Have you ever love a person and felt that he is everything that you need? A man of your dreams? A person who could complete you?

Yet….

Have you ever felt inadequate for that person?

Have you ever felt that you are not enough for him?

Have you ever felt unworthy of his love?

Have you ever felt so small compared to him?

Have you ever felt so irrelevant all your life because of him?

Have you ever felt that you have no choice but to give up on your love?

To give up on him?

You might say….

Been there, done that.

But how does it feel afterwards?

It sucks. Isn’t it?

What about if after running away you’ve crossed his path

What will you do? What will you say?

Will you run away again?

Characters: (in order of appearance and will be updated from time to time)
Emerald “Era” Cardenas
Jeannie “Jean” Spencer
David “Dave” Darling
Lorenzo “Enzo” Saavedra
Nicole “Nica” Johnson
Ronald “Ron” Broñola
Ellaine “Laine” Montealegro
Michael “Mike” Soriano
Yvonne Salazar
Chapter 1

2 years ++ later
London, Great Britain

Hey dear, I looked at the person talking. Look at this. There’s an auction of jewellery and look at what they’ve got? A diamond and emerald bracelet and guess how much is the initial bid. A fcking $750,000.00 Who else would buy that kind of jewellery?

I looked at the paper that person is holding. Sumikip bigla ang heart ko. That’s the bracelet Enzo gave me. I left it on his bed before I left. So he sold it. Maybe thats an heirloom and an antique and the gems cost that much. You know how much they treasure antiques nowadays. I gave back the paper and continued packing my clothes. It’s been 2 years. After I left Amsterdam, I went to Egypt, then Spain, US and Singapore. Yes I’m running away. I never stayed in one place for the fear that he might find me. But I got tired and settled here in London.

Yah! Like the one Rose i don’t know her family name throw in the middle of the ocean. If I were in her shoes I wouldn’t dare throw it. Oh! Would you like me to help you pack? By the way I forgot to introduce her. She’s Jeannie, a friend and we share the apartment. She’s nice and understanding. Just like Nica way back in the Philippines. I missed her and Ron. I miss the school, our friends. I miss my family, I miss my apartment, I miss….him. Until now, I haven’t moved on. Not even a bit. I still miss him. I know I’m pathetic. Leaving him and then missing him. How pathetic.

Nope. I bring only some of my clothes. I’ll not bring my other stuffs. You can have it.

Really? You’re not kidding? She really sound delighted of me leaving her almost everything.

Yeah! Yeah! Im sure. You can even have it auctioned or a garage sale perhaps? I smiled at her.

Are you kidding me? Garage sale for a channel bag, A louie vuitton purse? And she suddenly frowned I’m gonna miss you Era. Are you sure you wanted to go back to the Philippines? You seem fine here and besides…

Jean I wanted to spend time with my family. It’s time for me to go home. And she suddenly got teary eyed and hugged me. I hugged her back.

I really gonna miss you Era. Always open your skype, your ym and everything. Update me. I’ll get in touch with you whenever I can. And take good care of yourself. Don’t work too hard. Just take it easy. Take your vitamins regularly. Exercise. Eat a lot and be happy! Okay!

Jeannie.. you sound an awful lot like a search engine for healthy living. Once Jeannie starts talking she never stops.

Is that David coming with you? She asks me with a malicious tone in her voice.

He said he will. I started zipping my suitcase and re checking my bag for the documents I needed.

He better come with you if not…

If not what?

He’ll regret it. He’ll end up with me. And she laughed. Jeannie have a major crush on David. David is another friend of mine. You’ll met him soon.

Ding dong

I’ll get it. That must be my David love. Finished what you’re doing and don’t forget the things that I gave you. I’ll never forgive you if you’re going to forget all those.

But its heavy. I shouted after her while she’s running towards the door. She ignored me.

Hey David. And she give him a kiss in the cheek which made David blush. David will be the one to carry it. Aren’t you Dave?

Carry what? David asked puzzled.

The things I gave her. She doesn’t want to bring it. She pouted.

Don’t worry about it. And he winked at Jeannie which made Jeannie turn to crimson. By the way, before I forgot. He is David. My friend. One of the few people I met along the way when I’m just new here. David is half British, 1/4 Korean and 1/4 Filipino. His mother is Half Korean, half Filipino. So maybe that’s it. You’ll know about him more in the near future.

You’re ready now Babe? Babe, yeah! That’s what he calls me. Anyone who’ve heard and seen us might think that were together but were not. Really, we’re just friends. We can’t be together when all along I haven’t moved on from my past. I don’t want to use him.

Yeaaaahh, I guess? I smiled at him uncertainty is evident in my voice. Frankly, I’m quite nervous because I don’t know what awaits me.

He patted my shoulder. You can do it. You are brave. Jeannie, we better get going before someone here changes her mind. And he picked up my suitcase and loaded it in the car. Before I went out of the apartment I sighed deeply. Philippines, I’m coming home!

2
Ding dong!

Sino ba yung nagdodoorbel na ang aga aga nang iistorbo? It’s only 7AM at may jetlag pa ako. Andito na kami ngayon sa Philippines and I stayed at Laila’s condo. Buti na lang na assign siya sa states for 3 months kaya dito muna ako mag stay. Wala na kasi yung apartment ko. I sold it 2 years ago. Anyway, baka mainip na yung nagdodoorbell kaya I went out of my room and checked kung sino ang nambubulabog at this hour and wala nang iba kundi si David.

Good morning. He smiled at me pagkabukas ko ng pinto Oh! David pala is staying at the condo beside Laila’s condo. In short we’re neighbors now. Isn’t it great? I raised my eyebrow at him.

What are you doing here this early?

Well, Babe, Can I eat breakfast here? I don’t have anything to eat at my condo. Can you spare me some of your foods? Sabi niyang nagpapacute pa sa akin. How could you say no kung ganyan kagwapo ang bubulabog sa’yo sa umaga?

Sure no problem. Tapos pinapunta ko na siya sa dining. Dave, can you please put the foods in the microwave. Yun na lang kakainin natin. Di pa ako nakapagluto kakagising ko lang din eh. Feel at home.

Ok. And then dumiretso na ako sa room ko to fix myself. Naligo na din ako kasi nakakahiya na si David ay mabangong mabango na samantalang ako amoy bedsheet. Hehehe.

So what are your plans for today? He asked habang kumakain na kami.

I’m going to enroll. Late enrollee. I beamed at him. How about you?

I can accompany you to school and then I’ll go whereever you will go.

C’mon Dave, you’re not my guard. You don’t have to accompany me at school.

But I insist Babe.

No. Do whatever you’re supposed to do and stop babysitting me.

But you’re my baby.

Not today please…… I give him my puppy look.

Okay! Okay Fine!. I won’t accompany you but I’ll drive you there and I’ll fetch you when you’re done. I’m going to check the clinic. Did I mention that David is a doctor? Well, he is. So kumain na kami and then sabay na kaming umalis. And true enough hinatid niya ako sa STU kung saan ako mag eenroll. Hay naku, kung hindi ako pinilit ni Mom hindi talaga ako mag eenroll. I just don’t want to waste my time sa school.

Anyway nakarating na ako sa STU and I process my enrollment. Medyo tiring nga lang so pumunta ako sa cafeteria para kumain na din. It’s already 11Am so siguro tama na maglunch na ako. Tapos naman na akong magenroll. Some people are looking at me maybe because I’m a new face here or some may have recognize me kahit nakashades ako and my hair is auburn and its shorter.

I looked around STU. Same building, halos walang nagbago after 2 years. I recognized some of the faces but hindi ko sila kilala. How I wish that sana I have exerted some effort to get to know them. I miss this school. I felt a little thud sa heart ko while reminiscing the memories 2 years ago. This school have been a witness sa mga pinagdaanan ko. My first embarassment, my first kiss, my first love and my first heartbreak. Medyo nag init ang mata ko sa mga memories and I shoved it back. This is not the right time to be emotional.

Ringgggg….ringgggg

I took my phone and answered the call.

Hey Dave!

Babe, are you done? Susunduin na ba kita?

Yes I’m done. I’m currently eating. Nagutom ako eh. How about you? How was you clin……

I was shocked nung may binagsak na libro sa table where I’m eating.

Dave… just a sec.

I believe you’re sitting at my spot! The person said angrily. Nafeel ko ang biglang pagsikip ng dibdib ko at ang biglang pagbilis ng tibok ng puso ko. I slowly looked up at the person who spoke and I can’t believe at what I’m seeing.

Oh my Gahd! This can’t be happening!
3
Oh my God! Tell me this isn’t happening.

Tell me I’m just hallucinating and I’m just imagining things.

I can’t control my heartbeat. Every second that passed lalong bumibilis ang tibok nito. I looked at the guy who spoke. I looked at him and memorized his features. Mabuti na lang nakashade ako. Hindi niya nakikita ang mga mata ko. Hindi niya nakikita na may namumuo nang luha. Nakikilala pa kaya niya ako? I tried to calm myself just to lessen the palpitation of my heart. Baka kasi naririnig niya but to no avail. Ang bilis bilis pa din ng tibok ng puso ko. Hindi ako makapagsalita. I just looked at him. Really looked at him. He still have that captivating green eyes, that pink kissable lips, and matangos na ilong, the brown almost blond hair. He is still Enzo. The guy that I loved and minamahal ko hanggang ngayon. They guy who loved me unconditionally. Ang lalaking iniwan at sinaktan ko.

What now?

Ano ngayon ang gagawin ko?

Will I run away? Again?

Ano ang sasabihin ko?

This is all so sudden na hindi ko alam ang gagawin ko. I didn’t expect na andito pa rin siya sa school. Dapat nakagraduate na siya or better dapat doon na siya nagaral sa Amsterdan or anywhere in Europe. He should be ruling his country and not studying here in STU.

I took a deep breath twice and tried hard na alisin ang tingin ko sa kanya. This is stupid. Siguro hindi naman niya na ako nakilala. Maybe he had forgotten me. I focused my eyes on my plate. Anywhere but him. I fumbled for my bag and my envelope and stood up. Humawak pa ako sa table kasi feeling ko matutumba ako anytime. My knees wobbled. I can’t seem to steady myself. Nasosuffocate ako sa presence niya. He still have the same effect on me or mas lumala pa kasi I wanted so much to hug him. Or kahit hawakan man lang ang kamay niya, or sana makita ko man lang na ngumiti siya. For what Era?

What do you expect? Do you expect that he will welcome you with open arms sa pagbabalik mo? After mo siyang iwanan? After mo siyang saktan? Masyado ka naman atang assuming niyan?

Right! Dapat hindi na ako nageexpect ng mga ganyang bagay or better yet I shouldn’t feel this way. What I’m feeling right now and what I’m thinking right now are utterly stupid. I shouldn’t act this way.

I’m sorry. Was all I could say. I’m sorry. After everything I’m sorry. How pathetic of you Emerald Cardenas. Pathetic fool. I turned my back bago pa tumulo ang luha ko. I turned my back before I made a stupid mistake of hugging him. God, it hurts. It hurts so much seeing him after all these years. Seeing him and not doing anything.

I guess, he didn’t recognized me at all. Maybe he even have forgotten my face. I didn’t see any signs that he recognized me. Dapat ba akong magpasalamat na di niya ako nakilala? Pero bakit ako nasasaktan na di niya ako nakilala?

I took a step away from him. On my second step tumulo and luha ko. I was about to run when somebody stopped me by grabbing my arm. Hindi ako lumingon kasi alam ko kung sino yun.
Where do you think you’re going!? And my breathing stopped.

Four
Where do you think you’re going? And my breathing stopped.

Napatingin ako sa nagsalita. Nagkatitigan kami. Recognition is written all over his face. Nakilala niya ako. Even with the short dyed hair, and with the shades nakilala pa rin niya ako. Bakit ba kasi dito ako ulit nag enroll? But then sino ang mag aakala na andito pa siya? Matagal kaming nagkakatitigan. Walang gustong sumuko. Ako gusto kong titigan siya. I wanted to memorize his features, every line and every expression. Nagkatitigan kami hanggang sa ako ang sumuko. I tried na alisin ang kamay niya na nakahawak sa braso ko pero hindi niya ito binitiwan. Instead, he tightened his grip on my arms.

Running away again? He gritted his teeth.

Let me go! Pinipilit kong alisin ang hawak niya sa braso ko. Shoot! Magpapasa ito. And people are now staring at us. Making a scene is the last thing on my mind.

Never again! At lalo niyang hinigpitan ang hawak sa braso ko.

I gave him a stern look and tried hard to suppress my heartbeat na sobrang lakas at sobrang bilis. Then I look at him seriously. Mister, I don’t know you. You may have mistaken me for someone! Sana maniwala siya.

Try Again. And he dragged me out of the cafeteria papuntang parking.

Where are you taking me? Hindi siya sumagot. Hinahatak pa din niya ako. I tried not to be hysterical para hindi kami masyadong pansinin ng mga taong nadadaanan namin. Pero wala pa rin kasi mapapansin ka talaga pag si Enzo ang kasama mo.

I said where are you taking me? Can I panic now? Sabi nga ni Ron sa Harry Potter. Papasok na kasi kami sa parking at wala nang tao.

Nung nasa harap na kami ng isang Lambhorgini which I believe kotse niya. Enzo! I said, where are you taking me?

So kilala mo na ako ngayon? he said. Mockery in his tone. Yumuko ako. Oo nga naman napaka mapagkunwari ako. Bakit nga ba ako nagpretend na hindi ko siya kilala? In the first place pa lang alam ko na kahit nakatalikod ako kilala niya ako. The same sa akin na kahit di ko pa siya nakikita alam kong papalapit na siya kasi bumibilis ang tibok ng heart ko.

Get in. He said after niyang mabuksan ang passenger door.

Ayokong sumama sa’yo.

I SAID GET IN! He shouted. At napatalon ako sa pagsigaw niya. Sa totoo lang nanginginig ako. I am frightened sa gagawin niya sa akin. Ngayong nagkita na kami I don’t know kung ano ang gagawin niya. Only Enzo could frighten me like this.

At dahil wala na rin akong magawa pumasok na ako sa kotse niya. I remember those days na magkasama kami sa iisang kotse. I missed those days na nagdadrive lang kami kung saan saan not caring kung magkano man ang gas na magastos namin., kakain kami kung saan kami dadatnan ng gutom. Ngayon magkasama na naman kami sa iisang kotse but the circumstances of us being together is different. Way different from those sweet days na kami pa.

We went out of the parking and out of school. Pinaharurot niya ang kotse. Buti na lang nakasanayan ko na ang magseatbelt. Kasi kung hindi baka kanina pa ako nakasubsob sa dashboard ng kotse niya. Hindi kami nag uusap. Nagdadrive lang siya. I don’t want to ask him kung saan niya ako dadalhin. I just want to treasure this moment na magkasama kami. Treasure this moment and pretend na kami pa but this time hindi nga lang niya hinahawakan ang kamay ko. Hindi ko napigilan ang luha ko nung maalala ko ang dati. If only….I didn’t…If only he wasn’t a prince. I prevent myself from sobbing. Hinayaan ko lang na tumulo ang mga luha kO.

Tapos bigla siyang nagbrake. Muntik na talaga akong napasubsob. Salamat sa seatbelt.

What are those tears for? Tapos hinampas niya ang manibela.

After more than 2 years luha ang ihaharap mo sa akin Era? Hindi ako tumingin. [Stop acting! and stop that crap! You should congratulate yourself.You’ve succeeded, I’ve become your toy. Napaglaruan mo ako. Are you happy now?

I didn’t answer simply because I don’t know what to say. Am I happy now?

Why did you return? Wala ka nang mapaglaruan sa lugar na pinanggalingan mo? What do you want now? The B!tch isn’t contented with the pain you’ve brought me, you wanted to do it all over again?

Hinawakan niya ang dalawa kong shoulder and shook me.

Ano ba! Nasasaktan ako.

Nasasaktan ka ngayon? Bakit ako ba hindi mo sinaktan? You don’t know what you’ve done Era! Mas matindi pa sa sakit na nararamdaman mo ngayon ang ginawa mo sa akin! Ngayon masaya ka na b!tch?

Slap!

Oo sinampal ko siya. Just to shut him up.

Bakit Enzo, Sa tingin mo ikaw lang ang nasaktan? Sa tingin mo gusto ko ang ginawa ko? I was crying now. Wala na akong pakialam kung nakikita niya na umiiyak ako. I just want na ilabas ang nararamdaman ko na tinago ko for more than 2 years. Do you think I’m happy with what I’ve done?

I can’t see any reason bakit hindi ka maging masaya Era. You’ve succeeded in your project B!tch Extraordinaire. And he smirked. Was it fun playing with the Prince Era? Papalapit siya sa akin. I can see mockery in his eyes. Was it fun dethroning me? I gasped sa sinabi niya. So he’d read my blog. I now regret bakit hindi ko dinelete yun. I was about to say something nung bigla niya akong kinabig and kissed me. All my protest was lost. How I miss his kisses, his hugs, and everything in him. I am starting to get lost again. I am again drowning and it’s as if those 2 years were irrelevant. Ang importante lang ay ang ngayon. I am now kissing him back. To hell with all his questions, with all the misunderstanding. The important thing is magkasama kami ngayon. I put my arms around his neck urging him to go deeper with his kisses. I was so lost nang bigla siyang tumigil sa paghalik sa akin. Then he looked into my eyes.

My kisses still have the same effect on you Era and I must admit masarap ka pa rin. And he smirked.But too bad, I wouldn’t fall on your tricks again B!tch!

With that, natauhan ako. I pushed him away and slapped him.

Yes, PRINCE ENZO, I tried to stop the tears from falling. I cannot afford to let him see it. At least I can save a little of my pride. I believe your smarter now para magfall sa mga tricks ko. You wouldn’t be a prince for nothing right? You’re smarter now and more cunning. But at least leave a little space for gratitude. His brows furrowed. A little gratitude for the b!tch who’ve sacrificed her love and her future for your crown, you @sshole! And I went out of his car and slammed the door.
Five
Pagkalabas ko ng kotse ni Enzo tumakbo ako kung saan saan hanggang sa nakarating ako sa may maliit na park. Umiyak ako ng umiyak hanggang sa wala na akong maiyak. Siguro akala ng iba nasisiraan na ako ng ulo dahil sa ginagawa ko. Maya maya I heard my phone ringing.

Dave Darling calling…

I cleared my throat before I answer his call baka kasi mahalata niya na umiyak ako.

Hello..

Babe, what happened? Susunduin na ba kita sa school? Naputol pala kanina usapan namin.

Ahmm Dave, wala na ako sa school nasa park ako. Uuwi na lang ako mag isa. Then I checked for my bags pero hindi ko dala. Shoot! Naiwan ko sa kotse ni Enzo. I changed my mind. Pwede mo bang akong sunduin dito? I then give him the name of the park. After ilang minutes dumating na si Dave.

Babe what are you doing in the park? He asked habang nagdadrive papuntang condo.

Namasyal lang.

Wow! Ang init namamasyal ka pa huh. You should have told me na mamasyal ka at nasamahan kita.

Really Dave you don’t have to accompany me most of the time. Nakakahiya na sa’yo…

Babe, he said with so much tenderness in his voice na lalo akong naguilty. Really, I don’t consider you a burden. Considering what you’ve done to me, what I’m doing right now is nothing. Kahit pagsilbihan pa kita buong buhay ko hindi pa rin yun makakapantay sa ginawa mo sa akin.

Dave, I am not asking for a repayment sa ginawa ko before. I did that kasi yun ang tama. And guess what? I believe hindi mo magagawang pagsilbihan ako buong buhay mo. And I smiled at him sheepishly.

Shut up!

Wag naman pikon. Hahaha. Siguro nagtataka na kayo kung ano ang ginawa ko at bakit ganun tumingin ng utang na loob itong si Dave. Well, kasi nung bago lang ako sa London nakita ko siya sa may isang alley dun tapos he was being bullied by 5 men. Binubugbog siya. At siempre dahil concerned citizen ako tinulungan ko siya. And since then hindi na ako hiniwalayan ng mokong.

Pagdating namin sa condo inayos na namin ang food binili namin.

Babe! Napatigil ako sa paglagay ng food sa table when Dave called me.

I raised my eyebrow at him. What?

What’s that? He came nearer, took the food from me, put it on the table and took my arm.

He then traced the now blue-violet patch on my arm. The one Enzo’s holding when he dragged me.

Oh that! It’s nothing. I just bumped someone on the park a while ago. You knew how easily I bruised. I gently pulled my arm but he refused to let it go. He examined it thoroughly.

Looks like a hand to me. Who did that to you? I rolled my eyes. That’s the problem of having a doctor for a friend.

C’mon Dave! It’s nothing. I smiled at him.

I am not asking if it’s nothing or it’s something Emerald. I’m asking who did that to you. And now he’s seriously mad. He’s really mad when he calls me by my name.

Dave.. just forget it. It’s nothing. Sumigaw na rin ako. I….I deserve it ok? So just shut it.

You deserve it? Don’t tell me you came back here to be bullied. Who did that to you and I’m gonna kick his dumb ass.

Dave… stay out of it. I said clamly. This is nothing. Compared to what I did to him, this is nothing. Yumuko ako pagkasabi ko nun. Ayokong humarap kay Dave. Ayaw kong makita niya ang sakit na nararamdaman ko.

Babe, hindi kita pipilitin sabihin sa akin kung sino man siya for I believe in time makikilala ko din siya. But whatever is it, andito lang ako for you. Wag na wag ko lang ulit makita or marinig na sinaktan ka niya kasi ako na talaga makakalaban niya.

Thanks so much Dave. Thanks for being here. And I hug him.
Six

The next day, hinatid ako ni Dave sa school. Umaga ako umalis kasi nga hahanapin ko si Enzo to get my things. Nasa kanya ang bag ko at ang schedules ko. Pero naikot ko na ata ang buong campus wala akong may nakitang Enzo. Napaupo na lang ako sa bleachers kasi napapagod na ako. After mga 5 minutes tumayo ulit ako para hanapin si Enzo. Iisang lugar na lang ang hindi ko napuntahan. Ang garden.

Pagkapasok ko sa garden I saw Enzo. Enzo making out with another girl. I closed my eyes para hindi makita ang mga bagay na iyon. Parang tinusok ng maraming aspili ang puso ko. Masakit pala makitang may kasama siyang iba. Masakit pala makitang iba ang kahalikan niya. Masakit pala talaga.

Hindi ko napigilan ang mga luha ko sa pagpatak. I turned my back on them. Ayokong masaksihan ang mga pangyayari. Ayoko nang masaktan. Ayoko nang umiyak. Napapagod na ako.

Babe! I looked up to see Dave holding a piece of paper. Lumapit siya sa akin then wipe away my tears. Tapos he smiled at me. Kinuha na kita ng schedule mo for today sa registrar. Ito oh. Then he handed me the piece of paper he is holding.

What are you doing here? Bakit andito si Dave?

Di ba nakwento mo sa akin kagabi na naiwan mo ang gamit mo pati schedules mo? So hiningan na lang kita sa registrar and then I got interested sa isang course dito kaya nagenroll na din ako. Nakwento ko na din pala kay Dave regarding kay Enzo. And he winked at me tapos inakbayan ako.

Tumingin ako sa place kung saan sila Enzo. And I saw them looking at us. Yung girl mukhang nabitin pa at di man lang sinuklay ang nagusot na buhok while si Enzo mukhang galit na ewan. Siguro nabitin din sa pang iistorbo namin.

Tumingin si Dave kung saan ako nakatingin. We’re really sorry kung naistorbo namin kayo pare. Babe tara na. Hatid na kita sa room mo. Mamaya mo na kunin ang mga naiwan mong gamit sa naiwanan mo. And he guided me out of the garden. But before kami makalabas…

Meet me at the parking at 4pm ibibigay ko sa’yo ang mga gamit mo. And he stormed out of the garden. Leaving me, Dave and the girl na magulo pa rin ang buhok.

4PM

Dali dali akong lumabas ng room at pumunta sa parking lot. I don’t want to keep him waiting. And besides gusto ko rin siyang kausapin. I wanted to settle everything. Ayokong ganito na lang kami. I couldn’t stand it.

I saw him na nakasandal sa kotse niya pagdating ko. Nung malapit na ako nagkatinginan lang kami. Again I felt the urge na mayakap siya but I restrain myself. Hindi na pwede. Iba na ang sitwasyon ngayon.

Here. He handed me my things. I took it and nagkadikit ang kamay namin. Parang may kuryenteng dumaloy nung mag touch ang kamay namin.

What are you waiting for? You already have your things. Baka hinihintay ka na ng babe mo! He emphasized the word Babe.

I …. I…wanted to talk with you. I stammered. Bakit ganun? Bakit kinakabahan pa din ako pag nagkaharap kami? Ganun ba ako kaguilty?

About what?

Sa lahat lahat.

Get in. And binuksan niya ang passenger door.

Tahimik lang kami habang nagdadrive siya. Si Dave kanina pa tumatawag pero hindi ko sinasagot. Buti na lang nakasilent ang phone ko.

Ano ang gusto mong pag usapan natin? He ask coldly. Sobrang lamig that sent shivers throught my spine.

Ang pag alis ko sa Amsterdam. Then yumuko ako. Ayokong tingnan siya. Hindi ko kakayanin.

Alam ko ang nangyari Era. After you left, hinanap kita and I found out about you talking with Bonns and Clayton. And you’re right. Maybe I should leave a little space for gratitude. Thank you for the crown. Thank you for pre empting my decision. Sarcasm is very evident in his tone. Hindi ako makapagsalita. Ano ang sasabihin ko?

I’m sorry.

Sorry. He said sarcastically. But anyway, that’s not the issue. The issue is, you didn’t keep your promise. But even that, is not relevant anymore. I don’t even care na bumalik ka pa. I don’t give a damn. Whatever is your reason for returning is none of my business.

I also would like to apologize for dragging and hurting you yesterday. I shouldn’t have acted like that.
Silence.

Followed by another silence.

Ang lamig. Ang lamig ng pakikitungo niya sa akin. It’s as if he’s talking to his subordinates. Parang hindi kami magkakilala. Mabuti pa yung ginawa niya kahapon at least nakakita ako ng emosyon. Pero ngayon? Wala. He didn’t show any emotion. Boredom. Nabobored siyang kasama ako. Masakit pala pag indifference ang ipapakita sayo ng taong mahal mo. Mabuti pang saktan ka niya o pagmumurahin ka niya. Mas mabuti pa yun kaysa sa tratuhin ka niyang parang hindi nageexist.

Enzo,….. I…I.. wanted to say sorry sa ginawa ko. Nabasag ang boses ko. Bumalik ako para humingi ng tawad sa’yo. I wanted you to forgive me I am so sorry… And tumulo ang luha ko. Nagpapakahina na naman ako. Nagpapakahina na naman ako sa harap niya.

I’m sorrry. Please sana mapatawad mo ako kung nasaktan man kita before. Promise..

You’re forgiven. And he hit the brake. He said without emotion. As cold as ice. Napatingin ako sa kanya. He’s not looking at me. Then I realized na andito na pala kami sa condo namin. Hinatid niya ako without me noticing it. He then unlocked the door. A signal na lumabas na ako. I gathered my things and opened the passenger door. The moment na nakalabas ako ng kotse niya, pinaharurot niya ang car.

Ako, I am left at the lobby crying and……. broken.
Seven

You know what? The idea of me studying is a total waste of time and utterly nonsense. I said to Dave while I am pacing back and forth sa living room ng condo. He is sitting at the sofa while munching Nagaraya and watching Discovery Channel. 1 week ago na yung nangyaring “paghatid” sa akin ni Enzo.

Uhuh. He nodded. At last! Thank God! May pumanig din sa akin na hindi talaga ako dapat nag aaral. You know what? This is really good huh.

Yes, It is really a good idea. You agree with me right? So I should drop all my subjects now? I looked at him, waiting for his confirmation.

Where did you buy these stuffs?

What stuff?

These. And he showed me an empty plastic of nagaraya. This is really good. And he opened another plastic.

You’re not listening to me all along? I shouted at him.
What were you saying a while ago? He asked innocently.

Grrrrr………………You’re impossible David!

But Seriously Babe, you should ask your Mom regarding that. Aba at nakikinig naman pala. Nagkukunyari lang na hindi.

You know what David? You’ve got a point. And hinatak ko siya palabas ng condo.

Wait! Where are we going? Sabi pa niya while trying to grab some more bags of Nagaraya. Adik! Adik sa nagaraya.

We are going to our house and we are telling Mom that I’m quitting school.

Why we?

Because it’s your brilliant idea. C’mon Dave! At todo hatak na talaga ako sa kanya.

Ok. Ok. You don’t have to drag me. For goodness sake Emerald. At ayun nga pumunta kami sa parking at pinagdrive niya ako papunta sa house namin. Kainis kasi pag wala nang kotse. Binenta na kasi ang dati kong kotse. Haysss..

Nang makarating kami sa bahay buti naman andun ang mga tao. Kompleto kasi ang mga kotse Siyempre wala si Laila kasi nga nasa abroad.

Mom!!!! Dad!yuhoooo! I’m here. Sigaw ko pa nung nasa living room na kami.

Hey you don’t have to shout. Saway sa akin ni Dave.

Sisigaw ako kung kelan ko gusto pamamahay namin to. I smiled sheepishly but then nawala ang ngiti ko nung may maalala ako. Deja vu. Yun din ang sinabi ni Enzo nung dinala ko siya dito sa bahay.

Lumabas na sila Mom and Dad at sabay din lumabas si Mark. As usual nagbeso beso lang and I introduce Dave sa kanila. Ok naman sa kanila si Dave pero iba pa din ang level ng pagtanggap nila kay Enzo. Damn! Bakit ko ba kinocompare si Dave kay Enzo?

Mom maliligo muna ako huh. Ang init eh. Dave feel at home. Saglit lang ako. At iniwan ko na sila sa living room. After mga 30 minutes nakabihis na ako kaya bumaba na ako ng room ko. Nakita ko sila sa dining room at hinihintay na lang ako para kumain.

Habang kumakain nafefeel ko ang ibang atmosphere. Kakaiba talaga kasi walang nagsasalita. Bakit naman ang tahi tahimik niyo? Mark cleared his throat.

Wala Honey, may dumaan lang na angel. Ito kain ka pa and nilagyan niya ako ng vegetable sa plate ko. Napaka unusual naman ata yun.

Mom, I have something to tell you. Napatingin si Mommy sa akin. Bakit namumula ang mata niya. Nakadrugs ba si Mommy?

Ano yun anak? Anything you wanted?

Mom, I’m quitting school. Alam mo naman na ayaw ko talaga mag aral. And besides nakapagtapos na ako sa London….

It’s ok baby, if that’s what you want. If yun ang makakapagpasaya sa’yo. Gawin mo kung ano ang makakapagpasaya sa’yo.. and then humagulgol na si Mommy. As in humagulgol na humagulgol. Tapos nakita ko si Mark nagpapahid ng luha. Si Daddy naman namumula na din ang mata at pinuntahan si Mommy at niyakap. What’s happening. Pambihira. Sa harap ng pagkain nag iiyakan. Napakaweird ng ginagawa nila. And then tumayo si Mommy at pumunta sa side ko at hinug ako ng sobrang higpit.

Era……..tapos humagulgol ulit siya. Napaiyak na lang ako sa nangyayari at tumingin ako kay Dave na napayuko nung magtagpo ang aming paningin. .

Eight

“A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked.” — Bernard Meltzer.

2 days. It’s been 2 days since huli kaming nag usap ni Dave. Hindi ko siya kinakausap. Nababadtrip ako sa kanya. Kung bakit ako nababadtrip sa kanya malalaman niyo din. And since hindi na ako pumapasok 2 days na din akong bored. Namimiss ko din kahit papaano si Dave. Nakakamiss ang pangungulit niya pero still badtrip pa rin ako sa kanya.

Ding dong.

For sure si Dave na naman yun para suyuin ako. Kelan ba yun titigil? Nagdabog ako papuntang door at binuksan. Siguro it’s time na para makatikim ang lalaking ito.

Hindi mo ba talaga ako titigi…………Woah! I blinked one, twice and thrice and before I could utter a word.
Errrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Welcome back!!!!!!!!!! And I was suddenly wrapped by 4 bodies. Guess niyo kung sino? Sino pa ba? Walang iba kundi sila Nica, Ron, Mike at Ellaine. Grabe nakakasuffocate.

Teka! Teka.. I. can’t.breath. At binitiwan nila ako.

Weeeee…. We miss you so much. Grabe! At hinug ako ulit ni Nica.

Maupo nga muna kayong apat. Teka paano niyo nalaman na bumalik ako? Napaupo silang apat sa sofa at nagkatinginan ng matagal.

Ang tanong ay, bakit di mo kami sinabihan na andito ka na pala. Sabat ni Ron.

Kasi di ko na kayo macontact. Totoo yun. Nag iba na kasi ako ng number. Alam niyo na may tinakasan. Nagtaas sila ng kilay na apat. Teka pero sagutin niyo nga muna ang tanong ko. Paano niyo nalaman na andito na ako sa Philippines at dito ako nakatira? Nagkatinginan ulit silang apat. Something is fishy.

Well….

Ahmmmm… Nangingiti si Mike.

Enzo told us that you’ve returned. Ellaine blurted out. Nanlaki naman ang mata ko sa sinabi niya. Sinabi sa kanila ni Enzo? Si Enzo ang nagsabi sa kanila? Binaliktad ko lang ano?

Sinabi niya sa inyo? Nanlalaki ang mata ko.

Yap! Nakita ka kasi niya sa STU. Buti na lang nagmasteral siya dun. Kung hindi, eh di di namin malalaman na andito ka na. Bruha ka!

Easy baby, Ingatan mo ang baby natin. Alo ni Nica kay Ron. Di pa rin sila nagbabago. Nakakatuwa.

Oo nga naman Era.. Buti na lang sinabi sa amin ni Enzo. Kung hindi sana namiss mo ang kasal namin ni Laine.

Kasal niyo ni Laine? Si Laine naman nagblush. Ikakasal na kayo?

Ay hindi sila ikakasal. Kami ni Mike ang ikakasal. Sabay hawak sa braso ni Mike.

Hoy haliparot! Halika dito. Sabay hila ni Nica kay Ron. Grabe ang kukulit pa din nila.

Oo Era, ikakasal na kami ni Mike and better pack your things now kasi isasama ka namin.

Isasama niyo ako? Saan? Ang dami namang surprises ngayong araw.

Kasi bongga ang dalawang to. Sa isang beach resort sila ikakasal kaya pupunta na tayo dun kasi dun din iheheld ang bridal shower and stag party. 1 week tayo dun kaya mag pack ka na.

Sabay hila ni Nica sa akin papuntang room ko. Teka teka wala pa akong regalo sa kanila.

Wala nang regaregalo. I cash mo na lang. hahaha.

At talagang dinala na niya ako sa room ko para mag impake.
Nine

“Love sees sharply, hatred sees even more sharp, but Jealousy sees the sharpest for it is love and hate at the same time”

Sino pa ang hinihintay natin? Di rin naman ako excited ano? Nandito na pala kami ngayon sa coaster na magdadala sa amin papuntang beach resort kung saan ikakasal sila Mike and Ellaine. Parang kailan lang. Dati napapansin ko lang ang tinginan nila Mike and Ellaine , ngayon after 2 years magpapakasal na sila. How time flies so fast.

May isa pang sasama eh. Yung pinsan ni Mike. Ellaine declares. After how many minutes of waiting..

Sorry I’m late. Sabi ng hinihingal pang lalaki.

Sasama ka? Sabay pa talaga kami.

Magkakilala kayo?

Hindi

Oo

Ano ba talaga? Deadma lang ako. Tapos inirapan ko si David. Bakit kasama siya? Siya ba yung pinsan ni Mike? Ugh! Kung sino pa talaga ang iniwasan mo siya pa yung makakasama mo. Naman!
We know each other. We’re neighbors. Sabi pa niya at nilagay yung gamit niya sa likod tapos talagang tumabi pa sa akin. Siempre kasi ako na lang ang walang katabi.
Ahhhh..Sabay nilang apat.

Mabuti naman pala at kilala na natin ang isa’t isa. There’s no need for an introduction. So let’s go na? At ayun nga umalis na kami pero ako deadma pa rin sa katabi ko.

Babe naman! Patawarin mo na ako. 2 araw mo na akong di pinapansin. Maawa ka naman na sa akin. Biglang bulalas ni Dave. Napatingin tuloy yung apat sa amin.

Babe?

They’re close?

They’re more than neighbors?

May something sila? LQ?

Oh my gosh!! Tapos nagchorus pa silang apat.

Shut up! Naririnig ko kayo? Grrrr…
Soooooooo……she is still the same irate and b!thcy Era. May loveteam na. Sabi ni Nica na parang kinikilig pa.
Paano na si Papa Enzo?

Pak! Binatukan ni Mike si Ron.

Bakit ba? Sabi ni Ron na kinamot yung binatukan ni Mike.

Wag ka ngang madaldal!

Bakit ba? Nagbovoice out lang naman ako ng mga hinanaing ng mga readers dito. Kaw talaga KJ. Kung di lang kita love. Tapos inirapan ni Ron si Mike. Hahaha.

Heh! Nagkatinginan lang kami ni Ellaine sa ginagawa ng dalawa.
Nica oh, inaaway ako ni Mike.

Mike tigilan mo nga yang mahal ko.

Isa ka pa! Maiinlove ka na nga lang sa bading pa. walang tomboy sa pamilya natin Nicole.

Paki mo ba? Walang basagan ng trip. Wahahaha.

Naiimagine niyo na siguro kung gaano kagulo ang biyahe namin papuntang resort di ba? Medyo nga sumakit ang ulo ko sa gulo ng byahe namin. Pero yung katabi ko deadma ko talaga. Bahala siya sa buhay niya kung ma OP man siya. Paki ko ba?

After ng maingay at mahabng byahe nakaratign din kami sa beach resort. Napagod ako sa byahe. Kakapagod maupo. Grabe!!

Here we are! Deklara ni Ellaine.

Pagkababa namin sinalubong kami ni Enzo and beside him is the girl he’s kissing nung sa garden. Nagkatinginan kami pero nauna kong binawi ang tingin ko sa kanya. And then nakita ko ang girl na tumingin sa akin na nakataas ang kilay. Tinaasan ko nga din ng kilay. Bakit siya lang ba ang may kilay?

Kinuha na namin ang mga gamit namin sa likod ng coaster. The problem is madami pala akong dalang gamit kaya nahirapan akong ibaba yun.

Ako na.And then kinuha ni David ang suitcase ko. Suitcase talaga. I don’t know kung bakit ganun kadaming damit ang nilagay ni Nica. Mukhang isang taon yun. So hinayaan ko na lang si Davuid na dalhin ang suitcase ko. Akala niya siguro papansinin ko na siya dahil siya ang nagdala ng gamit ko. No way!

After namin magsettle sa mga rooms namin Nagpahinga muna ako. Ginising na lang ako ni Nica nung magdidinner na.

Ano ka ba Era! Tulog ka ng tulog. Reklamo pa niya habang pababa kami ng elevator. Share kasi kami ng room ni Nica. Si Ron at si David (hahaahaha), Si Mike at Ellaine (wag na magreklamo) at si Enzo at Yvonne (hmp. yun ang name ng malanding girl and yes magkasama sila sa room. Ayaw ko man may magagawa ba ako?)

Pagbaba namin naghihintay na silang lahat sa isang table sa resto ng hotel.
Hay naku. Palibhasa yung iba didn’t even consider yung mga kasamahan nila. Tulog pa din ng tulog samantalang yung iba eh nangingisay na sa gutom. How insensitive. Aba pinaparinggan ba ako ng babaeng to? Tumaas ang kilay ko, tumaas ang dugo ko at gusto kong ihampas ang buong mesa sa pagmumukha ni Yvonne. I was about to say something nung magsalita si Ron.

Yvonne, if you’re hungry bakit di ka na naunang kumain. Ayan na ang pagkain oh nasa harap mo na. Kung nangingisay ka na pala dyan sana lumamon ka na. Wala naman pumipigil sa’yo. Wag kang magparinig. Wag mo ipatikim sa amin ang katarayan mo dahil hindi mo pa kami kilala. Yan yan ang sinabi ni Ron. Aba natatouch naman ako sa ginawa ni Ron.

You’re right Ron. And besides sampid ka lang. Di nga nagrereklamo sina Mike at Laine na sila ang host dito ikaw pa na sampid. Kapal naman ng mukha mo! Dagdag pa ni Nica. Natatouch naman ako sa katarayn ng dalawang to.

Guys, that’s enough. Saway ko kay Ron and Nica. Ayaw ko nang dumagdag baka umiyak pa siya. Tapos umupo na kami ni Nica. Eight seater yung table so ganito yung arrangement. Ellaine-Mike-Nica-Ron sa kabila naman Yvonne-Enzo-Me-Dave. Yes magkatabi kami ni Enzo. Ewan ko kong bakit nagkaganun.

Ano ba naman kayo. Sa harap ng pagkain umaaway. Let’s eat na. Sabi ni Ellaine. Hay si Ellaine di na nagbago. Kahit kelan ang bait bait.
Oi Era, kumain ka ng madami. Ang payat payat mo. Indi cool ang pangmodel na katawan. Mas gusto pa din ng mga lalaki ang malaman. Di ba baby Ron? Tapos humagikgik siya.

Yes Tita Nica. Tapos tawanan na. Ay kami lang pala tumatawa si Yvonne at si Enzo hindi. Bahala sila sa buhay nila. Kukuha sana ako ng shrimp nung sabay din kumuha si Enzo. Nagkadikit na naman ang mga kamay namin and as usual parang may kuryente na naman.

Ako na. Tapos nilagyan niya ako ng 3 shrimp sa plate ko. Take note, 3 yun. Tatlo as in three. Nakatulala lang ako. Speechless kumbaga.

Enzo, can you please pakibalatan nitong shrimp ko. It’s so hard to eat with all these balat and all. Sabi ni Yvonne na boses pusa pa. Ay takte. Ang arte. Ito namang si Enzo binalatan nga ang shrimp. Uto uto ba siya? Nakakagigil na.

Maya maya may humawak sa isa kong kamay and loosen my grip sa tinidor. Hindi ko napansin na sobrang higpit na pala ng hawak ko sa tinidor. Yung hawak na parang hawak sa kutsilyo pag may sasaksakin. Yun yun. Kasi at that time gusto kong manaksak ng tao. Nakakinis na. Nagseselos ba ako? Oo nagseselos ako.

Tiningnan ko si Dave na may hawak sa kamay ko. He smiled at me.
Enzo where are you going? Nakita ko na lang na nakatayo si Enzo
Tapos na akong kumain. Excuse me. Tapos inusog niya ang chair niya.

But you haven’t even finished yung pagkain sa plate mo? Enzoooo…….!!!!!maarte pa niyang hinabol ng tawag si Enzo pero hindi niya pinansinm si Yvonne at umalis na sa table namin.

Ten

After namin kumain, Naglakad lakad muna ako sa seashore. Kukunti lang ang tao ngayon sa resort palibhasa hindi naman summer. May mangilan ngilan na nagsuswimming. Sa may di kalayuan nakita ko sila Nica, Ron, Ellaine and Mike na naghahabulan. Napagtripan kasi nilang mag night swimming. It’s only 7Pm at wala pa akong ganang matulog. Umupo ako sa may bato to watch them. Kumaway sila sa akin at I waved back at them. I might say na it’s nice to be back. Masaya sila and I’m happy for them. Having them as friends ay isa sa pinakamagandang regalong binigay sa akin. I smiled at the thought. Paano kung hindi naging kami ni Enzo? Maybe kung friends lang kami masaya pa din kami ngayon. Siguro nagwewave na din siya sa akin asking me to swim with them. But no, I cannot trade the times that were together for friendship. What we had were the best times of my life and I cannot trade anything for it. Kahit na we’re not in good terms sa isa’t isa ngayon, I am still thankful na naging bahagi siya ng buhay ko.

You’re Era right? My thoughts were interrupted by Yvonne. What does she want now? I looked at her na nakatayo sa gilid ko at nakapamewang.

I’m glad you managed to remember my name Yvonne. I said colly giving emphasis on her name.

Well, you’re not that important naman for me to remember your name. Ang sabihin mo hindi lang ma digest ng kamunggo mong utak ang pangalan ko.

So, what brought you here? What do you want from an unimportaint being like me? Siguro naman nasesense na niya ang sarcasm sa boses ko ano?

I just want to tell you to stop flirting with Enzo. Kung ayaw mong makalaban ako you better back off. Wwwoooaaahhhhh! Nakakatakot naman siya.

Okay. Give me a valid reason for me to heed your warning. Kung kaya ng brain mong magprocess ng isang valid reason that is.

Huh!? She asked surprise. Ok baka di siya nagulat baka nahirapan lang talaga siyang mag isip. Hahaha. Pero sa totoo lang malapit na akong mapuno sa babaing to.

Bigyan mo ako ng isang kapanipaniwalang rason para sundin kita. Ayan tinagalog ko na ha.

Because Enzo IS my bf. And besides you have a boyfriend. Bakit ka pa nakikipaglandian sa ibang lalaki? Hindi ka ba kuntento sa bf mo? Ok that’s it. Sumusobra na ang babaing to.

Yvonne, I said trying to calm myself. In the first place, hindi ako nakikipaglandian kay Enzo at hinding hindi ko aagawin sayo si Enzo. I’m just wondering why you have to warn me about flirting with him. Are you that insecure na takot kang maagaw ng ibang babae ang bf mo?

Me? Insecure? Bakit ako magiging insecure sa’yo? Tapos niliyad pa niya ang dibdib niya na wala namang laman.

Well, dahil siguro di hamak na mas maganda ako sa’yo. Compared to me, parang split ends ka lang sa buhok ko. Oh wait, let me rephrase that, mas kaaya aya pang tingnan ang split ends ko sa’yo. At least ang split ends ko hindi na kelangan ng make up sa gabi para itago ang imperfection sa mukha. Hinahamon ng babaing ito ang katarayan ko. I heard somebody chuckled and I saw Nica, Ron, Ellaine ,Mike and Dave watching us. Kanina pa ba sila nakikinig. Nakita ko na ang laki ng ngiti nilang apat. Si Dave mukhang naamuse.

Aba aba. How dare you say that. Akala mo kung sino kang maganda.

Aba kumpara naman sa’yo Yvonne? Talagang oo. Then I heard someone giggle. It might be Nica or Ron.

Then I heard someone whisper. Yaan mo siya David. Just watch, learn and enjoy.

Maganda ka naman pala eh. Then find someone na lalandiin mo. Wag si Enzo ko. Wag kang mang agaw ng bf ng iba.

Enzo mo? Bakit pag aari mo ba siya? Kelan pa? Nabili mo na? And to make things clear sa’yo Yvonne. I said with emphasis sa lahat ng word. Baka kasi di niya magets kung walang emphasis. Hinding hindi ko aagawin si Enzo sayo. On second thought, bakit ko aagawin ang isang tao kung simula’t simula pa lang alam kong akin na? At nanlaki ang mata niya sa sinabi ko. And a piece of advice, please don’t assume possession sa isang tao kung ikaw mismo sa sarili mo di ka sure na sa’yo nga siya Yvonne. Mapapahiya ka lang. Katulad ng nangyayari ngayon. I stood up and was about to leave them nung may humawak sa braso ko.

Wag mo akong tatalikuran when I’m not yet through, slut! She was about to slap me nung mahawakan ko ang kamay niya and twist it.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh.. Napasigaw siya sa sakit at napaluhod.. Gahd! Ang tagal ko nang hindi nagagamit ang mga natutunan ko. Stop it! Stop it! Ang sakiiiiitttt.. Ahhhhhhh..

Alam mo Yvonne, walang naglakas loob na sampalin ako. Ang hindi ikaw ang unang taong makakasampal sa akin. Get it!? I shouted at her. Namimilipit pa din siya sa sakit. I said naiintindihan mo ako?!

Ok I get it! Just let go of my arm. Wag mo baliin for God’s sake. She shouted dahil sa sakit.

At sa susunod don’t you dare mess with me. Wag kang magtapang tapangan sa harap ko. And I don’t want to see your face again dahil pagnakita pa kita bukas babaliin ko na lahat ng buto mo sa katawan. Naiintindihan mo? Hindi siya sumagot. She’s crying now. I said, naiintindihan mo? I shouted at her.

Oo naiintindihan ko. I let go of her arm and was about to kick her nung nagbago ang isip ko. Instead I kicked the sand at tumama sa mukha niya. Alam ko napuwing siya but the hell I care. Nanginginig ako ngayon sa galit. I never thought na gagawin ko ang mga bagay na to dahil sa isang lalakii. I never thought na makikipag away ako sa ibang babae ng dahil kay Enzo. Pwede naman akong umuo sa mga sinabi ni Yvonne para wala nang gulo pero selfishness took over me. Nagpakaselfish ako kasi deep inside me couldn’t accept the fact that someone owned Enzo. I feel ashamed sa ginawa ko afterwards. But then mali ba na ipagtanggol ko ang sarili ko?

And so I thought that you’ve changed. Hindi pala. You’re still the Era na hindi papatalo, hindi papalamang, the selfish Era, the B!tch Era. I stopped from walking and there I saw Enzo. Enzo helping Yvonne na tumayo. Si Enzo na pinupunasan si Yvonne from the sand na sinipa ko. Si Enzo who cared for somebody except me. You should have fight fairly kasi alam mo ang capabilities mo. Alam mo naman na walang laban si Yvonne sa’yo but still sinaktan mo siya.

[b]Teka nga Enzo, si Yvonne ang pumunta kay Era para mang-away, so hindi pwedeng magpasampal lang si Era kay Yvonne. [/b] Pagtatanggol ni Ron sa akin.

Shut up Ron! Stay out of this. Wala kang pakialam dito. He snapped at Ron.

May pakialam ako kasi kaibigan ko ang sinisigawan mo! Ron shouted back at Enzo.

Kung totoong kaibigan ka niya dapat pinigilan mo siya. Ano ang ginawa mo/niyo? You’re smiling while she’s hurting Yvonne. Dahil ba kaibigan mo siya at hindi niyo kaibigan si Yvonne kaya hinayaan niyo mangyari ang ganun? Anong klase kang kaibigan. You tolerated her. Palibhasa yang kabaklaan mo ang pina iiral mo! He is now facing Ron.Wala kang kwentang kaibigan kung ganun pag uugali mo….[/color]

Kung galit ka sa akin wag mo ibunton kay Ron Lorenzo! I shouted at him. Sumusobra na siya. Hindi pa ba sapat na sinasaktan na niya ako? Pati pa ba mga kaibigan ko idadamay niya? Don’t you dare judge our friendship kasi hindi mo kilala si Ron. Kung galit ka sa akin bakit di ako ang harapin mo. Bakit pati si Ron dinadamay mo?

Because he is indulging your whims Emerald. Kung mabait siyang kaibigan….

It’s his prerogative on how he threats me as his friend and I alone can say kung anong klaseng kaibigan si Ron sa akin. Pero hindi yan ang issue eh. The issue is galit ka kasi sinaktan ko ang gf mo. Yes, I hurt her. I should have killed her kung di ako naawa sa kanya. And yes, this b!itch possess a little mercy for your girlfriend. Dapat magpakasalamat ka pa at di ko pinatay yang gf mo. Yes galit na ako. Galit na galit na ako. I hate him. Now are you happy that I showed some mercy on her? And are you happy that you have proven that I’m still the b!tch Era you once knew?

He was caught off guard sa mga sinabi ko. But mas nagulat ako sa sinabi niya.

Not yet. I’m not yet happy. I would be happy if you asked her forgiveness. What! I was about to comply sa sinabi ni Enzo para matapos na ang kaguluhang to nung makita ko si Yvonne na nagcsmirk. In your face na hihingi ako ng sorry sa kanya.

What if I won’t? Nagkatitigan kaming dalawa. Nagkasukatan kung sino ang unang susuko. That lasted for I think 1 minute. Then he sighed.

Then I will make you. He then grab my arms at pinilit akong lumapit kay Yvonne.

Let me go! Nagpumiglas ako but then I am no match sa kanya.

Now say sorry. Sabi pa niya nung nasa harap na kami ni Yvonne.

Over my dead body Lorenzo. But then hinigpitan pa niya lalo ang hawak sa braso ko that I winced.

I believe you don’t have the right to do that to her. Stop forcing her to say sorry or else….Napatingin kami kay Dave.

Or else what? Tumingin siya kay Dave naghahamon.

You’ll be sorry, you’re doing that to her.

So the boyfriend is now protecting her girlfriend. How noble. But let me tell you, this slut will one day leave you and find someone. She’ll never be contented with what she have. Mas masahol pa siya sa bayarang baba………

Pak!

Sinapak ni Dave si Enzo. Kaya nabitawan niya ako. Bigla naman akong hinila nina Nica palayo sa dalawa na ngayon ay nagsusuntukan na.

Nakatulala pa rin ako sa dalawang nagsusuntukan. Then it dawned on me. They’re fighting because of me.

Stop it! I shouted at them pero sige pa rin sila.

Stop it both of you! Pero parang wala silang naririnig.

STOP IT! STOP IT! STTTTTTTTTOOOOOPPPPP ITTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!! Tapos pumagitna na ako sa kanilang dalawa. BOTH OF YOU STOP IT! GOD DAMN IT! JUST STOP IT!

Oh my God Era, you have blood oozing your nose. I touched my nose and sure enough may dugo na lumalabas. Tapos bigla na lang kinuha ni Dave ang kamay ko at hinila ako palayo sa lugar na yun.

Eleven
Era stop it. Sabay agaw ng shot glass that I was about to drink. Andito kami ngayon ni Dave sa bar ng resort. And I am again drowning myself sa alak para makalimutan ang lahat lahat ng nangyari. Kung pwede pa lang na di ko na lang maalala ang lahat. Kung sino ako kanina kung umasta. Others may think that nanalo ako pero I still felt like a loser. I never felt this worse. I never felt this useless.

Dave, Just go away! I’ll be fine here. Pagtataboy ko sa kanya. In the first place bakit ko ba siya kinakausap? Di ba galit ako sa kanya?
Stop it. Makakasama sa’yo ang pag inom.

Oh c’mon Dave! Stop lecturing me on what’s good or bad for me. And as if my drinking would change anything. And I give him a fake laugh.

You will stop drinking whether you like it or not. And I was suddenly being carried away from the bar. Nagpumiglas ako but Dave is strong. I am not yet drunk so I still have the capacity to kick him or something para mabitawan niya ako but then I didn’t do it. Wala na akong lakas para manlaban, I don’t have the will to fight, I don’t have the strength to go on fighting. I wanted to give up. To just give up on everything kasi pagod na pagod na ako. Pagod na pagod na ako emotionally and physically. Naramdaman ko na lang na umiiyak na ako. After a few minutes inihiga na ako ni Dave sa bed ko sa room namin ni Nica.

Iwan mo na ako.

Ok. Just call for room service if you need anything. I’ll call Nica para bantayan ka. He didn’t get it. He doesn’t understand.

Iwan mo na ako for good Dave. Bumalik ka na ng London. You don’t have to stick with me anymore kasi wala ka nang mapapala sa akin. I told him calmly, casually. He stopped from opening the door at bumalik sa akin.

Alam mong hinding hindi ko yan gagawin Era. I will stick with you no matter what happens.

Wag mong sayangin ang buhay mo at propesyon mo ng dahil lang sa akin Dave. You have a great future awaiting for you in London? Why waste it here with me?

Dahil kung hindi dahil sa’yo Era, matagal na akong walang future. Matagal na akong namatay.

Then consider yourself paid sa ginawa ko sa’yo! I shouted at him. At kahit kailan naman hindi kita siningil sa ginawa kong yun. It’s my social reponsibility na tulungan ang taong nangangailangan. I still should have done it even if it was not you.

Then I’m also doing my social responsibilty by sticking with you. He said calmly.
Damn it, David. Stop being sarcastic. Can’t you see? Pinapaalis na kita sa buhay ko. I don’t want you here anymore. Hindi mo ba naintindihan yun? I stood up para magkalevel kami.

Yes, you might not want me with you but you need me Era.

Who told you that I need you? I don’t need you. I can walk, talk and do anything without you. Hindi kita kailangan sa buhay ko David. So leave. I know that nasasaktan siya sa mga sinasabi ko but I don’t want him to suffer with me. Alam ko na tuwing nasasaktan ako nasasaktan din siya. Hindi ako manhid para hindi malaman na mahal ako ni David. Pero I just can’t reciprocate his feelings. Kasi ang tangang puso ko iisang tao lang ang tinitibok.

Kahit ano pa ang sabihin mo Era. Hinding hindi pa rin kita iiwan. Kahit ilang beses mo akong ipagtabuyan hinding hindi ako aalis. Hinding hindi kita iiwan hanggang…and yumuko siya.

Hanggang ano? Hanggang ano David? Bakit hindi mo ituloy? And I burst into tears. Bakit hindi mo ituloy ang sasabihin mo? Bakit? Hindi mo matanggap? Hindi mo matanggap na….

Era, there is still a chance! He shouted at me. At hinawakan niya ang balikat ko and shake me. As if dahil sa ginawa niyang yun magigising ako sa katotohanan.

A chance? A chance David? Kaya ba sinabi mo sa family ko? Kaya sinabi mo sa kanila kahit na pinagbabawal ko!? Because you believe in your goddamn chances!? Napayuko siya sa sinabi ko. That’s why I wanted you to leave David. That’s the reason that I wanted you to leave. Hindi pa ako invalid, you’re already acting as if I am an invalid. I may be dying but I am still capable of making decisions. I just hope na respetuhin mo ang decision na yun.

But you’re being selfish Era. Sa tingin mo wala silang karapatan na malaman yun? They care for you. Maybe more than I do. They deserve to know. Your parents, your friends. I hate this discussion. I so hate this discussion. I hate discussing my own death with my doctor. Paulit ulit. Ilang beses ko nang sinabi sa kanya na wag makialam pero nangialam pa din siya. SInabi niya pa din sa family ko.

Para ano pa? So they could suffer along with me? So they would see me deteriorating everyday? Is that what you want? Isn’t it enough for you to see me not getting through the day without those goddamn medication?

No Era. I don’t want them to suffer with you. I wanted them to know because it is their right to know and it is my responsibility as your doctor to let them know. Hindi lang ikaw ang marunong magmalasakit Era. Hindi lang ikaw ang marunong magmahal. Sa tingin mo kung bigla ka na lang mamatay ano ang mararamdaman nila? They will feel deprived. Deprived because hindi ka man lang nila nadamayan sa panahon na naghihirap ka. Deprived of the times na pinagkait mo sa kanila na ipakita kong gaano ka nila kamahal. Deprived of the chance na makasama ka ng mas matagal. Deprived of the chance na mabuhay ka pa. If you do not want to take that chance because of your weakness, maybe they will take that chance for you Era. Siguro mas matapang sila para I take ang chance na yun.They will no doubt take the chance because they wanted you to live. Kasi unlike you maniniwala silang mabubuhay ka pa. Maniniwala silang may chance ka pang mabuhay Era kasi they wanted to be with you for a longer time.

Chance? Then you are going to tell them that I only have 0-5% chance of living? Yun ba ang sasabihin mo David? What chance are you saying? I don’t even have a stem cell donor. Anong chance ang pinagsasabi mo? Can you honestly tell them that I still have a chance kung kahit ang donor eh wala? Matatawag ba na chance yun!? Napaupo ako sa kama. Nakakapagod ang ganitong usapan.

Kahit .001% pa yun Era it is still a chance. Please don’t give up. Kaya pa yan. At si Enzo, I stiffened when he mentioned Enzo’s name. What do you think would he feel kung malaman niya?

Hindi niya malalaman. I said sternly.

At ano ang gagawin mo? Itago ang lahat sa kanya?

He doesn’t care anymore. He won’t give a damn what will happen to me.. I said sadly.

You can’t be so sure Era. You can never tell..
What are you planning to do now? Tell Enzo katulad ng pagsabi mo sa parents ko? Approched him and say ‘ Hey Enzo, Era has leukemia and she’s dying in 2 months but sadly there is still a chance that she’ll live if we can find a stem cell donor. But nonetheless you better prepare a wraith for her.’ Is that it?

I took and deep breath kasi nahihirapan akong huminga.

Sige David. Tell him! I dare you to tell him. I am sobbing now. I can’t control it. Tell him and I’m going to kill myself in front of you. At nang hindi na tayo umabot sa letseng dalawang buwan na yan!

Twelve
After ng confrontation namin ni Dave I was so exhausted that the moment na nahiga ako nakatulog ako kaagad. Hindi ko na nga napansin si Nica na pumasok sa room namin.

Era…Era, gumising ka na kaya. Tanghali na magswimming na tayo. Dinilat ko ang eyes ko to see Nica waking me up. Daliiii na. ikaw ang takaw takaw mo sa tulog. Di ka tuloy nakakasama sa amin mag swimming kagabi. I just smiled at her. If only she knew. Palagi na lang kasi akong tanghali nagigising and everytime I woke up parang hindi ako nakapagrelax kasi pagod pa din ako.

Okay , okay saglit lang magbibihis lang ako okay? I stood up at pumunta sa banyo to do my morning rituals. After that binuksan ko ang luggage ko para kumuha ng damit.

Era, why do you have a lot of medicines with you? I looked up at Nica. Damn! I have forgotten na nasa likod ko lang siya at nakita niya ang mga gamot ko.

Vitamins. Alam mo naman mahirap magkasakit. And I give her a fake laugh. She just looked at me and she suddenly bend and took two bottles of the meds na nakakakalat everywhere sa suitcase ko. She examined it and look at me.
These are not vitamins. These are painkillers. Why do you have painkillers? Tumingin siya sa akin na nagdududa.

Nics, I need it in case na sumakit ang ulo ko or magkamigraine ako. Palagi kasi akong inaatake ng migraine. I smiled at her.

Era, wag mo akong lokohin! Tumaas na ang boses ni Nica. Baka nakalimutan mo na Nurse ako. Hindi ako tanga! And the medicines you have here are not over the counter drugs. These are prescription drugs. And these are not painkiller drugs for migraines. What are you hiding from us? Her hand is shaking while she’s holding the bottle.

Napayuko ako sa sinabi niya. Anong sasabihin ko sa kanya? Would I tell her the truth? Kung sasabihin ko sa kanya maaawa lang siya sa akin. And pity is the last thing that I wanted.

It’s nothing Nics, Really. I took the meds from her at binalik sa suitcase ko. And then kinuha ko agad ang susuotin ko sa pagsiswimming.

It’s not nothing Era! She shouted at me. What are you hiding from us? You’re sick. That’s why you’re acting weird simula nung magkita tayo. You’re so thin now, you’re constantly tired, I’ve seen bruises on your legs the other day and now you have it on your arms. You have all the symptoms of a….and she cried.

Biglang bumukas ang pinto and pumasok si Ron at David. I thought umalis na siya kagabi. Nica! Ang aga aga eh nagsisigaw ka dyan. Nasa kabilang room na kami pero dinig pa namin ang sigaw mo. What’s wrong with you two? And Why are you crying Nica? Pabalik balik ang tingin ni Ron sa amin ni Nica.

Ano hindi mo pa din sasabihin sa amin!? Hanggang kelan mo kami gagawing tanga? Akala ko ba magkakaibigan tayo? Ano Era!

Ano ba Nica? Bakit mo sinisigawan si Era?

Yan! Itanong mo kay Era Ron. Itanong mo sa kanya kung ano ang hindi niya sinasabi sa atin. And tumingin siya kay David. Ikaw Dave! Di ba doctor ka? Anong alam mo? Alam mo bang maysakit itong kaibigan namin? O pati ba sa’yo tinatago niya? Please lang wag niyo kaming gawing tanga.

Ano ka ba Nica! Wag ka ngang magsisigaw. Huminahon ka nga! Ano ba ang pinagsasabi mo? Tapos hinawakan ni Ron si Nica sa balikat and shake her as if to put some sense on what she’s saying.

Okay! I’m telling you. Naupo ako sa kama. Napapagod ako sa ganitong komprontasyon. Napatingin silang tatlo sa akin. I am sorry if hindi ko sinabi sa inyo ang bagay na to. But I believe I should not put you in the mess that I am into. Nica was about to protest but I stopped her.

You are right Nics, I’m sick. I said calmly. Very calmly na hindi kapanipaniwala. I am very very sick. Very sick that I only have 2 months to live. There it is again. Bumabara na naman ang lalamunan ko. Everytime I discussed my own death naiiyak ako. Dapat nasanay na ako. I should have accepted it kasi matagal ko nang alam. Pero hindi eh. Breaking the news of my condition to them breaks my heart.

Wha…..

Leukemia. Acute.

Nica put her hands on her mouth to stopped herself from crying out loud. Oh my God. That’s not true. You’re kidding right? Di ba nakakatawa? Kanina pinipilit niya akong paaminin na maysakit ako ngayong sinabi ko ayaw niya maniwala.

Alam mo Era you’re not a good joker. Hindi ka tatanggapin sa comedy bar. Hahaha. Ron laughed pero halatang fake and I could sense his dread of knowing the truth. I looked at Dave who smiled at me weakly and as if saying “way to go”.

Era, is telling the truth. In fact I am her doctor. Napatingin silang dalawa kay David tapos sa akin and the next thing I know we are hugging each other. Umiiyak silang dalawa while I am comforting them. Dapat sila ang nagcocomfort sa akin not the other way around.

Hey! Stop crying as if mamamatay na ako bukas.

Hindi ka nga mamamatay bukas pero mamamatay ka after 2 months. And why are you taking it all so lightly. Walang ka pang plan sabihin sa amin na mamamatay ka na pala. Ano isusurprise mo pa kami? Nica said while wiping her tears.I laughed sa sinabi niya.

Tapos tatawa tawa ka pa dyan! Abnormal ka ba? Saway pa ni Ron sa akin. I must admit that telling them about my condition somewhat gumaan ang feeling ko.
Alam na ba nina Tita Era?

That guy over there betrayed me. Siya ang nagsabi kina Mommy.

Si Enzo? Alam na ba niya?

He doesn’t have to know.

But Era….

Nica, Look, the reason why I wouldn’t want to tell all of you about my condition is the fact na kaawaan niyo ako pag nalaman niyo. You will treat me like a sick person and I don’t want that to happen. Ayokong nahihirapan kayo along with me. As for Lorenzo, he doesn’t care about me so why tell him. Mamamatay man ako o hindi he doesn’t give a damn. He hates me now and pagnalaman niya na maysakit ako at mamamatay na pala maaawa siya sa akin. The last thing I need from him is his pity. I don’t wan thim to pity me. I want him to love me. Muntik ko nang madagdag. At ngayon na alam niyo na ang kondisyon ko, can you promise me two things? Tiningnan ko silang dalawa.
Ano yun?

What is it?

First, wag niyo ipagsabi sa iba ang kondisyon ko. Let me do that. Second, Please don’t treat me as if mamamatay na ako. Treat me as if normal pa din ako. Gustong kong sa natitirang araw sa buhay ko, I still lived as a normal person. Can you promise me that?

They both nodded.

After ng madramang tagpo sa room namin ni Nica, nagkayayaan na kaming maligo. Sila Dave and Ron lumusob agad sa dagat. Kami ni Nica umupo muna sa may upuan ang tiningnan ang mga naliligo. I saw Enzo and Yvonne na naghahabulan sa tubig. I guess I have to be used to seeing both of them together. I just have to move on and let go. Anyway hindi naman na magtatagal at kasabay ng pagkawala ko dito sa mundo eh mawawala na din itong feelings ko. Ayoko namang multuhin silang dalawa. Hehehe.

Hey, you’re jealous. Kanina ka pa nakatingin sa kanila. Nakita pala ni Nica na kanin ko pa pinagmamasdan sila Enzo at Yvonne.

Bagay sila di ba?

She suddenly snorted. Bagay my ass. Wag ka ngang plastic Era. Mamamatay ka lang pero hindi ka pa manhid okay. At alam kong until now si Enzo pa din yang laman ng puso mo. Ang pinagtataka ko lang eh bakit nakatingin ka lang sa kanila. Bakit hindi mo pa sinusugod si Yvonne at nilunod sa dagat.

Ano ka ba! Hindi ko na kayang gawin yun. Baka ako pa ang malunod.

Sure ka? How does it feel?

I got tired easily. Minsan inaatake ako ng sobrang sakit ng katawan that’s why I have painkillers.. Most often nagkakaflu ako. Basta iba iba ang symptoms. That’s why I have all that medicines. And Dave is constantly checking on me to make sure….Natigil ako sa pagsasalita kasi dumaan sa harap namin si Yvonne and guess what? Inirapan kaming dalawa ni N ica.

You know what Era? Nakikita ko na nanggigigil si Nica.

What?

Di ba you wanted us to treat you as a normal person?

Uh huh! Why?

Kasi I am not used to seeing you as if you’re a sinless saint. Mas sanay akong b1tchy b1tchy ka. What Era wants, Era gets. In order for me to treat you katulad ng dati you have to be your old self.

What exactly is your point Nica? She shifted her weight kaya magkaharap na kami.

Mahal mo pa ba si Lorenzo Saavedra? I was caught off guard sa sinabi niya.

Wag kang magsinungaling. Kilala na kita at kahit hindi mo sagutin alam ko na ang sagot pero gusto ko pa din marinig from you.

I sighed and nodded. I guess, I will die loving him.

Nica then smiled her devious smile na nagpakaba sa akin. What are you planning?

I am not planning anything and I am not doing anything. But since you wanted me to treat you normally, then you have to act normally.

What do you mean? Kinakabahan talaga ako sa kung anuman ang iniisip ni Nica.

Why don’t you be a b1tch again and steal Enzo from that fvcking slvt? And she winked at me.

Thirteen

What!? Nagulat ako sa sinabi ni Nica. How could I possibly do that?

Yes. Agawin mo si Enzo kay Yvonne. You still love him right? Ibalik mo siya sa’yo.

But Nica, that’s impossible. Enzo hates me. Ayaw na niya bumalik sa akin. And besides in case maagaw ko nga siya kay Yvonne at maging kami ulit, iiwan ko rin naman siya. I cannot possibly do that.

Era, we’ll cross the bridge when we get there. Pag mamamatay ka na then tsaka natin isipin ang bagay na yun. For now, I wanted to wipe that smirk on Yvonne’s face. I wanted to crushed her big time but I cannot do that because hindi naman ako ang kaaway niya. Kaso I can’t help but feel really irritated sa kanya. Parang kung sino kung umasta kala mo sinong maganda. Chee! Halatang nanggagalaiti talaga si Nica kay Yvonne.

But Nics… I can’t do that…

Di ba mahal mo pa si Enzo?

Oo nga pero…

No buts. You take him back or else.. She is threatening me now.

Or else what? She then smiled her devilish smile at me.

I’m telling Enzo about your condition and paniguradong babalik siya sa’yo.

Nica!!!

I take that as a yes and I wanted the b1tchy Era back. And she ran papuntang dagat at nakigulo kina Ron, Ellaine and Mike. Napa-isip ako sa sinabi ni Nica sa akin. Deep inside me I wanted him to be back. Gusto kong magbati kami and I’ll be a hypocrite pag sinabi kong friendship na lang ang gusto ko from him. I wanted him to be mine again but then there’s this other side of me na nagsasabi na bakit ko pa gugustuhing magkabalikan kami kung in the end iiwan ko ulit siya. Sasaktan ko ulit siya. But don’t I deserve to be happy kahit sa natitirang mga raw sa buhay ko? Am I willing to hurt someone para lang lumigaya ako? Am I that selfish? Conflicting emotions. At naguguluhan na ako

Why didn’t you join them? My thoughts were interrupted by Dave. Umupo siya kung saan umuupo si Nica kanina.

I wanted to soak some more UV rays and maybe acquire a skin cancer? Maybe later I would join them. And tumingin kina Nica at parang may magnet na pumunta ang paningin ko sa gawi nila Enzo and Yvonne. Si Yvonne na parang linta kong makakapit kay Enzo. I don’t know kung ano ang nakita ni Enzo sa kanya at pinatulan niya ang babaeng yan. Ang sarap sakalin.

You know what? Kung nakakamatay lang ang tingin, kanina pa nilalamay ang dalawang yan. I looked up at Dave who’ve been observing me. I gave him a quizzical look as if I have no idea on what he is talking about.

Alam mo, nagseselos ako sa kanya. Kasi after all those years siya pa din ang mahal mo. I may not know kung bakit kayo nagkahiwalay but I am sure that what you have before is very strong na tumagal yan ng ganyan. You loved him so much that even in your last days you still wish for his happiness. Napaluha ako sa sinabi niya. I envy him. I truly envy him.

Dave, don’t….HE put his finger sa bibig ko signalling me to stop talking.

You wanted him to be happy that you’ve forgotten your own happiness. He then took my hands between his. But Era, what if he wanted the same for you? What if ang kaligayahan mo din pala ang iniisip niya? You have no way of knowing unless you start asking him. Don’t you think it’s too late for you to be a coward? Sabi mo nga kunting panahon na lang ang naiwan sa’yo. Sabi nga nila, Live the day as if it is your last. Paano kung hindi pala 2 months ang natitira sayo? Paano kung bukas mamatay ka na? Would you want to die na may unsettled issues kayo ni Enzo? Why don’t you settle everything with him Era. Once and for all, Paligayahin mo ang sarili mo sa mga natitirang araw sa buhay mo. Live your life to the fullest so you don’t end up regretting it when your time comes.

Dave, thank you for being there always. Salamat for sticking with me kahit tinataboy na kita. I laughed gently while wiping my tears. I owe a lot to you. Don’t worry pag namatay na ako, I will recommend you up there. The best doctor and friend there is. And even if magulo kang mag explain may sense naman kahit papano.

Kinamot niya ang ulo niya and laughed with me. I’m sorry I sucks at explaining things.

Yeah, and I wonder bakit madami ka pa ding patient kahit magulo ka mag explain. Hehehhe.

Well, you can call it charm, I guess. He smiled boyishly. A smile that could melt any girls heart. If I am not in love with Enzo, matagal ko nang nagustuhan si Dave.

Yabang! And hinampas ko ang braso niya.

Enzo!!!!!!!!!Where are you going? I saw Yvonne running after Enzo a few feet away. I raised my eyebrow and a smile is starting to form in my lips.

Fourteen
Today is the wedding ceremony of Mike at Ellaine. Maid of Honor si Nica and Best Man si David. Remember magpipinsan ang mga yan? Bridesmaid naman ako and I don’t know kung pinagkaisahan kami ni Mike and Ellaine pero kapartner ko si Enzo at magkapartner si Yvonne at Ron.

Everyone get ready. Magmamarch na. Announce ng wedding coordinator habang inaayos ang ringbearer na kanina pa takbo ng takbo.

You know what? Wag ka nga makahawak hawak sa akin. Mahawaan pa ako ng galis mo. Umiwas si Ron sa hawak ni Yvonne.

Excuse me wala akong galis. At akala mo kung sino kang bakla ka! Kung ayaw mo akong maging kapartner ayaw ko din sa baklang malandi katulad mo!

Aba! Aba! Kung magsalita ka akala mo kagandahan ka! Kung kalandian lang din naman ang pag uusapan di hamak na mas malandi ka sa akin and unlike you hindi ko pinapipilitan ang sarili ko sa isang tao. Ang look at you, mukha kang make up na nilagyan ng muka. You are CHEAP!

Eh ano naman kung cheap ako? At least babae ako. Ikaw trying hard na maging babae. Bakla! You don’t belong in this society, you are an outcast.

Well, I’m sorry nagmamagandang babae, but you are stuck to this outcast ngayon. Ang malas mo lang bakla ang kapartner mo. And Ron smirked.

I wanna change partner!

Okay okay! Sabat ng wedding coordinator na nakikinig pala sa kanila. Stop whinning darling at magmartsa na kayo. And she gently pushed both of them.

Kayo na ang susunod. Ok go! Sabi naman niya sa amin. Tapos nag march na kami ni Enzo papuntang makeshift alter. While we were marching slowly, hinigpitan ko ang hawak sa braso niya which made him look at me. I gave him my sweetest smile. Which made him blush.

Ang bango mo pa din. And smiled widely which made him blush deeper. Who would have thought na mapagpablush ko pa pala ng ganyan ang prinsipe? I winked at him nung maghiwalay na kami. Way to go Era.

After the wedding doon na din sa resort ang reception. Everyone is having so much fun but then as usual napagod ako so umalis ako at pumunta sa seashore para makalanghap ng hangin. Papunta na ako sa place kung saan ako dati inaway niYvonne when I noticed someone sitting on that same spot..I looked at that person for a while and memorized his features.

I believe you’re sitting on my spot. The person was taken aback by my presence. He was about to stand up and leave when I stopped him.

I could share that spot you know.

It’s ok. I need to go back to the party. They might be looking for me. It’s obvious, he is avoiding me.

Why are you avoiding me? I don’t bite. I said teasingly.

I am not avoiding you. And yeah, you don’t bite but you sting. He then give me a smirk. Aba maganda ata ang mood nito ngayon. Umupo ako sa tabi niya. Close enough that I can hear his breathing.

I am sorry. You knew my reason for leaving and I couldn’t explain more. All I could say is I am sorry. I trully regret it.

Era, he sighed. I don’t want to talk about it. Kung ayaw mong masira ang araw mo at ang araw ko , wag na natin pag usapan ang mga bagay na yun.

You’re right. Ayaw ko din naman masira ang araw mo. Let’s not talk about the past, let’s talk about the future. I smiled at napatingin siya sa akin. Kumusta naman kayo ni Yvonne?

Okay lang naman. He shrugged as if wala lang sa kanya.Parang sumasagot sa pinakaboring na tanong ever. Hindi man lang siya nag ellaborate. Oh di ba papano ko kakausapin ang taong monosyllable kung sumagot? Sabihin niyo nga!

She’s beautiful. Yuccccckkkk! Sabay suka. It’s very obvious that she loves you. To the point of being obssessive. I am sorry din pala sa ginawa ko sa kanya the other day. You know naman how b1tchy I am. I gave him a fake laugh. Pasalamat nga siya yun lang ang ginawa ko sa kanya. Sometimes I just couldn’t control my temper. Tell her I’m sorry okay? Hindi pa rin pala naalis ang pagiging drama queen ko

Bakit dumugo ang ilong mo that day? Napatingin ako sa kanya. He totally ignored yung mga sinabi ko about Yvonne. Does that mean he cares for me hanggang ngayon? Wag ka ngang ilusyunada Era. After everything you’ve done sa tingin mo magkcare pa siya sa’yo? It took me a while to answer his question.

Nasobrahan lang siguro ako ng init dito sa Pilipinas. Malamig kasi sa London and I’ve stayed there for almost 2 years kaya nasanay ako sa weather doon.

So sa London ka nagstay after you left? I believe doon mo na nameet si David.

Yes. Doon kami nagmeet and we’ve been together for almost 2 years now. David is a great guy. Wala na akong mahihiling pa. I said almost dreamily but if a person in observant enough malalaman na pinipeke ko ang act kong iyon

I can see that. You are lucky to have found him. I am happy for you. Are you happy indeed? Why can’t I sense any happiness in your voice.

Yes I am indeed lucky. He loves me and he cares for me a lot. Binibigay niya ang mga gusto ko even before I ask for it. I can’t ask for anythi__I was not able to finished what I’m saying kasi bigla siyang tumayo mula sa kinauupuan niya.

Do you love him?

Yes I do love him. He then started walking away. Without saying goodbye. It doesn’t take an intelligent person to know what he is acting. He is jealous but I don’t want to assume too much. Mahirap ma disappoint. But Enzo……. I love you more. That stopped him from walking away.
Nagkatinginan kami.

What did you say? Nanlalaki ang mata niya habang tumutingin sa akin. I smiled at him.

I said, I love….

Enzo!!! Andyan ka lang pala! Kanina pa kita hinahanap. And what are you doing with her? Damn! Bakit pa siya dumating? Panira ng moment.

I smiled at Yvonne. Siempre fake. Enzo and I are having our moment but you ruined it. We are about to kiss you know.

What!!?Halatang gilalas siya sa pinagsasabi ko.

Nagiging bingi ka na Yvonne. Magrereconcile na kami kaso dumating ka.

How dare you! Totoo ba yan Enzo? Enzo didn’t even bother to look at her. I guess pati siya shock sa mga pinagsasabi ko.

Hay naku Yvonne. I don’t want to talk to you. I got to go now. And 5, see you later. I tetext ko sayo ang time and place. Be there if you wanted to know something. Be there if you want me back. And I give Enzo a smack and Yvonne a wink before ko sila iniwang tulala.
Fifteen

30 minutes from now magkikita kami ni Enzo. I texted him kanina na sunduin ako sa room namin. Sasabihin ko sa kanya ang totoong relasyon namin ni Dave but of course hindi ko pa rin sasabihin sa kanya ang sakit ko. Hindi ko muna sasabihin ang lahat lahat. Darating din ang araw na yun.

Knock! Knock!

Aba napaaga ata si Enzo,. Halatang excited. Hehehe. I hurriedly opened the door not bothering to look who’s knocking.

Yvonne! You heard it right. Si Yvonne ang nasa pintuan and not Enzo.

Expecting Enzo Era?

Yes, I am expecting him. You’ve heard us kanina di ba? What do you want from me?

I wanted to talk to you.

Would it take long? May date pa kami. And besides wala akong time makipag away ngayon. I don’t want to ruin my good mood.

Hindi mabilis lang ito. She seemed harmless kaya pinapasok ko siya ng room. Pumasok siya at umupo sa may bed kung saan nakakalat pa ang mga damit na pinagpilian ko.

You really prepared for this night huh! You look good on your dress. She sound sarcastic, she looks sarcastic and she is sarcastic to the very core. And I don’t know bakit pa niya pinapatagal ang usapang ito.

Okay Yvonne, I know you didn’t come here to praise me or to exchange pleasantries with me. What do you want now?

Okay, since gusto mo rin ng diretsahan sasabihin ko sa’yo. Stop flirting with Enzo. Wag mo na siyang akitin. I rolled my eyes sa sinabi niya.

Yvonne… Ilang beses na ba nating pinag usapan ang bagay na to. This is really making me bored. Ayoko nang ulitin ang mga nasabi ko na. And stop giving me those threatening tone kasi hindi mo ako madadala.

Talaga? hindi ka madadala? Paano kong sabihin ko kay Enzo ang pinakatago tago mong sekreto? Nagulat ako sa sinabi niya pero I didn’t show it. Anong alam niya?

Whatever it is, I am not interested and for sure hindi din siya magiging interested.

You think so Era? Aba at tinataasan ako ng kilay ng babaeng ito. I pluck ko kaya ang kilay niya hanggang sa makalbo siya?

I believe so Yvonne.

Sa tingin mo hindi magiging interesado si Enzo pag nalaman niya mamamatay ka na?I was taken back by what she said. How the hell did she know about that? Paano niya nalaman? At ano pa ang alam niya? Ano Era? You’re not interested? You choose, cancel your date today and stop seeing Enzo or I’m telling him about your condition. Nakatulala lang ako kay Yvonne. For the first time since I’ve seen her I was out of words. But would I allow him to manipulate me using my own condition? Isn’t it obvious that she is blackmailing me? Damn you Yvonne! But you don’t know kung sino ang kinakalaban mo?

Go ahead. Tell him. That shocked her. Anyway it doesn’t matter to me. He would eventually know wether I like it or not. Sooner or later. But since sasabihin mo na rin pala mas mabuti pang sooner malaman niya. In fact, Yvonne you’re doing me a great favor. Hindi ko na pag iisipan on how to break it to him. Gagawin mo na yun for me. Thanks a lot. You’re such a good friend. May sasabihin ka pa? Or would you rather wait for Enzo here para masabi mo na? Well, kung sasabihin mo ngayon hindi na talaga ako hihiwalayan nun. I am so sure of it. And I smiled at her sweetly.
You slut! You flirt! And before I could blink Yvonne is all over me. Sinasabunutan ako. I tried to stop her but she is strong. Hindi naman siya ganito kalakas nung binugbog ko siya ah. Oh my God baka dinedemonyo na siya. She is shouting profanities while sinasabunutan ako, sinasampal pa niya ako. Mukha na siyang demonyo kasi nanlilisik na ang mata niya.

Stop it Yvonne! I tried to take hold of her hands pero hindi ko kaya. Sanay ata siya sa away kalye na sabunutan.

Malandi ka! Simula nang dumating ka inagaw mo na ang lahat sa akin. Sh1t ka! Flirt ka! Slut! I am going to kill youuu! Oh my God! Oh my God. Ano ang gagawin ko. Nasisiraan na ata ng ulo si Yvonne. Nandidilim na ang paningin ko habang sinasaktan ako ni Yvonne. Nahihilo na ako. Mukhang aatakihin ako. Lord, sana hindi ngayon. I suddenly felt na nabunggo ang head ko sa something hard. I am shouting for help while Yvonne is shouting all kinds of profanities towards me. Why the hell no one is helping us? Hindi ba nila naririnig ang mga pagsigaw ko? Another bump on my head. My head is already spinning, I can’t see clearly and I felt a hot fluid on my hands when I tried to stop Yvonne from scratching my face. Must be blood from my nose. I find it hard to breath normally. Nanghihina na ako. Am I going to die now? Ni hindi pa kami nagkakaayos ni Enzo.

Stop it Yvonne! Then I heard it.

Enzo….

Hold her. Wag mo siyang bitawan. I heard him say sa kasama niya na di ko alam kung sino. Era, are you okay? Tapos hinawi niya ang buhok ko na nakakalat all over my face. I nodded. Your nose is bleeding. Tapos pinahiran niya ng something ang blood sa nose ko.

Malandi ka. I hate you! Mamamatay ka naaaaaaaaaa!!! Mamamatay ka rin! Slut!

Pak!

I heard someone slap someone. I couldn’t see clearly now kasi nga nahihilo na ako.

Pinagtatanggol mo na siya ngayon Enzo? Pagkatapos ka niyang iwan siya pa ang ipagtatanggol mo? Well, I am telling you. Iiwan ka rin niya. II wan ka niya kasi she’s going to die. And she laughed hysterically. Naloloka na siya. She’s becoming insane.

What happened here? Then I heard people entered the room. I couldn’t sit in the bed anymore kaya nahiga ako. I can feel a lot of blood oozing from my nose and some of them ay lumalabas na sa bibig ko.

What’s happening to her? Bakit hindi nawawala ang dugo?

Nica where’s her meds? People are buzzling everywhere and mumbling something. I couldn’t see clearly and I couldn’t hear clearly. Iisang boses lang maliwanang sa pandinig ko.

Bakit hindi tumitigil ang dugo? What the hell is wrong with her?!!! He is shouting now. Enzo don’t panic. But I couldn’t say it loud.

Answer me Goddam it! Era! Era! Open your eyes. His voice is shaking. Umiiyak ba siya? He is now holding my face. I tried to open my eyes pero ambigat. I don’t have the strenght to open my eyelids. Bakit hindi ko mabuksan ang eyelashes ko? Don’t sleep. Four, don’t sleep. Wake Up, don’t sleep. Era! Pero inaantok na ako Enzo.

Don’t cry Enzo.
You are not supposed to cry.

We’re still having that date remember?

Maybe after I wake up?

And I drifted off to sleep….
Sixteen

I was awakened by the people talking around me. I tried to open my eyes and all I see are white everywhere. Nasa langit na ba ako?

What the hell is wrong with her? Why won’t you tell me? Now I know na wala ako sa langit because that was Enzo shouting to whoever it is he is talking to

Enzo will you please calm down. That was Nica. So isa pala siya sa sinisigawan ni Enzo. Poor Nica, knowing Enzo, he doesn’t care kung sino ang kaharap niya at kung saan siya.

How am I supposed to calm down Nica? She’s been here for 3 days at hindi pa rin siya nagigising.

Bakit ka ba nag aalala ng ganyan kay Era Enzo? Bakit hindi si Yvonne ang pinagkakaabalahan mo? Dalhin mo na ang sira ulong mong gf sa mental. Nasisiraan na yun ng bait. At wag lang magpapakita sa akin ang babaeng yun dahil ako mismo ang papatay sa kanya. I heard Ron’s voice na naggagalaiti talaga. I bet he’s going to kill Yvonne once he sees her.

Bakit nga ba Enzo? Bakit andito ka? Wag mo ngang ibahin ang topic Ron, I wanted to know what’s wrong with her!

Why are you shouting at each other. Nakakabulahaw kayo ng natutulog. To think na nasa hospital kayo. I smiled at them.

Era! You’re awake.

Thank God, gumising ka na!

I looked at Nica nd Ron pero hindi ko tiningnan si Enzo. What do you think? Hindi na ako gigising? Well, gusto ko pa sanang matulog ng medyo matagal but the readers insisted that hindi pa daw ako dapat mamatay. SO pinilit ako ng author na magising. They looked at me na parang nagtataka sa mga sinabi ko. Baka akala nila nasisiraan din ako ng bait. I just rolled my eyes. Hindi talaga maiintindihan ng mga taong slow ang mga pinagsasabi ko. Kumusta na kayo?

Ikaw na nga itong nahospital ikaw pa ang nangangamusta. Nica is now teary eyed.

Hey why are you crying, I am not yet…..dying. I stopped myself. Muntik na akong madulas. I looked at Nica nd Ron and at Enzo. Ron, Nics, can you leave us for a while? May pag uusapan lang kami ni Enzo. Yes, I am telling him everything. And I faintly smiled at them bago sila lumabas ng room.

Pagkalabas nilang dalawa sa room, there was silence. Nakakabinging katahimikan. I tried to sit up pero medyo mabigat ang katawan ko plus ang daming nakakabit sa akin na IV. It must be from lying in the bed for a long time.

Don’t force yourself na tumayo. Hindi mo pa kaya.

No I wanted to sit. Masakit na ang likod ko kakahiga. And I guess I am fine now. And besides I wanted to talk to you nang hindi ako nakahiga. Kasi baka ito na huling pag uusap natin na nakaupo or nakatayo ako. Help me up will you? He then pushed the button para magrecline ang bed and help me na maupo na nakasandal ang likod ko sa bed.

Then there was silence again. Pero ako ang hindi nakatiis sa katahimikan,

How long I have been here? Narinig ko ang sinabi niya kanina pero wala lang akong maisip na itanong sa kanya.

3 days.

That long huh? Sayang ang araw. Alam na ba nina Mommy na nandito ako?

Yes, alam na nila. Umuwi lang sila saglit sa bahay niyo. And Laila is downstairs, buying food.

Laila is here? Kasi di ba abroad si Laila nagwowork?

She went home when your parents informed her of your condition. Lahat sila alam ang nangyayari sa’yo except me. I can sense remorse on his voice. There was bitterness.

I am sorry. I looked at my hands na may IV. I cannot bear to look at him. Ayaw kong makita na malungkot siya. Ayaw kong makita ang panunumbat sa mga mata niya. Panunumbat na hindi niya kayang sabihin ngayon. Panunumbat dahil sa mga bagay na tinago ko sa kanya.

Sorry? He said sarcastically. Simula ng dumating ka, yan lang ang naririnig ko sayo. Ngayon di ko na alam kung para saan ang mga sorry na yun.

I am sorry for hurting you so much. And I cannot stop the tears from falling. I am sorry for keeping things from you. I have been trying to protect you from the pain eversince I left you in Amsterdam. But in the process of protecting you hindi ko napapansin na nasasaktan ka na pala. I am so sorry Enzo. I stopped myself from crying our loud pero I end up hiccupping.

I don’t want to hear how sorry you are Era. I wanted to know the truth. Oo nagagalit ako sa’yo. Galit na galit ako sa’yo kasi pinagmumukha mo akong tanga. Ano ba ang tingin mo sa akin? You are protecting me from what? From the truth? You think I am that weak unable to handle it? Eversince na naging tayo, you underestimated me. I can’t think of any occasion wherein you allow me to protect you. You think lowly of me. Maririnig ang hinanakit sa bawat salitang sinasabi ni Enzo. He was hurt. Masyado ko siyang nasaktan.

Hindi ko sinasadya. I didn’t meant for you to feel that way.

Hindi mo sinasadya? So hindi mo sinasadya na iwan ako sa Amsterdam? Alam mo ba kung ano ang naramdaman ko that time? Feeling ko nawalan ako ng buhay. Goddamnit pero inalisan mo ako ng buhay nung araw na yun. Do you know the feeling of living a life na parang robot? Nabubuhay ka because you have to but not because you wanted to live? And now, you’re doing it again ginagawa mo na naman akong tanga..

Ayun sinusumbatan na niya ako sa lahat lahat ng ginawa ko. Masakit pero I need to accept it kasi kasalanan ko rin naman ang lahat. Wala akong sinabi. I just cried. Maybe sorry is not enough.

Enzo….

Hinawakan niya ang balikat ko ang shook me. Tell me Era, What are the things you’re not telling me? Sabihin mo na sa akin please. Wag mo akong gawing tanga! He stopped shaking me and nakita kong yumuyugyog ang balikat niya. He is crying. Sabihin mo sa akin! He shouted at me.

Ayokong masaktan ka. Lahat kayo! I don’t want to drag you into this mess. Lalo na ikaw. Nasaktan na kita ng sobra sobra ayoko nang dagdagan pa. I shouted back at him.

Kaya you choose na gawin akong ignorante sa mga nangyayari sa’yo? Sa ginagawa mong ‘to do you think hindi mo ako nasasaktan? Mas nasasaktan ako Era. Mas nasasaktan ako kasi unti unti mo akong inaalis sa buhay mo. Unti unti mo akong inaalisan ng karapatan dyan sa puso mo, dyan sa buhay mo!

Sa tingin mo magiging masaya ka pag nalaman mo na mamamatay na ako? Would that make you happy Enzo? Ngayong alam mo na masaya ka na? Nararamdaman ko na naman ang pagod. Naninikip na naman ang dibdib ko.

What? He was shocked sa sinabi ko. Nakatulala lang siya sa akin.

I have leukemia. I only have 50 more days to live. Ayokong malaman mo kasi ayaw kong maawa ka sa akin. Mas mabuti pa sigurong magalit ka sa akin. Ayokong magsuffer ka along with me. I would prefer you hating me for the rest my life kesa nakikita kang umiiyak kasi naawa ka sa kalagayan ko. I don’t want you to see me succumbing to my disease. I don’t want you to pity me, I don’t want you to cry because of me kasi wala ka nang magagawa kundi hintayin ang kamatayan ko. I don’t want you to feel helpless like I do. I want you all to remember me as the normal Era, not the sickly and dying Era. Gusto kong makitang masaya ka bago ako mamatay. Now, is that too much to ask Enzo? Binitiwan ang ang balikat ko and headed to the door. And now he is leaving me. Iiwan na niya ako. Sinundan ko siya ng tingin and before he opened the door he looked at me.

You will not die. I will not allow it. I will do everything para hindi ka mamatay, even if that’s the only thing that I will be doing in this life. I will keep you alive. Tandaan mo yan. And he left.
Seventeen

Lalabas na ba ako dito? I ask the nurse while she’s taking away my IV at kung ano ano pang nakakabit sa akin.

Wala pa naman pong order si Dr. Darling na lalabas na po kayo Miss Era.

Siguro lalabas na ako dito ano kasi 4 days na ako and kinukuha mo na ang IV ko. It means I am free again. Yes! Yes! Yes!. Instead of answering me nginitian lang ako ng Nurse tapos lumabas na siya ng room. Umupo ako sa bed tapos tumayo at naglakad lakad. Sa totoo lang magaling na talaga ako. Pwedeng pwede nang lumabas. Siguro nga mamaya lalabas na ako ng hospital. Dapat lang noh kasi 46 days na lang mamamatay na ako. Tapos dito pa ako maglalagi. After a while nagbukas ang door at pumasok si Mommy at Daddy.

Honey, Bakit ka nakaupo dyan sa sofa? Dapat nasa bed ka.

Mom naman nakahiga na ako for 4 days dito. Ngalay na ngalay na ako. I need to move my muscles. Ano Mom lalabas na ba ako? Nagkatinginan sila Mom at Dad and then tumingin sa akin.

Let’s wait for Dave’s order honey. Siya ang makakapagsabi kung makakalabas ka na o hindi. I pouted my lips and umupo ulit sa sofa.

Sige. Kelan ba siya pupunta dito? Bigla naman bumukas ang pinto at pumasok si Dave. So lalabas na talaga ako kasi andito na si Dave.

Kinuha na pala ang IV mo? How are you? I rolled my eyes on him. Ganyan kasi siya talaga pag naoospital ako. So I stood up and nahiga ulit sa bed ko kasi alam ko ichecheck niya ako.

I am fine now. C’mon check me. Yan kasi ang gawain niya. Before niya pipirmahan ang discharge order ichecheck muna niya kung okay na ako.

I am not going to check you ngayon Era.

Why so? Di ba kelangan mo akong I check para ma discharge na ako? Hmmm.. nagbago na ang protocol?

Hindi ka pa lalabas dito.

What!!!!!!!!Why? I am fine now. See? Umupo ulit ako sa bed at tumayo at nagpalakad lakad. Maayos na ako. Bakit hindi pa ako ilalabas dito?

You need to undergo a series of laboratory test para malaman if you’re fit for a chemo and kung anong chemo drugs ang iaadminister sa’yo?

Laboratory test? Chemo? Nagulat ako sa pinagsasabi ni David. What the hell are you talking about? Bakit ako magkchemo? WTF?

I believe you have already agreed on this? Sabi pa ni Dave in a tone na bored na bored.

Kelan pa? I didn’t to such a thing! And now I’m mad. Don’t tell me they’re going to force me into this. I can’t allow it. I looked at Mom and Dad who looked at me na parang nagtataka rin. Kasi napag usapan na namin to. Unless there’s a donor, I won’t subject myself to chemotheraphy. What’s the point of having chemotherapy kung wala naman magdodonate. Mamamatay din ako eventually.

Mom? Dad? I told you…

Honey, you have agreed into doing this. Pinagkaisahan ba nila ako?

I didn’t. Bat ba ang kulit nila? Sinabi ko nang hindi ako pumayag eh.

You did. I looked at the door to see Enzo standing behind it. Nakapasok siya ng di namin namamalayan or hindi namin naririnig because I was shouting a while ago.

At kelan ko yun ginawa? I raised my eyebrows at him? I have this gut feeling na siya ang may pakana ng lahat. Mastermind. Punong abala.

You agreed yesterday to undergo chemotheraphy and eventually have a stem cell transplant. You even ask for it. I can’t believe what he is saying. I tried to remember kung ano ang pinag usapan namin kahapon and wala akong maalala na nag usap kami about it. Kahit i backread ko pa ang naipost ni miss author wala talagang ganung usapan. Di ba? di ba? di ba? Sige ibackread niyo. Wala kayong makikitang ganun!

I did? Sumasakit ang ulo ko. I ask for it? I shake my head vigorously. Wala! Wala tayong napag usapan na ganun! I shouted at him. I feel that I am being cornered. I maybe dying pero hindi pa naman ako ganun ka makakalimutin. And besides nakapost naman sa teentalk yun kaya di ako pwedeng magkamali.

You wanted me to rephrase kung ano ang sinabi mo kahapon? I nodded kasi wala talaga akong maalala sa sinabi niya. Mapapahiya ka lang Enzo.

Quote
Gusto kong makitang masaya ka bago ako mamatay. Now, is that too much to ask Enzo?

Biglang lumaki ang mga mata ko sa sinabi niya. I did say that but how come….[/color]

You wanted me to be happy right? Gusto mo maging happy ang family mo? Ang mga kaibigan mo? I was dumbfounded. Nagkatinginan kaming dalawa. Yun ang makakapagpasaya sa amin Era. Yan ang makakapagpasaya sa akin. Magiging masaya ako kung mabubuhay ka. Magiging masaya ako kung nakikita kong lumalaban ka sa sakit mo. Magiging masaya ako kung makikita kong ang dating Era. Ang normal na Era.

But….Wala akong donor. I am hanging to my last reason for not having that chemotheraphy.

Kami na ang bahala doon. Wag mo nang pag isipan yun. The only thing that you will do is sign this. Then he handed me the paper and a pen. It read, Patient Consent Form blah blah blah. I looked at him, he is now smiling. As well as David, my Mom and my Dad. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and signed the form.
Eighteen.

After I signed the consent form agad akong dinala sa kung saang saang part ng hospital for the laboratory test. After that binalik na ako nila sa room ko.

Era, tomorrow pwede ka nang lumabas and then babalik ka na lang dito for the treatment. Sabi ni Dave sa akin.

Bakit hindi na lang ngayon ako lalabas? Obvious bang batong bato na ako sa hospital na to?

We will still observe your progress hanggang mamayang gabi. Babe please bear with us a little longer. He then smiled at me.

Thanks for everyuthing Dave. And I smiled at him. In short nagngitian kami. Sweet di ba?

Enzo really loves you Era. I looked at him. The day you told him about your condition, kinausap niya ako. Like me, hindi siya naniniwalang you’re dying. You’re strong and young and you can handle it well. He asks for a chances of you surviving the cancer. I told him everything and I don’t know kung ano ang ginawa niya but kanina he called me at sinabi na may stem cell na compatible for you. We’ve been looking for how many months, even in London but we haven’t found any, yet si Enzo wala pang 24 hours he already had one. Hindi na ako nagtataka that he was able to produce one. He is a prince.

You already knew kung ano ang nararamdaman ko towards you Era, but witnessing everything simula nung nasa resort tayo, and seeing kung paano siya nagpanic noon and ang pagbabantay niya sa’yo dito na halos awayin niya na ang lahat kasi hindi ka pa rin gumigising, napag isip ako. I doubted my feelings for you. Compared to what he feels towards you, what I feel is so irrelevant. Bigla natuwa naman ang puso ko nang malaman ko na gumanyan pala si Enzo pero nalungkot din ako kasi nasasaktan ko si Dave. Tama si Andrew E mahirap nga maging maganda. Indeed there is hope for me and there is hope for us.

No dave. I am grateful kasi you are always there for me. Hindi ko alam ang gagawin ko kung wala ka sa tabi ko. Siguro maaga akong namatay. And now that there’s hope for me to survive this, I don’t know how to thank you for holding on to me kahit ako na mismo ang naggigive up. I took his hand and he kissed my hand in return.

Ahem! Bigla kong nahila ang kamay kong hawak ni Dave upon seeing Enzo na nakasandal sa may pinto? How the hell did he manage to enter without us noticing?

Era, I need to go now. May mga pasyente pa akong titingnan. I just smiled at Dave. Enzo, alis na ako.

Dapat lang. Tapos umalis na siya ng door at pinadaan si Dave. He then closed it.

You are mean to Dave. I told him after.

AT ikaw naman sweet sa kanya. May pahalik halik pa sa kamay.

Selos ka naman? Nagtathank you lang ako sa kanya.

Pwede naman mag thank you ng walang halik sa kamay di ba. I just rolled my eyes. Mahirap mag explain sa taong ayaw makinig ng rason.

Hay naku! Ewan ko sa’yo. AT inirapan ko siya.

At ikaw pa ang may ganang magtampo! Napakaspoiled mo talaga. Tapos piningot niya ang ilong ko. I just grinned at him.

Thank You Enzo. I took his hand and nagkatinginan kami. Alam niyo yung feeling na kahit magkatinginan lang kayo nagkakaintindihan na kayo? Yun yun eh. Tapos tingin pa lang niya kinikilig ka na. Hay. Tama nga ang sabi nila na kapag in love ka parang nasa cloud 9 ka.

It’s nothing ginawa ko lang ang dapat kong gawin.

Basta thank you talaga. And I kissed him sa cheek. Ayan para di ka na magselos kay Dave. Hehehe. Tiningnan lang niya ako after I kissed him and then he hugged me. Sobrang higpit. Kaya hinug ko din siya. Nakakamiss. After almost 2 years ngayong lang ulit kami nag hug. Namimiss ko ang comfort na nararamdaman ko kapag naghuhug kami. Naghug lang kami for how many minutes. Natutuwa ako ng sobra kasi okay na ulit kami. Nakakaoverwhelm ang feeling. Nakakaiyak pala ang sobrang kasiyahan.

Namiss kita. Sobra. And naramdaman kong yumuyugyog ang balikat niya. He is crying.

Don’t cry. Ayokong umiiyak siya kasi naiiyak din ako. Ano ka ba naman Enzo. Wag kang umiyak.

Namiss kita. Sobra. After almost 2 years of living lika a zombie. Nakita ulit kita. Nabuhay na ako ulit Era. Nung una kitang makita sa school, I can’t believe na ikaw yun. But then I couldn’t deny it because the moment na nakita kita biglang bumilis ang tibok ng puso ko. Parang sinasabi na bumalik na ang buhay ko. And now that you’re back, hindi ko hahayaang mawala ka ulit. Gagawin ko ang lahat na kaya ko wag ka lang mawala sa akin Era, kasi pag nangyari yun hindi ko na alam kung kakayanin ko pa. Tuluyan na akong umiyak dahil sa sinabi niya. We cried on each other’s shoulder, comforting each other.

Ngayon ko napagtanto na tama ang ginawa kong pagbalik. This is what I wanted and I am so thankful na binigyan ako ng pagkakataon na itama ang mga pagkakamali ko. Kung mamamatay man ako, mamamatay na siguro akong masaya. But then, sabi nga ni Enzo hindi ako pwedeng mamatay kasi baka di niya kayanin. So I guess, kailangan ko talagang mabuhay for Enzo. Yes, kailangan kong mabuhay for Enzo. For Enzo.Nineteen

I am now having my chemo treatments. As oppose sa sinabi ni Dave hindi na ako nakalabas ng hospital. Ang masayang part palaging kong kasama si Enzo. As in todo suporta siya sa akin. Ang masamang part, Unti unti nang nalalagas ang ever precious hair ko. Nakakalungkot nga eh pero sabi naman ni Dave babalik din ang hair ko after all the treatments. Sabi naman ni Enzo kahit wala daw ako ng buhok habang buhay mamahalin po din daw niya ako. Aheheheh. Oh di ba kahit nakakalbo na ako feeling ko mahaba pa rin ang hair ko.

Nararamdaman ko na despite all the chemotheraphy unti unting nanghihina ang katawan ko. I can barely sit, neither stand nor walk. Hindi ko nga din alam kung nagpapalala ba ng sakit ang chemotheraphy or nagpapagaling kasi habang tumatagal lalo akong nanghihina. May mga days na hindi daw ako nagigising. Everyday I feel weaker. Like today, feeling ko di na naman ako nagising ng isang araw. And then I woke up only to find Enzo na nakayuko sa tabi ng bed ko sleeping. Hindi ko alam kung anong oras na ngayon. Siguro gabi na kasi bukas ang ilaw and walang light na tumatagos mula sa curtain ng window. Ito ang ayaw ko sa lahat, yung lahat ng tao ay nagsasuffer along with me. I looked at Enzo. Hinayaan ko na muna siyang matulog kasi alam kong pagod na siya. Everytime na gumigising ako andyan siya palagi. Hindi ko alam kung umaalis ba siya kung natutulog ako.

May kumatok ng 2 beses sa door. I feigned sleep. I don’t know why pero ayaw ko muna makipag usap ngayon at ayaw kong makita sa mga mata nila ang awa. It must be pride on my part pero at my condition ayaw ko pa din ng kinaawaan ako. I felt Enzo stirred from his sleep.

Dave. How is she? Bakit hindi pa rin siya gumigising? I heard Enzo’s husky and tired voice.

Enzo, we need to do the transplant ASAP. There was a a sense of urgency sa boses ni Dave.

I thought kailangan pa niya ng further treatment?

Her body is not anymore responding to chemo drugs. We wanted to stopped the cancer from reaching her brain. She may undergo Radiation Theraphy prior to the transplant to kill the cancer cells before it reached her brain. We need to do it asap. Probably tomorrow. The last thing that we wanted is for the cancer cells to reach her brain.

Anong mangyayari if that happens?

If we are too late, she may be blind, deaf, comatose, invalid, anything. And worse we may be too late to save her.

I heard a sigh. Do whatever it takes to keep her alive Dave. That’s the most important thing.

You know that we will do that. Then I felt someone taking my vital signs and checking me. After that I heard the opening and the closing of the door.

Why are you sticking with a dying person like me? Napalingon siya when he heard me speak. Lumapit siya sa akin and he took my hand .

Love, you are not dying. And even if you are dying, I will still stick with you. So you have to endure that. Hinding hindi kita iiwan kahit ano pa ang mangyari. I love You. More than my life And he kissed my forehead. I prevent myself from crying. Awang awa na ako kay Enzo kasi alam kong nahihirapan na din siya. . Sometimes tinatanong ko na kung bakit ako pa ang nagkaroon ng ganitong sakit. I tried to ignore ang lungkot nararamdaman ko. It wouldn’t help if I dwell on my self pity. I should be strong.

Anong oras na? He looked at the clock na nasa taas ng pinto. Nakikita ko rin pero hindi ko na maaninag ang time. I don’t know kung dahil ba sa madilim ang room or dahil blurry ang vision ko. I always have a 20-20 vision. Fear suddenly crept in me nung maalala ko ang pinag usapan ni Enzo ang Dave. God! Sana hindi ako mabulag. What am I gonna do if gumaling nga ako pero bulag ako? Will Enzo stick with me na isang bulag? Again I stopped myself from entertaining such thoughts.

4:30AM. Why? DO you want something? Nagugutom ka ba?

I’m okay. Bakit pala ikaw ang nagpupuyat sa pagbabantay sa akin? Nasaan sila Mom and Dad?

Ayaw mo nang ako ang nagbababtantay sa’yo?

Hindi sa ganun. Of course gusto ko na andito ka but then pumapayat ka na kakaalaga sa akin. Ayokong ikaw naman ang magkasakit. He chuckled at what I’ve said.

Hindi mangyayari yun. Kita mo naman kung gaano ako ka macho di ba? He laughed smugly.

I smiled at him. Kung malakas lang ako nahampas ko na siya. Kung ikaw ba naman magkaroon ng bf na ganyan. DI ba ayaw mo pang mamatay just to be with him for a long time kasi mamimiss mo siya ng sobra sobra pati ang mga corny jokes niya? Honey, pwede mo ba akong iikot sa hospital? May nakita kasi akong garden dito nung nagpapacheck up pa lang ako. Gusto kong pumunta doon.

Itatanong ko sa Nurse kung pwede kang ilabas sa room. He then dialled the intercom and asked if pwede akong makalabas. Pumayag naman sila pero nilagyan pa ako ng mask at kung ano ano pa. I hate the feeling of being in a hospital. The I tried to sit up pero ang bigat ng katawan ko. Parang wala akong lakas na umupo. Oh my God. This is getting worse.

Why can’t I even sit Enzo? I panicked. The last time I remember nakaka upo pa ako on my own pero dahan dahan lang. Bakit ngayon hindi na? I can’t help but cry at my situation. Magiging invalid ba ako?

Love it’s okay. Your body is just reacting to chemotherapy drugs. It’s okay, everything will be okay. After the transplant and the medication you’ll be okay. He hugged me and comforted me while he’s wiping away my tears. Nung medyo okay na ako he carried me para paupuin sa wheelchair and we strolled the hospital hanggang sa makarating kami sa sinasabi kong garden. There we reminisce lahat ng mga times that we’re together. WE savored each memory na napagdaanan namin. We treasured that moment that we’re together. We watched the sunrise together. And like the sunrise, our love may reach a moment of darkness but no matter how long is that moment, there will come a time na babalik at babalik ang pagmamahalan namin.
Twenty
Sa totoo lang wala na akong pakialam kung ano pa ang gagawin nila sa akin. Feeling ko din nagiging numb na ako. Lahat sila nagsasabi na lumaban daw ako. At dahil sa masunurin ako lumalaban ako. Pero nafefeel ko ang paglala ng sakit ko. Kung hindi siguro dahil sa painkillers na binibigay sa akin baka matagal na akong nag give up. Nag iisa ngayon ako sa room ko kasi dahil sa radiation. Kakatapos ko lang kasi ng theraphy. Mga few minutes daw pagkapasok ng Nurse pwede na ulit ako tumanggap ng bisita. Pinapatulog nga nila ako pero hindi ako makatulog kaya nanood na lang ako ng tv. Actually hindi naman talaga ako nanonood kasi nga blurred na ang vision ko pero matalas pa rin ang pandinig ko. Kung hindi ako nagkakamali nasa CNN ang channel ng TV. I am already drifting off to sleep when a news suddenly caught my attention.

….the engagement of Princess Emma of Spain and His Royal Highness Prince Lorenzo, Prince of Orange and Nassau was announced 5 months ago. The Spanish Royal family announced yesterday that the marriage is scheduled 5 months from now after the Prince finished his Masteral Degree. The Princess is currently busy on the wedding preparations. However, the Prince’s whereabouts is still unknown and the Dutch Family didn’t state the college where the Prince is currently attending for security purposes. As we all know Prince Lorenzo was crowned 2 years ago….

I suddenly opened my eyes na parang naalimpungatan ako. I didn’t noticed the tears streaming down my face. Hindi yun panaginip. It was true. He was engaged the month I’ve known about my condition. He is getting married and I’ve be left alone recovering after my operation. He tried everything para mabuhay ako para lang iwan niya. Bakit ganito? Kung kelan pa nagkakaayos na kami tsaka ako may nalalamang balita na makakasakit sa akin. Hindi ba talaga kami para sa isa’t isa? Are we not destined to be together kaya pilit na pinaglalayo kami? Are we fighting with fate because we wanted to be together yet hindi pala kami para sa isa’t isa? I am hiccuping nung pumasok ang Nurse sa loob ng room ko.

Ma’am! Ma’am bakit po kayo umiiyak? Hindi ko pinansin ang Nurse. Hindi ko kasi mapigil ang pag iyak ko. I am crying like a baby. Ma’am hindi po kayo pwedeng umiyak ng ganyan! Makakasama sa inyo. I tried to stopped myself from crying. Nakakahiya sa Nurse. Tsaka di naman ako iyakin talaga di ba? Sige nga! Sabihin niyo kung kelan ako umiyak sa harap ng ibang tao? Maliban sa harap ni Enzo?

Era, bakit ka umiiyak? What’s wrong?

Mommy! Sob. Mommy… He is marrying someone else. My Mom just hugged me. Nagtataka yung iba sa kinikilos ko ngayon.

Who is marrying someone? Hindi pa rin pala nila alam kung sino talaga si Enzo. It’s a secret na hindi namin pwedeng ipagkalat or else dudumugin kami ng paparazzi.

Enzo….

Enzo is marrying someone? Ha? Paano nangyari yun? Sabay na sabi nila.

Ni hindi nga umaalis ng hospital yun.

Honey, you must be dreaming. It’s just a bad dream. It’s not true. I nodded. I am not yet ready to tell them. It is not my secret to tell. Tahan na okay. Babalik si Enzo. Umuwi lang siya saglit. He’ll be back. Gusto mo ba tawagan namin siya para pumunta na dito?

Gusto ko ba? Yun ba talaga ang gusto ko? Gusto ko ba siyang makita after ng nalaman ko? Yes, Gusto ko. Once and for all gusto kong malaman sa kanya ang totoo. Kung bakit nagkaganun. I don’t want to make the same mistake. Gusto ko siyang kausapin.

I nodded at my Mom. Yes, Mom I wanted to talk to him.
Twenty One

Enzo’s POV

For the first time in this story nabigyan din ako ng pagkakataon I-voice out ang mga nararamdaman ko. Kung hindi pa siguro ako nagmakaawa sa author hindi ko pa magagawa ang bagay na ito. Buti na lang kahit na-eepalan na sa akin ang author pinayagan pa din niya ako. Kahit nasabi na niya sa first page na POV lang to ni Era pinagbigyan pa din niya ako. I love you Miss Author. Di ko makakalimutan ang ginawa mong ito. (Author blushes) Since limited lang ang space ko dito sisimulan ko na at mag eexplain na din ako ng dahil sa previous chapter.

Andito ako ngayon sa bahay ko na minsanan ko na lang uwian kasi doon na ako sa hospital nagc-stay. Kung hindi lang ako pinagtabuyan ng family ni Era at nila Nica hindi pa ako aalis. Minsan lang kasi ako umuwi at mga 3-4 hours lang kasi ayaw kong magising si Era ng hindi ako nakikita. Pinagtabuyan na ako sa hospital kasi sabi nga nila kailangan ko daw magpahinga. Baka pati ako maospital sa pinaggagawa ko and besides hindi pa pwedeng lapitan si Era kasi nga kakatapos lang niya ng theraphy.

Sire, His Royal Highness called last night. He wanted to talk to you. Naalala niyo pa siya? Si Steven.

Did you tell him that I am currently busy? Yes, he is pestering me again. He wanted me to go back. In the first place he didn’t approve of me returning here to the Philippines to continue my studies. I could have studied in any university yet I choose this country. The reason I gave him is my mother. But I never knew that, I must admit it or not, there is still a part of me that wishes na makikita ko si Era sa pagbabalik ko sa Pilipinas. And I never regret my decision. And now he wanted me to go back. Goddamnit.

Sire, your father is on the line. I took the phone from Steven and answered him.

Hello

Lorenzo, when are you returning? You need return and help Emma with the wedding preparations. They’ve announced that it will be 5 months from now. If you’ve been watching the news you should have known it by now.

They did what? Five months? I don’t want to marry her.Isa pa ang engagement na to. I don’t know kung ano ang magiging reaction ni Era once malaman niya ang bagay na ito.

How could you say that? You’ve agreed to marry her. You are engaged. You cannot break the engagement.

Father, I can’t go back now and I can’t marry Emma. Not now.Ngayon pang nagkaayos na kami ni Era.

Lorenzo, we have talked about it already. If you don’t want to marry her, why did you agree in the first place? You’re putting the monarchy in shame.

Because its for the good of the monarchy. Because you all wanted me too. To strengthen the ties between our countries. That’s why I agreed with you and with the council. But now I can’t do that.

You cant back out…

Dad! That stopped him from talking. Yes, I seldom call him Dad. Dad, for now.. let me be happy. Allow me to be happy. Let me marry the girl that I truly love. Please….

Napabuntunghininga siya sa sinabi ko. We’ll talk about that when you return. Then he hanged up.

Yes I wanted to marry her. Ang g@go ko din kasi eh. Bakit ba kasi ako pumayag na ma engage sa Emma na yun? Ni hindi ko nga kilala yun. Kahit engaged na ako hinding hindi ako pakakasal kung hindi si Era ang bride ko. Kaya gagawin ko ang lahat para mabuhay siya.

Ang dami palang nagtatanong kung saan ako nakakuha ng donor. Siempre dahil Prinsipe ako madami akong koneksiyon kaya yun in no time at all nakahanap sila ng stem cell that match with Era. Hindi ako ang donor. Ayoko ngang maging donor ako ni Era.. Baka di kami payagan makasal kasi magkadugo na kami. Hehehe. Pero seriously, alam kong nahihirapan siya. Kahit pag nagkasama kami ngumingiti siya, alam kong nahihirapan siya. Hindi biro ang pinagdadaanan niyang hirap. Kung pwede nga lang na ako na lang ang maysakit.

Beep beep

I took my cellphone at binasa ang message:

Quote
From: NicaRon
Pwede nang bisitahin si Era.
Beep beep

Quote
From:RoNica
Hinahanap ka ni Era.

Nagtaka kayo kung bakit ganun ang name nila? Si Era ang naglagay niyan nung nasa hospital na siya. Palagi niyang pinaglalaruan kasi ang cp ko and nung tingnan ko nga iba iba na ang name na nasa phonebook ko. The first message was from Nica and the second was from ROn.

Agad naman akong pumunta sa garage and sumakay sa kotse ko. Sayang di ako ang unang nakita niya. Sana di na lang ako umuwi.

Medyo matraffic on the way to the hospital kaya panay ang busina ko kasi nga nagmamadali ako. I know I am driving fast but the hell I care. Gusto ko na siyang makita. Namimiss ko na siya. Magtuturn left na ako when I saw my phone blinking. Someone’s calling. Saglit kong tiningnan kung sino and it was Lyla. Remember Era’s sister?

Hello Laila.

Enzo, pwede nang bisitahin si Era and she’s looking for you. As usual huli na naman sa balita si Laila

Yes, papunta na ako dyan. On the way na nga ako eh.

Ganun ba? Sige bilisan mo lang kasi umiyak siya kanina nung gumising siya.

Ha? Bakit naman?

Eh kasi, nanaginip ata na ikakasal ka na sa iba. Sige ha! Punta ka na dito agad. Bye. And she turned off the phone. Ano daw? Nanaginip ba talaga? Or nalaman niya ang totoo? Napanood niya sa tv? Napatulala ako sa narinig ko. Bakit ngayon pa niya nalaman? Ngayon pang ayaw ko siyang masaktan. Ngayon pang I wanted to spare her from all the pain. I am so immersed sa pag iisip ko that I didn’t noticed a truck heading my way. I tried to maneuver my car to safety but it’s too late. I am driving fast and so is the truck.
Twenty Two
Hindi pa rin dumarating si Enzo. Nagkunyari na nga akong natutulog kasi gusto kong mapag isa. Gusto ko clear ang mind ko kung kakausapin ko siya. Ayoko nang nasasaktan siya. Sobrang sakit na ang naidulot ko sa kanya. Ayoko nang nasasaktan kaming dalawa. As much as possible gusto kong maging open kami sa isa’t isa. No more pretentions, no more lies, no more secrets.

Nung nakatulog na ako kunyari lumabas na yung mga tagabantay ko. Ayoko silang makausap. Ayokong makita nila na nasasaktan ako. Mabuti na lang at naisip ni Mom na panaginip ko lang yun. Ayokong mag alala sila. Masyado na silang nahihirapan dahil sa sitwasyon ko ngayon, ayokong dagdagan pa ang paghihirap nila dahil sa relasyon namin ni Enzo.

Aaminin ko, in my 22 years madami akong pagsisisi. I should have devout my time sa mga bagay na nakakabuti sa lahat. Madami din akong nasaktan. Madami akong pinaglaruan, madami akong nilait, madaming galit sa akin, madami akong inapak apakan. Pero in my 22 years madami din akong napasaya, madami akong natulungan, madami akong naging kaibigan at ang pinakamahalaga sa lahat nagmahal ako. Nagmahal ako ng totoo at walang reserbasyon. Nagmahal ako ng buong puso. Yan ang pinakaimportante sa lahat.

I heard the door open and someone checked my vital signs at kung ano ano pa ang ginawa sa akin. It must be the Nurse.

May fever siya. Then I felt someone checked on me again.

Toxic kanina sa ER. I heard the other Nurse say sa kasama niya.

Bakit naman? Madami bang case?

Hindi pero kasi may sinugod dun kanina na naaksidente. Andoon kasi ako to assist Dr. Mariano. Grabe yung nangyari sa lalaki. Ang pogi pa naman. Parang familiar nga ang mukha niya eh.

Talaga? Kawawa naman. Ano ang name?

Saavedra. Bigla akong kinabahan nung marinig ko ang apelyido na yun. Saavedra… Lorenzo ata. 50/50 na eh. Nasa ICU ngayon. I suddenly felt na naninikip ang dibdib ko upon hearing the name. The pain in my chest intensified. I can feel the attack. What happened to Enzo? I opened my eyes and tried to sit up pero hindi ko talaga kaya.

Enzo…. I am crying now. Naninikip na ang dibdib ko. I can’t barely breath na parang may bumabara sa paghinga ko.

Miss Era, Calm down po. Ano po ang nangyari sa inyo? The two Nurses tried to stopped me from sitting up.

My God, she is bleeding! She’s having an attack. Tawagin mo si Dr. Darling. The other one ordered his companion while she’s trying to wipe the blood from my nose. I was just crying and calling out Enzo’s name. Nagiging hysterical na ako. Mas nasasaktan pa ako sa kaalamang naaksidente si Enzo kaysa sa sakit na nararamdaman ko ngayon dahil sa sakit ko. I can’t let him die. Hindi ako papayag na mamamatay siya. Not him. God, not him. Madami pa siyang pwedeng gawin.

Naramdaman ko na may tumurok sa akin at bigla akong nanghina. Everything is blurry. I could hear a lot of voices all at the same time. Occasionally I can hear a command,

“suction, suction, clear the airway”

“Era, breath.”

I heard a lot of voices. I can’t distinguished all of them. Wala na akong pakialam sa kanilang lahat. I wanted to be with Enzo. I wanted to be near him. I wanted to take away his pain kung nasasaktan man siya ngayon. I wanted to be him. Yun lang ang gusto ko. I wanted to be with him even if it will cost me my own life. I feel my own blood in my mouth, in my nose but I felt the tears falling down my eyes. Paano ako makakapunta kay Enzo if I can’t even speak? If I can’t even breath?

“Supply oxygen, continue the suction.”

“Doc….” It was like everything is a dream. People are surrounding me. This is all surreal.

“ Call the OR, we will do the transplant now.”

There are a lot of buzzing sound. Papalayo ng papalayo. I tried to come nearer so that I can hear more but its as if habang lumalapit ako lalo silang lumalayo. I tried to reach for them pero hindi ko sila maabot. Then there’s the light. Now I am torn, saan ako lalapit sa boses o sa light? The light felt comforting yet the voices are calling for my name. They are calling for me. Parang may kung anong force na nag uudyok sa akin na bumalik sa mga boses na yun. Lumapit ako sa mga boses just because nagbibigay comfort ang mga boses na yun.

revive

I looked at the light once more pero hindi ko na nakita ang light. Instead what I saw shocked me.

I saw Enzo looking at me sadly and there are tears streaming down his face.
Twenty Three

I saw Enzo looking at me sadly and tears streaming down his face.

Enzo….I stepped towards him. He smiled at me weakly. Lumapit ako sa kanya. I ignored the voices that are calling me. You came.

I will never let you down. I will always be here for you. No matter what. Don’t forget that. You are my greatest and my only love Era. Bakit ganun? Bakit ang lungkot niya while he’s saying those words.

I heard you’ve meet an accident. Hindi pala ikaw yun. I am so glad that you’re alright. Hinawakan ng left hand ko ang right cheek niya to make sure na totoo ito. That Enzo is indeed standing in front of me. Na wala siya sa ICU. Na hindi siya naaksidente. But then when my palm landed on his cheek wala akong nahawakan. Parang hangin. As if walang nakatayo sa kinatatayuan niya ngayon pero kitang kita ko siya ngayon na nakatingin sa akin. Sadness is evident on his eyes.

Why can’t I touch you? Bakit hindi kita mahawakan? Then reality hit me. I wept. He can’t leave me.

Era, I came to say goodbye.

But you just said that you will always be here for me. Bakit ka nagpapaalam ngayon? Ayoko! I can’t stopped myself from crying. I can’t accept the fact that he is dead.

Andito lang palagi ako para sa’yo. Hinding hindi kita iiwan Era. Kahit kailan hindi kita iniwan. You are always here in my heart. I may not be physically present pero andyan lang ako. Andito lang ako for you.

No! I wanted to be with you. Gusto kong kasama kita. What’s the point of me living if hindi kita kasama? Hindi ako papayag Enzo!

But you can’t come with me.

Pagod na rin ako. I’m tired of fighting this disease. I wanted to be with you. Bakit ayaw mo?

Because you still have a chance. Madami ang nagmamahal sa’yo. Your life doesn’t end with me. Hindi lang ako ang taong nagmamahal sayo. All of them, your Mom, your Dad, Mark, Laila, Nica, Ron, Ellaine, Mike and David. They all love you. They are all hoping that you’re going to fight.That you are going to live. Umiling ako. I can’t believe he is saying all those things to me.

And you? Don’t you have a chance to live? Madami din ang nagmamahal sayo. Madami ang umaasa sa’yo. Umiling siya.

Then there is no reason for me to live longer.

No Era, you have to fight.

I have been fighting all my life. And there is nothing to live kung wala ka. You are my life and I just can’t continue living without you.

Pagod na pagod na rin ako Enzo. I have been fighting this disease because everytime I hear your voice, it’s full of hope. Hope that I will live. Now tell me, how can I live when my only hope was gone? I didn;’t succumb to this disease because alam kong andyan ka naghihintay sa paggaling ko. The operation, I know that I cannot make it. But because you wanted me to do it pumayag ako. The chemotherapies, alam kong hindi na yun makakatulong sa akin but I endure it because of you. The moment the doctor in London told me that I am dying, I know that nothing could save me. Umuwi ako ng Pilipinas kasi alam kong ito na ang last chance kong makasama kayo. Ito na ang last chance kong mapatawad mo. I didn’t even ask for you to love me again but you did and that made me strong. Your love made me hope, kahit alam kong I’m clinging to a false hope, I still hope because of you. Can’t you see it Enzo? Can’t you see that I am only breathing because of you? That I’ve endured all the pain kasi gusto kong makasama ka just a little bit longer. Kaya please let me be with you.

He then tooked my hand and kissed it. How come na pwede niya akong hawakan pero ako hindi ko siya mahawakan. He then guided me towards the voices. And it became clear to me. We are now looking at my own body. And the voices that I’m hearing are the voices of the doctor and the nurses that are trying to revive me. Sa isang sulot nakikita ko sila Mommy, Daddy, Mark and Laila as well as Nica and Ron. They are all crying. I wanted to comfort them. Na dapat hindi sila malungkot kasi magkasama naman kami ni Enzo.

Then I saw Dave, tears are streaming down his face while he’s trying to revive me. Then the monitor, and the straight line indicating my heartbeat.

Doc…The other doctor tapped Dave in the shoulder signaling him to stop reviving me. At umiling ito.

ICU
Today, June 3, 2010 11:06AM, we declare the death of Prince Lorenzo Saavedra.

Era’s Room
Today, June 3, 2010 11:06AM, we declare the death of Emerald Cardenas.

Truly our hearts beats as one.

Epilogue

Why are you sad? Lumapit sa akin si Enzo and hug me from behind.

Kasi nakakasad lang. I looked at him sadly. Pouting my mouth to emphasize my sadness.

Bakit ka nga sad? Hinarap niya ako sa kanya. Oh my God! hanggang ngayon kinikilig pa din ako pag tinitingnan niya ako ng ganyan. Parang nanghihina pa din ang tuhod ko titig pa lang niya. Parang just by looking at him gusto ko na agad pumunta sa kwarto and you know…. Is it appropriate? Hindi kaya paparusahan ako at ipadala sa hell dahil sa kamanyakan ko kay Enzo?

Kasi… kasi…hindi happy ending ang story natin. I pouted more at kinusot ang mata ko para may lumabas na luha. I saw him raise his eyebrow.At sh!t pati ang eyebrows niya ang seksi. Di ba masama ang magmura? Pero sh!t talaga. Mabuti na lang namatay kaming dalawa. I can’t bear it kung nabuhay siya tapos ako namatay tapos iba ang pakasalan niya. Baka multuhin ko silang dalawa at patayin. O kaya siya namatay at ako ang nabuhay. Baka landiin siya ng mga anghel. No way!

Ano ba ang happy ending para sa’yo? Napaisip ako sa tinanong niya. Ano nga ba ang happy ending para sa akin?

Alam mo yun, ang may, “and they live happily ever after.” Eh tayo, we die happily ever after. He laughed at my answer and he pinched my nose.

Love, natapos man ang love story natin sa mundo, we still have our happy ending here. And our happiness here will never end. He took my hand and kissed it. Tara na.

Saan tayo pupunta?

Basta may ipapakita ako sa’yo na ikatutuwa mo. And then pumunta kami sa isang place na may napakalaking screen. There I saw a mausoleum tapos may andoon ang family ang friends namin.

Yan ang nangyayari ngayon sa mundo, sa mga mahal natin sa buhay.

Bakit nasa cemetery sila?

Kasi 5th death anniversary natin. Wow! 5 years na kaming patay pala. Nakakatuwa.

Then parang na focus ang camera kay Mike and Ellaine. Ellaine is pregnant and beside her is Mike na may kargang parang 2 years old na bata at nakahawak sa damit ni Mike ang isang 5 years old na bata.

3 na ang anak nila Mike and Ellaine. Look how happy they are. Then the camera focused on Jeannie and beside her is David. Who is that girl?

Yan si Jeannie. Friend naming ni Dave sa London. Pumunta pala siya dito sa pinas.

Looks like she’s staying sa Philippines for good. Look at her and Dave. Tiningnan ko silang dalawa and nakita kong magkahawak sila ng kamay and both of them have an identical wedding ring. So, sila ang nagkatulyan. I am so happy for them.

Then the camera shifted sa dalawang taong mukhang nag aaway. Na parang pinapagalitan ng lalaki ang isang babae kasi muntik nang madulas. And the girl is very very pregnant. Napalaki ang ngisi ni Enzo and then I realized kung sino ang dalawang taong nag aaway. No other than Nica and Ron.

Bakit buntis si Nica? Sino ang ama?

Sino pa eh di ang bestfriend mo.

Si Ron? He just grinned. Pero how come? Ron is gay.

Yes he was. And remember what you’ve said before? What Nica wants, Nica gets. Yan ang nakuha niya. Ginawa niyang lalaki si Ron. Look at how he takes care of her. Parang ayaw niyang padapuan ng langaw ang asawa niya.

Mag-asawa sila? He nodded. And then a girl na mga 3 years old nagpakarga kay Ron. Lalong nanlaki ang mga mata ko. 2 na ang anak nila? He nodded again.

Then I saw Elise with her husband and their children as well as my Mom and my Dad, Mark and his family and Laila and her family. I looked up at Enzo with tears in my eyes. I am so happy for all of them.

Me too love.

And we kissed and sealed our love that will last through eternity.
END

 

Credit: Itim na nobela

Breaking The Gem © Blacklily
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