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Chapter 4

Posted by PURPLEYHAN STORIES on Thursday, March 23, 2017

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“Talaga? Grabe. Ang dami n’yo namang connections,” sabi ni Rissa nang matapos kong ikwento ang nangyari noong isang araw.

“Right? At ilang beses na rin silang nagkikita,” dagdag naman ni Miley.

“A stroke of serendipity?” Nigel commented while taking a sip of his coffee.

“Naniniwala ka ba sa red string of fate? Hindi kaya gano’n ang sitwasyon n’yo?” sabi naman ni Chelle.

Nginitian ko na lang sila at saka umiling. Actually, pinag-isipan ko talaga nang mabuti kung sasabihin ko sa kanila ang nangyari at sa huli ay ginawa ko rin. Ang bigat din kasi sa loob at sabi rin sa akin ng specialist ko ay hindi ko dapat kinikimkim ang mga nararamdaman ko. I need to share them as much as possible to lessen my burden.

“Huwag naman kayong ganyan kay Kyle,” mahina kong sabi at natahimik naman sila.

Noong araw na ‘yon ay kung anu-ano ang tumakbo sa isip ko. I thought I shouldn’t think of that guy anymore because it felt like breaking my promise with Kyle. I don’t want to get more interested with him.

“Sab, it doesn’t mean naman na dinidisrespect namin si Kyle,” Rissa retorted while adjusting her glasses. Medyo natakot naman ako dahil sign na ‘yon na ready na siyang makipagdiskusyon.

“She’s right, Sab. Kyle will always be our friend but it has been four years. Allow yourself to be happy again,” dagdag ni Nigel.

I felt a lump in my throat after I heard his words. That was the same thing Kyle’s brother had told me when I saw him in LA two years ago. He, together with his wife, migrated there while their parents chose to stay here.

“I’m happy,” I said but they looked at me as if they knew I was lying.

“Si Nigel ang masaya,” Chelle chimed in. “Itong si Rissa at Miley, mukhang happy rin sa ngayon. Ako, hindi. At ikaw, lalong hindi.”

“Tayo-tayo pa ba ang maglolokohan dito, Sab?” gatong naman ni Miley.

Halos limang na taon kaming hindi nagkita pero gano’n pa rin ang ugali nila. We swore that we won’t tell lies to each other and won’t sugarcoat our opinions and advice. I guess that promise still has its value.

“But still, it would feel like I’m betraying Kyle.”

“This isn’t betrayal, Sab, it’s called moving on,” Miley countered and I didn’t argue anymore.

Napunta naman sa iba ang usapan nila pero ako ay nandoon pa rin sa topic na ‘yon. Hindi kasi nila naiintindihan. Siguro ay dahil hindi nila alam ang nangyari noong gabing ‘yon dahil pinili kong huwag sabihin ang bagay na ‘yon.

I didn’t tell them about the letter Kyle had written for me—the reason why he risked his life against the men who grabbed my wallet. He placed the letter on my wallet, expecting me to read it when I got home . . . but that never happened.

When he died, that letter was my source of strength and pain. Every hour, I would read it over and over again to remind myself that he loves me . . . that I made him wait for too long . . . and that I would never see him again.

Sabrina,
 
I may not be that handsome,
I may not be that rich,
I may not be that smart,
But I will try my best to be a perfect man for you.
I'll always be here . . . waiting.
Waiting for you.
I love you so much.
I hope we can stay like this forever, until our last breath.
 
Love,
Kyle.

I’ve already memorized every word and every line in his letter, and whenever I think of it, I would succumb to misery and cry myself to sleep.

Ang hirap bitiwan ng isang taong nagpakita sa’yo ng halaga mo. Hindi madaling kalimutan lalo na’t kasama niya ako at dahil sa akin kaya nangyari ‘yon. Utang ko kay Kyle ang buhay ko.

Pagkatapos naming magkwentuhan ay naghiwa-hiwalay na rin kami at ako ay dumiretso sa lugar na ‘yon. Pag-upo ko sa harapan niya ay ngumiti agad ako.

“Kyle, I’m here,” I said, placing a flower on his grave.

When I returned here, this place became my haven. My mind is at peace and I can tell my worries to him.

Hindi ko alam kung paano sasabihin sa kanya ang nararamdaman ko. Hindi ko masimulan dahil natatakot ako.

“I love you,” I whispered and my heart seemed heavier.

Those were the words I longed to tell him . . . the words I should’ve told him before that happened. Pero ngayon, kahit ilang beses ko pang sabihin ang mga salitang ‘yon, hindi na makakarating sa kanya.

“I believe that you’re my other half,” sabi ko naman at naalala ko ulit ang huling araw naming nagkasama. He’s my other half, and now that he's gone, I’ll never be whole again.

Bigla ko tuloy naisip kung ano ang mangyayari kung nandito pa siya ngayon. Siguro pareho na kaming nagtatrabaho, magkikita pagkatapos ng araw at mag-uusap tungkol sa kung anu-ano. Ang sayang isipin pero kasabay naman no’n ay ang panghihinayang at sakit dahil alam kong hindi ‘yon mangyayari kahit ano pang gawin ko.

Hindi naman ako nakagalaw nang may maramdaman akong naglalakad sa likuran ko. I was about to panic but a familiar voice pushed it back.

“You're here.”

Kahit hindi ako lumingon ay alam ko na kung sino ang taong ‘yon. I don’t know why but I felt a tinge of glee when I saw him. Is that possible? That someone you don’t really know . . . someone you just met for a few times . . . would have this kind of effect to you?

Umupo siya sa harapan ni Kris Leila at bigla siyang lumingon sa direksyon ko kaya nanigas ako sa kinauupuan ko.

“This would be our second meeting here,” sabi niya at bigla siyang ngumiti. “Though the first one didn’t go well.”

Nahiya naman ako sa sinabi niya at naalala ko ang panic attack ko noong araw na ‘yon. Hindi ko rin naman kasi inexpect na may makasabay akong dumalaw rito sa sementeryo.

“Yeah. Again, sorry about that. It's just that . . .” Napatigil naman ako sa pagsasalita at tumingin ako kay Kyle. "I thought my nightmare turned into reality."

Gaya ko ay tumingin din siya kay Leila at nakita ko ang sarili ko sa kanya. His eyes were yearning for something beyond him . . . something impossible.

“Alam ko rin ang pakiramdam na ‘yan,” sabi niya at humawak siya sa dibdib niya.

“May I ask you a question?” tanong ko naman.

“Sure.”

“How did you get through the pain?” tanong ko at tinanggal ko na lahat ng hiyang naramdaman ko. I wanted to know it because he experienced the same tragedy I went through. Nakita ko naman ang pagngiti niya habang nakatingin kay Kris Leila.

“I didn’t,” he said. “It’s just that I have no choice but to keep myself from breaking,” sabay hawak niya sa dibdib niya. “I can’t afford to lose this heart.”

Natahimik naman ako sa narinig ko at bigla akong nagka-idea kung ano ang ibig niyang sabihin. I felt guilty after hearing that and I realized how inconsiderate my question was.

“S-sorry,” I whispered and I heard him chuckle.

“Okay lang,” sagot naman niya at pareho kaming tumahimik.

In the midst of silence, I can hear my heartbeat and I wondered if he felt strange—a heart that wasn’t his is now beating inside him. Gusto ko pang magtanong pero natatakot ako.

Natatakot ako sa pwedeng kahitnatnan nito. Natatakot akong iwan at kalimutan si Kyle. Natatakot ako dahil alam ko sa sarili ko na unti-unti na akong nagkaka-interes sa kanya.



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