.

Chapter 33

Posted by PURPLEYHAN STORIES on Thursday, July 16, 2015

***

I suddenly heard someone opening the door and I ran towards it, hoping to see her.

"Surprised?"
 
Napatigil naman ako nang makita ko si Mei na nakatayo ro’n at lalo lang akong naguluhan. She approached me with her apologetic expression and wiped my tears.

“Why are you crying?” tanong niya habang dinadala niya ako sa may sala. Napaupo kami pareho at hawak-hawak ko pa rin nang mahigpit ang sulat ni Lyka. “Have you finally sorted out your feelings?”

Napatingin ulit ako sa kanya at nakangiti na siya sa akin ngayon. Dapat ay yakap ko na siya ngayon, tinatanong kung bakit siya nandito, kung bakit hindi siya umalis pero tanging ang mukha ni Lyka ang nasa isip ko ngayon.

“We’re both stupid,” she muttered while reaching for my hand. “Nasasaktan siya dahil sa akin. Nasasaktan siya dahil tingin mo, mahal mo ako.”

Tingin? Anong sinasabi niya? I . . . I really . . .

“Maybe you loved me few years ago but this time, it’s different. You thought you still feel the same, not knowing you have already moved on. Nasanay ka sa pakiramdam na ‘yon, Dylan, dahil ako lang ang tanging babaeng naging malapit sa’yo . . . hanggang sa makilala mo siya, hindi ba?”

Hindi ako makapagsalita. Nakakatakot. It was scary because her words made sense.
 
"Answer me, Dylan. Kapag ba nagkikita kami ni James, nagseselos ka?"
 
I couldn’t answer. Gusto kong sabihing oo, pero nasanay na akong nagkikita sila. I have always been on the side, watching them.
 
"N-not really."

"Eh noong umalis ako? Anong naramdaman mo?"

"I was hurt. You didn’t tell me anything,” sagot ko naman.

"Eh noong si Lyka ang umalis? Anong naramdaman mo?" she asked and this time, I looked at her. She smiled at me, as if she already knew what my reaction would be. "Your eyes can’t lie, Dylan. I know that I’m not the reason for those tears. I know how much you treasure her even though you haven’t realized that until now. Kaya Dylan, huwag mo nang lokohin ang sarili mo. Hindi ako ang mahal mo.”

“Lyka . . .”

“I hope her letter reached your heart, though it seems like it already did,” she said and that moment, I realized how stupid I was for letting her go without saying or doing anything.

 
***

Mei's POV 
 
Masaya ako ngayon kasi natulungan ko si Dylan. Masaya ako ngayon na pinalaya niya na ako. Pero mas masaya sana kung kasama ko ngayon si James.

Mamaya ay uuwi na rin ako sa Manila tutal sembreak na, pero bago ‘yon ay pumunta ulit ako sa favorite place ko rito para magpalipas ng oras. Umupo ako sa damuhan habang hawak ang hugis-pusong bato na nakuha ko sa gilid ko.

Naalala ko naman bigla ang nangyari rito kahapon. I still couldn’t believe the words he said but his confession made me happy, though he didn’t tell it directly to me.

“Tss. You idiot,” I mumbled and I threw the pebble at the lake.

“Ang hina mo namang bumato.”

Napasigaw ako nang marinig ko ang pamilyar niyang boses at paglingon ko ay nakita ko si James. He was already holding a pebble and just like what I did, he threw it at the lake and it skipped on the surface several times.
 
“James . . .”

My voice faltered when our eyes met. Hindi ako nakagalaw nang tumabi siya sa akin at rinig na rinig ko ang malakas na pagtibok ng puso ko.

“Akala ko tuluyan ka nang umalis. I’m glad I found you here,” he said while flashing a weak smile. Bigla naman siyang tumingin sa akin at nagulat ako nang bigla niya akong niyakap.

And just like that, my tears betrayed me. Ibinaon ko ang mukha ko sa balikat niya at niyakap ko na rin siya. God, I missed him so much.

“I missed you,” he whispered. “Sorry for hurting you. Sorry if I’m a coward. Sorry for not being truthful. Sorry for everything, Mei.” His voice cracked and that made me sob harder. Hindi na ako nakapagsalita at humigpit naman ang yakap niya sa akin. “Sorry for the long wait. I love you, Mei.”
 
Kahit narinig ko na ang mga salitang ‘yon kahapon ay gano’n pa rin ang pakiramdam ko. I was overwhelmed with too much emotions. I didn’t know that receiving those words from the person you treasure the most would give this kind of unexplainable feeling.

Hindi ko alam kung ilang minuto kaming magkayakap habang umiiyak pero wala siyang sinabi. He just gently stroked my hair and back, providing me the security and warmth I needed at the moment.

I couldn’t believe that the guy I love also loves me. Finally. Thank you, James. Thank you for everything.



***