“See you later, princess,” Alice teased as she walked away while Yna was just chuckling beside her.
The two went to the fifth floor since doon ang next class nila. Sa totoo lang, ayaw kong humiwalay sa kanila dahil for sure ay hindi ako tatantanan ng magiging classmates ko once makilala nila ako as a Campus Princess, but I had no choice.
With a deep breath and silent prayer, I went inside the room and hoped that nobody would recognize me, but I guess I didn’t have any good luck this day.
The girl in front of me suddenly turned and smirked. “You’re the top 5, aren’t you?” she asked.
My immediate impression with her was that she was adorable. Her big eyes and soft features, along with her small face and petite figure would be enough to say that she was the cutest student I had seen so far. However, I still didn’t like how she called me top 5.
“Please don’t call me that,” I grumbled.
She chuckled in return. “Oh, sorry. Jessica nga pala,” sabay abot niya ng kamay niya.
Napakunot naman ang noo ko. Jessica? Don’t tell me she’s Jessica Morales? The second placer in the Elites.
“The top two?” I asked.
“Please don’t call me that,” she retorted, using the words I said against me.
Lumipat naman siya ng pwesto at umupo sa tabi ko. Some of our classmates were already eyeing us and it was honestly getting annoying.
“Nakakainis, ‘no?” reklamo niya. “Students pa rin naman tayo pero kung tratuhin tayo eh parang celebrities na.”
Exactly! I agreed inside my head. I was glad someone was finally on the same page as me!
“For real,” I replied. “Hindi ko pa rin gets bakit kailangan may title pa. It’s honestly burdensome.”
“Di ba?! May scarcity ba ng magaganda at gwapo na matatalino rin sa university na ‘to para gumawa pa ng titles for that?”
I chuckled at her remark. In fairness, I didn’t feel awkward while talking to her.
After that, we talked about the things we experienced as Campus Princesses and how we hated it as soon as we were informed about it. Nakakatuwa rin dahil mabilis ko siyang nakagaanan ng loob dahil sa mutual dislike namin sa titles namin.
After our class ay nagpaalam na rin siya sa akin dahil medyo malayo raw ang next class niya. Sakto namang pag-alis niya ay dumating sina Yna at Alice kaya naglakad ako papunta sa kanila.
“May ikukwento ako,” bungad ko sa kanila.
“Wait, don’t tell me may crush ka na agad na classmate mo?” Alice commented.
I rolled my eyes at her. “Oh, please.”
Yna chuckled. “Steff, who loves strawberries and chocolates more than boys? I doubt it.”
Nang makarating kami sa isang bench malapit sa entrance ay hindi pa rin sila tumigil sa pang-aasar. They kept on commenting how I would be more likely to marry food than guys . . . well . . . they might be right.
“So, ano na nga ‘yong kwento mo?” tanong ni Alice.
“I have a classmate na Campus Princess din,” pagsisimula ko.
“O akala ko ba ayaw mo silang makasalamuha?”
“What’s makasalamuha?” Yna chimed in.
“Encounter,” we simultaneously said. Since high school, parang automatic na kami ni Alice na mag-translate kay Yna once may hindi siya alam na word.
“Anyway, she’s different,” I continued. “She doesn’t like her title din. At least may karamay ako.”
Yna knitted her brows. “Eh? She also doesn’t like to be a Campus Princess?”
I nodded as a smile escaped my lips. “Yup! Someone finally feels the same as me. This is a great start. Anyway, kayo kumusta classes n’yo?”
They exchanged glances and Yna suppressed a smile.
“So, you do have a story to tell,” I commented.
“I don’t, but Alice has.”
Alice furrowed her brows but I could tell that she wasn’t really sulking. Instead, mukhang nagpipigil ng kilig. For sure may bagong crush na naman siya.
“Kevin is in our class,” sabi ni Yna kaya sinamaan siya ng tingin ni Alice.
“Shut up, Yna—”
“What happened?” tanong ko agad.
“He looked at her,” she chuckled, “and her expression was kinda funny.”
Nagsimula kaming asarin si Alice. She’s the type to like someone fast, but it also fades away quickly. If I remember correctly, pasok si Kevin sa standards niya, pero mukha kasing playboy ang isang ‘yon. I don’t know why but that was the kind of vibe he was giving off when I first saw him in the cafeteria. Baka nga hindi niya na maalala si Alice after that.
Isang oras lang ang vacant period namin kaya agad din kaming nagpaalam sa isa’t isa after magkwentuhan. I went to my next class pero napahinto ako dahil may crowd na nakaharang sa corridor na kailangan kong daanan.
Almost everyone was whispering to one another, and I didn’t want to attract the attention, pero ‘yon lang kasi ang daanan papunta sa room ng next class ko. My god, bakit ba kasi sila mga nakaharang sa daan?
I whispered ‘excuse me’ as I tread through the crowd but I halted when I saw a familiar figure in the middle. It was Jessica, the Campus Princess I befriended in my previous class.
She looked like she was about to cry so I ran next to her.
“Hey,” sabay tapik ko sa balikat niya.
“Who are you?” a voice demanded.
Hinanap ko kung sino iyon at sa bandang gilid ay may lalaking nakatingin sa aming dalawa.
A few second glance and I already knew that this guy was a Campus Prince. His look was different from Kevin’s masculine beauty, in a way that pretty suited him more. Matangkad at maamo ang mukha pero parang masama ang ugali.
“Tiffany, why are you here?” whispered Jessica. “Madadamay ka lang.”
“Why? Ano bang nangyari?”
She glared at the guy. “He overheard me talking about him. Tapos nagkasagutan kami. He thought I like him. Eh hindi ko nga siya type.”
I was just staring at her for a few seconds, unsure if what I heard was right. Akala ko naman kung ano na ang nangyari. Pero bakit parang ang laki ng issue bigla?
“Talking about me again?” he teased and I suddenly had the urge to wipe that smirk off his face.
What was with his overinflated ego? Akala niya ba importante siya?
“You’re not that worth it to be talked about,” I commented, earning a chorus of gasps from the spectators.
“Tiffany!” Jessica warned in whispers. “Ano ka ba, don’t taunt him. Mamaya pag-initan ka rin niyan.”
“But he’s annoying,” I muttered.
Medyo tolerable pa ang inis na nararamdaman ko kanina from the murmurs of the students. Self-centered and arrogant jerks were among the things I hate the most, at mukhang kabilang siya sa set na ‘yon.
I held Jess’ wrist and started pulling her away from the crowd and that annoying guy, but I froze when he called my name.
“Tiffany Damian,” he repeated. “That’s your name, right?”
For a second, I realized how everyone was already looking at us. I said I didn’t want any attention yet I was making a scene. Gusto kong batukan ang sarili ko dahil minsan ay ang impulsive ko. But this was the right way. Jessica needed help and I wanted to save her from the situation.
I turned to his direction and smiled. “Yes, that’s me. Who are you anyway?”
Someone from the crowd stifled a gasp. “Oh my god, ‘di niya kilala si Darryl?”
Darryl? Hmm, if this guy was indeed a Campus Prince, then he must be that Darryl. Sana sinasama rin nila sa qualifications ang personality at behavior as a student para naman hindi nakukuha ang mga tulad niya.
He chuckled and gently stroked his chin, as if he were planning something that would be bad for me.
“Tiffany, huh? Interesting,” he said. Tumalikod naman siya at nagsimulang maglakad palayo sa amin pero saglit siyang huminto at lumingon. “See you around.”
I was about to retaliate but Jessica pulled me away. Saka ko lang naalala na may class nga pala ako kaya agad din akong nagpaalam sa kanya. Fortunately, wala pa ang prof.
While waiting for the class to start, I thought about what happened few minutes ago. Seriously, what the heck was that? And what was his problem?