced at the newspaper he was holding in my face! I didn t even bother to look closely at the news clipping. Alam ko gasgas na `yun. Nanlalaki ang mga mata nito. I picked one stem from the bunch of flowers. No! Napataas `yung kilay ko dun. he loves me not. he said and handed me a bunch of red roses. sexy smile. CM! Mabilis kong kinuha `yung dyaryo sa likuran niya. Na parang sinasabing: Oo. You always make me up just to put me down. CM avoided eye contact with me. Mommy volunteered. Jeannie He wasnow gnawing his nails. I could smell something fishy. Wala lang baka kasi kung ano pang makita mo maging kamukha pa ng apo ko. Dahil naiiyak ako. Honey. He smiled sheepishly. I was exploding! I hated him. I smiled at him. What the hell are you doing? He hissed. Oh. I m way past that stage. are you ok ay? He kissed the side of my mouth. Nakakahiya naman `di ba? Ngayon pa kami magliligawan kung kailan naka-bingo na. Basta ang mahalaga I was way too happy to bother with the problems of the world. What s this? I didn t know why my heart started hammering wildly. Mabilis kong binagsak ang mga roses sa sahi g. Sabi niya pupuntahan niya daw ako ngayon. Hey. Whatever. Thrice. Jeannie! Oh. At si CM nga ang masangsang na amoy na iyon. Too achingly sweet. He should have bought me those wi th thorns. Sabi ko. Picture kaya ni Ju lian `yung tinititigan ko nung time na `yun. What are you Napatingin ito sa dyaryong hawak ni CM. What the hell was CM doing here? Again? Hindi kaya ang masama pa nito siya pa maging kamukha ng anak ko. Ano `yan? Balewalang tanong ko. Sheesh. Then I slowly gasped. Ay. God no. nakakaawa ka . Mommy smiled at me. Jeannie! I frowned.Going to watch TV.
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. Maybe acceptance would eventually set me free. Why did a mere whisper in the ear from him and then my heart start beating triple time again and again. Mero n. Kung memory storage lang ang puso hindi ba pwedeng . He was made to be perfect. Kahit ilang beses mong marinig ang salitang tanga mapa-english man `yan o ibang lenggwahe. Gumala w si baby JJ! Sorry. Lagi na lang kami ganito. There was no point denying the obviou s. My friends cried over my sho ulder. Pwede na nga akong magsulat ng Dear Ate Charo dito. I m outta here. 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. He might see your worth when you re gone. Ooops. They wept. All in capital letters. I was out walking that night. Pero ngayon ko lang na-realize. Will you just get out? Out of my life Julian. Pero hindi ba secretly all the girls i n town wished that? Deep down even if how many times we deny it. I didn t have to be Princess Fiona to have the likes of Shrek. Grabe. But seriously. Malakas kaya kapit ko ka ya for sure dapat mana sa `kin si baby JJ. No stress. Argh. Mag-aaway. I never asked for a perfect relationship. Teka. Kung dati tinatawanan ko lang `yu ng mga taong na-iinlove sabay sabing ay saludo ako sa `yo teh. Walang taong ganon no. Oh holy sh!t. Pero hindi ako naniniwala don. Syempre fetus pa lang siya ngayon no. My stomach started contracting violently. Hindi naman ako magpapagod. Drunkard on the street! Papalag sana ako. SANA. it s me. It was a cold night in December. I whispered furiously. I start ed sniffing. He was all big aherm I mean he was almost perfect. Then suddenly my stomach contracted. it was all true . Hindi ko ginustong maging character sa fairy tale books na kinukulayan ng mga bata. 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. They cursed their jerks of a boyfriend. Look at him. Get out!!! I hissed. Mahina ang kapit ng b ata. baby I just miss you dad. Couldn t just Julian see my worth? Sabi nila: iwanan mo na `yung taong hindi ka naman kayang pahalagahan. Jeannie. Iyon ang sabi nito. `Wag na lang. nadaig mo pa si Ri zal . Magbabati. Was baby JJ sensi ng anything? Jeannie He took hold of my arm. Arms wrapped around my rounded middle. You couldn t just stop your idiot of a heart from beating for that pers on. Eeeh. Why not? Because I d never been bitten by the love bug before. Nakaupo ako sa may bench. No amount of gentle words could ever mar the pai n.at binigay sa`kin. I was like are you okay ? Sympathetic. Kailan bang mawala ka pa? What if dun ka masaya? Would you fight for him or let go? My whole body was rocking violently. Bakit hindi? I always described them as: STUPID. we couldn t love someone who s faultless. I just needed time off alone. I was too emotional. Magmamahal an. If you still don t sense that well too bad for you. I gasped. I whispered. Oblation sa UP. Tea rs were blinding my vision. I didn t need Edward Cullen to be Bella. K ung totoong lalaki nga lang siya baka babae na ang tumakbong hubad para dito. I opened my mouth in disgust! Napapagod na `ko sa `yo Julian. I quickly pushed him off me. Nag-panic ako. Without arms to wrap around you. The doctor told me that I should get some rest. But he wasn t anywhere near human.
Not some hypocritical character of some fancy novel. Jeannie! Damn you! Julian I was crying like a child. He caressed my stomach and I could feel him from behind me. Jeannie What! What you saw in the news isn t real. He could be a very green monster you know. Okay. Now I was getting stup id. Bakit ba napaka-clums y mo?! Sigaw nito. Trying to make everything okay and light. He gritted his teeth. Damn you! You always scare me. But he wasn t that bad. Amoy al ak. I was a bout to run from him. Jeannie listen to me there were music and candlelight dinner s here. Paano kaya kung magkaanak din kami ng tatlong Julian? I shivered. Argh. I d even tell you outright that yes. Sabi nito. It was just fine with you? I whispered brokenly. Lillian kissed me! I didn t kiss her for Pete s sak e Jeannie! Are you listening to me! I started crying. Mabilis akong nasalo ni Julian. You don t want to listen to me. Was he nervous? . Anong gusto mong sabihin ko? Sigaw nito. Sssshhh I m here baby. His voice held warning but his touch was g entle as he brushed the tears away from my cheeks. defending himself. But my hips already bumped into the flooring. Julian this is a public place! Kahit na nga ba walang ta He looked at me incredulously. Jeannie Don t worry about him I ll try to be the best mother I can be. I could never be anyone s prince charming.mag-erase? What are you doing here? I hissed and tried to take his arms away from me. He wasn t really begging but his voice wa s a mere whisper. Aren t you hurt? Let s go the nearest hospital and So tinititigan niya lang pala kung may dugo `yung thighs ko. He was all lean and strong. My eyes grew wide . I paused. Shut up. Or even an orchestra. My eyes grew wide. Feel this He hissed and took my hand. His adam s apple bobbed up and down. Please come back to me honey. Naiiyak na suminghot ako. don t you? Kayong mga babae. I slipped off the pavement but I anchored my elbow so my stomach wouldn t fall head-on. Pano ko siya hindi maririnig s a sigaw niya? I didn t try to be the hero you want me to be babe. Makinig ka sa `kin. Julian s face softened. Bulong nito. I saw the picture on the news clipping! Okay. Green Monster. baka iniiisip niyang kulang pa sa daliri si baby JJ kaya pwede pa naming buuin. I was so pathetic. I ll admit. Had he just said okay?! He was such a cad. Here he was. galit na sabi nito. I screamed. Thank God there was no blood. Nang muntik na akong matapilok. Syempre financial supp ort is always open mmmkay? Let s just go on separate ways. That w as rubbish. My eyes were watering. Specifically without me in your life . I ve lusted for y ou since day one. I was quite fascinated. You saw that one. Tapos mabilis niyang itinaas `yung dress ko. Akala mo ba lahat ng lalaki gustong maging prince charming? No. Lalaki ako. Julian you can visit baby JJ anytime you want. I was real babe. Onc e you ve said your piece you had it all figured out that you re right when in fact y ou re wrong. He put it on his heart. Gah. Surely surely he wouldn t want to Argh! Not here. He whispered. Tapos galit na tinanggal ko `yung mga kamay niya. I didn t ever wonder now why I couldn t exchange him with Shrek. You re still the father and I can t de prive you of that. He had been drinking! Malamang amoy alak nga eh. Malay ko ba. You are all warmed u p and kept on talking about baby JJ s future. At kung ibababa mo pa `yung kamay mo malalaman mong tao ako. clutching his arm tightly.
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. I can t just boom. Tapos kapag sila nag-aaway they d both tell us. to sh ut up. he shrugged. Nah. Pero we couldn t ask for a sain t. At your stupidity and silliness. There are and will be times that I can t make you feel special because because I wan t to shout at you. Aba. Married life was never perfect. Sheesh. Bakit ba hindi? Daig ko pang kasama si Hitler. change for a day just because you say so. growl. 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. Because no man eve r did. Sumbong kay daddy. Jeannie! . As if we didn t have the same face. we started arguing from our pony tails down to our crushes. But this is me. Hindi nga ba t mahirap magpalaki ng mga magulang? In the three months I came back to Julian. Not that I told you to tolerate their being babaero . Er r. At kami rin. Julian. Sa lahat ng iyon isa lang kaya kong aminin sa `yo with all honesty: Kahit mukha k ang bola sa paningin ko he cleared his throat. Sin o bang mas gwapo? `Yung crush nyang kahawig `yung bida sa nightmare before Chris tmas? O si Johnny Depp sa Edward Scissorhands? And the biggest competition ever: Sinong mas maganda? Great. But that would be a joke. Men were born to be polygamous. Pero mahirap magpalaki ng baby. Nakikisigaw na din si mommy. Jean and I started growing up. `di ba? Hindi masaya ang buhay kung magtititigan lang kayo. That will be the best lie ever.I could be any man and tell you I love you every day. Bakit ba eh. take note: in chorus. I believed that there s one woman who can make a man a one-woman-man. Siguro kaya maraming nabubuntis ng maaga n gayon. when Jean and I were ready to rip e ach other s head s off our shoulders. Dahil sa tingin na ganon. You re the next best thing that happen ed to me. On a serious note . I could tell you that I know a lot about women. Really looked at me. And I don t know what I d do without you. Big tim e. He looked at me. It was flowing freely. Kahit wala naman talagang nakakatawa. Just kidding. Masarap gumawa ng ba by. He chuckled nervously. Jeannie! I heard that shout. I had gone to Heaven then back to hel l. My professor in Psychology once said.
God. the mess in your study room. Oh. Pakiabot nga `yung bag. Bull s eye. Na para bang nagsisisi siyang pinabalik niya pa `ko di No. Nanlisik bigla `yung mga mata ko. Tapos nag-tremble `yung lower lip ko. Tinanggal niya `yung unan sa mukha ko. Pero I could even h andle Julian shouting at me when he was mad. Tapos sinabog ko ng onti `yung buhok ko. I said in a cold tone. Jeannie nasan `yung mga lumang folder sa cabinet? He said. Humikbi ako. He looked like he was ready to wring my neck. Tears wer e pooling in my eyes. JEANNIE! I put the big pillow over my head. Okay. Of course. chest out and protruding stomach out. ang hirap magpanggap ng natutulog. I cried louder . He was now scowling. Oh-k ay. bulong ko. Nauubos na pasensya ko. In the middle of the night. `Wag ka na lang gumalaw. I took out all my clothes. 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. Without a word he turned his back on me and walked toward the door. Napaupo ako sa kama. Grabe. I closed m y eyes tightly. I shivered. . Bakit siya mags isisi? `Di ba dapat ako? I slowly smiled at him. Hoho. Goodness. Napangisi ako. Sana kahit `yung kontra na lang natin o titulo ng bahay niyo `yung tinapon mo Hinahanap ko nga kanina. His voice held warning. Julian wouldn t hurt me at least physi cally. He brushed the locks of hair away from his face. Mas mahalaga pa ba ang binubukbok na folder na `yun?! I stood up with chin in the air. Binasa mo ba? Kung hindi ka namakialam at binasa mo Hindi. I swore I took three steps backward. Kaya pala bumenta ang punchline na you re cute when you re angry . Winner! He sighed exaggeratedly and tilted my head up.. But not cold treatment on his part. That rooted him to the ground. tinapon ko na lahat `yu WHAT??? Oh. We were really screaming. God. I started sobbing. sniffs. He turned around slowly. May bago ba? I gritted my teeth and then groaned. Julia He raised one finger as if saying don t talk to me . Jeannie naman Parang stress na stress na sabi nito. Bummer. I pushed him hard away from me. Alin don? `Yung tirahan ng mga b ukbok? Ah. Have I awakened the beast in him agai n? Tumaas `yung kilay ko. My. My mouth dropped open. Even when stressed. Nanulis `yung bibig ko. Narinig kong naglagutukan `yung mga buto niya sa knuckles. Nabilang ko pa talaga siya. Survive. Julian s face softened. Because of Julian. My tears stopped immediately. Jeannie! I know you re not asleep. Damn you! Where did you put the documents? He was now shouting. Hindi naman ako masokista no. To the closet. and walke d across the room. Julian naman oh. I was pregnant and he was what? Shouting at me. Alam mo Jeannie hindi na uu bra sa `kin `yang arte mong `yan. An g gwapo talaga ng asawa ko. Dream. More gentle this t ime. God. `Yung tipong buk as pagsisisihan ko kung bakit nagkalamat `yun. Kapag hindi na ako pwedeng bumalik sa New York makasali na nga lang sa starstruck dito. Anong pakialam ko?! Walan g utang-na-loob! Ingrato. Pabalibag kong binuksan `yun. I just helped yaya Oreng clean his study room. Gigil na ibinato ko `yung unan. EVER. He glared at me. Can t you be more endearing and and I gritted my teeth in anger. clean. How dare him! Naiiyak n a talaga ako. Alam mo `yun? Palpak eh. Galit akong tumayo. I heard him sigh. hiccups. This was damned serious. Right on his face..I hadn t heard a word. Hmm Jeannie. Believe. I just helped you hiccups. Ayan. Help me? Papatayin mo ba talaga ako Jeannie? He whispered furiously. Jeannie kapag hindi ka Ano? Anong gagawin mo?! Sigaw ko.
I even saluted him for his control. As in BIG. My nose w ere stuffed with you know. Samantalang ako naman a ng may katawan. Siya kaya ang manganak! Puro lang siya pasarap tapos magagalit pa siy a sa `kin? Well. Walo na. Mababanyo daw ako! Tapos sumasakit `yung tyan ko. I thought I was dreaming.Tapos tapos inabot nga niya! Galit na binato ko lahat ng damit don. . I felt his arm snaked behind my back the other one was under my thighs. Naiiyak na naman ako. Ngumisi ito. Atapang atao di at akbo. Uuwi na talaga `ko. Papatayuan ko na nga ng monument itong si Julian. He snorted. Te ll me I m beautiful. W ell. Err. Hindi ka naniniwala? Galit kong sabi. He rolled his eyes ceilingward. The spasm overtook all consid eration. Tapos ta wa. Jeannie hindi mo ba naisip na ilang beses na ang pagbabalak mong lumayas? If I m goi ng to count it with my fingers save the part after the almost miscarriage thing . Goodness. Oo. I was all set. I wra pped my arms around his neck. these past months we hadn t ahm . Epic fail. Why did it hurt like this? Manganganak na ba ako? Julian! I tapped his shoulder. Tumaas `yung kilay niya. Sabi kasi ng doctor bawal daw akong mapagod. He kissed the tip of my nose. And ugly . I opened my mouth i n disgust. Par a akong hippopotamus. Like this: oiiink oiiiink I gritted my teeth. He nodded rapidly. Nag-bounce `yun mattress. I started sobbing like that of the child s. Babe. Thank my failing eyesight for that. Loud. Eh. Nakakainis talaga. For the likes of him. He smirked then snorted. Parang batang sabi ko sa kanya. My mouth turned into an indignant O. Next to Andres Bonifacio. I almost screamed when I turned to find myself lo oking back at me in the mirror. He winced. I winced as the contraction was violent. Three months was like applying for sainthood. Naramdaman kong lumuhod siya sa harapan ko. Monster! I looked like Princess Fiona now. It felt so good to be in his arms like this. he couldn t carry me anymore. Oh. You do. Bakit kaya hindi ako ang tanungin ni Julian? Baka ang sagot ko ay Oo. Sheeeshhh he kissed my swollen lips. stop crying please it won t do any good to our baby. aum. Binuhat niya `ko! Napakapit akong bigla sa leeg niya. A ng bigat ko na nga ang bigat pa rin ng bag ko. Anong ginagawa mo? What do you think am I doing? Hinihingal na `ko. He put me down on t he bed. ito namang si Julian masunurin! Hmp. Mapapagod nga ako. Tapos pinilit niya ulit akong buhatin. Naiyak akong lalo. Tapos tumigil pa ako sa may pintuan. Do you know what sound you emit when y ou snore? I don t snore. I was so big and round. I was so big. Bukas na gabi na eh. Na nakataas pa ang sanda ta niya ha. He chuckled. Delikado sa daan. Kaya hindi muna pwedeng gumawa ng Baby JJ the second . Tapos hinampas ko siya. My eyes were bloodshot. Uncontrollable. I d start on my diet aft er I give birth. God. LOL. He sighed. N a parang naghahanap ng milagro sa kisame. You want me to lie? I hissed at him. Sabi ko. Sabay kaming nagkatinginan. Nung unang try. Grr. Kaya siguro ayaw niya na sa `kin. Uuwi na `ko sa parents ko. Napaupo ako sa may gilid ng pinto. Lalo akong naiyak. In my eyes only. Syempre I ll tell you you re the most beautiful woman in the world. I pouted.
he could have said not his . I wanna die. She would hate me. I we lost our very first baby. It was just that he should be the pillar of strength for Jeannie. Bawat segundo ay nagdara sal siya para sa mag-ina. Ayos na din ang room ni baby JJ. . Pero sa mga panahong iyon. You can talk to your wife she s in and out of consciousness. Maingay.He groaned. I was in a state of panic How could I? I was only eight mon ths on the way. he knew. But goo dness gracious I hadn t expected him this soon. Julian and baby JJ was rooting for me. he coul dn t afford to lose Jeannie. Remember this I love you both. He didn t want to cry. His breath got hitched. Sumisigaw na ito. There was something wrong. I kissed her on her sweating forehead. Save my baby. Everything was all set. Nagkakagulo sa bu ong bahay. I started crying. That was what the doctor had said. In his saner days he would have given co nsideration and credit to their profession. Gusto ko ng magwala at magmura. Galit na sinuntok niya ang pader. What do you mean? Sigaw niya dito. His Jeannie and baby JJ. His precious Jeannie. Umiiyak. very frightened. But I couldn t stop the fight. Julian no save baby JJ. Magulo. My mind kept telling me: I couldn t stand the pain anymore. He even promised God of a lifetime of rectitude. The pain was killing me. Dammit. Hindi matanggap ng utak niya kung ano mang medical theory ang sinasabi nito. Na tatakot. Not that tears made men weak. Julian squeezed my hand. Jeannie oh. I took Julian s hand. never letting go. Pero wala siya sa katinuan para gawi n iyon! He couldn t praise them if they couldn t save Jeannie God. I op ened my eyes again. She opened one eye. But he didn t know w here had gone awfully wrong. Only o nly HE would spare Jeannie. Hindi siya relihiyosong tao. He took the matters into hi s own hands. He shouted for the maids to come upstairs. He drove his Porsche while I was panting on the passenger seat. Pleas took my hand. Tired and lost. Julian I clutched at his shirtsleeve. Didn t saying sorry was the worst word ever in w omen s vocabulary? Well. He would ha ve cried and fainted at the sight of Jeannie in pain. She kept pleading while squeezing his hand. Must have been reflex action. After knowing all complication of pregnancy decisio n has to be taken whether to allow the pregnancy to continue or not. I was bleeding profusely. Pity. It was an either-or proposition. The pain was overriding a ll sense of logic from me. I m sorry. And dammit. God. the doctor gave him that look. I tried to crack a reassuring smile through my labored breaths. We didn t know how we arrived at the hospital with just the two of us. Can t you just take care of my wife first? Galit na sabi ni to habang may inaabot na fill-up form. As cause of preterm is known. 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. Nagkakagulo. He was inside in a flash. Nagmamadaling binuhat niya si Je annie. But we have to hurry. It was as if I was torn apart. I didn t know where they were taking me. Parang nanlamig ang katawan niya. You have to choose between your wife and the baby. No Numb. Ju lian my baby she started hiccupping. Julian! What? Manganganak na ata ako. I closed my eyes. Bullsh!t. Why was this happening to them? Mabilis siyang pinagsuot ng hospital gown. All I know was that I was very. He tried hard to calm his nerves. With blood all over her th ighs. Or else they ll both die. Buhat niya ito habang kinukuha ang susi ng sasakyan sa drawer.
Pero hindi nga ba hindi lang pala love ang mahalaga sa mundo. Mommy smiled and waved at me. And God s. Before I thought love was all there was. It wasn t his fault. I stopped crying the day Julian told me: I love you Jeannie that I d choose to live without our baby than you. So. yes. Bulong ng kakambal ko. Gusto ko ng mamatay. Nandun silang lahat sa may gilid ng pool. But in the best of circumstances. He was also his. Tama. Nababa lutan ng sakit at galit ang logic ko. Ayoko ng makaramdam ng ganitong . I asked her with my eyes. I shrugged my shoulders.TWENTY NINE We couldn t have everything we wanted in life. Lagi nilang sinasabing ang lahat ng bagay ay may rason. How was that? Jeannie Julian smiled at me tentatively. I could have kissed him o n the lips. I followed her to the lanai . I should have been more understanding. Hindi nga ba gasgas na `tong ganitong pakiramdam? You felt like crying but still gave the world a smiling fvcking face . Ganyan nga. I could have Julian and it would be perfect. bakit pa niya ibinigay sa `kin k ung kukunin niya rin lang naman? Jeannie kakain na tayo I didn t look over my shoulder. 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. He would rock me to sleep and kiss the top of my he ad. Was it the day afte r I cursed Julian to hell? Pero isang buwan isang buwan akong niyayakap ni Julian sa gabi habang umiiyak ako. I could have jumped with joy even with my stitches on. Ayokong umunawa. Gusto ko sanang sabihing nananady a ka ba? But said instead. Gusto kong ako ang intindihi n nila. Gusto ko ako ang unawain nila. I felt her beside me. Malulungkot `yung baby mo kung ganyan ka. I remembered that one morning I woke up. You go eat without me. I even asked HIM many times why. Pero napapagod na `kong magsalita k ahit wala pa naman akong sinasabi. Hindi lang akin si Baby JJ. Jeannie stop this to yourself and Julian. Hindi ko gustong sisih in si Julian. Pinili t kong pagalawin ang muscles ko sa panga. I was immersed in finishing the painting I had sta rted in Morocco. I rolled my eyes. Tumayo ako para wala ng pagtatalo. I didn t want to wake up because I knew the pain was there. What do you want to eat? Anything. I wasn t crying. the one I had done right the first day I told Julia n we were going to be a family. Life. Till my breath would be sucked out of me. Should w as the operative word. Kasi nasasaktan ako. Hindi ko alam kung kailan `yun nagsimula. It had been two months since then. I know I was playing at being the self-centered b!tc h. I even told him h e killed our baby. Someone was hugging me tight I couldn t breathe. Motherhood is the best fulfillment a woman could ever have. Pero ano ang ginawa ko? Minura ko siya. At gusto kong ibalik nila sa `kin si Baby JJ ko. Even CM went home to see me after joining the co ntest in New York. Unti-unting humarap. Hindi mo ba naisip na I know it would be t oo cliché to tell you this. Bulong ko. How ironic. Pinalayas. Oh.
Nakunan lang ako para na akong nagkaroon ng mga bod yguards. The same spark was still there. Tigang. Can you hold her for me? she hesi tantly asked CM while looking at me. Maalaga. He cleared his throat and looked away. Siguro okay na `ko. I forcefully took the almost seven month old baby. I would very much like that. At one point I even blamed Julian. I was too selfish to even ask him if he was also in pain about the loss. Tapos na ang christening. That was so pathetic. It was only my sorrow t hat was important. These past months napapansin kong kahit saan ako p umunta somebody was with me. Ano ha? I started cooing sounds. Hey. I know that painting has been your outlet after t he He cleared his throat. Missed him shouting at me.. Pwede ba CM! Kung sa bagay kung magpapakamatay ka mas maraming magiging masaya. Tuyot. Tignan mo nga k ung pano paglawayan ang asawa mo. But funny I did. At lalong ayokong makakita ng mag-ina. But something along the way changed us. Nung panahon g iyon. Oh. In short. Alam mo te. Baka lang gusto mong sumali. It was almost unbearable. Pag-umpugin ko kayang `tong dalawa ng `to? Sheesh. Minsan nga natatakot na rin ako sa sarili ko. He became gentler. Kung may potential future child star ba siya? I didn t even get to hear him or her wail and kick. Kung makatili naman kala mo ambulansiya. Nakatingin lang sa swi mming pool. goodness. Ano bang tingin nito sa `kin? Kikidnappin k o anak niya? God gave me mercy. 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. Why are you alone? Lalong tumaas `yung kilay ko. Jeannie! Tumaas `yung kilay ko. I glared at him. I gritted my teeth. The people were everywhere in our house.sakit. I was out in the garden alone. Pano kung mabaliw ako? Paano kung manguha na lang ako ng bata at angkinin kong anak? God. Ah nothing.. I didn t doubt my love for him. Why not? The Jeannie I know so well would be dead by now if she didn t talk even a minute. But I started doubting about the future. Sana pinili na lang niya si baby JJ kung ganito rin lang kasakit. Ni hindi ko man lang nakita kung pa ngo ba `yung baby ko. I couldn t even go to the nursery room. He shrugged. At uhaw sa pagmamahal. Our loss. She was smili ng at me. Karga niya si baby Czarina. beautiful. It was so unfair. He didn t say a thing. Ako ba? O siya? I suddenly missed him. He just snored and let me cry on his che st. We merely talked anymore. Ano pa nga ba. Months had passed. To the point na kulan g na lang ay suutan niya `ko ng panty. CM winced at me. Yes. Well. Umiiyak agad ako first thing in the morning. kulang ka lang sa dilig. Ui. Jeannie? Hmm? . I looked away and met Julian s eyes across from us. Give me baby Czarina Nagkatinginan `yung dalawa. Magsasalita sana ako ng dumating si Jean. Napalingon ako kay CM. I shouldn t be surprised when an arm drew me closer. He wa s still the same handsome devil I fell in love with. What s with you people? Inis kong sabi. I looked at CM. do you know that there was another exhibit? This one s the big event of the yea r. D ragging me to God-knows-where. There was sudden warmth that I hadn t felt in ages months now. may tawag dyan eh. Nagtataka nga ako kung naglalakad na ng nakahu bad mamaya `yan eh. Wala akong pakialam kung nandun man siya o wala. What? I asked impatiently. And life itself. Pero somehow along the way we became more of strangers than lovers. Siguro.
Oh. I didn t want to be with Julian in the same car. Bata pa lang matalino na. Oh. baby pa nga? Ang itim pa ni Czarina! CM! Sigaw ko. She ll be as beautiful like her ninang. Emotionally. Mabilis ko siyang tinalikuran. Mas pinili kong sumabay kay CM sa sasakyan. Then he slowly smiled. But the sorrow kept persisting with every thoughts of what could have been. I nodded. Jeannie naman oh! We started laughing. Didn t really care. All I cared about that instant was the man I d hurt so much. What are you talking about? Uh-oh. Can I hold her? He took the baby from me gently. As in. Pero maganda pa rin. she s a bit dark. I raised one brow at him. Naiiyak na naman ako. Julian was waiting at the front step of the entrance. Tapos papakipot muna ng onti. Na na ghihintay hingin ang number ko. ang beauty ko pang-alalay sa kinakasal? I should have been you. Para akong teenager na nakatitig sa kanya.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. Napatiti g ako sa niece ko. Jeannie! Bakit mo `ko sinisigawan? Sigaw ko. He was cooing and tucking her like he was the r eal father. Goodness gracious Jeannie. literally. Kung dati kung pwede lang na ibulsa siya ay ginawa ko na pero ngayon? The silence stretched between us. Saka makakagawa pa rin na man kayo no. I need you. the brid Oh. Just kidding. Ayoko nga sanang pumayag na maging best m an. Parang hindi niya `ko narinig. Czarina peed on me!!! Napatingin kami sa baba ng pantalon niya. very dark. Nakita ko si Julian na papalapi t. very good girl. Sawa na `kon g umiyak. I heard the engine of CM s car out of the driveway. Syempre inaanak ko ata `yang si Czari na no. S he beamed up at CM as if saying: Maitim pala ha. I didn t even consider his feelings. Pati `yung luha ko parang nag-freeze. Even CM was wailing! Jeanni SHUT UP! Nag-chorus pa silang dalawa ni Julian. I couldn t afford to see them. Hindi ko pinansin ang paghabol sa `kin ni Julian. ano bang silbi ng reproductive system mo kung hindi mo naman gagami tin? I hissed at him. beautiful chi ld. Tapos hinawakan ko `yung noo niya at pumikit. It became somehow awkward. Umiiyak ang baby. A hand grabbed mind. Kaya tumalikod na lang ako. I m thinking about joining the contest CM. His eyes were uncertain. Let me see her oh. Jeannie! Oh my. Sabi nit o sabay tampal sa bibig. Okay. He covered his mouth. And we didn t know how to ruin the wall that separated us. Trust CM to say all the wonderful things. Then the baby started making gurgling sounds. Will you stop running away like a coward! I stopped dead in my track. Hi having a great time? He awkwardly said. How can you say beautiful agad eh. Jeannie! Narinig kong ibinigay nito kay CM ang bata. Gah. Mer on ba sa pamilya namin ang pangit? Syempre wala. Down there on his crotch. Night CM. He grinned at me. . Julian told me not to say that he s going to prop I didn t say anything. I was walking like a zom bie toward Julian. My heart was beating wildly. I missed this. Napanganga ako dun. Jeannie give him a second chance. Tears were already streaming down my face as I turned away. my God. Kampon ni Satanas umalis ka sa katawan ng kaibigan ko! He gasped. You are acting so cowardly! Ikaw lang ba ang nasasaktan?! His hand gripped my arm so tight it hurt. He was really shouting at me! Then CM gasped.
Hello ? Kahit naman hindi mo pangarapin `yun. The one with Julian under the shower? This was a make-or-break decision. Then he smiled. I started laughing horribly. Could I forgive and just forget? Kaya ko pa kayang magmahal kung hindi na buo an g puso ko? THIRTY Of course. I didn t push him like I always did in the few months. He must have been at least eight years old. Baliw ba `tong batang `to? Matawa kaya siya kung malaman niyang siya `yung pinagtatawanan ko? But his cute. My whole future at stake. Eh. Real life drama pala ito. Ate. I would have given everything to have him crying in the middle of the night waking me up for his breast feed. it was human instinct. He slowly stepped forward. So who was being lucky here? Eh. Pat i siya nakitawa na rin. `Pagharap ko nagulat ako. Sana nagamot ko man lang si tatay at `di siya namata y. hindi madali `yung decision ko. sa mga novels na nababasa ko `yung hangin na `yun `yung loved ones nila na nawala na. Kaso wala kaming pera. Ewan ko ba . Give m e a second chance. Anghel na naging tyanak p a. Then my eyes started getting misty. His teeth were decaying. Do you know that mommy loves you so much? I murmured achingly. Ewan ko ba.He looked like a boy. Tapos one seat apart. Either Julian or Career. At may hawak siya ng mga sampaguita. Baka gusto niya talagang mabaliw ang mommy ni ya kung iiyak siyang bigla sa gabi out of nowhere. As in now. baby JJ. But of course. `Yun g parang sa cannibal? Tapos `yung ilong niya kumakalat lumalapad `pagtumatawa. I stood up and stared sadly at the engraved name: BABY JJ. I nodded. I ll give your father a second chance. Okay na sana. `di siya. Okay lang `yun ate. I walked down the street. With rai sed eyebrow I could very well say na ako si Jeannette Rose Leviste ang tanging t aong nakapagtiyaga sa ugali niya. `yun nga lang ang hirap ng buhay. deep down I already knew the answer. Tignan mo nanay ko nakapag-asaw a agad. Naramdaman ko `yung hangin. Nyek. I slowly smiled. Oh. Really looking. . I was looking out of the manila bay when the phone started ringing. I would give him a second chance . Sana hindi na lang siya nag-smile. ayos. Some would even say that I d won the lottery by having Julian. I missed these places. NIyakap niya ako. Kahit na nga ba sabihing gwapo si Julian a t mayaman. God. He was a boy. He coul d have been months now. I recalled one of my classmates in High School telling that particular dream of his. but my heart suddenly went out to him. He slowly looked up and arched one brow and whispered: What took you so long? As if he was waiting for me all his life. I have submitted your painting. Madungis nga lang. marami pa namang lalake dyan. His right shoe was toying the marbled flooring. I walked down the streets of Manila bay and along CCP. brokenhearted ka ba? Ah. Could it be a sign that baby JJ want us to be together again? I was trying to smile. Oi. Jeannie! I m so rry. Anong pangarap mo? Kung sinabi nitong maging mabuting asawa t ama babatukan ko talaga `to. Hindi gaanong mahigpit. Wala ka na bang maisip na matinong ambisyon? Gusto kong maging doktor ate. An g hangin tinatangay ang buhok ko. As if he wa s testing the waters. Syempre ii sipin nila napuwing lang ako dahil sa lakas ng hangin. Sampu na kami! I winced. kung karirin ko na lang kaya si Julian? Kung pwede nga lang ba. I didn t ask for him to do that now. Caring to your lo ved ones. There was this little cherubin who was looking at me. Really? Oo.
I want to surprise Jeannie about the engagement. itatanong pa sa `yo kung nasaktan ka. He didn t even bother t o call if he wasn t retiring early! Damn him. Masama palang napapaisip ako. Oh. I slipped into the room with so much as a noise. Hindi man ganon kasarap `yung niluto ko. I wanted to celebrate Julian s awakening! Namuti na ang mata ko kakahintay sa kanya. Iniyakan ko pa ang paghiwa ng sibuyas. Tsk. I didn t even look up. I made face. At anong ginagawa nila? Ayun: Pare let s party! Party! Ilabas na ang cocaine. I was so angry. nakakapaglabas ako n g pera. Baka bukas isa na din ako sa mga taong grasa. I heard footsteps. Hindi. okay. Nagluto ako. The one with Julian. Tha nks mom! I suddenly felt like the biggest scumbag ever. He frowned and arched one brow. so I think he d got lots of work to do. Were all the men in general like this? Or only him? He was still insensitive. It always happened in real life. Why? `Coz I believed that what doesn t kill you can make you stronger . I was a bit disconcerted at first. I smiled at him and slowly stood up. Not under the sho wer! `Yung ginawa ko noon sa Morocco. May kausap sa phone. `Wag lang talaga siyang kakaliwa. I strained my ears against the wall. My eyes got misty. God. This wasn t one of those overrated version of classic dra mas. . Oo. Tapos nagtago akong maigi ng nagmamadali ng umalis si Julian. kung hindi mo naranasang mag-promissory note sa school o humabol ng scholars hip. y`know. I started putting away the cold food. Ipinasa niya `yung painting ko. Minsan lang `yan no. I gave it to him. I stared fixedly at the blue and white sky. Sometimes happy endings were just in Fairy tale stories. Kung ang motto ko ay: I could kiss and be damned tomorrow. `Yung mga may p ampa-aral ayaw mag-aral. Who the hell cared. I had nothing against rich kids. We ll. Tapos napa-w ow siya. And you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth. Dapat all set na para bukas. Hindi ko alam kung bakit. Stupid. Then I saw a man with his canvass. Very fortunate of you.Ngumiti ako tapos naglabas ng five hundred pesos. It was only four i n the afternoon. SOMETIMES. May mga nakapalibot s a kanya habang nagpe-paint siya. That s not for you! I was acting childish. How could I let Julian go? I love him so much. Blame CM for this. Pero kung isa ka sa mga pinanganak na walang kasiguraduhan ang hinaharap. I m prou d of you. Tinampal ko `y ung kamay niya. `di ba sosyal? Samantalang sa kasuluksulukang kalye ng Cubao rugby lang. Seriously there were people who were given the privilege to live the ir life the way they wanted to be. Alam mo ba `yun. Baka pasko. It was just that I hoped they knew their good f ortune. Little di d he know that I was a descendant of Gabriela Silang? Beware. The irony of life. Siya pa ang isawsaw ko sa alamang. At ano? Para sa wala. `yung mga gustong mag-aral walang pampa-aral. Birthday mo? I hissed. He dipped one finger at the dish. But really. Masama kutob ko dito. Ngayon pa nga lang baon na kami sa utang kay Julian. Baka hindi niya na pakinabangan `yung ano niya `yung ano sex aherm appeal niya! Nagtago ako dun sa may corner. Nasugatan ka na. Nakita kong nakatalikod si Juli an. He was already in New York by now because of that blasted con test. Hindi man lang nahiya. at least passable na man. He kept looking around as if it was some top government secret. He wanted to capture the orange horizon with its reddish rays around the sun. Err. I th ought my heart would burst any minute. I even asked God to make my cooking p erfect. He didn t really deserve a second chance. Siya nga ni hindi man lang maisipang mag-text or tumawag. Wala na ba akong inisip kundi ang pambabababe ni Julian? Men could be honest. Nako. Ba ka maibato ko lang sa kanya `yung kare-kare at kalderata. I even bled my finger w ith the bread knife.
He was a cave man! Okay lang kung buhat. He even waved his polo up in the air like a cowboy. Parang napipilita n lang. ganon? Inis nitong sabi. Nakakatakot itong Julian na `to. chaste. L agi namang ganon `di ba? There would always be someone who would give more love than the other. Anong tingin mo sa `kin palahiang bab oy? I hissed at him. alam na. Siguro nga sa `ming dalawa ma s malaki ang pagmamahal ko sa kanya. I didn t want to close my eyes for a second because Julian might vanish into thin mists. Where s my husband? I whisp ered. Massage my temples. Thirsty. I hadn t thought that I could love this much. Yes. bed! You re not serious. I was pummeling his back. Like we could satisfy the months. Hindi joke lang. What do yo u think are you doing? Perhaps going to striptease? He said playfully. while doi ng an imitative dance of that of macho men. Oh. French or torrid. Panira. Gusto ko kapag nag-asawa na tayo nasa bahay ka lang. Maybe we were immoral in the eyes of the society. Pero hindi ganito na binibiyabit niya `ko mula sa balikat niya. or whatever we could thin k of. Brotherly kiss. I gasped. No. almost a year without this physical aspect of our relationship. Of course. I was too eager. Would we start makin g babies now? Para makaabot sampu? My mind was screaming: I wasn t prepared for th is. Stop He groaned. He didn t look the man who was so eager to propose. Galit ka ba? lingon niya sa `kin. Papel lang ang kulang sa `min. It was more. I smiled sweetly. He put me down no threw me onto the bed. Grr. Julian Oh-kay. I hadn t noticed that he was already on top of me. Lalong tumaas `yung kilay ko. It was proven and tested. He laughed loudl y and lunged at me. words were mere words until you felt them. Pakipot lang. No. I was trying to capture his mouth. Ayoko nang magpaka-ipokrita. Alright. My breath got hitched. Hindi lang sarap ng pisikal. Diniinan ko ang mga kamay sa ulo niya. he loves me but not as much as I do. He was teasing me. We were husband and wife in the eyes of God. hindi bagay! I tried to cover my face with my hand. Grabe. right. More that you couldn t define. Our eyes met. Damn boxers. Kung pwede lang na bumaon `yun baka nangy ari na. He slouched on the chair and massaged his temple. I was screaming when he scooped me up in his arms. Yes. Tuwang tuwa nga ako sa `yo eh. Kung makautos kala mo bayad na sa kasalanan niya.Oh? Kanino? Sa aso. I even hugged him tight to myself th at I thought I couldn t breathe anymore. Julian no! I shrieked when he tickled my feet. Our bodies touched. Masyadong wild at aggressive `yung isang `to. smile cracked on his lips. I want you here with our children hmm mga sampu okay na. He was pulling down his pants and oh So disappointed. Not t hat I was saying living in was justifiable. He said that with conviction. Goodness. Oo. with gaps between my fingers. He nipped my lower lip and kissed each corner. A kiss meant everything. A kiss wasn t just classified into: smack. Pero I believed that you couldn t go play . 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. Fatherly. Hindi. But this was one? We were groping for each other. You prepared this f or me. He was unbuckling his pants. Sa relationship. Were there flames everywhere? It was getting hot. I might melt. He turned me upside down. He really smiled at me. I was really a bit taken aback. It was hot and explosive. Julian let me down! I yelled a t his back. He kissed me passionately. I was hissing while sinking my fingers deep into his skin. A slow sexy goodness. He started laughing and crawled to the bed . He even smacked my bottom! Tapos tawa siya ng tawa. You e xperienced them.
Maybe I was really living in one of those fairy t ales and that I would be woken up by my mother. I was choking back the words. And Jean with her baby. Posible pala. We should all know our limits. I wanted to laugh at his clumsiness. Will you. I tast ed a morsel of heaven. But I wasn t running for a Maria Clara nominee either. Well. Jeannette Rose Leviste be my wife? I blinked once. Akalain mo `yun. For the first time. Slow. Gentle. At pumunta kami sa banda roon. Nung una nga hindi pa niya m ahanap. Sisigawan niya `ko. CM talked to me on the phone earlier. I was like: OH? With arched brows. Si Julian iyon. I just wished that when we grew old together it would still be like this. I could feel it in his hands. Excuse me? I glared at him and he started chuckling! I just want to make this time gentler. every man had his moment. I was staring into his eyes. it was very differen t. Nilagyan niya ako ng blindfold. The great Julian S unico was trembling. Twice. He groaned. I gasped. Whatever. Lalo na `yung mga nagpo-pro pose. Kahit `yung mga associates ni Julian. Don t tell me ipapa-salvage mo `ko? I tried to joke my way around him. Of course. We soared. And God. He was re ally something huh. Touched me and kissed me like there was no tomorrow. I started crying because because He kneeled down on his knees. I thought and heard about sex was all hot and swea ty. The heat and the rush were there. `Wag ka ngang excited. What? I would scream if he told me: no. He was killing me softly. He came back to my lips and kissed me openly. I didn t know it was like this. Tapos sasabihin ko ano ? kasi hindi ko na maririnig kasi bingi na `ko. Which he thought I had no clue of. He loved me. At ang sa `kin. `yung x-rated version ba naman ang panuorin mo na pinahiram pa sa `yo ng Good Influence and Morally upright mong c mate. Na nakahawak sa bewang ko. It s just Just? I asked impatiently. Nag papa-yummy pa kasi. Okay na ba? Not yet. He took the blindfold off. Sila mommy at daddy. this was his idea of going slow eh? Parang ako ata a ng unang mamamatay. I was bound to hi m. What? Siya nga `yun ang manre-reject? Eeh. Well. Where we could hear our breathing as the music playing in our ears. He was cuddling against my bosom. Hindi ko alam kung dah il dahil alam kong ngayon magpo-propose si Julian. Mali kot ang mga kamay nito. he cleared his throat. Even Brad and Vi ncent were there. Everyone. Goodness. I shouldn t be surprised but I was. So. ang keso ko. He was also tensed. By God and by love. Or it could be our heartbeats. how I loved this man with all of my heart. I was a bit tensed. Late na pala ako sa school. I screamed. Thrice. And put out the ring. I was happy and overwhelmed to see all of them. And almost the same. C mon! I wasn t raised to be promiscuous.around if love wasn t involved. There was no pain this time. I love you He whispered as he claimed me. 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. It w as like this was the last time. . I was about to shout at him to go to hell when he started raining tiny kisses do wn the side of my face. Like he really wanted to get acquainted wi th every part and pore of me. Akala ko hindi. I love you too I whispered against his hair.
that s why we have choices. I couldn t help it while nodding rapidly. Pero sa totoong buhay. I even once asked many about which would they prefer: love or career? I couldn t very well answer my own question back then. But I m sorry I can t. The diamond ring was sparkling. Gasgas na pero it wasn t him. I didn t cry. I love you you know that. know th sakit rej didn t Didn t yo . And I was chasing him. He did. Because we couldn t have them all. But no. I should have put that in Julian s vocabulary. I cried my heart out when I saw the defeat and hatred in his eyes. In reality. they would ask me the why s and what s. 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 really s orry.And looked at everyone. 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. gusto ko namang maging matatag sa mga desisyon ko. As if telling me to say yes. u still have a clue that I love life? And so I did Julian. I was nominated for a one-year e xhibit and tour around the world. I whispered through my blurring vision. Tears streamed down my ey es. Alam ko. It was the most pai nful and hardest decision to make. CM s motto: opportunity knocks only at once door. it was me all al ong. For once. I even dare look at everyone. Nakita kong napahigpit ang kamay niya sa hawak na box. Hindi lahat ng tao mas pinipiling mag-settle down kaysa piliin ang opportunity na ibi nibigay sa kanila. THIRTY ONE Compromise. Didn t you know that not all dreams come true? I needed to grow and that didn t include Julian in the picture. I should have been the one running away after doing the ecting. As always. Ngayon ko lang na-realize tama sila.
That finding your self wasn t really true. Not that I was here to sit judgment. But wasn t that our problem? Time. In general. That was what I wanted to hear from him. Ano bang alam ko nung time na `yun? Gusto ko lang maging m agaling na pintor. Of course. Hindi lang naman lalaki ang makakapagpaligaya sa `yo. Wala ka pa. His back was turned to me. Just being realistic. But hey. True. Siguro hindi na `ko natakot. Isang taon pa kaya? I wasn t being pessimistic here. Those were just life s facts. His forehead was be nt against the wall. With pho ne calls! LOL. I smiled bitterly to myself. C`mon! `Wag na nating loko hin ang sarili natin. Ang gulo ko no? I asked him not to wait for me but then I wished with all my heart t hat he would. You could have told me yesterday. Sino bang nakakaalam kung bakit ganito ang mga babae? . Or they weren t as sexy as Julian. Ano? Magtititigan na lang tayong mga bab ae? At the back of our minds we wished for someone to fill the cold nights. Unless you tell me. Lit erally and hmm figuratively. It might sound exaggerated. I tried to smile. O dahi l sa dinami dami ng lalaki sa mundo walang sumigaw sa `kin ng katulad ng pagsiga w ni Julian. Pain was pain. One year Jeannie? Do you think a year is only a day for me? Galit nitong sabi. you also have to love what I do! Per o alam kong hindi ganon kadali `yun. men are men. Na gkakasala. Nung humarap siya. you stood against odds and still be together after a year. Bulong nito. His fists clenched. Pero masak it Jeannie. Gusto kong isigaw sa kanya: If you love me. Isang taon lang `yun Julian. It was very true. You could live without them but somehow let s be honest . Abstinence was an avoidable word in their dictionary. Gusto kong matupad ang mga pangarap ko. Sa mga single. Yes. Kahit ako man. Julian Akala ko dati. Or even last night! He was now shou ting. Kung anim na bwan nga `yung iba wala na. lagi kong sinasabi noon na mas masarap maging single. I pouted and looked out of the w indow. T here was no way around that but time. syempre masarap pa ring merong pipilit na kunin `yung kamay mo in public kahit kunwari ayaw mo. Jeannie I will Wait for you My breath got hitched. Heart grew colder with the absence of the other. `Coz I don t know what will happen. Julian painting is my very first love. He didn t bother to turn around when I shut the door closed. Mamamatay `yan kung isang taong walang putahe sa hapag kainan. Wala ka bang sasabihin? Gusto kong sabihing naiintindihan kita. I ll be away for a year. Long distance relationship only stood a chance as big as my thumb finger. there was always an exemption. Ano ba. But it was almost true. Glory be to God. Nandun na `yun eh. Pero hindi nga ba k aya nga kakaunti ang pari sa mundo? At ang iba pa sa kanila y. If and only if they d devoted themselves to God. kaartehan lang `yung mga nababasa t napapanood ko. Why not? Either I ha d no choice `coz there was no one had dared to hold my hand at that time. He didn t turn around.I found him in the adjacent room. And it was my dream e ven before Julian entered my oh-so-boring life. Reality bites. At hindi naman sa wala akong ti wala sa mga lalaki. Kasi wala ka ngang ka-monthsary! Wal ang naninigaw sa `yo on the phone when you couldn t text him. kung iiwan ako ng lalaking m ahal ko sa harap ng altar baka mapatay ko siya ng wala sa oras. life without them was a boring world. Masara p walang pinagkakagastuhan kapag monthsary. Before you. I won t ask you to wait for me Julian. In New York. He looked at me from head to foo t. Again. And warm hugs.
I cleared my throat and glared at him. But it hurt a lot. este uumagahi n. I lo Don t tell me you love me. A mere whisper. We disappointed you. And Julian didn t want anything to do with it. Two years later. Julian I whispered when I was in between the door and the outside world toward achi eving my dream. You might be seeing some body I don t know. BITTER! After a few e-mails and letters. It seemed cliché but I m letting you go. Pero pano na lang `yung mga pa ngarap ko? Hindi lahat ng tao nabibigyan ng ganitong opportunity. dammit! Just just get the hell out of here!!! Nanlaki ang mga mata ko at naisara ko agad ang pinto. `di topless. He shook his head. I m sorry baby JJ. I gritted my teeth. I tried pushing him toward the kitched. Hindi kaya maglolokohan lang tayo? He gave up on me. Nahiya ka lang pero ang ido-draw . I wanted to slap him at that moment. Ang arte. Sino `to? I avoided his scrutiny. He shook his head. Galit kong sabi sa kanya. I like him. Let s eat. Gusto mo bang sabihin ko sa `yong hihintayin kita Jeannie? Then wha t after our promises to one another. I didn t really care. if you walk out of that door. Pwede ba. So what time s your date later with Rick? Todo smile ito. natetempt akong mag-stay. So. I chose my path. Wala. God. Ano ba `yang ginagawa mo ha? Tingin pa. Was there a difference? Iniba niya lang ng phrase pero ganon din `yun! Jeannie if you stay you choose me. I really do. I won t ask where you are going. Jeannie! I raised one brow. Oo. he isn t nude here. Sino pa bang titili ng ganoon kung hindi ang kaisa-isang kaib igan ko sa mundong ibabaw.Never forget you. Ano ba Jeannie defensive na sabi ni to. 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. Sh!t. couldn t I just have both? Somehow maybe I would eventually forget him. You k now dear. However. it s okay with me. I gaped at him. Eh. Sakalin ko na kaya `tong kaibigan kong `to? He tried looking over my shoulders. I didn t care. He arched one brow. Then shrugged. It meant goodbye. Ganon din naman `yun. Of course. Narinig kong ang pagbagsak ng mga gamit at kung ano mang mga nagkala t na basag doon. Hinara ngan ko `yung painting sa likuran ko. Para akong rob ot na naglalakad. `Yung lalaki sa panaginip mo? Tuwing gabi dinadalaw ka? CM! He looked at the painting more closely. Ah. Get out Jeannie. Busy? I shrugged my shoulders. I snatched the cloth from him and cove red it again. It would deteriorate with ti me. My mind was made up. I mopped my forehead with the towel. Postcard greetings. My heart was breaking into pie ces. Kung gagabihin kayo e. And correction. I glared all the more at him. For you. You re giving up on me. He paushed. And damn if he wasn t handsome here and nud e. What if you find someone new? What if you do? I hissed at him. I m hungry. What? He smiled sheepishly. So this was what he called letting go huh. Ex mo? Kung makapagtanong kala mo inosente! I gritted my teeth. `Yun lang ang naiintindihan ko sa lahat ng `to. I understand. Bago pa man ako makapagsalita ay nahugot na ni CM `yung tel a mula sa canvass. I bit my lip to stop from crying out.
He didn t exist anymore. Malamang magiging gwa po o maganda ang magiging anak namin. I snorted. He stood up and moved right to the door. Mab ango. those black eyes. Malay ko bang nagkaroon pa kami ng baby JJ the sec ond. He smiled at me. Save that he wasn t Julian. I was even looking out for some sign s of imperfection. para sa susunod na magmamahal ka u lit may ibibigay ka pa. It was all worth it. Hey. I was looking out of the crowd when I met a pair of eyes. Gwapo. Actually. I took hold of his hand. eleven months and twenty seven days. Lakad. I know thank you. Baka si Piolo Pascual. I started preparing for our food. where are you going? I squeezed through the throng of people. Hindi dahil nasasakal ako sa yakap ng katabi ko. So now he wasn t perfect. He raised an inquiring eyebrow at me. huwag mo ng ibigay ang lahat. Pisil pa. Matangkad. He was as sleek as a snake. I was starting a new life now. Mabilis akong na patayo. Totoo naman. He held my hand. . No more Julian. I his sed. sent postcards and letters. it was a year. We now shared a unit. Ang h irap kausapin ang sarili mong isip. I tried hard not to glare at him. And this was New York! Kulang na lang ako ang gawin niyang dinner. I looked at his impeccable white shirt underneath his coat. At bolero! Na ni minsan hindi man lang ginawa sa `kin ni Julian . I tried hard not to jab him in the ribs. You look beautiful and sexy. I shook my head. Pa-humble pa. Bago pa kung saang imperti nenteng lugar mapadpad iyon. Rick was handsome. He was really one he ll of a handsome man. And they were all returned! Except for the e-mail syempre. I couldn t ever forget that face. Me? Ah. This was our first date. You know that I like you Jeannette. Magtira ka sa sarili mo. Maybe he was an angel sent from above. Jeannie What! You haven t forgotten him. In a fashionable way. Who? I asked innocently. Takbo. Para kasing sinapian na naman siya ng masamang espiritu. Wala na ni hindi ko na nga natatandaan kung pano siya ngumiti. Kahit anong pigil ko sa kama y niya kung saan napupunta. we were in the 21st century. At si Julian ang devil. And very gentleman. Napa-smile ako kay CM. Kahit kahit `pag sumisigaw siya hindi ko na matandaan kung pano nagigin g singkit lalo `yung mga mata niya. It was so un-CM like. Dammit. Bakit ba hindi? Sino bang unang nakalimot? I e-mailed him. At lalong hindi ko na natatandaan kung pano siya Humalik? Inirapan ko siya. She won the painting contest. Akala ko ba nakalimutan mo na siya! Grabe. I ve already forgotten him CM. Excuse ako ng excuse par ang wala namang naririnig! Julian Bulong ko. Nakalimutan ko na siya. My very first date after almost two years. Y es. Kung siya ang mapapangasawa ko ulit. How could you love another if you couldn t love yourself? She spent wandering around the world. Inis na sabi sabay irap. His hand started squeezing my thighs. Nabigla ako. I know. But deep inside there was that wishful thinking that somehow he should have been there at night to cuddle her. The people were blocking him. I couldn t breathe anymore. Two years. Naiiyak na `ko ng hindi ko na siya maki ta.ing mo talaga nude. no. Jeannie kung magmamahal ka. Goodn ess. Uh-okay. I smiled at him. He was half-Canadian half-Filipino. You seemed preoccupied. My eyes grew wide. Para siyang sawa.
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
all in capital letters. I stared stupidly at CM. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. Si Julian lang talaga ang evi l dito. At ngayon? Hindi ko alam kung unti-unti ko bang pinapatay `yung sarili ko. Wala nga lang sa kanya `di ba? He d even moved on and forgotten all about me. Ano Jeannie ? Ibabalik na ba ni Tricia si Julian? Now I knew the expression: ASA! OB. Mabilis iyong inabot ni CM. eh? Napatingin .WHAT?! Just like that? Ganon ba kaliit `yung tingin niya sa `kin? He shrugged. Well. Pero kanino? Sa sarili ko? Kay Tri cia ba? O sa napakawalanghiya kong ex-hubby. 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. 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. no. Laruan tama. Ah. We weren t even mar ried. that word would be applied to me someday and that someday happened to be now. Baby. She was wearing a floral dress with a cardigan. legally speaking. All about baby JJ. Err I hated him. CM! The phone started ringing. Julian. Gusto kong magalit. at least I didn t have evil stepsisters. Sino bang laruan dito? THIRTY THREE I now know the word STUPID. Not ex. Hello? Hey. Teka nga bakit ang dami mong alam? He talked to your mother. Never EX. Tricia. Ahm Jeannie lulubus-lubusin ko na ha. Nagsubo ito ng maraming popcorn. Was t here such a thing? Could pain kill you? Hindi naman siguro. Silence. as I stared outside the glas s panel from here. So shall we go? Tricia smiled at me. Jeannie! What? Why don t you take Julian back? I slowly shook my head. Very fashionable. I was never fond of maltreated protagonists. it s me Tricia. Pwede mo ba `kong samahan sa OB? I want this to be a surprise Surprise! The phone went out of my grasp. Pero isa lang sure k o jealousy could kill. Ah no. `Yung mga tatanga-tangang sumusunod sa yapak ni Cinder ella. And little did I know that. H e smiled evilly at me. Hindi ako ganon ka-kontrabida.
Sabay biglang labas ng doctor. almost one year and seven and a ha lf months? Actually I wanted it to be a surprise. They were together. God forgive me. Tricia! I closed my eyes to keep my emotions intact. c`mon! Don t tell me nau ubusan na ng OB don? Maybe because half part of me was harboring a tiny hope that either Tricia was a certified scheming b!tch. At sak a hello? Bakit dito pa? Pwede namang sa Pinas `di ba? Oh. Had I seen in his eyes how he wanted me to be sorry? D ahil iniwan ko siya? Dahil pinagpalit ko siya sa mga pangarap ko? Tinawagan nila si CM. Tricia was spared to drink any liquor. Iba na ata ibig sabihin niyon ngayon. Hindi ako makangiti. too bad of me to pray. It s confirmed J ulian! Thank you So it was confirmed. Spell desperada. Pano kung sila talaga? After all. . alam k o. Argh. Kailangan pa ba niyang sabihin `yun? Five months now. What the hell It s your fourth glass. So how are you? Someone new? I wanted to smile and tell her: Yes. I tried to smile. I haven t been celibate say GOD. Nakakat atlong baso na ko. Utang na loob! So was it any consolation that J ulian mourned over our relationship for over. Gusto kong sumi gaw na ang O. Uh-huh. Ano bang ginagawa ko dito? Nagpapakamasokista? Maglaslas na lang kaya ako? Nasa baba na kami ng condo building ni Tricia. Yeah. Walang iyakan. You re drunk. We turned around and Tricia quickly ran to him and hugged him. Congratulations! Let s cheers to that. Thanks doctor. May we all have an everlasting friendship! W alang agawan. mo Tricia! Dahil bitter ako sobrang bitter. Halos akayin na ko ni Tricia. Sa totoo lang hindi ko alam kung bakit pa `ko pumayag samahan siya sa OB. Hindi siya buntis hindi siya buntis nagdadalang-tae lang si Tricia. Tricia was the first real love of Julian. Are you sure? She looked down at me. I averted my eyes away from the scene. The doctor smiled widely. a hand grabbed mine.akong bigla sa tiyan niya. Mag-iinom kasi broken hearted ka. Itinayo niya `ko. I ve found someone new and I m very much happy. Nauwi kami sa videoke bar. Tsss. No! Oo. Palabas pa lan g kami ng clinic. As if. Ahm mrs. Hindi ako iiyak. Pero minsan naiisip kong patirin si Tricia. Congratulations! You re two and a half months on the family way. Tricia was half-laughing. And disgusted wit h myself. Pero pwede ba at some point lahat tayo nagiging makasa rili kapag nagmamahal `di ba? Now I was getting all worked up. Lagyan ng kung anong valium ang inumin nito. Are you okay? Lumingon ako. So God wasn t on my side. Anong pakialam ko?! Kahit 24/7 pa `yan! Parang convenient store. Hindi ba magmumukha ako ng bitter? And that would be sheer hypocrisy. I met a pair of chinito eyes.? Sa sobrang lakas ng kaba ko parang ako ang mahihimatay. It was awkward. Before I could even drink my fourth glass. So it was five months going huh. Tapos pumili na ng kanta si Tricia. for all I care. 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. Julian only looked at me. I was still silent and mum about it. half-crying. I was rooted to the seat. It was a time to celebrate.A. He hissed. You and Julian can go to hell together. Give love on Christmas day! CM cheered. Big time.
Hindi naman ako `yung nagsalita non `di ba? Julian s grin was deliberate. I looked down at his hand. Oh. Is h e making you happy Jeannie? He laughed sarcastically. So it was the high and mighty Mr. Jeannie can you move a little over there? Masikip. This was what you called Women s violation! His hand was there. Bruising my lips. Sunico hu h? I gritted my teeth. There at the side of my ahm waist. Kung sinong mas magaling! I hissed. Julian s chinky eyes turned into slits. CM! Julian was also shocked. I was ushered into Julian s lap. Goodness so y ou aren t any different from your sister. Mabilis akong tumayo despite th e dizziness. Pero hindi ko magawa. Who t old him about Rick? That maniac. We screwed in the backseat I was even comparing notes. Like you taught me. So I ve heard about your new boyfriend. She seemed really oblivious. That lips I had kissed many times before. Oh-kay. I had no strength anymore. Sorry. Magtabi kami ni CM. My tears rolled down as the cold nights and empty sheets lay behind the almos . Tric ia s busy singing. Move a little. I slowly smiled at him. He mouthed. I told you. Gusto ko siyang sampalin. Julian s teasing smile froze me in place. Exactly. CM smiled at me. An artist also. Hindi ko sinasadya. Biglang nagiba ang tono ng boses nito. And so w as I. Someday I just know that love will lead you back in my a rms I winced. Para akong masusuka. Oh. My so-called bestfriend just ignored me! Sa pagkakalipat nito ay nalipat si Julian sa tabi ko. More than happy Do you know what? God forgive me for this. I liked it rough . Tricia was singing my eyes grew wide. Yes. Ahm excuse me Julian pwede bang dito ka na lang umupo? Diyan ako sa tabi ni Tricia . Did it still taste the same? Oh. you shouldn t drink. He moved forward. CM said drily. slap him or lied about not liking i t. It was like he was a menacing predator the next. I eyed CM with warning. I covered my mouth and ran to the bathroom. no! Hindi ko sinabi `yun! I was drunk. Umusog ako sa gilid palayo. Hindi ko alam k ung sinong sumundo sa`kin. His head came down upon me. If I know! Pinindot niya talaga ` yung stop button. I didn t know what I was doing. Uh-oh.I raised one brow. mmkay? I looked at Tricia. At sabay tulak sa`kin. I missed him shouting at me because he was concerned. I m going to sing. yes. He moved forward. he said sarcastically. Galit na sabi nito. Hindi naman ako claustrophobic pero parang nasosuffocate ako. I can t read the lyrics from here. I was ready to puke. Just don t make any noise. I missed him. The same heat and inten sity was there. Julian s hand steadied me fr om slipping into the floor in the other side. Ooops. His hands grabbed my sho ulders. Yes. My eyes were getting misty. I m sor ry Oh my God. god. I thought I d forgotten that mouth. He s making me happy Julian. my words. Under my lo and behold future! Almost there. Sige tuloy niyo lang `yan. Of course. Tricia frowned. I missed his ne arness. Then we turned slowly. Ano bang pakialam mo? Tinanggal ko ang kamay niya at ngumiti. Demanding. Love will lead you back. But I didn t try to hold back. I g asped. don t you? Why not for th e last time Jeannie? Do you know the word fvckiiiing qui ckie? He was mad. you love it. Yes. Uh-oh. I drank it in one fill without breaking the eye contact. Aren t we here to celebrate? I blurted out bitterly. shaking me. that was it. CM smiled at me innocently. Someone was caressing my back to and fro.
kahit gawa `yan para hindi matanggal o mapalis basta basta darating at d arating pa rin ang expiration date niyan. He pushed me away from him. I was the first among the Miss Stupidest runners-up. Katulad mo. I didn t dare wipe the tears. Pero hindi. Congratulations. And at that time Tricia was m y only chance of ever achieving it. music please . O kung meron man hindi ako `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. Totoo `yun. At least he was still as affected to me as he was. I thought dreams were made to escape the painful reality. Was there such a thing? Forever. Though he didn t love her i t wasn t me he really got tangled with. Okay. Walang taong ganoon kabait at kamartir. Na parang walang pakialam! Anger was always okay than indiffe rence. Maybe it was just sp elled that way. And more years to come He d be gone from me forever. He shrugged at me. Some consolation. Ano `yan? Lipstick? THIRTY FOUR How many times did I pray to God that this was just a nightmare? I should be waking up now. get in line please! I stared numbly at the organizer. I m still mad at yo u because you hurt me (In truth. Pero lalo lang akong b inabangungot. Thank you because you left me. maiintindihan naman nila `ko `di ba? Dapat intindihin nila `ko. Okay. Now tell me. Tricia was the second one. For some reason. If ever my lipstick smeared. CM nudged my shoulder to keep going. I was still wide awake. 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. Kaya galit siya sa`kin. 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. 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. eh. There was always someone in the way. Ang love parang li pstick. I got his point. If he ever chose Tricia for his dream over me I would still be mad at him. As if I had a contagious disease. I heard CM asking him when he went out. kung nagkita kayo after so many years at hindi naging maganda ang break-up. For ever.t two years. Because the truth was becoming real to me with each passin g day. Isn t that what you want to hear from me Julian? I asked him sarcas tically. 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. Jeannie our family s business is my dream. I d file a laws uit against its manufacturer. That would be sheer stupidity. I smiled to myself humorlessly. Kung ginawa niya `yun noon. He looked up. Kung umayaw ako. Jean was the first one. I swear. Pero hindi. Tatlo lang `yun. I closed my eyes. I started crying. Sa`min ni Julian? It should have been Neverever. 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. Malungkot itong tumingin sa kanya. sino pa bang tatalbog sa pinakamagarang award na makukuha ko? Kahit nga si Janine San Miguel walang panama sa `kin.
Sana may cut. CM was eyeing me pit ifully. Goodness. When he le ft her I was there to catch her. Kasi sobra. chinky eyes. I was clutching silly at the bunch of flowers. Kaw awa naman `yung mga walang kamuwang-muwang na halaman. At take note: sa loob ng simbahan. hopeless case r etard. But not really. Alam mo ba kung gano kasakit `yun? Hindi. but into many pieces. But t hen This practice was a major catastrophic event in my life next to having lost baby JJ. great. My sister was staring helplessly at me. I couldn t stop from sobbing . They were right in front of the pretend pries t reciting their bows. The pain was excruciating. But at this point in time. I glared at her. Ha? Napatingin ako sa paligid ko. I didn t need another broken heart. And he started talking. Oo na. Lahat naghalo na. Gusto kong isigaw na wala akong pakialam. What had I done now? What! I snapped at the organizer. My heart wasn t just broken into two. I couldn t handle it at the moment. Kasalanan niya `to. Kasi feeling ko. Nakakadiri ako. Julian Sunico. Jeannie. me listening. He handed me a towel. Nanlaki `yung mata niya na parang sinasabing: Oh. `felt like it was my death march. I was walking like a zombie. Or pride? I didn t know. Syempre nahiya ako sa ayos ko. Kunwari tumawa ako. anong ginawa ko sa`yo? She shouldn t have made me replace her. t o sacrifice and to understand. Of course. I didn t know how I dared to be here. Just as the words were out. Willed her mother to be strong. I started crying and vomiting. either mabaliw ako or maisipan kong mag-suicide bombin g sa loob ng simbahan. Parang slow motion napatingin ako sa kamay ko. No Don t J ulian. Then I gave Tricia the flower. Pero sana sana lang may take two. Luha. 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. all I cared about was myself. . Actually. Para akong nasa pelikula. When I looked up I met a pair of dark. Mine was enough for me to handle. Lalo na `yung mga caretak ers. I just fou nd myself sitting on the bench with him. I love this woman greatly. That is what love is isn t it? You have to give. If he was sympathizing with me. Ang selfish ko no? I was hurting too much to be sensible. Naiinis ako kasi mas aya siya at ako hindi. And of course. I brushed my hair away from m y wet face. Free will. Sa `kin lahat sila nakatingin. Do you know. Tricia smiled at me hesitantly and reached out to me What? Jeannie You re holding the bouquet. He didn t say a thing. I ran away from there as fast as I could. As if I was a dimwitted. Pero anong alam ko nung time na `yun? I didn t know that I was doing that specifically for her. Sipon. Are you okay? I slowly looked up. But she couldn t she couldn t love me back.There was a pianist. This was what they cal led almost dying. Para naman alam ko kung kailan pipigilan ang emosyon. She tried to pat my hand but I turned away from her. Fighting spirit . Her boyfriend got her pregnant. Sana naman kung nakikinig siya somehow he could guide me. Hindi ko alam kung anong masamang espiritung sumapi sa `kin. Neither did I. do you take this woman as your lawfully wedded wife? My vision became blurred. Hindi ko na sana nakilala si Julian. you ll feel my pain. Out. I do.
Akal a niya na-neglect siya. God. Makakita ka ng PDA sa l abas yamot na yamot ka. I think. It was like that in love. I really tried. Whatever. you just have to tell him that at some point you love him as a son. Sabi nila wala daw definition `yun. Ngumiti ako. we did things we would never have thought for the sake of love. I crossed my fingers and hiccupped. Go figure. Why are you asking this nonsense? Nonsense? I laughed. Not that I was saying love was connected to lust or so. At one point. I turned to women from night to night. Sunico smiled at me. God will give you the man you are loo king for. Julian whispered. be us against the world . I loved him I love him still But things change d. How could you l et go of something that wasn t yours in the first place? How could I forgive Julian for letting me go so easily? How could I stop the pai n? Would time really help me? Or would it just get worse? Hindi naman nakakamatay a ng pagiging brokenhearted `di ba? Unless maglaslas ka. It was only up to us how to show it. present and future tense? EPILOGUE And in another life I would be your girl We keep all our promises. Sa tingin mo ba kung mabubuhay tayo ulit gugustuhin mo pa rin akong makilala? I tr ied not to croak. Sinisisi niya `yung sarili niya sa divorce niyo. I s tarted hating her for not loving me back. But after all those years. sacrifice and understand. LOL. I loved you. Pero naniniwala akong meron. Sana nga I was walking down the memory lane. Bulong ko. So I married her. Nakakatawa no? Manood ka ng XXX tuwang tuwa ka. Understanding what he meant. Loved. she s grateful to me. How cruel love is. The only way I knew I could hurt her back He shrugged. He was there. that would be sheer hypocrisy Julian. Napalingon ako sa kanya. I stopped dead in my tracks. Bakit pa kasi nauso ang past. Just as I am to you. He was looking down at the stones. Magulo. Mr. Sa totoo lan g hindi ko naman talaga maintindihan kung anong ibig sabihin ng love. right? Jeanni Kung hihilingin kong maging masaya ka. You re a good woman. Nagkamali kami pa reho.You have to give. Nothing to say. Mali ako. And you hurt Julian the most. He frowned at me. Like he always. but then I wished with all my heart that you d be happy if only that is with me. But I didn t want her gratitude. Hindi mo maintind ihan. But only we had different meanings of love. But this time there was one thing he didn t own anymore. standing as if he owned the world. This time I was successful.
So like Jean Somehow. Al am mo naman `yung tao kung gano nag-aalala sa`yo. I raised one brow. Love is a very frightenin g thing. I thought I could never live up to Julian s standard. I start hating the phrases what ifs and what could have beens. Right or Mr. I laugh about that. Do you ever believe in destiny? Eh. I am always splitting hairs. my Napaatras ako sa pagkabigla. The one that got away I hit the high-pitched note as I imitated Katy Perry s song. but of course.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. Deep down I know there s always something that kept me apart from her. and I find someone more beau tiful than I ever am. Kaya nga siguro deep down. Someone who can make our hearts beat faster. `yung tao ang gumagawa ng kapalaran niya? Ts k. I put down the flowers. I always envy my twin. Y our skins tingle when you touch. where are you? Haven t you been with Roy? He told me you re not feeling well. no don t go there anymore Jeannie. Unknowingly comparing myself to other people. I feel a pang of uncertainty. Ang gulo ng mundo no? If you ended up together after so many endeavors. sino ba? I ve always dreamed of something big. Pero lagi akong humihiling na sana ako si ganito. Parang umo-order lang sa menu kung humiling. I was a scared rat. Kung may love potion lang malamang bestselling item `yun. Ak o si ganyan. Regrets are those for what you can t have done. My eyes grow wide when I s ee a pair of a child s feet. Na-tense ako. `di sana tumaya na lan g ako sa lotto non `di ba? They were one in a million. I close my eyes and pray. I chuckle drily. Yeah. Perfect. Eh. And we thought he will be Mr. Hey. Tita Jeannie! Where s my psp? My laptop and she keeps rambling. Halos mapaantanda ako sa gustong ipabili nito. 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. He loves you I sigh. 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. My cell phone is ringing. And hearing her daughter s voice made me w ish that I were her. Oh. O kung hindi man None in a million. Hello? Ako ang iyong konsensya I grit my teeth. yes. So mehow I know it by heart. CM. I bet you didn t guess how insecure I am. I am beautiful. Well. With rolled eyes. Relationshi ps: Sawa to awa. Wow. First to Jean then to Tricia. Paskong pasko. hell. Congratulations! That started the word forever. Meron sa buhay natin na darating. ne ver naman akong humiling ng Mr. Yeah. I vee never been contented in my whole life. Pero kung sumigaw ba`ko ng mas malakas. Forever. Give the phone to Czarina. Binagalan ko `yung pagda-drive. Hindi niyo siguro napansin. I smile softly to myself. Oh. Hindi ko rin alam kung bakit nagpe-fade `yun. Meron ng bumisita dito? I hear a child s laughter from a distance. Splitting hairs. next life. Well. He s laughing. 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. may d . better luck next time. I am funny. Merry Christmas! Nagpaparamdam ka ba sa `kin baby JJ? Did you miss mommy? I kneel down. Is happiness really elusive? Hindi ko ginustong mag-asawa ng maaga pero hindi ko rin naman pinangarap na tuma ndang dalaga. Napangiti ako. God must have pitied upon you.
It s been five years I whisper and close my eyes and it all came back to me. Ayokong magpaka-ipokrita. I was praying with all my might that God w ould give me strength to get through this. Hindi ko na kaya. I heard someone scream. One. What was far more hurting than seeing the one you loved walk down the aisle wi th someone not you? Julian August Sunico. Everybody was cheering. Was he also mourning for me? Hindi ko kaya. biting my lower lip `til I almost draw blood. Two. I was doomed to be a spinster forever.. O `yun `yung gusto kong palabasin ngayon. Siya ang nagtata nong. My eyes got misty. alam natin. Bakit ganon n o? Lagi nating sinasabing hindi tayo nag-eexpect pero deep inside. for everything. I almost snorted. My vision was getting blurry. Or did I? I . white hand. Three steps. Gusto kong itanong kay father. They were all staring. Wala bang tututol? Sisigaw ba `ko? I placed a hypocritical smile on my lips. But he was there his hands were inside his jeans pocket. This is for you Jeannie. An overwhelming urge to slap him was building deep inside me. It was all over. At me. CM patted my shoulder. My heart sank to the pit of my stomach. I feel that emptiness again. It was like in slow motion. Tricia was in front of me. She remi nds me of Tantan. I was looking down at the tiled floor. I was going to throw up any minute now. That was the last of my full thoughts. No no t mocking but it was as if he was telling me that everything would be alright. I slowly smiled. Giving me the bouquet of flowers. Nakita ko na lang si Tricia na naglalakad palapit sa`kin. Siya ang na nga ang nanggulat. e xpecting and gaping at us. I wished I was in a time warp. Pe ro pano? I do. So it was really over? The end. Hindi ko alam kung anong nangyayari. Finish. Her eyes are chinky. at t his point I was wishing them the worst. Julian took that particular hand of Tricia s that hand that signified letti ng go while he was looking looking at me. I looked up. Kung tututol ba `ko papakinggan niya `ko? Hindi ba masasayang ang effort ko kung mapapahiya lan g din naman ako? So let s proceed. Kung pwede lang akong sumigaw ng freeze katulad ni Ella. Hindi man ako tumingin alam ko alam ko ng lahat sila sa `kin nakatingin. Nasangga. w e were hoping against hope. Natulak. to have held a child of my own. I wish the doctors are wrong. Now I know what the phrase killing me softly meant. There were a lot of well-wishers. My fate was sealed. the maid smiles tentati vely and take the child s hand. Tumalik od ito.. 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.alaw! The child is holding a doll. She smiled at me. Thank you. I was staring num bly at Jesus Christ. I didn t dare look at everyone or anyone for that matter. ginawa ko na. Kasi nasasaktan ako . 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. do you take this woman. Sino ka? I wince. Ayokong tumingin sa tabi niya. She is thumb sucking. Then a woman came running in uniform. Sana hindi na lang sana Julian was looking at me. But I couldn t set the love free so ea sily. Naku halika na. My hand was trembling as I took the bouquet from her gloved. I wanted to let go of the pain. The corner of his mouth twitched in a lazy smile.
Nothing else. Napatingin si mommy dito. sabi nga ni CM titigan mo lang ng buong araw busog ka na. Define mabait. This time louder with matching ubo pa. I snort. Roy hugs me as he hands me his gift. all in capital letters. 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. ako? Because of just one man? Because of love? . I almost throw it in his face. No not name. Sana Coach bag `yung matagal ko ng inuungot sa kanya. Present. Special child. Kung Titanic ang laman nito paniguradong gagawin ko ta lagang parol si CM. Lang huh? Okay lang. I met him through. At sa sobrang katalin uhan ko dinaig ko pa si Rizal. Okay. He was an event organizer in New York. half-canadian .fainted. he is a handsome and charming man. Goodness. That Five-letter fvcking word. Siguro mabait lang talaga ako. Hindi ko alam kung bakit o kung ano ng nagtutulak sa`king panoorin `yun. The video is blurred at first. well. of course CM. Merry Christmas. Hindi ko alam kung matutuwa ba ako kay CM o ano. CM but in. Czarina comes running with my mom. wala akong tiwala. Somehow I am restless that Christmas day. Hit me on the head. Magpatayo na rin kaya ako ng monument sa Luneta? A t least he died for his country. Stupidass. Sa`kin okay lang `yung trip to Disney land. It was a dvd disk. I almost touch the stop button on the remote co ntrol. Special ka kaya. Parang naparalyze `yung buo kong katawan. Well. Nakaalis na siya? Damn. Sabay tumawang parang demonyo. kunsintidora! CM handed me a box. Hindi ko alam kung bakit gusto niyang magkita kami ngayon. He pouts. I loathe that word. I gasp. Bakit hindi. WALA AKONG TIWALA. Wallet? Necklace? My mind s warming up with all the expensive gifts I can ever have from him. That name. `Yung tawang: Mwahahaha. Na para bang diyan lang sa Star City ang hinihiling nito. dear! I smile at him. I roll my eyes. Knowing CM. But isn t Christmas about giving? And someone told me AND receiving as well? But dammit if CM isn t having his joke time again. I love you tita. As i n. I raised one brow. Well. Epilogue Part Two Wala na po siya. She beams at me and kisses my chee k. Then a face so familiar comes in view. Do n t you know that Christmas had just been a holiday word to me? Entirely foreign. I snort. Merry Christmas! Nakita kong may ibunulong si CM kay Czarina. All I want for Christmas is Jul youuuuuu! Hindi ko siya pinansin. I learn to like him through the years. Good girl. Hija! It s been a long while since you came back C M clears his throat. Just a noun. My eye s twinkle. I m being ungrateful. That Christmas eve we open our gifts. J ean s laughing and kisses her daughter. That morning I wake up and watch that video. Mamamatay ka na ba at ito ang gift mo? O kaya nagh ihirap? Fine. Half-fil.
Sumunod po kayo sa `kin. She s looking up at me And my. Vague. Having my own child. Kundi ba naman nakakatulig `yung pagtili niya. Parang slow motion sa pelikula. You bought my paintings? I start hiccupping. Leviste? I nod. She frowns at me. Sobra. I slowly turn around. It s bittersw eet. I take it and sniff. Syempre sinama ko si CM. salamat aalis na lang Kayo po ba si Ms. Ma am? Napalingon ako. It reminds me of Oh. Damn him Damn he-who-has-no-name. lady won t you talk to me? She pouts prettily. Yuck. `Nu ba `yan Panira ng m oment! The white petal looks familiar. Nanginginig na naman `yu ng mga kamay ko. You know what. Maybe just in anoth er lifetime I d have made him stay. Sige. I cup both her cheeks. my God! Anak ka ng demon Oh. May nag-abot sa`kin ng panyo. 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. Hindi dahil nakalimutan ko n a kundi dahil hindi ko ginustong maalala. You re gross. Lofty thoughts Jeannie Bulong ko sa sarili ko. he can still make your heart beat faster? Naramdaman mo `yung feeling na kahit na pilit mong . I stop cold in my tracks. D addy! There s a woman here! She s a strangeeeeeer! Napapikit ako.God. murm uring love words. There are p ictures portraits I remember vaguely. Who are you? At namaywang pa! Her chinky eyes tur n into slits. no. Three teeth are mi ssing. Have she heard me? Oh. I raise one brow. Kaya nga gusto ko ng pagtakhan si CM. My eyes grow wide as we enter a white room. I ll just wait outside. Hey. My so-called doomsday before. Pictures of me grimacing on our wedding day. I raise one brow at him. Malabo. That was our best time together. I bet she ll shake t he whole house off. if ever. their caretaker. He s on the phone. Something warm tugs at my heart. kikilabutan lang kayo. Cute. Life-size photos of me in Morocco. Hindi ko napigilan ang hindi mapaiyak. God sorry. The hou se is overlooking the Taal Lake. And no doubt obscene ones. Long ago I ask that mys elf. 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. Knowing CM. I close my eyes tight. I take it. Jade! My eyes grow wider. Hindi ko napansin na ako na lang pala mag-isa. My knees become weak. Alam ko matutuwa I mean. He kn ew where. somehow I start hating mysel f. The kid skids away from my grasp. Anak ka ni Mabilis akong napakapit sa muk ha nito. Malamig talaga dito. Those days that I love him. Napalingon ako sa bulilit na katabi ko. wasn t it? Para `kong nanghihina. Napatingin ako sa malaking bahay sa harapan ko. Naramdaman mo na bang kahit anong sakit ang idinulot niya sa`yo. my heart bea t triple time. Masarap s ana kung may kayakap. Those days that I thought I ll hate him forever w hich I m doing a poor job of it. I m looking around the house. My heart constricts just by imagin ing myself having a family. Naiisip ko lang kung pano `y ung next scene. With him. He ll be the Ice breaker. Of course. My eyes get misty I so remember those days. `Wag niyo ng itanong ang mga details . CM tilts his head to one side as if shooing me. Ipinagbilin po kayo ni ma am Tricia. Ma am? Ha? I turn to. I wince. Those days I wish I have again. I suddenly blu sh.
He s more attractive. didn t he? I forget his name. Pero sino bang niloko ko? `Yung kuko ko? Gusto kong magreklamo sa Disney! Bakit pa kasi sila nagpaasa. They open my child s eyes that there is a prince charming. It s the truth. Close. Yes. Galit na nilagpasan ko siya. Not Julian s more like Tricia s.sinasabing wala lang siya sa`yo pero isang tawag lang. Long silence stretched. Pero nakita ko ang pan ginginig ng kamay niya habang hawak ang anak. Eh. L ike he never existed in my whole life. Sana. you ll tell me yes. akala ko kapag hinalikan ni Prince Charming si Snow White okay na . I turn my back on him. bad daw ang magsinungaling! Dapat matuwa ako. Sabi ni mommy. And that he the beast will turn into a handsome prince and he ll give the word foreve r a meaning. Bingi ka ba? I m going. Jeannie she smiles at me. The mature lines on his face tell on the wise years. She pouts a gain. They ll live happily ever after. The video. I count one to ten to stop m yself from shouting at him. My hand stop in midair as a I hear a gasp. Kaya nga nagtataka ako sa sarili ko. I remember the video in my mind s eye. He stares at me for the longest while. That face. Madaling sabihing hindi ko na siya maha l. The little girl bit her nails. And everyone who fell i n love became stupid. Five years gives him just ice. Mabilis akong humarap sa kanya. she s she s the one in your study room! Her picture s Julian covers her daughter s mouth. Sasampalin ko siya. I m not sorry for what I did Jeannie. Or to mock me of what I ve done? Now that you re successful? Hindi ko siya pinansin. Pero mahirap gawin. He s thirty-something now. So yeah. Tumangkad ba siya? Gumwapo? Tumaba? Lalong pumuti? No. I thoug ht it did. Anong kayang sinasabi ni Tri cia? Nakita kong tinignan ng pagkasama-sama sa anak. I tried to. Have a happy life Is that a fvcking curse Jeannie? Do you know you creep under my skin. That somehow Aladdin will whisk me off wit h his magic carpet. Madaling sabihing mag-let go. What are you doing here? And more domineering than ever. I even thought he will run to me and hug me. I frown when the scree . How could I have loved him? Galit na pinunasan ko `yung mga mata ko. Hindi mo pa rin mapigilan ang sarili mong umasa? There s that tiny part of you that says. Biglang tumigil ang pagpatak sana ng luha ko. A four-year old chinita girl. Isa lang. Tisha Jade! I met a pair of chinky eyes. ano pa nga bang ineexpect ko mul a sa kanya? He s still the high and might Julian Sunico. He s expressionless. Tricia s gone. Hindi ako makapaniwala sa mga naririnig ko. Hindi dahil ayoko. idiot don t let go. this is goodbye. You re always good at hurtin g everybody. I ll be over him in no time at Daddy. Full of pain. Kundi ayaw makinig ng puso ko. Bakit ba? Hindi ba dapat ako ang magalit? Anong karapata n niya? I walk to the door. Merry Christmas Jeannette Rose Leviste! She waves her hand. I open the door and smile to myself. I m just sorry I let you go. Agree? He slowly squints. Hindi ako manunumbat. I m thankful now `coz I didn t get to live with you forever. Sunico. Are you here to laugh at me Jeannie? Just a mere whisper. I ll act matured sophisticated. Kahit pangalan mo lang. Do you know the word pain? I guess. Juli He even did more than his fair share of kis sing. T hat will be very horrible Mr. It fades as time goes by. So. Now I guess painful is the best term. Nakalimutan ko she s there. It works. I say instead. Ang hindi matibag-tibag n a lalaki. Nung bata ako. But by God. I can t breathe again. how dare him do that.
Her own. He smiles sadly. They re the happiest years of my life. I m just sorry that I hurt you. or rather our families hastened our engagement. Nakakasama ng lo ob. Tricia she never looks a day sicker than she is. I am now sobbing silently. She had already a bone marrow transplant then. CM knew? Oh. Everyone has. We thought she s already okay. O siya? Dahil nakakangiti pa rin siya sa`kin ng ganon. They want her to have a family. Nangingitim ang ilalim ng mga mata n ito. Anyways. Hindi ko alam kung ako ba? Dahil dapat makaramdam ako ng galit. Five years five long years. God. Grabe! Si Tricia talaga oh. Gusto kong maiyak sa itsura nito. P umangit siya. He nods rapidly. Saka naghihintay na sa`kin si Roy. His hand tightens his hold on his daughter. I blink thrice. He whispers. Para akong napako sa kinatatayuan ko. Oh. She paused. I muffle a gasp. sweet girl. But then knowing that you know it s soo ner. Ang kapal ng mukha ko no? Alam ko sasabihin mo. Ano ba! Tigilan na nga natin `to. queers(halamang dagat) are lovable. I know something is very wron g here. It s like I can hear Tricia saying thank you to me to Ju lian as we went out of the OB that day. Bakit ikaw ang m aiinggit sa`kin Tricia? Nasa `yo `yung gusto ko. Not that I love Julian She raises her hand. he loves me. `Yung parang magkukuhaan kayo ng oxygen sa isa t isa dahil Julian s glare still work. She looks straight at me as if she is really seeing me. Nakakaiyak naman kayo. Fren ch kiss. He s jesting right? Mommy s gone to heaven. I still want to yank that lovely ha ir out of her face which is covered with a bonnet. Considering mayaman si Julia n. I m not sorry I took Julian from you. Jeannie tell him what you feel . Parang nanikip `yung dibdib ko sa sinabi niya. She just wants to live her last years making her family happy. Surely surely I m wrong? She s dying Jeannie. Bakit ba gustong gusto niya `kong sinasaktan? I always thought of her as the kind. Though yes. Parang umitim ang balat nito. CM shrugs. He chuckles to himself. I envy you you have the zest for life Jeannie. I don t know where to start. I even hear d him talking to you Tisha Jade! He s now roaring. She thanked me on her wedding day. She shrugs. Na gust o ko ngang gawin. Goodness. Relief floods through my bloodstream. Ewan ko ba. Para matapos na `tong usapang ito. That. Gays. Kinarga niya ang bata. Am I that selfish? I wish her ill many times in the past? Now what? It s true Jeannie. Na para bang pinapatahimik ako kung ano mang magiging violent reaction ko. She sighs. But not the way he loves you. Ang sama ko ba? My eyes wate r. 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. Bilis na Jean nie! Tricia s happy wherever she is. You can be my mommy ag ain. Naramdaman ko `yung basa sa pisngi ko. That s why She s got Leukemia. Mabilis tinakpan ni Julian ang tenga ng bata. Na para bang hinihiling sa`king unawain ko siya. Do you know she bit her lower lip. Jean came a nd unknowingly. Napalingon ako. Not that sinasabi kong mukha kang pera. But you came mahinang sabi nito. Julian just kiss Jeannie. We have a d ate! He shrieks. That shut him up. Oo. Nang-aasar ba siya? I even salute you when you left him for your dreams. Gone. It was traced way back when yo u entered my life Jeannie. Un til when I came to New York to find you. I can t seem to ta ke it all in. No. I gasp.n zooms in on her face. Living your life knowing that somehow you have a timeline. Tricia s dead? No. Roy is CM s boo. you replaced her. Daddy always looks at your picture when he thought I m not there. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. How long is it daddy? She looks at me. Parang hindi siya hindi naman sa pumangit siya o Oh-kay. baliw na ata ako. She laughs heartily. Natigil `yung muntik kong pagsinga. Back to the present.
Overwhelming joy that I m afraid isn t real. I m sorry. Julian tries to suppress his chuckle. didn t he? I smile. no? Sige ikaw na! Inis kong sabi kay CM. be yourself. He cups my cheeks. The child is amazed. That I ll still miss baby JJ. I m very grateful. Mabilis kong hinawakan ang leeg ni Julian. In God. The doctor said it after I ve had a problem with m y He stares at me. Pain and sadness. French kiss. Both don t know how to cross the distance. You re not as pretty as my mommy. Hmm? I built this house remember that first time? What first time? I ask innocently. That forgettable huh? That day i n the car when you yelled like you wanted m Julian `yung bata! I hiss. Hindi nga ba at a ng bata ay regalo ng Diyos? Damn evil stepmothers to hell. I kiss her on the forehead. Gusto kong isiping umiiyak din siya. I still want to be a part of your life. Wetting it. Para siyang bumata ng ilang taon. CM starts laughing. Oh. I promise Tricia I wo n t be one. Jeannie. But hey. How hard it is. Pe ro wala akong pakialam. Love. There are times that I want you to shut your lovely mouth sweetheart. Well. I don t know about ghos ts or Tricia. Walang reunion na hindi madrama. she s even crushed in between. Julian I m sorry. It doesn t matter. Naningkit ang mga mata nito. CM s giggles are getting louder. I love you He whispers before he bends down. I m sorry. p lease I still don t want to wake up.I glared at him. Thank God reall . He gave love a bad name. He smiles tenderly. Five years. Pakialamero.. The years stretch between us. I nod against his polo shirt. Love is a very frightening thing. Per o walang luha don. . Ang drama ko. I don t just think. Thank God. It s now or never if he can t accept me for what I am about to confess. Just kiss me J ulian. If I m dreaming as cliché as it may seem. But his eyes are glazed. All the pain is swept away. I hiss. `coz I k now how persistent and talkative you are. There will be times that I ll still shout at you I nod. In all that is possible without the eyes really seeing it. . Like we need to breathe each oth er s oxygen. Sumimangot ito. Jeannie ang bagal mo naman kasi pano kayo magkaka Ang dami mong alam eh. I wait for that long overdue kiss. It doesn t matter anymore. I can t bear anymore child Julian. And believe that dreams do come true. Don t ever be afraid to love. Now there s j oy. Nakita ko siyang humakbang palapit. . Just I sigh and smile at Ti sha Jade. I do now. I love you. Emotions kept hidden for so long is written there. But if you believe in it. I ll be your mommy. I think I ll love her. He innocently look s up at the ceiling. I love this freaking insane and mad guy with all my heart. He suddenly pulls me into an embrace that robs me of my breath. Naramdaman ko na lang `yung sarili kong mga paa na na glalakad din. Talaga naman.
we had somethin he think his ex uncle Jin ñ . I start laughing.196622.php/topic.360.ovari Uncle Jin Passenger seat. mommy. This is our wedding night Hey.com/teentalk/index.com/teentalk/index.com/teentalk/index.php/topic.196622.html driver seat http://www. promising a one hundred and one pleasu res in life and in the next lifetimes. Pero hindi pa rin niya alam `yun? Shhh.msg5452895. The nice? guys are ugly. What now? He smiles at me and whispers: Hindi ako marunong manligaw.html http://www.candymag. Hearing her like I did through that v ideo early this morning.196622. Only.com/teentalk/index. http://www. you did me a favor. Nakagawa na kami ng bata noon.html#msg54528 95 CC link Splitting Hairs.196622.html http://www.com/teentalk/index.php/topic.php/topic.285. Uh nothing.html g http://www. you re pressing too close! I can t breathe! I close my eyes in frustration as I look at her chinky eyes.candymag. the hot guys are jerks. Nag-asawa siya. It s This is meant for you. and the hot-and-nice guys are g ay.405.php/topic. Hap py Ending na. Oh. Bitin.360. What a we dding night.candymag. will will you No.196622. It s a long time coming do me a favor? you know. I can feel it Ito na.y. I have a gift for you Jeannie.html http://www. Jeannie? I close my eyes and groan.com/teentalk/index. What! Inis kong sabi.php/topic.196622. Oh.html uterus--.com/teentalk/index. Naghiwalay. Tricia.html es http://www. I hope. Until he kisses me it s as if I can still hear Tricia s last words.540.435. I close my eyes again.candymag. Merry Christmas! He murmurs with no one in particular.candymag. Thank Jesus. I smile to myself as I hug Julian close to mysel f. Akala in niyo `yun.196622. how I love him.196622. http://www.candymag. I close my eyes and wait wait.php/topic. Natupad ko mga pangarap ko.php/topic. It s just that Tricia and I never lived here.com/teentalk/index.candymag. well.465. Julian grins at me and wink.candymag.
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