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