Napakadilim ng paligid. Wala akong makita… at halos wala rin akong maramdaman dahil sa sobrang lamig. Niyakap ko ang aking sarili. Nagpalinga-linga ako sa paligid. Unti-unting nabalot ng makapal na hamog ang kadiliman at tila iyon makapal na ulap na humarang sa aking harapan. Sinubukan kong hawiin iyon ngunit wala ring nangyari.
Ang alam ko’y tumigil na ang ulan… ang ibig bang sabihin nito’y may paparating na naman? Nasaan ako? Ano ang lugar na ito? At bakit ngayon higit kailanman, nararamdaman ko ang matinding pag-iisa?
Bigla ay naramdaman ko ang kakaibang pagbilis ng tibok ng aking puso. Nangyayari lamang ito kapag nariyan siya, sa tuwing malapit siya sa akin. Kung ganoon… narito siya! Kasama ko siya sa napakadilim na lugar na ito! Pero… nasaan siya?
Tinawag ko ang pangalan niya. Makailang ulit ko iyong isinigaw. Naglakad ako kahit hindi ako sigurado kung saan ako patungo. Nang tumigil ako sa paglakad, pansamantalang nahawi ang makapal na ulap. Nakita ko siya. Nakatayo siya ‘di kalayuan sa aking kinaroroonan. Nginitian ko siya’t nilapitan. Sinubukan kong abutin ang kamay niya ngunit tumalikod siya’t naglakad palayo…
“S—sandali lang… huwag kang umalis!”
Tumakbo ako upang pigilan siya. Muli ay naharangan ng makapal na hamog ang daraanan ko. Pinilit kong hawiin at alisin muli iyon ngunit bumabalik rin ito. Binilisan ko lalo ang pagtakbo. Tinawag ko siya ng paulit-ulit… Bakit tila hindi niya ako naririnig? At bakit siya umalis? Biglang tumatak sa aking isip ang malungkot niyang mga mata bago niya ako talikuran. Ano ang ibig sabihin noon?
Mabilis na bumalot ang makapal na hamog sa kadiliman. Kasabay ng pagsigaw kong muli sa pangalan niya ay ang panalanging iligtas ako sa kadiliman at pag-iisang ito… ngunit hindi iyon dininig…
Napaluhod na lamang ako at lumuha. Kasama ng kadiliman, natagpuan ko na lamang ang sarili ko na nilukob na rin ng makapal na ulap ng kalungkutan…
I woke up crying and calling his name. My chest was heaving and I tried catching my breath a few times. My lips, my throat were dry. It’s as if I ran a mile that I emptied the glass of water I brought to my room before I went to sleep. I buried my face in between my knees as I embraced them, tightly closing my eyes at the same time hoping that the images in my dreams would leave my mind.
For two consecutive nights I had the same dream but the darkness, the haze are more vivid now that I can actually feel it. Bakit kaya? They say some dreams are the opposite of what’s happening in reality. In my dream I was lonely and he left me… in reality everything’s fine and we’re happy. Or… are we?
My hand searched for my phone under my pillow. I have unread messages and as always, there’s a goodnight message from him.
“Goodnight, My Princess. Rest well so you’ll feel better soon. I’ll be home in a few hours. I love you!”
It’s 3:24 am. This is the first time I woke up this early and unlike other times I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep again. I don’t think I’ll easily get my mind off my dream. I still can see the sadness in his eyes when he turned away from me every time I close my eyes. I can’t shove off this rising panic in my chest. Okay lang kaya siya? Baka may nangyari na sa kanya…
He keeps his phone on silent mode or even turns it off when it’s time for him to sleep. I tried calling him though I don’t really expect him to answer.
His phone rang. After the second ring I stopped the call. Maybe I’m just worrying too much. It was him who told me to never overanalyze things. But I just can’t help it. Mine is not just an ordinary dream…
I held myself from redialing his number. He’s probably sound asleep by now. He just arrived from their vacation and I’m glad to see he enjoyed his time with his team. During our special date with our fans days ago, he asked if we could spend some time in Davao before I went back to Manila. But we didn’t even have the chance to see each other. I had to go back soon for my Sunday show.
Putting my phone back under my pillow, I grabbed my towel and decided to have a nice, warm morning bath. I feel a lot better now though still having a slight cold. I think I really pushed my limit the last few days… but I’ll feel weaker if I just stay at home and not go to work. Good thing I got to rest early and had a goodnight sleep— until I had that dream again.
I went back to bed and took time drying my hair. On my night table was one of the candles he gave me. I lit it up and stared at it for a while. Its scent somehow has a soothing effect on me, and the tiny glow was enough to illumine my mind.
“There’s nothing to worry about… there’s nothing to worry about.” I repeated to myself. I recalled I was truly affected with the breakup of one of my closest sisters in showbiz with her boyfriend. We didn’t have the time to talk about it yet but from what I know, they find it difficult to find time for each other because of their respective careers. I know for sure there are other reasons but somehow I can relate to her. After my last song last Sunday, she sent me a text message. “Kainis ka!” she said and told me she was crying because the song was so beautiful and I was emotional. I told her I was thinking about her, about myself when I was singing, and that soon everything will be alright for her as well.
To start the day right I’ll fill my mind with positive and happy thoughts alone. I even wore the yellow shirt he gave me. I held my phone to look again at the pictures he sent me earlier and was surprised to see three missed calls from him. After a few seconds it rang again.
“Love, were you trying to call me? Did something happen? Bakit ang aga mo nagising? Are you okay? How are you feeling?”
“Hey, isa-isa lang ang tanong,” I smiled and continued. “I feel much better now. I’m sorry kung nagising kita…”
“That’s okay. You got me worried. Are you sure you’re alright?”
I nodded as if he could see me. “I just… had a bad dream…”
“I see,” he sighed. “Tungkol ba sa atin?”
“Oo… I’m sorry I shouldn’t have tried calling you. Nag-alala lang kasi ako sa ‘yo. You can go back to sleep now…”
“I said it’s alright. Balak ko naman talagang gumising ng maaga ngayon…” he paused for a while and when I kept quiet he continued. “Do you know why you dreamed about me? You must’ve missed me so much, baby girl.”
You have no idea! I wanted to answer but held myself. It’s only been a week since I last saw him but it feels like months. I wish I could see him today at rehearsals for the concert event before the end of the month because tomorrow I’ll be leaving the country again.
“Oo naman… If it’s possible I want to be with you all the time.” I fidgeted on the edges of my comforter. “Can I ask you something?”
“Are you… happy with me?”
He laughed softly. “You don’t know half of what I feel. Gusto kong sabihin na I’m the happiest man in the world for being loved by you pero baka ‘Shut up!’ na naman isagot mo sa ‘kin.”
That made me laugh. “You mean… happy ka kahit ganito? Hindi tayo madalas magkita, magkasama…”
“Ikaw na rin ang may sabi, ‘di ba?” there was tenderness in his voice just like those times when he’s trying to comfort me. “Kung ‘yung parang walang katapusang ulan nakaya natin, ito pa kaya ‘di natin kakayanin?”
I sighed and finally felt at peace. He has this ability of saying the right things at the right time.
“I just want you to know that…” I supplied after a few seconds we were quiet. “…I love you. And I want you to remember that my feelings won’t change kahit gaano pa tayo katagal hindi magkita…”
I could imagine him grinning on the other line. “Alam ko. Alam ko na mahal mo ako. Nararamdaman ko… nakikita ko sa mga mata mo, sa paghawak mo sa ‘kin, sa mga yakap mo…”
Had he been watching my show’s latest episode again? I just can’t help but smile.
“Ikaw… do you know how much I love you?”
“May measurement ba dapat lagi ‘pag nagmamahal? Basta alam kong mahal mo ako… that’s more than enough for me…”
He laughed. “But I want you to know. Look outside your window.”
I hurriedly got off bed and walked to my window. Through the blinds I found him leaning on his car parked in front of the house. He waved at me.
“Paanong… bakit ka—,” I was lost for words for a moment. “What are you doing here?” my heart suddenly started beating so fast. “Umuwi ka na! Baka makita ka pa ni daddy!”
“He knows about this.”
“We’ll hit the road, baby girl. I’ll give you five minutes to prepare.”
I pinched my cheeks. Am I still dreaming? Do I really miss him this bad that I’m hearing weird things over the phone? I blinked once, twice. Am I not just hallucinating that he’s just outside my house?
“W— wait, ano’ng ibig mong sabihin? Aalis tayo? Are you crazy?!”
“About you? Of course. You should know that by now.” He’s still looking up at me. “Sabi mo we should always find time to show our loved ones how much we love them… so, nandito na ako. Four minutes left, Princess.” He suddenly ended the call, not giving me any chance to oppose.
My jaw dropped. No, I’m not dreaming. Kung sabagay, ginawa niya na rin ito months ago. But it’s different back then. I don’t know but I can’t compare that with the excitement and… thrill that I’m feeling now…
I saw him pointing his wristwatch at me before going back in his car. Saan na naman kaya kami pupunta? At paano niya napapayag si Daddy? Mas madali na nga siguro para sa kanya ang magpaalam ngayon… but how did he ask for permission?
Taking off my jogging pants, I grabbed the first pair of denim jeans I saw in my closet and changed. I hastily put on my sneakers and grabbed my denim jacket and went out, hoping against hope that I wouldn’t wake everyone else. But what would Mom think? What if she— oh well! I’ll think about the consequences later. Paminsan-minsan lang naman ito mangyari, that I throw all sensibility and caution to the wind. If only for now, I wouldn’t think of anything else but him and me…
Beautiful came out and like sunshine she seemed to lighten up the darkened street. My smile widened when I saw the yellow shirt I gave her underneath her jacket. How can anything be lovelier than that?
I opened the car door for her and after taking the passenger’s seat she patted and pushed my shoulder not-so gently. I was expecting that.
“I can’t believe this. Heto na naman tayo,” she uttered while putting on her seatbelt. “What did Dad say? Are you sure pumayag siya?”
“Relax,” I pinched her cheek and started the car. “Sabi niya siya na raw ang bahalang magsabi kay Tita.” I shrugged. “Actually, I asked if I could take you out to breakfast or lunch today and he said yes… nagulat lang siya na ganitong oras pala tayo aalis.”
She pouted her lips. “’Yun nga e. Baka after nito, mahirapan na naman tayong magpaalam na lumabas.”
“I know that. Pero ikaw… ano sa tingin mo? Should we cancel this? You should have said no.”
“I should have,” she answered in a low voice. She bowed her head and toyed with the strap of her bag. “Kaya lang… gusto rin kasi kitang makasama.”
I smiled and didn’t answer. I started driving and there was long silence between us. I held her hand. She intertwined her fingers with mine.
…kahit walang usap-usap… isang hawak lang… nagkakaintindihan na kayo, nakukumpleto na ang lahat…
She’ll be leaving the country again. I didn’t have to tell her that the last few weeks have been pure torture for me, knowing that we’ve been in the same places but on different days; that my vacation could have been happier if I was able to spend time with her… that I’m looking forward to next week where we could have our moment and perform together again…
We laughed and sang along to random songs we hear from my car stereo as we drove somewhere in the South. She asked me to open the windows when daylight started to set in. The wind blew her hair gently, and she let her face feel the cold breeze. She suddenly held out her hand, and as she closed her eyes her lips broke into a smile. I silently watched her, awed. Her smile to me is like the beautiful break of dawn, like sunrise after a stormy, cold night.
After almost two hours, we arrived here where we could have a perfect view of Taal. She chose to stay in the car while I ordered coffee for us and bought pancakes for breakfast. I found her at the back of my E150 where I prepared for us to camp. For once after a long time I want this too to be at least somewhat private. Since it’s still a holiday there are a few people around but I’m not sure about later. If ever some would recognize me they’d speculate that I’m alone or in a location shoot somewhere. Not that I don’t want them to know that she’s with me. I want the whole world to know she’s already mine, but this isn’t just the right time yet…
“Parang ganito ‘yung panaginip ko,” she uttered while I handed her venti cup. “Ang kapal ng fog. Ang kaibahan lang, sobrang dilim doon…”
I looked around. It’s still pretty hazy and cold. Still couldn’t have a clear view of the lake and still cloudy. Pero papasikat na ang araw.
“Ano ba’ng nangyari doon sa dream mo?” I asked as I sit behind her. She still have a slight cold and I don’t want to admit it, but I want to take advantage of the moment. I embraced her with my Burberry blanket. She rest comfortably in between my arms and legs, while I fill my senses with her scent, her warmth. Ah, pure bliss…
“Iniwan mo ‘ko,” she answered. “You turned away from me…”
“Do you know what that means? Gusto mo bang i-interpret ko?”
She turned around and smiled at me. “Joseph the Dreamer, ikaw ba ‘yan?”
I laughed and kissed her forehead. “That means natatakot ka pa rin. That deep inside you, subconsciously, ‘yon ang ini-expect mo na gagawin ko…”
She sighed and didn’t answer. I held her chin and made her look straight into my eyes.
“’Di ka pa rin confident sa pagmamahal ko sa ‘yo…”
She smiled but it didn’t reach her eyes. “You’re right… siguro nga,” she got away from my embrace and faced me, her arms rested on my knees.
“Bata ka pa at marami ka pang makikilala— mas magaganda, mas bagay sa ‘yo…” She shrugged. “Ang daming possibilities, uncertainties… baka isang araw ma-realize mo na hindi mo pala talaga ako mahal because I can’t make you happy…”
I slightly poked he head. “Bakit mo kasi iniisip ‘yan? At kung magsalita ka parang ang tanda mo naman sa ‘kin.” I laughed and stared at her intently. “I might meet others, tulad ng mga sinabi mo… pero hindi sila ikaw. At IKAW lang ang gusto ko. ‘Yan ang tandaan mo. Okay?”
She finally gave me a real smile and played with the button of my sports shirt. “Iniisip ko rin kasi na baka tama sila… maybe we have the right love, but at the wrong time…”
“There’s no such thing.” I took her hand and again interlocked my fingers with hers. “The right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing. That’s what I’ve learned from the past. And wasn’t it you who taught me about God’s perfect will and timing? That true love will come at the right place, at the right time…”
She nodded and bit her lip, which I find so sexy every time she’s doing it. “Does that mean heto na ang right love and right time for you? Paano mo nasabi?”
“Gusto mo lang yatang ulit-ulitin ko e.” I caressed her cheek and smiled. “…because now, I’m finally with the right person. I’m finally with you…”
We embraced. I was supposed to kiss her but she shielded her face with her venti cup, still half-full with macchiato. I groaned while she laughed at me.
“Tingnan mo…” I looked past her and she turned around. “Maliwanag na ang buong paligid… the fog has lifted. Ang ganda, ‘di ba?”
“Breathtaking!” she exclaimed. She rested her head on my shoulder while I kissed her hair.
Rays of sunshine broke through the clouds, as if angels would descend anytime. Even in the States I’ve never seen sunrise this beautiful. And being with the most beautiful girl in the world makes this moment more meaningful…
Her dream somehow bothered me. She might have took it to heart the day when I said goodbye to her that until now the pain haunts her even in her dreams… but after this I’m hoping she’ll completely forget about it; na mawala nang tuluyan iyon sa isip niya…
Minutes has passed when suddenly a girl a few years younger than us appeared, wearing a pleasant smile and the familiar apron and cap. She hesitantly peeked and greeted us.
“Good morning, Sir— oh my God!”
She covered her mouth and looked around. She lifted the tray where there were two paper plates of Heaven on Earth cake. “Manager was right, kaya pala dalawa ang ipinadala niya sa akin!”
“Wait, hindi naman ako um-order niyan…”
“Compliments of the house, Sir,” She held her chest as if trying to contain her giddiness.
“Grabe, fan niyo po ako! Hindi lang po ako, the head barista, and Miss Manager, too! I’m so glad nakita ko kayo, at na okay na okay po kayong dalawa!”
I scratched my head while Princess hid her face on my chest, laughing. “Thank you… thank you sa inyo.” She handed me the tray and I took the plates. “Sorry ha, wala munang pictures ngayon…”
“Ay, okay lang po! Naiintindihan po namin.” She even winked at us. “Basta po dalasan niyo ang pagpasyal dito, kahit pa marami kaming branches sa lugar niyo. Kami po’ng bahala sa privacy niyo!” she chuckled. “Balik na po ako sa station ko. A—R—ld for the win!” she gestured with matching air punch. Then she was gone.
“Salamat!” Beautiful got off from my embrace and saw the younger girl off. She waved at her. Our fans, regardless of age and wherever they are from always make us happy.
While we finish our breakfast we talked about almost everything— from hair to shoes, perfume, gummy bears, food we’re both craving for; her show, our tours abroad, our families, our future projects, our dream projects… what we’ll do at the concert event next week and how we could cope up next month because we’d hardly see each other…
“Oh well, I won’t worry about that now…” I uttered while I lied down and rested on her lap. “You’ll always know that I love you kahit malayo ka pa sa ‘kin…”
She laughed. “Gaya-gaya ka naman, e.” she ran her fingers through my hair and gently caressed my face. “Can we stay here for another hour?”
“We can stay here for another lifetime if you want to…” I answered without opening my eyes. Man, I can just live like this and basketball…
“Ano ba, huwag ka ngang ganyan!” she said laughing, na may kasama na namang kilig at hampas.
I smiled and embraced her. “Just wake me up kapag gusto mo na’ng umuwi…” I whispered as I buried my face on her belly. Kung ako lang ang masusunod, I don’t want us to go home anymore…
She noticed the phone in my pocket lit up. She took it out for me and we both read the text message.
“It’s time to take Lady Guinevere home, Sir Lancelot. Camelot needs you. NOW!”
I groaned inwardly. Why the heck didn’t I turn off my phone completely? And how did she know we went out? Wala naman akong sinabihan. Pero kung sabagay… Mother Superior has a way of knowing everything.
“We have to go. Kingdom’s orders,” she said smiling. “Ako rin, hinahanap na siguro ako ng buong Kaharian. Lalo na ni Inang Reyna.”
Oo nga pala, I thought. That’s another thing we have to face. The Wrath of the Queen Mother…
“Hey, tara na,” She shook my shoulder when she noticed I’m not moving. I got up and sighed heavily.
“I don’t want to leave yet…”
“Ano ka ba? Nabaligtad yata ang sitwasyon. Kanina, you were the one trying to console me…”
I didn’t answer and went back lying down on her lap. Pero pinigilan niya ako.
“Call of duty first, kind Sir. Remember your loyalty to The Kingdom…”
Raising her chin, I made her eyes meet mine. “My loyalty is to My Queen…”
“Why, thank you,” she rubbed her nose against mine that I was stunned for a moment. “But I guess we really have to go. It’s enough for me na nagawa natin ulit ‘to.” she gave me an assuring smile. “When the chance is finally given us, we’ll have all the time in the world…”
She stood up and offered her hand to me. “Today’s a long day for me too…” she shrugged. “Pero malay natin? We might see each other again, later at practice…”
I certainly hope so. If I could, I’ll even follow her tomorrow in Malaysia…
The Knight concedes. We packed up and headed back home. The place was starting to get crowded too so there’s no point disagreeing with her.
Her Mom and Dad were waiting for her when we got home, and I thank God Tita smiled at me and still let me in their house. Perhaps Tito really talked it out with her. Sabi nga niya, lalaki rin siya at naiintindihan niya ako.
After unloading the fruits we bought on the way and the gifts mom and I bought for them in HK, I said goodbye to her. Later that day I confirmed that we’ll be together at rehearsals! I almost jumped for joy. I’ll get to see her again before she leaves.
Though I really can’t wait for next week, I’m actually really nervous. She was teasing me that I sing live. Do I really have the guts to do that? I might just embarrass her… But if it’s for her everything is possible for me. We’ll see…
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
A/N: Hello, readers! Please, please don’t forget to give proper credit to the author/writer (me, jynkitty) if you wish to copy/paste, share this to your page/blog. Thank you! ♥