"Kael, gusto mo bang ihatid kita pabalik sa resort? Sobrang basa mo na 'oh." I stopped when he even held my arms, and checked my shorts.
"No, it's okay." I smiled at him in a simper way.
"Actually, gusto ko nga sanang maligo ngayon sa dagat," Nilagay ko ang magkabilang kamay ko sa bewang ko at humarap sa dagat.
Kita ko sa gilid ng mata ko ang pag kunot ng noo niya, "Huh? Sobrang lamig kaya saka sabi-sabi nila may mga pating daw na dumadami rito kapag gabi. " I turned my gaze at him, and caught him looking at me.
"Bawal ba talaga?" sumimangot ako. Napakagat naman ako sa labi ko nang ramdam ko ang malamig na hangin na pumapasok sa loob ng shorts ko.
"Bawal talaga dito, Kael. Saka siguro kung sa resort ka maliligo, baka pwede. May mga lifeguards kasi na nakabangay do'n. " he smiled at me, and I just nodded at him.
I don't have the choice but to agree with him.
"Gusto mk maligo?" Tinagilid niya ang ulo niya ng konti at tinaas ang gilid ng labi. Kailangan ko pang iangat ko ang tingin ko sa kanya, so I can clearly see his side face.
I'll thank the moon for giving a wonderful lighting just to give me a glimpse of his manly physique and how his eyes glint.
What am I saying? I am absolutely crazy.
"You already told me I'm not allowed to swim..."
"Ihatid na nga lang kita sa resort, " he held my hand, and stepped to go but I didn't even took a single step to follow him.
" I don't want to go back–for now?" I stared at his confused eyes.
" Huh, bakit naman? Baka hinahanap ka na ng mga kaibigan mo. " may pag-aalala sa boses niya.
I shook my head, and gave him an assuring smile "Don't worry, they won't."
Binitawan niya ang kamay ko at seryosong nilagay ang isang kamay sa bulsa niya.
"Sana ka ngayon magbibihis at matutulog? Tignan mo, sobrang basa ng short mo. "
I stared at him a little longer, until he stopped talking, realizing what I think I'm going to do.
"Huwag mong sabihin na makikituloy ka sa b-bahay?" nauutal niyang tanong.
Ngumisi ako at dahan-dahang tumango, " I think there's nothing wrong with that, isn't?" I stepped forward and raised my brows.
" Pero para hindi ka magiging komportable sa bahay?"
"You're asking me like that, so I can change my mind to stay at your house, tama ba? " I crossed my arm, and even though only the light of Luna gave a gleam to ours, I could see how he looked away to me.
"Nag-aalal lang naman ako sa'yo, Kael." I clenched my jaw when he's low and clear voice seems like a music to my ears.
"Oh, really? Then, let me stay at your house if you really are concerned about me." I grabbed his arm, and walked when I realized I didn't know where his house was.
"Let me follow you." I shyly smiled, but the thing that made my heart drop when he suddenly patted my head and held my hand.
Hindi ko alam kung alam niyang gay ako, and I admit that I like him. I don't want to deny it dahil ramdam o naman talaga pero wala akong planong sabihin sa kanya. Kumbaga para bang secret crush lang–it makes me feel like a highschool kid.
Sino ba naman ang hindi magkakagusto sa kanya na he's too gentle and he's good-looking and at the same time–independent. Never in my life meet a guy who works for his needs, and never depend of his parents or relatives. Mayaman naman ang angkan nila, but he chooses to live like this.
He's mature, and responsible.
And, that's what I like to a guy.
And about Isaac? I don't know. I can't reach any romantic feelings towards him for what he did to me earlier. So immature and impatient.
"Kapit ka ng mahigpit, Kael. Baka mahulog ka diyan, wala pa naman akong helmet." sumakay siya sa motor niyang halata na ang kalumaan. Dahan-dahan akong sumakay sa likod ng motor niya nang binuksan na niya ang makina nito, at kumapit sa may balikat niya nang umangkas na 'to.
"Why do you sound like you don't trust me?" I laughed.
" Hindi naman sa wala akong tiwala sa'yo, nag-aaala nga lang ako diba." hinuli niya nag magkabilang kamay ko at pinulupot sa bewang niya.
"Hindi ka ba na co-conscious kung niyayakap kita ng ganito?" I asked him while starting to turn his motor.
"Hindi naman." He shook his head.
"What if sasabihin kong gay ako. Would you let me hug you like this again?" I half-confessed.
I don't have the worries to tell him or even being afraid of what might he's his reaction if I told him the truth.
Kung hindi niya ako matatanggap as being gay, I can forget him and move-on easily.
"Oo naman. Kahit bakla ka, tanggap kita at kahit ilang beses mo pa gustong yumakap sa'kin, pinahintulutan kita." Ngumisi ako nang marinig ang pilyo niyang boses.
" You have a sweet tooth."
" Totoo naman talaga. Basta ikaw, Kael. Kahit anong gusto mo, gagawin ko."
" Why so cheesy, Rico." We laughed and hugged him tightly when I felt the cold wind at my body passed.
Sobrang tahimik ng kalsada, at puno ng mga punong-kahoy ang gilid ng kalsada at kakaunti lang ang makikitang bahay sa lugar. May mga ilaw naman sa daan na nagpapabigay liwanag ng daan, at kasabay naman ng matinis na tunog ng motor ni Rico ay ang mga kuliglig sa paligid.
Until, my attention was caught by this strange and mysterious old streetlight again that made me feel the heaviness inside my head. I looked away, and noticed the soft groan of Rico.
"Okay ka lang, Rico?" I asked him.
He replied me a slight nod, "Oo, okay lang naman. Medyo ramdam ko na masusuka ako."
Hindi na ako nagsalita ko nagtanong kay Rico about the strange things I felt that I assumed he always felt it too. Ilang minuto lang from the streetlight, dumating na kami sa bahay ni Rico. Kahit maliit at gawa sa pinagtagpi-tagping kahoy ng bamboo, I can see how it so lively because of the lights and the flowers that can be seen all the side of his house. May mga nakasabit namang mga parol sa labas, at may asong agad na tumalon kay Rico.
"You really live alone here?" I was in the middle of taking off my slippers when he stopped me.
"Ipasok mo na lang tsinelas mo." Una siyang pumasok na dala ang tsinelas at sinundan siya.
" Oo, ako na lang talaga ang nakatira dito simula ng nawala na sila lola," nilagay niya ang susi ng motor niya sa parang cabinet na may mga nakalagay sa ibabaw na may mga stuff toys at bulaklak. Umupo ako sa upuan niyang gawa sa kahoy ng bamboo, at sumandal.
I felt nostalgic sitting in this kind of chair. If I'm mistaken, the last time I sat in a bamboo chair was when we visited our grandparents. Bata pa naman ako noon kaya sobrang tagal na. Nakakamiss.
"Ganda ng bahay mo," sabi ko habang pumapakli sa album ni Rico na puro mga childhood photos, at may kasama na sa tingin ko ay grandparents niya.
"Nambola ka pa talaga, Kael. Ito 'oh, magbihis ka muna ng pantulog mo. Huwag kang mag-alala kabibili ko pa lang 'yang brief kahapon, hindi ko pa nagagamit." natatawa niyang paalala at iniabot sa'kin ang damit.
Tinanggap ko ito, and placed the album back.
"Where's your room?" I asked him. He raised his brow, and pointed to a room that had a thin curtain as its door.
"Magluluto lang ako ng makakain natin. Hindi naman kita sisilipan diyan." tumawa siya.
Pumasok ako sa tinuro niyang kwarto, at pinagmasdan ang kwarto niya. Kahit hindi naka tiles ang sahig ng bahay niya, I can see how it is so clean, and his clothes were organized at his plastic cabinet.
After I changed my clothes, I went directly to Rico who's slowly pouring the hot soup into a small bowl.
"Kumakain ka ba ng sopas?" I gulped when he raised his gaze while still pouring.
" Oo naman. My grandmother's used to cook that for us." umupo ako sa kaharap niyang upuan, at tinitignan lang ang bawat galaw niya.
"Talaga? Pareho pala tayo. Kung pwede nga lang sana, ito ang kainin ko buong araw." he chuckled and stood up to get a small jug and pour water to a glass bottle and gave it to me.
"But, sadly never na akong nakabisita sa lola ko. Hindi na kasi pumapayag sila dad." I laughed bitterly.
" Ito, sa'yo oh. Dahan-dahan lang sa pag kain ha." Paalala niya at nilagyan ng kutsara ang mangkok ko na may lang mainit-init na sopas. Tumango ako at tinikman ito.
"Ang lungkot naman. Alam mo, natatawa ako kasi kung bakit sa panahon ngayon; ang komportable ng mga basta kung sagot-sagutin ang mga lolo o lola nila. Oo, aaminin ko na ganyan din ako noong bata pa ako, pero habang tumatanda ako, narealize ko ang mga bagay na mga nagawa nila sa'kin." I nodded at him, agreeing of what he said.
"I agree with you. Ngayon nga, my Tita told me who's with my lola today, her son kept on shouting to our lola when he did not like what our lola did to him." I rolled my eyes.
" Respect is slowly fading to the people who've been blinded by technology." I stated my opinion.
" Masarap ba?" tanong niya habang naglalagay na ng ikalawang sandok niya ng sopas.
Mag thumbs-up ako, sabay tango.
"Sobra! Siguro, I'll betray lola for now."
"Sure ka na talaga dito ka matutulog, Kael?" nahihiya niyang tanong sa'kin.
Nilibot ko ang tingin sa loob ng bahay niya, at bumaling ulit sa kanya.
"I think there's nothing wrong with your house. The roofs are still there above, " turo ko sa bubong, " And you're here with me, who's concerned to me, right?" I turned my eyes to my food, hiding the embarrassment on my face, and even though I'm not looking at him I saw how he shook his head with a smile on his face.
"Kung siguro hindi ka lang mayaman, Kael. Baka iisipin kong may gusto ka sa'kin. Sino siguro sa ating dalawa ang sweet tooth?" pinatong niya ang magkabilang siko niya sa lamesa, at uminom ng tubig.
Mahina akong humalakhak, "Kung siguro hindi ako mayaman? Anong ibig mong sabihin."
"Diba kasi, kapag mayaman dapat ang gugustuhin niya, ang katulad niya ring mayaman. At ganon din sa aming mga mahihirap."
Nangunot ang noo ko sa sinabi niya, "who told you that?"
He shrugged, "Ewan ko, ba. Wala naman eh. 'Yan lang ang tingin ko sa pagmamahal. Pwede tayo sigurong magkagusto pero bawal kayong magkatuluyan." he continued.
" It's not true. Love has no limit and boundaries. You can love whoever you want."
Tumango isya, at tumayo at nilagay ang mangkok sa lababo, " Siguro sa taong gustong magmahal at nagmamahal, 'yan ang masasabi. Pero paano ang ibang tao? Kahit hindi sila yung nagmamahal, hinuhusgahan at binabab nila." kahit nakatalikod siya at naghuhugas ng pinagkainan, I can sense the pain to his words.
" Broken ka ba?" he looked at me slightly.
"Hindi naman. Naalala ko lang kasi ang mga nagugustuhan ko dati. Hindi ko naman alam na mga mayayaman pala sila, kaya chismis sa kamila. Pineperahan ko raw."
After I ate, tumayo na rin alo and went to the sino where Rico is.
" Babae?" I asked him, looking at him.
"At lalaki," gulat akomg napatingin sa kamya at ita ko ang ngiti sa lani niya na oara namg sikasnai niyang, ‘Yes, you're right!’
"Bisexual ka?" dalawang beses siyang tumango.
"Nice." I whispered to myself while washing my dishes.
"Nice? Bakit naman." tanong niya habang nasa gilid ko nakatayo pa rin.
Nilingon ko siya, at kunwaring tiningnan siya na puno ng pagtataka, "Nice? Wala akong sinabi na nice." I half-pouted.
" Talaga? Okay, sige. Kunwari hindi ko na lang narinig." pilyo siyang nagsalita bago naglakad palayo.
" Matutulog na ako, Kael. Ihahanda ko muna pala ang higaan mo."
" Sana ka matutulog?" I wiped my wet hands with the hand towel, and followed him inside the room.
"Why not here?"
Napahinto siya at kita ang pag-taas baba ng adam's apple niya.
" 'Wag na, baka hindi ka sanay."
"It's okay for me. At isa pa, wala naman yatang malisya para sayo eh. Matutu–" I stopped talking when I realized what word I am going to say next, " Nevermind." umiling sko, at kita ang pagngisi niya.
"Sigr, ganito na lang. Ililipat ko ang higaan ko dito para may kasama ka. Baka natatakot ka lang eh." He walked towards me and messed up my hair again. Pagkatapos, nilagpasa niya ako para isara ng maayos ang bintana.
"Yung upuan na mahaba?"
Tumango siya, "Oo. Sanay na ako do'n." he winked at me.
Actually, I really am afraid of having someone sleeping beside one bed. It makes me feel like I'm suffocating and drowned. Kaya, ako lang mag-isa sa kama doon sa kwarto ni Mark sa hotel na tutuluyan sana namin sa resort.
And also, about Mark. He kept on texting me kung nasaan ako and I replied to him that I'm going to be okay. But, he still kept on texting me that he's going to explain what he said earlier.
Ayoko munang isipin yon at ipabukas na lang.
‘Goodnight again, Rico.’ I saw inside my head, while staring at Rico's sleepy face.
He's the stranger I never felt the regret to meet, actually.
Kinabukasan, I was awakened by the aroma of a brewed coffee, and the waking sound of the rooster that I saw at the back of Rico's house, also to the loud bark of a dog. Kita ko siyang nagka-kape sa lamesa at may pandesal na nakalapag. Napatingi naman ako sa labas smelling something burning. "Goodmorning, Kael." he smiled while giving me a cup of hot caramel coffee. I stared at his tan face, and hid a smile remembering what I did last night... It's almost eleven in the evening, I am replying to all of Mark's texts. I can't sleep. Not because I'm not comfortable or bothered by something. I just can't help myself but to stick my eyes at Rico's sleeping with his mouth open. Kanina pa akong parang baliw na nakangiti, at kahit na ramdam ko ang mga lamok na pinagsisipsip ang dugo ko hindi ko na 'yon alin
After two days, Rico and I did not meet again. I even tried to go where we met that night, but he wasn't there. I wanted to return his clothes, and all of my texts to him–he's not responding.Gusto ko sanang pumunta sa bahay niya pero parang weird naman kung pupunta ako doon na walang sadya.We are now wearing our suits and ties, with Alex who's wearing her yellow balloon dress. Isa-isa kaming pinicturan ng photographer with different angles.Alex decided to have our friendship photoshoot. Next week naman ang mga relatives niya and families sa bahay lang yata nila. Nagtataka nga ako kung paano na lang ang negosyo nila dito sa resort. We are staying here for a week, and the resort is close."Pretty boy!!! So pretty!" tumili si Alex sabay palakpak sa kain while posing looking at the camera. The photographer told me to smile a little bit and pu
I don't know what good things I did to the world, why all the pain I felt suddenly faded, and replaced it into sheer bliss. Hindi ko rin alam kung ano ang ginawa ko kay Rico why he suddenly texted me last night. Matutulog na nga sana ako, but I got a notification on my phone.Not that I hate to admit it, but I think I really feel hard for him.I know I'm taking a serious risk of the things I am doing, especially liking Rico. But, he's so different from others. There was something on him I wanted to fight for.He's also making me feel too many emotions, and can't explain what it really is. At isa pa, parang nagiging ibang tao ako kapag kasama ko si Rico. Nagiging soft ako, which I am not in reality? I mean with others, I'm not that soft."Hey, hey, hey, pretty boy!" Alex blocked my way. She's wearing a see-through beach suit with her pricey sunglasses.
"Kael, nakaready na ba lahat ng gamit mo? Sa'yo Josh?""Yes, sir! Nakaready na po!" Josh jokingly salutes to Mark while facing his phone."Sa'yo Kael?" tanong ulit ni Mark. I just replied to him with a slight nod, and continued looking for a shirt to wear later."Ano ba hinahanap mo, Kael?" Lumapit si Mark sa'kin, at kinuha ang damit na nilabas ko." Obviously, a t-shirt." I never took a single glance at him, and focused on what I am doing."Okay naman 'yang damit mo, eh."I shook my head, " Ito na lang siguro. "I looked at the navy t-shirt and pairs it with a beach short. Kahit paulit-ulit na tinatanong ako ni Mark kung bakit parang ang busy ko. I just ignored him and talked to him, until I'm done."Saan ba?" he asked again.I raised my eyes on him, and sighed. I'm no
Nang makauwi kami, agad kong ginawa ay tumawag kay Rico. Ilang beses akong tumawag at nagtext sa kanya, but he's not responding. Kaya, I decided to call him the next day–assuming he may be so busy sa work niya."Kael, ready na ang food sa baba. Sabay na tayong kumain." ate knocked at the door, and slowly opened it."Okay, ate. Susunod lang ako.""Kael, stpp using your phone muna. Kain na tayo," Umupo siya sa gilid ko at kunwaring sumilip sa phone ko."Mauna ka na lang, ate."I saw the side of my eyes how she pouted and looked at me-dejected."Hindi mo na yata ako mahal, Kael." unti-unti kong inangat ang paningin ko, at umupo ng maayos." Ito naman si ate nagtatampo agad." I chuckled and rest my head on her side."Ano ba naman kasi ang pinag-aabalahan mo? You're so focused
"Isaac, please. I'm begging you to stop bothering us." I grabbed Rico's hand on our urge to run, when we both stopped by Isaac's sarcastic chuckle. "I can't promise you that, Kael. Lalo na ngayon na nakahanap ka agad ng pampalit sa akin. Or maybe, your just trying to make me jealous? " Napapigil hininga ako nang pansin ang malalim na pag buntong-hininga ni Rico. "Huwag mo na lang siya pansinin, let's go." I whispered to him. " Saglit lang, " he faced me, then took my hand on his arm. "Sir, mawalang galang na po. Respetuhin na lang natin ang desisyon ni Kael, kaysa pinipilit nyo pa ang sarili mo sa kanya. " Inabot ko ang kamay niRico, pinipilit siyang hilain palayo kay Isaac nang makita ang masamang tingin nito. "Don't you ever talk to me like that. You're just like a
I rushed back home from what Alexa told us. She also texted me, explaining what actually happened.Kanina, Isaac called dad and told him that I am having a relationship with someone. Obviously, dad got alarmed for sure. Even if he'll believe it or not, I need to tell him what's on my side.Alam ko, this is Isaac's plan to make our relationship get complicated.Pagkapasok ko sa loob ng bahay, I acted calm and unbothered immediately when I saw Dad and Isaac at the living room, sitting face-to-face."Dad, what's wrong? Why is Isaac here?"I gazed to Isaac who's side lips are rising. Nakapatong ang siko nya sa tuhod niya habang si Dad ay nasandal sa upuan na may hawak na baso na may kalahating laman na beer."If this guy is not your boyfriend, then who? I've warned you before Kael. Stop this shit of yours. You're not supposed to
From the time I woke up until now, my lips can't stop smiling. Inayos ko ang uniform kong puti na blouse at slacks. I stared myself at the mirror, and put on my ID. Huminga ako ng malalim bago inalis ang tingin sa salamin, at kinuha ang bag ko para makaalis na ako."Your boyfriend is waiting for you outside." Ate winked at me before I could grab a toast on the table."Naiinggit ka na, ate?" I chuckled.Her reaction changed into a stern look, and arms crossed to each other."Stop talking na lang, Kael." She faced me with her palm and gestured for me to go.Lumapit muna ako sa kanya, at hinalikan muan sa pisngi bago lumabas ng bahay. Pagkahakbang ko pa lang sa labas ng bahay, agad tumalon ang puso ko nang makita ang lalaking walang damit pang-itaas habang pinupunasan ang kotse. Every move of his arm, it stretches his right biceps that makes me gulped multiple times.&n