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