Like Tangent Lines { o n e }

Matt enters a bar which seems about to close; he sees some staff already arranging some of the tables, but he still enters anyway. Just as Matt enters, he hears a drunk woman spewing curses and rants. The voice gets clearer as he walks by the bar counter. It turns out that the woman is alone and is talking by herself. The people around are just ignoring her, letting her rant about her issues. There are only few customers left inside the bar since it’s about to close; few couples and one group of teenagers left aside from this drunk lady in the counter.  Matt sits one stool apart from the drunk lady. He orders for his drink and while waiting, he glances at the her. The longer he stares at her, the more familiar she gets. Finally he remembers who this lady is. Of course, he would always remember her. He knows her too well. He chuckles as he witnesses the lady alternately crying and laughing, cursing included. Matt got his drink already but he keeps staring at this familiar drunk lady. “What a coincidence that I found you here,” he says, trying to get her attention. The lady slowly turns her head to his direction. “Well, it turns out that he rumors I’ve heard about you is nothing compared to what I’m witnessing now from you. This is definitely worse.” She grins at him but the grin doesn’t reach her eyes – her eyes remain unfocused; torn between shutting it or keeping it open. She leans her arm in the counter and rests her head against her palm and sarcastically replies, “Rumors? Oh, I love rumors!“ She gulps another shot of a hard liquor and continues, “okay then, tell me about those rumors and what makes this state of me worse.” Matt gulps a shot of his liquor too before he speaks. He imitates her position and looks directly at her unfocused eyes. He remains silent until her eyes finally meet his. Her eyes finally focuses on his gaze. “Some of our batchmates speculate that you’d probably commit suicide after Simon broke up with you. Of course it would be a hot topic among our batch. You two used to be popular during our college years; you were one of the most popular couples back then. It’s alarming that you two have broken up three years after our graduation. You two lasted almost seven years, which is quite impressive. We were just waiting for you two to get married not until the news came.” He chuckles a bit as if he just talked about something funny. She winces at what he said. “Suicide? Are you kidding me? Suicide, really? That’s worse. How can you say that getting wasted is worse than suicide?” She sluggishly says, some of her words are unclear but Matt is still able to catch up with what she’s trying to say. “Killing the pain by suicide is faster, but this, you getting wasted probably every night, wasting every day mourning for your broken relationship, is worse. In my opinion, that’s a slow form of suicide. You let the pain drain positive emotions left until it kills your insides while you’re still alive. You’re physically alive but inside you’re already dead. Of course that’s worse.” It takes a while before everything Matt has said to sink in. And when it finally did, the lady bursts again. Matt just lets the lady have another moment of crying and wailing while he drinks his liquor. After a few minutes she starts to calm down. She moves to the stool next to her to get closer to Matt. He tilts his head as he waits for her next move. She reaches for his hand. Her eyes focusing in his. “You talk like an expert with these kind of stuff. Help me, then. Help me, Matt. Help me move on.” Another set of tears escapes her eyes but she keeps her cool and ignores them. “Matthew, how do I move on?” Matt pouts his lips, trying to prevent them from grinning. He composes himself and coolly tells her “you need to look for a rebound. That’s the easiest way of moving on. Manipulate the pain to your advantage.” The grin finally escapes from his lips. “That’s what I did. That’s how I moved on.” She snorts at him with disbelief. “Seriously? Dude, that’s a bull. I may be drunk but I still have my senses with me and what you are saying right now is a bullshit, I’m telling you. Why would I hurt another person? Ugh, that’s so disgusting.” Matt just shakes his head while chuckling. He is about to say something when a staff reminds them that they’re about to close in ten minutes. The lady is still waiting for his reply as she raises an eyebrow at him. Matt glances again at her and he remains nonchalant. “Did I say that your rebound should be a person? I didn’t. A rebound can be anything else, Jaz. Just immerse yourself in the pain, not to hurt yourself more but rather to use it to your advantage. Let it bring out all the emotions in you until you make an art, a novel, a painting, or anything else you can create; let the pain inspire you to create a masterpiece. Keep immersing yourself in the pain until one day it’s hurts no more, you’d be too distracted, and you’d realize that your priority is not him anymore; you’re priority would already be your masterpiece, and yourself. Keep yourself distracted with your masterpiece until you forget that there was once a guy in your life who had broken your heart. After you’ve moved on, you’d probably thank him for giving you the pain that made you create your wonderful works. I’m a songwriter now, and writings songs had been my kind of rebound. My songs are my kind of a rebound girlfriend. And I still thank the girl who had broken my heart for giving me the pain that led me where I am today – a songwriter of well-known songs.” He ends it with a sincere smile. Jaz just keeps staring at him, again taking time for everything to sink in. She remains silent while Matt waits for her reaction. A staff breaks the silence, apologizing that the bar is closing and that they need to go now. Matt pays for the bill and takes Jaz outside with him. As soon they step out of the bar, Jaz slumps herself in the pavement. She just sits there while staring at the blank dark sky. Too bad there are no stars to entertain her. Meanwhile, Matt’s torn between looking for a taxi to take her home or just let her sit there until she’s ready to go. He decides to just sit with Jaz, just a few inches away from her. He joins her as she stares at the night sky. Jaz startles Matt when she suddenly opens her mouth to speak. “I… I…” She starts, still staring at the sky. She slowly glances at Matt who’s now staring at her. She looks directly in his eyes. “I’m actually hoping this isn’t the last time seeing you. I hope we’ll meet again… after probably having written my novel – my future masterpiece, as you call it. And let’s see then if moving on through that kind of non-person rebound can really drain the pain. But let’s not meet while I’m still on the process. Would that be okay?” Matt nods but he doesn’t hide his doubt. “What if you forget? You’re drunk and there’s a probability that tomorrow, everything will be forgotten – what we talked about will be forgotten, this night would be forgotten, and I… I will be forgotten. I’m just one of your batchmates who happen to witness you in this kind of state. And later when you wake up, you’ll think that I was just a figment of your imagination.” She just grins while she stretches her arms upward, her arms slowly goes down, until she reaches Matt’s neck, pushing him closer to her as she seals him with a kiss. Just a simple kiss – just two lips closing the distance in between. Jaz breaks the kiss and whispers against his lips,  “I may forget things but I don’t forget kisses, Matt. Now you calm yourself, ‘cause I guarantee you: later when the sun comes up and I’m already sober, I’ll still remember this kiss; I’ll still remember you; I’ll still remember your lips that told me how I’ll be able to move on.” Matt feels Jaz’s warm breath against his lips. He chuckles. “Okay, then. It’s a deal. We will not meet until you finish your novel. But after that, you will look for me and we will meet again. I will wait. I will wait for you.” “We will not meet until then,” she reiterates and he nods. “Yes, we will not meet until then.” Jaz flashes another smile, her eyes again unfocused – a mixture of being tired and sleepy, and a few seconds later her head falls to Matt, there in the space between his neck and his shoulder.

__

Note: The part where Matt tells Jaz that she could move on by using the pain to her advantage and letting the pain inspire her to create her masterpiece is taken from Antoinette Jadaone’s talk on How To Turn Heartbreak Into Nasa Iyo Ang Huling Halaklak.

Okay lang ako, Ma

“Kumusta ka na?”

“Ma, ang saya pala mag-aral sa Unibersidad na ‘to”

“Ma, grabe dito na ako nag-aaral sa dating pinapangarap ko lang”

“Ma, napapatunayan ko nang tama ang kinuha kong kurso!”

“Ma, padami na nang padami ang pinagawa ng mga propesor ko…”

“Ma, fast food na naman kinain ko ma”

“Ma, namimiss ko na po yung mga lutong-bahay mo, lalo na ang paborito kong tortang talong”

“Ma, kulang tulog ko ma. Gusto kong sabihan mo ko na “”o sige na, matulog ka muna””

“Ma, may nakalimutan ako gawin kanina”

“Ma, miss ko na yung dating maya’t maya mong mga paalala”

“Ma, na-late na naman ako kanina”

“Ma, miss ko na yung dating paggising mo sa akin tuwing umaga”

“Ma, napapagod na po ako”

“Ma, mahirap pala mag-isa”

“Ma, pagod na po ako”

“Ma, kailangan na kita sa tabi ko; kailangan na kita dito”

“Ma, nanghihina po ako gusto ko mahiga sa braso mo”

“Ma, nakakapagod pala ang kolehiyo, ano?”

“Ma…”

“Ma, para sa’yo ‘to. Nakakapagod, oo—pero kakayanin ko—kayayanin ko kasi alam ko naniniwala ka na kaya ko”

“Ma, alam ko namimiss mo na rin ako”

“Ma, alam ko miss mo na yung bigla akong susulpot para yumakap sa likod mo”

“Ma, namimiss ko na ihiga ang ulo ko sa hita mo”

“Ma, nakakamiss din pala machine gun mong bibig tuwing umaga”

“Ma, miss na miss na miss na miss na talaga kita eh”

Ang dami—Ang dami kong gustong sabihin

Mga damdamin at mga saloobin

Pero hindi ko masabi ang lahat ng ito kaya’t

Ipapaloob ko na lamang lahat sa isang

“Okay lang ako, Ma.”

Natatakot kasi ako na baka mag-alala ka

Natatakot kasi ako na baka sa sobrang dami kong gustong sabihin

Bigla ka antukin kasi sobrang haba na

Natatakot kasi ako na baka

Biglang sumabog ang iyak

Na pilit kong tinatago habang

Nakikinig sa boses mo

Habang nagkukuwento tungkol sa araw-araw mo habang wala ako

Ayokong isipin mong mahina ako, Ma

Ayokong isip mong hindi ko talaga kaya

Para sa’yo Ma kakayin ko pa

Kahit minsan parang hindi na

“Kumusta ka naman diyan?”

“Ito Ma, okay naman…”

Tonight

Few hours ago

I was only writing something on my laptop at a tea shop

When I caught your stray glance

We exchanged a few more glances after that

I can never forget the dangerous yet sexy smirk you had

The next thing I know

I’m under you

Kissing whatever part of your skin

my lips can reach

Sometimes just simply feeling the pleasure you give

while drowning in your kisses

I didn’t know I’d meet a great writer in you

You wrote words on my skin

as if your tongue was a pen

You wrote a story

Something painful

Something maybe as miserable as mine

Suddenly, everything about my man began flashing in my mind

I close my eyes as I remember him

Just tonight

let me be that one sinful woman

For tomorrow morning I’ll be gone

I’ll be back to the cold arms of that man—

My man

My man who’s as disloyal as I am

Just tonight

I’ll let you kiss and lick away all the pain from my man

Stay Alive

“You know what? I’m scared,” he whispers as he plays with my hair. I move my head from his arm to his chest, the sound of his heartbeat tickles my ear.

“Of what?”

“Of this. Of us. Of me being too happy for having you in my chaotic life. You were the only right in my little world of wrongs. For the first time ever, I felt blessed; I felt the presence of a God if there really is. Because I believe no evil in this world could have created a beautiful soul like yours. And that makes me love you even more.” I look up at him. His eyes meet mine. I am no match to the intensity of his gaze so I look down again. I don’t say anything. Then there was silence. So he continued instead what he was saying.

“But beautiful things are usually followed by bad things. And being the happiest right now makes me anticipate the coming of the worst the soonest. Loving you is scary, Dei.”

I want to say it back. I want to say that I love you as much. But Jay, I’ve learned to unlove you months ago and I can’t love you the same as before. I loved you then and it’s all gone now. Neither you and I can do anything to bring back what was lost. Your world of wrongs didn’t blend well with mine.

If you ask me how much love is left, I’ll say none. And I’m only staying because I still don’t want you gone. You didn’t know how to handle too much pain and I’m afraid you have the capaçity do the unimaginable to yourself. You may not believe it but you still matter to me.

I’ll stay until you learn to love your own life.

I’ll stay until I get assured that once I leave you, you’ll stay alive.

“I’m as scared as you, Jay.” Maybe even more.

Gone

As expected, my little crush on that guy is gone. I realized I have this teeny tiny little crush on him just yesterday and it ended the following day, which is today. I saw this coming. Honestly, I didn’t want it to vanish quickly but maybe it’s still a good thing my little crush ended that fast. I don’t want to make things awkward for me anyway.

*

You,

It was “that” time. You did something that made my heart flutter a bit. It was cute. You too. But I guess, it was only meant to last for a day.

Still, thanks.

(Posted: February 19, 2016)
 

Fleeting

He’s not much of a head turner but he kind of managed to be one in my eyes. Now I have this little crush on him. And I realized it just tonight, at this exact moment. But I think it’s just a fleeting crush. Maybe I’m just desperate to have someone consider as my crush since it’s been a long time since I had one (celebrity crushes are exception). I might even forget about it tomorrow or next week. Yes, that fast. Nothing serious. But I swear, I didn’t expect it at all. I just.. uhm. Okay idk.

 

(Posted: February 18, 2016)

Punuan mo ang kawalan na nararamdaman. Kailangan kita. Paumanhin, ngunit kung pwede sana ay sa lalong madaling panahon din. Maari bang hayaan mo ako na makita ka na? Na makilala ka na? Kailangan kita. Hindi ko alam kung sino ka, sapagkat hindi pa naman kita nakikilala. Ni pangalan mo ay hindi ko pa alam. Maaring sa ngayon ang kinausapan ko lang ay ang kawalan. Ngunit uulitin ko pa rin — kailangan kita. Isinusulat ko lang ito upang magsilbi bilang isang munting paalala. Na hindi ko na siguro talaga kayang mag-isa. Na hindi na ako masayang ako lang. Kailangan na kita. Hindi sa lalong madaling panahon kundi ngayon na. Ngayon. Na.

Nakasalubong na kaya kita? Nakatabi? Nakausap? Nasilayan? Ano kaya ang pangalan mo? Saan kaya tayo unang magkikita at magkakausap? Ang daming ano, saan, paano at kailan. Ngunit ang gustong-gusto ko na malaman ay kung kailan at saan nga kaya natin mararamdam sa isa’t isa na “tangina, ito na. Nahanap ko na siya.

Gusto ko sana ay magpakita ka na ngunit gusto ko rin ay ‘wag muna. Kailangan na ba talaga kita ngayon na o kailangan lang kita pansamantala? Kailangan ba kita ngayon na o sa isang bukas pa? Sa isang linggo? Sa isang buwan? Sa isang taon?

Kailangan kita. Kailangan kita? Kailangan na nga ba talaga kita?

Hindi pa yata.

Tama nga ata na hindi ka muna nagpapakita o nagpapakilala man lang.

‘Wag muna siguro talaga.

Hindi pa ito ang tamang oras para tayo ay magkita.

Sensitive Flesh

 This sensitive flesh in my body

is what every woman is afraid

of having torn

There was one time a guy

tried to reach for it

and enter it

but all I felt was a shattering

kind of pain so I just

decided not to let him

or any other guy to enter it

The pain was already

traumatizing enough

No one has entered

my sensitive flesh completely yet

I’ve always kept it

away from men who would

treat it like a toy just for fun

and for their own satisfaction

I’m a woman and

this sensitive flesh in my body

is not any man’s toy

But there’s this one guy

who have been so persistent

to enter my sensitive flesh

and yes, he was able to

enter a part of him inside it

I was anticipating to feel

the same shattering pain

I felt before

but it didn’t come

He was gentle

He was always cautious

Always afraid to make me feel

any pain , so finally…

I let him completely enter

this sensitive flesh in my body —

I let him completely enter

this sensitive flesh which is my heart

(Posted: July 10, 2015)

Takbo

Isa na naman iyon sa mga umaga kung saan yayayain mo akong tumakbo dahil wala kang kasama. Agad naman akong sasagot ng “oo”… syempre dahil ikaw ‘yan — at alam mo naman hinding-hindi ako makakatanggi sa’yo. O sige, siguro oo na din pala, pero isang beses lang yun. At ibang kwento na. Pero sa ibang mga kagustuhan mo, asahan mong laging “oo” ang isasagot ko.

Malayu-layo na rin ang natakbo nating dalawa. Hindi ko na napigilang mapahinto. Nanghihina na rin kasi ang mga tuhod ko. Sasabihin ko na sana sayong tumigil muna tayo saglit ngunit wala ka na pala sa tabi ko. Nagpatuloy ka sa pagtatakbo. Hindi mo na namalayang saglit akong tumigil. Nanatili ako sa aking kinatatayuan habang tinatanaw ka, nag-aabang kung mapapansin mo bang wala na pala ako sa tabi o sa likod mo. Napalingon ka sa tabi mo at natigilan. Tinanggal mo ang earphones mo na halos pasabugin na ang mga tenga mo sa lakas ng tugtog na nagmumula rito. Sa wakas, napansin mong wala ako sa tabi mo. Agad kang luminga-linga para hanapin kung nasaan na ako. At sa layo ng distansya nating dalawa, nagawa pa ring magtama ng ating mga mata. Nakita ko ang pagsalubong ng kilay mo at mabilisang pagsimangot. Agad ka naman tumakbo pabalik sa akin; ako’y naghihintay lang hanggang sa makarating ka. Habang papalapit ka sa akin ay unti-unti ring bumagal ang pagtakbo mo, hanggang sa dahan-dahan ka na lang na naglakad; ang ‘yong bawat hakbang ay maiingat.

Kitang-kita ko sa ekspresyon mo ang pagkairita. “Bakit naman hindi ka nagsabi na huminto ka pala? Sana sinabihan mo man lang ako, ‘di ba? Ang layo na ng narating ko, yun pala di na kita kasama. Huminto ka na pala dito. Kung gusto mong magpahinga, sabihan mo agad ako kasi hihinto din naman ako. Hihintayin kita,” ani mo. Halu-halo ang emosyon sa mga mata mo. Hindi ko alam kung paano ilalarawan. Pero isa lang ang malinaw: ganyang-ganyan din ang emosyong pinakita mo sa akin noong unang beses akong humindi sa isang kagustuhan mo.

“Nagpahinga lang naman ako saglit. Ang bilis mo rin kasing tumakbo kaya ‘di na kita agad nasabihan. Di na kita tinawag. Hinayaan na lang kita,” paliwanag ko. Bumibigat na ang paghinga mo. Napairap ka sa sinabi ko. “Yan ka na naman e. Hilig mo talaga sa mga ganyan, ‘no? Yung wala kang pake kung iniisip kong kasama pa kita pero yun pala ako na lang mag-isa. Di na pala kita kasama…”

Alam ko na kung sa’n patungo ang usapang ito. Hindi na ito tungkol sa pagtakbo natin. Patungkol na ito sa dapat na laban nating dalawa na naging laban na lang ng isa dahil sa pagbitiw ko sa’yo.

“Bilis mong sumuko e.” Kita ko ang pagtiim-bagang mo, para bang nagpipigil ka ng emosyon. Gusto kong sabihin — o isigaw — na napaka-babaw mo para magtampo sa isang napaka-simpleng bagay. Ngunit alam ko rin naman kung ano ang pinanghuhugutan mo. Mahigit isang taon na ang nakalilipas ngunit sariwa pa rin sa’yo ang lahat. Sa akin rin naman…

“I want to replace your surname with mine. And it pains me so much na sa dinami-dami ng mga tao sa mundo, nagkataon pang pareho tayo. At kung ipagpipilitan ko pa ‘to, it will be my ever greatest sin. Ikaw na yung nakikita kong maglalakad nang dahan-dahan papunta sakin, habang naghihintay ako sa may altar.” Wala na siyang paki kung umiiyak man siya harap ko. Desperado na siya. Desperado na din ako pero kumpara sa kanya, mas pinapanindigan ko kung alin ang tama. “Gustong-gusto kitang pakasalan. Ikaw na yun e. Oh God, I love you, but I love Him too. Pero kung kasama kita sa laban na ‘to, handa akong baliin lahat ng paniniwala ko, lahat ng prinsipyo ko; ipaglalaban natin kung ano ang nararamdaman natin. Sabihin mo lang, please. Sabihin mo. Di mo naman ako kayang tanggihan ‘di ba?” inabot niya ang kamay ko at hinawakan ito nang mahigpit na mahigpit. Pinanood ko ang pagtakas ng luha sa kanyang mata.

“Oo, tama ka. Di kita kayang tanggihan. Pero kahit ngayon lang, maglalakas-loob ako. Tatanggihan kita. Ito ang unang beses na hi-hindi ako sayo. Hindi kasi ‘to laban e. Walang laban kasi wala tayong tyansang manalo. Simula pa lang talo na agad tayo. Alam natin yan pareho. Habang kaya pa, tapusin na natin ‘to. Sa mata ng lahat at ng Diyos, mali.”

Kung anu-anong malulutong na mura na ang pinakawalan niya. “Mahal ko Siya, pero ngayon wala muna akong paki. Di naman ako naghahangad na maging santo e. Di rin ako umaasang sa langit ako mapupunta. Kung sa impyerno ako mapunta, okay lang. Di naman siguro ako maiinip dun e. Sigurado magkikita-kita kami ng tatay ko, ng mga kapatid ko, ng mga tropa ko dun.” Nagawa niya pang magbiro. Hinalikan niya ang kamay ko. Isa, dalawa, tatlo… hanggang sa binitawan niya ito upang ikulong ako sa mga bisig niya. Rinig ko ang munting mga hikbi niya habang nagsasalita. “Isang beses lang tayong binigyan ng pagkakataong mabuhay. And I want to spend this lifetime with you. Kung pagkatapos nito, sa impyerno na, ayos lang kasi at least nung nabuhay ako, ikaw naman yung nakasama ko.”

“Mahal din kita. Pero pasensya na, dun pa rin ako sa kung ano ang tama. At ang tama ay iwan ka na kasi yun ang mas makakabuti sating dalawa.” Kumalas ako sa yakap niya at umalis na.

Ilang buwan rin kaming hindi nag-usap matapos ang araw na iyon. Isang araw nalaman ko na lang na may girlfriend na siya. Saka lang rin niya akong kinausap muli. Ayos lang sa akin. Masakit man, masaya pa rin ako para sa kanya. Pinilit naming ibalik ang kahit “pagkakaibigan” man lang. Pinilit kong makuntento sa kahit ganun na lang.

“Akala ko ba masaya ka na sa buhay mo ngayon? Bakit parang kung kelan ka makakuha ng tyansa, sinusumbat mo lahat sakin? Di ka pa napapagod?” Hindi ka sumagot. Nanatili lang ang mga tingin mo sa mga mata ko. Pilit kong binabasa kung ano ang nasa isip mo. Pero wala. Ang tunog ng cellphone mo ang bumasag sa katahimikan nating dalawa. Tumalikod ka sa akin at sinagot ang tawag. “Hey babe… Hmm?…uh, yeah I’m with…” napahinto ka at muling napalingon sa akin habang sinasabi mo sa kanyang “I’m with my cousin…”saka ka muling tumalikod at lumayo pa nang konti. Hindi ko na narinig ang iba niyong usapan. Nang matapos ang tawag sinabi mo sa aking malapit lang siya sa lugar kung saan tayo ngayon at maya-maya lang ay papunta na siya. At gaya ng inaasahan, nagpakita matapos ang ilang minuto. Pumulupot ang braso mo sa bewang niya nang lumapit siya sa iyo sabay halik sa pisngi nito. Matapos nun ay nginitian niya ako na ibinalik ko naman sa kanya.

“You know what? I’m thankful na pag wala ako, ikaw ang kasama nitong boyfriend ko. At least wala siyang ibang girls na kasama kundi ikaw. You’re his cousin, kaya kampante ako pag ikaw kasama niya,” aniya at pabiro pang tinapik ang braso ko. Ngumiti lang ako kahit sa totoo lang ay gusto ko sa kanyang ibato ang hawak kong bote ng mineral water. Narindi ako dahil parang paulit-ulit niyang sinasampal sa akin na pinsan mo lang talaga ako at siya yung pwedeng-pwede talaga para sayo. Nagpasalamat ako na nag-aya na siyang umalis kayo. Inalok niya pa akong sumama sa inyo pero agad ko iyon tinanggihan. Di ko kaya.

Naghiwalay na tayo ng direksyon. Kayo sa kaliwa at ako naman sa kanan. Tumakbo ako. Yung mabilis na mabilis. Yung takbong mapapahabol ang isang aso dahil akala niya masamang-loob ako.

Nakakalungkot pala talagang tumakbo mag-isa ‘no? Ako yung unang nang-iwan pero ako pa rin itong mag-isa, hindi matakbuhan yung nararamdaman ko para sayo. Mula noon hanggang ngayon parehas pa rin, e. Kahit anong pilit kong pagtakbo, hindi ko pa rin talaga mahanap-hanap yang finish line ng damdamin ko para sayo.

Pero masaya ako para sayo na may nahanap ka nang iba. Masaya ako pero kinailangan kong lumayo. Yun na ang huling araw na nakita mo ako. Sana maintindihan mo kung bakit wala man lang pormal na pamamaalam. Kailangan ko lang hanapin ang sarili ko sa lugar na malayo sayo.

Mahal kita at miss na miss na rin kita.

Hayaan mong sabihin ko yan dahil ito na ang huling beses na kakausapin kita sa mga sulat ko. Ibabaon ko na ang papel na to sa ilalim ng lupa. Dun sa pinakamalalim na mahuhukay ko. Dun sa hindi ko na mahuhukay muli para balik-balikan ang huling alaala ko sayo.

(Posted: January 15, 2016)

The News

It’s past 2 in the morning. RJ is about to lie down in his bed when his phone suddenly rings. He gets his phone to check it. He sees Maine’s name on the screen.

“O Maine, bakit biglang — ” his sentence was cut upon hearing Maine’s loud sobbing. There was a hint of panic in her voice. He can’t catch up with what she’s trying to say.

“Listen, okay? Kalma ka muna. I’ll be there quick.” Both RJ and Maine are living now in the same condominium tower. RJ’s unit is only a few floors above Maine’s. RJ arrives at Maine’s unit in no time. In just two presses on the doorbell, Maine immediately opens the door for him. The moment RJ enters inside, Maine quickly throws her arms around his neck, squeezing him into a tight hug. She was still sobbing. He returns the hug, snaking her arms around his waist.

“Ssh, please stop crying. Please…” RJ whispers with a few light kisses on her ear. “What’s the problem?” She doesn’t answer.

RJ convinces her to go inside the mini living room for them to talk there instead. They sit on the sofa. RJ waits for Maine to calm down a little bit first. He runs his fingers through her hair then tucks it behind her ears. She just looks down, avoiding his eyes. “Meng, ano ba talaga problema? Nag-aalala na ako e.”

She slowly turns her head to his direction. Finally, she looks in his eyes. And right there, he saw it — everything. Her eyes say it all. Everything she was feeling in that moment. His immediate reaction is to pull her into a hug again, his arms around her, her head on his chest, his chin placed on her head.

“RJ…” He doesn’t respond. He just waits for her to continue. Her shoulders start shaking. She bursts into tears again. “RJ I’m pregnant.” Despite the sobbing, RJ heard it. Loud and clear. But he needs to hear it again to confirm it.

“Ano ulit, Maine?” He asks with a soft voice.

She removes his arms around her then sits straight. She looks directly at him, returning the same intensity of his gaze. “I’m pregnant. You hear me? I’m pregnant!” More tears fall. “And I freaking don’t know what to feel and what to do! I’m not yet ready to be a mother, RJ. At kahit hindi mo sabihin, alam kong ikaw din hindi pa ready!”

He’s frozen in his seat. Upon hearing that, his stomach flips and his face, hands, and feet turn ice cold. He doesn’t know what to feel. He’s amused, scared, excited, happy, nervous; it’s like feeling all kinds of feelings in that exact moment. He can’t distinguish what feeling dominates all. He’s happy at the same time not. Though maybe happiness overpowers the unhappy feeling. But Maine’s right; they’re both not yet ready.

It’s only two years and three months after AlDub happened. They’re now on the peak of their careers. Their schedules are full, still being showered with a lot of projects. But this happened. Maine being suddenly pregnant. RJ and Maine truly loves each other of course. They’re willing to wait for the right time until they can finally build their own family. But definitely not yet. Not now. Not this year or next year or next, next year. Not. She can imagine how everyone will be disappointed, including her family once they know.

Meanwhile, RJ starts to get emotional as well. He stands up, hands on his waist, then takes a really, really deep breath. He looks up, trying to prevent his tears but they just keep falling. “Huy, ano na? Ano nang plano mo?” Asks Maine with an irritated tone. “Teka, I… I need to gather my thoughts first.” Maine has calmed down while Alden is still in shock.

After a few minutes of trying to get his senses back, he turns his body to her direction then slowly kneels in front of her, holding onto her knees, meeting her eyes. “Natatakot din ako, sa totoo lang. Natatakot ako sa magiging reaksyon ng mga tao… ng mga pamilya natin. But I’m happy kasi you’re going to be the mother of my child at — ”

“Are you serious? Masaya ka? Dammit I’m not ready for this yet, okay? I’m just 23! I don’t know how to be a mother.” She starts sobbing again. “I’d love to build a family with you, RJ, but not now. In a few years, maybe yes. But please, hindi pa ngayon.” RJ pushes the back of her head until it reaches the crook of his neck. He lets her cry there while he’s stroking her hair, trying to comfort her.

He doesn’t mind her little punches on his chest. “Of course I’m not also ready to be a father yet. Pero papanindigan ko ang baby natin. Kakayanin natin to hangga’t walang bibitaw. We’re going to stay strong for our baby, Maine. We’re a team, remember? But this time, hindi na lang ikaw at ako ‘to. Kasi makakasama na natin siya. Ikaw, ako at siya — tayong tatlo; Team tayo.” His voice is calm but he can’t help but show more enthusiasm in saying the latter part. He’s getting excited more than anything else. The thought of him being a father to his and Maine’s child makes him feel giddy. “Mahal kita, alam mo yan. Always.” She pulls away from his hug then lightly pushes him.

She frowns at him but RJ finds it cute. It doesn’t scare him at all. A grin wants to escape. She punches him at his chest, this time with more force, but it doesn’t hurt him even a bit. “Ikaw kasing RJ ka e. Binuntis mo ko!”

He chuckles at her. God, she’s so cute, he thought. He cups her face then kisses her forehead then looks at her eyes, his face only an inch apart or two, their noses touching. “I wasn’t alone. You were there with me. We made him. And if that doesn’t make you feel better, just remember that our baby was made out of real love, not pure lust or alcohol or anything else. Just love.” He plants a feather light kiss on her nose. He sits beside her again. He nudges her, “tama na muna yang iyak. We should be happy that we’re going to have a baby. Sige ka, magtatampo na sayo yan.”

Her frown slowly fades. A smile cracks. “Kaya ba talaga natin? Pano yung career natin? Baka mawala lang lahat ng pinaghirapan natin RJ.”

“Ssh, ‘wag mo muna alalahanin yan. Just trust me the way you trusted me that night. I’ll do everything to give you both the best things in life.” He smiles, “I love you.”

He then kisses her stomach. “At syempre, love love love ka din ni Daddy RJ, baby. Daddy RJ’s really excited to see you,” he whispers. A tear escapes his eye. “Daddy RJ and Mommy Meng loves you. Kunwari lang yang si Mommy na ayaw niya pero love love love ka din niya. Trust Daddy, okay?” he baby talks, making Maine laugh. RJ’s with him, and that makes everything better. She doesn’t worry that much anymore. He’ll be a good dad for sure.

Now he kisses her shoulder, then her cheek, then her lips. “I love you. I’ll be a good father, I promise. I’ll love you both until my last breath,” he whispers in between their kisses. “We’re a team. We’ll stay strong for each other, yes?” She nods and kisses him more. “I promise.” She stops kissing him. “I love you, Daddy RJ.”

Oh God, I didn’t know it feels this good to be a dad. “I love you too, Mommy Meng.”

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(Photo grabbed from @tisoylovemeng)

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Posted: January 9, 2016 | Medium