I continued crying as words poured out from my mouth. All the things that I wanted to say, all the emotions that bottled up, came rushing upon seeing the three people that I didn’t want to disappear from my life.
How I started as an administrator, how I pulled out some articles involving them, and why I quit . . . I told everything to them.
“I-I’m s-sorry . . .” I sobbed.
“Sorry rin,” Steff whimpered.
She explained why she just walked away that day. She said she was stressed out because of the articles that she read and the demanding load and subjects they had to take next sem. Seeing the articles on my phone was the last straw.
Jess said Steff didn’t tell anything to her and Alice and they just found out when I sent messages in our group chat. I couldn’t believe she kept it all to herself.
“Sana sinabi ninyong iyakan session pala ngayon,” Jess added while wiping off the tears on her face. “Sana ‘di na lang ako nag-makeup.”
“Same,” Alice muttered.
Their comments made me chuckle while my tears were continuously streaming down my face. It was such a comforting feeling knowing that your friends understand your intentions . . . that the friendship I had protected for so long wouldn’t be taken away from me.
Jess bought bottles of water after we cried our eyes out. Honestly, this felt a lot better even if my eyes became more swollen.
I suddenly remembered King while we were drinking and told them that I had to go back in the cafeteria. Alice and Jess had teasing looks on their faces while Steff seemed concerned over something.
Running to the cafeteria, I sighed in relief when I saw him waiting at the table I reserved a while ago. I hastily walked toward his direction and bowed apologetically.
“I’m sorry I—”
He flashed a smile. “It’s okay. I saw you with your friend. Are you all okay now?”
I sat across him and nodded. “Mm.”
“That’s good,” he said as he pushed a glass of water in front of me.
I smiled at his gesture. “It’s okay. I already drank a lot of water. Thank you.”
He let me pack my food and he said he’d just eat in the room. I thanked him again and I said I’d treat him next time.
“I’ll look forward to that day,” he smiled as he adjusted his glasses.
“Okay. I’ll message you.”
“Bye. Hope I won’t see you crying again.”
I beamed at him. “Yeah. Bye-bye.”
After talking with King, I went back to the garden, but before I left the cafeteria, my eyes drifted to where he was a while ago. He wasn’t there anymore.
The expression he had a while ago . . . he looked downhearted.
Sighing, I left the place and ran back to the garden.
“So you won’t travel out of the country this summer?” asked Steff.
We were in our house because they said they wanted to make up for what happened. I told them I was already fine but they insisted.
“Oo,” Alice answered. “I think I’ll stay here this time.”
“For sure dahil kay Kevin,” Jess teased and Alice immediately blushed.
“Hoy, hindi ah!”
“Yeah, yeah, sure.”
Steff said she and Darryl already planned to go to Japan this summer. This would be the first time that they would travel out of the country together and it looked like she was excited. She had already planned what they were going to do for three weeks.
“Ikaw ba?” Steff turned to Jess.
She grinned. “Europe!”
“Oh. With Pat?”
“Yup. Bumili na ako ng outfits for the trips,” she excitedly said. “Ah! Excited na ako!”
I didn’t know how she managed Pat to travel with her. From what I knew, he wasn’t exactly fond of going to far places. Still, if he’d be with Jess, then I’m sure he would enjoy it.
“Ikaw, Yna?” asked Alice. “Babalik kang Korea?”
I nodded. “Mm. We will visit our grandparents.”
“So you’ll stay in Seongbuk-dong?”
“Actually, I’ll go to Jeju-do after visiting them.”
They all looked at me with concern but I just smiled at them. They know that my go-to place whenever I feel sad or drained is either Jeju-do or Busan.
“I’m okay now, don’t worry,” I assured them. “I already booked the flight so I’ll just enjoy it.”
“You sure?” asked Steff.
“Yes,” I chuckled.
It was just a day but it felt like they had been away for a long time. I didn’t know losing your friends would be this painful and haunting. I thank the heavens that I got them back or else I probably wouldn’t know what to do.
We started talking about what happened the whole semester afterwards. They also asked me some questions about the portal. Xander arrived after a while and he started interrogating them about their boyfriends . . . until their attention shifted to me.
He narrowed my eyes at me. “I feel something strange.”
“May gusto akong guy for him,” Jess said.
“Ah! ‘Yung Jervin?” added Alice.
His eyebrows knitted. “Jervin?”
“We’re just friends.”
“Malay mo maging more than friends.”
Steff was suppressing a chuckle and I remembered the time I got sick. She definitely knew what was going on and despite not saying anything about him, I felt my cheeks getting hotter.
Thank god they decided to leave after a few hours. I went to my room with a light heart and I got inspired to write some updates. I didn’t notice the time and uploaded three chapters for my ongoing story. After eating dinner, I plopped on my bed and stared at my turned-off phone.
I stared at my phone for several minutes, contemplating whether to open it or just wait until I’m in the airport. In the end, I gave in to the temptation.
Opening my phone felt like waiting for my professors to give me back my test papers. It was nerve-racking. Thousands of notifications almost crashed my phone, but what caught my attention was the Instagram message from him.
My heart skipped a beat and throbbed painfully afterwards. I was terrified to open it. I didn’t want to read what he wrote.
What if he got angry? What if he lashed out at me? What if . . . he hates me now?
Those thought weighed on my chest. I didn’t know he had become someone whom I didn’t want to disappoint.
It took me several minutes before I gathered the courage to face my fear. With a deep breath, I carefully clicked the notification, but my mouth hung open when I saw a lot of unread messages from the past two days.
calvingisel: Hello, Yna.
calvingisel: I don’t know how to properly express everything but I want to say sorry first. Just like Tiffany, I was taken aback by what I had seen. I ran away because I was scared to accept the reality.
calvingisel: I hope you won’t blame yourself. I know you have reasons. I wanted to know them but fear and denial clouded my head. Sorry. It’s okay if you get angry at me. It’s my fault for not listening and running away.
calvingisel: But please know that I’m not angry at you. Hindi ko kayang magalit sa’yo.
calvingisel: I’m a coward, aren’t I?
calvingisel: Good morning. Nakita kita kanina. I wanted to talk to you but I chickened out. But I’m glad someone is there by your side.
calvingisel: You’re here . . .
calvingisel: Your eyes are swollen. I hope you’re not sick.
calvingisel: Sorry for being invasive. Don’t worry. I won’t bother you anymore but please be healthy :)
Tears started welling up in my eyes after reading the series of messages from him. I felt relieved because he wasn’t angry but my heart sank when I saw his last message.
I didn’t know what to say. I wanted to talk to him, too, but it looked like I was already too late.
ynashin: Hindi ko alam ang sasabihin din pero patawad :(
ynashin: Hindi, kasalanan ko rin. Kung tapat lang ako simula noong simula ay wala ang misunderstanding.
ynashin: Pero salamat dahil hindi ka galit. Hindi ko rin kaya na makita na galit ka.
ynashin: Please know, too, that you’re not invasive nor bothering me.
ynashin: so please, talk to me :(
I waited for hours . . . for days . . . but he didn’t reply. And those were the last words I heard from him.
“Ready na gamit mo?” asked Xander.
“Yeah,” I said while yawning.
He could’ve booked a late flight but here we are, still sleepy because our flight was scheduled at 7 A.M.
He loaded our things in the car and our driver drove us to the airport. We went to the waiting area but I halted when I saw a familiar face. Xander placed our things right across where he was seated.
My heart did a summersault when I saw Gisel who was sleeping. He looked gentle and kind.
“Yna,” called Xander as he tapped the seat next to him, which was right in front of Gisel.
It felt like my heart would jump out of my throat as I stepped closer to him. My body tensed when I sat beside my brother. I couldn’t stop staring at him and I remembered everything that he said.
Suddenly, he woke with a jolt. His eyes fluttered open and my heart pounded loudly against my chest when he met my gaze.
I drew a shaky breath while his mouth hung open. Finally, I saw him again.
I missed him.