“Kuya, may gusto po sana akong daanan bago tayo umuwi… pwede po ba?”
Our driver paid me a short glance before keeping his eyes on the road. “Sige po, Ma’am. Kina Sir po ba?”
“O—opo,” I answered and smiled shyly. He must have noticed most of the stuff I bought was for him. This is the first time I’ll be doing this— ang pumunta sa bahay nila…
I sent him a message the moment I got off the plane. I was glad to know he could finally rest at home. Ilang araw nang magdamagan ang film shoot nila. He’d been telling me over the phone how tired he was.
This might be the chance for me to surprise him. It was always him who visits me, who do favors for me; pick me up and fetch me… I really don’t know how I can make it up to him. And I feel guilty somehow. When I was in Brazil I might really have been enjoying too much na minsan ko lang siya ma-miss. Although there are so many moments when I wished he joined us.
We could go strolling under the moonlight while we hold hands… go midnight shopping; dance and sing with those road performers we see in every alley, smooch and PDA galore a la Bella and Edward on the busiest places in Rio. How wonderful would that be… being in a place where no one can recognize us; kung mayroon man, hindi ganoon kadami; walang paparazzi at mga intrimitidang press people na makikisali at makikialam na naman, and no one would tell us what to do or not to do, what to say and not to say…
I smiled sadly. Kailan kaya mangyayari ‘yon? I’m daydreaming again. For now I can only imagine how having a vacation with him will feel like…
All in all, our Brazil trip was such a blast. I feel refreshed but melancholic at the same time. It seemed like everything went by in a jiffy. Next thing I knew we were packing our bags getting ready to go back home. How I wish we could stay for another week. Kahit na-miss ko ang lahat dito, bitin talaga ang bakasyong ‘yon para sa akin. I’m not even sure if I’ll be able to do that again. Pero kung sabagay, may ibang pagkakataon pa naman. I’ll definitely come back and have the time of my life in that awesome place.
From day one we made the most out of our trip. It was somehow strange not having my usual entourage with me. I did have some difficulties but so far it is topping the list of my most meaningful and memorable journeys. It took a while for Mom and Dad to have had let me go but they know they had to. Everybody has to somehow.
It gave me a lot of firsts. I realized that once a person began wanting to explore the world doors of endless possibilities will be opened. Like what Andre Gide said, “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
Finally, I feel like I’m living MY life.
Not that I wasn’t before; just that I felt I wasn’t living it to the fullest. Umiikot lang ang mundo ko sa trabaho, sa pamilya at sa pag-aaral ko. Minsan… para na akong robot; on autopilot. Everything and everyday life for me was a routine. I can’t help but feel sick and tired of it sometimes but I have no choice. I thought it was okay, that I’m okay. My friends always tell me that I should go out more often, have real fun; celebrate the fruits of my labor while I’m young. I always tell them that I am; but truth be told, I felt like I never did. At the end of the day, I find myself whining and sulking.
When I was younger I’ve always been envious of those girls, specifically girls in the business like me who became so ‘independent’ at such a young age. It hurts me sometimes how my parents were so overprotective… but through this trip I’ve learned to appreciate more of everything they’ve done for me. This experience made me love them more. And I’m grateful that if not for them I wouldn’t end up as the person I am now.
Good things come to those who wait. Para sa akin, may tamang panahon lang talaga para sa bawat pagkakataon at bawat tao. My time has finally come.
If there’s someone who’s really happy celebrating my new found freedom with me, it would be him— My Angel. He even congratulated me when we spoke over the phone before I left.
“Enjoy your time there, pero huwag naman sobra, ha,” his voice was worried and with a tinge of jealousy. “You can look at Brazilian guys but don’t date anyone! Most of all don’t fall in love!”
I giggled. “Ano ka ba? Ilang araw lang naman kami doon. Mai-in love na ba ako no’n agad-agad? Ikaw nga diyan… pag-alis ko eh ‘di ‘single’ ka na naman…”
He sighed. “Single naman talaga tayo pareho ‘di ba? Technically… because we aren’t married yet. Baby Girl…” he paused and I waited for what he’ll say next.
“Hmm? Ano ‘yon?”
“Kung… kung mamanhikan na kaya ako pagbalik mo…?”
I shrieked and burst out laughing at the same time. “Saan naman galing ‘yan? Couldn’t you have said that at the right place at a better time?”
Hindi ko alam pero bigla akong kinabahan sa sinabi niya. I don’t know but I feel overwhelmed and… scared.
“Great. You’re laughing at me. Kung kailan seryoso ‘yung tao…”
My smile faded when he added that. I swallowed. Bakit ba bigla-bigla na lang siyang magsasabi ng mga ganito?
“Nakakatawa ka naman kasi talaga. Hindi ka pa nga nagpo-propose mamamanhikan ka na agad? At tama bang pag-usapan natin ‘to over the phone? Napaka-informal…”
“Sorry,” he snorted, sounding less like it. “Gusto ko lang namang malaman mo ang mga iniisip ko. I know I told you it will take me a few years more pero…” he paused and inhaled deeply. “Alam kong nasabi ko na ‘to sa ‘yo pero sasabihin ko lang uli. You know how much I want you, Love. At ayoko na’ng mawala ka sa buhay ko…”
A few seconds of dead air were between us again. For the last few weeks we’ve both been vulnerable. Issues, intrigues will always be there, and people making those would only stop when they’re dead; or perhaps when we get out of the world of show business. That’s really something I look forward to…
“Baby Girl, are you still there?”
“Y— yes,” I answered stuttering. “Let’s just take one day at a time… I’ll see you when I get home and maybe we’ll talk about it,” I shrugged as if he could see me. “At gusto ko lang sabihin sa ‘yo na mawawala lang ako sa buhay mo kung ‘yon ang gusto mo…”
“Kakasabi ko lang na ayoko na’ng mangyari ‘yon. Ang gulo mo,” finally, I heard him chuckling. “I love you. Alam kong marami kang nababasa at naririnig pero ‘yan lang ang gusto kong tandaan mo. Mahal kita…”
“Mahal din kita…” Oh, God, I really do! And I really want him to come with me. Kung pwede nga lang isama ko siya sa iniempake ko, nagawa ko na…
“Behave ka sa Canada, okay?”
“Ma’am… Ma’am, nandito na po tayo.”
“H—ha?” kanina pa pala ako tinatawag ng driver ko at kanina pa rin kami naka-park sa tapat ng bahay nila. Lord, I’m spacing out again.
“Sandali lang po ako, Kuya,” my driver nodded. He drove and parked a few meters away from his house right after I got off the car. I took a deep breath and walked to the entrance. Why do I feel so nervous? I don’t even have an idea what to say or do. He may not even like me coming here dahil nagpapahinga siya…
I bit my lip. Baka nga maiistorbo ko lang siya… I turned around and was about to go back when his brother showed up at the door.
Oh my, he called me ate! Ang sarap pakinggan…
I beamed when I looked at him. “Hi,”
“Nakauwi ka na pala!” he accompanied me to the door and kissed my cheek. “How’s your trip? Masaya ba?”
“Sobra,” I laughed and ruffled his hair. “Ikaw, kumusta? Gumugwapo ka lalo, ah…”
He laughed, his face turning all red. Just like his brother whenever he’s being praised.
“But still not as handsome as Kuya…”
“Ikaw naman. You are equally handsome.” I laughed when he shrugged and scratched his head. “Nasaan nga pala siya? Hindi ba kanina pa siya nakauwi?”
“Yeah, before five pa. He was dead tired. Our guests were hoping they could spend time with him dahil aalis na rin sila bukas ng umaga. Kaya lang, after taking one drink umakyat na siya. At huwag ko raw siyang gisingin…”
“Ganoon ba? Kung ganoon… babalik na lang siguro ako—,”
“No, Ate. Why don’t you wake him up?” he winked at me, giving me his naughty grin. “Kapag ako kasi, sisipain lang ako no’n. At kapag sinabi kong nandito ka, hindi ‘yon maniniwala. Babatuhin pa ako ng unan…”
“Okay lang ba talaga? I mean, baka sipain lang din ako no’n…”
“I doubt that,” he giggled. “Ikaw ang gustong-gusto niyang unang nakikita tuwing gigising siya.”
Their guests were aghast when they saw me. As expected, mostly are girls. Their ages I think were between eighteen and twenty-one. Some of them called it a night at nagpaalam raw na matutulog na, while the two boys and other girls intended to stay all night. The boys took pictures with me while the girls just raised their brows with that ‘what the hell is she doing here?!’ look on their faces. I feel like laughing out loud.
“I’ll see you again, guys,” I waved at them as Baby Brother led me upstairs.
I can’t help but admire the whole house as I looked around. Everything was put very well in place, from the lighting to the pieces of furniture. Walang nakalagay na hindi naman talaga kailangan. The draperies, the small flower garden and some of the fixtures gave it a feminine touch. I guess Tita was so meticulous about picking the right pieces. Needless to say, she must be very proud that her son was able to give her their dream house. That made me so proud of My Angel as well…
“I have to go, Ate. I have to buy more drinks. Kaya nga pala ako lalabas dahil doon. Just knock. Kung hindi ka pagbuksan, here’s the key.”
I nodded, mindlessly taking the keys from his hand.
“See you later!” Baby Bro kissed me again and before I could say anything more, he was gone. I was left standing in front of his brother’s room.
“Kaya ko ba ‘tong mag-isa?” I asked myself as I inhaled and exhaled repeatedly.
“Well, there’s always a first time, baby. This is it,” I whispered to myself again. Wala na talagang urungan ‘to. Nandito na rin lang ako. At bakit ba ako kinakabahan ng ganito? Gigisingin ko lang naman siya. And maybe drop off my gifts for them later. Wala naman akong inaasahang iba na mangyayari. But this is HIS room. If I come in, he might… we might—
I shook my head, wanting to kick myself at the same time. What am I thinking?
I knocked thrice. He didn’t come to get the door. I sighed. He might really be exhausted he’d been sleeping like a log.
I was about to knock again when the door beside his opened. It was him— in his glorious half-naked self. His hair still moist from the shower and I can still smell the clean, manly scent of his shampoo and aftershave. His jeans hugged his thighs like second skin and I loved how it hung around his waist.
“Goodnight, girls,” he said laughing before closing the door behind him. I gasped aloud. His wide smile faded upon seeing me. I saw his face ran out of color, his lips parted. “B—baby Girl!”
He said breathlessly that I almost didn’t hear it. I swallowed and lifted my chin, trying to recover from shock… fighting back my tears at the same time.
“Surprised?” I asked sarcastically, feeling double-edged knives started searing my heart. “O baka naman may inaasahan ka pang iba?”
“W—wait,” He walked towards me with eyes wide, his voice in panic. “Love, it’s not what you think… It’s not what you think!”
“Talaga?” the nerve of this guy! Huling-huli na nga pero gusto pa ring lumusot!
“So, ano’ng sasabihin mo sa akin? You were resting? Ganyan ka ba ‘magpahinga?’” I added in calmed anger and put emphasis on the last word. “Kasama ang mga female guests niyo? Ilan sila sa loob? Dalawa? Tatlo?”
He shook his head violently. “No… no! Love, listen to me! Please, pakinggan mo muna ako—,”
“Don’t— touch me,” I said sternly, taking a few steps backward. “Ganoon ba talaga ako kaistupida sa paningin ninyong lahat? Sa tingin mo ba, maniniwala pa ako sa ‘yo?”
“I don’t want to see you again.” I didn’t even hear myself when I said that. But I know he did when his eyes widened in horror.
“Tapos na tayo.”
He went after me, calling my name as I ran down the stairs. I hurried back to the car and went in straight to the backseat. No matter how I tried to stop it, my eyes started to well up in tears. My driver didn’t ask me why I was crying but in his eyes were curiosity and concern.
I lied down and sobbed quietly, covering my face with my jacket. I thought he changed… he said he will continue to change, to be a better person; the best man for me. Pero niloko niya ako. He’s been cheating on me for the devil knows how long. Tama pala sila. Hindi na mawawala ang mga babae sa tabi niya. And like the common man, madali siyang bumigay. Boys will always be boys. They grow old but they never grow up. They will never change.
When we were a few meters away I turned around and found him running after us. Kuya asked me if we should stop. Bakit pa? I don’t want to listen to his lies anymore. Ano pa bang excuse ang sasabihin niya sa akin? Hindi ako madaling maniwala sa mga sabi-sabi. Even when pictures of him came out with those girls months ago I still gave him the benefit of the doubt. I guess I really have to see it with my own eyes— at sa mismong bahay pa niya, for me to realize what kind of a fool I really am.
Could it be that I’m just having a nightmare? That might be it. Maybe when I wake up I’ll find myself lying on my luxurious bed in my fancy hotel room in Rio.
But I’m not dreaming. This is real. This is all real…
Oh, I missed him so… how I wanted to share my joy and the wonderful experience I had during my tour. Why did it turn out this way? Why? I wanted to see the smile on his face the moment he sees me. I wanted to see the love in his eyes when he looked at me; to hear him laugh… to hold his face again. Embrace him; kiss him…
All I wanted was to make him happy; to please him, to surprise him.
Ako pala ang masosorpresa.
I bit my lip and blinked back my tears. Hindi na ako iiyak. Hinding hindi na. He isn’t worth a single tear.
Before we got home I made sure they won’t see traces on my face that I was crying. Mom prepared late dinner for me and after chatting with her and Dad I went straight to my room. I don’t want to tell anyone yet about what happened. Right now… I just want to be alone.
Too tired to sort off my luggage, I tossed my bag on my bed beside my pillow and lied in a fetus-like position, feeling my whole body go numb. Mabuti pa ngang wala na akong maramdaman. My vacation did me good, alright but only in the exterior. I’m physically revitalized; but inside, I’m torn into pieces.
I turned my iPod on and plugged my earphones, ignoring my phone which has been ringing endlessly. I was about to turn it off when I received text messages from him.
I’m outside your door.
Please talk to me, Love.
Kahit sandali lang…
Kung ganoon, sinundan niya pala talaga ako. As if it would change anything. I mean, what for? Para utuin na naman ako?
Don’t do this to me, Baby Girl.
Pakinggan mo naman muna ako…
Love, PLEASE. I’m begging you…
I don’t want to talk to anyone right now, most especially him. I hate him! Magsama-sama sila ng mga babae niya.
Earlier during dinner I noticed Mom was glancing at me a few times. She waited until Dad went up to their room first before asking me. I don’t know how, but she knew I was crying. Maybe I’m really that transparent. Isa pa, nanay ko siya. Malalaman niya kahit kaliit-liitang sakit na nararamdaman ko. But I didn’t tell her, not yet. Sinabi ko na lang na hindi ako makatulog sa eroplano kaya ganito ang mata ko.
“Oh no, not this song,” I groaned as if in pain when the next song in my Shuffle started filling my ears. Andrea Corr’s voice and the song’s lyrics seemed to pierce my heart deeper and deeper, bit by agonizing bit. And here I thought my tears have all ran out…
~“Just when I thought I was safe,
You found me in my hiding place.
I promised never again
I wouldn’t give my heart but then…
Closer, closer I moved near you,
The way I want you makes me fear you…”~
Akala ko, wala nang mas sasakit pa doon sa una… I also thought I’ve learned enough having to deal with such pain of losing my first love.
But I couldn’t even compare it with NOW…
Iba ang sakit ngayon. Mas malala, mas matindi.
It’s almost unbearable.
~“Love breaks and love divides
Love laughs and love can make you cry
I can’t believe the ways
That love can give
And love can take away…”~
“Oh, Lord I love him so… pero bakit po? Bakit po kailangan kong maranasan ang ganito?” I prayed and tightly closed my eyes. My tears were unstoppable.
“I find it hard to explain
It’s crazy but it’s happening
And I’m falling again
Much further than I’ve ever been…
I’m falling deeper than the ocean,
I am lost in this emotion…”~
Because of him I can only laugh now about my past. Because of him I realized I am capable to love another person this much. I was ready; willing to fight for him. We were so happy. We were so in love. Or so I thought dahil ‘yon ang ipinaniwala niya sa akin. Everything turned out to be a lie…
I covered my face with my pillow as if it could stop images of him and his women starting to occupy my mind. He can have them at the drop of a hat whenever, wherever he wants to. Ilang ulit na kaya? Tuwing aalis ako? Tuwing aalis siya? I tried hard to control my cries.
He’s so cruel… How can he do this to me? How can he hurt me like this?
~“Love breaks and love divides
Love laughs and love can make you cry
I can’t believe the ways
That love can give
And love can take away…”~
“I love you… I might have been in love before but never did I feel this way with anyone but you…”
“I want you so much I’m never letting you go ever again… ayoko na’ng mawala ka sa buhay ko…”
“I love you… ‘yan lang ang gusto kong tandaan mo. Mahal kita…”
“You are My Queen. My one and only…”
“Sinungaling.” I whispered clutching my sheets which was now damp with my tears. “Sinungaling ka…”
I hate him. Kanina, I want to hurl words at him, hurt him… but I can’t bear myself to do it. This is the worst feeling I ever had; at siya lang din ang nakapagparamdam sa akin ng ganito. I hate him but I still love him— so much it hurts so bad…
Nakatulugan ko ang pag-iyak. It’s the only way it would stop. Kung pwede nga lang, hiniling ko na sana na paggising ko, makalimutan ko na ang lahat ng nangyari. Sana pagmulat ng mata ko, bumalik na ang lahat sa dati. Pero imposible. It just won’t do.
Maybe I was bound to know the truth. Maybe it was meant to be that I went to his house. Time and Fate had proven to me once again that we shouldn’t be together— that I really have to wake up from this dream, this fantasy that someday I’ll have a fairy tale ending with him.
“O, ang aga naman niyan.”
I was supposed to drink from my beer bottle when my best friend interrupted me. He frowned as he sat beside me, his quizzical eyes never leaving my face.
I didn’t answer and emptied my bottle. They’ll probably send me home for drinking on set but the hell I care. Isa pa, break time naman. I’m lightheaded but I’d rather stay up than go for a nap. Pareho lang naman ang resulta— lalo lang ding sasakit ang ulo ko.
“What’s with you? Sabi mo masama ang pakiramdam mo; bakit ka pa umiinom?” he shook his head as he eyed me from head to toe. “Man, you look like you’ve been through hell and back.”
I smiled bitterly. “Yeah, I know. But aren’t we told that if we’re going through hell, just keep going? That’s what I’ve been doing since she came back…”
His eyebrows curled some more. “Ano’ng ibig mong sabihin diyan? Hindi ba dapat masaya ka dahil bumalik na nga siya?”
In between drinking I told him what happened. Hindi ko alam kung saang bahagi ng kwento ko siya nagulat— ang pagpunta ng Reyna Ko sa bahay namin o ang dahilan kung bakit siya umalis. Either way, it was too obvious that he couldn’t believe it. But like always, he was sympathetic. Dinaan na naman niya ako sa tawa.
“You’re in deep, deep sh*t,” he was laughing while shaking his head. “You know very well she has trust issues. At nakakahiya mang aminin pero… I contributed to that. A lot…”
I nodded. Well, I can only agree to that. “But it still is painful thinking that she doesn’t trust me enough…” I sighed with difficulty. “If only I can get her to listen…”
He shrugged and asked the sari-sari store owner to give us two more bottles. “You can’t expect her to, lalo na’t ganoon ang nakita niya. Bro, that’s too much for her…”
“Alam ko. Kaya nga gusto kong magpaliwanag sa kanya… but she wouldn’t even pick up her phone. Walang reply sa mga texts ko. Ilang oras akong naghintay sa tapat ng bahay nila kagabi hoping she’d go out to see me pero…”
It was Tita who saw me, so surprised to find me there. Ang alam niya ay pinuntahan na ako ng anak niya. I knew it, hindi pa niya alam ang nangyari. I don’t know if I’ll be relieved knowing that, but that gave me hope. If My Queen really wants me out of her life she could turn anyone or everyone against me, with her Queen Mother on the frontline.
“Ginagabi ka, Anak? Akala ko ba’y nagkita na kayo?” Queen Mother asked with a faint wrinkle on her forehead. She was staring at me suspiciously, as calm as the cold wind before thunderstorm. “What’s going on? Bakit ganyan ang itsura mo?”
“Ah, okay lang po ako, Tita. Kulang lang po sa pahinga. At saka may…” I swallowed trying to find the right words to say. “May kaunting misunderstanding lang po kami…”
Her frown deepened. “Kakabalik lang niya pero may misunderstanding na kayo agad?” she shook her head and looked at me, in her eyes concern and worry. “How long have you been here? Pumasok ka muna. Kung gusto mo gigisingin ko siya para magkausap—,”
“H—huwag na po,” I tried to smile, grateful for her warmth. Minsan lang ‘to mangyari… “She must be exhausted. Hihintayin ko na lang po kung kailan niya ako gustuhing kausapin…”
She sighed. “Kaya nga ba nagtataka ako kung bakit dala pa rin niya pauwi ang mga pasalubong niya sa ‘yo…”
I bowed in embarrassment. My Queen… she wanted to surprise me and give me her gifts that’s why she dropped by. But I ruined everything. That misunderstanding ruined everything…
Looking at Tita I know she’s just waiting for me to tell her what happened since her daughter chose not to talk about it. But I won’t. As much as possible gusto kong ayusin ang problema namin na kaming dalawa lang.
“Fix it, Bro… the sooner, the better.”
I looked at my best friend. He was talking nonstop and even snapped his fingers in front of me but I’m not hearing anything. I’m distraught; disorganized… I couldn’t think straight. I don’t know what to do when it comes to her…
“Huwag mo nang palalain pa ‘yan,” he uttered with understanding as he held my shoulder. “Lalong lalaki ang misunderstanding na ‘yan kung hindi kayo mag-uusap…”
“But how?” I asked with frustration. “She doesn’t even want to see me…”
“What the hell happened to you?” he laughed as he eyed me from head to toe. “Among us boys ikaw ang madalas na nakakahanap ng paraan kapag may problema. Kung sabagay, hindi kita masisisi. I mean, you know… being this lost and crazy about her…”
I sighed and stood up. As usual whenever we talk about her, about us; there’s a whit of remorse in his voice. As much as I’m trying to ignore it, I can’t help but get jealous thinking how they were before.
“What do you suggest I do?”
“Why, that’s a first,” he followed as we went back to the set. “Lagi na lang ako ang humihingi ng advice sa ‘yo, eh.”
“Oh, well,” he continued when I didn’t say anything. “Mahihirapan ka talaga but you can try; and I’m not sure if this would work pero… for you to be able to talk to her, try to corner her. Put her in a situation, a place where she couldn’t avoid you…”
“I guess that’s the only way, huh?” I said in a whisper and I don’t know if he heard me. If that’s what I have to do, then I know exactly how to do it. I know a way how to ‘corner’ her…
Since that night the following day seemed too long that I don’t know how it ended. I spent all my free time sleeping but it was never enough. I don’t feel good at all. Perhaps I wouldn’t be until I talk to her.
Sunday night came. No matter how much I tried to enjoy, I was preoccupied during our Christmas party. My mind was drifting somewhere; filled with thoughts of her who actually encumbers not just my thoughts but my heart as well; my whole system, my whole being…
I wonder what happens later. Ipagtatabuyan ba niya ako palayo? Would she listen to me? It’s been over a day and maybe she cooled down… but would she even see me?
I groaned inwardly, massaging my nape at the same time. I’m willing to put up with all this torture as long as it comes from her. Pero hindi ako papayag sa gusto niyang mangyari. I won’t accept that it’s over between us, dahil lang sa hindi niya ako pinakinggan…
“Hoy… napansin ko kanina ka pa tahimik, ah. Okay ka lang?”
I turned around and found her sitting beside me— as My Queen describes her, my ‘ex-flame.’ She smiled sweetly at me and held my shoulder, caressing it gently. I almost flinched.
“I’m good.” Forcing a smile, I tactically removed her hand on my shoulder. “Akala ko umuwi ka na…”
She shrugged. “I can stay for another hour. Isa pa, minsan na lang ‘to mangyari; I mean, ang makasama uli natin sila…”
“Yeah, you’re right…” Our fans always mean a lot to us, no matter where or what fandom they belong to. I honestly missed these people but there are some who I can’t remember, though they are familiar faces. To sum it up, because of them it’s really been a fun night.
But I REALLY HAVE TO GO.
“Mauna na kami,” I kissed her cheek and stood up.
“Teka… aalis ka na? Bakit hindi mo pa kami hintayin? Sabay-sabay na tayo,” she stood up and was about to follow me when I stopped her.
“Bakit? You said you’ll stay for another hour…”
“Oo nga, pero kung aalis ka na…” she paused and looked at me. The happiness in her eyes was suddenly replaced with gloom… and pain.
“Bakit ba ikaw naman ‘tong bigla na lang nagmamadaling umalis? I thought you’re free tonight…”
“I am,” God, do I really have to explain this to her? Feeling niya yata—
“So why are you hurrying home?”
I sighed in exasperation. “Actually, hindi pa ako uuwi. May kailangan pa akong ayusin. At ayoko na’ng ipagpabukas pa ‘yon…”
“I see.” She swallowed and turned her back on me but my eyes didn’t escape her unshed tears. She knows very well there’s somewhere else I’d rather be.
Rushing to my car, I drove like crazy to the studio to see My Queen. Ang alam ko ay may taping pa sila kaya maaabutan ko pa siya.
“Ganoon ba talaga ako kaistupida sa paningin ninyong lahat? Sa tingin mo ba, maniniwala pa ako sa ‘yo?”
“I don’t want to see you again. Tapos na tayo.”
I cursed silently. The pain in her eyes when she said that was etched in my mind. I will never forget that.
I’ve hurt her again. I couldn’t blame her if she doesn’t trust me anymore. All roads on the wrong lead to me. But I will fix this. WE will fix this. Hindi ako papayag na hindi…
“Bunso, may mga gusto pang humabol na magpa-picture… Okay lang ba?”
Kuya knocked but didn’t open the door. I just finished changing to my comfy cottony blouse and it’s only been five minutes since my last number. And here I thought I could rest for a while…
“Sige po, Kuya. Papasukin niyo na lang po sila.”
I answered while taking off my shoes. My feet hurt that I winced in pain. Really… why does a new pair always hurt at first? Not to mention they’re five inches high. To think that I have to wear it again later para sa taping ng isa pang episode.
Someone called my name and gave a warning knock. The door opened and appeared before me two girls who I’ve never seen before. Or maybe I did but couldn’t remember. I stood up and smiled. Hmm… New fans? I wonder…
“Hi,” I greeted them first so they’d feel comfortable. I don’t know why but they look…worried; anxious. Tingin ko nga sa isa medyo namumutla pa. O talagang maputi lang siguro.
“Have a seat,” I offered them the bench in my dressing room. “Ang gaganda niyo naman,” I looked at them alternately and saw them eased up a bit. The taller girl cleared her throat before speaking.
“Thank you po, napagbigyan niyo kaming makausap kayo. We wanted to help Kuya… Nasabi po sa amin ng kapatid niya kung ano’ng nangyari,”
“K—kuya?” I parroted. Sino ang mga batang ‘to? Could they be—
“We feel sad for him dahil ayaw niyo raw po siyang makita. Somehow we feel guilty dahil kami po ang nasa room na ‘yon noong nakita niyo siyang—,”
“Kayo!” I stood up. I couldn’t control myself. “Kayo ang nasa loob ng kwartong ‘yon!” My eyes automatically searched for Ate’s styling scissors, the one she uses to chop off my dead ends. Gusto kong kalbuhin ang mga babaeng ‘to ngayon din!
Oh, my ano ba’ng nangyayari sa akin? Hindi ko alam na may tendency akong maging bayolente…
“Please… Please makining ka muna, Ate,” the skinny, pale girl stood up while begging. At tinawag talaga akong ate!
“Mali ang iniisip mo tungkol kay Kuya. He was just helping us with the lights in our room…”
“Ano’ng… ano’ng ibig niyong sabihin?”
The taller and older girl sighed. “He heard us screaming when the lights in our room went out. He rushed off to check if we’re okay. Kakaligo lang niya no’n at hindi pa nga siya halos nakapagbihis…”
I sat weakly, feeling my knees get weak. So that was why he was naked!
Pero hindi. What if this was all orchestrated? Malay ko ba kung sila nga talaga ang nasa kuwartong ‘yon? This show just might be all his idea…
“You shouldn’t have bothered coming here… hindi niyo siya kailangang ipagtanggol. Kung inutusan niya kayong gawin ito—,”
“He didn’t even know we came here. His brother asked us to,” one of them answered gently. “Ate, you know Kuya for being so caring and a gentleman. Na-meet na namin siya once at masasabi ko po na hindi siya ganoong klase ng lalaki. He has high respect for women…”
“Oo nga naman po,” the other seconded. “Mahalaga po na maging malinaw ang mga bagay sa inyong dalawa. Please, kausapin niyo na po siya…”
For seconds I was just staring at them. Are they telling the truth? It will take a while bago mag-sink in sa akin lahat ng mga sinabi nila.
I gathered my thoughts. Kung ganoon, naroon siya sa kuwarto ng mga batang ‘to para palitan ang napunding ilaw. ‘Yun lang ‘yon. At ako… I jumped into conclusion just because I saw him coming out of that room half-naked.
I told him I don’t want to see him again and that things between us are over. At sinabi ko rin na hinding-hindi ko na siya paniniwalaan at pagkakatiwalaan uli…
“I’m sorry, that was rude of me, accusing you na inutusan niya kayong gawin ito. Thank you… sa pagpunta niyo rito. Pero kung talagang gusto niyang magpaliwanag, dapat siya ang nandito ngayon…”
“So you really are expecting me to come here. I like that.”
The girls and I were startled when the door suddenly flew open. I gasped aloud. Speaking of the handsome devil… he entered without warning.
“Thanks for your help, girls. I’ll take it from here.”
“Good luck, Kuya.” they smiled at him as they walked outside. They paid us one last look before waving me goodbye.
The tension in the air when the door closed was undeniable. I tried to calm down, inhaling, exhaling repeatedly. He locked the door and leaned against it. Our gazes locked for a while and I was the first one to avoid his stare. I hate looking into those eyes. I don’t want him near me, or I’ll find myself melting in his arms again.
“Ano’ng ginagawa mo rito?” I asked, wrapping my arms around my chest. “I thought I said I don’t want to see you again.”
He didn’t answer and just stared at me with fondness, with longing. “I missed you…”
I sucked my breath and walked to the rest room. Oh my, why do I feel that he really meant it?
“Umalis ka na. May taping pa ako at nakakaistorbo ka…”
He walked towards me. My feet involuntarily moved backward until I’m inside the rest room. He stopped by the door.
“Didn’t you just say na dapat ako ang nandito? Why are you asking me to leave—,”
I slammed the door on his face.
“Damn it! Baby Girl!” he started banging the door, too loud that I think he’d break it.
“Hindi mo ba ako narinig?” I screamed at the door. “Umalis ka na! Mamaya lang, nandito na sina Mommy—,”
“Nagkita na kami. And I asked that they give us a chance to talk; kahit sandali lang…” he tried the door knob. “So please, Love, open this!”
I held my tongue and waited what he’ll do next. As expected, he started pounding on the door again, begging me to come out.
“Huwag ka namang ganyan…” his voice lowered. “Gusto ko lang namang mag-usap tayo ng maayos,”
“I don’t feel like talking!” I yelled back. “At kahit kailan hindi na ako maniniwala sa ‘yo!”
That stopped him from smashing the door. “Does that mean… hindi ka naniniwala sa kanila?” he paused then added, “Iniisip mo talaga na kaya kong gawin sa ‘yo ‘yon? Ganyan na ba talaga kasama ang tingin mo sa akin?”
I bit my lip hearing the pain in his voice. It’s my mind versus my heart again. I don’t want to believe what those girls have said. But in my heart is that feeling for him that causes all my doubts to fade away…
“I don’t know what to believe anymore,” I uttered instead. “Just leave.”
He sighed deeply. I could imagine his shoulders fell and his eyes… his expressive, beautiful dark eyes filled with hurt and disappointment. I heard him walking away from the rest room’s door and went out my dressing room.
“Hindi man lang nagpilit?” I stupidly asked myself covering my face. Bakit ko pa ba ie-expect na suyuin niya ako kung ipinagtabuyan ko na siya? I shook my head. In the end ako rin ang mahihirapan. Magdamag ko na naman siyang iisipin. At ang problemang dapat naayos na, aabutin na naman ulit ng bukas… o baka ilang araw pa.
I sighed. In a few minutes we’ll start taping again. I opened the door slowly and went out. I was about to close the door when from my right side his big, strong arms wrapped around me, his lips suddenly were on mine. He was just waiting for me to come out!
Struggling free, I pushed him with all my might. “Let— me go!”
She quickly took a few steps back and was about to close the rest room’s door but I stopped her. “Please Love, gusto ko lang namang mag-usap tayo—,”
I stopped in mid-sentence when she suddenly threw the tissue roll on me. I moved away from the door.
“Diyan ka lang! Don’t ever come near me!”
My jaw dropped. God Almighty, galit talaga siya!
I tried to walk closer. “Baby Girl— ouch!”
Now it’s the empty perfume bottle. It hit my arm.
“Huwag ka sabing lalapit!” she grabbed the hair dryer next to throw at me but I didn’t let her.
“Hey, stop it! Put that down, Love! Masakit ‘yan!”
For seconds I just stared at her, appalled. Her chest was heaving in anger. She’s looking at me at hindi ko maintindihan ang sarili ko, but seeing her fuming like this is… such a turn on. I wonder if I’ll see the same intensity in her eyes when I make love to her…
I shook my head and scolded myself inwardly. I was so miserable I think I’d die missing her kaya siguro ganito ang nararamdaman ko. But I think there’s nothing wrong with wanting my woman so much…
“I hate you,” she said in an above whisper as she leaned weakly on the lavatory sink. “Lagi mo na lang akong sinasaktan…”
“You know that’s not true…” I whispered back and walked towards her, mustering all self-control not to crush her in my arms. “Pero kung gusto mo akong saktan, gawin mo. Kung gusto mo ‘kong sampalin, suntukin, sige lang. I won’t stop you…”
Her eyes were filled with tears when she looked at me. She started hitting my chest, harder and harder; her cries, louder and louder. I just let her.
“I hate you… I hate you!” she cried nonstop. “Pero bakit ganito? Bakit ganito ang nararamdaman ko para sa ‘yo? Bakit mahal na mahal pa rin kita?”
Those words weaken all my resolve. I held her wrists and pulled her on my chest, embracing her so tight as if she’d been away from me for a thousand years.
“Because you know in your heart that I can’t do it,” I whispered as we stayed in each other’s arms for a while. I caressed her back, hoping it will calm her down. “Because I know at the first test of trust you won’t easily give up on me…”
I held her face, making her eyes meet mine. My fingers wiped away her tears. “I love you… Hindi ba sabi ko sa ‘yo ‘yan lang lagi ang paniwalaan mo?”
She closed her eyes and held my hand on her face. “But you can’t blame me… dahil ganoon ang nakita ko…”
“I don’t,” I planted a soft kiss on her lips. “But don’t you get it? I WANT YOU! Ikaw lang. Mahirap ba’ng intindihin ‘yon?”
She pouted her lips. “You know I’m having a hard time believing that ever since…”
I grinned as I remembered when I told her a year ago that I like her. Ayaw niya talagang maniwala.
“Maipapangako mo ba sa akin na simula ngayon, magtitiwala ka na sa ‘kin?”
She didn’t answer and just bowed her head.
“Please Love, I need you to trust me. I know I still have a lot to prove but you can be sure I won’t fool around. I’ll wait for our time; the right time…”
She looked at me for a while as finding truth in my words. Then she nodded and embraced me, burying her face on my neck. I lifted her face and started kissing her temple, her forehead, the tip of her nose, her cheeks… and finally, her lips. Her arms automatically went around my neck. She held on to me tighter when I lifted her inches from the ground and I carried her out of the rest room, sitting her on the makeup counter.
“Well then, My Queen, should I help you… undress?”
I whispered as my lips went down to her jaw, her neck. My fingers started unbuttoning her blouse and I got a glimpse of her black lacy bra covering her perfect breasts. My whole body instantly went on fire.
“Love, please… please, stop this,” she begged breathlessly. I chuckled as my lips traced her shoulder blade, her chest; her breasts.
“Then stop arching your body like that…”
I released her and took my shirt off. I put her hands on my chest letting her feel me; and I could feel them burning against my skin. “Touch me… the way you want me to touch you.”
She gasped and her eyes widened a fraction. Slowly, she planted a soft kiss on my chest. Her hands hesitantly went down from my chest, to my abs, then slowly to my bellybutton, my belt buckle—
I harshly sucked my breath, clutching her wrists tightly. I shouldn’t have asked her that. If her hand reached a bit lower I can’t imagine what happens next. I could have had made her mine right there and then, in her dressing room…
She whimpered, I don’t know if in pleasure or in pain when I kissed her again; this time my mouth tasting her candy tongue. My hands went down to her legs, her hips, her thighs… but she held my arm and slightly pushed me.
“Please… not yet. Not here,” she shook her head, her eyes pleading but the desire in there reflected mine.
I nodded and put my hands around her waist instead. “Damn those leggings,” I giggled and kissed her again, passionately, lovingly… with all of me. I will never get enough of her…
“I love you… I love you, My Queen,” I murmured on her lips. She kissed me back and held my nape, curling her fingers in between the short strands of my hair. Oh, how I love it when she touches me like this… sana tumigil na lang ang oras…
But we have to part again for now. Her crew started setting up the stage and minutes from now her stylist and hair and makeup artist will be here.
We were both breathless when I let her go. I held her as she stood up and helped her button her blouse before putting my shirt back on.
“Hihintayin kita hanggang matapos ang taping niyo. I still have a lot to explain to you,” laughing, I touched her lips with my thumb finger, still moist from my kisses. “Ang sabi ko, gusto kong mag-usap tayo but I ended up ravishing you…”
Her face turned crimson. She smiled and put her arms around me, her body warm against mine. “Later, then…” raising her head, her eyes met mine. “I love you…”
I closed my eyes and held her tighter. “And I love you more, My Queen…”
Thank you, God, I prayed as I kissed her for the last time. I almost lost her again. But if we were able to get through this, I know we’ll be ready for more of whatever Time and Fate brings us…
I went out of the dressing room and greeted her crew. As always, I stayed at the director’s booth away from everyone’s eyes. I have to work early in the morning tomorrow but I don’t mind staying all night. Baka nga hindi na lang ako matulog. And I really don’t want to think about anything else. Right now I just want to be here— with My Queen; by her side…
Disclaimer: 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: HAPPY NEW YEAR, dear readers! Thank you again in advance for reading this! ♥ Again, If you wish to copy/share/post this on your FB/ blog, just don’t forget to leave credit where it’s due. Thank you! :)