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Nung bata pa kami. But now is very much different! Kahit na ba iisa kami ng mukh a. Kahit na ba aminado `kong pareho kaming maganda. I never thought that I would wake up one day and be Jean Rose forever! Sabi nga ni Bea Alonzo sa movie na Sa `yo lamang kaya kong lahat `wag lang `to. So mething like that. At lalong hindi ko kayang maghimala! I can t be Mama Mary! Hind i ko kayang maghimala Hindi ba nila alam na hindi ako Immaculate Concepcion? Hind i ako santa. So I think, kahit anong hiling ko kay God ay hindi ako lililiman ng kung anumang espiritu. Mrs. Sunico? I flinch. I look up to see all their eyes on me. I am not Mrs. Sunico! Gusto ko `yong isigaw. Handa na `kong tumakbo. Kung hindi ko pipirmahan `yun marriage cer tificate eh di walang legal na kasal. Ganon lang kasimple. The paper looks like a snake ready to jump on me. Napaatras ako. Bahala na si Julian? I bumped into him. Ang likod ko ay lumapat sa dibdib niya. He was there al l along. He smiled at me. And I ll tell you. It wasn t a smile. It was more of a gri mace. I couldn t meet his eyes. Mabilis akong humarap sa taong nagpapapirma sa `ki n ng marriage certificate. My feet are frozen on the ground. I feel my back pres sed against his hard muscled chest. Lumakad siya which tugged me along him. His strong arms surrounded me all of a sudden. Kinuha niya ang ballpen at inilagay s a mga kamay ko. Napatingala ako. Wrong move. His brown chinito eyes sought mine. Bumaba ang ulo niya at tumapat halos ang bib ig niya sa gilid ng bibig ko. Biglang napahawak ako ng mahigpit sa ballpen at na papirma ng wala sa oras. Pinirma ko ang initials since pareho kami ng initials n a JR Leviste. That s my girl. I thought I am going to faint any minute now. Malamang na sa tingin ng ibang tao ay sweet na sweet kaming magkayakap. Little did they know that this big brute i s threatening me to sign this damned document that will bind us forever. Kiss! Kiss! No! My mind is screaming. My heart is racing. Forever. Marriage. And this is one of those ahm. Sh!t. Sh!t. Smile sweetie. And we ll give them the show they ve all been waiting for. He tilted my chin up. Sa gilid ng mga mata ko ay nakita ko ang pag-iyak ni mommy. Gusto kong sumigaw. Gusto kong sabihin sa kanyang dapat ako ang umiiyak at hindi siya. Isn t she happy? I become the good daughter they want me to be. All my life, I d been t he black sheep. At minsan na nga lang akong nag-attempt sumunod. Pumalpak pa! Jules I think this is not a good ide Don t call me that. Galit na sabi nito. Just because of that? He wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled me tighter. He pinched my waist n ot-so-gently. I yelped. Lumapit ang mukha niya sa `kin. As in, malapit na malapi t. My eyes grew wide. Stop acting the naïve little virgin darling The sarcasm wasn t lost on me. He whispered that almost to my mouth considering he was only an inch or two away from me. Isn t it late for that? Mabagal ata ang pagpafunction ng brain cells ko. At hindi ko nakuha ang ibig niy ang sabihin. Bakit Virgin pa naman ako tal Pumikit agad ako ng makita kong pababa na `yung mukha niya. This isn t my first ti me to be kissed. But this was the first time I would be kissed by someone I am n ot in love with. May napakalaking difference `yun! It seemed like a lifetime.
I opened my eyes. Tapos na ba? `Yun agad ang unang nag-register sa isip ko. But what amazed me was that I was already looking to Julian s back. At nakikipagkamay na ito sa mga guests. Parang biglang namula `yung pisngi ko. He didn t kiss me!
Ano? Tatayo ka na lang ba dyan? Magsasalita sana ako. Lumapit ito at hinila ang braso ko. Naiinis na ko ha. Juli an Sunico is anything but gentleman! Kung totoo man ang sinabi nito na pinikot i to ng kapatid niya pwes bakit nag-ala runaway bride din ito sa mismong araw ng k asal nito? Sa tingin mo ba pinikot talaga kita? Inis kong sabi habang pilit hinihila ang bras o ko sa kamay niya. He looked at me from head to foot. At ang response niya? He dragged me all the m ore. Pano kung nagustuhan mo naman? I know I m pushing my luck. Wala akong idea kung anon g nangyari bago ang kasal na ito. Sino ba? Mommy woke me up two days ago in my N ew York boarding house just to tell me that, Jeannie honey, two days from now you r e going to get married! Wow. Ganon lang. Parang nag-announce lang siya na-late na ko for school. We stopped from walking. Mommy, I think we re going to push through our honeymoon. Kayo na pong bahala sa rec eption. Mrs. Sunico, Julian s mother smiled at me and hugged me. Nakahinga ako ng maluwag ng bitiwan nito ang braso ko. Habang niyakap ako ng mama niya ay kitang kita ko ang warning sa mga mata niya. Hija, please take care of him. Pagpasensyahan mo na kung minsa y may tantrums si Ju lian. Please since you re going to be a mother. Please take care of them both. Hind i mo lang alam how you made me happy. I was overwhelmed with guilt. Walang baby! Gusto ko na ring makiiyak sa mommy ni to. Bago pa man ako makapagsalita ay hinila niya na ulit ako sa braso. Juli an I winc ed. Magiging masaya ka sa kanya. I doubt it. Pano ko magiging masaya sa isang taong ngayon ko lang nakita? On my wedding day. Of course mom, he kissed her on the cheek. Hindi na kasi kami makapaghintay. We hav en t had a proper honeymoon, you know. Ngumiti ito. At hindi ko gusto ang ngiti nit ong iyon. Parang mas lalo akong kinabahan. Julian let s talk. I stopped him on the way. Pero parang wala itong naririnig. If he dislike this marriage as much as I do. Why didn t he object? Dahil ba sa baby ni Jea n? Pero bakit ito umalis? Why didn t my mother tell me about this whole stuff? Pwede ba! Sumakay ka na nga lang. Bigla akong natakot sa biglaan niyang pagsigaw. Napaupo ako sa passenger seat ng wala sa oras. He drove off for about fifteen mi nutes. The silence stretched on between us. Tumalon kaya ako palabas ng kotse? T apos palabasin kong nalaglag ang baby? Pero pano kung mamatay naman ako? HINDI PW EDE. Ipagtapat ko sa kanya! Yes. That was it. Julian I ll tell you something Hindi ko napansin na nasa tapat na pala kami ng isang malaking gate. Must have b een their mansion. He glanced at me boringly. Na para bang wala siyang pakialam kung ano man iyon. About this marriage about the baby Don t tell me that the baby isn t real because I ll surely wring your neck. I might kil l you, you know. I looked him in the eye. He isn t joking! Ganon mo ba kahalaga `yung baby?... Hindi ba dahil mahal mo `ko? Sa pagkagulat ko ay bigla itong tumawa. He moved forward. Ang isang kamay niya a y humawak sa pisngi ko. I bit my lower lip. His nearness was causing my heart to palpitate at a not so normal pace. Dahil kinakabahan lang siguro ako. Dahil dahi l Bumaba iyon hanggang sa palapulsuhan ng leeg ko. His one hand wrapped around my n eck. My eyes grew wide. You ruined my future Jean. And I m going to make you regret the day you trapped me into this. Pinakawalan niya ko. I tried catching my breath. Bumaba ito ng kotse a t ibinaba lahat ng gamit ko, tatlong malaking suitcase at isang bag. `Pag baba k o ay nakatingin lang siya sa `kin. Dalin mo `yung gamit mo.
Ano?! Napatingin ako sa mga gamit ko. Hindi siya ganon kasama para gawin sa `kin `to. Ginagawa na niya. He s dead serious. He s going to make my life a living hell! Julian! He didn t turn around. Pero at least tumigil ito sa paglalakad. Oh Lord. I m sorry. Alam kong madadagdagan na naman `yung kasalanan ko. But this w asn t my entire fault! Gusto mo bang makunan ako?
TWO Hindi na `ko magtataka kung bakit nag-ala Julia Roberts `yung kakambal ko. Anywa y, I remembered specifically that Runaway Bride was her favorite movie. Had she thought for the first time that this Julian was a prince charming? LOL. I couldn t blame her. He is every woman s wicked fantasy. Though I was never particular with tsinitos, sige na nga since uso naman `yun ngayon. He was of a Chinese descent. Mayaman(sa hirap ba naman ng buhay ngayon, that s on top of my list ever) gwapo ( in fairness, my twin s got a taste), muy simpatico antipatiko `kamo. At ngayong na-realize niyang mas masahol pa kay Beast ang ugali nito ay umalis n a lang ito basta? On a serious basis, I knew deep down that she wouldn t do it. Un less may napakabigat siyang dinadala. `Yung baby! I sighed. Patihayang humiga ako sa kama habang ang mga binti ko ay nakasayad pa rin sa sahig. I could live like a princess here with the Beast. Unti-unti na `kon g hinihila ng antok. Then the door slammed open. LOUDLY. I groaned inwardly. I opened one good eye. Hindi ka ba marunong kumatok? Nakakainis. Wala ba itong natutunan sa GMRC? He didn t even look at me. Believe me , bigla akong nagising sa sunod niyang ginawa. Tinanggal niya ang necktie niya t apos ay inisa-isa ang mga butones ng polo niya. Bakit ako kakatok sa sarili kong kwarto? Lumingon ako bigla sa queen sized bed. Sh!t. Sh!t. Double sh!t. Jules surely you don t mean to Oh, I mean to. No! Papatayin na ba siya nito sa unang gabi ng kasal nila? I gnawed the inside o f my right cheek as I looked at him. He was already jerking his pants off! Damn. My brain wasn t functioning well. When he was standing very proud in front of me clad with his jockey, lo and behold! He should have he should have been a ramp mod el instead. He stared pointedly at me. Then reality dawned on me at once. This wasn t any of J ean Rose s pranks anymore. You re serious. I whispered. Lumapit ito sa kama paharap sa `kin. At itinukod ang dalawang kamay sa gilid ng mga hita ko. Our faces were in ches away from each other. Para `kong maso-suffocate na hindi maintindihan. I co uld smell his masculine scent mingled with perfume. Bakit ba hindi nakikisama an g mga senses ko! Are you forgetting wife? That this is our honeymoon night. Napalunok ako. His chinito eyes turned into slits. I m pregnant. Sabay kaming napatin gin sa tiyan ko. Naalala ko ang mommy noon kapag nagsisinungaling kami ni Jean, m agkakatotoo daw ang kung ano mang pinagsisinungalingan namin . Hindi naman siguro. Exactly. I couldn t get you any more pregnant than you are now. Saka stop acting as if you don t want this. Three months ago, halos ipagsiksikan mo sa `kin ang sarili
I licked my lower lip. Ahm a three days. Ah. I was keeping my fingers crossed. Specifically a very estranged and angry husband and here I was supposed to be pregnant. How many days? He brushed his hand roughly through his hair. So what game is this? Get into my bed and then play the pakipot later? I promise you. Sa pagkakaalam ko walang pikot na hindi planado. nagkakapatong patong na ang mga kasinungalingan ko. Umusod u lit siya. He frowned at me. Galit itong humiga. You are crying. I couldn t help it. Obvious na tinatanong pa. Jean Rose isn t a crybaby. So what s this grand scheme? Tignan mo `tong lalaking `to. Me ron kasi `ko. I felt his hard naked chest against m y back when he tried to peek above my shoulder. Nara mdaman ko ang paghawak niya sa balikat ko. in bed with a stranger whom I had just met a few hours ago. Yeah. Then I f elt tears brimming down the side of my face. Parang bigla ng nagkaroon ng tenderness sa boses nito. blessing in disguise din naman pala. I m sorry. But some part of me still wanted to hear the conf irmation. Isang malakas na hikbi ang hindi ko napigilan. Pero lumapat lang ang mga kamay ko sa malapad niy ang dibdib. I thought my monthly flow was a curse. Hindi ito makulit.mo. I was alone inside a big mansion. Pinipilit kong pakalmahin ang mga hikbi k o. He slid his hands and fisted my hair. I sighed in relief. Naaw ardan pa nga ako nung high school na best actress nung gumanap akong Sisa sa Nol i. Pero lalo lang akong naiyak. In this position. Hindi na nga almost eh. I shook my head. Yeah. Fine. I am. I felt so alone and vulnerable. Nasan na ang kakambal ko? Bakit ako ang n agdudusa sa kasalanang `di ko ginawa? Alam ko namang magaling akong umarte. Nagbibilang ba si San Pedro ng penalty? A we ek. kung bumubuga lang ng apoy ang mga mata ng tao baka nasunog na `ko ni Juli an. How was tha t for a Shakespearean play? Masyadong tragic ang buhay ko. Juli an! ahhhh I moaned and twisted. Tumagilid ako patalikod sa kanya ng inakala kong hindi na siya sasagot. The situation wa s worst than I had expected. we were almost in timately embracing. Sasabihin mong either sipon lang `yan o napuwing ka lang. He didn t give even a nary compassion toward me. Kung kaya t it was very much out of Jean Ros e s league to do something as pikot . But in shock. Didn t he know what he s doing to my senses ? His thumb brushed the moisture on my cheeks. O baka imagination ko lang `yon. Gusto kong sabihin iyon sa kanya on my twin s behalf. He still didn t move from behind me. Well Julian? Humiga na din ako sa pinakagilid ng malaking kama. Kailan ba hindi sinadya ang pikot? Sige nga sabihin niyo sa `kin. Matulog ka na. I winced. Not in pain. It is still spelled the same R-A-P-E. Natatakot na talaga ko. Hindi ko sinasadya. nakalimutan ko Pregnant women don t bleed. Para iyong 1+ 1=2. He si ghed. And he also moved along with me! Umusod ulit ako. Silent tears turned into muffled sobs. Pe ro para ko na rin niloko ang sarili ko. Do you hate me? I whispered again. Kahit ba sabihin mong gwapo ang mangre-rape sa `yo. Nakahinga ako ng maluwag ng itulak niya `ko palayo. Yes. Mabilis akong umisod palayo sa kanya papunta sa gilid ko. Niyakap kong mahigpit ang unan upang patahimikin an g paghikbi ko. Napahiga na lang ako sa kama . Why do you hate me so much? Gusto kong matawa sa sarili kong tanong. Onti nalang talaga mauubos na pasensya ko. Dyos ko po. Silence. He stilled against me. What the hell is the matter with you? Ang laki laki ng kama dyan ka nagsusumiksik . Juli an I tried to push him off me. Are you crying? Kung umiiyak ako may paki ka ba? No. Samantalang hindi ako titig il ng hindi ko nakukuha ang gusto ko.
and my twin. Natulig ako ng biglang bumagsak ang tasa ng kape nito sa platito. Didn t Eskimos kiss like that? Matulog ka na. Maaga `kong mababaliw sa bahay na `to. `Pag baba ko ay nag-aalmusal na ang prinsipe sa lanai. I waved my hand at her in dismissal. Para `kong invisible na hindi niya nakita. Hang in lang ako. Our noses touched. Itinuloy mo pa rin pala ang balak. Isang babae t lalaki. Where the hell are the telephones here? Ano `to mansyon na walang telepono? Ma am. When a car automatically stopped in front of me. Uuwi ako sa bahay mamaya may hihingin sana akong pabor. Where s the telephone? I didn t want to sound stupid. Jean! I was so worried about you. Sana naisip mo `yan when you and your family blackmailed me into this marriage. Me. I would think first of myself. So I wouldn t think about him. At take note: he didn t even bother to pull out the chair for me. I woke up late in the morning. Eh ma am sabi po ni sir `wag daw po kayong pagamitin ng telepono. SANA WAL A. Pat i ba naman cellphone ko hindi pa nakisama? Naiwan pa. I thought women are the only ones who are fickle-minded. Ngumiti ako and said a tha nk you prayer to my maker. Mabilis akong umakyat at hinagilap ang cellphone sa bag ko. Napasabunot ako sa buhok ko. what s a scandal with the Sunicos right? I saw the muscles on his jaw flexed. Inis na humarap ako sa kanya. Galit na tumayo ako at hinabol siya. I smiled sweetly at him. Good morning Jules! I take it you had a good night sleep? Deadma. Siya nga pala. No one pacified me. If I were pregnant you could h ave at least supported me financially. I dressed hu rriedly and quickly got out. 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. Malamang sa mga araw na `yon mahahanap ko na ang magaling kong kakambal. If he did. He was reall y hell-bent on making my life miserable. Oh-kay. Mabilis na humarap ak o sa kanya. I couldn t believe it. You re not going to see your family. I cou ld have misheard him. They wouldn t do it. Sa pagkakaalam ko hindi ko talaga sinadya na magka tapat `yung mukha namin. just as well. Hindi ako makapaniwala sa narinig ko. He was staring at me stonily. Maglalakad na lang ak o palabas ng subdivision para maghanap ng taxi. My eyes grew wide at the implication of his words. you know. Hangin. may hinahanap po ba kayo? I smiled brightly at the maid.. 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. Sabay bigla `kong naalala ang sitwasyon ko. Mabilis akong bumaba at na ghanap ng telephone. Balak?! . `Yun lang. I gritted my teeth. Not to mention that the house was so big you could get lost. Ang laki nga ng kama dikit ka naman ng dikit. An yway. ANO?! Is he serious? Never mind. The food was forgotten. The woman hug ged me. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung masira a ng isa kong ngipin. Hindi dahil pina hiran niya ang luha mo okay na Jeannie. Matagal ng binaril si Rizal sa Luneta at wala akong balak sumu nod sa yapak niya. I didn t care who heard it. I was ready to weep. Unless you re with me. I closed my eyes. myself and I. I screamed my frustration within the fo ur walls of the mansion. Inis na lumayo ito at tumalikod. I don t care anymore kung mukha man ak ong peso sign. Humihingal sa galit na sabi ko ng matapos a ng speech ko. Not Jean Rose. Sinigawan niya ko! I thought we were okay. Gusto kong umuwi sa `min sa duration ng honeymoon natin tutal naman hindi mo pa ` ko kailangan. Dahil hindi ko na alam kung anong magagawa ko. He stood up an d cleaned his mouth with the napkin. Ako ang asawa pero wala akong alam. Mabilis a kong bumangon at ginawa ang morning routines ko. Nang sa tingin ko ay kumalma na `ko ay lumakad ako sa front porch. I said airily while I was putting butter on the toast. Hindi ako martir. Just as well. Wala naman p umigil sa `kin ng nagtuloy tuloy na `kong lumabas ng gate.
Naguluhan ak o bigla. Maybe I m just splitting hairs. Wala sa loob kong nasabi. My eyes grew wide. ROAR. I could feel my hands shaking. Pwede pa natin `yun tamain. Kutis-mayaman kaya ako.Lumapit ang lalaki. Ay. Home. maybe I could get some facts about my twin s whereabouts. Fe eling ko para `kong nagka-amnesia. Sumakay ka na. Jean Rose I know I ve made a mistake. I saw the emotions in his eyes. Sabi nila nagpapakatanga ako sa course ko: Fine Arts. Nagpatangay na lang ako ng bigla akong hi nila ng babae. For the first time I was very much speechless! Have I heard it wrong? Run away run away in tagalog tan an! Blessed Virgin Mary. I slowly looked sideways an d saw the blatant anger in his eyes. Then I realized I don t know the man s name! You cannot mean this Jean. I gnawed at my lower lip. His eyes were like challenging me to do just that. And boy. Pero hawak hawak pa rin ako ng lalaki. A nd then one hand grabbed my other arm from the side. And ne ver to be Jeannette Rose. Mrs. they were proud to say in the least na. Run away with me Napalunok ako. Naging Sunico ka lang Jean? He frowned at my reaction. `yung bunso kong anak she stays in N ew York . He encircled his arm around my waist i n a possessive manner. Okay. Not that I was caught red-han ded. As in. Siguro kung sa ibang pagkakataon baka kinilig pa `ko. I opened my mouth to say his name. And what amazed me most was he embraced me! I missed you love so much. ah. And they would stop comparing me to Jean Rose. And three years drew us apart. Something Jean Rose would do. Tell. Minsan lang naman akong pag-agawan ng ganito. I closed my eyes in frustration. THREE We aren t rich. Ahmm . Someone who could break it off with your own boyfriend in proxy kung hindi mo kaya. pero parang lalong natuyot ang lalamunan ko. Bulong. please kung nanaginip man ako `wag mo po muna akong gisingin. Well. To. Jean Rose Sunico! I stopped dead in my tracks. Ang sarap tignan ng may kakambal. Jean Rose Sunico! I heard that one again. My heart went out to my sister and him. I mean please wake me up. Oh no. may papalit sa `yo kapag absent ka sa clas s. Bumaling ako sa lalaki. . There would surely be bruises later. Julian deliberately whispered the words to me. Or maybe becau se I didn t want to be in my sister s shadow any more. Him. Nagulat ako ng biglang hinawakan ako ng lalaki sa braso. You love me. But don t they already know that we only have one face. Naramdaman ko ang pagdiin ng pagkakahawak ni Julian sa braso ko . Julian tried to tug my hand. Go. Then I felt the emanating anger from the other side. Oo. Ano ba t alaga ang nangyari? Lalo akong naguguluhan. Pe ro rinig ko ang dagundong `non sa tenga ko. But every time they asked my parents where school I go to? I think . Para kasing nilagyan lang nila `k o ng nette pero sa totoo lang it was as if they wanted me to be Jean Rose. And it ends there. Masarap namang pakinggan eh. fine w hile my sister is good with figures. I became the blacksheep three years ago when I accepted the scholarship in New Yo rk University. My eyes grew wide when he cupped my face up. PERIOD. Julian I Hinila niya `ko bigla sa tabi niya. It was like Oh my God. Nakalimutan mo na ba `ko? Hindi kita nakalimutan! Hindi lang talaga kita kilala. Let s go. but I wish they would be more proud of me. The beast roar.
he didn t turn around. NO! Mabilis akong tumakbo papunta sa pinto. I didn t ask for any of this. Lumabas ito. Gigil na hinarap niya `ko. If you don t want to be sitting in jail. lalaki siya.Leave my wife alone Brad. We went upstairs while he was still holding my arm tightly. He was dangerously gorgeous. He tilted my ch in up and looked me angrily in the eye. because he would surely int imidate you. My hands turned into tight fists and started banging the door. Bigla nitong binitawan ang mukha ko. Julian! Galit na pinihit pihit ko iy on. no. damn him! hind i niya `ko totoong asawa at wala siyang karapatang gawin sa `kin `to. Julian As usual. Pero may reluctant bang namikot? He did turn around. Hindi naman a ko buntis pero nagiging iyakin na `ko. And boy. wasn t he handsome in his thr ee-piece suit. Naiiyak na napatingin ako doon. Julian you re hurting me! Halos kaladkarin niya na `ko papasok ng mansyon. Then I started really crying. Bago pa ako makapag-react ay hinawakan na ng mahigpit ni Julian ang mga braso ko . Kaya t-a-n-g-a nga daw ako sa bi ng mga magulang ko. I never asked for a wonderful love story. I ll come back for you Jean! Then the woman dragged him inside the car. Kung ang iba ay humihiling na makapangasawa ng mayaman. Bigla niya `kong ibi nalandra sa kama. That was it. Hindi ko alam kung bakit bakit ganon `yung mga mata niya nung sinabi niya iyon. Pe ro teka. In the second place. si Jean Rose. He rolled his e yes in disgust. I don t take to infidelity lightly. Julian! Buksan mo `to! I m your dear wife! Julian ano ba! Open t his damned door! Surely he wasn t that kind of a monster? Napadausdos ako sa aubusson carpet at napa sandal sa pinto ng sa tingin ko ay hopeless case na talaga. Hindi kaya dininig ako ni God? Diyos ko ` wag naman. Lumingon ulit ito. Ako hindi. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. Naiisip ko pa lang kung anong gagawin niya sa `kin ay nanlalamig na ang mga kamay ko. His fists were clenched. I couldn t term him just handsome. Tinignan ko ang mala ki at magarang silid. Lumakad na ito palabas. He tilted his head to the other side in question. my dear wife. Sh!t. Then I heard the click on the other side of the door. That is all I asked of you. Women s ultimate weapon: Tears. bakit naman siya magagalit? In the first place. W-what if I still love Brad. Leave Brad let s go Sabi dito ng babae. Na par a bang nasasaktan siya. After all. Hindi ko ma-imagine ang sarili ko: blessed virgin Jeannette. And I was living a lie after all. 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. Because I m sure she was a reluctant bride. My eyes grew wide. Please Brad. Get dressed. that must have caused millions. I s lowly tried to catch my breath to stop from screaming at him. eyes were the windows of the soul. Honesty. Parang mas lalo akong natakot doon. All my daydreams flew out of the window when he towered over me. Nanlamig ang mga kamay ko. Suplado naman! May K naman kasi siyang magsuplado. Kung ang iba sa ed ad ko ay humihiling ng prince charming. I felt tears threatening to erupt again. And men s ego is sometimes bigger than their brains. I wa s afraid he would see through the lies written in my eyes. Bakit? Had someone hurt him? Betrayed him? Minutes passed by. Inis na tinabig ko ang kamay niya. Mula sa lamp shade hanggang sa china vase. Nasira lang ang drama ko. The corner of his mouth twisted in a mockin g smile. Honesty. And and we we both know that you don t want this marriage? Bakit hindi mo na ako pakawalan? I mean. he isn t in love with me! So bakit siya magagalit well. Si Julian `yung tipo ng lalaking hindi mo titilian. I only wanted to establish myself on my . And I just wished he didn t! Hindi ko alam kung paano pa nagig ing lalong singkit ang mga mata niya sa galit. Ako hindi. I sighed in relief when they walked away. Parang gusto kong lumubog sa pagkakaupo ko sa kama habang malapit na malapit ang mukha niya sa `kin.
Matangkad ito. Isang napak alaking akala. 5 3 na nga sige na. He cupped my ch eek and looked at me for a very long time. Anim He looked up then. We were still in the middle of th e pool.own as a famous artist. Manang pakilagay na po dyan `yung juice. Dun sa hindi ako matetempt. Sige na Mag-isa siya! I smiled at her. I fell into a deep slumber after exhausting mysel f from crying. I had no choice. I screamed when my foot stepped on nothing but water! I was in a deep end of the swimming pool. may mga pand esal siya sa tyan. At sa maniwala man kayo o hindi. I thought it was only termed with women. nakakahiya mang aminin 6 1 siya at 5 2 ½ lang ako. And Jean Rose caught my hand. I hate you Julian Sunico! I hate you to the deepest part of the earth Sana binabangungot lang ako. `Yung katiwala din. kahit nga ba talentadong pinoy siya. alam ko nagblush talaga ako. I c onceded. I screamed my way to the surface. Oo. what Julian wants. I wasn t entirely looking at him. Feeling ko. But the sight before me froze me on the ground. Hindi ko alam pero `pag upo ko ay dumulas ang kumot mula sa dibdib ko. I gritted my teeth in an ger. Nasa harap na ako ng swimming pool. I was gulping down a mouthful o f water. Julian gets. I was eight again. Mabilis kong hinawi ang glass door pa tungong terrace. Julian is in every way sexy. Kaya nga ba hindi ko naging idol si Rizal eh. Julian was here! I t hrew my arms around his neck and clung to him. Padabog na sumunod ako sa katulong. I heard splashes of water from outside. His muscled back was rippling with water as his stroke became faster. A hand grabbed my waist. I tasted the tears mingled with the c hlorine. Must have stood almost a foot taller than me. I tugged her along and sec retly took the boat to explore the lake. I woke up late. 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. And then I would wake up later and find myself in t he boarding house in New York. Promise. I didn t know. Mabilis akong pumasok sa loob ng kwarto. Mula sa likod nito ay lumabas si Mang Pio. Toward me. Ma am siya nga po pala. Siguro y napagod na pumunta ito sa railing at umakyat. He was standing on the edge of the swimming pool clad with only his swimming sinfully black trunks. And I was still here. As in. para itong kumunoy na kakainin ako ano mang oras. Dahil sa `kin kaya nangyari `to. At ah. Sumabay na daw po kayong maghapunan sa kanya. Tumingin ako sa kabilang side. Jean! Nagmulat ako ng mga mata at umubo. Hindi na naka-lock! Ma am pinapatawag daw po kayo ni sir. . Si Amorsolo. Then the dog came running. Lumaya s lang ba talaga siya? Hindi niya mabilang kung isang oras na ata akong umiiyak. I sucked in my breath. Paatras na ako ng paatras. Papanhikin daw po kayo ni sir kung hindi kayo bababa. Sana sana pipikit pa lang ako ng mapansin kong may lumalangoy sa foot-shaped swimmin g pool. Ano ba talagang nangyari sa kapatid ko? Why didn t I feel anything? Sabi nila may link ang mga kambal. Hindi ko pinangarap maging si Cinderella. G usto kong maging si Juan Luna. T apos biglang bumukas `yung pinto. I looked around me. She was crying and did n t want to let me go. my heart beat triple time. Ouc h. Then flashes of yesterday came through my mind. Bilog ang buwan. I kn ow I must have shouted Julian s name. gabi na. I curled into a fetal position on the huge soft bed. Parang naiiyak na naman ako. I saw his broad shoulders and arms flexed with his ev ery move. I didn t want to be appreciated only after my death. Alam ko. Please please don t let me die yet. I didn t know where the German shepherd dog had come from. Nasa teritoryo `ko ng kaaway. Nanlaki ang mga mata ko. Dapat dapat bumalik na lang ako bigla sa kwarto ko. Jean! Jean! A voice whispered in my ear. Kinurot ko ang sarili ko. Julian please don t leave me I whispered frantically against his neck. I didn t remember covering myself I frowne d. Nagbabakasyon kami noon sa lake house n g Aunt Lara namin. Dun sa my eyes grew wi de. And b oy.
Sa p ag-aagawan namin ay nahulog ang sketch pad ko. My breasts were flat tened against his hard chest. Alam mo `yun naiilang ako sa titi g niya. I bit my lower lip when he looked at me closely. Naiiyak na pinilit kong abutin isa isa kahit basa na. I m ten but not entirely stupid. Gume wang gewang ang bangka. Ayoko. Kung ayaw mo bahala ka! Natanggal ko na ang tali ng bangka. Wala talaga siyang kunsiderasyon! `Pag namatay talaga ako. Ito ang taong kahit hindi bagong gising masamang biruin. Kung meron man well. Na para bang titig na nagnanasa dududa. Gusto kong sakalin ang kapatid ko n g mga sandaling iyon. Sa katulad ni Julian na perfectionist malamang na kasalana n ang `di marunong lumangoy. overrrrr. Mabilis nitong inagaw ang sagwan. Anyway sino bang may sabing sumama siya? Jeannie ano ba! Ano? Inis kong sabi habang ginuguhit ang papalubog na sikat ng araw. As in over. Siya ang unang un a kong mumultuhin. Both of my thighs wrapped around his body on its own accord. Pagabi na. I ngos ko sa kanya. Hindi kita pinilit ha. Hindi ko siya pinansin. Sinimangutan ko siya. FOUR Jeannie! Kasi baka I looked back at her. I rolled my eyes heave nward. I am. I froze in his arms. Our eyes met. I was just shocked by your big dog. Jean Rose screamed. Sa totoo lang Jea n was never the evil twin sister. I said airily. Jeannie nasan na tayo? Bakit parang palayo na tayo ng palayo? She bit her lower lip . At hindi ko kasalanan `yun! Siya kaya lunurin ko. wala pala. Pero bigla niya `kong pinakawalan. As if he were my lifeline. I was amazed with its reflection on the water. Oh my God. . Pero kasi Jeannie baka Isasagwan ko na sana ang bangka ng tumuntong na din siya. She became a champion in swimming competitions while I nev er learned. `Yan ang madalas na ipanakot sa `kin ni Aunt Lara. I smiled at myself and took my sketch pad with me. Well. And oh Lor d the tree was getting hard all over. Jul ian I wrapped my arms around his neck. Tignan mo ginawa mo! Naiiyak na sab i ko habang lumulutang lutang ang mga papel. Jean Rose scowled at me and didn t say a word. Seriously she had always been there for me. There were mermaids in the la ke. He said that silently. Damn. Para akong unggoy na nakabitin sa puno. He said silently. Jeannie! Bumalik na tayo. Sa isang iglap ay tumagilid ang bang ka at sabay kaming bumagsak. Rubbish. We were both screaming flailing And it was all my fault. Jean Rose overcame her fear by learning how to swim. You re supposed to be a swimmer. And sh e was very good at it. Syempre ako na lang `yung natitirang kapatid no. My eyes grew wi de. You would be more shocked by my big Dog? Gusto ko sanang magbiro. Yep .Ano bang nangyayari sa`yo? You re a swimmer. As if naman.
Mag-aangilan lang kami. His head came down down down. o kaya ay wala lang ang mga katulong doon ay baka nilunod na `ko ni Julian. that voice of his it was like he had just woken up from a night of debauchery. feeling ko nagkulay mansanas ako. bata pa `ko. It was now or never. My creamy white shoulders were very much visible. I licked my lower lip nervously. experienced dr owning before. I m not supposed to be who I am now. Lalo a kong napayakap sa kanya. Jules I have something to tell you. The hell with the consequences. Siya ang gumawa ikaw ang umaako? You big stupid moron! Tama ito. Hindi ko alam kung dahil sa naudlot na o dahil sa alam niya na `yung sasabihin ko. Siya `yung `yung magaling lumangoy. Siguro hindi naman magagalit si Jean Rose kung kahit isa lang. Ganyan ka ba talaga? Kung anong gusto mo `yun ang nakukuha mo? Without caring about others feelings? Ano kaya nararamdaman ng kapat id mo? Siya ang gumawa ikaw ang umaako? I should have said Hallelujah. Bastos talag a. Ang mahalaga hindi siya nagalit Jea nnie! I tried telling you Ikaw ang Hindi maganda ang panloloko Jean. Why not? He said huskily. I blinked thrice. Had he forgiven me? Hindi siya galit? You should have told me sooner. Goodness. Thank God for the two-inch stilettos. From the start. I whispered stupidly with lack of anything to say. Nagsasalubong na naman `yung mga kilay nito. Isa lang. Giniginaw na `ko pero isang towel lang ang nakita ko. He was so m ad at me. At ang utos ng hari hindi mababali. Jules I m sorr y. Diyos ko. Tumayo ka at magbihis ka may pupuntahan tayo. Hindi ko nga alam kung dahil sa ano o dahi l sa init. 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. Siguro kung hindi lang masamang pumatay ng tao. Si Jean Rose ang gumawa ako ang umaako! He had it all wrong. Inis na sabi nito. Bente uno lang po ako God para sa mga ganitong bagay. 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. Naglakad ito kasama ako. She overcame her fear by well. Yeah you re right! Siya ang gumawa ako ang umako ng mga Sir telephone po mommy niyo. At ang gentleman ba sta na lang akong ibinagsak sa marble floor sa gilid ng pool. Two days of being married to Julian Sunico was like hell! And it felt like a lifetime sin ce I said I do . Then it dawned on me. Nagsasawa na `ko sa pagtatalo namin ni Julian. Prom ise. My heart was beating triple time. Lelecturan ng walang . Ang mani pis na suot ko kanina ay halos kita na dahil nga basa na din. Hindi iyon lalagpas ng mid-thigh ko. Ang tanong: sinong mananamantala at sinong pagsas amantalahan? Not I. We uhm. I wore a n off-shouldered cream tailored dress. Ng panahon. It was a matter of choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea. Ano bang nangyayari sa `kin? I leaned my head in between his shoulder an d neck. My twin she s the swimmer. He didn t even comment about my appearance. Kelan ba matatapos ito? Tumingin ako sa harap ng salamin. I winced when I heard him curse. Kung ginawa mo `yun just to get the fame you wa nted then you don t deserve it. Naramdaman ko ang paghigpit ng yakap niya sa `kin. I opened my mouth to shout at him. Ginamit ko lang ito once sa exhibi t ng kakilala ko. I cried on his shoulder. So what was the use of telling him how gorgeous he is? I just shut my mouth up. 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. Hawak pa niya. At ni hindi man la ng nahiyang ipahiram man lang sa `kin. Susumbatan niya lang ako. Akala niya pinagko-compete ko ang kakambal ko tapos tapos ako kunwari ang nananalo? My God. ako I never did learn. I couldn t look him in t he eye.Julian was just staring back at me. His hand caressed my cheek. Galit na hinablot nito ang telephone habang pinupunasan ang sarili. Parang nanlamig ako bigla. wala akong kara patan. Grabe ang mood swings ng lalaking ito.
Halos ako at ang papa niya lang ang nag-uusap. Magtatay ba talaga ang mga ito? Umupo kami in silence at saka ko lang napansin ang babaeng kasama ni Mr. Sunico. I was shocked. Ayoko pang mamatay! Parang naiiyak na `ko ng sumadsad ang sasakyan sa gilid ng iliko ni Julian ang s teering wheel. I apologize hija. Shock was the understatement of the century. Gusto kong sumigaw a . Hila dito. Mabilis kong hinila si Julian. Their fists were both clenched. Pero bigla niyang tinabig ang kamay ko. Hello sir. I looked at Julian then. Halos lumangitn git iyon. dad. Galit na tinitigan niya ako. With his chinky eyes. I smiled. Ayokong magsalita. Hello Julian. And I m happy for her coz she s not waiting an ymore for someone who hasn t seen her worth. Tao lang ako. Mahina pero gigil kon g paalala. God please! Virgin pa `ko. She was in her early thirties and very much beautiful. Your flavor of the month? Julian! Excuse my husband. Na-iim agine ko na `pagtumanda ito. He s Biglang pinisil nito ang kamay ko. I felt the impact of what almost happened to us. But his pain ran deep. your husband here didn t send me an invitation card. The man was just an older version of Julian. 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. Julian ano ba! Napasigaw ako ng pinaharurot niya ang Porsche niya. She looked somewhat familiar. My heart went overdrive. There was something wrong here. Julian?! I frantic ally searched his face for wounds. None. Eh di baka ihulog na `ko ng tuluyan ni Julian palabas. Hinila niya ako. Julian please I grabbed his a rm. Anong sasabi hin ko Julian. Nanginginig ang mga kamay ko na bumaba ako ng sasakyan. His eyes sent me a warning message. Say hello to your tita Doris. Tears were starting to form in my eyes. Julian started laughing humorlessly. Na para bang mayroon siya! Julian opened the door for me. Na parang demonyo. My eyes grew wide. Julian! Nagulat talaga ako. Julian sighed and looked bored. You loved her? Cut the crap. I smiled at her politely. I m glad to finally meet you. I was numb. I loved your mother. okay lang `yun okay lang na niloko ng papa mo ang mama mo past is p ast. He was tense. Ano pa nga ba. is that bad? He said. Invitation? Ang weird. Leave me alone! He shouted. Hanggang sa makarating kami sa patutunguhan namin. I t felt so awkward. Baka nakakalimutan mo ako pa rin ang nanay ng anak mo. Nakikpagkarerahan ba ito kay Kamatayan? Napakapit ako sa dashboard. Ni hindi na ko magtataka kung kukulutkulutin ko na ang buhok ko mamaya. marami pa pala kaming gagawin. Kailan pa kinailanga n ng tatay ng imbitasyon sa kasal ng anak niya? What do you want? Julian said coolly to his father. it s nice to see you again son.katapusan about honesty and virtues. Pudpod na stilettos ko. masaya na si mommy sa buhay niya. No. 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. Act the very lovin g wife. We went inside the grand hotel. for the first time Julian knew how to act the gentleman. Nice nice to see you. I just want to see my son. How s your mom? Ayun. Jean Rose Sunico! I didn t stop. Sorry sir. Tahimik lang ito. Bakit wala po kayo nung kasal namin ni Jul ian? We would have been happy kung nandon kayo. straight nose Ouch. I gritted my teeth in frustration. Nakita kong parang aatak ihin sa puso ang papa nito. Naglalakad ako sa gilid ng kalsada na wala sa sarili. Normal naman sa mga produkto ng broken marriages ang ganitong ugali ni Julian. Na-amaze ako. Bi glang may sumulpot na malaking truck sa harapan naming. Tears were streaming down the side of my face. I glared at him. hila doon.
Inihagis ni Julian ang coat sa couch at dumiretso sa mini bar. His shirt was loosened. True. bakit ako mag-aalala sa isang taong ni wala man lang pakialam sa `kin? But I do. Julian I just want to hel Help? That s bullsh!t. He had fox-like eyes. Julian s-sino `yung tumawag? Ano bang pakialam mo Jeannie? I was just curious. Ang boses nito. His back w as turned to me. I should have known. I shook the cobwebs in my head. Like happiness. Sunico! He roared. Julian would have been with another. He just shrugged. .. Kaya nga hindi ako nanin iwala sa sinabi ni Kim Chui na habulin mo happiness mo! Eh di kung ganon lang ka dali iyon. maybe it was just guilt eating at me. Marami talagang mga sinungaling sa mundo. His eyes were squinted in anger. tenderly. Sunico. That T ricia must have been special for him to be like this. I know deep down the call had something to do with his sudden withdrawal. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. Again. I can t Julian. Why is it so elusive? Maybe because we cannot have everything we wanted. Since I want honesty between us . I wonder. Not that I f elt anything well. Tricia. Gusto kong sabihing. Mabilis kong sinundan si Ju lian sa study room niya. shut up! I m not Jean! Sinong g ustong humamon sa `kin? Mrs. kung bakit hindi ako nabingi sa pagbagsak ng decanter at pagkalabog ng pinto. Ayun. Or was it my imagination? Tricia? Who s Tricia? FIVE Sabi nila best things in life are free . My eyes got misty all the more. Parang nasasaktan. I sighed exaggeratedly. Julian aren t you going to bed yet? A slow sexy smile twitched on the corner of his mouth. And thanks t o you it won t happen anymore He looked bored and predatory. In a split second the beast hugged me! Fiercely. Life s not perfect. Ang bastos talaga. Wala nga ba Jeannie? Hindi naman siguro pinagbabawal ng batas ang pagtatano ng.t magwala sa gitna ng kalsada. But I believe in the sanctity of marriage. Me meron ako. Napalunok ako habang papalapit siya ng papalapit. He should have been a DJ. Hello? His face suddenly changed. I sobbed louder. Yes. Dahil sa galit. no he wanted to eat me alive. So he knew all a long! Bigla itong tumawa. wala naman tal aga. `Yun lang. At biglang may kamay na humawak sa braso ko upang iharap a ko. He wasn t drunk yet! Was he? Don t pull my leg Jean Do you think I m stupid? You lied to me.. Well. We are about to get married. Is she special? Julian I jumped in surprise. Parang pagod na pagod. Hindi ako bulag o bingi. Tawang demonyo. Kulang na lang sabihin niya sa mukha kong wala kang pakialam . His eyes. She s my girlfriend of two years. Are you inviting me to bed Jean? Ang boses niya ah parang nang-aakit. Palap it ito ng palapit. Wala na ang necktie nito. Then the phone started ringing. He poured himself a glass of brandy and downed it in one swallow. My back hit the wall. Then I started wetting his shirt. Silence. Okay lang sana kung desert eh. You r e bound to me forever. Will you please give me peace even just for tonight? Mahina nitong sabi. Then he d tell me that he di dn t believe in love? Bull. I don t believe in love Mrs. Na para ng gagawin akong panghapunan. tinalikuran pa `ko. Not that I care. I sighed again when he didn t even bother to respond. sana wala ako dito. Pero minsan nga kung ano pa `yung li bre siya pang mahirap kunin. He started laughing mockingly.
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. pagiging mapagobserba ko ay narinig kong sinabi ng mommy niya na there sho uld be no broken marriages . Parang biglang umakyat lahat ng dugo ko sa ulo. Yep. It had been three weeks since then. Dahil ba kay Tricia? Parang bigla a kong na-possess. Hindi lang siya ang nasakal. I was quite numb . Kung sa bagay. Julian s family. Gusto kong magpakamatay. No. Then he raised his cle nched fist in the air. Siguro dahil nagtatampo pa rin ako. It was full of hatred and remorse. What s your excuse? Dahil lalaki ka? Dahil mahina ka? And oh. Hindi ako pwedeng magalit. Almost Perfect had the right to be Mr. Sa gilid ng ulo ko. My breath got hitched. Tricia? Gusto kong isigaw `yun. Hindi ako nagagalit. Julian? No response. I s hould be thankful. I was just mad on my twin s ister s behalf. Pero mali ako. Masyado ba talaga `kong generic? Napagpapalit palit? I had never been lonelier than this. hindi man ako ang pinakamatalinong tao sa mundo. No. I knocked. Gigising ako sa umaga. My eyes grew wide. Three weeks. . Julian? Walang tao. Para `kong naparalyze na nakatitig lang sa sa mukha niya. Pwes. He whispered angrily. He was bound by the Sunico tradition. Minsan nga naiisip ko. Hindi ko makuhang dalawin sina Mommy. Pero `pag sila lalaki lang sila eh. Twice. natempt lang. hinihintay kong dumapo sa `kin ang mga kamay niya. So Mr. Naglalabasan na ang ugat sa leeg nito. 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. Rugby. Salamat sa pagiging tsis mosa no. you couldn t resist my charm. Dahil hindi na niya ipipilit ang marital rights niya. He was always in his study room. I was drunk. Ano pa bang alam nito? O ma s tamang sabihing ano pa ba ang hindi nito alam? He graduated business ad. And very much no! Ang mahirap kasi sa mga lalaki. He didn t want to see me. Parang boarder nga lang ako dito sa mansyon niya. hindi naman sa kinukwestiyon ko si God. Dahan dahan kong nakitang umaagos ang dugo sa kamay ni Julian. It was a sin in the Sunico commandment. I was about to go out when Julian s medals caught my attention. the feeling was mutual. Akala ko walang taong ganito. Sino bang hindi? Para `kong tuta na basta na lang pinamigay. May class A at class B. Then he hit the wall. Arrogant. Mabilis akong pumunta sa study room. Really stared at me like I d grown two heads and a horn. bakit nga naman hindi? Eh ako naman itong mamimikot `di ba? It was dark. Wala pa siya. Champion siya 1st pl ace in a swimming competition? I gasped. Once. At alam ko. kapag babae ang nakagawa ng kasalanan para kang nakamatay. Bakit lalaki lang ba ang mga tao? I slammed the door as I walked out of there. Love? Letseng love `yan. Wow. Matutulog ako sa gabi. eh? It was too good to be true. His knuckles were scraped because of the impact. I thought you were He said stonily. Soccer. But there s always an exception to the rule. in the states. Thrice.So sinisisi niya `ko? Ang kapatid ko. I felt so hurt. Bakit hindi na lang kami magpa-annul? Sila pala ni Jean? Kung ganito lang din na man Oo nga pala. Hindi ko kailangang maging si Madam Auring para ma-vibrate kong iniiwasan ako ni Julian. Jean Rose wouldn t do this without a valid reason. Wala na siya. Julian anong ginawa mo nung pinikot kita? He stared at me. I closed my eyes with a prayer. Parang kasabay nun ang pagbagal at pag lakas ng tibok ng puso ko. Sa saktan ba talaga `ko ni Julian? Would he resort to that? Parang gusto kong umiya k.
Ang puso ko? And don t ask me why. No. Here. Not beca use our parents forced her to do it.. Then another with Julian s mom. Ho w could I not? I was looking straight into my own face. At hindi sila ganon kasama. I don t want. Samantalang may mga pinagkaitan hirap na nga. They have it all. Yummy. He wasn t perfect. Para `kong sirang plaka na napaupo. Jean I prostituted hersel f for a one and a half million. My eyes grew wide. Parang gusto kong matunaw sa ngiting `yun.Pero kapag nasasaktan ang isang tao. At ang mga n ext pictures ay kasama nitong nagpi-fishing ang lalaki. `yung tipong pati hanggang dulo ng kuko kaiinggitan mo. Binayaran niya ang bahay namin. Wala sa loob na sinundan ko siy a ng tingin. Kanino ka pa ba tutungo `pag may problema? `Di syempre sa bestfriend mo. I just walked past him and got out. I opened it. What the hell are you doing here? I felt weak. maganda kilalang kilala ko ang mukha na `yun. May issue man ako sa parents ko. And my. Cheap. He bought Jean me. . Napasabunot ako sa buhok ko. Alam ko. hirap pang iharap ang mukha. `Didn t know if it was because I knew her. Stolen shot. lumil ipad sa bintana lahat ng logic . Seriously. Nasan ang dad dito ni Julian? No. Tricia Leyva? I competed with her once in a painting competition in New York. She turned to the lane toward the side of the taxi. Napatingin sa `kin si Manong. Maganda. I frowned when I saw a woman crossing the street. Tumigil lang ako ng maisara ko ang pintuan at sumandal doon. He was right. Ma yaman. A ten or so Julian. Pero hindi na kami makatigil kasi may MMDA dun. Then I saw a smiling picture of him. with his uncle? Hindi ko kilala ang lalaki. Gusto kong magtitili. Jean did it because she was always the good daughter. h indi ito soap opera. kasikatan. He had a broken home.Pero bakit kaya may mga taong sinalo ang lahat? Katulad na lang ni Georgina Wils on. Mga sakim. Ang isip ko sinasabing hindi ako dapat magalit sa kanya. Naso-suffocate na `ko. may magagawa pa ba siya kung nandun na `ko? I was immersed into deep thoughts. Trying to be different from my sister All the while they were making both ends meet. Manong stop! Napakamot ito sa ulo. Oh my God. I hail ed a cab. Bubuksan ko pa lang ang handle ng umandar na si manong. kagandahan. where s the fairness of life in it? And Julian was one of the Class A. Of course. I just wanted to get away from here. I felt cold. Very much happy. Minsan kahit anong pilit mong ngumiti. Tricia?. Binayaran ni Julian ang bahay na min. Another surprise God? Paran g napapansin ko na you never ran out of surprises for me? And I didn t like it for one sec. I rolled my eyes. Tahimik na pumunta ako sa desk niya tinignan ang picture don. I started crying. They still loved me. Jean s face! Jean! I half shouted. Nakatula la ako sa mismong picture ng dalawa. Sinalo lahat. The picture of a loving couple. Tumigil ang taxi nung umilaw ang stoplight. he won first place in a swimming competition. Para silang buong pamilya. Hmmm Then my eyes grew wide. Sabi niya `wag ko na siyang sunduin. So sinong dapat sisihin? Feeling ko napakaselfish ko. A notice of foreclosure from the bank. lalo lang sumasak it. the bod. Then I saw an envelope written with a Leviste on it. Kissing.. I was in New York trying to make out on my own. Then I moved on to the next picture. They have the same smile though. At least CM would make me happy. I don t want to hate Julian. Hindi ko din alam! I dressed quickly upstairs and took my handbag. Eh. Or the kiss. SIX Ni hindi ko siya tinignan. Yeah.
Brad this is CM. He s yummy. Grabe. Wow. Alam mo `yun g mga ginagawa ng mga mayayaman na pinapasalvage `yung first wife nila. Goodness. Hinatid namin si CM sa bahay nito sa Alabang. siya ay paminta. Mas morbid `yun. no. Nag-X sign pa ako n parang si April boy. Masyado kasing napraktis. What? I said innocently. you know . Yes.I mouthed. Kay Brad! Ah ah b-bestfriend siya ni ni Jeannie! How odd I refer someone as myself. From the b eginning `till the bitter end. Brad frowned. I sighed. Ang hudas pumalakpak pa. Pini sil niya ang kamay ko. Ah oo. Kung ganito lang san a si Julian. Eh. Hindi ikaw ang tinatanong! `Di ba Jeanni I sent him a warning glance. He mouthed. CM could help? God. Nakangiti pa. I waited for CM s arrival. Nataw a pa nga ako ng sundan server `yung tingin sa min kay CM. Tapos biglang t umunog `yung cellphone nito at nag-excuse. I bet he s going to plot murder against me. Goodness. Yeah. BRAD? Brad s face was polite. isang buwan lang naman. Katabi ko. no. Ako? You ve know n me for three years! I thought you love me? Parang nagbago ka na. Kung alam lang niya. Then pigs would surely fly. In short. Tumalikod. Anong alam mo? You haven t known him that long. bakit ba umuulan ng mga lalaki sa buhay ni Jean? Jean why did you do that to me? Anong sasabihin ko? Kelangan ba pag-naguusap ganito pa kalapit? You ve known him for only three to four months. Kung pwede nga lang maghimala ako at magbuntis. I could melt. at si Zsa Zsa Zaturna. Si CM ay isang nagbabalatkayong tao este lalaki. Hindi gagawin ni Julian `yun. Bakit hindi? Bale-walang sabi nito. I shivered suddenly. Pero nakikita ko ang isandaan at isang tanong. Isa pa kakatayin ko na talaga `tong si CM. Umupo ito sa tapat ni CM. Parang bigla kong nalunok `yung laway ko. M-my b-bestfriend in New York. Kala mo naman hind i nagkita ng isang taon. Ang bilis talaga ng radar nito. CM? Sa tatlong taon na nakilala kita You haven t mentioned him. Three to four months? I bit my lower lip. Nagba yad ako at mabilis na bumaba. Hindi ka pa ba uuwi Jean? Nag-aalalang sabi ni Brad. Oh. Inakbayan niya `ko at pumunta kami sa pinakamalapit na Italian Restaurant. Hindi kita type no. no. Para kaming sira na nagsasign language. Gross. bestfriend we could make it a story. CM! Lakad pa lang niya alam ko na. At gigil na kumaga t labi pa ito. Ano `to soap opera? Salamat sa awa ha. Jean? We both turned at the voice. some advice. Agaw eksena kami ng niyakap niya `ko. Too sweet. Sa likod ng mga fats niya ay 24/7 tumitibok ang pusong laan para kay Adan. Hinawakan niy a ang siko ko ng tumayo ako. He had t he biggest mouth ever. an g morbid. What if he found out the truth? That you re not pregnant? He wolfed down the pasta e nthusiastically. SANA. Ayan pati a ko naguluhan na din talaga. He whispered achingly. Pinanlakihan ko siya ng mata. Ihahatid na kita. Tumingin ako kay CM. Jeannie. So what happened? I pouted. Lahat-lahat ata ng sama ng loob ko kay Julian sinabi ko sa kanya. He s he s Jean s ex. Ahm well. Parang gusto ko siyang batukan. Kaya pala kaya pala parang hindi man la . Yuck. Jeannie? One brow arched.Hindi na `ko magtataka kung akalain niyang may baliw na sumakay sa kanya. I saw t enderness in his eyes. CM raised o ne brow at me. Ako din uuwi na. His face was an inch or two away from me. At binaba ako ni Brad sa mansyon. CM rolled his eyes. Baba na lang ako ng hawakan niya `ko sa braso. Pinisil pisil ko `yung bic eps niya. halaman g dagat. CM smiled up at Brad. Nagpalumbaba ako at ikinuwento lahat. I think I have to go. I would really melt. Then I stared at his cute f ace. Tapos napatingin siya sa `kin .
CM I can t meet the whole Sunico clan. Hindi ako mapakali lalo. I thanked God he didn t unplugged the socket. Anyone would want Brad for herself. Bilisan mo. Ano `to napagtripan lang basta n i Julian na magtour kami sa Korea?! I bit my lower lip. I whispered softly. Punta ka sa asawa mo. mas gusto niyang kasama `yun g mga libro. Be with me. Ang sitwasyon lang natin ang nagbago Brad.ng nagtataka si Julian. are you out of your mind? It s one in the morning! Kung gusto mo ikaw na lan g mag-isa. Tapos? . Jean! What! Natutulog `yung tao eh. naramdaman kong parang may pumasok sa kwarto. Again. Galit na ibabagsak ko ulit ang katawan ko sa kama ng buhatin niya ko. He couldn t and wouldn t tell Jean and me apart. Hindi naman ako manhid. Ang ginaw talaga. Lum ayo ako lalo. No! Mabilis akong bumitiw sa kanya kahit pa ma-hypothermia na `ko. Again. Julian no! Binuksan niya ang shower at itinapat ako sa ilalim ng napak alamig na tubig. I wanted to make a way for my sister an d him. in that I didn t lie. He grabbed my shoulders and made me stand up. Jean must be very lucky. Jean annul your marriage. My God Ju lian. Julian? He didn t turn around. I called CM. I heard the amusement in hi s voice. Then som eone was shaking my shoulder. Please call me Jeannie. Wha t did he mean by that? Pinaikli naman talaga ah. Maliligo tayo ng sabay? Nakataas ang isang kilay nito. Magbihis ka may pupuntahan tayo. Ganon naman eh. Anong gagawin ko harangin `yung eroplano? Pasabugin `y ung airport? Anong gagawin ko? We re going to fly to Korea! As in. Sino bang may ayaw ng lalaking ganito magmahal? One in a million siya. Tinanggal ko ang kamay niya sa braso ko. O buntis nga ba? Had sh e just said it to blackmail Julian? I hadn t seen Julian when I got home. At ipinarinig pa sa `kin ang malakas na paghikab niya. now! Julian frowned at me. exhale. I felt exhausted and slept early. At least. Later in t he wee hours of midnight. May jetlag pa `ko. Hindi naman siguro babagsak `yung eroplano no. Por Santo! Ala-una ng madaling araw. Kulang na lang sabih in niyang hang up na. Jean. Hello? Carlo Miguel Jr. He walked on. CM !!! The line went dead. Nawala lahat ng antok ko. computer at alak niya. He chuckled. It s it s my nickname. How? Buntis na si Jean kay Julian. Nicknames are supposed to shorten one s name. na-touched ako sa bestfriend ko. Dahil hindi niya talaga kilala si Jean! Hindi ako ang nagbago Winner! Pwede na `kong manalo sa FAMAS. Nakatulog ako habang byahe kaya nabigla na lang ako ng nasa NAIA na kami. Binabaan ako ng p hone! I tried and tried again. Hindi rin dahil wala pang happy ending. Me included. I screamed. In my panic-driven state. Grabe. 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.! Jeannie? Oh my God kung tsismis lang `yan ipagpabukas mo na. Tapos lumabas na ito. Niyakap ko siya ng mahigp it. Tinakpan ko ng unan ang ulo ko at hinampas kung si no man `yung bastos na `yun. Por Diyos. `Yun lang. from Jeannette to Jeannie Oh Jean was always just Jean. Inhale. Then I gasped. Oh my God. Oh my God. Relax take a deep breath.
I whispered when I saw his one good eye fli ckered. Julian I don t think this is a good idea. padarag n a tinanggal ko `yung kamay niya sa pagkakahawak ng kamay ko. As in. He wasn t looking a t me. Sa sobrang higpit iisipin kong ayaw niya `kong pakawalan. Oh G od. French kiss na lang. He raised one brow at me. Umupo ako sa tabi ni Julian. I tried to smile. Julian was sitting handsomely in his Lacoste polo shirt and Levi s jeans. He wore that devil-may-care expres sion on him. Pero lalo lang niya ng hinigpitan. Tumaas ang kilay nito. Then he sighed exaggeratedly. Grabe. Kung narinig niya lang ang sinabi ni CM. Gawin ko kaya? Ano kayang magiging reacti on ni Julian? You already met my family when they d come home. Damn sexy men. I knew he just wanted to make the ordeal light for me. Kung alam ko lang na B. It should warm my heart. Julian sm iled charmingly at her! The devil really could smile Tapos sa `kin pinagdadamot n iya `yun. Natatakot na talaga ako. Kahit papano gumaan ang pakiramdam ko ng ti nawagan ko si CM. I pouted my lips. He raised one brow at me. Habang hawak niya ng mahigpit ang kamay ko sa l ap ko mismo. no. He shrugged then looked at me knowingly. Inis na tinanggal ko ang kamay ko sa pagkakahawak niya. I gave him my most charming smile. Oh my. I bit my lower lip. He was there with me. Mahigpit. remember? You and Tantan hit it off. Eh `di `wag. And he was also staring at me! Feeling ko nagkulay man sanas ako. kung alam ko lang natetempt ka na ding gawin. At sa pagkagulat ko. CM! I then gaped at Julian. Pero parang ayaw makisama ng mga muscles ko. Sino si Angko? You ve met him. Tinignan niya `ko. I already and suddenly missed Philippines! As if What would I do? What should I do? Julian just slept like the dead. I. Na para bang may space akong mauusugan. The family dinner before the wedding. argh . ka Hindi ko napigilang hindi matawa. My hands trembled. Sino si Tantan? My mind was scre aming. Bakit ba umaasa pa `kong magbabago siya? The stewardess smiled at us specifically at Julian. I didn t want him to be suspicious. Gusto ko ng lumabas ng airport at sumigaw ng kidnapping. Parang nga. Malungkot. Torrid. Para akon g pinasugod ng mga magulang ko sa giyera ng wala man lang dalang armas.Yakapin mo at saka mo ikiss. As if telling me to keep my thoughts to myself. But panic was overwhelming me. SEVEN I didn t know a thing about Korea much less Julian s Korean family. Julian What? He snapped at me! Sabi ko na nga ba masamang biruin ang bagong gising eh. Then it fitted the spaces between my fingers. `Sus. In disgust. Inirapan ko siya at umisod pakabila. Matagal na Jeannie. He looked bored. Unti-unting tumaas ang ulo ko. Wala naman siyang pakialam ` . 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. Siguro kung wala lang sakit si Angk o His tone changed. I swallowed. As if he owned the world. I know I was acting childish. Hmm. Habang n asa loob kami ng eroplano ay gusto ko ng tumalon palabas ng bintana. But then I felt him.
Malamig. Feeling ko nga. 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. Dapat matuwa ako sa sinabi niya. Or bet ter yet. Oh no. Then he looked at me straight in the eye. Palabas na kami ng may naghihintay na sasakyan. Hindi rin naman madali na maging Vice President ng isang malaking kumpanya at the age of 27. It seemed to take an eternity. Ano nga kaya ang magiging itsura ng baby namin n i Julian? Kamuka din kaya ni Julian? His eyes. At lalong `yung Julian na nilockan ako ng pinto. He must have been very tired because of w ork. We went out of the intern ational airport hand in hand. Para `kong naparalyze. G usto kong sumigaw kay Julian at sabihing hello! I m here! I glared at his back. hindi ko alam kung ako lang ang nakakaramdam non pero parang m ay kuryente. `Yung Julian na walang pakia lam sa `kin. And I was meeting the other woman. Wala akong pakialam kung masira man ang handle non. Deadma. Hindi niya `ko pin agbitbit ng gamit ko! Ang bait ah. his one left dimple.di `ba? There s nothing to be jealous of I gasped. Na para bang iniisip niya talagang maig i. para akong na sa drama. Bumalik na naman bigla `yung takot ko. Buti wala akong b ilbil. `Pagkatapos niya `kong sabihang Sa`yo lang ako Lumapit sa `kin `yung sa tantiya `ko ay steward nila. Ayoko sana. Tapos bumaba `yung kamay niya sa leeg ko. But I saw amusement written all over his face. Tenderly. Magdurugo na ata ang lower lip ko sa sobrang kaga . Tricia was still as sophisticated as I remembered. Masama bang ma-carried away? I tried to crack a smile. Tapos tapos Oh God. ako pala `yung kontrabida. They both stared at each other. Tapos hinamas niya ulit `yung tyan ko. At tinitignan ang reaksyon ko. He was too gentle. Then down to my Oh my I whispered. Excuse me? Mali ba `ko ng rinig? You re my wife. Para akong t-a-n-g-a na naghihintay ng himalang mapansin ni la. I DON T CARE. My tummy. We ll see an Napalunok ako. I just hoped it wasn t seen as a grimace. Ganon ba talaga? Normal ba talaga `yun? O ako lang `yung abnormal? I m already excited to see our baby. Bakit niya hinahawakan tummy ko? I tensed. my nose. Sana laging ganito si Julian Well. Ako din Wala sa loob na bulong ko. Ano nga kayang nakain nito? He gave me a coat. Naka tayo pa rin ako dun. Sa `yo lang ako Biglang napatingin ako sa kanya. gusto ko ng maniwala. ayoko pa. Na para bang hindi siya `yung Julian na lagi akong sinisigawan. In another language. The land was very foreign to me. He said softly. Inis na nilagpasan ko sila. Mayamaya sumeryoso siya. Na para bang wala ako dun! I gritted my teeth and closed my eyes. Kahit magtitigan sila buong maghapon. I giggled. Seriously. Napataas `yung kilay ko. Then Julian replied quietly. Then they were speaking softly. Sana lang pareho silang magka-sore eyes. my lips. he didn t r eally mean it. we ll see an OB. Nakita kong natigilan si Julian. mag-freeze sa ginaw. Don t look at me like that I might fall! When we get back. Mayamaya lang tulog na ulit si Julian. the hell I care. Ginising ko siya ng palapag na kami. What do you want? Girl boy? Hmm His chinito eyes squinted all the more. I could drown in those brown eyes. I sucked in the air unconsc iously. We both stopped when we saw a woman standing in the middle of the parking lot waiting for us. Ba t `di na lang kaya niya `ko yakapin? Now I was sounding very much like CM. I felt warmth in the simple gesture. Julian stared at me. What amazed me next was when he cupped m y face. He didn t speak English. Galit na inunahan ko na ng bukas ng pinto bago ang steward. Binitiwan niya `ko ng kinuha niya `yung mga bag namin. Ganon ba talaga ang epekto ni Tricia kay Jul ian? Had he loved her that much to forget about me? Well. Tin uro niya sa`kin ang kotse at kinuha `yung nag-iisang clutch bag na dala ko. Like hell. Marami naman siyang pambili `di ba? Binalibag ko pasara ang pinto. Anything basta healthy.
In the deepest part of me I felt alone. Julian chuckled. Nakita kong nagkakatingin an sila sa rearview mirror sa harapan. At ako ayoko sa bata! Ngumiti ako dito at pasimpleng pinanlakihan ito ng mata. Then I saw the others looking at us from inside t he big yard. Chubby cherubin. Pagod ka Jeannie. others were Filipinos. Tricia had always been soft-spoken. Baka pa gbuhulin ko pa sila ni Julian. He frowned. Kung alam ko lang. Napatingi n sa `kin si Tricia at Julian. My eyes grew wi de. Na para bang nakikita niya `ko. Imo Jean! Nabigla ako ng may batang lalaking biglang tumakbo at yumakap sa `kin. As if he could see through my lies . If I were a scheming b!tch then he s the biggest hypocr ite ever. I didn t know She whispered wonderingly. Pero twinge lang. Nagpapabuhat! Oh. Mas malaking mansyon. I I Jeannie I met her in New York. you were talking about Jean! Yes. Na parang torture. Naalimpungatan ako. Madapa ka sana. Itulog mo na lang `yan. At pasimpleng umirap. I felt a twinge of guilt. I m a slut in the making. You didn t tell me about Jea nie. at hayun ang magaling na lalaki. Jean Rose was fond of kids. Tumalikod lang ako saglit. Three to four years old. Wake up we re here. Yes. Ipinikit ko ang mga mata ko. Tumingin ako sa kanila. So are you telling me that I m a scheming b!tch? Hell. Julian was already embracing her! And she was crying. Julian raised one brow at us. 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. Biglang bumilog ang naniningkit na mga mata ng bata. Had the circumstanc es been different we could have been friends. Gusto ko ng umuwi. What did you say? Tricia turned at me. Ah no. Some look Kore an. Narinig niya `ko. I didn t care if I sounded like one. Lalo na ng titigan akong maigi ni Julian. May kayakap ng iba! Gigil na kinuha ko sa bag ang cellphone na pinakuha ko sa isa sa mga maids ni Ju lian mula sa bahay naming nung isang araw. Jeannie? As if naman nagulat ka! I smiled at her mockingly. Julian glared at me. . Bakit ganito? Ayoko ng makita si Julian. I didn t know why I felt hurt. Hindi ko napigilan ang sarili ko. Para akong sinasakal. Mabilis kong iniiwas ang mga mata ko. si Tricia. Then he looked at me through the tinted wi ndow sill. Ang matatabang mga braso nito ay tumaas . I hated Julian. Kami naman ni Tricia sa backseat. Tricia gaspe d. No. Victorian style in Korea? Hmm. Julian sat in front. Yes. Could have been. So? Hindi ko pinansin a ng kamay niyang nakalahad. Sh!t. Tinitigan kong m aigi ng kumalas siya mula kay Tricia. That wasn t what I intended. I forgot. When the car door opened. Pareho kaming nagkatinginan. Pagod ako. Pero layuan niya muna ako. Tricia got in. I hated this feeling. You knew each other? I groaned inwardly. Maputi ito. honey she was Jeannie. Jean! I laughed nervous ly. `Yun lang. Ganito ako kapag natetense o naiinip. Julian got out and took our luggag e. I dialed his number. My eyes grew wide. I couldn t be mistaken. Imo Jean h-hold me! Para akong mahihimatay. Tapos inalalayan niya si Tricia. sa mood ko ngayon hindi ko feel maging chummy-chummy sa kanya. my God. Nag-duet kami ni Tricia. Kung hindi ko pa alam na tinted ang sasakyan. he was wishing me to the moon.t. Lumapit si Julian.
Hindi ba ako titigilan ng batang ito? Kinarga ito ng matandang l alaki. Then someone hugged me. Si Celine. I heard that one. He looked at me then started hiccupping. Anak siya ni Uncle Jin. Drake. Hindi okay. Para akong hihimatayin. you re okay? Tanong ni Uncle Jin. Hindi ko na kaya. Some smiled at me. H indi naman ako pinanganak na sinungaling kaya nagi-guilty din naman ako sa pamil ya ni Julian. Are you sure. I just smiled. So Juli an s words were asking him to kiss him? Was that it? Oh. What the hell is happening here?! Unti-unti akong tumingin sa hagdanan. Emotional stress. Tama . He grasped my hand. Our baby he might be He frantically cupped my stomach tenderly. Then he stopped crying. EIGHT Jeannie! Jeannie! Damn Jeannie darling please wake up. Me. No Tricia. Ngumiti ito at inabutan ako ng wineglass. Tantan smiled up at me. Oh. n o. And sadly the divorce of Julian s parents caused the Sunico patriarch to dis own his eldest son. Then I saw Julian and Tricia talking quietly fr om a corner. Imo Jean! I almost groaned aloud. `Pagpasok namin ay niyakap ako isa-isa ng mga kamag-anak ni Julian. Alam mo cous. Kung hindi ko pa ala m in my peripheral vision I saw her. Hindi ko ineexpect ito. Tantan. The patriarch of the Sunico family. I froze in place. They were almost all half-filipinos half-koreans. Then I started hiccupping. Emotional stress. Tricia ey ed me curiously. no. NO! He was holding Tricia s hand. Nakatingin ako sa batang naglalagkit ng chocolates. NOT MINE! I fainted. Me. So he s Tantan? I groaned inwardly. At apo nito si Tantan. No nothing. Natawa ang mga pinsan ni Ju lian at tinapik ito. I didn t make it on your wedding day. and the res t I couldn t very well remember their names. . The man who had bear-hugged me earlier. Pinilit kong tumayo mula sa malaking kama. What have I gotten my self into? Tapos bumalik ulit ito at hinawakan ang kamay ko. But I m not that stupid. Lahat sila naka palibot sa `kin. Napansin ko ang closeness ni Julian kay Uncle Jin. Kahit isa sa ka nila hindi ko alam ang pangalan. ganyan din ako ng pinagbubuntis ko si Tantan. At nalaman kong kaya lang sila nan dito ay dahil sa Angko ni Julian Julian s grandfather was sick. Are you sure. Na parang hinipan lang ng hangin. No make-believe baby. like the way Julian stared at me when he was suspicious. You missed aunt Jean. Hija! Kamusta ka na? Too sad. My gaze was fixed on the grand staircase. He stared at me. Imo Jean let s play. Uncle I w hispered tentatively. Tahimik lang ako. There stood Julian s grandfather . darling? You got me worried We ll go to the nearest hospital. Un cle Jin was his father s cousin. Nananaginip ba `ko? Sa panaginip ko Julian was worried sick about me. Nakita ko ang mukha ni Julian. Reall y stared at me. My eyes searched for Julian. You re not Imo Jean! You re not Imo Jean! He started wailing. Kumiss ito kay Julian. He looked real worried. Me. Oh m y. My throat was dry. Nasan ako? Julian cupped my cheek softly. I smiled at the old man.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. I wanted to g o home. eh? Pagpasensyahan mo ang apo ko Jean. Nagkalat ang chocolates sa mga kamay ko. I m okay. He was the old man in the pictures! With Julian. Aunt Risan. Tantan I gritted my teeth while s miling. clearly. Imo Jean Yumakap ulit ito. O kay lang po. Wala na `kong nagawa. I opened my eyes slowly. kay a ikaw Julian take care of Jean. Then Tantan kissed my nose. Parang ito ang pumalit sa pwestong iniwan ng papa niya. si Uncle Jin. Celine smiled at me. Sa sobrang inis ko binitawan ko siya. Imo Jean s-sorryy My eyes watered. Ayoko na. God Sssshhh Tantan don t cry. Hindi sila matapobre like what I d expected. Gusto kong maniwala Julian gusto ko.
Galit na tinitigan niya `ko. Ang mga mata nito. But there was definitely something about his grandfather t hat made me fear him. Narinig ko ang pagsara ng pinto. At least not physically. My God. I screeched and clawed his face. Tatakbo ako mula sa gilid ng hapitin niya ang bewang ko. I m already doing this. Pero lalo niya lang hinigpitan. Parang bigla akong natakot sa itsura ni Julian. They were both alike. His face was so close I c ould smell his breathing. He pulled off his coat.At sana hindi dumating `yung panahong I d start really hating you. it felt wrong and delicious. Parang naiiyak na `ko. Napalunok ako. as if mocking me. I looked over my shoulders Lamp shade? Brush? No! I can t hurt him. Ju lian was dead serious. Sa likod ng isip ko nakikita ko sila ni Tricia. Please Julian Tama ka. Ginamit kita para makuha ko ang gusto ko. Are you going to rape me? I whispered angrily. And it hit right through the core. I sighed. The corner of his lips twitched lazily. he was clad with his Levi s Ganon kabilis. Nagti tigan kami. right? And you re a hypocrit e. I was sudd enly afraid. Is there something wrong. He didn t quite budge. Na parehong meron kay Julian. No that would stomp my damned pride. para makuha ko ang titulo ng bahay namin. Nakita kong unti-unt ing nag-iiba `yung expression niya. Sadly. M y hands were trembling violently. Kulang na lang maging ab o ako sa apoy na nilalabas non. Wala n a `kong pakialam kung magalit siya sa `kin. Diyos ko. pati ako naguguluhan. Right. Bulong ko. Nagpapakatanga ba talaga ako? He was taking his clothes off one by one. Well. And let s face reality may mahal kang ib a. tukso layuan mo ako! Julian no My eyes grew wide. His fists clenched. In the first place. Hindi niya `ko maririnig na magmakaawa. ang pangalan ng pamilya mo . Authority. sonja? Napatingin ako sa mukha ng Angko ni Julian. No! O. Inihiga niya ` ko sa kama. mapapatawad ko na sana `tong batang `to. di sana hindi tayo parehong nakatali sa kasal na ikaw mismo ang may gawa. Bakit ako masasaktan? Siguro kasi natatapakan pride ko bilang babae. Ano `to stare-a-thon? The muscle on his jaw flexed furiously. Gi namit kita. He di dn t look as if he was sick. Very much like Julian. I gasped. You love Brad. I was amazed at what he had done next pabalyang itinulak ako ni Julian sa kama. parang nag-aalala siya. Eh. I pushed him hard on the chest. Julian seemed like the very devil himself. Overwhe lming anger and desolation. Pero dinaganan niya `ko . O nag-aalala ba talaga? Tinalik uran ko siya. Niyakap niya `ko. Pilit kong iniaatras ang katawan ko papuntang headboard. Taas noong tumingin ako sa kanya. Because I m good at giving back to charities and you re one of them. Arrogance. Sana nanlimos ka na lang sa `kin. And g oodness. Hindi naman ako nasaktan dahil malambot ang malaking kama. What s wrong? I bit my lower lip from shouting at him. Sabi nito sa mataas na tinig. Gigil na itinaas nito ang baba ko. Julian don t do this. wala siyang kara patan magalit. I saw red. Now. The rise and fall of my chest rubbed against his. Jeannie Will you please go away from me? I murmured angrily as Julian touched my shoulder. Let s get her to rest. Na para bang ako ang may kasalanan ng lahat. He s got grit and pride. Ako. He wouldn t hurt me. Nobody assiste d the old man. His whole body was covering mine. I know an insult when I heard one. 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. His rheumy eyes were still clear. My eyes grew wide I thought it might p opped out. Umiiyak ang huli. Hindi ako makahinga sa bigat niya. Jean nie Nakita ko si Tricia. Tinanggal ko iyon ng humarap ako sa kanya. Ewan ko. Natakot ako bigla. . Julian s face darkened. Realization hit me all at once. darling? He said in sarcasm. At may mahal din akong iba. He became withdrawn. Magkaya kap. My heart was thundering. Insensitive cad! What s wrong? Ha! Yes! Everything s wrong you. But oh my. Do I need consent in raping my wife. Niyakap ako ni Tant an sa leeg. You ruined both our lives. Jeannie. Pagsalba man lang ng pride. May tungkod ito. me and Tricia! I clenched my teeth.
Julian! Angko s rushed to the hospital. Pilit kong iniiwas ang mukha ko. He was now the heir. Tahimik lang si Julian . Na para bang magkakaroon ng Wo rld War III. But it only ignite d something more more that I wanted. Carnally. He was already kissing me. Then his hands were there touching me. yet I couldn t name . I closed my eyes ti ghtly. He roughly tore my blouse off me. Nagsabog ang buhok ko sa k ama at sa mukha ko. No. No one owns me He claimed my mouth not too gently. My God. But the devil was kissing me. She was just a family fr iend. wala kang karapatan dito . And I tasted blood there. And I couldn t help falling for him. It was like I couldn t do anything anymore. He s dying! We went to the hospital as soon as we got our clothes on. . Nakita ko si Tricia na nakatingin sa `min habang nasa labas ng ICU. In bed with a man who thought I was someone else. Hungrily. No Yes no then he was claiming what he shouldn t. He was trying to hide the p ain. The buttons popped. Th e soon-to-be patriarch of Sunicos. Surely. We were in a war. Gusto k ong sabihing family matter `to. openly. I love Brad I love Brad I shouted at him. We were still in Korea. Wala na siyang ginawa kundi sa ktan ako. Then he kissed me th ere. Sanjo come here. Pilit akong nagpupumiglas mula sa hawak niya . `Yung parang tinatawag na ni Sa n Pedro. Para akong masosuffocate sa loob ng hospital suite. we weren t in pu rgatory. His hand clutched the side of my neck. Itinulak ko siya ng malakas. Parang gusto kong yakapin si Julian. SAVAGELY. Napatingin kami sa doctor. His eyes were blazing Then he fisted my hair up that tilted my face in the air. Then he went out of the door. Then he looked down at me at my bare shoulders and flimsy black underthings. Ho? Julian pushed me. JUST. I opened my mouth to protest. Ro ughly. But I did. Without clothes on now. I tried hard to close my mouth from his i nvasion. Ang mukha ng lolo ni Julian. Not l ike this Julian! Then his lips trekked down my neck. He was tense. You love Brad? Let s see. Tapos hinawakan niya `yung kamay ko. Julian? Julian? We both turned at the frantic sound at the door. And I bet he hated the responsibility. Then his lips landed on the side of my neck. Uncle Jin s mouth was slacked. War of emotions. Julian Sunico and his wife. parang biglang nag-init ang buong paligid. I started crying. He wanted to see Mr. Then he kissed me. War of heat. Angko Julian and him spoke quietly in Korean language. Open up for me Jeannie His voice was hoarse. And I felt a little sympathy for this old man even though I had met him a few hours ago. I was half-naked. I saw the bitterness written all over his face. Marahan niyang hinimas ang tyan ko. And now I love hi m. Something I felt strongly. You re mine. I hate him. I shouldn t be feeling this way. Sa pagkabigla ko Oh my God! I cried out. Ganoon ba `ko kababaw? Sinisigawan niya `ko lagi.Tumaas lang ang kilay niya. Galit na sinabi nito. Nanghihina na `ko. Hindi niya kailangang magsalita para mari nig ko `yun. Umiiyak na ang mga pinsan nitong babae. Touching my stomach. then tears one by one pooled down my eyes.
Natatakot akong bak a hindi ko matupad ang promise ko kay Angko. NINE Julian was withdrawn the whole burial service. Cremated. It s over. Promise me. Julian never needed me. hindi naman ako ganon kasama. whatever happens take care of Julian. But he gave me that look that said back off . I was kinda shocked. His wrinkled chinky eyes seemed tired. What if what if Julian turned to his father in anger? O h. Nakita ko ang biglang p agmutla ni Uncle Jin. He needs you. My eyes grew wide. Julian moved forward. Promise me His voice was ho arse. At least. Gusto kong sabihing ako? Ako pa ang mananakit kay Julian? Apo niya nga talaga it o. Eh. Please make my sanjo happy h-he h-he had the full responsibility now. I m sorry. Promise. Uncle Jin tried to pacify h im. nasasaktan din ako.Angko He smiled sadly. Hmm He took my hand. pano kung balikan ako ni Ang ko? Diyos ko. Julian! Celine said authoritatively. Then his hand went limp. meaning almost all of the Sunicos. Alam ko kung pano magalit ang leon. Too fast. no. `wag naman sana. Promise me. After the third day. Ho? Para na akong parrot na paulit ulit. Pinagtitinginan na kami ng mga tao sa paligid. With Tricia. I know I know He chuckled hoarsely. we. I-comfort. We were out of the embassy when we saw Julian s father. I wanted to tell him. Hindi man ako inborn na mabait. The Old patriarch of Sunicos were now gone. Tahimik lang siya these past few days. I nodded. Jeannie could paint. Ayokong ako pa ang maging dahilan ng pagkamatay ni Angko. 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. At isa pa. I m old but I m not stupid. Parang gusto kong maawa dito. What is over Jin? You tell me! You know it would never be over unless Galit na siga w nito at tumingin kay Julian. What the hell Ang hirap pumagitna sa mga nag-uumpugang bato. Promise. Julian s father was red about the face. I couldn t help being left out. Umiyak na `ko. He s dead. Kay Tric ia lang. I shook my head. With me. I heard you are good at painting. Syempre. Will you get out of here? You re not a Sunico! Julian hissed silently. went back to the Philippines. you ll never hurt him. why didn t you tell me? He gritted his teeth. Jin. Before we knew it. Para kaming . Gusto ko siyang lapitan. Yakapin. naniniwala akong bumabalik ang mga kaluluwa kung may unfinished business. Pero ako si ako si Jean. It was too swift. Natatakot ako. Aunt Risan looked worried. I wished you could paint the whole family.
Julian was remote. The n there were papparazzis. In fairness ha. I know I m committing two of the seven deadly sins. Independent. At lalong hindi ko na kailangang magsinungaling na may project par a lang payagang gumala. Nagpapawis. She looked pretty and sophiscated in her pink dress. Wala talagang mabuting idulot si CM. CM. this is the right time to do that? I I don t know. Eve rything. Magpabuntis ka kaya kay papa Brad? I cut the line off. She understood him about his family. Where the hell had they come from? Tricia hugged him from behind. Aunt Risan phoned someone. Don t cause any more scandal than we have now Even Celine was c rying. At hin . Wala ng dialogue na bata ka pa . Hindi ko siya ma-t ake. artista ka na. Hindi. and men will always be boys at heart. CM I would tell him the truth. I chose black. I saw Tricia squeezed his hand. Dumating ang mga bodyguards ni Uncle Jin. But you know what? I still wanted to reach out to Julian. Inayos ko ang gown ko sa harap ng salamin. I rolled my eyes. sa pagkakatanda ko never kang pinagnasaan ni Tricia back in New York. LEGAL. I took a step back in horror. Why? Kasi feeling ko malaya na `ko m ula sa manipulasyon ng parents ko. Mas matalino sa `yo kapatid mo. I gave up. Anong panama ko kay Tricia? She knew a lot. My phone vibrated. 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.. Sunico. At lalong hindi ako magtataka kung ba kit siya pinikot ng kapatid mo. Ayoko na. And I never wanted to run for an ulirang anak awardee. Ilang beses ko na bang sinabi: Wala a kong balak sundan ang yapak ni Rizal. May kumatok. We ll have a press conference later. Pero anong ginagawa ko? Gusto kong protektahan si Julian. God. I felt exhilarated. Pero ang m agulang ay magulang. Muy. Ako? I felt alien. Iyak ng iyak si Tantan ng magising. Susuko na ba talaga ako? My hands were cold. Mapagpanggap ka. What! Think it over Jeannie. I d tell him later about everything. Julian please stop it. I was mourning my heart out. gwapo pala ni Julian Sunico I w ouldn t wonder why Tricia chose him over me. hindi ako nagi ng mabuting anak. What do you think will Julian feel? Another blow? Dammit. Nasa kabilang sasakyan si Uncle Jin kasama sina Celine at Tantan. Ako?.. Julian closed his eyes. Tonight. Sabi nila. She was crying now. you know. I remembered telling Jean this: Jean `wag mong i-save ang mundo. I know. Like I was an altogether different person. Wala ng curfew. Tricia smiled at me. There was more to this than I couldn t put a finger on. Hello? Wow. However unreasonable it may be . Pero paano ang panga ko mo kay Angko Jeannie? Hindi ko na kaya. They have reasons. Excuse me lang Carlo Miguel Jr. Hi Oh. I saw the headlines. mag-boyfriend at uminom. women have a nurturing nature. CM I ll talk to you later.. I gritted my teeth.nasa slow motion scene habang nakita namin kung pano tumaas ang kamao ni Julian sa mukha ni Mr. Tricia was with him. I gave up Juli an. Wrath and envy. Ano naman nandyan naman si Tricia! He would feel betrayed. Para akong naestatwa. Painful. At ang hitad tumawa pa. Talo ako. totoo naman palang sinabi nila. Tamang tama para sa okasyon. Because he needed it t hough he wasn t asking it. Where s your sense of honor dad? Sana hindi na lang kita naging tatay! Julian was making guttural sounds. wala. When I turned eighteen. Pwede ng makulong. Hindi ka si wonde rwoman. Then I sighed. I bit my lower lip. Sa tingin mo.
Had Jean c . Oh. no! I hadn t said my thoughts aloud again. Then I tried to smile at him. A slow grin played about the corner of his lips. And in that moment. Ikaw Jea nnie mag-prepare ka na. My God. he was inviting me to taste the forbidden app le. I m not a hypocrite Jeannie. Thirty minut es later. Pilit kong inaalis ang mga kamay ni Brad sa bewang ko. Just a peck. Not personally. me and our baby. I know it s you Jeannie. you know me. His han ds automatically wrapped around my waist. Julian let go of my hand. Julian! For Christ s sake! The reporters are already here. Three. Breathe out. Gutom na `ko. Parang sirang plaka. Ano ba Jeannie! Magtino ka nga Para kang naka-drugs. Dahil sa pagkaparalyze ko hindi ako makapag-react. Jeannie He groaned. my eyes squinted. He clutched at me frantically. Julian? I smiled and turned around to see Brad?! You called me last night. Brad. I was out looking for Julian. One step. his tux on one hand. had I? Jean always t old me how transparent I am. Kumain na tayo. I ll take Julian away from you. Later His eyes burned pr omise. Then I remembered what happened. I saw him tensed.ihiling kong sana y hindi ko na makita ever si Tricia. The ot her hand on his pocket. I swallowed. Lumabas na ako at pumunta sa conference room. I wanted t o spit fire at her. Maganda naman ako. Tapos nanlaki `yun g mga mata ko. I don t feel good around you. I love you. I d tell him tonight. Lumingon ako. Wala akong dapat ikahiya. I want to have a big family. Sa ginawa niyong magkapatid. Patatawarin kita sa ginawa mo. Parang naririnig ko pa `yun. I sucked in my breath. Parang nanlamig ang buong pagkatao ko. It was deserted. Please take care of Julian. Bakit hindi ko pa sabihin lahat? She smiled at me. I I ve always been alone. Tumalikod na siya. I m with Julian last night and I was wrong Jean! Once run away with me. And his voice like hell. It s alright. Kasabay ng paglabas nito ng pinto. I shrugged. Bakit hindi ka dumating? Ano?! Ano bang pinagsasabi nito? Was he into drugs also? Dahil sa kagandahan ko? Ang lupit talaga ng kamandag ko. I blushed. A fresh start. Tuta l huling gabi ko na ito. Jok e lang ni Brad. You . If you don t. I ll take Julian away from you. Lumapit ito. Pero tao lang po ako. parang hindi naman. But beca use you took Julian from me. And I promise you My jaw dropped. I d rather eat you for dinner. Lumiko ako sa kabilang room. I rea lized one thing: Hindi ko kayang i-give up si Julian! Dinner time. L ike hell. Alam ba ng lahat? You knew? She nodded. Three days ago. He was a bit taken aback. I closed my eyes and kissed hi m. Parang gustong lumabas ng puso ko. Tricia was challenging me. Tricia cupped Julian s cheek! Kitang kita ko `yun mula sa salamin. Uncle Jin said from out of nowhere. That s a mistake. Thirty minutes. Kaya nga nagtataka ako kung bakit magaling din akon g magsinungaling. Tsk. I tiptoed and wrapped m y arms around his neck. My eyes grew wide. You don t have to wor Julian was leaning gorgeously against the doorframe. Ayan. Touching my closed lips light against his. You re blushing. Hindi rin naman kita gusto. This was one big hell of a joke. Tricia ayokong makipagplastikan. I couldn t risk being seen with him. If you don t. Two steps.Ito ba ang k aya mong i-give up? Akala ko ba si Eba ang dahilan kung bakit nagkasala ang buon g daigdig. Nagulat ako ng biglang may yumakap sa`kin from behind. Parang namanhid `yung buong katawan ko. I wan t this marriage to work. Nothing more. Jeannie I I shrugged and went forward. Oh.
`wag daw po siyang gambalain. Mas kaya ko pang i-handle ang galit na Julian. I m setting you free. Julian lis ten to me! I pleaded. Oh my God. Feeling ko masusuka a ko. No response. Nawala na ang overdramatic mood ko kanina. I would underst and if he showed anger. iba ang pakahulugan sa `kin non dati. And opened the damned door. Even though you couldn t define it. Unless you knew wh at love really meant. `Wag gambalain? Bakit ano bang himala ang ginagawa niya sa loob? Gigil kong sabi. The Great JULIAN SUNICO wouldn t cry over a woman. I m He was already kissing me! My head spin. I failed. His eyes. He was sitting on his swivel chair. At natakot ako kasi. And I hurt Julian. Siguro h indi niyo ko maiintindihan. Nalunok ko pa ata ang nanunuyot kong laway. WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK ARE YOU DOING?! Tricia half-screamed half-whispered. The door was locked. Once. Wala siyang alam! No! I whispered. Hindi ba dapat nagse-celebrate siya at hindi na . I m sorry. Bakit ko ba naisipang mag-give up? I never had that in my v ocabulary. I wasn t knocking now. Unless you fell in love like this. Kapag bukas ko ng pinto madilim. Jeannie. Are you just going to stand there like a n idiot? You re not even going to defend yourself? What? Iiyak ka at sasabihin mon g ikaw ang biktima? For the second time. Then the door opened. Tricia yelled at me earlier in the ho tel suite and took me out of my reverie. Julian! I gritted my teeth in anger. I caused another scandal. I stood there motionle ss. ang lola ng lola ko ang p amangkin ng anak ni Gabriela Silang. Si Brad. Tumakbo ako palabas. Since. Jean what the hell do you think are you doing to me? TEN I knocked on the door. I swore my life was doomed as Julian stared coldly at me. Then he walked away. Someone gasped. I turned on the lights and saw Julian s back. Posible pala. I thought it was in the movies or telenovelas. Ah ewan. Pwede pala kaming friends. May pills kaya itong dala sa loob? Wire? Rope ? Knife? Grabe naman. ma am sabi po ni sir. by the end of the day I wouldn t wonder if I woul d be six feet underground he was going to kill me.alled him last night? No Brad listen I m not Jean Rose. Then he turned his back on me. Tricia we re regarding me with an accusing stare. Set us free. Julian She loves me Julian. Eh. my jaw almost dropped. I failed Tricia. Sabi ni mommy. Hindi ko na natapos kung ano man ang sasabihin ko. NO over me. For the win pala itong si Tricia! Naiiyak na sana ako nun eh. Julian Na kita ko ang nagsabog na mga beer bottles. No! Bakit hindi ako makasigaw? Julian turned to me. 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. mahalaga pala ako sa kanya. Flashes of cam era. Okay. PAIN. Julian open this damned door! Ma am What! I tried to calm my nerves. Parang biglang nawala ang lakas ng loob ko. Yes. Bwisit na b inabalibag ko na ang pinto. I failed Angko. Twice. his deadly glance. The paparazzi. Hindi dapat mandamay ng inosent eng nilalang. I d us e the word banging now. Nakataas ang paa nito sa drawer. I clutched at his arm. Th e reporters were forgotten. Hindi niya kasalanan. Ahm. Tapos may humawak ulit sa braso ko. O dapat pang sabihin. No It hurt as I stared coldly at his back. I saw something luha? No. My heart stopped. Ako si Jeannie Rose Leviste. What I saw in his face tore my heart into pieces. `Yung pag-aagawan naming `yu ng bidang lalaki. Para akong pinagbagsakan ng langit at lupa.
Parang nag-init ang punong tenga ko. they were born w ith long and sharp tongues. I blinked thr ice. Naglalabasan na ang ugat nito sa leeg. n o. Ang mga singkit niyang mat a lumaki at bumilog. Screw. Papayag ka din sa a nnulment. I winced at the brutal words. Ang mga butones ng polo shirt nito ay nagkandakalas. give me strength. didn t you? Wouldn t you scream his name if we were going to To make love? I supplied nervously. Then his err erri ng hand cupped my hmm. Nataob ko ang bataan. here in the library. Bingi ba ito? Ayoko. I whispered and swallowed sharply. Hindi ito lu milingon. three days ago. darling making love is only women s term. Julian listen to me I want to come clean. Up to my neck. Bosom is for inbred ladies. Bad `yan ha. Whatever. Payag na `ko. His brow arched. D ry. There. I m right. I was that desperate. His eyes glinted. we ll only be screwing. At hindi napagi-iwanan si Julian! Did he think his w ords would hurt me? Kilala ko na siya. Men are men. He always did that that menacing steps. Hindi ako magpapatakot sa damuho nato. He started laughing demonicall y. I felt him moved a little. I want an annulment. Payag na `ko. See? He laughed out mockingly. I m not talking to your back. And then his big hand gripped me. Oh lord. Na para bang bago pa sa `kin `yun. You fvcking love him. Tapos lumapit siya sa `kin. I gulped Could n t I just look up and not on his chest. 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. the more he lashed . Hindi. Dalagang Pilipina ako no. You wanted out of this marriage because of that SOB. Lumaki ang mga mata ko. Gusto ko sanang sabihin `yun. It was a little bit awkward and delicious? I moaned inwardly. bakit Jeannie may kasama namang alak kapag nagse-celebrate `di ba? Hell. Then his hand moved. I swore Julian s eyes grew wide. With consent bosom. Sabi ko. He was trying to intimi date me. His teeth gritted. At galit na tumayo ito. Second time. If we re going to do it. He caressed my neck gently . Bakit mo ipagpipilitan ang sarili mo sa `kin kung nandyan naman si Brad? Parang biglang bumalik ang animosity nito. Nabasa ko `ya n before. His neck tie was scattered on the desk.. My I sighed silently. I swallowed against his deathly grip. That chest would hav e been illegal to cover! Payag na `ko. Alam ko kasalanan `tong gagawin ko. What the hell do you think are you doing? I was amazed. eh `di tinab lan ka ngayon! I wanted to shout victory. Ju lian. My eyes grew wide. The more he was hurt. Oh. I hated to admit it. no t down but up. My eyes grew wide. Ayan.gpapakalasing? Eh. Bulong ko. Mas nakakahiya naman kung ako pang humigit sa kanya sa kama `di ba? Oh. Why wasn t he doing a thing? We were just standing there him touching me. was I? His eyes squinted anew. Nababaliw na ata talaga ako. He swung the swivel chair roughly. `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. Tumawa ito na parang nang-aasar. Hoarse. Then I took his hand and put it on my I swallowed first. I should have known. The tic on his adam s apple moved. Julian What! Pack your things and get out of my house! He whispered angrily. Payag na `kong magpa-rape sa `yo Julian. The first time.. I put it on my na.
And you can marry your SOB of a lover. Mommy Ma am. Akala lang nila si Jean ang matalino no. He wiped his mouth with a napkin. Morning. Then from the do orway came Oh my God. I bet he was wondering what on earth was happening to me. Our mommy now. Ganon din si Julian. I could see that. Parang gusto kong manghina. Ang hininga niya.back. Balae? Napalunok ako. Hindi ako nagtatatalak sa kanya. para may maipam-blackmail ako kay Julian . If I kill you there would b e justice. But what the hell was CM doing in here? Sabi ko na nga bad vibes. Shut up Jeannie . Napaka-contagious ng aura nito. At siya? He didn t even g ive me a glance. may psychic ability kam i nitong si Julian. Para tuloy may nagsasabi sa `king may hindi mangyayaring maganda. Anong nginingiti-ngiti mo dyan? Ano bang problema nito? Panira ng araw. Kailangan kong malaman ang d eepest and darkest secret nila malay mo. And take note: with consent. Bakit kita hihi walayan eh. Oo nga po. Julian kissed my mom s cheek. And one more thing Julian. Wit h her mom. My mommy smiled. Ano pa bang dapat sabihin? Julian became withdrawn again. mommy. CM? Mommy? Marahan akong tumayo at ngumiti sa kanila. Good morning Philippines! Good morning World! Good morning mommy! I kissed Mrs. At isinara ko ang pinto. Good morning mommy. Dapat talaga naglagay ako ng banga sa harap ng p intuan para hindi nakakapasok ang masasamang espiritu sa bahay nila Julian. Tapos tinitigan niya `ko. I wouldn t be bothered by his cruel words. I secretively smiled. M arami naman siyang pambili eh. Ahm . Mukang masarap ang tulog mo hija Too bad I hadn t seen Julian s grandfather. Itinaas niya ang baba ko. Minsan naiisip ko. sir may bisita po kayo. thank you for stopping Julian from killing me last night. so my mommy s here. I whispered. Rape nga `di ba Inis kong sabi. Tapos umupo na kaming lahat. She s Jeannie s bestfriend. Okay. it didn t matter. given. Must have been the china vase that caused millions. Su nico on the cheek. Tawa ng tawa sa `kin mommy ni Julian. God. It was like I could take on the world. Julian you can t run away from me. Tinanggal nito ang kamay sa leeg ko. So how are we going to do it? Sa desk? Sa couch? Sa ibabaw ng counter? What he was doing was scaring me off. He was pus hing me away. Do you know what I want to wring your lovely neck right now. I pouted. Your bestfriend? Lumingon sa `kin si Julian. Nagkatinginan kami ni Julian. Paano mo `ko papakinabangan kung patay na `ko? He sighed. Then I heard a loud crash. Baliw na kaya ako? Kapag baba ko ay nakita kong nagbebreakfast na sa lanai si Julian. Inaalagaan mo bang maigi itong si Jean? He snorted. What is it hija? She smiled at Julian. mas mayaman ka kay Brad? I smiled b!tchily at him. Ah Julian si CM. Hin di ako nagagalit. I turned around before opening the door. Seven months. Hindi ko alam kun g bakit energetic ako at masaya. We ll ha ve an annulment after you give birth. I whispered. amoy tsiko na. O isa lang talaga lagi `yung expression niya. Tinitigan n iya `ko ng masama. ako din kaya. Ang tanong paano ko manganganak? Paano kung hindi ako pumayag? He shrugged and took to his drinking again. Biglang tumaas `yung sulok ng bibig nito. You wouldn t do that. Yes. May batas na ba dito sa bahay ang bawal ngumiti Jules? I saw his teeth gritted. He said very politely. Parang outsider din ang mommy ni Julian sa family Sunico. Negative vibes. Tapos tinitigan ni ya si CM mula ulo hanggang paa.
Tinitigan ko siya. Ahhh. Feeling ko lulubog ako sa kahihiyan. In front of me was a box of chocolate-flavored c-o-n-d-o-m-s! ELEVEN My hands trembled. It was now or never. Let me see. I m glad to finally meet you CM ex tended his hand toward Julian. T sismis. CM smiled at me. A box of chocolates. May ipapatayo nga pala akong business hija.Yeah. hija? What k ind of chocolate? A box of chocolates. Oh? Naalala ko tutal tapos ka naman ng business administration. Barakong barako.. Bottle A. God. Balae. Makakatulong `yan in future references. Hinimas ni mommy ang likod ko. It was like a tug o war between us. My mom bit her lower lip. And fashion Lahat nag-uusap save Julian. Ah. Usap. halika na t mag-breakfast na tayo. I smiled at Julian s mom. Jean Rose finished commerce. Weather forecast. Then I made mewling sounds like I w as going to throw up. Hindi ko gusto `yung tingin niya sa `kin. Two vials. Napatayo silang tatlo. Julian raise d one brow at me. Actually may mga gay friends din kami sa New Ahurm. Really? One brow arched. What the hell? Mom what s this? Pills. Inabot niya sa `kin ang isang maliit na paper bag. Later everybody was well and good. He snorted at me. I know you ll surely love it. He eyed Julian like my husband was the meal. Anong gagawin ko? Wala akong alam! Ano ano nga pala ang mga pinaglilihian mo hija? Parang hindi naman siya naglilihi. Jeannie. Julian butted in. kitang-kita ang pagkabuhay ng katawang lupa ni CM sa mga mata niya. CM an o ba `yang pabango mo ang baho! Itinulak ko si CM. Ayokong bitawan ang paper bag. Pinanlakihan ko siya ng mga mata. Sh!t. How dare you CM ! What is it? My mom asked. Tinakpan ko ang bibi g ko. Tapos bigla akong humawak sa tyan ko. Parang nanigas ang panga ko sa pag-smile. I smiled too sweetly. Bottle B. Ang mga mata ni Julian parang lobo. We re bestfriends. how could I? Kung mommy ko pa m ismo ang nagtutulak sa `king gawin ito. Tumaas ang kilay nito. CM s eyes grew wide. Then I gasped softly. I forgot to give my gift. Plan A and B. I opened the paper bag. .. Julian. Tapo s sumabog ang laman niyon sa lamesa. Julian was still scrutinizing me. Tumabi sa `kin si CM. Biglang binawi ni CM kamay niya at tumuwid ng tayo. Suspicious. Ni hindi man lang hinimas `yung likod ko! Ahm talaga po? Maganda `yan. Politics. Tila ayaw pa ng makisama! Ganyan din ako ng nagbubuntis ako kay Julian hija I smiled secretively. Pero hindi eh. so why don t you take on the job? Bigla akong nahirinan. Really. 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! . errr Masusuka ata ako. Ang boses. Julian tugged my hand. Ay grabe. I m not very particular with gays. Here. sorry. Na para bang ewan ko.
And he sla mmed the door to my face. Masakit talaga sa may bandang puson. I hissed. Ikaw na lang. I winced in pain again. Goodness. Lobo na pala a ko at si Julian ang ihahapunan ko. Hindi ba Julian? Mabait naman ako bakit ako nagkakaganito? Ngawa ako ng ngawa. Pinipilit ko namang sundin ang sampung utos ni Go d. I gritted my teeth. violation of human rights ang ginagawa ko sa sarili ko! Pwede kong kasuha n ang mga magulang ko. kaya lang patutu lugin ko muna siya? Hello? How the hell would I do that? Gumagana ba `yung ano k ung tulog ang lalaki? Parang pikot na rin `yun no. Don t pull that act on me Jeannie. Okay na `ko. Get dressed. Kun g hindi ko pa alam. Pano kung napasukan niya `kong nagyu-urinate? Or worst nagbabawas ng sama ng loob? Oh? Gigil kong sabi. Sa sobrang inis ko yumakap ako kay Julian. Huwag papatay. malay ko ba baka sakaling pagtingin ko sa salamin iba na pala pagkatao ko. This is this is Grabe. My eyes grew wide. Clean. Grabe ang sakit-sakit talaga ng puson ko. Thank you.. karma na ba ito? Jeannie? Biglang bumukas `yung pinto. Para akong bata.Alam ko. Tapos bigla akong tinalikuran! Wow. One hour later. Tears were starting to form again. Respetuhin mo ang iyong ama at ina. He was so caring and v ery sweet! Gusto ko siyang ipapapak sa mga langgam. Then I reached out to h im. Tapos parang namimilipit na naman ulit sa s akit. Hindi ba ganon ang pikot? Either that or ecstacy pills! NOT ADVISABLE. magkukunwaring tulog sa tabi niya. magtatanggal ng damit. He g lanced at me boringly then shrugged. Na glalawa na ang ilong ko kakasinghot. May pupuntahan tayo. What do I need pills for? Anak there s no other way. She s giving me a dose of ahm. J eannie! What the I blew out on his polo shirt. My mom brushed an invisible tear on her left cheek. Tinignan niya `ko na para bang nababaliw na `ko. Pero sa isip lang `yun! Huwag kang magnakaw. Naiiyak na pinunasan ko ang mga mata ko. Tinuro ko `yung dibdib niya. salamat sa singahan. Ano bang nangyayari sa `yo? Bakit ka ba sumisigaw? My eyes watered. Shrugged! My God he was so inconsiderate.. Okay lang sana kung hihiga ak o. Ako na pala si Angel Locsin. Tapos tinignan niya `yung basang parte ng polo niya. Mayamaya lang I felt something pierced within my tummy. Lalong sumasaki t. Dammit. Napakapit ako sa sink. Ha? Anak ka ng magaling ang plano ni mommy! Breathe in. O kaya magbula bigla ang bibig niya. Jeannie! He gritted his teeth in horror. Para alalayan ako. It won t work this time. Ito give this to him one hour before you go to bed. Magtat aka pa ba ako kung saan ako nagmana? Magaling ding umarte `tong mommy ko eh. Ano bang ginawa ko para parusahan ako ng Diyos Julian? Naging mabuting tao naman ako. Una lagi si papa God sa listahan ko kasunod lang si Julian na akala ata siya ang Diyos. Magbihis ka na. Ni hindi man lang marunong kuma tok. see? Obedient pa nga ako `di ba? Akalain mong gawin ko ang utos ni mommy na lagyan ng ecstacy pills ang inumin ni Julian. `di ba? Ilang beses ko lang pinagpaplanuhang patayin si Julian sa isip ko. I smiled at him sweetly. Tinitigan niya `ko. My God. Me? Jeannette Rose Le viste? Pumunta ako sa CR at naghilamos ng mukha. . Viagra? As if Julian needed i t! Hindi naman ako magtataka sa kakayahan ni Julian kaya lang. Breathe out. mabango. In fairness. Right at this moment I was wishing he could fall into a ditch. Oh. Masama pakiramdam ko.
Pinagnanasaan mo ba `ko? He was astonished at first. Bak it hindi ko man lang nakita? Tsk. Does this me an I m going to hell also? I groaned inwardly. Gusto nila sila ang hari. Ano ba `yan Ang bilis naman! Kung ano ano kasi iniisip ko. Ano ba! I hated it. Huwag kang magbibintang at huwag kang magsisinungaling. Parang gusto ko ng magpalahaw ng iyak. Parang tumataas ang altapresyon ko. Naghihikab na sumunod lang ako sa kanya. Let s go. Wala pa. Mom told me that there would be times like this you getting emotional on me. Mga walang puso.Hindi ako sumisigaw. Ahm no comment ako dyan. Malls. Tap os bigla siyang tumawa. The lines around his chink y eyes became soft. She smiled at me. Ito ba ang dahilan? Napasigok ako. we re here! My teeth clenched. Tumaas ang kilay ko. Julian s voice became tender. Nakita kong nakapagpalit na siya ng damit. NAIA? Oh. Naramdaman kong may humihimas ng tyan ko. Assuming! I rolled my eyes. he didn t and would n t show it ever. Parang bumata siya ng isang taon. Alam niyo naman po `yung white lies `di ba God? Huwag kang magnanasa sa hindi mo pag-aari. Establisments. He cleared his throat. Mauuna ka sa `kin. Wala pa namang nangyayari sa `min ni Julian. Huwag kang magnanasa sa hindi mo asawa. Hindi pa ako tapos sa drama ko I bit my lower lip. Someone pinched my nose. my God. He sighed. Period. Ano ba Hindi ko naman pinagnanasaan si Ju lian ah. No. I put his hand on the spot just below my ( `wag kulay berde) tummy. but his touch lessened the pain. Liars go to hell. Naghahyperventilate pa `yung hormo nes ko. There was so much pain written in Julian s face. Eh `di sana h indi mo sa `kin binigay si Julian! Ikaw din papa God ang may kasalanan. Oh. Awkward. mood swings I snorted. Honey AHEM! . He whispered. Honey I Ahem! Lumingon sila sa `kin. Bac kaches. Muntik na `ko dun. Pabalibag na tinanggal ko ang kamay niya sa balikat ko kahit disoriented pa `ko. Of course. My eyes grew wide. Tricia? Promise. Ang hirap maging babae. biglang nawala `yung antok ko. Julian Ano? Inis na lumingon siya sa `kin. I didn t care when he stared at me in confusion. Nagiging habit na a ta niya `yun ah. I could see that. Not one of those demon laughs of his. Naramdaman ko na lang na may yumuyug yog sa balikat ko. Jeannie. I pouted prettily. Weird. Ang aga namang punishment nito. Men never wanted to be termed weak a nd emotional. Can you please keep quiet? Lalong lumakas `yung hikbi ko. Bakit ka ba kasi iyak ng iyak? Napanguso ako. Isa lang bata pa naman tala ga siya. Sa puson. Masama talaga epekto sa `kin `pag -FOOL moon. Grabe. Hindi ko pa naman sinasabing supe r okay na kami ah. Kung hindi pa sigaw na tawag `yun eh ano? So bulong pa `yun ganon ? Huwag kang makikiapid sa hindi mo asawa. But I saw through his façade. Tricia I m sorry. I thought you re not coming. 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. Iba ang admiration sa lust. Tumango lang ako as if saying go on . Sumanda l ako sa upuan at hinimas niya `yung parte kung saan ko nilagay `yung kamay niya . Hindi ko napansin na nakatulog na pala ako. Hinimas-himas ko `yung puson ko. Of course not. So sinamantala ko na. I wanted to sleep and never wake up. Wala naman masyado. Ano ba kasing masakit? Gusto kong mapaantanda. Nakapamulsa si Julian. Are you sure this one was Julian? He was lau ghing cheerfully. Mood swings? Mero Buntis ka rin? Inirapan ko siya. I smirked and peer ed at the scenery outside.
Wala na namang problema sa `kin `yun eh. Then I heard my phone ringing. Full moon. My God I was going crazy with pain. I was really rooted on the ground. Take good care of him. Argh. walang choice. Meron argh. She smiled at me. She kissed Julian on the mouth! Just a peck. As in a smudge of red lipstick on the side of his lips. Ang kapal! I tried to calm my nerves. Sana ma-solve mo na `y an. Lumapit ulit si Tricia kay J ulian. Hind i ko sinasadya! I gritted my teeth. Kasi naman may pangalan nam an `yung tao. Bulong ko habang sakay kami ni Julian pabalik. It was only four in the afternoon. wala naman siya dito? I sighed. What for? Ipapakulam kita! You and Tricia. Hindi ko sinasadyang mapatingin sa labi niya. Makakaangal pa ba siya eh. I looked at my nails innocently. Julian raised his brow. In short. Talaga? Oo naman. do tell me. What? Do you know where I can buy a doll? His one brow arched. Too happy.Julian glared at me. Humarap siya sa `kin. Oh. Gusto mong pumunta sa heaven? He pursed his lips teasingly. Julian looked at me in horror. I swore I heard Tricia giggled. The nerve! Akala ko ba friends na kami? Julian waved at her. Nagyakap sila. Suminghot ulit ako. Nagulat ako when she hugged me. I saw red. I wanted to die. Ano namang akala niya gagawin ko `yung ginawa ko sa kanya kay Tricia? I smirked. Our families expected us to marry since we were kids. Dysmenorrhia. Okay lang? A token of farewell. Friends? Yeah. 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. Friends! When you come back to New York. Hindi ko siya pinansin. Ha? Before I knew it. Ipinikit ko `yung mata ko. How absurd no I nodded. We re just one of those cases of childh ood Korean sweethearts. As in NOW. buntis ako. H-hello? Jeannie! Ano?! Shopping tayo. Hindi sila magkakaroon ng apo mula sa pinakamaganda nilang anak. Sy empre second lang si Jean. H inimas himas ko ulit `yung puson ko. May excuse ako para magkaganito. layuan mo `ko! Mi nsan nga naiisip ko ipatanggal ko na lang kaya `yung uterus ko? Kaso kawawa naman sila mommy. But a kiss is a kiss! Then she started giggling as she took her bags with her. Ayoko. what have I done again? He sighed impatiently. Inirapan ko siya. . Tapos lumapit siya sa `kin. O. Niyakap niya `ko! Tumaas `yung kilay ko dun. S ometimes he thought he knows what he s doing.
Who on earth would give a con contraceptives as a gift? Nakikita kong lalong pan iningkit ng mga mata nito. Who s that? No one. Matuwa kaya siya? In the states it is very common! Sigaw ko. Ceasarian? As in hiwa. Inis na bumaba ako.Narinig kong bumuntunghininga si CM. Afte r CM gave me the details where to the line went disconnected. In amusement? Malamang magsha-shopping. he was leading me to a a baby section. Bakit pag-aari mo na rin ba `tong mall ha? Ha. Sa huli ako pa rin ang sinunod ni manong at pumunta kami sa S. A t sa kutsilyo. Manong bababa na po ako. Try me. I mean kelan gan manganak na `ko Don t worry Jeannie. Sinisiguro kong mababaon siya ng buhay sa mura ko. Tricia is my ex! Until you came along. Mall. It was just a kiss. Nagtataka lang ako what does S stand for? Anong gagawin natin dito? His lips twitched at the corner. Fine. Eh Julian. 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. Anong silbi mo? I rolled my eyes heavenward. I need to buy a nine-mo nth package. Tapos umiwas ng mata na parang nahuli ko sa akto. Nanghihinang sabi ko na ikinalingon ni Julian. T-takot ako sa karayom. no. Lee yesterday I asked her kung pwede kang i-ceasa rian. I heard his footsteps behind me. Who s that? CM. Tap os hinigit niya `yung braso ko. Jeannie! He shouted authoritatively. Ugh. Seryoso nga! Napahaw ak agad ako sa stain sa bandang crotch ko. kaya nga diba? Nandun ako! I saw her kissed you. Before I knew it. I gulped. It was huge and big. Nahuli ko naman talaga sila ah! We just got used to it. Wait lang Julian! What? Virgin ka pa ba? . Jul ian grabbed my hand. Sumandal ulit ako. The hell I care. I called Dr. I saw red! No Naiiyak na bulong ko. Nag-iisa na nga lang ang sanitary pad ko sa bag ko. He was going to get a tongue lashing from me. He raised one brow and read the newspaper. Kung sa mga ganong klase ka ng tao sasama baka kung ano ano mapulot mong kalokoha n. Stupid. Julian. wait! Nine months? Kelangan malaki na tyan ko nun. Hello Jeannie! I ll go shopping with you later. nagpapanic kong sabi. No. You cannot stop me. His bark was always worse th an his bite. Fifteen minutes. Oh. Umuwi na tayo. You got used to kissing a friend on the lips? Namamangha kong sabi. Ingos ko sa kay Julian. Mall. Grabe. Ah ganon. Bakit ba ako nagsuot ng pa lda? `Yung hanggang kalahating hita ko pa. I said Sige na Jeannie shopping na tayo. We go home. Lecheng si CM. Naintindihan mo ba ayoko ngan My eyes grew wide. N ew establishment. Feeling ko lalo akong dudugu in kay Julian. Eh. Seryoso ba ito? I looked at his face. Badtrip. 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. Didn t I tell you not to talk to him again? Manong punta po tayo sa S. Pano kung sabihin ko sa kanyang nag-suggest si CM na i-french kiss ko siya. He told me to meet up! Then what he was late.
Kahapon. No. HAHA. Jean nette is very busy. Julian frowned. I gasped aloud. At siya? Tinitigan niya lang ako. Unti-unti akong napatingin sa tyan niya. She smiled sweetly at Julian. You never told me your sister s here. Sir. hindi nak . I didn t know him. Pinaparusahan niyo ba talaga `ko God? Jeannie Jeannette. For the life of me. Bwisit na buha y `to. Hindi bumenta. Gusto ko siyang sakalin. Ang kapal! Excuse me lang ha Parang lalabas `yung dugo ko. Baka hinihintay na tayo ni CM. H-hi s-sorry I wasn t able to to come to your wedding. Promise. kill me now! I whispered. everything save that it wasn t me! Jean?! Jeannie? Para kaming naestatwa. Inis na naglalakad pa `ko. What the hell Kasi hindi ka pwedeng pumunta sa heaven. I was about to pick up a a pair of baby shoes when a hand caught mine. Ano bang dapat kong sabihin? Hey. And why do you ask? Kasi demonyo ka. right? Lumingon siya sa `kin tapos kay Jean. my face. hindi ko rin alam?! Ahmm Napalunok ako. Tumawa ako sa sarili kong joke. Takp an ko kaya ng sako ang mukha ni Julian? Artistahin? Kaya lalong lumalaki ang ulo nito. Two and three weeks. Manipis pa `yun.Julian was shocked. Parang nanghihinang napakapit ako kay Julian. Parang naguluhan. wait `Di ba dapat maging masaya ako? Yeah kauuwi niya lang kahapon Julian. Yes. At sabi nila ang mga demonyo daw virgin pa. She s also pregnant? Jean and I both looked stupidly at the baby shoes. Nanlalaki ang mga mata ni Jean. Jean? Pinanlakihan ako ng mata ng kakambal ko. How many months? Napatingin ito sa tyan ni Jean. long time no see twin? Jeannie We both slowly turned at the voice. Iisa lang `yun! Ako lahat `yun! Tsk. wife niyo po? At feeling close! Julian smiled back at her. He stared fixedly at Jean. pareho kaming nagkulay papel ng kap atid ko. Pink or blue? Ha? Hindi pa nga natin alam `yung gender `di ba? My voice trembled. Meron pa bang surprise? Ano pa ba? But my. He was eyeing me and Jean. Kung tot oong buntis lang ako baka nakunan ako sa sobrang bwisit kay Julian. Yumakap ako sa bewang niya. Ah yeah. Biglang lumapit ang saleslady sa `min. Julian! I forced a smile upon my face. Excuse me? Gigil na sabi nito. No. Paano ko sasabihin sa`yo eh. Ah yeah? At ikaw ang ama! Sumasakit `yung puson ko. Parang ang corny ata ng joke ko. I couldn t sprout any more lies. Let s have lunch together. Ano bang meron? Parang feeling ko mahihimat ay na `ko kahit anong oras. He was with Jean! Vince? Vincent Gonzalo? Julian hissed. Kauu wi ko lang. ri ght. Julian He picked up a feeding bottle. Jean? Let s What the hell was happening? I almost groaned aloud. nakatanga lang siya sa `kin. Pero meron mer on God. He knew?! He called you Jeannie! She mouthed when Julian s back was turned to her. Funny same with you Jeannie. May lalaking paparating. Masama pa na mang ginagalit ang babaeng kabuwanan. No! No! Halos mag-duet kami ng kapatid ko. We shook our heads in unison. Na parang natatakot akong bawi in siya sa `kin ni Jean. Oh. She s my mistress. Pareho pala kami ng kuku nin. Inis na tinignan ko kung sinomang intrimitid It was like I was looking into my own wide eyes. At ngayon sumasakit `yung ulo k o. Biglang umayos ako ng tayo. Juli an squinted his eyes.
why don t you tell our lover boy here what we re doing here. Afraid of the little woman? Oh The tough Vincent Gonzalo was afraid of his. I forgot I was stepping into the great Juli an Sunico s lair. I wasn t that bad to wish for her to have a miscarriage. Foul `yun no. He wasn t handsome but he was sexy. If you only knew Julian. Lumapit agad a ko sa kakambal ko. Muntik na akong mapaubo. Iumpog ang ulo sa pader para matauhan. I should have known. Vince looked at my sister in mixture of shock and hor ror. 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. Sasakalin talaga kita `pag tumakas ka pa! Jean honey. I was wishing the floor would cave in and ea t me whole. Ang sarap hampasin ng mga i nsensitive na lalaki sa mundo. I play fair. Gusto ko silang pagumpugin dalawa. Julian gave him a mocking smile. He laughed humorlessly. Jean nette. Halata ko ang takot sa mga mata niya. Hey The guy s mouth twitched sarcastically. Vince ma y be a bastard son of a bi tch. I ll call you. What the hell are you doing here? Julian stepped forward in anger. Ever. Bigla akong natakot. Gusto kong lumubog sa kinatatayuan. myself and I. Julian! I screamed in panic. Jean took his hand. Jeannie I won t go back to Julia n. Julian I Vincent may pupuntahan pa tayo `di ba? My twin. Conceited jerks! To our astonishment Vince started laughing. Jean Bulong ko at hinila ko siya ng onti palayo. I opened my mouth to say goodbye. Pati ata si Sailormoon. Bumalik ako sa tabi ni Julian. 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. He smirked. Were they together? Obviously. Natatakpan ko siya mula sa mga lalaki kaya hindi nila narin ig. Vince `yung tyan ko! Jean sobbed and cupped her stomach gently. Napangiwi ako at nag-aalalang tinignan ang hit a niya kung may sign ng dugo. Anong pangako iyon? Napatingin ako sa kakambal ko. By God.Kung sa bagay. The two men looked astounded. Niyakap ko siya. Then she purred groaned aloud. Pati ako hindi malaman ang gagawin. lagi na lang siya n akikipagkompitensya sa `kin. no Lucifer and Michael met. Ngayon ko lang na-re alize. Wife? Hinawakan ito ng mariin ni Jean. I was an idiot. Pero tinabig lang niya `ko. I opened my mouth t o shout at him. Marahan akong lumingon. He even courted Tricia. Jean? Napalingon ito sa `ming dalawa. This one was oozing sex appeal. More like plead ed. That took Vince out of his reverie. Pero wala talaga! I could only save me. But he s responsible. So who s Michael? Definitely not Julian. Julian Hinawakan ko ang braso niya. The guy smirked at him. Vince let s go. Vince grinned maliciously at me. For years.. Mabilis nitong niyakap si Jean at binuhat. dinadasalan ko na ang lahat ng santo. kung i-seseduce . Jean wagged the man s arm. Sino `yan? In fairness yummy ha. wife? You ve never bested me before what now? Inilahad nito ang kamay. Oh. M ay tatlong lalaki sa likod nila ang dumating out of nowhere. THIRTEEN Was it the end of the world? Was it a clash of good and evil? Kung alam niyo lan g.aligpas sa pansin ko magaling talagang pumili ang kapatid ko. Bulong niya. Hindi ko na kailangang maging genius para malamang they weren t in good terms. I don t know if I s hould be thankful he didn t get to seduce my wife. She was just shaking her head. We re not yet through Sunico. No. Then Jean winked at me! My jaw almost dropped. Bodyguards. Tinatawag ko na si Darna at si Batman. Don t worry about her. You promised me She whispered. he knew..
Ay. alam mo na `yun. CM? I love you! Julian glared at me. Salamat ha. Napaatras naman ako. See? Ibinigay niya sa `yo si Julian. Not because I was afraid of the dragon. Parang kinikiliting tumili ito. Pero kung kung mabubuntis naman ako . Sabihin mo kay Jean ibalato na lang sa `kin `yung isa. Feel na feel nito. Tapos ipinilantik niya `yung kamay. Parang ayaw mag-process ng brain ce lls ko. You should be at home before seven. Starbucks. nagsinungaling na buntis. CM if Jean won t come back. Walang modo talaga! Anong akala niya sa `kin? Bata? May curfew? At saka I gritted my teeth. I didn t know that. Ano? Inis kong sabi. Delicadeza na lang `di ba? Ano `yun `yung mga anak naming mag-pinsan na magkapa tid pa? Ang sagwa `di ba? Tama. Landi. ahem. Nag-ano. Tinanggal nito a ng rolex wrist watch at ibinato sa `kin. So she s pregnant? With Julian? CM sipped his Caffe Mocha. Magkape ka na nga lang para kabahan ka naman sa mga pinagsasasabi mo. I smiled sheepi shly. But because . I have to be pregnant. Y uck. I stared at him stupidly. Then you ll scream at the peak JU LIAAAAN. Akin na lang siya! Hindi si ya magugutom sa `kin promise. Babae. Libre mo `ko ha. Anong hmm? My brain wasn t functioning well. Then he ordered another beverage. I was addlebrained. Which means y ou re going to live forever as her. Hindi ko siya pinapansin. Gross. He even demonstrated the expressions. mukhang hindi mo na talaga maibabalik si Jean. He smiled fishily. He took my hand and gave me keys. Sabihin ko na lang kaya? I was getting frustrated. Pasabunot na itinukod ko ang kamay sa round table. Sa kanya si Vince which leaves Brad alone. He nodded. Kalaba ng mortal ng mga Sunico. Hindi ako ipokrita para sabihing hindi ako mate-tempt. Napatingin ang isan g babae dito na kanina pa titig na titig kay CM. Tapos iisa ng tatay paglabas non. You didn t tell me they re together? Hindi pa rin talaga ako pinapabayaan ni God my phone started ringing. Buti ka pa friend. He put his two fingers together. Ang slow mo naman Jeannie! `Yung tentenenententen. Inirapan ito ni CM. Pabalewalang sabi nito. Talaga? Wow. Nauna na `kong umuwi kay CM. I opened my mouth to scream at him. for sure mukha ding kambal. Very observant lang. At isipin mo na lang kambal kayo. Magka-tonsilitis ka sana. He hissed and turned his back on me. What! There were so many untold stories here. business magnate. m arunong naman akong tumingin ng oras no. Sabi nila the Gonzalos were bankrupt by the Sunicos. Julian where are you goi The driver already went home. He shrugged nonchalantly. praise the lord. Ngayon pa lang bumabawi. bongga alam mo naman tayong m agaganda Nahirinan ako dun. hindi halatang tsismosa. pero `wag mo `kong sisihin kung bakit nasa headlines ka bukas. CM just laughed at me. I guess so? I told him everythi ng there was. F rom the looks of it. Tapos nanlaki ang mga mata na tumingi n sa `kin. pinatay ng asawa. no? Teka nga nag hmm na ba kayo? Bumilog ang mga mata nito at lumapit maigi ang mukha sa `kin. You have the same features. I don t have money! Isasangla ko `tong relo mo! I shouted after him. `Yung ano Ngumuso ito. Tumaas lang `yung kilay niya.niya `ko. Siya itong nag-aya aya tapos ako manlilibre?! Mahiya ka naman sa lalamunan mo. Halleluja. What s this? Obvious ba? Susi ng sasakyan. Sabihin mo na. Really? Biglang lumaki ang mata nito. He was a chic. ang dami mong naitutulong eh. Muntik ko ng hindi masalo. My blush intensified. And she s with Vincent Gonzalo.
I should have seduced him sooner. Pati ba ang pagmumura counted na din? You can now take her. I lived my life spontaneously. I felt the impact of it. Peter was also a philosopher. pain. Argh . Hindi pa ako nagbabayad sa mga pinagkakautangan ko sa New York. My head bumped the side window. The shards of glasses splintered on the side. emotion al stress. No! Ibababa nila `ko sa impyerno. Were you telling me that I shouldn t have followed those novels I so much liked? Sabi kasi nila mag pakatotoo. I stared incredulously at the shining bald head of St. I cried out. Nakalimutan kong mag-slow down sa inter section. and a lot more blended together. Pinilit ko namang maging mabait. 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. At may biglang safety air balloon na lumobo sa harapan ko. blah. I knew I cal led Julian s name. . I wasn t so sure. Plus one. It w as a good thing Jean and I both know how to drive. Paano kung mas marami ang kasalanan ko? Eh `d i may utang pa `ko? I groaned. sa langit ba ako pupunta? Para kasing hindi naman ` to heaven eh. FOURTEEN Ito ang listahan ng mga kasalanan at kabutihan mo Was he serious? Sa sa langit na ba ako? I mean. I knew that there were endless problems but I stil l wanted to sur vive. My heart hammered loudly. Anong ibig niyong sabihin? Anak katawan lang ang iniiwan sa lupa hindi ang common sense. Meaning good minus bad? What the fu ck. I was shocked when an overspeeding c ar on the side tipped its way toward me. blah. The impact.the princess also needed her precious rest. Little did I know that St. P eter. Ayaw nila akong papasukin sa heaven! Kasama si Julian. My eyes opened wide. It was suffocating me. It was getting hot. I sighed. I star ted sobbing quietly. It was too quickly. If only I had known. Then I ende d up bumping a big trunk of a tree. Hindi pa `ko prepared makita si San Pedro at saka God sabi nga ni CM hindi ko pa alam ang feeling ng nag-tetentenenententen. ayokong lumaki ang eyebags ko. God I have so many unfinished businesses. Hindi ko pa nabibigyan ng apo sina mommy. My eyes were open wide. Mababangga ako! Pilit kong iniiwas ang sasakyan. `Wag m una. Sana isinama na rin nil a `yung driver na nag-overspeeding. Ilang araw na ding hindi ako natutulog ng maayos. magkaroon ng maraming pimples. Magiging demonyo nga ako? Dahil virgin pa `ko. Right minus wrong. `Yun naman ang ginawa ko. Syempre. I was pulled deeper into a pit less hole of nothingness. I was feeling drowsy. Hanapin mo ang sarili mo blah. I drove faster than I should have. Ayokong mukhang stressed out. Wala sa loob ko. Jeannie Jeannie Did they know my name? Argh.
Pero pero nakiki ta ko na si mommy! I was panting so hard. No ribs broken. damn! I thought she s okay. Nag-movie marathon ako. What are you watching? I got engrossed. Papatayin ako ni Julian. Anyway. Wal a naman talaga akong sugat. I want my mommy. mommy. He frowned at me. I couldn t help it. Tulog. What the fu ck s happening to my wife? Sumisigaw na sab i ni Julian. Where s Julian? The door burst open. The doctor frowned. What if it was too late? He smil ed at me and patted my head like the way he used to. `Yung natatakpan ang mukha ko. may DVD version na ang Romeo and Juliet . Kung hindi pa siya madaan sa santong dasalan. I tsked. She was crying. parang hindi tot oo. Speaking of the devil. I have no time to explain doc. mmkay? Anyway. Sorry San Pedro. Totoo naman ah. Tapos super bait niya. parang h indi niya nagegets! Naiiyak na `ko sa gigil. Naiiyak na niyakap ako ng daddy ko. Please. death? Napan giwi ako. nood tv. My parents excused themselves. Doc. My smile froze in place. kain. sa santong paspasan na l ang. I hissed at Julian. Disoriented pa `ko. blame my sister f or giving me this idea. Is she alright? My God. she s not even in the brink of danger. Please Julian. Awww Pareho silang napatingin sa `kin. My jaw became slacked. Wala ako ng maramdamang sakit. Ngumiti ang doctor sa mommy ko. What ever. Saka na tayo magbilangan. Mumultuhin ako ni Angko. ibalato ni yo na po sa `kin `to. ang katawan ko. Minsan. Malaki utang na loob ko sa inyo doc. Kinuha ang stethoscope. Tapos . No nothing. higa. Sure ako dun. It s a matter of life and . just pretend the babe s okay. He was skimming every part of me. basa ng novels. Biglang bumukas ang pinto. My mommy was crying silentl y. When the door closed I took the doctor s hand. Whichever comes first. Hindi ko alam kung bakit ito ang ipinahiram sa `kin ng hitad kong bestfriend. He stared at me incredulously. I bit my lower lip sa sobrang gigil. May ininject bang pampamanhid? She s out of danger. how I missed my family. Napakapit ako bigla sa puson ko.Jeannie Jeannie I slowly opened my eyes. Na para bang alam niya gagawin kung may s ugat nga ako! Hindi naman siya ang doctor. Parang na-guil ty naman ako. As soon as the doctor gave me his promise I persuade Julian to take me home. Baby? Mr. Sunico there s no Oh my saving grace. Grabe. Gusto kong matawa na matakot kay Jul ian. baka ako pa ang lasunin ni Julian. Parang nataranta ang doctor sa galit nito. Only a small wo und on her forehead. She s okay except for How about the baby? He cut him off frantically. It was as if Julian was possessed by some good spirit. Nakakokonsensya na ng a ako. Then I blinked thrice. Then I saw m y dad. Actually. I don t know. my Leonardo Dicaprio s yummy. Excuse me Mr. My nai ls dug deeper into his arm. Please. Oh. Call mom my Parang hesitant pa itong tumakbo palabas. The doctor frowned e ven more. ang mukha ko. I moaned aloud and curled into a fet al position. there s no bab Kumapit ako sa braso ng doctor. Are you okay? Natatarantang hinawakan niya ang buhok ko. There I saw my mom. maiisip mong kailan mo din palang i-express ang nararamdaman mo sa kanila. Bulong niya. Mall! I smiled charmingly. Is she having a miscarriage? Sigaw ulit nito. Naii nggit tuloy ako sa gumanap na Juliet. Ahmm free shopping spree at S. Sunico. Guilty ako. Iniisip ba niyang iinom din ako ng lason para lang makasama ko si Julian? The wo rst is. At saka niya lang siguro napansin na nandun nga ang doctor. He was worried! I smiled eagerly as the doctor gave his prognosis. `Yung winner na smile ng close-up. Tsk. I whispered brokenly. Ambad ko. I winced. I love you daddy. God. for his sake. In all fairness.
I wondered why men turned away when things get mushy or better yet emotional. Umusod ako palayo. I gasped aloud. Laway mo tumutulo Julian swiped an invisible saliva down the side of my lips.Goodnes s. Excuse me? Ayoko ng pakinggan pa kung ano na namang panlalait ang maririnig ko kay Julian. Hello? Jean Rose Leviste? Irene here. I snuggled close to Julia n. they were always the one who resorted to cuddling. Napalunok ako. while she kept moving her lips to and fro against Romeo s. Inis na dumiretso na `ko ng upo. N abitin ako nung tinawag ng nursemaid si Juliet. I d tell you. I groaned aloud. 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. She kept telling no. I was imagining that Julian was Romeo and Juliet was of course me. Sosyal. ugh eating each other in the pool. My mobile started ringing. hell move a little bit closer baby. I couldn t help but sigh pleasurably.niyakap ko `yung unan ng mahigpit. FIFTEEN Make love to me . O. Despite her in nocent face was a great k-i-s-s-e-r. basta siya magtuturo sa `kin. Inggit lang siya wala sa kanya `yung atens yon ko. Naka-home base kaya! Ayan oh. Naalala ko bigla k ami ni Julian. Tapos sa swimming pool scene. Dumila pa `ko sa kanya. I d hug CM when we meet again. Parang feeling ko a ko ang naaatat na hatakin si Leonardo at papakin. They were kissing underwater! I wished Leonardo would kiss me like th There s a rumor that he s gay. Nakatanga talaga ako. Give Julian the credit to ruin my fantasy. Then I sighed. sig e na. Natuwa ako kasi mu ka talagang inosente `yung gumanap na Juliet. Napatitig talaga ako sa eksena sa party. Kesyo mali daw `yun. I leaned my head in the cove of his neck. I was having kinky thoughts. Napansin ko pero kunwari wala lang pero deep inside I was like. basta gwapo si Romeo. Lumayo-layo si Juliet. Then a sm ile slowly inched its way to the corner. Tuwang-tuwa talaga ako sa palabas na `to. Fast-learner kaya ako. aber? I snorted. At si Tricia. Wh en in fact. One advantage of being rich. Hindi ko gusto `yung ngi sing `yun ni Julian. Pasalamat siya kung yummy si Leonardo DiCaprio mas h ot para sa `kin si Johnny Depp. I forgot all about our honeymoon. May reunion nga pala tayo. if I know kung anong bawal siyang masarap. Akalain mo `yun. I shivered delightedly. He smil ed evilly. Mayamaya lang. Hindi ko pinansin ang pandidiri sa mukha niya. Siya si Rosaline! Siya `yung first forgotten love . Nagpapakipot na naman. Romeo is stupid. Siguro nahiya lang siya so for his sake I inched closer. Sus. thanks. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street na lang ang panoorin natin. Then they fell into the water again when they declared their undying love. dinaig pa `ko. Gee. His voic e became husky. Ingos na tinabig ko `yung kamay niya. Care ko. Tsk. honeymoon na nila. right stupid. Titig na titig ako. we were both silently watching. Plasma ang tv. Na para bang sinasabing habulin mo `ko . Alam mo `yun my hair on the nape stood on ends. Hindi ko napansin na nilagay niya `yung braso niya sa likod ng ulo ko. Siguro kahit ako din naman. I wasn t very particular with the chin itos. I gasped so very loud than the first time. Then they were like kissing. Juliet was leading Romeo into a dance kis s. Then you re the one who s stupid! Had I really said that? Yeah. I said he s stupid.
Yes. Sino ba? Parang naririnig ko pa rin ang boses ni Angko.What? You heard me make love to me. who wouldn t? No wonder Julian got dibs on you. He grabbed my arm. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. My FIRST TIME. Marahan akong umupo. I was actually purring. I bit my lower lip then I sniffed. Umiling ito. Galit na binalibag ko ang pinto. You promised me! You promised me you won t hurt Julian. I wiped the threatening tears away. is it a yes or a no? No. Ilang shots pa lang. NOW. Magsakit-sakitan kaya ako ulit? Bak a sakaling bumait pa siya. Me? I slithered my body against him. I would dance the night away like it would be my last time. Hindi kaya nagkakamali si Angko ng pagpaparamdaman? I absent-mindedly touched my stomach. Not that it was unusal. What was happening? Parang umiikot an g paligid ko. Not. Ang sama talaga ng ugali ni Julian! Ni hindi man l ang binuksan ang lamp shade bago umalis. Nakita ko siya kanina paalis. I bet you re feeling fvcking hot? And dir ty. Pero hindi ba `yun naman dapat ang maramdaman ko? Hindi ako ito. Sorry ahm. Gee I rocked my hips back in forth to the rhythm. More more My God. Feeling ko ang dumi-dumi ko. What the hell were those dreams all about? there was a woman with no face. Hindi ako. Tapos lumapit siya sa `kin. Or Was it me? Then ther e was Angko. Lumingon lingon ak o. like a cat. Last night ko na `to. Is. Para akong nakuryente. Parang gusto niya na talaga akong isama sa dako paroon kung hindi ko gagawin ang gusto niya. Hindi ako. Angko was staring down at me. Out of the blue. Hell. Ahm I m suppose d to be drunk. Someone tapped my shoulder from beh I screamed. was I? He s got gray eyes. I won t effin waste my time on somebody who s not worth it. good morning? G morning. Kinakarma na ba talaga `ko? Hindi na `ko nakatulog. You re drunk. You promised me! She was sweating coldly. Hindi ako. Hell yeah. So. Did you know what he did? Nilagpasan niya lang ako. I felt my eyes widening. You. Kailangan pa bang ulit-ulitin niya `yun? Alam ko. Seryoso ba si Angko? Minumulto nga ako nito! I was trembling violently. Humahabol ata sa buwanang dalaw ko. Angko! Jean? Uncle Bert? I gritted my teeth. His lips twitched on the side. What s gotten into you? Masamang espiritu. Napaupo ako bigla at napa-sign of the cross. Madilim ang buong paligid. Grabe lakas ng tam a sa `kin ng martini. Angko knelt down the side of the bed and touched my stomach. Masyado ka ng madaming naiinom. Oh boy. And happy. I gasped a little. I couldn t be m istaken. This is not you. I wasn t that drunk. Sinabi ko iyon na parang nagdedemand lang ng fla vor ng chupachups. Don t hurt him. . This. Goodness. I m a big time loser. I waved at him. A helluva way to say it. Have you seen Julian? I shook my head. When the man swayed me back and forth I felt his rock hard body poking againt mine. I didn t know a mere whisper in the ear could feel ticklish. He was s tanding there. Ano `yun? Insenso seryoso ba tala ga si Angko? Kinilabutan ako. No. Fine. He shook his head. And sexy Kaya nga tinawag itong bar `di ba? I stupidly c raned my neck. Wanna ride with me boyo? Parang may sariling isip ang bibig 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?
Una pa man talaga never naman akin `t o. Before I knew it he threw my underwear with brownish stain on it! I hate you. I didn t turn around. Humarap ako sa kanya. aren t we? Ang laki ng talo ko. Sana inutang mo na lang sa `kin ang pambili ng bahay niyo. I thought she wouldn t do this. I cried a river last night. what was a piece of flesh for a Sunico like him ? Kapirasong laman lang iyon. Baka kasi siya ang nawalan ng pinaka-iingatang dangal. Jeannie. Morning. Butter Diner s. my God. Para akong naguluhan. Bayad na `ko sa `yo. no. I got attracted to you that first time. WHAT?! Seryoso? You you lied to us. He called me four times. I shook my head. Was it that t . He didn t even bother putting his shirt on. It should have been Jean s. Pinigilan ko ang kamay kong masakal ang kapatid ko. Ayo ko. Hindi ako kumibo. You look so vulnerable and trusting. I heard him swore. Everything. What did he want this time? Humarap ako sa kanya. Sige. Are you mad? My baby it s not Julian s. Oh. We re both devils. I took my perso nal things and left those that weren t mine. magpanggap siyang wala ako. I winced. I swallowed an imaginary lump in my throat. You know what. He s he s mine now. I smiled at him. Hinawakan nito ang kamay ko. Ni hindi ko man lang napansin. Was he immune t o pain already? At least they had something in common now. Hindi ako `yun Julian. I thought I wouldn t forgive my sister for what she d done. The dream. Jean what is this all about? Jeannie I m sorry. I can t tell you everything. She was my twin. Oh. Tahimik na bumaba ako ng sasakyan. Wala na `kong balak bumalik kay Julian. The he called my name. So innocent. Baka hindi ko siya matantya. At galit na binalibag ko ang pintuan pasara. I smiled mockingly. He wasn t looking at me. Pabalibag na binuksan ko ang closet. Yes. Ours was a marriage made in hell. Tinitigan ko ang leather seat. Ayoko ng sabihing bakit siya ba ang nasaktan? Siya ba ang nawa lan ng virginity? Kung sa bagay. Sorry sorry eh. He hissed. Nothing less. Kahit isa wala. Was she talking in Latin? Parang sinabi niyang a lien ang nakabuntis sa kanya. kung batukan kaya kita riyan? Bakit mo ba kasi ginawa `yun? What wo uld I do now? We can t just trade places again. I wished we ve never met. We can live like this forever. Sana sana sinabi mo na lang sa `kin una pa man. God. Nasa garahe na kami. Why did you do that? bulong nito. I I gasped. Parang hind i nito nararamdaman ang pag-agos ng dugo habang nagmamaneho ito. To me? To Julian? You wanted him to father your baby? Oh my. when I first saw you crying at the hotel. Talo? We re even. Pero parang wala naman akong choice.Ayoko siyang tignan. Nothing more.
I didn t want to cry. You re not that expensive. Becau se we just met only a few times after the the Pikot. You are you are She s your real wife Julian. Julian I m Jeannette. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. . Bakit ba? Eh. We looked down. Ma am. I couldn t take the lies anymore. Jeannie listen to me. I muttered. iba ako. The corner of his lips twitched. Julian didn t know me that well. He cursed floridly. Bigla siyang umupo at hinawakan ang ty an. Bigla niyang hinarang ang bulto sa harapan ko. But tears were starting to pool in my eyes. I replaced her. Umuwi na tayo Jean. It won t work this time. My heart went wild. He frowned. She went missing before your wedding day. Para akong bagong ano panganak. It was the empty glass. Parang dagang tumalilis si Jean. You owe me five million minus the interest which is your purity. We both jumped in surprise when I heard a loud crash. Nakita kong may benda ang kam ao niya. I mean hindi niya napansin na iba ka. Bigla itong tumuwid ng tayo. I bet he was ready to wring our ne cks. Nakita ko sa likod niya si si Jean? What are you doing here? Not that I was blaming her but but Hell. May bisita po kayo. She suddenly winced and moaned. Ayokong isipin kung ano ang napakalaking kasalanan niya sa `kin. I stared fixedly at him. Nakita ko ang masamang tingin ni Julian ng dumaan si Jean. Hindi na pwede. Pareho kaming pareho kaming Pero Jeannie hindi pwede. Narinig ba niya? What truth. damn you! Sigaw nito na rinig ata ng buong subdivision. At wala kayong magagawa ni mommy. We ll tell you Julian about thi s. There the devil stood. I m so Don t fuccking say sorry to me. If you want you can tell Julian the whole fucccking tru What fuccccking truth are you talking about? We both turned at the door. Do you think your virgi nity caused millions? I gasped at his crudeness. 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. I blamed her. What the hell are you talking about? Napatingin ito kay Jean. At itinaas ang ulo na parang sa reyna. I whispered defiantly. And boy. Nakita ko ang galit sa mga mata niya. I walked like a zombie. Hinila ko ang kamay niya at kinuha ang clutch bag. I looked up. yes. Inirapan ko siya. he was damned furious. Naiiyak ako habang naliligo naalala ko lahat ng pag-uusap namin. I promised Vincent. Wala namang gumalaw non. if I know ganyang ganyan din arte ko sa may hospital. I walked past him. Ayoko ng magpanggap na ikaw! Kung gus to mo bumalik ka dito at No! Iling ko. At hind i kita ibabalik sa mga magulang mo hangga t hindi mo nababayaran iyon. darling. Sinampal ko siya. Stop it. He looked fierce. And the baby s not yours. What else was there? He was betrayed. Ayoko na Jean. Niloko.hen? `Di ba ang mga kambal ay may kakaibang koneksyon? Jeannie please No! I couldn t take it. Bakit ka nagbabalot ng damit? Tinabig ko `yung kamay niya. Uuwi na `ko sa `tin.
Inirapan ko siya. Tapos biglang bumukas `yung pinto. Tumayo ka dyan. Mali mali. Wala na lang siyang ginawang mabuti kung hindi paiyakin at sakta n ako. I was fuming mad. Kahit naman f ine arts ang kinuha ko alam ko naman kung anong ibig sabihin ng kontrata. I busied myself for how many seconds minutes I pouted and made face. Makapal iyon. I wanted to kill him right this minute. Tapos nagdrawing ako ng dalawang sungay. A chauvinist. Mah abang buntot. leaning against the bed. Ang pinakababoy sa lahat ng b aboy. Hell. I brushed my tears angrily. This was legal and notarized. I bit my lower lip until it bled. What s this? Nakakapagbasa ka naman `di. ba My mouth dropped open. Pati ako nga rin nahihilo na sa sarili ko. Sign this. I was startin g to hate him. Pabalewalang may ibinagsak siya sa kama. He was a cad. At ang hawak niya isang malaking tinidor. Hinila niya `ko pataas. Without clothes on. Was I that bad to blame my sister? Pero nasa katwiran naman ako. Oh. Sh!t.SEVENTEEN I was pacing to and fro. I cringed in pain. I drew Julian s face. I glared at him standing like he owned the world. Ganon ba talaga ang mga bida? Laging api? Bulong ko sa sarili ko. `di ba? He looked lik e a bench model on Halloween. An o ba! Pilit kong tinatanggal ang kamay niya sa braso ko. Pabalabag. My eyes squinted in anger. I wrinkled my no se and closed my eyes. Of course. But not ME. Kahit magkita pa kami sa husgado! I took my sketch pad and sat on the floor. Did he thought I was a real bummer? Hindi ba at siya nga ang naloko ko? So he was the one who s stupid. Na aalilain ng demonyo. Parang may kulang. I erased half part. Puro papeles. Hindi na siya naawa sa kagandahan ko. His handsome face and his body. hours. I smiled nastily. I raised one brow. given the fact that he owned me. Then I did sketch myself. . O kaya pahihirapan ko muna ng unti-unti. If it was an y consolation on every one s part Julian let go of Jean. Kung legal lang ang krimen sa mundo baka ilang bese s na itong namatay. I took the papers and read it. Then I drew his body again . I was the ang el with a halo sent from up above. Bakit ba hindi eh. ako ako ang ikinulong niya at gusto niyang magsuffer.
God. I even put one finger inside my left ea r. Hinawakan niya ang baba ko ng madiin. `Yung ngiting alam kong bukas patay na `ko. I realized I was really a good painter after all. Really. 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. I swallowed an imaginary lump in my throat. He stared at me incredulously. `Yung tawa ng baliw. Tama ka. you ll tell me anyway. That easy. The bomb was dropped. Then on my right ear. Para akong mahihi matay. Baka nakakalimutan mo. Napatayo ako sa sobrang galit. eh? Tumawa ako. `Yung kahit hindi nakakatawa pinipilit mong tumawa. Tapos yumuko siya para magkatapat `yung mukha namin. perhaps. pay me the five million pesos. An d you re not the first virgin I ve had. Tapos tawa pa ulit. Pra ise the Lord! Kung hindi mag-mamagic talaga akong magkaanak within nine months a . Galit na pinalandas nito ang daliri sa mga pi sngi ko. He cracked a knowing smile. Hindi pangalan ko ang naka-re gister sa marriage certificate. You might do that honey. So bayad na ang interes. You heard me. Napaungol ako. What s this for? You have two options to make: One. He wasn t dead serious. ngu miti ito at lumapit sa `kin. `Yun naman pala eh. Na para bang ang paggawa ng baby ay bato-bato-pik lang. His voice was laced with sarcasm. I didn t even get any pleasure from it. Masakit kaya. Aalilain niya ba `ko? Was I going to age cleaning this damned house? Kinakalkula ko na s a utak ko kung magkano ang sweldo ng katulong at ilang taon ko siyang makakasama sa impyernong bahay na `t You ll give me an heir. Magsalita ba naman sa tapat ng bibig ko! Swear. I gritted my teeth anguishly. Ano?! Are you darn serious? It only cost Five hund red thousand? Ganon ako ka-cheap? Sana man lang tinaasan niya kahit one million. I appreciated you prostituting yourself to me. Hindi na ako magpapanggap na buntis this time. And because I wasn t that bad. I crossed my fingers. I was afraid. An heir. Para iyong sumabog sa mismong tainga ko. I m not your legal wife Julian. It was just one of those corny jokes. No spooky things. He planted his hands on his hips. Seriously. I kept telling myself that it would be okay. Bigyan mo ko ng tagapagmana. As if we were talking about t he weather. ang int eres sa bangko ay umabot ng half a million. Siya lang naman nasiyahan no . Hindi ako nakakaintindi ng English. Sorry sa ipagsisinungaling ko pero Isn t mine. Pero kailan ba naging okay ang magkau tang ng Five million? I was dead before I knew it. Tawa pa. Nine months then you re free. It was null and void. hey. why didn t you even give me a sign? Or even a hint? Nakaupo ako kaya t nakatingala ako sa kanya. Go shoot yourself and go to hell. He said nonchalantly. Tinitigan akong maigi. honey. Tsk. Sana man lang nakapaglagay ako sa account ko mula sa kaban ni Julian ba go nagkabukingan. `Yung magdadala ng apelyido k o. Buti na lang bagong toothb rush ako kanina. was he? Hindi.Ano `to? Printed paper. It was your s ignature not your sister s. Aren t you going to ask what s the second option? Bakit ko pa itatanong. my goosebumps w ere showing. I ve had my fair share of women Jeannette. Wala din! WAS I GOING DEAF? W-what what are you talking about? Nanghihinang napaupo ulit ako. Feeling ko pinagbagsakan ako ng langit at lupa. Nadah. He said smoothly. Ganon. Jean s baby kinagat ko `yung labi ko. G anon ba talag siya kasama? I ve already had a lawyer examined it.
Jean told me everything.. Hindi nga ako nagkamali The woman raised one brow at me. Pero ikaw din. Forcing isn t his cup of tea? Oo hindi. Kung makalingkis. Flirt. sa `kin patungkol ` yun. Ikaw din. Nakalimutan ko. He looked like a wolf ready to eat his prey. I snorted. Well. I went out of the parking lot to get my cell phone from the car. huh? Brad? Uh-oh. He smiled e villy. my dear. 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. My phone started ringing. your choice. my God. Julian smiled back. my God so all the while we were ju st living in sin together? Mga immoral. Sawa? Hindi naman ito Zoo `di ba? S he gritted her teeth in anger. Jean was infamed for her swimming ability. It s okay. two. I smiled here and there. Very charming ang loko. Jean! Baka nakakalimutan mo `yung reunion natin mamaya. NO! REUNION. Nakita niya akong papalapit sa isa sa mga ito. darling. three `yan. Napaatras ako. Kung fine nga bang matatawag ang halos pagyakap ng babae dito! Their faces were in ches away from each other. I so hate you. May step one. Pambablackmai l nga lang! This is pure blackmail! No. Hindi nakaligtas sa matalas kong paningin. Lalo na sa`kin. The feeling s mutual. Hi. No doub t. May process `yan. I was quite surprised when a hand caught mine. Julian grabbed my waist as if he wouldn t want me away from him. They were all bugging him. my bed s warmer than that of the jail s. What would it be Jean nie. So what is it? This is human violation.t ang tatay ay Oh. Namilog ang mga mata ko Julian was standing there. I groaned inwardly. a public figure. Hindi nga ako nagkamaling hindi ka imbitahin! Saan? Irene! So Irene pala ang pangalan ng makiring kaibigan na ito ni Jean. Nabasa niya ang isip ko! Wow. Nagkalayo kami ni Julian. Hello Jean. Forcing a woman isn t my cup of tea. Syempre ang baby hindi basta lumalabas sa tyan ng baba e yan. Kaya lalong lumalaki `yung ulo. he shrugged. Oh no! Gusto kong batuka n ang sarili ko. A businessman s stock in trade. I sighed. kung makapag-react ako parang hindi pa kami nag ano `yung ano alam n iyo na `yun. Wala kang karapatang karapatang igiit sa `kin ang marital obligations ko dahil hindi tayo mag-asawa! Oh. The handsome debonair. At itinaa s nito ang legal na papeles na binayaran nito ang titulo ng lupa namin! He was w ise. dear. it s what you called persuading. Parang siya nga ang nagre-reunion. Ang press! I smiled. Unggoy! Napakatuso! I opened my mouth in disust. . At least hindi na niya `ko hahalikan ulit.. Bakit hindi ako lumapit sa mga iyon at i labas ang baho ni Julian? He was after all. Malapit na kami dun ng matigilan ako. Buti naman. he hissed. Hi Dahil assuming ako alam ko. Well. The woman smiled at me. exc ept for the press. that was fine. Later everybody was dancing. May psychic ability na ba ito? He glared at me. The business tycoo n. Then she turned sweetly at Julian. Syempre ngiti rin ako kahit na nga ba never ko pa siyang nakita sa tanang buhay ko. Bakit kailangan ko pang magpanggap na si Jean? Alam na naman ng lahat. Sa `kin siya nakatingin eh. I he ard about it. I m sorry. Don t you ever dare. Brad stare d fixedly at us. I shrugged.
I gritted my tee th. I saw Brad s purplish face with bruises. He motioned the steering wheel t o the left. Hampas doon. Ku ng pwede lang na sipain ko siya. 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. Maganda pa naman. Pareho kaming napakapit dito. We both gasped. There were flashes of cameras. Once. loner siya `di ba? Pinagbigyan na nga siya ni God. J ulian pulled me roughly in the arm. And take note: Eve was the only woman back then. Jeannie. Whew. They knew nothing! Mga taong walang magawa sa mundo kundi pagpi yestahan ang latest tsismis. Sa bilis ng pangyayari hindi ko na alam kung sino sa kanilang dalawa. We both screamed. Brad sige paaaa d on t stop kissing me!!! I shouted. I said stop it! Tili ko at gumitna ako. And I was frightened by the look in his eyes. His voice was icy cold. Brad are you okay? I knelt down in front of him. The woman was just standing there. He gave me that chilling stare that sent shivers down my spine. Anywhere my hand landed. There was not a bit of gentlemanliness in him. I wanted to shout at him. para akong nanunuod ng a ction movie. It was unlike any fury I d had. Nakita kong pumutok ang labi ni Brad. Papalapit na sila. Out of the corner of my eyes I saw Julian s frown. Pinipilit kong gumitna pero natabig ako. Sinuntok suntok ko ang braso niya. No. Sa paghampas ko sa sugat niya ay nabitawan niya ang manibela. Galit kong sabi. Brad was badly beaten. Kinuha ni Julian ang lapel ni Brad at binalya. Para akong bulkang sa sabog. Julian. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung bakit ito pinagpalit ni Jean eh. Muntik na kami dun! My heart was thudding loud in my chest. At na-automatic lock niya na ang buong sasakyan. this isn t righ I grabbed Brad s lapels and kissed him right on the mouth. God. Now I know. Bakit ba hindi sila makuntento sa isa? Bakit ba `yun na lang palagi ang problema nila? Nung ginawa naman si Adan. Pabalyang ipinasok. I was too stunned to react. Paikot pa lang siya sa driver s seat ay binuksan ko ang car door para tumakbo. Naawa naman ako bigla sa kanya. I was even m aking gurgling sounds. No choice eh. Get in. I saw the registration of s hock. I glared at wh oever said that. I moaned aloud. Eve just tolerated being with Adam. ano bang klasing babae `yan. nakakasama din pala ang masyadong gentleman ngayon. Let go of me. Hampas dito. I put all my force and slap him. Damn. You bastard! Galit kong hiyaw. Para akong lulubog sa kahihiyan. What the hell are you d ing. Pakaladkad. makiri nga lang. Twice. Julian no! I screamed. You should have killed me and . Julian how dare yo ! He looked at me coldly. Nasty gossips. At masakit `yun ha! I screamed when he was a bout to kick NO! Niyakap ko si Julian ng mahigpit.Brad kiss me. Gusto ko siyang sabunutan! Sino ba siya? This was all her fault . Julian Sunico s wife was seen kissing his ex. The next thing I knew Julian and Brad were grappling. nakakahiya. Ako ang may sagot kay Brad! I winced as Brad punched back. Na parang ako an g may kasalanan! Na parang hindi ko siya nakitang nakikipag-flirt sa ibang babae ! Hinila niya `ko sa braso. Parehas tikom ang bibig namin. I shoul d have wore Hester s scarlet letter. What? Jeannie. Naumpog ako sa silya. He w as already seated. Itinulak! Niya ako sa loob ng sasakyan. Nakita kong papatay talaga si Julian. Abusado. dinugtungan pa. Syempre kahit pagbali -baligtarin ko man ang pangyayari. May paparating na malaking truck. Matutuwa na sana ako dun sa maganda . I couldn t get enough. alam mong hindi pwed I said kiss me. Grabe.
natatakot ako sa itsura ni Julian. Julian swung the door open. utos nito. Pe ro pero `di ba may onting konsensya naman si Julian? Even the tiniest bit? Oh. Don t try my patience. God. Parang wala sa sariling nasabi ko habang nakatingin s a Sa Police Station. Decide now. My hair on the nape stood on ends. He said silently. no. Ang maging babymaker mo? Ha! Holy crap. I said get out. Alam mo pala eh! He smiled evilly. I couldn t imagine myself there. I bought you for five million. Get the hell out of my car. 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. BUT they were even singing a verse of some song. Naiisip ko pa lang na ipapa-salvage niya `ko at itatapon ang kagandahan ko sa kung saang ilog. He tilted my chin up. Tapos may dumaang sasakyan. Alam ko. Pero bakit ba gwapo pa rin ito kahit mukha itong may sungay sa paningin ko? I might. Baba. Pero syempre `yung masarap na kilabot. He said bitterly. I closed my eyes. Oh. Why did he have to d o that? Was this one of his seductions 101? You might be forgetting. Bumaba ka na. The musc les on his jaw flexed. Why should I? You re mine. In close range as in close to my mou th. With matching every emphasis pa. Why can t you just let me go? I whispered achingly. Pero gagawin niya na Jeannie! My mouth dro pped open.He gave me that chilling look. He wa s forcing me. I shook my head vigorously. Ganon lang ba talaga tingin niya sa `kin? His property na pwedeng bakuran. Really. Balewalang sagot nito. I swore my neck almost snapped sa mabilis na paglingon ko sa kanya. Sisigaw akong rape? Fvck you Jeannie. Kinilabutan ako. Kung kanina ay halos ipagtulakan niya `ko papasok. The side of his mouth lifted sexily. I looked around me and I gasped. You re dead serious. I shook my head. I gave you a choice. Julian glared all the more. Hindi ko na alam kung paano at anong kaibahan non. My he . Basta to the highest level na talaga ang pag-iling ko. There were bruises all over his face. It was a mere whisper. Did he think I can just bear a child and leave him to his father? I suggest you go see a psychiatrist. Hindi sa natatakot ako. He hissed. it boils my blood. A choice? I said with sarcasm. I d rather you do that Julian. Kahit na nga ba maghubad si Papa P sa harapan ko. Isang barkadang malakas ang trip. Without remorse. Okay. Napatitig ako sa kanya. Gusto kong is igaw sa kanya na baka naapektuhan na ang utak niya. Tumaas ang sulok ng bibig niya. It was as if he would do just that. I did shut up then. Ang mukha ay nasa gitna ng mga rehas na bakal. My eyes grew wide. I shook my head forcefully and vigorously. this time was very much different. In my predicament I wouldn t have noticed them or anyone else for that matte r. He was speaking to me. And the title: Love the way you lie by Rhianna. my God. Julian wouldn t resort to this.
`Yung tipong `pagnaglak ad kayong dalawa sa mall feeling mo ang yaman mo. CM? Geezers. Paano kung babae maging anak natin? Anak ko Jeannie. Why not? Pwede ko `yung ipam-b lackmail kay Julian. Jean di d. `Coz I d kill both of you. the hot guys are jerks. Nakita kong umuulan sa labas.O. Dati ko siyang manliligaw na artist din. Really? One brow arched. Sana vinideohan mo. I knew then that he won. Ulam. Wow. Why? Asking your whereabouts. Was I that bad? Pero sabi nga ni Andrew E. Ikaw lang ang magdadala pero anak ko. He giggled. `Yu n nga lang pwede siyang pang-S. I don t want the time to come that I would only feel hatred against Ju lian. gifts and very gentleman. One hell of a horse. Yep. gora na ako sa gusto niya. When I was a kid I never liked rainy days. CM said tersely. Ayokong makita n iyang malapit na `kong bumigay. Lahat ng sama ng loob ko sa mundo ay inilabas ko. Ano ba kasing iniisip mo? Masyado ng polluted `yang utak mo. `yung katawan. Rowel? Ahm. CM. Syempre laging naka-coat and tie `yang suplado mong asawa. Yep. Nakakaawa siya. sorry. (secret on) God. Parang gusto kong sabunutan itong si CM. Lagay mo sa CR `pagnaliligo si Julian. isa pang Bebe `yun e h. Bibi? Bibi? Bibi? Bebe Gandang hari. Why was it so? I had living proofs. And he called me. I sighed as I clutched the wireless phone to my ears. And don t you ever dare slee p with Brad. Sus. One theory I realized: The nice? guys are ugly. help me. you know. My eyes were moist. I d like to spit right onto his demonic face. Wala akong pakialam kung pinagtitinginan man ako ng katulong ni Julian. As in. Kasi may kasunod kang boy. O inakala nilang ba liw na `ko. Baritonong high-pitched. I thought it was a bit odd of my twi n to cry under the rain. Jeannie! Kulog lang `yun. He whispered and bunched my hair up roughly. I found myself taking my shoes off and standing on Julian s lawn. O k aya naman ang bait mo kasi kasi parang charity lang. I closed my eyes. I was stepping o n his Bermuda grass. He gave me flowers. Sabi niya kasi kapag umiiyak over a jerk hindi siya maririnig ni Mommy. Tipong ikaw pa ang aagawan ng boyfriend. Sana nga gan on na lang.art went out to him. And very gay. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. `Yung t awang pinipilit lumandi. Sigaw ko sa kanya. Chillax Jeannie. Then I heard his monstrous laugh. He was naughty and nice. Narinig kong naghikab si CM. Masyado siyang makasarili. if I know. Nagpapakamatay ka ba? Gusto mo bang magkasakit? . dancing under the rain. Wooooh! I shouted loudly. As if there was no tomorrow. But I found out I was doing the same thing. JEANNIE! One hand grabbed my arm and swung me around. Is he big? CM! I swore I blushed to the roots of my hair. Mabilis niyang pinakawalan ang mukha ko at nag-drive na siya pauwi. bibigay pa lang. and the hot-and-nice guys are gay. Whatever. Rowel s here. I was sobbing profusely. Sus. Hay nako Jeannie. He was nice to me. Next time videohan mo ha? Bigyan kitang hidden camera. I avoided eye contact with him. humanap ka ng panget at ibigin mong tunay . If I were you. In short. He didn t know the meaning of love or even gi ving. Knowing Jean s eccentricity. Malak as pa naman radar ng mga mothers. Julian was one hell of a hot specimen. I agreed to his terms.
On top of him. Can you believe that? He did say he loved me. Tapos tapos Hachuuuu! There. Are we going to start the baby making process here and now? I looked up. I was on top . I wrinkled my nose. He pulled me roughly into his arms. Gusto kong matawa sa itsura niya. Hindi kaya magkapalit kami ng mukha? I smiled at him. Para bang hindi siya makapaniwalang ginawa ko talaga `yun sa kanya. Why was it so hard to hate somebody who could hurt you the most? Somebody you never intended to fall in love with? Napakatanga ng puso ng tao. I rubbed my nose against his. He said in amazement. I closed my eyes. I looked up at him. Pilit kong tinatanggal ang mga patak ng ulan sa mata ko. Was I dreamin g? Tapos bigla siyang umubo. A mixture of tears and rain. Don t even tell me! . Grabe. My God. Nung pagtalon ko kaya? What joke? That you lov e me? No. So I closed the distance. I was wetting his tux. You are my baby. my God. Julian Niyakap niya `ko. Titig na titig siya sa `kin. I knew it. Tapos malapit na super lapit na Nanunulis na `yung bibig ko. Pilit kong sumasayaw at nagtampisaw pero hawak pa rin niya ang braso ko. LOL. At sabay kaming bumagsak sa Bermuda grass. Then I started crying on his chest . Eskimo kiss. Syempre mahiya naman ako `di ba? Hindi ko pa rin namang nakakalimuta ng babae ako. I love you Uhhh I couldn t believe it. That money was just a piece of pap er. I wanted to smack his handsome face only if he didn t look amused. NINETEEN Sometimes you d wished that things were easier. I wrapped my arms around his neck. Nagsasalubong ang mga kilay nito at may payong na dala. Under the rain. Hello? This was so small co mpared to what we d done. Tapos itinapat ko `yung mukha ko sa mukha niya. pang-FAMAS na sana drama ko. What do you think are you doing? He asked na para bang nandidiri sa `kin! I blinke d thrice. Argh. Bastos ka. Feeling ko nga matutunaw ako. Was he worried? I shook my head. I probably lost one screw earlier. Ok ay na eh. Julian was really saying those words? Oh. Nakakahiya na talaga. Na sana hindi lang ako gustong i-detain dito ni Julian dahil sa utang ko. This was the magic moment. Nalaglag `yung payong. didn t he? Get off me It was a joke.It was lightning. He brushed the straining hair on my forehead. If only it didn t have any value. I felt hot all over. I thought I was going to sneeze my head out. Ang lapit lapit ng mukha namin. Halos maduling na kami sa titigan namin. My chest was flattened against his. On his face. I waited for him to do the next move. Ha? Wow. We were both wet.
my ey es almost bulged. He was pacing to and fro. FROM YOU. Narinig kong tinataw ag niya `ko. He proved to b e tempting. I rolled my eyes heavenward. Ohhh ohhh Jul ian Ohhh YUCK! GROSS! He just raised his brow and looked at me oddly. I ve heard that before. I screamed. sabi ko na nga ba Julian ha d a pretty fix on me from the start. Bakit hindi ko man lang nalaman? Sayang naman. Parang gusto niya na akong sakalin sa itsura niya. At ang mga kilay nito? Nagsasalubong na naman. Sigaw sigawan niya `ko . making love in the rain. Pag-umpugi n ko pa sila eh. May dictionary ka ba dyan? He shrugged. I opened o ne good eye. Ohhh My mouth opened in an indignant O. And stop staring at me like that! I know. Basta `wag niya lang asahanag maghuhub ad ako sa harapan niya. . Pero `yung ipamukha niya sa `king siya na lang ang natitirang lalaki sa mundo at handa akong halikan ang mga paa niya? It was abso-fvcking-lutely insane. Sino bang may sabing ako lang pala ang n ag-iisip ng hindi kanais-nais dito! Akalain mo `yun. Jeannie Jeannie I thought my head was going to break into pieces. Then I imitated again louder. 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. my God. Inirapan ko siya. Ano na namang kalokohan `to? And stop doing doing that. He k nelt down in front of me. My eyes grew wide. I wasn t so sure. I said stop it. In disguise. I know. What am I doing? Badtrip na pinilit kong umayos ng upo. Alam mo `yung parang humalinghing na pusa? My mouth dropped open. Do you ever know the word humility? Okay na magsungit siya. Alam ba niya `yung ibig sabihin ng salitang hambog ? No? I thought so. hot. Pangalan ko. Kasi parang hinihila ako sa antok. But it s as if as if you re going to eat me for dinner. he hissed and brushed his drenched hair. Ano bang problema nito? Gusto kong sumigaw pero wala akong lakas. Pakipot pa. I moaned aloud. Ungol ako ng ungol. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung friends sila ni The Grinch. I tried to focus my eyes on him. Ang sakit sakit ng ulo ko. Napaungol ako lalo. What the heck. Oh God. I couldn t breathe. me. Ba hala siya kung anong gusto niyang isipin. I closed my eyes. Promise. Will you stop that? angil nito. Hingal don. May sakit ka ba? He s aid sarcastically. Wala namang pinainom sa `k in si Julian `di ba? Hindi kaya nilason niya na `ko? I groaned louder than the la st. He knelt down in front of me. Tsk. hindi ko na kasalanan `yun. He was standing there.He winced. Oh. Hingal dito. Are you into drugs? I said I was kidding about you. You sounded you sounded Sounded what? Like you are making out! For Pete s sake! Ha? Grabe. It was a great effort to slap the incredulity in his face. I m handsome and you couldn t resis t that. Para akong lasing. I frowned. Napatingin ako sa kanya. Oh well. Ano na naman bang pinagsisintir nito? His wet hair was clinging to hi s forehead. his wet shirt was clinging to his body. Nakita kong basang basa na `yung carpet. Nakaupo ako sa couch! Basa. Julian must have been an angel. just s eeing him standing there with his shirt loving his body to perfection was making me ahm. I was still suncking in my breath ever so slowly. Ni-rape niya ba `ko? Bakit feeling ko para akong ginahasa? Ang sasakit ng mga kalamnan ko.
Then h is mouth landed on mine. Sa sobrang gigil ni Julian. Helllpppppppp And in fair ness.. Aba. I swore. 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. gracious. Kung akala niyang inaapoy sa pagnanasa si Jeannie. Parang nawalang lahat ang panghihina ko. 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. Naramdaman kong may nagbababa sa `kin sa tiles. Was he insane? We were in the shower room! Hanggang dito ba naman? I shrieke d. I was burning hot. You mani ac! I hissed through my teeth. I felt his teeth nipped my lower lip. Para akong lalagnatin . Gosh. He frowned. The likes of Julian should be banned. He was a safe cover from the intrud . Galit na binuhat niya ulit ako. Rough. Santisima! Naman si Julian oh. Anong akala niya sa `kin bata?! I bit his hand. Hindi niya `ko pinansin! Tuloy-tuloy lang siya sa pagtanggal ng mga butones. Walang p atawad. Natatarantang binuhat niya ito.Hubaran niya `ko! Joke lang. Pakawalan mo `ko! Pakawalan mo sabi ak ooo Ibinagsak niya `ko sa bathtub! He was really inconsiderate. God.. She was in and out of consciousness. But she lay passive. Nanlaki `yung mga mata ko. Sisigaw na talaga ako. Our wet clothes were felt so paper-thin. In my blurring vision I saw Juli an hovering over me. Then I closed my eyes. pati dun sa baba. My. Julian noooo! I screamed and wailed. A slow knowing smile played about his kissable lips. Hindi ko alam kung anong l ubog sa hindi punong bath tub ang gagawin. mabilis pa sa alas-kwatrong yumakap ako kay Julian. Kung kanina y nagkakakawag ako. Inaapoy ito sa lagnat. I made sure na nahirapan siya. Forceful. The door burst open. Like the way he always used to. He roughly cupped my left cheek. Para siyang binuhusan ng malamig na t ubig. Well. Pumasok si Mommy! Jean! At ang mga katulong! We heard you scream. Tapos dahan dahang bumaba `yung mga mata ko dun sa kamay ni ya. Jeannie fainted! Napapikit ang mga mata niya. Pakawalan mo `ko!!! Ti nakpan niya `yung bibig ko. hindi ko alam kung panong tili ang gagawin ko. Hotter. Para akong inaapoy. Namatay lahat. I wished that instant that I were a mermaid. Oh. he was definitely wrong. He ripped it off me! Goodness. Bakit hindi? Ang mga katulad niya ang da hilan kung bakit nagkakasala ang mga respetadong babaeng kagaya ko. Doon. The he pulled down my jeans. I moaned a loud. At w ala akong pakialam kahit bumabaha ng mura sa shower room.
Parang batang bulong ko. Kinapa ko `yung sarili k o. Ah. Julian smiled. Isn t it obvious? My mouth dropped open. Julian I have hands. That was only a snippet. Ako ang bahala sa `yo. Don t you want to ask who? He just shrugged. no. my God. didn t I? Then I clos ed my eyes. There was someth ing endearing about a man who said that he could take on the world for me. They all gasped. See? Your sister here wants me Oh. Sana hindi lang ako nananaginip. At isinandal ang ulo ko sa bathtub. Parang binabarena `yung ulo ko. He scrubbed my stomach. Anong masamang ginagawa mo sa kapatid ko? Tili si Jean. I really croaked. Julian bathed me! He dressed me up! What did he thi . Hindi ko gusto ang ngiting iyon. Lumingon siya s a `kin. Buti alam mo. Bahala? Ha! If I know. I bit my lower lip. Will you please get out? I shouted at him. He shrugged. Han ggang sa magbula `yung bibig niya. `Yung parang hinuhubaran kung hindi ko pa alam na hubad na `ko! I h issed. I looked at the alarm clock. Gusto ko siyang lunurin sa bathtub. Eight o`clock in the morning? I bolted upright. My stomach churned. What are you all doing here? Julian smiled. I sucked in my breath. Julian wouldn t say something like that. Hindi naman ako kasya sa butas ng banyo. Napalingon siya dito. I smiled too sweetly. was this déjà vu? I had nowhere to go. Nanla laki ang mga mata ko ng Oh. Darkness was pulling me down. I gasped. Betty Boop PJs. Who said that killing a moron was against the law? Hindi ba pwe deng magbawas kahit isa? TWENTY I hated him. What? He asked innocently. Sana totoo. Goodness. A mere whisper. Parang hin di ako mahiwalay sa pagkakayakap sa kanya. tapos tapos bibitawan niya `ko. What what? You look as if you would kill. Oh-kay. I woke up late that night. Then he took the soap. An g bigat ng pakiramdam ko. He was such a monster. Then I d make him eat the cake of soap. Hi ndi na `ko magtataka kung mas pa kung sasabihin niyang: I ll kill you Jeannie . It me ant catastrophe. Then his hands submerged under the water. Nang lumabas na silang lahat. pleaded with me to bathe her. Anong gagawin mo? I looked around me. He didn t look pleased with himsel f. Tinitig an niya `ko. He smirked. I was trying to cover myself.ers. Goodness. Tignan ko lang kung makahalik pa siya ng ibang babae. Hinawakan nito sa balikat si Julian at pilit inaalis mula sa `kin. Pinanlakihan ko siya ng mg a mata.
Bumagsak ang katawan ko sa higaan. Julian ano b a! Will just give me peace Jeannie? I opened my mouth to talk again. Tapos bigla niya `kong inabutan ng tablet. `Yung tawang parang wala ng bukas. My God. Hindi ba niya `ko papatayin? I looked at the tray in front of me. I chewed it. Thank you. EVER. I really gasped aloud. Sa daldal mong `yan. Confirmed. I groaned inwardly. Naramdaman kong lumubog `yung kama sa gilid ko. Jeannie Rose Leviste? YOU? WON T TALK? Tawa. But still mukha pa rin iyong darak. Yep. Fine. Binuksan ko `yung silver cover. Patalikod sa kany a. Ganon pala huh? . Hindi naman masama lasa niya. He said with sarcasm. Sabi nga ni mommy. eh? Nooo I bemoaned. I gasped. He even yawned. Biglang bumukas `yung pinto. He was e ven clutching his stomach. Medicine. kumain ka na. He tapped again my shoulder. Galit kaya ako. Not talkin g would be the cause of your death. All at once my heart started hammering. Napatingin ako sa unan ng masama.nk of me? Barbie doll. Don t make me laugh. May takip iyon. Forcefully. I was about to talk again when he thrust the spoonful of kaning baboy in my mouth. Bakit nga pala nandito sina mommy kahapon? Oh! I forgot to call CM. I wasn t giving him peace? If I give you peace I won t talk to you. 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. Tawa. Wow. I opened my mouth in disgust. ang mahi rap kuhanin mahirap pakawalan. Gusto kong sabihing: Amuin mo ko Kumain ka na. Surely I wasn t that fat. No more like poison me! My eyes stared incredulously. An ong ginagawa mo dito? bulong ko. He was really going to kill me. Mabilis akong humarap sa kanya. Pasalamat siya gutom ako. Breakfast. Sa bi nga pala ni Thrust the food on my mouth. Day off ng mga katulong. This side of Julian that I wasn t used to. I wanted to hit him with the lamp shade. I took the pillow and covered my ear. I glared at him. Julian? He didn t reply. Hey. My hands were itchi ng to take those and cover his That would be the day Jeannie. Alam kong hindi uso sa mahihirap ang omelette . Naniningkit ang mga mata ko. Unti-unti akong napangiti. There the Ken stood. Ha! Grabe. Ang kapal niya! Grabe. Sa paningin ko. My head was poundi ng. He tapped my shoulder. Wit h his bewitching smile. He really had a sweet and cari ng side. Tawa. No reply. Surely Ano ng tingin niya sa `kin? BABOY? Ano `to? Kaning baboy? Why. I understand. Hmp. Julian wala na naman akong lagnat samahan mo `ko mamaya kina Sumpak ulit. He started laughing. Basta hinalo lang niya ang pagkain. Preppy Ken. Parang biglang k umalam ang sikmura ko. What a better way of saying Shut up Jeannie . thank you. I gritted my teeth. What did he think of me? Hard-to-get `to no. Nakita kong napahiga siya kakatawa. Whatever. parang n agkaroon siya ng dalawang sungay. Excuse me! Gigil na humarap ako sa kanya. Evil Ken. Tumagilid ako. Betty Boop! Kumain ka na. I arched one brow. parang utang na loob ko pa ang paggawa niya ng breakfast sa `kin.
Well. darling? Nanlalaki ang mga mata ko. Didn t you. I would have turned around and walked away. Inabot ko ang kamay ko sa kanya. Nangangalay na braso ko ah. Naiisip ko pa lang an g mga gagawin niya y kinikilabutan na `ko. What are you doing here? I swore. Mabait na asawa ba itong si Julian hija? Tanong ni Aunt Risan sa `kin. ha. I looked as if I d seen a ghost. Parang sinasabi ng ti nging iyong akala ko ba hindi tayo bati? . Inirapan ko si ya. Yes. It was as if they (Julian s supposed dad and Uncle Bert) told me that it wa s the end of the world. My hands were cold and c lammy. Mabait po `pag tulog. He ll hate me. Sabi ko na nga ba. Nanghihinang naglalakad ako. Parang teledrama lang. In short. Would he slash his wrists? No. I wasn t really e avesdropping. We Aherm! Aherm! Malakas kong ubo. Tumaas `yung kilay ko. Kanina pa kita hinahanap. Tapos napatapat ako sa library. Ang katawan ko. I even bathed her yesterday. I was trying to find the comfort room. Aunt Risan my wife s very pampered. Kasalanan ko bang halos rinig na ng buong bahay ang pag-uusap nila ? Sus.I would have cried aloud if not for Uncle Bert and Julian s dad. See? Silence means yes. They were all looking at me. Paano ko sasabihin sa kanya? Julian your family wasn t supposed to be who they were. I frowned. I was about to turn away when some snatches of the conv ersation caught my attention. Ang sinabi niya lang kanina we re going some place . Parang balewala lan g naman sa kanya. Smile. Hindi kaya pulutin ako sa kalsada `pagsinabi ko `yun? Pam-blackmail! Tama. Napapanis na ata l away ko. I was tight-lipped and turned to his aunt. He just kept on talking. Gusto ko ng ngatngatin ang plato o ka ya ibato iyon sa kanya. They all laughed. Wala nama n talaga akong pakialam. I was true to my promise. Ikaw ang may kasalanan ako ang umaani! She never love d me so I got tired of waiting for her. You have to tell him! You can t just keep this damned secret forever. He ordered. He frowned and sighed. Mamamatay nga ata ako. `Yun lang! G oodness. Waiting. Wow. And she loves me dearly I would have gasped. Gusto ko ng magsalita. Silence would really kill me. And be polite. His whole being would surely break into a thousand pieces. Bert? When will you take all the blame and this buuullshit end? TELL ME! Parang may bombang sumabog. Nagsasawa na `ko sa ganito. Ang bilis . He was challen ging me. Nagsasalita siya. I was rooted to the ground. Nod. At sabi nga. He r olled his eyes. We were both sile nt on the way here. When will you tell Julian about his true parentage. Parang may sariling isip ang mga paa ko. Ayusin mo sarili mo. But then all your lif e you were living a big damned lie. The voices were familiar. Uuwi na tayo. He would break furnitures and lashed at people. Ito ang napapala ng mga tsismosa. She loved you damn you! Silence descended. I sighed. Poor you. At unang una ako sa mga taong iyon. You hated lies. It was difficult ignoring someone who didn t want to be ignored. The side of his mouth lifted slightly. He turned around and just walked on! I saw the way he carried himself like the king of the world. He raised one brow at me. Julian smiled at me and raised his wineglass in a mocking salute. His broad back was turned to me. You know I can t. Alam kong nan anadya lang siya. most of the time. I was just a very keen-observer. Hindi kami bati! Hindi ko siya papansinin! Argh. Jeannie? I almost jumped in surprise. simpleng papansin. My knees were going to buck le. `yung mga taong curious `yu n `yung matatalino. Deadma lang ako. Parang bumalik ang sakit ng ulo ko.
I hiccupped through his shirt. Umiling-iling ito. I cushioned my head against his back. TWENTY ONE We went straight home. And I bet. Pero hindi ko ginawa. Masarap palang matulog ng may katabi. You need me. I ran to him. Ang gulo no? Kasing gulo ng u tak ni Julian. I almost screamed.. Peter was looking right down at me us . . It was one hell of a secret. Tandaan mo Jeannie may malaking utang na loob siya sa `yo. Kaya nga ba mas close siya sa Uncle Bert niya? Kaya nga ba nag-div orce ang parents niya? If this secret would spill out. Hmm? Humigpit bigla `yung kapit niya sa `kin. you can t live without me. Nasaktan pa nga ` yung dibdib ko sa pagtama sa likod niya.ko. Eh. one baet point na `ko. And the one he grew up with was really his uncle. Na hindi ko m an lang alam kung sino. he might n ot know yet but he d thank you later. Parang may nakadagan sa katawan ko. `di one ganda okay. somebody. Ever since that phone call earlier. But it didn t even bother me. And because he was very much a gentleman. I smiled mischievously. Kaya tatanawin niya sa `kin itong isang malaking utang n a loob. I fell in step beside him. Luha. Nagsusungit na naman. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. Somebody was sleeping beside me! My eyes grew wide . For the first time I rendered pity for the high and mighty Julian Sunico. I snuggled closer. Habang pilit pang tinatanggal `yung kamay ko s a harap niya! I tightened my hands around his middle. And hugged him from behind. I couldn t breathe a little. What are you doing? He said softly. And because I wasn t that bad I hoped God and St. Uncle Bert was his dad.. The hands tightened around my m idsection. Sipon . Julian was in the study room fussing ove r documents. Half of my body w as covered by. Baliw ka na ba? He said drily while looking at me in disg ust. I ll tell you something you don t know. Well. Laway ko. Ang lakas ng impact. Parang sinasabing nasiraan na nga talaga . He didn t ev en bother to open the door for me. Bumaba na kami ng sasakyan. If he d only known. And and Julian never slept wit h me. I sighed pleasurably. Later that night I went to sleep early. Akalain ko bang hindi ko matiis and dyablong si Julian? I could have gone straight to a reporter or to any journa list. Parang hindi niya napapansin na kasama niya `ko. As in. He sighed exaggeratedly. May utang na loob ka sa `kin. Katabi! Then it clearly dawned on me. Hindi ko na siya pinakialamanan. He started laughing demonically. Ni-lock ko `yung pinto kanina. In my dreamy state. for sure he would blame himself for the separati on.
Then I pushed him hard. Hindi ko alam kung bakit. Niyugyog ko `yung balikat niya. My eyes slowly widen ed He was gloriously buck-naked. I covered my eyes with my hand. Traveling. napadaan lang ma am. Mabaho ba `ko? For the first time. A person seemed vulnerable when asleep. Inumang ko `yung kamao ko sa likod niya tapos humarap siya. You scared me inis na bulong ko. No phone calls. Inamoy amoy ko pa man din `yung unan na hinigan niya! Tapos `pagdating ng b reakfast hindi ako papansinin? Grabe. One word uttered. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. Balewalang dumagan ulit siya sa `kin! Na parang ba ta. Seconds late r. Dirediretso sa study room niya. Ano ba. Bakit ba ang sungit sungit mo He slammed the door in my face! I was so shocked. The man s breath was fanning my cheek. Ah. Niyugyog ko ulit. Then he went to work . Nakalimutan ba niya? He cuddle d with me last night! I thought we were okay? Ngayon ko napatunayang maraming na didisgrasya sa akala. Hindi man lang ako pin agtangkaan ni Julian. L alo niyang nilakasan `yung paghilik. Aalis. Excuse me? Bad breath. Nakiliti ako sa paghinga niya sa leeg ko. Unfortunately. Ah. He wasn t talking to me the whole day! I woke up with the empty side of the bed. Tinatanong lang naman kita. Parang balewalan g naglakad siya papunta sa closet. Gigil kon g sabi. Alam mo ba Julian na nakakainis ka? Nawala na `yung antok ko dahil sa He covered my mouth! Inis na tinatanggal ko iyon. Ang ulo nito ay parang batang isiniksik sa leeg ko. I tenderly caressed his hair.Madilim. wasn t that my weakness? Men with nice rounded bu tts. Yuck. He wore his underwear not a whit about me ogling standing there. luckily his back was turned to me. Leave me alone. Then I looked over my shoulder. he was fast asleep. Hindi naman ah. What are you doing? I frowned when he started puttin g his clothes in a traveling bag. Hawak pa `yung walis. My chest was flattened against his. I know. Travel. Three words. But my. I smiled sweetly. Gigil na sinundan ko siya. My God. I angrily swung the door loud enough. Hello? Hindi ko kaya nakita! Wala kaya akong nakita. I closed the door shut in effect. Pinipilit nitong pigilan ang mga kamay ko. I started pushing. May pupuntahan tayo? U . Why are you in my room? Bulong ko. Pero utos pa rin. her eyes were big and even her mouth was a big O. With gaps between my fingers. May alzheimer s na ata. He came back late that night. Julian ungot ko. Didn t he know that he was way bigger than me? He covered half of my b ody. I heard him chuckle. Hell. `Yung isa naming maid nakatayo din! Promise. Sige magpanggap kang wala ako dito. Ang KAPAL! Mabilis na itinapat ko ang palad sa bibig at bumuga buga. Naghilik siya. ganon. Nice butt. Lapasta ngan! Tinitigan ko siya ng masama. Maybe Julian needed some loving after all. I was going crazy with boredom. Sabay biglang takbo. arhm scratch that. Julian san ka kumain? He shrugged. Sleep. This mig ht be heaven.
Hindi niya ako pinansin. I m going to Las Vegas for a business trip. Basta lagay lang siya ng lag ay ng gamit. `di ba kapag naka-pout nanunulis `yung lips? Hindi man lang makara mdam! Tapos nakita ko sa likod si CM. No phone calls. I realized then that my world started revolving around Julian. No one would shout at me. dangsin-ibogo sip-eulgeoya I ll miss you. For a week! Na hindi man lang ako kasama? Ang galing. I was hugging Julian s pillow tightly.mupo ako sa gilid ng kama. Okay lang `yun! Mabuti nga `yun. Ang O. So planado ito? G anon ba? Why didn t you tell me? Galit kong harap sa kanya. Naiinis ako sa kanya! Kahit `wag na siyang bumalik. Mabobored lang siguro ako kaya ako nagkakaganito. I didn t even notice that we were already inside the airport. Para akong robot. Kung ako lang din CM mas gusto kong maiwan kasama ng asawa ko! Mabilis na sumakay ako ng sasakyan. Anong sinabi niya? Hindi kaya minura ako ni Juli an? TWENTY TWO Four full days. I was t rying hard not to look at his back while walking away. He studied his nails. He even smiled at me. He put on a shirt and his rugged jeans. He moved toward me. He could really be attracti ve and sexy without trying. Samahan daw muna kita. I didn t miss him. I pouted. CM was waiting for me downstairs. He even demonstrated with his hands. Nagulat ako. Parang nakalimutan ko nga ding magpinta. We were all quiet. At saka lang ito ngumisi sa `kin. I was a little absorbed with my emotions. Oo nga. One week kong h indi makikita si Julian? Argh. I couldn t say anything. Tayo? Nagmamadaling tinignan pa nito ang wrist watch. Parang hindi gumagana `yung utak ko. Tapos tinalon talunan ko iyon. O binabaon ko ba s iya sa utang through his credit card. I ate silently at the breakfast table. He was even immersed in painting a landscape. Ang laki-laki ng bahay ako lang naman at si CM. A. Tapos tinalikuran niya na `ko. I One more week of not abiding that damned co ntract. Parang baligtad? Whatever. That was it. Anong sinabi niya? I stared blankly at CM. One week. Kung ako lan g Jeannie mas gusto kong maiwan kasama `yung asawa mo. CM said from behind. Anong ginag awa nito dito? Julian put his luggage in the compartment without a word to me. THE HELL I CARE! Jeannie! Ano?! Galit kong harap kay Julian. A week. Wala na `kong yayamutin. He was going away. I rolled on my stomach and covered the pillow over my head. I sniffed it. Not even a word. He was mouthing: Kiss. Aalis tayo Jeannie. Ni hindi man lang nag-alalang tumawag para itanong kung buhay pa `ko. Sabi ko sa sarili ko at ginawa pang p uppet na nagsasalita ang kamay ko. Kahit man lang hoy wala. Julian! Oo Jeannie narinig kita. I sat down while panting. I was just plain bored . Wala naman talaga akong pakialam. ko. Baliw na ata talaga ako. I punched the pillow like it was his face. Yo ur hubby called me. Tapos pinisil niya `yung bab a ko. Oh. Inis na binato ko ang unan niya sa kama. Teka. Kinilig pa ang bruha. I didn t even remember him. How was that? Nakahiga lang ako. Nobody would tor ment me. Jeannie .
I almost tripped with the blanket in a hurry to g et to my cell phone in the drawer. I hissed and stared at him pointedly. Okay. I gnawed the inside of my left cheek. Me? Missing him? Bull. Double Sh!t. So. Tatalikod pa lang sana ako ng tumunog ulit iyon. I said nonchalantly. The door opened. Meron tayong bente kwatro oras sa isa ng araw. I reahed for it under my accessories along with other swell stuff. Naiinis ako s a mga taong magkukwento tapos mambibitin! My hands were getting itchy to wring h is neck. What bad news? . dude. Namimiss mo na no? Sabi nito at umupo sa tabi ko. Bwisit. I don t want to be the bearer of bad news Jeannie. Bakit ba kasi nilock lock ko pa `yung drawer? Stupid of me. It opened. Anong sabi niya? Hindi ka naman interesado. Kahit `wag na siyang bumalik. I shouldn t have mentioned that name! CM was giving me those slow teasing grins I hated these days. We ate dinner serenely. Julian? Badtrip. Huwag lang talaga siyang makalapit-lapit. Pilit ginagaya si Ann Curtis. I gasped and glared at him. I forced my muscles to move. He stood up from my bed. To my astonishme nt. my mobile started ringing. CM said. Mamaya mag-celebrate tayo tutal wala naman dito si Julian. You should understand your husband. Gusto kong ipakain sa kanya iyon. Oh? I don t care if you don t believe me CM. Big time. you know. It tasted ashes on the tongue. Nagmamadali ako. Ahh he nodded indulgently. 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. CM!!! I wanted to wipe the grin off hi s face. Inis na humiga ulit ako at tinalikuran siya. Boom . Hindi! Hello. I smi rked at him. bakit ka nagmumukmok? Ako? Nagmumukmok? My God CM. you don t miss him? Umupo ulit ako. I didn t like CM s expression. Argh. because you re not interested never mind. Eee. Just curious. CM said.That bolted me upright. That would be a cold day in hell. Umiinom ng isang tasang kape si CM. It stopped ringing just when the key turned in. I didn t even look at the screen. I couldn t eat that muc h. He gave me that eat-your-heart-out sm ile. Para akong tangang hawak hawak `yung cell phone sa tenga ko. Hello Julian? Jeannie kain na tayo! Sh!t. Sorry na. Eh. Sayang sasabihin ko pa man sana sa `yong tumawag kanina si Julian Well. CM won! I hated them both. My hand was trembling. Kitang kita kong parang hinayang siya. Alam mo naman si Julian napakapasensyoso! I gritted my teet h and sighed. Anong ginagawa niya? Dinadaig si Bill Gates? Tsk. I looked at him squarely. `di ba? Sakalin ko kaya `tong si CM? Once lang. I m just resting. Tama. Tapos tinalikuran niya `ko at isinara ang pinto `paglabas. How could he be my friend? He had done nothing but to hum iliate me. Smile Jeannie. Mauubos talaga buhok niya sa `kin.
`Yun ang narinig ko. Ang hirap kapag magkalaban ang puso at ang utak. wasn t it? Si Julian? Bankrupt? Bugger. Ine-expect ko bang nandun si Sadako? Oh great. He was whi spering what seemed like love words to me. Parang hindi ko ata naintindihan ang mga sinabi ni CM. There was nothing cons tant and permanent in this word. Lumapat ang likod nito sa dibdib niya. Ayt. He kissed her na pe softly. At mas mahirap ipaglaban ang isang bagay na alam mong matagal ka nang talo. They lost millions. He knew those facts might kill him. Someone groaned beside me. Goodness. my left arm jabbed som ething. And my! His chest was uncovered. And his fingers were itching to put an L word on his forehead. My eyes grew wide. He opened the door and slid inside the semi-darkened room quietly. Tapos humarap ulit siya sa `kin. I pouted. Disoriented. Napatingala ako sa kanya. Tapos nakita k o `yung biceps ni Julian. He had an eight o`clock stubbles about his cheeks. He didn t really know what bullsh!t happened t o him. The light fli ckered from the lamp shade were casting shadows on the wall to the woman sleepin g serenely on the bed. He grunted. Napasubsob ak o sa dibdib niya. He cuddled her in spoon fashion. He was a major lo ser. Kukurutin ko sana `yung braso ko. I was really dreaming! Oh. God. That was the most hateful word in a businessman s vocabulary. I m sorry Jennie. This was just one of his grand jokes. At nalilis ang kumot mula dito. Why not? . His mindset was shouting he didn t need her. Even in deep slumber she came to him willingly. Now. He look ed a bit disoriented. I went to bed that night with my head pounding so hard it hurt. She stirred in her sleep. Sabi ko na nga ba. Parang slow motion na unti-unti akong tumingi n sa gilid ko. I stretched my arms. I love you. He opened one good eye. I slowly smiled. dangsin-eul salanghabnida. Julian She turned to the side. Weren t his mother and father a one great example ? He was a very cynical man. Marahang humiga siya sa tabi nito at tumagilid.Pabagsak na ang negosyo ng mga Sunico. And he was afraid of this from the very first fvcking day he met her. I whispered. kabaligtaran ang nangyayari sa totoong buhay. His heart told him otherwise. He couldn t afford to lose his heritage. She was one thing he didn t need right now. 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. That was the last of my conscious thoughts. But but hey I had this dream last night. Angko s footprints. I thought men with stu bbles looked messy before. The word complication was writt en all over her face. Huy. Julian changed the word messy to SEXY. Befo re I knew it his arm wrapped around my waist and pulled me closer. 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. Bankrupt. I slept like the dead. It was just that he was afraid to get too attached. He found himself smiling oddly. It s the truth. Tapos pumikit ulit. Eight? Ten? Ang tagal ko na d in palang pinagtyatyagaan si Julian. Jules Tinalikuran niya `ko! Oh-kay. TWENTY THREE I woke up with a start. Jeannie could disappear one day. Maingat niya itong pinagmasdan. Julian. Oooh lala . The investors in Las Vegas were pulling out.
naninigaw pa rin siya. Naninigas na `yung leeg ko. God Jeannie look elsewhere but him! Tin gin sa ceiling. I lacked sleep. I hated him! Hindi na siya nahiya sa ayos niya. was he seducing me? It wasn t working! It was oh-so-tempting. I winced. Grabe. Jeannie! Sabi ko sa inyo a bit lang eh. men had no modesty! I slept in my birth suit. What did you do with my things?! What things? Painosente kong sabi. Tumalikod ako sa kanya ng tumayo na siya sa harap n g salamin. Si Julian nga! Nagsasalubong ang mga kilay nito. What! Inis niyang tanong habang hinahanap `yung jeans niya! Yes. Nanggigil lang naman ako. Parang kagat lang `yun ng langgam. He regarded me with incredulity. Damn. Oh. Well. Why do you have no clothes on? I parroted. Nanghinayang lang. Para kaming naghahabulan sa maliit na kama. Ano kayang pinakain kay Julian don? Na-realize niya sigurong mahirap ng makahanap ng isang Jeannette Rose Leviste sa buong mundo. My. He said forlornly. Nangangalay na `ko. Pe ro Julian toned down a bit. Anyhow. I clutche d the headboard. Why. Tapos nagbuklat ako ng magazine. Tapos inabot niya sa `kin `yung toothbrush ko. Ayy. he wasn t that showy. He often scowled. He chuckled. I was like in fairy land for three m ore weeks. I was a bit tempted. Oo. Tapos nagtititili ako. Sa kama. Just a bit. I swore I blushed to the roots of my hair. I winced as I saw him striding down the stairs. Some things changed in him after his business trip. what the Confirmed. Not that I was disappointed. Grabe magkaka-stiff neck ata ako kakating ala sa kanya. Who are you asking me or the bed? I looked him in the eyes. I know you want me now Jeannie. But our eyes met th rough the mirror. I gritted my teeth. Hinuhubaran? More like sinu sunog. He gave me that come-on smile. Why couldn t I close my eyes? Why do you have no clothes on? Not a stitch! A slow smile cracked about his lips. malakas kaya kiliti ko. he became a bit ge ntler with. L ukot na naman ang mukha. Na para bang walang pakialam. It was un-Julian to do those things for me. He tickled me on each side. He was silent. Tapos `yung tingin n a `yun yung para akong hinuhubaran? Are you insane? Inis na lumayo siya sa `kin. Geezers. `Yun nga lang. But not at him . I pouted. He planted his hands on his hips. Feeling ko ang bilis humaba ng buhok ko. Julian didn t mention anymore about my debt or the baby making cont ract. Hello? It was daytime! Tapos tumata gos pa `yung sinag ng araw mula sa sliding door. A bit. I woke up having him beside me. He then hugged me and carried me to the bathroom. Inis na humarap ako. He had already a to wel on. Mayamaya lamang we were brushing our teeth side by side. if I would be living with him forever I couldn t imagine. Na para bang nababaliw na `ko! Tapos tumayo na siya na parang walang pakialam. Ang kapal! I shrieked when he pulled my feet from the be d. Pero ngu mingiti na rin siya ngayon. Ginalaw mo naman `yung mga gamit ko! Even my baseball is missing. sayang! LOL. Kinikilig talaga ako. But I m tired. As in nada? Meaning. Hinila niya talaga ako. Tingin sa flooring. . Jeans. Not lower Jeannie! But hey. He even make it a point to dine with me at night. Kailangan ko pang pum asok. Tingin sa lampshade. He ripped the magazine off my hands and threw it wherever it landed.I pinched him slowly and ever so painfully. Uh-oh. I gulped.
sometimes he was an asshole. He gave me the creeps. Mga ka-federation ko ata ang judges. He sighed. We chat a little for a while. Anong isasali ko? Wala pa nga akong napipinta simula dumating a ko dito. you know. Kung buhusan kaya kita ng kumukulong kape? Gusto mo? I smirked. There was m y sister. 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. Vincent? Hmm.I pouted. In exchange I gave her a sculpture of Venus de Milo. CM s brow raised. I glanced at him. Wel l. Sana may baby na rin ako. Pero `yung Vincent. I shrugged. You might want to join Jeannie? Seryosong sabi n ito. ang big deal ng nakaraan para sa inyo. Her tummy s five months now. Ewan ko ba dito kay CM. Hindi ko n a itatanong kung anong o much better sinong nilalapastangan niya sa isip niya. Did you know why Julian s business got a downturn? CM s eyes squinted at their backs. I didn t know. My mouth almost dropped open. we could indulge in life s luxuries once in a while . Hindi ko gusto `yung ngiting iyon ni CM. Parang balewalang tumayo ito. Muntik na kong kiligin dun. Pero hello? Kailangan pa bang ipamukha sa `kin na regalo `yun ng ex niya? EX na nga `di ba? Meaning X. No. siya naman ang magbabayad. Jean let s go. Parang tumaas lahat ng dugo ko sa ulo ko. See? He even gave Tricia a very luxuri ous gift! Ako? WALA. Okay. For me it wasn t even practical eating or even drinking a cup of coffee for how much! Tsk. This Vincent was second on the list. eh kung tutuusin I was my sister s dead ringer. I frowned. I felt a pang of envy. Then we hugged each other. Jeannie? Tumili siyang lumapit sa `kin. I silently wished as I touched my sister s rounded stomach . Tricia gave it to me on my 21st birthday. I smirked at him. He slowly smiled at me. Parang nag-init `yung ulo ko. Because Julian was Julian. He was eyeing me like. He si ghed exaggeratedly. okay fi ne. Winner! Tumili pa siya. Paint Julian while sleeping nude. At nauna na kay Jean. Tell me you love me and I ll forget you even dated Tricia once u pon a time. How rude . I mean. Tipong mag-iinarte ka kasi gusto mong lambingin ka niya. I t was gross to even imagine. Were rich men born to be airheads? Julian for one. Alam mo ba `yung feeling na gu sto mong magpa-amo. I thought he was going to tell me go to hell . Ngumuso ito kay Vincent. I didn t want him to change. Matino namang kausap `tong si friend. Hindi naman talaga masama ugali niya. Once in a while. Tricia s a part of the past. . It s time. And that guy. Hinarap niya `ko. Ang kapal ko naman kung sabihin kun g he was lusting after me. blackli sted na. Tapos nanulis `yung bibig ko. That s Tricia s birthday gift to me. Listen to me sweetheart. Tapos lumingon ako. Tapos naghikab ako. if I was going to ask for the moon. Well. Was he treating my sister well? Ngumiti sa `kin si Jean na parang inaassure ako. She knew CM by the photos I e-mailed to her before. For the win `yun te! Parang kinikilig na tumingala pa ito. But I knew deep down he cared about me. I m not good with explaining myself. It was a little bit over a month and a half simula ng bukingan portion na `yun. Nakakainis sa inyong mga babae. he really was a changed man. Anong ibig mong sabihin CM? Nagkita kami sa Starbucks. If he would just kiss me and tell me he was sorry then he wouldn t be Julian at al l. And hey. There was something there. argh. Babalik na `ko ng States the day after tomorrow. I should have been understanding. Two weeks from now may gaganapin g Fine Arts contest sa New York. Alin `yun baseball bat niyang may nakalagay pang From me to you? YUCK! I don t know. Kung sa bagay. He was looking right through me.
He changed. Siguro magiging car racer anak ko `paglaki. I laughed silly at myself. Naiiyak na napaupo ako sa tiles. Pinaghirapan ko kaya ang paggawa dito. Jeannie? Are you okay? Okay? I groaned. That one s ruthless.Wait. So ano? Lalaking bastardo ang anak ko? Hindi ko napansing umiiyak na pala ako. Then my vision became blurry. But he didn t tell an ything about us being together forever. `Yung hikbi ko naging hagulgol na. napakapit ako sa silya. Who s her baby s father anyway? Isn t Brad her boyfriend? Parang naguguluhang napatingin ako sa kanya. I hadn t thought about it. kelan ba naging negative ang plus sign? Parang nababaliw na sabi ko sa sarili. I wanted to cry and howl at the same time. God. Kaya nga nagtataka ko dyan sa kapatid mo. be careful what you wished for coz you just might get it. Siguro may mga v . You re gross. My sister s well-informed. He shrugged. Pero parang wala namang laman ang tyan ko. Then I slowly peeked at it with one eye. Artist yes. Hindi pwedeng artista Jea nnie. Anak ko ito eh. My head was spinning. no. You re kidding me. It had been ab out a month and a half since that night. Why not? Sa kotse siya nabuo. I gasped. I know. If ever na totoo man syempre `yung tatay ng anak ko ang gusto kong kasama. Seriously. TWENTY FOUR I stared at myself in the mirror. Goodne ss. My phone started ringing. Jean s not like that. Julia I gritted my teeth in anger. I don t know. CM. He cut the line off. This tim e he s got his revenge against the Sunicos. Bakit ako tatanungin mo kayo ang kambal `di ba? Anyway. Nasulot niya ang mga investors ni Julia n. baka naman na g-eenie mini mynie moe `yang kapatid mo? Sino sa tatlo ang tatay ng anak ko? Sosy al. I yanked my tee shirt up. I was a bit disconcerted about mothers who left their children withou t a by-your-leave. She s one of the cronies of Vincent. CM even suggested we go to the OB. Kinakabahan ako habang hinihintay ko ang result ng PT. Who do you think? Mahina kong sabi. Positive? Malamang Jeannie. Na-realize kong ang sagwa pala. I giggled. Hindi kaya buntis ka ba? My head swam with all the possibilities. I looked pale. May nagbago ba? Nag-pose pa ako. Plus sign. Raised my han d then pouted my lips. Oh. what do you mean? He shrugged. what would happen to me? I couldn t just give my baby up. Just like that. What now? Paano kung igiit pa rin ni Julian `yung baby making contract namin? I was so stupid. Ngayon din. Pero ayoko. We have a flight to catch up. Bakit ko pa kasi pinirmapirmahan. Hello? Umuwi ka na. I hugged my knees to myself. But not as an artist slash actress. What? I threw up on him. Ano `yun mga tuta? Basta na lang ipapamigay. Akala ko ba nagbago na siya? Mabilis akong tumayo. Could it be? As mommy told me. We weren t even married legally! Dahil nga null and void ang marriage contract namin. He shrugged.
Anon g sasabihin ko. Layuan mo `ko! What! I said get away from me! Excuse me? He looked at me incredulously. Jeannie stop this nonsense okay? Aalis tayo ngayon din. Tapos pinipilit niyang nila layo `yung polo shirt niya sa `kin. At nilayuan nga ako! Didn t he know that when a woman said she hated you it meant she cared about you. God. matter with you? frustrated na bumab a `yung sigaw nito. Tapos iyak na naman ako. I said get away Will you just shut up? Para kang loro. I might melt. Parang nanga sim `yung sikmura ko. Basang basa na ang mukha ko ng luha. Napakasama talaga ng ugali nito. The grea t Julian Sunico? Parang takot na takot akong hawakan. He carried me like a sac k of rice. Jeannie! What is wrong with you? Wala siyang choice. Go ahead. . Oi. Mauna ka na! Hindi ako sa sama! He scowled. At `pagsinabing layuan mo `ko ang ibig sabihin lang nun ay pilitin mo `ko. Ang baho mo kaya. Lalo akong naiyak. Sabi ko. We re going Nabitin ang pagsigaw nito. Disgusted. I already love you baby JJ. Para akong masusuka. Juliet Jean if ever the baby s a she. Tumulo `yung sipon ko. Then I sniffed his shirt . My mouth dropped open. Umiiyak na sumuka ak o sa bowl. Tapos Oh. Naawa siguro sa `kin at saka ako niyakap. Julian buntis ako panagutan mo `ko! Baka sakalin ako nito ng w ala sa oras. Per o naiinis din akong makita siya at the same time. I wasn t so sure why I couldn t just tell him right away. Nakita kong hindi siya magkandatuto. And Jean(pronounced as John) Julian if a he. I gritted my teeth.alid reasons sila. Sigaw pa! Napahikbi ako. I wasn t here to sit judgement on them. He sighed. I smiled and caressed my stomach. At mabilis inilayo ang mga braso kong nakataas sa kanya. It was just that. my God. Niyakap ko siya. I would have died. Hindi ba niya alam na buntis ako? Sumisigaw siya? `Di kaya marinig ng baby `yun? What is the sigaw niya. Tapos tinampal ko `yung bibig niya. That kind of beast scowl he always had. And I shoved him away from me. Bakit ba ayaw tumigil ng mga luha ko? Parang gusto kong maglupasay. Every woman deserved to be wooed. Jeannie! If you want to fly to the moon. Kadiri man halos isubsob ko na ang mukha ko sa bowl. Get away from me! I screamed at him. I pouted then tears readily pooled down m y eyes. WHAT! Mabilis nitong inamoy ang sarili. Napakapit ako sa PT at mabilis na itinago sa likod ko. Para akong batang nagpapabuhat. Then I sniffed again. He groaned. he whispered. Ta pos pinunasan niya `yung bibig ko ng basang face towel. I swore I wanted to curse Julian. Ano bang problema ko? What s wrong Jeannie? I saw concern in his eyes. Sabi ko lay uan mo nga ako. My eyes watered again. Hindi ko gusto ang amoy ng pabango niya. Hindi ko sinadya `yun no! Gross. Well. fine with me. I shook my head. Biglang bumukas ang pinto. Gusto ko siyang makita. Gosh. Napakasama ng ugali niya. He rolled his eyes ceilingward. `Yung tingin niya sa `kin `yung tingin na parang baliw na talaga `ko. Mamayang gabi na `yung fl ight. Before I could ev en say stop sniggering at me my stomach turned upside down. it was difficult to carry extra pounds for nine months then you d just just Argh. Masyadong matapang .
Hindi ko hahayaang madungisan ng dugo mo ang baby JJ ko no. Sorry Julian. dear? I smirked. soft smil e about his lips. Buti na lang maingay kaya walang nakarinig ng sinabi niya. Damn. iyan ang bunga ng inyong pag-iibigan ni Julian eh. Na tapat dito ang spotlight. Nilayuan nga niya `ko for hours! I called CM on the p hone. Magkaaway kaya kami. He teasingly smiled at me. we need someone to volunteer to sing for us. `Yun lang. Nagkita kami sa isang gay bar kinagabihan. At tumiklop na si CM. CM! I thought you re my Ladies and gentlemen. galit na bulong nito sa `kin. So. So is the lucky girl that one? Todo smile ako. Parang nawala lahat ng sama ng loob ko. The gay who impersonated President Gloria Arroyo patted my husband s rear! Aba. Oh. Napalingon agad ako. Baby JJ? Excited? Syempre! Of course. Only if I would get out of here alive later. going home. Unf ortunately. Tapos ngumuso siya sa likuran ko. Anyone? I smiled. Sus. Parang sinasabing patay ka talaga sa `kin . Kung makatsansing. Tumaas `yung kilay ko dun. Sabay himas sa tyan. I beamed proudly. Napatingin ako sa mga halamang dagat sa stage while Julian kept pulling my arm. Patay. Parang nababagot na sabi nito. Kaya la ng baka kuyugin ako dun. I hissed and glared at him. Bumaling ulit ako sa kanya. how sweet. Uh-oh. Sisigaw sana akong asawa ko `yan . ngayong umaga lang `yan `pagdating ng gabi bati na ulit kayo. I don t know how Pero inakay na siya ng dalawang bakla. It wasn t one of those sexy grins or even the self-mocking half- . And he loves me so damned much The hell I don t know how to He hissed. Am I going to be a godmother. Hindi. He was shaking hi s head. I gnawed at my nails. I couldn t just help imagining the devil himself sing ing a love song for me in front of everybody. I sipped the juice. Jules kasi CM! Baling ko kay CM. Julian s eyes grew wide. Libre? Julian gave him h is infamous don t-touch-me glare of his. And the re was him! What was he doing here? Napalingon agad ako kay CM. Mamaya. Like in a slow motion I turned around. Let s go home. he s really sweet. Bakit may unfortunately pa?! Really? Very unfortunate nga. Ang masama pa nito ibitin ako ng patiwarik ni Julian m amaya. My. Biglang naghiyawan ang mga matrona at bakla doon. Yes? My husband will sing! CM groaned. Kapag idineny ako nito ikakaila ko din siyang tatay ni baby JJ. Ako. I see. Are you single? Julian regarded me with intense dislike. At halos bumaon sa braso ko ang kamay niya sa pagkakahawak sa `kin. Wala na talagang matinong masabi ito. Through the dim light his face was arhm. lover boy anong kakantahin mo? I don t know how to sing. Then I raised my hand. no. I sweetly smiled at him then turned to the stage. I was waiting for his response. Hello Julian Jeannie s just One angry look. Kaya nga nate-tempt na din akong mag-asawa para may kumukulbit na rin sa `kin `paggabi. expressionless but I clearly saw the way he was looking at me . CM started laughing. Then my smile slowly faded when Julian cracked a slow. Nagpaalam ka bang aalis? I frowned. Effective.Nagtatampo ako kay Julian. Syempre gay bar nga eh `di may mga halamang dagat na nagpe-perform.
smile. Akala ko sa movies lang nangyayari ` to. He wasn t near perfec t. 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. At saka ano na lang sasabihin ng mga associates niy a? The CEO was seen singing a love song to his wife. near with you. Pero ngayon ko lang na-realize Prince Charming was real. He stopped singing. oh I I need to share every breath of you Oh I. My eyes got misty. eto na `yung moment na maghahabu lan kami tapos magyayakap kami sa gitna ng maraming tao. Bumaba siya ng stage. I don t know how to sing really. But I need to be next to you Oh I. O kaya he would tell me Je annie you re my life. Pretending I was better off alone But I know that it's just a lie. TIGHTLY. I frowned and winced at the same time. I thought the world stopped revolving. you re my every He smiled at me and grabbed my arm. Julian cleared his throat and looked about the surro undings uncertainly. Sa totoo lang naiyak ako kasi hindi pala marunong kumanta si Julian. Not even a one-fourth of any croakin g vocalists. Pero hindi lang pala b ulag ang pag-ibig kung hindi bingi rin. `Yung parang shooting. Hindi ba dapat CM s eyes widened as he was w . Buti na lang gwapo siya. Then he mouthed: I love you. Nagtawanan `yung mga nandun na kala mo kinikiliti. Because it was the best song I d ever hear d in my whole life. God. Palapit na siya. Magpapalakpakan sila tapos kikiligin. It was full of tenderness. The gay comedian snorted. and a very arrogant ass who thought he owned the w orld. Our eyes met. But it was okay with as long as he owned me. Eto na. hindi pwedeng mag-Careless Whisper dito ha! They left him on the stage. Been running from this feeling for so long Telling my heart I didn't need it. It was as if he was talking to me through the lyrics. His voice was awkward. I grimaced. So afraid to take a chance again So afraid of what I feel inside. He was rude. No. Seriously it was as if he weren t really singing. a chauvinist. He was really croaking and out of tune. Nakakahiya lang tul oy. Oh. Yes. Leigh Nash sang that song beautifully. At ibang sayaw din ang alam k o `yung `yung walang steps. 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. Tapos tumayo ako.
To God-knows-where. Mamaya niyan si Freddie na pala `yung katabi ko. He swore he gasped. Kung hindi ako ang magsasabi para matapos na ` yang problema mo. Sumuka ako dun sa sink. I woke up and opened one good eye.agging his finger: lagot ka. What happened? Joke lang pala ni God. Pero nakita niya ang mensahe ni CM. Definitely not Julian! And very much naked! Oh. He was going to be a father without her telling him outright! TWENTY FIVE Disoriented. I gritted my teeth. Grabe. hell. on his stomach. Puro gastric juices lang naman ang . He said in a controlled voice. he sang a stupid son g he had secretly listening when he was a teenager in front of a crowd. She was inside the shower room. didn t he? Argh. no. And Julian seemed withdrawn. This wasn t one of my fantasies. Bugger. I sat upright. Kontrolado nga galit naman. anong tingin niya sa `kin robot?! Julian! Not a word. wasn t I? Then my stomach started churning. Iti natanong pa ba `yun? THE USUAL. I was covering my mouth and running to the CR. Jeannie. God. Ang halos kaladkarin palabas! I tried to smile at everyone. I even brushed the tendrils of wavy hair away from the side of his face to make sure. It was all a dream! Humigpit ang yakap ni Julian sa `kin. What baby? Wasn t it ironic? CM would tell him? Didn t he? Jeannie had a baby how? Oh. Mabilis akong tumaas at naglinis `pagkauwi. He gritted his teeth. Suka ng suka na wala namang inilalaba s. He was sleeping close to me. Habang sumusuka ako ay pinapaliguan ko ng mura si Julian sa isip ko. Kahit na nga ba nandito pa rin ako sa r oom ko. I gasped. Lahat na lang ng gusto nito nasusunod. I remembered watching Nightmare on Elm Street last night. Mabilis niyang tinignan ang cellphone nito. Naiiyak na subsob na ang mukha ko sa lababo. He shoved me inside his car. His left arm was wrapped around my midsection. Narinig niya ang pagtunog ng cellphone nito. Tala ga bang nagiging spoiled na sa kanya ngayon si Jeannie? He hissed. He even bared his soul to that brat. Si Julian nga! Malay ko ba. There. Aalis pala kami bukas ng madaling araw. It was so unlike him to snoop into o ther s things. I pouted. He felt stripped of his pride. Then my stomach got queasy. tell him about the baby. Para akong naalimpungatan. I saw him packing our things. I was paranoid. Before I knew it. He did. He loved me. God. I was naked. In b ed with a stranger.
I buried my face into the pillow. His hair was dishevele d. Whatever. Ano pang tinitingin tingin mo dyan? Umaga na po prinsesa. What was really happening to me? I bit my lower lip and stood up. I couldn t believe it. I even scrubbed myself twice. Inabot nito iyon! I stood up and he wrap ped my arms around his neck. Isa bang malaking kasalanan iyon? Julian. Had Julian taken me to bed? It seemed so. I didn t smell bad. Droplets of water was sluicing down his body. Was this Julian the stranger in bed. Jeannie Itinaas ko `yung kamay ko. Tapos unti-u nti niyang hinahalikan `yung mga luha ko. He wrink led his nose. Sasama ka? Inis kong sabi. My mouth dropped open wide. Kakatulog ko lang kanina. she cried. May flight pa tayo. Para akong nagl away bigla. He rolled his eyes ceilingward. for Pete s sake! Julian a no ba! I swore I wanted to punch Julian s handsome face. Care ko? I pouted and made face. Gusto kong kiligin. He brushed the wet hair away from her tear-stained cheeks. He shrugged his shoulders. As if he cares! He glared at me. Better to wake me up now! I glared at him. I hate you Julian. Ayokong umalis. pawis. God. As in. Tahimik lang siya habang nakaupo kami sa eroplano. last night? . Mamayang umaga pa ang flight namin ng ma galing na lalaki. He was wet. At magtitili. Luha. Parang tinatamad akong maligo. Hindi pa rin nagbabago ang expression nito. To Hell. Swear. What! My eyes watered. Oh. And didn t even bother to lock the door. AGAIN? Oh. God. God no. Bakit ba lalaki na lang ang nagpapakasarap at babae ang nagpapakahirap? Why was life so unfair? Uwooo Hawak ang tyan na sumuka ulit. Pahikbi lang n ung una tapos palakas na ng palakas. `Wag nang idagdag ang hindi paliligo nito kanina kahit ano ng pilit niya. Tapos bigla kong inamoy `yung sarili ko. Had God really answered my prayers? Why are you crying? He whispered. Kulang ako sa tulog. Kung ganito naman ang panaginip I might ask God never to wake me up. I opened my eyes and swore.inilalabas ko. Para ba ng wala na akong lakas para bukas. She was exasperating. I was robbed of my power. What! Jeannie may warning na sabi nito. I arched my brow. She frowned. in my dreams. Jeannie looked up. I walked on to the lavatory. Goodness. Really? You ll escort me to hell? I said sarcastically. If his wife didn t look pitiful enough. What was his problem? I got so lazy. Though sadly he s hould understand her. What the hell are you doi Julian s shout seemed to freeze. The father of my b aby was traipsing clad with only a towel around his narrow hips. nakita ko ang panghihilakbot sa mukha ni Julian. Her eyes grew wide. Okay. Sorry baby. 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. Wala sa loob n a bulong ko. He didn t really understand how women s minds work. And my what a sight early in the morning. Tapos kapag upo ko sa bowl I started crying like it was the end of the world. He was shouting at me! Na para bang first time niyang gawin `yun Jeannie! Oh. sipon. Bumukas `yung pinto. I specifically reme mbered sleeping on the couch. kasalanan ng magaling mong tatay ito! Umupo ako sa couch at pinagmamasdan si Julian. Na para bang anumang oras ay sasakalin niya na talaga ako. I haven t had a good night s sleep. Lahat na. I screamed when I felt Julian s arms around me. In my saner days I would have been also disgusted with myself. He was sulking because I didn t take my precious bath. I was in bed. It was only 3:00 am! Sh!t. It was a miracle! Note to self: Magpapaparty ako `pag-uwi namin. Sasamahan na kita. Where are you going? He hissed. He pulled me close.
I was rooted to the ground. Hindi ba iyon din a ng tinanong ko kanina sa kanya? Julian naman! Just leave me alone! Dumadagundong ang sigaw nito. He hugged me from behind. It was Uncle Jin s birthday. Tapos humar ap ako sa kanya. Hayaan mo na siya Risan. Tapos tapos bigla na namang kumunot `yung noo niya. It won t work unless you tell me what s bothering you! He seethed. I clutched my stomach. Sig e pa rin ako sa lakad. Pero iba ito. Mabilis kong pinahid `yung luha ko tapos tumaliko d sa kanya. Tapos tinanggal niya `yung mga kamay ko sa leeg niya. Maybe bec ause I was just too emotional. Sanay akong nasisigawan niya. So so I should tell him first about about the baby? We were in Morocco for a week. He whispered to me and kissed my nape. Tapos tinalikuran ako! Grabe. Mukhang baby pa lang manang mana na sa tatay niya. Sa tanghaling tapat. My knee s might give out. I bet you re going to be a pig in no ti me at all. I didn t want to swim. I was a bit overwhelmed. And Julian s specialty: growling at me! Julian. W-wala. `Yung smile ko nag-fade. My eyes grew wide. Hmm Syempre minsan na nga lang ito lulubus lubusin ko na! Tinatamad akong maglakad. His teeth was grating. Tapos tumayo ito. Kung paano hindi ko alam. Jeannie He hissed. . Bumagsak ang upuan nito. I thought I thought He looked at me incredulously. Buhatin mo `ko papunta sa upuan. Where are you going? To hell. I merely got out of the room. Really? Parang sa panaginip ko lang ito nakikita. Don t use that on me Jeannie. Sasama ka? Galit na sabi nito. Kulang ako sa tulog. I was so lazy. Pero hindi ko rin siya gaanong ma-appreciate kasi si baby JJ. He cracked an indulgently smile at me. And I eve n cried when I saw a chicken being killed. Isn t there something you want to tell me? Ha? Parang hindi nagpa-function `yung brain cells ko. I was too emo. I saw Julian s father striding toward us.Saan mo tinago si Julian? bulong ko sa kanya with matching stare-a-thon. Kung iiyakan ko lahat ng mano k na pinapatay para gawin Chicken Joy baka ipasok na nila ako sa mental nito. Ang morbid naman ng mga naiisip k o. Maglalaslas na lang siguro ako sa banyo. He stepped out of the lava tory to the door. Julian was looking intently at him. Tapos bumagsak ako sa floor. Nakapaglakad ka ngang mag-isa papunta dito. Leave him alone `di ba? Tears streamed down my face. Are you sick? Uncle Jin asked me once. Syempre it had been my specialty: lying through my teeth. Mabilis akong nagmano sa papa ni Julian at sinundan ito. Oh. Hindi man lang naawa sa `kin. Paano kung makunan a ko habang naglalakad? Syempre sa sobrang stress ko. Oo. I pouted. screamed! God. Sabi ko. Jeannie! Sigaw ulit nito. He was such a very considerate and loving husband! My eyes watered. I gasped. Argh. I shouldn t have known that sec ret. Then I felt a hand wrapped around my middle. Julian! sigaw ni Aunt Risan. I almost groaned aloud. Na para namang alam ko kung pan o `di ba? Lagi akong nagsusuka if not early in the morning. Grabe. Ano ba. Julian s real dad. Sabi ni Uncle Jin. I shook my head and smiled at them. Ano! He shouted no. babe I m sorry.
Isn t it Uncle Jin? It s the truth. Uncle Jin owned the house. He said innocently. Because you didn t tell him the truth! He shouted. 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. Hinihintay kong tumalon siya tapos sabihin niyang Yes. You re not happy. Nakita ko `yung sakit sa mga mata niya. We heard someone shouting from inside the house. Everyone was afraid to come to him. My heart skipped a beat. He wagged me off him. I was like really? It was a canvass with all its painting materials. Sa sobrang pagwawala niya ay naitulak niya ako. San a forever na kaming ganito. But from the looks of it. I sobbed as I felt the pain k illing me. Pinipilit kong awatin si Julian. Sa baba non ay makikita mo `yung dagat. Ah. `Di ba? Hindi talaga nagkamali ang kapatid ko ng pagpili. You re drunk. They were a bunch of rich people. I m the happiest man on earth . I painted him for hours with the sunset as the background. I fell hard and flat out on the floor. Syempre baby JJ would always come first. Para iyong scene sa isang pelikula. The water was crystal blue. Julian just please stay away from here! What? Galit niyang sabi kay Uncle Jin. eh `di na-shock ka ngayon? Gusto kong sabihin iyon sa kanya. This was the best of all the best vacation I ve ever h ad. But said instea d: We re going to have a baby. Aunt Risan screamed. What are you talking about Uncle? That fuucking son of b!tch you call Uncle is your real dad Julian! Para iyong bombang sumabog. Yep. The pain in my tummy numbed me. Ju lian lost control and punched Mr. Oh. Naalala ko `yung sa Sisterhood of Traveling Pants part two. Ang gandang tignan. Kapag uwi namin. And damned if I m not happy! At saka lamang ito ngumiti. Sunico kay Uncle Jin. Naiiyak na nilapitan ko siya at niyakap. I grabbed his arm. We drove off to miles and miles. Tapos lumabas na siya. No! Damn you! Hiyaw nito. She couldn t even wonder if everyone would have been d eaf and blind by now. no. He was lashing out. I wanted to ease that pain . Kapag tingin ko sa back seat I was surprised to see a gift. Nakita ko si Julian dun sa may bandang cliff.Then I slapped him hard. As if he owned the world. Ang sunod na nangyari ang nakapagpatili kay Aunt Risan. We halted dead in our tracks. Then he slammed the vase with full force. May dala siy ang mapa. He whispered. It warmed my heart. Mukha siyang maglalakad sa death sentence niya. I already know. Baka nailagay lang diyan. Walang makapigil dito. Naamoy ko na ang war of the worlds. He carried me to his car like a sack of rice. Oh my God. No no my baby. Then I even put a chi ld beside him playing with his kite. . Julian froze. You re lying! Julian no! Mabilis ko siyang nilapitan pero ilang beses niyang tinatanggal ang kam ay ko sa braso niya. I tried my hands on it. The se tting was just like this. Blood! There s blood on her thighs. yes. I slowly looked up from Julian s stricken face back to the blood streaming down my thighs. What are you doing shouting at Uncle like that when you have no right to You re uncle? Julian s dad laughed demonically. Na parang may kinukuha mula sa katawan ko. What s that? Malay ko. Ano `yun? Naglakad lang dito? I opened the big gift. Kahit ako. Sunico in the face. Nakatayo. My eyes grew wide. It was the best thing ever. Second best gift Julian had ever given me. I couldn t believe it.
Tapos biglang bumukas `yung pinto. Malakas na nga ako eh. `Yun yung naririnig ko. I woke up disoriented.TWENTY SIX I was sent to the hospital. I didn t wish him to be dead bu t I did ask for him to fall into a ditch. A blond petite nurse came to my aid. Napataas kilay ko dun. As if I were in ele mentary again. Nagtataka ako kung san ko pa nakukuha ang lakas ko. That time. I st arted sobbing hysterically. My hand flew to my stomach. Though my body felt numb. Please hang on babe He kept w hispering. . I couldn t live with Julian anymore if my baby would be taken from me. Naiiyak na napatingin ako sa labas ng bintana. He was about to embrace me when I pushed him hard away from me. I hate you Julian. Dapat lang! Dapat lang siyang matakot. Emotionally and physically. Parang iba `yung room. Hin di ko alam kung ano `yung tinurok nila sa `kin. Hindi ko kayang mawala `yung baby JJ ko. Wasn t it long overdue for him to care for me? My heart went out to the tiny little thing who hadn t even seen the world. Do I look fine? Was losing a baby okay to you? But no voice came out. Hindi ko kaya. Tapos nung ipapasok na `ko sa loob ayaw niyan g pakawalan `yung kamay ko. But this time. Death is quicker. 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. Doc what s happening to my wife? He screamed in fear. I couldn t stand t he sight of him! Get away from me! I shouted. Suffering isn t. Kaya k o ng sapakin sa mukha si Julian. hatred won. In my blurring vision I saw how defeated he looked. Jeannie! Nilapitan niya agad ako. Basta mabigat `yung pakiramdam k o. Gusto kong sumigaw. This time I I m-mean it Finally. My long overdue speech. My head was pounding. ako ang nasasaktan. `Yung baby ko I cried. Magwala. I was in and out of conscious but I saw Julian holdi ng my hand as I was rushed to the ER. right. Even the nurses were calming me down. Para akong mamamatay sa sakit. 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. It s okay ma am you re fine now. Two days. Jeannie I m sorry. They were all there. Then the nur ses were speaking in English. At unang una kong nakita si Julian. Mas ako ang nasasa ktan. Then everything suddenly flashed to my memory again. This would be my last day in the suffocating hospital. Hindi niya `ko pinupuntahan. With the last ounce of strength I pulled my hand from him. I missed him and hated him at the same ti me.
Hinintay niya lang palang maka-re cover ako. Naghihintay na may malaglag na butiki. Julian raised one brow and didn t comment. I mean ta ma. he whispered and kissed the top of my head when I was exhausted. All the things that I was trying to laugh off in the past months. Awkward. Nagtitimpi siya alam ko. Tantan s mother. Niyakap ko siya `yung parang wala ng bukas. bakla takot kay Julian! They were even of the same size and height. Malakas. Grabe. 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 grab bed CM s hand. Luha. kalaking lalaki este. That stopped him. sabi niya. I didn t spare that bastaard a glance. Kapag uwi namin sa airport ay nakita ko sina mommy. Jeannie. 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. Pawis. Ngayon niya matitikman ang isang salita ni Jeannie . Iyon lang. I smiled at Tantan. I looked at CM as if I were saying see? I m not going with you Julian. Tapos kinusot ko `yung ilong k o. I wasn t even speaking in th e airport or on the way back. I hugged the boy. Someone grabbed my arm that moment. Na parang hindi alam ang gagawin. My knees were buckling. Naintindihan mo naman `di ba? I m not going with you. Kung kailan pa nawala `yung baby ko. you know. Naligo ka na ba? The boy frowned at me. First time after so many days. Pinagpraktisan ko kaya iyon. Sabay tingin kay Julian. I even memoriz ed a speech when we meet again. My pai n. Ano? Sumigaw ito. Hindi ako kumikibo. But he hugged me. I wanted him to feel the pain. I m sorry baby. You re so selfish! You think only of yourself?! Honey please He combed his hair with his fingers. Don t touch me! I pushed him hard. CM was also there. I gave him the don t-Jeannie-me glare. Kay Julia n. Lahat ng sama ng loob ko naipon. Because Celine. Uncle Julian! Mabilis itong lumapit sa Uncle nito. Sabay iling papunta sa direksyon ni Julian. Lahat na. Ayaw mo? Ingos niya sa `kin. Tears were threatening to explode again. Good. Uncle Jin pwede po bang sa inyo na lang ako sumabay? Halatang nagulat ito. Ayokong umi yak sa harap nila. I nodded again. Pero parang ayaw makisama ng loko. Jeannie listen to me. He squealed. Hija I think you have to talk to him first. Hindi mo alam? Na ikaw ang problema ko una pa lang? Galit kong sabi. My hat red ran deep now. 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. He bear-hugged me. He was such a dear boy. He was seethin g with anger. Ano pa bang tinatayo tayo mo dyan? Pasko? Galit na sabi ni Julian. I embraced them. Salitang ilang beses ng nabali dahil kay Julian.Diretso na tayo sa airport. I avoided eye contact. That was harsh I know. Pinipilit niyang hawakan `yung kamay ko. On a serious note I didn t want to see him. 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. Tinatanong pa ba kung sino? Nauna na sina Uncle Jin at ang parents ko. I started crying then. was Julian s half-sister now that the truth was finally set free. Ngayon ko lang siya na-appreciate. Mabilis itong tumalikod at tinapik ang balikat ni Julian. H e mouthed: Are you sure? Why are you still here? Tanong ko kay CM. Sipon. We weren t shou . I could walk. Tapos pi nagsusuntok ko `yung dibdib niya. I brushed the tears away angrily. Sabi ko. Ahm you talk to your husband first. What is your problem? Mabilis pa sa alas-kwatrong hinarap niya ako.
Well. Dati kasi inisip ko how stupid people were . Galit kaya ako ng time na `yun. May gunting ba dito? CM frowned at me. Bakit? Hindi pa naman mag-aaral `yang anak mo ah. Ganon kasi ako kapag n ate-tense. I glared at him. pinag-usapan talaga namin `yun. There was so much at stake here. What are you talking about? I haven t killed the baby! Hindi siya nawala! Nandyan p a rin siya! He even touched my stomach. Actions were needed. In so many words.ting. Julian and the baby. Why did they have to say I love you? Kung magpapaalam lang din naman sila? Friend Hmm? Kumuha ako ng mga baby clothes. I started crying. Sana man lang pinalipas niya `di ba? Wala. Iyo `yan. Hindi man lang nag-effort na suyuin ako. True? Wasn t he just cracking a s tupid joke on me? Parang maiiyak ako sa tuwa na nababanyo. I d like to cut off your long tongue. Hindi ito ang napagkasunduan natin. Three months! Halos maglilimang buwan na `yu ng tyan ko ni-hoy wala man lang! Okay. he did call me on the phone. LOL. I gasped. Pa-hard to get. We were in a public place. And I cut th e line off immediately. He was shaking his head rapidly. shouldn t I? Mom was standing in the middle of the room with Jean. Grabe. Away from Julian. Did he think I was joking? Not on this lifetime. Jeannie naman oh! CM took the baby clothes from my hands. Someone told me that words weren t enough. Nakita kong nagagalit na siya. may mga taong ganon. Grabe ngayon pa lang nami-miss ko na si Julian. I m going home with my parents. Jeannie. Umuwi ako sa bahay namin. I took my arm from his grip. I hissed. This time I was so serious I woul d have knocked my head against the wall. Isa lang `yung alam ko: I neede d space. Anong akala niya ganon lang iyon? Kiss an d make up? Pakipot ako no. But Julian would always be a part of me. I just can t. goodbye . lalaki lang `yun. Mahiya naman kami. Yayakapin niya sana ako ng umiwas ako. Three months seemed to pass without any ado. Mother knows best talaga. Julian I won t go with you anymore. Come on. My baby JJ? JJ? He raised one brow at me. 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. Meron Tapos lumingon lingon pa. About Julian Deadma. So the baby was only a joke for him? Sobra na ito! Humihingi ako ng saklolo kay CM through my eyes. Actua lly. kung hindi man si Julian eh ako. He seemed so shock. Sheesh. Mommy Ewan ko kung bakit parang naintindihan niya agad ako. Alam mo `yung feeling na. True. Me. Nagpip igil lang. Baka nga kaisa ko kayo. She hugged me like I were a child again. Hindi. Julian who? Inis kong harap sa kanya. Sa school supplies section. There were times whe n I wanted to call on him. Aminin niyo. Dalagang Pilipina. Na para bang ang sinabi ko ay isang nakakatawang joke . Si Julian Sinong Julian? `Yung nakabuntis sa `yo. didn t he always do that Jeannie? I m leaving you. He mouthed: Hindi ko asawa `yan. Jeannie . dalawa na kaming buntis ng kambal ko. He couldn t haul me anymore to his car sa harap ng maraming tao. Julian I won t go home with you anymore. Could I survive without him? Of course. I should be happy. I willed myself to be strong. you re pini ng for that someone that you choose to leave behind? Ngayon ko na naintindihan a ng ibig sabihin ng I love you.
I turned around. Nasa basurahan na! What! I can t believe it! Those flowers are expensive! Ano bang gusto mo? Nahihirap . Hindi ko napansin sa pagkain ko na pala naibunton ang kung ano mang na raramdaman ko. eh `di lumabas din `yung tunay niyang kulay! Stop this playacting of yours. Pwede mo na akong bitawan salamat . I opened my mouth in a big O. Thanks mister. May mga kamay na biglang umalalay sa `k in. I sweetly smiled at him. Jeannie Si Julian at si Wala akong pakialam!!! Tila ata mapapaanak ako ng wala sa oras. I didn t car e. thank you. si Julian o? Biglang turo ni CM. Angrily! CM winced at me. Samantalang ako? I looked like like I ate hungrily. May isang intrimitidang tinignan ako mula ulo hanggang paa. Ang sakit ng tyan ko. Hindi ako depress. My breath got hitched. I almost slipped off the tiled flooring. I shouldn t have looked up. Jeannie Wala akong naririnig I even sent you flowers. Nasobrahan ata ako.Oh? Gigil kong sabi. He was such a jerk. However you pin a halo to Lucifer he would always be a devil. Kahit nakakahiya man. Galit na inihirap niya ako sa kanya. Why could he be so handsome? I gritted my teeth. I started cryi ng. Listen to me Jeannie Did I really hear him pleading? Oh. Kung pasabugin ko kaya `yung bahay nila Julian? I gritted my teeth. Hindi na naman ako naglilihi ah. Dammit Jeannie! Oh. Parang narinig kong may sumabog na naman sa Iraq. Julian s on the dating scene again. Nakita ko ang pagpipigil niyang magalit. Aaminin ko na gseselos ako. I leaned against the cubicle wall. She looked like a model out of a vogue cover. Like in a slow motion reel film. Ngumuso ito. Sig e lang. I rolled my eyes heavenward. Gutom ka pa? Lagay pa ito ng lagay sa plato ko. Kasi baka makapatay lang ako ng tao. Easy ka lang Jeannie. Papatayin ata ako sa pagkabusog ni CM. Si Julian o? I glared at him. Bigla kong nabitawan `yung baby socks. I didn t know why I was pushing him to hi s limits. Naniningkit na ang lalong singkit na mata nito. God. Hindi. Wala akong narinig. Baka kasi naghihintay pa `yung date mo. Gustung gusto ko na siyang murahin. Humigpi t ang hawak ko sa tinidor. Napadpad kami sa Filipino restaurant. I put my hands on my ears. CM s face was devoid of any emotion. Saan? Sa puso mo Then he started laughing. okay wala ka pa palang pakialam a ng lagay na `yan. He raised both hands in the air. Mamaya talaga bibili ako ng cha kang manika. CM was really serious! Julian was speaking to a lovel y woman. I just heard it from my sister. Just like Julian. not Julian Sunico. I saw him controlling his anger. Oh. Hindi masama ang loob ko. Why. Hinawakan niya `yung siko ko per o mabilis kong iniiwas iyon. sabi ko at taas noong naglakad ako. I w alked past CM and looked for a restaurant. How I would love to wring his neck. I started sniffing while I was inside the cubicle. Oh. Napaatras bigla si CM. I went to the comfort room. I cou ldn t walk. At lalong aaminin kong gusto kong patayin si Julian ngayon din! Those chinito eyes. But he did. Hindi kaya lagnatin ito mamaya? Have we met before? I arched my brow. I turned my back on him. Jeannie honey He looked at my now rounded stomach. Na para bang sinasabing: Ah. Nagrereklamo si Baby JJ. Pinagbigyan na kita these past months. Grabe. Hindi ako papansin no! Grr. Hin di ako `yung third party. Tignan ko kung san siya tatagal. Then he crossed his arm s over his chest. You might be mistaken mister. I was so bloated.
Do you agree with mommy? Sumipa ka ulit baby para twice. Our eyes met. Baliw na ata ako at hinihintay ko ngang gu malaw ulit ito. Pero may madaan lang na maganda at sexy `yung titigan mula ulo hanggang cleavage na. There was unfamiliar warmth in my heart. His teeth was grating. Bakit ba hindi ko mapigilan ang reflexes ng sarili kong reaksyon! Something gripped me from within. Don t touch me. At ginawa mo naman! I glared at him. Oo. Hindi ikaw! I was trying to do what you wanted. At least then you won t pester me anymore! He gritted his teeth. You re dating somebody else. I ve got someone on the side when you re busy. Ligawan mo muna ako. Tapos hinimas ko ulit `yung tummy ko. Nothing more. Yo ur mom talked to me. Itinaas niya `yung baba ko. Okay. honey . Tama. honey listen to me I did call you many times. What?! I nodded rapidly. Tsk. Damn. Not because I couldn t ahm perform for him that he wou ld find somebody available. So like men. Ooops. Naks. Umuwi ka na sa `tin. Jeannie are you okay? Bigla ni ya akong niyakap. Weren t the roses red and violets blue? Oh. Kahit magpakasal ako ulit? My eyes grew wide. You didn t even bother to call me to go for me I whispered numbly. Bigla a ta akong nagka-asthma. Alam ko talaga. Sinabi niya sa `king `wag ka munang guluhin at Mommy what?! Biglang nawala `yung pagka-asthmatic kuno ko ah. Why not? He glared at me. For the second time I heard the great Julian Sunico pleading. You look hapy anak? Ganyan nga smile. meaning Oo. Tsk. Talaga? Talaga. Makipag-date ka kahit sinong gusto mo. Nako. Ay. hindi lang pala feeling `yun. Perform meaning do my wifely obligations. Napansin kong naka-lock na pala `yung pint o sa CR. Parang hindi ako makahinga. Ayoko. I straightened up fr om his arms. Bad vibes. Siguro kahit papaano hindi rin naman malas ang mga babae. Biglang sumipa si Baby JJ! Baby I cooed. Nakangiti ako habang nakaharap sa salamin. O kaya aatakihin ako sa puso. Gumagalaw `yung baby ko! It was amazing how God could implant a living soul within us. Hindi pa lang siguro niya alam. God. I would have laughed silly if anyone just blurted out: Hey. You re trying to do what I wanted. Tapos syempre itatanggi nila `yun. Mommy really did that? I know she was just p rotecting me. The hell I care. Pero wala talaga. Hey. He cupped both of my cheeks. I frowned. So happy with myself. no more like begged me to stay away from you for awhile. I was Angelina Jolie s missing twin sister. 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. Gumagalaw na ba `yung apo ko? Mommy looked at me from head to toe. It sounded like a warning.an na `ko Jeannie He whispered angrily. ito na naman `yung sumpong niya. TWENTY SEVEN I was smiling stupidly in the mirror. Why mommy? Nothing She shrugged. Ni-lock niya! Nahihirapan?! `Yung delivery man `yung naghirap. Then what? She s a foreign associate. Jeannie please It didn t sound like begging to me now. You re going home with me now? On one condition. She asked me. He begged. San ka pupunta? . nagmana ito ng tantrums sa daddy niya. I felt like the most beautiful w oman in the whole world. Don t tell me. Magkakalintikan talaga.
Thrice. Dahil galit ako. I stepped on his peace offering! Once. O baka gut feel ko lan g. it might be Julia She was already out even before I could finish what I was going to say. didn t he? For five million pesos! He slowly gave me that charming. I was rooted to the ground. God no. There was something wrong here. Sabi niya pupuntahan niya daw ako ngayon. Ang arte ko no? Ang drama ko. Basta ang mahalaga I was way too happy to bother with the problems of the world. Mabilis na binitiwan iyon nito . Na parang sinasabing: Oo. I picked one stem from the bunch of flowers. Sabi ko. Sheesh. I was exploding! I hated him. Dahil naiiyak ako. It was a major no-no! Hindi hindi si I saw CM nodded rapidly at me. Too achingly sweet. Nakakahiya naman `di ba? Ngayon pa kami magliligawan kung kailan naka-bingo na. Hey. CM avoided eye contact with me. Mommy smiled at me. nakakaawa ka . He loves me. H e owned me. 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. Honey. What are you Napatingin ito sa dyaryong hawak ni CM. At saka I pouted. Oh. He should have bought me those wi th thorns. No! Napataas `yung kilay ko dun. he loves me not. Damn him. Last petal. I smiled at him. After clearing his throat he put the news clipping away. Mabilis kong binagsak ang mga roses sa sahi g. Ano `yan? Balewalang tanong ko. Mommy volunteered. Jeannie! Oh. he lov es me he Lalong tumaas `yung kilay ko dun. Humigpit ang kamay ko n g kinuha ko ang bouqet.Going to watch TV. The moron was standing there looking so smug like he owned the world. Mommy. CM ano `yan? Ito? ah wala. `Yung ngiting halatang may itinatago. Alam ko gasgas na `yun. sexy smile. I could smell something fishy. Oh? Ito lang pala eh. Then I slowly gasped. Jeannie! I frowned. CM just excuse Ako na. At si CM nga ang masangsang na amoy na iyon. CM! Mabilis kong kinuha `yung dyaryo sa likuran niya. Nakatingin lang sa `kin si CM. Ah no. Narinig ko `yung pagkatok sa pinto. I was so mad I was going to explode. Naiiyak na ko. Yes. You always make me up just to put me down. Who are they? He winced. There was a couple cap tured kissing. I winced at her. I was just wait ing for Julian to drop by. I gritted my teeth. tanga. I gritted my teeth in anger. Twice. Wala lang baka kasi kung ano pang makita mo maging kamukha pa ng apo ko. Ay. Picture kaya ni Ju lian `yung tinititigan ko nung time na `yun. What s this? I didn t know why my heart started hammering wildly. 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. Ewan ko ba. he said and handed me a bunch of red roses. I m way past that stage. No mom. Jeannie He wasnow gnawing his nails. Pero umandar na naman `yung pagiging psychic ko. What the hell are you doing? He hissed. Nanlalaki ang mga mata nito. are you ok ay? He kissed the side of my mouth. Whatever. I just stared at him. Judas s kiss. He smiled sheepishly. What the hell was CM doing here? Again? Hindi kaya ang masama pa nito siya pa maging kamukha ng anak ko. Bummer .
Arms wrapped around my rounded middle. Iyon ang sabi nito. Oh holy sh!t. I was out walking that night. Eeeh. He was made to be perfect. it was all true . Pwede na nga akong magsulat ng Dear Ate Charo dito. Gumala w si baby JJ! Sorry. Malakas kaya kapit ko ka ya for sure dapat mana sa `kin si baby JJ. Then suddenly my stomach contracted. Hindi ko ginustong maging character sa fairy tale books na kinukulayan ng mga bata. It was a cold night in December. Hindi naman ako magpapagod. No stress. But he wasn t anywhere near human. If you still don t sense that well too bad for you. Nag-panic ako. No amount of gentle words could ever mar the pai n. I never asked for a perfect relationship. I was too emotional. I didn t have to be Princess Fiona to have the likes of Shrek. My friends cried over my sho ulder. Pero hindi ako naniniwala don. But seriously.at binigay sa`kin. Without arms to wrap around you. He was all big aherm I mean he was almost perfect. Drunkard on the street! Papalag sana ako. Tea rs were blinding my vision. There was no point denying the obviou s. Pero ngayon ko lang na-realize. I just needed time off alone. Syempre fetus pa lang siya ngayon no. Walang taong ganon no. Kailan bang mawala ka pa? What if dun ka masaya? Would you fight for him or let go? My whole body was rocking violently. I was like are you okay ? Sympathetic. Ooops. The doctor told me that I should get some rest. Mahina ang kapit ng b ata. it s me. Why not? Because I d never been bitten by the love bug before. He might see your worth when you re gone. nadaig mo pa si Ri zal . They wept. Was baby JJ sensi ng anything? Jeannie He took hold of my arm. SANA. My stomach started contracting violently. Or b etter yet my soon-to-be baby JJ. Mero n. 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. Couldn t just Julian see my worth? Sabi nila: iwanan mo na `yung taong hindi ka naman kayang pahalagahan. Pero hindi ba secretly all the girls i n town wished that? Deep down even if how many times we deny it. You couldn t just stop your idiot of a heart from beating for that pers on. Argh. K ung totoong lalaki nga lang siya baka babae na ang tumakbong hubad para dito. Oblation sa UP. we couldn t love someone who s faultless. I gasped. All in capital letters. I m outta here. baby I just miss you dad. 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. `Wag na lang. Bakit hindi? I always described them as: STUPID. Get out!!! I hissed. Kung dati tinatawanan ko lang `yu ng mga taong na-iinlove sabay sabing ay saludo ako sa `yo teh. 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. Mag-aaway. I quickly pushed him off me. Lagi na lang kami ganito. They cursed their jerks of a boyfriend. Nakaupo ako sa may bench. Magmamahal an. Look at him. Jeannie. I start ed sniffing. I whispered. I whispered furiously. Kung memory storage lang ang puso hindi ba pwedeng . Maybe acceptance would eventually set me free. I opened my mouth in disgust! Napapagod na `ko sa `yo Julian. Why did a mere whisper in the ear from him and then my heart start beating triple time again and again. Teka. Kahit ilang beses mong marinig ang salitang tanga mapa-english man `yan o ibang lenggwahe. Grabe. I didn t need Edward Cullen to be Bella. Will you just get out? Out of my life Julian. Magbabati.
Syempre financial supp ort is always open mmmkay? Let s just go on separate ways. Naiiyak na suminghot ako. Julian you can visit baby JJ anytime you want. Now I was getting stup id. baka iniiisip niyang kulang pa sa daliri si baby JJ kaya pwede pa naming buuin. My eyes were watering. I was a bout to run from him. Feel this He hissed and took my hand. Julian this is a public place! Kahit na nga ba walang ta He looked at me incredulously. I slipped off the pavement but I anchored my elbow so my stomach wouldn t fall head-on. I saw the picture on the news clipping! Okay. Jeannie! Damn you! Julian I was crying like a child. Tapos galit na tinanggal ko `yung mga kamay niya. Amoy al ak. I could never be anyone s prince charming. Nang muntik na akong matapilok. galit na sabi nito.mag-erase? What are you doing here? I hissed and tried to take his arms away from me. Okay. Had he just said okay?! He was such a cad. My eyes grew wide. That w as rubbish. Aren t you hurt? Let s go the nearest hospital and So tinititigan niya lang pala kung may dugo `yung thighs ko. He wasn t really begging but his voice wa s a mere whisper. Akala mo ba lahat ng lalaki gustong maging prince charming? No. Thank God there was no blood. I d even tell you outright that yes. I was real babe. Not some hypocritical character of some fancy novel. I paused. At kung ibababa mo pa `yung kamay mo malalaman mong tao ako. Was he nervous? . I ve lusted for y ou since day one. Anong gusto mong sabihin ko? Sigaw nito. Bakit ba napaka-clums y mo?! Sigaw nito. But he wasn t that bad. Julian s face softened. Makinig ka sa `kin. He put it on his heart. Surely surely he wouldn t want to Argh! Not here. Trying to make everything okay and light. He could be a very green monster you know. Malay ko ba. Paano kaya kung magkaanak din kami ng tatlong Julian? I shivered. Bulong nito. You are all warmed u p and kept on talking about baby JJ s future. Damn you! You always scare me. defending himself. He was all lean and strong. He had been drinking! Malamang amoy alak nga eh. He gritted his teeth. You re still the father and I can t de prive you of that. Please come back to me honey. don t you? Kayong mga babae. Here he was. He whispered. It was just fine with you? I whispered brokenly. I screamed. Sabi nito. Sssshhh I m here baby. clutching his arm tightly. I didn t ever wonder now why I couldn t exchange him with Shrek. Jeannie Don t worry about him I ll try to be the best mother I can be. Lalaki ako. But my hips already bumped into the flooring. He caressed my stomach and I could feel him from behind me. Jeannie What! What you saw in the news isn t real. You saw that one. You don t want to listen to me. His voice held warning but his touch was g entle as he brushed the tears away from my cheeks. Green Monster. My eyes grew wide . I was quite fascinated. Argh. Shut up. Or even an orchestra. Tapos mabilis niyang itinaas `yung dress ko. Specifically without me in your life . Lillian kissed me! I didn t kiss her for Pete s sak e Jeannie! Are you listening to me! I started crying. Pano ko siya hindi maririnig s a sigaw niya? I didn t try to be the hero you want me to be babe. Onc e you ve said your piece you had it all figured out that you re right when in fact y ou re wrong. I ll admit. Mabilis akong nasalo ni Julian. I was so pathetic. Jeannie listen to me there were music and candlelight dinner s here. His adam s apple bobbed up and down. Gah.
I can t just boom. take note: in chorus.I could be any man and tell you I love you every day. He looked at me. Pero we couldn t ask for a sain t. I had gone to Heaven then back to hel l. when Jean and I were ready to rip e ach other s head s off our shoulders. My professor in Psychology once said. But this is me. You re the next best thing that happen ed to me. Big tim e. It was flowing freely. Bakit ba eh. Married life was never perfect. to sh ut up. Pero mahirap magpalaki ng baby. we started arguing from our pony tails down to our crushes. Hindi nga ba t mahirap magpalaki ng mga magulang? In the three months I came back to Julian. Masarap gumawa ng ba by. `di ba? Hindi masaya ang buhay kung magtititigan lang kayo. Really looked at me. He chuckled nervously. As if we didn t have the same face. There are and will be times that I can t make you feel special because because I wan t to shout at you. Aba. Dahil sa tingin na ganon. At kami rin. 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. Kahit wala naman talagang nakakatawa. Just kidding. Tapos kapag sila nag-aaway they d both tell us. But that would be a joke. growl. Jean and I started growing up. TWENTY EIGHT When I was a kid I was bothered with my parents petty quarrels from the spilled j uices down to the wet home slippers on the bathroom. Because no man eve r did. That will be the best lie ever. At your stupidity and silliness. he shrugged. 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. Julian. I could tell you that I know a lot about women. change for a day just because you say so. Jeannie! I heard that shout. Jeannie! . Men were born to be polygamous. Sumbong kay daddy. Nah. On a serious note . Sheesh. Siguro kaya maraming nabubuntis ng maaga n gayon. I believed that there s one woman who can make a man a one-woman-man. Bakit ba hindi? Daig ko pang kasama si Hitler. 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. Nakikisigaw na din si mommy. And I don t know what I d do without you. Er r. Not that I told you to tolerate their being babaero .
Binasa mo ba? Kung hindi ka namakialam at binasa mo Hindi. Oh-k ay. In the middle of the night. Nabilang ko pa talaga siya. Nanulis `yung bibig ko. and walke d across the room. . Dream. Gigil na ibinato ko `yung unan. Anong pakialam ko?! Walan g utang-na-loob! Ingrato. Winner! He sighed exaggeratedly and tilted my head up.I hadn t heard a word. EVER. Kaya pala bumenta ang punchline na you re cute when you re angry . Julian s face softened. tinapon ko na lahat `yu WHAT??? Oh. Have I awakened the beast in him agai n? Tumaas `yung kilay ko. Help me? Papatayin mo ba talaga ako Jeannie? He whispered furiously. Bakit siya mags isisi? `Di ba dapat ako? I slowly smiled at him. hiccups. Tinanggal niya `yung unan sa mukha ko. More gentle this t ime. Bull s eye. May bago ba? I gritted my teeth and then groaned. Napangisi ako. I heard him sigh. I started sobbing. sniffs. I pushed him hard away from me. Humikbi ako. Napaupo ako sa kama. I swore I took three steps backward. Alin don? `Yung tirahan ng mga b ukbok? Ah. That rooted him to the ground. I said in a cold tone. Survive. He looked like he was ready to wring my neck. I closed m y eyes tightly. He turned around slowly. Nanlisik bigla `yung mga mata ko. Tapos sinabog ko ng onti `yung buhok ko. God. He glared at me. Damn you! Where did you put the documents? He was now shouting. This was damned serious. Jeannie! I know you re not asleep. JEANNIE! I put the big pillow over my head. Julian wouldn t hurt me at least physi cally. Julia He raised one finger as if saying don t talk to me . Hindi naman ako masokista no. bulong ko. I took out all my clothes. Right on his face. We were really screaming. Believe. Pabalibag kong binuksan `yun. I just helped you hiccups. Pero I could even h andle Julian shouting at me when he was mad. Grabe. Julian naman oh. Oh. I shivered. He brushed the locks of hair away from his face. `Wag ka na lang gumalaw. Hoho. Even when stressed. 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. Narinig kong naglagutukan `yung mga buto niya sa knuckles. Sana kahit `yung kontra na lang natin o titulo ng bahay niyo `yung tinapon mo Hinahanap ko nga kanina.. Goodness. He was now scowling. Kapag hindi na ako pwedeng bumalik sa New York makasali na nga lang sa starstruck dito. Tears wer e pooling in my eyes. I cried louder . Ayan. His voice held warning. My. I was pregnant and he was what? Shouting at me. I just helped yaya Oreng clean his study room. Jeannie nasan `yung mga lumang folder sa cabinet? He said. Pakiabot nga `yung bag. Hmm Jeannie. How dare him! Naiiyak n a talaga ako. Mas mahalaga pa ba ang binubukbok na folder na `yun?! I stood up with chin in the air. Jeannie naman Parang stress na stress na sabi nito. Of course. Okay. My tears stopped immediately. Without a word he turned his back on me and walked toward the door. Tapos nag-tremble `yung lower lip ko. But not cold treatment on his part. chest out and protruding stomach out. clean. Na para bang nagsisisi siyang pinabalik niya pa `ko di No. Nauubos na pasensya ko. Alam mo `yun? Palpak eh. ang hirap magpanggap ng natutulog. the mess in your study room. Alam mo Jeannie hindi na uu bra sa `kin `yang arte mong `yan. Bummer. `Yung tipong buk as pagsisisihan ko kung bakit nagkalamat `yun. Can t you be more endearing and and I gritted my teeth in anger. God. To the closet. Because of Julian. Galit akong tumayo. An g gwapo talaga ng asawa ko. My mouth dropped open. Jeannie kapag hindi ka Ano? Anong gagawin mo?! Sigaw ko. God..
God. You want me to lie? I hissed at him. Mapapagod nga ako. Ngumisi ito. Na nakataas pa ang sanda ta niya ha. Napaupo ako sa may gilid ng pinto. Three months was like applying for sainthood. Mababanyo daw ako! Tapos sumasakit `yung tyan ko. Naiyak akong lalo. Nung unang try. W ell. aum. Eh. I winced as the contraction was violent. Epic fail. Bakit kaya hindi ako ang tanungin ni Julian? Baka ang sagot ko ay Oo. He nodded rapidly. Bukas na gabi na eh. He put me down on t he bed. Tapos ta wa. Sabi kasi ng doctor bawal daw akong mapagod. Lalo akong naiyak. I almost screamed when I turned to find myself lo oking back at me in the mirror. Naiiyak na naman ako. I wra pped my arms around his neck. Delikado sa daan. I d start on my diet aft er I give birth. He smirked then snorted. Sheeeshhh he kissed my swollen lips. I pouted. Tumaas `yung kilay niya. And ugly .Tapos tapos inabot nga niya! Galit na binato ko lahat ng damit don. Hindi ka naniniwala? Galit kong sabi. He rolled his eyes ceilingward. Uuwi na `ko sa parents ko. Papatayuan ko na nga ng monument itong si Julian. he couldn t carry me anymore. Sabay kaming nagkatinginan. Atapang atao di at akbo. I was so big. Siya kaya ang manganak! Puro lang siya pasarap tapos magagalit pa siy a sa `kin? Well. Syempre I ll tell you you re the most beautiful woman in the world. I was all set. Oo. He kissed the tip of my nose. Tapos pinilit niya ulit akong buhatin. I opened my mouth i n disgust. I started sobbing like that of the child s. Jeannie hindi mo ba naisip na ilang beses na ang pagbabalak mong lumayas? If I m goi ng to count it with my fingers save the part after the almost miscarriage thing . He chuckled. He sighed. N a parang naghahanap ng milagro sa kisame. ito namang si Julian masunurin! Hmp. For the likes of him. Do you know what sound you emit when y ou snore? I don t snore. The spasm overtook all consid eration. You do. Walo na. Nakakainis talaga. Like this: oiiink oiiiink I gritted my teeth. Binuhat niya `ko! Napakapit akong bigla sa leeg niya. . A ng bigat ko na nga ang bigat pa rin ng bag ko. Parang batang sabi ko sa kanya. Next to Andres Bonifacio. Tapos tumigil pa ako sa may pintuan. Goodness. Err. Oh. stop crying please it won t do any good to our baby. My nose w ere stuffed with you know. In my eyes only. Te ll me I m beautiful. Tapos hinampas ko siya. Kaya siguro ayaw niya na sa `kin. Thank my failing eyesight for that. Naramdaman kong lumuhod siya sa harapan ko. these past months we hadn t ahm . I thought I was dreaming. Why did it hurt like this? Manganganak na ba ako? Julian! I tapped his shoulder. Kaya hindi muna pwedeng gumawa ng Baby JJ the second . Uncontrollable. He winced. LOL. Anong ginagawa mo? What do you think am I doing? Hinihingal na `ko. Monster! I looked like Princess Fiona now. Nag-bounce `yun mattress. It felt so good to be in his arms like this. Samantalang ako naman a ng may katawan. Par a akong hippopotamus. I felt his arm snaked behind my back the other one was under my thighs. Uuwi na talaga `ko. Loud. My mouth turned into an indignant O. As in BIG. Babe. My eyes were bloodshot. Grr. Sabi ko. I was so big and round. He snorted. I even saluted him for his control.
Nagmamadaling binuhat niya si Je annie. Dammit. Must have been reflex action. very frightened. I kissed her on her sweating forehead. Pity. Remember this I love you both. He even promised God of a lifetime of rectitude. the doctor gave him that look. Bullsh!t. Julian and baby JJ was rooting for me. Pero sa mga panahong iyon. That was what the doctor had said. I didn t know where they were taking me. He tried hard to calm his nerves. I was in a state of panic How could I? I was only eight mon ths on the way. Maingay. Pero wala siya sa katinuan para gawi n iyon! He couldn t praise them if they couldn t save Jeannie God. His precious Jeannie. No Numb. Ju lian my baby she started hiccupping. But we have to hurry. She opened one eye. I wanna die. Not that tears made men weak. Didn t saying sorry was the worst word ever in w omen s vocabulary? Well. Julian no save baby JJ. Umiiyak. Can t you just take care of my wife first? Galit na sabi ni to habang may inaabot na fill-up form. It was as if I was torn apart. The pain was killing me. Buhat niya ito habang kinukuha ang susi ng sasakyan sa drawer. Pleas took my hand. Only o nly HE would spare Jeannie. Parang nanlamig ang katawan niya. God. I we lost our very first baby. She kept pleading while squeezing his hand. Gusto ko ng magwala at magmura. I tried to crack a reassuring smile through my labored breaths. Nagkakagulo sa bu ong bahay. As cause of preterm is known. Tired and lost. he coul dn t afford to lose Jeannie. But goo dness gracious I hadn t expected him this soon. His Jeannie and baby JJ. And dammit. What do you mean? Sigaw niya dito. My mind kept telling me: I couldn t stand the pain anymore. He would ha ve cried and fainted at the sight of Jeannie in pain. But he didn t know w here had gone awfully wrong. Hindi matanggap ng utak niya kung ano mang medical theory ang sinasabi nito. All I know was that I was very. Na tatakot. We didn t know how we arrived at the hospital with just the two of us. In his saner days he would have given co nsideration and credit to their profession. Bawat segundo ay nagdara sal siya para sa mag-ina. Julian I clutched at his shirtsleeve. Or else they ll both die. never letting go. He shouted for the maids to come upstairs. I started crying. he could have said not his . Julian! What? Manganganak na ata ako. Ayos na din ang room ni baby JJ. Save my baby. His breath got hitched. . I was bleeding profusely. With blood all over her th ighs. Jeannie oh. She would hate me. Everything was all set. But I couldn t stop the fight. He didn t want to cry. 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. Hindi siya relihiyosong tao. Why was this happening to them? Mabilis siyang pinagsuot ng hospital gown. He drove his Porsche while I was panting on the passenger seat. It was just that he should be the pillar of strength for Jeannie. I op ened my eyes again. I m sorry. He took the matters into hi s own hands. I took Julian s hand. You can talk to your wife she s in and out of consciousness. Sumisigaw na ito. There was something wrong. I closed my eyes. After knowing all complication of pregnancy decisio n has to be taken whether to allow the pregnancy to continue or not. Galit na sinuntok niya ang pader. Julian squeezed my hand. The pain was overriding a ll sense of logic from me. he knew.He groaned. You have to choose between your wife and the baby. Nagkakagulo. He was inside in a flash. It was an either-or proposition. Magulo.
I was immersed in finishing the painting I had sta rted in Morocco. He was also his. Jeannie stop this to yourself and Julian. Pinalayas. Bulong ko. Bulong ng kakambal ko. Before I thought love was all there was. I could have jumped with joy even with my stitches on. At gusto kong ibalik nila sa `kin si Baby JJ ko. But in the best of circumstances. I shrugged my shoulders. He would rock me to sleep and kiss the top of my he ad. Hindi ko gustong sisih in si Julian. Lagi nilang sinasabing ang lahat ng bagay ay may rason. How ironic. bakit pa niya ibinigay sa `kin k ung kukunin niya rin lang naman? Jeannie kakain na tayo I didn t look over my shoulder. Gusto kong ako ang intindihi n nila. What do you want to eat? Anything. Tumayo ako para wala ng pagtatalo. Ganyan nga. Gusto ko sanang sabihing nananady a ka ba? But said instead. I even told him h e killed our baby. Gusto ko ng mamatay. I followed her to the lanai . the one I had done right the first day I told Julia n we were going to be a family. You go eat without me. Till my breath would be sucked out of me. Mommy smiled and waved at me. So. Malulungkot `yung baby mo kung ganyan ka. I know I was playing at being the self-centered b!tc h. Hindi mo ba naisip na I know it would be t oo cliché to tell you this. Ayokong umunawa. I wasn t crying. Life. I didn t want to wake up because I knew the pain was there.TWENTY NINE We couldn t have everything we wanted in life. And God s. Was it the day afte r I cursed Julian to hell? Pero isang buwan isang buwan akong niyayakap ni Julian sa gabi habang umiiyak ako. Tama. Unti-unting humarap. Someone was hugging me tight I couldn t breathe. Oh. Hindi nga ba gasgas na `tong ganitong pakiramdam? You felt like crying but still gave the world a smiling fvcking face . Hindi ko alam kung kailan `yun nagsimula. Gusto ko ako ang unawain nila. 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. Should w as the operative word. I even asked HIM many times why. I rolled my eyes. I could have Julian and it would be perfect. I could have kissed him o n the lips. I remembered that one morning I woke up. Pero ano ang ginawa ko? Minura ko siya. Ayoko ng makaramdam ng ganitong . Even CM went home to see me after joining the co ntest in New York. How was that? Jeannie Julian smiled at me tentatively. Motherhood is the best fulfillment a woman could ever have. I felt her beside me. I stopped crying the day Julian told me: I love you Jeannie that I d choose to live without our baby than you. I asked her with my eyes. Nababa lutan ng sakit at galit ang logic ko. Nandun silang lahat sa may gilid ng pool. yes. Pero napapagod na `kong magsalita k ahit wala pa naman akong sinasabi. Kasi nasasaktan ako. It had been two months since then. Hindi lang akin si Baby JJ. Pero hindi nga ba hindi lang pala love ang mahalaga sa mundo. I should have been more understanding. It wasn t his fault. Pinili t kong pagalawin ang muscles ko sa panga.
Ano pa nga ba. Kung makatili naman kala mo ambulansiya. I know that painting has been your outlet after t he He cleared his throat. Pano kung mabaliw ako? Paano kung manguha na lang ako ng bata at angkinin kong anak? God. Nung panahon g iyon. Pero somehow along the way we became more of strangers than lovers. Nagtataka nga ako kung naglalakad na ng nakahu bad mamaya `yan eh. I looked at CM. Jeannie! Tumaas `yung kilay ko. Karga niya si baby Czarina. He became gentler. do you know that there was another exhibit? This one s the big event of the yea r.. It was almost unbearable. Why not? The Jeannie I know so well would be dead by now if she didn t talk even a minute. kulang ka lang sa dilig. I looked away and met Julian s eyes across from us. Yes. Ni hindi ko man lang nakita kung pa ngo ba `yung baby ko. There was sudden warmth that I hadn t felt in ages months now. Pag-umpugin ko kayang `tong dalawa ng `to? Sheesh. It was only my sorrow t hat was important. I was out in the garden alone. Well. CM winced at me.sakit. I glared at him. Tuyot. I didn t doubt my love for him. She was smili ng at me. Jeannie? Hmm? . I couldn t even go to the nursery room. Give me baby Czarina Nagkatinginan `yung dalawa. Ako ba? O siya? I suddenly missed him. We merely talked anymore. What s with you people? Inis kong sabi. Hey. Wala akong pakialam kung nandun man siya o wala. Baka lang gusto mong sumali. Ano bang tingin nito sa `kin? Kikidnappin k o anak niya? God gave me mercy. may tawag dyan eh. He didn t say a thing. Oh. He cleared his throat and looked away. I forcefully took the almost seven month old baby. Tapos na ang christening. beautiful. 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. Magsasalita sana ako ng dumating si Jean. He shrugged. I gritted my teeth. The people were everywhere in our house. He just snored and let me cry on his che st. Alam mo te. But I started doubting about the future. Why are you alone? Lalong tumaas `yung kilay ko. Tignan mo nga k ung pano paglawayan ang asawa mo. But funny I did. Napalingon ako kay CM. At lalong ayokong makakita ng mag-ina. The same spark was still there. What? I asked impatiently. I shouldn t be surprised when an arm drew me closer. It was so unfair. I would very much like that.. Tigang. goodness. Umiiyak agad ako first thing in the morning. Can you hold her for me? she hesi tantly asked CM while looking at me. Siguro okay na `ko. Siguro. Maalaga. Minsan nga natatakot na rin ako sa sarili ko. And life itself. Ano ha? I started cooing sounds. That was so pathetic. Ui. Kung may potential future child star ba siya? I didn t even get to hear him or her wail and kick. Our loss. In short. At one point I even blamed Julian. Pwede ba CM! Kung sa bagay kung magpapakamatay ka mas maraming magiging masaya. Months had passed. He wa s still the same handsome devil I fell in love with. But something along the way changed us. Missed him shouting at me. These past months napapansin kong kahit saan ako p umunta somebody was with me. D ragging me to God-knows-where. Ah nothing. At uhaw sa pagmamahal. Nakunan lang ako para na akong nagkaroon ng mga bod yguards. Nakatingin lang sa swi mming pool. Sana pinili na lang niya si baby JJ kung ganito rin lang kasakit. To the point na kulan g na lang ay suutan niya `ko ng panty. I was too selfish to even ask him if he was also in pain about the loss.
Syempre inaanak ko ata `yang si Czari na no. Kung dati kung pwede lang na ibulsa siya ay ginawa ko na pero ngayon? The silence stretched between us. Mer on ba sa pamilya namin ang pangit? Syempre wala. Jeannie! Oh my. Para akong teenager na nakatitig sa kanya. I need you. Kaya tumalikod na lang ako. What are you talking about? Uh-oh. I raised one brow at him. Saka makakagawa pa rin na man kayo no. very dark. Pati `yung luha ko parang nag-freeze. His eyes were uncertain. Jeannie naman oh! We started laughing. Jeannie give him a second chance. He covered his mouth. Hindi ko pinansin ang paghabol sa `kin ni Julian. A hand grabbed mind. He was cooing and tucking her like he was the r eal father. she s a bit dark. Can I hold her? He took the baby from me gently. Tapos papakipot muna ng onti. Tears were already streaming down my face as I turned away. Ayoko nga sanang pumayag na maging best m an. Oh. Hi having a great time? He awkwardly said. It became somehow awkward. Night CM. my God. S he beamed up at CM as if saying: Maitim pala ha. And we didn t know how to ruin the wall that separated us. Didn t really care. Umiiyak ang baby.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. She ll be as beautiful like her ninang. Goodness gracious Jeannie. Will you stop running away like a coward! I stopped dead in my track. All I cared about that instant was the man I d hurt so much. I m thinking about joining the contest CM. the brid Oh. ano bang silbi ng reproductive system mo kung hindi mo naman gagami tin? I hissed at him. He grinned at me. literally. I couldn t afford to see them. Sabi nit o sabay tampal sa bibig. I heard the engine of CM s car out of the driveway. Let me see her oh. Pero maganda pa rin. Down there on his crotch. beautiful chi ld. Mas pinili kong sumabay kay CM sa sasakyan. Napanganga ako dun. Even CM was wailing! Jeanni SHUT UP! Nag-chorus pa silang dalawa ni Julian. I was walking like a zom bie toward Julian. But the sorrow kept persisting with every thoughts of what could have been. Okay. Tapos hinawakan ko `yung noo niya at pumikit. You are acting so cowardly! Ikaw lang ba ang nasasaktan?! His hand gripped my arm so tight it hurt. Julian told me not to say that he s going to prop I didn t say anything. Just kidding. Czarina peed on me!!! Napatingin kami sa baba ng pantalon niya. Oh. ang beauty ko pang-alalay sa kinakasal? I should have been you. Kampon ni Satanas umalis ka sa katawan ng kaibigan ko! He gasped. My heart was beating wildly. He was really shouting at me! Then CM gasped. baby pa nga? Ang itim pa ni Czarina! CM! Sigaw ko. Then the baby started making gurgling sounds. Trust CM to say all the wonderful things. Parang hindi niya `ko narinig. I didn t even consider his feelings. Jeannie! Narinig kong ibinigay nito kay CM ang bata. Bata pa lang matalino na. Jeannie! Bakit mo `ko sinisigawan? Sigaw ko. How can you say beautiful agad eh. Mabilis ko siyang tinalikuran. . Na na ghihintay hingin ang number ko. I didn t want to be with Julian in the same car. As in. very good girl. I nodded. Emotionally. Napatiti g ako sa niece ko. Naiiyak na naman ako. Julian was waiting at the front step of the entrance. Then he slowly smiled. Sawa na `kon g umiyak. I missed this. Nakita ko si Julian na papalapi t. Gah.
At may hawak siya ng mga sampaguita. Jeannie! I m so rry. Tapos one seat apart. Kaso wala kaming pera. His teeth were decaying. deep down I already knew the answer. Pat i siya nakitawa na rin. but my heart suddenly went out to him. With rai sed eyebrow I could very well say na ako si Jeannette Rose Leviste ang tanging t aong nakapagtiyaga sa ugali niya. Syempre ii sipin nila napuwing lang ako dahil sa lakas ng hangin. ayos. Okay na sana. Then he smiled. So who was being lucky here? Eh. He coul d have been months now. `Yun g parang sa cannibal? Tapos `yung ilong niya kumakalat lumalapad `pagtumatawa. Kahit na nga ba sabihing gwapo si Julian a t mayaman. Really? Oo. `yun nga lang ang hirap ng buhay. I walked down the street. Oh. 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. Give m e a second chance. I walked down the streets of Manila bay and along CCP. Some would even say that I d won the lottery by having Julian. My whole future at stake. Hindi gaanong mahigpit. `Pagharap ko nagulat ako. As in now. baby JJ. hindi madali `yung decision ko. He was a boy. He slowly stepped forward. God. Do you know that mommy loves you so much? I murmured achingly. NIyakap niya ako. There was this little cherubin who was looking at me. I didn t ask for him to do that now. I would give him a second chance . Baka gusto niya talagang mabaliw ang mommy ni ya kung iiyak siyang bigla sa gabi out of nowhere. Okay lang `yun ate. I have submitted your painting. Either Julian or Career. Anghel na naging tyanak p a. I recalled one of my classmates in High School telling that particular dream of his. I didn t push him like I always did in the few months. Tignan mo nanay ko nakapag-asaw a agad. marami pa namang lalake dyan. Ate. Caring to your lo ved ones. He slowly looked up and arched one brow and whispered: What took you so long? As if he was waiting for me all his life. I slowly smiled. I was looking out of the manila bay when the phone started ringing. Sampu na kami! I winced. sa mga novels na nababasa ko `yung hangin na `yun `yung loved ones nila na nawala na. I missed these places. Could I forgive and just forget? Kaya ko pa kayang magmahal kung hindi na buo an g puso ko? THIRTY Of course. I stood up and stared sadly at the engraved name: BABY JJ. Really looking. brokenhearted ka ba? Ah. Naramdaman ko `yung hangin. Nyek. Ewan ko ba. Baliw ba `tong batang `to? Matawa kaya siya kung malaman niyang siya `yung pinagtatawanan ko? But his cute. Sana hindi na lang siya nag-smile. I ll give your father a second chance. He must have been at least eight years old. I nodded. Ewan ko ba . . I started laughing horribly. Oi. As if he wa s testing the waters. Wala ka na bang maisip na matinong ambisyon? Gusto kong maging doktor ate. Sana nagamot ko man lang si tatay at `di siya namata y.He looked like a boy. His right shoe was toying the marbled flooring. Madungis nga lang. The one with Julian under the shower? This was a make-or-break decision. `di siya. Hello ? Kahit naman hindi mo pangarapin `yun. Eh. Anong pangarap mo? Kung sinabi nitong maging mabuting asawa t ama babatukan ko talaga `to. An g hangin tinatangay ang buhok ko. Real life drama pala ito. it was human instinct. But of course. I would have given everything to have him crying in the middle of the night waking me up for his breast feed.
I th ought my heart would burst any minute. My eyes got misty. This wasn t one of those overrated version of classic dra mas. I was so angry. Sometimes happy endings were just in Fairy tale stories. Tinampal ko `y ung kamay niya. But really. Nako. Hindi. Iniyakan ko pa ang paghiwa ng sibuyas. Minsan lang `yan no. Were all the men in general like this? Or only him? He was still insensitive. y`know. Ipinasa niya `yung painting ko. Tsk. Dapat all set na para bukas. He didn t even bother t o call if he wasn t retiring early! Damn him. The one with Julian. He was already in New York by now because of that blasted con test. SOMETIMES. I had nothing against rich kids. I started putting away the cold food. I want to surprise Jeannie about the engagement. Baka hindi niya na pakinabangan `yung ano niya `yung ano sex aherm appeal niya! Nagtago ako dun sa may corner. Oo. I was a bit disconcerted at first. `Wag lang talaga siyang kakaliwa. Hindi man lang nahiya. Who the hell cared. okay. I smiled at him and slowly stood up. so I think he d got lots of work to do. Tha nks mom! I suddenly felt like the biggest scumbag ever. Baka pasko. Stupid. Then I saw a man with his canvass. He didn t really deserve a second chance. It was just that I hoped they knew their good f ortune. I made face. Baka bukas isa na din ako sa mga taong grasa. I m prou d of you. He frowned and arched one brow. I slipped into the room with so much as a noise. I heard footsteps. Masama kutob ko dito. Birthday mo? I hissed. Ngayon pa nga lang baon na kami sa utang kay Julian.Ngumiti ako tapos naglabas ng five hundred pesos. Blame CM for this. I gave it to him. Kung ang motto ko ay: I could kiss and be damned tomorrow. I wanted to celebrate Julian s awakening! Namuti na ang mata ko kakahintay sa kanya. nakakapaglabas ako n g pera. I didn t even look up. `yung mga gustong mag-aral walang pampa-aral. Hindi ko alam kung bakit. How could I let Julian go? I love him so much. That s not for you! I was acting childish. It was only four i n the afternoon. Alam mo ba `yun. Not under the sho wer! `Yung ginawa ko noon sa Morocco. Wala na ba akong inisip kundi ang pambabababe ni Julian? Men could be honest. He kept looking around as if it was some top government secret. It always happened in real life. He dipped one finger at the dish. I stared fixedly at the blue and white sky. Siya nga ni hindi man lang maisipang mag-text or tumawag. Seriously there were people who were given the privilege to live the ir life the way they wanted to be. I even bled my finger w ith the bread knife. At anong ginagawa nila? Ayun: Pare let s party! Party! Ilabas na ang cocaine. The irony of life. Ba ka maibato ko lang sa kanya `yung kare-kare at kalderata. He wanted to capture the orange horizon with its reddish rays around the sun. itatanong pa sa `yo kung nasaktan ka. . I even asked God to make my cooking p erfect. `Yung mga may p ampa-aral ayaw mag-aral. Hindi man ganon kasarap `yung niluto ko. Tapos nagtago akong maigi ng nagmamadali ng umalis si Julian. Masama palang napapaisip ako. kung hindi mo naranasang mag-promissory note sa school o humabol ng scholars hip. I strained my ears against the wall. And you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth. Pero kung isa ka sa mga pinanganak na walang kasiguraduhan ang hinaharap. God. Nagluto ako. Very fortunate of you. Nasugatan ka na. Siya pa ang isawsaw ko sa alamang. Oh. We ll. May kausap sa phone. at least passable na man. May mga nakapalibot s a kanya habang nagpe-paint siya. Tapos napa-w ow siya. Why? `Coz I believed that what doesn t kill you can make you stronger . Err. At ano? Para sa wala. Nakita kong nakatalikod si Juli an. `di ba sosyal? Samantalang sa kasuluksulukang kalye ng Cubao rugby lang. Little di d he know that I was a descendant of Gabriela Silang? Beware.
I didn t want to close my eyes for a second because Julian might vanish into thin mists. Hindi joke lang. It was more. Julian Oh-kay. He slouched on the chair and massaged his temple. Yes. Would we start makin g babies now? Para makaabot sampu? My mind was screaming: I wasn t prepared for th is. Maybe we were immoral in the eyes of the society. No. Hindi. He was teasing me. while doi ng an imitative dance of that of macho men. I was hissing while sinking my fingers deep into his skin. He was unbuckling his pants. Hindi lang sarap ng pisikal. Parang napipilita n lang. I gasped. I was too eager. Pero I believed that you couldn t go play . He said that with conviction. He started laughing and crawled to the bed . I was trying to capture his mouth. alam na. Goodness. Our eyes met. A kiss meant everything. Sa relationship. He kissed me passionately. smile cracked on his lips. You e xperienced them. chaste. Damn boxers. right. Tuwang tuwa nga ako sa `yo eh. I hadn t noticed that he was already on top of me. Galit ka ba? lingon niya sa `kin. Panira. I was screaming when he scooped me up in his arms. Ayoko nang magpaka-ipokrita. I even hugged him tight to myself th at I thought I couldn t breathe anymore. Fatherly. He nipped my lower lip and kissed each corner. with gaps between my fingers. Yes. He laughed loudl y and lunged at me. bed! You re not serious.Oh? Kanino? Sa aso. Kung makautos kala mo bayad na sa kasalanan niya. Pero hindi ganito na binibiyabit niya `ko mula sa balikat niya. Nakakatakot itong Julian na `to. Of course. Like we could satisfy the months. L agi namang ganon `di ba? There would always be someone who would give more love than the other. But this was one? We were groping for each other. He didn t look the man who was so eager to propose. You prepared this f or me. It was proven and tested. almost a year without this physical aspect of our relationship. Julian let me down! I yelled a t his back. hindi bagay! I tried to cover my face with my hand. French or torrid. I was pummeling his back. No. Anong tingin mo sa `kin palahiang bab oy? I hissed at him. Stop He groaned. Kung pwede lang na bumaon `yun baka nangy ari na. I might melt. or whatever we could thin k of. I want you here with our children hmm mga sampu okay na. He was a cave man! Okay lang kung buhat. More that you couldn t define. Pakipot lang. Grabe. He even smacked my bottom! Tapos tawa siya ng tawa. What do yo u think are you doing? Perhaps going to striptease? He said playfully. I hadn t thought that I could love this much. Massage my temples. 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. words were mere words until you felt them. Papel lang ang kulang sa `min. Oo. Thirsty. Brotherly kiss. A kiss wasn t just classified into: smack. He put me down no threw me onto the bed. Lalong tumaas `yung kilay ko. Oh. Not t hat I was saying living in was justifiable. I smiled sweetly. Grr. It was hot and explosive. We were husband and wife in the eyes of God. Alright. Were there flames everywhere? It was getting hot. He turned me upside down. He really smiled at me. Where s my husband? I whisp ered. ganon? Inis nitong sabi. I was really a bit taken aback. Julian no! I shrieked when he tickled my feet. My breath got hitched. Gusto ko kapag nag-asawa na tayo nasa bahay ka lang. he loves me but not as much as I do. Diniinan ko ang mga kamay sa ulo niya. A slow sexy goodness. Siguro nga sa `ming dalawa ma s malaki ang pagmamahal ko sa kanya. Masyadong wild at aggressive `yung isang `to. He was pulling down his pants and oh So disappointed. Our bodies touched. He even waved his polo up in the air like a cowboy.
CM talked to me on the phone earlier. Don t tell me ipapa-salvage mo `ko? I tried to joke my way around him. Late na pala ako sa school. Tapos sasabihin ko ano ? kasi hindi ko na maririnig kasi bingi na `ko. The great Julian S unico was trembling. And Jean with her baby. Which he thought I had no clue of. Slow. Like he really wanted to get acquainted wi th every part and pore of me. `Wag ka ngang excited. he cleared his throat. I could feel it in his hands. Even Brad and Vi ncent were there. We should all know our limits. Posible pala. It w as like this was the last time. I just wished that when we grew old together it would still be like this. ang keso ko. I screamed. C mon! I wasn t raised to be promiscuous. I was like: OH? With arched brows. I thought and heard about sex was all hot and swea ty. Well. Excuse me? I glared at him and he started chuckling! I just want to make this time gentler. every man had his moment. Akala ko hindi. What? Siya nga `yun ang manre-reject? Eeh. Hindi ko alam kung dah il dahil alam kong ngayon magpo-propose si Julian. Of course. Well. He was also tensed. He was re ally something huh. it was very differen t. I didn t know it was like this. And put out the ring. Where we could hear our breathing as the music playing in our ears. And almost the same. Mali kot ang mga kamay nito. . this was his idea of going slow eh? Parang ako ata a ng unang mamamatay. I wanted to laugh at his clumsiness. I was about to shout at him to go to hell when he started raining tiny kisses do wn the side of my face. Sisigawan niya `ko. I love you He whispered as he claimed me. Whatever. Jeannette Rose Leviste be my wife? I blinked once. Or it could be our heartbeats. Gentle. Kahit `yung mga associates ni Julian. I was choking back the words. Akalain mo `yun. I love you too I whispered against his hair. Goodness. Maybe I was really living in one of those fairy t ales and that I would be woken up by my mother. I gasped. For the first time. He was killing me softly. He took the blindfold off. Sila mommy at daddy. I was happy and overwhelmed to see all of them. He groaned. Twice. I was a bit tensed. By God and by love. Lalo na `yung mga nagpo-pro pose. Will you. What? I would scream if he told me: no. Na nakahawak sa bewang ko. Nung una nga hindi pa niya m ahanap. We soared. The heat and the rush were there. At ang sa `kin. I started crying because because He kneeled down on his knees. I shouldn t be surprised but I was. Nag papa-yummy pa kasi. I was bound to hi m.around if love wasn t involved. But I wasn t running for a Maria Clara nominee either. I was staring into his eyes. Nilagyan niya ako ng blindfold. Everyone. how I loved this man with all of my heart. So. And God. He loved me. It s just Just? I asked impatiently. There was no pain this time. Touched me and kissed me like there was no tomorrow. He was cuddling against my bosom. Okay na ba? Not yet. Thrice. Si Julian iyon. He came back to my lips and kissed me openly. `yung x-rated version ba naman ang panuorin mo na pinahiram pa sa `yo ng Good Influence and Morally upright mong c mate. 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. At pumunta kami sa banda roon. I tast ed a morsel of heaven.
Hindi lahat ng tao mas pinipiling mag-settle down kaysa piliin ang opportunity na ibi nibigay sa kanila. As if telling me to say yes. For once. I didn t cry. Alam ko. As always. In reality. Nakita kong napahigpit ang kamay niya sa hawak na box. But I m sorry I can t. But no. 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 even dare look at everyone. I whispered through my blurring vision. I love you you know that. I should have put that in Julian s vocabulary. I was nominated for a one-year e xhibit and tour around the world. 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. Didn t you know that not all dreams come true? I needed to grow and that didn t include Julian in the picture. I couldn t help it while nodding rapidly.And looked at everyone. they would ask me the why s and what s. Ngayon ko lang na-realize tama sila. He did. know th sakit rej didn t Didn t yo . that s why we have choices. CM s motto: opportunity knocks only at once door. Gasgas na pero it wasn t him. I was really s orry. it was me all al ong. THIRTY ONE Compromise. It was the most pai nful and hardest decision to make. Pero sa totoong buhay. Because we couldn t have them all. I should have been the one running away after doing the ecting. gusto ko namang maging matatag sa mga desisyon ko. The diamond ring was sparkling. Tears streamed down my ey es. And I was chasing him. I even once asked many about which would they prefer: love or career? I couldn t very well answer my own question back then. I cried my heart out when I saw the defeat and hatred in his eyes. u still have a clue that I love life? And so I did Julian.
If and only if they d devoted themselves to God. Kahit ako man. Not that I was here to sit judgment. men are men. `Coz I don t know what will happen. Julian Akala ko dati. Or they weren t as sexy as Julian. Ano? Magtititigan na lang tayong mga bab ae? At the back of our minds we wished for someone to fill the cold nights. Siguro hindi na `ko natakot. Na gkakasala. Abstinence was an avoidable word in their dictionary. But it was almost true. Kung anim na bwan nga `yung iba wala na. O dahi l sa dinami dami ng lalaki sa mundo walang sumigaw sa `kin ng katulad ng pagsiga w ni Julian. I pouted and looked out of the w indow. Sino bang nakakaalam kung bakit ganito ang mga babae? . Wala ka bang sasabihin? Gusto kong sabihing naiintindihan kita. I tried to smile. C`mon! `Wag na nating loko hin ang sarili natin. And it was my dream e ven before Julian entered my oh-so-boring life. Again. I ll be away for a year. kaartehan lang `yung mga nababasa t napapanood ko. Before you. That finding your self wasn t really true. One year Jeannie? Do you think a year is only a day for me? Galit nitong sabi. Pero masak it Jeannie. Just being realistic. And warm hugs. lagi kong sinasabi noon na mas masarap maging single. you also have to love what I do! Per o alam kong hindi ganon kadali `yun. there was always an exemption. You could live without them but somehow let s be honest . Long distance relationship only stood a chance as big as my thumb finger. you stood against odds and still be together after a year. His forehead was be nt against the wall. I won t ask you to wait for me Julian. You could have told me yesterday. Julian painting is my very first love. Hindi lang naman lalaki ang makakapagpaligaya sa `yo. Yes. Isang taon pa kaya? I wasn t being pessimistic here. I smiled bitterly to myself. But hey. But wasn t that our problem? Time. Nung humarap siya. Gusto kong isigaw sa kanya: If you love me. His back was turned to me. Of course. Wala ka pa. He looked at me from head to foo t. It might sound exaggerated. Kasi wala ka ngang ka-monthsary! Wal ang naninigaw sa `yo on the phone when you couldn t text him. Ang gulo ko no? I asked him not to wait for me but then I wished with all my heart t hat he would. kung iiwan ako ng lalaking m ahal ko sa harap ng altar baka mapatay ko siya ng wala sa oras. Those were just life s facts. True. Isang taon lang `yun Julian. life without them was a boring world. T here was no way around that but time. Gusto kong matupad ang mga pangarap ko. Nandun na `yun eh. syempre masarap pa ring merong pipilit na kunin `yung kamay mo in public kahit kunwari ayaw mo. Mamamatay `yan kung isang taong walang putahe sa hapag kainan. In New York. Lit erally and hmm figuratively. Bulong nito. At hindi naman sa wala akong ti wala sa mga lalaki. Heart grew colder with the absence of the other. In general. He didn t turn around.I found him in the adjacent room. He didn t bother to turn around when I shut the door closed. Pain was pain. Glory be to God. Why not? Either I ha d no choice `coz there was no one had dared to hold my hand at that time. Jeannie I will Wait for you My breath got hitched. It was very true. Ano bang alam ko nung time na `yun? Gusto ko lang maging m agaling na pintor. Ano ba. Sa mga single. Or even last night! He was now shou ting. Pero hindi nga ba k aya nga kakaunti ang pari sa mundo? At ang iba pa sa kanila y. His fists clenched. With pho ne calls! LOL. That was what I wanted to hear from him. Reality bites. Masara p walang pinagkakagastuhan kapag monthsary. Unless you tell me.
I chose my path. Sino `to? I avoided his scrutiny. I didn t really care. So this was what he called letting go huh. natetempt akong mag-stay. He shook his head. Pwede ba. I glared all the more at him. You k now dear. I gaped at him. He arched one brow. I tried pushing him toward the kitched. `di topless. Ang arte. We disappointed you. And Julian didn t want anything to do with it. Sakalin ko na kaya `tong kaibigan kong `to? He tried looking over my shoulders. Nahiya ka lang pero ang ido-draw . Was there a difference? Iniba niya lang ng phrase pero ganon din `yun! Jeannie if you stay you choose me. I lo Don t tell me you love me. What if you find someone new? What if you do? I hissed at him. it s okay with me. I snatched the cloth from him and cove red it again. Pero pano na lang `yung mga pa ngarap ko? Hindi lahat ng tao nabibigyan ng ganitong opportunity. Bago pa man ako makapagsalita ay nahugot na ni CM `yung tel a mula sa canvass. Sh!t. And damn if he wasn t handsome here and nud e. He shook his head. I bit my lip to stop from crying out. I mopped my forehead with the towel. couldn t I just have both? Somehow maybe I would eventually forget him. Busy? I shrugged my shoulders. It seemed cliché but I m letting you go. You re giving up on me. Ganon din naman `yun. But it hurt a lot. `Yun lang ang naiintindihan ko sa lahat ng `to. I really do. BITTER! After a few e-mails and letters. Get out Jeannie. Galit kong sabi sa kanya.Never forget you. I won t ask where you are going. Ano ba Jeannie defensive na sabi ni to. I understand. A mere whisper. I m hungry. What? He smiled sheepishly. Let s eat. `Yung lalaki sa panaginip mo? Tuwing gabi dinadalaw ka? CM! He looked at the painting more closely. I wanted to slap him at that moment. I gritted my teeth. Eh. You might be seeing some body I don t know. Wala. For you. Narinig kong ang pagbagsak ng mga gamit at kung ano mang mga nagkala t na basag doon. Ah. Julian I whispered when I was in between the door and the outside world toward achi eving my dream. I didn t care. Gusto mo bang sabihin ko sa `yong hihintayin kita Jeannie? Then wha t after our promises to one another. It meant goodbye. Ex mo? Kung makapagtanong kala mo inosente! I gritted my teeth. if you walk out of that door. Two years later. Kung gagabihin kayo e. Ano ba `yang ginagawa mo ha? Tingin pa. Then shrugged. However. este uumagahi n. Postcard greetings. I m sorry baby JJ. 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. Oo. Of course. Sino pa bang titili ng ganoon kung hindi ang kaisa-isang kaib igan ko sa mundong ibabaw. My heart was breaking into pie ces. My mind was made up. he isn t nude here. dammit! Just just get the hell out of here!!! Nanlaki ang mga mata ko at naisara ko agad ang pinto. It would deteriorate with ti me. So. Hindi kaya maglolokohan lang tayo? He gave up on me. I like him. God. So what time s your date later with Rick? Todo smile ito. I cleared my throat and glared at him. Hinara ngan ko `yung painting sa likuran ko. Para akong rob ot na naglalakad. Jeannie! I raised one brow. And correction. He paushed.
Para siyang sawa. Inis na sabi sabay irap. Pisil pa. He didn t exist anymore. Rick was handsome. Dammit. . Kahit kahit `pag sumisigaw siya hindi ko na matandaan kung pano nagigin g singkit lalo `yung mga mata niya. Save that he wasn t Julian. I smiled at him. Malamang magiging gwa po o maganda ang magiging anak namin. Jeannie What! You haven t forgotten him. Mabilis akong na patayo. He was really one he ll of a handsome man. This was our first date. But deep inside there was that wishful thinking that somehow he should have been there at night to cuddle her. Lakad. huwag mo ng ibigay ang lahat. I tried hard not to jab him in the ribs. Naiiyak na `ko ng hindi ko na siya maki ta. He was as sleek as a snake. The people were blocking him. I know. I couldn t ever forget that face. You know that I like you Jeannette. Hey.ing mo talaga nude. Maybe he was an angel sent from above. She won the painting contest. Kahit anong pigil ko sa kama y niya kung saan napupunta. How could you love another if you couldn t love yourself? She spent wandering around the world. I was even looking out for some sign s of imperfection. Excuse ako ng excuse par ang wala namang naririnig! Julian Bulong ko. Me? Ah. And they were all returned! Except for the e-mail syempre. I started preparing for our food. You seemed preoccupied. Totoo naman. I couldn t breathe anymore. We now shared a unit. Uh-okay. Mab ango. I tried hard not to glare at him. I looked at his impeccable white shirt underneath his coat. At lalong hindi ko na natatandaan kung pano siya Humalik? Inirapan ko siya. Bago pa kung saang imperti nenteng lugar mapadpad iyon. Who? I asked innocently. sent postcards and letters. He stood up and moved right to the door. I ve already forgotten him CM. it was a year. Baka si Piolo Pascual. His hand started squeezing my thighs. And this was New York! Kulang na lang ako ang gawin niyang dinner. It was so un-CM like. He was half-Canadian half-Filipino. Nakalimutan ko na siya. Y es. I his sed. I know thank you. Ang h irap kausapin ang sarili mong isip. no. Actually. So now he wasn t perfect. It was all worth it. You look beautiful and sexy. Para kasing sinapian na naman siya ng masamang espiritu. My eyes grew wide. eleven months and twenty seven days. I shook my head. He smiled at me. Matangkad. Hindi dahil nasasakal ako sa yakap ng katabi ko. Pa-humble pa. we were in the 21st century. those black eyes. Malay ko bang nagkaroon pa kami ng baby JJ the sec ond. where are you going? I squeezed through the throng of people. At bolero! Na ni minsan hindi man lang ginawa sa `kin ni Julian . Napa-smile ako kay CM. At si Julian ang devil. I was starting a new life now. para sa susunod na magmamahal ka u lit may ibibigay ka pa. Wala na ni hindi ko na nga natatandaan kung pano siya ngumiti. Kung siya ang mapapangasawa ko ulit. Gwapo. I snorted. Magtira ka sa sarili mo. Jeannie kung magmamahal ka. He held my hand. Takbo. Bakit ba hindi? Sino bang unang nakalimot? I e-mailed him. I was looking out of the crowd when I met a pair of eyes. Two years. Goodn ess. No more Julian. I took hold of his hand. Nabigla ako. My very first date after almost two years. He raised an inquiring eyebrow at me. Akala ko ba nakalimutan mo na siya! Grabe. In a fashionable way. And very gentleman.
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
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. Nagsubo ito ng maraming popcorn. I was never fond of maltreated protagonists. Well. CM! The phone started ringing. eh? Napatingin . at least I didn t have evil stepsisters. Pero kanino? Sa sarili ko? Kay Tri cia ba? O sa napakawalanghiya kong ex-hubby. Silence. We weren t even mar ried. Wala nga lang sa kanya `di ba? He d even moved on and forgotten all about me. Hello? Hey. `Yung mga tatanga-tangang sumusunod sa yapak ni Cinder ella. Very fashionable. Jeannie! What? Why don t you take Julian back? I slowly shook my head. all in capital letters. Was t here such a thing? Could pain kill you? Hindi naman siguro. Pwede mo ba `kong samahan sa OB? I want this to be a surprise Surprise! The phone went out of my grasp. Not ex. Ah. it s me Tricia. Ah no. that word would be applied to me someday and that someday happened to be now. Julian. Ano Jeannie ? Ibabalik na ba ni Tricia si Julian? Now I knew the expression: ASA! OB. I stared stupidly at CM. legally speaking. Teka nga bakit ang dami mong alam? He talked to your mother. Baby. as I stared outside the glas s panel from here. Mabilis iyong inabot ni CM. Si Julian lang talaga ang evi l dito.WHAT?! Just like that? Ganon ba kaliit `yung tingin niya sa `kin? He shrugged. 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. Sino bang laruan dito? THIRTY THREE I now know the word STUPID. So shall we go? Tricia smiled at me. Gusto kong magalit. Laruan tama. H e smiled evilly at me. no. Tricia. She was wearing a floral dress with a cardigan. All about baby JJ. Pero isa lang sure k o jealousy could kill. Hindi ako ganon ka-kontrabida. And little did I know that. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. Err I hated him. Ahm Jeannie lulubus-lubusin ko na ha. Never EX. At ngayon? Hindi ko alam kung unti-unti ko bang pinapatay `yung sarili ko.
almost one year and seven and a ha lf months? Actually I wanted it to be a surprise. Congratulations! You re two and a half months on the family way. God forgive me. Tapos pumili na ng kanta si Tricia. Sabay biglang labas ng doctor.A. Utang na loob! So was it any consolation that J ulian mourned over our relationship for over. Tricia! I closed my eyes to keep my emotions intact. May we all have an everlasting friendship! W alang agawan. I averted my eyes away from the scene. Tricia was half-laughing. Palabas pa lan g kami ng clinic. 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. alam k o. Pero pwede ba at some point lahat tayo nagiging makasa rili kapag nagmamahal `di ba? Now I was getting all worked up. Iba na ata ibig sabihin niyon ngayon. Kailangan pa ba niyang sabihin `yun? Five months now. He hissed. As if. I haven t been celibate say GOD. c`mon! Don t tell me nau ubusan na ng OB don? Maybe because half part of me was harboring a tiny hope that either Tricia was a certified scheming b!tch.akong bigla sa tiyan niya. Tricia was the first real love of Julian. They were together. Ano bang ginagawa ko dito? Nagpapakamasokista? Maglaslas na lang kaya ako? Nasa baba na kami ng condo building ni Tricia. Thanks doctor. Gusto kong sumi gaw na ang O. So God wasn t on my side. Spell desperada. Itinayo niya `ko. Are you okay? Lumingon ako. At sak a hello? Bakit dito pa? Pwede namang sa Pinas `di ba? Oh. It s confirmed J ulian! Thank you So it was confirmed. Ahm mrs. a hand grabbed mine. .? Sa sobrang lakas ng kaba ko parang ako ang mahihimatay. It was a time to celebrate. The doctor smiled widely. Before I could even drink my fourth glass. Tricia was spared to drink any liquor. Big time. We turned around and Tricia quickly ran to him and hugged him. Nakakat atlong baso na ko. half-crying. Congratulations! Let s cheers to that. I was rooted to the seat. No! Oo. It was awkward. You and Julian can go to hell together. Anong pakialam ko?! Kahit 24/7 pa `yan! Parang convenient store. mo Tricia! Dahil bitter ako sobrang bitter. Sa totoo lang hindi ko alam kung bakit pa `ko pumayag samahan siya sa OB. too bad of me to pray. Walang iyakan. Hindi ako iiyak. I was still silent and mum about it. Yeah. Pano kung sila talaga? After all. Pero minsan naiisip kong patirin si Tricia. Halos akayin na ko ni Tricia. What the hell It s your fourth glass. Hindi ba magmumukha ako ng bitter? And that would be sheer hypocrisy. Give love on Christmas day! CM cheered. I met a pair of chinito eyes. So it was five months going huh. Mag-iinom kasi broken hearted ka. Hindi siya buntis hindi siya buntis nagdadalang-tae lang si Tricia. So how are you? Someone new? I wanted to smile and tell her: Yes. Nauwi kami sa videoke bar. Tsss. Lagyan ng kung anong valium ang inumin nito. Julian only looked at me. Had I seen in his eyes how he wanted me to be sorry? D ahil iniwan ko siya? Dahil pinagpalit ko siya sa mga pangarap ko? Tinawagan nila si CM. I ve found someone new and I m very much happy. I tried to smile. Argh. for all I care. Are you sure? She looked down at me. And disgusted wit h myself. Hindi ako makangiti. Uh-huh. You re drunk.
I missed him shouting at me because he was concerned. My eyes were getting misty. That lips I had kissed many times before. I missed him. CM said drily. I thought I d forgotten that mouth. Hindi naman ako claustrophobic pero parang nasosuffocate ako. If I know! Pinindot niya talaga ` yung stop button. Umusog ako sa gilid palayo. Galit na sabi nito. you love it. I can t read the lyrics from here. Hindi ko sinasadya. He mouthed. Gusto ko siyang sampalin. Demanding. He s making me happy Julian. Uh-oh. Tricia frowned. Pero hindi ko magawa. Biglang nagiba ang tono ng boses nito. So it was the high and mighty Mr. His hands grabbed my sho ulders. mmkay? I looked at Tricia. my words. Uh-oh. He moved forward. I m sor ry Oh my God. I looked down at his hand. yes. It was like he was a menacing predator the next. And so w as I. I was ushered into Julian s lap. don t you? Why not for th e last time Jeannie? Do you know the word fvckiiiing qui ckie? He was mad. At sabay tulak sa`kin. Exactly. Julian s chinky eyes turned into slits. There at the side of my ahm waist. god. Hindi ko alam k ung sinong sumundo sa`kin. She seemed really oblivious. My so-called bestfriend just ignored me! Sa pagkakalipat nito ay nalipat si Julian sa tabi ko. I liked it rough . Just don t make any noise. Oh. he said sarcastically. Julian s hand steadied me fr om slipping into the floor in the other side. He moved forward. no! Hindi ko sinabi `yun! I was drunk. CM! Julian was also shocked. Is h e making you happy Jeannie? He laughed sarcastically. Jeannie can you move a little over there? Masikip. Yes. Yes. Someone was caressing my back to and fro. Oh. Yes. I covered my mouth and ran to the bathroom. I told you. My tears rolled down as the cold nights and empty sheets lay behind the almos . Sorry. Like you taught me. I eyed CM with warning. Ahm excuse me Julian pwede bang dito ka na lang umupo? Diyan ako sa tabi ni Tricia . you shouldn t drink. CM smiled at me innocently. I m going to sing. Hindi naman ako `yung nagsalita non `di ba? Julian s grin was deliberate. I drank it in one fill without breaking the eye contact. Tric ia s busy singing. More than happy Do you know what? God forgive me for this. Para akong masusuka. Who t old him about Rick? That maniac. I had no strength anymore. I missed his ne arness. Of course. The same heat and inten sity was there. Then we turned slowly. His head came down upon me. I didn t know what I was doing. Tricia was singing my eyes grew wide. Aren t we here to celebrate? I blurted out bitterly. I slowly smiled at him. Ooops. Oh-kay. CM smiled at me. Love will lead you back. We screwed in the backseat I was even comparing notes. This was what you called Women s violation! His hand was there. But I didn t try to hold back. Mabilis akong tumayo despite th e dizziness. Under my lo and behold future! Almost there. I was ready to puke. shaking me. Kung sinong mas magaling! I hissed. slap him or lied about not liking i t. Magtabi kami ni CM.I raised one brow. Move a little. An artist also. Someday I just know that love will lead you back in my a rms I winced. Julian s teasing smile froze me in place. Bruising my lips. Sige tuloy niyo lang `yan. So I ve heard about your new boyfriend. Goodness so y ou aren t any different from your sister. Sunico hu h? I gritted my teeth. I g asped. Ano bang pakialam mo? Tinanggal ko ang kamay niya at ngumiti. that was it. Did it still taste the same? Oh.
Tatlo lang `yun. I thought dreams were made to escape the painful reality. 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. That would be sheer stupidity.t two years. I m still mad at yo u because you hurt me (In truth. Kaya galit siya sa`kin. He pushed me away from him. I smiled to myself humorlessly. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung isang araw ay hindi na`ko magising. For some reason. Some consolation. Was there such a thing? Forever. I heard CM asking him when he went out. At least he was still as affected to me as he was. Ang love parang li pstick. I closed my eyes. Kung umayaw ako. I was still wide awake. For ever. CM nudged my shoulder to keep going. Sa`min ni Julian? It should have been Neverever. Na parang walang pakialam! Anger was always okay than indiffe rence. Malungkot itong tumingin sa kanya. If he ever chose Tricia for his dream over me I would still be mad at him. I d file a laws uit against its manufacturer. Okay. What for? Couldn t he see my heart breaking i nto pieces in front of him? I felt my lips were swollen. Tricia was the second one. Pero hindi. And at that time Tricia was m y only chance of ever achieving it. There was always someone in the way. O kung meron man hindi ako `yun. Pero lalo lang akong b inabangungot. get in line please! I stared numbly at the organizer. Jeannie our family s business is my dream. I didn t dare wipe the tears. And more years to come He d be gone from me forever. I swear. 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. kung nagkita kayo after so many years at hindi naging maganda ang break-up. Jean was the first one. Pero hindi. If ever my lipstick smeared. I got his point. Congratulations. maiintindihan naman nila `ko `di ba? Dapat intindihin nila `ko. I was the first among the Miss Stupidest runners-up. 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. Totoo `yun. music please . Walang taong ganoon kabait at kamartir. 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. eh. Because the truth was becoming real to me with each passin g day. sino pa bang tatalbog sa pinakamagarang award na makukuha ko? Kahit nga si Janine San Miguel walang panama sa `kin. He shrugged at me. It was all too vivid. Though he didn t love her i t wasn t me he really got tangled with. Okay. Kung ginawa niya `yun noon. As if I had a contagious disease. kahit gawa `yan para hindi matanggal o mapalis basta basta darating at d arating pa rin ang expiration date niyan. Now tell me. Thank you because you left me. Katulad mo. Maybe it was just sp elled that way. I started crying. He looked up. Isn t that what you want to hear from me Julian? I asked him sarcas tically. But why should I be the one to understand them? Walking down the aisle with the one you love is every girl s dream but walking dow n the aisle with the one you love when you happened to be the bridesmaid was out of the question. 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.
CM was eyeing me pit ifully. Nanlaki `yung mata niya na parang sinasabing: Oh. hopeless case r etard. I couldn t stop from sobbing . She tried to pat my hand but I turned away from her. I didn t know how I dared to be here. Luha. I do. Kasi feeling ko. Syempre nahiya ako sa ayos ko. Julian Sunico. Her boyfriend got her pregnant.There was a pianist. all I cared about was myself. Sipon. I was walking like a zombie. I was clutching silly at the bunch of flowers. Willed her mother to be strong. Pero sana sana lang may take two. Hindi ko alam kung anong masamang espiritung sumapi sa `kin. do you take this woman as your lawfully wedded wife? My vision became blurred. I couldn t handle it at the moment. but into many pieces. Nakakadiri ako. Free will. Neither did I. Para naman alam ko kung kailan pipigilan ang emosyon. Ha? Napatingin ako sa paligid ko. I glared at her. But t hen This practice was a major catastrophic event in my life next to having lost baby JJ. Out. Oo na. No Don t J ulian. you ll feel my pain. anong ginawa ko sa`yo? She shouldn t have made me replace her. Lahat naghalo na. Fighting spirit . Kaw awa naman `yung mga walang kamuwang-muwang na halaman. I started crying and vomiting. Kunwari tumawa ako. And he started talking. Alam mo ba kung gano kasakit `yun? Hindi. My heart wasn t just broken into two. Gusto kong isigaw na wala akong pakialam. Naiinis ako kasi mas aya siya at ako hindi. Parang slow motion napatingin ako sa kamay ko. They were right in front of the pretend pries t reciting their bows. Jeannie. The pain was excruciating. My sister was staring helplessly at me. Of course. either mabaliw ako or maisipan kong mag-suicide bombin g sa loob ng simbahan. Para akong nasa pelikula. As if I was a dimwitted. He handed me a towel. `felt like it was my death march. Sana naman kung nakikinig siya somehow he could guide me. But at this point in time. I ran away from there as fast as I could. Sa `kin lahat sila nakatingin. Or pride? I didn t know. Sana may cut. Lalo na `yung mga caretak ers. When he le ft her I was there to catch her. I just fou nd myself sitting on the bench with him. At take note: sa loob ng simbahan. He didn t say a thing. Just as the words were out. Then I gave Tricia the flower. Tricia smiled at me hesitantly and reached out to me What? Jeannie You re holding the bouquet. me listening. That is what love is isn t it? You have to give. But not really. This was what they cal led almost dying. I brushed my hair away from m y wet face. And of course. Are you okay? I slowly looked up. I didn t need another broken heart. chinky eyes. Ang selfish ko no? I was hurting too much to be sensible. Hindi ko na sana nakilala si Julian. t o sacrifice and to understand. . Mine was enough for me to handle. But she couldn t she couldn t love me back. If he was sympathizing with me. 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. What had I done now? What! I snapped at the organizer. Goodness. When I looked up I met a pair of dark. I love this woman greatly. great. Pero anong alam ko nung time na `yun? I didn t know that I was doing that specifically for her. Kasalanan niya `to. Actually. Kasi sobra. Do you know.
Nakakatawa no? Manood ka ng XXX tuwang tuwa ka. It was like that in love. that would be sheer hypocrisy Julian. Not that I was saying love was connected to lust or so. sacrifice and understand. He was looking down at the stones. Mr. present and future tense? EPILOGUE And in another life I would be your girl We keep all our promises. 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. Sunico smiled at me. Napalingon ako sa kanya. He frowned at me. Sinisisi niya `yung sarili niya sa divorce niyo. LOL. I turned to women from night to night. It was only up to us how to show it. God will give you the man you are loo king for. Sa totoo lan g hindi ko naman talaga maintindihan kung anong ibig sabihin ng love. we did things we would never have thought for the sake of love. be us against the world . Understanding what he meant. Sana nga I was walking down the memory lane. Magulo. Go figure. Like he always. Bulong ko. Sabi nila wala daw definition `yun. I crossed my fingers and hiccupped. Loved. The only way I knew I could hurt her back He shrugged. Hindi mo maintind ihan. Mali ako. Akal a niya na-neglect siya. But I didn t want her gratitude. At one point. I loved you. Why are you asking this nonsense? Nonsense? I laughed. Makakita ka ng PDA sa l abas yamot na yamot ka. And you hurt Julian the most. This time I was successful. Ngumiti ako. Nothing to say. Just as I am to you.You have to give. He was there. Bakit pa kasi nauso ang past. So I married her. Nagkamali kami pa reho. standing as if he owned the world. I stopped dead in my tracks. But only we had different meanings of love. Sa tingin mo ba kung mabubuhay tayo ulit gugustuhin mo pa rin akong makilala? I tr ied not to croak. I really tried. but then I wished with all my heart that you d be happy if only that is with me. I s tarted hating her for not loving me back. But after all those years. Julian whispered. Pero naniniwala akong meron. I think. right? Jeanni Kung hihilingin kong maging masaya ka. I loved him I love him still But things change d. But this time there was one thing he didn t own anymore. you just have to tell him that at some point you love him as a son. How cruel love is. You re a good woman. God. Whatever. she s grateful to me.
Y our skins tingle when you touch. hell. I thought I could never live up to Julian s standard. Meron sa buhay natin na darating. Paskong pasko. Oh. I smile softly to myself. Halos mapaantanda ako sa gustong ipabili nito. I chuckle drily. And hearing her daughter s voice made me w ish that I were her. So mehow I know it by heart. Congratulations! That started the word forever. I raised one brow. I always envy my twin. O kung hindi man None in a million. The one that got away I hit the high-pitched note as I imitated Katy Perry s song. 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. God must have pitied upon you. Hindi ko rin alam kung bakit nagpe-fade `yun. Is happiness really elusive? Hindi ko ginustong mag-asawa ng maaga pero hindi ko rin naman pinangarap na tuma ndang dalaga. 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. ne ver naman akong humiling ng Mr. I am funny. I bet you didn t guess how insecure I am. I close my eyes and pray. Right or Mr. Well. I put down the flowers. Hey. Perfect. Ak o si ganyan. my Napaatras ako sa pagkabigla. Relationshi ps: Sawa to awa. So like Jean Somehow. Well. Ang gulo ng mundo no? If you ended up together after so many endeavors. Wow. I am beautiful. First to Jean then to Tricia. Napangiti ako. I laugh about that. Someone who can make our hearts beat faster. With rolled eyes. maibabalik ko ba lahat? Had I cried openly would he would we What if there is a time machine? Or Reincarnation is real? Would I have made him stay? Would we meet again? Sa totoo lang hindi ko alam kung anong formula kung p ano manatili ang love.And 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. Kaya nga siguro deep down. may d . better luck next time. Parang umo-order lang sa menu kung humiling. Yeah. I was a scared rat. Give the phone to Czarina. Regrets are those for what you can t have done. Oh. Splitting hairs. My eyes grow wide when I s ee a pair of a child s feet. Hindi niyo siguro napansin. Al am mo naman `yung tao kung gano nag-aalala sa`yo. And we thought he will be Mr. no don t go there anymore Jeannie. Love is a very frightenin g thing. Pero kung sumigaw ba`ko ng mas malakas. Pero lagi akong humihiling na sana ako si ganito. My cell phone is ringing. I start hating the phrases what ifs and what could have beens. Meron ng bumisita dito? I hear a child s laughter from a distance. Na-tense ako. yes. where are you? Haven t you been with Roy? He told me you re not feeling well. Kung may love potion lang malamang bestselling item `yun. CM. I am always splitting hairs. Deep down I know there s always something that kept me apart from her. I vee never been contented in my whole life. Eh. Merry Christmas! Nagpaparamdam ka ba sa `kin baby JJ? Did you miss mommy? I kneel down. sino ba? I ve always dreamed of something big. He s laughing. next life. Forever. I feel a pang of uncertainty. `yung tao ang gumagawa ng kapalaran niya? Ts k. Hello? Ako ang iyong konsensya I grit my teeth. Do you ever believe in destiny? Eh. Binagalan ko `yung pagda-drive. but of course. He loves you I sigh. `di sana tumaya na lan g ako sa lotto non `di ba? They were one in a million. Yeah. Tita Jeannie! Where s my psp? My laptop and she keeps rambling. Unknowingly comparing myself to other people. and I find someone more beau tiful than I ever am.
Hindi man ako tumingin alam ko alam ko ng lahat sila sa `kin nakatingin. Julian took that particular hand of Tricia s that hand that signified letti ng go while he was looking looking at me. What was far more hurting than seeing the one you loved walk down the aisle wi th someone not you? Julian August Sunico. I was doomed to be a spinster forever. w e were hoping against hope. the maid smiles tentati vely and take the child s hand. Sana hindi na lang sana Julian was looking at me. O `yun `yung gusto kong palabasin ngayon. They were all staring. Tumalik od ito.. My eyes got misty. It s been five years I whisper and close my eyes and it all came back to me. I feel that emptiness again. I wished I was in a time warp. It was like in slow motion. So it was really over? The end. I slowly smiled. Kung pwede lang akong sumigaw ng freeze katulad ni Ella. Thank you. I wanted to let go of the pain. Ayokong tumingin sa tabi niya. for everything. Or did I? I . Hindi ko na kaya. Nakita ko na lang si Tricia na naglalakad palapit sa`kin. Now I know what the phrase killing me softly meant. Hindi ko alam kung anong nangyayari. It was all over. I looked up. Then a woman came running in uniform. I was praying with all my might that God w ould give me strength to get through this. Giving me the bouquet of flowers. My vision was getting blurry.alaw! The child is holding a doll. She remi nds me of Tantan. Two. e xpecting and gaping at us. Was he also mourning for me? Hindi ko kaya. 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. alam natin. Gusto kong itanong kay father. An overwhelming urge to slap him was building deep inside me. CM patted my shoulder. I almost snorted. Pe ro pano? I do. Ayokong magpaka-ipokrita. But he was there his hands were inside his jeans pocket. I was looking down at the tiled floor. 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. She smiled at me. Bakit ganon n o? Lagi nating sinasabing hindi tayo nag-eexpect pero deep inside. She is thumb sucking. I heard someone scream. I was going to throw up any minute now. Kasi nasasaktan ako . But I couldn t set the love free so ea sily. white hand. My fate was sealed. Everybody was cheering. The corner of his mouth twitched in a lazy smile. Finish. I didn t dare look at everyone or anyone for that matter. There were a lot of well-wishers. Three steps. Sino ka? I wince. 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. That was the last of my full thoughts. I wish the doctors are wrong. One. My heart sank to the pit of my stomach. Nasangga. Natulak. I was staring num bly at Jesus Christ. ginawa ko na. Siya ang nagtata nong. Naku halika na. Wala bang tututol? Sisigaw ba `ko? I placed a hypocritical smile on my lips. do you take this woman. At me.. Her eyes are chinky. This is for you Jeannie. Siya ang na nga ang nanggulat. Tricia was in front of me. to have held a child of my own. My hand was trembling as I took the bouquet from her gloved. No no t mocking but it was as if he was telling me that everything would be alright.
Wallet? Necklace? My mind s warming up with all the expensive gifts I can ever have from him. Then a face so familiar comes in view. The video is blurred at first. Epilogue Part Two Wala na po siya. She beams at me and kisses my chee k. Roy hugs me as he hands me his gift. Hija! It s been a long while since you came back C M clears his throat. Okay. Mamamatay ka na ba at ito ang gift mo? O kaya nagh ihirap? Fine. Na para bang diyan lang sa Star City ang hinihiling nito. I love you tita. I learn to like him through the years. Czarina comes running with my mom. wala akong tiwala. No not name. Nothing else. My eye s twinkle. Do n t you know that Christmas had just been a holiday word to me? Entirely foreign. That Five-letter fvcking word. Parang naparalyze `yung buo kong katawan. `Yung tawang: Mwahahaha. Stupidass. ako? Because of just one man? Because of love? . I m being ungrateful. 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. Special child. Merry Christmas! Nakita kong may ibunulong si CM kay Czarina. Define mabait. I almost touch the stop button on the remote co ntrol. Merry Christmas. half-canadian . well. Hit me on the head. He was an event organizer in New York. That morning I wake up and watch that video. I gasp. I snort. all in capital letters. Kung Titanic ang laman nito paniguradong gagawin ko ta lagang parol si CM. Good girl. Present. Siguro mabait lang talaga ako. I almost throw it in his face. He pouts. I met him through. Sana Coach bag `yung matagal ko ng inuungot sa kanya. It was a dvd disk. Magpatayo na rin kaya ako ng monument sa Luneta? A t least he died for his country. As i n. Hindi ko alam kung matutuwa ba ako kay CM o ano. All I want for Christmas is Jul youuuuuu! Hindi ko siya pinansin. Napatingin si mommy dito. dear! I smile at him. Hindi ko alam kung bakit o kung ano ng nagtutulak sa`king panoorin `yun. Well. Nakaalis na siya? Damn. Sabay tumawang parang demonyo. Sa`kin okay lang `yung trip to Disney land. Goodness. That name. Half-fil. Just a noun. sabi nga ni CM titigan mo lang ng buong araw busog ka na. Somehow I am restless that Christmas day. I roll my eyes. Knowing CM. I raised one brow. Well. I loathe that word. I snort. of course CM. J ean s laughing and kisses her daughter. Hindi ko alam kung bakit gusto niyang magkita kami ngayon. Lang huh? Okay lang.fainted. kunsintidora! CM handed me a box. At sa sobrang katalin uhan ko dinaig ko pa si Rizal. WALA AKONG TIWALA. Bakit hindi. 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. This time louder with matching ubo pa. That Christmas eve we open our gifts. he is a handsome and charming man. CM but in. Special ka kaya.
wasn t it? Para `kong nanghihina. he can still make your heart beat faster? Naramdaman mo `yung feeling na kahit na pilit mong . Long ago I ask that mys elf. Sobra. no. Anak ka ni Mabilis akong napakapit sa muk ha nito. He ll be the Ice breaker. My so-called doomsday before. my God! Anak ka ng demon Oh. Have she heard me? Oh. Lofty thoughts Jeannie Bulong ko sa sarili ko. Hindi ko napansin na ako na lang pala mag-isa. My eyes get misty I so remember those days. Sumunod po kayo sa `kin. Three teeth are mi ssing. Hindi ko napigilan ang hindi mapaiyak. I cup both her cheeks. Pictures of me grimacing on our wedding day. She frowns at me. D addy! There s a woman here! She s a strangeeeeeer! Napapikit ako. Ma am? Napalingon ako. Those days I wish I have again. My heart constricts just by imagin ing myself having a family. You re gross. It reminds me of Oh.God. Hindi dahil nakalimutan ko n a kundi dahil hindi ko ginustong maalala. Having my own child. Hey. my heart bea t triple time. She s looking up at me And my. My knees become weak. My eyes grow wide as we enter a white room. He s on the phone. Jade! My eyes grow wider. God sorry. I stop cold in my tracks. It s bittersw eet. Napatingin ako sa malaking bahay sa harapan ko. Napalingon ako sa bulilit na katabi ko. Those days that I thought I ll hate him forever w hich I m doing a poor job of it. if ever. Cute. Ipinagbilin po kayo ni ma am Tricia. Naramdaman mo na bang kahit anong sakit ang idinulot niya sa`yo. I raise one brow at him. That was our best time together. I raise one brow. He kn ew where. Something warm tugs at my heart. May nag-abot sa`kin ng panyo. Naiisip ko lang kung pano `y ung next scene. I m looking around the house. lady won t you talk to me? She pouts prettily. kikilabutan lang kayo. I take it. their caretaker. I take it and sniff. `Wag niyo ng itanong ang mga details . Ma am? Ha? I turn to. Kundi ba naman nakakatulig `yung pagtili niya. Malabo. You bought my paintings? I start hiccupping. I suddenly blu sh. Life-size photos of me in Morocco. Who are you? At namaywang pa! Her chinky eyes tur n into slits. salamat aalis na lang Kayo po ba si Ms. Sige. Kaya nga gusto ko ng pagtakhan si CM. Of course. Sayang It s that damn man s fault! My sigh is long I ll promise that after this I ll try with all my might to for Biglang m y isang petal na lumipad at dumikit sa gilid ng bibig ko. I wince. There are p ictures portraits I remember vaguely. `Nu ba `yan Panira ng m oment! The white petal looks familiar. And no doubt obscene ones. Parang slow motion sa pelikula. Vague. Maybe just in anoth er lifetime I d have made him stay. With him. Knowing CM. I ll just wait outside. I slowly turn around. The hou se is overlooking the Taal Lake. I bet she ll shake t he whole house off. Leviste? I nod. I close my eyes tight. somehow I start hating mysel f. Yuck. CM tilts his head to one side as if shooing me. You know what. Nanginginig na naman `yu ng mga kamay ko. murm uring love words. Those days that I love him. Damn him Damn he-who-has-no-name. Masarap s ana kung may kayakap. Alam ko matutuwa I mean. 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. Syempre sinama ko si CM. The kid skids away from my grasp. Malamig talaga dito.
I ll act matured sophisticated. I remember the video in my mind s eye. They open my child s eyes that there is a prince charming. Sunico. this is goodbye. I m just sorry I let you go. How could I have loved him? Galit na pinunasan ko `yung mga mata ko. Pero mahirap gawin. Kahit pangalan mo lang. Madaling sabihing mag-let go. Bingi ka ba? I m going. Merry Christmas Jeannette Rose Leviste! She waves her hand. I m not sorry for what I did Jeannie. Kundi ayaw makinig ng puso ko. Tumangkad ba siya? Gumwapo? Tumaba? Lalong pumuti? No. So. I say instead. Five years gives him just ice. The video. Tisha Jade! I met a pair of chinky eyes. So yeah. I frown when the scree . I can t breathe again. That somehow Aladdin will whisk me off wit h his magic carpet. He stares at me for the longest while. I thoug ht it did. Do you know the word pain? I guess. idiot don t let go. I tried to. I ll be over him in no time at Daddy. Agree? He slowly squints. you ll tell me yes. He s thirty-something now. Ang hindi matibag-tibag n a lalaki. how dare him do that. I even thought he will run to me and hug me. Biglang tumigil ang pagpatak sana ng luha ko. akala ko kapag hinalikan ni Prince Charming si Snow White okay na . The little girl bit her nails. He s more attractive. Have a happy life Is that a fvcking curse Jeannie? Do you know you creep under my skin. I turn my back on him. A four-year old chinita girl. That face. Juli He even did more than his fair share of kis sing.sinasabing wala lang siya sa`yo pero isang tawag lang. Bakit ba? Hindi ba dapat ako ang magalit? Anong karapata n niya? I walk to the door. Close. Anong kayang sinasabi ni Tri cia? Nakita kong tinignan ng pagkasama-sama sa anak. Isa lang. Pero sino bang niloko ko? `Yung kuko ko? Gusto kong magreklamo sa Disney! Bakit pa kasi sila nagpaasa. Sasampalin ko siya. ano pa nga bang ineexpect ko mul a sa kanya? He s still the high and might Julian Sunico. My hand stop in midair as a I hear a gasp. Hindi dahil ayoko. What are you doing here? And more domineering than ever. It s the truth. Nakalimutan ko she s there. Jeannie she smiles at me. Full of pain. Or to mock me of what I ve done? Now that you re successful? Hindi ko siya pinansin. Nung bata ako. L ike he never existed in my whole life. I count one to ten to stop m yself from shouting at him. didn t he? I forget his name. bad daw ang magsinungaling! Dapat matuwa ako. They ll live happily ever after. He s expressionless. She pouts a gain. Tricia s gone. Hindi ako manunumbat. Madaling sabihing hindi ko na siya maha l. T hat will be very horrible Mr. It fades as time goes by. Not Julian s more like Tricia s. Yes. Sana. Hindi ako makapaniwala sa mga naririnig ko. Are you here to laugh at me Jeannie? Just a mere whisper. And everyone who fell i n love became stupid. It works. I m thankful now `coz I didn t get to live with you forever. And that he the beast will turn into a handsome prince and he ll give the word foreve r a meaning. she s she s the one in your study room! Her picture s Julian covers her daughter s mouth. Pero nakita ko ang pan ginginig ng kamay niya habang hawak ang anak. But by God. Sabi ni mommy. Mabilis akong humarap sa kanya. Now I guess painful is the best term. Long silence stretched. Eh. Hindi mo pa rin mapigilan ang sarili mong umasa? There s that tiny part of you that says. Kaya nga nagtataka ako sa sarili ko. You re always good at hurtin g everybody. I open the door and smile to myself. Galit na nilagpasan ko siya. The mature lines on his face tell on the wise years.
Gusto kong maiyak sa itsura nito. She looks straight at me as if she is really seeing me. Gays. Ang sama ko ba? My eyes wate r. CM knew? Oh. She had already a bone marrow transplant then. 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. Natigil `yung muntik kong pagsinga. `Yung parang magkukuhaan kayo ng oxygen sa isa t isa dahil Julian s glare still work. Nangingitim ang ilalim ng mga mata n ito. We thought she s already okay. It was traced way back when yo u entered my life Jeannie. Her own. Na para bang pinapatahimik ako kung ano mang magiging violent reaction ko. I m not sorry I took Julian from you. But not the way he loves you. I m just sorry that I hurt you. I don t know where to start. Everyone has. She laughs heartily. No. Surely surely I m wrong? She s dying Jeannie. Un til when I came to New York to find you. He chuckles to himself. Am I that selfish? I wish her ill many times in the past? Now what? It s true Jeannie. Ewan ko ba. Julian just kiss Jeannie. sweet girl. Bakit ikaw ang m aiinggit sa`kin Tricia? Nasa `yo `yung gusto ko. P umangit siya. I even hear d him talking to you Tisha Jade! He s now roaring. Nang-aasar ba siya? I even salute you when you left him for your dreams. Oo. Five years five long years. That s why She s got Leukemia. Hindi ko alam kung ako ba? Dahil dapat makaramdam ako ng galit. We have a d ate! He shrieks. Naramdaman ko `yung basa sa pisngi ko. God. Nakakaiyak naman kayo. His hand tightens his hold on his daughter. Daddy always looks at your picture when he thought I m not there. Bilis na Jean nie! Tricia s happy wherever she is. I gasp. Saka naghihintay na sa`kin si Roy. Anyways. Para akong napako sa kinatatayuan ko. Jean came a nd unknowingly. They re the happiest years of my life. You can be my mommy ag ain. baliw na ata ako. I blink thrice. She paused. That shut him up. O siya? Dahil nakakangiti pa rin siya sa`kin ng ganon. Nakakasama ng lo ob. I envy you you have the zest for life Jeannie. Gone. She sighs. Bakit ba gustong gusto niya `kong sinasaktan? I always thought of her as the kind.n zooms in on her face. Na gust o ko ngang gawin. Considering mayaman si Julia n. Na para bang hinihiling sa`king unawain ko siya. Mabilis tinakpan ni Julian ang tenga ng bata. Parang hindi siya hindi naman sa pumangit siya o Oh-kay. or rather our families hastened our engagement. Ang kapal ng mukha ko no? Alam ko sasabihin mo. But you came mahinang sabi nito. That. He nods rapidly. Tricia she never looks a day sicker than she is. They want her to have a family. I am now sobbing silently. Though yes. Para matapos na `tong usapang ito. Kinarga niya ang bata. Jeannie tell him what you feel . Grabe! Si Tricia talaga oh. Tricia s dead? No. Roy is CM s boo. Do you know she bit her lower lip. I can t seem to ta ke it all in. Parang nanikip `yung dibdib ko sa sinabi niya. He s jesting right? Mommy s gone to heaven. She just wants to live her last years making her family happy. But then knowing that you know it s soo ner. queers(halamang dagat) are lovable. It s like I can hear Tricia saying thank you to me to Ju lian as we went out of the OB that day. I know something is very wron g here. he loves me. Living your life knowing that somehow you have a timeline. Back to the present. He whispers. Ano ba! Tigilan na nga natin `to. Oh. Not that sinasabi kong mukha kang pera. Napalingon ako. you replaced her. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. Relief floods through my bloodstream. Fren ch kiss. He smiles sadly. CM shrugs. How long is it daddy? She looks at me. Not that I love Julian She raises her hand. She shrugs. I muffle a gasp. Goodness. She thanked me on her wedding day. Parang umitim ang balat nito. I still want to yank that lovely ha ir out of her face which is covered with a bonnet.
He smiles tenderly. He suddenly pulls me into an embrace that robs me of my breath. I do now. Emotions kept hidden for so long is written there. There are times that I want you to shut your lovely mouth sweetheart. Just I sigh and smile at Ti sha Jade. Overwhelming joy that I m afraid isn t real. I can t bear anymore child Julian. Just kiss me J ulian. I don t know about ghos ts or Tricia. That forgettable huh? That day i n the car when you yelled like you wanted m Julian `yung bata! I hiss. The child is amazed. All the pain is swept away. Naramdaman ko na lang `yung sarili kong mga paa na na glalakad din. In God. . I love you. It doesn t matter. I kiss her on the forehead. If I m dreaming as cliché as it may seem. Pe ro wala akong pakialam. Para siyang bumata ng ilang taon. French kiss. I m sorry. But if you believe in it.I glared at him. And believe that dreams do come true. It s now or never if he can t accept me for what I am about to confess. Five years. He gave love a bad name. Like we need to breathe each oth er s oxygen. He innocently look s up at the ceiling.. That I ll still miss baby JJ. Walang reunion na hindi madrama. Pain and sadness. I m sorry. The years stretch between us. Pakialamero. I don t just think. But his eyes are glazed. Mabilis kong hinawakan ang leeg ni Julian. . I wait for that long overdue kiss. Love is a very frightening thing. CM s giggles are getting louder. Both don t know how to cross the distance. I nod against his polo shirt. Gusto kong isiping umiiyak din siya. In all that is possible without the eyes really seeing it. Naningkit ang mga mata nito. `coz I k now how persistent and talkative you are. I still want to be a part of your life. I ll be your mommy. Talaga naman. Jeannie ang bagal mo naman kasi pano kayo magkaka Ang dami mong alam eh. Sumimangot ito. Now there s j oy. There will be times that I ll still shout at you I nod. Hmm? I built this house remember that first time? What first time? I ask innocently. Love. Don t ever be afraid to love. Hindi nga ba at a ng bata ay regalo ng Diyos? Damn evil stepmothers to hell. Per o walang luha don. Ang drama ko. Julian tries to suppress his chuckle. The doctor said it after I ve had a problem with m y He stares at me. Thank God. Oh. be yourself. no? Sige ikaw na! Inis kong sabi kay CM. CM starts laughing. I love this freaking insane and mad guy with all my heart. she s even crushed in between. Julian I m sorry. I think I ll love her. Jeannie. Well. But hey. I love you He whispers before he bends down. How hard it is. Wetting it. I hiss. didn t he? I smile. It doesn t matter anymore. He cups my cheeks. I m very grateful. Thank God reall . Nakita ko siyang humakbang palapit. p lease I still don t want to wake up. . You re not as pretty as my mommy. I promise Tricia I wo n t be one.
Naghiwalay.285. What a we dding night.html g http://www.540. I start laughing.196622.435. I can feel it Ito na. http://www. Oh.php/topic. I close my eyes and wait wait.candymag. What! Inis kong sabi.196622.candymag.465. This is our wedding night Hey. Hearing her like I did through that v ideo early this morning.com/teentalk/index.php/topic.php/topic. Nakagawa na kami ng bata noon.360.196622. It s a long time coming do me a favor? you know.com/teentalk/index. It s This is meant for you. Hap py Ending na.html http://www.candymag.html driver seat http://www.com/teentalk/index.196622. The nice? guys are ugly. Until he kisses me it s as if I can still hear Tricia s last words.html http://www. will will you No.candymag.php/topic.php/topic. Jeannie? I close my eyes and groan. we had somethin he think his ex uncle Jin ñ . I smile to myself as I hug Julian close to mysel f. Only.candymag. well. you did me a favor.y.com/teentalk/index.360.html uterus--. Julian grins at me and wink.196622. Nag-asawa siya. It s just that Tricia and I never lived here. Pero hindi pa rin niya alam `yun? Shhh.html#msg54528 95 CC link Splitting Hairs. the hot guys are jerks. Akala in niyo `yun. I have a gift for you Jeannie. http://www.196622.html http://www.com/teentalk/index.196622. Natupad ko mga pangarap ko. you re pressing too close! I can t breathe! I close my eyes in frustration as I look at her chinky eyes. Merry Christmas! He murmurs with no one in particular. I hope. Bitin. and the hot-and-nice guys are g ay.ovari Uncle Jin Passenger seat.candymag.candymag. Uh nothing. What now? He smiles at me and whispers: Hindi ako marunong manligaw.com/teentalk/index. Thank Jesus. Tricia. promising a one hundred and one pleasu res in life and in the next lifetimes.com/teentalk/index.msg5452895. Oh.405.candymag. how I love him.com/teentalk/index.html es http://www.php/topic.196622.php/topic. I close my eyes again. mommy.php/topic.
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