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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
Onti nalang talaga mauubos na pasensya ko. nagkakapatong patong na ang mga kasinungalingan ko. Isang malakas na hikbi ang hindi ko napigilan. O baka imagination ko lang `yon. Are you crying? Kung umiiyak ako may paki ka ba? No. Jean Rose isn t a crybaby. He stilled against me. How was tha t for a Shakespearean play? Masyadong tragic ang buhay ko. But some part of me still wanted to hear the conf irmation. What the hell is the matter with you? Ang laki laki ng kama dyan ka nagsusumiksik . I couldn t help it. It is still spelled the same R-A-P-E. He si ghed. Gusto kong sabihin iyon sa kanya on my twin s behalf. Para iyong 1+ 1=2. And he also moved along with me! Umusod ulit ako. He didn t give even a nary compassion toward me. Matulog ka na. Parang bigla ng nagkaroon ng tenderness sa boses nito. Specifically a very estranged and angry husband and here I was supposed to be pregnant. blessing in disguise din naman pala. So what s this grand scheme? Tignan mo `tong lalaking `to. Pero lumapat lang ang mga kamay ko sa malapad niy ang dibdib. Silent tears turned into muffled sobs. But in shock. The situation wa s worst than I had expected. Ah. I m sorry. Didn t he know what he s doing to my senses ? His thumb brushed the moisture on my cheeks. You are crying. Yeah. Samantalang hindi ako titig il ng hindi ko nakukuha ang gusto ko. Ahm a three days. In this position. Kung kaya t it was very much out of Jean Ros e s league to do something as pikot . Kahit ba sabihin mong gwapo ang mangre-rape sa `yo. Pe ro para ko na rin niloko ang sarili ko. He still didn t move from behind me. kung bumubuga lang ng apoy ang mga mata ng tao baka nasunog na `ko ni Juli an. Kailan ba hindi sinadya ang pikot? Sige nga sabihin niyo sa `kin. I shook my head. He frowned at me. Natatakot na talaga ko. Galit itong humiga. Nara mdaman ko ang paghawak niya sa balikat ko. we were almost in timately embracing. Niyakap kong mahigpit ang unan upang patahimikin an g paghikbi ko. I sighed in relief. Dyos ko po. Do you hate me? I whispered again. Hindi ito makulit. I winced. I was keeping my fingers crossed. I felt so alone and vulnerable. I thought my monthly flow was a curse. Hindi ko sinasadya. Pero lalo lang akong naiyak. Yes.mo. Not in pain. Umusod u lit siya. Well Julian? Humiga na din ako sa pinakagilid ng malaking kama. Sa pagkakaalam ko walang pikot na hindi planado. So what game is this? Get into my bed and then play the pakipot later? I promise you. Silence. I licked my lower lip. Then I f elt tears brimming down the side of my face. Napahiga na lang ako sa kama . Nasan na ang kakambal ko? Bakit ako ang n agdudusa sa kasalanang `di ko ginawa? Alam ko namang magaling akong umarte. in bed with a stranger whom I had just met a few hours ago. Juli an! ahhhh I moaned and twisted. Naaw ardan pa nga ako nung high school na best actress nung gumanap akong Sisa sa Nol i. Me ron kasi `ko. Why do you hate me so much? Gusto kong matawa sa sarili kong tanong. Sasabihin mong either sipon lang `yan o napuwing ka lang. Yeah. Obvious na tinatanong pa. Hindi na nga almost eh. I felt his hard naked chest against m y back when he tried to peek above my shoulder. How many days? He brushed his hand roughly through his hair. Mabilis akong umisod palayo sa kanya papunta sa gilid ko. He slid his hands and fisted my hair. Fine. Juli an I tried to push him off me. Nakahinga ako ng maluwag ng itulak niya `ko palayo. I was alone inside a big mansion. Pinipilit kong pakalmahin ang mga hikbi k o. Nagbibilang ba si San Pedro ng penalty? A we ek. I am. Tumagilid ako patalikod sa kanya ng inakala kong hindi na siya sasagot. nakalimutan ko Pregnant women don t bleed.
Ngumiti ako and said a tha nk you prayer to my maker. ANO?! Is he serious? Never mind. Where the hell are the telephones here? Ano `to mansyon na walang telepono? Ma am. Maaga `kong mababaliw sa bahay na `to. I waved my hand at her in dismissal. Malamang sa mga araw na `yon mahahanap ko na ang magaling kong kakambal. Our noses touched. what s a scandal with the Sunicos right? I saw the muscles on his jaw flexed. `Pag baba ko ay nag-aalmusal na ang prinsipe sa lanai. I screamed my frustration within the fo ur walls of the mansion. Ako ang asawa pero wala akong alam. Just as well. Hindi ako martir. I couldn t believe it. The food was forgotten. I don t care anymore kung mukha man ak ong peso sign. Nang sa tingin ko ay kumalma na `ko ay lumakad ako sa front porch. I thought women are the only ones who are fickle-minded. Maglalakad na lang ak o palabas ng subdivision para maghanap ng taxi. I closed my eyes. I woke up late in the morning. Napasabunot ako sa buhok ko. Galit na tumayo ako at hinabol siya. Sabay bigla `kong naalala ang sitwasyon ko. Itinuloy mo pa rin pala ang balak. Hangin. Sana naisip mo `yan when you and your family blackmailed me into this marriage. just as well. Mabilis a kong bumangon at ginawa ang morning routines ko. I said airily while I was putting butter on the toast. Mabilis akong bumaba at na ghanap ng telephone. So I wouldn t think about him.. Where s the telephone? I didn t want to sound stupid. Hindi ako makapaniwala sa narinig ko. An yway. Me. Matagal ng binaril si Rizal sa Luneta at wala akong balak sumu nod sa yapak niya. Wala naman p umigil sa `kin ng nagtuloy tuloy na `kong lumabas ng gate. Uuwi ako sa bahay mamaya may hihingin sana akong pabor. Humihingal sa galit na sabi ko ng matapos a ng speech ko. If he did. you know. Jean! I was so worried about you. Isang babae t lalaki. Not Jean Rose. My eyes grew wide at the implication of his words. I cou ld have misheard him. Mabilis na humarap ak o sa kanya. Didn t Eskimos kiss like that? Matulog ka na. Para `kong invisible na hindi niya nakita. No one pacified me. Oh-kay. The woman hug ged me. Ang laki nga ng kama dikit ka naman ng dikit. Natulig ako ng biglang bumagsak ang tasa ng kape nito sa platito. Pat i ba naman cellphone ko hindi pa nakisama? Naiwan pa. Gusto kong umuwi sa `min sa duration ng honeymoon natin tutal naman hindi mo pa ` ko kailangan. Unless you re with me. He was reall y hell-bent on making my life miserable. I didn t care who heard it. Siya nga pala. Sa pagkakaalam ko hindi ko talaga sinadya na magka tapat `yung mukha namin. You re not going to see your family. Mabilis akong umakyat at hinagilap ang cellphone sa bag ko. may hinahanap po ba kayo? I smiled brightly at the maid. Dahil hindi ko na alam kung anong magagawa ko. Good morning Jules! I take it you had a good night sleep? Deadma. I smiled sweetly at him. Why are you being so difficult? Nakikiusap na `ko sa `yo! If you didn t want this marriage in the first place then why didn t you object? Computer age na tayo! Hindi na uso ang shotgun wedding ngayon no. SANA WAL A. He was staring at me stonily. If I were pregnant you could h ave at least supported me financially. He stood up an d cleaned his mouth with the napkin. and my twin. Not to mention that the house was so big you could get lost. Sinigawan niya ko! I thought we were okay. Balak?! . Hindi na `ko magtataka kung masira a ng isa kong ngipin. Inis na lumayo ito at tumalikod. When a car automatically stopped in front of me. Eh ma am sabi po ni sir `wag daw po kayong pagamitin ng telepono. Inis na humarap ako sa kanya. `Yun lang. 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. They wouldn t do it. I gritted my teeth. I dressed hu rriedly and quickly got out. I would think first of myself. myself and I. I was ready to weep. At take note: he didn t even bother to pull out the chair for me. Hindi dahil pina hiran niya ang luha mo okay na Jeannie. Hang in lang ako.
The beast roar. I slowly looked sideways an d saw the blatant anger in his eyes. Then I felt the emanating anger from the other side. Masarap namang pakinggan eh. But every time they asked my parents where school I go to? I think . A nd then one hand grabbed my other arm from the side. Ang sarap tignan ng may kakambal. Naging Sunico ka lang Jean? He frowned at my reaction. Then I realized I don t know the man s name! You cannot mean this Jean. Bumaling ako sa lalaki. 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. My eyes grew wide when he cupped my face up. And it ends there. Kutis-mayaman kaya ako. Siguro kung sa ibang pagkakataon baka kinilig pa `ko. maybe I could get some facts about my twin s whereabouts. THREE We aren t rich. It was like Oh my God. Jean Rose Sunico! I heard that one again. And three years drew us apart. But don t they already know that we only have one face. Oh no. pero parang lalong natuyot ang lalamunan ko. Ano ba t alaga ang nangyari? Lalo akong naguguluhan. Julian I Hinila niya `ko bigla sa tabi niya. As in. I closed my eyes in frustration. And they would stop comparing me to Jean Rose. fine w hile my sister is good with figures. `yung bunso kong anak she stays in N ew York . Something Jean Rose would do. Well. Sumakay ka na. Someone who could break it off with your own boyfriend in proxy kung hindi mo kaya. Wala sa loob kong nasabi. may papalit sa `yo kapag absent ka sa clas s. Nakalimutan mo na ba `ko? Hindi kita nakalimutan! Hindi lang talaga kita kilala. Ahmm . And ne ver to be Jeannette Rose. Jean Rose I know I ve made a mistake. Or maybe becau se I didn t want to be in my sister s shadow any more. Fe eling ko para `kong nagka-amnesia. . Mrs. I opened my mouth to say his name. My heart went out to my sister and him. but I wish they would be more proud of me. Go. Oo. Pero hawak hawak pa rin ako ng lalaki. I could feel my hands shaking. I mean please wake me up. Not that I was caught red-han ded. Sabi nila nagpapakatanga ako sa course ko: Fine Arts. And what amazed me most was he embraced me! I missed you love so much. please kung nanaginip man ako `wag mo po muna akong gisingin. You love me. Julian tried to tug my hand. There would surely be bruises later. Nagulat ako ng biglang hinawakan ako ng lalaki sa braso. I became the blacksheep three years ago when I accepted the scholarship in New Yo rk University. Jean Rose Sunico! I stopped dead in my tracks. ROAR. Julian deliberately whispered the words to me. Bulong. I gnawed at my lower lip. PERIOD. His eyes were like challenging me to do just that. Minsan lang naman akong pag-agawan ng ganito.Lumapit ang lalaki. Maybe I m just splitting hairs. Naramdaman ko ang pagdiin ng pagkakahawak ni Julian sa braso ko . To. ah. I saw the emotions in his eyes. Para kasing nilagyan lang nila `k o ng nette pero sa totoo lang it was as if they wanted me to be Jean Rose. Tell. they were proud to say in the least na. Run away with me Napalunok ako. Home. He encircled his arm around my waist i n a possessive manner. Nagpatangay na lang ako ng bigla akong hi nila ng babae. And boy. Pwede pa natin `yun tamain. Let s go. Pe ro rinig ko ang dagundong `non sa tenga ko. Okay. Naguluhan ak o bigla. Ay. My eyes grew wide. Him.
He tilted his head to the other side in question. Lumakad na ito palabas. And I was living a lie after all. Pe ro teka. Gigil na hinarap niya `ko. Inis na tinabig ko ang kamay niya. His fists were clenched. Honesty. I only wanted to establish myself on my . Please Brad. 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. Sh!t. Kung ang iba sa ed ad ko ay humihiling ng prince charming. Julian As usual. Mula sa lamp shade hanggang sa china vase. Ako hindi. Hindi ko ma-imagine ang sarili ko: blessed virgin Jeannette. Lumabas ito. I wa s afraid he would see through the lies written in my eyes. my dear wife. He rolled his e yes in disgust. that must have caused millions. He tilted my ch in up and looked me angrily in the eye. The corner of his mouth twisted in a mockin g smile. Pero may reluctant bang namikot? He did turn around. wasn t he handsome in his thr ee-piece suit. We went upstairs while he was still holding my arm tightly. Kaya t-a-n-g-a nga daw ako sa bi ng mga magulang ko. I ll come back for you Jean! Then the woman dragged him inside the car. Women s ultimate weapon: Tears. Bago pa ako makapag-react ay hinawakan na ng mahigpit ni Julian ang mga braso ko . Parang mas lalo akong natakot doon. bakit naman siya magagalit? In the first place. Ako hindi. si Jean Rose. Julian! Galit na pinihit pihit ko iy on. damn him! hind i niya `ko totoong asawa at wala siyang karapatang gawin sa `kin `to. NO! Mabilis akong tumakbo papunta sa pinto. I never asked for a wonderful love story. Naiisip ko pa lang kung anong gagawin niya sa `kin ay nanlalamig na ang mga kamay ko. All my daydreams flew out of the window when he towered over me. eyes were the windows of the soul. Naiiyak na napatingin ako doon. He was dangerously gorgeous. Bigla niya `kong ibi nalandra sa kama.Leave my wife alone Brad. Kung ang iba ay humihiling na makapangasawa ng mayaman. Lumingon ulit ito. Bigla nitong binitawan ang mukha ko. Na par a bang nasasaktan siya. I s lowly tried to catch my breath to stop from screaming at him. And men s ego is sometimes bigger than their brains. I don t take to infidelity lightly. no. And I just wished he didn t! Hindi ko alam kung paano pa nagig ing lalong singkit ang mga mata niya sa galit. Bakit? Had someone hurt him? Betrayed him? Minutes passed by. Leave Brad let s go Sabi dito ng babae. My eyes grew wide. Nanlamig ang mga kamay ko. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. I couldn t term him just handsome. I sighed in relief when they walked away. That is all I asked of you. And boy. Si Julian `yung tipo ng lalaking hindi mo titilian. Honesty. he isn t in love with me! So bakit siya magagalit well. W-what if I still love Brad. Julian you re hurting me! Halos kaladkarin niya na `ko papasok ng mansyon. After all. Then I heard the click on the other side of the door. Hindi naman a ko buntis pero nagiging iyakin na `ko. If you don t want to be sitting in jail. Get dressed. Just like that? Julian what you saw earlier was how can I explain something I don t know? Hiniklas niya ang necktie sa sobrang galit. I didn t ask for any of this. lalaki siya. Parang gusto kong lumubog sa pagkakaupo ko sa kama habang malapit na malapit ang mukha niya sa `kin. And and we we both know that you don t want this marriage? Bakit hindi mo na ako pakawalan? I mean. My hands turned into tight fists and started banging the door. he didn t turn around. I felt tears threatening to erupt again. because he would surely int imidate you. In the second place. Hindi ko alam kung bakit bakit ganon `yung mga mata niya nung sinabi niya iyon. Hindi kaya dininig ako ni God? Diyos ko ` wag naman. Because I m sure she was a reluctant bride. That was it. Tinignan ko ang mala ki at magarang silid. Suplado naman! May K naman kasi siyang magsuplado. Then I started really crying. Nasira lang ang drama ko.
Ma am siya nga po pala. I hate you Julian Sunico! I hate you to the deepest part of the earth Sana binabangungot lang ako. nakakahiya mang aminin 6 1 siya at 5 2 ½ lang ako. I didn t know where the German shepherd dog had come from. Hindi ko pinangarap maging si Cinderella. gabi na. Mula sa likod nito ay lumabas si Mang Pio. Papanhikin daw po kayo ni sir kung hindi kayo bababa. I curled into a fetal position on the huge soft bed. what Julian wants. But the sight before me froze me on the ground. Matangkad ito. Kinurot ko ang sarili ko. I sucked in my breath. Jean! Nagmulat ako ng mga mata at umubo. His muscled back was rippling with water as his stroke became faster. I was eight again. alam ko nagblush talaga ako. At sa maniwala man kayo o hindi. 5 3 na nga sige na. T apos biglang bumukas `yung pinto. Sana sana pipikit pa lang ako ng mapansin kong may lumalangoy sa foot-shaped swimmin g pool. And then I would wake up later and find myself in t he boarding house in New York. may mga pand esal siya sa tyan. And Jean Rose caught my hand. Ouc h. para itong kumunoy na kakainin ako ano mang oras. Hindi ko alam pero `pag upo ko ay dumulas ang kumot mula sa dibdib ko. At ah. Si Amorsolo. I wasn t entirely looking at him. He was standing on the edge of the swimming pool clad with only his swimming sinfully black trunks. And I was still here. He cupped my ch eek and looked at me for a very long time. Oo. Sige na Mag-isa siya! I smiled at her. Julian gets. Dahil sa `kin kaya nangyari `to. Dun sa my eyes grew wi de. Lumaya s lang ba talaga siya? Hindi niya mabilang kung isang oras na ata akong umiiyak. Nagbabakasyon kami noon sa lake house n g Aunt Lara namin. I screamed my way to the surface. I heard splashes of water from outside. A hand grabbed my waist.own as a famous artist. Then the dog came running. Julian was here! I t hrew my arms around his neck and clung to him. Alam ko. I tasted the tears mingled with the c hlorine. Tumingin ako sa kabilang side. Nanlaki ang mga mata ko. Kaya nga ba hindi ko naging idol si Rizal eh. Promise. Parang naiiyak na naman ako. my heart beat triple time. Isang napak alaking akala. I kn ow I must have shouted Julian s name. Ano ba talagang nangyari sa kapatid ko? Why didn t I feel anything? Sabi nila may link ang mga kambal. . Sumabay na daw po kayong maghapunan sa kanya. Hindi na naka-lock! Ma am pinapatawag daw po kayo ni sir. Mabilis akong pumasok sa loob ng kwarto. I saw his broad shoulders and arms flexed with his ev ery move. I was gulping down a mouthful o f water. G usto kong maging si Juan Luna. Manang pakilagay na po dyan `yung juice. Must have stood almost a foot taller than me. I had no choice. I didn t want to be appreciated only after my death. We were still in the middle of th e pool. Paatras na ako ng paatras. Then flashes of yesterday came through my mind. I screamed when my foot stepped on nothing but water! I was in a deep end of the swimming pool. Bilog ang buwan. Nasa harap na ako ng swimming pool. I gritted my teeth in an ger. kahit nga ba talentadong pinoy siya. Mabilis kong hinawi ang glass door pa tungong terrace. Julian is in every way sexy. As in. And b oy. Feeling ko. I thought it was only termed with women. I looked around me. I tugged her along and sec retly took the boat to explore the lake. Anim He looked up then. I fell into a deep slumber after exhausting mysel f from crying. She was crying and did n t want to let me go. I woke up late. Jean! Jean! A voice whispered in my ear. Dapat dapat bumalik na lang ako bigla sa kwarto ko. Padabog na sumunod ako sa katulong. Please please don t let me die yet. 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. Toward me. Dun sa hindi ako matetempt. I c onceded. Julian please don t leave me I whispered frantically against his neck. `Yung katiwala din. I didn t remember covering myself I frowne d. Siguro y napagod na pumunta ito sa railing at umakyat. Nasa teritoryo `ko ng kaaway. I didn t know.
Ito ang taong kahit hindi bagong gising masamang biruin. overrrrr. Gume wang gewang ang bangka. As if naman. `Yan ang madalas na ipanakot sa `kin ni Aunt Lara. Jean Rose overcame her fear by learning how to swim. I ngos ko sa kanya. FOUR Jeannie! Kasi baka I looked back at her. There were mermaids in the la ke. As in over. Seriously she had always been there for me. And sh e was very good at it. Hindi ko siya pinansin. Jeannie nasan na tayo? Bakit parang palayo na tayo ng palayo? She bit her lower lip . I m ten but not entirely stupid. I bit my lower lip when he looked at me closely. He said that silently. Na para bang titig na nagnanasa dududa. Mabilis nitong inagaw ang sagwan. I said airily. Both of my thighs wrapped around his body on its own accord. Oh my God. Sa katulad ni Julian na perfectionist malamang na kasalana n ang `di marunong lumangoy. Well. Jeannie! Bumalik na tayo. Ayoko. Kung meron man well. Anyway sino bang may sabing sumama siya? Jeannie ano ba! Ano? Inis kong sabi habang ginuguhit ang papalubog na sikat ng araw. I smiled at myself and took my sketch pad with me. Gusto kong sakalin ang kapatid ko n g mga sandaling iyon. Yep . Tignan mo ginawa mo! Naiiyak na sab i ko habang lumulutang lutang ang mga papel. My breasts were flat tened against his hard chest. Wala talaga siyang kunsiderasyon! `Pag namatay talaga ako. I rolled my eyes heave nward. Sinimangutan ko siya. Jul ian I wrapped my arms around his neck. Sa p ag-aagawan namin ay nahulog ang sketch pad ko. You would be more shocked by my big Dog? Gusto ko sanang magbiro. Syempre ako na lang `yung natitirang kapatid no. Pero bigla niya `kong pinakawalan. You re supposed to be a swimmer. Kung ayaw mo bahala ka! Natanggal ko na ang tali ng bangka.Ano bang nangyayari sa`yo? You re a swimmer. He said silently. Hindi kita pinilit ha. Para akong unggoy na nakabitin sa puno. Rubbish. Our eyes met. I froze in his arms. Alam mo `yun naiilang ako sa titi g niya. I was amazed with its reflection on the water. Sa totoo lang Jea n was never the evil twin sister. Jean Rose screamed. We were both screaming flailing And it was all my fault. . She became a champion in swimming competitions while I nev er learned. And oh Lor d the tree was getting hard all over. Naiiyak na pinilit kong abutin isa isa kahit basa na. Sa isang iglap ay tumagilid ang bang ka at sabay kaming bumagsak. Pero kasi Jeannie baka Isasagwan ko na sana ang bangka ng tumuntong na din siya. Damn. Pagabi na. wala pala. Siya ang unang un a kong mumultuhin. As if he were my lifeline. Jean Rose scowled at me and didn t say a word. I am. At hindi ko kasalanan `yun! Siya kaya lunurin ko. My eyes grew wi de. I was just shocked by your big dog.
It was now or never. Ano bang nangyayari sa `kin? I leaned my head in between his shoulder an d neck. Si Jean Rose ang gumawa ako ang umaako! He had it all wrong. Ang mahalaga hindi siya nagalit Jea nnie! I tried telling you Ikaw ang Hindi maganda ang panloloko Jean. Naramdaman ko ang paghigpit ng yakap niya sa `kin. Parang nanlamig ako bigla. Bastos talag a. Isa lang. At ang utos ng hari hindi mababali. Ng panahon. Kung ginawa mo `yun just to get the fame you wa nted then you don t deserve it. I blinked thrice. bata pa `ko. Hawak pa niya. The hell with the consequences.Julian was just staring back at me. I wore a n off-shouldered cream tailored dress. Siya ang gumawa ikaw ang umaako? You big stupid moron! Tama ito. I cried on his shoulder. Giniginaw na `ko pero isang towel lang ang nakita ko. I couldn t look him in t he eye. His head came down down down. She overcame her fear by well. We uhm. Grabe ang mood swings ng lalaking ito. I winced when I heard him curse. 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. Lalo a kong napayakap sa kanya. Mag-aangilan lang kami. Diyos ko. Siguro kung hindi lang masamang pumatay ng tao. Susumbatan niya lang ako. Nagsasawa na `ko sa pagtatalo namin ni Julian. Inis na sabi nito. Two days of being married to Julian Sunico was like hell! And it felt like a lifetime sin ce I said I do . Nagsasalubong na naman `yung mga kilay nito. Hindi iyon lalagpas ng mid-thigh ko. 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. Ang mani pis na suot ko kanina ay halos kita na dahil nga basa na din. Ang tanong: sinong mananamantala at sinong pagsas amantalahan? Not I. I licked my lower lip nervously. At ang gentleman ba sta na lang akong ibinagsak sa marble floor sa gilid ng pool. wala akong kara patan. o kaya ay wala lang ang mga katulong doon ay baka nilunod na `ko ni Julian. Hindi ko nga alam kung dahil sa ano o dahi l sa init. Bente uno lang po ako God para sa mga ganitong bagay. 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. So what was the use of telling him how gorgeous he is? I just shut my mouth up. He didn t even comment about my appearance. He was so m ad at me. Jules I m sorr y. I m not supposed to be who I am now. My creamy white shoulders were very much visible. Tumayo ka at magbihis ka may pupuntahan tayo. feeling ko nagkulay mansanas ako. 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. My twin she s the swimmer. Goodness. Thank God for the two-inch stilettos. Kelan ba matatapos ito? Tumingin ako sa harap ng salamin. Lelecturan ng walang . ako I never did learn. Ginamit ko lang ito once sa exhibi t ng kakilala ko. Then it dawned on me. Galit na hinablot nito ang telephone habang pinupunasan ang sarili. Jules I have something to tell you. Yeah you re right! Siya ang gumawa ako ang umako ng mga Sir telephone po mommy niyo. It was a matter of choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea. My heart was beating triple time. Hindi ko alam kung dahil sa naudlot na o dahil sa alam niya na `yung sasabihin ko. experienced dr owning before. Akala niya pinagko-compete ko ang kakambal ko tapos tapos ako kunwari ang nananalo? My God. Prom ise. Why not? He said huskily. His hand caressed my cheek. I opened my mouth to shout at him. that voice of his it was like he had just woken up from a night of debauchery. At ni hindi man la ng nahiyang ipahiram man lang sa `kin. Siya `yung `yung magaling lumangoy. Naglakad ito kasama ako. I whispered stupidly with lack of anything to say. Had he forgiven me? Hindi siya galit? You should have told me sooner. From the start. Siguro hindi naman magagalit si Jean Rose kung kahit isa lang.
I looked at Julian then. is that bad? He said. Anong sasabi hin ko Julian. Na parang demonyo. Eh di baka ihulog na `ko ng tuluyan ni Julian palabas. Hinila niya ako. Your flavor of the month? Julian! Excuse my husband. Normal naman sa mga produkto ng broken marriages ang ganitong ugali ni Julian. No. Hello Julian. He was tense. With his chinky eyes. Pero bigla niyang tinabig ang kamay ko. Bakit wala po kayo nung kasal namin ni Jul ian? We would have been happy kung nandon kayo. Invitation? Ang weird. How s your mom? Ayun. Tao lang ako. Leave me alone! He shouted. You loved her? Cut the crap. Nakita kong parang aatak ihin sa puso ang papa nito. Julian sighed and looked bored. Galit na tinitigan niya ako. hila doon. He s Biglang pinisil nito ang kamay ko. I smiled. masaya na si mommy sa buhay niya. Hello sir.katapusan about honesty and virtues. 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. Jean Rose Sunico! I didn t stop. Julian please I grabbed his a rm. Na-amaze ako. Hila dito. Bi glang may sumulpot na malaking truck sa harapan naming. I loved your mother. Julian ano ba! Napasigaw ako ng pinaharurot niya ang Porsche niya. I felt the impact of what almost happened to us. Julian started laughing humorlessly. Julian! Nagulat talaga ako. My eyes grew wide. I smiled at her politely. Ayokong magsalita. 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. I glared at him. straight nose Ouch. Pudpod na stilettos ko. I gritted my teeth in frustration. Julian?! I frantic ally searched his face for wounds. your husband here didn t send me an invitation card. Mabilis kong hinila si Julian. We went inside the grand hotel. Tears were starting to form in my eyes. dad. Halos ako at ang papa niya lang ang nag-uusap. for the first time Julian knew how to act the gentleman. Tears were streaming down the side of my face. Magtatay ba talaga ang mga ito? Umupo kami in silence at saka ko lang napansin ang babaeng kasama ni Mr. Ano pa nga ba. None. Mahina pero gigil kon g paalala. I t felt so awkward. Naglalakad ako sa gilid ng kalsada na wala sa sarili. I was shocked. Ayoko pang mamatay! Parang naiiyak na `ko ng sumadsad ang sasakyan sa gilid ng iliko ni Julian ang s teering wheel. And I m happy for her coz she s not waiting an ymore for someone who hasn t seen her worth. Act the very lovin g wife. I m glad to finally meet you. I was numb. The man was just an older version of Julian. Say hello to your tita Doris. Nice nice to see you. Halos lumangitn git iyon. His eyes sent me a warning message. Nanginginig ang mga kamay ko na bumaba ako ng sasakyan. Baka nakakalimutan mo ako pa rin ang nanay ng anak mo. Sorry sir. Tahimik lang ito. But his pain ran deep. She was in her early thirties and very much beautiful. God please! Virgin pa `ko. marami pa pala kaming gagawin. Shock was the understatement of the century. it s nice to see you again son. Nakikpagkarerahan ba ito kay Kamatayan? Napakapit ako sa dashboard. There was something wrong here. Kailan pa kinailanga n ng tatay ng imbitasyon sa kasal ng anak niya? What do you want? Julian said coolly to his father. Na-iim agine ko na `pagtumanda ito. She looked somewhat familiar. Sunico. Na para bang mayroon siya! Julian opened the door for me. I apologize hija. Gusto kong sumigaw a . Their fists were both clenched. My heart went overdrive. Hanggang sa makarating kami sa patutunguhan namin. okay lang `yun okay lang na niloko ng papa mo ang mama mo past is p ast. Ni hindi na ko magtataka kung kukulutkulutin ko na ang buhok ko mamaya. I just want to see my son.
Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. Palap it ito ng palapit. At biglang may kamay na humawak sa braso ko upang iharap a ko. Sunico! He roared. Are you inviting me to bed Jean? Ang boses niya ah parang nang-aakit. Then the phone started ringing. Then I started wetting his shirt. Like happiness. Not that I care. My eyes got misty all the more. Ayun. Okay lang sana kung desert eh. True. Parang pagod na pagod. He should have been a DJ. Silence. His back w as turned to me. shut up! I m not Jean! Sinong g ustong humamon sa `kin? Mrs. He poured himself a glass of brandy and downed it in one swallow. Then he d tell me that he di dn t believe in love? Bull. Tricia. I know deep down the call had something to do with his sudden withdrawal. Julian I just want to hel Help? That s bullsh!t. no he wanted to eat me alive. She s my girlfriend of two years. kung bakit hindi ako nabingi sa pagbagsak ng decanter at pagkalabog ng pinto. Parang nasasaktan. maybe it was just guilt eating at me. Julian aren t you going to bed yet? A slow sexy smile twitched on the corner of his mouth. Gusto kong sabihing. Hello? His face suddenly changed. My back hit the wall.. Ang boses nito. Na para ng gagawin akong panghapunan.. Tawang demonyo. tenderly. Kaya nga hindi ako nanin iwala sa sinabi ni Kim Chui na habulin mo happiness mo! Eh di kung ganon lang ka dali iyon. Wala na ang necktie nito. I wonder. Julian would have been with another. And thanks t o you it won t happen anymore He looked bored and predatory. Me meron ako. We are about to get married. He just shrugged.t magwala sa gitna ng kalsada. Well. wala naman tal aga. `Yun lang. Since I want honesty between us . In a split second the beast hugged me! Fiercely. Ang bastos talaga. You r e bound to me forever. Inihagis ni Julian ang coat sa couch at dumiretso sa mini bar. Life s not perfect. Is she special? Julian I jumped in surprise. Wala nga ba Jeannie? Hindi naman siguro pinagbabawal ng batas ang pagtatano ng. Napalunok ako habang papalapit siya ng papalapit. Dahil sa galit. Marami talagang mga sinungaling sa mundo. Or was it my imagination? Tricia? Who s Tricia? FIVE Sabi nila best things in life are free . Yes. Again. But I believe in the sanctity of marriage. Hindi ako bulag o bingi. Pero minsan nga kung ano pa `yung li bre siya pang mahirap kunin. I can t Julian. I sighed again when he didn t even bother to respond. I shook the cobwebs in my head. That T ricia must have been special for him to be like this. His eyes. He had fox-like eyes. Why is it so elusive? Maybe because we cannot have everything we wanted. Will you please give me peace even just for tonight? Mahina nitong sabi. I sobbed louder. His shirt was loosened. He started laughing mockingly. sana wala ako dito. . tinalikuran pa `ko. I should have known. His eyes were squinted in anger. So he knew all a long! Bigla itong tumawa. Kulang na lang sabihin niya sa mukha kong wala kang pakialam . Not that I f elt anything well. I don t believe in love Mrs. Mabilis kong sinundan si Ju lian sa study room niya. bakit ako mag-aalala sa isang taong ni wala man lang pakialam sa `kin? But I do. I sighed exaggeratedly. Julian s-sino `yung tumawag? Ano bang pakialam mo Jeannie? I was just curious. Sunico. He wasn t drunk yet! Was he? Don t pull my leg Jean Do you think I m stupid? You lied to me.
bakit nga naman hindi? Eh ako naman itong mamimikot `di ba? It was dark. He was always in his study room. Champion siya 1st pl ace in a swimming competition? I gasped. It was a sin in the Sunico commandment. Tricia? Gusto kong isigaw `yun. May class A at class B. He whispered angrily. Then he hit the wall. Parang biglang umakyat lahat ng dugo ko sa ulo. natempt lang. Love? Letseng love `yan. Parang boarder nga lang ako dito sa mansyon niya. I was just mad on my twin s ister s behalf. Julian anong ginawa mo nung pinikot kita? He stared at me. What s your excuse? Dahil lalaki ka? Dahil mahina ka? And oh. Almost Perfect had the right to be Mr. Pero `pag sila lalaki lang sila eh. Bakit hindi na lang kami magpa-annul? Sila pala ni Jean? Kung ganito lang din na man Oo nga pala. I was quite numb . Ano pa bang alam nito? O ma s tamang sabihing ano pa ba ang hindi nito alam? He graduated business ad. eh? It was too good to be true. My eyes grew wide. Naglalabasan na ang ugat sa leeg nito.So sinisisi niya `ko? Ang kapatid ko. Para `kong naparalyze na nakatitig lang sa sa mukha niya. Thrice. Masyado ba talaga `kong generic? Napagpapalit palit? I had never been lonelier than this. Pero mali ako. So Mr. He didn t want to see me. Bakit lalaki lang ba ang mga tao? I slammed the door as I walked out of there. It had been three weeks since then. hinihintay kong dumapo sa `kin ang mga kamay niya. Arrogant. Hindi ko makuhang dalawin sina Mommy. No. And very much no! Ang mahirap kasi sa mga lalaki. . Wow. Ikaw? What s your excuse? Having the Sunico name? You prostituted yourself to me! And ruined our future! Ginamit mo lang ako Jean! Ginamit mo lang. I was about to go out when Julian s medals caught my attention. Sa gilid ng ulo ko. Salamat sa pagiging tsis mosa no. Julian? No response. the feeling was mutual. in the states. Julian s family. I was drunk. Once. Jean Rose wouldn t do this without a valid reason. Really stared at me like I d grown two heads and a horn. He was bound by the Sunico tradition. Dahil hindi na niya ipipilit ang marital rights niya. hindi naman sa kinukwestiyon ko si God. Dahil ba kay Tricia? Parang bigla a kong na-possess. Akala ko walang taong ganito. I s hould be thankful. I thought you were He said stonily. Matutulog ako sa gabi. Sa saktan ba talaga `ko ni Julian? Would he resort to that? Parang gusto kong umiya k. His knuckles were scraped because of the impact. But there s always an exception to the rule. My breath got hitched. Hindi ako nagagalit. Siguro dahil nagtatampo pa rin ako. Three weeks. Wala pa siya. Twice. I knocked. It was full of hatred and remorse. Then he raised his cle nched fist in the air. At alam ko. Dahan dahan kong nakitang umaagos ang dugo sa kamay ni Julian. Pwes. Rugby. hindi man ako ang pinakamatalinong tao sa mundo. Wala na siya. I closed my eyes with a prayer. Gusto kong magpakamatay. Gigising ako sa umaga. I felt so hurt. No. 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. Sino bang hindi? Para `kong tuta na basta na lang pinamigay. Mabilis akong pumunta sa study room. Julian? Walang tao. kapag babae ang nakagawa ng kasalanan para kang nakamatay. Parang kasabay nun ang pagbagal at pag lakas ng tibok ng puso ko. Yep. Kung sa bagay. you couldn t resist my charm. Soccer. Hindi lang siya ang nasakal. Hindi ako pwedeng magalit. Hindi ko kailangang maging si Madam Auring para ma-vibrate kong iniiwasan ako ni Julian. pagiging mapagobserba ko ay narinig kong sinabi ng mommy niya na there sho uld be no broken marriages . Minsan nga naiisip ko.
Sinalo lahat. Ho w could I not? I was looking straight into my own face. Para `kong sirang plaka na napaupo. Very much happy. Jean did it because she was always the good daughter. . Naso-suffocate na `ko. She turned to the lane toward the side of the taxi. `yung tipong pati hanggang dulo ng kuko kaiinggitan mo. And my. Tumigil lang ako ng maisara ko ang pintuan at sumandal doon. kagandahan. kasikatan. 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. Nakatula la ako sa mismong picture ng dalawa. At ang mga n ext pictures ay kasama nitong nagpi-fishing ang lalaki. Tahimik na pumunta ako sa desk niya tinignan ang picture don. h indi ito soap opera. I started crying. maganda kilalang kilala ko ang mukha na `yun. The picture of a loving couple. Then another with Julian s mom. Kanino ka pa ba tutungo `pag may problema? `Di syempre sa bestfriend mo. Tumigil ang taxi nung umilaw ang stoplight. Then I moved on to the next picture. They have it all. Eh. he won first place in a swimming competition. I was in New York trying to make out on my own.Pero kapag nasasaktan ang isang tao. I don t want to hate Julian. Of course. Or the kiss. with his uncle? Hindi ko kilala ang lalaki. They still loved me. They have the same smile though. SIX Ni hindi ko siya tinignan. No. My eyes grew wide. He had a broken home. hirap pang iharap ang mukha. Cheap. I just walked past him and got out. Jean I prostituted hersel f for a one and a half million. lumil ipad sa bintana lahat ng logic . Manong stop! Napakamot ito sa ulo. A notice of foreclosure from the bank. where s the fairness of life in it? And Julian was one of the Class A. I felt cold. Napasabunot ako sa buhok ko. Nasan ang dad dito ni Julian? No. Sabi niya `wag ko na siyang sunduin. Parang gusto kong matunaw sa ngiting `yun. Ang isip ko sinasabing hindi ako dapat magalit sa kanya. A ten or so Julian. Bubuksan ko pa lang ang handle ng umandar na si manong. Not beca use our parents forced her to do it. Alam ko. Tricia Leyva? I competed with her once in a painting competition in New York. So sinong dapat sisihin? Feeling ko napakaselfish ko. Gusto kong magtitili. I hail ed a cab. He was right. Then I saw a smiling picture of him. He wasn t perfect. Trying to be different from my sister All the while they were making both ends meet. I don t want. I rolled my eyes. `Didn t know if it was because I knew her. Hindi ko din alam! I dressed quickly upstairs and took my handbag. At hindi sila ganon kasama. Oh my God. Pero hindi na kami makatigil kasi may MMDA dun.Pero bakit kaya may mga taong sinalo ang lahat? Katulad na lang ni Georgina Wils on. Mga sakim. I opened it. lalo lang sumasak it. Jean s face! Jean! I half shouted. What the hell are you doing here? I felt weak. Then I saw an envelope written with a Leviste on it. Kissing. Maganda. Wala sa loob na sinundan ko siy a ng tingin. Ang puso ko? And don t ask me why. Yummy. Hmmm Then my eyes grew wide. Ma yaman. may magagawa pa ba siya kung nandun na `ko? I was immersed into deep thoughts.. He bought Jean me. May issue man ako sa parents ko. I frowned when I saw a woman crossing the street. the bod. Samantalang may mga pinagkaitan hirap na nga. Here. Stolen shot. Yeah. Tricia?. Napatingin sa `kin si Manong. Binayaran niya ang bahay namin. Minsan kahit anong pilit mong ngumiti. I just wanted to get away from here. At least CM would make me happy. Seriously. Para silang buong pamilya. Binayaran ni Julian ang bahay na min..
no. Jeannie. Nag-X sign pa ako n parang si April boy. He had t he biggest mouth ever. Pero nakikita ko ang isandaan at isang tanong. M-my b-bestfriend in New York. Goodness.Hindi na `ko magtataka kung akalain niyang may baliw na sumakay sa kanya. Baba na lang ako ng hawakan niya `ko sa braso. Masyado kasing napraktis. at si Zsa Zsa Zaturna. So what happened? I pouted. Anong alam mo? You haven t known him that long.I mouthed. Tumingin ako kay CM. Yuck. What? I said innocently. Ako? You ve know n me for three years! I thought you love me? Parang nagbago ka na. Katabi ko. I waited for CM s arrival. Nagba yad ako at mabilis na bumaba. Alam mo `yun g mga ginagawa ng mga mayayaman na pinapasalvage `yung first wife nila. Gross. Oh. CM smiled up at Brad. Goodness. What if he found out the truth? That you re not pregnant? He wolfed down the pasta e nthusiastically. Kaya pala kaya pala parang hindi man la . He whispered achingly. bestfriend we could make it a story. Para kaming sira na nagsasign language. CM? Sa tatlong taon na nakilala kita You haven t mentioned him. Ang bilis talaga ng radar nito. Hinawakan niy a ang siko ko ng tumayo ako. Pinisil pisil ko `yung bic eps niya. Tumalikod. He s he s Jean s ex. Tapos biglang t umunog `yung cellphone nito at nag-excuse. SANA. In short. I think I have to go. Ayan pati a ko naguluhan na din talaga. Kung ganito lang san a si Julian. Ako din uuwi na. CM could help? God. Ihahatid na kita. Brad frowned. CM raised o ne brow at me. At gigil na kumaga t labi pa ito. I sighed. CM! Lakad pa lang niya alam ko na. Agaw eksena kami ng niyakap niya `ko. Nakangiti pa. no. Hindi ka pa ba uuwi Jean? Nag-aalalang sabi ni Brad. an g morbid. no. Isa pa kakatayin ko na talaga `tong si CM. Pinanlakihan ko siya ng mata. Inakbayan niya `ko at pumunta kami sa pinakamalapit na Italian Restaurant. Umupo ito sa tapat ni CM. Then I stared at his cute f ace. At binaba ako ni Brad sa mansyon. Hindi gagawin ni Julian `yun. I would really melt. you know . Grabe. Then pigs would surely fly. Yeah. Kay Brad! Ah ah b-bestfriend siya ni ni Jeannie! How odd I refer someone as myself. Kala mo naman hind i nagkita ng isang taon. His face was an inch or two away from me. Hindi kita type no. Ano `to soap opera? Salamat sa awa ha. Lahat-lahat ata ng sama ng loob ko kay Julian sinabi ko sa kanya. Si CM ay isang nagbabalatkayong tao este lalaki. I could melt. Hindi ikaw ang tinatanong! `Di ba Jeanni I sent him a warning glance. Yes. CM rolled his eyes. Three to four months? I bit my lower lip. Eh. isang buwan lang naman. I bet he s going to plot murder against me. Jeannie? One brow arched. From the b eginning `till the bitter end. Hinatid namin si CM sa bahay nito sa Alabang. Tapos napatingin siya sa `kin . siya ay paminta. Ahm well. I shivered suddenly. Nagpalumbaba ako at ikinuwento lahat. Wow. Sa likod ng mga fats niya ay 24/7 tumitibok ang pusong laan para kay Adan. some advice. Kung alam lang niya. Brad this is CM. BRAD? Brad s face was polite. Mas morbid `yun. Jean? We both turned at the voice. He s yummy. Nataw a pa nga ako ng sundan server `yung tingin sa min kay CM. He mouthed. Parang gusto ko siyang batukan. Too sweet. Ang hudas pumalakpak pa. I saw t enderness in his eyes. Ah oo. Pini sil niya ang kamay ko. halaman g dagat. Kung pwede nga lang maghimala ako at magbuntis. Bakit hindi? Bale-walang sabi nito. 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. Parang bigla kong nalunok `yung laway ko.
CM I can t meet the whole Sunico clan. Ano `to napagtripan lang basta n i Julian na magtour kami sa Korea?! I bit my lower lip. At least. Sino bang may ayaw ng lalaking ganito magmahal? One in a million siya. Bilisan mo. How? Buntis na si Jean kay Julian. from Jeannette to Jeannie Oh Jean was always just Jean. Julian? He didn t turn around. Anong gagawin ko harangin `yung eroplano? Pasabugin `y ung airport? Anong gagawin ko? We re going to fly to Korea! As in. naramdaman kong parang may pumasok sa kwarto. computer at alak niya. I heard the amusement in hi s voice. Oh my God.ng nagtataka si Julian. Lum ayo ako lalo. Tinakpan ko ng unan ang ulo ko at hinampas kung si no man `yung bastos na `yun. Nakatulog ako habang byahe kaya nabigla na lang ako ng nasa NAIA na kami. Anyone would want Brad for herself. Oh my God. Wha t did he mean by that? Pinaikli naman talaga ah. na-touched ako sa bestfriend ko. I screamed. Niyakap ko siya ng mahigp it. now! Julian frowned at me. Maliligo tayo ng sabay? Nakataas ang isang kilay nito. Nawala lahat ng antok ko. mas gusto niyang kasama `yun g mga libro. O buntis nga ba? Had sh e just said it to blackmail Julian? I hadn t seen Julian when I got home.! Jeannie? Oh my God kung tsismis lang `yan ipagpabukas mo na. CM !!! The line went dead. No! Mabilis akong bumitiw sa kanya kahit pa ma-hypothermia na `ko. Hindi ako mapakali lalo. Por Santo! Ala-una ng madaling araw. Be with me. He grabbed my shoulders and made me stand up. Kulang na lang sabih in niyang hang up na. Relax take a deep breath. Punta ka sa asawa mo. Hello? Carlo Miguel Jr. Tapos lumabas na ito. Hindi naman ako manhid. He walked on. Again. Jean annul your marriage. 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. Me included. Binabaan ako ng p hone! I tried and tried again. Jean! What! Natutulog `yung tao eh. My God Ju lian. Grabe. in that I didn t lie. exhale. Ang ginaw talaga. Then som eone was shaking my shoulder. Magbihis ka may pupuntahan tayo. He chuckled. At ipinarinig pa sa `kin ang malakas na paghikab niya. Hindi rin dahil wala pang happy ending. Jean must be very lucky. I whispered softly. I wanted to make a way for my sister an d him. Nicknames are supposed to shorten one s name. Later in t he wee hours of midnight. I felt exhausted and slept early. I thanked God he didn t unplugged the socket. Please call me Jeannie. I called CM. Hindi naman siguro babagsak `yung eroplano no. Again. Por Diyos. 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. Jean. It s it s my nickname. Then I gasped. In my panic-driven state. May jetlag pa `ko. Tapos? . are you out of your mind? It s one in the morning! Kung gusto mo ikaw na lan g mag-isa. Ganon naman eh. Tinanggal ko ang kamay niya sa braso ko. `Yun lang. Inhale. Julian no! Binuksan niya ang shower at itinapat ako sa ilalim ng napak alamig na tubig. Ang sitwasyon lang natin ang nagbago Brad. Dahil hindi niya talaga kilala si Jean! Hindi ako ang nagbago Winner! Pwede na `kong manalo sa FAMAS.
I tried to smile. I. Inis na tinanggal ko ang kamay ko sa pagkakahawak niya. Sa sobrang higpit iisipin kong ayaw niya `kong pakawalan. As if he owned the world. At sa pagkagulat ko. He raised one brow at me. Umupo ako sa tabi ni Julian. I whispered when I saw his one good eye fli ckered. CM! I then gaped at Julian. I already and suddenly missed Philippines! As if What would I do? What should I do? Julian just slept like the dead. He looked bored. He wasn t looking a t me. In disgust. Malungkot. Kung narinig niya lang ang sinabi ni CM. Kahit papano gumaan ang pakiramdam ko ng ti nawagan ko si CM. Sino si Tantan? My mind was scre aming. Pero lalo lang niya ng hinigpitan. SEVEN I didn t know a thing about Korea much less Julian s Korean family. As in. Damn sexy men. Inirapan ko siya at umisod pakabila. Mahigpit. Julian I don t think this is a good idea. I swallowed. Torrid. Bakit ba umaasa pa `kong magbabago siya? The stewardess smiled at us specifically at Julian. Then he sighed exaggeratedly. no. Pero parang ayaw makisama ng mga muscles ko. My hands trembled.Yakapin mo at saka mo ikiss. Hmm. Julian What? He snapped at me! Sabi ko na nga ba masamang biruin ang bagong gising eh. He was there with me. Oh G od. 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. I bit my lower lip. But then I felt him. Kung alam ko lang na B. The family dinner before the wedding. Julian sm iled charmingly at her! The devil really could smile Tapos sa `kin pinagdadamot n iya `yun. He raised one brow at me. Parang nga. Wala naman siyang pakialam ` . padarag n a tinanggal ko `yung kamay niya sa pagkakahawak ng kamay ko. Siguro kung wala lang sakit si Angk o His tone changed. He shrugged then looked at me knowingly. But panic was overwhelming me. Gusto ko ng lumabas ng airport at sumigaw ng kidnapping. I pouted my lips. Eh `di `wag. Gawin ko kaya? Ano kayang magiging reacti on ni Julian? You already met my family when they d come home. Matagal na Jeannie. I know I was acting childish. argh . Then it fitted the spaces between my fingers. He wore that devil-may-care expres sion on him. It should warm my heart. Sino si Angko? You ve met him. Unti-unting tumaas ang ulo ko. Habang hawak niya ng mahigpit ang kamay ko sa l ap ko mismo. Julian was sitting handsomely in his Lacoste polo shirt and Levi s jeans. And he was also staring at me! Feeling ko nagkulay man sanas ako. remember? You and Tantan hit it off. I didn t want him to be suspicious. I knew he just wanted to make the ordeal light for me. Oh my. `Sus. Tumaas ang kilay nito. Grabe. Natatakot na talaga ako. Na para bang may space akong mauusugan. I gave him my most charming smile. ka Hindi ko napigilang hindi matawa. kung alam ko lang natetempt ka na ding gawin. As if telling me to keep my thoughts to myself. French kiss na lang. Habang n asa loob kami ng eroplano ay gusto ko ng tumalon palabas ng bintana. Tinignan niya `ko. Para akon g pinasugod ng mga magulang ko sa giyera ng wala man lang dalang armas.
Nakita kong natigilan si Julian. I DON T CARE. Binitiwan niya `ko ng kinuha niya `yung mga bag namin. Tapos hinamas niya ulit `yung tyan ko. Magdurugo na ata ang lower lip ko sa sobrang kaga . ako pala `yung kontrabida. Palabas na kami ng may naghihintay na sasakyan. my lips. He must have been very tired because of w ork. Na para bang wala ako dun! I gritted my teeth and closed my eyes. Wala akong pakialam kung masira man ang handle non. But I saw amusement written all over his face. Tricia was still as sophisticated as I remembered. Ayoko sana. his one left dimple. Malamig. We both stopped when we saw a woman standing in the middle of the parking lot waiting for us. G usto kong sumigaw kay Julian at sabihing hello! I m here! I glared at his back. He said softly. Or bet ter yet. I sucked in the air unconsc iously. Ba t `di na lang kaya niya `ko yakapin? Now I was sounding very much like CM. Mayamaya sumeryoso siya. Ginising ko siya ng palapag na kami. I felt warmth in the simple gesture. Then he looked at me straight in the eye. para akong na sa drama. Feeling ko nga. He was too gentle. Tapos tapos Oh God. Deadma. Naka tayo pa rin ako dun. hindi ko alam kung ako lang ang nakakaramdam non pero parang m ay kuryente. Tapos bumaba `yung kamay niya sa leeg ko. Tenderly. We went out of the intern ational airport hand in hand. I giggled. Then down to my Oh my I whispered. mag-freeze sa ginaw. Masama bang ma-carried away? I tried to crack a smile. Oh no. `Yung Julian na walang pakia lam sa `kin. At tinitignan ang reaksyon ko. we ll see an OB. Inis na nilagpasan ko sila. Ganon ba talaga? Normal ba talaga `yun? O ako lang `yung abnormal? I m already excited to see our baby. Para `kong naparalyze. What amazed me next was when he cupped m y face. Galit na inunahan ko na ng bukas ng pinto bago ang steward. Julian stared at me. Sana laging ganito si Julian Well. It seemed to take an eternity. Buti wala akong b ilbil. Bumalik na naman bigla `yung takot ko. Excuse me? Mali ba `ko ng rinig? You re my wife. And I was meeting the other woman. Sa `yo lang ako Biglang napatingin ako sa kanya. gusto ko ng maniwala. `Pagkatapos niya `kong sabihang Sa`yo lang ako Lumapit sa `kin `yung sa tantiya `ko ay steward nila. At lalong `yung Julian na nilockan ako ng pinto. What do you want? Girl boy? Hmm His chinito eyes squinted all the more. The land was very foreign to me. the hell I care. Hindi niya `ko pin agbitbit ng gamit ko! Ang bait ah. Sana lang pareho silang magka-sore eyes. Na para bang hindi siya `yung Julian na lagi akong sinisigawan. Na para bang iniisip niya talagang maig i. He didn t speak English. Ano nga kayang nakain nito? He gave me a coat. Don t look at me like that I might fall! When we get back. Kahit magtitigan sila buong maghapon. We ll see an Napalunok ako. I just hoped it wasn t seen as a grimace. 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. Napataas `yung kilay ko. Then they were speaking softly. Ano nga kaya ang magiging itsura ng baby namin n i Julian? Kamuka din kaya ni Julian? His eyes. my nose. Seriously. Dapat matuwa ako sa sinabi niya. Hindi rin naman madali na maging Vice President ng isang malaking kumpanya at the age of 27. ayoko pa. In another language. Anything basta healthy. Mayamaya lang tulog na ulit si Julian. he didn t r eally mean it. They both stared at each other.di `ba? There s nothing to be jealous of I gasped. I could drown in those brown eyes. Para akong t-a-n-g-a na naghihintay ng himalang mapansin ni la. Bakit niya hinahawakan tummy ko? I tensed. Ako din Wala sa loob na bulong ko. Then Julian replied quietly. Tin uro niya sa`kin ang kotse at kinuha `yung nag-iisang clutch bag na dala ko. Like hell. Ganon ba talaga ang epekto ni Tricia kay Jul ian? Had he loved her that much to forget about me? Well. Marami naman siyang pambili `di ba? Binalibag ko pasara ang pinto. My tummy.
I didn t know She whispered wonderingly. Chubby cherubin. others were Filipinos. Ah no. Jeannie? As if naman nagulat ka! I smiled at her mockingly. Julian was already embracing her! And she was crying. Kami naman ni Tricia sa backseat. I hated Julian. Mabilis kong iniiwas ang mga mata ko. At ako ayoko sa bata! Ngumiti ako dito at pasimpleng pinanlakihan ito ng mata. Tumingin ako sa kanila. Pero layuan niya muna ako. Then he looked at me through the tinted wi ndow sill. Pagod ka Jeannie. Imo Jean! Nabigla ako ng may batang lalaking biglang tumakbo at yumakap sa `kin. Para akong sinasakal. Jean Rose was fond of kids. Pagod ako. Ang matatabang mga braso nito ay tumaas . If I were a scheming b!tch then he s the biggest hypocr ite ever. `Yun lang. Naalimpungatan ako. My eyes grew wide. Then I saw the others looking at us from inside t he big yard. I I Jeannie I met her in New York. He frowned. Baka pa gbuhulin ko pa sila ni Julian. Some look Kore an. he was wishing me to the moon. I didn t know why I felt hurt. Yes. . Na para bang nakikita niya `ko. Pareho kaming nagkatinginan. I forgot. my God. Gusto ko ng umuwi. When the car door opened. Julian raised one brow at us. Had the circumstanc es been different we could have been friends. Victorian style in Korea? Hmm. Kung alam ko lang. Madapa ka sana. I couldn t be mistaken. Ganito ako kapag natetense o naiinip. Julian sat in front. Maputi ito. Biglang bumilog ang naniningkit na mga mata ng bata. Tricia had always been soft-spoken. Na parang torture. At pasimpleng umirap. I hated this feeling. That wasn t what I intended. My eyes grew wi de. Julian glared at me. Could have been. You knew each other? I groaned inwardly. You didn t tell me about Jea nie. Narinig niya `ko. Kung hindi ko pa alam na tinted ang sasakyan. As if he could see through my lies . Hindi ko napigilan ang sarili ko. Julian got out and took our luggag e. May kayakap ng iba! Gigil na kinuha ko sa bag ang cellphone na pinakuha ko sa isa sa mga maids ni Ju lian mula sa bahay naming nung isang araw. Bakit ganito? Ayoko ng makita si Julian. What did you say? Tricia turned at me.t. sa mood ko ngayon hindi ko feel maging chummy-chummy sa kanya. Imo Jean h-hold me! Para akong mahihimatay. So? Hindi ko pinansin a ng kamay niyang nakalahad. you were talking about Jean! Yes. Julian chuckled. Nakita kong nagkakatingin an sila sa rearview mirror sa harapan. Sh!t. Nagpapabuhat! Oh. 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. Three to four years old. In the deepest part of me I felt alone. Tumalikod lang ako saglit. Itulog mo na lang `yan. honey she was Jeannie. Mas malaking mansyon. at hayun ang magaling na lalaki. I m a slut in the making. Lalo na ng titigan akong maigi ni Julian. Ha? Had I said my thoughts aloud? Umiwas ako ng tingin kay Julian. Tapos inalalayan niya si Tricia. I dialed his number. I felt a twinge of guilt. Tricia gaspe d. Ipinikit ko ang mga mata ko. Lumapit si Julian. Tricia got in. Yes. No. Wake up we re here. Nag-duet kami ni Tricia. I didn t care if I sounded like one. si Tricia. Napatingi n sa `kin si Tricia at Julian. Pero twinge lang. So are you telling me that I m a scheming b!tch? Hell. Jean! I laughed nervous ly. Tinitigan kong m aigi ng kumalas siya mula kay Tricia.
And sadly the divorce of Julian s parents caused the Sunico patriarch to dis own his eldest son. Nakita ko ang mukha ni Julian. Hindi okay. O kay lang po. Tantan I gritted my teeth while s miling. Imo Jean s-sorryy My eyes watered. He stared at me. Celine smiled at me. So he s Tantan? I groaned inwardly. I heard that one. Kumiss ito kay Julian. Hindi ko ineexpect ito. . Imo Jean! I almost groaned aloud. no. Then he stopped crying. He looked real worried. EIGHT Jeannie! Jeannie! Damn Jeannie darling please wake up. My eyes searched for Julian. There stood Julian s grandfather . God Sssshhh Tantan don t cry. Pinilit kong tumayo mula sa malaking kama. Para akong hihimatayin. What the hell is happening here?! Unti-unti akong tumingin sa hagdanan. You missed aunt Jean. They were almost all half-filipinos half-koreans. Un cle Jin was his father s cousin. darling? You got me worried We ll go to the nearest hospital. What have I gotten my self into? Tapos bumalik ulit ito at hinawakan ang kamay ko. I wanted to g o home. Ayoko na. Napansin ko ang closeness ni Julian kay Uncle Jin. `Pagpasok namin ay niyakap ako isa-isa ng mga kamag-anak ni Julian. Oh. At apo nito si Tantan. I smiled at the old man. Nananaginip ba `ko? Sa panaginip ko Julian was worried sick about me. Tahimik lang ako. I didn t make it on your wedding day.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. Imo Jean Yumakap ulit ito. Some smiled at me. Our baby he might be He frantically cupped my stomach tenderly. Hindi sila matapobre like what I d expected. Me. Kahit isa sa ka nila hindi ko alam ang pangalan. Drake. Parang ito ang pumalit sa pwestong iniwan ng papa niya. NO! He was holding Tricia s hand. He looked at me then started hiccupping. Anak siya ni Uncle Jin. I opened my eyes slowly. Oh m y. you re okay? Tanong ni Uncle Jin. But I m not that stupid. Kung hindi ko pa ala m in my peripheral vision I saw her. Uncle I w hispered tentatively. He grasped my hand. Lahat sila naka palibot sa `kin. Then Tantan kissed my nose. Then I started hiccupping. No Tricia. kay a ikaw Julian take care of Jean. Tantan smiled up at me. My gaze was fixed on the grand staircase. Me. Aunt Risan. Ngumiti ito at inabutan ako ng wineglass. Are you sure. I just smiled. n o. NOT MINE! I fainted. I m okay. like the way Julian stared at me when he was suspicious. No nothing. No make-believe baby. Si Celine. ganyan din ako ng pinagbubuntis ko si Tantan. Hindi ko na kaya. si Uncle Jin. He was the old man in the pictures! With Julian. You re not Imo Jean! You re not Imo Jean! He started wailing. Are you sure. Tantan. Wala na `kong nagawa. Na parang hinipan lang ng hangin. Nasan ako? Julian cupped my cheek softly. The man who had bear-hugged me earlier. Gusto kong maniwala Julian gusto ko. At nalaman kong kaya lang sila nan dito ay dahil sa Angko ni Julian Julian s grandfather was sick. H indi naman ako pinanganak na sinungaling kaya nagi-guilty din naman ako sa pamil ya ni Julian. Nagkalat ang chocolates sa mga kamay ko. I froze in place. Natawa ang mga pinsan ni Ju lian at tinapik ito. Tama . My throat was dry. Hija! Kamusta ka na? Too sad. Then I saw Julian and Tricia talking quietly fr om a corner. eh? Pagpasensyahan mo ang apo ko Jean. Emotional stress. and the res t I couldn t very well remember their names. Tricia ey ed me curiously. Hindi ba ako titigilan ng batang ito? Kinarga ito ng matandang l alaki. Emotional stress. Imo Jean let s play. The patriarch of the Sunico family. clearly. Then someone hugged me. Nakatingin ako sa batang naglalagkit ng chocolates. Me. Alam mo cous. Sa sobrang inis ko binitawan ko siya. Reall y stared at me. So Juli an s words were asking him to kiss him? Was that it? Oh.
They were both alike. Niyakap ako ni Tant an sa leeg. No that would stomp my damned pride. me and Tricia! I clenched my teeth. Gigil na itinaas nito ang baba ko. Pero dinaganan niya `ko . Galit na tinitigan niya `ko. Arrogance. Wala n a `kong pakialam kung magalit siya sa `kin. Ang mga mata nito. it felt wrong and delicious. Kulang na lang maging ab o ako sa apoy na nilalabas non. Because I m good at giving back to charities and you re one of them. Nakita kong unti-unt ing nag-iiba `yung expression niya. My heart was thundering. mapapatawad ko na sana `tong batang `to. I looked over my shoulders Lamp shade? Brush? No! I can t hurt him. And it hit right through the core. Bakit ako masasaktan? Siguro kasi natatapakan pride ko bilang babae. Nagpapakatanga ba talaga ako? He was taking his clothes off one by one. Inihiga niya ` ko sa kama. Na para bang ako ang may kasalanan ng lahat. You love Brad. Parang bigla akong natakot sa itsura ni Julian. And let s face reality may mahal kang ib a. In the first place. Pero lalo niya lang hinigpitan. He wouldn t hurt me. Julian don t do this. But oh my. My God. But there was definitely something about his grandfather t hat made me fear him. I pushed him hard on the chest. Sabi nito sa mataas na tinig. He pulled off his coat. Insensitive cad! What s wrong? Ha! Yes! Everything s wrong you. The corner of his lips twitched lazily. Sadly.At sana hindi dumating `yung panahong I d start really hating you. Ewan ko. di sana hindi tayo parehong nakatali sa kasal na ikaw mismo ang may gawa. Narinig ko ang pagsara ng pinto. parang nag-aalala siya. May tungkod ito. And g oodness. What s wrong? I bit my lower lip from shouting at him. His face was so close I c ould smell his breathing. Julian seemed like the very devil himself. You ruined both our lives. Overwhe lming anger and desolation. Jean nie Nakita ko si Tricia. At least not physically. Eh. Realization hit me all at once. Let s get her to rest. Taas noong tumingin ako sa kanya. wala siyang kara patan magalit. Niyakap niya `ko. Very much like Julian. I sighed. Jeannie. Authority. I gasped. Ju lian was dead serious. darling? He said in sarcasm. He di dn t look as if he was sick. Natakot ako bigla. sonja? Napatingin ako sa mukha ng Angko ni Julian. M y hands were trembling violently. Hindi ako makahinga sa bigat niya. Sa likod ng isip ko nakikita ko sila ni Tricia. I was amazed at what he had done next pabalyang itinulak ako ni Julian sa kama. I know an insult when I heard one. Jeannie Will you please go away from me? I murmured angrily as Julian touched my shoulder. Magkaya kap. His whole body was covering mine. Nagti tigan kami. Parang naiiyak na `ko. Please Julian Tama ka. Julian s face darkened. Now. as if mocking me. Ginamit kita para makuha ko ang gusto ko. Is there something wrong. Hindi naman ako nasaktan dahil malambot ang malaking kama. The rise and fall of my chest rubbed against his. At may mahal din akong iba. He didn t quite budge. . His fists clenched. 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. Well. right? And you re a hypocrit e. he was clad with his Levi s Ganon kabilis. My eyes grew wide I thought it might p opped out. Tatakbo ako mula sa gilid ng hapitin niya ang bewang ko. Diyos ko. ang pangalan ng pamilya mo . Bulong ko. I was sudd enly afraid. Tinanggal ko iyon ng humarap ako sa kanya. para makuha ko ang titulo ng bahay namin. Pilit kong iniaatras ang katawan ko papuntang headboard. Pagsalba man lang ng pride. Gi namit kita. Ako. Do I need consent in raping my wife. O nag-aalala ba talaga? Tinalik uran ko siya. I screeched and clawed his face. His rheumy eyes were still clear. He became withdrawn. Ano `to stare-a-thon? The muscle on his jaw flexed furiously. Hindi niya `ko maririnig na magmakaawa. Na parehong meron kay Julian. Nobody assiste d the old man. Right. I m already doing this. tukso layuan mo ako! Julian no My eyes grew wide. Are you going to rape me? I whispered angrily. I saw red. He s got grit and pride. pati ako naguguluhan. Napalunok ako. No! O. Umiiyak ang huli. Sana nanlimos ka na lang sa `kin.
I opened my mouth to protest. I saw the bitterness written all over his face. Then he looked down at me at my bare shoulders and flimsy black underthings. He s dying! We went to the hospital as soon as we got our clothes on. Julian! Angko s rushed to the hospital. I closed my eyes ti ghtly. `Yung parang tinatawag na ni Sa n Pedro. The buttons popped. Pilit kong iniiwas ang mukha ko. And I tasted blood there. Then he kissed me. Then he kissed me th ere. Marahan niyang hinimas ang tyan ko.Tumaas lang ang kilay niya. It was like I couldn t do anything anymore. Something I felt strongly. We were in a war. Then his lips landed on the side of my neck. Wala na siyang ginawa kundi sa ktan ako. No Yes no then he was claiming what he shouldn t. But it only ignite d something more more that I wanted. JUST. War of emotions. But I did. Without clothes on now. He roughly tore my blouse off me. yet I couldn t name . No. Sa pagkabigla ko Oh my God! I cried out. Nagsabog ang buhok ko sa k ama at sa mukha ko. He was now the heir. Napatingin kami sa doctor. openly. But the devil was kissing me. I love Brad I love Brad I shouted at him. His hand clutched the side of my neck. Surely. Tahimik lang si Julian . Th e soon-to-be patriarch of Sunicos. Open up for me Jeannie His voice was hoarse. He was already kissing me. Then he went out of the door. Hindi niya kailangang magsalita para mari nig ko `yun. Ro ughly. And I couldn t help falling for him. Galit na sinabi nito. Para akong masosuffocate sa loob ng hospital suite. Na para bang magkakaroon ng Wo rld War III. Sanjo come here. then tears one by one pooled down my eyes. In bed with a man who thought I was someone else. Not l ike this Julian! Then his lips trekked down my neck. His eyes were blazing Then he fisted my hair up that tilted my face in the air. Pilit akong nagpupumiglas mula sa hawak niya . Julian Sunico and his wife. You love Brad? Let s see. Nanghihina na `ko. He was trying to hide the p ain. She was just a family fr iend. You re mine. No one owns me He claimed my mouth not too gently. . Angko Julian and him spoke quietly in Korean language. He was tense. Then his hands were there touching me. I tried hard to close my mouth from his i nvasion. My God. Hungrily. Gusto k ong sabihing family matter `to. I shouldn t be feeling this way. Itinulak ko siya ng malakas. Ganoon ba `ko kababaw? Sinisigawan niya `ko lagi. we weren t in pu rgatory. SAVAGELY. Ho? Julian pushed me. Julian? Julian? We both turned at the frantic sound at the door. Ang mukha ng lolo ni Julian. We were still in Korea. wala kang karapatan dito . Tapos hinawakan niya `yung kamay ko. I started crying. And I felt a little sympathy for this old man even though I had met him a few hours ago. He wanted to see Mr. And now I love hi m. And I bet he hated the responsibility. War of heat. Umiiyak na ang mga pinsan nitong babae. I was half-naked. parang biglang nag-init ang buong paligid. Carnally. I hate him. Parang gusto kong yakapin si Julian. Nakita ko si Tricia na nakatingin sa `min habang nasa labas ng ICU. Uncle Jin s mouth was slacked. Touching my stomach.
I shook my head. we. NINE Julian was withdrawn the whole burial service. Nakita ko ang biglang p agmutla ni Uncle Jin. Then his hand went limp. Ho? Para na akong parrot na paulit ulit. Eh. With me. Natatakot ako. What is over Jin? You tell me! You know it would never be over unless Galit na siga w nito at tumingin kay Julian. I wanted to tell him. At least. whatever happens take care of Julian. Jin. Gusto kong sabihing ako? Ako pa ang mananakit kay Julian? Apo niya nga talaga it o.Angko He smiled sadly. But he gave me that look that said back off . why didn t you tell me? He gritted his teeth. Pero ako si ako si Jean. I-comfort. nasasaktan din ako. meaning almost all of the Sunicos. I nodded. Will you get out of here? You re not a Sunico! Julian hissed silently. Tahimik lang siya these past few days. Umiyak na `ko. Promise. Parang gusto kong maawa dito. I couldn t help being left out. Jeannie could paint. naniniwala akong bumabalik ang mga kaluluwa kung may unfinished business. I m old but I m not stupid. Kay Tric ia lang. It s over. hindi naman ako ganon kasama. Yakapin. He s dead. I m sorry. Para kaming . I know I know He chuckled hoarsely. Promise me His voice was ho arse. you ll never hurt him. `wag naman sana. I was kinda shocked. Promise me. went back to the Philippines. Promise. Please make my sanjo happy h-he h-he had the full responsibility now. Too fast. We were out of the embassy when we saw Julian s father. no. Alam ko kung pano magalit ang leon. Before we knew it. Gusto ko siyang lapitan. 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. Ayokong ako pa ang maging dahilan ng pagkamatay ni Angko. After the third day. The Old patriarch of Sunicos were now gone. pano kung balikan ako ni Ang ko? Diyos ko. Aunt Risan looked worried. At isa pa. With Tricia. My eyes grew wide. Hmm He took my hand. What if what if Julian turned to his father in anger? O h. It was too swift. Syempre. Cremated. Natatakot akong bak a hindi ko matupad ang promise ko kay Angko. Julian s father was red about the face. Promise me. Uncle Jin tried to pacify h im. He needs you. Hindi man ako inborn na mabait. Pinagtitinginan na kami ng mga tao sa paligid. I wished you could paint the whole family. What the hell Ang hirap pumagitna sa mga nag-uumpugang bato. Julian moved forward. His wrinkled chinky eyes seemed tired. I heard you are good at painting. Julian! Celine said authoritatively. Julian never needed me.
sa pagkakatanda ko never kang pinagnasaan ni Tricia back in New York. At hin . God. Susuko na ba talaga ako? My hands were cold. Independent. Aunt Risan phoned someone. Magpabuntis ka kaya kay papa Brad? I cut the line off. I was mourning my heart out. She looked pretty and sophiscated in her pink dress. Julian was remote. artista ka na. But you know what? I still wanted to reach out to Julian.nasa slow motion scene habang nakita namin kung pano tumaas ang kamao ni Julian sa mukha ni Mr. Nagpapawis. Dumating ang mga bodyguards ni Uncle Jin. Eve rything. Why? Kasi feeling ko malaya na `ko m ula sa manipulasyon ng parents ko. At lalong hindi ko na kailangang magsinungaling na may project par a lang payagang gumala. I know. Ano naman nandyan naman si Tricia! He would feel betrayed. Pero anong ginagawa ko? Gusto kong protektahan si Julian. My phone vibrated. I chose black. Pero paano ang panga ko mo kay Angko Jeannie? Hindi ko na kaya. Wrath and envy. Muy. We ll have a press conference later. Anong panama ko kay Tricia? She knew a lot. Julian closed his eyes. hindi ako nagi ng mabuting anak. At lalong hindi ako magtataka kung ba kit siya pinikot ng kapatid mo. Wala ng curfew. you know.. Then I sighed.. She understood him about his family. Hindi. I gritted my teeth. Wala talagang mabuting idulot si CM. Hindi ka si wonde rwoman. I saw the headlines. I rolled my eyes. Pwede ng makulong. Para akong naestatwa. I gave up Juli an. They have reasons. I remembered telling Jean this: Jean `wag mong i-save ang mundo. I took a step back in horror. I saw Tricia squeezed his hand. gwapo pala ni Julian Sunico I w ouldn t wonder why Tricia chose him over me. Pero ang m agulang ay magulang. Painful. Tonight. CM I would tell him the truth. In fairness ha. Sa tingin mo. Tricia smiled at me. What! Think it over Jeannie. The n there were papparazzis. Excuse me lang Carlo Miguel Jr. Wala ng dialogue na bata ka pa . Inayos ko ang gown ko sa harap ng salamin. And I never wanted to run for an ulirang anak awardee. I bit my lower lip. I know I m committing two of the seven deadly sins. Iyak ng iyak si Tantan ng magising. Like I was an altogether different person. Mas matalino sa `yo kapatid mo. Tamang tama para sa okasyon. Hi Oh. Ako?.. CM I ll talk to you later. I d tell him later about everything. Where the hell had they come from? Tricia hugged him from behind. At ang hitad tumawa pa. Hello? Wow. Sunico. I gave up. this is the right time to do that? I I don t know. Mapagpanggap ka. LEGAL. When I turned eighteen. Ayoko na. Because he needed it t hough he wasn t asking it. wala. Ilang beses ko na bang sinabi: Wala a kong balak sundan ang yapak ni Rizal. Julian please stop it. mag-boyfriend at uminom. Don t cause any more scandal than we have now Even Celine was c rying. and men will always be boys at heart. totoo naman palang sinabi nila. I felt exhilarated. CM. However unreasonable it may be . There was more to this than I couldn t put a finger on. Sabi nila. May kumatok. Talo ako. Nasa kabilang sasakyan si Uncle Jin kasama sina Celine at Tantan. 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. Ako? I felt alien. What do you think will Julian feel? Another blow? Dammit. She was crying now. Hindi ko siya ma-t ake. Tricia was with him. women have a nurturing nature. Where s your sense of honor dad? Sana hindi na lang kita naging tatay! Julian was making guttural sounds.
Wala akong dapat ikahiya. Ayan. Jok e lang ni Brad. had I? Jean always t old me how transparent I am. Later His eyes burned pr omise. Thirty minut es later. Hindi rin naman kita gusto. Ano ba Jeannie! Magtino ka nga Para kang naka-drugs. Lumapit ito. He was a bit taken aback. Parang naririnig ko pa `yun. Had Jean c . you know me. Nothing more. Tumalikod na siya. Patatawarin kita sa ginawa mo. If you don t. I blushed. I saw him tensed. I don t feel good around you.Ito ba ang k aya mong i-give up? Akala ko ba si Eba ang dahilan kung bakit nagkasala ang buon g daigdig. Jeannie I I shrugged and went forward. I was out looking for Julian. I m with Julian last night and I was wrong Jean! Once run away with me. Parang nanlamig ang buong pagkatao ko. I wanted t o spit fire at her. Nagulat ako ng biglang may yumakap sa`kin from behind. You re blushing. I d rather eat you for dinner. Gutom na `ko. I sucked in my breath. His han ds automatically wrapped around my waist. And I promise you My jaw dropped. Brad. A fresh start. If you don t. Tuta l huling gabi ko na ito. Jeannie He groaned. Tricia was challenging me. Dahil sa pagkaparalyze ko hindi ako makapag-react. Touching my closed lips light against his. I shrugged. I know it s you Jeannie. That s a mistake. Sa ginawa niyong magkapatid. One step. I ll take Julian away from you. he was inviting me to taste the forbidden app le. This was one big hell of a joke. Thirty minutes. You don t have to wor Julian was leaning gorgeously against the doorframe. his tux on one hand.ihiling kong sana y hindi ko na makita ever si Tricia. Two steps. My eyes grew wide. no! I hadn t said my thoughts aloud again. Julian? I smiled and turned around to see Brad?! You called me last night. But beca use you took Julian from me. Bakit hindi ka dumating? Ano?! Ano bang pinagsasabi nito? Was he into drugs also? Dahil sa kagandahan ko? Ang lupit talaga ng kamandag ko. It was deserted. Please take care of Julian. Parang namanhid `yung buong katawan ko. He clutched at me frantically. Three days ago. Tsk. Ikaw Jea nnie mag-prepare ka na. The ot her hand on his pocket. Then I tried to smile at him. Lumingon ako. Pero tao lang po ako. Parang sirang plaka. Breathe out. Kasabay ng paglabas nito ng pinto. And his voice like hell. I couldn t risk being seen with him. A slow grin played about the corner of his lips. Oh. Bakit hindi ko pa sabihin lahat? She smiled at me. My God. You . Just a peck. my eyes squinted. I rea lized one thing: Hindi ko kayang i-give up si Julian! Dinner time. And in that moment. Then I remembered what happened. I I ve always been alone. Not personally. Lumabas na ako at pumunta sa conference room. Tricia cupped Julian s cheek! Kitang kita ko `yun mula sa salamin. I d tell him tonight. Tricia ayokong makipagplastikan. Julian! For Christ s sake! The reporters are already here. I love you. Maganda naman ako. I wan t this marriage to work. Uncle Jin said from out of nowhere. I want to have a big family. I closed my eyes and kissed hi m. Alam ba ng lahat? You knew? She nodded. Three. L ike hell. Pilit kong inaalis ang mga kamay ni Brad sa bewang ko. Oh. Lumiko ako sa kabilang room. I m not a hypocrite Jeannie. I tiptoed and wrapped m y arms around his neck. I ll take Julian away from you. It s alright. Julian let go of my hand. parang hindi naman. Kaya nga nagtataka ako kung bakit magaling din akon g magsinungaling. me and our baby. Kumain na tayo. I swallowed. Parang gustong lumabas ng puso ko. Tapos nanlaki `yun g mga mata ko.
He was sitting on his swivel chair. Then he walked away. my jaw almost dropped. Yes. ma am sabi po ni sir. Si Brad. Julian open this damned door! Ma am What! I tried to calm my nerves. Kapag bukas ko ng pinto madilim. I failed Tricia. No! Bakit hindi ako makasigaw? Julian turned to me. O dapat pang sabihin. Siguro h indi niyo ko maiintindihan. Tricia yelled at me earlier in the ho tel suite and took me out of my reverie. Nakataas ang paa nito sa drawer. Ah ewan. No It hurt as I stared coldly at his back. Julian Na kita ko ang nagsabog na mga beer bottles. Then the door opened. I d us e the word banging now. Ako si Jeannie Rose Leviste. The Great JULIAN SUNICO wouldn t cry over a woman. Bwisit na b inabalibag ko na ang pinto. For the win pala itong si Tricia! Naiiyak na sana ako nun eh. Bakit ko ba naisipang mag-give up? I never had that in my v ocabulary. I failed. Julian lis ten to me! I pleaded. Pwede pala kaming friends.alled him last night? No Brad listen I m not Jean Rose. Hindi ba dapat nagse-celebrate siya at hindi na . his deadly glance. Even though you couldn t define it. I saw something luha? No. Nalunok ko pa ata ang nanunuyot kong laway. Jean what the hell do you think are you doing to me? TEN I knocked on the door. Hindi dapat mandamay ng inosent eng nilalang. I clutched at his arm. May pills kaya itong dala sa loob? Wire? Rope ? Knife? Grabe naman. `Wag gambalain? Bakit ano bang himala ang ginagawa niya sa loob? Gigil kong sabi. PAIN. Julian She loves me Julian. Okay. Set us free. I m sorry. Kay Julian. Jeannie. I thought it was in the movies or telenovelas. Tumakbo ako palabas. I failed Angko. NO over 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. Flashes of cam era. `wag daw po siyang gambalain. Eh. Tricia we re regarding me with an accusing stare. Tapos may humawak ulit sa braso ko. by the end of the day I wouldn t wonder if I woul d be six feet underground he was going to kill me. My heart stopped. I m setting you free. I would underst and if he showed anger. Oh my God. I stood there motionle ss. What I saw in his face tore my heart into pieces. WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK ARE YOU DOING?! Tricia half-screamed half-whispered. Feeling ko masusuka a ko. Nawala na ang overdramatic mood ko kanina. Parang biglang nawala ang lakas ng loob ko. I caused another scandal. `Yung pag-aagawan naming `yu ng bidang lalaki. At natakot ako kasi. Sabi ni mommy. His eyes. Since. Unless you knew wh at love really meant. Wala siyang alam! No! I whispered. Are you just going to stand there like a n idiot? You re not even going to defend yourself? What? Iiyak ka at sasabihin mon g ikaw ang biktima? For the second time. And I hurt Julian. Th e reporters were forgotten. Unless you fell in love like this. iba ang pakahulugan sa `kin non dati. I swore my life was doomed as Julian stared coldly at me. mahalaga pala ako sa kanya. Twice. Hindi niya kasalanan. Someone gasped. Julian! I gritted my teeth in anger. ang lola ng lola ko ang p amangkin ng anak ni Gabriela Silang. Then he turned his back on me. The paparazzi. Ahm. Para akong pinagbagsakan ng langit at lupa. The door was locked. I turned on the lights and saw Julian s back. No response. I wasn t knocking now. And opened the damned door. I m He was already kissing me! My head spin. Posible pala. Once. Hindi ko na natapos kung ano man ang sasabihin ko. Mas kaya ko pang i-handle ang galit na Julian.
My eyes grew wide. Second time. Bulong ko. give me strength. He swung the swivel chair roughly. His brow arched. we ll only be screwing. they were born w ith long and sharp tongues. If we re going to do it. Dalagang Pilipina ako no. That chest would hav e been illegal to cover! Payag na `ko. was I? His eyes squinted anew. You fvcking love him. Payag na `kong magpa-rape sa `yo Julian.. I put it on my na. Sabi ko. Gusto ko sanang sabihin `yun. I swore Julian s eyes grew wide. Ju lian. Hindi ako magpapatakot sa damuho nato. the more he lashed . I should have known. I swallowed against his deathly grip. His teeth gritted. At hindi napagi-iwanan si Julian! Did he think his w ords would hurt me? Kilala ko na siya. I want an annulment. I winced at the brutal words.gpapakalasing? Eh. His neck tie was scattered on the desk. My I sighed silently. Ang mga butones ng polo shirt nito ay nagkandakalas. I was that desperate. I m not talking to your back. Tumawa ito na parang nang-aasar. There. Papayag ka din sa a nnulment. Oh. Nataob ko ang bataan. Lumaki ang mga mata ko. The more he was hurt. 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. didn t you? Wouldn t you scream his name if we were going to To make love? I supplied nervously. eh `di tinab lan ka ngayon! I wanted to shout victory. Nabasa ko `ya n before. Up to my neck. Men are men. My eyes grew wide.. Hoarse. Tapos lumapit siya sa `kin. I m right. I blinked thr ice. The tic on his adam s apple moved. Then his hand moved. Oh lord. And then his big hand gripped me. Why wasn t he doing a thing? We were just standing there him touching me. no t down but up. Bad `yan ha. Screw. Bosom is for inbred ladies. Ang mga singkit niyang mat a lumaki at bumilog. Then his err erri ng hand cupped my hmm. I hated to admit it. He was trying to intimi date me. Payag na `ko. It was a little bit awkward and delicious? I moaned inwardly. I whispered and swallowed sharply. His eyes glinted. Whatever. Nababaliw na ata talaga ako. D ry. He caressed my neck gently . What the hell do you think are you doing? I was amazed. n o. Bingi ba ito? Ayoko. I gulped Could n t I just look up and not on his chest. Then I took his hand and put it on my I swallowed first. Julian listen to me I want to come clean. Ayan. Julian What! Pack your things and get out of my house! He whispered angrily. here in the library. Parang nag-init ang punong tenga ko. Alam ko kasalanan `tong gagawin ko. Hindi ito lu milingon. `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. Payag na `ko. Mas nakakahiya naman kung ako pang humigit sa kanya sa kama `di ba? Oh. Na para bang bago pa sa `kin `yun. With consent bosom. I felt him moved a little. You wanted out of this marriage because of that SOB. See? He laughed out mockingly. The first time. He always did that that menacing steps. At galit na tumayo ito. He started laughing demonicall y. Naglalabasan na ang ugat nito sa leeg. darling making love is only women s term. bakit Jeannie may kasama namang alak kapag nagse-celebrate `di ba? Hell. Bakit mo ipagpipilitan ang sarili mo sa `kin kung nandyan naman si Brad? Parang biglang bumalik ang animosity nito. three days ago. Hindi.
I bet he was wondering what on earth was happening to me. He said very politely. And one more thing Julian. We ll ha ve an annulment after you give birth. What is it hija? She smiled at Julian. He was pus hing me away. You wouldn t do that. Tinanggal nito ang kamay sa leeg ko. sir may bisita po kayo. I wouldn t be bothered by his cruel words. I whispered. Akala lang nila si Jean ang matalino no. Mukang masarap ang tulog mo hija Too bad I hadn t seen Julian s grandfather. If I kill you there would b e justice. given. ako din kaya. Ang tanong paano ko manganganak? Paano kung hindi ako pumayag? He shrugged and took to his drinking again. may psychic ability kam i nitong si Julian. Julian you can t run away from me. Tapos umupo na kaming lahat. Yes. Biglang tumaas `yung sulok ng bibig nito. Negative vibes. Anong nginingiti-ngiti mo dyan? Ano bang problema nito? Panira ng araw. And take note: with consent. Napaka-contagious ng aura nito. so my mommy s here. Tinitigan n iya `ko ng masama. Tapos tinitigan ni ya si CM mula ulo hanggang paa. Then from the do orway came Oh my God. mas mayaman ka kay Brad? I smiled b!tchily at him. Hindi ko alam kun g bakit energetic ako at masaya. Ang hininga niya. Oo nga po. At isinara ko ang pinto. I whispered. It was like I could take on the world. She s Jeannie s bestfriend. Parang gusto kong manghina. But what the hell was CM doing in here? Sabi ko na nga bad vibes. Must have been the china vase that caused millions. Parang outsider din ang mommy ni Julian sa family Sunico. Good morning Philippines! Good morning World! Good morning mommy! I kissed Mrs. Bakit kita hihi walayan eh. thank you for stopping Julian from killing me last night. Tawa ng tawa sa `kin mommy ni Julian. it didn t matter. Julian kissed my mom s cheek. Rape nga `di ba Inis kong sabi. O isa lang talaga lagi `yung expression niya. para may maipam-blackmail ako kay Julian . I pouted. Itinaas niya ang baba ko. Ahm . Ganon din si Julian. At siya? He didn t even g ive me a glance. Dapat talaga naglagay ako ng banga sa harap ng p intuan para hindi nakakapasok ang masasamang espiritu sa bahay nila Julian. Hin di ako nagagalit. Morning. So how are we going to do it? Sa desk? Sa couch? Sa ibabaw ng counter? What he was doing was scaring me off. Our mommy now. Shut up Jeannie . Tapos tinitigan niya `ko. Ah Julian si CM. Paano mo `ko papakinabangan kung patay na `ko? He sighed. Good morning mommy. God. My mommy smiled. CM? Mommy? Marahan akong tumayo at ngumiti sa kanila.back. Minsan naiisip ko. I turned around before opening the door. Baliw na kaya ako? Kapag baba ko ay nakita kong nagbebreakfast na sa lanai si Julian. Hindi ako nagtatatalak sa kanya. Inaalagaan mo bang maigi itong si Jean? He snorted. Balae? Napalunok ako. Then I heard a loud crash. Do you know what I want to wring your lovely neck right now. Su nico on the cheek. I secretively smiled. Mommy Ma am. He wiped his mouth with a napkin. Wit h her mom. And you can marry your SOB of a lover. Seven months. Ano pa bang dapat sabihin? Julian became withdrawn again. M arami naman siyang pambili eh. May batas na ba dito sa bahay ang bawal ngumiti Jules? I saw his teeth gritted. Okay. Nagkatinginan kami ni Julian. Your bestfriend? Lumingon sa `kin si Julian. mommy. Para tuloy may nagsasabi sa `king may hindi mangyayaring maganda. I could see that. Kailangan kong malaman ang d eepest and darkest secret nila malay mo. amoy tsiko na.
Hindi ko gusto `yung tingin niya sa `kin. Jeannie. Sh!t. Then I gasped softly. Balae. . Ay grabe. Politics. Na para bang ewan ko. A box of chocolates. Tapo s sumabog ang laman niyon sa lamesa. Two vials. Weather forecast. Oh? Naalala ko tutal tapos ka naman ng business administration. I smiled too sweetly. I opened the paper bag. CM an o ba `yang pabango mo ang baho! Itinulak ko si CM. Hinimas ni mommy ang likod ko. 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! . hija? What k ind of chocolate? A box of chocolates. Here. Bottle B. Tinakpan ko ang bibi g ko. We re bestfriends. I know you ll surely love it. Tapos bigla akong humawak sa tyan ko. Later everybody was well and good. In front of me was a box of chocolate-flavored c-o-n-d-o-m-s! ELEVEN My hands trembled. Jean Rose finished commerce. Tumaas ang kilay nito. Inabot niya sa `kin ang isang maliit na paper bag. Bottle A.. Julian butted in. Napatayo silang tatlo. It was now or never. And fashion Lahat nag-uusap save Julian. I smiled at Julian s mom. halika na t mag-breakfast na tayo. so why don t you take on the job? Bigla akong nahirinan. how could I? Kung mommy ko pa m ismo ang nagtutulak sa `king gawin ito. Suspicious. Ah. T sismis. CM s eyes grew wide. May ipapatayo nga pala akong business hija. Julian raise d one brow at me. Feeling ko lulubog ako sa kahihiyan. kitang-kita ang pagkabuhay ng katawang lupa ni CM sa mga mata niya. He eyed Julian like my husband was the meal. Let me see. Anong gagawin ko? Wala akong alam! Ano ano nga pala ang mga pinaglilihian mo hija? Parang hindi naman siya naglilihi. Parang nanigas ang panga ko sa pag-smile. Then I made mewling sounds like I w as going to throw up. I m not very particular with gays. Tila ayaw pa ng makisama! Ganyan din ako ng nagbubuntis ako kay Julian hija I smiled secretively. Julian tugged my hand. Julian was still scrutinizing me. Usap. sorry. God. Really? One brow arched. Tinitigan ko siya. Really. How dare you CM ! What is it? My mom asked.Yeah. Pero hindi eh. It was like a tug o war between us. Ang mga mata ni Julian parang lobo. CM smiled at me. Biglang binawi ni CM kamay niya at tumuwid ng tayo. Barakong barako.. Plan A and B. Ahhh. Actually may mga gay friends din kami sa New Ahurm. Ni hindi man lang hinimas `yung likod ko! Ahm talaga po? Maganda `yan. Ang boses. What the hell? Mom what s this? Pills. He snorted at me. Tumabi sa `kin si CM. errr Masusuka ata ako. I forgot to give my gift. Pinanlakihan ko siya ng mga mata. My mom bit her lower lip. Makakatulong `yan in future references. Julian. Ayokong bitawan ang paper bag. I m glad to finally meet you CM ex tended his hand toward Julian.
I hissed. Ito give this to him one hour before you go to bed. violation of human rights ang ginagawa ko sa sarili ko! Pwede kong kasuha n ang mga magulang ko. He g lanced at me boringly then shrugged. Kun g hindi ko pa alam. And he sla mmed the door to my face. Pano kung napasukan niya `kong nagyu-urinate? Or worst nagbabawas ng sama ng loob? Oh? Gigil kong sabi. Okay lang sana kung hihiga ak o. Naiiyak na pinunasan ko ang mga mata ko. Tinignan niya `ko na para bang nababaliw na `ko. `di ba? Ilang beses ko lang pinagpaplanuhang patayin si Julian sa isip 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. Lalong sumasaki t. Magtat aka pa ba ako kung saan ako nagmana? Magaling ding umarte `tong mommy ko eh. Tapos tinignan niya `yung basang parte ng polo niya. It won t work this time. One hour later. Masakit talaga sa may bandang puson. Tinitigan niya `ko. I smiled at him sweetly. Okay na `ko. Respetuhin mo ang iyong ama at ina. mabango. Don t pull that act on me Jeannie. She s giving me a dose of ahm. Jeannie! He gritted his teeth in horror. Magbihis ka na. Ni hindi man lang marunong kuma tok. Napakapit ako sa sink. magkukunwaring tulog sa tabi niya. Clean.Alam ko. karma na ba ito? Jeannie? Biglang bumukas `yung pinto. Pinipilit ko namang sundin ang sampung utos ni Go d. Ano bang ginawa ko para parusahan ako ng Diyos Julian? Naging mabuting tao naman ako. Goodness. Hindi ba Julian? Mabait naman ako bakit ako nagkakaganito? Ngawa ako ng ngawa. My eyes grew wide. This is this is Grabe. Para akong bata. O kaya magbula bigla ang bibig niya. He was so caring and v ery sweet! Gusto ko siyang ipapapak sa mga langgam. Na glalawa na ang ilong ko kakasinghot. In fairness. malay ko ba baka sakaling pagtingin ko sa salamin iba na pala pagkatao ko. Then I reached out to h im. see? Obedient pa nga ako `di ba? Akalain mong gawin ko ang utos ni mommy na lagyan ng ecstacy pills ang inumin ni Julian. magtatanggal ng damit. Tears were starting to form again. Tinuro ko `yung dibdib niya.. Tapos bigla akong tinalikuran! Wow. Get dressed. Hindi ba ganon ang pikot? Either that or ecstacy pills! NOT ADVISABLE. . Dammit. What do I need pills for? Anak there s no other way. Me? Jeannette Rose Le viste? Pumunta ako sa CR at naghilamos ng mukha. Ano bang nangyayari sa `yo? Bakit ka ba sumisigaw? My eyes watered. May pupuntahan tayo. Ako na pala si Angel Locsin. Huwag papatay. Ikaw na lang. Tapos parang namimilipit na naman ulit sa s akit. My God. I gritted my teeth. Sa sobrang inis ko yumakap ako kay Julian. Pero sa isip lang `yun! Huwag kang magnakaw. Breathe out. Lobo na pala a ko at si Julian ang ihahapunan ko. Para alalayan ako. Shrugged! My God he was so inconsiderate. Grabe ang sakit-sakit talaga ng puson ko. Ha? Anak ka ng magaling ang plano ni mommy! Breathe in. salamat sa singahan.. Una lagi si papa God sa listahan ko kasunod lang si Julian na akala ata siya ang Diyos. Masama pakiramdam ko. J eannie! What the I blew out on his polo shirt. Viagra? As if Julian needed i t! Hindi naman ako magtataka sa kakayahan ni Julian kaya lang. My mom brushed an invisible tear on her left cheek. Thank you. Mayamaya lang I felt something pierced within my tummy. Oh. I winced in pain again. Right at this moment I was wishing he could fall into a ditch.
Bak it hindi ko man lang nakita? Tsk. Can you please keep quiet? Lalong lumakas `yung hikbi ko. No. I didn t care when he stared at me in confusion. Does this me an I m going to hell also? I groaned inwardly. Iba ang admiration sa lust. Ahm no comment ako dyan. he didn t and would n t show it ever. Men never wanted to be termed weak a nd emotional. Tap os bigla siyang tumawa. I wanted to sleep and never wake up. He cleared his throat. NAIA? Oh. Not one of those demon laughs of his. Mom told me that there would be times like this you getting emotional on me. Nakita kong nakapagpalit na siya ng damit. Gusto nila sila ang hari. Isa lang bata pa naman tala ga siya. Tricia I m sorry. Ano ba `yan Ang bilis naman! Kung ano ano kasi iniisip ko. Awkward. Weird. The lines around his chink y eyes became soft. Huwag kang magnanasa sa hindi mo asawa. Naramdaman kong may humihimas ng tyan ko. Tumango lang ako as if saying go on . I pouted prettily. Wala pa namang nangyayari sa `min ni Julian. Parang tumataas ang altapresyon ko. Mauuna ka sa `kin. Someone pinched my nose. biglang nawala `yung antok ko. Are you sure this one was Julian? He was lau ghing cheerfully. He whispered. my God. Kung hindi pa sigaw na tawag `yun eh ano? So bulong pa `yun ganon ? Huwag kang makikiapid sa hindi mo asawa. Hindi pa ako tapos sa drama ko I bit my lower lip. Assuming! I rolled my eyes. Sa puson. 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. Wala naman masyado. Mood swings? Mero Buntis ka rin? Inirapan ko siya. Wala pa. we re here! My teeth clenched. Julian Ano? Inis na lumingon siya sa `kin.Hindi ako sumisigaw. I thought you re not coming. My eyes grew wide. but his touch lessened the pain. Julian s voice became tender. Bakit ka ba kasi iyak ng iyak? Napanguso ako. I could see that. Hindi ko pa naman sinasabing supe r okay na kami ah. Nakapamulsa si Julian. Let s go. Nagiging habit na a ta niya `yun ah. But I saw through his façade. Naramdaman ko na lang na may yumuyug yog sa balikat ko. She smiled at me. Pabalibag na tinanggal ko ang kamay niya sa balikat ko kahit disoriented pa `ko. Jeannie. Establisments. Parang gusto ko ng magpalahaw ng iyak. So sinamantala ko na. Ito ba ang dahilan? Napasigok ako. Ang hirap maging babae. Oh. Ano ba! I hated it. Hinimas-himas ko `yung puson ko. Honey AHEM! . Tumaas ang kilay ko. He sighed. Masama talaga epekto sa `kin `pag -FOOL moon. Parang bumata siya ng isang taon. Of course. Malls. Grabe. Mga walang puso. Ano ba Hindi ko naman pinagnanasaan si Ju lian ah. Sumanda l ako sa upuan at hinimas niya `yung parte kung saan ko nilagay `yung kamay niya . Huwag kang magbibintang at huwag kang magsisinungaling. Honey I Ahem! Lumingon sila sa `kin. There was so much pain written in Julian s face. Period. Alam niyo naman po `yung white lies `di ba God? Huwag kang magnanasa sa hindi mo pag-aari. Bac kaches. Ano ba kasing masakit? Gusto kong mapaantanda. Naghahyperventilate pa `yung hormo nes ko. Muntik na `ko dun. Of course not. I smirked and peer ed at the scenery outside. Hindi ko napansin na nakatulog na pala ako. I put his hand on the spot just below my ( `wag kulay berde) tummy. Ang aga namang punishment nito. mood swings I snorted. Tricia? Promise. Eh `di sana h indi mo sa `kin binigay si Julian! Ikaw din papa God ang may kasalanan. Liars go to hell. Pinagnanasaan mo ba `ko? He was astonished at first. Naghihikab na sumunod lang ako sa kanya.
I wanted to die. Julian raised his brow. Inirapan ko siya. Okay lang? A token of farewell. what have I done again? He sighed impatiently. Then I heard my phone ringing. Wala na namang problema sa `kin `yun eh. I swore I heard Tricia giggled. Full moon. Hind i ko sinasadya! I gritted my teeth. My God I was going crazy with pain. Gusto mong pumunta sa heaven? He pursed his lips teasingly. Lumapit ulit si Tricia kay J ulian. do tell me. Julian looked at me in horror. Argh. H inimas himas ko ulit `yung puson ko. What for? Ipapakulam kita! You and Tricia. Makakaangal pa ba siya eh. Talaga? Oo naman. I was really rooted on the ground. I saw red. Hindi ko sinasadyang mapatingin sa labi niya. Ayoko. She kissed Julian on the mouth! Just a peck. In short. Bulong ko habang sakay kami ni Julian pabalik. The nerve! Akala ko ba friends na kami? Julian waved at her. As in NOW. Friends! When you come back to New York. buntis ako. It was only four in the afternoon. Suminghot ulit ako. . How absurd no I nodded. Dysmenorrhia. Oh. May excuse ako para magkaganito. walang choice.Julian glared at me. Ha? Before I knew it. S ometimes he thought he knows what he s doing. But a kiss is a kiss! Then she started giggling as she took her bags with her. Nagulat ako when she hugged me. We re just one of those cases of childh ood Korean sweethearts. layuan mo `ko! Mi nsan nga naiisip ko ipatanggal ko na lang kaya `yung uterus ko? Kaso kawawa naman sila mommy. wala naman siya dito? I sighed. Ang kapal! I tried to calm my nerves. What? Do you know where I can buy a doll? His one brow arched. I looked at my nails innocently. Our families expected us to marry since we were kids. ano p ang tinatayo tayo mo diyan? Uwi na tayo. Tapos lumapit siya sa `kin. O. As in a smudge of red lipstick on the side of his lips. Friends? Yeah. Kasi naman may pangalan nam an `yung tao. Ipinikit ko `yung mata ko. Sy empre second lang si Jean. H-hello? Jeannie! Ano?! Shopping tayo. She smiled at me. Hindi sila magkakaroon ng apo mula sa pinakamaganda nilang anak. Too happy. TWELVE How would I continue with the plan if my fvcking hormones were raging on? Gusto kong magpagulong gulong sa pamimilipit sa sakit. Niyakap niya `ko! Tumaas `yung kilay ko dun. Sana ma-solve mo na `y an. Meron argh. Ano namang akala niya gagawin ko `yung ginawa ko sa kanya kay Tricia? I smirked. Hindi ko siya pinansin. Take good care of him. Humarap siya sa `kin. Nagyakap sila.
Eh Julian. Mall. Anong silbi mo? I rolled my eyes heavenward. 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. I heard his footsteps behind me. No. You got used to kissing a friend on the lips? Namamangha kong sabi. Naintindihan mo ba ayoko ngan My eyes grew wide. I need to buy a nine-mo nth package. nagpapanic kong sabi. Hello Jeannie! I ll go shopping with you later. Seryoso nga! Napahaw ak agad ako sa stain sa bandang crotch ko. Bakit pag-aari mo na rin ba `tong mall ha? Ha. Kung sa mga ganong klase ka ng tao sasama baka kung ano ano mapulot mong kalokoha n. Didn t I tell you not to talk to him again? Manong punta po tayo sa S. Jul ian grabbed my hand. I said Sige na Jeannie shopping na tayo. Seryoso ba ito? I looked at his face. The hell I care. A t sa kutsilyo. Ugh. I mean kelan gan manganak na `ko Don t worry Jeannie. kaya nga diba? Nandun ako! I saw her kissed you. Sumandal ulit ako. I gulped. Fifteen minutes. It was huge and big. He would submit me to the k nife. It was just a kiss. Matuwa kaya siya? In the states it is very common! Sigaw ko. Ceasarian? As in hiwa. wait! Nine months? Kelangan malaki na tyan ko nun. Who s that? CM. Nagtataka lang ako what does S stand for? Anong gagawin natin dito? His lips twitched at the corner. He was going to get a tongue lashing from me. Bakit ba ako nagsuot ng pa lda? `Yung hanggang kalahating hita ko pa. Grabe. He told me to meet up! Then what he was late. N ew establishment. Tap os hinigit niya `yung braso ko. Ingos ko sa kay Julian. Try me. Inis na bumaba ako. T-takot ako sa karayom. We go home. I called Dr. Julian. Before I knew it. he was leading me to a a baby section. Who s that? No one. I saw red! No Naiiyak na bulong ko. Lecheng si CM. Stupid. Ah ganon. Nahuli ko naman talaga sila ah! We just got used to it. Sinisiguro kong mababaon siya ng buhay sa mura ko. He raised one brow and read the newspaper. Nag-iisa na nga lang ang sanitary pad ko sa bag ko. Badtrip. Nanghihinang sabi ko na ikinalingon ni Julian. You cannot stop me. Lee yesterday I asked her kung pwede kang i-ceasa rian. Feeling ko lalo akong dudugu in kay Julian. Eh. Tricia is my ex! Until you came along.Narinig kong bumuntunghininga si CM. Afte r CM gave me the details where to the line went disconnected. Umuwi na tayo. Mall. Wait lang Julian! What? Virgin ka pa ba? . Pano kung sabihin ko sa kanyang nag-suggest si CM na i-french kiss ko siya. So? Nasa Pilipinas tayo Jeannie! And who on earth would kiss a friend on the lips? He cleared his throat. Who on earth would give a con contraceptives as a gift? Nakikita kong lalong pan iningkit ng mga mata nito. Oh. Fine. Tapos umiwas ng mata na parang nahuli ko sa akto. His bark was always worse th an his bite. Jeannie! He shouted authoritatively. In amusement? Malamang magsha-shopping. no. Manong bababa na po ako. Sa huli ako pa rin ang sinunod ni manong at pumunta kami sa S.
Ang kapal! Excuse me lang ha Parang lalabas `yung dugo ko. everything save that it wasn t me! Jean?! Jeannie? Para kaming naestatwa. Inis na naglalakad pa `ko. Let s have lunch together. Yumakap ako sa bewang niya. Julian He picked up a feeding bottle. Parang nanghihinang napakapit ako kay Julian. long time no see twin? Jeannie We both slowly turned at the voice. He was with Jean! Vince? Vincent Gonzalo? Julian hissed. Juli an squinted his eyes. Iisa lang `yun! Ako lahat `yun! Tsk. Ano bang meron? Parang feeling ko mahihimat ay na `ko kahit anong oras. What the hell Kasi hindi ka pwedeng pumunta sa heaven. Unti-unti akong napatingin sa tyan niya. Pinaparusahan niyo ba talaga `ko God? Jeannie Jeannette. hindi ko rin alam?! Ahmm Napalunok ako. Manipis pa `yun. How many months? Napatingin ito sa tyan ni Jean. She s my mistress. Biglang lumapit ang saleslady sa `min. Kauu wi ko lang. Meron pa bang surprise? Ano pa ba? But my. wait `Di ba dapat maging masaya ako? Yeah kauuwi niya lang kahapon Julian. hindi nak . No. She s also pregnant? Jean and I both looked stupidly at the baby shoes. Promise. Julian frowned. You never told me your sister s here. At siya? Tinitigan niya lang ako. We shook our heads in unison. Sir. Kahapon. For the life of me. Pink or blue? Ha? Hindi pa nga natin alam `yung gender `di ba? My voice trembled. Tumawa ako sa sarili kong joke. No! No! Halos mag-duet kami ng kapatid ko. kill me now! I whispered. No. Inis na tinignan ko kung sinomang intrimitid It was like I was looking into my own wide eyes. Pero meron mer on God. Parang naguluhan. Baka hinihintay na tayo ni CM. And why do you ask? Kasi demonyo ka. Excuse me? Gigil na sabi nito. Takp an ko kaya ng sako ang mukha ni Julian? Artistahin? Kaya lalong lumalaki ang ulo nito. Na parang natatakot akong bawi in siya sa `kin ni Jean. Funny same with you Jeannie. I gasped aloud. At ngayon sumasakit `yung ulo k o. Ano bang dapat kong sabihin? Hey. Bwisit na buha y `to. Yes. Nanlalaki ang mga mata ni Jean. Jean? Pinanlakihan ako ng mata ng kakambal ko.Julian was shocked. Pareho pala kami ng kuku nin. I couldn t sprout any more lies. May lalaking paparating. Parang ang corny ata ng joke ko. He stared fixedly at Jean. Ah yeah. Jean nette is very busy. ri ght. He knew?! He called you Jeannie! She mouthed when Julian s back was turned to her. I didn t know him. She smiled sweetly at Julian. I was about to pick up a a pair of baby shoes when a hand caught mine. wife niyo po? At feeling close! Julian smiled back at her. Biglang umayos ako ng tayo. nakatanga lang siya sa `kin. H-hi s-sorry I wasn t able to to come to your wedding. Hindi bumenta. Oh. Kung tot oong buntis lang ako baka nakunan ako sa sobrang bwisit kay Julian. pareho kaming nagkulay papel ng kap atid ko. HAHA. At sabi nila ang mga demonyo daw virgin pa. Masama pa na mang ginagalit ang babaeng kabuwanan. He was eyeing me and Jean. my face. Paano ko sasabihin sa`yo eh. Two and three weeks. Jean? Let s What the hell was happening? I almost groaned aloud. Julian! I forced a smile upon my face. right? Lumingon siya sa `kin tapos kay Jean. Ah yeah? At ikaw ang ama! Sumasakit `yung puson ko. Gusto ko siyang sakalin.
wife? You ve never bested me before what now? Inilahad nito ang kamay. Tinatawag ko na si Darna at si Batman. I opened my mouth t o shout at him. I ll call you. Were they together? Obviously. Muntik na akong mapaubo. By God. no Lucifer and Michael met. Sino `yan? In fairness yummy ha. The guy smirked at him. The two men looked astounded. Vince let s go. Afraid of the little woman? Oh The tough Vincent Gonzalo was afraid of his. Bodyguards. Oh. Bulong niya. Julian gave him a mocking smile.aligpas sa pansin ko magaling talagang pumili ang kapatid ko. Julian I Vincent may pupuntahan pa tayo `di ba? My twin. Bumalik ako sa tabi ni Julian.. Marahan akong lumingon. I forgot I was stepping into the great Juli an Sunico s lair. THIRTEEN Was it the end of the world? Was it a clash of good and evil? Kung alam niyo lan g. Talaga bang nasa pamilya na namin ang sinungaling? Or we were just made t o be a good actress? I felt a caress on my back. myself and I. If you only knew Julian. Then Jean winked at me! My jaw almost dropped. I was wishing the floor would cave in and ea t me whole. Vince `yung tyan ko! Jean sobbed and cupped her stomach gently. Jean nette. We re not yet through Sunico. For years. What the hell are you doing here? Julian stepped forward in anger. Anong pangako iyon? Napatingin ako sa kakambal ko. Conceited jerks! To our astonishment Vince started laughing.Kung sa bagay. he knew. That took Vince out of his reverie. I should have known. More like plead ed. 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. He even courted Tricia. Don t worry about her. Lumapit agad a ko sa kakambal ko. Napangiwi ako at nag-aalalang tinignan ang hit a niya kung may sign ng dugo. Jean Bulong ko at hinila ko siya ng onti palayo. But he s responsible. Ang sarap hampasin ng mga i nsensitive na lalaki sa mundo. Mabilis nitong niyakap si Jean at binuhat. I was an idiot. Jean? Napalingon ito sa `ming dalawa. Jean wagged the man s arm. Bigla akong natakot. This one was oozing sex appeal. Iumpog ang ulo sa pader para matauhan. Vince grinned maliciously at me. Foul `yun no. Pati ata si Sailormoon. Vince ma y be a bastard son of a bi tch. Wife? Hinawakan ito ng mariin ni Jean. dinadasalan ko na ang lahat ng santo. I play fair. She was just shaking her head. Halata ko ang takot sa mga mata niya. No.. Gusto kong lumubog sa kinatatayuan. He laughed humorlessly. I wasn t that bad to wish for her to have a miscarriage. Pero wala talaga! I could only save me. lagi na lang siya n akikipagkompitensya sa `kin. Hindi ko na kailangang maging genius para malamang they weren t in good terms. You promised me She whispered. He wasn t handsome but he was sexy. Gusto ko silang pagumpugin dalawa. Ngayon ko lang na-re alize. Niyakap ko siya. Natatakpan ko siya mula sa mga lalaki kaya hindi nila narin ig. Julian! I screamed in panic. Pero tinabig lang niya `ko. Jean took his hand. He smirked. Julian Hinawakan ko ang braso niya. I opened my mouth to say goodbye. Sasakalin talaga kita `pag tumakas ka pa! Jean honey. M ay tatlong lalaki sa likod nila ang dumating out of nowhere. Vince looked at my sister in mixture of shock and hor ror. Jeannie I won t go back to Julia n. kung i-seseduce . Ever. why don t you tell our lover boy here what we re doing here. Pati ako hindi malaman ang gagawin. Then she purred groaned aloud. So who s Michael? Definitely not Julian. I don t know if I s hould be thankful he didn t get to seduce my wife. Hey The guy s mouth twitched sarcastically.
He nodded. praise the lord. F rom the looks of it. Talaga? Wow. Julian where are you goi The driver already went home. Sabihin mo kay Jean ibalato na lang sa `kin `yung isa. He took my hand and gave me keys. He put his two fingers together. Halleluja. Walang modo talaga! Anong akala niya sa `kin? Bata? May curfew? At saka I gritted my teeth. Pabalewalang sabi nito. Nauna na `kong umuwi kay CM. Very observant lang. Muntik ko ng hindi masalo. Tapos ipinilantik niya `yung kamay. ang dami mong naitutulong eh. Libre mo `ko ha. Gross. Y uck. nagsinungaling na buntis. What! There were so many untold stories here. Ngayon pa lang bumabawi. Hindi ko siya pinapansin. Then he ordered another beverage. I opened my mouth to scream at him. You have the same features. ahem. Tapos iisa ng tatay paglabas non. He hissed and turned his back on me. Siya itong nag-aya aya tapos ako manlilibre?! Mahiya ka naman sa lalamunan mo. Buti ka pa friend. Sabi nila the Gonzalos were bankrupt by the Sunicos. I stared at him stupidly. business magnate. Sabihin ko na lang kaya? I was getting frustrated. Salamat ha. You didn t tell me they re together? Hindi pa rin talaga ako pinapabayaan ni God my phone started ringing. Really? Biglang lumaki ang mata nito. Which means y ou re going to live forever as her. Pasabunot na itinukod ko ang kamay sa round table. So she s pregnant? With Julian? CM sipped his Caffe Mocha. Pero kung kung mabubuntis naman ako . CM? I love you! Julian glared at me. CM just laughed at me. alam mo na `yun. pero `wag mo `kong sisihin kung bakit nasa headlines ka bukas. I smiled sheepi shly. I guess so? I told him everythi ng there was. Parang ayaw mag-process ng brain ce lls ko. Babae. no? Teka nga nag hmm na ba kayo? Bumilog ang mga mata nito at lumapit maigi ang mukha sa `kin. Akin na lang siya! Hindi si ya magugutom sa `kin promise. Tumaas lang `yung kilay niya. But because . Delicadeza na lang `di ba? Ano `yun `yung mga anak naming mag-pinsan na magkapa tid pa? Ang sagwa `di ba? Tama. Ay. mukhang hindi mo na talaga maibabalik si Jean. At isipin mo na lang kambal kayo. I was addlebrained. Napatingin ang isan g babae dito na kanina pa titig na titig kay CM. Ano? Inis kong sabi. My blush intensified. Ang slow mo naman Jeannie! `Yung tentenenententen. Anong hmm? My brain wasn t functioning well. Landi. I don t have money! Isasangla ko `tong relo mo! I shouted after him. See? Ibinigay niya sa `yo si Julian. `Yung ano Ngumuso ito. Feel na feel nito. He shrugged nonchalantly. Kalaba ng mortal ng mga Sunico. He was a chic. Nag-ano. for sure mukha ding kambal. Not because I was afraid of the dragon.niya `ko. Hindi ako ipokrita para sabihing hindi ako mate-tempt. Napaatras naman ako. Tapos nanlaki ang mga mata na tumingi n sa `kin. You should be at home before seven. He smiled fishily. I have to be pregnant. Parang kinikiliting tumili ito. What s this? Obvious ba? Susi ng sasakyan. Sa kanya si Vince which leaves Brad alone. Starbucks. Then you ll scream at the peak JU LIAAAAN. I didn t know that. Magka-tonsilitis ka sana. And she s with Vincent Gonzalo. CM if Jean won t come back. Magkape ka na nga lang para kabahan ka naman sa mga pinagsasasabi mo. Tinanggal nito a ng rolex wrist watch at ibinato sa `kin. hindi halatang tsismosa. pinatay ng asawa. bongga alam mo naman tayong m agaganda Nahirinan ako dun. m arunong naman akong tumingin ng oras no. Sabihin mo na. Inirapan ito ni CM. He even demonstrated the expressions.
Hanapin mo ang sarili mo blah. `Yun naman ang ginawa ko. Ilang araw na ding hindi ako natutulog ng maayos. Ayokong mukhang stressed out. I knew that there were endless problems but I stil l wanted to sur vive. emotion al stress. I wasn t so sure. FOURTEEN Ito ang listahan ng mga kasalanan at kabutihan mo Was he serious? Sa sa langit na ba ako? I mean. . pain. Pati ba ang pagmumura counted na din? You can now take her. My eyes were open wide. Right minus wrong. Paano kung mas marami ang kasalanan ko? Eh `d i may utang pa `ko? I groaned. Nakalimutan kong mag-slow down sa inter section.the princess also needed her precious rest. `Wag m una. Little did I know that St. Hindi ba sabi nila kung mamamatay ka parang may mga scene kang makikita sa buhay mo? Mamamatay na ba `ko? God hindi pa talaga `ko ready. Hindi pa `ko prepared makita si San Pedro at saka God sabi nga ni CM hindi ko pa alam ang feeling ng nag-tetentenenententen. If only I had known. The shards of glasses splintered on the side. I star ted sobbing quietly. Ayaw nila akong papasukin sa heaven! Kasama si Julian. Pinilit ko namang maging mabait. I drove faster than I should have. It was suffocating me. Plus one. Meaning good minus bad? What the fu ck. Anong ibig niyong sabihin? Anak katawan lang ang iniiwan sa lupa hindi ang common sense. I was pulled deeper into a pit less hole of nothingness. blah. My head bumped the side window. Were you telling me that I shouldn t have followed those novels I so much liked? Sabi kasi nila mag pakatotoo. Mababangga ako! Pilit kong iniiwas ang sasakyan. Sana isinama na rin nil a `yung driver na nag-overspeeding. At may biglang safety air balloon na lumobo sa harapan ko. I cried out. I stared incredulously at the shining bald head of St. Magiging demonyo nga ako? Dahil virgin pa `ko. Then I ende d up bumping a big trunk of a tree. magkaroon ng maraming pimples. I should have seduced him sooner. Hindi pa ako nagbabayad sa mga pinagkakautangan ko sa New York. God I have so many unfinished businesses. Wala sa loob ko. Peter was also a philosopher. My heart hammered loudly. Hindi ko pa nabibigyan ng apo sina mommy. It w as a good thing Jean and I both know how to drive. Argh . I was feeling drowsy. It was getting hot. P eter. It was too quickly. I sighed. I lived my life spontaneously. My eyes opened wide. I knew I cal led Julian s name. and a lot more blended together. ayokong lumaki ang eyebags ko. Syempre. I felt the impact of it. blah. The impact. Jeannie Jeannie Did they know my name? Argh. I was shocked when an overspeeding c ar on the side tipped its way toward me. sa langit ba ako pupunta? Para kasing hindi naman ` to heaven eh. No! Ibababa nila `ko sa impyerno.
Napakapit ako bigla sa puson ko. Anyway. `Yung natatakpan ang mukha ko. He was worried! I smiled eagerly as the doctor gave his prognosis. What ever. maiisip mong kailan mo din palang i-express ang nararamdaman mo sa kanila. parang hindi tot oo. What are you watching? I got engrossed. Hindi ko alam kung bakit ito ang ipinahiram sa `kin ng hitad kong bestfriend. He stared at me incredulously. I love you daddy. Bulong niya. my Leonardo Dicaprio s yummy. My smile froze in place. Are you okay? Natatarantang hinawakan niya ang buhok ko. Whichever comes first. My parents excused themselves. Please. Totoo naman ah. Is she alright? My God. mommy. Wala ako ng maramdamang sakit. Ngumiti ang doctor sa mommy ko. No ribs broken. As soon as the doctor gave me his promise I persuade Julian to take me home. I couldn t help it. Is she having a miscarriage? Sigaw ulit nito. just pretend the babe s okay. Tsk. Guilty ako. God. ibalato ni yo na po sa `kin `to. higa. she s not even in the brink of danger. Oh. Gusto kong matawa na matakot kay Jul ian. Na para bang alam niya gagawin kung may s ugat nga ako! Hindi naman siya ang doctor. Sure ako dun. Please Julian. I have no time to explain doc.Jeannie Jeannie I slowly opened my eyes. Wal a naman talaga akong sugat. Grabe. She s okay except for How about the baby? He cut him off frantically. death? Napan giwi ako. I don t know. Disoriented pa `ko. The doctor frowned e ven more. My jaw became slacked. I moaned aloud and curled into a fet al position. Actually. Sunico. Kinuha ang stethoscope. Tulog. Kung hindi pa siya madaan sa santong dasalan. I hissed at Julian. Naii nggit tuloy ako sa gumanap na Juliet. there s no bab Kumapit ako sa braso ng doctor. basa ng novels. may DVD version na ang Romeo and Juliet . Nakakokonsensya na ng a ako. It was as if Julian was possessed by some good spirit. No nothing. I bit my lower lip sa sobrang gigil. ang katawan ko. Ahmm free shopping spree at S. Parang nataranta ang doctor sa galit nito. He frowned at me. Then I blinked thrice. It s a matter of life and . Naiiyak na niyakap ako ng daddy ko. `Yung winner na smile ng close-up. Sorry San Pedro. Doc. nood tv. Tapos super bait niya. When the door closed I took the doctor s hand. Speaking of the devil. I tsked. how I missed my family. Then I saw m y dad. Papatayin ako ni Julian. In all fairness. My mommy was crying silentl y. He was skimming every part of me. ang mukha ko. I want my mommy. The doctor frowned. kain. Baby? Mr. Minsan. Malaki utang na loob ko sa inyo doc. mmkay? Anyway. for his sake. damn! I thought she s okay. sa santong paspasan na l ang. My nai ls dug deeper into his arm. Biglang bumukas ang pinto. Tapos . She was crying. Awww Pareho silang napatingin sa `kin. Mall! I smiled charmingly. Nag-movie marathon ako. blame my sister f or giving me this idea. There I saw my mom. Parang na-guil ty naman ako. I winced. baka ako pa ang lasunin ni Julian. Saka na tayo magbilangan. What the fu ck s happening to my wife? Sumisigaw na sab i ni Julian. Where s Julian? The door burst open. Excuse me Mr. Please. Call mom my Parang hesitant pa itong tumakbo palabas. Sunico there s no Oh my saving grace. parang h indi niya nagegets! Naiiyak na `ko sa gigil. May ininject bang pampamanhid? She s out of danger. What if it was too late? He smil ed at me and patted my head like the way he used to. Only a small wo und on her forehead. Mumultuhin ako ni Angko. At saka niya lang siguro napansin na nandun nga ang doctor. Ambad ko. Pero pero nakiki ta ko na si mommy! I was panting so hard. Iniisip ba niyang iinom din ako ng lason para lang makasama ko si Julian? The wo rst is. I whispered brokenly.
They were kissing underwater! I wished Leonardo would kiss me like th There s a rumor that he s gay. I d tell you. N abitin ako nung tinawag ng nursemaid si Juliet. I wondered why men turned away when things get mushy or better yet emotional.niyakap ko `yung unan ng mahigpit. we were both silently watching. I gasped so very loud than the first time. Hindi ko napansin na nilagay niya `yung braso niya sa likod ng ulo ko. Then they fell into the water again when they declared their undying love. I groaned aloud. Nakatanga talaga ako. My mobile started ringing. Gee. Tapos sa swimming pool scene. Pasalamat siya kung yummy si Leonardo DiCaprio mas h ot para sa `kin si Johnny Depp. I shivered delightedly. Nagpapakipot na naman.Goodnes s. sig e na. I leaned my head in the cove of his neck. Mayamaya lang. thanks. Excuse me? Ayoko ng pakinggan pa kung ano na namang panlalait ang maririnig ko kay Julian. Akalain mo `yun. O. I snuggled close to Julia n. I forgot all about our honeymoon. honeymoon na nila. I was having kinky thoughts. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street na lang ang panoorin natin. Fast-learner kaya ako. Laway mo tumutulo Julian swiped an invisible saliva down the side of my lips. Then you re the one who s stupid! Had I really said that? Yeah. I couldn t help but sigh pleasurably. Parang feeling ko a ko ang naaatat na hatakin si Leonardo at papakin. Napalunok ako. Despite her in nocent face was a great k-i-s-s-e-r. Hindi ko pinansin ang pandidiri sa mukha niya. Alam mo `yun my hair on the nape stood on ends. Inis na dumiretso na `ko ng upo. She kept telling no. He smil ed evilly. Umusod ako palayo. Give Julian the credit to ruin my fantasy. Lumayo-layo si Juliet. I d hug CM when we meet again. ugh eating each other in the pool. May reunion nga pala tayo. Then I sighed. Juliet was leading Romeo into a dance kis s. while she kept moving her lips to and fro against Romeo s. aber? I snorted. Sus. Siya si Rosaline! Siya `yung first forgotten love . Siguro kahit ako din naman. Wh en in fact. Tuwang-tuwa talaga ako sa palabas na `to. Romeo is stupid. I gasped aloud. Plasma ang tv. Kesyo mali daw `yun. Then they were like kissing. Naalala ko bigla k ami ni Julian. Na para bang sinasabing habulin mo `ko . hell move a little bit closer baby. basta siya magtuturo sa `kin. they were always the one who resorted to cuddling. Napansin ko pero kunwari wala lang pero deep inside I was like. One advantage of being rich. Naka-home base kaya! Ayan oh. Care ko. Sosyal. Ingos na tinabig ko `yung kamay niya. I was imagining that Julian was Romeo and Juliet was of course me. Napatitig talaga ako sa eksena sa party. Inggit lang siya wala sa kanya `yung atens yon ko. Dumila pa `ko sa kanya. At si Tricia. basta gwapo si Romeo. Siguro nahiya lang siya so for his sake I inched closer. Natuwa ako kasi mu ka talagang inosente `yung gumanap na Juliet. I wasn t very particular with the chin itos. dinaig pa `ko. Hindi ko gusto `yung ngi sing `yun ni Julian. right stupid. His voic e became husky. Then a sm ile slowly inched its way to the corner. FIFTEEN Make love to me . Titig na titig ako. Mayamaya lang Julian sat on t he bed beside me. if I know kung anong bawal siyang masarap. Tsk. I said he s stupid. Hello? Jean Rose Leviste? Irene here. At bakit? Ni hindi man lang naka-home base kay Juliet bago ipainom `yung lason.
Hindi ako. His lips twitched on the side. Last night ko na `to. Angko was staring down at me. Hindi ako. When the man swayed me back and forth I felt his rock hard body poking againt mine. Wanna ride with me boyo? Parang may sariling isip ang bibig ko. Angko! Jean? Uncle Bert? I gritted my teeth. was I? He s got gray eyes. He was s tanding there. This. Marahan akong umupo. NOW. What was happening? Parang umiikot an g paligid ko. Galit na binalibag ko ang pinto. This is not you. Not. And happy. I waved at him. Kailangan pa bang ulit-ulitin niya `yun? Alam ko. I wiped the threatening tears away. Ano `yun? Insenso seryoso ba tala ga si Angko? Kinilabutan ako. Grabe lakas ng tam a sa `kin ng martini. Ang sama talaga ng ugali ni Julian! Ni hindi man l ang binuksan ang lamp shade bago umalis. I would dance the night away like it would be my last time. I felt my eyes widening. Gee I rocked my hips back in forth to the rhythm. Out of the blue. Umiling ito. You.What? You heard me make love to me. Did you know what he did? Nilagpasan niya lang ako. Lumingon lingon ak o. Me? I slithered my body against him. Is. Goodness. Fine. Don t hurt him. Or Was it me? Then ther e was Angko. Hindi ako. Someone tapped my shoulder from beh I screamed. Masyado ka ng madaming naiinom. Ilang shots pa lang. What the hell were those dreams all about? there was a woman with no face. I didn t know a mere whisper in the ear could feel ticklish. You promised me! She was sweating coldly. Madilim ang buong paligid. Pero hindi ba `yun naman dapat ang maramdaman ko? Hindi ako ito. My FIRST TIME. is it a yes or a no? No. He grabbed my arm. Napaupo ako bigla at napa-sign of the cross. I wasn t that drunk. Para akong nakuryente. Humahabol ata sa buwanang dalaw ko. who wouldn t? No wonder Julian got dibs on you. You promised me! You promised me you won t hurt Julian. I m a big time loser. No. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. Sorry ahm. And sexy Kaya nga tinawag itong bar `di ba? I stupidly c raned my neck. What s gotten into you? Masamang espiritu. He shook his head. good morning? G morning. Hell yeah. I gasped a little. Seryoso ba si Angko? Minumulto nga ako nito! I was trembling violently. Not that it was unusal. Hindi kaya nagkakamali si Angko ng pagpaparamdaman? I absent-mindedly touched my stomach. More more My God. Magsakit-sakitan kaya ako ulit? Bak a sakaling bumait pa siya. Feeling ko ang dumi-dumi ko. I bit my lower lip then I sniffed. Sino ba? Parang naririnig ko pa rin ang boses ni Angko. Yes. Oh boy. I bet you re feeling fvcking hot? And dir ty. Parang gusto niya na talaga akong isama sa dako paroon kung hindi ko gagawin ang gusto niya. Angko knelt down the side of the bed and touched my stomach. . like a cat. I won t effin waste my time on somebody who s not worth it. Sinabi ko iyon na parang nagdedemand lang ng fla vor ng chupachups. Ahm I m suppose d to be drunk. Tapos lumapit siya sa `kin. I couldn t be m istaken. I was actually purring. So. Nakita ko siya kanina paalis. Kinakarma na ba talaga `ko? Hindi na `ko nakatulog. Hell. You re drunk. A helluva way to say it. Have you seen Julian? I shook my head.
Are you okay? I nodded. Tapos nakita ko ang isang make-shift altar. Picture ni Angko! I almost groaned aloud. It was as if he were smiling at me. More like taunting me. Angko nas a heaven ka na ba? Lagot ka kay papa God. Do you want me to continue lying to yo ur grandson? I whispered. Para akong baliw na kinakausap ang larawan niya. What did you say? Ahm nothing. I smiled up at him. Anong meron uncle? Then I heard a loud giggle. I closed my eyes in frustration. Imo Jean! Dyos ko pina pahirapan mo ba talaga `ko? Gigil na lumingon ako kay Tantan, Celine, Aunt Risan at sa iba pa. They were here! Didn t Julian tell you? It was Angko s birthday today. We had a family dinner. And I d tell you. Julian was sulky and withdrawn. Hindi si ya makausap ng mommy niya, eh di ako pa kaya? He just kept shrugging his shoulde r whatever I asked of him. Minsan nga gusto ko ng ibato sa kanya `yung pinggan. My phone vibrated. One text message. Meet me up here in Butter Diner s now. I ll only be waiting for about an hour. Sender: Kambal ko. I opened my mouth in astonishment. Grabe, ang demanding! I couldn t just I gritted my teeth. Kailangan ko siyang makausap. Uncle I have to ran an errand for my twin. She s ahm here in the country. They all agreed. Wala naman silang sinabing masama d ahil tapos na rin naman ang dinner. At isa pa one valid reason `yun para makalay o kay Tantan. I winced. Julian I m going. I looked him in the eyes. At ang ginawa niya: He just shrugged at me! As if I could go anywhere for all he cared in the world. Nakakahiya naman sa `kin, ni hindi man lang ako tinanong kung san ako pupunta o kung anong oras ako uuwi. I glared at him. Mamaya, I d give him a Cold War. `Wag niya kong papansinin! I wou ldn t talk to him. EVER. Jean and I had a long talk. I was getting tired of everything. I sighed and took a step or two on the landing of the first floor. Tapos nakasalubong ko siya, he was holidng something long and big covered with black cloth. He just walked pas t me as if I weren t there. Ni hindi man lang nagtanong kung buhay pa `ko. Malay b a niya kung ghost lang akong gumagala gala. I wouldn t wonder now why Julian never saw the difference. He was always immersed in his agony. Masyado siyang seryoso sa buhay. Where are you going? He just waved his hand. Gigil na tumakbo ako. He was putting his things on his C adillac two-seater convertible. He didn t even ask me if I could join him. Even fo r decency s sake! Walang sabi-sabing umupo ako sa passenger seat. Don t ask me what am I doing. Sasama ako. Period. I crossed my arms over my chest. I want to be alone. Napaka-insensitive mo. Hindi mo ba naiintindihan `yun? I gasped. Me? Insensitive? My God. Talk about morons here. I zipped my mouth. Ba ka kung ano pa ang maisip kung sabihin sa kanya. He drove for miles and miles. T umigil kami sa bandang Tagaytay. I think? It was overlooking the Taal lake. Geez ers, why didn t he tell me? Nakapagdala man lang sana ako ng sketchpad. Even from here the lampposts lit the view, overlooking the lake. Ang ganda. `Yun nga lang. Medyo nakakatakot kasi deserted siya at gabi na. Iba din ang trip nitong si Jul ian. What s that? Deadma. Telescope? Deadma. I clapped my hands. Magii-stargazing tayo? Parang balewalang tumingala siya at sumilip na sa malaking telescope niya. Tayo. That was my operative word. Mali, mali. Siya lang pala! I was like a ghost. Inis na sinipa ko ang gulong ng mamahaling convertible niya. Paulit-ulit. Nakakainis
ka. Alam mo ba `yun? Sigaw ko sa sasakyan. Akala mo kung sino ka laging magaling. Lumakad ito. At nilagpasan siya! Kumuha ng sandwich mula sa basket. Wow. He wolf ed down the food and got himself busied again. Na para bang wala ako dito! At si ya lang ang tao sa mundo. Napakawalang hiya mo. You re a beast! I hate you! I hate you! You don t care about ot hers feelings. Sana tubuan ka ng kulugo. Ng pigsa sa sa ilong! Sana pumangit ka. Sa na sana I was already panting from exhaustion. Sumasakit na rin ang toes ko kakasip a. Ang tibay naman ng gulo. Bakit hindi ka minumulto ni Angko? Parang hindi ka pi nalaking maayos I felt a tight grip on my wrist. It was a vise-like that I thought my blood stop ped flowing to my hand. I was looking straight into his eyes. Namimilog ang mga tsinitong mga mata nito. He gritted his teeth. Ni hindi ko alam kung dapat ba ako ng matakot. How many times had I seen him this mad? This furious? You don t know what you re talking about. Angko loves me Ikaw? What do you know? It was a mere whisper but it sounded like thunder in my ears. You got me hitched into t his this mess. If his eyes were daggers I could have been dead right now. Lagi mo na lang akong sinasaktan. He smiled at me. Evilly. Tapos itinulak niya `ko. I tumbled on the passenger seat of the Cadillac. Nakabu kas na ang pinto noon. Nasaktan ang siko ko sa pagtama sa manibela. Pausog ako n g pausog hanggang sa makarating na `ko sa driver s seat. Ang mga paa ko ay nakalap at sa passenger s seat. He took my shoes off. My eyes were so wide to the extent t hat it hurt. I was like a cornered rat. Nowhere to go. He was kneeling, my legs were trapped between his knees. Julia Pilit kong binubuksa n ang pinto sa likod ko. When I flailed, my arms accidentally bumped onto the ho rn. His mouth cracked a maligned smile. Sabihin ko kayang meron ako? Pero tapos n a period ko. At saka he knew that pregnant wives don t bleed. Go ahead make some noise. Habang ang mukha niya ay palapit ng palapit sa `kin. No! Lagi kitang sinasaktan? Now He murmured against my cheek. I kept pushing his chest. Ang lakas ng tibok ng puso ko, hindi kaya naririnig din niya iyon? I ll give you pl easure, darling. My lawfully wedded and bedded wife. Nanlaki ang mga mata ko. Was he serious? Had he gone mad? He cupped my cheek and pulled me closer. This wasn t my ideal wedding night! I was going to scream that. But his mouth was there already claiming what he thought was rightfully his. I could feel him all over me. Against me. Julia n His kisses turned soft. Not the way he always used to. Not rough and forceful . This time it was a mating of two souls. Kissing like there d be no tomorrow. He rained tiny kisses on the side of my face, on my jawlines. He was too big for th e limited space provided by the Cadillac. My mind went fuzzy. Were we going to r eally do it here? Out in the open? He bit my lower lip and nibbled on it like a candy he couldn t get enough of. I op ened my eyes and saw the stars above. The sky was so dark but the stars were twi nkling brightly. I even thought it winked at me. I felt the cold wind againt my skin. He opened the buttons one by one. Skin skin i nch by inch uncovered. I gripped the car seat tight. So tight my knuckles were w hite yet my cheeks were burning hot. I sucked in my breath. My lungs were starti ng to lack the oxygen it needed. Was it suffocation? I need you There were no love words only the brutal truth. Had the wind only carried it to my ears? Or was my imagination playing tricks on me? I was hesitant to open my e yes. It might not be true. Ganon ata talaga ka-tanga ang main-love. You d wish upo n a star. You willed yourself to believe. Masakit. Because need was different fr om love. I breathed in and out. Here on the car seat. It was wild. Hot. Spontaneous. And scary. We were like teenagers on our first da te. There was the thrill of being caught. He stood before me naked as the day he was born. Sometimes words weren t needed. A t least now, he was loving me. I couldn t breathe. He was touching me everywhere.
There. Here. Again and again. Oh, lord rape na ba talaga ito? He outlined my shoulder blades then down... down to my flat stomach. We kissed u rgently. I heard the unsnapping of jeans. I wasn t so sure if I even helped him to ok it off. Hindi kami gaanong makakilos. Then he started chuckling on my neck. H e was heavy againt me. Hindi niya alam kung paano `pagkasyahin ang sarili niya. Plinano niya siguro ito? Oh, boy he should have brought a bulkier vehicle. Then f rom afar we heard the mewling of My hair stood on ends as his breath fanned my nec k. Was I really ready for this? Was I ready to go heaven? I shut my eyes as I gasped. He drove deep into me. He stilled against me. We were one. Tumaas ang mukha nito. Sana hindi ko na lang nakita ang mga mata niya. His foreh ead was beaded with sweat. You lied to me. Gone was the passion. He took me in anger. I kept pushing me to get off me. Para akong mahahati sa gitna sa sobrang sakit.
It hurt like hell. I couldn t take it him anymore. I fainted. SIXTEEN The first time is usually, if not always, painful. Para iyong karayom na pinilit mong ipasok ang yarn. Pero sa kaso ko, it really hurt like hell. He took me in anger with no amount of gentleness. Parang dalawang metal na nagkiskis na hindi man lang nilagyan ng grasa. Nagasgas. I felt sore all over. I slowly opened my e yes. I wanted to cry and tell him how awful it was. Pero bakit ko siya bibigyan ng satisfaction at malaman niyang nanalo siya? Sinaktan niya `ko. Not just physically but emotionally scraped. Walang pakialam na nagbihis ako sa harap niya. Ano pa bang mawawala sa `kin? I f elt so violated. Why did you do it? He whispered angrily. His jeans were hanging low on his hips. Ni hindi nito nagawang i-snap iyon. He wasn t wearing his shirt. I smirked. Sa likod ng gwapong anyo niya ay nagtatago ang napakasamang ugali. He was an angel in di sguise. A devil s advocate. He was pacing to and fro frantically. Galit na sinuklay nito ang buhok. Why?! He shouted furiously. I was up to the last button when he turned around and faced me. Angry lines were visible. Nagngangalit ang ugat nito sa leeg sa pagpipigil. Well, I didn t care if he d murder me now. I didn t care if he
he punched the rearview mirror! I almost jumped in surprise. Almost. Nakita kong nagdurugo ang knuckles nito. `D i ba sinabi kong wala akong pakialam? WALA. I blindly sat on the passenger seat. Para akong tanga. Tulala. I heard him hissing beside me. Gusto kong sumigaw. Gusto kong tumalon sa bangin. Gusto kong matulog at hindi na magising. I closed my eyes. Malay ko ba, baka mangyari `yun. Baka pakinggan ako ni God at maawa siya sa `kin. Ramdam ko pa rin ang basa sa baba ko. Idemanda ko kaya siya? I would scream I m a battered wife of Julian Sunico . May makinig kaya sa `kin? I didn t want to be a hypocrite. I wanted to kill him. Sunugin siya ng unti-unti. Like what happened to the cursed witches before. Would there be justice in killi ng him?
The he called my name. Jeannie. You know what. kung batukan kaya kita riyan? Bakit mo ba kasi ginawa `yun? What wo uld I do now? We can t just trade places again. Why did you do that? bulong nito. Pabalibag na binuksan ko ang closet. Tinitigan ko ang leather seat. I wished we ve never met. He s he s mine now. I smiled mockingly. I winced. Sana sana sinabi mo na lang sa `kin una pa man. my God. Hinawakan nito ang kamay ko. It should have been Jean s. Ni hindi ko man lang napansin. Humarap ako sa kanya. I took my perso nal things and left those that weren t mine. I shook my head. Wala na `kong balak bumalik kay Julian.Ayoko siyang tignan. Was it that t . I didn t turn around. Butter Diner s. what was a piece of flesh for a Sunico like him ? Kapirasong laman lang iyon. I got attracted to you that first time. Was she talking in Latin? Parang sinabi niyang a lien ang nakabuntis sa kanya. Baka kasi siya ang nawalan ng pinaka-iingatang dangal. The dream. magpanggap siyang wala ako. Morning. I I gasped. He called me four times. Parang hind i nito nararamdaman ang pag-agos ng dugo habang nagmamaneho ito. So innocent. Para akong naguluhan. WHAT?! Seryoso? You you lied to us. We re both devils. To me? To Julian? You wanted him to father your baby? Oh my. She was my twin. I can t tell you everything. You look so vulnerable and trusting. Pero parang wala naman akong choice. At galit na binalibag ko ang pintuan pasara. He didn t even bother putting his shirt on. Ayo ko. Talo? We re even. Sorry sorry eh. God. Nothing more. Before I knew it he threw my underwear with brownish stain on it! I hate you. Nasa garahe na kami. Oh. Oh. We can live like this forever. Una pa man talaga never naman akin `t o. Ayoko ng sabihing bakit siya ba ang nasaktan? Siya ba ang nawa lan ng virginity? Kung sa bagay. Everything. Kahit isa wala. He wasn t looking at me. What did he want this time? Humarap ako sa kanya. I thought I wouldn t forgive my sister for what she d done. Hindi ako `yun Julian. Are you mad? My baby it s not Julian s. I smiled at him. Baka hindi ko siya matantya. Pinigilan ko ang kamay kong masakal ang kapatid ko. I thought she wouldn t do this. when I first saw you crying at the hotel. Nothing less. Tahimik na bumaba ako ng sasakyan. I heard him swore. Jean what is this all about? Jeannie I m sorry. I cried a river last night. Bayad na `ko sa `yo. Hindi ako kumibo. Sige. no. Sana inutang mo na lang sa `kin ang pambili ng bahay niyo. Was he immune t o pain already? At least they had something in common now. Yes. aren t we? Ang laki ng talo ko. He hissed. I swallowed an imaginary lump in my throat. Ours was a marriage made in hell.
He cursed floridly. I bet he was ready to wring our ne cks. Bakit ba? Eh. Nakita ko ang masamang tingin ni Julian ng dumaan si Jean. She went missing before your wedding day. Ma am. I m so Don t fuccking say sorry to me. It was the empty glass. There the devil stood. Julian I m Jeannette. 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. And the baby s not yours. You re not that expensive. Bigla itong tumuwid ng tayo. I promised Vincent. Uuwi na `ko sa `tin. Sinampal ko siya. We both jumped in surprise when I heard a loud crash. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. Hinila ko ang kamay niya at kinuha ang clutch bag. Parang dagang tumalilis si Jean. he was damned furious. . yes. I replaced her. But tears were starting to pool in my eyes. Bakit ka nagbabalot ng damit? Tinabig ko `yung kamay niya. He frowned. I muttered. It won t work this time. Ayoko ng magpanggap na ikaw! Kung gus to mo bumalik ka dito at No! Iling ko. If you want you can tell Julian the whole fucccking tru What fuccccking truth are you talking about? We both turned at the door. Ayoko na Jean. Becau se we just met only a few times after the the Pikot. What else was there? He was betrayed. I couldn t take the lies anymore. At itinaas ang ulo na parang sa reyna. Umuwi na tayo Jean. Naiiyak ako habang naliligo naalala ko lahat ng pag-uusap namin. Wala namang gumalaw non. Narinig ba niya? What truth. We looked down.hen? `Di ba ang mga kambal ay may kakaibang koneksyon? Jeannie please No! I couldn t take it. Pareho kaming pareho kaming Pero Jeannie hindi pwede. Nakita ko ang galit sa mga mata niya. At wala kayong magagawa ni mommy. Ayokong isipin kung ano ang napakalaking kasalanan niya sa `kin. Jeannie listen to me. Nakita kong may benda ang kam ao niya. Niloko. The corner of his lips twitched. You owe me five million minus the interest which is your purity. I mean hindi niya napansin na iba ka. And boy. I walked past him. Inirapan ko siya. We ll tell you Julian about thi s. darling. I looked up. I whispered defiantly. My heart went wild. I didn t want to cry. Do you think your virgi nity caused millions? I gasped at his crudeness. At hind i kita ibabalik sa mga magulang mo hangga t hindi mo nababayaran iyon. if I know ganyang ganyan din arte ko sa may hospital. Julian didn t know me that well. She suddenly winced and moaned. Bigla siyang umupo at hinawakan ang ty an. damn you! Sigaw nito na rinig ata ng buong subdivision. Bigla niyang hinarang ang bulto sa harapan ko. He looked fierce. I blamed her. Nakita ko sa likod niya si si Jean? What are you doing here? Not that I was blaming her but but Hell. I stared fixedly at him. May bisita po kayo. Stop it. What the hell are you talking about? Napatingin ito kay Jean. iba ako. I walked like a zombie. Para akong bagong ano panganak. Hindi na pwede. You are you are She s your real wife Julian.
Tapos nagdrawing ako ng dalawang sungay. I erased half part. hours. I was fuming mad. Kung legal lang ang krimen sa mundo baka ilang bese s na itong namatay. Tapos biglang bumukas `yung pinto. Without clothes on. O kaya pahihirapan ko muna ng unti-unti. I was startin g to hate him. At ang hawak niya isang malaking tinidor. Of course. Hinila niya `ko pataas. given the fact that he owned me. ako ako ang ikinulong niya at gusto niyang magsuffer. This was legal and notarized. Parang may kulang. Wala na lang siyang ginawang mabuti kung hindi paiyakin at sakta n ako. I busied myself for how many seconds minutes I pouted and made face. Kahit naman f ine arts ang kinuha ko alam ko naman kung anong ibig sabihin ng kontrata. Mali mali. Was I that bad to blame my sister? Pero nasa katwiran naman ako. I brushed my tears angrily. I wanted to kill him right this minute. I cringed in pain. Did he thought I was a real bummer? Hindi ba at siya nga ang naloko ko? So he was the one who s stupid. Bakit ba hindi eh. His handsome face and his body. Oh. Ang pinakababoy sa lahat ng b aboy. Then I drew his body again . I took the papers and read it. Hell. Makapal iyon. Na aalilain ng demonyo. Tumayo ka dyan. I wrinkled my no se and closed my eyes. . He was a cad.SEVENTEEN I was pacing to and fro. A chauvinist. An o ba! Pilit kong tinatanggal ang kamay niya sa braso ko. Sh!t. I drew Julian s face. Ganon ba talaga ang mga bida? Laging api? Bulong ko sa sarili ko. I smiled nastily. My eyes squinted in anger. Mah abang buntot. Inirapan ko siya. I bit my lower lip until it bled. Pabalewalang may ibinagsak siya sa kama. I was the ang el with a halo sent from up above. Puro papeles. If it was an y consolation on every one s part Julian let go of Jean. Hindi na siya naawa sa kagandahan ko. I glared at him standing like he owned the world. Sign this. Kahit magkita pa kami sa husgado! I took my sketch pad and sat on the floor. What s this? Nakakapagbasa ka naman `di. Pati ako nga rin nahihilo na sa sarili ko. But not ME. leaning against the bed. `di ba? He looked lik e a bench model on Halloween. Pabalabag. Then I did sketch myself. ba My mouth dropped open. I raised one brow.
I swallowed an imaginary lump in my throat. What s this for? You have two options to make: One. As if we were talking about t he weather. ngu miti ito at lumapit sa `kin. `Yung kahit hindi nakakatawa pinipilit mong tumawa. He said smoothly. He cracked a knowing smile. So bayad na ang interes. Siya lang naman nasiyahan no . I kept telling myself that it would be okay. I realized I was really a good painter after all. Tapos tawa pa ulit. Go shoot yourself and go to hell. I even put one finger inside my left ea r. Tinitigan akong maigi. was he? Hindi. Then on my right ear. Really. `Yung tawa ng baliw. honey. I appreciated you prostituting yourself to me. No spooky things. Seriously. Aren t you going to ask what s the second option? Bakit ko pa itatanong. Hindi na ako magpapanggap na buntis this time. Sana man lang nakapaglagay ako sa account ko mula sa kaban ni Julian ba go nagkabukingan. Hinawakan niya ang baba ko ng madiin. hey. His voice was laced with sarcasm. He said nonchalantly. Pra ise the Lord! Kung hindi mag-mamagic talaga akong magkaanak within nine months a . God. Feeling ko pinagbagsakan ako ng langit at lupa. An d you re not the first virgin I ve had. Bigyan mo ko ng tagapagmana. `Yun naman pala eh. Aalilain niya ba `ko? Was I going to age cleaning this damned house? Kinakalkula ko na s a utak ko kung magkano ang sweldo ng katulong at ilang taon ko siyang makakasama sa impyernong bahay na `t You ll give me an heir. Tama ka. He planted his hands on his hips. Nadah. why didn t you even give me a sign? Or even a hint? Nakaupo ako kaya t nakatingala ako sa kanya. Nine months then you re free. I m not your legal wife Julian. Sorry sa ipagsisinungaling ko pero Isn t mine. Tapos yumuko siya para magkatapat `yung mukha namin. Tawa pa. eh? Tumawa ako. Napaungol ako. The bomb was dropped. Hindi pangalan ko ang naka-re gister sa marriage certificate. An heir. Tsk. `Yung magdadala ng apelyido k o. Para iyong sumabog sa mismong tainga ko. It was just one of those corny jokes. perhaps. I ve had my fair share of women Jeannette. G anon ba talag siya kasama? I ve already had a lawyer examined it. Hindi ako nakakaintindi ng English. Para akong mahihi matay. It was your s ignature not your sister s. Pero kailan ba naging okay ang magkau tang ng Five million? I was dead before I knew it. Ano?! Are you darn serious? It only cost Five hund red thousand? Ganon ako ka-cheap? Sana man lang tinaasan niya kahit one million. Ganon. You might do that honey. pay me the five million pesos. Masakit kaya. He stared at me incredulously. Baka nakakalimutan mo. ang int eres sa bangko ay umabot ng half a million.Ano `to? Printed paper. And because I wasn t that bad. I crossed my fingers. 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 gritted my teeth anguishly. Magsalita ba naman sa tapat ng bibig ko! Swear. you ll tell me anyway. It was null and void. I was afraid. `Yung ngiting alam kong bukas patay na `ko. Galit na pinalandas nito ang daliri sa mga pi sngi ko. Wala din! WAS I GOING DEAF? W-what what are you talking about? Nanghihinang napaupo ulit ako. Buti na lang bagong toothb rush ako kanina. I didn t even get any pleasure from it. That easy. You heard me. Jean s baby kinagat ko `yung labi ko. He wasn t dead serious. Napatayo ako sa sobrang galit. Na para bang ang paggawa ng baby ay bato-bato-pik lang. my goosebumps w ere showing.
I smiled here and there. Napaatras ako. my God. I so hate you. Forcing isn t his cup of tea? Oo hindi.t ang tatay ay Oh. two. dear. darling. My phone started ringing. He smiled e villy. Jean! Baka nakakalimutan mo `yung reunion natin mamaya. I sighed. Well. Then she turned sweetly at Julian. Hindi nakaligtas sa matalas kong paningin.. huh? Brad? Uh-oh. Later everybody was dancing. I was quite surprised when a hand caught mine. Very charming ang loko. Well. Bakit kailangan ko pang magpanggap na si Jean? Alam na naman ng lahat. Kaya lalong lumalaki `yung ulo. I went out of the parking lot to get my cell phone from the car. Nabasa niya ang isip ko! Wow. I m sorry. They were all bugging him. kung makapag-react ako parang hindi pa kami nag ano `yung ano alam n iyo na `yun. He looked like a wolf ready to eat his prey. I snorted. three `yan. Nakalimutan ko. The woman smiled at me. he hissed. Don t you ever dare. The business tycoo n. Julian smiled back. my bed s warmer than that of the jail s. Jean told me everything. 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. Syempre ang baby hindi basta lumalabas sa tyan ng baba e yan.. Hi Dahil assuming ako alam ko. Pero ikaw din. Oh no! Gusto kong batuka n ang sarili ko. Sa `kin siya nakatingin eh. Buti naman. Nakita niya akong papalapit sa isa sa mga ito. It s okay. exc ept for the press. Nagkalayo kami ni Julian. What would it be Jean nie. So what is it? This is human violation. your choice. NO! REUNION. that was fine. it s what you called persuading. A businessman s stock in trade. Parang siya nga ang nagre-reunion. Wala kang karapatang karapatang igiit sa `kin ang marital obligations ko dahil hindi tayo mag-asawa! Oh. Jean was infamed for her swimming ability. Pambablackmai l nga lang! This is pure blackmail! No. Brad stare d fixedly at us. Malapit na kami dun ng matigilan ako. Sawa? Hindi naman ito Zoo `di ba? S he gritted her teeth in anger. sa `kin patungkol ` yun. Syempre ngiti rin ako kahit na nga ba never ko pa siyang nakita sa tanang buhay ko. . Lalo na sa`kin. Hindi nga ako nagkamali The woman raised one brow at me. my God so all the while we were ju st living in sin together? Mga immoral. a public figure. Kung makalingkis. Namilog ang mga mata ko Julian was standing there. Julian grabbed my waist as if he wouldn t want me away from him. Hi. At least hindi na niya `ko hahalikan ulit. At itinaa s nito ang legal na papeles na binayaran nito ang titulo ng lupa namin! He was w ise. Ang press! I smiled. Hindi nga ako nagkamaling hindi ka imbitahin! Saan? Irene! So Irene pala ang pangalan ng makiring kaibigan na ito ni Jean. I he ard about it. May step one. May process `yan. I shrugged. Kung fine nga bang matatawag ang halos pagyakap ng babae dito! Their faces were in ches away from each other. he shrugged. The feeling s mutual. my dear. Unggoy! Napakatuso! I opened my mouth in disust. Hello Jean. I groaned inwardly. Ikaw din. May psychic ability na ba ito? He glared at me. Forcing a woman isn t my cup of tea. No doub t. The handsome debonair. Flirt. Bakit hindi ako lumapit sa mga iyon at i labas ang baho ni Julian? He was after all.
Grabe. Hampas dito. Galit kong sabi. They knew nothing! Mga taong walang magawa sa mundo kundi pagpi yestahan ang latest tsismis. J ulian pulled me roughly in the arm. I was even m aking gurgling sounds. Sa bilis ng pangyayari hindi ko na alam kung sino sa kanilang dalawa. I said stop it! Tili ko at gumitna ako. Now I know. Julian. I put all my force and slap him. 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. makiri nga lang. Julian Sunico s wife was seen kissing his ex. Gusto ko siyang sabunutan! Sino ba siya? This was all her fault . Pinipilit kong gumitna pero natabig ako. para akong nanunuod ng a ction movie. Damn. Out of the corner of my eyes I saw Julian s frown. Matutuwa na sana ako dun sa maganda . Brad was badly beaten. And take note: Eve was the only woman back then. No choice eh. Papalapit na sila. And I was frightened by the look in his eyes. 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. Hampas doon. Julian how dare yo ! He looked at me coldly. Para akong lulubog sa kahihiyan. Whew. loner siya `di ba? Pinagbigyan na nga siya ni God. There were flashes of cameras. Muntik na kami dun! My heart was thudding loud in my chest. Parehas tikom ang bibig namin. Sinuntok suntok ko ang braso niya. Abusado. The next thing I knew Julian and Brad were grappling. Let go of me. You bastard! Galit kong hiyaw. Nakita kong pumutok ang labi ni Brad. His voice was icy cold. At masakit `yun ha! I screamed when he was a bout to kick NO! Niyakap ko si Julian ng mahigpit. He gave me that chilling stare that sent shivers down my spine. Get in. There was not a bit of gentlemanliness in him. Eve just tolerated being with Adam. May paparating na malaking truck. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung bakit ito pinagpalit ni Jean eh. Julian no! I screamed. Anywhere my hand landed. dinugtungan pa. Naumpog ako sa silya. I glared at wh oever said that. I gritted my tee th. Ku ng pwede lang na sipain ko siya. Twice. I saw Brad s purplish face with bruises. Pabalyang ipinasok. What? Jeannie. At na-automatic lock niya na ang buong sasakyan. nakakahiya. I couldn t get enough. nakakasama din pala ang masyadong gentleman ngayon. Para akong bulkang sa sabog. Pareho kaming napakapit dito. What the hell are you d ing. I moaned aloud. Maganda pa naman. God. ano bang klasing babae `yan. No. Itinulak! Niya ako sa loob ng sasakyan. The woman was just standing there. Kinuha ni Julian ang lapel ni Brad at binalya. We both screamed. I was too stunned to react. I saw the registration of s hock. Once. I shoul d have wore Hester s scarlet letter. this isn t righ I grabbed Brad s lapels and kissed him right on the mouth. We both gasped.Brad kiss me. Brad sige paaaa d on t stop kissing me!!! I shouted. alam mong hindi pwed I said kiss me. Paikot pa lang siya sa driver s seat ay binuksan ko ang car door para tumakbo. Jeannie. Sa paghampas ko sa sugat niya ay nabitawan niya ang manibela. He w as already seated. I wanted to shout at him. Bakit ba hindi sila makuntento sa isa? Bakit ba `yun na lang palagi ang problema nila? Nung ginawa naman si Adan. Pakaladkad. It was unlike any fury I d had. Brad are you okay? I knelt down in front of him. Nasty gossips. Syempre kahit pagbali -baligtarin ko man ang pangyayari. He motioned the steering wheel t o the left. Nakita kong papatay talaga si Julian. You should have killed me and . Naawa naman ako bigla sa kanya.
Hindi ko na alam kung paano at anong kaibahan non. He wa s forcing me. Kung kanina ay halos ipagtulakan niya `ko papasok. I shook my head. Pero bakit ba gwapo pa rin ito kahit mukha itong may sungay sa paningin ko? I might. It was a mere whisper. I shook my head vigorously. Why can t you just let me go? I whispered achingly. it boils my blood. Pe ro pero `di ba may onting konsensya naman si Julian? Even the tiniest bit? Oh. I bought you for five million. He hissed. Gusto kong is igaw sa kanya na baka naapektuhan na ang utak niya. Julian glared all the more. I d rather you do that Julian. Baba. Okay. Julian swung the door open. Pero syempre `yung masarap na kilabot. Ganon lang ba talaga tingin niya sa `kin? His property na pwedeng bakuran.He gave me that chilling look. The musc les on his jaw flexed. I looked around me and I gasped. In my predicament I wouldn t have noticed them or anyone else for that matte r. Hindi sa natatakot ako. Balewalang sagot nito. Alam mo pala eh! He smiled evilly. Oh. utos nito. My hair on the nape stood on ends. I said get out. The side of his mouth lifted sexily. I swore my neck almost snapped sa mabilis na paglingon ko sa kanya. Alam ko. Why should I? You re mine. Don t try my patience. this time was very much different. He was speaking to me. I gave you a choice. Napatitig ako sa kanya. Sisigaw akong rape? Fvck you Jeannie. Tapos may dumaang sasakyan. There were bruises all over his face. Kinilabutan ako. And the title: Love the way you lie by Rhianna. I couldn t imagine myself there. God. With matching every emphasis pa. I did shut up then. I closed my eyes. Naiisip ko pa lang na ipapa-salvage niya `ko at itatapon ang kagandahan ko sa kung saang ilog. Basta to the highest level na talaga ang pag-iling ko. I shook my head forcefully and vigorously. Get the hell out of my car. He said bitterly. He said silently. Pero gagawin niya na Jeannie! My mouth dro pped open. A choice? I said with sarcasm. It was as if he would do just that. My eyes grew wide. Without remorse. 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. no. Kahit na nga ba maghubad si Papa P sa harapan ko. Tumaas ang sulok ng bibig niya. Ang maging babymaker mo? Ha! Holy crap. You re dead serious. Isang barkadang malakas ang trip. In close range as in close to my mou th. Decide now. Bumaba ka na. Did he think I can just bear a child and leave him to his father? I suggest you go see a psychiatrist. Why did he have to d o that? Was this one of his seductions 101? You might be forgetting. Parang wala sa sariling nasabi ko habang nakatingin s a Sa Police Station. my God. natatakot ako sa itsura ni Julian. Really. My he . Ang mukha ay nasa gitna ng mga rehas na bakal. BUT they were even singing a verse of some song. Julian wouldn t resort to this. He tilted my chin up.
gifts and very gentleman. In short. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. Ano ba kasing iniisip mo? Masyado ng polluted `yang utak mo. dancing under the rain. Julian was one hell of a hot specimen. He giggled. (secret on) God. Was I that bad? Pero sabi nga ni Andrew E. O inakala nilang ba liw na `ko. He was nice to me.O. I avoided eye contact with him. help me. bibigay pa lang. He whispered and bunched my hair up roughly. I don t want the time to come that I would only feel hatred against Ju lian. Masyado siyang makasarili. He gave me flowers. Baritonong high-pitched. Rowel s here. Malak as pa naman radar ng mga mothers. When I was a kid I never liked rainy days. He was naughty and nice. Sus. Hay nako Jeannie. Why not? Pwede ko `yung ipam-b lackmail kay Julian. O k aya naman ang bait mo kasi kasi parang charity lang. He didn t know the meaning of love or even gi ving. If I were you. I was sobbing profusely. gora na ako sa gusto niya. Is he big? CM! I swore I blushed to the roots of my hair. Jeannie! Kulog lang `yun. I found myself taking my shoes off and standing on Julian s lawn. Really? One brow arched. Nagpapakamatay ka ba? Gusto mo bang magkasakit? . sorry. Wow. JEANNIE! One hand grabbed my arm and swung me around. Chillax Jeannie. Narinig kong naghikab si CM. Paano kung babae maging anak natin? Anak ko Jeannie. CM? Geezers. Next time videohan mo ha? Bigyan kitang hidden camera. `Yu n nga lang pwede siyang pang-S. Sana vinideohan mo. Nakita kong umuulan sa labas. Rowel? Ahm. I was stepping o n his Bermuda grass. CM said tersely. `Coz I d kill both of you. `Yung tipong `pagnaglak ad kayong dalawa sa mall feeling mo ang yaman mo. Syempre laging naka-coat and tie `yang suplado mong asawa. Jean di d. Ayokong makita n iyang malapit na `kong bumigay. and the hot-and-nice guys are gay. Wooooh! I shouted loudly. if I know. I closed my eyes. `yung katawan. I sighed as I clutched the wireless phone to my ears. Ulam. Sabi niya kasi kapag umiiyak over a jerk hindi siya maririnig ni Mommy. I agreed to his terms. Ikaw lang ang magdadala pero anak ko.art went out to him. As if there was no tomorrow. Yep. Sus. And don t you ever dare slee p with Brad. My eyes were moist. isa pang Bebe `yun e h. One theory I realized: The nice? guys are ugly. Parang gusto kong sabunutan itong si CM. Then I heard his monstrous laugh. Dati ko siyang manliligaw na artist din. But I found out I was doing the same thing. Why was it so? I had living proofs. I knew then that he won. Nakakaawa siya. Kasi may kasunod kang boy. I thought it was a bit odd of my twi n to cry under the rain. Tipong ikaw pa ang aagawan ng boyfriend. Mabilis niyang pinakawalan ang mukha ko at nag-drive na siya pauwi. the hot guys are jerks. Sigaw ko sa kanya. you know. One hell of a horse. Yep. Whatever. Knowing Jean s eccentricity. Lagay mo sa CR `pagnaliligo si Julian. Sana nga gan on na lang. Lahat ng sama ng loob ko sa mundo ay inilabas ko. And he called me. And very gay. `Yung t awang pinipilit lumandi. Why? Asking your whereabouts. humanap ka ng panget at ibigin mong tunay . As in. I d like to spit right onto his demonic face. Bibi? Bibi? Bibi? Bebe Gandang hari. Wala akong pakialam kung pinagtitinginan man ako ng katulong ni Julian. CM.
I was on top . Are we going to start the baby making process here and now? I looked up. I thought I was going to sneeze my head out. Para bang hindi siya makapaniwalang ginawa ko talaga `yun sa kanya. You are my baby. Feeling ko nga matutunaw ako. Halos maduling na kami sa titigan namin. 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. Nagsasalubong ang mga kilay nito at may payong na dala. I was wetting his tux. LOL. I love you Uhhh I couldn t believe it. Nalaglag `yung payong. Grabe. Tapos itinapat ko `yung mukha ko sa mukha niya. Syempre mahiya naman ako `di ba? Hindi ko pa rin namang nakakalimuta ng babae ako. This was the magic moment. Can you believe that? He did say he loved me. Hello? This was so small co mpared to what we d done. Titig na titig siya sa `kin. I felt hot all over. Pilit kong tinatanggal ang mga patak ng ulan sa mata ko. A mixture of tears and rain. At sabay kaming bumagsak sa Bermuda grass. My chest was flattened against his. NINETEEN Sometimes you d wished that things were easier. That money was just a piece of pap er. pang-FAMAS na sana drama ko. I rubbed my nose against his. I waited for him to do the next move. Was he worried? I shook my head. Na sana hindi lang ako gustong i-detain dito ni Julian dahil sa utang ko. What do you think are you doing? He asked na para bang nandidiri sa `kin! I blinke d thrice. Bastos ka. I closed my eyes. If only it didn t have any value. We were both wet. Was I dreamin g? Tapos bigla siyang umubo. Gusto kong matawa sa itsura niya. I wrinkled my nose. Tapos tapos Hachuuuu! There. I probably lost one screw earlier. Under the rain.It was lightning. didn t he? Get off me It was a joke. My God. Hindi kaya magkapalit kami ng mukha? I smiled at him. Julian Niyakap niya `ko. I wrapped my arms around his neck. Tapos malapit na super lapit na Nanunulis na `yung bibig ko. He said in amazement. I knew it. He brushed the straining hair on my forehead. Nakakahiya na talaga. Don t even tell me! . On his face. Then I started crying on his chest . Pilit kong sumasayaw at nagtampisaw pero hawak pa rin niya ang braso ko. Nung pagtalon ko kaya? What joke? That you lov e me? No. He pulled me roughly into his arms. So I closed the distance. Julian was really saying those words? Oh. I looked up at him. Ha? Wow. Ang lapit lapit ng mukha namin. my God. On top of him. Eskimo kiss. I wanted to smack his handsome face only if he didn t look amused. Argh. Ok ay na eh.
He k nelt down in front of me.He winced. Oh. Ano na namang kalokohan `to? And stop doing doing that. his wet shirt was clinging to his body. Napatingin ako sa kanya. Para akong lasing. What the heck. I opened o ne good eye. Inirapan ko siya. 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. Do you ever know the word humility? Okay na magsungit siya. . Ang sakit sakit ng ulo ko. I know. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung friends sila ni The Grinch. He proved to b e tempting. And stop staring at me like that! I know. In disguise. Julian must have been an angel. I said stop it. My eyes grew wide. Will you stop that? angil nito. FROM YOU. Promise. Ano na naman bang pinagsisintir nito? His wet hair was clinging to hi s forehead. Jeannie Jeannie I thought my head was going to break into pieces. I rolled my eyes heavenward. I m handsome and you couldn t resis t that. he hissed and brushed his drenched hair. Tsk. What am I doing? Badtrip na pinilit kong umayos ng upo. just s eeing him standing there with his shirt loving his body to perfection was making me ahm. I couldn t breathe. Oh God. making love in the rain. my God. I was still suncking in my breath ever so slowly. Sigaw sigawan niya `ko . Ni-rape niya ba `ko? Bakit feeling ko para akong ginahasa? Ang sasakit ng mga kalamnan ko. Then I imitated again louder. Hingal dito. He knelt down in front of me. Basta `wag niya lang asahanag maghuhub ad ako sa harapan niya. Alam mo `yung parang humalinghing na pusa? My mouth dropped open. I frowned. Ungol ako ng ungol. May dictionary ka ba dyan? He shrugged. hindi ko na kasalanan `yun. I closed my eyes. Bakit hindi ko man lang nalaman? Sayang naman. Ohhh My mouth opened in an indignant O. Wala namang pinainom sa `k in si Julian `di ba? Hindi kaya nilason niya na `ko? I groaned louder than the la st. sabi ko na nga ba Julian ha d a pretty fix on me from the start. Sino bang may sabing ako lang pala ang n ag-iisip ng hindi kanais-nais dito! Akalain mo `yun. hot. At ang mga kilay nito? Nagsasalubong na naman. I moaned aloud. Ba hala siya kung anong gusto niyang isipin. me. I tried to focus my eyes on him. Nakaupo ako sa couch! Basa. Napaungol ako lalo. Narinig kong tinataw ag niya `ko. Hingal don. Parang gusto niya na akong sakalin sa itsura niya. He was standing there. Pag-umpugi n ko pa sila eh. I wasn t so sure. Ohhh ohhh Jul ian Ohhh YUCK! GROSS! He just raised his brow and looked at me oddly. Kasi parang hinihila ako sa antok. He was pacing to and fro. Pakipot pa. Alam ba niya `yung ibig sabihin ng salitang hambog ? No? I thought so. I ve heard that before. Pangalan ko. Nakita kong basang basa na `yung carpet. May sakit ka ba? He s aid sarcastically. You sounded you sounded Sounded what? Like you are making out! For Pete s sake! Ha? Grabe. 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. Ano bang problema nito? Gusto kong sumigaw pero wala akong lakas. Are you into drugs? I said I was kidding about you. my ey es almost bulged. Oh well. I screamed. It was a great effort to slap the incredulity in his face. But it s as if as if you re going to eat me for dinner.
Then h is mouth landed on mine. Kung akala niyang inaapoy sa pagnanasa si Jeannie. Natatarantang binuhat niya ito. Aba. Doon. At w ala akong pakialam kahit bumabaha ng mura sa shower room. Bakit hindi? Ang mga katulad niya ang da hilan kung bakit nagkakasala ang mga respetadong babaeng kagaya ko. He was a safe cover from the intrud .Hubaran niya `ko! Joke lang. Our wet clothes were felt so paper-thin.. I was burning hot. Gosh. I swore.. Santisima! Naman si Julian oh. He ripped it off me! Goodness. A slow knowing smile played about his kissable lips. The door burst open. Inaapoy ito sa lagnat. She was in and out of consciousness. Was he insane? We were in the shower room! Hanggang dito ba naman? I shrieke d. He roughly cupped my left cheek. hindi ko alam kung panong tili ang gagawin ko. Pumasok si Mommy! Jean! At ang mga katulong! We heard you scream. Kung kanina y nagkakakawag ako. Pakawalan mo `ko! Pakawalan mo sabi ak ooo Ibinagsak niya `ko sa bathtub! He was really inconsiderate. I made sure na nahirapan siya. The likes of Julian should be banned. Walang p atawad. I moaned a loud. The he pulled down my jeans. Sa sobrang gigil ni Julian. Tapos dahan dahang bumaba `yung mga mata ko dun sa kamay ni ya. Rough. Oh. Hindi ko alam kung anong l ubog sa hindi punong bath tub ang gagawin. Helllpppppppp And in fair ness. I wished that instant that I were a mermaid. Jeannie fainted! Napapikit ang mga mata niya. Anong akala niya sa `kin bata?! I bit his hand. Like the way he always used to. Para akong lalagnatin . Then I closed my eyes. I felt his teeth nipped my lower lip. mabilis pa sa alas-kwatrong yumakap ako kay Julian. Pakawalan mo `ko!!! Ti nakpan niya `yung bibig ko. In my blurring vision I saw Juli an hovering over me. He frowned. 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. Nanlaki `yung mga mata ko. But she lay passive. pati dun sa baba. Sisigaw na talaga ako. My. Parang nawalang lahat ang panghihina ko. You mani ac! I hissed through my teeth. Namatay lahat. Well. Forceful. Galit na binuhat niya ulit ako. gracious. Hotter. Hindi niya `ko pinansin! Tuloy-tuloy lang siya sa pagtanggal ng mga butones. he was definitely wrong. Para siyang binuhusan ng malamig na t ubig. Naramdaman kong may nagbababa sa `kin sa tiles. Julian noooo! I screamed and wailed. God. Para akong inaapoy. Hind i ba dapat Julian s kisses would send me straight to heaven? Pero bakit feeling ko hinihinila ako pababa sa impyerno? Julian thought she was okay.
I sucked in my breath. Kinapa ko `yung sarili k o. He shrugged. Julian I have hands. Hi ndi na `ko magtataka kung mas pa kung sasabihin niyang: I ll kill you Jeannie . I gasped. Gusto ko siyang lunurin sa bathtub. He was such a monster. Tinitig an niya `ko. Julian bathed me! He dressed me up! What did he thi . Nang lumabas na silang lahat. tapos tapos bibitawan niya `ko. I bit my lower lip. Julian wouldn t say something like that. Anong masamang ginagawa mo sa kapatid ko? Tili si Jean. Goodness. I looked at the alarm clock. I smiled too sweetly. He didn t look pleased with himsel f. What? He asked innocently. Napalingon siya dito. An g bigat ng pakiramdam ko. They all gasped. Ah. It me ant catastrophe. My stomach churned. Parang binabarena `yung ulo ko. Ako ang bahala sa `yo. Then I d make him eat the cake of soap. Oh-kay. Don t you want to ask who? He just shrugged. Then his hands submerged under the water. Who said that killing a moron was against the law? Hindi ba pwe deng magbawas kahit isa? TWENTY I hated him. Julian smiled. A mere whisper. Betty Boop PJs. Han ggang sa magbula `yung bibig niya. Darkness was pulling me down. my God. Hindi ko gusto ang ngiting iyon. Nanla laki ang mga mata ko ng Oh. That was only a snippet. Tignan ko lang kung makahalik pa siya ng ibang babae. was this déjà vu? I had nowhere to go. Lumingon siya s a `kin. Hinawakan nito sa balikat si Julian at pilit inaalis mula sa `kin. I really croaked. Isn t it obvious? My mouth dropped open. Goodness. Buti alam mo. I was trying to cover myself. Eight o`clock in the morning? I bolted upright.ers. I woke up late that night. What are you all doing here? Julian smiled. Will you please get out? I shouted at him. Bahala? Ha! If I know. didn t I? Then I clos ed my eyes. Parang batang bulong ko. Anong gagawin mo? I looked around me. Hindi naman ako kasya sa butas ng banyo. Then he took the soap. There was someth ing endearing about a man who said that he could take on the world for me. What what? You look as if you would kill. `Yung parang hinuhubaran kung hindi ko pa alam na hubad na `ko! I h issed. At isinandal ang ulo ko sa bathtub. Sana totoo. Parang hin di ako mahiwalay sa pagkakayakap sa kanya. Pinanlakihan ko siya ng mg a mata. See? Your sister here wants me Oh. He smirked. no. Sana hindi lang ako nananaginip. He scrubbed my stomach. pleaded with me to bathe her.
Sa daldal mong `yan. My hands were itchi ng to take those and cover his That would be the day Jeannie. May takip iyon. Naniningkit ang mga mata ko. Unti-unti akong napangiti. I really gasped aloud. parang utang na loob ko pa ang paggawa niya ng breakfast sa `kin. Tawa. He was really going to kill me. Evil Ken. Basta hinalo lang niya ang pagkain. Wow. Sa bi nga pala ni Thrust the food on my mouth. Hmp. Omelette? Omelette? Ma y bago na palang tawag sa sunog na kaning baboy ngayon? Will you just be grateful and eat? He angrily shoved the plate of food on my lap. He tapped my shoulder. He started laughing. Bakit nga pala nandito sina mommy kahapon? Oh! I forgot to call CM. He even yawned. parang n agkaroon siya ng dalawang sungay. I gritted my teeth. Julian? He didn t reply. What did he think of me? Hard-to-get `to no. Wit h his bewitching smile. Julian wala na naman akong lagnat samahan mo `ko mamaya kina Sumpak ulit. My God. I wanted to hit him with the lamp shade. Tumagilid ako. Ganon pala huh? . EVER. Ha! Grabe.nk of me? Barbie doll. Surely Ano ng tingin niya sa `kin? BABOY? Ano `to? Kaning baboy? Why. Day off ng mga katulong. Parang biglang k umalam ang sikmura ko. Surely I wasn t that fat. What a better way of saying Shut up Jeannie . I was about to talk again when he thrust the spoonful of kaning baboy in my mouth. Galit kaya ako. I took the pillow and covered my ear. Biglang bumukas `yung pinto. Whatever. Yep. No more like poison me! My eyes stared incredulously. Sa paningin ko. Tapos bigla niya `kong inabutan ng tablet. Nakita kong napahiga siya kakatawa. All at once my heart started hammering. But still mukha pa rin iyong darak. Naramdaman kong lumubog `yung kama sa gilid ko. I gasped. Sabi nga ni mommy. This side of Julian that I wasn t used to. My head was poundi ng. `Yung tawang parang wala ng bukas. Hindi naman masama lasa niya. Alam kong hindi uso sa mahihirap ang omelette . kumain ka na. Excuse me! Gigil na humarap ako sa kanya. I understand. No reply. Tawa. Hey. Bumagsak ang katawan ko sa higaan. Napatingin ako sa unan ng masama. I wasn t giving him peace? If I give you peace I won t talk to you. Thank you. Gusto kong sabihing: Amuin mo ko Kumain ka na. Mabilis akong humarap sa kanya. An ong ginagawa mo dito? bulong ko. He tapped again my shoulder. He was e ven clutching his stomach. Ang kapal niya! Grabe. I chewed it. eh? Nooo I bemoaned. I groaned inwardly. Don t make me laugh. He said with sarcasm. Julian ano b a! Will just give me peace Jeannie? I opened my mouth to talk again. Confirmed. Forcefully. Patalikod sa kany a. Not talkin g would be the cause of your death. I opened my mouth in disgust. Binuksan ko `yung silver cover. thank you. Breakfast. I glared at him. Betty Boop! Kumain ka na. Hindi ba niya `ko papatayin? I looked at the tray in front of me. There the Ken stood. Fine. He really had a sweet and cari ng side. I arched one brow. Preppy Ken. Pasalamat siya gutom ako. Medicine. Jeannie Rose Leviste? YOU? WON T TALK? Tawa. ang mahi rap kuhanin mahirap pakawalan.
Paano ko sasabihin sa kanya? Julian your family wasn t supposed to be who they were. Tumaas `yung kilay ko. I was just a very keen-observer. He frowned and sighed. He r olled his eyes. I frowned. Ang katawan ko. Wow. Bert? When will you take all the blame and this buuullshit end? TELL ME! Parang may bombang sumabog. Silence would really kill me. He ll hate me. Ang sinabi niya lang kanina we re going some place . At sabi nga. Waiting. See? Silence means yes. Smile. Hindi kaya pulutin ako sa kalsada `pagsinabi ko `yun? Pam-blackmail! Tama. I was about to turn away when some snatches of the conv ersation caught my attention. Yes. They were all looking at me. I sighed. I was true to my promise. `Yun lang! G oodness. Sabi ko na nga ba. darling? Nanlalaki ang mga mata ko. Hindi kami bati! Hindi ko siya papansinin! Argh. most of the time. Kanina pa kita hinahanap. I wasn t really e avesdropping. Ito ang napapala ng mga tsismosa. He would break furnitures and lashed at people. Napapanis na ata l away ko. Parang may sariling isip ang mga paa ko. His whole being would surely break into a thousand pieces. Nanghihinang naglalakad ako. The voices were familiar. We Aherm! Aherm! Malakas kong ubo. When will you tell Julian about his true parentage. His broad back was turned to me. In short. Deadma lang ako. Parang sinasabi ng ti nging iyong akala ko ba hindi tayo bati? . ha. Uuwi na tayo. She loved you damn you! Silence descended. Julian smiled at me and raised his wineglass in a mocking salute. You have to tell him! You can t just keep this damned secret forever. Nod. Mabait po `pag tulog. Parang teledrama lang. At unang una ako sa mga taong iyon. Didn t you. Parang balewala lan g naman sa kanya. Poor you. You know I can t. Gusto ko ng magsalita. Ikaw ang may kasalanan ako ang umaani! She never love d me so I got tired of waiting for her. He was challen ging me. But then all your lif e you were living a big damned lie. Well. And she loves me dearly I would have gasped. Nangangalay na braso ko ah. I looked as if I d seen a ghost. Aunt Risan my wife s very pampered. He raised one brow at me. Nagsasalita siya. Nagsasawa na `ko sa ganito. I would have turned around and walked away. Inirapan ko si ya. Would he slash his wrists? No. It was as if they (Julian s supposed dad and Uncle Bert) told me that it wa s the end of the world.I would have cried aloud if not for Uncle Bert and Julian s dad. We were both sile nt on the way here. Naiisip ko pa lang an g mga gagawin niya y kinikilabutan na `ko. Kasalanan ko bang halos rinig na ng buong bahay ang pag-uusap nila ? Sus. It was difficult ignoring someone who didn t want to be ignored. Mabait na asawa ba itong si Julian hija? Tanong ni Aunt Risan sa `kin. Inabot ko ang kamay ko sa kanya. `yung mga taong curious `yu n `yung matatalino. The side of his mouth lifted slightly. I was tight-lipped and turned to his aunt. He ordered. My knees were going to buck le. What are you doing here? I swore. He just kept on talking. He turned around and just walked on! I saw the way he carried himself like the king of the world. Alam kong nan anadya lang siya. Wala nama n talaga akong pakialam. I was trying to find the comfort room. Gusto ko ng ngatngatin ang plato o ka ya ibato iyon sa kanya. I even bathed her yesterday. They all laughed. Jeannie? I almost jumped in surprise. Parang bumalik ang sakit ng ulo ko. Ayusin mo sarili mo. Tapos napatapat ako sa library. And be polite. You hated lies. Mamamatay nga ata ako. simpleng papansin. My hands were cold and c lammy. I was rooted to the ground. Ang bilis .
And hugged him from behind. Peter was looking right down at me us . Julian was in the study room fussing ove r documents. Umiling-iling ito. And I bet. Luha. Later that night I went to sleep early. TWENTY ONE We went straight home. Ever since that phone call earlier. Ang gulo no? Kasing gulo ng u tak ni Julian. Well. Uncle Bert was his dad. And the one he grew up with was really his uncle. He didn t ev en bother to open the door for me. May utang na loob ka sa `kin. Half of my body w as covered by. Ang lakas ng impact. for sure he would blame himself for the separati on. Hmm? Humigpit bigla `yung kapit niya sa `kin. I ran to him. 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. In my dreamy state. Parang hindi niya napapansin na kasama niya `ko. Sipon . I almost screamed. Parang sinasabing nasiraan na nga talaga . He started laughing demonically. I fell in step beside him. Tandaan mo Jeannie may malaking utang na loob siya sa `yo. Somebody was sleeping beside me! My eyes grew wide . I cushioned my head against his back. Katabi! Then it clearly dawned on me. For the first time I rendered pity for the high and mighty Julian Sunico. As in. Hindi ko na siya pinakialamanan. Laway ko. Eh. If he d only known. Nagsusungit na naman. Nasaktan pa nga ` yung dibdib ko sa pagtama sa likod niya. Parang may nakadagan sa katawan ko. somebody. The hands tightened around my m idsection. . Habang pilit pang tinatanggal `yung kamay ko s a harap niya! I tightened my hands around his middle. Akalain ko bang hindi ko matiis and dyablong si Julian? I could have gone straight to a reporter or to any journa list. But it didn t even bother me. Bumaba na kami ng sasakyan. It was one hell of a secret.ko. Na hindi ko m an lang alam kung sino. Baliw ka na ba? He said drily while looking at me in disg ust. He sighed exaggeratedly. I sighed pleasurably. And and Julian never slept wit h me. one baet point na `ko.. Pero hindi ko ginawa. What are you doing? He said softly. I ll tell you something you don t know. `di one ganda okay. I hiccupped through his shirt. I couldn t breathe a little. he might n ot know yet but he d thank you later. You need me. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. I smiled mischievously.. And because he was very much a gentleman. Masarap palang matulog ng may katabi. you can t live without me. I snuggled closer. And because I wasn t that bad I hoped God and St. Kaya tatanawin niya sa `kin itong isang malaking utang n a loob. Ni-lock ko `yung pinto kanina.
I started pushing. Hindi ko alam kung bakit. My eyes slowly widen ed He was gloriously buck-naked. Mabaho ba `ko? For the first time. Why are you in my room? Bulong ko. I tenderly caressed his hair. I angrily swung the door loud enough. Pero utos pa rin. ganon. Naghilik siya. He wasn t talking to me the whole day! I woke up with the empty side of the bed. luckily his back was turned to me. Niyugyog ko `yung balikat niya. Sige magpanggap kang wala ako dito. Three words. Balewalang dumagan ulit siya sa `kin! Na parang ba ta. With gaps between my fingers. Unfortunately. Leave me alone. Lapasta ngan! Tinitigan ko siya ng masama. Hell. Seconds late r. Gigil kon g sabi. her eyes were big and even her mouth was a big O. I was going crazy with boredom. Hindi man lang ako pin agtangkaan ni Julian. Tinatanong lang naman kita. Sabay biglang takbo. I covered my eyes with my hand. Then he went to work . Ah. I heard him chuckle. He came back late that night. Yuck. Maybe Julian needed some loving after all. What are you doing? I frowned when he started puttin g his clothes in a traveling bag. I rolled my eyes ceilingward. Inamoy amoy ko pa man din `yung unan na hinigan niya! Tapos `pagdating ng b reakfast hindi ako papansinin? Grabe. Aalis. Ang ulo nito ay parang batang isiniksik sa leeg ko. Pinipilit nitong pigilan ang mga kamay ko. No phone calls. I smiled sweetly. Hello? Hindi ko kaya nakita! Wala kaya akong nakita. Ang KAPAL! Mabilis na itinapat ko ang palad sa bibig at bumuga buga. napadaan lang ma am. wasn t that my weakness? Men with nice rounded bu tts. L alo niyang nilakasan `yung paghilik. May pupuntahan tayo? U . Ano ba. May alzheimer s na ata. Gigil na sinundan ko siya. `Yung isa naming maid nakatayo din! Promise. Niyugyog ko ulit. Then I looked over my shoulder. My chest was flattened against his. Hindi naman ah. Then I pushed him hard. Ah. Parang balewalan g naglakad siya papunta sa closet. Bakit ba ang sungit sungit mo He slammed the door in my face! I was so shocked. You scared me inis na bulong ko. arhm scratch that. Alam mo ba Julian na nakakainis ka? Nawala na `yung antok ko dahil sa He covered my mouth! Inis na tinatanggal ko iyon. Sleep. He wore his underwear not a whit about me ogling standing there. A person seemed vulnerable when asleep. Nakiliti ako sa paghinga niya sa leeg ko.Madilim. The man s breath was fanning my cheek. Didn t he know that he was way bigger than me? He covered half of my b ody. Traveling. Dirediretso sa study room niya. Excuse me? Bad breath. This mig ht be heaven. I closed the door shut in effect. My God. Julian san ka kumain? He shrugged. One word uttered. Julian ungot ko. Nakalimutan ba niya? He cuddle d with me last night! I thought we were okay? Ngayon ko napatunayang maraming na didisgrasya sa akala. Inumang ko `yung kamao ko sa likod niya tapos humarap siya. Travel. Hawak pa `yung walis. Nice butt. he was fast asleep. I know. But my.
For a week! Na hindi man lang ako kasama? Ang galing. Wala naman talaga akong pakialam. I m going to Las Vegas for a business trip. Parang hindi gumagana `yung utak ko. I didn t even remember him. Aalis tayo Jeannie. I was hugging Julian s pillow tightly. Kinilig pa ang bruha. THE HELL I CARE! Jeannie! Ano?! Galit kong harap kay Julian. Julian! Oo Jeannie narinig kita. He put on a shirt and his rugged jeans. One week. How was that? Nakahiga lang ako. O binabaon ko ba s iya sa utang through his credit card. Tapos pinisil niya `yung bab a ko. Hindi niya ako pinansin. Kahit man lang hoy wala. We were all quiet. I pouted. I punched the pillow like it was his face. CM was waiting for me downstairs. Baliw na ata talaga ako. No phone calls. One week kong h indi makikita si Julian? Argh. Samahan daw muna kita. I sniffed it. He was even immersed in painting a landscape. Oo nga. So planado ito? G anon ba? Why didn t you tell me? Galit kong harap sa kanya. No one would shout at me. Parang baligtad? Whatever. Not even a word. Parang nakalimutan ko nga ding magpinta. Anong sinabi niya? Hindi kaya minura ako ni Juli an? TWENTY TWO Four full days. Ni hindi man lang nag-alalang tumawag para itanong kung buhay pa `ko. Teka. Para akong robot. He studied his nails. Nobody would tor ment me.mupo ako sa gilid ng kama. Kung ako lan g Jeannie mas gusto kong maiwan kasama `yung asawa mo. I was a little absorbed with my emotions. Basta lagay lang siya ng lag ay ng gamit. I One more week of not abiding that damned co ntract. He even smiled at me. `di ba kapag naka-pout nanunulis `yung lips? Hindi man lang makara mdam! Tapos nakita ko sa likod si CM. Ang O. Wala na `kong yayamutin. Tapos tinalikuran niya na `ko. Naiinis ako sa kanya! Kahit `wag na siyang bumalik. I was t rying hard not to look at his back while walking away. A. Nagulat ako. Tayo? Nagmamadaling tinignan pa nito ang wrist watch. Tapos tinalon talunan ko iyon. Inis na binato ko ang unan niya sa kama. He moved toward me. He was mouthing: Kiss. A week. He even demonstrated with his hands. Mabobored lang siguro ako kaya ako nagkakaganito. I didn t miss him. Oh. Anong ginag awa nito dito? Julian put his luggage in the compartment without a word to me. I was just plain bored . I sat down while panting. Sabi ko sa sarili ko at ginawa pang p uppet na nagsasalita ang kamay ko. CM said from behind. dangsin-ibogo sip-eulgeoya I ll miss you. At saka lang ito ngumisi sa `kin. Kung ako lang din CM mas gusto kong maiwan kasama ng asawa ko! Mabilis na sumakay ako ng sasakyan. Anong sinabi niya? I stared blankly at CM. I realized then that my world started revolving around Julian. I couldn t say anything. I didn t even notice that we were already inside the airport. Okay lang `yun! Mabuti nga `yun. ko. He could really be attracti ve and sexy without trying. That was it. Yo ur hubby called me. Jeannie . He was going away. I rolled on my stomach and covered the pillow over my head. Ang laki-laki ng bahay ako lang naman at si CM. I ate silently at the breakfast table.
you know. We ate dinner serenely. Namimiss mo na no? Sabi nito at umupo sa tabi ko. Naiinis ako s a mga taong magkukwento tapos mambibitin! My hands were getting itchy to wring h is neck. Okay. Pilit ginagaya si Ann Curtis. Eh. The door opened. `di ba? Sakalin ko kaya `tong si CM? Once lang. 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. Mamaya mag-celebrate tayo tutal wala naman dito si Julian. because you re not interested never mind. So. He stood up from my bed. Sayang sasabihin ko pa man sana sa `yong tumawag kanina si Julian Well. I shouldn t have mentioned that name! CM was giving me those slow teasing grins I hated these days. It stopped ringing just when the key turned in. I m just resting. To my astonishme nt. Nagmamadali ako. you don t miss him? Umupo ulit ako. Tatalikod pa lang sana ako ng tumunog ulit iyon. What bad news? . bakit ka nagmumukmok? Ako? Nagmumukmok? My God CM. Hello Julian? Jeannie kain na tayo! Sh!t. It tasted ashes on the tongue. Ahh he nodded indulgently. Gusto kong ipakain sa kanya iyon. Umiinom ng isang tasang kape si CM. dude. Anong ginagawa niya? Dinadaig si Bill Gates? Tsk. Inis na humiga ulit ako at tinalikuran siya. I reahed for it under my accessories along with other swell stuff. Meron tayong bente kwatro oras sa isa ng araw. I hissed and stared at him pointedly. CM won! I hated them both. Eee. Kitang kita kong parang hinayang siya. I said nonchalantly. Bakit ba kasi nilock lock ko pa `yung drawer? Stupid of me. Anong sabi niya? Hindi ka naman interesado. I smi rked at him. I didn t even look at the screen. I didn t like CM s expression.That bolted me upright. I gnawed the inside of my left cheek. I almost tripped with the blanket in a hurry to g et to my cell phone in the drawer. Smile Jeannie. Big time. CM said. Huwag lang talaga siyang makalapit-lapit. It opened. Hindi! Hello. Para akong tangang hawak hawak `yung cell phone sa tenga ko. Double Sh!t. I couldn t eat that muc h. Sorry na. How could he be my friend? He had done nothing but to hum iliate me. That would be a cold day in hell. Tama. He gave me that eat-your-heart-out sm ile. Mauubos talaga buhok niya sa `kin. Argh. I gasped and glared at him. CM!!! I wanted to wipe the grin off hi s face. Boom . Kahit `wag na siyang bumalik. Julian? Badtrip. I don t want to be the bearer of bad news Jeannie. Alam mo naman si Julian napakapasensyoso! I gritted my teet h and sighed. Oh? I don t care if you don t believe me CM. CM said. You should understand your husband. Bwisit. Tapos tinalikuran niya `ko at isinara ang pinto `paglabas. I looked at him squarely. Me? Missing him? Bull. My hand was trembling. I forced my muscles to move. Just curious. my mobile started ringing.
He kissed her na pe softly. It was just that he was afraid to get too attached. I whispered. kabaligtaran ang nangyayari sa totoong buhay. Marahang humiga siya sa tabi nito at tumagilid. At nalilis ang kumot mula dito. Tapos humarap ulit siya sa `kin. Ang hirap kapag magkalaban ang puso at ang utak. I was like was I dreaming? `Di ba merong seven days in a week? Nagkamali ba ako ng bilang? Pang fifth day p a lang ngayon ah! Maybe he wasn t Julian! A twin? I shook my head rapidly. I was really dreaming! Oh. wasn t it? Si Julian? Bankrupt? Bugger. At mas mahirap ipaglaban ang isang bagay na alam mong matagal ka nang talo. His heart told him otherwise. He knew those facts might kill him. He was a major lo ser. I slowly smiled. Ine-expect ko bang nandun si Sadako? Oh great. That was the most hateful word in a businessman s vocabulary. Disoriented. He opened one good eye. He couldn t afford to lose his heritage. Oooh lala . This was just one of his grand jokes. Kukurutin ko sana `yung braso ko. Julian changed the word messy to SEXY. He didn t really know what bullsh!t happened t o him. He found himself smiling oddly. But but hey I had this dream last night. That was the last of my conscious thoughts. 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. I love you. He cuddled her in spoon fashion. Tapos pumikit ulit.Pabagsak na ang negosyo ng mga Sunico. `Yun ang narinig ko. His mindset was shouting he didn t need her. God. Parang slow motion na unti-unti akong tumingi n sa gilid ko. Lumapat ang likod nito sa dibdib niya. The investors in Las Vegas were pulling out. She was one thing he didn t need right now. Someone groaned beside me. Sabi ko na nga ba. And my! His chest was uncovered. Huy. He look ed a bit disoriented. I slept like the dead. I went to bed that night with my head pounding so hard it hurt. Parang hindi ko ata naintindihan ang mga sinabi ni CM. And he was afraid of this from the very first fvcking day he met her. Befo re I knew it his arm wrapped around my waist and pulled me closer. The word complication was writt en all over her face. Now. I m sorry Jennie. Julian She turned to the side. Julian. He had an eight o`clock stubbles about his cheeks. Bankrupt. Weren t his mother and father a one great example ? He was a very cynical man. It s the truth. I pouted. Eight? Ten? Ang tagal ko na d in palang pinagtyatyagaan si Julian. And his fingers were itching to put an L word on his forehead. Jules Tinalikuran niya `ko! Oh-kay. My eyes grew wide. Maingat niya itong pinagmasdan. Goodness. dangsin-eul salanghabnida. Tapos nakita k o `yung biceps ni Julian. I stretched my arms. Napatingala ako sa kanya. He grunted. He was whi spering what seemed like love words to me. He opened the door and slid inside the semi-darkened room quietly. Jeannie could disappear one day. Angko s footprints. The light fli ckered from the lamp shade were casting shadows on the wall to the woman sleepin g serenely on the bed. Even in deep slumber she came to him willingly. Why not? . They lost millions. I thought men with stu bbles looked messy before. Napasubsob ak o sa dibdib niya. There was nothing cons tant and permanent in this word. my left arm jabbed som ething. TWENTY THREE I woke up with a start. Ayt. She stirred in her sleep.
Nanghinayang lang. I winced as I saw him striding down the stairs.I pinched him slowly and ever so painfully. Why do you have no clothes on? I parroted. I swore I blushed to the roots of my hair. God Jeannie look elsewhere but him! Tin gin sa ceiling. A bit. I pouted. Jeannie! Sabi ko sa inyo a bit lang eh. He then hugged me and carried me to the bathroom. Geezers. He said forlornly. Na para bang nababaliw na `ko! Tapos tumayo na siya na parang walang pakialam. I hated him! Hindi na siya nahiya sa ayos niya. Not lower Jeannie! But hey. Just a bit. I was a bit tempted. he became a bit ge ntler with. Tapos nagtititili ako. Why couldn t I close my eyes? Why do you have no clothes on? Not a stitch! A slow smile cracked about his lips. I gritted my teeth. I clutche d the headboard. Anyhow. He often scowled. Tapos nagbuklat ako ng magazine. He chuckled. Hello? It was daytime! Tapos tumata gos pa `yung sinag ng araw mula sa sliding door. Pero ngu mingiti na rin siya ngayon. I winced. He gave me that come-on smile. He planted his hands on his hips. Mayamaya lamang we were brushing our teeth side by side. Hinuhubaran? More like sinu sunog. What did you do with my things?! What things? Painosente kong sabi. Kinikilig talaga ako. Oo. Si Julian nga! Nagsasalubong ang mga kilay nito. But not at him . he wasn t that showy. sayang! LOL. what the Confirmed. I lacked sleep. was he seducing me? It wasn t working! It was oh-so-tempting. Grabe. Oh. naninigaw pa rin siya. Nanggigil lang naman ako. I gulped. He was silent. Pe ro Julian toned down a bit. Who are you asking me or the bed? I looked him in the eyes. Ayy. It was un-Julian to do those things for me. Why. He regarded me with incredulity. I was like in fairy land for three m ore weeks. Julian didn t mention anymore about my debt or the baby making cont ract. Tumalikod ako sa kanya ng tumayo na siya sa harap n g salamin. Kailangan ko pang pum asok. I woke up having him beside me. Tapos `yung tingin n a `yun yung para akong hinuhubaran? Are you insane? Inis na lumayo siya sa `kin. He even make it a point to dine with me at night. Nangangalay na `ko. Tingin sa flooring. malakas kaya kiliti ko. Inis na humarap ako. L ukot na naman ang mukha. Grabe magkaka-stiff neck ata ako kakating ala sa kanya. But I m tired. Well. Para kaming naghahabulan sa maliit na kama. . But our eyes met th rough the mirror. Na para bang walang pakialam. He tickled me on each side. Ginalaw mo naman `yung mga gamit ko! Even my baseball is missing. Tingin sa lampshade. men had no modesty! I slept in my birth suit. What! Inis niyang tanong habang hinahanap `yung jeans niya! Yes. Naninigas na `yung leeg ko. I know you want me now Jeannie. Sa kama. My. Ano kayang pinakain kay Julian don? Na-realize niya sigurong mahirap ng makahanap ng isang Jeannette Rose Leviste sa buong mundo. Hinila niya talaga ako. Not that I was disappointed. Tapos inabot niya sa `kin `yung toothbrush ko. Uh-oh. Parang kagat lang `yun ng langgam. Ang kapal! I shrieked when he pulled my feet from the be d. As in nada? Meaning. if I would be living with him forever I couldn t imagine. Some things changed in him after his business trip. He ripped the magazine off my hands and threw it wherever it landed. Feeling ko ang bilis humaba ng buhok ko. Jeans. `Yun nga lang. Damn. He had already a to wel on.
eh kung tutuusin I was my sister s dead ringer. . Hindi naman talaga masama ugali niya. In exchange I gave her a sculpture of Venus de Milo. We chat a little for a while. He gave me the creeps. For me it wasn t even practical eating or even drinking a cup of coffee for how much! Tsk. Because Julian was Julian. She knew CM by the photos I e-mailed to her before. I felt a pang of envy. Then we hugged each other. Kung buhusan kaya kita ng kumukulong kape? Gusto mo? I smirked. if I was going to ask for the moon. Ang kapal ko naman kung sabihin kun g he was lusting after me. I didn t know. Once in a while. argh. I should have been understanding. Tricia s a part of the past. Tapos lumingon ako. I m not good with explaining myself. I glanced at him. Nakakainis sa inyong mga babae. we could indulge in life s luxuries once in a while . I shrugged. Vincent? Hmm. ang big deal ng nakaraan para sa inyo. Anong ibig mong sabihin CM? Nagkita kami sa Starbucks. My mouth almost dropped open. I thought he was going to tell me go to hell . It s time. Two weeks from now may gaganapin g Fine Arts contest sa New York. 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. Jeannie? Tumili siyang lumapit sa `kin. Pero `yung Vincent. Was he treating my sister well? Ngumiti sa `kin si Jean na parang inaassure ako. Wel l. I frowned. Well. You might want to join Jeannie? Seryosong sabi n ito. Parang nag-init `yung ulo ko. Parang tumaas lahat ng dugo ko sa ulo ko. Babalik na `ko ng States the day after tomorrow. Tell me you love me and I ll forget you even dated Tricia once u pon a time. Tapos nanulis `yung bibig ko. CM s brow raised. Tricia gave it to me on my 21st birthday. I didn t want him to change. Kung sa bagay. He slowly smiled at me. Hindi ko n a itatanong kung anong o much better sinong nilalapastangan niya sa isip niya. okay fi ne. There was something there. I mean. And that guy. Alin `yun baseball bat niyang may nakalagay pang From me to you? YUCK! I don t know. Hindi ko gusto `yung ngiting iyon ni CM. Jean let s go. Listen to me sweetheart. Anong isasali ko? Wala pa nga akong napipinta simula dumating a ko dito. I silently wished as I touched my sister s rounded stomach . Mga ka-federation ko ata ang judges. He si ghed exaggeratedly. Ewan ko ba dito kay CM. But I knew deep down he cared about me. How rude . At nauna na kay Jean. I smirked at him. Winner! Tumili pa siya. Okay. blackli sted na. Tipong mag-iinarte ka kasi gusto mong lambingin ka niya. Did you know why Julian s business got a downturn? CM s eyes squinted at their backs. Her tummy s five months now. Paint Julian while sleeping nude. he really was a changed man. Matino namang kausap `tong si friend. Ngumuso ito kay Vincent.I pouted. There was m y sister. Were rich men born to be airheads? Julian for one. If he would just kiss me and tell me he was sorry then he wouldn t be Julian at al l. See? He even gave Tricia a very luxuri ous gift! Ako? WALA. siya naman ang magbabayad. Sana may baby na rin ako. Tapos naghikab ako. For the win `yun te! Parang kinikilig na tumingala pa ito. Muntik na kong kiligin dun. Alam mo ba `yung feeling na gu sto mong magpa-amo. Pero hello? Kailangan pa bang ipamukha sa `kin na regalo `yun ng ex niya? EX na nga `di ba? Meaning X. He was eyeing me like. Parang balewalang tumayo ito. This Vincent was second on the list. It was a little bit over a month and a half simula ng bukingan portion na `yun. And hey. you know. No. That s Tricia s birthday gift to me. I t was gross to even imagine. He was looking right through me. Hinarap niya `ko. sometimes he was an asshole. He sighed.
Bakit ako tatanungin mo kayo ang kambal `di ba? Anyway. He shrugged. Akala ko ba nagbago na siya? Mabilis akong tumayo. My phone started ringing. I gasped. Then I slowly peeked at it with one eye. You re gross. What now? Paano kung igiit pa rin ni Julian `yung baby making contract namin? I was so stupid. We have a flight to catch up. Could it be? As mommy told me. Pero parang wala namang laman ang tyan ko. Then my vision became blurry. He cut the line off. Positive? Malamang Jeannie. Bakit ko pa kasi pinirmapirmahan. Plus sign. Siguro may mga v . Jeannie? Are you okay? Okay? I groaned. Na-realize kong ang sagwa pala. We weren t even married legally! Dahil nga null and void ang marriage contract namin. God. I looked pale. Kaya nga nagtataka ko dyan sa kapatid mo. She s one of the cronies of Vincent. kelan ba naging negative ang plus sign? Parang nababaliw na sabi ko sa sarili. This tim e he s got his revenge against the Sunicos. That one s ruthless.Wait. I know. Julia I gritted my teeth in anger. What? I threw up on him. CM even suggested we go to the OB. Kinakabahan ako habang hinihintay ko ang result ng PT. I was a bit disconcerted about mothers who left their children withou t a by-your-leave. Artist yes. I hadn t thought about it. `Yung hikbi ko naging hagulgol na. Seriously. He changed. TWENTY FOUR I stared at myself in the mirror. I laughed silly at myself. Jean s not like that. It had been ab out a month and a half since that night. I yanked my tee shirt up. Pero ayoko. Who do you think? Mahina kong sabi. Naiiyak na napaupo ako sa tiles. baka naman na g-eenie mini mynie moe `yang kapatid mo? Sino sa tatlo ang tatay ng anak ko? Sosy al. Oh. My head was spinning. But he didn t tell an ything about us being together forever. I wanted to cry and howl at the same time. Raised my han d then pouted my lips. Anak ko ito eh. Who s her baby s father anyway? Isn t Brad her boyfriend? Parang naguguluhang napatingin ako sa kanya. You re kidding me. Why not? Sa kotse siya nabuo. I giggled. what would happen to me? I couldn t just give my baby up. Nasulot niya ang mga investors ni Julia n. If ever na totoo man syempre `yung tatay ng anak ko ang gusto kong kasama. May nagbago ba? Nag-pose pa ako. Hindi kaya buntis ka ba? My head swam with all the possibilities. be careful what you wished for coz you just might get it. Goodne ss. Hello? Umuwi ka na. Ngayon din. Hindi pwedeng artista Jea nnie. I hugged my knees to myself. Ano `yun mga tuta? Basta na lang ipapamigay. My sister s well-informed. Siguro magiging car racer anak ko `paglaki. no. napakapit ako sa silya. Just like that. Pinaghirapan ko kaya ang paggawa dito. He shrugged. So ano? Lalaking bastardo ang anak ko? Hindi ko napansing umiiyak na pala ako. what do you mean? He shrugged. CM. But not as an artist slash actress. I don t know.
Mamayang gabi na `yung fl ight. And I shoved him away from me. At nilayuan nga ako! Didn t he know that when a woman said she hated you it meant she cared about you. Per o naiinis din akong makita siya at the same time. Tumulo `yung sipon ko. Hindi ba niya alam na buntis ako? Sumisigaw siya? `Di kaya marinig ng baby `yun? What is the sigaw niya. Basang basa na ang mukha ko ng luha. matter with you? frustrated na bumab a `yung sigaw nito. Layuan mo `ko! What! I said get away from me! Excuse me? He looked at me incredulously. `Yung tingin niya sa `kin `yung tingin na parang baliw na talaga `ko. And Jean(pronounced as John) Julian if a he. Every woman deserved to be wooed. Disgusted. Jeannie! If you want to fly to the moon. Parang nanga sim `yung sikmura ko. Umiiyak na sumuka ak o sa bowl. Para akong masusuka. he whispered. Jeannie! What is wrong with you? Wala siyang choice. Before I could ev en say stop sniggering at me my stomach turned upside down. my God. He groaned. WHAT! Mabilis nitong inamoy ang sarili. I might melt. Hindi ko sinadya `yun no! Gross. I already love you baby JJ. I smiled and caressed my stomach. I swore I wanted to curse Julian. Hindi ko gusto ang amoy ng pabango niya. My eyes watered again. Mauna ka na! Hindi ako sa sama! He scowled. Napakasama talaga ng ugali nito. Get away from me! I screamed at him. Nakita kong hindi siya magkandatuto. I wasn t so sure why I couldn t just tell him right away. Tapos iyak na naman ako. Gosh. Ang baho mo kaya.alid reasons sila. it was difficult to carry extra pounds for nine months then you d just just Argh. God. Kadiri man halos isubsob ko na ang mukha ko sa bowl. Lalo akong naiyak. I wasn t here to sit judgement on them. I shook my head. It was just that. . Juliet Jean if ever the baby s a she. I would have died. Then I sniffed his shirt . He sighed. Well. Sabi ko lay uan mo nga ako. Ano bang problema ko? What s wrong Jeannie? I saw concern in his eyes. Oi. At mabilis inilayo ang mga braso kong nakataas sa kanya. Masyadong matapang . Go ahead. Napakasama ng ugali niya. He rolled his eyes ceilingward. We re going Nabitin ang pagsigaw nito. Tapos pinipilit niyang nila layo `yung polo shirt niya sa `kin. Para akong batang nagpapabuhat. Ta pos pinunasan niya `yung bibig ko ng basang face towel. Sabi ko. The grea t Julian Sunico? Parang takot na takot akong hawakan. Then I sniffed again. fine with me. I pouted then tears readily pooled down m y eyes. I said get away Will you just shut up? Para kang loro. Napakapit ako sa PT at mabilis na itinago sa likod ko. Julian buntis ako panagutan mo `ko! Baka sakalin ako nito ng w ala sa oras. Biglang bumukas ang pinto. That kind of beast scowl he always had. Bakit ba ayaw tumigil ng mga luha ko? Parang gusto kong maglupasay. Jeannie stop this nonsense okay? Aalis tayo ngayon din. Tapos Oh. Anon g sasabihin ko. Sigaw pa! Napahikbi ako. Gusto ko siyang makita. I gritted my teeth. Niyakap ko siya. My mouth dropped open. Tapos tinampal ko `yung bibig niya. Naawa siguro sa `kin at saka ako niyakap. He carried me like a sac k of rice. At `pagsinabing layuan mo `ko ang ibig sabihin lang nun ay pilitin mo `ko.
Nagtatampo ako kay Julian. Mamaya. Parang nababagot na sabi nito. Kaya la ng baka kuyugin ako dun. Kapag idineny ako nito ikakaila ko din siyang tatay ni baby JJ. `Yun lang. we need someone to volunteer to sing for us. Kung makatsansing. Through the dim light his face was arhm. Napatingin ako sa mga halamang dagat sa stage while Julian kept pulling my arm. Damn. Patay. I was waiting for his response. Parang nawala lahat ng sama ng loob ko. ngayong umaga lang `yan `pagdating ng gabi bati na ulit kayo. Tapos ngumuso siya sa likuran ko. I couldn t just help imagining the devil himself sing ing a love song for me in front of everybody. going home. And the re was him! What was he doing here? Napalingon agad ako kay CM. Uh-oh. Am I going to be a godmother. he s really sweet. Then I raised my hand. Sabay himas sa tyan. And he loves me so damned much The hell I don t know how to He hissed. At halos bumaon sa braso ko ang kamay niya sa pagkakahawak sa `kin. Parang sinasabing patay ka talaga sa `kin . I don t know how Pero inakay na siya ng dalawang bakla. I see. Yes? My husband will sing! CM groaned. Nilayuan nga niya `ko for hours! I called CM on the p hone. Hello Julian Jeannie s just One angry look. Wala na talagang matinong masabi ito. Magkaaway kaya kami. Biglang naghiyawan ang mga matrona at bakla doon. CM started laughing. Ako. The gay who impersonated President Gloria Arroyo patted my husband s rear! Aba. Libre? Julian gave him h is infamous don t-touch-me glare of his. expressionless but I clearly saw the way he was looking at me . Anyone? I smiled. Napalingon agad ako. My. Let s go home. Syempre gay bar nga eh `di may mga halamang dagat na nagpe-perform. Kaya nga nate-tempt na din akong mag-asawa para may kumukulbit na rin sa `kin `paggabi. Tumaas `yung kilay ko dun. dear? I smirked. CM! I thought you re my Ladies and gentlemen. soft smil e about his lips. Ang masama pa nito ibitin ako ng patiwarik ni Julian m amaya. He teasingly smiled at me. lover boy anong kakantahin mo? I don t know how to sing. Unf ortunately. He was shaking hi s head. Sorry Julian. Then my smile slowly faded when Julian cracked a slow. I sweetly smiled at him then turned to the stage. no. So is the lucky girl that one? Todo smile ako. So. Hindi. It wasn t one of those sexy grins or even the self-mocking half- . Like in a slow motion I turned around. Only if I would get out of here alive later. galit na bulong nito sa `kin. Are you single? Julian regarded me with intense dislike. Baby JJ? Excited? Syempre! Of course. I beamed proudly. I hissed and glared at him. Jules kasi CM! Baling ko kay CM. how sweet. Na tapat dito ang spotlight. Effective. Buti na lang maingay kaya walang nakarinig ng sinabi niya. At tumiklop na si CM. Hindi ko hahayaang madungisan ng dugo mo ang baby JJ ko no. I sipped the juice. Sisigaw sana akong asawa ko `yan . Bakit may unfortunately pa?! Really? Very unfortunate nga. Nagkita kami sa isang gay bar kinagabihan. Nagpaalam ka bang aalis? I frowned. Sus. Bumaling ulit ako sa kanya. iyan ang bunga ng inyong pag-iibigan ni Julian eh. Julian s eyes grew wide. I gnawed at my nails. Oh.
At ibang sayaw din ang alam k o `yung `yung walang steps. Seriously it was as if he weren t really singing. TIGHTLY. I grimaced. Magpapalakpakan sila tapos kikiligin. Nagtawanan `yung mga nandun na kala mo kinikiliti. My eyes got misty. oh I I need to share every breath of you Oh I. Eto na. God. Oh. O kaya he would tell me Je annie you re my life. Akala ko sa movies lang nangyayari ` to. Yes. His voice was awkward. Buti na lang gwapo siya. Julian cleared his throat and looked about the surro undings uncertainly. Not even a one-fourth of any croakin g vocalists. you re my every He smiled at me and grabbed my arm. Because it was the best song I d ever hear d in my whole life. 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. I frowned and winced at the same time. Sa totoo lang naiyak ako kasi hindi pala marunong kumanta si Julian. eto na `yung moment na maghahabu lan kami tapos magyayakap kami sa gitna ng maraming tao. Our eyes met. a chauvinist. So afraid to take a chance again So afraid of what I feel inside. I thought the world stopped revolving. At saka ano na lang sasabihin ng mga associates niy a? The CEO was seen singing a love song to his wife. `Yung parang shooting. Then he mouthed: I love you.smile. No. But I need to be next to you Oh I. He was really croaking and out of tune. I don t know how to sing really. Leigh Nash sang that song beautifully. It was full of tenderness. hindi pwedeng mag-Careless Whisper dito ha! They left him on the stage. Palapit na siya. It was as if he was talking to me through the lyrics. Pretending I was better off alone But I know that it's just a lie. and a very arrogant ass who thought he owned the w orld. Pero ngayon ko lang na-realize Prince Charming was real. He wasn t near perfec t. Bumaba siya ng stage. Pero hindi lang pala b ulag ang pag-ibig kung hindi bingi rin. But it was okay with as long as he owned me. He was rude. 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. near with you. Tapos tumayo ako. Hindi ba dapat CM s eyes widened as he was w . Been running from this feeling for so long Telling my heart I didn't need it. Nakakahiya lang tul oy. The gay comedian snorted. He stopped singing.
Jeannie. He shoved me inside his car. And Julian seemed withdrawn. Iti natanong pa ba `yun? THE USUAL. Para akong naalimpungatan. Then my stomach got queasy. Definitely not Julian! And very much naked! Oh. tell him about the baby. Puro gastric juices lang naman ang . Grabe. I even brushed the tendrils of wavy hair away from the side of his face to make sure. anong tingin niya sa `kin robot?! Julian! Not a word. I pouted. He did. To God-knows-where. I woke up and opened one good eye. hell. I sat upright. on his stomach. He gritted his teeth. didn t he? Argh. Aalis pala kami bukas ng madaling araw. Si Julian nga! Malay ko ba. She was inside the shower room. Tala ga bang nagiging spoiled na sa kanya ngayon si Jeannie? He hissed. I was naked. Kahit na nga ba nandito pa rin ako sa r oom ko. Mabilis akong tumaas at naglinis `pagkauwi. Ang halos kaladkarin palabas! I tried to smile at everyone. Pero nakita niya ang mensahe ni CM. wasn t I? Then my stomach started churning. Mamaya niyan si Freddie na pala `yung katabi ko. He even bared his soul to that brat. Before I knew it. What baby? Wasn t it ironic? CM would tell him? Didn t he? Jeannie had a baby how? Oh. There. Lahat na lang ng gusto nito nasusunod. He said in a controlled voice. He was sleeping close to me. Kung hindi ako ang magsasabi para matapos na ` yang problema mo. I remembered watching Nightmare on Elm Street last night. I was covering my mouth and running to the CR. I gasped. It was so unlike him to snoop into o ther s things. He felt stripped of his pride. Habang sumusuka ako ay pinapaliguan ko ng mura si Julian sa isip ko. Bugger. Kontrolado nga galit naman. He was going to be a father without her telling him outright! TWENTY FIVE Disoriented. His left arm was wrapped around my midsection. I saw him packing our things. God. Suka ng suka na wala namang inilalaba s. he sang a stupid son g he had secretly listening when he was a teenager in front of a crowd. In b ed with a stranger. This wasn t one of my fantasies. God. It was all a dream! Humigpit ang yakap ni Julian sa `kin. He loved me. What happened? Joke lang pala ni God. Mabilis niyang tinignan ang cellphone nito.agging his finger: lagot ka. I was paranoid. no. Sumuka ako dun sa sink. Naiiyak na subsob na ang mukha ko sa lababo. Narinig niya ang pagtunog ng cellphone nito. I gritted my teeth. He swore he gasped.
Sasama ka? Inis kong sabi. As in. Tapos unti-u nti niyang hinahalikan `yung mga luha ko. What! My eyes watered.inilalabas ko. 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. Really? You ll escort me to hell? I said sarcastically. She frowned. It was only 3:00 am! Sh!t. And didn t even bother to lock the door. He was shouting at me! Na para bang first time niyang gawin `yun Jeannie! Oh. He shrugged his shoulders. 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. God. Oh. Inabot nito iyon! I stood up and he wrap ped my arms around his neck. Droplets of water was sluicing down his body. Kakatulog ko lang kanina. Care ko? I pouted and made face. What was really happening to me? I bit my lower lip and stood up. To Hell. Goodness. What was his problem? I got so lazy. Wala sa loob n a bulong ko. Bumukas `yung pinto. The father of my b aby was traipsing clad with only a towel around his narrow hips. He rolled his eyes ceilingward. My mouth dropped open wide. I screamed when I felt Julian s arms around me. I hate you Julian. God no. Pahikbi lang n ung una tapos palakas na ng palakas. Sasamahan na kita. What! Jeannie may warning na sabi nito. God. Luha. Ano pang tinitingin tingin mo dyan? Umaga na po prinsesa. AGAIN? Oh. Mamayang umaga pa ang flight namin ng ma galing na lalaki. Had Julian taken me to bed? It seemed so. Sorry baby. Hindi pa rin nagbabago ang expression nito. Tapos bigla kong inamoy `yung sarili ko. Kulang ako sa tulog. His hair was dishevele d. she cried. pawis. I haven t had a good night s sleep. Jeannie Itinaas ko `yung kamay ko. At magtitili. sipon. Ayokong umalis. Para ba ng wala na akong lakas para bukas. I arched my brow. She was exasperating. I didn t smell bad. Whatever. What the hell are you doi Julian s shout seemed to freeze. Kung ganito naman ang panaginip I might ask God never to wake me up. If his wife didn t look pitiful enough. Isa bang malaking kasalanan iyon? Julian. Jeannie looked up. Gusto kong kiligin. Lahat na. in my dreams. I specifically reme mbered sleeping on the couch. He pulled me close. It was a miracle! Note to self: Magpapaparty ako `pag-uwi namin. I opened my eyes and swore. last night? . I was robbed of my power. Para akong nagl away bigla. I couldn t believe it. He wrink led his nose. Had God really answered my prayers? Why are you crying? He whispered. for Pete s sake! Julian a no ba! I swore I wanted to punch Julian s handsome face. Where are you going? He hissed. I buried my face into the pillow. Parang tinatamad akong maligo. Better to wake me up now! I glared at him. Swear. kasalanan ng magaling mong tatay ito! Umupo ako sa couch at pinagmamasdan si Julian. Tahimik lang siya habang nakaupo kami sa eroplano. I walked on to the lavatory. He was sulking because I didn t take my precious bath. Okay. I even scrubbed myself twice. Was this Julian the stranger in bed. May flight pa tayo. He didn t really understand how women s minds work. He brushed the wet hair away from her tear-stained cheeks. Her eyes grew wide. Bakit ba lalaki na lang ang nagpapakasarap at babae ang nagpapakahirap? Why was life so unfair? Uwooo Hawak ang tyan na sumuka ulit. As if he cares! He glared at me. `Wag nang idagdag ang hindi paliligo nito kanina kahit ano ng pilit niya. In my saner days I would have been also disgusted with myself. Though sadly he s hould understand her. nakita ko ang panghihilakbot sa mukha ni Julian. I was in bed. Na para bang anumang oras ay sasakalin niya na talaga ako. He was wet.
I didn t want to swim. Sabi ni Uncle Jin. Mabilis kong pinahid `yung luha ko tapos tumaliko d sa kanya. It was Uncle Jin s birthday. Tapos tinanggal niya `yung mga kamay ko sa leeg niya. Maybe bec ause I was just too emotional. I was rooted to the ground. I was a bit overwhelmed. Mukhang baby pa lang manang mana na sa tatay niya. Sanay akong nasisigawan niya. I pouted. Ano ba. W-wala. Tapos humar ap ako sa kanya. I thought I thought He looked at me incredulously. I shouldn t have known that sec ret. Hindi ba iyon din a ng tinanong ko kanina sa kanya? Julian naman! Just leave me alone! Dumadagundong ang sigaw nito. Grabe. Tapos tumayo ito. Na para namang alam ko kung pan o `di ba? Lagi akong nagsusuka if not early in the morning. Oh. Pero iba ito. Syempre it had been my specialty: lying through my teeth. Julian s real dad. Hmm Syempre minsan na nga lang ito lulubus lubusin ko na! Tinatamad akong maglakad.Saan mo tinago si Julian? bulong ko sa kanya with matching stare-a-thon. He whispered to me and kissed my nape. It won t work unless you tell me what s bothering you! He seethed. Where are you going? To hell. Buhatin mo `ko papunta sa upuan. Then I felt a hand wrapped around my middle. Don t use that on me Jeannie. Jeannie! Sigaw ulit nito. Hayaan mo na siya Risan. Julian was looking intently at him. Kung paano hindi ko alam. So so I should tell him first about about the baby? We were in Morocco for a week. . Pero hindi ko rin siya gaanong ma-appreciate kasi si baby JJ. Sabi ko. My eyes grew wide. Paano kung makunan a ko habang naglalakad? Syempre sa sobrang stress ko. His teeth was grating. Are you sick? Uncle Jin asked me once. Argh. Tapos bumagsak ako sa floor. Nakapaglakad ka ngang mag-isa papunta dito. I was so lazy. I saw Julian s father striding toward us. He stepped out of the lava tory to the door. He was such a very considerate and loving husband! My eyes watered. Mabilis akong nagmano sa papa ni Julian at sinundan ito. He hugged me from behind. Hindi man lang naawa sa `kin. Bumagsak ang upuan nito. Ano! He shouted no. I almost groaned aloud. Kung iiyakan ko lahat ng mano k na pinapatay para gawin Chicken Joy baka ipasok na nila ako sa mental nito. Kulang ako sa tulog. He cracked an indulgently smile at me. babe I m sorry. I merely got out of the room. My knee s might give out. Sasama ka? Galit na sabi nito. Maglalaslas na lang siguro ako sa banyo. Tapos tapos bigla na namang kumunot `yung noo niya. Really? Parang sa panaginip ko lang ito nakikita. I clutched my stomach. Julian! sigaw ni Aunt Risan. Tapos tinalikuran ako! Grabe. `Yung smile ko nag-fade. Ang morbid naman ng mga naiisip k o. Leave him alone `di ba? Tears streamed down my face. Sig e pa rin ako sa lakad. And Julian s specialty: growling at me! Julian. Jeannie He hissed. Sa tanghaling tapat. screamed! God. I gasped. I shook my head and smiled at them. I bet you re going to be a pig in no ti me at all. Isn t there something you want to tell me? Ha? Parang hindi nagpa-function `yung brain cells ko. And I eve n cried when I saw a chicken being killed. I was too emo. Oo.
Tapos lumabas na siya. Kapag uwi namin. He carried me to his car like a sack of rice. I slowly looked up from Julian s stricken face back to the blood streaming down my thighs. As if he owned the world. yes. Sunico kay Uncle Jin. Naiiyak na nilapitan ko siya at niyakap. It was the best thing ever. I already know. The water was crystal blue. You re not happy. He was lashing out. Then he slammed the vase with full force. Walang makapigil dito. I fell hard and flat out on the floor. Blood! There s blood on her thighs. What are you talking about Uncle? That fuucking son of b!tch you call Uncle is your real dad Julian! Para iyong bombang sumabog. Julian froze. The se tting was just like this. They were a bunch of rich people. I m the happiest man on earth . Oh my God. We halted dead in our tracks. Nakita ko si Julian dun sa may bandang cliff. I was like really? It was a canvass with all its painting materials. . You re lying! Julian no! Mabilis ko siyang nilapitan pero ilang beses niyang tinatanggal ang kam ay ko sa braso niya. The pain in my tummy numbed me. He wagged me off him. Because you didn t tell him the truth! He shouted. Baka nailagay lang diyan. Ju lian lost control and punched Mr. My eyes grew wide. No! Damn you! Hiyaw nito. Nakita ko `yung sakit sa mga mata niya. I painted him for hours with the sunset as the background. Naamoy ko na ang war of the worlds. Naalala ko `yung sa Sisterhood of Traveling Pants part two. no. Nakatayo. I wanted to ease that pain . She couldn t even wonder if everyone would have been d eaf and blind by now. Na parang may kinukuha mula sa katawan ko. eh `di na-shock ka ngayon? Gusto kong sabihin iyon sa kanya. May dala siy ang mapa. Everyone was afraid to come to him. Kahit ako. We drove off to miles and miles. Uncle Jin owned the house. San a forever na kaming ganito. But said instea d: We re going to have a baby. I grabbed his arm. What are you doing shouting at Uncle like that when you have no right to You re uncle? Julian s dad laughed demonically. And damned if I m not happy! At saka lamang ito ngumiti. No no my baby. This was the best of all the best vacation I ve ever h ad. 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. I tried my hands on it. You re drunk. Ang sunod na nangyari ang nakapagpatili kay Aunt Risan. Then I even put a chi ld beside him playing with his kite. Sa baba non ay makikita mo `yung dagat. Hinihintay kong tumalon siya tapos sabihin niyang Yes. Oh. Mukha siyang maglalakad sa death sentence niya. Isn t it Uncle Jin? It s the truth. It warmed my heart. Sunico in the face. I sobbed as I felt the pain k illing me. He said innocently. Syempre baby JJ would always come first. But from the looks of it. Ang gandang tignan. Sa sobrang pagwawala niya ay naitulak niya ako. Para iyong scene sa isang pelikula. Aunt Risan screamed. Ah. Second best gift Julian had ever given me. My heart skipped a beat. Pinipilit kong awatin si Julian. I couldn t believe it. Ano `yun? Naglakad lang dito? I opened the big gift.Then I slapped him hard. Kapag tingin ko sa back seat I was surprised to see a gift. Julian just please stay away from here! What? Galit niyang sabi kay Uncle Jin. What s that? Malay ko. Yep. We heard someone shouting from inside the house. He whispered. `Di ba? Hindi talaga nagkamali ang kapatid ko ng pagpili.
That time. Para akong mamamatay sa sakit. My long overdue speech. I couldn t live with Julian anymore if my baby would be taken from me. At unang una kong nakita si Julian. Mas ako ang nasasa ktan. In my blurring vision I saw how defeated he looked. Tapos nung ipapasok na `ko sa loob ayaw niyan g pakawalan `yung kamay ko. Napataas kilay ko dun. `Yung baby ko I cried. I didn t wish him to be dead bu t I did ask for him to fall into a ditch. It s okay ma am you re fine now. As if I were in ele mentary again. I was in and out of conscious but I saw Julian holdi ng my hand as I was rushed to the ER. right. ako ang nasasaktan. Hindi ko kayang mawala `yung baby JJ ko. I hate you Julian. They were all there. I woke up disoriented. My hand flew to my stomach. Gusto kong sumigaw. Tapos biglang bumukas `yung pinto. My head was pounding. This time I I m-mean it Finally. Hindi ko kaya. But this time. 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. Hin di ko alam kung ano `yung tinurok nila sa `kin. Wow Sosyal na ba ang mga nur ses sa Pilipinas? Are they required to talk in English now? May pisong multa na din ba kapag nag-tagalog sila kapag duty hours? Yeah. Magwala. This would be my last day in the suffocating hospital. Basta mabigat `yung pakiramdam k o. Hindi niya `ko pinupuntahan. I st arted sobbing hysterically. Death is quicker. Jeannie! Nilapitan niya agad ako. Jeannie I m sorry. Dapat lang! Dapat lang siyang matakot. I missed him and hated him at the same ti me. hatred won. Do I look fine? Was losing a baby okay to you? But no voice came out. 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. Then the nur ses were speaking in English.TWENTY SIX I was sent to the hospital. Then everything suddenly flashed to my memory again. I couldn t stand t he sight of him! Get away from me! I shouted. Nagtataka ako kung san ko pa nakukuha ang lakas ko. Even the nurses were calming me down. Two days. Parang iba `yung room. Doc what s happening to my wife? He screamed in fear. Naiiyak na napatingin ako sa labas ng bintana. `Yun yung naririnig ko. He was about to embrace me when I pushed him hard away from me. Suffering isn t. With the last ounce of strength I pulled my hand from him. Though my body felt numb. Malakas na nga ako eh. Emotionally and physically. . A blond petite nurse came to my aid. Kaya k o ng sapakin sa mukha si Julian. Please hang on babe He kept w hispering.
He was seethin g with anger. Tinatanong pa ba kung sino? Nauna na sina Uncle Jin at ang parents ko. On a serious note I didn t want to see him. Pero parang ayaw makisama ng loko. That was harsh I know. I wanted him to feel the pain. I mean ta ma. Uncle Jin pwede po bang sa inyo na lang ako sumabay? Halatang nagulat ito. Naintindihan mo naman `di ba? I m not going with you. Sabi ko. Pinagpraktisan ko kaya iyon. He squealed. Ngayon niya matitikman ang isang salita ni Jeannie . I looked at CM as if I were saying see? I m not going with you Julian. Pawis. Jeannie. Don t touch me! I pushed him hard. All the things that I was trying to laugh off in the past months. I even memoriz ed a speech when we meet again. Kung kailan pa nawala `yung baby ko. Ayokong umi yak sa harap nila. Naligo ka na ba? The boy frowned at me. H e mouthed: Are you sure? Why are you still here? Tanong ko kay CM. Hindi mo alam? Na ikaw ang problema ko una pa lang? Galit kong sabi. Sipon. My knees were buckling. I hugged the boy. was Julian s half-sister now that the truth was finally set free. Ahm you talk to your husband first. Sabay tingin kay Julian. Niyakap ko siya `yung parang wala ng bukas. But he hugged me. I m sorry baby. sabi niya. I started crying then. Hinintay niya lang palang maka-re cover ako. Sabay iling papunta sa direksyon ni Julian. Lahat na. What is your problem? Mabilis pa sa alas-kwatrong hinarap niya ako. I avoided eye contact. Ano pa bang tinatayo tayo mo dyan? Pasko? Galit na sabi ni Julian. kalaking lalaki este. bakla takot kay Julian! They were even of the same size and height. Lahat ng sama ng loob ko naipon. Nagtitimpi siya alam ko. I didn t spare that bastaard a glance. Because Celine. My pai n. Na parang hindi alam ang gagawin. I don t have a husband Uncle Jin. Kapag uwi namin sa airport ay nakita ko sina mommy. Ayaw mo? Ingos niya sa `kin. Luha. Kay Julia n. We weren t shou . Julian raised one brow and didn t comment. Tapos pi nagsusuntok ko `yung dibdib niya. I wasn t even speaking in th e airport or on the way back. I could walk. Hija I think you have to talk to him first. Jeannie listen to me. Mabilis itong tumalikod at tinapik ang balikat ni Julian. Good. he whispered and kissed the top of my head when I was exhausted. I gave him the don t-Jeannie-me glare. Awkward. 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. Pinipilit niyang hawakan `yung kamay ko. You re so selfish! You think only of yourself?! Honey please He combed his hair with his fingers. Someone grabbed my arm that moment. Hindi ako kumikibo. My hat red ran deep now. I grab bed CM s hand. I brushed the tears away angrily. That stopped him. Malakas. He was such a dear boy. Naghihintay na may malaglag na butiki. Ano? Sumigaw ito. I smiled at Tantan. Tapos kinusot ko `yung ilong k o. I nodded again. At ayokong dumating sa puntong hihilingin kong sana hindi ko n a siya nakilala o kaya naman ay mamatay na siya. you know.Diretso na tayo sa airport. I embraced them. First time after so many days. CM was also there. Salitang ilang beses ng nabali dahil kay Julian. Tears were threatening to explode again. Tantan s mother. He bear-hugged me. Ngayon ko lang siya na-appreciate. Uncle Julian! Mabilis itong lumapit sa Uncle nito. Iyon lang. I m sorry ab out the baby thank God you re alive and You thank God because I m alive? You bastard! Galit kong sabi. He wasn t even thinking about our baby? Kung sa ibang pagkakataon baka nagtatalon pa ako at isipin kong ako lang ang inaalala niya. Grabe.
Hindi man lang nag-effort na suyuin ako. Someone told me that words weren t enough. Alam mo `yung feeling na. Galit kaya ako ng time na `yun. Grabe ngayon pa lang nami-miss ko na si Julian. I willed myself to be strong. dalawa na kaming buntis ng kambal ko. Jeannie. Well. shouldn t I? Mom was standing in the middle of the room with Jean. Mommy Ewan ko kung bakit parang naintindihan niya agad ako. Nakita kong nagagalit na siya. LOL. Julian I won t go with you anymore. Dalagang Pilipina. Anong akala niya ganon lang iyon? Kiss an d make up? Pakipot ako no. But Julian would always be a part of me. lalaki lang `yun. What are you talking about? I haven t killed the baby! Hindi siya nawala! Nandyan p a rin siya! He even touched my stomach. I just can t. He couldn t haul me anymore to his car sa harap ng maraming tao. Aminin niyo. Three months! Halos maglilimang buwan na `yu ng tyan ko ni-hoy wala man lang! Okay. There were times whe n I wanted to call on him. he did call me on the phone. Hindi ito ang napagkasunduan natin. Nagpip igil lang. Julian I won t go home with you anymore. So the baby was only a joke for him? Sobra na ito! Humihingi ako ng saklolo kay CM through my eyes. We were in a public place. Baka nga kaisa ko kayo. 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. Come on. Mahiya naman kami. Bakit? Hindi pa naman mag-aaral `yang anak mo ah. This time I was so serious I woul d have knocked my head against the wall. Actions were needed. Mother knows best talaga. Yayakapin niya sana ako ng umiwas ako. About Julian Deadma. pinag-usapan talaga namin `yun. I should be happy. Sheesh. Meron Tapos lumingon lingon pa. Pa-hard to get. Me. Umuwi ako sa bahay namin. kung hindi man si Julian eh ako. 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. didn t he always do that Jeannie? I m leaving you. Jeannie naman oh! CM took the baby clothes from my hands. Grabe. I took my arm from his grip. Si Julian Sinong Julian? `Yung nakabuntis sa `yo. In so many words. Did he think I was joking? Not on this lifetime. She hugged me like I were a child again. Isa lang `yung alam ko: I neede d space. goodbye . Julian and the baby. May gunting ba dito? CM frowned at me. Na para bang ang sinabi ko ay isang nakakatawang joke . Sa school supplies section. Why did they have to say I love you? Kung magpapaalam lang din naman sila? Friend Hmm? Kumuha ako ng mga baby clothes. I hissed. Sana man lang pinalipas niya `di ba? Wala. I m going home with my parents.ting. Away from Julian. I d like to cut off your long tongue. I gasped. He was shaking his head rapidly. I glared at him. He mouthed: Hindi ko asawa `yan. Three months seemed to pass without any ado. Hindi. Julian who? Inis kong harap sa kanya. Actua lly. Jeannie . Ganon kasi ako kapag n ate-tense. And I cut th e line off immediately. Dati kasi inisip ko how stupid people were . may mga taong ganon. There was so much at stake here. Could I survive without him? Of course. True? Wasn t he just cracking a s tupid joke on me? Parang maiiyak ako sa tuwa na nababanyo. Iyo `yan. My baby JJ? JJ? He raised one brow at me. I started crying. True. He seemed so shock.
not Julian Sunico. Kasi baka makapatay lang ako ng tao. I went to the comfort room. Why. Pwede mo na akong bitawan salamat . Hindi ko napansin sa pagkain ko na pala naibunton ang kung ano mang na raramdaman ko. Hindi ako depress. Hindi na naman ako naglilihi ah. Why could he be so handsome? I gritted my teeth. I shouldn t have looked up. Hindi. Easy ka lang Jeannie. But he did. You might be mistaken mister. Hindi ako papansin no! Grr. thank you. Hindi kaya lagnatin ito mamaya? Have we met before? I arched my brow. sabi ko at taas noong naglakad ako. My breath got hitched. Tignan ko kung san siya tatagal. May mga kamay na biglang umalalay sa `k in. Kahit nakakahiya man. Jeannie Si Julian at si Wala akong pakialam!!! Tila ata mapapaanak ako ng wala sa oras. Na para bang sinasabing: Ah. May isang intrimitidang tinignan ako mula ulo hanggang paa. Sig e lang. Dammit Jeannie! Oh. I didn t know why I was pushing him to hi s limits. Samantalang ako? I looked like like I ate hungrily. Napadpad kami sa Filipino restaurant. I didn t car e. Just like Julian. Gutom ka pa? Lagay pa ito ng lagay sa plato ko. I opened my mouth in a big O. I cou ldn t walk. Julian s on the dating scene again. eh `di lumabas din `yung tunay niyang kulay! Stop this playacting of yours. I was so bloated. At lalong aaminin kong gusto kong patayin si Julian ngayon din! Those chinito eyes. I w alked past CM and looked for a restaurant. Kung pasabugin ko kaya `yung bahay nila Julian? I gritted my teeth. Mamaya talaga bibili ako ng cha kang manika. Gustung gusto ko na siyang murahin. Si Julian o? I glared at him. Naniningkit na ang lalong singkit na mata nito. Then he crossed his arm s over his chest. I turned around. okay wala ka pa palang pakialam a ng lagay na `yan. Wala akong narinig. CM s face was devoid of any emotion. Nagrereklamo si Baby JJ. CM was really serious! Julian was speaking to a lovel y woman. Oh. Hinawakan niya `yung siko ko per o mabilis kong iniiwas iyon. Grabe. Napaatras bigla si CM. How I would love to wring his neck. I put my hands on my ears. He raised both hands in the air. God. Angrily! CM winced at me. Pinagbigyan na kita these past months. I turned my back on him. Oh. Aaminin ko na gseselos ako. si Julian o? Biglang turo ni CM. Nakita ko ang pagpipigil niyang magalit. Thanks mister. I leaned against the cubicle wall. He was such a jerk. Humigpi t ang hawak ko sa tinidor. I almost slipped off the tiled flooring. I just heard it from my sister. Saan? Sa puso mo Then he started laughing. I sweetly smiled at him. I saw him controlling his anger. Nasobrahan ata ako. Listen to me Jeannie Did I really hear him pleading? Oh. Parang narinig kong may sumabog na naman sa Iraq. Like in a slow motion reel film. Ang sakit ng tyan ko. Galit na inihirap niya ako sa kanya. Ngumuso ito. Jeannie Wala akong naririnig I even sent you flowers. However you pin a halo to Lucifer he would always be a devil. I rolled my eyes heavenward. Jeannie honey He looked at my now rounded stomach. Hindi masama ang loob ko. Bigla kong nabitawan `yung baby socks. I started cryi ng.Oh? Gigil kong sabi. She looked like a model out of a vogue cover. Nasa basurahan na! What! I can t believe it! Those flowers are expensive! Ano bang gusto mo? Nahihirap . Baka kasi naghihintay pa `yung date mo. Hin di ako `yung third party. I started sniffing while I was inside the cubicle. Papatayin ata ako sa pagkabusog ni CM.
Ooops. Nakangiti ako habang nakaharap sa salamin. At least then you won t pester me anymore! He gritted his teeth. Pero wala talaga. I was Angelina Jolie s missing twin sister. Jeannie are you okay? Bigla ni ya akong niyakap. Ligawan mo muna ako. Don t touch me. You look hapy anak? Ganyan nga smile. I felt like the most beautiful w oman in the whole world. nagmana ito ng tantrums sa daddy niya. You re dating somebody else. I would have laughed silly if anyone just blurted out: Hey. Bakit ba hindi ko mapigilan ang reflexes ng sarili kong reaksyon! Something gripped me from within. Makipag-date ka kahit sinong gusto mo. Don t tell me. Tapos hinimas ko ulit `yung tummy ko. Our eyes met. I straightened up fr om his arms. You re trying to do what I wanted. San ka pupunta? . I frowned. Tama. Tsk. Gumagalaw `yung baby ko! It was amazing how God could implant a living soul within us. Ay. Hindi ikaw! I was trying to do what you wanted. It sounded like a warning. meaning Oo. Tsk. hindi lang pala feeling `yun. Naks. He begged. You re going home with me now? On one condition. Hindi pa lang siguro niya alam.an na `ko Jeannie He whispered angrily. Nako. There was unfamiliar warmth in my heart. Why mommy? Nothing She shrugged. Parang hindi ako makahinga. So happy with myself. He cupped both of my cheeks. Siguro kahit papaano hindi rin naman malas ang mga babae. You didn t even bother to call me to go for me I whispered numbly. 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. Talaga? Talaga. Kahit magpakasal ako ulit? My eyes grew wide. At ginawa mo naman! I glared at him. ito na naman `yung sumpong niya. I ve got someone on the side when you re busy. Pero may madaan lang na maganda at sexy `yung titigan mula ulo hanggang cleavage na. Gumagalaw na ba `yung apo ko? Mommy looked at me from head to toe. His teeth was grating. Not because I couldn t ahm perform for him that he wou ld find somebody available. So like men. Bigla a ta akong nagka-asthma. Yo ur mom talked to me. Okay. Weren t the roses red and violets blue? Oh. honey listen to me I did call you many times. For the second time I heard the great Julian Sunico pleading. Alam ko talaga. no more like begged me to stay away from you for awhile. What?! I nodded rapidly. She asked me. Bad vibes. Mommy really did that? I know she was just p rotecting me. Umuwi ka na sa `tin. Ayoko. Jeannie please It didn t sound like begging to me now. honey . Do you agree with mommy? Sumipa ka ulit baby para twice. O kaya aatakihin ako sa puso. God. Tapos syempre itatanggi nila `yun. TWENTY SEVEN I was smiling stupidly in the mirror. Then what? She s a foreign associate. Biglang sumipa si Baby JJ! Baby I cooed. Why not? He glared at me. Oo. Hey. Ni-lock niya! Nahihirapan?! `Yung delivery man `yung naghirap. Baliw na ata ako at hinihintay ko ngang gu malaw ulit ito. Itinaas niya `yung baba ko. Nothing more. Magkakalintikan talaga. Sinabi niya sa `king `wag ka munang guluhin at Mommy what?! Biglang nawala `yung pagka-asthmatic kuno ko ah. The hell I care. Damn. Perform meaning do my wifely obligations. Napansin kong naka-lock na pala `yung pint o sa CR.
Humigpit ang kamay ko n g kinuha ko ang bouqet. Mabilis kong binagsak ang mga roses sa sahi g. Why was it that every time I thought everything was going to be perfect it would al l turn out to be worst than I expected? Why did Julian have to hurt me many many more times before he would see my worth ? Hanggang ilang beses pa ba? I was feeling and acting crazy I know that. What the hell was CM doing here? Again? Hindi kaya ang masama pa nito siya pa maging kamukha ng anak ko. I gritted my teeth. Ay. Mommy. I stepped on his peace offering! Once. Oh? Ito lang pala eh. Jeannie He wasnow gnawing his nails. I gritted my teeth in anger. H e owned me. What s this? I didn t know why my heart started hammering wildly. he said and handed me a bunch of red roses. Naiiyak na ko. Judas s kiss. CM avoided eye contact with me. He smiled sheepishly. Look at this! What? I glanced at the newspaper he was holding in my face! I didn t even bother to look closely at the news clipping. Too achingly sweet. He should have bought me those wi th thorns. Honey. Nanlalaki ang mga mata nito. Who are they? He winced. Last petal. What are you Napatingin ito sa dyaryong hawak ni CM. I winced at her. I could smell something fishy. Yes. Damn him. He loves me. I smiled at him. nakakaawa ka . Narinig ko `yung pagkatok sa pinto. Ah no. didn t he? For five million pesos! He slowly gave me that charming. There was something wrong here. he lov es me he Lalong tumaas `yung kilay ko dun. What the hell are you doing? He hissed. Ang arte ko no? Ang drama ko. No! Napataas `yung kilay ko dun. Dahil naiiyak ako. Jeannie! Oh. Twice. Nakatingin lang sa `kin si CM. I was exploding! I hated him. are you ok ay? He kissed the side of my mouth. Mommy smiled at me. Picture kaya ni Ju lian `yung tinititigan ko nung time na `yun. Nakakahiya naman `di ba? Ngayon pa kami magliligawan kung kailan naka-bingo na. CM! Mabilis kong kinuha `yung dyaryo sa likuran niya. God no. You always make me up just to put me down. CM just excuse Ako na. Mabilis na binitiwan iyon nito . Jeannie! I frowned. Sabi ko. Mommy volunteered. Bummer . O baka gut feel ko lan g. I was just wait ing for Julian to drop by. Dahil galit ako. Sabi niya pupuntahan niya daw ako ngayon. Ano `yan? Balewalang tanong ko. tanga. Whatever. There was a couple cap tured kissing. he loves me not. I m way past that stage. At si CM nga ang masangsang na amoy na iyon. I picked one stem from the bunch of flowers. Alam ko gasgas na `yun. it might be Julia She was already out even before I could finish what I was going to say. Na parang sinasabing: Oo. Sheesh.Going to watch TV. Thrice. I just stared at him. Wala lang baka kasi kung ano pang makita mo maging kamukha pa ng apo ko. Pero umandar na naman `yung pagiging psychic ko. No mom. Then I slowly gasped. `Yung ngiting halatang may itinatago. After clearing his throat he put the news clipping away. CM ano `yan? Ito? ah wala. Oh. Hey. I was so mad I was going to explode. At saka I pouted. It was a major no-no! Hindi hindi si I saw CM nodded rapidly at me. Ewan ko ba. The moron was standing there looking so smug like he owned the world. sexy smile. I was rooted to the ground. Basta ang mahalaga I was way too happy to bother with the problems of the world.
I was out walking that night. Drunkard on the street! Papalag sana ako. Argh. I didn t have to be Princess Fiona to have the likes of Shrek. Iyon ang sabi nito. I didn t need Edward Cullen to be Bella. I whispered. we couldn t love someone who s faultless. Couldn t just Julian see my worth? Sabi nila: iwanan mo na `yung taong hindi ka naman kayang pahalagahan. I m outta here. He was made to be perfect. Nakaupo ako sa may bench. Kung dati tinatawanan ko lang `yu ng mga taong na-iinlove sabay sabing ay saludo ako sa `yo teh. Lagi na lang kami ganito. Kailan bang mawala ka pa? What if dun ka masaya? Would you fight for him or let go? My whole body was rocking violently. Kahit ilang beses mong marinig ang salitang tanga mapa-english man `yan o ibang lenggwahe. I whispered furiously. Walang taong ganon no. Why did a mere whisper in the ear from him and then my heart start beating triple time again and again. I was like are you okay ? Sympathetic. They wept. My friends cried over my sho ulder. it s me. `Wag na lang. They cursed their jerks of a boyfriend. Gumala w si baby JJ! Sorry. I just needed time off alone. 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. The doctor told me that I should get some rest. Arms wrapped around my rounded middle. Pwede na nga akong magsulat ng Dear Ate Charo dito. Mag-aaway. Kung memory storage lang ang puso hindi ba pwedeng . Maybe acceptance would eventually set me free. No stress. Hindi ko ginustong maging character sa fairy tale books na kinukulayan ng mga bata. There was no point denying the obviou s. Pero hindi ako naniniwala don. Or b etter yet my soon-to-be baby JJ. Was baby JJ sensi ng anything? Jeannie He took hold of my arm. Jeannie. Nag-panic ako. Bakit hindi? I always described them as: STUPID. I opened my mouth in disgust! Napapagod na `ko sa `yo Julian. Eeeh. My stomach started contracting violently. Pero hindi ba secretly all the girls i n town wished that? Deep down even if how many times we deny it. Teka. All in capital letters. But he wasn t anywhere near human. Malakas kaya kapit ko ka ya for sure dapat mana sa `kin si baby JJ. It was a cold night in December. 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. But seriously. He was all big aherm I mean he was almost perfect. Magmamahal an. Without arms to wrap around you. If you still don t sense that well too bad for you. it was all true . Syempre fetus pa lang siya ngayon no. Grabe. Get out!!! I hissed. Oblation sa UP. Magbabati. nadaig mo pa si Ri zal . Mahina ang kapit ng b ata. Tea rs were blinding my vision. I start ed sniffing. Pero ngayon ko lang na-realize. Mero n. I quickly pushed him off me. SANA. Ooops. Look at him. Why not? Because I d never been bitten by the love bug before. I gasped. No amount of gentle words could ever mar the pai n. Then suddenly my stomach contracted. I was too emotional. Oh holy sh!t. He might see your worth when you re gone. 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. baby I just miss you dad. I never asked for a perfect relationship.at binigay sa`kin. Will you just get out? Out of my life Julian. Hindi naman ako magpapagod. You couldn t just stop your idiot of a heart from beating for that pers on. K ung totoong lalaki nga lang siya baka babae na ang tumakbong hubad para dito.
Tapos galit na tinanggal ko `yung mga kamay niya. You saw that one.mag-erase? What are you doing here? I hissed and tried to take his arms away from me. Or even an orchestra. I didn t ever wonder now why I couldn t exchange him with Shrek. I paused. baka iniiisip niyang kulang pa sa daliri si baby JJ kaya pwede pa naming buuin. At kung ibababa mo pa `yung kamay mo malalaman mong tao ako. clutching his arm tightly. Jeannie listen to me there were music and candlelight dinner s here. Julian this is a public place! Kahit na nga ba walang ta He looked at me incredulously. Green Monster. He put it on his heart. galit na sabi nito. But he wasn t that bad. You re still the father and I can t de prive you of that. Not some hypocritical character of some fancy novel. Malay ko ba. Was he nervous? . My eyes grew wide. That w as rubbish. Please come back to me honey. Gah. Sabi nito. Akala mo ba lahat ng lalaki gustong maging prince charming? No. You are all warmed u p and kept on talking about baby JJ s future. Thank God there was no blood. Jeannie What! What you saw in the news isn t real. He was all lean and strong. Damn you! You always scare me. Trying to make everything okay and light. Anong gusto mong sabihin ko? Sigaw nito. His voice held warning but his touch was g entle as he brushed the tears away from my cheeks. He could be a very green monster you know. Mabilis akong nasalo ni Julian. He caressed my stomach and I could feel him from behind me. Aren t you hurt? Let s go the nearest hospital and So tinititigan niya lang pala kung may dugo `yung thighs ko. Tapos mabilis niyang itinaas `yung dress ko. He gritted his teeth. Okay. Sssshhh I m here baby. I was quite fascinated. He whispered. It was just fine with you? I whispered brokenly. Bakit ba napaka-clums y mo?! Sigaw nito. I was a bout to run from him. I could never be anyone s prince charming. He had been drinking! Malamang amoy alak nga eh. Lalaki ako. Julian s face softened. Nang muntik na akong matapilok. I saw the picture on the news clipping! Okay. Makinig ka sa `kin. My eyes grew wide . Bulong nito. Julian you can visit baby JJ anytime you want. Here he was. Syempre financial supp ort is always open mmmkay? Let s just go on separate ways. I slipped off the pavement but I anchored my elbow so my stomach wouldn t fall head-on. Now I was getting stup id. Onc e you ve said your piece you had it all figured out that you re right when in fact y ou re wrong. Naiiyak na suminghot ako. I ll admit. Paano kaya kung magkaanak din kami ng tatlong Julian? I shivered. He wasn t really begging but his voice wa s a mere whisper. I d even tell you outright that yes. Had he just said okay?! He was such a cad. Jeannie Don t worry about him I ll try to be the best mother I can be. You don t want to listen to me. Shut up. Feel this He hissed and took my hand. Jeannie! Damn you! Julian I was crying like a child. I was so pathetic. I screamed. Argh. Specifically without me in your life . I was real babe. His adam s apple bobbed up and down. don t you? Kayong mga babae. Pano ko siya hindi maririnig s a sigaw niya? I didn t try to be the hero you want me to be babe. My eyes were watering. Surely surely he wouldn t want to Argh! Not here. But my hips already bumped into the flooring. defending himself. Amoy al ak. I ve lusted for y ou since day one. Lillian kissed me! I didn t kiss her for Pete s sak e Jeannie! Are you listening to me! I started crying.
Dahil sa tingin na ganon. Sheesh. There are and will be times that I can t make you feel special because because I wan t to shout at you. I believed that there s one woman who can make a man a one-woman-man. He chuckled nervously. 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. we started arguing from our pony tails down to our crushes. Not that I told you to tolerate their being babaero . Sumbong kay daddy. On a serious note . Tapos kapag sila nag-aaway they d both tell us. Er r. Jean and I started growing up. `di ba? Hindi masaya ang buhay kung magtititigan lang kayo. I can t just boom. growl.I could be any man and tell you I love you every day. Kahit wala naman talagang nakakatawa. I had gone to Heaven then back to hel l. he shrugged. Just kidding. 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. Pero we couldn t ask for a sain t. And I don t know what I d do without you. take note: in chorus. That will be the best lie ever. Bakit ba hindi? Daig ko pang kasama si Hitler. It was flowing freely. Men were born to be polygamous. He looked at me. But this is me. Aba. Siguro kaya maraming nabubuntis ng maaga n gayon. Jeannie! I heard that shout. Big tim e. when Jean and I were ready to rip e ach other s head s off our shoulders. Nakikisigaw na din si mommy. Julian. Really looked at me. Married life was never perfect. to sh ut up. Nah. I could tell you that I know a lot about women. 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. Because no man eve r did. But that would be a joke. At your stupidity and silliness. Pero mahirap magpalaki ng baby. Jeannie! . Hindi nga ba t mahirap magpalaki ng mga magulang? In the three months I came back to Julian. Bakit ba eh. As if we didn t have the same face. At kami rin. change for a day just because you say so. You re the next best thing that happen ed to me. Masarap gumawa ng ba by. My professor in Psychology once said. 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.
That rooted him to the ground. I took out all my clothes. Oh-k ay. `Wag ka na lang gumalaw. Napangisi ako. Bummer. Right on his face. Alin don? `Yung tirahan ng mga b ukbok? Ah. Jeannie kapag hindi ka Ano? Anong gagawin mo?! Sigaw ko. 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. I was pregnant and he was what? Shouting at me. Mas mahalaga pa ba ang binubukbok na folder na `yun?! I stood up with chin in the air. My tears stopped immediately. `Yung tipong buk as pagsisisihan ko kung bakit nagkalamat `yun. Nanlisik bigla `yung mga mata ko. Hindi naman ako masokista no. I just helped yaya Oreng clean his study room. Julia He raised one finger as if saying don t talk to me . Oh. Can t you be more endearing and and I gritted my teeth in anger. Pakiabot nga `yung bag. Help me? Papatayin mo ba talaga ako Jeannie? He whispered furiously. I closed m y eyes tightly. Hoho. Narinig kong naglagutukan `yung mga buto niya sa knuckles. More gentle this t ime. Even when stressed. Tears wer e pooling in my eyes. I pushed him hard away from me. He brushed the locks of hair away from his face. Alam mo `yun? Palpak eh. ang hirap magpanggap ng natutulog. To the closet. Humikbi ako. Bull s eye. He looked like he was ready to wring my neck. bulong ko. We were really screaming. Julian wouldn t hurt me at least physi cally. May bago ba? I gritted my teeth and then groaned. Kapag hindi na ako pwedeng bumalik sa New York makasali na nga lang sa starstruck dito. Believe. I started sobbing. Survive. I heard him sigh. Nanulis `yung bibig ko. I cried louder . chest out and protruding stomach out. Because of Julian. hiccups.. This was damned serious. clean. My. Bakit siya mags isisi? `Di ba dapat ako? I slowly smiled at him. EVER. Of course. I said in a cold tone. How dare him! Naiiyak n a talaga ako. Jeannie naman Parang stress na stress na sabi nito. Nauubos na pasensya ko. and walke d across the room. Julian s face softened. Tapos nag-tremble `yung lower lip ko. He glared at me. He was now scowling. Dream. Ayan. Tinanggal niya `yung unan sa mukha ko. But not cold treatment on his part. tinapon ko na lahat `yu WHAT??? Oh. Okay. Jeannie! I know you re not asleep. Goodness. Pero I could even h andle Julian shouting at me when he was mad. Jeannie nasan `yung mga lumang folder sa cabinet? He said. Have I awakened the beast in him agai n? Tumaas `yung kilay ko. I just helped you hiccups. Anong pakialam ko?! Walan g utang-na-loob! Ingrato. Kaya pala bumenta ang punchline na you re cute when you re angry . Julian naman oh. Alam mo Jeannie hindi na uu bra sa `kin `yang arte mong `yan. Tapos sinabog ko ng onti `yung buhok ko. An g gwapo talaga ng asawa ko. Gigil na ibinato ko `yung unan. God. Grabe. In the middle of the night. Na para bang nagsisisi siyang pinabalik niya pa `ko di No. Galit akong tumayo. He turned around slowly. . My mouth dropped open. God. JEANNIE! I put the big pillow over my head.. Sana kahit `yung kontra na lang natin o titulo ng bahay niyo `yung tinapon mo Hinahanap ko nga kanina. Hmm Jeannie. Napaupo ako sa kama. Nabilang ko pa talaga siya. Pabalibag kong binuksan `yun. I swore I took three steps backward. Damn you! Where did you put the documents? He was now shouting. God. His voice held warning. the mess in your study room. sniffs. Without a word he turned his back on me and walked toward the door.I hadn t heard a word. I shivered. Winner! He sighed exaggeratedly and tilted my head up. Binasa mo ba? Kung hindi ka namakialam at binasa mo Hindi.
As in BIG. 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 kissed the tip of my nose. stop crying please it won t do any good to our baby. Next to Andres Bonifacio. Naiyak akong lalo. Sheeeshhh he kissed my swollen lips. Te ll me I m beautiful. Sabi kasi ng doctor bawal daw akong mapagod. Naiiyak na naman ako. Walo na. I was so big. You do. The spasm overtook all consid eration. Hindi ka naniniwala? Galit kong sabi. Epic fail.Tapos tapos inabot nga niya! Galit na binato ko lahat ng damit don. Oo. Eh. Oh. God. He winced. Papatayuan ko na nga ng monument itong si Julian. Like this: oiiink oiiiink I gritted my teeth. Atapang atao di at akbo. Nung unang try. Napaupo ako sa may gilid ng pinto. I d start on my diet aft er I give birth. It felt so good to be in his arms like this. For the likes of him. Monster! I looked like Princess Fiona now. Sabi ko. Syempre I ll tell you you re the most beautiful woman in the world. Tapos pinilit niya ulit akong buhatin. You want me to lie? I hissed at him. He chuckled. A ng bigat ko na nga ang bigat pa rin ng bag ko. he couldn t carry me anymore. Uuwi na `ko sa parents ko. I pouted. Sabay kaming nagkatinginan. My eyes were bloodshot. Binuhat niya `ko! Napakapit akong bigla sa leeg niya. Ngumisi ito. ito namang si Julian masunurin! Hmp. these past months we hadn t ahm . Kaya hindi muna pwedeng gumawa ng Baby JJ the second . I almost screamed when I turned to find myself lo oking back at me in the mirror. Par a akong hippopotamus. Do you know what sound you emit when y ou snore? I don t snore. N a parang naghahanap ng milagro sa kisame. Tapos tumigil pa ako sa may pintuan. Uncontrollable. I even saluted him for his control. Anong ginagawa mo? What do you think am I doing? Hinihingal na `ko. In my eyes only. . Naramdaman kong lumuhod siya sa harapan ko. Na nakataas pa ang sanda ta niya ha. I winced as the contraction was violent. Bukas na gabi na eh. Three months was like applying for sainthood. Err. I was all set. I opened my mouth i n disgust. Samantalang ako naman a ng may katawan. My mouth turned into an indignant O. Parang batang sabi ko sa kanya. My nose w ere stuffed with you know. Why did it hurt like this? Manganganak na ba ako? Julian! I tapped his shoulder. Nakakainis talaga. Kaya siguro ayaw niya na sa `kin. I wra pped my arms around his neck. He rolled his eyes ceilingward. Tumaas `yung kilay niya. He nodded rapidly. Thank my failing eyesight for that. I was so big and round. Lalo akong naiyak. Uuwi na talaga `ko. Mababanyo daw ako! Tapos sumasakit `yung tyan ko. He snorted. Tapos hinampas ko siya. I thought I was dreaming. Delikado sa daan. He put me down on t he bed. aum. Goodness. Loud. LOL. Grr. Nag-bounce `yun mattress. And ugly . He smirked then snorted. Tapos ta wa. I started sobbing like that of the child s. Babe. He sighed. Siya kaya ang manganak! Puro lang siya pasarap tapos magagalit pa siy a sa `kin? Well. Mapapagod nga ako. I felt his arm snaked behind my back the other one was under my thighs. W ell. Bakit kaya hindi ako ang tanungin ni Julian? Baka ang sagot ko ay Oo.
Can t you just take care of my wife first? Galit na sabi ni to habang may inaabot na fill-up form. Julian squeezed my hand. With blood all over her th ighs. She kept pleading while squeezing his hand. But I couldn t stop the fight. never letting go. Why was this happening to them? Mabilis siyang pinagsuot ng hospital gown. I closed my eyes. Hindi siya relihiyosong tao. As cause of preterm is known. He tried hard to calm his nerves. . The pain was overriding a ll sense of logic from me. Ayos na din ang room ni baby JJ. Dammit. Julian no save baby JJ. He was inside in a flash. I didn t know where they were taking me. What do you mean? Sigaw niya dito. But goo dness gracious I hadn t expected him this soon. Buhat niya ito habang kinukuha ang susi ng sasakyan sa drawer. After knowing all complication of pregnancy decisio n has to be taken whether to allow the pregnancy to continue or not. It was an either-or proposition. There was something wrong. Bullsh!t. Nagkakagulo sa bu ong bahay. Only o nly HE would spare Jeannie. Nagmamadaling binuhat niya si Je annie. Gusto ko ng magwala at magmura. I wanna die. But we have to hurry. My mind kept telling me: I couldn t stand the pain anymore. And dammit. Remember this I love you both. Pero wala siya sa katinuan para gawi n iyon! He couldn t praise them if they couldn t save Jeannie God. Nagkakagulo. I started crying. It was just that he should be the pillar of strength for Jeannie. Not that tears made men weak. I was in a state of panic How could I? I was only eight mon ths on the way. Sumisigaw na ito. His Jeannie and baby JJ. No Numb. Julian! What? Manganganak na ata ako. God. very frightened. he coul dn t afford to lose Jeannie. Pity. You can talk to your wife she s in and out of consciousness. I was bleeding profusely. He didn t want to cry. the doctor gave him that look. I m sorry. He drove his Porsche while I was panting on the passenger seat. I took Julian s hand. You have to choose between your wife and the baby. Julian and baby JJ was rooting for me. Maingay. Julian I clutched at his shirtsleeve. We didn t know how we arrived at the hospital with just the two of us. His breath got hitched. I tried to crack a reassuring smile through my labored breaths. Or else they ll both die. Umiiyak. Pleas took my hand. Save my baby. He took the matters into hi s own hands. Tired and lost. Pero sa mga panahong iyon. His precious Jeannie. Must have been reflex action. Parang nanlamig ang katawan niya. That was what the doctor had said. Didn t saying sorry was the worst word ever in w omen s vocabulary? Well. 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. Bawat segundo ay nagdara sal siya para sa mag-ina. The pain was killing me. I kissed her on her sweating forehead. Magulo. He shouted for the maids to come upstairs. I we lost our very first baby. In his saner days he would have given co nsideration and credit to their profession. he could have said not his . I op ened my eyes again. Jeannie oh. Everything was all set. Galit na sinuntok niya ang pader. He would ha ve cried and fainted at the sight of Jeannie in pain. 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. She would hate me.He groaned. He even promised God of a lifetime of rectitude. he knew. It was as if I was torn apart. Ju lian my baby she started hiccupping. She opened one eye. Na tatakot.
Gusto ko ng mamatay. But in the best of circumstances. Lagi nilang sinasabing ang lahat ng bagay ay may rason. Before I thought love was all there was. Gusto ko sanang sabihing nananady a ka ba? But said instead. Pinalayas. How ironic. Should w as the operative word.TWENTY NINE We couldn t have everything we wanted in life. At gusto kong ibalik nila sa `kin si Baby JJ ko. I could have jumped with joy even with my stitches on. Hindi ko alam kung kailan `yun nagsimula. I rolled my eyes. He was also his. I was immersed in finishing the painting I had sta rted in Morocco. I followed her to the lanai . 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. Even CM went home to see me after joining the co ntest in New York. Bulong ng kakambal ko. Pero napapagod na `kong magsalita k ahit wala pa naman akong sinasabi. Ganyan nga. I could have Julian and it would be perfect. Ayoko ng makaramdam ng ganitong . And God s. Oh. bakit pa niya ibinigay sa `kin k ung kukunin niya rin lang naman? Jeannie kakain na tayo I didn t look over my shoulder. Pero ano ang ginawa ko? Minura ko siya. I didn t want to wake up because I knew the pain was there. How was that? Jeannie Julian smiled at me tentatively. I wasn t crying. Pero hindi nga ba hindi lang pala love ang mahalaga sa mundo. Motherhood is the best fulfillment a woman could ever have. Life. It wasn t his fault. What do you want to eat? Anything. So. I even asked HIM many times why. Gusto kong ako ang intindihi n nila. You go eat without me. I remembered that one morning I woke up. Tumayo ako para wala ng pagtatalo. Hindi mo ba naisip na I know it would be t oo cliché to tell you this. I felt her beside me. Tama. Till my breath would be sucked out of me. I shrugged my shoulders. I even told him h e killed our baby. I asked her with my eyes. Gusto ko ako ang unawain nila. Ayokong umunawa. Kasi nasasaktan ako. Someone was hugging me tight I couldn t breathe. Hindi ko gustong sisih in si Julian. Malulungkot `yung baby mo kung ganyan ka. Nababa lutan ng sakit at galit ang logic ko. Jeannie stop this to yourself and Julian. I could have kissed him o n the lips. 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. yes. the one I had done right the first day I told Julia n we were going to be a family. I know I was playing at being the self-centered b!tc h. Hindi lang akin si Baby JJ. He would rock me to sleep and kiss the top of my he ad. Nandun silang lahat sa may gilid ng pool. Unti-unting humarap. I should have been more understanding. Hindi nga ba gasgas na `tong ganitong pakiramdam? You felt like crying but still gave the world a smiling fvcking face . I stopped crying the day Julian told me: I love you Jeannie that I d choose to live without our baby than you. It had been two months since then. Pinili t kong pagalawin ang muscles ko sa panga. Mommy smiled and waved at me. Bulong ko.
I shouldn t be surprised when an arm drew me closer. Why are you alone? Lalong tumaas `yung kilay ko. I looked away and met Julian s eyes across from us. But something along the way changed us. Ni hindi ko man lang nakita kung pa ngo ba `yung baby ko. Siguro. Our loss. But I started doubting about the future. Tuyot. Ui. 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.sakit. Ano pa nga ba. may tawag dyan eh. At uhaw sa pagmamahal. He cleared his throat and looked away. These past months napapansin kong kahit saan ako p umunta somebody was with me. There was sudden warmth that I hadn t felt in ages months now. To the point na kulan g na lang ay suutan niya `ko ng panty. I would very much like that. I was too selfish to even ask him if he was also in pain about the loss. Jeannie? Hmm? .. The same spark was still there. Give me baby Czarina Nagkatinginan `yung dalawa. CM winced at me. I glared at him. And life itself. Nagtataka nga ako kung naglalakad na ng nakahu bad mamaya `yan eh. Why not? The Jeannie I know so well would be dead by now if she didn t talk even a minute. Can you hold her for me? she hesi tantly asked CM while looking at me. Umiiyak agad ako first thing in the morning. Yes. Ano bang tingin nito sa `kin? Kikidnappin k o anak niya? God gave me mercy. Pano kung mabaliw ako? Paano kung manguha na lang ako ng bata at angkinin kong anak? God. I gritted my teeth. Pag-umpugin ko kayang `tong dalawa ng `to? Sheesh. That was so pathetic. I know that painting has been your outlet after t he He cleared his throat. Alam mo te. Hey. I was out in the garden alone. I looked at CM. D ragging me to God-knows-where. Tignan mo nga k ung pano paglawayan ang asawa mo. At lalong ayokong makakita ng mag-ina. He shrugged. Nung panahon g iyon. beautiful. What? I asked impatiently. Months had passed. I couldn t even go to the nursery room. Karga niya si baby Czarina. Ah nothing. Kung makatili naman kala mo ambulansiya. He became gentler. Nakatingin lang sa swi mming pool. Well. Tigang. kulang ka lang sa dilig. goodness. Sana pinili na lang niya si baby JJ kung ganito rin lang kasakit. He wa s still the same handsome devil I fell in love with. We merely talked anymore. Oh. She was smili ng at me. Jeannie! Tumaas `yung kilay ko. The people were everywhere in our house. Ako ba? O siya? I suddenly missed him. But funny I did. Magsasalita sana ako ng dumating si Jean. Baka lang gusto mong sumali. Missed him shouting at me. He just snored and let me cry on his che st. It was so unfair. Kung may potential future child star ba siya? I didn t even get to hear him or her wail and kick. I didn t doubt my love for him. Pero somehow along the way we became more of strangers than lovers. At one point I even blamed Julian. Maalaga. Wala akong pakialam kung nandun man siya o wala. It was only my sorrow t hat was important. Napalingon ako kay CM. It was almost unbearable. Minsan nga natatakot na rin ako sa sarili ko. Siguro okay na `ko. Tapos na ang christening. In short. Ano ha? I started cooing sounds. Pwede ba CM! Kung sa bagay kung magpapakamatay ka mas maraming magiging masaya. Nakunan lang ako para na akong nagkaroon ng mga bod yguards.. do you know that there was another exhibit? This one s the big event of the yea r. He didn t say a thing. What s with you people? Inis kong sabi. I forcefully took the almost seven month old baby.
Kampon ni Satanas umalis ka sa katawan ng kaibigan ko! He gasped. the brid Oh. I was walking like a zom bie toward Julian. It became somehow awkward. Can I hold her? He took the baby from me gently. Oh. beautiful chi ld. You are acting so cowardly! Ikaw lang ba ang nasasaktan?! His hand gripped my arm so tight it hurt. S he beamed up at CM as if saying: Maitim pala ha. Okay. Even CM was wailing! Jeanni SHUT UP! Nag-chorus pa silang dalawa ni Julian. I didn t even consider his feelings. Oh. Julian told me not to say that he s going to prop I didn t say anything. Gah. Jeannie! Oh my. Tapos papakipot muna ng onti. Mabilis ko siyang tinalikuran. Trust CM to say all the wonderful things. Tapos hinawakan ko `yung noo niya at pumikit. I m thinking about joining the contest CM. Julian was waiting at the front step of the entrance. Ayoko nga sanang pumayag na maging best m an. I couldn t afford to see them. she s a bit dark. Sabi nit o sabay tampal sa bibig. Then the baby started making gurgling sounds. All I cared about that instant was the man I d hurt so much. Parang hindi niya `ko narinig. But the sorrow kept persisting with every thoughts of what could have been. Syempre inaanak ko ata `yang si Czari na no. literally. Hi having a great time? He awkwardly said. Emotionally. I nodded. . Jeannie! Narinig kong ibinigay nito kay CM ang bata. very good girl. Na na ghihintay hingin ang number ko. Jeannie! Bakit mo `ko sinisigawan? Sigaw ko. Didn t really care. Kaya tumalikod na lang ako. Saka makakagawa pa rin na man kayo no. Napatiti g ako sa niece ko. His eyes were uncertain. I need you. Night CM.Bakit ang ne ne negrita ng baby ni Jean? Don t tell me salamat lotion lang kayong dalaw a? I opened my mouth in disgust. very dark. Hindi ko pinansin ang paghabol sa `kin ni Julian. baby pa nga? Ang itim pa ni Czarina! CM! Sigaw ko. Nakita ko si Julian na papalapi t. What are you talking about? Uh-oh. Para akong teenager na nakatitig sa kanya. I didn t want to be with Julian in the same car. Naiiyak na naman ako. I raised one brow at him. Down there on his crotch. Will you stop running away like a coward! I stopped dead in my track. Jeannie naman oh! We started laughing. How can you say beautiful agad eh. As in. He was really shouting at me! Then CM gasped. Tears were already streaming down my face as I turned away. Bata pa lang matalino na. And we didn t know how to ruin the wall that separated us. Goodness gracious Jeannie. ano bang silbi ng reproductive system mo kung hindi mo naman gagami tin? I hissed at him. my God. He grinned at me. Napanganga ako dun. I missed this. Pati `yung luha ko parang nag-freeze. Umiiyak ang baby. She ll be as beautiful like her ninang. Pero maganda pa rin. A hand grabbed mind. He was cooing and tucking her like he was the r eal father. Mas pinili kong sumabay kay CM sa sasakyan. Sawa na `kon g umiyak. Jeannie give him a second chance. Then he slowly smiled. Czarina peed on me!!! Napatingin kami sa baba ng pantalon niya. Mer on ba sa pamilya namin ang pangit? Syempre wala. Kung dati kung pwede lang na ibulsa siya ay ginawa ko na pero ngayon? The silence stretched between us. My heart was beating wildly. ang beauty ko pang-alalay sa kinakasal? I should have been you. Just kidding. I heard the engine of CM s car out of the driveway. Let me see her oh. He covered his mouth.
Ate. it was human instinct. I stood up and stared sadly at the engraved name: BABY JJ. Tapos one seat apart. Sampu na kami! I winced. Real life drama pala ito. I nodded. He must have been at least eight years old. Jeannie! I m so rry. As if he wa s testing the waters. Okay na sana. He was a boy. kung karirin ko na lang kaya si Julian? Kung pwede nga lang ba. I slowly smiled. I have submitted your painting. Anghel na naging tyanak p a. Wala ka na bang maisip na matinong ambisyon? Gusto kong maging doktor ate. As in now. He coul d have been months now. Sana hindi na lang siya nag-smile. hindi madali `yung decision ko. `yun nga lang ang hirap ng buhay. I didn t ask for him to do that now. He slowly looked up and arched one brow and whispered: What took you so long? As if he was waiting for me all his life. Sana nagamot ko man lang si tatay at `di siya namata y. But of course. deep down I already knew the answer. marami pa namang lalake dyan. Baka gusto niya talagang mabaliw ang mommy ni ya kung iiyak siyang bigla sa gabi out of nowhere. An g hangin tinatangay ang buhok ko. `di siya. Nyek. Kahit na nga ba sabihing gwapo si Julian a t mayaman. Could I forgive and just forget? Kaya ko pa kayang magmahal kung hindi na buo an g puso ko? THIRTY Of course. Hello ? Kahit naman hindi mo pangarapin `yun. Could it be a sign that baby JJ want us to be together again? I was trying to smile. His right shoe was toying the marbled flooring. Anong pangarap mo? Kung sinabi nitong maging mabuting asawa t ama babatukan ko talaga `to.He looked like a boy. Really? Oo. Ewan ko ba. ayos. I ll give your father a second chance. Some would even say that I d won the lottery by having Julian. Give m e a second chance. Pat i siya nakitawa na rin. Hindi gaanong mahigpit. At may hawak siya ng mga sampaguita. Oi. I would give him a second chance . Caring to your lo ved ones. I walked down the street. Really looking. He slowly stepped forward. Ewan ko ba . I walked down the streets of Manila bay and along CCP. I recalled one of my classmates in High School telling that particular dream of his. Eh. but my heart suddenly went out to him. God. I didn t push him like I always did in the few months. sa mga novels na nababasa ko `yung hangin na `yun `yung loved ones nila na nawala na. Then he smiled. . Kaso wala kaming pera. Baliw ba `tong batang `to? Matawa kaya siya kung malaman niyang siya `yung pinagtatawanan ko? But his cute. His teeth were decaying. I started laughing horribly. baby JJ. The one with Julian under the shower? This was a make-or-break decision. Either Julian or Career. I missed these places. Madungis nga lang. Syempre ii sipin nila napuwing lang ako dahil sa lakas ng hangin. `Yun g parang sa cannibal? Tapos `yung ilong niya kumakalat lumalapad `pagtumatawa. `Pagharap ko nagulat ako. Okay lang `yun ate. NIyakap niya ako. With rai sed eyebrow I could very well say na ako si Jeannette Rose Leviste ang tanging t aong nakapagtiyaga sa ugali niya. Tignan mo nanay ko nakapag-asaw a agad. Do you know that mommy loves you so much? I murmured achingly. Oh. Naramdaman ko `yung hangin. My whole future at stake. I was looking out of the manila bay when the phone started ringing. Then my eyes started getting misty. There was this little cherubin who was looking at me. So who was being lucky here? Eh. brokenhearted ka ba? Ah. I would have given everything to have him crying in the middle of the night waking me up for his breast feed.
Hindi. I smiled at him and slowly stood up. I want to surprise Jeannie about the engagement. I made face. Blame CM for this. I strained my ears against the wall. `Wag lang talaga siyang kakaliwa. Stupid. Oo. I gave it to him. Siya nga ni hindi man lang maisipang mag-text or tumawag. I even asked God to make my cooking p erfect. Ipinasa niya `yung painting ko. Ba ka maibato ko lang sa kanya `yung kare-kare at kalderata. At ano? Para sa wala. Minsan lang `yan no. God. . Tinampal ko `y ung kamay niya. Nako. He was already in New York by now because of that blasted con test. Sometimes happy endings were just in Fairy tale stories. `Yung mga may p ampa-aral ayaw mag-aral. Kung ang motto ko ay: I could kiss and be damned tomorrow. Baka bukas isa na din ako sa mga taong grasa. Who the hell cared. Very fortunate of you. How could I let Julian go? I love him so much. Not under the sho wer! `Yung ginawa ko noon sa Morocco. I was a bit disconcerted at first. Then I saw a man with his canvass. That s not for you! I was acting childish. He kept looking around as if it was some top government secret. okay. Tapos napa-w ow siya. I had nothing against rich kids. Hindi ko alam kung bakit. May mga nakapalibot s a kanya habang nagpe-paint siya. He wanted to capture the orange horizon with its reddish rays around the sun. Tha nks mom! I suddenly felt like the biggest scumbag ever. Nasugatan ka na. He frowned and arched one brow. Iniyakan ko pa ang paghiwa ng sibuyas. at least passable na man. Oh. It was just that I hoped they knew their good f ortune. He dipped one finger at the dish. Seriously there were people who were given the privilege to live the ir life the way they wanted to be. Masama palang napapaisip ako. Hindi man ganon kasarap `yung niluto ko. Tsk. Masama kutob ko dito. He didn t really deserve a second chance. Nakita kong nakatalikod si Juli an. I m prou d of you. This wasn t one of those overrated version of classic dra mas. Why? `Coz I believed that what doesn t kill you can make you stronger . I slipped into the room with so much as a noise. It always happened in real life. I wanted to celebrate Julian s awakening! Namuti na ang mata ko kakahintay sa kanya. Were all the men in general like this? Or only him? He was still insensitive. Birthday mo? I hissed. kung hindi mo naranasang mag-promissory note sa school o humabol ng scholars hip. I was so angry. At anong ginagawa nila? Ayun: Pare let s party! Party! Ilabas na ang cocaine. The irony of life. Nagluto ako. Baka hindi niya na pakinabangan `yung ano niya `yung ano sex aherm appeal niya! Nagtago ako dun sa may corner. itatanong pa sa `yo kung nasaktan ka. Little di d he know that I was a descendant of Gabriela Silang? Beware. My eyes got misty. It was only four i n the afternoon. so I think he d got lots of work to do. nakakapaglabas ako n g pera. Err. And you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth. I started putting away the cold food.Ngumiti ako tapos naglabas ng five hundred pesos. We ll. `di ba sosyal? Samantalang sa kasuluksulukang kalye ng Cubao rugby lang. Wala na ba akong inisip kundi ang pambabababe ni Julian? Men could be honest. SOMETIMES. Ngayon pa nga lang baon na kami sa utang kay Julian. The one with Julian. Hindi man lang nahiya. I even bled my finger w ith the bread knife. He didn t even bother t o call if he wasn t retiring early! Damn him. `yung mga gustong mag-aral walang pampa-aral. y`know. I heard footsteps. I didn t even look up. Alam mo ba `yun. I stared fixedly at the blue and white sky. Siya pa ang isawsaw ko sa alamang. Baka pasko. I th ought my heart would burst any minute. Pero kung isa ka sa mga pinanganak na walang kasiguraduhan ang hinaharap. Tapos nagtago akong maigi ng nagmamadali ng umalis si Julian. Dapat all set na para bukas. May kausap sa phone. But really.
I was really a bit taken aback. he loves me but not as much as I do. I want you here with our children hmm mga sampu okay na. Hindi lang sarap ng pisikal. Grabe. More that you couldn t define. Hindi joke lang.Oh? Kanino? Sa aso. Our bodies touched. Panira. He didn t look the man who was so eager to propose. Maybe we were immoral in the eyes of the society. Yes. bed! You re not serious. I smiled sweetly. Nakakatakot itong Julian na `to. We were husband and wife in the eyes of God. Sa relationship. Were there flames everywhere? It was getting hot. Hindi. No. Julian no! I shrieked when he tickled my feet. while doi ng an imitative dance of that of macho men. A kiss meant everything. Pero hindi ganito na binibiyabit niya `ko mula sa balikat niya. I was trying to capture his mouth. I hadn t thought that I could love this much. He started laughing and crawled to the bed . Of course. Pakipot lang. Damn boxers. Where s my husband? I whisp ered. Our eyes met. I even hugged him tight to myself th at I thought I couldn t breathe anymore. He was a cave man! Okay lang kung buhat. It was proven and tested. It was more. I didn t want to close my eyes for a second because Julian might vanish into thin mists. with gaps between my fingers. My breath got hitched. Fatherly. Grr. He said that with conviction. Parang napipilita n lang. smile cracked on his lips. Diniinan ko ang mga kamay sa ulo niya. Brotherly kiss. I was pummeling his back. He kissed me passionately. No. Alright. hindi bagay! I tried to cover my face with my hand. He put me down no threw me onto the bed. I was screaming when he scooped me up in his arms. Julian Oh-kay. He nipped my lower lip and kissed each corner. He turned me upside down. chaste. He laughed loudl y and lunged at me. He was unbuckling his pants. Stop He groaned. L agi namang ganon `di ba? There would always be someone who would give more love than the other. words were mere words until you felt them. He was pulling down his pants and oh So disappointed. Not t hat I was saying living in was justifiable. A kiss wasn t just classified into: smack. He slouched on the chair and massaged his temple. ganon? Inis nitong sabi. You e xperienced them. Galit ka ba? lingon niya sa `kin. alam na. I was too eager. I hadn t noticed that he was already on top of me. Siguro nga sa `ming dalawa ma s malaki ang pagmamahal ko sa kanya. What do yo u think are you doing? Perhaps going to striptease? He said playfully. 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. Oh. Anong tingin mo sa `kin palahiang bab oy? I hissed at him. Yes. I was hissing while sinking my fingers deep into his skin. Kung pwede lang na bumaon `yun baka nangy ari na. He even waved his polo up in the air like a cowboy. A slow sexy goodness. Lalong tumaas `yung kilay ko. Like we could satisfy the months. You prepared this f or me. I gasped. Gusto ko kapag nag-asawa na tayo nasa bahay ka lang. Oo. Julian let me down! I yelled a t his back. French or torrid. Ayoko nang magpaka-ipokrita. He was teasing me. Kung makautos kala mo bayad na sa kasalanan niya. It was hot and explosive. Thirsty. He really smiled at me. almost a year without this physical aspect of our relationship. Tuwang tuwa nga ako sa `yo eh. Would we start makin g babies now? Para makaabot sampu? My mind was screaming: I wasn t prepared for th is. But this was one? We were groping for each other. Massage my temples. He even smacked my bottom! Tapos tawa siya ng tawa. Pero I believed that you couldn t go play . Goodness. Masyadong wild at aggressive `yung isang `to. Papel lang ang kulang sa `min. or whatever we could thin k of. I might melt. right.
Late na pala ako sa school. Will you. Whatever. It s just Just? I asked impatiently. What? I would scream if he told me: no. Okay na ba? Not yet. Mali kot ang mga kamay nito. Sila mommy at daddy. And put out the ring. `Wag ka ngang excited. Gentle. We soared. Slow. He was cuddling against my bosom. Thrice. And Jean with her baby. He was also tensed. Well. Jeannette Rose Leviste be my wife? I blinked once. Everyone. Sisigawan niya `ko. I was choking back the words. There was no pain this time. The great Julian S unico was trembling. At ang sa `kin. By God and by love. Na nakahawak sa bewang ko. this was his idea of going slow eh? Parang ako ata a ng unang mamamatay. I was about to shout at him to go to hell when he started raining tiny kisses do wn the side of my face. Hindi ko alam kung dah il dahil alam kong ngayon magpo-propose si Julian. Well. It w as like this was the last time. Which he thought I had no clue of. I didn t know it was like this. Nilagyan niya ako ng blindfold. how I loved this man with all of my heart. So. Lalo na `yung mga nagpo-pro pose. Like he really wanted to get acquainted wi th every part and pore of me. Nag papa-yummy pa kasi. every man had his moment. Tapos sasabihin ko ano ? kasi hindi ko na maririnig kasi bingi na `ko. I love you He whispered as he claimed me. He was re ally something huh. And almost the same. I was staring into his eyes. I tast ed a morsel of heaven. Kahit `yung mga associates ni Julian. Nung una nga hindi pa niya m ahanap. I gasped. Twice. Akalain mo `yun. `yung x-rated version ba naman ang panuorin mo na pinahiram pa sa `yo ng Good Influence and Morally upright mong c mate. I thought and heard about sex was all hot and swea ty. Even Brad and Vi ncent were there. Where we could hear our breathing as the music playing in our ears. it was very differen t. . Si Julian iyon. Posible pala. he cleared his throat. He took the blindfold off. I could feel it in his hands. I was a bit tensed. He loved me. But I wasn t running for a Maria Clara nominee either. ang keso ko. The heat and the rush were there. Maybe I was really living in one of those fairy t ales and that I would be woken up by my mother. He was killing me softly. What? Siya nga `yun ang manre-reject? Eeh. 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. Akala ko hindi. Or it could be our heartbeats. He groaned. At pumunta kami sa banda roon. He came back to my lips and kissed me openly. CM talked to me on the phone earlier. I just wished that when we grew old together it would still be like this. Don t tell me ipapa-salvage mo `ko? I tried to joke my way around him. I love you too I whispered against his hair. Goodness.around if love wasn t involved. I was happy and overwhelmed to see all of them. Of course. Touched me and kissed me like there was no tomorrow. C mon! I wasn t raised to be promiscuous. I was bound to hi m. Excuse me? I glared at him and he started chuckling! I just want to make this time gentler. I wanted to laugh at his clumsiness. I was like: OH? With arched brows. I started crying because because He kneeled down on his knees. For the first time. I shouldn t be surprised but I was. We should all know our limits. And God. I screamed.
that s why we have choices. As if telling me to say yes. I didn t cry. Because we couldn t have them all. 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. 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. In reality. But I m sorry I can t. He did. THIRTY ONE Compromise. I couldn t help it while nodding rapidly. know th sakit rej didn t Didn t yo . 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 love you you know that. Didn t you know that not all dreams come true? I needed to grow and that didn t include Julian in the picture. And I was chasing him. I was really s orry. Gasgas na pero it wasn t him. I even dare look at everyone. Hindi lahat ng tao mas pinipiling mag-settle down kaysa piliin ang opportunity na ibi nibigay sa kanila. I should have put that in Julian s vocabulary. u still have a clue that I love life? And so I did Julian. gusto ko namang maging matatag sa mga desisyon ko. The diamond ring was sparkling. I whispered through my blurring vision. Pero sa totoong buhay. they would ask me the why s and what s. Tears streamed down my ey es. it was me all al ong. I should have been the one running away after doing the ecting. But no.And looked at everyone. Alam ko. CM s motto: opportunity knocks only at once door. Ngayon ko lang na-realize tama sila. It was the most pai nful and hardest decision to make. I cried my heart out when I saw the defeat and hatred in his eyes. As always. For once. Nakita kong napahigpit ang kamay niya sa hawak na box.
It might sound exaggerated. Lit erally and hmm figuratively. Sa mga single. T here was no way around that but time. Of course. kaartehan lang `yung mga nababasa t napapanood ko. I smiled bitterly to myself. Those were just life s facts. He looked at me from head to foo t. Siguro hindi na `ko natakot. He didn t turn around. You could live without them but somehow let s be honest . If and only if they d devoted themselves to God. But hey. Or even last night! He was now shou ting. Again. Gusto kong isigaw sa kanya: If you love me. Kung anim na bwan nga `yung iba wala na. One year Jeannie? Do you think a year is only a day for me? Galit nitong sabi. I won t ask you to wait for me Julian. Nung humarap siya. Pero masak it Jeannie. Before you. I tried to smile. But it was almost true. Sino bang nakakaalam kung bakit ganito ang mga babae? . you also have to love what I do! Per o alam kong hindi ganon kadali `yun. `Coz I don t know what will happen. Isang taon pa kaya? I wasn t being pessimistic here. there was always an exemption. Hindi lang naman lalaki ang makakapagpaligaya sa `yo. Abstinence was an avoidable word in their dictionary. Ang gulo ko no? I asked him not to wait for me but then I wished with all my heart t hat he would. Julian Akala ko dati. Nandun na `yun eh. Ano? Magtititigan na lang tayong mga bab ae? At the back of our minds we wished for someone to fill the cold nights. Reality bites. Wala ka pa. Ano bang alam ko nung time na `yun? Gusto ko lang maging m agaling na pintor. lagi kong sinasabi noon na mas masarap maging single. Yes. syempre masarap pa ring merong pipilit na kunin `yung kamay mo in public kahit kunwari ayaw mo. Why not? Either I ha d no choice `coz there was no one had dared to hold my hand at that time. you stood against odds and still be together after a year. In New York. True. I ll be away for a year. Just being realistic. And it was my dream e ven before Julian entered my oh-so-boring life. Long distance relationship only stood a chance as big as my thumb finger. Julian painting is my very first love. Wala ka bang sasabihin? Gusto kong sabihing naiintindihan kita. Isang taon lang `yun Julian. With pho ne calls! LOL. Kasi wala ka ngang ka-monthsary! Wal ang naninigaw sa `yo on the phone when you couldn t text him. You could have told me yesterday. His forehead was be nt against the wall. Kahit ako man. Unless you tell me. O dahi l sa dinami dami ng lalaki sa mundo walang sumigaw sa `kin ng katulad ng pagsiga w ni Julian. C`mon! `Wag na nating loko hin ang sarili natin. Pain was pain. Not that I was here to sit judgment. Jeannie I will Wait for you My breath got hitched. And warm hugs. At hindi naman sa wala akong ti wala sa mga lalaki. Masara p walang pinagkakagastuhan kapag monthsary. kung iiwan ako ng lalaking m ahal ko sa harap ng altar baka mapatay ko siya ng wala sa oras. Or they weren t as sexy as Julian. That was what I wanted to hear from him. That finding your self wasn t really true. But wasn t that our problem? Time. Mamamatay `yan kung isang taong walang putahe sa hapag kainan. Heart grew colder with the absence of the other. Gusto kong matupad ang mga pangarap ko. It was very true. Glory be to God. life without them was a boring world. His fists clenched. In general. I pouted and looked out of the w indow. Pero hindi nga ba k aya nga kakaunti ang pari sa mundo? At ang iba pa sa kanila y. men are men. Ano ba. His back was turned to me. Na gkakasala. Bulong nito.I found him in the adjacent room. He didn t bother to turn around when I shut the door closed.
natetempt akong mag-stay. I won t ask where you are going. I cleared my throat and glared at him. He arched one brow. And damn if he wasn t handsome here and nud e. Two years later. I didn t really care. Oo. Bago pa man ako makapagsalita ay nahugot na ni CM `yung tel a mula sa canvass. Nahiya ka lang pero ang ido-draw . I snatched the cloth from him and cove red it again. And correction. So this was what he called letting go huh. Then shrugged. You re giving up on me. Ganon din naman `yun. Galit kong sabi sa kanya. couldn t I just have both? Somehow maybe I would eventually forget him. Sh!t. I mopped my forehead with the towel. Get out Jeannie. Let s eat. He shook his head. We disappointed you. I tried pushing him toward the kitched. I chose my path. `Yun lang ang naiintindihan ko sa lahat ng `to. Sino `to? I avoided his scrutiny. You k now dear. Sino pa bang titili ng ganoon kung hindi ang kaisa-isang kaib igan ko sa mundong ibabaw. I like him. What? He smiled sheepishly. You might be seeing some body I don t know. A mere whisper. It seemed cliché but I m letting you go. I lo Don t tell me you love me. I gritted my teeth. Eh.Never forget you. Narinig kong ang pagbagsak ng mga gamit at kung ano mang mga nagkala t na basag doon. Wala. it s okay with me. So what time s your date later with Rick? Todo smile ito. I wanted to slap him at that moment. Julian I whispered when I was in between the door and the outside world toward achi eving my dream. Postcard greetings. So. I gaped at him. My heart was breaking into pie ces. Jeannie! I raised one brow. Hinara ngan ko `yung painting sa likuran ko. Ano ba Jeannie defensive na sabi ni to. I understand. However. Sakalin ko na kaya `tong kaibigan kong `to? He tried looking over my shoulders. I didn t care. But it hurt a lot. Kung gagabihin kayo e. I m sorry baby JJ. Pero pano na lang `yung mga pa ngarap ko? Hindi lahat ng tao nabibigyan ng ganitong opportunity. `di topless. `Yung lalaki sa panaginip mo? Tuwing gabi dinadalaw ka? CM! He looked at the painting more closely. este uumagahi n. Ex mo? Kung makapagtanong kala mo inosente! I gritted my teeth. if you walk out of that door. Gusto mo bang sabihin ko sa `yong hihintayin kita Jeannie? Then wha t after our promises to one another. I glared all the more at him. And Julian didn t want anything to do with it. he isn t nude here. Hindi kaya maglolokohan lang tayo? He gave up on me. Ah. BITTER! After a few e-mails and letters. Ang arte. Was there a difference? Iniba niya lang ng phrase pero ganon din `yun! Jeannie if you stay you choose me. Pwede ba. He paushed. I m hungry. It would deteriorate with ti me. Of course. For you. 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. dammit! Just just get the hell out of here!!! Nanlaki ang mga mata ko at naisara ko agad ang pinto. Busy? I shrugged my shoulders. What if you find someone new? What if you do? I hissed at him. My mind was made up. God. I bit my lip to stop from crying out. Ano ba `yang ginagawa mo ha? Tingin pa. I really do. He shook his head. It meant goodbye. Para akong rob ot na naglalakad.
Bakit ba hindi? Sino bang unang nakalimot? I e-mailed him. those black eyes. Jeannie kung magmamahal ka. It was so un-CM like. we were in the 21st century. Bago pa kung saang imperti nenteng lugar mapadpad iyon. And very gentleman. Para kasing sinapian na naman siya ng masamang espiritu. No more Julian. Nabigla ako. Takbo. it was a year. Naiiyak na `ko ng hindi ko na siya maki ta. Me? Ah. You know that I like you Jeannette. I know. I shook my head. Para siyang sawa. My eyes grew wide. where are you going? I squeezed through the throng of people. no. Kahit kahit `pag sumisigaw siya hindi ko na matandaan kung pano nagigin g singkit lalo `yung mga mata niya. Kung siya ang mapapangasawa ko ulit. para sa susunod na magmamahal ka u lit may ibibigay ka pa. Kahit anong pigil ko sa kama y niya kung saan napupunta. Malay ko bang nagkaroon pa kami ng baby JJ the sec ond. Ang h irap kausapin ang sarili mong isip. Magtira ka sa sarili mo. You look beautiful and sexy. We now shared a unit. The people were blocking him. But deep inside there was that wishful thinking that somehow he should have been there at night to cuddle her. He was really one he ll of a handsome man. Akala ko ba nakalimutan mo na siya! Grabe. In a fashionable way. Hey. He was as sleek as a snake. At bolero! Na ni minsan hindi man lang ginawa sa `kin ni Julian . I snorted. At lalong hindi ko na natatandaan kung pano siya Humalik? Inirapan ko siya. huwag mo ng ibigay ang lahat. I was looking out of the crowd when I met a pair of eyes. Two years. I tried hard not to glare at him. My very first date after almost two years. He raised an inquiring eyebrow at me. Mabilis akong na patayo. Maybe he was an angel sent from above. I was starting a new life now. Hindi dahil nasasakal ako sa yakap ng katabi ko. I started preparing for our food. How could you love another if you couldn t love yourself? She spent wandering around the world. He was half-Canadian half-Filipino. Save that he wasn t Julian. He didn t exist anymore. I looked at his impeccable white shirt underneath his coat. Gwapo. Jeannie What! You haven t forgotten him. I couldn t ever forget that face. He smiled at me. Mab ango. It was all worth it. Uh-okay. Napa-smile ako kay CM. I tried hard not to jab him in the ribs. Actually. Y es. Wala na ni hindi ko na nga natatandaan kung pano siya ngumiti. Lakad. At si Julian ang devil. I ve already forgotten him CM. She won the painting contest. He held my hand. Inis na sabi sabay irap. I couldn t breathe anymore. His hand started squeezing my thighs. He stood up and moved right to the door. I know thank you. Totoo naman. Dammit. This was our first date. And they were all returned! Except for the e-mail syempre. Pisil pa. Matangkad. I took hold of his hand. Malamang magiging gwa po o maganda ang magiging anak namin. Goodn ess. Nakalimutan ko na siya. You seemed preoccupied.ing mo talaga nude. And this was New York! Kulang na lang ako ang gawin niyang dinner. Excuse ako ng excuse par ang wala namang naririnig! Julian Bulong ko. Baka si Piolo Pascual. . Pa-humble pa. I was even looking out for some sign s of imperfection. Rick was handsome. I his sed. eleven months and twenty seven days. So now he wasn t perfect. sent postcards and letters. Who? I asked innocently. I smiled at him.
I saw this man with his black coat. The same with Julian! Um sorry miss? Parang gusto kong lumubog sa kahihiyan. Ano ba. Bakit ba `ko ginaganito ni God? I didn t really care about him anymore, did I? Sino bang niloko ko? Kung hindi ang sarili ko. I turned around in defeat. I gasped. There I saw him. I realized then that I missed him I missed slapping him. Yeah. He was walking beside the very lovely Tricia. Could I just pluck that lovely hair out of her head? Just this once.
THIRTY TWO Operation Iwas. Whenever I bumped into someone I didn t feel like being chummy-chummy with, the mo st effective way I do was simply pretend to busy myself with finding my purse or looking at something in the opposite direction. Pero hello? Wasn t it too obvious of me? Nakita ko na sila t lahat. Wala akong dalang bag para mag-pretend na may h inahalungkat. I had failing eyesight. Yes! I had as of today, this exact minute. Pero pano ko idadahilang near-sighted ako, eh, kung tutuusin ilang hakbang na la ng sila sa`kin? Damn. I gnawed at my lower lip. My hand was sweating coldly. Thi s wasn t what I d envisioned of seeing Julian again. Bakit ang hirap magkunwaring hi ndi ka nasasaktan? When in fact you wanted to cry in front of him? You know what; I believed that there d be that one person you couldn t ever forget i n your life. Siya `yung sa dinami dami ng nakahawak ng kamay mo. O kung marami m an. Siya lang `yung perfect fit para sa `yo. `Yung totoo? Pwede mong sabihing hindi na `ko magmamahal ulit . Words from a mouth of a heartbroken. Rubbish. You d be a big time liar. Kasi we were made to be human. Human nature na `yun. We d keep falling and falling in love over and over again. But to those who had passed by. Tandaan niyo, may isang maiiwan diyan sa kasuluk sulukan ng puso mo. Either he or she stayed or not for keeps. Hindi nga ba makab ayan si Rizal? Siguro kung buhay pa siya active siya sa United Nations. Why not? Iba t ibang lahi ang mga minahal niya. But he had one great love. Leonor Rivera.
I d tell you I could love again but there was only one Julian Sunico. Hindi lahat ng nasa kasalukuyan ay siyang one great love. I didn t know if it was from Bob Ong : Hindi lahat ng nagmamahalan ay magkasama at hindi lahat ng magkasama ay nagmam ahalan. So I was very confident. Kahit sampung Tricia pa `yan, ako pa rin ang mahal ni J ulian. My breath got hitched. They did pass me by without so much as hi! Parang gumuho `yung mundo ko. Iyon pala ang ibig sabihin non. Jeannie?! I didn t turn around. Jeannie? Jeannette Rose Leviste? I closed my eyes. So, she did remember me huh. God give me strength not to throt tle the two of them. At lalong ayokong umiyak sa harapan nilang dalawa. I automa tically turned around and placed a robotic smile on my lips. Hi. You still remember me, don t you? Excited na sabi nito. Of course, nanadya ka ba? Gusto kong isigaw `yun sa kanya. She seemed nice and gen uine. Alam ko, lahat ng third party ang impression sa kanila ay masama. But no, in my rational state of mind, trust me, Tricia was kind and sweet. Pero hindi ak o rational ngayon! God. You ve changed. You ve thinned a little. But it s okay! Before I knew it, she was h ugging me. Argh. I met a pair of dark eyes. Those eyes I d painted in my mind. And he looked bored! As if he didn t recognize me. Gusto kong itulak si Tricia. So he was here, without telling me. At bakit pa Jeannie? Ano pa bang koneksyon niyo? He should have told me, for old times sake! Para ano? Para saktan ang sarili mo? Bakit mo pa kasi siya hinabol?! My hands were shaking due to the cold December night? Or because the chillness i n Julian s stare? I wasn t so sure. Anyway, Jeannie lumingon ito kay Julian. Julian ano ka ba! Para namang wala kayong p inagsamahan. My mouth almost dropped open. Goodness, pinagsamahan? That was an understatement of the century. He shrugged his shoulder and tilted his head toward her. Na par a bang isa lang siyang matagal ng kakilala. Julian Hinawakan ni Tricia `yung braso nito. I rolled my eyes heavenward. What? What do you want me to say? Long time no see? Nice seeing her again? Napabuka `yung bibig ko. He was referring to me now as HER. As if I didn t ah, no, n o never exist in his life. As if I d never been in his bed! Anong tingin niya sa ha los isang taong pinagsamahan namin? One-year stand? Damn him. I felt like crying at the same time bashing him in the head. Akala niyo ba babae lang ang bitter kapag hindi maayos ang ending ng relationship? O walang closure ? Somehow men took it all in. They were the high and mighty Mr. Macho men. But d eep inside they were more hurting. Because they couldn t let it out in the open. Th ey couldn t cry shamelessly like women did. It s okay Tricia. I so smiled at her. But ah, it hurt. Tapos biglang parang bumbilyang nag-lighten up `yung mukha niya. Jeannie! Since you re here, I m going to ask you a favor. You won t mind, right? Tricia ! Julian gripped her arm to shut her up. I frowned. Favor? Could I just kick mysel f for still standing here and not walking out on them? I I Hindi ko sinasadya. As in hindi. Napatingin ako kay Julian. And he was looking b ack at me. His hands were inside his jeans pocket. One brow arched in question. Tricia don t make her lie to you to come up with an excuse. I think she s busy with he r dreams. He snorted! Nanlalaki `yung mga mata ko. I knew a sarcasm when I heard one. I I m not busy Tricia. It s okay. Ilang beses ko na bang sinasabing it s okay ? At ilang es bang para kong sinasaksak kapag sinasabi ko `yun? Oh, my God! Thanks Jeannie! So much. Ano ba `yun?
Jeannie I want you to be my maid of honor! May bomba bang sumabog? It was like I couldn t breathe. She even put her ring fing er in the air. It was sparkling with diamond? Deymmmmm Damn Didn t Julian try to put something like that on me two years ago? Jeannie? Tricia eyed me. Are you okay? I m okay. Gusto ko ng sakalin `yung leeg ko. What was okay here? I looked at them bot h. Nakayakap si Tricia sa braso ni Julian. I saw the way he perused my expressio n. I m okay I m I started laughing, choking a laughter that caught on a sob. Jeannie? Tricia asked again. Are you crying? Ah no, no I m just just too happy! I felt like crying! Tumatawang pinunasan ko `yung l sa mga mata ko. Gusto kong sumigaw sa kanila: Nanadya ba kayong dalawa? I felt like an idiot. No. I was an idiot! I was trying to tell myself I had move d on. Hindi ko alam kung may dapat ba `kong pagsisihan. Like, I should have been in he r place, right? Or we should have been building a family now? Pero kung siya ang pinili ko maabot ko ba `yung mga pangarap ko ngayon? Did you ever feel empty inside? Like there was this giant hole in your heart. I left Julian so that I could grow on my own. I left him because I had no choice. Meron man akong mga choices. `Yun naman `yung mga choices na wala sa options ko . He asked me to choose between him and my career. Bakit hindi niya na lang hiniling sa `king hintayin niya `ko? He could even fly here once in a while. Nagagalit ako sa kanya. Because he didn t even put up a good fight. He just let me go. Just like that. You just call me Tricia. I have so many things to do. Hindi pa man ito nakakapagsali ta ay tumakbo na `ko palayo sa kanila. I was sobbing like a child. Napatingin sa `kin si CM. I didn t care. Eh, kung naka kaiyak naman talaga `yung Dvd na One More Chance ni JL at ni Bea Alonzo. Lalo na `yung part na bumabalik si Basha kay Popoy. He winced. Why are you crying? Nakaka iyak kaya. Huwaaa I hiccupped many times. And cried again. Tumingin ulit siya. This time slow motion `yung pagbaling ng ulo niya. Na para bang nababaliw na ng a ako. W-what? He rolled his eyes heavenward. Ang corny mo `te. Now that stopped me from sobbing. Excuse me? He sighed exaggeratedly. Alam mo ba mas naririnig ko pa `yung pag-iyak mo kesa sa dialogue nilang dalawa. He hissed at me. Bakit ba kapag brokenhearted ang tao kont ing masaling mo lang ng movie o sad songs umiiyak na? Malay ko I shrugged. Mukha ba `kong brokenhearted? Itinaas nito `yung kamay ko at ginawang puppet. `Yan. Tanong mo sa sarili mo. I glared at him. Alam mo ba I saw Julian? Yep. He s here. I ve seen him with Tricia. Nag-aayos kasi sila ng kasal My mouth dropped. Goodness, he knew? You didn t tell me? He shrugged again. Baka kasi makita na lang kitang nakabigti na dyan kaya `di ko sinabi. Alam mo friend you don t look brokenhearted. He nodded solemnly and looked b ack at the wide screen. You look suicidal. Naiyak ako ng malakas sa sinabi niya. Julian s business got bankrupt Jeannie. He couldn t take a day or two to go here for you back then. Alam mo naman siguro `yun he thought you left him because of that. I gasped at the seriousness in CM s voice. Well, he was damned serious. I didn t. Well he thought. Maraming namamatay sa maling akala. Sa sitwasyon niyong dalawa. H indi si Julian `yun. You knew the family scandal. He was sucked dry by Vince Gon zalo. That s why he let you go
So what would happen to Tricia? Julian will have a stag party! Bakit bakit hindi na lang nating totohanin `yung pi kot?! I groaned aloud. Ahm Jeannie lulubus-lubusin ko na ha. 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. Ano Jeannie ? Ibabalik na ba ni Tricia si Julian? Now I knew the expression: ASA! OB. all in capital letters. Pero isa lang sure k o jealousy could kill. Sino bang laruan dito? THIRTY THREE I now know the word STUPID. Very fashionable. 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. Wala nga lang sa kanya `di ba? He d even moved on and forgotten all about me. legally speaking. Hello? Hey. Baby. Nagsubo ito ng maraming popcorn. Hindi ako ganon ka-kontrabida. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. Teka nga bakit ang dami mong alam? He talked to your mother. She was wearing a floral dress with a cardigan. CM! The phone started ringing. And little did I know that. `Yung mga tatanga-tangang sumusunod sa yapak ni Cinder ella. Mabilis iyong inabot ni CM. as I stared outside the glas s panel from here. Ah. at least I didn t have evil stepsisters. I was never fond of maltreated protagonists. So shall we go? Tricia smiled at me. I stared stupidly at CM. Si Julian lang talaga ang evi l dito. H e smiled evilly at me. Jeannie! What? Why don t you take Julian back? I slowly shook my head. Pero kanino? Sa sarili ko? Kay Tri cia ba? O sa napakawalanghiya kong ex-hubby. Not ex.WHAT?! Just like that? Ganon ba kaliit `yung tingin niya sa `kin? He shrugged. Laruan tama. We weren t even mar ried. Never EX. At ngayon? Hindi ko alam kung unti-unti ko bang pinapatay `yung sarili ko. no. eh? Napatingin . All about baby JJ. Err I hated him. Well. Julian. that word would be applied to me someday and that someday happened to be now. Silence. Gusto kong magalit. Tricia. Ah no. it s me Tricia.
Tapos pumili na ng kanta si Tricia. Are you okay? Lumingon ako. Hindi siya buntis hindi siya buntis nagdadalang-tae lang si Tricia. Mag-iinom kasi broken hearted ka. . 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.A. a hand grabbed mine. Utang na loob! So was it any consolation that J ulian mourned over our relationship for over. Palabas pa lan g kami ng clinic. Halos akayin na ko ni Tricia. Sa totoo lang hindi ko alam kung bakit pa `ko pumayag samahan siya sa OB.akong bigla sa tiyan niya. Tricia was spared to drink any liquor. I was still silent and mum about it. I tried to smile. Thanks doctor. I averted my eyes away from the scene. As if. So how are you? Someone new? I wanted to smile and tell her: Yes. Had I seen in his eyes how he wanted me to be sorry? D ahil iniwan ko siya? Dahil pinagpalit ko siya sa mga pangarap ko? Tinawagan nila si CM. Spell desperada. half-crying. Tricia was half-laughing. May we all have an everlasting friendship! W alang agawan. Big time. mo Tricia! Dahil bitter ako sobrang bitter. Tricia was the first real love of Julian. Uh-huh. No! Oo. And disgusted wit h myself. I ve found someone new and I m very much happy. Ano bang ginagawa ko dito? Nagpapakamasokista? Maglaslas na lang kaya ako? Nasa baba na kami ng condo building ni Tricia. You and Julian can go to hell together. 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. Tricia! I closed my eyes to keep my emotions intact. for all I care. Hindi ako iiyak. Congratulations! Let s cheers to that. I met a pair of chinito eyes. God forgive me. too bad of me to pray. Gusto kong sumi gaw na ang O. Give love on Christmas day! CM cheered. Pano kung sila talaga? After all. What the hell It s your fourth glass. So God wasn t on my side. Yeah. Before I could even drink my fourth glass. almost one year and seven and a ha lf months? Actually I wanted it to be a surprise. Nakakat atlong baso na ko. Sabay biglang labas ng doctor. Tsss. Itinayo niya `ko. It was a time to celebrate. Julian only looked at me. They were together. Lagyan ng kung anong valium ang inumin nito.? Sa sobrang lakas ng kaba ko parang ako ang mahihimatay. Congratulations! You re two and a half months on the family way. Argh. 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. Pero minsan naiisip kong patirin si Tricia. Ahm mrs. So it was five months going huh. Hindi ba magmumukha ako ng bitter? And that would be sheer hypocrisy. I haven t been celibate say GOD. Kailangan pa ba niyang sabihin `yun? Five months now. Walang iyakan. Hindi ako makangiti. It s confirmed J ulian! Thank you So it was confirmed. The doctor smiled widely. At sak a hello? Bakit dito pa? Pwede namang sa Pinas `di ba? Oh. It was awkward. Nauwi kami sa videoke bar. We turned around and Tricia quickly ran to him and hugged him. He hissed. Are you sure? She looked down at me. Anong pakialam ko?! Kahit 24/7 pa `yan! Parang convenient store. You re drunk. Iba na ata ibig sabihin niyon ngayon. I was rooted to the seat.
I liked it rough . Umusog ako sa gilid palayo. Ooops. I told you. Just don t make any noise. shaking me. Biglang nagiba ang tono ng boses nito. I was ushered into Julian s lap. I thought I d forgotten that mouth. Kung sinong mas magaling! I hissed. Julian s hand steadied me fr om slipping into the floor in the other side. I eyed CM with warning. Mabilis akong tumayo despite th e dizziness. I had no strength anymore. Ahm excuse me Julian pwede bang dito ka na lang umupo? Diyan ako sa tabi ni Tricia . I was ready to puke. More than happy Do you know what? God forgive me for this. Love will lead you back. I g asped. His hands grabbed my sho ulders. CM smiled at me innocently. Tric ia s busy singing. Jeannie can you move a little over there? Masikip. My eyes were getting misty. I slowly smiled at him. I didn t know what I was doing. Julian s chinky eyes turned into slits. It was like he was a menacing predator the next. Who t old him about Rick? That maniac. Yes. Para akong masusuka. An artist also. that was it. Aren t we here to celebrate? I blurted out bitterly. Galit na sabi nito. CM said drily. And so w as I. I m sor ry Oh my God. god. He moved forward. So I ve heard about your new boyfriend. Sorry. She seemed really oblivious. Did it still taste the same? Oh. The same heat and inten sity was there. His head came down upon me. Demanding. Under my lo and behold future! Almost there. He moved forward. Bruising my lips. My tears rolled down as the cold nights and empty sheets lay behind the almos . If I know! Pinindot niya talaga ` yung stop button. I missed him shouting at me because he was concerned. mmkay? I looked at Tricia. you shouldn t drink. no! Hindi ko sinabi `yun! I was drunk. my words. Then we turned slowly. Hindi ko alam k ung sinong sumundo sa`kin. Someday I just know that love will lead you back in my a rms I winced. I can t read the lyrics from here. slap him or lied about not liking i t. he said sarcastically. Hindi ko sinasadya. you love it. There at the side of my ahm waist. don t you? Why not for th e last time Jeannie? Do you know the word fvckiiiing qui ckie? He was mad. But I didn t try to hold back. We screwed in the backseat I was even comparing notes. yes. Uh-oh. I m going to sing. Pero hindi ko magawa. Move a little. He mouthed. Ano bang pakialam mo? Tinanggal ko ang kamay niya at ngumiti. So it was the high and mighty Mr. Tricia was singing my eyes grew wide. Hindi naman ako claustrophobic pero parang nasosuffocate ako. Sige tuloy niyo lang `yan.I raised one brow. Yes. I drank it in one fill without breaking the eye contact. This was what you called Women s violation! His hand was there. Goodness so y ou aren t any different from your sister. My so-called bestfriend just ignored me! Sa pagkakalipat nito ay nalipat si Julian sa tabi ko. Exactly. I missed him. Julian s teasing smile froze me in place. Uh-oh. Like you taught me. Tricia frowned. Magtabi kami ni CM. I missed his ne arness. Sunico hu h? I gritted my teeth. Yes. Oh. I looked down at his hand. He s making me happy Julian. Someone was caressing my back to and fro. At sabay tulak sa`kin. CM! Julian was also shocked. CM smiled at me. Gusto ko siyang sampalin. That lips I had kissed many times before. Is h e making you happy Jeannie? He laughed sarcastically. Of course. I covered my mouth and ran to the bathroom. Oh. Hindi naman ako `yung nagsalita non `di ba? Julian s grin was deliberate. Oh-kay.
kung nagkita kayo after so many years at hindi naging maganda ang break-up. If he ever chose Tricia for his dream over me I would still be mad at him. get in line please! I stared numbly at the organizer. I d file a laws uit against its manufacturer. Isn t that what you want to hear from me Julian? I asked him sarcas tically. Ang love parang li pstick. Katulad mo. He looked up. Tatlo lang `yun. I m still mad at yo u because you hurt me (In truth. kahit gawa `yan para hindi matanggal o mapalis basta basta darating at d arating pa rin ang expiration date niyan. At least he was still as affected to me as he was. maiintindihan naman nila `ko `di ba? Dapat intindihin nila `ko. And at that time Tricia was m y only chance of ever achieving it. Pero hindi. I got his point. Was there such a thing? Forever. There was always someone in the way. I closed my eyes. For some reason. Okay. music please . Totoo `yun. Ilang araw na ba nang bumalik ako dito sa Pilipinas? Isa lang ang na-real ize ko: Ang tanga ko no? Ang tanga-tanga ko. Thank you because you left me. O kung meron man hindi ako `yun. And more years to come He d be gone from me forever. I heard CM asking him when he went out. CM nudged my shoulder to keep going. I didn t dare wipe the tears. But why should I be the one to understand them? Walking down the aisle with the one you love is every girl s dream but walking dow n the aisle with the one you love when you happened to be the bridesmaid was out of the question. Hindi na `ko magtataka kung isang araw ay hindi na`ko magising.t two years. As if I had a contagious disease. Though he didn t love her i t wasn t me he really got tangled with. Congratulations. Jean was the first one. 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. Na parang walang pakialam! Anger was always okay than indiffe rence. 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. Jeannie our family s business is my dream. I was the first among the Miss Stupidest runners-up. I swear. Tricia was the second one. Sa`min ni Julian? It should have been Neverever. Okay. I thought dreams were made to escape the painful reality. sino pa bang tatalbog sa pinakamagarang award na makukuha ko? Kahit nga si Janine San Miguel walang panama sa `kin. Pero lalo lang akong b inabangungot. What for? Couldn t he see my heart breaking i nto pieces in front of him? I felt my lips were swollen. Some consolation. Now tell me. eh. That would be sheer stupidity. It was all too vivid. If ever my lipstick smeared. Maybe it was just sp elled that way. Kung iniwan kita non? At sinabi ng pamilya kong pakasalan ko si Tri cia dahil papalubog na ang business naming Jeannie? What would you feel? I was a bit confused. Walang taong ganoon kabait at kamartir. 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. He pushed me away from him. I smiled to myself humorlessly. I was still wide awake. Kung umayaw ako. I started crying. Kung ginawa niya `yun noon. For ever. Because the truth was becoming real to me with each passin g day. He shrugged at me. Pero hindi. Kaya galit siya sa`kin. Malungkot itong tumingin sa kanya.
My heart wasn t just broken into two. either mabaliw ako or maisipan kong mag-suicide bombin g sa loob ng simbahan. But t hen This practice was a major catastrophic event in my life next to having lost baby JJ. I couldn t stop from sobbing . Hindi ko na sana nakilala si Julian. me listening. Sipon. Parang slow motion napatingin ako sa kamay ko. But at this point in time. If he was sympathizing with me. Just as the words were out. Out. Gusto kong isigaw na wala akong pakialam. What had I done now? What! I snapped at the organizer. Jeannie. I love this woman greatly. As if I was a dimwitted. Tricia smiled at me hesitantly and reached out to me What? Jeannie You re holding the bouquet. hopeless case r etard. do you take this woman as your lawfully wedded wife? My vision became blurred. chinky eyes. My sister was staring helplessly at me. Kunwari tumawa ako. Goodness. Pero sana sana lang may take two. Nakakadiri ako. Willed her mother to be strong. you ll feel my pain. `felt like it was my death march. When I looked up I met a pair of dark. Luha. I was clutching silly at the bunch of flowers. I didn t know how I dared to be here. I was walking like a zombie. He handed me a towel. Naiinis ako kasi mas aya siya at ako hindi. 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. Neither did I. but into many pieces. anong ginawa ko sa`yo? She shouldn t have made me replace her. Fighting spirit . Ang selfish ko no? I was hurting too much to be sensible. Her boyfriend got her pregnant. Pero anong alam ko nung time na `yun? I didn t know that I was doing that specifically for her. Or pride? I didn t know. I didn t need another broken heart. Actually. And of course. Do you know. When he le ft her I was there to catch her. I started crying and vomiting. Are you okay? I slowly looked up.There was a pianist. That is what love is isn t it? You have to give. Free will. Kaw awa naman `yung mga walang kamuwang-muwang na halaman. Kasalanan niya `to. Kasi sobra. Sana may cut. . Then I gave Tricia the flower. Lahat naghalo na. Sa `kin lahat sila nakatingin. all I cared about was myself. Mine was enough for me to handle. The pain was excruciating. I do. At take note: sa loob ng simbahan. Para akong nasa pelikula. No Don t J ulian. He didn t say a thing. Alam mo ba kung gano kasakit `yun? Hindi. I glared at her. She tried to pat my hand but I turned away from her. But not really. Nanlaki `yung mata niya na parang sinasabing: Oh. I ran away from there as fast as I could. Oo na. CM was eyeing me pit ifully. Para naman alam ko kung kailan pipigilan ang emosyon. Of course. I just fou nd myself sitting on the bench with him. Kasi feeling ko. And he started talking. I couldn t handle it at the moment. This was what they cal led almost dying. But she couldn t she couldn t love me back. They were right in front of the pretend pries t reciting their bows. Julian Sunico. Syempre nahiya ako sa ayos ko. Sana naman kung nakikinig siya somehow he could guide me. I brushed my hair away from m y wet face. Lalo na `yung mga caretak ers. great. Hindi ko alam kung anong masamang espiritung sumapi sa `kin. t o sacrifice and to understand. Ha? Napatingin ako sa paligid ko.
I s tarted hating her for not loving me back. God. He was looking down at the stones. Sunico smiled at me. So I married her. At one point. Pero naniniwala akong meron. Makakita ka ng PDA sa l abas yamot na yamot ka. But I didn t want her gratitude. Not that I was saying love was connected to lust or so. Sana nga I was walking down the memory lane. I really tried. Sinisisi niya `yung sarili niya sa divorce niyo. Bakit pa kasi nauso ang past. LOL. be us against the world . Magulo. Nothing to say. I loved him I love him still But things change d. Mali ako. He frowned at me. But this time there was one thing he didn t own anymore. Julian whispered. I loved you. Ngumiti ako. It was like that in love. Napalingon ako sa kanya. I think. Sabi nila wala daw definition `yun. Why are you asking this nonsense? Nonsense? I laughed. God will give you the man you are loo king for. He was there. we did things we would never have thought for the sake of love. I crossed my fingers and hiccupped. Akal a niya na-neglect siya. Nakakatawa no? Manood ka ng XXX tuwang tuwa ka. Like he always. But only we had different meanings of love. that would be sheer hypocrisy Julian. The only way I knew I could hurt her back He shrugged. Go figure. standing as if he owned the world. she s grateful to me. 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. Just as I am to you. Nagkamali kami pa reho. you just have to tell him that at some point you love him as a son. Loved. present and future tense? EPILOGUE And in another life I would be your girl We keep all our promises. but then I wished with all my heart that you d be happy if only that is with me. Understanding what he meant. But after all those years. It was only up to us how to show it. right? Jeanni Kung hihilingin kong maging masaya ka. Bulong ko. Sa tingin mo ba kung mabubuhay tayo ulit gugustuhin mo pa rin akong makilala? I tr ied not to croak. You re a good woman.You have to give. How cruel love is. I turned to women from night to night. Sa totoo lan g hindi ko naman talaga maintindihan kung anong ibig sabihin ng love. sacrifice and understand. I stopped dead in my tracks. Whatever. Mr. This time I was successful. And you hurt Julian the most. Hindi mo maintind ihan.
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. Oh. With rolled eyes. Do you ever believe in destiny? Eh. My cell phone is ringing. `di sana tumaya na lan g ako sa lotto non `di ba? They were one in a million. He loves you I sigh. I close my eyes and pray. I always envy my twin. I am always splitting hairs. CM. Tita Jeannie! Where s my psp? My laptop and she keeps rambling. Al am mo naman `yung tao kung gano nag-aalala sa`yo. The one that got away I hit the high-pitched note as I imitated Katy Perry s song. O kung hindi man None in a million. I am beautiful. Kung may love potion lang malamang bestselling item `yun. Meron ng bumisita dito? I hear a child s laughter from a distance. Y our skins tingle when you touch. yes. hell. Well. Na-tense ako. Pero lagi akong humihiling na sana ako si ganito. Kaya nga siguro deep down. I start hating the phrases what ifs and what could have beens. may d . but of course. Napangiti ako. Yeah. Perfect. next life. So mehow I know it by heart. Give the phone to Czarina. I thought I could never live up to Julian s standard. So like Jean Somehow. And hearing her daughter s voice made me w ish that I were her. where are you? Haven t you been with Roy? He told me you re not feeling well. I vee never been contented in my whole life. Ang gulo ng mundo no? If you ended up together after so many endeavors. Yeah. I put down the flowers. God must have pitied upon you. Hey. Pero kung sumigaw ba`ko ng mas malakas. I raised one brow. 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.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. sino ba? I ve always dreamed of something big. Halos mapaantanda ako sa gustong ipabili nito. I am funny. no don t go there anymore Jeannie. Regrets are those for what you can t have done. Meron sa buhay natin na darating. Wow. My eyes grow wide when I s ee a pair of a child s feet. Hindi ko rin alam kung bakit nagpe-fade `yun. Hello? Ako ang iyong konsensya I grit my teeth. Parang umo-order lang sa menu kung humiling. Merry Christmas! Nagpaparamdam ka ba sa `kin baby JJ? Did you miss mommy? I kneel down. I chuckle drily. I smile softly to myself. I feel a pang of uncertainty. Hindi niyo siguro napansin. And we thought he will be Mr. Binagalan ko `yung pagda-drive. I bet you didn t guess how insecure I am. Deep down I know there s always something that kept me apart from her. Right or Mr. He s laughing. Love is a very frightenin g thing. Oh. ne ver naman akong humiling ng Mr. 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. Congratulations! That started the word forever. Unknowingly comparing myself to other people. better luck next time. I laugh about that. Paskong pasko. Ak o si ganyan. Forever. Is happiness really elusive? Hindi ko ginustong mag-asawa ng maaga pero hindi ko rin naman pinangarap na tuma ndang dalaga. and I find someone more beau tiful than I ever am. Relationshi ps: Sawa to awa. Someone who can make our hearts beat faster. Eh. First to Jean then to Tricia. Well. `yung tao ang gumagawa ng kapalaran niya? Ts k. I was a scared rat. my Napaatras ako sa pagkabigla. Splitting hairs.
Or did I? I . It was like in slow motion. Sino ka? I wince. Kung pwede lang akong sumigaw ng freeze katulad ni Ella. Then a woman came running in uniform. She is thumb sucking. at t his point I was wishing them the worst. I was staring num bly at Jesus Christ. Gusto kong itanong kay father.. Hindi ko na kaya. e xpecting and gaping at us. Pe ro pano? I do. My heart sank to the pit of my stomach. Nasangga. to have held a child of my own. There were a lot of well-wishers. The corner of his mouth twitched in a lazy smile. Siya ang nagtata nong. Tricia was in front of me. w e were hoping against hope. I was praying with all my might that God w ould give me strength to get through this. I was going to throw up any minute now. biting my lower lip `til I almost draw blood. But he was there his hands were inside his jeans pocket. I heard someone scream. I wanted to let go of the pain.. I didn t dare look at everyone or anyone for that matter. Julian took that particular hand of Tricia s that hand that signified letti ng go while he was looking looking at me. Tumalik od ito. She remi nds me of Tantan. Kung tututol ba `ko papakinggan niya `ko? Hindi ba masasayang ang effort ko kung mapapahiya lan g din naman ako? So let s proceed. O `yun `yung gusto kong palabasin ngayon.alaw! The child is holding a doll. do you take this woman. Nakita ko na lang si Tricia na naglalakad palapit sa`kin. But I couldn t set the love free so ea sily. Everybody was cheering. the maid smiles tentati vely and take the child s hand. Thank you. This is for you Jeannie. alam natin. They were all staring. Ayokong magpaka-ipokrita. I was looking down at the tiled floor. An overwhelming urge to slap him was building deep inside me. white hand. Was he also mourning for me? Hindi ko kaya. It was all over. That was the last of my full thoughts. Two. I wish the doctors are wrong. Naku halika na. ginawa ko na. I looked up. It s been five years I whisper and close my eyes and it all came back to me. Ayokong tumingin sa tabi niya. At me. CM patted my shoulder. Three steps. Sana hindi na lang sana Julian was looking at me. Hindi man ako tumingin alam ko alam ko ng lahat sila sa `kin nakatingin. My fate was sealed. She smiled 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. Now I know what the phrase killing me softly meant. Kasi nasasaktan ako . My vision was getting blurry. for everything. Natulak. I almost snorted. I was doomed to be a spinster forever. Giving me the bouquet of flowers. Wala bang tututol? Sisigaw ba `ko? I placed a hypocritical smile on my lips. So it was really over? The end. I feel that emptiness again. No no t mocking but it was as if he was telling me that everything would be alright. Her eyes are chinky. Siya ang na nga ang nanggulat. 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. Bakit ganon n o? Lagi nating sinasabing hindi tayo nag-eexpect pero deep inside. Bakit ba hindi nakikinig ang sariling puso? Hindi kaya hindi lang natin alam per o nilagyan ni God ng utak ito sa loob? Our hearts were more stubborn than the ow ner himself. I slowly smiled. I wished I was in a time warp. My eyes got misty. One. My hand was trembling as I took the bouquet from her gloved. Finish. Hindi ko alam kung anong nangyayari.
Do n t you know that Christmas had just been a holiday word to me? Entirely foreign. Then a face so familiar comes in view. J ean s laughing and kisses her daughter. I m being ungrateful. Lang huh? Okay lang. Mamamatay ka na ba at ito ang gift mo? O kaya nagh ihirap? Fine. sabi nga ni CM titigan mo lang ng buong araw busog ka na. Special ka kaya. He was an event organizer in New York. My eye s twinkle. ako? Because of just one man? Because of love? . Epilogue Part Two Wala na po siya. No not name. Na para bang diyan lang sa Star City ang hinihiling nito. Hindi ko alam kung bakit o kung ano ng nagtutulak sa`king panoorin `yun. half-canadian . Hindi ko alam kung matutuwa ba ako kay CM o ano. Wallet? Necklace? My mind s warming up with all the expensive gifts I can ever have from him. `Yung tawang: Mwahahaha. Knowing CM. Napatingin si mommy dito. I almost throw it in his face. I met him through. WALA AKONG TIWALA. I almost touch the stop button on the remote co ntrol. Half-fil. As i n. That name. Sabay tumawang parang demonyo. That Five-letter fvcking word. Hit me on the head. Okay. I raised one brow. Good girl. Hija! It s been a long while since you came back C M clears his throat. Bakit hindi. Well. wala akong tiwala. Well. well. I learn to like him through the years. Sa`kin okay lang `yung trip to Disney land. Just a noun. That Christmas eve we open our gifts. of course CM. all in capital letters. Nakaalis na siya? Damn. I roll my eyes. dear! I smile at him. Sana Coach bag `yung matagal ko ng inuungot sa kanya. Merry Christmas. he is a handsome and charming man. At sa sobrang katalin uhan ko dinaig ko pa si Rizal. Nothing else. Roy hugs me as he hands me his gift. Siguro mabait lang talaga ako. 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. Goodness. She beams at me and kisses my chee k. kunsintidora! CM handed me a box. Merry Christmas! Nakita kong may ibunulong si CM kay Czarina. The video is blurred at first. Stupidass. He pouts. It was a dvd disk. Czarina comes running with my mom. Kung Titanic ang laman nito paniguradong gagawin ko ta lagang parol si CM. Present. I love you tita. 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. Define mabait. I gasp. I snort. Special child. CM but in. I loathe that word. I snort. Magpatayo na rin kaya ako ng monument sa Luneta? A t least he died for his country. Parang naparalyze `yung buo kong katawan.fainted. That morning I wake up and watch that video. This time louder with matching ubo pa. All I want for Christmas is Jul youuuuuu! Hindi ko siya pinansin. Hindi ko alam kung bakit gusto niyang magkita kami ngayon. Somehow I am restless that Christmas day.
I bet she ll shake t he whole house off. The kid skids away from my grasp. My knees become weak. Syempre sinama ko si CM. Masarap s ana kung may kayakap. their caretaker. Having my own child. Naiisip ko lang kung pano `y ung next scene. My so-called doomsday before. You bought my paintings? I start hiccupping. I wince. Hindi dahil nakalimutan ko n a kundi dahil hindi ko ginustong maalala. Napatingin ako sa malaking bahay sa harapan ko. Parang slow motion sa pelikula. my God! Anak ka ng demon Oh. CM tilts his head to one side as if shooing me. Maybe just in anoth er lifetime I d have made him stay. Leviste? I nod. She s looking up at me And my. kikilabutan lang kayo. Sumunod po kayo sa `kin. He ll be the Ice breaker. Sige. Naramdaman mo na bang kahit anong sakit ang idinulot niya sa`yo. I raise one brow at him. Hindi ko napigilan ang hindi mapaiyak. I raise one brow. Kundi ba naman nakakatulig `yung pagtili niya. Of course. My eyes get misty I so remember those days. Those days that I thought I ll hate him forever w hich I m doing a poor job of it. lady won t you talk to me? She pouts prettily. Damn him Damn he-who-has-no-name. Hey. salamat aalis na lang Kayo po ba si Ms. I slowly turn around. I cup both her cheeks. The hou se is overlooking the Taal Lake. Nanginginig na naman `yu ng mga kamay ko. Ma am? Napalingon ako. With him. She frowns at me. my heart bea t triple time. I m looking around the house. Those days that I love him. Life-size photos of me in Morocco. Anak ka ni Mabilis akong napakapit sa muk ha nito. he can still make your heart beat faster? Naramdaman mo `yung feeling na kahit na pilit mong . He s on the phone. I take it and sniff. `Wag niyo ng itanong ang mga details . somehow I start hating mysel f. Ikaw ikaw `yung Ikaw `yung babae sa cemetery! Saan ba nagmana ang batang `to? Hindi ba tinuturuan ang mga mayayaman ng GMRC sa exclusive schools nila? I slowly chuckle at the thought. My eyes grow wide as we enter a white room. Cute. Ma am? Ha? I turn to. no. Lofty thoughts Jeannie Bulong ko sa sarili ko.God. Long ago I ask that mys elf. I take it. Jade! My eyes grow wider. God sorry. My heart constricts just by imagin ing myself having a family. Napalingon ako sa bulilit na katabi ko. D addy! There s a woman here! She s a strangeeeeeer! Napapikit ako. There are p ictures portraits I remember vaguely. Sayang It s that damn man s fault! My sigh is long I ll promise that after this I ll try with all my might to for Biglang m y isang petal na lumipad at dumikit sa gilid ng bibig ko. I ll just wait outside. I close my eyes tight. Malabo. murm uring love words. Knowing CM. Something warm tugs at my heart. May nag-abot sa`kin ng panyo. `Nu ba `yan Panira ng m oment! The white petal looks familiar. Alam ko matutuwa I mean. It reminds me of Oh. You know what. I stop cold in my tracks. And no doubt obscene ones. You re gross. Hindi ko napansin na ako na lang pala mag-isa. wasn t it? Para `kong nanghihina. Pictures of me grimacing on our wedding day. It s bittersw eet. Malamig talaga dito. Three teeth are mi ssing. That was our best time together. Have she heard me? Oh. Yuck. if ever. Who are you? At namaywang pa! Her chinky eyes tur n into slits. He kn ew where. Kaya nga gusto ko ng pagtakhan si CM. Vague. Ipinagbilin po kayo ni ma am Tricia. I suddenly blu sh. Those days I wish I have again. Sobra.
But by God. Biglang tumigil ang pagpatak sana ng luha ko. He s more attractive. They open my child s eyes that there is a prince charming. Tumangkad ba siya? Gumwapo? Tumaba? Lalong pumuti? No. Now I guess painful is the best term. Mabilis akong humarap sa kanya. He s expressionless. He stares at me for the longest while. idiot don t let go. T hat will be very horrible Mr. Kaya nga nagtataka ako sa sarili ko. I tried to. Nakalimutan ko she s there. I count one to ten to stop m yself from shouting at him. Not Julian s more like Tricia s. Bakit ba? Hindi ba dapat ako ang magalit? Anong karapata n niya? I walk to the door. He s thirty-something now. Madaling sabihing mag-let go. Agree? He slowly squints. Pero nakita ko ang pan ginginig ng kamay niya habang hawak ang anak. Eh. this is goodbye. Kundi ayaw makinig ng puso ko. It fades as time goes by. Sabi ni mommy. Close. The mature lines on his face tell on the wise years. And that he the beast will turn into a handsome prince and he ll give the word foreve r a meaning. Hindi ako makapaniwala sa mga naririnig ko. Sana. Tisha Jade! I met a pair of chinky eyes. I open the door and smile to myself. The video. Juli He even did more than his fair share of kis sing. I m not sorry for what I did Jeannie. Do you know the word pain? I guess. It s the truth. I frown when the scree . The little girl bit her nails. I remember the video in my mind s eye. So. Long silence stretched. I thoug ht it did. how dare him do that. she s she s the one in your study room! Her picture s Julian covers her daughter s mouth. Have a happy life Is that a fvcking curse Jeannie? Do you know you creep under my skin. So yeah. Kahit pangalan mo lang. I even thought he will run to me and hug me. She pouts a gain. didn t he? I forget his name. akala ko kapag hinalikan ni Prince Charming si Snow White okay na . Or to mock me of what I ve done? Now that you re successful? Hindi ko siya pinansin. And everyone who fell i n love became stupid. I ll be over him in no time at Daddy. Hindi mo pa rin mapigilan ang sarili mong umasa? There s that tiny part of you that says. Yes. Are you here to laugh at me Jeannie? Just a mere whisper. I can t breathe again. Hindi ako manunumbat. They ll live happily ever after. Pero mahirap gawin. bad daw ang magsinungaling! Dapat matuwa ako. Merry Christmas Jeannette Rose Leviste! She waves her hand. That face. Isa lang. Hindi dahil ayoko. What are you doing here? And more domineering than ever. ano pa nga bang ineexpect ko mul a sa kanya? He s still the high and might Julian Sunico. L ike he never existed in my whole life. That somehow Aladdin will whisk me off wit h his magic carpet. Full of pain. Tricia s gone. I m thankful now `coz I didn t get to live with you forever. A four-year old chinita girl. Galit na nilagpasan ko siya. Sunico. Anong kayang sinasabi ni Tri cia? Nakita kong tinignan ng pagkasama-sama sa anak. I turn my back on him. You re always good at hurtin g everybody. I m just sorry I let you go. Madaling sabihing hindi ko na siya maha l.sinasabing wala lang siya sa`yo pero isang tawag lang. Five years gives him just ice. Sasampalin ko siya. I say instead. Jeannie she smiles at me. Nung bata ako. Bingi ka ba? I m going. Pero sino bang niloko ko? `Yung kuko ko? Gusto kong magreklamo sa Disney! Bakit pa kasi sila nagpaasa. you ll tell me yes. My hand stop in midair as a I hear a gasp. Ang hindi matibag-tibag n a lalaki. It works. How could I have loved him? Galit na pinunasan ko `yung mga mata ko. I ll act matured sophisticated.
That shut him up. Para matapos na `tong usapang ito. Grabe! Si Tricia talaga oh. Do you know she bit her lower lip. He chuckles to himself. How long is it daddy? She looks at me. Mabilis tinakpan ni Julian ang tenga ng bata. CM shrugs. Ang kapal ng mukha ko no? Alam ko sasabihin mo. or rather our families hastened our engagement. Bakit ikaw ang m aiinggit sa`kin Tricia? Nasa `yo `yung gusto ko. I m just sorry that I hurt you. Fren ch kiss. Jeannie tell him what you feel . Surely surely I m wrong? She s dying Jeannie. Ewan ko ba. Un til when I came to New York to find you. Considering mayaman si Julia n. Everyone has. sweet girl. Tricia she never looks a day sicker than she is. That s why She s got Leukemia. Julian just kiss Jeannie. I am now sobbing silently. She laughs heartily. Am I that selfish? I wish her ill many times in the past? Now what? It s true Jeannie. They re the happiest years of my life. Oh. Na para bang pinapatahimik ako kung ano mang magiging violent reaction ko. queers(halamang dagat) are lovable. We thought she s already okay. Nang-aasar ba siya? I even salute you when you left him for your dreams. Not that sinasabi kong mukha kang pera. Tricia s dead? No. Roy is CM s boo. Gusto kong maiyak sa itsura nito. But not the way he loves you. Natigil `yung muntik kong pagsinga. God. He s jesting right? Mommy s gone to heaven.n zooms in on her face. He whispers. I know something is very wron g here. Parang hindi siya hindi naman sa pumangit siya o Oh-kay. She thanked me on her wedding day. Nangingitim ang ilalim ng mga mata n ito. Kinarga niya ang bata. Bakit ba gustong gusto niya `kong sinasaktan? I always thought of her as the kind. He smiles sadly. Naramdaman ko `yung basa sa pisngi ko. I don t know where to start. We have a d ate! He shrieks. you replaced her. Relief floods through my bloodstream. She just wants to live her last years making her family happy. Daddy always looks at your picture when he thought I m not there. he loves me. Oo. She had already a bone marrow transplant then. Gays. P umangit siya. Anyways. 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. O siya? Dahil nakakangiti pa rin siya sa`kin ng ganon. Hindi ko alam kung ako ba? Dahil dapat makaramdam ako ng galit. It s like I can hear Tricia saying thank you to me to Ju lian as we went out of the OB that day. CM knew? Oh. I even hear d him talking to you Tisha Jade! He s now roaring. baliw na ata ako. Parang nanikip `yung dibdib ko sa sinabi niya. Her own. She shrugs. Goodness. Bilis na Jean nie! Tricia s happy wherever she is. She paused. I gasp. She looks straight at me as if she is really seeing me. Na gust o ko ngang gawin. They want her to have a family. Parang umitim ang balat nito. I muffle a gasp. But you came mahinang sabi nito. I still want to yank that lovely ha ir out of her face which is covered with a bonnet. Na para bang hinihiling sa`king unawain ko siya. Naiinis ako sa sarili ko. Nakakaiyak naman kayo. Back to the present. Saka naghihintay na sa`kin si Roy. Not that I love Julian She raises her hand. She sighs. It was traced way back when yo u entered my life Jeannie. Gone. I m not sorry I took Julian from you. He nods rapidly. But then knowing that you know it s soo ner. I envy you you have the zest for life Jeannie. His hand tightens his hold on his daughter. I blink thrice. Ano ba! Tigilan na nga natin `to. Jean came a nd unknowingly. Though yes. No. I can t seem to ta ke it all in. Nakakasama ng lo ob. You can be my mommy ag ain. Living your life knowing that somehow you have a timeline. Five years five long years. Napalingon ako. Ang sama ko ba? My eyes wate r. That. `Yung parang magkukuhaan kayo ng oxygen sa isa t isa dahil Julian s glare still work. Para akong napako sa kinatatayuan ko.
`coz I k now how persistent and talkative you are. I kiss her on the forehead. Don t ever be afraid to love. didn t he? I smile. The child is amazed. In all that is possible without the eyes really seeing it. Love is a very frightening thing. I m sorry. Emotions kept hidden for so long is written there. I don t know about ghos ts or Tricia. In God. It s now or never if he can t accept me for what I am about to confess. That I ll still miss baby JJ. But if you believe in it. Julian tries to suppress his chuckle. Oh. He smiles tenderly. He gave love a bad name. Julian I m sorry. There are times that I want you to shut your lovely mouth sweetheart. I love you. she s even crushed in between. . Sumimangot ito. Talaga naman. Gusto kong isiping umiiyak din siya. I wait for that long overdue kiss. I do now. Love. Pakialamero. It doesn t matter. I nod against his polo shirt. I think I ll love her. Walang reunion na hindi madrama. Jeannie ang bagal mo naman kasi pano kayo magkaka Ang dami mong alam eh. I hiss. Both don t know how to cross the distance. If I m dreaming as cliché as it may seem. He suddenly pulls me into an embrace that robs me of my breath.. Per o walang luha don. Just I sigh and smile at Ti sha Jade. be yourself. I love you He whispers before he bends down. p lease I still don t want to wake up. It doesn t matter anymore. Jeannie. French kiss. You re not as pretty as my mommy. Five years. Thank God reall . I promise Tricia I wo n t be one. All the pain is swept away. Pain and sadness. Now there s j oy. Hmm? I built this house remember that first time? What first time? I ask innocently. He cups my cheeks. I can t bear anymore child Julian. CM s giggles are getting louder. He innocently look s up at the ceiling. Mabilis kong hinawakan ang leeg ni Julian. Overwhelming joy that I m afraid isn t real. . How hard it is. Pe ro wala akong pakialam. But hey. That forgettable huh? That day i n the car when you yelled like you wanted m Julian `yung bata! I hiss. And believe that dreams do come true. no? Sige ikaw na! Inis kong sabi kay CM. I love this freaking insane and mad guy with all my heart. Well. Naningkit ang mga mata nito. I still want to be a part of your life. CM starts laughing. Thank God. I don t just think. There will be times that I ll still shout at you I nod.I glared at him. Naramdaman ko na lang `yung sarili kong mga paa na na glalakad din. Para siyang bumata ng ilang taon. The years stretch between us. Wetting it. The doctor said it after I ve had a problem with m y He stares at me. Hindi nga ba at a ng bata ay regalo ng Diyos? Damn evil stepmothers to hell. . Ang drama ko. I m very grateful. I m sorry. But his eyes are glazed. Nakita ko siyang humakbang palapit. Like we need to breathe each oth er s oxygen. I ll be your mommy. Just kiss me J ulian.
196622. you did me a favor.com/teentalk/index. I close my eyes and wait wait. and the hot-and-nice guys are g ay. Natupad ko mga pangarap ko.com/teentalk/index. Nag-asawa siya. Thank Jesus. Akala in niyo `yun. will will you No. It s a long time coming do me a favor? you know. Oh. Oh. I smile to myself as I hug Julian close to mysel f.php/topic.com/teentalk/index. promising a one hundred and one pleasu res in life and in the next lifetimes. Uh nothing. I have a gift for you Jeannie. It s This is meant for you.php/topic. What! Inis kong sabi. I hope.360.com/teentalk/index.540.405. Hap py Ending na.php/topic.435.285. http://www.html g http://www. how I love him.candymag. Only.html uterus--.candymag. This is our wedding night Hey.msg5452895.html http://www. Hearing her like I did through that v ideo early this morning. Until he kisses me it s as if I can still hear Tricia s last words.465.196622.html driver seat http://www.196622. Jeannie? I close my eyes and groan.candymag. Naghiwalay. Bitin.candymag. The nice? guys are ugly.196622. well.candymag. Julian grins at me and wink. What now? He smiles at me and whispers: Hindi ako marunong manligaw.html es http://www. Merry Christmas! He murmurs with no one in particular. Pero hindi pa rin niya alam `yun? Shhh.com/teentalk/index. It s just that Tricia and I never lived here.php/topic. mommy.ovari Uncle Jin Passenger seat.com/teentalk/index.196622.candymag.php/topic. the hot guys are jerks. http://www.com/teentalk/index.candymag. I can feel it Ito na. What a we dding night. I start laughing. I close my eyes again. Nakagawa na kami ng bata noon. you re pressing too close! I can t breathe! I close my eyes in frustration as I look at her chinky eyes.html#msg54528 95 CC link Splitting Hairs.196622.360.196622.php/topic. Tricia.php/topic.candymag.com/teentalk/index.php/topic.196622. we had somethin he think his ex uncle Jin ñ .html http://www.y.html http://www.
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