For these past two years, I made sure nobody close to me would know my personas because that meant exposing my private matters. I even hid it from my best friends yet someone I only talked to once discovered my writer username.
“Aish!” I grunted as I looked at the screen of my phone.
My frustration temporarily dissipated when I saw a notification from the portal’s admin group logs. I breathed deeply and read the thread for post approval. There were still pending posts on the portal and before any writer could publish their article, at least three out of five administrators should approve it. Otherwise, it would be rejected.
One of the articles was about Alice again so I immediately read the content and I got pissed before I could even finish it. Of course, the writer was Gewena.
It was a background story about Alice and she blatantly criticized her just because she wasn’t a Campus Princess. We already knew that Steff and Jess were smart while we were just ordinary students. They were chosen as Campus Princesses because of their intellect, beauty and attitude. Truthfully, I felt intimidated and smaller sometimes even though they were my best friends.
The students supported the Steff-Darryl and Jess-Patrick couples but why couldn’t they do the same for Alice and Kevin? Was it because she wasn’t like Steff and Jess? Because she was just an ordinary student? Unfair.
Another notification came into view and it was from cafemocha.
cafemocha: do you know Alice or Kevin personally?
My phone almost fell from my hands when I saw her question. How did she know? Wait, was I that obvious?
yeoshin: no. why?
cafemocha: really? Haha wala lang, para kasing ayaw mo sa articles na lumalabas kapag about sa kanila
yeoshin: hey, I am always like that. I just hate it when writers only look at one side and put so much of their opinion in the articles
cafemocha: sabagay, you did that with the fourth-year campus princesses too
yeoshin: haha I just find it unfair especially when it can potentially affect the subjects of the articles
cafemocha: wow naman si miss goddess, sobrang bait
yeoshin: what where how lol
I was able to breathe when her suspicion subsided. Someone had already discovered my writer persona. I couldn’t let another person find out my identity as one of the portal’s administrators.
That night, I wasn’t able to sleep well. That incident kept on replaying in my mind and it made me uncomfortable.
It’s been a year since I last talked to Gisel so I didn’t expect him to remember me. I was having a problem with our reading material since it was written in Filipino. We didn’t have any seating arrangement in Kas1 and fortunately, he was my seatmate. He helped me translate the difficult words and I managed to understand the lesson.
All my life, I had only relied on my three best friends when it comes to the Filipino language because I wasn’t really the type to ask for help from a stranger. That was the first time someone offered help so it felt weird. However, after that, I didn’t have any interactions with him anymore. Until yesterday.
I was up early and I couldn’t go back to sleep anymore so I just went to the university even though my class would start at 11:30 A.M. I was on my way to my usual place when I suddenly remembered what happened there yesterday. Scanning the surroundings, I carefully walked behind the building, hoping nobody would show up but I halted when I saw a strange figure behind the bushes.
“Is that a person?” I muttered. “Nugu-ya?” (Who is that?)
It seemed like the person was sleeping, though I couldn’t understand why he would pick this place to sleep, so I decided not to stay here. But before I could step back, the person lifted his head and I stumbled back when I saw who it was.
He looked at me with his still dozy eyes and I flinched when he suddenly pointed at me.
“Ah. You’re notaroyalty,” he calmly said while waving at me while I frantically looked left and right to see if there were students near us.
“Joyonghi hae juseyo!” (Please be quiet!) I mouthed as I put my index finger on my lips.
“I said please be quiet.”
Heaving a sigh, I turned around and was ready to run away when he suddenly called me again.
“Please don’t call me that!” I yelled as I turned to his direction but he just smiled at me, as if he was enjoying my misery.
Woah, this guy was starting to get on my nerves.
“What should I call you then?” he asked. “What’s your na—”
He wasn’t able to finish his sentence because we suddenly heard a group of girls passing by.
“Are you serious? Magco-confess ka?”
“I mean, if someone like Alice Diaz can make Kevin fall for her, siguro naman may pag-asa rin tayo, ‘di ba?”
“And? Si Gisel ang target mo?”
“Bakit? Matagal ko naman na siyang crush. Saka hindi lang naman guys ang pwedeng mag-confess, ano.”
“But where will you find him? As far as I know, that guy is the most elusive out of the Campus Princes in our batch.”
My eyes shifted toward him and there was a hint of uneasiness on his expression. His gaze met mine but I immediately turned away. Involving myself with someone like him would just pull me into the limelight and I wouldn’t want that to happen.
I was about to leave when he suddenly grabbed my arm and dragged me away from that place. This scene would have been romantic in a novel but it was displeasing and ungraceful in real life, especially when the guy was walking too fast.
“Ya! Na jeom nwa jwo! (Hey! Let go of me!)
“You know what? I can’t understand what you’re saying but I hope you’re not cursing me,” he said while chuckling as he continued dragging me away.
He finally stopped walking and I realized that we ended up behind the library. I was still catching my breath when he let go of my arm.
“There,” he huffed. “Sorry, I can’t leave you there. You might sell me out.”
I gave him a death stare after hearing his reason. “What? Do you think I’m that kind of person? Whoa, i saram . . .” (Whoa, this person . . .)
“Aish. I told you not to call me that.”
He chuckled. “Oh, sorry. I haven’t got your name yet.”
“Yna,” I replied.
“Okay, Ms. Yna. Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me.”
His words seemed sincere but the look on his face wasn’t. It was like talking to Darryl or Kevin, but with a gentler face. That would make him more dangerous than them.
“Ah. And about what happened earlier,” he paused. “Can you please not talk about it to anyone?”
“Hmm? That confession thing?”
He nodded. “Yeah. I don’t want to be the subject of any article on the portal, especially now that everyone has their eyes on the Campus Princes and Princesses.”
His words lingered in my head. I thought he was the type of person who would just shrug off any rumors about him but it turned out he was conscious about what people think of him.
“Oh, right. I haven’t introduced myself yet. I’m—”
“Calvin Gisel Villanueva,” I said, cutting him off. “Of course, I know you. You’re the pianist of our batch’s band. Ah, and a Campus Prince.”
He stared at me for a few seconds and I got conscious when he wasn’t taking his eyes off me.
“Nakakapanibago,” he mumbled while scratching his right cheek. What did he say? What does that even mean?
“Nothing,” he replied. “Well then, see you around, Ms. Yna.”
He started walking away from me and I just watched his back until I couldn’t see him anymore.
I just hope he would keep his promise, or else, I would put him in a place he would surely hate—in the center of everyone’s attention.