Nakaupo lang ako rito sa sala habang hinihintay ang Mommy nina Karla at Kevin. Nagpe-prepare pa raw kasi siya at alam kong medyo matatagalan dahil kagagaling niya pa lang sa treatment. Pero ang lakas na ng tibok ng puso ko dahil sa kaba.
How did Kevin manage to stay calm when he was talking with Dad?!
Hindi ko naman magawang ilabas ang phone ko at mag-browse dahil baka maabutan nila ako at isiping uninterested ako o ‘di kaya rude. My god, nakakabaliw maghintay!
Sakto namang narinig ko ang pagbukas ng pinto mula sa second floor kaya umayos ako ng upo. Pagtingin ko, nakaalalay si Karla sa Mom niya habang si Kevin naman ay nakasunod sa kanila. Tumayo ako mula sa pagkakaupo at hinintay silang makababa mula sa hagdan.
“Hello, Alice,” she greeted with a broad smile on her face.
“Good evening po,” bati ko naman.
She was still wearing a bandage on her hand but aside from that, she looked better.
“Tara na sa table at baka lumamig ang pagkain,” sabi naman niya kaya dali-dali akong sumunod sa kanila pero tumama ang tuhod ko sa edge ng low table sa sala nila at napakagat ako sa labi ko para hindi ako mapasigaw.
I was already thinking that I’d be doomed but Kevin was still smiling from ear-to-ear. Nakakainis dahil parang nag-e-enjoy pa siya sa paghihirap ko para lang magmukhang presentable sa harap ng Mom niya.
Pagpunta namin sa dining area ay tinap ni Kevin ang upuan sa tabi niya kaya doon na ako pumwesto habang ang Mom niya naman ang nasa kabisera. Karla sat opposite to me and I realized I was surrounded by the three of them.
Kumain muna kami dahil mukhang gutom na rin sila pero hindi pa rin ako mapakali lalo na’t ramdam ko ang tension sa pagitan naming apat.
“So, when will you be boyfriend and girlfriend?” biglang tanong ni Karla kaya muntik ko nang maibuga ang iced tea na iniinom ko.
I heard their Mom chuckling and Kevin was just staring at me, as if he was waiting for an answer. H’wag mong sabihing sineryoso niya talaga ‘yong tanong?!
“I heard he’s courting you,” dagdag naman ni Tita Kristina kaya uminit ang mukha ko. “I wasn’t aware he knows how to court a girl.”
“He’s bad at it,” Karla commented.
“Uhm . . .”
“Stop it, you’re making her uncomfortable,” sabi ni Kevin. “I’m good, right?”
Pinigilan ko namang ngumiti habang tinitingnan sila. Kevin must be happy to be with his Mom again. I didn’t know he could be this cute when arguing with his family.
“Well, he’s trying,” sagot ko kaya napatingin silang tatlo sa akin.
“See? That means you’re bad,” Karla said and he smirked at her brother.
Tuluyan na akong napangiti dahil sa expression ni Kevin. He looked confused and dejected. Ang totoo, hindi ko lang kayang sabihin na masyado siyang magaling sa pagpapakilig dahil baka lalo lang niya akong asarin.
“Figures,” their Mom remarked. “Your Dad is also bad at it.”
“It was the other way around. Girls are the ones courting him. That dummy can get a girl without any effort because of his looks. I feel sorry that you got his features,” sabi ni Tita Kristina kaya natawa kami ni Karla.
“Sounds familiar,” dagdag ko. “May ganyang playboy din sa campus, eh.
“Where’s that old man when I need him the most?” Kevin muttered.
Natawa na lang ako dahil buong pag-uusap namin tungkol sa kanilang mag-ama ay tahimik siya o ‘di kaya ay nagiging defensive. Karla really had the best day of her life by dissing her brother in front of me and their mother. Ikinuwento niya pa ulit lahat ng nakakahiyang alaala niya at kulang na lang ay tusukin ni Kevin ng tinidor si Karla para lang tumigil siya sa pagsasalita.
After that ay nagpaalam muna sina Karla at Kevin para magbihis kaya naiwan kami ni Tita Kristina rito.
“Do you want to go to the living room?” aya niya kaya tumango naman ako.
Agad akong tumayo para alalayan siya at medyo nahiya ako dahil baka marinig niya ang lakas at tibok ng puso ko.
Pagdating namin sa sala ay umupo kami sa couch. Wow, it was awkward without Karla and Kevin.
“I’m sorry,” bigla niyang sabi kaya napatingin ako sa kanya.
“I know I’ve been a problem to him and it was one of the reasons why he hated commitments and the idea of being in love,” she continued. “That kid hated me for leaving them and I know I deserved that.”
Naalala ko naman ‘yong time na nakita ni Kevin ang Mom niya sa isang documentary at kung paano nagbago ang expression niya. That was the moment I learned about his relationship with her.
“He grew up realizing that even a commitment like marriage could be broken, just like what happened to his parents, and thus, he just resorted in playing around. Until you came into his life.”
Her warm smile made my heart flutter and the way the corner of her eyes wrinkled reminded me of Kevin’s.
“You remind me of your Dad,” she commented and that got me curious.
“Si Dad? Bakit po?”
“You know, your Mom was once the girl every guy in the campus wanted to date. She’s so beautiful that even those in different colleges and institutes know her.”
Okay, I knew Mom was a campus crush back in her college days but I didn’t know she was that famous.
“Your Dad was my classmate in an elective subject. One time, dumaan sa room namin ang Mom mo dahil classmate din namin ang friend niya at pinagkaguluhan na siya ro’n ng mga lalaki, except from your Dad.”
“Eh? For real?” Whoa. So Dad was that kind of guy, huh?
Natawa naman nang bahagya si Tita Kristina. “Yup. So I asked if he wasn’t interested in her.”
“Ano pong sinagot niya?”
“He said she already has too many guys around her. She could choose anyone from them. And also, it would be a waste of time and effort to fall for someone as famous as her. I guess your Mom heard that so after a couple of days, she started noticing your Dad and the rest is history.”
Hindi ko naman ma-imagine na gano’n ang nangyari sa kanila noong college days nila. I always thought Dad was the one who chased Mom, not the other way around. Iba rin pala ang kamandag ni Daddy at nagawa niyang ma-in love sa kanya si Mommy.
“Sounds familiar, right?” she said with a huge grin on her face.
Doon ko lang na-realize kung bakit niya ‘yon naikuwento. Well, hindi naman gaano. I mean, I had a crush on him ever since I saw him in that game. Magaling lang talaga akong magtago ng feelings kaya mukhang hindi ako interested. Kung alam lang niya kung gaano karaming pangalan ng babae ang nailista ko dahil dikit sila nang dikit kay Kevin dati.
“Thank you for changing his beliefs,” dagdag niya kaya muli akong napatingin sa kanya. “He may not admit it but that kid still fears relationships and commitments. Courting you must have taken a lot of courage so I know he’s serious with you.” She smiled once again. “And I’m glad he fell in love with someone like you.”
Hindi naman ako nakaimik matapos niya ‘yong sabihin at saktong bumaba na sina Karla at Kevin. Pinaypayan ko ang mukha ko dahil ramdam ko ang pag-init no’n lalo pa’t nakangiti pa rin si Tita Kristina na para bang wala siyang sinabing nakakahiya.
Pagdating nila ro’n ay tinawag naman niya si Karla para tulungan siya sa isang project na dine-design niya raw kaya naiwan kami ro’n ni Kevin.
“So, what did she tell you?” tanong niya agad.
“Hmm? Uhm, wala naman.”
Medyo nakahinga naman ako nang maluwag noong wala na sila at lalong gumaan ang pakiramdam ko nang makita kong si Kevin naman ang worried dahil naiwan ako kanina kasama ang Mom niya.
“She told me a lot about you,” I teased and his brows furrowed. His flustered expression was too cute.
“What? About what?”
“Sorry, that’s a secret between us.”
Alam kong naisip niya rin ang pag-uusap nila ni Dad kaya naman natuwa ako dahil kahit papaano ay nakaganti ako sa kanya.
Dahil medyo gabi na rin ay kailangan ko nang umuwi kaya nag-book ako ng car noong hindi siya nakatingin.
“Mukhang magiging busy na kayo starting tomorrow,” sabi ko naman nang maalala kong malapit na ang Feb Fair.
Napabuntong-hininga naman siya. “I guess. There would be a lot of performances.”
“I see. Good luck.”
Panandaliang katahimikan ang bumalot sa amin matapos no’n at nagulat ako nang biglang humarap sa akin si Kevin.
“Speaking of Feb Fair . . .”
“Will you be my princess?” he asked and I was confused for a second.
Para naman siyang natauhan nang makita niya ang confusion sa mukha ko at doon ko lang din na-realize na may kinalaman doon ang theme ng fair ngayon.
“I see. So parang royalties ang theme nila ngayon,” hula ko at mukhang tama dahil napakunot ang noo niya.
“That was supposed to be a secret until they announce it,” he muttered and I chuckled when I saw his face.
“Don’t worry, ‘di ko ipagkakalat. Kay Yna lang.”
“I’m gonna be dead.”
Narinig ko naman ang pagbusina ng sasakyan sa labas at mukhang nandoon na ang na-book ko. Tiningnan niya ako at sinabi kong kina Yna ako uuwi.
“You should have told me para ako na ang maghahatid sa’yo.”
“No need. Saka nakakahiya sa Mom mo.”
“But still . . .”
Sinamahan naman niya ako palabas ng bahay nila pero huminto ako nang makalabas na kami sa gate. I turned around and looked at him.
“Sure,” I said. “I may not be a princess but I’ll be one during Feb Fair.”
Pagkasabi ko no’n ay ilang Segundo siyang blangko lang ang mukha pero agad din siyang ngumiti kaya medyo nahiya ako.
“Thank you,” he said.
Naglakad ako papunta sa kotse pero muli akong napatigil. This time, tumalikod ako at naglakad pabalik sa kanya. I stopped in front of him and he looked bewildered by my action.
“Then, y-you’re my prince from now on,” I said and I could hear the nervousness in my voice.
“What . . .”
“Yes,” sabi ko at mukhang lalo lang siyang naguluhan.
Dahil hindi ko na alam kung paano ipararating sa kanya ay ginawa ko na ang last resort na naisip ko kanina. I breathed deeply and hugged him tight.
“Good night, boyfriend,” I whispered.
After that, I didn’t wait for him to say or do anything and I just dashed inside the car. My heart was still racing but seeing his stunned expression after I said those words made me smile. That was the cutest expression I had seen from him. From my boyfriend.