✘✘✘✘

I stared at my phone. Hesitated. But after a million second thoughts, I decided to answer the call anyway.

"Hello?"
"Oh. Hi," the voice on the other line said, obviously surprised that I answered his call.
"Hello," I said. Again.

"Why are you still up?"
"Well.." I started searching for an answer and settled with "I have my reasons."
"Reasons like?"
He still hasn’t changed. He still keeps asking follow-up questions. This habit of his has always amazed yet annoyed me at the same time.
"Reasons which are none of your concern, I suppose," I finally answered.
"Oh," was all he could say.

Awkward silence followed then.

He broke the silence by attempting to crack a joke. “Bet you’re waiting for my call,” he said, adding a little laugh.
"Funny that you asked," I said, "but no, I wasn’t."

Another pause.
Then his voice grew serious.

"Do you miss us? Me in particular?” he asked.
I’ve long waited for him to ask that question. I know exactly how to answer it now.
"If there’s anything I miss about us, it’d only be the friendship. Nothing more and definitely nothing less."



And for some reasons, the line suddenly went dead.

Akala mo’y di ko napapansin
Lumalapit ka lang ‘pag may kailangan ka sa’kin
'Pag ang 'yong mahal ay di ka pinansin
Paglalambing na para sa kanya’y binabaling na lang sa’kin

Ano nga ba ako sa’yo?
Hanggang kailan magkukunwaring wala lang sa’kin ‘to?
Ganun ba ko kagaling magtago
At di mo makitang nasasaktan na ko?

Kaibigang tinuturing
May tinatago ding lihim
Nasasaktan ma’y tinitiis pa din
Hanggang kailan nga ba magkukuwaring wala lang ‘to sa’kin?

Hanggang kailan itatago itong lihim na pagtingin?


"Ano ‘to?" tanong niya.
"Ang ali—? Hoy! Ba’t mo binabasa yan?!" Halatang magkahalong gulat at kaba ang nangingibabaw sa boses ko. Lagot na.
"Na-curious ako eh," inosente niyang sagot.
"Tamo ‘to! Nangingialam ng gamit ng may gamit. Alis, alis!"
"Sagutin mo muna tanong ko," pilit niya.
"Wala. May nagpagawa lang niyan sa’kin. Corny nga eh. Eww, noh? Itatapon ko na dapat yan eh," pabiro ko na lang sagot.
"Hmm. Sigurado ka?" tanong niyang halatang may pagdududa.
"Oo nga. Gagawin pa kong sinungaling oh. Tsk."
"Sige na, sige na. Naniniwala na," Halata namang napilitan lang.

Nang umalis siya, nakahinga ako ng maluwag.
"Muntik na yun ah!" sabi ko sa sarili ko.
Ngunit napatahimik ako.. Napaisip..

Hanggang kailan ko nga ba ‘to balak itago?

Left unsaid

You are my ray of sunshine
Just a glimpse of you brightens my day
And I’d like to fool myself that you’re mine
Or at least maybe someday.. someday

You are part of a picture perfect imagination
Feels like we’re stuck in our own time and space
Though maybe all of this is just an illusion
It still feels real whenever I get to see your face

You never really have to know how much I like you
We can act like complete strangers everyday
So ‘til then all I’m left to do
Is wait for destiny to find a way

Today is probably one of the toughest days of my entire existence.
Everything—practically in almost every aspect of my life—seems all messed up.
At school.
At home.
Goodness, even outside.

And as if fate is really trying to piss me more, it started raining.
Big, heavy raindrops were already pouring on my head.

I started to rush to the nearest shed.
I sat down and realized tears were already racing down on my cheeks.
“Well at least there’s no one around to witness what a complete idiot I look like right now.” I thought.
I covered my face with my hands and started to cry more.
Letting all the hurt, anger and frustrations come out.

Just then, I felt someone covered me with a piece of clothing.
A jacket, I realized.
I looked up and saw my boyfriend.
“How.. How did you know I was here?” I asked.
“Instinct, I guess?” and he smiled.

On usual days, I would’ve returned that smile with a slight punch.
But today, obviously, isn’t usual.

"Go away." I demanded.
“No. I’m not going anywhere.” he said.
“I want to be alone.”
“Then pretend I’m not here.”
“You know I can’t do that.”
“Well, I’m sorry but I’m really not going anywhere. Especially not when you look like you’re in the deepest pit of hell.”
“Stop being so hard-headed.”
“I’m not. I’m just being your boyfriend. Your partner. And you know what partners do, they stick around.”

So I grew tired arguing with him.
I sighed.

After a few minutes and a couple of realizations, I turned to his direction and said, “Hey, stalker.”
He smiled and answered, “For today, I’ll take that as a compliment.”
“Come here.” I said, patting the vacant space beside me.
He did.

"Sorry for pushing you away earlier. I just don’t want you to see me like this."
“Even if you throw stones at me just to go away, I still wouldn’t. I know you could use someone to talk to.”
“You know me so well, huh?”
With that, he didn’t answer. He hugged me instead.
The kind of hug that would make you wish it’d never end.
The kind that would make the thought of pulling away close to impossible.

"Please.."
“What is it?”
“Please don’t let go..”
“I won’t.”

And so he planted a light kiss on my forehead and hugged me tighter.
We stayed like that for a few more minutes, which seemed like a lifetime to me.

"You know," he whispered in my ear, "We need to get going. Your parents must be very worried now. They made me look for you earlier."
“Really?”
“Really.”

With that, I felt the thin line on my lips turn into a smile.
And we started walking our way home.

Milyun-milyong bagay ang naglalaro sa isip ko nang..
"Ui, ba’t naman ang tahimik mo?"

Di ko namalayang nakatulala na pala ako.
Nagdadalawang-isip ako kung itatanong ko pa ba sa kanya ang matagal ko ng gustong tanungin. Ang totoo kasi niyan, natatakot din akong marining ang inaasahan kong sagot.

Huminga muna ako ng malalim.
"Gusto mo ba siya?" tanong ko, habang nasa malayo pa rin ang tingin.
"Sino?" pabalik niyang tanong.
"Alam mo kung sino tinutukoy ko."
"Ikaw? Naman! Tinatanong pa ba yan?" sagot niya, sabay ngiti.
Ngunit hindi ko sinuklian ang ngiti niya. “Hindi ako. Siya,” sabi ko.

Hindi siya nakasagot.
Sa puntong ‘yon, alam kong naintindihan na niya ang tanong ko.
At hanggang sa punto ding ‘yon, hindi pa rin ako makaharap sa kanya.

"I want you to be as honest as possible."
Tumango lang siya.
"Nafa-fall ka na ba sa kanya?" sa wakas, natanong ko din.
Matagal siyang nakasagot.
"Yata.." mahina niyang sagot.
Tumingin siya sa’kin habang ako’y dahan-dahang napayuko.
"Sorry.." ang huli niyang nasabi.

Bago pa man tuluyang bumuhos ang luha na unti-unti ng namumuo sa aking mga mata, sinabi ko, “Alam kong hindi ka naman talaga akin to begin with. Pero sa sarili ko, I’m already setting you free. Sana.. Sana maging masaya ka.”

Sa pagbitaw ko ng mga salitang ‘yon, dali-dali akong naglakad papalayo. Hindi ko sinubukang lumingon ni isang beses.

Ilang segundo pa man ang lumipas, naramdaman ko na ang pait na katotohanang kahit hindi pa man kami, kailangan ko na siyang palayain dahil ako lang din ang mas masasaktan ‘pag pinatagal ko pa.

Masakit, pero kailangan.

 
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