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Chapter 53

Posted by PURPLEYHAN STORIES on Sunday, December 6, 2015


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Nakatayo sina Rin at Sarah sa labas ng kulungan at hindi ako agad nakapagsalita. Naalala ko bigla ang buhay ko bago ko gawin ang mission na ‘yun. These two were my source of strength but now, I can’t even look at them without feeling guilty.

“Rin...Sarah...” I held back my tears because I don’t want them to see my pathetic side.

“Bakit ate Rielle? Bakit hindi mo tinupad ang pangako mo?” sabi ni Sarah at nakita kong pinipigilan niya ring umiyak, but she failed. Natahimik lang ako dahil alam kong mali ako. I broke my promise, and now, I broke her trust. “Sabi mo, babalik ka kaagad pero ang tagal mong nawala.
Sabi mo, marami ka pang ituturo sa akin, pero hindi mo nagawa. Sinungaling ka, ate Rielle.”

Tuluy-tuloy lang ang pagpatak ng luha niya habang nakatingin nang masama sa akin pero ramdam ko rin ang kalungkutan niya.
It pains me to see her like this.

“Seems like you really betrayed us,” sabi naman ni Rin habang nakatingin sa tiyan ko kaya napahawak ako nang mahigpit sa cloak na bumabalot sa akin.

“I-I’m sorry…” mahina kong sabi dahil hindi ko na alam kung paano sila haharapin.

Nagulat naman ako nung may hinagis si Sarah sa loob at napunta ‘yun sa harapan ko. Pagtingin ko, halos lumubog ang puso ko. She threw the locket I gave her as a present last year.

“Hindi na ikaw ang Ate Rielle na kilala ko. Nagbago ka na. Binago ka nila.” Tumalikod siya sa akin at alam kong ginawa niya ‘yun para hindi ko siya makitang umiiyak. Halos nagmature na siya ngayon but she’s still a crybaby. “I’m going to make them pay for it,” mahina niyang sabi saka siya naglakad palayo. I wanted to call her but it seems like I have no right to call her anymore because of what I did.

Naiwan naman si Rin sa harapan ko at nakatingin lang siya sa akin. Napaupo na lang ako sa kama ko dahil lalong bumigat ang pakiramdam ko.

“I envy you,” bigla niyang sabi kaya napatingin ako sa kanya. “You’re strong and everyone recognizes it. Even our parents see you as a dependable leader and every Shinigami knows you because of your accomplishments. I really admired you and I trained earnestly to catch up with you.”

Hearing those words from Rin’s mouth made me feel a little better. Ang tagal-tagal na nung huli niya akong kinausap nang ganito at hindi ko na maalala kung kailan niya ako huling pinuri. Close naman kami nung mga bata pa kami pero nung nagkaroon na ako ng missions at nabigyan ako ng Elites, unti-unti nang lumalayo ang loob niya sa akin dahil lagi na akong wala sa tabi niya at lagi na kaming nacocompare sa isa’t isa. Kapag pumupunta siya sa akin ay lagi akong may missions na iniintindi at hindi ko na siya nakakausap. Her smiles gradually faded and she became distant. Noong nabawas-bawasan na ang mga gawain ko ay gusto kong bumawi sa kanya, pero huli na ako. Every time I approach her, she runs away.

Of course, I understand her reasons. Bukod sa nawalan na kami ng oras sa kanya, hindi na rin siya nakawala sa shadow ng parents namin at sa akin. She’s always known as Subaro’s and Riko’s daughter and Rielle’s younger sister. I understand her pain because I, too, was compared to my parents before.

“I really envy you,” pagpapatuloy niya habang nakatingin sa akin. “to the point that I started to hate you.”

Akala ko masasaktan ako sa sinabi niya pero napangiti na lang ako dahil matagal ko nang alam ‘yun.

“I know,” sabi ko habang nakangiti sa kanya. “I know, Rin, and I understand you.”

“No, you don’t. Maybe Sarah understands me better. After all, pareho mo kaming iniwanan. Pareho mo kaming binalewala.”

Ramdam na ramdam ko ang pait ng tono niya at hindi ko siya masisisi kung sobrang galit siya sa akin. Kasalanan ko naman kung bakit at alam kong hindi ko na maibabalik ang dating relasyon namin.

Tumayo ako at lumapit sa rails. Hinatak ko ang braso niya papunta sa akin at niyakap ko siya kahit na may nakaharapang sa pagitan namin. I don’t care if she hates me. I’ll stay by her side even if she doesn’t want to. After all, I’m her sister. I’m her family.

“That’s why I’m saying sorry, and I mean it.” Pagkasabi ko nun ay pumiglas siya sa pagkakayakap ko at lumayo ng ilang hakbang sa rails habang nakakunot ang noo niya. Ngumiti naman ako sa kanya. “Take care of yourself and Sarah,” saka ako tumalikod sa kanya at tuluy-tuloy na ang pagbagsak ng luha ko. Narinig ko rin ang unti-unti niyang paglayo hanggang sa tuluyan na siyang nawala.

Napaupo na lang ako sa kama at napabuntung-hininga habang pinupunasan ko ang luha ko. Seeing those two precious kids turning their backs on me made me feel awful.

Hindi ko na alam kung ilang oras ang lumipas simula nung dinalaw ako nina Sarah at Rin dahil sa dami ng iniisip ko. Naging aware na lang ulit ako sa paligid nung maramdaman ko ang pag-open ng Black Dimension malapit sa posisyon ko. Hinintay ko kung sino ang lalabas pero nagulat ako nung makita ko si Mom.

Sabi nila, kamukha ko daw si Mom noong nasa ganitong edad din siya. With her long black hair, regal facial features and graceful movements, she looks like a queen, but I don’t. I look like a servant compared to her.

Ngumiti siya sa akin at kinilabutan ako sa ngiting ‘yun. Dad might be scary because of his presence, strength and overall power but Mom is scarier when it comes to mental and emotional aspects because of her twisted personality. Sinarado ko nang mabuti ang isip ko at kinalma ko ang sarili ko.

“M-mom...”

“Did your Dad visit you?”

“Y-yes.” Her smile was replaced by a serious expression and I tensed.

“If you only focused on your mission, you’ll be beside us. You’ll be known as a ruler. But you failed us, Rielle.” Kahit gusto ko nang yumuko na lang ay pinilit ko pa ring tumingin nang diretso sa kanya. “You’re the best choice to be your Dad’s successor because of your ability but it turns out you’re not. You let your emotions rule your mind. You let them weaken your mental strength, and now, you’re nothing but a wreck.”

Mom’s words stung like a venom but I held back my tears. I want to show her that I am not as pathetic as she thought I am.

“Maybe Rin is a better choice. A better daughter and leader,” sabi niya and somehow ay nasaktan ako. I know Rin is capable of leading the tribe but still, I am the next ruler. Bigla ko namang naalala ang mga sinabi ni Rin.

Ahh. So this is how it feels. This is how she feels everytime I am compared to her.

“Your Dad might think you can still redeem yourself but I don’t. You are now connected to that tribe and your mental strength is not as strong as it should be. And do you think I do not know why you return here even though the best choice for you is to run away? You’re underestimating me, Rielle,” sabay turo ni Mom sa sentido niya at lalo akong kinabahan.

If she knows my reason, then I’m damned.

“I won’t allow you to rule this tribe,
my tribe, for that selfish reason. You should have ran away but you chose to come back here, and your choice will be your doom.”

Mom glared at me and I know she’s really pissed. At times like this, I always escape from her but I can’t and I don’t have the ability to do that right now since nobody can use their sixth sense inside these prisons.

“Izumi,” sabi niya at lumabas sa gilid niya si Izumi.
“Bring her to the lab.”

The moment I heard the word
lab, images from that place flashed into my mind. Nagpanic ako at lumayo sa kanila hanggang sa mapasandal ako sa pader. Pumasok si Izumi sa loob at tumingin siya sa akin pero hindi tulad ng normal niyang expression. Gusto kong isigaw na huwag siyang lalapit sa akin pero kakaiba ang tingin niya sa akin.  Habang lumalapit siya sa akin ay nakita kong umiling siya, and she mouthed ‘You shouldn’t have come back here.’

And in that moment, I knew she’s sympathizing with me and that triggered my tears.

Nilagay niya ang kamay ko sa likuran at naglakad ako palabas ng kulungan habang nakayuko dahil ayokong makita nila akong umiiyak. Sinundan namin si Mom at nung nasa tapat na kami ng prison ni Kid ay tumingin ako sa kanya.

“Rielle!” He looks so horrified but I smiled at him.

‘Don’t worry. I’m okay,’
sabi ko kahit kitang-kita ang pag-iyak ko.

Paglagpas namin sa kanya ay kinalma ko ang sarili ko kahit na sa totoo lang ay takot na takot akong makita ang lab. Dahil sa nangyari sa akin sa Medical department ay ayaw ko nang marinig o makakita ng kahit anong related sa laboratories. I remember what happened but everything is still hazy. The only thing I can remember clearly was Hideo’s painful expression inside the chamber while pleading me not to leave.

Halos hindi ko namalayan na nasa laboratory wing na kami at napansin ko lang ‘yun nung huminto kami sa paglalakad. Halos gusto ko na ring gamitin ang sixth sense ko para makatakas dito pero hindi ko kayang harapin ng sabay sina Mom at Izumi, at isa pa, baka mapahamak ang bata sa sinapupunan ko.

Sa tapat namin ay may isang malaking bakal na pinto at nung hinawakan ‘yun ni Mom ay unti-unti ‘tong bumukas hanggang sa makita ko kung ano ang nasa loob—a huge medical laboratory with several experiment tables, apparatuses and equipment. But what caught my eyes are the cryogenic chambers with bodies inside them at the far end of the room. My body automatically reacted to that sight and I shuddered.

“M-mom...don’t do this...please...”

“Izumi,” sabay tingin niya kay Izumi at hinatak ako ni Izumi papunta sa experiment table. Lalo kong naalala ang ginawa sa akin ni Dr. Miwako at lalo akong nagpanic.

“NO!” I shouted and I felt a familiar sensation coursing through my body.

The next thing I knew, Izumi and the apparatuses around me were pushed to the walls. I can feel the power on my eyes but my stamina is running low. I caressed my belly to make sure that my child is fine after using my sixth sense but I suddenly felt a stinging feeling on my nape. Bigla akong nahilo at bumigay ang binti ko. Akala ko ay babagsak na ako pero biglang may humawak sa braso ko.

“Seriously Riko, don’t bring your daughter here if she’s going to destroy my lab!” sabi ng isang pamilyar na boses at nung nilingon ko kung sino, nakita ko si Saeko, the other Elite of Mom and the only one who can talk back to her since they are childhood friends. And she’s the one who’s always treating my battle wounds after my missions.

Halos mandilim ang paningin ko nung pinilit niya akong tumayo.
Sabay nila akong inalalayan ni Izumi papunta sa experiment table. Inihiga nila ako doon and they secured me with belts and wires. My body became numb and I want to curse them for doing this to me. Bakit ba lagi na lang nilang ginagawa ‘to? Both Senshins and Shinigamis treat me like a guinea pig because of these continuous experiments. They make me feel like I’m not a human but a subject.

“Holy sh—”  saw Saeko’s surprised expression while looking at my belly. “I was focused on immobilizing her that I didn’t notice her stomach! She’s pregnant? Don’t tell me this child is—”

“Saeko.” Napatigil siya sa pagsasalita nung tinawag siya ni Mom nang seryoso.

“Sorry. What do you want me to do with her?”

Narinig ko naman ang pagbukas ng pinto at nakita kong sabay na napalingon si Izumi at Saeko sa direksyon na iyon habang si Mom naman ay ngumiti.

“Mom, I’m here.” Narinig ko ang boses ni Rin at gusto ko siyang makita pero hindi ko na maigalaw ang buong katawan ko.

“She’s been tainted by a Senshin but her ability is still useful. Rin’s still weak compared to her so I want you to make her stronger,” sabi ni Mom at kinilabutan ako nung marealize ko kung ano ang gusto niyang mangyari.

“Are you serious about this, Riko?” seryosong tanong ni Saeko kay Mom.

“I am. Rin
will be the next head of the tribe,” then she looked at me with distaste. “and I’ll do everything to make her a powerful Shinigami.”

“But they may end up like
that child.”

“We’re finished with that child during that time so her death didn’t have any effect.”

“But—”

“I want you to extract her left eye and implant it on Rin. That’s an order from your Royal, Saeko.”

Hindi ko alam kung tama ba ang narinig ko o epekto lang ‘to ng ininject sa akin ni Saeko kanina.
Hindi ako makapaniwala sa gustong gawin ni Mom sa amin ni Rin. And that child they are talking about…I don’t know who he or she is but based on their conversation, she’s already dead and it has something to do with the same experiment.

That means we may die on the process...

Bigla kong naisip sina Kid, Dana at Keith. Naisip ko rin ang Atama family, lalong-lalo na si Hideo pati na ang magiging anak namin. I may die and they won’t know about it.

May lumapit sa aking babaeng naka-labgown at hinawakan niya ang tiyan ko. Agad akong nagpanic dahil baka may balak silang gawin sa anak ko kaya pinilit kong igalaw ang kamay ko. Nagawa kong hawakan ang wrist niya at napasigaw siya sa ginawa ko pero agad niyang natanggal ito.

“Whoa. You’re still concious and you can still move after I injected you a level 5 tranquilizer? What a monster,” sabi niya habang nakatingin sa akin at lumipat naman ang tingin niya doon sa babaeng nakalabgown. “Anyway, what’s the gender of the child?”

“It’s a girl, Doctor. She’s on her 27
th week and the third trimester is about to start.”

“Okay, thank you.” Umalis ang babae at humarap si Saeko kay Mom. “What should we do with her child?”

“Make sure it’s safe. That child, I’m going to use her to lure her father. She’ll be the demise of that tribe and I will make her regret her birth.”

I can’t contain my anger anymore after hearing that. I glared at Mom and I willed my eyes to obey my order. I repelled and pushed her away from me.

Nandilim ang paningin ko pagkatapos nun at narinig ko ang pagsigaw ni Mom. Wala na akong makita o marinig at naubos na ang natitirang lakas ko. But before I lose my conciousness, I heard a familiar voice and I don’t know why or how can I hear him.

‘Wait for me. I’m going to save you both. Wait for me, Akemi.’

Somehow, our minds are connected and I think it’s because we executed the seventh sense once. Hearing his voice made me realize how scared and helpless I am. Hindi ako humingi kailanman ng awa o tulong sa kahit kanino pero para sa anak namin, gagawin ko ang lahat para mailigtas siya. Right now, I am desperate for help.

‘Help me, Hideo. Don’t let us die. Please...’

After that, I fell into a deep slumber.


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