“Hello, my name is Minerva Hermione Mendeleev, I am eight years old. I am named after two great witches who ever lived. My mom says, no weapon can match my ability of thinking and wits. And that one,” itinuro n’ya iyong batang babaeng nakakipag-agawan sa isang batang lalaki, hindi kalayuan. “is my sister. Her name is Katniss Arrow Mendeleev, because mom tells us she can make a difference. She’s five years old by the way. And that guy is Perseus Grover Mendeleev and he’ll takeover the world and the underworld and the galaxy. He’s four years old. This one with me is Khaleesi Dracarys Mendeleev, she’s two years old and our little queen. My mom told me, Daenerys Targaryen’s, I mean Daenerys of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Protector of the Realm, Lady Regent of the Seven Kingdoms, Breaker of Chains, Mother of Dragons and Lover of her Nephew --- Jon Snow supposed to be the one ending up in the Iron throne if it weren’t for the writers messed up writing. Ang panget daw kasi noong Season finale. Pero she liked what happened to Sansa. She deserved to be a queen. Nevertheless, the dragon lady is still a queen. And lastly, we have a baby sister coming and her name would be Arya Lyanna and she’ll be a badass. We are called the fictional babies but we are real. And you are?”
“What kind of name is that? O-kay as in alright? That’s… that’s very weird and I don’t like it. Oh, who even name their baby ‘Okay’?”
“I don’t like you as well,” I said to her. She’s so talkative.
Inirapan n’ya ako. Itinulak n’ya ang stroller noong kapatid n’yang tinatawag na Khaleesi. I rolled my eyes. I don’t like kids. They are annoying. They are nieces and nephew of Justise and I happened to visit their home. Andito rin pala iyong pinsan n’ya sa mother side na nakapangasawa ng lulong sa libro. How bookish is that, she even name her kids after those fictional characters?
“I heard you were there with Justise.” Liam Mendeleev is in front of me. Nakapamulsa s’ya habang nakatingin sa’kin. Sinipat ko s’ya mula ulo hanggang paa. I haven’t seen him for a long time. Hindi ko matandaan kung kailan ko s’ya huling nakita. Maybe, before I turned into legal age. That was a long ago. He was five years older than I am.
I instantly know what he was talking about. Of course, the gate-crashing event which we caused trouble. I was sure, s’ya ang ginamit ni Justise na dahilan para papasukin kami without any invitation.
“You look as if you can’t hurt a fly,” I commented. Totoo naman. He wasn’t like that before.
He shrugged and smirked. “Just tamed.”
“Good for you, then,”
Muli sa likuran n’ya lumantad si Chienna --- his wife --- and they kissed in front of me. I didn’t look away and cleared my throat.
“Oh, sorry.” Chienna said. “Hi, Reign. Of course, I know about you. I’m a fan!” I shook her hand.
“Thanks. Will you mind leaving me alone though and call Justise for me?”
Bumaling si Liam sa gawi ko. “I felt like I’ll be seeing you again anytime soon,” he spoke.
Nginitian ako s’ya nang nang-uuyam. “You’re not a seer or whatever.”
Ibinalik ko ang atensyon ko sa magazine. I am in a hurry and Justise is having a time of her life. Kanina ko pa s’ya pinatawag hanggang sa na-corner ako noong pamangkin n’yang si Mimi o Minerva Hermione and I had a little chat with Liam Mendeleev and his wife. She’s so slow!
“Reign, you payed us a visit. I’m glad to see you here!”
I looked up to see Tita Integrity, we fondly called Tita Ingrid. Papalapit s’ya sa akin. She was smiling at me with arms open wide. I hugged her and kissed her cheeks. “Nice to see you too, tita. How are you?”
“I’m very well. I’m really happy you visited us. Dito ka na mag-dinner. Oh, and’yan na pala si Justise!”
Pareho kaming napatingin sa hagdan. She waved at us. Patakbo s’yang bumaba. “Hi, ‘my! You’re here na pala.” she kissed her mom’s cheeks. Bumaling s’ya sa’kin. “Hiram ko si Reign, you catch up na lang later. See ya!”
Hindi na nakapagsalita ang mommy n’ya, hinila n’ya ako papuntang garden --- away from her pamangkins na sobra ang daldal. Naupo ako sa bench.
“So, what’s up?”
I handed her the envelope. Kinuha n’ya iyon at tiningnan. Nanlaki ang mata n’ya. “Oh to the M to the G!” she exclaimed. “It’s so saya! It’s official. Naha-happy talaga ako for you, Reign.” nagtatalon pa s’ya.
It was the official ticket to NYFW.
Ngumisi ako. “Well, another thing is you’ll go with me. Your agency will provide models for me and you’re one of them, so brace yourself. Ayoko ng stupid.”
“I’m not. Duh!” she rolled her eyes and giggled. “New York here I come, I’ll have maraming sex in the Big Apple,”
“I don’t need to hear it, pwede ba? Stop being a slut in heat. I need you to focus. Boba ka pa naman,”
She rolled her eyes and pouted. “Bitch,”
“And that’s supposed to hurt me? I know that already.”
Hindi pa rin natigil ang bunganga ni Justise. She kept on telling me she’s excited. Iritado ako sa ka-conyo-han n’ya. She even told her mom about it. Somehow, I was reminded kung saan nagmana ang pamangkin n’ya.
“I know what you two did. Hindi ako nasisiyahan sa pinaggagawa n’yong dalawa. Kailangan mong bumawi, Reign. Dito ka na mag-dinner.”
It’s all over the news. Courtesy to that low-class bitch. Who will even write article about themselves in an embarrassing situation? Papansin s’ya. She wanted that attention, now she suffered that it backfired. But of course, wala naman iyon sa kanya. She just needed attention, whether it’s negative, she’ll be happy about it. She’s a trash.
I ended up having dinner with the Archimedes’s lot together with the Mendeleev. Liam Candor Mendeleev was with his wife Chienna Valderama-Mendeleev and their kids. The family has weird names. The guys were discussing about business, as usual. Si Mimi ay may sariling mundo, sobrang daldal n’ya para sa isang eight-year old kid. Gusto ko s’yang pasakan ng tinapay sa bunganga para tumigil, but I refrained myself from doing so. Firstly, she isn’t my child. Secondly, hindi ako pumapatol sa bata. I was irritated the whole time but I kept my composure.
I was invited a lot of times to dinner. I just realized, I was never belonged to any of those. I was just a mere guest. Sampid lang ako sa pabalat sibuyas nilang pag-aalok.
After dinner, we had a cup of tea in the veranda. I want red wine so much than this tea. Katabi ko si Justise. Kasama namin iyong Chienna at mga anak n’ya. Khakha is well-behaved. PG is with her mom, nilalaro ang malaking t’yan nito. Mimi was humming a song, iyong Katkat nakatingin sa mga kapatid n’ya. I enjoyed the breeze and the freshness of the eve. Somehow, it was calming me.
“I haven’t seen her smile. Why isn’t she smiling? Doesn’t she know how? Hindi ba s’ya happy, is her life miserable, mommy?” tukoy n’ya sa’kin, she was looking at me intently as if scrutinizing my whole being. Tuwid na tuwid s’ya sa pagkakaupo. I were to slap her if she weren’t a kid and she knew nothing.
Nakadama ako ng galit pero hindi ko naman pinahalata iyon. This kid is getting into my nerves.
“Mimi, that’s rude to say and ask, anak. Say sorry to Miss Reign,” Chienna interfered.
“Sorry,” nagkibit-balikat ang bata. “I was just telling my observation. Honest naman ako.”
Hindi ako sumagot.
“What’s her name, mommy?” the other one asked. It was the girl named Katniss Arrow, Katkat for short.
“She’s Tita Reign, sweetie. She’s my babaeng friend.” sagot ni Justise. Siniko n’ya ako, bumulong pa s’ya. “You know what, I feel like Mimi’s your anak ‘no. She’s a little bitch, like gaya mo. She’s mana sa’yo talaga,”
“Oh, she’s your only one girl friend. Because I always see you with your different guy friends.”
“Katie!” pinanlakihan n’ya ng mata ang bata. Bumaling s’ya sa’kin. “I’m sorry, Reign.” Chienna apologized. “Sometimes, I’m not sure if I just named them after the characters or they are imbibing the personalities as well. But she’s really an intelligent one.”
“Bakit you named them kasi like that? Hindi naman obvious that you really like them ‘no?” Justise told her.
Tumawa ang babae. “I love them so much that I can’t let go. They are just fictional characters but they have a special place in my heart. They were with me whenever I wanted to escape the reality of life, they were my safe haven aside from my husband, of course. It won’t hurt naming my kids after them.”
I stared. Love is a petty thing.
Nagpaalam ako sa kanilang uuwi na after the tea party. Nayayamot ako. Magkasalubong ang kilay ko. Namataan ko si Mimi sa may front door. Nakahalukipkip s’ya. She looked at my direction.
She was about to say something pero inunahan ko s’ya.
“Siguro ampon ka,”
And just like that, she cried. Tumakbo s’ya kung saan. Napailing ako at nilisan ang mansion ng mga Archimedes.
If she wanted to portray that bitchy attitude, might as well portray it well. It means, hindi ka masisindak sa kahit gaano katalim na salita. Masakit but live up with the pain. Everything they say nasty about you, even if the words were true or not, wear it like a badge. High and proud.
I smiled at myself.
It was lunch when I went out of my office and headed to El Toro. Iyon ang usapan namin ng client kong ime-meet. She’s an actress I believe. She was engaged just recently to her co-actor. And they had whirlwind romance, not that I care but she told me.
The weeks had been busy. Halos hindi na ako lumabas ng office ko sa dami kong commitment. I was busy preparing for the NYFW and I can smell victory. I wanted this so bad. This is my fate. It’s what I can see myself doing for the rest of my life.
Sometimes, I don’t know why I like making wedding gowns and designing things when I don’t believe in marriage and those fairytales. I believe in convenience.
I looked at the tall clock. It says late in the afternoon and there’s no sign of my client. The waiter’s patiently checking on me since I arrived and told him I’ll just order later. Binigyan n’ya lang ako ng isang baso ng tubig as I requested.
Naiinip ako at nayayamot. I hate waiting. I maybe the bitchiest, but when it comes to work, I was never late. I’m a queen but in times like this, I hated being late.
People think they are so important wasting my time. The other week, I was also stood up by a client. She didn’t even remember to meet me. According to her, the engagement is off. Magdusa s’ya. I hope she dies with that heart ache. The world doesn’t revolve around her.
I so wanna take their worthless lives and feed it to the fucking poor. I’m that kind, but of course I won’t ‘cause even poor people don’t deserve them. Nakakahiya namang ipakain sa mga hampaslupa ang basurang kagaya nila.
A woman in her mid-twenties approached my table. She has a brunette hair and a complexion like alagang Gluta. She was tall with the heels she wore but I’m taller even without heels. She was smiling and looking proud. Kinawayan n’ya ako.
“Oh my gosh, I’m sorry, I’m late.” she laughed. Inabot n’ya ang kanyang kamay. “I’m Phoebe Imelda, by the way. It’s pleasure to meet you, finally Reign Sy.”
I stood with confidence, towering a little dwarf. I smiled sweetly but my eyes says the opposite. I have that talent, I can be charming and all smiles but my eyes are like dagger penetrating one’s soul. I held her hand and we shook hands. “I’m really sorry. You know my work can be demanding sometimes. And I almost forgot our meeting,”
My blood boiled with anger. Ang kapal ng mukha n’yang makalimutan ang meeting na ito. It’s a wrong move she told me that.
Pinakatitigan ko s’ya mula ulo hanggang paa. Now, I was just wondering how she became an actress and became so entitled? When in fact she’s just plain-looking. Wala na bang taste ang show business?
“The pleasure is mine. I’m Reign Sy and I don’t want people to forget that.” hinigpitan ko ang kapit sa kamay n’ya.
Only the closest ones know I have a second name. I don’t really tell it to peasants.
Kinuha ko iyong glass na may lamang tubig. Ibinuhos ko iyon sa mukha n’ya. She looked at me in horror, even the tables near us payed attention. She was shocked as hell.
It’s a good thing I didn’t order wine. Sayang naman iyon kung ipapaligo ko lang sa kanya.
“Now, sulk bitch.” I said, smiling. “I’m sure you won’t forget me,”
I was feeling the fulfillment when I saw her dripping face. She looked stupid, well, she is stupid. “I don’t know how people stand your face in the television. Ganoon na ba kawalang-kwenta ang standards ng tao these days? That’s sad.”
“How dare you?!” she screamed at my face. She tried to slap me pero mas mabilis ang reflexes ko, nahawakan ko ang kamay n’ya. “People like me because I’m beautiful, I’m talented and I’m everything you want to be.”
Umiling ako. “Don’t dare me because I’ll give you more than what you expect,” I still kept showing my pretty little smile. I was still composed. “I’d rather die than be you. If you’re the basis of perfection and beauty, then for sure, nobody will be called ugly. Ikaw na talaga ‘yong standard, sure na ‘yon?”
Inagaw n’ya ang kamay n’ya sa’kin. “Well, bitch you just lost a client! Do you think you’re that big and established?! You’re so wrong! Gagapang at gagapang ka sa putik ko, tandaan mo ‘yan!” galit na galit na wika n’ya.
“Do you think I’ll be that big and established because of you? Oh, I think not. I just lost an entitled bitch who values nothing. I gained rather than lost.”
“Ang kapal ng mukha mo! Tangina mo!”
Sinugod n’ya ako. I was alarmed and ready. I’ve been doing catfights all my life, with poise. Pinuntirya n’ya ang buhok ko but I got the better of her. Kinalmot ko s’ya sa mukha. Napaatras s’ya. I made sure, magkakamarka iyon. Sayang naman iyong bagong polished na nails ko if I wouldn’t claw her with my beautiful fingers.
Akmang susugod uli ito sa’kin ng may kamay na humawak sa baywang ko. I stiffened. I was caught off guard. It was a tight grip. Hindi ko magawang umalis. Ganoon din kay mukhang Gluta wala namang ganda. It was a cheap address for her. She’s cheap, anyway.
I could smell men’s perfume. Sakto lang iyon, hindi gaanong nakakasakit sa ilong sa sobrang bango. I sniffed it once more. He sniggered haughtily.
Naaibalik ako sa realidad nang makita ako ang nanlilisik na mata ni Phoebe Imelda. Ang sama ng tingin n’ya sa’kin. I saw the man holding her --- Iago Günter Ahlgrim. He’s the billionaire who owns the restaurant I’m stepping at. For sure, lumipad na sa kanya ang balita. Sa likod nila ay nakatayo ang mukhang inip na inip si Trigger del Fuego.
“You’re a bitch! Ang sama ng ugali mo! You’re going down because of that! I would be happy watching your downfall. Sa’kin ang huling halakhak!” she was hissing. Hinawakan n’ya ang mukha n’ya. She was panicky. “Oh my gosh! You’re going to pay for it!”
“I know, right,” ngumisi ako. “By the way, my lawyer will be very happy to see you as well.” I wasn’t easily frightened. I know how to play the game well.
“I will sue yo ---”
“Shut up you two!” Mr. Ahlgrim voice boomed. He looked unhappy with the both of us. Wala akong pakialam. Hindi rin naman ako masayang makita s’ya. “It’s fucking done. Carry on with work or I’ll fucking blacklist you all!” he said to his employees and people watching us.
She just looked murderously at me but she kept quiet. I looked at the guy who’s gripping my waist tighter every second. Natutop ang bibig ko. His hazel eyes were staring back at me. He caught me off guard. I gulped. Somehow, his presence make me nervous. Kinalimutan ko na ang salitang iyon long time ago unless it’s my passion at stake and now, it’s coming back for no reason at all.
Sioux Kyros Centauri.
My lips thinned. How dare I stutter? What the fuck is wrong with me?! Gusto kong kastiguhin ang sarili ko pero hindi ito ang tamang lugar.
Tumikhim ako at tiningnan s’ya nang masama ng hindii n’ya ako bitawan. He was looking at me while wetting his lips. Appetizing. I haven’t eaten lunch.
His lips formed a blatantly and disdainfully proud smirk. Napaangat ako ng tingin sa mukha n’ya. He looked playful but he was haughty. His eyes looked dangerously fascinating. Ang kapal ng pilik-mata n’ya.
“You’re drooling, babe,” he said, still smirking. I had the urge to touch the side of my lips but I didn’t. Mas lalong lumaki ang ngisi n’ya. “I thought only dogs know how to drool. Are you a bad bitch?”
My cheeks reddened with rage. Hindi ko ipinahalata ang pamumula ng mukha ko. Kumawala ako sa pagkakahawak n’ya. I stood there, sinalubong ko ang mata n’ya ng parehong itensidad. I did the unthinkable. Binigyan ko s’ya ng mag-asawang sampal. Hindi s’ya natinag. Hindi pumaling ang pisngi n’ya sa kabilang side. Mukhang sanay na saay s’yang sinasampal.
Tumalim ang tingin n’ya sa’kin. “No one slaps me and still have both of her arms,” there’s a restrain in his voice.
I smiled sweetly with my eyes telling the opposite. “Someone has to be the first. I’m just not glad to do it. You’re not worthy,” nang-uuyam kong wika.
“Careful now, babe,” umigting ang panga n’ya. His eyes speaks danger. Tumaas ang kilay ko. He knows how to clench his jaw? Not impressive. Halos lahat nagagawa na iyon. It became a trademark.
“Sure, hon.” pakikisakay ko. Hindi naman masaya if only one plays the game. “Maybe you should be the one careful. No one forgets me.”
Nabali ang tingin ko sa kanya nang may umubo nang pagkalakas-lakas. I saw a chinese-looking guy doing a fake cough. He looks like a banshee dying with that coughing thingy. Nakalimutan ko kung nasaan kami, I was still in El Toro with these people. Andito pa rin iyong Phoebe Imelda. Akala ko kinain na ng Gluta.
Tumigil s’ya nang makita n’yang nakatingin ako sa kanya. “Ehem, ehem.” Pumormal ang mukha n’ya at lumapit sa’kin.
“Hi. What’s your name?” the chinese guy asked, lalong tumaas ang kilay ko nang maglahad s’ya ng kamay. “I’m Jian-yu. Jian for short.”
“A peasant doesn’t need to know my name,” Hindi ko tinanggap iyong kamay n’ya. “I don’t want any of your viruses.” My brow still raised. I didn’t even blink.
Humalakhak s’ya. “Oof, feisty eh? She’s not like the Eduardo girl, huh?” his eyes showed malice. Del Fuego groaned in annoyance. Nanlaki ang mga mata n’ya.
“That’s racist, miss! I’m not a fucking host of that virus!”
“Shut the fuck up,” he hissed.
“And yet you are a Chinese,” I told him. “Your presence is not needed here. There are a lot of things that this country is facing. Please, leave us alone.”
He glared at me. “That’s a nasty remark. You don’t know me.”
“I may not but I know your nationality.”
“You’re a Chinese as well, remember your last name?”
Tiningnan n’ya ako nang masama. Mukhang nakakatawa iyong mata n’ya but I kept my cool. He walked out.
I’m also a part Chinese, hindi ko iyon nakakalimutan. Ang pikon n’a. that’s what he gets.
I could still feel the hot and intense gaze on my back. I know the culprit. Hindi ako lumingon. Muli kong hinarap iyong client ko.
“If you want to meet me at the court, my lawyer is free to talk to you.” mariin kong wika. “And I’ll send some glutathione as a gift for ruining that already ruined face of yours. Mukha kang nakalaklak ng gluta, by the way.” I waved goodbye. Hindi ko na hinintay na sumagot pa s’ya. I headed to the exit. Iniwan ko silang lahat doon.
Dumiretso ako sa parking lot. Sumakay ako sa kotse at umalis ng El Toro. Napataas ang kilay ko ng may humarang sa dinaraanan ko. Mabilis kong tinapakan ang break. Sunod-sunod ang duumating na sasakyan and damn, their cars are flashy.
I calmed myself and went out of the car.
Whoever that is, should be afraid by now. Hindi ako mangingiming ipakain sa kanya ang Valentino heels ko. I was wearing a Valentino heels now.
Nagulat ako nang makitang bumaba si Sioux Kyros Centauri. The guy that is so epal. He walked towards me mighty and proud. He’s wearing sunglasses. His lips twitched. Tinaasan ko s’ya ng kilay.
“What is it? What do you want?”
I wasn’t expecting his presence. I don’t like his presence at all.
“Fuck…” he trailed off. “you,”
He laughed dangerously sexy. Napatanga ako sa kanya. Binawalan ko ang sarili ko. I’m not a teenager with raging hormones wanting to be fucked.
Still, he’s more than handsome. But who cares?
“What do you want?” I asked again.
Unti-unti s’yang lumapit sa’kin. “I forgot to make you pay,” hinapit n’ya ang baywang ko. I was, again, caught off guard. Ilang beses akong nag-blink.
I was about to push him nang sapuin n’ya ang labi ko. He kissed me real hard. He kissed me good. It was seeking and torrid and it made me feel alive and my heart beats fast.
I was out of breath when he released me. He showed his blatantly proud smirk. Pinahid n’ya ang gilid ng labi ko. I composed myself and pushed him. I eyed him sternly.
“You kissed me back and that changed the game, Reign Promethia Sy,”
Wala akong ideay kung anong ibig sabihin ng sinabi n’ya. I shook my head. My irritattion with him instantly grew into hate. I hate him for kissing me. I hate him because I liked the kiss. It was refreshing.
“I kissed a lot of guys and you weren’t that good, Sioux Kyros Centauri,”
That’s a lie. I have to say it. I’m a bitch, but never a liar. At least, I admit it to myself not to his face. I know his kind. He’s boastful arrogant asshole.
Nakipagtitigan ako sa kanya. It was intense and was a cut off when my phone rang. I answered the caller and thanked silently whoever it was.
“Yes, is it okay then? I’ll see you in New York,”
Itinulak ko ang nakaharang n’yang katawan sa kotse at mabilis na sumakay sa Cadillac Sedan ko.
“Just fucking move out of the way, Mr. Centauri!” inirapan ko s’ya.
Pinaharurot ko ang sasakyan.
That kiss invaded my mind. He’s a good kisser to fucking admit. He’s a sin. I don’t like him. He makes me feel things I buried long ago and I don’t want any of them. I’ll make sure I won’t see him again.
I have more important things to do than think of that kiss! May NYFW ako! I won’t fail.
A lot of things are going in my head the past few days. I tried hard enough to forget about the kiss and bothered feeling I have. I couldn’t let it affect my system. It’s not me if I do that.
An agency contacted me there are two applicants interested for the job position and I’ll have an interview with them.s
“Send the next applicant in,” sabi ko sa babaeng katatapos ko lang interview-hin. Nanginginig s’yang tumango sa’kin at mabilis na lumakad palabas ng office ko. There’s just a two of them. At mukhang takot na iyong isa, wala pa akong ginagawa sa kanya.
Pumasok ang isang petite na babae. She looks like a fresh graduate. I could see highlights on her hair. She was smiling at me.
“Good morning, Miss Sy,” she said as she went near my table. She didn’t move to sit on the chair in front of me. Hinihintay n’ya yata ang Bandila.
“Are you gonna sit or what?” I snapped.
Nanatili pa rin s’yang nakangiti at umupo sa harapan ko. She handed me a folder but I shook my head. I have the information about her on my laptop.
“I’m Miles Janine Flores. They call me Lolay, si ate ang nagpalayaw non, kasi Loloy daw ang palayaw ng papa ko. I’m twenty-one, fresh from the bath. I, thank you,” tumawa s’ya pagkasabi n’ya niyon.
Pinandilatan ko s’ya para pumormal. I don’t like disorganize things, that’s why I’m always irritated with Justise. Kulang kasi s’ya sa turnilyo sa utak.
I browsed her info. “You weren’t a graduate of any degree,” I stated. It was on her resume. She’s a college undergraduate. Hindi n’ya natapos ang kurso n’yang Business Administration.
“Yes, Miss Sy.” she answered proudly. Hindi nawawala ang ngiti sa labi n’ya. Somewhat, ikinainis ko iyon.
Tiningnan ko s’yang mabuti. “It seems you’re proud,”
“I’m not that proud but not shy with that, either. School isn’t just meant for me. Saka isa pa, my sister is a doctor and she told me to pursue the things I want. Hindi s’ya pressure cooker. Ayoko kasi talagang mag-aral, gusto ko lang kumita ng pera. At mas sayang iyong ipagpapaaral sa’kin kung magloloko lang ako sa school, so I quit. Ibinigay ko na lang sa ibang pamangkin ko ang pagkakataon, sila ang pinapaaral ni ate.” mahinahon n’yang wika.
“The first one is a graduate of Business Ad in a prestigious school. She has bragging credentials and all. You aren’t.” nagkibit-balikat ako.
She crossed her legs, nakita ko iyon. Nagkamot pa s’ya sa ulo. Tumaas nang kusa ang kilay ko sa gestures n’ya.
Tumango-tango pa s’ya. “Yes, mukha s’yang matalino and of course, matalino ‘yon. That’s very commendable. Pero mukha naman s’yang takot sa’yo? How long can she stay? Natapos ko naman iyong Senior High at may NC II naman ako at hindi ako attitude ghorl.”
My lips thinned. “You don’t fear me?” I intimidated her.
“Bakit ako matatakot? Pinsan ko si Ed Calauag,”
Nangunot ang noo ko. “Who’s that?”
Tumawa s’ya nang malakas. It seems like it’s her last laugh. “Ay, hindi ka ba nagbabasa ng memes sa facebook? Outdated na nga ‘yon e. last year pa ‘yon. Magkaibang tao ‘yon, pinagsama ko lang. Akala ko kasi funny.” tumawa pa s’ya. Then later on, she cleared her throat. “But seriously speaking, why would I fear you? I know you’re a part Chinese, but I’m not gonna judge you or bully you if you have Corona virus.”
I glared at her. “I’m a queen,”
“Then, you are to rule, not to be feared.”
I smirked. “You’re hired, Lolay,”
Nanlaki ang mata n’ya. Tumindig s’ya at nagtatalon. “Hala, thank you! Thank you, Miss Sy!” she even went to me and hugged me. She was strong enough to do that. Hindi ko agad s’ya naitulak.
Nang humupa ang energy n’ya, mabilis s’ayang kumalas sa’kin. “Sarreh, got carried away.” kinuha n’ya iyong folder na nalaglag habang nagtatalon s’ya kanina.
“So, when do I start?” she asked.
She coughed. “Feeling ko, ako talaga ang may dalang virus e!” she exclaimed.
“Bobo, labas!” I hissed.
“Ay, Gadon!” tawa s’ya nang tawang lumabas ng office ko.
CHAPTER THREEManhattan, New York.I want everything to be perfect.It’s the only thing that fulfills my being unless I will include my bitchiness to people and see the fear in their eyes.Tomorrow is the day of the fashion show. I was a bit nervous. Pakiramdam ko dito lang ako nagiging tao. Somewhat, I still fear failurebecause it’s the only thing I can call my own, the thing that belongs to me --- my passion and I consider this my life. Kung ito pa ang kukuhanin sa’kin, I don’t know what I would become. Maybe the worst of the worst. I shook my head.“You’ve come a long way. You’re here.” I reminded myself.Technical problems lang ang pwede kong ma-encounter and even that, ayoko pa rin. Walang makakasira ng ilang buwan kong pinaghirapan. Everything’s gonna be okay.&
CHAPTER FOURI thought I would enjoy my stay in Manhattan but I didn’t, even the New York Fashion Week. I flew to the Philippines as soon as my work was done. Hindi ko na tinapos ang NYFW. There are more designers that will showcase their creations pero hindi ko na nagawang pumunta sa shows nila.Ariska and Phoebe Imelda were nowhere to be found after our last confrontation but their walk of shame was all over the news and cheap tabloids. They were facing several issues all at once. Hindi magkamayaw ang mga tao kung anong tsismis ang uunahin. Pathetic. On the other hand, I still see Centauri, he’s almost everywhere I go, flirting and kissing different lips. Like yuck? I wonder if he already got HIV or sexual diseases. I hope he has. Kung sinu-sinong dinadali n’ya. And I remember how of a manwhore he was, he almost fucked two girls. He enjoyed watching them.I hate him more. He has the g
CHAPTER FIVE“She’s okay. She just needs rest and continue her medication. She should attend her regular check-ups, Miss Sy. No need to confine her.” sabi ng doctor. Magalang s’yang ngumiti sa’kin.Tumango ako. I sighed in relief.“Mommy, mommy!” the little voice caught my attention. The little girl emerged from the door, she was running towards me with a big smile on her face. She has glasses. Naka-pigtail ang buhok n’ya at may hawak s’yang squishy. Dinamba n’ya ako, mabuti na lang mabilis ang reflexes ko. She hugged me. Natigilan ako sa pagkakaupo ko. I froze at the moment. I lokked at her closely, she is a pretty girl.Tinanngal n’ya aang kanyang maliliit na kamay sa pagkakayakap at tiningnan akong mabuti. Kinapa n’ya pa ang mukha ko at marahang tinapik.“Ay, hello!” she was sm
CHAPTER SIXNapadalas ang pagdalaw ko sa mansyon dahil kay manang. I was worried sick. Kahit madalas n’yang sinasabi sa’king wala naman s’yang kakaibang nararamdaman. I ended up staying in my dad’s house.She was my favorite person. She knew me more than anyone and stood by me when I needed all the support. She was the mother figure I never really had. Come to think of it, I never knew my mother. Ni walang nasabi si dad. He never mentioned her once.Dad was busy as usual. I haven’t seen him even in dinner time. Minsan lang magtagpo kami sa iisang lugar. We haven’t talked after what happened in El Toro. It seems like he forgot all about that and I don’t want to talk about it. Kahit gusto kong tanungin kung anong ginagawa n’ya kasama ang mga lalaking iyon. And apparently, one of them, give an indecent proposal to me. Like fuck, hindi pa ba sapat ang mga babae
CHAPTER SEVENNakatanggap ako ng tawag kay Mrs. Castro the very next day. I canceled my schedule for that meeting. I never required Lolay to come with me. It’s better that she stays in the boutique while I am away.“This way, ma’am,”The guy showed me the way. Sinundan ko lang s’ya hanggang makarating kami sa isang VIP room. I was smirking when I was reminded of what happened last time. It wasn’t the same VIP room. But it was the same restaurant.It was in the middle of the second floor, sakop niyon ang teresa. There’s an access to the outside view.It was a spacious room. Scented candles are everywhere. I love the smell. I always love scented candles. A painting hung in the wall caught my attention. Ibinaba ko ang dala kong pouch sa table, I went near the painting. It was an abstract painting of scorpion and I found it i
CHAPTER EIGHT Ang dami kong naiwang gawain sa Reign’s Realm. Hindi ako pumasok sa trabaho for almost a week now kaya tambak na ang mga ito. I shouldn’t have listened to Manang. Dapat nagtrabaho na lang ako. Seeing all these pending works and papers makes me want to never work again. Inunat ko ang likod ko at sumandal sa swivel chair. I was playing with my pen, letting myself engulfed with my thinking. Muling pumasok si Lolay sa opisina ko. May dala s’yang iba pang papeles. I rolled my eyes when she caught my eye. Ngumisi lang ito. “Sorry Miss Sy. Quits lang tayo, noong absent ka ako ang stressed dito.” she told me nonchalantly. Muli ko s’yang inirapan. “By the way, may samples ng tela dumating mula sa suppliers, tingnan mo na lang kung anong ia-approve mo.” I nodded. “One more thing Miss Sy, the new owner of the land was very persistent. Sinisingil n’ya
CHAPTER NINE “I’ve been waiting for this moment to happen. It’s nice that you’re back, Stephen.” It was really him. They are coming this way. He would see me. Fuck, I need to think fast. I don’t want him to see me. Not now. “Excuse me madame and a gentleman,” his colleague asked. Instead of facing them, I did the unthinkable. I coiled my arms around his neck and kissed the devil in Armani suit. It wasn’t a simple kiss. It was torrid and he was kissing me back with the same intensity as I am giving him. I was french-kissing him in front of many people inside a restaurant to avoid my ex-boyfriend who sold me to another devil back in the days. It wasn’t a good idea but it’s all I have now. Someone cleared his throat. “Gents, there’s another way. We don’t want to interrupt romantic people here. Do we?” Nang mawa
CHAPTER TEN Gusto kong kastiguhn ang sarili ko kung bakit parang pumayag akong magpahalik sa kanya. Hindi lang iyon ang problema ko ngayon. What the fuck does he need from me this time? Tumunog ang kotse ni Sioux na umagaw sa atensyon ko. Binuksan n’ya ang passenger’s seat. He looked at me and gestured to go in. Hindi naman ako nagdalawang-isip. I hopped into his car. I wonder what type of Bugatti this is. It looks freaking expensive. Inayos ko ang seatbelt. Umikot s’ya papuntang driver’s seat. He started the engine. Tinanggal ko ang shades ko. Hindi ko mapigilan ang sarili kong magtanong. “This is Bugatti, right? Is this the latest version?” I just remembered Lolay talking about this. If I remembered it correctly, umaabot ito ng dalawampong milyong dolyares. Fuck. That’s rich. Fucking rich. He nodded. “La Voiture Noire. Do you like cars?” nanatili ang mata n’ya sa daan palab