Galaxies

13315492_1724250554496366_9165534333400831436_n

In this galaxy, in its vastness, in all its entirety,
I have found the one who most overwhelmed me.
In a sea of strangers you’re the only one I see,
In a world full of people, I found you who loved me.

To be young, to be loved, to be accepted, to be free,
These things you made me feel, this love you have shown me.
Now all I ever want is to stay in your galaxy,
In your arms, in your heart, in your life for eternity…

But like all galaxies, it came crashing down on me.
All my dreams have crumbled as I face my reality.
The love you gave, the love we shared, were only temporary.
Now I drift into nothingness, my tears flowing endlessly.

Like stars explode and comets fall, the end has come for me.
Like blinding light I have to face this truth’s cruelty.
A lot of things in this universe aren’t really meant to be.
I never did, and never will, belong in your galaxy.

Advertisements

#FangirlingModeON Moon Lovers-Scarlet Heart: Ryeo

large

Okay. This is one of those K-Dramas which I didn’t plan to watch. Having heard about the C-Drama original, like most fans of K-Dramas, I don’t want a sad ending. But..! since I have this tendency of hurting myself, (lol) I boarded the ship knowing where it’s heading. Now I can’t get over it; I’m having a hard time moving on like everyone else who stick with the drama until the end.

large1

Lee Joon-gi oppa (Ang Lalaking Mukhang Pangarap) was enough to draw me in. (loved him since The King and the Clown) I could say that the rest of the casts did shine in their own ways but the one who carried the entire drama was Joon-gi. H was brilliant as always. I particularly love that one scene where he had no choice but to kill Prince Eun and then he cried while laughing, or laughed while crying. (whatever, it was daebak!) I replayed it a few times and it gave me goosebumps again and again. If for that one scene alone he’ll definitely bag another daesang.

fotor_147694499786553

mlshr

I’ve read comments somewhere that the drama was an epic mess. Some have really great expectations that somehow, K-Bu Bu Jing Xin will give a different approach on the story, most of all the ending. The ending for me was painful and it left me hanging, but it isn’t that bad that I’d wish for another season. A special episode will do, an epilogue that could answer the viewers’ questions, my questions, like:

Will Gwangjoong be able to find Soo?

What happened to Ha-jin’s ex-boyfriend and best friend who cheated on her? (I thought of having Ha-jin’s family suing them while she was in a coma for a year and her family would get back all her money.)

Who is Ji Mong, exactly, and what is he? An angel of time? Angel of fate? Wouldn’t Ha-jin remember and question the homeless man she met before her accident, looking mighty fine and all suited up?

What happened to Hae Soo’s journal written in Hangeul? (The one Queen Hwangbo gave to the king having suspicions that Soo might be a foreign spy because of the writing) If it was still in Wang So’s possession, will it be the key for him to be able to ‘follow’ her?

Some say it was senseless having Ha-jin/ Hae Soo traveled through time but couldn’t change anything… but isn’t that a touch of reality in this show? No matter what we do; even if we defy the Laws of Nature, Law of Physics or any other Laws of Science there is, there are things that we can never change or turn back to how they were. The world’s f–king unfair, people, even the people we love most will f–k us up and we can always end up more miserable. But no matter what our circumstances, no matter how powerless we are over things we have no control of, we can all but try to live a meaningful life- that of being able to touch the lives of others and most of all, of being able to love faithfully and unconditionally. That’s what this show taught me.

large

There. I’ve gotten this off my chest. Deeyyymmmnnn, I missed my blog! I struggled as I was writing this. I should really write more. (And not about a K-drama but my own story).

Till next! ♥ 🙂

(Credits to the pictures’ owners!)

PS: Loved the drama’s OSTs as well! Here are my favorites! 🙂 xoxo

I have a confession to make…

I know I’ve been MIA for such a loooong time and I couldn’t update my stories like before… but it’s still ongoing, especially now that my favorite boy and girl are… I guess, friends again(?). Together or apart, I still love S & G. (nagtampo lang ako kay G for a while, but I’m fine now and I love him still)

You see, I have been pursuing my career in writing (to see if I really have the guts to make it a career) but I haven’t been lucky until late last year. This is my first approved novel under Precious Hearts Romances and my given pen name is Megan Scar.

keene and o'hara

You can find out more about the story here and you can also purchase it online.

http://www.preciouspagesebookstore.com.ph/Book/2701

If you could grab a copy, I’ll truly appreciate it. Please like Megan Scar’s page on Facebook, too.

https://www.facebook.com/yourstrulymeganscar

Thank you very much in advance! 🙂 ❤ ❤

I

Extempore: I Am His

shoulder-kiss_Fotor

 

“He kissed you…”

 

I nodded and bit my lip, forcing myself to look into his eyes.  They were scrutinizing, and I’m scared of what he’d say once I tell him.

 

“And?” he added.

 

“And what?”

 

“What else happened?  I need details,”

 

I moaned.  “Ano’ng details?  Isn’t that enough?  Hindi ka man lang ba nagagalit?  Aren’t you even mad some other guy kissed me?”

 

He shrugged.  “Did you like it?”

 

My jaw dropped.  “What?  No!  God, no!” did I have to like it?

 

“Then why would I be angry?” he smiled and held my shoulders.  “Shouldn’t I feel proud my woman’s ex is still drooling over her?”

 

I pinched his side and he made an exaggerated whimper.  He’s making light of this, pero alam kong nagseselos siya.

 

“I’m sorry… I shouldn’t have let it happen.  Sinabi ko sa ‘yo agad kasi ayokong maglihim sa ‘yo.  At ayokong magalit ka sa akin pero—,”

 

“Mahal,” he held my face with both hands.  “Hindi ako galit.  Jealous, maybe a little but I can’t be angry with you,”

 

“Talaga?”

 

He nodded and gave me his boyish, irresistible smile.  His fingers caressed my cheeks gently, his eyes on my lips.

 

“But right now, I want you to…” his thumb finger lightly grazed my lower lip.  “…let me disinfect you,”

 

My brows lifted and I opened my mouth to ask what he meant when he lowered his head and kissed me.  His lips claimed mine in a gentle but possessive way, a bit different from his kisses before.

 

“Disinfect talaga?” I laughed and wrapped my hands around his neck as I kissed him back.  Both his arms were on my waist, holding me firmly.

 

Right there and then, he completely erased that blurred image forcing its way in my mind for hours before he came.

 

For how long our kiss lasted, I didn’t know.  We were both breathless when he let me go.  He embraced me, held me so tight; and I reveled in that moment where I felt safe, loved; cherished in his arms.

 

I called him when I got home that night, telling him something happened and that he needed to know.  He has an out of town trip in the morning and I told him we could talk once he came back, but my tone must have gutted him he came by after dinner.

 

“Can you do something for me?” he whispered, his lips on my temple.

 

“Anything…”

 

His embrace loosened, but his arms still enfolding me.  “Talk to him.  Settle things with him once and for all,”

 

“Mahal—,”

 

“Please?” he pleaded.  “Para hindi na maulit ang nangyari,”

 

I sighed, uncertain if I could do it.  But he’s right.  It’s been long overdue.  Para na rin matahimik kami pare-pareho…

 

“Gusto mo ba, ako ang kumausap sa kanya?  I can’t promise it would be good, though,”

 

“Hey,” I patted his shoulder gently.

 

“Just kidding,” he countered but his face was serious.  “He once had your heart… but I’ll try not to worry,”

 

I smiled as I put my arms around him.  Ang mahal ko… he really is jealous and angry but not with me but him.

 

“Siguro nga.  He had.  But you have not just my heart but all of me…”

 

He smiled and rubbed his nose against mine.  “’That so?”

 

“Absolutely,”

 

“Prove it.”

 

I felt my cheeks heating up as I shyly pulled the collar of his sports shirt and kissed him.  He grunted, embracing me so tight his arms almost lifted me from the floor.

 

“O—Okay na ba ‘yon?” I asked, releasing short breaths when I pulled away.  The night was so quiet and from the lighted porch of our backyard garden we couldn’t hear anything but both our ragged breathing.

 

His beautiful eyes bored into mine, dark and filled with desire.  I swallowed.  Though it was there when we kissed earlier, it felt different this time that I initiated the kiss.  If we kissed again I’m not sure how far we could both hold back…

 

“It will never be enough,” he whispered gruffly.  He pulled down the sleeve of my loose knitted sweater blouse, exposing my shoulder.

 

“Mahal—!” I gasped when he bowed and pressed his lips near my collarbone, his teeth gently biting my soft flesh.

 

I trembled.  I knew in the way he holds me especially whenever we’re in public how he is so protective of me, but that’s not half of what he’s like when we’re alone together, like right now.  He’s so… intense; controlling— I never felt anything like this before, from anyone…

 

“You’re mine,” he said in a low but firm voice as his fingers traced the red mark he left.

 

“Yes,” I responded as if hypnotized. My heart beat louder against my chest I could hear it more than my own voice.  I fell for all the things he is, for what he made me feel— that I’m the only woman for him, his one and only dream.  But there’s something about what I feel for him right now I can’t control or define.  Perhaps wanting to please him… I want to make him happy the way he makes me happy.

 

He held me once again in his arms, my head pressed on his broad chest.  I could feel his breath on my hair, his arm wrapped around my shoulders while the other snaked on my waist.

 

“I love you… I love you so much I am never letting you go,” he whispered as he trailed kisses from where he bit me to my neck, to my chin, my jaw…

 

I closed my eyes, taking his every word into my heart, feeling his light kisses burning my skin.  It scares me how he makes me melt into his arms.  I fear he’s becoming obsessed with me now that I realized how possessive he is, but I really don’t mind.  I actually… like it…

 

“I love you, too,” I whispered into his mouth when he finally reached my lips.  “And I’m not going anywhere,”

 

He cupped my face with both hands as he gave me one final kiss.  The light in the kitchen switched on that he had to let me go.  Someone must have wanted to check on us; must be Mom or Dad.

 

“I guess you have to go somewhere for now— your room,” he laughed and walked me to the backdoor to the kitchen.  He touched my shoulder one last time.  “And don’t let your mother see that.  She’ll kill me,”

 

Blushing, I pulled my sweater up to my neck.  Mamaya lang, mamumula na ng husto ‘yon.  Mom wouldn’t buy a mosquito bite for a reason, unless she has eyesight as good as Pocahontas’ Mrs. Jenkins.  “She definitely would,”

 

He laughed.  “And no halter or off-shoulder or sleeveless for you for now, my dear,”

 

God, he’s right, I groaned inwardly.  That was his idea in the first place.  “You sure are territorial,”

 

“I am very protective of what’s mine,” he held my nape and brushed my lower lip with his thumb finger.  “And I’ll claim my territory again once I get back.  Go in before I go Edward Cullen on you again,” 

 

I smiled.  I wouldn’t complain if he did.

 

Goodnight, Mahal,”

 

“Goodnight,” I watched as he headed out to his car before going in through the backdoor.

 

~oOo~

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.

 

Postlude: Closure (Part I)

day-night

 

 

“Oh, my God!  Have you seen them?  Hinatid siya dito and I saw him kissing her!  Ang sweet!”

 

“Talaga?  Sila na kaya?  Lagi silang spotted together.  Gosh, I am so rooting for them! Hintayin natin kung kailan sila aamin,”

 

Then I heard the girls giggling.  I recognized their voices but I don’t have the slightest idea who they’re talking about.

 

Who am I kidding?  Of course, I have.  Baby Girl.  And the new guy.  Well, the not-so new guy.  He was second lead in our first movie and had this longtime crush on her, and recently been with her in her several tours abroad.  Now rumors that they’re already an item began circulating, and pictures of them so sweet together went viral it irritates me for some reason.

 

So the second lead gets the girl in real life, eh?  No way.  I battled it out with my mind as if it could change what’s happening.  Irritated isn’t the right term for me but jealous.  Burning, bleeding,  infuriated, frustrated jealous.

 

You had the chance and you freakin’ lost it, I mused in pathetic resignation.  I put this upon myself which makes it harder to accept; a harsh reality I have to live with because I made it happen.

 

I carried my duffel bag and headed to our dressing room.  General rehearsals for our Sunday show’s anniversary were since this morning and I already missed out on a lot.

 

My phone in my pocket rang.  Probably Little Miss Pudding trying to check up on me again.  Sheesh… bakit pa, eh tinext ko na nga siya na nandito na ako?  I ignored the call and headed to the dressing room.

 

As I passed by, I heard their voices.  The frontrunners are on their last set of rehearsals.  I peeked from backstage.  There she was, on stage—My Queen— smiling, having fun with her friends, her fellow singers; always with that refreshing aura that one can’t help but smile too when around her.

 

A few weeks have quickly passed since that last time I saw her.  Somehow I found a way to get over the nostalgia, because I have to.  Whenever I see her, I’ll feel it over and over again and it had to stop.  I’ve been telling myself guilt was all I’m feeling but it’s deeper than that.  It hurts.  It hurts I couldn’t be by her side like I used to be.  It hurts every time I see her like this.  But right now… I wonder why I just couldn’t look away…

 

I watched in the dark as the music director discussed adjustments on the arrangement.  The stage was overly lit that I know they wouldn’t even notice me.  Suddenly she turned and looked at my direction, her eyebrows curled, on her face a little unease.

 

My heart started beating faster.  She must have felt I was there! 

 

Of course she couldn’t.  I answered myself feeling a little stupid.  Asa pa ako…

 

“Ano’ng ginagawa mo dito?  Kanina ka pa nila hinihintay, ah,”

 

I quickly turned around and found Little Miss Pudding behind me.

 

I glanced sideward at the stage.  “Nanood lang ako saglit,”

 

Her eyebrows almost met.  She stepped and peeked and I watched as her expression turned sour.

 

“Pinanood mo sila habang nag-uusap-usap?” her voice was pained.  “Tayo na ang susunod diyan.  Halika na,”

 

“I’ll go to the john first.  Susunod ako agad,”

 

She eyed me with suspicion.

 

“I’ll follow you right away, I promise,”

 

“Just hurry.  Late ka na nga, nagawa mo pang tumambay dito,” she turned around flipping her hair and trudged back, her tower-high heels making an annoying noise on the floor.

 

I sighed.  I just came from a game and my body still ached I still need a few hours to rest.  And there goes my girlfriend welcoming me jealous and irate.  But I have to be here.  I want to be here.  It’s always been a joy to me being a part of this show, this family.  I may have created a lot of issues, got involved in endless intrigues and controversies but they still kept me and I’m forever grateful for that.

 

After changing into my shirt and jeans, I went out of the john the same time my phone chimed again.  I took it out of my pocket and saw Little Miss Pudding sent me a message.

 

———-

I told them you arrived pero bakit wala ka pa rin daw.  Bilisan mo naman…

———-

 

Blowing out air, I typed my reply:

 

———-

Papunta na.

———-

 

I turned from the men’s washroom to the corridor heading back to the stage.  I was still deleting Little Miss Pudding’s message when I bumped into someone.  We were both in a hurry my phone fell and we were both knocked down on the floor.

 

“Ouch!” she groaned in pain, holding her right ankle.  I looked at her.  No wonder her scent, the sound of her voice was so familiar.  This feeling when we collided, when our bodies touched no matter how brief it was, sent ripples of emotions consuming me it was unstoppable.

 

“Baby Girl…”

 

~oOo~

 

I’m trying to stop myself from crying.  My ankle hurts I think it really broke.  I should have worn my flats before I went through with the rehearsals but I was late.  We finished practicing for a number but I still have my solo performance to go through.

 

My bag was on the floor but good thing I found my belongings still intact.  I reached for it.  I was hurrying and checking my phone at the same time on my way to the ladies’ room.

 

“I’m really sorry… are you okay?”

 

The gentle words halted me when I tried to stand up.  I looked up and saw him.

 

He offered me his hand.  There was a worried frown on his face and I didn’t want to look into his eyes but I had no choice.

 

Ignoring his help, I wobbled when I tried to stand up on my own.  His hand instantly held my arm and he helped me stand up.  As if burned from his touch, I quickly freed myself from him.

 

“I’m alright.  Thank you,”

 

“Are you sure?  Should I call one of the medics?  You look—,”

 

“I said I’m fine,” Good heavens… it could have been the janitor.  Or Manong Guard or one of the lights men… why of all people, him?

 

Forgetting I needed a retouch, I turned around to go back to my dressing room.

 

“Baby Girl, wait!” he called when I tried to walk but couldn’t.  I groaned in pain.

 

He grunted in frustration, in worry.  “You’re hurt!  I knew it!  Let me see—,”

 

“I’ll be alright!” my voice was a notch higher.  He tried to touch me again and I don’t want that.  But I can barely walk…

 

I couldn’t say anything when he held my arm and put it on his shoulder.  His hand went to my waist, his chest pressing against mine as he walked me to my dressing room.

 

“Almost there,” he whispered, his breath I could feel on my hair covering my face.  His cool, sexy, manly scent assaulted my senses, the same scent he had during the time we were together.

 

“Oh, Bunso, ano’ng nangyari?” Kuya was in my dressing room waiting for me. Pinaglipat-lipat niya ang tingin sa aming dalawa.

 

“Na-sprain, Kuya,” he answered and pulled the seat of my dresser.  “Sit down.  I’ll massage your ankle para mabawasan ang sakit,”

 

“N— No, you don’t have to.  I’m okay, really,” I looked at Kuya, my eyes pleading, ‘Don’t go!  Don’t leave me here with him!’

 

“Sorry, Bunso,” he answered, getting my message.  “Boss is calling for me I really have to go… but don’t worry, I’ll send someone.  Bandage?  Pain reliever?  Ano’ng kailangan?”

 

“She’ll be fine, Kuya.  Ako na’ng bahala sa kanya,” he replied with mild amusement.

 

Kuya shrugged, his smile apologetic.  “Maiwan ko muna kayo,” he went out and closed the door.

 

I groaned inwardly, feeling my head swirl.  He and I… in my dressing room… the last time we were alone in my dressing room, I was… he was…

 

He sighed and put his duffel bag on the floor before kneeling in front of me, stopping my thoughts before it goes back to somewhere long forgotten, long forbidden.  He held my leg and folded the hem of my jeans up before unstrapping my wedge sandals.

 

“You don’t really have to do this.  I just have to wear something more comfortable—,”

 

“Sshh.  Just let me,” he cut me off gently.  “This is my fault.  Sorry ulit,”

 

I shook my head.  I winced when he twisted my ankle and tugged my foot gently.  He looked at me, in his eyes tenderness and worry.

 

“Does that hurt?” he asked, holding my foot with both his hands.

 

“Not at all…”

 

He smiled and kept pressing and massaging my foot.  My muscles relaxed, softening into the warmth of his hands.

 

I stared at him, at his hands, at his handsome face.  He seemed so focus, so serious about what he’s doing I can’t help but smile.  I remembered the scene in our first movie where he did the same thing…

 

His head rose up, his eyes meeting mine.  He was smiling too, and I could tell we were thinking about the same thing.

 

Both our smiles widened, the worried look in his eyes softened.  I don’t know how long we stared at each other that way; as if the world stopped for a moment, when his phone chimed; breaking the magic between us.

 

He looked at it and after a while rejected whoever it is who was calling.  He groaned and shook his head, holding his nape as if he forgot something important.

 

I cleared my throat and pretended checking my wristwatch.  “Pupunta nga pala ako sa kabilang studio… papasadahan ko pa ang solo number ko,”

 

He stood up the same time I did.  I could feel his eyes on me as I searched for my flats in the drawers.  After wearing one on, I walked carefully to the door and opened it.  “I’ll go ahead.  Thank you,”

 

I halted in surprise when he called my name.  It was as if it was foreign, like he called a stranger.  All this time he was calling me Baby Girl.  I wasn’t used to him calling me by my name…

 

I turned around.  He wasn’t looking at me but at the seat I vacated.

 

“Kayo na ba?”

 

My eyes narrowed.  Did I hear that right?

 

There was silence between us for a moment before he asked again, this time, his eyes on me.  “Kayo na ba?”

 

My hand tightened on the strap of my bag on my shoulder.  And this guy had the gall to ask.

 

“Is that, in any case, your business?”

 

“I have the right to know.”

 

I laughed, my tone mocking.  “Oh, you do,”

 

Pain crossed his eyes but only for a second.  “Just tell me,”

 

Get a grip, girl, get a grip, I whispered to myself.  I could feel my whole body shaking.  After a few deep breaths I answered.

 

“Paano kung ganoon nga?”

 

He swallowed, the muscles in his jaw flexed.  “Don’t you think it’s awkward?”

 

“What?”

 

 “She and I.  You and him,” I stepped backward when he walked closer.

 

I laughed again.  “Who made it awkward?”

 

He bowed but didn’t stop until we’re just inches away from each other.  His eyes bored into mine.  Pain, guilt, remorse… longing… and love were all there…

 

“Do you love him?”

 

For a while I was taken aback he asked it so bluntly.  I raised my chin, meeting his gaze as I answered without blinking.

 

“I do.  I truly do.”

 

He sucked his breath harshly and nodded.  When he finally didn’t say anything, I turned for the door again.

 

I felt him on my back.  I gasped when he grabbed my arm and forced me to face him.  He closed the door behind me; his hands fixed over my head.

 

“What are you doing—,”

 

“Liar,” his eyes were misty as he muttered.

 

I drew a sharp breath, feeling my anger shoot up.  “Isang tao lang ang marunong magsinungaling dito at hindi ako ‘yon!”

 

The pain in his eyes doubled.  He bowed, closing his eyes.  He clenched his fist over my head and punched the door gently.

 

I didn’t budge.  Pero ang pag-iyak ko ang baka hindi ko mapigilan…

 

“Let me go,” I pushed his chest with both hands when I felt tears warming my eyes.  He didn’t move even one bit.  I tried again, pushing him harder.

 

Wrong move, I scolded myself when his hands gripped my wrists.  He pushed me not-so gently on the door, our faces almost touching.  He drew his breath sharply, his voice hoarse when he spoke.

 

“My Queen…”

 

And in a flash his lips found mine.

 

No, no!  I screamed inside my head, my eyes wide in shock.  Hindi na dapat ako nagpapadala sa ganito.  Hindi ko dapat hinayaang mangyari ito…

 

He put my hands around his neck.  His lips left mine for a while as he possessively held my waist.

 

I closed my eyes.  He angled his head to kiss me again but his breath was held mid-air.

 

He wiped a tear that fell on my cheek.  He looked confused, troubled and shocked as I was.

 

My hands fell on my sides.  He took his time letting me go, his hands sliding slowly off my waist.

 

“I— I wasn’t thinking…” his voice was rough when he spoke.  “Sorry I just can’t help it.  I’m so sorry—,”

 

He tried to reach for me again but I pushed him, in anger, in embarrassment.  “Don’t touch me, and stop saying you’re sorry.  I’m getting sick and tired of those words,”

 

“My Queen—,”

 

“Stop— calling me that!” I yelled and turned around, hoping I could finally go out.  But he pulled me, embracing me from behind, his face buried in between my neck and shoulder.

 

“I wasn’t sorry for kissing you, for wanting to hold you again… for missing you so bad, for being in pure hell because I know I deserve it…”

His arms around me went tighter, his lips I could feel on my neck as he whispered.  “I’m sorry because I’ve hurt you, for putting you all through the pain… but most of all, I feel sorry for myself,”

  

I swallowed, trying to find my voice.  When I spoke again I couldn’t even hear myself.

 

“What… are you saying?”

 

He didn’t answer and loosened his embrace.  He sniffed, and I felt a tear fell on my shoulder.  He’s… crying.

 

I felt our distance widened.  I turned around slowly and saw him picking up his bag.  I moved aside when he opened the door and went out of the dressing room. 

 

It’s been minutes since he left but I stood there, stiff like a statue.  Nakabalik na rin si Kuya’t lahat pero hindi pa rin ako makagalaw.

 

I’m in a daze, perturbed and shaken; weighed with questions and confusion much more now than I have ever been.

 

~oOo~

 

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.

Mémoires II: Wonderful, Bittersweet

feelings

 

Ang sabi nila, darating ang panahon na tatawanan na lang daw natin lahat ng masasakit na nangyari sa atin sa nakaraan… pero bago naman tawanan ang mga iyon, matagal muna nating iiyakan.  Iiyakan nang iiyakan nang iiyakan…

 

Here I am inside my walk-in closet, in ‘the shoes section’ as my girl-friends call it. I still have an hour and thirty before my commercial shoot so I decided to tweak a few minutes sorting out my shoes according to kind, and to particularly look for one of my A. Mc’s.

 

There I saw it— on the upper left side of one of the shelves— the huge ‘Ex Box’.

 

I pulled my footstool under my accessories’ table and reached for it.

 

“To the left, to the left.  Everything you own in the box to the left…” I laughed at myself while singing.  I carried it with both hands and was surprised at how heavy it was.

 

“Anu-ano ba ang mga ipinaglalagay ko dito?” sabay bukas sa kahon.  Painstakingly arranged and enclosed in cloth bags all gifts that came from him.  As in LAHAT.

 

I took them all out.  The shoes— the Tributes, the custom-made wedges, sneakers, flats… shirts, jeans, designer dresses, sunglasses, bags. (oh, the bags!) His stuff— his shirt, denim jacket, ballers, couple bracelets, our couple watches; the necklace, the rings and THE ring.

 

My smile turned poignant as I rummaged the tiny casket from the bottom of the box.  Slowly, I opened it.

 

The ruby ring… hindi kumupas ang kinang nito simula nang una kong isuot, kahit pa maraming buwan na ang dumaan.  I took it and held it between my thumb and forefinger.  My birthstone.  My engagement ring.  The last gift I received from him, his symbol of love and promise of forever…

 

“I promise you I will love and cherish you forever… I will protect you with my life.  I promise…”

 

I don’t know why, but I wore it.  And I’m sad it didn’t fit my ring finger anymore.  Maluwag na dahil pumayat ako…

 

My tablet pinged that I almost jumped.  I forgot I brought it with me expecting my sister would call any moment.

 

“Salut, Chéri!  How are you?”

 

I smiled, moving the Ex Box aside.  “I’m doing good, Ate.  It’s been a while…”

 

Her eyebrow rose.  “Where are you?  Carrie Bradshaw’s wardrobe?”

 

I tilted my head back while laughing.  “Ano ka ba?  I sent you a picture of this, remember?  Noong bagong pina-renovate ni Daddy,”

 

“Oh, ‘yan ba ‘yon?  Eh wala kasing laman no’n, eh,” I could tell her eyes shimmered.  “Magnifique!  I like it.  I can’t wait to get home,”

 

“I can’t wait for you to get home.  I missed you, ‘te.  Have lots to tell you…”

 

“I know,” She sighed and took a long look at me.  “The last time we talked you looked like a disaster.  Thank God now you look… très chic.  Welcome back,”

 

I laughed and Indian-sat in front of my accessories table.  I’ve waited a while until I could talk to her again.  We got so busy the past months.  “It’s all thanks to you and everyone.  How are you?  At nasaan ka nga pala?  Hindi ‘yan ang pad mo…”

 

Ate laughed sweetly.  “I’m at a friend’s house.  Well, it’s her birthday and she invited us for her party and to sleep over.  I couldn’t say no,” she yawned.  “Don’t worry, walang boys dito.  Hindi mo ako kailangang isumbong kay Mommy,”

 

“Hindi naman kita isusumbong.  In fact, I’ll be happier if I knew na may kasama ka ngang boyfriend diyan,”

 

She gasped and faked a shock.  “Sis!”

 

“I’m kidding,” I grinned.  “But really, wala pa ba talaga?”

 

“Hmm… well, there’s this guy who’s been so nice to me since I came here.  He’s Fil-American… I don’t know, sometimes I could catch him staring at me.  He sends me gifts during special occasions but other than that…” she shook her head.  “He’s friendly, he’s caring… but he never said he likes me, nor asks me to go out with him.  I don’t know,”

 

“I see…”

 

“At ayoko naman na ako ang unang magtanong.  Maybe he’s still waiting for the perfect time,” she shrugged and held her chin with her elbow on her pillow.

 

“Enough about me.  So I just heard they’re officially ON.  Ayoko na’ng makakarinig ng tungkol sa kanya but I found out by accident,”

 

Uh-oh, here we go, I thought.  I just nodded and smiled.  “Yup, matagal na rin,”

 

She rolled her eyes.  “Like when?  Right after he broke up with you?  He kept her at bay but couldn’t stand the guilt and in the end, chose her?”

 

I kept my smile.  I want to tell her I don’t want to talk about them anymore but there’s no stopping my sister once she began talking.

 

“Nagtataka nga ako sa ‘yo, eh.  Kung nandiyan ako, nabatukan na kita.  Ang dali mong napatawad ang dalawang ‘yon…”

 

“’Yun kasi ang pinakamadaling gawin,” I shrugged.  “Ang sabi nga, the best revenge is not to get mad or get even… it’s to forgive and be happy.  Move on na lang kaming lahat para masaya,”

 

“Hay, ewan ko sa ‘yo,”

 

I chuckled.  “Ano ba ‘te?  Get over it!  Okay na ako; kayo na lang ang hindi pa,”

 

“Talaga!  I’m still seething so bear with it.  And that girl?” she said the last two words as if she tasted bile in her tongue. “Isn’t it an unwritten rule between girl-friends na walang talu-talo ng ex?  Sa totoo lang ha, mas naaawa ako do’n sa best friend niya kaysa sa ‘yo,”

 

Sighing, I held my tablet and fell with my back on the carpeted floor.  “Well, I guess that rule doesn’t apply to everyone…”

 

There was a short pause while she intently stared at me. “Yeah, you’re one to talk.  Mom told me you and that girl’s ex are getting extra close.  And now he’s courting you…”

 

I bit my lip.  By the tone in her voice I could tell she didn’t like the idea.  I know some of my close friends too, and even some of my fans.

 

“You went out a few days ago with Mom and Dad and his parents, at ipinakilala ka na raw niya.  Tell me, Chéri … do you like him, too?” she inquired gently with that tone she uses on me since we were kids whenever she saw me crying.

 

I nodded, staring at my tablet’s small screen as if we were face to face.  “He makes me happy… he’s nice to me ever since.  He’s sweet, kind, gentle, cheerful and smart.  And you know how Mom and Dad are like with our suitors.  He’s not scared of them.  Kahit noong sabihin kong ayaw kong parang ayaw ko na muna uling magpaligaw, nagpilit pa rin,”

 

I smiled remembering how he asked for Mom and Dad’s consent.  “He said he’ll never give up on me… that he’ll wait.  At ‘no retreat, no surrender’ daw siya pagdating sa ‘kin…”

 

“Sœur, how many times have we heard that?  Syempre, ‘yon ang sasabihin niya, tulad din ng iba.  Pero… oh, well…” my sister waved her hand in resignation.

 

“You know I just want you to be careful.  By this time, alam kong natuto ka na.  We love you too much we don’t want you getting hurt again.  Alam mo ‘yan, ‘di ba?” 

 

“Yeah… I know, that,” I answered, trying to hold my tears.  That’s when the door opened and Mom came in.

 

“Hanap ako nang hanap sa ‘yo kanina pa,” her eyes darted my tablet and then lingered on the Ex Box.  She carefully looked at me but didn’t say anything.  “We’ll leave at thirty.  Get up and get dressed already,”

 

She closed the door but opened it again.  “And oh, sabihin mo sa ate mo tawagan din ako,”

 

I got up and dusted off my pants once the door’s shut.  “Narinig mo ‘yon?  Tawagan mo raw siya,”

 

There goes the eye-rolling again.  “Kanina lang kami nag-usap.  May nakalimutan na naman sigurong sabihin,”

 

“Si Mommy pa,” I laughed.  “’Have to go, ‘te.  Talk to you again, okay?”

 

“You bet.  Take care.  And I love you,”

 

“I love you, too,” I blew her a kiss and ended the call.

 

By this time, alam kong natuto ka na, her voice replayed in my years and I suddenly remembered Mom saying the same thing.

 

That time, when I told them we got engaged before we broke up, but only after Dad saw his vacation pictures with someone very familiar.  I’ve never seen Daddy that angry before I thought he’s going to have a heart attack.

 

“’Yan ba?  ‘Yan ba ang lalaking pilit mong ipinaglalaban sa amin?” he yelled, his face red in anger.

 

“Ang sabi mo, okay ang lahat… ang sabi mo huwag ka naming alalahanin.  Tapos ganyan ang makikita namin?” I flinched when he threw his iPad beside me on the couch.

 

“At kailan mo ito balak sabihin?  Kung hindi pa nakita ng Mommy mo, magugulat na lang kami isang araw na bigla ka na namang magbe-breakdown sa harap namin!”

 

I sobbed silently and looked at Mom standing in the middle of the living room, her arms crossed on her chest, her face void of any emotion.  She has always been so strict and straightforward when it comes to disciplining me, but now she’s so quiet it scares me more.

 

“Pinagkatiwalaan namin siya… kayong dalawa na aalagaan niyo ang isa’t-isa…” Dad continued, stroking his nape.  There was still anger in his voice but it mellowed down a bit.

 

Standing up, I made him sit down and held his hand.  “Sorry po, Dad, Mom.  Ayoko lang po na magalit pa kayo lalo sa kanya.  May pagkukulang din naman po ako kung bakit kami—,”

 

“Huwag mo na siyang ipagtanggol sa amin, anak.  Kahit sa paanong paraan pa namin malaman, alam mong magagalit kami sa kanya.  Hindi mo ‘yon mapipigilan.  At hindi mo kami masisisi,”

 

I kept on sobbing, now feeling more than ever the weight of things and how I tried to bear them all alone.  I couldn’t.  I never could…

 

“Mom,” I went to her, holding her arm.  “Please say something.  You’re scaring me…”

 

Only then that she looked at me.  Tears were about to fall from her eyes as she pulled me for an embrace, surprising me.

 

I cried all the more.  She held me to her chest, her hand gentle as it stroked my hair.

 

“Wala kaming ibang hinangad at ipinagdasal ng Daddy mo kundi ang kaligayahan at kabutihan ninyong magkakapatid… ano sa tingin mo ang nararamdaman namin sa tuwing nasasaktan ka tulad ngayon?”

 

She sniffed and embraced me tighter.  “Wala na akong ibang sasabihin dahil pagkatapos ng mga nangyaring ito’y may tiwala akong alam mo na ang gagawin.  And we’re here for you.  Alam mong susuportahan ka namin; tutulungang bumangon sa bawat pagkakadapa.  You know that.  Iyon ang tatandaan mo, okay?”

 

I nodded, my cries louder but my heart lighter.  My mother has always been my citadel.  Where I run to first when I get hurt, when I fail, when things get difficult for me…

 

I heard Mom’s voice again reminding me I only have less than twenty minutes to get ready.  I put the huge box’s lid back and carried it, staring at it for a while before putting it back in place.

 

My Angel… I sighed deeply, ignoring the slight piercing in my chest.  Kung tulad lang sana ng pagtanggal ng mga apps sa mobile phones ang pagtanggal sa feelings ginawa ko na… I couldn’t tell my sister earlier that when I saw him a few days ago everything went back to me.

 

With that fleeting moment when our eyes met, all the wonderful, bittersweet memories flooded my thoughts in a surge.  The questions left unanswered… all the confusion, pain and anger…  ‘yung pakiramdam na kung gaano niya kadaling naiwanan at binalewala ang lahat sa amin, ganoon naman katagal at kahirap para sa akin ang mag-move on…

 

“Stop it!  Stop it!” I poked myself angrily.  “Time to get ready!  Wala ka pang isusuot!”

 

Skimming through my wardrobe real quick, I grabbed the first pair of jeans and blouse my eyes had lain on.  And too bad, I couldn’t find those pair of shoes I’m looking for.

 

In five minutes flat I went out of my room and headed straight to the car.

 

“Ano ba ‘yung malaking box sa closet mo?” Mom inquired casually once I sat down.

 

Pasimple pa ‘to si Mommy, kunwari ‘di alam, I laughed inwardly.  “Old stuff, Mom.  Mga ilang buwan ko nang hindi nagagamit…”

 

“Eh, bakit ‘di mo pa ilagay sa bodega?  O kaya i-donate na natin.  Para may mailagay ka pa sa top shelf.  Ang laking bulk no’n doon,”

 

“S— Sige po,” I answered hesitantly.  I don’t know what’s the better option.  Sa totoo lang, nanghihinayang ako…

 

Half an hour later we arrived at the shoot’s venue.  Everyone’s getting ready when we arrived.  I went straight to the commercial’s production team and beamed upon seeing someone I didn’t expect to be there.

 

“Hey, Loveliest,” my dashing and ever-resolute suitor greeted me with a smile.  “Surprised?”

 

“What are you doing here?”

 

He shrugged.  “Just wanna watch you.  Okay lang ba?  Kung ayaw mo, wala ka namang magagawa.  I’m staying,”

 

I laughed aloud, walking closer to shoulder-slap him.  But he held my hand and took it to his lips, giving it a gentle kiss.

 

My heart raced.  The background fades into the set and all unnecessary thoughts left me in an instant.

 

~oOo~

 

 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.