“Isaac came here yesterday.”
I stopped when I heard dad's voice when I went outside of my room. It's still eight in the morning, and my day will be ruined this early.
I kept a serious face and did not mind looking at him. Just keeping my eye on the cold dead floor.
“That guy really has the nerve to say, if I should accept who you are. ” he chuckles, which makes my blood boil.
Mahigpit ang pagkuyom ko sa kamao ko, at kinagat ang gilid ng labi ko. I tried to calm my mind and preventing myself to talk back at him.
I know what will happen if I talk back to him. Everything will get worse.
“Kael, my son. Don't ever disappoint me again, okay? That guy coming in the house makes me so mad, son. So, please behave if you don't want me to destroy everything.” he tapped my shoulder, then kissed my head before walking downstairs.
I now taste my own blood and stare at his cold blooded back, waiting for him to be out of my sight.
Deep in my mind, I wanted to run at him and do my revenge, but my body can't even move.
My heart keeps on beating, like it was giving a message to me, that I should remember that this guy is still my father.
Minutes had passed, my hands were shaking and silently screamed while aggressively punching the wall of my room.
Wala na akong pakealam kung maririnig nila ‘yun. Gano'n pa rin kase, mas magagalit pa sila kesa sa mag-aalala sa akin.
Sa totoo lang, gusto kong maiyak o lumaban na kay papa. Pero, hindi ko talaga kaya!
I know I am a coward for not defending myself, and I don't have the courage to fight what is right.
Baka kasi kapag lumaban ako, ako pa ang mapagkamalang may mali.
Nanaig kasi ang takot ko.
Hindi muna ako pumunta sa baba para kumain kasabay sila, hinintay ko muna sila papa na makaalis. Bumisita pa si mama sa akin, convincing me to eat with them for breakfast, pero I just ignored her and chooses to stare at my monitor, acting like I didn't hear her.
That trigger my conscience. Ayoko rin namang masanay na makakausap ko si mama, dahil alam ko na aalis at aalis siya ulit. She even kept me a promise before that she will never leave me again. Mas inuuna pa nila ang trabaho nila. Oo, alam kong they are doing this for our future. But, fuck this! I don't need to have million gold for my future, I just badly wanted my heart to be filled with their love.
And that's all. Nothing else, but just their love.
After I took a long shower, I called Alex when I saw ten missed calls from her.
“Alex? Sorry for not answering. I had a shower,”
“Oh?! It's okay, pretty boy. I just wanted you to know that, please! Be prepared for next week. I will invite you to our resort, so we can celebrate my birthday in advance.” she giggled, and I just let out a soft laugh.
“ Alam mo, okay lang naman kahit magpapakain ka nalang.”
“Nahhh, I know for sure, Josh will be the one who will be having fun.”
Thinking maybe she's now rolling her eyes makes me laugh.
“Well, you have a point.”
“Okaieee, pretty boy! Let's meet na lang dito sa bahay, para sabay nalang tayo to go there, okay? Be ready.”
She's too excited. Next week pa naman.
“ Wait, before I'll hang up. Can I ask you something?”
“ Sure? Ano yun?”
“What are you now...wearing?”
My eyes widened hearing what she asked.
“Why are you asking, huh?” I chuckled shyly.
“Hey, pretty boy! Just answer me, okay?”
I laughed and sighed.
“Shit! Like nothing in your top and uwuu!” she screamed before ending the call.
Tawang-tawa akong napailing at kumuha ng damit ko sa walk-in-closet ko.
Sa totoo lang, I am saying the truth that I have nothing in my body now. It's kinda weird of mine, wear nothing after I take a bath. I'm not soaking wet from the shower dahil nagpupunas naman ako before lumabas.
Wala namang nakakaalam na ganito ako, unless someone is stalking me?
‘Took a picture of you naked, pretty boy HAHAHAHAHA’
Minamasahe ko ang magkabilang sentido ko nang mabasa ang text ni Alex. I just send her a meme and went downstairs to eat my breakfast.
Agad ko namang nakita si ate na nag-aayos ng mga bulaklak niya sa mga vases.
“Oh, goodmorning, Kael!” she waved..
I smiled at her and kissed her cheek before going into the kitchen to eat.
One thing I am amazed to ate, she can clean our house so simply even though we doesn't have any housekeeper. Ayaw niya kasing humanap ng katulong, dahil meron naman daw siya to clean.
“Alex's birthday is next, next week, right?” she asked and I nodded.
“Pero, ininvite niya kami next week sa resort nila for celebrating it in advance,”
“ Having a rich kid bestfriend check!” she giggled and saw her brows raised.
“ Wait, what happened to your fist?” I gulped, looking away from her, then hurriedly hid my hand.
My fist was bleeding earlier and it was swelling so bad, kaya I just treated it all by myself.
And by the help of videos on the internet, I do treat my wound all by myself.
Ate Chloe walked towards my direction, and now with her brows met.
“It's nothing, ate. ”
“Give me your hand,” she sounded like she's giving a final warning.
“No, it's okay. Don't worry, about it.”
“ Give me your hand, or I will let you go to the farm tomorrow, and let you harvest some flowers?” she warned then raised her brow, she put her hands at her waist.
I glared at her before I let her see my fist. Her eyes widened, and I groaned when she touched it.
“Hindi ko alam na you're now aggressive, huh?” she sarcastically laughed.
“I can't control my anger, anymore. Of course, I can't punch him, so our walls will be my victim.” binawi ko ang kamay ko sa kanya at nagpatuloy sa pagkain.
“It makes me feel sad seeing you like this, Kael.” yumuko siya at na-alerto ako nang makita ang luha sa mata niya. I held her arm and shrugged it.
“Hey, okay lang ako noh! Kamay ko lang toh, malayo lang sa utak.” I gave her a smile ear-to-ear, then she pushed my face.
“ Maybe I am, ate,” I faked a laugh and drank my coffee.
Hindi mapakali si ate sa pagtatanong kung okay lang ba ako, o hindi. Pero hindi nagtagal ang pag-uusap namin, dahil kailangan niyang umalis for her work.
I decided to FaceTime with Alex and Mark. Wala si Josh ngayon dahil tinutor daw muna ang kapatid nito.
Impatient pa naman ang lalaking ‘yun, thinking his reaction while tutoring his brother makes me worry for his brother.
“Hayss, ewan ko nga! I am so naiinis dahil sabi ng ibang tao, I am beautiful pero kapag tinitignan ko na ang sarili ko sa camera, I look hideous!!” Alex pouted and kept on asking us if she's looking pretty in the camera.
Kami naman ni Mark ay tumatawa lang and always telling her, she is beautiful. Siguro kung nandito lang si Josh, baka kanina pa ‘yan umiiyak si Alex, punong-puno talaga ‘yan sa pag-aasar at panlalait.
I can't blame Alex for being conscious even we all know she's already beautiful. Maarte lang siya pero mabait naman. At hindi pa rin mawawala sa tao ang pagkakaroon ng insecurities lalo na kapag kinukumpara tayo ng mga tao sa iba.
Ang that's Alex, she became a person who she is today dahil ayaw na niyang makumpara ulit sa iba.
“By the way, Kael, kilala mo pala si kuya?”
“Oo nga, Kael! Parang magkakakilala na kayo.”
I gulped twice, and smiled at them to lessen the pressure I am feeling.
“No, we didn't know each other before. Syempre, he's Alex's brother, why not talk with him?” I lied.
“You're sweet talaga, pretty boy.”
I saw them nodded like they actually believed what I said. Gumaan naman ang nararamdaman ko nang hindi na sila nagtanong pa tungkol kay Isaac.
Ilang araw na dumaan ay wala naman akong ginawa masyado, instead of watching movies and sleeping. I just waited the day of Alex's birthday.
And one thing that made my days annoyed, Isaac kept on texting and calling me, saying sorry for going here at the house without me knowing.
I chose to ignore him and blocked his number.
The time he told me sorry, I already forgave him, yet can't forget what he did to me before.
I just hate why he told my dad before, about our relationship without me knowing. He decided to do things without my permission. At ngayon, my dad keeps on pressuring me and I can't escape anymore.
“Ready ka na ba, pretty boy?” Alex asked me tiredly before going inside the van. Sobrang inaantok pa ako at humihikab pa. After I yawned, they also yawned like it was a virus spreading.
Si Mark ang nagda-drive, not because he wanted to. Siya lang kasi ang matino ang mata at pag-iisip, nakatulog yata ng maayos kagabi. Kaming tatlo naman ay namumugto ang mga mata at wala pa sa sarili.
Hindi ko naman alam na maaga kaming babyahe, kaya natulog na ako ay mga alas tres na ng madaling araw. Nagulat naman ako nang ilang minuto na nakaidlip ako ay may tumawag sa pangalan ko, it was ate Chloe, saying that they are here. Umasa rin naman ako na doon lang sa bahay nila Alex magkikita, eh!
Seryoso? I am still sleeping and they are now outside of our house waiting for me.
And yes, hindi na ako naligo. Hindi pa naman ako mabaho eh.
“Hindi naman halatang puyat, Kael!” Asar ni Mark. Yakap-yakap ko ang kumot at unan ko na dala-dala ko. I just smirked at him, and stare outside of the window.
May mga sinasabi pa si Mark pero di ko na narinig pa nang nakatulog ako. I don't know how many hours I slept pero nang pagkagising ko, tumatama na ang liwanag ng araw sa mukha ko.
”Ang ganda pala dito, conyo girl noh!” Josh opened the window on his side and put his hand outside.
Wala namang masyadong sasakyan kaya safe naman yata ang ginagawa niya.
“Syempre naman noh! I am the one who chooses the location for our resort.” Pagmamayabang nito.
“ Pero pangit mo parin kapag wala kang make-up,” Dagdag ni Josh na ikinasama ng tingin ni Alex.
“Kung pwede lang e tulak kita diyan, I will noh!”
” Hey, Josh! Tigil-tigilan mo na nga ‘yang panlalait mo, ‘di na nakatutuwa” Mark scolded Josh.
Josh just kept quiet and didn't talk after, then I decided to open the window beside me.
As we drove away, I was feeling weird why my chest suddenly tightened and something chills walked at my back.
It was weird, and it's so unsettling.
“Okay ka lang, Kael?” Mark asked, looking at me in the rear-view mirror.
I just nodded at him and before I can close the window...
My eyes stuck at this old streetlight. Hindi ito katulad ng mga ibang streetlight sa paligid, kinalawang na ito and the design is different comparing it to the other streetlights.
Kita ko pa na may nakalagay sa gilid na,
‘Mag-ingat sa pagba-byahe, may namatay na dito’.
Kahit nalagpasan na namin ito, my eyes still follows the old streetlight.
“Kael? Bakit ka umiiyak? Okay ka lang ba?” Josh shrugged my shoulders.
I touched my eyes that made me shocked that I am literally crying!
Mark stopped the van, and parked it on the side of the road.
“Are you dizzy? I have candies here.”
Napahawak ako sa noo ko nang maramdaman ang biglaang pagkirot nito, at parang may matinis na tunog sa kaliwang tenga ko. My sight were twirling and I felt like I'm going to fall, even though I know I am sitting.
I bit my lip when I felt my hands shaking. I can hear their voices calling me, but it was so unclear.
Yet, there is this light above.
It was like pulling my body and energy. I tried to reach this, but I couldn't. And the more I tried to reach the light, the more my body got weakened.
In a sudden, a dark and cold sensation absurd my body, until I can't feel anything, other than being slapped
I felt weird. Parang pakiramdam na nakatulog ka ng sobrang tagal pero pagkagising mo, masakit ang katawan mo at nakakapagod? Ganyan ang nararamdaman ko kanina. I wanted to recall everything, but only that old streetlight are always in mind. Pagkagising ko, nakarating na kami at nasa tabi ko lang si Mark na kanina pa tanong ng tanong sa akin kung kumusta na ba ang lagay ko. “Gusto mong pumunta tayong hospital? Pwede akong mag-drive papunta dun.” I slowly let my lousy body sitted and leaned on the chair. I drank the water that Mark gave me. “ ‘Wag na, I'm now okay. I just can't explain why I felt like this... ” I told him what I felt earlier and he was just listening to me. “It started when I saw that–weird old streetlight” “Streetlight?” I glanced at him, now wondering and confused. I awkwar
“Is he gonna be okay, Doc?”“Actually, he's okay though. I don't see any symptoms of him that make us think he's not okay. Maybe, he should drink more water and rest. It might be a sign of stress, ”“Thank you, Doc. ”I smiled at the doctor after talking to Mark, who's still now wearing his beach shorts.“Okay ka na ba?” Tanong niya sabay upo sa paanan ng kama.Tumango ako at dahan-dahan na umupo. Tinulungan niya naman ako at binigyan ng tubig.“Dude! Seryoso ito, ah! Ilang beses ka nang nahimatay nang ’di namin alam ang dahilan. Ang weird,” he looked at me with full of concern and I just tapped his shoulder, assuring him I'm okay.“Nothing serious, dude. Just like what the doctor told us, maybe I just need some rest.&rd
When we arrived at the resort, agad naming naabutan sina Alex at Josh sa isang maliit na cottage. Maraming foods na nakalatag sa isang lamesa, at nilagay lahat ng mga pagkain sa dahon ng saging. Kumbaga, parang boodle fight lang. "Hello! Pretty boy! You okay na ba?" she asked while eating a slice of a watermelon. On her side, there is Josh, busy eating using his hands. "I'm okay na." I smiled at her, and followed Mark so we could wash our hands and eat. "Umayos ka nga sa pagkain, Josh." pagsaway ni Mark nito nang makitang sobrang bilis nitong kumain. "Nabulunan na yan kanina eh. But he still continues eating too fast, " Alex growled. I'm just looking at them, while I'm eating. Hindi naman ako masyado nagsalita, at shmasabay balang ako sa pagtawa nila. Sobrang pagod na kasi ako, and I wanted to take a rest. After we ate, nagpa
"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 choic
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