Hindi ako makakain nang maayos dahil katapat ko ngayon si Patrick.
After what he said a while ago, I kind of felt awkward around him. Every time our eyes meet, I had to avert his gaze.
Hindi rin kasi ako makapaniwala na narinig ko ‘yon mula sa kanya. Nag-o-overthink din ako dahil baka naman masyado lang akong nag-assume at hindi naman pala iyon ang ibig niyang sabihin.
“Kumusta, Steff? Ayos ka na ba?” tanong ni Tricia. Nagulat nga rin ako dahil tumabi siya sa akin kanina.
I gave her a smile. “Yup, I’m okay na.”
“That’s good to hear.”
Meanwhile, Darryl sat at the other end of the table, right across Roj. It was kind of unexpected since he would usually sit next to me. Siguro dahil katabi ko rin si Tricia ngayon?
I had yet to thank him properly for what he did last night. Gusto ko sana siyang kausapin pero pakiramdam ko ay iniiwasan niya ako. Hindi ko rin naman siya masisisi dahil nakaka-trauma talaga ang nangyari lalo na’t siya ang unang nakakita at nagbigay ng first aid.
Maybe later, I thought.
Fortunately, mukhang ayos naman ang mood ng iba at mas gusto ko rin ‘yon dahil ayaw ko nang maalala ang nangyari kahapon.
After naming mag-breakfast ay naglaro kami ng board games at nanood ng movies pero after a while ay kaming tatlo na lang nina Ven at Roj ang natira. I guess distracted ang iba kaya hindi na nila kinayang manood pa. Dahil nawalan na rin ako ng gana at feeling ko ay ma-a-out of place ako sa kanilang dalawa ay lumabas muna ako.
I strolled around the woodland again and thank goodness it was a bit cloudy, so it was comfortable to walk. My feet brought me to where Tricia and I first talked yesterday, but I instinctively hid behind a nearby tree when I heard somebody talking.
“Are you serious?” I stopped short after hearing Darryl’s voice. “Bakit ngayon mo lang sinabi?”
“Sorry, I didn’t want to spoil everyone’s mood.”
The girl’s voice belonged to Tricia. Huh. So, they were talking to each other.
“Ian,” she tenderly called. “I’m really sorry for everything I have done. And I should have done this much earlier.”
Dahil hindi na sila nagsasalita ay dahan-dahan akong sumilip mula sa likod ng puno at nagsisi ako sa ginawa ko. Tricia hugged him and Darryl returned the gesture, but he pulled her into a much tighter hug.
My heart sank a little after witnessing that. On top of it, I also recognized the look on his face. I guess it was only in her presence that his vulnerability and wistful expression could be seen.
“I need to go,” she said after a few seconds of silence. “I must tell them what’s going to happen.”
“Tricia . . .”
I could hear Tricia’s footsteps approaching my direction, so I moved to the side to conceal my presence. Nakita ko siyang lumampas kung nasaan ako habang nakatingin lang siya sa harapan. Sinundan ko lamang siya ng tingin habang pabalik sa rest house hanggang sa mawala siya sa paningin ko.
Not having any idea what I was exactly feeling right now, I dejectedly leaned against the tree trunk. I thought it would be better to go back, too, but my there was still a part of me that wanted to see him.
Marahan akong tumayo at nagsimulang maglakad papunta sa kinaroroonan niya pero agad din akong napatigil. What would I even do if he saw me? What would I say? How would I react?
Thoughts started to race inside my head. Napayuko na lang ako dahil mukhang wala rin namang magandang patutunguhan kung pupuntahan ko siya. He didn’t need me this time.
My shoulders flinched when I heard his voice. Pagtingala ko ay nakita ko siyang naglalakad papunta sa kinatatayuan ko. Panic started to wash over me.
“Oh, hi,” I said as I awkwardly raised my hand. “N-nandito ka pala. I-I was just walking around—"
Nagulat ako nang bigla siyang huminto sa harapan ko. What surprised me more was when he rested his head on my left shoulder. My heart did a little summersault when I realized we were too close, and I could smell the scent of his perfume.
I cleared my throat and tried to maintain my composure. “W-what happened?”
He sighed heavily and shifted his head closer to mine. “Tricia said she’s leaving.”
I was still flustered at how his hair was brushing against my neck and cheeks that his words only registered in my head after a few seconds. Did he just say Tricia was going to leave?
“She’s leaving? Like, right now? Pauwi sa kanila?”
Did she feel out of place? Sobrang awkward ba sa kanya ang trip na ‘to? Or was it because of Darryl? Or perhaps . . . because of me?
He slowly shook his head and sighed again. “No. She’s flying to the States. Tricia’s leaving for good.”
The information was too sudden that I had a hard time comprehending it. Aalis na siya for good? Was that the reason why she chose to go to this trip so she could spend her last few days with Darryl? Then . . . was that hug her way of saying goodbye?
Ang daming tanong ngayon sa isip ko na gusto kong masagot at tanging si Tricia lang ang makapagbibigay ng mga iyon. I was about to tell him that I needed to talk to Tricia, but he suddenly held my left wrist.
The unexpected touch made my skin tingle, and I stifled an audible gasp. I had been feeling several emotions at the same time since he leaned on me that I was already feeling a little lightheaded.
“Please, don’t leave yet,” he murmured as his grip around my wrist tightened a bit. “Can we just stay like this for a while?”
There was a hint of pain in his voice, and I felt a little sting in my chest, too. I honestly wanted to run away because these intense emotions stirring inside me was terrifying me, but in the end, I gave in to them.
“Okay,” I whispered softly in his ear, and the next thing I knew, he had already pulled me into a tender hug.