It’s been two weeks but everything that happened still felt surreal.
I remembered checking the photos I had taken and even our conversation to see if everything was, indeed, real. It was such a magical experience that I feared it was just part of my imagination. But that adventure gave me enough inspiration to write several chapters of Prince Not Charming.
The lead character’s personality was loosely based on him, but now, I could only see his face whenever I am writing about that character. It was quite embarrassing to write while thinking about him but it was helpful. Upon checking the comments of the readers, it made me realize how likeable he was.
blackknight: girls usually fall for the cold, mysterious type and the carefree and friendly one usually ends up as the second lead so this one’s refreshing
ladyinwaiting: I love how 4th Prince doesn’t care about his status whenever he’s talking with her. Goes to show how genuine he is.
theduchess: But Elena seems to be the type of person who wouldn’t want to be thrown in the spotlight. If their feelings continue to develop, I wonder how she would deal with the “royal” matters.
queenofnothing: @ theduchess I was thinking about that, too! She’s very private and would rather live simply. Will she give up her feelings? Will she give in and live in his noble world? Or will he be the one to adjust?
It was entertaining to read all the comments and thank goodness I didn’t find his username among them. I was actually thinking of blocking him but he might find that rude.
The next few weeks passed by in a blur to the point that I wasn’t sure what day it was already. I had been writing and updating as long as I could because our third year would probably be the busiest. It felt good when I received a lot of compliments about my improvement in using Filipino. Studying with him was, indeed, effective.
For a moment, I was tempted to check my phone. After his short trip in Jeju, he said his sister forced her to accompany her in Australia since her boyfriend broke up with her. I wonder how he was doing.
Oh, and the ranking of our batch’s “royalties” was also revealed several weeks ago.
Darryl was ranked first, followed by Steff, Jess and Patrick. The last five pretty much did not change: Charmaine, Gisel, Kevin, Lalaine and Alexa. After Tricia left, the top position had been a “brutal” fight between those four. Sometimes, it still feels strange, knowing that two of my friends were pretty much the valedictorian candidates for our batch.
Speaking of those girls, I miss them already. I hope they are doing well.
It was already the third week of May and there were only around two weeks left for our vacation. I had been sleeping so late once I returned here and I wasn’t sure how I would fix my body clock to prepare for the next academic year.
Today, the four of us would meet after more than a month. We decided to go to Alice’s house but since it was just a few minutes away from ours, I opted to spend some time first in a coffee shop nearby.
There were a lot of customers so I sat at the farthermost corner after ordering food. I tried writing one more chapter while waiting for my coffee and waffles but I was surprised when I saw a familiar face who just entered the café. Our eyes met each other, and I waved my hand at King.
He was wearing his usual choice of clothes—plain black shirt, jeans and sneakers. He quickly ordered at the counter and walked toward my direction afterwards.
“I didn’t expect to see you here,” he commented after sitting right across me.
“You, too,” I replied while pointing at him and he smiled in return. “How are you?”
“Fine, I guess,” he muttered. “Busy with summer classes.”
“Eh? You’re taking summer classes?”
He nodded. “I advanced some of the elective classes. I want to lighten my load next semester since there will be a lot of major subjects.”
“How about you?” he returned. “How are you?”
Our conversation was halted because our orders were already ready. We went to the counter and picked up our food. Upon returning to our table, King repeated his question.
My gaze landed at my coffee; a subtle smile formed on my lips. “Happy,” I murmured.
“Happy looks good on you,” he remarked.
I chuckled. “Happy looks good on everyone.”
“Yeah. So please, don’t let me see you cry anymore.”
We talked about the portal right after and I learned that they hadn’t picked a replacement for me yet because they were so busy with the pending articles. In addition, there should be a unanimous decision about it but it seemed like everyone had different opinions about the candidates.
Few minutes after, I received messages from the Jess and Steff saying they were already on their way to Alice’s house so I quickly finished my coffee.
“I’ll go ahead,” I said and he nodded. He said he’d stay to study. “Bye bye.”
I booked a car and after ten minutes, I arrived at her house.
“Yna! Missed you!” she squealed as soon as I entered the living room and we almost tumbled on the floor.
She must have been so bored since her parents were out of the country, though, she and Kevin seemed to be dating frequently. She started telling me the details of their dates and, of course, received some arm and shoulder slaps because she couldn’t contain her excitement.
“Pero alam mo, mas masaya ako ngayong summer vacation,” she mentioned. “Kasi there are no judging eyes around us. Alam mo ‘yon, parang we are free to do everything that we couldn’t when we were in the campus.”
Her words resonated with me that I immediately thought about Gisel. The intimate memories I had with him during those days came flooding my mind. It had been almost two months but it felt like everything just happened yesterday.
As if on cue, Jess and Steff arrived and Alice welcomed them warmly. She told her stories again while Steff and Jess shared their travel experiences.
“Ikaw, Yna?” asked Jess. “Wala ka bang nakilala sa Jeju?”
I almost choked. Alice laughed at her remark. “Si Yna pa ba? Makapal lang ang mukha nito sa atin.”
Steff shrugged and I could see her slyly glancing at me. “So, did you enjoy your short trip?”
The focus successfully shifted on me and talking about Jeju made me remember everything vividly: how we watched the cherry blossoms, our short walk on the beaches, the sunset and how he played the piano before we bid our goodbyes.
“Uhm . . . yeah,” I said, almost a murmur.
“I want to go to Jeju, too,” Jess pouted. “Parang ang ganda ng vibe doon.”
“Next year, punta tayong apat,” Alice suggested. “Para makita mo na rin si halmeoni.”
We talked more about what we did during our personal vacations until the topic shifted to the next semester. Steff and Jess would be very busy due to their advanced courses, and of course, some extracurricular activities. Alice said she would also be one of the senior members in their org and most of her vacant time would probably be spent in the practice room.
The enrollment would be in two weeks. I hope I could get good grades this academic year, too.
One of the things I hate during enrollment: there are a lot of students loitering around and everywhere is just noisy. Add in the sweltering heat and all you will feel is irritation.
I wanted to go home already since I was done but I couldn’t book a car. Alice was with Kevin. Jess and Steff were still not done. I decided to cool down for a while because I was getting annoyed with everyone and everything. Fortunately, the library was open and there weren’t a lot of students here.
I walked toward my usual seat but froze when I saw someone sleeping there. My heart thumped crazily when I saw Gisel’s peaceful expression and his body hunched over the table.
There weren’t any people on this side but I was still hesitant to approach him. It took me a minute to finally move with careful steps. I quietly pulled the chair across him while craning my neck, checking if that would disturb his sleep. Thank goodness, it didn’t.
The next few seconds, I just silently stared at his face. I realized we had a lot of hidden and private moments but I couldn’t look at his face properly because I was nervous and intimidated.
He looked so gentle and kind. I couldn’t believe someone like him would even spend his time with me. Sometimes, I wonder if he was just really kind or there was something else, but I didn’t want to assume anything.
He’s someone who is adored and loved by many. He’s someone living in the spotlight. There are a lot of girls who are way prettier, smarter and kinder who have their eyes on him. Someone who shines brightly like him.
I placed my arms on the table and rested my head on them while staring at him. These private moments were the only time I could be close to him and that was enough for me. I do not want to step further because that place would be too much for me.
“Nae saenggageneun . . . na neo johahaneun geo gata . . .” (I think . . . I like you . . .) I murmured, knowing that he wouldn’t understand it in case he could hear me, “keunde . . . museowo . . .” (but . . . I’m scared . . .)
I was about to raise my head when he suddenly moved. His left hand touched mine and my skin tingled. His eyes slowly fluttered open and met mine. His face was so close that I was scared he would hear my heart beating so fast.
He still looked dazed but he managed a smile. “I heard your voice,” he softly said while gently brushing my fingers with his that sent chills to my spine. “Good afternoon, Yna.”
His smile widened and I could feel my insides melting. “G-good afternoon . . .”
I am scared because I know my feelings are getting deeper.
I am scared because I am allowing myself to feel these emotions.
I am scared because I feel extremely happy, and I don’t know how long this will last.