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Chapter 49

Posted by PURPLEYHAN STORIES on Sunday, November 15, 2015


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‘You’re not worthy to be the next leader if you are this weak.’
‘Don’t disappoint us, Rielle.’

Nagising ako dahil sa echo ng boses ng parents ko, though I don’t know if I’m really awake. Everything around me is darkness and I can’t see my body. It feels like this is just my consciousness.

“Stop it, Kid. You’ll kill yourself!”

Napalingon ako nung narinig ko ang boses ni Dana sa paligid pero wala pa rin akong makita. Sinubukan kong hanapin kung saan nanggagaling ang boses niya pero hindi ko maramdaman ang katawan ko. Pinilit ko ang isip ko na sundan ang boses ni Dana and I was surprised when her voice was getting closer. It creeps me out because I’m sure I don’t have my physical body right now and I don’t know what the heck is happening to me.

Pagdating ko doon ay unti-unti akong nakakita ng images hanggang sa naging malinaw ang mukha nina Kid, Dana at Keith. Pero nung nakita ko ang nangyayari ay napatigil ako.

“Kid, stop. Your fatal points are in grave condition,” dagdag ni Keith.

Kid is inside the prison again while Dana and Keith are watching him from the outside. Punung-puno na naman ng sugat ang buong katawan niya at mas malala pa sa dati kong nakita. Gusto kong maiyak dahil sa state niya ngayon but I can’t feel anything right now.

“If I was just stronger, they won’t be able to get her. It’s my fault,” sabay suntok niya sa pader at kumalat ang dugo mula sa kamay niya.

“We’re going to save her so keep yourself together,” sabi ni Dana.

“What if it’s too late? Paano kung may ginawa na sa kanya ang mga ‘yun? Alam na nilang Shinigami siya. Sa tingin mo ba ay hahayaan lang nila siyang mabuhay?!” galit na sigaw ni Kid at ngayon ko lang siya nakitang ganito.

“Rielle is strong so don’t underestimate her. She’ll be fine,” sabi naman ni Keith. It’s been a long time since someone said those words about me.

“I know that but...she’s not using her full prowess these past few months. Alam kong alam ninyo na magulo ang isip niya pagkatapos niyang manatili sa lugar na ‘yun.”

Pagkasabi ni Kid nun ay natahimik silang tatlo at nakaramdam ako ng matinding guilt. Alam nila ang nangyayari sa akin pero hindi nila ako pinilit na sabihin sa kanila ang problema ko. If I could just hug them all right now, I would.

“Kaya ayaw kong makabalik pa ulit siya sa lugar na ‘yun dahil ‘yun ang dahilan kung bakit siya nagkakaganun,” sabi ni Kid at mas naging seryoso ang expression niya.

“That’s why we’re going to get her. The longer she stays on that place, the more confused she gets, and that can affect her abilities,” sabi ni Dana at naalala ko ang sinabi ni Kyo, that I’m getting weaker because of my chaotic thoughts.

“No. I am going to get her. You stay here,” matigas na sabi ni Keith kay Dana at napahawak naman nang mahigpit si Dana sa cloak na bumabalot sa katawan niya.

“But—” Hinawakan ni Keith ang tiyan ni Dana at doon ko lang narealise na parang may bump doon. Don’t tell me...

“Your body is not just yours so don’t make hasty decisions.”

“I know that but I want to save Rielle, too. She’s been in pain but I didn’t realise it sooner. I want to be by her side right now.”

Gusto kong maiyak dahil sa sinabi ni Dana at gusto ko siyang yakapin pero hindi ko alam kung paano. I was overwhelmed when Dana wiped her tears because  she’s never been good in expressing her feelings.

“Don’t worry, I’ll bring her back,” Keith said and he kissed her forehead then the scene suddenly shifted.

Bigla kong nakita sina Sarah at Rin sa isa sa training rooms sa Chamber. Sobrang namiss ko sila at hindi ko man lang namalayan na lumalaki na sila. Mukhang katatapos lang nila magpractice ng weapon handling at nagpapahinga sila sa ngayon.

“Kelan kaya babalik si ate Rielle?” tanong ni Sarah habang nakatingin sa paa niya habang nakasimangot.

“Who knows. She might be enjoying that awful place,” sagot naman ni Rin habang pinupunasan ang sword na gamit niya. After that ay naging tahimik na silang dalawa but I managed to read their thoughts.

‘Sabi mo magsstay ka na rito pero nawala ka ulit. Sabi mo hintayin kita pero hindi mo naman ako pinupuntahan. Sinungaling ka ate Rielle.’

‘I hope she’s safe. But this is better because Mom and Dad’s attention are on me.’

I felt sad because I’m hurting them even if I don’t want to. Ang dami ko nang utang kay Sarah at lagi siyang umaasa sa pagbabalik ko. Nung nandoon ako, isang beses lang kami nagkita at sandali lang ‘yun. I wish I spent more time with her when I was still there.
Ayokong lumayo ang loob niya sa akin gaya ni Rin.

Rin…

After a long time, ngayon na lang ulit siya naging concerned sa akin and that made me extremely happy. I thought she hates me so much that she wants me dead. Kung may paraan lang para mawala ang galit niya sa akin, gagawin ko. Lagi na lang kasi siyang nacocompare sa akin at hindi nila nakikita ang abilities niya dahil doon. She’s always labeled as Subaro’s daughter, Riyo’s daughter and Rielle’s younger sister. She doesn’t have her own identity until now.

I miss them so much. Gusto kong mag-sorry sa kanila at gusto kong malaman nila na importante sila sa akin.

The scenery shifted again and this time, I am inside a room, then I realised that this our room. Nakita ko si Naomi na mag-isa roon at balot na balot siya ng kumot.

“I wonder what kind of future we’ll live in,” sabi niya at akala ko ay ako ang kinakausap niya dahil nakatingin siya sa direksyon ko but that’s impossible since I have no physical body right now.

Nilibot ko ang paningin ko sa kwarto namin. Ang dami nang nabago rito simula nung umalis ako. Parang nawala ang mga gamit ni Akira at may mga gamit na dumagdag na hindi ko alam kung kanino. Lumapit ako sa dati kong desk at napatigil ako. May picture kaming pito doon at hindi ko alam kung kailan ‘to kinuha. We were laughing and I didn’t know I could laugh like that. Of course, Hideo and Mitsuo are the exemptions. Nakangisi lang sila.
Meron pang frame sa tabi nun at kaming dalawa naman ni Naomi ang nandoon habang nakangisi sa likuran si Akira. Naaalala ko ang picture na ‘to dahil ito ang kinuha ni Mayu nung pinapaamin namin si Naomi kung may gusto ba siya kay Mitsuo.

Wow. Looking at these photos, I realised I really made a connection and memories with them.

‘These frequent Shinigami attacks around the campus really bothers me pero ayaw namang sabihin sa amin ng teachers ang nangyayari. I really have a bad feeling about this,’
sabay hawak niya sa tiyan niya.

Shinigami attacks? Sa campus? Since when? Simula ba ‘to nung nahuli ako? Wala na akong balita sa kahit ano dahil nasa secluded place ako for...ewan ko kung ilang araw o linggo ako sa lugar na ‘yun, and now, hindi ko rin alam kung ilang oras, araw o linggo na ang lumilipas simula nung mawalan ako ng malay.

‘That Akemi...kumusta na kaya siya? I’m sure she’s having a hard time. Being the next in line to the highest position of a tribe sucks. You have to put your people first before yourself. No wonder Hideo’s attracted to her. They are sharing the same fate and pain.’

Pagkasabi nun ni Naomi ay lumapit ako sa kanya at umupo sa gilid ng kama.
Ito ang unang beses na nababasa ko nang ganito kadali ang isip niya. Her mind is closed by default so it’s really hard to know what she’s thinking but right now, I can easily read her thoughts.

Bigla naman siyang bumangon at umupo, sabay buntong-hininga.

“Really, why did they leave me here? I can still solve cases even in this condition. Tsk.” She punched the bed and I can sense her frustration. Saka ko napansin na mas naeexpress na niya ang emotions niya ngayon compared before. Bigla namang naging malungkot ang expression niya at napatingin siya sa kisame.

‘Ayokong mag-isa rito.’
She sighed. ‘God, these mood swings are driving me crazy. Just go home already, you eidetic fool.’

Like what have happened before, the scene changed again and this time, a familiar place came into view. Naglakad ako at nakita ko ang paborito kong bulaklak. They are really beautiful especially at night.

I looked at the top of the hill and saw the person whom I want to see the most. Naglakad ako papunta sa itaas at tumabi sa kanya. Maybe it’s better this way. I don’t want him to see me because I’m still embarassed after what had happened before. Also, in this state, I can tell him the things I want to say without getting awkward or nervous.

‘Where are you right now?’

‘I’m here,’
I said but I know he can’t hear me. Tumingin ako sa harapan at kitang-kita mula rito ang liwanag ng buong campus.

‘Dapat hindi na lang ako umalis nung araw na ‘yun. Dapat tinupad ko ang pangako ko na hihintayin kitang magising. Now I’ve lost you again.’

Naalala ko naman ang araw na ‘yun. That was both the happiest and saddest moment of my life. I was so confused before that but after seeing and holding him, my mind went blank and the only thing that I can think of is him. But after that selfish act, bumalik sa isip ko lahat ng responsibilities ko at mas lalo akong naguilty sa ginawa ko.

‘Yeah. You’re a liar. Paggising ko, wala ka na.’

‘Pagbalik ko doon, wala ka na. No traces. No anything. I was about to ask Sir Kyo but he was sent to another country because of a mission. I find that suspicious.’

‘Those elders...’
I swear if I have given a chance, I will kill them. They see me as a Shinigami? Then I’ll be a Shinigami to them.

‘I’ve been searching for you for months but I can’t find any clues. Where did they hide you?’

‘Hindi ko rin alam...’

Simula nung magising ang consciousness ko ay kanina ko pa inaalala kung ano ang nangyari bago ako mawalan ng malay. Ang huli ko lang na naaalala ay ang paglabas ko sa kwarto kung saan nila ako kinulong. After that, nagiging hazy na ang isip ko at kapag pinipilit kong alalahanin ay parang mawawala na naman ang consciousness ko.

Bigla naman siyang napabuntong-hininga at napatingin ako sa mukha niya. Even if it’s dark, I can still see his clear eyes.

‘I really love your eyes,’
I said.

“Seriously, don’t let me get attached if you’re gonna end up leaving me.”

Parang tumigil ang mundo nung narinig ko ‘yun mula sa kanya. Kung pwede lang na tumigil talaga ang mundo ko at magstay nang ganito, pero hindi. Reality is really harsh. We may have feelings for each other but we are not meant to be together.

Actually, I don’t even remember falling in love with him. I just realised one day that I already fell. I fell so deep that I can’t leave that chasm anymore.

'Paano kaya kung wala tayo sa ganitong posisyon? Paano kaya kung mababa lang ang rank natin sa tribes na kinabibilangan natin?' tanong ko. 'I think that would be easier for us. Worst thing that could happen would be death or banishment. Pero dahil tayo ang susunod na leaders, our feelings will destroy both communities.'

Natawa na lang ako dahil sa sitwasyon namin ngayon. A hopeless case.

“You’re here.”

Nagulat naman ako nung may narinig akong boses mula sa baba kaya tumingin ako sa direksyon na ‘yun at nagulat ako nung nakita ko si Dr. Miwako. Para siyang tumanda ng ilang taon kumpara sa huling pagkakita ko sa kanya—

Wait...kelan ko nga ba siya huling nakita? If I remember correctly...

“Dr. Miwako,” sabi naman ni Hideo at bumaba siya sa hill para harapin si Dr. Miwako.

“I...I actually have no intention to tell you this but I think, given the circumstances, you need to know her situation.”

“A-are you talking about her? Akemi?”

“Yes. She’s under my care.”

After hearing that, biglang bumalik sa akin ang lahat ng nangyari.
Bigla kong naalala pagkatapos akong ilabas mula sa kwarto na ‘yun.

The medical department…the experiment table…the liquid…

Biglang dumilim ang paligid at nagbago na naman ang lugar kung nasaan ako, pero this time, parang gusto kong mawalan na lang ulit ng malay dahil sa nakikita ko.

I am in front of myself...my naked body...which is inside a cryogenic chamber. My hair grew longer and it enveloped my whole body. But what surprised me the most is the bump on my stomach.


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