"SORRY, Madam. Just like what I have told you, there’s no more room available. We are always fully-booked during peak season."
Astrid closed her eyes and massaged her temple. She looked at the clock on the wall of the reception area and when she realized how late it was, she lost all hope.
"Madam, you should have done your reservation at least a month beforehand, especially during summer," stated the receptionist with 'Jenny' written on her namepin.
Of course she knew that but she had no choice but to take the risk. It was the sixth hotel she went to that night and unfortunately, each hotel was fully booked, just like this one. She also mentioned that to the receptionist but she just received a fake smile.
"Oh, Madam, it's going to be really hard for you to find a hotel room or even a transient house because just like what I've told you, it's peak season, Madam."
Oh yeah, she already knew that and she didn’t need to hear it again, Feeling sorry for herself, she put her bags on the counter and just hopelessly stared at her phone.
What now, Astrid? If she could only scream and take it out on someone, she definitely would. Ah, why did she ever think of going to Baguio without any plans whatsoever? No hotel reservation, no clothes, no nothing except for her shoulder bag containing her phone, wallet and a few personal belongings which won’t help her find a place to stay.
"This is all your fault, Josh, this is all you," she whispered to herself while busy reading the text message that got her into this mess.
Because of a single text message from a friend, she found herself inside the bus to Baguio. If not because of her cheating boyfriend, she wouldn't dare set foot on this place. There's a lot of things going on inside her head - her dying career, her parent's dying marriage and now, her unfaithful boyfriend whom she thought was the best boyfriend she's ever met.
Josh is in Baguio, with Ellen.
Josh met Ellen at the call center where he currently works as a manager. She was smaller than her but yeah, prettier. She’s somebody who she never thought could be a threat. After all, she's a shy, quiet woman. Ellen is harmless, she thought.
But Astrid was dead wrong.
It has been months since she's been hearing about the budding closeness between Josh and Ellen but as a good girlfriend, she brushed it aside. She loves Josh and she's certain that he loves her with all his heart and she believes that what they have is forever. Josh is smart, funny, good looking. He was almost perfect, just like what his parents and friends always say. And for almost two years of being together, she hoped that he would soon offer marriage.
But instead of marriage, he asked for a 'cool off'. Yes, cool off. Not a breakup, but just cool off. He said he needed space, that he needed to find himself. And since she loved her boyfriend so much, she willingly agreed, with the hope that he'd come back. She remained positive, thinking that probably, he's already thinking of proposing to her and that he just wanted to make everything perfect for both of them.
But his plan was far from her dreams. It's just been a month since he asked for 'space' and there he was, in Baguio on his birthday with another woman.
She couldn't remember what time she arrived at the bus station that night. All she knew was that she has to see Josh right away, wherever he was. According to her best friend Martha, who told her about her boyfriend's affair, he's staying at the Azalea Hotel, with Ellen. She went there and looked for him but she just ended up disappointed because Josh had already checked out a few hours before she arrived.
She's not really used to drinking but out of desperation, she went to the bar earlier that evening and drown her sorrows in alcohol. Well, not really because she’s not used to drinking. When she first tried to get drunk (also out of love), she fell asleep in a chair at the bar, only to be woken up by a waitress the next morning. The second time, she slept in a stranger's house. And the third and last time she got drunk, she almost had sex to someone she didn't even know.
So she promised herself to never drink again. But then, she had to break her promise just for tonight. Because she needed it to think about the next step to take.
If only she could meet a good Samaritan who'd adopt her even for just one night, she'd be the happiest. Because she's certain that she had nowhere else to go during those wee hours. Going back to Manila is not an option because aside from the fact that it isn't safe, she couldn't face his parents once they found out what really happened.
"Wow, what a surprise!"
Astrid looked up at the man slowly, who's in front of her now. And she was right - it was that guy from the bar, the one with many names. He smiled at her as he stared at her. He was wearing the same jeans he was wearing earlier but instead of the black jacket, he's now wearing a hooded denim jacket over a casual white shirt. It was obvious that he had just finished taking a bath because her long hair was still soaking wet.
“WHO would have thought that we’d be seeing each other again?” His smile was the brightest. “So, you’re staying here as well, I see?” He even got closer to where she’s standing that she had to move back just to avoid him.“Actually, I’m just about to check out,” she lied, which unfortunately was heard by ‘Jenny’, who was obviously attracted to this young man.“Madam, you were not able to check in earlier, how are you going to check out?” the receptionist asked with a smile. She turned to the young man and smiled even more. “Madam here has been waiting for a room but the hotel is fully booked until next week, sir and it will definitely be difficult for her to find an accommodation because the reservations of other hotels and transients are full now as well, that’s for sure.”Astrid gave ‘Jenny’ a death stare, grabbed her bags and walk
“WAIT, where’s the virgin going?” he mocked.“The virgin’s gonna look for a place to sleep.” She went straight to the exit and went out of the hotel. The beer she had didn’t help with the cold weather that she had to put her sweater back on.“Why don’t you just accept my offer? It’s late, Astrid. Do you think you can still find a transient at this time? And look at you, you can’t even walk properly!” he added when she almost bumped a man standing at the entrance.But she just kept on walking, trying to keep her balance until she reached the taxi bay. The queue was still long given the late hour and she had a feeling that she’d be waiting there until sunrise.“Come on, stay with me.”She shook her head. “I’d rather sleep on the street than sleep in a room with you.”“Fine,” he nodded agreeably. But instead o
“FEELING better?"Astid just nooded. It was almost 2 o’clock in the morning when she told him that she’s too tired and that she wanted sleep so he had no choice but to bring her to his room - not that he planned it.With eyes almost closed, she was holding a hair brush but it seemed as if she had no intention of using it She had just finished her shower and she’s now sitting on the far side of the huge bed, wearing the black sweatshirt Bullet had given her. She wasn’t able to bring any clothes except for the thin souvenir Baguio shirt and dolphin shorts she bought, which was way too short than she had expected.“Piece of advice. If you can’t handle your alcohol well, don’t drink especially if you’re alone.” Bullet suggested, shaking his head.“Yeah, I am alone now. And heart broken.”“Is that a license to get drunk?” He handed her a glass of water a
“WELL, when is the right time, may I ask?” he asked, laughing.“I’ll know when it’s the right time. I just don’t want to feel pressured or anything.”Bullet shook his head because clearly, they are not on the same boat when it comes to the topic. Is sex really that complicated for women? Because for him and probably for men in general, sex is sex. Whenever there’s an opportunity, they’re gonna grab it without even thinking.“If I could only do something to get even, I certainly would.” Astrid frowned as if she was really considering the thought.“Do it. Maybe once he finds out that you’ve found someone else, he’d be jealous and-““And then there’s a chance that he’ll take me back?” she interjected.“Well, it depends, really. If he still loves you, of course he’ll come back,” he commented. And th
ASTRID woke up that morning without Bullet in sight. When she realized that it’s already seven in the morning, she hurried and got up despite her splitting headache. After taking a shower, she quickly got dressed and left a note on the nightstand.She was about to get inside the elevator when she heard someone approaching from a distance and when she turned around, she was surprised to see Bullet beside a tall woman. Based on how the woman put her arms around him, it’s pretty obvious that something’s going on between the two. He’s grinning from ear to ear as if he had just won a million dollars. Well, it certainly looks like it.Astrid turned away and pressed the elevator button, praying that it would open before Bullet notices her because she still didn’t know how to deal with him after what happened the night before.She immediately went inside when the it opened and finally, she breathed a sigh of relief. B
“JOSH?” Astrid stood up when she saw Josh coming over. He was glaring at her as if he wanted to eat her alive. But she didn’t care about it because her attention was on someone else - Ellen, who was holding Josh’s hand. She looked as if she had seen a ghost.“What are you doing here?” Josh asked softly. He was wearing the red sweatshirt with the logo of his favorite basketball team, which was her gift on his last birthday.She knew she had to say something but nothing came out from her mouth. Thankfully, Bullet was quick-witted and immediately stood up. He put his arm over her shoulder and joined the conversation.“She’s on vacation, with me,” he chimed in, smiling. “So, you are ‘the’ Josh. Astrid has told me so much about you. By the way, I’m Bullet, the new boyfriend.”Astrid turned her head and saw Bullet smiling. He tightened his grip on her shou
ALL throughout breakfast, Bullet heard nothing from Astrid. She was just quiet while stirring her coffee and occasionally getting a glimpse at Josh and Ellen. He could clearly see the sadness in her eyes and he knew that she’s trying her best not to cry.“You look awful,” he whisper against her ear. “Do you want to get out of here already?”But she just smiled. She inhaled sharply and drank her coffee. He was suprised when she held his hand but he understood what it meant - that she needed his support so he squeezed her hand to let her know that she could count on him.“So guys, what are your plans for today?” Bullet inquired, just to break the ice.Josh and Ellen looked at each other. “Well, we’re thinking of visiting the Grotto first. How about you?”“I have a lot of places in mind so I think we’ll go ahead, right Astrid?” He stood up, grabb
AFTER 3 MONTHS...BULLET has been glancing at his cellphone several times since he arrived at Margarita Ville. It’s already nine o’clock in the evening but Miles was still out of sight. He should have gone back to Mania instead of staying and waiting for some girl.Miles is a singer at The Lounge, his go-to bar whenever he needed to unwind. She’s sexy, beautiful. She’s fun to talk to, sweet and yeah, she’s good in bed. She’s the type who knew what he wanted and she could do all the crazy things in bed, even things he never thought possible. That’s why he’s here now. Because she promised to keep him warm in this cold night.But he’s been sitting there at the bar for more than an hour, has finished four bottles of beer and he’s already losing his patience because he wasn’t born into the world just to wait for a woman.He poured some beer to his