“Please, I’m asking for respect and privacy for her and for her family… at sana para sa akin din po…”
I knew it— last week was the quiet before another storm. I intend to keep my mouth shut but that just seem to put more fuel to the fire. I spoke up instead, to put an ‘end’ to all issues, as I was told. But it didn’t stop. Noises just got louder and louder, deafening. Flashing lights were all over my face, blinding…
I know ever since a lot of people have this opinion of me as a boy trying hard to be a man. They know me for having this ‘history’ with women. Perhaps now more than ever, they’ve proven I am no man at all; that I don’t have enough b**ls to fight for her and stand tall before her parents.
What’s really left in me if they’ve already judged me anyway? I already have nothing to lose. Yeah, that’s right. I won’t try to change their impression of me. They can believe what they want to believe. I don’t give a damn f—ck what they think anymore.
I don’t want history repeating itself. She deserves more than that. But if I have any reputation to protect, that would be hers, her mother’s; her family’s…
“’Yun lang ‘yon. ‘Yun lang po ang kailangan kong sabihin… thank you.”
Finally, I’m done with that excruciating interview. I locked the door of my dressing room as I released a sigh of relief. I closed my eyes for a moment. I’ll be expecting more of these in the days to come, the way they expect me to say more. But there’s nothing more important to me than tonight. My thoughts are set on her tonight, not on them, not on anyone else.
This was supposed to be a night of feasting. Supposedly, this will be the last time that they’d see us so we want to see our fans happy… we want them to enjoy the performances, the moment when we get together again on stage. As usual, some people came here to ruin the atmosphere. That’s why they’ve set restrictions even backstage. Earlier, I even have to sneak out in her dressing room to wish her luck.
“Break a leg,” I held her hand and smiled. “But what I mean is, iwasan mo’ng matapilok, okay?”
She nodded and laughed softly. “Don’t worry. Iba na ang setup ng stage ngayon.”
“Sabagay…” I gently caressed her hair. “I know you’ll do great as always.” “And you’re beautiful than ever, My Princess…”
“Thank you,” she smiled back though worry was evidently in her eyes, about the performance or about the ruckus going on around us I’m not sure— maybe about both.
I reached out for her other hand. She held on to me so tight that I fought the strong urge to pull her for an embrace. We kept our distance, like we have to. Para tuloy may makakadaang kalabaw sa gitna namin. Hindi ako sanay na ganito siya kalayo kapag kami lang…
Throughout the night, I was happy stealing glances with her from afar though it wasn’t enough for me. I was always near her dressing room before and after her every performance. I know I shouldn’t ask for more than this. Those few minutes with her on stage was enough Utopia for me, for me to last the following days she’ll be gone for her tour…
How’s that when she showed up carrying my coat after my dance number? Kung anu-ano ang pumasok sa isip ko… that a few years from now we’ll live outside showbiz. I’ll have my own business to run, and every time I go to work my pretty little wife will put on my coat for me…
She did it again— napakanta niya ulit ako. We’ve Got Tonight truly could have been our second song, but I chickened out the last minute after our rehearsals yesterday. Nagtampo siya sa akin. Pero sa totoo lang gusto ko lang na pilitin niya ako. And that’s exactly what happened.
When I kissed her hand earlier I thought she’d gave up. I was relieved to get off stage but then she started calling me. Like a lovesick puppy, I find myself next to her again, giving in to whatever she wants me to do.
Why is it that every time she calls my name, my knees start to get weak? I love the sound of it when it comes from her… just like music to my ears. What was that line of that old song again? Only you have the power to move me… That’s her, that’s what she does. She only has to call my name and she has total control over me.
I’ve been into classics and old songs a lot lately. My copy of her version of Unchained Melody is stuck on repeat in my iPod. And she knew I love that Kenny Rogers song that’s why she insisted we sing it. It’s my song for her.
I’m thankful we had the chance to perform together again. And I owe it to our fans that I got to kiss her! I wouldn’t be able to do that if they didn’t ask for it, kahit pa sa backstage. I hope soon we could make it up to them…
In less than an hour the show will be over. We can all leave this place and maybe somehow I can privately spend time or even a few minutes with her. They’d planned a late dinner for us and the staffs. Sasamantalhin ko na ang pagkakataon.
After the last number and closing remarks, I headed to her dressing room. Everybody went to congratulate her. I took a few steps back. While I stared at her I can’t help but take a deep sigh.
My Bella… there goes My Bella with the pack of wolves cautious of anyone who’d try to scathe her. Am I not her Edward? I should be the one near her. I should be the one protecting her… instead, after all that’s been said and done, I can’t avoid hurting her again. And there will be more to come until issues die a natural death. But I doubt if that’s ever gonna happen…
“Didn’t you see this coming?” My handler asked earlier while we were on our way here at the Dome. “They’ve warned you of bigger problems… mas malalalang intriga ang haharapin niyo kapag ipinilit niyo ang gusto niyo. Kaya mas mabuting magsalita ka na para matapos na ang mga issues…”
I shook my head in exasperation. “Do you really think matatapos ang mga issue na ‘yan kapag nagsalita ako? And in order to protect her, I have to deny her and lie. Ganoon ba?”
I was fuming. Good thing vehicles started to build up. I had to slow down. Sa inis ko, baka mabangga kami; or I might hit someone.
“Hindi naman sa ganoon…” she shrugged. “My point is, sasabihin mo lang naman ang KAILANGAN mong sabihin— ang KAILANGAN nilang marinig…”
I didn’t answer. We were all quiet hanggang sa makarating kami. My family, my closest friends have been telling me things will be more difficult, much more than what I’ve gone through in the past. But no one ever told me it will be THIS difficult…
Everybody’s saying I fell in love with the wrong girl. They said having a relationship with her is far more complicated than the ones I have before. It will be hard for me dealing with her parents who were so hard to please. Ngayon pa lang, the gods are making me pay the price of fighting for her. Her battalions of fans all over the world will have my head in a platter if I ever I messed up… et cetera, et cetera…
It’s true that loving a Superstar like her is not easy. Having a relationship with her has its heaven and hell. But the gist is being able to cling on to Heaven to withstand Hell— both of us, together. And that’s what we intend to do…
She beamed when she turned around and saw me. I waved and walked closer. She ran to me and held my face with both hands.
“Thank you! Thank you talaga!” she quickly let me go and looked around, afraid that someone or some press people might see us. “Sabi ko naman sa ‘yo e, everything will go well…”
I swallowed with difficulty. I tried to smile and teased her instead. “Ano’ng thank you?” I pinched her nose. “You’re gonna pay for that… sisingilin kita pagbalik mo…”
She pushed me gently while laughing. I suddenly saw Tita looking at us, her eyes spoke warning.
“Did… did the interview go well?”
I clenched my jaw and nodded. “’Yung sa ‘yo?”
She sighed and bowed her head. “Oo…”
The other performers came by. I told her to meet them first. Her sister hugged her and kissed her on the cheek. Her ‘brothers’ did the same, embracing her longer than necessary. Her other ‘kuya’ even slightly lifted her half an inch from the floor, making her laugh.
I sucked my breath. I know I shouldn’t feel this way. They’ve been friends for a long time, bago pa ako dumating sa buhay niya. But I’m jealous. I’m brimming with envy. I turned away, overcoming the slight paranoia settling in my head. One of them is going to be with her in the U.S. What if he… what if they—
“Hey,” I was a little startled when I felt her hand on my shoulder.
“Magbibihis lang ako… sabay-sabay na tayong umalis,”
My eyes skimmed her face. “You all go ahead. Ihahatid ko pa sina Ate. Susunod na lang ako. I won’t be long…”
She stared at me for a while. Can she see it in my eyes that I’m hurting? Does she know that my emotions are taking over me?
“Okay,” she nodded and answered. “Ingat ka, ha?”
I saw them off first. I’ve waited for my team in the parking lot. When I got in my car, my tears just started falling. I suddenly am confused, distraught, jealous, angry… I don’t know. Beats me why…
I’m feeling my heart would explode anytime. How long can I contain this? I want her so much. I want to be near her every second of every minute, every minute of every hour; every hour of every day. I want the whole world to know she’s mine. She’s my woman and I am hers— only hers. I want her beside me, next to me. I don’t want her leaving me.
I WANT HER SO MUCH it kills me…
My phone rang. My best friend’s calling me. They were out for late dinner as well. I was supposed to go with them but I promised Princess I’m coming with her and the whole team.
“Bro…” he asked me if I could drop by. He opens up to me and by the sound of his voice I’m sure he’s having problems with ‘the girlfriend’ again. What perfect timing I want to tell someone close to me that my feelings are in a dirty rut right now…
“Sige. Ihahatid ko lang ang mga kasama ko. Dadaan ako diyan…”
“May dadaanan lang ako, pero susunod din ako agad. I love you…”
I sighed. His text message was almost an hour ago. I already tried calling him twice. He wasn’t answering. I sent him a message saying we’re getting off after another half an hour.
“Nasaan na raw siya?”
Ate asked while taking the seat beside me. “Uuwi na tayo’t lahat ‘di pa rin siya dumarating… may nangyari ba?”
Ignoring the panic in my chest, I smiled. “I don’t know, ate… nagka-emergency siguro. Hindi na siguro siya makakaabot…”
My sister nodded. “Sayang naman. The day after tomorrow aalis ka na.” she shrugged. “Oh, well, pupuntahan ka naman niya sa inyo for sure.”
I exhaled and nodded. I hope so. And whatever happened I’m sure he has his reasons. During events even before we became close he sees to it that I know when he can’t make it beforehand.
This has been a looong night. I’m tired physically, emotionally. The trouble in his eyes earlier reflected mine. Paninindigan namin ito but that doesn’t mean we don’t have to do what we have to do. I shook my head inwardly. Should I be thinking about that now? The price to pay for loving each other… ayaw ko na munang mag-isip…
I sent a message again telling him that we are on our way home. Minutes passed but still no reply from him. I called his handler pero kanina pa raw sila naihatid. I tried calling him but his phone seemed turned off. Now I’m really worried.
We stopped by the nearest gasoline station for refill. I got off and went to the convenience store. We just ate at wala naman talaga akong gustong bilhin. I just want to get my mind off worrying about him…
A few meters across the gas station was a familiar restaurant/bar. I was about to go back when I saw someone dashed from the bar’s exit. I squinted. It was him. That was what he wore before we left. And I’ll recognize him anywhere, any time of the day.
Hindi ko maiwasang hindi magtampo. So ito pala ang ‘dadaanan’ niya. Halos mamuti ang mga mata ko sa kahihintay. Ang sabi niya, sa amin siya sasama…
Five guys followed him who I recognized his friends. A few seconds after a girl went out. Drunk, obviously by the way she walked. She went to him. And what I saw next made me forget how to breathe.
She put his arms around his neck. She raised her head to him as if asking him to kiss her. He laughed and pulled away and hurriedly opened his car’s door.
Before he went in he looked around and his gaze reached me. Our eyes met. Shock was all over his face.
All of a sudden, I wasn’t hearing anything. Isn’t this exactly like Doomsday? I don’t hear anything, I feel nothing— everything’s quiet, a dead place, as I stand here in the middle of ruins…
“Anak, let’s go!”
Ilang beses na pala akong tinatawag ni Dad. I turned around. Did they see him? I don’t think they did. I hope they didn’t…
I don’t know how my feet brought me back to our van. I kept quiet until we got home. I forgot to even kiss Mom and Dad goodnight and went straight to my room. I so wanted to cry but where’d my tears go? Why am I not crying? I’m numb and I couldn’t think straight. Hindi ko maintindihan ang nararamdaman ko, at kung ano ang dapat kong maramdaman…
I spent the rest of the night waiting for him. Hindi nga ako halos nakakain. Why did I even bother worrying about him? He likes it more being with his friends. And flirting with some trying-hard-to-be-sexy drinking fan girls!
You know very well he didn’t do anything wrong, I justified inwardly. Heto na naman ako…
He didn’t tell you he was there and that was it. He didn’t cheat on you or anything; he will never do that. Nakita mo naman na ‘yung babae ang lumapit sa kanya, not the other way around!
Natakot ako na magkatotoo ang panaginip ko. Ipinangako ko sa sarili ko na hindi ko na siya hahayaang mawala ulit, sa akin… sa buhay ko. But why does having him have to be this painful? We had fun tonight… despite everything, we enjoyed our time together.
I thought at least for tonight I’ll stay happy… but why? Ilang minuto pa bago matapos ang gabi pero… I covered my face with my hands. How can time be so cruel to us?
I badly need some rest. My mind is perfectly aligned with my body, as well as with my heart— tired…
After washing up I changed into my PJs. I decided to drink a glass of milk thinking it will help put me to sleep. I went down and found dad talking to someone at the door.
“Gising ka pa pala, eh.” Dad opened the door wider and let him in. “I’ll let you two talk. Pero sandali lang ha… dis oras na ng gabi…”
“Thank you po, Tito…”
Dad just waved and went up to their room. I put my arms around my chest, avoiding his piercing gaze. In a nanosecond I’ll melt in his arms again if I even dare look at him.
“I’m… sorry if I didn’t tell you,” he swallowed and cleared his throat a few times. “Biglaan kasi siyang tumawag… I needed to talk something out with him and we got lost track of time…”
He walked closer to me. “Love, about that girl… she’s just another fan. Nagkataon lang na…” he shook his head. “She’s drunk. It’s not what you think it is—,”
“Hindi naman ako humihingi ng explanation.” I walked past him and opened the door. “Umuwi ka na. Gusto ko na’ng matulog… ikaw, magpahinga ka na rin.”
He pulled my arm when I was about to go back to my room. He closed the door behind me and pushed me at the same time. I felt the door on my back as I was forced to take a few steps back.
“I suggest you listen to me first,” he said gruffly, his breath gently fanning my face. He leaned both his arms a little over my head. Tensed, I gasped softly and raised my head up to him.
“Y— you’ve been drinking…”
He reeked of alcohol. But why does his breath smelled so sweet? Beside his cool, manly scent it started assaulting my senses. I find it so… intoxicating…
“I was,” he answered, his voice a little lower than usual. “But I’m not drunk. I’m still sane so hear me out first, Princess…”
He was staring at my lips while he talked. Then I saw him swallowed. Is he going to kiss me? I asked myself and wished at the same time that he’d do so.
What’s happening to me?
“You know how I feel about all this… I don’t know what to do…”
There was agony in his voice that makes me want to touch his face and comfort him. But I held myself.
“My best friend and I had a man to man talk… you know, about you. About us…and we had a few drinks.”
Oh, I thought. THAT best friend.
“He said he’d never seen you this happy before, and you’re the only girl who got me wrapped around her finger…” he slightly grinned but it didn’t reach his eyes. He looked up, maybe stopping his tears from falling down.
My heart started beating rapidly. Where is this going to?
“He’d warned me before… that we might just end up hurting each other. At sa tingin ko ‘yon na nga ang nangyayari ngayon…”
I closed my eyes tightly. I knew it.
Kung ganoon, kabaligtaran nga ng panaginip ang nangyayari sa totoong buhay. Hindi siya ang magpapaalam sa akin, ako pala sa kanya…
The endearment finally crushed my resolve. I started crying.
Looking him in the eye, I tried to find in all parts of my body all the strength I could muster. “You’re right… mali na ‘to sa umpisa pa lang…” He slowly removed his hands on my sides and took a few steps backward. He frowned.
“Hindi na tamang ipilit natin ang gusto natin. Sobrang sakit na. Nakakapagod na—,”
He gasped aloud, his eyes wide in shock. “S—sandali lang… that’s not what I’m trying to say!” He shook his head violently. “Love, please, makinig ka muna sa ‘kin—,”
“Tama na ‘to,” I added sternly, interrupting him. “Hindi na natin dapat binago ang naging desisyon natin noong una… na maging magkaibigan na lang… na hanggang doon na lang tayo.”
There was pin drop silence between us in a while. He just stared at me as if I grown two heads, tears streaming down from his eyes. Then he nodded slowly.
I bit my lip. Why prolong each other’s agony? Perhaps it’s better this way…
“If that’s what you want…” his voice croaked. He angrily wiped his tears. “Sige…”
I inhaled softly and covered my mouth. I don’t want to cry anymore. I don’t want to cry because of him anymore. I don’t want to see him hurting because of me anymore…
“Do you know how friends say goodbye, Princess?”
Surprised, I slowly raised my head and looked at him. “W—what?”
In a flash, his face was just a few inches away from mine.
“This is how ‘friends’ say goodbye…” he murmured gruffly, holding my face with both his hands. “Like this.”
In a heartbeat his lips was on my surprised mouth. He kissed me roughly, almost brutally.
I tried to push him. I pounded on his chest. But his body’s rock-hard he was immovable.
I don’t want this! My mind was screaming. He’s rough and ungentle… nakainom siya at wala sa sarili. He has to stop this!
But do I really want him to stop? Hindi ko nga ba gusto?
I closed my eyes tightly and before I lose all my reasons I tried pushing him again. But he stopped me, aware of my next move.
His arm went around my waist and pulled me closer. His other hand held my nape, slightly pulling my hair down; causing me to part my lips that his kiss deepened.
His kiss slowly became tender. I stopped struggling. He was gentle at lumuwag ang pagkakahawak niya sa akin, but not enough to let me go.
He started nipping my upper and lower lip alternately, inviting me to do the same. On instinct I responded and kissed him back. He groaned.
I’m dizzy, I’m feverish. I’m not myself. What has he done to me? He awakens in me feelings I never knew I had…
He held me tighter as my hands wrapped around his neck. I gently ran my fingers through his soft, dark hair. In my surprise, he suddenly let go of me.
He looked at me as we both catch our breath. I can feel my cheeks flushed. I avoided his eyes. I can’t look at him. I’m too embarrassed that my own body betrayed me. I tried to break free from him. But his hands grabbed my wrists and pinned them over my head as he pressed his body against mine.
“Do you feel that?” He asked, while my eyes went wide in shock. I could feel something hard poking my belly. He’s… he’s… I gasped aloud. I should feel scandalized but… should I? He wants me; and Mother, forgive me but I want him too…
Lord, I’m going out of my mind.
“Alam mo ba kung anong gusto kong gawin sa ‘yo ngayon, ha? Alam mo ba?” his voice was in a low drawl, in his dark eyes pain, anger and… desire. I feel my body tremble in fear, in excitement…
“I want to kiss you like there’s no tomorrow…” he angled his head to kiss me again and I anticipated it, but he didn’t, to my disappointment.
His lips trailed kisses from my forehead, to my nose; to my cheeks… kissing my tears away.
“I want to take you to your room and make love to you… until we’re both senseless…” he murmured on my lips. I gasped softly at the intensity in his voice. It ignited my whole being and I don’t mind being consumed by my own fire…
“I want you this much I’m never letting you go ever again. Ever!” he whispered in my ear. Then he held my face again. “Don’t make harsh decisions like that. Utang na loob, huwag mo na’ng sasabihin ulit ‘yon. Hilingin at ipagawa mo na lahat sa akin huwag lang ang bagay na ‘yon…”
“P—pero… sabi mo—,”
“You didn’t let me finish. It’s true, we couldn’t avoid hurting each other… but I decided I’m holding on to this.”
“I love you… I trust in the love we have for each other. If we have to be apart, if we have to keep this a secret until such time…” he shook his head. “I don’t care anymore. I WANT US. Basta mahal kita. Basta akin ka…”
He kissed me again… gently, tenderly but with the same passion as earlier. We got lost in the moment, never wanting this night to end…
All the lights in the living room suddenly lit up. He abruptly released me. We found Dad did it, while Mom was standing at the staircase, intently staring at us.
We looked at each other. Guilty, caught in the act. Bakit hindi namin namalayan na bumaba sila? By the look on my parents’ faces I’m sure we’re in big, big trouble…
This night is far from over.
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! ♥