I wish teleportation is real so I could do that right now.
Steff was sitting beside my bed, her arms crossed, looking at me with suspicious eyes. I just regained my consciousness a few minutes ago. When my eyes fluttered open, I was already lying on a white bed and an IV line on my hand.
She said I had a fever and I was dehydrated that was why I passed out. She called my brother to pick me up and she was just waiting for him here . . . but she seemed to be holding back some details.
“Yna,” she called and my body tensed.
“You should thank Gisel,” she said. “Nakita ko kasi siya sa library noong pabagsak ka na sa sahig. He saw what happened, too. I told him to help me . . .” Her voice faltered and she narrowed her eyes, “but it looked like he already knew what to do that time.”
Suddenly, I wanted to pass out again so I could escape her impending questions. My throat was dry and it felt like my heart would come out of my chest every time she looks at me suspiciously.
“By the way, he’s here,” she said.
“Eh?!” I almost got up but Steff smirked at me.
“Joke lang,” she teased as she leaned to my direction. “I won’t ask any questions but be careful. Sige na, mauna na ako. May class pa ako. Sabi naman ni Kuya Xander, malapit na siya.”
I slowly nodded, still embarrassed about what just happened. She waved at me before leaving and I watched her back until I couldn’t see her anymore. I was just staring at the white ceiling for a while, trying to process everything.
My head wasn’t pounding anymore but I still felt sick. I pulled out my phone from my jacket and gasped at the number of notifications. Alice and Jess flooded the group chat with worried messages, but also asking how it felt to be carried by him. There were several missed calls and texts from Xander. There were also notifications from Nook, but what made me nervous was his message.
My hand trembled as I stared on my screen. After several minutes, I opened his message.
calvingisel: Tiffany said you're resting now. Sorry if I might cause you some trouble since there were a few students who saw me carrying you.
calvingisel: But I hope you're okay now. Rest well :)
My mind immediately played the worst-case scenario: getting mobbed by girls who admired him, being the subject of malicious gossips, and getting dragged into the messy world of the campus elites.
I sighed in defeat as I reread his message. I was grateful for his help but I was afraid of the repercussions.
ynashin: Thank you and sorry for the trouble, too.
ynashin: I should have been more careful.
Few seconds later, Xander arrived with a frown on his face. She talked to the health center staff who was monitoring me earlier and went to my direction.
"Masakit pa ulo mo?" he asked.
I was caught off-guard and wasn't able to answer immediately. I was ready to get scolded since he already told me not to attend my classes earlier.
"Hindi na," I answered.
He heaved a sigh and sat beside me with a worried look on his face. He placed his hand on my head to check my temperature.
"You still have a fever," he murmured. "Gusto mo na bang umuwi?”
I weakly nodded and he started carrying my things. Fortunately, I felt less sick and I could walk without getting dizzy. I followed behind him and I could see some girls glancing at our direction.
Though I didn’t want to admit it, Xander was quite attractive. Even my three best friends had a crush on her before. Walking with him was already making me anxious despite him being my brother.
I plopped on the passenger seat and leaned against the headrest. The car’s engine hummed. Xander stayed quiet the whole time while I kept my gaze outside. When we got home, I trudged to my room and collapsed on my bed. I wanted to sleep again but my mind wouldn’t shut up. Too many what ifs were floating inside my head and they were starting to overwhelm me.
I need a distraction, I thought, so I headed to my desk and opened my laptop.
Readers were already waiting for updates, so I started typing the chapters. Funny thing was I immediately thought of Gisel when I continued writing Prince Not Charming. Somehow, I could only get into the zone when I’m thinking about him, which was both frustrating and embarrassing.
I didn’t notice the time and only realized it was already 8 P.M. when I finished writing three chapters. I posted two on Nook and logged out right after.
Xander also brought me food but he got upset when he saw me in front of my laptop.
“Kasasabi lang na magpahinga,” he grumbled. “Don’t you dare complain if you get a headache again.”
“I can’t sleep,” I said, “and I’m feeling better now.”
He sighed in defeat. “Eat your food already. You’re sleeping early tonight.”
“You sound like Mom,” I retorted.
“Because you’re acting like a kid.”
I didn’t want to argue with him anymore, so I put on my earphones and turned the volume up. He was saying something, but I couldn’t hear him. In the end, he left my room in frustration.
The next morning, my headache completely went away. I slept early but I didn’t want Xander to know that or else he’d say I still listen to him whether I like it or not because I know he’s right.
The fever was still there but the medicines made me feel better. I skipped classes today, too, since I didn’t want to cause any trouble anymore.
The house was quiet the whole morning. Mom and Dad were busy with their own businesses and my brother had to meet investors for his projects. Yaya Lyn went to the supermarket and ran some errands so I was alone.
I stayed in the living room with my laptop and read comments on my recent updates on Nook. A smile escaped my lips as I browsed through their insights. It was quite fascinating to read different opinions about a situation involving a person’s feelings and her struggles to understand them.
My phone vibrated and I realized I hadn’t opened it since last night. When I saw the notifications, I almost dropped my phone. I checked our group chat first.
Jess: OMG Yna nasa portal ka!
She shared a screenshot of an article showing a photo of Steff and Gisel going out of the library carrying me.
Alice: buti na lang ‘di kita mukha mo
Jess: buti kamo kasama niya si Steff lol
Alice: yeah kung hindi lagot ka na sa “admirers” ni Gisel
Steff: I feel relieved na nakalagay sa article na nagpatulong ako sa pagbuhat sa kanya
Steff: and kasama ako sa photo kahit mukha akong haggard doon
Alice: wow haggard ka pa niyan ha kakahiya naman sa akin
Jess: hahahaha naalala ko ‘yung article na may candid pics mo
Jess: ‘yung mukha kang constipated
Alice: manahimik ka Jess kundi papakalat ko ‘tong stolen pictures mo sa akin
Jess: subukan mo lang ise-send ko kay Kevin lahat ng embarrassing pictures mo sa akin
After reading the conversation, I checked the portal and saw the article on the 7th spot. Thank goodness the top five articles were about the 4th year campus elites who would be graduating next month and had gotten thousands of views and comments. In addition, just like what Steff had said, the article mentioned Steff asking Gisel for help since they were both in the library. I closed the article and didn’t bother to read the comments.
Another chat box appeared and I saw King’s username.
kingtrex: hey, sorry that that article got published
kingtrex: I rejected it but the three of them approved
I remembered his warning about being careful when I’m with him. Even though it was an accident this time, getting my photo taken with him made me frantic.
ynashin: it’s alright haha it’s my fault anyway
kingtrex: it’s not
kingtrex: by the way, are you okay now?
ynashin: yeah :)
ynashin: still resting tho
kingtrex: I see
kingtrex: just rest and don’t stress over the article
ynashin: I will haha
ynashin: thank you again, king
kingtrex: you’re always welcome, angel :)
The last notification was from Gisel. These past few days, I realized how I easily get flustered when I see his name on my screen. However, after reading the article, the excitement I felt turned into uneasiness.
calvingisel: No, it’s not your fault.
calvingisel: If, by chance, Tiffany didn’t notice me, I’d still run to you.
calvingisel: There’s nothing wrong with getting worried about a person you care for.
For a second, I thought I was just seeing things. I blinked hard and read his messages again, and this time, I felt a lump in my throat. Part of me didn’t want to believe with what he just said. Another part felt guilty for being selfish, not thinking about the people around me.
ynashin: I read the article. Sorry. I know you hate being the subject of rumors.
Several seconds later, he replied.
calvingisel: Don’t mind that. Just focus on getting better.
ynashin: Yes, Sir.
calvingisel: That’s good. Listen to your tutor. Haha
I smiled at his reply and somehow, I could imagine him chuckling at his own words, his eyes disappearing into squints.
Their messages gave me enough motivation to write several chapters of my story. I also finalized my decision to step down as an administrator. Tomorrow, I would officially leave the group. For now, I would just enjoy this short rest.