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Chapter 1

Posted by PURPLEYHAN STORIES on Sunday, February 5, 2017

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Puting kisame ang sumalubong sa mga mata ko nang dumilat ako. Agad akong bumangon dahil hindi ko alam kung anong nangyari. I reached for my head, trying to remember what happened before I passed out.

"K-Kyle . . ."

That's right. I had a panic attack because of that guy.

"Gising na ba siya?"

"Not yet. Pero baka after some hours—Sab!"

Napatingin ako sa may pintuan at nakita ko sina Chelle at Nigel na tumatakbo papunta sa akin. Naguluhan ako dahil sa nakikita ko at nang nilibot ko ang paningin ko ay doon ko narealize na nasa ospital ako.

"I'll call a nurse," sabi ni Nigel at tumakbo palabas. Napaupo naman si Chelle sa gilid ko.

"God. Akala namin mamaya ka pa magigising. We called your parents but they said they can't come today."

"I'm okay now. Panic attack lang naman," I said.

"Buti na lang talaga at nadala ka kaagad sa ospital ng lalaking nakakita sa'yo."

Pagkasabi no’n ni Chelle ay nagflashback sa akin ang nangyari bago ako mawalan ng malay.

I was about to leave the cemetery but the guy suddenly approached the grave beside Kyle and I thought he was going after me. The traumatic event I had experienced before played in my mind and I shook my head to push back those tormenting thoughts.

"Sab!"

Napalingon naman kami ni Chelle at nakita namin sina Miley at Rissa sa pintuan. They ran towards me and all the worries I felt melted away.

"Wow. Akalain ninyong dito tayo sa ospital nag-reunion," pabiro kong sabi at hinampas naman ako ni Rissa.

"Nakuha mo pang magjoke, ha?"

"At least, nagjojoke na siya ngayon," dagdag ni Miley.

Miley's statement was followed by a sudden silence, and I'm sure that it was because of Kyle. During those five years, I didn't have the chance to be happy. I blamed myself for what had happened and tried to focus on self-improvement.

I gave them a timid smile, trying to improve the mood.

Dumating naman si Nigel kasama ang isang nurse kaya tumabi muna sila habang chinecheck ang lagay ko. After a few minutes, sinabi ng nurse na magpahinga muna kahit na stable na ang kondisyon ko, saka siya lumabas.

"So, kumusta na kayo?" tanong ko kaagad nang makalabas ang nurse.

"I'm fine," Miley said. "Currently working as a science researcher."

"Me too," Rissa added, "though I'm planning to shift to academe."

"You should do that," Nigel chimed in while fixing his eyeglasses. "Mas masaya magturo."

"You guys . . ." Napatingin naman kami kay Chelle at natawa dahil pagraduate pa lang siya from engineering. Paano kasi nag-shift pa, though kumikita na rin siya dahil sa modelling jobs niya.

We talked about our lives for the past five years and after that incident. Talking to them made me feel safe and comfortable, but memories from college flooded my mind. Those times when we were still complete, when Kyle was still there.

I smiled, trying hard to choke back the tears that were threatening to fall.

"I'm sure Kyle is happy that we are together."

Pagkasabi no'n ni Rissa ay hindi ko na napigilan at kusang tumulo ang mga luha ko. I cried silently and I was thankful because they didn't say a thing.

"Hay naku, please bawal muna ang drama," biglang sabi ni Chelle at natawa naman kami dahil kabe-break lang nila ng boyfriend niya.

"Sabi kasi namin sa'yo, hiwalayan mo na 'yan dati pa," pangaral ni Miley.

"Oo nga. Halata namang hindi siya seryoso."

"At galing pa talaga sa inyong dalawa na never pang nagka-boyfriend ha?"

Nigel chuckled, and all of a sudden, the three of them were glaring at him. Napailing na lang ako sa kanila. Kahit ang tagal ko na silang hindi nakita ay gano'n pa rin ang mga ugali nila.

"So, ikaw naman ang pag-usapan natin," sabi naman ni Miley habang nakangiti nang nakakaloko.

"Oo nga. Do you know the guy?" Chelle asked. "May itsura siya and ang lakas ng appeal. In fairness."

"No . . ." My voice trailed off. Bigla kong naalala ang nangyari kanina.

"Lei . . ."

Lei? Was that Kris Leila, the person next to Kyle?

That guy . . . he looked familiar. His expression reminded me of mine, probably because we both lost someone important to us.

"Huy!" Chelle snapped her fingers in front of me and I realized they were all waiting for my response.

"Ah. Huh?"

"Alam mo, mabuti pa magpahinga ka na muna," sabi naman ni Nigel at pinatayo na niya ang tatlo. "Pwede naman tayong magkwentuhan some other time, lalo na't nandito ka na ulit sa Pilipinas. But for now, you need to rest."

Magrereklamo sana ako pero nakumbinsi niya na ang tatlo kaya naman kahit ayaw ko pa silang umalis ay wala rin akong nagawa. Nang makaalis sila ay naging tahimik na ulit ang kwarto ko. It was already 9 PM and I didn’t have anything to do.

I really hate nighttime, especially when silence was the predominant element. That nightmare has haunted me for years and it becomes vivid at times like this.

Those painful memories resurfaced and suddenly, I was there again. Kyle was there, trying hard to fight against the robbers, buying me some time to run away but one of them stabbed him and escaped. I screamed for help until my throat hurt but no one came. I told him to hold on but his life was slowly fading in front of my eyes.

“S-Sab. Huwag k-kang umiyak. H-hindi dapat . . . pinapaiyak a-ang babaeng katulad mo. D-dapat lagi ka lang . . . n-nakangiti.”

“K-Kyle? Huwag mo kong iwan. A-alam mo ba, dapat sasagutin na kita ngayon. ‘Di ba m-matagal mo na ‘tong hinihintay? Kaya please naman o . . . please, h’wag mo kong iiwan.”

Hindi ko alam kung nagbibiro ba ang tadhana noong mga panahong ‘yon. Pareho naming hinintay nang matagal ang gabing ‘yon. We were about to be in a relationship, but it all went wrong. I lost him before becoming mine.

Kinuha ko ang bag sa table at nilabas ko ang wallet ko pero napatigil ako nang may nakita akong kakaiba sa bag ko. There was a journal inside that wasn’t even mine.

Nilabas ko ‘yon at tinignan ko ang unang page pero walang kahit anong pangalan ang nakasulat. Nilipat ko ang page at nabasa ko ang unang entry.

Hey, Andrew, sobrang miss na kita. Grabe, hindi ko pa rin matanggap na wala na tayo. Na iniwan mo na ako. Bakit ganun? Talaga bang wala na tayo? As in wala na? Ayaw ko talagang maniwala. Biglaan kasi lahat eh. Ganun lang ba talaga yun? Ganun na lang ba talaga kadali para sa’yo na iwan ako? 

Sana maayos pa natin ‘to. Sana, tayo pa rin hanggang sa huli. Pero hindi ko alam kung dapat pa ba akong umasa. Sabihin mo nga? Kailangan ko na bang magmove on? O may chance pa para magkabalikan tayo?

Sinara ko naman kaagad ang journal. I shouldn’t have read it. I just invaded someone’s privacy by reading that entry. That was not nice. 

Saka ko naman naalala ang lalaki kanina. He was holding a bouquet of flowers and a journal when I saw him. Maybe he didn’t notice the journal falling into my bag due to what had happened. Naguilty tuloy ako bigla.

I hope I can return this to him.


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Nakatulog naman ako nang maayos kagabi at dinischarge na ako ng doktor matapos ang ilang tests and sessions. After that, I texted my friends about it and they told me to rest well. Nakakalungkot nga lang at lahat sila ay may pasok ngayon kaya hindi na nila ako nasamahan. That was okay, though. I didn’t want to disturb them.

Pagkalabas ko sa ospital ay pumunta ako sa pedestrian lane para tumawid papuntang taxi bay pero napatigil ako sa nakita ko. Someone was standing on the other end of the lane and he was staring at me.

It was the guy yesterday.

I didn’t know why but we just stood on our places, unable to break our eye contact. For a moment, it felt like everything around me faded away.

Nagising naman ang diwa ko nang may nakasagi sa balikat ko. Doon ko lang napansin na green light na pala. Patawid na sana ako pero biglang hinarap ng lalaki sa akin ang palad niya, a gesture for ‘stop’. Siya ang tumawid kaya naiwan akong nakatayo ro’n. Nang nakatawid na siya ay humarap siya sa akin at hindi ko alam kung ano ang dapat gawin. Bigla ko namang naalala ang journal.

“Here,” I said while giving back his journal. Nakita ko naman siyang ngumiti, pero may kakaiba sa pagngiti niya. A longing smile with a hint of sadness.

“Thank you,” mahina niyang sabi.

“No.” Napatingin siya sa akin. “Thank you. Thank you for saving me yesterday.”

Nagkatitigan ulit kami pero agad din akong umiwas. Dahil wala naman na kaming pag-uusapan ay tumango na lang ako sa kanya at tumawid ako nang mag-green ang stoplight.

Nang makatawid na ako ay dumiretso ako sa taxi bay pero bigla akong na-curious doon sa lalaki. Hindi ko alam kung sapat ba ang pasasalamat na ginawa ko at nagi-guilty pa rin ako dahil binasa ko ang isang entry sa journal niya. Okay, I’ll just peek for a second.

One. Two. Three.

I turned around and he was still there. Our eyes met again but this time, he smiled.



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